BULL-TROUT
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BULL-TROUT

BULL-TROUT




      

BULL-TROUT


BULL-TROUT. A species of there are instances of some very old ones weighing twenty-seven; the breadth nine feet; the length nearly four. Besides the size and difference of colour, the male is distinguished from the female by a tuft of feathers about five inches long on each side of the lower mandible. Its head aud neck are ash-coloured ; the back is barred transversely with black and bright rust colour: the greater quill feathers are black; the belly white; the tail is marked with broad red and black bars, and consists of twenty feathers; the legs are dusky. Hie female is about half the size of the male ; the crown of the head is of a deep orange, traversed with black lines; the rest of the head is brown. The lower part of the foreside of the neck is ashcoloured; in other respects it resembles the male, only the colours of the back and wings are far more dull. Bustards were formerly more frequent in this country than at present ; but the increased cultivation of the country, and the extreme delicacy of its flesh, have greatly thinned the species: they are now found only on Salisbury Plain, on the heaths of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Sussex, the Dorsetshire uplands, the Yorkshire wolds, and in East Lothian. They are exceedingly shy and difficult to be shot; are slow in taking wing, but run very fast, and when young are frequently taken with greyhounds, which pursue them with great avidity : the chase is said to afford excellent diversion. Their food consists of berries that grow among the heath, and those large earthworms that appear in great quantities on the downs before sunrise in the summer: these are replete with moisture, answer the purpose of liquids, and enable them to live long without drinking on those extensive and dry tracts. Besides this, Nature has furnished the males with an admirable magazine for their security against drought, being a pouch, whose entrance lies immediately under the tongue, and which is capable of holding nearly seven quarts: this they fill with water to supply the hen when sitting, or the young before they can fly. In autumn, bustards are generally found in turnip fields; in winter, as their food becomes scarce, they prey on mice, and even on small birds when they can seize them. The female lays two eggs as large as those of a goose, of a pale olive brown marked with dark spots: they make no nest, only scrape, a hole in the ground.

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

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