Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/355

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327
PASSENGER PIGEON.

Columba migratoria, Linn. Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 285.—Lath. Ind. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 612.—Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 120.

Passenger Pigeon, Columba migratoria, Lath. Synops. vol. iv. p. 661—Wils. Amer. Ornith. vol. v, p. 102. Pl. 44. fig. 1. Male.


Adult Male. Plate LXII. Fig. 1.

Bill straight, of ordinary length, rather slender, broader than deep at the base, with a tumid fleshy covering above, compressed towards the end, rather obtuse; upper mandible slightly declinate at the tip; edges inflected. Head small, neck slender, body rather full. Legs short and strong; tarsus rather rounded, anteriorly scutellate; toes slightly webbed at the base; claws short, depressed, obtuse.

Plumage blended on the neck and under parts, compact on the back. Wings long, the second quill longest. Tail graduated, of twelve tapering feathers.

Bill black. Iris bright red. Feet carmine purple, claws blackish. Head above and on the sides light blue. Throat, fore-neck, breast, and sides, light brownish-red, the rest of the under parts white. Lower part of the neck behind, and along the sides, changing to gold, emerald green, and rich crimson. The general colour of the upper parts is greyish-blue, some of the wing-coverts marked with a black spot. Quills and larger wing-coverts blackish, the primary quills bluish on the outer web, the larger coverts whitish at the tip. The two middle feathers of the tail black, the rest pale blue at the base, becoming white towards the end.

Length 16+14 inches, extent of wings 25; bill along the ridge 56, along the gap 1+112; tarsus 1+14, middle toe 1+13.


Adult Female. Plate LXII. Fig. 2.

The colours of the female are much duller than those of the male, although their distribution is the same. The breast is light greyish-brown, the upper parts pale reddish-brown, tinged with blue. The changeable spot on the neck is of less extent, and the eye of a somewhat duller red, as are the feet.

Length 15 inches, extent of wings 23; bill along the ridge 34, along the gap 56.