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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/299

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271
RED-TAILED HAWK.

Bill short, robust, at the base as broad as deep, compressed towards the end, cerate; upper mandible, with the dorsal outline, convex from the base, rounded on the sides, the edges with an obtuse lobe, the tip trigonal, descending obliquely, acute; lower mandible involute at the edges, truncate at the end, broadly rounded on the back. Nostrils roundish, nearly dorsal, in the fore part of the cere. Head large, flat above. Neck shortish, robust. Body bulky. Legs rather long, very robust; tarsi stout, scutellate before and behind, the sides covered with hexagonal scales; toes scutellate above, scaly on the sides, scabrous and tubercular beneath; claws roundish, strong, curved, very acute.

Plumage compact and firm; feathers of the head and neck rather narrow, of the other parts broad and rounded. Tarsus feathered anteriorly about one-third down. Wings long, ample, rounded, the fourth quill longest, the first short. Tail of twelve broad, rounded feathers, even, and of ordinary length.

Bill light blue, blackish at the tip, greenish-yellow on the margin towards the base; cere greenish-yellow. Iris hazel. Tarsi and toes yellow; claws brownish-black. Upper part of the head light brownish-grey. Loral space and under eyelid white. A broad band of dark brown from the angle of the mouth backwards. Neck above and on the sides reddish-yellow, with large deep brown spots. Back deep brown; scapulars of the same colour, broadly margined and tipped with brownish-white. Lesser wing-coverts chocolate-brown; larger lighter brown, tipped with white. Primary quills blackish-brown; secondaries lighter, tipped with brownish-white; all barred with blackish. Upper tail-coverts whitish, barred with brown, and yellowish-red in the middle. Tail bright yellowish-red, tipped with whitish, and having a narrow bar of black near the end. Lower parts brownish-white; the fore part of the breast and neck light yellowish-red, the former marked with guttiform, somewhat sagittate brown spots: abdomen and chin white; feathers of the leg and tarsus pale reddish-yellow, those on the outside indistinctly spotted.

Length 20½ inches, extent of wings 46; bill along the back 1¼, along the gap 2; tarsus 3⅓, middle toe 2¾. Wings when closed reaching to within two inches of the tip of the tail.


Adult Female. Plate LI. Fig. 9.

The female, which is considerably larger, agrees with the male in the general distribution of its colouring. The upper parts are darker, and