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Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/142

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114
MOCKING BIRD.

middle one hardly shorter than the tarsus; inner toe free; hind toe rather robust; claws compressed, acute, arched.

Plumage soft and blended. Wings of moderate length, rounded; third and fourth primaries longest, first short. Tail long, much rounded, of twelve nearly straight, rather narrow, rounded feathers.

Bill brownish-black. Iris pale yellow. Feet and claws dark brown. Upper parts of the head, neck and body dark grey, tinged with brown on the forehead and sides of the head. Under parts brownish-white. Quills brownish-black; primaries white in their proximal part, forming a large spot of that colour on the wing, concealed on the first three, and on the last reaching to near the tip. Large primary coverts white, with a line of black at the tip. Secondary coverts and second row tipped with white. Outer tail-feather white, excepting a light streak of dusky near the tip; the next two also white, but with a longitudinal streak of black on the outer web, larger and broader on the third. The rest brownish-black tinged with grey, and, excepting the middle ones, tipped with white.

Length 9½ inches, extent of wings 13½; bill along the ridge 7/12, along the gap 1; tarsus 1½, middle toe 1.


Adult Female. Plate XXI. Fig. 2, 2.

The female differs very little from the male. The plumage is slightly duller, with more brown, the lateral tail-feathers have more black, and the white parts are less pure. The dimensions are nearly the same.




The Florida Jessamine.


Gelseminum nitidum, Mich. Flor. Amer. vol. i. p. 120. Pursh. Flor. Amer. vol. i. p. 184.—Pentandria Digynia, Linn. Apocineæ Juss.


A climbing shrub, with smooth lanceolate leaves, axillary clusters of yellow flowers, which are funnel-shaped, with the limb spreading and nearly equal, the calyx five-toothed, the capsule two-celled and two-valved. It grows along the sea-coast, especially near rivers, from Virginia to Florida, flowering through the summer. The flowers are fragrant. It is also named Carolina Jessamine' and Yellow Jessamine.