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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 red-throated huming [humming] bird,   pp. 38-[Plate] 38 ff.

Page 38

(  38
T H ES E Birds, which I am pretty well affured are Cock and Hen, together
the Nefi and Eggs, are represented of their natural Size; the firfI or Cock-bird
has already been very well done by Mr. Catesby, in his Hiflory of Carolina,
yet I did
not care to leave him out of this Plate, fince I have the Hen, Neft and Eggs;
the Bills
are long, flender, firaight, and of a black Colour in both; the upper Part
of the Head,
Neck, Back, and leffer Coverts of the Wings in both, are of a fine filky-looking
Green, which feems to be intermixed with very fine golden Threads; the prime
thers in the Wings of both are of a dirty Purple-colour, as they are in all
or molt
Burming Birds; in the Cock the Tail is Purple, except the middle Feathers,
which are
Green; the middle of the Belly and Covert-feathers under the Tail are White,
the Sides
under the Wings Green, like the Back; but what chiefly diflinguifhes the
Cock from
the Hen, is a moft beautiful fhining Scarlet-colour under the Chin, which
reaches to the
Breaft, changing its Colour in different Pofitions to the Light, Sometimes
into a deep
Sable-colour, then again to the Colour of fhining Gold; the Feathers in this
red Part
are firm and regularly placed, like the Scales of Fifh ; the Hen differs
from the Cock,
in that her whole under Side is white from Bill to Tail, and the Purple Feathers
of her
Tail are tip'd with White, the middle Feathers being Green; the Legs and
Feet in both,
are very fmall and of a black Colour; the Nefl, which was faftened on the
upper Side
of a Branch, was compos'd of a woolly Subilance and Mofs, the infide being
Wooll or
fome foft Subfiance, of a light yellowifh brown Colour; the outfide is cover'd
Mofs very firmly and clofely laid together, which is not eafily ruffled with
handling; the Eggs are Ifmall and white, feeming to be no {harper at one
End than the
other, as is common to moft Eggs.
Mr. 'Pctcr Colinzfbt, F. R. S. oblig'd me with a Sight of this curious Pair
of Birds and
Neff. They are fbund in Carolina, and as far North as Ne\zv England in the
Seafon, but retire Southward, or disappear in Winter. I have been informed
that no
Bird of this Genus, except this one, ever vifits the Eng/if/a Colonies in
North Amcrica.
rf HIS Fly is of a black or dark Sable-colour, having a pretty large fcarlet
accids each of the upper Wings, befide fome Streaks of the lame Colour near
Body; the lowver Wings have each four little round red Spots near the Body.
I know
not from what Part this F/y came. I had it of Mr. JJi"ih'am nGot/y.

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