Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813. / American ornithology; or The natural history of the birds of the United States
Species 17. Fringilla cyanea. Indigo bird, pp. -264
wings black, edged with light blue, and becoming brownish towards the tips; lesser coverts light blue; greater black, broadly skirted with the same blue; tail black, exteriorly edged with blue; bill black above, whitish below, somewhat larger in proportion than Finches of the same size usually are, but less than those of the genus Emberiza, with which Pen- nant has classed it, though I think improperly, as the bird has much more of the form and manners of the genus Fringilla, where I must be permitted to place it; legs and feet blackish brown. The female is of a light flaxen colour, with the wings dusky black, and the cheeks, breast, and whole lower parts a clay colour, with streaks of a darker colour under the wings, and tinged in several places with bluish. Towards fall the male while moulting becomes nearly of the colour of the female, and in one which I kept through the winter, the rich plumage did not return for more than two months; though I doubt not had the bird enjoyed his liberty and natural f od under a warm sun this brownness would have been of shorter duration. The usual food of this species is insects and various kinds of seeds. 26-:1 INDIGO BIRD.
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