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rigid feathers in a half-circle between the chin and the ears,
formed by the auricular feathers. Tarsi long, slender, scu-
tellated before, reticulated behind; claws moderate. Tail
rounded and broad.

Circus gallinarius, Shaw. Male, Head, neck, back, wings,
and rump, bluish-grey ; wing feathers white at their bases,
elsewhere black ; insides of shoulders, rump, belly, flanks,
thighs, and tail beneath, white ; tail above ashy grey, tips of
feathers white ; eyes yellow. Length one foot seven inches.

Female. Upper parts dull brown; the feathers of head,
neck, and anterior part of back, bordered with rufous ; beneath
yellow-rufous, variegated with large longitudinal brown spots;
outer vanes of wing feathers rayed dark brown and black, in-
ner ones black and white ; rump white ; the two middle tail-
feathers rayed black and deep ash, the lateral ones rufous-
yellow and black.

Young, Similar to the female, and the male of the first and
second year.

Inhabits Egypt, Europe, and America.

L'Oiseau Saint-Martin, Buff. Falco Gallinarius, Lin.
Falco Pygargus, Gmel.

Circus melanoleucus. Head, neck, back, rump, shoulders*
and upper parts of breast, deep black ; under parts pure white-
Primary quill feathers black, secondaries and wing coverts
cinerious, variegated with black spots or imperfect bands. Tail
above, hoary grey, irregularly spotted with brown ; beneath
white. Bill black, with a yellowish spot on each mandible to-
wards base ; cere, tarsi, and toes, yellow ; claws black.
Length twenty-two inches.

Female. Grey- white dashed with black.

Young. Brown-black above ; white beneath, dashed with
longitudinal brown- black streaks.

Inhabits South Africa and India

Falco melanoleucus, Gmel. Lath. Faucon a collier des
Indes, Sonnerat, Itin, t. ii. p. 182. Le Tchong, Le Vaill.
Afriq. pi 32.

(To be continued.)






Continued from page 288.

Circus Acoli. Male. Bill horn-coloured towards base,
bluish black towards tip ; cere red ; eyes orange-red : colour
of plumage above pale bluish grey ; beneath whitish, with the
breast, belly, and thighs, finely rayed transversely with black ;
body slender; legs long; tail nearly even, and of a dirty
brownish white tint ; shafts reddish brown ; legs and toes yel-
lowish ; claws black.

Inhabits South Africa, Zwartland, Le Vaillant.

L' Acoli, Le Vaill. Afriq. pi 31.

Circus ranivorus. Bill black, with a shade of yellow on
lower mandible near base ; eyes and cere yellow ; front and
crown brown, varied with light rufous ; back of neck and inter-
scapulars dirty dark brown, the feathers edged with a pure or
reddish white ; back and rump brown, feathers with tawny tips ;
upper tail coverts ferruginous and brown, with whitish tips ;
shoulders mottled dark blackish brown, ferruginous and pure
white ; cervical collar blackish brown and white ; chin, throat,
and breast, dirty brown, the feathers edged and tipt with dirty
reddish white. Primary and secondary wing coverts blackish
brown, with grey transverse bands ; primary quill feathers with
the outer vanes marked by alternate transverse bands of deep
hoary grey and brownish black ; inner ones with a considerable
proportion of bluish grey, variegated by transverse partial
blackish bands, the inner edges of vanes towards quills, clear
white ; towards tips the feathers all nearly uniform brownish
black ; secondaries brown and deep bluish grey, in alternate
transverse bands ; inner edges of inner vanes white. Tail with
five blackish brown, transverse bands, and six bluish grey ones,
besides bluish grey tips. Legs and toes yellow ; claws black.
Length eighteen inches.

Inhabits South Africa.

Falco ranivorus, Daud. Shaw. Zool Le Grenouillard,
Le Vaill. Afriq. pi 23.

Circus maurus, Temm. Bill black ; the base of lower man-
dible and the portion of the edge of upper adjoining it, yellow;
cere and eyes yellow ; head, neck, back, rump, shoulders, and
all the under parts, brownish black, verging on pure black ;
the bases of the feathers of the nape pure white. Outer vanes
of primary quill feathers hoary grey; inner vanes towards quills
white ; elsewhere brown or black ; secondaries with the outer

Q q [93]

306 African Zoology,

vanes hoary, the inner ones nearly white, and both, towards tips,
crossed by a broad blackish band ; upper tail coverts white,
under ones black, some of them narrowly tipt with white. Tail
above black, with four transverse bands of dark bluish grey,
and the tips of all the feathers greyish white ; the vanes close
to quills pure silky white. Legs and toes yellow ; claws black.
Length from bill to base of tail ten inches ; length of latter nine
inches and a half.

Young. Front blackish brown ; crown and part of nape light
rufous, variegated with brownish black streaks or clouds ; back
of neck an uniform brownish black, feathers broadly tipt with
pale rufous or tawny white ; chin, throat, breast, and belly, tawny
rufous ; the two first with brownish streaks or spots, the third
clouded by brownish blotches, and the last slightly marked by
longitudinal brown streaks. Quill feathers with the grey less
clear, and the tips of the feathers tawny white. Tail blackish
brown, with three distinct white transverse bands, and the bases
and tips of all the feathers white. Legs and toes dirty yellow.

Inhabits South Africa.

Circus Swainsonii, Smith. Front and eyebrows white ; upper
parts ashy grey ; the tail coverts faintly banded with brown ;
under parts and insides of shoulders pure white Primary and
secondary wing coverts grey, faintly tipt with white ; quill
feathers towards points brown black, outer vanes towards quills
grey, inner vanes white. Tail rounded, the centre feathers
brown- grey with four or five broad, dark brown bands ; lateral
feathers pale fulvous or tawny white, banded irregularly with
dark brown ; the tips of all the feathers white. Bill black
with a faint yellow mark on the edges of both upper and lower
mandible towards base; cere, legs, and toes yellow; claws
black. Length seventeen inches and a half.

Young. Front and eyebrows whitish ; top of head and back
of neck pale rufous, variegated with longitudinal dark brown
stripes ; back and shoulders dull brown, the feathers margined
with rufous ; upper tail coverts white ; chin whitish ; under
parts pale fulvous, darkest on the throat and breast ; many of
the feathers with a dark rufous brown stripe in the course of
the shaft. Outer tail feathers banded pale fulvous and dark

Inhabits South Africa.

Circus superciliaris, Smith. South African Quarterly Journal,
vol. i.p. 385. (the young.)

Circus Le Vaillantii, Smith. Bill black; base of lower
mandible yellow. Front, chin, nape, cervix, and part of breast,
white or rufous white ; the feathers of the neck and nape each


Birds. 307

with a spot of brown at tip ; inter scapulars and back dirty
brown ; upper tail coverts brown, with their tips pale tawny ;
throat, sides of neck, and anterior part of breast, blackish
brown ; flanks, belly, thighs, and vent, reddish brown, inclined
to dirty ferruginous ; shoulders variegated brown and pale
tawny ; inside of wings dark tawny, spotted with brown. Pri-
mary and secondary wing coverts brown, with tawny tips ;
primary quill feathers dark brown, the inner vanes towards
quills light tawny, variegated by longitudinal waved dusky
lines ; secondaries similarly coloured. Tail nearly even, dark
brown, with the three outermost feathers of each side distinctly
marked by transverse interrupted tawny bands ; centre ones
with indistinct light coloured bands on inner vanes ; tips of all
the feathers tawny. Legs and toes greenish yellow; claws
black. Length about eighteen inches.

Young. Plumage an uniform dark brown, very slightly
variegated by some streaks of bright tawny about the chin,
front, and anterior edges of shoulders. The brown of the up-
per parts is dark and clear ; that of the lower reddish brown or
ferruginous. Tail feathers nearly uniform brown, with tawny
tips, and some similarly coloured spots towards quills. Bill
blackish blue, the lower mandible yellow at base. Legs and
toes dirty yellow.

Inhabits South Africa.


Bill curved from the base, with one or more strong teeth up-
on the edge of the upper mandible ; wings as long or longer
than the tail, first feather long, second longest.

Genus FALCO. Bechst.

Bill strong, conical, curved from the base with a strong tooth
on edge of upper mandible, the lower notched near point ; nostrils
round, situated near anterior edge of cere ; tarsi short, more or
less robust, their upper third feathered, the rest reticulated.
Tail moderately long, slightly graduated, broad, and rounded ;
hinder toe strong ; claws falciform ; cere nearly naked.

Falco peregrinus, Lin. Head and upper part of neck bluish
black, rest of upper parts ashy blue, the feathers crossed by
irregular blackish bands ; quill feathers blackish, with a hoary-
tint on the outer vanes, inner vanes with transverse tawny or
white stripes ; edges of shoulders white ; tail ashy with nu-
merous transverse black bands, broadest towards the tips which
are dull white. Beneath each eye a broad black streak ;


308 African Zoology.

throat and breast white, the latter with a few longitudinal black
striae; belly dull greyish white with many small irregular-
shaped black spots. Eyes brown ; bill bluish ; base of lower
mandible, space round eyes, and the legs, yellow. Length
thirteen inches.

Young. Head bluish brown ; feathers finely edged and tipt
with rufous ; nape and back of neck variegated blackish brown
and tawny white ; back blackish feathers with rufous tips ; chin
and throat pure white ; breast and belly tawny, variegated with
oblong blackish spots, largest on the flanks ; tail brownish black
with seven or eight transverse rufous bands, tips white ; legs
and toes greenish yellow ; claws black.

Inhabits Africa and Europe, not uncommon in South Africa.

Le Faucon, Buff. pi. enl. pi. 421. The Blue-back Falcon,
Penn. Brit. Zool. Falco Peregrinoides, Smith, South African
Quarterly Journal, vol. i. p. 235. Spervel of the Cape Colonists.

Falco biarmicus, Temm. Front and anterior part of crown
black, rest of crown and nape rufous ; back of neck, intersca-
pulars, back, upper tail coverts, and shoulders, bluish grey,
with dark slate coloured transverse bands ; from the eye to the
nape a black stripe, and another behind the angle of the mouth ;
sides of neck, and all the under parts, pale tawny- white. Bill
bluish, the base of the lower mandible yellow ; eyes dark brown.
Primaryand secondary wing coverts hoary blue,with dusky grey-
white transverse bands ; primary and secondary wing feathers
brownish ; the inner vanes, for the greater part of their length,
partially crossed by somewhat conical white spots. Tail hoary
white, with ten or eleven moderately broad, black bands ; the
intermediate spaces thinly sprinkled with minute brownish black
dots or lines ; tips of all the feathers white ; cere, legs and toes,
yellow ; claws black. Length of male fifteen inches, of female
seventeen inches.

Young. Head rufous, the front and nape variegated with
black ; back of neck and inter scapulars blackish, with the
feathers finely tipt with rufous ; the black stripes on sides of
head less strongly marked than in full-grown specimens. Sides
of the neck rufous ; chin and throat tawny-white ; breast and
anterior part of belly pale rufous, with a roundish black blotch
towards the middle of each feather ; hinder part of belly, under
tail coverts, and thighs, pale rufous, without variegations.
Primary and secondary wing feathers blackish, with the inner
vanes marked by transverse oviform pale tawny spots, all tipt
with light rufous. Tail blackish, with seven or'eight irregular
transverse rufous bands : all the feathers broadly tipt with;ru-
fous. Bill bluish green, with shades of black, and the lower
mandible with a very faint tinge of greenish yellow at base ; cere

Birds. 309

dusky greenish yellow; eyes dark brown; legs and toes yellowish
white ; claws a dark horn-colour.

Inhabits South Africa.

Falco chiqueroides, Smith. 8. A. Quarterly Journal, vol. i.
p. 233.

Falco concolor, Temm. Male, Bill black ; cere and legs
yellow ; plumage ashy grey ; tail finely banded with a paler
tint, and each feather slightly rayed longitudinally with a deeper
colour than that of the body.

Female, a dusky lead colour.

Inhabits Senegal, Barbary, Egypt, and Arabia.

Falco rupicolus, Daudin. Bill bluish black towards tip,
bluish white at base ; cere yellow ; eyes brown ; head, together
with the back and sides of neck, dull blue-grey, each feather
marked along the centre by a fine longitudinal black streak ;
interscapulars, back, shoulders, and scapulars, deep rufous,
with irregular or somewhat triangular black spots ; chin tawny ;
breast rufous, variegated with longitudinal black lines ; belly
rufous, with black spots ; vent and thighs tawny, without
variegations. Primary and secondary wing coverts black, with
irregular tawny- white transverse bands ; primary wing feathers
black, the inner vanes nearly completely crossed by numerous
white indentations ; secondaries blackish, both vanes crossed by
irregular rufous bands. Tail dark bluish grey, with seven or
eight black bands, the last nearly an inch in width ; on the
three outermost feathers of each side the black only appears
upon the inner vanes ; all the feathers broadly tipt with white.
Legs and toes yellow ; claws black. Length of male twelve
inches, of female fourteen inches.

Young. Head and neck rufous tawny, with indistinct longi-
tudinal black streaks ; back and shoulders light rufous, with
large irregular or triangular black spots ; chin nearly white ;
throat light tawny rufous, with irregular streaks like those on
the head ; belly of the same ground colour as breast, and
streaked or spotted before, behind like the vent and thighs,
without variegations. Wing feathers all distinctly tipt with
white. Tarsi, toes, and cere, dull yellow.

Falco rupicoloides, Smith. Head, neck, back, shoulders, and
scapulars, pale tawny, clouded with pale rufous ; the head and
neck variegated with longitudinal black stripes ; the back,
shoulders, and scapulars, with broad brown transverse bars ;
rump brown with blue-white bars. Throat and under parts a
pale fawn-colour, the breast and belly with a few brown stripes ;
flanks rayed with brown. Quill feathers brown, inner vanes
banded with pale rufous. Tail brown, with about six bluish


310 African Zoology.

white transverse bands, tips of the feathers pure white. Bill
bluish black, base of lower mandible yellow ; cere, tarsi, and
toes, yellow ; claws black ; eyes sandy-grey. Length sixteen

Inhabits South Africa.

Falco punctatus, Cuvier. Above deep rufous ; head and neck
variegated with longitudinal black stripes ; back and shoulders
with broad transverse black blotches : below white, breast with
longitudinal brown blotches,bellyandventwith roundish ,brown-
black, spots. Primary quill feathers black, inner vanes par-
tially crossed by white or rufous bars; secondaries rufous,
barred with black. Tail dark rufous with about six transverse
black bands, the tips of feathers rufous white. Bill blackish
blue, base of lower mandible yellow. Legs and toes greenish
yellow. Length of male eleven inches, of female twelve inches.

Inhabits Isle of France and Madagascar.

06s. In the specimens from Madagascar the black spots on the back
are generally smaller, the under parts are principally rufous, and the
tail blue-grey with black transverse bars.

Falco subbuteo, Lath. Head and upper part of neck dark
blue-grey, rest of upper parts light blue-grey; the shafts of all
the feathers black ; over each eye a narrow rufous-white stripe,
and below each, a black crescent, the one extremity extending
under the eye, the other on a line with the base of lower mandi-
ble ; sides of neck, throat, breast, and belly, tawny-white ; the
two last freely variegated with longitudinal black blotches ;
vent, under tail coverts, and thighs, rufous. Outer vanes of
wing feathers hoary -blue, inner dull brown, crossed with white
bars towards quills, all very finely margined and tipt with dull
white. Tail slightly rounded, the two centre feathers blue-
grey, the rest blue-grey banded on the inner vanes with pale
rufous and tipt with tawny- white. Bill bluish, base of lower
mandible yellow ; cere, legs, and toes, yellow ; claws black.
Length thirteen inches.

Inhabits South Africa and Europe.

Le Hobereau, Buff. Hobby Falcon, Lath. Falco Cuvierii,
Smith, South African Quarterly Journal, vol. i. p. 392.

Falco Lythofalco, Lin. Upper parts of body and tail ashy-
blue, the centres of feathers with a longitudinal brown stripe ;
five irregular black transverse bands formed by isolated spots
upon the tail, the one towards the point very broad ; tips of the
feathers inclined to white. Throat white, rest of under parts
yellow-rufous with longitudinal brown spots ; bill blue; cere,
space round eyes, and feet, yellow. Quill feathers rayed on
inner vanes with white ; sometimes a rufous or yellow rufous


Birds. 311

collar towards lower part of neck above. Length of male
eleven inches.

Young. Upper parts dark brown, feathers bordered with
rufous ; tail blackish, with five narrow brown-red bands ; tho
bands of primary quill feathers rufous white.

Inhabits Egypt, Porto Rico, and Europe.

Falco sesalon. Linn. Le Rochier, Buff. Ois.


Bill straight at base, curved towards the point ; cere mem-
branous covered with stiff hair or setaceous feathers ; sides of
upper mandible a little dilated towards edges, the lower mandi-
ble shorter than the upper, truncated and notched at point ;
nostrils rounded, oblique, entirely open or covered by the seta-
ceous feathers of the cere ; tarsi mostly feathered, when not
feathered, reticulated ; the anterior toes nearly equal, the ex-
ternal versatile, moderately robust ; claws strong and retractile.
Tail generally moderate, even, rarely elongated and graduated.

Genus SURNIA. Dumeril.

Head rounded without enlarged conch or egrets ; tarsi and toes
feathered to the claws ; tail long, graduated.

Surnia choucou. Base of bill surrounded by fine feathers
resembling hairs ; upper part of head, back of neck, intersca-
pulars, and wing coverts, reddish grey-brown ; the latter va-
riegated with white spots ; wing feathers tipt with white. Tail
composed of twelve feathers, the two centre ones grey-brown
like the wings, the rest grey-brown, the outer vanes banded
with pure white, the inner vanes pure white without bands.
Throat and under parts pure white ; the feathers of the legs
very long ; insides of shoulders white. Bill small, and like the
claws black ; eyes bright orange. Length eight inches and a
half ; figure slender. Wings when folded reach to the middle
of the tail.

Inhabits South Africa, towards the Knysna.

Strix choucou, Lath. Le Choucou, Le Vaill. Ois. d'Afriq.
pi. 38.

Surnia nisuella. Plumage above brown, of different tints,
passing insensibly from the deepest to the lightest shades, or
even in some to white ; throat with a sort of collaret or white
blotch. Breast, and under parts of body, of the same colour
as the back, but disposed in somewhat regular transverse bars,
lightest towards the legs ; the latter covered with fine silky
grey-white feathers. Tail beneath banded brown-black and
' [99]

312 African Zoology.

reddish white, above the white is more pure and the brown
lighter. Bill and: claws brown black ; eyes deep topaz yellow ;
wings when folded extend over two-thirds of the tail. Length
about twelve inches.

Inhabits South Africa, Great Namaqualand.

Strix nisuella, Lath. Le Chou-cou-hou, Le Vaill. Afriq.
pi 39.

Obs. In the figure given by Le Vaillant, the facial disc is margined by
two rows of brown spots.

Genus NOCTUA. Savigny.

Head without egrets, ear opening oval, moderate. Facial
disc little develloped, almost incomplete ; toes feathered or
covered with rigid hairs ; tail short, equal.

Noctua hirsuta. Forehead and lores whitish with a few
black hairs at the base of the beak ; top of head and nape ashy
brown ; back wing coverts and quills an uniform brown ; sca-
pulars and inner secondaries spotted on inner webs with white ;
throat reddish ; breast and belly whitish, varied with large
reddish brown spots ; tail feathers banded with four bars of
brown and four of ash-colour, their tips white ; toes marbled
with red and brown, their edges with rough excrescences of a
yellowish colour, and a regular series of strong bristles ; bill
black ; the tail white.

Inhabits Madagascar, India, and Ceylon.

Strix hirsuta, Temm. pi. col. 289.

Noctua occipitalis. Forehead and upper part of head reddish,
dotted with white ; upper part of body brown and yellow, with
white spots encircled with black ; male with a whitish band on
the occiput ; female, a reddish one ; on each side of this a band
composed of a tuft of feathers spotted with black and white ;
all the lower parts of body dashed with clear red ; quills re-
gularly banded, alternately, brown and reddish. Tail feathers
brown or yellow, with five white spots on both webs, those on
the outer ones smallest ; legs and toes covered with a very short
down ; beak yellowish, with some white hairs on its sides as well
as near the eyes. Length seven inches.

Inhabits Africa.

Strix occipitalis, Temm. pi. col. 34.

Noctua Woodfordii, Smith. Above brown, freely sprinkled
with somewhat triangular, clear white spots, and the back,
scapulars, and shoulders, marked besides with narrow trans-
verse, obscure white, or dull tawny zig-zag lines ; the outer-


Birds. 313

most scapulars principally white, forming an irregular oblique
band of that colour on each side ; shoulders also with some
large white spots. Primary quill feathers dull brown, the outer
vanes barred with white, the inner ones with tawny ; secon-
daries light brown. Facial disc white sprinkled with brown,
but immediately around the eye pure black ; eyebrows white,
feathers crossed by narrow black bars ; guttural collar white,
crossed with black lines ; sides of neck and breast tawny brown
marked with brown and white transverse bars ; belly irregularly
banded black and white, and more or less clouded with pale
rufous j legs rufous white with waved transverse brown lines.
Tail brown with narrow bands of tawny white, which are
generally edged by a darker brown ; tips of feathers dull white.
Bill and eyes yellow, the feathers about base of bill setaceous,
white towards bases, black toward extremities ; toes above
covered with setaceous feathers, on the sides bare, reticulated
and yellow ; claws a dark horn-colour. Length about twelve

Inhabits South Africa, rare.

Large-eyed Owl, Latham. ? History of Birds, vol. i. p. 360

Noctua Capensis, Smith. The upper parts of the head, and
the back and sides of the neck, brown, each feather towards
tip crossed by a narrow white bar ; interscapulars, back, rump
and shoulders, black-brown, the feathers with two or more
waved, narrow, rufous, transverse stripes, several of the outer-
most scapulars principally white, giving rise to a stripe of that
colour on each side of the back ; on shoulders also some large
white blotches ; edges of shoulders white. Quill feathers brown,
crossed with narrow rufous or white bands. Throat brown
mixed with white ; breast brown, barred irregularly with white
and tawny; belly pure white variegated with ferruginous-brown
blotches ; thighs tawny, mottled with black-brown. Tail dark
black-brown, crossed by twelve very narrow rufous bars, and
tipt with rufous. Bill greenish yellow ; claws yellow at bases,
blackish towards points. Length nine inches.

Inhabits South Africa, rare.

Noctua perlata, Vieill. Upper parts of head and neck rufous-
brown or simple brown, spotted freely with white ; in front of
interscapulars a more or less distinct light rufous collar ; the
rest of upper parts brown, sparingly spotted with white, each
spot encircled by black-brown ; several of the outermost scapu-
lars half -white, forming a continuous line of that colour on each
side of back ; shoulders with a few white blotches intermingled
with the white spots. Wings brown, imperfectly barred with
white or pale rufous. Under parts either rufous variegated

R r [101]

314 African Zoology.

with white, or an irregular mixture of brown rufous and white,

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Online LibraryAndrew SmithSir Andrew Smith's Miscellaneous ornithological papers → online text (page 10 of 13)