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the old birds. Although this species breeds in the districts inhabited
by the Canada Grous, it never enters the thickets to which the latter
resorts, but always remains in the open grounds.

One day while in search of young Wild Geese, in a large oozy and miry
flat, covered with a floating bed of tangled herbage, we were much
surprised at finding there several Willow Grous. They were extremely
shy, and flew from one part of the marsh to another. We procured with
great difficulty two, which proved to be barren females.

To give you an idea of the difficulties we had occasionally to encounter,
in our endeavours to procure such birds as breed in that country, it will
suffice to say, that one of us was so mired in the flat just mentioned,
that it was with extreme difficulty another of us succeeded in extricating
him, to the great danger of being himself swamped, in which case we must
all have perished, had no aid arrived. We were completely smeared with
black mud, and so fatigued, that when we returned, we found it impossible
to proceed more than a few yards before we were forced to sit down on
the dangerous sward, which at every step shook for a considerable space
around so that we were obliged to keep at a distance from each other,
and move many yards apart, constantly fearing that the least increase of
weight would have burst the thin layer that supported us, and sent us in
to a depth from which we could not have been extricated. But once out of
the bog, we were delighted with the success of our enterprise, and as we
refreshed ourselves from our scanty stores, when we had reached the rocky
shores of the sea, we laughed heartily at what had happened, although
only a few hours before it was considered a most serious accident.

As I am speaking of fowling in Labrador, allow me to relate an incident
connected with the Willow Grous. Among our crew was a sailor, who was
somewhat of a wag. He was a "man-of-war's-man," and had seen a good deal
of service in our navy, an expert sailor, perhaps the best diver I have
seen, always willing to work hard, and always full of fun. This sailor
and another had the rowing of our gig on an excursion after Grous and
other wild birds. THOMAS LINCOLN and my son JOHN WOODHOUSE, managed the
boat. The gig having landed on the main, the sailors, who had guns, went
one way, and the young travellers another. They all returned, as was
previously agreed upon, at the same hour, and produced the birds which
they had procured. The sailor had none, and was laughed at. While rowing
towards the Ripley, we heard the cries of birds as if in the air; the
rowing ceased but nothing could be seen, and we proceeded. Again the
sounds of birds were distinctly heard, but again none could be seen, and
what seemed strange was, that they were heard only at each pull of the
oars. The young men taxed the tar with producing the noises, as they saw
him as if employed in doing so with his mouth; however, the thing still
remained a mystery. Sometime after we had got on board, the provision
basket was called for, and was produced by Master BILL, who, grinning
from ear to ear, drew out of it two fine old Grous, and a whole covey
of young ones, in all the exultation of one who had outwitted what he
called his betters.

While at the harbour of Bras d'Or, I was told by persons who had resided
in the country for many years, that, during the winter, when the snow
covers the ground, and the Grous are obliged to scratch through it,
in order to get at the mosses and lichens, they are so abundant that a
hundred or more can be shot in a day, and congregate in flocks of immense
numbers, now and then mixed with the smaller species, called there the
Rock Grous, and which is the _Tetrao rupestris_. Their flesh is then
salted for summer use. At that season they are of a pure white, except
the tail, which retains its jetty blackness. I was further informed
that their flesh is then dry, and not to be compared with what it is in
summer, when I found it tender, and having an agreeable aromatic flavour.

The Willow Grous breeds in Labrador about the beginning of June. The
female conceals her nest under the creeping branches of the low firs.
It consists of bits of dry twigs and mosses drawn into a form. The eggs
are from five to fourteen, according to the age of the bird, and are
marbled with irregular spots of reddish-brown, on a dull fawn-colour or
rufous ground. They raise only one brood in the season.

The pair represented in the plate, with their young, were procured by
my friend GEORGE SHATTUCK, Esq. of Boston, one of my party, who shot
the first pair found by us in Labrador. They were in their full summer
plumage. I think these birds, as well as the Canada Grous, have what
I call a continued moult, young feathers being found upon them at all
seasons.


TETRAO SALICETI, _Temm._ Manuel d'Ornith. p. 471.

TETRAO (LAGOPUS) SALICETI, _Swains. and Richards._ Fauna
Boreali-Americ. part. ii. p. 351.

WILLOW GROUS or LARGE PTARMIGAN, _Nuttall_, Manual, part ii.
p. 674.


Adult Male, in summer. Plate CXCI. Fig. 1.

Bill short, robust; upper mandible with the dorsal outline curved, the
edges overlapping, the tip declinate and rounded, the basal part with
a deep sinus on each side, lower mandible convex, broad, with the tip
rounded. Nostrils basal, roundish, concealed by the feathers. Head small,
neck rather long, body bulky. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus feathered,
as are the toes, excepting towards the end, where they are covered with
small scales and three terminal scutella; hind toe extremely short, two
lateral equal; claws slightly arched, depressed, broad, with thin edges,
and rounded.

Plumage compact, the feathers generally rounded, those of the head and
upper neck narrow and proportionally short. The legs and toes covered
with hair-like feathers. Wings short, the primaries strong, narrow,
tapering, curved, third longest, second and fourth little shorter. Tail
short, even, or very slightly rounded, of fourteen broad feathers, and
four narrower central ones, which are superior.

Bill black. Iris brown. Toes and claws dark brown, the edges of the latter
yellowish-grey. Head and neck bright chestnut, the feathers on the back
part of the latter and crown of the head barred with black, and tipped
with whitish. The back, some of the wing-coverts, the nearer secondary
quills, the four upper tail-feathers, the anterior part of the breast,
and part of the sides under the wings, variegated with brownish-black,
chestnut and white, the feathers being of the first colour in the middle,
and transversely barred with the second towards the end, while the
terminal margin is of the last. Most of the coverts, all the primaries,
and the greater number of the secondaries, with the whole under surface
of the wings, the middle of the breast, the abdomen, legs and feet, pure
white, the shafts of the primaries are more or less brown, excepting
towards the ends, The fourteen tail-feathers are brownish-black, with the
tips white, as is the basal portion of the outer web of the outermost.
The superciliary membranes are vermilion.

Length 17 inches, extent of wings 26½; bill along the ridge ¾; tarsus
1½; middle toe with the nail 1-7/12; weight 1¼ lb.


Adult Female, in summer. Plate CXCI. Fig. 2.

In the female the superciliary membrane is much smaller, but of the same
colour, as are the wings and tail. The head, neck, breast, abdomen, sides,
as well as the upper parts, are variegated in a manner resembling the
back of the male, but with the black spots larger, and the transverse
bars of light brownish-red, broader and less numerous; the lower surface
much lighter.

Length 16 inches, extent of wings 25; weight 1 lb.


Young a few days old. Plate CXCI. Fig. 3, 3.

The young are covered with a dense elastic down, of a yellowish tint,
variegated above with a few large streaks of dark brown, on a light brown
ground; the top of the head with a longitudinal brown patch margined
with black.


The Young when fully fledged resemble the Female.


THE LABRADOR TEA PLANT.

LEDUM LATIFOLIUM, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 602. _Pursh_,
Fl. Amer. Sept. vol. i. p. 301.—DECANDRIA MONOGYNIA, _Linn._
RHODODENDRA, _Juss._

The Labrador Tea Plant springs up among the rich and thick moss that
everywhere covers the country of Labrador. I was informed that the
fishermen and Indians frequently make use of it instead of tea.

It is a small shrub, about a foot in height, with linear oblong leaves,
which are folded back at the margin, and covered on the back with a
rust-coloured down. The flowers are white.


THE SEA PEA.

PISUM MARITIMUM, _Willd._ Sp. Pl. vol. iii. p. 1071. _Pursh_,
Flor. Amer. Sept. vol. ii. p. 470.—DIADELPHIA DECANDRIA,
_Linn._ LEGUMINOSÆ, _Juss._

This species of Pea grows in the same country, generally in the vicinity
of the sea. It has an angular stem, with sagittate stipules, and
many-flowered peduncles, with large purple, blue and red flowers.




THE GREAT CINEREOUS SHRIKE.

_LANIUS EXCUBITOR_, LINN.

PLATE CXCII. MALE, FEMALE, AND YOUNG.


Although this species spends the greater part of the year in our most
Eastern States, and in countries still farther north, many individuals
remain in the mountainous districts of the Middle States, and breed
there. In severe winters, it migrates as far south as the neighbourhood
of the city of Natchez, on the Mississippi, where I have shot several
and seen many more. In Kentucky it is not a rare bird at that season,
but along the coasts of our southern States I have never met with it,
nor have I heard of its having been seen there.

In spring and summer it retires from the low lands of the Middle States,
to the mountainous districts, where it generally remains until autumn.
About the 20th of April, the male and his mate are seen engaged in
building their nest, in the covered and secluded parts of the forests. I
found several of their nests placed on bushes not above ten feet from the
ground, without any appearance of choice as to the tree, but generally
towards the top, and placed in a fork. The nest is as large as that
of the Robin, and is composed externally of coarse grasses, leaves and
moss, internally of fibrous roots, over which is a bed of the feathers
of the Wild Turkey and Pheasant (_Tetrao umbellus_). The eggs are four
or five, of a dull cinereous tint, thickly spotted and streaked with
light brown towards the larger end. The period of incubation is fifteen
days.

The young are at first of a dark bluish colour, but when they become
covered with feathers, they assume a dull rufous tint above, and are
transversely barred with zig-zag lines from the throat to the abdomen.
In this State they remain until late in autumn, and might seem to one
not acquainted with them to be of a different species. They remain with
their parents all that time, and not unfrequently even during winter.
Caterpillars, spiders and insects of various kinds form their first food,
together with small fruits; but as they grow up, their parents bring
them the flesh of small birds, on which they feed greedily even before
they leave the nest.

This valiant little warrior possesses the faculty of imitating the
notes of other birds, especially such as are indicative of pain. Thus
it will often mimic the cries of Sparrows and other small birds, so as
to make you believe you hear them screaming in the claws of a Hawk; and
I strongly suspect this is done for the purpose of inducing others to
come out from their coverts to the rescue of their suffering brethren.
On several occasions I have seen it in the act of screaming in this
manner, when it would suddenly dart from its perch into a thicket, from
which there would immediately issue the real cries of a bird on which
it had seized. On the banks of the Mississippi, I saw one which for
several days in succession had regularly taken its stand on the top of
a tall tree, where it from time to time imitated the cries of the Swamp
and Song Sparrows, and shortly afterwards would pitch downwards like
a Hawk, with is wings close to its body, seldom failing in obtaining
the object of its pursuit, which it would sometimes follow even through
the briars and brambles among which it had sought refuge. When unable
to secure the prey, it would reascend to its perch, and emit loud and
discordant notes of anger. Whenever I could see it strike its victim, it
appeared to alight on its back, and instantly strike its head, which on
such occasions I have several times found torn open. If not disturbed,
the Shrike would then tear up the body, and swallow in large pieces,
not well cleared of the feathers, every part excepting the wings. It now
and then pursues birds that are on the wing to a considerable distance.
Thus, I saw one follow a Turtle Dove, which, on being nearly caught,
pitched on the ground, where its skull was bruised in a moment; but the
next instant both birds were in my possession.

The courage, activity, and perseverance of this species, are quite
surprising. In winter, when insects are scarce, and small birds rare
in the Eastern States, I have known it to enter the cities and attack
birds in cages. During my stay at Boston, several of them were brought
to me, that had been caught in the apartments in which cages containing
canaries were kept, and in every instance after the little favourite
had been massacred. Near the same city I observed an individual poised
on wing, in the manner of our Sparrow Hawk, for several minutes at a
time, over the withered grass and sedges of salt water meadows, when it
suddenly pounced on some small bird concealed there.

Although its feet are small and apparently weak, its claws are sharp,
and it is capable of inflicting a pretty severe wound on the finger or
hand. It bites with great pertinacity, and will seldom let go its hold
unless its throat is squeezed.

Its flight is strong, swift, and sustained: it moves through the air in
long undulations which have each an extent of twenty or thirty yards,
but it seldom rises very high, unless for the purpose of obtaining a
good point of observation, and in its usual flight merely passes over
the tops of the low bushes rapidly and in silence, in starts of from
fifty to a hundred yards. I never saw one walk or move on the ground.

They are extremely fond of crickets and grasshoppers, as well as other
kinds of insects, and they feed on the flesh of birds whenever they can
procure it. The individuals which I have kept in cages, appeared well
pleased with pieces of fresh beef, but they generally remained dull
and sullen until they died. As it was only during winter that I had
them in confinement, when no coleopterous insects could be procured, I
had no opportunity of observing if, like Hawks, they have the power of
throwing up hard particles of the food which they swallow, although I
should suppose this to be the case. Their propensity to impale insects
and small birds on the sharp points of twigs and on thorns, which they
so frequently do at all seasons of the year, is quite a mystery to me,
as I cannot conceive what its object may be.

I have represented four of these birds of different ages, and therefore
differing in colour and size, leaving to the naturalists of Europe to
determine, if they can, whether the American species be the same as
the one found in that portion of the globe. For my part, I believe the
two to be the same. In our species the transverse lines of the breast
disappear as the bird advances in age, when the tint of the upper part
of the plumage also becomes lighter.


LANIUS EXCUBITOR, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 135.—_Lath._
Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 67.

LANIUS SEPTENTRIONALIS, _Ch. Bonaparte_, Synops. p. 72.

LANIUS BOREALIS, _Vieill._ Ois. de l'Amer. vol. i. p. 80. pl. 50.
—_Swains. and Richards._ Fauna Bor.-Amer. vol. ii. p. 111.
pl. 33. (Young.)

GREAT CINEREOUS SHRIKE, _Mont._ Ornith. Dict.—_Selby_,
Illustrations, vol. i. p. 148.

GREAT AMERICAN SHRIKE or BUTCHER BIRD, LANIUS EXCUBITOR,
_Wils._ Amer. Ornith. vol. p. 74. pl. 5. fig. 1.—_Nuttall_,
Manual, part i. p. 25.


Adult Male. CXCII. Fig. 1.

Bill of moderate length, strong, compressed; upper mandible with the
dorsal outline a little arched, the tip declinate, the edges sharp and
inflected towards the strong process, which is separated from the tip
by a deep sinus; lower mandible with the dorsal line convex, the sides
rounded, the edges inflected, the acute tip ascending. Nostrils basal,
lateral, half closed by an arched membrane. Head large, neck short,
body robust. Feet of ordinary length; tarsus rather short, compressed,
anteriorly scutellate, sharp behind; toes five, the lateral ones nearly
equal, the hind toe stouter; claws arched, compressed, acute.

Plumage soft, blended. Long bristles at the base of the bill. Wings of
ordinary length, the fourth quill longest, third little shorter, second
shorter than sixth, first about half the length of second; secondaries
rounded, with a minute tip. Tail long, straight, graduated; of twelve
rounded feathers.

Bill brownish-black at the end, paler towards the base, the edges of
both mandibles and the basal part of the lower, flesh-colour tinged
with yellow. Iris hazel. Feet brownish-black. The upper parts are
light ash-grey, the ends of the scapulars, and the rump feathers and
upper tail-coverts, greyish-white; a streak of the same colour over
the eye; the lore and ear-coverts brownish-black. The first row of
smaller wing-coverts, the primary and secondary coverts, and the quills,
brownish-black; the latter, especially the secondary quills, as well as
their coverts, tipped with white. Base of the primaries white, forming
a conspicuous spot on the wing. Tail-feathers brownish-black; outer web
of the outermost, with more than a third of the inner web from the tip,
white; the extremities of all the rest, excepting the two middle, of the
same colour, which gradually occupies less extent on the inner feathers.
The whole under surface greyish white, tinged with brown on the fore
part of the breast, which is transversely marked with faint undulating
bars of dark grey, as are the sides.

Length 10¼ inches, extent of wings 14; bill along the back ¾, along the
edge of lower mandible 1-2/12; tarsus 1-1/12.


Adult Female. Plate CXCII. Fig. 2.

The female differs from the male only in having the head and neck slightly
tinged with brown, the band before the eye obscure, and the under parts
with more numerous undulated lines.


Adult Male in summer. Plate CXCII. Fig. 3.

The grey of the upper parts tinged with brown, the white of the lower
with yellowish-brown, in other respects the same.


Young bird. Plate CXCII. Fig. 4.

The bill greyish-blue, at the end brownish-black, the upper parts grey,
deeply tinged with brown, with which the quills and their coverts are
margined; the upper tail-coverts transversely barred; the whitish line
over the eye less distinct, the ear-coverts dark brown, the lower parts
pale grey, tinged with brown, and undulated all over; the four middle
tail-feathers black.

The older the birds are, the more pure and pale does the grey of the
upper parts become, while the undulations of the lower parts gradually
disappear, although I have not seen an individual in which they were
altogether obliterated.


On comparing this bird with the _Lanius Excubitor_ of Europe, I cannot
perceive any differences that could induce me for a moment to conceive
them distinct. The relative length of the quills, the length of the
bill and tarsus, the general form, size, and colouring, differ in no
essential respect. I am, therefore, decidedly of opinion that our Shrike
is the same bird as that which occurs in Europe. The old female, as has
been stated above, differs little in tint from the old male, the younger
birds only (of both sexes) being deeply browned. A fine adult male which
was shot near Edinburgh, and is preserved in the beautiful Museum of
the University of that city, agrees in all respects with specimens from
America in my possession.


CRATÆGUS APIIFOLIA, _Mich._ Fl. Amer. vol. i. p. 287. _Pursh_,
Fl. Amer. Sept. vol. i. p. 336.—ICOSANDRIA PENTAGYNIA, _Linn._
ROSACEÆ, _Juss._

This species of Hawthorn bears a great resemblance to that so common in
Europe. It grows on the banks of rivers and in damp woods in several of
the Southern States, and attains a height of twelve or fifteen feet. The
leaves are somewhat triangular in their general outline, inciso-lobate,
the lobes acute and deeply toothed; the flowers white, and the berries
ovate or oblong, of a deep red colour.




LINCOLN'S FINCH.

_FRINGILLA LINCOLNII._

PLATE CXCIII. MALE AND FEMALE.


We had been in Labrador nearly three weeks before this Finch was
discovered. One morning while the sun was doing his best to enliven the
gloomy aspect of the country, I chanced to enter one of those singular
small valleys here and there to be seen. The beautiful verdure of the
vegetation, the numerous flowers that grew sprinkled over the ground, the
half-smothered pipings of some frogs, and the multitudes of mosquitoes
and flies of various sorts, seemed to belong to a region very different
from any that I had previously explored. But if the view of this favoured
spot was pleasing to my eye, how much more to my ear were the sweet notes
of this bird as they came thrilling on the sense, surpassing in vigour
those of any American Finch with which I am acquainted, and forming a
song which seemed a compound of those of the Canary and Wood-lark of
Europe. I immediately shouted to my companions, who were not far distant.
They came, and we all followed the songster as it flitted from one
bush to another to evade our pursuit. No sooner would it alight than it
renewed its song; but we found more wildness in this species than in any
other inhabiting the same country, and it was with difficulty that we
at last procured it. Chance placed my young companion, THOMAS LINCOLN,
in a situation where he saw it alight within shot, and with his usual
unerring aim, he cut short its career. On seizing it, I found it to be
a species which I had not previously seen; and, supposing it to be new,
I named it _Tom's Finch_, in honour of our friend LINCOLN, who was a
great favourite among us. Three cheers were given him, when, proud of
the prize, I returned to the vessel to draw it, while my son and his
companions continued to search for other specimens. Many were procured
during our stay in that country. They became more abundant and less shy
the farther north we proceeded, but no longer sang, in consequence of
the advance of the season. We did not, however, succeed in finding a nest.

The habits of this sweet songster resemble those of the Song Sparrow.
Like it, mounted on the topmost twig of the tallest shrub or tree it can
find, it chants for hours; or, diving into the thickets, it hops from
branch to branch, until it reaches the ground, in search of those insects
and berries from which it derives its support. It moves swiftly off
when it discovers an enemy; and, if forced to take wing, flies low and
rapidly to some considerable distance, jerking its tail as it proceeds,
and throwing itself at the foot of the thickest bush it meets. I found
it mostly near streams, and always in the small valleys, guarded from
the cold winds so prevalent in the country, and which now and then nip
the vegetation, and destroy many of the more delicate birds.

Like every other species of the genus, Lincoln's Finch is petulant and
pugnacious. Two males often chase each other, until the weaker is forced
to abandon the valley, and seek refuge in another. On this account I
seldom saw more than two or three pairs in a tract seven or eight miles
in extent.

On the 4th of July, the young were out of the nest, following their
parents; and as, from that time, the old birds ceased to sing, I concluded
that they raise only one brood each year. Before we left Labrador,
these Finches had all disappeared. In what parts this species passes
the winter is unknown to me; nay, I never met with it in any of the
Southern States, although I saw several specimens in the collection of
the learned WILLIAM COOPER, Esq. of New York, that had been procured in
the vicinity of that city.

The plants represented along with a pair of these birds, grew in the
little valley in which the first individual seen by us was procured.
They were taken up with a spade from the midst of a rich broad bed of



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