C. A. (Charles Alexander) Johns.

British birds in their haunts online

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first three primaries nearly equal and the longest; tail slightly
forked. _Page 88_

37. PASSER (Sparrows). Bill somewhat arched above; lower mandible
rather smaller than the upper; first three primaries longest.
_Page 92_

38. FRINGILLA (Chaffinch and Brambling). Bill straight, sharp,
pointed; mandibles nearly equal; first primary a little shorter than
the second, much shorter than the third and fourth, which are nearly
equal and the longest. _Page 95_

39. ACANTHIS (Linnet, Redpolls, Twite). Bill a short straight cone,
compressed at the tip; wings long, pointed; third primary somewhat
shorter than the first and second, which are equal and the longest;
tail forked. _Page 98_

40. PÝRRHULA (Bullfinch). Bill short and thick, the sides tumid; upper
mandible much arched and bending over the lower one; first primary
nearly equal to the fifth, second a little shorter than the third
and fourth, which are the longest. _Page 101_

41. LOXIA (Crossbill). Bill thick at the base; both mandibles equally
curved, hooked at the tips, and crossing each other at the points.
_Page 103_

42. EMBERIZA (Buntings, Yellow-hammer). Bill with upper mandible not
wider than lower, edges of both inflected and those of latter
gradually cut away (sinuated); the palate generally furnished with a
hard bony knob; wings moderate, first primary obsolete, second,
third and fourth nearly equal. Tail rather long and slightly forked.
Claws considerably curved, that of hind toe of moderate length.
_Page 106_

43. PLECTROPHENAX (Snow Bunting). Bill with upper mandible narrower
than lower, otherwise as in Emberiza. Wings long and pointed, first
primary obsolete, second and third nearly equal and longest in wing,
fourth considerably longer than fifth. Tail moderate and slightly
forked. Front claws rather long and curved; hind claw considerably
curved and elongated. _Page 110_

44. CALCARIUS (Lapland Bunting). Bill with considerably inflected
cutting edges (tomia); claws of front toes short and slightly
curved; hind claw nearly straight and elongated; other characters
much as in Plectrophenax. _Page 111_


Wings with nine visible primaries. Inner secondaries nearly as long as

45. MOTACILLA (Wagtail). Cutting edges of both mandibles slightly
compressed inwards; nostrils basal, oval, partly concealed by a
naked membrane; first primary acuminate and nearly obsolete, second
and third nearly equal and longest; one of the scapulars as long as
the quills; tail long, nearly even at the end; tarsus much longer
than the middle toe. _Page 111_

46. ANTHUS (Pipit). Bill and nostrils very much as in Motacilla; two
of the scapulars as long as the closed wing; first primary acuminate
and nearly obsolete, second shorter than the third and fourth, which
are the longest; hind claw very long. _Page 116_


Wings with nine or more visible primaries. Planta tarsi scutellate.
Granivorous birds, frequenting open spaces, and singing during their
flight; nesting on ground and seeking their food there by running;
they are 'pulverators', i. e. they shake dust or sand into their
feathers instead of bathing.

47. ALAUDA (Lark). Bill moderate, slightly compressed at edges; upper
mandible more or less arched from middle. Nostrils basal, oval,
covered by bristly feathers directed forward. Gape straight. Wings
long; first primary short but unmistakably developed; second, third
and fourth nearly equal, but third longest. Tail moderate, slightly
forked. Tarsus longer than middle toe; claws slightly curved and
moderate, except that of hind toe, which is generally elongate and
nearly straight. _Page 119_

48. OTÓCORYS (Shore-lark). Bill rather short, subconic; upper mandible
slightly arched. Head - in adult male - with tuft of long, erectile
feathers on either side of occiput. Wings long; first primary so
small as at first sight to seem wanting, second longest but third
nearly its equal, fourth decidedly shorter, outer secondaries short
and emarginate at tip. Tail rather long, slightly forked. Tarsus
shorter than middle toe; claws moderate and very slightly curved,
that of hind toe being comparatively straight. _Page 122_


Opposed to the Passeres. The feet are relatively weaker and smaller.


Tail of ten feathers (swallows have twelve). Gape very wide.

49. CÝPSELUS (Swift). Bill very short, flattened horizontally,
triangular; upper mandible curved downwards at the point; gape
extending beyond the eyes; legs very short; toes all directed
forwards; wings extremely long; first primary a little shorter than
the second. _Page 123_


The bill in this family resembles that of the Swallows, but is shorter
and weaker; the gape is enormous and its sides are, for the most part,
furnished with long and stiff bristles, which point forwards; the
wings are long, and formed for powerful flight; the feet are small,
and feathered to the toes; plumage soft and downy, and beautifully
mottled with black, brown, grey, and white, varying in colour with the
soil of their habitat; the claw of the middle toe is dilated on one
side and toothed like a comb. Tail of ten feathers. Nocturnal birds,
feeding on large insects, which they capture in their flight.

50. CAPRIMÚLGUS (Goatsucker or Nightjar). Bill very short, somewhat
curved, broad and flattened at the base; upper mandible curved
downwards at the tip; gape extending beyond the eyes, and armed with
strong bristles; wings long; first primary shorter than the second,
which is the longest. _Page 125_


Feet short, but of unusual strength; the rigid toes diverge from a
centre, two pointing forwards, and two backwards; claws large, much
curved, and very hard and sharp; breast-bone shallow; flight weak and


Tail feathers stiff and pointed: nostrils covered with bristles.

51. DENDROCOPUS (Spotted Woodpeckers). Bill about as long as the head,
robust, straight, irregular, compressed, pyramidal, laterally
bevelled at the tip; tongue long and extensile, the tip barbed;
nostrils basal, oval, concealed by reflected bristly feathers; wings
with the first primary very short, fourth and fifth longest;
tail-feathers graduated, stiff and pointed. Fourth toe much longer
than third. Prevailing colours of the plumage black and white, or
black and red. _Page 127_

52. GÉCINUS (Green Woodpecker). Bill hard, broad at base, compressed
at tip; upper mandible slightly arched, ending abruptly with shallow
groove on each side running parallel to and near the culmen, and
longer than lower mandible, which is pointed and has the gonys
nearer the tip than the base and the tomia rounded. The fourth toe
equal to the third. Prevailing colour greenish, otherwise much as in
Dendrocopus. _Page 129_


Nostrils partly covered by a membrane.

53. IYNX (Wryneck). Bill shorter than the head, straight, conical;
tongue long and extensile; nostrils without bristles, partly closed
by a membrane; wings with the second primary somewhat the longest;
tail-feathers soft and flexible. _Page 131_


Bill long, stout, and pointed, with angular sides, not serrated; feet
small and feeble, the outer and middle toes united to the last joint;
wings rounded and hollow, ill adapted for protracted flight; form
robust, with a large head and usually a short tail. Predatory birds,
feeding on fish, insects, and even reptiles, birds, and small
quadrupeds. Scattered over the world, but Australia and South America
contain the greatest number of species.

54. ALCÉDO (Kingfisher). Bill long, straight, quadrangular, sharp;
wings short with the third primary the longest; tail very short.
_Page 132_


Bill corvine in shape; culmen rounded; nostrils near base of upper
mandible and hidden by bristly feathers; tail feathers twelve.

54. CORÁCIAS (Roller). Bill compressed, straight, with cutting edges;
upper mandible slightly hooked at the point; sides of the gape
bristled; tarsus short; wings long; first primary a little shorter
than the second, which is the longest. _Page 134_


Bill long; culmen with sharply defined ridge; toes joined for part of

55. MÊROPS (Bee-eater). Bill long, compressed, slightly curved,
slender, with cutting edges, broad at the base; upper mandible
keeled, the tip not hooked; tarsus very short; wings long, pointed,
second primary the longest; centre tail feathers elongated. _Page 135_


56. UPUPA (Hoopoe). Bill longer than the head, slender, slightly
arched, compressed; feathers of the head long, forming a two-ranked
crest; tail even at the extremity. _Page 136_


Bill moderate, rather deeply cleft, both mandibles compressed, and
more or less curved downwards; nostrils exposed; wings for the most
part short; tail of ten feathers lengthened; toes four, two pointing
backwards and two forwards, but the outer hind toe of each foot is
capable of being placed at right angles with either the inner or outer
front toe. A tropical family of birds, many of which migrate to the
temperate regions in summer. Not so decidedly climbers as the
Woodpeckers and Creepers, yet having great power of clinging. Their
flight is feeble, their food soft-bodied insects, varied in many
cases with berries and other fruits, and some of the larger species
will occasionally prey on mice, reptiles, and the eggs and young of
birds. Most, perhaps all of the migratory species, lay their eggs in
the nests of other birds.

57. CÚCULUS (Cuckoo). Bill shorter than the head, broad, depressed at
the base, with the ridge curved and the sides compressed towards the
tip, which is entire and acute; nostrils in a membranous groove, the
opening rounded and exposed; wings pointed, third primary longest;
tail long, graduated; tarsi very short, feathered below the heel.
_Page 137_


Head large, feathered; eyes large, dilated and projecting, each
surrounded by a concave disc formed of stiff diverging feathers,
concealing the cere and nostrils; ears large, and of elaborate
construction; plumage lax and downy, adapted for slow and quiet
flight; outer toe reversible; tibia more than double the length of
tarsus. Food, small quadrupeds, birds, and insects.



Bill somewhat elongated, bending at the tip only; head-tufts wanting
nostrils oval, oblique; facial disc large and complete; ears large,
covered by an operculum; wings long, the second primary longest; tarsi
long, feathered to the toes, which are strangely furnished with
hair-like feathers; claws long, the middle one serrated beneath.

58. STRIX (White Owl). Characters given above. _Page 142_


Bill bending from the base; tufts more or less conspicuous or wanting;
facial disc complete; ears large, covered by an operculum; legs
feathered to the claws.

59. ASIO (Eared Owls). Nostrils oval, oblique; tufts more or less
elongated; wings long, second primary the longest. _Page 144_

60. SYRNIUM (Tawny Owl). Nostrils round; egrets wanting; wings short
and rounded; fourth primary longest. _Page 146_


Bill short, strong, stout at base, culmen strongly curved. Feet
strong, armed with powerful talons which are capable of being bent
under the feet, inner one stronger and more curved than others. Outer
toe usually not reversible.


Head covered with feathers, though sides of face are more or less


Bill rather small and weak, bending from the base; cutting edge of the
upper mandible nearly straight, or but slightly festooned; cere
large; nostrils oval; wings long; the first four feathers deeply
notched on their inner webs; tail not forked. Hinder aspect of tarsus

61. CIRCUS (Harriers). Head surrounded by a circle of feathers; tarsi,
long and slender, feathered a little below the joint; wings long
third and fourth primaries the longest; tail long, somewhat rounded.
_Page 147_

62. BUTEO (Buzzard). Lore without feathers; tarsi short and strong,
naked or feathered; wings large, the fourth primary the longest.
_Page 150_

63. PERNIS (Honey Buzzard). Lore with feathers; tarsi short and
strong, naked or feathered; wings large, the fourth primary the
longest. _Page 151_


Bill stout, convex or slightly angular above, straight at the base,
much hooked at the tip, commissure simply festooned; cere bristly;
nostrils rounded or oval; wings long. Hinder aspect of tarsus

64. AQUILA (Eagles). Upper mandible with the cutting edge nearly
straight; tarsi feathered to the toes; claws unequal, grooved
beneath; wings with the fourth primary longest. _Page 152_

65. HALIAËTUS (Sea-eagle). Bill very long; edges of the upper mandible
slightly prominent near the hook; tarsi half-feathered; claws
unequal, grooved beneath; wings with the fourth primary longest;
nostrils transverse, with bony margin all round. _Page 153_

66. PANDÍON (Osprey). Bill short, cutting edges of the upper mandible
nearly straight; tarsi naked; outer toe reversible; claws equal,
rounded beneath; wings with the second primary longest. _Page 154_


Bill short, strong, curved from the base; edge of the upper mandible
with a prominent festoon beyond the middle; nostrils oval; wings
rounded, short, reaching only to the middle of the tail; middle toe
much the longest.

67. ACCÍPITER (Sparrow-hawk). Tarsi long and slender; fourth and fifth
primaries equal in length and the longest. Ridge of bill measured
from margin of cere is less than half middle toe (without claw).
_Page 156_


Bill of moderate length, slightly curved from the base, upper mandible
with a slight festoon; nostrils oval, oblique; wings long; tail long
and forked.

68. MILVUS (Kites). Tarsi feathered a little below the knee; fourth
primary the longest. _Page 158_


Bill short, strong, curved from the base, upper mandible strongly
toothed, lower notched; nostrils round; tarsi strong and short; hinder
aspect reticulate; wings long and pointed, with the second primary
longest, the first and third equal in length and having the inner web
notched near the extremity.

69. FALCO (Falcons, Merlin, Hobby and Kestrel). Characters given
above. _Page 159_


Hind toe articulated on the inner surface of the tarsus, united to
other toes by a web.


Bill strong, edges of the mandibles minutely toothed; wings long; legs
short; toes four, all connected by a membrane.

70. PHALACRÓCORAX (Cormorant). Bill straight, longer than the head,
compressed; upper mandible much hooked at the point; face and throat
naked; inner edge of the middle claw serrated; tail rounded, rigid.
_Page 165_

71. SULA (Gannet). Bill straight, longer than the head, compressed,
tapering to a point, which is but slightly curved; face and throat
naked; inner edge of the middle claw serrated; tail graduated.
_Page 168_


Hallux free, not united to other toes by a web.


Hind toe on same plane as others. Bill rounded or ridged; notched,
with no hook at end. Outer toe with broad basal web, obsolete at base
of inner toe; middle claw pectinated, loral space bare; powder down
patches present.

72. ÁRDEA (Herons). Edges of mandibles distinctly serrated; head
crested; nape feathers elongated and ornamented; plumes of fore-neck
not disintegrated; no dorsal train. _Page 173_

73. NYCTÍCORAX (Night Heron). Bill scarcely longer than the head, much
compressed; neck rather thick and short; crest of three very long
tapering feathers. In other respects resembling Árdea. _Page 173_

74. BOTAURUS (Bittern). Bill scarcely longer than the head, much
compressed; neck thick, clothed in front with long and loose
feathers. In other respects resembling Árdea. _Page 173_


Hind toe elevated above plane of others; no powder down patches; bill
not hooked at tip.

75. CICÓNIA (Stork). Bill much longer than the head, stout, tapering
to a point; nostrils near the base, pierced in the horny substance
of the bill; tarsi very long; claws not pectinated; wings moderate,
third, fourth, and fifth primaries longest. _Page 175_


Bill flattened, narrow in middle, and widening out into a spoon-shaped

76. PLATALÉA (Spoonbill). Head partly bare, auricular orifice covered
with plumes. Nostrils elongated and in a shallow depression.
_Page 176_


Tarsus about length of femur, reticulate at back and generally in
front. Bill straight, always with distinct nail at tip of upper
mandible. Young covered with down, and able to run or swim in a few
hours after hatching.


Bill thick, broad, high at the base, covered with a thin membranous
skin and ending in a nail-like horny tip; edges of the mandibles cut
into thin parallel ridges, or toothed; wings moderate; legs placed not
very far behind; feet, four-toed, palmated; hind toe free, placed high
on the tarsus. Food, grass and aquatic weeds, worms, insects,
molluscs, and small fish.


77. ANSER (Geese). Bill nearly long as head, elevated and covered with
cere or skin at base; conspicuous nail at tip; under mandible
smaller than upper; nostrils lateral, near middle of bill; tail of
sixteen feathers; legs under centre of body; hind toe free,
articulated upon tarsus. _Page 176_

78. BERNICLA (Brent and Bernicle Geese). Bill shorter than head,
higher than broad at base; culmen slightly convex, outline of lower
mandible decidedly so, leaving elliptical space displaying lamellæ;
nostrils sub-basal; neck feathers less furrowed than in Anser_;
tail short, rounded; tibia feathered to joint; hind toe short and
elevated. _Page 180_

79. CYGNUS (Swans). Bill of equal length throughout, furnished with
knob at base; nostrils medial; legs short; neck exceedingly long.
_Page 181_


Bill of equal width throughout, or broader at the top than at the
base, of about the same width as the head; legs short, placed rather
behind the middle of the body; hind toe without a pendent membrane;
tarsi somewhat round.

80. TADORNA (Sheldrake). Bill with an elevated tubercle at the base,
depressed in the middle; nostrils large, pervious; lower portion of
tarsus in front with a row of transverse scutellæ. _Page 184_

81. ANAS (Mallard, Gadwall). Bill long as head, broad, depressed,
sides parallel, sometimes partially dilated, both mandibles with
transverse lamellæ on inner edges; nostrils small, oval, lateral,
anterior to base of bill; wings rather long, pointed; tail
wedge-shaped; legs rather short; hind toe without lobe. Sexes differ
in plumage. _Page 185_

82. SPATULA (Shoveller). Bill much longer than head, widening towards
end, lamellæ projecting conspicuously; no soft membrane on sides of
bill towards tip; wing pointed, first and second quills longest;
tail short, graduated; legs very short. _Page 189_

83. DAFILA (Pintail). Bill long as head, edges nearly parallel,
widening a little to end, lamellæ not strongly defined; neck long,
slender; tail sharply pointed, central rectrices considerably
elongated in male; margin of web to anterior toes slightly
emarginate. _Page 190_

84. QUERQUÉDULA (Teal). Bill long as head, lamellæ exposed along
projecting edge of upper mandible; tail of sixteen feathers, short
and rounded; hind toe very small, outer shorter than third, centre
rather long; interdigital membrane emarginate. _Page 191_

85. MARÉCA (Wigeon). Bill shorter than head, higher than broad at
base, depressed and narrowed towards point; tail short, pointed;
tibia bare for short distance; hind toe with very narrow lobe.
_Page 192_


Hind toe with lobated membrane; tarsi compressed.

86. FULÍGULA (Pochard, Tufted Duck, Scaup). Bill not longer than head,
slightly elevated at base, broader towards tip; edges of upper
mandible enclosing edges of lower; nostrils near base. _Page 193_

87. CLANGÚLA (Goldeneye). Bill much shorter than head, depressed
towards nail, which is elliptical and decurved at tip; lamellæ
hidden; nostrils near middle of bill. _Page 195_

88. HARELDA (Long-tailed Duck). Bill much shorter than head, tapering
rapidly to broad, decurved nail at tip. Lamellæ slightly exposed;
nostrils sub-basal. Feathering at base of bill forming oblique line,
advancing furthest forward on forehead. Wings rather short, pointed;
scapulars elongate and lanceolate in adult male; tail short,
graduated except for two central feathers, which are long and
tapering in adult male. _Page 196_

89. SOMATERIA (Eider Duck). Bill swollen and elevated at base,
extending up the forehead, there divided by angular projection of
feathers; nostrils medial. _Page 197_

90. OEDEMIA (Scoters). Bill short, broad, with an elevated knob at
the base, the tip much flattened; nail large, flat, obtuse, slightly
deflected; lamellæ coarse, widely set; nostrils oval, medial; tail
short, graduated, acute. _Page 199_


91. MERGUS (Smew, Merganser, Goosander). Bill straight, slender,

Online LibraryC. A. (Charles Alexander) JohnsBritish birds in their haunts → online text (page 2 of 39)