Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/470

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442
BLACK WARRIOR.

sician, Dr John B. Hereford, knowing my great desire to obtain it, shot it in the wing with a rifle ball, and sent it alive to me. It was still wilder than the female, erected the whole of the feathers of its head, opened its bill, and was ever ready to strike with its talons at any object brought near it. I made my drawing of the male also while still alive.

This species, although considerably smaller than the Red-tailed Hawk, to which it is allied, is superior to it in flight and daring. Its flight is rapid, greatly protracted, and so powerful as to enable it to seize its prey with apparent ease, or effect its escape from its stronger antagonist, the Red-tail, which pursues it on all occasions.

The Black Warrior has been seen to pounce on a fowl, kill it almost instantly, and afterwards drag it along the ground for several hundred yards, when it would conceal it, and return to feed upon it in security. It was not observed to fall on Hares or Squirrels, but at all times evinced a marked preference for common Poultry, Partridges, and the smaller species of Wild Duck.

I was told that the young birds appeared to be of a leaden-grey colour at a distance, but at the approach of winter became as dark as the parents. None of them were to be seen at the time when I procured the latter. Of its nest or eggs nothing is yet known. My friends Messrs Johnson and Carpenter frequently spoke of this Hawk to me immediately after my return to Louisiana from Europe, which took place in November 1829. I have a skin of this bird in my possession. Should its nest be discovered, and should I have an opportunity of becoming more acquainted with its habits, I shall not fail to give you an account of my observations.


Falco Harlani.


Adult Male. Plate LXXXVI. Fig. 1.

Bill short, robust, as broad as deep at the base, compressed towards the end; upper mandible nearly straight, and sloping in its dorsal outline, curved towards the tip, which is declinate, trigonal, acute, the sides convex, the edges acute, overlapping, with a rounded process on each side; lower mandible convex in its dorsal outline and on the sides, the tip rounded. Nostrils oval, oblique, in the fore part of the cere. Head very large, neck short, body robust. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus a little com-