Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/44
by the wives of our squatters and farmers. These tippets, when properly made, are extremely beautiful as well as comfortable.
A long account of the habits of this remarkable bird has already been given in Bonaparte's American Ornithology, vol. i. As that account was in a great measure derived from notes furnished by myself, you need not be surprised, good reader, to find it often in accordance with the above.
Having now said all that I have thought it might be agreeable to you to know of the history and habits of the Wild Turkey, I proceed to the technical description of that interesting bird.
Adult Male. Plate I.
Bill shortish, robust, slightly arched, rather obtuse, the base covered by a bare membrane; upper mandible with the dorsal outline arched, the sides convex, the edges overlapping, the tip a little declinate; under mandible somewhat bulging towards the tip, the sides convex. Nostrils situated in the basal membrane, oblique, linear, covered above by a cartilage. Head small, flattened above, with a conical pendulous, erectile caruncle on the forehead. Neck slender. Body robust. Feet longish and strong; tarsus covered anteriorly with numerous transverse scutella, scaly on the sides, scutellate behind; toes scutellate above, scabrous, papillar and flat beneath; hind toe elevated, half the length of the lateral toes, which are nearly equal, and much shorter than the middle toe; claws slightly arched, strong, convex above, obtuse, flat beneath. A conical, rather obtuse spur on the tarsus, about two-thirds down.
Conical papilla of the forehead rugose, sparsely covered with bristles. Head bare, and corrugated, the skin irregularly raised, and covered with a few scattered bristles. External ear margined with short and slender thin feathers. Neck also bare, corrugated, beset anteriorly and below with a series of oblong, irregular, cavernous caruncles, interspersed with small bristly feathers. Plumage in general compact, glossy, with metallic reflections. Feathers double, as in other gallinaceous birds, generally oblong and truncated. A pendulous tuft of long bristles from the upper