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The Water Ouzel, or Water Crake, p.141.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

IS nearly as big as the common black-bird; he is an English bird, and is found in most counties of the island. He feeds upon fish, yet does not refuse insects when hungry. The head and upper side of the neck are of a kind of umber colour, and sometimes black with a shade of red; the back and coverings of the wings are of a mixture of black and ash colour, the throat and breast perfectly white. 

“Close to the riv’let bank, the Ouzel shy 

Tries first his notes – then, balanc’d on the reed 

Pliantly swinging o’er the busy stream, 

He joins, in concert full, th’ enticing noise 

Of loud cascades, when from the craggy rocks, 

They tumble, spread, and fret along the mead. 


The most peculiar trait in this bird’s character is that he can walk on the pebbly bottom of a shallow stream, in quest of small minnows, as easily as he does on land without being staggered by the rapidity of the current. 

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