(Fringilla Montifringilla, Linn.—Le Pinēon d' Ardennes, Buff.)
LENGTH somewhat above six inches. Bill yellow, blackish at the tip; eyes hazel; the feathers on the head, neck, and back are black, edged with rusty brown; sides of the neck, just above the wings, blue ash; rump white; throat, fore part of the neck, and breast pale orange; belly white; lesser wing coverts pale reddish brown, edged with white; greater coverts black, tipped with pale yellow; quills dusky, with pale yellowish edges; the tail is forked, the outermost feathers edged with white, the rest black, with whitish edges: legs pale brown.
The Mountain Finch is a native of northern climates, whence it spreads into various parts of Europe: it arrives in this country the latter end of summer, and is most common in the mountainous parts of our island.* Vast flocks of them sometimes come together; they fly very close, and on that account great numbers are frequently killed at one shot. In France they are said to appear sometimes in such immense numbers, that the ground where they have roosted, has been covered with their dung for a considerable space; in one year they were so numerous, that more than six hundred dozen were killed each night during the greater part of the winter.* They build their nests in fir trees, at a considerable height; it is composed of long moss, lined with hair, wool, and feathers; the female lays four or five eggs, white, spotted with yellow. Its song is only a disagreeable kind of chirping. It feeds on various kinds of seeds, and is said to be particularly fond of beech mast.*
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