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plumage is white, the face, forehead, nape, fore neck, anterior part of
the breast, abdomen, and rump, with the upper and lower tail-coverts,
unspotted; the upper part of the head and the back marked with lunated
umber brown spots, and the breast, sides, and thigh-coverts, with
transverse curved lines of the same. Wing-coverts, wings, and tail,
barred with transverse oblong dark-brown spots.

Length 21 inches, extent of wings 53; bill along the ridge 1-8/12, along
the edge 2; tarsus 1-6/12, middle toe with the claw 2½.


Adult Female. Plate CXXI. Fig. 2.

The female is similar in external appearance, but much larger.

Length 26 inches, extent of wings 65.


Individuals of either sex vary according to age, the spots gradually
disappearing the older the birds become, so that not unfrequently
specimens of a uniform white may be found.




THE BLUE GROSBEAK.

_FRINGILLA CÆRULEA_, BONAP.

PLATE CXXII. MALE, FEMALE, AND YOUNG.


While the Cardinal Grosbeak enlivens the neighbourhood of our southern
cities and villages, and frequents the lawn of the planter's habitation,
the present species, shy and bashful, retires to the borders of the
almost stagnant waters used as reservoirs for the purpose of irrigating
the rice plantations. There, where the alligator, basking sluggishly on
the miry pool, bellows forth its fearful cries, or in silence watches
the timid deer, as it approaches to immerse its body in order to free it
from the attacks of myriads of tormenting insects; where the watchful
Heron stands erect, silent, and ready to strike its slippery prey, or
leisurely and gracefully steps along the muddy margins; where baneful
miasmata fill the sultry air, now imbued with a virus almost sufficient
to prostrate all other beings save those whose nature enables them to
remain in those damps;—there you meet with the Cærulean Grosbeak, timidly
skipping from bush to bush, or over and amid the luxuriant rice, watchful
even of the movements of the slave employed in cultivating the fertile
soil. If the place is silent, and the weather calm, this cautious bird
gradually ascends some high tree, from the top of which it pours forth
its melting melodies, the female sitting the while on her eggs in her
grassy nest, in some low sheltered bush hard by. Her mate now and then
relieves her from her task, provides her with food while she sits,
and again lulls her to repose by his song. One brood and again another
are hatched, reared, and led forth to find for themselves the food so
abundantly spread around them. Humbly and inconspicuously clad as the
young birds are, most of them escape the talon of the watchful Hawk, or
the fire of the mischief-loving gunner. The parents soon join them, and
no sooner is their favourite rice gathered, than the whole fly off, and
gradually wend their way to warmer climes.

Although this sweet songster spends the spring and summer in our Southern
States, it must be considered as a rather scarce bird there. It seldom
enters deep woods, but prefers such low grounds as I have described above,
or the large and level abandoned fields covered with rank grasses and
patches of low bushes. It arrives in the lower parts of Louisiana about
the middle of March, the males appearing eight or ten days before the
females, in small parties of five or six, when their common call-note, a
single chuck, is frequently uttered to attract the females. They proceed
through Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas, in all which districts they
breed. Beyond this, however, few are to be met with. I never observed
this species on the Mississippi farther up than the neighbourhood of
Natchez; nor is it ever seen in Kentucky, or in any other part of the
western country. Along the Atlantic coast, it is rarely found beyond
the State of New Jersey.

It is remarkable that, although this bird seldom places its nest more
than a few feet from the ground, it is fond of ascending to the tops of
the tallest detached trees, to sing, during the spring and summer, rarely
performing that pleasant duty among the low bushes which it usually
inhabits.

One or two pairs of these birds generally take possession of a field,
for the purpose of breeding, making choice of one little frequented by
other birds. There, in the most secluded part, the Blue Grosbeak builds
its nest, placing it in the upright fork of some small slender bush, or
attaching it to the tall blades of a tuft of rank grass. It is composed
of fine dried grasses, which are more carefully arranged towards the
interior, and is lined with a few delicate fibrous roots, dried moss,
or horse-hair. There are seldom more than four eggs, but two broods are
raised in the season. When the first broods leave their parents, the
young birds assemble in small flocks composed of a few families, and
resort mostly to the rice fields, feeding on the grain when yet in its
milky state, and until it is gathered. The parents join them with their
second brood, and shortly after, or about the first days of September,
they all depart southward.

In the summer of 1829, I accidentally met with a nest of these birds
in the State of New Jersey, a few miles only from Philadelphia. I was
attracted towards it by the cries of the birds, both of which were perched
on a tall hickory tree, standing on a piece of barren ground, near a
swamp well known on account of the visits it receives during the Woodcock
season. I looked for the nest for some time in vain. The parents left the
tree, flew about as if much alarmed and distressed, and at last alighted
on the ground not far from me. Following them gradually, I saw them go
up to one of their young, and on reaching the place, saw the nest in a
low bush of the dogwood. In it were two young ones, dead, and covered
with large insects. Presently I heard the chirp of a fourth, which I
found within a few yards of the place. Concluding that the insects were
the cause of all the distress I saw, I destroyed them, and replaced the
young birds in the nest, where I left them. Visiting them repeatedly
afterwards, I saw them grow apace, until at length they flew off, when
I cut the twig, and drew it with the nest, as you now see it in the Plate.

My friend BACHMAN has favoured me with the following remarks, which I
have pleasure in recommending to you. "Being desirous of procuring and
raising the young of this bird, I made considerable exertions to find
a nest. Having found four in the course of one spring, I observed that
two of them had been robbed of their eggs before incubation commenced.
The young of the third were destroyed by a snake, which I found in the
act, and shot from the bush. Those of the fourth escaped until nearly
fledged, when going towards them one morning to carry them away, and
being within twenty steps of them, I heard them chirping loudly, as if
anxious to be fed, when I saw a black snake a few yards before me, with
its head raised high above ground, as if listening to their cries. It
went in a straight line to the bush, as if following the sound, and
before I came up to the place, it had swallowed one, and was trying
to escape with another in its mouth. I carried the two remaining home,
raised them with great ease, and kept them in an aviary for two years.
They proved to be females. On taking them out of the nest, I had with me
a trap cage, in which I tried to catch the old ones. They were both very
shy, suspicious, and so cautious, that the female alone was inclined to
enter it, and was secured. When left with her young, she noticed them
not, and although I kept her for several years, she never attempted to
build a nest. A full-plumaged male purchased in the market, and put in
the aviary, mated on the following spring with one of the young females,
took possession of the nest of a Cardinal Grosbeak, which they drove
off, carefully repaired it, rendered it neat and comfortable, and laid
two eggs, which unfortunately were destroyed by the rats. In the aviary
these birds are generally silent, and during rain appeared delighted.
They clung to the bars, driving all other birds away, as if determined
to enjoy the whole pleasure themselves."

The food of this species consists principally of different sorts of
seeds. They are fond of those of rice and grass of all kinds during
spring and summer. Towards autumn, they now and then throw themselves
into the fields of Guinea corn, the seeds of which they easily break
with their strong bills. I never saw them eat fruits or berries.

The song of the Blue Grosbeak is prolonged or rapidly renewed, and
resembles that of the Rice Bird (_Fringilla oryzivora_), but it seldom
sings after the breeding season. Its flight is prolonged, undulating,
and rapid, resembling that of the Rose-breasted species. They hop on the
ground, where they pick up gravel to mix with their food, and frequently
bathe. They are confined to the maritime districts, seldom going more
than forty or fifty miles inland.

Individuals are now and then exposed for sale in the markets of the
southern cities, where, on account of the difficulty experienced in
catching them, they sell for about a dollar the pair.

The young, which has heretofore been represented as the female, does
not attain its full plumage until the third year, and in the mean time
varies but little from the one represented in the plate. In the course
of the second autumn, it shews spots of blue irregularly placed on its
back, and the following spring acquires its full beauty. The male and
female represented in the same plate are both adult, and in their perfect
spring plumage. They retain their colours unimpaired during winter, while
in confinement, which is therefore probably the case in the countries
to which they resort at that season.


FRINGILLA CÆRULEA, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the
United States, p. 114.—_Nuttall_, Manual, part i. p. 529.

LOXIA CÆRULEA, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 306.—_Lath._ Ind.
Ornith. vol. i. p. 374.

BLUE GROSBEAK, LOXIA CÆRULEA, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. iii.
p. 78. Pl. 24. fig. 6.


Adult Male. Plate CXXII. Fig. 1.

Bill rather short, robust, bulging a little at the base, conical, acute;
upper mandible with its dorsal outline very slightly convex, as is the
lower, both rounded on the sides, the edges acute and 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 size; tarsus of the same length as
the middle toe, covered anteriorly with a few scutella, the upper long,
posteriorly sharp edged; toes scutellate above, free, the lateral ones
nearly equal; claws slender, arched, compressed, acute.

Plumage soft, rather compact above, blended beneath. Wings of moderate
length, third and fourth primaries longest. Tail rather long, emarginate.

Bill pale greyish-blue beneath and on the edges of the upper mandible,
the rest of which is dusky. Iris brown. Feet dusky. The general colour
of the plumage is deep purplish-blue. Lore, chin, and a line round the
base of the mandibles, black. Quills and larger coverts brownish-black,
the primaries edged with blue, the secondary quills, secondary coverts
and first row of smaller coverts light reddish-brown. Tail feathers
brownish-black, edged with blue, as are the under tail coverts.

Length 7½ inches, extent of wings 11; bill along the ridge 7/12, along
the edge 10/12; tarsus 1.


Adult Female. Plate CXXII. Fig. 2.

Bill as in the male, but paler. Feet brown. Head and hind part of the
back, as in the male; the back, sides of the neck, and forepart of the
breast greyish-brown, tinged with dull blue. The rest of the under parts
yellowish-grey. The wings are nearly as in the male, but lighter, and
the black at the base of the bill is wanting. The dimensions are somewhat
less than those of the male.


Young Bird fully fledged. Plate CXXII. Fig. 3.

Bill yellowish-grey, dusky above. Feet brown. The general colour is
light greenish-brown, the upper part of the head, the back, smaller wing
coverts and upper tail coverts tinged with dusky. The wings and tail
are as in the female.


THE DOG WOOD.

CORNUS FLORIDA, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. i. p. 661. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. vol. i. p. 108.—TETRANDRIA MONOGYNIA, _Linn._
CAPRIFOLIA, _Juss._

See vol. i. pages 45, and 376.




THE BLACK AND YELLOW WARBLER.

_SYLVIA MACULOSA_, LATH.

PLATE CXXIII. MALE AND FEMALE.


Few of our Warblers have a more varied plumage, or are more animated
in their motions, than this beautiful little bird. In Louisiana it is
met with now and then as early as the middle of March, but there its
occurrence appears to be merely accidental, as is indeed the case in
Kentucky, Ohio, or any portion of the Middle States, through which a few
are to be seen on their passage to more northern regions. In autumn I
have seen them in great numbers near the Pocano Mountains, accompanied
by their young, proceeding southward, as I thought, along the direction
of that range. While in Maine, on my way to Labrador, in the month of
May, I observed them to be very abundant by the roads, in the fields,
the low woods, and even the orchards and gardens. In fact, so numerous
were those interesting birds, that you might have fancied that an army of
them had assembled to take possession of the country. Scarce a leaf was
yet expanded, large icicles hung along the rocky shores, and I could not
but feel surprised at the hardihood of the little adventurers. At night
they roosted in numbers in the small evergreen trees, and by day they
were to be seen flitting about wherever the sun shone. If the morning
was cold, you might catch them with the hand, and several specimens,
procured in that manner by children, were brought to me. This happened
in the neighbourhood of Eastport. By the end of a fortnight, the greater
part of them had pushed farther north. I met them wherever I landed in
the neighbouring islands, and along the shores of the Bay of Fundy, as
well as in the Straits of Cansso, the Magdeleine Isles, and Labrador.
I have no doubt that the extraordinary congregation which I saw near
Eastport, was caused by the foresight of the tiny travellers, aware that
they could not at so early a period proceed farther without imminent
danger. Many of these birds, however, remain and breed in the State of
Maine, and in the British Provinces.

The Black and Yellow Warbler has a clear and sweetly modulated song,
surpassing that of many other birds of its tribe. It sings in the interior
of the low woods, to which it seems at all times to give a decided
preference. Its motions are extremely graceful; its tail is constantly
spread as it flits along the branches, or even while it is on the ground,
to which it frequently betakes itself, and its wings are usually held in
a drooping position, so as to display all the beauty of its plumage. It
feeds on insects and their larvæ. Now and then it may be seen balancing
itself in the air, opposite a cluster of leaves, among which it darts to
secure its prey, and not unfrequently it emerges a few feet from among
the foliage of a tree or bush, to seize a fluttering insect. In catching
its prey, it does not produce the clicking sound, caused by the sudden
meeting of the mandibles, so remarkable in some other species.

The nest, which is placed deep among the branches of low fir trees, is
supported by horizontal twigs, and is constructed of moss and lichens,
lined with fibrous roots, and a great quantity of feathers. In one, found
in Labrador, in the beginning of July, there were five small eggs, rather
more elongated than is usual in the genus. They were white, sprinkled
with reddish dots near the larger end. The female, on being disturbed,
spread out her wings and tail, fluttered along the branches in the agony
of despair, lingered trembling about the spot, and returned to the nest
while we were only a few yards distant from it.

During the first days of August, I saw many of the young following their
parents, and perceived that some were already on their way southward.
While in the Bay of St George, Newfoundland, I again saw these birds
daily, although they became scarcer the longer we remained in the country.
I also traced their retrograde flight into Nova Scotia, but on landing
in the United States lost sight of them.

The young of this species is represented in Plate L., and described at
page 260 of the first volume of the present work.


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

BLACK, AND, YELLOW WARBLER, SYLVIA MAGNOLIA, _Wils._ Americ.
Ornith. vol. iii. p. 63. Pl. 23. Male.—_Nuttall_, Manual, vol. i.
p. 370.


Adult Male. Plate CXXIII. Fig. 1.

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

Plumage soft, blended. Wings rather short, second and third quills
longest, first shorter than the fourth, which is almost as long as the
third. Tail rather long, slightly emarginate, of twelve rounded feathers.

Bill black. Iris brownish-black. Feet dusky, the toes yellow beneath.
Upper part of the head ash-grey. A band from the forehead to the eye,
passing under it, and becoming broader behind the eye, hind neck, anterior
part of the back, and upper tail-coverts, black. A short white line over
and behind the eye, and a speck of the same under it. Wing-coverts and
quills deep brown, edged with light grey, the first row of small coverts
and the secondary coverts broadly tipped with white, forming two bars
across the wing. Tail brownish-black, the feathers, excepting the two
middle, having an oblong white mark on the inner web beyond the middle,
forming a broad bar across the tail. The throat bright yellow, the rest
of the lower parts of the same colour, fading behind into white, the
middle of the neck, the breast, and sides, marked with large oblong
longitudinal spots of brownish-black. Rump greyish-yellow.

During winter the black band crossing the cheek, passes over the hind
neck, and joins the black of the back.

Length 5 inches, extent of wings 7½; bill along the ridge 4/12, along
the edge 6/12; tarsus ¾, middle toe 7/12.


Adult Female. Plate CXXIII. Fig. 2.

The Female is similar to the male, but somewhat paler beneath.


For the description of the Young fully fledged, see vol. i. p. 260.


THE FLOWERING RASPBERRY.

RUBUS ODORATUS, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 1085. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. Sept. vol. i. p. 348.—ICOSANDRIA POLYGYNIA, _Linn._
ROSACEÆ, _Juss._

This species of rasp has the stems hispid; the leaves three or five-lobed,
acute; the flowers in lateral and terminal corymbs, with divaricate
stalks and appendiculate calyces. It is abundant in the Middle and
Eastern, but rare in the Southern and Western Districts. It forms part
of the rich undergrowth of our woods, and also grows in old fields with
other species of the genus. The flowers are rose-coloured and showy,
but destitute of odour, and the fruit is delicious and highly fragrant,
from which circumstance the species derives its name.




THE GREEN BLACK-CAPPED FLYCATCHER.

_MUSCICAPA WILSONII._

PLATE CXXIV. MALE AND FEMALE.


This species passes rapidly through the United States on its way to the
Northern Districts, where it breeds and spends the summer. WILSON saw only
a few specimens, which he met with in the lower parts of Delaware and
New Jersey, and supposed it to be an inhabitant of the Southern States,
where, however, it is never found in the summer months. It is not rare
in the State of Maine, and becomes more abundant the farther north we
proceed. I found it in Labrador and all the intermediate districts. It
reaches that country early in June, and returns southward by the middle
of August.

It has all the habits of a true Flycatcher, feeding on small insects,
which it catches entirely on the wing, snapping its bill with a smart
clicking sound. It frequents the borders of the lakes, and such streams
as are fringed with low bushes, from which it is seen every moment
sallying forth, pursuing its insect prey for many yards at a time, and
again throwing itself into its favourite thickets.

The nest is placed on the extremity of a small horizontal branch, amongst
the thick foliage of dwarf firs, not more than from three to five feet
from the ground, and in the centre of the thickets of these trees so
common in Labrador. The materials of which it is composed are bits
of dry moss and delicate pine twigs, agglutinated together and to the
branches or leaves around it, and beneath which it is suspended, with a
lining of extremely fine and transparent fibres. The greatest diameter
does not exceed 3½ inches, and the depth is not more than 1½. The eggs
are four, dull white, sprinkled with reddish and brown dots towards the
larger end, where the markings form a circle, leaving the extremity plain.

The parents shew much uneasiness at the approach of any intruder, skipping
about and around among the twigs and in the air, snapping their bill,
and uttering a plaintive note. They raise only one brood in the season.
The young males shew their black cap as soon as they are fully fledged,
and before their departure to the south. The head of the young females
is at first of the same tint as the back, but I could not ascertain if
they acquire their full colour the first autumn.

I found these birds abundant in Newfoundland, but perceived that they
had already begun to migrate, on the 20th of August; they were moving
from bush to bush, and seldom flew farther than thirty or forty yards at
a time; yet when crossing the arms of the Gulf of St Lawrence, they are
obliged to fly forty miles or more without alighting. The little Winter
Wren must perform the same task, it being found in the same countries,
to which some individuals travel from the United States. I observed the
Green Black-capped Flycatcher in considerable numbers, in the northern
parts of Maine, in October 1832, and concluded that the individuals seen
must have come from a great distance.


MUSCICAPA WILSONII.

SYLVIA WILSONII, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the
United States, p. 86.

GREEN BLACK-CAPT FLYCATCHER, MUSCICAPA PUSILLA, _Wils._ Amer.
Ornith. vol. iii. p. 103. pl. 26. fig. 4.

GREEN BLACK-CAPT WARBLER, _Nuttall_, Manual, vol. i. p. 408.


Adult Male. Plate CXXIV. Fig. 1.

Bill short, straight, conical, depressed at the base, compressed towards
the end, the tip acute; upper mandible slightly convex in its dorsal
line, the sides convex, the edges sharp; lower mandible straight along
the back, the sides convex. Nostrils basal, oval, half covered by the
bristly feathers of the forehead. Head of ordinary size, neck short,
body compact, rather slender. Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus
compressed, covered anteriorly with a few long scutella, sharp behind,
longer than the middle toe; toes free, scutellate above; claws arched,
slender, much compressed, acute.

Plumage soft and blended, slightly glossed; short but distinct bristles
at the base of the upper mandible. Wings short, the second quill longest.
Tail rather long, even, of twelve rounded feathers.

Bill light-brown. Iris hazel. Feet flesh-coloured. Back, rump, and upper
tail-coverts olive-green; crown black, bordered on the forehead and over
the eyes with a broad band of bright yellow. Wings and tail dusky, the
feathers margined with green, the tips of the first row of small coverts
and of the secondary coverts pale greenish-grey. The sides of the neck
greenish-grey, the lower parts in general bright yellow.

Length 4½ inches, extent of wings 6¾; bill along the ridge 3/12, along
the edge 5/12; tarsus 8/12.


Adult Female. Plate CXXIV. Fig. 2.

The female has the colours in general somewhat paler, and is without the
black patch on the head, it being substituted by a light yellowish-grey
colour.


THE SNAKE'S HEAD.

CHELONE GLABRA, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. iii. p. 225. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 427.—DIDYNAMIA ANGIOSPERMIA,
_Linn._ SCROPHULARINÆ, _Juss._



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