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secondaries long and rounded; the first, second and third primaries
slight, cut out on the outer margin. Tail of moderate length, rounded,
of twelve broad, rounded feathers.

Bill pale red, inclining to orange, dusky at the tip. Iris orange-red.
Feet flesh-coloured. Forehead, sides of the head, anterior and lateral
parts of the neck, breast, and sides, light purplish-red or vinaceous,
the central part of the neck-feathers dusky, hind head, and posterior
part of the neck pale blue, the feathers edged with dark grey. Back
brownish-grey, as are the upper tail-coverts and two middle tail-feathers.
Alula brownish-black, as are the ends of the primary-coverts, of which
the bases are deep red; primaries deep red, broadly margined externally,
and tipped with dusky brown. Secondary quills and their coverts pale
grey, tinged with red; the smaller coverts and scapulars of a reddish
colour like that of the breast, and shewing oblong black spots glossed
with purplish blue and green. Lower wing-coverts and under surface of
the wings deep red; lower tail-coverts brownish-grey, tipped with white.
Tail-feathers grey at the base, bluish-black towards the end, more or
less tipped with grey, the outermost with a touch of white on its outer
edge at the tip.

Length 6¾ inches, extent of wings 11; bill along the back 5½/12, along
the edge 7/12; tarsus 7½/12.

Adult Female. Plate CLXXXII. Fig. 4.

The female is paler in the tints, the colour above being light
brownish-grey, the lower parts much lighter, the throat-feathers broadly
margined with dull white. The forehead and wing-coverts are but slightly
tinged with red, and the hind neck is less blue than in the male.

Length 6¼ inches.

Young Bird. Plate CLXXXII. Fig. 5.

The young resembles the female.



You will find all that I know respecting this tree at pages 260 and 360
of the present volume.




This active little bird breeds in Labrador, where I saw it feeding its
young in August, when the species appeared already moving southward;
but although it was common there and in Newfoundland, as was the
Ruby-crowned Regulus, we did not succeed in our search for its nest. It
enters the United States late in September, and continues its journey
beyond their limits, as I have met with it on the borders of our most
Southern Districts during winter. Individuals remain in all the Southern
and Western States the whole of that season, and leave them again about
the beginning of March.

They generally associate in groups, composed each of a whole family,
and feed in company with the Titmice, Nuthatches, and Brown Creepers,
perambulating the tops of trees and bushes, sometimes in the very depth of
the forests or the most dismal swamps, while at other times they approach
the plantations, and enter the gardens and yards. Their movements are
always extremely lively and playful. They follow minute insects on the
wing, seize them among the leaves of the pines, or search for the larvæ
in the chinks of the branches. Like the Titmice they are seen hanging
to the extremities of twigs and bunches of leaves, sometimes fluttering
in the air in front of them, and are unceasingly occupied. They have no
song at this season, but merely emit now and then a low _screep_.

On the 23d of January last, while in company with my friend JOHN BACHMAN,
I saw great numbers of them in the woods near Charleston, searching for
food high in the trees as well as low down, and so careless of us, that
although we would approach within a few feet of them, they were not in the
least disconcerted. Their feeble chirp was constantly repeated. We killed
a great number of them in hopes of finding among them some individuals
of the species known under the name of _Regulus ignicapillus_, but in
this we did not succeed. At times they uttered a strong querulous note,
somewhat resembling that of the Black-headed Titmouse. The young had
acquired their full plumage, but the females were more abundant than the
males. At this season the yellow spot on their head is less conspicuous
than towards spring, when they raise their crest feathers while courting.

The young shot in Newfoundland in August, had this part of the head of
a uniform tint with the upper parts of the body. While with us they are
amazingly fat, but at Newfoundland we found them the reverse. I have
represented a pair of them on a plant that grows in Georgia, and which
I thought might prove agreeable to your eye.

REGULUS CRISTATUS, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. of Birds of the
United States, p. 91.

Amer. Ornith. vol. i. p. 22. pl. 2. fig. 4. Female.

REGULUS REGULOIDES, _Jardine_ in his Edition of Wilson's Amer.
Ornith. vol. i. p. 127.

Manual, part i. p. 420.

Adult Male. Plate CLXXXIII. Fig. 1.

Bill short, straight, subulate, very slender, depressed at the base,
compressed towards the end. Upper mandible with the dorsal outline
nearly straight, the sides convex, the edges inflected towards the end,
the tip slightly declinate, with an obscure notch on each side; lower
mandible straight, acute. Nostrils basal, elliptical, half-closed above
by a membrane, covered over by a single adpressed feather with disunited
barbs. Head rather large, neck short, body small. Legs rather long;
tarsus slender, much compressed, covered anteriorly with a long undivided
plate above, and a few scutella beneath; toes slender, the lateral ones
nearly equal and free, the hind toe proportionally large; claws arched,
compressed, acute.

Plumage very loose and tufty. Bristles at the base of the bill. Wings
of ordinary length; the first primary extremely short and narrow, the
third, fourth, and fifth almost equal, but the fourth longest. Tail
of ordinary length, slender, emarginate, of twelve narrow, acuminate
feathers, the outer curved outwards towards the end.

Bill black. Iris brown. Feet brownish-yellow, the under part of the toes
yellow. The general colour of the upper parts is ash-grey on the neck
and sides of the head, tinged with olive on the back, and changing to
yellowish-olive on the rump. There is a band of greyish-white across the
lower part of the forehead, which at the eye separates into two bands,
one extending over, the other under the eye; above this is a broadish
band of black, also margining the head on either side, the inner webs
and tips of these black feathers being of a bright pure yellow, of
which colour are some of the feathers in the angle formed anteriorly
by the dark band; the crown of the head in the included spaces covered
with shorter flame-coloured silky feathers; an obscure line of dusky
feathers from the angle of the mouth, to beneath the eye, which is
margined anteriorly and posteriorly with the same colour; the throat and
lower parts are greyish-white, tinged anteriorly with yellowish-brown.
Quills and coverts dusky, the quills margined with greenish-yellow, the
secondary coverts broadly tipped with the same, as is the first row of
smaller coverts; the base of all the quills, excepting the four outer,
white; from the seventh primary to the innermost secondary but two, a
broad bar of blackish-brown. Tail of the same colour as the quills.

Length 4 inches, extent of wings 7; bill along the back 3/12, along the
edge 5½/12; tarsus 8/12.

Adult Female. Plate CLXXXIII. Fig. 2.

The female is somewhat smaller than the male, from which it differs in
external appearance, chiefly in having pure yellow substituted for the
flame-colour of the crown, and in having less grey on the hind neck.

If we compare the American Golden-crested Wren with the European, we
find that they agree in general appearance, in the proportional length
of the quills, and in the form of the tail, as well as that of the bill
and legs. Their differences are the following.

_Regulus tricolor_ is longer by half an inch than _R. cristatus_, its
bill is stronger and 1/12 of an inch shorter, its claws are also stronger
and shorter, and the flame-coloured patch on the head is more extended
and brighter. The European species has never so much grey on the neck and
back, and its lower parts are always more tinged with brownish-yellow.
The other differences are not very obvious, but the difference in the
size of the bill, were there no other characters, would be enough, in
a family of birds so closely resembling each other as the Reguli, to
point out the American as distinct from the European species.

THALIA DEALBATA, _Pursh_, Fl. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 584.

This beautiful plant is a native of Georgia and South Carolina, where,
according to PURSH, it was discovered by J. MILLINGTON, Esq. of the
latter State. It is perennial, flowers in August and September, attains
a height of four feet, and grows in swampy places. The leaves are large,
ovate, with parallel oblique ribs, and a revolute apex; the flowers are
pale purple, in pairs, in a large panicle. I am indebted to Mr NOISETTE
for the specimen which I have represented.




I am indebted to my learned friend the Reverend JOHN BACHMAN for this
species of Humming Bird, of which he received a specimen from our mutual
friend Dr STROBEL, and afterwards presented it to me.

"Hitherto," says he, "it has been supposed that only one species of
Humming Bird (the _Trochilus Colubris_) ever visits the United States.
Although this is a genus consisting of upwards of a hundred species,
all of which are peculiar to the Continent of America and the adjoining
islands, yet with few exceptions they are confined to the tropics.
In those warm climates, where the Bignonias and other tubular flowers
that bloom throughout the year, and innumerable insects that sport in
the sun-shine, afford an abundance of food, these lively birds are the
greatest ornaments of the gardens and forests. Such in most cases is the
brilliancy of their plumage, that I am unable to find apt objects of
comparison unless I resort to the most brilliant gems and the richest
metals. So rapid is their flight that they seem to outstrip the wind.
Almost always on the wing, we scarcely see them in any other position.
Living on the honeyed sweets of the most beautiful flowers, and the
minute insects concealed in their corollas, they come to us as etherial
beings, and it is not surprising that they should have excited the wonder
and admiration of mankind.

"It affords me great pleasure to introduce to the lovers of Natural
History a second species of Humming Bird as an inhabitant of the United
States. The specimen which is now in my possession, was obtained by Dr
STROBEL at Key West in East Florida. He informed me that he had succeeded
in capturing it from a bush where he had found it seated, apparently
wearied after its long flight across the Gulf of Mexico, probably from
some of the West India Islands, or the coast of South America. Whether
this species is numerous in any part of Florida, I have had no means of
ascertaining. The interior of that territory, as its name indicates, is
the land of flowers, and consequently well suited to the peculiar habits
of this genus; and as it has seldom been visited by ornithologists, it
is possible that not only this, but several other species of Humming
Birds, may yet be discovered as inhabitants of our southern country.

"I have not seen the splendid engravings of this genus by Messrs VIEILLOT
and AUDEBERT, in which the _Trochilus Mango_ is said to be figured; but
from the description contained in LATHAM'S Synopsis and SHAW'S Zoology,
I have no hesitation in pronouncing it an individual of this species."

The female figures introduced in the plate were taken from a specimen
procured at Charleston; but whether it had been found in the United
States or not, could not be ascertained.

TROCHILUS MANGO, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 191.—_Lath._
Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 307.

MANGO HUMMING BIRD, _Lath._ Synops. vol. ii. p. 758.

Adult Male. Plate CLXXXIV. Fig. 1, 2, 3.

Bill long, subulate, depressed at the base, slightly arched, flexible;
upper mandible with the back broad and convex, the sides sloping, the
edges soft; lower mandible with the angle extremely acute, forming a
groove for one-half of its length, the remaining part narrower on the
back, the sides erect; both mandibles deeply channelled internally,
nostrils basal, lateral, linear. Head small, neck short, body short,
moderately robust. Feet very short and feeble; tarsus very short,
roundish; toes very small, the three anterior united at the base,
scutellate above, compressed, differing little in length; claws small,
arched, compressed, acute.

Plumage soft and blended. Wings long, extremely narrow, falciform, the
first quill longest, the other primaries gradually diminishing in length;
the secondaries extremely short, narrow, and rounded. Tail ample, rather
long, of ten broad rounded feathers, the outer incurvate.

Bill black. Iris brown. Feet dusky. Head, hind-neck and back splendent
with bronze, golden, and green reflections; wings dusky, viewed in
certain lights deep purplish-brown. Middle tail-feathers black, glossed
with green and blue, the rest deep crimson-purple, tipped and partially
margined with steel-blue. Fore part of the neck, and middle of the
breast, velvet-black, margined on each side with emerald-green, the
sides yellowish-green.

Length 4¾ inches, extent of wings 8; bill 1; tarsus 2½/12.

Adult Female. Plate CLXXXIV. Fig. 4, 5.

The bill, feet and sides, as in the Male, as are the upper parts, only
the tail-feathers are more broadly and extensively margined with the dark
colour, and tipped with white. The fore-neck and centre of the breast are
white, with a central longitudinal band of black, and an emerald-green
margin along the sides of the neck, passing beneath the wing, the lower
tail-coverts green, slightly tipped with brownish-white.

Length 4½ inches.



Leaves pinnate, leaflets ovate, acuminate, inciso-serrate; flowers in
a terminal panicle, large, the tube of the corolla twice as long as the
calyx. For the beautiful drawing from which this plant has been engraved,
I am indebted to Miss M. MARTIN.




My friend BACHMAN has the merit of having discovered this pretty little
species of Warbler, and to him I have the pleasure of acknowledging
my obligations for the pair which you will find represented in the
plate, accompanied with a figure of one of the most beautiful of our
southern flowers, originally drawn by my friend's sister, Miss MARTIN. I
myself have never had the good fortune to meet with any individuals of
this interesting Sylvia, respecting which little is as yet known, its
discoverer having only procured a few specimens of both sexes, without
being able to find a nest. The first obtained was found by him a few
miles from Charleston, in South Carolina, in July 1833, while I was
rambling over the crags of Labrador. According to my amiable friend, it
was "a lively active bird, gliding among the branches of thick bushes,
occasionally mounting on the wing and seizing insects in the air in the
manner of a Flycatcher. It was an old female that had to all appearance
just reared a brood of young." Shortly after, several were seen in the
same neighbourhood; so that we may yet expect an account of its manners,
migration, and breeding, which may find a place in a subsequent volume
of my work.


Adult Male. Plate CLXXXV. Fig. 1.

Bill rather long, slightly bent towards the tip, subulato-conical,
extremely acute, the edges sharp and inflected. Nostrils basal, lateral,
elliptical, half-closed above by an arched membrane. The general form
slender. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus slender, compressed, anteriorly
scutellate, sharp behind; toes free, the hind toe strong, the two
lateral nearly equal, the middle one much longer; claws slender, arched,
compressed, acute.

Plumage soft and blended, slightly glossed. Wings of moderate length,
the first four quills nearly equal, the second longest; the second,
third, and fourth slightly cut out on the outer edge towards the end;
the secondaries long and rounded. Tail of ordinary length, slightly

Bill dusky brown above, light blue beneath. Iris dark brown. Feet
umber. The general colour of the upper parts is brownish-olive, the rump
yellowish-green, the feathers of the crown brownish-black in the centre;
the forehead, a line over the eye, the cheeks, the chin, the sides of the
neck, the flexure of the wing, lower wing-coverts, and breast, yellow;
the sides greenish-grey, the lower tail-coverts white. On the fore part
of the neck is a large patch of black, enlarging beneath. Quills and
tail wood-brown, narrowly margined with whitish; a large white spot on
the inner web of each of the tail-feathers excepting the two middle ones.

Length 4-1/12 inches, extent of wings 6¼; bill along the ridge 5½/12,
along the edge 7½/12; tarsus 8½/12.

Adult Female. Plate CLXXXV. Fig. 2.

The female is considerably smaller than the male, and differs only in
having the tints fainter, the forehead yellowish-green, and the fore
neck dusky.

Length 3-10/12.

GORDONIA PUBESCENS, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. iii. p. 841. _Pursh_,
Fl. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 451.—MONADELPHIA POLYANDRIA,
_Linn._ MALVACEÆ, _Juss._

This beautiful tree, which grows in Georgia, seldom attains a height of
more than fifteen feet. Its leaves are obovato-lanceolate, deep green,
downy beneath, and its large white flowers, with their numerous yellow
anthers, have a very beautiful appearance.


It was in the month of May that I sailed in the United States' Revenue
Cutter the Swiftsure, engaged in a cruize in the Bay of Fundy. Our sails
were quickly unfurled, and spread out to the breeze. The vessel seemed
to fly over the surface of the liquid element, as the sun rose in full
splendour, while the clouds that floated here and there formed, with their
glowing hues, a rich contrast with the pure azure of the heavens above us.
We approached apace the island of Grand Manan, of which the stupendous
cliffs gradually emerged from the deep with the majestic boldness of
her noblest native chief. Soon our bark passed beneath its craggy head,
covered with trees, which, on account of the height, seemed scarcely
larger than shrubs. The prudent Raven spread her pinions, launched from
the cliff, and flew away before us; the Golden Eagle soaring aloft,
moved majestically along in wide circles; the Guillemots sat on their
eggs upon the shelvy precipices, or plunging into the water, dived, and
rose again at a great distance; the Broad-breasted Eider Duck covered
her eggs among the grassy tufts; on a naked rock the seal lazily basked,
its sleek sides glistening in the sunshine; while shoals of porpoises
were swiftly gliding through the waters around us, shewing by their
gambols that, although doomed to the deep, their life was not devoid
of pleasure. Far away stood the bold shores of Nova Scotia, gradually
fading in the distance, of which the grey tints beautifully relieved
the wing-like sails of many a fishing bark.

Cape after cape, forming eddies and counter currents far too terrific to
be described by a landsman, we passed in succession, until we reached a
deep cove, near the shores of White Head Island, which is divided from
Grand Manan by a narrow strait, where we anchored secure from every
blast that could blow. In a short time we found ourselves under the
roof of Captain FRANKLAND, the sole owner of the isle, of which the
surface contains about fifteen hundred acres. He received us all with
politeness, and gave us permission to seek out its treasures, which we
immediately set about doing, for I was anxious to study the habits of
certain Gulls that breed there in great numbers. As Captain COOLEDGE,
our worthy commander, had assured me, we found them on their nests
on almost every _tree_ of a wood that covered several acres. What a
treat, reader, was it to find birds of this kind lodged on fir trees,
and sitting comfortably on their eggs! Their loud cackling notes led us
to their place of resort, and ere long we had satisfactorily observed
their habits, and collected as many of themselves and their eggs as we
considered sufficient. In our walks we noticed a rat, the only quadruped
found in the island, and observed abundance of gooseberries, currants,
rasps, strawberries, and huckleberries. Seating ourselves on the summit
of the rocks, in view of the vast Atlantic, we spread out our stores,
and refreshed ourselves with our simple fare.

Now we followed the objects of our pursuit through the tangled woods, now
carefully picked our steps over the spongy grounds. The air was filled
with the melodious concerts of birds, and all nature seemed to smile
in quiet enjoyment. We wandered about until the setting sun warned us
to depart, when, returning to the house of the proprietor, we sat down
to an excellent repast, and amused ourselves with relating anecdotes
and forming arrangements for the morrow. Our Captain complimented us on
our success, when we reached the Swiftsure, and in due time we betook
ourselves to our hammocks.

The next morning, a strange sail appearing in the distance, preparations
were instantly made to pay her commander a visit. The signal-staff of
White Head Island displayed the British flag, while Captain FRANKLAND
and his men stood on the shore, and as we gave our sails to the wind,
three hearty cheers filled the air, and were instantly responded to by
us. The vessel was soon approached, but all was found right with her,
and squaring our yards, onward we sped, cheerily bounding over the gay
billows, until our Captain sent us ashore at Eastport.

At another time my party was received on board the Revenue Cutter's
tender the "Fancy,"—a charming name for so beautiful a craft. We set sail
towards evening. The cackling of the "old wives" that covered the bay
filled me with delight, and thousands of Gulls and Cormorants seemed as
if anxious to pilot us into Head Harbour Bay, where we anchored for the
night. Leaping on the rugged shore, we made our way to the lighthouse,
where we found Mr SNELLING, a good and honest Englishman from Devonshire.
His family consisted of three wild looking lasses, beautiful, like the
most finished productions of nature. In his lighthouse, snugly ensconced,
he spent his days in peaceful forgetfulness of the world, subsisting
principally on the fish of the bay.

When day broke, how delightful was it to see fair Nature open her graceful
eyelids, and present herself arrayed in all that was richest and purest
before her Creator. Ah, reader, how indelibly are such moments engraved
on my soul! with what ardour have I at such times gazed around me, full
of the desire of being enabled to comprehend all that I saw! How often
have I longed to converse with the feathered inhabitants of the forest,
all of which seemed then intent on offering up their thanks to the object
of my own admiration! But the wish could not be gratified, although I now
feel satisfied that I have enjoyed as much of the wonders and beauties
of nature as it was proper for me to enjoy. The delightful trills of the
Winter Wren rolled through the underwood, the red squirrel smacked time
with his chops, the loud notes of the Robin sounded clearly from the
tops of the trees, the rosy Grosbeak nipped the tender blossoms of the
maples, and high over head the Loons passed in pairs, rapidly wending
their way toward far distant shores. Would that I could have followed
in their wake!

The hour of our departure had come; and, as we sailed up the bay, our
pilot, who had been fishing for cod, was taken on board. A few of his
fish were roasted on a plank before the embers, and formed the principal
part of our breakfast. The breeze was light, and it was not until after
noon that we arrived at Point Lepreaux Harbour, where every one, making
choice of his course, went in search of curiosities and provender.

Now, reader, the little harbour in which, if you wish it, we shall

Online LibraryJohn James AudubonOrnithological Biography, Volume 2 (of 5) → online text (page 46 of 56)