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vociferating his fears and maledictions with great vehemence, passing
at times within a few yards of the person who has disturbed his peace,
or alighting on a twig close to his nest, and uttering a plaintive
note, which might well prevent any other than a mischievous person from
interfering with the hopes and happiness of the mated Redwings.

The eggs are hatched, and the first brood has taken flight. The young
soon after associate with thousands of other striplings, and shift for
themselves, whilst the parent birds raise a second family. The first brood
comes abroad about the beginning of June, the second in the beginning
of August. At this latter period, the corn in the Middle Districts has
already acquired considerable consistence, and the congregated Redwings
fall upon the fields in such astonishing numbers as to seem capable of
completely veiling them under the shade of their wings. The husbandman,
anxious to preserve as much of his corn as he can, for his own use or
for market, pursues every possible method of annoyance or destruction.
But his ingenuity is almost exerted in vain. The Redwings heed not his
efforts further than to remove, after each report of his gun, from one
portion of the field to another. All the _scarecrows_ that he may choose
to place about his grounds are merely regarded by the birds as so many
_observatories_, on which they occasionally alight.

The corn becoming too hard for their bills, they now leave the fields,
and resort to the meadows and the margins of streams thickly overgrown
with the Wild Oat and other grasses, upon the seeds of which they feed
with great avidity during the autumnal and winter months. They then
associate partially with the Reed Birds, Grakles, and Cow-pen Buntings,
and are seen to move from the Eastern to the Southern Districts, in such
immense and thick flocks as almost to cloud the air.

The havock made amongst them is scarcely credible. I have heard that
upwards of fifty have been killed at a shot, and am the more inclined
to believe such accounts that I have myself shot hundreds in the course
of an afternoon, killing from ten to fifteen at every discharge. Whilst
travelling in different parts of the Southern States, during the latter
part of autumn, I have often seen the fences, trees and fields so strewed
with these birds, as to make me believe their number fully equal to that
of the falling leaves of the trees in the places traversed by me.

Towards evening they alight in the marshes by millions, in compact
bodies, settle on the reeds and rushes close above the water, and remain
during the night, unless disturbed by the gunners. When this happens,
they rise all of a sudden, and perform various evolutions in the air,
now gliding low over the rushes, and again wheeling high above them,
preserving silence for a while, but finally diving suddenly to the spot
formerly chosen, and commencing a general chuckling noise, after which
they remain quiet during the rest of the night.

Different species of Hawks derive their principal sustenance from them
at this season. The Pigeon Hawk is an adept in picking the fattest from
their crowded flocks; and while they are in the Southern States, where
millions of them spend the winter, the Hen-harriers are seen continually
hovering over them, and picking up the stragglers.

The Marsh Blackbird is easily kept in confinement, and sings there with
as much vigour as when at full liberty. It is kept in good order with
rice, wheat, or any other small grain. Attempts have been made to induce
these birds to breed in confinement, but in as far as I have been able
to ascertain, have failed. As an article of food, they are little better
than the Starling of Europe, or the Crow Blackbird of the United States,
although many are eaten and thought good by the country people, who make
pot-pies of them.

I have represented a male and a female in the adult state, a male in the
first spring, and a young bird, and have placed them on the branch of a
Water Maple, these birds being fond of alighting on trees of that kind,
in early spring, to pick up the insects that frequent the blossoms. This
tree is found dispersed throughout the United States, and grows, as its
name indicates, in the immediate vicinity of water. Its wood is soft,
and is hardly used for any other purpose than that of being converted
into common domestic utensils.

ICTERUS PHŒNICEUS, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the
United States, p. 52.

ORIOLUS PHŒNICEUS, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 161.—_Lath._
Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 178.

vol. iv. p. 30. Pl. 30. Male and Female.

RED-WINGED ORIOLE, _Lath._ Synops. vol. ii. p. 428.

Male in complete plumage. Plate LXVII. Fig. 1.

Bill conical, rather slender, longish, compressed, nearly straight,
very acute, with inflected acute margins; upper mandible obtuse above,
encroaching on the forehead, lower broadly obtuse beneath; gap-line
deflected at the base. Nostrils oval, basal. Head and neck of ordinary
size. Body full. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus a little longer than
the middle toe; inner toe little shorter than the outer; claws arched,
acute, compressed, that of the hind toe twice the size of the rest.

Plumage soft, blended, glossy. Wings of ordinary length, the second
and third quills longest. Tail rather long, rounded, of twelve rounded

Bill and feet black. Iris dark brown. The general colour of the plumage
is glossy black; the lesser wing-coverts scarlet, their lower row bright

Length 9 inches, extent of wings 14; bill along the ridge 11/12, along
the gap 1.

Male, the first spring. Plate LXVII. Fig. 2.

Bill, eyes and feet, as in the adult male. The general colour of the upper
parts is dark-brown, the feathers edged with lighter. The shoulder is
scarlet, but of a lighter tint; the second row of wing-coverts broadly
margined with brownish-white; the larger coverts and quills margined
with reddish-white. Quills and tail brownish-black. The under parts are
dark greyish-brown, spotted with black.

Adult Female. Plate LXVII. Fig. 3.

The adult female resembles the male of the first spring in colouring.
The bill is lighter; there is a broad streak of pale brown from the bill
over each eye; the wing-coverts are less broadly margined, and the lesser
wing-coverts are merely tinged with red. The size is greatly inferior
to that of the adult male, the length being only 7½ inches.

Young Bird. Plate LXVII. Fig. 4.

The young is similar to the female, lighter on the cheeks and throat,
and having merely a slight tinge of red on the lesser wing-coverts.


ACER RUBRUM, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. iv. p. 984. _Pursh_, Flor.
Amer. vol. i. p. 266. _Mich._ Abr. Forest. de l'Amer. Sept.
vol. ii. p. 210, Pl. 14.—OCTANDRIA MONOGYNIA, _Linn._ ACERINÆ,

This species having been represented in Plate LXVII in seed, has already
been described at p. 287.




In the spring of 1815, I for the first time saw a few individuals of
this species at Henderson, on the banks of the Ohio, a hundred and twenty
miles below the Falls of that river. It was an excessively cold morning,
and nearly all were killed by the severity of the weather. I drew up a
description at the time, naming the species _Hirundo republicana_, the
_Republican Swallow_, in allusion to the mode in which the individuals
belonging to it associate, for the purpose of forming their nests and
rearing their young. Unfortunately, through the carelessness of my
assistant, the specimens were lost, and I despaired for years of meeting
with others.

In the year 1819, my hopes were revived by Mr ROBERT BEST, curator of
the Western Cincinnati Museum, who informed me that a strange species
of bird had made its appearance in the neighbourhood, building nests in
clusters, affixed to the walls. In consequence of this information, I
immediately crossed the Ohio to New Port, in Kentucky, where he had seen
many nests the preceding season; and no sooner were we landed than the
chirruping of my long-lost little strangers saluted my ear. Numbers of
them were busily engaged in repairing the damage done to their nests by
the storms of the preceding winter.

Major OLDHAM of the United States' Army, then commandant of the garrison,
politely offered us the means of examining the settlement of these birds,
attached to the walls of the building under his charge. He informed us,
that, in 1815, he first saw a few of them working against the wall of
the house, immediately under the eaves and cornice; that their work was
carried on rapidly and peaceably, and that as soon as the young were able
to travel, they all departed. Since that period, they had returned every
spring, and then amounted to several hundreds. They usually appeared
about the 10th of April, and immediately began their work, which was at
that moment, it being then the 20th of that month, going on in a regular
manner, against the walls of the arsenal. They had about fifty nests
quite finished, and others in progress.

About day-break they flew down to the shore of the river, one hundred
yards distant, for the muddy sand of which the nests were constructed,
and worked with great assiduity until near the middle of the day, as if
aware that the heat of the sun was necessary to dry and harden their moist
tenements. They then ceased from labour for a few hours, amused themselves
by performing aerial evolutions, courted and caressed their mates with
much affection, and snapped at flies and other insects on the wing. They
often examined their nests to see if they were sufficiently dry, and
as soon as these appeared to have acquired the requisite firmness, they
renewed their labours. Until the females began to sit, they all roosted
in the hollow limbs of the Sycamores (_Platanus occidentalis_) growing
on the banks of the Licking River, but when incubation commenced, the
males alone resorted to the trees. A second party arrived, and were so
hard pressed for time, that they betook themselves to the holes in the
wall, where bricks had been left out for the scaffolding. These they
fitted with projecting necks, similar to those of the complete nests of
the others. Their eggs were deposited on a few bits of straw, and great
caution was necessary in attempting to procure them, as the slightest
touch crumbled their frail tenement into dust. By means of a table spoon,
I was enabled to procure many of them. Each nest contained four eggs,
which were white, with dusky spots. Only one brood is raised in a season.
The energy with which they defended their nests was truly astonishing.
Although I had taken the precaution to visit them at sun-set, when I
supposed they would all have been on the Sycamores, yet a single female
happened to be sitting, and gave the alarm, which immediately called out
the whole tribe. They snapped at my hat, body and legs, passed between
me and the nests, within an inch of my face, twittering their rage and
sorrow. They continued their attacks as I descended, and accompanied
me for some distance. Their note may be perfectly imitated by rubbing
a cork damped with spirit against the neck of a bottle.

A third party arrived a few days after, and immediately commenced
building. In one week they had completed their operations, and at the
end of that time thirty nests hung clustered like so many gourds, each
having a neck two inches long. On the 27th July, the young were able
to follow their parents. They all exhibited the white frontlet, and
were scarcely distinguishable in any part of their plumage from the old
birds. On the 1st of August, they all assembled near their nests, mounted
about three hundred feet in the air, and at ten in the morning took
their departure, flying in a loose body, in a direction due north. They
returned the same evening about dusk, and continued these excursions,
no doubt to exercise their powers, until the third, when, uttering a
farewell cry, they shaped the same course at the same hour, and finally
disappeared. Shortly after their departure, I was informed that several
hundreds of their nests were attached to the Court-House at the mouth of
the Kentucky River. They had commenced building them in 1815. A person
likewise informed me, that, along the cliffs of the Kentucky, he had
seen many _bunches_, as he termed them, of these nests attached to the
naked shelving rocks overhanging that river.

Being extremely desirous of settling the long-agitated question respecting
the migration or supposed torpidity of Swallows, I embraced every
opportunity of examining their habits, carefully noted their arrival
and disappearance, and recorded every fact connected with their history.
After some years of constant observation and reflection, I remarked that
among all the species of migratory birds, those that remove farthest
from us, depart sooner than those which retire only to the confines
of the United States; and, by a parity of reasoning, those that remain
later return earlier in the spring. These remarks were confirmed, as I
advanced towards the south-west on the approach of winter, for I there
found numbers of Warblers, Thrushes, &c. in full feather and song. It
was also remarked that the _Hirundo viridis_ of WILSON (called by the
French of Lower Louisiana, _Le Petit Martinet à ventre blanc_) remained
about the City of New Orleans later than any other Swallow. As immense
numbers of them were seen during the month of November, I kept a diary
of the temperature from the third of that month, until the arrival of
_Hirundo purpurea_. The following notes are taken from my journal, and
as I had excellent opportunities, during a residence of many years in
that country, of visiting the lakes to which these Swallows were said
to resort, during the transient frosts, I present them with confidence.

_November 11._—Weather very sharp, with a heavy, white frost. Swallows
in abundance during the whole day. On inquiring of the inhabitants if
this was a usual occurrence, I was answered in the affirmative by all
the French and Spaniards. From this date to the 22d, the thermometer
averaged 65°, the weather generally a drizzly fog. Swallows playing over
the city in thousands.

_November 25._—Thermometer this morning at 30°. Ice in New Orleans a
quarter of an inch thick. The Swallows resorted to the lee of the Cypress
Swamp in the rear of the city. Thousands were flying in different flocks.
Fourteen were killed at a single shot, all in perfect plumage, and very
fat. The markets were abundantly supplied with these tender, juicy, and
delicious birds. Saw Swallows every day, but remarked them more plentiful
the stronger the breeze blew from the sea.

_December 20._—The weather continues much the same. Foggy and drizzly
mist. Thermometer averaging 63°.

_January 14._—Thermometer 42°. Weather continues the same. My little
favourites constantly in view.

_January 28._—Thermometer at 40°. Having seen the _Hirundo viridis_
continually, and the _H. purpurea_ or Purple Martin beginning to appear,
I discontinued my observations.

During the whole winter many of them retired to the holes about the
houses, but the greater number resorted to the lakes, and spent the night
among the branches of _Myrica cerifera_, the _Cirier_, as it is termed
by the French settlers.

About sunset they began to flock together, calling to each other for
that purpose, and in a short time presented the appearance of clouds
moving towards the lakes, or the mouth of the Mississippi, as the weather
and wind suited. Their aërial evolutions before they alight, are truly
beautiful. They appear at first as if reconnoitring the place, when,
suddenly throwing themselves into a vortex of apparent confusion, they
descend spirally with astonishing quickness, and very much resemble
a _trombe_ or water-spout. When within a few feet of the _Ciriers_,
they disperse in all directions, and settle in a few moments. Their
twittering, and the motions of their wings, are, however, heard during
the whole night. As soon as the day begins to dawn, they rise, flying
low over the lakes, almost touching the water for some time, and then
rising, gradually move off in search of food, separating in different
directions. The hunters who resort to these places destroy great numbers
of them, by knocking them down with light paddles, used in propelling
their canoes.

HIRUNDO FULVA, _Vieill._, Ois. de l'Amer. Sept. vol. i. p. 62.
Pl. 32.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United
States, p. 64.

Amer. Ornith. vol i. p. 63. Pl. 7. fig. 1.

Adult Male. Plate LXVIII. Fig. 1.

Bill short, feeble, much depressed and very broad at the base, compressed
towards the tip; upper mandible nearly straight; gap as wide as the head,
and extending to beneath the eye. Nostrils basal, lateral, roundish.
Head of ordinary size. Neck short. Body rather slender. Feet very short
and feeble; tarsus and toes scutellate anteriorly, lateral toes nearly
equal, the outer united to the second joint; claws short, weak, arched,
rather obtuse.

Plumage silky, shining, and blended; wings very long and slender, the
first quill longest. Tail of ordinary length, the same length as the
wings, even, of twelve straight, narrowish, rather abrupt feathers.

Bill black. Iris hazel. Feet dusky. Upper part of the head, the back,
and the lesser wing-coverts black, with violet reflections. A line of
black across the anterior part of the forehead, extending over the eyes.
Forehead marked with a semilunar band of white, slightly tinged with
red. Chin, throat, and sides of the head deep brownish-red, the band
of each side narrowing and meeting the other at the back of the neck.
Posterior part of the back and upper tail-coverts light yellowish-red.
Breast pale reddish, the rest of the under parts greyish-white, tinged
with red. Wings and tail brownish-black.

Length 5½ inches, extent of wings 12; bill along the ridge ¼, along
the gap 7/12; tarsus ⅓, middle toe a little more than ½.

Adult Female. Plate LXVIII. Fig. 2.

The female in external appearance differs in no respect from the male.




This species does not breed in the United States, or if it does, must
spend the summer in some of the most remote north-western districts,
so that I have not been able to discover its principal abode. It
merely passes through the better known portions of the Union, where it
remains for a very short time. There is something so very uncommon in
its appearance in different States, that I cannot refrain from briefly
mentioning it. It is sometimes found in Pennsylvania, or the State of
New York, as well as in New Jersey, as early as the beginning of April,
but is only seen there for a few days. I have shot some individuals at
such times, when I observed them employed in searching for insects and
larvæ along the fences bordering our fields. At other times I have shot
them late in June, in the State of Louisiana, when the cotton-plant was
covered with blossoms, amongst which they were busily searching for food.
The Bay-breasted Warbler, however, has so far eluded my inquiries, that
I am unable to give any further account of its habits.

SYLVIA CASTANEA, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the
United States, p. 80.

vol. ii. p. 97. Pl. 14, fig. 4.

Adult Male. Plate LXIX. Fig. 1.

Bill of ordinary length, nearly straight, subulato-conical, acute, as
deep as broad at the base, with sharp edges. Nostrils basal, oval, half
concealed by the feathers. Head of ordinary size, neck short, body ovate.
Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus compressed, covered anteriorly
with a few long scutella, acute behind, a little longer than the middle
toe; toes free, scutellate above; claws arched, slender, compressed,

Plumage loose, tufty. Wings rather long, the second quill longest. Tail
of ordinary length, slightly emarginate, of twelve rounded feathers.

Bill blackish above, greyish-blue beneath. Iris hazel. Feet greyish-blue,
upper part of the head, the fore-neck, anterior part of the breast, and
the sides, bright chestnut. Forehead and cheeks, including a small space
over the eye, deep black, behind which is a transverse broad band of
yellowish-white on the sides of the neck. Back and lesser wing-coverts
yellowish-grey, spotted with blackish-brown. Larger coverts, quills
and tail, blackish-brown, edged with light bluish-grey. Middle of the
breast, abdomen, and under tail-coverts, white, tinged with reddish.

Length 5¼ inches, extent of wings 11; bill along the ridge nearly 5/12,
along the gap 7/12; tarsus ⅚, middle toe ¾.

Adult Female. Plate LXIX. Fig. 2.

The female is somewhat less. The colours are similar to those of the
male, and have the same distribution, but are much fainter, especially
the chestnut of the head and under parts, which are converted into light


GOSSIPIUM HERBACEUM, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. ii. p. 462.

This species, commonly known in America, where it is cultivated, under
the name of _Highland Cotton_, is distinguished by its five-lobed leaves
and herbaceous stem.




I obtained the bird represented in this plate opposite Cincinnati, in the
State of Kentucky, in the year 1820, whilst in the company of Mr ROBERT
BEST, then Curator of the Western Museum. It was on the ground, amongst
tall grass, and exhibited the usual habits of its tribe. Perceiving it
to be different from any which I had seen, I immediately shot it, and
the same day made an accurate drawing of it.

In naming it after the Rev. Professor HENSLOW of Cambridge, a gentleman
so well known to the scientific world, and who has permitted me so to
designate it, my object has been to manifest my gratitude for the many
kind attentions which he has shewn towards me. Its history and habits
are unknown. In appearance it differs so little from the Buntings, that,
for the present, I shall refer it to that genus.


Plate LXX.

Bill short, robust, conical, acute; upper mandible straight in the dorsal
outline, angular, and encroaching a little on the forehead, broader
than the lower, acute and inflected on the edges; lower mandible also
inflected at the edges; the gap-line deflected at the base. Head rather
large, neck short, body full. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus scutellate
before, acute behind; toes free, scutellate above; claws slightly arched,
compressed, acute, that of the hind toe elongated.

Plumage compact, slightly glossed. Wings short, curved, the third and
fourth quills longest, the secondaries nearly as long as the primaries,
when the wing is closed. Tail short, graduated and deeply notched, of
twelve rather narrow very acute feathers.

Bill flesh-colour, darker above. Iris dark-brown. Feet flesh-colour.
The general colour of the upper parts is pale brown, the central part
of the feathers brownish-black, the margins of those of the back bright
red. Secondary coverts yellowish-red on the outer webs. Quills dark
brown, externally margined with light yellowish-brown. Tail-feathers
dusky, margined externally with yellowish-brown. The under parts
pale yellowish-grey, the breast, sides, and throat, spotted with

Length 5 inches, bill along the ridge ⅓, along the gap nearly ½; tarsus
⅔, middle toe ⅔, hind toe the same.


SPIGELIA MARILANDICA, _Pursh_, Fl. Amer. vol. i. p. 139. Fig. 1.
of the Plate.—PENTANDRIA MONOGYNIA, _Linn._ APOCINEÆ, _Juss._

Stem tetragonal, all the leaves opposite, ovate, acuminate. Flowers rich
carmine, in a terminal spike. This plant is perennial, flowers in the
summer months, and grows in rich soil by the margins of woods, in the
Middle States. The roots are used as a vermifuge.

PHLOX ARISTATA, _Pursh_, Fl. Amer. vol. i. p. 130. Fig. 2. of

This species is characterized by its erect, feeble stem, its
linear-lanceolate leaves, lax fastigiate panicle, twin pedicels, oboval

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