Copyright
Andrew Smith.

Sir Andrew Smith's Miscellaneous ornithological papers online

. (page 8 of 13)
Online LibraryAndrew SmithSir Andrew Smith's Miscellaneous ornithological papers → online text (page 8 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


tremity of tail about three feet.

Inhabits Africa.

Voutour chincou, Levaill Afriq. pi. 12. Temm. pi. col. 426.

Vultur niger, Gmel. (Black vulture). Skin of head and
part of neck blue, and covered with down ; the neck with a
colleret of long, narrow, bristly feathers ; bill black ; cere,
tarsi, and toes bluish. The body, the wings, and the tail,
black; the eyelids grey- white. Total length three feet and a
half. In birds of the first, second, and third years, the plumage
is more or less mixed with brown.

Inhabits Europe and Africa.

Egypius Niger, Savigny, Oisseau d* Egypt et de Syrie.

Vultur occipitalis, Burchell. (Tufted Vulture). Bill and
feet flesh-coloured ; bare space round the eyes white ; eyes of
the colour of burnt umber ; top of the head covered with a
white feathery wool, which, at the back part, is longer and
stands in a reversed position. Colour above blackish brown ;
the thighs and under-parts of body and neck white ; quill
feathers and tail black, the secondaries white towards their ex-
tremities. The part of the neck which is bare, together with
the base of the beak, white. Total length two feet ; expanse
of wings seven feet.

Inhabits Africa.

G-enus NEOPHRON. Savigny.

Bill slender, long and rounded, swelled towards the point,
and hooked ; lower mandible shorter than the upper, and trun-
cated; nostrils oval and open', cere broad; cheeks and throat
naked ; tarsi naked, slender, and reticulated ; third quill feather
the longest. Tail composed of fourteen feathers.



Birds. 253

Neophron JZgyptiaciis, Savig. Bill horn-coloured; cere,
forehead, space round the eyes, cheeks, ears, chin, and part of
the throat, bare, and of a yellow or saffron colour ; eyes light
reddish brown ; plumage white, usually tinted with yellow ;
feathers of nape narrow, elongated, and pointed ; primary quill
feathers black; secondaries greyish black, with the outer vanes
more or less broadly margined with white ; tail fan- shaped,
and pure white ; legs and toes dirty greenish white, sometimes
inclined to reddish yellow; claws dark horn-coloured. Length
from one foot ten inches to two feet two inches ; expanse of
wings about five feet.

Female. A little larger than the male, but of the same
colour.

Young. Black or brownish black, streaked or spotted with
dull white or tawny.

Inhabits Africa.

Yultur Percnopterus, G-m. L' Ourigourap Le Vaill. Ois d*
vl. 14. Le Percnc
the Cape Colonists.



V UlUlU ^

Afriy., pi. 14. Le Percnoptere, Cuv" Eegl Animal. White
Crow of f



Neophron niger, Lesson. Plumage brown, variegated with
fulvous on the thighs ; tarsi black ; the top of the head, the
cheeks, and the front of the neck, entirely bare ; the lower part
of neck and the posterior portion almost to the hind-head,
covered with a close greyish down. Size of the last.

Inhabits Senegal.

Cathartes monachus, Temm. pi. col. 222.

Neophron carunculatus, Smith. Bill greenish black towards
base, dark horn-coloured at tip ; eyes dark brown ; front,
crown, sides of head, and upper part of throat bare, and of a
purple colour, with eight or ten small white transverse caruncles
on the latter. Nape, upper part of neck, and lower part of
throat, covered with a light reddish brown down, and between
the latter and the caruncles already mentioned, an oval patch
of black feathers ; lower part of cervix, interscapulars, and
back, deep brown ; the feathers all edged and tipt with a
lighter tint ; shoulders nearly the same. Primary wing feathers
blackish, with a greyish tinge towards quills ; secondaries black-
ish brown, with the colour of the tips and edges lighter than
that of the centres ; thighs covered with a white down in addi-
tion to some long brown feathers on the outer sides ; legs and
toes pale greenish blue ; claws black. Length two feet two
inches ; breadth from tip to tip of wing five feet six inches.

Inhabits Cafferland and the country about Natal.
Obs. This may perhaps be identified with the preceding.

[73]



254 African Zoology.

Genus G-YPAETUS.

Bill large, robust, compressed on the sides, rounded above and
hooked towards the point ; lower mandible short, straight, and
obtuse ; cere basal, covered with strong hairs directed forwards ;
nostrils obliqu3, oval, concealed by the down on the base of bill ;
top of head covered with down ; tarsi short, thick, feathered ;
claws robust, sharp, the inner and hinder ones much curved;
the third quill feather the longest ; tail composed of twelve
feathers.

Gypaetus barbatus, Cuvier. Bill black ; head and cervix
dirty sallow white ; circle round the eyes, and space between
them, and bill, covered with a deep-black hair, as well as each
side of lower mandible, at base, also some similar hair under
the bill, which is in the form of a large tuft pointing forwards ;
hides of two colours, viz. : yellow towards pupil, and fine red
towards circumference. Front and part of sides of head behind
eyes, as well as base of lower mandible, covered with a dense
white down ; rest of head and cervix dusky white, faintly
tinged with rufous ; back and shoulders dusky, inclining to
black, the centres of the feathers being more or less distinctly,
an obscure cinereous black, and the edges clear black, the shafts
white. Primary and secondary quill feathers, together with
the tail, more or less greyish; throat, breast, belly, and thighs,
clear or dull rufous ; toes somewhat granulated, and dusky
black. Length about three feet.

Inhabits Africa and Europe.

Vultur barbatus et barbarus, Lath. Index Orn. Vultur
aureus, Briss. Orn. Arend of the Cape Colonists.

FAM. FALCONrCLE.

Head entirely, or in a great measure, covered with feathers ;
bill strong, hooked, and furnished with a cere ; border of upper
mandible even, or toothed; claws stout, very acute, much
curved, and retractile.

Genus AQUILA.

Bill very strong, straight near base and curved towards the
point; cere hairy, nostril elliptical and transverse; the third,
fourth, and fifth quill feathers the longest ; tarsi covered with
downy feathers to the toes; tail composed of twelve feathers.

Aquila n&vw, Linn. Body, head, wings, and tail, shining
brown of different tints, lighter towards the rump and thighs;
the feathers of the tarsi and under tail coverts are light brown ;
tail tipt with light rufous; bill black; eyes, cere, and toes,
yellow. Length twenty-two inches.



Birds. 255

Young. Colour deep shining brown ; wing coverts towards
points with large oval greyish white spots ; under tail coverts
and secondary quill feathers terminated by large spots of the
same colour, and the flanks and thighs are sprinkled with others
of a smaller size.

Inhabits Africa and Europe, common in Egypt.

Le petite Aigle, Buff. L'Aigle tachete, Guv. Beg. Animal.

Aquila heliaca, Savig. Top of head and occiput rufous ;
the feathers edged with a brighter tint ; body above, shining
brown ; beneath, black-brown, with the exception of the belly
which is rufous-yellow ; part of the upper wing coverts white.
Tail grey-ash with irregular black bands, each feather with a
very broad black band towards its point, and tipt with yellowish.
Eyes whitish yellow; nostrils linear, with the upper edge
notched. Length about two feet and a half ; female three feet.

Young. Head and neck straw-coloured and whitish ; upper
parts of neck and back brown, lightest along the middle of the
feathers ; the under parts straw-coloured and striped longitudi-
nally with brown-black.

Inhabits Egypt and Europe.

Aigle de Thebes, Savig. Ois. <V Egypt. Falco Imperialis,
Nam. Aquila mogilnik, G-mel.

Aquila Vulturina, Shaw. Bill blackish blue, verging here
and there to a light horn-colour ; cere deep yellow ; eyes red-
dish brown ; space between them and bill pretty thickly set
with black bristles ; back and tail coverts white ; plumage else-
where deep black ; tail more rounded than in the foregoing
species ; toes deep yellow ; claws black. Length from bill to
base of tail seventeen inches ; length of latter twelve inches ;
expanse of wings about seven feet.

Young. Head, back, and sides of neck, clear reddish tawny,
inclined to a pale chesnut, the interscapular and shoulder
feathers dirty brown, edged, and strongly tipt with tawny ; the
back a mixture of chesnut, brownish black, and dirty reddish
white. Below reddish brown of various tints, with the centres
of feathers blackish or blackish brown ; legs light tawny.

Inhabits South Africa.

Falco Vulturinus, Shaw, Zool. vol. vii. p. 58. Le Caffre,
Le Yaill. Dassie-vanger and Berghaan of the Cape Colonists.

Aquila rapax. Bill livid blue towards base, dark horn-
coloured at tip ; cere yellow ; eyes reddish brown ; front, crown,
neck, inter scapulars, and back, pale tawny, with here and there
brownish variegations ; tail coverts tawny or dirty white ;
shoulders varied tawny and dark brown ; scapulars blackish
brown, more or less distinctly tipt with reddish white. Primary



256 African Zoology.

quill feathers blackish brown, some of them edged on outer
vanes with tawny, all tipt with reddish white ; secondaries dark
dirty brown, narrowly edged and tipt with reddish white ; pri-
mary quill feathers black ; secondaries blackish brown on the
outer vanes, on the inner greyish, variegated by many transverse
dark bands ; tips reddish tawny. Tail rounded, brownish grey,
and much mottled by partial indistinct transverse narrow dusky
black bands ; tips of feathers all tawny ; under parts tawny
with brown variegations, particularly numerous on the flanks
and anterior part of the belly ; thighs dark ferruginous ; toes
yellow ; claws dark horn-coloured. Length about two feet four
inches.

Young. Prevailing colour chesnut, without the brown varie-
gations of the older bird ; feathers of the head and back of
neck tipt with light tawny. Tail dirty brownish grey, tipt with
reddish white ; cere and toes dull yellow ; claws black ; eyes
yellow.

Inhabits South Africa, common.

Falco rapax, Temm. pi. 455. Falco naevioides? Guv.
Aquila choka, Smith. South African Quarterly Journal, vol. i.
p. 114. Chok of the Cape Colonists.

Aquila Bellicosa, Daudin. Bill bluish at the base, black
elsewhere ; eyes fine brown ; space between them and bill thin-
ly covered with black bristles ; plumage of hindhead a little
elongated, so as to form a very slight crest. Feathers of head,
and of back and sides of neck, variegated blackish brown and
white ; interscapulars, back, tail coverts, and shoulders, more
or less deep brown; with the tips of all the feathers, but
particularly of those of the latter, dusky white ; throat,
breast, belly, and legs, pure white. Primary wing feathers
black, tipt with white ; secondaries alternately banded with
dusky blackish brown and dull hoary grey, all broadly
tipt with white. Tail slightly rounded, with each feather
banded more or less directly across by black and hoary grey,
the latter usually passing to white towards the inner margins of
the inner vanes, all distinctly tipt with white. Tarsi and toes a
light livid green, inclining sometimes to yellowish green ; claws
deep black and much curved. Length from bill to base of tail
twenty inches ; length of latter twelve inches ; expanse of wings
about eight feet and a half.

'Young. Above blackish brown ; throat and breast nearly
black ; belly and legs dull white with black blotches.

Inhabits South Africa.

Falco Armiger, Shaw. vii. 57. Le GrifEard, Le Vaill.

(To be continued.)
[76]



273

[FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL,
APEIL to JUNE, 1834.]



AEEICAN ZOOLOGY:

By DR. SMITH.

Continued from page 256.



Aquila coronata. Crested, crest white with some brown
variegation towards shafts of feathers ; head, neck, breast,
belly, under tails coverts, and legs, white, the latter blotched
particularly on outer- sides with black-brown. Back of the
neck faintly spotted in some specimens with brown, and the
under tail coverts obscurely banded with the same colour ;
back brown-grey, the feathers margined with white ; upper
tail coverts white, broadly banded with brownish black ;
shoulders dull brown, all the feathers margined with white and
most of them blackish towards shafts ; scapulars grey-brown,
margined with white. Primary wing coverts black, margined
with white ; primary quill feathers dull brown, banded with
black, the tips black ; secondary quill feathers dusky grey,
banded with black, tips white ; the inner surfaces of wings prin-
cipally white. Tail black with three or four hoary grey bands,
tips of all the feathers white. Bill black, base of lower mandi-
ble yellow ; toes yellow ; claws black. Length of male thirty-
three inches, of female thirty-seven inches.

Young. Above black clouded with brown; upper tail
coverts tipt with white ; beneath variegated freely with pale
rufous, in somewhat transverse bands on breast and belly ; legs
white, closely spotted with black ; tail black, with two broad
hoary bands, and the tips of feathers tawny white. Crest black,
the feathers tawny towards quills.

Inhabits South Africa and Guinea.

Crowned Eagle, Edwards, pi. 224.

Obs. This species has generally been confounded with the last; it
is, however, perfectly distinct. In the Bellicosa the wings are longer,
the tail has a much greater number of bands, and no crest exists either in
young or old specimens. In the present species the head is much
smaller and rounder than in the last, the base of the lower mandible is,
at all ages, of a yellow colour ; and when the wings are folded the points
of the primary feathers scarcely reach beyond those of the secondaries.

Genus HALIAETUS. Savigny.

Bill strong, convex above and hooked at the point ; nostrils
lunated, transverse ; cere hairy ; tarsi half-feathered, scutellated
before, reticulated behind ; tail rounded or cuneform.

Haliaetus blagrus. Bill brownish ; eyes deep brown ; head,
neck, breast, belly, and thighs, satin white, with the feathers of
the head and back of the neck edged with brown. Scapulars
and secondary wing coverts light greyish brown ; tail the same,
with the exception of the tip which is white. Primary wing

M m [77]



274 African Zoology.

feathers blackish ; outer vanes of secondaries like the scapu-
lars ; legs and feet yellowish ; claws black. Length about two

feet.

Inhabits South Africa, very rare.

Falco blagrus, Shaw, Zool Le Blagre, Le Vaill. Afriq. pi 5.

Haliaetus vocifer. Bill black ; cere, and space between it
and eyes yellow, and thinly covered with black hair ; " eyes
reddish brown." Head, neck, interscapulars, anterior part of
back, and breast, pure white ; the feathers of the head, back
of neck, and interscapulars, with their shafts, brownish red ;
belly and thighs deep chesnut. Primary and secondary wing
coverts, as well as primary and secondary wing feathers, deep
shining black ; tail slightly rounded, and pure white ; legs and
toes deep yellow ; claws black. Length from bill to root of
tail twenty-five inches ; length of latter eight inches.

Young. Brown above, white beneath, variegated more or
less with longitudinal brownish black stripes or blotches.

Inhabits South Africa, along the coasts and near the mouths
of rivers.

Falco vocifer, Shaw. Le Vocifer, Le Vaill. pi. 4.

Genus HELOTAESUS. Smith.

Bill robust, compressed, curved from the base, and strongly
hooked ; cere smooth ; lores hairy ; nostrils semilunar, vertical.
Tarsi robust, short, covered with feathers below the joint, the
bare portion with rough elevated scales ; toes scutellated towards
claws. Tail even, and shorter than the wings ; second quill
feather the longest. Form robust.

Helotarsus typicus. Tip of bill black; base and the cere
orange ; eyes deep red ; head, neck, and under parts, clear
black; interscapulars, back, and tail, clear deep chesnut;
shoulders greyish brown; primary and secondary wing coverts
black ; primary wing feathers with both vanes grey, and the
inner ones edged near quills with white ; secondaries cinerous
grey, with the inner vanes edged with white ; and each feather
broadly tipt with fine shining black ; scapulars black ; tail
slightly rounded, and the wings, when folded, about three
inches longer than it. Tarsi reddish, more or less inclined to
orange ; toes similarly coloured ; claws black. Length from
bill to base of tail seventeen inches ; length of latter five inches
and a half.

Young. Cere bluish ; bill horn-coloured ; feet and tarsi yel-
lowish ; plumage brown, lightest on the head and neck, most
of the feathers with the edges and tips of a fainter hue ; pri-
mary and secondary wing feathers blackish, tinged with grey ;
tail blackish brown : claws black.

[78]



Birds. 275

Inhabits South Africa and Senegal.

Falco ecaudatus, Shaw, Zool. Terathopius ecaudatus,
Lesson. Le Bateleur, Le Vaill. pi 7 & 8.

Genus CIRCA.ETTJS. Vieillot.

Sill strong, straight at the base, convex, compressed, and
hooked at the point, edges nearly straight ; cere hairy ; nostrils
roundish; tarsi moderate, elongated, naked, and reticulated;
toes short; wings as long as the tail; the latter graduated,
cuneform, and consisting of twelve feathers.

Circaetus cinereus, Vieill. G-eneral colour dull grey, verging
in some places to rufous. Primary quill feathers black ; tail
above, brown with five white transverse bands ; beneath, grey
with the same number of pure white bands ; tarsi and toes yel-
lowish black. Length nearly twenty-two inches.

Inhabits Senegal.

Circaetus thoracinus, Guv. Bill dark horn-coloured ; eyes
fine yellow ; head, together with the back and sides of neck,
blackish brown, the former often with a slight tinge of grey ;
interscapulars, back, tail coverts, and shoulders, blackish
brown, each feather more or less distinctly tipt with a dusky
or pure white ; throat variegated black and white ; breast pure
black or brownish black ; belly, under tail coverts, and thighs,
pure white. Primary quill feathers black, with the exception
of the greater portion of the inner vane of each, towards its
base, which is white ; secondaries marked by transverse black
and greyish, or greyish white bands, and distinctly tipt with
white. Tail nearly even and composed of twelve feathers,
each of which has, or may be said to have, white, or grey and
white as the ground colour, and is crossed more or less
completely by three broad black bands. When the two colours
first mentioned occur in the same specimen, the grey occupies
only the outer vanes towards the tips, and sometimes a little
of the inner ones near the shafts, whilst the white appears in
all other situations. When viewed below the whole ground
colour appears a pure white, and the three transverse bands a
dusky black. Legs and toes livid white, with a tint of greenish ;
claws black. Length from bill to base of tail fourteen inches ;
length of tail nine inches and a half.

Young. Dull earthy brown ; second year, brownish above,
and white mottled with black blotches beneath ; throat and
anterior portion of breast black.

Inhabits South Africa.

Circaetus pectoralis, Smith. South African Quarterly Journal,
vol. i.

[79]



276 African Zoology,

Circaetus Bacha. Head above black; hindhead with a
transverse crest, the feathers white towards their bases, else-
where black ; black dull earthy brown ; upper tail coverts
sprinkled with white spots: shoulders blackish brown, sprinkled
with white spots ; quill feathers black, tipt with white, the
primaries with a broad baud of greyish brown towards points,
the inner vanes towards quills white, undulated with black.
Sides of neck, and throat, brown or brown-black ; under parts
dull brown, freely mottled with white spots ; under tail coverts
brown, banded with white. Tail rounded, black, and crossed
towards point by a broad grey-white band clouded with dusky ;
all the feathers finely tipt with white. Bill lead-coloured ;
lower mandible towards base, and the naked space round eyes,
yellow. Tarsi and toes yellowish ; claws black. Eyes deep
brown-red. Length of the male twenty-three inches, of the
female twenty-eight inches.

Inhabits South Africa, Java, and India.

Falco Bacha, Baud. Orn. Le Bacha, Le Vaill. pi. 15.

Obs. When I classed this bird some time ago in the genus Cymindis,
I had not an opportunity of examining its characters, but was guided
entirely by the example of Mr. Stephens. Since that I have met with
several specimens, and have satisfied myself that it is closely allied to
the CircaJiti, and more entitled to be ranked in that genus than in Buteo.
The reticulated tarsi and its general form bespeak the affinity.

Genus MOEPHNUS. Cuvier.

Bill large, almost straight, convex above and curved at the
point ; nostrils elliptical ; tarsi slender, long, naked, and scu-
tellated, or covered to the toes; wings shorter than the tail;
fourth quill feather the longest.

Morphnus albescens. Bill lead-coloured ; eyes fine yellow ;
head with a small crest ; the whole plumage white, clouded
with blackish brown upon the mantle, and soft to the touch.
Tail rayed transverely black and white; primary wing feathers
with the outer vanes brownish, and the inner ones rayed ; claws
a leaden colour. Length about two feet six or eight inches.

Young. Brown more abundant in the plumage ; all the
shoulder feathers edged with rufous.

Inhabits South Africa, Autenaqualand.

Falco albescens, Shaw, Zool. vol. vii. p. 93. Le Blanchard,
Le Vaill. Ois. Afriq. pi. 3.

Morphnus occipitalis. Above blackish brown, inclining to
black, in old individuals ; below the same colour, only of a
darker tint ; head and crest blacker than the other parts : the
latter composed of several feathers, most of them of different

' ^ 10ngeSt betWeen five and six inches ' Primai and



Birds. 277

secondary wing coverts blackish brown, with more or less of the
inner vane of each feather white ; primary wing feathers white
towards quills, blackish brown elsewhere ; in the outermost
ones the white occurs only upon the inner vanes, in the next to
them it occupies both vanes, and in the still more internal, the
white is crossed by black bands ; outer vanes of secondaries
an uniform dusky brown, inner ones brown and dusky or pure
white in alternate transverse bands. Tail slightly rounded, each
feather marked with white ; greyish white, or reddish white
and black alternate bands ; the number of the first description
is usually three, besides some irregular ones or only spots to-
wards quills ; the bands seldom extend completely across, but
have the extremities on each side commonly margined with the
same black as the other bands, and between the last light-
coloured one, and the tip nearly two inches of uniform black ;
bill and claws black ; cere and toes yellowish. Length from
bill to base of tail nineteen inches ; length of latter nine inches.

Young. Plumage brown, feathers margined with rufous.

Inhabits Africa.

Falco occipitalis, Daudin, Ois. ii. p. 40. Shaw, vii. p. 59.
Nisser Tokoor, Bruce. Le Huppard, Le Vaill. Ois. Afr. pi. 2.
Kuifkop Valk of the Colonists.

Genus POLYBOROIDES. Smith*

Bill compressed particularly towards culmen, slightly arched
from base, moderately hooked at the point ; nostrils longitudinal,
linear ; cere smooth ; sides of head to some distance behind eyes
bare. Tarsi long, slender, laterally compressed and reticulated ;
toes long and slender, the middle one connected to the outer by a
slight web at base; claws long, slender, and much curved.
Wings nearly as long as tail ; the fourth and fifth feathers the
longest.

Polyboroides typicus, Smith. Head, neck, and breast, dark
blue-grey ; back scapulars and shoulders light grey, variegated
with very fine undulating dull white lines; hinder portion of
back, upper and under tail coverts, belly, thighs, and insides
of shoulders, white, with fine transverse black lines ; intersca-
pulars, each with a black blotch near its point. Primary wing
coverts dark grey tipt with white, and with a broad black band
near the point. Primary wing feathers black, the outer vanes
towards quills grey, the inner ones white, undulated with black,
tips white. Tail dark green-black, crossed by a distinct broad
white band, finely undulated with black near the extremity, and
by some irregular ones toward the base ; the tips of all the

* South African Quarterly Journal, March 1830.

[81]



278 African Zoology.

feathers white. Bill dark horn-coloured ; cere and base of
lower mandible yellow ; tarsi and toes yellow-brown ; claws
black. Length two feet four inches.

Inhabits South Africa and Madagascar.

Falco gymnogenys, Temm, pi. 307-. G-ymnogenys Madagas-
cariensis, Lesson.

06s. Two specimens from Madagascar which I have examined, differed


1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13

Online LibraryAndrew SmithSir Andrew Smith's Miscellaneous ornithological papers → online text (page 8 of 13)