Art. XXV.—Note on Colluricincla concinna, Hutton.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 14th August, 1872.]
In the “Catalogue of the Birds of New Zealand,” which was published last year I described a bird in the Nelson Museum under the name of Colluricincla concinna (“Cat. Birds N.Z.,” No. 40, p. 15). Further inquiry led me to think that I had made a mistake, and that the bird in question was identical with Graucalus melanops of Australia. A short time ago another specimen that had been shot near Invercargill in April, 1870, was received at the Colonial Museum, and I was thus enabled to compare this New Zealand bird with two specimens of Graucalus melanops from Australia. The result of this comparison has been to show that the New Zealand bird differs from the Australian in having a more slender bill, a rather longer tail, the feathers of which are acutely pointed at the tip instead of being rounded, and in having much more white on the wings. Like the bird shot in the Nelson province this one also has the general plumage of the young of G. melanops, but the feathers of the chin and forehead are similar to those on the throat and top of the head, and not lighter as in G. melanops; there is also no indication of any black feathers coming on the chin or upper part of the head. These differences are, I think, quite sufficient to warrant its being kept as a distinct species.
The following is a description of the specimen:—
Colluricincla concinna, Hutton, “Cat. Birds of N.Z.,” No. 40, p. 15.
The whole of the upper surface uniform pale grey, the feathers of the forehead with the shafts darker; feathers of the throat and breast pale grey, slightly tipped with white, those of the upper abdomen and thighs pale grey, with white circular bands; lower abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts pure white; a broad band of black passes from the nostrils and gape through and below the eye to the region of the ears; primaries brownish black, the first slightly tipped with white, the second, third, fourth and fifth margined outwardly and slightly tipped with white, the remainder margined all round with a white band which is broader on the tip and inner web; secondaries
greyish black, with more or less grey on the outer webs near the base, and with a rather broad white margin on the outer web and tip; greater wing-coverts margined outwardly with white; tail feathers acutely pointed at the tip, the two middle ones brownish grey, laterals brownish black tipped with white, the white decreasing inwards; shafts of the tail-feathers greyish black above and pure white below; bill (dry) brownish black, paler at the base; legs and feet (dry) black.
(Australia), 2 examples.
|" Breadth at nostrils||.4||.5|
|" Height at nostrils||.35||.46|
This bird was shot on or about the 8th April, 1870, in an apple tree near Invercargill, Southland.
Note.—Since reading this paper Mr. Mantell has informed me that he saw this bird many years ago at Port Chalmers, in Otago; Mr. W. Travers says that he has seen it in Nelson, and Capt. Fraser says that he saw it near Hawea Lake, in Otago.—F. W. H.