Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/54

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26
PURPLE FINCH.

above and a few transverse scutella below, posteriorly with an acutely angular longitudinal plate; toes scutellate above, free, the lateral ones nearly equal; claws slender, arched, compressed, acute, that of the hind toe not much larger. Plumage compact above, blended beneath, wings of moderate length, third and fourth primaries longest, second and first very little shorter. Tail forked. The lateral feathers curved outwards toward the tip.

Bill deep brown above, paler and tinged with blue beneath. Iris blackish-brown. Feet and claws brown. Head, neck, breast, back, and upper tail-coverts of a rich deep lake, approaching to crimson on the head and neck, and fading into rose-colour on the belly. Fore part of the back streaked with brown. Quills and larger coverts deep brown, margined externally and tipped with red. Tail feathers deep brown, similarly margined. A narrow band of cream-colour across the forehead margining the base of the upper mandible.

Length 6 inches, extent of wings 9, beak along the ridge 512, along the gap 712, tarsus ⅔.


Female. Plate IV. Fig. 3.

The young bird so closely resembles the adult female, that the same description will answer for both. The general colour of the upper parts is brownish-olive, streaked with dark brown. There is a broadish white line over the eye, and another from the commissure of the gap backwards. The under parts are greyish white, the sides streaked with brown. The quills and tail-feathers are dark brown, margined with olive.




The Red Larch.

Larix americana, Pursh, Fl. Amer. vol. ii. p. 645. Mich. Arbr. Forest. de l'Amer. Sept. vol. iii. p. 137. Pl. 4.—Monœcia Polyandria, Linn. Coniferæ, Juss.

This species of larch, which is distinguished by its short, deciduous, fasciculate leaves, and short ovate cones, occurs in the more northern parts of the United States, and in the mountainous regions of the middle states. It attains a height of sixty feet, and a diameter sometimes of two feet. The wood is highly esteemed on account of its excellent qualities.