It is a bluish-black powder which at high temperatures decomposes into the metal, dioxide and oxygen.
Its bright red beak, the bare bluish skin surrounding its large grey eyes, and the tufts of elongated feathers springing vertically from its lores, give it a pleasing and animated expression; but its plumage generally is of an inconspicuous ochreous grey above and dull white beneath, - the feathers of the upper parts, which on the neck and throat are long and loose, being barred by fine zigzag markings of dark brown, while those of the lower parts are more or less striped.
The general colour of the old bulls is bluish grey, but younger bulls and cows are browner.
The aqueous solution is turned bluish black by ferrous sulphate containing a ferric salt.
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