Still it is brisk in its movements, and its variegated plumage makes it a pleasing bird.
The cock, in his plumage of yellowish-green and yellow is one of the most finely coloured of common English birds, but he is rather heavily built, and his song is hardly commended.
Her plumage, with exception of the wings and tail, which are of a dull red, is light-olive above and brownish-yellow beneath.
A large variety of materials have been used in their manufacture by different peoples at different times - painted linen and shavings of stained horn by the Egyptians, gold and silver by the Romans, rice-paper by the Chinese, silkworm cocoons in Italy, the plumage of highly coloured birds in South America, wax, small tinted shells, &c. At the beginning of the 8th century the French, who originally learnt the art from the Italians, made great advances in the accuracy of their reproductions, and towards the end of that century the Paris manufacturers enjoyed a world-wide reputation.
Its bright red beak, the bare bluish skin surrounding its large grey eyes, and the tufts of elongated feathers springing vertically from its lores, give it a pleasing and animated expression; but its plumage generally is of an inconspicuous ochreous grey above and dull white beneath, - the feathers of the upper parts, which on the neck and throat are long and loose, being barred by fine zigzag markings of dark brown, while those of the lower parts are more or less striped.
The deeper tints are, however, peculiar to the nuptial plumage, or are only to be faintly traced at other times, so that in winter the adults - and the young always - have a much plainer appearance, ashy-grey and white being almost the only hues observable.
Woodpeckers (Coloptes auratus), macaws, parrakeets and other small parrots, and trogons, these last of beautifully resplendent plumage, deserve particular mention.
In strong contrast to the ungainly toucan is the tiny humming-bird, whose beautiful plumage, swiftness of flight and power of wing are sources of constant wonder and admiration.
The plumage of the male is of a uniform black colour, that of the female various shades of brown, while the bill of the male, especially during the breeding season, is of a bright gamboge yellow.
3 This little bird, which is about the size of the linnet, has the head and back silvery blue, and the rest of the plumage chocolate red-brown.
While the winter plumage is of a sober greyish-brown, the breeding-dress is marked by a predominance of bright bay or chestnut, rendering the wearer a very beautiful object.
Of the last there are two species, the kiji proper, a bird presenting no remarkable features, and the copper pheasant, a magnificent bird with plumage, of dazzling beauty.
The heron (sagi) constitutes a charming feature in a Japanese landscape, especially the silver heron (shira-sagi), which displays its brilliant white plumage in the rice-fields from spring to early autumn.
The same law prevailing in all natures creation, in the plumage of birds, the painting of butterifies wings, the marking of shells, and in all the infinite variety and beauty of the floral kingdom, the lesson is constantly renewed to the observant eye.
The latter once exhibited inTkyO a silver game-cock with soft plumage and surface modelling of the most delicate character.
The rich-toned, soft plumage of birds or the magnificent blending of colors in a bunch of peonies or chrysanthemums cannot be obtained with absolute fidelity on the ribbed surface of velvet.
The plumage of gorgeously-hued birds, the blossoms of flowers (especially the hydrangea), the folds of thick brocade, microscopic diapers and arabesques, are built up with tiny fragments of iridescent shell, in combination with silver-foil, goldlacquer and colored bone, the whole producing a rich and sparkling effect.
Its gay plumage is matched by its sprightly nature; and together they make it one of the most favourite cage-birds among all classes.
The sooty-grey colour that, deepening into blackish-brown on the crown and quills, pervades the whole of its plumage - the lower tailcoverts, which are of a deep chestnut, excepted - renders it a conspicuous object; and though, for some reason or other, far from being a favourite, it is always willing when undisturbed to become intimate with men's abodes.
One Oriental species (Sciurus caniceps) presents almost the only known instance among mammals of the assumption during the breeding season of a distinctly ornamental coat, corresponding to the breeding plumage of birds.
145) says they are "so called by the natives of Asia in allusion to their splendid and shining plumage," but gives no hint as to the nation or language wherein the name originated.
Though part of the plumage in many sun-birds gleams with metallic lustre, they owe much of their beauty to feathers which are not lustrous, though almost as vivid,' and the most wonderful combination of the brightest colours - scarlet, purple, blue, green and yellow - is often seen in one and the same bird.
BIRDS OF PARADISE, a group of passerine birds inhabiting New Guinea and the adjacent islands, so named by the Dutch voyagers in allusion to the brilliancy of their plumage, and to the current belief that, possessing neither wings nor feet, they passed their lives in the air, sustained on their ample plumes, resting only at long intervals suspended from the branches of lofty trees by the wire-like feathers of the tail, and drawing their food "from the dews of heaven and the nectar of flowers."
This splendid plumage, however, belongs only to the adult males, the females being exceedingly plain birds of a nearly uniform dusky brown colour, and possessing neither plumes nor lengthened tail feathers.
Wallace, who has studied those birds in their native haunts, that they assume the perfect plumage of their sex, which, however, they retain permanently afterwards, and not during the breeding season only as was formerly supposed.
As soon as the male birds have begun their graceful antics, he shoots them, one after the other, with blunt arrows, for the purpose of stunning and bringing them to the ground without drawing blood, which would injure their plumage; and so eager are those birds in their courtship that almost all the males are thus brought down before the danger is perceived.
The lesser bird of paradise (Paradisea minor), though smaller in size and somewhat less brilliant in plumage, in other respects closely resembles the preceding species.
Conspicuous as the strongly contrasted colours of its plumage and its very] peculiar flight make it, it is remarkable that it maintains its ground when so many of its allies have been almost exterminated, for the lapwing is the object perhaps of greater persecution than any other European bird that is not a plunderer.
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.
It is a native of the Canary Islands and Madeira, where it occurs abundantly in the wild state, and is of a greyish-brown colour, slightly varied with brighter hues, although never attaining the beautiful plumage of the domestic bird.
The prevailing colour of the most admired varieties of the canary is yellow, approaching in some cases to orange, and in others to white; while the most robust birds are those which, in the dusky green of the upper surface of their plumage, show a distinct approach to the wild forms. The least prized are those in which the plumage is irregularly spotted and speckled.
Conspicuous by his variegated plumage, his peculiar call note 4 and his glad song, the cock is almost everywhere a favourite.
They are about the size of a pigeon, with orange-coloured plumage, a pronounced crest, and orange-red flesh, and build their nests on rock.
The bird-life of the country is remarkably rich; one bird of magnificent plumage, the quetzal, quijal or quesal (Trogon resplendens), has been chosen as the national emblem.
The wonderful plumage of the " quetzal " (Trogon resplendens) was, it is said, reserved b y the Aztec rulers for their own exclusive use.
During the years of its domestication, the canary has been the subject of careful artificial selection, the result being the production of a bird differing widely in the colour of its plumage, and in a lew of its varieties even in size and form, from the original wild species.
A diagnosis covering all the Ratitae (struthio, rhea, casuarius, dromaeus, apteryx and the allied fossils dinornis and aepyornis) would be as follows - (i) terrestrial birds without keel to the sternum, absolutely flightless; (ii) quadrate bone with a single proximal articulating knob; (iii) coracoid and scapula fused together and forming an open angle; (iv) normally without a pygostyle; (v) with an incisura ischiadica; (vi) rhamphotheca compound; (vii) without apteria or bare spaces in the plumage; (viii) with a complete copulatory organ, moved by skeletal muscles.