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Volume 42, 1909
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2. “New Zealand Petrels.”

Since 1907 a monograph by F. du Cane Godman, the President of the British Ornithologists' Union, has been in course of publication. Four parts have now reached Wellington. In the last part a notice has been inserted that considerable delay has taken place owing to the illness of the author, but the publishers hope that the work will be completed shortly.

As the four parts issued contain much that is of interest to New Zealand naturalists on the very difficult subject of the nomenclature and identification of the New Zealand petrels, I think it might be of use to state what is at present available.

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A great feature of the work is the giving of a full-page coloured plate of every species, drawn in his best style by Keulemans, from either the type or from a specimen selected by the author from some standard collection. To every species there is a full synonymy.

There is little doubt that the work will remain the standard work on the very difficult group for a long time.

The following notes will give some idea of the parts relating to New Zealand species. In the four parts, ninety-nine species are described, of which thirty-six have occurred in New Zealand.

Oceanites oceanicus (Kuhl.) (Wilson's Storm-petrel). Pl. 12.—One of the most widely distributed of the whole order Tubinares. It has the web of the feet partly yellow.

Garrodia nereis (Gould) (Grey-backed Storm-petrel). Pl. 14.—A very common New Zealand species, discovered by Gould on his expedition to Australia in 1839.

Pelagodroma marina (Lath.) (White-faced Storm-petrel). Pl. 15.—Thalassidroma fiegata (nec. L), Buller's “Birds of New Zealand,” p. 321 (1873).

Pealea lineata (Peale) (Peale's Storm-petrel). Pl. 16.—Only three specimens are known. One was presented to the British Museum by Mr. G. Carrick Steet, who procured it in the neighbourhood of Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. Bonaparte mentions the specimen in the Paris Museum as having been procured in 1829, during the voyage of the “Astrolabe,” off the East Cape, in the North Island.

Cymodroma melanogaster (Gould) (Black-billed Storm-petrel). Pl. 17.

Puffinus bulleri, Salvin (Buller's Shearwater). Pl. 23.—Six examples of this rare bird are now known.

Puffinus chlororhynchus (Lesson) (Wedge-tailed Shearwater). Pl. 24.—This is the same as P. carneipes (nec. Gould), Cheeseman, and the mutton-bird of Australian naturalists. The bird has a long and intricate synonymy.

Puffinus gavia (Forster) (Forster's Shearwater). Pl. 32.—This bird was discovered in Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand, during the voyage of Captain Cook, but was not described until 1844. This is the North Island mutton-bird, and they are taken by the Maoris in great numbers in the month of February at Whale Island, in the Bay of Plenty.

Puffinus obscurus (Gm.) (Dusky Shearwater). Pl. 34.—A specimen is recorded from New Zealand, but Sir Walter Buller was never able to confirm its existence here. It is, however, common further north in the Pacific.

Puffinus assimilis (Gould) (Gould's Shearwater). Pl. 35.—This species is confined apparently to the northern portion of New Zealand.

Puffinus carneipes (Gould) (Pink-footed Shearwater). Pl. 37.—Common on the coasts of New Zealand. Breeds plentifully on White Island.

Puffinus griseus (Gm.) (Sooty Shearwater). Pl. 38.

Puffinus tenuirostris (Temn.) (Short-tailed Shearwater). Pl. 39.—Breeds in burrows on Kaimanawa and inland ranges, New Zealand.

Priofinus cinereus (Gm.) (Great Grey Shearwater). Pl. 41.—This appears to be an occasional visitor, as Captain Fairchild procured one between Wellington and the Chatham Islands.

Thalassæca antarctica (Gm.) (Antarctic Fulmar). Pl. 42.—All southern explorers have seen this bird, and Dr. Wilson, of the “Discovery,” saw T. antarctica in the Pacific soon after leaving New Zealand, and until within four days of his arrival at the Cape: so we expect to add this species to our list at any time.

Priocella glacialoides (Smith) (Silvery Grey Fulmar). Pl. 43.—Several specimens of this species have been secured in New Zealand.

Majaqueus aequinoctialis (Linn.) (White-chinned Black Fulmar). Pl. 44.—Although this bird has been taken on the Tasmanian and New South Wales coasts, it is rare in New Zealand, but is found at the Auckland Islands.

Majaqueus parkinsoni (Gray) (Parkinson's Black Fulmar). Pl. 45.—Fairly common in New Zealand.

Œstrelata macroptera (Smith) (Long-winged Fulmar) Pl 46.—This is the M. gouldi of Buller.

Œstrelata lessoni (Garnot) (White-headed Fulmar). Pl. 48.—Rare in New Zealand.

Œstrelata parvirostris (Peale) (Phœnix Islands Fulmar). Pl. 52.

Œstrelata incerta (Schlegel) (Schlegel's Fulmar). Pl. 53.

Œstrelata mollis (Gould) (Soft-plumaged Fulmar). Pl. 54.—There is said to be a series of this species in the Auckland Museum, from the Kermadecs, but the author has not been able to confirm the identification.

Œstrelata nigripennis (Rothschild) (Kermadec Fulmar). Pl. 59.

Œstrelata cervicalis (Salvin) (Sunday Island Fulmar). Pl. 63.—From the Kermadec Group. Now separated from Œ. externa.

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Œstrelata neglecta (Schlegel) (Phillip's Fulmar). Pl. 64.—A very variable species, with a wide range.

Œstrelata gularis (Peale) (Mottled Fulmar). Pl. 68.—Affinis of Buller, &c.

Œstrelata leucoptera (Gould). Pl. 69.—Not hitherto on our lists, but seen by Gould to the north of New Zealand.

Œstrelata cooki (Gray). Pl. 71.—Northern parts of New Zealand.

Œstrelata axillaris (Salvin) (Chatham Island Fulmar). Pl. 72.

Macronectes (Ossifraga) gigantea (Jacq. & Puches). Pl. 76.—The white form of this bird is noticed.

Daption capensis (Linn.) (Cape Fulmar, or Cape Pigeon). Pl. 80.

Halobæna cærulea (Gm.) (Blue Petrel). Pl. 81.

Prion vittatus (Gm.) (Brown-billed Blue Fulmar). Pl. 82.

Prion banksi (Smith) (Banks Blue Petrel). Pl. 83.

Prion desolatus (Gm.) = P. turtur (Dove-like Petrel). Pl. 84.

A.H.