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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 swallow-tail'd king-fisher,   pp. 10-[Plate] 10 ff.


Page 10

I 0
2Vhe SWALL O W-T AI L' D         KING -F ISHER.
?7j7H I S Plate reprefents the Bird in its natural Size, which is nearly
that of the Engliffh King-f/her, and it agrees alfo with ours in
Shape, except the Wing being a little longer, and the Tail much longer,
without regard to the two longefi Feathers; the Bill is long, firaight,
and fharp-pointed, black of Colour, channeled on each Side in the upper
Mandible, in which Channels are placed, the Nolrils pretty near the
Head; the Corners of the Mouth fill deep into the Head, and the
Eyes are placed jul1 over them ; the Head is of a dirty brown Colour,
brighter towards the Bill, darker in the hinder Part ; under the Bill is
a
pretty large white Spot an Inch broad, in the middle Part, but growing
narrower on each Side toward the Neck; the whole Body is of a dirty
,1lack, having a glofs of Blue, foinething lighter on the Breafi, and
darker on the Back; the Wings are of a line, dark, (Lining Green, tho'
lighter in the Covert-feathers than in the Quills; a fingle white Feather
appear'd among the Covert-feathers of the Wing; the Tail had two long-
Feathers more than double the Length of the other Feathers; the upper
Side of a dark gloffy Green, on the under Side dusky, fome of the
lhorter Feathers having white Tips; the Legs and Feet are Black, and
made as in other King-fl/hers. This Bird, tho' of a dull Colour, hath
all over it, when expofed to the Sun, a fbining Luflre like a Mixture cf
Gold Threads with the Feathers, fuch as we fee in moft forts of Huming
Birds; it is more remarkably bright on the Covert-feathers of the Wings
than in any other Part.
This Bird is- in his Grace the Duke of Richnond's Colleaion ; it was
inclofed and patted up in Glafs, fo that I could not handle it, nor could
E certainly difcover whether the two long Feathers in the Tail were the
middle Feathers or the outer Feathers; tho' I think they are the middle
Feathers. The Bird we call Merops in Europe, differs from the King-
fl/her, only in that it hath the Bill a little bent downward, and the two.
middle Feathers of the Tail being longer than the reft; the Bird above
defcribed, hath only one of thefe Marks of difference: It was brought
from Surinam in Soutb America, by the way of Holland. I cannot find
6iat this Bird has been defcribed or taken notice of by any Author.


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