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of proper or even any food does. Important however as | fight for & season,S during which time they generally seek are its bearings on every individual of the whole Class, the the shelter of chick, aquatic herbage, and it is further to subject is one which has been sadly neglected by ornitho. be particularly remarked that the males of most of two logical writers and, with one exception, we are not aware sections of the family (Anatince and Fuligulina) at the of any connected series of observations on Moult within the same period lose the brilliantly-coloured plumage which whole range of their literature. The structure and mode commonly distinguishes them and "go into eclipse," as of growth of feathers has been very well studied and de Waterton happily said, putting on for several weeks a scribed by several investigators, and must be especially dingy garb much resembling that of the other sex, to treated in introducing the subject of Pterylography-or resume their gay attire only when, their new quills being the disposition of the various plumed patches on the bird's grown, it can be safely flaunted in the open air. Here body—which, having been found to be a most useful auxili we have the first instances of Additional Moult to be menary in Classification, is deferred until that comes to be tioned. Another is not less interesting, though ornitholodiscussed under the article “ ORNITHOLOGY." For the pre- gists must confess with shame that they have not sufficiently sent we have briefly to consider the different phases which investigated it. This is that of the Ptarmigan (Lagopius the process of Moulting offers.
mutus), both sexes of which not only moult after the breedAs a general rule all Birds are subject to an annual ing-season is over into a grey suit, and then again ag Moult, and this as above stated, commonly begins immedi autumn passes away into their snowy winter-clothing, but, ately on the close of the breeding-season, but, as will be divesting themselves of this last in spring, then put on explained further on, there are some woich undergo in each a third and most distinctive dress—these changes, addition a second or even a third partial change of plum- however, do not extend to the quills either of the wings or age, and it is possible that there may be others still more exceptional, our information respecting these, however, is The number of Birds which undergo a more or less entire too meagre to make it worth while saying anything here i Double Moult is very considerable, and the peculiarity is about them. It must be acknowledged that with regard not always characteristic of families or even, unless in a to the great majority of forms we can only judge by analogy, restricted sense, of genera. Thus while the Garden-Warbler and though it may well be that some interesting deviations (Sylvia salicaria) is said to moult twice in the year the from the general rule exist of which we are altogether Blackcap (S. atricapilla) does so but once. The same may ignorant, yet when we consider that the Ratito, so far as be said of the Emberizidæ, in which family both practices observed, moult exactly in the same manner as other birds, seem to obtain, but on the other hand the distinction in the uniformity of the annual change may be almost taken this respect between the Larks (Alaudidæ) and the Pipits for granted.
(Anthinæ), belonging to the family Motacillida, appears, so It is not intended here to describe the way in which a far as our knowledge goes, to be invariable, though the habits feather dies and a new one succeeds it, nor need we compare and general appearance of both groups are so much alikethe process of moulting with the analogous shedding of the the Alaudidæ moulting but once and the Anthina, conformhair in Mammals or of the skin in Reptiles. Enough for our ing to the practice of the normal Motacillida (Motacillina), present purpose to see that such renovation is required in twice a year—the quills, be it understood, excepted. But Birds, which nearly all have to depend upon their quills for it would be impossible here to give more than these few the means of locomotion and hence of livelihood. It is examples, and indeed we scarcely know anything of the easy to understand that durable as are the flight-feathers, subject outside of groups belonging to the Northern they do not last for ever and are besides very subject to hemisphere." accidental breakage, the consequence of which would be in a large number of species the Additional Moult is very the crippling of the bird. It is obviously to provide against partial, being often limited to certain portions of the plumage, what in most cases would be such a disaster as this last and it is yet an unsolved problem how far some of the that we find the remiges, or quill-feathers of the wings, to changes to be observed are due to actual Moult and how be always shed in pairs. They drop out not indeed abso- far to the alteration of colour in the feathers themselves, as lutely at the same moment, though this sometimes seems also the way by which this alteration of colour is produced, to happen, but within a few days of each other, and, whether, as certainly happens in many instances, by the equilibrium being thus preserved, the power of flight is dropping off of the "barbicels "—the fine filaments that but slightly deteriorated by their temporary loss. The fringe the “barbicels” which are arranged on the upper same may be observed in a less degree, since there is less surface of each “barb” composing the web of the feather need of regularity, with the rest of the plumage, as a little -or in some other manner. With either of these last attention to any tame bird will show, and the new feathers considerations we need not now concern ourselves. It is grow at an almost equal rate. In the young of most unquestionable that there are innumerable species of birds, species the original quills are not shed during the first year, the males at least of which put forth in spring decorative nor in the young of many does there seem to be an entire plumes unknown at any other season, and it would appear moult during that time, but in the typical Gallince, which that in the majority of them the feathers which before are able to fly at a very early age, often before they are clothed the parts whence the newly donned ornaments one-third grown, the original quills, being proportioned to grow are doffed to make room for these paraphernalis of the duties required of them, are shed before the bird has marriage. attained its full size and are succeeded by others that serve it. The subject of Additional Moult is thus intimately conwhen it has reached maturity. In the Duck-tribo (Anatidae), nected with the seasonal adornment of Birds, and as that however, we have a very singular exception to what has been above stated. Most of these birds shed their quill
* One species, Micropterus cinereus, seems never to regain the pore
of flight thus lost., cf. Cunningham, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1871, p. 262 feathers all at once, and become absolutely incapable of Macgillivray (Brit. Birds, i. p. 196, London: 1837; and Nal.
Hist. of Deeside, p. 405, London: 1855) thought there were fout I This is a valuable paper by Herr Meves, of Stockholm (Efrers. moults in this species, but that seems to be one too many. Herr Mere K. Vet. Akad. Förhandl. 1854, p. 258), of which a German transla (loc. cit.) and the Abbé Caire (Rev. Zool. 1854, p. 494) independetis tion with some additions by the author may be found in Journ. Für made the discovery of the Triple Moult, and almost simultaneously Ornith. 1855, pp. 230-238.
announced it. Cf. Gloger, Journ. für Orn. 1856, P. 461. • For the knowledge of this fact the writer is indebted to the vast * The fullest list as yet published is that of Bert Meves (ut supra), experience of Mr Bartlett.
| but it is not entirely free from error,
properly belongs to a branch of the great question of ; commonly takes place so soon as the breeding-season is
their breeding-quarters for their winter-haunts, thereby
I dition for escaping its attendant perils.
INDEX TO THE GENERA AND LARGER GROUPS OF BIRDS NAMED.
of proper or even any food does. Important however as fight for a season, during which time they generally seek
mutus), both sexes of which not only moult after the breed-
(Anthinæ), belonging to the family Motacillidæ, appears, so
o One species, Micropterus cinereus, seems never to regain the powe
of flight thus lost. , CF. Cunningham, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1871, p. 262
Hist. of Deeside, p. 405, London: 1855) thought there were four
announced it. Cf. Gloger, Journ. für Orn. 1856, p. 461.
but it is not entirely free frora error,
properly belongs to a branch of the great question of ; commonly takes place 80 soon as the breeding-season is
their breeding-quarters for their winter-haunts, thereby
external machinery of flight renewed and in the best con-
| dition for escaping its attendant perils.
BIRDS OF PARADISE. a group of Passerine Birds with short thick-set feathers, resembling velvet pile, of a inbabiting New Guinea and the adjacent islands, so named | bright straw colour above, and a brilliant emerald green by the Dutch voyagers in allusion to the brilliancy of their beneath. From under the shoulders on each side springs a plumage, and to the current belief that, possessing neither dense tuft of golden-orange plumes, about 2 feet in length, wings nor feet, they passed their lives in the air, sustained which the bird can raise at pleasure, so as to enclose the on their ample plumes, resting only at long intervals greater part of its body. The two centre tail feathers attain Buspended from the branches of lofty trees by the wire- a length of 34 inches, and, being destitute of webs, have a like feathers of the tail, and drawing their food" from the thin wire-like appearance. This splendid plumage, how
ever, belongs only to the adult males, the females being exceedingly plain birds of a nearly uniform dusky brown colour, and possessing neither plumes nor lengthened tail feathers. The young males at first resemble the females, and it is only after the fourth moulting, according to A. R. Wallace, who recently studied those birds in their native haunts, that they assume the perfect plumage of their ser, which, however, they retain permanently afterwards, and not during the breeding season only as was formerly supposed. At that season the males assemble, in numbers varying from twelve to twenty, on certain trees, and there disport themselves 80 as to display their magnificent plumes in presence of the females. Wallace in his Malay Archipelago, vol. ii., thus describes the attitude of the male birds at one of those“ sacaleli,” or dancing parties, as the natives call them ; "their wings," he says, "are raised vertically over the back, the head is bent down and stretched out, and the long plumes are raised up and
expanded till they form two magnificent golden fans stripod Standard Wing Bird of Peraduse (Semioptera wallaces).
with deep red at the base, and fading off into the pale brown
tint of the finely-divided and coftly-waving points; the dews of heaven and the nectar of flowers.” Such stories whole bird is then overshadowed by them, the crouching obtained credence from the fact that so late as the year body, yellow head, and emerald green throat, forming but 1760, when Linnæus named the principal species apoda, or the foundation and setting to the golden glory which "footless," no perfect specimen had been seen in Europe, waves above. It is at this season that those birds are the natives who sold the skins to coast traders invariably chiefly captured. The bird-catcher having found a tres depriving them of feet and wings. The birds now usually thus selected for a “ dancing party," builds a hut among included under this name belong to two distinct families, the lower branches in which to conceal himself. As soon the Paradiseidæ and the Epimachidæ, the former or as the male birds have begun their graceful antics, he shoots true Birds of Paradise being closely allied to the Crows, the them, one after the other, with blunt arrows, for the lattor or Long-billod Paradise Birds being usually classed, I purpose of stunning and bringing them to the ground from the form and size of their bills, with the Hoopoes. without drawing blood, which would injure their plumage; Both families occupy the same geographical area, and are and so eager are those birds in their courtship that almost alike distingushed by 120 od ormor's development of certain all the males are thus brought down before the danger is parts of their plumagn af sb- trae birds of paradise, the i perceived. The natives in preparing the skins remove both largest is the Great imali Piss Paradisea apoda), about feet and wings, so as to give more prominence to the comthe size of the comron: 0:1. W ad and neck are covered mercially valuable tuft of plames. They also remove the