Cœligena purpurea

Purple Cœligene


I have lately received from M. Parzudaki, of Paris, a fine specimen of this bird, which I believe to be from the neighbourhood of Popayan; a second example forms part of the collection of Edward Wilson, Esq., and is said to have been killed in Peru.

Both specimens appear to be fully adult, and, like the Cœligena typica, they are never adorned with any other metallic colouring than that which occurs on the beautiful fringe-like edges of the feathers of the lower part of the back and rump.

The Cœlgena purpurea is a larger and more powerful bird than C. typica, and differs also from that species in the much deeper colour of the tail, in the rich purple hue of its head, neck and shoulders, and in having a somewhat obscure lunate mark of white on each side the chest; in this last particular it offers an alliance to the Wilsoni, but from which also I am convinced it is specifically distinct.

The shoulders bluish purple; head, neck, back and wing-coverts very dark purple, becoming of a bronzy hue on the lower part of the back and rump, where also the feathers are fringed with metallic grass-green, most conspicuous when the bird is viewed from behind; tail very dark bronzy purple; wings purplish brown; on each side the chest a lunate mark of white; the remainder of the under surface very dark purplish brown; the feathers of the throat edged with grey, giving that part a scaly appearance, and the under tailcoverts with buff.

The figures represent the bird of the size of life.

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