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HISTORY OF THE

BIRDS

OF

AMERICA.

In the following account of the birds of America, nothing more is attempted than an enumeration of the species of the different genera found on that continent ; the division and order of Mr. Pennant is followed, and descriptive characters of each genus, in general, ata tended to. As it was impoflible in a work of this kind to enter into a description of the different species of each genus, we hope the method adopted will prove more acceptable and advantageous than a mere catalogue of either popular or fyftematic names.

DIV. I. LAND-FOW L.

ORDER I. RAPACIOUS.

Bill, straight, hooked only at the end; edges cultrated, bafe covered with a thin fkin.--Nostrils, differing in different species.Tongue, large and fleshy.—Head, cheeks, chin, and often neck, either naked or covered only with down or Short hairs; the neck re. tractile.-Claw, often hanging over the breaft.-Legs and feet, covered with great scales ; the first joint of the middle toe connected to that of the outmost by a strong membrane.-Claws, large, little hooked, and very blunt.-- Infides of the wing covered with down.

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Characters.- Bill, straight, blunt at the tip.--Head, featherless, covered behind with naked skin or soft down.-Nock, retractile.Legs, covered with scales.—The first joint of the middle toe connected to the outermost by a Itrong membrane.

Of this genus there are five species in America, three of which are found in the Cnited States, and the other two in South-America.

GEN,

OEN. 2.

FALCO, Character.-Bill, huoked, furnished at its base with a strong membrane or cere.--Head and neck covered with feathers.---Legs and feet covered with scales. Middle toe connected with the outmost

by a strong membrane..--Claws, long, much hooked, that of the outmost toe the least.---Female larger than the male.

This genus admits of four divisions, of which there are in America as follows : eagles, ten species ; hawks, fifteen ; falcons, thirteen ; kites, two; of these, some are peculiar to South-America, others to the North, and some common in both.

GEN. 3. STRIX. Character.--Bill, hooked, without a cere.-.Noffrils, oblong.--Eyes, very large and protuberant, surrounded by a circle of feathers.... Head, large, round, and full of feathers...-Ears, large and open.... Outermoft toe versatile.

This genus contains the owls, which are ranged in two divisions, the eared, and the carks ; of the former there are three species, and of the latter fourteen species known in America.

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This genus includes a class of birds that form the conne&ting link between the rapacious birds of the preceding order and the pies; they are called Shrieks, or Butcher birds ; their bills are straight, hooked only at the ends.---Tongue jagged at the point.---Toes divided at the origin.---And tail cuneiform. Of this genus there are fourteen species known in America and the West-Indies.

GEN. 2.

PSITTACUS.

This genus contains the whole race of parrots, parroquets, &c. Bill, hooked from the base : upper mandible moveable.---Noftrilsa round, and placed in the base of the bill...-Tongue, broad and blunt at the end..--Head, large; crown flat. --Legs, short..--Toes, two backward and two forward. Of this there are nearly fifty species known in South America, and we believe only one or two in NorthAmerica.

GEN. 3.

RAMPHOSTOS. The character of this genus is --Bill, execeding large, hollow, convex, ferrated outwards; both mandibles curved at the tip.... Noftrils, small and round, placed close to the head.... Tongue, long,

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GEN.

and feathered on the edges ---Feet, in most of the species, scansory. It contains the Toucans and Motmots; of the former there are nine species, and of the latter only one; they are supposed to be peculiar to Suuth Ar erica.

CROTOPHAGUS. The characters of this genus are-Bill, compressed, greatly arched, half oval, thin, củltrated at the top.--- Norils, round. Toes, two backward and two forward...! Ten feathers in the tail.

The only bird in this genus is the Ani, of which there are only two specics; it is, we believe, peculiar to America.

GEN. 5. CORVUS. Bill, strong, upper mandible a little convex, edges cultrated.--Noftrils, covered with bristles, reflected over them.-Tongue, divided at the end. Toes, three forward and one backward, the middle joined to the outnost as far as the first joint. This genus includes the ravens, crows, rooks, jays and magpies, most of which occur in every cļimate. There is one species of the raven ; four of the crow; four of the daw; fix of the jay; and four of the magpie. Found in America and the West-Indies.

Gen. 6. CORACIAS. Bill, straight, bending 'a' litrie towards the end, edges cultrated.Nofirils, narrow and naked. --Toes, three forward, divided to their origin; one backward. This genus contains the Rollers, of which thére are two species found in South-Americh.

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GÈN. 7.

ORIOLUS.

Bill, straight, conic, very harp-pointed, edges cultrated, inclining inwards, mandibles of equal length.- Nostrils, small, placed at the base of the bill, and partly covered.-- Tongue, divided at the end. Toes, three forward and one backward; the middle joined near the base to the outinoft one behind. The Oriolus are in general inhabitants of America; there being twenty-seven species enumerated on that continent, out of forty-five, all that are known.*

GEN.

Of this genus the Paltimore Oriole deserves particular notice; the head, throat, neck, and upper part of the back of the midi, is described to be blick ; the lefser cowests of the wings orange; the greater black, tipt with white the breaft, belly, lower part of the back, and coverts of the tail, of a bright orange ;t the primaries doiky, edged with white; the two midila teaciuers.of.the cul black.;

. the lower part of the same colour, the remaining part orange; and the legs black. The head and back of the fe

male

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