Top of the head and occiput deep black (male), or reddish brown (female); rest of the upper plumage greenish ash.
S. Atricapilla, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. I. p. 201. Black-cap, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 209. pl. 46. f. 5. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 249.
Entire length five inches eight lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) four lines and a half, (from the gape) seven lines and a half; of the tarsus nine lines and a half; of the tail two inches four lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing three inches: breadth, wings extended, eight inches six lines.
(Male). Forehead, crown, and occiput, deep black: rest of the upper parts cinereous, with a slight tinge of olive-green: neck and breast grayish ash; belly and vent grayish white: bill and feet dusky. (Female). Crown of the head reddish brown; rest of the plumage resembling that of the male but rather darker. (Egg). Pale greenish white, mottled with light brown and ash-colour, with a few spots and streaks of dark brown: long. diam. nine lines; trans, diam. seven lines.
A common and widely dispersed species, visiting this country about the same time as the Nightingale. Song melodious, and rather powerful, heard till the middle, or occasionally the end of July. Is partial to orchards and gardens. Nest placed in a low bush; loosely put together; constructed of bents and dried stalks, patched on the outside with threads and cobwebs, and lined with fibrous roots and a few long hairs. Eggs five in number, on which the male sits occasionally, as well as the female.