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not unlike that of the Redstart, although softer and more agreeable, and the bird when uttering it often shuffles its wings after the manner of a Hedge Sparrow. Canon Tristram found this bird to be a summer resident in Palestine, and first noticed it in Galilee on April 23rd; but, though remaining to breed, he considered it rather a scarce bird there.

An allied species, Muscicapa albicollis, is generally distributed over the South of Europe, Palestine, and North Africa, which differs from the Pied Flycatcher in having the nape of the neck white instead of black; in other words, the white of the throat extends entirely round the neck. It is found in Greece, Turkey, Tuscany, Spain, Portugal, and France, less commonly in the north of France, and not in Belgium or Holland. It is singular, considering that the two species occupy the same haunts during a great portion of the year, that the White-necked Flycatcher never accompanies its more sable congener to England; yet, so far as I am aware, there is no instance of its occurrence here on record.

What is the cause which operates to restrain one species from migrating, when a closely allied bird of similar habits is impelled to take a long and perilous journey? Truly it is a curious question.

Before taking leave of our British flycatchers, it may be observed that a third species, the Red-breasted Flycatcher {Muscicapa parvd), a native of South-eastern Europe and Western Asia, has been met with and procured on three separate occasions in Cornwall. One was taken at Constantine, near Falmouth, on Jan. 24, 1863.1 A second was captured at Scilly in October of the same year;2 and a third was procured also at Scilly on Nov. 5, 1865.3 All the specimens procured were immature. The adult bird has a breast like a robin, which renders it a particularly attractive species. It is said to be not uncommon in the Crimea and in Hungary, extending eastward to Western and North-western India, where it is plentiful,1 and is found accidentally in Italy, Switzerland, and France. Mr. Howard Saunders has reason to believe that it has been met with in Southern Spain in winter, but Col. Irby is somewhat sceptical on the point.2

1 "Zoologist," 1863, p. 8444. - "Zoologist," 1863, p. 8841. 3 Rodd, "List of the Birds of Cornwall," 2nd ed. p. u.

In Sir Oswald Mosely's "Natural History of Tutbury" (p. 385), it is reported that a pair of the North American Red-eyed Flycatcher (Muscicapa olivacea) appeared at Chellaston, near Derby, in May, 1859, and one of them was shot. If there was no mistake in the identification of the species, one can only suppose that the birds must have been brought over to this country in a cage, and contrived to effect their escape.

1 Cf. Hume, "Journ. Asiatic Soc. Bengal," 1870, p. 116, and Blanford, "Ibis," 1870, p. 534.

2 See his " Ornithology of the Straits of Gibraltar," p. 224.

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THE SWALLOW.

{Hirundo rustica.)

1 .% EW birds have attracted more attention in -*- all countries and in all ages than the Swallows; and the habits of those species which annually visit the British Islands have been so thoroughly investigated and so frequently described, that little originality can be claimed for the remarks which I have now to offer.

There are two points, however, in the natural history of these birds which do not appear to have received from their biographers so much attention as they deserve, viz., the nature of

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their food, and their geographical distribution. I have repeatedly been asked, "What do Swallows feed upon?" and "Where do Swallows go in winter?" To these two questions I will now endeavour to reply, believing that an exposition of such facts as have been ascertained on these points will be more acceptable to the reader than a repetition of what has been so frequently published on the subject of habits, haunts, dates of arrival, and other minor details. First, then, as regards food. Dr. Jenner found that Swallows on their arrival in this country, and for some time afterwards, feed principally on gnats; but that their favourite food, as well as that of the Swift and Martin, is a small beetle of the Scarabseus kind, which he found, on dissection, in far greater abundance in their stomachs than any other insect. A writer in the "Magazine of Natural History,"1 Mr. Main, states that they take two species of gnat, Culex pipiens and C. bifurcatus; and Sir

1 "Mag. Nat. Hist." vol. iv. p. 413.

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