Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/652

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the family Galbulidae of Coraciiform birds standing between the trogons (q.'v.) and barbets, for a long time confounded, under the general name of barbets, with the Capilonidae of modern systematists. Each group has formed the subject of an elaborate monograph-the Capilonidae being treated by C. H. T. and G. F. L. Marshall (London, 1870-1871), and the Bucconidao by P. L. Sclater (London, 1879-1882). The Bucconinae are zygodactylous birds confined to the neotropical region, in the middle parts of which, and especially in its sub-Andean sub region, they are, as regards species, abundant; while only two seem to reach Guatemala and but one Paraguay. As with most South American birds, the habits and natural history of the Buoconidae have been but little studied, and of only one species, which happens to belong to a rather abnormal genus, has the nidification been described. This is the Chelidoplera tenebrosa, which is said to breed in holes in banks, and to lay white eggs much like those of the kingfisher and consequently those of the jacamars. From his own observation Swainson writes (loo. eil.) that puff-birds are very grotesque in appearance. They will sit nearly motionless for hours on the dead bough of a tree, and while so sitting “ the disproportionate size of the head is rendered more conspicuous by the bird raising its feathers so as to appear not unlike a puff-ball .... When frightened their form is suddenly changed by the feathers lying quite flat.” They are very confiding birds and will often station themselves a few yards only from a window. The Bucconidae almost without exception are very plainly-coloured, and the majority have a spotted or mottled plumage suggestive of immaturity. The first puff-bird known to Europeans seems to have been that described by G. de L. Marcgrav, under the name of “ tamalia, ” by which it is said to have been called in Brazil, and there is good reason to think that his description and figure-the last, comic as it is in outline and expression, having been copied by F. Willughby and many of the older authors-apply to the Bucco maculatus of modern ornithology-a bird placed by M. J. Brisson (Ornilhologie, iv. 524) among the kingfishers. But if so, Marcgrav described and figured the same species twice, since his “Matuilui ” is also Brisson's “ M artin-pescheur lachelé du Brésil.”

P. L. Sclater divides the family into 7 genera, of which Bucco is the largest and contains zo species. The others are M alacoplila and Monacha, each with 7, N onnula with 5, Chelidoplera with 2, and M icromonacha and H apaloptila with 1 species each. The most showy puff-birds are those of the genus M onacha, with an inky-black plumage, usually diversified by white about the head, and a red or yellow bill.

PUFFIN, the common English name of a sea-bird, the Fratercula arclica of most ornithologists, known however on various parts of the British coasts as the bottle nose, coulterneb, pope, sea parrot and tammy-norie, to say nothing of other still more local designations, some (as marrott and willock) shared also with allied species of Aloidae, to which family it belongs. Of old time puffins were a valuable commodity to the owners of their breeding-places, for the young were taken from the holes in which they were hatched, and “ being exceeding fat, ” as Carew wrote in 1602 (Sufvey of Cornwall, fol. 35), were “ kept salted, and reputed for fish, as coming neerest thereto in their taste.” In 1345, according to a document from which an extract is given in Heath's Islands of Scilly (p. 190), those islands were held of the Crown at a yearly rent of 300 pufiins,[1] or 6s. Sd., being one-sixth of their estimated annual value. A few years later (1484), either through the birds having grown scarcer or money cheaper, only 50 puffins are said (op. oil. p. 196) to have been demanded. It is stated by both Gesner and Caius that they were allowed to be eaten in Lent. Ligon, who in 1673 published a History of the Island of Barbadoes, speaks (p. 37) of the ill taste of puffins “ which we have from the isles of Scilly, ” and adds “ this kind of food is only for servants.” Puffins used to resort in vast numbers to certain stations on the coast, and are still plentiful on some, reaching them in spring with remarkable punctuality on a. certain day, which naturally varies with the locality, and after passing the summer there leaving their homes with similar precision. They differ from most other Alcidae in laying their single egg (which is white with a few grey markings when first produced, but speedily begrimed by the soil) in a shallow burrow, which they either dig for themselves or appropriate from a rabbit, for on most of their haunts rabbits have been introduced. Their plumage is of a glossy black abovwthe cheeks grey, encircled by a black band-and pure white beneath; their feet are of a bright reddish orange, but the most remarkable feature of these birds, and one that gives them a very comical expression, is their huge bill. This is very deep and laterally flattened, so as indeed to resemble a coulter, as one of the bird's common names expresses; but moreover it is parti-coloured -blue, yellow and red-curiously grooved and still more curiously embossed in places, that is to say during the breeding season, when the birds are most frequently seen. But it had long been known to some observers that such puffins as occasionally occur in winter (most often washed up on the shore and dead) presented a beak very different in shape and size, and to account for the difference was a standing puzzle. Many years ago Bingley (North Wales, i. 354) stated that pufiins “are said to change their bills annually.” The remark seems to have been generally overlooked; but it has proved to be very near the truth, for after investigations carefully pursued during some years by Dr Bureau of Nantes he was in 1877 enabled to show (Bull. Soc. Zool. France, ii. 377-399)[2] that the puffin's bill undergoes what may be called an annual moult, some of its most remarkable appendages, as well as certain horny outgrowths above and beneath the eyes, dropping off at the end of the breeding season, and being reproduced the following year. Not long after the same naturalist announced (op. oil.) iv. 1-68) that he had followed the similar changes. which. he found to take place, not only in other species of puffins, as the Fratefcula corniculataand F. clrrhala of the Northern Pacific, but in several birds of the kindred genera Ceratorhina and Simorhynachus inhabiting the same waters. The name puffin has also been given in books to one of the shear waters which belong to the sub-family Procellariina of the Petrels (q. v.), and its latinized form Pujlnus is still used in that sense in scientific nomenclature. This fact seems to have arisen from a mistake of Ray's who, seeing in Tradescant's Museum and that of the Royal Society some young shear waters from the Isle of Man, prepared in like manner to young puffins, thought they were the birds mentioned by Gesner as the remarks inserted in Willughby's Ornilhologia (p. 251) prove; for the specimens described by Ray were as clearly shear waters as Gesner's were puffins.

PUGACHEV, EMEL’YAN IVANOVICH (? 1741-1775), Russian pretender, the date of whose birth is uncertain, was the son of a small Cossack landowner. He married a Cossack girl Sofia Nedyuzheva, in 1758, and the same year was sent with his fellow Cossacks to Prussia, under the lead of Count Zachary Chernuishev. In the first Turkish War (1769-74) of Catherine II. Pugachev, now a Cossack ensign, served under Count Peter Panin and was present at the siege of Bender. Invalided home, he led for the next few years a wandering life; was more than once arrested and imprisoned as a deserter; and finally, after frequenting the monasteries of the “ Old Believers, ” who exercised considerable influence over him, suddenly proclaimed himself (1773) to be Peter III. The story of Pugachev's strong resemblance to the murdered emperor is a later legend. Pugachev dubbed himself Peter III. the better to attract to his standard all those (and they were many) who attributed their misery to

  1. There cannot be much doubt that the name puffin given to these young birds, salted and dried, was applied on account of their downy clothing, for an English informant of Gesner's described one to him (Hist. avium, p. 110) as wanting true feathers, and being covered only with a sort of woolly black plumage. It is right, however, to state that Caius expressly declares (Rarior. animal. libellus, fol. 21) that the name is derived “ a naturali voce pupin." Skeat states that the word is a diminutive, which favours the view that it was originally used as a name for these young birds. The parents were probably known by one or other of their many local appellations.
  2. See Zoologist for 1878, pp. 233-240.