The feathers over the whole body are reversed or curl backwards. Had this bird occurred in Europe, I should have thought it only a monstrous variety of our improved Tumbler: but as short-faced Tumblers are not known in India, I think it must rank as a distinct breed. Probably this is the breed seen by Hasselquist in 1757 at Cairo, and said to have been imported from India.]


Feathers of the neck forming a hood; wings and tail long; beak moderately short.

[This pigeon can at once be recognised by its hood, almost enclosing the head and meeting in front of the neck. The hood seems to be merely an exaggeration of the crest of reversed feathers on the back of the head, which is common to many sub-varieties, and which in the Latztaube (5/20. Neumeister 'Taubenzucht' tab. 4. figure 1.) is in a nearly intermediate state between a hood and a crest. The feathers of the hood are elongated. Both the wings and tail are likewise much elongated; thus the folded wing of the Jacobin, though a somewhat smaller bird, is fully 1 1/4 inch longer than in the rock-pigeon. Taking the length of the body without the tail as the standard of comparison, the folded wing, proportionally with the wings of the rock-pigeon, is 2 1/4 inches too long, and the two wings, from tip to tip, 5 1/4 inches too long. In disposition this bird is singularly quiet, seldom flying or moving about, as Bechstein and Riedel have likewise remarked in Germany. (5/21. Riedel 'Die Taubenzucht' 1824 s. 26. Bechstein 'Naturgeschichte Deutschlands' b. 4 s. 36 1795) The latter author also notices the length of the wings and tail. The beak is nearly .2 of an inch shorter in proportion to the size of the body than in the rock-pigeon; but the internal gape of the mouth is considerably wider.]


The birds of this group may be characterised by their resemblance in all important points of structure, especially in the beak, to the rock-pigeon. The Trumpeter forms the only well-marked race. Of the numerous other sub- races and varieties I shall specify only a few of the most distinct, which I have myself seen and kept alive.


A tuft of feathers at the base of the beak curling forward; feet much feathered; voice very peculiar; size exceeding that of the rock-pigeon.

[This is a well-marked breed, with a peculiar voice, wholly unlike that of any other pigeon. The coo is rapidly repeated, and is continued for several minutes; hence their name of Trumpeters. They are also characterised by a tuft of elongated feathers, which curls forward over the base of the beak, and which is possessed by no other breed. Their feet are so heavily feathered, that they almost appear like little wings. They are larger birds than the rock-pigeon, but their beak is of very nearly the same proportional size. Their feet are rather small. This breed was perfectly characterised in Moore's time, in 1735. Mr. Brent says that two varieties exist, which differ in size.]



Size less than the Rock-pigeon; voice very peculiar.

[As this bird agrees in nearly all its proportions with the rock-pigeon, though of smaller size, I should not have thought it worthy of mention, had it not been for its peculiar voice--a character supposed seldom to vary with birds. Although the voice of the Laugher is very different from that of the Trumpeter, yet one of my Trumpeters used to utter a single note like that of the Laugher. I have kept two varieties of Laughers, which differed only in one variety being turn-crowned; the smooth-headed kind, for which I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Brent, besides its peculiar note, used to coo in a singular and pleasing manner, which, independently, struck both Mr. Brent and myself as resembling that of the turtle-dove. Both varieties come from Arabia. This breed was known by Moore in 1735. A pigeon which seems to say Yak-roo is mentioned in 1600 in the 'Ayeen Akbery' and is probably the same breed.

Charles Darwin

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