University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

Edwards, George, 1694-1773. / A natural history of birds. Most of which have not been figur'd or describ'd, and others very little known from obscure or too brief descriptions without figures, or from figures very ill design'd.
[Part I] (1743)

The king of the vultures,   pp. 2-[Plate] 2 ff.

Page 2

( 2 )
The KI N G of the VULTURES.
T    H  IS Bird is about the Bignefs of a Hen-Turkey. I believe it is fomething
than the greater Sort of Vultures; nor has it fuch large Wings in Proportion.
The Bill is pretty thick and ftrong, firaight for a little way, then bends
into a Hook,
and over-hangs the lower Mandible; it is red at the Point, and black in the
Part; the Bafe of the Bill, both upper and lower Mandibles, are cover'd with
a Skin
of an orange Colour, broad, and pointing to the Crown of the Head, on each
above, in which Spaces are placed the Nofirils, of an oblong Shape: Between
Nofirils is a loofe flap of Skin, fcolloped, which falls indifferently on
either Side of the
Bill, when the Bird moves its Head. The Iris of the Eye is of a bright, pearly
Whitenefs; round the Eye, is an indifferent broad fpace of -Scarlet Skin;
the Head and
Neck are cover'd with bare Skin; the Crown of a dirty, Flefh-colour, toward
the Bill,
and Scarlet in the hinder Part, behind which is a little Tuft of black Hairs:
From this
Tuft proceeds, on each Side, and parts the Head from the Neck, a Iort of
Stay of
wrinkled Skin, of a brownifh Colour, with a little Blue and Red in its hinder
The Sides of the Head are of a black or dirty Colour, with Spots of brownifh
behind the Angles of the Mouth; the Sides of the Neck are red, which gradually
becomes yellow in its fore Part; there runs a dirty yellow Lift down the
hind Part of
the Neck; and at the bottom of the Neck, a Ruff of loofe, foft, afh-colour'd
quite round, in which, by Contraation, it can hide its whole Neck and Sides
of the
Head ; the Breaft, Belly, Thighs, and covert Feathers under the Tail are
White, or a
little inclining to Cream-colour; the back and upper Part of the Wings is
of a light,
Tedifh brown, inclining to Buff-colour; the Rump arid upper covert Feathers
of the
Tail are White; the Quill-feathers of the Wings, black; fome of the middle-mofi
Quills have their Shafts edged with white ; the Row of Coverts, next above
the Quills,
is black, with light, brown Edges; the Tail is wholly black; tho' Mr. Albin
it black only at the End; the Legs and Feet are of a dirty, white Colour;
the forward
Toes are joined a little way by a Membrane; the Claws are black, not fo great
crooked as in Eagles.
This Bird I drew at Sir Hans Sloane's, where it lived fome Years. I have
feen three
or four of them; but could difcover no fuch Craw of bare Skin, as A/bin has
The People who made a Shew of this Bird in Loundon, told me it was brought
from the
lEafi Indies; tho' I believe it rather to come from the [J'e. I have feen
an old Dutch
Print of this, Bird, very incorred, intitled, Rex WVarwouwarum, ex India
Mr. Terry, a great Dealer in foreign Birds and Bcats, has affired me thefe
Birds are
brought only fronm America. AlbiAt fuppofes it to be like the Brafilian Vuihure,
Urubu, TWilloughby, p. 68. tho' it differs widely fromr that which is no
other than the
7iurkey BuZArd, defcribed in Catesby's Hiftory of Carolina.  Had Mr. A/bin
tolerably coxxert in his Figure of this Bird, I Ihould not have publilhed
a fecond

Go up to Top of Page