(Falco ęruginosus, Linn.—Le Busard, Buff.)
LENGTH about twenty-two inches, breadth of the female four feet five and a half inches. The bill black; cere and eyes yellow; crown of the head yellowish white, lightly tinged with brown; throat of a light rust colour; the rest of the plumage reddish brown, with pale edges; greater wing coverts tipped with white: legs yellow; claws black.
Birds of this kind vary much: in some, the crown and back part of the head are yellow; and in one described by Latham, the whole bird was uniformly of a chocolate brown, with a tinge of rust colour. The above figure and description were taken from a very fine living bird, sent for the use of this work by the late John Silvertop, Esq. of Minster-Acres, Northumberland, which very nearly agreed with that figured in the Planches Enlumineés.*
The Moor Buzzard preys on rabbits, on young wild ducks, and other water fowl; and likewise feeds on fish, frogs, reptiles, and even insects: its haunts are in hedges and bushes near pools, marshes, and rivers that abound with fish. It builds its nest a little above the surface of the ground, or in hillocks covered with thick herbage: and lays three or four eggs of a whitish colour, irregularly sprinkled with dusky spots. Though smaller, it is bolder and more active than the Common Buzzard, and, when pursued, faces it antagonist, and makes a vigorous defence.
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