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Black-Throated Grey Wood-Warbler

Black-Throated Grey Wood-Warbler

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

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


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[Black-throated Gray Warbler.]

[Dendroica nigrescens.]


This is another of the interesting species discovered and named by Mr. TOWNSEND, who informs me that it is called "Ah Kah a qual" by the Chinook Indians; that it is abundant in the forests of the Columbia, where it breeds and remains until winter; and that the nest, formed externally of fibrous green moss, is generally placed on the upper branches of the oak, suspended between two small twigs. Mr. NUTTALL'S notice respecting it is as follows:--"This curious species, so much resembling Sylvia striata, was seen to arrive early in May; and from its song more regularly delivered at intervals, in the tops of deciduous-leaved trees, we have little doubt but that they breed in the forests of the Columbia. On the 23d of May I had the satisfaction of harkening to the delicate but monotonous song of this bird, as he busily and intently searched every leafy bough and expanding bud for larvae and insects in a spreading oak, from whence he delivered his solitary note. Sometimes he remained a minute or two stationary, but more generally continued his quest for prey. His song, at short and regular intervals, seemed like 't shee 't shay t shaitshee, varying the feeble sound very little, and with the concluding note somewhat slenderly and plaintively raised."

SYLVIA NIGRESCENS, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Jour. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philadelphia, vol. vii. p. 191.
BLACK-THROATED GREY WARBLER, Sylvia nigrescens, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 57.

Wings of moderate length, with the outer three quills nearly equal, the second longest, the first shorter than the fourth; tail slightly rounded and emarginate. Male with the upper parts bluish ash-grey, the middle of the back and tail-coverts streaked with black; the upper part of the head and neck, the loral space and cheeks, and the fore part of the neck, with a small portion of the breast, black; a band from the nostril to near the eye, yellow; a band over the eye, and another from the lower mandible along the side of the neck, white; breast and abdomen white, the sides tinged with grey, and streaked with black; wings blackish-brown, with two white bands formed by the tips of the secondary coverts and first row of small coverts; quills edged with light grey; tail blackish-brown, the two outer feathers on each side almost entirely white, the next with a white patch on the inner web.

Male 5 5/12, wing 2 8/12.

Columbia river. Migratory.

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