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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/474

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Bill short, strong, straight, compressed, acute; upper mandible with the dorsal outline nearly straight, the sides sloping, the edges sharp and overlapping, the tip shghtly declinate; lower mandible with the back narrow, the sides sloping. Nostrils basal, open, covered by the reversed bristly feathers. Head rather large, neck short, body robust. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus about the same length as the middle toe, anteriorly scutellate, compressed, acute behind; toes free, scutellate, the inner shorter than the outer; claws arched, compressed, acute.

Plumage soft, blended, glossy. A tuft of reflected bristly feathers over the nostril on each side, and several bristle-pointed feathers at the base of the upper mandible. Wings short, third and fourth quills longest, first short. Tail long, much rounded, of twelve rounded feathers.

Bill and feet brownish-black. Iris hazel. Upper part of the head, the cheeks, side, and back part of the neck, the wings and tail, of a bright purplish-azure. Back light yellowish-brown. A band of white on the forehead, extending over the eyes. The under parts brownish-white. The upper tail-coverts are blue, and the tail-feathers are indistinctly barred with deeper lines.

Length 11+14 inches; bill along the ridge 1112, along the gap nearly 1+14; tarsus 1+212, middle toe nearly the same.

Adult Female. Plate LXXXVII. Fig. 2.

The female presents the same colours as the male, the difference in tint being hardly perceptible.

The Persimon Tree.

Diospyros virginiana, Willd. Sp. Pl. vol. iv. p. 1107. Pursh, Flor. Amer. vol. i. p. 265. Mich. Abr. Forest. de l'Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 195. Pl. 12.—Polygamia Diœcia, Linn. Guaiacanæ, Juss.

Leaves ovato-oblong, acuminate, smooth, venous; petioles downy; buds smooth. The flowers are pale yellow, and the fruits, which are of the size of a plum, are of a globular form, and when mature, of a dull yellowish colour. The bark of old trees is cracked, and of a dark colour. The wood is employed for various purposes, being fine-grained, ard and durable.