499 COMMON TROUPIAL
|This handsome bird was first observed at Charleston, South
Carolina, by my son JOHN WOODHOUSE, who shot and figured a male the size
of nature; the bird when first seen was perched on the point of a
lightning-rod close by the house of my friend the Reverend JOHN BACHMAN,
D. D. A few days afterwards others were seen, but although a female was
shot, it fell in the river and was lost. I am informed that since that
period, small groups of four or half a dozen make their appearance in
the same city, and on the neighbouring islands. It is a common species
in almost every portion of South America, where, according to DAUDIN,
they associate in large flocks, and build a large pensile nest. This
bird is very easily tamed, and becomes so gentle as to suffer itself to
be handled by its master. The sharpness of their bill, however, renders
them somewhat disagreeable as pets, for in many instances they have been
known to inflict severe wounds, especially on children.
COMMON TROUPIAL, Icterus vulgaris, Daudin.
10, 12 3/4.
Observed occasionally at and near Charleston, S. C. Common in South America.
Total length 10 inches; alar extent 12 3/4. Bill, a patch of skin around the eye and reaching the edge of the upper mandible, as well as the legs and feet, blue. Eyes bright yellow, inclining to silvery; claws black. The whole head, neck and upper breast, as well as the back, scapulars and primary quills, jet black, with bluish reflections on the head. Rump, upper and lower tail-coverts, as well as the whole under part of the body, and a collar around the neck, as well as a patch on the wings, black; pinion of a bright yellowish-orange colour; tail even and black. The secondary coverts largely tipped, and the quills margined with white, forming a very conspicuous patch of that colour; second quill longest. Wing from flexure 4 1/8 inches; bill along the ridge 1 (1 1/2)/8, along the edge rather more than 1 1/4; tarsus (1 1/2)/8; hind toe 1/2, its claw 1/2; middle toe 1, its claw 3/8. Tarsus and feet, as well as the claws, strong and well adapted to their habits.