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in the only ascertained species-Ochr. nigrorufa, (Jerdon), Madr. Journ. No. XXV, 266, v. Muscicapa rufula, la Fresnaye. Hab. summit of Neilgherries.
Pratincola, Koch. The Chats.
1. Pr. insignis, Hodgson, n. s. General aspect much that of Pr. rubicola, from which it differs in its far superior size, white throat, and much larger white wing-spot. Length six inches and a half, of wing three and a half, and tail two and a quarter; bill to gape seven-eighths, and tarse an inch and one-eighth. Male (in summer dress) above black; the throat, sides of the neck, upper tail-coverts, a large longitudinal patch on the wings, together with the base of the primaries and greater portion of their larger coverts, white; breast bright ferruginous, the belly white, a little tinged with the same: bill and feet blackish. The female I have not seen. From Nepal.
2. Pr. indica, nobis, n. s. Closely allied to the European Pr. rubicola, with which it has been hitherto confounded: but distinguishable by its longer wing, averaging two inches and three-quarters; by the greater development of the white on the sides of the neck, which nearly passes round the nape, leaving a narrow dark interval (instead of a very broad one); and by the rufous-brown of the breast being much weaker, and paling laterally, the flanks being commonly very pale, and the lower tail-coverts pure white, or rarely a little sullied with brown :-in winter dress, the dorsal edgings are very whitish in old males. The females, also (judging from memory of the European species), are altogether much paler. Common throughout India.*
3. Pr. caprata, (L.): Saxicola fruticola, Horsf.; S. bicolor et S. erythropygia, Sykes; Motacilla sylvatica (?), Tickell, II, 575. Common in most parts of the country, and esteemed by the natives as a cage bird; having a pleasing song, approaching to that of an English Robin, but more uniformly plaintive. It is termed by them P'hidda. A typical species, except that its tail
4. Pr. ferrea, Hodgson, n. s. is longer than usual in this group. Length about five inches and threequarters, of which the tail measures two and a half; wing two inches
and five-eighths; bill to gape five-eighths; and tarse seven-eighths. Upper-parts black, the feathers margined with ash-grey, the latter pre
In An. Mag. N. H. 1844, p. 410, Mr. Strickland has separated the S. African species previously confounded with Pr. rubicola, by the name Pr. pastor.
dominating on the rump; lores and ear-coverts black throat, supercilium, and wing-spot, white; also the fore-neck, but the rest of the lower-parts tinged with ashy: tail black, its feathers narrowly margined with white externally, and the outermost pair (which are half an inch shorter than the middle ones,) for the most part partially albesFemale rather smaller, and wholly brown above, passing to ferruginous on the upper tail-coverts, and there is an admixture of this colour on the rectrices: under-parts pale brown, rufescent on the flanks and lower tail-coverts, and whitish on the throat. Bill and feet black. Common in the eastern Himalaya.
Saxicola (?) pallida, nobis, n. s. This bird is essentially a Wheatear; but is remarkable for its large size, long bill, and short legs. Length nine inches; of wing four and three-quarters, and tail three and three-eighths; bill to gape an inch and a quarter; tarse the same. Colour (of female ?) light isabella-grey above, more fulvescent on the tertiaries and middle tail-feathers, which are shaded with pale dusky along the middle: lores, throat, and belly, whitish; the breast-feathers dusky, with broad whitish margins concealing the dark colour within : central ear-coverts pale, the rest nigrescent: wings internally white on the anterior half, the rest dusky; above the primaries and secondaries are white at base, and the shorter primaries are also white-tipped, the white increasing in quantity to the secondaries, which are broadly white-tipped; greater wing-coverts also white-tipped, forming a bar on the wing; and the small wing-coverts margined with pale fulvescent: tail, except its two middle feathers, dusky, the outermost having its narrow outer web almost wholly white, and the penultimate a narrow white edge to its outer web. Bill pale horny; and legs also pale. Inhabits Scinde (Ullah Bund), and the specimen described was presented to the Society by the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of London.
Of typical Indian Wheatears, may be enumerated
1. S. stapazina (?), Auct. Length about six inches and a half, of wing three and three-quarters, and tail two and a half; bill to gape three-quarters of an inch, and tarse an inch and one-sixteenth. General colour pale fawn (or isabelline) above, lighter below, and tinged with greyish on the crown and nape; throat, front and sides of the neck, including the lores and ear-coverts, black; wing also black, the coverts
slightly tipped, and the tertiaries margined with whitish, disappearing in the worn plumage; a considerable whitish patch at the base of the wing, ordinarily concealed beneath the scapularies; also an ill-defined whitish supercilium continued to the occiput, and contrasting with the black adjoining it below: upper and lower tail-coverts buffy-white; and base of tail pure white, its terminal two-thirds black. Bill and feet black. Common in the Upper Provinces, Scinde, &c. If new, S. atrogularis, nobis.
2. S. leucomela, Tem.
Also common in the NW. of India.
3. S. picata, nobis, n. s. Merely differs from the last in having the crown of the head black, instead of white. For both sexes of this and of the preceding species, the Society is indebted to Capt. Boys, who procured them abundantly on the march from Scinde to Ferozepore. The present species is figured among Burnes' drawings, from Scinde.
4. S. leucura, (Shaw). This, again, only differs from S. picata in having the whole under-parts, as far as the vent, of a uniform black with the rest. Together with (supposed) S. stapazina, it is common about Agra, from which locality Dr. Stewart has presented the Society with fine specimens of both.*
N. B. The Darunga Thrush of Latham, obtained at Cawnpore in November, appears to me (judging from the description) to be a true Wheatear; and it certainly cannot be the Merula Wardii of Jerdon, to which that naturalist has referred it.†
Among Burnes' drawings, there is also a rude figure of what is probably Sax. melanura, Tem., a species described as inhabiting
Stephens refers this to S. cachinnans, Tem.; but the latter is, I believe, the species figured by Savigny (t. V., J. i.), which differs from S. leucura, as S. leucomela differs from S. picata, in having a white cap. There are thus a white-capped and a black-capped species with white belly-S. leucomela and S. picata, and ditto ditto with black belly-S. cachinnans and S. leucura.
"Length six inches at least. General colour of the bill, legs, and plumage, black; over the eye, from the nostrils towards the nape, a whitish streak, but ceasing before it reaches the latter; breast, belly and thighs, white, also the upper tail-coverts; the greater part of the tail from the base white, the side feathers being only tipped with black for half an inch; but the two middle feathers have their ends black for an inch and a half: the wings reach to more than half on the tail. Another, said to be a female, has the head and neck to the breast, and wings, and the whole of the two middle tailfeathers, dusky brown-black; on each jaw a large patch of deep black: breast, belly, thighs, and rump, upper and under tail-coverts, white; the two middle tail-feathers black; the rest white, except for about half an inch at the end.”
Arabia. If rightly identified, however, this would seem to be a very aberrant Wheatear; and its colouring is much as in the female Siphia leucura (p. 125 ante).
Grandala calicolor, Hodgson, J. A. S. XII, 447. This very remarkable and (the male) most splendidly coloured bird, from the snow region of the Himalaya, appears to me to be decidedly allied to the Wheatears.
Ianthia, nobis: Nemura, Hodgson (a name long pre-occupied in entomology), Ann. Mag. N. H. 1845, p. 198. The birds of this division are closely allied to the Robins (Erythaca), from which they differ in their more delicate conformation, longer wings (reaching halfway down the tail), much weaker bill, longer and more slender clawsespecially that of the hind-toe, and in the sexual diversity of colouring. The males (so far as known) are deep blue above, with lighter blue on the forehead and over the eye; and in the two first species (which are typical), this colour is confined to the rump and tail of the other sex.
1. I. hyperythra, nobis. Length about five inches and a half, of wing three and one-eighth, and tail two and a quarter; bill to gape ninesixteenths, and tarse an inch. Upper-parts of male deep indigo-blue, brightening to ultramarine on the forehead and above the eyes, and upon the shoulder of the wing; the wings and tail black, the feathers margined with blue externally: lower-parts bright yellowishferruginous, confined to a narrowish streak on the middle of the throat and fore-neck; the lower tail-coverts and centre of the belly white. Female, a rich brown above, approaching to the colour of Erythaca rubecula, or rather the feathers are merely tipped with this colour, shewing more or less of the cinereous-dusky tint within: tail blue as in the male, the rump a lighter and more greyish-blue; there is also a little blue on the shoulder of the wing, and a greyish-blue supercilium brightening posteriorly: lower-parts tawney-brown, or subdued fulvous, except the lower tail-coverts which are white. Bill and feet dusky in From Darjeeling.
2. I. rufilatus, (Hodgson), and the female-Nemura cyanura, Hodgson, Ann. Mag. N. H. 1845, p. 198. I suspect that the female of this bird is also the Erythaca Tytleri of Prof. Jameson, noticed (but not described) in the Transactions of the Wernerian Society,' and also in the Edinbro' Philosophical Journal' for July 1835, p. 214, where
it is mentioned to agree in the grouping of its colours with the Robin of Europe, but in the form of the bill to present as it were a link between the genera Erythaca and Phoenicura. The Motacilla cyanura, Gmelin, from Siberia, may refer to the female of either this or the preceding, or to that of some other equally allied species. Size and proportions of last, save that the tail is a quarter of an inch longer. The male has the upper-parts Prussian-blue, brightening and inclining to ultramarine upon the sides of the forehead over the eyes, on the shoulder of the wing, and on the rump: lower-parts white, confined to a narrow streak on the throat and fore-neck, but the flanks bright ferruginous: bill blackish, and legs dark brown. The female has the upperparts uniform brown, with a trace of blue on the shoulder of the wing, a supercilium greyish-blue posteriorly, and russet margins to the tertiaries; tail blue as in the male, and the rump lighter and more greyishblue: middle of belly, lower tail-coverts, and median line of throat, white; and the flanks bright ferruginous as in the other sex. ferruginous colour of the flanks, with the hue of the upper-parts, produces a certain resemblance of colouring to the Robin of Europe, sufficient to have elicited the remark of Prof. Jameson. Inhabits the Himalaya generally, at least from Simla to Darjeeling.
3. I. flavolivacea, (Hodgson). I have little doubt that this is a female bird, distinguished from the females of the two preceding species by having no blue on its rump or tail. The tarse is longer than in the others, measuring an inch and one-eighth; wing two inches and seveneighths; total length five and a half, of which the tail is two and a quarter. Upper-parts uniform brown, the loral region and throat rufescent-white, and rest of the under-parts dilute rusty bill dusky, the base of the lower mandible pale; and the legs pale. Described from Mr. Hodgson's only specimen.
Ruticilla, Brehm: Phœnicura, Swainson. The Redstarts. Of the typical members of this genus, the European R. phoenicurus was obtained by the late Sir A. Burnes on the banks of the Indus.*—2. R. Erythrogastra, (Gould.): Motacilla aurorea, Pallas; Ph. Reevesii, Gray, described in XII, 963. Inhabits Nepal and Assam, and extends from the Caucasus to Japan (as I am informed by Mr. Strickland, who also favoured me with its synonymes as here given).-3. R. leucoptera,
*The other European species, R. tithys, is common in Afghanistan.