Zoological Illustrations/VolIII-Pl147

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Zoological Illustrations Volume III Plate 147.jpg

MUSCIPETA carinata,

Keel-billed Flycatcher.

Generic Character.—See Pl. 116.

Specific Character.

M. plumbea, infrà ferruginea; fronte juguloque nigris; temporibus albentibus; rostri culmine carinato.
Plumbeous; body beneath ferruginous; front and throat black; sides of the head whitish; top of the bill carinated.

Mr. Brookes, the celebrated anatomist, first drew my attention to this singular bird; the peculiarity of the bill suggested to us the idea of creating a genus for its reception; but a closer comparison of its other characters with several of the exotic Muscipetæ induces me, at least for the present, to associate it with those birds. The Flycatchers, as they now stand in the works of Latham, Shaw, and other Linnæan writers, undistinguished even by sections or subdivisions, present a mass of confusion, which renders the search after an individual, in this immense genus, almost hopeless.

Total length, six inches and a half; front, throat, and margin of the shoulders, deep black; the whole upper plumage is of a delicate lead colour, which is paler on the breast, and nearly white on the sides of the head and neck; body and inner wing covers rufous; the first quill is half the length of the second, which is rather shorter than the three next; feet slender, weak, and short; the outer toe united, the inner cleft. The bill at the base is triangular, but not elevated; the sides compressed; the culmin, or top, is sharp, elevated, and curved; the tip of both mandibles notched: nostrils simple, small, round, without a membrane, and partly hid by the thick-set frontal feathers, and lengthened setaceous bristles round the bill. These parts are delineated on the plate of their natural size; and must form the basis of any future generic alteration in the arrangement of this bird. The figure was from a specimen belonging to Mr. Brookes; since which, I have received two others from New Holland.