Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl25

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Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 25.jpg

PROCNIAS melanocephalus.

Black-headed Berry-eater.

Generic Character.—See Pl. 21.

Specific Character.

P. oliva-viridis, subtus flavescens, striis fuscis transversis, capite omnino nigro.
Olive-green, beneath yellowish, with dusky transverse striæ. Head entirely black.

Another new and very rare bird of this singular genus, inhabiting, like all the other species, the tropical regions of America. I met with it in Brazil but twice in the forests of Pitanga, not far distant from Bahia; and my hunters were at a loss for its name, never having seen it before: the eyes in the fresh bird are of a beautiful crimson.

Its total length is nine inches and a quarter; the bill is nine lines from the gape to the tip, and four from the base of the nostrils, at which part the bill is not so proportionably broad as in the Swallow Berryeater (pl. 21.): the colour blueish-black, paler at the base: the whole head, sides, chin, and part of the throat are black, the feathers of the crown a little lengthened and pointed, giving a slight appearance of a crest: the wings and tail are dusky-black on the inner shafts and green on the outer; the whole of the upper plumage olive-green, and of the under pale greenish-yellow crossed with short dusky transverse lines from the breast downwards; under wing and tail-covers the same. Tail four inches from the base, slightly divaricated, and of twelve feathers. Wings four inches and a half, the first quill very short, the third, fourth and fifth of equal length. Legs black.

This was a male bird: the female I have not seen.