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PARTRIDGE PLATE FROM STUDERS BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA
This is an original old colored plate from the famous book on North American birds by Jacob Henry Studer (1840-1904). BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA, New York: Published under the auspices of the Natural Science Association of America, 1903. There were over 100 full-color plates in the imperial quarto volume of which this is PLATE XXVII – The American Quail or Partridge.
This beautiful chromolithographed print measures 11 5/8” x about 14 ˝”. The left side is somewhat uneven where it was detached from the volume, but otherwise the print is in quite good condition as shown in scan. Ready for matting, framing & display.
Juat a PART of the information that appeared in Studer’s book with this plate is as follows:
American Quail or Partridge. (Ortyx Virginianus.)
The Quail inhabits this continent as far as Nova Scotia. Its limit on the east is the Atlantic ocean, on the south the Gulf of Mexico, and on the west the Rocky Mountains. It is also found on some of the islands of the Gulf, in the warmer parts of North America. The Quail is a regular resident, but in the northern or colder portions it performs regular annual excursions toward the South on the approach of severe frosts, and these excursions sometimes assume the character of migrations. This explains why in some places Quails are sometimes found in incredibly great numbers where they have been seldom seen before.
The Quail prefers open fields, interspersed with brushwood or grass edges, and similar places, for protection. They are occasionally found in the heart of a dense forest. During the night they retire to a sheltered place on some grassy plain, or to the weedy borders of the woods, where they cluster close together. They are also found roosting on trees during the night, but this appears to be the case only exceptionally. During the day they perch on
trees, and very often, when alarmed or chased by dogs, they fly to the trees and alight on the middle branches. On such occasions they may be seen to walk and run on the branches with perfect ease. They run on the ground with great dexterity and considerable elegance. Their flight is steady and rather swift, accompanied, especially at the start, with a loud whirring sound-perhaps occasioned by the shortness, concavity, and rapid motions of the wings
when frightened. When flying off without being frightened, this whirring sound is only just perceptible. The voice of this bird consists of two sounds, resembling the words "Bob White," or " Bob, Bob White," sometimes uttered with an introductory bird note, and very often repeated. The expression of tenderness is a soft twittering sound; when frightened, it is a lamentable whistling. Quails live together in coveys or flocks from summer through
the winter; but as soon as the spring opens the coveys separate, and each male chases and wins his female, but often only after hard fighting. They now begin to look out for a suitable habitation, and this makes the scene at that time very lively, for the excitement of the male is not only expressed by continuous cries, but by fighting with other males. Toward evening they may be seen on the fences, usually on the top of the posts or poles, trying to make themselves conspicuous, and, by their loud calling, to induce other males to approach them for a fight. After the fight they return to their high seats. Later, but seldom before the first of May, the female begins to build the nest. The place for the nest is chosen with great caution, and is usually hollowed out in a tussock of grass or weeds. It is curiously formed of grass-stalks and leaves, and is usually deep enough to admit the entire body of the sitting bird. As the surrounding grass grows more and more, it covers and shields the nest from intrusion, forming sometimes on that side, where the female passes in and out, a regular archway.
The eggs are roundish, the shells being thin and of a clear white color, though sometimes a little dotted with clay-colored or yellowish specks. The number of eggs varies, being sometimes twelve, sometimes twenty, and even more. Both male and female sit alternately; but, besides, the male sits as a watch. After about twenty-three days the handsome young birds break the shell and make their appearance. They are covered with a close down of
a rufous color, streaked above longitudinally with buff and dark brown. The lower part, with the exception of the throat, which is yellowish, is of a grayish color. The young are able to rut about as soon as they are out of the shell, but usually remain in the nest for some time…
Hunting the Quail affords much amusement to our sportsmen, but requires no little skill. When these birds can not escape by running away, they squat, and in case of extreme danger one will spring up here and another yonder at the same time, and usually close before the feet of the sportsman, who must be a good marksman in order 'to bring down one or two of these quickly flying birds. The hunting becomes more difficult after the Quails have reached the woods, as they then take to the trees, where no dog can find them by the scent, and the disappointed hunter can seldom see one of them, but only hear now and then their loud whir when they fly off in the opposite direction. If the sportsman, however, understands how to imitate their call, he may be more successful, as they invariably answer the call.
The male may be considered a beautiful bird, although the coloring of his plumage is not gay. All the feathers of the upper part are reddish brown, spotted and dotted with black, and banded and seamed with a yellowish hue. Those of the lower or under side are yellowish white, streaked longitudinally with reddish brown penciled with black. A white band, beginning on the front, runs over the eye toward the hind part of the neck. The throat is
snowy white and circled with a band of black, which begins before the eye, near the corner of the mouth. The white line over the eye is also banded with black, while the sides of the neck are beautifully marked with black, white, and red-brown spots. The predominant color of the upper wing-coverts are reddish brown; primaries are dark brown, their outer vane having bluish seams. The secondaries are irregularly banded with saffron; the tail feathers are sprinkled with grayish blue, with the exception of the two middle ones, which are yellowish gray sprinkled with black, and the feathers of the breast have a kind of vinaceous gloss. The eye is hazel, the bill -rown, and the legs grayish. The female is distinguished from the male by a duller coloring of the plumage, especially by the color of the throat, which, as well as the line over the eye, is, in her, of a loam-yellow color. The young of the first year resemble the female in color and markings, but can be easily distinguished by having their colors or markings more or less indistinct. The wing from its bend to its tip is four and a half inches,
and the tail two and a half inches long.
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VA residents add 5% sales tax to selling price.
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