Zoological Illustrations/VolIII-Pl168

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Zoological Illustrations
by William Swainson
Vol III. Pl. 168. Ramphastos ambiguus. Doubtful Toucan.
Zoological Illustrations Volume III Plate 168.jpg

RAMPHASTOS ambiguus,

Doubtful Toucan.

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Generic Character.—See Pl. 45.


Specific Character.

R. niger; jugulo flavo; mandibulæ superioris parte superiore flavâ, transversè maculatâ, strigâ viridi obliquè divisâ; mandibulâ inferiore nigrâ.
Black; throat yellow, upper mandible black, the upper half yellow, with an oblique green stripe and transverse spots; the under mandible black.
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The obscurity with which modern ornithologists have described these remarkable birds, would have induced me, long ago, to have attempted a more perfect account of all the species in this work; but as this might have been considered, by some, an infringement on the miscellaneous plan on which it was commenced, I feel obliged to confine myself only to their occasional illustration.

The species now selected is one I have never seen; but I have no doubt of its existence, and little of the accuracy of its delineation. I before alluded to several drawings of Toucans which had come to my hands, executed by an unknown artist: among them is a figure of that now published; with a note subjoined, stating it was drawn "from the bird just dead." The other drawings of the same artist represent several of the common species, and their accuracy is presumptive evidence that this also is represented correctly. The singular colouring of the bill at once separates it from all known species; and for its further history, we must trust to the exertions of those travellers, visiting South America, who may feel an interest in illustrating these singular birds.

I more than once heard, when in Brazil, of a Blue Toucan; but it was said to be very rare, and I never was fortunate enough to meet with one.