Langekloof, at least three hundred miles to the eastward of
Cape Town. In those situations it is often seen resorting, in
the evenings, to the poplar and other trees in the vicinity of
farm-houses, and upon such also it often builds its nest. The
latter is constructed externally of dry twigs, and within of
hair and feathers, and in it are deposited from three to four
eggs, during the months of August or September. It preys
on small birds, young hares, &c., and, when in search of such,
or in defence of its young, it evinces a most amazing degree
of ferocity and courage.
F. capite saturate cceseo, dorso subgriseo fasciis trans-
versis nigris notato ; macula nigra sub oculum ; gula alba ;
pectore albo striis longitudinalibus nigris variegato ; abdomine
griseo maculis striis et fasciis transversis nigris variegato ;
tarsis et digitis flavis.
Male. Bill blackish at tip, orange yellow at base of lower
mandible, and bluish green elsewhere ; cere yellow ; eyes
dark brown ; front, crown, and nape dark grayish blue, with
each feather marked by a narrow longitudinal black streak
towards its centre ; back of neck blackish, with the feathers
tipt by dark bluish gray; interscapulars dark bluish gray,
with transverse narrow dusky black bands ; black light gray,
with black bands ; upper tail coverts the same ; shoulders
bluish gray, with more or less distinct dusky bands ; under
each eye, and commencing at base of bill a black irregular
blotch; side of the neck, chin, and throat white; breast
white, or slightly tinted with tawny, and variegated by fine
black longitudinal streaks ; belly pale bluish gray, with small
black spots, streaks, or transverse short bands ; under tail
coverts tawny white, with narrow black transverse bands.
Primary and secondary wing coverts a deep tawny slate color,
with narrow white tips ; primary wing feathers blackish,
with a tinge of hoary, which is most distinct upon the outer
vanes ; inner vanes with many transverse oviform white
blotches ; tips white ; secondaries blackish, with the inner
vanes mottled or distinctly banded with white ; tips, and a
little of edges of outer vanes, white : scapulars grayish, each
with a narrow longitudinal black streak towards the middle,
and with several blackish transverse bands crossing it. Tail
bluish gray, with about ten transverse narrow black bands,
and all the feathers broadly tipt with white ; the spaces be-
236 A Description of the Birds
tween bands also finely, and some, at least, closely mottled
with black ; legs and toes yellow ; claws black. Length from
bill to base of tail eight inches ; length of latter five inches.
Female. Length from bill to base of tail nine inches
length of latter six inches ; the bluish colors are darker ; the
blotch on the side of the head is not of so deep a black ; and
the white of the under parts is less pure.
Young. Base of lower mandible with a slight tinge of
yellow, rest of bill bluish black ; cere yellow ; eyes brown ;
head blackish brown, feathers finely edged and tipt with
rufous ; nape and back of neck variegated blackish brown
and tawny white ; lower part of neck behind, together with
the interscapulars, deep blackish brown, with all the feathers
tipt with rufous ; back feathers black, with rufous tips.
Upper tail coverts banded brown and tawny ; shoulders black-
ish brown, the feathers tipt with rufous ; blotch or streak
under the eye blackish brown, and smaller than in old birds ;
chin and throat pure white ; breast and belly tawny, with
the feathers variegated by oblong black spots, which are largest
on the flanks, in which situations they sometimes con-
tain a light colored spot towards the centre of the black;
many of the variegations on the thighs are somewhat arrow-
shaped ; under tail coverts tawny, with arrow-shaped black
spots. Primary and secondary wing coverts blackish brown,
with shades of bluish gray, and the inner vanes spotted with
tawny or rufous ; primary wing feathers blackish brown, with
the inner vanes nearly crossed by rufous oviform blotches,
and all finely tipt with white ; secondaries marked in the same
way, but with the proportion of white at tips a little greater.
Tail browish black, with seven or eight transverse narrow
rufous bands, which extend directly across some of the
feathers, and only partially in others, tips white ; legs and
toes greenish yellow ; claws black.
The majority of the specimens of this falcon, which I have
seen, were killed near Cape Town, particularly about Wyn-
berg and Constantia. I have also seen one which was ob-
tained near Uitenhage, and have been told that it occurs not
unfrequently in that part of the colony. Those that were
procured near Cape Town exhibited the remains of small birds,
rats, lizards, &c. in their stomachs.
Obs. The first specimen of this species which I obtained
exhibited an immature plumage, and, from the general ap-
pearances, I set it down, without hesitation, as the young of
the Falco Peregrinus. More extended observations have,
however, now induced me to view it as different, and to place
it next to that, from the great similarity there exists between
them. I am much afraid we are too anxious to discover iden-
inhabiting the South of Africa. 237
titles ; and the search after such is materially retarding the
advance of the science. It is much easier to get rid of a
name than to detect the existence of two species, when em-
bodied in one description, and therefore it appears to me
best, when a doubt can justly exist as to identity, to consider
the objects, especially if their habitats be very apart, as dis-
FALCO BTJPICOLUS. Daud. Eoodevalk. Steenvalk of the
Falco capensis, Shaw, vol. 7, p. 192. Le Montagnard, Le
Vaillant Ois. d'Afrique, pi. 35.
F. capite saturate cceruleo-griseo, dorso et humeris rufia
nigro maculatis ; gula alba ; pectore, rufo lineis longitudinalibus
nigris variegato, abdomine rufo maculis nigris notato ; remi-
gibus subnigris, pogoniis internis albo lineatis, cauda rotun-
data, grisea fasciis nigris transversis variegata.
Male. Bill bluish black towards tip, bluish white at base ;
cere yellow; eyes brown; head, together with the back
and sides of neck, dark slate color, with each feather marked
along the centre by a longitudinal slender black streak ; in-
terscapulars and back deep rufous, with small black spots or
longitudinal streaks ; 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, with the inner vanes nearly completely
crossed by numerous white indentations ; secondaries blackish,
with both vanes crossed by irregular rufous bands. Tail dark
bluish gray, with seven or eight black bands, all very narrow,
except the last, which is nearly an inch in width ; on the
three outermost feathers of each side the black only appears
upon the inner vanes, but on the rest it crosses both ; all the
feathers are broadly tipt with white ; legs and toes yellow ;
claws black. Length from bill to base of tail six inches and
a half ; length of tail five inches.
Female. Length from bill to base of tail eight inches ;
length of latter six inches ; head brownish gray ; back tawny
rufous, with the variegations less numerous than in the male ;
chin and throat tawny white ; breast and belly tawny brown,
the former with longitudinal black streaks, and the latter
with similar colored spots. In other respects nearly the same
as the male.
238 -4 Description of the Birds
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 with the same ground color as breast, and
streaked or spotted in front, but behind like the vent and thighs,
without variegations ; wing feathers all distinctly tipt with
white, with the black tinge stronger, and the yellow of the
feet, toes, and cere is less clear.
This hawk occurs very frequently in all parts of the colony,
as well as in the country both to the eastward and northward
of it. When in search of its prey it is generally seen soaring
about in open country, but when disposed to rest it retreats
towards mountains or rocky knowls, and there passes the
night. In such situations, also, it constructs its nest, which
it forms externally with dried twigs, and internally with hair
and feathers : according to Le Vaillant, the eggs are of a
rufous colour, and often six or eight are found in the same
nest. It feeds upon the smaller quadrupeds, lizards, &c.
F. supra, subfulvus, capite colloque in longum nigro lineatis
dorso et humeris fasciis brunneis transversis latis ; infra flavo-
albus, pectore lineis longitudinalibus nigris variegatis ; abdomine
lineis nigris aut maculis et hypochondriis fasciis transversis
nigris ; remigibus snbnigris pogoniis internis albo denticulatis ;
cauda grisea-alba sex aut septem fasciis nigris transversis
Female. Bill bluish black at tips, yellow at base of lower
mandible, and bluish white elsewhere ; cere dusky yellow ;
eyes a grayish sand color ; head and neck tawny yellow ; each
feather with a narrow longitudinal black streak along its
centre ; inter scapulars, back, and shoulders with a clear tinge
of rufous, and the feathers crossed by broad dark brown
bands, the tips all tawny yellow ; tail coverts dirty white,
with broad brown bands ; inside of shoulders white, with
here and there a minute black streak ; sides of neck tawny
yellow, varied by longitudinal black streaks ; breast and belly
tawny yellow, with the former marked by black longitudinal
streaks, and the latter by streaks or roundish spots towards
the centre, and by transverse blackish bands on the sides ;
thighs tawny ; under tail coverts yellowish white. Primary
and secondary wing coverts pale fulvous, with transverse
black bands ; primary wing feathers blackish, and the inner
vanes with many white serratures or indentations ; seconda-
ries brownish black, with transverse fulvous bands upon
both vanes, and all tipt with dirty white. Tail slightly rounded,
inhabiting the South of Africa.
grayish white, with six or seven broad transverse black
bands ; all the feathers broadly tipt with white ; legs and toes
yellowish ; claws black. Length from bill to base of tail nine
inches ; length of latter seven inches.
The only specimen of this species which I have seen, was
killed on the banks of the Groene river, in little Namaqua-
land. In manners it resembles the last described species, and
was observed to resort during the night to similar situations.
GENUS. BUTEO, Auctorum. BUZZARD
Rostrum mediocre, subdebile ;
nares subrotundatce. Tarsi
breves ; acrotarsia scutellata,
Hemex quarta longissima.
Beak mediocral, rather weak;
nostrils somewhat rounded.
Tarsi short ; acrotarsia scutel-
lated. Fourth quill longest.
BUTEO JACKAL. Jakhalsvogel of the Colonists.
Falco Jackal, Shaw, vol. 7, p. 173. Le Eounoir, Le Vail-
lant, p. 73, pi. 16.
B. supra nigricans, gula nigra ; pectore caudaque rufis ; a&-
domine nigra albo lineato, tarsis flavis.
Male. Bill black, with the exception of a little of the
lower mandible at its base, which, with the cere, is a dull
yellow ; eyes dark brown ; head, neck, back, and shoulders
black, or blackish brown ; chin and throat of the same color ;
breast deep chesnut or ferruginous red; belly, under tail
coverts, and thighs black, all the feathers broadly tipt with
white or ferruginous red. Primary and secondary wing
coverts black ; primary wing feathers black, with a tint of
hoary upon the outer vanes, and the inner ones towards
quills broadly edged with, if not altogether, white ; seconda-
ries bluish gray, with many transverse narrow black bands,
the very tips of some of the feathers are white, and in all,
immediately behind that, an inch or an inch and a half of
uniform clear black. Tail short, nearly even, and deep ches-
nut or ferruginous red, each feather marked by a black
blotch close to tip, and all more or less mottled with white
towards quills ; legs and toes dull yellow ; claws dark horn
colored. Length from bill to base of tail twelve inches ;
length of latter eight inches.
Female. Size rather greater than that of the male ; and,
if any thing, the colors are less deep and clear; and the
extent of red below is usually greater.
Young. Bill black, with a very slight appearance of yellow
at base of lower mandible ; cere dull yellow ; eyes grayish
brown ; head, neck, back, and shoulders dark brown ; most
240 -4 Description of the Birds.
of them with blackish brown centres, and tawny edges and
tips. Below pale tawny or clear chesnut, with the throat
and 'sides of the neck marked by longitudinal black blotches ;
primary wing feathers black, with more or less of a hoary
tinge upon outer vanes ; secondaries blackish brown, with the
inner vanes broadly edged towards quills with grayish white ;
tail reddish gray, with each feather crossed by ten or eleven
narrow blackish transverse bands, and with a reddish white
tip ; the inner vanes towards quills nearly pure white. When
viewed below the whole of the feathers appear nearly of an
uniform white. Length of tail eight inches.
This species occurs throughout the whole of the colony,
and also, at least to a considerable distance, beyond it. It is
usually seen in the vicinity of inhabitated places, and generally
resorts to trees or bushes about such spots, to rest during the
night. The male and female are most commonly seen
together, or at least in the same neighbourhood. Their food
consists of the smaller quadrupeds, birds, lizards, &c. and
they very often prove destructive to the poultry of the Afri-
can colonists. The female builds her nest upon trees com-
monly at no great distance from the resorts of man ; construct
it externally of dry twigs, leaves, &c., internally of feathers,
hair, and such like materials, and lays from three to four eggs,
which are about the size of those of the common domestic
Obs. As scarcely any two specimens of this buzzard ex-
hibit even nearly the same tints or distribution of colors, it is
difficult to give such a description as will enable the reader
to detect the bird if found in the intermediate stages between
youth and maturity, when the diversities are most strikingly
exhibited. In specimens a little advanced, the most ready
means of detecting the species will be a reference to the tail ;
which, in all, after a certain age, has the ground color of a
deep chesnut or ferruginous red; and each feather either
marked by a black blotch near the tip, or by transverse
black bands. When less advanced, the ground color, though
it be not as just described, yet evidently inclines to that, and
exhibits, particularly towards the quill, a strong ferruginous
tinge. The inner vanes of the feathers, particularly towards
quills, will also be found to have a considerable share of
white, more or less pure, and the whole of the under parts
of the body to be of a rufous or tawny tint, of different depth
in different parts ; and only, if at all, variegated by irregular
blackish or brownish black blotches.
Falco Lagopus, Gmel Syst. 1, p. 260, sp. bS.Lath. Ind.
inhabiting the South of Africa. 241
Orn. vol. 1, p. 19. Merey Tasschenb. Deut. vol. 1, p. 37.
Falco Olumipes, Daud. Orn. Falco Selavonicus, Lath. Ind.
vol. 1, p. 26, sp. 54. Buse Gantee, Le Vaill. Ois. d'Afrique,
vol. I, pi. 18.
(To be continued.)
380 A Description of the Birds
[FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL,
No. IV., JULY to SEPTEMBEB 1830.]
A Description of the Birds inhabiting the South of
Africa. By ANDREW SMITH, M.D. Member of the
Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh;
Honorary Member of the Mineralogical Society of Jena,
[Continued from p. 241.]
Falco Lagopus, Gmel. Syst. 1, p. 260, sp. 58. Lath. Ind.
Orn. vol. 1, p. 19. Merey Tasschenb. Deut. vol. 1, p. 37.
Falco Plumipes, Daud. Orn. Falco Sclavonics, Lath. Ind.
vol. 1, p. 26, sp. 54 Buse Grantee, Le Vaill. Ois. d'Afrique,
vol. I, pi. 18.
B. fuscus ex albido vario rectricibus fuscis hasi dimidia
apice que albis ; cera pedibusque luteis.
Male. Head, upper part of neck, throat, breast, and thighs,
whitish yellow, variegated with large oblong brown streaks ;
interscapulars, wing coverts, and back, brownish black, each
feather with a yellowish red edging ; a large transverse band
or blotch of deep brown on the posterior part of belly ; rump
and under tail coverts whitish yellow. Tail white towards
base, elsewhere uniform brown, with all the feathers termi-
nated by dirty white ; legs feathered as far as the toes ; the
latter and eyes brown ; cere yellow ; bill black. The male
measures nineteen inches, and the female two feet three
The female has less white upon the head, the neck, and the
* In consequence of an error in the printing department, the name and
synonymes of this bird were made to finish that portion of the communica-
tion, descriptive of the Birds inhabiting the South of Africa, which appeared
in our last number, even without having undergone the common typogra-
inhabiting the South of Africa. 381
tail ; more brown upon the belly and sides ; the thighs and
tarsi have a greater proportion of white ; and the inter scapu-
lars are edged with yellowish white.
Varies according to age, being in different specimens more
or less spotted with brown, more or less varied on the upper
parts with white, with a more or less distinct white stripe
over eyes, and with brown and white more or less irregularly
dispersed on the breast. The greater part of the belly is often
white, and variegated by some small brown spots ; the feathers
of the thighs rayed transversely, and the tail, towards ex-
tremity, with three transverse bands, the first of which, or
that next the base, is broadest ; iris a beautiful yellow.
Le Vaillant only found this species amongst the woods of
Antiqualand. He says it is more ferocious than the other
African species of the genus, that it avoids inhabited places,
and lives quite isolated. Its flight is rapid ; and it often
destroys partridges by suddenly pouncing upon them from the
top of a tree, where it places itself to observe their mo-
tions. As I have only met with one bird resembling that just
described, and had not the opportunity of examining it for
more than a few minutes, I cannot pretend to say that it was
actually the booted buzzard of Europe. As both Cuvier and
Temnrink consider the bird figured by Le Vaillant under the
name of " Buse Gantee," as identical with the Falco (Buteo)
Lagopus of Linnaeus, I have preferred giving the description
of it by the latter author, to furnishing from my own notes
what could only be a very imperfect detail.
Falco Tachardus, Daud. Le Tachard, Le Vaillant Ois.
d'Afrique, pi. 19.
B. supra brunneus, subflavo aut rubro-albo variegatus ; subtus
albus, striis et maculis brunneis notatis ; femoribus plerumque
rubr o -brunneis ; cera et tarsis flams; oculis brunneis; rostro
nigro ; flavo maculato.
Male. Bill black, with the base of lower mandible, and a
small portion of the under adjoining it, yellow ; cere yellow ;
eyes brown ; head, neck, back, and rump brown, with the
edges and tips of the feathers light grayish brown, or reddish
yellow, and the bases of many of them, particularly on the
head and neck, white ; also many of those of neck, back, and
shoulders clouded, spotted, or crossed by irregular white
streaks ; under parts white, with the throat streaked by nar-
row longitudinal brown lines, and the breast and posterior
part of belly more or less spotted with oblong or roundish
brown blotches ; thighs dirty reddish brown. Primary quill
feathers black, with the exception of the inner vanes towards
quills, which are white : secondaries brown, with blackish ir-
382 A Description of the Birds
regular transverse bands, and the edges of the inner vanes
white. Tail moderately long, slightly rounded, of a dirty
grayish color, with ten or more narrow waved transverse
blackish brown bands ; tip of each feather dirty reddish white.
Legs and toes greenish yellow ; claws black. Length from
bill to base of tail eleven inches; length of latter seven
inches and a quarter. Wings, when folded, as long as the tail.
Young. Above brown, verging towards blackish brown,
with the bases of the feathers, of at least the head and neck,
white ; below brownish red, with the shafts of the feathers
black ; chin with a slight mottling of white. Primary and
secondary quill feathers as in adult specimens. Tail feathers
grayish, on outer vanes crossed by many waved or oblique
narrow blackish bands ; on inner vanes reddish white, or red-
dish brown, with similar black bands ; tips of all the feathers
dirty reddish yellow. Legs and toes greenish yellow ; claws
black ; bills black, with yellow in the same situations as in the
old bird, but neither so extensive nor so brilliant. Tail
brownish gray, with the inner vanes crossed by eight^or ten
transverse tawny or reddish white bands ; tips light reddish
brown or dirty tawny.
Inhabits the whole of South Africa, but is much more
scantily distributed than the first described species of this
genus. When on the wing, the two have a considerable
resemblance to each other, but they are readily to be distin-
guished by the smaller size of the present species.
Obs. Like the other birds of this genus, the Tachard ex-
hibits much variety of colouring, and it is very seldom that
any two specimens are found which exactly resemble each
other. The markings on the breast and belly, and the colors
of the tail, are what exhibit most varieties in the bird just
described. In some the belly and breast are almost divested
of spots, and exhibit nearly an uniform white color ; while in
others both of those parts, and even the throat, are densely
covered with streaks or roundish blotches, when but little
difference appears to exist in the ages of the individuals. In
most instances the tail is grayish brown, banded with blackish
brown, yet in not a few is it deep chesnut or bright rufous,
and distinctly banded transversely by numerous black lines,
when no reason exists for considering them as not of equal
years. In the majority of individuals of this species, whatever
may be the color of the lower parts, the legs, in general, are
reddish brown, but in some they are occasionally found ex-
hibiting a white ground, variegated by brownish spots or
Falco Desertorum, Daud. t Shaw. Latham. Le Eongri, Le
inhabiting the South of Africa. 383
B. ferrugineus ; gutture, pectore et tectricibus inferioribus
caudce subalbidis ; abdomine nigro notatis ; remigibus primori-
bus nigris, cauda subtus ferruginea infra grisea indistincte
fasciata ; rostro et tarsis flavis ; oculis rubris.
Male. Bill and cere yellow ; eyes red ; head, neck, back,
and belly ferruginous red ; the latter with dashes of black ;
throat, breast, and under tail coverts grayish white. Pri-
mary quill feathers black. Tail ferruginous red above, gray-
ish white, with indistinct transverse bands, beneath ; legs and
toes yellow ; claws black. Size considerably below that of
the Buteo Jackals, or most common South African buzzard.
Female. Size rather exceeding that of the male, and the
ferruginous tint is less deep and brilliant.
This species I have never met with, and am therefore
forced to have recourse to the works of Le Vaillant. He
states that it inhabits the more retired spots of South Africa ;
that it feeds upon rats, moles, mice, and even insects ; and that
its cry resembles much that of the common European buzzard.
It places its nest in bushes ; constructs it externally of dry
twigs, internally of wool, hair, and feathers ; and lays from
three to four eggs.
GENUS. CIRCUS, Auct.
Hostrum mediocre, a basi
aduncum ; nares su~bovales ;
tarsi elongati ; acrotarsia scut-
ellata; digiti plerumque breves;
Remex 3 KtM - longissimus. Ca-
pitis later a plumarum circulo
instructi disco capitali strigium