Edwards, George, 1694-1773. / A natural history of birds, the most of which have not hitherto been figured or described, and the rest, by reason of obscure, or too brief descriptions, without figures, or of figures very ill design'd, are hitherto but little known
[The arctick [arctic] bird, supposed to be the cock], pp. [Plate] 148-148
( 148 ) The ARCTICK BIRD, fuppofed to he the Cock. H I S Bird in Bignefs feems to exceed a common Tame Pigeon. Some of its principal Meafures are as follow: The Bill from the Point to the Angles of the Mouth is one Inch and an half; to the Feathers on the Forehead only an Inch; the Wing (when clofed) is twelve Inches long; the middle Feathers of the Tail are thirteen Inches long; the Leg fiom the Knee downward is near two Inches; the middle Toe -an Inch and a Q(arter. This Bird differs from the Gull [Larus] in having a different- made Bill, and weaker Legs, and fhorter Toes in Proportion to the Legs; for the middle Toe in the Gull generally exceeds the Length of the Leg.This being found in the Northern Parts of America, near the Arick Circle, I have for Diffintion impofed on it the above Name,in Oppofition to that Sort of Gull with a long Tail, found about or between the Tropicks, commonly call'd the iropick Bird; which is near the Size of our ArLdick Bird. The Bill is compreffed Sideways, hooked at the Point, and hath two Grooves on each Side of the upper Mandible, in the Loweft of which are placed the Noftrils, which are very clofe; the Point or Hook of the Bill is Separated fiom the other Part by a crofs Furrow,; it hath an Angle under the lower Mandible; the Point of the Bill is Blackifh, the Remainder of a dirty Flefh-Colour; the Top of the Head is of a dufky or black Colour; the Sides of the Head beneath the Eyes, the Throat, Neck all round, the Breaft and Belly are White; the Thighs, lower Belly, and Coverts under the Tail are of a light Afh-Colotir; the lower Part of the Neck behind, the whole Back, the Wings (both above and within Side) and the Tail are of a darkifh Afh-Colour; the greater Quills and the Tail-Feathers being darkifhi, approaching to Black. The Shafts of a few of the outermoft of the Prime Q(ills are White; the Wings are very long and narrow when fpread; the Tail-Feathers are fhorteft on the Sides, andgradually increafe in Length, to the two middcmfof, which fuddenly (hoot out beyond the reft to a great Excefs; the Legs are bare of Feathers above the Knees, where they are of a black Colour; from the Knees to the Feet they are of a bright-yellow Colour; the Feet are Black, and the three Toes forward webbed as in Ducks; the hinder Toe is very finall ; the h1inder-parts of the Legs and Bottoms of the Feet are rough, like a File or Fith-fkin, in a very remarkable Manner; it hath but fmall Claws. This Bird was brought from IfuaJqcn's-Bay by Mr. IKham, with one like it, which4 I fuppofe to be its Hen ; tho' it had not the long Feathers in the Tail. They are un1- doubtedly Non-defcripts, and of a Genus, I think, of which I halve not met with another Species. They are foinething like the Peteril Kind in the Bill, but want the Pipe-like Nofirils on its upper Part. They have alfo a Back-Toe, whereas the Peterils have only a Nail or Claw: See the Peterils, P. 89, go of this Work. The Englijh at HzfmOn's-Bay call the above defcrib'd a Plan oj l~ar Bird. By the Weaknefs of the Legs and Length of the Wings I fuppofe it to be much on the Wing; and I believe it is provided with rough Feet and Legs, in order to its fi n flanding on the fllmy Sides of dead floating Filics, on which. it is likely they feed.
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