The Geographical Distribution of Animals/Chapter 18.2

Order II.—PICARIÆ.

Family 51.—PICIDÆ. (36 Genera, 320 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3. 4 1 — — —


The Woodpeckers are very widely distributed, being only absent from the Australian region beyond Celebes and Flores. They are most abundant in the Neotropical and Oriental regions, both of which possess a number of peculiar genera; while the other regions possess few or no peculiar forms, even the Ethiopian region having only three genera not found elsewhere. The soft-tailed Picumninæ inhabit the tropical regions only, Picumnus being Neotropical, Vivia and Sasia Oriental, and Verreauxia Ethiopian. Picoides, or Apternus, is an Arctic form peculiar to the Nearctic and Palæarctic regions. Celeus, Chrysoptilus, Chloronerpes, and some smaller genera, are Neotropical exclusively, and there are two peculiar forms in Cuba. Yungipicus, Chrysocolaptes, Hemicercus, Mulleripicus, Brachypternus, Tiga, and Micropternus, are the most important of the peculiar Oriental genera. Dendropicus and Geocolaptes are Ethiopian; but there are no woodpeckers in Madagascar. The Palæarctic woodpeckers belong to the genera Picus—which is widely distributed, Gecinus—which is an Oriental form, and Dryocopus—which is South American. Except Picoides, the Nearctic woodpeckers are mostly of Neotropical genera; but Sphyrapicus and Hylatomus are peculiar. The geological record is, as yet, almost silent as to this family; but remains doubtfully referred to it have been found in the Miocene of Europe and the Eocene of the United States. Yet the group is evidently one of very high antiquity, as is shown by its extreme isolation, its great specialization of structure, its abundant generic forms, and its wide distribution. It originated, probably, in Central Asia, and passed through, the Nearctic region to South America, in whose rich and varied forests it found the conditions for rapid development, and for the specialization of the many generic forms now found there.

A large number of genera have been established by various authors, but their limitations and affinities are not very well made out. Those which seem best established are the following:—

(2107—2112) Picumnus (22 sp.). Tropical South America to Honduras; (2113) Vivia (1 sp.), Himalayas to East Thibet; (2114) Sasia (2 sp.), Nepal to Java; (2115) Verreauxia (1 sp.), West Africa; Picoides (5 sp.), northern parts of Nearctic and Palæarctic regions, and Mountains of East Thibet; Picus (42 sp.), the whole Palæarctic, Oriental, Nearctic, and Neotropical regions; (2123) Hyopicus (2 sp.), Himalayas and North China; (2124) Yungipicus (16 sp.), Oriental region, and to Flores, Celebes, North China, and Japan; (2127—2129) Sphyrapicus (7 sp.), Nearctic region, Mexico, and Bolivia; (2130—2133 2139) Campephilus (14 sp.), Neotropical and Nearctic regions; Hylatomus (1 sp.), Nearctic region; (2137 2140) Dryocopus (5 sp.), Mexico to South Brazil, Central and Northern Europe; (2134) Reinwardtipicus (1 sp.), Penang to Borneo; (2135 2136) Venilia (2 sp.), Nepal to Borneo; Chrysocolaptes (8 sp.), India and Indo-Malaya; Dendropicus (16 sp.), Tropical and South Africa; Hemicercus (5 sp.), Malabar and Pegu to Malaya; Gecinus (18 sp.), Palæarctic and Oriental regions to Java; (2151—2156) Dendromus (15 sp.), West and South Africa, Zanzibar, and Abyssinia; (2157—2159) Mulleripicus (6 sp.), Malabar, Pegu, Indo-Malaya, and Celebes; Celeus (17 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico; Nesoceleus (sp. 8833) Cuba; (2162) Chrysoptilus (9 sp.), Chili and South Brazil to Mexico; Brachypternus (5 sp.), India, Ceylon, and China; (2165 2166) Tiga (5 sp.), all India to Malaya; (2167) Gecinulus (2 sp.), South-east Himalayas to Burmah; Centurus (13 sp.), Nearctic Region to Antilles and Venezuela; Chloronerpes (35 sp.), Tropical America, Hayti; (2171) Xiphidiopicus (1 sp.), Cuba; Melanerpes (11 sp.), Brazil to Canada, Porto Rico; Leuconerpes (1 sp.), Bolivia to North Brazil; Colaptes (9 sp.), La Plata and Bolivia to Arctic America, Greater Antilles; Hypoxanthus (1 sp.), Venezuela and Ecuador; (2187) Geocolaptes (1 sp.), South Africa; Miglyptes (3 sp.), Malaya; Micropternus (8 sp.), India and Ceylon to South China, Sumatra and Borneo.


Family 52.—YUNGIDÆ. (1 Genus, 5 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1 — 3 — 1 — — — — — — —


The Wrynecks (Yunx), which constitute this family, are small tree-creeping birds characteristic of the Palæarctic region, but extending into North and East Africa, over the greater part of the peninsula of India (but not to Ceylon), and just reaching the lower ranges of the Himalayas. There is also one species isolated in South Africa.


Family 53.—INDICATORIDÆ. (1 Genus, 12 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. — — — 3. 4 — — — —


The Honey-guides (Indicator) constitute a small family of doubtful affinities; perhaps most nearly allied to the woodpeckers and barbets. They catch bees and sometimes kill small birds; and some of the species are parasitical like the cuckoo. Their distribution is very interesting, as they are found in every part of the Ethiopian region, except Madagascar, and in the Oriental region only in Sikhim and Borneo, being absent from the peninsula of India which is nearest, both geographically and zoologically, to Africa.


Family 54.—MEGALÆMIDÆ. (13 Genera, 81 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3. 4 — — — —


The Megalæmidæ, or Barbets, consist of rather small, fruit-eating birds, of heavy ungraceful shape, but adorned with the most gaudy colours, especially about the head and neck. They form a very isolated family; their nearest allies being, perhaps, the still more isolated Toucans of South America. Barbets are found in all the tropics except Australia, but are especially characteristic of the great Equatorial forest-zone; all the most remarkable forms being confined to Equatorial America, West Africa, and the Indo-Malay Islands. They are most abundant in the Ethiopian and Oriental regions, and in the latter are universally distributed.

In the beautiful monograph of this family by the Messrs. Marshall, the barbets are divided into three sub-families, as follows:—

Pogonorhynchinæ (3 genera, 15 sp.), which are Ethiopian except the 2 species of Tetragonops, which are Neotropical; Megalæminæ (6 genera, 45 sp.), which are Oriental and Ethiopian; and Capitoninæ (4 genera, 18 sp.), common to the three regions.

The genera are each confined to a single region. Africa possesses the largest number of peculiar forms, while the Oriental region is richest in species.

This is probably a very ancient group, and its existing distribution may be due to its former range over the Miocene South Palæarctic land, which we know possessed Trogons, Parrots, Apes, and Tapirs, groups which are now equally abundant in Equatorial countries.

The following is a tabular view of the genera with their distribution:—


Genera Ethiopian Region. Oriental Region. Neotropical Region.
Pogonorhynchinæ.
Tricholæma 1 sp. W. Africa
Pogonorhynchus 12 " All Trop. & S. Af.
Tetragonops 2 " Peru & Costa Rica
Megalæminæ.
Megalæma 29 " The whole region
Xantholæma 4 " The whole region
Xylobucco 2 " W. Africa
Barbatula 9 " Trop. & S. Africa
Psilopogon 1 " Sumatra
Gymnobucco 2 " W. Africa
Capitoninæ.
Trachyphonus 5 " Trop. & S. Africa
Capito 10 " Equatorial Amer.
to Costa Rica
Calorhamphus 2 " Malay Pen.,
Sumatra, Borneo
Stactolæma 1 " W. Africa


Family 55.—RHAMPHASTIDÆ. (5 Genera, 51 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Toucans form one of the most remarkable and characteristic families of the Neotropical region, to which they are strictly confined. They differ from all other birds by their long feathered tongues, their huge yet elegant bills, and the peculiar texture and coloration of their plumage. Being fruit-eaters, and strictly adapted for an arboreal life, they are not found beyond the forest regions; but they nevertheless range from Mexico to Paraguay, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. One genus, Andigena, is confined to the forest slopes of the South American Andes. The genera are:—

Rhamphastos (12 sp.), Mexico to South Brazil; Pteroglossus (16 sp.), Nicaragua to South Brazil (Plate XV. Vol. II. p. 28); Selenidera (7 sp.), Veragua to Brazil, east of the Andes; Andigena (6 sp.), the Andes, from Columbia to Bolivia, and West Brazil; Aulacorhamphus (10 sp.), Mexico to Peru and Bolivia.


Family 56.—MUSOPHAGIDÆ. (2 Genera, 18 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 — — — — — — — — —


The Musophagidæ, or Plantain-eaters and Turacos, are handsome birds, somewhat intermediate between Toucans and Cuckoos. They are confined to the Ethiopian region and are most abundant in West Africa. The Plantain eaters (Musophaga, 2 sp.), are confined to West Africa; the Turacos (Turacus, 16 sp., including the sub-genera Corythaix and Schizorhis) range over all Africa from Abyssinia to the Cape (Plate V. Vol. I. p. 264).


Family 57.—COLIIDÆ. (1 Genus, 7 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 — — — — — — — — —


The Colies, consisting of the single genus Colius, are an anomalous group of small finch-like birds, occupying a position between the Picariæ and Passeres, but of very doubtful affinities. Their range is nearly identical with that of the Musophagidæ, but they are most abundant in South and East Africa.


Family 58.—CUCULIDÆ. (35 Genera, 180 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Cuculidæ, of which our well-known Cuckoo is one of the most widely distributed types, are essentially a tropical group of weak insectivorous birds, abounding in varied forms in all the warmer parts of the globe, but very scarce or only appearing as migrants in the temperate and colder zones. Many of the smaller Eastern species are adorned with the most intense golden or violet metallic lustre, while some of the larger forms have gaily-coloured bills or bare patches of bright red on the cheeks. Many of the cuckoos of the Eastern Hemisphere are parasitic, laying their eggs in other birds' nests; and they are also remarkable for the manner in which they resemble other birds, as hawks, pheasants, or drongo-shrikes. The distribution of the Cuckoo family is rather remarkable. They abound most in the Oriental region, which produces no less than 18 genera, of which 11 are peculiar; the Australian has 8, most of which are also Oriental, but 3 are peculiar, one of these being confined to Celebes and closely allied to an Oriental group; the Ethiopian region has only 7 genera, all of which are Oriental but three, 2 of these being peculiar to Madagascar, and the other common to Madagascar and Africa. America has 11 genera, all quite distinct from those of the Eastern Hemisphere, and only three enter the Nearctic region, one species extending to Canada.

Remembering our conclusions as to the early history of the several regions, these facts enable us to indicate, with considerable probability, the origin and mode of dispersal of the cuckoos. They were almost certainly developed in the Oriental and Palæarctic regions, but reached the Neotropical at a very early date, where they have since been completely isolated. Africa must have long remained without cuckoos, the earliest immigration being to Madagascar at the time of the approximation of that sub-region to Ceylon and Malaya. A later infusion of Oriental forms took place probably by way of Arabia and Persia, when those countries were more fertile and perhaps more extensive. Australia has also received its cuckoos at a somewhat late date, a few having reached the Austro-Malay Islands somewhat earlier.

The classification of the family is somewhat unsettled. For the American genera I follow Messrs. Sclater and Salvin; and, for those of the Old World, Mr. Sharpe's suggestive paper in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 1873, p. 600. The following is the distribution of the various genera:—

(2195) Phænicophaës (1 sp.), Ceylon; (2196) Rhamphococcyx (1 sp.), Celebes; (2196) Rhinococcyx (1 sp.), Java; (2196 pt. and 2203) Rhopodytes (6 sp.), Himalayas to Ceylon, Hainan, and Malaya; (2203 pt) Poliococcyx (1 sp.), Malacca, Sumatra, and Borneo; (2197) Dasylophus (1 sp.), Philippine Islands; (2198) Lepidogrammus (1 sp.), Philippine Islands; (2200) Zanclostomus (1 sp.), Malaya; (2201) Ceuthmochares (2 sp.), Tropical and South Africa and Madagascar; (2202) Taccocua (4 sp.), Himalayas to Ceylon and Malacca; (2204) Rhinortha (1 sp.), Malacca, Sumatra, Borneo; (2199) Carpococcyx (1 sp.), Borneo and Sumatra; (2220) Neomorphus (4 sp.), Brazil to Mexico; (2205 2206) Coua (10 sp.), Madagascar; (2207) Cochlothraustes (1 sp.), Madagascar; (2221) Centropus (35 sp.), Tropical and South Africa, the whole Oriental region, Austro-Malaya and Australia; (2213) Crotophaga (3 sp.), Brazil to Antilles and Pennsylvania; (2212) Guira (1 sp.), Brazil and Paraguay; (2209) Geococcyx (2 sp.), Guatemala to Texas and California; (2211) Dromococcyx (2 sp.), Brazil to Mexico; (2210) Diplopterus (1 sp.), Mexico to Ecuador and Brazil; (2208) Saurothera (4 sp.), Greater Antilles; (2219) Hyetornis (2 sp.), Jamaica and Hayti; (2215) Piaya (3 sp.), Mexico to West Ecuador and Brazil; (2218) Morococcyx (1 sp.), Costa Rica to Mexico; (2214) Coccygus (10 sp.), La Plata to Antilles, Mexico and Pennsylvania, Cocos Island; (2227) Cuculus (22 sp.), Palæarctic, Ethiopian, and Oriental regions, to Moluccas and Australia; (2229) Caliechthrus (1 sp.), Papuan Islands; (2230—2232) Cacomantis (15 sp.), Oriental and Australian regions to Fiji Islands and Tasmania; (2233—2237) Chrysococcyx (16 sp.), Tropical and South Africa, the Oriental and Australian regions to New Zealand and Fiji Islands; (2238) Surniculus (2 sp.), India, Ceylon, and Malaya; (2239) Hierococcyx (7 sp.), the Oriental region to Amoorland and Celebes; (2240 2241) Coccystes (6 sp.), Tropical and South Africa, the Oriental region, excluding Philippines; (2242) Eudynamis (8 sp.), the Oriental and Australian regions, excluding Sandwich Islands; (2243) Scythrops (1 sp.), East Australia to Moluccas and North Celebes.


Family 59.—LEPTOSOMIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 4 — — — — — — — —


The Leptosomus discolor, which constitutes this family, is a bird of very abnormal characters, having some affinities both with Cuckoos and Rollers. It is confined to Madagascar (Plate VI. Vol. I. p. 278).


Family 60.—BUCCONIDÆ. (5 Genera, 43 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Bucconidæ, or Puff-birds, are generally of small size and dull colours, with rather thick bodies and dense plumage. They form one of the characteristic Neotropical families, being most abundant in the great Equatorial forest plains, but extending as far north as Guatemala, though absent from the West Indian Islands.

The genera are:—Bucco (21 sp.), Guatemala to Paraguay, and West of the Andes in Ecuador; Malacoptila (10 sp.), Guatemala to Bolivia and Brazil; Nonnula (3 sp.), Amazon and Columbia; Monasa (7 sp.), Costa Rica to Brazil; Chelidoptera (2 sp.), Columbia and Guiana to Brazil.


Family 61.—GALBULIDÆ. (6 Genera, 19 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Galbulidæ, or Jacamars, are small slender birds, of generally metallic plumage; somewhat resembling in form the Bee-eaters of the Old World but less active. They have the same general distribution as the last family, but they do not occur west of the Equatorial Andes. The genera are:—

Galbula (9 sp.), Guatemala to Brazil and Bolivia; Urogalba (2 sp.), Guiana and the lower Amazon; Brachygalba (4 sp.), Venezuela to Brazil and Bolivia; Jacamaralcyon (1 sp.), Brazil; Jacamerops (2 sp.), Panama to the Amazon; Galbalcyrhynchus (1 sp.), Upper Amazon.


Family 62.—CORACIIDÆ. (3 Genera, 19 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Rollers are a family of insectivorous birds allied to the Bee-eaters, and are very characteristic of the Ethiopian and Oriental regions; but one species (Coracias garrula) spreads over the Palæarctic region as far north as Sweden and the Altai mountains, while the genus Eurystomus reaches the Amoor valley, Australia, and the Solomon Islands. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Coracias (8 sp.), the whole Ethiopian region, the Oriental region except Indo-Malaya, the Palæarctic to the above-named limits, and the island of Celebes on the confines of the Australian region; Eurystomus (8 sp.), West and East Africa and Madagascar, the whole Oriental region except the Peninsula of India, and the Australian as far as Australia and the Solomon Islands; Brachypteracias (possibly allied to Leptosomus?) (4 sp.), Madagascar only, but these abnormal birds form a distinct sub-family, and according to Mr. Sharpe, three genera, Brachypteracias, Atelornis, and Geobiastes.

A most remarkable feature in the distribution of this family is the occurrence of a true roller (Coracias temminckii) in the island of Celebes, entirely cut off from the rest of the genus, which does not occur again till we reach Siam and Burmah.

The curious Pseudochelidon from West Africa may perhaps belong to this family or to the Cypselidæ. (Ibis. 1861, p. 321.)


Family 63.—MEROPIDÆ. (5 Genera, 34 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — 1. 2 — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Meropidæ, or Bee-eaters, have nearly the same distribution as the Rollers, but they do not penetrate quite so far either into the Eastern Palæarctic or the Australian regions. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Merops (21 sp.), has the range of the family extending on the north to South Scandinavia, and east to Australia and New Guinea; Nyctiornis (3 sp.), the Oriental region, except Ceylon and Java; Meropogon (1 sp.), Celebes; Meropiscus (3 sp.), West Africa; Melittophagus (6 sp.), Ethiopian region, except Madagascar.


Family 64.—TODIDÆ. (1 Genus, 5 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — 4 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Todies are delicate, bright-coloured, insectivorous birds, of small size, and allied to the Motmots, although externally more resembling flycatchers. They are wholly confined to the greater Antilles, the islands of Cuba, Hayti, Jamaica, and Porto Rico having each a peculiar species of Todus, while another species, said to be from Jamaica, has been recently described (Plate XVI. Vol. II. p. 67).


Family 65.—MOMOTIDÆ. (6 Genera, 17 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Motmots range from Mexico to Paraguay and to the west coast of Ecuador, but seem to have their head-quarters in Central America, five of the genera and eleven species occurring from Panama northwards, two of the genera not occurring in South America. The genera are as follows:—

Momotus (10 sp.), Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia, one species extending to Tobago, and one to Western Ecuador; Urospatha (1 sp.), Costa Rica to the Amazon; Baryphthengus (1 sp.), Brazil and Paraguay; Hylomanes (2 sp.), Guatemala; Prionirhynchus (2 sp.), Guatemala to Upper Amazon; Eumomota (1 sp.), Honduras to Chiriqui.


Family 66.—TROGONIDÆ. (7 Genera, 44 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3. 4 — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3. 4 — — — —


The Trogons form a well-marked family of insectivorous forest-haunting birds, whose dense yet puffy plumage exhibits the most exquisite tints of pink, crimson, orange, brown, or metallic green, often relieved by delicate bands of pure white. In one Guatemalan species the tail coverts are enormously lengthened into waving plumes of rich metallic green, as graceful and marvellous as those of the Paradise-birds. Trogons are tolerably abundant in the Neotropical and Oriental regions, and are represented in Africa by a single species of a peculiar genus. The genera now generally admitted are the following:—

Trogon (24 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico, and west of the Andes in Ecuador; Temnotrogon (1 sp.), Hayti; Prionoteles (1 sp.), Cuba (Plate XVII. Vol. II. p. 67); Apaloderma (2 sp.), Tropical and South Africa; Harpactes (10 sp.), the Oriental region, excluding China; Pharomacrus (5 sp.), Amazonia to Guatemala; Euptilotis (1 sp.), Mexico.

Remains of Trogon have been found in the Miocene deposits of France; and we are thus able to understand the existing distribution of the family. At that exceptionally mild period in the northern hemisphere, these birds may have ranged over all Europe and North America; but, as the climate became more severe they gradually became restricted to the tropical regions, where alone a sufficiency of fruit and insect-food is found all the year round.


Family 67.—ALCEDINIDÆ. (19 Genera, 125 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Kingfishers are distributed universally, but very unequally, over the globe, and in this respect present some of the most curious anomalies to be found among birds. They have their metropolis in the eastern half of the Malay Archipelago (our first Australian sub-region), from Celebes to New Guinea, in which district no less than 13 out of the 19 genera occur, 8 of them being peculiar; and it is probable that in no other equally varied group of universal distribution, is so large a proportion of the generic forms confined to so limited a district. From this centre kingfishers decrease rapidly in every direction. In Australia itself there are only 4 genera with 13 species; the whole Oriental region has only 6 genera, 1 being peculiar; the Ethiopian also 6 genera, but 3 peculiar; and each of these have less than half the number of species possessed by the Australian region. The Palæarctic region possesses only 3 genera, all derived from the Oriental region; but the most extraordinary deficiency is shown by the usually rich Neotropical region, which possesses but a single genus, common to the larger part of the Eastern Hemisphere, and the same genus is alone found in the Nearctic region, the only difference being that the former possesses eight, while the latter has but a single species. These facts almost inevitably lead to the conclusion that America long existed without kingfishers; and that in comparatively recent times (perhaps during the Miocene or Pliocene period), a species of the Old World genus, Ceryle, found its way into North America, and spreading rapidly southward along the great river-valleys has become differentiated in South America into the few closely allied forms that alone inhabit that vast country—the richest in the world in fresh-water fish, and apparently the best fitted to sustain a varied and numerous body of kingfishers.

The names of the genera, with their distribution and the number of species in each, as given by Mr. Sharpe in his excellent monograph of the family, is as follows:—

Alcedo (9 sp.), Palæarctic, Ethiopian, and Oriental regions (but absent from Madagascar), and extending into the Austro-Malayan sub-region; Corythornis (3 sp.), the whole Ethiopian region; Alcyone (7 sp.), Australia and the Austro-Malayan sub-region, with one species in the Philippine Islands; Ceryle (13 sp.), absent only from Australia, the northern half of the Palæarctic region, and Madagascar; Pelargopsis (9 sp.), the whole Oriental region; and extending to Celebes and Timor in the Austro-Malayan sub-region; Ceyx (11 sp.), the Oriental region and Austro-Malayan sub-region, but absent from Celebes, and only one species in continental India and Ceylon; Ceycopsis (1 sp.), Celebes; Myioceyx (2 sp.), West Africa; Ispidina (4 sp.), Ethiopian region; Syma (2 sp.), Papua and North Australia; Halcyon (36 sp.), Australian, Oriental, and Ethiopian regions, and the southern part of the Palæarctic; Dacelo (6 sp.), Australia and New Guinea; Todirhamphus (3 sp.), Eastern Pacific Islands only; Monachalcyon (1 sp.), Celebes; Caridonax (1 sp.), Lombok and Flores; Carcineutes (2 sp.), Siam to Borneo and Java; Tanysiptera (14 sp.), Moluccas New Guinea, and North Australia (Plate X. Vol. I. p. 414); Cittura (2 sp.), Celebes group; Melidora (1 sp.), New Guinea.


Family 68.—BUCEROTIDÆ. (12 Genera, 50 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3. 4 1 — — —


The Hornbills form an isolated group of generally large-sized birds, whose huge bills form their most prominent feature. They are popularly associated with the American Toucans, but have no close relationship to them, and are now generally considered to show most resemblance, though still a very distant one, to the kingfishers. They are abundant in the Ethiopian and Oriental regions, and extend eastward to the Solomon Islands. Their classification is very unsettled, for though they have been divided into more than twenty genera they have not yet been carefully studied. The following grouping of the genera—referring to the numbers in the Hand List—must therefore be considered as only provisional:—

(1957 1958 1963) Buceros (6 sp.), all Indo-Malaya, Arakan, Nepal and the Neilgherries (Plate IX. Vol. I. p. 339); (1959—1961) Hydrocissa (7 sp.), India and Ceylon to Malaya and Celebes; (1962) Berenicornis (2 sp.), Sumatra and West Africa; (1964) Calao (3 sp.), Tennaserim, Malaya, Moluccas to the Solomon Islands; (1965) Aceros (1 sp.), South-east Himalayas; (1966 1967) Cranorrhinus (3 sp.), Malacca, Sumatra, Borneo, Philippines, Celebes; (1968) Penelopides (1 sp.), Celebes; (1969—1971) Tockus (15 sp.), Tropical and South Africa; (1972) Rhinoplax (1 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; (1973—1975) Bycanistes (6 sp.), West Africa with East and South Africa; (1976 1977) Meniceros (3 sp.), India and Ceylon to Tenasserim; (1978) Bucorvus (2 sp.), Tropical and South Africa.


Family 69.—UPUPIDÆ. (1 Genus, 6 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — 2 — 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3 — — — — —


The Hoopoes form a small and isolated group of semi-terrestrial insectivorous birds, whose nearest affinities are with the Hornbills. They are most characteristic of the Ethiopian region, but extend into the South of Europe and into all the continental divisions of the Oriental region, as well as to Ceylon, and northwards to Pekin and Mongolia.


Family 70.—IRRISORIDÆ. (1 Genus, 12 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 — — — — — — — — —


The Irrisors are birds of generally metallic plumage, which have often been placed with the Epunachidæ and near the Sun-birds, or Birds of Paradise, but which are undoubtedly allied to the Hoopoes. They are strictly confined to the continent of Africa, ranging from Abyssinia to the west coast, and southward to the Cape Colony. They have been divided into several sub-genera which it is not necessary here to notice (Plate IV. Vol. I. p. 261).


Family 71.—PODARGIDÆ. (3 Genera, 20 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Podargidæ, or Frog-mouths, are a family of rather large-sized nocturnal insectivorous birds, closely allied to the Goat-suckers, but distinguished by their generally thicker bills, and especially by hunting for their food on trees or on the ground, instead of seizing it on the wing. They abound most in the Australian region, but one genus extends over a large part of the Oriental region. The following are the genera with their distribution:—

Podargus (10 sp.), Australia, Tasmania, and the Papuan Islands (Plate XII. Vol. I. p. 441); Batrachostomus (6 sp.), the Oriental region (excluding Philippine Islands and China) and the northern Moluccas; Ægotheles (4 sp.), Australia, Tasmania, and Papuan Islands.


Family 72.—STEATORNITHIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


This family contains a single bird—the Guacharo—forming the genus Steatornis, first discovered by Humboldt in a cavern in Venezuela, and since found in deep ravines near Bogota, and also in Trinidad. Although apparently allied to the Goat-suckers it is a vegetable-feeder, and is altogether a very anomalous bird whose position in the system is still undetermined.


Family 73.—CAPRIMULGIDÆ. (17 Genera, 91 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Goat-suckers, or Night-jars, are crepuscular insectivorous birds, which take their prey on the wing, and are remarkable for their soft and beautifully mottled plumage, swift and silent flight, and strange cries often imitating the human voice. They are universally distributed, except that they do not reach New Zealand or the remoter Pacific Islands. The South American genus, Nyctibius, differs in structure and habits from the other goat-suckers and should perhaps form a distinct family. More than half the genera inhabit the Neotropical region. The genera are as follows:—

Nyctibius (6 sp.), Brazil to Guatemala, Jamaica; Caprimulgus (35 sp.), Palæarctic, Oriental, and Ethiopian regions, with the Austro-Malay Islands and North Australia; Hydropsalis (8 sp.), Tropical South America to La Plata; Antrostomus (10 sp.), La Plata and Bolivia to Canada, Cuba; Stenopsis (4 sp.), Martinique to Columbia, West Peru and Chili; Siphonorhis (1 sp.), Jamaica; Heleothreptus (1 sp.), Demerara; Nyctidromus (2 sp.), South Brazil to Central America; Scortornis (3 sp.), West and East Africa; Macrodipteryx (2 sp.), West and Central Africa; Cosmetornis (1 sp.), all Tropical Africa; Podager (1 sp.), Tropical South America to La Plata; Lurocalis (2 sp.), Brazil and Guiana; Chordeiles (8 sp.), Brazil and West Peru to Canada, Porto Rico, Jamaica; Nyctiprogne (1 sp.), Brazil and Amazonia; Eurostopodus (2 sp.), Australia and Papuan Islands; Lyncornis (4 sp.), Burmah, Philippines, Borneo, Celebes.


Family 74.—CYPSELIDÆ. (7 Genera, 53 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3 —


The Swifts can almost claim to be a cosmopolitan group, but for their absence from New Zealand. They are most abundant both in genera and species in the Neotropical and Oriental regions. The following is the distribution of the genera:—

Cypselus (1 sp.), absent only from the whole of North America and the Pacific; Panyptila (3 sp.), Guatemala and Guiana, and extending into North-west America; Collocalia (10 sp.), Madagascar, the whole Oriental region and eastward through New Guinea to the Marquesas Islands; Dendrochelidon (5 sp.), Oriental region and eastward to New Guinea; Chætura (15 sp.), Continental America (excluding South Temperate), West Africa and Madagascar, the Oriental region, North China and the Amoor, Celebes, Australia; Hemiprocne (3 sp.), Mexico to La Plata, Jamaica and Hayti; Cypseloides (2 sp.), Brazil and Peru; Nephæcetes (2 sp.), Cuba, Jamaica, North-west America.


Family 75.—TROCHILIDÆ. (118 Genera, 390 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The wonderfully varied and beautiful Humming-Birds are confined to the American continent, where they range from Sitka to Cape Horn, while the island of Juan Fernandez has two peculiar species. Only 6 species, belonging to 3 genera, are found in the Nearctic region, and most of these have extended their range from the south. They are excessively abundant in the forest-clad Andes from Mexico to Chili, some species extending up to the limits of perpetual snow; but they diminish in number and variety in the plains, however luxuriant the vegetation. In place of giving here the names and distribution of the numerous genera into which they are now divided (which will be found in the tables of the genera of the Neotropical region), it may be more useful to present a summary of their distribution in the sub-divisions of the American continent, as follows:—


Sub-region I.
(Patagonia
& S. Andes.)
Sub-region II.
(Tropical
S. Amer.)
Sub-region III.
(Tropical
N. Amer.)
Sub-region IV.
(Antilles.)
Nearctic
region.
(Temp. N. Amer.)
Genera in each Sub-region 10   90   41   8 3
Peculiar Genera   3   58   14   5 0
Species in each Sub-region 15 275 100 15 6


The island of Juan Fernandez has two species, and Masafuera, an island beyond it, one; the three forming a peculiar genus. The island of Tres Marias, about 60 miles from the west coast of Mexico, possesses a peculiar species of humming-bird, and the Bahamas two species; but none inhabit either the Falkland Islands or the Galapagos.

Like most groups which are very rich in species and in generic forms, the humming-birds are generally very local, small generic groups being confined to limited districts; while single mountains, valleys, or small islands, often possess species found nowhere else. It is now well ascertained that the Trochilidæ are really insectivorous birds, although they also feed largely, but probably never exclusively, on the nectar of flowers. Their nearest allies are undoubtedly the Swifts; but the wide gap that now separates them from these, as well as the wonderful variety of form and of development of plumage, that is found among them, alike point to their origin, at a very remote period, in the forests of the once insular Andes. There is perhaps no more striking contrast of the like nature, to be found, than that between the American kingfishers—confined to a few closely allied forms of one Old World genus—and the American humming-birds with more than a hundred diversified generic forms unlike everything else upon the globe; and we can hardly imagine any other cause for this difference, than a (comparatively) very recent introduction in the one case, and a very high antiquity in the other.


General Remarks on the Distribution of the Picariæ.

The very heterogeneous mass of birds forming the Order Picariæ, contains 25 families, 307 genera and 1,604 species. This gives about 64 species to each family, while in the Passeres the proportion is nearly double, or 111 species per family. There are, in fact, only two very large families in the Order, which happen to be the first and last in the series—Picidæ and Trochilidæ. Two others—Cuculidæ and Alcedinidæ—are rather large; while the rest are all small, seven of them consisting only of a single genus and from one to a dozen species. Only one of the families—Alcedinidæ—is absolutely cosmopolitan, but three others are nearly so, Caprimulgidæ and Cypselidæ being only absent from New Zealand, and Cuculidæ from the Canadian sub-region of North America. Eleven families inhabit the Old World only, while seven are confined to the New World, only one of these—Trochilidæ—being common to the Neotropical and Nearctic regions.

The Picariæ are highly characteristic of tropical faunas, for while no less than 15 out of the 25 families are exclusively tropical, none are confined to, or have their chief development in, the temperate regions. They are best represented in the Ethiopian region, which possesses 17 families, 4 of which are peculiar to it; while the Oriental region has only 14 families, none of which are peculiar. The Neotropical region has also 14 families, but 6 of them are peculiar. The Australian region has 8, the Palæarctic 9 and the Nearctic 6 families, but none of these are peculiar. We may see a reason for the great specialization of this tropical assemblage of birds in the Ethiopian and Neotropical regions, in the fact of the large extent of land on both sides of the Equator which these two regions alone possess, and their extreme isolation either by sea or deserts from other regions,—an isolation which we know was in both cases much greater in early Tertiary times. It is, perhaps, for a similar reason that we here find hardly any trace of the connection between Australia and South America which other groups exhibit; for that connection has most probably been effected by a former communication between the temperate southern extremities of those two continents. The most interesting and suggestive fact, is that presented by the distribution of the Megalæmidæ and Trogonidæ over the tropics of America, Africa, and Asia. In the absence of palæontological evidence as to the former history of the Megalæmidæ, we are unable to say positively, whether it owes its present distribution to a former closer union between these continents in intertropical latitudes, or to a much greater northern range of the group at the period when a luxuriant sub-tropical vegetation extended far toward the Arctic regions; but the discovery of Trogon in the Miocene deposits of the South of France renders it almost certain that the latter is the true explanation in the case of both these families.

The Neotropical region, owing to its enormous family of humming-birds, is by far the richest in Picariæ, possessing nearly half the total number of species, and a still larger proportion of genera. Three families, the Bucerotidæ, Meropidæ and Coraciidæ are equally characteristic of the Oriental and Ethiopian regions, a few outlying species only entering the Australian or the Palæarctic regions. One family (Todidæ) is confined to the West Indian Islands; and another (Leptosomidæ) consisting of but a single species, to Madagascar; parallel cases to the Drepanididæ among the Passeres, peculiar to the Sandwich Islands, and the Apterygidæ among the Struthiones, peculiar to New Zealand.


Order III.—PSITTACI.

The Parrots have been the subject of much difference of opinion among ornithologists, and no satisfactory arrangement of the order into families and genera has yet been reached. Professor Garrod has lately examined certain points in the anatomy of a large number of genera, and proposes to revolutionize the ordinary classifications. Until, however, a general examination of their whole anatomy, internal and external, has been made by some competent authority, it will be unsafe to adopt the new system, as we have as yet no guide to the comparative value of the characters made use of. I therefore keep as much as possible to the old groups, founded on external characters, only using the indications furnished by Professor Garrod's paper, to determine the position of doubtful genera.


Family 76.—CACATUIDÆ. (5 Genera, 35 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 4 1. 2 — —


The Cacatuidæ, Plyctolophidæ, or Camptolophidæ, as they have been variously termed, comprise all those crested parrots usually termed Cockatoos, together with one or two doubtful forms. They are very abundant in the Australian region, more especially in the Austro-Malayan portion of it, one species inhabiting the Philippine Islands; but they do not pass further east than the Solomon Islands and are not found in New Zealand. The distribution of the genera is as follow:—

Cacatua (18 sp.), ranges from the Philippine Islands, Celebes and Lombok, to the Solomon Islands and to Tasmania; Calopsitta (1 sp.), Australia; Calyptorhynchus (8 sp.), is confined to Australia and Tasmania; Microglossus (2 sp.), (perhaps a distinct family) to the Papuan district and North Australia; Licmetis (3 sp.), Australia, Solomon Islands, and (?) New Guinea; Nasiterna (3 sp.), a minute form, the smallest of the whole order, and perhaps not belonging to this family, is only known from the Papuan and Solomon Islands.


Family 77.—PLATYCERCIDÆ. (11 Genera, 57 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4


The Platycercidæ comprise a series of large-tailed Parrots, of weak structure and gorgeous colours, with a few ground-feeding genera of more sober protective tints; the whole family being confined to the Australian region. The genera are:—

(1996 1999 2000) Platycercus (14 sp.), Australia, Tasmania, and Norfolk Island; Psephotus (6 sp.), Australia; Polytelis (3 sp.), Australia; Nymphicus (1 sp.), Australia and New Caledonia; (2002 2003) Aprosmictus (6 sp.), Australia, Papua, Timor, and Moluccas; Pyrrhulopsis (3 sp.), Tonga and Fiji Islands; Cyanoramphus (14 sp.), New Zealand, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, and Society Islands; Melopsittacus (1 sp.), Australia; Euphema (7 sp.), Australia; Pezoporus (1 sp.), Australia and Tasmania; Geopsittacus (1 sp.), West Australia. The four last genera are ground-feeders, and are believed by Professor Garrod to be allied to the Owl-Parrot of New Zealand (Stringops).


Family 78.—PALÆORNITHIDÆ. (8 Genera, 65 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2 — 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


I class here a group of birds brought together, for the most part, by geographical distribution as well as by agreement in internal structure, but which is nevertheless of a very uncertain and provisional character.

Palæornis (18 sp.), the Oriental region, Mauritius, Rodriguez, and Seychelle Islands, and a species in Tropical Africa, apparently identical with the Indian P. torquatus, and therefore—considering the very ancient intercourse between the two countries, and the improbability of the species remaining unchanged if originating by natural causes—most likely the progeny of domestic birds introduced from India. Prioniturus (3 sp.), Celebes and the Philippine Islands; (2061) Geoffroyus (5 sp.), Bouru to Timor and the Solomon Islands; Tanygnathus (5 sp.), Philippines, Celebes, and Moluccas to New Guinea; Eclectus (8 sp.), Moluccas and Papuan Islands; Psittinus (1 sp.), Tenasserim to Sumatra and Borneo; Cyclopsitta (8 sp.), Papuan Islands, Philippines and North-east Australia; Loriculus (17 sp.), ranges over the whole Oriental region to Flores, the Moluccas, and the Papuan island of Mysol; but most of the species are concentrated in the district including the Philippines, Celebes, Gilolo, and Flores, there being 1 in India, 1 in South China, 1 in Ceylon, 1 in Java, 1 in Malacca, Sumatra, and Borneo, 3 in Celebes, 5 in the Philippines, and the rest in the Moluccas, Mysol, and Flores. This genus forms a transition to the next family.


Family 79.—TRICHOGLOSSIDÆ. (6 Genera, 57 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 —


The Trichoglossidæ, or Brush-tongued Paroquets, including the Lories, are exclusively confined to the Australian region, where they extend from Celebes to the Marquesas Islands, and south to Tasmania. The genus Nanodes (= Lathamus) has been shown by Professor Garrod to differ from Trichoglossus in the position of the carotid arteries. I therefore make it a distinct genus but do not consider that it should be placed in another family. The genera here admitted are as follows:—

Trichoglossus (29 sp.), ranges over the whole Austro-Malay and Australian sub-regions, and to the Society Islands; (2047) Nanodes (1 sp.), Australia and Tasmania; Charmosyna (1 sp.), New Guinea (Plate X. Vol. I. p. 414); Eos (9 sp.), Bouru and Sanguir Island north of Celebes, to the Solomon Islands, and in Puynipet Island to the north-east of New Ireland; (2039 2040) Lorius (13 sp.), Bouru and the Solomon Islands; (2041 2043) Coriphilus (4 sp.), Samoa, Tonga, Society and Marquesas Islands.


Family 80.—CONURIDÆ. (7 Genera, 79 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 — — 3 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Conuridæ, which consist of the Macaws and their allies, are wholly confined to America, ranging from the Straits of Magellan to South Carolina and Nebraska, with Cuba and Jamaica. Professor Garrod places Pyrrhura (which has generally been classed as a part of the genus Conurus) in a separate family, on account of the absence of the ambiens muscle of the knee, but as we are quite ignorant of the classificational value of this character, it is better for the present to keep both as distinct genera of the same family. The genera are:—

Ara (15 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico and Cuba; Rhynchopsitta (1 sp.), Mexico; Henicognathus (1 sp.), Chili; Conurus (30 sp.), the range of the family; Pyrrhura (16 sp.), Paraguay and Bolivia to Costa Pica; Bolborhynchus (7 sp.), La Plata, Bolivia and West Peru, with one species in Mexico and Guatemala; Brotogerys (9 sp.), Brazil to Mexico.


Family 81.—PSITTACIDÆ.—(12 Genera, 87 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3. 4 — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4 — — — — — — — —


The Psittacidæ comprise a somewhat heterogeneous assemblage of Parrots and Paroquets of the Neotropical and Ethiopian regions, which are combined here more for convenience than because they are believed to form a natural group. The genera Chrysotis and Pionus have no oil-gland, while Psittacula and Agapornis have lost the furcula, but neither of these characters are probably of more than generic value. The genera are:—

Psittacus (2 sp.), West Africa; Coracopsis (5 sp.), Madagascar, Comoro, and Seychelle Islands; Pæocephalus (9 sp.), all Tropical and South Africa; (2063—2066) Caica (9 sp.), Mexico to Amazonia; Chrysotis (32 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico and the West Indian Islands; Triclaria (1 sp.), Brazil; Deroptyus (1 sp.), Amazonia; Pionus (9 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico; Urochroma (7 sp.), Tropical South America; Psittacula (6 sp.), Brazil to Mexico; Poliopsitta (2 sp.), Madagascar and West Africa; Agapornis (4 sp.), Tropical and South Africa.


Family 82.—NESTORIDÆ. (? 2 Genera, 6 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 1 — — 4


The present family is formed to receive the genus Nestor (5 sp.), confined to New Zealand and Norfolk Island. Its affinities are doubtful, but it appears to have relations with the American Conuridæ and the Australian Trichoglossidæ. With it is placed the rare and remarkable Dasyptilus (1 sp.), of New Guinea, of which however very little is known.


Family 83.—STRINGOPIDÆ. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 4


This family contains only the curious owl-like nocturnal Parrot of New Zealand, Stringops habroptilus (Plate XIII. Vol. I. p. 455). An allied species is said to inhabit the Chatham Islands, if not now extinct.


General Remarks on the Distribution of the Psittaci.

Although the Parrots are now generally divided into several distinct families, yet they form so well marked and natural a group, and are so widely separated from all other birds, that we may best discuss their peculiarities of geographical distribution by treating them as a whole. By the preceding enumeration we find that there are about 386 species of known parrots, which are divided into 52 genera. They are pre-eminently a tropical group, for although a few species extend a considerable distance into the temperate zone, these are marked exceptions to the rule which limits the parrot tribe to the tropical and sub-tropical regions, roughly defined as extending about 30° on each side of the equator. In America a species of Conurus reaches the straits of Magellan on the south, while another inhabits the United States, and once extended to the great lakes, although now confined to the south-eastern districts. In Africa parrots do not reach the northern tropic, owing to the desert nature of the country; and in the south they barely reach the Orange River. In India they extend to about 35° N. in the western Himalayas; and in the Australian region, not only to New Zealand but to Macquarie Islands in 54° S., the farthest point from the equator reached by the group. But although found in all the tropical regions they are most unequally distributed. Africa is poorest, possessing only 6 genera and 25 species; the Oriental region is also very poor, having but 6 genera and 29 species; the Neotropical region is much richer, having 14 genera and 141 species; while the smallest in area and the least tropical in climate—the Australian region, possesses 31 genera and 176 species, and it also possesses exclusively 5 of the families, Trichoglossidæ, Platycercidæ, Cacatuidæ, Nestoridæ, and Stringopidæ. The portion of the earth's surface that contains the largest number of parrots in proportion to its area is, undoubtedly, the Austro-Malayan sub-region, including the islands from Celebes to the Solomon Islands. The area of these islands is probably not one-fifteenth of that of the four tropical regions, yet they contain from one-fifth to one-fourth of all the known parrots. In this area too are found many of the most remarkable forms,—all the crimson lories, the great black Cockatoos, the pigmy Nasiterna, the raquet-tailed Prioniturus, and the bareheaded Dasyptilus.

The almost universal distribution of Parrots wherever the climate is sufficiently mild or uniform to furnish them with a perennial supply of food, no less than their varied details of organization, combined with a great uniformity of general type,—tell us, in unmistakable language, of a very remote antiquity. The only early record of extinct parrots is, however, in the Miocene of France, where remains apparently allied to the West African Psittacus, have been found. But the origin of so widespread, isolated, and varied a group, must be far earlier than this, and not improbably dates back beyond the dawn of the Tertiary period. Some primeval forms may have entered the Australian region with the Marsupials, or not long after them; while perhaps at a somewhat later epoch they were introduced into South America. In these two regions they have greatly flourished, while in the two other tropical regions only a few types have been found, capable of maintaining themselves, among the higher forms of mammalia, and in competition with a more varied series of birds. This seems much more probable than the supposition that so highly organized a group should have originated in the Australian region, and subsequently become so widely spread over the globe.


Order IV.—COLUMBÆ.

Family 84.—COLUMBIDÆ. (44 Genera, 355 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Columbidæ, or Pigeons and Doves, are almost universally distributed, but very unequally in the different regions. Being best adapted to live in warm or temperate climates, they diminish rapidly northwards, reaching about 62° N. Latitude in North America, but considerably farther in Europe. Both the Nearctic and Palæarctic regions are very poor in genera and species of pigeons, those of the former region being mostly allied to Neotropical, and those of the latter to Oriental and Ethiopian types. The Ethiopian region is, however, itself very poor, and several of its peculiar forms are confined to the Madagascar sub-region. The Neotropical region is very rich in peculiar genera, though but moderately so in number of species. The Oriental region closely approaches it in both respects; but the Australian region is by far the richest, possessing nearly double the genera and species of any other region, and abounding in remarkable forms quite unlike those of any other part of the globe. The following table gives the number of genera and species in each region, and enables us readily to determine the comparative richness and isolation of each, as regards this extensive family:—


Regions. No. of Genera. Peculiar Genera. No. of Species.
Neotropical 13   9   75
Nearctic   5   1     7
Palæarctic   3   0     9
Ethiopian   6   1   37
Oriental 12   1   66
Australian 24 14 148


With the exception of Columba and Turtur, which have a wide range, Treron, common to the Oriental and Ethiopian regions, and Carpophaga, to the Oriental and Australian, most of the genera of pigeons are either restricted to or very characteristic of a single region.

The distribution of the genera here admitted is as follows:—

Treron (37 sp.), the whole Oriental region, and eastward to Celebes, Amboyna and Flores, also the whole Ethiopian region to Madagascar; Ptilopus (52 sp.), the Australian region (excluding New Zealand) and the Indo-Malay sub-region; Alectrœnas (4 sp.), Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands; Carpophaga (50 sp.), the whole Australian and Oriental regions, but much the most abundant in the former; (2274) Ianthœnas (11 sp.), Japan, Andaman, Nicobar, and Philippine Islands, Timor and Gilolo to Samoa Islands; (2278) Leucomelæna (1 sp.), Australia; Lopholaimus (1 sp.), Australia; (2279 and 2283) Alsæcomus (2 sp.), Himalayas to Ceylon and Tenasserim; Columba (46 sp.), generally distributed over all the regions except the Australian, one species however in the Fiji Islands; Ectopistes (1 sp.), east of North America with British Columbia; Zenaidura (2 sp.), Veragua to Canada and British Columbia; Œna (1 sp.), Tropical and South Africa; Geopelia (6 sp.), Philippine Islands and Java to Australia; Macropygia (14 sp.), Nepal, Hainan, Nicobar, Java, and Philippines to Australia and New Ireland; Turacœna (3 sp.), Celebes, Timor, and Solomon Islands; Reinwardtœnas (1 sp.), Celebes to New Guinea; Turtur (24 sp.), Palæarctic, Ethiopian and Oriental regions with Austro-Malaya; Chæmepelia (7 sp.), Brazil and Bolivia to Jamaica, California, and South-east United States; Columbula (2 sp.), Brazil and La Plata to Chili; Scardafella (2 sp.), Brazil and Guatemala; Zenaida (10 sp.), Chili and La Plata to Columbia and the Antilles, Fernando Noronha; Melopelia (2 sp.), Chili to Mexico and California; Peristera (4 sp.), Brazil to Mexico; Metriopelia (2 sp.), West America from Ecuador to Chili; Gymnopelia (1 sp.), West Peru and Bolivia; Leptoptila (11 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico and the Antilles; (2317 2318 and 2820) Geotrygon (14 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico and the Antilles; Aplopelia (5 sp.), Tropical and South Africa, St. Thomas and Princes Island; Chalcopelia (4 sp.), Tropical and South Africa; Starnœnas (1 sp.), Cuba; Ocyphaps (1 sp.), Australia (Plate XII. Vol. I. p. 441); Petrophassa (1 sp.), North-west Australia; Chalcophaps (8 sp.), the Oriental region to New Guinea and Australia; Trugon (1 sp.), New Guinea; Henicophaps (1 sp.), Waigiou and New Guinea; Phaps (3 sp.), Australia and Tasmania; Leucosarcia (1 sp.), East Australia; Phapitreron (2 sp.), Philippine Islands; Geophaps (2 sp.), North and East Australia; Lophophaps (3 sp.), Australia; Calœnas (1 sp.), scattered on the smaller islands from the Nicobars and Philippines to New Guinea; Otidiphaps (1 sp.), New Guinea; Phlogœnas (7 sp.), Philippine Islands and Celebes to the Marquesas Islands; Goura (2 sp.), New Guinea and the islands on the north-east (Plate X. Vol. I. p. 414).


Family 84a.—DIDUNCULIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 3 —


The Didunculus stigirostris, a hook-billed ground-pigeon, found only in the Samoa Islands, is so peculiar in its structure that it is considered to form a distinct family.


Family 85.—DIDIDÆ.—(2 Genera, 3 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 4 — — — — — — — —


The birds which constitute this family are now all extinct; but as numerous drawings are in existence, taken from living birds some of which were exhibited in Europe, and a stuffed specimen, fragments of which still remain, was in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford down to 1755, they must be classed among recent, as opposed to geologically extinct species. The Dodo (Didus ineptus) a large, unwieldy, flightless bird, inhabited Mauritius down to the latter part of the 17th century; and an allied form, the Solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria), was found only in the island of Rodriguez, where it survived about a century later. Old voyagers mention a Dodo also in Bourbon, and a rude figure of it exists; but no remains of this bird have been found. Almost complete skeletons of the Dodo and Solitaire have, however, been recovered from the swamps of Mauritius and the caves of Rodriguez, proving that they were both extremely modified forms of pigeon. These large birds were formerly very abundant, and being excellent eating and readily captured, the early voyagers to these islands used them largely for food. As they could be caught by man, and very easily by dogs, they were soon greatly diminished in numbers; and the introduction of swine, which ran wild in the forests and fed on the eggs and young birds, completed their extermination.

The existence in the Mascarene Islands of a group of such remarkable terrestrial birds, with aborted wings, is parallel to that of the Apteryx and Dinornis in New Zealand, the Cassowaries of Austro-Malaya, and the short-winged Rails of New Zealand, Tristan d'Acunha, and other oceanic islands; and the phenomenon is clearly dependent on the long-continued absence of enemies, which allowed of great increase of bulk and the total loss of the power of flight, without injury. In some few cases (the Ostrich for example) birds incapable of flight co-exist with large carnivorous mammalia; but these birds are large and powerful, as well as very swift, and are thus able to escape from some enemies and defend themselves against others. The entire absence of the smaller and more defenceless ground-birds from the adjacent island of Madagascar, is quite in accordance with this view, because that island has several small but destructive carnivorous animals.


General Remarks on the Distribution of the Columbæ.

The striking preponderance of Pigeons, both as to genera and species, in the Australian region, would seem to indicate that at some former period it possessed a more extensive land area in which this form of bird-life took its rise. But there are other considerations which throw doubt upon this view. The western half of the Malay Archipelago, belonging to the Oriental region, is also rich in pigeons, since it has 43 species belonging to 11 genera, rather more than are found in all the rest of the Oriental region. Again, we find that the Mascarene Islands and the Antilles both possess more pigeons than we should expect, in proportion to those of the regions to which they belong, and to their total amount of bird-life. This looks as if islands were more favourable to pigeon-development than continents; and if we group together the Pacific and the Malayan Islands, the Mascarene group and the Antilles, we find that they contain together about 170 species of pigeons belonging to 24 out of the 47 genera here adopted; while all the great continents united only produce about the same number of species belonging (if we omit those peculiar to Australia) to only 20 genera. The great development of the group in the Australian region may, therefore, be due to its consisting mainly of islands, and not to the order having originated there, and thus having had a longer period in which to develop. I have elsewhere suggested (Ibis 1865, p. 366) a physical cause for this peculiarity of distribution. Pigeons build rude, open nests, and their young remain helpless for a considerable period. They are thus exposed to the attacks of such arboreal quadrupeds or other animals as feed on eggs or young birds. Monkeys are very destructive in this respect; and it is a noteworthy fact that over the whole Australian region, the Mascarene Islands and the Antilles, monkeys are unknown. In the Indo-Malay sub-region, where monkeys are generally plentiful, the greatest variety of pigeons occurs in the Philippines, where there is but a single species in one island; and in Java, where monkeys are far less numerous than in Sumatra or Borneo. If we add to this consideration the fact, that mammalia and rapacious birds are, as a rule, far less abundant in islands than on continents; and that the extreme development of pigeon-life is reached in the Papuan group of islands, in which mammalia (except a few marsupials, bats, and pigs) are wholly absent, we see further reason to adopt this view. It is also to be noted that in America, comparatively few pigeons are found in the rich forests (comparable to those of the Australian insular region in which they abound), but are mostly confined to the open campos, the high Andes, and the western coast districts, from which the monkey-tribe are wholly absent.

This view is further supported by the great development of colour that is found in the pigeons of these insular regions, culminating in the golden-yellow fruit-dove of the Fiji Islands, the metallic green Nicobar-pigeon of Malaya, and the black and crimson Alectrœnas of Mauritius. Here also, alone, we meet with crested pigeons, rendering the possessors more conspicuous; such as the Lopholaimus of Australia and the crowned Goura of New Guinea; and here too are more peculiar forms of terrestrial pigeons than elsewhere, though none have completely lost the power of flight but the now extinct Dididæ.

The curious liking of pigeons for an insular habitat is well shown in the genera Ianthœnas and Calœnas. The former, containing 11 species, ranges over a hundred degrees of longitude, and forty-five of latitude, extending into three regions, yet nowhere inhabits a continent or even a large island. It is found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; in the Philippines, Gilolo, and the smaller Papuan Islands, and in Japan; yet not in any of the large Malay Islands or in Australia. The other genus, Calœnas, consists of but a single species, yet this ranges from the Nicobar Islands to New Guinea. It is not, however, as far as known, found on any of the large islands, but seems to prefer the smaller islands which surround them. We here have the general preference of pigeons for islands, further developed in these two genera into a preference for small islands; and it is probable that the same cause—the greater freedom from danger—has produced both phenomena.

Of the geological antiquity of the Columbæ we have no evidence; but their wide distribution, their varied forms, and their great isolation, all point to an origin, at least as far back as that we have assigned as probable in the case of the Parrots.


Order V.—GALLINÆ.


Family 86.—PTEROCLIDÆ. (2 Genera, 16 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — 2. 3. 4 1 — 3. 4 1 — — — — — — —


The Pteroclidæ, or Sand-grouse, are elegantly formed birds with pointed tails, and plumage of beautifully varied protective tints, characteristic of the Ethiopian region and Central Asia, though extending into Southern Europe and Hindostan. Being pre-eminently desert-birds, they avoid the forest-districts of all these countries, but abound in the most arid situations and on the most open and barren plains. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Pterocles (14 sp.), has the same range as the family; Syrrhaptes (2 sp.), normally inhabits Tartary, Thibet, and Mongolia to the country around Pekin, and occasionally visits Eastern Europe. But a few years back (1863) great numbers suddenly appeared in Europe and extended westward to the shores of the Atlantic, while some even reached Ireland and the Færoes. (Plate III. Vol. I. p. 226.)


Family 87.—TETRAONIDÆ. (29 Genera, 170 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — 4.


The Tetraonidæ, including the Grouse, Partridges, Quails, and allied forms, abound in all parts of the Eastern continents; they are less plentiful in North America and comparatively scarce in South America, more than half the Neotropical species being found north of Panama; and in the Australian region there are only a few of small size. The Ethiopian region probably contains most species; next comes the Oriental—India proper from the Himalayas to Ceylon having twenty; while the Australian region, with 15 species, is the poorest. These facts render it probable that the Tetraonidæ are essentially denizens of the great northern continents, and that their entrance into South America, Australia, and even South Africa, is, comparatively speaking, recent. They have developed into forms equally suited to the tropical plains and the arctic regions, some of them being among the few denizens of the extreme north, as well as of the highest alpine snows. The genera are somewhat unsettled, and there is even some uncertainty as to the limits between this family and the next; but the following are those now generally admitted:—

Ptilopachus (1 sp.), West Africa; Francolinus (34 sp.), all Africa, South Europe, India to Ceylon, and South China; Ortygornis (3 sp.), Himalayas to Ceylon, Sumatra, and Borneo; Peliperdix (1 sp.), West Africa; Perdix (3 sp.), the whole Continental Palæarctic region; Margaroperdix (1 sp.), Madagascar; Oreoperdix (1 sp.), Formosa; Arborophila (8 sp.), the Oriental Continent and the Philippines; Peloperdix (4 sp.), Tenasserim and Malaya; Coturnix (21 sp.), Temperate Palæarctic, Ethiopian and Oriental regions, and the Australian to New Zealand; Rollulus (2 sp.), Siam to Sumatra, Borneo, and Philippines; Caloperdix (1 sp.), Malacca and Sumatra; Odontophorus (17 sp.), Brazil and Peru to Mexico; Dendrortyx (3 sp.), Guatemala and Mexico; Cyrtonyx (3 sp.), Guatemala to New Mexico; Ortyx (8 sp.), Honduras and Cuba to Canada; Eupsychortyx (6 sp.), Brazil and Ecuador to Mexico; Callipepla (3 sp.), Mexico to California; Lophortyx (2 sp.), Arizona and California; Oreortyx (1 sp.), California and Oregon (Plate XVIII., Vol. II. p. 128); Lerwa (1 sp.), Snowy Himalayas and East Thibet; Caccabis (10 sp.), Palæarctic region to Abyssinia, Arabia and the Punjaub; Tetraogallus (4 sp.), Caucasus and Himalayas to Altai Mountains; Tetrao (7 sp.), northern parts of Palæarctic and Nearctic regions; Centrocercus (1 sp.), Rocky Mountains; Pediocætes (2 sp.), North and North-west America (Plate XVIII. Vol. II. p. 128); Cupidonia (1 sp.), East and North-Central United States and Canada; Bonasa (3 sp.), north of Nearctic and Palæarctic regions; Lagopus (6 sp.), Arctic Zone and northern parts of Nearctic and Palæarctic regions.


Family 88.—PHASIANIDÆ. (18 Genera, 75 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — 3 — — 2. 3 — — 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1 — — —


The Phasianidæ, including the Pea-fowl, Pheasants, and Jungle-fowl, the Turkeys, and the Guinea-fowl, are very widely distributed, but are far more abundant than elsewhere in the Eastern parts of Asia, both tropical and temperate. Leaving out the African guinea-fowls and the American turkeys, we have 13 genera and 63 species belonging to the Oriental and Palæarctic regions. These are grouped by Mr. Elliot (whose arrangement we mainly follow) in 5 sub-families, of which 3—Pavoninæ, Euplocaminæ, and Gallinæ—are chiefly Oriental, while the Lophophorinæ and Phasianinæ are mostly Palæarctic or from the highlands on the borders of the two regions. The genera adopted by Mr. Elliot in his Monograph are the following:—

Pavoninæ, 4 genera.—Pavo (2 sp.), Himalayas to Ceylon, Siam, to South-west China and Java; Argusianus (4 sp.), Siam, Malay Peninsula, and Borneo (Plate IX. Vol. I. p. 339); Polyplectron (5 sp.), Upper Assam to South-west China and Sumatra; Crossoptilon (4 sp.), Thibet and North China. (Plate III. Vol. I. p. 226.)

Lophophorinæ, 4 genera.—Lophophorus (3 sp.), High woody region of Himalayas from Cashmere to West China; Tetraophasis (1 sp.), East Thibet; Ceriornis (5 sp.), Highest woody Himalayas from Cashmere to Bhotan and Western China (Plate VII. Vol. I. p. 331); Pucrasia (3 sp.), Lower and High woody Himalayas from the Hindoo Koosh to North-west China.

Phasianinæ, 2 genera.—Phasianus (12 sp.), Western Asia to Japan and Formosa, south to near Canton and Yunan, and the Western Himalayas, north to the Altai Mountains; Thaumalea (3 sp.), North-western China and Mongolia. (Plate III. Vol. I. p. 226.)

Euplocaminæ, 2 genera.—Euplocamus (12 sp.), Cashmere, along Southern Himalayas to Siam, South China and Formosa, and to Sumatra and Borneo; Ithaginis (2 sp.), High Himalayas from Nepal to North-west China.

Gallinæ, 1 genus.—Gallus (4 sp.), Cashmere to Hainan, Ceylon, Borneo, Java, and eastwards to Celebes and Timor. (Central India, Ceylon, and East Java, have each a distinct species of Jungle-fowl.)

Meleagrinæ, 1 genus.—Meleagris (3 sp.), Eastern and Central United States and south to Mexico, Guatemala and Yucatan.

Agelastinæ, 2 genera.—Phasidus (1 sp.), West Africa; Agelastes (1 sp.), West Africa.

Numidinæ, 2 genera.—Acryllium (1 sp.), West Africa; Numida (9 sp.), Ethiopian region, east to Madagascar, south to Natal and Great Fish River.


Family 89.—TURNICIDÆ. (2 Genera, 24 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — 2 — 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Turnicidæ are small Quail-like birds, supposed to have remote affinities with the American Tinamous, and with sufficient distinctive peculiarities to constitute a separate family. They range over the Old World, from Spain all through Africa and Madagascar, and over the whole Oriental region to Formosa, and then north again to Pekin, as well as south-eastward to Australia and Tasmania. The genus Turnix (23 sp.), has the range of the family; Ortyxelos (1 sp.), inhabits Senegal; but the latter genus may not belong to this family.


Family 90.—MEGAPODIIDÆ. (4 Genera, 20 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 4 1. 2. 3 —


The Megapodiidæ, or Mound-makers and Brush-turkeys, are generally dull-coloured birds of remarkable habits and economy, which have no near allies, but are supposed to have a remote affinity with the South American Curassows. They are highly characteristic of the Australian region, extending into almost every part of it except New Zealand and the remotest Pacific islands, and only sending two species beyond its limits,—a Megapodius in the Philippine Islands and North-west Borneo, and another in the Nicobar Islands, separated by about 1,800 miles from its nearest ally in Lombok. The Philippine species offers little difficulty, for these birds are found on the smallest islands and sand-banks, and can evidently pass over a few miles of sea with ease; but the Nicobar bird is a very different case, because none of the numerous intervening islands offer a single example of the family. Instead of being a well-marked and clearly differentiated form, as we should expect to find it if its remote and isolated habitat were due to natural causes, it so nearly resembles some of the closely-allied species of the Moluccas and New Guinea, that, had it been found with them, it would hardly have been thought specifically extinct. I therefore believe that it is probably an introduction by the Malays, and that, owing to the absence of enemies and general suitability of conditions, it has thriven in the islands and has become slightly differentiated in colour from the parent stock. The following is the distribution of the genera at present known:—

Talegallus (2 sp.), New Guinea and East Australia; Megacephalon (1 sp.), East Celebes; Lipoa (1 sp.), South Australia; Megapodius (16 sp.), Philippine Islands and Celebes, to Timor, North Australia, New Caledonia, the Marian and Samoa Islands, and probably every intervening island,—also a species (doubtfully indigenous) in the Nicobar Islands.


Family 91.—CRACIDÆ, (12 Genera, 53 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — 2 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


(Messrs. Sclater and Salvin's arrangement is here followed).

The Cracidæ, or Curassows and Guans, comprise the largest and handsomest game-birds of the Neotropical region, where they take the place of the grouse and pheasants of the Old World. They are almost all forest-dwellers, and are a strictly Neotropical family, only one species just entering the Nearctic region as far as New Mexico. They extend southward to Paraguay and the extreme south of Brazil, but none are found in the Antilles, nor west of the Andes south of the bay of Guayaquil. The sub-families and genera are as follows:—

Cracinæ, 4 genera.—Crax (8 sp.), Mexico to Paraguay (Plate XV., Vol. II. p. 28); Nothocrax (1 sp.), Guiana, Upper Rio Negro, and Upper Amazon; Pauxi (1 sp.), Guiana to Venezuela; Mitua (2 sp.), Guiana and Upper Amazon.

Penelopinæ, 7 genera.—Stegnolæma (1 sp.), Columbia and Ecuador; Penelope (14 sp.), Mexico to Paraguay and to western slope of Ecuadorian Andes; Penelopina (1 sp.), Guatemala; Pipile (3 sp.), Venezuela to Eastern Brazil; Aburria (1 sp), Columbia; Chamæpetes (2 sp.), Costa Rica to Peru; Ortalida (18 sp.), New Mexico to Paraguay, also Tobago.

Oreophasinæ, 1 genus.—Oreophasis (1 sp.), Guatemala.

It thus appears that the Cracinæ are confined to South America east of the Andes, except one species in Central America; whereas nine Penelopinæ and Oreophasis are found north of Panama. The species of the larger genera are strictly representative, each having its own distinct geographical area, so that two species of the same genus are rarely or never found in the same locality.


Family 92.—TINAMIDÆ. (9 Genera, 39 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Tinamous are a very remarkable family of birds, with the general appearance of partridges or hemipodes, but with the tail either very small or entirely wanting. They differ greatly in their organization from any of the Old World Gallinæ, and approach, in some respects, the Struthiones or Ostrich tribe. They are very terrestrial in their habits, inhabiting the forests, open plains, and mountains of the Neotropical region, from Patagonia and Chili to Mexico; but, like the Cracidæ, they are absent from the Antilles. Their colouring is very sober and protective, as is the case with so many ground-birds, and they are seldom adorned with crests or other ornamental plumes, so prevalent in the order to which they belong. The sub-families and genera, according to the arrangement of Messrs. Sclater and Salvin, are as follows:—

Tinaminæ, 7 genera.—Tinamus (7 sp.), Mexico to Paraguay; Nothocercus (3 sp.), Costa Rica to Venezuela and Ecuador; Crypturus (16 sp.), Mexico to Paraguay and Bolivia; Rhynchotus (2 sp.), Bolivia and South Brazil to La Plata; Nothoprocta (4 sp.), Ecuador to Bolivia and Chili; Nothura (4 sp.), Brazil and Bolivia to Patagonia; Taoniscus (1 sp.), Brazil to Paraguay.

Tinamotinæ, 2 genera.— Calodromas (1 sp.), La Plata and Patagonia; Tinamotis (1 sp.), Andes of Peru and Bolivia.


General Remarks on the Distribution of Gallinæ.

There are about 400 known species of Gallinaceous birds grouped into 76 genera, of which no less than 65 are each restricted to a single region. The Tetraonidæ are the only cosmopolitan family, and even these do not extend into Temperate South America, and are very poorly represented in Australia. The Cracidæ and Tinamidæ are strictly Neotropical, the Megapodiidæ almost as strictly Australian. There remains the extensive family of the Phasianidæ, which offers some interesting facts. We have first the well-marked sub-families of the Numidinæ and Meleagrinæ, confined to the Ethiopian and Nearctic regions respectively, and we find the remaining five sub-families, comprising about 60 species, many of them the most magnificent of known birds, spread over the Oriental and the south-eastern portion of the Palæarctic regions. This restriction is remarkable, since there is no apparent cause in climate or vegetation why pheasants should not be found wild throughout southern Europe, as they were during late Tertiary and Post-Tertiary times. We have also to notice the remarkable absence of the Pheasant tribe from Hindostan and Ceylon, where the peacock and jungle-fowl are their sole representatives. These two forms also alone extend to Java, whereas in the adjacent islands of Borneo and Sumatra we have Argusianus, Polyplectron, and Euplocamus. The common jungle-fowl (the origin of our domestic poultry) is the only species which enters the Australian region as far as Celebes and Timor, and another species (Gallus æneus) as far as Flores, and it is not improbable that these may have been introduced by man and become wild.

We have very little knowledge of the extinct forms of Gallinæ, but what we have assures us of their high antiquity, since we find such distinct groups as the jungle-fowl, partridges, and Pterocles, represented in Europe in the Miocene period; while the Turkey, then as now, appears to have been a special American type.


Order VI.—OPISTHOCOMI.

Family 93.—OPISTHOCOMIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Hoazin (Opisthocomus cristatus) is the sole representative of this family and of the order Opisthocomi. It inhabits the eastern side of Equatorial America in Guiana and the Lower Amazon; and at Pará is called "Cigana" or gipsy. It is a large, brown, long-legged, weakly-formed and loosely-crested bird, having such anomalies of structure that it is impossible to class it along with any other family. It is one of those survivors, which tell us of extinct groups, of whose past existence we should otherwise, perhaps, remain for ever ignorant.


Order VII.—ACCIPITRES.

Family 94.—VULTURIDÆ. (10 Genera, 25 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3 — — — — —


Vultures range over all the great continents south of the Arctic Circle, being only absent from the Australian region, the Malay Islands, Ceylon, and Madagascar. The Old and New World forms are very distinct, belonging to two well-marked divisions, often ranked as families. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Sub-family I. Vulturinæ (6 genera, 16 species), confined to the Old World.—Vultur (1 sp.), Spain and North Africa through Nepal to China north of Ningpo; Gyps (5 sp.), Europe south of 59°, Africa, except the western sub-region, India, Siam, and Northern China; Pseudogyps (2 sp.), North-east Africa and Senegal, India and Burmah; Otogyps (2 sp.), South Europe, North-east and South Africa, India, and Siam; Lophogyps (1 sp.), North-east and South Africa and Senegal; Neophron (4 sp.), South Europe, India and the greater part of Africa.

Sub-family II. Sarcorhamphinæ (4 genera, 9 species), confined to the New World.—Sarcorhamphus (2 sp.), "The Condor," Andes of South America, and southern extremity below 41° south latitude; Cathartes (1 sp.), America from 20° south latitude to Trinidad and Mexico; Catharistes (1 sp.), America from 40° north to 40° south latitude, but not on Pacific coast of United States; Pseudogryphis (5 sp.), South America and Falkland Islands, and to 49° north latitude in North America, also Cuba and Jamaica.


Family 95.—SERPENTARIIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3 — — — — — — — — —


The singular Secretary Bird (Serpentarius) is found over a large part of Africa. Its position is uncertain, as it has affinities both with the Accipitres, through Polyboroides (?) and with Cariama, which we place near the Bustards. (Plate IV. Vol. I. p. 261.)


Family 96.—FALCONIDÆ. (69 Genera, 325 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Falconidæ, including the various groups of Hawks, Kites, Buzzards, Eagles, and Falcons, are absolutely cosmopolitan, ranging far into the arctic zone and visiting the most remote oceanic islands. They are abundant in all the great continents and larger islands, preferring open to woody regions. They are divided into several sub-families, the range of some of which are restricted. For this family as well as the preceding I follow the arrangement of Mr. Sharpe's British Museum Catalogue, and shall give the approximate distribution of each sub-family, as well as of the several genera.

Sub-family I. Polyborinæ (2 genera, 10 species), the Neotropical region with California and Florida, Tropical and South Africa.—Polyborus (2 sp.), South America, and to California and Florida; Ibycter (8 sp.), Tierra del Fuego to Honduras and Guatemala.

Cariama and Serpentarius, which Mr. Sharpe puts here, are so anomalous that I think it better to class them in separate families—Serpentariidæ among the Accipitres, and Cariamidæ near the Bustards.

Sub-family II. Accipitrinæ (10 genera, 87 species).—Cosmopolitan.—Polyboroides (2 sp.), Africa and Madagascar; Circus (15 sp.), Old and New Worlds, widely scattered, but absent from Eastern Equatorial America, and the Malay Archipelago except Celebes; Micrastur (7 sp.), and Geranospiza (2 sp.), Tropical parts of Neotropical region; Urotriorchis (1 sp.), West Africa; Erythrocnema (1 sp.), Chili and La Plata to California and Texas; Melierax (5 sp.), Africa except West African sub-region; Astur (30 sp.), cosmopolitan, except the Temperate South American sub-region; Nisoides (1 sp.), Madagascar; Eutriorchis (1 sp.), Madagascar; Accipiter (23 sp.), cosmopolitan, except Eastern Oceania.

Sub-family III. Buteoninæ (13 genera, 51 sp.), cosmopolitan, except the Malay and Pacific Islands.—Urospizias (1 sp.), East and Central Australia; Heterospizias (1 sp.), Tropical South America east of the Andes; Tachytriorchis (2 sp.), Paraguay to California; Buteo (18 sp.), cosmopolitan, except the Australian region and the Indo-Malayan sub-region; Archibuteo (4 sp.), North America to Mexico and the cooler parts of the Palæarctic region; Buteola (1 sp.), Veragua to the Amazon Valley; Asturina (7 sp.), Paraguay and Bolivia to South-east United States; Busarellus (1 sp.), Brazil to Guiana; Buteogallus (1 sp.), Guiana and Columbia; Urubutinga (12 sp.), South Brazil and Bolivia to Mexico; Harpyhaliæetus (1 sp.), Chili and North Patagonia to Veragua; Morphnus (1 sp.), Amazonia to Panama; Thrasaëtus (1 sp.), Paraguay and Bolivia to Mexico.

Sub-family IV. Aquilinæ (31 genera, 94 species), cosmopolitan.—Gypaëtus (2 sp.), south of Palæarctic region from Spain to North China, Abyssinia, and South Africa; Uroaëtus (1 sp.), Australia and Tasmania; Aquila (9 sp.), Nearctic, Palæarctic, and Ethiopian regions and India; Nisaëtus (4 sp.), Africa and South Europe, India, Ceylon, and Australia; Lophotriorchis (2 sp.), Indo-Malay sub-region, and Bogotá in South America; Neopus (1 sp.), India and Ceylon to Burmah, Java, Celebes and Ternate; Spiziastur (1 sp.), Guatemala to Brazil; Spizaëtus (10 sp.), Central and South America, Africa, India, and Ceylon, to Celebes and New Guinea, Formosa, and Japan; Lophoaëtus (1 sp.), all Africa; Asturinula (1 sp.), Africa, except extreme south; Herpetotheres (1 sp.), Bolivia and Paraguay to Southern Mexico; Dryotriorchis (1 sp.), West Africa; Circaëtus (5 sp.) Africa to Central Europe, the Indian Peninsula, Timor; Spilornis (6 sp.), Oriental region and Celebes; Butastur (4 sp.), Oriental region to New Guinea and North-east Africa; Helotarsus (2 sp.), Africa south of the Sahara; Haliæetus (7 sp.), cosmopolitan, except the Neotropical region; Gypohierax (1 sp.), West Africa and Zanzibar; Haliastur (2 sp.), Indian Peninsula to Ceylon, New Caledonia, and Australia; Nauclerus (= Elanoides) (1 sp.), Brazil to Southern United States; Elanoides (= Nauclerus) (1 sp.), Western and North-eastern Africa; Milvus (6 sp.), the Old World and Australia; Lophoictinia (1 sp.), Australia; Rostrhamus (3 sp.), Antilles and Florida to Brazil and Peru; Leptodon (4 sp.), Central America to South Brazil and Bolivia; Gypoictinia (1 sp.), South and West Australia; Elanus (5 sp.), Africa, India, and Malay Archipelago to Australia, South America to California; Gampsonyx (1 sp.), Trinidad to Brazil; Henicopernis (1 sp.), Papuan Islands; Machærhamphus (2 sp.), South-west Africa, Madagascar, and Malacca; Pernis (3 sp.), Palæarctic, Oriental, and Ethiopian regions.

Sub-family V. Falconinæ (11 genera, 80 species), cosmopolitan.—Baza (10 sp.), India and Ceylon to the Moluccas and North Australia, West Coast of Africa, Natal, and Madagascar; Harpagus (3 sp.), Central America to Brazil and Peru; Ictinia (2 sp.), Brazil to Southern United States; Hierax (= Microhierax, Sharpe), (4 sp.), Eastern Himalayas to Borneo and Philippines; Poliohierax (2 sp.), East Africa and Burmah; Spiziapteryx (1 sp.), La Plata; Harpa (1 sp.), New Zealand and the Auckland Islands; Falco (27 sp.), cosmopolitan, except the Pacific Islands; Hierofalco (6 sp.), Nearctic and Palæarctic regions; Hieracidea (2 sp.), Australia; Cerchneis (22 sp.), cosmopolitan, except Oceania.


Family 97.—PANDIONIDÆ. (2 Genera, 3 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Pandionidæ, or Fishing Hawks, are universally distributed, with the exception of the Southern Temperate parts of South America. The genera are:—

Pandion (1 sp.), the range of the entire family; Polioaëtus (2 sp.), India through Malay Archipelago to Celebes and Sandwich Islands.


Family 98.—STRIGIDÆ. (23 Genera, 180 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Strigidæ, or Owls, form an extensive and well-known family of nocturnal birds, which, although invariably placed next the Hawks, are now believed to be not very closely allied to the other Accipitres. They range over the whole globe, extending to the extreme polar regions and to the remotest oceanic islands. Their classification is very unsettled, and we therefore place the genera, for convenience, in the order in which they follow each other in the Hand List of Birds. Those adopted by most ornithologists are the following:—

Surnia (1 sp.), the Arctic regions of both hemispheres; Nyctea (1 sp.), South Carolina to Greenland and Northern Europe; Athene (40 sp.), the Eastern hemisphere to New Zealand and the Solomon Islands; Ninox (7 sp.), the Oriental region, North China and Japan; Glaucidium (7 sp.), Neotropical region, California, and Oregon, Europe to North China; Micrathene (1 sp.), Mexico and Arizona; Pholeoptynx (2 sp.), Neotropical region, Texas, and North-west America; Bubo (16 sp.), universally distributed, excluding the Australian region; Ketupa (3 sp.), the Oriental region, Palestine; Scotopelia (2 sp.), West and South Africa; Scops (30 sp.), universally distributed, excluding Australia and Pacific Islands; Gymnoglaux (2 sp.), Antilles; Lophostrix (2 sp.), Lower Amazon to Guatemala; Syrnium (22 sp.), all regions but the Australian; Ciccaba (10 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico; Nyctalatinus (1 sp.), Columbia; Pulsatrix (2 sp.), Brazil and Peru to Guatemala; Asio (6 sp.), all regions but the Australian, Sandwich Islands; Nyctalops (1 sp.), Cuba and Mexico to Brazil and Monte Video; Pseudoscops (1 sp.), Jamaica; Nyctala (4 sp.), the North Temperate zone; Strix (18 sp.), universally distributed; Phodilus (1 sp.), Himalayas and Malaya.

In Mr. Sharpe's Catalogue (published while this work was passing through the press) the genera of Owls are reduced to 19, arranged in two families—Strigidæ, containing our last two genera, and Bubonidæ, comprising the remainder. The species are increased to 190; but some genera are reduced, as Strix, which is said to contain only 5 species.


General Remarks on the Distribution of the Accipitres.

The Birds of Prey are so widely distributed over the world's surface that their general distribution calls for few remarks. Of the four families all but one are cosmopolites, Vultures alone being absent from the Australian region, as well as from Indo-Malaya and Madagascar. If we take the sub-families, we find that each region has several which are confined to it. The only parts of the world where there is a marked deficiency of Accipitres is in the islands of the Pacific; and it may be noted, as a rule, that these birds are more abundant in continents than in islands. There is not so much difference between the number of Birds of Prey in tropical and temperate regions, as is found in most other groups of land-birds. North America and Europe have about 60 species each, while India has about 80, and South America about 120. The total number of Accipitres is 550 comprised in 104 genera, and 4 (or perhaps more properly 5) families. In this estimate I have not included the Serpentariidæ, containing the Secretary Bird of Africa, as there is some doubt whether it really belongs to the Order.


Order VIII.—GRALLÆ.

Family 99.—RALLIDÆ. (18 Genera, 153 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Rails are among the most widely distributed families of birds, many of the genera being cosmopolitan, and several of the species ranging over half the globe. They are found in many remote islands; and in some of these—as the Gallinula of Tristan d'Acunha, and the Notornis of Lord Howe's Island and New Zealand,—they have lost the power of flight. The classification of the Rallidæ is not satisfactory, and the following enumeration of the genera must only be taken as affording a provisional sketch of the distribution of the group:—

Rallus (18 sp.), Porzana (24 sp.), Gallinula (17 sp.), and Fulica (10 sp.), have a world-wide range; Ortygometra (1 sp.), ranges over the whole North Temperate zone; Porphyrio (14 sp.), is more especially Oriental and Australian, but occurs also in South America, in Africa, and in South Europe; Eulabeornis (15 sp.), is Ethiopian, Malayan, and Australian; Himantornis (1 sp.), is West African only; Aramides (24 sp.), is North and South American; Rallina (16 sp.), is Oriental, but ranges eastward to Papua; Habroptila (1 sp.), is confined to the Moluccas; Pareudiastes (1 sp.), the Samoa Islands; Tribonyx (4 sp.), is Australian, and has recently been found also in New Zealand; Ocydromus (4 sp.); Notornis (2 sp.), (Plate XIII. Vol. I. p. 455); and Cabalus (1 sp.), are peculiar to the New Zealand group.

The sub-family, Heliornithinæ (sometimes classed as a distinct family) consists of 2 genera, Heliornis (1 sp.), confined to the Neotropical region; and Podica (4 sp.), the Ethiopian region excluding Madagascar, and with a species (perhaps forming another genus) in Borneo.

Extinct Rallidæ.—Remains of some species of this family have been found in the Mascarene Islands, and historical evidence shows that they have perhaps been extinct little more than a century. They belong to the genus Fulica, and to two extinct genera, Aphanapteryx and Erythromachus. The Aphanapteryx was a large bird of a reddish colour, with loose plumage, and perhaps allied to Ocydromus. Erythromachus was much smaller, of a grey-and-white colour, and is said to have lived chiefly on the eggs of the land-tortoises. (See Ibis, 1869, p. 256; and Proc. Zool. Soc., 1875, p. 40.)


Family 100.—SCOLOPACIDÆ. (21 Genera, 121 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The Scolopacidæ, comprehending the Snipes, Sandpipers, Curlews, and allied genera, are perhaps as truly cosmopolitan as any family of birds, ranging to the extreme north and visiting the remotest islands. The genera of universal distribution are the following:—

Numenius (16 sp.); Limosa (6 sp.); Totanus (12 sp.); Tringoides, (6 sp.); Himantopus (6 sp.); Tringa (20 sp.); and Gallinago (24 sp.). Those which have a more or less restricted distribution are:—

Ibidorhyncha (1 sp.), Central Asia and the Himalayas (Plate VII. Vol. I. p. 331); Helodromas (1 sp.), Palæarctic region and North India; Terekia (1 sp.), East Palæarctic, wandering to India and Australia; Recurvirostra (6 sp.), Nearctic region to the High Andes, South Palæarctic, East and South Africa, Hindostan and Australia; Micropalama (1 sp.), North America to Chili; Machetes (1 sp.), Palæarctic region and Hindostan (Plate I. Vol. I. p. 195); Ereunetes (3 sp.), Nearctic and Neotropical; Eurinorhynchus (1 sp.), North-east Asia and Bengal; Calidris (1 sp.), all regions but Australian; Macrorhamphus (3 sp.), Palæarctic and Nearctic, visits Brazil and India; Scolopax (4 sp.), the whole Palæarctic region, to India, Java, and Australia; Philohela (1 sp.), East Nearctic; Rhynchæa (4 sp.), Ethiopian and Oriental, Australia, and Temperate South America; Phalaropus (3 sp.), North Temperate zone, and West Coast of America to Chili.


Family 101.—CHIONIDIDÆ. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Sheath-bills, Chionis (2 sp.), are curious white birds, whose thick bill has a horny sheath at the base. Their nearest ally is Hæmatopus, a genus of Charadriidæ. These birds are confined to the Antarctic Islands, especially the Falkland Islands, the Crozets and Kerguelen's Land.


Family 102.—THINOCORIDÆ. (2 Genera, 6 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Thinocoridæ, or Quail-snipes, are small birds, confined to Temperate South America. They have much the appearance of Quails but are more nearly allied to Plovers. The two genera are:—

Attagis (4 sp.), Falkland Islands, Straits of Magellan, Chili, Bolivia, and the High Andes of Peru and Ecuador; Thinocorus (2 sp.), La Plata, Chili, and Peru. (Plate XVI. Vol. II. p. 40.)


Family 103.—PARRIDÆ. (2 Genera, 11 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Parridæ, or Jacanas, are remarkable long-toed birds, often of elegant plumage, frequenting swamps and marshes, and walking on the floating leaves of aquatic plants. They are found in all the tropics. Parra (10 sp.), has the distribution of the family; Hydrophasianus (1 sp.), is confined to the Oriental region.


Family 104.—GLAREOLIDÆ. (3 Genera, 20 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


This family, comprising the Pratincoles and Coursers, is universally distributed over the Old World and to Australia.

Glareola (9 sp.), has the distribution of the family; Pluvianus (1 sp.), is confined to North Africa; Cursorius (10 sp.), ranges over Africa, South Europe and India.

The position of the genus Glareola is uncertain, for though generally classed here, Prof. Lilljeborg considers it to be an aberrant form of the Caprimulgidæ! It differs, in its insectivorous habits and in many points of external structure, from all its allies, and should probably form a distinct family.


Family 105.—CHARADRIIDÆ. (19 Genera, 101 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The extensive family of the Plovers and their numerous allies, ranges over the whole globe. The genera now usually admitted into this family are the following:—

Œdicnemus (9 sp.), is only absent from North America; Æsacus (2 sp.), India to Ceylon, Malay Islands and Australia; Vanellus (3 sp.), Palæarctic and Neotropical regions; Chætusia (15 sp.), the whole Eastern Hemisphere; Erythrogonys (1 sp.), Australia; Hoplopterus (10 sp.), widely scattered, but absent from North America; Squatarola (1 sp), all the regions; Charadrius (14 sp.), cosmopolitan; Eudromias (5 sp.), Eastern Hemisphere and South Temperate America; Ægialitis (22 sp.), cosmopolitan; Oreophilus (1 sp.), South Temperate America; Thinornis (2 sp.), New Zealand; Anarhynchus (1 sp.), New Zealand (Plate XIII. Vol I. p. 455); Hæmatopus (9 sp.), cosmopolitan; Strepsilas (2 sp.) almost cosmopolitan; Aphriza (1 sp.), West Coast of America; Pluvianellus (1 sp.), Straits of Magellan; Dromas (1 sp.), India, Madagascar, and North-east Africa; Pedionomus (1 sp.), Australia. This last genus has usually been placed with the Turnicidæ.


Family 106.—OTIDIDÆ. (2 Genera, 26 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3 — — 2 — —


The Otididæ, or Bustards, occur in all parts of the Old World and Australia where there are open tracts, being only absent from Madagascar and the Malay Archipelago.

Otis (2 sp.), ranges over most of the Palæarctic region; while Eupodotis (24 sp.), has the range of the family, but is most abundant in the Ethiopian region, which contains three-fourths of the whole number of species.


Family 107.—GRUIDÆ. (3 Genera, 16 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3 — 1. 2. 3 — — 2 — —


The Gruidæ, or Cranes, are found in all the regions except the Neotropical.

Grus (12 sp.) inhabits the southern and western United States, the whole Palæarctic region, South-east Africa, India, and Australia; Anthropoides (2 sp.), Europe, North and South Africa and India; Balearica (2 sp.), the Ethiopian region (except Madagascar).


Family 108.—CARIAMIDÆ. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The genus Cariama (2 sp.), consists of remarkable crested birds inhabiting the mountains and open plains of Brazil and La Plata. In the British Museum Catalogue of the Birds of Prey, they are classed as aberrant Falconidæ, but their anomalous characters seem to require them to be placed in a distinct family, which seems better placed among the Waders.


Family 109.—ARAMIDÆ. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3. 4 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Guaraünas are birds which have somewhat the appearance of Herons, but which are usually classed with the Rails. They are now, however, considered to form a distinct family. The only genus, Aramus (2 sp.), inhabits the Neotropical region, from Mexico and Cuba to Central Brazil.


Family 110.—PSOPHIIDÆ. (1 Genus, 6 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The remarkable and beautiful birds called Trumpeters, are confined to the various parts of the Amazon valley; and it is an interesting fact, that the range of each species appears to be bounded by some of the great rivers. Thus, Psophia crepitans inhabits the interior of Guiana as far as the south bank of the Rio Negro; on the opposite or north bank of the Rio Negro Psophia ochroptera is found; beyond the next great rivers, Japura and Iça, Psophia napensis occurs; on the south bank of the Amazon, west of the Madeira, we have the beautiful Psophia leucoptera; east of the Madeira this is replaced by Psophia viridis, while near Pará, beyond the Tapajoz, Xingu and Tocantins, there is another species, Psophia obscura. Other species may exist in the intervening river districts; but we have here, apparently, a case of a number of well-marked species of birds capable of flight, yet with their range in certain directions accurately defined by great rivers. (Plate XV. Vol. II. p. 28.)


Family 111.—EURYPYGIDÆ. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— 2. 3 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Eurypygidæ, or Sun-Bitterns, are small heron-like birds with beautifully-coloured wings, which frequent the muddy and wooded river-banks of tropical America. The only genus, Eurypyga (2 sp.), ranges from Central America to Brazil.


Family 112.—RHINOCHETIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 3 —


The genus Rhinochetus (1 sp.), consists of a singular bird called the Kagu, which inhabits New Caledonia, an island which may be placed with almost equal propriety in our 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Australian sub-regions. It is a bird of a bluish ash-colour, with a loose plumage, partaking something of the appearance of Rail, Plover, and Heron, but with peculiarities of structure which require it to be placed in a distinct family. Its anatomy shows that its nearest allies are the South American genera, Eurypyga and Psophia.


Family 113.—ARDEIDÆ. (5 Genera, 80 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4


The well-known Herons and Bitterns are found in every part of the globe, and everywhere closely resemble each other. Omitting the minuter sub-divisions, the genera are as follows:—

Ardea (60 sp.), cosmopolitan; Botaurus (6 sp.), almost cosmopolitan; Tigrisoma (4 sp.), Tropical America and West Africa; Nycticorax (9 sp.), cosmopolitan; Cancroma (1 sp.), Tropical America.


Family 114.—PLATALEIDÆ. (6 Genera, 30 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Plataleidæ, including the Spoonbills and Ibises, have been classed either with the Herons or the Storks, but have most affinity with the latter. Though not very numerous they are found over the greater part of the globe, except the colder zones and the Pacific Islands. The following is the distribution of the genera:—

Platalea (6 sp.), all the warmer parts of the globe except the Moluccas and Pacific Islands; Ibis (2 sp.), Temperate North America and Tropical South America; Falcinellus (2 sp.), almost cosmopolitan; Geronticus (19 sp.), all Tropical countries and Temperate South America; Scopus (1 sp.), Tropical and South Africa; Balæniceps (1 sp.), the Upper Nile. This last genus the "Shoe-bird," or boat-billed heron, perhaps forms a distinct family.


Family 115.—CICONIIDÆ. (5 Genera, 20 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2. 3 — — — 3 — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — —


The Ciconiidæ, or Storks, are mostly an Old World family, only three species inhabiting the Neotropical, and one, the Nearctic region. They are also absent from the islands of the Pacific, the Antilles, and, with one exception, from Madagascar. The genera are as follows:—

Ciconia (6 sp.), ranges through the Palæarctic, Ethiopian and Oriental regions as far as Celebes, and in South America; Mycteria (4 sp.), inhabits Africa, India, Australia and the Neotropical region; Leptoptilus (3 sp.), the Ethiopian and Oriental regions to Java; Tantalus (5 sp.), the Ethiopian, Oriental and Neotropical regions, and the South-east of North America; Anastomus (2 sp.), the Ethiopian region, and India to Ceylon.


Family 116.—PALAMEDEIDÆ. (2 Genera, 3 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1. 2 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


The Palamedeidæ, or Screamers, are curious semi-aquatic birds of doubtful affinities, perhaps intermediate between Gallinæ and Anseres. They are peculiar to South America. The genera are:—

Palamedea (1 sp.), which inhabits the Amazon valley; Chauna (2 sp.), La Plata, Brazil and Columbia,


Family 117.—PHŒNICOPTERIDÆ. (1 Genus, 8 Species.)


General Distribution.
Neotropical
Sub-regions.
Nearctic
Sub-regions.
Palæarctic
Sub-regions.
Ethiopian
Sub-regions.
Oriental
Sub-regions.
Australian
Sub-regions.
1 — 3. 4 — — — — — 2 — — 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2 — — — — — —


The Flamingoes (Phœnicopterus) seem peculiar to the Ethiopian and Neotropical regions, ranging from the former into India and South Europe. America has four species, inhabiting Chili and La Plata, the Galapagos, Mexico and the West Indian islands; the others range over all Africa, South Europe, India and Ceylon. These singular birds are placed by some authors near the Spoonbills and Ibises, by others with the Geese. Professor Huxley considers them to be "completely intermediate between the Anserine birds on the one side and the Storks and Herons on the other." The pterolysis according to Nitzsch is "completely stork-like."


General Remarks on the Distribution of the Grallæ, or Wading and Running Birds.

The Waders, as a rule, are birds of very wide distribution, the four largest families Rallidæ, Scolopacidæ, Charadriidæ and Ardeidæ, being quite cosmopolitan, as are many of the genera. But there are also a number of small families of very restricted distribution, and these all occur in the two most isolated regions, the Neotropical and the Australian. The Neotropical region is by far the richest in varied forms of Waders, having representatives of no less than 15 out of the 19 families, while 7 are altogether peculiar to it. The Australian region has 11 families, with 1 peculiar. The other two tropical regions each possess 11 families, but none are peculiar. The Palæarctic region has 10, and the Nearctic 7 families. No less than three families—Chionididæ, Thinocoridæ, and Cariamidæ—are confined to the Temperate regions and highlands of South America; while four others,—Aramidæ, Psophiidæ, Eurypygidæ and Palamedeidæ,—are found in Tropical America only; and these present such an array of peculiar and interesting forms as no other part of the globe can furnish. The Phœnicopteridæ or Flamingoes, common to the Tropical regions of Asia, Africa and America, but absent from Australia, is the only other feature of general interest presented by the distribution of the Waders.

The Order contains about 610 species, which gives about 32 species to each family, a smaller average than in the Gallinæ or Accipitres, and only about one-fourth of the average number in the Passeres. This is partly due to the unusual number of very small families, and partly to the wide average range of the species, which prevents that specialization of forms that occurs in the more sedentary groups of birds.