Thus the downfall of the monarchy and of the ancient cults have been nearly fatal to some of the more beautiful birds; feather ornaments, formerly worn only by nobles, came to be a common decoration; and many species (for example the Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula sandwicensis, which, because of its crimson frontal plate and bill, was said by the natives to have played the part of Prometheus, burning its head with fire stolen from the gods and bestowed on mortals) have been nearly destroyed by the mongoose, or have been driven from their lowland homes to the mountains, such being the fate of the mamo, mentioned above, and of the Sandwich Island goose (Bernicla sandwicensis), which is here a remarkable example of adaptation, as its present habitat is quite arid.
Gallinula, the smallest and most beautifully coloured of the group. Without being as numerous as the common or full Snipe, it is of frequent occurrence in Great Britain from September to April (and occasionally both earlier and later); but it breeds only, so far as is known, in N.
A finch (Nesospiza acunhae), a thrush (Nesocichla eremita), and a water-hen (Gallinula nesiotis) are the only land birds - the first two being peculiar to the islands.
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