Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
REGULUS CUVIERII, Aud.
[Now known as Regulus cuvieri.]
I named this pretty and rare species after Baron CUVIER, not merely by way
of acknowledgment for the kind attentions which I received at the hands of that
deservedly celebrated naturalist, but as a homage due by every student of nature
to one unrivalled in the knowledge of General Zoology.
I shot the bird represented in the Plate, on my father-in-law's plantation
of Fatland Ford, on the Schuylkill river in Pennsylvania, on the 8th of June,
1812, while on a visit to my honoured relative Mr. WILLIAM BAKEWELL. The
drawing which I then made I kept for a long time without having described the
bird from which it was taken. I killed this little bird, supposing it to be one
of its relatives, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, whilst it was searching for insects
and larvae, amongst the leaves and blossoms of the Kalmia latifolia, on a branch
of which you see it represented, and was not aware of its being a different bird
until I picked it up from the ground. I have not seen another since, nor have I
been able to learn that this species has been observed by any other individual.
It might, however, be very easily mistaken for the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, the
manner of which appear to be much the same.
The Kalmia latifolia grows in great profusion in the State of Pennsylvania,
and along the range of the Alleghanies, in all rocky and hilly situations.
CUVIER'S CRESTED WREN, Regulus Cuvierii, Nutt. Man., vol. i. p. 416.
CUVIER'S REGULUS, Regulus Cuvierii, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. i. p. 288.
Bill short, straight, subulate, very slender, compressed, with inflected
edges; upper mandible nearly straight in its dorsal outline, the edges slightly
notched close upon the slightly declinate acute tip; lower mandible straight,
acute. Nostrils basal, elliptical, half closed above by a membrane, covered
over by the feathers. The whole form slender. Legs rather long; tarsus
slender, much compressed, longer than the middle toe, covered anteriorly with a
few indistinct scutella; toes scutellate, the lateral ones nearly equal and
free; hind toe stouter; claws weak, compressed, arched, acute.
Plumage very loose and tufty. Bristles at the base of the hill; a small
decomposed feather covering the nostril. Wings of ordinary length, the third
and fourth primaries longest. Tail of twelve feathers, emarginate.
Bill black. Iris hazel. Feet yellowish-brown. The general colour of the
upper parts is dull greyish-olive. Forehead, lore, and a line behind the eye,
black. A semilunar band of the same on the top of the head, the middle space
vermilion. Wings and tail dusky, edged with greenish-yellow. Secondary coverts
tipped with greyish-white. Under parts greyish-white.
Length 4 1/4 inches, extent of wings 6; bill along the ridge nearly 1/3,
along the gap nearly 1/2; tarsus 3/4.
THE BROAD-LEAVED KALMIA, OR LAUREL.
KALMIA LATIFOLIA, Willd. Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 600. Pursch, Fl. Amer.,vol. i. p. 296.--DECANDRIA MONOGYNIA, Linn.--RHODODENDRA, Juss.
This beautiful species is characterized by its scattered, petiolate,
elliptical leaves, which are smooth, and nearly of the same colour on both
sides; and its terminal, viscid, and pubescent corymbs. It is a middle-sized
shrub, sometimes attaining a height of eight or ten feet. The leaves are
evergreen, as in the other species, and the flowers of a delicate pink.