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part of Polynesia, distances of more than 1,000 miles! These facts seem, however, to have been accepted on insufficient evidence and to be in themselves extremely improbable. It is observed that the cuckoos appear annually in certain districts and again disappear; but their course does not seem to have been traced, still less have they ever been actually seen arriving or departing across the ocean. In a country which has still such wide tracts of unsettled land, it is very possible that the birds in question may only move from one part of the islands to another.
Islets of the New Zealand Sub-region. We will here notice the smaller islands belonging to the subregion, as it is chiefly their birds that possess any interest.
Norfolk Island.--The land-birds recorded from this island amount to 15 species, of which 8 are Australian, viz. : Climacteris scandens, Symmorphus leucopygius, Zosterops tenuirostris and 2. albogularis, Halcyon sanctus, Platycercus pennanti, Carpophaga spadicea, Phapspicata and P. chalcoptera. Of the peculiar species three belong to Australian genera ; Petroica, Gerygone, and Rhipidura; one to a cosmopolitan genus, Turdus. So far the affinity seems to be all Australian, and there remain only three birds which ally this island to New Zealand, -Nestor productus, Cyanoramphus rayneri, and Notornis alba. The former inhabited the small Phillip Island (close to Norfolk Island) but is now extinct. Being a typical New Zealand genus, quite incapable of flying across the sea, its presence necessitates some former connexion between the two islands, and it is therefore perhaps of more weight than all the Australian genera and species, which are birds capable of long flights. The Cyanoramphus is allied to a New Zealand broad-tailed parroquet. The Notornis alba is extinct, but two specimens exist in museums, and it is even a stronger case than the Nestor, as showing a former approximation or union of this island with New Zealand. A beautiful figure of this bird is given in the Ibis for 1873,
Lord Howe's Island.—This small island, situated half-way between Australia and Norfolk Island, is interesting, as containing a peculiar species of the New Zealand genus Ocydremus, or
wood-hen (0. sylvestris). There is also a peculiar thrush, Turdus vinitinctus. Its other birds are wholly of Australian types, and most of them probably Australian species. The following have been observed, and no doubt constitute nearly its whole indigenous bird fauna. Acanthiza sp., Rhipidura sp., Pachycephala gutturalis, Zosterops strennuus and Z. tephropleurus, Strepera sp., Halcyon sp., and Chalcophaga chrysochlora. The two species of Zosterops are peculiar. The Ocydromus is important enough to ally this island to New Zealand rather than to Australia; and if the white bird seen there is, as supposed, the Notornis alba which is extinct in Norfolk Island, the connection will be rendered still more clear.
Chatham Islands. These small islands, 450 miles east of New Zealand, possess about 40 species of birds, of which 13 are landbirds. All but one belong to New Zealand genera, and all but five are New Zealand species. The following are the genera of the land-birds: Sphencacus, Gerygone, Myiomoira, Rhipidura, Zosterops, Anthus, Prosthemadera, Anthornis, Chrysococcyx, Cyanoramphus, Carpophaga, Circus. The peculiar species are Anthornis melanocephala, Myiomoira, diffenbachi and M. traversi, Rhipidura flabellifera, and a peculiar rail incapable of flight, named by Captain Hutton Cabalus modestus. It is stated that the Zosterops differs from that of New Zealand, and is also a migrant; and it is therefore believed to come every year from Australia, passing over New Zealand, a distance of nearly 1,700 miles! Further investigation will perhaps discover some other explanation of the facts. It is also stated, that the pigeon and one of the small birds (? Gerygone or Zosterops) have arrived at the islands within the last eight years. The natives further declare, that both the Stringops and Apteryx once inhabited the islands, but were exterminated about the year 1835.
The Auckland Islands. These are situated nearly 300 miles south of New Zealand, and possess six land-birds, of which three are peculiar,—Anthus aucklandicus, Cyanoramphus aucklandicus, and C. malherbii, the others being New Zealand species of Myiomoira, Prosthemadera, and Anthornis. It is remarkable that two peculiar parrots of the same genus should inhabit these
small islands; but such localities seem favourable to the Platycercidæ, for another peculiar species is found in the remote Macquarie Islands, more than 400 miles farther south. A peculiar species and genus of ducks, Nesonetta aucklandica, is also found here, and as far as yet known, nowhere else. A species of the northern genus Mergus is also found on these islands, and has been recently obtained by Baron von Hügel.
Plate XIII. Illustrating the peculiar Ornithology of New Zealand.-Our artist has here depicted a group of the most remarkable and characteristic of the New Zealand birds. In the middle foreground is the Owl-parrot or Kakapoe (Stringops habroptilus), a nocturnal burrowing parrot, that feeds on fern-shoots, roots, berries, and occasionally lizards; that climbs but does not fly; and that has an owl-like mottled plumage and facial disc. The wings however are not rudimentary, but fully developed ; and it seems to be only the muscles that have become useless for want of exercise. This would imply, that these birds have not long been inhabitants of New Zealand only, but were developed in other countries (perhaps Australia) where their wings were of use to them.
Beyond the Kakapoe are a pair of the large rails, Notornis mantelli; heavy birds with short wings quite useless for flight, and with massive feet and bill of a red colour. On the right is a pair of Kiwis (Apteryx australis), one of the queerest and most unbird-like of living birds. It has very small and rudimentary wings, entirely concealed by the hair-like plumage, and no tail. It is nocturnal, feeding chiefly on worms, which it extracts from soft earth by means of its long bill. The genus Apteryx forms a distinct family of birds, of which four species are now known, besides some which are extinct. They are allied to the Cassowary and to the gigantic extinct Dinornis. On the wing are a pair of Crook-billed Plovers (Anarhynchus frontalis), remarkable for being the only birds known which have the bill bent sideways. This was at first thought to be a malformation ; but it is now proved to be a constant character of the species, as it exists even in the young chicks; yet the purpose served by such an anomalous structure is not yet discovered.