Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/91

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63
BIRD OF WASHINGTON.

anteriorly covered with transversely narrow scutella, posteriorly with large, laterally with small tuberculous scales; toes robust, free, scutellate above, papillar and scabrous beneath, with large tubercles; claws curved, rounded, marginate beneath, very acute.

Plumage compact, imbricated, glossy; feathers of the head, neck and breast narrow and pointed; of the back, breast and belly, ovate, distinct, acute; the wing-coverts narrow, acute, compact. Space between the beak and eye barish, being sparsely covered with feathers consisting of a shaft, downy at the base, prolonged into a hair. Eyebrow bare, and greatly projecting. Wings long, second quill longest, first considerably shorter. Tail of ordinary length, rounded, extending considerably beyond the tips of the wings, of twelve broad acute feathers. Tarsus feathered one-third down.

Bill bluish-black, the edges pale, the soft margin towards the commissure, and the base of the under mandible yellow. Cere yellowish-brown. Lore light greenish-blue. Iris chestnut-brown. Feet deep yellow; claws bluish-black. Upper part of the head, hind neck, back, scapulars, rump, tail-coverts, and posterior tibial feathers blackish-brown, glossed with a coppery tint. Throat, fore-neck, breast and belly light brownish-yellow, each feather marked along the centre with blackish-brown. Wing-coverts light greyish-brown, those next the body becoming darker and approaching the colour of the back. Primary quills dark brown, deeper on their inner webs; secondaries lighter, and on their outer webs of nearly the same light tint as their coverts. Tail uniform dark brown. Anterior tibial feathers greyish-brown.

Length 3 feet 7 inches, extent of wings 10 feet 2 inches. Bill 3¼ inches along the back; along the gap, which commences directly under the eye, to the tip of the lower mandible 31/3, and 1¾ deep. Length of wing when folded 32 inches; length of tail 15 inches; tarsus 4½, middle 4¾, hind claw 2½.

The two stomachs large and baggy. Their contents in the individual described were fish, fishes' scales, and entrails of various kinds. Intestines large, but thin and transparent.

Passing over the affinity of this bird to the young of the White-headed Eagle (Falco leucocephalus), which Wilson has described and figured under the name of Sea Eagle (Falco Ossifragus Linn.), I shall institute a comparison between it and the true Sea Eagle or Cinereous Eagle (Falco Albicilla), which bears so strong a resemblance to the Bird of Washing-