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nobis, XII, 962. This Malayan Redstart has lately been received by the Society from Java, two males and a female, so that it will probably have been named by M. Temminck :* the female is plain brown above, paler beneath, with rufous tail, and the same great white wing-spot as in the male.-4. R. cæruleocephala, Vigors: a typical species, but remarkable for not having the tail rufous as in the others. Himalaya.—5. R. atrata, (Latham): the only Redstart which is diffused generally over the country.-6. R. frontalis, Vigors: apparently the most common of the Himalayan Redstarts, from Simla to Darjeeling; and remarkable for its terminal black tail-band.-7. R. fuliginosa, (Vigors), v. plumbea, Gould. Rather an aberrant species, with small short bill; and presenting a singular diversity in the plumage of the sexes,—the male being uniform dusky-grey, with dark ferruginous tail and coverts,-the female paler ashy, with whitish lower- parts, each feather margined with the colour of the back, and no rufous on the tail, which is white at base, extending over nearly the whole of its outermost feathers, and its upper and lower coverts also being pure white. From the Himalaya generally, and said to resemble the next species in its habits.
8. R. leucocephala, (Vigors and Gould), v. Sylvia erythrogastra, var. A, Lath., is the type of Mr. Hodgson's Chamorrhous. The sexes are similar; but I can perceive no structural distinction from the true Redstarts. This remarkable and beautiful species is stated, however, by Mr. Hodgson to differ considerably in habit from the latter, keeping always about mountain torrents; and Captain Hutton writes me word, that it is very common in the valley of the Dhoon, and also in the hills along the banks of streams and rivers, "flitting from rock to rock and stone to stone, and eternally shaking its tail and spreading it by turns." The last is a characteristic peculiarity of the true Redstarts; and Lord A. Hay, who has obliged me with a similar account of the habits of this bird, sees nothing in them at variance with the generic habits of other Ruticillæ.
Calliope, Gould. The type of this group is the very Thrush-like (in structure and habits) C. camtschatkensis, (Gm.), v. C. Lathami, Gould, and Motacilla calliope, Pallas. This bird is common in Lower Bengal during the cold season, and occurs in central India. A second
Unless, as is not improbable, M. Temminck considers it to be a mere or local variety" of R. phoenicurus.
species, with less firm plumage and rounder wings and tail, is C. pectoralis, Gould, figured by that naturalist in his Icones Avium: from the Himalaya. A third, referred by Mr. Jerdon and myself to this group, is C. cyana, v. Larvivora cyana, Hodgson, and Phoenicura superciliaris, Jerdon. Also from the Himalaya; and once obtained by Mr. Jerdon in the Neilgherries, and once by myself near Calcutta. In the Himalaya I am informed that it is common.
Larvivora brunnea, Hodgson, VI, 102, is probably but the female of C. camtschatkensis; and C. cruralis, nobis, XII, 933, is a typical Brachypteryx.
Tarsiger chrysaus, Hodgson, Ann. Mag. N. H. 1845, p. 198, and doubtfully referred to Sericornis of Gould, in XIV, 549, comes next in order: and then the Cyanecula suecica (?), or Blue-breast, common in most parts of India; but whether absolutely identical with the European bird, I have some doubt, as its pectoral spot is always rufous instead of white. Can it be the species nearly allied to suecica mentioned by the Prince of Canino, in Lin. Trans. XIV, 754? Cyanecula has been merged in Ruticilla (v. Phœnicura) by many authors, though it has little in common with that genus beyond the rufous on its tail. The typical Redstarts are sylvan birds, frequenting high trees, especially in rocky places or about buildings, and fond of singing from the topmost sprays; but which occasionally descend to the ground to feed, hopping about in the manner of a Robin. The Blue-breasts, on the contrary, affect the open country, where there are no trees, and especially reedy places, or plantations of sugar-cane, or growing corn or high grass, or ground covered with the broad leaves of cucurbitaceous plants; and there they are seen generally on the ground, running with alternate steps like a Pipit or Wagtail, and occasionally spreading wide the tail, displaying its rufous base to advantage; seldom Perching, but flitting before you as you advance, and disappearing the low cover; but soon coming forth when all is still, yet without absolutely quitting the shelter of the herbage by going more than a few paces from it. In Lower Bengal, these birds are extremely common in suitable situations. The Indian species is the Bluenecked Warbler of Latham, and his Sylvia sperata, var. A, is probably the female.
The following three genera are closely allied. Sylvania, nobis. General characters of Callene (formerly Cinclidium, nobis, XI, 181*); but the bill much slenderer and straighter, resembling that of Calliope camtschatkensis, whereas the bill of Callene more resembles that of Copsychus, and especially Notodela.
S. phoenicuroides, (Hodgson).† Length about seven inches and a quarter, of which the middle tail-feathers measure three and a quarter, the outermost nearly an inch less; wing two inches and seven-eighths; bill to gape seven-eighths; and tarse an inch and oneeighth. Upper-parts uniform dark cyaneous, or deep slaty-blue, less deep however than in Callene frontalis, or Brachypteryx montana ; the lower similar but rather paler, passing into white on the middle of the belly; the winglet feathers are also tipped with white: tail black, all but its middle pair of feathers ferruginous for the basal half: bill dusky; and legs brown. Female rather smaller, and wholly brown above, paler brown below, passing to albescent along the middle of the belly; a slight tinge of rufous, but undefined, at the base of the caudal feathers. Inhabits Nepal.
Callene (olim Cinclidium) frontalis, nobis, figured in XII, 1010. This form differs from the next in its larger and stronger bill, more developed tail, and the somewhat scale-like character of its plumage;‡ but in other respects is hardly separable.
Brachypteryx, Horsfield. The Society having been favoured by the Natural History Society of Batavia with specimens of Br. montana and Br. sepiaria, Horsf., of Java, I am enabled to approximate very closely to the former species (which is the type of this genus,) the Calliope? cruralis, nobis, XII, 933, which merely differs from Br. montana in its somewhat smaller size, the absence of the mass of erect soft blackish plumelets on the forehead, and in the concealed white streak over the eye being continued forward to the nostrils. A second Indian species exists in the Phoenicura major, Jerdon, of the Neilgherries, which, however, is less typical, and has the tail considerably more developed. Br. sepium, Horsfield, pertains to my genus Alcippe, as suggested in XIII, 284, and is very nearly allied to A. poiocephala, (Jerdon), and some
The name Cinclidium was pre-applied in Botany to a genus of mosses.
† Mr. Hodgson refers this bird to Bradyterus of Swainson.
Even this, however, occurs on the under-parts of Br. cruralis.
others. Lastly, Mr. Eyton, as noticed in XVII, 10, has recently assigned three Malacca species to Brachypteryx, all of which I had previously described and referred to Timalia, in which genus I would still decidedly retain them; and another of my Timalia he has classed in his Malacopteron, while he refers also to Malacopteron an unquestionable Bulboul, my Ixidia cyaniventris: Br. nigrocapitata, Eyton, P. Z. S. 1839, p. 103, has more the technical features of true Brachypteryx; but its affinities would seem to be rather with the Malacopteron series.
To Brachypteryx must also be approximated the curious little birds first classed by Mr. Hodgson under his Tesia, and of which he has since made two genera-Pnoëpyga and Oligura, in Ann. Mag. N. H. 1845, p. 195. These I have also treated of in XIV, 586; and if the two sub-groups are to be separated, the name Tesia must be retained in lieu of Oligura for the one section (this containing the species at the head of those first described under that name), while Microura of Gould (unless pre-occupied) must stand for Pnoëpyga, Hodgson, inasmuch as it was long previously applied to the same special group.† Three of the species referred to Pnoëpyga by Mr. Hodgson are merely varieties of one species, as shewn in XIV, 586.
T. (v. Oligura) auriceps, Hodgson, n. s. (Non vidi.) "Above flavescent-olive, below pure deep slaty; the cap golden-yellow: bill coral-red below, dusky above: legs dusky flesh-colour. Length three inches and a half; bill six-tenths of an inch; tail nine-tenths; wing an inch and two-tenths; tarse an inch; central toe and nail seventenths; head five-tenths. Hab. Sikim. The bill of this bird is depressed; rictus hispid; lateral toes unequal, the hind large; and nails acute by all which marks, in common with T. cyaniventer and [castaneo-coronata, v.] flaviventer, the type is proved to be different from [Microura, v.] Pnoepyga." Hodgson's MS.
It is, I find, pre-occupied by Ehrenberg, for a genus of Vermes.
Aipenumia of Swainson, described in the Appendix to Vol. II of the Fauna Americana-borealis, certainly refers to these birds, comprehending, I think, both groups; and it is of prior application by many years to the other names: but which of the sub-groups it should be retained for is uncertain, as Mr. S. refers to undescribed species only. Tesia of Hodgson, as originally proposed, would in such case be quite and if Aipenumia be restored, it might therefore be substituted for Tesia in the more limited sense of the latter appellation.
Whether the genus Horeites, Hodgson, should accompany Tesia and Microura in the approximation of these latter to Brachypteryx, will admit of considerable doubt.
From the Brachypteryx series, we might now pass to what have been called the Myiotherine birds; and thence by the vast series of forms comprised under Swainson's Crateropodina: but some important groups must intervene; and, first, the four following allied genera
Notodela, Lesson. This, I very strongly suspect, is identical with Muscisylvia, Hodgson, Ann. Mag. N. H. 1845, p. 197.* The beak, and even the colouring of the head, of the Himalayan species very closely resemble those of Callene frontalis; but the rest of the structure approximates these birds to the Dhyals (Copsychus), and even the beak merely differs in being smaller. To particularize further, the general structure is that of Copsychus, but less robust, with a nearly square tail, of which the outermost pairs of feathers graduate but slightly the bill is smaller, and the tarsi and toes are more slender, than in Copsychus, with longer and more gracile claws, especially that of the hind-toe: wings reaching half-way down the tail, and having the fifth primary longest, the first about two-fifths the length of the fifth, and the second, third, and fourth, graduating in a successively decreasing ratio. If correctly brought together, two species will have been ascertained.
1. N. diana, Lesson, Zool. du Voyage de M. Belanger: respecting which I quote the following from my notes, not having the work to refer to. Length eight inches; bill to gape eight lines; and tarse ten lines. Plumage deep brownish-blue, relieved on the forehead by a satiny-white crescent.
2. N. leucura, (Hodgson). Length about seven inches and a half, of wing three and three-quarters, and tail three and a quarter; bill to gape seven-eighths, and tarse an inch; hind-toe three-eighths of an inch. General colour dark blackish indigo-blue; the forehead and over the eyes, and the shoulder of the wing, bright smalt-blue; alars and caudals dull black, except the basal portion of the external web of the three tail-feathers on each side next to the outermost feathers, the quantity of this white increasing outwardly a concealed white spot on the sides of the neck in the male bill and feet black. According to
This name is, besides, too like Muscylva of Lesson.