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Townsend's Wood-Warbler

Townsend's Wood-Warbler

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.


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[Townsend's Warbler.]

[Dendroica townsendi.]


Mr. NUTTALL has honoured this beautiful Warbler with the name of his friend and companion Mr. TOWNSEND. It was procured about the Columbia river. All the information respecting it that I possess is contained in the following brief notice by the former of these celebrated naturalists. "Of this fine species we know very little, it being one of those transient visiters, which, on their way to the north, merely stop a few days to feed and recruit, previous to their arrival in the higher latitudes, or afterwards disperse in pairs, and are lost sight of till the returning wants and famine of the season impel them again to migrate, when, falling on the same path, they are seen in small silent flocks advancing toward the retreat they seek out for their temporary residence. As this species frequents the upper parts of the lofty firs, it was almost an accident to obtain it at all. The female remains unknown."

The plant represented, Calycanthus floridus, the Carolina allspice, is much esteemed on account of the fragrance of its large purple flowers, and abounds in the Southern States, growing on the margins of swamps and rivulets.

SYLVIA TOWNSENDI, Townsend's Warbler, Towns., Jour. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philadelphia, vol. vii. p. 191.
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, Sylvia Townsendi, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 36.

Wings of moderate length, rather pointed, with the second and third quills longest, the first and second nearly equal and very little shorter; tail scarcely emarginate. Upper parts light greenish-olive, more yellow behind, all the feathers dusky in the centre; cheeks, ear-coverts, and throat black; a band over the eye, a broader band on the side of the neck, and the fore part of the breast bright yellow; the rest of the lower parts white, but the sides marked with oblong dusky spots; wings blackish-brown; the secondary coverts and first row of small coverts largely tipped with white, the quills margined with light grey; tail-feathers blackish-brown, edged with grey; outer two on each side almost entirely white, the next with a small white spot.

Male, 4 10/12, wing 2 8/12.

Columbia river, northward. Migratory.

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