Image from page 260 of "British birds' nests; how, where, and when to find and identify them" (1898)
Authors: Kearton, Richard, 1862-1928
Contributing Library: American Museum of Natural History Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Biodiversity Heritage Library
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es, throughout the country. I have seencolonies of a dozen birds in an isolated clump ofash trees away up in bleak hilly districts, and asa contrast to this, it may be mentioned that in1847 it was computed that Newliston Rookery,near Edinburgh, contained no less than 2,663 nests. Materials.—Sticks and twigs knitted and plasteredtogether with mud and clay, and lined with straw,hay, or wool. The bird is often very particularabout the kind of nest it constructs, and will pullit to pieces and rebuild it several times. It is anarrant rogue, and I have watched individuals stealeach others sticks. The old nests are sometimesrepaired in the autumn, and it is said eggs arelaid. Our illustration is from a photograph takenin Westmoreland, and shows a cluster of two orthree nests built into each other. Eggs.—Four to five, of a pale green or brownish-green ground colour, spotted and blotched withgreenish or smoky-brown. Average size about 168by IlB in. Distinguished by birds gregarious habits.
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ROOKS NESTS. 238 BRITISH BIRDS NESTS. Time.—February, March, April, and May; thelaying season varying according to the characterof the weather. Beuiarls.—Resident. Notes, craaw. Local andother names: AVhite-faced Crow, Craa. Gregarious,and a close sitter. RUFF. Description of Parent Birds.—Length abouttwelve and a half inches. Bill long, straight,rather slender, and brown. Irides dusky brown.The bird varies very considerably in j^lumage, oneeminent authority having examined two hundredspecimens and only found two alike. Yarrell says : The head, the whole of the ruff or tippet (longplumes growing on the head and neck, and capableof being raised so as to form a kind of shield), andthe shoulders of a shining purple-black, transverselybarred with chestnut ; scapulars back, lesser wing-coverts, and some of the tertials, pale chestnutspeckled and tipped with black; greater wing-coverts nearly uniform ash-brown; quill-feathersbrownish-black, with white shafts; rump and uppertail-covert
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