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fications, that innovation was not resorted to before it was
absolutely wanted ; and every day's experience is forcibly prov-
ing, that still farther ramifications are imperatively called for,
wherever the student of nature is, with real and acumen, ex-
tending his research.

South Africa, it is already known, possesses several forms
not to be satisfactorily classed in any of the older genera, and
numbers more exist, which are quite as much, if not more at
variance with them, than even those that have already been
described, some of which I shall now proceed to notice.*

* In forming new Genera, I have generally taken care to particularise the
type of each, by affixing to the species upon which it has been formed as a
trivial name the word typicus. If such a plan was to be universally adopted,
many difficulties would be obviated, and the limits of Genera would be more
clearly kept than they are even at present, in consequence of new forms being
often compared with remote and absent species, from their discoverers not
being acquainted with the type of the Genus, or with such of the species as
are more nearly allied to it. To such as possess the organs of constructive,
ness, I would suggest the divising of a nomenclature, whereby the relative
affinities of the various species of a Genus, from the typical one downwards,
might be indicated by the trivial names.


Natural History of South Africa, fyc. 11

Class. AYES.



PLOCEUS stictonotus.

P. fronte, vertice et nucha flams ; dorso flavo, maculis nigris
variegato ; guttere, lateribus capitis, superciliisque nigris;
pectore et venire sulpTiuratis.

Throat, sides of head, and eyebrows, black ; front, crown
and nape, fine yellow, the former with a gold tinge ; intersca-
pulars, back, rump, and shoulders, mottled yellow and black ;
outer vanes of primary and secondary quill feathers greenish,
edged with yellow or greenish yellow ; inner vanes greenish
brown, broadly edged towards quills with yellow. Tail even,
greenish brown, all the feathers faintly edged with greenish
vellow ; breast, belly, vent, and thighs, sulphur vellow. Bill


12 Dr. Smith's Contributions to the

long, sharp pointed, slightly curved, and of a jet black color ;
eyes vermillion ; legs and toes reddish brown ; claws light horn
colored. Length from base of bill to root of tail, three inches
and three quarters ; length of tail two inches and a half. In-
habits the eastern parts of the colony, particularly about the
banks of the Keiskamma river, and upon the trees and bushes
which skirt the edges of that beautiful stream, it builds its pen-
dulous nest.

V. nigra, apicibus humerorum scarlatinis, intus castaneis.

Above and below black ; tips of shoulders scarlet, which is
edged behind by a broad band of dull chesnut; inside of
shoulders chesnut; secondary wing-coverts, scapulars and
secondary quill feathers, edged with faint chesnut or reddish
white ; armillse buff colored or pale reddish white ; upper man-
dible pure black, lower flesh-colored inclined to red.

The only specimen I have yet seen of this bird was injured,
and therefore the description is not so complete as could be
wished. The tail feathers were of different lengths, so that
there can be no doubt but that a part of them were progressing
towards that state which characterises the birds of this genus
during the summer months. It was shot in Cafferland, near
the Kei river.

BUPHAGA Afncanoides.

B. supra sub-brunnea ; mento et gutters sub brunneis ; pec-
tore et parte anteriore abdominis viridi brunneis; parte poste-
riore abdominis flavo alba ; rostro cocdneo.

Above dirty brown ; primary and secondary wing coverts as
well as primary and secondary quill feathers, brownish black ;
tail graduated and composed of twelve feathers of a dusky
brown color ; chin and throat dirty brown ; breast and anterior
part of belly greenish brown ; posterior part of belly yellowish
white variegated with brown ; vent brownish. Bill between a
crimson and a scarlet ; legs, toes, and claws, black ; round each
eye a narrow circle, devoid of feathers, and of a yellow color.
Length eight inches. Inhabits the country about Natal, and is
commonly seen picking insects from the backs of cattle.

It differs from the Buphaga Africana in the colors of the
legs, tail, belly, back, and rump, and also in the size of the


Natural History of South Africa, fyc. 13

CORYTHAIX Burchelii.

C. capute cristato, crista et nucha purpureis ; capistro et an-
nulo circa oculos lucido viridibus ; cervice et parte anteriore
dorsi viridibus; parte posterior e dorsi, uropygio, caudaque
cceruleis ; venire infimo cceruleo-nigro.

Head crested, crest and nape brilliant purple ; front, and a
circle round each eye, deep shining green ; cervex and inter-
scapulars light green with a shade of brownish red ; scapulars,
shoulders, back, rump, and tail, blue, varying in brilliancy ;
the tail slightly rounded. Primary quill feathers black with a
tinge of blue, and the inner vanes towards the middle of the
feathers crimson ; chin, throat, and sides of neck, grass green ;
breast green with a shade of reddish ; anterior part of belly
dark green ; posterior part and vent blackish blue ; legs, toes,
claws, and bill, black. Length sixteen inches, of which the
tail forms nearly the half. Inhabits the country about Port
Natal, and is named in honor of the indefatigable traveller and
eminent botanist Wm. Burchel, Esq. author of Travels in South
Africa, &c.



C. supra subviridis vialaceo umbrata ; infra cinnerea, pectore
duobus maculis scarlatinis notata.

Front, crown, cervex, sides of head and neck, interscapulars,
back, and shoulders, dusky green with shades of splendent
violet or purple ; quill feathers and tail brownish with a shade
of green. Chin, throat, breast, belly, and vent, ash colored ;
the flanks with a tinge of green. On each side of breast im-
mediately inside of the bend of the wing, a small scarlet tuft ;
bill and legs black, claws dark horn colored. Length from bill
to base of tail two inches and three-quarters ; length of tail
two inches ; length of bill one inch and a quarter. Inhabits
Cafferland ; and the specimen from whence the above descrip-
tion was taken, was given to me by Mr. VERREAUX, through
whose liberality I have been put in possession of many new
and interesting objects of Natural History.


14 Dr. Smith's Contributions to the

Genus, ALCEDO.

ALCEDO Natalensis.

A. fronte, v&rtice, nuchaque coeruleis, lineiis transversis viola-
ceis variegatis ; lateribus capitis subcinnamomeis ; dorso coeruleo ;
pectore et venire subcastaneis.

Bill and legs bright scarlet ; front, top of head and nape,
deep indigo blue, variegated by pale blue or violet transverse
bands ; sides of head and neck light reddish brown with tints
of purple ; back fine bright blue ; shoulders blackish with a
shade of blue in addition to numerous spots of clear light blue.
Primary and secondary quill feathers dusky black, with the
inner vanes nearly all brownish red ; chin and throat white ;
breast, belly, and vent, pale chesnut ; tail dusky blue. Length
from bill to tip of tail four inches ; length of bill one inch. In-
habits the banks of rivers, &c. to the eastward of Cafferland.

Genus, OTIS.
OTIS Afroides.

O. fronte, superciliis, lateribus capitis, collo, gutture, pectore
et venire nigris ; vertice et parte nuchce nigris albo variegatis,
dorso nigro lineis transversis albis aut subrubris variegato ;
remigibus albo et nigro notatis.

Front, eyebrows, sides of head and neck, throat, breast,
belly, vent, and thighs, pure black ; crown and part of nape,
black, variegated with irregular waved transverse white lines ;
between the black eyebrows and variegated crown a moderately
distinct white line, which extends backwards and meets on the
nape the corresponding one of the opposite side, where they
form an irregular white mark. Behind each eye and covering
the openings of the ears, a large somewhat circular white
blotch ; between interscapulars and base of neck an irregular
transverse white band. Interscapulars, scapulars, and anterior
part of shoulders, black, variegated by narrow reddish white
angular transverse bands ; back and rump black, with narrow
transverse waved white lines ; posterior part of shoulders white,
inside white blotched with black. Primary wing coverts black,
more or less broadly tipt with white ; secondary similarly
colored, only the quantity of white is much greater. Primary
quill feathers black, with a great portion of the inner vanes
white ; secondaries black, several of them blotched or striped

white ' Tail rounded and finely

Natural History of South Africa, fyc. 15

transversely with black and white, each feather besides with
one or more broad pure black transverse bands, and the lateral
ones with broad white tips ; armillse white. Bill horn colored
towards tip, yellow towards base ; legs and toes yellowish ;
claws horn colored. Length from bill to tip of tail nearly
eighteen inches.

This species is closely allied to the Otis Afra, or black
Koran of the Colonists, but is at once distinguishable from it
by the white markings of the inner vanes of the primary quill
feathers. Its cry is also very different, being simply kir re-
peated many times in quick succession. I have never found this
bird within the limits of the colony, but have seen many of
them on the Bushman flats towards the Orange River. From
the last circumstance, they are known to the farmers of the
northern frontier by the name of " Bushman Koran*."

* Many interesting species of this genus have already been discovered in
South Africa, and doubtless the catalogue will yet be extended when more
attention is devoted to the examination of the individual characters of birds.
The species at present known to us are Otis Arabs. Cuv. Kuif kop Peauw.
Otis ruficolUs. Cuv. red necked Peauw Otis Cokii. Smith mms. black
throated Peauw. Otis Afra. Lin. blackKoran. Otis Torqiiata. Cuv. brown
Koran. Otis Vigorsii Smith mms. Karoo Koran. Otis veroxii Smith mms.
blue bellied Koran. Otis Afroides Smith. Bushman Koran.


48 Proceedings of the Institution.


Second Series, OCTOBKR to DECEMBER, 1833.]


October 2. Dr. SMITH called the attention of the Society to
several South African birds which were placed upon the table,
but more particularly to the following, which he described and

Crithagra albogularis. Above greenish grey with some
dark variegation ; rump and tail coverts greenish yellow ; chin,
throat, and eyebrows white ; breast and flanks dusky grey ;
centre of belly, vent, and under tail coverts white ; wing and
tail feathers brownish, slightly edged with dull white. Length
five inches and a half.

Inhabits South Africa.

Sir WM. JAKDINE, it was stated, regards this as the female of Cri-
tliagra sulphurata, but it was added, that they are never found asso-
ciated together, nor even in the same localities.

Corythaix concolor. Forehead with a long crest, which, with
the entire plumage, is greyish,f aintly mottled in some places with
fine, dull, reddish white transverse lines ; quill feathers dark
brownish ; tail very long, hoary grey with a deep greenish gloss,
particularly towards the tip ; bill, legs, and toes black. Length
nineteen inches.

Inhabits South Africa, inland of Port Natal.

It was remarked that this bird differed in several points, particularly
in the form of the bill, from the typical species of the genus, and that
it might hereafter require to be made the type of a new division, under
the name of Corythaixoides.

Francolinus Natalensis. Top of head, back, scapulars,
shoulders, and tail, light brown, finely mottled with brownish
black and tawny white, the former in the shape of longitudinal
blotches upon the scapulars ; eyebrows, sides of head, neck,
breast, and anterior part of belly, variegated black and white ;
posterior part of belly, vent, and under tail coverts, a mixture
of black, tawny white, and light brown ; bill reddish brown ;
legs, toes, and claws, reddish yellow ; eyes brown. Length
from bill to tip of tail twelve inches and a half.

Inhabits brushwood thickets in the vicinity of Natal.



Second Series, OCTOBER to DECEMBER 1833.]


6th Nov. The Secretary reported that the Eev. Dr. Philip
had presented two interesting Zoological Specimens for the
Society's Museum, the one Manis Temmmckii, the other
Python Natalensis ; and that both of them had been brought
from the interior, eastward of Latakoo. The latter, Dr. Smith
stated, was also found in the country about Port Natal ; and
that he had in his possession a specimen which was killed by
his party whilst he was there.

At the request of Mr. Yerreaux, the attention of the meeting
was called to three birds which he had lately received from
Madagascar, and which, from considering them new to science,
he had named and characterised as follows :

Accipiter Madagascariensis. Above dull brown with an ir-
regular white spot on the nape ; beneath white freely crossed
with fine brown bars : vent and under tail coverts, pure white ;
tail brown above, ashy white beneath, and both surfaces
crossed by eight narrow brown-black bands. Length thir-
teen inches and a half.*

Glareola ocularis. Head and shoulders green-black ; under
each eye a fine transverse white stripe ; upper parts of neck and
back green- grey ; chin white ; under parts of neck and the
breast brownish grey ; anterior part of belly pale chesnut ;
hinder parts, and under and upper tail coverts white ; base of
tail partly black and partly white, the tips of a few of the
feathers white, the other parts pure black ; bill black with the
edges of the mandibles towards the angles of the mouth, red.
Length about eight inches and a half.

Rallus Madagascariensis. Head and chin grey ; neck, breast
and belly rusty grey-brown ; back rusty olive blotched with
black ; vent barred transversly with reddish white ; under tail
coverts white ; point of bill and upper surface of upper mandi-
ble blackish brown, the other parts of the bill yellowish.
Length eight inches and a half.

* Can this be the Astur fasciatus of Vigors and Horsfield ? Ed.




Second Series, JANUARY to MABCH 1834.]


January 8, 1834. Dr. SMITH called the attention of the
Members to four South African Birds and to a Saurian
Reptile from Swan Eiver, all of which he considered new to
science, and named and characterised as follows :

Trichophorus flaviventris. Upper parts of head, back, rump
and tail, olive-brown ; outer vanes of some of the quill feathers
slightly edged with green ; chin and throat pale straw-yellow,
breast and flanks greenish yellow, centre of belly and vent,
yellow ; bill, legs, and toes, a dark horn-colour. Length
from point of bill to tip of tail nine inches.

Inhabits the country near Port Natal.

Holy con Swainsonii. Head, back and sides of neck and
interscapulars dull white, the first more or less tinted with
grey-brown, the last margined behind with a broad transverse
black band ; back, middle of wings, and tail, blue with a green
gloss, particularly the two centre feathers of the latter ;
shoulders, scapulars, and points of quills, black, inner vanes of
several of the outermost wing feathers white towards quills ;
throat and centre of breast pure white, sides of breast, belly,


144 South African Institution.

and vent ferruginous ; bill, legs and toes light red ; claws dark
horn coloured. Length from point of bill to extremity of tail
eight inches and a half.
Inhabits the interior of South Africa.

Halycon Senegaloides. Upper and lateral parts of head
and of neck grey-green ; interscapulars and scapulars green ;
back a clear dark blue-green ; shoulders and extremities of
wing feathers black, middle of wings deep blue- green, inner
vanes towards quills white ; tail blue-green ; throat, centre of
belly, and vent white ; breast and sides of belly greyish, bill
and legs deep red ; space between eye and base of bill black.
Length nine inches.

Inhabits the country about Port Natal.

Edolius Ludwigii. Black with a shining green gloss, most
distinct on the upper parts and the breast ; tail slightly forked ;
bill and legs black. Length seven inches.

Inhabits the country about Port Natal.

Lamprotomis rufiventris. Head brown with a faint purple
gloss ; back, shoulders, throat, and breast, a shining coppery-
green, with a brownish tint ; wings brown, more or less glossed
with green, inner vanes of feathers white towards quills ; tail
deep shining green, belly and insides of shoulders ferruginous,
bill and legs reddish brown. Length eight inches.

Inhabits tbe interior of South Africa.




Second Series, APRIL to JUNE, 1834.]


52 5B5DS*


BILL stout, covered with a cere at its base, its tip bent down ;
less strong, short or of moderate length ; tarsi naked or more or
less covered with feathers or down ; toes four, three before and
one behind ; claws strong, moveable, arcuated, acute or blunt.


Bill robust, strongly curved at the point ; legs very long,
slender, feathered to, or nearly to the tarsi, the latter scutulated
or reticulated ; the middle and outer toes united by a small
membrane at their base ; wings moderate.

Genus GYPOGERANUS. Uliger.

Sill robust, shorter than the head, straight at its lose, curved
towards its extremity ; sides compressed ; nostrils lateral, oblong,
oblique, open, and situated in the cere ; tongue fleshy and point-
ed ; space round eyes naked ; eyebrows prominent ; tarsi scutu-
lated ; wings armed with three obtuse spurs ; the first five quilh
of equal length; tail feathers twelve.

Gypogeranus Africanus. Cere, and naked space round eyes,
yellow or orange ; bill blackish towards base, light bluish white
towards tip ; eyes light brown ; top of head, hinder part of neck,
back and shoulders blue-grey ; sides of neck, throat, and breast
pale grey ; belly white ; vent and thighs black, most of the
feathers narrowly tipt with white. Hindhead with a long crest
of narrow black feathers that increase in width towards their
points which are generally white ; greater wing coverts and
quills black. Tail rounded, the two middle feathers nearly
double the length of the others, hoary grey, each with a broad
black band towards point, the point itself white ; the lateral

# Accipitres Gallinace'eB, Lesson, Traite d* Ornitkologie, p. 14.

I i [69]

250 African Zoology.

feathers white towards base, ashy towards points, and crossed
by two black bands, the first narrow, irregular, and separating
the white and grey colours ; the last broad, and near to the
extremity ; tips of all the feathers white. Legs and toes yel-
lowish brown ; claws black. Length from bill to point of
centre tail-feathers three feet five inches.

Inhabits Africa, common in South Africa.

Falco serpentarius, Lin. Vultur serpentarius, Lath. pi. 2.
Ophiotheres cristatus, Vieill. Gal. pi. 260. Le Mangeur de
Serpents, Levail. pi. 25. Secretary Bird of the Cape Colonists.


Head, and more or less of neck, divested of feathers j the
former covered with down, hair, or fleshy membranes ; cere
bald or hairy ; tarsi robust and reticulated ; claws weak ; quills
longer than the tail, the first quill the shortest ; the fourth the

Genus VULTUR. Illiger.

Bill thick and rather short, deeper than broad, its base covered
by a cere ; upper mandible straight, bent towards the point ; un-
der mandible straight, rounded, and inclined at the point ; head
naked or covered with short down ; nostrils naked, lateral, open-
ing diagonally towards the edge of the cere ; legs strong, fur-
nished with slightly-bent claws; the middle toe longest, and
united with the exterior one at the base ; the third and fourth
quill feathers longest.

Vultur arrianus, Picot La Peyr. Colour brown, inclining
to black and sometimes to fulvous ; bill brown-black ; cere
violet ; eyes dark brown ; head and nape bare ; skin bluish ; the
rest of neck covered with a fulvous down ; lower part of neck
with a colleret of long narrow delicate feathers ; tarsi partly
feathered ; the bare portion, and the toes, greyish ; claws black.
Length three feet six inches.

Young. The entire of the neck covered with down, and all
the feathers of the upper parts terminated by a colour of a
lighter tint.

Inhabits Egypt, India, and Europe.

Le Yautour noir d' Egypt, Savig. Syst. des Ois. d' Egypte,
p. 14. L Arnan, Gerard. Tab, elem. d' Orn. vol. i. p. 11.
Cinereous, Ash-coloured, and Bengal Vulture, Latham, Ind.

Vultur fulvus, Gmel. (Fulvous Vulture.) Head and nape
covered with dirty short whitish hairs, or bristles ; lower

a ^^^ colour ' lower P art of

Birds. 251

throat, and middle of breast, covered with short, bristly, grey-
brown feathers ; rest of throat, sides of neck, and upper part
of cervix, with fine whitish down, and bristles resembling those
of the head. Skin, as seen through these coverings, between
livid blue and purple ; lower part of neck behind with a frizzy
ruff of short white feathers ; plumage of upper and under parts
white, or a pale blossom colour ; primary quill feathers black ;
secondaries greyish, shaded with black towards their shafts ;
tail rounded, and composed of fourteen black feathers, tinted
with grey. Bill, legs, and toes, livid blue, with shades of
dirty green ; claws black ; eyes light yellowish red. Length
from three feet to three feet six inches ; breadth from tip to tip
of wings, about eight feet. Young specimens are more or less
variegated with dull brown.

Vultur Kolbii, Lath. Ind. Ornith, Supp. vol. i. pi. 10. Le
Chassefiente, Le Yaill. Ois. d'Afriq. pi. 10 (young.) White
Ass-vogel of the Cape Colonists.

Vultur auricularis. Bill strong ; tip of upper mandible yel-
low ; rest of that, and the lower greenish yellow or horn- colour ;
cere bluish ; eyes dark brown ; skin of head, and unfeathered
portion of neck, vermilion or livid purple, with white variega-
tions ; the head thinly covered with a brownish white down and
some black hairs ; the neck bare, or with a still more scanty
covering of the like materials ; and on each side thereof a thin
fold of loose skin, extending downwards and forwards several
inches below the ears, usually about one inch in breadth, and
similar in colour to the head. Throat, and middle of breast,
covered with fine short black feathers ; back of neck with a
ruff of long narrow coarse brownish feathers, many of which
are turned forwards ; lower part of cervix, back, and shoulders,
dark brown, many of the feathers margined with a lighter tint ;
quills and tail black, the latter consisting of twelve feathers.
Under parts brownish black, the feathers long, narrow, some-
what curved, broadly edged with white towards their bases,
narrowly with dirty light brown elsewhere ; thighs with a
few brownish feathers on their outer sides, but their principal
covering is a fine reddish brown down; legs and toes pale
bluish, with a tinge of green ; claws dark horn-coloured, in-
clined to black. Length about three feet four or six inches ;
expanse of wings ten feet.

Inhabits Africa.

Vultur auricularis, Shaw, Zool. vol. i. p. 24. L' Oricou,
Le Vaill. Ois. d'Afriq. i. pi. 1. Black Ass-vogel of the Cape

Vultur Galericulatus. Temm. Brow-black; wing coverts
varied according to the age with brown, yellow, and whitish ;


252 African Zoology.

the back scapulars and belly pure white; cere blue ; head and
neck naked, of a rosy-violet colour; bill yellow ; tarsi flesh-
coloured. Total length two feet five inches.
Inhabits Western and Northern Africa.

Vultur monachus, Gmel. Head surmounted by a tuft of
brown down ; cheeks and throat covered with a black down ;
circle round eyes white. Feathers of the colleret long and
slender ; all the naked part of the neck between the collar and
the black down, dull white. The lower part of neck naked,
the skin bluish and plaited ; tarsi and toes whitish : the entire
of the plumage an uniform brown. Length from bill to ex-

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