Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813. / American ornithology; or The natural history of the birds of the United States
Species 2. Cuculus erythrophthalmus. Black-billed cuckoo
SPECIES 2. C UC UUSS ER YTHROPHTHhLMUS BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO. [Plate XXVIII.-Fig. 2.] PEALE'S Museumn, JXo. I854. THIS Cuckoo is nearly as numerous as the former; but has hitherto escaped the notice of European naturalists; or from its general resemblance has been confounded with the preceding. Its particular markings, however, and some of its habits, suffi- ciently characterize it as a distinct species. Its general colour above is nearly that of the former, inclining more to a pale ash on the cheeks and front; it is about an inch less in length; the tail is of a uniform dark silky drab, except at the tip, where each feather is marked with a spot of white, bordered above with a slight touch of dull black; the bill is wholly black, and much smaller than that of the preceding; and it wants the bright cinnamon on the wings. But what constitutes its most distin- guishing trait is a bare wrinkled skin, of a deep red colour, that surrounds the eye. The female differs little in external appear- ance from the male. The Black-billed Cuckoo is particularly fond of the sides of creeks, feeding on small shell-fish, snails, &c. I have also often found broken pieces of oyster-shells in its gizzard, which, like that of the other, is covered with fine downy hair. The nest of this bird is most commonly built in a cedar, much in the same manner, and of nearly the same materials, as that of the other; but the eggs are smaller, usually four or five in num- ber, and of a rather deeper greenish blue. This bird is likewise found in the state of Georgia, and has not escaped the notice of Mr. Abbot, who is satisfied of its be- ing a distinct species from the preceding. END OF VOL. I.
Based on date of publication, this material is presumed to be in the public domain.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright