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resort. It builds a purse-like nest of grasses and fibres, artfully woven together, and suspended from a twig of one of the highest branches of a tree; the eggs are five in number, of a pure white, with a few spots of dark brown. The general plumage of the male, as already remarked, is of a rich golden yellow; a spot intervenes between the eye and beak; and the wings and tail are black, the latter being tipped with yellow. The female, and young of the year, are of an olive green above, and of a pale yellowish gray beneath, with a streak of grayish brown along the shaft of each feather. Tail dark olive.

To the present family Cuvier refers that most remarkable bird, the LYRE BIRD of New Holland, (Menura

THE LYRE BIRD.

superba,) on the ground of several points of structural approximation, which are very palpable. The form of the toes, and more especially of the beak, (which is triangular at the base, elongated, a little compressed, and notched at the tip) he regards as fully establishing its relationship to the genus Turdus. Other eminent naturalists have assigned this bird a place among the Paradiseæ, or birds of paradise, and others again have considered it as allied to the curassows, and consequently belonging to the Rasorial Order ; in fact, as being a gallinaceous bird. Where eminent naturalists are thus divided, who shall settle the point? The views of Cuvier, however, are as plausible as any; certain it is, that although the Lyre Bird is terrestrial in its habits, and even scratches in the ground, it has not the tarsi, the toes, nor that kind of scale covering these parts, which we find in gallinaceous birds : besides, it is reputed to be a bird of song, which is not the case with

any

of the rasorial order. How closely it may be found to approximate to some of the less typical thrushes, with soft full plumage and terrestrial habits, remains for future consideration.

New Holland, which affords so rich a harvest to the student of nature, and which produces what are deemed the most singular and anomalous beings, is the native country of this rare and beautiful bird, the habits and manners of which are but little known. One of the earliest notices of it is in Dr. Shaw's Miscellany, where it is characterized as the Parkinsonian Bird of Paradise, (Paradisea Parkinsoniana,) having, however, been previously described in the Linnean Transactions, (vol. vi. p. 207, pl. 22,) under the title of Menura superba. Mons. Vieillot, who received from Mr. Sydenham Edwards a drawing of the bird, gave it, in his work on the Birds of Paradise, the name of Paradisea Parkinsoniana, in honour of J. Parkinson, Esq. of the Leverian Museum, through whose means he obtained the drawing; but the original title, as given in the Linnean Transactions, is that which is now received. Dr. Shaw, in his account of the manners of the Superb Menura, or Lyre Bird, says, At the early part of the morning it begins to sing, having a very fine natural note; and gradually ascending some rocky eminence, scratches up the ground in the manner of some of the pheasant tribe, elevating its tail

, and at intervals imitating the notes of every bird within hearing; and after having continued this exercise for about two hours, again descends into the valleys or lower grounds.” This account has been confirmed to the writer by the testimony of a gentleman who, during his residence in New Holland, took particular pains to investigate its manners and habits: he describes the Menura as being very shy and recluse, and consequently not easy to be observed. Its own notes are rich and melodious, and it imitates those of other birds with admirable tact and execution. Dr. Latham informs us, that the Menura is

chiefly found in the hilly parts of the country, and is called by the settlers the Mountain Pheasant.' As to its general manners, very little has come to our knowledge. It will occasionally perch on trees, but for the most part is found on the ground, having the manners of our poultry, as is manifest from observing the ends of the claws, which, in most specimens, are much blunted. Like many other desiderata to the naturalist from New Holland, this curious bird has never been brought alive to Europe.

In size, the Menura is nearly equal to a pheasant. Its general plumage is of a dull brown, inclining to rufous on the quill-feathers; the tail, which is much longer than the body, consists, in the male, of feathers so arranged, and of such different sorts, as to form, when elevated, a figure bearing no unapt resemblance to an ancient lyre; the character of these feathers will be better conveyed by the accompanying sketch than by description. The bill is compressed, the nostrils forming a longitudinal slit, covered with feathers; the legs are strong, the toes completely divided, and armed with powerful blunted nails, those of the hind claw being especially developed. A good specimen of this bird, whose elegant style of plumage and melodious voice justify its title “ Lyre Bird,” is to be seen in the Museum of the Zoological Society.

Here, then, we close our sketch of the family of Merulidæ, allied to the Sylviadæ by several links of connexion, and by one especially, the genus Petrocincla, (Vigors,) an Indian, form between the rock-thrushes on the one hand and the genus Phænicurus on the other. On this point, however, the reader is referred to the Proceedings of the Zoological Society, Parts I. and II. and Gould's Century of Himalayan Birds.

The fifth and last family of the Dentirostral tribe of the order Incessores next claims attention.

The Fifth FAMILY.—PIPRIDÆ, or the MANAKINS. - The Manakins form a most extensive family, represented in Europe by the Bohemian Waxwing, or Chatterer, (Bombycivora,) and those familiar birds the Titmice, (Parus,) in India by the genus Calyptomena, in New Holland by the Spotted Manakin, ( Pardalotus,) and in America by the Rock Manakin, (Rupicola,) the Cotingas, ( Ampelis,) the Swallow-chatterers (Procnias,) the Fork-tailed Manakins ( Phibalura,) and many more. The beak varies in stoutness, and is more or less depressed, with a ridge along the top of the upper mandible ; the food varies, many being true berry feeders, others living on insects as well as fruits.

Passing by the Titmice, (genus Parus,) whose habits and manners are well known, and whose artful nests are so remarkable for comfort and ingenuity, we stop at the genus Bombycivora, which contains only three species, one of which is that elegant bird the BOHEMIAN WAXWING, or Waxen Chatterer, (Bombycivora garrula, TEMM.) The natural habitat of this interesting bird, where it breeds and rears its young, is the regions within the arctic circle; whence it migrates southwards during winter, making late and irregular excursions, actuated no doubt as to the extent of its journey by the degree of cold and facilities of procuring food. Hence in middle and temperate Europe it is a rare species, and in England a winter may pass without the appearance of a single bird, while during the next, several small flocks

may

be seen in the northern counties, especially where the mountain ash abounds, upon the berries of which it feeds. Of its habits and manners little or nothing is known, but it is said, perhaps erroneously, to build its nest in the clefts of rocks.

The general plumage is of a dull vinous ash, tinted with ferruginous red on the forehead and cheeks ; the feathers of the head prolonged into a beautiful crest; the throat, the feathers of the nostrils, and a band which passes from the beak through the eye, black ; primary quill-feathers brownish black, each feather having a yellow line or broad streak on its inner margin, near the tip. The secondaries tipped with white, each having the shaft prolonged, and curiously furnished with small, hard, scarlet appendages, like little oval beads of red sealing wax, whence its name. Tail black, tipped with a yellow band. Beak and tarsi black. Length seven inches.

A closely allied but smaller species, the CEDAR BIRD, (Bombycivora Carolinensis,) peculiar to America, is stated by Wilson to be extensively diffused, from the highest latitudes as far south as Mexico. He says, “ They fly in compact bodies of from twenty to fifty, and usually alight so close together, on the same tree, that one half are frequently shot down at a time. In the months of July and August they collect together in flocks, and retire to the hilly parts of the state, the Blue Mountains, and other collateral ridges of the Alleghany, to enjoy the fruit of the Vaccinium uliginosum, whortleberries, which grow there in great abundance ; whole mountains, for many miles, being almost entirely covered with them, and where, in the month of August, I have myself found the Cedar Birds numerous. In October, they descend to the lower cultivated parts of the country, to feed on the berries of the sour gum and red cedar, of which last they are immoderately fond; and thirty or forty may sometimes be seen fluttering among the branches of one small tree, plucking off the berries.' “ In June, while cherries and strawberries abound, they become extremely fat; and about the tenth or twelfth of that month, disperse over the country in pairs to breed; sometimes fixing on the cedar, but generally choosing the orchard for that purpose. The nest is large for the size of the bird, fixed in the forked or horizontal branch of an apple-tree, ten or twelve feet from the ground.” Externally it is composed of coarse grass, and lined with materials of a finer texture. The eggs are four, of a purplish white, marked with black spots. Audubon observes that these birds are “ excellent flycatchers, spending much of their time in the pursuit of winged insects,” but yet

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