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the vent and under tail coverts, in some, nearly pure white.
Tail dark brown, crossed by five or six rows of white spots, the
last row at the tips of the feathers. Bill yellowish ; claws a
dark horn-colour. Length seven inches.

Inhabits Southern Africa and Senegal.

Le Perlee Levaill, pi. 284. Strix peiiata, Vieillet.

Genus SCOPS. Savigny.

Head with lateral egrets ; facial disc incomplete or indistinctly
formed ; tarsi feathered to the toes ; tail short.

Scops Europeus. Above brown, finely variegated with white,
grey-white, and tawny white bars or spots, and with black
longitudinal stripes ; sides of head from bill to egret white, the
feathers crossed with delicate black lines ; egrets brown, finely
marked with black and white variegations ; rostral feathers
long and rigid, white towards bases, the points black ; cervical
collar brown-black and white, most distinct on sides of neck ;
outermost scapulars with large tawny- white spots. Wing
feathers blackish brown, outer vanes barred with white, inner
vanes towards margins marked with a series of rufous spots.
Under parts grey -white clouded with tawny, variegated with
fine black undulated bars and longitudinal black blotches and
stripes. Tail tawny-white, finely and closely barred with brown
or black, some of the bars of the latter colour being longer
than others give the appearance of narrow irregular black
bands ; tips of feathers tawny. Legs pale tawny more or less
pointed with brown. Eyes, toes and base of bill yellow ; tip of
bill and claws black. Length seven inches.

Inhabits South Africa, Senegal, and Europe.

Strix Scops, Linn. Le Scops or Petit-Due, Buff. Scops-
eared Owl, Lath. Om.

Obs. Most Ornithologists regard the Owl above described as identical
with the little- eared Owl of Europe, yet I am much disposed to consider
it as distinct. Its colours are much darker and differently disposed,
and in themselves, even different on the inner vanes of wing feathers :
I am the more inclined to this opinion, as I have now before me a speci-
men from Senegal, which exactly corresponds with the European Scops.
The colours of the South African bird being constantly different, it
may perhaps be designated as the Scops Capensis, and that of Senegal
as the Scops Europeus.

Genus OTUS. Cuvier.

Ear opening very large, extending from the bill to nearly the
top of the head, with a membraneous operculum in front ; head
with egrets erectile at the pleasure of the bird ; bill long, com-
pressed, and curved from the base ; tarsi feathered to the toes.


Birds. 315

Otus ascalaphus. Egrets or horns rudimentary and slender ;
setaceous feathers of the cheeks directed upwards and very
short above the eyes, and assist in giving a flattened appear-
ance to the forehead and top of the head ; beak black ; body,
wings, and tail, whitish red varied with different shades ; the
whole body spotted and striped with brown-black, the spots
lanceolate on the head and nape, confluent on the ears ; the
quills and tail feathers with broad bands and narrow zigzag
brown stripes ; breast dashed with the same ; the rest of the
under part with fine transverse stripes. Under surface of tail
white, with five or six narrow dusky transverse bands ; throat
and middle of breast white ; tarsi long, and as well as the toes
covered with whitish feathers. Length about eighteen inches.

Inhabits Egypt.

Strix Ascalaphus, Savig. Egypt. Temm. pi. col. 57.

Otus leucotis. Egrets placed above the eyes, long and point-
ed, which, with the feathers of the head and nape, are dull
white varied with reddish zigzag lines, and a longitudinal black
stripe in the direction of the shafts, the tip of each feather is
black ; face and cheeks white with a rufous tinge under the
eyes and a broad black band behind, extending to the egrets ;
edges of wings and large coverts white, upper and under parts
of body light rufous, variegated with black and vermiculated
with brown ; quills and tail feathers ashy, delicately marked
with brownish zigzag lines and broad transverse stripes ; vent
white, with brown stripes. Bill awhitish horn-colour, andnearly
covered by pure white bristles. Length six inches.

Inhabits Senegal.

Strix leucotis, Temm. pi. col. 16.

Otus maculosus. Above brown or black-brown; the upper
parts of head, neck, and interscapulars, irregularly spotted with
white or tawny- white ; the back, scapulars, and shoulders,
mottled with white or tawny- white undulated bars or blotches.
Face grey, the feathers crossed by black bars ; egrets brown,
spotted with white ; chin white ; cervical collar dark brown,
mottled with white in front of neck ; in front of breast a large
white crescent. Breast and flanks white, barred with brown and
blotched with black ; belly and legs tawny or pure white, more
regularly barred with narrow brown lines. Tail slightly
rounded, two centre feathers brown with four or five irregular
tawny- white bars ; lateral feathers brown with the transverse
tawny bars more distinct. Eyes fine yellow ; bill and claws
black. Length eighteen inches.

Inhabits South Africa, common.

Strix maculosus, Vieill. Gal pi 23. Strix Africanus, Tern.
pi 56.


316 African Zoology.

Otus Capensis, Smith. Above brown, finely freckled or
marked with pale tawny, undulated lines and the shoulders
variegated with some large tawny blotches ; face tawny-white,
mixed with black near the eyes ; egrets small, brown variegated
with tawny ; cervical collar dark brown, spotted with fulvous in
front of neck. Anterior part of breast nearly an uniform brown,
rest of breast and belly finely mottled brown and white, the
colours principally disposed in zig-zag transverse lines and bars,
and in some specimens the shafts are deep brown ; vent and tail
coverts tawny-white. Primary wing feathers pale fulvous,
irregularly barred with brown, and the points entirely brown ;
secondaries brown with partial fulvous bands, the tips tawny
white, more or less mottled with brown. Tail slightly rounded,
the two centre feathers brown, with four tawny bars, the distal
one broken and indistinct, the outer feathers tawny white with
three brown bars, the extremities of all the feathers nearly
pure white. Legs tawny white ; bill and claws black. Length
fourteen inches.

Inhabits South Africa, in marshy situations.

Marsh Owl of the Cape Colonists.

Otus Madagascariensis, Smith. Above blackish brown, each
feather with a tawny blotch on each vane, producing a mottled
appearance ; scapulars blotched, banded or undulated with
tawny. Wing feathers dull brown, with tawny bars, many of
them brownish towards their centres. Egrets black-brown,
some of the feathers blotched on both vanes with tawny, others
only on outer vanes ; cheeks tawny -brown ; shafts and points of
feathers black; rostral feathers black and white. Throat
crossed by an obscure white crescent, and below that an in-
distinct collaret which extends on each side of the neck nearly
to the egrets, and is mottled black-brown and tawny-white.
Under parts tawny with longitudinal brown blotches, largest on
the breast. Legs tawny rufous with a few brown variegations.
Tail dark brown, with four or five light brown bands margined
with tawny. Bill bluish black ; claws black. Length fifteen

Inhabits Madagascar.

06s. This species stands close to Otus brachyotos, but differs from it
particularly in the want of white spots on the upper parts, and in the
distribution of the colours of the collaret and hinder parts of the belly.

Grenus STRIX. Savigny.

Bill straight at base, curved towards tip ; ear opening ample
with a large operculum; the circle of setaceous feathers of face
much developed ; no egrets ; tarsi feathered ; toes covered with


Birds. 317

Strix Capensis, Smith. Upper parts brown, clouded with
black-brown, and thinly spotted with white dots ; under parts
yellowish white freely mottled with small brown spots. Facial
disc clear white with a large black blotch at the inner angle of
each eye ; cervical collar dull white, the feathers tipt with
tawny-brown, and streaked along their centres with dark brown.
Wings about two inches longer than the tail ; primary wing
feathers brown, irregularly mottled with fulvous towards quills ;
secondaries tawny without, white within, and imperfectly barred
with brown, the tips chiefly brown, edges of shoulders tawny-
white, insides white, mottled with black spots. Tail short,
two centre feathers brown with some white spots at tips, outer-
most feathers white imperfectly banded with brown, interme-
diate ones tawny -brown on outer vanes, white on inner, and both
partially barred with brown. Tarsi an uniform yellowish white ;
bill yellowish white ; eyes brown-black ; toes yellow with a thin
sprinkling of rigid yellowish hairs ; claws horn-yellow. Length
seventeen inches.

Inhabits South Africa.

Genus BUBO. Cuvier.

Ear opening small', facial disc indistinct', head with two
egrets ; tarsi feathered to the toes.

Bubo lactea. Bill large, blackish blue towards tarsi, yel-
lowish towards point, and furnished on each side with long,
narrow, bristly, black feathers ; cheeks white, broadly mar-
gined behind with deep black ; egrets black towards points,
waved black and white towards bases ; crown waved black and
white ; rest of upper parts dull brown, finely and irregularly
waved with dull white lines ; chin white, undulated with brown ;
throat pure white ; breast and belly dull white, waved with de-
licate irregularly disposed zigzag lines. Primary wing feathers
white towards quills, brown towards tips, and banded with
blackish transverse bands ; secondaries banded alternately
brown and dull white, the latter with fine brown undulations.
Tail rounded, banded alternately brown and white, the white
bands about four in number, are mottled with brown; on
the outer vanes of all the feathers ; legs dull white with waved
transverse brown lines ; claws black. Length of male about
twenty inches, of female about two feet.

Inhabits South Africa and Senegal.

Strix lactea Temm. pi. col. 4.

Bubo Capensis, Smith. Young. Upper parts of head black-
ish brown, the feathers blotched and tipt with tawny ; egret
blackish, variegated on inner edges with clear tawny ; back and


318 African Zoology.

sides of neck dark brown, mottled with fulvous, the latter in
large spots upon both vanes ; back and shoulders blackish
brown dashed with fulvous or tawny-white. Wing feathers
black-brown with tawny bands, the latter often brown in the
middle, particularly on the secondaries. Facial disc principally
pale tawny-brown, at inner angles of eyes white ; the rostral
feathers tipt with black ; cervical collar blackish, mottled with
white at the throat, towards extremities brown ; chin, and a
large crescent in front of breast, white ; breast and belly black-
ish brown, variegated freely with large transverse tawny
blotches, which, towards the thighs, exhibit a whitish tint ; legs
rufous-white with -small brown blotches; toes rufous- white,
without variegations. Tail slightly rounded, the outermost
feathers of each side banded black-brown and tawny- white, the
bands of the latter colour brown in the middle, the centre
feathers blackish brown with tawny bands, dusky in the middle ;
tips of all the feathers tawny- white, finely mottled with brown.
Bill black ; eyes yellow ; claws light horn-coloured, darkest
towards points. Length twenty-two inches.
Inhabits South Africa.

Obc. This bird I am convinced is distinct from the Bubo Europens.
Adult specimens are said to be marked nearly as the young ones.


Bill various ; legs short or moderate ; tarsi usually clothed
with feathers ; toes flat beneath ; claws slender, moveable,
somewhat retractile, curved and acute.

Bill broad at the base, gape very wide ; legs short.



Bill longer than the head, curved, rounded, slightly compressed
on the sides, and pointed; nostrils lateral, rounded or in the
form of a longitudinal fissure. Wings long and pointed, first
or third quill the longest. Tail long, even, graduated or forked,
often the two middle feathers longer than the others and termi-
nating in narrow points. Tarsi short, slender, and scutellated.


Birds. 319

* With the middle tail feathers elongated.

Merops Apiaster, Lin. Throat yellow, margined behind
with black ; front greenish white ; occiput, back of neck, and
interscapulars, maronne ; back, rufous-yellow; middle of wings
dark rufous ; quill feathers and tail, olive-green ; ocular band
black ; breast and belly, bluish green. Bill black ; eyes red ;
feet brown. The two middle tail feathers an inch longer than
the others. Length from bill to point of tail eleven inches.

Young. Above brown-green ; eyebrows rufous ; no black
collar ; tail feathers all of equal length.

Inhabits Africa and Europe, during the summer in South

Merops Malimbicus, Shaw. Head and neck slate- grey ; chin
white, passing in the form of a streak on each side of the
throat ; upper parts of body, wings, and tail, vinaceous ash-
colour ; quill feathers blackish brown ; eye band blackish
brown. Lower part of throat, breast, belly, and thighs, a fine
deep or sanguine rose-colour, palest towards the vent. The
two middle tail feathers about an inch and a half longer than
the others, and terminate in narrow points. Bill and legs
black ; eyes red. Length about ten inches.

Inhabits Malimba.

Merops bicolor, Daud.

Merops Nubicus, Lin. Head and throat sea-green, the latter
margined below with black; eye band black; neck, back,
breast, and belly, bright red ; wings and tail a dull red ; quill
feathers black at the tips, clouded with green ; scapulars green-
brown ; tail feathers pointed with obscure green, the two centre
ones much longer than the others, narrow towards the points,
and of a blue-black colour ; rump, vent, and under tail coverts,
light blue. Bill black. Length from bill to point of middle
tail feathers eleven inches and a half.

Inhabits Africa, rare in South Africa.

Merops cseruleocephalus, Shaw.

Merops jEgyptius, Savig. Front yellowish white ; forehead
and eyebrows light green; top of head, neck, back, shoulders,
breast, belly, and vent, dark green; eye band black, edged be-
low by light green ; anterior part of throat yellow, hinder part
maronne ; outer vanes of wing feathers olive-green, inner vanes
dark dusky green, all tipt with black ; tail feathers olive-green,
the two centre ones about two inches longer than the others,
narrow towards points, and green-black. Bill black ; legs and
toes brown. Length ten inches and a half.

Inhabits South Africa.


320 African Zoology.

Far. Front, eyebrows, and line from base of lower mandible,
white or green-white ; upper parts, particularly head and neck,
dull brown- green ; breast light olive- green ; belly light green,
palest towards vent.

Inhabits Madagascar.

Merops Savignii, Le Vaill. pi. 6. Merops superciliosus, Lin. ?

Obs. A variety of this species occurs in India and Java, with the rump,
vent, tail, eyebrows, aud stripe under eyeband, light blue, the upper
parts olive-green ; the belly light green.

Merops Cuvierii, Le Vaill. Front, eyebrows, and throat,
white ; top of head, eye-band, and middle of throat, black ;
neck, above rufous-green ; interscapulars and shoulders green ;
scapulars blue-green; outer vanes of quill feathers olive-brown,
inner vanes rufous green, all tipt with black. Back, rump,
tail, and a transverse bar below, black ; of throat, blue-green ;
breast and belly greenish white ; vent light blue ; two centre
tail feathers longest, and narrow towards points,where they are
of a black colour. Bill black. Length to tip of tail eleven

Inhabits Senegal.

Merops Savignii, Swain. Zool. III. pi. 76. Le Vaill. pi. 9.

** With the tail even.

Merops Bullockii. The upper parts of the head, back,
shoulders, rump, and tail coverts, green ; back and sides of neck
rufous-green ; wing feathers green ; the primaries faintly and
the secondaries distinctly tipt with black. Eye-band black ;
throat red ; breast and belly rufous-green ; vent and under tail
coverts dark blue. Tail even, two centre feathers green. Bill
and legs black. Length seven inches.

Inhabits Senegal.

Merops Bullockoides, Smith. Front greenish white; eyebrows
green; top of head and back of neck, pale chesnut, clouded with
green ; back, shoulders, wings, and tail, dark green ; the secon-
dary quill feathers broadly tipt with black ; eye band black,
edged below with white ; throat red ; breast and belly rusty
olive-green ; rump, vent, and under tail coverts, deep blue. Bill
and legs black ; tail even. Length eight inches.

Inhabits South Africa.

Obs. This may be only a variety of the former, or the opposite sex.

(To be continued.)






June 23, 1834,









Genus FALCO. Bechst.

Fako simitorquata. Above ashy blue ; rump, and a narrow half
collar in front of interscapulars, white ; beneath silky white,
quills and tail brown, with transverse bands of white spots ;
tip of tail feathers white. Length 7J inches. Female.
Back a rich clear reddish brown. Inhabits the country near
old Latakoo.


Melaconotus similis. Neck and head bluish grey ; back a
bright yellowish green ; beneath yellow, the breast tinted with
orange; greater wing coverts tipt with yellow ; quills brown,
outer vanes yellowish green ; tail olive green, tips and edges of
inner vanes of feathers yellow. Length 7 inches. Inhabits
the country beyond Kurrichaine.

Melaconotus australis. Top of head brown ; eyebrows white ;
edged above and below with black ; neck and back grey brown ;
chin whitish ; throat, breast, and belly, pale rusty buff ; wing
coverts bright chesnut, outer vanes of most of the quills the
same ; inner vanes blackish, edged towards bases with buff ;
tail black, all the feathers tipt with white, and the outer vane
of the outermost one of each side the same colour till near
quill. Length 7J inches. Inhabits the country north of

This, and the last described species, will certainly not belong
to the same group, and are now only classed together till an opportu-
nity occurs of comparing them with the various forms of the
ThawmophilincB, &c. a step I have adopted with some satisfaction, from
finding representatives of both united, by Swainson, in the Genus.*
The first species has its representative (though on a larger scale) in the
Melaconotus Blanchotii, and the last, in Lanius erythropterus. The
general character of the plumage, and the habits of these four birds,
are however very different. The two first are nearly alike, both
seek their food upon trees in exposed situations, and do not readily
leave one for another, nor endeavour to conceal themselves. The
two last, on the other hand, generally resort to dense thickets,
and keep almost constantly advancing nearly in straight lines, unless

riffith ' 8 Traaslation of the Anim al Kingdom, vol. 8, page 678.


Genus PRIONOPS. Vieill.

Prionops Talacoma. Front white, tinted with grey, top of
head dusky washed with grey, behind ears a transverse black
bar ; eyes surrounded by a naked yellow membrane ; back
shining blackish green ; beneath, and a collar round neck, pure
white ; quills black, the primaries towards middle white on
inner vanes ; and a broad band of the same colour extends
along the wings ; the two outermost tail feathers of each
side white, the two middle ones entirely black, the inter-
mediate ones black to wards quills, white to wards tips. Length
7^ inches. Inhabits the country between Latakoo and the

Genus MERULA.. Ray.

Merula Libonyana. Above grey with a faint tint of green ;
chin rusty white with a band of brown stripes from each
side of lower mandible ; breast pale ochrey-grey, sides of
belly and insides of shoulders an ochre colour ; centre of belly,
vent and under tail coverts pure white ; wings and tail brown ;
inner vanes of primaries ochre coloured towards quills ; the
tips of the three outermost tail feathers white. Length 9
inches. Inhabits the country about and beyond Kurrichane.

Merula obscura. Above a dull grey-brown; chin and
beginning of throat dull white, marked faintly with narrow
brown stripes, rest of throat, breast, an4 flanks, grey-brown ;
centre of belly and vent an ochre colour ; under tail coverts
greenish brown, tipt with dull white, and some of them
striped in the course of shafts with the same colour ; wings
and tail brown. Length 10 inches. Inhabits the country
towards the sources of the Orange Eiver.

Merula Litsipsirupa. Above grey, tinted with brown ; sides of
head and neck white, with an oval black ring behind each eye,
and a line of black stripes from each side of lower mandible ;
beneath white, the breast and belly variegated with closely set
oblong dark brown spots : quills and tail brown, the inner
vanes of former, except near tips, buff. Length, 8 inches.
Inhabits the country between the Orange Eiver and the

Genus CRATOPCTS. Jard.

Cratopus Jardineii. Above greyish brown ; the feathers of
the head, and of the~back and sides of neck, dark brown
in the course of the shafts and at the tips white ; beneath
brownish grey the middle of each feather of chin, throat,
breast, and centre of belly, clear white towards the point ;
wings and tail brown. Length 9 inches. Inhabits the
banks of Eivers beyond Kurrichaine.


Sub-family SAXACOLIIOS. ?
Sub-genus DESSONORNIS. ?

Bill moderate, slightly curved towards the point, upper mandible
notched ; nostrils basal, above membranaceous ; rictus slightly
bristled; wings moderate, rounded, fourth, fifth, and sixth
quills longest and nearly equal ; tarsi moderate, acrotarsia
indistinctly divided ; claws moderately curved.

Dessonornis humeralis. Front and crown of head black, with a
greyish tint; neck and interscapulars dull bluish grey ; back
and rump rufous ; eyebrows white ; sides of head and neck
deep black ; flanks, vent, and under tail coverts rufous
yellow ; throat, centre of breast, and belly, pure white ;
wings black ; crossed by an oblique white stripe, two centre
tail feathers black, the rest black towards tips, bright rufous
towards quills. Length 6^ inches. Inhabits the banks of
the Marikwa, &c.


Bill moderate, slender, curved, and compressed towards the
point, upper mandible slightly notched ; nostrils basal, above
membranaceous; rictus slightly bristled; wings short, round,
fourth and fifth quills longest ; tail rounded ; tarsi moderate,
acrotarsia divided ; claws moderately curved.

Erythropygia pectoralis. Top of head grey-brown; back dull
brown ; rump and tail coverts rufous ; eyebrows, chin, and
throat, white, the latter edged on each side with a black stripe ;
breast, belly, and vent, white, the former freely variegated by
longitudinal dark brown stripes ; flanks pale rufous ; wing
coverts brown and so tipt with white as to form two oblique
bars across each wing ; quills dark brown, outer vanes more
or less distinctly edged with white ; tail rounded, two centre
feathers black towards quills, edged with dull rufous, lateral
ones blackish, tipt with white. Length 6 inches. Inhabits
the country between the Orange Eiver and Kurrichaine.

Erythropygia Paena. Top of head grey-brown; back pale
rufous brown ; rump and tail coverts bright rufous ; eyebrows
white ; chin and throat dull white, rest of under parts rusty
white ; quills brown,outer vanes edged towards bases with pale
rufous; tail rounded, two centre feathers dark chesnut towards
base, black towards tips, the lateral ones black towards quills,
white towards tips. Length 6 inches. Inhabits the country
between Latakoo and the Tropic.

Genus ALAUDA. Auct.

Alauda chuana. Colour above yellow rufous, with the
the middle of the feathers dark brown, and some of the


interscapulars whitish towards tips ; chin white ; rest of
under parts a pale cream colour, the lower portion of throat
and anterior portion of breast with brown streaks ; eyebrows
white ; quills brown edged with reddish white ; tail slightly
forked, dark brown, the two centre feathers edged and tipt

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Online LibraryAndrew SmithSir Andrew Smith's Miscellaneous ornithological papers → online text (page 11 of 13)