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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/360

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332
SWAMP SPARROW.

The plant on which you see this bird is called the May-apple. It shoots from the ground in great numbers, and grows very close. The flowers appear at an early season, and are succeeded by a pulpy yellowish fruit, about the size of a pullet's egg, and which, when ripe, is pleasant to the taste, being a little acid and very cooling.


Fringilla palustris, Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 110.
Swamp Sparrow, Fringilla palustris, Wils. Amer. Ornith. vol. iii. p. 49, Pl. xxii. fig. 1. Male.


Adult Male. Plate LXIV.

Bill short, conical, acute, straight; upper mandible nearly straight in its dorsal line, as is the lower; gap-line a little declinate at the base. Nostrils basal, roundish, partly concealed by the feathers. Feet of moderate length; tarsus longer than the middle toe; toes free, the lateral ones nearly equal; claws compressed, arched, acute.

Plumage rather compact above, soft and blended beneath. Wings short, rounded, the third and fourth quills longest. Tail longish, slightly notched, the feathers broad and rather acute.

Bill dark brown above, paler and tinged with blue beneath. Iris hazel. Feet yellowish-brown. Upper part of the head reddish-brown, streaked with black. Loral space, and a broad streak over the eye, yellowish-grey; a dark line behind the eye, and another from the commissure of the mandibles. Upper parts generally yellowish-brown, spotted with brownish-black. Primary quill-coverts dusky, as are the inner webs of the secondary coverts and quills, their outer webs being brownish-red. Tail-feathers dusky, their outer webs brownish-red. Sides of the neck and the breast light grey, the rest of the under parts greyish-white.

Length 5+12 inches, extent of wings 7+12; bill along the ridge 512, along the back 23; tarsus 1112.




The May-apple.

Podophyllum peltatum, Willd. Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 1141. Pursh, Flor. Amer. vol. ii. p. 366—Polyandria Monogynia, Linn. Ranunculaceæ, Juss.


Root of many large tubers. Stalks several, each divided at the top, and bearing two peltate leaves, composed of five or seven lobes, with a flower in the fork. Petals nine, white. Fruit when ripe of the size of a plum, yellow.