Art. XXXII.—On the Occurrence of Graucalus melanops, Latham, in New Zealand.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canter bury, 2nd November, 1904.]
On the 11th June last the Museum received a specimen in the flesh of the shrike-thrush from Mr. E. A. Radford, of Gebbie's Valley, who stated that he had picked it up dead on Rabbit Island. The bird is in the young plumage, and proved to be a male.
The first recorded occurrence of the species in New Zealand was a specimen in the Nelson Athenæum, which had been shot in an apple-tree at Motueka in 1869 or 1870. Another specimen was shot near Invercargill on the 8th April, 1870. Both were in the immature plumage. I was also informed by the Hon. W. Mantell that he had seen one at Port Chalmers in 1842. Mr. W. T. L. Travers also told me that he had seen the bird at his run at Lake Guyon, and Captain Fraser told me that he had seen it at Lake Hawea. In all these instances the birds appear to have been in immature plumage also. This seems very remarkable.
G. melanops, Vigors and Horsford; Buller, “Birds of New Zealand,” 1st ed. p. 148, 2nd ed. vol. i. p. 66; Cat. Birds in British Museum, vol. iv., p. 30. Colluricincla concinna, Hutton, Cat. Birds of New Zealand, p. 15 (1871).
Light ash-grey; abdomen and lower tail-coverts white; a broad band of black from the bill through the eye. The two middle tail - feathers dark - grey, lateral ones brownish-black, tipped with white. Quills brownish-black, the outer webs edged with white. Bill and legs black. Length of the wing, 8 in.; of the tarsus, 1.1 in. In the adult bird the forehead, sides of the face and neck, the throat and fore-neck, are black, with a greenish gloss.
The immature bird from Australia is described as having wavy bars of dusky black on the throat, but there are none on any of the three New Zealand examples which I have seen.