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Purple Gallinules
Similar to Gallinula, but having a more slender form and oval rather than slit-like nostrils, are the beautiful Purple Gallinules, of which several genera are recognized, all with handsome plumage of chiefly opaque blue, purple, and green.
Before leaving this group there is a very curious New Zealand bird that is worthy of notice.
We now come to the Coots, which are distinguished, as before mentioned, by the broadly lobed toes which adapt them to a more aquatic life than the others.
The Cranes, Courlans, And Trumpeters
The second of the coordinate families into which Crane-like birds (Gruiformes) are divided comprises the Cranes proper, as well as the minor groups which are assumed, in the system of classification we are following, to be most closely related to them.
The Cranes
Although externally resembling the Herons and Storks with which, indeed, they were formerly united, the Cranes really constitute a very well marked group of birds...
Whooping Crane
We may begin the detailed consideration of the Cranes with the typical and largest genus (Grits), which embraces more than a third of the species...
Sandhill Crane
The most abundant American species is perhaps the Sandhill Crane (G. mexicana), which is found from the Mississippi Valley west to the Pacific coast, south to Mexico, and eastward along the Gulf coast to Florida and Georgia.
Little Brown Crane
Hardly to be distinguished from the last except in size is the Little Brown Crane (G. canadensis) of the extreme northern portions of the continent from Hudson's Bay to Alaska...
European And Lilford's Cranes
We may now turn to the Old World for the remaining members of the group, pausing first to consider two species that are quite closely allied to our Sandhill Crane...
Asiatic White Crane
Quite similar to our Whooping Crane, but longer, and with the hinder part of the crown feathered, is the Asiatic White Crane (G. leucogeranus)...
White-naped Crane
Allied to the last, but separated on minor differences in the feathering of the head, is the great White-naped Crane (Pseudogeranus leucauchen) of eastern Asia.
Paradise Crane
We may now consider two rather closely related forms in which the bill is comparatively short, and the convolutions of the windpipe within the keel of the breast-bone much less than in most Cranes.
Demoiselle Crane
The other species mentioned above as closely related to the last is the Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo), which is widely dispersed from southern Europe to central Asia and northern China, migrating in winter to Africa and India.
Wattled Crane
The final member of the present group is the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) of South Africa, which is distinguished by a remarkable pendent lappet of skin on each side of the neck below the chin.
Crowned Cranes
Differing considerably from those previously mentioned are the Crowned Cranes (Balearica) of Africa, being so named from the presence of a narrow, fan-shaped crest or crown of twisted wire-like bristles...
The Florida Courlan, Limpkin, Or Crying Bird
(A. giganteus), as it is variously called, is found in Central America and the West Indies, whence it ranges north to the Florida peninsula and the Rio Grande valley.
The Trumpeters (subfamily Psophiince)
In some respects affording a connecting link between the Cranes and certain other Crane-like birds are the peculiar South American birds known as Trumpeters.
The Cariamas
Eastern South America is the home of two very remarkable and closely related birds known as Cariamas or Chu˝ias, the systematic position of which has given rise to much discussion and difference of opinion.
The Bustards
The next family that we have to consider comprises the birds known as Bustards and Floricans. Typically they are birds of large size and bulky form, with rather long neck and lank, naked legs, and only three toes, all of which are directed forward.
Little Bustard
An allied species which ranges from southern Europe and northern Africa throughout central Asia is known as the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax).
Stanley Bustard
Africa south of the Sahara may be regarded as the head-quarters of the present group, and although we have not space to mention all, we may select a sufficient number to convey a fair idea of them.
Pink-collared Bustard
Closely allied but without the crest on the nape and hind neck is the Pink-collared Bustard (Heterotetrax vigorsi), which may be taken as typical of a group of three species separated under this genus (Heterotetrax).
Long-beaked Bustards
The only remaining group of Bustards proper that we shall mention are the so-called Long-beaked Bustards (Eupodotis), of which three species are found in Africa, and a single one each in the Indian peninsula and Australia.
The Indian Bustard
(E. edwardsii) is a little smaller than the Rod and differs, among other points, in having the greater wing-coverts ashy black, with a terminal white spot, instead of white, freckled with black.
In the Indian peninsula there are two small Bustards known by the Anglo-Indian name of Floricans, the etymology of which is unknown, but surmised by Newton to be possibly from a mispronunciation of Francolin.
The Kagu
In the far away island of New Caledonia there is a remarkable bird known by the natives as the Kagu (Rhinochetus jubatus), the systematic position of which has given rise to almost as much discussion as that of the Cariamas.
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