COTILE RUFIGULA, Fischer & Reichenow.
Cotyle fuligula (nec Licht.), Horsf. & Moore, Cat. Birds E. I. Co. Mus. i. p. 96 (1854) ; Heugl. Orn. N.O.-Afr. i. p. 164 (1869) ; Blanf. Geol. & Zool. Abyss, p. 350 (1870, sub C. rupestris) ; Sharpe, P. Z. S. 1870, p. 299 (pt.).
Cotile rufigula, Fischer & Reiehen. J. f. O. 1884, p. 53 ; Sharpe, Cat. Birds in Brit, Mus. x. p. 107 (1885).
Cotyle rufigula, Salvad. Ann. Mus. Civic. Genov. (2) i. p. 122 (1884) ; Fischer in Madarasz, Zeitschr, ges. Orn. i. p. 358 (1884).
C. similis C. fuligula, sed multo minor et gula pallidiore distinguenda.
Hab. in Africa orientali et septentrionali-orientali.
Adult male. General colour above dark mouse-brown ; wing-coverts like the back ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills darker brown, somewhat lighter brown on the edges ; upper tail-coverts like the back ; tail-feathers dark brown, every feather marked with a rounded spot of white on the inner web, excepting the two centre ones and the outer one on each side ; crown of head a trifle darker than the back ; lores blackish ; ear-coverts dark brown like the head ; cheeks, throat, and fore neck pale fawn-rufous ; chest, breast, and abdomen a little deeper rufous-brown, dark mouse-brown on the sides of body and flanks ; thighs, under tail-coverts, under wing-coverts, and axillaries dark mouse-brown, the under wing-coverts edged with dull rufous ; quills below more ashy along the inner webs. Total length 5 inches, culmen 0.3, wing 4.8, tail 2.0, tarsus 0.4.
The wing measures from 4.6 to 4.85 in the five specimens in the British Museum ; but too great reliance cannot be placed on these dimensions, as the specimens have the plumage very much worn, though it will be seen that they never attain to the dimensions of C. fuligula.
Hab. North-eastern Africa from Abyssinia to Shoa and thence to Masai-land in Eastern Africa.
THE earliest recorded specimen of the present species seems to be the one mentioned in Horsfield and Moore’s ‘Catalogue,’ where a single bird is said to have been obtained by Sir W. C. Harris in ‘Abyssinia.’ As a matter of fact, four specimens were obtained by the last-named naturalist, though only one was catalogued. All four examples are now preserved in the British Museum, and it is extremely doubtful if any of them really came from Abyssinia, as the only bird with the original label still attached to it was collected in Shoa, at Angollala, in A lay 1842.
That it occurs in Abyssinia proper is, however, certain, for in the British Museum is a specimen collected by Mr. Jesse, though without any indication of the precise locality. A bird obtained by the same gentleman at Rayrayguddy is in Capt. Wardlaw Ramsay’s collection, and was referred by us in 1870 to C. rupestris. In those days we were inclined to regard C. rufigula as a small northern form of C. fuligula, and did not attach a name to it ; but as it has since been named by Drs. Fischer and Reichenow, it is as well to recognize it under their title. It cannot, however, be considered more than a race of C. fuligula, intermediate between that species and C. concolor of India. All references to C. fuligula in North-eastern Africa doubtless refer to the present bird.
The late Marquis Antinori, during the Italian expedition to Shoa, procured a specimen at Mahal-Uonz on the 30tli of April. Besides the above-mentioned habitats of this Rock-Martin, it has also been noticed by the late Dr. Fischer at the Naiwascha Lake in Masai-land. Here he met with it in rocky ravines on the south-eastern shore of the lake, where it was noticed in small numbers flying over the surface of the ground and swooping upwards to the steep rocks, where the birds had their nests.
The specimen described is in the British Museum, and the example figured was procured by Antinori in Shoa, and sent by Count Salvadori to the authors for identification. Having been preserved in spirit, the colours are rather bleached. The appearance of the examples in the Museum is decidedly darker.
COTILE RUFIGULA, Fischer & Reichenow.