John James Audubon.

Ornithological Biography, Volume 2 (of 5) online

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Fauna Bor.-Americ. vol. i. p. 245.

Adult Male. Plate CC. Fig. 1 and 3.

Bill rather short, somewhat conical, compressed, acute, straightish,
entire; upper mandible with the dorsal line slightly arched, the edges
inflected and sharp, the point acute; lower mandible straight, with
inflected edges and acute tip; nostrils basal, oval, with an arched
membrane, and covered by the frontal feathers. Head rather large, neck
short, body oval. Legs of ordinary length; tarsus longer than the middle
toe, anteriorly scutellate, acute behind; lateral toes nearly equal,
the outer united to the middle one at the base; hind toe of moderate
size; claws longish, slightly arched, that of the hind toe very long,
tapering, acute, and nearly straight.

Plumage rather dense and compact. Wings of moderate length; the second
and third primaries longest, first and fourth nearly equal; secondaries
emarginate; scapulars elongated. Tail emarginate, straight, of twelve
feathers. The principal peculiarity in the plumage consists of two
erectile pointed tufts of feathers on the anterior and lateral parts
of the head, which give the bird, viewed from before, a very remarkable
appearance, somewhat resembling that of an owl.

The colours of the male in its winter plumage, are as follows. Beak
blue at the base, blackish at the point. Iris chestnut-brown. Feet
and claws greyish-black. The general colour of the upper parts is a
dusky-brown, the feathers paler on the edges. On the forehead is a
recurved crescentic band of brownish-black, forming the erectile tufts;
another curved downwards, proceeds on each side from the base of the
upper mandibles; while a band of yellowish white runs over the eyes and
forehead. Throat pale yellow, with a broad patch of a dusky tint on the
lower neck anteriorly; the rest of the under parts brownish-white. The
quills dusky, the tail-feathers blackish, excepting the two middle ones,
which are of the same reddish-brown as the upper tail-coverts.

In summer, the male changes its aspect considerably; the brownish-black
bands on the head and neck becoming deep black, the throat and frontal
band white, and the upper parts light brownish-red.

Fig. 3 represents the Male in winter; Fig. 1 in summer.

Length 7½ inches, extent of wings 14; bill 3/12; tarsus 1 inch.

Adult Female. Plate CC. Fig. 2.

The female is dusky-brown above, dull white beneath, the wings and tail
as in the male; but it wants the black bands on the head and neck.

Nestlings. Plate CC. Fig. 4, 5, 6.

The bill and feet flesh-coloured; iris brown; the upper parts deep brown,
mottled with pale reddish-brown; the lower parts pale yellowish-grey.


Beargrass Creek, which is one of the many beautiful streams of the
highly cultivated and happy State of Kentucky, meanders through a deeply
shaded growth of majestic beech woods, in which are interspersed various
species of walnut, oak, elm, ash, and other trees, extending on either
side of its course. The spot on which I witnessed the celebration of
an anniversary of the glorious proclamation of our independence is
situated on its banks, near the city of Louisville. The woods spread
their dense tufts towards the shores of the fair Ohio on the west, and
over the gently rising grounds to the south and east. Every open spot
forming a plantation was smiling in the luxuriance of a summer harvest.
The farmer seemed to stand in admiration of the spectacle: the trees
of his orchards bowed their branches, as if anxious to restore to their
mother earth the fruit with which they were laden; the flocks leisurely
ruminated as they lay on their grassy beds; and the genial warmth of
the season seemed inclined to favour their repose.

The free, single hearted Kentuckian, bold, erect, and proud of his
Virginian descent, had, as usual, made arrangements for celebrating the
day of his country's independence. The whole neighbourhood joined with
one consent. No personal invitation was required where every one was
welcomed by his neighbour, and from the governor to the guider of the
plough all met with light hearts and merry faces.

It was indeed a beautiful day; the bright sun rode in the clear blue
heavens; the gentle breezes wafted around the odours of the gorgeous
flowers; the little birds sang their sweetest songs in the woods, and the
fluttering insects danced in the sunbeams. Columbia's sons and daughters
seemed to have grown younger that morning. For a whole week or more,
many servants and some masters had been busily engaged in clearing an
area. The undergrowth had been carefully cut down, the low boughs lopped
off, and the grass alone, verdant and gay, remained to carpet the sylvan
pavilion. Now the waggons were seen slowly moving along under their
load of provisions, which had been prepared for the common benefit. Each
denizen had freely given his ox, his ham, his venison, his turkeys, and
other fowls. Here were to be seen flaggons of every beverage used in
the country; "La belle Riviere" had opened her finny stores; the melons
of all sorts, peaches, plums and pears, would have sufficed to stock a
market. In a word, Kentucky, the land of abundance, had supplied a feast
for her children.

A purling stream gave its waters freely, while the grateful breezes cooled
the air. Columns of smoke from the newly kindled fires rose above the
trees; fifty cooks or more moved to and fro as they plied their trade;
waiters of all qualities were disposing the dishes, the glasses, and the
punch-bowls, amid vases filled with rich wines. "Old Monongahela" filled
many a barrel for the crowd. And now, the roasting viands perfume the
air, and all appearances conspire to predict the speedy commencement of
a banquet such as may suit the vigorous appetite of American woodsmen.
Every steward is at his post, ready to receive the joyous groups that
at this moment begin to emerge from the dark recesses of the woods.

Each comely fair one, clad in pure white, is seen advancing under the
protection of her sturdy lover, the neighing of their prancing steeds
proclaiming how proud they are of their burden. The youthful riders
leap from their seats, and the horses are speedily secured by twisting
their bridles round a branch. As the youth of Kentucky lightly and
gaily advanced towards the Barbicue, they resembled a procession of
nymphs and disguised divinities. Fathers and mothers smiled upon them,
as they followed the brilliant cortege. In a short time the ground was
alive with merriment. A great wooden cannon, bound with iron hoops, was
now crammed with home-made powder; fire was conveyed to it by means of
a train, and as the explosion burst forth, thousands of hearty huzzas
mingled with its echoes. From the most learned a good oration fell in
proud and gladdening words on every ear, and although it probably did
not equal the eloquence of a CLAY, an EVERETT, a WEBSTER, or a PRESTON,
it served to remind every Kentuckian present of the glorious name, the
patriotism, the courage, and the virtue, of our immortal WASHINGTON.
Fifes and drums sounded the march which had ever led him to glory; and
as they changed to our celebrated "Yankee Doodle," the air again rang
with acclamations.

Now the stewards invited the assembled throng to the feast. The fair led
the van, and were first placed around the tables, which groaned under the
profusion of the best productions of the country that had been heaped upon
them. On each lovely nymph attended her gay beau, who in her chance or
sidelong glances ever watched an opportunity of reading his happiness. How
the viands diminished under the action of so many agents of destruction
I need not say, nor is it necessary that you should listen to the long
recital. Many a national toast was offered and accepted, many speeches
were delivered, and many essayed in amicable reply. The ladies then
retired to booths that had been erected at a little distance, to which
they were conducted by their partners, who returned to the table, and
having thus cleared for action, recommenced a series of hearty rounds.
However, as Kentuckians are neither slow nor long at their meals, all
were in a few minutes replenished, and after a few more draughts from
the bowl, they rejoined the ladies, and prepared for the dance.

Double lines of a hundred fair ones extended along the ground in the
most shady part of the woods, while here and there smaller groups
awaited the merry trills of reels and cotillons. A burst of music from
violins, clarionets, and bugles, gave the welcome notice, and presently
the whole assemblage seemed to be gracefully moving through the air.
The "hunting-shirts" now joined in the dance, their fringed skirts
keeping time with the gowns of the ladies, and the married people of
either sex stepped in and mixed with their children. Every countenance
beamed with joy, every heart leaped with gladness; no pride, no pomp,
no affectation, were there; their spirits brightened as they continued
their exhilarating exercise, and care and sorrow were flung to the winds.
During each interval of rest, refreshments of all sorts were handed round,
and while the fair one cooled her lips with the grateful juice of the
melon, the hunter of Kentucky quenched his thirst with ample draughts
of well tempered punch.

I know, reader, that had you been with me on that day, you would have
richly enjoyed the sight of this national fête champetre. You would have
listened with pleasure to the ingenuous tale of the lover, the wise talk
of the elder on the affairs of the State, the accounts of improvement in
stock and utensils, and the hopes of continued prosperity to the country
at large, and to Kentucky in particular. You would have been pleased to
see those who did not join the dance, shooting at distant marks with
their heavy rifles, or watched how they shewed off the superior speed
of their high bred "old Virginia" horses, while others recounted their
hunting exploits, and at intervals made the woods ring with their bursts
of laughter. With me the time sped like an arrow in its flight, and
although more than twenty years have elapsed since I joined a Kentucky
Barbicue, my spirit is refreshed every 4th of July by the recollection
of that day's merriment.

But now the sun has declined, and the shades of evening creep over the
scene. Large fires are lighted in the woods, casting the long shadows
of the live columns far along the trodden ground, and flaring on the
happy groups, loth to separate. In the still clear sky, began to sparkle
the distant lamps of heaven. One might have thought that Nature herself
smiled on the joy of her children. Supper now appeared on the tables,
and after all had again refreshed themselves, preparations were made for
departure. The lover hurried for the steed of his fair one, the hunter
seized the arm of his friend, families gathered into loving groups, and
all returned in peace to their happy homes.

And now, Reader, allow me also to take my leave and wish you good night,
trusting that when I again appear with another volume, you will be ready
to welcome me with a cordial greeting.


Page 9, line 15 from the bottom, _dele_ primaries.

Page 204, _for_ Plate CXXXIV. _read_ CXXXIII.

Page 251, _read_ extent of wings 22; bill along the back ¾.



A. H. Everett, for the Library of the General Court of
Legislature of South Carolina, for the Columbia College.
Legislature of Louisiana.
Legislature of Maryland. T. D. Teakle, Librarian.
Legislature of New York. John A. Dix, Secretary.
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. John Vaughan,
Esq. Secretary.
Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Richard Harlan,
Esq. M.D.
Columbia College of New York. Rev. W. A. Duer, President.
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Josiah Quincey,
Boston Natural History Society.
Providence Athenæum, Rhode Island.
Charleston Library, South Carolina.
Charleston Natural History Society, South Carolina.
Charleston Citizens' Library, South Carolina.
Haarlem Library, Holland.
Richard Harlan, Esq. M.D. Philadelphia.
John P. Wetherell, Esq. Philadelphia.
William Gaston, Esq. Savannah, Georgia.
James Potter, Esq. Savannah, Georgia.
Alexander Telfair, Esq. Savannah.
Thomas Young, Esq. Savannah.
John David Mongin, Esq. Savannah.
Daniel Blake, Esq. Savannah.
Thomas Butler King, Esq. St Simon's Island, Georgia.
John S. Donnell, Esq. Baltimore, Maryland.
E. Geddings, Esq. M.D. Baltimore, Maryland.
Thomas Edmondston jun. Esq. Baltimore, Maryland.
Joseph E. Walker, Esq. Baltimore, Maryland.
Edward Harris, Esq. Moorestown, New Jersey.
Gustavus Schmidt, Esq. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Garnett Duncan, Esq. Louisville, Kentucky.
John Croghan, Esq. Louisville, Kentucky.
William J. Rees, Stateburgh, South Carolina.
Edward Prime, Esq. Banker, New York.
James G. King, Esq. Banker, New York.
Stephen Van Rensselaer, Esq. Albany, New York.
Cornelius C. Low, Esq. New York.
P. J. Stuyvesant, Esq. M.D. New York.
Robert Ray, Esq. New York.
J. L. Joseph, Esq. New York.
Richard F. Carman, Esq. New York.
Mrs Bailey, New York.
Thomas W. H. Perkins, Esq. Boston.
Samuel Appleton, Esq. Boston.
J. G. Cushing, Esq. Boston.
George C. Shattuck, Esq. M.D. Boston.
P. J. Jackson, Esq. Boston.
James Brown, Esq. Boston.
Frederick Tudor, Esq. Boston.
— Greenwood, Esq. Museum, Boston.
George Spratt, Esq. Boston.
John Neal, Esq. Portland, Maine.
Miss Burley, Salem, Massachusetts.
William Oakes, Esq. Ipswich, Massachusetts.
William Sturges, Esq. Boston.
James Arnold, Esq. New Bedford, Rhode Island.
Mrs Euphemia Gifford, Duffield Bank, Derby.
Charles Fox, Esq. Perran, near Truro, England.
George Lane Fox, Esq. Yorkshire.
Baron N. M. Rothschild, Banker, London.
Sir John Tobin, Liverpool.
His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, Dalkeith Palace, Scotland.
His Imperial and Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Tuscany,
&c. &c. &c.

* * * * *

Persons intending to subscribe for "The Birds of America,"
are requested to apply to the Author, J. J. AUDUBON, or the
Engraver ROBERT HAVELL, 77. Oxford Street, London; THOMAS
SOWLER, Bookseller, Manchester; Mrs ROBINSON, Bookseller, Leeds;
ALEXANDER HILL, Bookseller, 50. Prince's Street, Edinburgh;
BEILBY, KNOTT and BEILBY, Booksellers, Birmingham; E. CHARNLEY,
Bookseller, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; GEORGE SMITH, Bookseller,
Tythebarn Street, Liverpool; ADAM & CHARLES BLACK, Booksellers,


Acadian Owl, 567

Acer spicatum, 207

Alauda alpestris, 570

Almond, Wild, 340, 521

American Crow, 317

— Golden-crested Wren, 476

— Robin, 190

— Sparrow Hawk, 246

— Starling, 216

— Swift, 329

Anona, Purple-flowered, 359

Apple, Seven years', 391

Arbutus uva-ursi, 454

Azalea, calendulacea, 566

— Orange-leaved, 566

— viscosa, 96

Bachman's Finch, 366

— Warbler, 483

Ball in Newfoundland, 211

Balsam Fir, 426

Barberry, Canadian, 514

Barbicue, Kentucky, 576

Barn Owl, 403

Barn Swallow, 413

Bay of Fundy, 485

Bignonia capreolata, 83

— radicans, 16

Black and Yellow Warbler, 145

Blackberry, 175

Blackbird, Great Crow, 504

Blackburnian Warbler, 208

Black-cap Titmouse, 343

Black-poll Warbler, 201

Black-throated Blue Warbler, 309

Black Gum Tree, 204

Black Haw, 328

Black Jack Oak, 107

Black Larch, 459

Black Locust, 23

Black Snake, 107

Black Vulture, 33

Black Walnut, 324

Blue Bird, 84

Blue Grosbeak, 140

Blue-headed Pigeon, 411

Blue Jay, 11

Boat-tailed Grakle, 504

Brown-headed Nuthatch, 151

Bunting, Townsend's, 183

— Snow, 515

Burning of the Forests, 397

Butter-nut, 252

Calopogon pulchellus, 231

Canada Flycatcher, 17

Canada Grous, 437

Canada Jay, 53

Canadian Barberry, 514

Canadian Columbine, 311

Caprimulgus virginianus, 273

Caracara Eagle, 350

Cardinal Grosbeak, 336

Carolina Titmouse, 341

Carrion Crow, 33

Cat Bird, 171

Cathartes Aura, 296

— Jota, 33

Chat, Yellow-breasted, 223

Chelone glabra, 150

Chestnut-oak, 195

Chimney Swallow, 329

Chipping Sparrow, 21

Citrus aurantium, 260, 360, 475

Cloudberry, 542

Coccyzus Seniculus, 390

Cod-fishing, 522

Columba cyanocephala, 411

— leucocephala, 443

— montana, 382

— passerina, 471

— Zenaida, 354

Columbine, Canadian, 311

Common Crossbill, 559

Connecticut Warbler, 227

Cordia, Rough-leaved, 448

Cordia Sebestena, 448

Cornus canadensis, 365

— florida, 144

— suecica, 541

Corvus americanus, 317

— canadensis, 53

— Corax, 1

— cristatus, 11

— ossifragus, 269

Cotton Plant, 130

Cratægus apiifolia, 538

Crossbill, Common, 559

Crow, American, 317

— Fish, 269

Cuckoo, Mangrove, 390

Cypselus pelasgius, 329

Death of a Pirate, 180

Dogwood, 144

Dove, Ground, 471

Dove, Zenaida, 354

Downy Woodpecker, 81

Dwarf Cornel, 541

Dwarf Huckle-berry, 231

Dwarf Maple, 207

Eagle, Caracara, 350

— Golden, 464

— White-headed, 160

Emberiza nivalis, 515

Falco Chrysaëtos, 464

— islandicus, 552

— lagopus, 377

— leucocephalus, 160

— niger, 381

— Palumbarius, 241

— plumbeus, 108

— Sparverius, 246

— Stanleii, 245

Falcon, Rough-legged, 377

— Iceland, 552

Falcon, Jer, 532

False Acacia, 23

Finch, Bachman's, 366

— MacGillivray's, 285

— Pine, 455

— Savannah, 63

— Sharp-tailed, 281

Field Sparrow, 229

Fir, Balsam, 426

— Silver, 426

Fish Crow, 269

Ferruginous Thrush, 102

Florida Keys, 312, 345

Flowering Raspberry, 147

Flycatcher, Fork-tailed, 387

— Great Crested, 176

— Green-Black-capped, 148

— Olive-sided, 422

— Pewee, 122

— Pipiry, 392

— Small Green Crested, 256

— Warbling, 114

— Wood Pewee, 93

— Yellow-throated, 119

Force of the Waters, 97

Forests, Burning of the, 397

Forked-tailed Flycatcher, 387

Fox-coloured Sparrow, 58

Fringilla Bachmanii, 366

— canadensis, 513

— caudacuta, 281

— cærulea, 140

— iliaca, 58

Fringilla leucophrys, 88

— Lincolnii, 539

— ludoviciana, 166

— Macgillivraii, 285

— passerina, 185

— pinus, 455

— pusilla, 229

— Savanna, 63

— socialis, 21

Fundy, Bay of, 485

Gentiana saponaria, 228

Gerardia flava, 222

— yellow-flowered, 222

Glaucous Kalmia, 542

Gleditschia triacanthos, 279, 290

Golden-crested Wren, American, 476

Gordonia Lasianthus, 389

— pubescens, 484

Gossypium herbaceum, 130

Golden Eagle, 464

Golden-crowned Thrush, 253

Goshawk, 241

Grakle, Boat-tailed, 504

— Rusty, 325

Grape, Racoon, 80

— Summer, 92

Great Cinereous Shrike, 534

— Crested Flycatcher, 176

— Crow Blackbird, 504

— Laurel, 20

Green Black-capped Flycatcher, 148

Grosbeak, Blue, 140

— Cardinal, 336

— Rose-breasted, 166

Ground Dove, 471

— Ground Hemlock, 170

— Squirrel, 410

Grous, Canada, 437

— Pinnated, 490

— Spotted or Canada, 437

— Willow, 528

Habenaria lacera, 365

Hare, Northern, 469

Haw, Black, 328

Hawk, Black, 381

— Sparrow, 246

Helenium quadridentatum, 262

Hemlock, Ground, 170

— Spruce, 562

— Warbler, 205

Hickory, Thick shell-bark, 10

Hirundo rustica, 413

Hobble Bush, 260

Honey Locust, 272, 290

Honeysuckle, Swamp, 96

Hooded Warbler, 66

Huckleberry, 451

— Dwarf, 231

Hudson's Bay Titmouse, 543

Humming Bird, Mango, 480

Hydrangea quercifolia, 121

Iceland Falcon, 552

Icteria viridis, 223

Ilex laxiflora, 308

Indian Pink-root, 65

Iris versicolor, 306

Jay, Blue, 11

— Canada, 53

Jer Falcon, 552

Journey in New Brunswick and Maine, 459

Juglans cinerea, 252

— sulcata, 10

Kalmia angustifolia, 548

— glauca, 542

— narrow-leaved, 548

Kentucky Barbicue, 576

Key West Pigeon, 382

Kite, Mississippi, 108

Labrador, Squatters of, 154

— Tea-plant, 533

— Cod Fishing at, 522

Lanius Excubitor, 534

Large-flowered Bignonia, 482

Lark, Meadow, 216

— Shore, 570

Laurel, Great, 20

— Narrow-leaved, 548

Laurus Sassafras, 258

Ledum latifolium, 533

Lost One, The, 69

Loxia curvirostra, 559

Lilium superbum, 503

Lily, Tiger, 503

Lincoln's Finch, 539

Little Owl, 567

Live Oak, 509

Live-Oakers, the, 237

Macgillivray's Finch, 285

Magnolia glauca, 118

— grandiflora, 482

— swamp, 118

Mango Humming Bird, 480

Mangrove Cuckoo, 390

Maple, Dwarf, 207

Meadow Lark, 216

Merchant of Savannah, 549

Migratory Thrush, 190

Mississippi Kite, 108

— Squatters of the, 131

Moose Hunt, 431

Mullein, Great, 87

Muscicapa acadica, 256

— canadensis, 17

— Cooperi, 422

— crinita, 176

— dominicensis, 392

— fusca, 122

— savana, 387

— virens, 93

— Wilsonii, 148

Narrow-leaved Kalmia, 548

— Laurel, 548

Newfoundland, Ball in, 211

Night Hawk, 273

Nightshade, Woody, 255

Northern Hare, 469

Nuthatch, Brown-headed, 151

— Red-bellied, 24

— White-breasted, 299

Nuttall's Short-billed Marsh Wren, 427

Nyssa aquatica, 204

Oak, Black Jack, 107

— Chestnut, 195

— Live, 509

— White, 56, 278

Olive-sided Flycatcher, 422

Orange-crowned Warbler, 449

— leaved Azalea, 566

— Wild, 475, 460, 560

Owl, Acadian, 567

— Barn, 403

— Little, 567

— Snowy, 135

Parus atricapillus, 373

— carolinensis, 341

— hudsonicus, 543

Pea, Sea, 533

Pewee Flycatcher, 122

Phlox aristata, 65

— maculata, 210

Pigeon, Blue-headed, 411

— Key West, 382

— White-headed, 443

Picus pileatus, 74

— pubescens, 81

— tridactylus, 197

— varius, 519

Pileated Woodpecker, 74

Pine Creeping Warbler, 233

— Yellow, 235

— Swamp Warbler, 279

— Finch, 455

Pinus balsamea, 426

— canadensis, 562

— pendula, 458

— variabilis, 235

Pink-root, Indian, 65

Pinnated Grous, 490

Pipiry Flycatcher, 392

Pirate, death of a, 180

Pisum maritimum, 533

Polyborus vulgaris, 350

Porcelia parviflora, 359

Purple-flowered Anona, 359

Quercus alba, 56

— nigra, 107

— virens, 509

Quiscalus ferrugineus, 325

— major, 504

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