(Falco cyaneus, Linn.—L'Oiseau St Martin, Buff.)
LENGTH eighteen inches; breadth somewhat more than three feet. The bill is black, and covered at the base with long bristly feathers; cere, irides, and edges of the eyelids yellow: the upper parts bluish grey, mixed with light tinges of rusty: the breast and under coverts of the wings white, the former marked with rusty-coloured streaks, the latter with bars of the same; the greater quills are black, the secondaries and lesser quills ash grey; on the latter, in some birds, a spot of black in the middle of each feather forms a bar across the wing; the two middle feathers of the tail are grey, the next three are marked on their inner webs with dusky bars, the two outermost marked with alternate bars of white and rust colour: the legs are long, slender, and yellow. These birds vary much; of several with which this work has been favoured by John Silvertop, Esq. some were perfectly white on the under parts, and of a larger size than common: probably the difference arises from the age of the bird.
The Hen-Harrier feeds on birds, and reptiles; it breeds annually on Cheviot, and on the shady precipices under the Roman wall by Craglake:* it flies low, skimming along the surface of the ground in search of prey: makes its nest on the ground, and lays four eggs of a reddish colour, with a few white spots.
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