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6 mucus membrane;' --- It should seem the Shag is subject to vary in the form of their occasional crest;'- 6 The redbacked Shrike is said to be common in Egypt, and are caught;' - must be very different in Picardy than in Sussex;'
i neither Brisson nor Buffon appear to have;' 6 the artifices these little creatures made was highly amusing;
the mottled appearance of old and new feathers are; • Domestication and confinement is undoubtedly the cause;' « miscomprehended ;'- • the reasons assigned is;'
6 what was its infantine colours;' - the irides of the Scops is of a deeper yellow;' -- the same indicative of immaturity,' - &c. The disfigured state of some Latin and French terms we would charitably ascribe to the unceremonious deportment of a provincial press: but the same apology can scarcely be offered for the cumbersome structure, non-completion, dislocation, or the utter confusion of the meaning of a sentence. single instance of each of these defects suffice.
• It is not our intention, in this place, to enter into a discussion upon the organs of digestion in quadrupedes, but as we find there are some animals who are equally graminivorous with those who have the powers of ruminating, and whose stomach is extremely different; it requires to be ascertained, whether the stomach alone, in ruminant animals, affords the means of extracting a superior portion of nourishment; or whether by a second mastication, the food is not better prepared by its extreme comminution, to yield more expeditiously its nutrimentous contents than can be effected in the stomach of a horse, who has not the power of grinding his food a second time, the mastication of which is imperfectly performed, and coarsely submitted to the organs of digestion.' • If we consider that these birds not only afford us a wholesome but a delicate food; their smaller feathers and down contribute so largely to our nightly repose; their quills, so common in use for transmitting our thoughts to the present and future ages, we may truly estimate their intrinsic value, as little inferior to the sheep; for the wool of the goose is equally valuable, and the flesh as eagerly sought after.' - In the month of December, 1805, a small flock of these birds were observed busy in extracting the seeds from the alder trees, in the south of Devon, several of which were shot, With all these reflections, founded on the known laws of nature, evinced by daily experience, we can have no more doubt of the identity of these two Shrikes as distinct species, than we have that they are different from the Cinereous Shrike,' &c.
Having thus discharged the only unpleasant part of our office, we are prepared to intimate, without distraction, the nature and extent of some of those additions with which this Supplement is enriched. We may premise, in general, that the list of synonyms has been considerably augmented, 13
especially by the insertion of numbers of the provincial appellations; that many of the original articles are considerably enlarged, or reformed; that not a few species are noticed for the first time; that others have been satisfactorily proved to be mere varieties, resulting from sex or age; that the quantity of matter contained in this single volume somewhat exceeds that which was comprized in the two former; and that almost every page might justly attract our consideration and solicit our report. We must be contented, however, to point out a few of the more prominent articles, and even to pass unnoticed many original and ingenious observations.
Under Auk-black-billed, and Auk-razor-billed, various particulars are stated, corroborative of the author's former opinion that these are distinct species. Two or three instances of the Little Bittern (Ardea minuta) having been shot on our coasts are recorded, on the testimony of Mr. Comyns and the Reverend Mr. Fleming. We have also to remark that the distinctions between the Mountain, Tawny, and Snow Buntings, are more fully developed than in the preceding part of the work. The Great Bustard (Otis tarda) suggests the ensuing notices :
• One of this species shot in Devonshire in the year 1804, and taken to Plymouth market, was bought by a publican for a shilling; an evident proof that refined luxury had not found its way so far westward from the metropolis, since a poulterer in London would have demanded two or three guineas for it. But so rare a wanderer was not stamped with its real value, where it was unknown, and the landlord perhaps considering it fit for a secondary table, fairly speculated upon the cost of a dish that perhaps did not exceed one half-penny in the pound, and had it dressed for the dinner of some riders. These itinerant gentlemen being as ignorant as the natives of the prize set before them, and perceiving, upon dissection, the difference in the colour of the pectoral muscle from the other part of the breast (a circumstance not unusual, especially in the Grous kind) voted it improper food, and ordered it from table.
• Some neighbouring gentlemen happening to sup at the inn the evening after, and hearing of the circumstance, desired they might be introduced to this princely bird, and partook of it cold, at this repast.
• The above story was related to us * by a gentleman of property and strict veracity, residing in the county.
« Could this bird have been likened to any known species of game, for which there is so much demand, it might have proved a treasure to the captor ; for the Lesser Bustard was offered for a very reduced price in the same market, not many years since, when some person pronounced it a heath-fowl, (a bird inhabiting some parts of Devon,) and the price instantly rose to five shillings, which a friend who afterwards sent it to us, did not hesitate to give.
* Mr. Montagu, like Kings and Reviewers, always speaks in the plural number.
« The Great Bustard has decreased so rapidly within these twenty years, that in a few years more not a vestige of them will remain in these realms. The shepherds with whom we have conversed lately, declare they have not seen one in their most favourite haunts, upon the extensive downs of Wiltshire, for the last two or three years, where we have often contemplated this noble bird with so much pleasure, and regarded them as an object well worth every attempt to cultivate in their native plains; for all the artful means tried to keep and domesticate them, so as to procure increase, have proved abortive. The length of their days is reduced in that state, that few have exceeded two or three years, and have never shewn any inclination to breed.'
A specimen of the Little Bustard, shot near Torrington, and rescued by Mr. Prideaux • from the all-devouring jaw of the epicure,' enabled the author not only to describe this rare species with more satisfactory minuteness then heretofore, but to offer some ingenious remarks on the structure of the stomach of graminivorous birds. His suggestions on this subject, however, though well deserving the attention of the physiological student, are too ample for our insertion.
Having clearly established that the Crested Corvorant is only a variety of the common species, the author proceeds thus :
• The possession of this bird has given us much of its history we were previously unacquainted with. It is extremely docile, and of a grateful disposition, without the smallest tincture of a savage or vindictive spirit, and by no means possessing the bad qualities a celebrated writer would induce us to believe, by making it personify Satan.
The bird in question was surprised by a Newfoundland dog, belonging to a fisherman, under the banks of a rivulet that ran into the British Channel; it was taken home, and not being in the accustomed plumage, was reported to be a curious and unknown species. As soon as Mr. Austice heard of it, he went to see the bird, and found that in the small space of time it had been made captive (about a week), it was perfectly familiarized, and making, one in the family circle round the fire, suffering the caresses of the children, who were very unwilling to part with it. That mode, however, by which all earthly matters are obtained, and by which kingdoms are lost and gained, succeeded, and it was conveyed to us by the coach, being placed in a basket. As soon as it arrived and was liberated, it followed the servant who released it, and was offered every sort of food at hand, all of which
was equally refused; not even raw flesh was acceptable, and po fish could then be procured to satisfy its hunger, (having been twenty-four hours on its journey,) in consequence we cramed * it with Aesh, which was taken very reluctantly; but even with this rough handling, its formidable bill was not made use of offensively. After feeding, it was placed on a stool, in an adjoining room to the library, where it sat perfectly contented, and ada justed its disconcerted plumage. Observing it so perfectly reconciled to its new abode, and having retired to the library, leaving both doors open, with intention of returning, we were astonished, in a few minutes, to see the stranger walk boldly into the room, while in conversation with a friend, and coming towards us with the greatest confidence and familiarity, joined us at the fire-side, where it re-assumed the task of pluming and dressing its feathers. From hence we removed this bird to an aquatic menagerie, to which it was carried without offering the least offensive resistence, but the sight of water made it restless, and when liberated, it instantly plunged in and dived incessantly for a considerable time, in hopes of prey; and
and after searching every part of the pond, without obtaining a single fish, it appeared to be convinced there were none, and never made any other attempt for three days, during the whole of which time, it was crammed with flesh, not being
able to procure any fish.' --- It lives in perfect harmony with a whistling swan, a bernacle goose, various sorts of ducks, and other occasional birds, but if it perceives a gull with a piece of fish, it instantly gives chace: if, however, the gull has time to swallow it, no resentment is offered, the sight of it created the desire of possession, and that desire ceases with its disappearance.
• If it gets out it never attempts to ramble, but walking direct to the house, enters the first open door without deference to any one, regardless even of a dog, and in fact is troublesomely tame.'
The circumstance of two carrion-crows conveying the refuse of a fisherman's net from the edge of the flowing tide, to just above high-water-mark, and, after having satisfied their appetite, depositing the remainder of their prey under large stones, is adduced as an example of provident reflection in birds, since the secreting of their superfluous store could not be prompted by the instinctive calls of hunger. The author has so carefully noted the points of difference between the male and female of the Imber-diver, (Colymbus immer,) that they are not likely, in future, to be described as separate species. It is remarked that the Rock-pigeon has been found to be a great devourer of helix virgata, with which it also re
The shell • not only acts as a gentle stimu. lus to the delicate stomach of the infant race, but when ground to a powder becomes an absorbent, and corrects the acrimonious quality of their other food.' -- Under Duck-Scaup,
This orthography occurs, we believe, more than once. Rev. Rey. Aug. 1817.
Mr. Montagu takes occasion to rectify an error into which he, in common with some other ornithologists, had fallen with regard to the alleged similarity of plumage in the male and the female; whereas the difference is, in fact, so decidedly marked that they had been considered as distinct species. A female of this bird, which fell under the author's particular observation, died, in consequence of a diseased state of its system; and a mucor, or blue mould, was found, on dissection, vegetating in the cavity of the membrane that separates the lungs from the other viscera. Having noticed that the Golden Eagle is of more rare occurrence in this country than it is commonly supposed to be, owing to the circumstance of almost every large eagle being mistaken for it, Mr. Montagu thus lifts up his honest and indignant voice against the dispersion of the late Lèverian Museum:
" It has not been our good fortune to meet with one out of the many reputed Golden species that have been shot in England, nor have we ever seen this bird in any British collection, except in that which was once as much an honour to the country, as its recent dispersion is a disgrace. When we reflect on the various detections of peculation to a vast amount by public characters ; when public bodies can, by application to Parliament, procure loans to any amount, and private individuals be rewarded from the public fund, how extraordinary does it appear that in neither of the Houses of Parliament an advocate or a champion should be found ready to stand forth and rescue science in so enlightened a country. It will scarcely be credited in after ages, when our children's children shall be told of the polish and refinement of the present day, that the trifling sum of thirty, or perhaps twenty thousand pounds, would have added that vast assemblage of nature and art to the British Museum; yet it was suffered to be dispersed.
· Had the Leverian Museum been connected with that of [the] British, these collectively would have formed a most magnificent national collection that might have been envied by surrounding potentates, but unrivalled even by that of the Great Nation, (to which the fate of war has given the means of plundering from the public and private museums of nearly the whole of Europe,) but alas! that unfortunate collection has been dissolved, “and like the baseless fabrick of a vision, has not left a wreck behind.”
* The scientific reader will pardon this digression, and sympathise with us on the fate of that once entertaining and highly instructive assemblage, both natural and artificial, collected from every part of the globe. At its dissolution the Austrian cabinet was enriched by means of a special seientific messenger expressly sent by its august:sovereign, and some of the choicest and most valuable articles were probably at the capture of Vienna transferred to the Parisian Museum.