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that its struggles took it down the bank instead of back into the nest.

"After this the Cuckoo stood a minute or two, feeling back with its wings, as if to make sure that the Pipit was fairly overboard, and then subsided into the bottom of the nest.

"As it was getting late, and the Cuckoo did not immediately set to work on the other nestling, I replaced the ejected one and went home. On returning next day both nestlings were found dead and cold, out of the nest. I replaced one of them, but the Cuckoo made no effort to get under and eject it, but settled itself contentedly on the top of it. All this I find accords accurately with Jenner's description of what he saw. But what struck me most was this: The Cuckoo was perfectly naked, without a vestige of a feather, or even a hint of future feathers; its eyes were not yet opened, and its neck seemed too weak to support the weight of its head. The Pipits had welldeveloped quills on the wings and back, and had bright eyes, partially open; yet they seemed quite helpless under the manipulations of the Cuckoo, which looked a much less developed creature. The Cuckoo's legs, however, seemed very muscular; and it appeared to feel about with its wings, which were absolutely featherless, as with hands, the 'spurious wing' (unusually large in proportion), looking like a spread-out thumb. The most singular thing of all was the direct purpose with which the blind little monster made for the open side of the nest, the only part where it could throw its burthen down the bank."

Notwithstanding the objections put forward by sceptics, it is impossible, after reading the evidence of the above-named independent observers, to doubt that the young Cuckoo is capable of doing all that has been attributed to it in the way of ejectment. But it is still very desirable that some competent anatomist should examine and report upon the arrangement and development of the nerves and muscles, which must differ very considerably from those which are to be found at the same age in the young of other insessorial birds.

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THE WRYNECK.

{Jynx torquilla.)

OLLOWING closely in the wake of the Cuckoo, if not occasionally preceding it, comes the Wryneck, or Cuckoo's-mate, as it is popularly called from the habit referred to. In some respects it is a very remarkable bird, for not only is its appearance quite unlike that of any other of our summer migrants, but its actions and habits are also totally different In site no larger than a Skylark, it at once attracts

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attention by the beauty of its plumage which, although of sombre hue, is prettily variegated with greys and browns of different shades, here and there relieved with black. The under parts, of a soft grey inclining to yellow, are transversely bound with delicate wavy lines. Although for the purpose of comparison, this species may be likened in point of size to the familiar Lark, its structure and habits fit it for a very different mode of life. It is a scansorial or climbing bird, like the Woodpeckers, with toes directed two in front and two behind; hence the term yoke-footed, which has been applied to the particular group of birds in which it is included. The genus to which this bird belongs has generally been associated with the genus Picus, to which it undoubtedly bears some affinity. The extensibility of the tongue is the chief character which they have in common, but in the one the extremity is barbed, in the other it is smooth. The fourth toe in the Woodpecker is directed somewhat outwards and backwards, whereas in the Wryneck its natural position is directly backwards, parallel to the first. The bill of the latter more nearly resembles that of Picus than that of Cuculus, although it is not wedge-shaped at the point. On the other hand the tail has no resemblance to that of the Woodpecker. The genus Jynx, therefore, seems to stand between these two genera and to form as it were their connecting link.

The colour of the plumage so closely assimilates to that of the bark and boughs of trees, that it is often difficult to detect the bird when in close proximity to such surroundings. But although the Wryneck may be considered as strictly a woodland bird, adapted by its peculiar structure to climbing the boles of trees and probing the interstices of the bark for lurking insects, it nevertheless finds a considerable portion of its food on the ground, and it especially affects the neighbourhood of ant-hills, where it preys largely on those insects and their larvae. In this employment its remarkable tongue, like that of the Woodpecker's, is of great

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