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BLACKBIRD (Merula). At full age it is of a fine deep black, is one foot ten inches in length ; and the expansion of his wings two feet nine inches. The head and neck of the female are marked with alternate bars of dull red and black, and the breast with dusky black and white; the back, the coverts of the wings, and the tail are of the same colour as the neck; the inner coverts of the wings are white in both sexes, forming a white spot on the shoulder; and the tail, which is slightly forked, consists of eighteen feathers variegated with red and black. The female weighs about two pounds. Black-grous breed and are found upon the moors in the vicinity of woody situations; they perch like the pheasant; they ffted on bilberries and other mountain fruits, and in winter, on the tops of the heather. In summer they frequently descend from the hills to feed on corn. They never pair, but in the spring the male crows and claps his wings from some eminence; on which signal all the females within hearing, resort to him. The hen seldom lays above six or seven eggs. When the female is obliged, durmg the time of incubation, to leave her eggs in quest of food, she covers them so artfully with moss or dry leaves that it is very difficult to discover them. As soon as the young ones are hatched, they are seen running with extreme agility after the mother, though sometimes they are not entirely disengaged from the shell.

Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.

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