Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
[Yellow-rumped Warbler (see also Yellow-Crowned Wood-Warbler).]
SYLVICOLA AUDUBONII, Townsend.
PLATE LXXVII.--MALE AND FEMALE.
This species, so very intimately allied to Sylvia coronata, that an
observer might readily mistake the one for the other, was discovered by Mr.
TOWNSEND, who has done me the honour of naming it after me. He states, that
"the Chinook Indians know it by the name of 'Fout-sah,' and that it is very
numerous about the Columbia river, arriving there in the middle of March, and
remaining to breed, but disappearing in the end of June. In the beginning of
October it is again seen, with its plumage renewed. Its voice so nearly
resembles that of the Chestnut-sided Warbler as to render it difficult to
distinguish them. It keeps in the most impervious thickets, and is always
silent when engaged in seeking its food." Mr. NUTTALL has favoured me with the
following animated account of it.
"This elegant species, one of the beautiful and ever-welcome harbingers of
approaching summer, we found about the middle of April, accompanying its kindred
troop of Warblers, enlivening the dark and dreary wilds of the Oregon. The
leaves of the few deciduous trees were now opening rapidly to the balmy
influence of the advancing spring, and flowers but rarely seen even by the
botanist, sent forth their delicious fragrance, and robed in beauty the shady
forests and grassy savannahs. But nothing contributes so much life to the scene
as the arrival of those seraphic birds, the Thrushes and Warblers, which,
uniting in one wild and ecstatic chorus of delight, seemed to portray, however
transiently, the real rather than the imaginary pleasures of paradise. Nor in
those sad and distant wilds were the notes of the gilded messenger of summer
(Sylvia aestiva) the less agreeable that I had heard them a thousand times
before. The harmonies of Nature are not made to tire, but to refresh the best
feelings of the mind, to recall the past, and make us dwell with delight upon
that which best deserves our recollection. But what was my surprise to hear the
accustomed note of the Summer Yellowbird delivered in an improved state by this
new Warbler, clad in a robe so different but yet so beautiful. Like that
species, also he was destined to become our summer acquaintance, breeding and
rearing his offspring in the shady firs by the borders of the prairie openings,
where he could at all times easily obtain a supply of insects or their larvae.
On the 8th of June the young of this species, at that time so much like those of
the Yellow-Rump, were already out in small roving and busy flocks, solicitously
attended and occasionally fed by the still watchful parents. We may notice in
this species as a habit, that, unlike many other birds of its tribe, it
occasionally frequents trees, particularly the water-oaks and the lower branches
of those gigantic firs, which attain not uncommonly a height of 240 feet. In
the branches of the latter, near a cliff, opening on a prairie by the banks of
the river Columbia, I have reason to believe that a pair of this fine species
had a nest, as great solicitude was expressed when I several times accidentally
approached the place."
I have given figures of the male and female, taken from specimens obtained
by Mr. TOWNSEND on the Columbia.
SYLVIA AUDUBONII, AUDUBON'S WARBLER, Townsend, Journ. Acad. Nat. Sc.
Philadelphia, vol. vii. p. 190.
AUDUBON'S WARBLER, Sylvia Audubonii, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 52.
Outer four quills nearly equal, second longest; tail slightly emarginate.
Male with the upper parts bluish ash-grey, streaked with black; crown, rump,
upper part of throat, and a patch on the sides of the body, rich yellow; first
row of small coverts largely tipped, and secondary coverts broadly margined and
tipped with white, which thus forms a conspicuous patch on the wing; quills and
tail brownish-black, narrowly margined with greyish-white; a patch of white on
the inner webs of all the tail-feathers, but on the central reduced to a mere
edging; a small white spot on each of the eyelids; loral space and cheek black;
lower part of neck anteriorly, fore part of breast, and sides, variegated with
black and white or ash-grey, the latter colours margining the feathers; the rest
of the lower parts white. Female without the yellow spot on the crown, although
the feathers there are tinged with that colour at the base; upper parts light
brownish-grey, streaked with dusky; lower parts whitish, tinged with brown, and
streaked with dusky; throat and rump yellow, but of a lighter tint than in the
male, and but slight indications of the yellow patch on the sides; there is much
less white on the wings, and the white patches on the tail-feathers are of less
In size, form, and proportion, this species and Sylvicola coronata are
almost precisely similar; and their colours are almost exactly alike, the only
remarkable difference in this respect being, that the throat of the present
species is yellow, while that of the former is white.
Male, 5 3/4, wing, 3 1/12.
Columbia river, northward. Common. Migratory.
THE STRAWBERRY TREE.
EUONYMUS AMERICANUS, Willd., Sp. Pl., vol. i. p. 1132.
Pursch, Fl. Amer., vol. i. p. 168.
This beautiful shrub, which attains a height of five or six feet, is common
in most parts of the United States, growing in low or swampy ground, and in
shady places, is characterized by having the branches quadrangular, the leaves
subsessile, elliptico-lanceolate, acute, and serrate. The fruit is large,
round, tuberculate, of a scarlet colour, and very ornamental.