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Grey-Crowned Purple-Finch

Grey-Crowned Purple-Finch

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.


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[Rosy Finch.]

[Leucosticte arctoa.]


This species, which in form and proportion is allied to Erythrospiza purpurea on the one hand, and to E. cannabina on the other, is of extremely rare occurrence, a single specimen only being mentioned as having been obtained by Dr. RICHARDSON on the Saskatchewan, in May 1827, from which my figure was taken.

Male, 6; wing, 4.

Saskatchewan river. Very rare. Migratory.

LINARIA (LEUCOSTICTE) TEPHROCOTIS, Swainson's Grey-crowned Linnet, Swains. and Rich. F. Bor. Amer., vol. ii. p. 265.

GREY-CROWNED LINNET, Fringilla tephrocotis, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v.p. 232.

Adult Male.

Bill short, thick, conical, its upper and lower outlines straight, the ridge and sides convex, the edges inflected, the gap-line slightly arched, but at the base a little deflected. Nostrils basal, round, concealed by short bristly feathers.

Head rather large, broadly ovate; neck short; body moderate. Feet of moderate length; tarsus of the same length as the middle toe and claw, compressed, anteriorly scutellate, with two lateral plates meeting behind so as to form a sharp edge; hind toe stout, lateral toes nearly equal. Claws rather long, arched, compressed, acute, that of the hind toe largest.

Plumage soft and blended. Wings long, pointed; the second quill longest, the first slightly shorter, the rest rapidly graduated; secondaries rounded. Tail of moderate length, emarginate, the middle-feathers a quarter of an inch shorter than the longest.

Bill black; tarsi and claws dusky brown. The general colour of the plumage is dark umber-brown; the feathers margining the bill whitish; the upper part of the head ash-grey, spotted with black anteriorly; the first row of smaller wing-coverts, the feathers of the rump and the upper tail-coverts are broadly edged and tipped with rose-red, as are the feathers of the sides and the lower tail-coverts, of which however the tint is paler. The quills, larger coverts, and tail-feathers, are dusky brown; the primary and secondary coverts edged with dull red, the quills and tail-feathers with brownish-white.

Length to end of tail 6 inches; bill along the ridge (5 1/2)/12, along the edge of lower mandible (6 1/4)/12; wing from flexure 4; tail 2 7/12; tarsus (8 1/2)/12; hind toe 4/12, its claw 3/12; middle toe 6/12, its claw (2 1/2)/12.

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