Cuckoos are abundant, some of them of lovely plumage, also rollers, kingfishers and hornbills.
Its striated plumage also favours this view, as an evidence of permanent immaturity or generalization of form, since striped feathers are so often the earliest clothing of many of these birds, which only get rid of them at their first moult.
Still it is brisk in its movements, and its variegated plumage makes it a pleasing bird.
As a whole, the birds of Papua are remarkable for their brilliance of plumage, or their metallic colouring.
The regiment fluttered like a bird preening its plumage and became motionless.
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 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.
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.
The female is drab, but shows the same white markings as the male, and the young males resemble the females until after the first autumn moult, when they gradually assume the plumage of their sex.
Her plumage, with exception of the wings and tail, which are of a dull red, is light-olive above and brownish-yellow beneath.
Of the extremely limited Samoan fauna, consisting mainly of an indigenous rat, four species of snakes and a few birds, the most interesting member is the Didunculus strigirostris, a ground pigeon of iridescent greenish-black and bright chestnut plumage, which forms a link between the extinct dodo and the living African Treroninae.
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.
According to its sex, or the season of the year, it is known as the red, grey or brown linnet, and by the earlier English writers on birds, as well as in many localities at the present time, these names have been held to distinguish at least two species; but there is now no question among ornithologists on this point, though the conditions under which the bright crimson-red colouring of the breast and crown of the cock's spring and summer plumage is donned and doffed may still be open to discussion.
Of these emigrants some return the following spring, and are recognizable by the more advanced state of their plumage, the effect presumably of having wintered in countries enjoying a brighter and hotter sun.
The avifauna is varied and abundant, comprising eagles, vultures (protected by law), hawks, owls, pelicans, cranes, turkeys, geese, partridges " (called quail or " Bob White " elsewhere), ducks, &c., besides numerous smaller species, many of which are brilliant of plumage but harsh of voice.
Woodpeckers (Coloptes auratus), macaws, parrakeets and other small parrots, and trogons, these last of beautifully resplendent plumage, deserve particular mention.
The young during the first twelvemonth are of a greyish-brown, but when mature almost the whole plumage, except the black primaries, is white, deeply suffused by a rich blush of rose or salmon-colour, passing into yellow on the crest and lower part of the neck in front.
This, when adult, is readily distinguishable from the ordinary bird by the absence of the blush from its plumage, and by the curled feathers that project from and overhang each side of the head, which with some difference of coloration of the bill, pouch, bare skin round the eyes and irides give it a wholly distinct expression.
The birds of Natal are of many species; some have beautiful plumage, but none of them, with the exception of the canary, are to be considered as songsters.
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.
High and has pure white plumage with a red crown, black tail-feathers and black upper neck, It is a sacred bird, and it shares with the tortoise the honor of being an emblem of longevity.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
The wonderful plumage of the " quetzal " (Trogon resplendens) was, it is said, reserved b y the Aztec rulers for their own exclusive use.
This section comprehends three species only, known as Phalaropes or swimming sandpipers, which are distinguished by the membranes that fringe their toes, in two of the species forming marginal lobes,' and by the character of their lower plumage, which is as close as that of a duck.
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 varied plumage of the cock - his bright red breast and his grey back, set off by his coal-black head and quills - is naturally attractive; while the facility with which he is tamed, with his engaging disposition in confinement, makes him a popular cage-bird, - to say nothing of the fact (which in the opinion of so many adds to his charms) of his readily learning to "pipe" a tune, or some bars of one.
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.
Allied to the pine-grosbeak are a number of species of smaller size, but its equals in beauty of plumage.'
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 true Tapaculo (P. albicollis) has a general resemblance in plumage to the females of some of the smaller Shrikes (Lanius), and to a cursory observer its skin might pass for that of one; but its shortened wings and powerful feet would on closer inspection at once reveal the difference.
Seeds are carried in soil adhering to their feet and plumage, and aquatic plants have in consequence for the most part an exceptionally wide range.
There is a general tendency among these insular birds to vary more or less from their continental representatives, and this is especially shown by the former having always darker plumage and stronger bills and legs.
Of the birds of bright plumage the humming-bird and the cardinal-the scarlet, the yellow and the white-are the most attractive.
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.
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.
The most obvious distinctions between Totaninae and Tringinae may be said to lie in the acute or blunt form of the tip of the bill (with which is associated a less or greater development of the sensitive nerves running almost if not quite to its extremity, and therefore greatly influencing the mode of feeding) and in the style of plumage - the Tringinae, with blunt and flexible bills, mostly assuming a summer-dress in which some tint of chestnut or reddish-brown 1 These are Phalaropus fulicarius and P. (or Lobipes) hyperboreus, and were thought by some of the older writers to be allied to the Coots (q.v.).
This sandpiper is characterized by its dark upper plumage, which contrasts strongly with the white of the lower part of the back and gives the bird as it flies much the look of a very large house-martin.
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.
In almost all climes the tortoise and the frog are among the precursors and heralds of this season, and birds fly with song and glancing plumage, and plants spring and bloom, and winds blow, to correct this slight oscillation of the poles and preserve the equilibrium of nature.
Conspicuous by his variegated plumage, his peculiar call note 4 and his glad song, the cock is almost everywhere a favourite.
The birds with their plumage and their notes are in harmony with the flowers, but what youth or maiden conspires with the wild luxuriant beauty of Nature?