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Catesby Volume I: The Paradise Parrot of Cuba

Mark Catesby's
Description of The Paradise Parrot of Cuba


Is somewhat less than the common African grey Parrot: the bill white, the eyes red: the upper-part of the head, neck, back and wings, of a bright yellow except the quill-feathers of the wing, which are white: the neck and breast scarlet; below which is a wide space of yellow; the remainder of the under-part of the body scarlet; half way of the under part of the tail next the rump red, the rest yellow. All the yellow, particularly the back and rump, have the ends of the feathers tinged with red: the feet and claws white. The figure of this Bird has the disadvantage of all the rest, it being painted only from the Case: for as every different Bird have gestures peculiar to them, it is requisite they should be drawn from the living Birds, otherwise it is impracticable to give them their natural air; which method, except in a few Birds, has been practis'd through the whole collection. It was shot by an Indian, on the island Cuba; and being only disabled from flying, he carried it to the governor of the Havana, who presented it to a gentlewoman of Carolina, with whom it lived some years, much admir'd for its uncommonness and beauty.

Frutex Lauri folio pendulo, fructu tricocco, femine nigro splendente


This tree usually grows from sixteen to twenty foot high, with a small trunk, and slender branches; the leaves shaped not unlike those of the Bay-tree; three black seeds are contained in every capsula: the bark of a russet colour, and smooth: the grain of a fine red; but being exposed a little time to the air, fades and loses much of its lustre. They grow plentifully on the rocks in most of the Bahama Islands.