Zoological Illustrations/VolIII-Pl180

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Zoological Illustrations
by William Swainson
Vol III. Pl. 180. Turdus vociferans. Calling Thrush.
Zoological Illustrations Volume III Plate 180.jpg

TURDUS vociferans,

Calling Thrush.

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Specific Character.

T. cinereus, infrà ferrugineus; temporibus auribusque nigris; caudæ rotundatæ pennis mediis nigris, lateribus ferrugineis.
Cinereous, beneath ferruginous; ears and sides of the head black; tail rounded, middle feathers black, lateral feathers ferruginous.
Le Réclammeur. Le Vaill. Ois. d'Af. tom. 3. p. 33, pl. 104.
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I can find no account of this bird in any writer besides Le Vaillant, who discovered it during his travels in Southern Africa. He says the note of the male bird is loud and melodious, and is heard in the morning and evening from the highest branches of lofty trees; the sexes being usually seen together. Le Vaillant relates an amusing anecdote, which well illustrates the peculiar note of the male:—One of his Dutch Hottentots, by name Piet, having shot a female, its mate continued to fly around him, uttering its cry, which so much resembled the Dutch words of Piet myn vrow, (or, 'Peter—my wife,') that the poor lad (perfectly astonished) took to his heels, and vowed never more to handle a gun.

Length seven inches and a half; the upper plumage is dark cinereous: on each side the head is a stripe of black, which encircles the eye, and forms a patch on the ears: the whole of the under plumage is clear ferruginous yellow or bright buff colour; the rump and lateral tail feathers the same, the middle pair being entirely black; the next pair has likewise a narrow margin of the same colour: quills and wing-covers dusky brown, with pale cinereous margins. Tail rounded: legs pale: irides hazel: bill rather small and black, compressed the whole length, and having weak bristles at its base.

This bird obviously belongs to the Thrushes; but as I have not yet defined the extent of the genus to my own satisfaction, I refrain at present from proposing its characters.