Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Afringilline bird of North America, belonging to the genus Passerella: so called from the rusty-reddish or foxy color of the common species. The common species, P. iliaca, is found throughout eastern parts of North America. It is one of the largest and handsomest of the sparrows, 6¾ inches long and 11 in extent of wings; it is reddish above, more or less obscured with gray, white below, blotched and streaked with reddish, and has two whitish wing-bands and a yellowish lower mandible. It is fine songster. It breeds in British America, is migratory, and winters in the Middle States and southward. It nests indifferently in bushes or on the ground, and lays greenish-white eggs thickly speckled with rusty brown. Several varieties of the fox-sparrow inhabit western parts of the continent, all of them less foxy in color than the typical P. iliaca. Also called
“Some of these songsters, like the fox-sparrow, sojourned a few weeks, favoring all listeners with their sweet and simple melodies; but the chief musician of the American forests, the hermit thrush, passed silently, and would not deign to utter a note of his unrivalled minstrelsy until he had reached his remote haunts at the North.”
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