John James Audubon.

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at Boston far exceeded all that I have ever met with.

Who that has visited that fair city, has not admired her site, her
universities, her churches, her harbours, the pure morals of her
people, the beautiful country around her, gladdened by glimpses of
villas, each vying with another in neatness and elegance? Who that has
made his pilgrimage to her far-famed Bunker's Hill, entered her not
less celebrated Fanneuil Hall, studied the history of her infancy, her
progress, her indignant patriotism, her bloody strife, and her peaceful
prosperity—that has moreover experienced, as I have done, the beneficence
of her warm-hearted and amiable sons—and not felt his bosom glow with
admiration and love? Think of her ADAMSES, her PERKINS, her EVERETTS, her
and PICKERINGS, whose public and private life presents all that we deem
estimable, and let them be bright examples of what the citizens of a
free land ought to be. But besides these honourable individuals whom
I have taken the liberty of mentioning, many others I could speak of
with delight, and one I would point out in particular, as he to whom my
deepest gratitude is due, one whom I cannot omit mentioning, because,
of all the good and the estimable, he it is whose remembrance is most
dear to me:—that generous friend is GEORGE PARKMAN.

About the middle of August, we left our Boston friends, on our way
eastward; and, after rambling here and there, came in sight of Moose
Island, on which stands the last frontier town, boldly facing one of
the entrances of the Bay of Fundy. The climate was cold, but the hearts
of the inhabitants of Eastport were warm. One day sufficed to render
me acquainted with all whom I was desirous of knowing. Captain CHILDS,
the commander of the garrison, was most obliging to me, while his wife
shewed the greatest kindness to mine, and the brave officers received
my sons with brotherly feelings. Think, reader, of the true pleasure we
enjoyed when travelling together, and everywhere greeted with so cordial
a welcome, while every facility was afforded me in the prosecution of my
researches. We made excursions into the country around, ransacked the
woods and the shores, and on one occasion had the pleasure of meeting
with a general officer in his Britannic Majesty's service, who, on my
presenting to him the official documents with which I had been honoured
by the Home Department, evinced the greatest desire to be of service to
me. We removed for some weeks to Dennisville, a neat little village,
where the acquaintance of Judge LINCOLN'S family rendered our stay
exceedingly agreeable. We had, besides, the gratification of being joined
by two gentlemen from Boston, one of whom has ever since remained a
true friend to me. Time passed away, and having resolved to explore the
British provinces of New Brunswick, we proceeded to St John's, where we
met with much politeness, and ascending the river of that name, a most
beautiful stream, reached Frederickton, where we spent a week. Here Sir
ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL, Bart. received us with all the urbanity and kindness
of his amiable nature. We then ascended the river to some miles below
the "Great Falls" parallel to Mar's Hill, and again entered the United
States' territory near Woodstock. From this spot we proceeded to Bangor,
on the Penobscot river, as you will find detailed in one of my short
narratives entitled, "A Journey in New Brunswick and Maine."

Soon after our arrival in Boston, my son VICTOR GIFFORD set sail for
England, to superintend the publication of my "Birds of America," and we
resumed our pursuits, making frequent excursions into the surrounding
country. Here I was a witness to the melancholy death of the great
SPURZHEIM, and was myself suddenly attacked by a severe illness, which
greatly alarmed my family; but, thanks to Providence, and my medical
friends PARKMAN, WARREN, and SHATTUCK, I was soon enabled to proceed
with my labours. A sedentary life and too close application being the
cause assigned for my indisposition, I resolved to set out again in
quest of fresh materials for my pencil and pen. My wishes directing
me to Labrador, I returned eastward with my youngest son, and had the
pleasure of being joined by four young gentlemen, all fond of Natural
History, and willing to encounter the difficulties and privations of

At Eastport in Maine, I chartered a beautiful and fast-sailing schooner,
the "Ripley," under the command of Mr HENRY W. EMMERY, and, through the
medium of my government letters, was enabled to visit, in the United
States' Revenue Cutters, portions of the Bay of Fundy, and several of
the thinly inhabited islands at its entrance. At length the day of our
departure for Labrador arrived. The wharf was crowded with all our friends
and acquaintance, and as the "star-spangled banner" swiftly glided to
the mast-head of our buoyant bark, we were surprised and gratified by
a salute from the fort that towers high over the bay. As we passed the
Revenue Cutter at anchor, her brave commander paid us the same honour;
after which he came on board, and piloted us through a very difficult

The next day, favoured by a good breeze, we proceeded at a rapid rate
and passing through the interesting Gut of Cansso, launched into
the broad waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence, and made sail for the
Magdeleine Islands. There we spent a few days, and made several valuable
observations. Proceeding from thence, we came in view of the famous
"Gannet Rock," where countless numbers of Solan Geese sat on their
eggs. A heavy gale coming on, away we sped with reefed sails, towards
the coast of Labrador, which next morning came in view. The wind had by
this time fallen to a moderate breeze, the sky was clear, and every eye
was directed towards the land. As we approached it we perceived what we
supposed to be hundreds of snow-white sails sporting over the waters,
and which we conjectured to be the barks of fishermen; but on nearing
them, we found them to be masses of drifting snow and ice, which filled
every nook and cove of the rugged shores. Our captain had never been on
the coast before, and our pilot proved useless; but the former being a
skilful and sagacious seaman, we proceeded with confidence, and after
passing a group of fishing boats, the occupiers of many of which we had
known at Eastport, we were at length safely anchored in the basin named
"American Harbour," where we found several vessels taking in cured fish.

But few days had elapsed, when, one morning, we saw a vessel making
towards our anchorage, with the gallant flag of England waving in the
breeze, and as she was moored within a cable-length of the Ripley, I
soon paid my respects to her commander, Captain BAYFIELD of the Royal
Navy. The politeness of British Naval officers is proverbial, and from
the truly frank and cordial reception of this gentleman and his brave
"companions in arms," I feel more than ever assured of the truth of this
opinion. On board the "Gulnare," there was also an amiable and talented
surgeon, who was a proficient in botany. We afterwards met with the
vessel in several other harbours.

Of the country of Labrador you will find many detached sketches in
this volume, so that for the present it is enough for me to say that
having passed the summer there, we sailed on our return for the United
States, touched at Newfoundland, explored some of its woods and rivers,
and landed at Pictou in Nova Scotia, where we left the Ripley, which
proceeded to Eastport with our collections. While at Pictou, we called
upon Professor MACCULLOCH of the University, who received us in the most
cordial manner, shewed us his superb collections of Northern Birds, and
had the goodness to present me with specimens of skins, eggs, and nests.
He did more still, for he travelled forty miles with us, to introduce us
to some persons of high station in the Province, who gave us letters for
Halifax. There, however, we had the misfortune of finding the individuals
to whom we had introductions absent, and being ourselves pressed for
time, we remained only a day or two, when we resumed our progress.

Our journey through Nova Scotia was delightful, and, like the birds that,
over our heads, or amidst the boughs, were cheerfully moving towards a
warmer climate, we proceeded gaily in a southern direction. At St John's
in New Brunswick, I had the gratification of meeting with my kind and
generous friend EDWARD HARRIS, Esq. of New York. Letters from my son in
England which he handed to me, compelled me to abandon our contemplated
trip, through the woods to Quebec, and I immediately proceeded to Boston.
One day only was spent there, when the husband was in the arms of his
wife, who with equal tenderness embraced her beloved child.

I had left Eastport with four young gentlemen under my care, some of whom
were strangers to me, and I felt the responsibility of my charge, being
now and then filled with terror lest any accident should befal them,
for they were as adventurous as they were young and active. But thanks
to the Almighty, who granted us his protection, I had the satisfaction
of restoring them in safety to their friends. And so excellent was
the disposition of my young companions, that not a single instance of
misunderstanding occurred on the journey to cloud our enjoyment, but the
most perfect cordiality was manifested by each towards all the rest. It
was a happy moment to me when I delivered them to their parents.

From Boston we proceeded to New York, where I obtained a goodly number
of subscribers, and experienced much kindness. My work demanded that
I should spend the winter in the south, and therefore I determined to
set out immediately. I have frequently thought that my success in this
vast undertaking was in part owing to my prompt decision in every thing
relating to it. This decision I owe partly to my father, and partly to
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. We arrived at Charleston in October 1833. At Columbia
I formed an acquaintance with THOMAS COOPER, the learned President of
the College there. Circumstances rendered impracticable my projected
trip to the Floridas, and along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, for
which reason, after spending the winter in keen research, aided by my
friend BACHMAN, I retraced my steps in March, in company with my wife
and son, to New York. At Baltimore, where we spent a week, my friends
and DUCATELL, greatly aided me in augmenting my list of subscribers, as
did also my friend Colonel THEODORE ANDERSON. My best acknowledgments
are offered to these gentlemen for their polite and kind attentions.

Taking a hurried leave of my friends Messrs PRIME, KING, STUVEYSANT,
PEAL, COOPER, and the Reverend W. A. DUER, President of the College,
we embarked on board the packet ship the North America, commanded by
that excellent man and experienced seaman Captain CHARLES DIXEY, with
an accession of sixty-two subscribers, and the collections made during
nearly three years of travel and research.

In the course of that period, I believe, I have acquired much information
relative to the Ornithology of the United States, and in consequence
of observations from naturalists on both continents, I embraced every
opportunity of forming a complete collection of the various birds
portrayed in my work. Until this journey I had attached no value to a
skin after the life which gave it lustre had departed: indeed, the sight
of one gave me more pain than pleasure. Portions of my collections of
skins I sent to my friends in Europe at different times, and in this
manner I parted with those of some newly discovered species before I
had named them, so careless have I hitherto been respecting "priority."
While forming my collection, I have often been pleased to find that many
species, which, twenty-five years ago, were scarce and rarely to be met
with, are now comparatively abundant;—a circumstance which I attribute
to the increase of cultivated land in the United States. I need scarcely
add, that the specimens here alluded to have been minutely examined,
for the purpose of rendering the specific descriptions as accurate as
possible. And here I gladly embrace the opportunity offered of presenting
my best thanks to Professor JAMESON, for the kindness and liberality
with which he has allowed me the free use of the splendid collection of
birds in the museum of the University of Edinburgh. Of this privilege
I have availed myself in comparing specimens in my own collection with
others obtained both in the United States and in other parts of the world.

Ever anxious to please you, and lay before you the best efforts of
my pencil, I carefully examined all my unpublished drawings before I
departed from England, and since then I have made fresh representations
of more than a hundred objects, which had been painted twenty years or
more previously. On my latter rambles I have not only procured species
not known before, but have also succeeded in obtaining some of those of
which BONAPARTE and WILSON had only met with single specimens. While in
the Floridas and Carolinas, my opportunities of determining the numerous
species of Herons, Ibises, Pigeons, &c. were ample, for I lived among
them, and carefully studied their habits. One motive for my journey to
Labrador was to ascertain the summer plumage and mode of breeding of the
Water Birds, which in spring retire thither for the purpose of rearing
their young in security, far remote from the haunts of man. Besides
accomplishing this object, I also met there with a few species hitherto

It has been said by some, that my work on the Birds of America would
not terminate until I had added to those of the United States, the
numerous species of the southern portion of our continent. Allow me,
reader, to refer you in refutation of this assertion to my prospectus,
in which it is stated that my work will be completed in four volumes.
In whatever other enterprise I may engage, rely upon it I will adhere
to my original design in this; and the only change will be, that the
period of publication will be shortened, and that there will be added
landscapes and views, which were not promised in the prospectus.

From my original intention of publishing _all_ the Land Birds first, I
have been induced to deviate, in consequence of letters from my patrons,
requesting that, after the conclusion of the second volume, the Water
Birds should immediately appear. Indeed the various opinions which my
subscribers occasionally express, are not a little perplexing to the
"American Woodsman," ever desirous to please all, and to adhere to
the method proposed at the commencement of the work. In the fourth and
last volume, after the Water Birds, will be represented all that remain
unpublished, or that may in the mean time be discovered, of the Land
Birds. As I cannot, in the fourth volume, proportion the plates in the
same manner as in the other three, the number of large drawings will be
much greater in it: but the _numbers_ will still consist of five plates,
and I trust my patrons will find the same careful delineation as before,
with more perfect engraving and colouring. These last numbers will of
course be much more expensive to me than those in which three of the
plates were small. The fourth volume will conclude with representations
of the eggs of the different species.

You have perhaps observed, or if not, I may be allowed to tell you, that
in the first volume of my Illustrations, in which there are 100 plates,
240 figures of birds are given; and that in the second, consisting of
the same number of plates, there are 244 figures. The number of species
not described by WILSON, are, in the first volume twenty-one, and in
the second twenty-four.

Having had but one object in view since I became acquainted with my
zealous ornithological friend, the Prince of Musignano, I have spared
no time, no labour, no expense, in endeavouring to render my work as
perfect as it was possible for me and my family to make it. We have all
laboured at it, and every other occupation has been laid aside, that
we might present in the best form the Birds of America, to the generous
individuals who have placed their names on my subscription list. I shall
rejoice if I have in any degree advanced the knowledge of so delightful
a study as that which has occupied the greater part of my life.

I have spoken to you, kind reader, more than once of my family. Allow
me to introduce them:—my eldest son VICTOR GIFFORD, the younger JOHN
WOODHOUSE.—Of their natural or acquired talents it does not become me to
speak; but should you some day see the "Quadrupeds of America" published
by their united efforts, do not forget that a pupil of DAVID first gave
them lessons in drawing, and that a member of the BAKEWELL family formed
their youthful minds.

To England I am as much as ever indebted for support in my hazardous
and most expensive undertaking, and more than ever grateful for that
assistance without which my present publication might, like an uncherished
plant, have died. While I reflect on the unexpected honours bestowed on
a stranger through the generous indulgence of her valuable scientific
associations, I cannot refrain from expressing my gratitude for the
facilities which I have enjoyed under the influence which these societies
are spreading over her hospitable lands, as well as in other countries.
I feel equally proud and thankful when I have to say that my own dear
country is affording me a support equal to that supplied by Europe.

Permit me now to say a few words respecting the persons engaged about my
work. I have much pleasure in telling my patrons in Europe and America,
that my engraver Mr HAVELL has improved greatly in the execution of the
plates, and that the numbers of the "Birds of America" have appeared
with a regularity seldom observed in so large a publication. For this,
praise is due not only to Mr HAVELL, but also to his assistants Mr BLAKE,

I have in this, as in my preceding volume, followed the nomenclature of
my much valued friend CHARLES LUCIAN BONAPARTE, and this I intend to do
in those which are to come, excepting always those alterations which
I may deem absolutely necessary. It is my intention, at the close, to
present a general table, exhibiting the geographical distribution of the
different species. The order in which the plates have been published,
precluding the possibility of arranging the species in a systematic
manner, it has not been deemed expedient to enter into the critical
remarks as to affinity and grouping, which might otherwise have been
made; but at another period I may offer you my ideas on this interesting

* * * * *

And now, reader, allow me to address my excellent friend the Critic.
Would that it were in my power to express the feelings that ever since
he glanced his eye over my productions, whether brought forth by the
pencil or the pen, have filled my heart with the deepest gratitude;—that
I could disclose to him how exhilarating have been his smiles, and how
useful have been his hints in the prosecution of my enterprise! If he
has found reason to bestow his commendations upon my first volume, I
trust he will not find the present more defective. Indeed, I can assure
him that the labour bestowed upon it by me has been much greater, and
that I have exerted every effort to deserve his approbation.


1st December 1834. }



The Raven, _Corvus Corax_, 1
The Blue Jay, _Corvus cristatus_, 11
The Canada Flycatcher, _Muscicapa canadensis_, 17
The Chipping Sparrow, _Fringilla socialis_, 21
The Red-bellied Nuthatch, _Sitta canadensis_, 24


The Black Vulture or Carrion Crow, _Cathartes Jota_, 33
The Canada Jay, _Corvus canadensis_, 53
The Fox-coloured Sparrow, _Fringilla iliaca_, 58
The Savannah Finch, _Fringilla Savanna_, 63
The Hooded Warbler, _Sylvia mitrata_, 66


The Pileated Woodpecker, _Picus pileatus_, 74
The Downy Woodpecker, _Picus pubescens_, 81
The Blue Bird, _Sylvia Sialis_, 84
The White-crowned Sparrow, _Fringilla leucophrys_, 88
The Wood Pewee, _Muscicapa virens_, 93


The Ferruginous Thrush, _Turdus rufus_, 102
The Mississippi Kite, _Falco plumbeus_, 108
The Warbling Flycatcher or Vireo, _Vireo gilvus_, 114
The Yellow-throated Flycatcher, or
Vireo, _Vireo flavifrons_, 119
The Pewee Flycatcher, _Muscicapa fusca_, 122


The Snowy Owl, _Strix nyctea_, 135
The Blue Grosbeak, _Fringilla cærulea_, 140
The Black and Yellow Warbler, _Sylvia maculosa_, 145
The Green Black-capped Flycatcher, _Muscicapa Wilsonii_, 148
The Brown-headed Nuthatch, _Sitta pusilla_, 151


The White-headed Eagle, _Falco leucocephalus_, 160
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak, _Fringilla ludoviciana_, 166
The Cat Bird, _Turdus felivox_, 171
The Great Crested Flycatcher, _Muscicapa crinita_, 176
The Yellow-winged Sparrow, _Fringilla passerina_, 180
Townsend's Bunting, _Emberiza Townsendii_, 183


The American Robin, or Migratory
Thrush, _Turdus migratorius_, 190
The Three-toed Woodpecker, _Picus tridactylus_, 197
The Black-poll Warbler, _Sylvia striata_, 200
The Hemlock Warbler, _Sylvia parus_, 205
The Blackburnian Warbler, _Sylvia Blackburniæ_, 208


The Meadow Lark or American
Starling, _Sturnus ludovicianus_, 216
The Yellow-breasted Chat, _Icteria viridis_, 223
The Connecticut Warbler, _Sylvia agilis_, 227
The Field Sparrow, _Fringilla pusilla_, 229
The Pine Creeping Warbler, _Sylvia pinus_, 232


The Goshawk, _Falco Palumbarius_, 241
The American Sparrow-hawk, _Falco Sparverius_, 246
The Golden-crowned Thrush, _Turdus aurocapillus_, 253
The Small Green Crested Flycatcher, _Muscicapa acadica_, 256
The Yellow Red-poll Warbler, _Sylvia petechia_, 259


The Fish-Crow, _Corvus ossifragus_, 268
The Night-hawk, _Caprimulgus virginianus_, 273
The Pine Swamp Warbler, _Sylvia sphagnosa_, 279
The Sharp-tailed Finch, _Fringilla caudacuta_, 281
MacGillivray's Finch, _Fringilla Macgillivraii_, 283
The Red-eyed Vireo, _Vireo olivaceus_, 287


The Turkey Buzzard, _Cathartes Aura_, 296
The White-breasted Nuthatch, _Sitta carolinensis_, 299
The Yellow-rump Warbler, _Sylvia coronata_, 303

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