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instance, be employed, the female is close to him, and congratulates him
on the removal of every chip which his bill sends through the air. While
he rests, he appears to be speaking to her on the most tender subjects,
and when fatigued, is at once assisted by her. In this manner, by the
alternate exertions of each, the hole is dug and finished. They caress
each other on the branches, climb about and around the tree with apparent
delight, rattle with their bill against the tops of the dead branches,
chase all their cousins the Red-heads, defy the Purple Grakles to enter
their nest, feed plentifully on ants, beetles and larvæ, cackling at
intervals, and ere two weeks have elapsed, the female lays either four
or six eggs, the whiteness and transparency of which are doubtless the
delight of her heart. If to raise a numerous progeny may contribute to
happiness, these Woodpeckers are in this respect happy enough, for they
have two broods each season; and as this might induce you to imagine
Woodpeckers extremely abundant in America, I may at once tell you that
they are so.

Even in confinement, the Golden-winged Woodpecker never suffers its
naturally lively spirit to droop. It feeds well, and by way of amusement,
will continue to destroy as much furniture in a day as can well be mended
by a different kind of workman in two. Therefore, kind reader, do not
any longer believe that Woodpeckers, I mean those of America, are such
stupid, forlorn, dejected and unprovided for beings, as they have hitherto
been represented. In fact, I know not one of the seventeen species found
in our extensive woods, that does not exhibit quite as much mirth and
gaiety as the present bird. They are serviceable birds in many points of
view, and therefore are seldom shot at, unless by idlers, their flesh,
moreover, not being very savoury. They have ample range, and wherever
they alight, there is to be found the food to which they at all times
give decided preference.

The flight of this species is strong and prolonged, being performed
in a straighter manner than that of any other of our Woodpeckers. They
propel themselves by numerous beats of the wings, with short intervals
of sailing, during which they scarcely fall from the horizontal. Their
migrations, although partial, as many remain even in the middle districts
during the severest winters, are performed under night, as is known by
their note and the whistling of their wings, which are heard from the
ground, although by no means so distinctly as when they fly from a tree
or from the earth, when suddenly alarmed. When passing from one tree to
another on wing, they also fly in a straight line, until within a few
yards of the spot on which they intend to alight, when they suddenly
raise themselves a few feet, and fasten themselves to the bark of the
trunk by their claws and tail. If they intend to settle on a branch,
which they as frequently do, they do not previously rise; but in either
case, no sooner has the bird alighted, if it be not pursued or have
suspicions of any object about it, than it immediately nods its head,
and utters its well-known note, "_Flicker_." It easily moves sidewise on
a small branch, keeping itself as erect as other birds usually do; but
with equal ease does it climb by leaps along the trunk of trees or their
branches, descend, and move sidewise or spirally, keeping at all times
its head upwards, and its tail pressed against the bark as a support.

On the ground, where it frequently alights, it hops with great ease.
This, however, it does merely to pick up a beetle, a caterpillar, a grain
of corn dropt by a squirrel from the ear in the fields, or to enable
it to examine the dead roots of trees, or the side of a prostrate log,
from which it procures ants and other small insects. It is also fond of
various fruits and berries. Apples, grapes, persimons and dogwood berries
seem quite agreeable to it, and it does not neglect the young corn of the
farmer's field. Even poke-berries or huckle-berries answer its purpose
at times, and during winter it is a frequenter of the corn-cribs.

In this species, as in a few others, there is a singular arrangement
in the colouring of the feathers of the upper part of the head, which I
conceive it necessary for me to state, that it may enable persons better
qualified than myself to decide as to the reasons of such arrangement.
The young of this species frequently have the whole upper part of the
head tinged with red, which at the approach of winter disappears, when
merely a circular line of that colour is to be observed on the hind
part, becoming of a rich silky vermilion tint. The Hairy, Downy and
Red-cockaded Woodpeckers are subject to the same extraordinary changes,
which, as far as I know, never reappear at any future period of their
lives. I was at first of opinion that this change appeared only on the
head of the male birds, but on dissection I found it equally affecting
both sexes. I am induced to believe, that, in consequence of this, many
young Woodpeckers of different species have been described and figured
as forming distinct species themselves. I have shot dozens of young
Woodpeckers in this peculiar state of plumage, which, on being shewn to
other persons, were thought by them to be of different species from what
the birds actually were. This occurrence is the more worthy of notice,
as it is exhibited on all the species of this genus on the heads of
which, when in full plumage, a very narrow line exists.

Raccoons and Black Snakes are dangerous enemies to this bird. The former
frequently put one of their fore legs into the hole where it has nestled
or retired to rest, and if the hole be not too deep, draw out the eggs
and suck them, and frequently by the same means secure the bird itself.
The Black Snake contents itself with the eggs or young. Several species
of Hawks attack them on the wing, and as the Woodpeckers generally
escape by making for a hole in the nearest tree, it is pleasing to see
the disappointment of the Hawk, when, as it has just been on the point
of seizing the terrified bird, the latter dives, as it were, into the
hole. Should the Woodpecker not know of a hole near enough to afford it
security, it alights on a trunk, and moves round it with such celerity
as frequently to enable it to elude its pursuer.

Their flesh is esteemed good by many of the sportsmen of the Middle
Districts, and is frequently eaten. Some are now and then exposed in
the markets of New York and Philadelphia; but I look upon the flesh as
very disagreeable, it having a strong flavour of ants.

The neck of this species is larger than that of any other with which
I am acquainted, and consequently the skin of this bird is more easily
pulled over the head, which it is difficult to do in the other species,
on account of the slenderness of their neck, and the great size of the

PICUS AURATUS, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 174.—_Lath._ Ind.
Ornith. vol. i. p. 242.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synopsis of Birds of
the United States, p. 44.

GOLD-WINGED WOODPECKER, _Lath._ Synops. vol. ii. p. 597—_Wils._
Americ. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 45. Pl. iii. fig. 1. Male.

Adult Male. Plate XXXVII. Fig. 1, 1, 1.

Bill slightly arched, strong, nearly as long as the head, compressed at
the tip, which is a little abrupt; upper mandible convex on the sides,
with acute, overlapping edges; lower mandible with acute, inflected
edges, the dorsal outline nearly straight, a little convex towards the
end. Nostrils basal, lateral, oval, partly covered by recumbent feathers.
Head of ordinary size. Neck shortish. Body ovate. Feet short, rather
robust; tarsus scutellate before, compressed; two toes before, and two
behind, scutellate above; claws compressed, arched, acute.

Plumage rather compact and imbricated, blended on the head and neck. Wings
longish, the third and fourth quills longest, the second much shorter,
the first very small. Tail of ordinary length, rounded, consisting of
ten broad feathers, worn to an elongated tip by being rubbed against
the bark of trees.

Bill brown above and at the tip, light blue beneath. Iris light
brown. Feet greyish-blue. Upper part of the head and hind neck light
purplish-grey; a transverse band of scarlet on the lower part of the
occiput. Upper parts generally light greenish-brown, spotted with black;
the lower back white, the tail-coverts of the same colour, spotted with
black. Primaries brownish-black, their shafts, as are those of all the
large feathers, orange. Tail brownish-black. Sides of the head and fore
neck light brownish-red tinged with grey. A black streak along each side
of the throat, and a lunated patch of the same across the fore part of
the breast. The rest of the breast reddish-white, spotted with black, as
are the lighter coloured abdomen and under tail-coverts. Under surface
of the wings and tail of a fine rich yellow.

Length 12½ inches, extent of wings 16; bill along the ridge 1⅓, along
the gap 1¾; tarsus 1⅙, middle toe 1¼.

Adult Female. Plate XXXVII. Fig. 2, 2.

The female differs chiefly in wanting the black streaks on the throat,
in having the lunulated spot on the breast smaller, and in being somewhat
duller in the tints of the plumage generally.

Dimensions nearly the same.




This beautiful species is the most common and abundant that visits the
State of Louisiana and those situated on the borders of the Mississippi.
In Kentucky it is much less common, and in the State of Ohio scarcer
still. It is an extremely active and lively bird. It is found in all the
low grounds and damp places near water-courses, and generally among the
tall rank weeds and low bushes growing in rich alluvial soil. Continually
in motion, it is seen hopping in every direction from stalk to stalk,
or from one twig to another, preying upon insects and larvæ, or picking
small berries, seldom, however, pursuing insects on wing. During spring,
its agreeable notes are heard in every quarter. They are emphatic, and
resemble the words _tweedle, tweedle, tweedle_, distinctly repeated.
This little bird is seen at intervals of a few minutes on the skirts of
the tall plants, peeping cunningly to discover whether any intruders may
be near; after which it immediately re-enters the thicket, and repeats
its little ditty.

I never saw this bird fly farther than a few yards at a time. Its flight
is low, and performed in a quick gliding manner, the bird throwing
itself into the nearest bush or thicket of tall grass. It arrives in the
Southern States, from Mexico, about the middle of March, and remains
with us until the middle of September, during which time it rears two
broods. Its nest is small, beautifully constructed, and usually attached
to several stems of rank weeds. The outer parts are formed of the bark
of stalks of the same weeds in a withered state, mixed with a finer kind
and some cottony substances. It is beautifully lined with the cottony
or silky substance that falls from the Cotton-wood tree. The eggs are
from four to six, of a pure white colour, finely sprinkled with bright
red dots.

This species destroys great numbers of spiders, which it frequently
obtains by turning over the withered leaves on the ground. The young
males do not attain the full beauty of their plumage until the first
spring, and resemble the mother during their stay with us the first
season Young and old associate together, and live in great harmony. I
have not seen this species farther eastward than North Carolina.

The branch on which two of these birds are represented, is that of
the tree commonly called the White Cucumber, a species of Magnolia. It
flowers as early in the season as the Dog-wood. The flowers open before
the leaves are expanded, and emit an odour resembling that of a lemon,
but soon becoming disagreeable, as the blossom fades. This tree seldom
grows to the height of thirty feet, and is consequently disregarded
as a timber-tree. I have met with it only in the States of Mississippi
and Louisiana, where it grows on the grounds preferred by the Kentucky
Warbler during its stay in those States.

KENTUCKY WARBLER, SYLVIA FORMOSA, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. iii.
p. 85. Pl. xxv. fig. 3.

SYLVIA FORMOSA, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United
States, p. 34.

Adult Male. Plate XXXVIII. Fig. 1.

Bill of ordinary length, nearly straight, subulato-conical, acute, the
edges acute, the gap line a little deflected at the base. Nostrils basal,
lateral, elliptical, half closed by a membrane. Head and neck of ordinary
size. Body rather full. Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus longer
than the middle toe, covered anteriorly by a few scutella, the uppermost
long; toes scutellate above, the inner free, the hind toe of moderate
size; claws slender, compressed, acute, arched.

Plumage soft, blended, tufty. Wings of ordinary length, acute, the second
quill longest. Tail of ordinary length, slightly forked when closed.

Bill brownish-black above, lighter beneath. Iris hazel. Feet pale
flesh-colour. The general colour of the plumage above is deep
yellowish-green, the crown of the head, and a broad patch under the
eye, including the lore, black. Under parts, and a broad streak over the
eye, bright yellow, tinged with green on the sides, abdomen, and under
tail-coverts. Wings and tail yellowish-green, the inner webs only being
dusky. Some spots of bluish-grey on the occiput.

Length 5½ inches, extent of wings 8; bill along the ridge 5/12, along
the gap 7/12; tarsus 11/12, middle toe ⅚.

Adult Female. Plate XXXVIII. Fig. 2.

The female resembles the male, but wants the black band under the eye,
and has the black of the head less extended backwards. The tints of the
plumage generally are also lighter.

Dimensions nearly the same.

MAGNOLIA AURICULATA, _Wild._ Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 1268. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. vol. ii. p. 482. _Mich._ Arbr. Forest. de l'Amer.
Septentr. vol. iii. p. 94 Pl. 7.—POLYANDRIA POLYGYNIA, _Linn._

This species, which is remarkable for the beauty of its foliage, is
known in America by the names of _White Cucumber Tree_, _Long-leaved
Cucumber Tree_, and _Indian Physic_. The latter name it has obtained from
the circumstance of its bark being used in intermittent fevers. It is
characterized by its rhomboido-oboval acute leaves, which are narrowed
and two-lobed at the base; and its ovate acute petals. The flowers are




Although this smart little bird breeds in the State of Louisiana and
the adjacent districts, it is not there found in so great numbers as in
the Middle States, and farther to the northward. It generally prefers
the depth of the forests during summer, after which it approaches the
plantations, and even resorts to the granaries for corn.

Its flight is short, the bird being seldom seen on the wing long enough
to cross a field of moderate extent. It is performed by repeated flaps
of the wings, accompanied by jerks of the body and tail, and occasions
a rustling noise, as it takes place from one tree to another. It moves
along the branches, searches in the chinks, flies to the end of twigs
and hangs to them by its feet, whilst the bill is engaged in detaching
a beech or hazel nut, an acorn or a chinquapin, upon all of which it
feeds, removing them to a large branch, where, having secured them in a
crevice, it holds them with both feet, and breaks the shell by repeated
blows of its bill. They are to be seen thus employed for many minutes
at a time. They move about in little companies formed of the parents
and their young, eight or ten together, and escorted by the Nuthatch or
the Downy Woodpecker. It is pleasing to listen to the sound produced by
their labour, which in a calm day may be heard at the distance of twenty
or thirty yards. If a nut or an acorn is accidentally dropped, the bird
flies to the ground, picks it up, and again returns to a branch. They
also alight on the ground or on dry leaves, to look for food, after
the trees become bare, and hop about with great nimbleness, going to
the margins of the brooks to drink, and when unable to do so, obtaining
water by stooping from the extremity of a twig hanging over the stream.
In fact, they appear to prefer this latter method, and are also fond
of drinking the drops of rain or dew as they hang at the extremities of
the leaves.

Their notes are rather musical than otherwise, the usual one being loud
and mellow. They do not use the _tee-tee-tee_ of their relative the
Black-capped Titmouse, half so often as the latter does, but emit a
considerable variety of sounds, many of which, if the bird from which
they come does not happen to be known to the listener, are apt to induce
disappointment in him, when on going up he finds it to be very different
from what he expected. These sounds sometimes resemble a whistle, at
another time a loud murmur, and seem as if proceeding from a bird at a
much greater distance.

The crest of this species, which is generally erect, is a great
improvement to its general appearance, the tints of the plumage being,
as you perceive, kind reader, none of the most brilliant. The Crested
Titmouse is of a rather vicious disposition, which sometimes prompts it
to attack smaller birds, and destroy them by thumping their heads with
its bill until it breaks the skull.

This species sometimes forms a nest by digging a hole for the purpose
in the hardest wood, with great industry and perseverance, although it
is more frequently contented with the hole of the Downy Woodpecker, or
some other small bird of that genus. It fills the hole with every kind
of warm materials, after which the female deposits from six to eight
eggs, of a pure white, with a few red spots at the larger end. The eggs
are laid about the beginning of April in the Southern States, and nearly
a month later in the Middle Districts. As soon as the young are able to
leave the nest, they are seen following the parent birds, and continue
with them until the next spring.

I have met with this species in all parts of the United States which
I have visited; and as my rambles have been extended over a very large
portion of that country, I am surprised that I have not met with more
than two species of Titmice, although I am of opinion that several others
will yet be discovered.

The species of Pine, on a twig of which you see a pair these birds, is
the _White Pine_ (_Pinus Strobus_), a tree of great beauty, of which
individuals have been observed of the enormous height of 180 feet, with
a diameter at the base of from six to eight feet. The trunk is branchless
for two-thirds of its height, and affords the most valuable wood perhaps
of any tree in the United States.

PARUS BICOLOR, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 544.—_Lath._ Ind.
Ornith. vol. ii. p. 567.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of
the United States, p. 100.

CRESTED TITMOUSE, PARUS BICOLOR, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. i.
p. 137. Pl. 8. fig. 5.

TOUPET TITMOUSE, _Lath._ Synops. vol. iv. p. 544.

Adult Male. Plate XXXIX. Fig 1.

Bill short, straight, rather robust, compressed, acute; both mandibles,
with the dorsal outline arched, the upper slightly declinate at the tip.
Nostrils basal, roundish, concealed by the recumbent feathers. Head large.
Neck and body robust. Feet of ordinary length, rather robust; tarsus
compressed, anteriorly scutellate, a little longer than the middle toe;
outer toe slightly united at the base, hind one much stronger; claws
rather large, much compressed, arched, acute.

Plumage blended, tufty; feathers of the upper part of the head elongated
into a crest. Wings of moderate length, the second, third, and fourth
quills nearly equal and longest. Tail long, even, of ten rather narrow,
rounded feathers.

Bill black. Iris dark brown. Feet lead-colour. The general colour of
the upper parts is a dull leaden blue; the forehead black; sides of the
head lighter, and tinged with brown. Under parts greyish-white, sides
tinged with yellowish-brown.

Length 6½ inches, extent of wings 9; bill along the ridge ⅓, along the
gap ½; tarsus 11/12, middle toe ¾.

Adult Female. Plate XXXIX. Fig. 2.

The female hardly differs from the male in external appearance, being
equally crested, and having the same tints.


PINUS STROBUS, _Willd._ Sp. Plant. vol. iv. p. 501. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. vol. ii. p. 644. _Mich._ Arb. Forest. de l'Amer.
Sept. vol. i. p. 104. Pl. x.—MONŒCIA MONADELPHIA, _Linn._

This species, which is a true Pine, has the leaves very slender, five
together, with very short sheaths, and is further characterized by its
cylindrical, pendulous cones, which are longer than the leaves, and have
their scales lax. It grows in rich soil, in all parts of the United States
from Canada to Virginia, and affords the best timber for masts, as well
as for other purposes. In Britain, where it has long been planted, it
is generally known by the name of _Weymouth_ Pine, or Lord Weymouth's
Pine, from the name of the nobleman who introduced it.




This is one of the most lively, as well as one of the handsomest, of
our Fly-catchers, and ornaments our woods during spring and summer, when
it cannot fail to attract the attention of any person who may visit the
interior of the shady forests. It is to be met with over the whole of the
United States, where it arrives, according to the different localities,
between the beginning of March and the 1st of May. It takes its departure,
on its way southward, late in September, and in the beginning of October.

It keeps in perpetual motion, hunting along the branches sidewise, jumping
to either side in search of insects and larvæ, opening its beautiful
tail at every movement which it makes, then closing it, and flirting it
from side to side, just allowing the transparent beauty of the feathers
to be seen for a moment. The wings are observed gently drooping during
these motions, and its pleasing notes, which resemble the sounds of
_Tetee-whee, Tetee-whee_, are then emitted. Should it observe an insect
on the wing, it immediately flies in pursuit of it, either mounts into
the air in its wake, or comes towards the ground spirally and in many
zig-zags. The insect secured, the lovely Redstart reascends, perches,
and sings a different note, equally clear, and which may be expressed by
the syllables _wizz, wizz, wizz_. While following insects on the wing,
it keeps its bill constantly open, snapping as if it procured several of
them on the same excursion. It is frequently observed balancing itself
in the air, opposite the extremity of a bunch of leaves, and darting
into the midst of them after the insects there concealed.

When one approaches the nest of this species, the male exhibits the
greatest anxiety respecting its safety, passes and repasses, fluttering
and snapping its bill within a few feet, as if determined to repel the
intruder. They now and then alight on the ground, to secure an insect,
but this only for a moment. They are more frequently seen climbing along
the trunks and large branches of trees for an instant, and then shifting
to a branch, being, as I have said, in perpetual motion. It is also fond
of giving chase to various birds, snapping at them without any effect,
as if solely for the purpose of keeping up the natural liveliness of
its disposition.

The young males of this species do not possess the brilliancy and
richness of plumage which the old birds display, until the second year,
the first being spent in the garb worn by the females; but, towards the
second autumn, appear mottled with pure black and vermilion on their
sides. Notwithstanding their want of full plumage, they breed and sing
the first spring like the old males.

I have looked for several minutes at a time on the ineffectual attacks
which this bird makes on wasps while busily occupied about their own
nests. The bird approaches and snaps at them, but in vain; for the wasp
elevating its abdomen, protrudes its sting, which prevents its being
seized. The male bird is represented in the plate in this posture.

Its nest is generally made on a low bush or sapling, and has the
appearance of hanging to the twigs. It is slight, and is composed of
lichens and dried fibres of rank weeds or grape vines, nicely lined with

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