Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/56

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ed by the frontal feathers. Head and neck moderate. Eyes large. Body slender. Legs of ordinary size; tarsus a little longer than the middle toe; inner toe a little united at the base; claws compressed, acute, arched.

Plumage ordinary, blended. Wings rather long, somewhat acute, second primary longest. Tail rather long, nearly even, straight. Basirostral feathers bristly and directed outwards.

Bill brown above, yellowish beneath, orbits yellow. Iris deep brown. Feet and claws flesh-colour. The upper parts of a light greyish-blue, the quills dusky, their outer webs blue, the two first margined with white. Under parts and forehead ochre-yellow, under tail-coverts whitish; a few dark spots on the upper part of the breast.

Length 514 inches; bill along the ridge 512, along the gap 23; tarsus 56.

The Great Magnolia.

Magnolia grandiflora, Wild. Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 1255. Pursh, Flor. Amer. vol. ii. p. 380. Mich. Arbr. Forest, de l'Amer. Sept. vol. iii. p. 71. P. i—Polyandria Polygynia, Linn. Magnoliæ, Juss.

The magnificent tree, of which a twig, with a cone of ripe fruit, is represented in the plate, attains a height of a hundred feet or even more. The bright red bodies are the seeds, suspended by a filament for some time after the capsules have burst. The trunk is often very straight, from two to four feet in diameter at the base, with a greyish smooth bark. The leaves which remain during the winter are stiff and leathery, smooth, elliptical, tapering at the base. The flowers are white, and even or eight inches in diameter. It is known by the names of Large Magnolia, Big Laurel and Bay-tree, and occurs abundantly in some parts of Carolina, Georgia, the Floridas and Louisiana.