This may be due to frost, especially in thin-barked trees, and often occurs in beeches, pears, &c.; or it may result from bruising by wind, hailstones, gun-shot wounds in coverts, &c., the latter of course very local.
A nearer view will reveal the rich chestnut of the mantle and upper wing-coverts, and the combination of colours thus exhibited suggests the term "tortoise-shell" often applied to it - the quill-feathers being mostly of a dark brown and its lower parts pure white.
Southern examples from Costa Rica and Veragua have the tail-coverts much narrower, and have been considered to form a distinct species, P. costaricensis.
Even the vast forest of Middlesex, with its densely wooded thickets, its coverts of game, stags, fallow deer, boars and wild bulls is pressed into the description to give a contrast which shall enhance the beauty of the city itself.
Eastward of the range of the present species its place is taken by its congener C. caniceps, which is easily recognized by wanting the black hood and white ear-coverts of the British bird.
There are also within these coverts several varieties of wild animals, such as the tiger, leopard, hyena, wild boar, nilgai and jackal.
At a distance the plumage of the adult appears to be white and black in about equal proportions, the latter predominating above; but on closer examination nearly all the seeming black is found to be a bottle-green gleaming with purple and copper; the tail-coverts, both above and below, are of a bright bay colour, seldom visible in flight.
Fuscicollis, Bonaparte's sandpiper, with white upper tail-coverts inhabits Arctic America, but reaches the greater part of South America in winter, whilst T.
Bairdi, with brownish median tail-coverts, extends over nearly all North America, breeding towards the north.
The plumage generally is black, but the throat is white, tinged with yellow and commonly edged beneath with red; the upper tail-coverts are white, and the lower scarlet.
Alternations of the brighter colours are also displayed in the feathers of the throat, breast and tail-coverts, so as to be in like manner characteristic of the species, and in several the bare space round the eye is yellow, green, blue or lilac. The sexes are alike in coloration, the males being largest.
In structure the jays are not readily differentiated from the pies; but in habit they are much more arboreal, delighting in thick coverts, seldom appearing in the open, and seeking their food on or under trees.
Notwithstanding the war carried on against the jay, its varied cries and active gesticulations show it to be a sprightly bird, and at a distance that renders its beauty-spots invisible, it is yet rendered conspicuous by its cinnamon-coloured body and pure white tail-coverts, which contrast with the deep black and rich chestnut that otherwise mark its plumage, and even the young at once assume a dress closely resembling that of the adult.
Of the tail, which in all are hidden by their coverts, are soft.
The rest of the head, the neck, throat and lower parts generally are clothed with lanceolate feathers of a pale tawny colour - sometimes so pale as to be nearly white beneath; while the scapulars, back and wing-coverts generally, are of a glossy greyish-black, most of the feathers having a white shaft and a median tawny line.
In the young of the year the whole head, neck and throat are clothed in dull black, and most of the feathers of the mantle and wing-coverts are broadly tipped and mesially streaked with tawny or lightish-grey.
Roseus or antiquorum, white, with a rosy tinge above, and with scarlet wing-coverts, while the remiges are black (as in all species), ranges from the Cape Verde Islands to India and Ceylon, north as far as Lake Baikal; southwards through Africa and Madagascar, eventually as P. minor.
The tail coverts above and below are velvety black, but those at the side are pale orange.
Says Manwood, "is a certain territory of woody grounds and fruitful pastures, privileged for wild beasts and fowls of forest, chase, and warren to rest, and abide there in the safe protection of the king, for his delight and pleasure; which territory of ground so privileged is mered and bounded with unremovable marks, meres and boundaries, either known by matter of record or by prescription; and also replenished with wild beasts of venery or chase, and with great coverts of vert, for the succour of the said beasts there to abide: for the preservation and continuance of which said place, together with the vert and venison there are particular officers, laws, and privileges belonging to the same, requisite for that purpose, and proper only to a forest and to no other place."