[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS bigger than the plover, and also called the Water-Hen. The breast is of a lead colour, and the belly inclining to grey or ash colour; the back all over blackish. As she swims or walks she often flirts up her tail. They feed upon watry grass and roots, and upon the small insects which adhere to them; they grow fat and their flesh is esteemed for its taste next to that of the teal; yet it is seldom that you can deprive it entirely of its fishy taste. They build their nests upon low trees and shrubs by the water side, breeding twice or thrice in the course of a summer; the eggs are white with a tincture of green, dashed with brown spots. This bird must not be mistaken for the moor-game, which is described in another part of this work.
There are very few countries in the world where these birds are not to be found. They generally prefer the cold mountainous regions in summer, and lower and warmer situations during winter.