« PreviousContinue »
to eagles; witness the condor of America, said to find the first, the eagle, feeds on living game of all stretch eighteen feet. As we can learn nothing from kinds ; i.e. it catches them while living, and kills the versions, we have attended to Onkelos, who them itself: so that it may be correctly said of this renders, naked, which leads us to the vulture at bird, which carries living prey to its nest, “its young once, and is supported by the Lxx and Vulgate. ones suck down blood,” fresh blood from the expiring
We may consider as certain, 1st, That the vul. subject. On, the contrary, this cannot be said of the ture could not be unknown in the countries where Mo- vulture, which forms the second class of eagles, for ses wrote. 2dly, That it was likely to form a distinct this feeds on dead prey, prey dead before the bird class of birds, though reckoned among eagles. 3dly, attacks it; nay, even putrid food; for Latham says, That modern naturalists are often at a loss whether “ Of this circumstance I am clear, from the carrion to determine some kinds of birds to the eagle, or to vultures of Jamaica, two of which I kept for some the vulture tribe. Vide Latham's Synopsis, vol. i. time. They would indeed eat any raw flesh, but ex
No. 3. We have given the figure of that eagle pressed a particular happiness when any tainted wbich Bruce calls nisser tokoor, but of whose man- food was offered them ; futtering with expanded pers he gives no history. This figure we give merely wings without ceasing, and falling on with double on the conjecture, that as the vulture was distinguish- the appearance of appetite, as well as devouring ed among eagles, by its deficiency of feathers on the twice the quantity as at other times," vol. i. p. 3. neck, so the atsniah of this passage might be dis- The third class of eagles feeds on fish; so that we tinguished by superfluity of feathers, on the head. have in the permanent distinctions of nature an auBesides this bird, whose tuft is on the back of his thority in support of our order, which is independent head, the nisser of Bruce has a beard under his chin; of the meaning of names, and the rendering of transand we know another, which is often called “the lators, though perfectly coincident with the opinions bearded vulture ;" but which having feathers on the of those who appear to have most correctly understood neck is as often classed among eagles. Might this the subject. peculiarity form these birds into a class opposed to No. 5. The HawK, or Hebrew SWIFT. We have that of the vulture?
given the figure of the rough legged falcon from PenNo. 4. Is the OSPRAY, or SEA EAGLE, copied from nant. Buffon ; who says, it differs from other eagles, 1st, As we suppose that this name includes the whole By the colour and shape of its claws, which are (ex. genus (as well as the other instances,] we have rather ceedingly large and strong; Pennant) of a shining chosen this, which is a wandering hawk, than one black, and form a perfect semicircle. 2dly, By the more stationary, or fixed, in a country. legs, which are naked in the lower parts, and covered As there is no difficulty in admitting this bird to be with small scales of a bright yellow colour. 3dly, the hank, if the second bird in the list be the vulture, By a beard of feathers under his cbin, which has pro we shall not add any observations on this number. cured him the name of “the bearded eagle.” But The kite is regularly placed with the hawk, and Pennant says, “underneath bis bill grow several pretty much resembles it in figure and manners. It short, but strong hairs, or bristles, forming a sort of generally breeds in large forests, or wooded, nounbeard;” and this seems to be more correctly descrip- tainous countries. Its motion in the air distinguishes tive of this bird, who is ill entitled to the name of it from all other birds, being so smooth and even as “ bearded eagle," though he seems to introduce those to be scarcely perceptible; sometimes it remains quite thus distinguished, when others have this appendage motionless for a considerable space; at others it glides so much more considerable. In fact, this beard is through the sky, without the least apparent action not shewn, either in the figure of Buffon, or in that of of its wings: from hence is derived its old name Pennant. This bird, in extent of wings, is nine or glede, or the glider. It eats lesser birds, game, also ten feet; it feeds principally on fish, by darting it- offals, &c. Its tail is forked. self down on them. Martin, speaking of the great The versions agree with the kite as being the bird eagles in the Western Isles, says, they fasten their intended; the Chaldee terms imply rapaciousness; talons in the back of the fish, commonly of salmon, the Syriac, a bird of high flight. It is in length about which are often above water, or on the surface. twenty-seven inches; breadth five feet. Those of Greenland will even take a young seal out No. 6. The RAVEN, CROW, &c. are certainly desigof the water. It preys also on water fowl, and on nated by the generic name in the original. They gengame of most kinds. It always builds near water, erally build in trees, and are held in some respect for either the sea or inland lakes where it finds its prey. devouring carcasses and filth, that would otherwise
We are now able to appreciate another reason for prove a nuisance. The raven is a very docile bird, the order we have adopted, and the propriety of ren flies in pairs, a great height, making a deep, loud noise. dering the second eagle, vulture: for if we note the Its scent is remarkably good. It is very long lived. sood which is principally selected by each bird, we The raven, and crow, will pick out the eyes of
lambs just dropped; for which reason it was former- like the former, a sea bird, seems to follow it with ly, in England, called gor, or gorcrow; and so Ben propriety. Jonson says, Fox, act i. scene 1.
No. 3. The smaller heron, or rather a kind of bit
tern, the little bittern" of Pennant. The reader Vulture, kite,
sees, in loc, the account of this bird given by HasselRaven and gorcrow, all my birds of prey.
quist. Our figure is copied from Dr. Russell, AlepThe reader will perceive, in the above description, po, vol. ii. p. 200. who observes, that “it is not repsufficient reason for associating the raven and crow
resented in its proper attitude; for the bird, when among birds of prey, even eagles and vultures ; alive, stands with his body perfectly erect, as well nor can I refrain from observing, that Solomon has as his head and neck.” This singular attitude is well consorted the raven with the eagle, Prov. XXX. hinted at by the sketch, No. 4. The length of the 17.
bird is about fifteen inches. It is common near Alep
po. The history of this bird in Penpant informs us, The eye which mocketh its father,
îhat it is a very retired bird, concealing itself in the And despiseth to obey its mother,
midst of reeds and rushes in marshy places. It is The ravens of the valley shall pick it out, The young eagles shall eat it.
slow of flight. It has two kinds of notes; one croak
ing, when it is disturbed; the other bellowing, which The Rook feeds entirely on grain and insects, not it commences in spring and ends in autumn. Mr. on carrion; is a sociable bird, living in vast flocks. Willoughby says, that in autumn it soars into the We need not introduce others of this class, as they air with a spiral ascent, making, at the same time, a are well known among us.
singular noise. The ancients mention three kinds of
heron : 1st, Leucon, the white heron. 2dly, Pellos, EXPLANATION OF TIE PLATE OF UNCLEAN WATER
supposed to be the common sort. 3dly, Asterias,
the starry, the bittern, supposed to derive this name No. 1. Tbe GANNET is a large bird, weighing seven from sometimes aspiring, as it were, to reach the stars, pounds; in length three feet ; remarkable for the though at other times meriting the epithet onos, lazy. quickness of its sight. Beneath the chin is a kind of The noises made by this bird seem to correspond bag, dilatable, capable of containing five or six entire with its Hebrew appellation, to which perhaps they herrings, which it carries in the breeding season to
gave occasion. its nest. It soars to a vast height, then darting head The Goose should be the next article ; but, 1st, long into the sea, makes the water foam and spring it is still dubious whether this bird be the bird inup with the violence of its descent. The title of tended. 2dly, The bird is too well known to need a cataracta, a name borrowed from Aristotle, admira- figure. bly expresses the rapid descent of this bird on its No. 5. The PELICAN. I believe there is no great prey. Some years ago, a gannet flying over Penzance, hesitation in considering this bird as that really inseeing some pilchards lying on a fir plank, it darted tended by the Hebrew writer. This bird, when of down with such violence as to strike its bill through full age, is greatly superior in size to the swan; will the board, an inch and a quarter thick, and broke its weigh twenty-five pounds, and extend fifteen feet. neck. They are sometimes taken at sea by a sim- The upper mandible is flat and broad, hooked at the ilar trap. Linnæus classes this bird with the pelican. end; the lower mandible has appended to it a very Among the Rabbins, some have taken the first bird dilatable bag, reaching eight or nine inches down in the list of water birds for the pelican. Bochart the neck: of these bags some are capable of conthought the same: but if this bird, though not prop- taining many quarts of water. It is common in warm erly a pelican, yet has so much resemblance as to countries; on the coasts of the Mediterranean, &c. have influenced Linnæus, both Bochart and the Rab- The female makes a nest of grass in mossy, tursy bins may stand excused; whose opinion, neverthe places, in the islands of rivers or lakes, far from man. less, coincides with our own.
İts food is fish, which it takes by diving. When, horerNo. 2. The CORMORANT is about three feet in length, ing over the water, it sees a fish, it dives instantly, and has a slight kind of pouch under the chin ; inhabits seldom misses of catching it,
seldom misses of catching it, in which the enormous the highest cliffs over the sea; is remarkably vora gape of its bill greatly assists. When it has filled its cious; has a rank and disagreeable smell
, even while pouch, it flies to some convenient point of a rock, alive; its voice is hoarse and croaking ; has been and swallows the fish at leisure. It sometimes fishes trained to fish for its master, to whom it forms a con in company with cormorants and gulls. The notion siderable source of profit in China. The same for of the pelican's feeding her young with blood from merly in England.' Whitelock tells us, he had a her breast, has arisen from seeing it discharge the cast of them inanned like hawks, which would come pouch of water, or fish, for their nourishment. to hand. This agrees with the versions as to the No. 6. Shews the bag distended. This bird is character of the second bird in this list; and being used for domestic fishing like the cormorant.
No. 7. The KINGFISHER. This bird is inserted or a tree; but in countries not so populously inhabmerely to shew how aptly he would fill the station, ited as Holland, or most parts of Europe, the tall and answer the description, of a bird here wanted. trees may be most convenient for it. Alkazuin, an He is, therefore, to be considered as conjectural Arabian writer, remarks, “ that it always makes its only. The reader sees his general description and nest on some elevated spot, whether it be a tall buildmanners, in loc.
ing or a tree.” Heldelinus assures us, that “it No. 8. Is the ROLLER of Europe, or shagarag of builds on the tops of houses, or on dry trees, which, Dr. Shaw. This species is diversified and spread however, is rare.” Olympiodorus, on Job, inforins in Africa. Mr. Bruce gives another shagarag, which us to the same purpose. So that, on the whole, we he calls sheregrig, and to which are appended two need not hesitate, on account of the infrequency of long tail feathers. As I am of opinion, that the de- the storks of Europe inhabiting trees, to admit, nevscription given of the shagarag is very applicable to ertheless, that the stork may be the chasidah of the the kingfisher, while the stories of the affection, &c. Hebrew writers. of the kingfisher are allied to the character of the No. 10. The boo-onk of Dr. Shaw. This bird is racham of Scripture, I cannot help suspecting, that given only by way of conjecture; what may be said a bird of the kingfisher kind, in some of its varie of it is given, in loc. ties, is the subject intended rather than the shag No. 11. The HOOPOE.
This bird is thought to arag.
be pretty well ascertained ; nevertheless we may No. 9. The stORK, is the size of a turkey, or conjecture, that a bird which frequents water more larger; length three feet three inches; bill seven than the hoopoes of Europe do, would not be misinches three quarters, colour of it a fine red; plumage placed at the close of this list. mostly white. It is a bird of passage, tending toward I cannot help remarking, how accurately the sathe south in autumn, to winter in Egypt. It is very cred writer has treated this part of his subject; an rare in England, but in Holland they every where accuracy which will enable us, some time or other, build on the tops of houses, where boxes are made to to come pretty near to certainty in determining the receive their nests. In Persia, at the ruins of Perse birds he enumerates. As all these birds are fish polis, the remains of the pillars serve them to build eaters, there is no distinction arising from their dion, every pillar having a nest of thern,” says Fryer, versities of food; but the Hebrew naturalist begins Trav. p. 251. They are common at Aleppo. Dr. with those which inhabit the sea and its rocky cliffs : Shaw saw three flights of them leaving Egypt, pass the Ganner, or sea pelican, so to term it, and the ing over mount Carmel, toward the northeast, in CORMORANT; then he proceeds to the marsh birds, the middle of April, each flight half a mile in breadth, the bittern; then to the river and lake birds, the and they were three hours in passing over. They PELICAN; the king fisher, or the shagarag; then eat fish, frogs, snakes, and various reptiles; hence the stork, which is a bird of passage, and lives on the veneration they have enjoyed, as freeing man land as well as on water, and feeds on frogs and inkind from such pests and vermin. The Hebrew word sects, as well as on fish; then to another, which chasidah has generally been understood to signify probably is a bird of passage also, because the last on the stork; the meaning of the word is to swell, and the list, the hoopoć, is certainly of passage, and it is taken metaphorically for swelling beneficence. feeds less on fish than any of the former kinds, and We have ventured, however, in FRAGMENT, No. has indeed no great relation to the water. 285, to query whether it might not be derived from however, be said, that the two last birds are not inan attitude assumed by the bird, a swelling attitude. tended to be merely water birds, but are of kinds Passing this, we remark that the stork may stand in prohibited for other reasons: as the bat, which conthis list as the representative of the whole genus, in- cludes the list, clearly is. cluding the heron and its varieties.
On the whole, I think we may safely conclude, The strongest argument against the stork as the that though we have not identified every bird in this chasidah of the Hebrew text is used by Michaelis, catalogue, yet we have traced the system of the who thought the stork did not roost, or dwell in trees; writer; and have opened the way for actual observayet the Psalmist says, civ. 17. “the fir-trees are the tion to identify them'; which can only be satisfactorihouse of the chasidah.” To this it is answered,
To this it is answered, ly accomplished in the countries to which these reguthat Doubdan mentions “the resting, i.e. roosting, of lations are adapted. It will be observed, that in our storks on trees, between Cana and Nazareth :” and list we have marked in small capitals those birds Dr. Shaw says expressly, “ the storks breed plen. which we think may be depended on. tifully in Barbary; the fir-trees, and other trees likewise, when those are wanting, are a dwelling for the In addition to the Plates already given of “Unclean stork, Psalm civ. 17.” It is therefore probable,
It is therefore probable, Birds,” we have thought it might be satisfactory to that the stork accommodates itself to circumstances; add representations of some particulars which have that wherever it obtains rest, security, and accom been incidentally mentioned in the foregoing dismodation, there it resides, whether the place be a ruin course; these we offer in the Plate subjoined. VOL. IV.