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THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA

-V

THE

BIRDS

OF

AUSTRALIA

BY

GREGORY M. MATHEWS

F.H.S.E.

MEMBER OP THE AUSTRALIAN ORNITHOLOGISTS’ UNION AND THE BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS’ UNION

CORRESPONDING FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGISTS’ UNION

WITH HANH-COLOUREH PLATES

VOLUME II.

A

WITHERBY & CO.

326 HIGH HOLBORN LONDON

1912-1913

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CONTENTS

AND

LIST OF PLATES.

PAGK

Order PROCELLARIIFORMES 1

Genus OCEANITES 9

No. 75. Australian Yellow- webbed Storm-Petrel, OceaniUs

oceaniciis exasperatus . . . . . . . . 11

Plate 68 lettered Oceanites oceanica, to face . . . 11

No. 76. Grey-backed Storm-Petrel, Oceanites nereis nereis . 15

Plate 69 lettered Garrodia nereis, to face . . . . 15

Genus PELAGODROMA ......... 19

No. 77. West Australian White-faced Storm-Petrel, Pelago-

drmna marina dulcioe . . . . . . . .21

Plate 70 lettered Pelagodrcnna marina, to face . . . 21 .

No. 78. East Australian White-faced Storm-Petrel, Pelago-

drmna marina howei ........ 26

Genus EREGETTA . . . . . . . . .31

No. 79. Black-bellied Storm-Petrel, Fregetta tropica melano-

gaster .......... 33

Plate 71 lettered Fregetta melanogaster, to face ... 33

No. 80. White-bellied Storm-Petrel, Fregetta grallaria gr^llaria 37 Plate 72 lettered Fregetta grallaria, to face . . . . 37

Genus PUFEINUS . 45

No. 81. White-fronted Petrel, Puffinus leuco7nelas . . 48

No. 82. Allied Petrel, Puffinus assimilis assiinilis . . . 50

No. 83. Westralian Allied Petrel, Puffinus assimilis tunneyi 71 Plate 73 lettered Puffinus asshnilis, to face . . . . 71

V

THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA.

Genus PUFFINUS continued,

No. 84. Queensland Black-and-white Petrel, Puffinus Iherminieri nugax ........

No. 85. Brown-backed Petrel, Puffinus reinholdi reinhoMi .

Plate 74 lettered Puffinus gavia, to face . . . .

No. 86. Snares Brown- backed Petrel, Puffinus reinholdi huttoyii No. 87, Western Wedge-tailed Petrel, Puffinus pacificus chlororhynchus .........

No. 88. Eastern Wedge-tailed Petrel, Puffinus pacificus foyanus ..........

Plate 75 lettered Puffinus chlororliynchus, to face .

No. 89. Flesh-footed Petrel, Puffinus carneipes carneipes .

Plate 76 lettered Puffinus carneipes, to face No. 90. Sombre Petrel, Puffinus griseus griseus

Plate 77 lettered Puffinus griseus, to face ....

No. 91. Short-tailed Petrel, Puffinus tenuirostris brevicaudus Plate 78 lettered Puffinus brevicaudus, to face No. 92. Solitary Petrel, Puffinus tenuirostris intermedius

Genus PROCELLARIA .........

No. 93. Spectacled Petrel, Procellaria cequinoctialis conspicillata Plate 79 lettered Majaqueus cequinoctialis, to face No. 94. New Zealand White-chinned Petrel, Procellaria cequinoctialis steadi ........

No. 95. Black Petrel, Procellaria parhinsoni ....

Plate 80 lettered Majaqueus parhinsoni, to face . .

No. 96. Grey Petrel, Procellaria cinerea ....

Plate 81 lettered Priofinus cinereus, to face

Genus PRIOCELLA .........

No. 97. Silver-grey Petrel, Priocella antarctica Plate 82 lettered Priocella glacialoides, to face

Genus PTERODROMA .........

No. 98. Eastern Grey-faced Petrel, Pterodroma macroptera gould'h ..........

Plate 83 lettered (Estrelata macroptera, to face No. 99. Western Grey-faced Petrel, Pterodrmna macroptera albani ..........

4 No. 100. Brown-headed Petrel, Pterodroma melanopus .

Plate 84 lettered Pterodro^na melanopus, to face .

PAGE

72

74

74

77

78

85

85

89

89

92

92

99

9j

104

106

108

108

114

116

116

119

119

125

126 126

129

134

134

139

141

141

VT

CONTENTS.

Genus PTERODROMA continned.

No. 101. Eastern White-headed Petrel, Pterodro'ina lessonii leucocephala .........

Plate 85 lettered (Estrelata lessoni, to face ....

SoFT-PLUMAGED Petrel, PteTodwiYia 7nollis

Plate 86 lettered (Estrelata 7nollis, to face ....

No. 102. Blue-footed Petrel, Pterodrmna cookii cookii .

Plate 87 lettered (Estrelata cooki, to face ....

No. 103. White-winged Petrel. Pterodro^na cookii leucoptera . Plate 88 lettered (Estrelata leucoptera, to face

Genus PAGODROMA .........

Genus MACRONECTES .........

No. 104. New Zealand Giant Petrel, Macronectes giganteus albus Plate 89 lettered Macronectes gigantea, to face

Genus DAPTION . . . . . . . . .

No. 105. Cape Petrel, Daption capense ..... Plate 90 lettered Daption capensis, to face ....

Genus HALOB^ENA .........

No. 106. Blue Petrel, Halohmna ccerulea .... Plate 91 lettered Halobcena coerulea, to face

Genus PRION ..........

No. 107. New Zealand Broad-billed Prion, Prion vittatus vittatus ..........

No. 108. Australian Broad-billed Prion, Prion vittatus gouldi No. 109. Australian Long-billed Prion, Prion vittatus 7nissus Plate 92 lettered Prion banksi, to face . . ' .

Genus PSEUDOPRION

No. 110. Australian Fairy-Prion, Pseudoprion turtur turtur Plate 93 lettered Pseudoprion turtur, to face

Genus HETEROPRION \ .

No. 111. Australian Thin-billed Prion, Heteroprion belcheri No. 112. Australian Dove-Prion, Heteroprion desolatus 7nattingleyi

Genus PELECANOIDES

No. 113. Diving Petrel, Pelecanoides urinatrix urinatrix .

Plate 94 lettered Pelecanoides 7irinat7'ix, to face .

PAGE

153

153

157

157

166

166

171

171

174

178

179 179

190

191 191

194

195 195.

199

204 211 212 212 .

215

217

217-

222

224

226

232

234

234

VOL. II.

VII

THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA,

Genus DIOMEDEA

No. 1 14. Australian Wandering Albatros, Dimmdea exulans rothschildi ..........

Plate 95 lettered Dimnedea exulans, to face .

No. 115. Snowy Albatros, Dimmdea exulans ehionoftera .

No. 116. Campbell Island Royal Albatros, Dimnedea epmno- phora epomophora ........

Genus THALASSARCHE

No. 117. Australian Black-browed Mollymawk, TJialassarche melanophris impavida ........

Plate 96 lettered Dimnedea 7nelanopTirys, to face .

Genus THALASSOGERON

No. 118. Australian Flat-billed Mollymawk, Thalassogeron chrysostmna cuhninatus .......

Plate 97 lettered Dimnedea chrysostmna, to face .

No. 119. East Australian Yellow-nosed Mollymawk, Thalassogeron chlororhynchos hassi .....

Plate 98 lettered Dimnedea chlororhynchus, to face No. 120. Westralian Yellow-nosed Mollymawk, Thalassogeron chlororhynchos carteri ........

Plate 99 lettered Dimnedea carteri, to face ....

No. 121. Shy Mollymawk, Thalassogeron cautus cautus

Plate 100 lettered Dimnedea cauta, to face ....

Genus PHOEBETRIA .........

No. 122. New Zealand Light-mantled Sooty Albatros, Phcebetria palpebrata huttoni ......

Plate 101 lettered Phoebetria palpebrata, to face .

No. 123. Australian Sooty Albatros, Phoebetria fusca ca^npbelli

Order LARIFORMES

Genus HYDROCHELIDON

No. 124. Eastern White-winged Tern, Hydrochelidon leucoptera

grisea

Plate 102 lettered Hydrochelidon leucoptera, to face No. 125. East Australian Whiskered Tern, Hydrochelidon leucopareia fiuviatilis . . . . . . . .

PAGE

240

246

246 ' 255

258

264

267 267 '

273

277 277 -

281 281 ,

287 287 , 289 289 .

294

297 297 , 304

306

310

312 312 >

316

CONTENTS.

PAGE

Geus HYDROCHELIDON continued.

No. 126. West Australian Whiskered Tern, Hydrochelidon

leucopareia rogersi ........ 323

Plate 103 lettered Hydrochelidon hyhrida, to face . . . 323

Genus GELOCHELIDON 325

No. 127. Long-legged Tern, Gelochelidon nilotica macrotarsa . 327

Plate 104 lettered Gelochelidon inacrotarsa, to face . . 327

Genus HYDROPROGNE ........ 332

No. 128. Australian Caspian Tern, Hydroprogne tschegrava

strenua .......... 333

Plate 105 lettered Hydroprogne caspia, to face . . . 333.

Genus THALASSEUS ......... 338

No. 129. Bass Strait Tern, Thalasseus hergii poliocercus . . 340

Plate 106 lettered Sterna hergii, to face .... 340

No. 130. Torres Strait Tern, Thalasseus hergii pelecanoides . 348

No. 131. Westralian Crested Tern, Thalasseus hergii gwendolence 350

No. 132. Lesser Crested Tern, Thalasseus hengalensis torresii . 352

Plate 107 lettered Sterna media, to face .... 352

Genus STERNA . . . . , . . . . . 356

No. 133. Australian Roseate Tern, Sterna dougallii gracilis 358

Plate 108 lettered Sterna gracilis, to face . . . . 358

No. 134. Australian White-fronted Tern, Sterna striata

melanorhyncha ......... 366

Plate 109 lettered Sterna frontalis, to face .... 366

No. 135. Australian Black-naped Tern, Sterna sumatrana kempi 370 Plate 110 lettered Sterna melanauchen, to face . . . 370

Genus STERNULA 373

No. 136. Eastern White-shafted Ternlet, Sternula alhifrons

platens . 375

Plate 111 lettered Sterna sinensis, to face . , . . 375

No. 137. Western White-shafted Ternlet, Sternula alhifrons

tormenti 382

No. 138. Eastern White-faced Ternlet, Sternula nereis nereis 383

Plate 112 lettered Sterna nereis, to face .... 383

No. 139. Western White-faced Ternlet, Sternula nereis horni 386

IX

THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA.

PAGE

Genus ONYCHOPRION 388

No. 140. Australian Sooty Tern, Onychoprion fuscatus sermtus 389

Plate 113 lettered Sterna fuliginosa, to face . . . 389

Genus MELANOSTERNA 395

No. 141. Australian Brown-winged Tern, Melanosterna

anceihetus novce-hollandice . 397

Plate 114 lettered Sterna ancestheta, to face . . , 397

Genus ANGUS 404

No. 142. Australian Noddy, Anous stolidus gilberti . . 405

Plate 115, lettered Anous stolidus, to face .... 405

Genus MEGALOPTERUS 412

No. 143. Australian Lesser Noddy, Megalopterus tenuirostris

melanops .......... 414

Plate 116 lettered Micranous tenuirostris, to face . . . 414

No. 144. Australian V/hite-capped Noddy, Megalopterus

minutus 7ninutus . . . . . . . .417

Plate 117 lettered Micranous leucocapillus, to face . . 417

Genus PROCELSTERNA 425

No. 145. Grey Noddy, Procelsterna cerulea cinerea . . . 426

Plate 118 lettered Procelsterna cinerea, to face . . . 426

Genus GYGIS 432

No. 146. Australian White Tern, Gygis alba royana . . 433

Plate 119 lettered Gygis alba, to face ..... 433

Genus BRUCHIGAVIA 444

No. 147. Silver Gull, Bruchigavia novcB-hollandioe novce-hollandice 448

Plate 120 lettered Larus novce-hollandice, to face . . . 448

No. 148. Northern Silver Gull, Bruchigavia novce-hollandice

gouldi .......... 458

No. 149. Tasmanian Silver Gull, Bruchigavia novce-hollandice

gunni . . . . . . . . . . 462

No. 150. Southern Silver Gull, Bruchigavia novce-hollandice

ethelce .......... 466

No. 151. Western Silver Gull, Bruchigavia novce-hollandice

longirostris .......... 468

X

CONTENTS.

PAGE

Genus GABIANUS 472

No. 152. Pacific Gull, Gdbianus pacificus paciflcus . . . 474

No. 153. Western Pacific Gull, Gabianus facificus georgii . 480

Plate 121 lettered Gdbianus pad ficus, to face . . . 480

Genus CATHARACTA 482

No. 154. Australian Skua, Catharacta lonnbergi lonnbergi . 484

Plate 122 lettered Megalestris antarctica, to face . . . 484 #

Genus COPROTHERES 497

No. 155. Siberian Pomarine Skua, Coprotheres pomarinus

camtschatica . . . . . . . . . 498

Plate 123 lettered Stercorarius pmnatorhinus, to face . . 498 -

Genus STERCORARIUS 500

No. 156. Arctic Skua, Stercorarius parasiticus . . . .501

Plate 124 lettered Stercorarius crepidatus, to face . . 501

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PREFACE.

IT is pleasing to record that the completion of my second volume has seen the abatement of the criticism at first directed against the nomenclature, and more attention has been given to the facts displayed.

This volume has dealt with the Petrels and Gull-like birds, and I have endeavoured to introduce all matter that will enable the Australian ornith- ologist to deal with his own birds, so that he can feel he is not working at such a disadvantage as previously. It is admitted that the Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum has been the one recent book of reference to the Anti- podean worker : I hope that this work will take its place as regards Australian birds, and to that end I have devoted much time and space to the elucidation of the systematic side of the Austral Ornis, and anticipate co-operation from my Australian friends in working out their life-histories.

It is gratifying to record that this anticipation seems in a fair way of fulfilment, as those friends whom I indicated, in the Preface to the first volume, as having helped me, have continued their efforts. In this connexion I would specially tender my most sincere thanks to Captain S. A. White, who has made special excursions, costing much time and expense : he has con- tributed valuable notes and specimens which will be made full use of and acknowledged throughout the continuation of my work, as the birds presented are worked out.

Messrs. Frank Howe, Charles Belcher, Bernard H. Woodward, J. W. Mellor, F. E. Wilson, Hugh Riordan, Tom Carter, Dr. W. Mcgillivray and Miss Fletcher all again require special mention, while amongst new friends should be noted Messrs. R. A. Dyott and C. F. Cole. \

Professor R. Collett of Norway, I have to signally thank for his great kindness in forwarding me the large, hitherto unworked, collection made by Dahl in the Northern Territory, and for the gift of many specimens.

In connexion with the birds dealt with in this volume, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the Hon. Walter Rothschild, who placed his invaluable collection of birds of the Order Procellariiformes at my service.

XIII

THE BIEDS OF AUSTRALIA.

Mr. Eagle Clarke of the Scottish National Museum, has also always been ready to allow comparison with the specimens collected by the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, and thereby interesting notes have been obtained for which thanks are tendered.

Dr. Peringuey, Director of the South African Museum, courteously for- warded me the collection of Prions from that Institution, and I was thus enabled to fix the South African forms by comparison with the types of Smith’s species preserved in the British Museum.

Mr. A. F. Basset Hull, whose investigations into this hitherto neglected group have already borne such good results, forwarded some very interesting specimens, including the type of (Estrelata montana Hull, the property of the Australian Museum, Sydney. To both Mr. Hull and the Trustees of the Museum must the thanks of all Australian ornithologists be rendered, as through this action the solution of the mystery surrounding Gould’s Procellaria solandri was brought about.

I hope I have made it obvious that a very wide field for investigation awaits Australians in this branch, and that co-operation with Mr. Hull would bring about more valuable results : I have indicated some of the points that have attracted me in the course of the work.

In conclusion, I would again ask all my friends for a continuation of their help, and would also ask all those who have observed the lack of life- histories to aid in filling up the blanks.

G. M. M.

Christmas, 1912.

ERRATUM.

Page 173 Insert :

Nestling about four weeks old. Head and the whole upper surface covered with bluish- grey down, extending on to the flanks ; chin, throat, and upper breast, white ; centre of breast, abdomen, and under-tail, white. Bill, black, interdigital membrane fleshy white and basal half, black. Total length, 8 inches.

Younger birds, about 5 inches in length, show more of the white on the under surface.” (Hull)

This was copied out for introduction in the proper place, but not sent to press ; note that the reference is included in the synonymy.

XIV

Oedee viil— procellakiifoemes.

The Order Procellariiformes consists of sea-birds which can be recognised at sight by their prominent tubular nostrils (hence the name Tubinares, by which the group is frequently called) and peculiar bills, which are made up of several horny pieces, between which are grooves.

They constitute such a distinct group that systematists have long been in doubt as to the value of the aggregation, but it is now generally conceded that they must be recognised as a separate Order. Moreover their relationships appear to be with the Pelicanijorines and Spheniscifonnes, and not with the Lariformes, to which they bear a superficial resemblance, and next to which they were placed in the system I adopted before the commencement of this work.

The inter-relationships of the higher groupings are not at all well known, as Salvin accepted four families in the Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum, and this arrangement was followed in the Monograph of the Petrels recently published. But in the introduction to the latter work (p. xvii.) Pycraft concludes that osteologically, two families alone are recognisable. In our present imperfect knowledge of the group, the former classification is the more convenient, and I am therefore following it. The minor groupings are even more unsatisfactory, as almost each well-defined species is characterised by features which have at times been considered worthy of generic rank. The majority of specimens at present in museums are birds killed at sea, and until a series of all the various forms are collected at breeding-stations we cannot hope for much progress. The study of sea-killed specimens has caused the lumping of many distinct forms, the observed differences being ascribed to variability, whereas I am convinced that these birds show little variation when breeding series are examined. I also anticipate that, when this group is studied by means of breeding birds, it will be found^ that they are not the great wanderers they have hitherto been considered, but that the majority pass their time quite close to the breeding -ground.

I have here gratefully to acknowledge that the Hon. Walter Rothschild, with his usual generosity in the cause of science, has placed at my disposal the whole of his magnificent collection of birds of this Order, to aid in working out

VOL. II.

1

THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA.

the forms. Such assistance needs special recognition, as the Rothschild collection is peculiarly rich in Neozelanic specimens of this group, and their study was especially desirable.

As the majority of the members of this group live in the Southern Hemisphere, and many occur as breeding birds on the islets round Australia, it is necessary that they should become an attractive object of study to the Australian ornithologists. I hope that the present resume will tend to continue the interest recently introduced, as evidenced by the researches of Messrs. Hull, Campbell, and White.

In order to make this Part a work of reference, so that Antipodean ornithologists shall be at as little disadvantage as possible when contrasted with the Home-worker, surrounded by wealth of material and literature, I propose to give in review the varied attempts at monographing this group, and as a further aid I am including copies of the original descriptions of all the forms described in connection with the species and subspecies admitted, so that my conclusions can be fairly criticised by every student.

The history of the Petrels of the Southern Hemisphere practically com- menced with the famous voyages of Captain Cook, and the first monograph of Petrels may be said to be the treatment of the group by Latham, in the third volume of the General Synopsis of Birds. On Cook’s first voyage Sir Joseph Banks accompanied him, and as assistants. Banks had selected Dr. Solander as botanist and zoologist, and two or three artists, one of whom (Sidney Parkinson) made drawings of birds, including many of Petrels. On Cook’s second voyage, John Reinhold Forster was the naturalist selected, whilst his son George Forster acted as artist, birds being specially collected and figured. On Cook’s last voyage, the artists were W. Ellis and Webber.

Whatever became of the birds collected cannot now be definitely ascertained, but apparently none of the specimens met with on the first voyage came into the possession of the British Museum ; some, if not all of those procured on the second voyage, did come to the British Museum, and possibly some of these also went to the Leverian Museum ; those brought home from the last voyage passed into the collection of Sir Joseph Banks.

Apparently all the MSS., drawings, etc., made on the first voyage became the property of Sir Joseph Banks, who also secured the drawings made on the second voyage by George Forster, and those of W. Ellis drawn on the last voyage. The manuscript descriptions made on the second voyage by John Reinhold Forster were retained by the author, who, however, published in the Mhn. Math. Phys., Paris, 1785, an article on the species of Albatros which was overlooked until brought to light by the researches of Mr. C. Davies

2

PROCELLARIIFORMES.

Sherborn, when engaged on his monumental work of reference, the Index Animalium^ in 1902.

The drawings and specimens in the collection of Sir Joseph Banks were made use of by Latham in his monograph, and the latter also attempted to identify these and the British and Leverian Museum birds, with those mentioned in the various books dealing with Cook’s voyages, but noted : As few of the voyagers have thought worth while to describe the birds to which they have given names, we cannot always be clear of the species meant ; are therefore not quite certain it was the one here described.”*

This unmerited reproach was removed in the case of John Reinhold Forster by the publication in 1844 of the beautiful detailed descriptions prepared by that writer at the time of capture of the birds, some seventy odd years previously. I have now the greatest pleasure in showing that Dr. Solander was equally faithful in carefully describing most systematically all the Petrels met with on Cook’s first voyage. The reason for the non-publication of the descriptions of Forster is known, differences having arisen between the British Government of that day and J. R. Forster regarding the status of the latter, details of which are given in the account of Cook’s voyages, by George Forster. Why the descrip- tions made by Solander were not published I do not know, and it would also seem that these were not seen by Latham, though the drawings and specimens in the collection of Sir Joseph Banks were otherwise made available to that ornithologist. Since that time the descriptions of Petrels made by Solander have never been studied carefully by any ornithologist, and when Salvin, in 1875, made an examination of the Banksian drawings (Rowley’s Ornith. Miscell., Vol. I., p. 223, 1875) he was unable to trace them, though they had apparently been referred to as recently as 1871 by Gray. Since that date they have been regarded as lost, until a few weeks ago, when endeavouring to trace a name attributed to the Solander MSS. in the British Museum, I was enabled to recognise that a batch of manuscript marked as Copies,” constituted the re-written and press-prepared matter of the original manuscript notes, which in other cases are still preserved in the British Museum. Along with these copies were lists which proved to be the original ones drawn up regarding the birds brought back from Cook’s last voyage.

These, in connection with the drawings and the Forster descriptions already known, have enabled me to trace almost all the birds described by Latham ; there were only two or three that had almost defied attempts to place them, and these, I think, can be accounted for. Now to review the work done. As before noted, Latham’s was practically the first monograph of this group. In the 10th edition of the Syst. Nat., 1758, Linne, there are only three species

* Latham, Qen. Synopsis Birds, Vol. III., Pt. i., p. 308, footnote, 1785.

3

THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA.

of Procellaria and two of Diomedea^ one of the latter being a Penguin! In the 1 2th edition, 1766, the number of species of Petrels was increased to six, one being still unrecognisable ; the other two both northern forms.

In the Syst. Nat., edited by Gmelin, 1788-1789, Latin names were given to the forms described by Latham in the General Synopsis as above noted, and there twenty-two Petrels were included, and of these fifteen were the results of Cook’s voyages.

In 1820, Kuhl, having access to the Banksian drawings, reviewed the group, and introduced into literature many of the names attached to the drawings by Solander, attributing them in some cases to Banks, and in others to Forster. It should be noted however that very many of the drawings made by Sidney Parkinson and George Forster are simply pencil sketches, with the soft parts coloured in or descriptions of these carefully written in, by the artist at the time, after which apparently the birds were handed to Dr. Solander or John Reinhold Forster, who made most minute descriptions of the specimens.

In 1844 were published the descriptions drawn up by John Reinhold Forster, but as almost all the birds noted by him had been previously described by Latham and named by Gmelin, most of Forster’s names sank into synonymy. But the details given by Forster are very useful, inasmuch as they enable us to fix definitely the type-localities of many of the Gmelinian species, when only such data as South Seas or “in the Antarctic Circle were formerly known.

The same year Gould reviewed the group and wrote : “I have endeavoured wherever possible to identify them with those described by Forster, Banks, etc., whose drawings and descriptions have been consulted for the purpose.”

Gray, in his List of Spechnens in the British Museum and also in the Genera of Birds^ noted in the synonymy several names accredited to Solander MSS. which had not previously been used in literature.

In 1852 Reichenbach in his Systema Avium introduced new generic names for many of the species, and reproduced figures of other authors as well as many original ones.

This practically includes all the work done up to the time of that great worker, Bonaparte, and his Conspectus Generum Avium.

As a preparation for this great work, the Consp. Gen. Av., Bonaparte 4- contributed a series of papers to the Comptes Rendus Sci. (Paris), 1855 and 1856,

and gave interesting points regarding this group which was at that time in manuscript. In order to make his work of permanent value, Bonaparte visited most of the museums of Europe, and apparently at the British Museum examined the Solander MSS. and the Banksian drawings. That he saw the Petrel MS. is certain from his quotations of names occurring therein, and which were not previously referred to by Gray. Moreover, he attaches these names

4

PROCELLARIIFORMES.

to species which roughly correspond somewhat to the descriptions given by Solander. Delay, owing to sickness, brought it about that the Consp. Gen. Av. (dated in MS. 1855) did not appear until 1857 (details substantiating this statement will be given later), and in that work Bonaparte included all the corrections brought about by fuller knowledge in the short space of eighteen months.

After his identification and long synonymy, a very brief diagnosis is given, and I have found it almost impossible to determine Bonaparte’s meaning. In many cases the synonymy is fairly accurate, but the description is not applicable to any of the synonyms given. I have therefore omitted most of Bonaparte’s references from my S3monymy, though they have usually been included under the species name he had used, but will note the discrepancies I detect when dealing with the individual species.

In 1856 Tschudi named some Petrels from observations of fiying birds, and the majority of these still remain indeterminable.

In the Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. for 1864-1866 appeared a series of articles entitled A Critical Review of the Family Procellariidoe, by Dr. Elliott Coues.” As a standard of excellence as regards ornithological work it will never be surpassed, and it has really been the basis upon which the succeeding pages have been founded. Had Dr. Coues only been able to include in his essays a personal criticism of the Banksian drawings and documents, little would have remained for later workers. His introduction contains the following sentences, which express my own desires more clearly than my own words might do : “I have attempted to elucidate the specific characters of the components of the groups as well as their most natural generic disposition, and to discuss fairly such questions of synonymy as may arise . . . Concerning the genera adopted, each one must judge of their agreement with nature, or the reverse, according to his own opinion upon the question of what constitutes a generic group.” To the above I would add sub where Coues wrote specific in the first sentence.

Concerning Coues’s monograph, little can be said, save that I can see no faults whatever in his treatment of this group. The corrections to be made upon his work after almost fifty years are only those due to lack of specimens and propagation of errors through inability to check other workers’ deterqiinations. At the conclusion of the series Coues gave a Bibliographical Appendix, wherein he noted the preceding monographs of this group, all the species named, and their modern equivalents. Regarding his determinations of the species of Gmelin, practically all are as now correctly accepted, and the few he was not certain of I hope to prove applicable to species he was autoptically unacquainted with. I think I can satisfactorily demonstrate the validity and necessity for

5

THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA.

recognition of the whole of the Gmelinian names. According to my investiga- tions, the brilliancy of the Couesian exposition will become more manifest as these Petrels are more carefully studied. In 1863 Schlegel had written upon the Pr ocellar iidce, but there is little of interest save the description of new species, the synonymy collated being now quite unacceptable.

In his Handlist, 1871, Gray added some more Solander MSS. names to the synonymy. It would appear therefore that this was known at that date, yet in 1875, when Salvin examined the Parkinson drawings, it was supposed to have been mislaid. From 1875 to 1896 the only worker on this group was Salvin, who monographed the Order in the Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum, and prepared the basis upon which the Monograph of the Petrels by Dr. Godman, I906-I9I0, was founded. This short review indicates the few workers upon this Order, and gives the state of the classification at the present time. As the Solander MSS. were not known to Salvin and Godman, no advance was possible with regard to the names in use ex that manuscript.

To deal now with the Solander MS. treating of Petrels: By permission of the trustees of the British Museum, I am enabled to give copies of the original descriptions prepared by Solander, and which supplement the Parkinson drawings. These beautiful detailed diagnoses clear up all the obscure points which inevitably surrounded attempts to determine the unfin- ished drawings. Some of the latter were easily recognisable from the data given therewith, and the manuscript simply serves to confirm the correctness of the current acceptance. In others, and some of them important cases, the manuscript clearly shows what has hitherto been impenetrable mystery.

A resume of the manuscript is interesting in connection with the drawings, which number sixteen, all credited to Sidney Parkinson. The first date on which a bird described from the Southern Ocean was procured is December 22nd, 1768, and the dates suggest that advantage was taken of calms to make collections of birds, and this is confirmed by reference to Cook’s Journal, where we find notes such as the following :

Feb. 1st, 1769 : The weather was such as to admit Mr. Banks to row round the Ship in a Lighterman’s Skifi shooting birds.”

Oct. 2nd, 1769 : A. M. had a Boat in the Water, and Mr. Banks shott an Albetross which measured 10 feet 8 inches from the tip of wing to other.” These dates agree with those given by Solander, and the bird mentioned in the second note is carefully described by him.

The succeeding list is extracted from the dates given with the descriptions, and shows the extent of the collection made, which is of extraordinary interest to Australian ornithologists, inasmuch as it contains the first records of

6

PROCELLARIIFORMES.

Petrels obtained in Australian waters, those waters which has not since been Oct., 1768 ..

Dec. 22, 1768

23, 1768

Eeb. 1, 1769

2, 1769

99

99

3, 1769

15, 1769

23, 1769

Mar. 3, 1769

99

21, 1769

Sept. 19, 1769

and moreover indicates a form inhabiting met with :

Procellaria crepidata oceanica

99

99

99

99

99

99

99

99

fregata sandaliata gigantea (^) cequorea

oceanica

Diomedea exulans antarctica Procellaria turtur lugens fregata var. fuliginosa gigantea («) ,, vagabunda

Diomedea exulans var.

profuga

profuga

Nectris fuliginosa Procellaria velox Nectris munda Procellaria fuliginosa ,, velox

veliflcans

agilis

velox

melanopus sordida lugens veliflcans

99

99

99

99

99

Diomedea exulans Procellaria melanopus velox sordida atrata passerina velox

vagabunda

99

99

99

99

7

THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA.

Oct. 2, 1769

7, 1769

Dec. 24, 1769 Jan. 6, 1770

7, 1770

Feb. 14, 1770

Apl. 11, 1770

June 6, 1770

Procellaria pallipes ,, longipes

velox

,, latirostris

Nectris fuUginosa Diomedea exulans var. 2 Procellaria velox Nectris carhonaria munda ,, fuUginosa Procellaria longipes velox

Diomedea exulans var. 2 Procellaria melanopus saltatrix

longipes

,, velox

Diomedea exulans var. 2 ,, impavida

Procellaria oceanica ,, velox

,, longipes

,, vagdbunda

melanopus

Nectris fuUginosa ,, nugax

I shall deal with each one of these in the succeeding pages, and I hope that my notes wUl show that Solander was a most accurate observer, and that with regard to Petrels he was certainly ahead of any other systematist of his time. Certainly, if his descriptions had been published, I do not think there would have been so much misunderstanding regarding the