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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 spur-winged water hen,   pp. 48-[Plate] 48 ff.


Page 48

( 48 )
The SPUR-WINGED WATER HE N.
T      H H IS Bird is of the [Viter Hen-kind; [iTZughby has defcrib'd Something
like
T     it as to Shape, but of other Colours; the Print ihews the Bird of its
natural
Bignefs; the Bill is near an Inch and a half long, of a yellow Colour, the
Nofirils
fituate on each Side about the middle of the Bill; it hath at the Bafis of
the upper
Mandible a bald Skin, as in other MVater Hens, but different, in that it
is a loofe Flap,
fcollop'd with three Scollops on the Top, join'd to the Head at the Bottom,
of a
yellowilh Colour; I fuppofe it was Red when the Bird was living, fince that
Part is
delcrib'd to be fo in the Birds Margrave faw in Brafi; the Crown of the Head
is
Brown, intermixed with fome dusky Spots; from the Corners of the Mouth, through
the Eyes, to the hind Part of the Neck on each Side, is drawn a black Line,
above
the Eyes are white Lines; the under Side of the Head, Neck, Breaft, Belly,
Thighs,
and under Coverts of the Tail are White, on the Sides of the Belly and Thighs,
are
fprinkled a few red Marks; the hinder Part of the Neck is Black, which by
degrees
becomes Brown in the beginning of the Back, the lower Part of the Back, Rump,
and
upper Side of the Tail, are of a purplilh inclining to a red Rofe-colour;
the Feathers
about the Shoulders, or fetting on of the Wings, are of a light Brown, the
Quills of
the Wings are of a fine Green-colour tip'd with Black, except, a few of the
fmaller next
the Back, which are Brown; the firfi Coverts above the Quills are Black,
next above
is a Row of Brown, the refi of the Coverts are of a Rofe or purplifh Colour;
the
Covert-feathers within-fide the Wings, are of a redifh Brown; what is moft
extraor-
dinary in this Bird, is a Pair of firong, thick, fhort, yellow Spurs on the
Joints of the
Wings turning inward, fo that they point toward each other; the Legs are
very long,
and bare of Feathers above the Knees; the middle Toe for Length, equals the
Leg,
the fide Toes a little Shorter, the back Toe is pretty long, having a Claw
or Nail
fziaight like a Needle, and longer than the Toe, which together equal the
Length
of the L.eg, the back Toe is only one Joint, the inner two, the middle three,
and the
( Stcr Toe fbur. I have been the more particular in defcrihing the Joints
of the Toes in
this Blird, becatue this Kind is -aid in the Defcriptions I find in Jf ill/hl;
y to have four
Joints in each Toe ; the three forward Toes have long fiender Claws, pretty
ftraight
both Legs, Feet and Claws of a Lead or bluifh Ath-colour.
This Bird had been pre~Irv'd a good while in Spirits by Sir [Jies Sloane,
who lent it
me that I might make a Drawing of it I was told it was brought from C(irt
/agemna i
Soltb _'A?1eica.
, w
r.Pv


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