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Title: The Birds of Australia, Vol. 3 of 7
Author: Gould, John Mead
Language: English
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                                  THE
                          BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA.


                                    BY

                           JOHN GOULD, F.R.S.,

 F.L.S, F.Z.S., M.E.S., F.ETHN.S., F.R.GEOG.S., M. RAY S., HON. MEMB. OF
    THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF TURIN, OF THE ROY. ZOOL. SOC. OF
  IRELAND, OF THE PENZANCE NAT. HIST. SOC., OF THE WORCESTER NAT. HIST.
  SOC., OF THE NORTHUMBERLAND, DURHAM AND NEWCASTLE NAT. HIST. SOC., OF
   THE NAT. HIST. SOC. OF DARMSTADT AND OF THE TASMANIAN SOCIETY OF VAN
                           DIEMEN’S LAND, ETC.


                            IN SEVEN VOLUMES.


                                VOL. III.


                                 LONDON:

   PRINTED BY RICHARD AND JOHN E. TAYLOR, RED LION COURT, FLEET STREET.

        PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR, 20, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE.

                                  1848.



                            LIST OF PLATES.
                              VOLUME III.


  Erythrodryas rhodinogaster           Pink-breasted Wood-robin      1

  —— rosea, _Gould_                    Rose-breasted Wood-robin      2

  Petroica multicolor                  Scarlet-breasted Robin        3

  —— erythrogastra                     Norfolk Island Robin          4

  —— Goodenovii                        Red-capped Robin              5

  —— phœnicea, _Gould_                 Flame-breasted Robin          6

  —— bicolor, _Swains_                 Pied Robin                    7

  —— fusca, _Gould_                    Dusky Robin                   8

  —— superciliosa, _Gould_             White-eyebrowed Robin         9

  Drymodes brunneopygia, _Gould_       Scrub Robin                  10

  Eöpsaltria Australis                 Yellow-breasted Robin        11

  —— griseogularis, _Gould_            Grey-breasted Robin          12

  —— leucogaster, _Gould_              White-bellied Robin          13

  Menura superba, _Dav._               Lyre-Bird                    14

  Psophodes crepitans                  Coach-whip Bird              15

  —— nigrogularis, _Gould_             Black-throated Psophodes     16

  Sphenostoma cristata, _Gould_        Crested Wedge-bill           17

  Malurus cyaneus                      Blue Wren                    18

  —— longicaudus, _Gould_              Long-tailed Wren             19

  —— melanotus, _Gould_                Black-backed Wren            20

  —— splendens                         Banded Wren                  21

  —— elegans, _Gould_                  Graceful Wren                22

  —— pulcherrimus, _Gould_             Beautiful Wren               23

  —— Lamberti, _Vig. & Horsf._         Lambert’s Wren               24

  —— leucopterus, _Quoy & Gaim._       White-winged Wren            25

  —— melanocephalus, _Vig. & Horsf._   Black-headed Wren            26

  —— Brownii, _Vig. & Horsf._          Brown’s Wren                 27

  Amytis textilis                      Textile Wren                 28

  —— striatus, _Gould_                 Striated Wren                29

  —— macrourus, _Gould_                Large-tailed Wren            30

  Stipiturus malachurus                Emu Wren                     31

  Dasyornis Australis, _Vig. & Horsf._ Bristle-Bird                 32

  —— longirostris, _Gould_             Long-billed Bristle-Bird     33

  Atrichia clamosa, _Gould_            Noisy Brush-bird             34

  Sphenœacus galactotes                Tawny Sphenœacus             35

  —— gramineus, _Gould_                Grass-loving Sphenœacus      36

  Acrocephalus Australis, _Gould_      Reed Warbler                 37

  —— longirostris, _Gould_             Long-billed Reed Warbler     38

  Hylacola pyrrhopygia                 Red-rumped Wren              39

  —— cauta, _Gould_                    Cautious Wren                40

  Cysticola magna, _Gould_             Great Warbler                41

  —— exilis                            Exile Warbler                42

  —— lineocapilla, _Gould_             Lineated Warbler             43

  —— isura, _Gould_                    Square-tailed Warbler        44

  —— ruficeps, _Gould_                 Rufous-headed Warbler        45

  Sericornis citreogularis, _Gould_    Yellow-throated Sericornis   46

  —— humilis, _Gould_                  Sombre-coloured Sericornis   47

  —— osculans, _Gould_                 Allied Sericornis            48

  —— frontalis                         White-fronted Sericornis     49

  —— lævigaster, _Gould_               Buff-breasted Sericornis     50

  —— maculatus, _Gould_                Spotted Sericornis           51

  Sericornis magnirostris, _Gould_     Large-billed Sericornis      52

  Acanthiza pusilla                    Little Brown Acanthiza       53

  —— Diemenensis, _Gould_              Tasmanian Acanthiza          54

  —— Ewingii, _Gould_                  Ewing’s Acanthiza            55

  —— uropygialis, _Gould_              Chestnut-rumped Acanthiza    56

  —— apicalis, _Gould_                 Western Acanthiza            57

  —— pyrrhopygia, _Gould_              Red-rumped Acanthiza         58

  —— inornata, _Gould_                 Plain-coloured Acanthiza     59

  —— nana, _Vig. & Horsf._             Little Acanthiza             60

  —— lineata, _Gould_                  Striated Acanthiza           61

  —— Reguloïdes, _Vig. & Horsf._       Regulus-like Acanthiza       62

  —— chrysorrhœa                       Yellow-rumped Acanthiza      63

  Ephthianura albifrons                White-fronted Ephthianura    64

  —— aurifrons, _Gould_                Orange-fronted Ephthianura   65

  —— tricolor, _Gould_                 Tri-coloured Ephthianura     66

  Xerophila leucopsis, _Gould_         White-faced Xerophila        67

  Pyrrholæmus brunneus, _Gould_        Brown Red-throat             68

  Origma rubricata                     Rock-Warbler                 69

  Calamanthus fuliginosus              Striated Reed-Lark           70

  —— campestris, _Gould_               Field Reed-Lark              71

  Chthonicola minima                   Little Chthonicola           72

  Anthus Australis, _Vig. & Horsf._    Australian Pipit             73

  Cincloramphus cruralis               Brown Cincloramphus          74

  —— cantillans, _Gould_               Black-breasted Cincloramphus 75

  —— rufescens                         Rufous-tinted Cincloramphus  76

  Mirafra Horsfieldii, _Gould_         Horsfield’s Mirafra          77

  Estrelda bella                       Fire-tailed Finch            78

  —— oculea                            Red-eared Finch              79

  —— Bichenovii                        Bicheno’s Finch              80

  —— annulosa, _Gould_                 Black-rumped Finch           81

  —— temporalis                        Red-eyebrowed Finch          82

  —— Phaëton                           Crimson Finch                83

  —— ruficauda, _Gould_                Red-tailed Finch             84

  Amadina modesta, _Gould_[1]          Plain-coloured Finch         85

  —— Lathamii                          Spotted-sided Finch          86

  —— castanotis, _Gould_               Chestnut-eared Finch         87

  —— Gouldiæ, _Gould_[2]               Gouldian Finch               88

  Poëphila mirabilis, _Homb. & Jacq._  Beautiful Grass Finch        89

  —— acuticauda, _Gould_               Long-tailed Grass Finch      90

  —— personata, _Gould_                Masked Grass Finch           91

  —— leucotis, _Gould_                 White-eared Grass Finch      92

  —— cincta, _Gould_                   Banded Grass Finch           93

  Donacola castaneothorax, _Gould_     Chestnut-breasted Finch      94

  —— pectoralis, _Gould_               White-breasted Finch         95

  —— flaviprymna, _Gould_              Yellow-rumped Finch          96

  Emblema picta, _Gould_               Painted Finch                97

Footnote 1:

  For _Amadina modesta_ read _Estrelda modesta_.

Footnote 2:

  For _Amadina Gouldiæ_ read _Poëphila Gouldiæ_.

[Illustration:

  ERYTHRODRYAS RHODINOGASTER.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      ERYTHRODRYAS RHODINOGASTER.
                       Pink-breasted Wood-Robin.

  _Saxicola rhodinogaster_, Drap. Ann. Gén. des Sci. Phys. de Bruxelles.

  _Muscicapa Lathami_, Vig. in Zool. Journ., vol. i. p. 410. pl.
            13.—Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn., vol. i. pl. 8.

  _Petroica rhodinogaster_, Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn. Add., vol. ii.

  _Erythrodryas rhodinogaster_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., August 9,
            1842.

  _Pink-breasted Robin_, Colonists of New South Wales.


The great stronghold of this species is Van Diemen’s Land, particularly
the western parts of the island. I feel assured that it is rarely seen
on the main land of Australia, from the circumstance of the total
absence of skins in collections from those parts. In one instance only
did I meet with it on the continent, and that was in a deep ravine under
Mount Lofty in South Australia; I shot the specimen, which on dissection
proved to be a young male.

In habits and disposition this and the following species are very
dissimilar to the Red-breasted Robins (_Petroica_), being much less
spirited in all their actions. They prefer the most secluded and remote
parts of the forest, particularly the bottoms of deep gullies, the
seclusion of which is seldom broken by the voice or presence of any
living being, and where animal life is almost confined to aphides and
other minute insects, upon which they exist. There are times, however,
especially in winter, when they leave these quiet retreats and even
enter the gardens of the settlers; but this is of so rare occurrence,
that few persons can have had opportunities of observing this bird in a
state of nature, except those who have visited the localities above
described. I shot several specimens in the gullies under Mount
Wellington in Van Diemen’s Land; and on visiting, in company with the
Rev. T. J. Ewing, the enchanting spot selected by my ever-esteemed
friend Lady Franklin as a site for a Botanic Garden, I observed it to be
tolerably numerous there. Through the kindness of Ronald C. Gunn, Esq.,
who liberally placed the whole of his collection at my disposal, I was
enabled to obtain examples of many species, in every stage from youth to
maturity; among others, of the present bird, which Mr. Gunn informed me
had been collected on the Hampshire Hills, a locality where it is very
abundant.

The food of the Pink-breasted Wood-Robin consists solely of insects,
which it procures by darting out in pursuit of them while passing by in
the air, and also on the ground.

It exhibits the peculiar actions and manners of the Robins by sitting
about on stumps and stones at the bottom of the gullies, presenting its
full breast like the Robin of Europe.

Its nest is formed of narrow strips of soft bark, soft fibres of
decaying wood, and fine fibrous roots matted and woven together with
vegetable fibres, and old black nests of spiders. The eggs are three in
number, smaller but very similar to those of _Petroica multicolor_; of a
greenish white thickly sprinkled with light chestnut and purplish brown;
eight lines and a half long, by six lines and a half broad.

Like the true Petroicas, the sexes present considerable differences in
their colouring.

The male has the head, neck, throat and back sooty black; a small spot
of white in the centre of the forehead; wings brownish black; a few of
the primaries and secondaries with an oblong spot of reddish brown on
the outer web near the base and another near the tip, forming two small
oblique bands when the wing is spread; breast and abdomen rose-pink,
passing into white on the vent and under tail-coverts; irides and bill
black; feet black, with the soles orange.

The female has an indication of the white spot on the forehead; all the
upper surface brown; wings and tail brown, with the markings on the
primaries and secondaries larger and of a more buffy colour than in the
male; throat brownish buff; chest and abdomen brownish grey; vent and
under tail-coverts buff.

The young male during the first autumn closely resembles the female; for
the first two months after they have left the nest, they have the centre
of each feather striated with buff.

The Plate represents the male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ERYTHRODRYAS ROSEA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                          ERYTHRODRYAS ROSEA.
                       Rose-breasted Wood-Robin.

  _Petroica rosea_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VII. p. 142.

  _Erythrodryas rosea_, Gould in Ibid., August 9, 1842.


This pretty little Robin inhabits all the brushes which skirt along the
south-eastern coast of New South Wales. I also observed it to be
numerous in the cedar brushes of the Liverpool range, and it doubtless
frequents similar situations in all other parts of the country. It
penetrates to the very depths of the forest, and chooses as its
favourite abode the most secluded spots. It is a solitary species, more
than a single pair being rarely seen at one time, is excessively quiet
in its movements, and so tame, that in the course of my wanderings
through the woods of Illawarra and in the neighbourhood of the Hunter,
it frequently perched within two or three yards of me while resting my
wearied limbs under a dense canopy of foliage, and listening to the
songs of the various species surrounding me. What has been said
respecting the habits and manners of the Pink-breasted Robin is equally
descriptive of those of the present bird; its food is also precisely of
the same kind, and is captured in a similar manner.

Although it is by no means rare in the localities I have mentioned, but
few specimens yet adorn our Museums, and it certainly had not received
any scientific appellation until I proposed the one given above, in a
letter addressed to the Zoological Society of London during my residence
in New South Wales.

Of its nidification and the number and colour of its eggs nothing is at
present known.

It has a cheerful inwardly uttered song, the strain of which is very
like that of the other Robins, but is much more feeble.

The male has the forehead crossed by a very narrow band of white; crown
of the head, throat and all the upper surface dark slate-grey; chest
rich rose-red, inclining to scarlet; lower part of the abdomen and under
tail-coverts white; wings and the six central tail-feathers blackish
brown; the three outer ones on each side tipped with white, the white
predominating over the inner webs, particularly on the two lateral
feathers; bill and feet blackish brown; gape and soles of the feet
yellow.

The female differs considerably from her mate, having the forehead
crossed by a narrow band of buff; all the upper surface greyish brown;
wings brown; secondaries crossed by two obscure bands of greyish buff;
tail of a browner tint, but otherwise marked like that of the male.

The figures are those of a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  PETROICA MULTICOLOR: _Swains._

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     PETROICA MULTICOLOR, _Swains._
                        Scarlet-breasted Robin.

  _Muscicapa multicolor_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            243.

  _Red-breasted Warbler_, Lewin, Birds of New Holl., pl. 17.

  _Petroica multicolor_, Swains. Zool. Ill., 2nd Ser. pl. 36.—Gould in
            Syn. of Birds of Australia, Part I.—G. R. Gray, List of Gen.
            of Birds, 2nd Edit., p. 30.

  _Goȍ-ba_, Aborigines of Western Australia.

  _Robin_, Colonists.


This beautiful Robin is a denizen of the wide extent of country reaching
from New South Wales on the east to Swan River on the west, including
Van Diemen’s Land and all the small islands lying off the southern
coast. In Van Diemen’s Land it is much less common than on the
continent, and is also far less numerous than its near ally, the
_Petroica phœnicea_. I have not been able with any degree of certainty
to trace how far it proceeds northwards. I believe, however, that a few
degrees from the latitude of Sydney is the limit of its range in that
direction.

Although closely allied to the _Petroica phœnicea_, its structure on
examination will be found to present some trifling modification, which
better adapts it for arboreal existence; and although frequently on the
ground, where it has much of the habits and actions of the _Saxicolinæ_,
the low bushes and woods skirting the open plains and sterile districts
are its favourite places of resort.

Its food consists solely of insects of various orders, its modified
structure enabling it to capture both aphides and swift-flying insects
as well as the less agile _Coleoptera_.

When far removed from our native land, recollections and associations
are strong incentives to attachment for any object that may remind us of
our home; hence this beautiful Robin, which enters the gardens and even
the windows of the settlers, is necessarily a great favourite; its
attractiveness is moreover much enhanced by its more gay attire, the
strong contrasts of scarlet, jet-black and white rendering it one of the
most beautiful to behold of any of the birds of Australia. After a
careful comparison of a large number of specimens, I feel fully
satisfied that the scarlet breast of this species, like that of the
Robin of Europe, is assumed during the first autumn, and that it is
never again thrown off; but, as might be expected, it is much more
brilliant and sparkling during the breeding-season than at any other
period of the year. I have remarked that a slight difference exists in
the depth of the colouring of specimens from the western and eastern
coasts, those from the former, particularly the females, having the
scarlet more brilliant and of greater extent than those from New South
Wales and Van Diemen’s Land; the difference is, however, too trivial to
be regarded otherwise than as indicative of a mere variety.

Its song and call-note much resemble that of the European Robin, but are
more feeble, and uttered with a more inward tone.

The nest is a very compact structure of dried grasses, narrow strips of
bark, mosses and lichens, all bound firmly together with cobwebs and
vegetable fibres, and warmly lined with feathers and wool or hair; in
some instances I have seen it lined entirely with opossums’ hair; it is
generally placed in the hollow part of the trunk of a tree, or in a
slight cavity in the bark six or seven feet from the ground, but I have
found it placed in a fork of a small upright tree more than thirty feet
from the ground. The eggs, which are three or four in number, are
greenish white, slightly tinged with bluish or flesh-colour, rather
minutely freckled with olive-brown and purplish grey, the latter more
obscure than the former; these freckles are very generally dispersed
over the surface of the shell, but in some instances they also form a
zone near the larger end; the medium length of the eggs is nine lines,
and breadth seven lines.

It usually rears two or three broods in the year, the period of
nidification commencing in August and ending in February.

The male has the head, throat and upper surface black; forehead snowy
white; a longitudinal and two oblique bands of white on the wings;
breast and upper part of the belly scarlet; lower part of the belly dull
white; irides very dark brown; bill and feet black.

The female has all the upper and under surface brown, with the breast
strongly tinged with red.

The Plate represents a male and female of the natural size, perched on a
sprig of a species of _Corea_, which I found growing on Kangaroo Island.

[Illustration:

  PETROICA ERYTHROGASTER.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                        PETROICA ERYTHROGASTRA.
                         Norfolk Island Robin.

  _Muscicapa erythrogastra_, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 479.—Gmel.
            Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 944.

  —— _multicolor_, Gmel. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 944.

  _Red-bellied Flycatcher_, Lath. Gen. Syn., vol. iii. p. 343. pl.
            50.—Ib. Supp., vol. ii. p. 216.—Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. x. p.
            400. pl. 32.—Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vi. p. 209. pl. C.—Shaw,
            Nat. Misc., pl. 147.

  _Petroica pulchella_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VII. p. 142,
            male.

  —— _modesta_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 147, female.


I have been induced to give a figure of this Robin, which I believe to
be strictly confined to Norfolk Island, in order to clear up the
confusion which has hitherto existed respecting it and the _Petroica
multicolor_, with which it has been confounded. Under the impression
that the two birds were identical, and that the terms _erythrogastra_
and _multicolor_ were synonymous, I was induced some years ago to
characterize the male of the present bird under the name of _pulchella_,
and the female under that of _modesta_, believing as I then did that it
was a distinct species; subsequent research has however enabled me to
perceive the errors into which I had fallen, and I now proceed to point
out the differences between the two species, and to restore to the
Norfolk Island bird the term _erythrogastra_, originally applied to it
by Latham. The _P. erythrogastra_ may be distinguished then from its
near ally by the greater size of the bill; by the greater extent and
more silvery hue of the white feathers on the forehead; by the tail
being wholly black, while in the _P. multicolor_ the lateral feathers
are white; by the white on the wing forming a large spot near the
shoulder, instead of a line as long as the secondaries; and by the
scarlet of the breast and abdomen being much more intense in colour: the
females of the two birds also differ from each other, the tail of the
_P. erythrogastra_ being wholly brown, while that of the _P. multicolor_
has the lateral tail-feathers marked with white.

The male has the forehead silvery white; a small patch on the wings near
the shoulder, under wing-coverts, the flanks and under tail-coverts
white; chest and abdomen very rich scarlet, the remainder of the plumage
deep black; bill black; feet brown.

The female has the crown of the head, all the upper surface, wings and
tail reddish brown; throat white, tinged with brown; chest and centre of
the abdomen washed with scarlet; lower part of the abdomen and under
tail-coverts white; flanks brown; bill blackish brown; feet yellowish
brown.

The figures represent the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  PETROICA GOODENOVII: _Jard. and Selb._

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                 PETROICA GOODENOVII, _Jard. and Selb._
                           Red-capped Robin.

  _Muscicapa Goodenovii_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            245.—Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn., vol. i. pl. 8, fig. 2.

  _Petroica Goodenovii_, Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn., Add., vol.
            ii.—Gould, Syn. Birds of Australia, Part I.

  _Mȅ-ne-gȅ-dang_, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western
            Australia.

  _Red-capped Robin_ of the Colonists.


The red crown and much smaller size of this beautiful Robin at once
distinguishes it from every other species of the genus yet discovered.
Although not plentiful in any part I have visited, it is very generally
distributed over the whole of the southern portion of Australia. I have
observed it myself in South Australia and in New South Wales, and Mr.
Gilbert killed it in Western Australia, where, however, it is very
local, for he only met with it in two spots, one in the York district
and the other at Kojonup, about one hundred miles towards the interior
from King George’s Sound. I have not yet heard of its being an
inhabitant of the northern portion of the country.

I generally observed it either singly or in pairs, and it appeared to
give a decided preference to the beds of dry rivulets, and to thinly
timbered plains, the dense brushes near the coast never being visited by
it; it would seem therefore to be a species peculiar to the interior of
the country.

The whole of the actions and economy of this bird so closely assimilate
to those of the _Petroica multicolor_, that it is unnecessary to repeat
a description of them here; of its nidification no information has yet
been obtained; but in this respect also it doubtless closely resembles
the same species.

It possesses a peculiarly sweet and plaintive song, very much like that
of the European Robin, but more weak and not so continuous.

Its food consists of insects of various kinds.

The male has the upper surface, neck, upper part of the breast and wings
brownish black; wing-coverts and secondaries edged with white, forming a
broad stripe along the wings; middle of the outer web of the quills with
a narrow white margin; forehead, crown, and lower part of the breast
bright scarlet, passing into white on the vent; irides, bill and feet
blackish brown; soles of the feet yellow.

The female, as is the case with the females of the other species,
differs much from her mate in the colouring of the plumage, which
difference will be more clearly perceived in the accompanying
illustration than by the most minute description.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  PETROICA PHŒNICEA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      PETROICA PHŒNICEA, _Gould_.
                         Flame-breasted Robin.

  _Petroica phœnicea_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part IV. p. 105;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part I.


Van Diemen’s Land and the south-eastern portion of the Australian
continent constitute the natural habitat of this species; in the former
country it is very common, but in New South Wales and South Australia it
is not so numerous, and is very local. It is far less arboreal than the
_Petroica multicolor_, giving a decided preference to open wastes and
cleared lands rather than to the woods: in many of its actions it much
resembles the Wheatears and other true Saxicoline birds, often selecting
a large stone, clod of earth or other substance, on which to perch and
show off its flame-coloured breast to the greatest advantage. As the
season of nidification approaches it retires to the forests for the
purpose of breeding, building its cup-shaped nest in the chink of a
tree, in the cleft of a rock, or any similar situation. It is a very
familiar species, seeking rather than shunning the presence of man, and
readily taking up its abode in his gardens, orchards, and other
cultivated grounds. It is to be found in the neighbourhood of Hobart
Town at all seasons of the year, and I have even taken its nest from a
shelving bank in the streets of the town.

Its food consists of insects of various kinds, which are principally
procured on the surface of the ground.

It has a pretty cheerful song, uttered somewhat low and inwardly; the
male generally sings over or near the female while she is sitting upon
her eggs.

The nest, which is thick and warm, is formed of narrow strips and
thread-like fibres of soft bark, matted together with cobwebs and
sometimes wool, and lined with hair and feathers, or occasionally with
fine hair-like grasses. The general colour of the eggs is greenish
white, spotted and freckled with purplish and chestnut-brown: much
variety occurs in these markings, some assuming the form of large bold
irregular spots and blotches, while in others they are merely minute
freckles; the eggs are three in number; their medium length nine lines,
and breadth seven lines.

I have not yet satisfied myself respecting the changes which this
species undergoes, or what time elapses before it assumes the red garb;
some individuals certainly breed while in the brown dress, and they may
frequently be heard singing while clothed in this sombre-coloured
plumage; the _Petroica multicolor_, on the contrary, would appear to
obtain its red breast during the first autumn, as I have a specimen
killed on the 8th of February with a fine red breast, while the
colouring of the other parts of its plumage is indicative of immaturity.

The male has the crown of the head and all the upper surface sooty grey,
except a small white spot across the forehead, a patch of the same
colour on the shoulders and the anterior edges of the tertials;
primaries and tail-feathers greyish black, except the outer feathers of
the latter, which are nearly all white; the second tail-feather on each
side is also tinged with white; upper part of the throat sooty grey, the
rest of the under surface rich scarlet; under tail-coverts white;
irides, bill and feet black.

The female is uniform brown above; wings dark brown; tertials and
wing-coverts edged with reddish grey; tail brown; the outer
tail-feathers on each side almost wholly white; all the under surface
reddish grey; irides, bill and feet black.

The young resembles the female, but has the centre of the feathers
lighter, and the corners of the mouth yellow; bill and feet blackish
brown.

The Plate represents the male, female and nest of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  PETROICA BICOLOR: _Swains._

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      PETROICA BICOLOR, _Swains._
                              Pied Robin.

  _Muscicapa cucullata_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. 51?

  _Hooded Flycatcher_, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp., vol. ii. p. 223? and Gen.
            Hist., vol. vi. p. 216?

  _Petroica bicolor_, Swains. III. Zool., 2nd Ser., pl. 43.

  _Jil-but_, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western Australia.

  _Goȍ-ba-mȍgin_, Aborigines around Perth, Western Australia.

  _Black Robin_ of the Colonists.


If we consider the Pied Robins from Swan River and the north-west coast
of Australia as identical with, or mere varieties of, those killed in
New South Wales, from which they differ only in being smaller in all
their admeasurements, then the range of the present bird will be very
extensive, and in fact its dispersion over the Australian continent
almost universal. The _Petroica bicolor_ has never been found in Van
Diemen’s Land, nor is it probable that it proceeds so far south. It
loves to dwell in the open parts of the country rather than in the thick
brushes. I have always found it most numerous on such flats as were
studded here and there with large trees, among the lower branches of
which, as well as on the ground immediately beneath them, it might be
observed darting about for insects in the most bold and active manner;
the jet-black colouring of its upper surface, contrasted with the
whiteness of the other parts, rendering it very conspicuous,
particularly when its wings and tail are displayed to their full extent.

Its food consists solely of insects of various kinds, particularly
coleoptera and their larvæ.

The breeding-season commences in September and continues during the four
following months; in this period two broods at least are reared. The
nest, which is rather small and shallow, is formed of dried grasses,
strips of bark and fibrous roots, bound together and partly smoothed
over with cobwebs, the inside being lined with fine wire-like fibres,
and generally a little wool at the bottom; it is placed on the dried
branch of a small tree, resting against the trunk, or in the fork of a
fallen branch within two or three feet of the ground. The eggs, which
are three in number and of a rather lengthened form, are light olive
green without any spots or markings, but occasionally washed with brown,
particularly at the larger end; their medium length is ten lines and a
half, and breadth seven lines and a half.

This species possesses a simple call-note, so feeble and weak as only to
be heard at the distance of a few yards.

The male has the head, throat, neck, back, rump, upper tail-coverts and
the two centre tail-feathers deep velvety black; the next tail-feather
on each side black on the inner web, white on the outer web, and largely
tipped with black, the remainder of the tail-feathers white, largely
tipped with black; feathers covering the insertion of the wing white;
wings dull black, the secondaries edged with white; an oblique band of
white across all but the two first primaries near their base; under
surface of the shoulder, breast, abdomen and under tail-coverts white;
irides brownish black; bill black; feet blackish brown.

The female has the upper surface dark brownish grey; wings brown, with
the oblique band less prominent than in the male; under surface light
brownish grey, passing into white on the vent and under tail-coverts;
tail brown, the lateral feathers white at the base, the white continuing
to near the tip on the external web of the outer feather.

The young immediately after leaving the nest is dark brown, with a
stripe of light brown down the centre of each feather, the markings of
the wings and tail resembling those of the adult; under surface like the
upper, but becoming white as it proceeds towards the vent.

The Plate represents the male and female on a branch of the Currijong,
all of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  Petroica Fusca: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                        PETROICA FUSCA, _Gould_.
                              Dusky Robin.

This unadorned species of Robin is very abundantly distributed over all
those parts of Van Diemen’s Land that are suitable to its habits; it
gives preference to thinly-timbered hills, and all such plains and low
grounds as are sterile and covered here and there with thickets and
stunted brushwood. In its manners and whole economy it closely
assimilates to the Red-breasted Robins; I frequently observed it sitting
on the stumps of dead and fallen trees, on the railings of inclosures,
gardens and other similar situations. Its food appeared to consist
solely of insects, which it swallows entire, even coleoptera of a large
size.

Its nest, which is rather large and of a cup-shape, is formed of coarse
fibrous roots, small twigs, strings of bark and dried grasses intermixed
with very fine hair-like fibrous roots, wool, and the soft seed-stalks
of mosses. The size and form of the nest depend upon the nature of the
situation chosen for a site; if a ledge or fissure of a rock, it is much
spread out, but with the inside and top very neatly finished; the
opening measures on an average about two inches and a half, and the nest
is about one inch and a quarter in depth.

The eggs, which are three or four in number, differ in colour from those
of every other member of the genus, but more nearly assimilate in tint
and markings to those of _Petroica bicolor_ than of any other. They are
of a light greenish blue, freckled and spotted with minute indistinct
markings of brown; their medium length is ten lines, and breadth seven
and a half lines.

Although I have paid considerable attention to the distribution of this
species, I have never been able to meet with it on the continent of
Australia, or in any other country than Van Diemen’s Land; still I
cannot positively assert that it is not an inhabitant of the Australian
continent. It is very numerous about Hobart Town, both in the gulleys
under Mount Wellington, and on the opposite side of the Derwent towards
Clarence Plains.

Its note is low and monotonous, without any peculiar character.

The sexes differ from all the other members of the genus in being alike
in colour, and cannot possibly be distinguished without the aid of
dissection.

Head, and all the upper surface reddish brown tinged with olive; wings
and tail brown; primaries and secondaries crossed by a narrow line of
white at the base; the outer tail-feather on each side margined
externally, and at the tip with white; under surface pale brown, passing
into buffy white on the vent and under tail-coverts; irides, bill and
feet blackish brown.

The young is very dark brown above, striated with deep buff; beneath
mottled brown and buffy white; the latter colour occupying the centre of
the feathers.

The Plate represents a male and two young birds of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  PETROICA SUPERCILIOSA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    PETROICA SUPERCILIOSA, _Gould_.
                         White-eyebrowed Robin.

  _Petroica superciliosa_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XIV. p.
            106.


For our knowledge of this new species of _Petroica_ we are indebted to
the researches of Mr. Gilbert, who while in company with Dr. Leichardt,
during his adventurous expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington,
discovered it in the neighbourhood of the Burdekin Lakes towards the
Gulf of Carpentaria. The following remarks in Mr. Gilbert’s Journal
comprise all that is at present known respecting it:—“May 14th. In a
ramble with my gun I shot a new bird, the actions of which assimilate to
those of the _Petroicæ_ and the _Eöpsaltriæ_; like the former it carries
its tail very erect, but is more retiring in its habits than those
birds; on the other hand, its notes resemble those of the latter. It
inhabits the dense jungle-like vegetation growing beneath the shade of
the fig-trees on the banks of the Burdekin. I succeeded in procuring two
specimens.”

Superciliary stripe, throat, abdomen, under surface of the shoulder, and
the bases of the primaries and secondaries white; lores, ear-coverts,
wing-coverts, and the primaries and secondaries for some distance beyond
the white deep black; all the upper surface, wings and tail sooty brown;
all but the two central tail-feathers largely tipped with white; bill
and feet black; irides reddish brown.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  DRYMODES BRUNNEOPYGIA: _Gould_

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                    DRYMODES BRUNNEOPYGIA, _Gould_.
                              Scrub Robin.

  _Drymodes brunneopygia_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p.
            170.


I discovered this singular bird in the great Murray Scrub in South
Australia, where it was tolerably abundant; I have never seen it from
any other part of the country, and it is doubtless confined to such
portions of Australia as are clothed with a similar character of
vegetation. It is a quiet and inactive species, resorting much to the
ground, over which and among the underwood and low stunted bushes it
passes with great ease; it appeared rarely to take wing, but to depend
for security upon its dexterity in hopping away under the dense
underwood of the most scrubby parts; I have, however, occasionally
observed it to mount to the most elevated part of a low bush, and there
pour forth a sharp monotonous whistling note, not very unlike that of
some of the _Pachycephalinæ_; indeed it was its note that first
attracted my attention and led to its discovery. When on the ground, and
sometimes when perched on a twig, it elevates its tail considerably, but
not to the extent of the _Maluri_.

This new form evidently belongs to the _Saxicolinæ_, and has many habits
in common with the members of the genus _Petroica_.

The sexes are alike in colouring, but the female is much smaller than
her mate; the young, as will be seen in the accompanying Plate,
resembles the immature Petroicas in the character of its plumage.

Head and all the upper surface brown, passing into rufous brown on the
upper tail-coverts; wings dark brown, the coverts and primaries edged
with dull white; primaries and secondaries crossed near the base on
their inner webs with pure white; tail rich brown, all but the two
middle feathers tipped with white; under surface greyish brown, passing
into buff on the under tail-coverts; irides, bill and feet blackish
brown.

The Plate represents an adult male and a young bird of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  EÖPSALTRIA AUSTRALIS: _Swains._

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                         EÖPSALTRIA AUSTRALIS.
                         Yellow-breasted Robin.

  _Muscicapa Australis_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. li.

  _Southern Motacilla_, _Motacilla Australis_, White’s Journ., pl. in p.
            239.

  _Southern Flycatcher_, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 219.—Shaw,
            Gen. Zool., vol. x. p. 369.—Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vi. p.
            216.

  _Pachycephala Australis_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            242.

  _Muscipeta_, sp. 15, _Muscicapa Australis_, Less. Traité d’Orn., p.
            385.

  _Eöpsaltria flavicollis_, Swains. Class, of Birds, vol. ii. p. 250.

  —— _Australis_, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd edit. p. 45.

  _Yellow-breasted Thrush_, Lewin, Birds of New Holl., pl. 23.

  _Eöpsaltria parvula_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 144.
            female?

  _Yellow Robin_, Colonists of New South Wales.


This is a very common species in all the brushes of New South Wales; I
also observed it in most of the gardens in the neighbourhood of Sydney,
as well as in those of the settlers in the interior. It is very
Robin-like in its actions, particularly in the habit of raising its tail
at the moment of perching, and in the sprightly air with which it moves
about. It is by no means shy, and may often be seen crossing the garden
walks, perching on some stump or railing, regardless of one’s presence,
at which time the fine yellow mark on its rump is very conspicuous. Its
powers of flight are but feeble, and are seldom employed to do more than
enable it to flit from bush to bush or from tree to tree, in a
peculiarly quiet Robin-like manner; never displaying the restless
activity of the Pardalotes, Acanthizas, and many other tribes of birds.
Its food consists entirely of insects, which are more frequently taken
on the ground than on the trees.

It breeds in September and October. The nest is a beautiful, compact,
round, cup-shaped structure, about three inches in diameter and an inch
and a half deep, composed of narrow strips of bark, wiry fibrous roots,
and in some instances grasses; the outside held together with cobwebs,
and sparingly speckled over with mouse-eared lichen and small pieces of
bark, hanging loosely about it; the inside of the nest is generally
lined with leaves, but occasionally with portions of the broad blades of
grasses. It is generally placed in the fork of some low tree in an open
or exposed part of the brush, is a neat structure, and sometimes so
nearly resembles the bark of the tree upon which it is constructed, that
it is almost impossible to detect it, so extraordinary is the
instinctive power of imitation with which the bird has been endowed. The
eggs are usually two in number, of a bright apple-green, speckled and
spotted all over with chestnut-brown and blackish brown, the latter tint
being much less conspicuous than the former; they are nine lines long by
seven and a half lines broad.

It is not migratory, and so far as is known, is confined to the southern
and eastern portion of the country.

The sexes are alike in colour, but the female is somewhat smaller in
size: the young on leaving the nest has the plumage streaked and spotted
very similar to that of young Robins, but obtains the plumage of the
adult at an early period.

Head and all the upper surface, wings and tail, with the exception of
the rump, very dark grey; chin white; all the under surface and rump
wax-yellow; irides, bill and feet black.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  EÖPSALTRIA GRISEOGULARIS, _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                   EÖPSALTRIA GRISEOGULARIS, _Gould_.
                          Grey-breasted Robin.

  _Eöpsaltria griseogularis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p.
            144; and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.

  _Bȁm-boore_, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western
            Australia.


The fact of one species representing another, as they are frequently
found to do, on opposite sides of large continents, is in no instance
more clearly exemplified than in the two species of the genus
_Eöpsaltria_ inhabiting Australia, which, although closely allied in
size, structure and colouring, as well as in habits and economy, inhabit
very different countries, one being confined to the eastern, and the
other to the western portion of the continent.

The _Eöpsaltria griseogularis_ is abundant in every part of the colony
of Swan River, inhabiting thickets and all spots clothed with vegetation
of a brush-like character. “In its actions,” says Mr. Gilbert, “this
bird is very like the Robins, being much on the ground, and when feeding
constantly flying up and perching on a small upright twig. It does not
appear to be capable of great or continued exertion on the wing, as it
is rarely seen to do more than flit from bush to bush. Its most common
note much resembles the very lengthened and plaintive song of the
_Estrelda bella_, but differs from it in being a double note often
repeated; it also utters a great variety of single notes, and during the
breeding-season pours forth a short but agreeable song.

“The nest is very difficult to detect, the situations chosen for it
being the thickly wooded gum-forests of the mountain districts and the
mahogany forests of the lowlands; from the forks of the younger of these
trees a great portion of the bark generally hangs down in strips; and in
the fork the bird generally makes its nest of narrow strips of the bark
bound together with cobwebs, while around the outside a quantity of
dangling pieces are suspended, giving it the exact appearance of other
forks of the tree; the inside of the nest has no other lining than a few
pieces of bark laid across each other, or a single dried leaf, large
enough to cover the bottom. It breeds in September and October, and lays
two eggs, which are more lengthened in form than those of _Eöpsaltria
Australis_, and are of a wood-brown obscurely freckled with yellowish
red, ten lines long by seven lines and a half broad.

“Its stomach is muscular, and its food consists of insects of various
kinds.”

The sexes are precisely similar in outward appearance.

It is stationary in Western Australia, but the extent of its range over
the continent is not yet known.

Crown of the head, ear-coverts, sides and back of the neck, and back
grey; throat and chest greyish white; abdomen, rump, upper and under
tail-coverts rich yellow; wings and tail greyish brown, the extreme tips
of the latter edged with white; bill dark horn-colour; irides very dark
reddish brown; legs and feet dark olive-brown.

The figures are male and female, of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  EÖPSALTRIA LEUCOGASTER: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    EÖPSALTRIA LEUCOGASTER, _Gould_.
                          White-bellied Robin.

  _Eöpsaltria leucogaster_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., February 24,
            1846.


The White-bellied Robin is a native of Western Australia, but is only to
be met with in the hilly portions of the country. Mr. Gilbert states
that the first specimen he procured was killed on the Darling range,
near the gorge of the River Murray, at an elevation of about seven or
eight hundred feet, and that he afterwards met with it on the southern
extremity of the same range, between Vasse and Augusta, but that he
never observed it on the lower grounds between the mountain range and
the coast. Like the other species of the genus, it was constantly seen
clinging to the bark of large upright trees, or straight and small
stems, in search of its insect food. It is extremely quiet and secluded
in its habits, is almost exclusively confined to the neighbourhood of
small mountain streams, where scarcely any other sound is heard than the
rippling and gurgling of the water over the rocks, and on the slightest
approach it immediately secretes itself among the thick scrub or
brushwood. Its song very closely resembles that of the _Petroicæ_.

Immediately before the eye a small triangular-shaped spot of black;
above the eye a faint line of greyish white; crown of the head, all the
upper surface, wings and tail dark slate-grey; the lateral tail-feathers
largely tipped with white on their inner webs; all the under surface
white; irides dark brown; bill and feet black.

The Plate represents the bird of the natural size, on one of the
beautiful and rare plants of Western Australia, a species of
_Anigozanthus_, the distinctive appellation of which I have not been
able to ascertain.

[Illustration:

  MENURA SUPERBA: _Shaw_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                       MENURA SUPERBA, _Davies_.
                               Lyre-Bird.

  _Menura superba_, Davies in Linn. Trans., vol. vii. p. 207. pi.
            22.—Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. lxi.—Collins, New South Wales,
            vol. ii. pl. in p. 93.—Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. xiv. p. 313.

  _Le Parkinson_, Vieill. (Ois. Dor.) Ois. de Parad., pls. 14, 15, 16.

  _Megapodius menura_, Wagl. Sys. Av., sp. 1.

  _Menura Lyra_, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pl. 577.—Vieill. Gal. des Ois., pl.
            192.—G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, p. 71.

  _Menura Novæ-Hollandiæ_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. lxi.—Temm. Man.,
            tom. 1. p. lvii.—Less. Traité d’Orn., p. 478. pl. 88.

  _Parkinsonius mirabilis_, Bechst.

  _Menura vulgaris_, Flem.

  _Menura paradisea_, Swains. Class. of Birds, vol. ii. p. 351.

  _Superb Menura_, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 271.—Ib. Gen.
            Hist., vol. viii. p. 159. pl. cxxiv.

  _Pheasant_ of the Colonists.—Beleck, Beleck and Balangara of the
            Aborigines.


Were I requested to suggest an emblem for Australia among its birds, I
should without the slightest hesitation select the _Menura_ as the most
appropriate, being not only strictly peculiar to Australia, but, as far
as is yet known, to the colony of New South Wales.

Perhaps no bird has more divided the opinion of ornithologists, as to
the situation it should occupy in the natural system, than the one here
represented; and although more than fifty years have now elapsed since
the bird was first discovered, little or no information has been
hitherto published respecting its economy and habits, as ornithologists
have had only its external structure to guide them in their opinions.
Aware of this fact, I paid considerable attention to the subject while
in Australia; and after a minute observation of the bird in a state of
nature, I am decidedly of opinion, that it has not, as has been very
generally considered, the most remote relationship to the _Gallinaceæ_;
but that it forms, with the American genera _Pteroptochos_,
_Scytalopus_, and their allied groups, a family of the Insessorial
Order, to which _Troglodytes_, _Amytis_, _Stipiturus_, _Malurus_,
_Dasyornis_ and _Psophodes_ closely assimilate in their habits, and of
which they will in all probability be hereafter found to form a part.
Notwithstanding the great size of _Menura_ and the extraordinary form of
its tail, in almost every other point it presents a striking resemblance
to its minute congeners: like them, it possesses the bristles at the
base of the bill, but to a less extent, the same unusual mass of loose,
flowing, hair-like feathers on the back and rump, the same extraordinary
power of running, the like feebleness of flight; all which will, I
trust, render it evident that there are sufficient grounds for the
opinion I have here expressed. Many intervening genera will, doubtless,
yet be discovered to complete the series of affinities: at all events,
if, as I am informed is the case, the young of _Menura_ are helpless and
blind when hatched, it cannot with propriety be placed with the
_Gallinaceæ_.

In the structure of its feet, in its lengthened claws, and in its whole
contour, the Lyre-bird presents the greatest similarity to the
_Pteroptochos megapodius_ of Kittlitz. Another singular circumstance by
which their alliance is rendered still more evident, is the fact that
_Pteroptochos_ differs from the other families of the Insessorial Order
in having fourteen feathers in its tail, and that _Menura_ also differs
in the same particular in possessing sixteen. The immense feet and claws
of these two birds admirably adapt them for the peculiar localities they
are destined to inhabit; and the same beautiful modification of
structure is observable in the other genera, equally adapting them for
the situations they are intended to fulfil. Thus _Menura_ passes with
ease over the loose stones and the sides of rocky gullies and ravines,
while the _Maluri_ trip over the more open and even ground, and the
_Dasyorni_ with equal facility thread the dense scrubs and reed-beds.

As I have before stated, the great stronghold of the Lyre-bird is the
colony of New South Wales, and from what I could learn, its range does
not extend so far to the eastward as Moreton Bay; neither have I been
able to trace it to the westward of Port Philip on the southern coast;
but further research can alone determine these points. It inhabits
equally the brushes on the coast, and those that clothe the sides of the
mountains in the interior; on the coast it is especially abundant at
Western Port and Illawarra, and in all probability over a great portion
of the unexplored intervening country: in the interior the cedar brushes
of the Liverpool range, and according to Mr. George Bennett, the
Mountains of the Tumat country are among the places of which it is a
denizen. Of all the birds I have ever met with, the _Menura_ is by far
the most shy and difficult to procure. While among the brushes I have
been surrounded by these birds, pouring forth their loud and liquid
calls, for days together, without being able to get a sight of them; and
it was only by the most determined perseverance and extreme caution that
I was enabled to effect this desirable object, which was rendered the
more difficult by their often frequenting the almost inaccessible and
precipitous sides of gullies and ravines, covered with tangled masses of
creepers and umbrageous trees: the cracking of a stick, the rolling down
of a small stone, or any other noise, however slight, is sufficient to
alarm it; and none but those who have traversed these rugged, hot and
suffocating brushes, can fully understand the excessive labour attendant
on the pursuit of the _Menura_. Independently of climbing over rocks and
fallen trunks of trees, the sportsman has to creep and crawl beneath and
among the branches with the utmost caution, taking care only to advance
when the bird’s attention is occupied in singing, or in scratching up
the leaves in search of food; to watch its actions it is necessary to
remain perfectly motionless, not venturing to move even in the slightest
degree, or it vanishes from sight as if by magic. Although I have said
thus much on the cautiousness of the _Menura_, it is not always so
alert: in some of the more accessible brushes through which roads have
been cut it may frequently be seen, and even on horseback closely
approached, the bird apparently evincing less fear of those animals than
of man. At Illawarra it is sometimes successfully pursued by dogs
trained to rush suddenly upon it, when it immediately leaps upon the
branch of a tree, and its attention being attracted by the dog which
stands barking below, it is easily approached and shot. Another
successful mode of procuring specimens, is by wearing a tail of a
full-plumaged male in the hat, keeping it constantly in motion, and
concealing the person among the bushes, when the attention of the bird
being arrested by the apparent intrusion of another of its own sex, it
will be attracted within the range of the gun: if the bird be hidden
from view by the surrounding objects, any unusual sound, as a shrill
whistle, will generally induce him to show himself for an instant, by
causing him to leap with a gay and sprightly air upon some neighbouring
branch to ascertain the cause of the disturbance: advantage must be
taken of this circumstance immediately, or the next moment it may be
half-way down the gully. So totally different is the shooting of this
bird to anything practised in Europe, that the most expert shot would
have but little chance until well experienced in the peculiar nature of
the country and the habits of the bird. The _Menura_ seldom, if ever,
attempts to escape by flight, but easily eludes pursuit by its
extraordinary power of running. None are so efficient in obtaining
specimens as the naked black, whose noiseless and gliding steps enable
him to steal upon it unheard and unperceived, and with a gun in his hand
he rarely allows it to escape, and in many instances he will even kill
it with his own weapons.

The Lyre-bird is of a wandering disposition, and although it probably
keeps to the same brush, it is constantly engaged in traversing it from
one end to the other, from mountain-top to the bottom of the gullies,
whose steep and rugged sides present no obstacle to its long legs and
powerful muscular thighs; it is also capable of performing extraordinary
leaps; and I have heard it stated that it will spring ten feet
perpendicularly from the ground. It appears to be of solitary habits, as
I have never seen more than a pair together, and these only in a single
instance; they were both males, and were chasing each other round and
round with extreme rapidity, apparently in play, pausing every now and
then to utter their loud shrill calls: while thus employed they carried
the tail horizontally, as they always do when running quickly through
the bush, that being the only position in which this great organ could
be conveniently borne at such times. Among its many curious habits, the
only one at all approaching to those of the _Gallinaceæ_ is that of
forming small round hillocks, which are constantly visited during the
day, and upon which the male is continually trampling, at the same time
erecting and spreading out its tail in the most graceful manner and
uttering his various cries, sometimes pouring forth his natural notes,
at others mocking those of other birds, and even the howling of the
native dog or Dingo. The early morning and the evening are the periods
when it is most animated and active.

It may truly be said that all the beauty of this bird lies in the
plumage of his tail, the new feathers of which appear in February or
March, but do not attain their full beauty and perfection until June;
during this and the four succeeding months it is in its finest state;
after this the feathers are gradually shed, to be resumed again at the
period above stated. I am led to believe that they are all assumed
simultaneously, by the fact of a native having brought to my camp a
specimen with a tail not more than six inches long, the feathers of
which were in embryo, and all of the same length. Upon reference to my
journal I find the following notes upon the subject:—“Mar. 14, Liverpool
range. Several _Menuras_ killed to-day: their tails not so fine as they
will be.” “Oct. 25.—I find this bird is now losing its tail-feathers;
and, judging from appearances, they will be all shed in a fortnight.”

Although upon one occasion I forced this bird to take wing, it was
merely for the purpose of descending a gully, and I am led to believe
that it seldom exerts this power unless under similar circumstances. It
is particularly partial to traversing the trunks of fallen trees, and
frequently attains a considerable altitude by leaping from branch to
branch. Independently of its loud full call, which may be heard
reverberating over the gullies to the distance of at least a quarter of
a mile, it possesses an inward and varied song, the lower notes of which
can only be heard when you have successfully approached to within a few
yards of the bird during the time it is singing. This animated strain is
frequently discontinued abruptly, and again commenced with a low,
inward, snapping noise, ending with an imitation of the loud and full
note of the Satin Bird, and always accompanied with a tremulous motion
of the tail.

The food of the _Menura_ appears to consist principally of insects,
particularly centipedes and coleoptera; I also found the remains of
shelled snails in the gizzard, which is very strong and muscular.

I regret that circumstances did not admit of my acquiring a perfect
knowledge of the nidification of this very singular bird; I never found
the nest but once, and this unfortunately was after the breeding-season
was over; but all those of whom I made inquiries respecting it, agreed
in assuring me that it is either placed on the ledge of a projecting
rock, at the base of a tree, or on the top of a stump, but always near
the ground; and a cedar cutter whom I met in the brushes informed me
that he had once found a nest, which, to use his own expression, was
“built like that of a magpie,” adding that it contained but one egg, and
that upon his visiting the nest again some time afterwards he found in
it a newly-hatched young, which was helpless and destitute of the power
of vision. The natives state that the eggs are two in number, of a light
colour, freckled with spots of red. The nest seen by myself, and to
which my attention was drawn by my black companion Natty, was placed on
the prominent point of a rock, in a situation quite secluded from
observation behind, but affording the bird a commanding view and easy
retreat in front; it was deep and shaped like a basin, and had the
appearance of having been roofed; was of a large size, formed outwardly
of sticks, and lined with the inner bark of trees and fibrous roots.

General plumage brown; the secondary wing-feathers nearest the body, and
the outer webs of the remainder rich rufous brown; upper tail-coverts
tinged with rufous; chin and front of the throat rufous, much richer
during the breeding-season; all the under surface brownish ash-colour,
becoming paler on the vent; upper surface of the tail blackish brown;
under surface silvery grey, becoming very dark on the external web of
the outer feather; the inner webs of these feathers fine rufous, crossed
by numerous bands, which at first appear of a darker tint, but on close
inspection prove to be perfectly transparent; the margin of the inner
web and tips black; bill and nostrils black; irides blackish brown; bare
space round the eye blackish lead-colour; legs and feet black, the
scales mealy.

The female differs in wanting the singularly formed tail, and in having
the bare space round the eye less extensive and less brilliantly
coloured.

The Plate represents the two sexes, about half the natural size.

[Illustration:

  PSOPHODES CREPITANS: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                  PSOPHODES CREPITANS, _Vig. & Horsf._
                            Coach-whip Bird.

  _Muscicapa crepitans_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. li.

  _Coach-whip Flycatcher_, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 222.

  _Coach-whip Honey-eater_, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. iv. p. 187.

  _Psophodes crepitans_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 329.

  _Djou_, Aborigines of New South Wales.


This bird, so renowned for the singularity of its note, is very abundant
in many parts of New South Wales, to which portion of the Australian
continent it appears to be confined, as I have never met with it in
collections from any other part of the country. It is to be found only
in dense brushes, such as those at Maitland, Manning, Illawarra, and the
cedar brushes of the Liverpool range; in fact, the localities that are
suitable to the _Menura_ and the Wattled Talegalla, are congenial to the
habits of the Coach-whip Bird, which in some degree assimilate to those
of the former; and the loud full note of this bird, ending sharply like
the cracking of a whip, with which the woods are constantly
reverberating, appeared to me, although very dissimilar, to be analogous
to the peculiar call of the _Menura_; and I would further remark that a
great resemblance is observable in the structure of the two birds.

The Coach-whip Bird is a shy and recluse species, for although its full
notes indicate its presence, it rarely exposes itself to view, but
generally keeps in the midst of the densest foliage and among the
thickest climbing plants, frequenting alike those that have intertwined
themselves with the branches of the tallest shrubs, and those that form
almost impenetrable masses near the ground, and through which it threads
its way with the utmost ease. In these arboreal habits it less resembles
_Menura_ than in other parts of its economy. It is extremely animated
and sprightly in all its actions, raising its crest and spreading its
tail in the most elegant manner, generally carrying this organ slightly
raised, but never elevating it in the grotesque style of the Blue Wrens
(_Maluri_). These actions become even more animated during the spring,
when the males may often be seen chasing each other, frequently stopping
to pour out their notes with great volubility, making the brushes ring
for a considerable distance around them, and displaying themselves to
the greatest advantage.

The food consists of insects of various kinds, obtained almost entirely
from the ground, and sought for by scratching up the leaves and turning
over the small stones, precisely after the manner of the _Menura_.

Independently of its peculiar whistle, which must be heard to be
understood, as it is impossible to convey an idea of it by words, it
possesses a low inward song of considerable melody.

The rounded form of the wings and graduated tail, as well as the
softness of the feathers of the back, have induced some authors to
consider it to be allied to the Bush Shrikes of America (_Thamnophili_);
but the structure of its bill, which is so essentially different, being
totally devoid of the notch on both the mandibles, must have been
overlooked, and in no one of its habits or actions does it assimilate to
those birds.

The sexes are much alike in colour, but may be readily distinguished by
the more obscure plumage, and lesser size of the female. The young of
the first year are of a much browner hue, a character of plumage that
soon gives place to the adult livery. Of its nidification I regret to
say I know nothing, although I paid great attention to the subject
myself, and offered rewards for its nest and eggs, and for any
information respecting them.

The male has the head, ear-coverts, chin and breast black; a large patch
of white on each side of the neck, all the upper surface, wings, flanks,
and base of the tail-feathers olive-green; the remaining portion of the
tail-feathers black, the three lateral feathers on each side tipped with
white; under surface olive-brown, some of the feathers on the centre of
the abdomen tipped with white, and forming a conspicuous irregular
patch; irides brownish red; bill, inside and out, and base of the tongue
black; feet reddish brown.

The Plate represents the male and female of the natural size, on the
branch of a plant growing abundantly in the brushes of the Hunter, with
the scientific name of which I am not acquainted, but which is called
the Cherry by the colonists.

[Illustration:

  PSOPHODES NIGROGULARIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                    PSOPHODES NIGROGULARIS, _Gould_.
                       Black-throated Psophodes.

  _Psophodes nigrogularis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., January 23,
            1844.


The addition of a second species to the genus _Psophodes_ will be hailed
with pleasure by every one who makes the science of ornithology a matter
of study; nor will its discovery be a subject of surprise to us, as it
is only another illustration of that beautiful law of representation
which is conspicuously carried out in Australia. The habitat of the
present bird will doubtless be hereafter found to be as strictly
confined to the western part of the continent as that of the _P.
crepitans_ is to the eastern. As yet only a single example has reached
me, and in all probability no other specimen has ever fallen by the gun
of any individual. It is to Mr. Gilbert’s perseverance that science is
indebted for the knowledge of this new bird, and his notes which
accompanied the specimen (a male) I here transcribe:—“Inhabits thickets
of a small species of _Leptospermum_ growing among the sand hills which
run parallel with and adjacent to the beach. It utters a peculiar harsh
and grating song which it is quite impossible to describe, and which is
so different from that of every other bird I ever heard or am acquainted
with, that I shall have no difficulty in recognizing it again wherever I
may hear it. I heard it for the first time, together with the notes of
many other birds equally strange to me, in the vicinity of the Wongan
Hills a few weeks back, but could not then obtain a sight of the bird,
although I knew from its singular and never to be mistaken note that it
was only a few yards from me.”

Plumage of the upper surface olive; under surface ashy, passing into
brown on the flanks and white on the centre of the abdomen; primaries
brown; tail light olive-brown, the four lateral feathers crossed near
the extremity with a hand of black, and tipped with white; throat deep
black, with a stripe of white from the angle of the lower mandible, just
within the black; bill dark horn-colour; irides dark brown; feet dark
horn-colour.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  SPHENOSTOMA CRISTATUM: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                    SPHENOSTOMA CRISTATUM, _Gould_.
                          Crested Wedge-bill.

  _Sphenostoma cristatum_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p.
            150.—Ib. Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


Several years have now elapsed since I published the characters of this
bird in the “Zoological Proceedings,” and a figure of the head in my
“Synopsis.” I had little or nothing to communicate respecting its
history at that time, and I regret to say that the interval has not
added to my knowledge of the subject. The specimen from which my
description and figure were originally taken was a female; and although
the male differs but little in its outward appearance, still the rather
more produced form of the bill supplies a key as to what tribe of birds
it appears to be most nearly allied, that of _Psophodes_; at the same
time it must be admitted, that the affinity is somewhat remote, and it
may be that my conclusions are not well-founded: a knowledge of its
habits will materially assist in clearing up this point.

It is an inhabitant of the low scrubby trees and _Polygonum_, bushes
which stud the hot plains of the interior of Australia, particularly
those on the borders of the Lachlan and Darling: Mr. Charles Coxen has
also killed it on the Lower Namoi, but could tell me nothing of its
habits. Whether it has any kind of loud sharp whistle analogous to that
of the Coach-whip-bird (_Psophodes crepitans_), or if it has the same
shy disposition, it would be interesting to ascertain; and to these
points, as well as to all other details connected with its history, I
would call the attention of those who may visit the interior, or may
otherwise be favourably situated for observing them. The sombre tints of
the bird are very like the colour of the earth of the plains it
inhabits; and when the nature of its food shall have been ascertained,
its wedge-shaped bill will doubtless be found admirably adapted for
procuring it.

General plumage brown, lighter beneath; chin and centre of the abdomen
greyish white; wings dark brown, edged with pale brown, the fourth and
fifth primaries conspicuously margined with white; four centre
tail-feathers dark brown, indistinctly barred with a still darker hue;
the remainder brownish black, largely tipped with white; bill blackish
brown; feet lead-colour.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS CYANEUS: _Vieill._

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                       MALURUS CYANEUS, _Vieill._
                               Blue Wren.

  _Sylvia cyanea_, Lath. Ind. Orn., vol. ii. p. 545.

  _Motacilla cyanea_, Gmel. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 991.

  —— _superba_, Shaw, Nat. Misc., pl. 10.

  _Superb Warbler_, Shaw in White’s Voy., pl. in p. 256, upp. fig.—Ib.
            Gen. Zool., vol. x. p. 754. pl. 58.—Lath. Gen. Hist., vol.
            vii. p. 117, but not the plate.

  _Malurus cyaneus_, Vieill. Gal. des Ois., p. 265. pl. 163.—Vig. &
            Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 221.—Jard. and Selb.
            Ill. Orn., vol. ii. pl. 72. fig. 3.—Gould, Syn. Birds of
            Australia, Part I.

  _Superb Warbler_, _Blue Wren_, etc., of the colonists.


Of the lovely group of birds forming the genus _Malurus_, the present
species is the oldest known, being that figured in White’s Voyage to New
South Wales, under the name of Superb Warbler, a term by which the bird
is still familiarly known in Australia. It is abundantly dispersed over
every portion of the colony of New South Wales, and I observed it to be
equally numerous on the plains of the interior to the northward; but how
far its range may extend in that direction, can only be determined when
those parts of the continent shall have been fully explored. I also
killed specimens in South Australia, which I then believed to be
identical with the present bird; but on comparison since my return, I
find them to be more nearly allied to the _Malurus longicaudus_, at the
same time possessing characters different from either; a further
knowledge of the South Australian bird is therefore necessary, before I
can determine to which it is referable, or if it may not be distinct
from both.

The kind of country to which the _Malurus cyaneus_ gives preference is
of a wild and sterile character, thinly covered with low scrubby
brushwood, especially localities of this description situated near the
borders of rivers and ravines. During the months of winter it associates
in small troops, of from six to eight in number, probably the brood of a
single pair; it is of a very wandering disposition, and although never
migrating to any great distance, is continually traversing the district
in which it was bred, retiring at night-fall to roost in the accustomed
haunt. At this period of the year the plumage of the sexes is so nearly
alike, that a minute examination is requisite to distinguish them, and
hence has risen the supposition that there was but one male to several
females. The old males, however, have at all seasons the bill black,
whereas the young males during the first year, and the females, have
this organ always brown; the tail-feathers also, which with the
primaries are only moulted once a year, are of a deeper blue in the male
than in the other sex. As spring advances they separate into pairs, the
male undergoing a total transformation, not only in the colour, but also
in the texture of its plumage; indeed, a more astonishing change can
scarcely be imagined, its plain and unassuming garb being thrown off for
a few months and another assumed, which for resplendent beauty is hardly
surpassed by any of the feathered race, certainly by none but the
Humming-birds and Cotingas of America: nor is the change confined to the
plumage alone, but extends also to its habits; in fact, its whole
character and nature appear to have received a new impulse; the little
creature now displaying great vivacity, proudly showing off its gorgeous
attire to the utmost advantage, and pouring out its animated song
unceasingly, until the female has completed her task of incubation, and
the craving appetites of its newly-hatched young call forth a new
feeling, and give its energies a new direction. After satisfying myself
that the gaily-adorned plumage of the male is only assumed during the
summer season, I endeavoured to ascertain at what periods these changes
take place, and I found that the adult males generally begin to assume
their blue dress in March, and to throw it off again for their winter
garb in August; but although the greater number undergo their periodical
change simultaneously, still individuals may occasionally be met with in
their brilliant plumage even in the depth of winter, owing to some
peculiar circumstance having caused them to retain it later than usual,
or having induced them to assume it at a much earlier period.

During the winter months no bird can be more tame and familiar,
frequenting the gardens and shrubberies of the settler, and hopping
about their houses as if desirous to court, rather than shun, the
presence of man; but the male, when adorned with his summer plumage,
becomes more shy and retiring, appearing to have an instinctive
consciousness of the danger to which his beauty subjects him;
nevertheless they will frequently build their little nest and rear their
young in the most populous places. Several broods are reared annually in
the Botanic Garden at Sydney, and I saw a pair busily employed in
constructing their nest in a tree close to the door of the Colonial
Secretary’s Office in that town. The short and rounded wing
incapacitates it for protracted flight, but the amazing facility with
which it is enabled to pass over the surface of the ground fully
compensates for this deficiency: this mode of progression is scarcely to
be called running, but is rather a succession of bounding hops,
performed with great rapidity: while thus employed its tail is carried
perpendicularly or thrown forward over the back; in fact, except during
flight, this organ is rarely, if ever, carried horizontally.

The breeding-season continues from September to January, during which
period at least two, if not three, broods are reared: the young of one
being scarcely old enough to provide for themselves, before the female
again commences laying: independently of rearing her own young, she is
also the foster-parent of the Bronze Cuckoo (_Chalcites lucidus_), a
single egg of which species is frequently found deposited in her nest;
but by what means, is, as in the case of the European Cuckoo, unknown.

The nest, which is dome-shaped, with a small hole at the side for an
entrance, is generally constructed of grasses, lined with feathers or
hair: the site chosen for its erection is usually near the ground, in a
secluded bush, tuft of grass, or under the shelter of a bank. The eggs
are generally four in number, of a delicate flesh-white, sprinkled with
spots and blotches of reddish brown, which are more abundant, and form
an irregular zone at the larger extremity: they are eight lines long by
five and a half broad.

The song is a hurried strain impossible to describe, but somewhat
resembling that of the Wren of Europe, a bird to which the _Maluri_ also
assimilate in many of their actions.

The stomach is muscular, and the food consists of insects of various
kinds, collected on the ground, the trunks of fallen trees, etc.

The male in summer has the crown of the head, ear-coverts and a
lunar-shaped mark on the upper part of the back light metallic blue;
lores, line over the eye, occiput, scapularies, back, rump and upper
tail-coverts velvety black; throat and chest bluish black, bounded below
by a band of velvety black; tail deep blue, indistinctly barred with a
darker hue and finely tipped with white; wings brown; under surface
buffy white, tinged with blue on the flanks; irides blackish brown; bill
black; feet brown.

The female has the lores and a circle surrounding the eye reddish brown;
upper surface, wings and tail brown; under surface brownish white; bill
reddish brown; feet fleshy brown.

The Plate represents two males and a female with the nest, the former
engaged in feeding a young Cuckoo.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS LONGICAUDUS: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     MALURUS LONGICAUDUS, _Gould_.
                           Long-tailed Wren.

  _Malurus longicaudus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 148.


This species offers so general a resemblance to the Superb Warbler (_M.
cyaneus_), that some ornithologists may still be inclined to consider it
identical with that species; there are, however, differences in their
characters which I find to be constant, and which are, I think, of
sufficient importance to justify their being separated. The examination
of great numbers of specimens enables me to affirm that the present
species has the blue markings much more intense, is superior in size,
and has a much longer tail. If the larger birds had been inhabitants of
a warmer climate, where insect food is more abundant, it would have
permitted the supposition that temperature had had some influence in
effecting this difference; but as exactly the reverse is the case, I
have been strengthened in my opinion of their being distinct, and have
accordingly given it a name; that of _longicaudus_ appearing to me the
most appropriate, as at once distinguishing it from the _Malurus
cyaneus_, in which that organ is much shorter. It is so universally
dispersed over Van Diemen’s Land, as well as the islands in Bass’s
Straits, that to particularize any one part of the former island where
it is found more than another would be vain, since it is present in
every gully, and every other place where low scrubby bushes and
underwood are to be met with: I have also received a single specimen in
its winter dress from Kangaroo Island, which I believe is referable to
this species. Active and cheerful, and possessing a sweet warbling song,
the present bird is as much a favourite in Van Diemen’s Land as the
Superb Warbler is in New South Wales, and, like its congener, in the
winter season it is equally tame and familiar. It is subject to the same
changes of plumage, and its whole economy is so similar as to render a
separate description unnecessary. Its nest is also similarly
constructed, but is rather of a larger size; it is usually composed of
grasses and leaves warmly lined with feathers, and in some instances
with the fur of the Kangaroo and Opossum; and placed either in a small
bush near the ground, or artfully built in a tuft of grass. The season
of reproduction commences in August and lasts until January, during
which time two or three broods are reared. Like the _M. cyaneus_, it is
also the foster-parent of the Bronze Cuckoo (_Chalcites lucidus_). The
eggs, which bear a similar character, but proportionately larger than
those of the _M. cyaneus_, are four or five in number, of a flesh-white,
blotched and spotted with markings of reddish brown, particularly at the
larger end, where they form an irregular zone: they are nearly nine
lines long by six and a quarter broad.

The long legs of this species admirably adapt it for the ground, and for
traversing the fallen trunks of trees, along which, with tail erect, it
passes with the utmost activity: it is also frequently to be observed
among the low trees and bushes, the male often selecting a small
prominent bare twig, whereon to perch and warble forth his animated
song.

Its food consists of insects of various kinds, which are generally taken
on the ground: the stomach is muscular, and was frequently found to
contain grains of small sand intermingled with its natural food.

The male in summer has the crown of the head, ear-coverts and a broad
lunar-shaped mark on the upper part of the back metallic blue; lores,
line over the eye, occiput, scapularies, back, rump, and upper
tail-coverts velvety black; throat and chest bluish black, bounded below
by a band of velvety black; tail dark blue, indistinctly barred with a
darker hue and finely tipped with white; wings brown; under surface
buffy white, tinged with blue on the flanks; irides blackish brown; bill
black; feet brown.

The female has the lores and a circle surrounding the eye reddish brown;
upper surface, wings and tail brown; under surface brownish white; bill
reddish brown; feet fleshy brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

The beautiful Creeper introduced into the Plate is the _Billardiera
longiflora_.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS MELANOTUS: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      MALURUS MELANOTUS, _Gould_.
                           Black-backed Wren.

  _Malurus melanotus_, Gould in Proceedings of Zool. Soc., November 10,
            1840.


The only place in which I observed this extremely rare species was the
Belts of the Murray in South Australia; but although it was there
tolerably abundant, it was so extremely shy and distrustful, that the
few specimens in my collection, and which in all probability are the
only examples in Europe, were obtained with the greatest difficulty. It
was most frequently observed on the ground, particularly in the small
open glades and little plains by which the outer belt of this vast scrub
is diversified. The period of my visit was in winter, consequently the
specimens I collected were all out of colour, or more properly speaking,
divested of the rich blue and black plumage of summer, in which state a
single specimen has been forwarded to me by one of the party that
accompanied His Excellency Colonel Gawler and Captain Sturt, when those
gentlemen visited the Murray in 1839. It is a most interesting species,
inasmuch as it possesses characters intermediate between the _M.
cyaneus_ and _M. splendens_, having the blue belly and conspicuous
pectoral band of the latter and the black back of the former; from both,
however, it differs in the length of its toes, which are much shorter
than those of its near allies: this difference in structure exerts a
corresponding influence upon its habits and actions; for while the
others run over the ground with great facility, the Black-backed Wren
far exceeds them in this power; hence arose the great difficulty of
procuring specimens. Instead of exerting any power of flight, they
effected their escape by the extraordinary manner with which they
tripped over the small openings and through the scrub, each troop
appearing to have a leader, and keeping just beyond the range of the
gun: this shyness was rather remarkable, since I and my party were
probably the only white persons they had ever encountered; like the
Chestnut-backed Ground Thrush, they would appear to have an instinctive
dread of man.

The male in summer has the crown of the head, chin, throat, abdomen,
upper part of the back, upper and under tail-coverts beautiful metallic
blue; ear-coverts verditer-blue; lores, back of the neck, band across
the breast and lower part of the back velvety black; external margins of
all the wing-feathers green; tail bluish green, indistinctly barred with
a darker tint, and slightly tipped with white; bill black; irides and
legs blackish brown.

The female has the lores and circle surrounding the eye reddish brown;
all the upper surface brown; under surface brownish white; wings brown;
tail green, each feather slightly tipped with white; bill reddish brown;
feet brown.

The male in winter has the bill black, like the _M. cyaneus_.

The figure is that of a male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS SPLENDENS.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                           MALURUS SPLENDENS.
                              Banded Wren.

  _Saxicola splendens_, Quoy et Gaim., Voy. de l’Astrol., Zool., tom. i.
            p. 197. pl. 10. fig. 1.

  _Malurus pectoralis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part I. p. 106.

  _Djur-jeel-ya_ of the Aborigines of the lowland, and _Jeer-jal_ of the
            Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western Australia.


This species may very justly be considered as more gorgeous and
resplendent than any other of its race, its whole plumage sparkling with
beautiful shining metallic lustres, beyond the power of our pencil to
imitate in a drawing. At the time I gave a description of this little
beauty in 1837, I was totally unaware that it had been previously
published in France, and I am gratified that an opportunity is now
afforded me to correct my error, and to figure it under the very
appropriate specific title conferred upon it by Messrs. Quoy and
Gaimard.

The _Malurus splendens_ is an inhabitant of the western coast of
Australia; but over what extent of country it may range cannot be
ascertained, until the further progress of geographical research in this
portion of Australia enables us to solve the problem. It is, I believe,
very generally distributed over the Swan River settlement, where I am
informed it inhabits scrubby places and underwood, sallying forth over
the more dry and open forest during the day, and choosing, as Mr.
Gilbert thinks, swampy places to roost in; at least he observed it
returning to such situations in great numbers in the evening just before
dark; and he moreover states, that not more than two males, or rather
birds in colour, were observed to five females, or birds in the brown
plumage; for, like the other members of the genus, the gorgeous
colouring is only seasonal.

Its song very nearly resembles that of the Van Diemen’s Land species,
_M. longicaudus_. It breeds in September and the three following months:
the nest is constructed of dried, soft grasses, and lined either with
hair, wool or feathers, is of a dome-shape, the cover of the top
resembling the peak of a cap, and is about six or eight inches in
height: the eggs are generally four in number, of flesh-white, thickly
blotched and freckled with reddish brown, especially at the larger end;
eight and a quarter lines long by six and a quarter lines broad. The
situation of the nest is much varied, being sometimes built among the
hanging clusters of the stinkwood tree, at others among the upright
reeds growing just above the water’s edge on the borders of lakes and
the banks of rivers.

The stomach is muscular, and its food consists of insects of various
kinds.

The male in its summer dress has the crown of the head, back,
scapularies, and upper tail-coverts deep metallic blue; ear-coverts
verditer-blue; throat and all the under surface deep shining
violet-blue; lores, crescent-shaped mark across the chest and back of
the neck deep velvet-black; external edges of the wing-feathers green;
tail greenish blue, indistinctly barred with a darker tint; bill black;
eyes and feet blackish brown.

The female has the bill, lores and circle round the eyes reddish brown;
crown of the head and all the upper surface brown; the external margins
of the wing-feathers slightly tinged with green; tail as in the male,
but paler, and slightly tipped with white.

The Plate represents a male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS ELEGANS: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                       MALURUS ELEGANS, _Gould_.
                             Graceful Wren.

  _Malurus elegans_, Gould, Birds of Australia, Part I. Aug. 1837.

  _Djur-jeel-ya_, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western
            Australia.


This is not only the largest species of the genus yet discovered, but
may be considered as one of the most beautiful and elegant of its race:
the delicate verditer-blue of the centre of the back, and the larger
size and more spatulate form of its tail-feathers, at once distinguish
it from _Malurus Lamberti_, the species to which it is most nearly
allied. It is an inhabitant of the western coast of Australia; all the
specimens I possess were collected at Swan River, where it is tolerably
abundant. Mr. Gilbert states, that although in its economy it very
closely resembles _M. splendens_, it nevertheless differs from that
species in the nature of the localities it frequents, which are usually
swampy situations, while _M. splendens_ is more generally spread over
all parts of the country. It is also said to differ slightly in its
song, in commencing with one distinct note and then singing precisely
like the former.

The nest, which is neither characterized by neatness nor compactness, is
dome-shaped, with a hole in the side for an entrance, and is generally
formed of the thin paper-like bark of the Tea-tree (_Melaleuca_), and
lined with feathers: it is also usually suspended to the foliage of this
tree, and occasionally to that of other shrubs which grow in its
favourite localities. The eggs are four in number, of a delicate
flesh-white freckled with spots of reddish brown, which are much thicker
at the larger end; they are about eight lines long and six lines broad.
The breeding-season commences in September and continues during the
three following months.

The food consists of insects.

The males are subject to the same law relative to the seasonal change of
plumage as the _Malurus cyaneus_, and the other members of the group.

The male has the forehead, ear-coverts, sides of the face and occiput
rich verditer-blue; centre of the back light verditer-blue; scapularies
chestnut; throat, chest, back of the neck and rump deep velvety black,
the throat in certain lights tinged with blue; wings brown; abdomen and
under tail-coverts huffy white; tail dull bluish green, crossed by
numerous indistinct bars, seen only in some positions, and very slightly
tipped with white; bill black; eyes and feet blackish brown.

The female has all the upper surface and wings brown; throat and under
surface buff-white; tail as in the male, but more dull, and devoid of
the white at the extremity of the feathers; bill dull reddish brown,
lighter beneath; space between the bill and eyes reddish brown; legs
brown.

The figures are of the natural size, on the _Isopogon alternatus_.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS PULCHERRIMUS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                     MALURUS PULCHERRIMUS, _Gould_.
                            Beautiful Wren.

  _Malurus pulcherrimus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XII. p.
            106.


A more beautiful bird than the present species, which must be regarded
as the representative in Western Australia of the _Malurus Lamberti_,
can scarcely be imagined. It is moreover an evidence that this hitherto
unexplored portion of the country is not less rich in interesting
productions than are those parts which have been much longer known to
us.

The _Malurus pulcherrimus_ is very nearly allied to the _M. Lamberti_,
but is of a larger size, and also differs from that species in having
the throat and breast of a rich deep blue instead of black.

For a knowledge of this species I am indebted to the researches of Mr.
Gilbert, who informs me that “it appears to be exclusively confined to
the thickets of the interior of Western Australia; in habits and manners
it greatly resembles the other members of the genus, but its nest is
somewhat smaller than that of either of them. A nest found on the 28th
of October, in the vicinity of the Wongan Hills, was placed on the upper
branches of a species of _Hakea_ about four feet from the ground; it
contained two newly-laid eggs, which resembled those of the other
species of the genus, but had the blotches very much larger.”

Crown of the head and a broad band across the centre of the back rich
glossy violet-blue; space surrounding the eye and the ear-coverts
verditer-blue; throat intense indigo-blue, bounded below by an
indistinct band of black; lores, collar surrounding the back of the
neck, and the lower part of the back, deep velvety black; scapularies
chestnut; wings brown; tail dull greenish blue, indistinctly barred with
a darker tint and slightly tipped with white; abdomen and under
tail-coverts white; bill and feet black; irides dark brown.

The figures represent two males and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS LAMBERTI: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                   MALURUS LAMBERTI, _Vig. & Horsf._
                            Lambert’s Wren.

  _Malurus Lamberti_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            221.—Jard. and Selb., Ill. Orn., vol. ii. pl. 72. fig.
            2.—Gould, Syn. Birds of Australia, Part I.

  _Superb Warbler_, White’s Journ., pl. in p. 256, low. fig.—Phillips,
            Voy., pl. in p. 157, male.

  _Variegated Warbler_, Lewin, Birds of New Holl., pl. xv.


Although far less common and much more local than _M. cyaneus_, this
species ranges over a greater extent of country, being an inhabitant of
most parts of New South Wales, the interior in the neighbourhood of the
Namoi and the north-west coast, whence I received several specimens,
forming part of an interesting collection kindly sent me by Mr. Dring. I
found it tolerably abundant on the Namoi, where it was sometimes
associated with its congener _M. cyaneus_.

In New South Wales the neighbourhood of Botany Bay is one of its most
favourite resorts, and it is occasionally seen near Sydney, and even in
the small gardens within the town. A beautiful specimen in the Museum of
this place was killed on the lawn in front of that establishment, which
is situated within the precincts of the town, and surrounded on all
sides by houses. It does not inhabit Van Diemen’s Land, nor did I
observe it in South Australia, or hear of its ever having been seen
there, neither have I received it from the colony of Swan River.

Lambert’s Superb Warbler is a species with which we have been long
acquainted, being figured in the early voyages to New South Wales as a
variety of _Malurus cyaneus_; but the only species with which it at all
assimilates in the disposition and colour of its markings is the _M.
elegans_ of Western Australia, of which it forms a beautiful analogue on
the eastern coast.

This is one of the few common birds of Australia of which I was not able
to find the nest; but its changes of plumage, nidification, the number
and colour of its eggs, are doubtless very similar to those of the other
members of its family. Its food consists of insects of various kinds,
which are sought for on the ground, over which it runs with great
facility.

The male has the forehead, ear-coverts, sides of the head and occiput
and centre of the back beautiful violet-blue; throat, breast, crescent
across the upper part of the back and rump black; scapularies chestnut;
wings brown; abdomen white, tinged with brown on the flanks; tail dull
greenish blue, indistinctly barred with a darker tint, and lightly
tipped with white; bill black; eyes and feet dark brown.

The female has the body dull brown; the throat and under surface much
paler; tail-feathers as in the male, but less bright; bill and space
round the eye reddish brown; feet brown.

The Plate represents a male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS LEUCOPTERUS: _Quoy & Gaim._

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                  MALURUS LEUCOPTERUS, _Quoy & Gaim._?
                           White-winged Wren.

  _Malurus leucopterus_, Quoy et Gaim. Zool. de l’Uranie, p. 108. pl.
            23. fig. 2.?—Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 222.

  _Amytis leucopterus_, Less. Traité d’Orn., p. 454.


I regret that I have not been able to clear up the doubt which exists in
my mind, whether the present beautiful bird is or is not distinct from
the one figured by Messrs. Quoy and Gaimard in the “Voyage de l’Uranie,”
since on applying at the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes, for the
purpose of examining the original specimen, it could not be found: the
figure above-quoted, if intended for the present bird, is by no means
correct, and it is, moreover, said to be from Dirk Hatich’s Island, on
the western coast, a locality very distant from those in which I found
the bird here represented; a circumstance which strengthens my belief
that they may be distinct: besides which, the bird I have figured is
supposed to be exclusively an inhabitant of the interior; I never even
observed it between the mountain ranges and the coast; it is therefore
scarcely probable that it should inhabit an island like that of Dirk
Hatich.

It was tolerably abundant in the patches of low scrub and grassy beds,
here and there scattered over the plains which stretch out to the
northward of the Liverpool range, and it was equally plentiful on the
Lower Namoi: that it extends as far as South Australia, is proved by my
having received its nest and eggs from that part of the continent.

It was usually seen either in pairs or in small troops, and evinced so
much shyness of disposition as to render the acquisition of specimens a
task of no little difficulty, particularly of the full-plumaged male,
who appeared to be conscious that the display of his gorgeously-coloured
dress might lead to his detection. Its powers of flight are not great,
but this is fully compensated for by the extraordinary manner in which
it threads the bushes, and passes over the surface of the ground in a
series of hopping bounds, whereby it readily eludes pursuit. The most
successful mode of obtaining it is to ascertain the precise spot in
which it is located, to approach it cautiously, and to remain silent for
a short time, when the male will soon show himself by hopping out from
the bush; the restless nature of his disposition not admitting of his
remaining long concealed.

The beautifully contrasted colours of blue and white, represented in our
Plate, is a merely seasonal dress assumed in spring, and continued
throughout the breeding-season, which commences in August and terminates
in January; before and after this season male birds may be seen in every
stage of colouring, from plain uniform brown to that of the perfect
livery.

The nest is composed of grasses, rather large and dome-shaped, with a
hole near the top for an entrance. The one sent me from South Australia
contained two eggs, one of which was the Bronze Cuckoo’s, thus showing
that this little bird is also the foster-parent of those birds. The
number of eggs laid by the _Malurus leucopterus_ is in all probability
four; the one I possess is flesh-white, finely freckled with reddish
brown, forming a zone at the larger end, and is eight lines long by six
lines broad.

The male has the whole of the head, body above and beneath, and the tail
beautiful deep blue; scapularies, wing-coverts and tertiaries
snow-white; primaries brown, with their external edges silvery green;
bill black; feet brown; eyes dark brown.

The female has the crown of the head, and all the upper surface and
flanks brown; throat and abdomen white, faintly washed with brown;
external edges of the primaries and tail pale greenish blue; bill
reddish brown.

The Plate represents the male and female of the natural size; the Plant
is the _Brunonia Australis_.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS MELANOCEPHALUS: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                MALURUS MELANOCEPHALUS, _Vig. & Horsf._
                           Black-headed Wren.

  _Scarlet-lacked Warbler_, Lewin, Birds of New Holl., pl. xiv.

  _Malurus melanocephalus_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            222.

  _Malurus Brownii_, Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn., vol. ii. pl. 72. fig. 1.


In their “Illustrations of Ornithology,” Sir William Jardine and Mr.
Selby have in a very laudable manner endeavoured to clear up what they
considered some confusion respecting the present and the preceding
species, _M. Brownii_. These gentlemen have, however, fallen into error
in considering the two birds as identical, whereas they are, in fact,
totally distinct.

I have never seen the Black-headed Wren from any other locality than New
South Wales, and I am consequently led to believe that the south-eastern
portion of Australia is its peculiar and limited habitat. It is a local
species, not being generally diffused over the face of the country, like
several other members of the group, but confined to grassy ravines and
gullies, particularly those that lead down from the mountain ranges. I
obtained several pairs of adult birds in very fine plumage in the
valleys under the Liverpool range, all of which I discovered among the
high grasses which there abound; but as the period of my visit was that
of their breeding-season, I never observed more than a pair together,
each pair being always stationed at some distance from the other, and in
such parts of the gullies as were studded with small clumps of scrubby
trees.

The Black-headed Wren has many actions in common with the _M. cyaneus_,
and like that species carries its tail erect: it also frequently perches
on a stem of the most prominent grasses, where it displays its
richly-coloured back, and pours forth its simple song. I did not succeed
in finding the nest, although I knew they were breeding around me: it
was probably placed among the grasses, but was so artfully concealed
that it completely baffled my efforts at finding it.

One might suppose the greater development of feather on the back of this
species to have been given it as a defence against the damp and dense
grasses of the ravines, among which it usually resides; but from the
circumstance of the female not possessing this character of plumage, and
the rich garb being only seasonal in the male, this supposition falls to
the ground. In their winter dress the sexes very nearly resemble each
other; but the males may always be distinguished by the black colouring
of the bill and tail-feathers. The young male of the year has the
tail-feathers brown, like the females, and it is a curious fact, that at
this age these feathers are much longer than in the adult.

The flight of this species is feeble and not protracted; but, on the
contrary, its powers of running and creeping are very considerable.

The breeding-season probably commences in September and continues until
January; its food is insects of various kinds.

The male has the head, all the under surface, wing-coverts, upper
tail-coverts and tail deep velvety black; back of the neck, scapularies
and remainder of the upper surface rich orange-scarlet; bill black; eyes
blackish brown; feet fleshy brown.

Female brown above, paler beneath; bill brown; base of the under
mandible reddish brown; feet flesh-brown.

The Plate represents male and female in the summer plumage, and a young
male in change, on one of the native grasses of New South Wales.

[Illustration:

  MALURUS BROWNII: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                    MALURUS BROWNII, _Vig. & Horsf._
                             Brown’s Wren.

  _Malurus Brownii_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 223.

  _Malurus cruentatus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VII. p. 143.


Among the species of which I sent home characters from New South Wales,
for publication in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society, was the
present pretty bird, to which I gave the specific name of _cruentatus_;
upon comparison, however, of my specimens with the _Malurus Brownii_ in
the Linnean Society’s Collection, I find they are identical,
consequently my name must sink into a synonym. Mr. Brown, who was the
donor of the Linnean Society’s specimen, obtained his bird near Broad
Sound, on the eastern coast; while those from which my description was
taken were procured on the north-west, and formed part of the collection
placed at my disposal by the officers of the Beagle. It differs from
_Malurus melanocephalus_ in the more intense and deep blood-red of the
back, and, as Messrs. Vigors and Horsfield justly observe, it is much
less in size.

Of its habits and economy, or the situations to which it gives
preference, no information has yet been obtained; but we may reasonably
suppose, that two species so nearly resembling each other in structure
and colour as _M. Brownii_ and _M. melanocephalus_ do not greatly differ
in their habits.

I have lately received an account of its being common at Port Essington;
and, as I have above stated, it is an inhabitant of the eastern and
north-western coasts; we may consequently conclude that its range
extends over the whole of the northern parts of the Australian
continent.

The male in summer has the head, neck, wings, all the under surface and
tail black; primaries and secondaries brown; back and shoulders fine
crimson; bill black; legs fleshy brown.

The female is uniform light brown, the abdomen inclining to white; bill
and feet light brown.

The Plate represents a male and female, on the _Bæckia linifolia_.

[Illustration:

  AMYTIS TEXTILIS: _Lefs:_

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                            AMYTIS TEXTILIS.
                             Textile Wren.

  _Malurus textilis_, Quoy et Gaim. Zool de l’Uranie, p. 107. pl. 23.
            fig. 1.


The birds figured in this and the following Plate differ from each other
considerably in plumage, as well as in the structure of the bill, that
organ in the present bird being shorter and more robust than in _Amytis
striatus_.

Of the Textile Wren I killed and dissected many examples, but of the
following I only procured a single specimen, and never met with it but
in this one instance. I have considered it necessary to state this, as
it would have been more satisfactory to me to have had further proofs
from actual dissection and comparison, of their being really distinct,
although I have little doubt that such is the case. The bird figured in
the “Voyage de l’Uranie,” is doubtless referable to the one represented
on the opposite Plate, while that figured by M. Lesson in the Atlas to
his “Traité d’Ornithologie,” and which seems to have been the subject
from which he took his generic characters and description, as clearly
belongs to _A. striatus_.

The only place in which I observed the Textile Wren was the plains
bordering the Lower Namoi; and that its range extends far to the
northward and westward is certain, from the fact of the specimen figured
in the “Voyage” above-quoted having been procured on the north-west
coast.

In the various positions it assumes, in the elevated carriage of its
tail, and in its whole economy, it bears a close resemblance to the true
_Maluri_: like them also it wanders about in small troops of four or six
in number, always keeping within a short distance, and returning towards
the close of the day to its accustomed haunts. On the Lower Namoi, where
it is very abundant, it is found in all those parts of the plains that
are studded with scrubs and clumps of a low shrub-like tree, resembling
the Barilla of the coast, through and among which it creeps with
astonishing rapidity; indeed, its mode of progression on the ground is
such as no description can convey an accurate conception of, and must be
seen to be understood: I cannot perhaps compare it with anything, unless
with the motion of an India-rubber ball when thrown forcibly along the
ground. While stealing from bush to bush, with this rapid movement, its
head low and tail perfectly erect, it presents an exceedingly droll
appearance. Like many others of its family, it seldom employs the power
of flight.

Its food is insects of various kinds.

Of its nidification I have nothing to communicate: it doubtless builds a
dome-shaped nest, and in all probability lays four spotted eggs; but to
these points I would call the attention of those who are favourably
situated for observing them, as also to confirm or refute the opinion of
this and the following bird being distinct.

All the upper surface dark brown, each feather with a narrow stripe of
white down the centre; under surface the same, but much paler; flanks
and under surface of the shoulder rust-red; tail dark brown,
indistinctly barred with a still darker hue and edged with pale brown;
irides reddish hazel; base of lower mandible bluish horn-colour;
remainder of the bill black; feet flesh-brown.

The male I dissected was destitute of the rusty red colouring on the
flanks and under surface of the shoulder.

The Plate represents a male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  AMYTIS STRIATUS: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                            AMYTIS STRIATUS.
                             Striated Wren.

  _Amytis textilis_, Less. Traité d’Orn., p. 454. pl. 67. fig. 2.

  _Dasyornis striatus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VII. p. 143.


The only specimen I procured of this little bird in a recent state, was
shot while I was traversing the Lower Namoi; it appeared to give
preference to a loose sandy soil studded with high rank grass, which,
growing in tufts, left the interspaces quite bare: through the natural
labyrinth thus formed the Striated Wren ran with amazing rapidity, and
it was only by forcing it to take wing that I succeeded in killing the
one I obtained, which on dissection proved to be a male, and which
served for the upper figure in my Plate: the other figure is supposed to
represent the female; but as this can only be ascertained by the
internal examination of a recent specimen, and no opportunity for so
doing has yet occurred, this point must, for the present, remain
undecided. All the specimens I have seen from New South Wales were in
the red state of plumage, which goes far towards proving that this bird
is really distinct from _Amytis textilis_.

Nothing has yet been ascertained respecting its nidification: its food,
like that of the Textile Wren, consists of insects of various kinds.

Upper surface fine rusty red, each feather with a line of buffy white
bounded on each side by black down the centre; line beneath the eye
black; ear-coverts black, striated with white; wings and tail brown,
margined with light reddish brown; base of the primaries rust-red,
forming a conspicuous patch; chin and throat white; feathers of the
chest buffy white, with two lines of brown, one down each side the stem;
under surface rust-red, some of the feathers with a stripe of white down
the centre; tail dark brown, indistinctly barred with a still darker
tint, margined with lighter brown; irides hazel; bill dark horn-colour;
feet brownish lead-colour.

The Plate represents a male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  AMYTIS MACROURUS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                       AMYTIS MACROURUS, _Gould_.
                           Large-tailed Wren.

  _Amytis macrourus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Jan. 27, 1847.

  _Nyern-de_ and _Jee-ra_, Aborigines of the interior of Western
            Australia.


The present is the first species of the genus that has been discovered
in Western Australia; the two examples in my own collection are all that
I have yet seen; these were shot in the interior by Mr. Gilbert, who
states that “it inhabits the thickets, and is almost always on the
ground in families of from four to seven in number: it carries its tail
more erect than any other bird I have seen, and certainly no bird runs
or rather hops over the surface of the ground with greater rapidity.”

It is evidently the representative of the _Amytis textilis_ of the
eastern coast, to which it is very nearly allied, but from which, as
well as from the _A. striatus_, it may at once be distinguished by its
more robust form, and by the much greater length and size of its tail.

All the upper surface brown, each feather with a narrow stripe of white
down the centre; under surface the same, but much paler; under surface
of the shoulder pale rusty red; tail brown, margined with pale brown;
irides hazel; base of the lower mandible horn-colour, remainder of the
bill black; feet flesh-brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  STIPITURUS MALACHURUS: _Lefs_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     STIPITURUS MALACHURUS, _Less._
                               Emu Wren.

  _Muscicapa malachura_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., pl. lii.—Shaw, Gen.
            Zool., vol. x. p. 407.

  _Soft-tailed Flycatcher_, Linn. Trans., vol. iv. p. 242. pl. 21.—Lath.
            Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 224.

  _Malurus malachurus_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 224.

  _Stipiturus malachurus_, Less. Traité d’Orn., p. 415.

  _Soft-tailed Warbler_, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vii. p. 123.

  _Waw-gul-jelly_, Aborigines of New South Wales.

  _Djur-jeel-ya_, Aborigines of the lowlands of Western Australia.


This curious little bird has a wide distribution; since it inhabits the
whole of the southern portion of Australia, from Moreton Bay on the east
to Swan River on the west, including Tasmania. Among the places where it
is most numerous in the latter country, are the swampy grounds in the
neighbourhood of Recherche Bay in D’Entrecasteaux Channel, the meadows
at New Norfolk, Circular Head, and Flinder’s Island in Bass’s Straits;
on the continent of Australia, Botany Bay, and indeed all portions of
the country having a similar character are favoured with its presence.

In its actions it bears a close resemblance to the true _Maluri_, among
which it has been associated, but, as the nature of its plumage would
lead us to expect, it resorts to situations of a totally different
character; for while the more open forest is the favourite resort of the
_Maluri_, the Emu Wren is especially fond of low marshy districts,
covered with rank high grasses and rushes. It is a recluse little bird,
concealing itself from view by keeping near the ground in the midst of
the more dense parts of the grass beds, and very seldom showing itself.
Its extremely short round wings ill adapt it for flight, and this power
is consequently seldom employed, the bird depending for progression upon
its extraordinary capacity for running: in fact, when the grasses are
wet from dew or rain, its wings are rendered perfectly unavailable. On
the ground it is altogether as nimble and active, its creeping
mouse-like motions, and the extreme facility with which it turns and
bounds over the surface, enabling it easily to elude pursuit, and amply
compensating for the paucity of its powers of flight. The tail is
carried in an erect position, and is even occasionally retroverted over
the back.

The nest, which is a small ball-shaped structure, with rather a large
opening on one side, is composed of grasses lined with feathers, and
artfully concealed in a tuft of grass or low shrub. One that I found in
Recherche Bay contained three newly-hatched young: this being the only
nest I ever met with, I am unable to give any description of its eggs,
but I am informed they are always three in number.

The male is readily distinguished from the female by the blue colouring
of the throat, and by a somewhat greater development of the
tail-feathers. The decomposed or loose structure of these feathers, much
resembling those of the Emu, has suggested the colonial name of Emu Wren
for this species, an appellation singularly appropriate, inasmuch as it
at once indicates the kind of plumage with which the bird is clothed,
and the Wren-like nature of its habits.

The male has the crown of the head rust-red; upper surface brown, each
feather having a black mark down the centre; wing-feathers dark brown,
edged with rufous brown; chin and throat pale blue; sides of the neck
and all the under surface bright rufous; tail dark brown; irides reddish
brown; bill and feet brown.

The female differs from the male only in having the crown of the head
striated with blackish brown, and the throat rufous instead of blue.

The Plate represents a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  DASYORNIS AUSTRALIS: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                  DASYORNIS AUSTRALIS, _Vig. & Horsf._
                             Bristle-bird.

  _Dasyornis Australis_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            232.—Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn., vol. ii. pl. 73.


This bird inhabits reed-beds and thickets, particularly such as are
overgrown with creepers and rank vegetation; I believe it to be found
throughout New South Wales in all places suitable to its habits,
although, from the recluse nature of its disposition, it is a species
familiar to few, even of those who have been long resident in the
colony. I killed it at Illawarra, and other specimens were presented to
me by Mr. Stephen Coxen, which had been shot by him in New England, an
extensive district to the eastward of the Liverpool Plains. Its powers
of flight are very limited, but it threads the thickets and runs over
the ground with the greatest facility. It resembles the true _Maluri_
carrying the tail erect, as also in many other of its actions. I had no
opportunity of ascertaining whether or not it be migratory; but my own
impression is that it is stationary, since its powers of flight are
inadequate to enable it to pass over much extent of country, and the
thick brushes near the coast afford it ample shelter in winter.

I did not succeed in finding its nest, but in its nidification it
doubtless closely assimilates to the Long-billed Bristle-bird of the
western coast.

The sexes present no difference in plumage and but little in size; the
female is, however, rather the least.

The food consists of insects of various orders.

All the upper surface brown; wings, tail-coverts and tail rufous brown,
the latter indistinctly barred with a darker tint; under surface grey,
gradually passing into the brown of the upper surface; over the eye an
indistinct buffy stripe; irides brown; bill brown, becoming much lighter
on the lower mandible; legs greyish brown.

The Plate represents a male of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  DASYORNIS TENUIROSTRIS: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                    DASYORNIS LONGIROSTRIS, _Gould_.
                       Long-billed Bristle-bird.

  _Dasyornis longirostris_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p.
            170.

  _Djyr-dal-ya_, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western
            Australia.


The present species assimilates very closely in the character and
colouring of its plumage to its eastern analogue, the _Dasyornis
Australis_; but differs from that bird in being of a smaller size and in
having a longer bill. It is a native of Western Australia, and is very
generally distributed over the colony of Swan River, where it inhabits
reed-beds and long grasses, and is occasionally seen in scrubby places.
“It is so remarkably shy,” says Mr. Gilbert, “that it is extremely
difficult to get even a glimpse of it: from the little I could observe
of the bird in a state of nature, it appeared to me to feed on the
ground, where its actions are extremely quick, running over the surface
with its tail erect, very like the _Maluri_; but when perched the tail
is either carried horizontally, or hanging down. The only time when it
can be seen with a chance of procuring specimens, is when it ascends to
a small branch or the top of a scrub to sing. Its notes are extremely
varied, some being very loud and clear, and so much lengthened as to
approach a song; but no two birds sing alike.

“Its flight is extremely heavy and very low; in fact the bird appears
incapable of rising more than a few yards above the scrub or long grass
it inhabits; it is consequently very rarely seen on a tree.

“The nest is formed of dry wiry grass without any lining, more globular
than those of the _Maluri_, but, like them, with an opening in the side;
it is of rather a large size, and the only one I met with was built in a
clump of coarse grass, sheltered by an overhanging dead bush, at about
seven inches from the ground. It contained two eggs, the ground-colour
of which is dull brownish white, blotched and freckled with purplish
brown, some of the blotches appearing as if beneath the surface,
particularly at the larger end, where they are most numerous.

“The stomach is thick and muscular, and its food consists of seeds and
insects.”

The sexes so closely resemble each other, that a representation and
description of one will suffice for both.

All the upper surface brown; wings, tail-coverts and tail rufous brown,
the latter indistinctly barred with a darker tint; under surface grey,
gradually passing into the brown of the upper surface; irides bright
reddish brown; upper mandible brown, lower mandible bluish green at the
tip and greenish white at the base; legs bluish grey.

The Plate represents a male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ATRICHIA CLAMOSA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                       ATRICHIA CLAMOSA, _Gould_.
                           Noisy Brush-bird.

  _Atrichia clamosa_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., January 9, 1844.


Few of the novelties received from Australia are more interesting than
the species to which I have given the generic name of _Atrichia_. It is
one of the discoveries made by Mr. Gilbert, who met with it among the
dense scrubs of Western Australia, and who had his attention attracted
to it by its peculiar and noisy note long before he had an opportunity
of observing it; and it was only after many days of patient and
motionless watching among the scrubs that he succeeded in obtaining
specimens, and these unfortunately were shot at so short a distance from
his gun that they were all much mutilated. Future research will
doubtless furnish us with some highly interesting information respecting
the economy and history of this curious form, which is evidently
destined to tenant the most dense thickets and tangled beds of dwarf
trees, and consequently, from its recluse habits, rarely to meet the
gaze of civilized man.

The examples forwarded to me by Mr. Gilbert were killed between Perth
and Augusta in Western Australia, and were all males. The females will
doubtless, when discovered, prove to differ but little from their mates,
except that the black mark on the breast will not be so large or
conspicuous. I am led to offer this opinion from the circumstance of one
of the specimens sent being a young male, which usually resembles the
female during the first year, and in which this mark is less conspicuous
than in the others.

All the upper surface, wings and tail brown, each feather crossed by
several obscure crescent-shaped bars of brown; the inner webs of the
primaries very dark brown, without markings, and the tail freckled
instead of barred; throat and chest reddish white, with a large
irregular patch of black on the lower part of the throat; flanks brown;
abdomen and under tail-coverts rufous; bill horn-colour; irides dark
brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  SPHENŒACUS GALACTOTES.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                         SPHENŒACUS GALACTOTES.
                           Tawny Sphenœacus.

  _Malurus galactotes_, Temm. Pl. Col., 65.

  _Megalurus galactotes_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            228.


This is a scarce species in New South Wales, the few individuals I have
seen being-from the grassy districts of the Liverpool Plains; in all
probability, however, it ranges along the eastern and over the whole of
the northern portion of Australia. Mr. Gilbert’s notes inform me that he
found it “tolerably abundant on the islands at the head of Van Diemen’s
Gulf, where it inhabits the long grass or rushes growing in or adjacent
to the swamps; it is so shy that it is very rarely seen; when closely
hunted it takes wing, but flying appears to be a difficult action at all
times; at least I have never seen it sustain a flight of more than a
hundred yards at the utmost, and even in that short distance it seemed
ready to sink into the grass with fatigue. The only note I have heard it
emit is a harsh and rapidly repeated _chutch_. The stomachs of those I
dissected were extremely muscular, and contained the remains of insects
of various kinds and what appeared to be vegetable fibres.”

General plumage pale brown, deepening into rufous on the crown of the
head and fading into dull white on the throat and centre of the abdomen;
all the feathers of the upper surface with blackish brown centres;
secondaries blackish brown, broadly margined with pale brown; tail pale
brown, crossed with indistinct bars of a darker tint; irides light
brown; upper mandible olive-brown, the cutting edges light yellowish
white; lower mandible bluish white; tarsi and feet light reddish
flesh-colour.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  SPHENŒACUS GRAMINEUS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                     SPHENŒACUS GRAMINEUS, _Gould_.
                        Grass-loving Sphenœacus.

  _Sphenœacus gramineus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XIII. p.
            19.


Although the present species is very generally dispersed over the whole
of the southern portions of Australia and Van Diemen’s Land in all
situations suitable to its habits, it is as little known to the
colonists as if it were not in existence, which is readily accounted for
by its recluse nature and the localities it frequents, the thick beds of
grasses, rushes and other kinds of herbage growing in low, damp and wet
places on the mainland, and on such islands as those of Green and
Actæeon in D’Entrecasteaux’ Channel, being its favourite places of
resort. As may be supposed, it is a very shy species, and will almost
allow itself to be trodden upon before it will quit the place of its
concealment; in the open grassy beds of the flats it is more easily
driven from its retreat, but even then it merely flies a few yards and
then pitches again among the herbage. It would be very interesting to
know whether the habits above described accord with those of the other
members of the genus _Sphenœacus_, in which, with the concurrence of Mr.
Strickland, who instituted it, I have placed the present bird.

Its song consists of four or five plaintively uttered notes, repeated
five or six times in succession.

The nest is generally a very compact structure, and in Western Australia
is formed of the soft tops of the flowering part of the reeds, and the
thin skin-like coating of the reed-stalks, but occasionally of fine
swamp-grasses, always lined with feathers; in some instances two large
feathers are made to meet over the opening, which is near the top of the
nest, and thus protects the inside from cold or rain: it is attached to
two or three upright reeds about two feet from the surface of the water.
The eggs, which are laid during the months of August and September, are
four in number, nearly eight lines long and six lines broad; they are of
a fleshy white, freckled and streaked all over, particularly at the
larger end, with purplish red; in some instances large obscure blotches
of reddish grey appear as beneath the surface of the shell.

The sexes present no difference in size or colour, and there is scarcely
any variation in specimens from Van Diemen’s Land, Swan River and New
South Wales.

Stripe over the eye white; all the upper surface brown, the centre of
the feathers being dark brown; secondaries brownish black, margined with
buff; tail pale reddish brown, with dark brown shafts; under surface
grey, passing into black on the flanks and vent; each feather of the
breast with a very minute line of dark brown down the centre; bill and
tarsi fleshy brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACROCEPHALUS AUSTRALIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    ACROCEPHALUS AUSTRALIS, _Gould_.
                             Reed Warbler.

  _Reed Warbler_, Lewin, Birds of New Holland, pl. 18.


This bird does not inhabit Van Diemen’s Land, but is universally
dispersed among the sedgy sides of rivers and lagoons, both in South
Australia and New South Wales; I also observed it in great abundance on
the banks of all the rivers to the northward of Liverpool Plains in all
these localities; it is strictly migratory, arriving in September and
departing again before the commencement of winter. In its general
economy it closely resembles its European congeners, but possesses a
still louder and more melodious song, which it is continually pouring
forth and which tends much to enliven the monotony of the parts
frequented by it. It is rather a late breeder, scarcely ever beginning
this natural duty before the month of November. The nest, like that of
the Reed Warbler of Europe, is suspended from two or three reeds at
about two feet above the surface of the water, and is composed of the
soft skins of reeds and dried rushes. The eggs, which are four in
number, ten lines long by seven lines broad, are of a greyish white,
thickly marked all over with irregular blotches and markings of
yellowish brown, umber brown and bluish grey, intermingled together
without any appearance of order or arrangement.

The food consists of insects of various kinds.

The sexes are so precisely alike that dissection must be resorted to to
distinguish them.

All the upper surface olive-brown; wings and tail brown, margined with
olive-brown; all the under surface tawny or deep buff, fading into white
on the throat; under mandible fleshy white, remainder of the bill and
the legs olive horn-colour; irides brown.

The figure is of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACROCEPHALUS LONGIROSTRIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                  ACROCEPHALUS LONGIROSTRIS, _Gould_.
                       Long-billed Sedge-Warbler.

  _Calamoherpe longirostris_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XIII.
            p. 20.

  _Gooȑ-jee-gooȑ-jee_, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western
            Australia.


The present bird, which I have designated _longirostris_, is the largest
of the two species of _Acrocephalus_ known to inhabit Australia.

It is a native of the western portion of the country, where I learn from
Mr. Gilbert’s notes that “it is to be found in all the dense reed-beds
bordering the river and lakes around Perth, but is so shy, particularly
the female, that it scarcely ever shows itself above the reeds. I have
remarked also that it never wanders many yards from the nest, which is
placed on four or five upright reeds growing in the water at about two
feet from the surface. It is of a deep cup-shaped form, and is composed
of the soft skins of reeds and dried rushes. The breeding-season
comprises the months of August and September. The eggs are four in
number, of a dull greenish white, blotched all over, but particularly at
the larger end, with large and small irregularly shaped patches of
olive, some being darker than the others, the lighter-coloured ones
appearing as if beneath the surface of the shell; they are
three-quarters of an inch in length by five-eighths of an inch in
breadth.

“It is almost always singing both night and day, and its song is more
beautiful and melodious than that of any other Australian bird with
which I am acquainted; being in many parts very like and certainly not
inferior to that of the far-famed Nightingale of Europe.

“The stomach is tolerably muscular, and the food consists of
coleopterous and other kinds of insects.”

Faint line over the eye fawn-colour; all the upper surface reddish
brown, becoming more rufous on the upper tail-coverts; primaries and
tail deep brown, fringed with rufous; chin whitish; all the under
surface deep fawn-colour; irides yellowish brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  HYLACOLA PYRRHOPYGIA:

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                         HYLACOLA PYRRHOPYGIA.
                            Red-rumped Wren.

  _Acanthiza pyrrhopygia_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            227.


In some parts of its economy this bird closely resembles the _Maluri_
particularly in the upright position in which it carries its tail, in
the quick hopping motion with which it passes over the surface of the
ground, and the agility with which it trips along the horizontal
branches of the fallen trees. The situations most favourable to its
habits are open sterile spots, here and there studded with clumps of
brushes or dense herbage. The beds and sides of creeks, as well as the
crowns of stony hills, wherever they are scrubby, are also situations
favourable to its habits. I have always observed it either in pairs or
in small companies, probably the brood of a single pair, whose young
accompany them throughout the autumn like the _Maluri_.

Its song, which is by no means disagreeable, is poured forth while the
bird is perched upon some conspicuous part of a bush, or some little
spray among the branches of the large fallen trees, where it loves to
dwell, as on the approach of an intruder it can readily and effectually
secrete itself among the high grass and herbage which have grown up
amidst the branches. The facility with which it creeps among or threads
these little thickets is surprising. It rarely flies, but depends for
progression more upon the rapidity with which it can pass over the
ground, than upon the feeble powers of its small rounded wing.

This species may be regarded as a bird whose natural habitat is the
interior rather than the country near the coast; for although it does
occur in some districts of New South Wales on the sea side of the
dividing range, it is much more abundant on the northern or interior
side in all situations favourable to its existence. I found it on the
low bills to the north of the Liverpool Plains, as well as in most parts
of South Australia; I believe it is a stationary bird, as it appeared to
be equally numerous in summer and winter.

Of its nidification I have nothing to communicate, its nest not having
been discovered either by myself or by any of my party.

Its food consists of insects of various kinds, and like many
insectivorous birds, I believe it seldom if ever drinks, not even during
the greatest droughts.

The sexes present no visible difference in their plumage.

Crown of the head, all the upper surface, wings and tail brown; lower
part of the rump and upper tail-coverts chestnut-red; all but the two
centre tail-feathers crossed near the tip with a broad band of black,
beyond which the tips are greyish white; line over the eye and all the
under surface greyish white, each feather of the latter with a line of
black down the centre, except on the middle of the abdomen bill dark
brown; irides buffy white; legs flesh-brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  HYLACOLA CAUTA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                        HYLACOLA CAUTA, _Gould_.
                             Cautious Wren.

  _Hylacola cauta_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part X. p. 135.


The only locality in which I have seen this species is the great scrub
clothing the banks of the river Murray in South Australia, where it was
not uncommon, but so excessively shy that I obtained a single specimen
only during my stay in the district. Its timidity being so great, and
its natural habitat the more dense parts of the scrub, it is a species
which must for a long time be exceedingly scarce in our collections. The
individual killed was fired at within a few yards of where I stood, it
being impossible to sight it at a greater distance.

With the exception of its being even more shy, its whole habits and
economy appeared to be very similar to those of the preceding species
(_H. pyrrhopygia_). It carries its tail perfectly erect, and hops over
the ground and threads the bushes with the greatest alacrity; generally
keeping among the more dense parts of the low bushes, and only exposing
itself on the outermost twigs when desirous of pouring forth its song,
which is sweet and harmonious, and by which its presence is more
frequently detected than by any other means.

I could neither find the nest and eggs myself nor obtain any information
respecting them; but I have no doubt that when discovered the nest will
be found to be of a domed form, with a small hole for an entrance, and
the eggs very similar to those of the _Maluri_. In size the _H. cauta_
is rather less than the _H. pyrrhopygia_, has the markings of the under
surface much bolder, and the chestnut-coloured mark on the rump of a
much deeper tint.

Line from the base of the upper mandible along the side of the face and
over the eye white; above this a narrow line of black; crown of the head
and all the upper surface brown; upper and under tail-coverts bright
chestnut; wing-coverts brown, edged with brownish white; primaries
brown, with the outer web white at the base, forming a conspicuous spot
in the centre of the wing; tail blackish brown, tipped with white;
throat striated with black and white, produced by each feather being
black down the centre and fringed with white; flanks mottled brown and
white; abdomen white; hill dark brown; irides buffy white; feet
flesh-brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CYSTICOLA MAGNA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                       CYSTICOLA MAGNA, _Gould_.
_Cysticola campestris_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XIII. p. 20.

I am indebted to the kindness of Hugh E. Strickland, Esq., for the loan
of a fine example of this bird for the purpose of figuring in the
present work. It is one of the largest species of the group, and hence I
have assigned to it the distinctive appellation of _magna_. Nothing
whatever is known of its habits and manners, but we may reasonably infer
that they are very similar to those of its congeners. The precise
locality it inhabits is also unknown; Mr. Strickland having obtained it
from a general collection of Australian birds, without the situation in
which it had been procured being attached to it.

Head rusty red; back and wing-coverts brownish grey; all the feathers of
the upper surface with a broad stripe of dark brown down the centre;
wings blackish brown, the primaries margined externally with rusty red
and the secondaries edged all round with brownish grey; tail reddish
brown, all but the two centre feathers with a large spot of black near
the tip; all the under surface pale buff.

The Plate represents the bird of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CYSTICOLA EXILIS.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                           CYSTICOLA EXILIS.
                             Exile Warbler.

  _Exile Warbler_, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vii. p. 136.

  _Malurus exilis_, Lath. MSS. Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv.
            p. 223.—Less. Man. d’Orn., tom. i. p. 279.


This species appears to have been first noticed by Latham in the seventh
volume of his “General History of Birds” under the title of Exile
Warbler, and to have been subsequently placed in the genus _Cysticola_
by Messrs. Vigors and Horsfield while engaged in naming the collection
of Australian birds in the possession of the Linnean Society. Its
natural habitat is New South Wales and South Australia, in both of which
colonies I observed it to be abundantly dispersed among the thick beds
of grasses which clothe the valleys and open plains. I have never
received it from either of the other colonies, all of which, however,
are inhabited by nearly allied species. It is very retiring in its
habits, generally creeping about among the grasses, and will almost
admit of being trodden upon before it will rise and take wing; during
the months of spring the male becomes somewhat bolder, and early in the
morning will frequently perch on the highest of the grasses and pour
forth a pretty but feeble song, resembling that of the _Maluri_. As some
confusion existed respecting the sexes of the various species of this
genus, I was particular in dissecting all the individuals I shot, and I
can therefore state with certainty that the plumage of both sexes of
this species is perfectly similar and that the only outward difference
between them consists in the female being somewhat smaller than her
mate.

I was not able to discover the nest and eggs of this little bird, which
doubtless breeds among the grasses, and builds a dome-shaped nest
similar to that of its European ally.

Crown of the head, back, wing-coverts, scapularies and tail-feathers
brownish black, each feather narrowly margined with buff; sides and back
of the neck and all the under surface sandy buff, fading into white on
the throat and centre of the abdomen; bill and feet flesh-brown.

The figure represents the bird of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CYSTICOLA LINEACAPILLA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    CYSTICOLA LINEOCAPILLA, _Gould_.
                           Lineated Warbler.

  _Cysticola lineocapilla_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Jan. 27, 1847.


The _Cysticola lineocapilla_ is a much smaller and more delicately
formed species than the _C. exilis_, and may, moreover, be distinguished
from that and every other member of the genus with which I am acquainted
by the lineated form of the markings of the head. It is a native of the
north coast of Australia, and all the specimens I have seen were from
the neighbourhood of Port Essington. Mr. Gilbert states that it “is very
rarely seen in consequence of its generally inhabiting the long grass of
the swamps, where it creeps about more like a mouse than a bird, and if
once alarmed it is no easy task to get a sight of it again; its note is
a short and feeble, but very pleasing song.

“The stomach is muscular, and the food consists of insects of various
kinds.”

General plumage pale rufous, with broad and conspicuous striæ of
blackish brown forming lines down the centre of the feathers of the head
and back; the under surface fading into white on the throat and centre
of the chest; tail-feathers with a conspicuous blackish spot on the
under surface near the tip; irides light reddish brown; bill and feet
flesh-brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CYSTICOLA ISURA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                       CYSTICOLA ISURA, _Gould_.
                         Square-tailed Warbler.

  _Cysticola isura_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XV.


Little as is the information I have been able to give respecting the _C.
ruficeps_, I have still less to communicate about the present species,
circumstances not having admitted of my seeing them in a state of
nature: at a first glance it might readily be mistaken for the _C.
exilis_, but after a careful examination of many specimens I am
satisfied of its being distinct; had it been identical with that
species, I must have procured specimens at the same time that I killed
the many examples I obtained. I am not so sure however that it may not
prove to be the female, or some peculiar state of plumage of the
_Cysticola ruficeps_; without a further knowledge of the subject, I can
only view it as distinct from both, and I have therefore assigned to it
the specific appellation of _isura_, as indicative of the shorter and
more truncated form of its tail, the principal character by which it may
be distinguished. Like the other species of the group, it appears to
enjoy an extensive range over the grassy districts of the country, the
specimens in my possession having been killed on the Liverpool Plains
and at Port Phillip; the arid and sterile nature of the country seems to
be peculiarly adapted to the members of this group, and hence there are
many species.

Sides and back of the neck and rump pale rufous; crown of the head, back
and secondaries deep brownish black, each feather margined with buff;
tail dark brown margined with buff, and crossed on the under side near
the tip with a broad conspicuous band of black; under surface deep buff,
becoming paler on the chin and centre of the abdomen; bill brown; feet
yellowish brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CYSTICOLA RUFICEPS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                      CYSTICOLA RUFICEPS, _Gould_.
                         Rufous-headed Warbler.

  _Cysticola ruficeps_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 150;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


It would give me great pleasure could I communicate any particulars
respecting this pretty little bird, but this unfortunately I am unable
to do, no information of any kind having as yet reached me; I can only
say therefore that I possess three examples, one from the Liverpool
Plains in New South Wales, another from the district of Port Philip, and
a third from the north coast, which proves that it enjoys a widely
extended range of habitat. The uniform rufous colouring of the head and
occiput at once distinguishes it from all the other Australian members
of the genus. In its habits, manners and general economy it doubtless
closely assimilates to its congeners the _C. exilis_ and _lineocapilla_,
and like them inhabits the open grassy glades between the forests, the
grassy crowns of thinly-timbered hills, and all similar situations.

Crown of the head, and back of the neck, rump, chest, flanks and thighs
delicate fawn-colour, becoming deeper and redder on the crown and the
rump; upper part of the back, secondaries and tail deep brownish black,
each feather margined all round with buff; throat and centre of the
abdomen white; bill brown; feet yellowish brown.

The Plate represents the birds of the natural size on one of the plants
of New South Wales.

[Illustration:

  SERICORNIS CITREOGULARIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                   SERICORNIS CITREOGULARIS, _Gould_.
                      Yellow-throated Sericornis.

  _Sericornis citreogularis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p.
            133; and in Synopsis of the Birds of Australia, Part IV.


This is the largest and most attractive species of the genus yet
discovered, and so far as I am aware, its habitat is restricted to the
south-eastern portions of Australia, where it dwells exclusively in the
districts known by the name of “brushes.” I personally observed it in
those of Illawarra, and of the Hunter, and in the cedar brushes of the
Liverpool range. It frequents the most retired parts of the forest,
living in gullies and under the canopy of lofty trees, hopping about
among the stems of the tree-fern, fallen trunks of patriarchal gums and
moss-covered stones. It rarely flies, and when disturbed, seeks
seclusion and safety by hopping away among the underwood. Its food,
which consists of insects of various kinds, is obtained on the ground or
among the trunks of the prostrate trees, over which and the large stones
it passes with much ease and agility.

The sexes are very similar in colour, but the female may at all times be
distinguished by her smaller size and the less strongly contrasted tints
of her plumage, particularly in the hue of the streak running through
the eye and extending over the ear-coverts, which is neither so dark nor
so broad as in the male.

One of the most interesting points connected with the history of this
species is the situations chosen for its nest. All those who have
rambled in the Australian forests must have observed, that in their more
dense and humid parts an atmosphere peculiarly adapted for the rapid and
abundant growth of mosses of various kinds is generated, and that these
mosses not only grow upon the trunks of decayed trees, but are often
accumulated in large masses at the extremities of the drooping branches;
these masses often become of sufficient size to admit of the bird
constructing a nest in the centre of them with so much art that it is
impossible to distinguish it from any of the other pendulous masses in
the vicinity. These bunches are frequently a yard in length, and in some
instances hang so near the ground as to strike the head of the explorer
during his rambles; in others they are placed high up upon the trees,
but only in such parts of the forest where there is an open space
entirely shaded by overhanging foliage: as will be readily conceived, in
whatever situations they are met with, they at all times form a
remarkable and conspicuous feature in the landscape. Although the nest
is constantly disturbed by the wind and liable to be shaken when the
tree is disturbed, so secure does the inmate consider itself from danger
or intrusion of any kind, that I have frequently captured the female
while sitting on her eggs, a feat that may always be accomplished by
carefully placing the hand over the entrance; that is, if it can be
detected, to effect which no slight degree of close prying and
examination is necessary.

The nest is formed of the inner bark of trees, intermingled with green
moss, which soon vegetates; sometimes dried grasses and fibrous roots
form part of the materials of which it is composed, and it is warmly
lined with feathers. The eggs, which are three in number and much
elongated in form, vary considerably in colour, the most constant tint
being a clove-brown freckled over the larger end with dark umber brown,
frequently assuming the form of a complete band or zone: their medium
length is one inch, and their breadth eight lines.

Lores, circle around the eye, and the ear-coverts deep black; a
conspicuous line of yellowish white above and for some distance beyond
the eye; crown of the head, and all the upper surface, secondaries,
wing-coverts and tail reddish brown, becoming more rufous on the upper
tail-coverts and tail; outer edges of the primaries olive; spurious wing
blackish brown; throat yellow; chest and flanks olive-brown; centre of
the abdomen white; bill brownish black; irides reddish brown; legs
purplish flesh-colour, in some specimens flesh-white.

The figures represent the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  SERICORNIS HUMILIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                      SERICORNIS HUMILIS, _Gould_.
                      Sombre-coloured Sericornis.

  _Sericornis humilis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 133;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


This species is very generally dispersed over Van Diemen’s Land, and as
I have found it on some of the islands in Bass’s Straits, it is not
improbable that it may also extend its range to the southern coast of
the continent of Australia. Ravines, deep glens, water-courses covered
with dense herbage and thickly wooded copses are the situations
congenial to the habits of this bird; those that are most humid or damp
being apparently preferred to any other; consequently, although it is
very abundant and its distribution very general, it is a bird that is
less seen, and one whose habits are less known than almost any other of
the indigenous birds of the island. In many of its actions it closely
resembles the Wren (_Troglodytes Europæus_), particularly in its manner
of hopping about on the ground, and from stone to stone, with its tail
erect in search of insects, upon which it solely subsists; it also
assimilates to the Wren in the form, construction and situation of its
nest; but in the number and colour of its eggs there is much difference.
It rarely flies more than a few yards at a time, but secretes itself in
the midst of the little thicket in which it has taken up its abode.
There is little difficulty in finding the nest; for although it is in
general very artfully concealed among the herbage at the base of a tree,
on the edge of a shelving bank, or among the thick tangle of the scrub,
yet by attentively watching the old birds for a short time, they will
soon indicate by their actions the immediate locality of the nest. The
male constantly cheers his mate with a pretty lively song, which,
although neither loud nor voluminous, serves to give life to its
secluded abode, which in many instances is in the depths of the forests,
where few sounds are heard except the monotonous note of the
Honey-sucker, and the perpetual rippling of the rivulet as it steals
over the stony bed of the gully. It is sometimes seen, particularly
towards evening, to leave its lurking-place and seek any little open
part or glade in the forest, doubtless attracted to such situations in
search of food.

The sexes present no difference whatever in the colouring of the
plumage, consequently dissection is necessary to distinguish them.

The nest is of rather a large size and of a domed form, outwardly
composed of any coarse materials at hand, such as leaves, tufts of
grass, roots, &c., the interior being formed of similar substances, but
of a finer kind, and the whole carefully lined with feathers. The eggs,
which are large for the size of the bird, are three in number, of a
reddish white, curiously freckled and marked all over with reddish
brown, particularly at the larger end, where the markings assume the
form of a zone; they are ten and a half lines long by eight lines broad.

Lores blackish brown, above which an obscure stripe of white; crown of
the head and all the upper surface, wings and tail dark olive-brown with
a tinge of red, which becomes more conspicuous on the rump and
tail-feathers; spurious wing blackish brown, each feather margined with
white; throat greyish white, spotted with blackish brown; chest and
centre of the abdomen brownish yellow, the former singularly but more
obscurely spotted than the throat; flanks chestnut-brown; bill blackish
brown; legs dark brown; irides straw-yellow.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  SERICORNIS OSCULANS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                     SERICORNIS OSCULANS, _Gould_.
                           Allied Sericornis.

  _Sericornis osculans_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., January 27, 1847.


The _Sericornis osculans_ inhabits South Australia, where it frequents
underwoods and scrubby places, the bottom of dry water-courses, gulleys,
&c.; it is naturally shy and retiring in its habits, and evades pursuit
by creeping beneath the herbage and making its exit on the other side.
It is most nearly allied to the _S. frontalis_, and is intermediate in
size between that species and the _S. humilis_; from the former it
differs in having at all times numerous longitudinal blotches of black
on the throat, and from the latter in these spots being much more
distinct than in that species. I have seen specimens in which the yellow
tint which pervades the centre of the abdomen has given place to grey or
greyish white, as shown in the centre figure of the accompanying Plate;
but I have never found the tail tipped with white, as in _S. maculata_
and _S. lævigaster_.

The sexes present the usual characteristic of the genus, in the absence
of any black mark on the lores of the female, which are similar to the
other parts of the body.

All the upper surface, wings and tail dark brown, all but the two centre
feathers of the latter crossed by an obscure band of black near the
extremity; spurious wing-feathers black, margined with white; lores
black, above which on each side a patch of white, continued in a fine
line over the eye; throat and centre of the abdomen greyish white in
some and yellowish white in others, marked with a few oblong black spots
on the throat.

The female is somewhat smaller in size, and has the lores brown instead
of black.

The figures represent two males and a female of the natural size, the
upper figure being that of the female.

[Illustration:

  SERICORNIS FRONTALIS.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                         SERICORNIS FRONTALIS.
                       White-fronted Sericornis.

  _Acanthiza frontalis_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            226.—Gould, Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.

  _Sericornis parvulus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 134;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV. female.


This little bird inhabits the brushes, as well as all humid situations
clothed with thick underwood, such as the sides of creeks, gullies, &c.
The locality in which it is most abundant is the south-eastern part of
Australia, where it is very numerous in all the dense forests which
stretch along the coast between Sydney and Moreton Bay, and I believe I
may safely state that its range does not extend westward of the 134th
degree of East longitude, beyond which a nearly-allied species is found;
the species, therefore, inosculate about Spencer’s and St. Vincent’s
Gulfs in South Australia. Like the other members of the genus this bird
generally bops about the bottoms of the brushes, selecting in preference
the most damp and humid parts, where rotten wood and moss-covered stones
afford some peculiar species of insect food, upon which it is destined
to live. All the members of this genus are very Wren-like in their
habits, actions, the kind of food they select, and in the structure of
their nest. The present is one of the smallest yet discovered, and was
always a favourite little bird with me, for in the inmost recesses of
the forest, where all nature was hushed to quietude, and silence reigned
supreme, the presence of the little bird figured in the accompanying
Plate, hopping about from stone to stone in search of its insect food,
now and then broke the monotony of the scene with its inward warbling
strain, which however is so feeble, that it can only be heard when
uttered close at hand.

The sexes present so little difference in colour that they cannot be
distinguished with certainty; the female is somewhat the smaller. The
young birds differ from the adult in having a few faint spots on the
throat, but which are entirely lost as they advance in age.

The nest of this species, which, as I have before remarked, is very like
that of the European Wren (_Troglodytes Europæus_), is made of leaves,
moss and fibrous roots, and lined with feathers; its site is various,
being sometimes under the shelving of a bank, and at others at the foot
of a tuft of grass or herbage, beneath a stone, &c.; it is quite
spherical in form, with a small neatly-made hole for an entrance. The
breeding-season includes August, and the three or four following months,
during which period two or three broods are usually reared. The eggs,
which are generally three in number, are of a dull flesh-white, freckled
and streaked with purplish brown, particularly at the larger end; their
medium length is ten lines and breadth seven and a half lines.

Centre of the forehead, lores, and a line beneath the eye black; over
the eye a line of greyish white; crown of the head, all the upper
surface, wings and tail olive-brown; wing-coverts tipped with white;
spurious wing blackish brown; throat white, striated with black; centre
of the chest and abdomen citron-yellow; flanks olive-brown; bill
blackish brown; feet yellowish white.

The Plate represents the male and female of the natural size. The very
pretty plant was gathered in the brushes of Illawarra, where the birds
are tolerably numerous.

[Illustration:

  SERICORNIS LÆVIGASTER: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    SERICORNIS LÆVIGASTER, _Gould_.
                       Buff-breasted Sericornis.

  _Sericornis lævigaster_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., January 27,
            1847.


This species, although nearly allied to the _S. maculata_, is
distinguished by the entire absence of spots on the throat and chest,
and by having the tail-feathers largely tipped with white.

The male and female in my collection, and which are represented on the
accompanying Plate, are part of the results of Dr. Leichardt’s overland
expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, they having been killed
by Mr. Gilbert on the 30th of November 1844; but no information whatever
is to be found respecting them in his Journal.

All the upper surface brown; tail deepening into black near the
extremity and tipped with white; spurious wing-feathers dark brown,
margined with white on their inner webs; lores and mark under the eye
brownish black; above the eye an indistinct line of white; all the under
surface washed with yellowish buff; irides greenish white.

The female presents the usual differences, being somewhat smaller in
size and wanting the black mark on the lores.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  SERICORNIS MACULATA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                     SERICORNIS MACULATUS, _Gould_.
                          Spotted Sericornis.

  _Sericornis maculatus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., January 27,
            1847.

  _Goor-gal_, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western Australia.


The present bird, to which I have assigned the specific term of
_maculatus_ has always been a source of perplexity to me, from the
circumstance of its varying considerably in its markings; after mature
consideration, however, I am induced to regard the specimens from South
Australia, Western Australia and the north coast as referable to one and
the same species, each however possessing trivial differences by which
it may be known from whence it was received. Specimens from the
Houtman’s Abrolhos are of a rather smaller size, of a much greyer tint
on the back, and have much darker-coloured legs. I believe that the
bright yellow wash on the under surface of some individuals is
characteristic of newly moulted or young birds: in this species, not
only is the throat spotted with black, but the spotting extends over the
chest and some distance down the flanks; it has at all times the tail
tipped with white, a character which serves at once to distinguish it
from _S. osculans_ and _S. frontalis_. Scrubby places, and ravines
covered with dense herbage, whether in sterile or humid situations, are
its favourite resort. It has the same shy disposition and retiring
habits as the other members of the genus, depending for safety rather
upon its creeping, mouse-like habits than upon its powers of flight,
which are indeed seldom resorted to.

Its note is a harsh, grating kind of twitter, often repeated.

The nest is a warm, dome-shaped structure, formed of leaves and grasses,
and lined with feathers; the eggs are reddish white, minutely freckled
and streaked with reddish brown, particularly at the larger end; they
are three in number, nine lines long by seven lines broad.

All the upper surface, wings and tail brown; the latter crossed near the
tip with a broad band of blackish brown, and the outer feathers slightly
tipped with white; forehead and lores deep black; stripe above and a
small patch below the eye white; spurious wing-feathers black, margined
on their inner web with white; under surface in some specimens greyish
white, in others washed with yellow; the feathers of the throat and
chest spotted with black on a light ground; irides greenish white.

The female is somewhat smaller than her mate, and has the lores brown
instead of black; in other respects her plumage is very similar to that
of the male.

The upper figure in the accompanying Plate represents a female, and the
lower probably a young male; the figures are of the natural size, from
specimens killed in Southern and Western Australia.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA MAGNIROSTRIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                   SERICORNIS MAGNIROSTRIS, _Gould_.
                        Large-billed Sericornis.

  _Acanthiza magnirostra_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 146;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


The _Sericornis magnirostris_ an inhabitant of the brushes of New South
Wales, both those which clothe the gullies and sides of the mountain
ranges of the interior, as well as those near the coast; such as occur
at Illawarra and on the banks of the Hunter, the Clarence, the Macleay
and other rivers; it is never seen in the open country, and so far as I
am aware, is entirely confined to New South Wales. Although it has
nothing either in its form or colouring to recommend it to notice, it
must always be an object of interest, from the very singular nest it
constructs, and which, like that of _Sericornis citreogularis_, forms a
remarkable object in the scenery of the portion of the country it
inhabits. It is formed of a large loose mass of moss, and being attached
to the extreme tips of the pendent branches, waves about with every wind
that blows; it is very frequently constructed within reach of the hand,
but is more often suspended at about ten, and sometimes as high as
thirty feet from the ground; occasionally two or three are constructed
together under a dense canopy of foliage, overhanging water or a deep
and gloomy gully, and then present a very singular appearance. I
procured several examples by shooting the branch asunder just above the
nest. The nest so perfectly resembles the tufts of living moss which are
attached to many of the extremities of the branches of the trees of the
brushes, that it is impossible to distinguish the one from the other;
and it is a question whether the bird purposely builds its nest in
imitation of these hanging masses in order to elude pursuit, or whether
it avails itself of the mass already formed, and by a little
architectural skill converts it into a receptacle for its eggs. It would
seem that the same nest is resorted to for several seasons in
succession, and probably for a series of years; the entire mass consists
of living moss, and the small hole left for an entrance is so skilfully
concealed as scarcely to admit of detection. The breeding-season
commences in August and continues until February, during which period
many broods are reared. I procured a nest in September out of which flew
three young birds, and others during the same month which contained eggs
so recently laid that they could scarcely have been sat upon. The eggs
are generally two or three in number; their ground-colour varies from
bluish white to dull reddish white, with the larger end sparingly
washed, freckled and streaked with dark brown; they are large for the
size of the bird, being nine and a half lines long by seven lines broad.

It is a very active but shy bird, keeping much among the branches of the
high trees, where it gains a plentiful supply of insect food; it may,
however, be easily enticed into view by imitating the squeak of its
young.

Its powers of song are very feeble.

The sexes do not differ in external appearance, nor do the young when
fully fledged offer any variation in colour from the adult.

Crown of the head, all the upper surface, wings and tail olive-brown,
the forehead and tail becoming rufous brown; throat and chest brownish
white; abdomen greyish white, passing into bright olive-green on the
lower part of the flanks; bill black; feet light brown; irides brown.

The figures represent a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA PUSILLA.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                           ACANTHIZA PUSILLA.
                        Little Brown Acanthiza.

  _Sylvia pusilla_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. lvi.

  _Motacilla pusilla_, White’s Journ., pl. in p. 257.

  _Bec-fin_, Temm. Man. d’Orn. 2nd edit., tom. i. p. lxviii.

  _Dwarf Warbler_, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 251.—Shaw, Gen.
            Zool., vol. x. p. 647.—Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vii. p. 134.

  _Acanthiza pusilla_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 227,
            note.


The present bird is very generally dispersed over New South Wales, where
it inhabits the brushes, thickets and gardens. It is most nearly allied
to the _A. Diemenensis_, but may be distinguished from that species by
its more diminutive size, by its much shorter bill and smaller tail. It
is an active prying little bird, and spends much of its time amid the
smaller leafy branches of the trees, from among which it collects its
insect food: the tail is generally carried above the line of the body.
The nest is of a dome-shaped form and is constructed of fine dried
grasses and hairy fibres of bark, intermingled and bound together with
the hairy cocoons of a species of Lepidopterous insect, and lined with
feathers. The eggs are four or five in number, of a beautiful pearly
white, sprinkled and spotted with fine specks of reddish brown, forming
in some instances a zone near the larger end; their medium length is
eight lines and a half by six lines in breadth.

The sexes are so precisely similar in outward appearance, that
dissection must be resorted to to distinguish the one from the other.

Forehead buff, each feather edged with brown; all the upper surface and
wings brown, tinged with olive; tail reddish olive, crossed near the tip
by a narrow band of black; throat and chest greyish white, each feather
margined with black, giving that part a mottled appearance; flanks,
abdomen and under tail-coverts buff; irides brownish red; bill dark
brown; feet brown.

The Plate represents two individuals of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA DIEMENENSIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                    ACANTHIZA DIEMENENSIS, _Gould_.
                          Tasmanian Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza Diemenensis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 146;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.

  _Brown-tail_, Colonists of Van Diemen’s Land.


I believe this species, like the _Acanthiza Ewingii_, to be peculiar to
Van Diemen’s Land, over the whole of which country it is rather
numerously dispersed, and where it inhabits forests and open woodlands,
but evinces a preference to low and shrub-like trees rather than to
those of a higher growth. It also frequents the gardens and shrubberies
of the colonists; it is consequently one of the commonest and one of the
best known birds of the island. Active and sprightly in its actions, it
prys about the foliage with the most scrutinizing care in search of
insects and their larvæ, which constitute its sole food. It frequently
utters a rather loud harsh note, which is sometimes changed for a more
full and clear strain; still its vocal powers are by no means
conspicuous. It has a much more lengthened bill, and is altogether a
larger bird than the _Acanthiza pusilla_, whose habitat seems restricted
to the south-eastern portion of the Australian continent. The plumage of
the sexes is alike, and their size and general appearance so similar,
that without the aid of dissection it is impossible to distinguish them.
The nest of this little bird, which is usually built in a low shrub, is
rather a dense structure, being formed of grasses, fibrous roots and the
inner bark of trees, warmly lined with feathers; it is of a globular
form, with a small hole in the side near the top for an entrance, and is
very similar in appearance to that of the Common Wren, _Troglodytes
Europæus_. The eggs are four or five in number, of a beautiful pearly
bluish white, sprinkled and spotted with reddish brown. In some
instances the spots form a zone round the larger end. The medium length
of the eggs is eight lines and a half, and breadth six lines.

Independently of the task of incubating its own offspring, this species
very frequently has to perform the additional labour of hatching and
rearing the young of the Bronze Cuckoo (_Chalcites lucidus_), whose
single egg or young is often found in the nest. It is a very early
breeder, commencing in August and continuing until January, during which
period two or three broods are generally reared by each pair.

Forehead rufous brown, each feather with a crescent-shaped mark of
bright buff near its extremity and tipped with blackish brown; all the
upper surface and wings deep olive-brown; upper tail-coverts reddish
brown; tail olive-brown, crossed by a band of blackish brown; cheeks,
throat and chest greyish white, each feather margined with a broken line
of deep brown; abdomen and under tail-coverts greyish white, tinged with
rufous, which is deepest on the flanks and under tail-coverts; bill dark
brown; irides lake-red; feet brown.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA EWINGII: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      ACANTHIZA EWINGII, _Gould_.
                           Ewing’s Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza Ewingii_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., August 13, 1844.


This species of _Acanthiza_ is a native of Van Diemen’s Land, and has
been named after the Reverend Thomas James Ewing, a gentleman ardently
attached to the study of Natural History, and a sincere friend to all
who have the advantage of his acquaintance. That there were two nearly
allied species of this genus inhabiting Van Diemen’s Land was an opinion
I had entertained before my visit to that country, and I have since
ascertained that this opinion was a correct one, although I did not
reside there long enough to ascertain what difference may exist in the
habits and economy of the two birds.

The _Acanthiza Ewingii_ is more elegant in all its proportions than its
near ally, the _Acanthiza Diemenensis_, for although it is a smaller
bird, its tarsi are longer and more slender. There is also a rich brown
mark at the base of the primaries of _A. Ewingii_, which does not occur
in any other known species; the markings of the breast also are more
indistinct and clouded with blue-grey, while in _A. Diemenensis_ this
part of the plumage is lighter and more inclined to brown. I have never
seen this little bird on the continent of Australia, and I believe that
it never occurs there.

Crown of the head light brown; all the upper surface brownish olive;
wings dark brown; primaries margined at the base with sandy buff; tail
rich brown, crossed by a broad band of black near the tip; the lateral
feathers tipped with white; throat speckled black and white; under
surface pale olive; irides dark brown; bill and feet brown.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA UROPYGIALIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    ACANTHIZA UROPYGIALIS, _Gould_.
                       Chestnut-rumped Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza uropygialis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 146;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


I received this new and well-marked species from New South Wales, with
the belief that it had been collected either on the Liverpool Plains or
the country immediately to the northward of them; but as there is some
degree of uncertainty as to the locality in which it was procured, a
knowledge of its true habitat would be very desirable, and I should have
been happy to have cleared up this point had it been in my power so to
do.

The chestnut colour pervading the basal half of the tail and the
tail-coverts forms a very conspicuous mark, and presents a strong
contrast to the remainder of the plumage. That its habits, actions and
economy are very similar to those of the other members of the genus
there can be no doubt, but on these points also I am compelled to
silence, no notes of any kind having been sent with the specimens.

Head, upper surface and wings brown, slightly tinged with olive; the
feather on the forehead tipped with a lighter colour; rump and upper
tail-coverts rich reddish chestnut; tail-feathers brownish black,
largely tipped with white, which on the two centre feathers is tinged
with brown; throat, chest, and centre of the abdomen greyish white;
flanks and under tail-coverts buffy white; bill and feet black.

The Plate represents the bird, which I believe to be a male, in two
different positions.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA APICALIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                      ACANTHIZA APICALIS, _Gould_.
                           Western Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza apicalis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., March, 1847.

  _Djool-be-djoȍl-bung_, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western
            Australia.

  _Wren_, Colonists of Swan River.


This species, which is a native of Western Australia, is distinguished
from those immediately allied to it—_A. Diemenensis_, _pusilla_ and
_Ewingii_—by its large size, by its larger and rounder tail, by the
broad and distinct band of black which crosses the tail-feathers near
their extremities, and by their being largely tipped with white.

It occurs in great abundance in the colony of Western Australia, both at
Swan River and King George’s Sound, and is to be met with in all wooded
situations. Like the other members of the genus, it is active and
sprightly in its actions, leaping about from branch to branch with its
tail erect, and often repeating a note which very much resembles the
syllables _Gee-wo-wut_. Its stomach is somewhat muscular, and the food
consists of small insects of various kinds.

It breeds in September and October. The nest, which is usually placed in
a thickly-foliaged bush, or in a clump of the Tea-tree, is of a domed
form, with the entrance in the side, and is composed of dried grasses
and strips of Tea-tree bark, and lined with feathers. The eggs are from
three to five in number, of a flesh-white, thickly freckled with reddish
chestnut, the freckles becoming so numerous at the larger end as to form
a complete zone; their medium length is eight lines, and breadth six
lines.

The sexes are alike in plumage, but the female is somewhat smaller than
her mate.

Feathers of the forehead deep buff, edged with dark brown; all the upper
surface, wings and tail light olive-brown; tail crossed with a broad and
distinct band of brownish black near the extremity, and largely tipped
with white; upper tail-coverts tinged with rufous; throat and chest
greyish tail-coverts pale buff; white, each feather margined with black,
giving that part a mottled appearance; flanks, abdomen and under irides
light red; bill, legs and feet dark brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA PYRRHOPYGIA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    ACANTHIZA PYRRHOPYGIA, _Gould_.
                         Red-rumped Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza pyrrhopygia_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., 1847.


This species differs from the _Acanthizæ Diemenensis_, _pusilla_,
_Ewingii_, and _apicalis_, in having a shorter and more robust bill, and
in the greater depth of the red colouring on the rump and upper
tail-coverts; it also differs from the three former in having the tail
tipped with white, in which respect it assimilates to the _A. apicalis_
and _A. uropygialis_, to the former of which it is most nearly allied.

I discovered this species in the Belts of the Murray, where it inhabits
the small shrubby trees; upon first seeing it, I at once perceived that
it was a distinct species by the red colouring of the rump, which showed
very conspicuously at the distance of several yards, and also by the
peculiarity of its note. In its actions it very closely assimilates to
the other members of the genus, being an alert and quick little bird,
carrying its tail above the level of the back, and showing the red
colouring of the coverts to the greatest advantage. I succeeded in
killing both sexes, and found that they exhibit no outward difference,
and are only to be distinguished with certainty by dissection.

All the upper surface and wings olive-brown, the feathers of the
forehead margined with buff; wings brown with pale edges; throat white,
each feather margined with black; abdomen whitish; flanks pale buff;
upper tail-coverts rufous; tail olive, crossed by a broad band of black,
and tipped on the outer webs with pale olive, on the inner webs with
white; bill blackish brown, under mandible somewhat lighter; feet brown;
irides reddish brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA INORNATA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                      ACANTHIZA INORNATA, _Gould_.
                       Plain-coloured Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza inornata_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p. 171.

  _Djo-b̏ul-djo-b̏ul_, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western
            Australia.


Although neither elegant in form nor characterized by any beauty of
plumage, the present little bird demands as much of our attention as any
other species of the group. Its true habitat seems to be the
south-western parts of Australia, for it is numerously dispersed over
the colony of Swan River; it is equally abundant at King George’s Sound;
and as I killed specimens on the small low islands at the mouths of
Spencer’s and St. Vincent’s Gulfs, it is most probable that its range
extends all along the coast between those localities. Independently of
its plainer colouring, the truncated form of its tail serves at once to
distinguish it from the _Acanthiza apicalis_, with which it is often
seen in company; unlike the latter bird however it does not erect its
tail, but carries it in a line with the body.

Its note is a little feeble song somewhat resembling that of the
_Maluri_. It feeds solely on minute insects of various kinds, in
searching for which it assumes the usual clinging and prying positions
of other insectivorous birds which seek their food among the leaves and
branches of shrubs and trees.

It breeds in November; the nest, which is of a domed form, being placed
in some low shrub, often in that of the jam-wood, and composed of
grasses lined with a few feathers.

The eggs are five in number, and of a white colour, slightly tinged with
greenish grey; they measure seven and a half lines long by five and a
half lines broad.

No visible difference is observable in the outward appearance of the
sexes.

All the upper surface, wings and tail olive-brown; primaries dark brown;
tail crossed by a broad band of brownish black; all the under surface
light buff; irides greenish white; bill and feet black.

The figures are those of a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA NANA: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                    ACANTHIZA NANA, _Vig. & Horsf._
                           Little Acanthiza.

  _Dwarf Warbler_, var. A.? Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vii. p. 134. No. 161.

  _Acanthiza nana_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            226.—Less. Man. d’Orn., tom. i. p. 283.


This little bird, which is very generally distributed over the colonies
of New South Wales and South Australia, inhabits the extremities of the
branches of the various trees, without, so far as I could observe,
evincing a partiality for any particular kind; the _Casuarinæ_ on the
banks of creeks, the _Eucalypti_ of the plains, and the belts of
_Banksiæ_ being equally resorted to by it. Insects of various orders
constitute its sole food, and in the capture of these it exhibited many
lively and varied actions, which strongly reminded me of those of the
_Regulus cristatus_ of our own island: that, like its near allies, it
may occasionally resort to the ground for food, I think very likely, yet
I do not recollect having seen it in such situations.

The nest is a neat domed structure with a small entrance near the top,
and is composed of fine grasses; its site varies according to
circumstances, but is generally among the smaller branches of the trees.
The number and colour of its eggs are at present unknown.

As its name implies, and as will be seen on reference to the Plate, the
_Acanthiza nana_ is one of the more diminutive, although not the least
of the Australian birds.

There is no outward difference by which the sexes can be distinguished,
neither do they undergo any seasonal change, nor is there any great
variation in the colouring of the young and the adult.

All the upper surface bright olive; tail greyish brown tinged with
olive, and crossed by a broad band of blackish brown; throat and under
surface yellow; irides brown with a very narrow rim of yellowish white;
bill and feet blackish brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA LINEATA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                      ACANTHIZA LINEATA, _Gould_.
                          Striated Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza lineata_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 146; and
            in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


This pretty little species inhabits most of the wooded districts of
South Australia, particularly the gullies among the mountain ranges; it
is also tolerably abundant among the brushes and trees near the brooks
and rivulets of the Liverpool range in New South Wales. It is very
active and animated in its actions, clinging and prying about among the
branches in search of insects in every possible variety of position. It
is a permanent resident in the countries above mentioned, but is not
found in Van Diemen’s Land or Western Australia. Unfortunately I did not
succeed in procuring its nest, but judging from those of the other
members of the genus, it is doubtless of a domed form, with a small hole
near the top for an entrance; and though I have never seen the eggs, it
may be presumed from analogy that they are either purely white, or white
speckled with reddish brown.

Its food consists entirely of insects, which are procured from the
leaves and flowers of the various trees.

The sexes can only be distinguished by dissection, for no perceptible
difference whatever is observable either in their size or the colouring
of their plumage.

This species, the least of the genus to which it belongs, and one of the
most diminutive of the Australian birds, may be thus described:—

Crown of the head brownish olive, with a fine line of white down the
centre of each feather; back and wings greenish olive; tail the same,
crossed by a broad band of brownish black near the tip, beyond which the
extremities are brownish grey; throat and chest grey, tinged with olive,
the margins of the feathers spotted with dark brown, giving these parts
an irregular spotted appearance; bill and feet black; irides brown.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA REGULOÏDES: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                 ACANTHIZA REGULOIDES, _Vig. & Horsf._
                        Regulus-like Acanthiza.

  _Acanthiza Reguloides_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            226.

  _Dwarf Warbler_, var. β? Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vii. p. 135. No.
            161.—Less. Man. d’Orn., tom. i. p. 283.


Many of the actions of this little bird offer a close resemblance to
those of the Yellow-tailed Acanthiza (_A. chrysorrhœa_); like that
species, it resorts to the ground for its food; moves about in small
flocks of from eight to fifteen in number; when flushed shows the yellow
or buff of the rump very conspicuously; always spreads its tail while
flying; flits along with a jerking motion, and is very tame. It is
extremely common in South Australia, where I observed it in every part
of the country I visited, and in New South Wales I even found it in the
interior beyond the ranges, and also on the bare ridges between
Patrick’s Plains and the Liverpool range. I did not meet with it in Van
Diemen’s Land. It evinces a decided preference for the open country or
hills slightly covered with brush, where it can feed on the ground and
fly to the low shrub-like trees when disturbed; I have also seen it
busily engaged among the branches, apparently in search of insects, in
the pursuit of which, like the other members of the genus, it displays
unusual alertness and address.

Its domed nest is placed among the foliage of the gum, swamp oak and
other trees, and is composed of fine grasses interwoven with cobwebs and
slightly lined with feathers. The breeding-season comprises the months
of September, October and November, and the eggs are four in number.

Crown, back of the neck, upper surface and wings olive-brown, the
feathers of the forehead tipped with a lighter colour; rump, upper and
under tail-coverts pale ochre; throat and chest white, each feather with
a very slight, broken margin of brown; base of all the tail-feathers
pale buff, the external margin of the outer feathers and the tips of all
brownish buff, the central portion blackish brown; bill brown, the under
mandible paler than the upper; feet olive-brown; irides beautiful
straw-yellow.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ACANTHIZA CHRYSORRHŒA.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                         ACANTHIZA CHRYSORRHŒA.
                        Yellow-tailed Acanthiza.

  _Saxicola chrysorrhœa_, Quoy and Gaim., Voy. de l’Astrolabe, p. 198.
            pl. 10. fig. 2.

  _Acanthiza chrysorrhœa_, Gould, Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.

  _Jeȅ-da_, Aborigines of the lowland districts of Western Australia.


This well-known species of _Acanthiza_ inhabits Van Diemen’s Land,
Western and Southern Australia and New South Wales, in all of which
countries it is a permanent resident. It is generally met with in small
companies of from six to ten in number, and is so tame that it may be
very closely approached before it will rise, and it then merely flies
off to a short distance and alights again; during these short flights
the yellow of the rump shows very conspicuously.

It commences breeding very early, and rears at least three broods a
year. The nest is somewhat carelessly constructed of leaves, grasses,
wool, &c., and is of a domed form, with a small hole for an entrance. It
would seem that the same nest is resorted to for several succeeding
years; but the most curious feature connected with it is, that a small
cup-shaped depression or second nest, as it were, is frequently formed
on the top or side of the other, and which is said to be either the
roosting-place of the male, or where he may sit in order to be in
company with the female during the task of nidification. I have myself
found many of these double nests, but have not had opportunities for
satisfactorily ascertaining the use of the upper one. The bird very
readily resorts to the gardens of the settler, and constructs its
curious nest in any low shrub. In Van Diemen’s Land one of the trees
most frequently selected for the purpose is the prickly _Mimosa_: in
Western Australia it is frequently suspended from the overhanging
branches of the _Xanthorrhœa_, and in the district of the Upper Hunter
upon the apple-trees (_Angophoræ_). The nest varies very much in size,
being in some instances considerably larger than the one figured. The
eggs are generally of a beautiful uniform flesh-colour, but occasionally
they are found sprinkled over with very minute specks of reddish yellow,
which in some instances form a zone at the larger end; they are four or
five in number, their medium length being nine lines and breadth six
lines.

This is one of the species to which the Bronze Cuckoo (_Chalcites
lucidus_) delegates the task of rearing its young. I have several times
taken the egg of the cuckoo from the nest of this bird and also the
young, in which latter case the parasitical bird was the sole occupant.

The song of the _Acanthiza chrysorrhœa_ is extremely pretty, many of its
notes closely resembling those of the Goldfinch of Europe (_Carduelis
elegans_). Its food consists of small coleopterous and other kinds of
insects.

The sexes are alike in plumage, and may be thus described:—

Forehead black, with a spot of white at the tip of each feather; cheeks,
throat, and a line from the nostrils over each eye greyish white; chest
and under surface yellowish white, passing into light olive-brown on the
flanks; upper surface and wings olive-brown; rump and upper tail-coverts
bright citron-yellow; base of the tail-feathers white, tinged with
yellow; the external margin of the outer feathers and the tips of all
brownish grey, the central portion blackish brown; bill and feet
blackish brown; irides very light grey.

The Plate represents a nest and a male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  EPTHIANURA ALBIFRONS: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                         EPTHIANURA ALBIFRONS.
                       White-fronted Epthianura.

  _Acanthiza albifrons_, Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn., vol. ii. pl. 56.
            figs. 1 and 2.


I first met with this species in a state of nature on the small islands
in Bass’s Straits, where it had evidently been breeding, as I observed
several old nests in the Barilla and other stunted bushes which clothe
those isolated spots, particularly Chalky and Green Islands, immediately
contiguous to Flinders. I did not observe it in Van Diemen’s Land or to
the southward of the localities above mentioned. It would appear that it
extends over the whole of the southern portion of the Australian
continent, as I have specimens in my collection which were killed at
Swan River, in South Australia, and in New South Wales: the extent of
its range northwards is not known; I have never yet seen examples from
the north coast.

It is a most sprightly and active little bird, particularly the male,
whose white throat and banded chest render him much more conspicuous
than the sombre-coloured female. As the structure of its toes and
lengthened tertiaries would lead us to expect, its natural province is
the ground, to which it habitually resorts, and decidedly evinces a
preference to spots of a sterile and barren character. The male, like
many of the Saxicoline birds, frequently perches either on the summit of
a stone, or on the extremity of a dead and leafless branch. It is rather
shy in its disposition, and when disturbed flies off with considerable
rapidity to the distance of two or three hundred yards before it alights
again. I observed it in small companies on the plains near Adelaide,
over the hard clayey surface of which it tripped with amazing quickness,
with a motion that can neither be described as a hop or a run, but
something between the two, accompanied by a bobbing action of the tail.

Of its nidification, I regret to say, nothing is at present known.

The male has the forehead, face, throat and all the under surface pure
white; occiput black; chest crossed by a broad crescent of deep black,
the points of which run up the sides of the neck and join the black of
the occiput; upper surface dark grey, with a patch of dark brown in the
centre of each feather; wings dark brown; upper tail-coverts black; two
centre tail-feathers dark brown; the remainder dark brown, with a large
oblong patch of white on the inner web at the tip; irides, in some,
beautiful reddish buff, in others yellow with a slight tinge of red on
the outer edge of the pupil; bill and feet black.

The female has the crown of the head, all the upper surface, wings and
tail greyish brown, with a slight indication of the oblong white spot on
the inner webs of the latter; throat and under surface buffy white; and
a slight crescent of black on the chest.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  EPTHIANURA AURIFRONS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter lithog._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     EPTHIANURA AURIFRONS, _Gould_.
                       Orange-fronted Epthianura.

  _Epthianura aurifrons_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p. 148;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


As long since as the year 1837 I had the pleasure of characterizing this
species at one of the scientific meetings of the Zoological Society of
London, from a specimen which had been presented to the Society’s
collection by Lieut. Breton, R.N., a gentleman much attached to
zoological science, as exemplified by his numerous donations to that
Society, and in his “Excursions in New South Wales, Western Australia
and Van Diemen’s Land.”

The Orange-fronted Epthianura must be regarded as a bird of the greatest
rarity, for the specimen above mentioned is the only one that has ever
come under my notice, and in all probability it is quite unique; hence
this is another of the birds to which I would wish to direct the
attention of residents in New South Wales, particularly those who have
an opportunity of visiting the locality in which it was seen by Lieut.
Breton, who, when speaking of Gammon Plains, New South Wales, in the
work above mentioned, says “we shot also some _Platypi_, and a small
bird like a Mule Canary (a species of _Saxicola_); this last is
exceedingly rare in the colony, and I am not aware that any other person
possesses a specimen; there were only three together, and the natives
said they had never seen any before.”

In the lengthened wing, largely developed tertiaries, and in the square
form of the tail, it offers a greater alliance to _Epthianura_ than to
any other genus, and there I have provisionally placed it; future
research, however, and a knowledge of its habits and nidification, will
determine the justice of this opinion, or the propriety of separating it
into a distinct genus.

Head, upper tail-coverts, sides of the neck, breast and all the under
surface fine golden orange, which is richest on the forehead and centre
of the abdomen; back olive; wings brown, margined with olive; tail
brownish black, each feather except the two middle ones having an oval
spot of white on the inner web at the tip; chin and centre of the throat
black; bill black; feet brown.

The figure is of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  EPTHIANURA TRICOLOR: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     EPTHIANURA TRICOLOR, _Gould_.
                        Tri-coloured Epthianura.

  _Epthianura tricolor_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p.
            159.


While traversing, soon after sunrise on the 11th of December 1839, the
forest lands near Peel’s River to the eastward of Liverpool Plains, a
fine male specimen of this bird attracted my notice by the beauty of its
colouring and the sprightliness and activity of its actions, while
busily engaged in capturing the small insects that were hovering in the
air near the ground. As maybe supposed, the sight of a bird of such
beauty, and which, moreover, was entirely new to me, excited so strong a
desire to possess it that scarcely a moment elapsed before it was dead
and in my hand; I regret to add, however, that neither my travelling
companion Natty nor any other person could give me any account of it,
since, like myself, they had never seen it before; nor could I during my
residence in the colony either see another example or obtain any
information on the subject. In a small collection procured for me in
South Australia by an intelligent and enthusiastic collector, Mr.
Strange, two other specimens occurred which I supposed to be male and
female; unfortunately in this instance also they were unaccompanied by
any notes of their habits or economy; which are yet to be ascertained,
the species being doubtless migratory, and the specimens sent rare
visitors from the interior to the part of the country where they were
killed; any information respecting this _rara avis_ would therefore be
very acceptable.

The male has the crown of the head, upper tail-coverts, breast and
abdomen bright scarlet; lores, line above and beneath the eye,
ear-coverts, occiput and back dark brown; wings brown, each feather
margined with brownish white; tail dark brown, each feather having a
large spot of white on the inner web at the tip; chin, throat and under
tail-coverts white; irides straw white; bill and feet blackish brown.

The female is similar in colour, but has only a slight wash of the
scarlet colouring, except on the upper tail-coverts, where it is as
brilliant as in the male.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  XEROPHILA LEUCOPSIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     XEROPHILA LEUCOPSIS, _Gould_.
                         White-faced Xerophila.

  _Xerophila leucopsis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p.
            175.


As an instance how objects which are rare or from remote localities
receive a greater share of attention than those with which we are
familiar, I may state that while collections of birds have been
transmitted to Europe from the most distant parts of the new colony of
South Australia, the present little bird, which inhabits the very
streets and gardens of Adelaide, like the sparrow in the towns of
Europe, had been up to the period of my visit utterly disregarded; it
was too common to be considered worthy of notice. Immediately on my
arrival, however, in fact on my way to pay my respects to the Governor,
Colonel Gawler, I observed it hopping about the street in numbers, and
almost on the very door-step of his Excellency’s residence. Upon my
calling his attention to the subject and informing him that it was a
bird entirely new to science, he at once gave orders that some specimens
should be captured alive, so that when I paid my second visit in the
evening this undescribed species was a captive in a cage, by which means
I was enabled to examine it more closely than I had before been able to
do. I afterwards found it to be tolerably abundant in all parts of the
colony I visited, both in the interior and in the neighbourhood of the
coast. It was generally met with in small flocks of from six to sixteen
in number, and more frequently on the ground than among the trees. It
hops over the ground very quickly and appears a busy little bird, prying
among the herbage for its food, which principally consists of the seeds
of the grasses and small annuals which abound on the plains and low
hills of South Australia. In disposition it is so remarkably tame that
it will allow of a very near approach before it will rise, and then it
merely flies to the nearest bush or low tree.

The male offers no external difference by which it can be distinguished
from the female, neither do the young exhibit any contrast to the adults
in their plumage; it has in fact little to recommend it to the notice of
the general observer either in its colouring or in the quality of its
song.

The nest which was kindly forwarded to me by Mr. Strange is of rather a
large size, of a domed form, with a hole for an entrance very near the
top, and is composed of dried grasses, moss, spiders’ webs, wool, the
soft blossoms of plants and dead leaves matted together and warmly lined
with feathers; it is about seven inches in height and four inches in
diameter. The eggs received with the nest were three in number, of a
fleshy white, eight and a half lines long and six lines broad.

Forehead and lores white; upper surface olive-brown; wings and tail
brown, the latter passing into black near the extremity, and tipped with
white; all the under surface pale buff; bill and feet black; irides
light straw-colour.

The Plate represents the male and female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  PYRRHOLÆMUS BRUNNEUS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     PYRRHOLÆMUS BRUNNEUS, _Gould_.
                           Brown Red-Throat.

  _Pyrrholæmus brunneus_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p.
            173.

  _Beȑ-rit-beȑ-rit_, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western
            Australia.


I found this new bird tolerably abundant in the Belts of the Murray,
about forty miles to the northward of Lake Alexandrina, where it gave a
decided preference to low stunted bushes and fallen trunks of trees
overgrown with herbage, under which it secreted itself; it sometimes
rose to the top of a bush to sing, pouring forth a melody equal to any
of the smaller birds of Australia, which must render it a general
favourite when that portion of the country becomes colonized. It passes
much of its time on the ground, hopping about with great celerity, and
with its tail elevated considerably above the level of its back.

Since I killed my specimens it has been obtained by Mr. Gilbert in
Western Australia, from whose notes I learn that it is there an
inhabitant of the underwood and the thickest scrub; and that “it
possesses a very sweet and melodious song, which it generally utters
while perched on the extreme topmost branch of a small scrubby tree, and
having repeated it two or three times, dives down into the impenetrable
bush. While feeding it utters a weak, piping, call-like note. I never
saw it fairly on the wing, for it seems averse to flying, but generally
prefers creeping from bush to bush, and even if closely hunted merely
flits a few yards. It makes its nest on the ground, precisely like the
members of the genus _Calamanthus_. I found a pair building in the month
of September; upon visiting the spot again after an interval of a week,
the nest appeared finished, being lined with feathers, but there were no
eggs; unfortunately from this time the birds deserted the nest; but Mr.
Drummond tells me that he once saw the eggs, that they were three in
number and of a green colour.”

Lores greyish white; all the upper surface and wings brown; tail
brownish black, the three lateral feathers on each side largely tipped
with white; centre of the throat rufous; the remainder of the under
surface brownish grey, passing into sandy buff on the flanks and under
tail-coverts; irides reddish brown, with an outer ring of yellowish
white; upper mandible reddish brown; lower mandible greenish white; legs
and feet dark greenish grey.

The figures represent the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ORIGMA RUBRICATA.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                           ORIGMA RUBRICATA.
                             Rock-Warbler.

  _Sylvia rubricata_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. li.—Bonn. et Vieill.
            Ency. Méth. Orn., part ii. p. 461.

  _Ruddy Warbler_, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 249.—Shaw, Gen.
            Zool., vol. x. p. 697.—Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vii. p. 138.

  _Motacilla solitaria_, Lewin, Birds of New Holl., pl. 16.

  _Solitary Flycatcher_, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. vi. p. 220.

  _Saxicola solitaria_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 236.

  _Origma solitaria_, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd Edit., p.
            30.


Perhaps no one of the smaller birds of New South Wales has attracted a
greater share of the attention of ornithologists than the present; a
desire indeed of gaining a more complete knowledge of its habits and
manners has been generally expressed. Aware of this fact, I made myself
as much acquainted therewith as circumstances would admit; and found
that they are very peculiar, and different from those of most other
birds. Its usual places of resort are the neighbourhood of water-courses
and stony, rocky gullies; so exclusively in fact is it confined to such
situations, that it never visits the forests, nor have I ever seen it
perching on the branches of the trees; indeed it would seem to have an
aversion to so doing, as it does not even resort to them as a
resting-place for its nest, but suspends it to the ceilings of caverns
and the under surface of overhanging rocks in a manner that is most
surprising; the nest, which is of an oblong, globular form, and composed
of moss and other similar substances, is suspended by a narrow neck, and
presents one of the most singular instances of bird architecture that
has yet come under my notice. The breeding-season extends over the
months of September, October and November, when it is not unusual to
find three or four nests suspended to the ceiling of a small dark
cavern. I did not succeed in procuring its eggs.

Its food consists of insects of various kinds.

Its note is a low, squeaking sound, which it utters while hopping about
the rocks with its tail raised above the level of the body, after the
manner of some of the _Acanthizæ_.

The true habitat of this species is New South Wales, which, so far as I
am aware, is its exclusive place of abode; I have never seen it from any
of the other colonies: over that part of the country it is very
generally distributed wherever situations occur suitable to its habits;
the rocky beds of the gullies, both near the coast and among the
mountains of the interior, being equally frequented by it, but never in
any great numbers. It will be seen that it was one of the birds which
excited the notice and interest of Mr. Caley, who, in his “Notes,” says,
“_Cataract Bird_; an inhabitant of rocky ground. While at the waterfall
of Carrung-gurring, about thirty miles to the southward of Prospect
Hill, I saw several of them. I have also seen them in the North Rocks,
about a couple of miles from Paramatta, and always upon the rocks. I
never observed them in trees or bushes.”

The sexes are precisely similar in their plumage, which may be thus
described:—

All the upper surface and wings dull brown; tail brownish black; throat
grey; under surface dark rusty red; forehead slightly washed with
ferruginous red; irides dark reddish brown; bill and feet brownish
black, the former rather lighter than the latter.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CALAMANTHUS FULIGINOSUS.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                        CALAMANTHUS FULIGINOSUS.
                          Striated Reed-Lark.

  _Anthus fuliginosus_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 230.

  _Praticola fuliginosa_, G. R. Gray, List of Gen. of Birds, 2nd Edit.,
            p. 27.


This species is very generally dispersed over Van Diemen’s Land, where
it frequents open forests and sandy land covered with scrub and dwarf
shrub-like trees. It carries its tail erect, like the _Maluri_, but
differs from the members of that group in moving that organ in a lateral
direction whenever it perches, and at the termination of a succession of
hops on the ground, over which it passes with great celerity, depending
at all times for safety more on this power than on that of flight. It
eludes pursuit by running through a bush to the opposite side, and
hopping off to another beyond, which it does quite unseen unless closely
watched. It builds a dome-shaped nest, which is placed on the ground,
and frequently so hidden by the surrounding grass as to be with great
difficulty discovered; a small narrow avenue of a yard in length, like
the run of a mouse, being frequently resorted to by the bird, expressly,
as one would suppose, to avoid detection. The eggs are three or four in
number, rather large and somewhat round in form, of a reddish
wood-brown, obscurely clouded with markings of reddish brown, the larger
end of the eggs being the darkest; their medium length is ten lines and
a half, and breadth eight lines and a half.

The nest is formed of dried grasses and leaves, and is warmly lined with
feathers. The breeding-season commences in September and lasts until
January.

This species emits so strong an odour, that pointers and other game-dogs
stand to it as they do to a quail, and that too at a considerable
distance. It possesses a clear and pretty song, which it frequently
pours forth while sitting on a bare twig, or the summit of a low bush or
shrub among the thickets, to a part of which it dives on the least
alarm.

The sexes are precisely similar in colour, and nearly so in size.

All the upper surface olive, with a broad mark of sooty black down the
centre of each feather; wings sooty black, narrowly margined with olive;
tail olive, all but the two centre feathers crossed near the tip by a
broad band of sooty black; line over the eye white; throat greyish
white; breast, abdomen and flanks deep buff, each feather of the throat,
breast and flanks with a narrow line of sooty black down the centre;
irides light sandy buff; bill and feet brownish flesh-colour.

The Plate represents two birds of the natural size; the beautiful rush
on which they are figured is very abundant in the immediate vicinity of
Hobart Town.

[Illustration:

  CALAMANTHUS CAMPESTRIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                        CALAMANTHUS CAMPESTRIS.
                            Field Reed-Lark.

  _Praticola campestris_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p.
            171.


The _Calamanthus campestris_ is a native of Southern and Western
Australia, where it inhabits open plains and scrubby lands, particularly
such as are interspersed with tufts of coarse grasses. It has never yet
been discovered within the colony of New South Wales. Like its near ally
of Van Diemen’s Land it is a rather shy and recluse species, running
mouse-like over the ground among the herbage with its tail perfectly
erect, and is not easily forced to fly, or even to quit the bush in
which it has secreted itself.

Its song is an agreeable and pretty warble, which is poured forth while
the bird is perched upon the topmost twig of a small bush.

This species also emits so very powerful an odour, that my dog
frequently pointed at it from a very considerable distance.

The food, as ascertained by dissection, was small coleopterous insects,
with which its minute stomach was crammed.

The nest, which is placed on the ground, is a globular structure,
composed of grasses and feathers. The eggs are three or four in number,
of a light chestnut colour, thickly blotched with deep chestnut-brown,
particularly at the larger end.

Forehead rufous, passing into the reddish brown of the crown and upper
surface, with a stripe of blackish brown down the centre of each
feather; wings sandy brown; internal webs of the primaries dark brown;
two centre tail-feathers reddish brown, the remainder reddish brown at
the base, crossed towards the extremity with a broad band of brownish
black and broadly tipped with white; over the eye a line of white;
ear-coverts mingled rufous and white; throat white, gradually passing
into the buff of the under surface; all the feathers of the under
surface with a stripe of brownish black down their centre; bill blackish
brown, lighter at the base of the under mandible; irides rufous brown;
feet blackish brown.

The Plate represents a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CHTHONICOLA MINIMA.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                          CHTHONICOLA MINIMA.
                          Little Chthonicola.

  _Anthus minimus_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 230.


This pretty little bird is usually seen on the ground in small companies
of five or six in number, and is so very tame in disposition as to admit
of the nearest approach, and when flushed merely flits off to the
distance of a few yards. Its distribution, so far as we yet know, is
confined to New South Wales and South Australia, in both of which
countries it is a stationary and abundant species. It is very active in
its actions, running, or rather hopping, with great celerity over the
gravelly ridges of the ground beneath the shade of the apple- and
gum-trees.

The nest is of a domed form, and is placed among withered grass in a
depression of the ground, so as to be on a level with the surface, and
being formed of the same material as that with which it is surrounded,
it is all but impossible to discover it; the entrance is an extremely
small hole close to the ground. The eggs, which are four in number, are
of a light cochineal-red, with a zone of blackish brown spots at the
larger end; their medium length is nine lines by seven lines in breadth.

The sexes are very similar; some individuals however are distinguished
by the superciliary stripe being brown instead of white; whether this be
characteristic of youth or maturity, I have not satisfactorily
ascertained; I can scarcely conceive that so trivial a difference should
indicate a difference of species.

General plumage olive-brown, the feathers of the back with darker
centres, and of the head with a longitudinal stripe of buff down the
middle of each; primaries narrowly edged with whitish; tail slightly
tipped with white; under surface white, washed with yellow, each feather
with a broad stripe of blackish brown down the centre, except on the
middle of the abdomen, which is nearly pure white and without stripes;
irides straw-yellow; bill brown; feet fleshy brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ANTHUS AUSTRALIS: _Vig. & Horsf._

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                   ANTHUS AUSTRALIS, _Vig. & Horsf._
                           Australian Pipit.

  _Anthus Australis_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 229.

  ——— _pallescens_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 229.

  _Waȑ-ra-joo-lon_, Aborigines of the lowlands of Western Australia.

  _Common Lark_ of the Colonists.


The Pipits, like many other of the Australian birds, are exceedingly
perplexing, inasmuch as the specimens from the various colonies differ
from each other considerably in size and in the length and form of the
hind-claws. A more minute examination and a longer observation of them
in a state of nature than my stay in the country afforded, may prove
them to comprise several species, though for the present I can only
regard them as mere local varieties; whatever the case may be, one thing
is certain,—namely that the northern and southern regions of the country
are inhabited by Pipits which bear a great resemblance to each other.
Every variety of country, from the humid flats and sides of lagoons
teeming with luxuriant vegetation to the hot sterile plains, are equally
frequented by them; I could not fail to remark, however, that the
short-toed and smaller-sized birds were most abundant on the plains. The
_Anthus Australis_ has all the habits and actions of its European
prototype the _Anthus aquaticus_, but is still more bold and showy; its
note is also very similar; it seldom flies higher than the tops of the
trees, but occasionally mounts perpendicularly in the air, singing all
the time; when flushed from the ground it rarely flies to any great
distance before it descends again rather abruptly, to the earth, to the
branch of a tree, or a small bush.

The nest is a rather deep and compactly formed structure of dried
grasses; it is placed in a hole in the ground, sometimes beneath the
shelter of a tuft of grass, but more frequently in a clear, open and
exposed situation, the top of the nest being level with the surface. The
eggs, which are three and sometimes four in number, are of a lengthened
form, being eleven lines long by seven and a half lines broad, and are
of a greyish white, blotched and freckled with light chestnut-brown and
purplish grey, the latter colour appearing as if beneath the surface of
the shell.

The breeding-season commences in the early part of September and
continues until January, during which season two or three broods are
reared.

The stomach is very muscular, and the food consists of insects of
various kinds and small seeds.

The sexes are alike in plumage and may be described as follows:—

All the upper surface dark brown, each feather broadly margined with
reddish brown; wings and two centre tail-feathers brown, margined with
whitish brown; two lateral tail-feathers white, margined on the inner
webs with blackish brown and with blackish brown shafts, the remaining
tail-feathers blackish brown; stripe over the eye light buff;
ear-coverts brown; under surface dull white, washed with buff on the
under surface of the shoulder and on the under tail-coverts; the
feathers of the breast, flanks and sides of the neck with a streak of
dark brown down the centre, these marks being most conspicuous on the
sides of the neck and across the upper part of the breast, where they
are arranged in the form of a gorget, the points of which proceed upward
to the angle of the lower mandible; irides very dark brown; bill and
feet fleshy brown.

Freshly moulted individuals differ in having a rich tint of rufous
pervading the whole of the upper surface, the breast and flanks.

The figures represent the two sexes of the natural size, from specimens
procured in New South Wales.

[Illustration:

  CINCLORAMPHUS CRURALIS.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                        CINCLORAMPHUS CRURALIS.
                          Brown Cincloramphus.

  _Megalurus cruralis_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 228.

  _Cincloramphus cruralis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part V. p.
            150; and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part IV.


As there are two, if not three, species of this very singular genus
inhabiting the southern portion of Australia, which bear a great
resemblance to each other, it becomes necessary to state that the bird
represented in the accompanying Plate is the one commonly seen during
the months of spring and summer in all the open districts of New South
Wales, in which country it arrives in August, and after performing the
task of incubation, departs again in January or February. Open downs,
grassy flats and fields of corn are its favourite places of resort. It
is certainly one of the most animated of the Australian birds. Had I not
visited Australia and personally studied its habits, my credulity would
have been severely taxed upon being informed that the two birds here
figured represent the male and female of the same species, many genera
having been instituted upon much slighter grounds of difference; I had
abundant proofs, however, that such is really the case, having seen many
of the nests and eggs with the parent bird in the act of incubation,
during the two seasons I spent in the country. In most of its habits and
in its economy this bird closely assimilates to the Skylark of Europe.
During the early months of spring it trips over the ground in the most
sprightly manner with its tail nearly erect; mounts on the dead limbs of
trees and the fences of enclosures, and runs along them with the
greatest dexterity; at this season of the year also the male may be
frequently seen running beside his diminutive partner, and so busily
engaged in pouring forth his song for her amusement, as to be apparently
unconscious of the presence of any other object. After the female has
chosen the place for her nest, which is always on the ground, the male,
like the Skylark, frequently mounts in the air with a tremulous motion
of the wings, and after cheering her with his animated song, descends
again to the ground or skims off to a neighbouring tree, and incessantly
pours forth his voluble and not unpleasing notes.

I found it very abundant in all the Upper Hunter districts, as well as
in all the surrounding country, both to the north and south: I killed
numerous examples of both sexes, but not one male with the throat and
under surface black, like specimens I have seen from Port Philip and
South Australia, and which I consider to be specifically distinct.

The male has the entire plumage brown, each feather margined with
brownish white; a large patch of dark brown on the centre of the
abdomen; bill, inside of the mouth and tongue black; irides hazel; feet
flesh-brown.

The female is similar in colour, but the feathers being more broadly
margined with brownish white gives her a paler hue than her mate; the
under surface is also much lighter, and the patch in the centre of the
abdomen is much smaller.

The Plate represents a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  CINCLORAMPHUS CANTILLANS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                   CINCLORAMPHUS CANTILLANS, _Gould_.
                     Black-breasted Cincloramphus.

  _Cincloramphus cantatoris_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part X. p.
            135.

  _Ye-jȕl-lup_, Aborigines of the mountain districts of Western
            Australia.

  _Sky-Lark_ of the Colonists.


I consider it necessary to state that the figures in the accompanying
Plate are taken from specimens killed at Port Philip in South Australia,
and I have a specimen procured at Port Essington which is precisely
similar. They all differ from _C. cruralis_ in their smaller size and in
their darker colouring, a character which is confined to the male sex,
and which is, I believe, strictly a summer livery. At Swan River the
individuals are still smaller, and like the _C. cruralis_ are never so
black on the breast as the bird here figured; shall we not then be
justified in considering this again as distinct? The term _cantillans_
was applied to a specimen in the winter dress, when neither the breast
nor bill is black, otherwise a more appropriate appellation might have
been applied.

I possess no information respecting the habits of the Port Philip bird.

The following notes are from the pen of Mr. Gilbert, and are the result
of his observations of the bird in Western Australia:—

“This is a summer visitor to Western Australia, a remarkably shy and
wary species, and a most difficult bird to procure, from its generally
perching on a part of a tree whence it can command an uninterrupted view
all round, rarely admitting any one to approach it within gun-shot. On
being flushed from the ground it immediately takes to a tree, where,
with its tail erect, and its head stretched out to the full extent of
its neck, it presents a most grotesque appearance. It often ascends
perpendicularly to a considerable height in the air, and then floats
horizontally without any apparent motion of the wings to the distance of
three hundred yards. While flying it utters a most disagreeably harsh
and grating note, which is exchanged for an inward, rather plaintive
tone when perched among the branches. The nest, which is deposited in a
slight depression of the ground, is formed of dried grasses, and is so
loosely put together that it is extremely difficult to preserve it
entire; the eggs are four in number, and are similar to, but larger and
of a lighter colour than those of the _C. rufescens_.”

All the upper surface sandy brown, the centres of the feathers darker;
primaries and tail greyish brown, slightly margined with reddish brown;
immediately before the eye a triangular spot of brownish black; throat
and chest dull white, the latter with a stripe of brown down each
feather; under surface light brown; in the centre of the abdomen a patch
of dark brown, each feather margined with pale brown; bill and feet
fleshy brown.

The figures represent two males and a female of the natural size in
different states of plumage.

[Illustration:

  CINCLORAMPHUS RUFESCENS.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                        CINCLORAMPHUS RUFESCENS.
                      Rufous-tinted Cincloramphus.

  _Anthus rufescens_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 230.

  _E-rolȅ-del_, Aborigines of the Mountain districts of Western
            Australia.

  _Singing Lark_ of the Colonists.


If Australia be not celebrated for its singing-birds, it has still some
few whose voices serve to enliven the monotony of its scenery; and of
these no one deserves greater attention than the bird here represented,
which is a very sweet songster, and whose note somewhat resembles, but
is much inferior to that of our own Skylark. With the exception of Van
Diemen’s Land, where I believe it is never seen, it appears to be
distributed over all parts of Australia, as evidenced by my collection,
containing specimens from every locality yet visited by Europeans. In
New South Wales and Western Australia it is strictly migratory, and only
a summer visitor, arriving in August and departing in February; on the
other hand, I met with it on the sand hills at Holdfast Bay in South
Australia in the month of July, the period of winter: although not
exclusively a terrestrial bird, it spends much of its time on the
ground, from which it makes perpendicular ascents to a great height in
the air, and then descending to the tops of the highest trees, flies
horizontally from one tree to another, singing all the time with the
greatest volubility; the female, which is not more than half the size of
the male, remaining all the while on the ground, from which she is not
easily aroused, and consequently not so often seen. It evinces a great
partiality to open grassy plains here and there studded with trees. It
breeds in October, November and December, and sometimes rears two broods
during the season. The nest is placed in a depression of the earth, most
frequently at the foot of a slightly raised tuft of grass, and is
externally composed of strong grasses and lined with very fine grasses,
and sometimes with hairs. The eggs are four in number, ten lines long by
seven and a half lines broad, and are of a purplish white, very boldly
marked with freckles and small blotches of deep chestnut-brown, so much
so as frequently to render the blotches more conspicuous than the ground
colour.

The female frequently utters a monotonous shriek or call at night.

The male has all the upper surface dark brown, each feather margined
with olive-brown; upper tail-coverts rufous; lores black; stripe above
the eye and throat whitish; all the under surface pale brownish grey,
deepening into buff on the under tail-coverts, and with a series of
minute spots of brown on the breast; irides hazel; bill dark lead-colour
in summer, fleshy brown in winter; tarsi yellowish grey; feet bluish
ashy grey.

The female is smaller and is destitute of the black lores; in other
respects she is so like the male that a separate description is
unnecessary.

The figures represent the two sexes of the natural size, on a branch of
the cherry-tree of the colonists (_Exocarpus Cupressiformis_).

[Illustration:

  MIRAFRA HORSFIELDII: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                     MIRAFRA HORSFIELDII, _Gould_.
                          Horsfield’s Mirafra.

  _Mirafra Horsfieldii_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., January 27, 1847.


This species, which I have named _Horsfieldii_ in honour of the founder
of the genus, is sparingly dispersed over all the plains and open
districts of New South Wales, but is more abundant on the inner side of
the mountain ranges towards the interior than between the ranges and the
sea; I have also a specimen procured during Dr. Leichardt’s overland
expedition from Moreton Bay, and one from the neighbourhood of Port
Essington: both of these, although possessing characters common to each
other, differ from specimens obtained in New South Wales in being
larger, redder in colour, and in having a stouter bill—features which
will probably hereafter prove them to be distinct, and which exhibit a
near alliance to the true _Mirafra Javanica_.

The bird here figured is from New South Wales, where I found it more
abundant on the Liverpool Plains than elsewhere; I also met with
solitary individuals in the district of the Upper Hunter.

In its habits it is more terrestrial than arboreal, and will frequently
allow itself to be almost trodden upon before it will rise, and then it
merely flies to a short distance and descends again; it may often be
seen perched upon the strong blades of grass and occasionally on the
trees; it frequently mounts high in the air after the manner of the
Skylark of Europe, singing all the time very melodiously, but with a
weaker strain than that favourite bird; it also occasionally utters its
pleasing song while perched on the branches of the trees.

The sexes are alike in colour and size.

General plumage ashy brown, the centre of the feathers dark brown, the
latter colour predominating on the head, lower part of the back and
tertiaries; wings brown margined with rufous; over the eye a stripe of
buff; chin white; under surface pale buff; throat crossed by a series of
dark brown spots arranged in a crescentic form; under surface of the
wing rufous; bill flesh-brown at the base and dark brown at the tip;
feet fleshy brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ESTRELDA BELLA.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                            ESTRELDA BELLA.
                           Fire-tailed Finch.

  _Loxia bella_, Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p. xlvi.

  _Black-lined Grosbeak_, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 198.—Ib.
            Gen. Hist., vol. v. p. 267.

  _Fringilla bella_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 257.

  _Wee-bong_, Aborigines of New South Wales.

  _Fire-tail_, Colonists of Van Diemen’s Land.


Van Diemen’s Land may be considered the stronghold of this species, for
it is universally and numerously dispersed over all parts of that island
suited to its habits and economy. It also inhabits New South Wales, but
is there far less abundant than in other districts. I generally observed
it in small communities varying from six to a dozen in number, searching
on the ground for the seeds of grasses and other small plants which grow
on the plains and open parts of the forest. It also frequents the
gardens and pleasure-grounds of the settlers, with whom it is a
favourite, few birds being more tame or more beautifully coloured than
this little Finch; the brilliant scarlet of the rump, and the base of
the tail-feathers strongly contrasting with the more sombre hue of the
body. Its flight is extremely rapid and arrow-like, particularly when
crossing a plain or passing down a gulley. It is a stationary species in
Van Diemen’s Land, and probably also in New South Wales. In the former
country I constantly encountered it breeding, my attention being usually
attracted by the enormous nest which it builds, and which, being placed
among the branches of shrubby trees without the slightest attempt at
concealment, is very conspicuous. It moreover breeds in small
communities, several nests about ten inches in diameter being placed on
the same tree. They are constructed entirely of grasses and stalks of
plants, dome-shaped in form, with a hole near the top for the ingress
and egress of the bird. The eggs are five or six in number, rather
lengthened in form and of a beautiful flesh-white, eight and a half
lines long by six and a half lines broad. It breeds from September to
January, during which period two or three broods are reared. Its note is
a single mournful sound emitted while perched on the low branches of the
trees in the neighbourhood of its feeding-places.

The sexes present no external difference, and may be thus
described:—circle surrounding the eyes, lores, and a line crossing the
forehead black; all the upper surface, wings and tail olive-brown,
crossed by numerous narrow crescentic lines of black; rump and base of
the tail-feathers shining scarlet; all the under surface grey, crossed
by numerous narrow crescentic lines of black; centre of the abdomen and
under tail-coverts black; tips of the primaries and tail-feathers brown
without bars; bill crimson, becoming paler at the base of the upper
mandible; irides very dark brown; eyelash beautiful light blue; feet
flesh-colour.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ESTRELDA OCULEA.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                            ESTRELDA OCULEA.
                            Red-eared Finch.

  _Fringilla oculea_, Quoy et Gaim. Voy. de l’Astrolabe, Zool., Part I.
            p. 211; Ois., pl. 18. fig. 2.

  _Jeȅ-ree_, Aborigines of the lowland, and

  _Dweȑ-den-ngool-gnan̏-neer_, Aborigines of the mountain districts of
            Western Australia.

  _Native Sparrow_, Colonists of Swan River.


This species is abundant in many parts of the colony of Swan River on
the western coast, but has not as yet been discovered elsewhere. Like
its near ally the _Estrelda bella_ it inhabits open grassy glades
studded with thickets, particularly in moist swampy districts and along
the borders of lakes and rivers. Its food consists of small grass-seeds
procured among the herbage on the ground. It is not a migratory species,
and its place of resort appears to be merely changed when, the supply of
food being exhausted, it becomes necessary to seek it elsewhere. Mr.
Gilbert states that “it is a solitary species and is generally found in
the most retired spots in the thickets, where its mournful, slowly
drawn-out note only serves to add to the loneliness of the place. Its
powers of flight, although sometimes rapid, would seem to be feeble, as
they are merely employed to remove it from tree to tree. The natives of
the mountain districts of Western Australia have a tradition that the
first bird of this species speared a dog and drank its blood, and thus
obtained its red bill.”

The sexes are so much alike that dissection is necessary to distinguish
the male from the female. The beautiful patch of scarlet feathers behind
the eye, together with the rich colouring of the bill, assists very
materially in relieving the more sombre but delicate markings of the
remainder of the body.

Lores, line over the bill and a narrow circle surrounding the eye black;
behind the eye a small patch of shining scarlet; all the upper surface
olive-brown, crossed by numerous fine irregular crescent-shaped bands of
black, which are broadest and most conspicuous on the lower part of the
back; wings and tail similarly marked, but with the black bands still
broader and more distinct; rump and the margins of the base of the
central tail-feathers shining scarlet; throat and breast light brown,
crossed by numerous crescent-shaped bands of black; abdomen and under
surface black, with a large spot of white near the tip of each feather;
irides red; bill bright vermilion, the base of the upper mandible edged
with pearl-grey; eyelash greenish blue; legs yellowish grey.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ESTRELDA BICHENOVII.

  _J. & E. Gould del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                          ESTRELDA BICHENOVII.
                            Bicheno’s Finch.

  _Fringilla Bichenovii_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p.
            258.—Jard. and Selb. Ill. Orn., vol. i. pl. xii. fig. 3.


This beautiful little Finch inhabits the extensive plains of the
interior, particularly such portions of them as are thinly intersected
with low scrubby trees and bushes. The localities in which my specimens
were obtained were the Liverpool and Brezi Plains, and I have not yet
received it from any other parts of Australia, but this may be
attributed rather to the paucity of information respecting the interior
than to any other cause; and as I have had occasion to remark with
respect to other species, it will be impossible to determine the precise
extent of the range of this bird until the country has been more fully
explored.

The Bicheno’s Finch is very tame in its disposition, and is generally to
be observed on the ground, occupied in procuring the seeds of the
grasses and other small plants, which form its principal food. At the
time of my visit to the interior, which was in the month of December, it
was assembled in small flocks of from four to eight in number; these,
when flushed from among the grasses, would perch on the neighbouring
bushes rather than fly off to any distance, and indeed the form of its
wings and tail indicate that it possesses lesser powers of flight than
many of the other Finches.

I was not fortunate enough to obtain its nest or eggs, neither did I
ever hear it utter any kind of song; consequently I am unable to give
any information on these points.

The male has the face, ear-coverts and throat pure white, completely
surrounded by a band of black, which is broadest on the forehead; crown
of the head, nape of the neck, and back broccoli-brown, each feather
crossed by numerous transverse lines of a lighter tint; upper part of
the rump black; lower part of the rump and upper tail-coverts
snow-white; wings black, all the feathers except the primaries
beautifully spotted with white; chest greyish white tinged with buff,
bounded below by a broadish band of jet-black; abdomen and flanks buffy
white; under tail-coverts and tail black; irides black, surrounded by a
narrow black lash; bill beautiful pale blue.

The sexes, although having a similar character of marking, may be
distinguished from each other by the male having the black bands of the
chest and throat broader, and its plumage more brilliant. The young also
at an early age possess the characteristic markings of the adult.

The Plate represents a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ESTRELDA ANNULOSA: _Gould_.

  _J. & E. Gould del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      ESTRELDA ANNULOSA, _Gould_.
                          Black-rumped Finch.

  _Amadina annulosa_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VII. p. 143.


This species was one of several, collected by the Officers of H.M.S. the
Beagle, and for the specimens from which my figures were taken I am
indebted to Messrs. Bynoe and Dring. The bird has also been more
recently brought to England by Captain Grey: all the specimens here
alluded to were collected on the north-west coast, and I find it is not
unfrequently seen on the Coburg Peninsula, where it inhabits the grassy
banks of running streams, in small families of from six to ten in
number.

It differs from Bicheno’s Finch in the spots and markings on the upper
surface being rather less defined, and in the colouring of the rump,
which in this species is black, while in the other it is white.

Face, ear-coverts and throat white, surrounded by a jet-black band,
which is broadest on the forehead; chest greyish white, bounded below by
a conspicuous band of black; lower part of the abdomen white; crown of
the head, back of the neck, and back greyish brown marked with numerous
fine transverse lines of greyish white; rump, upper and under
tail-coverts and tail black; wings blackish brown, the secondaries and
coverts thickly dotted with fine markings of greyish white; bill and
feet lead-colour.

The figures are those of a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ESTRELDA TEMPORALIS.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                          ESTRELDA TEMPORALIS.
                          Red-eyebrowed Finch.

  _Fringilla temporalis_, Lath. Ind. Orn., Supp., p. xlviii.—Vig. &
            Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 258.—Shaw, Gen. Zool.,
            vol. ix. p. 533.

  _Temporal Finch_, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp., vol. ii. p. 211; and Gen.
            Hist., vol. vi. p. 115.—Lewin, Birds of New Holl., pl. 12.

  _Le Sénégali quinticolor_, Vieill. Ois. Chant., p. 38, pl. 15.

  _Fringilla quinticolor_, Vieill. 2nde Edit., du Nouv. Dict. d’Hist.
            Nat., tom. xii. p. 183.—Ib. Ency. Méth., Part III. p. 991.

  _Goo-lung-ag-ga_, Aborigines of New South Wales.

  _Red-Bill_ of the Colonists.


This species of Finch is very generally spread over the gardens and all
such open pasture lands of New South Wales and South Australia as abound
in grasses and small plants, upon the seeds of which it chiefly
subsists. It is particularly abundant in the neighbourhood of Sydney;
even in the Botanic Garden numbers may always be seen flitting from
border to border. It is easily domesticated, and is of a lively
disposition in captivity, even old birds becoming perfectly reconciled
after a few days. In the autumn it is gregarious, and Mr. Caley states
it often assembles in such large flocks, that he has killed above forty
at a shot; in the spring they are mostly seen in pairs, and then build
their large and conspicuous nest, which is formed of dead grass, lined
with thistle down, in any low bush adapted for a site, but in none more
frequently than in the beautiful plant figured in the accompanying Plate
(_Leptospermum squarrosum_) which was made by Mrs. Gould during our stay
in Sydney; and I feel assured it will be acknowledged, that in
delineations of flowers as well as of birds her pencil was directed by a
hand at once masterly and truthful.

The eggs are five or six in number, of a beautiful fleshy white, seven
lines long by five and a half lines broad.

Crown of the head bluish grey; upper surface, wings and tail
olive-brown; under surface white; patch over the eye and rump crimson;
irides brownish red; eyelash narrow, naked and black; bill fine
blood-red, with the ridge of the upper and the lower part of the under
mandible black; legs yellowish white.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ESTRELDA? PHAETON.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                           ESTRELDA PHAETON.
                             Crimson Finch.

  _Bengali Phaéton_ (_Fringilla phaeton_), Homb. et Jacq. Ann. des Sci.
            Nat., tom. vi. p. 314.

  _Ing-a-dȁm-oon_, Aborigines of Port Essington.

  _Red Finch_, Residents of Port Essington.


In a paper addressed by MM. Hombron and Jacquinot to the Académie des
Sciences on the 9th of August, 1841, entitled, “_Déscription de
plusieurs Oiseaux nouveaux ou peu connus, provenant de l’expédition
autour du monde faite sur les corvettes l’Astrolabe et la Zélée_,” I
find the characters of a Finch, which, although the colouring does not
quite agree with that of the bird here figured, I have little doubt is
identical with it. I am the more inclined to consider them to be
identical from the circumstance of MM. Hombron and Jacquinot’s bird
having been collected at Raffles’ Bay, a locality closely bordering that
in which Mr. Gilbert procured the specimens in my own collection, and
who states that “this bird is an inhabitant of moist grassy meadows,
particularly where the _Pandanus_ (Screw Pine) is abundant. It is
generally found feeding among the grass, and when disturbed invariably
takes to those trees. From July to November it is to be observed in
large flocks, sometimes of several hundreds; but although great numbers
were shot during this period, not more than three or four were obtained
in the rich plumage. About the latter part of November they were either
in pairs or in small companies, not exceeding six in number; the males
decorated with their rich red and spotted dress.”

In its form it is in every respect closely allied to the _Estrelda
temporalis_ of the southern coast, and it doubtless as closely
assimilates in its actions, economy and nidification, of which at
present nothing is known.

The stomach is somewhat muscular, and the food consists of grass and
other small seeds.

Crown of the head deep bluish black; lores, line over the eye, sides of
the face and ear-coverts rich crimson red; under surface crimson red,
spotted on the flanks with white; centre of the abdomen and under
tail-coverts black; back of the neck and rump dark brownish grey; back
and wings brownish grey, each feather crossed near the extremity with a
band of deep crimson red; upper tail-coverts and two centre
tail-feathers deep red; the remainder deep red at the base, passing into
brown at the tip; bill rich carmine, bounded at the base by a band of
greyish white about one-tenth of an inch in breadth; hinder part of the
tarsi and inside of the feet ochre yellow; front of tarsi and upper
surface of the feet ochre yellow, strongly tinged with hyacinth-red.

The female, who is rather smaller than her mate, is brown above, a few
of the feathers on the back and the wing-coverts crossed with red as in
the male; lores, line over the eye, sides of the face, chin, upper
tail-coverts and tail as in the male, but not quite so brilliant; breast
and flanks greyish brown, the latter ornamented with a few small spots
of white; centre of the abdomen buff.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  ESTRELDA RUFICAUDA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter lithog._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      ESTRELDA RUFICAUDA, _Gould_.
                           Red-tailed Finch.

  _Amadina ruficauda_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part IV. p. 106;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part I.


I observed this beautiful Finch rather thinly dispersed on the sides of
the river Namoi, particularly along the sloping banks covered with
herbage, where it appeared to be feeding upon such grasses and other
annuals as afforded seeds congenial to its taste; I also frequently
observed it among the rushes which grow in the beds of mud along the
sides of the water; and this, I regret to say, is all the information I
have to communicate respecting it. It is a species seldom seen in
collections, which may be attributed to the circumstance of its being
strictly confined to the interior, a part of the country where
collections are much less frequently formed than near the coast. The
only parts of Australia whence I have received or in which I have killed
it, are the Liverpool Plains, and the banks of the rivers Mokai and
Namoi.

The adult male and female are scarcely to be distinguished by outward
appearance; the female is, however, a trifle less than her mate in size.
The young, on the contrary, present a very different appearance; the
whole of their plumage being of a uniform buffy brown; eye yellowish
olive surrounded by a narrow olive lash; bill reddish brown; legs
brownish yellow.

Face and cheeks scarlet, the latter covered with narrow feathers, which
are finely spotted with white at the tip; upper surface and wings
olive-brown; upper tail-coverts and tail deep crimson-brown, the former
having a large spot of pinkish white near the tip of each feather;
throat, chest and flanks delicate olive-grey, each feather having a
large oval white spot transversely disposed near the tip; centre of the
abdomen and under tail-coverts dirty yellowish white; bill scarlet;
irides orange slightly inclining to hazel, surrounded by a rather broad,
naked, flesh-coloured lash; legs and feet rather darker than fine
lemon-yellow.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  AMADINA MODESTA: _Gould_

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                       AMADINA MODESTA, _Gould_.
                         Plain-coloured Finch.

  _Amadina modesta_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part IV. p. 105; and
            in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part I.


The native habitat of this species of Finch, so far as is yet known, is
confined to New South Wales, where it inhabits the stony ridges
bordering the large plains. I have known it to cross the Liverpool range
and take up its summer abode in the flats of the Upper Hunter, but this
proximity to the coast is rare. I found it tolerably abundant on the
Liverpool Plains and on the banks of the Namoi, and Mr. Gilbert also
mentions his having observed it on the low ranges to the northward of
Moreton Bay. In its habits, actions and economy no remarkable
differences were observed from those of the other species of the genus.

It is usually seen in pairs or associated in small companies, feeding
either on or near the ground; the seeds of grasses and other annuals
forming its chief supply of food.

A nest found by Mr. Gilbert was of a domed form, composed of grasses,
and contained five or six white eggs, about half an inch long by
three-eighths broad.

The sexes may be distinguished by the absence of the black mark in the
female, as shown in the accompanying Plate.

The male has the fore-part of the head deep crimson red; lores and a
spot on the chin black; nape of the neck, mantle and back brown; wings
brown; tertials (which are very long in this species), together with the
greater and lesser quill-feathers, having a spot of white at the tip;
rump and upper tail-coverts alternately barred with lines of greyish
white and brown; tail-feathers black, the two outer ones on each side
tipped with white; under surface white, transversely barred with lines
of brown, which are strongest on the flanks; middle of the abdomen and
under tail-coverts white; bill black; irides reddish brown; eyes
surrounded by a very narrow lash of blackish brown; legs flesh-white.

The female differs in having the colouring of the crown less extensive,
and in wanting the black on the chin and lores.

The figures represent the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  AMADINA LATHAMI.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                            AMADINA LATHAMI.
                          Spotted-sided Finch.

  _Fringilla leucocephala_, var., Lath. Ind. Orn. Supp., p.
            xlviii.—Shaw, Gen. Zool., vol. ix. p. 493.

  _Spotted Grosbeak_, Lewin, Birds of New Holl., pl. ix.

  _White-headed Finch_, Lath. Gen. Syn. Supp., vol. ii. p. 210. pl. 132.

  _Spotted-sided Grosbeak_, Lath. Gen. Hist., vol. v. p. 248. pl.
            lxxxix.

  _Fringilla Lathami_, Vig. & Horsf. in Linn. Trans., vol. xv. p. 256.


This bird is very generally dispersed over the southern portion of the
Australian continent; I found it plentiful in South Australia and in
every part of New South Wales that I visited; and it was equally
numerous beyond the boundary of the colony on the Liverpool Plains, the
Namoi, &c. It is a showy attractive species, and passes much of its time
on the ground, where it procures its food, which consists of the seeds
of various kinds of grasses, &c.; upon being compelled to rise from the
ground it merely flies into the nearest tree, the scarlet rump showing
very conspicuously during these short flights.

The most singular part of this bird’s history is the site often chosen
for its nest, which is frequently built among the large sticks forming
the under surface of the nest of the smaller species of Eagles, and that
too during the time the Eagle is sitting, both species hatching and
rearing their progeny in harmony; this I have witnessed in several
instances, and have taken the eggs of the Eagle and of the Finch at the
same time, as mentioned in the following extract from my journal:—“Oct.
23. Found the nest of _Amadina Lathami_ placed under and among the
sticks of a Whistling Eagle’s (_Haliastur? sphenurus_) nest, in which
latter the old bird was then sitting. My black companion Natty ascended
the tree, a high swamp oak (_Casuarina_) on the bank of the Dartbrook,
and brought down the eggs of both birds. The little Finches were sitting
on the small twigs close to their rapacious but friendly neighbour.” At
other times the nest is placed on the leafy branch of a gum- or
apple-tree. It is of a large size, and is constructed of grasses of
various kinds; in form it is nearly spherical, with a short pendent
spout on one side, through which the bird obtains access to the
interior; the eggs are white, rather long in shape, and five or six in
number.

The sexes offer little or no difference in the markings of their
plumage.

Crown of the head and back of the neck brownish grey; back and wings
brown, becoming deeper on the tips of the primaries; lores, a broad band
across the breast, flanks and tail deep black; each feather of the
flanks with a large spot of white near the tip; rump and upper
tail-coverts shining scarlet; throat, abdomen and under tail-coverts
white; irides red, surrounded by a narrow, naked, lilac-red lash; bill
blood-red, passing into lilac at the base and on the culmen; feet
purplish brown.

The young for the first year has the bill black, except at the base,
where it is flesh-colour; the band across the breast and the flanks
greyish brown, the latter being barred indistinctly with black and
greyish white; in other respects the plumage nearly resembles the adult.

The Plate represents an adult male and a young bird of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  AMADINA CASTANOTIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      AMADINA CASTANOTIS, _Gould_.
                         Chestnut-eared Finch.

  _Amadina castanotis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part IV. p. 105;
            and in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part I.


This bird, which is nearly allied to the _Bengali moucheté_ of
Vieillot’s ‘Oiseaux Chanteurs,’ plate 3, appears to be almost peculiar
to the interior of Australia; among other places it inhabits the large
plains to the north of the Liverpool range, and is particularly abundant
about Brezi and the banks of the river Mokai; but that it sometimes
occurs on the southern side of the range, is proved by my having killed
five specimens in Mr. Coxen’s Garden at Yarrundi on the Upper Hunter. It
has also been found, though very sparingly, at Swan River, and a
specimen is contained in the collection formed by Mr. Bynoe at Port
Essington: like the _Amadina Lathami_, this species resorts much to the
ground and feeds upon the seeds of various kinds of grasses. On the
plains it congregates in small flocks, and evinces a decided preference
to those spots where the trees are thinly dispersed and grasses
abundant.

The Chestnut-eared Finch is one of the smallest of the genus yet
discovered in Australia; it is also one of the most beautiful, and in
the chasteness of its colouring can scarcely be excelled.

The two sexes differ very considerably in their markings, and may be
thus described:—

The male has the crown of the head, nape and back brownish grey; wings
brown; rump white; upper tail-coverts jet-black, each feather having
three large and conspicuous oval spots of white; tail-feathers blackish
brown slightly tinged with white at their tips; cheeks and ear-coverts
reddish chestnut, separated from the bill by a narrow transverse line of
white, which white line is bounded on each side by a still finer line of
black; throat and chest grey, the feathers transversely marked with fine
lines of black; a small black patch on the middle of the chest; abdomen
white; under tail-coverts buffy white; flanks chestnut, each feather
marked near the tip with two small oval spots of white; bill reddish
orange; feet reddish orange, rather lighter than the bill; irides red.

The female has the transverse lines on the face, upper tail-coverts and
feet, as in the male; upper surface, ear-coverts, wings, tail and flanks
greyish brown; throat and chest grey, slightly tinged with brown;
abdomen yellowish brown; bill reddish orange.

The figures represent both sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  AMADINA GOULDIÆ: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                            AMADINA GOULDIÆ.
                            Gouldian Finch.

  _Amadina Gouldiæ_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., January 23, 1844.


Novelty in itself has attractions, but when with novelty, beauty and
elegance are combined, the attractions are augmented beyond measure.
With this trite observation I here introduce to the notice of the
ornithologist a species not only the most beautiful of the family to
which it belongs, but which has its plumage adorned with colours and
markings that render it conspicuously different from every other bird
known; it is in fact beyond the power of my pen to describe or my pencil
to portray anything like the splendour of the changeable hues of the
lilac band which crosses the breast of this little gem, or the scarcely
less beautiful green of the neck and golden-yellow of the breast, the
latter colour being only equalled, certainly not surpassed, by the
crest-feathers of the Golden Pheasant. Whenever this bird becomes so far
common as to form a part of our preserved collections, or to add a
living lustre to our aviaries, it cannot fail to become a general
favourite. It is therefore with feelings of no ordinary nature that I
have ventured to dedicate this new and lovely little bird to the memory
of her, who in addition to being a most affectionate wife, for a number
of years laboured so hard and so zealously assisted me with her pencil
in my various works, but who, after having made a circuit of the globe
with me, and braved many dangers with a courage only equalled by her
virtues, and while cheerfully engaged in illustrating the present work,
was by the Divine will of her Maker suddenly called from this to a
brighter and better world; and I feel assured that in dedicating this
bird to the memory of Mrs. Gould, I shall have the full sanction of all
who were personally acquainted with her, as well as of those who only
knew her by her delicate works as an artist.

A single specimen of apparently an adult male and two immature birds are
all that ever came under my notice; for the former my especial thanks
are due to my esteemed friend Benjamin Bynoe, Esq., Surgeon R.N., late
of H.M.S. the Beagle, who obtained it in the Victoria River, on the
north-west coast of Australia. The young birds were procured by Mr.
Gilbert at Port Essington. These three examples are probably all that
have been collected, and from the remote situation of the country of
which it is a native, a long period is likely to elapse before the
species becomes common.

“This would seem to be a very local species,” says Mr. Gilbert, “for I
only met with it on Greenbill Island at the head of Van Diemen’s Gulf,
where it inhabited the edges of the mangroves and thickets: when
disturbed it invariably flew to the topmost branches of the loftiest
gums, a habit I have not before observed in any other member of the
genus. Its note is a very mournful sound, added to a double twit. Those
I observed were feeding among the high grass in small families of from
four to seven in number, and were very shy. The stomach is tolerably
muscular, and the food consists of grass and other seeds.”

The adult has the forehead, lores, ear-coverts and throat, deep velvety
black; from behind the eye, round the occiput, and down the sides of the
neck, a mark of verdigris-green, gradually blending into the yellowish
green of the upper surface and wings; across the breast a broad band of
shining lilac-purple, below which all the under surface is shining
wax-yellow; bill flesh-white at the base, tipped with blood-red; feet
flesh-colour.

The young bird has the head grey; upper surface light olive; under
surface pale buff; chin white; primaries and tail brown; irides dark
brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  POËPHILA MIRABILIS: _Humb: et Jacq:_

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                  POËPHILA MIRABILIS, _Homb. et Jacq._
                         Beautiful Grass Finch.

  _Poëphila mirabilis_, Homb. et Jacq. Voy. au Pole Sud.—O. des Murs,
            Icon. Orn., pl. 3. fig. 1.


Fine examples of this, one of the most lovely of the Finches yet
discovered, are contained in the gallery of the Museum of Natural
History of Paris; they were procured by Messrs. Hombron and Jacquinot in
the neighbourhood of Raffles’ Bay, on the north coast of Australia,
where it is so rare, that those gentlemen only met with three examples,
and were unable to make themselves acquainted with its actions and
manners. In the works above-quoted my _Poëphila Gouldiæ_ is figured as
the female of the present bird, but this I believe to be a mistake, the
specimen from which my description and figure were taken being to all
appearance an adult male; and as an evidence that such may be the case,
I may mention that no female of the group has yet been discovered so
gorgeously arrayed; the females of all the _Poëphilæ_ I have seen
resemble their respective males in the colouring of their plumage, but
have all the hues much less brilliant; it is not probable therefore that
a bird so gaily coloured as the _P. Gouldiæ_ should be the female of the
_P. mirabilis_; besides which, Mr. Gilbert procured an example of _P.
Gouldiæ_ during Dr. Leichardt’s Expedition from Moreton Bay to Port
Essington, which dissection proved to be a female, and which although
similarly, was much less highly coloured than the bird I have
represented.

Crown of the head and cheeks of a beautiful carmine, bounded posteriorly
by a narrow line of black; throat black; to this succeeds a band of pale
blue, narrow on the throat and broad on the back of the neck; back and
wings green, passing into yellow at the nape of the neck; breast crossed
by a broad band of lilac, separated from the yellow of the abdomen by a
narrow line of orange; rump and upper tail-coverts pale blue; quills
brown; bill fleshy white, becoming redder at the tip; feet flesh-colour.

The figures represent a male in two positions of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  POËPHILA ACUTICAUDA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     POËPHILA ACUTICAUDA, _Gould_.
                        Long-tailed Grass Finch.

  _Amadina acuticauda_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VII. p. 143.


It is no less interesting to trace the analogies of species inhabiting
the opposite portions of a large continent like that of Australia, than
to observe how beautifully any peculiar character is preserved in the
species of every natural group. The three new species of the present
genus afford a very striking example of this, where not only a
similarity of colouring exists in the deep fawn or cinnamon hue of the
plumage, but in the conspicuous band of black which surrounds the lower
part of the body; nor is the graduated character of the tail-feathers
less striking in these three species, the first trace of it being
observable in _Poëphila cincta_, which would appear to be carried to the
maximum in the present species, which, so far as is known, is confined
to the north-west coast. The specimens from which my figures of this
bird were taken are from the interesting collection placed in my hands
by Mr. Bynoe of the Beagle, whose great perseverance and assiduity have
enabled me to add many species to the fauna of Australia. Indeed many of
the officers of that vessel will have their names handed down to
posterity in consequence of the attention they have paid to this branch
of science, independently of the legitimate objects of their various
expeditions; among others I may particularly allude to my much-esteemed
friend Mr. Darwin, Captain Wickham, Captain Stokes, Mr. Dring, &c. Since
the arrival of Mr. Bynoe’s birds I have also received specimens from
Port Essington, which, like their analogue the _Poëphila cincta_ of the
eastern coast, inhabit the open plains bordering streams, and feed on
the seeds of various grasses and other plants.

I regret that so little information has been transmitted to me
respecting the habits and economy of this beautiful species.

The sexes differ but little in outward appearance; the female is,
however, rather less in size, is less strikingly marked, and has the two
middle tail-feathers shorter than her mate.

Crown of the head and cheeks grey; upper and under surface of the body
fawn-colour, becoming more delicate, and assuming a pinky hue on the
abdomen; lores, throat, hand across the rump and tail jet-black; upper
and under tail-coverts and thighs white; wings fawn-grey; bill and feet
yellow.

The figures are those of a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  POËPHILA PERSONATA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                      POËPHILA PERSONATA, _Gould_.
                          Masked Grass Finch.

  _Poëphila personata_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., February 8, 1842.


This beautiful and well-marked species of Grass Finch is also a native
of the north-west coast of Australia, where several specimens were shot
by Mr. Gilbert during an excursion from Port Essington towards the
interior of the country, who states that it inhabits grassy meadows near
streams, feeding on grass-seeds, &c. It was tolerably abundant, being
congregated in flocks of from twenty to forty. When on the wing it
utters a very feeble cry of _twit, twit, twit_, but at other times pours
forth a drawn-out mournful note, like that of the Estreldas.

The sexes are scarcely to be distinguished by their outward appearance,
both possessing the masked face; the female is, however, rather less in
size, and her markings are not quite so brilliant or decided as those of
the male.

Base of the bill surrounded by an irregular ring of deep velvety black;
crown of the head, upper surface and wings light cinnamon-brown; lower
part of the abdomen banded with deep velvety black; lower part of the
rump and under tail-coverts white; upper tail-coverts white, striped
longitudinally with black on the outer side; tail deep blackish brown;
irides of the old birds red, of the young birds dark brown; bill bright
orange; legs and feet fleshy red.

In some specimens the upper and lower ridges of the bill are black,
while in others the basal half only is orange, the remaining portion
being brown.

The figures are those of a male and a female of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  POËPHILA LEUCOTIS: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                      POËPHILA LEUCOTIS, _Gould_.
                        White-eared Grass Finch.

  _Poëphila leucotis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XIV. p. 106.


The present beautiful species of _Poëphila_ is one of the novelties
discovered during Dr. Leichardt’s expedition from Moreton Bay to Port
Essington; it was killed in the neighbourhood of the river Lynd by Mr.
Gilbert, in whose Journal, under the date of June 3, 1845, I find the
following remark:—“The most interesting circumstance that occurred to me
to-day was the discovery of a new species of _Poëphila_, which is very
nearly allied to the one from Port Essington (_P. personata_, Gould),
but which differs from that bird in having the bill light yellowish
horn-colour instead of orange, the irides dark brown and the legs red;
it is in every respect a true _Poëphila_, having the black face and
throat, the black marks on the flanks, the lengthened tail-feathers and
the general plumage of a light brown; like the other members of the
genus too, it inhabits the open spots of country, and feeds on grass
seeds.”

This I regret to say is all that is known respecting it. In addition to
the differences pointed out by Mr. Gilbert, I may mention that it may
also be distinguished from the _P. personata_ by its white ear-coverts
and by the black of the throat being bounded below and the black marks
on the flanks anteriorly with white; the colouring of the upper surface
is also a somewhat richer brown.

I possess both sexes of this species, and, as is the case with the other
members of the genus, they differ but little from each other.

Band crossing the forehead, lores, throat, and a large patch on each
flank deep velvety black; ear-coverts, a narrow line beneath the black
of the throat, and a space surrounding the black patch on the flanks
white; crown of the head deep reddish chestnut; all the upper surface
and wings dark cinnamon-brown; chest and abdomen pale vinous brown;
upper and under tail-coverts white, the former margined externally with
deep black; tail black; irides dark brown; feet red; bill yellowish
horn-colour.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  POËPHILA CINCTA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                       POËPHILA CINCTA, _Gould_.
                          Banded Grass Finch.

  _Amadina cincta_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part IV. p. 105.


This species is tolerably abundant on the Liverpool Plains, and the open
country to the northward towards the interior. It occurs so rarely on
the sea side of the ranges, that I only once met with it during my
sojourn in New South Wales. It is doubtless a native of the great basin
of the interior, where, like the _P. acuticauda_ and _P. personata_, it
frequents those parts of the open plains which abound in grasses, upon
the seeds of which and other plants it mostly subsists. The range of
this species is entirely unknown; I have never seen a specimen except
from the localities above mentioned.

Crown of the head and back of the neck grey; ear-coverts and sides of
the neck silvery grey; throat and lores black; back, chest and abdomen
chestnut-brown; wings the same, but darker; lower part of the body
surrounded by a black band; tail-coverts white; tail black; bill black;
irides reddish brown; eyelash blackish brown; feet pink-red.

The female differs from her mate by all her markings being much more
obscurely defined.

The figure is that of a male of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  DONACOLA CASTANEOTHORAX: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                   DONACOLA CASTANEOTHORAX, _Gould_.
                        Chestnut-breasted Finch.

  _Amadina castaneothorax_, Gould in Syn. Birds of Australia, Part II.


Judging from the extreme rarity of this species in European collections,
its true locality can scarcely as yet have been visited by naturalists.
I observed several specimens in the Museum at Sydney; these, as well as
those I possess, were obtained at Moreton Bay; the productions of which
part of Australia are less known than might have been expected,
considering how long it has been colonized. I had not the good fortune
to meet with this bird in a state of nature, but I have been informed
that it frequents reed-beds on the banks of rivers and lagoons, and that
it much resembles the Bearded Tit (_Calamophila biarmicus_) of Europe,
in the alertness with which it passes up and down the upright stems of
the reeds, from the lower part to the very top, a habit for which the
lengthened and curved form of its claws seems well adapted.

The sexes appear to differ but little in colouring; in some individuals,
however, the cheeks and throat are black instead of brown, a character
doubtless dependent on age or season.

I have not as yet seen this bird from the northern or western coast.

Crown of the head and back of the neck grey, the centre of each feather
being brown; cheeks, throat and ear-coverts blackish brown in some
specimens, each feather slightly tipped with pale buff; upper surface
and wings reddish brown; upper tail-coverts orange; tail brown, margined
with paler brown; across the chest a broad band of pale chestnut,
bounded below by a line of black, which gradually widens towards the
flanks, along which it is continued for some distance; the remainder of
the feathers on this part white, with a spot of blackish brown at the
extremity of each; abdomen white; thighs black; under tail-coverts
white, with a spot of blackish brown at the extremity of each; bill
black; feet brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  DONACOLA PECTORALIS: _Gould_

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                     DONACOLA PECTORALIS, _Gould_.
                         White-breasted Finch.

  _Amadina pectoralis_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part VIII. p. 127.


For two beautiful specimens of this entirely new Finch I am indebted to
E. Dring, Esq., of the Beagle, who procured them on the north-west coast
of Australia: no notes of their habits or economy having been forwarded
with the specimens, I am unable to give any particulars respecting them.

In structure and in the general disposition of its markings, the
White-breasted Finch offers a considerable resemblance to the _Donacola
castaneothorax_ of the eastern coast, and in all probability they are
analogues of each other, in accordance with a law which appears very
generally to prevail among the birds of Australia; each great division
of this vast country having its own peculiar species.

Crown of the head, all the upper surface and wings delicate greyish
brown; the tips of the wing-coverts very minutely spotted with white;
tail blackish brown; throat and ear-coverts glossy blackish purple;
chest crossed by a band of feathers, black at the base, largely tipped
with white; abdomen and under tail-coverts vinous grey; flanks
ornamented with a few feathers similar to those crossing the breast;
bill bluish horn-colour; feet flesh-colour.

The figures in the Plate are of the natural size, and are supposed to
represent the two sexes; the principal figure the male.

[Illustration:

  DONACOLA FLAVIPRYMNA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del et lith._ _Hullmandel & Walton Imp._
]



                     DONACOLA FLAVIPRYMNA, _Gould_.
                          Yellow-rumped Finch.

  _Donacola flaviprymna_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xiii. p.
            80.


A single specimen, and the only one I have ever seen of this pretty
Finch, was presented to me by Benjamin Bynoe, Esq., Surgeon, R.N., who
procured it on the banks of the Victoria River during the late surveying
voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. It is very nearly allied to the _Donacola
castaneothorax_, but is specifically distinct from that as well as from
every other known species of this now numerous tribe of birds. I regret
to add that nothing whatever is known of its habits or mode of life; but
in these respects it doubtless as closely assimilates to its congeners
as it does in form.

Head pale fawn-colour; back and wings light chestnut-brown; under
surface buff; upper tail-coverts wax-yellow; under tail-coverts black;
tail brown.

The figures are of the natural size.

[Illustration:

  EMBLEMA PICTA: _Gould_.

  _J. Gould and H. C. Richter del^t._ _C. Hullmandel Imp._
]



                        EMBLEMA PICTA, _Gould_.
                             Painted Finch.

  _Emblema picta_, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., 1842.


This beautiful Finch is a native of the north-west coast of Australia,
where it was procured by B. Bynoe, Esq. The single individual sent me by
that gentleman, and which I have drawn in two different positions, was
unaccompanied by any account whatever of its habits and economy; but we
may reasonably infer from the lengthened and pointed form of its bill,
that the kind of food upon which it subsists will be somewhat different
from that of the other Australian Finches. My readers will not fail to
observe how singular is the disposition of the colouring in the present
bird, the under parts being extremely beautiful, while on the upper,
which is generally the most highly ornamented, a more than ordinary
degree of plainness prevails.

Face and throat deep vermilion red; the base of all the feathers of the
throat black, giving that part a mingled appearance of black and red;
crown of the head, all the upper surface and wings brown; rump deep
vermilion red; tail dark brown; chest and all the under surface
jet-black, the flanks numerously spotted with white, and the centre of
the abdomen dashed with deep vermilion red; feet light red; upper
mandible black, under mandible scarlet, with a triangular patch of black
at the base.

The figures are of the natural size.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES


 1. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.
 2. Anachronistic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings retained as
      printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.





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