164. RUFOUS WARBLER.
Aedon galactodes, (Temm.) Man. d’Orn. i. p. 182 (1820) ; (Gould), B. of E. ii. pl. 112 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 53 ; Newton, i. p. 355 ; Dresser, ii. p. 547, pl. 85, fig. 1 ; (Seebohm), Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 34 ; Saunders, p. 73 ; Lilford iii. p. 30, pl. 15.
Rouxinol do matto, Portug. ; Alzacola, Span. ; Rusignuolo africano, Ital.
Male ad (Spain). Upper parts dull brownish rufous, the rump and tipper tail-coverts nearly fox-red ; quills dark brown margined with rufous, the inner ones tipped with dull white, the wing-coverts margined with pale sandy brown ; tail rounded, red, the central feathers foxy red throughout, the rest tipped with white, which broadens towards the outside ones, and with a sub-apical black patch ; eye-stripe buffy white ; lores and a patch behind the eye blackish brown ; under parts greyish white, sides of neck and flanks washed with pale brown ; bill dull brown, base of lower mandible yellowish ; legs pale brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.72, wing 3.5, tail 2.12 tarsus 1.0 inch ; first primary slightly shorter than the coverts, second 0.2 shorter than the 3rd, third, fourth, and fifth nearly equal and longest. The female and young do not differ from the male except that the latter have the quills and wing-coverts margined with pale fulvous.
Hab. Spain, Portugal, Palestine, and North Africa as far as Abyssinia where it is resident ; winters in Africa as far south as the Gold Coast ; has occurred in Italy and twice in Great Britain.
Frequents dry, arid, localities, vineyards, reed thickets, gardens, and prefers shady and dense underwood, and is usually seen on the ground or not far above it. and is as a rule shy. When alighting on a twig it spreads its tail showing its peculiar markings, and on the ground it runs briskly. Its song is soft, low, and mellifluous, and is usually uttered from the top of a bush or low tree. It feeds on insects which it generally obtains on the ground. Its nest is placed in the fork or branch of a low tree or bush from one to six feet from the ground, without any attempt at concealment, and it has been found on the ground amongst the roots of a tree. It is constructed of tamarisk-shoots, grass, rootlets, &c., lined with wool, hair, or feathers, and a small piece of serpent’s skin is usually placed at the bottom of the cup. The eggs, usually 4 in number, are delicate French white, sometimes with a faint blue green tinge, marked with pale underlying greyish brown shell-markings, and small dark brown surface-spots and average in size about 0.88 by 0.65. They closely resemble those of Anthus campestris.
164. Aedon galactodes
164. RUFOUS WARBLER.