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Apicius, that very deepest whirlpool of all our epicures, has informed us that the tongue of the phœnicopterus1 is of the most exquisite flavour. The attagen,2 also, of Ionia is a famous bird; but although it has a voice at other times, it is mute in captivity. It was formerly3 reckoned among the rare birds, but at the present day it is found in Gallia, Spain, and in the Alps even; which is also the case with the phalacrocorax,4 a bird peculiar to the Balearic Isles, as the pyrrhocorax,5 a black bird with a yellow bill, is to the Alps, and the lagopus,6 which is esteemed for its excellent flavour. This last bird derives its name from its feet, which are covered, as it were, with the fur of a hare, the rest of the body being white, and the size of a pigeon. It is not an easy matter to taste it out of its native country, as it never becomes domesticated, and when dead it quickly spoils.

There is another7 bird also, which has the same name, and only differs from the quail in size; it is of a saffron colour, and is most delicate eating. Egnatius Calvinus, who was prefect there, pretends that he has seen8 in the Alps the ibis also, a bird that is peculiar to Egypt.

1 Literally, the "red-wing." The modem flamingo.

2 Buffon thinks that this is the grouse of the English, the Tetrao Scoti- cus of the naturalists; but Cuvier is of opinion that it is either the common wood-cock, the Tetrao bonasia of Linnæus, or else the wood-cock with pointed tail, of the south of Europe, the Tetrao alchata of Linnæus, most probably the latter, as the male has black and blue spots on the back; a fact which may explain the joke in the "Birds" of Aristophanes, where a run-away slave who has been marked with stripes, is called an attagen. By some it is called the "red-headed hazel-hen."

3 In allusion, perhaps, to the words of Horace, Epod. ii. 54. Non attagen Ionicus
Jucundior, quam lecta de pinguissimis
Oliva ramis arborum.

4 Literally, the "bald crow." Pliny, B. xi. c. 47, says that it is an aquatic bird: and naturalists generally identify it with the cormorant, the Pelecanus carbo of Linnæus.

5 Literally, the red crow, the chocard of the Alps, the Corvus pyrrhocorax of Linnæus.

6 The "hare's foot." Identical with the snow partridge, the Tetrao lagopus of Linnæus; it is white in winter.

7 The same bird, Cuvier says, as seen in summer, being then of a saffron colour, with blackish spots.

8 Cuvier remarks, that the green courlis, the Scolopax falcinellus of Linnus, which is not imrobably the real ibis of the ancients, is by no means uncommon in Italy.

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