Forehead, crown, and throat, white; a large patch encircling the eyes, and another on the breast, chestnut-red.
Entire length two feet three inches: length of the bill two inches. Lath.
(Male). Forehead, crown, and throat, white; this last somewhat spotted with chestnut: on the sides of the head, surrounding the eyes, a large patch of chestnut-red: upper part of the neck pale chestnut, becoming deeper at bottom where it unites with the back: this last, and scapulars, brownish red, with numerous transverse undulating dusky lines: wing-coverts white; the greater ones barred with black near their tips: primary quills black, the first five entirely so, the rest edged with glossy green: secondaries tinged with reddish bay, and edged with chestnut: lower back, rump and tail, black: middle of the belly white; all the rest of the under parts pale rufous ash, with narrow undulating dusky lines; on the breast a large deep chestnut-coloured spot: bill red, the tip black: eyelids red: irides yellowish: legs red. (Female). "Chestnut patch round the eye smaller: chin white: the chestnut patch on the breast smaller, if not wholly wanting: lesser wing-coverts white; the others pale ash-colour, with darker edges; the lower order fringed with white, forming a bar on the wing: scapulars and secondary quills much inclined to chestnut: the rest as in the male." Lath. (Egg). Dull white, tinged with buff: long. diam. two inches nine lines; trans, diam. two inches.
A native of Egypt, and other parts of Africa. Has been introduced into this country, and become partly naturalized in some places. A small flock is recorded to have visited the banks of the Tweed, at Carham, in February 183*2, and two to have been killed but according to the conjectures of Mr Selby, they had probably made their escape from Gosforth, the seat of the Earl of Wemyss, upon the Firth of Forth, where great numbers of these birds are kept in the artificial pieces of water.
(3. Plectropterus, Leach).