Zoological Illustrations/VolII-Pl89

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Zoological Illustrations
by William Swainson
Vol II. Pl. 89. Psittacus murinus. Grey-breasted Parakeet.
Zoological Illustrations Volume II Plate 89.jpg

PSITTACUS murinus,

Grey-breasted Parakeet.

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Generic Character.—See Pl. 1.


Specific Character.

P. viridis, genis, auribus, gulâque cinereis; vertice, remigibus rectriciumque marginibus sub-cæruleis.
Green; sides of the head, ears, and throat, grey; crown, quills, and end of the tail, bluish.
P. murinus. Gmelin. 1. 327. no. 80. Lath. Ind. Orn. 1. p. 101.
Grey-breasted Parrakeet. Lath. Syn. vol. 1. 247. Gen. Zool. vol. viii. p. 456.
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Those of our readers who visited Leamington during the last season, may have observed this noisy little creature uttering its discordant cries at the door of a small house near the pump-room. I borrowed it for a day from the good woman to whom it belonged, and thus made the drawing and description with the bird before me.

Dr. Latham observes on this species, that excepting where the grey colour pervades, "the rest of the body is olive green, excepting the quills, which are deep green;"—this may be the female. He adds a quotation from Pernetty, who describes a bird from Monte Video, something near this; but which, from having a very long tail, a flesh-coloured bill, &c. may probably be distinct.

The live bird could not be conveniently measured, but it is rather larger than the red-shouldered Parrakeet, (figured at pl. 62.) The skin round the eye white, and the irides hazel; the whole upper part of the plumage is a beautiful grass green, changing according to the light into different shades; the top of the head, the quill feathers, and end of the tail, greenish blue, in some lights appearing quite blue; the sides of the head, ears, and throat, as far as the breast, bluish grey; all the remaining under plumage yellowish green, with a shade of orange in the middle of the body and vent; bill and legs dark grey; this latter colour is so unusual in this tribe, that I at first thought it indicated an imperfect plumage, but I have now seen it at two different seasons of the year without any variation whatever. It is probably a South American species.