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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/274

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246
BARRED OWL.

Strix nebulosa, Gmel. Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 291.—Lath. Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 21.—Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 38.

Barred Owl, Strix nebulosa, Lath. Synops. vol. i. p. 133.—Wils. Amer. Ornith. vol. iv. p. 61. Pl. 23. fig. 2.


Adult Male. Plate XLVI. Fig. 1.

Bill very short, compressed, curved, acute, with a small cere at the base; upper mandible with its dorsal outline curved from the base, the edges acute, the point trigonal, very acute, deflected, lower mandible with the edges acute and inflected, obtuse at the tip. Nostrils roundish, in the fore part of the cere, concealed by the recumbent bristles. Head disproportionably large, as are the eyes and external ears. Body short. Legs long; tarsus feathered; toes feathered at the base, scutellate above, papillar and tubercular beneath; claws curved, slender, rounded, extremely sharp.

Plumage exceedingly soft and downy, somewhat distinct above, tufty and loose beneath. Long bristly feathers at the base of the bill, stretching forwards. Eyes surrounded by several circles of compact feathers; auricular feathers forming a ruff, and with those of the head and neck capable of being erected. Wings ample, the fourth quill longest, the first short. Tail long, large, rounded, of twelve broad, rounded feathers.

Bill yellow, the under mandible tinged with blue on the back. Eyes black. Toes yellow; claws bluish-black. The general colour of the upper parts is light reddish-brown. Face and greater part of the head brownish-white, the feathers of the latter broadly marked with brown, of which a narrow band passes from the bill along the middle of the head. Feathers of the back and most of the wing-coverts largely spotted with white. Primary coverts, quills, and tail, barred with light brownish-red; wings and tail tipped with greyish-white. Under parts pale brownish-red, longitudinally streaked with brown, excepting the neck and upper breast, which are transversely marked, the abdomen, which is yellowish-white, and the tarsal feathers, which are light reddish.

Length 18 inches, extent of wings 40. Bill along the ridge 1½; tarsus 2½, middle toe 2.