B0B-0-LINK, or BOBLINE, REED Bran, or RICE BIRD, DOIA011.11T a bird nearly allied to buntings and sparrows, but of a genus characterized by stiff-pointed tail feathers. It is rather larger than a yellow-hammer; and the male in his summer or nup tial plumage exhibits a line contrast of colors, black, yellow, and white. The female differs greatly from the male in colors of plumage, yellowish-brown chiefly prevailing; and in the latter part of summer, the males essume the comparatively dull hues of the females. The B. is a bird of passage, spending the winter in the West Indies. In sum mer it is found as far north as the banks of the Saskatchewan. in lat. 54', but is most plentiful in the Atlantic states and other eastern parts of America, where it is to be seen in every meadow and cornfield. It renders good service by the destruction of insects and their lame; but the immense flocks which congregate on their return southwards in autumn, commit great ravages in the rice-plantations of Carolina. At this season,
these birds become extremely fat, and are killed in great numbers for the table. Their flesh is delicate. and resembles that of the ortolan.
The B. generally makes its nest in a grassy meadow, an artless structure of a few dry stalks mid leaves, with a lining of finer grass. It displays the same instinct with many other birds, of seeking to lead intruders away from its nest, by pretending great anxiety about sonic other part of the field. During the breeding-season, the males are very musical, singing mostly in the air, in which they seem to rise and fall in successive jerks. Their song 'is very pleasing. and is "emitted with a volubility bordering on the bur lesque." On account of their beauty and powers of song, many are caged, and sold in the New York•and other markets.