Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

lines of unequal width are plainly drawn. The under parts are in general buff varied with black and gray. Dots and bars of white appear on the wings and tail. Its total length is about six inches.

Rhipidura leucothorax, the Whitebreasted Fantailed Flycatcher, is much more widely distributed, being met with in different parts of New Guinea. The descriptive name here describes very imperfectly, for the breast is by no means entirely white as might be inferred; black is almost as prominent, alternating with the white which shows in spaces, though lower down it crowds the black into narrow bands or crescents. The general color of the bird above is brown, becoming dark upon the head, still darker over the bill. The wings are black, finished off with white spots. This is the appearance too of the tail feathers as well as of the under side of the wings. There are also white streaks and lines about the sides of the head and throat. Bill black above. Length 8 inches.

The family of Wood Songsters (Pæcilodryas) are all small birds rarely exceeding 6.5 inches in total length. The coloration is in general black and white, the former greatly predominating. Poecilodryas albinotata at first sight looks in color not unlike those fine drongos, the Edolias. In this instance, however, leaving the disparity of size out of account, the gray

is not nearly so uniform, a dull black and a deep black appearing on the wings, tail and throat including the side face. А patch of white meets the black on the sides of the neck. White again is seen on the abdomen and under tail coverts, becoming discolored along the flanks and sides of the body.

Pæcilodryas papuana comes from the same region of the Arfak Mountains as the foregoing species. It is considerably smaller in size measuring only 1-5 inches inches in length, but of brighter color. This is a yellow, somewhat dull an becoming light brown on the wings and tail. Head and neck are darker than the body. A crescent of orange runs from the bill over the eye.

Poecilodryas leucops shares the same habitat. It is not unlike the preceding in coloration of the body but that of the head, nape and throat is entirely different. In this case it is a dark gray, to gray on the neck with darker feathers over the eye. White marks the upper throat and chin and appears as a prominent spot in front of the eye. Total length nearly five inches.

From the Arfak Mountains also comes Pæcilodryas bimaculata and from the same general region Pæcilodryas hypoleuca and P. brachyura and P. cinerea. The first is conspicuously black and white, the former color preponderating very largely of course, while the white shows as bands and bars or stripes. It is most apparent on the lower parts where it may be reckoned as the ground color.

P. hypoleuca, the Whitebellied, is a rather larger bird, reaching the length of 6 inches. The general color is dusky above, relieved by white patches on the head. The same color covers the under parts set off by black on breast and throat. The last named-P. brachyura, the Shorttailed—is marked similarly with the tones rather deeper and clearer. Length 5.5 inches.

Monachella mulleriana or saxicolina, a Chatlike Flycatcher, is a lively little bird found as well in the south of New Guinea along the Fly River, as in the north among the Arfak Mountains. It is of grayish plumage above becoming nearly white on the rump and tail coverts; tail feathers and wings are dark brown. The head is also dark brown with a line of white over the eye. A spot of black lies near the bill. Below the colors are nearly those of the upper parts, that is, the body is a soft white, the wings brown. Bill and feet black. The sexes are alike in markings and size, the length being about six inches. They are both assiduous in the pursuit of insects, generally along streams on level spaces.

Monarcha or Muscipeta melanopsis, the Carinated Gray Flycatcher, has a ring of short black feathers about the large full eye, a discriminating characteristic, imparting with the strong prominent bill a singular appearance to this Australian bird. The entire throat and part of the face are also black, crowded upon by the soft slate color which becomes deeper over the rest of the body. The long tail above is dusky; below, as well as under the wings and on the abdomen, the color is a bright rufous. The female is unmasked about the head and throat. Feet plumbeous. Length 7 inches.

One of the loveliest, certainly the most brilliant of Flycatchers is Monarcha chrysomela, the Golden hooded. Blueblack and gold are the boldly contrasted colors of this bright little creature whose length is 6 inches. The ground color is orangeyellow; this is almost equally rich whenever it is spread. Jet black with a blue gloss covers the entire throat and upper breast, the upper back, the outer wing feathers and tail. An irregular stripe of the same bends round the shoulder. The deepest black is on the throat where the thick plumage is metallic.

The crown is roughened into a kind of crest. The bill and feet are black. All besides, as has been said, is a lovely yellow, making the bird a most conspicuous .object among the dark trees.

Todopsis cyanocephala of the Muscicapidæ is adorned with a blue crown, as its name indicates.

This rich color appears besides on the neck, back and wings though of a somewhat different shade. A purpleblack runs down the lower back and covers the tail, excepting the two middle feathers which are of bluish tinge. The under parts are of a dark purple also, becoming black beneath the wings. The bill and feet are dull black. The length of the male bird is rather more than six inches, the female about an inch less. Her coloring is almost as rich, but different. A warm brown takes the place of black above, a light buff of the black below, though along the sides as far as the under tail coverts the brown reappears. Blue colors the head and stripes the neck, showing lighter on the tail where it is much mingled with white.

Malurus albiscapulatus is scarcely 4 inches in length but is not only of rich velvety plumage but of conspicuous appearance also, for its white patches on a black ground color attract attention at once. These patches occur on either side of the body both above and below, those above showing finely when the bird is in flight, those below lining the chest from the bend of the wings. Elsewhere the plumage is a deep black of a bluish cast, soft and lustrous. The home of the species is in Southeast as well as Northwest New Guinea.

Caterpillarcatchers (Campephaga) abound in New Guinea of varying degrees of beauty, some being bright of hue, others almost somber. A few individuals not in strict order are considered here.

Campephaga sloetii or aurulenta, according to d'Albertis (Vide Journal), is a rare bird in collections but is distributed all over New Guinea. He found it most numerous far up the Fly River, but obtained but one specimen in a native's garden, feeding on the small berries of a tall tree. It is a yellow bird, very vivid on certain parts, duller on the wings where there is more or less black and white as well, and golden yellow on the breast and abdomen. The head, sides of head and throat are marked with gray, black greenglossed, and a band of white. White inclining to yellow lines the under wings. Bill, feet and eyes are black. The bill is short and strong.

Where the male bird is brilliant and positive in color, the female assumes paler shades and neutral tones. She is somewhat longer, measuring nearly 8 inches in total length.

The tail feathers of the male are marked with white, especially the outer ones.

The mountain Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga montana or Edoliisoma montana is a fine bird from the Arfak region. The contrasted colors, bluegray above, black below, are so carefully marked as to render their wearer easily distinguished from his kind. The same may be said of the female who is equally conspicuous in unusually clear colors and a perfectly black tail.

The Bluegray Campephaga, Campephaga strenua (Schl.), from about the same region is colored mainly as its name indicates, the customary black appearing on the throat and in a line on the head. The bill and feet are also black; some of the tail feathers likewise, but a rusty tinge marks the lower wing coverts. The bill is unuusally powerful for so small a bird.

Campephaga melas or Edoliisoma nigrum is found in different parts of Papua. It is a larger bird and with a coloration not at all characteristic of the class to which it bears so similar a name. The male is of a glossy black, reflecting purple along the wing and tail coverts. The female, longer than her mate in size, is also quite distinct in plumage. A marked reddish dye takes the place of lustrous black. On the head the color is warmer than on the body. The wings are shaded, in some individuals dusky.

Edoliisoma lenuirostris or Campephaga jardinii (Gould), the Slenderbilled Cuckoo-shrike, is an Australian bird but found also in New Guinea near Port Moresby. It is about a foot long, of a cloudy blue color, excepting on the side face where it becomes black, and on wings and tail which contain rather more black than blue. The outer tail feathers underneath terminate in white. The bill is black and anything but slender. Feet black, eyes brown.

In 1882 the nest was found by Mr. C. C. L. Talbot in a Eucalyptus tree. It was composed of wiry grasses securely fastened together with cobwebs on the thin forked horizontal branch. The eggs laid in the small shallow depression were ovoid in shape and of a pale bluish gray ground dotted irregularly over with dark brown spots and lines.

(To be Continued.)

EDITOR'S TABLE. -We notice that the project of a National University to be established at Washington has been again brought up before Congress. Washington has many advantages as a location for a university, and the Methodists and Catholics have not been slow to take advantage of them. The Columbian University, a non-sectarian institution, is located there. That it devolves on the nation under

any

circumstances to establish a university there or anywhere else we fail to perceive. So long as institutions of this kind exist either by virtue of State support or private munificence, there is no necessity for the intervention of the Government in this part of the educational field, but there are strong reasons why it should not do so. The financial basis of all institutions supported by congressional appropriations is always precarious. The subsidies are liberal while they last, but changes in the fiscal policy of the Government produce fluctuations in the revenue, and expenditures are varied accordingly. Then the faculty of such an institution would be under bonds to please the congressional majority,

« AnteriorContinuar »