Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
CARDUELIS MAGELLANICUS, Vieill.
While residing at Henderson, on the Ohio, I, one cold morning in December,
observed five males of this species on the heads of some sunflowers in my
garden, and, after watching them for a little time, shot two of them. The rest
rose high in the air, and were soon out of sight. Considering the birds very
nearly allied to our Common American Goldfinch, I was surprised to find the head
black at that season. Their notes resembled those of the Pine Finch, Linaria
pinus, but in their manner of feeding, as well as in their flight, they
precisely resembled the American Goldfinch, Carduelis tristis. All my
subsequent endeavours to meet with this species failed, and I am unacquainted
with the female.
Five seen in winter at Henderson in Kentucky, of which I procured two.
BLACK-HEADED SISKIN, Fringilla magellanica, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 46.
Bill short, conical, compressed toward the end, very acute; upper mandible
a little broader than the lower, with the dorsal outline slightly convex, the
sides convex, the edges a little inflected and overlapping, the tip slightly
declinate; the gap-line straight, but a little deflected at the base; lower
mandible with the angle short and rounded, the dorsal line straight, the sides
convex, the tip acute. Nostrils basal, roundish, concealed by the feathers.
Head of moderate size, roundish-ovate. Neck short. Body rather full.
Legs of moderate length; tarsus short, compressed, slender, covered anteriorly
with seven scutella, and thin-edged behind; toes slender, compressed,
scutellate, the first large and stouter, the lateral nearly equal; claws long,
compressed, moderately curved, very acute.
Plumage soft and blended. Wings rather long, pointed; the first and second
quills equal, the third one-twelfth shorter, the other primaries rapidly
graduated; the outer secondaries emarginate. Tail rather short, emarginate.
Male, 4 3/4, wing 2 10/12.