TACHYCINETA CYANEOVIRIDIS (Bryant).
Hirundo cyaneoviridis, Bryant, Proe. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist. vii. p. 111 (1859) ; Baird. Review Amer. B. p. 303 (1865) ; Gray, Hand-l. B. i. p. 72, no. 850 (1869) ; Salvin, Ibis, 1874, p. 307 ; Cory, B. Bahama Isl. p. 79 (1880).
Callichelidon cyaneoviridis, Baird, Review Amer. B. p. 297 (1865) ; Cory, B. W. Indies, p. 73 (1889).
Hirundo (Callichelidon) cyaneoviridis, Baird, Brewer, & Ridgw Hist. N. Amer. B. i. p. 327, note (1874).
Tachycineta cyaneoviridis, Sharpe, Cat. Birds in Brit. Mus. x. p. 121 (1885).
T. uropygio dorso concolore : subtus albus : supracaudalibus chalybeis : dorso viridescente : cauda valde furcata : uropygii lateribus minime albis : macula alba supraoculari nulla.
Hab. in insulis Bahamensibus.
Adult male. General colour above oil-green with a steel-blue gloss, the latter more pronounced on the lower rump and upper tail-coverts ; wing-coverts blackish, externally steel-blue or bluish green, the least series greener and more like the back ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills blackish, externally glossed with steel-blue, the secondaries rather brighter steel-blue, and green on their edges ; tail much forked, the feathers black glossed with steel-blue ; head and neck like the baek, as also the sides of the crown and upper margin of the ear-coverts ; lores blackish, as also the feathers immediately below the eye ; cheeks, ear-coverts, and entire under surface of body white, ineluding the under wing-coverts and axillaries, sides of upper breast like the baek ; quills dusky below ; “bill and feet black” (C. B. Cory). Total length 5.9 inches, culmen 0.35, wing 4.6, tail 3, tarsus 0.45.
Differs from T. thalassinus in its strongly forked tail and larger size, in the absenee of the white spot above the eye, and in the totally different colour of the upper parts, in which there is an absolute absenee of any purplish shade.
Young. Brown above with a strong lustre of oily green, a little more pronounced on the baek and wing-coverts ; head and upper tail-coverts more sooty brown, as also the upper margin of the ear¬coverts ; cheeks, ear-coverts, and under surface of body white, with a patch of sooty brown the sides of the upper breast. Total length 5.5 inches, culmen 0.4, wing 3.95, tail 2.2, tarsus 0.45.
Hab. Bahama Islands.
THIS Swallow has as vet not been met with away from the Bahamas. Its nearest ally is T. thalassinus of North America, but it differs from that species in its larger size and strongly forked tail, in the absence of the white spot above the eye. and in the totally different colour of the upper parts, from which there is an absolute absence of any purplish shade.
The Bahama Swallow was first made known to science by the late Dr. Bryant, who gave the following note upon the species :—
“This Swallow, which I have been unable to find described, is one ef the most beautiful species inhabiting North America. I saw them during the whole of my stay at Nassau, but only on the first mile of the road leading to the west end of the island. They were so abundant there that thirty or forty could be seen at almost all times. The fight was more like that of H. horreorum than H. bicolor. They generally followed the road up and down, seldom flying high, but skimming along near the ground. I did not succeed in finding their nests, and could not ascertain whether it bred on the island or not. I killed no specimen after the 28th of April ; up to this date the genital organs exhibited no appearance of excitement. The stomachs of those dissected contained entirely small dipterous insects, some of them extremely minute.”
Mr. C. B. Cory, in his ‘Birds of the Bahama Islands,’ writes :—
“The beautiful little Bahama Swallow seems to be restricted to the Bahama Islands. A few were seen on Andros Island in January, but they were flying high, and we were unable to shoot them. During the month of June they became very abundant in the neighbourhood of Nassau, and I was able to procure a fine series of specimens. In their habits they do not seem to differ from our common species (T. bicolor), except perhaps that they are not as quick in their movements. Their food seems to be entirely insecti¬vorous.”
Messrs. Baird, Brewer, and Bidgway believe that the species may probably occur on the coast of Florida.
Our descriptions are derived from two specimens in the Salvin-Godman collection, to which they were presented by Mr. Cory. The figure is taken from one of the same birds.
TACHYCINETA CYANEOVIRIDIS (Bryant).