RECORD: Gould, J. 1837. [Observations on the Raptorial Birds in Mr. Darwin's Collection, with Characters of the New Species]. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 5: 9-11.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned by John van Wyhe, transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 6.2008. RN1


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January 24, 1837.

Rev. John Barlow, in the Chair.

Mr. Gould exhibited the Raptorial Birds included in the collection recently presented to the Society by Charles Darwin, Esq., and after some general observations upon the geographical distribution of the known species, proceeded to characterize the following as new to science:

POLYBORUS GALAPAGOENSIS. Pol. intensè fuscus; primariis, nigris; secondariarum pogoniis internis albo et fusco transversim striatis; caudâ cinerascenti-fuscâ, transversim lineis; angustis et frequentibus intensè fuscis notatâ rostro obscure corneo; pedibus olivaceo-flavis.

Long. tot. 20 unc.; rostri, 1½; alæ, 14½; caudæ, 9; tarsi, 3¼.

Fœm. jun. Capite et corpore intensè stramineis fuscoque variegatis; illo in pectore et abdomine prævalente; primariis fusco-nigris; caudis rectricum, pogoniis externis cinerascenti-fuscis, internis pallide-rosaceis; utrisque lineis angustis et frequentibus fuscis transversim striatis, apicibus sordide albis; rostro nigrescenti-fusco; pedibus olivaceo-flavis.

Long. tot. 22 unc.; rostri, 1¾; alæ, 17; caudæ 10½; tarsi, 3½.

Obs. Were I not assured by Mr. Darwin that the habits of this bird strictly coincide with those of the Caracara (Polyborus Brasiliensis), its mode of flight and cry being precisely the same, I should have been induced to regard it as rather belonging to the genus Buteo than to Polyborus; but as I have satisfactorily ascertained by a close investigation, it forms a beautiful intervening link between these genera, as is evidenced by the scaling of the tarsi and the produced form of the beak; while its habits place it within the limits of the latter genus.

It is on the authority of Mr. Darwin also that I rely for the assurance of the two birds above described being the male and the female of the same species, so great is the difference between them both in size and colour.

Hab. In insulis Galapagorum.

POLYBORUS (Phalcobænus) ALBOGULARIS. Pol. fuscescenti-niger, marginibus plumarum inter scapulos fulvis; primariis secondariisque albo ad apicem notatis; gulâ pectore corporeque subtus albis; lateribus fusco sparsis; rostro livido; cerâ flavâ tarsis olivaceis.

Long. tot. 20 unc.; rostri, 1 5/8; alæ, 18½; caudæ, 9; tarsi, 3.

Obs. I have some doubts as to whether this bird may not eventually prove to be a variety of Phalcobænus montana, D'Orb. The principal difference between this bird and the one described and figured

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by M. D'Orbigny is, that the throat and chest of the latter are brownish black, while the same parts in this bird are white.

Hab. Santa Cruz.

BUTEO VARIUS. But. vertice corporeque supra intensè fuscis, plumis fulvo marginatis vel guttatis; primariis secondariisque cinereis, lineis fuscis frequentibus transversim striatis; caudâ cinereâ, lineis angustis et frequentibus fuscis transversim notatâ singulis plumis flavescenti albo ad apicem notatis; gulâ fuliginosâ pectore fulvo lineâ interruptâ nigrescente circumdatâ a gulâ tendente; abdomine imo lateribusque stramineo et rufescenti-fusco variegatis; femoribus crissoque stramineis lineis transversalibus anfractis rufescenti-fusco ornatis; rostro nigro; cerâ tarsisque olivaceis.

Long. tot. 21½; alæ, 16½.

Obs. The fine individual above described was the only example of the species contained in Mr. Darwin's collection; and it is evidently in a state of change from youth to maturity.

Hab. Santa Cruz.

CIRCUS MEGASPILUS. Circ. vertice corporeque supra intense fuscis, lineâ stramineâ a naribus supra oculos ad occiput tendente; hoc rufescenti-fusco, primariis intensè fuscis ad basin cinereis, lineis nigris cancellatis; tectricibus caudæ albis; rectricibus intermediis cinereis externis cinereo-stramineis; omnibus lineis latis fuscis transversim notatis; lineâ ultimâ latisimâ apice sordide stramineo; gulâ et pectore stramineis, fusco sparsis; corpore subtus stramineo; plumis pectoris et laterum striâ centrali fusco notatis; rostro nigro; cerâ tarsisque flavis.

Long. tot. 21 unc. rostri,alæ, 17; caudæ 10½ tarsi, 3½.

BUTEO VENTRALIS. But. vertice corporeque intense et nitide-fuscis, plumis dorsalibus purpurescentibus; primariis nigris; caudâ fuscâ lineis frequentibus obscurioribus, cancellatâ ad apicem sordide albâ; gulâ abdomine medio crissoque stramineo albis; lateribus pectoris corporisque fasciâque abdominali necnon femoribus flavescente-albis fusco notatis, notis in femoribus rufescentibus; tarsis per mediam partem antice plumosis, rostro nigro; cerâ tarsisque flavis.

Long. tot. 21½ unc.; alæ, 15½ rostri,tarsi,

OTUS (Brachyotus) GALAPAGOENSIS. Ot. fasciâ circa oculos fuliginosâ; strigâ superciliari plumis nares tangentibus et circa angulum oris, gulâ et disci fascialis margine albis;; vertice corporeque supra intense stramineo fuscoque variegatis; primariis intense fuscis ad apicem, stramineo fasciatis ad basin; corpore subtus stramineo notis irregularibus fasciisque fuscis ornato; femoribus tarsisque plumosis rufescenti-stramineis; rostro et unguibus nigris.

Long. tot. 13½ rostri, 1; alæ, 11; caudæ, 6; tarsi, 2.

Obs. This species belongs to that section of the horned owls which

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comprehends the short-eared owl of England, and numerous other nearly allied species which are distributed universally over the globe, from all of which it may be distinguished by its smaller size and darker colouring. I am led to regard the members of this section as possessing characters of sufficient value to justify their being separated into a distinct genus, for which I propose the name of Brachyotus.

Mr. Martin described a species of Fox brought by Mr. Darwin from the island of Chiloe, respecting which he made the following remarks:—

The animal in question is probably identical with the Culpeu of Molina, especially an the account of its surprise at the presence of man, uncombined with any exertions to escape, as given by Mr. Darwin, agree with the observations of Molina. Still, however, the description of the Culpeu is too vague to render its identity with the present species a matter of certainty; and as I regard it to be the best and safest plan in all doubtful cases to set the matter in such a light as to prevent if possible any confusion, I shall here describe and name the animal, for which I propose the specific title fulvipes.

VULPES FULVIPES. Vulp. robustus, artubus, brevibus caudâ mediocri; corporis colore cano nigroque commixtis; hoc in dorso prævalente: capite sordidè fulvescente, cano irrorato, rostro fusco, labiis superioribus ad marginem sordide albis, mento fuliginoso, auribus externe castaneis; brachiis interne, tarsis, digitisque fulvis; genis, gulâ, corporeque subtus, sordide albis; caudâ vellere breviore per tertiam partem indutâ, apice floccoso et fuliginoso.

ft. in. lin.
Longitudo corporis ad basin caudæ …… 2 0 0
——— caudæ ad apicem velleris …. 0 9 0
——— rostri ad oculos ……… 0 1 4
——— aurium …………… 0 1 3
——— tarserum ad plantam digitalem 0 2 4
Altitudo apud humeros ……… 0 1 0

Hab. Chiloe.

The Vulpes fulvipes is remarkable for the stout form of the body and the shortness of the limbs: the tail is rather short, and covered with hair of moderate length, except at the extremity, where it forms an abrupt and full tuft tipped with sooty black. The general fur is full, moderately deep, and rather harsh; on the body the colour is hoary mixed with black, the latter being more decided down the top of the back; the head inclines to fulvous, grizzled with hoary. The muzzle and skin are dusky, but the edges of the lips are white: the ears are rather short and of a chestnut brown; the outside of the fore limbs is dusky black freckled with fulvous inner side and toes pale fulvous brown; a dark mark approaching black above the tarsal joint; tarsi and toes fulvous brown. Under parts dirty white. Hair of two sorts, viz. those which constitutes soft


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