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Shattuck's Bunting

Shattuck's Bunting

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[Clay-colored Sparrow.]

[Spizella pallida.]


This handsome little species is found quite abundant throughout the country bordering on the Upper Missouri. It inhabits with particular partiality the small vallies found here and there along the numerous ravines running from the interior, and between such hills as I have already mentioned. Its usual demeanour resembles much that of the Chipping Bunting, Emberiza socialis of WILSON, and like it, it spends much of its time in singing its monotonous ditties; whilst its mate is engaged in the pleasing task of incubation. When approached it will dive and conceal itself either amid the low bushes around, or will seek a large cluster or patch of wild roses, so abundant in that section of country, and the fragrance of which will reach the olfactory nerve of the traveller or gunner for many paces.

The nest of the Shattuck Bunting is usually placed on a small horizontal branch, seven or eight feet from the ground; and I believe is occasionally placed in the broken and hollow branches of trees. The eggs, four or five in number, are blue, spotted with reddish-brown toward the large end, and placed in a nest so slightly formed of slender grasses, circularly lined with horse or cattle hair, as to resemble as much as possible the nest of the species to which it is allied.

I have great pleasure in naming this species after my worthy young friend GEORGE C. SHATTUCK, Esq., M. D., of Boston, one of the amiable gentlemen who accompanied me on my voyage to the coast of Labrador.

SHATTUCK'S BUNTING, Emberiza Shattuckii, Aud.

5 9/16, 8 1/16.

Abundant throughout the country bordering the Upper Missouri.

In the male, the bill is cinnamon colour, darker towards the extremities, the lower mandible lighter. A medial line and a collar passing back of the head and running behind the cheeks, light bluish-grey; a line over the eyes, another running from the lower mandible and the throat, white. Cheeks, rest of the head, and upper parts of the back, dull yellowish-brown streaked with brownish-black. Rump greyish-brown without streaks; two bands of pale yellowish on the wings. The second primary longest. Wings brownish, edged with whitish or pale dull yellow. Tail dull brown, the feathers edged with paler. Sides dull yellowish-brown, the middle of the lower parts much lighter. A small streak of blackish runs from the lower corner of the inferior mandible, legs and feet cinnamon colour.

From point of bill to end of tail 5 9/16, inches; alar extent 8 1/16. Wing from flexure 2 7/16; tail 2 3/8; tarsus nearly 5/8. Eye brown.

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