Entry on the Glaucous Macaw in Die Papageien, monographisch bearbeitet

by Otto FINSCH. Published 1867-8 in Leiden.

Friedrich Hermann Otto Finsch, the great German naturalist and traveller, was born in Silesia in 1839. Apprenticed as a painter on glass, he became assistant curator at the Dutch National Museum in Leiden before becoming curator of the Bremen Museum in 1864. He travelled all over the world, including expeditions to Turkestan and western Siberia in 1876, the South Seas between 1879 and 1882, the Bismarck Archipelago and New Guinea in 1884. He published accounts of birds in every part of the globe, particularly East Africa and Polynesia. (Beiträge zur Fauna Central Polynesiens (1867) and Die Vögel Ost-Afrikas in 1870), but is still chiefly remembered as a leading expert on the parrots of the world.

In 1884 he was appointed Bismarck's imperial commissioner to New Guinea, which led to the formation of German protectorates in the area. There is even a port in New Guinea - Finschshafen - still named after him although the German protectorate became an Australian responsibility at the end of the First World War. From 1905 he was head of the ethnographical department of the Municipal Museum in Brunswick. He died in 1917 aged 78.

Die Papageien, monographisch bearbeitet was produced in two volumes, bound in three parts with five hand-coloured lithographs by the author, in 1867 and 1868. In the first part section of Vol. 1 the author describes the general natural history of the birds, beginning with a historical and literary survey of the subject, followed by a treatment of the habits, geographical distribution, morphology, feathers, anatomy and systematics of parrots. The remaining part of this truly comprehensive work is devoted to the special natural history of parrots, containing a detailed synonymy and elaborate descriptions of the individual genera and species.

(50.) 2. Sittace glauca (Vieill.). - Der meerblaue Arara

Macrocercus glaucus, Vieill., Nouv· Dict. II. p. 259. - id., Gal. des Ois. I (1834) pl. 24· - id., Enc. Méth. P. 1416, - Guacamayo azul, Azar, Apuntam, Hist. nat. Parag. I (1802) p.402, N° 275. - id., Guacamayo bleu, voy. Édit. par Sonn. (1809) p.53. - Sittace glauca, Wagl., Mon. p.676. Tab. XXVI (fig. med.) - Psittacara glauca, Bourj., Perr., t.14 (fig. opt.). - Psittacus glaucus, Hahn, Orn Atlas, Pap. t. 76 (fig nach Wagl.). - Macrocercus (Cyanopsitta ) glaucus , Bp., Rev. et Mag. (1854) p. 149. - Burm., Syst. Ueb. II. p.160 (Note). - Anodorhynchus glaucus , Bp., Nauman. (1856) Heft IV. - Ara glauca , G.R.Gray, Gen. of B.II. N°12. - id., List Psitt. (1859) p.30. - Arara glauca, Schl., Mus. P.B.Psitt. (1864) p. 2.

Diagnosis: Düster meerblau ; Kopf graulichblau ; Augenkreis und Fleck am Mundwinkel nackt.
Sordide glaucus ; capite caesio; annulo orbitali plagaque mystacis nudis.

Paraguay (Leidener Museum). Alt. Düster meerblau, auf dem Kopf schmutziger und auf Backen und Kehle etwas graulich verwaschen. Die Schwingen und Schwanzfedern an Innenfahne, aber nicht bis zur Spitze, schwarzbraun gerandet. Die grössten unteren Flügeldecken, Schwingen und Schwanz von unten durchaus braunschwarz. Schnabel und Füsse hornschwarz. Die beiden Geschlecter sind in der Färbung nicht verschieden.

Im Berliner Museum ein schönes Paar aus Uruguay durch Sello.

Merklich kleiner als S. hyacinthina, Latham, besonders der Schnabel, und vorzüglich durch die düster rneerblaue Färbung ausgezeichnet.

Vertritt die S. hyacinthina im südlichsten Theile Brasiliens, ist aber namentlich, wenn auch überall selten, über Paraguay und Uruguay bis Montevideo herab verbreitet.

Nach Azara legt er das Nest in die Höhlungen hoher Flussufer, aber auch in Baumlöcher an. Ausführliches über seine Lebensweise fehlt noch.

Die beste Abbildung ist die von Bourjot, allein der Text ist mit grosser Leichtfertigkeit behandelt und gänzlich werthlos.

(Website editor: Just why Otto Finsch was so dissatisfied with the comments of Bourjot Saint-Hilaire is inexplicable, particularly since some of the latter's information came directly from D'Orbigny.

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 " Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret "

( If you drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will soon find a way back)

Horace (65-8 BC)