(Falco Apivorus, Linn.—La Bondree, Buff.)
MEASURES about two feet in length; the wings extend above four feet. The bill is black, and rather longer than that of the Buzzard; eyes yellow; head large and flat, and of an ash colour; upper parts dark brown; the under parts white, spotted or barred with rusty brown on the breast and belly; tail brown, marked with three broad dusky bars, between each of which are two or three of the same colour, but narrower; the legs are stout and short, of a dull yellow; claws black.
This bird builds a nest similar to that of the Buzzard, and of the same kind of materials; its eggs are of an ash grey, with small brown spots: it sometimes takes possession of the nests of other birds, and feeds its young with wasps and other insects; it is fond of field mice, frogs, and lizards. It does not soar like the Kite, but flies low from tree to tree. It is found in all the northern parts of Europe, and in the open parts of Siberia, but is not so common in England as the Buzzard.
Buffon observes, that it is frequently caught in the winter, when it is fat, and delicious eating.
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