The beautiful bird, the portrait of which is prefixed to the present article, is one of the rarest of its tribe, and has until very lately been confounded by ornithologists with the Hyacinthine Macaw, a fine but much less splendid species. It is figured by M. Spix in his Brazilian Birds under the name which we have adopted; but is there given without either characters or description. Its claim to generic distinction would seem to depend on the excessive length and powerful curvature of its claws and upper mandible, and on the slight developement of the toothlike process of the latter. Its colour is throughout of a deep and brilliant blue; the beak, legs, and claws, are black; and the cere and a naked circle round each of the eyes are of a bright yellow. Our specimen measures two feet four inches from the top of the head to the extremity of the tail, and the expansion of his wings is four feet. The length of the upper mandible is five inches, and that of the lower, two.
The Hy?na-Dog, if this compound term may be allowed, is a native of the South of Africa, and infests the frontier settlements at no great distance from the Cape to a very extensive and troublesome degree. Mr. Burchell, to whom we are indebted for the earliest specimen brought to this country, as well as for first pointing out its distinctive characters, informs us that it hunts in regular packs, preferring the night, but frequently pursuing its prey even by day. It is not only exceedingly fierce, but also remarkably swift and active, insomuch that none but the fleeter animals can escape from its pursuit. Sheep, oxen, and horses appear to be its favourite game: on the former it makes its onset openly and without fear, but of the latter it seems to stand in awe, and attacks them only by stealth, frequently surprising them in their sleep, biting off the tails of the oxen, for which it has a particular fancy, and inflicting such serious injuries upon the horses, especially the young colts, as they rarely survive.