(Motacilla Rubetra, Linn.—Le grand Traquet, ou le Tarier, Buff.)
THIS bird is somewhat larger than the Stonechat. The bill is black; eyes hazel; the feathers on the head, neck, and back are black, bordered with rust colour; a streak of white passes from the bill over each eye towards the hinder part of the head; the cheeks are blackish; chin white; breast rusty; belly, vent, and thighs pale buff; each wing is crossed by a white mark near the shoulder, and another smaller near the bastard wing; part of the tail, at the base, is white, the rest black; the two middle feathers wholly black, as are also the legs. The colours of the female are in general paler; the white streak over the eye, and the spots on the wings, are much less conspicuous; and the cheeks, instead of being black, partake of the colours of the head.
The Whinchat is a solitary bird, frequenting heaths and moors: it has no song, but only a simple unvaried note, and in manners very much resembles the Stonechat: it makes its nest very similar to that bird, and is generally seen in the same places during the summer months: the female lays five eggs, of a lightish blue, very faintly sprinkled with small rusty spots. In the northern parts of England it disappears in winter; but its migration is only partial, as it is seen in some of the southern counties at that season. It feeds on worms, flies and insects.
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