(Ampelis Garrulus, Linn.—Le Jaseur de Boheme, Buff.)
THIS beautiful bird is about eight inches in length. Its bill is black, and has a small notch at the end; the eyes, which are black and shining, are placed in a band of black, passing from the base of the bill to the hinder part of the head; throat black; the feathers on the head long, forming a crest; all the upper parts of the body are of a reddish ash; breast and belly inclining to purple; the vent and tail coverts in some, nearly white; in others, the former reddish chesnut, the latter ash grey: the tail feathers are black, tipped with pale yellow; the quills black, the third and fourth tipped on their outer edges with white, the five following with straw colour, but in some bright yellow; the secondaries are tipped with white, each being pointed with a flat horny substance of a bright vermillion. These appendages vary in different subjects; one in our possession, had eight on one wing and six on the other. The legs are short and black. The female has only four or five of the second quills tipt with the red cartilaginous appendages, and the young birds previous to their first moult are without them altogether.
This rare bird visits our island only at uncertain intervals. In the years 1790, 1791, and 1803, several were taken in Northumberland and Durham, in the month of November. Their summer residence is the northern parts of Europe, within the arctic circle, whence they spread themselves into other countries, where they remain during winter, and return in the spring to their usual haunts. Their general food is berries and insects: one which we saw in a state of captivity was fed chiefly with hawthorn and ivy berries, but from the difficulty of providing it with this food, it soon died. Its breeding place is not well ascertained. Only this species of the Chatterer is recognised as a British bird; the same may be said of the two genera next in succession.
Page last modified 10/6/2000.
These pages are best viewed/printed with Internet Explorer, the browser that you're not using right now....
Like this page? Let me know. Hate it? Let me know that too. Click here to offer feedback.
©1999-2002 The edited materials, images, and photographs on this site should not be reproduced without the written permission of Peter Friesen. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.