Upper parts spotted with brown and white; beneath white, with transverse brown bars: quills spotted with white; tail marked with distant, transverse, narrow, white bars.
Entire length fourteen inches two or three lines: length of the tail six inches six lines. Temm.
Forehead dotted with white and brown; a black band arises behind the eyes, surrounds the orifice of the ears, and terminates on the sides of the neck: upper parts marked with brown and white spots of various forms; edge of the wing with similar white spots upon a brown ground: throat whitish; the rest of the under parts white, with transverse streaks of cinereous brown: a large spot of dusky brown at the insertion of the wings: tail-feathers cinereous brown, with distant zigzag streaks forming narrow transverse bands: bill yellow, varied with black spots according to age: irides pale yellow: feet feathered to the claws. The female differs only in being somewhat larger, and in having the colours less pure. Temm.
An individual of this species, which inhabits the Arctic Regions, is recorded by Mr. Thompson, in a recent communication to the Zoological Society*, to have been taken on board a collier, a few miles off the coast of Cornwall, in March, 1830, being at the time in so exhausted a state as to allow itself to be captured by the hand. According to Temminck, the species appears occasionally as a bird of passage in Germany, and more rarely in France, but never in the southern provinces. Said to feed principally on mice and insects. Builds in trees, and lays two white eggs.
* Proceed, of Zool. Soc. June 9,1835.