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They are pre-eminently characteristic of the intertropical zone, being nowhere absent within its limits (except from absolutely desert regions), and they are generally so abundant and so conspicuous as to occupy among birds the place assigned to butterflies among insects. A few species range far into the temperate zones. One reaches Carolina in North America, another the Magellan Straits in South America; in Africa they only extend a few degrees beyond the southern tropic ; in NorthWestern India they reach 35° North Latitude; but in the Australian region they range forthest towards the pole, being found not only in New Zealand, but as far as the Macquarie Islands in 54° South, where the climate is very cold and boisterous, but sufficiently uniform to supply vegetable food throughout the year. There is hardly any part of the equatorial zone in which the traveller will not soon have his attention called to some members of the parrot tribe. In Brazil, the great blue and yellow or crimson macaws may be seen every evening wending their way homeward in pairs, almost as commonly as rooks with us; while innumerable parrots and parraquets attract attention by their harsh cries when disturbed from some favourite fruit-tree. In the Moluccas and New Guinea, white cockatoos and gorgeous lories in crimson and blue, are the very commonest of birds. No group of birds—perhaps no other group of animals —exhibits within the same limited number of genera and species, so wide a range and such an endless variety of colour. As a rule parrots may be termed green birds, the majority of the species having this colour as the basis of their plumage relieved by caps, gorgets, bands and wing-spots of other and brighter hues. Yet this general green tint sometimes changes into light or deep blue, as in some macaws; into pure yellow or rich orange, as in some of the American macaw-parrots (Conurus); into purple, grey, or dove-colour, as in some American, African, and Indian species; into the purest crimson, as in some of the lories; into rosy-white and pure white, as in the cockatoos; and into a deep purple, ashy or black, as in several Papuan, Australian, and Mascarene species. There is in fact hardly a single distinct and definable colour that cannot be fairly matched among the 390 species of known parrots. Their habits, too, are such as to bring them prominently before the eye. They usually feed in flocks; they are noisy, and so attract attention ; they love gardens, orchards, and open sunny places; they wander about far in search of food, and towards sunset return homewards in noisy flocks, or in constant pairs. Their forms and motions are often, beautiful and attractive. The immensely long tails of the macaws, and the more slender tails of the Indian parraquets; the fine crest of the cockatoos; the swift flight of many of the smaller species, and the graceful motions of the little love-birds and allied forms; together with their affectionate natures, aptitude for domestication, and powers of mimicry—combine to render them at once the most conspicuous and the most attractive of all the specially tropical forms of bird-life. The number of species of parrots found in the different divisions of the tropics is very unequal. Africa is by far the poorest; since along with Madagascar and the Mascarene islands, which have many peculiar forms, it scarcely numbers two dozen species. Asia, along with the Malay islands as far as Java and Borneo, is also very poor, with about thirty species. Tropical America is very much richer, possessing about 140 species, among which are many of the largest and most beautiful forms. But of all parts of the globe the tropical islands belonging to the Australian region (from Celebes eastward), together with the tropical parts of Australia, are richest in the parrot tribe, possessing about 150 species, among which are many of the most remarkable and beautiful of the entire group. The whole Australian region, whose extreme limits may be defined by Celebes, the Marquesas, and the New Zealand group, possesses about 200 species of parrots. Pigeons.—These are such common birds in all temperate countries, that it may surprise many readers to learn that they are nevertheless a characteristic tropical group. That such is the case, however, will be evident from the fact that only sixteen species are known from the whole of the temperate parts of Europe, Asia, and North America, while about 330 species inhabit the tropics. Again, the great majority of the species are found congregated in the equatorial zone, whence they diminish gradually toward the limits of the tropics, and then suddenly fall off in the temperate zones. Yet although they are pre-eminently tropical or even equatorial as a group, they are not, from our present point of view, of much importance, because they are so shy and so generally inconspicuous that in most parts of the tropics an ordinary observer might hardly be aware of their existence. The remark applies especially to America and Africa, where they are neither very abundant nor peculiar; but in the Eastern hemisphere, and especially in the Malay Archipelago and Pacific islands, they occur in such profusion and present such singular forms and brilliant colours, that they are sure to attract attention. Here we find the extensive group of fruit-pigeons, which, in their general green colours adorned with patches and bands of purple, white, blue, or orange, almost rival the parrot tribe ; while the golden-green Nicobar pigeon, the great crowned pigeons of New Guinea as large as turkeys, and the goldenyellow fruit-dove of the Fijis, can hardly be surpassed for beauty. Pigeons are especially abundant and varied in tropical archipelagoes; so that if we take the Malay and Pacific islands, the Madagascar group, and the Antilles or West Indian islands, we find that they possess between them more different kinds of pigeons than all the continental tropics combined. Yet further, that portion of the Malay Archipelago east of Borneo, together with the Pacific islands, is exceptionally rich in pigeons; and the reason seems to be that monkeys and all other arboreal mammals that devour eggs are entirely absent from this region. Even in South America pigeons are scarce where monkeys are abundant, and vice versé, so that here we seem to get a glimpse of one of the curious interactions of animals on each other, by which their distribution, their habits, and even their colours may have been influenced; for the most conspicuous pigeons, whether by colour or by their crests, are all found in countries where they have the fewest enemies. Picaria.-The extensive and heterogeneous series of birds now comprised under this term, include most of the fissirostral and scansorial groups of the older naturalists. They may be described as, for the most part, arboreal birds, of a low grade of organization, with weak or abnormally developed feet, and usually less active than the true Passeres or perching birds, of which our warblers, finches, and crows may be taken as the types. The order Picariae comprises twenty-five families, some of which are very extensive. All are either wholly or mainly tropical, only two of the families—the woodpeckers and the kingfishers—having a few representatives which are permanent residents in the temperate regions; while our summer visitor, the cuckoo, is the sole example in Northern Europe of one of the most abundant and widespread tropical families of birds, Only four of the families have a general distribution over all the warmer countries of the globe—the cuckoos, the kingfishers, the swifts, and the goatsuckers; while two others—the trogons and the woodpeckers—are only wanting in the Australian region, ceasing suddenly at Borneo and Celebes respectively. Cuckoos.—Whether we consider their wide range, their abundance in genera and species, or the peculiarities of their organization, the cuckoos may be taken as the most typical examples of this extensive order of birds; and there is perhaps no part of the tropics where they do not form a prominent feature in the ornithology of the country. Their chief food consists of soft insects, such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and the defenceless stick- and leaf-insects; and in search after these they frequent the bushes and lower parts of the forest, and the more open tree-clad plains. They vary greatly in size and appearance, from the small and beautifully

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