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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/181

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Sylvia Vigorsii.


I regret that I am unable to give any account of the habits of a species which I have honoured with the name of a naturalist whose merits are so well known to the learned world. The individual represented in the plate I shot upwards of twenty years ago, and have never met with another of its kind. It was in the month of May, on a small island of the Perkioming Creek, forming part of my farm of Mill Grove, in the State of Pennsylvania. The bird was flittering amongst grasses, uttering an often repeated cheep.

The plant on which it is represented is that on which it was perched when I shot it, and is usually called Spider-wort. It grows in damp and shady places, as well as sometimes in barren lands, near the banks of brooks.

Sylvia Vigorsii.

Male. Plate XXX.

Bill of ordinary length, rather robust, depressed at the base, straight, acute; upper mandible notched, slightly deflected at the tip; lower shorter. Head of ordinary size, neck short, body ovate. Legs of ordinary length, slender; tarsus compressed, anteriorly covered with a few long scutella, toes free, the lateral ones nearly equal, the middle toe much longer; claws weak, much compressed, acute, slightly arched.

Plumage soft, tufty, blended. Wings of ordinary size, the second quill longest. Tail longish, a little forked, of twelve feathers. A few small basirostral bristles.

Bill brownish-black. Iris dark brown. Feet flesh-coloured. Head and back light greenish-brown. Wings blackish-brown, the first two rows of coverts tipped with white. Tail of the some colour, the outer feather white. Throat pale grey, lower neck and breast ochre-yellow, abdomen yellowish-white.