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The Curassow

( Originally Published 1851 )



Is a bird which bears much resemblance to the pheasant, though naturalists have agreed in considering it as a distinct genus. It comprehends four or five species, with some varieties, but they are all of them foreign birds, and belong only to the warm climates of America. They are mostly about the size of a small turkey, and are generally distinguished by a crest of feathers, which curl at the ends.

This crest can be raised or depressed at will. The plumage of the Crested Curassow is of a deep black, with a slight gloss of green upon the head, crest, neck, back, wings, and upper part of the tail; and dull white beneath, and on the lower tail-coverts.

There is another species which is called the CASHEW CURASSOW, Or CASHEW BIRD, from a large blue gibbosity, resembling a cashew nut, and as large as a pear, which is situated at the base of the forehead. The whole bird is of a shining bluish color, reflecting purple glosses; except the lower part of the belly, the covert feathers, under the tail, and the tips of the tail feathers, which are white.

In Mexico, Guiana, and Brazil, these birds are very numerous, both in a wild and a tame state. The flesh is excellent. We hope ere long to see this fine bird domesticated in the United States.

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