Illustrations of British Ornithology: Water birds

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proprietor, and pub., 1833 - 538 páginas
 

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Página 12 - ... priced at thirty shillings, while twelve pheasants cost twenty shillings. The heronplume, made up of the fine large depending feathers, especially those above the wings, was highly valued. In the present day the bird seems to have sunk into comparative insignificance. Mr. Selby however considers that " the low estimation in which the flesh of the Heron is now held would seem to be in a great degree the effect of prejudice, or the fashion of taste, as under proper treatment and good cookery the...
Página 122 - ... and the male bird commences his calls of invitation for a mate. These are always uttered upon the wing, and consist of a piping or clicking note, often repeated, and accompanied at intervals by a humming or bleating noise, not unlike that of a goat...
Página 432 - Islands, selecting such as are covered with a stratum of vegetable mould ; and here they dig their own burrows, from there not being any rabbits to dispossess upon the particular islets they frequent. They commence this operation about the first week in May, and the hole is generally excavated to the depth of three feet, often in a curving direction, and occasionally with two entrances.
Página 457 - Here a station is selected apart from the other species, generally on a higher site, and the nests are so close to each other as to render it difficult to cross the ground without breaking the eggs, or injuring the unfledged young. Upon this coast it is called, par excellence, 'The Tern,' all the other species passing under the general name of
Página 52 - ... tarnished white. The yellow sternal patch does not begin to appear till the second or third year. (Temminck.) Mr. Selby observes that in its anatomy it shows an affinity to the Cranes in the form of the windpipe, which, previous to entering the thorax, undergoes a double flexure to the extent of about two inches, and forms a convolution similar to the figure 8. The flexures touch, but do not cross each other, the points of contact being united by fine membranes. This double flexure, according...
Página 230 - Plover (a wary bird wrier, roused) will frequently admit of a close approach. As to the story of the Dotterel mimicking the actions of the fowler by stretching out its leg. wing, or head, when he sets the example, it, without doubt, arose from the motions that they as well as other birds usually and most naturally make when roused from a state of repose ; and which every one who attends to the habits of the feathered race must (in flocks of gulls, plovers, tringas, &c.) have frequently observed.
Página 432 - Its colour when first laid is white, but it soon becomes soiled and dirty, from its immediate contact with the earth ; no materials being collected for a nest at the end of the burrow. The young are hatched after a month's incubation, and are then covered with a long blackish down above, which gradually gives place to the feathered plumage, so that at the end of a month or five weeks they are able to quit the burrow, and follow their parents to the open sea.
Página 518 - ... Britain at all seasons of the year, and that they have been ascertained to breed not only upon the Shetland and other northern islands of Scotland, but upon the rocky coast of the northwest of Cornwall at the opposite extremity of the kingdom. The geographical distribution of this species has, he adds, been supposed to be very extensive, but the discovery of other species very closely allied to it both in size and colour (and only to be distinguished by narrow inspection and comparison) in various...
Página 498 - ... pugnacious Skua, as to be soon driven to a hasty retreat, and no bird is permitted to approach with impunity; the Eagle itself being beaten off with the utmost fury, should it happen to venture within the limits of the breeding territory.
Página 38 - The tertials, as usual in this tribe, are very long, reaching nearly to the tips of the primaries ; exterior toe joined by a membrane to the middle one, as far as the first joint.

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