(Muscicapa Grisola, Linn.—Le Gobe mouche, Buff.)
LENGTH nearly five inches and three quarters: bill broad, flatted, and wide at the base, where it is beset with a few short bristles; a ridge runs along the upper mandible; both that and the under one are dusky at the tips, the latter is yellowish towards the base; inside of the mouth yellow: all the upper plumage is of a mouse colour, darkest on the wings and tail: head and neck more or less obscurely spotted with dark brown; the wing coverts, secondary quills, and scapulars, also dark brown, edged with dingy white; under parts very pale ash, or lint coloured white, tinged with rufous on the sides and breast, which latter is marked with streaks of brown: the legs are short, and darkish.
The Flycatcher, of all our summer birds, is the most mute. It visits this island in the spring, and disappears in September. The female builds her nest commonly in gardens, on any projecting stone in a wall, or on the end of a beam, screened by the leaves of a vine, sweet-brier, or woodbine, and sometimes close to the post of a door, where people are going in and out all day long. The nest is rather carelessly made; it is composed chiefly of moss and dried grass, mixed in the inside with some wool, and a few hairs. She lays four or five eggs, of a dull white, closely spotted and blotched with rusty red. This bird feeds on insects, for which it sits watching on a branch or on a post, suddenly dropping down upon them, and catching them on the wing, and immediately rising, returns again to its station to wait for more. After the young have quitted the nest, the parent birds follow them from tree to tree, and watch them with the most sedulous attention. They feed them with the flies which flutter among the boughs beneath; or pursuing their insect prey with a quick irregular kind of flight, like that of a butterfly, to a greater distance, they immediately return as before described.
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