Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
CRIMSON-WINGED TROOPIAL, OR RED-AND-BLACK-SHOULDERED MARSH BLACKBIRD.
[Red-winged Blackbird (see also Red-winged Starling).]
AGELAIUS GUBERNATOR, Wagler.
PLATE CCXV.--MALE AND FEMALE.
Of this species, which appears to be abundant about the Columbia river, I
have received two specimens from Mr. TOWNSEND, who procured them there. Having
seen individuals from Mexico, I think it probable that it returns to that
country to spend the winter. Of its habits however I regret that I am entirely
PSAROCOLIUS GUBERNATOR, Wagler, Syst. Avium.
CRIMSON-WINGED TROOPIAL, Icterus gubernator, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v.p. 211.
Male, 9; wing, 5 7/12.
Bill shorter than the head, conical, straight, stout, compressed toward the
end, tapering to a fine point; upper mandible with the dorsal line nearly
straight, being a little convex at the base, the ridge a little flattened toward
the base, where it runs into a short tapering process, the sides rounded, the
edges inflected, the tip slightly depressed; lower mandible higher at the base
than the upper, with the angle rather short and wide, the sides rather flat and
inclined inwards at the base, convex toward the end, the edges inflected, the
tip acute; the gap-line straight, but at the base deflected. Nostrils oval, in
the fore part of the short nasal depression.
Head of moderate size, ovate, with the forehead flattened; neck short; body
moderately stout. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus rather stout, compressed,
with seven large anterior scutella, of which the upper are blended, the two
lateral plates meeting at an acute angle behind; toes rather large, compressed;
the first much stronger, the outer a little shorter than the inner; claws large,
arched, compressed, laterally grooved, very acute.
Plumage soft, blended, glossy, the feathers ovate and rounded; those on the
fore and upper parts of the head standing erect, so as to present a velvety
surface. Wings rather long, the second quill longest, but exceeding the third
only by half a twelfth, the first shorter than the fourth; the secondaries
broadly rounded; the second, third, fourth, and fifth primaries cut out on the
outer web toward the end. Tail of twelve broadly rounded feathers, rather long,
slightly rounded, the lateral feathers being two-twelfths shorter than the
Bill and feet black. The general colour of the plumage is glossy
bluish-black, on the head velvet-black; the smaller wing-coverts scarlet, at the
Length to end of tail 9 inches, bill along the ridge (10 1/12)/12; wing
from flexure 5 7/12; tail 4 1/12; tarsus 1 3/12; hind toe (6 3/4)/12, its claw
7/12; second toe 8/12, its claw (4 1/4)/12; third toe 11/12, its claw 5/12;
fourth toe (7 1/2)/12, its claw 4/12.
The female, which is much smaller, has the bill and feet greyish-black; the
upper parts are dark brown, the feathers edged with light brown; the smaller
wing-coverts edged with dull scarlet, the first row with whitish; the larger
coverts, the quills and tail-feathers blackish-brown, edged with
yellowish-brown; the lower parts are dull brown, but the throat, and a broad
streak over the eye are dull orange.