The Tit-Mouse, pp.179-180.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   IS a small bird which presents us with a curious anomality; namely, that his tongue is split at the end in four distinct filaments. The head is curiously coloured; the beak is generally black, with strong hairs at its base. The head and throat are of the same colour, the belly of a yellowish green; the back and coverts of the wings green, and the rump inclining to blue; the tail is black but touched with blue at its exterior edges. This bird and all the species related to him, live on insects as well as on seeds. When kept in a cage it is really amusing to see with what quickness the Tit-Mouse darts at the fly or moth which comes imprudently within the circumference of his reach; if this kind of food is deficient, as it generally happens in winter, he then feeds upon several kinds of seed, and particularly that of the sun-flower, which he dexterously holds upright between his claws and strikes powerfully with his sharp little bill, till the black covering splits, and yields its white contents to the hammering bird. They build their nest with great ingenuity and the female lays, sometimes, upwards of twenty eggs. 

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