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A History of the Birds of New Zealand.

Lobivanellus Lobatus. — (Australian Masked Plover.)

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Lobivanellus Lobatus.
(Australian Masked Plover.)

  • Tringa lobata, Lath. Ind. Orn. Suppl. p. 65 (1801).

  • Vanellus novæ hollandiæ, Steph. Cont. Shaw’s Gen. Zool. vol. xi. p. 516 (1819).

  • Vanellus lobatus, Vieill. Encycl. Méth., Orn. pt. iii. p. 1075 (1823).

  • Charadrius lobatus, Wagl. Syst. Av. sp. 51 (1827).

  • Vanellus gallinaceus, Jard. & Selb. Ill. Orn. vol. ii. pl. 84 (1829).

  • Lobivanellus lobatus, Gould, Birds of Austr. vol. vi. pl. 9 (1848).

Ad. suprà cinerascenti-brunneus, tectricibus alarum clariùs cinerascentibus: tectricibus primariorum remigibusque nigris, secundariis extùa cinerascenti-brunneis, intùs basaliter albis: secundariis longioribus intimis dorso concoloribus: supracaudalibus albis, fasciam latam formantibus: caudâ dimidiatim albâ fascia medianâ pallidé cinerascenti-brunneâ, parte terminali nigra, fasciam latam nigram exhibente, apicaliter albo aut pallidè cinerascente limbato: pileo toto et collo postico angustatim nigris, hoc utrinque usque ad pectus laterale nigrum extenso: facie laterali, collo laterali et corpore subtùs toto cum subcaudalibus, subalaribus et axillaribus, puré albis: carunculo lobato fasciali flavo.

Adult. Crown of head, nape, hind neck, and a graduating band on the sides of the chest, interrupted in front, jet-black; the shoulders, the whole of the back, and the upper surface of the wings cinnamon-grey, changing in certain lights; throat, fore neck, sides of the neck, and the entire under surface, as well as the lining of the wings, pure white; primaries and outer secondaries brownish black; middle secondaries brownish black in their apical portion, cinnamon-grey towards the base, the latter colour gradually spreading till it entirely prevails on the long inner secondaries, which are whitish on their basal portion; tail-feathers pure white in their basal half, then black, with a narrow terminal edge of greyish white. Bill pale sulphur-yellow; lobed mask brighter yellow; legs and feet delicate red. Extreme length 13–6 inches; wing, from flexure, 10; wing-spur ·6; tail 4·5; bill, along the ridge 1·3, along the edge of lower mandible 1·2; tarsus 3; bare tibia 1·5; middle toe and claw 1·2.

Obs. Of the New-Zealand specimen mentioned below Mr. Drew has sent me the following measurements:— “Length 12·6 inches; wing 10·4; extent of wings 33; tail 4·6; upper mandible 1·3; spur on wing ·5; tarsus 3·6; bare tibia 1·5; middle toe and claw 1·4, hind toe ·2.”

I am indebted to Mr. S. H. Drew, of Wanganui, for a notice of the recent occurrence of this Australian species in New Zealand. Writing to me on the 4th August, 1886, he says:—“I have just received a bird that I take to be a Plover, and as I do not see it mentioned in your ‘Manual,’ I hasten to let you have a description. The bird was alive when I took the measurements, so was not distorted by stuffing. It is a beautiful bird, and as I let it lie on my hand it does not peck or even attempt to get away. But it is very emaciated and I cannot induce it to eat anything. It was taken at Kai-iwi by Mr. George Peake, who found it in one of his paddocks.”

It is common in various parts of New South Wales and on some of the islands in Bass Strait, where it has been found breeding in the month of January.