NECTARINIA flaveola, var.
Generic Character.—See Pl. 117.
- N. nigricans, infrà flava; mento, superciliis rectriciumque trium exteriarum apicibus, albis; fasciâ uropygiali olivaceâ.
- Blackish brown; beneath yellow; chin, eyebrows, and tips of the three outer tail-feathers white; band on the rump olive.
- Certhia flaveola. Gmelin, 479. Lath. Ind. Orn. v. 1. p. 297. Gen. Zool. v. 8. p. 248. Turton, p. 297.
- Certhia, No. 33. Brisson. Orn. v. 6. App. p. 117. Syn. 2. p. 19.
- Black and yellow Creeper. Edwards, pl. 122. pl. 362. Lath. Syn. v. 2. p. 737. Gen. Zool. v. 8. p. 248. Turton. p. 297.
- Le Guit-Guit Sucrier. Vieill. Ois. Dor. Certh. pl. 51. p. 102.
This pretty little bird, under different varieties of plumage, appears to be scattered over the greatest part of tropical America, and is one of the most common of its tribe. The best, and indeed the only detailed account of its economy, is given by M. Vieillot; who remarks, that its nest is suspended on the tops of those tall climbing plants, which, in those countries, form a matting over the most lofty trees: the entrance to the nest is at the bottom; the interior is divided into two compartments, in one of which only the young are contained. It feeds both on small insects, and the nectar of flowers. All the above synonyms refer to the different varieties authors have enumerated of this species. Most of these have a white spot at the base of the exterior quills; others vary in having the throat entirely black; and some again have a yellow rump; but none of these agree with the variety here figured, which I believe came from Trinidad. Probably a more perfect knowledge of these supposed varieties will show they contain two or three distinct species.
Notwithstanding the shortness of the bill, this is a decided Nectarinia, according to a natural, but not an artificial arrangement. It forms, in some degree, a passage from the shining coloured Nectariniæ of America, to the short-billed Melliphagæ of the southern hemisphere. On a future occasion I shall offer more detailed observations on the genus Dicæum of Cuvier.
The figure is the size of life; and, with the specific character, renders a further description unnecessary.