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CORMORANT. (Cm-bean Marin, Fr. Pelicunus, Lin. Toti Palmes, Cuvier.) A large aquatic bird, of voracious appetite and rapacious disposition. It is distinguished by a bill, moderate sized, robust, and hooked at the point; the neck short, and of moderate strength ; the body compressed ; the feet are short, strong, and turned outwards, the legswbolly feathered, and drawn towards the belly; the wings are moderate and slender, with stiff quills, and the tail approached, and rise out of distance: indeed, the only way to get sport with the corn crake is to place yourself in pathways, or where a small portion of corn or grass is cut in a field, then sending men and dogs to drive them towards you, by beating the outside of the corn or high grass. Another method is as follows : take two sticks, or a stick and a dry bone, cut small notches at equal distances in one, then, by scraping them one against the other, a noise will be produced like the cry of the bird, by which they are decoyed within shot. This species has been supposed identical with the water rail, and only to differ by a change of colour at a certain season of the year: this error is owing to inattention to their characters and nature, both of which entirely disagree. The bill of this species is short, strong, and thick, formed exactly like that of the water hen, and makes a generical distinction. It never frequents watery places, but is always found among corn, grass, broom, or furze. It quits this kingdom before winter; but the water rail endures our sharpest seasons. Both agree in their aversion to flight, but trust their safety to their swiftness of foot, and are seldom sprung but with great difficulty. The land rail lays from twelve to twenty eggs, of a dull white colour, marked with a few yellow spots; notwithstanding this, they are not very numerous in this kingdom. The feathers on the crowu of the head, hind part of the neck, and the back, are black, edged with bay colour; the coverts of the wings the same colour, but not spotted; the tail is short, and of a deep bay ; the belly white; the legs ash-coloured, and are remarkably long for the size of the bird.

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

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