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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/75

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47
SELBY'S FLYCATCHER.

when seizing an insect, was sharp, and as distinct as if the bird had been in my hand. At length, fearing that it might escape, I desired my young friend Joseph Mason to retire further from it, that we might shoot it."

On the 4th July, while searching with care about the same place, to find its nest or the female, I shot another of these birds, which I found to be a female. It differed only in being rather smaller, darker above, and paler beneath. On the 27th September of the same year, I shot a second male in beautiful plumage, six or seven miles off, in a different direction, in the same State. Finding the pretty flower on which the bird is drawn, in the immediate neighbourhood, and growing wild, although I am assured it is originally from Europe, I have represented it, thinking it might contrast well with the Fly-catcher in its richly coloured flowers, and be assimilated to it in that of its stem and leaves. This flower is found in damp places, in Louisiana only, at least I have not met with it in the woods of any other State.


Selby's Fly-Catcher, Muscicapa Selbii.


Adult Male. Plate X.

Bill longish, depressed, tapering to a sharp point, very broad at the base, the gap reaching to nearly under the eye; upper mandible slightly notched and inflected at the tip; lower straight. Nostrils basal, lateral, linear. Head and neck of moderate size. Body somewhat slender. Feet moderately long, slender; tarsus covered with short scutella above, with a longitudinal keeled plate behind, longer than the middle toe; toes slender, unconnected; claws small, weak, slightly arched, compressed, acute.

Plumage blended, soft and glossy. The beak margined at the base with long spreading bristles. Wings of moderate length, third quill longest, second and first little shorter, the other quills graduated. Tail rather long, forked when closed, rounded when spread, the feathers acuminate.

Bill brown, horn-colour above, passing into dark flesh-colour below. Iris dark brown. Legs, feet, and claws very light flesh-colour. The whole upper parts dark olive; wings black, the feathers margined externally with light olive, internally with white. The whole under parts,in-