Generic Character.—See Pl. 26.
- H. cæruleo viridis; pileo, collo, plumisque totis subtùs pallidè cinnamominis; auribus viridibus; nuchâ torque nigro gracili ornatâ.
- Blue-green; upper part of the head, neck, and all beneath, pale cinnamon colour; ears green; round the nape a slender black collar.
As far as I can ascertain, this beautifully coloured bird is quite new, and hitherto undescribed. It is in the possession of Mr. Leadbeater, of Brewer Street, by whom it was received from New Zealand; and who gave me the opportunity of now publishing the accompanying figure and description.
The two extreme points of difference in the Linnæan kingfishers, are seen in the Alcedo Ispida, and A. gigantea; the last of which has been made into the genus Dacelo. It will, nevertheless, be found, that from among the birds left in the old genus, there are a great number, (of which, indeed, this bird is a striking example,) which are much nearer allied to Dacelo than to Alcedo, where they now stand. It will appear, therefore, more natural to consider Halcyon and Dacelo as one genus—which may be called by either name, but which must be distinguished by the characters herein given to Halcyon, inasmuch as the generic definition of Dacelo (founded on one bird) will be found too restricted to comprehend all.
Total length ten inches; bill two and a half from the gape, and one and a half from the nostrils; the tip of the upper mandible with a slight inclination downwards, and with an appearance of a notch; the whole head, neck, and under plumage, of a delicate fawn colour; under wing covers the same; the remaining upper plumage, with the wings and tail, changeable blue green; ears sea green and dusky, united to a narrow black nuchal collar; wings four inches long, and the tail, which is even, three and a quarter; the hind head is slightly crested, and the feet pale brown.