[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS of the hawk kind, but of an ignoble class. He is easily distinguished from any other birds of prey by his forked tail, and the slow and circular eddies he describes in the air, whenever he spies, from the regions of the clouds, a young duck or a chicken, strayed too far from the brood, which, pouncing with the rapidity of a dart, he seizes in his talons, and carries up to destroy without mercy. He is bigger than the common buzzard; the head and back are of a pale ash-colour, varied with longitudinal lines across the shafts of the feathers; the neck is reddish; the lesser rows of the wing-feathers are party-coloured, of black, red, and white; the feathers covering the inside of the wings are red, with black spots in the middle. The eyes are great, the legs and feet yellow, the talons black.