Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 5 (1901).djvu/296

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THE ZOOLOGIST.
 

Pairing Manoeuvres of Pigeons, &c.—With reference to Mr. E. Selous's remarks on the covering of the male domestic Pigeon by the hen after normal pairing, I may mention that I have frequently seen this action myself, and believe it to be not unusual. The behaviour of birds after pairing has not yet received sufficient attention from observers. I have myself noticed that the male Zebra Finch (Tæniopygia castanotis), after pairing, vibrates his tail so quickly that it is almost invisible; and that both sexes of the Larger Tree-Duck of India (Dendrocycna fulva), as soon as the action is performed, "tread water," with one wing raised, in a very curious fashion. These manoeuvres are, I think, simply due to general excitement; but such performances are worth recording, as often, if occurring before pairing, they would be set down as gestures designed for sexual attraction.—Frank Finn (c/o Zoological Society, 3, Hanover Square, London. W.).

 

Little Bustard in Derbyshire.—On May 14th a Little Bustard (Otis tetrax) was shot by a farmer on Middleton Top, near Youlgreave, North Derbyshire. He saw that his victim was something uncommon, and took it to a local stuffer. The sex was not determined by dissection, but no doubt the bird is a female, as the plumage is devoid of all ornaments. This is only the second recorded appearance of the Little Bustard in Derbyshire, the first being in 1797. This specimen is now in my collection.—W. Storrs Fox (S. Anselm's, Bakewell).

 

Birds in Lisbon.—Our ship came into the Tagus on April I7th, and the following notes refer to the birds observed in Lisbon or the neighbourhood during the five days I spent there. After some Gannets at the mouth of the river, the first remarkable bird was a Kite, who, in company with Sea-Gulls, flew up and down the river opposite the town. I saw it again on a subsequent occasion flying backwards and forwards in easy graceful circles, often within a few yards of the quays, now and again swooping down upon some scrap of offal which the current brought past. From its forked tail and mottled rufous plumage, I was able clearly to identify it as Milvus ictinus, the same species who used to perform the office of scavenger in London in the Middle Ages. The Gulls were for the most part in immature plumage. The vast majority of the adult birds were Lesser Blackbacked Gulls. Next in numbers came Herring-Gulls, which, I think, were all of the yellow-legged species—the Larus cachinnans of Pallas. In Vigo Bay, on the Spanish coast north of Lisbon, I was able clearly to see the brilliant yellow legs and rather darker mantles of these birds. Whilst on the journey home, at Cherbourg, I could see with equal certainty the fleshcoloured legs of the ordinary British Herring-Gull. A few birds seemed to be Common Gulls, and a great number, with hoods in various stages of completeness, belonged to the black-headed family, which, from the deep