Art. XXXII.—Notes on a New Species of Gull, Larus (Bruchigavia) Bulleri, Potts.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 3rd May, 1871.]
Plumage white; wings silver grey; primaries, first feather black with white shaft, first and second feathers having an oar-shaped dash of white on the
inner web, this mark slightly impinges on the outer web, third feather has the basal portion chiefly white, fourth feather has the inner web silver grey, margined with black, all primaries except the first tipped with white spots; bill yellowish, slightly stained near the point on each mandible with horn colour; tarsi and feet yellowish; claws black.
|Bill from gape||1.75|
|Depth of bill at base||.29|
|Width of bill||.25|
|Wing from flexure||11.25|
|Middle toe with claw||1.42|
|Total length from point of bill to extremity of tail||14.5|
In structure this species exhibits a gradual departure from the typical form of Larus, as seen for instance in L. Novœ Hollandiœ, Step., and with which and L. pomare, Bruch., it has here been hitherto confused. An examination and comparison of the bill, tarsus, and foot, shows an evident approach to the group of Sternidœ, in their more slender proportions, this is equally manifest in the comparatively slight bill, delicate tarsus, and feeble foot.
Should this sea bird be allowed by ornithologists a place in our fauna as a new species, I propose to name it after Mr. Walter Buller.
Two specimens in the Canterbury Museum were obtained by Mr. Fuller, near the mouth of the Waimakariri River; both are young birds that have nearly attained the adult state; in looking at the description of B. Jamesoni, in Gould's “Handbook of the Birds of Australia,” I do not find that the bird there described answers for the species L. Bulleri. It is probable that a more intimate acquaintance with this pretty gull will cause it to be identified as the one known to some of our shore-folk as the “painted gull” sometimes seen about Port Levy rocks.
[Not L. Bulleri, Hutton, No. 110, “Cat. Birds N.Z.,” p. 41, but appears to correspond with L. Jamesoni, Wils., No. 111 of Catalogue.]—Ed.