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which exactly corresponds with the first dress of the European S, Ahco, and certainly cannot represent the Strix Indranee, Sykes (Proc Zool. Soc., 1832, 82), as suspected by Mr. Jerdon (Madr. Jour., No. XXIV, 88), who further inclines to identify this species with Str. paqodarvm, Tern. (PL Col. 230), or Str. Seloputo, Horsfield fLin. Trans. XIII, 140), which, to judge from the description in Shaw's Zoology (XIII, 65), seems to me inadmissible. Mr. Jerdon observed a single specimen "in a tope, and some large single trees, near Verdupettah, to the south of Madura, on the Palamcottah road," and the dimensions he has given accord with those assigned by Col. Sykes to his Strix Indranee, and eiceed those of the immature specimen before me in the degree to be expected. I annex a description. Length 15J inches, of wing from bend 11 inches, tail 7 inches; tarse 2 inches. Bill straw yellow, at base dusky, where impended by bristle-like feathers, barbed and of a brown colour only at base, the rest black; face rufous-brown, with pale shafts to the feathers, and a little mixed with blackish; the disk, anterior to the ears, ,-hining brown-black, and posterior to them marked with rufous-brown near the ends of the feathers: plumage of the crown, neck, shoulders, aad under-parts, with the tail-coverts, extremely flimsy and of downy texture ; the scapularies and interscapularies firmer and more adult-looking, though also very slight: wings and tail as in the adult: crown, with the back and sides of the neck, dusky-brown tipped with whitish, and towards the shoulders shewing a fulvous bar on each feather; throat and breast less conspicuously whitish-tipped, the latter having two fulvous bands on each feather; rest of the under-parts dull fulvous barred with dusky, and many adult feathers appearing on the back and breast.
3. Athene Brodiei: Noctua Brodiei, Burton, P. Z.S., 1835, 152; N. feiiyer, Hodgson, As. Res., XIX, 175. (collared Owlet.) This very diminutive species is nearly allied to the common Ath. cuculoides, but is much smaller, an adult male measuring but 6j inches in total length, wing from bend 3^ inches, and tail 2\ inches; tarse posteriorly I inch. A rather larger specimen, which I presume to be a female, measures 1 inches long; wing from bend 3f inches, and tail 2£ inches : this latter is a young bird, retaining its nestling feathers on the head and neck, with a few elsewhere. Plumage of the male similar to that of Ath. cuculoides upon the back, wings, and tail, the last, however, having its pale bare more of a fulvous hue; head and neck dusky, with the pale bars more clearly defined and contrasting than in C. cuculoides, having also more the appearance of spots; on the lower part of the hind-neck is a conspicuous broad fulvous collar tipped with black, and impended by some white feathers over the middle, and a few black ones laterally; throat white, tinged with straw-yellow, and middle of the whole underparts the same, broadly streaked with brown on the inner webs of the feathers of the belly; breast and sides marked nearly as in Ath. cuculoides, but the barrings more brightly contrasted: tibia and tarsus clothed with short dusky feathers, mottled with whitish ; but only a few scattered hairs on the toes, which had evidently been bright yellow, as is also the bill. The young (presumed) female is pure white underneath where the male is yellowish, but in other respects generally similar: the uncast nestling feathers are uniform dull greyish brown on the head and neck, each having a pale speck on its shaft, and being of the ordinary flimsy texture; while those of the back and sides of the breast are purer brown, with obscure mottlings; bill partly dusky.
A singular character of this handsome little species consists in the extraordinary prolongation of its nares, forming a tubular external cell, no trace of which appears in the allied species* : in all other respects, it is, however, much too nearly related to Ath. cuculoides, &c... to permit of generic separation. The specimens described are from Darjeeling.
The species of these small Indian Owls are rather numerous. Another allied to Ath. cuculoides, is described by Mr. Gould, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1837, 136, by the name of Ath. erythropterus; but it had previously been described by Lieut. Tickell, in Journ. As. Soc. II. 572, as Strix radiata, and some account of its habits is given by that gentleman: there is also an excellent coloured portrait of this species among the drawings of the late Dr. Buchanan Hamilton, who styles it Strit undulata.f
Another member of the same group would seem to exist in the Strix castanoptera of Dr. Horsfield, Lin. Trans. XIII. 140; where also, among these small tuftless Owls, is described Strix rufescens,X Horsfield, and at
* This was written before I met with Mr. Hodgson's description of the species.— E. B.
f Specimens of the male and female of this species, from Chyebassa, have been presented to the Asiatic Society by Lieut Tickell since the above was written; as also an example of Ath. Brodiei, killed in Upper Bengal, by Mr. Frith.
X In his catalogue of birds prefixed to the 'Zoological Kesearches in Java,' Dr. Horsfield questions the distinctness of this from Scops Javanicus, Lesson, or Sc. Lempiji, Horsfield; one of the tufted species.
[ag« 280 of the same volume, the Strix scutellata, Raffles (the legs of which are stated to be " feathered to the toes," whence the applicability uf the name bestowed is not very manifest, unless it allude to the toes only). Referring to the Appendix to Shaw's Zoology, we also find noticed the Noctua Sonnerati, Tem., N. hirsuta. Tern., and N. Brama, Tem., which last is the N. Indira, Franklin (Proc. Zool. Soc, 1831, 115), and i; common in this neighbourhood, where likewise occurs the Strix Uotbris, Tickell (Jour. As. Soc, II. 572).
A Noctua TarayensU, nearly allied to cuculoides, is also described by Mr. Hodgson, Res. XIX. 175, together with the Brodiei (v. lubiger, H.,) and two species of Scops, which may have to be added to Sc. Lempiji, Horsfield, Lin. Trans. XIII. 140.
4. Pints (Dendrocopus) Himalayanus, Jardine and Selby, ///. Orn. pi. CXVI., representing the unmoulted young male. (black-backed Woodpecker.) I am not aware that the adults of this species have ever been described. It is closely allied to the European P. major, from which it differs in various details, and the adult to a greater extent than the young bird, which latter has the under-parts streakless pale dingy fulrous-brown, and the entire crown tipped with red in the male, but not in the female, whereas both sexes of the young of P. major have the crown thus tipped. The adult male, as in P. major, is distinguished from the other sex by having a glossy crimson occiput. Length 9j inches, the female rather less; from wing to bend respectively 5j and 5inches; and tail 3£ inches: bill to forehead 1^ inch, and tarse | inch. All the upper-parts, save the crimson occiput of the male, fine glossy black, with a great white wing-spot formed by the tertiary-coverts, and less developed in the male than in the female and young: four middle tail-feathers wholly black, the rest successively more barred with fulvous-white: the large feathers of the wing, except the two first primaries, marked with white spots on their outer webs, and with larger white spots on the inner web: vent and lower tail-coverts crimson: Mder.parts from the breast golden fulvous-brown (in the adult), having a broadish black streak along the middle of each feather, becoming obsolete on the middle of the belly : throat and fore-neck dingy-fulvous, by a black line extending from the side of the lower mandible to 'he shoulder; above this line is a triangular patch of golden-fulvous ""pending the shoulder, and continued forward (generally without intcr
ruption) to the ear-coverts, which are paler; a band of the same crosses the forehead, immediately over the bill, and is continued backward to the ear-coverts, surrounding the eye: bill dull leaden-blue, passing into dusky towards the tip; and feet leaden-brown. The young have no streaks whatever on the under-parts, which are less tinged with golden, and incline to rufous on the breast; their back is somewhat brownish, and the triangular patch over the shoulders dull white: a specimen before me in this dress differs only from Messrs. Jardine and Selby's figure in having no crimson on the crown, whence I conclude it to be a female, and that represented to be a male. An inhabitant of Darjeding and other districts of the Himalaya.
5. Indicator xanthonotus. Nobis. (golden-backed Honetguidb). The discovery of this species upon the Himalaya is of some interest, as all its congeners heretofore kriown are inhabitants of Africa only. Structure typical: length of a female 5 J, or probably 6 inches when recent; of wing from bend 3f inches ; and tail 2^ inches; bill from forehead % inch, and above ~6 inch from gape; tarse £ inch j 2nd and 3rd quills equal and longest, the 1st and 4th a little shorter, and also equal: outermost pair of tail feathers J inch shorter, and penultimate pair ^ inch shorter, than the rest, which latter are subequal: bill short and Finch-like, of a triangular shape viewed from above, the ridge of the upper mandible nearly obsolete, and its outline much curved; that of the lower mandible less so. Forehead and lower part of the cheeks golden-yellow; throat tinged with the same: crown and back of the neck dull olive-green, as also the front of the neck, which is slightly tinged with yellow: breast dusky-ash, the middle of each feather somewhat darker; belly and thighs albescent, with a medial dusky streak to each plume : lower tailcoverts and above the tibia? dull black, with lateral whitish margins: wings, scapularies, and interscapularies, dusky-black, laterally margined with yellowish olive-green, obsolete on the outer primaries, and the tertiaries margined on their inner webs with white: tail and its upper coverts black, the uropygials and largest medial pair of coverts edged on the inner web with grey, and the small external pair of tail-feathers obliquely marked with whitish at the tip: broad medial line along tie rump bright golden-yellow, changing to line sulphur-yellow on the back under the interscapularies, where the feathers are discomposed, silky, and hair-like, somewhat resembling those of the centre of the crest of a typical Regulus, but straighter and less downy; sides of the rump, bordering the broad yellow stripe, black; and the wings underneath whitish tinged with yellow, the feathers of downy texture: beak homy-brown, the lower mandible paler; and legs apparently darkgreenish. From Darjeeling, where stated to be very rare.
The affinities of this genus I have long considered to be with the Woodpeckers, and not with the Cuckoos: their feet are formed exactly as in the former group, not as in the latter; and they are accordingly known to climb the boles of trees, in the cavities of which they deposit numerous shining white eggs, wherein also they resemble the Woodpeckers. I am unacquainted with the conformation of their soft parts, further than that the traveller Bruce informs us, of his " Bee Cuckoo," (Appendix to 'Travels to discover the source of the Nile,' v. 179), that "the tongue is sharp-pointed, can be drawn to almost half its length ont of the mouth beyond the point of the beak, and is very flexible," a statement which I did not remark until long after I had arrived at the opinion here expressed. If my view be correct, it will probably be further confirmed by the stomach proving to have its muscular coat considerably more developed than in the Cuckoos; by the absence of coeca, as in the Woodpeckers (normally*), these existing in all the Cuckoo tribe which I have examined; and by the sternal apparatus, the form of which is very different in the Woodpeckers and Wryneck from what it is in the Cuckoos. The Barbets (Bucco) are quite distinct from either, and more nearly allied in internal conformation to the South American group of Toucans (RamphastidaJ, which they even resemble in the peculiar character of having short imperfect clavicles; while the African group of Touracos (Musophagidee), also allied, is remarkable for having the clavicles fully developed, but permanently joined together by cartilage only to constitute the furcula, as I have observed in three different species.
6. Bucco Franklinii, Nobis, (fkanklin's Baebkt.) Allied to B. cyanops. Length 8 inches, of wing 3| inches, and tail 2^ inches: bill to forehead J-j inch, and to hind-angle of upper mandible Ijj inch; tarse £ inch. Colour of the upper-parts vivid-green, of the under paler and
* Professor Owen once remarked the presence of caeca in a specimen of the British Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis), several of which same species 1 have since taamined without finding any.—E. B.