machus magnus),is another of these wonderful creatures, only known by the imperfect skins prepared by the natives. In its dark velvety plumage, glossed with bronze and purple, it resembles the Seleucides alba, but it bears a magnificent tail more than two feet long, glossed on the upper surface with the most intense opalescent blue. Its chief ornament, however, consists in the group of broad plumes which spring from the sides of the breast, and which are dilated at the extremity and banded with the most vivid metallic blue and green. The bill is long and curved, and the feet black, and similar to those of the allied forms. The total length of this fine bird is between three and four feet.
This splendid bird inhabits the mountains of New Guinea, in the same district with the Superb and the Six-shafted Paradise Birds, and I was informed is sometimes found in the ranges near the coast.
I was several times assured by different natives that this bird makes its nest in a hole undfcr ground, or under rocks, always choosing a place with two apertures, so that it may enter at one and go out at the other. This is very unlike what we should suppose to be the habits of the bird, but it is not easy to conceive how the story originated if it is not true; and all travellers know that native accounts of the habits of animals, however strange they may seem, almost invariably turn out to be correct.
The Scale-breasted Paradise Bird (Epimachus magnificus of Cuvier) is now generally placed with the Australian Rifle
THE LONG-TAILED BIRD OF PARADISE.