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  ― 256 ―

Superb Warblers

MOTACILLA SUPERBA

Motacilla nigra, remigibus fuscis, abdomine albo, fronte genisque caeruleis.

Black Warbler, with the long feathers of the wings brown; the belly white; the forehead and cheeks blue.

This beautiful species is generally found in the state described in the specific character; but it appears to be subject to great variety, two of which are exhibited; the lower and largest specimen having not only more blue on the head than usual, but also a patch of brilliant blue on each side of the back and a mark of reddish-brown or orange near the shoulders.

The upper specimen is considerably less than that beneath, and has still more blue upon the head; the beak and legs smaller in proportion, darker in colour, and the latter almost black. The head is crowned with a small crest of bright azure; the cheeks and upper part of the back and wings are of the same colour; the lower parts of each brown. The outer feathers of the wing whitish, near the shoulder marked with brown. The head, neck, and breast deep black; abdomen white, faintly tinged with dusky. Tail black, highly cuneated. In this bird the blue is most


  ― 187 ―
lucid, composed of short, stiff feathers, resembling fish-scales, with shining surfaces; but it has not the beautiful scapulary of prismatic violet-colour found in the other. Legs, feet, and claws black, and extremely slender.

Colour plate facing page 256 of 'Superb Warblers'



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