Besides these, three or perhaps four groups, though widely distributed throughout the world, arrive in the Australian region at their culmination, presenting an abundance of most varied forms. These are the weaver-birds (Ploceidae), and the moreporks (Podargidae), but especially the kingfishers (Alcedinidae) and the pigeons (Columbidae), the species belonging to the two last obtaining in this region a degree of prominence and beauty which is elsewhere unequalled.
As a whole, Australia is rich in parrots, of which it has several very peculiar forms, but Picarians in old-fashioned parlance, of all sorts - certain kingfishers excepted - are few in number, and the pigeons are also comparatively scarce, no doubt because of the many arboreal predaceous marsupials.
Another chief feature is the extraordinary development of the cassowaries, the richness and specialization of the kingfishers, parrots, pigeons, honeysuckers and some remarkable flycatchers.
The birds of paradise, the racquet-tailed kingfishers, Tanysiptera, the largest and smallest of parrots, Calyptorhynchus and Nasiterna, and the great crowned pigeons, Goura, are very characteristic; and so are the various Megapodes.
Ceryle, the only genus of kingfishers in the New World; all the.