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Accessions No*&j4>-3**' Shelf No.- BIOLOGY

* G ^






F.B.S.E., F.L.S., ETC. ETC.















African Golden Oriole.

Oriolus auratus. Plate 1 33

Small-billed Oriole.

Oriolus brachyrynchus 35

The Cape Black-capped Oriole.

Oriolus Oapensis ....... 37

Black-throated Wagtail

MotacUla yulans 38

White-eyebrowed LongtaiL

Drymoica superciliosa. Plate II. . . . 40

White-winged Tit.

Pants leucopterzts 42

Yellow White-eye.

Zosterops flava. Plate III 43

The Stone-chat.

Saxioola rubicola 45

White-fronted Stone-chat.

Saxicola frontcdis 46

Buff-bodied Flycatcher.

Hyliota flavigaster . , , , . . 47

Spectacle Flycatcher.

Platystera lobata 43

Common Grey Flycatcher.

Musdcapa yrisola . . , . . . 52

Rufous-bellied Flycatcher.

Musdpeta rufiventer. Plate IV 53


Black-bellied Flycatcher.

Muscipeta melanogaster . . . . . 55

Pennant-winged Night-jar.

Macrodipteryx Africanus. Plate V. . . . 62
African Long-tailed Night-jar.

Scotornis climaturus * . . . 66


Scotornis trimaculattts . . . . . .70

Great Senegal Swallow.

Hirundo Senegaknsis. Plate VI. . . . 72

White-bodied Swanow.

Hirundo leucosoma ..... 74

European Bee-eater.

Merops apiaster ....... 7fi

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater.

Merops Savigni. Plate VII. . . . . < '?

Blue-bellied Bee-eater.

Merops cyanogaster. Plate VIII ..... 80
Green-throated Bee-eater,

Merops viridissimus -... 82
Black- crowned Bee-eater.

Merops Cuvieri. ....... 85

Blue-headed, or Red Bee-eater.

Merops cceruLeocephalus. Plate IX. . > o?

Little Fork-tailed Bee-eater.

Merops erythropterus ...... 88

Fork-tailed, Blue-vented Bee-eater.

Merops hirundinaceus. Plate X, . . 91

Great African Kingfisher.

Ispida gigantea. Plate XI. . . . . . 93

Double-collared Kingfisher.

Ispida bicincta . . . . . . . 95

Grey-headed Senegal Kinghunter.

Halcyon Senegalensis ...... 97

Blue-collared Kinghunter.

Halcyon torquatus . . . . . 99

Rufous-vented Kinghunter.

Halcyon rufiventer. Plate XII ..... 101
Little Rufous-cheeked Kinghunter.

Halcyon cyanotis .. . . . . .103


Green-necked Roller. TAW

Coracias Abyssinica . . . . . iOo

Blue-bodied Roller.

Coracias cyanogaster. Plate XI IL . . . 108

White-naped Roller.

Coracias nuchalis . ... .110

Cinnamon-backed Roller.

Eurystomus rubescens 112

European Hoopoe.

Upupa epops Var.l U. Senegalensis . . . 114
Senegal Red-footed Promerops.

Promerops Senegalensis . . . . . .117

Little Pale-winged Promerops.

Promerops pusittus 120

Red-breasted Sunbird.

Cinnyris pukhella. Plate XIV 123

Splendid Sunbird.

Cinnyris splendida 125

Lineated, or Senegal Sunbird.

Cinnyris Senegalensis 127

Fire-backed Sunbird.

Cinnyris erythronotus. Plate XV. . . . 130

Red-collared Sunbird.

Cinnyris chalybea 132

Amethyst- throated Sunbird.

Cinnyris amethystina 1 34

Olive-backed Sunbird.

Cinnyris chloronotus. Plate XVI. . . 1 36

Little Yellow-bellied Sunbird.

Cinnyris pusilla . . . . . . .138


White-bodied Sunbird.

Anthreptes leucosoma. Plate XVII. . . .146

PJCID^, or the WOODPECKERS . . . .148

Black-bodied Woodpecker.

Hemicircus rubiyinosus . . . . .150

Unspotted Grey-eared Woodpecker.

Dendrobates immaculatus . . . . 152

Grey-headed Olive Woodpecker.

Dendrobates poicephalus 154




Golden-tailed Woodpecker.

Dendromus cfirysurus -, . . . . .158
Short-billed Woodpecker.

Dendromus brachyrynchus . . . . . 16C

White-spotted Woodpecker.

Dendromus nivosus 162

Black-speckled Woodpecker.

Dendromus punctatus . . . . . .163

Groove-billed Barbut.

Pogonias sulcirostris . . . . . .166

Red-spotted Barbut.

Pogonias Senegalensis . . . . . .168

Salt's, or Black-bodied Barbut.

Pogonias Saltii 170

Hairy-breasted Pagonias.

Pogonia hirsutus . . . . . . .17$

Rose-ringed Parrakeet.

PalfBornis torquatus. Vignette. . . .17-

Grey-headed Parrot.

Psittacus Senegalensis 176

Lineated Cuckoo.

Cucidus lineatus. Plate XVIII. . .178

African Black Cuckoo.

Citcidus nigricans . . . . . .180

Rufous-breasted Cuckoo.

Cucultts rubiculus . . . . . . .181

Le Vaillant's Cuckoo.

Oxylophus Vaillanti 182

Yellow-billed Concal.

Zanclostomusflavirostris. Plate XIX. . . .183
Senegal Lark-heel.

Centropm Senegalensis. Plate XX. . . .185

Green-banded Cuckoo.

Chalcites auratus 187

Klass's Cuckoo.

Chalcites Klassii. Plate XXI 189

Emerald Cuckoo.

Chalcites smaragdinem . . . . .191


White-eared Honeyguide. PAGI

Indicator leucotis . . . . . . .193

Little Honeyguide.

Indicator minor 196

Yellow-throated Honeyguide.

Indicator flavicollis . . . . . .198

Common Oxpecker.

Buphaga Africana 200

Abyssinian Vinago.

Vinago Abyssinica . . . . . .202

Naked-billed Vinago.

Vinago nudirostris . . . . . .205

Red-eyed Dove.

Turtur erythrophrys. Plate XXII. . . .207

Half-collared Dove.

Turtur semitorquatus ...... 208

Rufous-winged Turtle.

Turtur chalcospilos 210

Triangular-spotted pigeon.

Columba trigonigera . . . . .212

Black-throated Dove.

CEna Capensis 214

Double-spurred Franolin.

Chcetopus Adansonii . . . . . .217

Buff-breasted Partridge.

Ptilopachus erythrorynchus 220

Three-banded Sand-grouse.

Pterocles tricinctus. Plate XXIIT. . . . 222

White-spotted Turnix.

Hemipodius nivosus ...... 225

Spotted- winged Pintado, or Guinea- hen.

Numida maculipennis 226

Senegal Thick-knee.

(Edicnemus Senegalensis . . . . .228

Senegal Courier.

Tachydromus Senegalensis. Plate XXIV. . . 230

Violet- winged Courier.

Tachydromus chalcopterus . . . . .233

Black-zoned Plover.

Charadrius zonatus. Plate XXV. 235


Black-bodied Lapwing. PAGE

Vandlus melasomus. Plate XXVI. . . .237

Brown-backed Plover.

Vanellus inornatus 239

Stripe-throated Lapwing.

Vandlus strigilatus. Plate XXVII. . . .241
Rufous-tailed Water Hen.

Gallinula pulchra 243

Yellow-billed Water Hen.

Gallmulaflamrostra. Plate XXVIII. ... 244
Grey-capped Gull.

Larus poiocephalus. Plate XXIX. . . . 245

Crested Tern.

Sterna cristata. Plate XXX 247

Black-winged Tern.

Sterna melanoptera 249

Senegal Tern.

Sterna Senegalensis .250

Short-footed Tern.

Sterna brachypus 252

Black-eared Tern.

Thalassites melanotis . . . . .253
Long-tailed Cormorant.

Carbo longicaudus.. Plate XXXI. . 255

Crowned Hornbill.

Buceros coronatus . . . . . . 257

Yellow-crowned Weaver.

Ploceus flaviceps. Plate XXXI I. . . .259

Black-hooded Weaver.

Ploceus cucullatus 261

Rufous-crowned Weaver.


Vignette Title-page 3

In all Thirty-four Plates in this Volume.

FRANCIS LE VAILL^M', tTcelebrated traveller and
ornithologist, was born in the year 1753 at Para-
maribo, the chief town in Dutch Guiana, where his
father, a rich merchant and a native of Metz in
France, held at that time the office of consul. The
passion for foreign travel, which he evinced at a
very early age, was imbibed, as he himself informs
us, chiefly from the example of his father, who had
visited many parts of the world in course of his
commercial negociations. His taste for fowling,
which the extensive forests in that country enabled
him to gratify, even when a boy, to the utmost
limit of his wishes, was likewise acquired from his

When only ten years old, he was brought to
Holland; soon afterwards, he was removed with
the family to France ; he then spent two years in
Germany, and seven in Lorraine. During that
period his principal amusement was bird-shooting,
but it was not pursued as a mere recreation. It
turned his attention to the study of ornithology, by

VOL. Tin. B


leading him to observe the character and habits or'
the feathered tribes. He likewise accustomed him-
self to stuff the various species which fell under his
notice, until by degrees he became a proficient in
that art.

In 1777 some accidental circumstance brought
him to Paris, where he had an opportunity of
inspecting the numerous cabinets of natural history
in that city. Not satisfied with examining the
inanimate forms of the many strange and beautiful
birds he had seen in these collections, he conceived
an irresistible desire of visiting, for the purpose of
further observation, the countries where they were
to be found in their native state.

Africa, which was then much less known to
European science than it is now, appeared to him
to be that quarter of the world best calculated to
increase his stock of new information, as well as to
rectify old errors, in that peculiar department which
was the great object of his journey. France and
England were then at war ; but this did not in the
slightest degree damp the enthusiasm of M. Le Vail-
lant ; he embarked at the Texel on the 1 9th Decem-
ber 1780, and arrived at the Cape of Good Hope
on the 29th of March 1781. In order to collect as
much new information as possible, he proceeded in
one of the Dutch Company's vessels, which were
then taking their departure from Saldanha Bay;
and it was while he sailed on board this ship that
the fleet was attacked by an English squadron.
Unfortunately the vessel which carried the whole


of his effects and travelling materials was blown
into the air ; leaving him entirely destitute in that
distant country, beset with native savages on the
one hand, and a hostile armament on the other.
" My only resource (says he) was in my fowling-
piece, with only ten ducats in my purse, and the
light dress which I wore."

In this perplexing dilemma, without knowing
whither to betake himself, or what steps to adopt,
he had the good luck to meet with an unexpected
friend in Colonel Slaber, who received him as his
guest, and treated him with the kindliest hospitality.
M. Yon Boers, secretary for the colony, likewise
took a warm interest in his fate, and became a
valuable benefactor.

After having spent nearly three months at the
Cape, or in the neighbouring districts, adding occa-
sional specimens to his ornithological stock, M. Le
^ 7 "aillant determined to prosecute his journey farther
to the eastward. In general he did not penetrate far
into the interior, but kept along the coast ; he made
an excursion, however, into Caffraria as far as tli*
30th degree of longitude, and almost the 29th of
latitude. His reception by the native tribes was
friendly; but as hostilities were then declared be-
tween them and the colonists, his progress was
interrupted, and he was obliged to return by a more
northern route across the mountainous regions of
Sneeuwe and Cambedon to the Cape, which he
reached in safety after an absence of about sixteen


This first excursion, however, did not altogether
satisfy his curiosity; he undertook several others
even into more distant regions, and at length formed
the project of traversing the whole African conti-

On the 15th of June -783, he set out from the
Cape and directed his course towards the north.
This second journey was much more troublesome
and fatiguing than the first. The greater part of
his equipage, which consisted of oxen, perished in
consequence of the excessive aridity of the country
through which he passed ; another part of his train
he was compelled to abandon on the left or south
bank of the Orange river. In these discouraging
circumstances, and with only a small retinue of
Hottentots, who had faithfully accompanied him
since his outset, he prosecuted his enterprise, ad-
vancing into regions then wholly unknown to
Europeans, and taking as his guides those succes-
sive hordes of savages through whose territories he
wandered, and whose friendship he had the good
fortune to propitiate by the frankness and affability
of his manners.

But the farther he proceeded, the more did he
become convinced that his original design was im-
practicable. At length he arrived among the Hou-
suanas or Bushmen, who subsisted by plunder, and
whose very name spread terror among all the adja-
cent tribes Happily for our traveller he succeeded
in conciliating their good will; and judging from
their hardy and daring character, he conceived the


idea that with their assistance he might be able to
accomplish the bold enterprise which he had so long
meditated. But this illusion he soon found himself
obliged to renounce ; and after having prosecuted
his ornithological researches among them as far west
as the 14th degree, and north to the tropic of Can-
cer, he resumed his journey towards the Cape,
w r hich he reached, not without escaping innumerable
perils, within sixteen months after his departure.

His health having suffered from fatigue and the
effects of the climate, he determined on returning to
Europe. Accordingly, on the 14th of July 1784,
he embarked for Holland, and in a few months
landed at Flushing. In January, the following
year, he repaired to Paris, where his time and
attention were entirely engrossed in arranging the
materials and ornithological observations he had
collected in his travels, and in preparing his jour-
nals for publication.

At that unfortunate period the French capital
was the bloody scene of those revolutionary storms
which were then preparing to spread devastation
and ruin over the Continental kingdoms. Obscure
and peaceful as were the occupations of Mons. Le
Vaillant, he did not escape the calamities of that
terrible era. The jealous rivalry and hatred of con-
tending factions fixed upon him as an object of
suspicion. He was thrown into prison in the year
1793, and must inevitably have added another to
the thousand victims of the guillotine, had not the
overthrow of the notorious Robespierre paved the


way for his liberation. To the downfal of that
sanguinary tyrant he owed the preservation of his

Quitting these wretched scenes of turbulence and
assassination, he retired to a small property which
he possessed at La None, near Sezanne, and which
became his favourite residence during the remainder
of his life. In this agreeable retirement, his time
was divided between the composition of his works
and the gratification of his inextinguishable passion
for bird- shooting, which led him to make frequent
excursions into the fields and woods in his vicinity.
Here he spent the last thirty years of his life,
seldom leaving his retreat unless when occasionally
obliged to visit Paris for the purpose of superintend-
ing the printing of his works. He died on the 22d
of November 1824, at the age of seventy-one.

M. Le Yaillant wrote a considerable number of
volumes, the greater part of which were devoted to
the illustration of his favourite department of Natu-
ral History. The first work which he published
was entitled " Travels in the Interior of Africa,
from the Cape of Good Hope." It appeared in
1790 at Paris, in 1 vol. 4to., or 2 vols. 8vo., with
engravings. His next publication was " A Second
Journey into the Interior of Africa, by the Cape of
Good Hope, in 1 783-84-85," which also appeared
at Paris in 1796, in 2 vols. 4to., embellished with
maps and figures.

As has often happened with travellers and navi-
gators, who are generally better qualified to mcJce


discoveries than to write books, M. Le Yaillant was
under the necessity of employing the pen of an
amanuensis, M. Casimir Yaron, to revise and amend
the style of this second publication. Yaron was
himself a traveller and a poet; and it was very
currently believed at the time that he had performed
the task of editing M. Le Yaillant' s Second Journey.
This, however, is a mistake, and the error has been
satisfactorily explained. Being a foreigner by birth,
and having spent the years of his boyhood among
the forests of Guiana, Mons. Le Yaillant never had
a very pure or classical acquaintance with the French
tongue. The early age at which he visited Africa,
and his long separation from all European inter-
course, tended still more to obliterate his recollec-
tions of the language, which in fact he had nearly
altogether forgotten. And although he afterwards
recovered his knowledge of it, so far as to speak it
with facility, vet it was hardly to be expected from
one in his circumstances tha* ne could write it with
elegance or correctness. It was to remedy these
defects alone that he engaged the pen of a stranger
to revise his manuscripts, and take charge of them
while passing through the press. There is nothing
in this substitution of the preliminary aid <rf a
friend that can be deemed discreditable to the me-
mory of either party /wi<i it was to this extent and
no more that the services of M. Yaron were ren-
dered. The incorrectness of style here adverted to
is perceptible in the other works on Natural History


published by M. Le Yaillant, as well as in the
letters which he wrote to his friends.

These deficiencies, however, are but trifles, and
cannot in a scientific point of view derogate from
the merits of the author. His travels are written
in a spirited and agreeable manner ; they are rather
meagre of events, because his wanderings were
chiefly across deserts and mountains, which do not
in general afford a very rich harvest for detail ;
nevertheless, he has contrived to incorporate with
his narratives a variety of most interesting particu-
lars. His minuteness is sometimes more amusing
than important ; but what he relates of his monkey,
Kees, stands in no need of the apology which he
has thought it necessary to record on the subject.

Some writers have reproached our traveller with
vanity, especially with regard to his shooting ex-
ploits, which he is accused of introducing too often
upon the scene, and to the results of which he is
alleged to attach too much consequence. These
little peculiarities, however, as well as his occasional
indications of self-importance and professional ^n
thusiasm, may be accounted pardonable infirmities
in a man who had made so many personal sacrifices
to enlarge the bounds of Natural Science, by bring-
ing home several rare specimens from the unex-
plored deserts of Africa. The same excuse may be
urged in vindication of the whimsical compliments
which he pays to savage life at the expense of civi-
lised society. H* views, however, of mem and


manners are liberal, generous, and humane ; and lie
never fails to speak with gratitude of the services
he received, or the simple attentions he experienced,
even in the kraals of the Hottentots.

Certain travellers, among others Barrow and
Lichtenstein, who visited the same regions at -a
subsequent period, have called in question some of
his statements, especially as having mentioned the
names of tribes that are no longer found to exist.
But it is quite clear that both parties may be cor-
rect. A few years would be sufficient to work a
considerable change in the state of society in a
country inhabited by hordes of wandering savages ;
and it is neither impossible nor improbable that
between the year 1782, of which M. Le Yaillant
speaks, and 1797? the period referred to by Mr.
Barrow, some of these migratory tribes might have
been dispersed, and their very names entirely for-

In other respects, his relations as to the fierce and
implacable hatred between the colonists and the
natives, are corroborated by future travellers. The
Rev. John Campbell of Kingsland Chapel, near
London, who twice visited South Africa as a mis-
sionary, mentions that he saw, near the Raven
mountains, a female who recollected perfectly of M.
Le Vai&ant nanng sojourned in her house. Camp-
bell says, indeed, that our traveller sometimes mixes
too much of the romantic in his narratives ; but he
admits that he has described with great accuracy
the manners and habits of the Hottentots. Mon-


sieur Le Yaillant was tlie first that made the giraffe
known in France, the descriptions of which before
his time were very imperfect. The one which
belonged to the collection of the king was brought
by him from Africa. To him also his countrymen
were indebted for the discovery of a great number
of mammiferous animals, insects, and particularly
new species of birds. He was likewise the first
European writer that took notice of that singular
protuberance or deformity, a tergo, peculiar to some
of the African hordes, of which a specimen was
afterwards exhibited in Europe in the celebrated
Hottentot Yenus.

The personal appearance and characteristic habits
of some of these tribes are very graphically described
by our author. Speaking of the Hottentots, he says,
" A physiognomist or modern wit would assign to
the Hottentot, in the scale of being, a place between
a man and the ouran-outang. I cannot, however,
consent to this systematic arrangement ; the quali-
ties which I esteem in him will never suffer him to
be so far degraded; and I have found his figure
sufficiently beautiful, because I have experienced
the goodness of his heart. It must indeed be
allowed that there is in his features something
peculiar, which in a certain degree separates him
from the generality of mankind. His cheek-bones
are exceedingly prominent, so that his fa/?e beiug
very broad in that part, and the jaw-bones extremely
narrow, his visage continues still decreasing, even
to t&e point of the chin. This configuration git**


him an air of lankness, which, makes his head
appear very much disproportioned, and too small
for his full and plump hody. His flat nose rises
scarcely half an inch at its greatest elevation, and
his nostrils, which are excessively wide, often rise
higher than the ridge of his nose. His mouth is
large and furnished with small teeth, well ena-
melled, and perfectly white. His eyes, beautiful
and open, incline a little towards the nose like those
of the Chinese; and to the sight and touch, his
hair has the resemblance of wool ; it is very short,
curls naturally, and is hlack as ehony."

Their general character M. Le Yaillant delineates
in favourable colours. After mentioning their natu-
ral timidity, their phlegmatic reserve, and profound
indifference to the afiairs of life, he says, " they are
the hest, the kindest, and most hospitable of men.
Whoever travels among them may be assured of
finding food and lodging; and though they will
receive presents, they never ask for any thing. If
the traveller has a long journey to accomplish, and
if they learn that there are any hopes of his soon
meeting with other hordes, the tribe which he is
about to quit will supply him with provisions as far
as their circumstances allow, and with any thing
else necessary for continuing his journey until he
reach the place of his destination."

The wild Hottentots, he says, are remarkably
fond of hunting and in this exercise the.v display
great dexterity. Besides gins and snares, which
they place at convenient spots to catch large ani-


mals, they lie in wait for them also, attack them as
soon as they appear, and kill them with their poi-
soned arrows, or with their assagays, a kind of long
lance, which is generally a feehle and not very dan-
gerous weapon in their hands. They pay little
attention to agriculture, and are more addicted to
pasturage and the rearing of sheep and oxen.

Another tribe of Southern Africa mentioned by
M. Le Yaillant are the Gonaquas, which he thinks
are of a mixed breed between the Cafirs and the
ordinary Hottentots, Their dress resembles that of
the latter ; but as they are taller, they make their
mantles of the skins of calves instead of sheep.
Several of them wear, hanging from their necks, a
piece of ivory or very white sheep-bone, and this
contrast of hue produces a good effect and is very
becoming. When the weather is hot, the men lay
aside every part of their dress that is superfluous,
and retain only what they term their jackals, which
is a small girdle made of the skin of the animal so

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