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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/300

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the under parts nearly white, there being only a few narrow streaks on the sides of the breast; the tibial and tarsal feathers as in the male. The tail is of a duller red, and wants the black bar.

Length 24 inches.

The American Hare.

Lepus americanus, Harlan, Fauna Americana, p. 193.

The Rabbit, as this animal is named in the United States, has the habits of the European Hare, forming a flat, well-beaten, oblong space among the grass, on which it rests during the day. It never burrows like the Common Rabbit of Europe, although it resorts for safety to the hollows of fallen trunks, or those frequently existing at the roots of standing trees, as well as to cavities in rocks. It feeds principally towards the approach of night and early in the morning, and spends the greater part of the day in its form. When startled by a dog, it proceeds in a direct manner for a considerable way, and then returns nearly by the same course. When disturbed, if there be not a dog present, it runs to a short distance, stops, raises its head, erects its ears, and is then easily discovered and shot. When the period of parturition approaches, it forms a kind of nest of long grass, arranged in an oblong form. Its flesh is whiter than that of the European Hare, but resembles it in flavour. It gnaws the bark of young trees in the orchards as well as in the forests, and is in many parts very abundant.