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in the State of New Jersey, in which there was at least a score of them.


HIRUNDO RUSTICA, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 343.

HIRUNDO RUFA, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the United
States, p. 64.—_Nuttall_, Manual, part i. p. 601.

BARN SWALLOW, HIRUNDO AMERICANA, _Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. v.
p. 34. pl. 38. fig. 1, 2.—_Swains. and Richards._ Fauna Bor.-
Amer. part ii. p. 329.


Adult Male. Plate CLXXIII. Fig. 1.

Bill very short, feeble, much depressed and very broad at the base,
compressed towards the tip, upper mandible with the ridge straight
and sloping, the sides towards the end convex, the edges sharp and
overlapping, having a slight notch close upon the tip, which is very
small, rather obtuse, and declinate; lower mandible flattish, the edges
inflected, the tip acute. Nostrils basal, lateral, oblong, with a membrane
above. Head of ordinary size, neck short, body rather slender. Feet
very small and feeble, tarsus very short, anteriorly scutellate, sharp
behind; toes free, lateral nearly equal, the outer united as far as the
second joint; claws shortish, arched, much compressed, very acute.

Plumage rather compact and shining above, blended and with ordinary
lustre beneath. Wings very long and narrow, primaries narrow and tapering
to a rounded point, the first longest, the rest gradually diminishing;
secondaries very short, truncato-emarginate.

Bill black. Iris hazel. Feet purplish-black. Anterior part of the
forehead bright chestnut; the rest of the head, the hind neck, back,
rump and smaller wing-coverts glossy deep steel-blue. Quills and tail
brownish-black, the latter with a white spot on the inner web of each
feather, excepting the two middle ones. Throat bright chestnut; a broad
band of black glossed with steel-blue on the lower part of the neck,
joining the dark colour of the upper parts. The rest of the lower parts
light brownish-red.

Length 7 inches, extent of wings 13; bill along the back 3/12, along
the edge 7/12; tarsus 4/12.


Adult Female. Plate CLXXIII. Fig. 2.

The Female differs from the Male only in being generally paler beneath.

The young bird fully fledged has the red of the forehead and throat
paler, the band on the forepart of the breast brownish-black, without
gloss, and the rest of the lower parts white tinged with red.

There is considerable diversity in the colouring of the under parts of
this bird. Frequently there is a broad band of steel-blue across the
neck or fore part of the breast, in other cases this band is narrow, or
interrupted in the middle, or wanting, as in the individuals represented
in the plate. The rufous colour of the breast, sides and belly varies
from reddish-white in young birds to bright brownish-red in old ones.
In the former case it is singular to the colour of the European Chimney
Swallow, which, on the other hand, never has those parts so deeply tinted
as in the latter case. The bill and feet of the two are precisely similar
as are the colours of the upper parts; but in the European bird, the
dark band on the fore part of the breast is much broader, the first and
second primaries are almost equal, although the first is longest, and
the lateral tail-feathers are more elongated. These differences do not
seem to me to be sufficient to distinguish the two birds as species,
and the similarity of their habits renders them too nearly allied to be
separated with propriety.

The differences in colour between the European Chimney Swallow and the
American Barn Swallow, are analogous to those between the Barn Owl of
the former and that of the latter country. The Swallows and the Owls
may be distinct species; but I see no reason for separation in the one
case more than in the other; and if the so called _Hirundo Americana_
be distinguished from the _H. rustica_, the _Strix flammea_ ought to be
distinguished from the American Owl, which might in that case be named
_Strix Americana_. But let the differences first be shewn.




THE OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER.

_MUSCICAPA COOPERI_, NUTTALL. _TYRANNUS BOREALIS_, SWAINS.

PLATE CLXXIV. MALE AND FEMALE.


It is difficult, for me at least, to understand how we should now have
in the United States so many birds which, not more than twenty years
ago, were nowhere to be found in those countries. Of these new-comers
the Olive-sided Flycatcher is one, and one, too, whose size and song
render it very conspicuous among its kindred. That birds should thus
suddenly make their appearance, and at once diffuse themselves over
almost the whole of the country, is indeed a very curious fact; and were
similar changes to take place in the other tribes of animals, and in
other countries, the arrangements of systematic writers would have to
undergo corresponding revolutions, a circumstance which would tend to
add to the confusion arising from the continual shiftings, combinations,
disseverings, abrasions of names, and alterations of method, which the
interpreters of nature are pleased to dignify with the name of science.

The discovery of this species is due to my amiable and learned friend
NUTTALL, part of whose account of its habits I have pleasure in laying
before you. When, a few years ago, I rambled, as I do now, in quest of
knowledge, scarcely an individual could be found in the United States
conversant with birds. At the present day there are several, with whom I
am personally acquainted, who have fully proved their zeal and activity,
by their discoveries and descriptions. It is enough for me to mention here
the well known names of BONAPARTE, NUTTALL, COOPER, BACHMAN, PICKERING,
OAKS, and TOWNSEND, whose labours demonstrate the rapid advance of
science in our country, and whose works will endure for ages.

On the 8th of August 1832, while walking out from Boston towards the
country seat of the Honourable THOMAS H. PERKINS, along with my friend
NUTTALL, we were suddenly saluted with the note of this bird. As I
had never seen it, I leaped over the fence beside us, and cautiously
approached the tree on which a male was perched and singing. Desiring
my friend to go in search of a gun, I watched the motions of the devoted
bird. He returned with a large musket, a cow's horn filled with powder,
and a handful of shot nearly as large as peas; but just as I commenced
charging this curious piece, I discovered that it was flintless! We were
nearly a mile distant from Mr PERKINS' house, but as we were resolved
to have the bird, we proceeded to it with all dispatch, procured a gun,
and returning to the tree, found the Flycatcher, examined its flight
and manners for a while, and at length shot it. As the representative
of a species, I made a drawing of this individual, which you will find
copied in the plate indicated above. But now let us attend to NUTTALL'S
account.

"This undescribed species, which appertains to the group of Pewees,
was obtained in the woods of Sweet Auburn, in this vicinity, by Mr
JOHN BETHUNE of Cambridge, on the 7th of June 1830. This and the
second specimen acquired soon afterwards, were females on the point of
incubation. A third individual of the same sex was killed on the 21st
of June 1831. They were all of them fat, and had their stomach filled
with torn fragments of wild bees, wasps, and other similar insects. I
have watched the motions of two other living individuals, who appeared
tyrannical and quarrelsome, even with each other. The attack was
always accompanied with a whining querulous twitter. Their dispute was
apparently, like that of savages, about the rights of their respective
hunting-grounds. One of the birds, the female, whom I usually saw alone,
was uncommonly sedentary. The territory she seemed determined to claim
was circumscribed by the tops of a cluster of Virginian junipers or red
cedars, and an adjoining elm and decayed cherry-tree. From this sovereign
station, in the solitude of a barren and sandy piece of forest, adjoining
Sweet Auburn, she kept a sharp look-out for passing insects, and pursued
them with great vigour and success as soon as they appeared, sometimes
chasing them to the ground, and generally resuming her perch with an
additional mouthful, which she swallowed at leisure. On ascending to
her station, she occasionally quivered her wings and tail, erected her
blowzy cap, and kept up a whistling, oft-repeated, whining call, of _pŭ,
pŭ_, then varied to _pŭ, pip_, and _pip, pŭ_, also at times _pip, pip,
pŭ, pip, pip, pip, pŭ, pŭ, pip_, or _tŭ, tŭ, tŭ_, and sometimes _tŭ,
tŭ_. This shrill, pensive, and quick whistle, sometimes dropped almost
to a whisper, or merely _pŭ_. The tone is, in fact, much like that of
the _phŭ, phŭ, phŭ_, of the Fish Hawk. The male, however, besides this
note, at long intervals had a call of _eh phèbēē_, or _h'phebéă_, almost
exactly in the tone of the circular tin whistle or bird call, being
loud, shrill, and guttural at the commencement. The nest of this pair
I at length discovered in the horizontal branch of a tall red cedar,
forty or fifty feet from the ground. It was formed much in the manner
of the King-bird's, externally made of interlaced dead twigs of the
cedar, internally of wiry stolons of the common cinquefoil, dry grass,
and some fragments of branching lichen or _usnea_. It contained three
young, and had probably four eggs. The eggs had been hatched about the
20th of June, so that the pair had arrived in this vicinity about the
close of May. The young remained in the nest no less than twenty-three
days, and were fed from the first on beetles and perfect insects, which
appeared to have been wholly digested, without any regurgitation. Towards
the close of this protracted period, the young could fly with all the
celerity of their parents, and they probably went to and from the nest
before abandoning it. The male was at this time extremely watchful, and
frequently followed me from his usual residence, after my paying him
a visit, nearly half a mile. These birds, which I watched on several
successive days, were no way timid, and allowed me for some time previous
to visiting their nest, to investigate them and the premises they had
chosen, without showing any sign of alarm or particular observation."

I received from my friend the following additional account, in a letter
dated September 12. 1833. "Something serious has happened to our pair of
the new Flycatchers (_Muscicapa Cooperi_), which have for three years at
least, bred and passed the summer in the grounds of Mount Auburn. This
summer they were no longer seen. It is true they were not very well used
last year; for, in the first place, I took two of the four eggs they had
laid, when they deserted the nest, and soon, within little more than a
stone's-throw, they renewed their labours, and made a second, which was
also visited; but from this I believe they raised a small brood. The
nest, as before, was placed on a horizontal branch of a red cedar, and
made chiefly of the smallest interlaced twigs collected from the dead
limbs of the same tree, in all cases so thin, like that of the Tanager,
as to let the light readily through its interstices. An egg you have,
which, as to size, so completely resembles that of the _Wood Pewee_, as
to make one and the same description serve for both; that is to say, a
yellowish cream-white, with spots of reddish-brown, of a light and dark
shade. All the nests, three in number, were within 150 yards of each
other respectively. I saw another pair once in a small piece of dry
pine wood in Mount Auburn one year; but they did not stay long. A third
pair I saw the summer before the last, on the edge of the marsh towards
West Cambridge Pond; these appeared resident. The next pair I had the
rare good fortune to see in your company, by which means they have been
masterly figured. It is beyond a doubt _M. borealis_ of RICHARDSON, but
I believe Mr COOPER and myself discovered it previously, at least before
the appearance of Dr RICHARDSON'S Northern Zoology."

In the course of my journey farther eastward, I found this species here
and there in Massachusetts and the State of Maine, as far as Mars Hill,
and subsequently on the Magdeleine Islands, and the coast of Labrador;
but I have not yet been able to discover its line of migration, or the
time of its arrival in the Southern States.


MUSCICAPA INORNATA, _Nuttall_, Nat. Sci. Philad.

TYRANNUS BOREALIS, NORTHERN TYRANT, _Swains. and Richards._
Fauna Bor.-Amer. part ii. p. 141.

OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER or PE-PE, MUSCICAPA COOPERI, _Nuttall_,
Manual, part i. p. 282.


Adult Male. Plate CLXXIV. Fig. 1.

Bill of moderate length, stout, straight, broad at the base, and
tapering, compressed only close to the tip; both mandibles with the
dorsal line very slightly 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 broad scutella; toes of
moderate size, the hind one not proportionally larger, 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, second quill longest, first
longer than third, second and third slightly cut out on the outer web;
the primaries tapering and rounded. Tail of ordinary length, emarginate,
of twelve rounded feathers.

Bill blackish-brown above, the lower mandible brownish-yellow, with the
tip dusky. Iris dark hazel. Feet dusky, claws brownish-black. The whole
upper parts, with the cheeks and sides of the neck, dusky brown; quills
and tail blackish-brown, the secondaries margined with brownish-white.
A stripe of greyish-white runs down the fore-neck from the bill, and
joins the white of the breast and abdomen, the latter being tinged with
yellow; the sides dusky grey.

Length 7½ inches, extent of wings 12¾; bill along the ridge 8/12, along
the edge 1-3/12; tarsus 7/12.


Adult Female. Plate CLXXIV. Fig. 2.

The Female resembles the Male, but has the lower parts of a duller hue.

This species is nearly allied to the King Bird and the Grey Tyrant, from
both of which, however, it is readily distinguished.


THE BALSAM OR SILVER FIR.

PINUS BALSAMEA, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. iv. p. 504. _Pursh_, Fl.
Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 639.—ABIES BALSAMIFERA, _Mich._ Fl.
Amer. vol. ii. p. 207.—MONŒCIA MONADELPHIA, _Linn._ CONIFERÆ,
_Juss._

This beautiful fir is abundant in the State of Maine, where I made
a drawing of the twig before you. It grows on elevated rocky ground,
often near streams or rivers. Its general form is conical, the lower
branches coming off horizontally near the ground, and the succeeding ones
becoming gradually more oblique, until the uppermost are nearly erect.
The leaves and cones become so resinous in autumn, that, in climbing
one of these trees, a person is besmeared with the excreted juice, which
is then white, transparent, and almost fluid. The leaves are solitary,
flat, emarginate, or entire, bright green above, and glaucous or silvery
beneath; the cones cylindrical, erect, with short obovate, serrulate,
mucronate scales. It is abundant in the British provinces, the Northern
States, and in the higher parts of the Alleghany Mountains. The height
does not exceed fifty feet. The bark is smooth, the wood light and
resinous. The resin is collected and sold under the names of Balm of
Gilead and Canada Balsam.




NUTTALL'S SHORT-BILLED MARSH WREN.

_TROGLODYTES BREVIROSTRIS_, NUTTALL.

PLATE CLXXV. MALE, FEMALE, AND NEST.


I hope, kind reader, you will approve of the liberty which I have taken
in prefixing the name of the learned NUTTALL to the present species,
which was discovered by his indefatigable and enthusiastic devotion
to science, in a country where WILSON, BONAPARTE, BACHMAN, PICKERING,
COOPER, SAY, and others had already exerted themselves to the utmost
in their endeavours to complete its diversified and interesting Fauna.
I hope, too, that you will allow me to present you with the history of
this sweet little inhabitant of our freshwater marshes, as given by my
friend, who at this moment is toiling with all imaginable spirit, far
towards the west, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. In granting my
request, you will confer on me a favour, truly acceptable, as it enables
me to testify the friendship which I feel towards him of whom I have
spoken.

"This amusing and not unmusical little species inhabits the lowest
marshy meadows, but does not frequent the reed flats. It never visits
cultivated grounds, and is at all times shy, timid, and suspicious. It
arrives in this part of Massachusetts about the close of the first week
in May, and retires to the south by the middle of September at farthest,
probably by night, as it is never seen in progress, so that its northern
residence is only prolonged about four months.

"Its presence is announced by its lively and quaint song of _tsh, tship,
ă dăy, dăy, dăy, dăy_, delivered in haste and earnest at short intervals,
either when he is mounted on a tuft of sedge, or while perched on some
low bush near the skirt of the marsh. The _tsh, tship_ is uttered with
a strong aspiration, and the remainder with a guttural echo. While thus
engaged, his head and tail are alternately depressed and elevated, as
if the little odd performer were fixed on a pivot. Sometimes the note
varies to _tschip, tschip, tshia, dh, dh, dh, dh_, the latter part being
a pleasant trill.

"When approached too closely, which not often happened, as he permitted
me to come within two or three feet of his station, his song becomes
harsh and more hurried, like _tship, dă, dă, dă_, and _de, de, de, de,
d, d, dh_, or _tshe, de, de, de, de_, rising into an angry petulant cry,
which is also sometimes a low hoarse and scolding _daigh, daigh_. Then
again on invading the nest, the sound sinks to a plaintive _tsh, tship,
tsh, tship_. In the early part of the breeding season, the male is very
lively and musical, and in his best humour he tunes up a _tship, tship,
tship, ā dee_, with a pleasantly warbled and reiterated _de_. At a later
period, another male uttered little else than a hoarse and guttural
_daigh_, hardly louder than the croaking of a frog. When approached, they
repeatedly descend into the grass, where they spend much of their time,
in quest of insects, chiefly crustaceous, which, with moths, constitute
their principal food. Here unseen they still sedulously utter their
quaint warbling; and _tship, tship, a day, day, day, day_, may, for
about a month from their arrival, be heard pleasantly echoing on a fine
morning, from the borders of every low marsh, and wet meadow, provided
with tussocks of sedge grass, in which they indispensably dwell, for
a time engaged in the cares and gratification of raising and providing
for their young.

"The nest of the Short-billed Marsh Wren is made wholly of dry or partly
green sedge, bent usually from the top of the grassy tuft in which the
fabric is situated. With much ingenuity and labour these simple materials
are loosely entwined together into a spherical form, with a small and
rather obscure entrance left on the side. A thin lining is sometimes
added to the whole, of the linty fibres of the silk-weed, or some other
similar material. The eggs, pure white, and destitute of spots, are
probably from six to eight. In a nest containing seven eggs, there were
three of them larger than the rest, and perfectly fresh, while the four
smaller were far advanced towards hatching. From this circumstance we may
fairly infer that two different individuals had laid in the same nest,
a circumstance more common among wild birds than is generally imagined.
This is also the more remarkable, as the male of this species, like many
other Wrens, is much employed in making nests, of which not more than
one in three or four are ever occupied by the females!

"The summer limits of this species, confounded with the ordinary Marsh
Wren, are yet unascertained; and it is singular to remark how near it
approaches to another species inhabiting the temperate parts of the
southern hemisphere in America, namely the _Sylvia platensis_, figured
and indicated by BUFFON. The description, however, of this bird, obtained
by COMMERSON, on the banks of La Plata, is too imperfect for certainty.
It was found probably in a marshy situation, as it entered the boat in
which he was sailing. The time of arrival and departure of this species,
agreeing exactly with the appearance of the Marsh Wren of WILSON, inclines
me to believe that it also exists in Pennsylvania."

While in New Jersey, in the summer of 1832, after I had become acquainted
with this species through NUTTALL, I spent several days in searching the
freshwater marshes, often waist-deep in mud, in the hopes of procuring
it; but my efforts, as well as those of my friend EDWARD HARRIS, Esq.
and my sons, were unsuccessful. I therefore concluded that it probably
does not exist in that district. This is certainly strange, for it is
very abundant in South Carolina, where the Rev. JOHN BACHMAN, myself,
and others, have often seen it. Nay, I am of opinion that it spends the
winter there, as well as in the Floridas, as I shot several individuals
in February 1833, nine miles from Charleston, at a distance from any
river, and on high, usually dry plains, at that season partially covered
with water. They did not rise, until we had almost walked upon them, and
could be shot only on wing, as they flew directly off at the height of a
few inches above the grass, and alighted on the first bunch as abruptly
as if they had been shot. They then emitted a single rough grating note,
quite distinct from that of any other Wren. About this time I received
from NUTTALL a letter, which completes the history of this diminutive
species.

"Concerning the Short-billed Marsh Wren of which you inquired, I have
but little to add to what I have already published; but it is for you to
fill up the history of its summer migrations. Did you find it in Maine
or Labrador? This season they have been more than usually abundant.
Last year (1832) I saw extremely few, and believe many were famished,
or some way destroyed by the long continuance of our spring rains. This
year (1833) also, several pairs of Marsh Wrens have been seen occupied
in making their nests in the reeds, on the margin of Fresh Pond, in
our vicinity. These nests are suspended; those of the _short-billed_
species always repose directly on the surface of the sedgy tussock of
which they are made. The young are easily approached, appearing, by the
placid innocence of their manner, as if wholly unconscious of danger.
Coleopterous insects are the principal food of the species. I heard once
or twice this season, the anxious guttural bubbling sound attributed to
the Marsh Wren, mentioned by WILSON. The Short-billed species and the
Common, now near the time of their departure for the south, frequent the
reeds by Fresh Pond, in little roving companies.—_Cambridge, September
12. 1833._"


SHORT-BILLED MARSH WREN, TROGLODYTES BREVIROSTRIS, _Nuttall_,
Manual, part i. p. 436.


Adult Male. Plate CLXXV. Fig. 1.

Bill of moderate length, slender, nearly straight, acute, subtrigonal
at the base, compressed towards the end; upper mandible with the dorsal
outline slightly arched, the sides convex towards the end, the edges
sharp, the tip narrow but rather obtuse; lower mandible also much
compressed, with the dorsal line straight, the sides nearly erect and
slightly rounded, the sharp edges inflected. Nostrils basal, lateral,
oblong, with an arched membrane above, open and bare. Head rather
compressed, neck and body short. Legs of ordinary length; tarsus
compressed, anteriorly covered with six scutella, posteriorly with a long
plate forming a sharp edge; toes scutellate above, the second and fourth
nearly equal, the hind toe much stronger, with a much larger claw, the
third and fourth united as far as the second joint; claws arched, much
compressed, acute.

Plumage soft and blended. No bristly feathers about the bill. Wings short,
broad, rounded, first quill about half the length of the second, which
is considerably shorter than the third, fourth, and fifth, which are
nearly equal, the fourth, however, being the longest. Tail of ordinary
length, graduated, of twelve narrow rounded feathers.



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