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This webpage reproduces a section of
Star Names
Their Lore and Meaning

by
Richard Hinckley Allen

as reprinted
in the Dover edition, 1963

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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p418 Turdus Solitarius, the Solitary Thrush,

was formed by Le Monnier in 1776 from the faint stars over the tail-tip of the Hydra, where some modern seeker of fame has since substituted another avian figure, the Noctua, or Night Owl.

The title1 is said to be that of the Solitaire, formerly peculiar to the little island Rodriguez in the Indian Ocean, 344 miles to the eastward of Mauritius; although the bird has been extinct for two centuries, — as indeed now is the constellation.

Little seems to be known of this sky figure, although Ideler wrote of it as Einsiedler, the German Drossel.


The Author's Note:

1 The generic word Turdus, however, is erroneous; for the bird was not a thrush, but, as its correct name, Pezophaps solitaria, denotes, an extremely modified form of flightless pigeon allied to the dodos, yet larger and taller than a turkey.


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Page updated: 27 Sep 07