The Condor/1 (5)/A Protest

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A PROTEST.

In the Auk, Apr., 1888, p. 168, Mr. J. Amory Jeffries describes Trochilus violajugulum, taken April 5, 1883 at Santa Barbara, Cal. The type has renained uuique until this day and it is now high time, I think, to enter a protest against retaining this name upon the Check-list of North American Birds. With the numerous collectors and active work that has been done in California since that date, it is hardly necessary to point out that if this was a valid species other individuals would have been secured long ere now. Whether this bird is a hybrid or not is immaterial, as it surely deserves no better place among the North American birds than Townsend's Bunting, Lawrence's, Cincinnati, Brewster's or Carbonated Warblers, Cuvier's Kinglet, etc. This form has stood upon the Checklist long enough to be repudiated and its geographical distribution restricted to the "hypothetical list," which is its undoubted place of residence, and it is to be sincerely hoped that when the Cooper Club issues its list of California birds that this will be placed upon such a list of the Club's resume of the avi-fauna of the state.

Along with the above species it would also be well for members of Committee on the State List to inquire into the claim of Porzana colurnicus (Ridgway) [Amer. Nat. VII, Feb. 1874, p. 111 and Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. XIII, 189O, pp. 309-311] has to a place among the birds of California. The recent extensive collecting on the Farallones has demonstrated its absence from the islands. Was not the type specimen erroneously labeled by Mr. T. C. Martin, who presented it to the U.S. National Museum? At any rate this matter will also stand some further investigation. If it proves to be a straggler from the Galapagos as suggested by Mr. Ridgway, well and good, but if not, and the type remains unique, then it deserves a similar fate to Trochilus violajugatum.

Two minor notes on the end edition of the Checklist which have come under my notice may interest members of the Club. In the ninth supplement to the Checklist, Auk XVI, Jan., 18, p. 111, a new hummingbird, Atthis morcomi Ridgway, is added to the list. The A. O. U. Committee fails to insert the generic reference before it, hence we have on p. 176 the specific but no generic reference. I have not access to the original literature, but Ridgway[1] and Elliott[2] both give it the same. Hence should we not insert the following on p. 176 before No. 435:—

Genus Atthis Reichenbach.

Atthis, Reich. Aufz. der Colib., 1853, 12. Type, Ornysmia heloisa, Less and DeLattr.

Under Æstrelata scalaris Brewster, p. 34, the reference should read:—Auk III, July 1886, 390 (not 300).

Robert Baird McLain, Wheeling, W. Va.

  1. Hummingbirds. Rept. Nat. Mus. 1890 (1892) p. 380.
  2. Class and Syn. Trochil, 1879, p. 113.