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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/458

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430
HOUSE WREN.

acute and overlapping; under mandible with the back and sides convex. Nostrils oblong, straight, basal, with a cartilaginous lid above, open and bare. Head ovate, eyes of moderate size, neck of ordinary length, body ovate, nearly equal in breadth and depth. Legs of ordinary length; tarsus longer then the middle toe, compressed, covered anteriorly with six scutella, posteriorly with a long plate forming an acute angle. Toes scutellate above, inferiorly granulate, second and fourth nearly equal, the hind toe almost equal to the middle one, third and fourth united as far as the second joint; claws long, slender, acute, arcuate, much compressed.

Plumage soft, tufty, slightly glossed. No bristly feathers about the beak. Wings shortish, broad, rounded: first quill half the length of the second, which is very little shorter than the third and fourth. Tail of ordinary length, of twelve narrow, lax feathers.

Bill dark brown above, yellowish-brown beneath. Iris hazel. Feet flesh-colour. The general colour of the upper parts is reddish-brown, darker on the head, brighter on the tail-coverts, indistinctly barred with dark brown; wings and tail undulatingly banded, tips of the larger wing-coverts whitish. A yellowish-grey line from the upper mandible over the eye; cheeks of the same colour, mottled with brownish-red. Under parts brownish-grey; sides barred with brown, as are the under tail-coverts.

Length 4½ inches, extent of wings 5½; bill along the ridge ½, along the gap ¾; tarsus ⅔, middle toe 712.


Adult Female. Plate LXXXIII. Fig. 2.

The female scarcely differs from the male in external appearance.


Young Birds. Plate LXXXIII. Fig. 3.

The young are of a lighter brown, more indistinctly barred, but resemble the old birds in the general distribution of their colouring.


This species differs from the Winter Wren, chiefly in having the bill a little stouter, the tail considerably longer, and the under parts less distinctly barred.