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the most barbarous Latin. Of the Phapidæ or Ground-pigeons we find only a single species in Dr. Jerdon's work—the Chalcophaps indica-hardly separable from its nearly allied forms of the great Eastern Islands and Australia.

The Gallinaceous order, which succeeds to the Pigeons, contains, as is well known, some of the largest and finest forms of the whole class of birds, and is that from which nearly all our domesticated fowls have been derived. In India we meet with the head-quarters of this group. We find the Jungle-fowls and Pea-fowls still inhabiting the woods, whence the parents of the present inhabitants of our poultry-yards were derived ages ago-besides numerous other game-birds of kindred nature well known to the sportsman of the East. Dr. Jerdon rightly begins his order Rasores with the Sandgrouse, Pteroclidæ, which, as betrayed by their ordinary name of Rock-pigeons, show in some points evident traces of an alliance with the Columbæ. Of this beautiful group, which is essentially African in its origin, not extending further eastward into Southern Asia than the plains of India, there are four Indian species. Next to the Sandgrouse, Dr. Jerdon places his family Phasianida, which, as here restricted, comprises the Pea-fowls, Pheasants, Jungle-fowls and Spurfowls, and forms a group particularly characteristic of the Indian region. Fourteen species of this family are contained in Dr. Jerdon's work, and amongst them, the splendid Monaul, or Impeyan Pheasant, the Tragopans, the Pukras, the Cheer, and the two Kaleezes, the magnificent game-birds of the favoured sportsmen of the Himalayas. The next family, the Tetraonidæ, likewise contains several species of not less interest to the large class of Indian sportsmen. At the head of Dr. Jerdon's list of this family stands the Jer-moonal or Great Snow-partridge, which inhabits the higher parts of the Himalayas, in the vicinity of perpetual snow. Those who penetrate into Ladak will, if fortunate, meet with a second species of this fine genus, the Tetraogallus Tibetanus of Gould, which, although mentioned by Dr. Jerdon, hardly comes within the scope of his work. Several genera of true partridges have representatives scattered over different parts of India, amongst which we may particularly note the Francolin, formerly abundant in Southern Europe, but now, as shown by Lord Lilford, * apparently extinct within the limits of our continent. Dr. Jerdon's account of this family as well as of the rest of the

* Ibis, 1862, p. 352.

Gallinaceous group is, we think, very satisfactory, and will, without doubt, be of the utmost interest to the numerous sportsmen of the East, who have been hitherto utterly without a guide to a knowledge of the numerous varieties of Indian game-birds. At the end of the Gallinaceous group, Dr. Jerdon rightly places the four Indian members of the aberrant family Turnicide, which, however, we believe, can hardly be associated with the American Tinamoos. The latter birds, as recently shown by Mr. Parker, offer a still more remarkable approximation to the Struthiones.

Dr. Jerdon rightly commences his account of the Grallatorial order, which we now enter upon, with the Bustards (Otis). Two fine species of these noble birds frequent the bare open plains of India, and two others, commonly known by the Anglo-Indian name of “Florikin," resort to the grassy tracks which intersperse the jungles of the peninsula. Our author then proceeds to discuss the numerous Indian species of Plovers, separating from them as distinct families, rather unnecessarily, we think, the Couriers (Cursorius) and the Pratincoles (Glareola). These three groups together embrace about twenty Indian species. Next to the Plovers, Dr. Jerdon arranges the cosmopolitan Turnstone (Strepsilas), the remarkable form Dromas, and the Oyster-catcher (Hæmatopus), each of which has a single Indian representative. Dromas, we, however, may remark will, we are of opinion, when everything is brought into its correct position, be removed into a different order of birds, and placed, as Blyth has already located it, next to the Terns (Sterna). The Cranes (Gruidæ), which now succeed, have four representatives in India. Amongst them is our European Grus cinerea, a visitant to India during the cold season, arriving in flocks and committing great havoc among the wheat and rice crops of Central India and Bengal. Certainly, no mistake could have been greater than to have associated these grain-feeding birds with the carnivorous Herons or Storks, and we are glad to see Dr. Jerdon fully alive to the errors of former naturalists upon this subject.

The Scolopacidæ, which are next treated of in Dr. Jerdon's work, are numerous in India as in other parts of the world. Some thirty species, amongst which we recognize almost all our well-known friends of the woods and marshes of Europe, occur within the limits to which our author confines his attention, and keen observation will doubtless increase the list of this wandering group of birds. The Stilt and the Avocet, which succeed, are regarded as belonging to a separate family, but the distinctions are in reality much too slight to be insisted upon. The next two birds treated of by Dr. Jerdon, on the other hand, are members of a very easily recognizable and independent type of the Grallatorial order, which has not yet been satisfactorily located by naturalists. There can be little doubt, indeed, that the association of the Jacanas (Parra) with the American form Palamedea is erroneous, and unless we adopt Mr. Parker's views of placing them near the Plovers, perhaps the safest plan is to leave them, where Dr. Jerdon arranges them, next to the Gallinules. Two species of Jacada are met with in India, and of the next succeeding family, the Rallidæ (embracing the Water-hens, Coots, and Rails), of very similar general habits, thirteen species. With them we conclude the list of those families of the Grallatorial Order that produce their young clothed and able to run immediately on their exclusion from the egg, according to the orthodox fashion of the great sub-class “ Præcoces.” The Storks, Herons, and Ibises, which Dr. Jerdon places at the end of the Grallatores, under the Bonapartean term “Cultrirostres," hatch their young helpless and dependent on their parents' care, like those of the sub-class “Altrices," although we think it still remains to be seen that the condition of the young in these two cases is exactly of the same character.

The Storks (Ciconidæ) have some six representatives in India, amongst which are to be counted two species of Adjutant (Leptophilos)-one of them we believe very well known to all dwellers in Indian cities, where it acts as a common scavenger. The Herons (Ardeide) are more numerous. Seventeen species of this group are treated of by Dr. Jerdon, amongst which are nearly all our European species-several of them very rare in the west—will be found to recur. Lastly the Tantalidæ, under which head our author unites the Ibises, Spoonbills, and the anomalous form Anastomus, number six species, and close the category of Indian Grallatores.

With the final order of Natatores or Swimmers, which Dr. Jerdon now enters upon, we shall not detain our readers long. In this branch of Ornithology we may remark the British Naturalist has a larger field of work than his Indian brother. Yarrell's Birds, gives upwards of 100 Swimming-birds as met with within the limits of the British Isles, while Dr. Jerdon's work only contains 65. About one half of these are common to the two Faunas. The Anatida, a very natural group, which Dr. Jerdon unnecessarily

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divides into four families, muster some 30 species, most of which also occur in Europe. Of the Grebes and Divers (Colymbidæ), which are mostly Arctic forms and numerous in more northern regions, two only have been hitherto recorded as Indian. Two species of Petrel have been observed in the Bay of Bengal, and are at present the only Indian representatives of the family Procellariidæ. The Gulls and Terns forming the family Laridæ are, however, more numerous. Dr. Jerdon includes 19 species in his list, not more than half of which are identical with European forms. Lastly, the Pelicanidæ, under which term we should include the five families of Mr. Blyth's tribe “ Piscatores," include 13 Indian species, amongst which are two species of Tropic-bird (Phaëthon) and a Darter (Plotus).

Thus we find that the Avifauna of India, as treated of by Dr. Jerdon—that is the peninsula and adjacent lands up to the sky-line of the Himalayas, excluding, however, Ceylon and the countries on the further side of the Bay of Bengal-contain, according to the present state of our knowledge, about 1008 species of birds. To show how the Ornithology of India contrasts with that of Europe, we add the corresponding numbers of each Order, as given in the lately-published list of the Birds of Europe by Professor Blasius.*


Accipitres . . . . 81
Clamatores . . . 129

Oscines . . . . 560

Columbæ . . . . 28
Gallinæ . . .
Grallæ . . . . . 108

Natatores . . . .


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1008 420 With this comparison we take leave of Dr. Jerdon's work, cordially recommending it again to the especial attention of those of our readers in India who have any taste for Natural History. To relieve the dull monotony of the up-country station, no pursuit can be imagined more attractive than the charming study of Ornithology. Aided by Dr. Jerdon's hand-book the student will experience little difficulty in making himself acquainted with what is already known concerning the ornithic life of India, and by assisting to fill

• A List of the Birds of Europe. By Professor J. H, Blasius. London, Trübnor & Co., 1862.


up the numerous gaps in this branch of knowledge may materially contribute to the promotion of science.

So much for the Birds of India. In our next number we hope to be able to find space to discuss Dr. Günther's volume on the Reptiles of the same country.



Assistant Surgeon, U.S. A. Washington, Smithsonian Institution,

June, 1864. A FEW years since Professor Baird, the well-known Naturalist who fills the office of Assistant Secretary in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, published the elaborate review of the Land-mammals of North America, which forms the eighth volume of the Pacific Railway Report.* From this review, which is very complete as regards the greater part of the Mammal-fauna, the Chiroptera were altogether omitted, as the materials then in hand did not appear to be sufficient for the working out of this difficult group. This deficiency in our knowledge of the Mammals of North America is now filled up by the memoir of which we give the title above. Dr. Allen, its author, is one of a number of young and rising naturalists who have grown up under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution-an Institution, we may remind our readers, dedicated entirely to the advancement of human knowledge, an object which has been worthily carried out by those to whom its direction has been entrusted. The materials employed by Dr. Allen have been principally the specimens in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, to which the care of the objects of Natural History, collected by the numerous exploring expeditions sent out by the U. S. Government (each of them invariably accompanied by a competent staff of professed naturalists) is entrusted. The collections of the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences and of the Museum of Comparative Geology of Cambridge have also

* Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Made under the direction of the Secretary at War in 1853-6. Vol. viii. Washington, 1857.

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