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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,
Caloenas, 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 Columbae 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.
_ _ _ _ - - - - a.s.o. 1 – 3. 4. 1. --— – - - - The Pteroclidae, 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 preeminently 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
The Tetraonidae, 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–Jndia 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 Tetraonidae 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: Peliperdic (1 sp.), West Africa; Perdia (3 sp.), the whole Continental Palaearctic region; Margaroperdiac (1 sp.), Madagascar; Oreoperdic (1 sp.), Formosa; Arborophila (8 sp.), the Oriental Continent and the Philippines; Peloperdic (4 sp.), Tenasserim and Malaya; Coturnia (21 sp.), Temperate Palaearctic, Ethiopian and Oriental regions, and the Australian to New Zealand; Rollulus (2 sp.), Siam to Sumatra, Borneo, and Philippines; Caloperdia (1 sp.), Malacca and Sumatra; Odontophorus (17 sp.), Brazil and Peru to Mexico; Dendroriya (3 sp.), Guatemala and Mexico; Cyrtonya (3 sp.), Guatemala to New Mexico; Ortya (8 sp.), Honduras and Cuba to Canada; Eups/chorty” (6 sp.), Brazil and Ecuador to Mexico; Callipopla (3 sp.), Mexico to California; Lophorty” (2 sp.), Arizona and California; Oreoriya (1 sp.), California and Oregon (Plate XVIII, Vol. II, p. 128); Lerwa (1 sp.), Snowy Himalayas and East Thibet; Caccabis (10 sp.), Palaearctic region to Abyssinia, Arabia and the Punjaub; Tetraogallus (4 sp.), Caucasus and Himalayas to Altai Mountains; Tetrao (7 sp.), northern parts of Palaearctic and Nearctic regions; Centrocercus (1 sp.), Rocky Mountains; Pediocates (2 sp.), North and North-west America (Plate XVIII. Vol. II, p. 128); Cupidonia (1 sp.), East and North-Central United States and Canada; Bomasa (3 sp.), north of Nearctic and Palaearctic regions; Lagopus (6 sp.), Arctic Zone and northern parts of Nearctic and Palaearctic regions. borders of the two regions. The genera adopted by Mr. Elliot in his Monograph are the following :PAvon INAE, 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.) LoPHOPHORINAE, 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); Puerasia (3 sp.), Lower and High woody Himalayas from the Hindoo Koosh to North-west China. PHASIANINAE, 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.) EUPLOCAMINAE, 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. GALLINAE, 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.) MELEAGRINAE, 1 genus—Meleagris (3 sp.), Eastern and Central United States and south to Mexico, Guatemala and Yucatan. AGELASTINA, 2 genera. – Phasidus (1 sp.), West Africa; Agelastes (1 sp.), West Africa. NUMIDINA, 2 genera—Acryllium (1 sp.), West Africa; Wumida (9 sp.), Ethiopian region, east to Madagascar, south to Natal and Great Fish River,
The Megapodiidae, 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