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rather robust. Legs of moderate length, slender; tarsus longer than
the middle toe, covered anteriorly with a few longish scutella; toes
scutellate above, free, the lateral ones nearly equal; claws slender,
slightly arched, that of the hind toe scarcely larger, much compressed,

Plumage soft, blended, rather compact on the back; wings shortish,
curved, rounded, the third quill longest, the second and fourth scarcely
shorter; tail long, emarginate.

This species, in size and general appearance, is very closely allied to
the Chipping Sparrow (see p. 21. of the present volume.)

Bill reddish-brown or cinnamon-colour. Iris chestnut. Feet pale
yellowish-brown. Upper part of the head chestnut; anterior portion of
the back and scapulars of the same tint, but marked with blackish-brown
spots, the middle part of each feather being of that colour; sides of
the neck pale bluish-grey, and a line of the same over the eye; rump and
tail yellowish-grey, the inner webs of the latter light-brown; quills and
coverts blackish-brown, margined with whitish, the two rows of coverts
slightly tipped with brownish-white; the under parts are greyish-white;
the sides of the neck and fore part of the breast tinged with chestnut.

Length 6 inches, extent of wings 8; bill along the back ¼, along the
edge 5/12.

The Female is rather less, and somewhat duller beneath, but in other
respects is precisely similar.

Sp. Pl. vol. iv. p. 105. _Pursh_, Fl. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 592.

Root tuberous, of an oblong form; radical leaves linear-lanceolate,
nerved; scape few-flowered; lip at the back clawed, the inside bearded;
five distinct petals of a light purplish-red. It grows in sandy soils
from Maine to the Floridas; I have not observed it in the more Southern
or Western States.


VACCINIUM TENELLUM, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 353. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. Sept. vol. i. p. 289.—DECANDRIA MONOGYNIA, _Linn._
ERICÆ, _Juss._

The branches angular, green; leaves sessile, ovato-lanceolate, mucronate,
serrulate, glossy on both sides; flowers in sessile clusters; corolla
ovate. This plant grows in most of the lands of the Middle and Eastern
Districts, both in woods and in open places. Its berries are eaten by
various birds, as well as by children.




The Pine Creeping Warbler, the most abundant of its tribe, is met with
from Louisiana to Maine, more profusely in the warmer, and more sparingly
in the colder regions, breeding wherever fir or pine trees are to be
found. Although it may occasionally be seen on other trees, yet it
always prefers those of that remarkable and interesting tribe. I found
it on the sandy barrens bordering St John's River, in East Florida, in
full song, early in February. I am pretty certain that they had already
formed nests at that early period, and it seems to me not unlikely that
this species, as well as some others that breed in that country at the
same time, may afterwards travel far to the eastward, and there rear
another brood the same year.

In some degree allied to the Certhiæ in its habits, it is often seen
ascending the trunks and larger branches of trees, hopping against the
bark, in search of the larvæ that lurk there. At times it moves sidewise
along a branch three or four steps, and turning about, goes on in the same
manner, until it has reached a twig, which it immediately examines. Its
restless activity is quite surprising: now it gives chase to an insect
on wing; now, it is observed spying out those more diminutive species
concealed among the blossoms and leaves of the pines; again, it leaves
the topmost branches of a tree, flies downwards, and alights sidewise
on the trunk of another, which it ascends, changing its position, from
right to left, at every remove. It also visits the ground in quest of
food, and occasionally betakes itself to the water, to drink or bathe.

It is seldom that an individual is seen by itself going through its
course of action, for a kind of sympathy seems to exist in a flock, and
in autumn and winter especially, thirty or more may be observed, if not
on the same tree, at least not far from each other. Although it feeds
on insects, larvæ, and occasionally small crickets, it seems to give a
decided preference to a little red insect of the coleopterous order, which
is found inclosed in the leaves or stipules of the pine. Low lands seem
to suit it best, for it is much less numerous in mountainous countries
than in those bordering the sea.

Like many other birds, the Pine Creeping Warbler constructs its nest
of different materials, nay even makes it of a different form, in the
Southern and Eastern States. In the Carolinas, for instance, it is
usually placed among the dangling fibres of the Spanish moss, with less
workmanship and less care, than in the Jerseys, the State of New York,
or that of Maine. In the latter, as well as in Massachusetts, where it
breeds about the middle of June, it places its nest at a great height,
sometimes fifty feet, attaching it to the twigs of a forked branch.
Here the nest is small, thin but compact, composed of the slender stems
of dried grasses mixed with coarse fibrous roots and the exuviæ of
caterpillars or other insects, and lined with the hair of the deer, moose,
racoon, or other animals, delicate fibrous roots, wool, and feathers.
The eggs, which are from four to six, have a very light sea-green tint,
all over sprinkled with small pale reddish-brown dots, of which there
is a thicker circle near the larger end. In these districts, it seldom
breeds more than once in the season, whereas in the Carolinas, Georgia,
and the Floridas, where it is a constant resident, it usually has two,
sometimes three, broods in the year, and its eggs are deposited on
the first days of April, fully a month earlier than in the State above

Its flight is short, and exhibits undulating curves of considerable
elegance. It migrates entirely by day, flying from tree to tree, and
seldom making a longer flight than is necessary for crossing a river. The
song is monotonous, consisting at times merely of a continued tremulous
sound, which may be represented by the letters _Trr-rr-rr-rr_. During
the love season, this is changed into a more distinct sound, resembling
_twĕ, twĕ, tĕ, tĕ, tē, tēē_. It sings at all hours of the day, even in
the heat of summer noon, when the woodland songsters are usually silent.

It is a hardy bird, seldom abandoning the most northern of the Eastern
States until the middle of October. I saw none beyond the Province of
New Brunswick, and Professor MACCULLOCH of Pictou had not observed it
in Nova Scotia. In Newfoundland and Labrador I did not see a single

I have placed a pair of these birds on a branch of their favourite pine;
but the colouring of the male is not so brilliant as it is in spring
and summer, the individual represented having been drawn in Louisiana
in the winter, where, as well as in the Carolinas, the Floridas, and
all the Southern Districts, it is a constant resident.

SYLVIA PINUS, _Lath._ Ind. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 537.—_Ch.
Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 81.

vol. iii. p. 25. pl. 19. fig. 4.

PINE WARBLER, SYLVIA PINUS, _Nuttall_, Manual, part i. p. 387.

Adult Male. Plate CXL. Fig. 1.

Bill shortish, nearly straight, subulato-conical, rather depressed at
the base, compressed towards the end, acute, the edges sharp, with a
very slight notch close to the tip. Nostrils basal, lateral, elliptical,
half-closed by a membrane. Head of ordinary size, neck short, body rather
slender. Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus compressed, anteriorly
scutellate, sharp behind; toes free, the hind toe of moderate size, the
lateral toes nearly equal; claws slender, compressed, arched acute.

Plumage soft blended. Wings rather long, second quill longest, first and
third scarcely shorter. Tail rather long, emarginate. Distinct bristles
at the base of the bill.

Bill brownish-black. Iris hazel. Feet dusky. The general colour of the
upper parts is yellowish-green inclining to olive, the rump lighter;
throat, sides and breast, greenish-yellow, the sides of the latter
spotted with greenish-brown, belly white. Wings and tail blackish-brown,
with greyish-white margins; the secondary coverts and first row of small
coverts tipped with white, forming two bars across the wing.

Length 5¼ inches, extent of wings 8½; bill along the back 5½/12, along
the sides ¾; tarsus ¾.

Adult Female. Plate CXL. Fig. 2.

On the upper parts the female is greyish-brown, tinged with olive, the
lower parts paler than in the male. In other respects, the differences
are not remarkable.

Length 5, extent of wings 8.


PINUS VARIABILIS, _Pursh_, Flor. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 643.
—P. MITIS, _Michaux_, Arbr. Forest. vol. i. p. 52. pl. 3.—MONŒCIA

This species is known by various names:—Long-leaved Pine, Yellow Pine,
Red Pine, and Pitch Pine. It attains a height of a hundred feet, and
has a diameter of four. The leaves are very long, three in a sheath,
and fasciculate at the ends of the branches. It is very abundant in
the Southern States, where it is employed for various purposes, more
especially for the inclosure of cultivated fields, and for ship-building
and domestic architecture. Most of the tar of the Southern States is
obtained from this tree.


The greater part of the forests of East Florida principally consists
of what in that country are called "Pine Barrens." In these districts,
the woods are rather thin, and the only trees that are seen in them are
tall pines of rather indifferent quality, beneath which is a growth of
rank grass, here and there mixed with low bushes and sword palmettoes.
The soil is of a sandy nature, mostly flat, and consequently either
covered with water during the rainy season, or parched in the summer and
autumn, although you meet at times with ponds of stagnant water, where
the cattle, which are abundant, allay their thirst, and around which
resort the various kinds of game found in these wilds.

The traveller, who has pursued his course for many miles over the
barrens, is suddenly delighted to see in the distance the appearance of
a dark "hummock" of live oaks and other trees, seeming as if they had
been planted in the wilderness. As he approaches, the air feels cooler
and more salubrious, the song of numerous birds delights his ear, the
herbage assumes a more luxuriant appearance, the flowers become larger
and brighter, and a grateful fragrance is diffused around. These objects
contribute to refresh his mind, as much as the sight of the waters of
some clear spring, gliding among the undergrowth, seems already to allay
his thirst. Over head festoons of innumerable vines, jessamines, and
bignonias, link each tree with those around it, their slender stems being
interlaced as if in mutual affection. No sooner, in the shade of these
beautiful woods, has the traveller finished his mid-day repast, than
he perceives small parties of men lightly accoutred, and each bearing
an axe, approaching towards his resting place. They exchange the usual
civilities, and immediately commence their labours, for they too have
just finished their meal.

I think I see them proceeding to their work. Here two have stationed
themselves on the opposite sides of the trunk of a noble and venerable
live-oak. Their keen-edged and well-tempered axes seem to make no
impression on it, so small are the chips that drop at each blow around
the mossy and wide-spreading roots. There, one is ascending the stem of
another, of which, in its fall, the arms have stuck among the tangled tops
of the neighbouring trees. See how cautiously he proceeds, barefooted,
and with a handkerchief round his head. Now he has climbed to the height
of about forty feet from the ground; he stops, and squaring himself
with the trunk on which he so boldly stands, he wields with sinewy arms
his trusty blade, the repeated blows of which, although the tree be as
tough as it is large, will soon sever it in two. He has changed sides,
and his back is turned to you. The trunk now remains connected by only
a thin stripe of wood. He places his feet on the part which is lodged,
and shakes it with all his might. Now swings the huge log under his
leaps, now it suddenly gives way, and as it strikes upon the ground its
echoes are repeated through the hummock, and every wild turkey within
hearing utters his gobble of recognition. The wood-cutter, however,
remains collected and composed; but the next moment, he throws his axe
to the ground, and, assisted by the nearest grape-vine, slides down and
reaches the earth in an instant.

Several men approach and examine the prostrate trunk. They cut at both
its extremities, and sound the whole of its bark, to enable them to judge
if the tree has been attacked by the white rot. If such has unfortunately
been the case, there, for a century or more, this huge log will remain
until it gradually crumbles; but if not, and if it is free of injury or
"wind-shakes," while there is no appearance of the sap having already
ascended, and its pores are altogether sound, they proceed to take its
measurement. Its shape ascertained, and the timber that is fit for use
laid out by the aid of models, which, like fragments of the skeleton of
a ship, shew the forms and sizes required, the "hewers" commence their
labours. Thus, reader, perhaps every known hummock in the Floridas is
annually attacked, and so often does it happen that the white-rot or some
other disease has deteriorated the quality of the timber, that the woods
may be seen strewn with trunks that have been found worthless, so that
every year these valuable oaks are becoming scarcer. The destruction of
the young trees of this species caused by the fall of the great trunks
is of course immense, and as there are no artificial plantations of
these trees in our country, before long a good sized live-oak will be so
valuable that its owner will exact an enormous price for it, even while
it yet stands in the wood. In my opinion, formed on personal observation,
Live-oak Hummocks are _not quite_ so plentiful as they are represented
to be, and of this I will give you _one_ illustration.

On the 25th of February 1832, I happened to be far up the St John's River
in East Florida, in the company of a person employed by our government
in protecting the live-oaks of that section of the country, and who
received a good salary for his trouble. While we were proceeding along
one of the banks of that most singular stream, my companion pointed out
some large hummocks of dark-leaved trees on the opposite side, which he
said were entirely formed of live-oaks. I thought differently, and as
our controversy on the subject became a little warm, I proposed that our
men should row us to the place, where we might examine the leaves and
timber, and so decide the point. We soon landed, but after inspecting
the woods, not a single tree of the species did we find, although there
were thousands of large "swamp-oaks." My companion acknowledged his
mistake, and I continued to search for birds.

One dark evening as I was seated on the banks of the same river,
considering what arrangements I should make for the night, as it began
to rain in torrents, a man who happened to see me, came up and invited
me to go to his cabin, which he said was not far off. I accepted his
kind offer, and followed him to his humble dwelling. There I found his
wife, several children, and a number of men, who, as my host told me,
were, like himself, Live-Oakers. Supper was placed on a large table,
and on being desired to join the party, I willingly assented, doing my
best to diminish the contents of the tin pans and dishes set before the
company by the active and agreeable housewife. We then talked of the
country, its climate and productions, until a late hour, when we laid
ourselves down on bears' skins, and reposed till day-break.

I longed to accompany these hardy wood-cutters to the hummock where they
were engaged in preparing live-oak timber for a man of war. Provided with
axes and guns, we left the house to the care of the wife and children,
and proceeded for several miles through a pine-barren, such as I have
attempted to describe. One fine wild Turkey was shot, and when we arrived
at the _Shantee_ put up near the hummock, we found another party of
wood-cutters waiting our arrival, before eating their breakfast, already
prepared by a Negro man, to whom the turkey was consigned to be roasted
for part of that day's dinner.

Our repast was an excellent one, and vied with a Kentucky breakfast:
beef, fish, potatoes, and other vegetables, were served up, with coffee
in tin cups, and plenty of biscuit. Every man seemed hungry and happy,
and the conversation assumed the most humorous character. The sun now
rose above the trees, and all, excepting the cook, proceeded to the
hummock, on which I had been gazing with great delight, as it promised
rare sport. My host, I found, was the chief of the party; and although
he also had an axe, he made no other use of it than for stripping here
and there pieces of bark from certain trees which he considered of
doubtful soundness. He was not only well versed in his profession, but
generally intelligent, and from him I received the following account,
which I noted at the time.

The men who are employed in cutting the live oak, after having discovered
a good hummock, build shantees of small logs, to retire to at night,
and feed in by day. Their provisions consist of beef, pork, potatoes,
biscuit, flour, rice, and fish, together with excellent whisky. They are
mostly hale, strong, and active men, from the eastern parts of the Union,
and receive excellent wages, according to their different abilities.
Their labours are only of a few months' duration. Such hummocks as are
found near navigable streams are first chosen, and when it is absolutely
necessary, the timber is sometimes hauled five or six miles to the nearest
water-course, where, although it sinks, it can, with comparative ease,
be shipped to its destination. The best time for cutting the live oak is
considered to be from the first of December to the beginning of March,
or while the sap is completely down. When the sap is flowing, the tree
is "bloom," and more apt to be "shaken." The white-rot, which occurs so
frequently in the live-oak, and is perceptible only by the best judges,
consists of round spots, about an inch and a half in diameter, on the
outside of the bark, through which, at that spot, a hard stick may be
driven several inches, and generally follows the heart up or down the
trunk of the tree. So deceiving are these spots and trees to persons
unacquainted with this defect, that thousands of trees are cut and
afterwards abandoned. The great number of trees of this sort strewn in
the woods would tend to make a stranger believe that there is much more
good oak in the country than there really is; and perhaps, in reality,
not more than one-fourth of the quantity usually reported, is to be

The Live-oakers generally revisit their distant homes in the Middle and
Eastern Districts, where they spend the summer, returning to the Floridas
at the approach of winter. Some, however, who have gone there with their
families, remain for years in succession; although they suffer much from
the climate, by which their once good constitutions are often greatly
impaired. This was the case with the individual above mentioned, from
whom I subsequently received much friendly assistance in my pursuits.




The Goshawk is of rare occurrence in most parts of the United States, and
the districts of North America to which it usually retires to breed are
as yet unknown. Some individuals nestle within the Union, others in the
British provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but the greater part
seem to proceed farther north. I saw none, however, in Labrador, but was
informed that they are plentiful in the wooded parts of Newfoundland. On
returning from the north, they make their appearance in the Middle States
about the beginning of September, and after that season range to very
great distances. I have found them rather abundant in the lower parts
of Kentucky and Indiana, and in severe winters I have seen a few even in
Louisiana. In the Great Pine Forest of Pennsylvania, and at the Falls of
Niagara, I have observed them breeding. During autumn and winter, they
are common in Maine, as well as in Nova Scotia, where I have seen six or
seven specimens that were procured by a single person in the course of
a season. At Pictou, Professor MACCULLOCH shewed me about a dozen well
mounted specimens of both sexes, and of different ages, which he had
procured in the neighbourhood. In that country, they prey on hares, the
Canada Grous, the Ruffed Grous, and Wild Ducks. In Maine, they are so
daring as to come to the very door of the farmer's house, and carry off
chickens and ducks with such rapidity as generally to elude all attempts
to shoot them. When residing in Kentucky I shot a great number of these
birds, particularly, one cold winter, near Henderson, when I killed a
dozen or more on the ice in Canoe Creek, where I generally surprised
them by approaching the deep banks of that stream with caution, and not
unfrequently almost above them, when their escape was rendered rather
difficult. They there caught mallards with ease, and after killing them
turned them belly upwards, and ate only the flesh of the breast, pulling
the feathers with great neatness, and throwing them round the bird, as
if it had been plucked by the hand of man.

The flight of the Goshawk is extremely rapid and protracted. He sweeps
along the margins of the fields, through the woods, and by the edges of
ponds and rivers, with such speed as to enable him to seize his prey
by merely deviating a few yards from his course, assisting himself on
such occasions by his long tail, which, like a rudder, he throws to the
right or left, upwards or downwards, to check his progress, or enable him
suddenly to alter his course. At times he passes like a meteor through
the underwood, where he secures squirrels and hares with ease. Should
a flock of Wild Pigeons pass him when on these predatory excursions, he
immediately gives chase, soon overtakes them, and forcing his way into
the very centre of the flock, scatters them in confusion, when you may
see him emerging with a bird in his talons, and diving towards the depth
of the forest to feed upon his victim. When travelling, he flies high,
with a constant beat of the wings, seldom moving in large circles like
other hawks, and when he does this, it is only a few times in a hurried
manner, after which he continues his journey.

Along the Atlantic coast, this species follows the numerous flocks of
ducks that are found there during autumn and winter, and greatly aids in
the destruction of Mallards, Teals, Black Ducks, and other species, in
company with the Peregrine Falcon. It is a restless bird, apparently more
vigilant and industrious than many other Hawks, and seldom alights unless
to devour its prey; nor can I recollect ever having seen one alighted
for many minutes at a time, without having a bird in its talons. When
thus engaged with its prey, it stands nearly upright, and in general,
when perched, it keeps itself more erect than most species of Hawk. It
is extremely expert at catching Snipes on the wing, and so well do these
birds know their insecurity, that, on his approach, they prefer squatting.

When the Passenger Pigeons are abundant in the western country, the
Goshawk follows their close masses, and subsists upon them. A single
hawk suffices to spread the greatest terror among their ranks, and the
moment he sweeps towards a flock, the whole immediately dive into the
deepest woods, where, notwithstanding their great speed, the marauder
succeeds in clutching the fattest. While travelling along the Ohio, I
observed several Hawks of this species in the train of millions of these
Pigeons. Towards the evening of the same day, I saw one abandoning its

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