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A History of the Birds of New Zealand.

Eudyptes Sclateri. — (Sclater’s Penguin.)

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Eudyptes Sclateri.
(Sclater’s Penguin.)

  • Eudyptes chrysocome, Sclater, Zool. Soc. Register (1888, nec Forst.).

Ad. similis E. pachyrhyncho, sed major et fasciâ superciliari a rictu oris minimè a basi narium oriente: alis subtùs magis extensè nigricantibus.

Adult. Similar in plumage to Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, but appreciably larger in all its dimensions. It has a similar superciliary streak of golden yellow which develops into an erectile crest on each side of the head; but this streak, instead of commencing in a line with the nostrils as in the former species, springs from the base of the upper mandible immediately above the angle of the mouth. The posterior edge of the flippers in its middle portion has a border of white nearly ·25 of an inch in width running off on both sides to a point; the under surface in its basal and apical portions with a broad connecting band along the anterior edge, jet-black. Bill uniform reddish brown, with a line of white along the base of the lower mandible, which is more conspicuous in the live bird than in the dried specimen, being somewhat concealed in the latter by the overlapping feathers; feet yellowish white; claws reddish brown, changing to black at the tips. Total length 28 inches; length of flipper 8; tail 3·5; bill, along the ridge 2·4, along the edge of lower mandible 2·75; tarsus 1·25; middle toe and claw 3·6.

In April last I received a note from Dr. Sclater calling my attention to two Penguins recently added to the menagerie of the Zoological Society at Regent’s Park, and observing:—“The bird just received from the Aucklands seems quite distinct from the New-Zealand species.” I accordingly repaired to the “Fish-house,” and the inspection which I then made satisfied me that, notwithstanding a general outward resemblance between the two birds, there was considerable difference both as to size and in the details of the plumage.

The Auckland-Island bird having since died it was courteously forwarded to me by Mr. Bartlett, the Superintendent of the Gardens, for more critical examination. I received, about the same time, from Sir James Hector, a Penguin preserved in spirits which proves to be a similar bird; and after a careful comparison of these specimens with the very complete series of Eudyptes pachyrhynchus in my own collection, I have no hesitation in pronouncing the Auckland-Island bird a new species, distinguishable from the former by its larger size, by the peculiar character of its superciliary streak, and by the different coloration of its flippers.

It becomes necessary, therefore, to select a distinguishing name for this species, and I have much pleasure in connecting with it that of the accomplished Secretary of the Zoological Society of London, Dr. P. L. Sclater, F.R.S., who has long taken an interest in our local zoology, as was recognized by his election some years ago as Honorary Member of the New-Zealand Institute.