Ground Cuckoo

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“Geococcyx californianus. Ground Cuckoo. Chaparral Cock. Road Runner. Snake Killer. Paisano. Most of the feathers of the head and neck bristle-tipped; a naked area around eye; crown crested; plumage course. Above, lustrous bronzy or coppery-green, changing to dark steel-blue on the head and neck, to purplish-violet on the middle tail-feathers; everywhere except on rump conspicuously streaked with white, mixed with tawny on the head, neck, and wings - this white and buff streaking consisting of the edges of the feathers, which are frayed out, fringe-like, producing a peculiar effect. Breast, throat and sides of neck mixed tawny-white and black; other under parts dull soiled whitish. Primaries white, tipped and with oblique white space on outer webs. Lateral tail-feathers steel-blue with green violet reflections, their outer webs fringed part way with white, their tips broadly white. Lower back and rump, where covered by the folded wings, dark colored and unmarked; under surface of wings sooty-brown. Bare space around eye bluish and orange. Bill dark horn-color; feet the same, the larger scales yellowish.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: C


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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