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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 hen padda or rice-bird,   pp. 42-[Plate] 42 ff.


Page 42

( 42 )
The Hen PADDA or RIcE-BIR D.
717 'H I S Bird is altogether of the fame Magnitude and Shape with the
LT laf defcrib'd, to which I fuppofe it to be the Hen. It is by the
People who bring them from China, call'd the Padda Bird, becaufe they
are fed with that Grain; Padda being the Name by which Rice is call'd,
while the Grain continues in the Husks; fo that I think the Rice Bird
not a very improper Name. They are faid very much to annoy the
Plantations of Rice; but tho' I have given it this Name, yet I muft take
notice thefe Birds are of that Tribe or Family of fmall Birds we in Eng-
land call Finches, tho' their Bills are larger in Proportion than any of
that Genus we have with us. I not having Opportunity of feeing this
Bird alive, the Defcription may be lefs perfed than the other. It was
preferv'd in Spirits at Sir Hans Sloane's.
The Bill is of a Flefh-colour, it hath alfo the Eyelids or Skin round
the Eye of a Flefh-colour; the Head is wholly Black, wanting the white
Spots in the Cheeks, which is the principal Difference between this and
the lafi defcrib'd Bird; the Neck, Back, Breaft, and Wings, are of an
Ada-colour, not fo bright as in the former, the Belly gradually changing
into a faint dirtyifl Bloffom-colour, the Qulills Something darker than the
Covert-feathers of the Wings; on the Ridge of the Wing next the Breaft,
is a white Spot; the lower Belly, and Coverts under the Tail, are White,
the Tail is Black, the Legs and Feet of a Flefh-colour; the Edges of the
Feathers, as in the other, intermix fo equally, as to appear more like fine
Hair than Feathers..
Some People ufing the India Trade, who have feen thefe Birds, call
them Java Sparrows, and others, Indian Sparrows, and affirm they are
found in 7ava; if fo, it is like they are found in moft of the Countries
to which our India Company trade; but I rather believe the Trade be-
tween China and Juava, may have made them as Plenty as Cage-Birds in
Java, from which fome may have fuppofed them Natives of that Country.
I have obferv'd Figures of thefe Birds very frequently in Chinefe Pidures,
which is a pretty convnc no Argument they are Natives of China.


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