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21. Parus, bill strong, pointed, a little compressed; nostrils round, covered with reflected bristles; tongue truncate, bristly at the end; toes divided to their origin, the back toe large and strong.
Bill nearly straight, tumid at the base; legs short; toes three before and one behind ; divided to the origin.
24. Columba, bill weak, slender, descending towards the point; nostrils oblong, lodged in a soft protuberance; tongue entire.
ORDER 5. GALLINE.
Bill convex; the upper mandible arched over the lower; nostrils arched over the cartilaginous membrane; toes rough underneath, divided to their origin.
25. Phasianus, bill short, strong; cheeks more or less covered with caruncled flesh bare of feathers; legs generally armed with a spur.
26. Tetrao, bill short, strong; head covered with a warty skin, bare of feathers over the eyes; nostrils small, hid in the feathers; tongue pointed; legs feathered down to the toes.
27. Perdix, bill short, strong; head without the naked skin over the eyes, but often warty; nostrils covered above with a prominent callous rim; legs bare of feathers below the knees; often armed with spurs; tail short.
28. Otis, Bill a little convex; nostrils ovate, open; legs bare of feathers above the knees; toes only three, all placed forwards.
Bill more or less cylindrical; legs long, naked above the knees; toes divided to their origin, or connected by a membrane at the base.
29. Ardea, bill long, straight, acute, a little compressed, with a groove from the nostrils towards the tip; nostrils linear; tongue acute; feet four toed, the toes connected at the base. 30. Numenius, bill long, curved; face covered with feathers; nostril linear near the base of the bill; tongue short, acute; feet four-toed, the toes connected as far as the first joint.
31. Scotopax, bill slender, straight, weak, obtuse, longer than the head; nostrils linear, lodged in a groove; tongue acute; feet four-toed, the toes slightly connected or cloven to their origin, back toe small.
32. Tringa, bill straight, slender, as long as the head; nostrils small; tongue slender; feet four-toed, divided to their origin, or slightly connected; back toe weak, and often raised from the ground.
33. Charadrius, bill straight, slender, obtuse; nostrils linear; feet three-toed, all placed forward.
34. Hæmatopus, bill long, straight, compressed, wedge-shaped at the end; nostrils linear, tongue short, toes three, all placed forwards, the middle one connected to the outer one as far as the first joint.
35. Rallus, bill slender, compressed, slightly incurved; nostrils small; tongue rough at the end; body compressed; wings and tail short; feet four-toed, cloven to their origin.
36. Gallinula, bill thick at the base, sloping to the point, the upper mandible reaching far up the forehead, where it becomes membranaceous; body compressed; wings and tail short; feet four-toed, cloven to their origin.
Bill more or less cylindrical; legs long, naked above the knees; toes divided to their origin, with a membrane running down their whole length each side.
37. Phalaropus, bill straight, slightly inflected at the point; nostrils minute; feet fourtoed; the toes furnished with pennate or toothed membranes.
38. Fulica, bill short, strong, sloping to the point, running far up the forehead, which is bald; nostrils oblong, pervious; body compressed; tail short; toes four, furnished with a scalloped membrane.
39. Podiceps, bill straight, slender, pointed; nostrils linear; tongue slightly cloven; lores bare of feathers; body a little depressed; tail none; legs compressed; the shanks with a double row of serratures behind; toes four, connected at the base, furnished with a simple membrane; claws flat, rounded.
Toes connected with each other by a web.
40. Colymbus, bill strong, straight, pointed; upper mandible longer, the edges of each turning inwards; nostrils linear; tongue long, pointed, toothed each side near the base;
legs thin, flat; toes four, the outer one longer, back toe small, connected by a small membrane to the inner one; tail short, of twenty or more feathers.
41. Sterna, bill straight, slender, pointed, a little compressed; nostrils linear; tongue slender, pointed; wings very long; toes four, slender; the back toe very small, and unconnected with the rest; tail mostly short.
42. Larus, bill strong, straight, bending down at the point, with an angular prominence on the under part of the lower mandible; nostrils linear, broader on the fore-part, placed in the middle of the bill; tongue slightly cloven; legs naked above the knees; toes four, the back toe small, unconnected.
43. Mergus, bill slender, a little depressed, with a crooked nail at the point, the edges of the mandible with sharp serratures; nostrils small, somewhat ovate in the middle of the bill; toes three, forward, the outer one longer, and one behind furnished with a web.
44. Anas, bill broad, depressed, obtuse, with a nail at the point, the mandible edged with lamellate obtuse serratures; nostrils ovate; tongue broad, obtuse, fringed on the edges near the base; toes three forwards, the middle one longer, and one behind unconnected.
45. Pelicanus, bill long, straight, with a hooked nail at the point; nostrils concealed in a furrow; face and gullet bare of feathers; toes four, all webbed together.
DIVISION 1. LAND BIRDS.
1. Falco, FALCON.
1. Falco Chrysaetos, GOLDEN EAGLE.-Dark brown, with ferruginous variations; bill deep blue; cere and feet yellow; legs clothed down to the toes with yellow ferruginous feathers; tail blackish, with grey undulations at the base. Length three feet, extent of wings seven feet four inches, weight twelve pounds.
The Golden Eagle is the largest and most majestic of all this tribe. Its strength is such, that it can with ease carry a lamb; and several instances are recorded of its having carried off children. Mr. Willoughby says, that in the year 1668 an eagle's nest was found in the Woodlands, near the river Derwent, in the Peak of Derbyshire. He describes the nest as being composed of large sticks, one end resting on the edge of a rock, the other on two birch trees, and covered with several layers of rushes and heath. On this nest lay one young one and an addled egg, and by them a lamb, a hare, and three heath poults. The nest was about two yards square, and unlike the nests of other birds, quite flat. The young eagle was black, of the shape of a goshawk, and almost the weight of a goose, rough footed or feathered down to the foot, having a white ring about the tail. About the year 1720, one was taken up in the parish of Glossop, upon the high mountain called Kinder-scout. This was found in a feeble state, said to be owing to the inclemency of the weather, as it afterwards recovered, and was carried about the country and shown as a natural curiosity. About seventy years ago, an eagle was seen in Hardwick park. A full-grown golden eagle was shot between Cromford and Lea wood, about six years ago, which answers in every respect to the description given by Pennant and others. This noble bird was presented to Peter Arkwright, esq. of Rock House, Cromford, who had it finely preserved.
2. Falco Ossifragus, OSPREY OR SEA EAGLE.-Ferruginous brown, bill bluish horncolour, cere and legs yellow, tail-feathers white on the inner webs, length three feet four inches, extent eight or nine feet.
The osprey or fishing eagle is nearly as large as the golden eagle. It has been twice seen in Derbyshire. On the 28th of May, 1779, one was shot at Staveley, it was in good condition, had an empty stomach, weighed 3 lbs. 11 oz. The wings extended from tip to tip five feet six inches. The legs short, but the thighs rather long; the talons semicircular and nearly of equal length; the tender sides of the feet and toes remarkably covered with horny points for the better security of its prey; the wings and talons very strong and long. The other osprey was shot at Melbourn, in 1785. They feed on fish. Pilkington.
Though the eagle has been so recently seen in this county, it cannot be considered in any other light than as an occasional visitor.
3. Falco Milvus, KITE.- Ferruginous brown, head and chin grey, with brown lines; cere and legs yellow, tail deeply forked, length twenty-seven inches, extent five feet one inch, weight 44 oz.
It flies remarkably steady, and preys much on mice. It is the best known, and the most ignoble of the falcon tribe.
4. Falco Buteo, THE BUZZARD.-Cere and feet pale yellow, beak lead colour, above ferruginous brown, beneath yellowish white, spotted with brown; tail barred with black and ash colour, and tipped with brownish white; weight 32 oz. length twenty-two inches, extent fifty-two inches. Shot at Aston some years since, and at Melbourn two years ago.
5. Falco Æruginosus, THE MOOR BUZZARD.-Chocolate brown, crown and throat
yellowish or whitish, cere greenish yellow; legs long and yellow; length twenty-one inches, extent four feet three inches, weight 20 oz. Shot at Catton, in the parish of Croxall, and at Foston.
6. Falco Palumbarius, GOSHAWK.-Deep brown above, white with numerous transverse black lines underneath, cere yellowish green, legs yellow, over the eyes a white stripe, tail, with four or five blackish bands, length twenty-two inches or more.
7. Falco Cyaneus, HEN HARRIER.-Male, blue grey; paler underneath, cere and legs yellow, six first quill-feathers black, white at the base, slightly tipped with grey; length seventeen inches, extent three feet three inches, weight 12 oz.
Female, a ruff round the head, a white spot under each eye, back dusky, rump white, belly reddish brown, weight 16 oz. length twenty inches. They breed on the ground, and are never seen to settle on trees. Shot on the Eastmoor, and near to Derby.
8. Falco Pygargus, RINGTAIL.-Above, dull brown; beneath paler, with oblong rufous spots, cere and legs yellow, under the eyes a white arch, surrounding the chin; tail with dusky bands, tipt with white; length twenty inches, extent three feet, weight 20 oz. Shot on the Eastmoor, and near to Derby.
9. Falco Tinnunculus, KESTREL OR STANDING HAWK.-Cere and legs yellow; male, head light grey, with a dusky streak pointing downwards; tail the same, with a black bar near the end, tipped with white; back purplish brown, spotted with black, weight 61 oz. length fourteen inches.
Female, back less bright, head and tail pale brown, spotted with black, weight 11 oz. Breeds in old ruins and churches. Length fourteen inches, extent two feet.
10. Falco Nisus, SPARROW HAWK.-Cere green yellow, feet yellow, bill blue, claws black; above brown or grey, beneath tawny white, waved with brown, tail ash colour, barred and tipped with white. They sometimes breed in old crow nests, and are very destructive to game. Male, length twelve inches, extent two feet, weight 6 oz. Female, length fifteen inches, extent two feet four inches, weight 9 oz.
11. Falco Subbuteo, HOBBY OR LITTLE BUZZARD.-Above bluish black; beneath pale, with oblong brown spots; throat and nape white; eyes with a white line above them and a black patch beneath, cere and legs yellow. Length twelve inches, extent two feet three inches, weight 7 oz.
One of these beautiful birds, now considered to be extinct in this island, was shot by A. N. Mosley, esq. of Park Hill, many years ago, and it being well preserved, may be seen among his valuable collection of natural curiosities.
12. Falco Esalon, MERLIN.-Cere and legs yellow, bill lead colour; above purplish ash colour, with ferruginous spots; beneath yellowish white with brown spots, tail barred with brown, length twelve inches, extent twenty-five inches, weight 5 oz.
Shot at Staveley. It is one of the smallest of the hawk species, and does not breed in England, but migrates about October.
There is perhaps a greater variety of falcons found in this county than in the same extent of country in any other part of England. This very elegant bird, next to the eagle, is the most formidable, active, and intrepid of all voracious birds, and is most esteemed for falconry, an amusement much in use amongst our ancient nobility. The late ingenious and much lamented Rev. Bache Thornhill, of Stanton, who in 1827 unfortunately was killed, while out shooting, through the accidental discharge of his friend's gun, practised, with much success, the art of falconry in this county. The falcon boldly attacks the largest of the feathered race; the stork, the heron and the crane, are easy victims; it kills hares by immediately darting upon them. The female, as in all other birds of prey, is much larger and stronger than the male, and is used in falconry to catch the kite, the heron, the crow, &c.
2. Strix, OWL.
1. Strix Nyctea, WHITE OR SNOWY OWL.-Above pale yellow, with white spots; beneath white; interior side of the quill-feathers four black spots on each side; edge of the middle claw cerated; weight 11 to 13 oz. length fourteen inches. The plumage is exquisitely pencilled with unrivalled delicacy.
This majestic and beautiful bird, contrary to the habits of the others, preys by day upon herons, hares, mice, &c. The hen was found at Staveley, sitting upon two long white eggs, larger than those of a wood pigeon.
2. Strix Bubo, GREAT HORNED OWL.-Approaches nearly to the size of the eagle; it is found in the most cold countries, and preys on hares and the larger species of game, &c. One of these fine birds has been shot at Shardlow recently.
3. Strix Brachyotus, SHORT-EARED OWL.-Horns or ears a number of feathers, above brown, beneath pale yellow, quill-feathers barred with red, tip of the tail white; wings, when closed, reach beyond the tail: length thirteen inches.
It migrates with the woodcock; does not perch on trees, and prefers wild solitary parts,
abounding with heath, amidst which it breeds on the ground. It flies by day, and destroys many mice. Shot at Melbourn. These two species are scarce, more especially the latter. It visits us the beginning of October, and retires early in the spring. The ears being small and decumbent, are scarcely visible in dead birds.
4. Strix Flammea, WHITE SCREECH OWL.-Head without crest; body above pale yellow, with white and grey spots; underneath white, with dusky spots: length fourteen inches; extent three feet; weight 12 oz.
It frequents old houses and uninhabited buildings. The plumage of this species has much elegance. Common.
5. Strix Stridula, BROWN OWL.-Above, deep brown, spotted with black and white; beneath, pale ash colour, mixed with tawny black strokes; disk round the eyes, ash colour, with brown spots : length fourteen inches, extent two feet eight inches, weight 20 oz.
It flies by night, and hoots from September to November. It is a very rapacious bird, and frequently commits great depredations in pigeon-houses. It breeds in ruinous buildings and hollow trees, and in defence of its young, will attack even mankind with great courage.
6. Strix Passerina, LITTLE OWL.-Head without crest; above olive brown; beneath whitish, spotted with brown; head spotted with white; quill-feathers with five rows of white spots. Length eight inches, extent twenty-one inches.
This bird is rare in this country, its resorts are among caves, rocks and ruins, and it builds its nest in the most secluded places; it lays four or five eggs, spotted with white and yellow.
3. Lanius, BUTCHER-BIRD.
1. Lanius Excubitor, ASH-COLOURED SHRIKE OR BUTCHER-BIRD.-Tail wedge-form, blackish, with the sides white; head and back pale cinereous; wings blackish, with a white band; length ten inches, weight 3 oz.
This bird feeds on insects and small birds, which latter it seizes by the throat and strangles, it then fixes them on a thorn, and tears them to pieces with its bill; from this circumstance it receives its name. It has sometimes been trained by falconers to fly at small game. One shot at Derby.
2. Lanius Collurio, RED-BACKED SHRIKE OR LESSER BUTCHER-BIRD.-Tail wedgeform, white at the edges; head and neck pale cinereous; back and wing coverts bright ferruginous. Length seven inches and a half, extent eleven inches, weight 2 oz.
This bird is not unfrequent at Duffield, it arrives towards the latter end of May, and visits the same spot for a number of years. It takes its station on the uppermost twig of a high tree, where it occasionally utters its short abrupt cry, which much resembles that of the house sparrow, but is louder and more harsh. It appears restless, frequently changing its situation; its flight is uneasy, broken and irregular, it takes three or four strokes together, very quickly, and then springs forward; by this it may easily be known in its flight. The swallows persecute it as they do other birds of prey. Ŏ. J.
ORDER 2. PICE.
4. Corvus, CROW.
1. Corvus Corax, RAVEN.-Above shining black, beneath dusky, tail a little rounded, weight 3 lb. length twenty-six inches, extent four feet; builds about the middle of February and sits in March.
Raven Tor, Ashover, receives its name from a pair of these birds annually building there. 2. Corvus Corone, CARRION CROW.-The whole body bluish black, tail rounded, with the feathers pointed; weight 20 oz. length eighteen inches, extent twenty-six inches.
It builds the beginning of March. Crows go in pairs all the year round.
3. Corvus Frugilegus, Rook.-Above glossy bluish black; nostrils, chin, and sides of the mouth whitish and bare. Rather larger than the last.
They resort to their nest trees from January to February, and build about the middle of February, and again from July to October. Multitudes of these birds resort to the sea coast, in severe winters, in search of periwinkles; having found a shell, they raise it to the height of forty feet, and drop it upon the rocks, instantly descending; if the shell should not break the operation is repeated, and the labour is immense for so small a recompense. Rooks abound in the country to the great injury of corn land; although they may be serviceable, in a moderate degree, in picking worms and caterpillars out of the earth, and are frequently seen examining each furrow after the plough. When building, they are continually fighting and pulling each other's nests to pieces; these proceedings are inconsistent with living in such close community; and yet, if a pair offer to build on a single tree, the nest is plundered and demolished at once. Unhappy pairs are not permitted to finish any nests till the rest have completed their building. As soon as they get a few sticks together, a party comes and demolishes the whole. When they have finished their nests, and before they lay, the cocks
begin to feed the hens, who receive their bounty with a fondling tremulous voice and fluttering wings, and all the little blandishments that are expressed by the young while in a helpless state. This gallant deportment of the male is continued through the whole season of incubation. After the first brood of rooks are sufficiently fledged, they all leave their nest trees in the day time, and resort to some distant place in search of food, but return regularly every evening, in vast flights; where, after flying round several times, with much noise and clamour, till they are all assembled together, they take up their abode for the night.
4. Corvus Cornix, ROYSTON OR HOODED CROW.-Back, breast, belly and upper part of the neck ash colour, the rest bluish black; weight 22 oz. length twenty-two inches, extent three feet. Migrates, (rare) returns the latter end of October or carly in November. One of these birds is in the collection of preserved birds at Markeaton hall.
5. Corvus Monedula, JACKDAW.-Back of the head, breast and belly ash colour, the rest black, irides white; weight 9 oz. length thirteen inches, extent twenty-eight inches; it frequents churches in January, and builds and breeds in the steeples.
6. Corvus Glandarius, JAY.—Head covered with long feathers, forehead white, with black strokes; neck black, coverts of the wings fine blue, barred with black and white; back, breast and belly purple, dashed with grey; rump white, tail black; weight 7 oz. length thirteen inches, extent twenty-one inches.
This is one of the most elegant of our British birds, and is common in this county.
7. Corvus Pica, MAGPIE.-Black, with a blue, green and purple gloss; scapulars, breast and upper parts of the belly white; tail long and wedge-form; weight 9 oz. length eighteen inches, extent twenty-two inches.
They build their nests with thorns, platted in a curious manner, with great art. When they have young ones, they destroy the broods of missel thrushes, though the parents are fierce, and fight boldly in defence of their nests. Magpies and starlings very often sit on the backs of sheep and deer to peck out their ticks. A magpie was shot at Markeaton about forty years ago, entirely white, except a few feathers in the tail.
b. Cuculus, CUCKOO.
1. Cuculus Canorus, Cuск00.-Above brownish ash colour; beneath white, waved with transverse black lines; tail rounded, blackish, outer feathers spotted with white; weight 5 oz. length fourteen inches, extent twenty-five inches. Migrates.
Zoologists have, in all languages, assigned to this harbinger of nature's fairest season, a name expressive of its singular note. Cuckoos were known in Greece in the time of the poet Hesiod. These birds are observed to rest twice annually on Malta, at times which prove them to be on their migration to and from Europe. A vulgar error prevails, that cuckcos feed entirely upon the eggs of other birds; but this I can disprove, having witnessed a curious phenomenon in nature as regards this singular bird. I accompanied an artist to Bretby in the month of July, 1828, for the purpose of taking a sketch of the beautiful mansion of the Earl of Chesterfield; while we were taking some refreshment, our attention was arrested by the noise of a young cuckoo, which was perched on the railing in front of the house. It shortly flew on the grass-plot under the window, where a grey wagtail had been for some time walking about collecting insects; as soon as the cuckoo had settled upon the grass-plot, the industrious little wagtail walked up to it and delivered what it had been collecting into its mouth; this it repeated several times, to my astonishment and gratification. I enquired how long the cuckoo had taken its station there; and Mrs. Sherwood, the housekeeper, informed me, it had been the practice of the cuckoo to receive its food from the wagtail for some time. The cuckoo visits us about the middle of April, breeds here, and leaves us again in July or August. Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of small birds, viz. the hedge-sparrow, titlark, wagtail, &c.; and probably the cuckoo we saw had been bred by the wagtail who fed it. Glover.
6. Jynx, WRYNECK.
Jynx Torquilla, WRYNECK OR CUCKOO'S MATE.-Above ash colour, with black and brown strokes; beneath light brown, with black spots; tail ash colour, with four black bars;
The following curious memorandum is inscrted in the seventh volume of the Transactions of the Linnæan Society.
"The cuckoo begins early in the season with the interval of a minor third, the bird then proceeds to a major third, next to a fourth, then a fifth, after which his voice breaks without attaining a minor sixth." This curious circumstance was observed long before the above was written, and forms the subject of an epigram in that scarce black letter book, entitled, the Epigrams of John Heywood, 1587.