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A History of the Birds of New Zealand.

Thalassæca Glacialoides. — (Silvery-Grey Petrel.)

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Thalassæca Glacialoides.
(Silvery-Grey Petrel.)

  • Procellaria glacialis, var. β, Gm. Syst. Nat. i. p. 563 (1788).

  • Procellaria tenuirostris, Aud. Orn. Biogr. v. p. 333 (1839).

  • Priocella garnotti, Hombr. & Jacq. Voy. Pôle Sud, iii. p. 148, pl. 32, figs. 43–56 (1844).

  • Procellaria glacialoides, Smith, Ill. Zool. S. Afr. pl. li. (1849)

  • Thalassoica tenuirostris, Bp. C. R. xlii. p. 768 (1856).

  • Thalassoica polaris, Bp. C. R. xlii. p. 768 (1856).

  • Procellaria smithi, Schl. Mus. Pays-Bas, Procell. p. 22 (1863).

  • Fulmarus glacialoides, Gray, Hand-L of B. iii. p. 105 (1871).

  • Procellaria glacialoides, Buller, Birds of New Zealand, 1st ed. p. 301 (1873).

Ad. suprâ dilutè argentescenti-cinereus: pileo undique et corpore subtùs toto albis: pectoris lateribus dorsi colore lavatis: primariis extùs nigricanti-brunneis, intùs albicantibus: rostro albicanti-corneo, carnoso tincto, nigro apicato, culmine ad basin cyanescente: pedibus carnoso-cinereis, digitis exterioribus externè saturatioribus: palmis pallidè flavis: iride brunnescenti-nigrâ.

Adult. Hind part of neck, back, and all the upper surface, as well as the sides of the breast, delicate silvery grey; the rest of the plumage pure white; primaries blackish brown on their outer, and greyish white on their inner webs; tail-feathers delicate silvery grey. Irides brownish black; bill whitish horn-colour, with a tinge of pink, the ridge as far as the opening of the nostrils bluish, the tips of both mandibles black; legs and feet pinkish grey, darker on the joints and along the edges of the outer toes; the interdigital webs pale yellow, and the claws brown. Total length 19·5 inches; extent of wings 43·5; wing, from flexure, 13; tail 6; bill, following the curvature of upper mandible 2, along the edge of lower mandible 1·76; tarsus 2; middle toe and claw 3.

There are several instances recorded of the occurrence of this beautiful Petrel on the New-Zealand coast; and the above description is taken from a fine example which I picked up, in a dying state, on the sea-beach near the mouth of the Turakina river, and afterwards presented to the Colonial Museum.

There are two specimens in the Canterbury Museum, both obtained in the South Island.

The late Sir Andrew Smith, who was the first to discriminate the characters which distinguish this species from Thalassœca glacialis, informs us that it is common on the South-African coasts, and frequently enters the bays—also that it flies higher above the surface of the water than the lastnamed bird, and rests more frequently.