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VOL. I.

STRAY

feathers/

NO. 1.

0ttTtial 0f #rtiit|0l0gg

roR

INDIA AND ITS DEPENDENCIES.

EDITED BY

ALLAN HUME.

NOVEMBER, 1872.

In the nncertainty that existed as to whether arrangements could be matured for the publication of this little Journal in India, I did not venture to solicit communications from any of the numerous collectors for and contributors to my Museum, though many of these are far better qualified to amuse and interest the Ornithological public than myself. Now that the work has been fairly started, I hope that all brother Ornithologists in India will aid me to make the work somewhat worthy of the Science of which we are common votaries. Single- handed, and with almost my whole time devoted to the performance of public duties, it is certain that even were I far better qualified for the task than I can pretend to be, no satisfactory results could be hoped for, it is on the co-operation of Indian Orni- thologists generally, that success must be depen- dant, and that co-operation I now most earnestly solicit.

The Editor.

1st JSfovemheTi 1872.

CONTENTS OF VOL. I.

1872-73.

No. I.- Novemher.

Novelties Ptionoprog-ne pallida

Saxicola alboniger ...

Pellorneum palustre

PuffiniTS persiciis

Pomatorliiniis obscurus ...

Ephialtes Brucei

Drjmoipus insignis

Ninox obscurus

Mirafra imniaculata

Procarduelis Mandellii

Eudromias tentiirostris ... FalcO Baebarus in India ... On tlie breeding of Elanus Melanopteeus The Wagtails of India, No. 1 Phosnicoptekus Minor

A new ? POLTPLECTUON

Otocokis Elwesi. Blanford ...

The Skylarks of India ...

ErINGILAUDA NeMORICOLA et SORDIDA ...

Contributions to the Ornithology op India. Sindh, No. 1 Eii'st di-aft of a Conspectus of the Avifauna of India and Dependencies

Page. .. 1 .. 2

its

No. 2, 3, & 4. February.

5 7 8 10 11 12 14 17 19 21 26 31 3-5 36 38 41 44

49

Birds of the Andamans and Nicobaes, V. Ball, Usq. ... 51

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sindh, No. 2 ... 91

Indian and European Eagles. W. E. Brooks, Usq., No. I. ... 290

Novelties. CoUocalia innominata ... ... ... 294

Brachypodius fuscoflavescens ... ... 297

Pellorneum minor ... ... ... 298

Blanfordius striatulus ... ... ... 300

Carpophaga palumboides ... ... 302

Mareca albogularis ... ... ... 303

11.

Page.

Additional remarks on the Andaman Avifauna ... ... 304

Spizaetus kignerii ... ... ... ... 310

Notes. Eggs of Megapodins nicobaricus ... ... 313

Indicator xanthonotus ... ... ... ih.

Archibuteo hemiptilopus ... ... ...315

Procarduelis Mandellii = P. rubescens ... ... 318

Poliornis liventer ... ... ... 319

Asiatic Spizaeti and Spizaetus sphynx ... ... ih.

Chelidon urbica ... ... ... ... 323

Palaeornis rosa, a Lutino of ... ... ... ib.

No. 5. July.

Indian AND European Eagles, No. II. W. E. Broohs, Esq. ... 325

Notes on the Paroquets op India. Gapt. T. HuUon, c. m. z. s. 331

Phcenicophaus pyrrhocephalus. Vincent Legge, Esq., R. A. ... 346

Notes on a collection of Eggs made at Murree. Gapts. Gock

and G. H. T. Marshall ... ... ...348

Indian Pipits. W. E. Broolcs ... ... ... 358

The Ornithology op the Sambhur Lake. H. M. Adam, Esq. 361

Novelties. Aracbneclitlira andamanica ... ... 404

Ephialtes Balli ... ... ... ... 407

Dissemuroides dicruriformis ... ... ... 408

Locustella STibsignata ... ... ... 409

Rliyticeros Darcoiidami ... ... ... 411

^thopyga Tiicobarica ... ... ... 412

New Birds PROM Sikhim. L. Mandelli, Esq. ... ... 415

Heterorliynchus Hninei ... ... ... ih.

Miiila rufogiilaris ... ... ... ... 416

Notes. Correclions by Mr. W. T. Blanford ... ... 417

Ptionoprogne pallida, nobis, to stand as P. obsoleta, Cab ih.

Eudromias tenuirostris nobis ... ... ... ih.

Pyri'hulauda affinis, Blyth, to stand as P. melanaucben,

Cab.... ... ... ... ... 418

Diagnosis of female and immature barriers ... ih. A new Indian barbet from Western India, MfiGALiEMA

Sykesi ... ... ... ... 419

Sindh Avifauna ; additions ... ... ... ih.

Avifauna of the Islands of the Bay of Bengal ... 421 Occurrence of Mergus castor in the Mahanuddee, dis- trict of Sumbulpoor ... ... ... 422

Letters to this Editor. Capt. G. P. S. Marshall on Gallinago

stenura ... ... ... ... 423

Mr. P. H. Aitkin on the nidification of GaUinula phoenicura ... 424

Dr. F. Stoliczka on the Anatomy of Indicator xanthonotus ... 425

111.

No. 6. December.

Page.

Notes on some Cetlonese Birds ... ... ... 429

ACHEEN ... ... ... ... ... 441

Notes dpon some of the Indian and European Eagles, By W.

JE. Brooks, Esq., c. E., No. Ill ... ... ... 463

Novelties.— Spilornis minimus ... ... ... 464

Heteroglaux, Geu. nov. ... ... ... 467

Blewitti ... ... ... 468

Athene pulchra ... ... ... 469

Caprimulgus andamanicus ... ... 470

Chgetura indica ... ... ,. 471

Carcineutes amabilis ... ... ... 474

Myioplioneus Eugenei ... ... ... 475

Hydrornis Oatesi ... ... ... 477

Criniger griseiceps ... ... ... 478

Stachyris rufifrons ... ... ... 479

Calornis Tytleri ... ... ... 480

DicEeum virescens ... ... ... 482

Mirafra mici'optera ... ... ... 483

Notes on the Skylarks of India. Bij W. E. BrooJcs, Esq., c. e. 484 Additions to the Avifauna of Ceylon. By W. Vincent Legge,

Esq., R. A., F. Z. S., &C. ... ... ... 487

Notes. Melanocorypha maxima ... ... ... 492

Pelloi'neum Mandellii to stand as P. nipalensis, Hodgs. 493

Abrornis albosnperciliaris and xanthoshistus ... 494

Dumeticola bruneifrons and affinis ... ... ib.

Neornis flavolivacea ... ... ... ib.

Regidoides macalipennis, Blyth, to stand as R. cUoro-

notus, Hodg. ... ... ... ... ib.

Phyllopneuste Sylvicultrix, SwinL., to stand as P. mag-

nirostris, Blyth. ... ... ... ib.

Eudi'omias tenuirostris ... ... ... 495

Letters to the Editor

Captain Vipan ... ... ,., ... ^ib.

H. J. Rainey, Esq.... ... ... ... 496

J. R. Cripps, Esq ... ... ... ib.

Index. New genera ... ... ... ... i.

Species described or discriminated ... ... ib.

Species noticed ... ... ... ... iH.

PHEFACE

On the completion of this first bundle of Stray Feathers, in other words of Vol. 1., the Editor feels bound to acknowledg-e most g-ratefully, the cordial support that, during- the past year, he has met with from Indian Ornithologists.

When Buffon wrote his Natural History of Birds^ he congra- tulated himself on a knowledge of nearly 900 species, and esti- mated that the world miff/ii contain 1,500 species altogether, a number, so vast, that it seemed impossible to him, that they should ever be properly dealt with in one work.

The Avifauna of India and its Dependencies, already includes nearly 1,600 species, and it has always appeared to me impossi- ble that so vast a fauna should be adequately dealt with, until it possessed a special local organ of its own, in which the observa- tions and discoveries of professed ornithologists, working on the spot amongst the living birds, could \)q. promptly and convenient- ly recorded, in which only matters bearing on our great work out here sliould find a place, and which by being, so to say, always at hand, and humble in its scope, should tempt the innumerable " bird-fanciers," who will not call themselves, (though they often truly are) ornithologists, because their acquaintance with scientific nomenclature is sinall, to put on record some of the multitu- dinous facts in regard to the distribution and habits of birds that, as travellers and sportsmen, are daily brought to their notice.

It was to supply such a special local organ, that our little Magazine was called into existence, and, so far as professed orni- thologists are concerned, it has succeeded beyond the expectations and deserts of its Editor.

But, where the " bird-fanciers" are concerned, it has been, in great measure, a failure. There are hundreds of sportsmen in India, who could tell us facts about the nidification, habits, migrations, distribution, &c., of species of which we know little, and what I would urge upon all my kind coadjutors is, each in his own circle of friends, to endeavour to stir observant Sports- men up, to add, each, their quota of knowledge to the general stock.

If would-be contributors have doubts as to the names of birds, in regard to which they have observations to record, let them send me skins (the veriest rags, will in most cases sufiice) and I will with pleasure identify and return them.

Specially, in the matter of nidification and eggs are we in want of additional information ; what is already on record on this subject, so far as I am acquainted with it, and what I have been

able to ascertain personally or from others, is set forth in my Roug-h Draft of " Eg-g-s and Nests ^^ of Indian Birds, Parti., of which has just been printed, and the two remaining parts of which will be available during the course of this present year. I venture to hope, that a perusal of this will show many " bird fanciers" and sportsmen, as well as ornithologists, that much in- formation possessed by them is as yet not g-enerally known, and that they will make it so through the pages of Steay Feathers.

As to distribution again much remains to be worked out, and the importance of careful local faunas, in a vast region like that with which we deal, and in which, as it were, the Palsearctic and Palsetropic faunas meet, cannot be overrated.

No special scientilic knowledge is necessary for the prepara- tion of these a man has only to collect steadily, in almost am/ locality for a year or eighteen months, one or two specimens of everi/ species he can come across in his neighbourhood, to note, so far as practicable, in regard to each, whether they are rare or common, whether they are permanent residents or seasonal visi- tants, and if the latter, when they arrive and when they leave ; whether they breed in his neighbourhood, and if so, when ; what their nests are like, where they are situated, how they are com- posed, how many eggs they lay, and what these are like, and what their dimensions are ; what the nestling-s and what the young- birds are like ; what localities and what food the birds affect, and, even if he does all this very, very imperfectly in regard to a vast number of species, he will still (after his birds have been identified) possess materials for a most useful axidi instnictive local avifauna, such as the most critical professed ornithologist will welcome cordially.

May I not hope that some of my supporters will turn their especial attention to local avifaunas such as that contributed by Mr. E.. M. Adam to this present volume ?

In conclusion, I must crave indulgence, especially from Euro- pean readers, who have no conception of the difficulties attend- ing the printing of works of this nature in India, for the many typographical errors that have anything but adorned our pages. In this as in other matters we shall try to improve, and in the mean time, I would pray all, both Indian and European^ readers to be

" To our sad faults a little blind, To our small merits, very kind ! "

A. O. HUME.

Calcutta,

' Decemher Isi, 1873.

STRAY FEATHERS.

Vol.1.] NOVEMBER, 1872. [No. 1.

(jb-eUx^s»

In placing- on record, now and hereafter^ supposed new species, it must be clearly understood that I do not dogmatically assert that they are all positively new.

They are not to be found in Jerdon_, nor are they among-st the 400 odd species omitted by him, but ascertained now to occur within our limits.

Nor have I been able to identify them with any known species of which I have plates or descriptions.

With only my own private library and museum however to consult, I am naturally peculiarly liable to error, and shall be grateful to all who will correct my inevitable mistakes.

The birds having occurred within our limits, it is of great importance to make sure whetlier they are new or not, and if not, to ascertain what name they should rightly bear; and no more ready means of attaining this object suggests itself to me than that of publishing descriptions such as follow:

itiOtt0p0P^ fallik, S]). Nov.

Similar to P. Rupestris Scop., hut much paler and very considerably smaller. Wing, 4*4 to 4"75 inches..

I FOUND this new species very common along the course of the Gaj, the Nurrinai, and other small streams that issue from the bare stony hills that divide Sindh from Kelat. I found it ag*ain along with Cypseltts Apus, or C. BarbaMs, Tristram and Temminck, if this species, which I doubt, be really distinct, off the rocky headland of Minora, at the mouth of the Kurra- chee Harbour, and in similar localities along the Mekran Coast. The flight is rapid, and the birds are somewhat difficult, as some of our party found, to bring to bag. I think I heard of a whole flask of shot being fired away without any tangible results.

3 Novelties. Ftionojn-ogne Pallida.

The sexes do not differ materially in size^, though individuals differ in each sex considerably. The males^ (seven of each sex were preserved) J varied in length from 5"35 to 5 '6 inches; ex- panse, 12'25 to 13 inches; wing, 4"4 to 4'7 inches. In the females^ the length varied from 5'25 to 5'5 inches; expanse, 12"3 inches; wing 4'5 to 4* 75 inches. In both sexes the tail measures about 1'8 inch from vent. The wings, when closed, exceed the tail by a little more than 0'5 inch, and the weight was a trifle over U"5 oz.

Description. Bill black ; legs and feet horny brown. The whole upper surface, a very pale greyish earthy brown, very much paler than the same parts in either P. Rupestiis, or Coiyle Sinensis : the quills only slightly darker, yet sufficiently so to contrast pretty markedly with the scapulars, back, rump, and upper tail coverts : the lateral tail feathers, all but the external feather on each side, with a large oval white spot on the inner web, as in Riipestris, and with dark shafts, and a darker tint on the web near the shaft as in that latter species. Lower surface as in liupestris, but much paler ; the whole of the chin, throat, breast, and abdomen being white with only a faint fulvous or rufous tinge, and the wing lining and lower tail coverts, which in Mufiestris are a decided dark brown, are in this species the same pale earthy grey brown as the upper surface.

No specimen of the true Mupestris that I have seen has the wing less than 5 inches and some have it full 5'5 inches. Jerdon indeed gives it at 5*75 inches ; but this, I think, is greatly above average. The true Ihtpestris, of which I saw no specimen in Sindh, occurs a little further east in Kutch, whence I have a specimen with the wing 5*2 inches, exactly similar to other specimens from Simla, and Khandala, and to European birds.

la^icolfi gllknipr^ Sp. Nov.

Very similar to 8. Picata, (BlytliJ hut larger ; the hlack not extending on to the breast as m this latter, and with the white extending further up the back. Sexes alike, but male considerably larger. Male's length, 7'5 inches; wing, 4!'25 wiclies ; bill at front, 0'6b inch.

Another species new to our Indian Avifauna is Saxicola 3Io- naclia, lliipp. [Gracilis : Licht. PI. Col. 359) which is not uucommou in, and immediately at the foot of, the stony hills which divide Kelat from Sindh and in the similar hills that run along the Mekran Coast. In the plains of Sindh this species

Novt!LTiES. Saxicola Alboniger. 3

never occul'S ; it is there^ curiously enough^ replaced by a much smaller, but in many respects similar, species, Saxicola Capis- trata. Now the remarkable thing- is, that in the plains where Capistrafa occurs, there also occurs Picata : but in the localities where Monacha occurs, there we find another bird very similar in plumage to Picata, but much larger in every way. I am, I confess, unable to prove it, but, as I have long since stated, I am strongly inclii^ed to believe S. Ca.jnstrata and *S'. Picata to be different stages of the same species. At any rate I can shew an apparently almost perfect series between the two. I am also (so similar are they in size, length, and bill, &c.,) inclined to believe that possibly the apparently new Saxicola which I am about to characterize, may be a different stage of S. Monacha. Prom Picata, which it closely resembles, it is distinguished at once by its much larger size, longer bill, and the greater extent of white upon the back, as well as its much stronger and larger legs and feet. This species may be Leiicopygia, (Brehm,) from Palestine, of which I can find no description ; but for the present I must give it some name, and I therefore provisionally christen it S. Alboniger. The sexes are perfectly similar as to plumage, but differ as to size, the males being considerably larger.

Bimensions. Male; length, 7*75 inches ; tail, 2"8 to 3 inches ; wing, 4'1 to 4'25 inches; bill at front, 0 '65 inch; tarsus, 1"1 inch. Female; length, 6*5 to 6'75 inches; wing, 3"8 to 4 inches ; tail, 2*75 to 2*9 inches ; bill at front, 0*56 to nearly 0*6 inch.

The plumage is very similar to Picata, but the black is, I think, even brighter and more intense. The tail agrees with Picata and not with Monacha in having the tips of all the lateral tail feathers black. The black, however, in Alboniger only covers the chin and throat, whereas in Picata it descends some- what on the breast. The sides of the breast are black in both species. On the back again the black does not extend as far down as Picata. In the latter species, measuring from the tips of the longest tail coverts to where the black of the back com- mences, we have about 1"6 inch of white, while in Alboniger there are 2 inches of white, measuring in both cases fine males. In the female Alboniger, the length of the white on the back is about ],"8 inch. Whether actually new or not, this species is certainly new to our Indian. Avifauna.

For eompai'ison I subjoin measurements of S. Picata, (taken from eight males and ten females measured in the flesh) of which the sexes do not differ in size so materially. Length, 6' 25 to 6-81 inches; tail, 2-25 to 2"75 inches; wing, 3*4 to 3'75 inches ; bill at front, 0*45 to 0-55 inch, (one exceptional specimen almost 0-6 inch;) tarsus, 0*9 to 1 inch.

4 Novelties. Pellorneum Palustre.

It will be seen that the larg-est male Picata is not quite as large as the female Alhoniger. The diiferenee^ thoug-h not perhaps verj striking- when reduced to figures^ is very conHpi- cuous when a dozen specimens of each species are laid side by side and even more so in the living birds ; in fact it was a gentleman in no degree interested in ornithology, who first told me that I should find the black and white chats in the hills larger and brighter colored than those we were at the time shooting in the low country.

^^ll^nti^Em fatostr^, S^. Nov.

Whole wpper surface, uniform deep olive brown. Lower surface, white, faintly tinged, in places huffy, and spotted with darh brown. Bill at front, 0*5 inch, much shorter than that of Bnificeps, and much slenderer than that of Mandelli.

I HAVE named this species Palustre^ at Dr. Jerdon's sugges- tion who gave me the type specimen, which he procured on the Khasia Hills. It somewhat approaches P. Tickelli, Blyth, but is larger aiid differs entirely in the coloration of the lower parts. The bill is much slenderer and smaller than in P. Pujjceps and, a fortiori, very much slenderer than in P. Mandelli, Blandford, the bill of which is intermediate between that of P. Bujiceps and Timalia Pileata.

The following are dimensions taken froni the dry skin. Length, 6*5 inches; wing, 2-65 inches; tail, 2*9 inches; bill at front, 0-57 inch; tarsus, ri5 inches.

Description. Upper mandible, deep brown. Lower mandible, pale brown. Legs and feet, apparently fleshy brown. Whole upper parts, uniform deep olive brown, except the longer upper tail coverts and tail feathers which are slightly tinged with rufous. Lower tail coverts, pale ferruginous ; extreme point of forehead just above nostrils, tinged rufescent. Lores, chin, throat, sides of neck, breast, abdomen, and vent white, each feather with a pale brown central stripe, almost wanting on the lower abdomen. The ear coverts and some of the feathers of the breast, tinged with pale rufous buff. The whole wing lining and a narrow margin to the interior webs of the quills on the lower surface, very pale rufous buff.

* Since this was in type, I have learnt that Mr. Gould has figured and de- scrihed this species under this same name. The type is, however, in my museum.

Novelties. Fuffmus Persieus. 5

Dr. Jerdon observed this species common about marshy g-round^ and hence the name he sug'g'ested which I have adopted. I have had this specimen four yearsj but never described it^ expecting Dr. Jerdon to do so^, but as he has never done so^ and has now, alas ! left us for ever, I have thoug-ht it right to take an early opportunity of putting on record this one of his many dis- coveries.

f ttiims icrsiais, S^p. Nov.

Intermediate in size and other characteristics between P. Anglorum, P. Obscura, and P. Niigax ; a white line round the eye prolonged bach- wards from posterior angle, for from a quarter to half an inch. Length, 13 inches. Whole of lateral lower tail coverts, deep brown.

A SHEARWATER that I at first referred, though vsT'ith great hesitation, to Fvffinus Anglorum, is not uncommon about the moutlis of the Indus and the Kurrachee Coast, and was observed also on several occasions in proceeding up the Gulf of Oman. It is a bird belonging to that particular sub-division which includes P. Anglorum, Kay, P. Yelhuan, Acerbi, P. Obscura, Gmelin and P. Nugax, Solander, but it will not in many respects agree with any of these species. I only succeeded in procuring a single specimen, a female, apparently adult, fresh moulted, except the three first primaries in each wing, which were still more or less m parchment. Macgillivray gives the length of P. Anglorum at 15 inches; Yarrell, at 14 inches; Degland and Gerbe, at 13*8 inches; and this bird was 13 inches in length. P. Obscura Yarrell, gives at 11 inches as the result of the measurement of six specimens. The wing, imperfectly developed in my specimen, measured 7 inches ; when fully developed, it might measure 8 inches or 8*25 inches. The wing of P. Anglorum is given by several authorities at 9"5 inches and of P. Obscura, at 6*75 inches. It is too small for the one and too large for the other ; moreover, it has the whole of both webs, of both the lateral and the lono-er tail coverts, deep brown, in this respect agreeing with P. Obscwra and also P. Yelkuan ; but the wing in P. Yelkuan is given by Schlegel at from 9-2 to 97 inches, which our wing could never have been, and the tarsus at about 1*9 inches, whereas in our bird the tarsus is exactly 1-5 inches. The mid toe is also given at 1-72 inches, in our bird it is about 1-45 inches ; more- over, Yelkuan is described as being of a paler and greyer tint than Anglorum, whereas our bird is nearly black. Again, the white of the throat extends right up to the eye, and covers half

6 Novelties. Pnffimts Persicus.

the lores, the other half of the lores, and the lower portion of the ear-coverts being- speckled with white, in this respect correspond-' ing- with P. Ntigax, but then Gould g-ives the length of P. Nngax at 11 inches, and the wing- at 6-5 inches. Schleg-el gives tlie wing- at ^'^ to 7'7 inches, but these dimensions are too small for our iDird, as are also those of the tarsus 1"25 inches, as given by Gould. Moreover, there is no white in the lower surface of the primaries, on the interior web, (the characteristic feature of Nugax) , and as already explained, all the lateral and longer tail coverts are deep brown, whereas in Nugax they are entirely white. The coloration of the feet also is peculiar, more closely resembling that of P. Anglorum than of any other species of which I can find a description. Under these circumstances, either all the descriptions and measurements to which I have access are very faulty, or this is a new species; and as I am informed that it is observed all the way up the Persian Gulf as well as in the Gulf of Oman, (I myself only observed it as far as Gwadur, on the Mekran, and Muscat, on the Arabian Coast,) I propose to characterize it as Pzcjffiuus Persicus. The following are the exact dimensions taken in the flesh :

Female killed 31st February 1873. Length, 13 inches; ex- panse, 26 inches (would probably have been 28 to 29 inches had the first three primaries been full}' developed ;) wing, 7 inches (would probably have been 8 to 8"25 inches ;) tarsus, 1-5 inches ; bill straight from forehead to tip, 1'3 inches; from anterior margin of nostril, 1*06 inch.

Description. Bill dusky brown, bluish at base, and basal three- fourths of lower mandible ; irides, brown. Legs and feet white, tinged with pink and lavender, with claws, margin of web, exterior of foot, and outer toe, and part of ridge of mid toe, black.

Plumage. The head and nape deep sooty brown, the whole of the rest of the upper parts, blackish brown ; almost if not quite black on the primaries, rump, upper tail coverts, and tail, "Upper portion of the lores, mingled dusky brown, and whitish. Lower jxortion of the lores, and the whole of the chin and throat as far as the eyes on either side, breast, abdomen, vent, and shorter central lower tail coverts, pure white. A white line about 0-06 wide encircles the eye and extends backwards from the posterior angle as a narrow white streak for a distance of 0-35 to 0*4 inch : below this the ear-coverts are dusky brown,, slightly mingled with whitish, the white line below the eye is only separated from the white of the throat by a hair line of greyish brown. The sides of the neck and the breast where the brown of the upper meets the white of the lower parts, is some-

Novelties. Tomatorhimis Oiscuns. 7

what paler bi'owii; slig-litl}^ intermingled with white. The sides, axillaries, flanks^ and the lesser xinder-wing coverts next the body, and the whole of the exterior and longer tail coverts are deep brown ; the rest of the lower wing coverts except just at the edge of the wing are white, here and there slightly mottled^ especially at the edge of the wing, with dusky brown ; the longer axillaries are mottled with white along their bases.

Imuatarjiims @l}sami5^ Sp. Nov.

Very like P. Horsfieldi, ( SyhesJ but larger ; Mil longer, deeper, and viore compressed, and general color (where not wliitej dull, snioJcy earth- brown.

This new^ species is closely allied to Horsfieldi, of which I have numerous specimens of both sexes, but differs not only in colora- tion but in the greater length, depth, and compression of bill : it is also somewhat lai'ger. This species has been procured at Mount Aboo and also in the Seoni District. The dimensions of a female measured in the flesh were as follows: Length, 10"12 inches; expanse, 11*5 inches; tail, from vent, 4 inches; wing, 4' 15 inches. Wings when closed reached to within 2-75 inches of end of tail; tarsi, 1"3 inch; bill straight from forehead to point, 1"35 inches.

Description. Bill dirty yellow, blackish on the ridge at base of upper mandible. Leg's and feet, dark, slightl}^ greenisli plum- beous ; irides, dark-red ; chin, throat, breast, and centre of abdo- men, and a long superciliary stripe from forehead to nape, pure white. The whole of the rest of the plumage a dull smoky earth- brown, rather a purer brown on quills and tail which nre very faintly rufescent, recalling the wings and tail of Malacocercns Canorus. The tail obsoletely barred ; the lores, dark brown ; the ear-coverts slightly darker brown than the rest of the body.

But for the superior size both of bill and wing', the greater depth and the more compressed character of the bill, I should have thought that these were immature specimens of HorsJielcU ; but as both in size of bill and wing they exceed every one of eight full}^ mature specimens of Horsjieldi, of both sexes, from the Pulnej's, Coonoor, and Ootacaraund, I am compelled, at any rate provisionally, to accept them as a distinct species.

€p|mltes iructi, tire ^trtitt^b Stap §M, S2->. Nov,

Tarsus, slender as in Pennatus. Head and aigrettes, small. Wing, 6'45 inches; general color, uniform, pale earthy brown; each feather with a conspicu- ous, central, very narrow, darh-brotvn shaft stripe.

This fine new species I owe to the kindness of the Revd. H. Bruce^ and as I have been compelled to disallow the supposed Alcippe Briicei which is nothing" but A. Poiocephala, I think I cannot do better than dedicate to this g-eutleman what I believe to be an unquestionably new species procured by himself.

E. Brucei differs entirely in appearance from any of the other Indian species. The general color of the whole of the upper surface is a pale earthy brown, and each of the feathers of the forehead and top of the head, back and sides of the neck, back, rump, scapulars, and wing" coverts, breast, abdomen, flanks^ tibial and tarsal plumes, and lower tail coverts has a conspi- cuous central, very narrow dark brown shaft stripe. There are no white spots on any of the feathers ; the tarsi are slender as in the Pennatus group. The head and aigrettes are very small, while the wing is as long as that of the largest Griseus that I have examined. Moreover, it is distinguished from all other Indian Ephialtes by having, like Pennakts, the 3rd quill equal to the 4th. This species, of which only a single specimen has yet been pro- cured and that one near Rahuri, Ahmednuggur, is even to the most casual observer very distinct from any of the other six Indian species noted in my catalogue (see also Rough Notes, Part I, No. 2, page 386 et seq.) In some respects it approaches nearest to Pen?iatus, but the head is proportionally much smaller ; the tone of colouring and the character of the markings are totally unlike those of any stage of that species ; and the length of the bird in the flesh was 9 inches^ while the wing" measured 6"4!5 inches.

Nothing has yet been ascertained as to its habits, nidification, or distribution.

Dimensions. Male ; length, 9 inches j expanse, 22 inches ; wing, 6*4 inches; tail, 3" 2 5 inches; tarsus, 1*45 inches; foot greatest length, 1"87 inches ; greatest width, 1*75 inches; mid toe to root of claw, 0"8 inch; its claw straight, 0"39 inch ; hind toe, 0-35 inch ; its claw straight, 0-28 inch; inner toe, 0"67 inch; its claw straight, 0*4 inch. Bill straight from forehead to point including cere, which is ill-defined, 0*7 inch ; from gape, 0"73 inch ; height at front, at margin of cere, 0'29 inch ; wings when closed are even with the end of tail. Lower tail coverts reach to

Novelties. Ejjhialtes Bnicei. 9

within 0"9 inch of end of tail. The third and fourth primaries are the longest ; the first is 0-75 inch^ and the second is 0*08 shorter. The exterior tail feathers are 0*3 inch shorter than the central ones. Weig-ht^ 4 oz.

Description. The legs and feet^ including the base of the toes^ densely feathered ; terminal portions of toes with small transverse scutse, slate colored ; claws blacky well curved, slender, and very sharp ; toes very slender, but pads largely developed, so as to make a broad sole ; exterior toe more or less versatile j irides bright yellow ; bill dusky.

Phmiage. Cheeks and feathers under the eye, greyish white, excessively finel};^ and indistinctly barred with brown. The lores and a stripe running up from them to the top of the eye, creamy white. The longer ones that meet over the base of the upper mandible, tinged brownish ; a few tiny dark brown feathers on the eyelids. Chin and throat, creamy white, with very narrow central shaft stripes towards the tips and excessively finely ver- miciliated with brown. Feathers of the ruff which is inconspi- cuous, very pale buff, narrowly edged with dark brown. The whole of the forehead, crown, back of head, back and sides of neck, back scapulars, wing coverts, rump, and upper tail coverts, very pale buff or creamy white, so minutely and closely powdered with pale brown, that looked at from a little distance, the fea- thers appear to be a uniform pale earthy brown. Every feather has a narrow central dark-brown stripe ; some of the outer scapu- lars have inconspicuous patches of buff on their outer webs, and the groundcolor of the feather on each side of the crown immediately above the eye is slightly paler ; but beyond this the whole of the upper plumage above described is singularly uniform in tint and appearance, and is absolutely devoid of those white spots and blackish brown or buff dashes and streaks so characteristic of the other Indian species. The primaries are pale dingy buff, with broad transverse brown bars, which toward the tips are with the ground color mottled and freckled over, the ground color with brown, and the bars with dingy fulvous. Nearer the base of the feather, the light bars are on the exterior webs pure pale buff, while the dark bars continue freckled as already descri])ed. On the inner webs, the dark bars are nearly uniform and unmottled, while the light bars are pure and unmottled towards the edge of the webs, and suffused with brown towards the shafts. The tertiaries and the tips of the secondai'ies approximate closely to the plumage of the back and coverts. Of the breast and abdomen, the ground color is similar to that of the upper parts, but the brown powdering- is coarser, so that more of the ground color is seen, and the dark brown central shaft stripes are somewhat broad-

10 Novelties. Brymoipns Insignis.

ei- ; towards the vent, on the flanks and lower tail coverts, the ground color becomes almost pure white and the brown pow- dering- very sparse, wliile the shaft stripes are reduced as on the back and wing coverts to well marked dark lines. The short dense tibial and tarsal plumes are brownish white, each little feather with its dark central sliaft stripes. The axillaries and wing lining are cream-colored, or yellowish white, entirely unstreaked and unmottled.

irpioiiKS |it.5.i()itis, Sp. Nov.

Upper surface, moderately darh earthy broton. Wliole under-surfa,ce of tail, wJiite^ Length, 6'65 inches Wing, 2'5 inches.

This species is very similar in many respects to D. Itnfescei^s : nobis, [Ibis, 1872, page 100,) and also to what I fancy I). Sylvaticus (which I have never seen) must be ; but the adults are distinguishable from all the other Brymoipl, with which I am acquainted, by the whole under-siu'face of the tail appear- ing white; the fa<3t is that the tip and the whole inner web for about iin inch, to an inch and-a-half from this tip is white, both above and below, and though the outer webs of the lateral feathers are pale brown, on the lower surface these webs are albescent. There is no tra<3e of any dark bar.

Dimensions. Only three birds (out of 13 specimens) and these, unfortunately, all males, were measured in the flesh. These vary as follows: Length, 6 to 6*4 inches; expanse, 7 inches; tail from vent, 3 to 2*75 inches; bill, 0*5 to 0'55 inch; wing, 2.-45 to 2"55 inch; tarsus, 0-95 to 1 inch.

Bescription. Bill black, in some whitish on the gonys, (close to the arelu) The legs fleshy brown, browner on feet, and browner still on claws. Irides, brownish buff or yellow. A streak fr^om the nostril over the ey-e, but almost obsolete above the eye, yellowish white. Whole upper surface, brown, neither very dark nor light, more earthy on the head and back, purer on the quills and tail, and greyer on the ear-coverts, sides ot the neck, and tips of some of the lesser wing coverts : the cen- tral tail feathers are brown, of the same tint as the quills, but slightly paler, distinctly but obsoletely barred, and no white tips ; the lateral tail feathers have the outer webs brown, paling" rapidly as the feathers approach the exterior of the tail, and quite albes- cent on the two external feathers ; the tips are white and the terminal inch to an inch and-a-lialf of the inner webs is white also ;

'Novelties Ninox Ohscums. 11

the quills are mavg-ined on the exterior web with rufons or rufous grey. The whole lower surfaee including the wing lining, is a very pale yellowish huff, much paler than in Lovglcaudatus, more uniform than in Iriorrinfas verv, and purer than in Rufes- cens ; the inner margins of the quills are the palest possible salmon color. The tibial plumes are pale fulvous.

I long' confounded this species with I). Sylvatica. The dimen- sions and part of the description would agree well enough, but no one could possibly call the bird olive brown, nor is it possible to believe that when Jerdon speaks of a bird with a narrow sub- terminal dark band to the tail, the feather tipped with white, he refers to a bird in which there is no such dark band, and of which the major portion of the lateral tail feathers are pure white. I have this species only from Saugor, Mount Aboo, and Haipoor. The young of this species and of Riifescens nobis are so similar, that I was at one time inclined to believe that the two were only different phases of the same species; but the adults appear perfectly distinct and even the young are separable, by the some- what larger size of the bill in this species and the color of the lower mandible which in the young Riifescens is horny white, in the young of this species almost entirely black.

W^wn B\$amx% Sp. Nov.

Of a nearly uniform, darldsh, sometvhat rufous, slightly chocolate brown. Abdomen, loith afeio imperfect yellowish white transverse bars. Wing, about 8'5 inches.

This species which appears, although quite distinct, to ap- proach in general tint more nearly to the Bornean bird than any other Ninox yet described, has been found in the Nicobars near Camorta. 1 have as yet only seen a single specimen. Its crepuscular habits appear to be similar to those of its congeners. Nothing is known of its nidification.

Dimensions. (From the dry skin.) Length, 13 inches; wing 8-5 inches; tail, about 5 inches; tarsus, 0-9 inch ; bill from gape, 1*65 inches (sex not recorded.)

Description. Lores and forehead, yellowish white. The tips of the bristles immediately in front of and below the eye, black, so as to produce the effect of an ill-defined narrow black semi- circle running round the front of the eye. The whole of the upper surface, a rich, somewhat rufous, slightly chocolate-tinted brown, darkest on the head and nape, and even then not very

12 Novelties. Mir of m Immacnlata,

dark^ and a good deal paler, and losing its chocolate shade on the quills and tail. The tail exhibits on the central feathers four very narrow pale yellowish brown bars, and there are similar bars on the exterior webs of all the lateral tail feathers exce|)t the outermost ones. The throat is yellowish white, with a rufous brown patch. The whole of the rest of the lower pai-ts includ- ing the wing lining are nearly similar in tint to the back, but somewhat more rufous ) each of the feathers of the abdomen and flanks exhibits two or more pairs of small yellowish white sj)ots or imperfect bars, which, even where best defined, are narrow, im- perfect, widely separated, and by no means conspicuous, all but the one nearest the point being hidden by the over-lapping of the feather. The lower tail coverts are a paler and less rufous brown^ and are more broadly and conspicuously barred with white.

Since writing the above, I have been favored by Mr. Ball, of the Geological Survey, with the sight of another specimen of the same species, procured, he informs me, in the Andamans. This bird is decidedly distinct from CoL Tytler^s AJjinis, of which species, or supposed species, Mr. Ball also sent me a specimen, obtained^ as I understand him, from the Nicobars.

Xmiu Imiimakta, S;p. Nov.

Size and shape of Mirafra Assamica, upper surface, dull earthy 'brown ^ striations, few and ill-defined. Breast, almost entirely spotless.

I HAVE now had by me for many years a large Mirafra pro- cured on Deobund, a hill some 9,000 feet high, in the neighbour- hood of Mussoorie. Never having been able to obtain a second specimen, I have hitherto hesitated to describe it, but it seems so very distinct from Assamica, the only species which at all closely approaches it, that in the hopes of other specimens turning up, I now venture to give it a " local habitation and a name."

I may premise that of our four Mirafras three, viz., Affinis, Er^tJiroptera, and Cantillans have the hind claw short, averaging perhaps 0*3 inch in length. Assamica, on the other hand, has a comparatively long claw, varying from 0'5 to 0'6 inch. Ther present species approaches Assamica in this respect, having the hind claws 0'6 inch in length.

From Assamica, however, it may be at once separated by the difference in the tint of the upper surface, which in this

Novelties Mirafra Immaculata. 13

latter is a pale earthy grey^ the feathers centred with dark hair- , brown, so as to produce the effect of strongly