Sixth Meeting. 15th October, 1884.
Mr. Govett, Vice-president, in the chair
New Members.—Dr. Cahill and W. F. Barrand.
1. “On the Kea or Mountain Parrot,” by A. McKay.
The author, by relating a number of observations, showed that the kea possessed a high degree of intelligence, and that only on the very borders of the region it occupied had this bird acquired the habit of killing and wounding sheep. The author further went on to show that the keas had the power of communicating ideas amongst themselves. Mr. McKay was of the opinion that in consequence of its superior intelligence, and the extent of inaccessible country which it inhabited, there was little probability of its ever being exterminated. An anecdote was related by the author to show the intelligence of the bird, according to which several keas, after a consultation, delegated one bird, twice in succession, to untie the knot in a string which fastened one of their number to a pick-handle.
2. Mr. E. A. Gibbon (not a member of the Society), then read a paper on Floating Breakwaters. He showed various models of contrivances intended to break the force of a heavy sea, and to retard the speed of a vessel running before a gale. The discussion that followed was not altogether favourable to Mr. Gibbon's schemes, and that gentleman admitted that he had not yet proved their practical value by experiments.
Seventh Meeting. 26th November, 1884.
Dr. Newman, Vice-president, in the chair
New Members.—Dr. A. Martin, J. D. Treanor, and J. Barnicoat.
“Notes on the Ornithology of New Zealand,” by A. Reischek; communicated by Dr. Hector. (Transactions, p. 187.)
“Notes on the Dolphins of the New Zealand Seas,” by Dr. Hector. (Transactions, p.207.)
Specimens of Gunpowder manufactured at the mills at Owake, Otago, and presented by Mr. Mackley to the Museum, were exhibited.