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other birds. The eggs are four or five, of a dull greyish-white, blotched
with dark brown. They are deposited as early as the beginning of March,
in low places, but not until a fortnight later in the mountainous parts
of the districts in which the bird more frequently breeds.

The tree on which I have placed a pair of these birds is known nearly
throughout the Union by the name of _Pig-nut Hickory_. I have represented
it along with them, not because the birds themselves feed on the nuts,
as some people have supposed on seeing the drawing, but because it
occurs abundantly in those States where the Broad-winged Hawk resides,
and, again, because I have found the nest of that bird more frequently
placed on its branches than on those of any other tree. The nuts have
an excessively hard shell. The kernel is sweet, but as it is of small
size, the nuts are seldom gathered for any other purpose than that of
feeding tame squirrels. The hogs which run at large in our woods feed
on them, as do all our different species of squirrels, and sometimes
the raccoon. The wood of this tree is perhaps tougher than that of most
of its genus; but as the trunk is seldom either very straight or very
high, it is not used so much as some other hickories, for the purposes
of husbandry. Its average height may be estimated at about fifty feet,
and its diameter at from eighteen inches to two feet.


FALCO PENNSYLVANICUS, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of
the United States, p. 29.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK, FALCO PENNSYLVANICUS, _Wils._ Amer. Orn.
vol. vi. p. 92. Pl. 54. fig. 1. Male.


Adult Male. Plate XCI. Fig. 1.

Bill shortish, as broad as long, the sides convex, the dorsal outline
convex from the base; upper mandible with the edges slightly inflected,
waved with a broad rounded lobe, the tip trigonal, descending obliquely,
acute; lower mandible inflected at the edges, rounded at the tip. Nostrils
oval, oblique. Head rather large, flattened above. Neck shortish. Body
ovate, broad anteriorly. Wings rather long. Legs longish, rather robust,
roundish; tarsi covered before and behind with scuta; toes covered above
with scuta, scabrous and tuberculate beneath; middle toe much the longest,
outer connected at the base by a membrane, and shorter than the inner;
claws long, curved, roundish, very acute.

Plumage ordinary, compact. Feathers of the head narrow, of the back
broad and rounded, of the neck oblong. Space between the bill and eye
covered with bristly feathers. Wing very broad, the primary quills
broad, slightly narrowed toward the end, rounded, the fourth longest,
the secondary quills curved inwards, broadly obtuse. Tail longish, nearly
even, the feathers rather broad, truncated and rounded.

Bill bluish-black at the tip, blue towards the base; cere and margin
yellow. Iris hazel. Feet gamboge-yellow; claws brownish-black. The general
colour of the upper parts is dark umber; the forehead with a slight margin
of whitish, the quills blackish-brown, the tail with three bands of dark
brown, alternating with two whitish bands, and a narrower terminal band
of greyish, the tips white. Throat whitish; cheeks reddish-brown, with
a dark brown mustachial band; the under parts generally light reddish,
marked with guttiform, umber spots along the neck, and sagittiform larger
spots of the same colour on the breast and sides. Tibial feathers of
the same colour, with numerous smaller spots.

Length 14 inches, extent of wings 32; bill 1½ along the ridge, 1¼ along
the gap.


Adult Female. Plate XCI. Fig. 2.

Colouring generally similar to that of the male, lighter above, more
tinged with red beneath, where the spots are larger and more irregular.

Length 16 inches, extent of wings 35; bill 1 along the ridge, 1¼ along
the gap.

This species is referred to the division _Astures_ of the genus Falco.


THE PIG-NUT HICKORY.

JUGLANS PORCINA, _Mich._ Arbr. Forest. de l'Amer. Sept. t. i.
p. 206. Pl. 9. _Pursh_, Flor. Amer. vol. ii. p. 638.—MONŒCIA
POLYANDRIA, _Linn._ TEREBINTHACEÆ, _Juss._

Leaves pinnate, with seven, five, or three ovato-lanceolate, smooth
leaflets, attenuated at both ends; male catkins filiform; fruit globose;
nut small, smoothish, very hard. The leaves on the twig represented in
the plate are not serrated on the edges, although they are generally so
in this species. This, however, is merely an occasional variety.




THE PIGEON HAWK.

_FALCO COLUMBARIUS_, LINN.

PLATE XCII. MALE AND FEMALE.


It is when the whole of the shores of our eastern rivers are swarming
with myriads of Rice Buntings, Red-wings, Soras, and other migratory
birds,—when all the sportsmen of those parts of our country are induced
to turn out in the expectation of full bags of game, that the daring
feats of the little spirited Falcon now before you are displayed.

Imagine yourself, good-natured reader, with a gun on your shoulder,
following the windings of one of those noble streams which embellish our
country and facilitate its commerce, having constantly within your view
millions of birds on their way to the south, and which in the evenings
fall thick as the drops of a hail-shower on the bordering marshes, to
spend the night there in security, and by rest to restore the vigour
necessary for their gaining the distant regions, whence half of them
had emerged the preceding spring. Well, as you are proceeding, full
of anxiety, and gazing in astonishment at the multitudes of feathered
travellers, all of a sudden a larger bird attracts your eye. It sweeps
along in the stillness of the autumnal evening with a rapidity seldom
equalled, creating confusion, terror, and dismay along the whole shores.
The flocks rise _en masse_ with a fluttering sound which comes strangely
on your ear, double and double again, turn and wind over the marsh,
agitated and fearful of imminent danger. And now, closely crowded,
they would fain escape, but alas! one has been singled out, and in the
twinkling of an eye, the Pigeon Hawk, darting into the middle of the
flock, seizes and carries him off. Now is your time. Hundreds of sportsmen
are dispersed over the marsh, paddling their canoes, or splashing among
the reeds. Pull your trigger, and let fly, for it is impossible, should
you be ever so inexpert, not to bring down several birds at a shot.

But, leaving you to your sport, I must follow the little marauder, as he
makes toward the nearest shore, where he alights and devours his prey,
and then, with unsatiated appetite, and bent on foul deeds, returns to
the scene of action.

When the Reed-birds, the Redwings, and Soras, shall have become so scarce
as to be searched for with the same interest as our little Partridges
already are; when the margins of our rivers shall have been drained
and ploughed to the very tide-mark; when the Grouse shall have to be
protected by game-laws; when Turkeys shall no longer be met with in the
wild state;—how strange will the tale which I now tell sound in the
ears of those who may walk along the banks of these rivers, and over
the fields which have occupied the place of these marshes!

The Pigeon Hawk does not, I believe, raise its young within the United
States, but somewhere farther to the north. At least, I am inclined to
think so, for in all my wanderings I never found its nest, nor saw the
bird at any other season than late in summer, during the autumnal months,
or in the winter. Its migration, or rather its pursuit of migrating
birds, extends to the southernmost parts of our country; for I have
killed it not only in Louisiana, but high up the Arkansas River, in
regions bordering upon the Mexican territory.

The daring spirit which it displays exceeds that of any other Hawk of
its size. It seizes the Red-breasted Thrush, the Wild Pigeon, and even
the Golden-winged Woodpecker, on land; whilst along the shores it chases
several species of Snipes, as well as the Green-winged Teal. The latter
bird, however, dives at the approach of the Hawk, and thus eludes his
gripe; while the little plunderer, having descended to the surface
of the water with the velocity of an arrow, passes onwards, ascending
again, without seeming to move its wings, the impulse which it acquired
in the descent carrying it onwards, as a carriage, after being whirled
down a steep declivity, surmounts the next eminence, without additional
propulsion. Even the presence of the tyrant man he little heeds, and
in Pennsylvania one of this species came almost right upon me while in
pursuit of a dove, which found safety in my bosom from its persecutor.

When not in full chase, the Pigeon Hawk flies with an unsteady and
undetermined notion, flapping its wings frequently, while it rises in
spiral curves. This parade is of short duration, for, as if it remembered
that it was losing time, it again approaches the ground, and skims swiftly
over the streams, across the fields, along the fences, or by the skirts
of the woods, as if intending to frighten all the little birds in its
way. Should it unexpectedly meet a man, it darts upwards, and quickly
passes over to continue its search. I have known these Hawks attack birds
in cages, hanging against the walls of houses, in the very streets of
our eastern cities.

When wounded in the wing, it shakes the other as it falls, describing
the spiral curves of a screw; and, if no person is near to secure it,
makes its way by long leaps to the thickets, where it is very difficult
to find it. But if the gunner is at hand, and attempts to lay hold of it,
the little ruffian erects his feathers, screams shrilly and piercingly,
and, like the rest of his tribe, throws himself on his back, to be ready
to clutch his enemy.


FALCO COLUMBARIUS, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. p. 128.—_Lath._ Ind.
Ornith. vol. i. p. 44.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of
the United States, p. 28.

PIGEON HAWK, _Lath._ Synops. vol. i. p. 101.—_Wils._ Amer.
Ornith. vol. ii. p. 107. Pl. 25. fig. 3.


Adult Male. Plate XCII. Fig. 1.

Bill shortish, as broad as long, the sides convex, the dorsal outline
convex from the base; upper mandible with the edges slightly inflected,
and forming a projecting process, the tip trigonal, acute, descending
obliquely; lower mandible inflected at the edges, with a notch near
the end, abrupt at the tip. Nostrils roundish, with a central tubercle,
perforated in the short cere. Head rather large, flattened above. Neck
shortish. Body ovate. Legs short, roundish; tarsi covered before with
transverse scuta, on the sides with scales; toes scutellate above,
scabrous and tuberculate beneath; middle toe much longer than the outer,
which is connected with it at the base by a membrane; claws long, curved,
roundish, very acute.

Plumage ordinary, compact on the upper and fore parts, lax beneath.
Feathers of the head and neck narrow, of the back rather short, broad and
rounded, of the breast oblong. Space between the beak and eye covered
with bristly feathers. Orbital spaces bare. Wings nearly as long as
the tail; the primary quills narrow, tapering, cut out on the inner
web towards the end, rounded, the second longest; the secondary quills
short, obtuse. Tail longish, nearly even. Tibial feathers long, forming
a large tuft externally.

Bill bluish-black at the tip, blue towards the base; cere, margin, and
bare orbital space greenish-yellow. Iris dark brown. Feet greenish-yellow;
claws brownish-black. The general colour of the upper parts is
deep chocolate; a line above the eyes, the tips of the first row of
wing-coverts, the outer margins and tips of the secondaries, and the
inner margins and tips of the primaries, whitish. The inner webs of the
quills marked with pale brown spots. Tail banded with brownish-white
transverse spots, which do not reach the outer margin of the feathers,
and tipped with the same. Throat white, cheeks whitish, patched and
streaked with brown. A broad mustachial band of the same colour. Under
parts generally light reddish-brown, marked with guttiform spots. Tibial
feathers marked with more elongated spots. Under tail-coverts nearly
spotless.

Length 13 inches, extent of wings 28; bill 7/12 along the ridge, 11/12
along the gap.


Adult Female. Plate XCII. Fig. 2.

The colouring of the female is generally similar to that of the male,
somewhat lighter above, with the spots of the lower parts broader.

Length 14½ inches, extent of wings 30; bill ¾ along the ridge, ¾ along
the gap, measured from the tip of the lower mandible.




THE SEA-SIDE FINCH.

_FRINGILLA MARITIMA_, WILS.

PLATE XCIII. MALE AND FEMALE.


The monotonous chirpings which one hears in almost every part of our
maritime salt-marshes, are produced by this bird and another nearly
allied to it. The Sea-side Finch may be seen at any hour of the day,
during the months of May and June, mounted on the tops of the rankest
weeds which grow by the margins of tide-waters along the greater portion
of our Atlantic coast, whence it pours forth with much emphasis the few
notes of which its song is composed. When one approaches it, it either
seeks refuge amongst the grass, by descending along the stalks and
blades of the weeds, or flies off to a short distance, with a continued
flirting of its wings, then alights with a rapid descent, and runs
off with great nimbleness. I am inclined to believe that it rears two
broods in the season, as I have found birds of this species sitting
on their eggs early in May, and again in the beginning of July. The
nest is placed so close to the ground that one might suppose it partly
sunk in it, although this is not actually the case. It is composed of
coarse grasses externally, and is lined with finer kinds, but exhibits
little regularity in its structure. The eggs are from four to six, of an
elongated oval form, greyish-white, freckled with brown all over. The
male and the female sit alternately, and will not fly off at the sight
of man, unless he attempts to catch them on the nest, when they skulk
off as if badly wounded. Many nests may be found in the space of a few
acres of these marshes, where the land is most elevated, and where small
shrubs are seen. They select these spots, because they are not liable to
be overflowed by high floods, and because there are accumulated about
them drifted sand, masses of sea-weed, and other castings of the sea,
among which they find much food of the kind which they seem to prefer.
This consists of marine insects, small crabs and snails, as well as the
green sand beetle, portions of all of which I have found in their stomach.

It is very difficult to shoot them unless when they are on wing, as
their movements while they run up and down the weeds are extremely
rapid; but their flight is so direct and level, that a good marksman
can easily kill them before they alight amongst the grass again. After
the young are well grown, the whole of these birds betake themselves to
the ditches or sluices by which the salt-marshes are intersected, fly
along them, and there find abundant food. They enter the larger holes
of crabs, go into every crack and crevice of the drying mud, and are
then more difficult to be approached, as the edges of these ditches are
usually overgrown with taller and ranker sedges. Having one day shot a
number of these birds, merely for the sake of practice, I had them made
into a pie, which, however, could not be eaten, on account of its fishy
savour.

The Rose on which I have drawn these birds is found so near the sea, on
rather higher lands than the marshes, that I thought it as fit as any
other plant for the purpose, more especially as the Finches, when very
high tides overflow the marshes, take refuge in these higher grounds.
It is sweetly scented, and blooms from May to August. I have never met
with it elsewhere than on the small sea islands and along the coasts,
where it grows in loose sandy soil.


FRINGILLA MARITIMA, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the
United States, p. 110.

SEA-SIDE FINCH, FRINGILLA MARITIMA, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. iv.
p. 68, Pl. 34. fig. 2.


Adult Male. Plate XCIII. Fig. 1.

Bill shortish, robust, conical, acute; upper mandible broader than the
lower, slightly declinate at the tip; the edges of both mandibles slightly
arched, and a little deflected at the base. Nostrils basal, roundish,
open, partially concealed by the feathers. Head rather large. Neck
shortish. Body rather robust. Legs of moderate length, slender; tarsus
longer than the middle toe, covered anteriorly with a longitudinal plate
above, and a few large scuta below; toes scutellate above, free, the
lateral ones nearly equal; claws slender, slightly arched, compressed,
acute, that of the hind toe larger.

Plumage ordinary, compact above, soft and blended beneath. Wings short,
and much curved, third and fourth quills longest, first much shorter.
Tail of ordinary length, much rounded, the feathers narrow and rather
pointed.

Bill dark brown above, light blue beneath. Iris hazel. Feet and claws
greyish-blue. Crown of the head deep brown, surrounded by a line of
greyish-blue. Upper part of the back, wings, and tail, olive-brown mixed
with pale blue. Lesser wing-coverts reddish-brown, larger coverts edged
and tipped with brownish-white, the edge of the wing-joint yellow. Outer
margins of the tail-feathers paler. A broad yellow streak from the base
of the bill over the eye. Throat and fore-neck greyish-white, with a
streak of greyish-blue on each side. Breast and sides dull greyish-blue,
the abdomen paler.

There is very little difference between the sexes as to colour or size.

Length 8 inches, extent of wings 11; bill along the ridge ⅔, along the
gap 1.


THE CAROLINA ROSE.

ROSA CAROLINA, _Pursh_, Flor. Amer. p. 345.—ICOSANDRIA
POLYGYNIA, _Linn._ ROSACEÆ, _Juss._

This beautiful species, which attains a height of five or six feet, is
generally characterized by its globose germens, which, with the peduncles,
are more or less hispid; its hairy petioles, slightly curved prickles,
and oblongo-lanceolate, acute, serrated leaflets, which are glaucous
beneath. It varies greatly, however, like many other species of the same
genus.




THE GRASS FINCH, OR BAY-WINGED BUNTING.

_FRINGILLA GRAMINEA_, GMEL.

PLATE XCIV. MALE.


I have never seen the Bay-winged Bunting in any portion of Louisiana,
Missouri, Kentucky, or Ohio, and am therefore inclined to look upon it
as a resident of the country lying to the eastward of the range of the
Alleghanies. It there occurs from Georgia to Massachusets, both along
the shores and inland, as far as the base of the mountains, and here
and there on the mountains themselves, but seldom in places to which
cultivation has not extended. I have thought it prepossessed in favour
of sandy ground, and dry barren soils. It sings sweetly, and at times
for half-an-hour, without changing its place, either from the tops of
the Sassafras or Sumach bushes which grow along the fences, or from
the upper bar or stake of a fence itself. During this little serenade,
it is easily approached, but when on the ground, where it runs nimbly
and with grace, it is rather shy. It is fond of scratching in the warm
and dry sand, and of wallowing in it, to cleanse its body. Its flight,
which is easy, consists of a succession of gentle undulations, and,
when it is chased, sometimes extends over the whole of a field. It is
a solitary bird, and is rather pugnacious, for when two males or two
females happen to meet, little skirmishes frequently ensue. The nest,
which is placed among the grass, and partly sunk in the ground, little
attention being paid to its concealment, is prettily constructed. It
is formed externally of leaves and fine grass, and is well lined with
horse hair, so as to look neat and comfortable. The female lays from
four to six eggs, about the middle of April, in favourable seasons, and
generally rears two broods each year. I have shot these birds during
winter, in the neighbourhood of Lancaster in Pennsylvania, where but few
are seen. At the same period of the year they were found numerous along
the sea-coast of Virginia and Carolina. Their food consists principally
of the seeds of grasses and other plants, although they sometimes run
after insects and eat them also. Their flesh is juicy, tender and savoury.

Having drawn the figure which you will see on referring to the plate,
near the sea-shores of New Jersey, where the bird which it represents
was shot while walking among little groups of the plant there vulgarly
called the Prickly Pear, I have represented it also. It shoots up its
fleshy stems from among the driest sand, and there flourishes in the
greatest perfection and abundance. The flower is destitute of scent,
but the fruit is agreeably acid, and is often eaten by children. I
have observed a plant of the same genus about the sterile cliffs of the
Kentucky River, and in particular near the town of Frankfort, as well
as in Louisiana on Alexander's Creek, at which place it grows to a great
size. This is probably a distinct species. I have not observed Cactuses
growing in a wild state in any other part of the Union.


FRINGILLA GRAMINEA, _Gmel._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 922.—_Lath._
Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 445.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds
of the United States, p. 108.

GRASS FINCH, _Lath._ Synops. vol. iii. p. 273.

EMBERIZA GRAMINEA, BAY-WINGED BUNTING, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith.
vol. iv. p. 51. Pl. 31. fig. 5.


Adult Male. Plate XCIV.

Bill shortish, robust, conical, acute; upper mandible broader than the
lower, slightly declinate at the tip, the edges of both mandibles straight
to near the base, where they are a little deflected. Nostrils basal,
roundish, open, partially concealed by the feathers. Head rather large.
Neck short. Body robust. Legs of moderate length, slender; tarsus of the
same length as the middle toe, covered anteriorly with a longitudinal
plate above, and a few transverse scuta below; toes scutate above, free,
the lateral ones nearly equal; claws slender, arched, compressed, acute,
that of the hind toe largest.

Plumage ordinary, compact. Wings of ordinary length, third and fourth
quills longest, first and second little shorter. Tail longish, nearly
equal, or slightly forked.

Bill dark brown on the back of the upper mandible, pale on the sides and
below. Iris hazel. Tarsi, toes, and claws, flesh-colour. The general
colour of the upper parts is light brown, streaked and mottled with
darker. Lesser wing-coverts bright reddish-brown or bay, the larger
deep brown, edged with pale brown; quills also deep brown, the first
margined externally with white. Tail-feathers dark brown, the outer
marked with an oblique band of white, including the outer web and part
of the inner towards the tip, the next three margined externally with
white, changing into pale brown on the other. A narrow circle of white
around the eye. Throat and breast yellowish-white, the latter and the
fore part of the cheeks streaked with dark brown. Sides and abdomen very
pale yellowish-brown, the former sparsely streaked with dark brown; the
posterior abdominal region and under tail-coverts white.

There is no perceptible difference as to colour or size between the male
and the female.

Length 5¾ inches, extent of wings 10; bill ⅓ along the ridge, ½ along
the gap.

This species has been variously classed, some considering it as a
Fringilla, others as an Emberiza. It seems to me to be more in its true
place in the former genus, while in its habits, colouring and form, it
also approaches closely to some species of Alauda.


THE PRICKLY PEAR, OR INDIAN FIG.

CACTUS OPUNTIA, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 943. _Pursh_,
Fl. Amer. p. 323.—ICOSANDRIA MONOGYNIA, _Linn._ CACTI, _Juss._

This species has an articulated fleshy stem, with ovate, compressed
joints, sparsely covered with setaceous prickles; large yellow flowers,
and red, acidulous, eatable berries. It flowers in June and July, and
grows in sandy fields and dry barren soil.




THE YELLOW-POLL WARBLER.

_SYLVIA ÆSTIVA_, GMEL.

PLATE XCV. MALE.


As soon as the welcome note of the Purple Martin is heard in spring,
on its return to the United States, which, in Louisiana, sometimes
takes place early in March, the little Warbler here presented to your
inspection follows, and is seen gaily moving from tree to tree, feeding
on the smaller insects, and tuning its pipe, which, however, is not the
most melodious. It approaches the gardens and orange-groves, and again
flies off to the willows, along the margins of the pools and lagoons.



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