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smart clicks of its bill, when I went up to it. It lived only a few
minutes, and from it the drawing transferred to the plate was made.
This figure corresponds precisely with a skin shewn to me by my friend
CHARLES PICKERING, at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia,
except in the general tint of the plumage, his specimen, which he had
received from South America, having been much faded.

Many years ago, while residing at Henderson in Kentucky, I had one of
these birds brought to me which had been caught by the hand, and was
nearly putrid when I got it. The person who presented it to me had caught
it in the Barrens, ten or twelve miles from Henderson, late in October,
after a succession of white frosts, and had kept it more than a week.
While near the city of Natchez, in the State of Mississippi, in August
1822, I saw two others high in the air, twittering in the manner of the
King Bird; but they disappeared to the westward, and I was unable to see
them again. These four specimens were the only ones I have seen in the
United States, where individuals appear only at long intervals, and in
far distant districts, as if they had lost themselves. I regret that I
am unable to afford any information respecting their habits.

The bird has been placed on a plant which grows in Georgia, and which
was drawn by my friend BACHMAN'S sister.

MUSCICAPA TYRANNUS, _Linn._ vol. i. p. 325.—_Lath._ Ind.
Ornith. vol. ii. p. 484.

MUSCICAPA SAVANA, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the
United States, p. 67.

Amer. Ornith. vol. i. p. 1. pl. 1. fig. 1.—_Nuttall_, Manual,
part ii. p. 274.

Adult Male. Plate CLVIII.

Bill of moderate length, rather stout, straight, broad at the base,
compressed towards the end; upper mandible with the dorsal outline a
little convex, the sides convex, the edges sharp and nearly perpendicular,
with a very small notch close upon the small deflected tip; lower mandible
with the back broad, the sides rounded, the edges sharp and inflected.
Nostrils basal, lateral, oblong, partly covered by the bristly feathers.
Head rather large, depressed, neck short, body rather slender. Feet rather
short; tarsus compressed, rather sharp before and behind, anteriorly
covered with broad scutella; toes free, the hind toe not proportionally
larger; claws slightly arched, compressed, acute.

Plumage soft, blended, slightly glossed. Basirostral bristles strong.
Wings rather long, second quills longest, third a little shorter, first
almost as long as third, all the three curiously cut into near the end,
with a sharp sinus, the rest of the quills to the tip being extremely
slender. Tail with the lateral feather extremely elongated, very deeply
forked, the middle feathers being of ordinary length, the intermediate
ones graduated.

Bill and feet black. Iris dusky. Head and cheeks deep black, the feathers
of the crown deep yellow at the base, that colour being visible only when
the crest is elevated. The back is ash-grey, becoming darker behind,
so that the tail-feathers are blackish-brown, margined with grey.
Wing-coverts and quills blackish-brown, slightly margined with grey, as
is the tail, of which, however, the outer web of the lateral feather is
white for half its length from the base. The lower parts are white.

Length 14¼ inches, extent of wings 14; bill along the ridge 7/12, along
the edge 10/12; tarsus 7½/12. Outer tail-feathers 10, the next 4¾, the
middle ones 2½.

The Female resembles the Male.

GORDONIA LASIANTHUS, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. iii. p. 840. _Pursh_,
Fl. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 451.—MONODELPHIA POLYANDRIA, _Linn._

This beautiful small tree is met with in Georgia, South Carolina, and
Florida, in moist lands near the coast, and never fails to attract the
eye by its beautiful blossoms. The twig from which the drawing was made
was procured from the garden of Mr NOISETTE, who liberally afforded
me all the aid in his power for embellishing my plates. The leaves are
evergreen, lanceolato-oblong, shining, and leathery; the flowers white,
of the size of the common garden-rose, and placed on long peduncles;
the capsules conical and acuminate.




A few days after my arrival at Key West in the Floridas, early in the
month of May, Major GLASSEL of the United States' Army presented me with
a specimen of this bird, which had been killed by one of the soldiers
belonging to the garrison. I had already observed many Cuckoos in the
course of my walks through the tangled woods of that curious island;
but as they seemed to be our Common Yellow-billed species, I passed
them without paying much attention to them. The moment this specimen
was presented to me however, I knew that it was a species unknown to me,
and thought, as I have on many occasions had reason to do, how vigilant
the student of nature ought to be, when placed in a country previously
unvisited by him. The bird was immediately drawn, and I afterwards shot
several others, all precisely corresponding with it.

The habits of the Mangrove Cuckoo I found to be much the same as those
of our two other well known species. Like them, it is fond of sucking
the eggs of all kinds of birds in the absence of their owners, and also
feeds on fruits and various species of insects. It is, however, more
vigilant and shy, and does not extend its migrations northward beyond
the eastern capes of the Floridas, appearing, indeed, to confine itself
mostly to the islets covered with mangroves, among the sombre foliage of
which trees it usually builds its nest and rears its young. It retires
southward in the beginning of September, according to the accounts of
it which I received in the country.

The nest is slightly constructed of dry twigs, and is almost flat,
nearly resembling that of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, which I have already
described. The eggs are of the same number and form as those of that
species, but somewhat larger. It raises two broods in the season, and
feeds its young on insects until they are able to go abroad.

The White-headed Pigeon is frequently robbed of its eggs by this
plunderer, and it is alleged by the fishermen and wreckers that it
destroys the squabs when yet very young, but I saw no instance of this
barbarous propensity. One which had been caught in its nest, and which
I saw placed in a cage, refused all kinds of food, and soon died. This,
however proved to me the great affection which they have towards their
eggs. Their flight is much like that of the other species described by
me, perhaps only more rapid and elevated when they are proceeding to
some distant place.

COCCYZUS SENICULUS, _Nuttall_, Manual, part i. p. 558.

CUCULUS SENICULUS, _Lath._ Index Ornith. vol. i. p. 219.

MANGROVE CUCKOO, _Lath._ Synops. vol. ii. p. 537.

Adult Male. Plate CLXIX.

Bill as long as the head, broad at the base, compressed, slightly
arched, acute; upper mandible carinated above, its margins acute and
entire; lower mandible carinated beneath, acute. Nostrils basal, lateral,
linear-elliptical, half-closed by a membrane. Feet short; tarsus covered
with a few large scutella, which extend around it and meet behind; toes
two before, separated; two behind, one of which is versatile; their
under surface broad and flat; claws slender, compressed, arched.

Plumage soft, blended, slightly glossed. Wings long, the first quill
short, the third and fourth longest and equal; primaries tapering,
secondaries broad and rounded. Tail very long, graduated, of ten feathers,
which are broad and rounded.

Upper mandible brownish-black, lower mandible yellow at the base,
blackish on the margin and at the end. Iris hazel. Feet greyish-blue.
The general colour of the upper parts, including the wing-coverts and
two middle tail-feathers, is light greenish-brown, the head tinged
with grey; primary quills umber-brown; tail-feathers, excepting the two
middle ones, brownish-black tipped with white, the outer more largely.
The lower surface brownish-orange.

Length 12 inches, extent of wings 15; bill along the ridge 1, along the
edge 1¼; tarsus 1-1/12, longest toe 1¼.

The Female resembles the male, but is somewhat paler, especially on the
lower surface, which is tinged with grey.

THE SEVEN YEARS' APPLE, _Catesby_, plate 59.

The plant, on a twig of which I have represented the Mangrove Cuckoo,
is found on all the Florida Keys, and at times is seen growing in large
patches on the mud flats that exist between the outer islets and the
mainland. The leaves are thick, glossy above, furred, and of a dull
brown colour beneath.




Having landed on one of the Florida Keys, I scarcely had time to cast
a glance over the diversified vegetation which presented itself, when I
observed a pair of birds mounting perpendicularly in the air twittering
with a shrill continued note new to me. The country itself was new: it
was what my mind had a thousand times before conceived a tropical scene
to be. As I walked over many plants, curious and highly interesting to
me, my sensations were joyous in the highest degree, for I saw that in
a few moments I should possess a new subject, on which I could look with
delight, as one of the great Creator's marvellous works.

I was on one of those yet unknown islets, which the foot of man has
seldom pressed. A Flycatcher unknown to me had already presented itself,
and the cooing of a Dove never before heard come on my ear. I felt some
of that pride, which doubtless pervades the breast of the discoverer
of some hitherto unknown land. Although desirous of obtaining the birds
before me, I had no wish to shoot them at that moment. My gun lay loosely
on my arms, my eyes were rivetted on the Flycatchers, my ears open to
the soft notes of the Doves. Reader, such are the moments, amid days of
toil and discomfort, that compensate for every privation. It is on such
occasions that the traveller feels most convinced, that the farther he
proceeds, the better will be his opportunities of observing the results
of the Divine conception. What else, I would ask of you, can be more
gratifying to the human intellect!

Delighted and amused I stood for a while contemplating the beautiful
world that surrounded me, and from which man would scarcely retire with
willingness, had not the Almighty ordained it otherwise. But action had
now to succeed, and I quickly procured some of the Flycatchers. Their
habits too, I subsequently studied for weeks in succession, and the
result of my observations I now lay before you.

About the 1st of April, this species reaches the Florida Keys, and
spreads over the whole of them, as far as Cape Florida, or perhaps
somewhat farther along the eastern coast of the Peninsula. It comes
from Cuba, where the species is said to be rather abundant, as well as
in the other West India Islands. Its whole demeanour so much resembles
that of the Tyrant Flycatcher, that were it not for its greater size,
and the difference of its notes, it might be mistaken for that bird, as
I think it has been on former occasions by travellers less intent than
I, on distinguishing species. At the season when I visited the Floridas,
there was not a Key ever so small without at least a pair of them.

Their flight is performed by a constant flutter of the wings, unless
when the bird is in chase, or has been rendered shy, when it exhibits a
power and speed equal to those of any other species of the genus. During
the love season, the male and female are seen rising from a dry twig
together, either perpendicularly, or in a spiral manner, crossing each
other as they ascend, twittering loudly, and conducting themselves in a
manner much resembling that of the Tyrant Flycatcher. When in pursuit
of insects, they dart at them with great velocity. Should any large
bird pass near their stand, they immediately pursue it, sometimes to a
considerable distance. I have seen them, after teasing a Heron or Fish
Crow, follow them nearly half a mile, and return exulting to the tree on
which they had previously been perched. Yet I frequently observed that
the approach of a White-headed Pigeon or Zenaida Dove, never ruffled
their temper. To the Grakles they were particularly hostile, and on all
occasions drove them away from their stand, or the vicinity of their
nest, with unremitting perseverance. The reason in this case, and in
that of the Fish Crow, was obvious, for these birds sucked their eggs
or destroyed their young whenever an opportunity occurred. This was also
the case with the Mangrove Cuckoo.

This species is careless of the approach of man, probably because it
is seldom disturbed by him. I have been so near some of them as to see
distinctly the colour of their eyes. No sooner, however, had it begun
to build its nest, than it flew about me or my companions, as if much
exasperated at our being near, frequently snapping its beak with force,
and in various ways loudly intimating its disapprobation of our conduct.
Then as if we retired from the neighbourhood of its nest, it flew upwards,
chattering notes of joy.

They fix their nest somewhat in the manner of the King Bird, that is,
on horizontal branches, or in the large fork of a mangrove, or bush of
any other species, without paying much attention to its position, with
respect to the water, but with very singular care to place it on the
western side of the tree, or of the islet. I found it sometimes not
more than two feet above high water, and at other times twenty. It is
composed externally of light dry sticks, internally of a thin layer of
slender grasses or fibrous roots, and has some resemblance to that of
the Carolina Pigeon in this respect that, from beneath, I could easily
see the eggs through it. These were regularly four in all the nests
that I saw, of a white colour, with many dots towards the larger end.
The young I have never seen, my visit to those Keys having been in some
measure abridged through lack of provisions.

On one of the Keys to which I went, although of small size, I saw several
nests, and at least a dozen of these birds all peaceably enjoying
themselves. The sexes present no external difference. According to
report, they retire from these islands about the beginning of November,
after which few land birds of any kind are seen on them.

After I had arrived at Charlestown in South Carolina, on returning from
my expedition to the Floridas, a son of PAUL LEE, Esq. a friend of the
Rev. JOHN BACHMAN, called upon us, asserting that he had observed a
pair of Flycatchers in the College Yard, differing from all others with
which he was acquainted. We listened, but paid little regard to the
information, and deferred our visit to the trees in the College Yard.
A week after, young LEE returned to the charge, urging us to go to the
place, and see both the birds and their nest. To please this amiable
youth Mr BACHMAN and I soon reached the spot; but before we arrived the
nest had been destroyed by some boys. The birds were not to be seen,
but a Common King Bird happening to fly over us, we jeered our young
observer, and returned home. Soon after the Flycatchers formed another
nest, in which they reared a brood, when young LEE gave intimation to Mr
BACHMAN, who, on visiting the place, recognised them as of the species
described in this article. Of this I was apprised by letter after I had
left Charleston, for the purpose of visiting the northern parts of the
Union. The circumstance enforced upon me the propriety of never suffering
an opportunity of acquiring knowledge to pass, and of never imagining
for a moment that another may not know something that has escaped your

Since that time, three years have elapsed. The birds have regularly
returned every spring to the College-yard, and have there reared, in
peace, two broods each season, having been admired and respected by the
collegians, after they were apprised that the species had not previously
been found in the State. It thus furnishes another of the now numerous
instances of new species entering the Union from the south, to increase
our Fauna, and enliven our hours.

The branch on which I have represented a Male in full plumage, is that of
a species rather rare on the Florida Keys, although, as I was assured,
it abounds in Cuba. It blooms during the season when this bird builds
its nest. The flower is destitute of scent; the fruit is a long narrow
legume, containing numerous seeds, placed at equal distances.

p. 394. pl. 38. fig. 2.

LANIUS TYRANNUS, var. β, _Lath._ Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 81.

TYRANNUS GRISEUS, _Vieill._ Ois. de l'Amer. pl. 46.

Adult Male. Plate CLXX.

Bill rather long, stout, straight, broad at the base, a little compressed
towards the end; both mandibles with the dorsal line a little convex,
the sides rounded, the edges nearly straight, sharp, inclinate; a slight
notch close to the small deflected tip. Nostrils basal, lateral, roundish,
partly covered by the bristly feathers. Head rather large, neck short,
body rather slender. Feet short; tarsus compressed, covered anteriorly
with a few very broad scutella; toes of moderate size, the hind one
not proportionally stronger, the inner a little shorter than the outer;
claws rather long, arched, much compressed, very acute.

Plumage soft and blended, with little gloss. Strong bristles at the base
of the upper mandible. Wings rather long, third quill longest, but the
second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth differ very little in length;
the first is the next in length, and is much longer than the seventh;
all these quills, excepting the last, are slightly cut out on the outer
web, and are suddenly diminished on the inner, near the end, so as to
have a very narrow rounded extremity. Tail rather long, emarginate, of
twelve rounded feathers.

Bill and feet brownish-black. Iris dark hazel. Upper parts in general
dull ash-grey; shaded with brown posteriorly, a concealed spot of flame
colour on the top of the head, which is perceptible only when the feathers
are raised. Coverts, quills, and tail-feathers dusky brown, all more or
less margined with brownish-white. The lower parts are greyish-white, the
breast and sides pale grey, the lower tail-coverts tinged with yellow,
as are the lower wing-coverts.

Length 8⅞ inches, extent of wings 14⅜; bill along the ridge 1-1/12,
along the edge 1-4/12; tarsus 9/12.

The Female resembles the Male, but is somewhat smaller, and the bright
spot on the head is paler.

The leguminous plant of which a twig is represented in the plate, is
one of the handsomest productions of Key West, where I found it in full
flower in the month of May. It reaches the height of twenty feet or
more, and has a rather slender, but elegant stem, of which the wood is
as brittle as that of our common acacias. The pods are eight or nine
inches in length, and of the size of a swan's quill; the seeds, which
are dark-brown when ripe, glossy and globular, lie at regular intervals.
The deep green of the long pendulous leaves, and the bright red of the
large papilionaceous flowers, form a beautiful contrast. Many of these
trees were planted near the house of my friend Dr BENJAMIN STROBEL,
under whose hospitable roof the twig was drawn. I saw no plants of the
species on any other Key.


With what pleasure have I seated myself by the blazing fire of some lonely
cabin, when, faint with fatigue, and chilled with the piercing blast, I
had forced my way to it through the drifted snows that covered the face
of the country as with a mantle! The affectionate mother is hushing her
dear babe to repose, while a group of sturdy children surround their
father, who has just returned from the chase, and deposited on the rough
flooring of his hut the varied game which he has procured. The great back
log, that with some difficulty has been rolled into the ample chimney,
urged, as it were, by lighted pieces of pine, sends forth a blaze of
light over the happy family. The dogs of the hunter are already licking
away the trickling waters of the thawing icicles that sparkle over their
shaggy coats, and the comfort-loving cat is busied in passing her furry
paws over each ear, or with her rough tongue smoothing her glossy coat.

How delightful to me has it been, when kindly received and hospitably
treated under such a roof, by persons whose means were as scanty as
their generosity was great, I have entered into conversation with
them respecting subjects of interest to me, and received gratifying
information. When the humble but plentiful repast was ended, the mother
would take from the shelf the Book of books, and mildly request the
attention of her family while the father read aloud a chapter. Then
to Heaven would ascend their humble prayers, and a good-night would
be bidden to all friends far and near. How comfortably have I laid my
wearied frame on the buffalo hide, and covered me with the furry skin of
some huge bear! How pleasing have been my dreams of home and happiness,
as I there lay secure from danger, and sheltered from the inclemency of
the weather.

I recollect that once while in the State of Maine, I passed such a night
as I have described. Next morning the face of nature was obscured by
the heavy rains that fell in torrents, and my generous host begged me
to remain in such pressing terms, that I was well content to accept his
offer. Breakfast over, the business of the day commenced: the spinning
wheels went round, and the boys employed themselves, one in searching
for knowledge, another in attempting to solve some ticklish arithmetical
problem. In a corner lay the dogs dreaming of plunder, while close to the
ashes stood grimalkin seriously purring in concert with the wheels. The
hunter and I seated ourselves each on a stool, while the matron looked
after her domestic arrangements.

"Puss," quoth the Dame, "get away; you told me last night of this day's
rain, and I fear you may now give us worse news with tricky paws." Puss
accordingly went off, leaped on a bed, and rolling herself in a ball,
composed herself for a comfortable nap. I asked the husband what his
wife meant by what she had just said. "The goodwoman," said he, "has
some curious notions at times, and she believes, I think, in the ways
of animals of all kinds. Now, her talk to the cat refers to the fires
of the woods around us, and although they have happened long ago, she
fears them quite as much as ever, and indeed she and I, and all of us,
have good reason to dread them, as they have brought us many calamities."
Having read of the great fires to which my host alluded, and frequently
observed with sorrow the mournful state of the forests, I felt anxious
to know something of the causes by which these direful effects had been
produced. I therefore requested him to give me an account of the events
resulting from those fires which he had witnessed. Willingly he at once
went on nearly as follows:—

"About twenty-five years ago, the larch or hackmitack trees were nearly
all killed by insects. This took place in what hereabouts is called the
"black soft growth" land, that is the spruce, pine, and all other firs.
The destruction of the trees was effected by the insects cutting the
leaves, and you must know, that although other trees are not killed by
the loss of their leaves, the evergreens always are. Some few years after
this destruction of the larch, the same insects attacked the spruces,
pines, and other firs, in such a manner, that before half a dozen years
were over, they began to fall, and, tumbling in all directions, they
covered the whole country with matted masses. You may suppose that,
when partially dried or seasoned, they would prove capital fuel, as well
as supplies for the devouring flames which accidentally, or perhaps by
intention, afterwards raged over the country, and continued burning at
intervals for years, in many places stopping all communication by the
roads, the resinous nature of the firs being of course best fitted to
ensure and keep up the burning of the deep beds of dry leaves or of the
other trees."—Here I begged him to give me some idea of the form of the
insects which had caused such havoc.

"The insects," said he, "were, in their caterpillar form, about three
quarters of an inch in length, and as green as the leaves of the trees

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