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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/395

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ed behind. Wings long, third and fourth primaries longest, the first short.

Bill light blue, darker at the tip; cere, basal margin of the bill, edges of the eyelids, and the feet, yellow, tinged with green. Iris yellow. Claws black. Head, neck and back, pale brownish-red, longitudinally spotted with dark-brown, the sides and fore-part of the head greyish-white. Upper tail-coverts bluish-grey at the margins. Tail dull brown, banded with brownish-white, and tipped with white. Lesser wing-coverts brownish-red, spotted with dark brown; larger coverts and secondary quills umber, banded with brownish-white; primary quills light yellowish-red at the base, dull brown towards the end, barred with dark brown. Lower part of the neck, the sides and under wing-coverts, light brownish-red, the former longitudinally lined with brown. Breast greyish-white, sparsely marked with guttiform spots, abdomen white. Tibial feathers yellowish-white, marked with small roundish spots.

Length 22 inches; bill along the back 1+12; tarsus 3.

Compared with the adult male of the Red-shouldered Hawk, the present bird is much larger, and differs greatly in colouring; but the differences will be best understood by referring to the figures.

The Bull-frog, Rana taurina, Cuv.

The body olive-green, clouded with black; a yellow line along the back. Length ten or twelve inches. This Frog is found in all parts of the United States, but is more abundant in the Southern Districts. Its voice is louder than that of any other species, and may be distinctly heard at the distance of forty or fifty yards. It is particularly fond of such small pure streams of water as are thickly shaded by over-hanging bushes. It sits for hours during the middle of the day, basking in the sun, near the margin of the water, to which it betakes itself by a great leap at the least appearance of danger, diving at once to the bottom, or swimming to the opposite side. In the Southern States, it is heard at all seasons, but principally during the spring and summer months. Its flesh is tender, white, and affords excellent eating. The hind legs, however, are the only parts used as food. They make excellent bait for the larger cat-fish. Some bull-frogs weigh as much as half a pound. I have generally used the gun for procuring them, shooting with very small shot.