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They range over all North America from Panama to the Arctic regions, but do not extend far beyond the tropic in Southern America. They are almost as abundant in the Nearctic as in the Neotropical region; and considering the favourable conditions of existence in Tropical America, this fact, in connection with their absence from the South Temperate zone would lead us to suppose that they originated in North Temperate America, and subsequently spread southward into the tropics. This supposition is strengthened by the fact that their metropolis, in the breeding season, is to the north of the United States. The genera adopted by Messrs. Sclater and Salvin are as follows:—
(*) Siurus (4 sp.), Venezuela and West Indies to Eastern States and Canada; Mniotilta (1 sp.), Venezuela, Mexico, and Antilles to the Eastern States; Parula (5 sp.), Brazil to Mexico, and the Eastern States, and Canada; Protonotaria (1 sp.), Antilles to Ohio; Helminthophaga (8 sp.), Columbia to Arctic America Helmintherus (2 sp.), Central America to Eastern States; Perissoglossa (1 sp.), Antilles and Eastern States; Dendraeca (33 sp.), Amazon to Antilles, and Arctic America, and south to Chili; Oporornis (2 sp.), Guatemala to Eastern States; Geothlypis (11 sp.), all North America and Brazil; Myiodioctes (5 sp.), all North America and Columbia; Basileuterus (22 sp.), Bolivia and Brazil to Mexico; Setophaga (15 sp.), Brazil to Canada; Ergaticus (2 sp.), Guatemala and Mexico; Cardellina (1 sp.), Guatemala and Mexico; (*) Granatellus (3 sp.), Amazon to Mexico; (*) Teretristis (2 sp.), Cuba; (*) Icteria (2 sp.), Costa Rica and United States to Canada.
(Messrs. Sclater and Salvin are followed for the Neotropical genera; Professor Baird and Mr. Allen for those of the Nearctic region.) WOL. II.-19
The Vireonidae, or Greenlets, are a family of small fly-catching birds wholly restricted to the American continent, where they range from Paraguay to Canada. They are allied to the Mniotiltidae and perhaps also to the Australian Pachycephalidae. Only two of the genera, with about a dozen species, inhabit the Nearctic region. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—
Vireosylvia (13 sp.), Venezuela to Mexico, the Antilles, the Eastern States and Canada; Vireo (14 sp.), Central America and the Antilles to Canada; Neochloe (1 sp.), Mexico; Hylophilus (20 sp.), Brazil to Mexico; Laletes (1 sp.), Jamaica; Vireolanius (5 sp.), Amazonia to Mexico; Cychlorhis (9 sp.), Paraguay to Mexico.
The Ampelidae, represented in Europe by the waxwing, are a small family, characteristic of the Nearctic and Palaearctic regions, but extending Southward to Costa Rica and the West Indian islands. The genera are distributed as follows:–
(*) Ampelis (3 sp.), the Palaearctic and Nearctic regions, and southward to Guatemala; (*) Ptilogonys (2 sp.), Central America; (*) Dulus (2 sp.), West Indian Islands; (*) Phaenopepla (1 sp.), Mexico and the Gila Valley.
FAMILY 30–HIRUNDINIDAE. (9 Genera, 91 Species.)
1.a.a.a. 1. 2. 3. 4 || 1 , 2. 3. 4. 1. 2. 3.4 |1.a.a. I . 2. 3. 4.
The Hirundinidae, or Swallows, are true cosmopolites. Although they do not range quite so far north (except as stragglers) as a few of the extreme polar birds, yet they pass beyond the Arctic Circle both in America and Europe, Cotyle riparia having been observed in the Parry Islands, while Hirundo rustica has been seen both in Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla. Cotyle riparia and Chelidon urbica also breed in great numbers in northern Lapland, latitude 67° to 70° north. Many of the species also, have an enormous range, the common swallow (Hirundo rustica) inhabiting Europe, Asia and Africa, from Lapland to the Cape of Good Hope and to the Moluccas. The genera of swallows are not well determined, a number having been established of which the value is uncertain. I admit the following, referring by numbers to the Hand List:- (* - * *-*) Hirundo (40 sp.), the range of the entire family; (**) Psalidoprogne (10 sp.), Tropical and South Africa; (*) Phedina (1 sp.), Madagascar and Mascarene Islands; (*) Petrochelidon (5 sp.), North and South America and Cape of Good Hope; (*-***) Atticora (8 sp.), the Neotropical region and ? Australia; (**) Cotyle (11 sp.), Europe, India, Africa, North America, Antilles and Ecuador; (*) Stelgidoptery.” (5 sp.), La Plata to United States; (***) Chelidon (6 sp.), Palaearctic region, Nepal, Borneo; (* ~ *) Progne (5 sp.), all North and South America. .
The Icteridae, or American hang-nests, range over the whole continent, from Patagonia and the Falkland Islands to the Arctic Circle. Only about 20 species inhabit the Nearctic region, while, as usual with exclusively American families, the larger proportion of the genera and species are found in the tropical parts of South America. The genera adopted by Messrs. Sclater and Salvin are the following —
Clypeicterus (1 sp.), Upper Amazon; Ocyalus (2 sp.), Upper Amazon to Mexico ; Ostinops (8 sp.), Brazil and Bolivia to Mexico; Cassiculus (1 sp.), Mexico; Cassicus (10 sp.), South Brazil and Bolivia to Costa Rica; Icterus (34 sp.), La Plata to the Antilles and United States; Dolichonyo (1 sp.), Paraguay to Canada; Molothrus , (8 sp.), La Plata to Northern United States; Agelaeus (7 sp.), La Plata and Chili to Northern United States; Xanthocephalus (1 sp.), Mexico to California and Canada; Manthosomus (4 sp.), La Plata to Venezuela; Amblyrhamphus (1 sp.), La Plata and Bolivia; Gymnomysław (1 sp.), Amazonia and Guiana; Pseudoleistes (2 sp.), La Plata and Brazil; Leistes (3 sp.), La Plata to Venezuela; Sturnella (5 sp.), Patagonia and Falkland Islands to Middle United States; Curaeus (1 sp.), Chili; Nesopsar (1 sp.), Jamaica; Scolecophgaus (2 sp.), Mexico to Arctic Circle; Lampropsar (4 sp.), Amazonia and Ecuador to Mexico; Quiscalus (10 sp.), Venezuela and Columbia to South and Central United States; Hypopyrrhus (1 sp.), Columbia; Aphobus (1 sp.), Brazil and Bolivia; Cassidia (2 sp.), Brazil to Mexico and Cuba.
The Tanagers are an extensive family of varied and beautiful. fruit-eating birds, almost peculiar to the Neotropical region, only four species of a single genus (Pyranga) extending into the Eastern United States and Rocky Mountains. Southward they range to La Plata. They are especially abundant in the forest regions of South America east of the Andes, where no less than 40 out of the 43 genera occur; 23 of the genera are peculiar to this sub-region, while only 1 (Phlogothraupis) is
peculiar to Central America and Mexico, and 2 (Spindalis and Phaenicophilus) to the West Indian islands. The genera adopted by Messrs. Sclater and Salvin with their distribution will be found at Vol. II, p. 99, in our account of Neotropical Zoology.
The great family of the Fringillidae, or finches, is in a very unsettled state as regards their division into genera, the most divergent views being held by ornithologists as to the constitution and affinities of many of the groups. All the Australian finchlike birds appear to belong to the Ploceidae, so that the finches, as here constituted, are found in every region and sub-region, except the Australian region from which they are entirely absent —a peculiar distribution hardly to be found in any other family of birds.
Many European ornithologists separate the Emberizidae, or buntings, as a distinct family, but as the American genera have not been so divided I am obliged to keep them together; but the genera usually classed as “buntings” are placed last, as a subfamily. In the following arrangement of the genera, I have done what I could to harmonize the views of the best modern writers. For convenience of reference the succession of the genera is that of the Hand List, and the numbers of the sub-genera are given whenever practicable:– -
(**) Fringilla (6 sp.), the whole Palaearctic region, including the Atlantic Islands; (*) Acanthis (3 sp.), Europe to Siberia, Persia, and North-West Himalayas; (*) Procarduelis (1 sp.), High Himalayas and East Thibet; (* - ") Chrysomitris (18 sp.), Neotropical and Nearctic regions, Europe, and Siberia; (so) Metoponia (1 sp.), East Europe to North West Himalayas; (* **) Chlorospiza (9 sp.), Palaearctic region and Africa to the