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Volume 8, 1875
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Art. XXIV.—Further remarks on some New Zealand Birds.

[Read before the Otago Institute, 7th February, 1876.]

Circus approximans. Peale.

A Comparison of specimens in the Leiden Museum from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and New Caledonia, has fully convinced me of their identity. The specimen from New Caledonia (C. wolfii, Gurney) does not show a single character by which it can be specifically distinguished. As the true C. assimilis, Jard. and Selby, is undoubtedly the same as C. jardinei, Gould (which, therefore, must bear the former appellation), the New Zealand Harrier must stand as approximans, Peale. I also compared specimens of C. assimilis (= C. jardinei) from Australia and Celebes, and found them entirely alike.

Scops novœ-zealandiœ. Bp.

An accurate description of this curious owl. has been given by Mr. Sharpe (“Erebus” and “Terror,” 2nd edition, p. 23) from the type in the Leiden Museum. Having also carefully inspected this unique specimen, I must state that the label gives no evidence of the true habitat, and that the notice “New Zealand” remains only a supposition.

Strix delicatula. Gould.

Mr. Sharpe includes this species in the avifauna of New Zealand (“Erebus” and “Terror,” 2nd edition, p. 23) on account of my statement (” Journ. für Ornith.,” 1867, p. 318). But I long ago stated (” Journ. für Ornith.,” 1870, p. 245) that I had made a mistake on this point.

Platycercus novœ zealandiœ. Sparrm.

I had the pleasure of seeing a very rare variety of this species, which, instead of green, was of a uniform marine blue, with dark blue wings; the front and rump spots being isabelline-whitish instead of red. *

[Footnote] * This is the specimen referred to by Mr. Potts (” Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” Vol. VI., p. 148.—F. W. H.

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instance of uniform cyanism in Parrots is found in Brotogerys subcœrulens, Lawr., which is, I think, only an accidental blue variety of Br. tovi.

Platycercus rowleyi. Buller.

As this small form of Pl. novœ-zealandiœ will be scarcely separable from those small-sized specimens which Bonaparte called Pl. aucklandicus, I suspect that the new appellation must give way to the older, if, indeed, this small bird can be considered as a valid species at all.

Acanthisitta citrina. Gml.

Having compared again a good series of specimens, I am now inclined to believe that the characters pointed out by me, as separating these supposed different species are not constant, and I do not hesitate to unite A. citrina with A. chloris. (Sparm.)

Gerygone igata. Quoy and Gaim

Mr. Sharpe declares, after a careful comparison of the type in the Paris Museum, that this species is different from flaviventris, and gives some distinguishing characters. Dr. Hartlaub, also, during his recent visit to Paris, was kind enough to compare the type with specimens of flaviventris, and this learned ornithologist, in accordance with Dr. Oustalet, declares G. igata to be positively, and without any doubt, identical with flaviventris, so that this latter name will sink to a synonym of the former. The French travellers, therefore, who collected the bird in Tasman Bay, have the merit of discovering this species, which Dr. Buller, notwithstanding the positive statements of Messrs. Quoy and Gaimard, refused to allow a place in the New Zealand avifauna.

Aplonis zealandicus. Quoy and Gaim.

Is an excellent and typical species which I had the pleasure of seeing in the Leiden Museum, being one of the typical specimens brought home by the Astrolabe expedition. Dr. Hartlaub informs me that there are three specimens in the Museum in Paris, all marked Tasman Bay, New Zealand, and collected by the French travellers, so that there can be no doubt as to the locality. In order to make this remarkable bird known in the Colony, I append a description of the Leiden specimen:—Head above, hind neck, back and shoulders, obscure earth-brown; sides of the head and neck and under parts, lighter olive-brown grey, paler on the chin and throat; flanks, anal region, and lower tail-coverts, rusty-brown (the feathers with pale, rusty, apical margins); rump and upper tail-coverts darker than the lower, the light margins nearly obsolete; first primary, uniform dark brown, the remainder to above the basal half on the external web, dark red-brown, internally, light rusty; coverts of the primaries, dark brown, those of the secondaries and remainder of wing coverts, lighter; wings from beneath, light rusty, the third apical, grey-brown; lower wing coverts

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somewhat lighter than the under surface; tail feathers, dark brown, with a narrow and not very distinct red-brown basal margin; lores, velvetty-black; bill, reddish-brown; legs, brown.

Wing. Tail. Culmen. Tarsus. Mid-toe.
4-inch. 2-inch, 1 line. 7 lines 1-inch. 7 lines. (English).

Ocydromus troglodytes. Gml.

To this species belongs O. australis, Schleg. (Mus. P.B., Rallus, No. 2 et 3), which, although a young specimen, agrees with the adults. O. australis (Cat. No. 1, in the Leiden Museum, formerly B. M., Gallirallus fuscus, Temm.) will prove to belong to a new species.

Ocydromus brachypterus. Schleg.

(Cat. No. 1.) Said to come from the Chatham Islands, but without evidence, is the same as O. hectori, Hutton.

Ortygometra pygmœa. Naum.

A specimen received from Dr. Haast, under the name of O. affinis, belongs really to this widely distributed species. I compared it with specimens from various parts of Europe, Australia, and Japan, and cannot detect the slightest constant character to keep it separate.

Procelldria incerta. Schleg.

A specimen (Cat. No. 2.) labelled by Temminck “Procellaria lessoni, Astrol. and Zel., par Mons. Beligny, Nouvelle Zelande,” is most probably Pr. lessoni, Young *

Procellaria gouldi. Hutt.

To this species belongs Pr. fuliginosa, Cat. No. 1 (“mers antarctigues”) in the Leiden Museum.

Procellaria griseus. Gml.

Pr. carneipes, Schleg., in the Leiden Museum, is identical with this species.

Procellaria affinis. Bull.

I suggest that this new species will turn out to be Pr. mollis. Dr. Buller's description agrees very well with specimens in the Leiden Museum, showing only a difference in the length of the wing of seven lines, in the length of the bill of two lines, and in the tarsus of one and a half lines. I have already introduced P. mollis as a New Zealand bird, from a specimen captured by the Novara expedition.

Puffinus tenuirostris. Temm.

I compared Temminck's type from Japan, in the Leiden Museum with specimens from Sitka (labelled in Temminck's handwriting “œquinoctialis, Pall. and cuvilensis, Temm.”) which agreed in every respect with the New Zealand specimens.

[Footnote] * This has been also pointed out by Dr. Coues.—F.W.H.

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Prion vittatus. Gml.

A careful comparison of the specimens in the Leiden Museum has led me to believe that Pr. banksii will be found to be inseparable from Pr. vittatus. On the other hand I convince myself of the validity of Pr. turtur and ariel.

Graculus chalconotus. Gray.

I have lately had the pleasure of examining a specinien of this excellent species, forwarded to me through the kindness of Captain Huttain. Graculus glaucus, in the Leiden Museum, which is labelled (but most probably erroneously) “Terre magellanique,” and is a specimen collected by the French Expedition, belongs also to this species.

Graculus finschi. Sharpe.

Mr. Sharpe has separated the specimen in the British Museum with a white spot on the wing-coverts from G. brevirostris. I long ago suspected that this would not be a true G. melanoleucus nor brevirostris, which latter I cannot distinguish from the former. My G. melanoleucus (” Journ of Orn.,” 1874, p. 223) does not belong to G. finschi, of which I have not yet seen a specimen.

Sula serrator. Banks.

Captain Hutton kindly sent me a New Zealand specimen, which agrees with those from Australia.

Eudyptula albosignata. Finsch.

Dr. Buller, without having seen a specimen, declares this species to be identical with Eu. undina. I must refer him to my description (” Trans., N.Z. Inst.,” Vol. VII., p. 236) which will show that it is not the difference in size as Dr. Buller thinks, but the strongly marked difference in the coloration of the flippers that induced me to make it a new species. As soon as get intermediate specimens, I shall be the first to withdraw this species. Eu. undina I know very well, but cannot separate it from Eu. minor.

Eudyptes vittata. Finsch, and

Eudyptes atrata. Hutton.

Are two new species lately added to the New Zealand Ornis (vide, “Ibis.” 1875, p. 112-114).

Eudyptes chrysolopha. Brant.

To this species belongs diadematus, Schleg. (Cat. No. 2), said to be from New Zealand, but only on the authority of a dealer (Parsudaky), and therer-fore uncertain.

I append the description of a new Penguin from the Macquarie Islands, in the Leiden Museum, as being connected with the New Zealand avifauna.

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Eudyptes schlegeli, Finsch. = Eu. diadematus, indiv. No. 3, Schleg., in Mus. P.B.

General coloration, size, and form of bill as in chrysolopha, but front margin, slate-black; a broad frontal band, bright orange, with narrow black shafts. This orange band runs to above the eye, and here the hair, like black shafts, forms a small tuft of about 2 ¼-inches in length, which runs backwards; round the eye, and the temporal region, pale brownish-grey; lores, and a narrow rim round the mandible, pale sulphur-yellow; cheeks, sides of the head and neck, and the whole under surface, white.

Culmen. Rietus. Height of Bill. Flipper.
2-inch, 7 lines. 3-inch, 3 lines. 10 lines. 7-inches.