« PreviousContinue »
known under the name of Guava. These two natives of In Bombus the hinder tibia is compressed, smooth, and South America and of the West Indies have been trans- somewhat concave on the outer side, and is furnished on its ferred to tae Old World, and are as extensively cultivated edges with a fringe of stiff curved hairs, which serve to in the Indian Archipelago and in India as in the countries retain on the outer side of the shank the pollen collected where they are indigenous. P. Cattleianum is a species by the insect to feed its young. The Psithyrı have the remarkable for the purple colour of its fruit. The Guava, of tibia narrower and covered throughout with hair; they have which the name is derived from the American word Guyaba, no basket for the purpose of carrying pollen, is much esteemed in, hot countries as a fruit, and comes Four or five species of Psithyrus are found in England, nearest to the pear, though its odour is not thought agree- and these are well described by Kirby in his ‘Monographia able by many. It is also preserved and made into a jelly. | Apum Angliæ.' They are arranged by that author in his The roots, buds, and leaves are astringent, and used as such genus Apis, section **, c. 2, which section also includes the medicinally. Some of the species are cultivated in hot- true Bombi
. houses, but do not ripen their fruits well.
Psithyrus rupestris very ciosey resembles the Red-tailed PSILOPOʻGON, "Boie's name for a genus of Picidæ Humble-bee (Bombus lapidarius), but may be distinguished (Wood-peckers).
by the dark (almost black) colour of its wings. The Apis PSILOSO'MATA, M. de Blainville's name for his third Albinella of Kirby is no doubt the male of this species. family of his order Aporobranchiata, and placed by him at Ps. campestris is black, has a yellow band on the fore the end of that order and immediately before the order part of the thorax, yellow hair on the scutellum, and a Polybranchiata, which contains the genus Cavolina. [Poly patch of yellow on either side of the abdomen at the apex. BRANCHIATA.)
A. Rossiellus of Kirby is no doubt the male of this species. The only genus of Psilosomata recorded by M. de Blain P. Barbastellus is black, has the fore and hinder portion, ville is Phylliröe.
the thorax, and the base of the abdomen yellow; the apex Generic Character.-Body free, naked, very much com
of the abdomen is white. pressed, or much higher than it is thick, terminated behind A. subterraneus and A. vestalis of Kirby's monograph by a sort of vertical fin; cephalo-thorax small, and provided also belong to this group. with a pair of natatory appendages, which are triangular, PSITTA'CIDÆ, PARROTS, an extensive and highly compressed, and simulate a kind of long tentacles or interesting family of birds, remarkable for their beautiful branchiæ; mouth subterminal, of a horse-shoe shape, witn colours, their powerful bill, their fleshy tongue, and their a short retractile proboscis; anus on the right side of the power of imitating the human voice. The articulation of body; orifice of the organs of generation unique, on the some of the species is so perfect, that when the bird is unsame side, and more anterior than the anus. "Organs of seen it is difficult to suppose that the words pronounced do respiration ?
not proceed from the mouth of man. Éxample, Phyllirhöe Bucephalum.
That several of these birds were known to the antients, Locality.-Discovered in the Mediterranean Sea, by both Greek and Roman, we have abundant evidenca, Péron and Lesueur.
Not to weary the reader with quotations, we shall here only PSI'THYRUS (Saint-Fargeau), a genus of Hymenop- refer to Ctesias (Indic., 3 ; Phot. Bibl., lxxii.); to Aristotle terous insects belonging to the section Anthophila (La- (Hist. Anim., viii., xii.), where he notices the anthropotreille) and family Apide. The insects of this genus so glott, írtakn, the Indian bird, and refers to closely resemble the Humble-bees (Bombus), that till re its powers of mimicry; to Arrian, who speaks of the cently they were by all authors confounded with them. oirracos, and its imitation of the human voice (Hist. Ind., The Psithyri however differ widely from the Humble-bees, c. xv.); to Plutarch, who alludes to the same quality inasmuch as they make no nests of their own, neither do in his treatise, De Solertia Animalium (vol. X., p. 51, ed. they collect food for their young, but, like the cuckoo among Reiske; vol. iv., p. 972, Lut. Paris, 1724); to Ovid (Amor. birds, they deposit their eggs in the nests of others, and ii. 6); Persius in the Prologue to his Satires (line 8), and leave their young to be hatched and reared by them. It is Martial's delicate flattery (xiv. ep. 73), the nests of the Humble-bees that they select for this pur
• Psittacus à vobis aliorum nomina discam : pose. Mr. Newman considered these facts relating to their
Hoc didici per me dicere ; Cæsar ave.' economy so important, that he established an order among Hymenopterous insects, to which he gave the name Apa These, with the exception of the passage in Ctesias, thites (from a, without, and #ágos, affection), for the recep- and many more examples, will be found in the learned tion of the present insects, which, according to him, consti- treatise by Mr. Vigors, "On a Group of Psittacidæ known tute the genus Apathus, and some other genera of bees. to the Antients' (Zool. Journ., vol. ii.), where he The characters of the order Apathites, given by the author, reminds us that the antient writers are unanimous in are as follows:-larva hatched from an egg, deposited by informing us that the parrots known to their times came its parent in the nest of other Apida at the time when exclusively from India. “We are informed by Ælian,'* their own eggs are iaid; when it hatches, being stronger continues Mr. Vigors, that they were the favourite inand larger than the rightful possessor of the cell, it con mates of the palaces of the princes; and were looked up to sumes the food provided for its companion, and starves it to as objects of sacred reverence by the religious feelings of death; and in those instances in which fresh supplies of the people. From thence they were introduced into Eufood are daily provided, it continues to receive and appro- rope at the time of the Macedonian conquest; and the priate them as its own. Pupa changes in the same situa- specific name of Alexandri, applied by modern science to tion, in a silken cocoon, spun by the larva. Imago has no the type of the group, in honour of the first European disapparatus either on the body or legs for collecting honey; coverer of it,r serves to perpetuate the name of a warrior in other respects it resembles in structure each of the other who is said to have valued the conquests that extended the orders of Apidæ; it enters their nest with perfect familiarity, boundaries of his empire chiefly as they served to extend and seems to be quite unsuspected of intrusion; it collects the boundaries of science. It was not until the times of no pollen or honey, never builds a nest of any kind, nor takes Nero that the parrots of Africa became known to the any care of its young, but spends its time among flowers, or Romans. (Pliny, Hist. Nat., vi. 29.) Some of these birds hovering about sand-banks in which other bees have fixed were among the discoveries made in the course of an extheir habitations. The genera included in this order are: pedition sent out by that prince. They came apparently Apathus (or Prithyrus*), Cæliorys, Melecta, Stelis , Epeo- from the neighbourhood of the Red Sea; and it is probalus, Nomada, Hylæu: ? (Entomological Magazine, vol. ii., ble that as that country became more known, numbers of p. 404.) The order Apathites however is very objectionable the same race were imported from it into Rome, and in many points of view; it is founded upon the habits of formed the chief part of those victims of the parrot tribes, the species; whilst in fact the habits of the individuals which in after-times are said to have supplied the inordinate composing the very genera placed by the author in his luxury and wantonness of Heliogabalus. The Indian group order are in many cases but partially known; the order thus familiar to the antients may be identified with those moreover comprises genera agreeing in no positive points of structure.
* De Nat. Anim., xii. 18. See also Strabo (Geog., xv., p. 718, ed. Casaubon). The species of the genus Psithyrus may be distinguished + But sce Ctesias, who, in the place above quoted, votices the bird called from those of Bombus by the structure of their hinder legs. litiacus as having the voice and the tongne of a mau. niluding to its size as be
ing about that of a hawk (iépaš), and to its reù bi!l (Topoúpkov apóow Toy! • The name Prithyrus has been used for another group of insects ; the term &c. We are further told (loc. eit.) that the bird speaks like a mau in the In Apalh is therefore shouki be adopted to prevent confusion.
diau language, but that it spaks Greck also, if it is taught
beautiful birds, equally the favourites of our modern times, | finest, if not the finest, living collections of these splundid which are brought to us from the same country, and which birds in the world. The quantity of mealy dust discharged are distinguished by the rose-coloured collar round their from the skin by the cockatoos, and other species of parrots, neck, the brilliant emerald of their body, and the deep ruhy particularly at pairing time, is remarkable; though the se. of their bill. Pliny (Hist. Nat., X. 42) points out distinctly paration of this peculiar matter from the skin is not confined the former character. Solinus, in general the servile copier io this family, but is effected in many birds of different of Pliny, confirms this description, though with a slight orders, eagles and herons for instance. The characters of variation as to colour (Polyhist., c. 23). Apuleius again the powerful bill, and the grasping scansorial foot, which last alludes to the same characters, but more immediately and is so constructed as also to convey the food to the mouth, forcibly distinguishes the varying tints of the collar round will be seen below. the neck (Florid., lib. ii.). Oppian gives the bird an epithet. (Toegixpoov opriv* De Venat., vii. 488); while Ovid, in like manner, particularises both the emerald plumage and the deep-red bill’ (Amor., ii., vi.). To this group Mr. Vigors has assigned the name of Palæornis.
ORGANIZATION. The upper mandible, which is immoveable in mammals, has more or less motion in birds, as we have seen. [BIRDs, vol. iv. p. 423.] Some birds indeed, for instance the capercailzie and rhinoceros birds, are not gifted with this motion ;
but mobility of the upper mandible is the rule in this class, and the want of it the exception. In the Psittacidæ this power is highly developed; for the upper mandible is not connected into one piece with the skull, by yielding and elastic bony platës, as is the case with birds in general, but constitutes a particular bone, distinct from the rest of the cranium, and articulated to it.
Head of Maccaw.
Skull of Maccaw. The advantages derived to the animal from this conformation are obvious to any one who watches a parrot taking its food or using the bill as a third extremity to assist it
Foot of Maccaw. in climbing about its cage. In most birds there is a progressive increase in the number of the phalanges of the
This large, hard, and solid bill, rounded throughout, and toes: thus the great toe has two, the next three, the mid- surrounded at its base with a membrane wherein the nosdle toe four, and the outer toe five. The parrots possess a
trils are pierced, together with the thick fleshy and rounded peculiar cross-bone belonging to the great toe. In common tongue, gives the Psittacidæ, as Cuvier observes, the greatest with the pigeon and some other birds, they are desti: facility in imitating the human voice, a facility to which tute of a gall-bladder. Their intestines are very long, and their complicated lower larynx, with its three peculiar musare without cæca. The soft thick tongue so characteristic cles on each side, contributes. Their strong mandibles, of this tribe must be a highly sensitive organ of taste. It formed for shelling and cracking the hardest fruits, are is covered with papillæ, and moistened with a salivary se
worked by more numerous muscles than those of other
birds. cretion, so that they are able to taste and select different articles of food. In some of the forms, the Trichoglossi for
Geographical Distribution and Habits.—The Parrotinstance, which feed on the nectar of flowers, the brush-like tribe are found in great numbers in warm climates, and tongue is fringed with tubular processes, in conformity principally in the torrid zone. They are however abundant with the suctorial mode of feeding adopted by these birds. in the southern hemisphere, and occur even in high latiOne of them kept by Mr. Caley, on seeing the coloured tudes, whilst in the north they do not appear to be repredrawing of a plant, made an attempt to suck the flowers, India by Palæornis. Parrots occur in the southern ex
sented beyond the tropics by any species, except perhaps in and evinced the same disposition towards a piece of printed cotton furniture. (Post, p. 90.) The accurate observer last tremity of America, throughout New Holland, in Van mentioned supplied the Psittacus pusillus, Lath., a species Island, in the 52nd degree of south latitude. They are
Diemen's Land, New Zealand, and even in Macquarrie of the same genus, with honey and moistened it suicked with ease and apparent pleasure by means of its monogamous, and make their nests in the
holes of trees, brush-like tongue. In the museum of the College of Sur which they climb with their feet and bill. The shortness of geons there is (No. 1479 c, Physiological series) one of their wings not permitting them to pass wide seas, the old and these tubular tongues described as the tongue of a Lory their particular species. Their food consists of fruits of
new continents, and even some of the large islands, have (Lorius Domicella, Vigors). The tongue is short, thick, almost every kind, and their natural voice is loud, harsh, and fleshy, as in most of the parrot tribe ; but it is further and grating almost beyond endurance. distinguished by terminating in a number of very delicate and close-set filaments, which can be protruded and ex
ARRANGEMENT AND NATURAL HISTORY. panded like a brush. (Cat., vol. iii., part 1.) The plumage of Brisson places the Parrots in bis thirteenth order of birds, this extensive family is of the most rich and varied descrip- consisting of those with two anterior and two posterior toes. tion, embracing almost every colour and gradation of tint. This order he divides into four sections. the first, with a The Zoulogical Society of London possesses one of the straight bill, includes the Wryneck, Woodpecker, and JaGrags.coloured bird
| camar as generic forms; the second, -t?, the bill rather
Curved, the Barbets and Cuckoos; the third, with the bill | Ramphastidæ and Psittacide, and soften down thg 110short and hooked, the Trogons, Crotophaga, and the Par- portant difference observable in the bills and tongues of rots ; and the fourth, with the bill long, and of the size of those birds. Mr. Vigors indeed, though he hazards a sugo the head, the Toucans.
gestion as to Trogon, declares his opinion to be that the Linnæus placed the genus Psittacus at the head of his Psittacidæ afford more difficulties to the inquirer into order Pice, with the following definition :
affinities than any other known group in the whole class. Bill hooked; upper mandible moveable, furnished with a He remarks that in manners and
general structure, as well cere. Nostrils situated in the base of the bill. Tongue as in the mode of using their feet and bill, the Parrots hold fleshy, obtuse, entire. Feet scansorial.
nearly an insulated situation among birds; and that they He divided the genus, which is preceded by Lanius (the may perhaps be pronounced to be the only group among Shrikes), and immediately followed by Ramphastos (the them which is completely sui generis. In the formation Toucans), into the following sections:
of his opinion that their station in nature accords with the
place assigned them in his series, and that they come next Macrouri cauda cuneiformi.
to the Picidæ in affinity, Mr. Vigors at first felt some doubt This division contained the Maccaws.
in consequence of their bills and tongues here equally
apparent, as in the case of the Ramphastidæ. But he was Macrouri minores.
decided in his opinion by observing that while there was no This division contained Poittacus Alexandri and the characters, they possess an affinity to no birds but the
other group with which they accord more closely in such Parrakeets generally; but both in this and the former divi; | Picidæ in the structure of the foot and the use to which siora we find Parrots that can hardly be called long-tailed.' they apply it. He reminds us that the leading charac, Thus in the first division we have Psittacus nobilis with the teristic of the Scansores is the faculty of climbing; and synonyms of Psittacus viridis alarum costa superne rubente of Aldrovandi (vol. i., t. 669), Sloane, Jam., 2, p.
that the greater portion of the families contained in it pos297,' • Psittacus Amazonicus, Briss., and Psittacus mediæ
sess what are technically called zygodactyle feet, or feet in magnitudinis Will., t. 16: whilst in the second we find the which the toes are disposed in pairs, and which are genePsittacus agilis, Psittacus minor viridis of Edwards.
rally considered as conducive to that faculty. But he remarks that the Picide and the Psittacidæ are the only
families thus distinguished whose toes are strictly and conBrachyuri cauda æquali.
stantly disposed in pairs; and that they are consequently This contained the Cockatoos, Lories, and True Parrots. the only groups which constantly benefit by that construc
Latham's second order, Picæ, consisted of three sections, tion in climbing. The external hind toe of the other Scanthe second of which, with scansorial feet, included the Par- sores is, he observes, retractile: and these birds are never rots, Toucans, Hornbills, Crotophaga, Trogon, Barbets, seen to climb, at least to that extent which is common Cuckoos, Wryneck, Woodpeckers, and Jacamars.
to the two families in question. We may thus venture, I M. de Lacépède makes the Grimpeurs the first subdivi- think,' continues Mr. Vigors, 'to separate the Parrots and sion of the first division (two anterior and two posterior Woodpeckers from the other families, and to associate them toes) of the first subelass of birds. The first order of this together, in consequence of the affinity in these essential subdivision (toes large and strong) is distinguished by a characteristics of the tribe. In this point of view they will hooked bill, and the genera comprehended under it are compose its normal groups as climbers par excellence, difAra (Maccaws) and Psittacus, the latter consisting of all the fering however as to the mode in which they climb; the Parrots and Parrakeets without denuded cheeks. The Parrots using the foot chiefly in grasping the object which second order consists of the Toucans, the Trogons, the Tou- assists them in their ascent, and in conjunction with the racos, and the Musophage or Plantain-eaters.
bill; while the Picidæ rely upon the strength and straiglitM. Duméril's Grimpeurs form his third order, the second ness of the hind toes in supporting them in a perpendicular family of which (Levirostres or Cćnoramphes) consists of the position on the sides of trees; in which posture they are Toucans, Plantain-eaters, Trogons, Touracos, Barbels Mac- also assisted by the strong shafts of the tail-feathers. While caus, Cockatoos, and Parrots.
I was intluenced by these general points of coincidence in The Psittacini form the first family of Illiger's Scunsores, placing the Psittacidæ and Picidæ together, I recognised a and include the genera Psittacus and Pezoporus. His second group which appeared to intervene between them, and to family, Serrati, consists of the Toucans (Ramphastos and diminish the apparent distance that exists even in the form Pteroglossus), Pogonias, the Touracos, the Trogons, and of their biil. That important group which comprises the the Plantain-eaters.
Liunean Barbets evidently exhibited the expected graCuvier places the Psittacidæ between the Toucans and dation in the structure of that member; the bill of Pogothe Touracos: they consist of the Aras (Ara, Kuhl): Per- nias, Ill., approaching most nearly that of the Parrots by ruches (Conurus, Kuhl, divided by Le Vaillant into Per its short strong and hooked conformation, while the ruches-Aras, which have naked cheeks (Psittacus Guyanen. straighter and more lengthened bill of the true Bucco sis, &c.); Perruches à queue en flèche (Palæornis); united itself to that of Picus. Many other particulars in and Perruches à queue élargie vers le bout (Platycercus). form, and also in extraordinary conformity in colouring, still Cockatoos (Plyctolophus): True Parrots : Lories : Short- further pointed out the affinity; and I was at length contailed Parrots (Psittacula, Kuhl): and Parroquets à Trompe, firmed in my conjectures respecting the situation of these Le Vaill. (Microglossus, Vieill.), of which last Cuvier thinks birds, by arriving at a knowledge of their habits being that the Perruches Ingambes (Pezoporus, Ill.) may be made actually those of the true Woodpeckers, and of their chief a subgenus.
affinity being to that group. The regular gradation by M.Vieillot's first tribe of his second order, Sylvicolæ, con which these two families, united in their general characters, sists of the Zygodactyli ; and the Psittacins, or Psittacida, and those the characters, it must be remembered, most proform the first family of that tribe. The second family com- minent and typical in their own tribe, are also united in prehends the Macroglosses, including the Woodpeckers and their minuter points of formation, appears to me now emiihe Wryneck.
nently conspicuous.' With regard to these minuter points, M. Temminck arranges all the Parrots at the end of his Mr. Vigors observes that some of the Psittacidæ, among first family of Zygodactyles; the second family consists of which he particularises Psittacus Alexandri, Linn. (Palæthe Woodpeckers, the Jacamars, and the Wryneck. ornis), and its congeners, partially employ the tail in sup
M. de Blainville (1815-1822) makes the Parrots his porting themselves as they climb, in a corresponding manfirst order of birds (Prehensores), belonging to the anoma ner with the Woodpeckers. The tongue, also peculiar to lous subclass.
the Psittacidæ, he remarks, becomes slenderer, and, as is Mr. Vigors arranges the Psittacidæ in the normal group said, more extensible in that group of which Ps. aterrimus, of the Scansores, or climbing-birds, and he observes that the Gmel., is the representative, thus evincing an approximaimmediate connection of the Ramphastidæ (Toucans) with tion,
slight indeed, but still an approximation to the bill of Psittacidæ, which immediately follow them in his method, the Woodpeckers. (Linn. Trans., vol. xiv.) is not very evident. These families, he remarks, are placed M. Latreille makes the Psättacins the first family of the next to each other by all systematic writers; and he deci- order Grimpeurs. He divides the family into two tribes : dedly concurs in the general views which bring them into the first consisting of the genera Ara, Perruche, Pezopore, neighbouring groups.
But he states that he is unac. and Kakatoës; and the second of the genus Eurhynque. quainted with any forms which intimately connect the In the method of M. de Blainville developed by M Lber
rainier in 1827, the family of Parrots appears in the Normal
Subfamily III. Palæorning. bubclass between the Touracos and the Humming-Birds. Genera: Trichoglossus, Vig. and Horsf. (Esittacus, Liun.
In M. Losson's Projet de Classification, the ‘Psittacées' Australasia, Less.); Pulæornis, Vig. (Psittacus, Linn. appear as the first tribe (Zygodactyles) of the “ Insessores Psittaca, Br., Conurus, Less.); Pezoporus, III. (Psittacus or Grimpeurs (Héterodactyles) :' they are immediately suc- Shaw); Polytelis, Wagl. (Psittacus, Sw., Palæornis, Vig ceeded by the · Pogonićes.'
and Horsf.); Centrourus, Sw. (Psittacus, Lath., TrichoMr. Swainson is of opinion that the Parrots constitute glossus, Vig. and Horsf.); Euphema, Wagl. (Psittacus, the subtypical division of the Scansores, wherein the powers Lath., Lathamus, Less., Nanodes, Vig. and Horsf.). of climbing are less developed. If,' says Mr. Swainson,
Subfamily IV. Lorinæ. any group in nature be isolated, it is this. Possessing in Genera: Charmosyna, Wag). (Psittacus, Gm., Psittapous, themselves the strongest characteristics, there is no bird Less., Pyrrhodes, Sw., Palæornis, Vig.); Brotogeris, Vig. yet discovered which presents any point of connection to (Psittacus, Lath., Trichoglossus ? Steph., Coriphilus, them: approximations indeed are certainly made towards Wagl., Lorius and Lathamus, Less.); Lorius, Briss. (Psitthem by the tooth-billed Barbuts (Barbets, Pogonias); but tacus, Linn., Domicella, Wagl.); Eos, Wagl. (Psittacus, there is still a gap, which no genus yet discovered is calcu- Gm.); Electus, Wagl. (Psittacus, Gm.); Psittacodis, Wagl. lated to fill up. On considering the relative difference be- (Psittacus, Linn., Muscarinus, Wagl.). tween the barbuts and the parrots, we should say, theoreti
Subfamily V. Psittacinæ. cally, that of all the five groups among the latter, one only Genera: Tanygnathus, Wagl. (Psittacus, Linn., Muscari. remains to give the typical structure.' As the Parrots ap- nus, Less., Erythrostomus, Sw.); Triclaria, Wagl. (Psittapear to Mr. Swainson to form a group precisely equivalent cus, Spix, Erythrostomus, Sw., Maximilicus, Less.); Psitto the true Woodpeckers, he arranges ihen under five ge- tacus, Linn. (Jaco, Less.); Chrysotis, Sw.(Psittacus, Linn., nera: the Maccaws, the Parrots, the Cockatoos, the Lories, Androglossus, Vig. ?); Pionus, Wagl. (Psittacus, Linn.); and the Ground Lories (Platycercus, Vig.). In the synop- Poicephalus, Sw. (Psittacus, Linn., Pionus B., Wagl.); sis at the end of the work (Classification of Birds) we find Agapornis, Selby (Psittacus, Kuhl, Psittacula, Wagl., the following arrangement:
Poicephalus, Sw.); Psittacula, Kuhl (Psittacus, Lath., Psittacidæ.
Psittaculus, Sw.); Nasiterna, Wagl. (Psittacus, Quoy and Bill very short: the upper mandible greatly curved over Gaim., Micropsitta, Less.). the lower, which is considerably shorter.
Subfamily VI. Cacatuinæ.
Genera: Cacatua, Briss. (Psittacus, Linn., Plyctolophus, Upper mandible greatly hooked ; lower mandible much Vieill., Kakadoe, Kuhl); Calyptorhynchus, Vig. and higher than broad. Tail very long, cuneated.
Horsf. (Psittacus, Lath., Cacatua, Vieill., Banksianus, Genera: Macrocercus, Vieill. ; Conurus, Kuhl; Lepto- Less., Plyctolophus, Sw.); Corydon, Wagl. (Psittacus, rhynchus, Sw.; Palæornis, Vig.
Lath., Plyctolophus, Sw., Calyptorhynchus, Vig. and Subfamily Psittacinæ. Parrots.
Horsf.); Licmetis, Wagl. (Psittacus, Kuhl, Cacatua, Upper mandible very distinctly toothed; lower mandible Less.); Microglossum, Geoffr. (Psittacus, Gm., Cacatua, longer than it is high. Tail short, even, or rounded. Vieill., Probosciger, Kuhl, Solenoglossus, Rantz., Eu
Genera: Erythrostomus, Sw.; Chrysotis, Sw. (Amazo- rhynchus, Latr.); Nestor, Wagl. (Psittacus, Forst., Piyctonian Parrots); Psittacus (Parrot of the Old World---most lophus, Gould); Dasyptilus, Wagl. (Psittacus, Less., Psittypical of this subfamily); Agapornis, Selby; Poicephalus, trichas, Less., Centrourus, Sw.). Sw.
of the genera here stated, Leptorhynchus is noted as Subfamily Plyctolophinæ. Cockatoos.
having been previously employed; and Nanodes and PoHead large, ornamented with a folding or procumbent tytelis as being similar to a word used in entomology. crest. Bill short, very broad; the culmen remarkably | Other forms are marked in the subfamily Psittacinæ, viz. curved. Tail rounded, lengthened, broad; the feathers not P. Feildii, Sw., P. pileatus, Scop., and P. mitratus, Pr. narrowed.
Max., with a query as to whether they are not entitled to Genera: Plyctolophus, Vieill. (subtypical); Licmetis, rank as genera. Wagl.; Microglassus, Geoff . ; Centrourus, Sw.
It is impossible to read this elaborate catalogue without Subfamily Lorianw. Lories.
being struck with the labyrinth of names in which the unBill but slightly curved; the margin of the upper mandi fortunate student must find himself involved. In too many ble sinuated; the notch obsolete; lower mandible slender, instances the genera thus coined bear the impress of crude conic, much longer than high; the gonys (typically) theory, and those who promulgate them would find it very straight.
difficult to define the characters on which they ought to Genera: Brotogeris, Vig.; Psittaculus, Kuhl; Tricho- rest. glossus, Vig:; Lorius, Brisson; Pyrrhodes, Sw.
We proceed to lay before the reader some of these forms. Subfamily Platycercinæ. Loriets.
Macrocercus.—The Maccaws are all natives of America, Tail long, very broad, considerably cuneated. Bill strong, and principally of its southern portion. The Carolina Arthick, toothed: the culmen very convex. Under mandible ara (Psittacus Carolinensis, Linn.) has been recorded as deep, but very short: the gonys curved. Feet and toes occurring in the United States as bigh as lat. 42°, though, slender. Tarsus longer than the hallux.
according to Audubon, few are now to be found higher Genera: Vigorsia, Sw.; Platycercus, Horsf. and Vig. ; than Cincinnati; but the true Maccaws are natives of much Nanodes, Horsf. and Vig. ; Leptolophus, Sw.; Pezoporus, warmer latitudes. Though the tongue is thick, fleshy, and Ill. (Swainson).
soft, their powers of imitation fall far short of those of the The family is placed by Mr. Swainson between the Ram- true Parrots and Parrakeets, and the harsh tones with phastidæ and the Picide.
which, after much teaching, they not very perfectly articuMr. G. R. Gray (List of the Genera of Birds) also arranges late a few words, contrast strongly with the assumed musical the Psittacidæ between the Ramphastide and the Picida, voice and ready docility of the latter. They are however in the following method :
capable of great attachment when domesticated. Their Subfamily I. Platycercinæ.
natural notes are screams of the most discordant and piercGenera: Coracopsis, Wagl. (Psittacus, Linn.; Musca- ing kind. The hollows of trees are the places selected rinus, Less.; Vigorsia, Sw.).
for their nests, and the number of eggs laid amounts Prioniturus, Wagl. (Psittacus, Vieill.).
to two, which are said to undergo the incubation of the male Platycercus, Vig. (Psittacus, Lath.).
as well as the female. Nymphicus, Wagl. (Psittacus, Lath.; Calopsitta, Lath.; The Great Green Maccaw (Psittacus militaris, Auct.), Leptolophus, Sw.).
inhabiting the warmer districts of the chain of the Andes, Subfamily II. Araïnæ.
where it is found as high as about 3000 feet, in Mexico and Genera:, Ara, Briss. (Psittacus, Linn., Macrocercus, Peru; the Hyacinthine Maccaw (Macrocercus HyacinVieill., Sittace, Wagl., Arara, Spix); Anodorhynchus, thinus; the Red and Blue Maccaw (Macrocercus AracanSpix (Psittacus, Lath., Macrocercus, Vieill.- Ex. Hyacin- ga; and the Blue and Yellow Maccaw (Macrocercus Arathine Maccaw); Conurus, Kuhl (Psittacus, Shaw, Ara- rauna), are known to most admirers of this gay race; though tinga, Spix, Psittacara, Vig., Sittace, Wagl., Macrocercus, the Hyacinthine Maccaw is rarely seen alive in this country, 2nd div. Vieill.); Enicognathus, G. R. Gray (Psittacara, and is not common even in museums. King, Sittace, Wagi., Leptorhynchus, Sw., Psittacaria, Generic Character.—Size large. Orbits and sometimes Meyen).
the face destitute of feathers. Nostrils concealed. Notch
in the upper mandible obsolete; the under remarkably | lant situation between the two groups, thus strikingly appa: short, but very deep. (Sw.)
rent, the species that exhibit these characters have received We select as an example Macrocercus Ararauna. the familiar name of Parrakeet-Maccaws in our language.
Description.— Bill black, largely and strongly developed. and of Perruche-Aras among the French ornithologists. The upper mandible, which not unfrequently measures from Like the true Maccaws, they are exclusively natives of the the forehead to the tip 34 inches, is much deflected: the New World.' (Zool. Journ., vol. ii.) Mr. Vigors adds in under mandible is short, deep, and very stout. Cheeks a note, that a species nearly allied to both these groups hao white, naked, with three fine narrow lines of black plume- then lately been brought to this country. lets under the eyes, the irides of which are yellowish. Generic Character.--Heud feathered, space round the Beneath the under mandible a broad black band extending eye naked. Bill thick, rather short; upper mandible comupwards to the ears behind a great part of the white naked pressed at the apex, the lower mandible very short inclinpatch. Plumage rich blue above, blending into green on ing inwards, deeply emarginate. Wings moderate; first the forehead, crown, some of the smaller wing-coverts, and and fourth quills equal, third rather longer, second longest; rump. Greater quills and tail nearly violet. Wings and internal web of the first slightly notched near the middle, tail, beneath, yellow. The rest of the under parts rich saf- external webs of the second to the fifth inclusive gradually fron. Legs and feet blackish-grey. Total length about 39 broader in the middle. Feet rather strong, tarsi short inches, of which the tail measures some 24 inches.
Vig.) Geographical Distribution.—Tropical America. The Example, Psittacara leptorhyncha. Brazils, banks of the Marañon, or Amazon river, Guiana, Description.-Green; space round the eye white; inter Surinam, &c.
ocular band and frontal fillet red; tail cinnamon red. Habits.—Though generally living in pairs, the Blue and Yellow Maccaws sometimes assemble in large flocks, their favourite haunts being swampy woods where a species of palm on whose fruit they principally feed is abundant. They fly weli and often very high, showing a great command of wing, especially before they alight on the top of the lofty trees which they select for their resting-place. The two eggs, which are laid in the hollows of decayed trees, as well as the young, are said to receive the parental care of the male as well as of the female, which have two broods a yeat generally. Mr. Selby (Naturalist's Library-Parrots) notices a very fine individual completely domesticated at Dr. Neill's, Cannonmills (near Edinburgh), which is allowed the freedom of several apartments; and he tells us that when the bird is desirous of being noticed, it calls out. Robert,' the name of its earliest master, very distinctly, but that it has not acquired more than one other conventional sound.
The subfamily Palæornina, as it appears in Mr. Vigors and Dr. Horsfield's Description of the Australian Birds in the Collection of the Linnean Society (Linn. Trans., vol. XV.), consists of the genera Nanodes, Platycercus, Pezoporus, Palæornis, and Trichoglossus.
Palæornis.-The Parrakeets forming this group belong to Continental India and some of the neighbouring islands in the Indian Ocean and Africa, with the exception of Paiæornis Barrabandi (Polytelis of Wagler), which is a native of New Holland. India and its islands must however be considered as the principal locality of the species, which, according to Wagler's monograph, amounts to eleven, including Palæornis inornatus (Psittacus incarnatus of authors), which he adds to the group with doubt.
These Ring Parrakeets, as they are generally termed, are justly held in high estimation for the symmetry of their form, the grace and elegance of their movements, the beauty
of their colours, their great docility and powers of imitation, Macrocereus Ararauna.
and their fond attachment to those with whom they are Psittacara.—Between the Maccaws and Parrakeets (Pu- domesticated and who treat them with kindness. They icornis) comes the genus Psittacara (Vig.). “These birds,' were not less prized, as we have seen, by the antients; and says Mr. Vigors, ' although their cheeks are covered with it becomes a not uninteresting inquiry to endeavour to asfeathers, and they are thus brought within the circle of the certain what were the species known to them. Some supParrakeets, have yet the bill of the Maccaws ; and by a pose that Palæornis Alexandri was the only one: but greater or less nakedness of the orbits round the eyes they though that species may have been and was probably the still further assert their affinity to them. From their oscu- first introduced into Europe, we think that it will appear that