Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/117

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89
GREAT-FOOTED HAWK.

I have known them also retire for the same purpose to the crevices of high cliffs, on the banks of Green River in the same state. One winter when I had occasion to cross the Homochitta River, in the State of Mississippi, I observed these Hawks in greater numbers than I had ever before seen.

Many persons believe that this Hawk, and some others, never drink any other fluid than the blood of their victims; but this is an error. I have seen them alight on sand bars, walk to the edge of them, immerse their bills nearly up to the eyes in the water, and drink in a continued manner, as Pigeons are known to do.


Falco peregrinus, Gmel. Syst. vol. i. p. 272.—Lath. Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 33—Ch. Bonaparte, Synopsis of Birds of the United States, p. 27.

Peregrine Falcon, Lath. Synopsis, vol. i. p. 73, and Suppl. p. 18.

Great-footed Hawk, Wilson, Americ. Ornith. vol. ix. p. 120, Pl. 76.


Adult Male. Plate XVI. Fig. 1.

Bill shortish, as broad as deep, the sides convex, the dorsal outline convex from the base; upper mandible cerate, the edges blunt, slightly inflected, with a process towards the curvature on either side with a hollow, the tip trigonal, descending obliquely, acute; lower mandible involute at the edges, truncate at the end, with a notch near it, corresponding to the process above. Nostrils round, lateral, with a soft papilla in the centre, connected with the upper edge. Head rather large and round Neck shortish. Body ovate, anteriorly broad. Legs robust, short roundish; tarsi covered all round with imbricated scales, the anterior largest, broad, and subhexagonal, the posterior small and rounded. Toes robust, covered above with broad scutella, scabrous and tubercular below; middle and outer toes connected by a membrane; claws roundish, strong and curved, acute, marginate beneath.

Plumage ordinary, compact, imbricated. Feathers of the back rounded, of the neck and breast anteriorly broad and rounded; of the sides long, all acuminate; of the thighs long and rounded. Space between the bill and eye covered only with bristly feathers. Feathers of the forehead with bristly points. Wings long; primary quills moderately broad, attenuated; first quill notched near the end; secondaries