Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
THE CHESTNUT-SIDED WOOD-WARBLER.
SYLVICOLA ICTECROCEPHALA, Lath.
PLATE LXXXI.--MALE AND FEMALE.
In the beginning of May 1808, I shot five of these birds, on a very cold
morning, near Pottsgrove, in the State of Pennsylvania. There was a slight fall
of snow at the time, although the peach and apple trees were already in full
bloom. I have never met with a single individual of this species since. They
all had their wings drooping, as if suffering severely from the sudden change of
the weather, and had betaken themselves to the lower rails of a fence, where
they were engaged in searching after insects, particularly spiders. I procured
every one of those which I met with that morning, and which were five in number,
two of them males, and the rest females.
Where this species goes to breed I am unable to say, for to my inquiries on
this subject I never received any answers which might have led me to the
districts resorted to by it. I can only suppose, that if it is at all plentiful
in any portion of the United States, it must be far to the northward, as I
ransacked the borders of Lake Ontario, and those of Lakes Erie and Michigan,
without meeting with it. I do not know of any naturalist who has been more
fortunate, otherwise I should here quote his observations.
The females had the ovaries furnished with numerous eggs, about the size of
the head of a common pin. The stomach of all the birds which I killed contained
some grass seeds of the preceding year, and a few small black spiders; but the
birds appeared half starved. Having procured them near the ground, I have
placed them on a plant which grows about the fields, and flowers in the
beginning of May.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, Sylvia icterocephala, Wils. Amer. Orn.,
vol. i. p. 99.
SYLVIA ICTEROCEPHALA, Bonap. Syn., p. 80.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, Sylvia icterocephala, Nutt. Man.,
vol. i. p. 380.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, Sylvia icterocephala, Aud. Orn. Biog.,
vol. i. p. 306.
Outer three quills nearly equal, second slightly longer; tail slightly
emarginate. Male with the upper part of the head light yellow, a small part of
the forehead white; loral space and two bands proceeding from it, one over and
behind the eye, the other downwards, black; upper parts bluish ash-grey, tinged
behind with greenish-yellow, and streaked with black; secondary coverts and
first row of small coverts largely tipped with pale yellow; quills and
tail-feathers brownish-black, primaries edged with greyish-white, secondaries
with yellowish-green; outer three tail-feathers on each side with a white patch
on the inner web at the end; lower parts white, sides of the neck and body deep
chestnut. Female similar, but with the chestnut on the sides less extended, and
the yellow on the head tinged with green.
Male, 5 1/4, 8.
From Texas northward. Rather common. Migratory.
THE MOTH MULLEIN.
VERBASCUM BLATTARIA, Willd., Sp. Pl., vol. i. p. 1005. Pursch, Flor.
Amer., vol. i. p. 142. Smith., Engl. Flor., vol. i. p. 513.
--PENTANDRIA MONOGYNIA, Linn.--SOLANEAE, JUSS.
A biennial plant, distinguished from the other species of the same genus
by its amplexicaul ovato-oblong, rugose, serrated, glabrous leaves, and
one-flowered solitary pedicels. The ordinary colour of the flowers is yellow,
but the plant represented is of a variety with larger whitish or pale
rose-coloured flowers. It grows in fields and bye-roads, and is of common