(Turdus viscivorus, Linn.—La Drainč, Buff.)
LENGTH eleven inches and three quarters, breadth above eighteen. The bill is dusky; the base of the lower mandible yellow; the eyes hazel; the head, back, and lesser coverts of the wings olive brown, the latter tipped with dull brownish white; the lower part of the back and rump tinged with yellowish brown and ash; the cheeks are yellowish white, spotted with brown; the breast and belly pale yellow, marked with larger spots of very dark brown; quills brown, with pale edges; tail feathers the same, the three outermost tipped with white: the legs are yellow; claws black; builds mostly on low trees, or on high bushes, and lays four or five eggs of a greenish blue, marked with reddish spots. The nest is made of moss, leaves, &c. lined with dry grass, and strengthened on the outside with small twigs. This species begins to sing early, often on the turn of the year in blowing showery weather, whence, in some places it is called the Stormcock. Its note of anger is very loud and harsh, between a chatter and a shriek, which accounts for some of its names. It feeds on various kinds of berries, particularly those of the mountain ash, and the misletoe. It was formerly believed that the latter plant was only propagated by the seed which passed the digestive organs of this bird, whence arose the proverb "Turdus malum sibi cacat;" it likewise feeds on caterpillars and insects, with which it also feeds its young. This bird is found in various parts of Europe, and is said to be migratory in some places, but continues in England the whole year, and frequently has two broods.
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