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toes scutellate above, free; the outer and middle united to the second
joint, claws arched, compressed, acute.

Plumage soft and rather blended. Wings of moderate length rounded, the
first primary extremely short, the third and fourth longest. Tail rather
long, even, of twelve broad rounded feathers.

Bill lemon-yellow, the tip brownish, in old birds the whole is
yellow. Iris hazel. Feet pale brown. Upper part and sides of the head
brownish-black, fading on the back of the neck; the upper parts in
general, smoke-grey, tinged on the shoulders with brown. The wings
and tail blackish-brown, with greyish edges; the first row of small
wing-coverts tipped with pale-grey, and the end of the inner web of the
outermost tail-feather, together with the tip of the next, white. An
interrupted circle of three lines of white round the eye. Chin white,
spotted with brownish-black. The under surface generally, including the
wing-coverts, reddish-orange, fading on the abdomen into whitish.

Length 10 inches, extent of wings 14; bill along the ridge ¾, along the
edge 11/12; tarsus 1-3/12, middle toe 1-3/12.


Adult Female. Plate CXXXI. Fig. 2.

The colours of the female are paler, but resemble those of the male.
Her dimensions are a little less, the length varying from 9 to 10 inches.


Young Birds. Plate CXXXI. Fig. 3, 3, 3, 3, 3.

The young birds are spotted with blackish-brown on the fore-neck,
breast, and sides, which are of a paler reddish tint; the upper parts
have the shafts of the feathers whitish, and the bill is dark-brown. It
is remarkable that all the Thrushes known to me which have the breast
of a uniform tint when old, have it spotted when young, shewing that
in their mode of colouring the different species of the genus agree in
this respect at one period or other.


THE ROCK OR CHESTNUT OAK.

QUERCUS MONTANA, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. iv. p. 440. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 634. _Mich._ Arbr. Forest. vol. i.
p. 56. pl. 8.—MONŒCIA POLYANDRIA, _Linn._ AMENTACEÆ, _Juss._

This species of oak is distinguished by its obovate or oblong largely
toothed or sinuate leaves, which are acuminate, and tapering at the base,
of a deep shining green above, whitish and downy beneath. The cupule is
hemispherical, with tuberculate scales; the acorn ovate. It grows to a
great size, forming a fine ornament to our woods, and in open situations
spreads abroad its branches to a great extent. The wood is valuable,
and is much employed in the Western and Southern countries, where, as
well as in some of the Middle Districts, it abounds. It prefers elevated
situations, and generally occurs in dry gravelly soil.




THE THREE-TOED WOODPECKER.

_PICUS TRIDACTYLUS_, LINN.

PLATE CXXXII. MALE AND FEMALE.


This curious species of Woodpecker is found in the northern parts of the
State of Massachusetts, and in all portions of Maine that are covered
by forests of tall trees, in which it constantly resides. I saw a few
in the Great Pine Forest of Pennsylvania, and my friend, the Rev. JOHN
BACHMAN, observed four near the Falls of Niagara, about twelve years ago,
and is of opinion that some may breed in the upper part of the State of
New York.

It is a restlessly active bird, spending its time generally on the
topmost branches of the tallest trees, without, however, confining itself
to pines. Although it cannot be called shy, its habitual restlessness
renders it difficult of approach. Its movements resemble those of the
Red-cockaded Woodpecker, but it is still more petulant than that bird.
Like it, it will alight, climb along a branch, seek for insects there,
and in a very few moments remove to another part of the same tree, or to
another tree at more or less distance, thus spending the day in rambling
over a large extent of ground. Its cries also somewhat resemble those
of the species above mentioned, but are louder and more shrill, like
those of some small quadruped suffering great pain. During the middle
hours of the day it becomes silent, and often retires to some concealed
place to rest a while. In the afternoon of warm days, it very frequently
makes sorties after flying insects, which it seems to secure in the air
with as much ease as the Red-headed Woodpecker. Besides insects, it also
feeds on berries and other small fruits.

Its flight is rapid, gliding, and deeply undulated, as it shifts from
one place to another. Now and then it will fly from a detached tree of
a field to a considerable distance before it alights, emitting at every
glide a loud shrill note. When alighted, the rolling tappings of its
bill against a dead and dried branch are as sonorous as those of the
Redhead. I never saw one on the ground, but I have not unfrequently met
with them searching the decayed wood of a prostrate tree.

The nest of this species is generally bored in the body of a sound tree,
near its first large branches. I observed no particular choice as to
the timber, having seen it in oaks, pines, &c. The nest, like that of
other allied species, is worked out by both sexes, and takes fully a week
before it is completed, its usual depth being from twenty to twenty-four
inches. It is smooth and broad at the bottom, although so narrow at its
entrance as to appear scarcely sufficient to enable one of the birds to
enter it. The eggs are from four to six, rather rounded, and pure white.
Only one brood is raised in the season. The young follow their parents
until autumn, when they separate and shift for themselves. They do not
attain their full plumage until the second year.

The number of these Woodpeckers is greatly increased in the State of
Maine during winter, by accessions from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and
Labrador, in all which countries I have found the species in summer,
but where, if I am rightly informed, few remain during severe winters.


PICUS TRIDACTYLUS, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 177.—_Lath._
Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 243.—_Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds
of the United States, p. 46.

PICUS (APTERNUS) ARCTICUS, _Swains. and Richards._ Fauna
Bor.-Amer. part ii. p. 311.

NORTHERN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, PICUS TRIDACTYLUS, _Ch.
Bonaparte_, Amer. Ornith. vol. ii. pl. 14. fig. 2.—_Nuttall_,
Manual, part i. p. 578.


Adult Male. Plate CXXXII. Fig. 1. 1.

Bill longish, straight, strong, angular, compressed toward the tip, which
is slightly truncate and cuneate; upper mandible with the dorsal line
straight, the ridge distinct, the sloping sides quite flat, the lateral
angle or ridge close to the edges, which are acute and overlapping;
lower mandible with the ridge distinct, the sides convex, edges sharp
and inflected. Tongue comparatively shorter than that of the _Picus
villosus_, but of the same form, the extensile part being vermiform, the
tip flat above, convex below, and serrated backwards on the thin edges.
Nostrils basal, elliptical, covered by the feathers. Head rather large,
neck short, body robust. Feet very short; tarsus scutellate before and
behind; two toes before, one only behind, which is versatile and larger,
all scutellate above; claws strong, extremely compressed, very acute,
and uncinate.

Plumage blended, glossy, on the back and wings rather compact. Feathers
of the top of the head stiff and silky. Wings longish, third and fourth
quills longest and equal. Tail graduated, of twelve decurved stiff
feathers, worn to a point, excepting the outermost, which is extremely
small. Base of the bill covered by recumbent bristly feathers.

Bill bluish-black, the lower mandible greyish-blue, as are the feet,
the scutella and claws black. Iris bluish-black. The general colour of
the upper parts is deep glossy black, the head with blue reflections,
the back with green. Crown of the head yellow tinged with orange. Quills
blackish-brown, the outer primaries with seven rows of white spots. Two
middle tail-feathers black, two next of the same colour, but with three
cream-coloured spots on the edge of the outer web towards the end; two
next black at the base, cream-coloured towards the end, black at the
tip; two next cream-coloured, with little black at the base, and a mere
touch of black on the tip; two next of the same colour, with very little
black at the base; the two outermost, which are very short, rounded,
and generally concealed, barred with black and cream-colour. A white
band from the base of the mandible passes under the eye, and there is a
very slender line of the same behind it. Throat, fore neck, and anterior
part of the breast, white; the rest of the under parts also white, but
barred with black.

Length 10½ inches, extent of wings 16; bill along the ridge 1-2/12,
along the edge 7/12; tarsus 11/12, middle toe and claw 11/12, of hind
toe and claw 1¼.


Adult Female. Plate CXXXII. Fig. 2.

The female wants the yellow patch on the crown of the head, and has
the line of white behind the eye rather more conspicuous, but in other
respects resembles the male.




THE BLACK-POLL WARBLER.

_SYLVIA STRIATA_, LATH.

PLATE CXXXIII. MALE AND FEMALE.


No sooner had the Ripley come to an anchor in the curious harbour of
Labrador, known by the name of Little Macatina, than my party and myself
sought the shore;—but before I proceed, let me describe this singular
place. It was the middle of July, the weather was mild and pleasant, our
vessel made her way under a smart breeze through a very narrow passage,
beyond which we found ourselves in a small circular basin of water,
having an extent of seven or eight acres. It was so surrounded by high,
abrupt, and rugged rocks, that, as I glanced around, I could find no apter
comparison for our situation than that of a nut-shell in the bottom of
a basin. The dark shadows that overspread the waters, and the mournful
silence of the surrounding desert, sombred our otherwise glad feelings
into a state of awe. The scenery was grand and melancholy. On one side,
hung over our heads, in stupendous masses, a rock several hundred feet
high, the fissures of which might to some have looked like the mouths
of some huge undefined monster. Here and there a few dwarf-pines were
stuck as if by magic to this enormous mass of granite; in a gap of the
cliff the brood of a pair of grim Ravens shrunk from our sight, and the
Gulls, one after another, began to wend their way overhead towards the
middle of the quiet pool, as the furling of the sails was accompanied
by the glad cries of the sailors. The remarkable land-beacons erected
in that country to guide vessels into the harbour, looked like so many
figures of gigantic stature formed from the large blocks that lay on
every hill around. A low valley, in which meandered a rivulet, opened at
a distance to the view. The remains of a deserted camp of seal-catchers
was easily traced from our deck, and as easily could we perceive the
innate tendency of man to mischief, in the charred and crumbling ruins
of the dwarf-pine forests. But the harbour was so safe and commodious,
that, before we left it to find shelter in another, we had cause to be
thankful for its friendly protection.

We were accoutred for the occasion, and, as I have said, instantly made
for the shore. Anxious to receive as much information as possible in
a given time, we separated. The more active scaled the most difficult
heights, and among them was our Captain, Mr EMERY, than whom a more
expert seaman and a better man is rarely to be found. Others chose the
next most difficult place of ascent; while I and my young friend Dr
SHATTUCK of Boston, slowly moved along in quest of birds, plants, and
other objects. We soon reached a considerable elevation, from which
we beheld the broad Gulf of St Lawrence gathering its gray vapours, as
if about to cover itself with a mantle; while now and then our eye was
suddenly attracted by the gliding movements of our distant parties, as
they slipped down the declivities. In this manner we had surveyed the
country for several miles, when the sea-fog began to approach the land so
swiftly, that, with the knowledge we all had acquired of the difficulty
of proceeding overland when surprised by it, we judged it prudent to
return to our vessel. There we compared notes, and made preparations
for the morrow.

One fair morning, while several of us were scrambling through one of the
thickets of trees, scarcely waist-high, my youngest son chanced to scare
from her nest a female of the Black-poll Warbler. Reader, just fancy how
this raised my spirits. I felt as if the enormous expense of our voyage
had been refunded. "There," said I, "we are the first white men who have
seen such a nest." I peeped into it, saw that it contained four eggs, and
observed its little owner looking upon us with anxiety and astonishment.
It was placed about three feet from the ground, in the fork of a small
branch, close to the main stem of a fir tree. Its diameter internally was
two inches, the depth one and a half. Externally it resembled the nest
of the White-crowned Sparrow, being formed of green and white moss and
lichens, intermixed with coarse dried grass; within this was a layer of
bent grass, and the lining was of very dark-coloured dry moss, looking
precisely like horse-hair, arranged in a circular direction with great
care. Lastly, there was a thick bed of large soft feathers, some of
which were from Ducks, but most of them from the Willow Grouse.

I must now return to the United States, and trace the progress of our
Warbler. It enters Louisiana as early as the middle of February. At
this time it is seen gleaning food among the taller branches of the
willows, maples, and other trees that overhang the rivers and lakes. Its
migrations eastward follow the advance of the season, and I have not
been able to comprehend why it is never seen in the maritime parts of
South Carolina, while it is abundantly found in the State of New Jersey
close to the sea shore. There you would think that it had changed its
habits; for, instead of skipping among the taller branches of trees, it
is seen moving along the trunks and large limbs, almost in the manner
of a Certhia, searching the chinks of the bark for larvæ and pupæ. They
are met with in groups of ten, twelve, or more, in the end of April,
but after that period few are to be seen. In Massachusetts they begin to
appear nearly a month later, the intervening time being no doubt spent
on their passage through New York and Connecticut. I found them at the
end of May in the eastern part of Maine, and met with them wherever we
landed on our voyage to Labrador, where they arrive from the 1st to the
10th of June, throwing themselves into every valley covered by those
thickets, which they prefer for their breeding places. It also breeds
abundantly in Newfoundland.

In these countries it has almost become a Flycatcher. You see it
darting in all directions after insects, chasing them on wing, and not
unfrequently snapping so as to emit the clicking sound characteristic
of the true Flycatcher. Its activity is pleasing, but its notes have no
title to be called a song. They are shrill, and resemble the noise made
by striking two small pebbles together, more than any other sound that
I know. They may be in some degree imitated by pronouncing the syllable
_sche, sche, sche, sche, sche_, so as progressively to increase the
emphasis.

I found the young fully grown in the latter part of August, but with the
head as in the females, and like them they obtain their full plumage
during the next spring migration, after which these birds return
southward. They raise only one brood in the season, and if any of them
breed in the United States, it must be in the northern parts. They are
seldom seen in autumn in the States, and very seldom during the summer
months.

The Black-poll Warbler is a gentle bird, by no means afraid of man,
although it pursues some of its smaller enemies with considerable courage.
The sight of a Canadian Jay excites it greatly, as that marauder often
sucks its eggs, or swallows its young. In a few instances I have seen
the Jay confounded by the temerity of its puny assailant.

The occurrence of this species so far north in the breeding season, and
the curious diversity of its habits in different parts of the vast extent
of country which it traverses, are to me quite surprising, and lead me to
add some remarks on the migration of various species of Sylvia, which,
like the present, seem to skip, as it were, over large portions of the
country.

In the course of my voyages to the south-eastern extremity of the
Peninsula of the Floridas, I frequently observed birds of many kinds
flying either high or low over the sea. Of these the greater number
were, like the present species, Sylviæ which are never found in Georgia
or the two Carolinas. Their course was a direct one, and such as led me
to believe that the little voyagers were bound for Cape Hatteras. The
meeting with many of the species to which I allude, along the shores
of Maryland, New Jersey, the eastern coast of Long Island, &c., and all
along to the Bay of Fundy, has strengthened the idea; but as I may not
be correct, I leave the matter to the determination of more experienced
observers. The subject appears to me to be one of the greatest importance,
for the occurrence of plants in certain parts of a country and not in
others may possibly be caused by the absence, during migration, of such
birds as move by "short cuts" from one point of land to another.


SYLVIA STRIATA, _Lath._ Ind. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 61.—_Ch.
Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 81.

SYLVICOLA STRIATA, _Swains. and Richards._ Fauna Bor.-Amer.
part ii. p. 218.

BLACK-POLL WARBLER, SYLVIA STRIATA, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. iv.
p. 40. pl. 30. fig. 3. Male; and vol. vi. p. 10. pl. 49.
fig. 4. Female.—_Nuttall_, Manual, part i. p. 383.


Adult Male. Plate CXXXIII. Fig. 1, 1.

Bill shortish, nearly straight, subulato-conical, acute, nearly as deep
as broad at the base, the edges sharp, with a slight notch near the tip,
the gap line a little deflected at the base. Nostrils basal, elliptical,
lateral, half-closed by a membrane. Head of ordinary size, neck short,
general form slender. Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus covered
anteriorly by a few scutella, the uppermost long, sharp behind; toes
scutellate above, the inner free, the hind toe of moderate size; claws
arched, slender, extremely compressed, acute.

Plumage soft, blended, slightly glossed. Wings of ordinary length, the
first quill longest. Tail of moderate length, emarginate.

Bill brownish-black above, pale beneath. Iris deep-brown. Feet pale
yellowish-brown. Upper part of the head deep black. Hind neck, back, and
tail-coverts, bluish-grey, each feather with a broad central stripe of
deep black. Wing-coverts and secondary quills brownish-black, the latter
margined, the secondary coverts margined and tipped, and the first row
of small coverts broadly tipped with white, that colour forming two bands
on the wing. Primary quills clove-brown, edged with paler. Tail-feathers
blackish-brown, the two outer on each side with a white patch on the
inner webs near the end. A broad band of white crosses the cheek, and
all the lower parts are of the same colour, an interrupted line of black
spots running down the sides of the neck and breast.

Length 5¼ inches, extent of wings 8½; bill along the ridge 5½/12,
along the edge 7/12; tarsus 9½/12.


Adult female. Plate CXXXIII. Fig. 2.

The female has the whole of the upper parts oil-green, tinged with
grey, with central blackish-brown spots on the feathers, the rump and
tail-coverts with the dark spots inconspicuous. Wing-bands tinged with
yellow, as are the sides of the breast. The sides of the head, neck,
breast, and flanks, marked with blackish-brown spots. In other respects
the colouring is similar to that of the male.

Length 5¼ inches.


THE BLACK GUM TREE.

NYSSA AQUATICA, _Linn._ Sp. Pl. 1511. _Mich._ Arbr. Forest.
vol. ii. p. 265 pl. 22.

N. BIFLORA, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. liv, p. 1113. _Pursh_, Flor.
Amer. vol. i. p. 177. POLYGAMIA MONŒCIA, _Linn._ ELÆAGNI,
_Juss._

The Black Gum is seldom found of a greater height than from fifty to sixty
feet, with a diameter of about three. The wood is of little use, even for
firing, as it takes a long time to consume, affords no blaze, and burns
dismally. A trunk of this tree falling into the water immediately sinks
and remains. Its foliage is pleasing to the eye, and in many parts of the
Middle Districts some are kept standing as shade-trees for cattle. The
berries, which hang in pairs, and sometimes three or four together, at
the extremity of their slender peduncle, are eaten in great quantities
during winter by various species of birds.




THE HEMLOCK WARBLER.

_SYLVIA PARUS_, WILS.

PLATE CXXXIV. MALE AND FEMALE.


It is to the persevering industry of WILSON that we are indebted for
the discovery of this bird. He has briefly described the male, of which
he had obtained but a single specimen. Never having met with it until
I visited the Great Pine Forest, where that ardent ornithologist found
it, I followed his track in my rambles there, and had not spent a week
among the gigantic hemlocks which ornament that interesting part of our
country, before I procured upwards of twenty specimens. I had therefore
a fair opportunity of observing its habits, which I shall now attempt
to describe.

The tallest of the hemlock pines are the favourite haunts of this species.
It appears first among the highest branches early in May, breeds there,
and departs in the beginning of September. Like the Blue Yellow-back
Warbler, its station is ever amidst the thickest foliage of the trees,
and with as much agility as its diminutive relative, it seeks its food
by ascending from one branch to another, examining most carefully the
under parts of each leaf as it proceeds. Every insect that escapes is
followed on wing, and quickly secured. It now and then, as if for variety
or sport, makes a downward flight, alights on a smaller tree, surveys
it for a while, and again ascends to a higher station. During the early
part of autumn it frequents, with its young, the margins of rivulets,
where insects are then more abundant.

Its notes are sweet and mellow, and although not numerous, are easily
distinguished from those of any other Warbler. Like a true Sylvia, it
is often seen hanging at the end of a branch, searching for insects.
It never alights on the trunk of a tree, and in this particular differs
from every other species of its genus. Its food is altogether of insects.

To the inimitable skill of the worthy JEDIAH IRISH in the use of the
rifle, I am indebted for the possession of a nest of this bird. On
discovering one of the birds, we together watched it for hours, and at
last had the good fortune to see itself and its mate repeatedly enter a
thick cluster of leaves, where we concluded their nest must be placed. The
huntsman's gun was silently raised to his shoulder, the explosion followed
in course, and as I saw the twig whirling downwards, I experienced all
the enthusiastic anxiety ever present with me on such occasions. Picking
up the branch, I found in it a nest, containing three naked young, with
as yet sealed eyelids. The nest was small, compact, somewhat resembling
that of the American Goldfinch. It was firmly attached to the leaves of
the hemlock twig, which appeared as if intentionally closed together
over and around it, so as to conceal it from all enemies. Lichens,
dry leaves of hemlock, and slender twigs formed its exterior. It was
delicately lined with the fur of the hare and racoon; and the young lay
imbedded in the softest feathers of the Ruffed Grouse. The parents soon
became aware of the mischief which we had done; they descended, glided
over our heads, manifested the most tender affection and the deepest
sorrow, and excited our sympathy so far, that I carefully placed their
tender offspring on a fallen log, leaving them to the care of their kind
protectors, and contenting myself with their cradle.

I have since met with this species in the State of Maine, and have seen
several individuals in Newfoundland; but never again have I found a
nest, nor can I say any thing regarding its eggs. Confined as it is to
the interior of the forests, I cannot even tell you more respecting its
mode of flying than what I have already related, never having observed
it performing a longer flight than from one tree to another.


SYLVIA PARUS, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United



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