(Certhiafamiliaris, Linn.—Le Grimpereau, Buff.)
LENGTH five inches and a half; the body is about the size of that of the Wren. The bill is long, slender, and curved, the upper mandible brown, the lower whitish; eyes hazel; the head, neck, back, and wing coverts are dark brown, variegated with streaks of a lighter hue; the throat, breast, and belly silvery white; rump tawny; the quills are dusky, edged with tawny, and marked with bars of the same; tips white; above each eye a small dark line passes towards the neck, above which there is a line of white: the tail is long, and consists of twelve stiff brownish feathers, pointed and forked at the end; the legs are short, and brown; claws long, sharp, and much hooked, by which it is enabled to run with great facility on all sides of small branches of trees in quest of insects and their eggs, which constitute its food. Although very common, it is not seen without difficulty, from the ease with which it escapes to the opposite side of the tree. It builds its nest early in spring, in a hole of a tree: lays from five to seven eggs, of an ash colour, marked at the end with spots of a deeper hue. The sexes differ very little in plumage, and the moult takes place once a year.
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