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Volume 1, 1868
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Art. XII.—Notes on the Birds of the Great Barrier Island.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, July 6, 1868.]

Having spent two months, this summer, in exploring the Great Barrier Island, I am enabled to lay before the Society, what I consider to be a tolerably complete list of the birds found there.

I have given the English names of those birds that I know to possess one, but many, of course, are known by their scientific names only. The native names were obtained from Maories on the Island.

* 1. Hieracidea Novæ Zelandiæ. Sparrow-Hawk.
* 2. Circus Gouldi. Hawk. Common.
* 3. Athene Novæ Zelandiæ. More-Pork. Heruru. Kou-kou.
4. Halcyon vagans. King-fisher.
* 5. Prosthemadera Novæ Zelandiæ. Tui. Very abundant.
* 6. Pogonornis cincta. Ihi. Not uncommon.
* 7. Anthornis melanura. Bell-bird. Korimoko. Abundant.
* 8. Acanthisitta chloris. Miru-miru. At Harataonga.
* 9. Mohoua albicilla. Popokotea. Very common.
10. Sphenœacus, sp. Matata. Kaitoke swamp.
* 11. Gerygone flaviventris. Riro-riro. Common.
12. Certhiparus Novæ Zelandiæ. Seen by Mr. Kirk on Arid Island.
13. Zosterops dorsalis. White eye. I did not see this bird, but Mr. Allom informed me that it had been on the island for the last four years.
* 14. Petroica longipes. Totowai. Robin. Common.
* 15. Petroica toi-toi. Miro-miro.
16. Anthus Novæ Zelandiæ. Pihoihoi. Lark. Common.
* 17. Rhipidura flabellifera. Piwaka-waka. Fantail. Common.
18. Callæas cinerea. Kokako. New Zealand Crow.
* 19. Creadion carunculatus. Tieke. Saddle-back. Not uncommon.
* 20. Platycercus pacificus. Kakariki. Parrakeet. Common.
* 21. Platycercus auriceps. Parrakeet. Common.
* 22. Nestor meridionalis.† Kaka. Not common.
23. Eudynamys taitensis. Long-tailed Cuckoo. Koekoea.
24. Chrysococcyx lucidus. Shining Cuckoo. Pipiuwaroa.
* 25. Carpophaga Novæ Zelandiæ. Pigeon. Kuku.
26. Charadrius obscurus. Tuturiwata. East Coast. Common.
27. Thinornis Novæ Zelandiæ. Kukuruatu. At Whangapoua.
* 28. Hæmatopus unicolor. Torea. Red-bill. East Coast.
29. Ardea Matook. Heron. Matuku. Port Fitzroy.
30. Botaurus poicilopterus. Matuku-nurepo. Bittern. Kaitoke swamp. Rare, not seen by me.
31. Limosa Novæ Zelandiæ. Kuaka. Godwit. East Coast.

[Footnote] † Very common on Little Barrier.

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32. Anas superciliosa. Parera. Duck. Not numerous.
* 33. Spheniscus minor. Korora. Penguin. Very numerous.
34. Pelecanoides urinatrix. Titi. Very numerous.
35. Puffinus assimilis. Hakoakoa. Very numerous.
36. Thalassidroma melanogaster. East Coast. A specimen is also in the Auckland Museum from the Great Barrier.
37. Thalassidroma nereis. Hauraki Gulf. Several.
38. Procellaria gigantea.
* 39. Procellaria Parkinsoni. Toa-nui. Very common.
40. Procellaria capensis.
41. Procellaria Cookii. Very common.
42. Procellaria Lessonii. I saw this bird in June, 1866, between the North Cape and the Great Barrier.
43. Prion turtur. Whale bird.
44. Diomedea exulans. Toroa. Albatross.
45. Diomedea melanophrys. Molly-mawk.
46. Diomedea chlororhyncha. A specimen of this bird is in the Auckland Museum, caught off the Great Barrier.
47. Larus antipodum.
48. Larus scopulinus.
49. Sterna strenua. Two seen at Whangapoua.
50. Sterna frontalis. Tara. Abundant.
* 51. Sula serrator. Takapu. Breeds on Mahuke Island.
* 52. Graculus varius. Kawau. Shag. Abunant.

The chief point of interest in this list is the enire absence of the Kiwi (Apteryx) and the whole tribe of Rallidæ, including the Pukeko, although the island is very well adapted for all of them.

With regard to the Kiwi, the natives assured me that they never heard of a Kiwi having been seen there; nor do they ever remember their old men or fathers mentioning such a thing. The presence also of only one species of Duck, and that not numerous, is also peculiar, for the large swamps of Whangapoua and Kaitoki are well suited for them.

On the other hand, the Great Barrier differs from the main land in the abundance of Bell-birds (Anthornis melanura), and Mohoua albicilla, and the presence of Pogonornis cincta.

About two year ago Mr. Allan turned out four Chinese pheasants, two cocks and two hens; and about four years ago, a number of small finches, supposed to be Java sparrows. None of these birds have been seen since.

I have been informed by Mr. Barstow, of the Bay of Islands, that he remembers the Quail (Coturnix Novœ Zelandiœ) common on Flat Island, close to the Great Barrier; it is quite extinct there now, and has been so for several years.