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i that all the species of this genua change their in the year, and that in many of them the breeding dress of the males is M different from that which succeeds it, that observers are apt to regard as different species what are merely two seasonal phases of the same bird; nor is this the only source of confusion in the present instance; there really are two Indian species, which by some are more appropriately distinguished by the names mentioned; while others regard the moles of both in nuptial livery as the Floriken, or Black Floriken, and refer them to the Leek, or Common Floriken, when in the plumage which alternates nth the breeding dress; a third class, having observed the mutation in one or the other of these species, and thus positively ascertained that the alleged Floriken ai known to them, are one and the same, naturally enough conclude that but one t is referred to by these appellations, as indeed appears to be truly the case in Southern India, where the Leek of Bengal, or Otis aurita, is the only species included in Mr. Jerdon's valuable catalogue, in addition to the large O. nig-riceps (figured in Gould's Century), which is there exclusively styled Bustard. The specimens now under consideration consist of a beautiful male of O. deliciosa, Hardwicke, (or Himalayana, Vigor*,) in full nuptial costume (as figured in Gould's Century), being the Black Floits other dress the Common or Bastard Floriken—as someti he Leek—of Bengal; and a female in summer dress of O. aurita (ti 1 Selby's' Illustrations of Ornithology,'plates xl. andxcii), which, as before mentioned, is the genuine Leek of Bengal, at least of those who properly distinguish the two species; this latter is a much smaller bird than the other, and may always be at once recognised by the remarkable attenuation and sharp points of its sisg primaries; it is a species new to our collection.
Among the Birds which have been procured in the neighbourhood, I may first proceed to notice two fine species of Erne, or Fishing Eagle, (Haliaetus, Savigny.) One u the King-toiled Erne (H. Macei, or Falco Macei, Tern.), and from which I cannot H. albipes of Mr. Hodgson (described in J. A. S. v. 2*28, and i in vi. 367-8,) differs, bearing in mind that H. Macei was originally described from a dry skin; moreover the H. unicolor of Mr. Gray, founded on one of the drawings published by him from the late Major Gen. Hardwicke's extensive collection, 1 very strongly suspect will prove to be merely the second plumage of the same bird. Our Museum contains two specimens of this alleged H. unicolor, one of them i with certainty to be of the age mentioned ; otherwise, it might have been i the lengthened and attenuated form of its nuchal plumes, to have been older; it is probable that the third plumage of the species will prove to be intermediate, and I trust to be soon able to procure one in transitional state of feather, which voald settle the question beyond dispute. This fine large species, the worthy oriental representative of H. albicillus in Europe, H. leucocephalus in North America, and three or four more in different regions, appears to be not uncommon in Bengal, and n included'in Dr. McClelland's Catalogue of the birds of Assam (P. Z. S., 1839, 153), appearing, indeed, to be plentiful throughout the course of the Ganges and Boorunpooter with their tributaries; but it is not mentioned in any of the lists which I have seen of the birds of Peninsular India, not even in the very elaborate catalogue furnished by Mr. Jerdon, and published in successive numbers of the Madras Journal of Literature and Science. Mr. Hodgson mentions that his H. albipes frequently robs the Osprey of its spoil, just as the White-headed species of the west does the Osprey of that re
gion; the latter, indeed, being specifically the same on both continents. The magnificent specimen of H. Macei now exhibited, as also another which I hare procured and set aside as a skin, both of them females, measured 2 feet 8 inches long by 6j feet in extent of wing. The form is typical, as exemplified by H. albiciUus and H leucocephalus.
The other species I have not been able to determine: it belongs to the group of Osprey-like Ernes (Icthya'etus, Lafresnoy), peculiar to the countries bordering on the Indian Ocean, and exemplified by /. HorsfieUii (Falco icthyaetos, Horsf.), /. blagrus (H. plumbeust Hodgson), the Australian /.leucogaster, Gould, and I believe someothers.* Our Museum previously contained examples of/. HorsfieUii and J.blagrus. The present species is figured in one of the drawings of the late indefatigably laborious Dr. Buchanan Hamilton, and a female procured in the vicinity of Calcutta measured 2] feet long by G feet 1J inch in extent of wing; the latter from bend 2\\inches, and tail 14 inches: bill, including cere, 2$ inches over curve of upper mandible, and 2$ inches from its point to the gape; tarse posteriorly 3$ inches; talons moderately large, with trenchant inner edges (wherein this species differs from 7. Horsfieldi, and less decidedly from I. blagrus), and foot very rough underneath. Bill whitish-horny, having a tinge of bluish for the basal half, and becoming dusky towards the tip; cere scarcely differing in hue, but slightly waxy. Irides white, or rather becoming white, being a little suffused with brown in the specimen. Legs and toes ivory-white, as in H. Macei, but differing from that species in scutation, having a series of nine large scales along the whole outer front surface of the tarse, and those on the toes, especially on the bind one, being remarkably prominent and projecting towards the talons. General aspect, at first glance, not unlike that of an Osprey (Pandion); the head, neck, under-parts, thigh?, and tail, white, tinged more or less with rusty-brown, and the new feathers, which are everywhere appearing among the rest, more deeply so, whence these parts, excepting perhaps the tail, would have become clear pale rufous, confusedly mottled with dusky on the sides of the breast and upon the crown : the tail is much cuneated, and ha? some irregular scattered dark spots on its basal half, while the extremity is confusedly freckled with dusky, darkest on the outermost feathers, the extreme tips being whitish wings and mantle aquiline-brown; the primaries dusky, the interscapularies slightly tipped with white, and the small wing-feathers which are impended (more or less) by the scapularies, conspicuously bordered with the same; an ill-defined bar of paler brown across the wings. The intestines of (his bird were elongated, as in the Osptey: in its stomach were found three small water-snakes, some articulee of Crustaceans, the humerus of a bird the sire of a Mynah, and the remains of a small rodent. Dr. Cantor recognises the species as one which he has examined and found aquatic snakes in its stomach. Should it be undescribed, I proposed to designate it /. cuttrunguis.
'Athene Indica; Noctua Indica, Franklin, P. Z. S. 1831, 115; Strix Brama, Temminck. A specimen also occurs in Mr. Frith's collection. It is probable this little Owl will soon be found to be admissible into the European Fauna, for it is ascertained to be "common about the foot of the mountains near the town of Erieroom" (P. Z. S. 1839, 119).f
* The Society has since received a small species from the Malay Peninsula, nearly allied to /. Horsfieldi, and which I shall describe as /. nanus.—Uur. As. Soc. t Vide especially a notice in Mag. Nat. Hist, for October 1841, p. 125.
Alcedo (subgenus Ceryle, Boie, 1828,) rudis, Lin.; lspida bicincta, Swainson, Nat. LA., Orn., viii. 96. "When we find all authors," writes Mr. Swainson, " affirming that the black and white Kingfisher ' inhabits various regions, both of Asia and Africa, Egypt, Persia, Senegal and the Cape of Good Hope—that it varies both in size and iu the particular mixture of its colours,' it is impossible not to conclude that more than one species is confounded under the common name of Alcedo rudis, and that in all probability this mixture of black and white in the plumage, instead of being the character of a species, more probably belongs to a small division of the genus. The bird now before as," he continues, "affords at least a confirmation, in one instance, of inch a supposition. All writers (see particularly Edwards, i. pi. ix., Buffon, Edit. Sennini, xx, 192, and PI. Col. 716,) agree in stating, that the true Alcedo rudis of the Cape of Good Hope has but one black belt on the breast, whereas the species now before me has ttro; when, therefore, we find so strong a specific distinction between birds inhabiting two localities so comparatively near to each other as Senegal and the Cape, «emay fairly conclude that the other black and white Kingfishers, of regions vastly more distant, will eventually prove to be equally distinct." The truth happens to be, that the double-banded is merely the male, and the single-banded the female, of this widely diffused species, which is included among the birds of Europe by Mr. Gould, aa an inhabitant of its south-eastern border. It is of frequent occurrence in Bengal, and follows the whole course of the Ganges to the foot of the Himalaya. Dr. McClelland net with it in Assam, and it is included in the catalogue of birds procured by Dr. Royle at Saharunpore and in the Himalayas, as an inhabitant of the plain country, it is also plentiful about Rangoon. Mr. Jerdon states it to be "common all over India, frequenting brooks, rivers, and tanks: unlike the other Kingfishers," he adds, "which watch their prey from a fixed station and then dart down obliquely on it, the Spotted Kingfisher searches for its prey on the wing, hovering over a piece of water like some of the Terns, and then darting down perpendicularly on it." (Mad. Jour. xi. 232). So, indeed, does the common British Kingfisher (A. ispida), very commonly, ud doubtless, also, its Indian near ally (A. Bengalensis,) at least occasionally, though I have never observed this of it. Mr. Strickland, again, who remarked the A. rudis ra Syria, informs us, that " it may be often seen in the salt-water marshes west of Smyrna:" there, however, " it never seems to follow the rivers, but always remains near the coast. It sometimes hovers for several minutes about ten feet above the "iter, and then drops perpendicularly on its prey" (P. Z. S. 1836,100). Such are precisely its habits in Bengal; and it may not unfrequently be seen resting on the bank, sad jerking its tail at intervals. Together with the large Himalayan A. guttatus, this species appertains to a well marked subdivision of true Kingfishers (the Ceryle, Boie, r Ispida, Sw.), generally characterised by large size, chiefly black and white plumage, and considerably longer wings and tail than in the subgroup exemplified by A. ispida, Bengalensis, semitorquatus (Sw.), &c. ; hence they might be expected to seek their preymore on the wing, conformably with the foregoing observations. It is remarkable that this subgenus is the only one not only of the family Halcyonidce, but of a larger natural group comprising the latter, which is represented by species in the New World. The males of A. rudis vary in the developement or breadth of the second pectoral hand, and in the quantity of spotting in front of the neck, above the first band, which Utter is sometimes interrupted in the middle, as it generally is in the females; these
have no trace whatever of the second band, and seldom any spotting in front of the neck, but a patch on the flanks (a little anterior to the thighs) is equally developed in both sexes. *
Cuculus fugax, Horefield, or Bychan Cuckoo of Latham; C. Lathami, Gray and Hardwicke, or Bhrow Cuckoo of the latter, being evidently a mode of spelling the Bengalee form of the Hindee word for "great," which is applied by the natives to this species in contradistinction to certain others, as more especially the C. tenuirostris, Gray and Hardwicke, which latter, I may remark, is not identical with C. Sonnerati, vel Himalayanus, Vigors, as supposed by Mr. Jerdon, but is the same as hL< doubtfully cited C. flavus, this again being quite different from the C. flaws, Auctorum. Upon another occasion, I will endeavour to elucidate the various Indian and Malayan species of the family Cuculidte.
Calliope Lathami, Gould (lames Avium) ; Motacilla Calliope, VMat,; Turdus Calliope, Latham; Accentor.' Calliope, Temminck. A beautiful male, added to the female which was exhibited at the last meeting. This bird extends eastward to Kamls chatka and Japan. It is not included in any of the published catalogues of tinspecies of Southern India; but Lieut. Tickell notices it in his ' List of birds collected in the Jungles of Borabhum and Dholbhum' (J. A. S. ii. 575,), as "rare, solitary, and silent. Haunts thickets and underwood. Was found at Dampera in Dholbhum, and at Jehanabad, west of Hoogly." As we had a specimen previously in the Museum, in addition to those now obtained, it is probably not very rare in the Ticinity of Calcutta during the hyemal months.
Salicaria (Selby, subdivision Acrocephalus, Naumann, v. Calamokerpe, Boie,; turdoides (?); Turdus arundinoceus (?), Lin.; Agrobates brurmescens, Jerdon, Mai. Jour. No. xxv. 269. This appears to me, judging from memory, to be the Syltta turdoides of Temminck, which according to that naturalist extends eastward as far aJapan. I have seen a specimen that was purchased in the London market, where however, it may have been brought from Holland ; the species not having been hither
* In the same work in which Mr. Swainson has elevated the male of this bird to the rank of a different species from the female, finding, as he says, "so strong » specific distinction," he startles the common-place observer by characterising " the Spotted-winged Pintado, or Guinea-hen, iNumida maculipennis, Swainson). All the authors we have consulted agree," he informs us, " in stating that the common Pintado, or Guinea-toul, has the greater quills of the wings white, and although we have not, at this moment, an opportunity of verifying this, it cannot for a moment be reasonably doubted that such is the universal character of the species (!!!). That, however, which we shall now record, has the whole of the primaries spotted on a blackish ground, precisely with the same pattern, and in the same manner, with the lesser quills. Tin is the only material difference we can detect between the bird before us and tht ample descriptions which have ie-m published of the common species. Of this latter, however, we have procured some feathers, which enable us to state, that those of the lesser quills and of the back are spotted [in a manner] precisely similar to those of our present bird. The difference, however, of the quills is so important, lhatit ii alone sufficient to separate them us species" ! .' 1 What a pity " the hist Ornithologist of any age" did not defer the publication of the above until he had visited some poulterer 8 shop, or farm-yard! He would then have found that domestic Guineafowl with spotted primaries are at least as common as those with white ones, while among the latter he would have remarked that scarcely any two agreed in the quantity of white exhibited, a variation, too, of all others wherein any but a mere pretender to the rank of a philosophic naturalist would have paused before venturing to emburthen science after such a fashion.
to detected within the British inlands. Here the present bird, which 1 believe to be
(he same, is not uncommon. PtUlopneuste fuscata, Nobis. This appears to me to be a new species. Length inches, extent 7} inches, wing from bend2) inches, and tail 2J inches; bill to
forehead - inch, and | inch to gape; tarse above \ inch; 1st primary lj inch shorter, and 2nd primary j inch shorter, than the 4tb, which is longest; tail slightly roundel, in which respect, as in others, this species approximates the Salicaria. General colour nearly uniform dusky greenish-brown above, somewhat darker upon the crown; beneath pale, and whitish on the throat and middle of belly; shoulders of the wings beneath, and under tail-coverts, tinged with fulvous, as also the flanks slightly, and a true of the same upon the breast and ear-coverts; a pale streak over the eye, commencing at the nostril. Irides dark brown. Bill dusky above, yellowish at base of lurer mandible: inside of the mouth rather pale yellow : legs greenish-brown. Shot in the neighbourhood.
Ibis Macei, Cuvier and Wagler; /. religiosaot Sykes'scatalogue, and confounded by others with the venerated Ibis of ancient Egypt, to which it is nearly allied: a male and female, of the age described as Tantalus melanocephalus, Latham, and figured as Ibis melanocephalus, Stephens, by Messrs. Jardine and Selby, III. Orn. pi. cxx.
Also numerous Totani, Tringa, &c. of which the following species occur in the buiars; those marked with a f being common to this country and the British islands. Tetanus glottoides, very common; T. Horsfieldi (Limosa Horsfieldi, Sykes), do.; f T. /uscus, not rare; fT. calidris, very common; \T. glareola, excessively abundant; +7*. ochropus and fT. hypoleucos, apparently rare, at least I have seen neither of these in a fresh state as yet, though we possess specimens from the neighbourhood; fMachetespugnax, common; f Tringa subarquala, tolerably common; t T. plaiyrhyncha, rare; fT. minuta, exceedingly abundant; fT. Temmmckii, not rare; Eurmorhynchus griseus, a specimen of this excessively rare and curious species in the Museum (vide J. A. S. v. 127, and As. Res. xix. 699); Terekia orientalis, occasionally met with; fLimosa melanura, common; iNumenius arquahu. do.; f Himantopus melanopterus, do.; f Recurvirostra Avocetta, not rare; \Scolopax Gallinago, very abundant; -fSc. Galli?tula, much less so; Sc. heterura, tolerably common; Rhynchea Capensis, abundant (one species only); f Squatarola anerea, common; charadrius Virginianus, do.; (fch. morinellus, of this we have an old and much injured specimen, apparently set up when fresh;) fCh. minor (v. hiattculoides. Franklin, v. Phillipensis t, v. pusUlus t Horsfield), common; another and larger species of King Plover, as yet undertermined, do.; Plunanus Goensis and PI. bilobus, not rare*; Parra Sinensis, very common in the im. mature plumage; P. Indica, much less so,—the young of this has no superciliary white stripe, and otherwise differs so much from the adult that I suspected it to be distinct before procuring a specimen in transitional state of plumage; fFulica
• Since writing the above, I have met with another and (I think) a new species, PI. ewer em. Nobis; and there is also an undetermined species, with very formidably ipurred wings, in the Museum, which I am told is occasionally met with.