Schlagwort-Archive: Psittacidae

Lady Tavistocks Sittich

Lady Tavistocks Sittich (Barnardius crommelinae Mathews)

Diese eigentlich vollkommen unbekannte ‚Art‘ ist nur anhand eines einzigen Exemplars bekannt, eines Weibchens, das offenbar eine Zeitlang im Aviarium des Marquis of Tavistock in Gefangenschaft gehalten und nach dessen Frau benannt wurde. [1]

Es handelt sich hierbei offenbar um einen Barnardsittich (Barnardius barnardi (Vigors & Horsfield)) dem große Teile der gelben Areale fehlen. [2]

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Darstellung aus: ‚Gregory M. Mathews: The birds of Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands and the Australasian South Polar quadrant with additions to „The Birds of Australia“. London: H. F. & G. Witherby 1928‘

(public domain)

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Quelle:

[1] Gregory M. Mathews: A new form of Barnardius. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists‘ Club 46(299): 21. 1925
[2] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds. Bloomsbury Natural History; 2nd edition 2017

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bearbeitet: 27.03.2021

Obskurer Papagei

Obskurer Papagei (Psittacus obscurus

Der so genannte Obskure Papagei, der eigentlich besser Dunkler Papagei heißen sollte wurde ursprünglich im Jahr 1757 durch Fredric Hasselquist bzw. Carl von Linné beschrieben, dies ist die Beschreibung.:

PSITTACUS (obscurus) niger, vertise cinereonigrescente vario, cauda cinerea.
CAPUT oblongum, lateribus compressum, dorso depressum, respectu corporis satis magnum.
Rostrum totum latum, crassum, obtusissimum, aduncum, capite triplo brevius. Maxilla superior subconvexa, inferius latiuscula, dorsum versus magis contracta, mobilis. Ad basin maxillae superioris infra nares sulcus conspieitur, quasi imbricata esset pergit. Apex maxillae superioris aduncus extra maxillam inferiorem, quo ad quartam sui partem extensus, extremitate obtusiusculus. Lobulus utrinque ad basin apicis, maxillae inferiori dum clauditur os, supra impositum, Maxilla inferior superiore crassior, magis comnvexa, brevior, quantitate apicis superioris, basi subtus gula distans, posterius aequalis; apice obtusa & fere emarginata; sinus semicircularis ad basin apicis. Nares proxime supra rostrum, perfecte circulares, magnitudine pennae gallinaceae.
Oculi vertici quam gulae, naribus etiam quam basi capitis propiores. Iris flava. Pupilla nigra. Area oculorum usque a fine maxillae superioris ad initium verticis latitudine, & a naribus, fere usque ad basin verticis longitudine nuda, rugosa, pilis vix conspicuis obsita.
Aurium apertura oblonga, transversalis, ab oculis aequali spatio, ut oculi a naribus, distans, basi capitis quam vertici multo propior, plumis tenuibus & membrana retractilis tecta.
Remiges circiter 20:1, 2 reliquis longiores; 3, 4, 5, paulo breviores, aequales; 6. 7. 8 ordine decrescentes; reliqui aequales breviores.
CAUDA cuneiformis. Rectrices circiter 10, laterales breviore intermedii longioribus.
PEDES, crura plumosa, usque ad flexuram tarsi.
Digiti 4: antici 2 & postici 2; ex anterioribus internus exteriori tribus articulis brevior est posterioribus, interior exteriori dimidio brevior; omnes digiti squamosi, squamis imbricatis, articulis duobus insimis impositis; reliqua pars pedis tuberculata, tuberculis levibus, circularibus, parum elevatis.
Lingua crassa, apice obtusissima & fere semicirculari, lateribus marginata, marginibus fursum inflexis, unde canaliculata evadit.
Ungues adungi, obtusiusculi.
COLOR: Rostrum nigrum. Area oculorum alba. Vertex ex cinereo & nigrescente variegatus. Colum & Alae supra nigra.
Abdomen & crura cinerea, cum lineis transversalibus canis. Tubercula pedum nigra. Ungues nigri. Cauda tota cinerea.
MAGNITUDO Graculi.
“ [1]

***

Ich muss gestehen, dass ich meine Übersetzungsversuche hier aufgegeben habe da sie nirgendwohin führten.

Wie dem auch sei, John Latham, der bekannte Autor vieler Vogelbücher des späten 18./frühen 19. Jahrhunderts, führt die Art im 2. Teil seines Werkes „A general history of birds“.:

SIZE of a Jay. Bill black, the feathers round the base of it black, rough, and beset with hairs; space round the eye white; irides yellow; crown variegated cinereous and black; upper parts of the neck and wings black; belly and thighs cinereous, marked with transverse hoary lines; tail wholly ash-coloured, cuneiform; legs tuberculated, black; toes the same; claws crooked, and black.
Inhabits Africa. The only one who has described this is Hasselquist, from whom Linnaeus had his account; as to that which the latter refers in Brisson, it is quite a different species, and he mentions it as such in his last Mantissa.
“ [2]

Übersetzung: 

GRÖßE eines Hähers. Schnabel schwarz, die Federn rund um die Basis schwarz, rau und mit Haaren besetzt; Bereich um das Auge weiß; Iriden gelb; Scheitel grau und schwarz variegiert; obere Teile des Halses und Flügel schwarz; Bauch und Oberschenkel grau, markiert mit quer verlaufenden grauen Linien; Schwanz ganz aschfarben, keilförmig; Beine höckerig, schwarz; Zehen gleich; Krallen krumm und schwarz. 
Bewohnt Afrika. Der Einzige, der ihn beschrieben hat, ist Hasselquist, von dem Linnaeus seinen Bericht hatte; worauf sich letzterer in Brisson bezieht, so handelt es sich um eine ganz andere Art, und er erwähnt sie in seiner letzten Mantisse als solche.

***

Der Vogel wird Psittacus genannt und mag mit dem Graupapagei (Psittacus erithacus L.) und dem Timneh-Papagei (Psittacus timneh Fraser) verwandt gewesen sein; aber halt! Nahezu sämtliche Papageien wurden ursprünglich als Psittacus beschrieben, so dass dieser Name ebenfalls nirgendwo hinführt, es ist nicht einmal sicher, dass es sich hier überhaupt um einen Papagei handelt. 

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Skizze

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Quellen: 

[1] Fredric Hasselquists: Iter Palæstinum, eller Resa til Heliga Landet, förrättad ifrån år 1749 til 1752, med beskrifningar, rön, anmärkningar, öfver de märkvärdigaste naturalier, på Hennes Kongl. Maj:ts befallning, utgiven af Carl Linnaeus. Stockholm: Trykt på L. Salvii kåstnad 1757
[2] John Latham: A general history of birds. Winchester: printed by Jacob and Johnson, for the author: — sold in London by G. and W. B. Whittaker, Ave-Maria-Lane; John Warren, Bond Street, W. Wood, 428, Strand; and J. Mawman, 39, Ludgate-Street 1821-1828
[3] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds. Bloomsbury Natural History; 2nd edition 2017

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edited: 26.03.2021

Ari-manou – an extinct parrot from Bora Bora?

While checking old papers regarding the enigmatic Divine Kingfisher from the island of Bora Bora, I found that the same paper mentions the existence of a lorikeet on the same island, well actually even two species of lorikeets, one being the Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana (Statius Müller)) and the other one being Kuhl’s Lorikeet (Vini kuhlii (Vigors)).  

Or was it something else? 

***

Well here are the original text passages.:  

On nous donna á Borabora une espèce vivante de perruche très-voisine du phigy de Levaillant …, peut-être encore plus voisine de la perruche fringillaire …, et que M. Vigors a décrite récemment … sous le nom de psittacula Kuhlii. 
Cet oiseau, sur lequel nous fournirons de nouveaux détails dans la partie descriptive des espèces, a la langue terminée par un petit cercle de papilles nerveuses; ses habitudes sont vives et colériques, et son naturel sauvage.
”  

translated:  

We were given on Borabora a living species of parrot very close to the phigy of Levaillant …, perhaps even closer to the parakeet that Mr. Vigors has recently described … under the name of psittacula Kuhlii. 
This bird, on which we will furnish new details in the descriptive part of the species, has the tongue terminated by a small circle of nerve papillae; his habits are lively and angry, and his temper is wild.
”  

and the second part:  

Cet oiseau a les narines en scissure et la langue terminée par un cercle de papilles longues, qu’on retrouve chez l’ Ari-manou. Il se nourrit de bananes, et son caractère est extrêmement colérique. Nous nous le sommes procuré dans l’île de Borabora. 
Cette petite perruche à queue pointue a de longueur totale six pouces. Son bec et ses tarses sont orangés; le front est vert; les plumes de la tête et de l’occiput sont longues, étroites, d’un bleu céleste au sentre et frangées de noir sur les bords; les joues, le devant de la gorge et du cou, jusqu’au haut du ventre, sont d’un rouge vermillon mat: le milieu du ventre est aussi de ce même rouge, mais la région anale et les plumes des cuisses sont dún bleu pourpré. Le plumage est en entier d’un vert lustré clair, plus foncé et teint roussatre sur le manteau; la queue est jaune en-dessous et verte et jaune en-dessus. Les rémiges sont noires et vertes.
”  

translated:  

This bird has cracked nostrils and the tongue ends with a circle of long taste buds, found in the Ari-manou [?]. It feeds on bananas, and its character is extremely choleric. We obtained it on the island of Borabora. 
This small-tailed parrot has a total length of six inches
[ca. 15,3 cm]. Its beak and tarsi are orange; the forehead is green; the feathers of the head and of the occiput are long, narrow, of a heavenly blue in the center, and fringed with black on the edges; the cheeks, the front of the throat and the neck, up to the upper part of the belly, are of a matt vermilion red: the middle of the belly is also of this same red, but the anal region and the feathers of the thighs are of a blue purple. The plumage is entirely lighter green, darker and reddish on the mantle; the tail is yellow below and green and yellow above. The flight feathers are black and green.”  

***

Well, the description mostly fits with Kuhl’s Lorikeet, except for the color of the mantle (said to be darker and reddish; but is yellowish green in V. kuhlii), and the tail (said to be yellow below and green and yellow above; but is yellowish green and red in V. kuhlii).  

So what do we have here?  

Kuhl’s Lorikeet was once more widely distributed, this is a fact that is known, the bird inhabited mostly all of the Austral- and the Cook Islands, but what about the Society Islands?  

Kuhl’s Lorikeet (Vini kuhlii); photographed at the Museum Heineanum, Halberstadt

There are also some old oral traditions from the Society Island published in 1928, mentioning at least seven different kinds of parrots, some can be identified as well-known species, others can’t.  

***

My guess is, the likeliest possibility is that this parrot from Bora Bora may represent a now extinct subspecies of Kuhl’s Lorikeet from the Society Islands.  

***

There’s a little update here as well:

The following small account is found in G. R. Gray’s ‚ Catalogue of the birds of the tropical islands of the Pacific Ocean in the collection of the British Museum‘.:

CORIPHILUS KUHLII

‚Ari-manou‘ of the natives of the Society Islands.
Society Islands (Borabora); Sandwich Islands.
“ [2]

I thus changed the name of the supposed bird in the headline.

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References:

[1] Teuira Henry: Ancient Tahiti. Bishop Museum Bulletins 48: 1-651. 1928 [2] M. L. I. Duperrey: Voyage autour du monde: Exécuté par Ordre du Roi, Sur la Corvette de Sa Majesté, La Coquille, pendant les années 1822, 1823, 1824, et 1825, par M. L. I. Duperrey; Zoologie, par Mm. Lesson et Garnot. Paris: Arthus Bertrand 1828
[2] George Robert Gray: Catalogue of the birds of the tropical islands of the Pacific Ocean in the collection of the British Museum. London: printed by order of the Trustees 1859

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edited: 10.03.2020

Schwarzstirnsittich – weniger bekannte Darstellungen

Dieser tahitianische Papagei ist einer meiner Lieblingsvögel, leider existiert er aber nicht mehr da er durch eingeschleppte Säugetiere (Hunde, Katzen, Ratten) ausgerottet wurde.

Hier möchte ich zwei Darstellungen zeigen, die ich noch nicht kannte; beide stammen aus dem Jahr 1792 und wurden von Mitgliedern der Besatzung der HMS Providence angefertigt, die mit der Mission nach Tahiti gekommen war, Brotfruchtbäume und anderes botanisches Material vom Pazifik zu den Westindischen Inseln zu transportieren. 

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Darstellung: George Tobin, Leutnant an Bord der HMS Providence

(public domain)

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Darstellung: William Bligh, Kapitän der HMS Providence

(public domain)

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bearbeitet: 27.10.2019

Some Micronesian beauties

A while ago I found this Japanese book about the birds of Micronesia online while searching for I don’t no what, it originally probably included more than these three plates, however, these are the only ones that I could find and I want to share them here because they are so exceedingly beautiful.:

Tokutaro Momiyama: Horyo Nanyo Shoto-san chorui. Tokyo: Nihon Chogakkai: Taisho 11. 1922
(public domain)

***

I will name the birds with their current names in the order in which they are depicted.

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White-throated Ground Dove (Alopecoenas xanthonurus ), female and male 
Caroline Ground Dove (Alopecoenas kubaryi)
White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinereus)
Pohnpei Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubiginosus)
Purple-capped Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus ponapensis)
Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula oceanica ssp. monacha)
Kosrae Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus hernsheimi), juvenile
Truk Monarch (Monarcha rugensis), young male, adult male, and female
Yap Olive White-eye (Zosterops oleagineus)
Truk White-eye (Rukia ruki)

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edited: 20.10.2019

Rapa Nui – the parrots or the parrot?

Well, it seems that I finish this whole Rapa Nui project already in December 2018 ….  

***  

Anyway, let’s just begin with the first one (or two?) of the endemic landbird species that once inhabited Easter Island.  

There were two parrots once …:  

Parrots are represented by a partial quadrate of a very large species (larger than in Nestor, Prosopeia, Eclectus, or any lorikeet; dissimilar from that in neotropical parrots) and digit I, phalanx 2 of the wing (larger than in Vini or Cyanoramphus, smaller than in Nestor or Eclectus; ca. the size in Prosopeia).” [1]  

***  

So far so fine, bat my gut feeling almost screams: “ONE!!!” What if this was a very large species, something like a Rapa Nui equivalent of the New Zealand Kakapo (Strigops habroptila Gray), a big, small-winged and flightless ground-dwelling parrot that inhabited the dense forests of the island, now long gone, searching for fallen fruits of the likewise extinct Rapa Nui Palm (Paschalococos disperta (J. Dransf.)).  

The Rapa Nui Parrot may still have been able to climb smaller trees with the help of its typical parrot beak and its feet, and it certainly was a curious and tame bird and was easily killed off by the first Polynesian discoverers of the island.  

This is my reconstruction, well it’s just a sketch so far, and the bird is still probably too small. 🙂    

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006  

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edited: 10.12.2018

Psittacus pacificus – what if …?

… some thoughts about my favorite parrot genus – Cyanoramphus, I think about them very often ….   😉

***

28.* Cyanoramphus erythronotus.

Society Is.: Tahiti and Raiatea (Forster)
“ [1]

and

30.* Cyanoramphus ulietanus.

?Ulietea or Raiatea, Society Islands (Lath.). – ?Tanna, New Hebrides (Bullock Coll. Brit. Mus.).
If the Parrot, P. ulieteanns Gm., really came from Ulietea as stated by Latham, it may prove to be the young of P. pacificus Forst. = erythronotus Kuhl.
“ [1]

***

Number 28., the Black-fronted- or Tahiti-Parakeet is now named as Cyanoramphus zealandicus (Latham), what if the two species, the black-fronted and the Society Islands Parakeet, where indeed only one species?

The Black-fronted Parakeet appears to be very much like the remainder of the Cyanoramphus species, more or less completely green, with bluish wing feathers, and some red feathers behind the eye, but the other species, the Society Islands Parakeet, has a completely different coloration, being brownish olive-colored with a completely blackish head, it is completely unlike any of ist congeners.

The dull form may indeed have been the juvenile of the green one, yet all other species in the genus lack a special juvenile plumage, the young birds look exactly like the adult ones, and the only two known specimens of the Society Islands Parakeet appear to be adult birds – so no, this theory is invalid.

***

The origin of the two species is another question, it is not that much for certain, that in historical times one was found only on the island of Tahiti and the other one only on Ra’iatea, let alone the prehistorical times …! The only thing absolutely for sure is that the Black-fronted Parakeet indeed inhabited Tahiti.

Can you still follow me?

The genus is very rich in species in New Zealand and occurs there almost everywhere with at least two sympatrical species, and even as much as three on the large South Island (Yellow-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps), Orange-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi), Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezealandiae)).

So why should the island of Tahiti not have harbored two species as well? And why should these two species not have occurred on other islands within the Society archipelago as well? We will probably never know that for sure.

***

There are still so many mysteries surrounding this genus, one is the very disjunct distribution, with giant gaps of which one was only recently filled with the discovery of subfossil remains on the island of Rapa, Austral archipelago.

But this is another story for another day.   🙂

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References:  

[1] Lionel K. Wiglesworth: Aves polynesiae: a catalogue of the birds of the Polynesian subregion (not including the Sandwich Islands). Berlin: R. Friedlaender & Sohn 1891 In: Abhandlungen und Berichte des Königl. Zoologischen und Anthropologisch-Etnographischen Museums zu Dresden Bd. 3: 1-84. 1890/91. herausgegeben von Hofrath Dr. A. B. Meyer, Director des Museums

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edited: 24.10.2018

Levaillant’s Blue-tailed Lory

Levaillant’s Blue-tailed Lory is another mysterious lory ‚described‘ at the very beginning of the 19th century by François Le Vaillant on the basis of a single specimen (alive or dead?).

The bird is very similar in many aspects to the Red Lory (Eos bornea (L.)), a species that does not occur on the island of Borneo, Indonesia, but on several small islands within the Maluku island group, Indonesia, namely Ambon, Buru, Saparua, Seram, Haruku, and the Kai Islands.

The mysterious lory differs from the Red Lory actually only in its name-giving blue tail.

The bird was never scientifically described, and since F. Le Vaillant wasn’t a fan of C. von Linné‘s binominal nomenclature system, it was only ever named as ‚Le Perroquet Lori a queue bleue‘, as ‚The Lori Parrot with a blue tail‘.

Here is the important part of Levaillant’s ‚description‘.:


Le plumage général, c‘est-à-dire, celui de la tête, du cou, du dos, du croupion; les plumes des jambes du Lori à queue bleue, sont d’un rouge foncé, tirant au cramoisi. Toutes les couvertures des ailes sont du rouge cramoisi du corps, à l’exception de trois ou quatre de celles du millieu, qui sont bleu-foncé; queles autres de celles du millieu et les plus grandes sont lisérées de bleu. Les scapulaires, les deux dernières plumes des ailes près du dos, le bas-ventre et la queue entière, sont aussi bleus. Les grandes pennes alaires sont d’un noir brun. Le bec est d’un jaune d’ocre, et les pieds sont noirs.
L’espèce du Lori à queue bleue se trouve plus communément à l’île Bornéo. L’individu que nous en avons figuré de grandeur naturelle, fait partie de la belle collection de M. Raye de Breukelervaert, à Amsterdam.

Translation:


The general plumage, that is to say, that of the head, neck, back, rump; the feathers of the blue-tailed Lori’s legs are dark red, scarlet-crimson. All the wing coverts are crimson red, with the exception of three or four of the middle ones, which are dark blue; the others from the middle and the larger ones are marked with blue. The scapulars, the last two feathers of the wings near the back, the lower abdomen and the whole tail, are also blue. The large wing tips are black-brown. The beak is ochre yellow, and the feet are black.
The Blue-tailed Lori is more commonly found on Borneo Island. The individual that we have figured in natural size, is part of the beautiful collection of Mr. Raye de Breukelervaert, from Amsterdam.“ [1]

***

What or who is this Blue-tailed Lori?

Well, if F. Le Vaillant did only see a dead, a stuffed bird, this may in fact just have been a Red Lory lacking its actual tail, which had been replaced by the blue tail of any other parrot species – this method was actually quite common in these days, either to complete a incomplete specimen or even to make a complete new species, a fake species if you want, something unique that could earn high prizes other collectors in search for something unique for their collection were often willing to pay.

There existed many such collections in the 18th and early 19th century, containing real natural treasures but also things like unicorn horns, dried mermaids, and, of course fake bird species, especially birds of paradise and parrots.

It is also interesting that the island of Borneo is given as the place of origin. The bird may very well have been bought on a bird market on that island to end up as a corpse in a collection in the Netherlands, but, being definetely a member of the genus Eos, it clearly was not native to that island.

My last words here: Levaillant’s Blue-tailed Lory very likely is just a Red Lory with a fake tail.

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source:

[1] François Le Vaillant: Histoire naturelle des perroquets, Paris Levrault, Schoell & Cie, An IX-XII. 1801–1805

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Depiction from: „François Le Vaillant: Histoire naturelle des perroquets, Paris Levrault, Schoell & Cie, An IX-XII. 1801–1805“

(public domain)

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edited: 02.10.2018

Unicolored Lory

The Unicolored Lory (Eos unicolor (Shaw)) is a bright red colored parrot, that is known from a single drawing and the annotated description in François Le Vaillant‘s ‚Histoire naturelle des perroquets‘ from the very early 19th century.

There were two individuals known at that time, kept in captivity in the Netherlands, from which one was depicted.:

L’uniformité de la coleur du plumage de ce Lori nous a déterminé à lui donner le surnom d’unicolore; et cette coleur est d’un rouge pâle sur la tête, le cou, la poitrine, l’estomac, le ventre et les couvertures du dessous de la queue. Le manteau et le croupion, les couvertures des ailes et celles de la queue, lla queue elle-même, sont aussi rouges, mais d‘un noir brun vers leur pointe. Le bec est rouge, et les pieds sont d‘un brun terreux.
L’espèce de ce Lori se trouve aux Moluques. M. Temminck, d’Amsterdam, qui avoit deux de ces oiseaux dans sa belle collection, eut la bonté de m’en donner un. Ces deux individus sont les seuls de l’espéce que j’aie jamais vus.

translation:

The uniformity of the color of the plumage of this Lori has determined us to give him the moniker nickname; and this color is pale red on the head, neck, chest, stomach, belly, and undertail coverts. The mantle and the rump, the coverts of the wings and those of the tail, the tail itself, are also red, but of a dark brown towards their point. The beak is red, and the feet are of an earthy brown.
The species of this Lori is found in Maluku. M. Temminck from Amsterdam, who had two of these birds in his fine collection, was kind enough to give me one. These two individuals are the only ones of the species I have ever seen.“ [1]

***

The Maluku Islands were a Dutch colony (at least in parts), so it’s no wonder that birds cought there were transported to Amsterdam.

***

Since the Unicolored Lory is now known exclusively from the single drawing in ‚Histoire naturelle des perroquets‘, some zoologists think that this depiction may in fact simply show a Cardinal Lory (Chalcopsitta cardinalis (G. R. Gray)) from the Solomon Islands. This species, however, is not that unicolored but has a bright red underside and a rather dull cherry-red upper side, a longer tail, as well as a patch of bare skin around its beak.

The drawings made by Jacques Barraband are not just only very good, they are in fact scientifically correct, even for modern standards, so the Unicolored Lory can indeed be identified as a member of the genus Eos. This genus contains at least six species, that all are confined to the islands in the Banda Sea (the Maluku Islands and some islands off western New Guinea), Indonesia. All of these species are mainly bright red colored, with more or less amounts of bright blue areas.

There is a slight possibility that the two birds kept in captivity, were of hybrid origin, but this leads to the question for the parent species, since all other known congeneric species bear at least some blue in their plumage, while the Unicolored Lory was completely red.

The Maluku Islands, especially the smaller islands, are heavily deforested and the original forest has been replaced by plantations, this has probably already begun in the 14th century, when the islands were discovered by Arab merchants. Most of the endemic lory species are now heavily threatened with extinction, and at least two taxa (the Red-and-blue Lory (Eos histrio ssp. histrio (Statius Müller)), and the Talaud Red-and-blue Lory (Eos histrio ssp. talautensis Meyer & Wiglesworth)) are already completely extinct.

The Unicolored Lory may have been restricted to a single, small island within the region, and its population may already have been very low due to deforestation and hunting, when the two individuals were caught and brought to the netherlands

There is no obvious reason why the Unicolored Lory should not have existed!

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References:

[1] François Le Vaillant: Histoire naturelle des perroquets, Paris Levrault, Schoell & Cie, An IX-XII 1801–1805

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Depiction from: “François Le Vaillant: Histoire naturelle des perroquets, Paris Levrault, Schoell & Cie, An IX-XII. 1801–1805”

(public domain)

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edited: 30.09.2018

Mysteriöse Papageien aus Polynesien

Ich hatte hier bereits über eine hypothetische Papageienart geschrieben, die einst auf der Insel Bora Bora im Gesellschaftsarchipel vorgekommen sein mag.

***  

Ich möchte nun über ein paar sehr interessante Überlieferungen schreiben, die von Teuira Henry (1847-1915), einer tahitianischen Pädagogin, Ethnologin, Folkloristin, Historikerin, Linguistin und Gelehrten, in einem Manuskript hinterlassen wurden, das sie zu Lebzeiten aus den Stücken eines verlorenen Manuskripts rekonstruierte, das in den Jahren zwischen 1817 und 1856 ursprünglich von ihrem Großvater verfasst wurde. Es enthielt bedeutende Beiträge an mündlicher Folklore, Genealogie, Geschichte, Mythen und traditionellem Wissen wie Astronomie und Navigation. Ihr Manuskript wurde 1928 posthum vom Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum als „Ancient Tahiti“ veröffentlicht. [1]

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Im Jahr 2006 schrieb Philippe Raust einen kleinen Artikel [2] über neu entdeckte und beschriebene Papageienarten, deren subfossile Überreste in Französisch Polynesien gefunden worden waren, er erwähnte hierbei auch die alten tahitianischen Namen einiger dieser Papageien, von denen einige jedoch immer noch keiner bekannten Art zugeordnet werden können.:  

… Peut être étaient-ce le vini-pa-tea perroquet de couleur pourpre à gorge blanche commun à toutes les îles de la Société et le vini-pa-uri de Pora Pora entièrement rouge décrit par T. Henry dans Tahiti au temps anciens? Il est connu que les plumes rouges étaient recherchées dans les sociétés polynésiennes préeuropéennes où elle symbolisaient le pouvoir des chefs; c’est peut être à cause de cela que ces espèces, trop chassées, ont disparu. T. Henry cite aussi le vini- rehu (perroquet sifleur gris), le tētē (perroquet noir de la Société), le ‘ura (perroquet rouge des montagnes) et le ‘a’a taevao (‘a’a sauvage des îles-sous-le-vent), le tavae (au plumage brillant et multicolore de Motu Iti, Tupai et Maupiha’a): cela fait au moins six espèces de perroquets, perruches et loris qui sont rapportés par la tradition.”  

Übersetzung:  

… Vielleicht waren es der vini-pa-tea Papagei von purpurner Farbe mit weißem Hals, der allen Inseln der Gesellschaft gemein war, und der völlig rote vini-pa-uri von Pora Pora [Bora Bora], die von T. Henry in ‚Ancient Tahiti’ beschrieben wurden? Es ist bekannt, dass rote Federn in voreuropäischen polynesischen Gesellschaften begehrt waren, da sie die Macht der Häuptlinge symbolisierten; dies könnte der Grund sein, warum diese überjagten Arten verschwunden sind. T. Henry benennt auch den vini-rehu (grauer pfeifender Papagei), den tētē (schwarzer Papagei der Gesellschaftsinseln), den ‚ura (roter Bergpapagei) und den ‚a’a taevao (wilder ‚a’a der Inseln unter dem Winde), der tavae (mit strahlendem und buntem Gefieder von Motu Iti, Tupai und Maupiha’a): dies macht mindestens sechs [sieben!] Arten von Papageien, Sittichen und Loris, über die Überlieferungen existieren.

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Nun haben wir hier also offenbar sieben Papageienarten, aber welche davon ist welche?

‘a’a taevao – Raiatea-Sittich (Cyanoramphus ulietanus (Gmelin)) 
tavae – Rubinlori (Vini kuhlii (Vigors) ssp. ‘Bora Bora’) ? 
tētē – Schwarzstirnsittich (Cyanoramphus zealandicus (Latham)) 
‘ura – ein mehr oder weniger komplett rot gefärbter Papagei, der offenbar nach seiner Farbe benannt wurde 
vini-pa-tea – Saphirlori (Vini peruviana (Statius Müller)) 
vini-pa-uri – Rubinlori (Vini kuhlii (Vigors) ssp. ‘Bora Bora’) ? 
vini-rehu – ein grauer Papagei [?] der pfeifende Geräusche macht, wie dem auch sei, rehu bedeutet jedenfalls nur grau; eventuell ein juveniler Saphirlori?

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Die Gesellschaftsinseln waren die Heimat von mindestens fünf wissenschaftlich beschriebenen Papageienarten, die entweder anhand alter Überlieferungen bekannt sind oder anhand von subfossilen Überresten, außerdem gab es eine weitere Art, die heute auf eine einzige Population auf nur einer Insel im Australarchipel reduziert ist, früher aber viel weiter verbreitet war.

Nur ganze zwei davon existieren auch heute noch und nur eine davon bewohnt zumindest noch winzige Reste ihrer einstigen Heimat – der unfassbar schöne Saphir- oder Tahiti-Lori (Vini peruviana).  

Saphirlori (Vini peruviana)  

Darstellung aus: ‚François Le Vaillant: Histoire naturelle des perroquets. Paris: Levrault, Schoell & Cie. An IX-XII. 1801–1805‘  

(public domain)   

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Quellen:

[1] Teuira Henry: Ancient Tahiti. Bishop Museum Bulletins 48: 1-651. 1928 
[2] Philippe Raust: Les Psittacidés disparus de Polynésie Francaise. Te Manu: Bulletin de la Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie 56. Septembre 2006  

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bearbeitet: 17.09.2018

Not everyone in the Ice Age was a giant

Plovers Lake Cave [see photo below] in the Gauteng Province of South Africa is known for its tens of thousands of fossils from the Pleistocene era, the remains date from about 1 Ma. to 70000 years.

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Photo: Profberger

(under creative commons license (3.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

Among the many fossils is a so-called quadrate of a very small Agapornis sp., closely related to the Rosy-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis (Viellot)), yet very much smaller, reaching a size of only about 12 cm.

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just a neat sketch of some Agapornids

It should be noted that another very small Agapornis sp. is known from another South African site, but this has been dated to be about 900000 years older, and furthermore these remains appear to have been lost.

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References: 

[1] Thomas A. Stidham: A small Pleistocene lovebird (Psittacidae: Agapornis) from Plovers lake, South Africa. N. Jb. Geol. Paläont. Abh. 256/1: 123-128. 2010

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edited: 23.05.2018