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death of a cherished child. Then how pleasing is it, on your leaving the
spot, to see the returning hope of the parents, when, after examining
the nest, they find their nurslings untouched! You might then judge
how pleasing it is to a mother of another kind, to hear the physician
who has attended her sick child assure her that the crisis is over, and
that her babe is saved. These are the scenes best fitted to enable us
to partake of sorrow and joy, and to determine every one who views them
to make it his study to contribute to the happiness of others, and to
refrain from wantonly or maliciously giving them pain.

I have seen Humming Birds in Louisiana as early as the 10th of March.
Their appearance in that State varies, however, as much as in any other,
it being sometimes a fortnight later, or, although rarely, a few days
earlier. In the Middle Districts, they seldom arrive before the 15th of
April, more usually the beginning of May. I have not been able to assure
myself whether they migrate during the day or by night, but am inclined
to think the latter the case, as they seem to be busily feeding at all
times of the day, which would not be the case had they long flights to
perform at that period. They pass through the air in long undulations,
raising themselves for some distance at an angle of about 40 degrees,
and then falling in a curve; but the smallness of their size precludes
the possibility of following them farther then fifty or sixty yards
without great difficulty, even with a good glass. A person standing in
a garden by the side of a Common Althæa in bloom, will be as surprised
to hear the humming of their wings, and then see the birds themselves
within a few feet of him, as he will be astonished at the rapidity with
which the little creatures rise into the air, and are out of sight and
hearing the next moment. They do not alight on the ground, but easily
settle on twigs and branches, where they move sidewise in prettily
measured steps, frequently opening and closing their wings, pluming,
shaking and arranging the whole of their apparel with neatness and
activity. They are particularly fond of spreading one wing at a time,
and passing each of the quill-feathers through their bill in its whole
length, when, if the sun is shining, the wing thus plumed is rendered
extremely transparent and light. They leave the twig without the least
difficulty in an instant, and appear to be possessed of superior powers
of vision, making directly towards a Martin or a Blue-bird when fifty or
sixty yards from them, and reaching them before they are aware of their
approach. No bird seems to resist their attacks, but they are sometimes
chased by the larger kinds of humble-bees, of which they seldom take the
least notice, as their superiority of flight is sufficient to enable
them to leave these slow moving insects far behind in the short space
of a minute.

The nest of this Humming Bird is of the most delicate nature, the external
parts being formed of a light grey lichen found on the branches of trees,
or on decayed fence-rails, and so neatly arranged round the whole nest,
as well as to some distance from the spot where it is attached, as to
seem part of the branch or stem itself. These little pieces of lichen are
glued together with the saliva of the bird. The next coating consists
of cottony substance, and the innermost of silky fibres obtained from
various plants, all extremely delicate and soft. On this comfortable
bed, as in contradiction to the axiom that the smaller the species the
greater the number of eggs, the female lays only two, which are pure
white and almost oval. Ten days are required for their hatching, and the
birds raise two broods in a season. In one week the young are ready to
fly, but are fed by the parents for nearly another week. They receive
their food directly from the bill of their parents, which disgorge it
in the manner of Canaries or Pigeons. It is my belief that no sooner
are the young able to provide for themselves than they associate with
other broods, and perform their migration apart from the old birds, as
I have observed twenty or thirty young Humming Birds resort to a group
of Trumpet-flowers, when not a single old male was to be seen. They do
not receive the full brilliancy of their colours until the succeeding
spring, although the throat of the male bird is strongly imbued with
the ruby tints before they leave us in autumn.

The Ruby-throated Humming Bird has a particular liking for such flowers as
are greatly tubular in their form. The Common Jimpson-weed or Thorn-apple
(_Datura Stramonium_) and the Trumpet-flower (_Bignonia radicans_) are
among the most favoured by their visits, and after these, Honeysuckle, the
Balsam of the gardens, and the wild species which grows on the borders
of ponds, rivulets, and deep ravines; but every flower, down to the
wild violet, affords them a certain portion of sustenance. Their food
consists principally of insects, generally of the coleopterous order,
these, together with some equally diminutive flies, being commonly found
in their stomach. The first are procured within the flowers, but many of
the latter on wing. The Humming Bird might therefore be looked upon as an
expert flycatcher. The nectar or honey which they sip from the different
flowers, being of itself insufficient to support them, is used more as
if to allay their thirst. I have seen many of these birds kept in partial
confinement, when they were supplied with artificial flowers made for the
purpose, in the corollas of which water with honey or sugar dissolved in
it was placed. The birds were fed on these substances exclusively, but
seldom lived many months, and on being examined after death, were found
to be extremely emaciated. Others, on the contrary, which were supplied
twice a-day with fresh flowers from the woods or garden, placed in a room
with windows merely closed with moschetto gauze-netting, through which.
minute insects were able to enter, lived twelve months, at the expiration
of which time their liberty was granted them, the person who kept them
having had a long voyage to perform. The room was kept artificially warm
during the winter months, and these, in Lower Louisiana, are seldom
so cold as to produce ice. On examining an orange-tree which had been
placed in the room where these Humming Birds were kept, no appearance of
a nest was to be seen, although the birds had frequently been observed
caressing each other. Some have been occasionally kept confined in our
Middle Districts, but I have not ascertained that any one survived a

The Humming Bird does not shun mankind so much as birds generally do. It
frequently approaches flowers in the windows, or even in rooms when the
windows are kept open, during the extreme heat of the day, and returns,
when not interrupted, as long as the flowers are unfaded. They are
extremely abundant in Louisiana during spring and summer, and wherever a
fine plant of the trumpet-flower is met with in the woods, one or more
Humming Birds are generally seen about it, and now and then so many as
ten or twelve at a time. They are quarrelsome, and have frequent battles
in the air, especially the male birds. Should one be feeding on a flower,
and another approach it, they are both immediately seen to rise in the
air, twittering and twirling in a spiral manner until out of sight. The
conflict over, the victor immediately returns to the flower.

If comparison might enable you, kind reader, to form some tolerably
accurate idea of their peculiar mode of flight, and their appearance
when on wing, I would say, that were both objects of the same colour,
a large sphinx or moth, when moving from one flower to another, and in
a direct line, comes nearer the Humming Bird in aspect than any other
object with which I am acquainted.

Having heard several persons remark that these little creatures had
been procured with less injury to their plumage, by shooting them with
water, I was tempted to make the experiment, having been in the habit of
killing them either with remarkably small shot, or with sand. However,
finding that even when within a few paces, I seldom brought one to the
ground when I used water instead of shot, and was moreover obliged to
clean my gun after every discharge, I abandoned the scheme, and feel
confident that it can never have been used with material advantage. I
have frequently secured some by employing an insect net, and were this
machine used with dexterity, it would afford the best means of procuring
Humming Birds.

I have represented ten of these pretty and most interesting birds, in
various positions, flitting, feeding, caressing each other, or sitting
on the slender stalks of the trumpet-flower and pluming themselves. The
diversity of action and attitude thus exhibited, may, I trust, prove
sufficient to present a faithful idea of their appearance and manners.
A figure of the nest you will find elsewhere. The nest is generally
placed low, on the horizontal branch of any kind of tree, seldom more
than twenty feet from the ground. They are far from being particular
in this matter, as I have often found a nest attached by one side only
to a twig of a rose-bush, currant, or the strong stalk of a rank weed,
sometimes in the middle of the forest, at other times on the branch of
an oak, immediately over the road, and again in the garden close to the

TROCHILUS COLUBRIS, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 191.—_Lath._
Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 312.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synopsis of
Birds of the United States, p. 98.

RED-THROATED HUMMING BIRD, _Lath._ Synops. vol. ii. p. 769.

HUMMING BIRD, TROCHILUS COLUBRIS, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. ii.
p. 26. Pl. 10. fig. 3. Male; fig. 4. Female.

Adult Male. Plate XLVII. Fig. 1, 1, 1, 1.

Bill long, straight, subulate, depressed at the base, acute; upper
mandible rounded, its edges overlapping. Nostrils basal, linear. Tongue
very extensile, filiform, divided towards the end into two filaments.
Feet very short and feeble; tarsus slender, shorter than the middle toe,
partly feathered; fore toes united at the base; claws curved, compressed,

Plumage compact, imbricated above and on the throat, with metallic lustre,
blended beneath. Wings long, narrow, a little incurved at the tip, the
first quill longest. Tail forked when closed, when spread even in the
middle and laterally rounded, of ten broad feathers, the outer curved

Bill and feet black. Iris of the same colour. Upper parts generally,
including the two middle tail-feathers, green, with gold reflections.
Quills and tail purplish-brown. Throat, sides of the head, and fore
neck, carmine-purple, spotted with black, varying to crimson, orange,
and deep black. Sides of the same colour as the back; the rest of the
under parts greyish-white, mixed with green.

Length 3½ inches, extent of wings 4¼; bill along the ridge ¾, along the
gap ⅚; tarsus ⅙, toe ¼.

Adult Female. Plate XLVII. Fig. 2, 2, 2.

The female differs from the male in wanting the brilliant patch on the
throat, which is white, as are the under parts generally, and in having
the three lateral tail-feathers tipped with the same colour.

Dimensions the same.

Young Bird. Plate XLVII. Fig. 3, 3.

The young birds have the under parts brownish-white, the tail tipped
with white, and are somewhat lighter in their upper parts. In autumn
the young males begin to acquire the red feathers of the throat.


BIGNONIA RADICANS, _Wild._ Sp. Pl. vol. iii. p. 301. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. vol. ii. p. 420.—DIDYNAMIA ANGIOSPERMIA, _Linn._

This splendid species of Bignonia, which grows in woods and on the
banks of rivers in all the Middle and Southern States, climbing on trees
and bushes, is distinguished by its pinnate leaves, with ovate, widely
serrate, acuminate leaflets, and large scarlet flowers, of which the
funnel-shaped tube of the corolla is thrice the length of the calyx. The
pods are of a brown colour, from four to seven inches long, and contain
a double row of kidney-shaped light brown seeds.




So scarce is this bird in the Middle Districts, that its discovery in
the State of Pennsylvania has been made a matter of much importance. Its
habits are consequently very little known, even at the present day, and
it would appear that only two individuals have been seen by our American
ornithologists, one of which, a young female, has been figured by the
Prince of Musignano.

It arrives in the lower parts of the State of Louisiana, in company
with many other species of Warblers, breeds there and sets out again
about the beginning of October. It is as lively as most species of
its genus, possesses the same manner of flight, moves sidewise up and
down the branches and twigs, frequently changing sides, and hangs to
the extremities of bunches of leaves or berries, on which it procures
the insects and larvæ of which its food is principally composed. The
liveliness of its notes renders it conspicuous in those parts of the
skirts of the forests which it frequents; and its song, although neither
loud nor of long continuance, is extremely sweet and mellow.

I have no precise recollection of the time when I first made a drawing
of this pretty little bird, but know this well, that a drawing which I
had of it was one of the unfortunate collection destroyed by the rats
at Henderson. In Louisiana, where it is as numerous as other Sylviæ, I
have several times shot five or six during a single walk, towards the
end of August, when the young are nearly full coloured.

The nest is placed in the forks of a low tree or bush, more frequently
on a Dog-wood tree. It is partly pensile, projecting a little above the
twigs to which it is attached, and extending below them for nearly two
inches. The fibres of vines and of the stalks of rank herbaceous plants,
together with slender roots, compose the outer part, being arranged in
a circular manner. The lining consists entirely of the dry fibres of the
Spanish Moss. The female lays four or five eggs, of a pure white colour,
with a few reddish spots at the larger end. When the female is disturbed
during incubation, she trails along the twigs and branches, with expanded
tail and drooping wings, and utters a plaintive note, resembling in all
these circumstances the Blue-eyed Warbler. I am not sure that they raise
more than one brood in a season. When the young abandon the nest, their
plumage partakes of a greenish tinge, and no difference can be perceived
between the sexes without dissection. The little family move and hunt
together, and exhibit much pleasure in pursuing small insects on wing,
which they seize without any clicking sound of their bill. They seem at
this period to evince a great partiality for trees the tops of which
are thickly covered by grape vines, amongst the broad leaves of which
they find ample supplies of food. They also sometimes alight on the tall
weeds, and pick a few of their seeds. The males or females do not assume
the full brilliancy of their plumage until the following spring.

I am inclined to think that this species is extremely abundant in the
Mexican dominions, as I have observed these birds more numerous towards
Natchitochez and along the waters of the Red River. On the other hand,
I have not observed it eastward of the State of Tennessee.

The twig on which it is represented, belongs to a small tree or shrub,
which grows along the skirts of the forests in the State of Louisiana.
The bark is easily stripped off, when the wood shows a yellow, resinous
colour. It is brittle, and is not applied to any use. The berries are
eaten by different species of birds.

SYLVIA AZUREA, _Stephens_, Cont. Shaw's Zool. vol. i. p. 653.
—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United States,
p. 85; and Amer. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 27. Pl. xi. fig. 2. Young

CÆRULEAN WARBLER, SYLVIA CÆRULEA, _Wilson_, Amer. Ornith. vol. ii.
p. 141. Pl. xvii. fig. 5. Male.

Adult Male. Plate XLVIII. Fig. 1.

Bill of ordinary length, straight, much broader than deep at the base,
tapering, compressed toward the acute tip. Nostrils basal, oval, exposed.
Head of ordinary size. Body rather slender. Feet of ordinary length,
slender; tarsus compressed, covered anteriorly with a few long scutella,
acute behind, scarcely longer than the middle toe; toes free, scutellate
above; claws arched, slender, much compressed, acute.

Plumage soft and blended, glossy. Wings of ordinary length, the first
and second quills longest. Tail longish, even, of twelve rather narrow,
obtuse feathers. Short bristle-pointed feathers at the base of the upper

Bill bluish-black. Iris blackish-brown. Feet blue. Head and upper parts
generally, of a fine rich blue, the back marked with longitudinal streaks
of blackish, and a narrow band of black from the forehead passing along
the lore to behind the eye. Tips of the two rows of larger wing-coverts
white, forming two conspicuous bands across the wing. Quills black,
externally margined with blue. Tail of the same colour, each feather
having a patch of white on the inner web, near the end, excepting the
two middle ones; all externally margined with blue. Under parts white,
as well as a streak over the eye, above which is a streak of blackish.

Length 4½ inches, extent of wings 8; bill along the ridge 5/12, along
the gap 7/12; tarsus ⅔, middle toe 7/12.

Adult Female. Plate XLVIII. Fig. 2.

The female differs from the male, chiefly in having the colours paler.


ILEX DAHOON, _Mich._ Fl. Amer. vol ii. p. 228. _Pursh_, Fl.
Amer. vol. i. p. 117.—TETRANDRIA TETRAGYNIA, _Linn._ RHAMNI,

This species of Holly is distinguished by its elliptico-lanceolate leaves,
which are thick, leathery, shining, and reflected at the margin, and
its corymboso-paniculate, lateral and terminal peduncles. The berries
are globular and bright red.




The Blue-green Warbler so resembles the young of the Azure Warbler, that
were not the form of its bill, and some of its habits, considerably
different, I should be tempted to consider it a mere variety of that
bird. It is equally rare in the Middle Districts, where I have shot only
a few, and these in the dark recesses of the Great Pine Swamp.

On its passage through the States, it is found in Louisiana, where it
appears in the beginning of April. This lateness of its arrival indicates
its coming from a great distance, most of the other species appearing
several weeks earlier. They seem to disperse soon after, as on their
first appearance several may be procured in one day, as well as during
their equally short stay in autumn, when, again, I have shot six or
seven from a single tree, on which they appeared as busily engaged as if
so many Titmice. I have met with them singly and far apart in Kentucky,
in Ohio, upon the Missouri, and along Lake Erie, but I have never found
their nest.

In spring it has a soft and mellow song, which is not heard beyond the
distance of a few paces. It is performed at intervals between the times
at which the bird secures an insect, which it does with great expertness,
either on wing, or amongst the leaves of the trees and bushes. The tops
of trees, however, appear to please them best, the reverse being the
case with the Azure Warbler.

The Blue-green Warbler has a peculiar cunning manner of leaning downwards
to view a person, or while searching for an insect, and which is very
different from that of any other bird, although I am unable to describe
it. While thus leaning, it moves its head sidewise so very slowly that
the motion is hardly perceptible, unless much attention is paid to it.
After this, it either starts off and flies to some distance from the
observer, or darts towards the prey that had attracted its notice. While
catching an insect on the wing, it produces a slight clicking sound with
its bill, and in this respect approaches the Vireos. Like some of them
also, it descends from the highest tops of the trees to low bushes, and
eats small berries, particularly towards autumn, when insects begin to

Its flight is performed in zigzag lines of a few yards, as if it were
undetermined where to alight. I have found no difference between the
sexes as to external appearance.

The plant on which I have figured a male is found in Louisiana, growing
along the skirts of woods and by fences. It is called the _Spanish
Mulberry_. It is a herbaceous perennial plant, attaining a height of from
four to eight feet. The fruits are eaten by children, but are insipid.

SYLVIA RARA, BLUE-GREEN WARBLER, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. iii.
p. 119. Pl. 27. fig. 2.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds
of the United States, p. 82.

Adult Male. Plate XLIX.

Bill longish, nearly straight, depressed at the base, tapering to a point.
Nostrils basal, oval, half concealed by the feathers. Head and neck
of ordinary size. Body ovate. Feet of ordinary length, rather slender;
tarsus compressed, covered anteriorly with a few long scutella, acute
behind, rather longer than the middle toe; toes scutellate above, free;
claws arched, slender, much compressed, acute.

Plumage blended, soft and tufty. Wings longish, little curved, the first
and second quills longest. Tail shortish, rounded, of twelve rather
acute feathers.

Bill dark brown above, light blue beneath. Iris dark brown. Feet light
blue. General colour of the upper parts light greenish-blue, of the
under parts white. A white streak over the eyes. Tips of the two first
rows of wing-coverts white, forming two bands across the wing. Quills
blackish-brown, their outer margins blue. Tail blackish-brown, the outer
feathers having a white patch on the inner web near the end.

Length 4¾ inches, extent of wings 8; bill along the ridge ⅓, along the
gap ½; tarsus ⅔.


CALLICARPA AMERICANA, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. i. p. 619. _Pursh_,
Fl. Amer. vol. i. p. 97.—TETRANDRIA MONOGYNIA, _Linn._ VITICES,

A perennial herbaceous plant, with oval, serrate leaves, which are downy
beneath; sessile cymes of red flowers, and globular red berries, arranged
apparently in dense whorls. It grows in dry gravelly or sandy soil, in
Virginia, Carolina, and Louisiana.




This little bird was by mistake engraved, and named after my friend W.
SWAINSON, Esq., during my absence from London, one drawing having been
accidentally substituted for another. It is in reality the young of the
Black and Yellow Warbler, and was intended to form part of the Plate
which will represent the adult male and female of that species. My good
friend will, I know, excuse this mistake, as I have honoured a beautiful
new species with his name.

It being more consistent with my present arrangement to give a full
account of each species, as it is represented in the Plate allotted to
it, and its different states of plumage, as much as this object can be
attained, you will permit me, kind reader, to postpone the habits of
this species until you see the whole group together. In the mean time,
I shall confine myself to a description of the immature state of plumage
as represented in my illustrations.

SYLVIA MACULOSA, _Lath._ Ind. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 536.—_Ch.
Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 78.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, _Lath._ Synops. vol. iv. p. 481.

Ornith. vol. iii. p. 63. Pl. 23. Male.

Young Male. Plate L.

Bill brown above, brownish-yellow beneath. Iris dark hazel. Feet
brownish-yellow, claws yellow. Head and hind-neck light greyish-blue,
blending into yellowish-green on the back, the lower part of which
is spotted with black; a broad band across the rump yellow, the upper
tail-coverts black. Wings bluish-grey when closed, the outer webs being
of that colour, the inner brownish-black; tips of the two larger rows
of coverts white, forming two bands of that colour. Tail black, with a
broad band of white in the middle, on the inner webs, excepting on the
two middle feathers, which are margined with blue, the outer webs of the
other feathers being bluish-white; the under parts are ochre-yellow,
the posterior part of the breast and sides spotted with black. Length

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