Boobrie

Unknown water Bird of Scotland, often confused with the WAter Horse.

Physical description: Like the Common loon (Gavia immer). White streak on neck and breast. Eaglelike bill is 18 inches or longer. Neck is nearly 3 feet long. Short, black legs. Webbed, clawed feet.

Behavior: Call is like the roar of an angry bull. Said to feed on lambs and otters.

Distribution: Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Possible explanations:

(1) Unknown species of Loon (Family Gaviidae).

(2) The Yellow-billed loon (Gavia adamsii) is an occasional visitant to Scotland. It has a striking white bill, but it is not at all eaglelike. First-winter birds have much paler and whiter coloration about the neck than other loons.

Sources: John Fr ancis Campbell, Popular Tales ofthe West Highlands (Edinbur gh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1860-1862), vol. 4, p. 308; Kathar tne M. Briggs, A Dictionary of Fairies (London: Allen Lane, 1976), p. 34.

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