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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/199

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171
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO.

where the birds were in pursuit of such flies as you see figured, probably to amuse themselves. The Magnolia has already been presented to your view in another plate, where it was figured in seed. Here you have it arrayed in all the beauty of its splendid blossoms.


Coccyzus erythrophthalmus, Ch. Bonap. Synops. of Birds of United States, p. 42.

Black-billed Cuckoo, Cuculus erythrophthalma, Wils. Amer. Omith. vol. iv. p. 15. Pl. xxviii. fig. 2.


Adult Male. Plate XXXII. Fig 1.

Bill as long as the head, compressed, slightly arched, acute, not more robust than that of many Sylviæ; upper mandible carinated above, its margins acute and entire; lower mandible carinated beneath, acute. Nostrils basal, lateral, linear-elliptical, half-closed by a membrane. Head and neck of ordinary size. Body rather slender. Feet short and small; tarsus scutellate before and behind; toes two before, separated; two behind, one of which is versatile; the sole flat; claws slender, compressed, arched.

Plumage blended, soft, slightly glossed. Wings long, the first quill short, the third longest. Tail long, graduated, of ten feathers, which are rather narrow and rounded.

Upper mandible brownish-black; lower bluish. Iris hasel. A bare space of a deep scarlet tint around the eye. Feet dull blue. The general colour of the upper parts is light greenish-brown. Cheeks and forehead tinged with greyish-blue. Tail-feathers, excepting the two middle ones, tipped with white. Under parts brownish-white.

Length 11½ inches, extent of wings 15; beak along the ridge ⅚, along the gap 1¼.


Adult Female. Plate XXXII. Fig. 2.

The female differs very little in external appearance from the male, and is nearly of the same dimensions.




The Great Magnolia.

Magnolia grandiflora, Wild. Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 1255.


This plant has already been described at p. 28, the ripe fruit having been represented in Plate V.