(Fringilla cannabina, Linn.—La grande Linotte des Vignes, Buff.)
THE length is five and a half inches; breadth nine and three quarters. The bill is thick at the base; the upper mandible dusky, the under one whitish. A pale brownish streak passes from the bill over and below each eye; the irides are dark; on the crown of the head is a bright crimson or lake-red spot; the rest of the head is ash grey, striped with brown on the back part, and mottled with the same colours on the brow, and on each side of the crown; the chin is yellowish; the hinder part and sides of the neck are dingy ash; the fore part dull white, spotted with dark brown. The breast* is of the same brilliant red as the crown of the head; the sides are pale reddish brown, fading into a dull white in the middle of the belly from the breast to the vent; the back, scapulars, and coverts of the wings are bright reddish brown, the middle of the feathers somewhat darker than the rest of the webs; the first quill feather is black, the eight next to it are the same, but white half their length on both the exterior and interior edges, the latter of which form a stripe of that colour when the wing is closed. The tail is forked; the two middle feathers are narrow and pointed towards the tip, and wholly black; the rest are also black, but edged with white on both the outer and inner edges: the legs are dull brown. The female is without the red on her head and breast, in other respects her plumage is nearly the same as that of the male, but much less brilliant. In a wild state this charming bird wastes the sweetness of its song on "the desert air," amidst "the blossomed furze, unprofitably gay," on the fells or heathy wastes which it almost constantly inhabits. There they build and rear their young, concealed in the prickly close branches of the whin. The nest is composed of the stems of dry grass, mixed with a little moss, and lined with horse hair. The female commonly lays five eggs; they are white, with a zone of freckles and small brown spots near the thicker end.
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