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Observations on the Dialects of the West of England, tyc. fyc. 

"They whisper Truths in Reason's ear, 

If human pride will stoop to hear." 

Lord Erskine. 

Qnel bien manque a vos vceux interessants oiseaux ? 

Vous posse*dez les airs, et la terre/et l/s eaux ; 

Sous la feuille trerftblanteun zephyr vous 6veille; 

Vos couleurs charment l'oeil, et vos accents l'oreille. 

. - De Lille. 










«tf/'onal Mui 


9C ,*l 


The favourable reception of Ornithologia, especially by 
those who are judges of the science, has induced the author to 
revise it, and to make such additions to it which the late rapid 
progress of Ornithology has rendered necessary: those ad- 
ditions will be found in the following Preliminary Notices; 
to which, as the author has no wisli to shrink from the closest 
scrutiny into the merits of his work, he has appended a few 
Explanatory Observations on some objections that have 
been, either carelessly, iynorautly, or wanton 1 y, made to it: 
with a liberal and discerning public he has no doubt of the 

Since the appearance of Ornithologia, in 1827, the 
the public attention has been more than ordinarily excited 
to Animal Natural History. The Zoological Society is men- 
tioned in page 94. Its collection of living animals in the 
Regent's Park is now, under suitable regulation, open to the 
public at a very trifling expense, namely, one shilling each 
person. The crowds that daily visit the Gardens are almost 
innumerable. They are, at once, a fashionable, an agreeable, 
an amusing, and instructive lounge ; and far exceed, in 
exciting interest, any thing which could have been pre- 
viously anticipated concerning such an establishment. 
The members of the Society exceed, at the present time, 
(September 1829,) 1300. The Museum in Bruton Street con- 



tains 600 specimens of Mammalia ; 400 specimens of Birds; 
1000 of Reptiles and Fishes ; 1000 of Tcstacea and Crustacea; 
and 30,000 Insects. The Gardens were opened to the pub- 
lic in June 1828, and with the Museum, from that period, 
in one year, had been visited by 112,226 persons. In the 
Gardens are between five and six hundred living Quadru- 
peds and Birds. Among the curious birds are the follow- 
ing: Curassows, the Guan, the Crowned Crane, Black and 
White Storks, Spoonbills, Herons and Bitterns, Parrots, 
Pelicans, Emus, an Ostrich, the Gannet, the Shag ; various 
species of the Duck tribe ; Tame, Wild, and Black Swans ; 
various species of the Goose tribe: Gulls ; many varieties 
of Pigeons and Domestic Fowls; the Condor; the Griffon 
Vulture; various Eagles ; curious Owls ; numerous species 
of the Falcon tribe; Pheasants ; Partridges ; and many 
singing Birds, &c. See the Guide to the Zoological Gardens, 
drawn up by N. A. Vigors and W. J. Broderip, Esqrs. 

It maybe also useful to state, that, although this Society 
were reluctantly compelled to postpone the attempt to 
become more directly and practically useful, by experi- 
ments in the breeding and domestication of animals, yet 
that they are, now, about to direct their attention to those 
important objects. The Regent's Park not being calculated 
for the purpose, they have engaged a farm, with suitable 
offices, &c. of about thirty-three acres of land, in a beautiful 
situation under the wall of Richmond Park, nine miles 
from Hyde Park Corner. Here it is intended that their 
experiments for breeding and domesticating animals are to 
be made. The animals are to include not only Quadru- 
peds and Birds, but also Fish. 

Besides the work of Wilson on the Birds of America, 
noticed in page 90, one now in course of publication, in this 
country, by Mr. Audubon, consisting of Drawings of the 


same size as the Birds, must here be mentioned. Et is enti- 
tled Birds of America, from Drawings made during a resi- 
dence of twenty -five years in the United States and its Terri- 
tories. Ten numbers have already appeared. The Plates 
are three feet three inches long, by two feet two inches wide: 
" a size," says Mr. Swainson, in his notice of the work, in 
the Magazine of Natural History t " which exceeds any 
thing of (he kind I have ever seen or heard of; on this vast 
surface, every bird is represented in its full dimensions ;" 
the whole are also correctly coloured, according to nature. 

In allusion to two ornithological narratives by Mr. 
Audubon, printed in one of the Scotch Journals, Mr. 
Swainson says, " There is a freshness and originality about 
these Essays which can only be compared to the animated 
biographies of Wilson. Both these men contemplated 
Nature as she really is, not as she is represented in books. 
The observations of such men arc the corner-stones of every 
attempt to discover the natural system. Their writings will be 
consulted when our favourite theories shall have passed into 
oblivion. Ardently, therefore, do I hope that Mr. Audubon 
will alternately become the historian, and the painter, of his 
favourite objects ; that he will never be made a convert to 
any system, but instruct and delight us, as a true and un- 
prejudiced biographer of Nature. The largeness of the 
paper has enabled Mr. Audubon to group his figures, in the 
most beautiful and varied attitudes, on the trees or plants 
which they frequent. Some are feeding, others darting, 
pursuing or capturing their prey ; ail have life and anima- 
tion ; the plants, fruits, and flowers, which enrich the scene, 
are alone still." 

There has been, as yet, no letter-press description pub- 
lished of 7\Ir. Audubon's Drawings; but it is designed that 
every bird shall be suitably described; the number of which 


delineated by him, is, we understand, between four and 
five hundred; and he, being;, it is said, a native'of Louisiana? 
will, we doubtnot, supply much original information relative 
to the birds of the southern regions of North America. 

It appears, by a Catalogue of the Birds of the United 
States, published in an American work, by Prince Charles 
Bonaparte, that they cons'st of 28 families, 81 genera, and 
362 species: 209 land, and 153 water birds. Of these 81 
genera, 63 are common to Europe and America, while .18 
have no representatives in Europe. Arranging all the 
known birds in 37 natural families, 28 of these are found 
in America ; and of these 28, two are not found in Europe. 
The Magazine of Natural hHstory t \\as begun last year, and, 
under the able superintendence of Mr. Loudon, is diffusing 
its utilities around. While it preserves a scientific character 
it, at the same time, renders the study of Natural History, 
whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, easy to the plainest 
capacity. Among its advantages are the accentuation and 
explanation of the scientific terms ; compendia of the various 
scientific departments ; much new and explanatory desiderata ; 
and original communications from various able naturalists. 
There is another point, too, for which the intelligent Editor 
deserves gre;tt credit; namely, that of permiting authors 
and others who have been misquoted or misrepresented, 
to explain themselves in their own words and in their own 
way. See a Letter by the Author of Ornithologia, below. 

As connected with Ornithology, it ought also to be stated 
that the Linnean Society has lately enriched its collection 
with the Collections and Library pf Linnaeus, and those of 
its late President Sir J. E. Si\:ith ; so that nearly all the 
materials which that great naturalist employed are now in 
this country. The Society gave for these treasures 3000 


Enough has, perhaps, been said concerning the quinary 
arrangement of Birds proposed by Mr. Vigors, in the Intro- 
duction, see page 41 ; but as Mr. Macleay, the original 
propounder of the s) stern, has given us a learned and valu- 
able paper, in the sixteenth volume of the Linnean Trans- 
actions, relative to the analogies existing between Birds 
and the Mammalia, it may be useful to observe that he has 
proposed the following comparative Table; 


1 Ferce Carnivorous 1 Raptores. 

2 Primates Omnivorous 2 Insessores. 

3 Glires Frugivorous 3 Rasores. 

i tt j , f Frequenting the > . ^ , 7 . 

4 Ungidata \ . S 1 .. c ° . > 4 Grallatores. 

a ( vicimly of water, S 

5 Cetacea Aquatic 5 Natatores. 

Corrections arid Additions to Ornithologia. 

Colymbus minor, or Di dapper, page 11. This is a mistake; 
it is the Fulica chloropus, or Moor-Hen. 

Turdus musicus, or Song-Thrush, page 18. In regard to the 
structure of the nest of this bird, see forwards in the Letter to 
the Editor of the Magazine of Natural History, 

Hirundo esculenla, or esculent Swallow, page 23. The 
Chinese carry on a large trade in these birds' nests. It is said 
that the quantity annually sent from Java to China is 242,000 
lbs. the export value of which is estimated at £284,000. What 
there can be in these superior to the gdatine to be obtained 
from innumerable animal substances the luxurious Asiatics can 
best explain. 

Sleep <f Birds, page 57. Ducks will also sleep while floating 
on the water; and, most probably, many other of the natatoria 
tribe; hence the facility of their moving from one region of the 
earth to another. 

Incubation of Birds, page 60. Mr. Sweet, Mag, Nat. Hist, 


vol. ii. page 113, states some curious facts relative to birds for- 
saking their nests. He says that " the redbreast, wren, black- 
bird, song-thrush, missel-thrusli, and, he thinks, almost every other 
bird, will forsake their first nest for the season, if frightened 
out of it once or twice, and will immediately begin to build 
another ; but they will not forsake their nest while laying, handle 
the eggs as much as you please, or change them one for the 
other; or even if you take one out every day, the same hen will 
return, and lay, in the empty nest. A redbreast will sit on any 
egg substituted for its own, even a blackbird's or thrush's, and 
will breed up the young ones; a hedge-sparrow will do the 
same ; and, most probably, any soft-billed bird. Later in the 
season, after a bird has made one or two nests, it will not for- 
sake its nest when sitting, drive it out as often as you please ; 
some will even suffer themselves to be taken out and put back 
again without leaving the nest." 

In regard to the Goldfinch, when it breeds in gardens, I can 
say that it builds sometimes a few feet only from the ground, 
in an espalier, for instance; and pass to it as close as you please 
during incubation, it usually remains in the nest. The greatest 
enemies of birds that build in such places are eats. 

Birds of London, page 75, et seq. The Corvus monedula, or 
Jack-Daw frequents some of the church towers of London, 
particularly St. Michael's, Cornhill; and it is said that the Fa!co 
tinnunculus, or common Hawk, builds in some of the more ele- 
vated parts of St. Paul's Cathedral. 

I heard the Song-Thrush, Turdus musicus, singing on one 
of the trees in Berkeley Square, March 22, 1828. I am quite 
certain of this fact, as I took care to see the bird. 

Mr. Britton informs me that, in the winter, Tomtits, Parus 
caruleus, frequent his garden in Burton Street, Burton Crescent, 
to the number of four or six at a time : the Chaffinch, Fnn~ 
gilla ccelebs, has also been observed in the same garden : and 
last summer, 1828, the Whitethroat, Mvtacilla sylvia, poured 
its pleasing song in the same place. It is scarcely necessary to 


add that Pheasants and Partridges are to be seen in the 
Regent's Park, because these were, it is presumed, brought 
there by those having command in that region, and which, there- 
fore, can hardly be considered as the natural, voluntary domi- 
cile of those birds. The Nightingale is also occasionally to 
be heard in the same park. And Starlings now, I observe, 
build very commonly in or about some of the capitals of the 
Corinthian columns at Sussex Place. 

It may be staled also, in addition to what is said in page 77, 
concerning the Martin, Hirundo urbica, that I observed, Aug, 
10, 1829, several of those birds actively on the wing, over, and 
around the Southwark bridge, where they were evidently 
collecting their food. 

It is stated in the Mag. of Nat. Hist, that the Gardens about 
London, are much more injured by insects than those in distant 
parts of the country ; and it is conjectured that this is owing to 
the number of birds which are taken by the bird-catchers and 
also by the cats. Although this statement is in favour of the 
necessity of Humanity to Animals for our own well-being, yet 
I cannot confirm it by any knowledge of my own. 

The Falco Harpyia, or Crested Eagle, page 104, is sometimes 
called Harpy. It is one of the most powerful of the Eagle 
tribe ; a fine specimen of this bird is in the Horticultural Socie- 
ty's Gardens ; by this time, we hope,"in the Zoological Gardens. 

Falco Washingtoniana, or Great American Sea-Eagle. 

We are indebted to Mr. Audueon for a description of this 
large, rare, and rapacious bird, in the Mag. of Nat. Hist. vol. i. 
p 115. This Eagle is much larger than our Golden Eagle. The 
male weighs 14^ lbs, and is three feet seven inches long, by ten 
feet two inches in extent. The female is, of course, larger. The 
upper part of the head, neck, back, scapulars, rump, tail-coverts, 
femorals, and tail feathers, are a dark coppery brown; the 
throat, front of the neck, breast, and belly, a rich bright cinna- 
mon, all the feathers of which are dashed along the centre with 

a 3 


the brown of the back. Primaries brown, secondaries between 
the last-named colour and rusty iron-grey, of which colour are the 
lesser coverts. Legs and feet strong, and of a dirty yellow. Bill 
three and a half inches long, bluish black, turning into yellow to- 
wards the mouth which is blue, and surrounded with a thick yel- 
low skin. Found, though rarely, in the back settlements of North 
America. The knowledge evinced by these birds, and the care 
of their young, are deserving notice. " In a few minutes," says 
Mr. Audubon, " the other parent joined her mate, which, from 
the difference in size, we knew to be the mother bird. She had 
brought a fish, but, more cautious than her mate,ere she alighted, 
she glanced her quick and piercing eye around, and perceived 
that her nest had been discovered ; she dropped her prey, with 
a loud shriek communicated the alarm to the male, and, hover- 
ing with him over our heads, kept up a growling threatening cry, 
to intimidate us from our design. The young having hid them- 
selves, we picked up the fish, a white perch, which the mother 
had let fall ; it weighed o^lbs. the upper part of the head was 
broken in, and the back torn by the talons of the Eagle." Mr. 
Audubon could not, however, obtain either of these birds, nor 
one of their young. The specimen which he describes was 
obtained by him on another occasion. 

ddurnha migruloria, or Passenger Pigeon, page 120. Every 
account from travellers confirms the immense numbers of these 
birds in the back settlements of North America. An incalcu- 
lable quantity were seen passing over the village of Rochester, 
{Genesee County, N.A.) on the 13th of December, 1828, from 
the North. Such an unusual migration, at such a season of the 
year, excited great attention ; and, what was very remarkable, 
those of them which were taken were very fat. Whence could 
they have come ; from some northern summer ? 

Another account, from the Susquehannuh County Register, for 
May 1829, states that an encampment of these birds was about 
ten miles from Montrose, N. A. ; where they built nests and 
reared their young : this encampment was upwards of nine miles 


in length and four in breadth, the lines regular and straight, 
within which there was scarcely a tree, large or small, that was 
not covered with nests. They caused such a constant roaring, 
by the flapping of their wings, that person?, on going into the 
encampment, had great difficulty in hearing each other speak. 
Every thing throughout the camp appeared to be conducted in 
the most perfect order. They take their turns regularly in feeding 
their young; and when any of them are killed upon their nests 
by the sportsmen, others immediately supply their places. The' 
editor of the paper mentioned observes, " we incline to believe 
that they have in part adopted Mr. Owen's community system, as 
the whole appears to be a common stock business. The squabs, 
(young pigeons,) are now sufficiently large to be considered by 
epicures better for a rich dish than the old ones ; they are caught 
and carried off by waggon loads." 

It appears, by the latest accounts, that the statement that this 
pigeon lays only one egg for a brood is incorrect. It often lays 
two eggs for the same sitting ; and it also breeds nearly as often 
as our domestic pigeon, seven or eight times a year. In twenty- 
three days from the laying of the eggs the young can fly ; in eight 
days after being hatched they fly from the nest. New York Med. 
and Phys. Journal. 

Cygnusferus, or Wild Swan, page 125. The chief specific 
difference between this and the Tame Swan, consists in the 
structure of the trachea or windpipe, which, in this species? 
enters into the sternum, or breast-bone, forms a circumvolution 
within it, and, returning out again, enters in the usual manner 
into the lungs. In the tame Swan there is nothing unusual in 
the progress of the trachea into the lungs. Like the tame Swan 
this species may be bred in confinement. Lord Egremont has 
reared it at Petworth: the pair now in the Zoological 
Gardens came from his lordship's menagerie. Guide to the 

Cygnus atrata or Anas atrata, page 125. The Black Swan 
is bred with ease in England. The trachea of this bird is singu- 


iar, being exactly intermediate in character between those, of 
the wild and the tame Swan: it has the convolution of that of the 
wild species, but it does not enter the breast-bone. 

Phasianus gallus, or Common Cock and Hen, page 146. 
The Dorking Fowl is distinguished by having five claws on 
each foot. 

It appears from Crawford's Embassy to Siam and Cochin-China, 
that, in the forests through which the embassy passed, they 
observed several flocks of wild poultry. One of these, not far 
from a village, appeared so little shy that, at first, it was ima- 
gined they were domestic fowls : this account confirms the 
statement of naturalists that the cock and hen came originally 
from Asia. 

Scolopax gallinago, or Common Snipe, page 161. This bird 
Is called in some of the provinces, chiefly, it is presumed, Scot- 
land, Heather Bleuter, from the male making a noise during the 
breeding season like the bleating of a goat. 

" The cuckoo and the gowk, 
The lavrock and the lark, 
The heather-bleat, the muire-snipe, 
How many birds is that ?" 

Mag. Nat. Hist. 

Answer, Three only. 

Scolopax arquata, or Curlew, page 163. The young of this 
bird are called in Somersetshire, Checkers. 

Slurnas Vulgaris, or Sterling, page 168. Although I have 
never met with the nest of this bird in Somersetshire, the bird 
itself is not uncommon there in the winter. See before, in these 
notices, Birds of London. 

Loxia coccothraustes, or Hawfinch, page 175. A nest of 
this bird was found, May 1828, on the bough of an apple tree, 
at Chelsfield, Kent, and of no very curious construction; eggs 


five, size of a skylark's, of a dull greenish grey, streaked and 
spotted with bluish ash, olive brown, or blackish brown. 3Iag. 
Nat. Hist. 

The Tringavanellus, or Lapsing, page 183, is found in many 
of our English marshes and moors. Shakespeare, in Hamlet, act v. 
scene ii. has the following line : 

''This lapwing runs away with the shell upon his head.'' 

See page 222. Some of the learned commentators on Shakes- 
peare, Dr. Johnson among them, have made strange havoc with 
this passage; the plain truth, I presume, is, they knew nothing 
of the fact in natural history, that, occasionally, young birds of 
the rasor, thenatator, and wading tribes, do run away as soon as 
they are hatched, with the shell upon their heads ; hence Osrick, 
to which the above line is applied in Shakespeare, is called a 
lapwing, not being properly informed concerning the business 
on which he was sent, in other words, was an ignorant young 

The Great American Bittern (see page 200) is said to 
have the power of emitting light from its breast equal to that 
of a common torch, which illuminates the water so as to enable 
it to discover its prey. Mag. of Nat, Hist, vol, ii. page 64. It 
is also suspected that other birds of the ardea genus in this 
country have similar properties ; yet we are not aware that any 
one has observed them : the breast of the common heron, 
ardea major, has a space void of feathers, but covered by a tuft 
of down, the use of which is not at present known ; is it for the 
purpose of emitting light? See Mag. Nat. Hist. vol. ii. p. 206. 

Mergus senator, or Red-breasted Merganser, page 210. 
A nest of this bird was found by Mr. Selby and Sir W. Jardine 
upon an island in Loch Awe, in Argyleshire, in June 1828 ; it 
was made of moss mixed with the down of the bird ; in struc- 
ture and materials it resembled that of the eider duck; it con- 
tained nine eggs of a rich reddish brown colour. Mag, Nat. Hist. 



Parus biarmicus, or Bearded Titmouse, page 220, is called 
in Kent, the Reed Pheasant. 

Fringilla carduelis, or Goldfinch, page 251. It is said, by 
Mr. Murray, that when this bird is fed exclusively on hemp- 
seed, the red and yellow colours of the plumage become black. 
Mag. Nat. Hist. My own observations do not confirm this ; it 
is, I suspect an occasional effect only of such food. 

Fringilla ccelebs, or Chaffinch, page 252, is sometimes called 

Turdus torquatus, or Ring Ouzel, page 259, is seen occa- 
sionally on the Quantork hills in Somersetshire. 

Turdus iliacus, or Redwing, page 260. A friend J. N. C. 
Esq. of Trowbridge, on whose report I can rely, informs me 
that this bird occasionally sings in this country before its depar- 
ture in the spring. The Redwing's song will be found in the 
Pleasures of Ornithology, page 46. 

The Sylvia atricapilla, or Blackcap, page 272, sings some- 
times while sitting upon the egg«. See forwards in these preli- 
minary notices. 

Fringilla domestka, or House Sparrow, page 280. Many 
nests of this bird were to be seen on the young elms in the 
Regent's Park, in November 1827. And in the ivy which covers 
the front of a house near Spring Gardens, and which looks into 
St. James's Park, a colony of the same birds are now domiciled. 
August 1829. 

Page 287. The account of the death of so many Geese from 
plucking them was copied by the Hera'd from the Taunton 
Courier, a paper distinguished for the superior mental talent 
with which it is conducted by its proprietor Mr. Marriot. 

Vultnr gryphus, or Condor, page 306, 313. A living speci- 
men of this bird is now in the Zoological Gardens ; it is neither 
so large nor so formidable as it has been common!} represented. 
We are not informed, in the Guide to the Gard(?is, what the age 
of the specimen is; it is, we suspect, a young bird. But we 
still want a record of more facts concerning it. The gentlemen, 


Messrs. Vigors and Broderip, who drew up the Guide to the 
Gardens, state that " although the Mil, body, and wings of this 
bird exhibit great strength, the legs and claws are, compara- 
tively speaking, feeble. No Vulture has talons formed for 
seizure ; the birds of this group feed upon carrion and not, like 
the other raptorial birds, on living prey. Our condor is cer- 
tainly not the Roc of our old friend Sinbad." [Arabian Nights.] 
They add, the feats which have been related of the condor may 
with more apparent justice, be attributed to some of the eagle 
tribe, whose bodily strength is equal to that of the vultures, 
whose talons are adapted to seizure, and vvho feed on living 
animals. The Harpy exhibits much greater strength of limb 
than the bird before us. See a preceding notice and also 
page 104- 

Muscicapa atricapilla, or Pied Fly Catcher, page 370, 
breeds in the woods near Ullswater ; but it is suspected to be, 
nevertheless, a migratory bird, it not being seen in Lancashire 
before April nor later than September. It is also, according to 
the same authority, (Mr. Blackwall, in Mag. Nat. Hist.) a 
bird of some song, the notes of the male, which are sometimes, 
though rarely, delivered on the wing, being pleasing and varied. 

The Didus, or Dido, of which three species are described in 
page 383, is now, in all probability, extinct: for although no 
doubt is entertained that this tribe has existed, and on the 
islands mentioned in the text, yet, by the latest researches, no 
living specimens of it can be found in any of the Islands named ; 
nor has it been discovered any where else. See the Zoological 

The Tanager , s Songj page 409, set to music by Mr. Jacob, 
has been published by Mr. Power, of the Strand. 

I avail myself of the corner of a page, to say that Mr. 
Yarrell laid a valuable paper on the Trachea of Birds, a short 
time since, before the Linnean Society, and which will, no doubt, 
in due time, appear in that Society's Tran c actions. 

To the Editor of the Magazine of Natural History. 


There are a few points to which I desire to reply in the 
notice of Ornithologia, in the Magazine of Natural History, 
vol. i, page 341. 

First, I wish to observe that " the chief of my knowledge 
of the natural history of birds bas been obtained by a long 
residence in Somersetshire, at Huntspill, of which place I 
am a native ;" that the observations which I have made on 
the Song Thrush (turdus musicus) are particularly appli- 
cable to facts with which I have there become acquainted. 
I have stated also that " we must not be in haste to con- 
demn what we have not ourselves witnessed ;" throughout 
my work I hope I have been constantly impressed with this 

IS est of the Thrush. 

Now, although I am not prepared to deny that, some- 
times and in some places, the nest of the song-thrush might 
be plastered with cow-dung, yet I do strongly suspect that 
no clay enters, even as a cement, into the composition of the 
plaster; and I am led to this conclusion chiefly from the 
lightness of the nest. The Blackbird's nest (Turdus merufa) 
is, I am well aware, plastered with clay, over which is laid 
dry grass or some such material; and it is, in consequence 
of having clay in its composition, much heavier than the 
thrush's nest. That I have never seen a nest of the thrush 
in Somersetshire lined with cow-dung, I think I may confi- 
dently assert. The lining of the thrush's nest, there, at least, 
I have always found of a very light buff colour ; and that it 
consists chiefly of rotten wood, I am equally well assured, 


as, pieces of this material, and those sometimes tolerably 
large, are frequently apparent in it.* As to the 

Singi?)(/ of the Thrush while sitting on the Eggs* 

I admit that it might possibly be a solitary fact, although 
I think otherwise ; but it is one of which, however, I can 
entertain no doubt, as it was heard not only by myself but 
by other branches of my family, the sweetness of the song 
having excited our particular attention ; and what makes 
the fact still more memorable is that the nest was a short 
distance from my father's house, and we afterwards took 
the young, one of which we raised and kept for some years 
in a cage, where it sang delightfully. 

* As it is now known that some of the Swallow tribe, see 
pages 158 and 159, have glands which secrete an adhesive gum 
or glue with which their nests are, in part, constructed, why may 
there not be such glands for a similar purpose in many other 
birds? in the thrush, in particular, I am disposed to think there 
are, and recommend this subject to our anatomical ornithologists. 
I have neither leisure nor opportunity for sucli inquiry or I would 
gladly undertake it. 

Nest of the Mag-pie. 
From what the Reviewer says {Blag, of Nat. Hist. vol. i. page 
345) an uninformed person would conclude that the inside sur- 
face of the magpie's nest is clay; now, it ought to be known that, 
although the magpie does certainly plaster the interior part of the 
nest with clay; yet over the clay is invariably laid, according to 
my experience, a pietty extensive one, some dried grass, or other 
soft material. I ought certainly to have mentioned this in my 
description of the magpie's nest, in page 19 ; but it too often 
happens that what we well know ourselves we presume other 
persons must also know. 


On the Cuckoo. 

In regard to the cuckoo not being a climbing bird, which 
your Reviewer, in a note, decidedly affirms, (an affirmation 
without any evidence, to which one scarcely knows how to 
reply,) I can only say that as few, if any, persons have seen 
this singular bird climbing trees for its food, we can only 
reason from the few facts which we possess concerning it. 
It is, we know, furnished with scansorial feet, and I have 
never seen it collect its food on the ground ; indeed, except 
in its flight, have rarely seen it any where else but on trees, 
not often, if ever, on bushes or near the ground. The 
cuckoo kept in a cage, as mentioned in Ornithologia, page 
142, did occasionally pick up its food, but this it always did 
while it was on the perch ; if an earthworm happened to 
fall from its beak it never descended to the bottom of the 
cage to pick it up. I think it therefore quite fair to con- 
clude that it does climb about the trees which it frequents, 
and possibly obtains its food from them. Mr. Yarrell, 
than whom perhaps a more accurate and intelligent observer 
never existed, has dissected many cuckoos, and he says that 
the stomach is similar in structure to the woodpecker's, and 
therefore fitted for the digestion of animal food only ; that 
the contents of the stomach invariably indicate the presence 
of such food, namely, the larva of some insects. Surely 
these facts warrant us in placing this bird among the 

The public papers informed us, last summer, 1828, of some 
one near Worthing having been fortunate enough to pre- 
serve a cuckoo through the winter ; if this notice should 
meet the eye of the possessor of the bird, a communication 


of any facts concerning it through this Magazine will be 
greatly esteemed .* 

On the Terms used in Natural History. 

The Reviewer mistakes in supposing that I might be led 
away by any authority whatever, independently of facts. 
1 incline to think that scientific naturalists, those, I mean, 
who think more of terms than of facts, will be rather dis- 
posed to find fault with me for an opposite line of conduct : 
for placing terms in the back and facts in the foreground ; 
for setting too little value upon systems of any kinds. But, 
while I frankly admit, that I think our system-builders have 
pushed, in many instances, their generalization too far, 
it behoved me, nevertheless, as a faithful natural historian, 
to lay before the reader, Ornithology, in science and in 
fact as it is, rather than what I could wish it to be. As to 
the introduction of the terms cuculid scansor, and a few 
others, every one will, I hope, perceive that this has been 
done to show how the scientific terms may be anglicised 

* I have just been informed by a gentleman of my acquaint- 
ance that some years since he knew of a cuckoo having been 
kept in a cage, after being hatched in this country, till the 
beginning of February in the next year: it was kept, of course, 
in a warm room, and fed on raw flesh ; but, by omitting one 
frosty night to keep the room warm, it died. 

The following is the notice alluded to above : 

A person named Moore, residing at Goring near Worthing, 
has in his possession a cuckoo which was taken from the nest 
last year; and has been kept in a healthy state in a cage since 
that period. During ihe present season " it has poured forth its 
well-known call, and is a rare and perhaps a solitary instance 
of a cuckoo surviving in this country after the usual period at 
«hich these birds migrate, which is seldom later than August. 
Sussex Advertiser; Morning Herald, June 12, 1828. 


and used ; and sure I am that, if they cannot be anglicised, 
the introduction of them, and the multiplication of new 
terms in a learned language, how much soever they may 
please the pedant, must very materially obstruct the pro- 
gress of science; learned terms may, and perhaps always 
will, please a few, but, by the generality of persons, their 
introduction will be disapproved, and their acquisition will 
be felt and deemed a wearisome pursuit. Things and facts, 
not words, are now and, in the acquisition of all knowledge, 
ought ever to have been the order of the day. 

On the Songs of Birds in the Torrid Zone. 

The Reviewer wonders, seeing I am acquainted with 
Wilson's American Ornithology, that I am disposed to echo 
the opinion that birds of song are scarce in the western 
world. I am not aware that I have in any part of my work 
stated such an opinion. I have said, "It is perhaps true 
that the birds of warm climates do not equal those of the 
temperate ones in the sweetness and the richness of their 
notes ;" and I have also said that, " From the abundance 
of many of the Pica- tribe, such as parrots, and some others 
of harsh note, it is probable that their sounds in the tropical 
woods overpower and confound the more soft and sweet 
modulations of the warbler tribes; and hence the opinion 
has obtained credit that the tropical regions are deficient in 
birds of song." But how this can be interpreted into the 
opinion given to me, I really cannot divine : when, more- 
over, I reflect that Wilson must have been most conver- 
sant with the birds of the temperate climates of the United 
States, how what I have said can be applied to the birds 
which he has described does indeed surprise me*. 

* The whole number of birds described by Wilson, be it 
remembered, is only 278. 


To write a book that should please every body would not 
only be hopeless but impossible; that various opinions 
should be entertained concerning Ornithologia, is what I 
ought naturally to expect. The value of such a work cannot 
be immediately known ; but I feel assured that the more it 
is examined, the more will its statements be found to cor- 
respond with actual facts in natural history.* I shall, 
nevertheless, feel grateful to every one who will take the 
trouble to look into it; and should he find any error in it, 
none will be more ready to acknowledge and to correct it 
than myself. 

Aware of the necessity of being careful in a selection of 
facts in Natural History, I am persuaded that no one can 
accuse me, justly, of hastily rejecting or of heedlessly adopt- 
ing whatever may be presented to my notice ; but, as the 
evidence of my own senses is, to me, the best of all evidence^ 
I have, as it became me to do, laid no inconsiderable stress 
upon that in the composition of my Work ; and hence, some- 
times, my observations are very different from those made 
by persons who have preceded me in the same path. 

London ; Nov. 15, 1827. J .is. Jennings. 

From the Mag. Nat. History, vol. ii. p. 111. 

To the above Letter I wish to add, that the Reviewer of 
Ornithologia, in the Magazine of Natural History, has, in a 
note to my observation, page 285, stating that " the Gold- 

* I might add, in defiance of the nibbling and the cavils of 
reviewers, that I challenge the whole of our English literature 
to produce a work of Jive hundred pages in duodecimo, which con- 
tains such a mass of information on the Natural History of Birds: 
as I have said, in my letter to Mr. Campbell, " the volume 
contains the labour of three years, and the accumulation of a life 
of observation." 


finch feeds in winter principally on thistle seed," objected 
to this statement, because, he says, " the only thistle seed 
which he can procure in winter must be unproductive, all 
the fertile seeds being scattered by the winds during the 
autumn." Really this point blank contradiction is too bad 
even for an anonymous reviewer. Had I not been well 
aware of this habit of the Goldfinch, I should not have stated 
it. Lest, however, any one should be still disposed to ques- 
tion it, I say, once for all, that the seed of the Common 
Thistle, serratula arvensis, is not, in Somersetshire, usually 
dissipated by the winds in autumn ; and that I have seen 
a hundred goldfinches at a time feeding upon its seed in 
the winter season. And, notwithstanding the seeds of the 
Bull Thistle, carduus lanceolatus, are more readily dissi- 
pated by the wind, these seeds do also occasionally furnish 
food in the winter to those birds. But there is, in fact, no 
end to objections and objectors of this sort. Some years 
since, happening to enter into conversation with a farmer, 
a very knowing one, too, in his way, I mentioned that the 
world was a globe, and that persons had sailed round it ; 
the only answer he made was, " I dont believe it." If a 
reviewer be pleased to dispute a fact of which he does 
not himself happen to be cognisant, although stated by 
respectable authority, argument with him must be thrown 
away. The Inquisitors imprisoned Galileo ; but he still 
contended the earth moved for all that. I acquit, however, 
the respectable Editor of the Magazine of Natural History, 
from having any hand in that review, being convinced that 
it was got up by another person, and most probably while 
he (Mr. Loudon) was out of the kingdom. 

By a singular coincidence, Mr. Sweet, in the same number 
of the Mag. of Nat. Hist, in which the above letter appears, 
(March 1829,) and whose account of the songs, See. of his 


warblers is given in page 72 et seq. of Ornithologia, says, 
" I certainly have never heard a thrush sing when sitting, 
perhaps for want of attending to it ; but have frequently 
heard and seen the male blackcap sing while sitting on the 
eggs, and have found its nest by it more than once ; the 
male of this species sits nearly as much as the female." 
Thus confirming the statement that somebirds do occasionally 
sing while sitting on the eggs; and thus demolishing the 
theory of the Hon. Daines Barrington. 

It is, we must admit, somewhat temerarious to contro- 
vert the statement of such respectable writers as Mr. Bar- 
rington, to whom naturalists have so long deferred ; but if 
we always take care to be supported by fact and not fancy , 
we need not doubt the result ; in the mean time we may 
expect to be assailed by those who, relying on such respecta- 
ble authority, or their own confined vision, are unwilling to 
admit more than they have dreamt of in their philosophy. 
On this subject I must add one other remaik: if that 
respectable naturalist were now alive, and felt that interest 
in the science which a genuine natural historian ought to 
feel, he would rejoice in having any of his statements cor- 
rected, explained, or even disproved, if untrue: the ever- 
lasting fountains of truth and nature will continue to flow, 
and cannot be turned aside to gratify the vanity or self-suf- 
ficiency of any one. 

Hyper criticism. 
He who writes and publishes a book has not unfre- 
quently the misfortune of being pelted at by wags and other 
mischievous persons, who are ever on the alert to observe 
something wherewith to excite laughter in themselves and 
others, totally regardless of the feelings of the author, or of 
the truth and knowledge contained in his book. More espe- 
cially will this be the case should the author be so unfor- 


tunate as to step out of the via trita, the beaten way, in the 
prosecution of his design. For many and important reasons 
the author of Ornithologia has thus done. It was not, there- 
fore, to be expected that a work which, among other novel- 
ties, lays the axe to the very root of long cherished amuse- 
ments and inhumanities, sanctioned too by innumerable 
authorities, poetical and prosaic, plebeian and patrician, 
could escape some vituperation. Talk of giving up hunting, 
shooting, and fishing, too, with Sir Humphry Davifs Sal- 
monia, and Isaac Walton to boot ! God help the man, he 
must have taken leave of his senses!!! No, gentle reader, 
the author does not think that he has yet taken leave of his 
senses, but he fears that our hunters, our shooters, and our 
fishers for sport, have long left theirs, or so much would 
not have been said and written in favour of such silly, inhu- 
man, and, for the most part, unprofitable pursuits. 

fn regard to the Critics, however, let him not be mis- 
understood: the most intelligent of that formidable body 
have borne ample testimony to the value and importance 
of his work, as the subsequent notices will testify ; others, 
a few only, whom there is here no occasion to name, have 
poured out their vials of vituperation, chiefly, it appears to 
him, because they neither understand nor like the science of 
ornithology itself; and, also, because they have totally 
misapprehended the object of the author in combining 
science with familiar poetry. 

Some of these gentlemen Critics, who appear to know 
as much of the science of ornithology as an inhabitant of the 
polar regions of North America, have thought proper to 
abuse the author for the introduction of new terms, although, 
in the preface to Ornithologia, he has not said much in favor 
of such terms; and has, besides, studiously avoided the intro- 
duction of many of them into the poetical parts of his work, 


forgetting that it is, most probably, their own ignorance, and 
not the terms, which is in fault. Besides, although the author 
has, it is true, anglicised many of those new terms, the merit 
of their introduction must not be ascribed to him. He found 
them, if not in current use, proposed at least by learned and 
respectable ornithologists, and it beeame his duty to notice 
them. The only new term which the author of Ornithologia 
has introduced is citrine! for the yellow-hammer ; his rea- 
son for doing this is assigned in page 226; even this term 
can hardly be called neiv, being anglicised from citrinella. 

The author laments, as much as any one can possibly do, 
that numerous terms, and to those unacquainted with the 
science, new they must be, present themselves to us in books 
treating of ornithology : he laments also the almost infinite 
variety of names, both scientific as well as trivial, which 
are applied to birds by different naturalists: he complains, 
likewise, of the heedlessness and, in some instances, wan- 
tonness, with which terms have been introduced ; thus 
rendering the study of ornithology at once perplexing 
and repulsive. But, how much soever he may lament all 
this, it was his duty, nevertheless, as an historian of the 
science, to exhibit it as it is, despairing as he does of ever 
seeing it, at least in its nomenclature, what he could wish 
it to be. 

The author is old enough to remember the first intro- 
duction of the present Chemical Nomenclature, and those 
who remember it as he does, can tell how it was opposed 
and derided; yet it has steadily made its way: he who 
should now, for a moment, contend that Glaubers salts was 
a better term than sulphate of soda, for the same substance, 
would assuredly be dignified with a fool's cap. Although it 
is not certain that, fifty years hence, sylvia luscinia will be 
preferred to the nightingale, yet, as a more correct know- 



leclge of natural history shall generally prevail, Dames 
which designate the genus and the species, or groups and 
families, in the most explicit manner; will, in all probabi- 
lity, become more common; and thus supersede the abun- 
dance of synonyms, for the same animal or plant, in the 
various languages of the intelligent and civilized world. 

In the nomenclature of chemistry care was, however, 
taken to denominate substances from the ingredients of 
which they are composed, or from some of their sensible 
qualities, a few only, such as water, being excepted from 
the rule. Unfortunately the same care has not been taken 
in natural history : for, too often, the name of the discoverer 
of a bird is applied toil as a specific term, instead of having 
given to it that which shall inform us concerning its pecu- 
liar shape, colour, or other qualities. This misapplied 
nomenclature has been noticed in page 399 : and, as it 
appears to be gaining ground in ornithology, it cannot on 
this account be too strongly deprecated. Even the specific 
name of place, much less of person, isnot,in natural history, 
sufficiently discriminative, and should be avoided. 

Some of the critics complain, also, of the harshness and 
unmusical nature of the new terms, forgetting that it is, 
most probably, their own ignorance, as has been before 
hinted, certainly not the unmusical nature of the terms, of 
which complaint should be made. It would be very kind of 
those gentlemen to inform us, what there is in the following 
words less musical than in thousands of our common words 
in constant use in our poetry ; nay, it may be contended, 
with some truth, that several of them are greatly superior 
in their musical intonation to such as kouse'Sparrow, hedge- 
sparrow, yellowhammer, woodpecker, &c. ; surely these are 
less musical than alaudina, oriolina, merulid, sylviad, luscinia, 
corvul, trochilid, fringillid, insessor, raptor, rasor, anatid, 


columbid, cygnine, galbule, scolopacid, &c. Besides, as every 
scientific term is explained either in the glossary or at the 
foot of the page in which it is used, the complaint of the 
introduction of new terms loses much of its force; had such 
explanation been omitted the objection to their introduc- 
tion would appear more specious, although not decisive 
even then, against their use. 

Ornithologia was written for the uninitiated, the Plea- 
sures of Ornithology for those whose tastes and whose 
science require no such initiatory method as that adopted 
in Ornithologia ; yet, by some perversity, one of our jour- 
nalists has complained of the last production as fc something 
too much of the subject." Really these critics remind one 
of the fable of the old man, his son, and the ass : it is evi- 
dently impossible to please them. 

While, again, one says "do not separate the poetry from 
the prose ;" another says " you ought not to attempt to com- 
bine them." Another says, the poetry is a "failure :" it is 
asked, a failure to do what? — to teach more effectually the 
science of ornithology ? If it does not fail to do this, with 
humble submission to Messrs. the Critics, it is not a failure. 
Another says, that Darwin failed on a similar subject ; and 
another, that the attempt would have floored the genius of 

That Darwin failed to render his work popular by his 
method of handling his subject, there can be no doubt 5 but 
that he failed in his object in writing the Botanic Garden, is 
more than we are warranted in assuming. That By ion 
might have failed on a similar subject, is very possible ; 
chiefly, it is presumed, because he would not have conde- 
scended to that familiarity and simplicity which appears 
necessary to success. In what has the author of Ornitho- 
logia failed ? He has stated, that his object was to render 



a knowledge of Ornithology more pleasing and facile by 
the aid of poetry; and if he have succeeded in this, his object 
is accomplished.* 

"In every work regard the writer's end, 
Since none can compass more than they intend." Pope. 

Besides such various and contradictory opinions, for which 
an author ought to he prepared if he write on Natural 
History, he may also expect to be told, as the author of 
Ornithohgia has been, that " he does not comprehend 
our higher naturalists." To this, however, he does not 
think it necessary to reply, except by reference to his 
work ; and if in that, when examined throughout, there 
be any evidence of his want of comprehending our higher 
naturalists, he will at once plead guilty to the charge. Per- 
haps, in the mean time, he may be pardoned for asking, 
whom are we to consider as our higher naturalists? those 
who know and record, in clear and intelligible language, the 
greatest number of facts and existences, or those who, more 
intent upon systems and system-building than facts or 
existences, attempt to reduce to a Procrustes'' bedthe nume- 
rous anomalies with which the whole world of nature 
abounds, and which, despite of all learned classification, still 
unfurl their flags of defiance, by whomsoever that classifica- 
tion be attempted, and whether those attempts be dignified 
with the title of Natuhal method or by any other terms. 

* While the author is still of opinion that his object in the 
composition of his work is accomplished, he thinks that, instead 
of calling Ornithologia a Poem, had he called it a Metrical 
Catalogue, which in fact it is, the title would have more strictly 
corresponded with the contents: but cavillers, even with this 
title, may no doubt be found ; he has therefore not altered it in 
this second impression. 


For the Pleasures of Ornithology, as it was elaborated 
with considerable care, and in which the scientific terms are 
less sparingly introduced than in Ornitkologia, the author 
must confess he had confidently anticipated, from the critics 
at least, some encouragement ; but, if the London Magazine 
can be relied on, his labour and time on that production 
have been extremely ill applied.* He desires, however, as 
judges of this work, none but the Masters of the Science, 
for whom chietly it was written ; if they Condemn him, he 
will be unfortunate indeed. Only three hundred copies of 
the Pleasures of Ornithology were printed, as he never anti- 
cipated, from its very nature, a large sale; yet those natu- 
ralists, on whose judgment reliance can be placed, have 
borne a willing testimony to its merits and its truth. But 
the hunters, the shooters, and the fishers, those to whom 
Isaac Walton's book is a dainty ; some of the critics too, 
those who are fond of hunting and shooting, at authors at 
least, have, it seems, determined that hunting, shooting, and 
fishing, are not only praiseworthy but even intellectual pur- 
suits ; ergo, his book is to them unpalatable: how, in fact, 
can it be otherwise to depraved tastes? It is fortunate for 
mankind, that such persons form a very small portion of that 
public by whom the pretensions of all authors and books must 
be ultimately decided ; and, at the same time, unfortunate 
for the author, that the sneer and the gibe of such persons 
deter many a well-disposed reader from looking into his 

* The London Magazine is now defunct. Its decease is not 
at all wonderful: the continued attempts at wit and witicism, 
with which too many of our periodicals abound, to the neglect 
of other sterling and useful qualities, must end in their destruc- 
tion : they burrr out with their own flashing, — by flashing are 
they kept alive, and of flashing they will die. Who ever looks 

into such publications a second time? 



The following observations on the Technicalities of Science, 
by the author of Ornithologia, appeared in the Magazine 
of Natural History, for July 1828; as subservient to the 
author's views, a place is given to them here. 

It is time that we should get rid of that puerility which would 
persuade us that a fact described in terms and language familiar 
only to the learned, becomes of less importance when displayed 
in the energetical simplicity of our mother tongue. It is time 
that such puerility should be placed upon the shelf, or hurried 
to the tomb of all the Capulets. If, however, for the sake of 
foreigners, such a course should at any time be deemed expedient? 
it is hoped that an English translation will accompany the Latin 
description, so that it may escape the complaints frequently 
made, and with much truth, against many of the works on natural 
history which have been published in this country and elsewhere; 
and which appear to be designed rather to display the learning 
of the writers, than to state the facts which such learning ought 
to convey. Such, nevertheless, it is admitted, is the effect of habit, 
or the pride of science, or both combined, that it is often difficult 
for those accustomed to scientific language and terms, to con- 
descend to the use of such as shall make what they write at once 
agreeable to, and understood by the general reader. Through 
inattention to these circumstances, the study of natural history 
has not obtained that attention, in this country, to which it is 
entitled and deserves: and I may venture to predict that, 
while the pride of science shall refuse to condescend to familiar 
explanation, the number of students in natural history will not 
very materially increase. However, it is to be hoped, that the 
prospects of natural history are extending, and that the esta- 
blishment of the Zoological Society, in particular, will excite 
the public attention ; that the study of nature will be more sim- 
plified, and be made more attractive and more amusing. The 
publication of the Magazine of Natural History will, it is also 
hoped, be instrumental in this work, by reducing the science 
to the level of ordinary capacities, and by smoothing the road to 
more recondite views. 


The following Letter has been some lime before the 
public ; it is, neveitheless, deemed expedient to republish 
it here. 

Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, &c.&c. 

London, Jan. 2d, I82S. 

Sir : As it is generally understood that yon are the Editor 
of the New Monthly Magazine, I take the liberty to call your 
attention to an article which appears in the number of that 
periodical published yesterday, and which I am quite sure you 
did not write, and most probably, before its publication, never 
saw : for if you had, I think you could never have suffered such 
trash to be made public. And were it not that the name of 
the author of the Pleasures of Hope, seems to sanction what 
appears in that Magazine, I should not think it deserved the 
least attention. 

The article to which I allude, treats my work on Birds, lately 
published, and which has been, I am happy to say, very well 
received by those who are competent judges of it, as a work of 
utter woi thlessness, and, in your critic's opinion, stale, fiat, and 
unprofitable! Not content with abusing the poetry, he has 
pounced upon the prose; and although I have candidly, and, I 
trust, modestly, explained in the Preface my motives for my 
attempt, and that it is designed as an eltmentary work, yet all 
that I have said, seems to have rendered the poor thing more 
pertinaciously blind. I am, however, sir, obliged to draw this 
conclusion, either that your critic is totally incompetent to 
judge of the merit and value of my work, or that all the nume- 
rous journalists and other scientific persons who have spoken 
of it are fools ! 

It 13 very easy, sir, for a critical butcher, with a knife and 
saw, to cut up the labour of three years, and the accumulation of 
a life of observation, with all the iffiontery and cruelty of igno- 
lance and malice ; but it is not very easy for those who are the 
objects of his cold-blooded operations to bear them. He may- 
wrap hnnse! r up in his anonymous cloak, and welcome; I have 


no wish to see him in his nakedness ; but of this I am sure, that 
he is neither a judge of my work, nor of the science of which 
it treats. 

In conclusion, and not to weary you with a long letter, let 
me entreat you, sir, for the future, to exercise your discretion 
as an Editor, and refuse such trash offered to you as criticism, 
or disavow your connexion with such a periodical, — your fame 
and credit will not be improved by the alliance. 

I am, sir, 
With much respect, your most obedient humble servant, 


p.s. You will observe, sir, a few of the public testimonies to 
the value of my work on the following page. I could adduce 
many letters from some of the first naturalists of the age, and 
fellows of the Linnean Society, to whom I am personally 
unknown, who have voluntarily and unsolieitedly expressed their 
approbation of it ; but such gratifying communications I have, 
of course, no right to make public. 

To conclude this Hypercriticism, what a delightful book 
would Omithologia have been, had not the author introduced 
the subject of Humanity to Animals; how pleasant couid 
he have made it, had he eulogized, as is the fashion, Isaac 
Walton and other piscatory writers; how would our lite- 
rary gourmands have gloated over whole pages of inanities, 
so that he had left them to the enjoyment of their pleasures. 
More especially if he had written in praise of the Pleasures 
of the Chace ; of the destruction of Grouse and Partridges ; 
of the exhilaration produced by the cry of the loud -mouthed 
hounds ; or by the flash of Manton's rifle, on a frosty morn- 
ing in October. But no, he has not chosen to do this, 
and verily he hath his reward, — the silly criticism of the 
London and the New Monthly Magazines, and the vitupe- 
ration of the ignorant and the unfeeling. 

London; September 1829. 


"This is, at once, a curious, an instructive, and an amusing 
work. The meritorious author has put together an immense 
quantity of information and anecdote respecting birds and their 
habits, &c: and his stories are not the less entertaining for being 
strung together by poetical licence. The latter, it is true, is 
rather of a medley cast ; but we can assure our readers, espe- 
cially those who are young, that they will hardly be able to clip 
into a page of this volume, without meeting with something to 
entertain and instruct them." — Literary Gazette, Nov. 10, 1827. 

" Mr. Jennings's Ornithologia is agreeable and amusing." — 
Gent. Mag. for Feb. 18 28. 

"Too often have books on ornithology, as on other subjects, 
been rather adapted forscientific than for general readers, much 
less youthful minds; and terms not understood by every one, 
and diliicult of remembrance, have been generally used. Mr. 
Jennings has long turned his attention to the removing of this 
impediment ; and it is but honest to avow that, whether we 
consider the extent of information he has here collected, or the 
easy and unaffected style in which his work is written, our opi- 
nion is, that it should obtain a place in the libraries of those who 
are seeking for themselves, or their children, a plain and full trea- 
tise on this interesting branch of study." — Literary Chronicle, 
Dec. 1,1827. 

" We cannot conclude this notice of Ornithulogia, without 
paying our due meed of praise to its scientific details, as well 
as to the amiable spirit of philanthropy that pervades both 
poetry and prose.'' — New Literary Gazette. 

''A very interesting volume : the poem which forms the ground- 
work affords a favorable specimen of the author's genius in this 
branch of composition." — Atlas. 


"We can promise those who look into Ornithologia a most 
pleasant and profitable employment. For youth especially, we 
know not a more clear or attractive book." — Sunday Monitor. 

u Mr. Jennings has certainly the merit of producing a very 
pleasing and useful little volume." — Taunton Courier. 

{i Mr. Jennings's volume is well adapted for presentation to 

young persons ; while the knowledge which it displays entitles 

it to a much higher stand than a mere book of amusement." — 


See also the Magazine of Natural History, &c. &c. 


"Once more, Go seek YE in their various nests 
Much pleasure and much wisdom. Who shall cope 
With Birds in architecture? Not nice skill 
Of man's most practis'd hand ; not all the lore 
Of sages." — Page 37, 

" A meritorious production." — London Magazine. 

[See the Preface to the Pleasures of Ornithology.'} 

"The Pleasures of Ornithology is written with great feeling, 
and proves that the author has the love of nature deeply im- 
planted in his breast." — JVest of England Magazine. 

"A beautiful little poem. The object of the writer, ' to ally 
poetry to nature, to science, to truth, and to humanity; to make 
her a useful handmaiden in the accomplishment of great, good, 
and important ends ;' has, in this production, been happily at- 
tained,," — Leamington Spa Courier. 

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(A Lecture delivered at the Mechanics' Institution, London.) 


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While the author admits that the Gentleman's Magazine 
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that every thing new and innovating is good, he thinks 
much of what is new and innovating is bad; as he does 
also much of what is old. As useful knowledge consists in a 
record of facts and of existences, and deductions from them, 


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books, so, from the multiplication of our means, in conse- 
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course, that the greatest certainty in every kind of know- 
ledge, science, is to be attained. For these reasons it is, 
the ) paucity of observers in ancient times, and from the scanty 
data on which they reasoned, that few of their deductions 
in any science can be depended upon. Therefore, modern 
knowledge must be preferred to ancient. Some centuries 
hence, in all probability, the same opinion will be held of 
much of our present knowledge, as is now entertained by 
us concerning that of the ancients. We can, of course, only 
reason from what we know; all ages and all countries have 
done the same: that man is a progressive being, what we 
know of him incontestibly proves. 

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Loed Ebskine, 

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Although the science of Ornithology has already many 
votaries, it is presumed that it can be rendered more gene- 
rally interesting by a combination with Poetry, an attempt 
at which is here made ; with what success must be left to 
the public to determine. 

Having made the attempt, the author will not, of course, 
be understood as agreeing with the sentiment expressed by 
an ancient writer, namely, that 

Miranda canunt sed non credenda Poetce. 


For, although, doubtless, one of the objects of the Poet 
ought to be to excite attention, and, if you please, with 
our ancient, admiration, yet poor indeed must that poetry 
be which excites admiration and nothing else. Perhaps 
the author's notions concerning poetry might not be in ex- 
act accordance with the opinions of those who affect to be, 
or who are considered, the arbiiri elegantiarum, but he ne- 
vertheless thiuks that the Poetry, however admirable, 
however splendid, which neither instructs, reforms, nor 
persuades, is good for little ; hence the non credenda, in 
the passage above quoted, is not admissible as a general 
truism. He thinks, indeed, that Poetry ought, if possible, 
always to be made subservient to Truth — its handmaid ; 
not, as is too frequently the case, — Truth made subservient 



to Poetry, and, too often, her distorted slave. And he 
feels assured that Poetry, as the handmaid of Truth, 
may become, as it sometimes lias been, eminently beneficial 
and useful to mankind. 

The author desires it, however, to be distinctly under- 
stood, that the higher order of poetry in the following work 
has neither been his object nor his aim. The style and 
versification of the splendid effort of Darwin, the Botanic 
Garden, have not escaped his observation; but, notwith- 
standing, that poem has had, and, no doubt, always will 
have, many admirers, because it contains some striking 
imagery combined with Truth and Science ; yet it ap- 
pears, and the coldness of its general reception warrants 
the conclusion, that so much elegant labour, so much 
pomp of diction, have failed to render it popular; and a 
work on such a subject ought to be popular to be exten- 
sively useful. The style, versification, and diction of 
Darwin, have been, therefore, in the present work, stu- 
diously avoided. Whether the author have succeeded in 
more simple measures, and in a more familiar style, is not, 
of course, for him to answer ; but, it must be evident, that 
the method of treating a scientific subject, which is here 
adopted, promises, at least, more popularity. 

While the author has endeavoured to be simple, he has, 
he hopes, avoided vulgarity. Aware of the truth which 
Horace has long ago told us, that, 

Difficile est proprie comnmnia dicere, — 

it is difficult to express common things well ; still the 
difficulty has not deterred him from the attempt. He has, 
contrary to the example of Darwin, introduced few scien- 
tific terms into the poetry ; these have been consigned to 
the Introduction and to the Notes, where they appear 


to the author most appropriate. For this course, one 
reason, among others, may be assigned, namely, that our 
scientific naturalists, as will be seen in the Introduction, 
have not yet exactly agreed as to the arrangement and 
terms which are most suitable to the science ; and, there- 
fore, were the Linnean or any other systematic arrange- 
ment and terms adopted in the text, as, very possibly, some 
future naturalist may strike out or discover another method 
more consonant with nature, which might become more 
popular, the poem, thus written, would be rendered com- 
paratively useless. By using the common names this is 
not very likely to occur : for the author is not so sanguine 
as to expect that the common names of birds will be ulti- 
mately and entirely superseded by scientific ones; at least 
by such scientific ones as are now in use : the latinity 
and novelty of these, if nothing else, presenting to the 
uninitiated a disinclination, nay, a repugnance, to their 

The clussical ear will, it is presumed, be always more 
pleased with Picus martius, than with Great Black Backed 
Woodpecker; with Tringa pugnax, than with Ruff and 
Reeve; with Larus canus, than with Common Gull, or even 
Sea-mew;* and Picus erythrocephalus, no very musical 
expression, will be preferred by many to the Red-headed 
Woodpecker ; yet it is to be feared that learning will never 
succeed in rendering such terms popular. The best method 
of making them so will be to anglicize them ; then, indeed, 
the Luscinian Sylvia, or Sylviad, instead of Nightingale, 
and Canorous Cuculid, for the Cuckoo, may occasionally find 

* Yet who would wish in that beautiful song of Lord Byron's, 
(Childe Harold, Cunio I.) to see sea-mew exchanged for Larus 
canus? In truth, classical names may be dignified, but they 
generally want the charm of simplicity. 



a place in our poetry, if not in our prose. But this is. an 
innovation which, to any great extent, the author would 
not presume to introduce. See the Observations on the 
Quinary Arrangement of Mr. Vigors, Introduction, page 43. 
A few only of the terms proposed by this gentlemen has 
been adopted, and appear in the poetry in an anglicized 
dress j such are Raptor, Rasor, Scansor, Vulturid, &c. In 
short, although the author's own taste and inclinations lean 
to the use of scientific terms, (and he fears that some of his 
readers will think he has introduced too many,) there can 
be, he apprehends, no doubt that the general reader will 
prefer the common and more usual names. It is true he 
runs the risk of incurring the censure of those who are 
more partial to names than to things ; and he may possibly 
offend the pride of the professor, but, on the most mature 
deliberation, he feels persuaded that the course which he 
has pursued for an elementary work is the most useful 
and most instructive: enough of science pervades, he 
hopes and believes, the Introduction and the Notes. 

These observations are made in order that the author's 
object in regard to the poetical portion of his work might 
not be misunderstood. If he have succeeded in rendering 
a knowledge of ornithology more pleasing and facile by 
the aid of Poetry, that object is accomplished. 

To the originality of assembling the birds under the 
auspices of the Eagle and the Vulture the author lays 
no claim; he adopted it, believing that it offered an easy 
means of displaying the knowledge which he was desirous 
to convey. Candour, moreover, compels him to declare 
that the perusal of a little poem in MS., written by a lady, 
and entitled the Lanthorn Fly's Lecture, descriptive of many 
of our insects, suggested, more immediately, the present per- 


Of the Prose portion of the work it may be sufficient to 
say, that a crowd of naturalists have, from time to time, 
recorded a variety of useful and amusing facts concerning 
Birds; — that to bring the chief of these facts before the 
student, with the addition of many more from the author's 
own resources, and olhers from intelligent and scientific 
friends, and to combine them w\th familiar poetry, so as to 
render the science altogether more attractive, and to ex- 
hibit a useful epitome of it, have been the design of the pre- 
sent undertaking, which, the author flatters himself, will 
supply, at once, agreeable reminiscences to the Adult, and 
elementary and useful instruction to Youth. Indeed, he 
frankly avows, that he looks forward to its becoming an 
every-day companion in our academies and our schools, as 
well as at our firesides. 

Of his own additions to the Natural History of Birds he 
does not wish to say much ; they are numerous, and, he be- 
lieves, not unimportant : an observer of nature for more 
than forty years ought to add something to our knowledge 
concerning her works. That he has been assiduous in the 
composition and arrangement of the volume will be, it is 
presumed, self-evident; in fact, no labour, trouble, nor re- 
search, has been spared. But that it is, even now, with 
all his assiduity, free from error, he is, nevertheless, neither 
so weak nor so vain as, for a moment, to suppose. 

The Notes contain notices of every genus and the most 
important of the species described by Linnaeus ; and also 
notices of the additional genera of Dr. Latham. The 
Birds, indeed, described in this little work, are more in 
number than all those described by Linnaeus ; so that, it is 
hoped, nothing very material has been omitted concerning 
this interesting portion of the animal kingdom. 

It ougiit, perhaps, also to be mentioned that, although 


the author's residence has been chiefly in and around the 
metropolis during the last ten years, many of which have 
been passed at Lewisham, with innumerable rambles to 
Sydenham, Forest Hill, &c. &c, yet, that the chief of his 
knowledge of the Natural History of Birds has been 
obtained by a long residence in Somersetshire, at Hunts- 
pill, of which place he is a native ; and where, 1o his 
shame be it spoken, in his earlier days, he was the most 
inveterate bird's-nester in the county. Not an egg or nest 
of any kind in hedge, bank, bush, the loftiest tree* or wall, 
could escape him. He had, while yet a boy, one year, an 
exhibition of nearly two hundred eggs, obtained from the 
various tribes, the Hawk, the Cuckoo, and a numerous et 
ctetera. He is now, however, thoroughly convinced of the 
folly, not to say wickedness, of such predatory plunder ; 
the birds which do us harm are, comparatively, so few, 
that, the House-sparrow perhaps excepted, (and he fears 
that he must except the house- sparrow of the country,) 
benevolence would bid us leave them all to their enjoy- 
ments ; — a moderate degree of care being sufficient to 
prevent any of their serious depredations. It is hoped that 
his inconsiderate example will be no inducement to any 
one to follow the idle and heartless pursuit of bird's-nesting. 
No one can more truly regret than the author now does the 
pains to which his heedless and silly curiosity, or something 
worse, subjected them. 

Should, therefore, any fact relative to the birds of this 
country be stated in the following pages, which may not 
seem in accordance with what is stated in books, or even 
with the experience of the accurate observer of nature — 
the Natural Historian, it is hoped that it will not be forgotten, 
that many facts may be observed in one place which might 
not occur in another. Even the nidification of birds, 


although in general pretty uniform, undergoes, occasionally 
some modification in consequence of the ease or difficulty 
with which certain materials can l>e obtained. We must 
not, therefore, be in haste to condemn what we have not 
ourselves witnessed. In the Natural History of Birds, 
even of those with which we are most familiar, we are still 
greatly deficient ; there can be no doubt that more ex- 
tended observation will add very materially to our know- 
ledge of this truly delightful department of nature. 

The author takes Ihe present opportunity of returning 
his sincere and best thanks to those kind and intelligent 
Friends and Correspondents who have so promptly and 
liberally communicated to him many facts concerning the 
Natural History of Birds which were not previously known; 
and also for their hints and suggestions for the improvement 
of his work. Some of these gentlemen are specifically men- 
tioned in the Introduction or the Notes ; but he deems it 
incumbent upon him to state that he is indebted for 
valuable information to Dr. Latham, to whose interesting 
and voluminous work on Birds he is also under considera- 
ble obligation ; to N. A.. Vigors, Esq. m.a. f.l.s. &c. the 
learned Secretary of the Zoological Society, and the in- 
genious expounder of the Quinary Arrangement ; to Dr. 
Horsfield, the author of Zoological Researches ; to the 
Poet Laureate ; to Richard Taylor, Esq. f.l.s. ; to the 
Rev. W. L. Bowles ; the Rev. W. Phelps ; to J. G. 
Children, Esq. f.l.s. &c. and Secretary to the Royal 
Society; to W. Yarrel, Esq. f.l.s. whose collection of 
English Birds, and their eggs, as well as many anatomical 
preparations of Birds, evince, at once, his zeal and his ex- 
tensive knowledge of this interesting science ; and to R. 
Sweet, Esq. f.l.s. for whose valuable communication on 


the singing of some of the warbler tribe in the Introduction, 
the author is also particularly indebted and obliged. Nor 
must he omit the name of Mr. David Don, the ingenious 
librarian of the Linnean Society, who has, on numerous 
occasions, most kindly assisted the author in his ornitholo- 
gical researches. 

While the author regrets that so long a time has 
elapsed since the first announcement of his work, the 
delay has been, from the state of trade, unavoidable, — 
yet the delay itself has been of infinite advantage to the 
completion of the volume. The substance of all the 
Lectures on Ornithology which the author gave during the 
last summer, at Ihe City of London Institution, is incorpo- 
rated in this work. 

The student, in consulting the following pages, ought 
most carefully to attend to what is stated in the Introduction. 
The Index, as it includes most of the provincial names of 
Birds, will^considerably assist those who are not acquainted 
with the scientific terms. As the names of many Birds are 
mentioned in the Poem which have no notes of reference 
annexed, when information is wanted concerning them, re- 
course should be had to the Index. 

It may seem almost superfluous to add that, as the author 
is desirous of rendering his work as interesting and com- 
plete as possible, a notice of any errors, or of any striking 
and recently observed facts concerning Birds, will be most 
thankfully received, if addressed to the author, at the pub- 
lishers', free ofexpence, and with an authenticated signature. 


Convinced as the author is that a kuow ledge of Natural 
History is best conveyed through the alluring medium of 
Poetry ; if his present effort be approved, it is his intention 
to proceed (should health and opportunity permit,) in a 
similar way with the remainder of the Animal kingdom. 
The whole will then be arranged in the following manner : 

I. Mammalia, or the Quadrupeds, and other animals 
which suckle their young ; characterized by a heart having 
two ventricles and two auricles ; the blood being red and 
warm ; viviparous. 

II. Ornithologia, (the present Work,) or the Birds ; 
the characters of which are the same as in the first class 
except that Birds are oviparous, covered with feathers, and 
furnished, for the most part, with wings, so as to be able to 
raise themselves in the air. 

III. Amphibia, which will include the Serpent, Crocodile, 
Frog, Toad, fyc. ; in this class the heart has but one ventricle 
and one auricle ; the blood being red but cold; inspiration and 
expiration, in some measure, voluntary. 

IV. Ichthyologia, or the Fishes ; the heart of this class 
has the same structure, and the blood similar qualities with 
those of the amphibia; but Fishes are distinguished by 
branchice, or gills, and by having no such voluntary command 
of the lungs. 

V. Entomologia, or the Insects ; the heart has one ven- 
tricle, but no auricle ; the blood is cold and white; this class 
has also antennce ox feelers. 

VI. Helminthologia, or the Worms ; the characters of 
which are the same as in class V. ; this Class has, however, 
no antennce, but is furnished with tentacula. 

And thus become, it is hoped, useful and amusing 
manuals of the science of Animal Natural History ; and 
prove, besides, lhe author hopes and believes, that Poetry 
can be rendered subservient to Nature and to Truth. 



Of the Wood-Engravings, improved from the elegant 
designs of a Lady, Mrs. Hamilton, and executed by the 
author's friend, Mr. Henry Hughes, and which accompany 
the work, it is scarcely necessary to speak, their excellence 
being manifest. The author cannot, however, here avoid 
calling the public attention to this-branch of the arts; and 
he, at the same time, hopes that an Artist who combines 
in his own person that of a Landscape- Draughtsman, a Wood- 
Engraver, and a Painter, will not long remain without a 
suitable portion of public encouragement and reward. 
Mr. Hughes is already known by his work containing 
Sixty Views in Wales, all of which, except one or two, were 
drawn on the spot, and afterwards engraved on wood, by 
the artist himself. 

Lady well, Lewisham ; October, 1827. 


The Plate of the British and European Birds, with the Land' 
scape, must follow page 96 ; the Plate of the Foreign Birds 
with the Landscape must follow page 298. 



Address to Mrs. Kay, containing Sketches of 
the Country in and around Lewisham — Lee, 
Blackheath — Greenwich-Park — Forest-Hill 
— Sydenham — Penge-Wood — Beckenham — 
Bromley — Hayes — Hayes-Common, andHoLwooo 1 

The Plough Boy's Song 3 

The Nest of the Wren — the Long-tailed Capon — the 
Thrush — the Goldfinch — the Chaffinch — the Magpie 
• — the House- Sparrow — the Swallow — the Martin — 
the Wood-Pigeon — the Wood pecker — the Rook—' 
the Crow — the Oriole — the Grosbeak — the Tailor- 
bird — the Rufous Bee-Eater — the Esculent Swallow 17 

The Arrangement of Linnaeus 27 

Pennant 30 

Latham 32 

Vigors 39 

Ou the Structure and Functions of Birds 45 

Incubation of Birds 59 

Songs of Birds 65 

Song of the Nightingale 68 

Nidification of Birds 79 

Migration of Birds 82 

Summer Birds of Passage 84 

Winter Birds of Passage ib. 

Notice of Wilson the American Ornithologist .... 90 
Scientific Terms 95 




British and European Birds 97 

The Woodlark's Invocation ... c 112 

Address to the Nightingale 132 

Cuckoo 137 

Rook 148 

% Freedom 170 

The Redbreast's Song . . 239 

Skylark's Song 249 

Goldfinch's Song 251 

Thrush's Song 255 

Linnet's Song 261 

Blackbird's Song 263 

Hedge-Sparrow's Complaint . . 265 

Bulfinch's Sonnet 268 

Ring-Dove's Lament 270 

Black-cap's Song 272 

Nightingale's Song 274 

A Glee 275 

The Banquet 276 

House-Sparrow's Speech 279 

Conclusion of the First Part 296 

Address to the Warblers 297 

Spring , 298 



Note Page 

1 (Falco) Eagle, Hawk, Buzzard, Kite, Falcon, 

&c 100 

2 (Alauda) Lark, Woodlark, Titlark, &c. .... 112 

3 (Columba) Pigeon, Dove, &c 116 

4 (Anas) Swan, Goose, Duck, &c 123 

5 (Sylvia luscinia) Nightingale 132 

6 (Cvculus) Cuckoo, the Common, the Honey - 

Guidf, &c 137 

7 (Phasianus) Pheasant, Cock and Hen, &c 144 

8 (Corvus) Rook, Raven, Crow, Magpie, &c " 149 

9 (Hirundo) Swallow, Martin, Swift, &c 157 

10 (Scolopax) Woodcock, Snipe, Curlew, &c 160 

11 (Picus) Woodpecker, the Green, the Golden,&c. 164 

12 (Stumus) Starling, Water-Ouzel, &c . . 167 

13 (Alcedo) King-Fisher 171 

14 (Charadrius) Plover, Dotterel, &c 172 

15 (Loxia) Grosbeak, Green- Linnet, Crossbill, &c 174 

16 (Larus) Gull, Kittiwake, Tarrock, &c 178 

17 (Tringa) Sand-Piper, Ruff and Reeve, Lap- 

wing, Sec 182 

18 (Rallus) Rail, the Land, the Water, Gallinule, 186 

19 (Colymbus) Diver, Grebe, Guillemot, &c 187 

20 (Emberiza) Bunting, Ortolan, Yellow-Ham- 

mer, See 191 

21 (Certhia) Creeper .< > 193 

22 (Lanius) Shrike, Butcher-Bird,Wood-Chat, &c. 194 

23 (Ardea) Stork, Crane, Heron, Bittern, &c. .. 196 

24 (Upupa) Hoopoe, Grand- Promerops, &c 202 


Note Page 

[Coracias) Roller 204 

[Sitta) Nuthatch ib. 

[Otis) Bustard 205 

Yunx) Wryneck 208 

[Mergus) Merganser, Goosander, &c. 209 

[Glareola) Pratincole 211 

Hcematopus) Oyster-Catcher ib. 

Alca) Auk, Eazor-bill, Puffin, &c 212 

Procellaria) Petrel, the Stormy, the Fulmar . . 214 

[Fulica) Coot, Gallinule, &c 216 

Parus) Titmouse 218 

[Tetrao) Partridge, Grouse, Quail, &c 221 

Recurvirostra) Avoset 227 

Meleagris) Turkey 228 

[Numida) Guinea- Hen 230 

Pavci) Peacock 231 

[Strix) Owl 232 

Sylvia) Warbler, Redbreast, Wren, Wagtail, 

&c 241 

Alauda arvensis) Skylark 250 

[Fringilla) Finch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, &c. 252 

[Turdus) Thrush, Missel, Fieldfare, &c 257 

[Fringilla linota) Linnet 262 

[Turdus merula) Blackbird 264 

[Sylvia modularis) Hedge Sparrow 266 

Loxia pyrrhula) Bulfinch 269 

[Columba palumbus) Wood-Pigeon , 271 

[Sylvia atricapilla) Black-cap 273 

[Fringilla domestica) House-Sparrow 280 




Foreign Birds 299 

The Po'e-Bird's Song 331 

Blue-Bird's Song 333 

Address to Ihe Blue-Bird 334 

The Wood-Robin's Morning Song 351 

Address to the Wood-Robin 352 

Morking-Bird 372 

The Canary-Bird's Song 400 

Manakin's Song . . 404 

Mocking- Bird's Song 405 

Oriole's Song 407 

Tanager's Song 409 

A Storm 411 

The Wood-Thrush's Evening Song 415 

Mocking-Bird's Night Song 418 

Detached Pieces. 

The Valley of Nightingales 421 

Hill of Freedom 425 

Valedictory Lines , 434 

Glossary 437 

Index 441 



Note Page 

1 (Vultur) Condur, Vulture, &c 306 

2 (CaprimnJgus) Goatsucker 310 

3 (Trochilus) Humming-Bird 316 

4 (Ciimyris) Sun-Birds 318 

5 (Paradisea) Birds of Paradise 320 

6 (Phcenicopterus) Flamingo 322 

7 (Si/hia sutoria) Tailor- Bird 323 

8 (Rhynchops) Skimmer 324 

9 (Bucco) Barbet ib. 

10 (Tantalus) Ibis 325 

11 (Crotophaga) Ani 327 

12 (Merops) Bee- Eater 328 

13 ( Buphaga) Beef- Eater 329 

14 (Antkophagus) Honey-Eater ... ib. 

15 (Sylvia sialis) Blue-Bird , 332 

16 (Divmedea) Albatross, Man-of-war Bird, &c. 336 

1 7 (Oriolus pecoris) Cowpen 337 

18 (Penelope) Guan, Yacou, Marail 339 

19 (Cancroma) Boat-bill 340 

20 (Ampelis) Chatterer, Cotinga, Bell-Bird .. 341 

21 (Plotus) Darter, Ahinga 342 

22 (Sterna) Tern, Noddy 343 

23 (Crax) Cura§oa, or Curassow , 344 

24 (Ramphastos) Toucan, Toucanet 347 

25 (Platalea) Spoon-bill 346 

26 (Phaeton) Tropic-Bi rd 348 

27 (Todus) Tody 349 

28 (Pelecanus) Pelican, Cormorant, Shag, Gan- 

net, Sec 353 


Note Page 

29 (Gracula) Grakle, Crow-Blackbird, &c 357 

30 (Palamedea) Screamer 358 

31 (Psophia) Trumpeter , 360 

32 (Oriolus) Oriole 361 

33 (Phytotoma) Plant-Cutter , 364 

34 (Trogon) Curucui, English- Lady ib. 

35 (Corrira) Courier .'. 365 

36 {Sylvia) Warbler, the Superb, the Babbling, the 

Palm, &c , ib. 

37 (Momotus) Motmot 367 

38 (Parra) Jacana 368 

39 (Mycteria) Jabiru 369 

40 (Muscicapa) Fly-Catcher, Cat-Bird, &c 370 

41 (Turdus polyglottus) Mocking-Bird . . a 373 

42 (Struthio) Ostrich, Emeu, Rhea, &c. .... ... 377 

43 (Didus) Dodo 382 

44 (Buceros) Horn-bill 383 

45 (Callceus) Wattle-Bird 384 

46 (Vaginalis) Sheath-bill ib. 

47 ( Menura) Menur A 385 

48 (Scythrops) Channel-bill 386 

49 (Galbida) Jacamar ., ib. 

50 (Colius) Coly, Mouse Bird ib. 

51 (Scopus) Umbre 387 

52 (Aptenodytes) Pinguin ib. 

53 (Oriolus textor — Emberiza textrix) Weaver-Birds 389 

54 (Musophaga) Plantain-Eater 390 

55 (Cursorius) Courser , ib. 

56 (Pteropus) Fin-foot ib. 

57 (Polophilus) Coucal 391 

58 (Cereopsis) Cereopsis , ib. 

xxij. Contents. 

Note Page 

59 (Pogonius) Barbican . .... 392 

60 (Erodia) Erody ib. 

61 {Phoenicophaus) Malkoha 393 

62 {Psittacus) Parrots » 394 

63 (Fringilla canaria) Canary-Bird . . . . a 401 

64 (Pipra) Manakin . 404 

65 (Oriolus nidipendulus) the Hang nest Oriole . . 408 

66 (Tanagra) Tanager 410 

iTurdus melodus . the Wood-Thrush — the 

\Turdus migratorius) Red-breasted Thrush. . 416 


Notwithstanding the author's vigilance, some nominal, and a 
few other typographical, errors have escaped him; the reader 
will be kind enough to correct them from the following notices. 

In addition to the Ornithological publications mentioned in 
various parts of this work, another ought to be noticed lately 
begun under the superintendance of Sir Wm. Jardine, bait, 
and P. J. Selby, esq. with the co-operation of many other 
gentlemen eminent in the science. It is entitled Illustrations of 
Ornithology, and is designed, in the first instance, to display the 
newest groups and newest species, and afterwards al! the species 
which have already been described. The Plates are to be, co- 
loured correctly after nature, and are also to be accompanied 
with scientific letter-press descriptions. It is in royal 4t0. 
One number has already appeared. 

Page 6. If any additional evidence were wanting to prove 
that angling is one of the worst of sports, a painful instance has 
been lately supplied to me. Walking on the banks of the canal 
in Forest-Hill wood, I saw an angler who had just caught a 
small pike about a foot long; but not being able to detach the 
hook from the throat of the fish, he was obliged to pass his 
finger under the gills, and to cut out the hook from the throat with 
a knife; this being done, the fish still continued to breathe. I 
urged the angler to kill the fish at once ; but no, the animal 
was to remain in agony, because, while it remained alive, 
putrefaction would not take place! 

Page 14, line 10 from the bottom, for dila'ca read dilatata. 

Page 22, lines 5, 15, and the last, for Taylor-bird, read Tailor- 
bird ; in page 248, line 6 from the bottom, make the same cor- 
rection; and again in page 323, lines 1 from the top, and 6 and 
7 from the bottom, make the same corrections, as well as 


wherever else in this work Taylor-bird may be found ; Tailor- 
bird being the usual and accredited spelling. — 32, line 7, for 
voluminious read voluminous. — 36, col. 2, line 8, for Gallinoula 
read Gallinula. — 37, line 11 from the bottom, for ch rysaetos read 

lu pages 41 and 42, the Circular Diagrams explanatory of (he 
Quinary Arrangement ought to have been placed in a circular 
form instead of that in which they now stand ; but the page 
is altogether too small to permit a proper display of this system. 

It should have been mentioned in page 48, that there is 
another disease of birds called also pip: it consists in a thick 
white skin or film that grows under the tip of the tongue; and 
is said to arise from want of water, or di inking that which is 
impure, or by eating improper food. It is cured by simply 
pulling off the film with the fingers and rubbing the tongue with 
salt. Hawks are said to be peculiarly liable to this disease. 

In page 49, it is stated that "the organ of smell is said, in 
the Gannet, to be wanting." This is, -however, not correct; 
there is probably no deficiency in the smell of that bird; but, 
from the peculiar structure of its tongue, the taste is very pro- 
bably incomplete. 

Page 52, line 15 from the bottom, after also add to. — 56, 
line penult., for appears, read appear. — 58, line 12, for Virginia' 
nus read Virginiana. 

Page 59. In addition to the paragraph concerning the change 
of plumage in the female bird, it may be stated that a paper by 
Mr. Yarrel was read before the Royal Society in May last, and 
will appear in the next publication of the Philosophical Trans- 
actions, in which it is clearly shewn, by numerous facts, that the 
alteration in plumage does not arise from age, but from disease 
of the sexual organs ; nay, that not only may the female be made to 
produce feathers and other appearances like the male by an arti- 
ficial abstraction of merely a portion of the oviduct, so that the con- 
tinuity of the canal may be destroyed, but that the male, as in the 
capon, becomes also greatly altered ira manners and plumage by 


the abstraction of the organs of generation. The conclusion drawn 
by Mr. Yarrel is that age is not necessary to this peculiar 
appearance of the female; and that both male and female be- 
come, as it were, a neuter gender, by the deprivation of the 
sexual organs, and that both assume characters decidedly in- 
termediate between the two sexes. The change, however, in 
the colour of the feathers of birds is not produced by this na- 
tural or artificial disease only : for the plumage of some birds 
is considerably heightened as the sexual organs dilate in the 
spuing ; in the decline of summer the plumage loses again its 
brilliancy, returning to shades of grey and white for defence 
during the winter ; at which time also the sexual organs become 
contracted and the voice subsides. 

Page 62, line 13, for tail read rail. 

Pages 64 and 250. Alauda arvensis, or Sky-Lark. Notwith- 
standing what is stated concerning the song of the female lark, a 
bird-catcher in the neighbourhood of London assures me that the 
female larks do not sing; that it is the constant practice of the 
bird-catchers to kill them when caught. That the young males 
if taken at once from the nest and bred up in confinement have 
not so beautiful a note as those caught in nets in the autumn : 
a pi oof here that nature is the best teacher. 

Page 67, line 9, for similiarly read similarly. — 81, line 14 from 
the bottom, for their moss read its moss. 

Pages 90, 91, 92, and 93, for Andrew Wilson read Alex- 
ander Wilson. 

Page 96, line 3, for Axilla read Axillce. — 117, line 10 from die 
bottom, for prevails read prevail. 

Page 124. Of the Swan, (Cygnus Olor,) I find the following 
notice in the Universal Magazine for 1749, vol. v. page 58, in an 
account of Abbotsbury, Dorset. "■ The royalty of this town is in 
the family of the Horners f who have a Sivannery here containing 
from 7 to 8000 swans." 

It should have been stated, in page 130, that, although in some 
districts of the kingdom the Wild Duck is called a Mallard, the 


term Mallard is applied, in the west of England, to the male of 
the tame duck. 

Page 132, line 9 from the bottom, for moonlight read 

Page 150. Concerning the Rook, I have been since favoured 
with the perusal of the late Lord Erskine's Poem; it is en- 
titled the Farmer's Vision, and was composed, his Lordship 
informs us, in consequence of his having, at the instance of his 
bailiff in Sussex, complained to a neighbour of his Rookery, the 
only one in that part of the country ; but having been afterwards 
convinced of the utility of Rooks, his Lordship countermanded 
his complaint, and wrote the Farmer's Vision, which consists of 
about 500 lines, with some very pertinent notes. In justice to 
his Lordship it ought, however, to be stated, that he distinctly 
asserts lie is not a poet ; that the production was not fit for pub- 
lication, and that a few copies only were printed for friends who 
asked for them, and that it was too long to make them in writing. 
It is dated from Buchan-Hill, Sussex, December 25, 1818. 
Without controverting his Lordship's position, that he ims not a 
poet, there will be no difficulty in stating that there never was a 
man so eminent as an orator as Lord Erskine, who might not 
have been a poet had he chosen to direct his attention to the 
pursuit of poetry ; — the soul of eloquence, and the soul of poetry , 
if not identical, are so nearly allied as scarcely to be distin- 
guishable. Exquisite sensibility belongs to both. 

His lordship, at the commencement of the poem, in allusion to 
birds. and other animals, says, 

" They whisper truths in reason's ear, 
If human pride would stoop to hear." 

He then proceeds to describe how a flock of rooks were shot 
atrby his bailiff, some of whom were 

" Fainting from many a cruel wound, 
And dropping lifeless on the ground." 

When a rook thus addressed his lordship : 
" Before the lord of this domain, 
Sure, justice should not plead in vain, 


How can his vengeance thus be hurl'd 
Against his favourite lower world ? 
A sentence he must blush to see 
Without a summons or a plea ; 
E'en in his proudest, highest times, 
He ne'er had cognizance of crimes, 
And shall he now, with such blind fury, 
In flat contempt ofjudge and jury, 
Foul murder sanction in broad day, 
Not on the King's but God's highway ?" 

Touch'd with the sharp but just appeal, 
Well turn'd at least to make me feel, 
Instant this solemn oath I took — 
No hand shall rise against a Rook" 

I can afford no farther room for quotation from this humane 
poem; but in a note, page 22, after having quoted some lines 
from Cowper's Task, (three of which may be seen in page 
283), his lordship observes " The whole subject of humanity to 
animals is so beautifully and strikingly illustrated in this ad- 
mirable poem (the Task), that no parents ought to be satisfied 
until their children have that part of it by heart." 

Whether this production of his lordship be published hereafter 
in a separate form or not, it is to be hoped, at any rate, that 
those who may be collectors of his lordship's writings will take 
care that the Farmer's Vis'on is preserved amongst them." 

Page 17J. The author saw a beautiful specimen of the 
Alcedo ispida, or Common King-Fisher, on the banks of the 
Ravensbourne, between Bromley and Beckenham, in Sept* 
1827; it was actively on the wing, and darted out from beneath 
the bridge over which passes the public road. 

He is disposed to think, that he saw the Nightingale, too, in a 
hedge near Lewisham, towards the latter end of August ; but the 
shyness of this bird renders its identification, without its song, 
in such a situation, difficult. 

Page 175, line 17, after Grosbeak read Haw-Grosbeak. 


Page 178, line penult., fur fly read fry. — 184, line 10, for 
Great Coot-Footed Tringa read Grey Coot-Footed Tringa; same 
page, line 13, after Red Coot-Footed Tringa, read Johnson's Small 
Cloven-footed Gull. — 186, line 9 from the bottom, for redgy read 
sedgy. — 198, line 4 from the bottom, for Cranaries read Craneries. 
— 206, line 16, after they can fly, place a comma. — 207, line 9, 
for (Enicdemus read (Edicnemus. — 209, line 5, for countries read 
counties. — 210, line 6 from the bottom, for that reail than, — 
224, line 9 from the bottom, for Prarie read Prairie. — 227, line 
7 from the bottom, for Americanus read Americana. — 247, line 
15, for countries read counties. 

Page 255. After Brambling read Bramble ; same page, after 
Siskin read Barky-Bird. — 262, add (to precede the note) 
Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Linnet.— 264, line 11 from the 
bottom, for (45) read (45).— 274, line 6, for lilies read lilacs: 
sweet smelling lilies do not blossom in April, in this country. 

Page 280. The House-Sparrow is occasionally seen white ; 
another variety black. 

Page 285, line 6, for its read it's. — 503, line 10, fur embossomd 
read embosomed. — 305, line 15, for Indicus read Indica. — 317, 
line 2, after hour add a semicolon. 

Page 319 The Manuel d'Ornithologie of M. Temminck first 
appeared in 1815. The arrangement consists of fifteen orders 
and eighty-eight gmera. In line 6 of this page from the bottom 
for ornithologsis read ornithologists. 

Page 528, line 6, for contists lead consists. — 557, line 3, 
for Pi^e read Pic^e. — 358, line 7 from the bottom, for the feet 
read time feet. — Same page, line 11, for resembles read resemble. 

Page 377. The account of the colours of the mule and female 
Ostrich has been obtained from the most authentic sources ; 
yet the female ostrich, now in the museum of the Zoological 
Society, and which was lately dissected there, has the wing and 
tail feathers white. Are these birds subject to variation in this 
respect ? 

Page 381, line J, after came dele the comma. — line 15, for 


helmets read helmet. — 390, line 11, for Plantan read Plantain. 
— 399, line 8 from the bottom dele the article a. 

In addition to what is stated by Mr. Sweet in page 73, con- 
cerning the singing of birds, that gentleman has favoured me 
with the following particulars : " When you called on me last 
year, at Chelsea, I had several female birds which never at- 
tempted to sing: but now I have two that sing frequently ; one 
is a female Black-cap ; she sings a note peculiar to herself, and 
not the least like the male or any other bird with which I am 
acquainted; I kept her several years before she began to sing. 
I have also a female Willow-wren that sings nearly as much as 
the cock ; this bird was bred up from the nest, and did not sing 
at all the first year ; her note is quite different from the male's, 
but resembles it sufficiently to indicate that it belongs to the 
same species. The females of the Larger Pettychaps, and the 
Larger W hit e thro at , which I have had for several years, never 
attempt to sing. The following are the migratory birds which 
I now have. Wheatear, Whinchat, Stonechat, Redstart, Nightin- 
gale, Larger, and Lesser Whitethroat , Black-cap, Greater Petty- 
chaps, and Willow-wren ; I had also, till lately, the Wood-wren. — 
R. Sweet, Chelsea, Oct. 26, 1827." 

The Willow-wren, Mr. Sweet informs me, sings also at night 
when there is a light in the room. 

Page 49. That birds are rendered more buoyant by having 
the cells in their bodies filled with air, as well as also the 
bones, there is no reason whatever to doubt ; but in what 
manner their increased buoyancy is produced does not seem 
well ascertained. Whether by -condensation of atmos- 
pheric air similar to that produced in a strongly inflated 
bladder, by which its elasticity is considerably increased, or 
whether by some other air specifically lighter than that of the 
atmosphere? — The first appears the most probable reason. 




Is respectfully inscribed by her sincere and 
affectionate Friend, 


Since (his Introduction has been printed, Mr. Henry 
Warren has published six Lithographic Views on the Ra- 
vensbourne, anion" which is one of Ladywell, the retreat 
described in the following pages. The coincidence is somewhat 
remarkable, seeing that Mr. Warren and the author of this 
work are total strangers to each other. As delineating some 
favourite spots, 'the author feels peculiar gratification in recom- 
mending Mr. Warren's Views to public attention. They con- 
sist of, tJie Source of the Ravensbourne — Ccesur's Camp — Simpson's 
Castle, Bromley — Scene in Lord FarnborovgK's Park — Lady well — 
and the Mouth of the Ravensbourne. These Views may be seen at 
Messrs. Dickinson and Co. L'ond-Street. 


Beatus We quiprocul negotiis — 
Libet jacere modo sub antiqua ilice, 

Modo in tenaci gr amine ,• 
Labuntur altis interim rivis aquae ,• 


Fontesque lymphis obstreperunt mananlibus 
Somnos quod invitet (eves. — Horat, 

Harmer's Cottage, Lady well ', 


The Summer's fervid reign is past, 
A'nd bland September come at last: 
A grateful change — the most to me — 
To all who can the city flee. 
Light pleasure's sylphs, with tripping feet, 
Your presence here will gladly greet : 
Here Quiet — Contemplation dwell 
Beside the fount of Lady well, 
Which flows incessant through the year, 
As virtue pure, as crystal clear. 


Come to my cottage ! — now look out! 
Fair prospect, Madam ! who can doubt? 
The church at distance, 'midst the trees, 
With verdant meadows round, must please. 
There, too, the social rookery, 
That ever hath been dear to me ; — 
The bridge — beneath, the rippling stream — 
The alder's umbrage, and the gleam 
Of sunlight darting through the shade, 
By lofty elms or poplars made, 
With willows waving to the wind, 
All aid to please, to soothe the mind ; 
While Ducks, in sportive diving, play, 
And Geese wide o'er the meadow stray ; 
The Pigeons skim the air along, 
The Cocks and Hens the barn-door throng; 
As anxious mothers cluck aloud 
The downy young around them crowd, 
What time is heard the thresher s flail ; 
The Peacock struts in plumy pride, 
The wild Gallina* by his side, 
E'er ready, with his powerful beak, * 

Fierce vengeance on his foes to wreak; — 
And lo ! the milk-maid with her pail! — 
Here feeds the sheep, and there the cow, — 
On yonder slope the moving ploug h, 
While heard the plough-boy's cheering note, 
On airy waves it seems to float. 

* Numida Meleagris, Guinea Hen, or Pintado, 


in September. 

The morning breaks o'er Shooter's hill ;- 
The Redbreast twitters by the mill ; — 
The Cocks, at answering distance, crow;- 
In neighbouring mead the cattle low ; 

Yo, hup — yo, ho ! 

To plough we go ! 

While artless Jane, of beauty pride, 
Her light step dashing dew aside, 
With notes of song wakes echo now, 
As blithe she hastes to milk the cow ; — 

Yo, hup — yo, ho! 

To plough we go ! 

The sun his streams of golden light 
Now pours o'er hills and vallies bright;— 
The Thrush her song is warbling now ; 
Afield we go to chearful plough ; 

Yo, hup — yo, ho! 

To plough we go ! 

Nature ! mistress of my song, 
To thee love, beauty, truth belong ; — 
To thee I homage pay ; and now 
Afield we go, and — speed the plough;— 

Yo, hup — yo, ho! 

To plough we go ! 


These are the rural sights and sounds 
With which the valley here abounds. 
And here, in Spring, the Nightingale 
Charms, with his song, the listening vale, 
What time vibrations of delight 
The Cuckoo's monotones excite, 
While the wild warbler train attend, 
And with his notes their music blend ; 
To grove, to wood, to shady dell, 
Echo responds in wavy swell ; 
All Nature rapturous appears, 
And Fancy vegetation hears.* 
Nor will the churchyard sod refuse 
Its sombrous strains by rustic muse ; 
Where, too, sleeps Genius, wild and free, 
Within the grave of Dermody. f 

* Madame Cottin has a similar, but, I think, more happy 
thought, — " On croiroit presque entendre le bruit da la vegetation." 
— Elizabeth ou Les Exiles de Siberie. 

t A poet of some promise, whose malignant planet marred 
his best efforts. The fate of this young man reminds us of the 
fate of Savage, who had, like Dermody, been consigned 
to neglect in his earlier years: hence the unfortunate impres- 
sions which both received could not, as it appears, be coun- 
teracted in their effects by any subsequent attempts, either 
of others or of themselves; a convincing proof of the power 
of early circumstances in forming character; and a proof, also, 
of the necessity of early attention to such surrounding media, 
in order that the best character may be fashioned and brought 
out. Dermody was a native of Ireland ; but died at Lewishaui, 
or in the neighbourhood, in 1802, at the age of twenty-eight. 


Oh visit not with brow severe 

His failings, — o'er them drop a tear ! 

A little walk, yon steep ascend 
And pleasure will your toil commend. 
Behold, in undulating swell, 
How rise the hills, how sinks the dell. 
Now let your steps descending turn 
Along the banks of Ravensbourne ; 
And, though not sure to meet delight, 
Her nymphs, perchance, will you requite. 
Some Birds, even now, will here in song 
Be heard the sylvan shades among ; 
The Thrush, the Redbreast in the grove, 
Still warble soft their notes of love ; 
And Larks, high soaring in the air, 
Proclaim their pleasure still is there ; 
Of Chaffinch " chinks" the woods are proud, 
And shrieks of Blackbirds echo loud;* 
While Swallows, many, bounding, fleet, 
Bathe in the stream both win°;s and feet. 
What time along the marge you stray, 
Behold the fishes' sportive play; — 
Oh may no angler, in yon nook, 
Disturb those tenants of the brook, 
Nor wound them with insidious hook ! 

* The Blackbird, although rarely if ever heard in song in the 
autumn, utters, nevertheless, upon being disturbed, a singular 
and continued shrieking or note, which, although well known 
to the natural historian, is not easily described. 


His, wanton sport,—- a sport unblest, — 
A sport I ever must detest.* 

Return— and should you, seeking Health, — 
The maid most coy when woo'd by wealth, 
Westward ascend — behold a Spring 
That might, perchance, even heal a King. 
But who its modest worth shall tell — 
What poet sings of Ladywell ? 

* Lord Byron has thus denounced the sport of angling: 
"And angling, too, that solitary vice, 

Whatever Isaac Walton sings or says : 
The quaint, old cruel coxcomb in his gullet^ 
Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it." 

Dow Juan, Canto XIII. 
His Lordship adds, in a note, w It would have taught him huma- 
nity at least. This sentimental savage, whom it is a mode to 
quote (among the novelists) to shew their sympathy for innocent 
sports and old songs, teaches how to sew up frogs, and break 
their legs by way of experiment, in addition to the art of ang- 
ling, the cruellest, the coldest, and the stupidest of pretended 
sports. They may talk of the beauties of Nature, hut the 
angler merely thinks of his dish offish ; he has no leisure to take 
his eyes off the stream, and a single bite is worth to him more 
than all the scenery around." It must, however, be admitted, 
notwithstanding Walton's bad taste in regard to angling, that 
his book is an amusing one ; and has, very probably, induced 
many persons to follow the sport, who would otherwise never 
have thought of it. Surely, notwithstanding all that PValtoii 
says, the sitting for hours by the margin of a brook or river, is 
not a healthy occupation, whatever the angler may make, of it ; 
surely man, intellectual man, can find something more praise- 
worthy than such solitary inactivity to gratify his aberrant 


]^ on e — none ; — then now, O Fount ! to thee, 

Let this first offering hallowed be. 

While many seek the ocean's shore 

And listen to his hollow roar ; 

May I, with calm delight, still sing 

Of thee, unostentatious spring !* 

I love the woods, the hills, the fields ; 
Will you attend me, Lady! there 
To hear the Birds — to snuff the air — 
To taste the pleasures Nature yields. 
I love the country and its calm, 
For many wounds a sovereign balm.f 
I loathe the city and its noise, — 
Its tumult, pageants, and its toys. 
Mistake me not— I friendship prize, % 
And gladly seek the good and wise ; 

* It ought to be mentioned, that, although this spring is in 
the little hamlet of Lady well, the name of Lady well is not 
derived from it- Ladywell, the fountain so called, produces 
pellucid and excellent water. , The spring here alluded to is a 
powerful chalybeate, and totally unfit for common use. It is 
similar in its properties to the waters of Tunbridge; and, were 
it farther from the metropolis, would, long ere this, have ob- 
tained celebrity. Those who may be desirous of knowing this 
spring, will find it at a cottage inhabited by Mr. Russell. 

t O rus, quando ego te aspiciam? quandoque licebit 
Nunc veterum libris, nunc somno inertibus horis, 
Ducere solicits jucunda oblivia vitae. — Horat. 

% Ego vos hortari tantum possum, utamicitiam omnibus rebus 
hnmanis anteponatis; nihil est enim tarn natura? aptum, tarn con- 
veniens ad res secundas vel adversas. — Cicero de Amicitia. 


But may I not such here possess — 
May I not here find happiness ? 

Come then, fair Lady ! with me stray; 
To Shooter's-hill now haste away ; 
Or, midst the shady bowers of Lee,* 
I'll proudly wait your company. 
Or, if you so prefer, the dark 
The chesnut groves of Greenwich Park ; 
Forgetting not — who can forget? 
The balmy breezes of Black-heath, 

* tf The spirit of improvement through the land 
Strides like a giant." 

The improvements which have lately been made on Black- 
heath, at Lee, and the unostentatious village of Lewisham, 
deserve a short note. Those who remember the gloomy gran- 
deur of Lee, may now contemplate it under another aspect, 
namely, that of rural elegance. There is an oak by the footway, 
leading from Lee church to Lee-green, that deserves, together 
with the surrounding scenery, to be immortalized by the pen, or 
the pencil, or both. Blackheath has lately received an 
important addition to the east, in a series of elegant villas, 
evincing, at once, the taste and opulence of the owners. The 
modern and long-neglected ruin of Sir Gregory Page Turner's 
seat, has, at length, totally disappeared ; and, in its stead, have 
arisen numerous mansions which wealth and competence have 
chosen for their abode. Of Lewisham, I dare not trust my- 
self to say much ; it is a quiet, unobtrusive village, in which I 
have passed many happy days, and in which a considerable por- 
tion of this work was written. The improvements, either com- 
pleted or going on here, will render its neighbourhood still more 
desirable as a residence. The walks and scenery surrounding 
this place are sufficiently described in the text. 


Where health will twine for you a wreath, 
Where the Campanula* blooms yet ; 
Where Chamomile sanescent grows, 
Call'd by the learned Anthemis,f 
Specifically nobilis, — 

And Heath her beauteous blossom shows, — 
There oft I rove. On Forest-Hill 
I drink of pleasure's cup my fill ; — 
There listen to, the shades among, 
The Redbreast's soft, autumnal song ; 
Or hear the Thrush, a farewell lay 
Pour out, as sinks to rest the day ; 
While from the stubble sudden spring 
The Partridges, on sounding wing ; — 
No, social Rasors ! ne'er will I 
Send death amongst you as you fly£. 

* Campanula patula. — See a subsequent note. 

t Anthemis nobilis. or Common Chamomile with single 
Sowers; the cultivated variety has double flowers. Whatever 
may be the merits of the Linncean, and other scientific systems 
of botany; it is, nevertheless, greatly to be feared, that, from 
their apparent complexity and verbosity, it will be a long time 
indeed before they will come (if ever) into general use, and 
supersede the present trivial nomenclature. 

X For some account of the misery produced by firing among 
flocks of birds, see the notes to the House Sparrow' s Speech. For 
an explanation of the term Rasor, see the prose portion of this 


I love the steps of autumn time, 
When cool, not cold, the morning's prime ; — 
When noon has lost his scorching pride, 
And pleasures throng the brooklet's side; — 
When eve is bland — the genial breeze 
Plays wantonly among the trees ; 
Or, dimpling o'er the river's face, 
Adds to its beauty novel grace. 
Delight with me, too, often roves 
In Sydenham's dark, shady groves ; 
Yet o'er her hills, with, Lady ! you, 
Pleas'd I shall be to dash the dew 
From herb and flower ; and pleas'd to see 
The blooming heath I ween you'll be. 
Nor will that modest lilac maid, 
Campanula*, with drooping head, 
Deny her charms, the while appear 
Such goodly prospects far and near. 
The purple Digitalis! too, 
Will here her homage pay to you. 

* The Campanula patula, or Meadow Bell-flower, is ofre 
of the most elegant of the Campanula genus, and only not more 
admired because it is so very common on our heaths. 

t Digitalis purpurea, or Fox- glove. This valuable and 
beautiful indigenous plant, although growing plentifully in 
hedges in various parts of the kingdom, is rare in the immediate 
neighbourhood of London. The curiuus will, however, find it 
on the Sydenham-hills, — hills which no one who delights in rural 
scenery should omit to see ; yet how many of the inhabitants of 
the metropolis have never visited them ! 


Hence, if it please you, down the vale, 
Dulwich shall tell a pleasant tale 
Of Pictures and of groves of shade, 
By painters and by Nature made.* 
If, "still aberrant, you will stray, 
To Hither Green without delay ; 
Let health's brisk breezes round you blow, 
While you command the vale below. 
Or wander to that Rushy-Green, 
Where diving Dabchicksf oft are seen. 
Now pass the Ravensbourne again, 
And quit the haunts of busy men, 
For scenes where dwells the woodland sprite, 
And forest and canal unite; 
The warblers here will charm your sense 
With Nature's wildest eloquence. 
Though rarely do such works of art, 
Canals, the picturesque impart, 
Yet here both Art and Nature meet, 
To lay it, Lady ! at your feet.t 

* The Dulwich Picture Gallery, the munificent gift of Sir 
Franc'13 Bourgeois, affords an agreeable lounge for those who 
have any taste for paintings. It is greatly to he regretted, 
that a singular regulation precludes some of its usefulness j 
this regulation consists in compelling every one, desirous of 
viewing it, to obtain a ticket (gratis it is true,) in London, No 
one applying without such a ticket at Dulwich is admitted. 

t Colymbus minor, oiDidapper; a considerable number of 
these birds may be always seen in a pond, or on its banks, at 

% This Canal unites with the Thames, near Deptford. By a 
multiplicity of locks, it reaches a considerable elevation 


But other wanderings you shall find, 

Of various power to stir the mind. 

Of Penge, the embowering wood explore, — 

Of pleasure there an ample store; 

Scenes which the artist, charm'd, shall trace, 

And on his canvass lay with grace : 

There pensive, tranquil thought might dwell ; 

There, too, might hermit choose his cell ; 

And there, the lords of the domain, 

The warblers, hold triumphant reign. 
Obedient now to Pleasure's wand, 

Let Beckenham your steps command: 

The region, if not classic, such 

You scarcely can admire too much. 

Behold its churchyard picturesque, 

With gates that trench on the grotesque ; 

Then pass through grove and sombre glade, 

For poet's haunt in autumn made. 

The whirring pheasant here may too, 

At eve or morning startle you, 
. As from the wood, with sudden spring, 

She flies on heavy, labouring wing. 
When at Forest-hill it winds between woods ; and thence, 
passing on through Sydenham, it again winds through Penge-tcoocl 
to Croydon. For several miles, while on theelevation, there are no 
locks; hence, from its sinuous course, it adds considerably to 
the very beautiful scenery through which it parses. 


Here Robinson,* from toils of state 
Opinions' conflict, keen debate, 
Retires to soothe, relax his mind, 
Woo Nature — to us ever kind. 

If now to Bromley you extend, 
New scenes, new subjects will befriend; 
Nor shall the Villa, taste of LoxG..f 
Be absent from my rural song-. 
Still farther would you, Lady, rove. 
Delight attends in many a grove. 

* The Right Honourable Frederick Robinson, now Lord 
Goderich, who, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a luminous 
and eloquent speech, on the opening of the Budget to Parlia- 
ment, March 13, 1826, promulgated some of the most libera! 
and important opinions that were ever uttered by any states- 

It is scarcely possible to estimate the effect of such senti- 
ments on the well being and happiness of the human race, to 
the furtherance of which they so eminently tend, when so ex- 
tensively diffused, as they necessarily must be, in reports of our 
parliamentary proceedings ; but we may be morally assured 
that such sentiments will never be forgotten; and that the time 
has indeed arrived when the minds of our enlightened states- 
men are in accordance with the opinions of an enlightened 
people; and that, among those, while the names of a Canning, 
a Peel, and a Huskisson, will be prominent, the name of the 
late Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Robinson, will never 
be mentioned without respect and esteem. 

t The Right Honourable Sir Charles Long, Bait. ; since 
this was written, created Lord Farnborougii. 


Proceed to Hayes, where Chatham* dwelt; 
Some recollections may be felt, — 
How, in the senate, many shook 
Beneath his all-commanding look: 
How here, the social hearth beside, 
He sank the statesman and his pride ; 
And, pillow'd on affection's breast, 
He solace sought, and found the best: 
For what is Splendour, what is Fame, 
To Home and Happiness? — a name! 

While here, let no pretence delay, «* 

But listen to the woodland fay ; 
Or with the mountain-nymph ascend, 
Who will with glee your steps attend. 

* William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, the first of that name, 
and the incidents in whose life are inseparably woven with the 
history of this country. Hayes was his favourite residence, 
where he died; and where also his son William, mentioned 
in a subsequent note, was born. This village affords a quiet 
and umbrageous retreat. Among many fine trees here, some 
Lombardy -poplars (Populus dilata), near the mansion, where 
once presided the pennies of that respected nobleman, are pe- 
culiarly interesting by their great height and beauty, they 
being well clothed with ivy. Fashion has latterly fixed a stigma 
upon this tree (the Lombardy poplar,) which it does not 
deserve. It is now become, it is true, extremely common, but 
it is nevertheless, very ornamental, and as little injurious by 
its foliage as its shade; indeed, much less so than most other 
trees. This residence of Lord Chatham is now occupied by 
Mrs. Dehaney. 


Should taste now bid you botanize, 
The upland wilds fail not to prize:* 
Here Sphagjium-f lifts her humble head, 
And Droseral will her dewdrops shed ; 
While Heaths, of roseate hue, will smile, 
And thus your wandering way beguile. 
Or should your steps refuse the waste, 
With Edens near the scene is grac'd, 
And cots embower'd, while soaring high 
Their smoke, slow curling, stains the sky;§ 
Where Peace, beside the hearth of home, 
Spurns with disdain the lordly dome. 
Or like you length and breadth of view 
O'er scenery rich, of varied hue, 
Ascending still, at Holwood Park, 
Look round, and many objects mark ; 
'Mongst which the queen of cities stands, |( 
A cynosure to distant lands. 

* The spot called Hayes Common deserves a more dignified 
name: it is at once a wild and an upland, not to say mountain- 
ous district; and the numerous villas around add an interest to 
it of no ordinary kind. 

t Sphagnum pal ustre, or Bog-moss, a curious and useful plant 
for packing other plants. See Mr. Salisbury's account of it in 
the Transactions of the Society of Arts. 

f Drosera roiundifolia, or Sundew. 

§ " Above whose peaceful umbrage, trailing high, 
A little smoke went up, and stain'd the cloudless sky.' J 

Bowles's Hope, 
ij London. 


Should still no fancy prompt return;, 
Explore the source of Ravensbourne 
At Keston ;— Holwood's manse around, 
Where sylvan beauties wild abound, 
Now wander, whither from the strife 
Of faction— stir of public life, 
Once oftretir'd that William Pitt, 
Much more a statesman than a wit ; 
He who, with Fox, shook senates proud ; 
Whose voice once echoed long- and loud. 
Oh, had he been less fond of war! 
What fame exists without a scar ?* 

Now, Lady ! having hither brought — 
Beguifd you into rural thought, 
I will not ask your audience long, 
But list a moment to my song, — 
A song of Birds — their hopes, their fears, 
Their loves, their pleasures, and their tears ; 
In which, I trust, some seeds of truth 
Are sown, to serve both age and youth. 
You, Lady! when that smiling boy, 
Of promise bright — his parents' joy, 

* The Right Honourable William Pitt, for many years 
prime minister of this country, and son of the first Lord 
Chatham, mentioned above. Holwood Park and House 
are on a very elevated, yet well-wooded spot. The mansion 
has been, I understand, rebuilt since the time Mr. Pitt inha- 
bited it. It is altogether a very delightful situation, and does 
credit to the taste of the late prime minister as a country icsi- 
dence. There is a public footpath quite through the park. 
The present occupier is John Ward, Esq. 


Shall upward grow, will prompt his mind 
To all that's good and great — refin'd; 
And when, perhaps, my voice is mute, 
When silent hangs my minstrel lute, 
Awaking only to the breeze 
Some fitful strains, not such as these ; 
When all that may remain of me, 
You in my thought, my song shall see, 
You will remind him, that 'twas I 
Who struck these chords of minstrelsy. 
Simple, in sooth, they are, and trite, 
Yet will, I hope, the mind excite 
To pleasures simple as my lay, 
Yet pure as truth — as sunshine gay. 
You will remind your favourite boy 
I lov'd him — wish'd him every joy; 
And, should he listen to my strain, 
I, Lady! have not liv'd in vain. 

Oh teach him, when you will know best, 
To love, admire the warblers' nest ;* 

* The structure of the nests of birds affords, perhaps, one 
of the most agreeable lessons in Natural History. 

Among the most curious nests of our English birds may be 
named that of the Wren, the Long-tailed Titmouse, the Thrush, 
the Goldfinch, the Chaffinch, the Magpie, and the House Sparrow; 
to these may also be added the Swallow's, the Martin's, the Wood 
Pigeons, and the Wood-Pecker's. Of the nests of Rooks, it may 
be sufficient to observe, that they are often found to the num- 
ber of six, or even more, in a cluster. Crows' nests are always 
solitary; they are similar in structure to those of the rook. 


Mark the design their nests among-, — 
Observe the wonders of their song, — 
Their habits, their intelligence, — 
And say not, Man alone has sense, 
But, See the steps of Providence! 

The Wren's nest is globular, and very often made of green 
moss, both within and without ; it has a small hole on the side 
of it, just large enough to admit the bird. It is generally affixed 
to some tree, and behind it, at a few feet from the ground, so 
as not to be immediately in sight. The wren seems very partial 
to trees having ivy growing about them, most probably as, by 
its leaves, the nest is more effectually concealed. It does not 
seem to prefer any particular tree : the nest will be found very 
often attached to the elm or the ash; sometimes against an 
ivied wall, sometimes in the thatch of a house, and sometimes 
in a hay-rick. In such cases the materials of the nest will often 
also be varied. See more relative to the Wren in the note 
attached to the Redbreast's Song. 

The Long- tailed Titmouse makes a nest similar in shape to the 
wren's, but considerably larger in external appearance: it by 
no means looks so neat as the wren's; its exterior is composed 
of dead leaves, interspersed with white moss, &c. Interiorly 
it is, however, much more curious than the wren's, being almost 
full of small, soft, and generally white feathers. It is rarely, if 
ever, appended, like the wren's, to trees; its usual site is in a 
hedge, on some bush, either of the thorn or wild plum, a few 
feet only from the ground. 

The nest of the Thrush, is exteriorly composed of green or 
other moss, and a few straws; interiorly it is plastered all over 
with some paste, apparently composed of rotten wood, with 
something to cement it; it is generally of a light buff colour. 
When dry it is quite hard, so that the eggs, if moved, rattle in 
the nest. The statement, in many of our books of natural his- 
tory, that it is lined with clay, is, as far as my experience goes, 


Teach him a sympathy to feel 
For nature, for the general weal. 
Grave this a lesson on his heart; 
May he the precept wide impart, — 

founded in mistake. The Blackbird's nest, although it belongs 
to the same genus, is a very different one, and has nothing re- 
markable in it, except that it is plastered within with clay, over 
which some fine straw or dry grass is laid. The usual situation 
of a thrush's nest is behind some ivied tree ; sometimes, how- 
ever, it is found in bushes, particularly of thorn; 1 have seen a 
thrush's nest in a yew-tree. The blackbird seems to prefer the 
thorn for its nest, particularly if it happens to be growing over 
water; it prefers, too, that part of the bush which is least ac- 

The Goldfinch's nest is composed exteriorly of white moss, 
interiorly of light coloured wool and hair; it is one of the neat* 
est of our English bird's nests. The goldfinch, during its nidi- 
fication, is a very domestic bird ; it appears to prefer a garden 
near a dwelling-house to almost any other spot for its nest. It 
builds either on young elms, to which it is particularly partial, 
on an apple, a pear tree, or a cypress. If not disturbed, it will 
build sometimes so low that you may look into the nest; and, 
during incubation, you may pass within a few feet of it without 
its evincing the least alarm. 

The Chaffinch builds a neat nest, although not so neat as that 
of the goldfinch; its habits are also in many respects similar; it 
prefers gardens and apple-trees, but is not choice in the site for 
a nest. It will build on fir-trees, against a wall on a grape- 
vine, on apple and many other trees, but rarely, if ever, in 

The Magpie's nest is similar in its lower exterior to that of 
the rook and the crow, but it is covered over with thorns, so 
that access to the interior can only be had by two open spaces, 


Be kind to all — to man, to beast, 
Bird, Jish, worm, insect; thus a feast 
Of happiness will he partake, 
And happy other beings make. 

Hot very regularly marked, one on each side of its covering. 
This covering is an irregular kind of lattice-work, formed of 
thorns, and is evidently designed as a defence from some birds 
of prey ; it is no shelter from the weather. The magpie always 
builds a solitary nest, either in a thorn-bush or on some lofty 
elm, and sometimes on an apple-tree; it does not often build 
very near dwelling-houses, but a remarkable exception to this 
has lately occurred in Somersetshire, at Huntspill : a magpie 
not only having built its nest on a tree a very short distance 
from a dwelling-house, but it occupied the same nest two years 
successively. We may be tolerably certain that this bird was 
not disturbed during the first year, or it would not, most pro- 
bably, have returned to the same nest a second time. I appre- 
hend the magpie, as well as its neighbours, the rook and crow, 
to be a very useful bird in the destruction of worms, of whieh it 
partakes as food. 

The House- Sparrow, as its name indicates, builds very often 
beneath the eaves of the thatch, as well as of the tiles of dwell- 
ing-houses. Its nest is composed of straw and feathers; it has 
usually a hole for an entrance, similar to the wren's. The house- 
sparrow is, however, no churl in the choice of a site for a nest. 
I once saw a house-sparrow's nest in that of a deserted magpie's 
nest. They will sometimes take possession of the martin's 
nest; and some curious facts have been stated concerning the 
battles of these two very different birds. In the neighbourhood 
of London, and indeed in Hoxton-square in London, the house- 
sparrow's nest will be seen on the Lombardy poplar; the ^nly 
kind of nest which I ever saw on that tree, — it does not seem a 
favourite of any of the tribe of birds. Wilson informs us that 


Teach him, all violence is wrong — 
A truth as useful as it's strong : 
He must not rob the Sons of Song. 
Nay, that the birds .should be as free, 
As wisheth and expecteth He. 

the Baltimore oriole builds also on it in the American towns. 
Tbe house-sparrow builds also very often in the ivy attached to 
the walls of dwelling-houses : many nests of this bird were to 
be seen among the ivy covering the front of a house in 
Montpellier-row on Blackheath, September 1825. 

Swallows construct their nests externally of clay; they are 
lined with straw and feathers. The favourite site of the swal- 
low's nest is the interior and near the tops of chimneys; they, 
however, occasionally build in other places. The Martin builds 
its nest similarly to the swallow, but the entrance to it is more 
confined: the usual place for martins' nests is under the eaves 
of houses, particularly those whose walls are covered with 
what is called roughcast, or in the corners of a stopped-up 

The Wood-Pigeon's nest is made with only a few sticks, 
merely sufficient to retain the eggs ; an extraordinary nest for 
such a bird, when the habits of the domestic pigeon are consi- 
dered. They generally build on trees. I have seen a wood- 
pigeon's nest on a yew-tree; it is more frequently, I believe, 
found on the elm or the fir. 

The Hawk's nest (Falco tinnunculus) or Kestril, is similar to 
the wood-pigeon's : I have seen it on an apple-tree. 

The Wood-Pecker's nest is made in the trunk of some tree, a 
hole in which the bird scoops out with his bill; the entrance is 
round, and just large enough to admit the bird. 

Several of our English birds make their nests on the ground: 
among these may be named the Skylark, the Partridge, the 
Redbreast, &c. &c. ; and, of course, most of those having 
palmate feet, as the Duck, Goose, Swan, &c. 


There" 1 s no effect without a cause: 
This one of Nature's wisest laws. 
To be all which you may desire 
Your child will certain things require : 

Among the nests of foreign birds, that of the Taylor Bird 
deserves especial mention: the bird itself is a diminutive one, 
being little more than three inches long; it is an inhabitant of 
India. The nest is sometimes constructed of two leaves, one of 
them dead; the latter is fixed to the living one as it hangs upon 
the tree, by sewing both together in the manner of a pouch or 
purse : it is open at the top, and the cavity is filled with fine 
down; and, being suspended from the branch, the birds are 
secure from the depredations of snakes and monkeys, to which 
they might otherwise fall a prey. 

In Dr. Latham's collection is a specimen of the taylor bird's 
nest, composed of a single large leaf, of a fibrous rough texture, 
about six inches long independent of the stalk, five inches and 
a half in breadth, and ending in a point. The sides of this leaf 
are drawn together so as to meet within three-quarters of an 
inch ; within is the nest, about four inches deep and two broad, 
opening at the top; the bottom of the leaf is drawn upwards, to 
assist in the support of it. This interior nest is composed of 
white down, with here and there a feather and a small portion 
of white down intermixed. 

Another nest of this bird has also been described as composed 
of several leaves, like those of some kind of hazel sewed toge- 
ther ; the inner nest formed of dry bents, fibres, and hairs, sus- 
pended from a tree. It is, therefore, probable that this bird, 
as well as some others, varies the structure of its nest as occa- 
sion and the materials may require. These singular works are 
performed by the bird's using his bill instead of a needle, and 
vegetable fibres for thread. We still want, however, more 
information on this interesting subject. See the note on the 
Taylor bird in Part II. 



Fit circumstances must surround 
Him, or your wishes he'll confound. 
Crabs on the cherry do not grow, 
Nor does the pine produce the sloe ; 

The Rufous Bee-eater, or Merops Rufus, constructs also a very 
singular nest. This bird is a native of Buenos Ay res; the nest 
is built generally on the naked great branch of a tree, some- 
times on the windows of houses, a fence, or a projecting beam 
of a high house or other building: it is composed of earth, in 
the form of a baker's oven, and is often built in the short space 
of two days, both birds being engaged in its construction j it is 
six inches in diameter, and one thick ; a division is within, be- 
ginning at the entrance, and carried circularly, so that the eggs 
are deposited in the inner chamber, on a bed of grass. The 
swallow and other birds often attempt to obtain possession of 
this nest ; but are generally repulsed by the owners. 

Many of the Orioles' nests are also deserving notice. The 
black and yellow Oriole, (Oriolus persicus,) inhabiting South 
America, has a pendent nest, shaped like an alembic; it is 
affixed to the extreme branches of trees; sometimes, it is said, 
so many as four hundred nests are found hanging on the same 
tree. See the note on the Orioles in Part II. 

The Philippine and Pensile Grosbeak make also very curious 
nests. See the note on the Grosbeak, &c. in Part I. 

In concluding this account of the nests of birds, of which 
occasionally more will be found in the subsequent notes, I may 
notice here the nest of the Hirundo esculenta, or Esculent Swal- 
low, an inhabitant of China and the Islands of the Indian 
Ocean. This nest consists of a gelatinous substance, in shape 
resembling an apple cut down the middle. The nests are found 
in great numbers together, and are by the luxurious Asiatics 
made into broths, and otherwise cooked, and are esteemed 
one of the greatest dainties of the table; they are also occa- 
sionally used for glue. 


All kindred things produce their kind ; 
Thus is it with the human mind. 
If you would wish him to be kind, 
Impress kind conduct on his mind, — 
Not by mere words, but let the deed 
Of kindness done before him plead; 
Chiefly the deed performed by you, 
"Which, seeing done, he'll wish to do. 

You will, no doubt, some learning give, 
And teach him in the world to live ; 
But what he'll want, as much as sense, 
Is active, warm Benevolence, 
This will produce more happiness 
Than all besides he may possess : 
This teach him, and his little heart 
Will kind impressions soon impart. 
Thus will there in his bosom spring 
Affection for each living thing; 
And thus will be his friends' delight, 
That beauteous boy of promise bright! 

Seductive, Lady! is the theme! 
Instruction, now a rushing stream, 
O'erflows its banks on either hand, 
And widely fructifies the land. 
A goodly harvest may we see, 
When all shall wise and happy be! 

The nests of some of the American swallows are also curious. 
See the note on the Swallow in Part I. 


Meantime, one word should be impressed. 
In letters large, on every breast : 
It is most potent, and will well 
Perform what can't the prison cell ; 
What vengeance always fails to do- 
lt is, fair Lady ! seen in you,— 
Kindness: repeat the word again — 
Kindness, — and thus I end my strain.* 

* " It is necessary also to observe, in regard to the Formation 
of the Human Character, that the mind for ever shrinks from all 
attempts to force it into any mode of discipline or action ; that, 
while it may be led by gentleness and argument almost any 
where, the least appearance of force or violence produces revolt 
and repugnance. So true is this, that it has led to the trite ob- 
servation, that it is more easy to lead man wrongly than to drive 
him right. This disposition, in the ignorant and uninformed, has 
been frequently called obstinacy; but it is, nevertheless, the re- 
sult of a general law which we all obey. There is no other 
effectual way of removing such obstinacy than by enlightening 
the understanding, — imparting knowledge. And if this can be 
done by shewing also that we have the interest, that is, the 
happiness j of the individual at heart whom we are desirous of 
persuading, we shall be more likely to succeed in the object at 
which we aim." See my Lecture on the Nature and Operations of 
the Human Mind. The minds of children appear to be operated 
upon in a similar way to those of the adult, and, therefore, in their 
education similar means must be adopted. 


The Natural History of Birds, or, as it is now scien- 
tifically termed, ornithology, needs little to recommend 
it to those whose taste for simple pleasures is not vitiated. 
The habits, manners, and modes of life of this interesting 
portion of the animal kingdom, have attracted the attention 
of numerous naturalists, who have, from time to time, re- 
corded a variety of useful, instructive, and amusing facts 
concerning it. Various artificial arrangements have also 
been proposed, by which, it has been presumed, the science 
of ornithology may be more readily and correctly acquired. 
Among these, the arrangements of Linnaeus, of Pennant, of 
Latham, and of Vigors, deserve, it appears to me, the 
most attention ; although those of Brisson, the Baron 
Cuvier, and of M. Temminck, are also entitled to respect. 
Nor ought, perhaps, the name of John Ray, our own coun- 
tryman, who flourished in the seventeenth century, as a dis- 
tinguished naturalist, to be here omitted ; but we cannot 
enter into a detail or examination of these last writers' 
systems. As, however, that of Li NIMBUS has obtained much 
celebrity, is constantly referred to by our naturalists ; and 
seems, besides, 1o have contributed much to the foundation 
on which many, if not all, of the subsequent arrangements 
of the Natural History of Birds have been built, it may be 
useful to place an Epitome of it before the reader, premising, 
that no artificial arrangement which has hitherto been made 
public, how ingenious soever it be, will correspond exactly 
with that which is found in Nature; but, that some arrange- 
ment is nevertheless useful to facilitate this pleasing study, 
will, it is presumed, be universally admitted. 

The following are the Ordeks, Genera, and the Number 
of the Species, described by Linnaeus. 






These have hooked bills, the superior mandible near the base 
being extended on each side beyond the inferior ; and, in some, 
it is armed with teeth. 


1 Yultur. 

2 Falco. 

English Number 
Names, of Species. 
Vulture, Condor,8 
Ea»le, Falcon, 

C Ea»le, Fak 
\ Hawk, K 
(_ &c. 


3 Stiix. 

4 Lanius 


English Number 
Names, of Species. 
Owl - 12 
Shrike, Butch- 
er Bird, &c. 26 



Pic^e. Pies. 

These have a compressed bill resembling a knife. 
* Pedibus ambulatoriis — with feet formed for walking. 

rr, i ., i Humming- 
Troclnlus.' Bird * ^ 

Creeper, 25 
Hoopoe, 3 
Beef-eater, 1 
Nuthatch, 3 
Oriole - 20 


6 Certhia. 

7 Upupa. 

8 Buphaga. 

9 Sitta. 
10 Oriolus. 

11 Coracias. 

12 Gracula. 

13 Corvus. 


C Raven, Rook, 
-? Crow,Mag- 
(^ pie, &c. 19 

14Paradisea '{ B radi^ P - a " 3 

■* Pedibus Scansoriis — with climbing feet. 

16 Trogon. 

19 Picus. 

15 Ramphastos. Toucan - 8 
$ Cnrucui,Eng- 
( lish Lady, 3 

17 Psittacus. Parrot - 47 

18 Crotophaga.Ani - 2 

* * * Pedibus gressoriis — with feet formed for leaping. 

23 Buceros. Horn-bill, 4 I 25 Merops. Bee-eater, 

24 Alcedo. King-fisher, 15 | 26 Todus. Tody 

20 Yunx. 

21 Cuculus. 

22 Bucco. 

Wryneek, 1 
Cuckoo - 22 
Barbet - 1 


Anseres. Geese. . 

These have a smooth bill, broadest at the point, covered with 
a smooth skin, and furnished with teeth; the tongue is fleshy, 
and the toes are palmated or webbed. 



* Rostro denticulato — ivith a toothed bill. 


27 Anas. 

28 Mergus. 

English Number 

Names, of Species. 

$ Duck, Goose, 

X Swan, &c. 45 

Merganser, 6 


29 Phaeton. 

30 Plotits. 

English Number 

Nam es. of Sp ccies. 

- Tropic Bird, 2 

Darter - 1 

* * Rostro edeniulo — with a toothless bill. 

31 Rhynchops. Skimmer, 2 

32 Diomedea. Albatross, 2 

33 Alca. Auk - 5 

34 Procellaria. Petrel - 6 

C Pelican,Cor- 

35 Pelecanus.< niorant,Gan- 

C net, &c. 8 

36 Lams. 

37 Sterna. 

38 Colymbus. 

Gull - 11 
Tern - 7 
&c. - 11 


Grall^e. Waders. 

These have a somewhat cylindrical bill ; the tail is short, and 
the thighs naked ; many of this tribe are distinguished by long 
legs and long bills. 

* Pedibus tetradacty lis— feet with four toes. 


39 Phoenicop- ) _., 

terns 5 

40 Platalea. Spoonbill, 

41 Palamedea. Screamer, 

42 Mjcteria. Jabiru 

43 Tantalus. Ibis 

44 Ardea. 

45 Recnrvi- 


C Crane, He- 
( ron, Stork, 
t Bittern,&c.26 

>Avoset . 1 

C Curlew, Wood- 
46 Scolopax. < cock,Snipe, 
(_ &c. - 18 
C Sandpiper, 
< Lapwing, 
t &c. . 23 
f Coot, Galli- 
\ nule, &c. 7 

49 Parra. Jacana - 5 

50 Rallus. Rail - 10 

51 Psophia. Trumpeter, 1 

47 Tringa, 

48 Fulica. 

52 Cancroma. Boatbill - 2 

* * Pedibus cursoriis tridactylis — with feet formed for running, — 

three toed. 

53 Haemat- } $ OysterCatch- 

opus. $ I er - 1 

54 Otis. Bustard - 4 56 Struthio. 

e~ nu a • S Plover,Dot- 
5o Charadnus. < . , \ 

I terel, &c. 12 

Ostrich - 3 


Galling. Gallinaceous Birds. 

These have a convex bill ; the superior mandible is vaulted 
over the inferior ; the nostrils are half covered with a convex 



cartilaginous membrane; the feet are divided, but connected 
at the inmost joint. 

57 Didus. . 
53 Pavo. 

59 Meleagris. 

60 Crax. 

61 Numida. 

English Number 
Names, of Species 
Dodo - 1 
Peacock, 3 
Turkey - 3 
Curacoa, 5 
Guinea Hen. 1 



62 Phasianus. 

English Number 
Names, of Species. 
I Pheasant, 
&c. - 6 


C Partridge, 
63 Tetrao. \ Grouse,QuaiI, 
(_ &c. - 20 


Passeres. Sparrows. 

These have a conical sha'rp pointed bill ; the nostrils are oval, 
wide, and naked. 

* Crassirostres — with thick bills. 

65 Fringilla 

Finch, Ca- 
nary Bird, 

C. &c - 39 

** Curvirostres — with curved bills. 

6i Loxia. 


66 Emberiza. J B "" tiD -' 0r - 

£ tolan, die, 24 

67 Caprimul-C ^ „«.c i „ a I ao et: a~ f SwalIow,Mar- 
gas. I Goat Sucker, 2 68 Hirundo. J ^ g ^ ^ 

I 69 Pipra. Manakin, 13 

* * * Emarginatirostres — with emurginaied bills. 

70 Turdus. . < 

'Thrush, Black- 
bird, Field- . 
fare, &c. 28 

71 Ampelis. 

72 Tanagra. 

73 Mnscicapa 






* * 

* * Simplicirostr 

es — with simple 


74 Motacilla. „ 

" Warbler, 
| Nightingale, 
1 Redbreast, 
* &c. - 49 

75 Parus. 

76 Alauda. 

77 Sturnus. 

78 Columba. 


Starling - 
Pigeon - 





The generic characters of Birds are taken from the 
peculiarities in the bill, the nostrils, the tongue, the feet, the 
feathers, the face, the figure of the body, 8cc. 

The specific characters are very various ; they consist 
in the colour of the particular feathers, or parts of feathers; 
crests of feathers on the head disposed in different manners; 
the colour of the cere or wax; the colour of the feet; the 


shape and length of the tail ; the number, situation, &e. of 
the toes; the colour and figure of the bill, &,c. 

The varieties of the same species are still farther dis- 
tinguished by more minute and slighter shades of difference. 
The limits to which I am restricted will not permit 
me to name all the species which are arranged under each 
genus of the preceding orders ; but an account of the most 
striking species of each genus, as well as of those in the ad- 
ditional genera of Dr. Latham, will be, nevertheless, found 
in the subsequent Notes, so that it is hoped nothing of 
importance in the Natural History of Birds has been 

It will now be necessary that we should advert to some 
other arrangements. 

Mr. Pennant classed Birds, first, into two grand divi- 
sions — Land-Birds and Water-Birds. These he again 
divided into nine orders, of which the Land-Birds formed 
six, — namely, Rapacious ; Pies ; Gallinaceous ; Colum- 
bine ; Passerine; Struthious. The Water-Birds three, 
— namely, Clove-Footed or Waders; Pinnated Feet •; 
and Web footed. 

The number of genera in the Linnean arrangement is 
seventy-eight ; of Mr. Pennant's, ninety-five ; of Dr. 
Latham's, in the last edition of Lis work, 112*. 

The system of Brisson is apparently, at least, more scien- 
tific than any of the preceding ; the divisions are more nu- 
merous, and, therefore, less liable to exceptions. His first 

* General History of Birds, by John Latham, m.d. &c. &c, 
iD ten volumes, 4to. with nearly two hundred plates. This intelli- 
gent and venerable naturalist resides at Winchester : his work 
has been for many years before the public; it has undergone, 
from time to time, considerable improvement. 


divisions are two, — namely, Cloven-footed and Web- 
footed. The first of these he divides into seventeen orders, 
and eighty-five genera ; the second into nine orders and 
twenty-eight genera. This system does not, however, seem 
to have obtained much attention ; yet the number of the 
genera nearly coincides with that of Dr. Latham, who ap* 
pears to have followed and improved upon Mr. Pennant's 
arrangement. His divisions and orders are similar in name 
and number to those of Mr. Pennant ; but he, nevertheless, 
differs from him in many particulars ; his genera are also 
more numerous. The whole number of birds enumerated 
by Linnaeus specifically, is only 930, while those described 
by Dr. Latham in his recently published work amount to 
about 5000! And future discoveries must necessarily in- 
crease them. 

But it should be observed, that although Dr. Latham has 
added to the numler of the genera; this addition arises in 
part from his dividing some of the genera of into 
two or more. Thus the genus Motacilla or Warbler, he 
has divided into Motacilla or Wagtail, and Sylvia or 
Warbler ; Tetrao or Partridge he has divided into three, 
namely, Tinamus or Tinamou, Tetrao or Grouse, and 
Perdix or Partridge; Struthio he has also divided into 
four,— Struthio or African Ostrich, Casuarius or Casso- 
wary, Didus or Dodo, and Rhea or American Ostrich ; 
he has also divided the Snipe, Scolopax, from the Curlew, 
which he calls Numenius ; he has, again, erected the Grebe, 
Podiceps, the Gallinule, Gallinula, and the Guillemot, 
Uria, into separate genera; he has also separated the 
Phalarope, Phalaropus, from Tringa or Lapwing, &c. 
Besides which, he has added other new genera, as will be 
seen on reference to the following synopsis of his work. 

In justice to Dr. Latham it ought to be stated, that there 


lias been latterly evinced, among our ornithologists, a dispo-* 
sition to follow his alterations, which seem more consonant 
with the natural arrangement that it should be our 
aim to discover and to exhibit. Whether the Quinary 
system, hereafter to be noticed, will ultimately supersede all 
other arrangements, remains yet to be seen. As, however, 
the work of Dr. Latham is one of the most voiuminious and 
valuable that has ever been published on ornithology, and as 
every student who desires to be deeply imbued with a know- 
ledge of the science ought to consult it, a list of all the 
names of the genera, and of the number of the species de- 
scribed under each genus in that work, is here presented to 
the reader in one view. 


The Latin names of the Genera, are supplied, in part, 
from the Index Ornithologicus of Dr. Latham, and the 
remainder from private information, kindly communicated 
by Dr. L., from his MS. copy of a new edition of the 
index not jet published. 


Aves Terrestres. Land Birds. 


Accipitres or Rapacious. 
Bill incurvated, the upper mandible hooked, with an inden- 
tation near the tip ; Nostrils, for the most part, open ; Feet 
made for perching, strong, short ; Body, Head, and Neck, 
muscular; Skin thick; Flesh impure; Food obtained by 
rapine or preying on carrion ; Nest built on trees or elevated 



places; Eggs generally four in number: Female larger: 


1 Vultur. 

2 Falco. 


Number of 



Number of 



3 Strix. Owl - 83 

4 Secretarius. Secretary, 1 


Pice. Pies. 

Bill sharp edged, upper mandible convex : Feet made for 
walking; sir rt, strong: Body somewhat tenacious; Flesh 
impure : Food various : Nest on trees : the male feeds the fe- 
male while sitting : monogamous. 

* With legs made for walking. 

Shrike, 122 "19 Paradi- ) $ Paradisea 

5 I Bird, 

5 Lanius. 

11 Buphaga. Beef Eater, 2 

13 Muso- } S Plaintain 
phaga. 5 \ Eater, - 2 

14 Calloeas. Wattle Bird, 1 

15 Corvus. Crow, 

16 Coraeias. Roller, 
1? Oriolus. Oriole, 
18 Gracula. Grakle. 





30 Sitta. 

32 Upupa. Hoopoe, 

34 Anthopha- ) $ Honey 
gus. * 5 I Eater. 

35 Certhia. Creeper, 

<*c w\ fi „ S Humming 

36 iroclulus. < „. , s 
( Bird, 

With climbing feet. 










21 Bucco. Barbet, 

22 Pogonius. Barbican, 
C Z3 Polophilus.Coucal, 
24 Phoenico- 

6 Psittacus. Parrot, - 

7 Ramphas- ) ^ 

. r > 1 oucan, 
tos. 5 

8 Momotus. Motmot, 

n (, ,, i Channel 

9 Scythrops, J g.^ 

12Croto P ha-5 Ani ' _ 

ga. ( 

20 Trogon. Curucui, 

* * * Feet made for leaping. 
10 Buceros. Horn-bill, 27 j 31 Todns. 
29 Aicedo. King's-fisher, 60 | 33 Merops. 





25 Cucnlus. 

26 Yunx, 
C Z7 Picus. 
28 Galbula. 


Cuckoo, - 8 
Wryneck, i 

Woodpecker, 91 
Jacamar, 5 

Tody, - 



Passeres. Passerine. 

Bill conic-acuminated : Feet salient, slender, cloven : 

Body tender : in those which are granivorous the flesh is pure, 

in others, feeding on insects, impure : Food obtained from trees, 

D 3 



45 Phytoto- > p lant . cutterj 9 

as seeds, or insects: Nest curiously constructed : the Taow 
put into the mouth of the young by the parents : monogamous ; 
many of these are songsters. 

* With thick bills. 

41 Loxia. Grosbeak, 121 

42 Emberiza. Bunting, 82 
44 Fringilla. Finch, - 150 , 

* * With curved bills, the upper mandible bent at the lip. 

40 Colius. Coly, - 11 
50 Pipra. Manakin, 43 

52 Hirundo. Swallow, 66 , 

With bills, having the upper mandible emarginated at the top. 


33 Capiimul-)^ . t ._ 
** >Goat-sueker,40 

gus. y 

38 Turdu*. 

39 Ampelis. 

* * * * 

37 Sturnus. 
47 Alauda. 


234 43 Tanagra. Tanager, 61 
28 46 Muscicapa. Fly-catcher,177 

Simple-billed, bill strait, integral, attenuated. 

Starling, 37 
Lark, - 55 
48 Motacilla. Wagtail, 25 

49 Sylvia. 
51 Parus. 

Warbler, 298 
Titmouse, 38 


Columba. Pigeon or Columbine. 

Bill rather strait, swelling at the base; Feet formed for 
walking-, short ; Nails simple ; Body plump ; Flesh savoury; 
Food grass, fruits, and seeds, swallowed whole; Nest ill con- 
structed, placed in trees, hollows of rocks, &c. ; Eggs two 
in number ; the mother feeds the young with grain made soft in 
the crop, and ejected into their mouths ; monogamous. 
54 Columba. Pigeon, 136 


Galling. Gallinaceous. 

Bill convex, the upper mandible arched over the lower, 
having a convex cartilaginous membrane over the nostrils ; 
Feet made for walking; Tots rough beneath; Body plump, 
muscular ; Flesh savoury ; Food grain of all kinds, collected 
from the ground and macerated in the crop; Nest made on 
the bare ground without art ; Eggs numerous; the young as 


soon as hatched, take of themselves the food pointed out by the 
parents; polygamous. 

* With four toes. 

55 Pavo. Peacock, 7 j 61 Phasianus. Pheasant, 24 

56 Mdeagris. Turkey, - 2 62 Tinamus. Tinamou, 15 

57 Penelope. Guan, - 11 j 63 Tetrao. Grouse, - 27 

58 Numida. Pintado, - 4 64 Perdix. Partridge, 91 

59 Crax. Curafoa, - 8 65 Psophia. Trumpeter, 5 

60 Menura. Menura, - 1 j 

* * With three toes. 

66 Otis. Bustard, 17 


Struthiones. Struthious. 

Bill snhconic, strait, tip various ; Body shapeless, ponder- 
ous, scarcely edible; Wings small, useless for flight, or none 
visible ; Feet made for running, strong ; Toes various in num- 
ber; Food grain and vegetables ; Nest on the ground ; mo- 

* With four toes. 

67 Didus. Dodo, - 3 

* * With three toes placed forwards. 

68 Rhea. Emeu, - 1 J 69 Casuarius. Cassowary, 3 

* * * With two toes placed forwards. 
70 Struthio. Black Ostrich, 1 


Aves Aquatics. Water Birds. 


Grall^e. Waders. 

With cloven feet. 
Bill sub-cylindric ; Feet cloven; Thighs half naked; 
Body compressed; Skin very tender; Tail short; Flesh 
savoury ; Food in marshy places, fish, marine insects, mollusca, 
&c; Nest chiefly on land, sometimes on trees ; mode of pair- 
ing various. 



f With four toes. 

71 Platalea. Spoonbill, 5 

72 Palamedea Screamer, 2 
72* Cariania. Cariama, - 1 

73 Mycteria. Jabira, - 6 

74 Cancroma. Boat-bill, 1 

75 Scopus. Umbre, - 1 

76 Ardea. Heron, - 3 

77 Erodia. Erody, - 3 

78 Tantalus. Ibis, - 32 

79 Numenius. Curlew, 15 

80 Scolopax. Snipe, - 56 

81 Tringa. Sand-piper, 76 

85 Glareola. Pratincole, 7 

86 Ralius. Rail, - 27 

87 Parra. Jacana, - 11 

88 Gallinoula. Gallinule, 41 

89 Vaginalis. Sheath-bill, 1 

90 Cereopsis. Cereopsis, 1 

With three toes placed forwards. 

82 Charadrius. Plover, - 44 

83 Cursorius. Courser, - 4 

84 Hcemator- > $ Oyster- 
pus. S \ catcher, 



Waders with Pinnated 

Bill, Body, and Food, as in the former ; Feet made for 
wading, naked more or less above the knees ; Toes cloven, but 
uinnated or webbed the whole of their length ; Nest large, ef 
leaves, grass, or water plants, in moist grounds, and often close 
to the wafer; monogamous. 

91 Phalaro- > ™ , 

pus. \ P^'ope, 

92 Pteropus. Fin-foot, - 

93 Fulica. Coot, 

94 Podiceps. Grebe, 




Palmipedes. Web-footed. 

Pedibus longioribus, With long legs. 

Bill various ; Body rather depressed, conic; the Flesh of 
the young savoury ; Legs very long, made for wading ; Thighs 
naked the greater part of the length ; Toes furnishel half way 
with a membrane; Food obtained from the water, as small 
fish and insects; Nest placed on the ground ; monogamous. 

95 Recurvi- ) . . t 

> Avoset, - 4 
rostra. $ 

96 Corrira. Courier, - 1 

Pedibus brevioribuSf With short leg's. 

, Bill smooth, covered with a skin enlarged at the base ; 
Feet made for swimming ; Shins short, compressed ; the Toes 

97 Phoenicop- > nJ 

terns. 5 Hamin S ' 


united by a membrane; Body fat; Skin tenacious, covered 
with excellent feathers; Flesh, for the most part, savoury; 
Food water-plants, fishes, reptiles; Nest chiefly on the ground, 
seldom on trees; the mother rarely broods the young ; for the 
most part, polygamous. 

93 Diome- ) * >i , A 

^ > Albatross, 4 
dea. 5 

99 Alca. Auk, - 13 

100 Uria. Guillemot, 6 

101 Colymbus, Diver. - 9 

<>i.» n 1 i Skimmer, 1 
chops. ) 

103 Sterna. Tern, - 46 

104 Larus. Gull, - 27 

105 Piocellaria Petrel, - 30 

106 Mergus. Merganser, .5 

107 Anas. Duck, 145 

108 Apten- ) „. . . a 

f . > Pmgum, - la 
odytes. 5 

109 Pelecanus. Pelican, 39 

110 Phaeton. Tropic Bird, 4 

111 Plotus. Darter, - 5 

It may be here useful to the student to observe, that in 
the preceding arrangements, the Orders and Genera have 
but one name for each, respectively • as, for example, 
Accipitres or the Hawks, and Falco or the Falcon genus. 
Naturalists have, however, found it extremely convenient, 
in describing the Species of each genus, to give the generic 
and the specific name together, in order to that correctness 
of identification, without which our science would be vague. 

Thus, to distinguish the Golden Eagle from others of the 
same genus, but specifically different, it is called Falco 
Chrysceetos, and so of all the rest of the tribe of Birds. This, 
at first sight, might seem a cumbrous nomenclature, but, if 
it be examined without prejudice, its utility will be, it is 
presumed, apparent. Indeed, in our Common Nomenclature 
of Birds, we have adopted, in part, a similar, yet by no 
means so accurate, a method : thus we have the House 
Sparrow and Hedge Sparrow, the Wcodlarh and Titlark, 
the Water Rail and Land Rail, Src fyc. Some additional 
observations relative to this subject will be found in the 
Preface, which see. 

Having adverted to several systematic arrangements of 


ornithology, it is quite necessary, in an elementary sketch 
like the present, to notice one still more recently promul- 
gated by Nicholas Aylward Vigors, Esq. m.a. and f.l.s., 
in a paper by him in the third part of the 14th volume of 
the Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, entitled, 
" Observations on the Natural Affinities that connect the Orders 
and Families of Birds;" and also in several explanatory 
papers since published in the Zoological Journal ; as well as 
in his Lectures at the Zoological Society, of which he is, 
at once, the efficient and learned Secretary. 

In the first paper, Mr. Vigors, in allowing to our conti- 
nental neighbours the chief merit of improving the science 
of Zoology, observes, " that Great Britain has made ample 
amends for the tardy adoption of the more philosophical views 
of the science in the masterly use to which she applied them 
when once adopted, and the rapid strides by which she at 
once, as it were, outstripped all previous research. It has 
been reserved for one of her sons (Mr. W. S. Mac Leay)* 
to throw a new light upon the sphere of animated nature, 
aud to bring to view a principle that pervades all her works, 
as beautiful as it is comprehensive. * In the year 1819, the 
enlightened author of Hora Entomologies (Mr. Mac Leay) 
first called the attention of the lovers of the science to a 
principle which he discovered in a minute group of insects, 
and which, with a comprehensiveness of mind, and an accu- 
racy of execution seldom united in an individual, he subse- 
quently followed up through the whole range of animal life." 

Mr. Vigors then refers "to the great revolution which 
the publication of these principles has effected in Zoology. 
The system which has been traced out with so much success, 
by the author of Horce Entomologies, prevails in none more 
conspicuously than in those of ornithology." 

It appears that this new system depends upon what has 


been called the Quinary arrangement of Nature. And if- ft 
shall indeed be found, upon subsequent and more extensive 
investigation, that this arrangement exists absolutely in na- 
ture, the discovery of it will be of infinite importance in all 
our Zoological researches. 

In accordance with these principles, Mr. Vigors proposes 
to ai range the Birds in groups of fives, thus: 

Pedibus conslringentibus. C Raptor es or Birds of Fret. 
Birds endowed with feet form < Insessores or Perching 
ed for grasping. 1_ Birds. 

r Rasores or Gallinaceous 

Pedibus baud constrinzentibus. \ ,, ' , T . r 

,,. , , , ... 5 . ■ j Grallatores or Wadi\g 
Biros endowed \\\\\\ teel iuca-< „ 

, . r. • * \ Birds. 

uable Oi grasping.* 3 >~ T1 r 

F » u t s # Natatores or Web-footed 

^ Birds. 

To understand more easily this arrangement, two dia- 
grams (from Mr. Vigors' paper) are subjoined ; one of the 
above families, and another of one of the subdivisions into 
which Mr. Tigors proposes to arrange Birds. The six 
primary orders of Linnaeus are by Mr. Vigors converted 
into five, by placing the Pice and Passeres together. 
This has been done, as it appears, in accordance w ilh na- 
ture ; but ?\Ir. Vigors quotes Cuvier as countenancing 
Ihis arrangement. " Malgre tous mes efforts," says this 
celebrated naturalist, " il m'a ete impossible de trouver, 
ni a Texterieur, ni a 1'interieur aucun caractere propre a 
separer des passereaux ceux des genres compris parmi les 
Piece de Linnaeus qui ne sont pas grimpeurs." 

It will not be convenient to enter into minute details of 
this arrangement here ; those who desire more information 

* Although this is the general character of this division, yet 
there will be found in it many exceptions. Some of the Ra- 
sores, as well as Grallatores, perch, and consequently 


concerning it will, of course, consult Mr. Mac Leay, and 
the learned and luminous papers of Mr. Vigors before 
mentioned. It may, however, be necessary to premise in 
reference to the first diagram, that one of the families, 
the Raptores, is still incomplete; this future inquiry may 
probably fill up. It may also be mentioned here as a 
singular coincidence, that Mrs. Barbauld, in a poem 
written many years ago, expressly alludes to a quinary ar- 
rangement of Birds in the following lines : 

41 Who the various nations can declare 
That plough with busy whig the peopled air ? 
These cleave the crumbling bark for insect foad^Insessores.) 
Those dip the crooked beak in kindred blood ; (Raptores.) 
Some haunt the rushy moor, the lonely woods ;(Grullatores.) 
Some bathe their silver plumage in the floods ; (Natatores.) 
Some fly to man, his household gods implore, (Rasores.) 
And gather round his hospitable door, 
Wait tiie known call, and find protection there, 
From all the lesser tyrants of the air." 

By this arrangement, the first division of the whole family 
of Birds, consisting of Insessores, Raptores, Rasores, 
Grallatores, and Natatores, might be considered as 
Classes, the division of each of which into five might constitute 
Orders ; and the division of each of these again into five 
might constitute the Genera. So that, if the Raptores should, 
by subsequent discovery, be completed, the Classes, according 
to this arrangement, will be five; the Orders twenty-five ; 
and the Genera, one hundred and twenty-five. 

It appears, however, thatMR. Vigors thinks, by his observa- 
tions in his Lectures at the Zoological Society, the quinary 
system is applicable to the more minute subdivisions of nature, 
and that the genera and species, &c. will be found to correspond 
in similar and continuous subdivision. 



The Arrangement of Birds 
Proposed by Nicholas Aylw.ard Vigors, Esq. a.m. f.l.s. 

Mr, Vigors divides the Fcdconidce into five sub-families, thus: 

Aquilina or the Eagle Tribe. 

Accipitrhia or the Hawk Triee. 

Falconina or the Falcon Tribe. 

Buteonina or the Buzzard Tribe. 

Milvina or the Kite Tribe. 
The whole of the Imsessors as in the following diagram. 


Arrangement of the Perchers by Mr. Vigors. 

These he again subdivides into jives; among which we find, 
as sub-families, Merulina or the Thrush Tribe; Oriolina or 
the Oriole Trjbe; Sylviana or the Warbler Tribe; 
Alaudina or the Lark Tribe, &c. &c. 

The following is the arrangement of the Insessores, or 
Perchers, according to Mr. Mac Leay's plan of exhibiting 
a series of affinities. 


Normal Group. 
Rostri pedisque structurainagis i Den tiros ties. 


perfects. ( Conirostres. 

Aberrant Group. r c 

Rostri pedisque structura minus \ 5, can ^ oies< ' 

perfecta. > Tenuirostres. 

r (_ I issirostres. 

Mr. Vigors then divides the Fissirostres, as will be 
seen in the last diagram, as follows: — Meropidce ; Hirun- 
dinidce ; Caprimulgidce ; Todidce ; Haley onidce. 

And he adds, " the families which compose this tribe are 
distinguished from those of all the others, except the 
Tenuirostres, by their habit of feeding on the wing. From 
the latter, or suctorial birds, which meet them at one of the 
extremes of the tribe, and of which the typical families 
feed also on the wing, they are distinguished by their 
animal food, which they take by their bills or in the gape 
of their mouths ; while the Tenuirostres live chiefly upon 
vegetable j uices, which they extract with their tongue. The 
Fissirostres, depending so much on the powers of their wings, 
exhibit a proportional deficiency in the strength of their legs." 

There will not be much difficulty in converting the 
terms proposed by Mr. Vigors (whose scientific tact 
has been, in this respect, peculiarly and very happily exem- 
plified) into English ones ; a consideration to those who are 
concerned in the introduction of a new nomenclature of the 
first importance. Thus, of the five CLASSES, the Raptores 
might be Rap'tors ; Insessores, Inses'sors ; Rasores, 
Ra'sors ; Grallatores, Grall a' tors ; Natatores, Nat a'tors. 
The Quinary subdivisions or orders composing the Raptors, 
may be Fal'comds, Vui/turids, Stri'gids, ; the 

Insessors, Den'ttrosts, Con'irosts, Fis'sirosts, Tenu'i- 
rosts, and Scan'sors ; the Rasors, Colum'bids, Pha- 
sian'ids, Cra'cids, Tetraon'ids, and Struthion'ids ; tire 
Grallators, Charad'riads, Gru'ids, Ar'deids, Ral'lids, 


and Scolopa'cids ; the Naiators, Lar'ids, Pelecak'ids, 
Anat'ids, Al'cads, and Colym'bids, And, again, the genera 
composing the Fissirosts may be Mer'opids, Hirun'dinids, 
Caprimul'gids, To'dids, and Halcyon'ids, and so also of 
all the other genera. The singular of any of the preceding 
-will of course be formed by the simple omission of the s. 
Thus, should this new nomenclature very generally pre- 
vail, it might ultimately supersede all other arrangements, 
and obviate, in some degree at least, the difficulties which 
present themselves to a beginner in the study of this branch 
of Natural History. We could proceed even farther in 
the use of the preceding terms : the minor might become 
an adjective to Ihe major: and Vulturid Raptor, Dentirost 
Insessor, Phasianid Rasor, Scansor Insessor, or Cuculid 
Scansor, fyc. may be aptly applied, and would convey at 
once the generic and ordinal, or ordinal and classic con- 
nection, mutatis mutandis. 

It may be observed here as a curious fact, that by far the 
greater number of the Pie and Sparrow tribe in this 
country, and perhaps elsewhere, generally lay five eggs ; 
the Rook, the Crow, the Hedge-sparrow, Goldfinch, Black- 
bird, Thrush, fyc. fyc. Those who are advocates of the 
Quinary arrangement will doubtless advance this in cor- 
roboration of the system. 

These then are the chief arrangements which offer as 
most worthy of notice in the study of the Natural History 
of Birds. It is greatly to be lamented that no one system 
has yet appeared which, by its utility and simplicity, pro- 
mises to supersede all others. It is however very probable 
that the primary arrangements proposed by Mr. Vigors will 
ultimately prevail; but ingenious as those arrangements 
are, in an elementary work, like the present, it does not be- 
come me to adopt them to the exclusion of others which 


have yet considerable hold of the public mind. I must 
content myself with exhibiting, I hope, a faithful sketch 
of the science as it actually exists, rather than of, what I 
could wish it to be. 

I take leave of this part of my subject by cautioning the 
student not to attribute too much importance to any system 
of ornithology ; against devoting too much attention to the 
means instead of the end, which, of course, is the acquisition 
of the knowledge of the forms, colours, habits, songs, and man- 
ners, of Birds ; and lest, in so doing, he should incur the 
censure of St. Pierre, " Nos ornithologistes, enchaines par 
leur methcdes, ne songent qu" a grossir leur catalogue, et ne 
conoissent, dans les oiseaux, que les pattes et le bee. Ce nest 
point dans les nids qu* ils les observent, mais d, la chasse et 
dans leur gibeciere* 

From the limits to which I am confined, it will be quite 
impossible to enter into a minute description of the anatomy 
of Birds; but it may be observed generally, that their 
different structures admirably correspond to the very differ- 
ent functions for which they are adapted. The palmate 
feet of the Water-birds enabling them to move on and in 
that element with dexterity ; the wings of many of the land 
Birds, particularly of the Eagle, the Pigeon, and Swallow, 
enabling them to take swift and long flights with the 
greatest ease; while again, those whose chief characteristic 
is running, such as the Ostrich or struthious tribe, have their 
legs and feet well adapted for such purposes, their wings 
being comparatively of little use. While others again, such 
as many of the Waders, and some of the Perchers, both fly 
and run with considerable speed. 

One of the chief characteristics of Birds is, of course, the 

Etudes Oe la Nature, torn, iii., page 506, Hamburgh edit. 1797, 



covering of Feathers. Of these there are three kinds, — 
the Dou;n, most abundant in the aquatic tribes, particularly 
the Duck, Goose, Eider Duck, fyc. ; — the small feathers, 
which fall over each other like the tiles of a roof, and thus 
conduct away the water; — and the quills; these last form 
the wings and the tail, the largest of which, in the wings 
are called primary, and are usually about eight or ten in 
number; the smaller are termed secondary ; and the smallest, 
by some naturalists, are called tertial. From the first kind, 
the primaries, most of our writing pens are obtained ; and, it 
may be mentioned, that these vary much in their shape and 
size, so that those conversant with the quills of Birds, ge- 
nerally know and esteem the third quill for a writing pen as 
the best ; it being one of the longest and largest. 

The feathers of birds are, in general, renewed annually ; 
the process of renewal, termed moulting, takes place, it is 
said, generally during the autumn and winter; and, by the 
return of spring it is completed, and the plumage looks 
fresh and beautiful. It is also in some birds considerably 
altered in colour at certain seasons, particularly that in 
which the operation of procreation fakes place ; so that, 
without an acquaintance with the fact, the birds would not 
at such times be at all recognized as the same seen at 
another season; and, generally, it maybe stated that the 
plumage of all birds, in European climates at least, is most 
vivid, intense, and striking, in the spring, as if nature de- 
signed that the season of love should be that in which health, 
vigor, and beauty, may at once predominate. 

Some of the annually migratory birds, such as the Night- 
ingale t Mr. Sweet informs me, moult twice in the year, 
namely, in spring and autumn : the reason for this would 
seem to be, that as such birds take, most probably, long 
flights, both at their eomiug and departure, their feathers 


are then in the best condition for such journics. But on 
this subject, as well as on numerous others in Natural 
History, we want a record of more observed facts relative 
to Birds in their Natural State. 

The moulting season, however, of Wild Ducks, Wild 
Geese, Teals, Widgeons, and other water fowl, seems to be, 
by an act of parliament relative to these Birds, (10 G. 2, c. 
32,) from June 1 to October 1 ; and, certainly, it appears 
more natural and agreeable to the bird that its feathers 
should be shed when the weather is warm than at any other 
period. The time in which this process takes place may be, 
and frequently is, considerably altered by art and do- 

Birds are sometimes, during this natural process, very 
much indisposed ; at least those in confinement are so. 
The bird-catchers of London have a method of producing 
an artificial moulting of Birds, by shutting them up in a 
dark cage for a month, with little or no food, closely wrapt 
up in woollen, allowing their dung to remain to increase 
the heat. This process is called stopping. By it, 1 un- 
derstand, many a suffering bird is destroyed ; but, it is said, 
the song and plumage of those who survive are much im- 
proved by the operation. Words are inadequate to desig- 
nate the cruelty and folly of such practice. 

As connected with the feathers of Birds, it may also be 
appropriate to observe here, that thej have a gland, or rather 
two glands, united by one excretory duct, on the rump, 
about which grows a small tuft of feathers somewhat like a 
painter's pencil. In these glands is secreted a mucous oil, 
which can be pressed out by the bill of the bird. Whenever 
therefore the feathers are discomposed, the bird, turning its 
head back v\ aid, catches hold of the glands with its bill, and 
forces out the oil, with which it anoints the feathers, and 



replaces them in due order. Domestic birds are not fur- 
nislied with so large a portion of this fluid as those which 
live, in the open air. The feathers of the former are pervious 
to every shower, while Swans, Geese, Ducks, and all those 
which live upon the water, have their feathers dressed with 
the oil from the first day of leaving the shell : where this oil 
abounds, it usually renders the bird rank, and sometimes 
very unpalatable as food. 

Thomson, in his Spring, thus alludes to this oleous 
unction : 

" Hush'd in short suspense, 
- The plumy people streak their wings with oil, 
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off, 
And wait the approaching sign to strike at once 
Into the general choir." 

These oleous glands become sometimes diseased and tu- 
mefied; the complaint is commonly denominated the Pip. 
Tt is generally remedied by a simple puncture, by which 
the collected fluid may be discharged. 

The Bones of birds vary in many particulars from those 
of the mammalia. The chief difference, however, is, 
that of the Sternum or breast-bone, which covers not 
only what is called, in the mammalia, the thoracic viscera, 
but also a considerable portion of the rest of the intestines. 
This bone, in all the birds which fly, is distinguished by a 
long ridge or keel, to which muscles may be and are at- 
tached, to facilitate their flight ; that this keel is for such 
purpose there can be no doubt, as in birds which do not fly, 
the Ostrich for instance, the keel in the sternum is altogether 
wanting. The cervical vertebrae are also much more nu- 
merous in birds than in the mammalia, arising, of course, 
from their greater length of neck. And the rings in the 


Trachea, which in man do not amount to twenty, in the 
Ostrich lately dissected at the Zoological Society, it was 
about four feet long, and the rings in it were more than two 
hundred. The sternum in the Ostrich is not only without 
the keel, but it is exceedingly small when compared to its 
size in that of other Birds. 

Although Birds have only two legs, yet the bones of their 
wings, when examined anatomically, correspond in a grea 
degree with the fore limbs of many of the mammalia. It is 
chiefly in their use and covering that they differ from qua- 
drupeds and man. But the bones of Birds differ in another 
particular, namely, they are most of them hollow, and have 
communication with the air cells in their bodies, by which 
they are rendered more buoyant. 

Birds have no external ears, a few of the Owl tribe ex- 
cepted, although their organs of hearing are, beyond question, 
acute, as their various notes and modulations of sound 
sufficiently evince. It has, however, been supposed, that 
they have no idea of harmony, as they never sing in concert; 
they nevertheless imitate sounds with great facility ; so much 
so, indeed, that Mr. Barrington (see below,) thinks all the 
notes of song birds are imitations. It is chiefly, I appre- 
hend, on this sense, and on that of sight, that birds depend 
for their safety and preservation. The touch, taste, and smell, 
being in the generality of the tribe of a secondary order. 

The organ of smell is said in the Gannet to be wanting; 
but, in most birds, there is no reason to think that the 
organ is absent ; yet, notwithstanding it has been generally 
supposed that this sense is active in the rapacious tribes, 
particularly the Vulture, some late observations seem dis- 
tinctly to show that, in the pursuit of his prey, the Vulture 
is guided by his sight rather than by his smell. Still there 
is reason to believe, that many of the rapacious tribe are 



assisted in discovering their prey by the sense of smell. See 
forwards an anecdote of the Eagle related by Mr. Brookes. 

While the touch, taste, and smell, of Birds generally, are 
certainly not of the first order, their sight is extremely 
acute. The Hawk, and others of the Falcon genus, can, at 
a considerable distance, discern an animal, a lark, or a 
mouse, upon the ground, and pounce upon it with celerity 
and certainty. 

Anatomists have, it is said, observed in the eye of Birds a 
particular expansion of the optic nerve, which renders the 
impression of visible objects more vivid and distinct. To 
protect the eye, and, perhaps, also to moderate its extreme 
sensibility, this organ is furnished in many birds with what 
is called a nictitating membrane, with which the bird can, 
at will, cover the pupil of the eye while the eyelids remain 
open ; and hence the Eagle, and some other birds, are 
enabled to bear, by the assistance of this covering, the 
strongest light of the sun. 

Birds have neither epiglottis, diaphragm, urinary bladder, 
nor scrotum. 

The lungs, which are two red, oblong, spongy bodies, 
attached in the thorax chiefly to the spinal column, are 
not divided into lobes ; they are covered with a membrane, 
or pleura, which communicates by many openings with 
large vesicles or air bags, that are dispersed over the ab- 
domen as well as the thorax. By these, birds can, at plea- 
sure, render their bodies more buoyant, and thus ascend to 
a considerable height, or skim along in the air with a celerity 
that far outstrips the swiftest steed. The cavity of the 
thorax of birds is much larger in proportion than that of 
other animals, much of which is not filled with the lungs, 
but with air. This, and the thin porous nature of their 
bones, many of which are filled with air instead of marrow, 


and in several instances communicate directly with the 
lungs, add, of course, to their facility of flight. Even the 
bones of the Ostrich, although this bird cannot fly, are 
hollow ; and he is also furnished with air vesicles similar 
to other birds, which, notwithstanding he cannot leave the 
earth, enable him, by the assistance of his powerful and 
muscular legs, to run with astonishing swiftness. Mr. 
Green informed us in his Lectures on the comparative ana- 
tomy of Birds at the College of Surgeons, (April, 1827,) that 
in young birds a medullary substance was often observable 
in the bones, but that, as they grew up to maturity, it be- 
came absorbed, and the bone empty. 

It may be stated, too, that the blood of Birds is generally 
of a brighter colour, and warmer, than that found in the 
mammalia, and that it circulates with much more rapidity. 
While the Horse has about forty pulsations in a minute, 
man from seventy to eighty, in Birds they vary from one hun- 
dred to one hundred and ten. From the extreme mobility 
and activity of Birds, it would seem that they are more 
highly oxygenated than other animals ; in addition to which 
it may be mentioned, that Birds consume more food in pro- 
portion to their size, in a given period, than any other race 
of animals. 

Perhaps, however, one of the most striking peculiarities 
in the anatomical structure of Birds is the stomach. In those 
whose food consists principally of grain and seeds, the 
stomach is cartilaginous, and covered with very strong mus- 
cles: in this state it is called a gizzard. This structure 
is necessary, in order that, by its strong action, the food 
should be comminuted ; but, besides this, birds with such 
stomachs pick up and swallow, occasionally, small gravel 
stones, which assist the process of comminution. In a state 
of nature, the quantity of gravel taken in is regulated, no 


doubt, by the sensation of the stomach ; but in domesticated 
animals this faculty is sometimes deranged. Young Ducks 
have been known to take so much gravel as to produce 

On the contrary to those Birds that are carnivorous or 
piscivorous, a membranaceous stomach is given, which 
more resembles that of carnivorous quadrupeds; the di- 
gestion of such Birds being more accelerated by the gastric 
juice than by the action of the stomach itself. 

Those Birds belonging to the first class digest or retain 
every substance taken in ; and those which eject or disgorge 
innutricious matter unavoidably taken in, such as feathers, 
fur, bones, &c. belong to the second class, conspicuous in the 
Eagle and Owl tribes, and those also that feed on fish. 
The innutricious matter, termed Castings, which is ejected 
by Eagles, Owls, &c. descends most probably no farther 
than the crop in which the nutritive from the innutritive 
portion of the food is separated. 

It ought also be mentioned, as a remarkable fact, that 
the rapacious birds seldom or never drink. Eagles, Hawks, 
and Owls, were kept by Colonel Montagu for years 
without tasting water. 

Besides the stomach, most Birds have a membranous 
sac, capable of considerable distension ; it is usually called 
a Crop, (by the scientific lngluvies,) into which the food 
first descends after being swallowed. This bag is very con- 
spicuous in the granivorous tribes immediately after 
eating. Its chief use seems to be to soften the food before 
it is admitted into the gizzard. In young fowls it becomes 
sometimes preternaturally distended, while the Bird pines 
for want of nourishment. This is produced by something in 
the crop, such as straw, or other obstructing matter, which 
prevents the descent of the food into the gizzard. In sucb 


a case, a longitudinal incision may be made in the crop, its 
contents removed, and, the incision being sewed up, the 
fowl will, in general, do well. 

Another curious fact relative to this subject was stated by 
Mr. Brookes, when lecturing on Birds at the Zoological 
Society, May 1827. He had an Eagle, which was at 
liberty in his garden : happening to lay two dead rats, 
which had been poisoned, under a pewter bason, to which 
the Eagle could have access, but who nevertheless did not 
see him place the rats under it, he was surprised to see, 
some time afterwards, the crop of the Bird considerably 
distended; and finding the rats abstracted from beneath the 
bason, he concluded that the Eagle had devoured them. 
Fearing the consequences, he lost no time in opening the 
crop, took out the rats, and sewed up the incision: the 
Eagle did well and is now alive. A proof this of the acute- 
ness of smell in the Eagle, and also of the facility and safety 
with which, even in grown Birds, the operation of opening 
the crop may be performed. 

The rapacious Birds, and some others not granivorous, have 
also crops, but they vary considerably in form, and, of 
course, in size. The crop of the Pigeon is peculiar, con- 
sisting of two divisions; the secretion in which, at certain 
times, is not less peculiar than its structure. It appears 
that, as soon as the young Birds are hatched, a whitish-ash- 
coloured fluid is there secreted, both in the male and fe- 
male, in abundance, with which they feed for some time the 
young before they feed them with grain ; so that, although 
Pigeon's milk would be considered a solecism, yet this fluid 
seems 1o be very much like milk in its properties. The 
Pigeon, when at maturity, is, perhaps, the most purely gra- 
nivorous of all the tribes of Birds. But many of the grani- 
vorous Birds feed their young with insects and worms. In- 


deed, there are very few Birds, generally esteemed grani- 
vorous, that are wholly so. The common Cock and Hen, 
although devouring much grain, devour also many worms 
and flies ; and, unquestionably, if left to themselves, would 
direct the attention of their young to sucli food. And 
although the chicken of the common hen will pick up and 
digest grain, yet, it may be stated, generally, that animal 
food is most suitable to very young birds. The reason for 
this is apparent : animal food most readily assimilates with 
the fluids of their bodies with the least efforts of the digestive 
powers. In this respect, therefore, birds do not differ very 
essentially from the mammalia. 

In connexion with this subject, it may be mentioned here, 
that, in most birds, the canal between the crop and gizzard 
enlarges considerably before it opens into the last-named re- 
ceptable : this enlargement is named the Proveniriculus ; 
its shape varies greatly in different birds ; but, in all, it con- 
tains numerous glands, in which is secreted an acid liquor 
that mixes with the food, and, doubtless, greatly assists the 
process of digestion ; and is of course analogous to, if not 
identically the same as, ihe gastric juice found in the stomach 
of the mammalia. 

The structure of the trachea of birds is also, particularly 
in those of the songsters, peculiar ; there being a larynx both 
at the top, or opening, into the mouth, and another at the 
bottom, just before the trachea separates into two divisions, 
to communicate with the right and left lung ; it is in the 
lower larynx that the chief arrangement is found by which 
those varieties and niceties in sound are produced, so 
beautifully exemplified in the notes of our singing birds, 
and for which it is so ingeniously and curiously 
adapted, but which it is not necessary here to describe. 
The trachea is also,, in some others of the tribe, pe- 


culiar in another respect. See the account of the Demoiselle 
Heron, note 23, Part I. 

The liver is largest in those birds whose respiratory organs 
are the least; hence Mr. Green, in his Lectures at the 
College of Surgeons before alluded to, conjectures that the 
office of that viscus, (not only in birds, but also in the mam- 
malia,) besides its known one of secreting the bile, is to 
effect some material change in the blood, and, thence, he 
considers it as a subsidiary or ventral lung. 

The absorbent vessels in birds arise from the villous coat 
of the intestines in a similar way to those in the mammalia. 
Here again, Mr. Green thinks, that they give out their 
contents to the blood not only by means of the thoracic duct, 
but also by many other communications which they have in 
different parts of the body with the veins.* 

There is no doubt, however, that the food as well as the 
natural habits of birds may be greatly altered by domestica- 
tion, as well as other causes ; when a corresponding change 
in the structure of the stomach may be presumed, and has been 
occasionally observed. Eagles have been supported wholly 
on bread. Mr. Southey informs me, that some lads having 
taken a young Owl in the neighbourhood of Keswick Lake, 
they fed him with fish, which he liked well and throve 
upon. Mr. Southey thinks this fact indicative of the same 
sympathy or kindred likings as those of the cat ; — both it is 
well known feed upon mice. The youths living beside the 
lake, and being fond of fishing, they could take small perch 

* This was mentioned by Mr. Green in his Lectures, 
chiefly for the purpose of exciting attention to the conjecture ; 
namely, that not only in birds, but also in man, the absorbents 
poor their contents into the blood by many other communications 
with it, besides that directly of the thoracic duct. 


in any quantity, and thus it happened that the Owl, for con- 
venience, was fed upon this diet. 

Besides such changes in their food produced by domesti- 
cation, other changes from the same cause may be occa- 
sionally observed. Some of the song birds will sing at night 
if placed in considerable light. This may be seen exempli- 
fied in some of the bird-shops of the metropolis, where, fre- 
quently, not only in the spring, but also in the month of 
November, (I have heard them on the 20th of this last 
month,) many of the song birds are as lively and harmonious 
at nine o'clock at night as in any part of the day. 

Birds, having no urinary bladder, as above stated, do 
not eject the fluid secreted in the kidneys, in the same way 
as the mammalia, they having no organ for such purpose. 
The kidneys in birds are considerably elongated, and much 
larger in proportion to their size than those in the mamma- 
lia j this enlarged size has been supposed necessary in con- 
sequence of there being little or no transpiration by the skin, 
much of the fluids which pass off by this process in the 
mammalia, passing off in birds, it is supposed, by means 
of the kidneys; but the secretion from these glands is dis- 
charged directly from them into the rectum, and thence 
ejected with the fasces, over which it may be seen, a 
whitish substance, that afterwards assumes a chalky appear- 
ance. The Ostrich has, however, it is said, a sort of 
urinary bladder. 

The manner in which birds sleep may also be noticed. 
The Pie and Sparrow tribe, denominated by Mr. Vigors 
Insessores or Perchers, usually sleep standing on one leg 
upon some tree, bush, or other elevation, with the head 
turned behind, and the bill thrust under the feathers on the 
back, or under the wing. Indeed, these appears to be the 
general habits of the whole race of birds in regard to their 


mode of resting and sleep : for the Duck and Goose, although 
they do not perch, will frequently sleep standing on one leg 
upon the ground, with their heads turned round, and the bills 
under the wings. The common Cock and Hen, although 
they invariably perch, if a perch can be obtained, do not, 
when sleeping, rest usually on one leg, but they sink down 
with their bodies upon the perch, having their legs com- 
pressed under them. The common Field Lark sleeps upon 
the ground with his legs also similiarly compressed. It is 
probable also, that all the tribe of birds, even thePerchers, 
occasionally sink down with their bodies resting on the 
perch during their soundest sleep. And, what is very re- 
markable in the structure of their feet and legs, the greater 
the weight upon the muscles, the more firmly the claws 
grasp whatever they lay hold of; hence the cause that 
birds do not fall down in sleep although most of their senses 
are dormant. 

The motion of the branches of trees produced by the 
wind increases, doubtless, the disposition for sleep in many 
birds; this may be exemplified in the Common Fowl: for 
placing its bill under the wing, even in broad daylight, 
and swaying it to and fro in the hand for a very short time, 
will produce sleep: a beautiful proof of the adaptation of 
birds to the function. 

Most of the tribe of birds sleep during the night ; but 
there are many exceptions to this. Owls in particular are, 
during the night, much more active than in the day ; their 
sight, similar to that of cats, appears to serve them best in 
the dark. Many of the Duck tribe are not only wakeful, 
but feed during the night ; so also do the Goatsuckers. 
The Nightingale, and a few other song birds, are also 
wakeful while in song, during, at least, some portion of the 
night ; and even the Cuckoo will be occasionally found a 


nightly songster, although much more rarely so than the 

It should be noted, too, that in almost every species, the 
male is peculiarly distinguished from the female, so that those, 
conversant with the subject, readily know the one from the 
other. The males of many of the tribe have more gaudy 
and vivid colours on their plumage ; the male is also very 
often larger than the female. This may be strikingly seen 
in the CommonCock and Hen, the Turkey, and the Pheasant. 

In the rapacious tribes, on the contrary, the female is 
generally larger than the male. Wilson informs us that 
the female of the Strix Virginianus, or Great Horned 
Owl, is four inches longer than the male j and in some of 
the Falcon genus the difference is more considerable than 

Sometimes, however, these distinguishing marks are by 
no means so apparent. The Cock Blackbird is known 
chiefly by his intensely yellow bill, and the superior black jet 
of his plumage. The distinction between the Hen and Cock 
Thrush is not very strongly marked ; and that of the Cock 
and Hen Pintado, or Guinea Fowl, is so slight, that 
nothing but close observation will ascertain it. This last 
bird is a native of Africa, and although domesticated in 
this country, it rarely, if ever, acquires the habits and dor 
cility of the Domestic Fowl. The female, if left to herself, 
invariably seeks some place for her nest distant and apart 
from the rest of the poultry ; and, what is very remarkable, 
she deposits her eggs on the bare ground. This bird 
does not conform itself in its habits to climate like some 
others ; hence, in England, it is a very bad protector of its 
own offspring. 

The pairing of birds is also a subject which deserves at- 
tention in their Natural History. While some are mono- 



gamous, and of course pair, others are polygamous, and 
never, unless compelled, confine themselves to individual 

All the rapacious tribes belong to the monogamous class ; 
the same maybe said of the Perchers ; the Pigeon tribe 
are also generally monogamous ; so also appear to be all 
the struthious class ; but the aquatic birds and leaders vary 
in this respect ; some are monogamous; others polygamous. 
The gallinaceous tribe are generally polygamous. Although 
the puerile notion that birds pair on Valentine's day in this 
country is not, of course, entitled to the slightest credit, yet 
there is no question, however, that about that period, or 
sooner or later in the spring, many birds cease their grega- 
rious association, and meet only in pairs for the performance 
of the important office of incubation and rearing their 
young. Whether this association in pairs continue for 
more than one season by the same birds does not appear to 
be yet accurately ascertained. The Cuckoo is also said to 
be a polygamist; but we do not yet know sufficient of the 
habits of this bird. 

There is one other fact relative to the change in the plu- 
mage of birds which may be mentioned here, namely, that 
sometimes the female assumes the feathers and appearance 
of the male bird ; this has been noticed in the Common 
Hen, the Pea-hen, and a few others ; and as this change 
has been most commonly observed in old birds, it has been 
attributed to age alone ; but some late observations tend 
to prove that the change arises from some disease of the 
geuital organs in female birds : for some young female 
birds have also been observed with male feathers ; and 
dissections in all prove the diseased state of those organs. 

Although ihe Periods of the Incubation of Birds are 
generally pretty regular, they are by no means exactly so, 


considerable variations having been observed in them when 
opportunities have been taken, or have occurred, for such 

It appears that, when Turkies have sat on the eggs of 
the Hen, the duration has been from seventeen to twenty- 
seven days ; the same bird on its own eggs from twenty- 
six to twenty-nine days. Hens sat on Ducks' eggs from 
twenty- six to thirty-four days; on their own eggs from 
nineteen to twenty-four days. Ducks have sat from 
twenty-eight to thirty-two days. Geese from twenty-nine 
to thirty-three days. Pigeons from seventeen to twenty 
days. It is extremely probable that extended observation 
will shew still greater irregularities in the various periods 
of the Incubation of Birds, which seem to increase in du- 
ration in proportion to the size of the bird : while the 
Ostrich and Swan require six weeks, and the solitary Dodo, 
it is said, seven, to complete the process, the Humming-bird 
takes only about twelve days. 

There can be little doubt that an equability of warmth is 
one of the essentials in the due process of incubation. 
Where the Hen frequently leaves her nest and the eggs ex- 
posed, or where the nest itself is in an unsheltered situation, 
the process is very often retarded, sometimes, indeed, ren- 
dered wholly unproductive. Young mothers are generally 
worse managers of their eggs and their young than those 
who have had more experience ; in this not differing from 
the human subject ! 

Although the number of eggs which both domestic and 
wild birds lay before they are diposed to sit upon them, 
provided they are not disturbed, is generally pretty regular, 
yet that number may be considerably increased by removing 
the eggs as they are laid, leaving one or more in the nest. 
In domestic fowls this has been so well ascertained, that a 


Hen will lay one every day for many weeks provided one 
only be left in the nest, although, if left to herself, she 
usually sits upon about fifteen. And Ray* informs us, 
on the authority of Dr. Lister, that a Swallow, whose 
usual number is about five, having the eggs subtracted in a 
similar way, laid nineteen successively and then gave over. 

Young birds, when hatched, are of two kinds: one has 
down upon the body, the eyes open, and will pick up its 
food almost immediately on leaving the shell ; such are 
the young of many or most of the aquatic tribes, and those 
of the Hen, Pheasant, Partridge, &c. ; the mother by 
quaking or clucking calling the young's attention to its 
food : the nests of such birds are usually on the ground. 
The other kinds (those for the most part whose nests are 
built on some elevation) are completely naked and the 
eyes closed ; these require to be fed by the parent bird for 
two, or sometimes more, weeks. The eagerness with 
which these all rear up their heads and open their mouths, 
upon the least disturbance of the nest, is truly astonishing. 
They however soon become covered with feathers ; from 
one to two weeks are, in general, a sufficient time to render 
them full fledged and able to fly. During this period they 
are, of course, often covered by the parent bird. The first 
kind are hived by the mother, for some time, very often during 
the day, and, of course, during the night ; and afterwards, at 
longer intervals, for two, three, and sometimes more weeks, 
according to the more or less genial warmth of the season. 
It may be mentioned too that many of the useful or 
harmless tribe of birds have often two, sometimes more, 
broods in a season ; and that their eggs are commonly more 
or less numerous — the Hens, the Ducks, the Partridges, &c. 
are peculiarly so ; while the eggs of the more rapacious 

* Wisdom of God manifested in the works of Creation. 
8vo. 1719, page 119. 


tribes are generally few, and hence the increase of such 
birds is considerably more restricted. 

Dr. Prout found the specific gravity of new laid eggs to 
Yary from 1080 to 1090 ; that eggs on being kept some time 
became specifically lighter than water, owing to the substitu- 
tion of air for a portion of the water which escapes ; that an 
egg exposed for two years, to ordinary circumstances, lost 
nearly two-thirds of its weight ; that an egg loses about one- 
sixth of its weight during incubation; a quantity amounting 
to eight times as much as it loses under ordinary circum- 
stances. Although, in the size and colours of eggs of the 
same species, there is a general conformity, yet differences 
occasionally occur ; in some of the titmouse and tail tribe, 
whose eggs are usually variegated with spots, they have 
been seen perfectly white. 

There is a very simple, yet I believe not very generally 
, known, method of ascertaining the vitality of an egg. If, on 
applying the tongue to the larger end of it, warmth be felt, 
the egg may be presumed alive and good ; if cold, the con- 
trary, dead and bad.* 

It should be also observed, that although the eggs of birds 
vary considerably in taste, and some are much more palatable 
and agreeable than others, yet none of them appears to be 
absolutely unwholesome as food. 

In closing this short account of the incubation of birds, 
a singular fact must be adverted to which was first brought 
into public notice by Mr. Yarrel, a gentleman to whom 
the public, as well as myself, are highly indebted for the 

* On my boiling in water, for a few minutes, the egg of a Guinea 
Hen, ( Namida Meleagris,) which had been kept for the long 
period of six or seven years, the egg exploded with a report 
similar to that of a loud pistol : occasioned, no doubt, by the ex- 
pansion of gaseous matter, arising~from the decomposition of the 
contents of the egg. 



communication of many interesting particulars concerning 
birds. Some of these will be found in his papers in the 
second volume of the ZoologicalJournal, The fact to which 
I allude is, that there is attached to the upper mandible of all 
young birds about to be hatched a horny appendage, by 
which they are enabled more effectually to make perfora- 
tions in the shell, and contribute to their own liberation. 
This sharp prominence, to use the words of Mr. Yarrel, 
becomes opposed to the shell at various points, in a line 
extending throughout its whole circumference, about one 
third below the larger end of the egg; and a series of per- 
forations more or less numerous are thus effected by the in- 
creasing strength of the chick, weakening the shell in a 
direction opposed to the muscular power of the bird: it is 
thus ultimately enabled, by its own efforts, to break the walls 
of its prison. In the common fowl, this horny appendage falls / 
off in a day or two after the chick is hatched ; in the Pigeon 
it sometimes remains on the beak ten or twelve days; this 
arises, doubtless, from the young Pigeons being fed by the 
parent bird for some time after their being hatched ; and 
thus there is no occasion for the young using the beak for 
picking up its food. 

The rapidity of the flight of Birds constitutes one of their 
peculiarities; some of the more swift have been known to 
travel many hundred leagues in a few hours. The Pigeon, 
it is well known, is a bird of very swift flight j many of the 
Falcon tribe are also very swift in their aerial motions , 
some of them, it is said, will fly 150 miles in an hour. The 
Swallows are also very swift on the wing. 

Hence, from the rapidity and power of their flight, many 
birds are occasionally seen in most regions of the globe ; 
and, from the powers of flight and of swimming which 
many aquatic birds possess, they are also enabled to visit 
the various parts of the earth. These last, indeed, are en- 



dowed with many peculiarities and functions, which those, 
without palmate feet, never evince : the sea, to many of the 
natatorial tribe, being their chief abode. Even the polar 
regions of floating ice afford to many of them not only a re- 
treat during tempestuous weather, but there they sleep, and 
there too they arc said, occasionally, to hatch their young. 

The Understanding of Birds is of considerable variety : 
some are remarkably intelligent, while others are extremely 
stupid ; the Water Birds, having palmate feet, seem to 
be considerably beneath the Land Birds and Waders in 
their intellectual powers. It appears to be also a singular 
fact, that the volume of brain is greater among the Tnses- 
sores, (Perchers) in proportion to the size of their bodies, 
than in any other class, and their intelligence is, therefore, 
stronger:* this fact will, doubtless, obtain the attention of 
the Phrenologists. 

The Males of the various tribes (the raptorial birds ex- 
cepted) are those which sing the best and make the most 
noise ; many of the females not singing at all or but very 
indifferently. There are, however, many exceptions to 
this: the hen Thrush, Turdus musica, sings in its natural 
state, if not equal to the cock, yet very agreeably; the 
hen Blackbird, on the contrary, never sings, or at most, 
only mutters. I suspect too, that some of the female 
Warblers will be found to sing in their natural state. The 
female of the Pensile Warbler sings, although not equal 
to the male. The female Redbreast, I believe, also sings ; 
the female Skylark will be found, I suspect, also to sing ; 
the female Bulfinch, Mr. Sweet informs me, (see his let- 
ter forwards) sings finely in confinement. It would be pre- 
mature to lay down any law upon this subject, but it will 
be found, I presume, tolerably correct, that when the male 
of any species of Bird sings the greater part of the year, 

* Vigor's Linn. Transactions, vol. xiv. page 404. 


the female of the same species most probably also sings : ? 
instanced in the Thrush, the Pensile Warbler, and, I 
suspect, the Redbreast and the Sky-Lark. But here 
also a record of more observed facts is wanted. 

Mr. Barrixgton (see below) thinks, that the reason why 
females do not sing is, because if they did, when sitting on 
their eggs, they would be discovered ; this is by no means 
a conclusive reason ; for I once discovered a Thrush's nest 
by hearing the parent bird sing while sitting on the eggs. 
Besides, as the cock aud hen of many species frequently 
sit on the eggs in turn, the female's not singing could be 
no security to the nest while the cock was sitting and sing- 
ing there; 

Of the Raptorial Tribe, too, from many of the females 
being larger than the males, their noise will be found, most 
probably, more loud and striking than their masculine 
mates. But we want, on this curious subject, a record of 
more observed facts relative to the habits and manners of 
Birds in their Natural state. The habits and manners of 
domesticated Birds should not be depended upon, as they 
become, in many instances, greatly altered by confinement. 

There is a paper in the Philosophical Transactions, Vol. 
lxii. by the Hon. Daines Barrington relative to the Sing- 
ing of Birds, that every lover of Natural History should 
peruse; it is not capable of condensation so as to suit this 
Introduction. That paper ought, nevertheless, to be read 
with caution: for the Hon Gentleman seems to have gene- 
ralized somewhat too extensively. 

He says, for instance, that female Birds never sing; and 
that the song of every Bird is an imitated note ; (i. e.) a 
note which the Bird has before heard. He considers the 
power of song in Birds as similar to that of language in 
man, and argues, that as no language is innate, so neither 
are the notes of Birds. I suspect, however, that although 


in many instances, the notes of Birds are copied, are inula 
tions, that some will be found nevertheless not so : but here 
too a knowledge of more observed facts is wanted. 

Mr. Barrington asserts, somewhat paradoxically, it 
appears to me, that the inhabitants of London are better 
judges of the songs of Birds than the inhabitants of the 
country. There are bad observers doubtless to be found in 
town as well as in the country ; but a good observer living 
in the country must be necessarily, from the opportunities 
which he possesses, a better judge than one of equal abi- 
lity in town : for the knowledge acquired of Birds in con- 
finement cannot be estimated so highly as that obtained of 
them in their natural state: as it can never be, with any 
certainty, more than a knowledge of domesticated Birds, 

Again, Mr. Barrington, speaking of the song of the 
Nightingale, says, " that, although it sings by day, the song 
is then confounded with that of other birds." Now, so far 
from this being the case, if there be any bird of song whose 
notes are distinguishable from other Birds when many Birds 
sing together, the Nightingale is that Bird : his full and so- 
norous modulations being most readily distinguished from 
the song of every other Bird.* 

Birds, when in their natural state, sing only in 
the spring, (I speak of course of the Birds of the 
temperate regions of the globe; their habits in the 
torrid zone are doubtless considerably different;) to this 
there are, in this country, a few exceptions. The Red- 
breast sings at almost every season of the year except in 
severe frost. The Thrush too, sings during a much greater 
portion of the year than the Blackbird. The Thrush in- 
deed will be found to sing occasionally, in favourable situ- 

* " II efface par l'eclat de son chant celui de tous les plu- 
mages."— St. Pi lrre, see the note on the Nightingale, in Part I. 


ations and fine weather, at almost every season of the year. 
The state of the atmosphere has unquestionably a great 
effect on Birds : they rarely sing in very boisterous, very 
wet, or very cold weather. Yet some of them will occa- 
sionally sing even during wet weather ; many of the Thrush 
tribe do so. Mr. Bowles, in his beautiful Sonnet to Time, 
has the following simile : 

"As some lone Bird at day's departing hour, 
Sings in the sun-beam of the transient shower, 
Forgetful, though its wings be wet the while." 

The Lark, alauda arvensis, sings too, occasionally, while 
it continues solitary, for many months of the year. As 
most Birds sing only during fair weather, we are warranted 
in the conclusion that their songs are the effect of pleasura- 
ble sensations. The Missel bird is, however, said to sing 
during a storm, hence it is sometimes called the Storm Cock', 
but the term storm should, I suspect, be interpreted rain : 
its singing in tempestuous storm is greatly to be. doubted. 

The Wood Thrush, the Turdus Melodus of Wilson, a 
native of North America, sings also in moist and gloomy 
weather ; it is said, indeed, that the sadder the day the 
sweeter its song ; our own singing Thrush is also frequently 
heard in wet weather ; and, in the spring, many other Birds 
during the transient shower, as Mr. Bowles has stated. 

It may be observed too, that Birds, while gregarious, 
in tbis country at least, rarely, if ever, sing in their natural 
state, although we often hear them singing in numbers in the 
Bird shops of the metropolis at the period when their fellow 
Larks, for instance, are associated in flocks in our fields : a 
proof how much their habits may be altered by domestica- 

It being a fact, that Birds sing chiefly during the spring ; 
it appears also that, in this season, they sing best during the 


most active period of their mutual co-operation in the work 
of procreation ; their songs are therefore neither unpoeti-, nor perhaps untruly termed love songs. The Night- 
l ngale is, it has been said, " silent till he has found a mate ; 
his song at first is short and hesitating; he ventures not a 
full loud swell, till he sees the female charged with the fruits 
of his love. As soon as the female begins to hatch, she 
ceases to sing, and soon after, the male becomes silent.' 
Mr. Sweet informs me, that he has kept hen Nightingales 
for two years in confinement, and that he never heard them 
sing; the probability is, therefore, that they do not sing. We 
want, however, more records concerning the natural history 
of this Bird. 

The Nightingale's song has been generally considered, at 
least by the poets, as a melancholy one ; and, from the occa- 
sional fulness of its notes and the slowness with which some 
of them are uttered, and when heard, too, in the nighty 
there is assuredly, solemnity, if not melancholy, about it. 
Notwithstanding Virgil's 

'* Qualis populed moerens Philomela sub umbra :" 
and Milton's 

i( Most musical, most melancholy." 

Mr. Coleridge, in some beautiful verses, has endeavour- 
ed to persuade us, that it is an 

«< Idle thought ! 
In Nature there is nothing melancholy !" 

I am sorry to differ from Mr. Coleridge, but T cannot 
assent to the assertion that, " there is nothing in nature 
melancholy !" would that it were a truth ! nor can I agree 
to call the Nightingale's a merry note. Whatever may be 
the feelings of the Nightingale, we have of course no accu- 
rate means of knowing them, there is great probability 
that, when he sings, they are pleasurable ; but it does not 


follow that they should be, therefore, sprightly. If we 
judge of the sounds emitted by birds from the effect whicb 
such sounds have upon ourselves, and we do, I believe, 
generally thus judge of them, I think there is certainly no 
impropriety in calling the Nightingale's a pensive, if not a 
melancholy strain. 

" Lone Philomela tnn'd the silent grove, 

With pensive pleasure listened wakeful love." 

Sir William Jones has also an elegant stanza concerning 
the Nightingale, the opportunity of quoting which I cannot 
resist ; 

" Quand le Rossignol, par son chant 
Si rempli de tendresse, 
Pour saluer le doux printemps 
Au point du jour s'empresse." 

Odes d' Hafiz, iv. 

While I am not disposed to echo the opinions of others 
without examination, and should consider the authority of 
both Virgil and Milton as nothing against fact, yet I 
cannot think Mr. Coleridge in accordance with nature 
when he writes, "The merry nightingale." The merry lark 
would, I presume, be more readily admitted ; this bird's 
song having, according to my apprehension, much hilarity 
about it ; so thought Sir John Davies : 

"Early, cheerful, mounting lark, 
Light's gentle usher, morning's clerk, 
In merry notes delighting." 

Hymns to Astrea. 
Having controverted Mr. Coleridge's opinion, injustice 
to him it ought to be stated that he does not stand alone 
in it. Chaucer has 

"The Nightingale with so mery a note." 

The Floure and the Leaf. 


Mr. Elton, too, has 

" Thou trilling, soft, yet sprightly Nightingale ;" 
but, unfortunately, this gentleman labours under similar dis- 
advantage with Mr. Coleridge, (see below,) he has, in the 
same volume, " Poems, 1804/' the following lines, which I 
quote rather for their beauty than to prove how inconsistent 
some of our poets can occasionally be. 

" Soft as the Nightingale's re-murmured moan, 
When cradled on the branch in moonlight rest, 
The mazy warblings heave her wakeful breast.'' 

Akenside calls the song of the Nightingale, simply, 

" Melodious Philomela's wakeful strain." 

Pleasures of Imagination, Book iii. 

The late Mr. Fox, in a letter to Lord Grey, which has 
been long since published, appears to have been of a similar 
opinion with the preceding writers. A French writer in 
Le Spectacle de la Nature, describing the Nightingale's 
Song, has taken another view of it ; he says " Le Rossignol 
va du serieux au badin ; d'un chant simple au gazouillement 
le plus bizarre ; des tremblemens et des roulemens les plus 
legers, a des soupirs languissans et lamentables qu'il 
abandonne ensuite pour revenir a sa gaiete naturelle;" 
which implies that its song is, by turns, both gay and 
grave. After all, and admittting, in which there will be no 
difficulty, that some of the Nightingale's notes are uttered 
quickly, yet, from the long pauses between the different 
strains of the song, and many of the notes being 

" Of linked sweetness long drawn out," 

it still does appear to me most extraordinary that any one 
should be disposed to call them merry, or even sprightly. 
Yet, although I cannot admit that the Nightingale's notes 


are merry, I cannot assent to the cause assigned by Thomson 
for her sorrowing strains, namely, that they are produced by 
the loss of her young ; that 

" All abandoned to despair, she sings 
Her sorrows through the night." 

Thomson's picture of the Nightingale, thus singing, may 
do very well in poetry, but it is quite irreconcilable with na- 
ture and truth. See Mr. Sweet's letter forward; and also 
the note on the Nightingale in the first part. 

Having listened for a long time this morning, (May 10, 
1826,) to the song of the Nightingale near Hornsey-wood 
House, as mentioned below, I am more strongly con6rmed 
in the opinion I have here expressed concerning it. At 
the same time it should not be forgotten, that the long- 
drawn notes of its day-song are neither so striking, nor, 
perhaps, so lengthened, as those which are uttered by the 
same bird at midnight. In accordance with this, thus 
beautifully sings Milton : 

" Now is the pleasant time, 
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields 
To the night ^warbling bird that, now awake, 
Tunes sweetest his love-laboured song ; now reigns 
Fnll-orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light, 
Shadowy sets off the face of things.'' 

Par. Lost, Book v. 

Milton, we see, treats the Nightingale as a male, while 
most of our poets have, following the ancients, I presume, 
echoed without discrimination their practice of calling him 
Philomela, and feminine, of course. It is, however, time 
to approach and adopt the truth as it is found in nature : 
but the temptation to make a lady sentimental is, it 
must be admitted, often too great to be resisted ; and in 


this respect I have myself offended. See the Nightingale's 

I must just add, that Mr. Coleridge himself has not 
always been of the opinion stated above: for in his volume 
of poems, published in 1796, he has an Effusion to the 
Nightingale, in which is the following line : 

"Then warblest sad thy pity pleading strains." 

In conclusion, let us hear what Lord Byron says : 
"This rose to calm my brother's cares, 
A message from the Bulbul* bears ; 
It says to night he will prolong 
For Selim's ear his sweetest song ; 
And though his note is somewhat sad, 
He'll try, for once, a strain more glad ; 
With some faint hope his altered lay, 
May sing these gloomy thoughts away." 

Bride of Abydos. — Canto I. 

His lordship, in a note, after alluding to the controversy 
as to the opinions of the ancients on the subject, adds, " I 
dare not venture a conjecture on the point, though a little 
inclined to the ' errare mallem, &c.' if Mr. Fox was 

See more concerning the Nightingale in the note on this 

bird in Part I. and also the following letter from Mr/ 

Sweet, of Chelsea, a gentleman who has kept several of our 

birds of passage the whole year through, and has had many 

opportunities of observing some curious facts concerning 


Chelsea, Dec. 7*/i,l826. 

Several of my birds are now in song, though their 

song is not so loud nor so fine as it is when the days begin to 

* Bulbul : the Turkish name for the Nightingale. 


lengthen. Those that sing at present are, two Nightingales, 
one Redstart, and the larger White-throat : the Willow Wren 
has also begun a little, but its notes are very low at present. 
When they are all in full song I will write to you again, as you 
will probably be surprised at some of their notes. 

As I mentioned to you when here, I once had a female 
Nightingale, which built a nest with me in a little work-basket 
that was put in its cage on purpose. In three days it built a 
very large and fine nest, which was constructed with dry leaves 
and pieces of mat . (it was a one-year-old bird.) It laid three 
eggs, on which it sat about two days, when it was almost famished 
for want of food ; the male not being very well at the time, so 
that he would not feed her. She then left the nest to feed, 
and, when she returned, she threw out the eggs and broke them. 
I have no doubt but she would have succeeded well another 
season, but a gentleman wishing particularly to have her, I 
parted with her. My Whitethroats have often built in the cage, 
but have never laid ; I believe the reason is, they are too fat : 
the male Whi'.ethroat works at the building as much as the fe- 
male, which is not the case with the Nightingale, — the female 
completes the whole herself. 

The Nightingale, in confinement, only sings by night in 
summer ; but my Redstart sings every night at the present time. 
I once had a Redstart that was bred up by hand from the 
nest, which learnt to sing the Copenhagen Waltz, which was 
occasionally sung to it, and it would go through regularly with 
the person that sung to it, only stopping occasionally to say 
chipput. This is mentioned in my account of that species in the 
work that I published on this tribe;* likewise of a Whitethroat 

* " The British Warblers: an account of the genus Sylvia \ 
illustrated by six beautifully coloured figures, taken from living 
specimens in the author's collection, with directions for their 
treatment according to the author's method ; in which is ex- 
plained how the interesting and fine singing birds belonging to 



that would sing for hours against a Nightingale, the same bird 
that is now in song at my house. 

I always find the male birds of this tribe sing more and 
louder when a female of the same species is in the cage witli 
them; but the females seldom sing; I had a female Redstart 
which sung a little; and female Bui finches sing as frequently 
as the. males. 

I am. Sir, 

Yours, truly, 

R. Sweet, 

The fact that the songs of birds are prompted chiefly by 
love is finely described by Thomson ; indeed, the lover of 
siature, and particularly of ornithology, can scarcely read 
that poet too often : 

u Up springs the Lark, 
Shrill voie'd and loud the messenger of morn; 
Ere yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings 
Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts 
Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse 
Deep-tangled, tree irregular, and bush 
Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads 
Of the coy quiristers that lodge within, 
Are prodigal of harmony. The Thrush, 
The Wood'lark, o'er the kind contending throng 
Superior heard, run through the sweetest length 
Of notes; when listening Philomela deigns 
To let them joy, and purposes in thought 
Elate to make her night excel their day. 
The Blackbird whistles from the thorny brake, 
The mellow Buljinch answers from the grove; 
Nor are the Linnets, o'er the flowering furze 

this genus may be managed, and kept in as good health as any 
common bird whatever; by Robert Sweet, f.l.s. author of 

Hortus Suburbanus Londinensis, 8$c. Sfc," 8vo. 


Pour'd out profusely, silent. Join'd to these, 
Innumerable songsters, in the freshening shade 
Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix 
Mellifluous, The Jay, the Rook, the Daw, 
And each harsh pipe discordant heard alone, 
Aid the full concert ; while the Stock Dove breathes 
A melancholy murmur through the whole." 


The only fault I find with the preceding lines is, they 
would seem to imply that the Nightingale sings only in 
the night, a mistake which, with all the knowledge now 
abroad, is very commonly made. 

And here it may be observed, that although many of the 
bird tribe seem to prefer the vicinity of the residence of 
man for their domicile, yet they, for the most part, avoid 
cities and large towns, for one, among other reasons, 
because there is no food for them. There are, notwith- 
standing, some remarkable exceptions to this. The 
House Sparrow is to be seen, I believe, in every part of 
London. There is a Rookery in the Tower, and another 
was, till lately, in Carlton Palace gardens; but the trees 
having been cut down to make room for the improvements 
going on there, the Rooks have removed this spring, (1827,) 
to some trees behind the houses in New Street, Spring 
Gardens. There was also, for many years, a rookery on the 
trees in the church yard of St. Dunstaii's in the East, a short 
distance from the Tower; the Rooks for some years past 
deserted that spot, owing, it is believed, to the fire that oc- 
curred a few years ago at the old Custom House. But the 
present spring, 1827, they have begun again to build on 
those trees, which are not elm, but a species of plane. There 
was also, formerly, a rookery on some large elm trees in the 
College Garden behind the Ecclesiastical Court in Doctors' 1 



Commons, a curious anecdote concerning which has been 

The Stork, and some other of the tribe of waders, are oc- 
casionally also inhabitants of some of the continental towns. 

Rooks appear to be peculiarly partial to building their 
nests in the vicinity of the residence of man. Of the nume- 
rous rookeries of which I have any recollection, most of 
thera were a short distance from dwelling houses. At the 
present time, (March, 1827,) there is a rookery on some 
trees, neither very lofty nor very elegant, in the garden of 
the Royal Naval Asylum, at Greenwich ; and although 
many very fine and lofty elms are in the park near, which 
one might naturally suppose the rooks would prefer, yet, 
such is the fact, there is not even one Rook's nest in 
Greenwich Park. Possibly the company of so large a 
number of boys, and the noise which they make, determine 
these birds in the choice of such a place for their procreating 

There is also a remarkable fact related by Mr. French, 
on the authority of Dr. Spurgin, in the second volume of 
the Zoological Journal, which merits attention, in regard to 
the Rook. 

A gentleman occupied a farm in Essex, where he had 
not long resided before numerous Rooks built their nest on 
the trees surrounding his premises ; the rookery was much 
prized : the farmer, however, being induced to hire a larger 
farm about three quarters of a mile distant, he left the farm 
and the rookery ; but, to his surprise and pleasure, the 
whole rookery deserted their former habitation and came to 
the new one of their old master, where they continue to 
flourish. It ought to be added, that this gentleman was 

* See Hone's Every Day Book, vol. I. page 494. 


strongly attached to all animals whatsoever, and of course 
used them kindly. 

The Swallow, Swift, and Martin, seem to have almost 
deserted London, although they are occasionally, though 
not very plentifully, to be seen in the suburbs. Two reasons 
may be assigned for this relative to the Swallow: flies are 
not there so plentiful as in the open country ; and most of 
the chimneys have conical or other contracted tops to them, 
which, if they do not preclude, are certainly no temptation 
to their building in such places; the top of a chimney 
being, as is well known, its favourite site for its nest. The 
Martin is also scarce in London. But, during the summer 
of 1825, I observed a Martin's nest against a blind window 
in Goswell Street Road, on the construction of which the 
Martins were extremely busy in the early part of the 
month of August. I have since seen many Martins, 
(August, 1826,) busily engaged in skimming over a pool in 
the Fields, to the south of Islington : most of these 
were, I conjecture, young birds, as they were brown, 
not black ; but they had the ivhite on the rump, which 
is characteristic of the species. A few days afterwards 
I observed several Martins' nests in a blind window on 
Islington green. And, Sept. 20, of the same year, I eaw 
from the window of my present residence, in Dalby Terrace, 
City Road, many similar birds actively on the wing. 

The Redbreast has been, I am told, occasionally seen in 
the neighbourhood of Fleet-market and Ludgate-hill. I 
saw it myself before the window of my present residence, 
Dalby Terrace, in November, 1825; and in November, 
1826, the Wren, (Sylvia Troglodytes,) was seen on the 
shrubs in the garden before the house at Dalby Terrace; it 
was very lively and active, and uttered its peculiar chit, 



The Starling builds on the tower at Canonbury, in Is- 
lington ; sec the note on this bird in Part I ; and the 
Baltimore Oride is, according; to Wilson, found very often 
on the trees in some of the American cities; but the Mocking- 
hird, that used to be very common in the American subur- 
ban regions, is, it is said, now becoming more rare, particu- 
larly in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia. 

The Thrush, (Turdns Musicus,) was also often heard in 
the gardens behind York Place, during the spring of 1826. 
1 beard it myself in delightful song early in March, 1826, 
among the trees near the canal, on the north side of the 
Regent's Park. 

Some of the Migratory birds approach much nearer to 
London than is, I believe, generally imagined. The Cuckoo 
and Wood-pigeon are heard occasionally in Kensington 
Gardens. The Nightingale approaches also much nearer 
to London than has been commonly supposed. I heard it 
in melodious song at seven o'clock in the morning, in the 
wood near Hornsey-wood House, May 10, 1826, which is, I 
believe, the nearest approach to St. PauVs it has been 
for some time known to make. It is also often heard at 
Hackney and Mile-end. I have also heard it regularly for 
some years past in a garden near the turnpike gate on the 
road leading from London to Greenwich, a short distance 
from the third mile stone from London-bridge. This charm- 
ing bird may be also heard, during the season, in Greenwich 
Park, particularly in the gardens adjoining Montagu-house; 
but never, 1 believe, on its lofty trees. The Nightingale 
prefers copses and bushes to trees; the Cuckoo, on the 
contrary, prefers trees, and of these the elm, from which it 
most probably obtains its food. The Nightingale is also 
common at Lee and Lewisham, Forest-hill, Sydenham, and 
Penge-wood ; in all these places, except Hackney and Mile- 


end, I have myself often heard it, and in the day-time. 
Those who are partial to the singing of birds generally, will 
find the morning, from four to nine o'clock, the most fa- 
vourable time for hearing them. 

Although it is, perhaps, true, that the birds of warm 
climates do not equal those of the temperate ones in the 
sweetness and richness of their notes, yet it is a mistake to 
suppose that there are not many birds of exquisite song 
abounding in the torrid zone. The Mocking-bird is one of 
these, and perhaps one of the greatest wonders amongst the 
birds of the western world: but more of this charming bird 

From the abundance of many of the piece tribe, such as 
Parrots, and some others of harsh note, it is probable that 
their sounds in the tropical woods often overpower and 
confound the more soft and sweet modulations of the 
warbler tribes ; and hence the opinion has obtained credit 
that the tropical regions are deficient in birds of song. 

The Plumage of the birds of the torrid zone is admitted 
by every one to be much more splendid than that of the 
birds of temperate latitudes ; and, it also appears that, as we 
proceed to still colder regions, the colours of birds become 
less beautiful and striking, white being there one of the 
most predominant characteristics. 

Of the Nidification of Birds, little more needs to be 
said; (see the Poetical portion of this Introduction;) it is, 
notwithstanding, worthy of remark, that scarcely two 
birds, even of the same genus, if of a different species, 
build their nests alike, nor in exactly similar situations ; 
they all seem to have their peculiar predilections in the 
choice of a site for the important process of incubation. 
Some prefer lofty trees, and those too, of particular kinds ; 
some hedges ; some shrubs ; some dry brakes ; some on the 


water, and in reeds; some on the roofs, olhers under the 
eaves of houses ; some lofty turrets or rocks ; some banks ; 
some holes in the earth, in trees, or in walls ; and some, as 
the Swallow, the inside of the tops of chimneys. The Rook 
most decidedly in this country prefers the elm; yet it 
occasionally builds on the pine and the chesnut. The 
Goldfinch is partial to a young elm, not a lofty tree; lox 
is a favourite site, when to be obtained, for the Hedge- 
sparrow ; this choice arises most probably from the nest 
being, in box, most effectually concealed : this bird laying 
early in the spring, before the hedges are clothed with 
leaves. Afterwards, as its name imports, hedges are its 
usual place of domicile, and particularly those of the white- 
thorn ; it also prefers dry and closely matted brakes in the 
early spring, for the same reason no doubt that it prefers 
the box. The House-sparrow in and near London occa- 
sionally chooses the Lombardy poplar ; but in no other 
part of this country, that I am aware of. I am disposed to 
believe that this is a recently adopted habit of this bird, 
from this poplar being now very plentiful in the suburbs of 

Many birds of warm climates build pendulous nests, 
which are attached to the extreme branches of trees, and 
where only they are secure from their enemies, the snakes 
and monkeys. Seeing that the eggs of many birds are often 
sought after and destroyed by vermin in this country, 
snakes, most probably, and the weasel tribe, it is rather 
remarkable that pendulous nests are not common here. 
Those who are conversant with the subject, know that a 
bird's nest with nothing but broken egg-shells in it will be 
very often found. 

The Penduline Titmouse, Parus pendulinus, has a pen- 
dulous nest, as its name imports, and it is, besides, an 


European bird, but its nest has never been, I believe, seen 
in this country. 

The structure of the nests of birds must ever be a subject 
of interest and admiration ; the skill displayed in many of 
them is truly wonderful, and indicates a considerable degree 
of foresight and intelligence. 

Waterton, in his Wanderings, mentions the nest of some 
large Humming bird, similar in texture to tanned leather, 
with a rim in the inside of it, designed evidently to prevent 
the eggs, two in number, from rolling out, which they as- 
suredly would do but for such precaution ; the nest being 
attached to the slender branch of a tree, and moving about 
with every motion of the wind. 

Our favourite, Thomson, supplies us with many interest- 
ing traits on this subject: 

"Some to the holly -hedge 
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some ; 
Some to the rude protection of the thorn 
Commit their feeble offspring : the cleft tree 
Offers its kind concealment to a few, 
Their food its insects, and their moss their nests. 
Others apart far in the grassy dale, 
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave. 
But most in woodland solitudes delight, 
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks, 
Steep and divided by a babbling brook, 
Whose murmurs soothe them all the live long day, 
When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots 
Of hazel pendent o'er the plaintive stream, 
They frame the first foundation of their domes : 
Dry sprigs of trees in artful fabric laid, 
And bound with clay together. 

The Swallow sweeps 
The slimy pool to build his hanging house, 



Intent ; and often, from the careless back 
Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills 
Pluck hair and wool." 


Tiie Migration of Birds is also a subject of considerable 
interest in their natural history. 

u . The birds of air 
Now pleas'd return ; they perch on every spray, 
And swell their little throats, and warble wild 
Their vernal minstrelsy." 

Mason's English Garden, Book iv. 

It was formerly supposed that many birds, which, it is 
now known, unquestionably migrate, retired to some secure 
retreat, and remained dormant during the winter ; so certain 
was this supposed to be, that, in some districts of the king* 
doni, seven of the migratory birds obtained the name of the 
seven sleepers. I am not exactly aware of all the names 
of these sleeping birds, but I remember very well that the 
Cuckoo was called in Somersetshire, when I was a boy, and 
I dare say is so still by the uninformed peasantry there, one 
of the seven sleepers. However, more accurate observation 
has, in great measure, dispelled these fancies: for they ap- 
pear to be no more than fancies. There is, notwithstanding, 
a disposition in some persons still to credit the opinion that 
swallows, or at least some of them, do actually remain 
dormant during the winter in this country, As I am not 
aware that any well attested facts of a late date have been 
observed and made public concerning this very doubtful 
subject, and, as almost every thing which we know con- 
cerning this bird tends to the contrary opinion, namely, that 
it invariably migrates, or, if it remain here, it most probably 
dies, I am not disposed to countenance an opinion so con- 


trary to other numerous and well-attested facts, and many 
of which are indeed open to the verification of almost all 
who take an active interest in the subject. 

A very little reflection will serve to show us the real 
reasons for the migration of birds, which is not confined to 
this country, but appears to pervade, more or iess, every 
region of the globe in which birds can exist. But it may 
be observed, that birds which are stationary in one country, 
are often migratory in another ; or at least that a portion of 
the tribe migrates. It may be observed, too, that some- 
birds are now migratory in this country that were formerly 
not so ; a proof that they do not find it so agreeable to 
them as heretofore it used to be. 

The causes, then, for the migration of birds may be, and 
most probably are, the following: namely, defect of food at 
certain seasons of the year; the want of a secure asylum 
during incubation and nutrition ; or the cold of winter being 
either destructive or unpleasant to the bird. We can also 
conceive it possible that excessive heat might occasionally 
induce birds to migrate, although it is probable that this 
cause is much less operative than excessive cold. 

The Swallow leaves this country about Michaelmas, most 
probably for two of the above reasons: the climate becomes 
too cold for it 5 and flies, its only food, are not found in 
sufficient abundance for its support. 

Away! away ! thou summer bird ! 
For autumn's moaning voice is heard, 
In cadence wild, and deepening swell, 
Of winter's stern approach to tell. 

Lit. Gazette, 

Many other birds leave also this country about the same 
period. While, on the contrary, many birds from the 
north, — from Scotland, Sweden, Norway, and Lapland, 


how pour down upon the south of England ; as the climate 
in the north becomes not only too cold for them, but it does 
not, most probably, supply them with a sufficient quantity 
of food. Hence the very common, and generally true ob« 
servation, that the early arrival of wild geese, wild ducks, 
and other migratory birds, from the north, in the winter, 
portends that a severe season is approaching; the early 
appearance of these birds being, most likely, caused by 
severe frost having already set in at their usual summer 

The chief migratory summer birds found in England, 
and which, most probably, come from the warmer regions 
of Europe or Asia, or the yet more warm ones of Africa, 
are, the Cuckoo, the Nightingale, all the Swallow tribe, the 
Wry-neck, the Wheatear, the Black-cap, the Fly -catcher, 
the Willow-wren, the White-throat, the Goat-sucker, and the 
Land-rail. The Auk, the Guillemot, and Puffin, also visit 
the maritime cliffs of Great Britain in the summer. 

The chief migratory birds which visit England during 
the winter, and which come most probably from the north 
of Scotland, or from the still colder regions of Lapland, 
Norw r ay, and other parts of Northern Europe, are, the 
the Hooded or Royston Croiv, the Woodcock, (believed also 
to come sometimes from North America, but this is ques- 
tionable,) the Fieldfare, the Ring-ouzel, the Redwing, the 
Snipe, the Jack Snipe, the Curlew, the Plover, Sandpiper, 
&c. Of the Duck tribe, such as Wild Ducks, Wild Geese, 
Widgeon, Teal, Swans, &c. ; some occasionally breed in 
England, the Tadorna or Sheldrake very commonly, but by 
far the greater part retire to remote places and inaccessible 
rocks, to Scotland or to some still more distant region, to 
perform the important functions of incubation and rearing 
their young, in retirement and security. Some of these 


abound in the fenny and marshy districts of the kingdom du- 
ring the winter months, where food suitable to them may 
be commonly and readily obtained. Of the Duck tribe, 
too, many are migratory almost daily during the winter 
season: that is, tbey remain in the marshes for some hours, 
and then proceed to the sea shore, where food is in abun- 
dance. Some of these migrations are determined by the pe- 
riods of the tides. 

Besides the preceding regularly migrating birds, there are 
many others that occasionally appear in this country, or 
which change their residence from one part of the country 
to another. The Golden Oriole is sometimes seen here as a 
summer visitant ; rarely, if ever, found here in the winter. 
The Grosbeah, Crossbill, and Waxen Chatterer, appear at 
uncertain intervals. Some of our Wild Pigeons either 
migrate or change their residence; so do Quails; Starlings 
most probably migrate in part, although not all. 

Another peculiarity of many of the bird tribe is that of 
assembling in large numbers in the winter, and as regularly 
separating again at the approach of summer. Among our birds 
of song, the Goldfinch, fringilla carduelis • and Lark, alauda 
arvensis, may be mentioned as belonging to this class, they 
being found together, the Larks particularly, in large numbers 
in the winter season ; but in the summer these birds are only 
associated in pairs. The same may be said of the Pur, Tringa 
cinclus, a well-known sea-bird, seen hovering at the mouths 
of salt water rivers in immense flocks in the winter and 
spring. The House Sparrow is not one of the least interest- 
ing of birds, notwithstanding its occasional destructiveness 
in cornfields. It is almost always more or less gregarious, 
but it is found associated in larger numbers in winter than 
in summer. In favourable situation, and in mild weather, 
this bird breeds occasionally even in the winter season ; at 


least such is my experience of this bird in Somersetshire. 
The Fieldfare being a migratory bird, is rarely seen solitary 
in this country,— usually in flocks. 

Few birds are gregarious at all seasons of the year. 
The Rook is, however, peculiarly so ; and, what is very re- 
markable, this bird only roosts at the rookery for a few 
months during the time of building its nest, incubation, and 
rearing its young : in the winter season the whole commu- 
nity retire sometimes ten, or even more, miles from their 
nests, to roost on the trees' in some sequestered spot or 
wood. They, nevertheless, occasionally visit the rookery 
throughout the winter, although not, I believe, diurnally. 

Notwithstanding many birds are gregarious only during 
the winter season, some, as we have seen, (the Rook and 
House Sparrow,) are gregarious also during incubation. 
Others are gregarious, chiefly, if not only, at this period. 
The Heron, ardea major, is one of those ; and the Oriole, 
oriolus persicus, is peculiarly gregarious during the time of 
nidification and rearing its young. 

The gregariousness of the Duck tribe does not seem to 
extend, under ordinary circumstances, to more than one 
brood, — most commonly from ten to fifteen ; at least, this 
appears to be the fact during their flight. They are doubtless 
found together in greater numbers on our decoy pools and 
other lakes. The gregariousness of the Partridge extends, I 
believe, rarely beyond a brood ; Quails, on the contrary, 
assemble together in large numbers in the winter. 

It is a curious fact in the migration of birds, that some 
migrate in quest of a particular crop. Thus, in Cuba, 
the Rice-bird, Emberiza Oryzivora, is found in great 
numbers during the season of that crop ; but no sooner is 
the rice gathered than it removes to Carolina, and meets 
the same harvest in that country, where it remains till the 


rice season is past. It has also been observed of this, and 
several other species of birds, that the male and female 
separate during the time of migration. Of the Rice bird it 
is said that it is only the female which emigrates to Caro- 
lina. Ih Sweden a species of Duck, it is said, is found, the 
males of which constantly leave the country at the time of 
incubation, and do not return till the pairing season. 

Attempts have been made to ascertain the exact time of 
the appearance and retreat of the various migratory birds; 
but, from a variety of circumstances, this will be found 
difficult, if not impossible : some birds appearing in certain 
places much sooner than in others ; and some never appear- 
ing in many places, in certain seasons, at all. Thus it is said 
that the Nightingale is not to be found in England, farther 
from Dover, in any direction, than the distance of 150 
miles. Perhaps, however, 200 miles might be nearer the 
truth. Huntspill, in Somersetshire, is considerably more 
than 150 miles from Dover; it is often heard there ; I have 
also heard it on the banks of the Wye, between Chepstow 
and Monmouth. Notwithstanding the Nightingale is by no 
means an uncommon bird in Somersetshire, I remember 
very well that some years ago, while I resided at Huntspill, 
one or two summers passed without my hearing it at all ; 
hence, I conclude it was not in the neighbourhood in those 

Our migratory summer birds, such as the Cuckoo, Night- 
ingale, Swallow, &c. do, however, generally make their ap- 
pearance some time in April, according to the season, but 
usually towards the latter end of the month. The winter 
birds are more irregular still in their appearance. October 
and November are the usual months in which they arrive ; 
the Ring- ouzel, it is said, soon after Michaelmas; the 
Royston, or Hooded Crow, in October; Snipes, in Novem- 


ber, &c. &c. By a table in the first part of the xvth vo- 
lume of the Transactions of the Linnean Society , prepared by 
Messrs. Sheppard and Whitear, exhibiting the Times of 
Migration of Summer Birds of Passage, at Harleston, 
Norfolk, Offion in Suffolk, and Wrabness in Essex', the 
Swift is rarely seen til! May ; the Turtle Dove not before the 
12th of the same month : the Blackcap as early as the first 
of April, sometimes as late as the 22d of the same month ; 
the Swallow on the 7th or 8th of April, sometimes as late 
as the 30th of the same month ; the Yellow-wren sometimes 
as early as the 27th of March ; the Nightingale the 14th of 
April, more commonly after the 20th of the same month; 
the Cuckoo on the 10th of April, more commonly after the 
20th of the same month. 

There is room for believing that some migratory birds 
return, again and again, to the same spot which they have 
visited in former years ; of the Swallow, indeed, this occur- 
rence is said to have been particularly observed. 

The Natural History of Birds is extremely interesting; 
it is impossible in this short introduction to do it justice. 
If I shall by this work, altogether, excite a more general 
attention towards this department of nature's works, I 
shall be amply gratified for the labour and assiduity which 
I have bestowed upon it. 

Nor is the study of the history of Domesticated Birds 
to be neglected ; it being, when unaccompanied with 
cruelty, a source of much gratification. Mason thus ele- 
gantly describes several of the tribe which minister to 
our pleasures or our wants : 

" The feather'd fleet 
Led by two mantling Swans, at every creek 
Now touch'd, and now unraoor'd : now on full sail 
With pennons spread and oary feet they plied 


Their vagrant voyage; and now as if becalm'd 

'Tween shore and shore at anchor seem'd to sleep. 

Around those shores the fowl that fear the stream 

At random rove : hither hot Guinea sends 

Her gadding troop ; here, 'midst his speckled dames, 

The pigmy chanticleer of Bantam winds 

His clarion ; while supreme in glittering state 

The Peacock spreads his rainbow train with eyes 

Of sapphire bright, irradiate each with gold ; 

Meantime from every spray the Ring-doves coo, 

The Linnets warble, captive none, but lur'd 

By food to haunt the umbrage : all the glade 

Is life, is music, liberty, and love." 

English Garden, Book iv. 

In consulting the Notes it is necessary the reader should 
know that, in order to avoid repetition and to save room, 
in describing the species of each genus, the specific name 
only is given. Thus, under Falco, the Eagle, Hawk, &c. 
instead of Falco Chrysaetos, will be found, The Chrysaetos, 
instead of Falco Ossifragus, The Ossifragus, and so on ; 
so that the student will only have to add the generic term 
Falco to the specific one Chrysaetosy and thus of every 
other genus respectively, to obtain the scientific names of 
every species throughout the work. As far also as they 
can be ascertained, the various provincial names of the 
different species of birds, are added ; of the first utility in 
the study of ornithology. For the supply of this desidera- 
tum, besides his own resources, the author is greatly 
indebted to the Ornithological Dictionary of Colonel 
Montagu,* a work which, for its accuracy, will be ever 

* Those who desire to obtain Biographical Particulars of this 
distinguished naturalist, who was a native of Wiltshire, but died 
at Knowles, near Kingsbridge, in Devonshire, in 1815, will find 


held in deserved estimation. A few names are also added 
from Wilson's American Ornithology, a work of singular 
merit, to which he owes the tribute of his thanks. To Dr. 
Latham's work he is also, on this account, under some 

Of Andrew Wilson, as tie has long since paid the debt 
of nature, and who has been little heard of in this country, 
the following particulars may be here acceptable. He was 
born of poor parents, at Paisley, in Scotland, in 1766; his 
education was, of course, scanty, but considerably better 
than falls to the lot of persons of his condition in England. 
He was apprenticed to a weaver, his brother-in-law, the 
pursuit of whose trade he followed for many years; he 
subsequently shouldered his pack and became an itinerant 
pedlar. Becoming disgusted with trade, he wrote some 
papers for the Bee, a periodical work edited by Dr. 
Anderson j he wrote also a libel, for which he was pro- 
secuted, and, for a short time, imprisoned, and sentenced 
besides to burn, with his own hands, the obnoxious work 
at the public high-cross at Paisley ! 

In 1792, he published, anonymously, a characteristic 
Poem, entitled " Watty and Meg" which was attributed 
to Burns. Disliking Scotland, in 1794, he went to 
America ; there, encountering various fate, he became a 
teacher in a school ; and, subsequently, formed an ac- 
quaintance with the venerable naturalist, William Bartram, 
by whom he was excited to devote his attention to the 

them in the third volume of Britton's Beauties or Wilt- 
shire, lately published ; a volume replete with antiquarian and 
biographical information; not the least interesting portion of 
which consists of an anto-biographical memoir of Mr. Britton 
himself, one of the most industrious of our literary bees. 


Natural History of Birds, the drawing of which he also as- 
siduously cultivated. Before he left Scotland, he had pub- 
lished a volume of poems, of, it is said, indifferent merit ; 
a poem called the " Foresters," he published in America. 
Besides the art of drawing, he acquired also that of 
etching. He became afterwards, at a liberal salary, as- 
sistant editor of an American edition of Rees's Cyclopaedia, 
the articles of which, on Natural History, it is presumed, 
were improved under his superintendance. 

His work on Birds, the title of which is, American Orni- 
thology, or Natural History of the Birds of the United States, 
illustrated with plates, engraved and coloured from original 
drawings taken from nature, by Alexander Wilson, in 
nine volumes, folio, was published at Philadelphia by sub' 
scription. It was several years completing ; the last vo- 
lume appeared soon after his death, in 1814. A supplemen- 
tary volume, containing some further observations on birds, 
and biographical particulars of the author, has been since 
published by Mr. Geo. Ord. This work has obtained for 
Wilson an imperishable name ; it is little known in this 
country, but every lover of Natural History ought to be ac- 
quainted with it. Wilson's whole study appears to have 
been nature ; he derived little knowledge from books ; but 
he traversed the United States in various directions for in- 
formation concerning his favourite pursuit. 

He died at Philadelphia, in 1813, aged 47, and left his 
ornithological work as a monument of his industry, his ta- 
lent, and research. His descriptions of birds, although ex- 
tremely accurate, are, nevertheless, highly poetical and 
picturesque ; and the amiable spirit of humanity towards 
the objects of his attention, which breathes throughout his 
work, will never fail to excite for him a feeling of respect 
and esteem. 



Besides furnishing the whole of the letter-press for his 
work, and the drawings for the plates, the plates themselves 
were almost wholly coloured by him, or under his imme- 
diate superintendance. A work of more accuracy in Natu* 
ral History does not, perhaps, exist. America has reason 
to be proud of having been the foster-mother to Alexander 
Wilson. The number of birds described by him is 278. 

He was scrupulously just, social, affectionate, benevo- 
lent, and temperate ; but of the genus irritabile, extremely 
pertinacious of his own opinion, and did not like to be told 
of his mistakes, — a weakness, for weakness it most cer- 
tainly was, greatly to be deplored. His death deprived the 
world, most probably, of another work which he con- 
templated, namely, one on American Quadrupeds. He had 
a poetical mind, as the extracts from his work in the sub- 
sequent notes will shew, — but he wanted taste, to give that 
polish to his lines which most who read them will perceive 
they occasionally require. His description of the Bald 
Eagle in Note 1, Parti, is, however, a masterpiece; it 
may be pronounced nearly a faultless picture. 

It is said that upon some occasion the lale President of 
the United States, Jefferson, treated Wilson with con- 
tempt. This it is extremely painful to hear; but it too 
often unfortunately happens that the worth of the living is 
unknown ; we stand in need of death to set the seal to our 
pretensions and our merit. Surely Jefferson could never 
neglect the truly meritorious and worthy, if he believed 
him to be so ! 

In concluding this notice of Andrew Wilson, and his 
American Ornithology, it would be unpardonable here to 
omit the notice of a work, in some respects similar, on our 
British Birds, now in course of publication by Mr. Selby ; 
a work, the plates of which are on elephant folio, and co- 


loured correctly after nature, by or under the direction of the 
author himself. As far as I have had an opportunity of 
examining the engravings, they appear far superior to any 
thing that has yet been published in this country concerning 
British Birds. It bids fair not only to equal, if not to ex- 
ceed, in many particulars, Andrew Wilson's work, but 
also to supply a desideratum in our ornithological history, 
which every lover of birds must of necessity highly esteem. 
My poetical division of the birds, although not scientific, 
will not be, I flatter myself, without its uses. From the 
great loco-motive powers of many birds, they belong to 
almost all regions of the earth; yet, in a general view, the 
Eagle may be said to be the king of the birds of the tem- 
perate, as the Vulture, Condur, is of the torrid zones. 
The Condur prefers putrid to fresh meat; hence the use 
of such birds in warm climates. As the organ of smell is, 
in the Vulturid race of birds, strongly developed, Mr. 
Vigors thinks that this tribe bears, among birds of prey, 
the same analogical relation to the canine race among the 
mammalia, as the Falconids exhibit to the Feline tribes.* 
Pliny has concisely stated the difference in this respect 
between these two genera of birds. Aquil;e clarius cernunt ; 
Vultures sagacius ordorantur. The disposition of the 
Vulture tribe for dead animals was well known to the 
ancients : 

Exanima obsccenus consumit corpora viiltiir. 

Silius Italicus 

Although I have poetically two divisions of birds, from a 
desire to maintain, as much as was consistent with the na- 
ture of my work, a scientific arrangement in the Notes, I 
have to regret that the description of every bird could not,, 

* Zoological Journal, vol. 2, page 371. 


without great inconvenience, be confined to its peculiar 
region, notwithstanding 1 , for the most part, it is so. When, 
therefore, the description of any bird cannot be readily 
found in the notes of one part, it should be sought for in the 
other. The Index will be, however, the most certain guide. 

In an Epitome of Ornithology, the mention of the very- 
extensive and useful collection of preserved specimens of 
birds now open to the inspection of the public at the 
British Museum ought not to be omitted. The lover of 
Natural History will find, in the well arranged cases of 
that National Repository, much to interest and engage his 
attention. There he may contemplate specimens of the 
more rare and curious of the feathered race. The Fla- 
mingo, the Bird of Paradise, the Toucan, innumerable 
Eagles, the Columha Coronota, the Bustard, and a numerous 
et ccetera, either new or rare in this department of science. 
There may he pass days in the contemplation of Birds 
alone, which will afford him no ordinary gratification. 

The Ornithological Museum of the Linnean Society 
ought also to be mentioned; the extensive collection of 
the Birds of New Holland, in particular, is more es- 
pecially deserving notice. This museum is not, of course, 
open to the public; but, by a suitable introduction, it may 
be readily inspected. 

Nor ought the museum of the East India Company, in 
Leadenhall Street, to be forgotten. Here will be found 
many of the birds of the east, and, particularly, a curious 
collection made by Dr. Horsfield, of the Birds of Java: 
access to this can only be had through the medium of a 
Director, or by an introduction to the Librarian, Dr. 


Nor must the growing collection of the Zoological 
Society in these notices be passed over; a society which, 


under the auspices of many of the nobility and gentry, is 
already, although of very recent formation, in vigorous 
activity, and to which the learned Secretary, Mr. Vigors, 
is lending liis powerful assistance ; and the Marquis of 
Lansdowne, as President, his countenance and support. 

Nor, lastly, should the collection of Living Birds at 
Exeter Change be omitted. Among which is a large fe- 
male African Ostrich; various Vultures ; the Demoiselle 
Heron ; Pelicans ; several Emeus, which were bred in 
his Majesty's establishment in Windsor Park ; and other 
liviug ornithological curiosities. 

It is scarcely necessary to add, that the Latin word, 
Genera, is used throughout this work for the plural of genus, 
the same as it is in that language. Notwithstanding my 
endeavours to the contrary, some terms have almost imper- 
ceptibly glided into the work which may require explanation 
to the uninitiated reader; I have therefore added a Glossary 
of such words, and have also given the meaning of the terms 
adopted by Mr. Vigors, and mentioned above in explana- 
tion of the Quinary arrangement. 

In stud)ing scientific works on ornithology, it will be 
useful to know the terms which are applied to the different 
parts of the bodies of birds; they are as follow : 

The Head, Caput, consists of the Bill, Rostrum; the 

ostrils, Nares ; the Cere or Wax, Cera; the Tongue, 
Lingua ; the Face, Capistrum ; the Forehead, Frons ; the 
Crown, Vertex; the Hindhead, Occiput ; the Crest, Crista; 
the Eyes, Oculi ; the Eyebrows, Supercilia; the Ca- 
runcules, Caruncidce ; the Lore, Lorum ; the Orbits, Or- 
litm ; the Cheeks, Gence ; the Temples, tempora ; the Ears, 
Aures ; the Beard, Barba. 

Of the Neck, Collum; the Nape, Nucha; the hind 
part of the Neck, Occiput; Chin, Gula ; Throat, Jugulum. 




Of the Body, Corpus; Back, Dorsum ; Rump, Uropu- 
ffium; Interscapular, Inter scapulium ; Shoulders, Humeri; 
Breast, Pectus; Axilliaries, Axilla; Hypochondres, Hy- 
pochondria; Belly , Abdomen ; Vent , Crissum. 

Of the Wings, Alee; Wing-coverts, Tectrices ; Bastard- 
wing, Alula spuria; Scapulars, Scapulares ; Wing-spot, 

Of the Tail, Cauda; Tail Feathers, Rectrices ; Tail-co- 
iverts, Tectrices Cauda. 

Of the Legs, Crura; Thighs, Femora; Bracelets, Ar- 
millce ; Shins, Crura; Toes, Digiti ; — 1, for walking, Am- 
bulator ii ; 2, Salient or leaping, Grcssorii ; 3, Climbing, 
Scansorii; 4, Prehensile, Prehensilis ; Tridactyle, Tridac- 
tyli, having three toes, cursory ; Didactyle, Didactyli, having 
two toes, the Ostrich only. 

Of the Foot, Pes ; Palmated, Natatorius ; Semipalmated, 
Semipalmatus ; Lobated, Lobatus ; Pinnated, Pinnatns; 
Claws, Ungues ; Spines or Spurs, Calcaria. 

Horns, Cornua ; Wattles, Carunculce ; Pouch, Saccns 
Jugularis ; Crop, Ingluvies. 

1 take leave of the Introductory portion of my work in 
the following words of Drummond : 

" Sweet Birds ! that sing away the early hours, 
Of winters past, or coming void of care, 
Well pleased with delights which present are, 
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet smelling flowers ; 
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leavy bowers, 
Ye your Creator's goodness do declare." 




"The spring 
Is the earth enamelling, 
And the Birds, on every tree, 
Greet this morn with melody." 

Browne's Shepherd's Pipe. 




My Theme is of Birds — of those Princes of Air, 
Who oft warble for man, and oft lighten his care : — 
Of those who rapaciously pounce on their prey — 
The Raptors, who wing, too, with swiftness their way; — 
Of Insessors, 'mongst whom dwell the Children 

of Song — 
The tribe to whom perching will ever belong; — 
Of the Rasors distinguish'd by scratching the ground, 
And nigh to the dwellings of man much abound ; — 
Of Grallators who wade in pursuit of their food. 
On the shores of the sea, or in rills of the wood ; — 
Of Natators who swim, — near the waters reside; — 
Whom to meet chose the Eagle, in fulness of pride : — 
All, to pleasure obedient, bade care haste away, 
And, 'midst Melody's Sons, pass'd a rapturous day. 



Resolved that amusement was good for the state? 
The Aquiline Monarch^ 1 ) in council sedate, 

(') Order, Accipitres, (Linn.) Eagle, Hawk, Kite, 
Buzzard, Falcon, &c. 

The term Eagle is applied to various birds which are ar- 
ranged by Linnaeus under the genus denominated by him 
Falco, of which he described only thirty-two species ; such, 
however, has been the assiduity of subsequent research, that 
above two hundred and thirty species are described in Di\ 
Latham's last work. 

The following may be considered as the chief of this rapacious 
tribe, the distinguishing characteristics of which are, a hooked 
bill, the base covered with a cere, the head covered with close 
set feathers, the tongue bifid. They are bold, and fly with 
great speed when high in the air, but slowly in the lower re- 
gions ; their sense of sight is exquisite ; their legs and feet are 
scaly j the middle and outer toes connected ; they are not gre- 
garious. They feed sometimes on putrid carcasses, but, more 
commonly, attacking living animals, destroy and devour them. 
They build their nests, (those of the Eagles, and some others of 
the tribe, arc called eyries,) for the most part, in the clefts of 
impending rocks ; some of the Hawks on trees. They are 
scattered over the various parts of the globe: upwards of 
twenty species are found in the interior or on the coasts of this 
country. In many of the tribe the female is larger than the 
male. Several of the genus are migratory. Indeed,, from their 
power and rapidity of flight, they are enabled to visit most of 
the regions of the globe. From the great changes in the colour 
of the feathers of several of the genus during their progress to 
maturity, considerable confusion exists among ornithologists in 
the names of several of the species ; nor am I able to rectify the 
numerous discordances which have thence arisen. 



Proclamation sent forth over hill, over dale, 
Over land, over sea, over mountain and vale : — • 

The Chrysa'etos* or Golden Eagle, has the cere yellow; body 
variegated with brown and rusty ; tail black, waved at the base 
with cinereous, and beneath white ; legs yellowish rusty, fea- 
thered down to the toes. It is generally about three feet long, 
and weighs about twelve pounds; a female was once found 
which measured in length three feet and a half, and eight feet 
across with the wings extended. It lives very long, occasionally, 
it is said, more than a century ; endures great abstinence, some- 
times for more than twenty days. Breeds in Scotland, Ireland, 
and sometimes on Snowdon hills in Wales ; scarce in England ; 
found also in the Alps, Germany, Russia, India, and North 
America. Feeds on sheep, and also on geese and other 
poultry. Eggs three or four, greyish white; but it rarely 
hatches more than two. 

This bird in its habits is said to be untameable, it not be- 
coming fond even of those who feed it. It does not arrive at 
maturity till its fourth year; during the period of its growth it 
puts on various appearances; the Fulvus, see forward, is said 
by some authors to be the young of this species ; yet this ad- 
mits of considerable question. 

Two instances have occurred in Scotland of its having flown 
away with infants to its nest; in both cases the theft was dis- 
covered, so that the children were not materially injured. A 
finely wrought up story on the Eagle's taking away " Hannah 

* It has already been mentioned in the Introduction that, 
in order to avoid repetition, and to save room, in describing 
the species under each genus, the generic term is uniformly 
omitted. Thus, the Chrysa'etos is to be understood as Falco 
Chrysa'etos ; the Ossifragus as Falco Ossifragus, and so of the other 
genera* It may be useful to mention this again here, in order 
to obviate the possibility of mistake. 


That his people, the Birds, on a day named should 

And that He would himself there be proud them to 


Lamond's Bairn," is related in Blackwood's Magazine, for October, 
1826, in a Review of Selby's ornithology. 

The following lines, the production of Percival, an Ame- 
rican poet, are the commencement ofan Address to the Eagle, 
which appears in the American Souvenir, a Christmas Present, or 
New Year's Offering, for 1827, published at New York. This 
poem is one of those racy originals which at once delight and 
surprise us : it is a fine specimen of the talent and genius of our 
kindred of the west : 

" Bird of the broad and sweeping wing s 

Thy home is high in heaven, 

Where wide the storms their banners fling, 

And the tempests clouds are driven, 

Thy throne is on the mountain top, 

Thy fields the boundless air ; 

And hoary peaks that proudly prop 

The skies, thy dwellings are." 

The Ossijragus, Sea-Eagle or Osprey, inhabits Europe and 
North America; and is found occasionally in various parts of 
Great Britain and Ireland. It is as large as the Golden Eagle. 
The whole body is dark brown, intermixed with rust colour ; 
cere and legs yellow; tail feathers white on the inner side. 
Builds in inaccessible rocks or on lofty trees. Its food princi- 
pally fish ; but it feeds also on other animals. Two Eagles of 
this species were taken from a nest in Ireland and kept 
together for more than two years; in the third year one of 
them killed the other and devoured it, most probably from not 
being supplied with sufficient food ; for they lived together 
before in perfect harmony. — Montagu. Although this bird will 


And lest that some Raptors, as Kestril or Kite — 
All those with sharp claws and in death that delight, 

attack the salmon, and even the seal, it is said that it cannot 
dive after it. Pliny thus describes the manner of this bird'* 
taking its tinny prey: "Superest Haliasetos, clarissima oculorum 
acie, librans ex alto sese, visoque in mari pisce, praeceps in 
euro mens, et discussis pectore aquis rapiens." See Note 2, 
Part ii. for a poetical imitation of this description by. Mr. 
Gisborne ; see also below, article Haliceetos. 

The Leucoccphalus, or Bald Eagle, has a brown body ; head 
and tail white ; cere and legs yellow ; three feet three inches 
loug; feeds on hogs, lambs, and fish ; nest large, on trees ; eggs 
two ; inhabits the woods of Europe and America. Wilson 
thinks this the same as the Ossif vagus, in a different stage of 
colour. The following picture from the masterly hand of that 
author will convey some idea of a habit of this bird : 

" High o'er the watery uproar silent seen 
Sailing sedate in majesty serene, 
Now 'midst the pillar'd spray sublimely lost, 
And now emerging, down the rapids toss'd, 
Glides the Bald Eagle, gazing, calm and slow, 
O'er all the horrors of the scene below : 
Intent alone to sate himself with blood, 
From the torn victims of the raging flood." 

Wilson's American Ornithology. 

The Fulvus, Ring-tailed Eagle, or Black Eagle, inhabit? 
Great Britain, Europe, Asia, and America ; length two feet 
and a half, Wilson says nearly three feet. This bird is trained 
by the Tartars to hunt hares, antelopes, and foxes. The tail 
has a white band, whence, of course, its name. The quill fea- 
thers are used to mount arrows. There is a variety with a 
white tail, the tip of which is brown. 

It is a very destructive bird ; rare in the south of this king- 


Should come, by ferocity prompted alone, 
It was, by an Edict imperial, made known, 

dom, but has been met with in Derbyshire. One was shot at 
Wark worth, measuring in extent of wing eleven feet and a 
quarter, which is considerably more than that of the Golden 
Eagle ; and hence it cannot be the young of that bird. See the 
first article. 

The Cyaneas, or Hen-HaRrier, is, the mule about seventeen 
inches long; plumage blue grey, beneath, white: the female, 
described by naturalists under the name of the Pygargiis, or 
Ring-tail, is twenty inches long; plumage above, dusky ; be- 
neath, palish. Found in this country, and other parts of Eu- 
rope ; also in Asia. Wilson describes a Ring-tail nearly three 
feet long, which is found in the northern parts of America. 

The Serpentarius, Serpent Vulture, Secretary Vulture, 
Secretary, or Snake Eater, has a black body, the hind head 
crested, tail feathers white at the tips, the \egs very long ; three 
feet high ; feeds on small animals. Inhabits the interior of 
Africa and the Philippine Islands. 

This is arranged as a distinct genus by Dr. Latham, and by 
him called Secretary. Mr. Vigors seems to consider it as 
the first of bis families of Raptores, under the term Gypogeranus, 
one being still wanting. 

The Harpyia, Crested Eagle, Crowned Vulture, or Oronookoo 
Eagle, is rather larger than a turkey ; bill black ; the head 
crested, with long feathers, which it erects in the shape of a 
coronet; upper parts of the body mostly black, beneath white ; 
hind part of the neck fulvous. Inhabits Mexico, Brazil, and 
other parts of South America: it is said that it can cleave a 
man's skull at one stroke ! 

The Gullicus, or French Eagle, inhabits France, is two 
feet long, has the body grey brown ; builds on the ground, and 
lays three grey eggs. 
The Barbatus ,ov Bearded EAGLE,xonsists of three varieties; 


That all must appear without malice prepense : 
Who offended in this would the monarch incense ; 

one of which inhabits the Alps, the other two, Persia. It has a 
brown back, and a black stripe above and beneath the eyes ; 
tufts of black hair cover the nostrils, others are on the lower man- 
dible; and similar hairs form a beard. The whole of the body 
covered with yellow down. Four feet long ; builds in rocks, 
and preys on quadrupeds ; will attack men when asleep ; flies 
in flocks. 

According to this account; the Bearded Eagle must be one 
of the largest of the tribe. 

The Milvus, Kite, Glead, or Puttock, inhabits Europe, Asia, 
and Africa, and is well known in various parts of Great Britain; 
about two feet long ; the cere is yeilow ; the body is ferrugi- 
nous ; head whitish ; tail forked. Four varieties. Feeds on 
oifal and poultry; fortels storms by its clamour ; flies placidly. 
Eggs three, whitish with yellowish spots ; migrates into Europe 
the beginning of April. Three other varieties. 

The Austriacus, or Austrian Kite, inhabits the woods of 
Austria ; legs yellow ; body above chesnut, beneath brick-dust 
colour, spotted with brown ; tail forked. Size of the Kite ; 
feeds on birds and bats. 

The Haliceetos, Osprey, Bald Buzzard, Fishing Hawk, 
Fish Hawk, or Fishing Eagle, inhabits the marshes of Europe, 
America, and Siberia, and builds among reeds, sometimes on 
ruins, sometimes on trees ; nest large, often three or four feet 
in breadth, and from four to rive feet high, composed externally 
of sticks; (this account of the nest is from Wilson.) It is 
about two feet long ; feeds on fishes, which it catches by diving. 
Body brown above, white beneath ; head white ; cere and feet 
blue. Four varieties. The habits of this bird are, I presume, 
similar to the Ossifragus or Sea-Eagle mentioned above, and 
Pliny's description of its taking its prey will, most pro- 
bably, apply to both ; but it is greatly to be lamented that so 




Even Ravens, he said, must their croaking avoid ; 
Nor with screams of the Peacock would he be an- 

much confusion is found among naturalists in regard to names. 
I am sorry that it is not in my power to remove these discre- 

A remarkable trait, mentioned by Wilson, in the character 
of this bird deserves notice : the Grakles, or Crow Blackbirds, 
are permitted by the Fish-hawk to build their nests among the 
interstices of thesticks with which his own nest is constructed. 
Several pairs of Grakles taking up their abode there, like humble 
vassals around the castle of their chief; laying, hatching their 
young, and living together in mutual harmony. Wilson found 
four of such nest clustered around one nest of the Fishing 

" The sailing Osprey high is seen to soar, 
With broad unmoving wing; and circling slow 
Marks each loose straggler in the deep below ; 
Sweeps down like lightning! plunges with a roar! 
And bears his struggling victim to the shore." 

Wilson's Amer. Ornith. 

The Buteo, Buzzard, or Pultock, inhabits Great Britain and 
Europe at large; body brown, belly pale with brown spots ; 
legs yellow : it varies in its colours; length twenty inches; 
feeds on birds, insects, and small animals. 

The JEruginosus, or Moor-Buzzard, inhabits England, and 
Europe generally ; body grey ; the crown, arm-pits, and legs, 
yellow; twenty-one inches long; builds in marshes; lives on 
fish, aquatic birds, rabbits, and mice; varies in colour. 

My friend, the elegant and accomplished poet and scholar, 
the Rev. W. L. Bowles, vicar of Bremhill, Wilts, has a Buzzard 
demesticated so far that it rarely quits the neighbourhood of the 
house and gardens: it is, of course, occasionally fed; it has 


Could I dare, Inspiration! to quaff from thy 
Of the Birds and their Songs I might worthily sing. 

been known to swallow thirteen mice at one meal; some of* the 
mice were, however, young ones ; after which it became, for 
several days, extremely stupid and indisposed for motion.* 

The Antillarum, or Mansfenny, inhabits the West India 
islands; it is about eighteen inches long; body brown, belly 
white, the crown black; legs and claws large and strong. — 
The Orientalis, or Oriental Hawk, inhabits Japan ; the head 
and body above dusky brown, beneath rusty brown; tail 
spotted with white ; seventeen inches long. 

The Tinnunculus, Hawk, Kestril, Kestril Falcon, KastriL 
CastriLi Coystrel, Stewgall, Sionegall, Stannel, Wind-hover, or 
Hover-Hawk, the most commonly known in this country, of all 
the tribe of Hawks. The male is thirteen inches long, bill lead 
colour, cere yellow ; irida dusky and large ; the throat whitish ; 
the back, scapular*, and wing coverts are a fine red brown, 

* The term Hawk is a very indefinite one; it has been oc- 
casionally applied to the Buzzard ; thus Dryuen sings : 
" Some haggard Hmvk who had her eyry nigh, 
Well pounc'd to fasten, and well wing'd to fly : 
One they might trust their common wrongs to wreak: 
The Musquet and the Coystrel were too weak, 
Too fierce the Falcon ; but, above the rest, 
The noble Buzzard ever pleas'd me best ; 
Of small renown 'tis true ; for, not to lye, 
We call him but a Hawk by courtesy." 

Hind and Panther. 
The musquet, or musket, here mentioned, is the male of the 
Sparrow Hmvk. 

t See Drayton's Owl, Dryden's Hind and Panther, 
Part III, and the preceding note* 



On thy Presence, bright Essence ! my hope will pre- 

sume — 
That thy smile of approval my song may illume ; — 

spotted and barred with black; beneath, light ferruginous, 
barred with black ; tail cinereous grey, with a black bar near 
the end ; legs yellow. The female is considerably larger than 
the male ; the head and tail the same colour as the back, which 
is not so bright a red-brown as the male ; beneath, lighter than 
the male, but the black spots not so distinct; eggs from four 
to six, not so large as a pigeon's; colour reddish brown, with 
dark blotches ; nest on trees, and sometimes in a deserted mag- 
pie's or crow's nest. Inhabits England, Europe, and Siberia. 
Feeds principally on mice, sometimes on cockchafers, occasi- 
onally on birds ; seen hovering in the air and quite stationary 
for some time, then pouncing suddenly down on its prey. 
This bird is a very useful one. In a paper read before the 
Linnean Society containing some valuable observations on the 
Birds of Norfolk a?id Suffolk by the Rev. R. Sheppaud and the 
Rev. W. Whitear, May 3, 1825, it is stated, that a hawk of 
this kind was observed to dart upon a weasel and immediately 
to mount aloft with it in its talons; but had not proceeded far 
before both fell from a considerable height to the ground; the 
weasel ran off, but the Kestril, upon examination, was found to 
have been killed by a bite in its throat. This bird is said to 
migrate to the north early in the spring ; there are several varie- 
ties ; it was formerly trained to catch game. 

The Pulumbarius, or Goshawk, inhabits England, Eutope, 
and North America. Legs yellow, body brown, tail feathers 
with pale bands; length twenty-two inches ; devours poultry, 
and was formerly much used in falconry. — The Nisits, Spar- 
row-hawk, or Spar-Hawk, inhabits England, Europe, 
Africa, and Madeira. The legs are yellow, body above yellow- 
ish brown, beneath, white waved with grey, tail with blackish 
bands. Male twelve inches, the female fifteen inches long. 


That, to Nature, to Truth, and to Science, devote, 
My Harp may respond with a musical note ; — 

Two other varieties : one spotted with white, the other entirely 
white. It is very bold, and preys on poultry, pigeons, part- 
ridges, &c. Sometimes tamed and flies about gardens ; it has 
been also taught to catch larks. The male of this species was 
formerly called a musket. 

The Gyrfulco, or Brown Gerfalcon, inhabits Europe, and 
preys on cranes and pigeons. The Lannarius i or Lanner, is the 
size of the Buzzard ; three varieties. Inhabits England, Eu- 
rope, and Tartary. Buildsin low trees; migrates: much es- 
teemed in falconry. The Vespertinus, or Ingrian Falcon, in- 
habits Ingria, Russia, and Siberia; size of a pigeon; builds on 
trees, or takes possession of a magpie's nest; preys on quails ; 
flies abroad chiefly in the evening or at night. The Subbuteo 
or Hobby, inhabits England, Europe, and Siberia ; back brown, 
belly palish, with oblong brown spots ; twelve inches long; 
two varieties ; preys on larks. The (Esolon, or Merlin, in- 
habits Europe ; body above bluish ash, with rusty spots and 
stripes ; beneath, yellowish white with oblong spots ; length 
twelve inches. Migrates southerly on the approach of winter ; 
often seen in England. Three other varieties found in the 
West Indies, or New York. The Pumilius, or Tiny Falcon, 
has the body brown-ash, beneath whitish, with blackish bars. 
Said to be the smallest of the genus, being hardly six inches 
long ; inhabits Cayenne ; but the Cerulescens, a native of Java, 
described by Dr. Horsfield, and a specimen of which is in 
the East India House Museum, is, 1 believe, still smaller. 

The Communis, Common Falcon, Yearly Falcon, Aged Falcon, 
or Falcon Gentle, of which there are above ten varieties, inha- 
bits Europe and North America, some of its varieties, China, 
Hudson's Bay, and India. The general colour of the plumage 
is brown, the feathers edged with rusty ; body beneath white, 
irregularly marked with brown ; the tail with darker transverse 


That Science affianc'd with Nature, fair bride, 
With Thee and with Truth o'er my Song may pre- 
side : 

bands j bill bluish ash ; legs green or yellow; length eighteen 
inches ; feeds on various animals. The above is the usual co> 
lours of the bird at three years old ; but it puts on different ap- 
pearances from year to year till it arrives at that age. One 
variety is entirely white, with scarcely visible yellow spots: 
another brownish black; another spotted with black and red. 

The male is considerably smaller than the female, and hence 
he has been called a Tircelet, Tercell, or Tassel ; he is also said to 
be much less courageous than the female, and hence she was 
the bird usually employed in Hawking , a sport which was for- 
merly so much in repute; but which has, deservedly, given way 
to other and more praiseworthy occupation, I trust never to be 
revived : we may hope too that the intelligence which is abroad 
will ultimately banish from among men the puerile pursuits of 
hunting and shooting animals for sport, than which what can be, 
to an intellectual being, more derogatory or degrading ? Hawk- 
ing, hunting, shooting, and fishing for sport are all the remains 
of the prejudices and customs of barbarous ages : it is time that 
a high and diffused intelligence should lift up its voice and 
discountenance so great a departure from the dignity of intel- 
lectual man. 

Some of the Falcon tribe have been used in Asia for hunting 
Hares, Deer, fyc. Mr. Southey alludes to this sport in Thalaba: 

"The deer bounds over ihe plain : 
The lagging dogs behind 
Follow from afar ! 
But lo ! the Falcon o'er head 

Hovers with hostile wings 
And buffets him with blinding strokes." 

Thalaba, vol. ii. page 129. 
The Ptregrinus, Peregrine Falcon, or Duck Hawk, is found 

THE FALCON". 1] 1 


But soft — some warbler's echoing lay 
On Zephyr's waves seems borne away;— 
And now, o'er woodland, grove, and dell, 
Still louder the melodious swell ! 

on some of our rocky shores, and builds commonly in the most 
inaccessible cliffs; it was formerly much used in falconry, and, 
being a bold and powerful bird, was in great esteem; it was, 
however, chiefly used in the taking of Ducks, and other water- 
fowl, — whence one of its names. 

In concluding this long note on an important genus of birds 
it may just be added, that by the 9th of Hen. VII, " taking the 
eggs of any Fawcons, Goshawks, Laners, or Swannes, out of 
the neste," rendered the offender liable " to be imprisoned for a 
year and a day, and a fine at the king's will:" and that the Duke 
of St. A 1 ban's is still hereditary grand Falconer of England: 
but the office is not exercised. There are also several statutes 
relating to hawks and their eggs, which it may be sufficient 
merely to mention : they are, it is presumed, all become a 
dead letter. 

It may also be observed that, in former times, and in many 
countries, the custom of carrying a falcon about was esteemed 
a mark of a man of rank : many persons of distinction were 
painted with a hawk on the hand. Aristotle, Pliny, and many 
other ancient writers, speak of the method of catching birds by 
means of hawks ; but, it is said, that falconry was practised 
with far more spirit and universality among the ancient Britons 
than in any other nation; tliat it commenced as early as the 
fifth century, and was cultivated as late as the fifteenth, when 
the introduction of the nee of gunpowder most probably super- 
seded the use of birds, as means of obtaining game. 



Alauda arborea. (Linn.) 

Goddess of the realm of Song ! 

Round whose throne the Warblers throng", 

From thy bright, cerulean sphere 

Deign our humble notes to hear ! 

Love demands our earliest lay ; — 
Love, the monarch of our may ;— 
Icpseans let us sing 
While we welcome laughing spring. 

May, with feet bedropp'd with dew„ 
On yon hill-top is in view ; — 
May, whose arch look, winning wiles, 
Youth on tip-toe oft beguiles. 

Goddess of the soul of Song ! 
Thou to whom delights belong, 
Deign to prompt the Warblers' Lay ; 
Deign to deck the coming day.( 2 ) 

( 2 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Lark, the Wood, the Tit, 
the Rock, the Meadow, &c. 

The Genus Alauda, (Linn.) or Lark, comprehends more 
than fifty species distinguished by a sharp, pointed, slender, bill, 
nostrils covered partly with feathers and bristles: tongue cloven 
at the end : toes divided to their origin : claw of the back toe 
very long, a little crooked : their motion running not hopping. 
The following are the chief: 

The Arvensis. or Sky-lark, for an account of which see the 
Sky-lark's Song. 

THE LARK. 113 

Lo ! the Place!— by a river whose stream runs 
In a warble as soft as the Nightingale's song ; 
In whose deeps of clear crystal the maculate trout 
Is seen swiftly darting or sporting about ; — 

The Arborea, or Wood-lark, is less than the sky-lark : the 
plumage is more pale and inclined to rufous, yet varied like 
that bird : the head is surrounded with a white ring or fillet ; 
legs flesh colour. Found in this country, throughout Europe, 
and, it is said, in Siberia and Kamtschatka. Nest on the ground 
in tufts of grass, like the sky-lark : eggs four or five, dusky 
brown blotched with dusky, with smaller reddish spots. It 
sings as it flies : but it also perches on trees, when it likewise 
sings : its note has been compared to the blackbird's and the 
nightingale's : it is however a sweet and varied song. It some- 
times soars to a great height in the air, flying in circles, and 
continues so to do for a long time. It is not gregarious like the 
arvensis, being rarely seen in greater number than six or seven 

The Pratensis, or Tit-lark, inhabits Europe in low grounds, 
and well known in this country : it is five and a half inches long: 
has a fine note, and sings sitting on trees or on the ground. 
The bill is black: body above dusky brown, beneath, white: 
breast ochre yellow with oblong black spots : legs yellowish: 
nest on the ground. 

The Magna, Meadow-lark, or Old Field-lark, of Wilson, 
is ten inches and a half long, extent sixteen and a half: throat, 
belly, breast, a rich yellow ; inside lining and edge of the wing 
the same colour ; back beautifully variegated with black, 
bright bay, and pale ochre; legs and feet pale flesh-colour and 
very large. Nest, in or beneath a thick tuft of grass, com- 
posed of dry grass and fine bent, and wound all round leaving 


Here the hill's gentle slope to the river descends, 
Which, in sinuous course, through a wilderness 

wends; — 
There, amid lofty rocks, hung with ivy and yew, 
Doth echo, the wood-nymph her pleasure pursue ; 
And the comb, and the glen, and the shadowy vale, 
Invite the fond lover to tell his soft tale. 
The woods and thick copses, as mansions of rest, 
Many warblers oft choose for their home and their 


an arched entrance level with the ground. Feeds on insects 
and grass seeds ; flesh good, little inferior to the quail. Inha- 
bits North America from Canada to New Orleans.— Though 
this well known species cannot boast of the powers of song 
which distinguish the sky-lark of Europe, yet in richness of 
plumage as well as in sweetness of voice, as far as its few notes 
extend, it is eminently supeiior. It differs however from the 

tribe in wanting the long straight hind claw. Wilson. 

The Obscura, Rock-lark, Dusky-Lark, or Sea-Lark, inha- 
bits rocky places in England, and most probably other parts of 
Europe; it is about seven inches long; solitary and sings little; 
note like the chirp of a grasshopper. — The Minor, Field-lark, 
Lesser Field-lark, Short-heeled Field-lark, or Meadow-lark, visits 
this country in the spring ; sometimes mistaken for the Tit- 
lark. The Nemorosa vel cristata, Crested-lark, or Lesser- 
Crested-lark, is said to inhabit Europe, and like the Bulfineh, 
to learn with ease to repeat tunes played or sung to it. Orni- 
thologists are not however, agreed about the identity or even 
existence of this bird. The Trivialis, Pipit-lark, or Pippit, 
has the upper parts of the body a rusty olivaceous-brown 
streaked with dusky, beneath, ferruginous. The Rubra, Red- 
lark, or Lark from Pennsylvania, is rather larger than the Sky- 
lark, and a rare species in this country. 



A place where content in a cottage might dwell; — 
A place that a hermit might choose for his cell ; — 
Where, afar from all strife and all tumult and pride, 
The nymph Tranquil Pleasure delights to reside ; — 
Where, in meadow or grove or the woodlands among, 
The Birds may be heard in melodious song. 

The Time, when the Spring, in his splendid array, 
Commanded cold Winter to hasten away;-— 
When the woods and the groves, decked in garments 

of green, 
With laughing delight and with pleasure were seen. 
The cowslip with fragrance the meadow perfum'd, 
And the primrose the dark bank with yellow illum'd ; 
The cuckoo flower peep'd from the pasture's soft bed, 
And the yellow ranunculus* lifted her head. 
The violet drooping seemed ready to die; 
To part with such sweetness, ah ! who will not sigh ? 
The Thrush's, the Blackbird's, and Nightin- 
gale's, song 
Were heard now and then the dark copses among; 
Whilst a crowd of soft melodists, hid in the grove, 
Seem'd anxious their musical powers to prove: 
In a hedge sang theBLACK-CAP, what time in the yew, 
The Wood-pigeon cried "Two, two, Taffy, take two." 
Other Pigeoks ( 3 ) e'er active, and oft on the wing, 
Proclaim'd, by their cooing, the presence of spring. 

( 3 ). Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Pigeon, Dove, &c. 
The genus Columba, (Linn.) to which the Common Pi- 
geon, or Columba Domestica belongs, is a very extensive one, 

* Ranunculus acris — Buttercup or Golugup. 


The Winter, Birds all were quite ready for flight, 
But most of them tarried to see the gay sight. 

consisting of more than one hundred and thirty species, the 
characteristics of which are, a straight bill, descending towards 
the tip ; nostrils oblong, half covered with a soft, tumid mem- 
brane. The cooing of this tribe of birds is well known, and by 
which it appears to be peculiarly distinguished from every other 
genus. The young are also fed with grain made soft in the crop 
and ejected into their mouths from the beaks of the parent 
birds. On this account, as well as some other peculiarities, 
they are arranged by Dr. Latham as a separate order, consist- 
ing of one genus only ; Mr. Vigors has arranged it among the 
Rasors. The following are the chief: 

The Domestica, Domestic or Common Pigeon, is too well 
known to need description. It inhabits and is domesticated in 
almost every part of Europe and Asia. The varieties are very 
numerous: the Rough-footed, the Tumbler, the Horseman, the 
Carrier, and the Fan-tail, are among the chief. It is about four- 
teen inches long, and exceedingly variable in its colours ; lays 
from nine to eleven times a year; eggs two, white; time of in- 
cubation from fifteen to eighteen days ; feeds on grain ; flesh, it 
is scarcely necessary to say, generally esteemed. See the con- 
clusion of this note ; and also the articles Stock-dove and 

Pigeon-Houses are of various kinds. Where the numbers 
kept are not large they are usually of wood of a triangular 
shape, and fixed against a wall out of the reach of vermin and 
other annoyance; but where a large number is kept, 

"Some tower rotund 
Shall to the pigeons and their callow young 
Safe roost afford," 

Mason's English Garden , book iv. 

The (Enqs, Stock-pigeon, or Stock-dove, is bluish, neck glossy 


The morning walk'd forth in fair beauty's bright 
dress ; 
The sun rose delighted all things to caress ; 

green; double band on the wings, and tip of the tail blackish, 
throat and breast claret colour; claws black; fourteen inches 
long; inhabits old turrets and rocky banks of Europe and Si- 
beria; found also in this country ; breeds sometimes in old rab- 
bit burrows, sometimes on trees ; migrates southerly in winter ; 
some however remain in England the whole of the year. 

This has been supposed by some naturalists to be the pigeon 
whence all our domestic pigeons are derived. The Rev. Mr. 
Jenyks, however, in his Ornithology of Cambridgeshire, lately 
published in the Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical 
Society, says, as far as he has observed, that " the Stock-dove 
never coos, but utters only a hollow rumbling note during the 
breeding season, which may be heard at a considerable distance. 
Montague," he continues, "has evidently confounded this 
species with the Rock-dove, (Columbu livia Temm.) which is 
supposed to be the origin of our dove-house pigeons, and is 
found in a wild state upon some of the steep shores and cliffs of 
Great Britain, but is not a native of Cambridgeshire." He 
adds, •' the Stock-dove and Ring-dove are indiscriminately called 
wood-pigeons by the country people." 

From this we gather what great uncertainty and confusion 
still prevails on one of the commonest subjects of ornithology ; 
and the necessity there is for a more correct record of facts 
concerning it. I may just add, I never heard of any Wood*- 
pigeons in Somersetshire that do not coo. With great deference 
to the Rev. Mr. Jenyns, I suspect that many persons would be 
disposed to call the " hollow tumbling notes" of this bird, coo- 
ing, which I believe I heard in Forest-hill wood, in May 1827. 

The Poets generally concur with the commonly received opi- 
nion, that the Stock-dove coos ; and although, as we have seen in 
the Introduction, their statements are not to be implicitly relied 


What time became ting'd with his radiance the sky, 
The Eagle majestic was soaring on high ; 

on, yet, where so much concurrent testimony is extant, the sub- 
ject most certainly deserves further inquiry ; and in this respect 
Mr. Jenyns merits the thanks of the Natural Historian for the 
facts which he has recorded concerning this bird ; and it is to be 
hoped that we shall, ere long, become better acquainted with 
the columba livia, or Rock-dove, to which the reverend gen- 
tleman has alluded. 

I heard a Stock-dove sing or say, 

His homely tale this very day ; 

His voice was buried among trees, 

Yet to be come at by the breeze : 

He did not cease ; but cooed and cooed ; 

And somewhat pensively he wooed; 

He sang of love with quiet blending, 

Slow to begin and never ending; 

Of serious faith, and inward glee, 

That was the song — the song for me. 


The Stock-dove, recluse with her mate, 
Conceals her fond bliss in the grove, 

And, murmuring, seems to repeat, 
That May is the mother of love. 


For an account of the Ring-dove or Wood-pigeon, see the 
Ring-dove's Lament. 

The Livia, Rock-dove, Wild- dove, White-rumped Pigeon, or 
Rockier, has been considered, by some ornithologists, as a sepa- 
rate species, by Dr. Latham as a variety only of the Stock-dove. 
Mr. Selby, in his Illustrations of British Ornithology, considers 
it as a distinct species, in this agreeing with the Rev. Mr. 
Jenyns as noticed in the last article. The Rock-dove is said, in 


Around him flew Falcons, the while in the air 
Birds many and noisy his presence declare. 

form and size, to be very nearly like the Stock-dove, but the 
Rock-dove is rather more slender; the predominant shades of 
each are much the same, the principal variations consisting in 
the colour of the rump, which, in the Stock-dove, is invariably 
bluish grey, but in the Rock-dove generally ichite, hence one of 
its names. The habits of these two species are however more 
strongly marked; while the Stock-dove inhabits woods and the 
interior of the country, the Rock-dove is always met with in 
rocky places and those principally on the sea coast. It is found 
on various cliffs on our own shores, particularly on Caldy island 
in South Wales, and in the Orkneys, breeding in the innermost 
recesses of caves of very large dimensions, beyond the situation 
chosen by auks, gulls, &c. It is also very numerous on the 
rocky islands of the Mediterranean, abundant in North Africa 
and on the island of Teneriffe. In short it appears that this 
species, and not the Stock-dove, is the genuine original of our 
Domestic Pigeons. Eggs two, white; breeds in a wild state 
only two or three times a year. 

The Turtur, Dove, Turtle Dove, Common Turtle, or Culver * 
inhabits Europe, China, and India ; it arrives in this country in 
the spring and leaves it in September; the back is grey, breast 
flesh colour; on each side of the neck a spot of black, feathers 
tipt with white; tail feathers tipt with white; length twelve 
inches. Two other varieties. Migrates in flocks; breeds in 
thick woods ; very shy and retired ; a pest to fields of peas. 
It is found in this country chiefly in Kent ; more rarely in the 
west or north; I never saw it in a wild state in Somersetshire. 
Its nest is said to be composed of sticks ; eggs two, white. 

The supposed faithfulness of this bird to its male is very ques- 

* u Like as the Culver on the bared bough 

Sits mourning for the absence of her mate." 

Spencer, Sonnet Ixxxviii. 



On a rock high, commanding, the monarch, at length, 
Perch'd with grace while displaying his wings of broad 

tionable, although the poets have been so profuse in their appeals 
to it. One of the latest poems relative to the Dove, is written 
and set to music by Mr. Bowles ; it is a song of which the fol- 
lowing is the first stanza ; 

" Go beautiful and gentle Dove 

And greet the morning ray, 
For lo ! the sun shines bright above, 

And the rain is pass'd away." 
The Carolinensis, Carolina Pigeon, or Turtle-dove, of the 
United States, is twelve inches long; upper part of the neck 
and wings slaty bine ; back, scapulars, and lesser wing coverts, 
ashy brown; tertials spotted with black; primaries edged with 
white ; beneath whitish ; eggs two, deposited in a nest rudely 
constructed in an evergreen, a vine, an apple tree, or on the 
ground ; male and female unite in feeding the young. Its coo- 
ing sounds very melancholy, but is nevertheless not so, in reali- 
ty, being the notes of its amorous affection ; feeds on a variety of 
seeds and berries ; flesh good. This bird winters in the South- 
ern, and is frequent in the Northern States of America, during 
the summer. 

The Passerina, Ground Pigeon, or Mountain Dove, has a 
purplish body, wings and tail dusky. Three other varieties ; 
six and a quarter inches long ; inhabits the warm parts of 
America; feeds on seeds; frequents rocky and mountainous 


" Musical 

The love-lorn cooing of. the mountain dove 

That woos to pleasing thoughtfulness the soul." 

Grainger's Sugar-cane. 

The Migratoria, or Passenger Pigeon, inhabits North 
America; body above cinereous, beneath vinaceons ; breast 


All Nature was pleas'd: even the clouds o'er the earth 
In airy light shadows seemed dancing with mirth ; 

rufous; wing coverts spotted with black; sides of the neck 
purple ; from fifteen to sixteen inches long; flies in large flocks ; 
troublesome to rice and corn fields. They are seen over the 
back woods of America, flying in columns often miles long, 
where they are caught in a similar way that Bird-catchers around 
London catch smallbirds, with nets, and some pigeons tied to 
sticks as fluttering decoys. They are also obtained in other ways. 
Their nests are on trees; but they hatch only one bird at a time, 
which, while yet young, becomes very fat. This bird affords, 
by its abundance, considerable support not only to the Indians 
but to the whites; and also to birds of prey, and even pigs, who 
pick up the young pigeons that fall from the nests to the ground. 
The Coronata, or Great Crowned Indian Pigeon, is 
bluish, above cinereous; shoulders ferruginous; crest erect? 
compressed, five inches long; size of a turkey; brought occasi- 
onally alive to this country. Although so gigantic a pigeon, it 
has the cooing and all the other characteristics of the tribe. In- 
habits New Guinea; it is, of course, a fine and valuable bird. 

The Bantamensis has a loud cooing note, for which, in its na~ 
tive island, Java, it is much admired; a great price is sometimes 
paid for this bird. Horsfield. 

Of all the pigeon tribe the Carrier and Horseman are the most 
extraordinary. These, by training, may be taken to a great dis= 
tance from their home, and yet they will, on being let loose, im- 
mediately fly to their accustomed habitation. 

" Led by what chart, transports the timid dove — 
The wreaths of conquest, or the vows of love? 
Say, through the clouds what compass points her flight? 
Monarchs have gaz'd and nations bless'd the sight. 
Pile rocks on rocks, bid woods and mountains rise, 
Eclipse her native shades, her native skies; — 
'Tis vain ! through Ether's pathless wilds she goes, 
And lights at last where all her cares repose. 


Or disparting like rocks, or as turrets high, strong, 
They gracefully mov'd fields of ether along ; 

Sweet bird, thy truth shall Harlem's walls attest, 
And unborn ages consecrate thy nest." 

Rogers's Pleasures of Memory. 

During the siege of Harlem when that city was reduced to 
the last extremity, and on the point of opening its gates to a 
base and barbarous enemy, a design was formed to relieve it; 
the intelligence was conveyed to the citizens by a letter which 
was tied under the wing of a Pigeon. Pliny also informs us, 
that the same messenger was employed at the siege of Mutina. 

The habits and manners of the domestic pigeon are interest- 
ing. The mode in which they feed their young, by placing their 
bills in the young ones' mouths and ejecting the food from the 
crop by a sort of pumping, is peculiar to this tribe. Their crop 
and its secretion are also peculiar. See the Introduction. 

Although domesticated pigeons breed very often in the year, 
the Rock-dove very rarely breeds more than twice or thrice; 
the increased fecundity of the tame pigeon, arising, it is said, 
merely from domestication ; but we do not yet know enough 
either of the Stock-dove or Rock-dove in their wild state to describe 
their habits with precision. The Sport of shooting- at pigeons 
from a given distance is. a very common one in the neigh- 
bourhood of London; it is extremely to be regretted that intel* 
lectual man either cannot or will not find a more rational method 
of employing his time. Robert Bloomfield in his Remains, 
has touched upon this subject with his usual naive* 1 6 — the reader 
who feels like myself on this subject, will be pleased to consult 
the Birds and Insects' Post Office in that Poet's posthumous 
volumes. — Drayton well expresses a habit of this tribe : 

Ci And turning round and round with cutty-coo." 

Noah's Ark. 

Some laws are in existence for the protection of pigeons as 

property ; they are rarely, if ever, it is presumed, acted upon. 

THE SWAN. 123 

While many a cloudling unfolded in light 
His lining- of gold or of silvery white. 

Oh, how shall description with pencil or pen 

Pourtray all the Birds now in grove or in glen! 

H«re the trees' bending branches the Perchers pos- 

There the Waders and Swimmers the waters caress; 

While the Scratchers of Earth sought a worm; 
with a bound 

The Snatchers flew swiftly aloft and around.* 

The Lord of the boundless bright realm of the Air, 
With his broad sweeping wing, the proud Eagle, was 

His cere and his feet ting'd with yellowish gold ; 
At once he appear'd both rnajectic and bold : 
With an eye, beak, and talons, that fierceness express, 
Yet both plumage and air what is noble confess, — 
A mien most imposing— a monarch supreme. 
The Swan,( 4 ) too, sailed stately adown the clear stream; 

(*) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Swan, Goose, Eider-Duck, 
Duck, Teal, Widgeon, Garganey, &c. 
The Genus Anas, of Linnaeus, to which the Swan, Anas Cyg- 
nus, belongs, is a very large and important tribe of birds, con- 

* See the arrangement of Mr. Vigors, as described in the 

t The thought in this couplet is derived from Percival, an 
American Poet. See note (1), article Halitv'eton, 

G % 


His plumes of fair white and arch'd neck to display, 
While the Cygnets beside him appear'd in ash-grey. 

sisting of more than on hundred and forty species ; it includes 
not only the Swan, Goose, and Duck, but many other birds, 
such as the Teal, Widgeon, Eider-Duck, &c. The charac- 
teristics of the genus are, a broad bill, a broad tongue, and 
palmate or webbed feet. It is a very prolific tribe; some of the 
species are found in almost every region of the globe. 

The Swan is found both in a tame and wild state. The 
Tame Swan or Mute Swan, Cygnus (olor), is next to the bus- 
tard, the largest of our British birds, being upwards of five feet 
in length, much, however, of which consisting of a very long 
neck ; it is distinguished by its hissing; its plumage till the se- 
cond year is of an ash colour, after which it becomes perfectly 
white. The young are called cygnets. Eggs six or eight ; time 
of incubation six weeks. 

The swan lives sometimes, it is said, a century, or even more; 
it is a powerful animal, and will sometimes attack and bear 
young persons. The flesh is said to be wholesome ; but, at pre- 
sent, the cygnet only is eaten. The tame swan is frequently seen 
on the Thames, and, as an ornament, on many of the waters of 
our noblemen and others in different parts of the country. 
Several may be seen on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. It feeds 
on various food ; it is generally reputed a great destroyer of the 
young fry of fish ; it is also said to be extremely useful in clear- 
ing pieces of water from weeds ; it will also eat bread and other 
farina oea. 

The hen begins to lay in February, producing an egg every 
other day. Male and female labour in the formation of the 
nest, which consists of water plants, long grass, and sticks, ge- 
nerally in some retired part or inlet of the bank of the water 
on which they are kept. Swan's eggs are white and much lar- 
ger than those of a goose.— It is extremely dangerous to be 
approached during incubation. This bird is sometimes called 


There were Fieldfares in troops ; of the Missel- 
Thrush few ; 

These their songs on the elm now and then would 

the mute swan, from its uttering no sound except its hissing. It 
is a stately and ornamental bird : thus Thomson: 

*■ The stately sailing swan 
Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale, 
And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet 
Bears onward fierce and guards his osier isle 
Protective of his young." 


Swans and their eggs are protected by several statutes : whe- 
ther they are now acted upon I am not aware. 

Swan's Down, as well as the down from most of this tribe of 
birds is, it is well known, white, soft, and delicate j its use for 
beds is sufficiently appreciated by the luxurious. See forwards, 
article Eider-Duck. 

The Cygnus (ferus), Wild Swan, Whistling Swan, Elk, or 
Hooper, is inferior in size to the preceding ; length four feet 
ten inches, and weighs from fifteen to twenty-five pounds. The 
beak is black towards the point, yellow for some distance from 
the base ; plumage a pure white. Eggs four. It has a very loud 
call, greatly resembling that of a cuckoo ; utters a melancholy 
sound when one of the flock happens to be destroyed ; hence, 
said by the poets to sing in dying. It visits the lakes of Scot- 
land every winter, but comes more southward only in severe 
weather. Found in all the northern regions of the globe. 

The Nigricollis, or Black-necked Swan, is found on the 
Falkland Islands; the Alrata, or Black Swan, at Botany Bay. 
Of this last the bill is of a rich scarlet ; the whole plumage 
(except the primaries and secondaries, which are white,) is of 
the most intense black. It is larger than the White Swan, of 


The warbling cock Blackbird, with deep yellow bill, 
Was pleas'd his loud notes in rich cadence to trill ; 

which it has all the graceful action. The ancients supposed 
the Black Swan an imaginary or extremely rare bird. See the 
second part. 

Of the Goose tribe, the following may be named : 

The Cygnoides^ Chinese Goose, Museovy Goose, or Swan 
Goose, inhabits Europe, Asia, and Africa ; it is about three feet 
long : three varieties 5 one from Guinea, distinguished by its 
erect gait and screaming, is now plentiful in this country, and 
said to unite well with the common goose. 

The Gambensis, or Sparwinged Goose, inhabits Africa ; 
size of the common goose. — The Indica, or Barrel-headed 
Goose, is a native of India ; flesh good. — The Melanotus, or 
Black-headed Goose, a native of Coromandel, is two feet 
nine inches long. — The Grandis or Great Goose of Siberia, 
is the size of the Cygnus ; body dusky, beneath white ; bill 
black, legs scarlet. Weighs from twenty to thirty pounds. 
Found in Siberia and Kamtschatka; where they are taken in 
great numbers ; flesh, it is presumed, good. The Hyperborea 
or Snow Goose, of Europe and North America, is thirty-two 
inches long; general colour white, except the ten first quils, 
which are black with white shafts; the young are blue till one 
year old. The most numerous and the most stupid of the goose 
tribe. Flies in vast flocks. — Abounds in Hudson's Bay. The 
Leucoptera, or Bustard Goose of the Falkland Islands, is 
from thirty-two to forty inches long ; flesh good. 

The Tadorna, Shieldrake, Sheldrake, (or rather perhaps) 
Schelt-drake, Burrow, or Barra-IXuck, Bar gander, St. 
George's Duck, Pirennet, or Sly Goose, has the body variegated 
with white, black, and light brown, or russet; flesh rancid; eggs 
many, good ; lays in rabbits' burrows near the sea-shore, whence 
probably one of its names ; size of a common duck; inhabits 
Europe and Asia. Seen at the mouths of our salt-water rivers 


Where the waters forth gushing, in murmurs down 

The Thrush a sweet music pour'd out in the dell. 

in the summer season with its young, many in number, swim- 
ming after it; on the least alarm, both young and old dive with 
singular dexterity, and remain under the water for a considerable 

The Segetum, Bean Goose, or Small Grey Goose, is of an ash- 
colour; from two and a half to three feet long; a native of 
Hudson's Bay and the Hebrides; in autumn, comes to England 
in flocks, and is destructive to corn. The Erythropus, Berna- 
cle, Clakis, or Canada Goose, is found in Europe, sometimes in 
America, and in the winter on our sea coasts. Length two feet 
or more ; the upper parts of the body black, so also is the tail ; 
front white. Breeds in Greenland, Lapland, &c. — The Berni- 
cla, Brent Goose, Brand Goose, Rat, or Road Goose, or Clatter 
Goose, is brown, the head, neck, and breast, black ; collar white; 
a native of North America, Asia, and Europe ; migrates south- 
erly in autumn ; flies in wedge-shaped flocks, with perpetual 
cackling; flesh, when tamed, good. 

The Molissima, Edder, Eider-Duck, Eider Goose, Cuthbert 
Duck, or Colk, is found in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, 
and America ; length twenty-two inches ; bill cylindrical, cere 
divided behind and wrinkled. The male is white above, but 
black beneath and behind; the female greenish; the eggs some- 
what less than those of a goose, are five, greenish, in a nest 
strewed with its own down taken chiefly from the breast; time 
of incubation a month ; flesh and eggs good. Rarely if ever 
seen in the south of England; it breeds in Scotland, particularly 
on the Western Isles ; and on Farn Islands, on the coast of 
Northumberland; it has also been seen in Norfolk. 

The Eider-Duck is a long lived bird ; it has been observed 
to occupy the same nest for twenty years successively; the 
down is the lightest and warmest known ; that termed live down. 


While all breathless and silent crept softly delight 
To listen with day to the Songster of Night : 

and found in the nest, is most valued; that which is plucked from 
*he dead bird is little esteemed. — Eidei' Down is imported 
chiefly from Iceland and other northern countries. It is col- 
lected from the nests of the birds ; if the nest be deprived of 
its down, the female takes a fresh quantity from her breast ; but 
if the nest be a second time deprived of its down, she cannot 
supply it, the male then takes from his breast the necessary 
lining. As incubation proceeds, the lining of down increases 
from day to day, and at last becomes so considerable in quan- 
tity, as to envelope and entirely conceal the eggs from view. 
The young, as soon as hatched, are conducted to the water, to 
which, sometimes from the situation of the nest, they are car- 
ried in the bill of the parent bird. The food of the eider-duck 
is muscles and other bivalve shell-fish. This bird is with diffi- 
culty reared in confinement. Selby, in Zoological Journal, 
vol. 2, page 458. 

Of the Clypeata, or Shoveler, there are many varieties 
found in Europe, Asia, and America ; it is about twenty-one 
inches long. — The Clungulu, or Golden-eye, is varied with 
black and white, head tumid violet; length about nineteen 
inches ; inhabits as the last ; found on the sea coasts of this 
country in the winter. — The Ferina, Pochard, Dunbird, Poker, 
or Red-headed Widgeon, is found as the last ; length nearly that 
of the golden-eye : eolours varied, black, white, and grey ; 
flesh good ; frequent in the London market in the winter. 

The Crecca, Teal or Common Teal, inhabits Europe and Asia, 
and is well known in the marshy districts of this country ; it 
breeds in Norfolk and most probably in other places of Great 
Britain ; length fourteen inches ; three varieties. Flesh good. 

The Penelope, Widgeon, Whewer, or Whim, is found in most 
parts of Europe, breeds in the Northern regions, and visits 
England in the autumn ; length twenty inches; it weighs about 


In a thick, hazel copse he was warbling apart 
Such notes as have never been equall'd by art. 

twenty-four ounces ; several varieties ; flesh esteemed excellent °, 
as well known as the teal, in the marshy regions of England. 

The Querquedula, Garganey, or Summer Teal, is a beautiful 
bird, a little larger than the common teal, being seventeen 
inches long ; found in this country in the winter ; rarely seen 
after April, at which time it is taken, it is said, in the decoys of 
Somersetshire ; found also throughout the north of Europe and 
Asia, as well as the Caspiau sea, and some parts of the East 

The Anser, or Goose, consists of two varieties: the Ftrus, 
Grey Lag, Fen, or Wild Goose, is two feet nine inches long; 
*he bill is large and elevated, of a flesh colour, tinged with yel- 
low; head and neck ash-colour; breast and belly whitish, 
clouded with grey or ash-colour; back grey ; legsflesh-colour„ 
They reside in the fens the whole year, breed there, and hatch 
about eight or nine young ; often taken and easily tamed. To- 
wards winter they collect in great flocks. They are migratory 
on the continent, and also in some parts of England. They 
generally, when in flocks, fly in the form of a triangle. They 
have not the superiority of the wild-duck, tasting frequently of 
fisli ; the flesh is not, therefore, equal to the tame goose when 
properly fed. 

The Mansuetus, or Tame Goose, is the preceding in a state of 
domestication, from which it varies in colour, but often more or 
less verging to grey; it is found frequently white, especially 
the males. The goose in general breeds only once a year • 
but if well-kept, will often produce two broods in a season. It 
is said to be very long-lived ; some have attained the age of 
100 years. The goose sits on her eggs from twenty-seven to 
thirty days, and will cover from eleven to fifteen eggs. It 
scarcely needs to be observed, that the feathers of geese make 
excellent beds, for which they are plucked twice or more 

G 3 



That bird for whom many a harp hath been strung; — 
Whose warble enraptures the old and the young ; — 

{sometimes jive times) in a year. See the House Sparrow's 
Speech. Geese eat grass as well as many other vegetables, fish 
and worms. In the domestic state, one gander is sufficient for 
five geese. Besides the well known noise of geese called 
cackling, the gander is peculiarly distinguished by his hissing. 

The Moschata or Muscovy Duck, is larger than the wild 
duck ; length two feet two inches ; bill red ; body varied with 
black, brown, white, and green-gold ; in a completely wild 
state, the whole plumage is black, glossed with violet or green; 
in our menageries, the plumage is sometimes white : domesti- 
cated in almost every country. Found in a wild state about 
the lake Baikal, in Asia, and in Brazil. When at large, it 
builds on the old stumps of trees, and perches during the heat 
of the day on the branches of those which are well clothed. 
Naturally very wild, yet when tamed, associates sometimes 
with the common duck, the produce a mongrel breed. Eggs 
rounder than the common duck; in young birds, inclined to green; 
they lay more eggs and sit oftener than the common duck, hence, 
and from its hardiness, the breed deserves encouragement. 
Flesh good. They exhale, a musky odour from the gland on the 
rump, whence the name is supposed to be derived rather than 
from the region of Muscovy — but this seems to me a forced 
construction for the etymology of its name. 

The Boschas, Wild Duck, called also sometimes Mallard, 
is found on lakes, in marshes, and at the mouths of salt water 
rivers in different countries ; and in Lincolnshire and Somerset- 
shire, where great numbers are taken in traps, called Decoys ; 
in the west of England, Coy-Pools. It breeds constantly in 
the marshes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and most probably in 
many other districts of this country. The Tame Duck is the 
wild duck domesticated. There are several varieties; it is ge» 
nerally of an ash-colour; the middle tail feathers of the male 


With feeling's soft touch wakes the poet's sweet lyre, 
And the pensive, the tender, doth often inspire. 

recurvate, the head and neck of whom, in most of the coloured 
tribe, are shaded with green ; the bill is straight ; collar white. 
Its colour varies by domestication. Feeds on a great variety 
of very different food, worms, snails, &c. The duck will cover 
from eleven to fifteen eggs; time of incubation thirty days. 
It scarcely needs to be observed, that the flesh of both the wild 
and the tame duck is good ; the last, however, depending upon 
the mode in which it is fed. In the domestic state, one drake 
is sufficient for five ducks. 

" In the pond 

The finely chequer'd duck before her train 

Rows garrulous." 

Thomson's Spring. 

Decoy Pools were more frequent in the lowland districts of 
Somersetshire formerly than they are at present. In the parish 
ofMear,near Glastonbury, there were once several; at present, 
(1825,) not one. There is, however, one at Sharpham Park, 
the birth-place of Fielding; and another in Sedgemoor, near 
Walton.- For this information I am indebted to my friend, the 
Rev. W. Phelps of Wells, a gentleman whose proficiency 
in another department of Natural History, Botany, is well 

The Valisineria, or Canvass-Back Duck of Wilson, is two 
feet long, and weighs, when in good condition, three pounds or 
more; it approaches nearest to the Pochard of this country, 
bat differs in size and Ihe general whiteness of its plumage : 
the head is mostly of a glossy chesnut ; back, scapulars, and 
tertials, white, with waving lines as if pencilled; beneath 
White, slightly pencilled; primaries and secondaries pale slate; 
flesh excellent. Arrives in the United States, from the north ; 
in October : much sought after as food. 



Motacilla Luscinia, CLinn.) — Sylvia Luscinia, (Latham.) 

Thou matchless, yet modest, harmonious Bird ! 
Who hath not with rapture thy singing oft heard? 
Who hath not oft snatch'd, whattime midnight is still, 
A moment to listen by copse or by rill ? — 
A moment, in May-time, when zephyr, not storm, 
Gives the shadows of moon-light fantastical form ? 
Not content thou to charm us with song through the 

Through the day, too, thy notes oft resound with de- 
O say, are they sad — dost thou grieve while thy song, 
'Midst the glade, wakens echo and warbles along? 
Or doth pleasure — doth mirth prompt thy wonderful lay, 
Or doth love — pensive love- — its soft feeling display ? 
Whatever the cause, be e'er hallowed thy note, 
That at midnight or moonlight distends thy sweet 
throat.( s ) 

( s ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Nightingale. 

The Nightingale, Motacilla Luscinia, (Linn.) the Philomel 
or Philomela of the poets, Sylvia Luscinia, (Latlium,) is about 
six inches long; its colours are very plain, the head and back 
being of a pale tawny, dashed with olive; the throat, breast, 
and upper part of the belly, of a light ash colour ; the lower part 
of the belly almost white; wings and tail tawny -red. Female 

the Nightingale. 133 

The Cuckoo was heard for the first time in song; 
His voice was at once clear, resounding, and strong. 

rather less than the male ; the plumage of both nearly alike. In 
consequence of its unostentatious colours, its shyness, and 
its frequenting thickets and woods, it is rarely seen, and there- 
fore little known. Builds a nest in low bushes or quick set 
hedges, well covered with foliage; and, it is said, sometimes on 
the ground ; it is externally composed of dry leaves, mixed with 
grass and fibres lined with hair or down ; eggs, four or five, olive 
green. It is common to Europe, Asia, and Africa. It does not 
appear that it has ever been found in America, although several 
birds in that continent are called by its name. Three varie- 
ties; one with the body entirely white; one of more than ordi- 
nary size. It is said, that there are two sub-varieties of this 
species; one, which sings only in the night; and another, which 
sings more frequently during the day. This is, I think, ex- 
tremely questionable ; for, if sameness of note be any proof, as I 
conceive it is, the same nightingale sings both by night and by 
day. Those naturalists have, therefore, made a great mistake, 
who state, that this bird sings only in the evening, and during 
the night; it may be beard in tranquil and remote woods, and 
even verynear London, at Lee, Greenwich-park, Hornsey- 
wood, &c. during the day; but its song is, or seems, most har- 
monious in the night. It may be then heard, too, a considerable 
distance, — a mile, or even perhaps more. 

The curious, in regard to the nightingale, will not be 
displeased with St. Pierre's account of it. " Dans nos climats 
leRossignol place son nid a couvert dans un buisson, en choisis- 
sant de preference les lieux ou il y a des echos, et en observant 
de l'exposer au soleil du matin. Ces precautions prises, il se 
place aux environs, contre le tronc dun arbre, et la confondu 
avec la Couleur de son 6corce, et sans mouvement, il devient 
invisible. Mais bient&t il anime de son divin ramage l'asyle 
obscur qu'il s'est choisi, et il efface par l'£clat de son chant, celui 


Strange Scansor is he : for, like Him of the West,* 
He never constructs for himself any nest; 

de tons les plumages."* On this I beg leave to observe, that, 
whatever may be the fact in France, relative to the nightin- 
gale's preference for places where there is an echo, it is by no 
means so in this country. I suspect, that there is more poetry 
than truth in the statement. 

The nightingale is the most celebrated of all the feathered 
race for its song. The poets have, in all ages, and most Euro- 
pean countries, made it the theme of their verses. It visits this 
country towards the latter end of April, and takes its departure 
in August, as it is said; but I suspect not so soon. We still 
want a knowledge of more facts to make us completely 
acquainted with the natural history of this bird. Montagu, 
who appears to have been a very accurate observer, says that, if 
by accident the female is killed, the male resumes his song 
again, and will continue to sing very late in the summer, or till 
he finds another mate. It is rarely found in Scotland, the west 
of Devonshire, or Cornwall ; and, I conclude, not in Ireland. 
Its usual habitation in this country is within the segment of 
a circle, Dover being the centre, whose radii do not exceed in 
length two hundred miles, and not one hundred and fifty, as has 
been frequently stated. Its time of singing, in its natural state, 
is only from its arrival till about Midsummer; but it will, it is 
said, when domesticated, sing nine months in the year. Its food, 
in a domesticated state, may be spiders, wood-lice, ants' eggs, 
flies, and worms; it is chiefly, however, I understand, German 
paste, a composition well known in the bird-shops of the metro- 
polis. It requires to be kept in a warm place in winter, or it 
will die. It is said that the nightingale is common in the bird- 
shops, not only at Venice, but even at Moscow, and that it there 

* Emberiza pecoris, or Cow-bunting : see Part II. 
t Etudes de la Nature, torn. iii. p. 309, Hamburgh edit. 1797. 


All foundlings his offspring— no moment of care 
Devotes male or female their children to rear. 

sings as finely as in its native woods ; but this is questionable. It 
is occasionally to be seen in cages in London, where it sings 
during many months of the year ; but it is not, I believe, ever 
known to breed in confinement here. See Mr. Sweet's letter 
in the Introduction. 

Although this bird in its natural state sings only for about two 
months in the year, yet Cowper, the celebrated poet, once 
heard it sing on New Year's Day, and has recorded the fact in 
some beautiful lines; and which fact, but from such an autho- 
rity, I should be very much disposed to question. It is proba- 
ble, however, that the nightingale, which Cowper heard, was 
domesticated. An opinion has been occasionally entertained, 
that this bird usually sleeps on, or with its breast against a thorn; 
under the impression, I suppose, that, in such a painful situa- 
tion, it would necessarily remain awake. The thought seems 
puerile; and is not, of course, entitled to the least credit; yet 
Young, Thompson, and Sir Philip Sidney, have alluded to 
the supposed fact; Lord Byron treats it as a fable: 

" The Nightingale, that sings with the deep thorn, 
Which fable places in her breast of wail, 
Is lighter far of heart and voice than those 
Whose headlong passions form their proper woes/' 

Don Juan, Canto VI. 

" Griefs sharpest thorn hard pressing on my breast, 
I strive with wakeful melody to cheer 
The sullen gloom, sweet Philomel! like thee, 
And call the stars to listen." 

Young's Night Thoughts, Night I. 

" The lowly Nightingale, 
A thorn her pillow, trills her doleful tale." 

Thompson's Hymn to May. 


Of habits unsocial — affection devoid, 

His nurse's own children are by him destroy'd. 

The reader will have the goodness to remember, that the poet 
here quoted is not Thomson, the author of the Seasons, but 
William Thompson, author of Sickness, a Poem, Hymn to May, 
and some Garden Inscriptions, which well deserve the attention 
of the lovers of poetry. 

"The Nightingale, as soon as April bringeth 
Unto her rested sense a perfect waking, 
Which late bare earth, proud of new clothing, springeth, 
Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making." 

Sir Philip Sidney. 

In this passage it is evident, that Sidney supposed the night- 
ingale a dormant winter bird, — one of the seven- sleepers. Not- 
withstanding its limited range of residence in this country, it is 
said to be found on the continent as far north as Sweden. Its 
wiuter residence is supposed to be Asia; of course, the warmer 
parts. The sonnets and other addresses to the Nightingale are, 
in our own language, innumerable ; some have been already al- 
luded to in the Introduction ; one by Milton, beginning 

"O Nightingale! that on yon bloomy spray 
Warblest at eve when all the woods are still:" 

has been much admired. Another by Mrs. Charlotte 
Smith, the first line of which is 

u Sweet poet of the wood, — a long adieu!" 

has been also frequently quoted in the miscellanies. An evening 
address to the Nightingale, by Shaw, has also had an extensive 
circulation. They all, with very few exceptions, make the 
song and sentiments of this bird melaucholy, sorrowful, or at 
least pensive. For other observations on this charming bird, 
see the Introduction. 


Cuculus Canorus. (Linn.) 

Thou monotonous Bird I whom we ne'er wish away,—* 
Who hears thee not pleas'd at the threshold of May? 
Thy advent reminds us of all that is sweet, 
Which Nature benignant, now lays at our feet ; — 
Sweet flowers — Sweet meadows — Sweet birds, and 

their loves ; 
Sweet sunshiny mornings, and sweet shady groves; — 
Sweet smiles of the maiden — Sweet looks of the youth, 
And sweet asseverations, too, prompted by truth ; 
Sweet promise of plenty throughout the rich dale ; 
And sweet the Bees' humming in meadow and vale ; 
Of the Summer's approach — of the presence of Spring, 
For ever, sweet Cuckoo ! continue to sing. 
Oh who then, dear Bird ! could e'er wish thee away ? 
Who hears thee not pleas'd at the threshold of May ?( 6 ) 

( 6 ) Order, Vjcm, (Linn.) Cuckoo the Common, the Honey 
Guide, the Sacred, &c. 

The genus Cuculus, (Linn.) or Cuckoo, comprehends more 
than eighty species scattered over the globe, the characteristics 
of which are, a bill somewhat arched, tongue short, tail with ten 
feathers, toes, two backwards, two forwards; they belong, of 
course, to the scansorial tribe. The following are most deserv- 
ing notice. 

The Canorus, Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo or Gookoo, is four- 
teen inches long; body above, an ash, or rather a lead colour; 
beneath, whitish, transversely streaked with black-brown. Two 


The House-Sparrows, Chaffinches, noisy be- 
came ; — 
But their notes, void of melody, always the same. 

other varieties, one with body varied with reddish, the other 
grey, covered with a few white dots. Inhabits Europe, Asia, 
and Africa; said to feed on insects, and the larva of moths; 
migrates. Is heard towards the end of April, and generally 
ceases to sing about the beginning of July. I heard it at Lew- 
isham, in Kent, in the year 1824, on the 13th of that month ; it 
has been heard in Norfolk as late as the last day of it. It would 
seem, from these facts, that it is heard later in the south-eastern 
portion of this island, than any where else. Flesh good. The 
cuckoo is a bird with considerable powers of flight ; the body is 
slender, wings and tail long; the plumage, although unostenta- 
tious, is yet handsome. 

Mr.YARREL, to whom we are indebted for an account of some 
curious facts relative to birds, and whose paper on the evolution 
of the chick from the egg is alluded to in the Introduction, in- 
forms me, that he has dissected many cuckoos ; that the stomach 
is similar in structure to the woodpecker's; and, therefore, fitted 
for the digestion of animal food only ; that the contents of the 
stomach invariably indicate the presence of such food, namely, 
the larvce of some insects. I cannot learn from any quarter that 
the cuckoo has been kept alive in this country (like the nightin- 
gale) throughout the year. Our ignorance of its genuine food, or 
the cold of the climate, or both, possibly, have prevented such 

Another fact relative to this bird, for which I am indebted to 
Mr. Yarrel, is, that its testes are not larger than those of the. 
house-sparrow; and hence, Mr. Yarrel seems disposed to 
infer, that the sexual organs in the cuckoo are in a very low 
state of excitement. May not this account for the strange ano* 
maly of this bird's laying its eggs in other birds' nests? 

The cuckoo neither makes a nest, nor hatches her own eggsj 


Sea-Eagles and Buzzards, and Ospreys, were 

there — 
Those who give of their nests to the Grakles a 


nor, as far as is known, does she nourish her offspring. The 
eggs are generally deposited in the nest of the Hedge- Sparrow, 
and are hatched, and the young provided for by this little bird. 
The cuckoo is not known to lay more than one egg in any one 
nest. The eggs are reddish-white, thickly spotted with black- 
ish-brown, and smaller than those of a blackbird; they vary, 
however, occasionally, both in size and colour. 

The cuckoo does not invariably lay her egg in the hedge- 
sparrow's nest, although I have never seen it in any other: it 
has been found in that of the Reed-Bunting, XheLinneVs, and the 
Wagtail's ; and, from the circumstance of Red-backed-Skrikes 
being seen busily engaged in feeding a young cuckoo, it is 
conjectured by Messrs. Sheppard and Whitear, that the 
cuckoo occasionally lays her egg in that bird's nest. 

It has been stated in a popular work, that, from the egg of 
the cuckoo being small for a bird of its size, the hedge-sparrow 
has no suspicion of the intrusion. But the eggs of the hedge- 
sparrow are, nevertheless, much smaller than those of the cuckoo, 
and are light-blue without a spot ; it is quite improbable, there" 
fore, that so different an egg would not be discovered. Besides, 
it seems very likely that the cuckoo would be seen by the hedge- 
sparrow in her nest. The deception is altogether incredible. 
We have no means of ascertaining the reasons for the hedge- 
sparrow's permitting the egg of the cuckoo to remain in her nest, 
no more than we have for the fact that the Fishivg-Hawk per- 
mits the Grakle to build its nest in the suburbs of its own cita- 
del. We must, at present, be contented with stating the facts 

It was formerly suspected, that the hedge-sparrow herself 

* See Note (*), article Haliaelos* 


The Hover-Hawk came, too, though loth to renounce 
His strong inclination on pigeons to pounce; 

threw out her own eggs from the nest, or destroyed her own 
young, to make room for her guest, the cuckoo, under the im- 
pression, it is presumed, that it was an office of honour to be thus 
employed in fostering our canorous summer visitant, but more 
accurate observation appears to have dispelled these suspicions. 
Dr. Jenner, (Philosophical Transactions for 1788,) found that, 
soon after the young cuckoo is hatched by the hedge-sparrow, 
the egg<, or the young ones, whichsoever should happen to be in 
the nest, are turned out of it by the young cuckoo, and by it 
alone. It would seem, that the operation of expulsion is not 
less singular than the deposition of the egg itself in the hedge» 
sparrow's nest; it is effectuated by the young cuckoo, in a curi- 
ous manner, with its broad hollow back, which, it has been con- 
jectured, is thus formed to enable it to perform this extraordi- 
nary action. It is now also pretty well ascertained, that, when 
a cuckoo is hatched in the hedge-sparrow's nest, there is no room 
for any other occupant. 

As far as I have been able to ascertain the fact, the difference 
between the size and plumage of the male and female cuckoo 
is very trifling ; the male is a little larger. 

The song of the cuckoo is supposed to be the note of the male 
alone; the female's note is said to be very different, much less 
known, and has some resemblance to the cry of the dabchick. 
The female, it is also said, is generally attended by two or three 
males in every country, from the earliest period of their arrival. 
This is, however, I think, too broad a statement, although it has 
been asserted by naturalists, that the males are always consi- 
derably more numerous than the females. Dr. Jenner (Phi- 
losophical Transactions for 1824,) says, that "the cuckoo is inva- 
riably a polygamist, and never pairs in this country." The truth 
seems to be, notwithstanding all that has been observed and 
published concerning this bird, that its Natural History is still 


On his librating wing he was oft seen apart, 
And appear'd on his prey ever ready to dart. 

involved in considerable obscurity. See the Hedge-Sparrow's 

The Song itself is too well known to require description, 
being similar to its name cuckoo ; although, I think, it ap- 
proaches rather nearer to the name given to it in Somersetshire, 
Gookoo. It is almost always clear and distinct for some time 
after its arrival; but, towards the close of the season, there is 
considerable hesitation in the utterance of the notes ; thus, 
instead of cuckoo being repeatedly and distinctly uttered, crick, 
cuck, is often repeated in an indistinct tone, before the koo 
which follows. 

The cuckoo usually sings during the day} but, on May 1st, 
J822, the Nightingale and Cuckoo were heard to sing at Shefford, 
in Bedfordshire, the whole night through, by Mr. Inskip, of 
Shefford, as he believed, in competition ; Robert Bloomfield, 
then resident also at Shefford, was likewise a witness of this 
extraordinary fact, an allusion to which will be found in the 
"Remains" of that poet lately published, as well as several 
other curious particulars concerning birds, under the head of 
the Bird and Insects' Post-Office, which every lover of Natural 
History should peruse. See also the Examiner for May 26, 
1822, where it is also stated, that the cuckoo was heard several 
times during the same season as late as ten or eleven o'clock at 
night. It is scarcely necessary to add, that these are, in this 
country, rare occurrences. I heard the cuckoo in Greenwich- 
Park, May 22, 1826, at nearly nine o'clock at night, one hour 
after sun-set. 

The assertion of Montagu, whose accuracy may in general be 
relied on, that the cuckoo almost invariably leaves us the fi rst 
day of July, is very incorrect. It is seen much later than that, 
very often in August, although it does not sing in that month. 

I once had an opportunity of seeing, in Somersetshire, a 


There were Ringtails and Lanners, and Gos- 
hawks, a few ; 

And the Falcons, like aides-de-camp, round about 

hedge-sparrow feed a young cuckoo for about three weeks. It 
was taken from a hedge-sparrow's nest in a hedge in my father's 
garden, a few yards only from the dwelling-house, soon after it 
was hatched, and immediately placed in a large blackbird's 
cage, the door of which was left open, the cage being placed a 
short distance from the hedge whence the bird was taken. The 
hedge-sparrow went regularly into the cage with food to the 
cuckoo, till it became able to fly ; the door was then closed, and 
she fed it through the bars of the cage, but in about three weeks 
deserted it. We afterwards supplied it with bread and milk, 
and earthworms, which last, on being placed in its mouth, it 
devoured most greedily; but it seemed unwilling, or unable, to 
pick up either worms or the bread-and-milk. When it attempted 
to pick up its food, which it sometimes did, the head and neck 
were first drawn back slowly, and then darted forward in a way 
that seemed formidable ; but, nevertheless, was very inefficient 
as a process for obtaining food. This bird arrived at a consi- 
derable size, but it was generally very sluggish and inactive. It 
was found dead in its cage one morning some time in August, it 
was conjectured chiefly from cold; but, probably, also, from a 
deficiency, or total want of its natural food. It was, when first 
taken, and for some time afterwards, both in appearance and in 
its motions, a disgusting animal; as it grew up, however, its 
appearance improved. 

And here I cannot avoid hinting my suspicions, that the 
cuckoo, even when at maturity, might be fed sometimes by 
other birds; certain it is, that it is very often accompanied hi 
its flight by one or more small birds, for what purpose I could 
never ascertain. See the Note on the Wryneck. As, how- 
ever, the cuckoo is a scansorial bird, it is very possible that it 


The Kite, too, slow moving, was seen midst the host. 
Many Fulmars and Razou-Bills came from the 

may obtain its food unseen by climbing about on the branches of 
trees where it is generally heard to sing ; it does not often alight 
on the ground ; the elm is one of its favourites. 

The cuckoo is, it is said, found in Java, and some other of the 
Asiatic isles, but it is never heard to sing there. There is, in the 
Museum of the East India Company, a specimen marked Cuculus 
Canorus, a native of Java; bnt I have great doubt, from the 
smallness of its size and difference in colours, compared with 
our cuckoo, whether it be the same species. 

Till lately, it was not known that any other bird laid its eggs 
in the nest of other birds, besides the cuckoo ; it is now, however, 
well ascertained, that an American bird, called in America 
Cowpen or Cow-bunting, (see the Notes of the Second Part,)^ 
lays its eggs in other birds' nests, and takes no care whatever of 
its offspring. 

Upon the whole, the Natural History of this bird is most extra- 
ordinary ; and I have, therefore, been somewhat minute concern- 
ing it. Its notes, although monotonous, are mingled with some 
of our most agreeable associations, with the vivifying Spring, 
with May, and the season of flowers. 

The poems containing allusions to the cuckoo are innumera- 
ble; Logan has given us a beautiful little Ode to the Cuckoo, 
with which the reader will be much pleased. I cannot find 
room for it here; the following is the first stanza of it: 

" Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove, 
Thou messenger of spring! 
Now Heaven repairs thy rural seat, 
And woods thy welcome sing." 

The Indicator, or Honey Guide Cuckoo, is a rusty grey, 
and is fond of honey ; it inhabits the interior of Africa ; its notes 


Some Pheasants( 7 ) were there, too, in robes of bright 

The Rooks, e'er gregarious, came soaring on high : 

resemble chern, chern, by which it is said to conduct the inhabi- 
tants to the nests of the wild bees; hence, it is highly esteemed 
by the Hottentots, who deem it criminal to injure or de- 
stroy it. 

The Honoratus, or the Sacred Cuckoo, having a blackish 
body spotted with white, inhabits Malabar; feeds on reptiles 
injurious to vegetation, and hence preserved with great care, 
and venerated by the natives. 

The Vetula, or Long-billed rain Cuckoo, inhabits Ja- 
maica, is easily tamed, and sings before rain ; it U fifteen inches 
long, body brownish, bill long, flies short, feeds on insects, 
worms, and small serpents. 

The Orient alls, a native of Java, has a note conveyed by the 
letters Toohoo; or, as Dr. Horsfield has it, Tuhu. 

The Flatus is also a native of Java, and perhaps the most 
musical of the tribe; it has three different strains. It is consi- 
dered, however, by the natives of that island, as a bird of bad 
omen. — Horsfield. 

( 7 ) Order, Gallina, (Linn.) Pheasant, the Common, the 
Courier, the Golden, Cock and Hen, &c. 

The Genus Phasianus of Linnaeus, or Pheasant, consists of 
twenty-four species scattered over the globe ; it includes, not 
only the Pheasant, properly so called, but also the Cock and Hen, 
those well-known domestic birds. This tribe is distinguished 
by a short, strong bill ; cheeks covered with a smooth, naked 
skin ; legs generally with spurs. The following are the chief: 

The Colchicus, Pheasant, or Common Pheasant, comprises 
the following varieties -.—Common Pheasant, rufous, head blue ;— 
the Ringed Pheasant, collar white;— the Variegated Pheasant, 


Those whom soon will science instruct us to know, 
By their white-yellow beaks from the black of the 
Crow. — 

white varied with rufous; — the White Pheasant, white, with 
small black spots on the neck ; — the Pied Pheasant, rufous, varied 
with brown j — the Turkey Pheasant. Inhabits Europe, Asia, and 
Africa ; from two to three feet long ; domesticated every where ; 
in breeding time, above the ears on each side, is a golden fea- 
thered tuft like a horn. From its being a bird of heavy flight, 
it has never been able to visit America. It is said, however, to 
be reared in St. Domingo, where it was taken by the Spaniards. 
Of all birds, except the peacock, the pheasant has the most 
beautiful and variegated plumage. The varieties are produced 
either by climate or domestication. In its wild state, it feeds 
upon all kinds of grain and herbage, and, doubtless, worms. The 
nest is rude, and on the ground, in some secret place ; eggs from 
twelve to twenty ; when they are carried away, the female conti- 
nues to lay like the common hen. The young must be supplied 
with ant's eggs, their only proper food. From its size, and the 
delicacy of its flesh, the pheasant is, of course, a valuable bird ; 
although plentiful in some districts of this country, it is not so 
common in the north, and is rarely seen in Scotland ; nor is it 
found often on marshy land, even in the west, although plenti- 
fully there on hilly regions, where shelter and food can be ob- 
tained. Pope has finely, yet painfully, described the Pheasant 
in his Windsor Forest: 

"See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs, 
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings; 
Short is his joy, he feels the fiery wound, 
Flutters in blood, and panting, beats the ground. 
Ah ! what avail his glossy varying dyes, 
His purple crest and scarlet-circled eyes, 
The vivid green his shining plumes unfold, 
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold !" 



Those whom Man, for his Sport, is oft pleas'd to 

Amidst vinous libations and boisterous joy. — 

This, of course, applies to the cock pheasant ; the colours of the 
hen are neither so intense nor brilliant. 

The Gallus, or Common Cock and Hen, are too well known 
to need description. Fifteen varieties have been named, as 
follow: the Wild Cock, the Common Cock, the Crested Cock, 
the Darking Cock, the Frizzled Cock, the Persian Cock, the 
Dwarf Cock, the Bantam Cock, the Rough-legged Cock, the Turk- 
ish Cock, the Paduan Cock, the Negro Cock, the Crowned Hen, the 
Horned Cock, and the Silk Cock. 

The cock and hen came originally from Asia. The common 
hen is, perhaps, the most prolific of birds ; if well fed, excepting 
about two months in the moulting season, she frequently lays an 
egg a day. When in a wild state, she begins to sit upon her eggs, 
after laying fifteen or sixteen; and, it is only from the circum- 
stance of taking away the eggs, that she produces a greater 
number when domesticated. 

In Egypt, the eggs of the hen are hatched in stoves peculiarly 
adapted to the purpose ; but it does not appear, from all the 
experiments hitherto made in this country, including those by 
the aid of steam, that any method of rearing chicken which 
has been devised, is so good as that of suffering the hen herself 
to hatch and rear her own offspring. The reader, who should be 
desirous of obtaining more information relative to the rearing 
and management of domestic poultry, may consult my Family 
Cyclopaedia articles, Hen, Duck, Goose, Turkey, &c. It 
seems probable, however, that the hatching of chicken by steam 
in towns, where room is wanted for the roving of the natural 
hen, and, of course, with difficulty obtained, might be made 
useful and profitable, chiefly by an equable application of heat 
as a succedaneum for the brooding of the natural mother. 

The cock is, naturally, a very pugnacious animal; the young 


Yes, hath He, of high intellect, oft, in his pride, 
With the blood of the Rook his hands wantonly dyed. 

cock chicken begin to fight long before they are half grown. 
The full grown cock will often attack animals much larger than 
himself; the cock turkey is, in general, no match for him. I 
once had a cock so extremely violent and fierce, that young 
persons could not venture near him ; he has even frequently 
attacked grown people. 

The cock has been a subject of considerable interest with the 
poets; and, in consequence, he has been very commonly called 
by them " Chanticleer." 

" Within this homestead liv'd without a peer 
For crowing loud, the noble Chanticleer. " — Dryden. 

Milton has also finely described this bird. 

"While the cock with lively din 
Scatters the rear of darkness thin; 
And to the stack, or the barn door, 
Stoutly stmts his dames before." — L'Allegro. 

Of the game of cock-fighting, I can only say, that it is a bar- 
barous sport, and ill becomes an intelligent being; the same 
may be said of cocksquailing, a sport, I am afraid, not yet wholly 
unknown in the west. See my Observations on the Dialects of the 
West of England, &c. 

The Mexicanus, or Courier Pheasant, is tawny-white; 
tail long, shining green; inhabits New Spain; eighteen inches 
long •, slow in flight, but runs fast. The Cristalus, or Crested 
Pheasant, is brown above, beneath reddish- white, head 
crested ; twenty-two inches long; feeds on serpents, worms, and 
insects; inhabits New Spain. The Superbus, or Golden Chi- 
nese Pheasant, is rufous, varied with green and blue ; with- 
out spurs; inhabits China. The Argus, or Argus Pheasant, 
is pale yellow, spotted with black ; face red; size of a turkey; 
inhabits Chinese Tartary. 

h 2 


Corvus Frugilegus. (Linn.) 

Thou social, thou noisy, intelligent Bird ! 

How oft I, delighted, thy cawing have heard ! 

When infancy prompted my lisp, thy loud voice 

I heard soon as morning arose to rejoice ; 

And my youth, long beside thy high dwelling, was 

That happiness was not in towns to be sought ; 
And since hath experience proclaim'd the same 

Which, alas ! I had heard, but obey'd not in youth. 
How oft have I seen thee, with labouring breast, 
Long branches and twigs bear to fashion thy nest, 
While the wind drove thee far from thy dwelling 

Till, wheeling around, thou regained'st the spray ; — 
Then, plucking the hairs from the back of the ox ; 
Or, seeking of wool many soft and warm locks. 
How oft have I seen, heard thee provender bring, — 
Feed thy mate, or thy young, and away on the 


* The noise made by the female rook, during her incubation, 
at the approach of the male with food, and when receiving it 
from him, and that made also by the young rooks, at the 
approach of the parent bird, is so singular, and so well known 
by those acquainted with it, that hearing it alone is sufficient to 
indicate what process is about to take place. 


THE ROOK. 149 

How often at morn from my window Pd look 
To see thee, to hear thee, affectionate Rook !( 8 ) 

( 8 ) Order, Picje, (Linn.) Rook, Raven, Crow, Magpie, 
Jack-Daw, Jay, &c. 

The Genus Corvus of Linnaus to which the Rook belongs, is 
a numerous tribe, many of them well known in this country. 
Above seventy species are scattered over the globe, the greater 
part of which are found in almost every climate. The bill is 
convex, sharp-edged, having a small tooth-like process near the 
point. They are proline, social, and clamorous ; building ge- 
nerally in trees; eggs five or six; their food is mixed, some 
animal, some vegetable. The following are the chief: 

The Frugilegus, or Rook, is black, with a bill yellowish 
white, by which it may be readily distinguished from the Crow, 
the size and colours of both birds being nearly the same. Inha- 
bits Europe and Western Siberia, and well known in this country ; 
builds in large communities called Rookeries, generally on the elm, 
which it prefers, but sometimes on other trees. Flies abroad, 
morning and evening, at certain periods of the year, in great 
flocks; is very noisy. Found in this country the whole year round, 
but said to be in France and Silesia migratory. It is a bird of 
considerable intelligence ; it is, besides, extremely useful by 
feeding on large quantities of worms and the larvae of destructive 
insects, following the plough for such purposes. It also feeds 
on corn, and will, if not prevented, pick out, after they are 
dibbled, both peas and beans, from the holes, with a precision 
truly astonishing; a very moderate degree of care is, however, 
sufficient to prevent this evil, which is greatly overbalanced by 
the positive good which it effects in the destruction of insects. 
Eggs five, bluish green, with irregular blackish spots and streaks. 
Flesh, when young, good. A further account of the habits of 
this bird will be found in the Introduction. See also a poem 


Sweet sounds ! that of home, and of parents, and 


Will ever be thought of with rapture by me. 

entitled the Rookery, in my Somerset Dialect. This bird, and 
the Crow particularly, distinguished by their cawing. 

Mr. Coleridge, in a poem addressed to Mr. C. Lamb, and 
published in the second volume of the Annual Anthology, edited 
at Bristol by Mr. Southey, in ) 800, alludes to the creaking of 
the wings of this bird when it flies: 

" The Rook — when all was still, 
Flew creaking o'er thy head." 

I think that I have occasionally observed this noise of the 
Rook. In a note to the poem, Bartram is. quoted as having 
noticed the same fact in the Savannah Crane : as far as I re- 
member in regard to the Rook, the noise occurs, principally, 
when the bird is heavily laden with materials for its nest, or 
contending against the wind. 

The late Lord Erskine wrote a Poem on the Rook, which 
was printed and privately circulated some years since. I have 
never seen it; I presume it deserves publicity. 

Somervile thus sings of the Rook : 

11 When feather'd troops, their 6ocial leagues dissolv'd, 
Select their mates, and on the leafless elm, 
The noisy Rook builds high her wicker nest." 

Chase, Book iv; 

The Corax, or Raven, is black, or bluish black ; but there % 
are several varieties; some with a few scattered white feathers, 
some entirely white, and others variegated with black and 
white ; inhabits Europe, North America, New Spain, and is 
well known in this country. Two feet two inches long ;. makes 


Thou social, thou noisy, intelligent Bird ! 
How oft I, delighted, thy cawing have heard !* 

a hoarse croaking noise ; may be taught to speak ; thievish, as 
indeed are many of the genus ; builds in high trees, or on rocks ; 
eggs bluish green, spotted with brown ; feeds on carrion, fishes, 
&c.j long lived ; smell said to be exquisite. The Greenlanders, 
it is said, eat the flesh, make the skin into garments, and the 
split feathers into fishing lines. 

The croaking of the Raven is extremely disagreeable ; in the 
silence and solitude of remote woods it is peculiarly appalling. 
It was formerly considered extremely ominous. The poets 
have, of course, seized upon this : Drayton says 

" The greedy Raven that for death doth call f 


And quotes Pliny for his authority. And Shakespeare, 

lc The Raven himself is hoarse 
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan 
Under my battlements." 

Macbeth, Act i. Scene 5. 

* " I hired 'em at tha cottage door, 

When mornin, in tha spreng, 
Wak'd vooath in youth an beauty too, 

An birds beginn'd ta zeng. 
I hired 'em in tha winter-time, 

When, roustin vur awa, 
Tha visited tha Rookery, 

A whiverin by da." 

See a poem called the Rookery, in my Observations on the 
Dialects of the West of England, &c. &c. 


How oft hath affection — Begone thou wild dream! 
Proceed we to pencil the rest of our theme. 

Logan has 

'* The Raven croaks the dirge of death." 
A modern poet has also taken advantage of the superstition. 

" All nations have their omens drear, 
Their legends wild of woe and fear. 
To Cambria look — the peasant see, 
Bethink him of Glendowerdy, 
And shun " the Spirit's Blasted Tree." 

Scott's Marmion. 

In the notes to the sixth Canto of which is a poem by the Rev. 
George Warrington, entitled the Spirit's Blasted Tree, that 
contains the following lines : 

tf Three ravens gave the note of death 

As through mid air they winged their way ; 
Then o'er his head, in rapid flight, 

They croak, — they scent their destined prey. 

Ill omened bird ! as legends say, 

Who hast the wondrous power to know, 

While health fills high the throbbing veins, 
The fated hour when blood must flow." 

Sir Walter Sgott has thus alluded to the Raven in the 
Lady of the Lake. 

" Seems he not Malice, like a ghost 
That hovers o'er a slanghter'd host ? 
Or Raven on the blasted oak, 
That, watching while the deer is broke, 
His morsel claims with sullen croak?" 

Whatever might have been the opinions concerning this bird 


The Jay and the Magpie both chatter'd aloud; 
The Wren Golden-crested, apart from the 

in former times, the liberal intelligence of the present age can 
only regard them with a smile— the poor Raven, harsh as its 
notes are, may now croak in peace,— without fear and without 
any accompanying malediction. See a curious poem entitled 
the Raven, in the Anthology, vol. ii. page 240, written, it is pre- 
sumed, by South ey. 

The Corone, Crow, Common Crow, Carrion Crow, or Gor 
Crow, inhabits Europe, Siberia, North America, New Guinea, 
New Holland, Madeira, and this country : it is entirely black; 
two other varieties ; one variegated with white, the other en- 
tirely white ; eighteen inches long ; feeds on carrion or small 
weak animals, fruit, and grain; builds in lofty trees; nest al- 
ways solitary; eggs bluish green, with black streaks and spots; 
usually five in number; rarely at any time of the year gre- 

The Comix, Hooded-Crow, Royston-Croic, Dun-Crow, Scare- 
Crow, or Buting-Crow, is dark ash colour, head, throat, wings, 
and tail, black; twenty-two inches long; eggs bluish green, 
with blackish brown spots; feeds on almost every thing; in- 
habits Europe, Asia, and this country; migrates. See the 

The Monedula, Jack-Daw, Daw, or Chough, inhabits Europe, 
and West Siberia, one variety Persia; well known in England. 
There aie numerous varieties, the principal in this country is 
black; but some of the varieties are brown, others white; 
others with the wings white, and a white collar round the neck ; 
thirteen inches long ; builds in old turrets or lofty rocks, some- 
times in rabbit holes ; egg3 pale, less, and not so much spotted 
as those of the Hooded-crow ; very gregarious and easily tamed ; 
thievish ; feeds on insects, grains, and seeds ; utters a harsh, 
shrill cry, or squeak. 



With the Redbreast, in converse, delighted was seen, 
On abroad branching oak or some tall evergreen. 

Shakespeare has mentioned this bird nnder the name of chough, 
in his description of Dover Cliffs, King Lear, Act Hi. Scene 6. 

" The crows and choughs that wing the midway air 
Scarce seem so gross as beetles." - 

And Cowper has written a pleasing poem called the Jack- 
Daw ; it begins thus : 

*' There is a bird who by his coat, 
And by the hoarseness of his note, 

Might be supposed a crow : 
A great frequenter of the church, 
Where bishop-like he finds a perch, 
And dormitory too/' 

The note, however, of the Jack-daw, is much more shrill than 
the Crow's, and can scarcely be mistaken for it,— indeed, 
never, by an accurate observer. 

The Glandarius, or Jay, inhabits the woods of Europe and 
Siberia, and is well known in this country. The wing coverts 
are blue, with transverse black and blue lines ; body pale rusty 
purple, mixed with grey j two varieties. Thirteen inches long; 
very docile, easily tamed, and may be taught to speak ; eggs 
six, dull olive, spotted with brown, size of a pigeon's. Collects 
nuts and other fruits, and hides what it cannot eat ; feeds also 
on corn, small birds, and eggs. 

" Proud of cerulean stains 
From heaven's unsullied arch purloin'd, the Jay 
Screams hoarse." 

Gisborne's Walks in a Forest, — Spring. 

The Cristatus, or Blue Jay, is an elegant bird, peculiar to 
North America ; length eleven inches ; liead with a crest of 
light blue or purple feathers, which can be elevated or de- 


The Woodlark his song warbled loud on the wing; 
And the Titlark was eager to shew he could sing ; 

pressed at the will of the bird ; back and upper part of the 
neck a fine light purple, in which the blue predominates ; a 
collar of black proceeds in a graceful curve to the breast, where 
it forms a crescent ; chin, cheeks, throat, and belly white, the 
three former tinged with blue ; greater wing coverts a rich 
bine; the predominant colours of the whole plumage blue; 
beneath dirty white, faintly tinged with purple. A noisy 
chattering bird ; notes very various ; nest large ; eggs five, 
dull olive, spotted with brown; feeds on a variety of different 
food, both animal and vegetable; attacks and destroys small 
birds, eating their eggs, &c. ; may be taught to speak. It is 
gregarious in September and October. Found in the temperate 
regions of North America and in Newfoundland. 

The Caryocatactes, or Nut-cracker, inhabits Europe and 
Siberia; body brown, dotted with white, wings and tail black ; 
thirteen inches long; lives chiefly in pine forests; collects and 
feeds on insects, berries, and nuts. Rarely found in England ; 
frequently in Germany and other parts of Europe. 

Of the Pica, Magpie, Mag, Madge, Pie, or Hagister, there 
are four varieties : — variegated black and white, — variegated 
sooty black and white, — body longitudinally streaked with 
black and white,— and totally white. It is eighteen inches 
long, a considerable portion of which is tail. Inhabits Europe 
and North America ; well known in this country ; feeds on 
worms, &c. ; builds in trees or thorn bushes ; covers over its 
nest with thorns, leaving commonly two entrances ; eggs five, 
greenish, with dusky spots. May be easily tamed, and taught 
to imitate the human voice ; when tamed, thievish, and hides 
almost every thing which it carries away ; will carry away 
many things for which it cannot have any possible use. Its 
notes are a kind of chattering. For a further account of this 
bird's nest, see the Introduction. 


While other birds joined in a jig or a reel, 
The Goatsucker humm'd with his loud spinning 

Gisborne thus describes this bird : 

" From bough to bough the restless magpie roves, 
And chatters as he flies." 

Walks in a Forest. — Spring. 

The magpie is not, I believe, generally considered a very 
pugnacious bird ; upon some occasions, however, it will exert 
its energies : my friend, the Poet Laureate, informs me, 
that since his residence in Cumberland, he saw in that part of 
the country three magpies give battle to a Hawk, (the Falco 
Tinnunculus, I presume,) and beat him. 

The Graculus, Red Legged Crow, Cornish-daw, Cornwall' 
kee, Killigrew, or Cornish Chough, inhabits the Alps, Norway, 
England, Egypt, and Persia ; it is violet-blackish ; bill and 
legs red; sixteen inches long; it is restless, clamorous, vora- 
cious, thievish, and gregarious ; builds on rocks ; feeds on 
juniper berries, and insects. It is pleased with glitter, and is, 
it is said, apt to catch up bits of lighted sticks, by which mis- 
chief is sometimes produced ; eggs four or five, spotted with 

The whole of this genus of birds have been commonly con- 
sidered as mischievous and destructive ; and, too often, writers 
on natural history have echoed the vulgar opinion. But they 
are, I think, beyond question, a very useful tribe, the mischiefs 
which they do being very much outweighed by the good which 
they produce in the destruction of worms, slugs, &c. so inju- 
rious to the fruits of the earth. 

* See the description of the Goat-suckers in Part II. 


The Bulfinch, the Redwing, and Owls too 
were there; 
And some Swallows, ( 9 ) that live almost ever in air; 

( 9 ) Order, Passeres, {Linn.) Swallow, Martin, Swift. 

The genus Hirundo, (of Linn.) to which the Common 
Swallow belongs, consists of more than sixty species, dis- 
persed over the four quarters of the globe, a few of which 
forming the tribe of Swifts, have the four toes all placed for- 
wards; the rest three before, and one behind. Of all the fea- 
thered tribe the swallow is most upon the wing, flight appear- 
ing its natural and almost necessary attitude ; in this state, 
it feeds and bathes itself, and, sometimes, procreates and nou- 
rishes its young. The following are the chief: 

The Rustica, Swallow, Chimney, or Common Swallow, 
has the front and chin chesnut, the tail feathers, except the two 
middle ones, with a white spot ; a variety with the body entirely 
white; six inches long. Builds in chimneys; sometimes beneath 
the roofs of out-houses, &c. ; lays from four to six white eggs, 
speckled with red. Arrives in this country in April, leaves it 
in general at the end of September; seen sometimes late in Oc- 
tober. When it flies low, is said to presage a storm, in conse- 
quence of its food, flies, not ascending high in the atmosphere 
at such times. 

The notes of ,the swallow are aptly designated by the term 
" twittering ;" they can hardly be called a song, although con- 
sisting of several sounds by no means disagreeable. 

Gray has immortalized this bird by one expressive line, in 
his Elegy written in a Country Church Yard; 

** " The swalloiv, twittering from the straw-built shed :" 

and Drayton, its mode of feeding, in another; 

" The swift-w ing'd sicallow feeding as it flies." 

Noah's Ark. 
See more concerning this bird and its nest in the Introduction. 


Yet at their first advent, on warm fanning- breeze, 
They repose a long time on the summits of trees : 

The Esculenta, or Esculent Swallow, inhabits China and 
the Islands of the Indian Ocean; it is only two inches and a 
quarter long; blackish; beneath white; all the tail feathers 
with a white spot; builds in caverns of rocks ; nest made of a 
gelatinous substance, said to be obtained from marine plants, 
but, most probably, a secretion from some gland in the bird 
itself; it is eaten by the Asiatics as a luxury. Its chief ingre- 
dient is doubtless gelatine. See the Introduction. 

The Urbica, Martin, House-Martin, Martlet, Martinet, is 
bluish black, beneath white, tail feathers without spots; a va- 
riety with quill and tail feathers tipt with white; five and a half 
inches long ; builds under the eaves of houses ; the outside of 
its nest like the common swallow, of clay; eggs white; inhabits 
Europe and North America ; migrates like the swallow. See 
the Introduction. 

The Apus, Swift, Black- Martin, Skir- Devil, or Skeer-Devil,* 
is blackish, chin white ; eight inches long ; feet so small that it 
rises from the ground, and walks with difficulty; is mostly on 
the wing, and rests by clinging to some wall ; makes a harsh 
disagreeable screaming ; builds chiefly in towers and other 
lofty edifices. Arrives later than the common swallow. Re- 
tires from England early in autumn. 

The Rufa inhabits Cayenne, is five and a half inches long ; 
affixes its nest, which is sometimes a foot and a half long, to 
beams. The Purpurea, or Purple Swallow, is entirely violet, 
female brown ; inhabits Carolina and Virginia, where it is es- 
teemed for its use as a warning to poultry of the approach of 
birds of prey, which it becomes by attacking them furiously. 
The Cayennensis, or White Collared Swift, is blackish 

* For the meaning of the term skir, see my Observations on 
the Somerset Dialect, article To Skeer. 


There silent they sit, scarce one twittering note, 
Is heard to distend the sweet fissirosts' throat. 
But the Martins, in fear of a cold April day, 
Deferred their approach till the season of May; 
While the Swifts, whose loud shrieks make the 

welkin oft ring, 
Chose a day still more distant to welcome the spring. 

violet; five and a quarter inches long ; nest long, conic, chiefly 
of the down of dog's bane, curiously woven together with a di- 
vision in the middle. Inhabits Cayenne. 

The Riparia, Sand Martin, Shore-bird, or Bank Martin, 
is the smallest of the British Swallows, being in length only four 
inches and three quarters ; the upper parts of its plumage are a 
mouse-coloured brown; beneath white, except across the breast, 
which is brown. Frequents rivei s, and makes its nestin the banks, 
but is most commonly found in sand-pits, where it easily makes 
its nest in horizontal holes two or three feet deep. May be seen, 
during the summer, in the sand-banks at the lime-kilns near the 
foot of Blackheath-hill. It sometimes builds in old walls ; and, 
occasionally, it is said, in hollow trees. Eggs five, white. 
Habits in other respects similar to the House Martin. Found 
in most parts of Europe, and also in America, where it is Called 
Ground Martin. 

The Pelasgica, called by Wilson, Chimney Swallow, is 
found in the United States of America, but it is there, as the 
swallow of this country, a migratory bird, arriving in Pennsyl- 
vania late in April or early in May : it builds in chimneys, but, 
in the woods, in hollow trees ; nest formed of very small twigs, 
fastened together with a strong adhesive glue or gum, secreted 
by two glands, one on each side of the hind head, and mixes 
with the saliva; eggs four, white; young fed during the night. 
This bird is four and a half inches long, and twelve in extent ; 
colour a deep sooty brown ; it is supposed to winter in Honduras. 


There were Woodcocks, ( l0 ) and Snipes, both 
Grallators of fame ; 
Now distinguished, ah me! in our annals as Game; 

( I0 ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Woodcock, Snipe, Curlew, 
Godwit, Green-Shank, &c. 

The genus Scolopax, (Linn.) to which the Woodcock, 
Scolopax Rusticola, belongs, consists of fifty-six or more species, 
of which fifteen are common to this country. The chief cha- 
racteristics of this genus are the bill, more than an inch and 
half long, slender, straight, weak. Nostrils linear, lodged in a 
furrow j tongue slender, pointed; toes divided to their origin, 
or slightly connected ; back toe small. The chief of these are 
the following : 

The Rusticola, or Woodcock, is fifteen inches long ; bill 
three inches, straight and reddish at the base ; forehead cinere- 
ous, the rest of the upper part of the body a mixture of ferrugi- 
nous black and grey disposed in bars ; beneath yellowish white, 
with dusky streaks. Flesh and intestines good. Five or six va- 
rieties, with white or pale straw-coloured body, spotted or other- 
wise diversified. In the summer they retreat in France to the 
loftier mountains, and from England towards the mountainous 
regions of Norway and Sweden; some, it is said, to America; 
but a few remain in this country the whole year, and, of course, 
breed here. They are found as far south as Smyrna, Aleppo, 
and Barbary, and as far East as Japan. They are also found in 
Canada and Cape Breton. 

This bird is dressed for being eaten without having its intes- 
tines taken out. 

What ground there may be for the saying I do not know, but 
Philips, in his Cyder,has the following lines on the woodcock: 

" The woodcock's early visit and abode 
Of long continuance in our temperate clime 
Foretell a liberal harvest:" 


There were Curlews, by long bills and wading well 

known ; 
And the Crow, who to feasting on carrion is prone. 

Unless it be that as its long continuance here is indicative of a 
severe winter, and as long frost renders, most probably, the 
earth more fruitful. 

The Gallinago, or Common Snipe, Snipe, or Snite, has a 
straight bill three inches, body nearly twelve inches long ; the 
general appearance of the body a variegated brown ; beneath 
whitish. It migrates partly, and partly breeds in England 
during the summer. Eggs four or five, olivaceous, spotted with 
rufous-brown. Flesh excellent, and dressed in the same manner 
as the woodcock, without taking out the intestines. Found in 
almost every part of the world. 

" The snipe flies screaming from the marshy verge, 
And towers in airy circles o'er the wood, 
Still heard at intervals; and oft returns 
And stoops as bent to alight ; then wheels aloft 
With sudden fear, and screams and stoops again, 
Her favourite glade reluctant to forsake." 

Gisborne, Walks in a Forest, — Winter. 

Although the respectable authority of Gisborne leaves us 
no reason to doubt the accuracy of the above description, yet 
the motions of the snipe, when disturbed, in the marshy districts 
of Somersetshire, are not in exact accordance with it ; the 
snipe there is usually found in ditches or drains, and, when dis- 
turbed, it rises screaming, and generally moves in a rectilinear 
or slightly curved direction, so a3 to be readily shot at on the 
wing : I have not observed in it a disposition to return to the 
spot whence it arose. Snipes are not often seen before they 
rise : their motions are of the most active kind. 

The Major, or Gheat Snipe, weighs about eight ounces, 
and is sixteen inches long ; bill four inches; and similar to that 


There were, too, some God wits, Greenshanks, 

and Tomtits, 
The last, though small birds, are accounted great wits. 

of the woodcock; upper parts of the body similar to the com- 
mon snipe. This bird is rarely met with in England. Flesh 

The Gallinula, Jack Snipe, Gid, or Jud Cock, is eight 
inches and a half long; bill about two inches; body variegated. 
Inhabits this country, Europe, Asia, and America; migrates, 
none remaining in this country during the breeding season. 

The Limosu, Jadreka Snipe, Lesser Godwit, or Stone Plover 
is about seventeen inches long; bill four inches. Rarely seen in 
England. Found in Iceland, and the northern parts of Europe. 

The Totanus, Spotted-Snipe, or Spotted Redshank, is about 
the size of the greenshank ; head pale ash-colour, with oblong 
streaks of black; back dusky, varied with triangular spots; 
wing coverts similarly spotted; beneath white. Found, though 
rarely^ jn England. 

The GZgocephala, Godwit, Common Godwit, Grey Godwit, 
Yarwhelp, Yarwip, or Sea Woodcock, weighs from seven to twelve 
ounces ; length about fifteen inches ; bill long, from three inches 
and a quarter to upwards of four inches. Head, neck, and 
upper parts a rusty brown ; but there is considerable variety 
both in the plumage and the size of this species. Migrates 
from one part of the island to another: by some naturalists said 
to leave England in the Spring and to return in September ; 
but Colonel Montagu informs us that it continues here the 
whole year, migrating from one part of the country to another. 
These birds are often taken in Lincolnshire, and fattened for 
the London market. 

The Cantabrigiensis or Cambridge Godwit is larger than 
the common Red Shank; it has been shot near Cambridge, but 
is a very scarce bird. The Canescens or Cinereous Godwit is 


The Whimbrel, grallator with bill arch'd and long, 
Was also seen lifting his head 'midst the throng. 

about the size of the Green Shank ; it has been killed in 

The Phaeopus, Whimbrel, Curlew-knot, Curlew- Jack , Half' 
Curlew, Stone-Curlew, has an arched bill about three inches 
long ; the body is brownish ; length eighteen inches. This bird 
has all the manners of the Curlew. Migrates, arriving in this 
country in August, and continuing through the winter. Inha= 
bits Europe and America. 

The Glottis, Green-Shank, Green-Legged Horseman, or 
Greater Plover, has the bill about two inches and a half long ; legs 
greenish and very long; inhabits Europe, Africa, and America. 
Length fourteen inches. Migrates ; seen in small flocks on our 
coasts in winter, and in fens and marshes contiguous to the sea. 
Breeds in Sweden, Russia, and Siberia. It has also been seen 
in Africa and America. 

The Arquala, Common Curlew, Curlew or Wheap, varies 
much in size, weighing from twenty to upwards of thirty ounces; 
length of the largest about twenty-five inches. The bill is from 
six to seven inches long, dusky black; wings blackish, with 
snowy spots ; body above, and breast, with dusky brown spots ; 
chin, rump, and beneath, white; legs long, bluish ; feeds on 
worms and marsh insects, and frequents also the sea-shore. 
Inhabits Europe, Asia, and Africa, and common in winter on 
the sea-coasts of this country ; in summer they retire to the 
mountains, where they pair and breed ; they make no nest, but 
deposit their eggs amongst heath, rushes, or long grass ; gene- 
rally four in number, pale olive, spotted with brown ; flesh by 
some thought good, but often rank and fishy. Another variety, 
diversified with rufous and black, found in North America. 

The common notes of this bird are hoe, hoe, hoe ; it utters also 
corlew occasionally, whence its name. Whether Miss Williams 
be justified in calling the sounds which this bird utters a 


The Woodpecker (") pleas'd left his " hollow 
beech tree ; M 
In the crowd he appear'd, join'd by rapture and glee. 

u melancholy wail," which she does in a Sonnet that has many 
admirers, may be questioned : 

" Soothed by the murmurs of the sea-beat shore, 
His dun-grey plumage floating to the gale, 
The Curlew blends his melancholy wail 
With those hoarse sounds the rushing waters pour." 

This lady, following our Dictionaries and Poets, accents 
Cur'lew on the first syllable ; it is however pronounced very 
often, I believe almost always, in the west of England with the 
accent on the last, Cjirleto' : I have in the text, much against 
my inclination, followed the printed custom. 

The Pigmea or Pigmy Curlew is about the size of a Lark; 
weighs scarcely two ounces ; it is a very rare bird ; one is said 
to have been killed in Holland, another in Kent. 

The Curlew has been arranged as a distinct genus by Dr. 
Latham, under the term Numenius, with fifteen species. 

(") Order Yicje, (Linn.) Woodpecker, the Great 
Black, the Green, the Golden-winged, the Ivory - 


The Genus Picus or Woodpecker, (Linn.) comprises above 
ninety species, five of which are common to this country. The 
tribe are distinguished by a straight angular bill, wedged at the 
tip ; nostrils covered with reflected bristles ; tongue much 
longer than the bill, round, worm-shaped, bony, missile, dag- 
gered, beset at the point with bristles, bent back ; tail feathers 
ten, stiff, sharp-pointed ; feet scansile. The following are the 
chief of this very curious genus, which are principally inhabi- 
tants of America. 


Hast thou e'er, when alone, amidst woodlands remote, 
In the forest far distant from dwellings of men, — 
In the grove's gloomy umbrage, — the mountain's 

deep glen, — 
When solemnity, solitude, silence, excite 
A feeling of awe that no pen may indite, 
Been startled by some bird's appalling loud note ? 

The Martins, or Great Black Woodpecker is black ex- 
cept the crown of the head, which is vermilion; size of a jack- 
daw ; length seventeen inches; builds a large and deep nest in 
some tree, which it excavates f<*r the purpose ; eggs two or 
three, white. This bird is very scarce in England ; it is said 
however to have been met with in Devonshire. It is found in 
other parts of Europe generally, and also in Chili. It chiefly 
resides among poplar trees, feeding on bees and ants. In winter 
this bird disappears. In the female the hind head only is red. 
These birds strike with such force against the trees which they 
excavate, that the noise is heard as far as a wood-cutter's 
hatchet. The hole which they make in the tree is generally 
round, and of course sufficiently large to admit their bodies. 
It appears that their reasons for thus scooping out trees are 
two ; the first for the purpose of obtaining ants and insects 
which secrete themselves in the soft or rotten wood, and after- 
wards for a nest. 

The Viridis, Green Woodpecker, IVoodspite, Rain-bird or 
Rain-fowl, High-hoe, Hew-hole, Awl-bird, Yapping-ale, Yaffle or 
Yaffier, Woodwall or Poppinjay, is thirteen inches long ; the ge- 
neral colour of this bird is green; the crown is crimson; the 
rump is yellow, beneath a very pale yellowish green ; the bill is 
two, the tongue six, inches long. Another variety with the up- 
per part of the head and spots beneath the ears deep red. The 
first variety is found in Europe and our own country ; the se- 


That note is the Woodpecker's, — there may'stthou see 
The harsh screaming scansor on many a tree. 

cond, Mexico. Eggs five or six, greenish, spotted with black, 
which it lays in a hole scooped out in a decaying tree; the elm, 
the asp, or the ash, is' usually chosen, rarely if ever the oak for 
such a purpose. A modern poet, Mr. Moore, has immorta- 
lized this bird in a beautiful song called the Woodpecker ; it is 
well known, but the first stanza it may be bete permitted me 
to quote : 

"I knew by the smoke that so gracefully curl'd 
Above the green elms that a cottage was near; 
And I said, if there's peace to be found in the world, 

A heart that was humble might hope for it here. 
Every leaf was at rest, and I heard not a sound, 
But the Woodpecker tapping the hollow beech tree." 

The note of this bird is sufficiently described in the text. 

The Principalis, White-billed Woodpecker, or Ivory- 
billed Woodpecker, (supposed to be the largest of the tribe,) is 
black, crest scarlet, bill prodigiously strong, elegantly fluted, 
and as white as ivory ; cap in the female not coloured ; twenty 
inches long. Feeds on the worms found in rotten trees; sto- 
mach an oblong pouch, not muscular like the gizzards of grani- 
vorous birds. Inhabits America from New Jersey to Brazil; 
habits like the last species. This bird from the great quantity 
of chips which it makes is called, by the Spaniards, the Carpen- 
ter's bird. 

The Erythrocephalus or Red-headed Woodpecker has the 
head wholly red, wings and tail black, belly white ; female 
head brown ; nine and a half inches long ; habits like the last. 
Found in North America; in the winter, grows tame, and en- 
ters houses like the red-breast ; migrates ; feeds on acorns, 
fruits, and Indian corn. 


There came, too, the Stare ( i2 ), made immortal by 
In a lesson which young and which old ought to learn : 

The Auratus, Golden-winged Woodpecker or Flicker, 
inhabits almost all North America, and is very variegated in 
its plumage; eleven inches long; migrates; often found in 
Pennsylvania the whole winter ; feeds on worms, insects, and 
occasionally on hemes and grass. 

The Pubescens, or Downy Woodpecker has the back longi- 
tudinally downy ; outer tail feathers white, with four black 
spots ; hind head in the male red ; size of a sparrow; inhabits 
North America in vast flocks ; is bold, and very injurious to 
orchards, making one hole close to another in a horizontal 
line, till it has completed a circle of holes all round the 

The following may be also mentioned as found in this coun- 
try; but, as their habits are very similar to the Green Wood- 
pecker, they require no particular notice. The Villosus or 
Hairy Woodpecker is nearly nine inches long; above black, 
beneath white ; found in the north of England, common in 
America. The Major or Greater Spotted Woodpecker 
is nine inches long ; the predominating colours of this bird are 
black and white; eggs five, white. Mr. Sweet informs me 
that he had one of this species domesticated, and that it de- 
stroyed and ate small birds. The Minor or Lesser Spotted 
Woodpecker is only five inches and a half long; eggs five, 
white. This bird is called in Gloucestershire Hickwull and 

( 12 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Starling, Water Ouzel,&c. 

The genus Sturnus, (Linn.) to which the Stare, Sturnus 
Vulgaris, belongs, comprehends nearly forty species, scattered 
over the globe, two only common to our own country. 


ye who have power, — who presume that your 

Is the measure that every weak being must fill, 

The characters of the tribe are a subulate, angular, depres- 
sed, bluntish bill j upper mandible entire, somewhat open at 
the edges; nostrils surrounded with a prominent rim; tongue 
notched, pointed. The following are the chief. 

The Vulgaris, Stare, Starling, Shepster, Chepster, or Chep- 
Starling, has the bill yellow, body black with white dots; the 
colours however vary ; sometimes they are a beautiful green 
and purple, and sometimes white, and, it is said, occasionally 
black ; nine inches long. Inhabits Europe, Asia, and Ame- 
rica, and common to our own country. Exceedingly gre- 
garious, associating during the winter months in well-arranged 
battalions, and sometimes with other birds not of their own 
tribe. The males are very pugnacious, often fighting during 
the pairing season for the females with much rancour, the 
females themselves being the while passive spectators. Their 
docility and the beauty of their plumage have rendered them 
great favourites. Their natural notes are a shrill whistle and 
a chattering; but they may be taught to imitate the human 
voice, and sing song-tunes. Sterne has immortalized this bird 
in his SentimentalJourney : — "The bird flew to the place where 

1 was attempting his deliverance, and, thrusting his head through 
the trellis, pressed his head against it, as if impatient. — I fear, 
poor creature, said I, 1 cannot set thee at liberty. — ' No,' said 
the starling, .' I can't get out, — I can't get out.' Disguise thy- 
self as thou wilt, still, Slavery, said I, — still thou art a bitter 
draught!"— Page 101, Edit. Lond. 1804. 

They feed on insects and worms ; but their flesh is so bitter as 
to be scarcely eatable. They build in ruinous edifices or the cliff 
of a rock, and sometimes in a hollow tree, and sometimes in the 
deserted nest of another bird. Eggs four or five, of a pale 


Behold the naive picture, in tints strong and true, 

And think not that birds were made only for you ; 

For you only to sing, for you only to die ; 

think not that thus could e'er act the Most High ! 

Yes, Slavery! hath Nature, in wisdom, decreed 

That who drinks of thy cup finds it bitter indeed ; 

All uncorrupt tastes will thy chalice refuse ; 

And it dash from her lips will indignant the Muse. 

green or bluish cast. This species is seen in this country 
throughout the year; but it is suspected that some of the tribe 
migrate during the summer months ; I have never seen their 
nests in Somersetshire. It appears, however, that a great num- 
ber of these birds have, for several years past, built their nests 
in the apertures under the lead on the top of Canonbury-tower at 

The Cinclus, Water-Ouzel, Crake, Wattr-Crake, Water 
Crow or Piety is above black, breast and chin white, belly 
ferruginous ; seven aud a quarter inches long ; solitary ; breeds 
in the holes of banks ; inhabits Europe and Northern Persia, 
and found also in this country. Although the feet of this bird 
are not formed for diving, it is yet a most singular circumstance 
that it pursues its prey under water, living chiefly on small fish 
and aquatic insects. It sings prettily in the spring. 

The Capensis or Cape Starling is blackish, beneath and 
sides of the head white ; size of the vulgaris; inhabits the Cape 
of Good Hope. The Ludovicianus or Louisine Starling is 
above brownish grey, beneath yellow; in size and habits simi- 
lar to the common starling. Inhabits, in vast flocks, the inte- 
rior regions of North America. 

* See Nelson's History of Islington, 2d edit. p. 237. 




But approach! thou delight of the children of men ! 
Not less than of birds, both of grove and of glen, 
Fair Freedom ! approach ! not, as often of yore, 
In the dark robes of terror, and hands stain'd with 

O come, in thy gentleness silvery bright, 
And diffuse o'er the world thy benevolent light ; 
Take the Virtues, — the maidens of Peace, by the 

Let persuasion, not force, be thy word of command; 
Bring with thee affectionate Feeling and Love, 
So that those who contemn be constraint to approve ; 
Let Knowledge thy constant attendant e'er be, 
And man, become wise, will then only be free. 
The Birds, too, shall hail thee, — around thee shall 

throng, — 
In one loud bursting shout of symphonious song. 

Water-Ouzels, too, came, and the oft-calling 

Pugnacious, — Teals many, but not a Land-Rail ; 
While the Widgeons and Pochards, and rich 

'Midst the Bean-Geese and Brent-Geese were 

seen oft to fly. 
Came the Eider-Duck also from isles of the west, 
Where she dwells most secure in her soft downy nest. 


She to commerce, to luxury, ministers food ; 

And to Sloth lends her couches, nor wholesome nor 

Oh, when shall conviction, the truth flash on Wealth, 
That no road yclept Royal can lead unto Health; 
That Labour can only such happiness yield, 
And such, too, which chiefly abounds in the field ? 

The active King-fishers ( i3 ) on willows were seen, 
In colours most splendid, of purple and green. 

( I3 ) Order, Vicm, {Linn.) King-fisher, the Common, the 
Splendid, the Purple, &c. 

The genus Alcedo, (Linn.) to which the Common King- 
fisher, Alcedo ispida belongs, consists of about sixty species, all, 
except the first named, inhabiting the warmer regions of the 
globe. The characteristics of the tribe are a triangular thick, 
straight, long-pointed bill ; tongue fleshy, very short, flat point- 
ed; feet, inmost, gressorial. It chiefly frequents rivers, and 
lives on fishes, which it calches with curious dexterity; swallows 
its prey whole, but brings up the undigested parts; though 
short winged, it flies with great swiftness; its predominant co- 
lour is blue of different shades. The following are the chief: 

The Ispida, Common King-fisher or Martin-fisher, the 
Halcyon of the poets, is in length seven inches, weight one 
ounce and a half; bill black tinged with orange, two inches 
long. The head and body beautifully tinged with green and 
blue, interspersed with yellow and orange ; the throat buff co- 
lour, beneath a dull orange. Found in this country most fre- 
quently about clear running streams, in the banks of which it 
generally takes possession of a rat's hole to deposit its eggs, 
which are white, seven in number, and transparent. Found 
also in the marshy districts of Somersetshire, and throughout 



The Plover ( ,4 ), the Golden, his whistle loud blew; 
And the DoTTERELand Sanderling pass'cl in review. 

Europe, Asia, and Africa. Drayton has well characterized 
this bird : 

" Long leav'd willow, on whose bending spray 
The py'd King's fisher, having got his prey, 
Sate with the small breath of the waters shaken, 
Till he devour'd the fish that he had taken." 

Man in the Moon. 
The Halcyon was feigned by the poets to breed in the sea, and 
that there was always a calm during her incubation ; hence the 
term halcyon has been used poetically to imply placidity, quiet: 
" As firm as the rock, and as calm as the flood, 

Where the peace loving halcyon deposits her brood." 

This bird is rarely, if ever, found near the habitations of man; 
it prefers remote and solitary places for its abode. 

The Formosa or Splendid King-fisher is the most beauti- 
ful of the genus, with tail short, body yellowish green ; shoul- 
ders, throat, and rump, yellow; wings and crown blue; bill 
yellowish horn-colour ; head with a bright yellow stripe on each 
side; smaller wing coverts edged with yellow; legs reddish 
brown ; a native of South America. 

The Purpurea, or Purple King-fisher ;— the Alcyon, or 
Belted King-fisher, of which there are four varieties;— the 
Chlorocephala, or Green-headed King-fisher ;— and the 
Cristata, or Crested King-fisher, of which there are two 
varieties, are all that we can notice. 

( I4 ) Order, Grall^e, {Linn.) Plover, Dotterel, 
Sanderling, &c. 

The genus Charadrius, {Linn.) or Plover, comprehends 
above forty species, chiefly inhabitants of Europe and America, of 
which some are gregarious, some solitary. They have a roundish 


There were Burrow-Ducks swimming and diving 

along j 
The Skylarks aloft loud were chanting their song; 

obtuse straight bill ; nostrils linear ; feet three toed, all placed 
forwards, formed for running. The following are the chief: 

The Hialicula, Ringed-Plover, Ska-Lark, or Dulwilly, 
weighs about two ounces ; length between seven and eight 
inches; the bill, upper half orange, lower black ; the breast is 
black, front blackish with a white band; crown brown; legs 
yellow. It makes no nest, but lays four eggs in a small cavity 
in the sand, just above high- water mark. Found plentifully in 
most parts of the world ; frequents our shores in summer, and 
retires to more sheltered places in the winter, at which time it 
is gregarious; but does not leave the country, as has been com- 
monly supposed. A variety found in Spain of a grey colour ; 
auother in America of an ash-grey. 

The Morinellus, or Dotterel, weighs about four or five 
ounces ; is in length nearly ten inches ; the breast is ferrugi- 
nous ; band over the eyes and line on the breast white ; legs 
black ; another variety with considerable variation in its co- 
lours. Inhabits Europe ; migrates to the north in summer to 
breed. Is seen on our downs, heaths, and moors, from April to 
June, and again in September and October. It is a stupid 
bird, and easily shot. 

The Pluvialis, Golden-Plover, Green- Plover, Grey -Plover, 
Whist ling -Plover, weighs between seven and eight ounces; 
length ten inches and a half; bill one inch. Body blackish, 
spotted with yellowish green ; beneath white; legs black. In- 
habits almost every where in England during the winter on 
heaths and moors, and is a common object of sport ; it also fre- 
quents the sea coasts. Retires to the mountains and unculti- 
vated districts to breed ; eggs four, size of a lapwing's, colour 
dirty white, blotched with purple. A variety in St, Domingo 


While the Goldfinches, chirping and flitting about, 
Were delighted in picking the thistle seed out. 
The Purs from the sea rose like clouds in the air; 
Green Linnets( ,s ), Pine-Grosbeaks, and Cross- 
bills were there, 

having the body varied with yellowish, beneath white. Flesh 


" With shrilly pipe, from headland or from cape, 

Emerge the line of plovers o'er the sands 

Fast sweeping." 

A Blackwood's Mag. March 1822. 

The Himatopus, Long-legged Plover, or Long-legs, is said 
to be the longest legged bird in proportion to its bulk hitherto 
known ; length from the point of the bill to the end of the tail 
thirteen inches, from that to the end of the toes five inches 
more ; bill two inches and a half long j legs four inches and a 
half long, red ; outer and middle toes connected by a membrane 
at the base. A rare bird in this country, but said to be plen- 
tiful in the East and West Indies, Egypt, and on the shores of 
the Caspian Sea. This bird is wholly white, except the wings 
and back as far as the rump, which are black. The foreign spe- 
cimens have the crown and all the hind part of the head black. 

The Calidris, Sanderling, Curwillet, or Tow-willy, has the 
bill and legs black, rump greyish, body beneath white without 
spots ; another variety cinereous varied with brown. Inhabits 
the sandy shores of Europe and America. It is found in flocks, 
together with the Purre, on our own shores j but whether it 
breeds in this country is not decidedly known. 

( I5 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Grosbeak, Green-Lin- 
net, Crossbill, Bulfinch, &c. 
The genus Loxia, (Linn.) Grosbeak, or Crossbill, compre- 
hends more than one hundred and twenty species, of which the 
Green-Linnet, or Loxia Chloris, is one; it is distinguished by 


The Hedge-Sp arrow softly his song in the dell 
Trill'd ; the Petty-chaps louder his note was heard 
swell ; 

a strong bill, both mandibles being convex, thick, and move- 
able ; nostrils small, round ; tongue truncate. The chief species 
are as follow : 

The Chloris, Green-Grosbeak, Green-Linnet, or Greenfinch, 
is rather larger than the house-sparrow ; head and back yel- 
lowish green, edges of the feathers greyish ; the rump and 
breast more yellow. The plumage of the female much less 
vivid, inclining to brown. Inhabits England, Europe gene- 
rally, and Kamtschatka; gregarious in winter; builds a neat 
nest, generally in some bush ; eggs five or six, whitish with 
blood-coloured spots. Feeds chiefly on grain and seeds* Song 
trifling, but in confinement it becomes tame and docile, and will 
catch the note of other birds. 

The Coccothraustes, Grosbeak, Hawfinch, or Cherryfinch t is 
of a chesnut ash-colour ; wings with a white line ; about six 
inches long; varies in its plumage. Inhabits Europe; it visits 
England in the autumn, and continues here till April. Feeds 
on hawthorn-berries, breaking the stones of that fruit with ease 
to obtain the kernel. It sometimes sings here in warm winter 
days. It breeds in France; eggs bluish green spotted with 

The Enucleator, Pine- Grosbeak, or Greatest-Bulfinch, is 
larger than the last ; head, neck, breast, and rump, crimson ; 
the back and lesser coverts of the wings black, edged with 
reddish, beneath ash colour. Female brown tinged with 
green. Found in the northern parts of the kingdom in the 
pine forests, on the seeds of which it feeds, where also it is 
supposed it breeds. Found also in North America, Hudson's 
Bay, Siberia, and northern Europe. Eggs four, white. 

The Curvirostra, Crossbill, or Sheld-apple, is the most re- 
markable of the tribe, six inches and a half long. Both man- 


The Hawfinch, excited by gales of the spring, 
His gratulant notes was heard also to sing. 

dibles of the bill are booked and turned different ways, so that 
they do not meet at the point. The plumage of the male va- 
ries from a beautiful red to orange colour on the head, neck, 
breast, back, and rump ; wing coverts rufous brown. Females 
generally a dull olive green on the parts where the mate is red. 
It does not breed in this country, but is often found in our fir 
plantations from June to the end of the year. They inhabit 
permanently Germany, Switzerland, the Alps, and Pyrenees; 
often migratory in those countries. They build on the tops of 
pine trees ; eggs whitish, with red spots. Feeds on the seeds of 
the pine, apples, &c. Notwithstanding Buffon considered the 
formation of the bill of this bird as an " erreur de la nature/' sub- 
sequent observation has demonstrated that it is peculiarly suit- 
ed to the food on which it feeds, namely, the cones of the pine. 
In truth the more the structure and habits of birds are exa- 
mined, the more they will be found exactly "fitted to their state 
and place.'' 

The Cardinalis, or Cardinal-Grosbeak, is crested, red. 
Inhabits North America; nearly eight inches long ; sings very 
finely in spring and summer; feeds on grain and Indian corn, 
which it hoards up. 

The Sulphurata, or Brimstone-Grosbeak, is olive brown ; 
throat and belly pale yellow. Inhabits in flocks the Cape of 
Good Hope ; five inches and three quarters long; builds a pen- 
dulous nest. 

The Philippina f or Philippine-Grosbeak, is brown, be- 
neath yellowish white. Another variety with tail and quill 
feathers greenish brown, edged with yellow. The female red- 
dish below. The first inhabits the Philippine islands, the se- 
cond Abyssinia ; five and a half inches long; constructs a curious 
nest with the long fibres of plants or dried grass, and suspends 
it by a cord nearly half an ell long from the end of a slender 


While the Lapwing, repeating his noisy Pee-wit, 
Flew around in a flutter, perchance of deceit. 

branch of some tree, that it may be inaccessible to snakes and 
other hostile animals; ihe interior, it is said, consists Of three 
divisions; the first is occupied by the male, the second by the 
female, the third by the young. In the first apartment, where 
the male keeps watch while the female is hatching, a little clay 
is placed on one side, and on the top of this a glowworm, which 
affords its inhabitants light in the night-time! The nest of the 
second variety is spiral, with an opening on one side, which is 
always turned from the rainy quarter. This account of the 
nest of this bird is, I confess, a little bordering on the impro- 
bable^ I have no means of ascertaining its correctness. Lord 
Valencia saw hundreds of the nests of this bird on a tamarind 
tree in the East Indies; they were like a long cylinder, swelling 
out in a globose form in the middle, and fastened to the extreme 
branches of the tree. 

The Abyssinica, or Abyssinian-Grosbeak, is yellowish ; the 
crown, temples, throat, and breast black ; inhabits Abyssinia ; 
size of the hawfinch; nest pyramidal, pendent, with an opening 
on one side., and divided in the middle by a partition. 

The Pensilis, or Pensile-Grosbeak, is green; head and 
throat yellow ; belly grey ; size of a house sparrow j inhabits 
Madagascar; nest pensile, shaped like a bag, with an opening 
beneath, on one side of which is the true nest ; does not choose 
a new situation every year, but fastens a new nest to the end of 
the last, often having a chain of five nests in succession ; builds 
in large societies ; brings three at each hatching. 

The Socia, or Sociable-Grosbeak, is rufous-brown, beneath 
yellowish; inhabits the Cape of Good Hope; five and a half 
inches long; lives together in vast tribes from eight hundred to 
a thousand, at times, under one common roof, containing their 
several nests, which are built on a large species of the mimosa. 

For an account of the Pyrrhula, Bulfinch, see Note (^ 8 ). 

i 3 


In fair robes, finely ting'd with ash-grey, o'er the 
Flew the Gulls ( x6 ) from the sea on a light zephyr 

( l6 ) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Gull, Kittiwake, 
Tarrock, &c. 

The genus Larus, (Linn.) or Gull, consists of nearly thirty 
species ; they are spread almost universally over the globe, ac- 
commodating themselves to the winters of the arctic regions, 
and to the heat of the torrid zone. They have a straight bill, 
a little hooked at the tip ; a light body supported by large 
wings; from the feathery buoyancy of which they, it is said, 
never dive ; toes before webbed, back toe small : the following 
are the chief: 

The Canus, Gull, Common-Gull, Sea-Gull, fVhite-Web- 
footed-Gull, Sea-Mall, Sea- Mew, or Sea-Maw,* is seventeen 
inches long, and weighs fifteen ounces; the head, neck, tail, 
and under parts of the body white; back, scapulars, and wing 
coverts ash-colour ; bill yellow. Inhabits Europe and Ameri- 
ca. The preceding is the description of the bird maturely fea- 
thered ; but the first year it is more or less mottled all over with 
brown and white; it varies again in the second year ; and it is 
probable that it does not arrive at maturity till the third or 
fourth year. It is seen in winter at a considerable distance 
from the coast, and will follow the plough for the larva: of the 
cockchafer, Scarabceus Melolontha. It is, however, decidedly a 
sea-bird, and feeds on fish and marine worms ; breeds on the 
ledges of rocks, close to the sea-shore; eggs two or three, dull 
olive, blotched with dusky, size of a small hen's egg. 

A beautiful song of Lord Bvron's in the first canto of 

* "The greedy Sea-Maw fishing for the fly.'' 

Drayton's Man in the Moon. 


The Fuscus was there) long the fisherman's guide ; 
And he, the Great Black-back'd, of Steep Holmes 
the pride. 

Childe Harold will immortalize this bird as the Sea- Mew ; the 
following is the first stanza of it l 

" Adieu, adieu ! my native shore 
Fades o'er the waters blue; 
The night winds sigh, the breakers roar, 

And shrieks the wild sea-mew. 
Yon sua that sets upon the sea, 

We follow in his flight ; 
Farewell awhile to him and thee, 
My native land ! — good night !" 

The Marinus, Great Black-backed Gull, Great Black 
and White Gull, or Cobb, weighs between four and five pounds; 
breadth five feet nine inches; colour white; back and wing 
coverts dusky black. Inhabits Europe and America. Breeds 
on the Steep-Holmes in the Bristol Channel ; eggs blackish 
grey, with dark purple spots. Feeds on fishes and young birds. 

It used some years since to be, and probably now is, a common 
excursion in the summer season among the fishermen resident 
near the mouth of the Parret, to row in their flat-bottomed 
boats to the Steep-Holmes, in quest of gulls' eggs: it was ge- 
nerally considered a source of pleasure rather than of profit. 
The adventure is a hazardous one, and can only be safely ac- 
complished in calm weather. 

The Fuscus, or Herring-Gull, is white; back brown; 
twenty-three inches long; inhabits Europe, North America, 
and Asia ; found plentifully on the shores of this country ; 
feeds on fish, particularly herrings, to the shoals of which 
fishermen are directed by these birds hovering over and follow- 
ing them. Eggs three, whitish, spotted with black. In the 
two first years the young of this and the Less Black-backed Gull 
are so much alike, that they cannot be ascertained till the ma- 


The Laughing came, too, from his home, Scoulton 

Mere ; 
And that Arctic marauder who hunts without fear: 

tured feathers appear on the back. See Part II. for a poetical 
description of the gull's and other birds' pursuit of the herring. 

The Ridibundus, Laughing-Gull, Black-headed Gull, Brown- 
headed Gull, Puit, Pewit-Gull, Black-Cap, Sea-Crow, Mire-Crow, 
or Crocker, is whitish ; head and throat black ; length fifteen 
inches; makes a laughing noise ; inhabits Europe and America, 
and found also in this country. It breeds at Scoulton Mere, in 
Norfolk, where the eggs have been collected in great numbers. 
The young birds leave the nest as soon as they are hatched 
and take to the water, as do indeed most of the young of the 
aquatic tribes. It is a very useful bird, following the plough 
for worms as regularly as the rook. Its plumage varies: in 
winter the head and other parts of the body, which are black in 
summer, become white. 

The Argentatus, or Less Black-backed Gull, is greatly 
inferior in size to the Great Black-backed Gull, but rather 
larger than the Herring-Gull. Found frequently, and breeds, 
in this country. The eggs and young similar to those of the 

The Parasiticus, Arctic-Gull, Teaser, or Dung-Hunter, has 
the body above black ; beneath, temples, and front, white. In- 
habits Europe, Asia, and America ; common also in the He- 
brides and the Orkneys, where they breed among the heath ; it 
has been seen also in Yorkshire. Eggs two, ash-coloured 
spotted with black, size of a hen's. It is twenty-one inches 
long. Pursues smaller gulls till they have discharged what 
they have lately eaten, which it dexterously catches and de- 
vours before it reaches the water. 

The Rissa,or Kittiwake, is, the first and second year, called 
Tarrock, not arriving at maturity till the third year, when it 
isalout fourteen or fifteen inches long; weighs about half a 


The Kittiwake, Skua the huge> the Black-toed, 
Over hill, over dale, all triumphantly rode ; — 
While the CoMMon, well known as the minstrel's Sea- 
Of whom Byron sings in his feeling " Adieu," 
Soar'd aloft with wild screaming, and waving in light 
His downy plum'd pinions of delicate white. 
There were, too, some Warblers of soft plaintive 
note : 
The Red-start — the Wheat-ear, and he with 
White-Throat ; 

pound ; back whitish-hoary ; quill feathers white ; head, neck, 
belly, and tail snowy ; wings hoary. Inhabits Europe, Asia, and 
America; found also, and breeds, in this country, but rarely in 
the southern parts of the island. 

Besides these, many other species are sometimes found in 
this country; the Crepidutus, or Black-toed Gull; — the Atri- 
cilla } or Laughing-Gull of Montagu, called also Baltner's 
Great Ash-coloured Sea-mew; — the Catarractes, Skua 
Gull, or Brown Gall, weighs three pounds, and is two feet 
long ; — and the Ncevius, or Wag el-Gull. The Winter-Gull, 
Winter-mew, or Coddy Moddy, is said to be nothing more than 
the common gull in the second year's plumage. 

The eggs of gulls are collected and eaten in some parts of 
Great Britain, as well as in other countries. The flesh of most 
of the tribe i3 generally considered too rank for food. The 
feathers would, it is presumed, make good beds; it seems singu- 
lar that they have not been collected for such purpose : per- 
haps, however, they may be too oily. 

" Buoyantly on high, 
The Sea Gulls ride weaving a sportive dance, 
And turning to the sun their snowy plumes." 

A Blackwood's Mag. 1822. 


Of the Wagtails— the Water — the Yellow — the 

The first at the stream often sipp'd and away. 

Sand-Pipers ( ,7 ) were many — amongst them were 

The Grey, Black, Common, Spotted, Red, Pur- 
ple, and Green. 

( i7 ) Order, Grall^, (Liwn.) Sand-Piper, Ruff and ReevEj 
Lapwing, Turnstone, Phalarope, Knot, Pur, &c. 

The genus Tring a, (Linn.) or Sand-Piper, consists of above 
seventy species ; their distinguishing characters are a straight 
slender bill, and exceeding one inch and a half in length ; 
nostrils small ; tongue slender; toes divided, or very slightly 
connected. They are found in Europe and America \ a few in 
Asia ; a great many common to this country ; the following are 
the chief : 

The Pugnax, or Ruff and Reeve, have the bill and legs 
rufous; three lateral tail feathers without spots; face with flesh- 
colour granulations. They are so variable in colour that two 
are seldom alike, but the long feathers of the neck resembling 
a ruff, sufficiently characterize the species. It is about a foot 
long; the Ruffs^ov males, fight with great obstinacy for the fe- 
male, or Reeves, whence their specific name Pugnax, The 
Reeve is less than the male ; the upper parts are brown ; beneath 
white. Eggs four, white, with rusty spots deposited in a tuft of 
grass. The ruff and the flesh-colour granulations of the face are 
only seen in the summer; both disappear in the autumn. In 
the young of the first year, which are called Stags, they are 
wanting. Inhabits Europe and this country; but here only in 
the fens of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, East Riding of York- 
shire, the. Isle of Ely, and the marshes of Norfolk ; they arrive 
in these districts early in spring, where they breed, and depart 


With the Muscovy, Wild Ducks, the Reeve, and 

the Ruff, 
Mix'd the Sea-Pies, the Gambet, and many a 


the latter end of September. They are caught by nets: when 
fattened, they are dressed with their intestine?, and their whole 
contents, like the woodcock. 

The Vanellus, Lapwing, Pewit, Bastard-Plover, or Green- 
Plover, is about half a pound weight; length twelve inches; has 
a pendent crest; breast black; back and coverts of the wings 
brown green, glossed with purple and blue. Inhabits the 
marshes and moist heaths of Europe. It is distinguished by the 
monotonous sounds of pee-weet, which it continually utters, and 
with which it flies around or near persons, so as to be sometimes, 
in moors, extremely annoyiug ; this it does, it has been conjec- 
tured, to divert attention from its nest or its young. Feeds 
chiefly on earthworms, which it artfully obtains by beating the 
ground about their holes. Gregarious, except during the 
bleeding season; and is said to migrate. Eggs four, olivaceous, 
blotched with black ; it lays on the bare ground. The eggs are 
placed in a quadrangular manner, touching each other at the 
smaller ends: this position of the eggs is said to be common to 
the Sand-piper, Plover, and Snipe tribes. Flesh good; the eggs 
are considered a delicacy, and frequently brought to London for 

The Gambetta, or Gambet, is the size of a green-shank ; head, 
back, and breast cinereous, spotted with dull yellow ; wing 
coverts cinereous, edged with yellow; beneath white; rarely' 
seen in England ; inhabits Europe and America. 

A lapwing of Java, mentioned by Dr. Horsfield under the 
terms of Vanellus tricolor, has the notes similar to *' Terek" 
It should, perhaps, also be mentioned here, that the Lapwing 
has been arranged as a separate genus by many authors under 
the term Vanellus. 



Although of this island both visitors rare, 

The Grey and Red Phalarope also were there. 

The Interpres, Turnstone, or Sea-Dotterel, is about the size 
of a thrush ; inhabits the sea-coasts of Europe and America, and 
found in this country in the winter, but, it is said, does not breed 
here. It is nine inches long; feeds on worms, turning over 
stones to look for them, hence its name. Eggs four, olive, 
spotted with black. Three other varieties : one found in Scot- 
land and North America; two in Cayenne. 

The Lobata, Guey-Phalarope, or Great Coot-footed Tringa, 
inhabits Europe, Asia, America, and rarely England ; rather 
larger than the Purre ; one other variety. In stormy wea- 
ther gregarious on lakes. The Hyperborea, or Red Phala- 
rope, Cock Coot-footed Tringa, or Red Cool-footed Tringa, is the 
size of the preceding; inhabits the North of Europe; said to 
breed in Hudson's Bay; rarely seen in England. The Phala- 
ropes are arranged by Dr. Latham as a distinct genus. 

The Sand-Pipers which are found in England are, among 
others, the following: the Cinerea, or Ash-coloured Sand- 
Pjper, in length about ten inches; seen in large flocks on the 
coasts of South Wales ; they migrate, it is said, in April. By 
some authors esteemed the same bird as the Knot, see below. 
The Lincolniensis, or Black Sand-Piper, is the size of a thrush. 
The Fusca, or Brown Sand-Piper, is the size of a Jack-Snipe. 
The Grenovicensis, or Greenwich Sand-piper, is the size of 
the Redshank. The Squaiarola, Grey-Plover, or Grey Sand- 
Piper, is rather larger than the Golden Plover. The Pusilla, or 
Little Sand-Piper. The Nigricans, Purple Sand Piper, 
Sea Sand- Piper, or Selniger Sand-Piper. The Islandica, Red 
Sand-Piper, or Aberdeen Sand-Piper. The Macularia, Spotted 
Sand-Piper, or Spotted Tringa, The Glareola, or Wood Sand- 
Piper, size of a Jack Snipe. 

The Ochropus, or Green Sand-Piper, is an elegant species, 
ten inches long; solitary, and smells of musk; inhabits Europe 


The Sand-Pipers Green, and of strong musky smell, 
Those elegant waders, flew over the dell. 

and America; arrives in this country in September, and con- 
tinues till April. 

The Hypoleucos, Common Sand- Pi per, or Summer-Snipe, 
has the body cinereous, with black stripes, beneath white ; in- 
habits Europe and America, and common to this country, which 
it visits in the spring, frequenting our lakes and rivers, on the 
borders of which it makes its nest. Seven and a half inches 
long; eggs four or five, dirty yellow, with pale spots. Wags 
the tail, and, when disturbed, makes a piping noise. 

The Canutus, or Knot, has the body above cinereous, beneath 
white; inhabits England, Europe generally, and also America ; 
nine inches long; eggs flesh colour, with crowded orange spots; 
flesh delicious. 

The Cinclus, Sanderling, Purre, Pur, Stint, Red-necked 
Sand-piper, Ox-bird, Ox-eye, Least-snipe, or Wagtail, has the 
bill and legs black ; body and rump grey and brown ; a second 
variety with brown legs ; the breast and belly white in both ; 
inhabits England, Europe generally, and America ; nearly 
eight inches long; flesh eatable. Frequents the mouths of our 
saltwater rivers in immense flocks during the winter and spring, 
and is generally seen in the greatest numbers at or about high 
water, particularly during the spring tides. They are rarely 
seen in the summer, retiring to some distant place to breed. 
Their numbers and compactness of association may be judged 
of by the fact that a fisherman whom I knew fired at a large 
body of them when on a bank surrounded with the tide, and 
killed one hundred and twenty, and nine plovers which were 
amongst them, at one shot, besides wounding, perhaps, half as 
many more which he could not obtain. The shots in the gun 
were large too, and, consequently, not very numerous, so that 
one 3hot must have killed several birds ! See the Note, — House- 
Sparrow's Speech, 


While the wild running Water Rail ( lS ) just from 

the fen, 
Was seen 'midst the sedgy green pools of the glen. 

( Ib ) Order, GiialLjE, (Linn.) Rail, Water-Rail, Land- 
Rail, Spotted-Gallinule, &c. 

The genus Rallus, (Linn.) or Rail, consists of about thirty 
species, of which the Water-Rail, Rallus Aquaticus, is one. 
The characters of this tribe are a slender bill ; nostrils small ; 
tongue rough at the end ; body much compressed ; tail very 
short ; feet four-toed, cleft. The following are most important : 

The Aquaticus, Water-Rail, Brook-Ouzel, Bilcock, Velvet- 
Runner, Runner, Grey-Skit, or Skiddy-Cock, is twelve inches 
long ; upper part of the body olive brown ; black in the middle, 
the lower cinereous ; wings grey, spotted with brown ; tail 
feathers short, black; legs dusky red. Inhabits the watery 
places in Europe and Asia ; found also in this couutry ; lays in 
willow beds or among aquatic plants; eggs five or six, pale 
yellowish, marked all over with dusky brown spots. Montagu 
once found a nest with six eggs of spotless white ; rather larger 
than those of a black- bird. Flies heavily, runs and swims with 
celerity ; flesh good ; feeds on worms, slugs, and insects. 

The Crex, Land-Rail, Crake-Gallinule, Land-Hen, Rail, 
Daker-Hen, Com-Crake, Crek, Cracker, Bean- Crake, or Corn- 
Drake, has the feathers of the body reddish brown, the belly 
whitish yellow; wings reddish rusty; bill and legs brown ash; 
inhabits redgy places of Europe and Asia ; arrives in this 
country the latter end of April, and departing in October. 
Nine and a half inches long ; runs swiftly along the grass ; flies 
slowly; feeds on insects and seeds; grows very fat; flesh ex- 
cellent; its note harsh, resembling the words crek, crek; lays 
on the dry grass from twelve to sixteen eggs, of a dirty white 
colour, with a few yellow spots. Two other varieties found in 
the East and West Indies. It is found most plentiful in the 
northern parts of this kingdom, and in Ireland. 


The Divers ( is> ) were many and various in hue ; 
Of the Northern, the Imber, Black-throated 

a few ; 

The Porzana, Spotted Gallinule, or Spotted Water-Hen, is 
an elegant species, about nine inches long ; it migrates like the 
preceding ; frequents the sides of small streams •, flesh good. 
Inhabits also Europe and North America. 

( I9 ) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Diver, Grebe, Guillemot, 
Didapper, &c. 

The genus Colvmbus, (Linn.) or Diver, consists of about 
thirty species, including the Grebes and Guillemots. The 
characteristics of this tribe are a toothless bill ; they walk on 
land with great difficulty, but swim and dive with great dexte- 
rity. The Guillemots with a slender bill chiefly inhabit the sea ; 
feet three-toed, palmate; the flesh is tough, and, as well as the 
eggs, nauseous. The Divers frequent the northern lakes, have 
a strong bill ; feet four-toed, palmate ; are monogamous ; fly 
with difficulty ; and in breeding time prefer fresh water. The 
Grebes are tailless, with a strong bill ; feet four-toed, pinnate ; 
frequently found about the waters of southern Europe. They 
are separated from the Divers by Dr. Latham, and by him 
arranged as a distinct genus, so also are the Guillemots. The 
following are a few of the species. 

The Grylle, Black-Guillemot, Greenland-Dove, Sea-Turtle, 
or Scraber, has a black body ; the wing coverts and secondary 
quills tipped with white; legs red ; bill black ; from thirteen to 
fourteen inches long. Inhabits Europe and America; frequent 
in Scotland and the Hebrides; rarely seen in the south of our 
island. Several varieties. Egg one, dirty white, blotched with 
rust colour; it is deposited under ground, or in a hole in some 

The Troile, Foolish-Guillemot, Sea-Hen, Scout, Kiddaw, 
Murre, Luvy, Willoch, or Tinkershire, has a black body, breast 


By tribes Hyperborean their pelts often sought, 
Into robes warm and flexile are frequently wrought. 

and belly snowy. Two other varieties. Inhabits Europe and 
America ; found also on our high rocky coasts, sometimes in 
great abundance. Seventeen inches long. Egg one, greenish 
blotched with marbled dusky ; two, however, are rarely alike. 
They do not appear to have much use of their wings, and may 
therefore sometimes be taken by the hand when perched on 
rocks. They leave the southern parts of the kingdom the lat- 
ter end of August. 

The Minor, Lesser-Guillemot, Winter-Guillemot, or 
Morrot, is less than the preceding, being about sixteen inches 
long; above black, beneath white. Found frequently in the 
northern parts of this island. — See the conclusion of this Note. 

The Glacialis, Northern-Diver, Greatest Speckled-Diver, or 
Loon, is the largest of the genus, sometimes weighing fifteen or 
sixteen pounds ; in length nearly three feet and a half. The 
back, scapulars and wing coverts are black, marked with white 
spots in a most elegant manner ; beneath white ; bill black, four 
inches and a half long ; head and neck a deep velvety black. 
Inhabits Iceland and Greenland ; sometimes, though rarely, met 
with in this country. 

The Immer, Imber-Diver, Imber-Goose, Ember-Goose, 
Immer, Great- Doucker, or Cobble, is less than the preceding ; 
length about two feet. Inhabits the Arctic Ocean j found also 
occasionally in this country, particularly in the north ; it is also 
found in the north of Europe; and said to be found also on the 
lake of Constance, in Switzerland, where it is called Finder. 
Its distinguishing colour is brown above, spotted with black 
and white ; beneath white. Feeds on fish, after which it dives. 
Builds its nest on the water, amongst flags and reeds. 

The Arcticus, Black-throated Diver, Northern- Doucker, 
or Speckled- Loon, is two feet long; rarely found in England, but 
not uncommon in the north of Europe and North America. In 


Many Grebes, too, were there; some well known 

unto fame : 
The Crested, the Dusky and Eared we may name. 

some countries the skin is used for various sorts of clothing and 
other purposes, being warm and exceedingly tough; these qua- 
lities being common to the skins of all the genus. 

The Cristatus, Crested-Grebe, Greater-crested and horned 
Ducker, Grey or Ash-coloured Loon, Greater-Loon, Arsefoot, 
Tippet-Grebe, Cargoose, or Gaunt, is about two feet long, and 
weighs between two and three pounds; crest dusky; above 
dusky brown, beneath white. Varies in its plumage. This bird 
is indigenous to England, breeding in the meres of Shropshire, 
Cheshire, and Lincolnshire; its nest large, made of aquatic 
plants, not attached to any thing, but floats amongst the reeds 
and flags penetrated by the water. Eggs four, white, size of a 
pigeon's. Feeds on fish, after which it dives admirably. Rarely 
seen on land; it is found also in various parts of northern 
Europe. — See the conclusion of this Note. 

The Septentrionalis, or Red-throated Diver, inhabits the 
lakes of Europe; makes a clamorous noise; two feet five 
inches long. 

The Obscurus, Dusky-Grebe, or Black-and-white Dobchick, 
is larger than the Little Grebe ; length eleven inches. Inhabits 
the fens in Lincolnshire, where it breeds, and makes a nest in 
the same manner as the Crested Grebe; found in the winter in 
our inlets on the coast, particularly in Devonshire. 

The Auritus, Eared-Grebe, or Eared- Dobchick, is larger 
than the preceding, being in length twelve inches. Inhabits 
the fens of Lincolnshire, where it breeds; eggs four or five, 
white, in a floating nest. Found also in the north of Europe, 
Iceland, and Siberia. 

The Cristatus, called by some authors Colymbus minor, by 
others Colymbus fiutialilis, Little Grebe, Didapper, Dive- 
dopper, Dipper, Dobchick, Dobchick, Small Doucker, Loon, Arse- 


Where the ocean is heard in tumultuous roar, 

The Guillemots came from some bold, rocky shore. 

foot, weighs between six and seven ounces; length ten inches. 
The general colour of this bird is a rusty black ; it varies how- 
ever occasionally in its plumage. It is the least and most plen- 
tiful species of the genus, being common in most lakes, slow- 
rivers, small streams, and even fish-ponds of this country. It 
seldom takes wing, but dives on the least alarm, remaining un- 
der water, with its bill only above for respiration, for a long 
time. Nest similar to other grebes, but usually fastened to 
the reeds. In the spring the males emit a shrill chattering 
noise. This bird is found in most parts of the old continent, 
and also in some parts of America. See the Introduction. 
4)ra\ton has well described this bird : 

" And in a creek where waters least did stir, 
Set from the rest the nimble Divedopper, 
That comes and goes so quickly and so oft, 
As seems at once both under and aloft/' 

Man in the Moon. 

In concluding ihis note, I cannot avoid noticing the singular 
confusion which prevails among naturalists in regard to the 
nomenclature of this genus of birds. I have not been enabled 
to clear up the difficulties which beset me. I find two diffe- 
rent species named Colymbus cristatus and Colymbus minor; 
these errors I have copied, nor can I explain them satisfac- 
torily : a proof, if any proof were wanting, that a master mind 
in the science of ornithology is still a desideratum, and a 
convincing proof also of the propriety of the course which I 
have adopted in this poem in not admitting scientific terms into 
the text. Whether the quinary arrangement mentioned in the 
Introduction may ultimately dissipate these clouds in the scien- 
tific ornithological horizon, is a question still remaining to be 


Snow-Buntings (*°) and Bantam-Cocks made a 

display ; 
The Wood-chats and Ortolans perched on a spray. 

( 20 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Bunting, Ortolan, 
Yellow-Hammer, &c. 

The genus Emberiza, (Linn.) or Bunting, consists of above 
eighty species, of which the Snow-Bunting, Emberiza nivalis, 
and the Ortolan, Emberiza hortulana, are two. This tribe of 
birds is scattered over the four quarters of the globe, but chiefly 
found in Europe and America; several species are inhabitants 
of this country. They are distinguished by a conic bill, the 
mandibles receding from each other from the base downwards; 
the lower sides narrowed in, the upper with a hard knob. The 
following are the chief. 

The Nivalis, Snow-Bunting, Pied- Mountain- Finch, Pied 
Chaffinch, Snow-bird, Snow-flake, has the quill feathers white, the 
primaries black on the outer edge; tail feathers black, the late- 
ral ones white. Three other varieties ; in all the colours vary 
with age, sex, climate, most of them being nearly white in win- 
ter, but the back and middle coverts black ; larger than the 
chaffinch. They inhabit, during summer in vast flocks, the 
north of Europe, Asia, and America; in winter migrate to a 
wanner climate; they appear in Scotland in large flocks during 
the winter; rarely seen in the south of England. Builds in 
holes of rocks, it is said, occasionally in Scotland; eggs five, 
reddish white spotted with brown. 

The Hortulana, or Ortolan, has the quill feathers brown, 
the three first whitish at the edges ; tail feathers brown, the two 
lateral ones black on the outer side ; three or four other varie- 
ties. Inhabits Europe; rarely seen in this country; six and a 
quarter inches long ; feeds chiefly on panic grass ; grows very 
fat, and then esteemed a delicacy; iays twice a year four or five 
grey eggs, in a low hedge or on the ground. 


The Citrinel, Reed-Sparrow, brown Bunting- 
'Midst the wild warbling throng you might also remark. 

The Citrinella, Yellow-Hammer, Yellow- Bunting, or Willy 
Winky, has the bill black; tail feathers blackish; crown, cheeks, 
and body beneath yellow, above greenish black. Inhabits 
Europe and this country; in winter gregarious. Builds some- 
times on the ground, sometimes in low bushes; nest very deep ; 
eggs whitish purple, with irregular spots and streaks, sometimes 
nearly white. Its notes scarcely amount to a song. — See 


The Miliaria, Common-Bunting, Bunting, Bunting-lark, or 

Ebb, is brown, spotted beneath with black ; rather larger than 

the preceding. Inhabits most parts of Europe and this 

country; builds in grass; eggs four, dirty white, spotted 

[and veined with reddish brown or ash colour. Gregarious in 

the winter. 

The Schcenichus, Reed-Bunting, Reed-Sparrow, or Water- 
Sparrow, is six inches long ; it has the head black, body grey 
and black. Two other varieties ; one brown, cinereous beneath ; 
the other white, with dusky wings. Inhabits Europe, this 
country, and Southern Siberia; the second variety, the Cape ; 
the third Astracan. Builds its nest on the ground near water, 
sometimes in a bush, and sometimes in grass, reeds, or even in 
furze. Eggs four or five, bluish-white or purple brown, with 
spots and veins resembling those of the chaffinch. The nest of 
this bird is never fastened or suspended, nor does it sing in the 
night, as some authors have related. — Montagu. 

The Oryzivora, Rjce-Bunting, or Rice-bird, is black, crown 
reddish; tail feathers daggered. Another variety olive brown, 
beneath yellowish ; six inches and three quarters long. Inhabits 
Cuba, and migrates to Carolina as the rice crops advance, com- 
mitting great ravages, whence its name ; it afterwards proceeds 


The Creeper ( 2i ) of modest demeanour was there ; 
Yet he seem'd for the throng very little to care. 

to New York to feed on the young Indian corn ; sings well. See 
the Introduction. 

Several other Buntings are found in this country ; I can 
merely name them. The Cirlus, or Cirl-Bunting ; — the 
Chlorocephala, or Green-headed Bunting ; — the Montana, 
Mountain-Bunting, Lesser- Mountain-Finch, or Brambling ;■— 
and the Mustelina, Tawny-Bunting, Great-Pied- Mountain- 
Finch, Sea-Lark, or Brambling. This last is rarely met with in 
England. — For an account of another curious bird of this tribe, 
the Cow Bunting, or Cowpen f see Part II. 

( 21 ) Order, Pic^e, (Linn.) Creeper, the Common, 
the Mocking. 

The genus Certhia, (Linn.) or Creeper, consists of about 
one hundred species, dispersed through most of the countries of 
the globe; they feed chiefly on insects, in search of which they 
creep up and down trees ; they breed in hollow trees, and lay 
numerous eggs ; bill arched, slender, somewhat triangular, 
pointed ; feet formed for walking ; claws hooked and long. The 
two following are the chief. 

The Familiaris, Common Creeper, Tree-Creeper, or Tree- 
Climber, the only species of the genns found in England, is five 
inches long, has the back, rump, and scapulars, inclining to 
tawny, beneath white ; quill feathers brown; it runs with won- 
derful facility above or under the branches of trees. Another 
variety, differing only in being larger. Eggs from six to eight, 
white, minutely speckled with bright rust colour. During in- 
cubation the female is fed by the male. 

The Sannis, or Mocking Creeper, inhabits New Zealand ; 
seven and a quarter inches long ; imitates the voice and notes of 
other birds with surprising accuracy, whence its name. 



The Butcher-bird ( a2 ) bold, like his kinsman the 

With his bill was quite ready a death-blow to strike : 

(22) Order, Accipitres, (Linn.) Shrike, the Great, 
the Red-backed, the Tyrant, the Butcher-bird, Wood- 
chat, &c. 

The genus Lanius, (Linn.) or Shrike, consists of more 
than one hundred and twenty species, scattered over the globe ; 
three, the Excubitor or Great Shrike, the Collurio or Lesser 
Butcher-bird, and the Rutilus or Wood-chat, found in this 
country. The bill is straight at the base, the end hooked with 
a tooth on each mandible near the end ; tongue jagged at the 
end ; toes, the outer one connected to the middle one as far as 
the first joint. The birds of this genus are noisy and quarrel- 
some; prey on smaller birds, tearing them in pieces, and 
sticking the fragments on thorns. The following are the chief. 

The Excubitor, Great-Shrike, Cinereous- Shrike, Great Cine- 
reous-Shrike, Greater Butcher-bird, Mattages, Wierangle, Murder- 
ing-bird, Shreek or Shrike, Night-jar, Mountain- Magpie, or 
French-Pie, consists of three varieties ; one has the tail wedged ; 
white at the sides ; back hoary ; wings black, with a white 
body ; another has a white body ; legs yellowish ; the third has 
the smaller wing coverts and shoulders reddish. In all the bill 
is black, crown and neck hoary; body beneath white, with 
pale brown arched lines ; tail white at the tip, except the two 
middle feathers; cheeks white, with a black transverse line from 
the base of the bill ; legs black ; length ten inches. Found oc- 
casionally in England, and said to breed on some of our moun- 
tains, coming in May, and departing in September ; it has been 
however seen in this country in November. It is trained in 
Russia for catching small birds. It does not tear its prey like 
the hawk, but fixes it to a thorn for the purpose of pulling it to 


Fierce and dauntless the tribe, by their cruelty known ; 
The Tyrant infests not our temperate zone. 

pieces. It is said to imitate the notes of some other birds by 
way of decoying them to their destruction. 

Of the Collurio, Red-backed Shrike, or Lesser Butcher-bird, 
there are several varieties. The first has the tail somewhat 
wedged, back grey, four middle feathers uniform; bill lead co- 
lour. Common to England, which it visits in May, departing 
in September; eggs five or six, bluish white, with cinereous 
brown spots, or white with dusky spots. Feeds chiefly on in- 
sects, which it transfixes on a thorn, tearing off the body. This 
variety is called in this country the Butcher-bird ; it is said to be 
a local species ; it has been found in North Wiltshire, Glouces- 
tershire, and Somersetshire, particularly about Bristol. It is 
found in Russia and France; and is common in Italy. It is 
seven inches long. 

Another variety has the body grey, beneath reddish brown ; 
inhabits Europe. Two other varieties inhabit Senegal. To these 
may be added another variety. 

The Rutilus, Wood-chat, or Another sort of Butcher-bird, has 
been by some naturalists described as a distinct species. It is 
about the size of the Red-backed Shrike; the body above va- 
riegated white and black, beneath reddish white. Common to 
this country. 

It is either to this or the Great Shrike that Draston, I 
presume, alludes in the following line: 

" The sharp-nebb'd Hecco stabbing at his brain ;" 

but this I have not been enabled, notwithstanding all my inqui- 
ries, accurately to determine. We sometimes wonder at the 
obscurity of the Classics, but here is a line, written scarcely 
two hundred years ago, that, is not, it appears, now intelligible. 
Drayton again speaks of the Hecco in his Polyolbion, Song xiii. 

K 2 


The Stork ( a3 ) too, in plumage resplendent and white, 
With black mingled tastefully, soar'd in the light ; 

thus, "The laughing Hecco." What bird he means by the 
Tydy, in the preceding line, 

" The Tydy for her notes as delicate as they," 

I do not know ; nor do I know to what bird he alludes, in ano- 
ther line of the same song, under the term Yellow-pate. 

The Tyrannus, or Tyrant-Shrike, has the body cinereous, 
beneath white, crown black, with a longitudinal tawny streak ; 
eight inches long; builds in hollow trees; fierce, audacious; 
fixes on the back of eagles and hawks, and makes a continual 
chattering till they are compelled to retire. Three other varie- 
ties.- Inhabits America. 

( 23 ) Order, Gralljb, (Linn.) Stork, Crane, Demoiselle, 
Heron, Bittern, Adjutant, Egret, &c. 

The genus Ardea, (Linn.) or Crane, consists of more than 
one hundred species, of which the Ciconia, or Stork, is one of 
the chief. This tribe is distinguished by a long, straight, and 
pointed bill, sub-compressed with a furrow from the nostril 
towards the tip; nostrils linear; tongue pointed; feet four-toed, 
cleft. Every quarter of the globe furnishes some of the species. 
The following are the chief. 

The Ciconia, Stork, or White-Stork, inhabits Europe, Asia, 
and America, yet never, it is said, within the tropics. It is 
three feet three inches long ; bill red ; the plumage is wholly 
white, except some of the scapulars, the greater coverts, and 
quill feathers, which are black. It is rarely met with in Eng- 
land ; vast numbers resort to Holland, there to breed, and de- 
part in autumn to winter in Egypt and Barbary ; it is common 
also in France and Spain. In most countries the inhabitants 
hold them in veneration, most probably from their destroying 


Distinguished and highly, in annals of fame, 

The sacred Grallator from Belgium last came; 

reptiles, on which they feed; boxes are sometimes provided for 
them on the tops of houses ; eggs from two to four, yellowish 
white, the size of those of a goose. Collins in his Ode to Liberty 
thus alludes to the Stork: 

" Or dwell in willow'd meeds more near 
With those to whom thy Stork is dear." 

In a note to the poem we are informed that among the Dutch 
are severe penalties for killing this bird ; and that they are kept 
tame in almost all their towns, particularly at the Hague, of the 
arms of which they make a part. 

The Grus, Crane, or Common-Crane, weighs nearly ten 
pounds, and is in length rive feet ; the predominant plumage of 
this bird is ash colour. It is common in many parts of Europe 
and in Asia, migrating with the season. It was formerly com- 
mon in the fenny districts of this country, but is now more rare. 
Makes a singular noise in its flight, which is said to be owing to 
the formation of its windpipe. Eggs two, bluish ; feeds on 
reptiles and green corn. The young is good food. 

The Virgo, Demoiselle-Heron, Numidian-Crane, or Dancing- 
Crane, is in length three feet three inches ; the bill is 
two inches and a half long, straight, greenish at the base, 
changing to yellow with a red tip ; the crown is ash colour ; the 
rest of the head, greater part of the neck behind, and all for- 
wards to the breast, black ; feathers of the latter very long, some 
at least nine inches, hanging loose over the adjacent parts ; the 
lower part of the neck behind, back, wings, tail, and all beneath, 
bluish ash ; behind each eye springs a large tuft of long white 
feathers, which decline forwards, and hang in an elegant and 
graceful manner ; legs long and black. Both sexes much alike. 
Inhabits Africa, the warmer parts of Asia, and the shores of the 


Of her cities the boast — known to Gallia and Spain — 
To Afric's north clime, and the Nile's fertile plain ; 

Mediterranean ; feeds on fish. This bird bears confinement 
and breeds in some menageries ; its manners are gentle, and it 
sometimes puts itself in elegant attitudes ; at others strange 
and uncouth, especially such as imitate dancing. At Florence 
a bird of this species was taught to dance to a tune when 
played or sung to it. It is called in some parts of the East 
Kurki or Querky ; it is common in India, where it is seen in 
vast flocks on the banks of the Ganges, in company with the 
crane ; it is there called Curcuma and Currakeel. The trachea 
of this bird is of singular construction, not going, as in most 
birds, directly to the lungs, but first enters a cavity or groove 
in the keel of the breast bone for about three inches, when it 
returns, after making a bend forwards, and then passes into the 

The Major, Heron, Common-Heron, Hern, Crested-Heron, 
Heronshaw, Hernshaw, Hernsew, or Crane, is about three feet three 
inches long ; forehead and crown of the head white ; hind part of 
the head feathers glossy black, very long, forming a loose pen- 
dent crest ; neck whitish, scapulars grey and white, wing coverts 
bluish grey ; bastard wings, greater quill feathers, and sides of 
the body, from the breast to below the thighs, black ; beneath 
white ; tail bluish ash colour ; legs very long. The female 
wants the black and white feathers on the head, instead of 
which that part is bluish grey, not much elongated into a crest. 
Found in most parts of the known world, and common in the 
fenny and marshy districts of England, where it builds fre- 
quently in large numbers together on trees, such associations 
being called Heronries or Cranaries. The nests are large and 
flat, made with sticks, lined with wool and other soft materials ; 
eggs four or five greenish blue, size of those of a duck. Feeds 
on fishes and reptiles. This bird has been observed repeat- 


Nay, o'er earth wings its flight, everywhere is caress'd, 
Finds protection alike for itself and its nest. 

edly to swallow the same eel, which has repeatedly crept 

through it. It is thus described by Drayton as awaiting for 

its prey : 

"The long neck'd hern there 'waiting by the brim." 

Man in the Moon. 
And its flight thus : 

" To inland marsh the hern 

With undulating wing scarce visible 

Far up the azure concave journies on." 

A Blackwood's Mag. May 1 822. 

Craneries are not very common in this country ; they are 
however occasionally to be seen. At the present time (1825) 
there is, and for many years past has been, a Cranery- at 
Brockley woods, near Bristol. I am indebted for this informa- 
tion to my friend the Rev. W. Phelps, of Wells. There are 
also Heronries, according to Dr. Latham, at the following 
places : — Penshurst, Kent ; Hutton, in Yorkshire ; Gohay Park, 
near Penrith ; and Cressi Hall, near Spalding. There is 
also now one at Donnington-in-Holland, in Lincolnshire. — 

The Heron was formerly in this country a bird of game, 
heron-hawking being a favourite diversion with our ancestors ; 
laws were also enacted for the preservation of this bird, and the 
person who destroyed its eggs was liable to a penalty of twenty 
shillings. . 

The Gardeni, Gardenian, or Spotted- Heron, the size of a 
rook, is also found occasionally in this country; it also inhabits 
South Carolina and Cayenne. The Minuta, Little-Bittern, 
Boonk or Long-neck, is a beautiful bird, scarcely larger than a 
fieldfare in the body; it is rarely found in this country, more 
frequently on the European continent. 

The Nycticorax, Night-Heron, Night-Raven, Lesser ash- 


The Bittern came booming from marshes among; 
The Heron, notorious for legs that are long, 
From his trees' social city beside the moist fen, 
Flew with wide flapping wing, to and fro, o'er the glen. 

coloured Heron or Qua-bird, is about two feet long; it is rare in 
England ; more common in Russia and America. It is minutely 
described by Wilson. The crown is crested, which, and the 
hind head, is dark-blue, glossed with green ; three very narrow, 
white, aud tapering feathers, proceed from the hind head, about 
nine inches long; these the bird erects when alarmed ; back and 
scapulars deep blue, glossed with green ; beneath white. It is 
migratory in Pennsylvania ; called in America Qua-bird, from 
its note Qua. 

The Stellaris } Bittern, Bittour, Bumpy-coss, Butter-Bump or 
Miredrum, is rather less than the common heron ; its plumage is, 
in general, of a dull pale yellow, elegantly variegated with 
spots and bars of black ; the great coverts and quill feathers are 
ferruginous, regularly barred with black ; legs pale green. In- 
habits the temperate parts of Europe, Asia, and both Americas. 
In this country it is found chiefly a few miles from the sea- 
coast, in sedgy moors, where it breeds among reeds, laying four 
or five eggs of a greenish ash-colour. It feeds on fishes and 
reptiles. About sun-set rises in the air to a vast height in a 
spiral direction, making a prodigious noise : 

" Swift as the bittern soars on spiral wing." 

Southey's Curse of Kehama, 

It also makes a peculiarly deep and hollow sound in the spring 
during the breeding season, which is called by naturalists 
booming: see below. It migrates from one part of the country 
to another; but it is in this kingdom scarce, and esteemed a 
rarity at the tables of the great. If brought down by the gun 
with only a broken wing, it displays great courage, and cannot 
with safety be secured till deprived of life. "A bittern was 


The Crane, in his unostentatious ash-grey, 

And with pinions of power that he chose to display,. 

Arose at two bounds with an eel in his mouth; 

The little white Egret, too, came from the south. 

shot and eaten at Keswick by a young Cantab a few years ago ; 
for which shooting," says Mr. Southey, " I vituperate him in 
spirit whenever I think of it." 

The Egretta, Great-Egret, or Great-White- Heron, is three 
feet three inches long ; the whole plumage white. It is found in 
both North and South America; builds sometimes on trees; eggs 
three or four, pale blue; feeds on frogs, lizards, &c. ; if taken 
young, easily domesticated. 

The Garzetta, or Little-Egret, is the size of a fowl ; the 
whole plumage white; found in all the warmer parts of the 
globe; once plentiful in this country, although now extremely 

The Gigantea, Gigantic-Crane, Adjutant, Hurgill, drgill, 
Argala, Large-Throat, or Bone-taker, is the largest of the tribe, 
expanding fourteen feet ten inches ; the bill is of a vast size, yel- 
lowish-white or horn colour, and opens very far up into the head; 
the head and neck naked ; front yellow; on the lower part of 
the neck, and before, is a large conical pouch ; the upper part 
of the back and shoulders furnished with white feathers ; back 
and wing coverts deep bluish ash; beneath white. Inhabits the 
East Indies and Africa; feeds on various reptiles; a very useful 
bird, and hence much respected. The feathers of the vent used 
by the ladies as ornaments for the head in a similar way as those 
of the ostrich. 

A Crane is described in Chandler's Travels in Asia Minor, 
as having a white body with black pinions; it is like a heron, 
but much larger ; it builds frequently on domes, and other build- 
ings. They often make a great clatter with their long beaks, 
which is sometimes repeated by others all over the town. This 
noise is sometimes continued through the whole of the night, 

K o 


The Demoiselle Heron, by dancing well known, 
With a bending trachea beneath the breast bone, 
In attitudes elegant seem'd to delight, 
While displaying his feathers long, pendent and white. 
The Hoopoe ( 24 ),withtuft, look'd a gallant dragoon;— 
Seem'd ready as soldier to range in platoon ; 

The Turks call this bird friend and brother; of course, it is much 

respected ; a variety, most probably, of the stork. Mr. Southey 

has described these birds, and the Bittern's Booming, in the 

following lines : 

"The cranes upon the mosque 

Kept their night clatter still ; 

When through the gate the early traveller past. 

And when at evening o'er the swampy plain 

The Bittern's Boom came far, 

Distinct in darkness seen— 

Above the low horizon's lingering light 

Rose the near ruins of Old Babylon." 

Thalaba, vol. i. page 224. 

(**). Order, Pic^e, (Linn.) Hoopoe, the Common, the 

Crested, the Grand Promerops, &c. 

The genus Upupa, (Linn.) Hoopoe, or Hoop, consists of 
ten or more species scattered over the warmer climates of the 
globe. They have an arched, long, slender, convex, a little 
compressed, and somewhat obtuse, bill ; nostrils small, at the 
base of the bill ; tongue obtuse, entire, triangular, very short ; 
feet formed for walking. The following are the chief: 

The Epops, or Common-Hoopoe, is often seen in this coun- 
try ; it is a beautiful bird, in length twelve inches, and distin- 
guished by its enormous tuft of feathers, which rises perpendi- 
cularly from the crown of the head, and which it can erect 
or depress at pleasure. The crest feathers are brown, tipt with 
black ; the back, scapulars, and wings, are crossed with broad 
bars of white and black ; breast and belly white. Found all over 



And, proud of his plumage and proud of his air, 
He mingled with birds at once splendid and rare. 

the ancient continent, from Lapland and Sweden, to the 
Orcades, the Canaries, and at the Cape of Good Hope. In 
Europe they are birds of passage, and are seen among those vast 
crowds of birds which twice a-year pass the island of Malta. 
Their food is insects; their flesh smells strongly of musk ; they 
build in holes of rotten trees, or in old walls, occasionally in this 
country ; eggs from two to seven. 

The Paradisea, or Crested Hoopoe, is about the size of a 
thrush, and weighs from two to four ounces ; length nineteen 
inches ; two of the tail feathers very long ; inhabits India. So 
large a crest, added to a creature of so diminutive a size, renders 
this bird one of the most fantastical of the feathered tribe. 
The crest consists of two rows of feathers equidistant; the 
whole of these feathers are red, and terminate with a black spot ; 
the upper part of the body is grey, with a tinge of brown, 
varied with transverse waves of dirty white; the wings and 
tail are black, undulated with bars of white. Some varieties of 
this bird in Europe; a distinct species in Madagascar and the 
Cape. When tamed, shews great attachment to its master ; 
when fully domesticated, eats either bread or raw fiesh. A va- 
riety in Egypt excellent food. 

The Superba, or Grand-Promerops, is one of the most rich, 
splendid, and singular in plumage of the whole tribe of birds. 
It is the size of a pigeon in body, but measures nearly four feet 
in length. Hind part of the head and upper part of the belly 
glossy green ; the rest of the upper parts black, changing to 
violet; inhabits New Guinea. There is a beautiful coloured 
engraving of this bird in Dr. Latham's work: it is not easily 

The Mexieana, or Mexican Promerops, is the size of a 
song thrush ; inhabits Mexico. The Papuensis, or New Guinea 
Brown Promerops, is twenty-two inches long ; inhabits New 


Timid Rollers ("), in robes ting'd with red and 

with blue, 
To clamour devoted, came also a few. 
The Nuthatch ( a6 ) was whistling while climbing the 

Intent more on pleasing himself than to please. 

( 2S ) Order, Pice, (Linn.) Roller, the Garrulous. 

The genus Coracias, (Linn.) or Roller, consists of nearly 
thirty species scattered over the globe: the characteristics are, 
a sharp^edged bill, bent at the point, base without feathers ; 
tongue cartilaginous, bifid; legs short j feet formed for walking. 
The most deserving notice is 

The Garrula, Garrulous, or Common Roller, occasionally 
found in England, but more commonly on various parts of the 
European continent, particularly in Germany, Sicily, and 
Malta, where it is sold in the markets and poulterers' shops. It 
is the size of a jay ; length twelve inches and half; its general 
plumage is blue ; back red ; quill feathers black, primary quill 
feathers beneath blue ; middle tail feathers dirty green, the rest 
blue. It is remarkably clamorous, gregarious, migratory and 
timid ; builds in trees, particularly the beech ; feeds on insects, 
frogs, nuts, and corn. Eggs pale green, with numerous dusky 
spots. Inhabits Africa and Syria, as well as Europe. The 
rest of the species do not very essentially differ. 

(2 6 ) Order, Pic^e, (Linn.) Nuthatch. 

The genus Sitta, (Linn.) or Nuthatch, consists of more 
than twenty species; distinguished by a subulate, roundish, 
straight, entire bill, the upper mandible a little longer, com- 
pressed and angular at the tip ; tongue jagged, short, the tip 
horny ; nostrils small, covered with bristles ; feet gressorial ; 
hind-toe long. They are chiefly natives of America and the 


The Bustard, ( a7 )huge Rasor, with gular pouch long, 
With legs formed for running and beak that is strong, 

West Indies, a few of the Cape, and one of Europe ; tin's last is 
denominated — 

The Europaa, Nuthatch, Nutjobber, or fVoodcracker, is 
about the size of a sparrow; in length nearly six inches; it is 
cinereous, beneath reddish ; tail feathers black ; the four lateral 
ones beneath tipt with white j bill three quarters of an inch 
long ; another variety less in size. It is common in some dis- 
tricts of this country, remaining all the year; it is said, not 
seen in Cornwall nor very far north. It creeps up and down 
the trunks of trees, and builds in their hollows. If (he entrance 
of the hole be too large, it artfully fills it up with clay till it 
admits only its own body. Eggs six or seven, white, spotted 
with rust colour, and are exactly like those of the great titmouse. 
The nest is used as a magazine for winter provisions, and a re= 
treat during the night. Their usual food is nuts, the shells of 
which they break with their bills ; in defect of such food they 
eat insects and their larvce. The notes of this bird are various; 
in the spring it has a loud shrill whistle ; in the autumn a double 
reiterated cry ; it is also said to sing in the night. 

There is a beautiful poem called the Filbert, written, I be- 
lieve, by South ey, and printed in the first volume of the 
Annual Anthology, 1799, in which allusion is made to this bird : 

" Enough of dangers and of enemies 
Hath nature's wisdom for the worm ordained; 
Him may the Nuthatch, piercing with strong bill ? 
Unwittingly destroy, or to his hoard 
The squirrel bear, at leisure to be crack'd." 

( 27 ) Order, Galling, (Lath.) Bustard, the Great, the 
Little, the Thick-kneed. 

The genus Otis, (Linn,) or Bustard, consists of seventeen 
species, natives of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The characteris- 


Whose presence this Island regards now as rare, 
Came, also, to visit the Lord of the Air. 

tics of the tribe are, bill strong, a little incurvated ; toes three 
before, none behind ; legs long, and naked above the knees. 
The following, found in this country, are all that it is necessary 
to describe. 

The Tarda, or Great-Bustard, is said to be the largest of 
the British birds, sometimes weighing as much as thirty pounds ; 
fouud in some parts of this country, and inhabits also the open 
plains of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Its colour is wave-spotted 
with black, and rufous ; beneath white ; length four feet ; fe- 
male not so large, weighing about twelve pounds ; she has also 
different shades of colour. The male has a long pouch, be- 
ginning under the tongue, and reaching to the breast, capable 
of holding several quarts of water, supposed to be for supplying 
the hen whilst sitting on the young, before they can fly with that 
fluid. It feeds on grains and herbs; is solitary, shy, and timid ; 
flies heavily, but runs swiftly; is quick of sight and hearing; 
lays two pale olive-brown eggs, with darker spots, in a hole 
scraped in the ground. In autumn they are gregarious, when 
they leave the open downs for more sheltered situations. The 
eggs are eagerly sought after, for the purpose of hatching under 
hens: they have been reared thus in Wiltshire, As they are 
very valuable birds, and eagerly sought after, they are become 
scarce ; they are still said to exist on some of the Wiltshire 
downs, but, from the latest information which I can collect, 
this may be doubted. From a paper lately read before the 
Linnean Society by Messrs. Sheppard and Whitear, it ap- 
pears, however, that they now breed in the open parts of 
Suffolk and Norfolk. Mr. Hardy, of Norwich, has domesticated 
this bird, whether with advantage to its more productive powers 
we are not informed. 

Tet rax, Little-Bustard, or Field- Bustard, is about the 
size of a pheasant, being in length seventeen inches ; the back 


Of Game* he the monarch, whom often, of yore, 
The hunter pursu'd over mountain and moor, 

scapulars and wings are ferruginous, mottled with brown, and 
crossed with black lines; great quills black, white at the base; 
secondaries white; beneath white. Rarely found in thin 
country; more common on the European continent, particularly 
France, where it is a delicacy. Eggs said to be green, and 
four or five in number. 

The CEnicdemus, Thick-kneed-Bustard, Stone-Curlew, or 
Norfolk-P lover, is arranged by Linnaeus under the genus Chara- 
drius, or Plover ; in compliance with later ornithologists, it is 
placed under this head. The general appearance of this bird is 
greyish ; two first quill feathers black, white in the middle. 
Inhabits Europe, Asia, and Africa. Migrates to this country, 
being found here the latter end of April; frequents open hilly 
situations, corn-fields, heaths, warrens. Lays two eggs, of a 
light brown colour, blotched with dusky, on the bare ground. 
Feeds on insects, worms, and reptiles. They leave this country 
in October. The male makes a piercing shrill cry. 

* The following are now the chief of the birds in this country 
by law denominated Game : Partridges, Pheasants, Woodcocks, 
Snipes, Quails, Landrails, Heath-fowl, commonly called Black- 
game ; Grous, called Red-game and Moor-game. But there are 
laws also, now become a kind of dead-letter, for the protection 
of the eggs of Cranes, Bil tours, Herons, Bustards, Shovelards, 
Mallards, Teals, or other Wildfowl. There is also a particular 
law for the protection of the eggs of Pheasants, Partridges, and 
Swans. Bustards are also forbidden to be killed between the 
first of March and the first of September; Partridges, Pheasants, 
and Heath-fowl, are also similarly protected ; and destroying 
Wild Ducks, Teal, Widgeons, or other Water-fowl, in any fen, 
lake, broad-water, or other resort for wild-fowl, during the 
moulting season, namely, between the first of June and the 
first of October, subjects the offender to a penalty of 5s. 


Degrading employment such toils of the chase ; 
May wisdom supply a more glorious race! 
The Wrynecks^ 8 ) contorting, the Cuckoo pursued; 
And, as long as they chose, a few Turtle-Doves 

There were formerly great flocks of bustards in this country, 
upon the wastes and in woods, where they were hunted by 
greyhounds, and easily taken. They have been latterly recom- 
mended to be bred as domestic fowls, and, to those who desire 
novelty, the bustard seems to be peculiarly an object for pro- 
pagation ; the flesh is delicious ; and it is supposed that good 
feeding and domestication might stimulate them to lay more 

( 8S ) Order, PiCiE, (Linn.) Wryneck. 

1 The genus Yunx, (Linn.) or Wryneck, consists of one spe- 
cies only, as follows : 

The Torquilla, Wryneck, Long-tongue, Emmet -Hunter, or 
Cuckoo's Maiden, is a beautiful bird about seven inches long; 
it has a smooth-pointed, a little incurved, weak bill ; feet 
climbers; colour grey, varied with brown and blackish; belly 
reddish white, with blackish spots ; tail feathers waved, with 
black spots, streaks, and bars ; the whole plumage a mixture of 
grey, black, and tawny. It arrives in this country sometimes 
as early as the middle of March. Its chief food is ants and 
their eggs, which it takes with the tongue. The name Wryneck 
has been given to it from the awkward contortions of its head 
and neck ; it also erects the feathers of the head in a terrific 
manner. It makes a noise very much like the smaller species of 
hawks. It quits this country about September, at which time 
it grows very fat, and is then esteemed a delicacy : it has 
sometimes been called an ortolan, from its resemblance to that: 
delicate bird. 

"The Welsh,'' says Mr. Gisborne, "consider the Wryneck 


Mergansers ( as> ) came many, with fish in their 

By gluttony prompted their bodies to bloat. 

as the forerunner or servant of the cuckoo ; the Swedes regard 
it in the same light ; in the midland countries of England the 
common people call it the Cuckoo's Maiden." Is this one of the 
birds to which I have alluded as sometimes seen accompanying 
the cuckoo ? See the note on the cuckoo. 
" In sober brown 
Drest, but with nature's tenderest pencil touch'd, 
The wryneck her monotonous complaint 
Continues ; harbinger of her who doom'd 
Never the sympathetic joy to know 
That warms the mother cowering o'er her young, 
A stranger robs, and to that stranger's love 
Her egg commits unnatural." 

Gisborne's Walks in a Forest. 

(* 9 ) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Merganser, Goosander, 
Smew, Dun Diver, &c. 

The genus Mergus, (Linn.) or Merganser, consists of six or 
more species, five of which are common to this country, the rest 
to Europe and America. They have a toothed, slender, cylin- 
drical bill, hooked at the point ; nostrils small oval ; feet four- 
toed, three before palmate; hind toe furnished with a fin. 
Most of the species are of a middle size, between that of a 
goose and a duck. They swallow with voracity fishes that are 
too large to enter entire into the stomach, and hence, while one 
end is digesting, the other often remains in the throat. They 
are said to be the most destructive of all birds which plunder 
the waters; their flesh is very indifferent food. The following 
are the chief : 

The Merganser, or Goosander, is white, subcrested ; head, 


There were Cormorants stretching; their necks as 

they flew; 
And the White Nun of beauty, nam'd vulgarly Smew. 
The Dun-Diver, too, from a far northern lake, 
With the Goosander came of the glee to partake. 

neck, and upper part of the breast and wings glossy black ; tail 
cinereous. Feeds on fish ; flesh rancid. Found in our rivers 
and lakes in severe winters, but retires to more northern lati- 
tudes to breed. It is said to be found in the Hebrides in 
summer, and to continue in the Orkneys the whole year. It is 
found also on the European continent, in Asia, Greenland, and 
some parts of America. 

The" Minutus, Minute-Merganser, Minute-Smew, Weesel 
Coot, Red-headed Smew, or Lough- Diver, is about the size of a 
teal ; colour brown ash, beneath white. Not often met with 
in the south of England, and then only in severe winters. 

The Senator, Red-Breasted Merganser, Red-breasted 
Goosander, Lesser-toothed Diver, or Serula, has a pendent crest, 
breast varied with reddish; length twenty inches; seen occa- 
sionally in the south of England ; more frequently in the 
north; said to breed in Holland; found also iu Russia and 

The Castor, Dun-Diver, or Sparkling-Fowl, is twenty-five 
inches long; found in the north of England ; and in Germany, 
and in the lakes in the more northern parts of the world. 

The Albellus, Smew, or White-Nun, has the body white; back 
and temples black ; wings variegated ; rather larger that a 
teal; found occasionally in this country; but mostly inhabits 
the northern lakes. This is the most beautiful of the whole 

The Imperialis, or Imperial Goosander, is varied with 
black, brown, and grey; size of a goose ; inhabits Sardinia. 


The grey-brown Austrian Pratincole ( 30 ) strutted 

The shrew'd Oyster-catcher ( 3i ) made one of the 

throng ; 

( 30 ) Order, Grall^e, (Lath.) Pratincole, the Austrian, 
the Senegal, the Spotted. 
The genus Glareola, (Lath.) or Pratincole, consists of 
seveirspecies ; they have a strong, stout, straight bill, hooked 
at the tip ; nostrils at the base of the bill linear, oblique ; gape 
of the mouth large; feet four-toed ; toes long, slender, connected 
at the base by a membrane ; tail forked. The following are the 
chief: the Austriaca, or Austrian Pratincole, is above grey- 
brown, collar black ; chin and throat white ; breast and belly 
reddish grey ; about nine inches long. Four other varieties ; 
three inhabit the heaths of Europe, near the banks of rivers ; 
two found on the coast of Coromandel. Feeds on worms and 
aquatic insects ; is very noisy and clamorous. The Senegalensis, 
or Senegal Pratincole, is entirely brown; nine and a half 
inches long ; found in Senegal and Siberia. The Ncevia, or 
Spotted Pratincole, is brown spotted with white; size of 
the Austriaca ; inhabits Germany. 

( 3I ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Oyster-Catcher. 
The genus PLematopus, (Linn.) or Oyster-Catcher, con- 
sists of four species, of which the Ostralgeus, Sea-Pie, Oyster- 
Catcher, Pied Oyster-Catcher, Pienet, or Olive, is the 
chief. It has a compressed bill, the tip an equal wedge ; 
nostril linear ; tongue a third part of the length of the bill ; 
feet formed for running; toes three, no back toe ; body some- 
times totally black : frequently head, neck, and body, above 
black, beneath white ; inhabits almost every shore; common on 
the sea coasts of this country ; about sixteen inches long; feeds 
on marine worms and insects, but chiefly on oysters and limpets, 
which it obtains from the shells with great dexterity. It makes 


The Auk ( 31 ) for stupidity ever renown'd ; 

And Puffins, and Terns, too, in numbers abound. 

no west, but deposits its eggs, which are, generally, olivaceous 
brown, on the bare ground, above high-water mark. It is easily 
tamed when young, and has been known to attend ducks and 
other poultry to feed and shelter. 

(3 2 ) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Auk, Razor-Bill, Puffin, 
Penguin, &c. 

The genus Alca, (Linn.) Auk, consists of more than ten spe- 
cies; the following are its characteristics ; bill toothless, short; 
lower mandible gibbous near the base ; nostrils linear; tongue 
almost as long as the bill ; toes three, forward, webbed, none 
behind. Its colour is nearly uniform, above black, beneath 
white ; body shaped like a duck's. It is chiefly an inhabitant 
of the arctic seas ; very stupid ; builds in rabbit holes and 
fissures of rocks; lays one egg. The following deserve notice. 

The Pica, or Black-billed Auk, is the shape and size of the 
Razor-bill, and found on our coasts in the winter season. 

The Torda, Razor-bill, Auk, Common-Auk, or Murre, 
weighs about twenty-seven ounces; is, in length, eighteen 
inches. Bill two inches long, from the corner of the mouth, 
much compressed sideways, three quarters of an inch deep at 
the largest part, much arched and hooked at the upper end of 
the mandible; all the upper parts of the bird are a dusky black, 
beneath white. This bird is not seen in this country in the 
winter, but repairs to our rocky coasts in the spring, where it 
lays one very large egg, size or a turkey's, of a dirty white co- 
lour, blotched with brown and dusky, on the projecting shelves 
of the highest rocks, where the birds may be seen by hundreds 
in a row, and where they may be taken up and replaced ; such 
appears to be their great stupidity. Feeds on small fish, par- 
ticularly sprats. The eggs of this bird, and of the foolish 
guillemot, are an article of trade in several of the Scottish 



The. Wild-Geese, in triangle-troops, from the fen, 
With wing slow and steady, flew over the glen. 

isles ; they are used for refining sugar. They are also eaten by 
the natives ; they are obtained by suspending a person to a rope 
from the tops of the cliffs. 

The Arctica, Puffin, Coulternel, Imnda Bnuger, Mullet, Bot- 
tle-nose, Pope, Marrot, or Sea-Parrot, of which there are two va- 
rieties, is, in length, about t w elve inches ; it inhabits the northern 
seas of Europe, Asia, and America, in vast flocks; body black, 
cheeks, breasts, and belly, white; bill red; legs red. Feeds 
on fish and sea-weed ; flesh, except when very young, rank. 
Appears on our rocky coasts in April; egg one, which it lays 
in the crevice of a rock or in rabbit burrows; also burrows oc- 
casionally like rabbits, in order to lay its egg. The young are 
sometimes caught with ferrets ; they are preserved pickled. 
They are found on Dover cliffs, where it is, indiscriminately 
with the Razor-bill, called fVillock; off the coast of Anglesea, 
&c. They leave onr coasts together with the Razor-bill and 
Guillemot in September. 

The winter haunts of these birds have been heretofore merely 
conjectured. The late voyagers to the arctic regions, however, 
inform us that they are found in great numbers on the open 
waters of the polar seas ; that they there feed on insects ; and 
where also they furnished the. navigators with an agreeable 

The Impennis, Great-Auk, or Penguin, inhabits Europe and 
America; is three feet long; timid; cannot fly, but dives admi- 
rably ; feeds on fishes ; head, neck, back, and wings, glossy 
black; wings short, as though mere rudiments; legs black. 
Found only in the most northern parts of the kingdom; said 
to breed on St. Kilda. Egg one, white; six inches long; 
sometimes irregularly marked or blotched with ferruginous, and 
black at the larger end. , 

The Alle, Little-Auk, or Greenland- Dove, is rather larger 
than a blackbird ; its plumage is generally black above, beneath 


The Petrels, ( 33 ) those storm-birds which sailors 

Their oil spouted out with apparent delight. 

white. Seen occasionally in this country; but common in 
Greenland, where it breeds; eggs two, bluish white, size of a 


the Broad-billed, the Fulmar, the Shearwater, &c. 

The genus Procellaria, (Linn.) or Petrel, consists of 
about thirty species ; three, the Pelagica, or Stormy-Petrel, 
the Puffinus, or Shearwater, and the Glacialis, or Fulmar, 
are found in this country. The characteristics of the tribe are, 
a strait bill bent at the end ; nostrils in one tube ; legs naked a 
little above the knee. Toes three, forward, webbed; a spur 
behind instead of a back toe. They live chiefly at sea, and 
have the faculty of spouting from their bills, to a considerable 
distance, a large quantity of pure oil. They feed on the fat of 
dead whales and other fishes. 

The Giguntea, Giant-Petrel, or Mother Cary's Goose, is the 
largest of the Petrel genus, being in length forty inches, and ex- 
pands seven feet ; body above pale brown, mottled with dusky 
white, beneath white. Found at the Isle of Desolation, and other 
places in high southern latitudes ; most active in storms or at the 
approach of them. It visits also, occasionally, the northern 
hemisphere. Feeds on flesh and fish, Flesh said to be good. 

The Pelagica, Stormy-Petrel, Storm-finch, Little Petrel, 
Witch, or Mother-Cary's-Ghicken ; in some provinces called, I 
believe, Sea-swullow, and, in its general appearance, size, and 
flight, is not unlike a swallow. It is above black, beneath 
sooty brown, or dusky ; rump white : another variety having the 
wing coverts spotted with green ; inhabits most seas ; they are 
excellent divers, and are said to breed in some of our northern 
islands. They are seen in vast numbeis all over the atlantic 
ocean, and will follow a ship for many days ; except at breeding 


The Sparrow-Hawk, also, seem'd pleas'd to be there; 
His garden to-day did not ask for his care. 

time, seldom seen near the shore ; braves the utmost fury of tiie 
storm, skimming along with great velocity among the waves • 
if seen hovering round the sterns of vessels, a presage of foul 
weather. Seen occasionally on the various coasts of this 
country, and sometimes far inland. One was lately taken at 
Yarmouth, Norfolk; when killed, oil issued from the nostrils. 
" Here ran the stormy-petrels on the waves 
As though they were the shadows of themselves. — 
They plough'd not, sow'd not, gather'd not in barns, 
Yet harvests inexhaustible they reap'd 
In the prolific furrows of the main ; 
Or from its sunless caverns brought to light 
Treasures for which contending kings might war: 
From the rough shell they pick'd the luscious food, 
And left a prince's ransom in the pearl." 

Montgomery's Pelican Island. 
The Puffinus, Shearwater, Shearwater- Petrel, Mantes- Puffin, 
or Lyre, is black above, beneath white ; length fifteen inches: 
another variety, above cinereous, beneath white ; inhabits 
southern and antarctic seas ; found also in the Hebrides, 
Orkney Isles, and the Calf of Man, where they breed ; egg one, 
white, laid in a rabbit burrow or other hole. The young are 
taken in August, salted and barrelled, and, when boiled, eaten 
with potatoes. The young of these, and some other of the spe- 
cies, are fed by the oil discharged from their stomachs. Mi- 
grates from the Scottish isles in autumn. 

The Vittuta, or Broad-billed Petrel, is bluish ash, be- 
neath white ; inhabits the antarctic seas; twelve inches long; 
flies in numerous flocks. The Urinatrix is blackish-brown ; be- 
neath white; dives dexterously; inhabits round New Zealand 
in numerous flocks ; eight and a half inches long. 
The Glacialis, Fulmar-Petrel, or Fulmar, is whitish, back 


There were Moor- Hens ( 3+ ) and Didappers, many 

a Coot. 
The Willow-wren touch'd, with much taste, too, his 


hoary; another variety with blackish wings; size of a gull. 
Rarely seen on onr southern coasts, but frequent in some of the 
islands of the north of Scotland; breeds at St. Kilda, and sup- 
plies the inhabitants with a large quantity of oil, which is used 
for culinary as well as medical purposes; egg one, large, white- 
Feeds on the most oily fishes. It is also found in New Zealand, 
and affords food, feathers for beds, oil for lamps, and a medicine 
in almost every disease incident to the New Zealanders; it is 
found also in various other parts of the world. 

( 34 ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Coot the Common, the 
Greater, the Moor; Gallinule, the Purple, the 
Crowing, &c. 

The genus Fulica, (Linn.) or Coot, consists of forty or more 
species, including several of the birds termed Gallinules. 
Among which the Chloropus, or Moor-Hen, will be found. 
This tribe of birds frequent waters ; feed on worms, insects, 
and small fishes ; the body is compressed, bill thick, and bent in 
towards the top, the upper mandible reaching far up the fore- 
head ; wings and tail short. The Galmnules have the feet 
cleft, the wings short and concave. The Coots have the toes 
surrounded by a scolloped membrane ; the mandibles equal ; 
nostrils oval, narrow, and short. The Gallinules, therefore, are 
to be distinguished by cleft feet; the Coots by pinnate feet. Dr. 
Latham has separated these into distinct genera; — seethe 
Introduction. The following are the chief: 

Tiie Chloropus, Common-Gallinule, Moor-Hen, Common 
Water Hen, More-Hen, Marsh-Hen, Cuddy, or Moor-Coot, has a 
blackish body, or sooty mixed with olive, beneath ash-colour ; 
bill reddish towards the base; sides red. Inhabits Europe and 


Some dark, sooty Gallinules, known by cleft feet, 
Were there, too, the Aquiline Monarch to greet. 

America, and also this country. Fourteen inches long. Flies 
with difficulty, but runs and swims well; builds near the water 
side, on low trees or shrubs ; strikes with its bill like a hen ; 
eggs dirty whitish, spotted with rust-colour, from six to ten in 
number, which it lays twice or thrice a year. Time of incuba- 
tion three weeks ; the young take to the water immediately on 
being hatched. Abounds in the fenny districts of England ; 
flesh delicious. 

Of the Atra, Coot, Common-Coot, or Bald-Coot, there are 
five varieties ; one with a blackish body ; another black with 
white wings ; another entirely black; another brown, but the 
chin, belly, and primary quill feathers white ; head spotted 
with white, the upper mandible red ; another white, with a few 
spots on the head and wings. This species inhabits Europe, 
Asia, and America ; length fifteen inches, and is frequent in 
this country in many of our lakes, rivers, and large ponds, 
forming a floating nest among the flags. Eggs six, or more, 
dirty white, sprinkled with minute rusty spots. The young, 
when hatched, very deformed ; runs along the water ; swims 
and dives dexterously ; feeds on insects, fishes, and seeds; in 
winter often repairs to the sea. They are occasionally sold in 
our markets ; flavour rather fishy. It breeds in Norfolk in 
considerable numbers, where large gulls attack and devour 
them. The Coot is soon reconciled to confinement, and be- 
comes domestic. 

This bird, if deprived of water in which to pass the night, 
will roost, as other land birds, upon any elevated situation: it 
will ascend a tree with the activity of the wren. Linn. Transact- 
vol. xiv. page 558. 

"The Coot her jet-wing loved to lave, 
Rock'd on the bosom of the sleepless wave/' 

Rogers's Pleasures of Memory. 


Long-tailed Capons ( 3s ) came also, whose singu- 
lar nest, 
With its skill and its comfort hath many impress'd. 

The Aterrima, or Greater-Coot, with a blackish body, in- 
habits, like the last, our own country, and other parts of Eu- 
rope, but is by no means so common a bird. It differs from the 
preceding chiefly in size and the deepness of its black colour. 

The Purpurea, or Crowing-Gallinule, is purple ; inhabits 
the marshes of New Spain, and crows like a cock. 

The Porphyrio, Purple-Gallinule, or Sultana, inhabits 
most of the temperate and warm places of the globe; seventeen 
inches long ; head and neck glossy violet and violet blue ; body, 
for the most part, of a dull glossy green ; eggs three or four ; 
time of incubation from three to four weeks; associating with 
other fowls, and, like them, scratching the ground. It isdocile, 
and easily tamed, and is altogether a curious bird; it stands on 
one leg, and lifts its food to its mouth with the other; feeds on 
fishes, roots, fruits, and seeds. 

( 3S ) Order, Passeres,(Lm».) Titmouse, the Long-tailed, 
the Great, the BLUE,or Tomtit, the Marsh, the Bearded, 
the Amorous, the Crested, &c. 

The genus Parus, [Linn.) or Titmouse, comprehends nearly 
forty species, of which the Caudatns, or Long-tailed Capon, 
is one. They have a straight, strong, sharp-pointed bill ; nostrils 
round, covered with reflected bristles, tongue truncated ; toes 
divided to their origin, back toe long and. strong. It is a very 
fertile tribe, laying sometimes from ten to twenty eggs; feeds 
on seed, fruit, insects, and a few on flesh. They are restless, 
bold, and cruel to birds less than themselves, and will attack 
such as are three times their own size. The following are the 

The Caudalus, Long-tailed Titmouse, Long-tailed Capon T 
Huck-muck, Bottle-Tom, Barn-barrel, Barrel-Tit, Long-tail Mag, 


Even the elegant Oriole,* in vesture of gold, 
(Go thou who art sceptic such birds' nests behold !) 
Came to grace, by his presence, the redolent spring, 
And to proffer respect to the Aquiline King. 

Long-tail Pie, Mum-ruffin, or Pudding- Poke, is the smallest of 
the tribe j the tail longer than the body; crown white; greater 
wing coverts black, lesser brown, edged with rosy ; length 
rather more than five inches. For a description of its nest see 
the Notes to the Introduction. The nest is, however, occasionally 
varied in size, form, and the position of its entrance. In a 
drawing of one, a fac-simile of it, lately obtained for me by a 
friend from the neighbourhood of Dover, it is much neater ex- 
ternally than this nest usually appears : it looks like a truncated 
cylinder, the top being arched over, on one side of which is the 
hole. Eggs small, seventeen or more, white spotted with rusty; 
sometimes a pure white without any spots. Feeds on insects 
and their larvae. Inhabits Europe and this country. 

The Major, Great-Titmouse, Ox-eye, Great-black-headed 
Tomtit, Black-cap, has the head black, cheeks white ; back and 
wings olive green ; rump blue grey ; belly greenish yellow ; 
length five inches and three quarters ; frequents gardens, but 
builds in woods ; eggs ten, or more, colour of those of the pre* 
ceding. Said to be injurious to gardens and orchards by pick- 
ing off the tender buds from trees ; but this may be questioned. 
Inhabits Europe, Asia, Africa, and this country. Another 
variety with the bill forked, and crossed as in the loxia cur- 
virostra, thence named the Cross-bill Titmouse. Builds in the 
hole of a wall or a tree. 

The Cceruleus, Tomtit, Blue-Titmouse, Nun, or Uickmall,ha& 
the back yellowish-green, tail blue; body, beneath, white- 
yellow ; four and a half inches long ; frequents gardens like the 

* For an account of the Golden- Oriole, see Part II.; for the 
Orioles' nests, see page 23. 



Many Titmice were there too — the Bearded — the 

One whose penduline nest is commodious and neat. 

last ; said to be a very mischievous bird ; breeds in holes of 
walls, and lays six or more eggs, similar in colours to the pre- 
ceding. Inhabits every part of Europe, and well known in this 
country. It is a great enemy to the annual snn-flower seed, 
destroying it almost always, if not prevented long before it is 
ripe. In food this bird appears, however, to be omnivorous, 
eating even flesh. Except in its attacks on the sun-flower seed, 
(Helianthus unnuus,) I am not aware of any of its mischievous 
depredations ; although in some places the churchwardens still 
pay, I believe, for tomtits' heads as well as those of sparrows. 

The Pulustris, Marsh-Titmouse, Black-cap, or Little black- 
heuded Tomtit, has the head black ; back cinereous ; temples 
white. Three other varieties ; all found in this country, ex- 
cept one, a native of Louisiana. It is rather larger than the 

The Pendulinus, or Penduline-Titmouse, frequents moist 
and marshy places, and builds a nest in the shape of a large 
purse, with an opening on one side, and attached to the end of 
some branch of a tree hanging over water ; eggs white ; four 
and a half inches long ; inhabits Europe, as far as Siberia. 

The Biarmicus, Bearded-Titmouse, or Least-Butcher-Bird, 
is a very elegant species ; six and a quarter inches long ; the head 
is bearded ; body rufous ; tail longer than the body ; suspends 
its nest between three reeds ; inhabits Europe in marshy places, 
and found in our own countiy. 

The Amatorius, or Amorous-Titmouse, is blackish blue, five 
and half inches long; remarkable for the great affection which 
each sex shows for each other ; inhabits Northern Asia. 

Beside these, the following inhabitants of this country may 
also be mentioned : the Cristatus, or Crested-Titmouse; 
and the Afer, or Colemouse. 


The Partridges ( 36 ), also, well pleas'd came to 
Secure, as they hoped, both from Sportsmen and 

(36) Order, Galling, (Linn.) Partridge, Grouse, Quail, 
Ptarmigan, Tinamou, &c. 

The genus Tetrao, (Linn.) under which the Partridge, 
Grouse, &c. are arranged, consists of more than one hundred 
and thirty species, scattered over various parts of the world ; 
several of them are inhabitants of this country. The general 
character of the tribe is having, near the eye, a spot which is 
either naked or papil'ous, or, rarely, covered with feathers. It 
has also been thus subdivided : — Grouse having the spot over 
the eye naked; legs downy; feet in some four, in some three, 
teed. — Partridge and Quail, orbits granulated, legs naked; 
the Partridges in the male armed with a spur at the legs ; the 
Quails destitute of a spur. — The Tinamou, orbits with a few 
feathers, legs naked, four toed, unarmed. Dr. Latham has 
described^/teew species of the Tinamou (Tinamus), ninety-one 
of the Partridge (Perdix), ami twenty-seven of the Grouse 
(Tetrao). The following are the chief species of this numerous 

The Perdixj Partridge, or Common- Partridge, has under 
the eyes a naked, scarlet spot; general colour of the plumage 
cinereous brown and black mixed ; breast brown, tail ferrugi- 
nous, legs white. Several varieties, — greyish white — entirely 
white — collar white — body brown— chin and upper part of the 
throat tawny. Inhabits Europe and Asia, and well known in 
this country. Length thirteen inches ; frequents corn fields 
and pastures ; feeds on corn, seeds, and insects ; lays from four- 
teen to twenty or more* yellowish, or greenish grey, eggs, 
rather smaller than a pigeon's; nest on the ground, in the dry 

* I once saw a Partridge's nest with twenty-one egg3 in it. 


In variety many, — of white and of red ; — 

By Eld often quoted, by Fame often said, 

That the young run away with the shells on their head. 

margins of corn-fields, and other quiet and grassy places, and little 
care evinced in its construction. Time of incubation three 
weeks. Flesh generally esteemed. 

The running away with the shell upon the head, as mentioned in 
the text, is sometimes, I believe, in regard to the hatching of 
Partridges, and others of the Rasor tribe, a literal fact: hence, 
when a person undertakes any thing before being properly pre- 
pared for or instructed concerning it, has arisen the common 
expression, He runs away with the shell vpon his head. 

The Rufus, Red-Partridge, Greek- Partridge, Red-legged 
Partridge, Guernsey- Partridge, French- Partridge, or Barbary- 
Pariridge, is rather larger than the common Partridge, bill and 
legs blood red; chin white, surrounded by a black band spot- 
ted with white. Inhabits Southern Europe and the Greek 
Islands. Several varieties ; one found sometimes on the coast 
of Norfolk and Suffolk. Perches occasionally on trees, and 
breeds in confinement, which the common Partridge is never 
known to do. 

The Lagopus, Ptarmigan, White-Game, or White-Partridge, 
is cinereous, quill feathers white, tail feathers black tipt with 
white, middle ones white ; toes downy ; length fourteen or 
fifteen inches. Inhabits the alpine parts of Europe and Siberia, 
and common in the Highlands of Scotland. Eggs pale rufous, 
with red brown spots. It is said to be a stupid bird, and bur- 
rows under the snow. A variety of this species was found by 
Captain Parry in the high laiitudes of North America. 

The Perching-Partridge inhabits India; it is noted for 
perching on trees ; plumage above pale brown, beneath pale 
brownish grey. 

The Urvgallus, Wood-Grouse, Cock-of -the- Wood, Great-Grouse, 
Cock-of -the- Mountain, Caper-Calze, Auer-Calze, Horseof-the- 
Woods, or Caper Cally ; is nearly as large as a Turkey, being two 


There came Ptarmigans, too, from the regions of 

snow ; — 
The Cock-of-the-Wood was e'er ready to crow; — 

feet eight or nine inches long ; the male, which is considerably 
larger than the female, sometimes weighs fifteen pounds, more 
frequently seven or eight. The two sexes differ greatly in 
colour as well as in size. The head, neck, and back of the 
male is elegantly marked with slender lines of grey and black 
running transversely ; the upper part of the breast is a shining 
green, the rest of the breast and belly black, mixed with some 
white feathers; tail black, with a few white spots. The female 
is red on the throat ; head, neck, and back, marked with bars 
of red and black ; belly orange ; tail ferruginous, barred with 
black ; length twenty-six inches. Eggs from eight to sixteen, 
white spotted with yellow, larger than those of the domestic 
hen. Inhabits the mountainous and woody parts of Europe 
and Northern Asia, rarely found in this country. These birds, 
it is said, never pair, but the cock calls the females together by 
a peculiar cry which he makes perched upon a tree: 
" And from the pine's high top brought down 
The Giant Grouse, while boastful he display'd 
liis breast of varying green s and crow'd and clapp'd 
His glossy wings." 

Gisborne's Walks in a Forest — Spring; 
This bird differs from most of the ether species of the genus in 
his predilection for woods, and in perching on trees. Feeds 
on the tops of the pine and birch, and also on juniper berries. 
Flesh, of course, good. 

The Tetrix, Black-Grouse, Black-Game, Black-Cock, Heath- 
Cock, Heath-Fowl, or Heath-Poult, is violet black, tail forked ; 
several varieties; weighs sometimes four pounds; length twenty- 
three inches. Female less than the male; her general colour 
ferruginous, barred and mottled with black, beneath paler. 
Eggs six or seven, dirty white, blotched with rust colour, size 


The voice of the Heath-Cock was heard loud and shrill; 
Many groups of Red-Grouse, too, rose over the hill. 

of those of a pheasant. Inhabits the mountainous and woody 
districts of England and Europe at large. 

According to Pennant this bird is remarkable for his 
exultation during the spring, when he calls the hen to his haunts 
with a loud and shrill voice, and is so inattentive to his safety as 
to be easily shot. 

"High on exulting wing the Heath-Cock rose, 
And blew his shrill blast o'er perennial snows.''' 

Rogers's Pleasures of Memory. 

The Scoticus, Red-Grouse, Red-Game, Moor-Cock, or Gor~ 
Cock, is sixteen inches long, transversely streaked with rufous 
and blackish; six outer tail feathers on each side blackish. 
Colours of the female not so dark as the male* Eggs 
from eight to fourteen, like those of the Black-Grouse, but 
smaller. Inhabits extensive uncultivated wastes covered with 
heath in Wales, Yorkshire, and the Highlands of Scotland. 
Found in flocks of thirty or forty in the winter season. 

" Sounds strauge and fearful there to hear, 
'Mongst desert hills where, leagues around, 
Dwelt but the Gor-cock and the deer." 

Sir Walter Scott's Bridal ofTriermain, Canto Hi. 

The Cupido, Pinnated-Grouse, Heath- Hen, Prarie-Hen, 
Mountain-Cock, or Barren-Hen. The last name given to it in 
consequence of its being found on the wild tracts of America 
called barrens. This bird is the size of a pheasant ; length 
nineteen inches; weighs three pounds and a half; plumage 
reddish brown, transversely barred with black and white 
waved lines; feathers of the head elongated into a crest ; on 
each side of the neck a tuft of feathers ; under the neck tufts, in 
the male, are two wrinkled bladders, which the bird can in- 


While the Tame-Ducks, and Drakes with their 

collars of green, 
Reeurvate their tails, on the waters were seen. 

flate ; when distended they resemble a middle sized orange ; 
toes naked, pectinated, pale brown. Found in Carolina, New 
Jersey, and other parts of North America, and particularly on 
the bushy plains of Long Island. Feeds on huckle berries, the 
acorns of the dwarf oak and other fruits, and insects. Eggs 
numerous ; nest on the ground 5 flesh good. In September seen 
in flocks of two hundred or more. In the year 1791 an act was \^ 
passed in the United States for the preservation of this bird, in 
which a fine of two dollars was imposed on any one killing it 
between the 1st of April and 5th of October. It is become, 
notwithstanding this act, in America (and it has been rarely, 
I believe, heard of elsewhere) a scarce and dear bird. 

The Coturnix, or Quail, has the body spotted with grey; 
eye-brows white; tail feathers with a ferruginous edge and 
crescent; seven and a half inches long: another variety much 
larger. Inhabits the whole of the old world, but not, it is said, 
America. It is a bold bird, and used in China for fighting, as 
in this country are game cocks ; and at Athens, formerly, quail 
fighting was as common as cock fighting is at the present time; 
it was also at Rome a common diversion ; it is said, indeed, that 
in the time of Augustus a prefect of Egypt was punished with 
death for having served up at an entertainment one of these 
birds which had acquired celebrity from its victories ! It is a 
migratory bird, appearing in England the beginning of May, 
and leaving it in October ; a few, however, are said to remain 
throughout the winter; feeds on green wheat and in stubbles; 
calls nearly all night; the males are taken by imitating them. 
Eggs eight or ten whitish, laid like the partridge on the ground; 
they are occasionally blotched with dusky ; they are said to lay 
many more eggs than ten in Italy. Quails are seen in vast 
flocks in various places contiguous to the Mediterranean Sea 



The bright Citrinel* cried " Willy winky" aloud; 
The Turnstone and Knot made a part of the crowd ; 
Sea-Swallows, Sea-Crows, and some Shear- 
waters came; 
And many more sea- birds not known unto fame. 

during their migration. Thousands have heen taken in a day 
in the kingdom of Naples. 

The Virginianus, or Virginian-Quail, is rather less than the 
common partridge; it inhabits the woods of America, and 
perches on trees. 

The Kakelik has the bill, eye-brows, and legs, scarlet; size 
of a pigeon; is named from its note Kakelik ; inhabits China. 

The Major, Great-Tinamou, or Great-Partridge, has a yel- 
low body, legs yellowish brown; bill black, back and tail with 
black spots ; eighteen inches long ; roosts on the lowest branches 
of trees; feeds on worms, insects, and fruits; builds twice a- 
year, and lays from twelve to fifteen eggs; inhabits the woods of 
South America. Note a dull kind of whistle, which may be 
heard a great way off; the natives imitate it to decoy them. 

The above birds are all more or less excellent food, and 
known by the general term Game. Many of the tribe are ex- 
tremely pugnacious, particularly the grouse, partridges, and 
quails ; this arises most probably from the fact that the males 
are generally more numerous than the females. Some of this 
genus of birds in cold climates vary in plumage exceedingly du- 
ring the summer and winter months. 

* Emberjza Citrinella, or Yellow-Hammer, (see Note *>), 
one of the few birds to which in this work a new name is given, 
and this is here done from the intractable nature of the old one. 
Some of our naturalists have described the song of the yellow- 
hammer as being composed of only six or seven notes, but it is 
very often many more than six. They are uttered with consi- 
derable rapidity, the penult being dwelt upon with much em- 
phasis, " Willy willy, willy willy, willy willy, winkky." 


There were Gannets,* too, — Kilda's prime, staple 

support ; 
And some Shags* that on ocean delight oft to sport. 

With recurvate and flexible beak ting'd with jet, 
Appear'd, too, the Scooper, yclept Avoset ( 37 ). 
The Pigeons Domestic in large circles soar; 
While the Cock and Hen sought out the granary door : 
In variety there seen, a numerous tribe, 
Whom pen or whom pencil could scarcely describe; 
Pugnacity ever their prominent trait, — 
Which young and which old, all observant, obey. 

( 37 ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Avoset, the Scooping, the 

American, the White. 
The genus Recurvi rostra, (Linn.) or Avoset, consists of 
four species, distinguished by a depressed, subulate, recurved 
bill; pointed, flexible at the top; feet palmate. The chief are 
the following. 

The Avocetia, Avoset, Scooping-Avoset, Butter-flip, 
Scoaper, Yelper, Picarini, Crooked-bill, or Cobler's-awl, is varie- 
gated with white and black ; length eighteen inches ; bill black, 
recurved at the point, flexible like whalebone ; toes webbed 
about half their length ; feeds on worms and marine insects, 
which it scoops out of the mud or sand ; eggs two, white tinged 
with green, and marked with large black spots, size of a 
pigeon's. Inhabits southern Europe, and found also in this 

The Americanus, or American-Avoset, has the back black, 
beneath white ; seventeen inches long ; inhabits North America 
and New Holland. — The Alba, or White-Avoset, is white, 
wing coverts brownish; bill orange; fourteen inches and a half 
long ; inhabits Hudson's Bay. 

* Sec Part II. for a description of both Gannets and Sfthgs, 
under the genus Pdecanus. 


The Turkey-Cock ( 38 ) strutted his ladies beside, 
And, with "Gob, Gobble," note, spread his tail fea- 
thers wide ; 

( 38 ) Order, Galling, (Linn.) Turkey, the Common, the 


The genus Mele a Gnis, (Linn.) or Turkey, consists of two spe- 
cies only, distinguished by a conic, incurvate bill ; head covered 
with spongy caruncles, chin with a longitudinal membraneous ca- 
runcle ; tail hroad, expansile; legs spurred. They are as follow : 

The Gallipavo, or Common-Turkey, is above three feet and 
a half long; domesticated every where; varies much in its co- 
lours; its most predominant is black, mixed with shades of white; 
caruncles red. In its wild state lives in woods, feeding on nuts, 
acorns, and insects ; originally anative of America, where it is now 
found in great plenty, as well as the West Indies, constituting a 
great part of the food of the natives, although never reduced by 
them to a state of domestication : hunting the turkey is a sport 
in which the savage delights. The cock makes occasionally a pe- 
culiar noise, not easily described. In their wild state, turkeys are 
much larger, more hardy and beautiful, than in captivity. The 
male wild turkey found in the American woods is nearly four 
feet long ; the female three feet and a quarter. This bird, the 
young of which are so tender with us, multiplies abundantly in 
the large forests of Canada, which are a great part of the year 
covered with snow. Eggs from ten to twenty-five; time of in- 
cubation from twenty-six to twenty-nine or more days. The 
common domesticated turkey is a sluggish, cowardly bird, 
formidable in appearance only. A common game cock will at- 
tack many at once, and, from his activity, frequently comes off 
unhurt. This bird has an antipathy to red colours. The best 
turkeys in this country are bred in Norfolk : in breeding, one 
cock is sufficient for six hens. The hen will cover from nine to 
fifteen eggs. She is a steady setter, and will sometimes continue 
upon her eggs until almost starved; hence she should be pro- 
vided with food and water during her incubation. I cannot 


Though inspirer of fear, yet of cowardice son : 
The fierce chanticleer is seen often to shun. 

enter here into the domestic management of this, nor, indeed? 
of any other bird ; but the reader who is desirous of ob- 
taining information concerning the best method of rearing 
domestic poultry, may consult my Family Cyclopedia, arti- 
cles Hen, Turkey, Duck, Goose, &c. It is scarcely neces- 
sary to add, that the turkey is excellent food. This bird was 
introduced into England during the reign of Henry VIII, It 
consists of several varieties, which are, very probably, increased 
by continued domestication. 

The Saiyra, or Horned-Turkey, has the head with two 
horns, callous, blue, bent back ; body red, with eye-like spots; 
caruncle of the chin dilatable, blue, varied with rufous. The 
female has the head covered with feathers, is hornless and without 
gular caruncle; feathers of the head and upper part of the neck 
black-blue, long, incumbent ; rest of the body as in the male ; 
rather less than the preceding ; inhabits India. 

The wild turkey cock is, in the American forests, an object of 
considerable interest. It perches on the tops of the cypress 
and magnolia ; and, in the months of March and April, at early 
dawn, for an hour, or more, the forests ring with the crowing of 
these American sentinels, the watch-word being caught and re- 
peated from one to another for, Bartram says, hundreds of 
miles round. Mr, Southey, in Madoc, vol. L page c 265 t thus 
describes this occurrence : 

"On the top 
Of yon magnolia the loud turkey's voice 
Is heralding the dawn ; from tree to tree 
Extends the wakening watch note far and wide, 
Till the whole woodlands echo with the cry." 

The wild turkey is said to be, in the American woods, a mi- 
gratory bird ; not, indeed, by the assistance of the wings, but 
by walkiug. 
I have lately seen the keel of the sternum of a turkey, that 


In the Guinea-Hens ( 39 ) harsh and monotonous strain, 
" Go back" was repeated again and again, 

had a round groove or depression in it, produced, doubtless, by 
the weight of the bird pressing it strongly on the perch. 

( 39 ) Order, Galling, (Linn.) Guinea-Hen, Gallina. 

The genus Numida, (Linn.) or Guinea-Hen, consists of four 
species, distinguished by a strong short bill, the base covered 
with a carunculate cere receiving the nostrils ; head horned, 
with a compressed coloured callus; tail short, bending down. 
The following is the only one which it is necessary to notice : 

The Meleagris, Guinea-Hen, Pintado, Gailina, Galeny, or 
Guinea-fowl, has double caruncles at the gape, and is without 
gular fold. The bill is of a reddish horn colour, head blue; the 
crown with a conic, compressed, bluish-red protuberance; upper 
part of the neck bluish ash, almost naked ; lower part fea- 
thered, verging to a violet blue; body blackish or greyish, with 
round white spots ; legs grey brown. Two other varieties ; one 
with the breast white, the other having the body entirely white ; 
twenty-two inches long ; makes a harsh unpleasant cry, similar 
to that mentioned in the text ; such sounds it often repeats ; it 
is restless and turbulent, moving from place to place, and 
domineering over the whole poultry yard. The male and female 
much alike; the only difference is, that the wattles which are 
blue in the former, are inclining to red in the latter; there is 
also some difference in the noise which the two sexes frequently 
make. Eggs many, speckled reddish-brown, considerably 
smaller than those of the common hen : if this bird be left to 
itself, it will lay its eggs on the bare ground ; and is generally 
in this country a very unfit mother for its own offspring. See 
the Introduction. Inhabits Africa and America, and is domes- 
ticated every where. Flesh excellent. 

This genus in many respects resembles the common poultry, 
like them going in large flocks, and feeding its young by point- 


As a coronal now came the Peacock ( 4 °) along, 
Stalking proudly, but uttered no note fit for song. 

ing out their food. In this country, however, these birds are 
reared much better by the common hen than by their own spe- 
cies. The chicken are so extremely sensible to cold, that ex- 
posure to it on damp grass, or the ground, for a very short time, 
often proves fatal to them. 

( 49 ) Order, Galling, {Linn.) Peacock, the Crested, the 
Iris, the Thibet, the Japan. 

The genus Pavo, (Linn.) or Peacock, consists of seven 
species, distinguished by a robust, convex bill ; head covered 
with revolute feathers ; nostrils large ; feathers of the tail long, 
broad, expansile, and covered with eye-like spots. The 
chief are as follow : 

The Cristatus, or Crested-Peacock, is the species most com- 
monly seen in this country ; it consists of three varieties : one 
with a compressed crest, spurs solitary ;— another having the 
cheeks, throat, belly, and wing coverts, white; — another with 
the body entirely white. The plumage and tail of this magni- 
ficent bird are adorned with rich and various colours, but the 
most predominant is green of many different shades. It came 
originally from India, where it is found, it is said, in vast flocks ; 
but it is now seen in all the temperate regions of Europe, and 
in almost every part of the new world, and also in Africa. It 
arrives at maturity the third year. In this climate the female 
lays only four or five eggs, but, in warmer regions, twelve, and, 
it is said, sometimes double this number. The time of incuba- 
tion is from twenty-seven to thirty days. It lives to the age of 
twenty years, or more. One cock is sufficient for three or four 
hens. They are granivorous, like other domestic fowls, pre- 
ferring barley. The young only are esteemed good eating. It 
is not, however, a very desirable bird for the poultry yard, it 
being very troublesome and mischievous. The cry which it 
utters is one of the most harsh and disagreeable that can be 


Thus assembled, the Monarch commanded the 
Owl, ( 4I ) 
To blow loud his trump to the nation of Fowl ; — 
Not " hoo-hoo," such as often is heard in the night, 
When terror and fancy beget wild affright, 
But a note such as never the owl blew before — 
Over hill, over dale, went its echoing roar. 

conceived. The origin of the white variety is not known, but 
it is said that it continues white in every climate. 
Lord Bvron calls the peacock 

" That royal bird whose tail 's a diadem/' 

And Beattie thus describes it in the minstrel: 

" Though richest hues the peacock's plumes adorn, 
Yet horror screams from his discordant throat/' 

The Bicalcaratus, or Iris-Peacock, is brown ; head sub- 
crested ; spurs two ; rather larger than the pheasant ; inhabits 
China. The Thibetanus, or Thibet-Peacock, isc inereous, 
streaked with blackish ; head sub-crested ; spurs two ; twenty- 
rive and a half inches long; inhabits Thibet. The Muticus, or 
Japan-Peacock, is blue mixed with green j head with a 
subulate crest; spurless; size of the cristatus ; inhabits Japan, 

( 4I ) Order, Accipitres, (Linn.) Owl, the Great, the Long- 
eared, the Tawny, the White, &c. 

The genus Strix, (Linn.) or Owl, includes more than eighty 
species, scattered over Europe, Asia, and America, about half 
of which are eared and half earless ; several are common in this 
country: they have a hooked bill, cereless ; the nostrils are 
oblong, covered with bristly recumbent feathers; head, auricles 
and eyes large; tongue bifid; legs downy; toes four, claws 
hooked and very sharp pointed. They fly abroad mostly by 


What silence, what stillness, at once was impress'd ! 
Even zephyr scarce wav'd the green trees' leafy vest. 

The Falcon then thus: ". It hath pleased the king, 
This assembly to-day in his presence to bring; 
And wishing sincerely to all much delight, 
We now to such sports as are pleasing invite." 

night, preying on small birds, mice, and bats; sight, by day, 
weak, when the eyes are generally closed ; at such times they 
make short low flights, and may be, without much difficulty, 
hunted down. At such time, too, the owl is often attacked and 
insulted by birds which would not dare, at other times, to ap- 
proach him. All the species are not distinguished by this sensi- 
bility to light, some of them pursuing their prey during the 

Owls do, however, for the most part, conceal themselves in 
some dark retreat during the day ; the cavern, the rock, the 
cavity of a decayed tree, or the holes of a ruinous and unfre- 
quented castle, are their solitary abode, where 

" They hoot from the hollow of their hallowed thrones,"' 

and by their harsh notes render the darkness and silence of the 
night truly hideous and appalling. The weak and superstitious 
have often foolishly imagined the noise of the screech owl a 
presage of some great calamity ; but the good sense of mankind 
is rapidly dispelling such idle fancies. Owls are, beyond 
question, a very useful tribe of birds. The following are the 

The Bubo, Grea.t-Owl, Great-eared Owl, Eagle-Owl, 
Great-horned Owl, has a tawny body ; in other varieties darker, 
with blackish wings. The head is large ; the cavities of the 
ears large and deep ; on each side of the head are two tufts of 
feathers, resembling horns, two inches and a half long, which 
the animal can erect or fold down at pleasure ; breadth of the 


The birds soon divided in groups as they chose ; 
In the air soaring these, and in water swam those ; 
To the wood some retir'd ; others flew up the dell, 
Where a bubbling clear fount over rocks dashing fell. 
There was singing , the chief: there was billing and 

And many a coy one her lover came wooing. 
There was diving, the Sheldrake's distinguished for 

While,some Warbler's sweet notes admiration begat; 

wings about five feet ; size, nearly as large as an eagle. Inha- 
bits Europe, Kalnmc Tartary, and South America; occasionally 
met with in this country. Chases hares, rabbits, moles, and 
mice, which it swallows whole ; but the hair, bones, and skin, 
which resist the action of the stomach, it ejects in round 
balls, similar to the eagle tribe, termed castings. Eggs two, said 
to be larger than those of a hen ; they are mottled like the bird. 

Wilson describes an owl under the term Virginiana, or 
Great-Horned-Owl, which he supposes a variety of the pre- 
ceding : themaleis twenty inches long, the female two feet; its 
notes, fVavgk 0/ fVavgh O! remains in America the whole 

The Otus, Long -eared Owl, Horn-Owl, is a beautiful spe- 
cies, in length fifteen inches ; the horns consist of six feathers 
variegated with black; its general colour is an ochraceous 
yellow. Varieties of this species found all over Europe and 
America ; more common in this country than the preceding. 

The Stridula, Tawny-Owl, Common-Brown-Owl, Ivy-Owl, 
Black-Owl, Aluco-Owl, Wood-Owl, or Screech-Owl, has the back, 
head, and coverlets of the wings, a fine tawny red, elegantly 
marked with black or dusky spots; fifteen inches long; inhabits 
Europe, America, the West Indies, and this country, and is by 
far the most plentiful of the owl tribe in England. Breeds in 


To enjoy unrestrained of such day the delight, 
From pleasure's clear stream each oft sipp'd where he 

What excited the smiles of the Aquiline King, 
Was the noise made by some birds in efforts to sing. 
The jetty black Raven, now stretching his throat, 
Did nothing but croak with a horrible note, 
That of ill seem'd portentous, as down the deep dell, 
Jn echoes heart-startling the wavy sound fell. 

hollow trees, sometimes in barns; eggs two or three, a dull 
white, Said to be the only species known to hoot. (Montagu.) 
I think, however, this is doubtful. 

" Heard ye the owl 
Hoot to her mate responsive? 'Twas not she 
"Whom floating on white pinions near his barn 
The farmer views well pleas'd, and bids his boy 
Forbear her nest; but she who cloth'd in robe 
Of unobtrusive brown, regardless flies 
Mouse-haunted cornstacks and the thresher's floor, 
And prowls for plunder in the lonely wood." 

Gisborne's Walks in a Forest — Summer. 

This owl is an excellent mousing bird ; but it will sometimes 
destroy pigeons. 

The Flamineu, White-Owl, Common-Barn Owl, Howiet, 
Gi'lihnwter, Madge- Howiet, Church-Owl, Hissing-Owl, or 
Screech-Owl, is about thirteen inches long ; the plumage elegant ; 
body above pale yellow, with white dots ; beneath whitish, 
with blackish dots ; almost a domestic bird, inhabiting barns, 
hay-lofts, and churches ; utters a kind of hissing, or harsh and 
mournful cries, formerly believed in the country to be ominous. 
Found in Europe, America, and this country. Feeds chiefly on 
mice, which it swallows whole, ejecting afterwards the bones and 


The Cuckoo, as songster, would also essay ; 

" Cuckoo, Cuckoo,*' still " Cuckoo " was heard through 

the day. 
In impertinent boldness appear'd the Tomtit, — 
His notes little more than a chirp or a chit. 
When laughter arose — " Give me sunflower seed/' 
He cried, " and I'll sing with the lark of the mead." 
The saucy House-Sparrow affected a song ; 
But dissonant noises to sparrows belong. 

fur in large pellets similar to those of the Great-owl. Eggs four 
or more, whitish. Breeds in old trees, or even barns. The young 
wholly white, and the flesh then said to be good. Montagu in- 
forms us that it never hoots ; I think this is a mistake. 

"The awaken'd owl 

Majestic, slow, on sounding wing sails by, 

And rous'd to active life, enjoys the hour 

That gives his winking eye-lids leave to rest, 

While bright his eye, dim in day's dazzling light, 

Now into distance shoots its beams, and guides 

The unweildy spoiler to his creeping prey, 

Which having seiz'd, again on murmuring wing 

He cleaves the tranquil air, and to his nest 

Proudly bears home the feast he toil'd to gain ; 

Then from the bosom of some thick wove tree, 

Breathes in dull note his votive strain to night, 

Friend of his daring, season of his joy." 

Mrs. O pie's Evening Walk at Cromer. 
Anthology, vol. ii. 

The Brachyotos, Short-eared Owl, Mouse-Hawk, Woodcock- 
Owl, or Hawk-Owl, is about fifteen inches long ; it is distin- 
guished from the rest of the tribe by the smallness of its head ; 
on the top of the head above each eye is a tuft of feathers, 


Ducks quak'd, Ganders hiss'd, and Geese cackled aloud ; 
Many Rooks, and some Crows, too, were heard 'midst 

the crowd. 
The Peacock, too, scream'd — his harsh notes ever 

shock; — 
Of his crowing, seem'd wondrously proud, too, the Cock, 
The Dove's gentle cooing was heard in the wood ; 
The Daw was desirous to sing if he could. 
"Chink, Chink, ,} cried the Chaffinch', the Owl gave- 

a shriek; 
And the Jay and the Magpie attempted to speak. 

which it can erect at pleasure; the neck, back, and scapulars, 
are dusky, bordered with ferruginous, breast and belly whitish, 
streaked with dusky. Arrives in this country in October, and 
departs in March ; hence, from its arriving at the same time as 
the Woodcock, one of its names. Supposed to breed in the 
Orkneys, Norway, and Hudson's Bay. It never perches on 
trees in this country, but hides itself in long grass or fern. 

The Scops, orLiTTi.E-HORNEDOwL,and the Pusserina, or Lit- 
tle-Owl, may also be mentioned ; the last is an elegant bird, 
the smallest of the tribe found in England ; size of a blackbird ; 
the head and upper parts are brown, tinged with olive ; the 
former, and wing coverts, spotted with white. 

The foreign birds of this tribe are numerous, and of various 
sizes. I cannot enumerate them. There is, however, in the 
northern latitudes, a species common to the old and new world, 
called the Nyctea by most ornithologists, which equals in size 
the largest of the tribe, being two feet long, and having beau- 
tiful plumage. 

The Cunicularia or Coqtjim bo Owl, is found in Chili; and 
is said to dig holes in the ground for a nest for its young, and 
for its own habitation. 

There is also a similar owl called the Burrowing-Owl, 
found in various parts of the North American continent. In 


'Midst this babel, the Monarch, extending his wing, 
Commanded the Warblers in sequence to sing. 
In a moment was silence ; the restless were still ; 
At distance was heard, in sweet murmurs, the rill. 
The Redbreast looked pleas'd, and began with a 
That excited of Folly an insolent tittering. 
But he soon became silent as thus o'er the soul, 
The warbler's soft notes with much melody stole. 

the trans-Mississlpian territories this owl resides exclusively in 
the burrows of the Marmot or Pairie dog; whether at the same 
time and in the same burrow with the said dog we are not ex- 
actly informed; although in other districts, as in St. Domingo, 
it digs itself a burrow two feet deep, in which the functions of 
niditication, &c. are performed. Its food is said to be insects ; 
it flies about by day ; its notes are cheh, cheh, repeated several 
times in rapid succession. Length nine inches and half; extent 
two feet. Bill horn colour, the lower mandible strongly notched ; 
iris bright yellow; the capistrum before the eyes terminates in 
black rigid bristles as long as the bill. General colour of the plu- 
mage a light burnt-umber, spotted with a whitish tinge; beneath 
whitish; inferior tail coverts are immaculate white ; eggs two, 
white, size of the dove's. See a continuation of Wilson's Ame- 
rican Ornithology by Prince Charles Buonaparte. 

Those who like tales abounding in the horrible, will find one 
to their taste in Blackwood's Magazine for July, 1826, entitled 
the Owl : the following are the first four lines of it : 
*' There sat an owl in an old oak tree, 
_ Whooping very merrily ; 

He was considering, as well he might, 
Ways and means for a supper to-night." 

I particularly advise those to read it who may not be quite' 
convinced of the impropriety of cruelty to animals. 




Motacilla Rubecula* — Linnaeus. 
Sylvia Rubecula. — Latham. 

"Little bird with bosom red, 
Welcome to my humble shed ! 
Courtly domes of high degree, 
Have no room for thee and me ; 
Pride and pleasure's fickle throng, 
Nothing mind an idle song." 




Come listen unto me, love, 

Beside the eglantine ; 
Or listen unto me, love, 

Beneath the shady pine. 

I wish not far to roam, love, 

Delighted to entwine, 
In some sweet rosy, bower, love, 

Thy gentle arms with mine. 

I wish afar from noise, love, 
From fraud and strife malign, 

With thee, in peace, to dwell, love ; 
That wish is surely thine ! 

I like a quiet home, love, 
Where I, and all that's mine, 

In one encircling band move, 
With thee and all that's thine. 


I love to look around, love, 

On cherubs that are mine, — 
And oh ! how sweet the thought, love, 

Those cherubs too are thine ! 

I like a quiet spot, love, 

Where all such things combine 

To make us truly blest, love, — 
A home almost divine. ( 42 ) 

(+-) order, passeres,(liw«.)wareler,redbreast,wrey, 
Golden-Crested-Wren, Yellow-Wren, Petty-Chaps, 
Redstart, Wheat-ear, Wagtail, White-Throat, &c. 

The genus, (Linn.) or Warbler, to which the 
Redbreast, Motacilla Rvbeculu, belongs, comprehends nearly 
three hundred species scattered over the globe; a very great 
number of which are natives of Europe, and many of them of 
our own country ; their characteristics are a weak, slender 
bill ; nostrils small ; tongue cloven ; toes, the extreme one joined 
at the under part to the middle one at the base. The follow- 
ing are Ihe chief: 

The Rubecula, Red-breast, Robin, Robin-red- breast, Robin- 
Riddick, Ruddock, or Robinet,* is too well known to need de- 
scription. There are three varieties; the common grey, with 
throat and breast ferruginous; the second entirely white; the 
third with chin while, wing coverts and feathers variegated. It 
is remarkable that this bird, which remains, even in North Bri- 

* M The nightingale of birds most choice, 

To do her best shall strain her voice ; 

A dd 1o this bird, to make a set, 

The mavis, merle, and robinrt." 

Drayton, Muse's Ehjsium, 
Nymplml, viii. 



tain, all the year round, as well as generally throughout Eng- 
land, should migrate from France during the winter months, 
which it is said to do. It appears in this country to be par- 
ticularly fond, during the winter season, of the habitations of 
man ; its note is well-known, and its society always agreeable ; 
it sings at almost every season of the year, extremely cold wea ■ 
ther excepted. 

" The Redbreast swells, 
In the slow-fading wood, his little throat 
Alone: for other birds have dropp'd their note." 

It builds in dry banks, beneath tufts of grass ; the nest is 
composed of dead leaves, green moss, and stalks of plants; it 
is lined with hair. It lays generally five, sometimes more, 
whitish eggs, with rusty spots. It is found over the whole of 
Europe, from Norway and Sweden to the. Mediterranean. 

A redhreast, some years since, frequently perched on one of 
the pinnacles of the organ in the cathedral at Bristol, and 
joined the music with its warbling effusions, it is said, for fifteen 
years successively, till 1787. Some lines on this extraordinary 
fact have been long since published ; they were written by the 
Rev. Samuel Love, m.a. one of the minor canons, and are 
well deserving of perusal ; I am sorry that I have not room for 

In very severe weather, a redbreast, many years ago, entered 
my parlour in Somersetshire, took its station over the window, 
where some food was placed for it; it remained there ahout a 
week, and when the weather became more mild it flew away. 

The Troglodytes, Wren, Common- Wren, Cutty, Lady's-Hen f * 
Cutty-fVren, or Wran, has the whole plumage transversely barred 
with undulating lines of brownand black ; on the belly and lower 

* Lady's-Hen. My authority for this name is Drayton : 

" The hedge-sparrow and her compeer the icren. 

Which simple people call our lady's-ken." 


THE WREN. 243 

parts it inclines to grey. Tbe tail of this bird is not, as is com- 
monly the case with most other birds, in a straight line with the 
back, but it rises considerably upwards, so that one of its distin- 
guishing characteristics is a cocked tail. It is one of the smallest of 
our native birds, being less than four inches in length ; it inhabits 
England and Europe at large; it is found also in Asia ; it remains 
in this country throughout every season. Builds a curious nest, 
for an account of which see the Introduction ; it may, however, 
be added here, that such is the instinctive providence of this 
bird, its nest is generally adapted to the place against or under 
which it is made; thus, although its usual structure is green- 
moss, yet, if it build against the side of a hay-rick, it is composed 
of hay ; if against a tree covered with white moss, it is made of 
that material ; this is not, however, an invariable habit : for I have 
known a wren's nest constructed of green moss at the edge of 
the thatch of a house, the colour of which was very different 
from the nest itself: something, doubtless, depends upon the 
ease or difficulty with which materials can be obtained. Montagu 
says that the lining is invariably feathers; this is not, I think, 
correct; I believe when made with green moss, its lining is, 
generally, of the same material. Eggs six, eight, or more, 
whitish, with rusty spots. Feeds on insects. Sings the greater 
part of the year. It has, besides, a peculiar note, which it often 
repeats in the spring, similar to chit, chit, chit. 

The following lines were written many years since. 


Which, for many years, built her nest behind an ash tree that overhung 

my garden. 

Little Warbler ! long hast thou 
Perch'd beneath yon spreading bough; — 
Snug, beneath yon ivied tree, 
Thy mossy nest I yearly see, 
Safe from all thy peace annoys — 
Claws of cats or cruel boys. 

M 2 


We often hear thy chit, chit, song 

Call thy tiny brood along, 

While, in her nest, or on a spray, 

The throstle charms us with her lay ! 

Little warbler ! cbearful wren ! 

The springtime's come and thou again. 

Little warbler! thou, like me, 

Delight'st in home and harmless glee. 

What of peace is to be found, 

Circles all thy dwelling round ; 

Here, with love beneath the shade, 

Thy tranquil happiness is made; 

With thy tiny, faithful mate, 

Here meet'st resign'd the frowns of fate. 

While prouder birds fly high or far, 

Or mix them in the strife of war, 

Or restless all the world through range,, 

And, restless, still, delight in change, 

Thou mak'st thy home a place of rest, 

Affection, love, and that is best ! 

Then welcome, welcome, faithful wren I , 

Thrice welcome to thy home again! 

Hunt spill, Somerset ; March 1810. 

I believe it may be stated with truth that scarcely a year 
pasted from my earliest infancy in which a wren's nest was not to 
be found behind the tree alluded to above ; and if it be still 
standing may, I dare say, be found there now. The redbreast 
has been also a very common inhabitant of the banks near. 

As I always discouraged my own children in the practice of 
robbing birds' nests, my garden became a sort of sanctuary for 
the Goldfinch, the Chaffinch, the Thrush, Sec. The goldfinch in 
particular, became a denizen of it ; the garden was by no means 
a secluded one, being close to a public road ; but the birds 
soon found their security in it: the young goldfinches were de- 
stroyed occasionally by cats : this I could not prevent. Candour, 


however, compels me to state that, with all my disposition for 
indulgence to birds, I found the house-sparrow a very troublesome 
guest in the garden, and was obliged to prevent its becoming an 
inhabitant of my house and offices, by giving it no opportunity or 
place for building its nest. A rookery (see my poem, the Rook- 
ery, in the Somerset dialect,) was also a short distance from it. 

This bird and the redbreast are supposed in Somersetshire 
to be great destroyers of spiders : indeed, the following saying 
i3 very common there : if it were not for the Robin- Riddick and the 
Cutty-Wran, a spider would overcome a man. 

The Regulus, Golden-Wren, Golden-crested Wren, 
Wood-Titmouse, or Tidley-Goldfinch, is generally considered the 
smallest of British birds. The crown of the head is singularly 
beautiful ; the crest is composed of a double series of feathers 
arisingfrom each side,and almost meeting at their points; the exte- 
rior are black; the interior bright yellow; between which on the 
crow T n, the feathers are shorter and of a fine deep orange ; the 
hind head, neck, and back, green; beneath, brownish white, on 
the belly tinged with yellow. Nest similar to that of the 
chaffinch, but lined with feathers ; sometimes placed against a 
tree covered with ivy, but most commonly beneath the thick 
branch of a fir. Eggs from seven to ten, brownish white. This 
bird braves our severest winters, and is by no means so scarce 
as it appears, but from its smallness is seldom noticed. Pennant 
says it is found principally on oak trees. 

" Aloft in mazy course the Golden- Wren 
Sports on the boughs; she who her slender form 
Vaunting, and radiant crest, half dares to vie 
With those gay wanderers,* whose effulgent wings 
With insect hum still flutter o'er the pride 
Of Indian gardens." 

Gisborne's Walks in a Forest — Autumn. 

Humming Birds. See note (3), Part IL 


Besides these wrens, the following are also inhabitants of* this 
country: the Arundinacea, Reed-Wren, or Lesser-Reed-Spurrow, 
is a migratory bird, appearing in this country the latter end of 
April, and leaving it in September. It builds in reeds, generally, 
over water. The Sylvicolu, Wood-Wren, or Green- Wren, 
prefers oak and beech woods ; it is also a migratory bird, ar- 
riving in and quitting this country about the same time as the 
preceding. The Trochilus, Yellow-Wren, Scotch-Wren, Wil- 
low-Wren, Ground- Wren, or Ground- Huckmuck 7 is plentiful in 
woody places, especially among willows. Nest oval, with a 
small opening near the top, composed of moss and dried grass, 
and lined with feathers; eggs six or seven, with rusty spots. 
The plumage of this bird is very similar to the Lesser Petty chaps. 
It sings prettily : see Mr. Sweet's letter in the Introduction. 

The Hortensis, Greater-Pettychaps, or Pettychaps, is 
above light brown, inclining to olive; beneath dirty white 5 
length six inches. Arrives in this country the latter end of 
April; its song little inferior to that of the nightingale. Eggs 
four, dirty white, blotched with brown. The Hippolais, Lesser 
Pettychaps, Hay-bird, or Beam-bird, is smaller than the yellow 
wren, length rather more than four inches and half; in plumage 
it very much resembles that bird, but is not so much tinged 
with yellow. It is a migratory bird, appearing in this country 
early, on or before the first of April : its notes consist of two 
only, chip, chop, frequently repeated. Nest oval, with a small 
hole near the top : it is placed on or near the ground. Found 
in all parts of the kingdom : does not leave it till October. 

The Phoenicurus, Redstart, Redsleert, Redtail, or Brantail, 
is less than the redbreast, but longer and more slender; has 
the head, the hind part of the neck, and the back, of a deep 
shining grey ; on the fore part of the neck a large black patch ; 
the breast, beneath the patch, an igneous red, growing more 
faint towards the flanks and belly, which are white. Three va- 
rieties. Builds in old walls or rotten trees; eggs five or six, 
light blue. Arrives in this country in April, quits it in Septem- 


ber. It frequents uninhabited houses and solitary places, in 
which it utters its plaintive notes. The female of this species 
sometimes sings. See Mr. Sweet's letter in the Introduction. 

The (Enanthe, Wheat-ear, Fallow-Finch, Fallow-Smich, 
White-tail, Snorter, or English-Ortolan, is distinguished by its 
hoary back, rump and base of the tail white ; length six inches 
and half. The distribution of its colours varies so as to produce 
several varieties. Found as far north as Greenland, and as far 
east as India. Visits England in March, and leaves us in Sep- 
tember. Frequents heaths and warrens ; breeds in rabbit bur- 
rows and under stones ; eggs from five to eight, pale blue. 
They grow very fat, and are caught in great numbers in some 
of our southern countries previously lo their departure ; many 
are sent to London: when potted by the poulterers, are as much 
esteemed as ortolans on the continent. This bird sings very 

The Alba, Wagtail, White-Wagtail, Collared Wagtail, 
Water. Wagtail, Dish-washer, Wash- Dish, Washerwoman, or Billy- 
Biter, inhabits England and Europe generally; its predominating 
colours deep blue, and white; length about seven inches; remains 
in this country throughout the year, but migrates, nevertheless, 
from one place to another ; it builds in various situations ; in a 
heap of stones, in a hole in the wall, or on the top of a pollard 
tree; eggs four or five, spotted with brown. Three varieties. 
Sings very prettily in the spring. Characterised, as its name 
imports, by often wagging its tail, particularly when it drinks. 

The tribe Wagtail includes twenty or more species of this 
genus, distinguished into pied, cinereous, green, water- wagtail, 
&c. ; or into Indian, African, &c. from their native habitations. 
Two other wagtails found in this country should also be named. 
The Buarula, Grey-Wagtail, or Winter. Wagtail, a very ele- 
gant species, is above dark cinereous, rump greenish yellow, 
beneath yellow of various shades ; its plumage varies in the 
spring. Visits this country the end of September, and quits it 
in April. It is seven inches and three quarters long. The 



Flava, Yellow-Wagtail, Spring; or Summer-Wagtail, is in 
length six and a half inches; the distinguishing and predomi- 
nating colour of this bird is yellow, mixed in the upper parts 
with olive green of different shades. It visits us about the time 
that the Winter- Wagtail depaits, and quits this country in Sep- 

I can only mention the following warblers known in this 
country: the Dartfordiensis, or Dartford-Warbler; — the 
Salicaria, Sedge- Warbler, Willow- Lark, Sedge-Bird, Sedge- 
Wren, or Lesser-Reed-Sparrow ; — the %/«ia,WniTE-THROAT, or 
Nettle Creeper, is a very common species, visiting all parts of the 
kingdom about the middle of April; enlivens our hedges with 
its song. — See Mr. Sweet's letter in the Introduction. The 
Sylviella, or Lesser White-throat, visits also this country at 
the same time as the last; but it is smaller than that bird. 
The Rubetra, Whin-chat, or Furze-chat, is migratory in this 
country : inhabits Europe, Asia, and Africa. Three or four 
varieties : found chiefly among furze, as its name imports. 
The Rubicola, Stone-chat, Stone-chatter, Stone-Smich, Moor- 
Titling, Stone-Smith, or Blacky-top, is found in this country 
during the whole year. Sings prettily in the spring. Habits 
the same as the whin-chat. Length five inches and a quarter. 

The Ncsviu, or Fig-Eater, inhabits Italy ; feeds on figs and 
grapes, whence its specific name. 

For an account of other birds belonging to this genus, see the 
note on the Nightingale; the Hedge Spar row's Complaint ; the 
Blackcap's Song: for the Warblers of foreign countries, see 
the note on that tribe in the second part ; see also, in the same 
part, a note on the Taylor-bird. 

The Wagtails, in Dr. Latham's arrangement, are made a se- 
parate genus under the term Motacilla, with 25 species ; the 
Warblers another, under the term Sylvia, with 298 species. 

The Lark in a flatter uprose with a bound ; 
His measure disposed you to dance to the sound. 



Alauda Arvensis.—'SJEVS. 

u From the green waving corn, 
The Lark spreads his wings, 
And hails as he sings 
The fresh glow of the morn." 

To BIN. 

He who'd live a happy life, 

Let him live as we ; 
We defy both care and strife — 

Are from sorrow free. 

We with early dawn arise, 

Health awaits our way ; 
Up we mount the radiant skies 

To greet the king of day. 

Mirth with sparkling eye and Glee, 

Listen while we sing ; 
Pleasure, too, and Gaiety, 

Welcome now the spring. 

Love too listens to our song ; 

Exquisite delight! 
Zephyrs bear the notes along, 

O'er yon meadows bright. 



Come, ye sons of sprightliness ! 

Join our jocund throng ; 
These the pleasures we possess ; — 

Come ye — come along ! 

He who'd live a happy life, 

Let him live as we ; 
We defy both care and strife — 

Are from sorrow free. ( 43 ) 

( 43 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Sky-Lark. 

The Alauda Arvensis, Lark, Sky-Lark, Mounting-Lark, 
Common-Field-Lark, or Laverock, inhabits Europe, Asia, and 
Africa; feeds on fruit and insects; sings sweetly, soaring in a 
perpendicular direction in the air, and increasing the volume of 
its note, as it ascends, frequently, so high as to be scarcely vi- 
sible. It assembles in vast flocks in winter, when it is found, 
very commonly, in stubble fields, more rarely in meadows or 
pastures, at which time it becomes very fat. It builds on the 
ground, either in tufts of grass or amidst growing corn ; lays four 
or five greenish-white eggs, with dusky confluent spots. This 
and the woodlark said to be the only birds which sing as they 
fly; but this, like many other sayings, is most probably incorrect. 
Body is above varied with blackish, reddish grey, and whitish ; 
beneath reddish white ; bill and legs black ; throat spotted 
with black; can erect the feathers on the hind head like a crest. 
Four or five varieties. Length seven inches. Flesh good. 
The song of the sky-lark has considerable sprightliness in it : see 
the Introduction, page 69. Pope thus characterises it : 
" Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings? 
Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings." 

Essay on Man, Epistle iii. 

The lark sings during a much greater portion of the year than 
most birds ; and it is also believed that the female of this species 
sings as well as the male ; yet the fact does not seem with cer- 
tainty known. 



Fringilla Carduelis* — Linnaeus. 

"The GoLDFiNCH r Jie, 

Whose plumage with the tropic warbler's vies ; — 

Whose note — exultant chearfulness itself; — 

Whose downy dome rivals a Trochilid's 

In beauty." 

From an unpublished Poem. 

I've a snug little nest 

In a little elm tree ; 
This nest I am sure 

You'll be pleas'd when you see ; 

It is made with much care, 
And is lined so throughout— 

It is neatness itself 

Both within and without. 

But a dear little mate, 

She with whom I am blest, 

Is the neatest of all things 
In this little nest. 

Should you pass by in May, 
When our little ones come> 

Look in, and you'll find 
We've a snug little home. 


No home like that home, 
Where two bosoms impart 

Their finest of sympathies 
Warm from the heart ; 

Where friendship with love 

Is perpetual guest ; 
And affection's smooth pillow 

A soft heaving breast. ( 44 ) 

( 44 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Finch, Goldfinch, Chaf- 
finch, Brambling, Redpolf, &c. 

The genus Fringilla, (Linn.) or Finch, to which the 
Goldfinch, Fringilla Carduelis, belongs, consists of about one 
hundred and fifty species, distributed over the globe, several of 
which are found in our own country j they are distinguished by 
a conic bill ; tongue truncated; toes three forwards, one back- 
ward. The following are the chief: 

The Carduelis, Goldfinch, Thistle-Finch, or Jack nicker, is 
too well known to need description. Nine varieties ; inha- 
biting Europe, Asia, Africa, and this country. Sings exqui- 
sitely, and is very docile j frequents gardens and orchards, and 
feeds on various seeds ; in the winter assembles together in 
numbers, feeding at such times on thistle seeds, hence its 
specific name carduelis ; builds in apple, pear, elm, and some 
evergreen trees; nest very neat, (see the Introduction.) Eggs 
five, white with brown spots. It regularly breeds with the 
canary-bird, the produce, a mule, termed Canary-Goldfinch. 
The young of the goldfinch before the crimson on the head ap- 
pears, is called by the bird-catchers grey-pate. 

Of the Calebs, Chaffinch, Beech-finch, Horse-finch, Pied- 
finch, Pink, or Twink, there are six varieties, the principal 
of which is distinguished by the peculiar sound of chink, chink, 


or pink, pink, which it often makes ; it has, als^, it is said, a 
song, although a trifling one. It is larger than the goldfinch, 
and, though having a great variety of colours, is hy no means so 
handsome as that bird ; it builds a neat nest, (see the Introduc- 
tion,) and lays five dirty-white eggs, spotted with brown. In- 
habits almost every where in this country, Europe, and Africa. 
It is said, however, that the males are migratory, frequently 
leaving the females in the winter even in this country. 

Of the Montifringilla, Brambling, Mountain-Finch, or Kate, 
there are three varieties; inhabits Europe and Siberia; one 
variety, Asia; frequently seen in this country in the winter, 
but not supposed to breed here. It is about six inches long ; 
the upper parts are ash-coloured, beneath whitish ; the throat, 
breast, and upper coverts of the wings ferruginous orange. 
Eggs yellowish, spotted. 

The Spinus, Siskin, or Aberdevine, has the quill feathers yellow 
in the middle, the first four without spots ; tail feathers yellow 
at the base and tipt with black; four and three quarter inches 
long. Three other varieties. Inhabits our own country and 
Europe generally. Feeds on various seeds, easiiy tamed, and 
sings moderately. The Cannabina, Greater Red-Pole, Red- 
Pole, or Greater -Red-headed- Linnet, has the body above chesnut- 
brown, beneath reddish-white, bottom of the breast blood-red 
in the male, in the female dirty-brown ; five and a half inches 
long. Sings prettily. Inhabits Europe, America, and this 
country. Gregarious in the winter. Eggs five, bluish white, 
with purplish specks; makes its nest among furze. See the 
Linnet's Song. The Linaria, Lesser- Red-headed- Linnet, 
Redpole, or Stone-Redpole, is much smaller than the last; often 
found in this country. The Montium, Mountain-Linnet, or 
Twite, is black varied with reddish, beneath whitish; rump red. 
Inhabits Europe and this country; has no song, but merely 

The Xanthorea is dusky, rump yellow ; primaries edged with 
green ; tail tipped with white ; length four inches and half. 


Inhabits Rio Janeiro. The bird from which this description 
was taken was tame, and sang like a canary ; and, like other 
antarctic birds, sang most in the winter. See the Journal of the 
Acad, of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. iv. part 2, in the 
papers, by Prince Charles Bonaparte. 

For the Linota, or Linnet, see the Linnet's Song; for 
the Canaria, or Canary-Bird, see the Canary-Bird's 
Song ; for the Domestica, or House-sparrow, see the House- 
Sparrow's Speech. 

The Thrush, closely shrouded some ivy among 
That crept up an elm, was rehearsing her song, 
In a soft under-tone, and in murmurs most sweet ; 
(Such warblings who lives that can catch and repeat?) 
Now more loud rose the notes thus the air they 

As the songstress still sat in her ivy-hung nest, 



Turdus Musicus. — Linn^us. 

"The Home of Love is where the heart 
Is never found repining." 



The home of love is where the heart 

Is never found repining; 
The home of love is where we part. 

In pain some bliss combining ; 

That bliss, the child of ardent hope, 
Persuading that to-morrow 

We shall, with rapture, meet again ; — 
No room have we for sorrow. 

The home of love is that on which 
Our thoughts, when absent centre ; 

And which, when we behold again, 
Delighting we re-enter. 

The home of love is that where dwell 
Two hearts of pure affection ; 

Whose mutual throbbings ever tend 
To dissipate dejection. 

The home of love is that where dwell 
Hearts kind, sincere, indulgent ; 

Where dwells besides for all the world 
Benevolence effulgent. 


Then, hallowed be this ivied bower, 

This home of love endearing, 
Where mutual wishes sink to rest, 

With thoughts for ever cheering. ( 45 ) 

( +5 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Thrush, Missel-Thrush, 
Fieldfare, Ring-Ouzel, &c. 

The genus Turdus, (Linn.) or Thrush, now comprehends 
above two hundred and thirty species, scattered over the globe; 
the number described by Linnaeus was only twenty-eight. 
Several are inhabitants of this country. Many of the tribe sing 
exquisitely, among which may be named, the Missel, the 
Throstle, or Song-Thrush, the Redwing, the Blackbird, and a 
vast crowd of foreign birds, including the Mocking-Bird. They 
are distinguished by having the outer toe connected with the 
middle membrane, as far as the first joint ; the bill is denticu- 
lated towards the point ; they are generally subject to a va- 
riation of colour at different seasons of the year. They are 
baccivorous, but they also eat insects, worms, and snails ; none 
of them feeds on grain. The following are the chief: 

The Musicus, Song-Thrush, Thrush, Throstle, Dirsh, or 
Mavis,* has the head, back, and upper coverts of the wings 
deep olive-brown ; throat mottled with brown and white ; belly 
and breast pale yellow, with large black spots ; nine inches 
long. Inhabits the woods of Europe, generally, and frequent 
in this country. Builds in a low bush, or in an ivied tree ; (for 
a description of the nest see the Introduction.) Eggs five, pale- 
blue, with blackish spots. In France said to be migratory, in 
England remains all the year. Remarkably prolific, producing 
sometimes three different families in a season. Of all the tribes, 
the Mocking-Bird, perhaps, excepted, this is the most accom- 
plished singer ; and it sings also at almost every season of the 
year. There are several varieties in Europe ; three or four in 
America. This, and indeed the whole tribe, are very useful 

* U So doth the cuckoo when the mavis sings," 

Spenclr, Sonnet Ixxxv, 


birds in the destruction of snails and other injurious animals, they 
should, therefore, never be destroyed. — See the Introduction. 

The Viscivorus, Missel, Missel-Thrush, Missel-Bird, Mis- 
seltoe-Thrush, Skreech, Home-Screech, Skreech-Thrush, Throstle- 
Cock, Holm-Thrush, or Stormcock, is peculiarly distinguished as 
being the largest British bird which has any harmony in its 
voice; it is in length eleven inches ; back and upper parts light- 
brown ; neck white, spotted with brown ; beneath whitish; bill 
dusky. Builds its nest generally in the fork of some tree; very 
often the apple-tree. Eggs four or five, flesh colour, with rusty 
spots. This is rather a scarce bird in England ; I have seen it 
and its nest, occasionally, in Somersetshire, but I know nothing 
of its song. It is said, indeed, that it is much louder than, and, 
by some, esteemed superior to that of the song-thrush. That it 
begins to sing in January, and continues singing, more or less, 
till the female has hatched its young, when it is heard no more 
till the beginning of the new year. If, however, the young be 
taken, its song continues as before ; and if the female be de- 
stroyed, it continues in song the whole summer. This experi- 
ment, Montagu informs us, he tried upon this and several other 
song birds, and always found it invariable. Feeds upon holly, 
misseltoe berries, whence its name, and insects. It generally 
sings from the summit of a tree ; it is said also to sing before 
rain and during a storm ; hence its name Stormcock. 

The Pilaris, Fieldfare, Fieldefare, Feldefare, Veelvare, or Pi- 
geon-Fieldfare, is ten inches long ; back and lesser wing coverts 
chesuut-brown ; neck, breast, and sides, yellowish, streaked 
with dusky ; throat and beneath white ; tail dusky-black. 
Three or four other varieties. This is a migratory bird, visiting 
this country in flocks in October, and quitting it in April. 
Feeds here on the fruit of the hawthorn, worms, and insects. 
Their summer residence said to be Syria, Siberia, and the 
neighbouring districts. The numbers and appearance of this 
bird in England seem to be determined by the rigour of the 
weather; while they are seen here, the inhabitants of the country 
consider that the severity of the winter is not yet past. 


This bird has given rise to an expression, found occasionally 
in our old writers, and also at the present time in the West : 
" The harm is done, and farwelfeldefare." 

Chaucer, Troilus and Cressida, Book ii. 
That is, the season is over ; the occasion is past ; the bird is flown. 
"Ye strangers, banished from your native glades, 
Where tyrant frost with famine leagu'd proclaims 
' Who lingers diesj' with many a risk ye win 
The privilege to breathe our softer air 
And glean our sylvan berries." 

Giseorne's Walks in a Forest — Autumn. 
The Torquatus, Ring-Ouzel, Amsel, Rock or Mountain Ouzel, 
Michaelmas- Blackbird, or Tor-Ouzel, is eleven inches long ; the ge- 
neral plumage black, beneath greyish ; collar white. One or 
two other varieties. Rather a scarce bird in this country. It 
is also found in many parts of Europe, A?ia, and Africa. The 
Ring-ouzel is a migratory bird ; said to breed in Scotland,Wales, 
and some parts of the West of England. Nest generally on the 
ground under some bush, which, and the eggs, are similar to the 

rt Joyously 
From stone to stone, the Ouzel flits along, 
Startling the linnet from the hawthorn bough; 
While on the elm-tree, overshadowing deep 
The low-roofed cottage white, the Blackbird sits 
Cheerily hymning the awakened year." 

The above lines are from Blackwood's Magazine, for March, 
1822, with the signature of £\. I take the present opportunity 
of expressing the pleasure which I have often felt on the pe- 
rusal of the many truly poetical productions of this amiable yet 
anonymous writer which have, from time, to time appeared in 
that magazine. 

The Roseus, Rose-coloured Thrush, Ouzel, or Carnation- 
Ouzel, is themost beautiful of the species, and occasionally seen 
in this country ; it is rather less than the blackbird, being in 
length hardly eight inches. The head, which is crested, neck, 


wings, and tail, are black, glossed with blue, purple, and green ; 
back, rump, breast, belly, and lesser wing coverts, pale rose- 
colour, with a few irregular spots. It varies considerably in its 
roseate shades. More frequent in France ; and found also in 
many other parts of Europe, and also in Asia ; visits, it is said, 
Aleppo, in pursuit of locusts, and thence called the Locust-bird ; 
it is held sacred by the Turks ; it is also found in South 
Russia and Siberia, where it is said to breed. 

The Curaus is the size of the Missel, sings finely, and imitates 
the notes of other birds; when tame, the voice of man. Inha- 
bits Chili. The Tinniens, or Alarm-Thrush, is above brown, 
beneath white, breast spotted with black; six and a half inches 
long ; inhabits Cayenne ; cries every morning and evening for 
half an hour with a harsh loud voice, like an alarum bell. 
The Arundinaceus, or Reed-Thrush, is rusty brown, beneath 
white-testaceous ; quill feathers brown, tipt with reddish : 
three other varieties. Inhabits the reedy marshes of Europe ; 
builds a hanging nest among reeds ; eggs five or six, yellowish- 
white, spotted with brown. The male sings while the hen is 
sitting; seven inches long. 

The Iliacus, Redwing, Swine-pipe, Wind-Thrush, Windle- 
Thrush, Whinnle-Thrush, or Dirsh, is eight and a half inches 
long ; similar in its general colours to the song-thrush, but 
having the body, under the wings, and under wing coverts, 
reddish-orange. This bird is migratory, arriving in flocks in 
this country in September, and leaving it in the spring. Breeds, 
it is said, in Norway and Sweden, and is also said to sing in the 
breeding season equal to the song-thrush of this country ; nest in 
a low bush ; eggs six, blue-green, spotted with black. Flesh good. 

The Mindanensis is the most pleasant singing bird of the 
island of Java ; its song is, at once, diversified and agreeable. 

For a description of the Blackbird, see the Blackbird's 
Song; for that of the Mocking-Bird, see Part II.; for 
the Red-breasted Thrush, and the Wood-thrush, see 
also Part II. 



Fringilla Linota. — Linn&us. 

" The lovely linnet now her song 
Tunes sweetest in the wood." 


Where dwell pleasures worth possessing? 

In yon cot beside the hill ! — 
Where content, purer love caressing^ 

Wanders by the crystal rill ; 

Where affection, strong and fervent, 
Opes the door to calm delight; 

And where hope, a faithful servant, 
Fans the flame of promise bright ; 

Where domestic peace resideth ; 

Where, beneath the humble dome, 
Wisdom's self for aye abideth, 

There hath Happiness her Home. 


There dwell pleasures worth possessing, 

In yon cot beside the hill, 
Where content, pure love caressing, 

Listens to the crystal rill. ( 46 ) 

(* c ) The Fringilla Linota, Linnet, Common-Linnet, or 
Brown-Linnet, sometimes called also, I believe, Grey-Linnet, is 
chesnut-brown, beneath whitish ; bottom of the breast blood-red 
in the male, in the female streaked with brown. Size of the 
Greater -Redpole. Eggs five, whitish, with chesnut spots; sings 
delightfully. It appears that, from occasional variations in its 
colours, this bird is often confounded with the Greater*Redpole ; 
indeed, Montagu asserts, that both this and the Redpole are 
one and the same species. See the description of the Redpole 
in note 44. 

For a description of the Green-Linnet, Loxia Chloris, 
see page 175. 



Turdus Merula. — Linnaeus. 

" The blackbird whistles from the thorny brake." 


All cities I hate ; nor has splendour or pride 

The least of attraction for me ; 
Give me a retreat by some shady wood-side ; 
There only I'm happy and free. 

Though man for his pleasure may birds in a cage 

Remorseless for ever confine; 
Though some of our tribe such a prison may please, 

May such prison never be mine ! 

Though man, too, may feed us with daintiest food, 
Though gold on our prisons may shine ; 

I prefer the plain fare that is found in the wood, 
For myself and for all that is mine. 


You may prattle of cities as much as you please ; 

Of their splendour and wealth all how fine ! 
I prefer living here with my mate at my ease ; 

Where is happiness equal to mine ? ( 47 ) 

( 47 ) Order, Passkres, (Linn.) Blackbird. 
The Blackbird, Turdus Merula, (Linn.) Colly, Merle* or 
Amsel, is almost too well known to need description. The 
male is wholly of a deep black when full-grown, at which state 
it arrives the next spring after the summer in which it is hatched, 
when the bill and the orbits of the eyes are deep yellow. The fe- 
male is not so intense a black as the male; nor is the bill so deep 
a yellow : the difference in the colour of the bills being the 
principal characteristic of the sex. It is said there are three 
other varieties of this bird ; one with the head white ; another 
with the body white ; and the third variegated with black and 
white; but they are not common in England. It feeds chiefly 
on snails and worms, and, occasionally, on insects and berries. 
In a domestic state it may be fed on bread and milk, and bread 
and water, and even flesh. It is at all seasons a solitary bird. 
Found almost every where in this country, in the neighbourhood 
of woods, trees, and hedges; rarely on open heaths or downs. 
It also inhabits Europe and Asia. Lays five dirty-green spotted 
eggs. Nest composed externally of dried grass, or moss, and 
sometimes other materials; plastered inside with clay, and then 
lined with dried grass. See the Introduction. See also note (43.) 
" Take thy delight in yonder goodly tree, 

Where the sweet merle and warbling mavis be." 

Drayton's Owl. 

* The terms merle for the blackbird, and mavis for the thrush, 
are used chiefly by our poets : 

" Merry is it in the good green wood, 
When the mavis and merle are singing, 
When the deer sweeps by and the hounds are in cry, 
And the hunter's horn is ringing." 

Sir Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake. 



Motacilla Nodularis. — Linnaeus. 
Sylvia Modularis. — Latham. 

I have heard well-pleas'd, attentive, 

Many birds their carols sing ; 
Sweet the power of song inventive ! — 

Power to soothe, to charm a king. 

But what power may soothe my anguish ? 

What shall chase my grief away ? 
Mine, not throbs of love's soft languish — 

Deeper far my woe than they. 

Rapine gives my plaint its feature ; 

Rapine ! 'tis too mild a name 
For the deeds which outrage nature ;— 

Deeds for which man 's oft to blame. 

The blackbird has a loud and beautiful note ; it sings in this 
country during the spring for about three months ; is generally 
silent the remainder of the year, except that, upon being dis- 
turbed, it utters a peculiar shrieking, not easily described, yet 
well known to the natural historian. 

The mode in which this bird, and some others of the thrush 
tribe separate house-snails from their shells by striking them 
repeatedly against a stone, deserves notice ; the labour which 
they expend in doing this is, sometimes, almost incredible. 


266 British and European birds. 

And, as if enough it were not, 

While we suffer various ill, 
From the kite, hawk, stote* destroying, 

Man our cup of woe must fill ! 

Nets and traps, deceitful birdlime, 

Lays he often in our way ; 
And he even trains our fellows, 

To entice us— to betray. 

I my little brood had nurtur'd — 
Hope had much for me in store — 

Came a boy — a wanton school-boy, 
And my darlings from me tore ! 

Tell me not man's noble nature 
Spurns the chains of base control ; 

Tell me not that such a creature, 
Has a great, a generous soul. ( 48 ) 

(4 8 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Heuge-Spaurow. 

The Hedge-Sparrow, Hedge- Warbler, Titling, Dannock, 
or Motacilla Modularis, (Linn.) is brownish, with blackish 
streaks ; size of the redbreast ; builds in box hedges, low 
bushes, hawthorn hedges, and dry brakes ; nest neat; externally 
of green moss, &c. internally lined with hair; eggs five, light 
blue. Common to Europe, and very common in this country. 
The cuckoo generally lays her egg in the nest of this bird. — See 

* A species of weasel. 


note (6.) — The hedge-sparrow has a pleasing song; it remains 
with us the whole year ; feeds on insects and worms, but will 
also, like the redbreast, pick up crumbs of bread, and seems to 
prefer being near the habitations of man. It appears that, 
although the young or eggs of the hedge-sparrow are invariably 
destroyed whenever the cuckoo's egg is hatched in the hedge- 
sparrow's nest, this destruction is not effected by the hedge- 
sparrow, but by the young cuckoo. As the following lines, on 
disturbing a hedge-sparrow from her nest, allude to this fact, I 
shall be, I trust, pardoned for reprinting them here : they have 
long been before the public. 

" Little flutterer! swiftly flying, 

Here is none to harm thee near ; 
Kite, nor hawk, nor school-boy prying, 
Little flutterer! cease to fear. 

One who would protect thee, ever, 
From the school-boy, kite, and hawk, 

Musing now obtrudes, but never 
Dreamt of plunder in his walk. 

He no weasel stealing slily, 

Would permit thy eggs to take, 
Nor the pole-cat, nor the wily 

Adder, nor the wreathed snake, 

May no cuckoo wandering near thee, 

Lay her egg within thy nest ; 
Nor thy young ones, born to cheer thee, 

Be destroy'd by such a guest.* 

Little flutterer ! swiftly flying, 

Here is none to harm thee, near ; 
Kite, nor hawk, nor school-boy prying; 
Little flutterer cease to fear. 

* The fact here alluded to is particularly mentioned by Dr. 
Jenner in a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions 
for the year 1788. 

N 2 



Loxia Pyrrhula.'— Linn^us. 

" The bulfinch whistles soft his flute like notes." 


We live without law, and we love without care; 

And my mate is delighted my feelings to share. 

We live without law, and we love without strife ; 

Oh what is so sweet as the bulfinch's life ? 

Our laws are our feelings, which prompt us to show 

Affection to all that inhabits below. 

From my mate is ne'er heard the harsh word of com- 
mand ; 

But a look, always kind, is the wizard's sole wand. 

Son of freedom himself, he's the friend of the free; 

No constraint could be pleasing to him or to me. 

It is thus he insures the Affections' control; 

And thus, without law, he possesses my soul. 

Come, Man ! and learn thou, from the birds of the 

What happiness waits on such generous love ! ( 49 ) 



(**>) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Bulflnch. 

The Bulfinch, {Loxia Pyrrhula,) Red-hoop, Hoop, Tony- 
hoop, Alp, or Nope, is so well known as to need little descrip- 
tion. The head, wings, and tail, are black ; the breast and 
belly red ; the upper tail coverts and vent white. The male is 
distinguished from the female by the superior blackness of his 
crown, and by the rich crimson which adorns his cheeks, breast, 
belly, and throat ; those parts of the female being of a dirty 
buff colour. The plumage is, however, variable, some indi- 
viduals being wholly black; others white, with black spots on 
the back. About six inches long. 

This is one of the few species of birds of which the female also 
sings. See Mr. Sweet's letter in the Introduction. This bird 
is so docile that, having but two or three harsh notes, it becomes, 
by regular education, proficient in music. It may be taught to 
speak as well as sing. It is found in our woods and thickets 
throughout the year; seen sometimes in gardens attacking the 
buds of plums, and generally considered destructive to them ; 
but its object, most probably, is not the bud itself, but the worm 
in it. Builds in a black or white thorn bush ; eggs four or five ? 
bluish white, speckled and streaked with purple. 



Columba Palumbus. — (Linn.) 

Dear is my little native vale, 

The Ring-Dove builds and murmurs there. 


Why, alas ! am I forsaken ? — 

If forsaken ? — Is it true 1 — 
Still Affection will awaken 

Thoughts of Happiness and you ; — 

You — you — you I 

How have I in aught offended ? — 

With disdain why me pursue ? 
Affection, with my being blended, 

Ever dwells, in thought, with you; — 

You— you — you. 

More professing you may find one, — 
More imposing — not more true ; 

But a heart — where meet more kind one, 
One that, e'er, will beat for you ? 

You — you — you . 


O, return ! — return ! and gladden 
This poor heart, forlorn, yet true ; — 

Bid begone all cares that sadden ; — 
Here waits Happiness for you ; 

You — you — you /( so ) 

< so ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Columba, (Lath.) Wood- 

The Columba Palumbus, Wood-Pigeon, Ring-Dove, Ring- 
Pigeon, Queeze, Quest, Wood-Quist, or Cushat,* is cinereous, tail 
feathers black on the hind part ; primary quill feathers whitish 
on the outer edge ; neck each side white ; eighteen inches long ; 
iuhabits Europe, our own country, and, occasionally, Siberia; 
heard sometimes near London, as, in Kensington Gardens. 
Flesh of course good. It is indigenous to this country, and 
migrates, most probably, only from the northern to the southern 
parts. In winter they assemble in large flocks, and constantly 
resort to woods to roost on the highest trees ; on which too they 
build their nests, composed only of a few sticks, (see the Intro, 
duction.) Eggs two, white, exactly oval, and larger than those 
of the domestic pigeon, with which, and with this species, at- 
tempts have been made to produce a breed, but without suc- 
cess. Feeds on grain, seeds, &c. 

The cooing notes of the wood-pigeon are somewhat loud, yet 
hoarse, and uttered very slowly ; they seem to be notes of 
sorrow, and consist principally of such sounds as are conveyed 
by the words two, two, two, taffy take two; they are probably 
neither more nor less than the natural expressions of pleasurable 
sensation peculiar to this tribe of birds. See note (7.) 

* " Perch'd on his wonted eyrie nigh, 
Sleep seal'd the tercelet's wearied eye, 
That all the day had watch'd so well 
The cushat dart across the dell." 

Sir Walter Scott's Rokeby, Canto v'u 



Motacilla Atricapilla. — Linnaeus. 
Sylvia Atricapilla.-— Lath am, 

*' The mimic melodist, 
The Black-cap from some tangled sloe bash trills 
His varying song : now as some nierulid's. 
Now as Luscinian Sylviad's* aloud 
His note ; and now in strain original 
Excites the woods to listen." 

From an unpublished Poem, 

Her loveliness, oh, who shall tell, 
Or, of beauty, what is the magic spell ; — 
And what that affection, pure and fine, 
That around the heart unseen doth twine? 

And who shall tell the deep feeling now 
That is hid in the leaves of the waving bough;—* 
And who shall tell that breast's delight, 
When my song lays it gently to rest at night? 

Hush, hush, ye winds! and ye noises rude ! 
On my love's repose how dare ye intrude ; 
Begone with thy steeds, thou garish day ! 
And then I will warble my love a lay. ( SI ) 

* The Nightingale; 


( Sl ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Black-cap. 

The Black-cap, (Motacilla Atricapilla,) Mock-Nightingale, 
Nettle-creeper, or Nettle-monger, inhabits England, Europe, and 
Siberia ; it is found also at Madeira, and there called Tinta- 
Negra. It is a migratory bird, arriving in this conn try in 
April, and leaving it sometime in the autumn ; its winter retreat 
is not known ; it is, however, occasionally seen here in January. 

It is between five and six inches long. The head of the male 
is black, back greyish-brown, with a tinge of green ; beneath 
ash-colour. Three or four varieties. The female is larger than 
the male, aud has the crown of the head of a rust-colour. Builds 
generally in low bushes, but sometimes in an old ivy-tree. 
Eggs four or five, pale reddish-brown, mottled with a deeper 
colour, sprinkled with a few dark spots ; the male and female 
sit upon the eggs in turn. Feeds on insects, and also on the 
berries of the spurge laurel, service, and especially ivy. Has, 
it is said, in Italy, two broods in a year ; in this country only 

The black-cap may with propriety be called the English 
Mocking-bird ; it has been heasd to sing the notes of the Black- 
bird, Thrush, Nightingale, Redstart, and Sedge-Warbler, besides 
its own peculiar whistle, which is most delightful j it makes 
also a noise resembling that of a pair of shears used in clipping 
a fence, which is also the noise made by its young. See the 
paper by Messrs. Sheppard and Whitear, before referred to in the 



Motacilla Luscinia. — Linnaeus. 
Sylvia Luscinia. — Latham. 

Sweet is the time when ail the fields 

Their loveliest robes assume ; 
And sweet the time when lilies shed 

Their elegant perfume. 

But sweeter far than these the time 

When, on his eager wings, 
My love returning to his bower 

An evening descant sings. 

Sweet morn, sweet eve, and sweet the day, 
When spring, with budding rose, 

Advancing smiles, with liberal hand, 
Rich fragrance round him throws. 

But, oh ! how sweeter far the time 

When, at the midnight hour, 
My love pours out to me his soul 

In notes of magic power.* 

For a description of the Nightingale's Song, see the 
Introduction ; for its form, colours, habits, &c. see note (5.) 

* It is here presumed that the female, as well as the male 
nightingale, sings ; the fact, however, is doubtful : the reader 
will, it is hoped, pardon the poetical licence. 



We are sons of pleasure, 
We are sons of love, 

Joys, beyond all measure, 
Wait us in the grove. 

Who so happy as birds, 
Who as birds so free; — 

Who so happy as birds, 
Who so happy as we 1 

We know nought of care, 
Little know of strife ; 

Tell us, tell us where, 
You find so sweet a life? 

None so happy as birds, 
None as birds so free ; 

None so happy as birds, 
None so happy as we. 



Quae virtus et quanta, boni, sit vivere parvo, 


Jejunus raro stomachus vulgaria tenanit. 


" The freedom nature gave, 
Her water and her simplest dish." 

Canary Bird's Song. 

Behold now the banquet ! And, first, we remark, 
That the banqueting -hall was a large shady park ; 
The table a glade — cloth a carpet of green, 
Where sweet-smelling shrubs strew'd about might be 

The lilac put forth her delights in the vale; 
Other spring. flowers' odours were mix'd with the gale. 
With encouraging smile nature sat at the feast ; 
Her converse a charm that enraptured each guest. 
The viands were various to suit every taste, 
Got together by magic, assisted by haste : 
The dishes, all simple, no surfeit produce ; 
Nor did wine's effervescence excite to abuse. 


There was corn— wheat, oats, barley, for many a Fowl; 
There was grass for the Goose, and a mouse for the 

There were pease for the Rook, as an elegant treat; 
For the Crow there was carrion, he glories to eat. 
The Bulfinch's feast was some buds from theplum 5 
That, torn fresh from the tree, made the gardener 

look glum. 
For Pheasants and Nightingales, ants' eggs were 

found ; 
Andres for the Swallows in numbers abound. 
For the Sea-gull was many a cock-chafer grub ; 
Many Warblers pick'd worms from the tree or the 

shrub ; 
The Sea-birds directed attention to fish; 
The Duck partook almost of every dish. 
For the Swan were some water-plants pluck'd from 

the pond ; 
Offish the King-fishers evinc'd they were fond. 
The Divers, Grebes, Guillemots, Water-Rails, 

On the dishes of fish all instinctively flew. 
For the Goldfinch was groundsel, a delicate bit ; 
There was sunflower-seed for the saucy Tomtit. 
For the Crane was an eel; for the Thrush was a 

And barley for Partridge, for Pigeon, and Quail, 
For the Cuckoo, an earthworm — his greatest delight; 
Some Hawks, of fowl, flesh, or fish, seiz'd what they 

might ; 


But the Kestril, a mouse to all dainties preferr'd; 
While the Shrike pounc'd, at once, on some poor 

helpless bird. 
For the House-Sparrow, wheat — he's reputed a thief; 
The Eagle himself got a slice of raw beef* 
The Turkey of apples partook as a treat, 
And the Cock and Hen caught up a bone of cold meat. 
The Dessert?— It consisted of only one thing : 
A clear stream of water just fresh from the spring. 



Fringilla Domestica. — Linnaeus. 

" Go to the Indian, White Man ! go— 
And learn his Ourah reed to blow — 
Compound Wourali poison — deep 
The arrow in the fell juice steep, 
Then shoot — the bird, with scarce a sigh, 
"Will thank thee for such death, and die." 


( sl ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) The House-Sparrow. 

The FringillaDomestica, Hous e- Spar row, or Sparrow, inhabits 
Europe, Asia, Africa, and this country, and too well known to 
need description ; four varieties ; five and three quarter 
inches long. Builds under the eaves of houses both thatched 
and tiled ; sometimes in ivy, sometimes in other birds' nests ; 
(I have seen its nest in that of a deserted magpie's,) and 
in and near London on the Lombardy poplar. Feeds on grain 
and insects; troublesome in gardens ; proverbially salacious; 
breeds many times in the year; eg-gs six, whitish, dirty spotted 
ash colour; it is a gregarious, noisy, crafty bird, and not easily 
caught; very destructive to ripe corn; but, nevertheless, it 
may be questioned whether, upon the whole, it be not a useful 
bird : for more concerning it and its nest, see the Introduction, 




Who have so kindly patronized 





Is respectfully inscribed 

By the Author. 

Why mute the Lark on themes like these ;— 
Why silent are the Partridges ; — 
Why slumber Sea-birds when among" 
Them death, disasters, stalk— a throng? 
Why sleeps remonstrance, when proud Man 
Walks forth, the monarch of a span, 
And lifts the fatal tube on high, 
Then, 'midst our tribe, lets ruin fly ?* 

* The very common practice of firing at large flocks of birds 
deserves severe animadversion. Larks, House- Sparrows, Par- 
tridges, and various other gregarious tribes, are too often sub- 
jected to this wanton and merciless indulgence in what has been 
named Sport. It is difficult in speaking or in writing of such 


Why sleeps Remonstrance when to SporI' 
He pays a heedless wanton court; — 
Wounds many — kills, perchance, a few — 
Then calls his dogs with loud halloo ? 

barbarity, for barbarity it assuredly is, to suit one's expressions 
to the occasion. There can be, however, I presume, but one 
opinion as to firing amidst a Jlock of birds, where the chances 
are that as many or more may be wounded than killed by the 
unfeeling process. The thought, too, which must naturally arise 
in the breast of every humane person, that the wounded birds 
may, and very often do, retire in agony and die a lingering 
death, or drag on a miserable life, is calculated still more to 
heighten our disgust and disapprobation. Such reflections as 
these ought to deter Man from so wanton an aggression on the 
happiness and well being of birds: but, alas! his Pleasure 
and his Sport weigh down the beam in opposition to humanity 
and feeling. 

Although I should not desire to see the late Act of Parliament 
for preventing Cruelty to Animals extended so as to include birds, 
it being a subject on which it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
legislate, yet I should be very glad to find that, in every Seminary 
of Education, the necessity and duty of treating with kindness and 
benevolence all animated nature were strongly inculcated 
and enforced. Such kindly feeling exercised towards brutes 
would inevitably lead to more kindly feelings towards our own 
species — feelings which cannot be too much encouraged and 
nurtured ; feelings which tend not only to promote the happi- 
ness of others, but most essentially our own. 

It appears to me that it is chiefly by such means as these, 
not by penal enactments, that Cruelty to Animals, generally, 
will be most effectually prevented ; more especially if those, who 
are influential in the affairs of mankind, take care to evince 
those dispositions which it ought to be the aim of our seminaries 
to implant. But, while the pursuits of Hunting, Fishing, 


The wounded flutter through brake or wood, 
With anguish writhe as they seek their food ; — - 
Or, lingering in pain from day to day. 
At length they pine and die away ; — 
Or fluttering , floating on ocean wave, 
They find, in some hungry fish, a grave. 
These, Man ! the trophies of thy sport!* 
For these thou payest wanton court ! 

and Shooting, are encouraged as Sports, and followed ac- 
cordingly by our Magnates, acts of parliament, and, I fear, 
most other attempts to prevent cruelty to animals, will be 
comparatively abortive. 

Relative to the destruction of animals injurious to man, Cowper 
has stated the case with tolerable precision : 

" The sum is this : If man's convenience, health, 
Or safety, interfere, his rights and claims 
Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs." 

When, however, noxious animals are to be destroyed, hu- 
mauity will prompt us to do the revolting deed in the most ex- 
peditious and least painful way. The wickedness and cruelty 
of destroying any animal, how noxious soever it may be, merely 
for our sport or diversion, require no comment. 

In Note (17), page 185, it is stated that one hundred and twenty- 
nine birds were killed, or at least obtained, by one shot ; but 
it should also be mentioned, as an appalling fact in the history, 
that nearly forty birds more, either wing-broken or otherwise in. 
jured, floated away on the surface of the water. What must 
have been the mass of pain and suffering produced by this 
outrage on the unoffending Pur; a bird which, after all, though 
eatable, is by no means a delicacy. 

* These are not, however, the only trophies obtained by 
Shooting. The accidents arising to man himself from the use 


But what have we, House- Sparrows, done, 
The victims both of net and gun ! 
A race proscribed, for ever we 
Are doomed to dire hostility ; — 
Our various labours set at nought; — 
Our heads by the churchwarden bought ; — 
And every wanton, booby boy 
Taught us to worry and destroy. 
True, we in fields of corn delight — 
Corn is to us most apposite : 
In this we only follow nature, 
As man does, every other creature* 
Our sins are trumpeted aloud, 
Our virtues wrapt in darkness' shroud. 
How comes it that the good we do 
Is kept most carefully from view 1 TSM 

of the Fowling-piece in this country are so many, so continual 
and disastrous} that it is really surprising, seeing that shooting is 
not only circumscribed by law, but is, besides, in numerous in- 
stances, a very unprofitable employment, how so many persons 
can find pleasure or amusement in it ; but it seems that its 
comparative unproductiveness, its dangers, and, withal, its in- 
humanity, are not sufficient to prevent certain persons from 
following, what I cannot avoid considering, to say the least of 
it, a silly occupation. When will men act up to the dignity of 
their nature and their knowledge ? 

'* I would not kill one bird in wanton sport, 
I would not mingle jocund mirth with death, 
For all the smoking board, the savoury feast, 
Can yield most exquisite to pampered sense." 

C. Lloyd. Anthologij, vol.ii. page 237". 


We hear not of the many seeds 
Which we devour of noxious weeds ; — 
Of worms and grubs, destructive things, 
That each of us his offspring brings.* 
What though we snatch a feast of corn, 
Or ere its safe in yonder barn, 
Yet, is there not enough beside 
For Mat* and his consummate pride 1 

Must all of us to him alone 
Bow down as though earth were his throne, 
On which no being may intrude 
To mar his pleasure or his good ? 
Hath he of earth the exclusive charter ; — 
Shall he for sport or pleasure martyr 
All others' weal? — We may admit 
His manly port — his talent — wit — 
Admit, nay, more, admire them too ! 
But we have rights, and so have you. 
Shall he, our fellow mortal here, 
Presume with us to interfere— 
Fix limits to our happiness — 
Capriciously curse or bless 
As pleaseth his high mightiness ? 

* Bewick states that " a single pair of sparrows, during the 
time they are feeding their young, will destroy about four thou- 
sand caterpillars weekly." They feed their young, also, with 
many winged insects : in London, it is presumed, chiefly with 

The utility of the Goldfinch is peculiarly striking, it feeding in 
the winter, when at large, principally on thistle seed ; hence it 
is called the Thistle/inch. 


Have we no sense— no feeling — we 

With all the Animate of Earth, whom he 

Vainly attempts to govern ? — Narrow 

The thought, and futile the pretence, 

To limit to himself all sense ! 
He may obtain some even from a Sparrow ! 

I here, might, en passant, complain 
For youye Warblers in our train ; 
For you, who morning, noon, and night, 
The woods, the uplands, meads, delight. 
For you, who oft in prison dwell, 

Depriv'd of social converse there, 
Like lonely hermit in a cell, 

Perchance to please some lady fair ; — 
To pick from off her lily hand 
Some crumbs, or sing at her command. 
But Scotia's Bard hath well in song 
Proclaim'd aloud the heinous wrong.* 

* '* Be not the muse asham'd here to bemoan 
Her brothers of the grove by tyrant man 
Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage 
From liberty confin'd and boundless air. 
Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull, 
Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost ; 
Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes 
Which, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beech ; 
O then ye friends of love and love-taught song, 
Spare the soft tribes ; this barbarous art forbear . 
If on your bosom innocence can win, 
Music engage, or piety persuade." 

Thomson's Spring. 


And you yourselves to-day have shown 
That 'tis not good to be alone. 

And here even patience' self derides, 
Who is it that complains of us — 
About his corn-fields makes such fuss ? 
The Greatest Ravager on earth — 

Man ; man, who, from the earliest birth 
Of ancient time, 

Hath robb'd and ransack'd every clime — 

The ocean, earth, and air, for food ! — 

In pleasure or in wanton mood 

Commands the Duck, Goose, us, to bleed ; 

Pursues the Ostrich on the steed ; — 

Of all our pangs takes little heed ! — 

The most omnivorous of all, 

What shall we such a being call? — 
I might still further amplify 

On his august humanity: 

Might tell how, jive times in a year, 

He strips the raiment from the goose 

And then, as heartless, turns him loose ;— * 

* Since the above was written, I find the following informa- 
tion in the Morning Herald of Sept. 15, 1826. "The farmers on 
the moorlands in this county (Somerset) rear vast flocks of 
geese, chiefly for the sake of the feathers, which are mercilessly 
stripped from the suffering bird five times a year. By this 
practice one pound of feathers is obtained from each bird 
yearly. Yesterday week was the period of plucking for the 
fifth time in the neighbourhood of Westmoor near Langport; the 
geese were immediately afterwards turned out on the common : 


How poulterers the feelings rive, 
By plucking many a fowl alive,* 
You well might shudder while you hear! 
How sordid wights will oft pretend 
Our native songs to improve, extend ; — 

the rain descended that night in torrents, and the air was chilly; 
in consequence of which the flocks, having been divested of 
their natural protection, suffered so severely, that, on Westmoor 
alone, from 1600 to 2000 geese were in the morning found dead ; 
and a very considerable number besides are now so languid that 
their recovery is doubtful." 

The plucking of geese for their feathers, even in the most 
genial season, can scarcely be effected at anytime without the 
production of considerable pain to the animal. A more humane 
method would be, at a suitable season, to cut off the feathers 
close to the skin with sharp scissors; by this method the quality 
of the feathers would be much improved, and the trouble of 
assorting and dressing the feathers after they are plucked would 
be thus saved ; the down may be afterwards removed by the 
same means. It is said that when the feathers are removed in 
this way, the animal is rather benefited than injured by the 
operation ; and that the stumps are thrown off as in natural 
moulting, and a beautiful new crop of plumage quickly makes 
its appearance. I am indebted for these hints to the communi- 
cation of a lady in the Monthly Magazine, vol. lvi. page 424. 

* This is, I fear, too true, and too common a practice in the 
metropolis. The reason assigned by a poulterer is that 
" it does not tear the flesh" — that is, as the living is more 
tenacious than the dead fibre, the exterior appearance of the 
fowl after death is, to use a vulgarism, more sightly. When 
will man cease to agonize the quivering fibres of animals for his 
silly and luxurious gratification ? 


How keep us in a putrid bath ! 

Restrain, I you beseech, your wrath ! 

That all much suffer, many die, 

You know, I ween, as well as I.* 

From Birds, to Beasts, to Fish, might pass—* 

Tell how he treats the horse, the ass — 

The bull how worries — and how eelis 

He skins alive — what crimp'd cod feels. 

But such a catalogue — so dire 

Would only more inflame your ire. 

He boasts his knowledge and his art ; 
His wisdom, too; — his generous heart. 
Have we no knowledge— none, when we 
Pass over land and over sea, 

From clime to clime, 
As constant as the march of time, 
Our wants, our pleasures, tastes, to suit?— 
Man calls this, instinct of the brute!— 
A most convenient word is this, 
For his sublimity, I wis — 
Instinct ;f whenever and where he 
Cannot perceive congruity — 

* See the Introduction, page 4?. 

t The term Instinct has been so long used by our philoso- 
phers both prosaic and poetical, that it may be thought some- 
what heretical to question its meaning and application. But as 
Truth can never be injured by discussion ; and as it is the 
duty of every one of us to verify, if possible, by actual experi- 
ment, the truths which we are taught, in order that our convic- 
tions may be rendered, by such experiments, more consistent, 



Connexion 'twixt effect and cause. 

He, at one stride, the inference draws — 

'Tis Instinct, and beyond all laws. 

useful, and lasting, I make no apology for questioning the pro- 
priety of the use of the term Instinct when applied to many of 
the actions of birds as well as to those of other animals, com- 
monly termed the brute creation. Pope says, 

How instinct varies in the grovelling swine. 

Compared half-reasoning elephant with thine ! 

'Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier! 

For ever separate yet for ever near! 

Remembrance and reflection how allied ; 

What thin partitions sense from thought divide! 

Essay on Man. 
So thin, indeed, as frequently not to be divided at all ! These 
lines appear to me to contain a very small portion of philosophy ; 
little that is agreeable to Fact, upon which all true philosophy 
must be founded : for, according to the doctrine here laid 
down, brutes do not reason. Why not ? If Reason be a process, 
(not a faculty,) by which different ideas or things are compared, their 
fitness or unfitness perceived, and conclusions drawn from such com- 
parisons and perceptions, which I think it is, then it will be found 
that most brutes, including birds, reason more or less, the intel- 
lectual difference between these and man consisting principally 
in degree ; the degree is undoubtedly great; but the probability 
is that, from their inability to communicate many of their 
thoughts to us, they all know much more than they can show. 
The terms half-reasoning applied to the elephant are peculiarly 
inappropriate; the elephant, compared with many other qua- 
drupeds, reasons well ; so do the dog, the horse, and many 
other animals whose actions we have an opportunity of atten- 
tively observing, not omitting to name some of the birds. 

When the action of a brute animal appears to arise without 
any apparent process of reasoning, we call it instinct; but if 


How knows he this? — Who could him teach, 

None but himself hath power of speech? 

What ! does he think the various sounds 

With which our feather'd world abounds 

Contain no meaning ? — This, his sense ! 

His views of our intelligence ! 

He too denies that we have reason ! 

If it would not be out of season, 

I'd prove, as easily I can, 

That we have that as well as man. 

we were belter acquainted with the operations of the minds of 
brutes, it is extremely probable that much of what now seems, 
and is called instinct, would be found the result of processes of 
reasoning ; simple, no doubt, many of them are, but rational 

Mr. Bolton, the author of Harmonia Rurulis, informs us 
that he observed a pair of goldfinches beginning to make their 
nest in his garden, and tiiat they formed their ground-work 
with moss, grass, &c. as usual ; but, on his scattering small 
pieces of wool about the garden, they, in a great measure, left 
their own materials and used the wool ; he afterwards gave 
them cotton, which they took, resigning the wool ; he lastly 
gave them down, with which they finished their work, having 
forsaken all the other articles. Is not this reason'/ But it 
would be endless to multiply instances in which the actions of 
birds, and other animals, are evidently regulated by reason. 

And here I cannot avoid lamenting that Pope's Essay on 
Man has had, on this account, as well as on some others, so ex_ 
tensive a circulation j it has, I fear, by the method in which it 
has treated the subjects of Morals and Mind, considerably 
obstructed our progress in knowledge: for it is, it appears 10 
me, by far too dictatorial and dogmatic, assuming as true what 
must still, I think, be considered assubjudice. And although we 


Of our proficiency in art 
I shall convince you ere we part. 
Look at our Domes inlaid with care ; 
Such let him fashion if he dare : 
Inspect the Wren's — the Oriole's nest — 
The Goldfinch's, and all the rest 
Of curious make ; then say if he, 
With all his cunning nicety, 
With all the abundance of his wit, 
Can ever thus materials fit ? 

As for his wisdom. Being vain ! 
Behold it in his Sporting Train ! 

may not exactly agree with another poet, a predecessor of Pope, 

yet Prior has treated the subject with more modesty, if not 

with more truth. Speaking of brutes, he says, 

" Evil like us they shun, and covet good ; 

Abhor the poison and receive the food. 

Like us they love and hate ; like us they know 

To joy the friend, or grapple with theibe. 

With seeming thought their actions they iutend, 

Aud use the means propot tion'd to the end. 

Then vainly the philosopher avers 

That reason guides our deed, and instinct theirs. 

How can we justly different causes frame, 

When the effects entirely are the same ? 

Instinct and reason how can we divide?'' 

Solomon, Book I. 

Yet Pope has divided them ! — how lamely we have seen. We 

conclude, therefore, that instinct ought to be used in a much 

more restricted sense than it hitherto has been ; it is by no 

means applicable to many of the actions of the brute creation: 

for, in numerous instances, they appear to reason in a similar 

way to man. 


'Mongst which, the savage horde canine, 

Kept hungry by sedate design — 

Those Hounds that, now and then, contrive 

To eat their keepers up alive — 

I here might aptly introduce 

To shew man's wisdom and its use ; 

But the horrific theme is such 

It proves, I fear, almost too much ;* 

Talk of a heart ! prate to the wind ! 

The storm, the waves, are far more kind ! 

Have we not homes and children too ? 

How often he doth these destroy, 

In all the glee of savage joy, 
I need not here relate to you. 
Talk of a heart! — what I have said 
Will prove what are both heart and head; 

Of Man, our Master, these are deeds 
At which the heart revolting bleeds : 
Of man, too, who is said to be, — 
Of all God's creatures only he, — 


Of man who, vainly proud of name, 
Asks guerdon of immortal Fame! 

By fame such deeds are duly prized ! 

Might I now here advice presume 

This Lord's thick darkness to illume, 

I'd say — If thy penchant be still 

The fowls of air, in Sport, to kill, 

* The circumstance here alluded to occurred in Somerset- 
shire about twenty years ago. — See my Observations on the Dia- 
lects of the West of England, article Fanny Fear. 


Go to the Indian, white man ! go, 
And learn his ourah reed to blow — 
Compound wourali poison, — deep 
The arrow in the fell juice steep, 
Then shoot — the bird, with scarce a sigh, 
Will thank thee for such death, and die.* 

And are we not, 'tis painful thus 
To speak of what relates to Us — 
I here more strictly now apply 
The word to sparrows such as I — 

* We learn from Waterton's Wanderings, that the Blow- 
Pipe, with which the Indians of Guiana shoot their poisoned 
arrows at birds, consists of a long hollow reed without a joint* 
The part used is ten or eleven feet long; it is called Ourah i 
the case consists of another reed called Samourah. The 
arrow, which is made from the leaf of a palm tree, is hard and 
brittle, and pointed as sharp as a needle. About an inch of the 
pointed end is dipped in the poison called Wourali, which de- 
stroys life's action so gently that the victim appears to be in no 
pain whatever. This powerful and fatal drug is a syrupous de- 
coction made from several vegetables, the chief of which is 
called wourali, whence the poison has obtained its name, and 
from venomous ants and the fangs of some snakes. It is pre- 
pared by the Indians with many superstitious rites. With this 
blow-pipe the Indian can send an arrow three hundred feet : he 
puts the arrow, round one end of which some cotton is wound 
to resist the air, into the tube, and, collecting his breath for the 
fatal puff, after taking aim, sends it on the work of death ; the 
birds, it is said, are not at all injured by the poison, — in three 
minutes the victim generally falls to the ground. The plant 
called wourali is one of the scandent tribe, and allied to the 
genus strychnos. — The particular species does not appear to be 
yet ascertained. 


And are we not a social tribe ? 
We follow man without a bribe ; 
We leave even corn with him to dwell, 
Why, let him, if he's able, tell : 
For in his cities we abound 
Where corn grows not, nor weeds are found, 
* How live you, then ?" — I almost scorn 
Such question ! certes not on corn / 
We live by worthy means — by wit- 
Have I not rightly answered it ? — • 
We live — enjoy domestic life — 
And though we sing not, you may see 
And hear us always full of glee ; 
Nor know we much of care or strife, 
Save what proud Man provides for us. 

From what is said conclude we thus : 
That yet, our knowledge cannot scan 
The vast design which we, with man, 
In nature's universe behold ;-— 
That, though there be some beings bold 
Who would prescribe laws to that Power, 
Beneath which we and man must cower, 
How often are we set at nought — 
Our insignificance how taught ? 
Yet may we cherish happiness 
And all our fellow beings bless, 
By offices of tenderness. — 
Here chiefly lie our duties — here 
No doubts arise — no mists appear. 
Who is it then that has most sense ? 
He who shews most Benevolence ! 


The shadows of evening began to grow long ; 
The monarch once more now demanded a song. 
Desirous to know how their notes would combine 
He directed the songsters in chorus to join. 
With the rich varied concert resounded the glen : 
The Nightingale — Blackcap — the Thrush — WiUow~ 

wren ;— ■ 
The Redbreast — the Linnet — the Lark, with brisk 

note ; — 
The Stone-chat — Wren— Goldfinch-* the Woodlark— 

White-throat ; 
Blackbird— Bulfinch-— the Swallow—the Petty-chaps 

Missel— Red-pole, and Red-start, were heard 'midst the 

The Hedge-Sparrow —Pigeon — the Siskin — the Dove 
Were pleas'd to pour out, too, the notes of their love. 
Yet who of such sounds may the melody tell 
That, on zephyr's light wings, were borne far up the dell ? 
No artist could copy— no pen could indite ! 
The Birds, too, were now ail preparing for flight. 
They departed in peace; while the Nightingale's 
'Midst the silence was heard, deep, melodious, and strong : 
First, to Eve a rich carol of rapture he sang ; 
Now, with Love notes, the woodlands delightfully rang ; 
Then, to Day a " Farewell," and a " Welcome" to 

He warbled ; — the moon in her splendour rose bright. 



" On every bough the birdis herd I sing 
With voice of angell in their harmonic" 

Chaucer, Assemble of Foules. 

Then hail, ye sweet Warblers ! continue to sing! 
Ever charm by your presence the redolent Spring ! 
Be your songs ever sacred to peace and to love, 
And may harmony ever be found in the grove. 
May the woods, dells, and vallies, resound with your 

voice ; 
And may man in your freedom for ever rejoice. 
No more may he wantonly death 'midst you send, 
But become, as in duty, your patron and friend ; — 
No more in your sorrows delight, nor the crime 
Of involving your feathers in treacherous lime ; 
No more may in prison your peace he beset; 
No more may ensnare you with bait or in net. 
May he cease to torment you in sport with dire p, : n! 
And my song, ye sweet Warblers ! shall not be in 

vain ! 

* By Warblers here the reader will please to understand not 
only the genus Motacilla or Sylvia, but also the whole tribe of 




Solvitur acris hyems grata vice Veris et Favonl. 

" The birds, in new leaves shrouded, sung aloft, 
And o'er the level seas spring's healing airs blew soft/' 

Bowles's Hope. 

And hail, too, thou blithe and thou green-budding 

Spring I 
May the Birds on thy branches continue to sing ; 
May thy groves and thy meadows with beauty be 

crown'd ; 
And may plenty, content, 'midst thy dwellings abound; 
With Thee, Truth and Nature, may rapture e'er 

While echo, in bird notes, is heard in the dell ; 
And the song of the plough-boy, all buoyant with hope, 
Descend in soft cadence from upland or slope. 
May man, far remov'd from the city and strife, 
Possess, and with Thee, a refind rural life. 
May thy roses e'er blossom — thy pleasures ne'er fade. 
And love e'er enjoy the delights of thy shade ! 
Then hail, thou blithe, bright, and thou redolent 

Spring ! 
May the Birds on thy branches for ever still sing! 





La Zone Torride. 

"C'est Ih. que la nature, et plusriche et plus beHe, 
Signale avec orgueil sa vigeur €ternelle : 
C'est lit qu' elle est sublime.'* 

Saint Lambert. 










Once more of the Princes of Air — yet once more 
Ere my harp in the hall to its place I restore. — 
Once more waken Echo the woodlands among. 

O for powers that, more worthy the theme of my lute, 
Shall an audience insure and attention strike mute. 
Might I catch, Bard of Erin ! a note of thy strain, 
My song, although humble, shall not be in vain. 
Yes, Moore ! to the sounds of thy rapturous Lyre 
At distance I listen, but dare not aspire : 
lend me thy mantle, or toss me thy pen ; 
Or prompt me to sing of the Birds of the Glen. 

What delight had pervaded the Eagle's throng'd 
Swiftly bore to the Vulture the tongue of report: 
His pride took alarm as on Andes he sate ; 
He arose, flapp'd his wings, and assum'd much of state. 
To declare to the empire his wishes august 
He delay'd not — thus ran the high will of the Just : 



Be it known to all Birds, beneath moon, beneath sun, 
That, ere the next hebdomad race shall be run, 
The Autocrat, monarch of Andes, the world, 
Where vulturid banners have long been unfurl'd, 
Apart all excuse and aside laying care, 
A day of delight with his people will share. 
It was, too, a command that no bird, on that day, 
Should dare his rapacity once to display ; 
Who, offended in this, in his fulness of might, 
The monarch indignant would dash from his sight. 

Proclamation being made of the Vulturid's pride, 
By swift pinion'd report it was borne far and wide ; 
Announc'd, too, through many and distant a clime, 
The Isle of assembly, and also the Time ; 
To delight, and to birds, long the Island well known ; 
There often the Vulture reclines on his throne ;~ 
Not the throne of the Andes, but one where the ocean 
Can be heard or in wild or in pleasing commotion : 
Where a dell that, uplifting its bold, rocky side, 
High, massive, would seem the fierce storm to deride. 
His bolts shoot the thunder oft sportively there, 
And echo, again and again, awakes fear. 
Below, at the base of a mountainous rock, 
That hath long stood of earthquakes and tempests the 

Rolls ocean, whose waves, as they break on the shore, 
Send up through the dell a loud murmuring roar : 
As you pass its wild, picturesque windings along, 
You will hear many Birds both in loud and soft song; 


While now dash over rocks, now in eddies soft glide, 

The crystalline waters those windings beside. 

What though there no Luscinian Sylvia's* sweet throat, 

Nor of Cuculid Scansor canorous^ the note, 

Yet the Warblers abound, and, in many a lay, 

Their amorous passion are pleas'd to display ; 

But their plumage will charm you as much as their 

airs ; 
Delight's gayest daughter — such plumage is theirs. 
Embossom'd this Dell in that Isle of the west, 
Which Nature herself hath abundantly bless'd. 
The whole a wild garden, where plants, shrubs, and 

Grow in richest luxuriance ; the evening breeze, 
Delighted to fan you, bears odours along, 
While the Polyglot Thrushl fills the woods with his 

Heat a monarch is there; the rich, tropical fruit 
In its splendour stands forth, varied tastes to salute. 

Of the Beauties of Flora which rise in their pride, 
'Midst the rocks fertile crannies — the streamlets be- 
side, — 
Or in soil rich and deeper adown thrust their root, 
While their corols of splendour on lofty stalks shoot, 
Description, how vivid soe'er, becomes faint, 
When attempting such tropical glories to paint. 

* Nightingale, Sylvia luscinia. t Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus* 

% The MockiDg-bird, Turdus polyglottus. 


Yet we may not neglect the fair Dahlia 1 bright ; 
Nor her the fam'd Cactus 2 who blooms in the night; 
Nor the Fuchsia, 3 with red and with frutescent 

And with florests depending like bright crimson gems; 
Nor the Aloe who sits on the rock all serene, 
Unfolding her leaves long and thick and pale green. 
Midst the lords of the forest, Pimenta 4 grows 

Whose beauty and fragrance what need to declare ? . 
The Bombax 5 abundant in pods of fine silk; — 
The Cocos 6 nutricious with nuts full of milk, • 
The red Theobroma 7 delighting in shade, 
From whose rich oily nuts the fam'd chocolate's 

made ; — 

The hard Sideroxylon 8 also there grows ; 

And the lofty Mahogany 9 round her arms throws; — 

1 Dahlia superfiua and frustrunea. They are now common in 
this country. 

2 Cactus grandiflorus. This plant produces a very magnificent 
flower of an exquisite odour; it is said to open at sunset, and to 
continue in perfection only six hours. It belongs to that class 
of plants called Cereus. 

3 Fuchsia coccinea, 

4 Myrtus pimenta, or Allspice Tree. 

5 Bombax heptaphyllum, Silk Cotton Tree, or Ceiba. 

6 Cocos ?iuci/era, or Cocoa Nut Tree. 

7 Theobroma cacoa, or Chocolate Tree. 

8 Sideroxylon lycioides, or Willow Leaved Iron Wood. 

9 Swietenia mahogoni, or Common Mahogany, 


While the strange Indian Tree 1 sends her shoots 

to the ground ; 
For the Warblers a harvest her fruit will be found. 
The Cabbage Tree Palm 2, lifts her broad leaves on 

The Fan-Palm 3 and Tamarind 4 also grow nigh ; — 
The Guaiacum s rich in medicinal gum ; — 
The Ferns 6 plants perennial and lofty become; 
The 'leguminous Cassia, 7 with flowers of gold, 
Is pleas'd her pale foliage in light to unfold : 
While many trees more, in their floral robes dight, 
Aroma diffuse on a zephyr wing light ; 
For the Birds they would seem almost purposely made; 
As food some, and others delightful as shade. 

1 Ficus Indicus, or Wild Fig. A similar tree is called iti 
the East Indies Banyan. See a more extended poetical de- 
scription of this tree in Southev's Curse of Kehama; see 
also Milton's Paradise Lost. 

s Areca oleracea, 

3 Corypha umbraculifera, 

4 Tamarindus Indica. 

5 Gnaiacum officinale. 

6 Polypodium arboreum, or Cyathea arborea, a perennial 
fern rising twenty feet high, with leaves that give it the appear- 
ance of a palm tree. 

7 Cassia fistula. The fruit of this tree is a woody, round, 
blackish pod, about one inch in diameter, and sometimes two 
feet long ; it contains a sweet pulp, which is used in medicine 
a3 a gentle purgative. It is a native of both the Indies; some 
pergons have imagined this to be the wild honey eaten by St. 
John in the wilderness — but surely without reason. 


With the Pine- Apple/ rich in a nectarine taste, 
The clefts of the rocks in abundance are grac'd. 
There, too, Ricinus* broad-leav'd, whose reniform 

Secretes in its cells panaceas indeed ; 
There the Capsicum 3 rich in pods pungent and red; 
And there the Banana 4 uplifts too her head. 

Thus the Lord of the Mountain (') waspleas'd to 

His vassals to meet on this day of delight. 

( J ) Order, Accipitres, (Linn.) Condor, Vulture, the 
King, the Aura, the Crested, the Aquiline. 
The genus Vultur, (Linn.) or Vulture, to which the 
Condor or Condur, the Vultur gryphus, belongs, and to which 

1 Bromelia Ananas. 

2 Ricinus Communis, or Palmu Christi. An annual plant, grow- 
ing plentifully in the West Indies ; it is of very quick growth, 
and sometimes attains the height of sixteen feet. From its seed is 
obtained the well known and safe purgative called Castor Oil. 

3 The Capsicum Annuum 9 buccatum, and other species of Bird 
Pepper, are well known pungent stimulants, from some of which 
is obtained the Cayenne Pepper. 

4 The Musa sapientum, or Banana Tree, is supposed to he 
a native of Guinea, whence it was carried to the West Indies, 
where it now flourishes most abundantly. The stalks of this 
plant are peculiarly porous j the root alone is perennial, the 
rest dying down to the ground every year; the leaves are two 
yards long and a foot broad. The fruit is in the form of a cu- 
cumber, four or five inches long. The weight of a bunch of 
hananas usually exceeds twelve pounds ; when ripe it is eaten 
by all ranks of people eitlier raw or fried. 

TH£ CONDOR. 507 

* Now haste to the dell of enchantment away /" 
In vigour arose and exclaim'd the fresh day. 

the term Vulture in the text is designed emphatically to be ap- 
plied, comprehends above thirty species scattered over the 
warmer parts of the globe : some of which inhabit America, 
some Asia, some Africa, and some other parts of the world, but 
none of them is found in this country. They seem to be pe- 
culiarly inhabitants of warm climates, Chiefly, it is presumed, 
because putrid flesh, on which they feed, is there most plentiful. 

They are distinguished by a straight bill hooked at the point ; 
the head is bare of feathers, with a naked skin in front; tongue 
cleft ; neck retractile ; sense of smell generally acute. They 
are a rapacious tribe, feeding on carcasses, however putrid : 
unless pressed by hunger they seldom attack living animals. 
Waterton, indeed, informs us, in his Wanderi?igs in South 
America, that Vultures never live upon live animals ; that in 
Paramaribo the laws protect them, and that in Angustura they 
are as tame as domestic fowls. They are bold, gregarious, fly 
slowly, unless very high in the air. The following are the chief: 

The Gryphus, Condor, Condur, or Zumbadore, is of prodi- 
gious si2e, measuring, with the wings extended, it is said, four- 
teen, sixteen, or even more, but other accounts say ten or 
eleven, feet. Mr. Barrow wounded a Condor at the Cape of 
Good Hope, whose wings, when spread, measured ten feet and 
one inch. The bill is black, four inches long, point white ; 
caruncle on the crown as long as the head ; the throat is naked, 
the bottom of which is surrounded with a white ruff composed 
of long fine feathers of a hairy texture ; the lesser wing coverts 
wholly black, middle ones the same with greyish white ends, 
forming a bar when closed ; the greater, half black and half 
white, divided obliquely; three first quills black ; secondaries 
white, tipped with black ; back black; tail black; legs stout, 
reddish brown, and those as well as the claws, which are three 
quarters of an inch long, are said to be covered with scales. 


The birds heard his voice, ere the glorious sun 
Had his race o'er the waters in radiance begun. 

The chief of this description h from Dr. Latham, who derived 
his information from an actual specimen ; but the scarcity of 
this bird renders its accurate description difficult, and it also 
varies in different authors. 

It is said to build under the protection of the highest rocks ; 
eggs two, white ; the nest must be, of course, large, but its size, 
or of what materials composed, does not seem with accuracy 
known. Inhabits South America, Asia, some parts of Africa, 
and probably other regions of the globe j it appears to be a bird 
of enormous power, but is, in every country, extremely rare. 

This rapacious animal has attracted the notice of travellers, 
who have, perhaps, too often given their descriptions of it an 
air of exaggeration. Dr. Grainger, author of the Sugar Cane, 
and other Poems, has alluded to it under the name of Zumbadore, 
so called, he informs us, in consequence of the hideous humming 
noise which it makes : 

" The swift wing'd Zumbadore 
The mountain desert startled with his hum." 

Sugar Cane, Book I. 

In a note to the poem it is said that this bird, one of the 
largest and swiftest known, " is only seen at night, or rather 
heard, on the desert tops of the Andes." This, however, is 
not, by later accounts, correct : the condor frequents the sea- 
coasts during the rainy season in the evening, remains there all 
night, and returns in the morning to the mountains. From the 
extreme rarity of this bird its natural history is not yet well 
understood; further information concerning it is every way 

It has been conjectured that the Roc mentioned in the fables 
of the Arabian writers is this bird. 

The Papa, King-of-the- Vultures, or King-Vuliure, has 
the nostrils carunculate ; crown and neck naked ; body above 


The dews, rich in odour, from balmy shrubs fell ; 
And the Mocking-Bird warbled his night song's 

reddish buff, beneath yellowish white ; quills greenish black; 
tail black ; craw pendulous, orange coloured. It is about the 
size of a turkey; but is chiefly remarkable for the odd formation 
of the skin of the head and neck, which is bare; this skin, 
which is of an orange colour, arises from the base of the bill 
whence it stretches on each side to the head, thence it proceeds 
like an indented comb, and falls on either side according to the 
motion of the head ; the eyes are surrounded by a red skin, 
and the iris has the colour and lustre of pearl. This species 
has been placed at the head of the vulture tribe en account of 
the superior beauty of its external appearance; and it is said 
that it is no other way distinguished from the genus ; yet 
Waterton asserts that when the king of the vultures is present, 
the inferior species do not attempt to touch the prey till the 
king is satisfied ! — There might be some truth in this without 
attributing kingly qualities to the bird : the inferior species 
might know experimentally that his majesty would not suffer 
them to touch the prey till he himself is sated. It attacks, it is 
said; only the weaker animals, devouring rats, lizards, serpents, 
and every kind of excrement and filth; flies very high; a native 
of America. 

The Aura, Carrion-Vulture, Aura-Vulture, Turkey- Vulture, 
or Turkey-Buzzard, has the body greenish brown; quill feathers 
black ; bill white. Another variety with body black ; quill 
feathers brown ; bill cinereous ; size nearly of the preceding; 
feeds on carrion, putrid carcasses, on which it gorges, and 
crocodile's eggs, &c; sense of smell extremely acute ; inhabits the 
United States, the West Indies, South America, and Africa ; 
it is also said to be found in some parts of Europe j seen in large 
flocks ; nest midst the recesses of solitary swamps in hollow 
trees ; eggs from two to four, dull dirty white or cream 


The Scansors, chief Parrots, were dissonant loud; 
Many Goat-suckers' ( z ) notes, too, were heard from 
the crowd. 

colour, splashed with chocolate, mingled with black ; they are 
in length two inches and three quarters, breadth two inches. 
This is a peaceable and harmless bird, never offering violence to 
any living animal; in the southern states of North America, from 
their usefulness, they are protected by a law which imposes a 
fine on those who wilfully deprive them of life. 

The Cristatus, or Crested-Vulture, has the body blackish 
red; head crested; breast rufous ; smaller than the last, but ex- 
tremely active and voracious; feeds on hares, rabbits, foxes, 
fawns, and fish ; found in some parts of Europe. 

The Percnopterus, Aquiline-Vulture, or Pharoah's-Chicken, 
has the plumage white, except the quill feathers, which are 
black; the edges hoary; length two feet. Another variety, 
with the body reddish-ash, spotted with brown ; inhabits Egypt, 
Syria, and Persia. It is encomaged in Cairo to devour dead 
carcasses ; and in Palestine to destroy the mice which swarm in 
the fields. In Egypt it was formerly a capital crime to destroy 
one of these birds. 

" The place is tainted — and behold 
The Vulture hovers yonder, and his scream 
Chides us that still we scare him from his banquet." 

Southey's Thalaba, vol. i. page 105. 

( 2 ) Order, Passfres, (Linn.) Goatsucker, tiie European, 
the Vikgian, the Grand, Sec. 

The genus Caprimulgus, (Linn.) or Goat-sucker, com- 
prehends about forty species, chiefly inhabitants of America; 
one the Caprimulgus Europaus, or European Goat-sucker, 
is found in this country. The characteristics of the tribe are, 
bill short, hooked at the end ; upper mandible beset with a row 


Where, 'midst shades dark and sombre, and shrouded 

from sight, 
They shrank from the glances of strong piercing light. 
They often, whenever the parrots were still, 
Exclaim'd " Willy come go /" or now, " Whip, whip, 

poor will!" 
il Who are you f" was another monotonous lay; 
And another repeated, " Work, work, work away!" 
Whilst a "Ha!" " heard aloud, in the wild, distant 

Oft repeated, yet fainter, spake murder and blood. 

of stiff bristles; mouth wide; tongue small, pointed, entire; 
toes connected by a membrane as far as the first joint; tail 
feathers ten. These birds seldom appear in the day-time, 
unless when disturbed, or in dark cloudy weather, but wander 
about in the evening in search of insects, on which they feed. 
They lay two eggs, which they deposit on the naked ground. 

The Europceus, Goat-sucker, European Goatsucker, Noctur- 
nal Goat-sucker, Night* Hawk, Dorr-hawk, Churn-Owl, Goat-Owl, 
Wheel bird, or Night-jar, is ten inches long ; mouth excessively 
wide; plumage beautifully diversified with black, brown, 
ferruginous, and white, speckled and dashed with cinereous ; 
beneath ferruginous brown. Inhabits Europe, Asia, aud Africa. 
During summer, from May to September, frequents the woods 
of this country ; feeds chiefly on beetles and moths ; hence is, 
most probably, a very useful bird. The absurd story formerly 
related of it, namely, that of sucking goats, whence its name, no 
longer credited. Its note is similar to the sound of a spinning 
wheel, besides which it has a sharp squeak. Eggs whitish, 
marked with light brown and ash colour, larger than those of a 
blackbird ; these are laid on the ground amongst fern, heath, 
long grass, &r. It begins its flight in the dusk of the evening in 


Of the Bell-birds was heard too the loud clanging 

As far distant it seem'd upon ether to float. 

What clamour arose as the Birds flew along ! 
No time was there now for the soothing of song ; 
The sounds more like Babel assaulted the ear ; 
The Sea-birds like dense clouds dark rolling appear. 

pursuit of the larger insects, particularly the ScarabcBus Melolon- 
tha, or cock-chafer, &c. 

"Hark from yon quivering branch your direst foe, 
Insects of night, its whirring note prolongs 
Loud as the sound of busy maiden's wheel : 
Then with expanded beak, and throat enlarged, 
Even to its utmost stretch, its customed food 
Pursues voracious. Thus from Zembla's deep 
On warmer climes when herring armies pour 
The living tide of plenty ; to the sun 
With gold and green and azure many a league, 
When ocean glitters like a field of gems 
Gay as the bow of heaven, and burns by night 
In every billow with phosphoric fire ; 
Their march innumerous foes attend. Behold 
In light wing'd squadrons, gulls of every name 
Screaming discordant on the surface hang, 
Aud ceaseless stoop for prey. Lo ! gunnels huge 
And ospreys plunging from their cloudy height 
With leaden fall precipitate, the waves 
Cleave with deep dashing breast, and labouring rise 
Talons and beak o'er-loaded." 

Gisborne's Walks in a Forest. 

I have thought it most advisable not to separate these lines, 
so descriptive of several facts in the natural history of birds, 


Come hither Description ! assist to me sing, 

The birds who this day met their Vulturid King. 

He from high Chimborazo* or Cataracts f came, 
(Or from that lofty giant envelop'd in flame, 

although the last portion of them relate to the Osprey. See 
note (1) of the first Part, article Ossifragus. 

The Virginianus, Virginian Goat-sucker, Short-winged 
Gout-sucker, Night-hawk, and sometimes Whip-poor-will, is brown, 
transversely varied with grey-brown and a little ash-colour ; 
beneath reddish-white ; eight inches long; makes a disagreeably 
loud noise all night long; eggs green, with dusky spots and 
streaks; inhabits North America. 

The Grandis, or Grand Goat-sucker, is nearly two feet 
long; the gape of the mouth so large as readily to admit a man's 
fist ; inhabits Cayenne. 

The Indicus, a small elegant bird, and the Asiaticus, or Bom- 
bay Goat-sucker, inhabit India. The Nova Hollandice, or 
Crested Goat-sucker, is found in New Holland ; the Longi- 
pennis, or Leona Goat-sucker, at Siena Leone. 

The goat-suckers being chiefly American birds, exhibit in 
that continent, of course, the greatest variety in their manners 
and notes. Waterton, in his Wanderings, mentions five 
kinds that have each a peculiar set of notes. One utters, 
" Who are you, who, who, who are you ;" another, " Work 
away, work, work away;" another, " Willy come go; another, 
which is also common to the United States, " Whip poor will, 

* The highest peak of the Andes, and, as far as is hitherto 
known, the highest mountain in America. 

t The cataracts of the Andes are unrivalled : that of Tequen- 
dama dashes, at two bounds, down a perpendicular height of 
six bundled feet, with an astounding roar, into a dark and 
frightful abyss. The tremendous cataracts of Maypuri and 
Apurt may also be mentioned. 



The fierce Cotopaxi;* or some rocky chasm — 
Some frightful Quebradaf that nature in spasm 
And wild agony bore,) ere the morning's first beam ; 
His hum startled forest and mountain and stream. 

whip, whip, whip, poor will ;" and another, a large bird, the size 
of the English wood-owl, *' Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha," which 
sounds are uttered like a person in deep distress — the departing 
voice of a night-murdered victim. Suppose yourself in hopeless 
sorrow, beginning the above sequence of sounds with a loud 
note, each succeeding one being lower and lower till the last is 
scarcely heard, and pausing a moment between every note, 
will convey, according to Waterton, an idea of this bird's 
noise. The plaintive cries of all these are uttered throughout 
the night. 

As Waterton has not mentioned the specific names, these 
birds cannot be identified ; but we learn from Dr. Latham's 
work, that two species of goat-suckers have obtained the name 
of Whip-poor-will. The Vociferus, however, seems to be that to 
which the name is most properly applied. 

The Vociferus, Whip-poor-will, or Whip-poor-will Goat' 
sucker, is nine and a half inches long ; gape very large ; mouth 

* A notable Volcano of the Andes, of which, it is said, there 
are tiear\y forty scattered over that mountainous chain. 

f The Quebradus of the Andes are immense chasms by which 
many of the mountains are separated from each other ; some of 
these chasms are nearly a mile deep, and their sides almost per- 
pendicular ; they are, nevertheless, frequently adorned with 
trees, shrubs, and flowers. Natural, as well as artificial 
bridges, are occasionally seen over these deep and yawning 
lacerations ; sometimes, too, a torrent rolls down their winding 
jaws, adding, of course, to the sublimity of the scene : nor does 
the occasional presence of the Condor detract from the astound- 
ing picture. 


With beak black, and bent at the tip ting'd with white ; 
With an eye that commands both the day and the 

night ; 
With wing nervous, expansive, and tint of black -brown ; 
With legs and feet squamous, carunculate crown ; 
Throat naked ; back dark ; and with claws black and 

strong ; 
Evincing the signs that to power belong ; — 
Of the mountainous desert the lord, in whom fear 
And imperial command both united appear ; — 
He look'd round from his Rock, over sea, over shore, 
And over the Dell too — that proud Zumeadore. 

beset with long, thick, elastic bristles; plumage above varie- 
gated with black, pale cream-brown, and rust-colour ; back 
darker ; breast and belly mottled, and streaked black and 
yellow ochre. Eggs two, marbled with dark olive. Inhabits 
many parts of North America, most plentifully in Kentuckey. 
The notes of this bird are similar to the words whip-poor-will, 
whence it has obtained its name; it is heard very often in the 
night. Rarely seen during the day, unless attendant on its 
young. Feeds on moths, grass-hoppers, and insects. In Penn- 
sylvania it is a migratory bird, proceeding to the South in 
winter. — Wilson. 

Waterton says that the goat-suckers of South America 
perch longitudinally on trees, and not crosswise like other 
birds ; this is also stated by Wilson in regard to the Americanus, 
or Night-Hawk, called in Virginia, and some of the Southern 
districts of the American States, a Bat. 

According to Wilson, the only goat-suckers found in the 
United States are the preceding, Whip-poor-will ; the 
Carolinensis, or Chuck-wills-widow; and the Americanus, or 
Night-Hawk, which is, I believe, the same as the Virginianus, 
described above ; these are all migratory birds. 



Around him the Vultures obediently flew : 
The Crested, the Aura, and Aquiline too : 
And even the Papa of beautiful dyes, 
With Ingluvies pendulous, glossy pearl eyes— 
Of royal external that homage might bring— 
A subject was here, although elsewhere a King. 

The Parrots* presented a numerous host; 
The Petrb-ls were few, just arrived on the coast. 
The Humming-Birds ( 3 ) gaudily glow'd midst the 

In their green and their gold as they flutter'd along; 

( 3 ) Order, Pic^e, {Linn.) Humming-Bird, the Red- 
throated, the Supercilious, the Least, 

The genus Trochilus, (Linn.) or Humming-bird, consisis 
of above ninety species, found, chiefly, in the tropical regions 
of America and the West Indies; indeed, it has been stated, that 
no humming-bird has ever been seen in the old world ; one, 
however, has been mentioned as an inhabitant of the Cape of 
Good Hope. About half the species has a curved, the other 
a straight bill, which is subulate, filiform, and tubular at the tip, 
the upper mandible sheathing the lower; the tongue is also 
filiform, the two threads coalescing, tubular. This genus is the 
least in size of the race of birds. They feed, it is said, on the 
nectar of flowers; but there is reason for believing, from the 
statement of Wilson in regard to the Red-throated-humming- 
bird, that they feed also on small insects. They are almost 
continually on the wing, fluttering like bees, and making a 
humming noise, whence their name. Of all animated beings, 
these birds are the most elegant and brilliant ; their plumage 

• For a description of the Pari ot, see forward. 


Of nectar they sipp'd from the sweet smelling flower ; 
Or, seizing, abriclg'd the small insect's brief hour, 
There was one of large size, of rich plumage, Red 

Distinguished by chirping a grass-hopper note ; 

being adorned with innumerable shades of colour, in which the 
emerald, the ruby, and the topaz are gracefully intermixed. 
Their nest is curiously constructed, and attached sometimes to 
two leaves, or to a single twig of the citron or orange j it is pe- 
culiarly neat and small ; eggs two, white, about the size of a 
pea; time of incubation twelve days. 

It has been said that these birds cannot be tamed j this is, 
however, in regard to some of them at any rate, a mistake. 
Wilson mentions having kept one of the Red-throated Humming- 
birds in confinement for three months. It is said, nevertheless, 
that they are neither shy nor suspicious ; that they are caught 
by the Indians on limed twigs, and that, when taken, they in- 
stantly expire, and are afterwards worn as ear-rings by the 
Indian ladies. That some of them should expire when caught 
on limed twigs is not to be wondered at when the delicacy of 
these birds is considered ; but that they instantly expire if 
taken with suitable precaution, is quite incredible. Some 
have been kept alive by syrups for a few weeks j and, probably, 
were we better acquainted with their proper food, their pre- 
servation alive would be more certain and continued. That 
they sometimes feed on insects is confirmed by Waterton, and 
it is said that small insects have been found in them on dis- 
section. The following are all we can name : 

The Colubris, or Red-throated Humming-bird, is three 
inches and half long ; back, upper part of the neck, sides, under 
the wings, tail coverts, and two middle feathers of the tail, a 
rich golden green ; tail and wings a deep brownish purple. 
Nest one inch in diameter and the same in depth. Eggs two, 
white. From the drawing given of it in Wilson's American 


And one of form tiny might, too. be there seen, 
Much less than a bee, deck'd in elegant green ; 
But of gay, eastern Sun-Birds, ( 4 ) in robes bright 

and fair, 
And of manners congenial, not one was found there : 

Ornithology it appears similar to the goldfinch's, but, of course, 
much smaller and neater. The note of this bird is a single chirp, 
not louder than the grasshopper. It has been kepi in confine- 
ment in the United States for months : it is a mistake to sup- 
pose that it feeds only on the nectar of flowers; it feeds also on 
insects. This bird is very fond of the flowers of the plant 
called Balsamum noli me tangere, or Touch-me-not. It is found 
in most of the warm and tropical regions of America. This 
description is taken from Wilson's work; the bird is, I sus- 
pect, the Moschitus, or Ruby-necked Humming-bird of 
some other writers. 

The Superciliosus, or Supercilious Humming-bird, is one 
of the largest of the tribe, being nearly six inches long, and in- 
habits Cayenne. The Minimus, or Least-Humming bird, 
is green ; smaller than several of our bees, hardly a quarter of 
an inch long; weighs about twenty grains; found in Brazil. 
See note (42,) part 1, article Golden-crested-Wren, 

( 4 ) Tenuirostres, Cinnyrida, (Vigors); or, to anglicize the 
terms, Cinnyrid Tenuirosts — Sunbirds. 

The genus some time since established by Cuvier, and de- 
nominated by him Cinnyris, has been lately brought into no- 
tice in consequence of Mr. Vigors having arranged it as a 
sub-family in his Tenuirostres ; and also by his having excited 
the public attention to this group of birds in his late Lectures 
at the Zoological Society, According to their habits, size, aud 
the statements of Mr. Vigors, they appear to supply the place 
in the old world, of that numerous, airy, and splendid race of 
birds in the new, so well known and so much admired under the 


They the odorous groves of the Orient Isles, 

And the Hindoostan gardens, e'er greet with their smiles. 

name of Humming-birds, or, to anglicize a Vigorsean term, 
Trochilids. They are now, it seems, called in this country 
by the trite name of Sun birds. By whom this term was first 
applied, or for what reason, I do not know, but presume from 
the splendour of their colours. One of their characteristics 
(besides of course being Tenuirosts) is that of feeding on the 
nectar of flowers. The genus Cinnyris is included in Tem- 
minck's Necturinia.* I have not been able to obtain so satisfac- 
tory an account of it as I could wish. The following species I, 
however, find described in Dr. Latham's great work. 

The Longirostra, (Linn. Transact, vol. xiv.) Certhia Longi- 
rostra, (Lath.) or Long-billed-Creeper, is five inches long, 
the bill an inch and half; the tongue is long and missile; crown 
and back behind light green; back, wings, and tail, dusky, 
edged with olive green ; neck before, and breast, white ; belly 
and vent pale yellow; legs bluish. Found in Bengal, where it 
perches on the rich flowers of Indian plants, and darting its 
tongue into the calyx extracts the sweets. Inhabits also Java, 
where it is called Prist Andun. The Java species is larger and 
more brightly coloured. 

The Affinis (Linn. Transact, vol. xiii.) Anthophagus Oliva- 

* Since this volume has been in the press, my attention has 
been called to the splendid work of M. Temminck on Birds, 
now publishing at Paris in large folio, with finely executed en- 
gravings, accurately and most carefully delineated, and coloured 
after nature. This work is esteemed by our ornithologsts as a 
very valuable addition to the science: as far as I have had an 
opportunity of examining it, I can bear my willing testimony to 
its merits, particularly in regard to the engravings. The 
Manual of Ornithology of this author is, of course, well known to 
the scientific. Both works are written in the French language. 


From the Papuan Isles in magnificence bright, 
Came the Paradise Birds ( 5 ) at once lustrous and 

eeus, (Lath.) Olive-Honey-Eater, or Olive-Creepei', is four 
inches long; bill half an inch long, black; plumage above dull 
olive-green, inclining to brown on the forehead and crown ; 
beneath grey-brown ; around the eyes whitish ; quills and tail 
brown, with an olive-green tinge ; the two outer feathers 
white at the ends; legs pale brown. Inhabits Madagascar and 
Java. Individuals found in the last-named place are olive, va- 
riegated beneath with dull brown-grey ; outer tail feathers 
white at the ends. 

Many others of this tribe of birds have been exhibited, by far 
more splendid and smaller than these ; but I have at present no 
means of obtaining an accurate description of them. 

( s ) Order, Pi cze, (Linn.) Birds of Paradise. 

The genus Paradisea, (Linn.) or Bird-of-Paradisk, 
consists of twenty species ; the bill is coveied with a belt of 
downy feathers at the base ; feathers of the sides very long ; 
two of the tail feathers naked. They are inhabitants of New 
Guinea, the Papuan Islands, or Islands of the Indian ocean. 
The following are some of the most remarkable. The habits of 
this tribe of birds do not, however, appear to be yet very ac- 
curately known. 

The Apoda, or Greater-Paradise-Bird, is of a chesnut 
colour ; neck beneath green gold ; feathers on the sides 
longer than the body ; two middle tail feathers long, bristly. 
Another variety of a smaller size. Inhabits the islands near 
New Guinea ; feeds, it is said, on moths and butterflies ; 
flies, it is also reported, in flocks, with a leader at the 
head, making a noise like the thrush. The strangest and most 


Of whom hath cupidity artful and bold, 
Yet in mystery's cant, many falsities told. 

improbable tales were formerly related concerning this bird. 
Thus sings Camoens : 

" The golden birds that ever sail the skies, 
Here to the sun display their shining dyes; 
Each want supplied on air they ever soar ; 
The ground they touch not till they breathe no more." 

The Lusiad, by Mickle. 

From their food being moths and butterflies, and, perhaps, 
the nectar of flowers, they are doubtless a good deal on the 
wing ; but there appears no reason whatever to suppose that 
their manner of incubation and resting is different from other 

The most remarkable features of this species are about forty 
or fifty long feathers, which spring from each side below the 
wing, and, mingling below the tail, augment the apparent size of 
the animal, without adding any thing to its weight. It is about 
the size of a thrush, but its feathers make it appear much larger 
than that bird. In some parts of India, the feathers fetch a 
great price, being worn as ornaments of dress. 

These birds were formerly brought to this country without 
feet, the policy of the foreign dealers in them most probably in- 
duced the abstraction of those signs which lead very often to 
the habits and manners of the bird. Hence also the more ready 
belief in the tales propagated concerning them ; and hence, too, 
the specific name Apoda, without feet, very improperly applied 
to these birds by European naturalists. 

The Regia, or KiNG-of-the-BiRDs-OF-PARADiSE, is a ches- 
nut-purple, beneath whitish ; a green-gold band on the breast ; 
from five to seven inches long; solitary. Inhabits the same 
countries as the last. 



The Honey-Guide-Cuckoo, from Africa came ; 
TheFLAMiNGo( 6 ) look'dgay in his garments of flame, 

( 6 ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Flamingo, the Red, the 


The genus Piicbnicopterus, (Linn.) or Flamingo, consists 
of two species distinguished by having a naked toothed bill, 
bent as if broken ; the feet are four-toed, palmate, the mem- 
branes semicircular on the forepart. 

The Ruber, Flamingo, or Red- Flamingo, is a very remarkable 
bird, with a body less than that of a goose; but when erect, is 
six feet high from the lip of the toe to the bill, which is seven 
inches long, partly red, partly black, and partly crooked ; it per- 
petually twists its head round when eating,so that the upper man- 
dible touches the ground. The legs and thighs are slender, not 
thicker than the fore-finger of a man, yet two feet long ; the 
neck is also slender, and three feet long. From this extraordi- 
nary shape, it is able to wade in water to the depth where its 
food is to be found. The feet are webbed, though it seldom 
uses them for swimming. Length from bill to tail four feet 
four inches. The plumage is not less remarkable than its fignre, 
much of it being of a bright flame-colour, whence its name. 
Found both in the new and old continents, but in not more than 
about forty degrees either north or south from the equator. It 
is found on almost every shore of the Mediterranean — Spain, 
Italy, &c. ; and in every district of Africa, to the Cape of 
Good Hope ; in South America, and the West Indies. The 
nest is made of earth, rising about twenty inches above the 
water, which always covers its base ; the top of this is a little 
hollowed out for the reception of the eggs, which are two, 
white, size of a goose's, upon which the female sits and hatches, 
perched, as it were, upon her rump, with her legs hanging down 
like a man sitting upon a stool. This peculiar posture is ne- 
cessary during her incubation, in consequence of the very great 
length of the legs. The young never exceed three in number. 


The Taylor-Bird, ( 7 ) too, left his leafy sew'd nest, 
To pay his respects to the King of the West ; 

These birds are gregarious, and are occasionally tamed in 
their native climates, and mingle with other poultry, but they 
never thrive in such a state. They afford a fine down, equal 
to swan's down ; flesh, by some persons, esteemed. 

The negroes of Africa hold this bird in superstitious venera- 
tion ; hence they do not permit it to be destroyed, although, 
from its numbers and its noise, it is extremely troublesome. It 
feeds on shell-fish, aquatic insects, and the spawn offish. 

The Flamingo was well known to the ancients under the 
name of Phoenicopterus ; its flesh was a dish among the luxu- 
rious Romans ; Apicius is said by Pliny to have discovered 
the exquisite relish of this bird's tongue, and a new method of 
seasoning it ! 

" Evening came on : arising from the stream 
Homeward the tall Flamingo wings his flight ; 
And when he sails athwart the setting beam 
His scarlet plumage glows with deeper light !" 

South ey's Curse of Kehama — the Separation. 

I take the present opportunity of expressing the great plea- 
sure which the perusal of that highly imaginative and melodious 
poem, the Curse of Kehama, has afforded me. 

The Chilensis, or Chilese-Flamingo, has the quill feathers 
white ; bill covered with a reddish skin ; head subcrested ^ 
five feet long from the bill to the claws. Inhabits Chili. 

( 7 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Taylor-Bird. 

The Taylor-Bird, Taylor-Wren, Taylor-Warbler, Motacilla 
Sutoria, (Linn.) or Sylvia Sutoria, as it is called by Dr. Latham, 
one of the numerous genus Wareler, is a very small bird, 
being only about three inches and a half in length, and weighs 
only about, it is said, three sixteenths of an ounce ; the plu- 
mage above is pale olive-yellow; chin and throat yellow; 


The restless Black-Skimmer ( 8 ) swept often along ; 
And the Barbet( 9 ) was heard with his turtle-dove 

breast and belly dusky-white. It inhabits India, and particu- 
larly the Island of Ceylon ; it constructs a very curious nest by 
sewing the edges of one or more leaves together, so as to form a 
conical repository for its eg«s and young; the eggs are while, 
not much larger than what are called ants' eggs. For further 
particulars concerning this bird's nest, see the Introduction. 


The genus Rh ynchops, (Linn.) or Skimmer, consists of one 
species only, 

The Nigra, Bi.ack-Skimmer, Breaker, Cutter, or Skippog. 
The bill is straight, the upper mandible much shorter than the 
under; size of the black guillemot; length eighteen inches; 
breadth three feet ; tail forked ; body blackish, beneath white; 
front and chin white; wings with a transverse white band; 
legs red. Another variety tawny. This bird is perpetually 
flying about and skimming over the water, out of which it 
scoops small fish with its lower mandible. Inhabits all 
South America, and the southern parts of North America, 
and also the East Indies. Nest a mere hollow in the 
sand ; eggs three, white, with large round blackish spots, others 
like pale Indian pink. They lay near to each other, in societies 
of from 1.5 to 20 pairs ; half a bushel of eggs have been col- 
lected in New Jersey within the compass of half an acre; they 
have a fishy taste, but are nevertheless eaten. Voice harsh 
and screaming. This bird is migratory in New Jersey. 

( 9 ) Order, Pic^e, (Linn.) Barbet, the Beautiful, the 
Yellow-cheeked, &c. 

The genus Bccco, (Linn.) or Barbet, compreheuds twenty- 
nine species, chiefly inhabitants of Guiana, and found almost 
universally in warm climates. The bill is strong, straightish. 


There too was seen, hovering over the shore, 
The Ieis ( 10 ) that Egypt once pleas'd to adore; 
The Curlew in Scarlet with richest tints glow'd, 
And the Canvass-back-Duck on the waters proud 
rode : 

nearly covered with bristles ; it is a very stupid genus. The 
following are all I can notice : 

The Zeylonicus, or Yellow-cheekedBarbet, is five and a 
half inches long; sits on trees, and murmurs or coos like a 
turtle-dove, but louder. Inhabits Ceylon. 

The Eleguns, or Beautiful-Barbet, is green, head and 
chin red, edged wiih blue ; quill feathers brown ; throat and 
breast yellow, the latter spotted with red; belly yellow, spotted 
with green ; size of a sparrow. Inhabits the shores of the 
Amazon. The Tamatia, or Spotted-bellied Barbet, is 
above tawny brown, beneath tawny white, spotted with black; 
six and a half inches long. Inhabits Cayenne and Brazil. Flesh 

The Philippensis, a native of Java, has its notes conveyed by 
the word Ingku. Horsfield. 

( I0 ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Ibis, the Egyptian, the Wood, 
the Scarlet, the Glossy, &c. 

The genus Tantalus, (Linn.) or Ibis, consists of more than 
thirty species scattered over the warmer climates of the globe. 
The bill is long, subulate, rounded, and subarched; face naked; 
tongue short, broad; jugular pouch naked; feet four-toed, 
palmate at the base. The following are the chief: 

The J6is, or Egyptian-Ibis, has the face red, bill pale yellow; 
quill feathers black ; body whitish-rufous. From thirty to forty 
inches long. Inhabits, in vast numbers, the lower parts of 
Egypt. This bird, so faithful in its native country, was made the 
emblem of it. Its figure, which is wrought on all the ancient 
Egyptian monuments, represents Egypt, where divine honours 


The Egret, the Great, and the Little, milk white, 
Their pinions display'd 'midst a splendour of light. 
'Mongst the Eagles, the Crested a denizen here, 
Were many rapacious whose looks begat fear. 

were paid to it by the superstitious inhabitants. This bird 
feeds on locusts, caterpillars, and serpents; and, it is said, even 
after it is satiated, it still continues occupied in destroying 
these noxious animals. The intention, therefore, of the Egyptian 
rulers in rendering this bird sacred, was, doubtless, to preserve 
and to mutiply so useful an animal. So sacred was it held, 
that dried skeletons of it have been found preserved as mum- 
mies. As a drawback from this statement, it should be also ob- 
served, that many other birds, such as storks, kites, and vultures, 
are hostile to serpents, and the figures on their hieroglyphics do 
not appear sufficiently defined, so that this kind of bird may be 
determined with exactness : certain, however, it is, that for- 
merly, in Egypt, the killing of this bird was held as a capital 

The Loculator, or Wood-Ibis, has a bluish face ; the bill red- 
dish, nine inches long ; the body white ; legs, quill, and tail- 
feathers, black. Two other varieties. Three feet long. In- 
habits New Holland, and the warmer parts of America ; slow in 
flight, and stupid ; feeds on fruit, fishes, and reptiles j flesh good. 
The Leucocephalus, or White-headed-Ibis, has the head, 
neck, and body, white ; bill and face yellow ; legs pale flesh- 
colour ; rump with long rosy feathers; the largest of the tribe. 
Inhabits India. 

The Ruber, Scarlet-Ibis, Scarlet -Curlew, or Red-Curlew, is 
a beautiful bird, found in most parts of America, within the 
tropics; the whole plumage a rich glowing scarlet, except the 
extremities of the four outer quill feathers, which are of a deep 
steel blue ; length twenty-three inches ; sits on trees, but lays 
its greenish eggs on the ground. The young birds, when first 


The social and singular Ani (") was there, 
In whose nest many females obtain oft a share. 
The fleet Courier-Pheasant ran swiftly along ; 
With a serpent the Crested immers'd in the throng. 

hatched, are said to be black, then grey, then whitish, and, 
lastly, scarlet. 

The Igneus, or Glossy-Ibis, has the head and neck black ; 
bill and legs green ; body varied with glossy-blue, blackish- 
green, green and claret ; beneath dark rufous ; quill and tail 
feathers green-gold ; thirteen inches long 5 inhabits Russia : 
was once shot in Cornwall ; it has also been seen in Norfolk. 

(") Order, Picae, (Linn.) Ani, the Lesser, the Greater, 
the Varied, the Walking. 

The genus CrotopHaga, or Ani, consists of four species, 
all natives of South America ; they have a compressed semi-oval 
arched bill, carinate on the back ; upper mandible angular at 
each edge ; nostrils pervious. They are as follow: 

The Ani, or Lesser-Ani, is blackish violet, feet formed for 
climbing ; thirteen and a half inches long ; gregarious, many 
females laying in the same nest, each taking care of its own 
brood ; eggs sea-green, spotted towards the ends ; feeds on 
fruits, seeds, worms, and insects; picks out the acarns, or tick, 
from the backs of cattle infested with it, for which purpose it is 
said they will lie down spontaneously. The Major, or Greater- 
Ani, is also blackish-violet, the feathers edged with green; 
quill feathers dusky green ; feet scansorial like the last ; length 
eighteen inches ; docile and easily tamed ; inhabits Cayenne. 
The Varia, or Varied-Ani, is varied with black and red ; feet 
seansorial ; eleven inches long. The Ambulatoria, or Walking- 
Ani, has the feet ambulatory ; except in the structure of the 
feet, is like the last ; inhabits Surinam. 


Rice-Buntings, andTuRNSTONES ingenious abound; 
And Bee-Eaters, ( ia ) Beef-Eaters, ( ,3 ) some were 
there found. 

( I3 ) Order, Picab, (Linn.) Bee-Eater, the Common, the 


The genus Merops, (Linn.) or Bee-Eater, contists of more 
than forty species, one only of which, the Apiaster, or Common- 
Bee-Eater, is found in this country. The characteristics of 
this tribe are a curved, quadrangular, compressed, carinate, 
pointed bill; tongue slender, the tip (generally) jagged ; feet 
gressorial. They are scattered over India, Africa, and the 
South of Europe. 

The Apiaster, or Common-Bee-Eater, from which the rest 
of the species do not essentially differ, derives its name from 
subsisting chiefly on bees, wasps, and other insects, which, like 
the swallow, it catches when on the wing. The head and neck 
of this bird are chesnut ; upper part of the body pale yellow, 
with reflections of green and chesnut ; the lower parts azure, 
brightening towards the tail ; bill black, quadrangular, a little 
bent and sharp at the point ; length ten inches. Digs deep holes 
in sandy banks, where it lays from five to seven white eggs ; gre- 
garious, found not only in England, but many other parts of 
Europe, as well as in Asia and America. There is another va- 
riety, having a convex instead of a carinate bill, and in which 
the toes are not connected, as far as the third joint. 

The Rufus, or Rufous-Bee-Eater, is eight inches and half 
long; plumage in general rufou*, deeper on the upper parts, in- 
clining to yellow beneath ; builds a curious nest. Seethe Intro- 
duction. Eggs four, white, spotted with rufous. Song trifling. 
Found at Buenos Ayres, and on the River Plate. 

The Bee-Eater is said to be migratory in this country ; but, 
although occasionally seen here in the summer season, its nest 
has never, I believe, been discovered. It is said to be plenti- 
ful, and to breed in the southern parts of Russia. 


From far Polynesia's Taheitian grove, 

Where, 'midst Flora's rich realm is his pleasure to rove, 

In his glossy green-black came the Poe-bird ( 14 ) 

Whose plumage and note afford equal delight. 

One of the handsomest of the tribe is the Viridis, or Indian- 
Bee Eater, of a green colour, with a black belt on the breast 
and the throat, and tail of the same hue; of this there are 
several varieties, inhabitants of Bengal. 

( I3 ) Order, ViCM,(Linn.) Beef-Eater. 

The genus Buphaga, (Linn.) or Beef-Eater, consists of 
two species only, distinguished by a straight somewhat square 
bill, mandible gibbous, entire, more gibbous on the outside; 
legs gressorial. The Africana, African-Beef-Eater, or 
African* Oxpecker, is eight and a half inches long; picks 
holes in the backs of cattle, for the purpose of getting at the 
larva of the gad rly ; feeds also on insects ; found near the river 
Senegal in Africa, and parts within the Cape of Good Hope. 

The Striped-Beef-Eater is the size of the former j a spe- 
cimen is in the museum of Mr. Bullock. 

( l4 ) Order, Pic^e, (Lath.) Honey-Eater, the Poe, the 
Great-Hook-Billed, the Hook-billed, &c. 

The genus ANTHOPHAGUs,(Z,a//i.) or Honey-Eater, consists 
of seventy species ; they have a bill somewhat triangular at the 
ba«e, and more or less bent at the tip ; nostrils rounded, partly 
covered by a membrane ; tongue more or less extensile, formed 
for collecting honey from flowers, which is supposed to be their 
principal food ; legs made for walking. This genus is also di- 
vided by Dr. Latham into those with thrush-like bills, and those 
with creeper bills. The following are examples of each : 

The Cincinnati^, (Luth.) Poe-Honey-Eater, Po'e-Bce-Eater, 
Poe- Bird, or Kogo, with a thrush-like bill, is rather larger than 


Many Eaters of Honey, flowers flutter'd among ; 
While others seem'd charm'd with the Poe-bird's song. 

a blackbird ; length eleven inches ; plumage deep greenish- 
black, in many parts very glossy ; greater wing coverts white- 
tail coverts a rich blue ; tail same as the body ; neck feathers 
fine, long, somewhat curled, and standing from the neck like a 
ruff; a white tuft of curled feathers on each side of the neck. 
The term Pot is said to be the Otaheitan word for ear-ring, 
whence its name. This bird is said to be as remarkable for the 
sweetness of its note as it is for the beauty of its plumage ; flesh 
delicate food ; inhabits New Zealand and the South Sea 
Islands ; and particularly GtaheiU ; or, as the inhabitants 
themselves call it, Taheety, or Taheity. This island lies in lati- 
tude 18° South, and in the 150 th degree of West longitude; it is 
beautiful, well wooded, and affords support to many inhabi- 
tants. The celebrated Bread Fruit-Tree, Artocarpus incisa, 
is indigenous here ; it is about the size of a moderate oak; the 
leaves are oblong, and often a foot and half in length ; they, in 
colour and thickness, resemble those of the fig, exuding a milky 
juice on fracture. The fruit is about the size of a new-born 
child's head. The eatable part, which lies between the skin 
and core, is as white as snow, and of the consistence of new 
bread. It is prepared for eating in various ways. 

The Great-Hooked-billed-Honey-Eater, or Great- 
Hook-billed-Creeper, (Certhia pacifica,) with a creeper-like- 
bill, is eight inches long; plumage above black, lower parts of 
the back, rump, and upper tail coverts, a fine deep yellow ; 
beneath dusky ; shoulders, inner ridge of the wing, and part of 
the coverts, yellow ; quills and tail black; inhabits the Friendly 
Islands in the South Seas ; called at Owhyhee, Hoohoo. 

The Hooked-billed-Honey-Eater, (Certhia Obscura,) 
may also be mentioned as a curious species. For another 
Honey-Euter, see pages 319, 320, Cinmjris affinis. 



Anthophagus Cincinnatus. — (Lath .} 

Taheity ! Taheity ! 

The Poe-bird's home, 
Taheity! Taheity! 

Who from thee would roam ? 

Taheity ! Taheity ! 

Far over the sea ! 
When, when shall return 

Thy own bird unto thee ? 

Taheity ! Taheity ! 

All strangers I see J 
When shall I behold 

Those I love, know, and thee ? 

Taheity! Taheity! 

Thy groves and thy shade, 
Thy mountains, thy vales, 

For affection were made. 

Taheity! Taheity! — 


Thy Mahie* to see ! 
Oh, when shall return 
Thy own bird unto thee ? 

The Bread- Fruit -Tree, so called by the natives of Otaheite. 


Not in woodlands apart from the rest of the crowd, 
Where the dark vested trees many warblers oft shroud; 
Not unheard and unseen, far from dwellings of men, 
Pour'd the Blue-Bird ( i5 ) his notes in the wild forest 

glen ; 
But, the dear mellow harmonist seem'd to delight 
In all that was social, and chearful, and bright : 
Artless chorister ! he, in his elegant suit, 
Thus tastefully touch'd the sweet strings of his lute. 

( I5 ) Order, PAssEREs,(La^.)BLUE-BiRD,or Blue-Warbler. 

The Sylvia sialis, Blue-Bird, or Blue-Warbler, is six 
inches and three quarters long ; above a rich sky-blue, with 
purple reflections; throat, neck, breast, and sides partially 
under the wiDgs, chesnut ; beneath white ; inhabits the United 
States, Mexico, Brazil, and Guiana; eggs five or six, pale blue ; 
feeds on insects and berries. It is much troubled with a species 
of tapeworm j most other birds, it is said, are also pestered 
with these animals. The spring and summer song of this bird is 
a soft, agreeable, and oft repeated, warble. In its motions and 
general character has a great resemblance to the redbreast ; 
like him in this country, the blue-bird is known to almost every 
child in the United States. The cowpen lays its egg sometimes 
in the nest of this bird. See the Note on the Cowpen, for- 
ward ; and also the Address to the Blue-Bird. 

" When winter's cold tempests and snows are no more, 

Green meadows and brown furrow'd fields re-appearing ; 
The fishermen hauling their shad to the shore, 

And cloud-cleaving geese to the lakes are a-steering; 
When first the lone butterfly flits on the vu'ug; 

When red glow the maples so fresh and so pleasing, 
O then comes the Blue-Bird, the Herald of Spring! 
And bails with his warbling the charms of the season." 
Wilson's American Ornithology* 


Sylvia Sialis. — (Lath.) 

Free from sorrow, free from strife, 
What is like domestic life ? 
Over mountain, over hill, 
Vagrant birds may wander still ; 
I, contented, will not roam ; 
Sweet are the delights of Home ! 

Seek thou glory's sanguine field ; — 
Seek whatever fame may yield ; — 
Seek thou honour, seek thou wealth — 
Seek, still seek, and squander health ; — 
I, contented, will not roam ; 
Sweet are the delights of Home ! 

Home ! thy magic circles round 
What of peace on earth is found ; 
Love — affection — friendship — all 
That the virtues we may call. 
I, contented, will not roam ; 
Sweet are the delights of Home !* 

* "There is a magic in that little word, 
It is a mystic circle that surrounds 
Comforts and virtues, never known beyond 
The hallowed limit." 

Sovthey's Hymns to the Penutes. 



Sylvia Sialis. — (Lath.) 

" In far Columbian climes 
The Blue-bird, that domestic sylviad, he 
"Whom youth, whom age, whom infancy respects, 
Affords sincere delight what time the spring 
He wakens with his gentle melodies." 

From an unpublished Poem. 

Bird cerulean ! Bird of Spring ! 

Listen while the strain I sing. 
When nature clad in robes of green 
Amidst her woodland haunts is seen ; — 
When trees and flowers pour out their bloom, 
.And fling abroad a rich perfume, 
Then, then thy softest, sweetest note 
On zephyr's wave is heard to float ; — 
All things look fair, rejoicing, bright — 
Children of hope and high delight; 
While infancy enraptur'd views 
Thy beauty ting'd with purple hues. 

Bird cerulean ! Bird of Spring ! 

Listen while the strain I sing. 
Thy spring shall pass, thy summer fly, 
And autumn quit thee with a sigh ; 
At length, the winter's howling gust 
Shall dash thy pleasures to the dust ; 


But soon again thy hope shall rise, 
And spread her wing o'er vernal skies ; 
Thy song of softest, sweetest note, 
On zephyr's wave again shall float. 

Bird cerulean ! Bird of Spring ! 

Listen while the strain I sing. 
Man hath his foes and so hast thou ; 
What time beneath the waving bough 
Thy humble home is recent made, 
The Cowpen may thy peace invade. 
Audacious bird ! uncourtly guest ! 
Too idle to construct a nest! 
Alas ! who must not bend to power? 
Even birds, within their little hour, 
From tyrant birds shall suffer still 
As man from some superior's will : 
Who does not sometimes nurture those, 
As thou, who prove the deadliest foes ?. 

Bird cerulean! Bird of Spring, 

Listen while the strain I sing. 
All, all is change throughout the earth ! 
Joy follows sorrow, sadness mirth, 
And when distress pursues the mind, 
Relief, perchance, is close behind. 
Sweet Bird ! Columbia's gentle pride, 
Whose doors for thee are open wide, 
Still warble thou thy softest song ; 
To thee all pleasing strains belong ; 

Bird cerulean ! Bird of Spring! 

Listen while the strain I sing. 


The Man-of-War-Bird, ( ,6 ) with a fish in his 
Look'd grotesque as he heavily rose from the south ; 

( l6 ) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Albatross, the Wandering, 
the Chocolate, the Sooty, the Man-of-War-Bird. 

The genus Diomedea, (Linn.) or Albatross, consists of 
four species, distinguished by a straight bill, the upper mandible 
hooked at the point, the lower truncate ; nostrils oval, wide, 
prominent, lateral ; tongue very small ; feet four toed, all placed 
forwards, palmate. They are as follow : 

The Exulans, Albatross, fVandering-Albatross, or Man-of- 
War-Bird, is from three and a half to four feet long ; its general 
colour is white; back and wings with white lines; bill pale- 
yellow, legs flesh-colour ; qnill feathers black ; tail rounded, 
lead-colour; wings, when extended, from ten to thirteen feet ; 
inhabits most seas, but chiefly within the tropics; rarely flies 
at a great distance from the water, unless obliged to do so by 
high winds; seen sometimes in the southern ocean, six or seven 
hundred leagues from land. 

Eggs numerous, larger than those of a goose, the white not 
hardened by boiling ; the flesh is tough, but occasionally eaten. 
The cry of this bird is harsh and braying. It sometimes swal 
lows a salmon of such length that the whole cannot enter its 
stomach, the tail part hanging out of its mouth. At such times 
it is easily knocked down and killed; but, at other times, it 
makes a stout resistance. The male watches the female while 
sitting, and supplies her with food. The large intestine is used 
iu some countries as a floating bladder to buoy up fishing nets ; 
the bones are employed by some of the South Sea Islanders foi 
tobacco pipes, needle cases, and other trinkets. As soon as tht 
young of this bird leave the nest, the Penguin takes possession 
of it, and hatches its young in turn. 

The Spadiceu, or Chocolate-Albatross, has the body a 


The Chocolate-Albatross came from Chung- 

kwo ;» 
And another, the Sooty, from regions of snow. 
The Cowpen ( l7 ) too came, who, for reasons unknown, 
Will never construct any house of her own ; 
Like the Cuckoo, content is this bird of the west 
To deposit her egg in another bird's nest : 

deep chesnut brown ; face and wings, beneatli whitish; another 
variety entirely grey-brown. The first, three feet long, inha- 
bits the Pacific Ocean ; the second, two and a half feet long, 
inhabits China. The Chlororhyncos, or Yellow-nosed-Alea- 
tross, is about three feet long, and inhabits the Pacific Ocean. 
The Fuliginosus, or Sooty-Albatross, is the size of the last ; 
inhabits seas in the arctic circle. 

All this tribe of birds nourish their young by discharging the 
contents of their stomach. 

For another Man of- War- Bird see the note on the Pelican. 

( i7 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Bunting, the Cow, or 


This bird, which is found in the United States of America, 
and, probably, in many other places of the western world, is 
called by Latham, Oriolus pecoris, or Cowpen-Qriole, 
and by Wilson, Emberiza pecoris, Cow-Bunting, Coic-Black- 
bird, or Cowpen; it is, in consequence of its mode of laying its 
egg, one of the most singular of the ornithological creation. 
We are not yet sufficiently acquainted with its natural history ; 
but, from that accurate observer, Wilson, we learn the follow- 
ing particulars : 

It is seven inches long; the head and neck are of a 
deep silky drab colour; the upper part of the head is a change- 
able violet ; the rest of the bird is black, with a considerable 

* China. 



Wild wonder may gaze while proud science, in vain, 
Attempts the anomaly strange to explain. 

Of the Tinamou-Tribe* many visitors came ;— 
One of robes citrine hue and distinguished by fame ; 
The Virginian-Quail, and the Heath-hen were 

To whose singular figure what bird may compare ? 

gloss of green when exposed to a good light. The most remarka- 
ble trait in the character of this bird is that, like the Cuckoo, 
it lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, instead of building a 
nest and hatching for itself; and thus leaving its progeny to 
the care of strangers. It only lays one egg in any one nest ; 
it is rather larger than those of a blue-bird, thickly sprinkled 
with grains of pale-brown on a dirty-white ground. It seems 
to be less nice than the cuckoo in the choice of its nest; among 
others, it lays in that of the Blue-Bird, the Chipping- Sparrow, the 
Golden-Crowned-Thrush, the Red-Eyed-Fly-Catcher, and the 
Maryland- Yellow-Throat, birds all well known in America, but 
which are quite foreign to this country. It is said, too, that 
the eggs or young of the fostering birds, in whose nest the cow- 
bunting lays its egg, are ejected from the nest, and, of course* 
destroyed ; but, whether by the hatched stranger, or by the 
foster parents, has not been yet ascertained. This bird is mi- 
gratory in the northern States of America: it appears in 
Pennsylvania from the south at the end of March or early in 
April; it winters in the Carolinas and Georgia. As it 
does not appear in size and shape by any means so formida- 
ble as the cuckoo, this extraordinary habit of laying its 
egg in the nest of some birds equal, if not superior, to it in size, 
is more singular than even that of the cuckoo, singular as both 
of them undoubtedly are. See note (6,) p. 137, 138. 

* For a description of the Great-Tin amou and the Pin- 
nated-Grouse, or Heath-Hen, see note (36,) part I. 


There, too, Yacous ( i8 ) domestic and Guans were 

seen ; 
The last with brown back, and a body black-green. 

( l8 ) Order, Gallinje, (Lath.) Guan, Yacou, Piping-Cu- 
rassow, Marail. 

The genus Penelope, (Lath.) to which the Guan, Penelope 
cristata,and the Yacou, Penelope cumunensis, belong, consists of 
eleven species, distinguished by a bill naked, at the base 
covered with feathers ; legs spnrless. They are all inhabitants 
of South America. The following are the chief: 

The Cristata, or Crested-Guan, has the head with an erect 
crest; bill black; body black-green; back brown; neck, 
breast, and belly, spotted with white ; legs red ; two feet and a 
half long; they are often tamed, and make a noise not unlike 
the sound of jacu, or rather, perhaps, yacou; flesh good; inhabits 
Brazil and Guiana. 

The Cumanensis, or Yacou, is blackish ; crest and first quill 
feathers white ; body beneath speckled with white ; tail long ; 
legs red ; size of a hen turkey ; erects its crest and spreads its 
tail ; builds on the ground and in low trees ; inhabits Cayenne 
and Guiana; at the former place it is tamed, becomes familiar, 
and will mix with other poultry. 

The Pipile, or Piping-Curassow, has the back brown, 
spotted with black, the belly black ; wing-coverts and first 
quill-feathers white ; legs red ; voice weak, piping ; inhabits 
with the last. 

The Marilf or Marail, is greenish-black ; head crested ; in- 
habits, in flocks, the woods of Guiana ; roosts in trees, upon 
whose fruit it feeds ; emits a harsh disagreeable cry. 




The Boat-bill ( l9 ) was there, too, that feaster on fish; 
And the Scarlet-Cotixga as bright as you wish. 
Many Pompadour-Chatterers ( 20 ) were seen in 

the throng ; 
Many Troupioles* warbled a sweet plaintive song. 

( ,9 ) Order, Orally, {Linn.) Boat-bill, the Crested, the 
1 White-bellied. 

ThegenusCANCROMA, (Linn.) or Boat-bill, consists of two 
species only ; it is characterized by a gibbous bill, shaped like 
an inverted boat ; nostrils small, placed in a furrow ; tongue 
small; toes divided; they inhabit South America. 

The Cochleuria, or Crested-Boat-bill, is ash-colour ; the 
belly rufous ; crown and lunule on the neck black ; bill brown ; 
lores naked and blackish ; crest long, pendulous, pointed ; legs 
yellowish, brown ; toes connected at the base ; length twenty- 
two inches; perches on trees which hang over water, and darts 
down on fishes as they swim underneath ; feeds also on crabs : 
a second variety having the body spotted brown. The Cancro- 
phaga, or White-eellied-Boat-bill, is also crested ; the 
body rufous-brown ; belly whitish ; crown black ; by some 
considered only a variety of the preceding, by others the female. 

( 2? ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Chatterer, Cotinga, 

The gentis Ampelis, (Linn.) or Chatterer, comprehends 
twenty-eight species, most of them natives of Africa or Ame- 
rica, one or two of India; and one, the Ampelis Garruhis, or 
Waxen Chatterer, found occasionally in this country; they 
are distinguished by a straight, convex, subincurved bill, each 

* See forwards. The Orioles, so called by the French ; I 
should not have thought it necessary to introduce this term 
Troupiole, had not Watekton, used it very freely in his 
Wanderings in South America: this unnecessary, as it appears to 
me, introduction of new names is greatly to be regretted. 


Aloud, too, was heard the Campan'ero's note, 
.As, afar o'er the dell, it seem'd frequent to float. 

mandible notched ; nostrils covered with bristles ; tongue sharp, 
cartilaginous, bifid ; middle toe connected at the base to the 
outmost. The following seem most worthy of notice: 

The Garrulus, Waxen-Chatterer, European-Chatterer, 
Silk-Tail, Bohemian- Wax-Wing, or BohemianChattei'er f in size 
resembles a starling; the head is crested, which, and the upper 
parts, are vivacious brown, dashed with ash-colour ; beneath 
pale purplish ash-colour ; it is said to appear annually about 
Edinburgh, and to feed on the berries of the mountain ash; it 
is also said to breed in parts more northerly, and to form its 
nest in the holes of rocks; found also occasionally in the 
southern parts of the kingdom. 

The Carnifex, Red-Chatterer, or Scarlet- Cot inga, is seven 
inches long ; crest, lower part of the back, rump, thighs, and 
lower part of the belly bright crimson ; the rest of the plumage 
dull red ; inhabits South America ; its cry like the word ouette. 
Another, the Coccinea, is called Scarlet-Chatterer. Ano- 
ther, the Militaris, the size of a crow, has the whole plumage 
crimson, inclining to pompadour red ; found in Guiana, but 
scarce. And another, the Pompadora, or Pompadour-Chat - 
terer, has the plumage, in general, a fine glossy purplish red ; 
found also in Guiana. 

The Variegala, or Variegated-Chatterer, called, occa. 
sionally, Bell-bird, is eleven inches long; general colour of 
the body pearly-white, inclining to dove on the back; wings 
black; from the chin to the middle of the breast, spring numerous 
narrow flat and elongated fleshy appendages, about one inch 
aud a quarter in length; voice loud, and heard a great way off; 
makes two kinds of noise, for about six weeks only, in the months 
of December and January ; one like a hammer striking on a 
wedge ; the other similar to the noise of a cracked bell; found 
in South America, particularly Guiana. 


The White-bellied-Darter^ 1 ) his power display'd; 
The Terns ( m ) noisy, daring, of nought were afraid. 

The Carunculata, Carunculated-Chatterer, Bell-Birp, 
or Campanero, is twelve inches long ; the whole plumage in the 
male white, in the female olive-green ; on the forehead a fleshy 
caruncle or tube, nearly three inches long, which may be 
erected at pleasure ; when filled with air it looks like a spire, 
when empty it becomes pendulous like that of a turkey-cock ; 
it is jet black, dotted all over with small white feathers: nest 
on tall trees ; eggs four, greenish; voice so loud as to be heard 
for half a league ; Waterton says three miles! notes composed 
of two syllables — In, An, uttered in a drawling tone ; it has 
been compared, as in the variegated species, to the sound of a 
bell, and hence one of its names ; inhabits South America, par- 
ticularly Guiana. 

The Murasing-Chatterer is found at Calcutta. 

( 2I ) Order, Anseres, {Linn.) Darter, Ahinga. 

The genus Plotus, (Linn.) or Darter, consists of a very 
few species j five have been described; they have a straight, 
pointed, toothed bill; the nostrils with a little slit near the 
base ; face and chin naked ; legs short ; all the toes connected ; 
they have also a small head and slender neck, and are chiefly 
seen in southern climates ; they live principally on fishes, which 
they take by darting forward the head, while the neck is con- 
tracted like the body of a serpent. 

The Anhinga, Whlte-eellied-Darter, Ahinga, or Snake- 
bird, has the body above black ; belly white ; head, neck, and 
breast, reddish-grey ; tail-feathers twelve, broad, long ; two 
feet ten inches long ; inhabits Brazil, and many other parts of 
America ; builds on trees ; when at rest sits with the head 
drawn in between the shoulders ; flesh oily and rancid. The 
Melanogaster, or Black-bellied-Darter, is three feet long; 
inhabits Ceylon and Japan; three or four other varieties 


The Noddy, too, sought, midst the sea-birds, delight; 
The Larids in air look'd exultant and bright. 

found in Cayenne and Senegal. The Surinamensis, or Surinam- 
Darter, is thirteen inches long; has the head crested; the 
belly white ; is domesticated ; feeds on fishes and insects ; is 
very active ; inhabits Surinam ; Dr. Latham has arranged this 
last under his genus Fin-foot, which see. 

( s2 ) Order, Anseres, ( Linn.) Tern, the Common, the Black, 
the Lesser; the Sandwich ; Noddy. 

The genus Sterna, (Linn.) or Tern, comprehends between 
forty and fifty species, four of which are found in this country ; 
they have a subulate, straight, pointed bill; wings very long, 
tail mostly forked ; feet small, webbed ; they are clamorous 
and gregarious, assembling in large flocks ; with us they are 
migratory, leaving our shores regularly on the approach of 
winter. The following are specimens : 

The Hirundo, Common, Greater-Tern, Sea-Swallow, or 
Gull-Teazer, is fourteen inches long; the bill and legs red ; the 
top of the head black; beneath the eyes, the neck, and all the 
under parts, white ; back and wings of an ash-colour ; tail 
forked and white, except the outer web of the exterior feathers, 
which is black ; it has a slender but elegant form, most 
beautiful plumage, and is the most active fisher of all the 
aquatic tribe ; it is a noisy and restless bird, constantly on the 
wing in search of insects or small fish ; but though web-footed, 
is said never to swim or dive ; it is most commonly known by 
the name of sea-swallow, its actions being similar to those of that 
bird ; it is called gull-teazer on the south coast of Devonshire, 
where it is frequently seen to pursue and persecute the lesser 
gulls, till they disgorge their food, which it dexterously catches 
before it reaches the water ; it comes to this country in the 
spring ; laying on our flat sandy shores three or four eggs, it is 
said in sand, the size of a pigeon's, olivaceous brown, spotted 


Curacoas Globose, C 3 ) and the Crying, were there ; 
And many Black Swans, that of yore were so rare,* 

with dusky ; these are, it is also said, hatched without much at« 
tention of the female. This species is found in great abundance 
on the Canary Islands. It leaves this country on the approach 
of winter. 

The Fissipes, Black-Tern, Cloven-footed-Gull, Pease-Crow, 
or Car-Swallow, is less than the common-tern, but is similar in 
its manner to that bird ; it breeds also in this country. The 
Minuta, Lesser-Teh n, Smaller-Tern, Lesser- Sea- Swallow, or 
Richel-Blrd, is the smallest of the tribe, not measuring more 
than eight inches and half long; it is an elegant bird, and has 
also the habits of the common-tern ; breeds in the same places, 
but is far less numerous. The Cantiaca, Sandwich-Tern, 
Kamtschutka-Tern, or Cloven-footed-Gull, is the largest of the 
British terns, being in length eighteen inches; it is a beautiful 
bird, but by no means so plentiful as the other species; it is 
said to breed on the coast of Kent, near Sandwich. 

The Slolida, or Noddy, is also another species that may be 
mentioned ; the body is black ; front whitish ; eye brown- 
black ; hind head cinereous; bill and legs black ; fifteen inches 
long ; inhabits within the tropics. 

( 23 ) Order, Galling, (Linn.) Cura<joa, the Crested, the 
Globose, the Cashew, the Crying. 

The genus Crax, (Linn.) Cura^oa, Curassow, or Curasso, 
consists of eight species, having the bill strong, thick, and the 
base of each mandible covered with a cere; nostrils in the 
middle of the cere; feathers covering the head revolnte; tail 
large, straight, expansile : they are all inhabitants of South 
America; the chief of which are as follow : 

* Ruru avis hi terris nigroque simillima cygno. 

Juvenal, Sat. vi« 
See note (4,) part I. 


On the waters were pleas'd their dark plumes to 

While elegant gracefulness waits on their way. 

The Alector, Crested-Curacoa, Curasmv, Indian-Cock, 
Pheasant-Cock, Hocco, or Pheasant-of -Guiana, sometimes called, 
from the noise it makes, Powese, has the cere yellow ; body 
black ; belly white. Three other varieties, differing in the 
colour of the cere or the belly. The females differ from the 
males in their colours, but in no other external mark ; three feet 
loog ; feeds on fruits, and roosts on trees ; inhabits the moun- 
tainous woods of South America ; flesh good. They are fre- 
quently brought up tame in the Dutch settlements of Guiana. 
They breed freely in the menageries of Holland, and have also 
bred in this country, but the climate does not seem sufficiently 
warm for them. 

The Globicera, Globose-Curaqoa, or Curassow, has the 
body blackish-blue, lower part of the belly white; size of 
the last ; inhabits Guiana. The Pauxi, or Cashew-Cura^oa, 
has the cere blue; body blackish ; belly and tip of the tail 
white ; size of the two preceding ; inhabits New Spain. 

The Galeata, Galeated-Cura^oa, or Curassow, has the 
crown with a horny cone ; body black ; nearly as large as a 
turkey 5 inhabits the Island of Curacoa. The Vociferans, Crying- 
Curaqoa, or Curassow, is brown ; belly whitish ; bill and breast 
blue ; size of a common fowl ; a noisy clamorous bird ; inhabits 
the mountainous parts of Mexico. 

It will be perceived at the commencement of this article, that 
this genus has too often corrupted names applied to it ; I have 
endeavoured to restore the true one, being Curaqoa, from the 
island so called. The term Hocco is applied to this tribe of 
birds by the French. 


From the fertile, moist meadow, palm grove pic- 

Came the splendid Toucans (* 4 ) with bills huge and 

Toucanets, mewing Cat-Birds, and Cocks of the 

All fearlessly mix'd with the feathery flock. 

The Night-Raven's note, Qua, was oft heard 'midst 
the throng ; 

The huge Adjutant stalk'd the grallators among. 

( 2 *) Order, Pic^e, (Linn.) Toucan, the Yellow-breasted, 
the Green, Toucanets. 

The genus Ramphastos, (Linn.) or Toucan, comprehends 
eighteen species, distinguished by an enormous convex bill, 
which has a most grotesque appearance, being something like 
the shape of a mask with a large and long nose, constructed to 
surprise and frighten children ; the tongue is not less singular 
than the bill, exactly resembling a feather shut up in a large 
case. They belong to the scausorial tribe, and have, like the 
parrots, two toes before and two behind. They make much 
noise, particularly a hissing sound, which is heard at a conside- 
rable distance. They build in the holes of trees, which have 
been scooped out by the woodpecker. They lay only two eggs; 
they are spread over all the warm, parts of America, and, being 
very sensible to cold, never quit it. They feed, it is said, prin- 
cipally upon the fruit of the palm tree, and swallow their food 
whole ; but the latest observations on the food of this tribe tend 
to shew that, during the season of incubation, at least, they feed 
on the eggs and young]of other birds. The feathers of the toucan 
are greatly admired by the Brazilians, who make them up into 
articles of dress. The following are the chief : 

The Tucanus, or Yellow-breasted-Toucan, is blackish ; 
abdominal band, vent, and rump, yellow ; cheeks, chin, and 


The Eider-Duck came with some other sea-fowl ; 
In much state appear'd, also, the Great-Eagle-Owl. 
The Coquimbo-Owl, also, the Burrowing, too, 

came ; 
Both by singular habits are known unto fame.* 
The Rosy rob'd Spoonbill, ( 2S the Crimson rob'd too, 
In g-audiness flaunted, not pleasing to view; 

neck, orange; legs and claws lead colour; nineteen inches long; 
feeds upon pepper, as do several other species of the genus » 
inhabits South America ; the natives of Cayenne glue the skin 
and feathers of the neck of this bird upon their cheeks by way 
of ornament. 

The Viridis, Green-Toucan, or Grigi, is green ; belly yel- 
low ; rump red; fourteen inches long; inhabits and feeds like 
the last; bill not so enormous as some of the other species, 
being only about four inches and a half in length. 

The Toucan ets are, of course, the smaller species of Toucans; 
they are mentioned by Waterton, but not specifically de- 
scribed by him: it is much to be regretted that this gentleman 
has not been more scientifically descriptive of the many birds 
which he has mentioned in his Wanderings in South America. 

A Toucan is to be seen alive and in remarkable activity at 
the Zoological Society in Bruton-street. 

( 2S ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Spoon-eill, the White, the 
Roseate, the Dwarf. 
The genus Platalea, (Linn.) or Spoonbill, consists of five 
species, one of which, the Leucorodia, is found occasionally in 
this country. The distinguishing characteristics of this tribe is 
its singular bill, having, as its name imports, the shape of a 
spoon; its singularity does not, however, consist merely in its 
shape, but also in its structure, for it is not hard like the beaks 
of other birds, but soft and flexible like leather ; it is commonly 

* For an account of the Owls, see note (41,) part I. 


While Canary-Birds fluttered the branches among, 
And now warbled apart, now in concert a song. 
The Tropic-Bird ( 2S ) swift, too, was seen in mid sky; 
And that Tyrant, the Shrike, you might also descry. 

seven inches long, and nearly two in breadth towards the point; 
all round the upper mandible runs a rim which covers the 
lower one ; the nostrils are small, at the base of the bill ; tongue 
short, pointed ; feet semi-palmated. The following are the 

Of the Leucorodia, White-Spoon sill, Spoonbill, or Pelican, 
there are three varieties. The first has the body white; chrn 
black; hind-head subcrested: the second has the wings varied 
with black and white; legs yellowish: and the third has the 
body all white ; legs flesh-colour ; two feet eight inches long;' 
feeds on fishes, frogs, snakes, and grass; builds in high trees ; 
eggs three or four, white, with reddish spots ; flesh resembles a 
goose, especially when young ; inhabits Europe and Asia, and 
is seen occasionally in this country. 

The Ajaja, or Roseate-Spoonbill, has the body rosy; tail- 
coverts scarlet ; another variety blood-red; neck white; collar 
black ; tail-feathers scarlet ; two feet three inches long ; the first 
variety inhabits Guiana and Brazil ; the last Mexico and Jamaica. 

The Pygmaa, or Dwarf-Spoonbill, has the body above 
brown, beneath while. 

In the European Spoonbill both mandibles are black, brown, 
or grey; the beak of the American Spoonbill is of a red colour, 
resembling its feathers ; all the different species are inhabitants 
of the sea-coast ; they are sometimes met with in vast flocks. 
Notwithstanding the brilliant colours of the American species, 
the spoonbill is generally considered an ugly bird. The Leu- 
corodia is found in great plenty in Holland. 

( 26 ) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Tropic-Bird, the Common, 
the Black- Billed, the Red-Tailed. 

The genus Phaeton, (Linn.) or Tropic-Bird, compre- 
hends four species only, distinguished by a sharp-edged, straight, 


The Tanager touch'd with much feeling his lute; 
The diminutive Tody ( 27 ) was there in green suit. 

pointed bill, the gape of the mouth reaching beyond ; nostrils 
oblong ; hind toe turned forward. The chief are as follow : 

The Mthereus, or Common-Tropic-Bird, has the head, 
neck, and beneath white; back, rump, and less wing-feathers, 
streaked with white, mixed with black ; two middle tail fea- 
thers black at the base; bill three inches long; size of a widgeon, 
yet its length, with the tail, two feet ten inches ; flies very high ; 
feeds on fishes ; often seen on the backs of tortoises ; seldom 
on land, except at breeding time ; inhabits the tropics. Two 
other varieties. 

"Though faster than the tropic-bird they flew." 

Grainger's Sugar Cane, Book iii. 

The Melanorhynchos , or Black-eilled-Tropic-Bird, has 
the bill black; is above streaked with black and white; be- 
neath white; nineteen and a half inches long; inhabits Fal- 
merston and Turtle islands. 

The Phcenicurus, or Red-tailed-Tropic-Bird, is of a rosy 
flesh-colour; bill red; length two feet ten inches, of which the 
two middle tail feathers, which are red, measure one foot nine 
inches ; builds in hollows in the ground, under trees ; eggs 
two, yellowish-white, with rufous spots. Inhabits the Mauritius 

( 27 ; Order, Pic^e, {Linn.) Tody, the Green, the King, &c. 

The genus Todus, {Linn.) or Tody, consists of nearly thirty 
species, mostly inhabiting the warmer parts of America ; they 
have a subulate, depressed, obtuse, straight bill, covered at the 
base with bristles; feet gressorial ; this tribe are nearly allied 
to the fly-catchers, but have the middle and outer toes much 
connected, which in the fly-catchers are divided at the base. 
The chief are the following : — 

The Viridis, otGreen-Tody, Green-Sparrow, Green-Humming- 


Woke his flute to wild cadence the Red-breasted- 

And the sweet, shy Wood-Robin* was heard with a 

" hushP' 
He, rehearsing his strain, in the woodlands apart, 
Touch'd with magical sympathy many a heart, 
And, at length, his rich notes, bursting forth into song, 
Thus arrested, in silence, the listening throng : 

Bird, or Ground- Parakeet, has the upper parts of the body in the 
female green, in the male blue ; size of a wren ; the bill is red ; 
back light-blue; belly white; the throat and sides a beautiful 
rose-colour; the claws are long and hooked, adapted to scoop 
out holes in the ground, where it takes up its abode and 
builds its nest, which it lines with straw, moss, cotton, and 
feathers; eggs grey, with deep yellow spots; the young is fed 
with insects and small worms : inhabits St. Domingo. 

The Regius, or King-Tody, is blackish-brown, reddish be- 
neath ; crest chesnut, spotted with white at the tip ; chin and 
eyelids white; bill dusky-brown ; breast with transverse black- 
ish lines ; legs flesh-colour. This singular and beautiful species 
inhabits Cayeune ; it is, however, a very rare bird ; seven inches 

The Platyrhyncos, or Broad-billed-Tqdy, is yellowish- 
brown, beneath yellow ; chin and spot on the crown white ; 
wings and tail brown ; bill very large and broad ; size of the 

The Obscurus, or Obscure-Tody, is olive-brown; beneath 
yellowish-white ; size of the hedge-sparrow ; found in North 
America ; feeds on insects. 

* For an account of this bird and the Red-breastediThrush, 
see the Wood-Thrush's Evening Song. 


Turdus Melodus. — (Wilson.) 

Liberty, Liberty, dearest of treasure — 
Give me of freedom an o'erflowing measure ! 

Columbia ! Columbia ! the home of the free, 
Who of the earth is so happy as thee ? 

Peace with her olive branch waving her hand — 
One brotherhood binds thee, my dear Native Land! 

Made were thy Prairies, Woods, Mountains, and 

For us, and for man - , too — a home for the free. 

Liberty, Liberty, dearest of treasure- 
Give me of freedom an o'erflowing measure T 

* The reader will be so obliging as to recollect that the 
Wood-Robin and the Wood-Thrush is the same bird: the evening 
song of this charming bird is, therefore, that entitled the 
Wood-Thrush's Evening Song • the two names have been adopted 
both for euphonious convenience and variety. The following 
lines, used as a simile in Carrington's Twin's Lament, are 
very descriptive of the locality of this bird's nest : a coincidence, 
of course, purely accidental. 

" His home, 
— A quiet nest embosom'd deep 
In woods of some soft valley, where the hand 
Of plunderer comes not, and the sudden gale 
But seldom shrieks, and silence sweetly spreads 
O'er all her downy wing.'' 



Turdus Melodus. — (Wilson.) 

Yes, Bird of melodious note ! unto thee 
Shall ever be sacred the home of the free ! 
There may Liberty flourish — extend her broad shade, 
And Knowledge delight in the home she hath made. 
And oh ! might a wish for the welfare of men 
Be heard, and prevail over mountain and glen, 
Where the fierce tropic sun rolls his chariot along, 
And Slavery still dwells western regions among; 
Then, should gentle Benevolence, warm from the 

Flow in streams of Persuasion — pure lessons im- 
part — 
Then, should Truth and should Justice together be 

found ; — 
And knowledge diffuse far her radiance around ; — 
The Slave become free, and his Master his 

Friend ; 
And thus Happiness widely her blessings extend. 
Yes, Bird of melodious note ! unto thee, 
Unto man, too, be sacred the Home of the Free !* 

* See this subject farther pursued in the piece towards the 
conclusion of this work, entitled the Hill of Freedom. 


Of mercy the emblem in annals of fame, 
With her pouch full of fish, the White Pelican ( 28 ) 
came ; 

( 28 ) Order, Anseres, (Linn.) Pelican, Cormorant, Shag, 
Booby, Frigate-Pelican, Gannet. 
The genus Pelecanus, {Linn.) or Pelican, comprehends 
nearly forty species scattered over the globe, three or four 
common to this country. The hill is long, straight, hooked at 
the end ; nostrils an obliterated slit; toes four, palmate. These 
birds are extremely expert at catching fishes with their long 
bills, and are often tamed for this purpose. They are gregarious 
and voracious. The following are the principal: — 

The Onocrotalus, White-Pelican, or Pelican, is white, gullet 
pouched ; bill red, from fifteen to sixteen inches long ; upper 
mandible depressed, broad, the lower forked ; the gular pouch 
is flaccid, membranaceous, of a red or yellowish colour, and ca- 
pable of great distention ; head naked, at the sides covered with 
a flesh-coloured skin. It is by far the largest of the genus, the 
wings, when extended, being from ten to twelve feet ; the pouch, 
which will contain when distended ten quarts of water, answers 
the purpose of a crop, and is used by the bird to contain food 
both for itself and for its yourrg, which, when hatched, are fed 
with the fishes which have been for some time macerated in the 
pouch. This bird is easily tamed ; but it is a disagreeable and 
useless domestic, and its flesh unsavoury. Whatever food is 
given it, it always first commits to the pouch, and afterwards 
swallows at leisure. It is universally spread over all the warm 
latitudes of both the old and new continents ; has been seen, 
although rarely, in this country. In Asia they are pretty 
numerous, migratory, and fly in wedge-shaped flocks. Eggs 
two cr more, white, the size of those of a swan ; time of incuba- 
tion the same as that bird. Great numbers are killed for their 
pouches, which are converted by the native Americans into 
purses, &c. When carefully prepared, the membrane is as soft 
as silk, and sometimes is embroidered by the Spanish ladies for 


The once-believ'd fable of blood from her breast 
Hath long since been set, and for ever, at rest. 

work-bags, &c. It is used in Egypt by the sailors, whilst at- 
tached to the two under chaps, for holding or baling water. 
The pouch extends from the point of the under mandible to the 
throat ; it admits of being greatly contracted. In disgorging 
the food the bird presses the bottom of the sack upon her 
breast, and thus the contents are discharged: hence the fable 
of feeding her young with her blood. ., It is an indolent lazy 
bird; the female takes very little care either of her eggs or her 
young. When it cannot obtain fish, it will feed on rats and 
small quadrupeds. Although the general colour of this bird is 
white, it becomes, it is said, as it advances in age, in many parts 
of the body, red. It lives sometimes 100 years. 

The Carbo, Cormorant, Corvorant, or Sea-Crow, is black; the 
neck long, size nearly that of a goose ; found in almost every part 
of the ocean; flesh eaten by navigators; it abounds on the sea- 
coasts of these kingdoms, but chiefly the north : it is very 
common also on the shores of the Bristol Channel. This bird 
was formerly domesticated in this country, and trained to fish 
for its owner ; it is still used in China for this purpose. It is 
subject to much variety both in size and colour : one described 
by Montague, unquestionably very large, was three feet three 
inches long, breadth four feet eleven inches, and weight eight 
pounds! It is usually, however, much less than this: not so 
large as a goose. Eggs three, white; nest, composed of sticks 
and sea-weed, is generally found on the summit of the highest 
rocks, near the sea. It is in the wintt r seen sometimes in fresh- 
water rivers, at a considerable distance from the sea. 

This bird has been usually considered greedy and rapacious ; 
so much so, indeed, that it has been often cited by writers, and 
particularly by the poets, as well as in the common language of 
life, as an emblem of greediness :— 

" Spite of cormorant devouring time.'' 



The imbecile fool Booby, the Gannet, the Shag; 
Ducks of all kinds; and Geese, amongst which the 

There were, too, Frigate-Pelicans soaring on high ; 
Those who sometimes proceed man himself to defy ; 

" Hence up he flew, and on the tree of life 

Sat like a cormorant." 


The Graculus, or Shag, called erroneously sometimes Crane, 
is black above, beneath brown; two feet and a half long; two 
other varieties ; in its general manners similar to the Cormorant, 
but keeps wholly to the salt water. Inhabits Europe and 
Ireland, and is common also to this country. Perches on and 
sometimes builds (as well as one of the varieties of the Cormorant) 
in trees, although both these birds have palmate feet. 

The Sula, or Booby, has a whitish body, quill feathers tipt 
with blackish; beneath white ; length two feet and a half; bill 
five, tail upwards of ten inches long. Inhabits South America 
and the neighbouring islands. It is an indolent, senseless, and 
cowardly bird, submitting to all sorts of depredations upon its 
happiness with indolent imbecility; yet is,occasionally,when much 
excited, ferocious. The man-of-war-bird (see the next species,) 
no sooner perceives it in the air, than it pounces upon it, not to 
destroy it, but to make it disgorge the fish which it has swallowed, 
which is snatched up by the voracious plunderer before it reaches 
the water. 

The Aquilus, Frigate-Pelican, Great-Frigate-Pelican, 
Frigate-Bird, or Man-of-War-Bird, has a forked tail, body 
black, bill red ; the male has the pouch deep red ; wing coverts 
rnfous; female belly white; three feet long; extent of the 
wings fourteen feet ; builds in rocks and trees ; eggs one or twoj, 
flesh-colonr, spotted with red ; feeds principally, if not entirely, 
op fish. This bird is one of the most formidable tyrants of the 


Fierce warriors o'er ocean pursuing their way, 

And who merciless pounce, as they pass, on their prey. 

ocean. When in flocks their audacity lias sometimes prompted 
them to brave even man himself. It is said a cloud of them at- 
tacked a crew of French sailors upon tbe Island of Ascension, 
and, till some of them were struck down, endeavoured to snatch 
the meat from their hands. From the length of their wings, 
when upon the ground or on the water they cannot easily take 
flight ; they are, therefore, rarely, if ever, seen on the water. 
Although having palmate feet, they perch commonly on trees 
or other eminences, where they also build: eggs one or two, 
fiesh-colour, spotted with crimson. Inhabits within the tropics. 
See the preceding article. 

The Bassanus, Gannet, Common-Gantiet, or Soland- Goose, has 
a white body ; bill and primary quill feathers black ; face blue ; 
length three feet ; three varieties ; one inhabits Cayenne, the 
other two Europe and America. The gannets are birds of 
passage, arriving in this country in March, and quitting it in 
August or September. Their chief food is herrings, although, it 
is said, they cannot dive for them. They are found in vast 
numbers on the rocky recesses of Scotland ; and particularly on 
the Bass rock, at the entrance of the Frith of Forth, whence 
this bird has obtained its specific name. Egg one ; but, if that 
be carried away, the female will lay twice or even thrice. The 
young grow very fat ; and, in St. Kilda, with the egg?, contri- 
bute to the support of the inhabitants, who contrive to take 
them by being suspended by a rope from precipitous rocks, two 
hundred fathoms from the ground. The eggs and food thus pro- 
cured are preserved in pyramidal stone buildings, covered with 
ashes, to defend them from moisture. Their winter retreat is 
said to be off the coast of Cornwall, far out at sea, and in every 
part of the British and Irish Channel, pursuing herrings and 
pilchards. See the Introduction. 


The Grakle( G9 ), loquacious, whose nests will be found 
The marge of the Osprey's to cluster around ; 

( 29 ) Order, Pue, (Linn.) Grakle the Minor, the Boat- 
tailed, the Crested, the Purple, &c. 

The genus Gracula, (Linn.) or Grakle, consists of nearly 
forty species, natives of India and South America, some of them 
of Europe. They have a thick convex bill, compressed at the 
sides, with small nostrils, and sharp hooked claws, the middle 
toe connected at the base with the outer. The following are 
the chief: — 

The Religiosa, or Minor-Grakle, is violet black, spot on 
the wings white; hind head with a yellow naked band. Another 
variety much larger ; both inhabit Asia ; the first is ten inches 
and half long ; feeds on cherries, grapes, and other fruits : when 
tamed exceedingly loquacious. 

The Barita, or Boat-tailed Graki.e, is greyish, shoulders 
blue; quill feathers outside green ; tail rounded and concave 
when folded, as it is when on the wing ; fiat when spread ; 
thirteen inches long; feeds on insects and fruits; inhabits 
America and the West Indies. 

The Quiscala, Purple-Grakle, or Crow-Blackbird, is 
violet black, tail rounded. Male thirteen and a half, female 
eleven and a half inches long; sings finely; lays five or six 
bluish eggs, with black striped spots : nests in great numbers on 
the same tree; and also sometimes near the Osprey's. See note 
1, part I., article Hali^eetos. When domesticated, feeds en 
all kinds of grain. Although very destructive to plantations, 
it clears them in a considerable degree from noxious insects, on 
which account the breed has been of late encouraged in the 
West Indies. It is a native of Mexico, the warm parts of 
America, and Jamaica. 

The Sturvlna is hoary, black on the crown and back ; between 
the wings violet black ; tail and wings with a shade of green. 


The Horn'd-Screamer ( 30 ), too, from the Savannah 
was there, 
Arm'd with spines on his wing, yet is said still to be 
Of birds the most harmless, affectionate he. 
And Grosbeaks, whose nests with what can we 

compare ? 
Fame reports, too, with worms* noctilucent and bright, 
They illumine their domes in the darkness of night ! 
But Fame oft misleads us from Nature and Truth, 
Her excitements deceive age, and manhood, and youth. 

In its eggs and nest resembles those of the thr ush ; inhabits 
the osier banks of Dauria. 

The Cristellata, or Crested-Guakle, is eight and a half 
inches long; inhabits China; is very loquacious, and makes a 
hissing noise. 

( 3 °) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Screamer, the Horned, the 


The genus Palamedea, (Linn.) or Screamer, consists of 
three species, having a conic bill, the upper mandible hooked, 
feet four- toed, cleft; a very small membrane connecting the 
toes at the root. They are as follow : — 

The Corwuta, or Horned-Screamer, has the wings with two 
spurs at the head of each ; front horned ; the head and upper 
part of the neck covered with short bristly feathers ; the rest of 
the plumage is longer, of a dark brown colour, mixed with 
green. The feet four inches long ; size of a large swan. The 
first spur on the wing is two inches long; the second half an 
inch. Notwithstanding this armour, it is said that this bird is 
the most gentle of all animals; that the male and female are 
always found in pairs, evincing great attachment for each other; 
that they are inseparable ; aud that, if one dies, the other does 

* Lampyris noctiluca, or Glow-worm. See page 177. 


He who Nature's great book would sincerely 
With dispassionate judgment phenomena views; 
Whatever he sees, and whatever his tact, 
He will always confine himself closely to fact ; 
Nor permits he wild wonder to dazzle his eyes, 
Nor yields Reason a captive to silly surprize ; 
If Discovery should give to some Novelty birth, 
Lets not Rapture esteem it beyond its own worth ; 
Lets not Poetry paint it in colours so fair, 
That when seen, void of Art, is nor splendid nor rare ; 
In fine, although led by fair Pleasure's soft hand, 
Still,observant of Nat uPvE, gives Truth the command. 

not long survive. It seems, nevertheless, most probable 
that the spurs on the wings are a defence against some 
noxious animals, which infest tire native regions of this 
bird. Feeds on herbs, seeds, and reptiles. Nest of 
weeds, and shaped like an oven ; eggs two. When alarmed, 
rises from the ground with a loud and continued screaming. 
Inhabits the fenny and marshy parts of South z\merica, where it 
is discovered by its voice, and hunted for its flesh; it is also 
domesticated for the same purpose. Called by the natives 

The Cristata, or Crested Scbeamer, has the wings unarmed, 
front crested ; size of a heron ; habits and place of abode 
similar to the last. Called by the natives Cariama, from the 
sharp cry which it makes, and which is compared to that of a 
turkey, but so loud as to be heard a mile off. Flesh delicate ; 
by some thought equal to the pheasant. 

This last is described by Dr. Latham as a separate genus, 
under the term Cariama. 

The other species is the Chaja, inhabiting Paraguay. 


While many a Warbler's and Oriole's song 
Were heard, in wild cadence, pimentas among, 
The Gold-breasted Trumpeter ( 3I ) shouted aloud; 
Of all harsh discordance he seems to be proud. 
The Grand Promerops*, too, in his beautiful gTeen, 
Other Hoopoes of splendour were also there seen. 

( 3I ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Trumpeter, the Gos.d- 
breasted, the Ujsdulate. 

The genus Psophia, (Linn.) or Trumpeter, consists of 
three species, distinguished by a cylindric, conic, convex, some- 
what pointed bill; the upper mandible larger; nostrils oval, 
pervious; tongue cartilaginous; feet four toed, cleft. The 
following are the chief: — 

The Crepitans, or Gold-breasted Trumpeter, is black, 
back grey ; breast shining blue green ; legs strong, tall, tail 
short; feathers of the head downy, of the lower part of the neck 
squamiform ; of the shoulders ferruginous, lax, pendulous, silky ; 
twenty inches long; makes a haish uncommon cry, not unlike 
a child's trumpet, and follows people through the streets with 
its disagreeable noise, so that it is difficult to get rid of it ; 
stands on'one leg, and sleeps with its head between its shoulders; 
eggs blue green. Inhabits Brazil and Guinea. When tamed, 
mixes with other poultry, and domineers even over the Guinea 
fowl ; follows its master in its walks; flesh good. — Waterton. 

The Undulata, or Undulate-Trumpeter, has the body 
above brown, waved with black, beneath bluish white ; size of 
a goose ; inhabits Africa. 

f See note (24,) Part I. 


The Orioles ( 32 ) presented a brilliant group : 
Some whose domes from one tree by whole centuries 

droop : 
The Persictjs, he whom sound wisdom hath taught 
That his welfare in union can only be sought ; 
From the Serpents — the Apes, his alembical nest, 
Moves secure o'er the breeze's soft billowy breast. 

( 32 ) Order, Ptc^, (Linn.) Oriole, the Hang-nest, the 
Baltimore, the Golden, the Icteric, the Red-winged, 
the Banana, the Black or Troupiole. 

The genus ORiOLUs r (Linn.) or Oriole, comprehends 
upwards of sixty species, chiefly inhabitants of America; one 
only, the Galbula, or Golden-Oriole, found occasionally in 
this country. They have a conic, convex, very sharp and 
straight bill ; tongue bifid; feet ambulatory. They are gre- 
garious, noisy, numerous, voracious, and great devourers of 
corn: they often build pendulous nests. The following are 
most deserving of notice: — 

The JSidipendulus, or Hang-nest Oriole ; for an account of 
which, see the Oriole's Song. 

The Baltimore, Baltimore-Oriole, Hang-nest, Hanging- 
Bird, Golden- Robin, Fire- Bird, Baltimore- Bird, is seven inches 
long; body above black, the rest orange; inhabits various 
parts of North America, often in flocks, migrating as far as 
Montreal to the north, and of Brazil to the south; most com- 
mon in Virginia ; has a clear mellow whistle, but can be scarcely 
termed a song. It attaches its nest to an apple-tree, a weeping- 
willow, or the Lombardy-poplar, in the American towns ; the 
nest is like a cylinder, five inches in diameter, seven in depth, 
and round at the bottom ; the opening at the top narrowed by 
a horizontal covering, two inches and half in diameter j the 
materials flax, hemp, tow, hair, and wool, woven into a com- 
plete cloth, the whole tightly sewed through and through with 



His clear mellow pipe loud the Baltimore blew, 
As round willows and poplars delighted he flew : 

long hopse hairs, several of which measure two feet in length ; 
the bottom consists of thick tufts of cow hair. 

*' High on yon poplar clad in glossiest green 
The orange, black-capp'd Baltimore is seen ; 
The broad extended boughs still please him best; 
Beneath the bending skirts he hangs his nest." 

Wilson's American Ornithology, 

The Galbula, Golden-Oriole, Golden-Thrush, Witwall, or 
Yellow-Bird'froni' Bengal, is pale-yellow ; outer tail-feathers on 
the hind part yellow; female dusky brownish-green; lateral 
tail-feathers yellowish-white ; nine and a half inches long ; 
feeds on cherries, berries, and insects ; inhabits Europe, Asia, 
and Africa ; occasionally seen in this country in the summer ; 
more common in France, where it breeds ; the nest is curiously 
shaped like a purse, and fastened to the extreme branches of 
tall trees ; it is made of the fibres of hemp or straw, mixed with 
fine dry stalks of grass, and lined with moss and liverwort ; eggs 
four or five, dirty white, with dark brown spots ; voice sharp ; 
flesh good. Four or five other varieties, found in Cochin-china 
and India. It is a migratory bird, and found in various parts 
of the European continent during the summer ; has been ob- 
served in Malta on its passage southward, and on its return in 
the spring northward ; supposed to winter in Africa and Asia. 
A nest, with young ones, was once, I understand, seen in 

The Icterus, or Icteric-Oriole, is tawny, nine and a half 
inches long ; active, bold ; builds a large cylindrical nest 
hanging from the extreme branches of a tree ; is domesticated 
in America for the purpose of destroying insects ; inhabits the 
warmer parts of America and the Caribbees. 

The Phceniceus, Red-winged-Oriole, or Red-winged-Star- 
ling of Wilson, is black, wing-coverts red; about nine inches 


The Niger sang sweetly; what time did the note 
Of the Hang-nest on zephyrs enchantingly float; 
Of the tawny Banana inscribe we the name, 
And forget not his nest in the annals of fame. 

long; builds a thick pensile nest between reeds, and just above 
the reach of floods ; eggs white, with a few black streaks; very 
destructive to rice plantations ; it devours, also, swarms of 
insects and worms ; inhabits in vast flocks from New York as 
far as New Spain. Found in the summer in the northern, in the 
whiter in the southern American States. Another variety in- 
habits Africa. 

The Persicus, Black-and- Yellow-Oriole, or Persic, of 
which there are three or four varieties, inhabits South America. 
It forms a pendent nest, shaped like an alembic, on the extreme 
branches of trees ; sometimes, it is said, hundreds are seen 
hanging from the same tree ; eggs dirty white, with small pale- 
brown spots. 

The Banance, Banana-Oriole, Bomna-Oriole, or Banana-bird, 
is tawny ; back, and quill, and tail-feathers, black ; seven inches 
long ; inhabits South America and the Caribbee Islands ; forms a 
nest of leaves and stalks the shape of a fourth part of a globe, sewed 
with great art to the under part of a banana leaf, so that the 
leaf itself makes one side of the nest. I have ventured to differ, 
even from Linnaeus himself, as well as subsequent naturalists, 
in the orthography of the specific name of this bird. The great 
Swede gives us Bonana ; but surely there can be no reason for such 
an orthography, as the bird forms its nest partly of the leaf of 
the Banana, (musa sapientum,) we ought not to depart from 
the orthography of that word. I also give it in the genitive 
case, as more expressive of the habit of this Oriole. 

The Niger, Black-Oriole, or Troupiole, is totally black* 
female greenish-brown ; ten inches long ; feeds on worms and 
beetles ; builds in trees about eight feet from the ground, and 



There was also the sawing bird Phytotoma ( 33 ) 

Those harshest of all notes, repeating Ra, Ra. 

With the fine English-Lady, ( 34 ) so named by 

French taste, 
The Vulture was honoured—the assembly was grac'd. 

lays five dusky eggs with black spots; it is gregarious, and, in 
breeding time, sings delightfully ; inhabits North America. 

For another Oriole, the Cowpen, see page 337 ; see also for- 
wards — the Weaver-Oriole. 

Most of the Oriole tribe are called Troupioles, or Troupiales, by 
many French naturalists: they are also called Troupioles by 

( 33 ) Order, Passeres, (Lath.) Plant-Cutter, the Chili, 
the Abyssinian. 

The genus Phytotoma, {Lath.) or Plant-Cutter, consists 
of two species, one of which, the Rvra, Chili-Plant-Cutter, 
or Sawing-bird , has the bill conic, straight, serrate; nostrils 
oval ; tongue short, obtuse ; feet four-toed ; the bjll is thick, 
half an inch long, and toothed on each side like a saw ; body 
above dusky-ash, beneath paler ; quill and tail-feathers spotted 
with black ; nearly the size of a quail ; has a harsh inter- 
rupted cry, Ra, Ra, whence its specific name ; feeds on fresh 
vegetables, which it cuts down near the roots with its bill as 
with a saw ; a pest to gardens ; builds in high shady trees ; 
eggs white, spotted with red ; inhabits Chili. 

The other species is the Abyssinian-Plant-Cutter, called 
by Linnaeus Loxia tridactyla, or Three-toed-Grosbeak ; it is 
the size of the common-grosbeak, but has only three toes. 

( 34 ) Order, Pic^e, (Linn.) Curucui, English-Lady, 

The genus Trogon, (Linn.) or Curucui, consists of ten 
species, ali natives of warm climates, chiefly Brazil ; they are 
named Curucui from the similarity of that sound to their voice ; 
the bill is shorter than the head, sharp-edged, hooked, th e man- 


The Couriers ( 3s ) came from Europe ; — the Creepek 

I sing, 
From New Zealand arriv'd — of the Creepers the king. 

The Manakin tuning his octave was there ; 
And many sweet Warblers ( 36 ) both splendid and 

rare : 

dibles serrate at the edge ; feet formed for climbing. The 
Curucui, or Red-bellied Curucui, the chief species, is about, 
ten inches long; the head, neck, and breast, a brilliant green, 
changing in different positions into a lively blue ; wings greenish- 
white, variegated with small lines of black in a zig-zag direction ; 
tail very long ; belly red; builds in the hole of some tree ; eggs 
three or four, nearly white, the size of a pigeon's ; the female 
during her incubation is supplied- with food, carefully watched 
by the male, and soothed by his song ; the female has also a me- 
lancholy accent during the season of love. The French in St. 
Domingo call this bird the English Lady, Found in various 
parts of South America. 

The Viridis, or Yellow-bellied-Curucui, is eleven inches 
and a half long ; song, or rather whistle, not unpleasant ; two 
varieties found in Brazil. The Indicus, or Indian Curucui, is 
found in India ; the Fasciatus, or Fasciated-Curucui, in 

( 35 ) Order, Grall^e, (Lath.) Courier. 

The genus Corrira, (Lath.) or Courier, consists of one 
species only, the Italica, or Italian-Courier, having a long 
straight bill, without teeth; thighs longer than the body; feet 
four-toed, palmate; the hind-toe not connected ; it is less than 
the curlew, and runs swiftly; inhabits Italy. 

( 36 ) The genus Motacilla, (Linn.) or Sylvia, as the War- 
blers are termed by Dr. Latham, has been described pretty 
copiously in the first Part ; but as the Warblers, peculiarly so 
called, are most common to tropical and other warm climates, 


The Pensilis, fam'd for perennial song, 

Was pleas'd, amid pines, his soft notes to prolong; 

and, as few are known in our own country, a separate notice of 
some of the most striking is here introduced. 

Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Warbler, the Superb, the 
Babbling, the African, the Thorn-tailed, the Yellow- 
Poll, the Palm, the Banana, the Pensile. 

The Cyanea, or Superb-Warbler, the most beautiful species 
of the whole genus, is five inches and a half long; colour black- 
blue, beneath white ; feathers of the head long, lax, turgid ; 
front, cheeks, and lunula of the neck, fine blue ; female brown 
above, beneath white ; blue round the eyes ; one other variety. 
Inhabits New Holland; the second variety Manilla. 

The Curruca, or Babbling-Warbler, is found in France, 
Italy, and India ; itJs a restless noisy bird, imitating the notes 
of other birds. 

The dfricam, or African -Warbler, which is move than 
seven inches long, inhabits the Cape of Good Kope. Its 
note is said to resemble a flute; flesh in much estimation. 

The Spinicauda, or Thorn-tailed-Warbler, is the size of 
a sparrow ; the chief peculiarity is its tail, which is cuneiform, 
and the feathers are almost bare of webs for one third of their 
length, ending in points. Inhabits Terra del Fuego, and found 
occasionally in Paraguay ; another variety at the Cape of Good 

The JEstiva, Yellow-Poll-Warbler, or Blue-eyed- 
Yellow-Warbler, inhabits America ; makes a soft noise* 
compared to that of a linnet. 

The Palmarum, or Palm-Warbler, is five inches long; 
plumage above brown, beneath dirty yellowish-white. Inhabits 
St. Domingo; its song consists of four or five notes only, not 
unpleasant. Found among palm-trees, in which it builds its 
nest; eggs two only. 


The Superb in rich robes flaunted by without lute ; 
And the African blew, as it pleas'd him, his flute ; 
One, the Babbling, was heard in a neighbouring vale; 
While the Motmot( 37 ) ran past with his singular tail. 

The Bananivora, Banana- Warbler, or Bananiste, is often 
seen on the bananas, on which it is supposed to feed ; song 
trifling ; inhabits St. Domingo. 

The Pensilis, or Pensile-Warbler, inhabits St. Domingo 
and the pine thickets of Georgia ; it is five inches long, and a 
most beautiful species ; nest very curious, hanging by the top 
and playing with every blast of wind ; the opening is beneath, 
through which the bird rises some way upward, over a kind of 
partition, and descends again to the bottom, on which the eggs, 
four, are laid on a soft downy matter. The nests are frequently 
seen suspended on the withes which hang from tree to tree, and 
chiefly such as are over water ; song very delicate, and con- 
tinued throughout the year; the female also sings, although not 
equal to the male ; feeds on insects and fruit ; breeds, it is said, 
two or three times a year. 

The Carolinensis, Louisiane-Wren, or Caroline- Wren, is five 
inches long ; inhabits various parts of South America ; called 
Tout-voix by the French ; song said to be little inferior to the 
nightingale ; nest like a melon ; the entrance to which is about 
the middle ; it is suspended between reeds, and lined with fea- 
thers ; it is made by the female, the male bringing her the ma- 

The Calendula, or Ruby-crowned- Wren, is larger than the 
Golden-crested-Wren ; plumage above olive, with a tinge of 
brown, beneath yellowish-white ; note loud ; it has also a 
pretty soft warbling one ; inhabits South Carolina and Georgia. 

( 37 ) Order, Pice, (Lath.) Motmot. 
The genus Momotus, (Lath.) or Motmot, consists of two 
species ; the characteristics are a strong, slightly curved bill, 
serrate at the edges; nostrils feathered; tongue feathered ; tail 


There, with loud and soft note, too, the Ruby-crown'd- 

Wren ; 
And the Caroline warbled most sweet in the glen. 
The Woodpeckers came, in their brightness array'd, 
Still " tapping," still scooping till holes they had made. 
For the poultry fit guardian and governing king, 
There the Faithful Jacana ( 38 ) with spines on his 


wedged; feet gressorial ; distinguished also from all other birds 
by having the two middle tail feathers quite naked of their 
vanes, for about an inch, at a small distance from the extremity. 
The Brasilicnsis, or Brazilian -Motmot, is bright green 
above, below a more obtuse shade of the same colour; length 
seven inches; bill conic, serrate ; toes three before, one behind. 
Found in South America ; feeds on insects ; shy, solitary, and 
almost incapable of flight. This bird is called by Edwards 
the Brazilian Saw-billed Roller, by Marcgrave,Guira- 


( 38 ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Jacana, the Chilese, the 
Chesnut, the Faithful. 

The genus Parra, (Linn.) or Jacana, comprehends more 
than ten species, natives of the warmer parts of Asia, Africa, 
and America; they have a tapering, somewhat obtuse bill; 
nostrils oval, in the middle of the bill ; front covered with 
lobate caruncles ; wings spinous. The following are some of the 
most interesting examples : 

The Chilensis, or Chilese-Jacana, has the bill two inches 
long ; neck, back, and forepart of the wings violet ; throat and 
breast black ; wings and short tail brown ; spurs on the wings 
yellowish, conic, bony, half au inch long, with which it de- 
fends itself; size of a Jay j noisy ; feeds on worms, &c; builds 
in the grass; eggs four, tawny, speckled with black. 

The Jacana, or Chesnut-Jacana, has the body chesnut- 


The Prince of the Waders, the huge Jabiru, ( 3& ) 
Up the dell in much Haste with a long serpent flew. 
The Crows, Rooks^ and Ravens, arriv'd rather late; 
The Wild-Turkies were many — affected much state. 

purple ; length ten inches ; very noisy ; flesh good ; inhabits 
watery places of South America. 

The Chavaria, or Faithful Jacan a, has the toes long; on 
the hind head a crest, consisting of about twelve black feather?, 
three inches long, pendent; body brown, belly light black; 
wings and tail blackish ; wing-spurs two or three, half an inch 
long ; size of a cock, and stands a foot and a half from the 
ground ; inhabits the rivers and inundated places near Cartha- 
gena in America. The natives keep one of these birds to 
wander with the poultry and defend them from birds of prey, 
which it does by the spurs on its wings : it never deserts its 
charge, bringing them home safely at night. It feeds on herbs ; 
its gait is slow; it cannot run unless assisted by its wings ; it 
flies, however, easily and swiftly j voice clear and loud. 

( 39 ) Order, Grall^e, (Linn.) Jabiru, the American, the 
Indian, the New Holland. 

The genus Mycteria, (Linn.) or Jabiru, comprises six 
species, distinguished by a sharp-pointed bill, a little bending 
upwards ; tongue small, or tongueless ; feet four-toed, cleft ; the 
following deserve notice : 

The Americana, or American-J abiru, is white, the plumage 
on the neck excepted, which is red; quill and tail-feathers 
purplish-black. It is one of the largest birds of Guiana, being 
more than four feet high and six in length. Its large black bill 
is a formidable weapon, being above thirteen inches long, and 
at the base three in thickness ; feeds chiefly on fish, but destroys 
serpents and other reptiles ; is gregarious and migratory ; eggs 
two ; nest iu trees hanging over water. 

The Asiatica, or Indian-Jabiru, is white; band over the 



The Fly-Catchers ( 40 ) also flew darting along, 
While the Mocking-Bird warbled some other bird's 

eyes, lower part of the back, quill and tail feathers, black ; 
feeds on shell fish ; inhabits India. 

The Novce-Hollandia:, or New-Holland-Jabiru, has the 
body above purplish-green, beneath, neck, and shoulders, 
white ; head purplish, spotted with white ; first quill feathers 
white ; tail black and white ; inhabits New Holland. 

( 4 °) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Fly-Catcher, the Spotted, 
the Pied, the Fantailed, &c. 

The genus Muscicapa, (Linn.) or Fly-Catcher, compre- 
hends more than one hundred and seventy species scattered 
over the warmer parts of the globe; the greater number inhabi- 
tants of Australasia and Polynesia ; two found in this country. 
They have a bill nearly triangular, notched at each side, bent 
in at the tip, and beset with bristles at the root ; toes, mostly, 
divided at their origin. The following deserve notice : 

The Grisola, Spotted-Fly-catcher, Cobweb, Rafter, Bee- 
bird, Cherry-sucker, or Chanchider, is about the size of a titlark ; 
body above brown, beneath whitish ; neck longitudinally spot- 
ted. Inhabits Europe ; comes to this country some time in 
May, and quits it in September ; builds in holes of walls or 
hollow trees ; eggs four or five, pale, spotted with reddish ; 
feeds on winged insects, but is fond also of cherries ; frequently 
seen in woods where flies abound, darting in every direction in 
pursuit of them ; its note a simple weak chirp. 

The Atricapilla, Pied-Fly. Catcher, or Cold-Finch, is about 
the size of a Linnet, and occasionally seen in this country, and is 
said to be indigenous here ; it is, however, a scarce bird, said 
to frequent uncultivated tracts of furze, and probably builds 


Delight of Columbia!* her woods, unto thee, 
For ever be hallowed that home of the free, 
Which the Spirit of Britain for ever pervades — 
Her hills and her vallies and far distant shades.f 

The A'edon is rusty-brown, beneath yellowish-white ; size of 
the reed-thrush, and sings delightfully in the night; inhabits 
Dauria. The Rubicollis, orPuRPLE-THROATED-FLY-CATCHER, 
is black ; chin and throat with a large purple-red spot ; twelve 
inches long ; gregarious; often associates with the toucan ; 
inhabits South America. The Flabellifera, or Fan-taileo- 
Fly-Catcher, is above olive, beneath ferruginous; length six 
and a half inches ; flies with its tail expanded like a fan ; is 
easily tamed, and will sit on the shoulders and pick off flies as 
they appear. 

The Carolinensisf Cat-Fly-Catcher, or Cat-bird, (the Turdus 
lividus of Wilson,) is nine inches long ; very common and very 
numerous in the United States; colour a deep slate; notes 
more remarkable for singularity than for melody ; mews like a 
cat, or rather, according to Wilson, like a young kitten ; it 
also imitates the notes of other birds ; attacks snakes. To the 
stories told of the fascination of snakes, Wilson gives no credit. 

* For one song of the Mocking-Bird, see the Song of the 
Manakin, and page 405; for the Mocking-Bird's Night Song, 
see the conclusion of the second Part. 

f The reflection that the pervading mind of the United States 
of America is essentially British — liberal, intelligent, is pecu- 
liarly gratifying to a native of the United Kingdom. May 
nothing, for the future, occur to disturb the harmony now sub- 
sisting between us and our kindred of the west ! 



Turdus Polyglottus. — (Linn. 

Bird of Mockery ! Bird of Song I 

To thee all discord's notes belong. 
When, risen from his couch, the day 
To ruddy labour hastes away, 
And many a scansor's screaming' note 
Through wood, o'er dell, is heard to float, 
Thy mimic voice is present, loud, 
As though of all discordance proud : 
The Bell-bird's clang — the Parrot's prate— 
Toucans loud hiss of fearful hate — 
The Cat-bird's mew — Goatsucker s Ha! 
The Sawing-bird's harsh a grating Ra — 
By thee sent forth in mimic song ; 
To thee all discord's notes belong. 
But now, with silence, wait awhile; — 
What sounds shall soon the sense beguile! 
Some Warbler, tenant of the shade, 
Sends forth his song of sweetness made ; 
By Thee the strain is instant caught, 
And with more mellow sweetness wrought ! 

Bird of Mockery ! Bird of Song! 

To thee all pleasing notes belong. 


When day resigns to night his reign, 
And stillness stretches o'er the plain, 
Then, Bird of Melody ! thy note 
Doth on the gales of ether float. 
That note harmonious, truly thine, 
Approaches strains almost divine : 
When lifts the moon her lamp on high, 
And dashes light o'er earth and sky, 
Its warbling echoes onward roll, 
And lap in feeling's bliss the soul. 

Bird of Mockery ! Bird of Song ! 

To thee all pleasing notes belong. ( 41 ) 

( 4I ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Mocking-Bird. 

The Turdus Polyglottus, (Linn.) Mocking-Bird, or Mimic- 
Thrush, belongs to the numerous genus Turdus described in 
note (45) of the first Part. Its colour is above dusky-ash, beneath 
pale-ash; primary quill feathers white on the outer half; nine and 
a half inches long; female nearly like the male ; feeds on berries, 
fruits, and insects ; eggs four or five, cinereous blue, spotted 
with brown ; has two broods in a year ; found in America, 
from the States of New England to Brazil, and in many of the 
adjacent islands ; more numerous in those states south of the 
Delaware ; generally migratory in the latter and resident in the 
former ; a warm climate and low country not far from the sea are 
most congenial to it; sings occasionally as early as February ; builds 
in Georgia in April, in Pennsylvania in May, and in New York 
and the New England States still later ; prefers a thorn bush, an 
impenetrable thicket, an orange tree, a cedar or a holly bush ; 
sometimes a pear or apple tree, often a short distance from a 
dwelling-house ; time of incubation fourteen days, during which 
the male will attack both cats and snakes with great courage ; 


The Great-Crown'd-Indian-Pigeon came cooing 

Of whom might the Papuan regions be proud. 

the pretended fascination of these last being ineffectual, this 
bird frequently destroying the noxious reptile. 

The mocking-bird forms a striking exception to what is 
generally esteemed the character of the birds of the new world, 
where the rich, lively, and brilliant hues of the feathered race 
are very often accompanied with harsh, monotonous, and disa- 
greeable notes, but the mocking-bird is the most melodious of 
all birds, the nightingale not excepted. Besides the charms of 
its natural song, it has the power of imitating or counterfeiting 
the notes of every bird of the woods ; and, it is said, too, that 
the songs which it repeats it improves. With all these qualifi- 
cations it is of very ordinary appearance compared with other 
birds in the American woods. It is, however, fond of the vi- 
cinity of man, and easily domesticated ; it perches upon trees 
near the planter's houses ; and sometimes upon the chimney tops, 
where it remains all night, pouring forth the sweetest and most 
varied notes. From all that can be gathered concerning the 
song of this bird, it appears that during the day its chief notes 
consist of the imitations of the songs of its neighbours ; at night 
its song is more peculiarly its own. It is in accordance with 
this impression that two songs of the mocking-bird are given in 
the text. See forwards. 

It ought, however, to be mentioned, that different accounts 
are given of this bird's song. Mr. Southey, in his Madoc, has 
thus alluded to the Mocking-bird : 

" Or gladlier now 

Hearkening that chearful one, who kuoweth all 

The songs of all the winged choristers 

And in one sequence of melodious sounds 

Pours all their music." 

Madoc, vol. ii. page 48. 


The Ground-Pigeons tiny, from mountainous nest, 

Came also to visit the King of the West. 

In notes of sad seeming the Blue-Turtle-Dove 

Evinc'd for his mate most affectionate love. 

Of the Passengers, too, many myriads were there, 

And in cloudy-wav'd columns they darken'd the air. 

In a note, page 235, of the same volume, Mr. Southev men- 
tions Davis's Travels in America, and the Blocking-bird. A 
negress was heard to exclaim, " Please God Almighty, how 
sweet that mocking-bird sing ! he never tire." 

" By day and night it sings alike ; when weary of mocking 
others the bird takes np its own natural strain, and so joyous 
a creature is it that it will jump and dance to its own music. 
The bird is perfectly domestic, the Americans holding it sacred." 
" Would," exclaims Mr. Southey, " that we had more of these 
humane prejudices in England — if that word may be applied 
to a feeling so good in itself and in its tendency." 

The native notes of this bird, Wilson informs ns, consist of 
short expressions of two, three, or, at the most, of five or six 
syllables, generally interspersed with imitations, and all of them 
uttered with great emphasis and rapidity, and are continued 
with undiminished ardour for half an hour or an hour at a time. 
They have considerable resemblance to those of the Brown- 
Thrush, another American bird, but may be easily distinguished 
by their greater rapidity, sweetness, energy, and variety ; both 
are called in many parts of the United States, Mocking-bird ; 
but the brown thrush is the French, the other the English mocking- 
bird. While this bird sings, his expanded wings and tail, his 
buoyant gaiety of action, arrest the eye as his song irresistibly 
does the ear; he mounts or descends as his song dies away j — 
he bounds aloft with the celerity of an arrow." (Bartram.) 

His imitations are wonderfully like the notes of the birds 
whom he imitates, so that the sportsmen are frequently deceived 


Besides these, many more came from regions re- 
But whom to description we cannot devote. 
Some sent by the Pigeon excuses to make ; 
Some alleged inability journies to take : 

by him. He loses little of his power and energy by confine- 
ment. He whistles for the dog ; he squeaks out like a hurt 
chicken : the mewing of a cat, the creaking of a wheelbarrow, 
the quivering notes of the canary, the clear whistling of the 
Virginian nightingale, are alike by him distinctly and accurately 

Both in his native and his domesticated state, during the 
stillness of night, as soon as the moon rises, he begins his solo, 
and during the whole of the night makes the neighbourhood 
ring with his inimitable melody. 

There is very little difficulty in rearing these birds in America. 
The eagerness with which they are sought after in the neigh- 
bourhood of Philadelphia has rendered them extremely scarce 
for many miles around that city. They have been known also 
to pair and breed there in confinement. The price paid for a 
mocking-bird at Philadelphia has been from seven to fifteen 
dollars ; fifty have been paid for a remarkably fine singer. 

We learn from a paper in the Philosophical Transactions, vol. 
lxii. part ii. page 284, by the Hon. Daines Barrington, that 
a mocking-bird was once to be heard in London ; but here, it 
seems, his notes were chiefly if not entirely the imitations of 
the notes of other birds: "his pipe," says Mr. Barrington, 
" comes nearest to our nightingale of any bird I have ever met 
with." It is also, I understand, now to be seen occasionally in 
London. A keeper of a menagery informs me that he gave five 
pounds for one not long since. 


As, the Ostrich, ( 42 ) and Emeu, well known in the 

east ; 
To credulity long both have furnished a feasts 

(+ 2 ) Order, Grall,e, (Linn.) Ostrich, Emeu, Cassowary, 


The genus Struthio, (Linn.) or Ostrich, is arranged by 
Dr. Latham as a separate order, (Struthiones,) consisting, 
with the Dodo, of four genera. It comprehends, without the 
Dodo, five species, not only the Ostrich so called, but also 
the Emeu, the Cassowary, and the Rhea. This tribe has 
been arranged under the order Gallinje by some authors. 
Its characteristics are a subconicbill; oval nostrils; wings unfit 
for flight ; feet formed for running. They are as follow : (the 
Dodo is described in the next note.) 

The Camelus, Ostrich, Black, or African-Ostrich, has 
the feet two-toed ; plumage of the male black ; quill feathers 
and those of the tail perfectly white : plumage of the female ash- 
colour ; wings and tail black $ height from the top of the head to 
the ground from seven to nine feet; length from the beak to 
the top of the tail the same ; weight from eighty to one 
hundred and fifty pounds, or perhaps more, and is said to be 
the largest of birds. It is found in Africa, and the parts of 
Asia adjoining, and in great plenty about the Cape of Good 
Hope. The female is larger than the male. 

From its scanty plumage and its great weight it cannot rise 
in the air ; the covering of the body of this bird is composed of 
downy hairs ; the thighs are large and muscular; the legs scaly ; 
the toes thick, having a striking similarity to those of a goat ; 
the inner toe, including the claw, is seven inches; the other, 
which is without a claw, is about four inches long ; the eyelids 
are furnished with hairs; on the breast is a callous, bare, and 
hard substance, serving the bird to rest on when it bends for- 
ward to sit on the ground ; on each wing are two spurs, about 
an inch in length, 


Their structure — their manners from fable apart. 
Are wondrous — then wherefore embellish with art ? 

It is said that it never drinks. In its natural state grains 
and fruit are its principal food ; but it will swallow, in confine- 
ment, almost every thing, and that with greediness, such 
as bits of iron, copper, glass, lead, &c, which sometimes 
prove fatal to it; it swallows pebbles in its natural state, 
most probably to assist the comminution of its food, like many 
other birds, although its interior structure has, it is said, a great 
affinity to that of quadrupeds. In some of our books of natural 
history it is stated that the heart and lungs of this bird are 
separated by a diaphragm; but Mr. Brookes, in a lecture at 
the Zoological Society, April 25, 1827, on the Ostrich which 
was lately dissected there, stated that the thorax and abdomen 
were not separated by a diaphragm ; and the drawing which he 
exhibited of the bird confirmed his statement. He also stated, 
as a remarkable fact, that the intestinal canal of the Ostrich 
was generally about eighty feet in length, while that of the 
Cassowary was considerably shorter* The rings in the trachea 
of this bird exceeded 200 in number •, its height was more than 
nine feet. See page 51. 

This bird was a female, Which had been in the possession of 
his Majesty for about two years; it died of obesity, and, from 
its appearance, its weight must have been, it is presumed, more 
than 150 pounds. Many gentlemen partook of the flesh. The 
sexual organs and the kidneys differ, it is said, materially from 
other birds ; it has also two stomachs ; the first is muscular, 
and appears to act by trituration, in the other there is a gastric 

This bird prefers for its residence those mountainous and 
parched deserts which are never refreshed by rain. In those 
solitary regions they are seen in vast flocks, and are there 
hunted on fleet Arabian horses, for their blood, their fat, and the 
feathers found in the wings and tail ; these last have been sought 
after more or less in all ages; it is said, however, that this bird 


But whether the timid, tall Rhea was there, 
As faithful historian, I cannot declare. 
Still, still doth the hunter, and thinks it no crime, 
This tribe closely pursue. — Oh, when come shall the 

is occasionally domesticated, and that the finest feathers are 
those obtained from the domesticated bird, from which they 
are cut about thrice in two years. The skin is substituted for 
leather by the Arabians. The flesh is said to be but indifferent 
food, and eaten only by the Africans. The cry of this bird is 
similar to that of a lion, but shorter. 

Various accounts of the eggs and incubation of this bird have 
been published ; the following is the most authentic, for which 
I am indebted to Dr. Latham's work. The male is polyga- 
mous, and, as has been stated, most probably highly salacious, 
he being frequently found with two or three, or even five, fe- 
males, who lay their eggs, which are white, in concert, to the 
number of ten or twelve each, which they all hatch together, 
the male taking his turn of sitting among them ; between 
sixty and seventy eggs have been found in one nest. The egg 
holds five pints and a quarter of liquid. Small oval pebbles, 
the size of a pea, of a pale yellow colour, are often found in the 
eggs ; from nine to twelve of these have been found, according 
to Mr. Barrow, in one egg. The time of incubation is six weeks. 
This takes place, it is said, at different times of the year, de- 
pending upon the climate and latitude, whether north or south ; 
it is also said that the mode of incubation is different in different 
places ; thus, in very warm climates, the bird scarcely sits 
upon her eggs at all, the heat of the sun being sufficient to 
bring the young bird to maturity ; that, as the climate increases 
in coldness, the female is more assiduous in her attentions. 

Notwithstanding its size, it is generally considered, and 
indeed is, a very stupid bird, displaying little intelligence or 
ingenuity of any kind ; and, although it is occasionally ridden 


That man, with superior intelligence fraught, 
On such occupation shall not waste a thought : 
When death, if the animal for him must die, 
Shall be sudden and safe, and escape in a sigh?* 

like a horse in its native climate, it is said to be very unma- 
nageable and untractable. 

" O'er the wild waste the stnpid ostrich strays, 
In devious search to pick her scanty meal, 
Whose fierce digestion gnaws the temper'd stee!.' : 
Mickle's Lusiad, Book v. 

Such statements, often made, that this bird can digest steel 
or iron, are founded in mistake ; it is true the bird will swallow 
pieces of iron, but there is no evidence whatever that they are 

The Rhea, Eintu, Rhea, American-Emeu, or American- 
Osthich, is grey above, beneath white; it has three toes on 
each foot, and a round callus behind. It is by far the largest 
bird found in the American continent, it being about six feet 
high; the neck is long, head small, beak flat; but, in other 
respects, resembles the Cassowary. Its voracity ancr speed are 
similar to the Ostrich. Found in almost every part of South 

The nest is in a large hole in the ground, often with a little 

* The hunting of Birds with dogs, except as setters, is, in 
this country, not now, I believe, practised ; it is devoutly to be 
hoped that the hunting of other animals will ultimately give way 
to a superior intelligence and the benevolent affections. The 
author, when a school-boy, remembers being once on a hunting 
excursion, and never but once ; that once was, for him, sufficient : 
the hare was eaten up alive by the dogs ! he will never forget the 
horror with which he beheld one of the gentlemen hunters exhibit 
a leg, the only part left, with the fibres still quivering. See the 
House-Sparrow's Speech, 


The Parrots, too, came, not of Afric or Ind ; 
Yet loth their description the muse to rescind : 
The Aterrimus, prince of the Psittacid tribe; — 
The Scarlet rob'd Lory its name will describe; — 

straw at the bottom, on which the eggs are laid ; from sixty to 
eighty have been found in one nest, and hence it has been 
supposed that several females contribute to produce them, and 
that each female lays sixteen or seventeen eggs; the egg con- 
tains about two pints of liquid. The flesh of the young is 
reckoned good eating. It defends itself with its feet ; and 
calls its young by a kind of hiss. They are exceedingly swift, 
and with difficulty caught. This is a separate genus in Dr„ 
Latham's work, and there called Emeu. 

The Casuarius, Emeu, Cassowary, or Galeated-Casso- 
wary, is brownish-black; it has three toes on each foot; helmets 
and dewlaps naked. From the shortness of the legs and neck, 
it is not so tall as the Ostrich; but its body is more heavy and 
clumsy. Its helmet is the most remarkable of its characteristics ; 
it reaches from the base of the bill to the crown, is nearly three 
inches in height, and at the root three in thickness. The wings 
are still shorter than those of the Ostrich, and, of course, cannot 
assist the bird to fly ; they are furnished with four hard pointed 
feathers resembling darts; the feet are also armed with large 
claws; it is, nevertheless, peaceable and inoffensive; never 
attacking others; when attacked kicks like a horse; pushing 
down its assailant by running against him, and grunting like 
swine ; it is as voracious as the preceding species. Eggs nu- 
merous, ash-coloured, or greenish spotted, some are white, about 
fifteen inches in circumference one way, by twelve the other; 
shells more thin and brittle than those of the Ostrich. Found in 
the eastern parts of Asia towards the south, and the Molucca 
Islands ; never met with out of the torrid zone. 

The Nova Hollandice, New-Holland-Cassowary, Emm of 
New South Wales, Southern Cassowary, or Emeu, is nearly as tall 


The Banksian, black, crested, and bold Cockatoo, 
With side tail-feathers ting'd of a bright crimson hue, 
'Midst the woods of Australia delighting to rove ; — 
Have never been seen in an Occident grove. 

Some few Absentees to be named remain still: 
The uncouth Dodo( 43 ) came not, nor Jealous-Horn- 
bill ; 

as the black Ostrich, being not less than seven feet ten inches 
high : like the rest of the genus, it runs with prodigious speed; 
the bill is black ; head, neck, and body, covered with bristly fea- 
thers, varied with brown and grey; throat nakedish, bluish; 
wings hardly visible ; legs brown. Inhabits New Holland, 
where it is hunted with dogs, the skull or the jaw of which, ac- 
cording to Wentworth, it sometimes fractures by a single 
kick ; the flesh is good ; its weight varies from sixty to one 
hundred and twenty pounds. It abounds with oil, which is 
used for leather and other purposes. 

The Casuarius Diemenianus, (Lath.) or Van-Diemen's Land 
Cassowary, is not so large as the preceding, but much exceeds 
the bustard in size ; its general colour is dark brown, with a 
tinge of blue or grey ; it has neither wings nor tail ; legs 
stout, dirty bluish ; toes three, all placed forwards ; flesh said 
to be well tasted ; eggs numerous, and very delicate ; inhabits 
Van Diemen's Land. 

The three last species are arranged under one genus by Dr. 

( +2 ) Order, Galling, (Linn.) Dodo, the Hooded, the 
Solitary, the Nazarene. 

The genus Didus, (Linn.) or Dodo, consists of three species 
only ; they have the bill narrowed in the middle, with two 
transverse wrinkles, each mandible bent in at the tip ; nostrils 
oblique ; face naked beyond the eyes; legs short, thick; feet 
cleft; wings unfit for flight; tailless. They are arranged by 


As cruel as jealous, fierce conirost he; 

Woe, woe to the lady, if foot mark should be ! ( +4 ) 

Dr. Latham among the struthious tribe. Their specific cha- 
racters are as follow : 

The Lieptus, Dronte, or Hooded-Dodo, has the head 
hooded ; bill strong, large, and bluish, with a red spot; plumage 
black, waved with whitish; feathers of the rump curled, in- 
clining to yellow; clawless; three feet long; inhabits the Isles 
of France and Bourbon. 

The Solitarius, or Solitary-Dodo, is varied with grey and 
brown; feet four-toed ; spurious wings, terminating in a round 
protuberance. Female with a white protuberance each side 
the breast resembling a teat ; size of a turkey ; never found in 
flocks ; egg one, larger than that of a goose ; time of incubation 
seven weeks, at which process the male and female assist in turn; 
the young are delicious food, for which they are hunted between 
March and September; inhabits the island of Rodrique. 

The Nazarenus, or Nazarene Dodo, is larger than the Swan ; 
colour black, downy ; lays on the ground, in a nest made of 
dry leaves and grass, one large egg ; inhabits the Isle of France- 

(* 4 ) Order, Pice, (Linn.) Horn-bill, the Philippine. 
the Indian, the Undulate. 

The genus Buceros, (Linn.) or Horn-bill, consists of 
twenty-seven species, chiefly inhabitants of Asia and Africa. 
They have a convex, curved, sharp-edged, large bill, seriate 
outwardly, with a horny protuberance on the upper mandible 
near the base ; tongue short, sharp-pointed ; feet gressorial. 
Besides feeding on fruit, they are said also to devour mice, small 
birds, reptiles, and even carcasses. The chief are the following : 

The Bicornis, or Piiilippine-Hornbill, of which there are 
two varieties. The first, is above black, beneath white, quill 
feathers with a white spot ; double horned at the fore part ; size 
of a common hen ; inhabits the Philippine isles. The second, 


The Wattle -Bird ( 4S ) hiss'd in Australian groves ; 
And the Sheath-bill ( 46 ) was seeking for shell-fish 
he loves. 

has the bill vermilion, hack and rump ash-brown ; belly black ; 
feeds on fruit, which it swallows whole, and, after digesting the 
bulk, casts up the stones ; has a voice resembling the grunting 
of a swine, or the bellowing of a calf ; said to be worshipped by 
the Indians. 

The Hydrocorax, or Indian-Hornbill, inhabiting the Mo- 
lucca Islands, has the protuberance flattened forwards; it is 
two feet four inches long ; frequently tamed to destroy rats 
and mice ; it feeds on the wild nutmeg, which renders its flesh 
peculiarly aromatic. 

The Undulata, or Undulate-Hornbill, called by the na- 
tives of Java, the Jealotjs-Hornbill, feeds the female du- 
ring her incubation ; and, during his absence in search of food, 
should he find, on his return, the marks of another hird near the 
nest, he will, it is said, inclose the female in the nest, and leave 
her to perish. — Horsfield. 

( 4S ) Order, Pic^;, (Lath) Wattle-Bird. 

The genus Callgeus, (Luih.) or Wattle-Bird, consists of 
one species only, the Cinerea, or Cinereous-Wattle-Bird ; it 
has an incurvate arched bill, the lower mandible shorter and 
carunculate beneath at the base ; nostrils depressed, half co- 
vered with a subcartilaginous membrane ; tongue subcartilagi- 
nous, split and fringed at the top ; feet ambulatory ; length 
fifteen inches; walks on the ground, seldom perches on trees; 
feeds on berries, insects, and small birds ; makes a hissing and 
murmuring noise ; flesh good ; inhabits New Zealand and 

( 46 ) Order, Grallje, (Lath.) Sheath- bill. 

The genus Vaginalis, (Lath.) or Sheath-bill, consists of 
one species only, the Alba, or White_-Sheath-eill. It is 


The New-Holland Menura ( 47 ) in meadow or wood, 
Or on Van Diemen mountains, was seeking its food ; 
And, perchance, even now, undiscovered remain, 
On that Continent-Isle* — some Australian plain; — 
Or where bursts the huge stream from the mountain's 

cleft side ; — 
Where, through woodlands and meadows its waters 

may glide; — 
Unable to swim, and unable to fly, 
Many groups that description at present defy. 

distinguished by a short, thick, conic, compressed bill, the upper 
mandible covered above with a moveable horny sheath ; nostrils 
small, placed before the sheath 5 tongue above round, beneath 
flattened, pointed at the tip; face naked, papillous; wings 
with an obtuse excrescence under the flexure ; legs strong ; 
four toed ; from fifteen to eighteen inches long; feeds on shell- 
fish and carcasses; inhabits New Zealand and the South Sea 

( 47 ) Order, Galling, (Lath.) New-Holland Menura. 

The genus Menura, (Lath.) consists of one species only, the 
Novcb Hollandice, New-Holland Menura, or Mountain- Phea- 
sant. It has a stout conico-convex black bill, and oval nostrils ; 
legs long, black, very strong, formed for walking, and covered 
with large scales ; a long tail, consisting of sixteen loose webbed 
feathers, the two middle ones narrow, and greatly exceeding 
the others in length; the outer one on each side broader 
and curved at the end; size of a hen pheasant; the whole 
length more than three feet and a half; plumage above brown, 
fore part of the neck rufous, beneath brownish-ash. The female, 
in colour, resembles the male, but is much smaller. Found in 
the mountainous districts of New Holland, where it is said to be 

* New Holland, or Australia. 



Yet the Channel-Bill ( 48 ) came from a region as far % 
And that scansor too came,thelong-bili'dJACAMAR.( 49 ) 

rare ; flesh supposed to be good ; but we want more information 
concerning this, most probably valuable, bird. 

( 48 ) Order, Pice, (Lath.) Channel-bill. 

The genus Scythrops, (Lath.) or Channel-bill, consists 
of one species only, the Psittacus, which is found in New South 
Wales. It has a large, convex, sharp-edged, pale-brown bill, 
tipt with yellowish and channeled at the sides, point hooked ; 
nostrils naked, rounded at the base; tongue cartilaginous, split 
at the point ; feet scansile ; head, neck, and upper parts of the 
body pale bluish-grey ; back, wings, and tail, cinereous ; size of 
a crow, but, from its long tail, its whole length is two feet two 

( 49 ) Order, Pic^e, (Lath.) Jacamar. 

Of the genus Galbula, (Lath.) or Jacamar, five species 
have been described ; inhabitants of South America. They 
have a straight, very long, quadrangular bill ; tongue short,, 
sharp-pointed; thighs downy on the fore part; feet scansile. 
They are generally about the size of a lark, and feed on insects ; 
some of them fly in pairs. 

( s °) Order, Passeres, (Lath.) Coly. 

The genus Colius, (Lath.) or Coly, consists of eleven spe- 
cies ; they have a short thick bill, convex above and flat be- 
neath, upper mandible bent down at the tip ; tail long, wedged; 
toes three before, one behind, but capable of being occasionally 
varied so as to have all in front. These birds live universally 
on fruits, not feeding on grains or insects; they are gregariou 
even during incubation, their nests being made in society; 
they do not perch like other birds, or leap from branch to 
branch ; nor do they even walk nimbly ; for, resting on the 
whole length of the leg, they drag the belly after them. 
They grow very fat, are well flavoured, and much sought aftei 


But nor Coly( 50 ) nor Umbre ( 5i ) would daringly brave 
The breeze of the west, and Atlantic's high wave. 
Nor could come from the south, with his rudiment wing, 
The Pinguin ( 52 ) unwieldy, to honour the king. 

as food. They are inhabitants of the Cape of Good Hope, 
Senegal, and India. These birds are called at the Cape, Mouse 
Birds, from their soft plumage and their frequently creeping 
about the roots of trees. The Leuconotus, or White-backed- 
Coi.y, is twelve inches long; its general plumage bluish-ash; 
eggs five or six, rose-coloured ; inhabits the Cape of Good Hope. 

( 5I ) Order, Grall^e, (Lath.) Umbre. 
The genus Scopus, (Lath.) or Umbre, consists of one species 
only, the Umbrella, or Tufted-Umbre ; it has a long, thick, 
compressed hill, a little hooked ; nostrils linear, oblique; feet 
four-toed, deft; a thick, tufted, lax crest; body brown; tail 
obscurely barred ; twenty inches long ; legs longish ; female 
not crested ; inhabits Africa. 

( 52 ) Order, Palmipedes, (Lath.) Pinguin. 

The genus Aptenodytes, (L«£/i. JPinguin, or Penguin, which 

consists of fifteen species, is distinguished by a straight bill, wings 

fin-shaped, without quill feathers; feet fettered, four-toed ; tail 

short, wedged; feathers very rigid ; is seen only in the temperate 

and frigid zones of the southern hemisphere ; the same as may be 

said of the auk in the northern hemisphere : none of either of these 

genera of birds has been, it is said, observed within the tropics. 

Notwithstanding there is a great similarity between this genus and 

the alca, or auk, there is, nevertheless, one peculiarity which 

decidedly distinguishes the Pinguin from the last-named bird : 

the Pinguin, while swimming, sinks quite above the breast, the 

head and neck only appearing, while the auk, in common with 

other aquatic birds, swims on the surface. It is remarkably 

dexterous in the water, yet it is a stupid race of birds, 

and, vi hen on land, easily taken. Seme of this tribe lay 

their eggs in the deserted nest of the Albatross; see note (14). 

The following deserve noiice: 

s 2 


Nor that tiny Hirundinid, he of the east, 

Of his tribe the most singular, while, too, the least ; 

Not, like martins or swallows, with clay or with loam^ 

Such vulgar materials ! constructs he his dome : 

Within walls of pure gelatine, little beside. 

The Esculent-Swallow* delights to reside ; 

The Demersa, or Cape-Pinguin, is twenty-one inches long; 
plumage above black, of the head and throat dirty grey ; 
breast, belly, and tail, white ; the two short appendages in 
place of wings black above, white on the lower edge, white 
varied with black beneath. Swims and dives well, but hops 
and flutters in a strange awkward manner on land, and, if 
hurried, stumbles perpetually ; will frequently run for some dis- 
tance like a quadruped, making use of the finny wings instead 
of legs, crying out like a goose, but in a much hoarser voice. 
Said to clamber some way up the rocks to make a nest, in doing 
which it assists with the bill. Eggs two, white, size of a duck, 
very good ; these birds are sometimes kept tamo, but do not 
survive the confinement many months. Inhabits the Cape of 
Good Hope. 

The Magellanica, or Magellanic-Pinguin, is two feet or 
more long, and weighs eleven pounds ; voice not unlike the 
braying of an ass ; flesh not unpalatable, but of a musky 
flavour. Eggs size of a goose, and laid in pairs, are good ; 
they are deposited in places where many of the tribe associate. 
Inhabits Falkland Islands. 

The Chrysocome, Crested-Pi nguin, or Hopping-Pinguin, 
is a beautiful bird, twenty-three inches long, inhabiting the 
Falkland Islands, the Isle of Desolation, New Holland, &c. 
Called Hopping from its habit of leaping quite out of the water 
on meeting with the least resistance. 

* For an account of this bird, see page 158 ; for its nest, see 
the Introduction, page 23. 


While mandarins, monarchs, demand oft his nest, 
Which to luxury ministers many a zest. 
Nor whispers report that those textors were there, 
Who richjbombycme filaments, choose with much care: 
Those Weaver-birds ( $3 ) that, with a tapestry select, 
The walls of their prisons have often bedeck'd. 

The Patachonica, or Patagonian-Pinguin, is the largest of 
the genus, being above four feet long, and weighs forty pounds. 
Back of a deep ash colour, each feather bluish at the tip ; be- 
neath pure white ; on each side of the head, beginning und<er 
the eye, and behind it, is a broad stripe of fine yellow ; usually 
found very fat ; flesh black, though not very unpalatable. 
Found in the Falkland Islands, New Georgia, &c. 

The Australis, or Apterous-Pinguin, (called Apterix- Au$' 
tralis in Shaw's Zoology,) is the size of a goose; the rudiments 
of wings quite hid in the plumage. Inhabits New Zealand. 

( 53 ) The Oriolus text or, (Lath.) Weaver, or Weever Oriole, 
is the size of the Golden-oriole ; body orange-yellow ; quills 
and tail dusky, edged with orange ; legs flesh colour. Inhabits 
Senegal. Works silk between the wires of its cage ; it prefers 
green and yellow to any other colour. 

The Emberiza textrix, {Lath.) Weaver-Bunting, or Wea- 
ver-bird, is the size of a house-sparrow; bill and legs horn- 
colour ; over each eye and down the middle of the crown 
a streak of yellow ; sides of the head mottled yellow and black ; 
rump and under parts yellow : on the middle of the breast a 
broad black streak, a little divaricated at the sides ; tail dusky. 
In the winter the yellow disappears and the bird becomes very 
like a common sparrow. Supposed to be a native of Africa, 
This bird, like the Weaver-oriole, weaves silk in a curious manner 
between the wires of its cage, whence it has obtained, as well 
as the Oriole, its specific name. It is occasionally to be seen in 
cages in this country, I have not been able to acquire any in- 
formation concerning its nest, eggs, nor any other of its habits- 


Still remains a small niche in the temple of fame, 
For a few whom we here seek permission to name. 
The rare Plantain-Eater ( 54 ) of beautiful hues, 
Consisting of purple and violet-blues ; — 
The Cream-coloured Courser, ( 5S ) of Europe the 

guest ;-— 
And the African Fin-foot ; ( 5<5 ) one too of the west ; 

( 54 ) Order, Pic^e, (Lath.) Plantain-Eater. 
Of the genus Musophaga, (Lath.) or Plantain-Eater, 
two species have been described. One, the Violacea, or Violet- 
Plantan-Eater, is a beautiful bird, distinguished by a short,, 
triangular, yellow bill; tongue entire, stout; toes three before, 
one behind ; length nineteen inches, of which the tail makes 
more than six; the top of the head purple; neck, breast, body, 
and wings, violet ; prime quill feathers purple in the middle- 
Found in Guinea, and said to live principally on the plantain j 
it is a very rare bird. 

(55) Order, Grall/e, (Lath.) Plover, the Cream-Co- 
loured, &c. 

The genus Cursoritjs, (Lath.) or Courser, consists of 
four species; they differ chiefly from the genus Charadrius, or 
Plover, in the shape of the bill, which is sharp, bent at the 
point, and slender. The Europxus, or Cream-coloured 
Plover, is ten inches long, the general plumage cream-colour, 
palest beneath; inhabits. Europe, though a rare bird; once 
taken hi France. The Asiaticus, or Coromandel-Plover, is 
the size of the preceding. The head and fore parts, as far-as 
the breast, a reddish-chesnut ; chin white ; back, wings, and 
tail brown, upper part of the belly dusky, the rest, beneath, 
rump, and tip of the tail, white ; cpuills black. Inhabits 

( s6 ) Order, Pinnatipedes,(L^/i.) Fin-foot, the African, 
the American. 

The genus Pteropus, or Fin-foot, of Dr. Latham, coi> 


The Coucal Gigantic, ( 57 ) Australia's own; — 
The ash-grey Cereopsis; ( 5S ) there also well known; 

sists of two species ; the bill is moderately curved and 
elongated ; nostrils linear ; body depressed ; tail somewhat 
cuneiform; legs short; toes four, three before, one behind, 
and furnished with an indented or scolloped membrane. They 
areas follow: The Africanus, or African Fin-foot, is the 
size of a coot; length eighteen inches ; bill formed like that of 
a diver ; plumage above brown, with several burf coloured 
spots, margined with black, chin and throat white, beneath 
rufous; inhabits Africa. The Surinamensis, or American Fin- 
foot, Surinam- Darter, Surinam-Tern, or Sun-bird, is the size of 
a teal ; inhabits Surinam ; known there by the name of Sun-bird ; 
from its frequently expanding the tail and wings, at the same 
time, it has been thought to resemble that luminary. See a 
further description of this bird under Darter, note (21), page 343. 

( 57 ) Order, Vicm, (Lath. )Cov cm, the Giant, the Pheasant. 

The genus Polophilus, or Coucal, of Dr. Latham, is allied 
to the cuckoo tribe, and consists of seventeen species ; the beak 
is strong and slightly curved ; nostrils straight, elongated ; toes 
two forwards, two behind, the interior furnished with a long claw. 
The G'gas, Giant, or Gigantic Coucal, is thirty inches long; 
inhabits New Holland. The Phasianus, Pheasant-Colcal, 
Pheasant-Cuckoo, or Pheasant, inhabits also New Holland ; it is 
about eighteen inches long. 

( 58 ) Order, Grall^e, (Lath,) Cereopsis. 

The genus Cereopsis, (Lath.) consists of one species only, 
the Novcb Hollundirz, or New Holla nd-Cereopsis ; it has a 
short convex bill, bent at the tip ; head wholly covered beyond 
the ears with a rough yellow skin or cere ; at the bent of the 


In his crimson and black too the Barbican( 59 ) bright ; 
The Erodia,( 6 °) both active and handsome, in white ; 

wing a blunt knob; tail short, legs stout; toes cloven; size of 
a small goose ; length nearly three feet ; plumage ash-grey, be- 
neath paler ; legs orange colour. Inhabits New Holland. 
Flesh good. 

( 59 ) Order, Picje, (Lath.) Barbican, the Abyssinian,, 

The genus Pogonius, or Barbican, of Dr. Latham, consists 
of six species, distinguished by a very stout and bent bill ; toes, 
two before, two behind. Most of these were formerly arranged 
under the genus Barbet. The Saltii(BuceoSaltii>) Abyssinian- 
Barbican, or Abyssinian -Barbet , is the most worthy of notice. 
The general colour is a fine glossy black; forehead, as far as the 
crown, sides, including the eyes, chin, and throat, fine crimson ; 
upper wing coverts black, edged with white, quills dusky, the 
outer margin fringed for the most part with yellow ; length 
seveu inches ; observed to cling about branches of trees like 
the woodpecker. Brought from Abyssinia by Mr. Salt. 

( 5 °) Order,, (Lath.) Erody, the Abyssinian, the 


The genus Erodia, or Erody, (Lath.) consists of three species ; 
they have a bill nearly straight ; sharp at the end, the two man- 
dibles not closing the whole of their length ; face covered with 
feathers ; legs long ; middle toe connected to the inner by a mem- 
brane as the first, and to the outer to the second joint ; hind 
toe long. 

The Amphilensis, or Abyssinian-Erody, is the size of 
the Avoset ; length fifteen inches ; the plumage generally 
white, but the back, as far as the middle, is black. Found 


The Scansor Malkoha, ( 6i ) beneath the fierce sun, 

Indigenous found in the isle of Ceylon : 

Unknown whether all, whether any were seen 

O'er the dell's winding course, on its trees' shady green. 

In such an assembly — birds various and rare, 
Various habits and manners, of course, too, were there ; 
There was kindness and gentleness — insolence loud ; 
There was pert, noisy ignorance — sullenness proud ; 
There was elegance graceful, and airiness light ; 
And affection in robes neither splendid nor bright ; 

in the Bay of Amphila in Abyssinia ; feeds on marine produc- 
tions. They are handsome active birds. 

The Pondiceriana, Pondicherr y-Erody, or Pondicherry- 
HER0N, 4 and the Indian-Erody, twenty-two inches long, 
with plumage dusky-white; lower part of the back, quills, 
outer edge of the wings, and tail, black ; inhabit India. 

( 6I ) Order, Pic^e, {Lath.) Malkoha. 

The genus Phcenicophaus, or Malkoha, of Dr.LATHAM ^consists 
of five species ; they have a stout bill, longer than the head, curved 
from the base and smooth edged ; nostrils linear near the margin • 
wings short j toes two before, two behind. The following is 
the chief: 

The Pyrrhocephalus, Red-headed-Malkoha, or Red- 
headed-Cuckoo, is sixteen inches long ; sides of the head and 
round the eyes wholly bare of feathers, appearing rough or 
granulated, and of a reddish-orange colour ; plumage above 
greenish-black, beneath white; tail very long; the feathers, 
for some length towards the tip, white. Inhabits Ceylon, where 
it is called Malkoha. 


There was gallantry, too, that the soul might entrance ; 
And love shot his bright and his heart-thrilling glance. 
The great lord himself, who was quite at his ease, 
Seem'd to say to his Vassals " now do as you please 1'' 
The signal thus given, many Birds of the throng 
Sought various diversion the cool shades among. 
Some flew in high circles ; some leap'd ; others sang ; 
And the Bell-birds repeated their loud and harsh 

To the wood pensive lovers in silence retir'd, 
To hear the warm vows long and often desir'd. 
The Parrots ( 6z ) were prating, of what who may 

know ? 
The Macaws on the palms made a beautiful show : 

( 62 ) Order, Pice, (Linn.) Parrot, Cockatoo, Lory, 
Paroquet, Macaw, &c. 

The genus Psittacus, {Linn.) or Parrot, comprehends 
nearly tivo hundred and forty species; the distinguishing cha- 
racteristics of the tribe are a hooked bill, tiie upper mandible 
as well as the lower moveable and not connected, and in one 
piece with the skull, as in most other birds, but is joined to 
the head by a strong membrane on each side, which lifts and 
depresses it at pleasure; feet formed for climbing. The 
genus may also be subdivided into those having a long 
wedge-shaped tail; and those with a short tail equal at the 
end, including the Cockatoos and Lories, generally, but not 

The Parrot is an intratropical bird, and generally found within 
from twenty-four to twenty-five degrees of latitude on each side 
of the equator. Yet there are some exceptions to this : ;t is oc- 
casionally seen as far south as the straights of Magellan, in Van 



One in robes of rich purple, of azure, and gold- 
Such, the eye became dazzled its tints to behold ; 

Diemeu's Land, and on the Ohio. Although it lives in temperate 
climates it does not frequently breed there. It is remarkable 
too in this race of birds, that those in the new world are totally 
distinct from those of the old ; a proof that the Parrot has not 
great powers of flight; indeed, it is said, that several islands in 
the West Indies have their peculiar Parrots, they not being 
able to fly from one island to another. They are, in their na- 
tive climates, the most numerous of the feathered tribes. 

It will be impossible in this note to do justice to the genus; I must, 
therefore, content myself with a summary of their most striking 
characteristics ; parrots are, besides, so extremely well known 
in this country, that a long description of them is rendered for 
this reason much less necessary ; their power of imitating the 
human voice, and other sounds, is well known ; but it may be 
observed that almost all the sounds which they utter, at least 
those which they utter in this countiy, are extremely harsh and 
discordant ; and for a long continuance very disagreeable. 

The beauty of their plumage has always and deservedly been 
much admired. They are, however, so various in size as well as 
in colours, that it would be endless to recount their numerous 

" The Parrots swung like blossoms on the trees." 

Montgomery's Pelican Island. 

In its wild state, the parrot feeds on almost every kind of fruit 
and grain; but, of all food, it is said to be the fondest of carthamus, 
or bastard saffron, which, though strongly purgative to man, 
agrees with it very well. It is liable to various diseases ; many of 
them are said to die of epilepsy ; it is, nevertheless, very long 
lived ; some have attained the age of sixty years, or more; from 
twenty to thirty years is their more common period of existence, 


The Illinois-Parrot, in bright silky green, 
With fine yellow tints, blue reflections was seen ; 

after which the bill, it is said, becomes so much hooked that 
they lose the power of taking food. 

Parrots build, for the most part, in the hollow of rotten 
trees; when the tree is not fully rotten, and the hole not large 
enough for their reception, they widen it with their bills ; the 
nest is lined with feathers. They can only be successfully 
tamed when taken young. The flesh of parrots, it is said, 
always partakes of the peculiar taste of their food ; some 
of the small tribes of Paroquets are occasionally sought after by 
the savages (at the time they feed upon the ripe gmva) as deli- 
cate food. 

An account has lately appeared in the newspapers of a 
Parrot that died in this country at the age of seventy-seven. 

The taste of parrots appears to be more acute than that oi 
most other birds, they being more ch/)ice in the selection of 
parts of the food which is given them, than the generality of 

Parrots have, from the splendour of their colourg, and from 
their loquacity, much excited the attention of mankind. A 
poem entitled Ver-Vert, or the Nunnery Parrot, written in French, 
by Gresset, has also numerous admirers; it was translated 
into easy verse by Cooper, and since by Dr. Geddes ; the first 
translation is to be preferred : 

" Beauteous he was, and debonnair, 
Light, spruce, inconstant, gay, and free, 
And unreserved as youngsters are, 
Ere age brings on hypocrisy ; 
In short a bird from prattling merit, 
Worthy a convent to inherit." 

Canto 1, 


The Paradise-Parrot in splendour was bright; 
Paroquets, Popinjay3, wore the plumes of delight, 

The following summary will complete this notice of the 
Parrot tribe : 

The common names of Parrots are very various j they are 
known as Cockatoos, Lories, Paroquets t Macaws, Amazons, Criks? 
Popinjays, Parrots, fyc. 

The Cristatus, or Yellow-Crested-Cockatoo, is white, 
with a yellow crest; eighteen inches long; crest five; the 
gentlest and the most docile of the tribe. Found in all the 
tropical regions of India. The Cockatoos are the largest 
Parrots of the old continent. The Aterrimus, Black-Cockatoo, 
or Indian-Crow, is more than three feet long; whole body black,, 
Found chiefly in New Holland. The Erythacus, Hoary - 
Parrot, or Jaco, of which there are several varieties, is most 
frequently imported into Europe at present, and, when properly 
taught, is a good adept at language. The body is a beantiful 
grey ; length twenty inches. It is a native of Africa. 

The Garrulus, Ceram, or Scarlet-Lory, of which there are many 
varieties, is a native of the Moluccas ; its general colour is red ; 
it is the most spirited and gay of the whole race : the name 
Lory is given to it from such sounds being frequently repeated by 
this bird. The Guineensis, or Yellow-breasted-Lory, is 
found chiefly in New Guinea and the Molucca Islands ; ten 
inches long; from its beautiful plumage, and the ease with 
which it may be taught to speak, it generally obtains in Europe 
a great price ; a single bird has, it is said, been sold for twenty 
guineas ! The Alexandria or Alexandrine-Parrot, is green J 
found in the South of Asia and Ceylon : this bird was well 
known to the Romans in the time of Pliny. 

The Macao, or RED-and-BLUE-MACAW, is one of the most 
superb of the Parrot tribe : the purple, the gold and the azure, 
excite no ordinary interest; it is nearly three feet long. Eggs 


The Goatsuckers' notes, too, were now heard again; 
And the Woodpeckers uttered their dissonant 

two, which it lays twice a year, about the size of a pigeon's; 
the male and female share alternately the office of incubation. 
Found within the tropics in America and the West Indies. 
The JEstivus, Amazon, or Common-Parrot, is green, slightly 
spotted with yellow ; there are many varieties. The Ochroce' 
phalus, or Yellow-headed-Parrot, belongs to the class 
called Criks by the French writers ; this, and the Amazon, or 
Common Parrot, are, of all the American Parrots, most easily 
taught to speak. 

The Popinjays are distinguished from all the preceding by 
having no red on their wings. The Paradisi, or Paradise- 
Parrot, is a very beautiful species of Popinjay; the whole body 
is yellow, and all the feathers bordered with a sort of gilding. 

The Paroquets are extremely numerous and diversified ; when 
properly tamed they are good speakers ; one of this tribe laid 
once in England five or six small white eggs. The Aureus, or 
Golden-Paroquet, is a beautiful bird. 

The Carolinensis, Carolina-Parrot, Illinois-Parrot, or Caro- 
lina-Parakeet, is said by Wilson to be the only one of this nume- 
rous tribe of birds found native within the territory of the United 
States ; it is a very hardy bird ; enduring cold much better than 
the generality of the tribe; it is found, however, chiefly in the 
states west of the Alleghany mountains. It is said to build in 
companies in hollow trees. This bird is thirteen inches long, 
and twenty-one in extent. The general colour of the plumage 
is a bright, yellowish, silky green, with light blue reflections; 
lightest and most diluted with yellow below. 

The Cookii, or Cook's-Cockatoo, (Temminck, Linn. 
Transact, vol. xiii.) is a fine bird, a native of New Holland, 
a dried specimen of which is to be seen in the museum 

cookVcockatoo. 399 

Some Warblers were eager their carols to sing, 
And thus they delighted the Vulturid King. 

of" the Linnean Society ; it is about twenty-two inches 
long ; the general plumage is black ; the feathers of the head 
long, and forming a fine crest ; tail long, the two middle fea- 
thers of which are black, the others the same at the base and 
endy, but the middle, for more than one third of their length, a 
fine crimson. 

This bird has been called, by some authors, Banksian- 
Cockatoo, but very improperly as another, the Psittacus 
Banksii, is distinguished by that name. The Banksian Cockatoo 
mentioned in page 382 is the Cookii described above, and not 
the Banksii ; this last is by no means so striking or splendid a 
bird as the former, and, therefore, it has not been deemed 
necessary to describe it. 

It is to be regretted that those to whom the opportunity is 
given of bestowing names do not bestow them with more sci- 
entific discrimination. How much soever we may respect the 
names of Cook and Banks, surely this bird might have a much 
more appropriate and discriminating specific terms applied 
to it: for example, Psittacus niger ; or, if this name be already 
engaged, some other, equally discriminating and appropriate, 
should be given. In science, the practice of distinguishing persons 
rather than facts ought to be discarded. It was this mode of 
giving names that contributed to retard and obscure, for ages, 
the science of chemistry. 



Fringilla Canaria. — (Linn.) 

Let city birds in cages sing, 
Such, such are not for me ; 

I love the freedom of the wing ; 
I love my liberty. 

Be city birds, like monks immur'd, 

Such life is not for me; 
It cannot, will not be endur'd, 

By love or liberty. 

Let city birds luxurious live- 
Do nothing — yet to me 

No charm hath idleness to give;— 
No charm hath luxury. 

The pleasure of pursuit is much — ■ 

I love to seek my food ; 
I love to hear my neighbours touch 

Their flutes in grove or wood. 

Besides, I love to meet my fair 

Within the shady dell, 
At noontide eve or morning rare, 

My tender tale to tell. 


Of city birds then tell me not — 

Their lives, their luxury ; 
I much prefer my country cot, 

With love and liberty. 

To pick seeds out of glass or gold, 

To sing in marble hall, 
Is what some birds, I have been told, 

The highest pleasure call. 

Give me, I have no other wish, 

The freedom nature gave — 
Her water and her simplest dish, 

But make me not a slave.* ( 63 ) 

* Beattie has touch'd similar chords : 

" Rise sons of harmony and hail the morn, 
While warbling larks on russet pinions float 
Or seek, at noon, the woodland scene remote, 
Where the grey linnets carol from the hill. 
O let them ne'er, with artificial note, 
To please a tyrant, strain the little bill, 
But sing what heaven inspires and wander where they will," 

Minstrel, Book 1. 

( 63 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Canary-Bird. 

The Fringilla Canaria, (Linn.) Canary, Canary-Bird, or 
Canary-Finch, consists of two varieties ; one having the bill and 
body straw-colour ; quill and tail feathers greenish ; the other 
with body above brown ; eye-brows yellow. The prevailing 
colour of this bird is, however, yellow, mixed with grey ; but, in a 
state of nature, it is said that it is chiefly grey. Other varieties, 


or lather, perhaps, sub-varieties, have been described to the 
number of nearly thirty, arising doubtless from domestication 
and admixture with other birds of the Finch and Bunting tribe. 
It is about the size of a goldfinch. The first variety inhabits 
the Canary islands, whence its name ; the second variety, 
Africa, and it is said also St. Helena, where it sings much 
better than the common canary found in cages in this country. 
It is also found at Palma, Fayal, Cape Verd, and Madeira, as 
well as at the Canaries. 

This bird is supposed to have been first brought into Europe 
in the thirteenth or fourteenth century ; Gesner, who flourished 
in the sixteenth, is the first naturalist who mentions it ; and 
when Aldrovandus published his work on birds in 1599, it was 
esteemed a great rarity. It is easily tamed, and is domesticated 
almost every where for its delicate plumage and beautiful song. 
It feeds on various seeds, chiefly on those of hemp and canary 
grass j it is prolific with most of the other species of the finch, 
and even with some which are usually considered as belonging 
to a different genus, such as the yellow-hammer, Emberiza 
Citrinella. The canary male is, however, more shy than the 
female, and will associate with no female but his own species. 
The age of this bird extends to fourteen or fifteen years. Of the 
eggs and incubation of this bird in its natural state I have not 
been able to obtain any account. In its domestic state it 
doubtless partakes of the nature of those birds with which it 
might happen to be associated. The eggs of the finch tribe are 
generally about five in number, and whitish, with rufous spots. 
For others of the finch tribe, see pages 252, 262, and 280. 

They breed without difficulty in confinement in this and many 
other countries ; the male and female both assist in forming 
the nest. 

It is said, too, that the song of the Canary-birds bred in this 
country is usually composed of the notes of the Titlark and the 
Nightingale; but, although this may be occasionally true, it is 


not, I suspect, a general truth. There is, surely, probability 
that the Canary has a song of its own. 

1 am, however, indebted to Mr. Yarrel for the following 
particulars of the domesticated Canary-Bird, of which he has 
several eggs, produced by the genuine species, without any ad- 

* "Whatever the materials are of which the Canary forms its 
nest, or what the colour of its eggs in its native islands, I do 
not know ; but, in this country (having bred them myself), they 
make a compact nest of moss and wool closely interwoven, very 
similar to the nest of the Linnet and the Redpole ; the egg is also 
very like that of the Linnet, but somewhat smaller, the ground 
colour white, slightly tinged with green, spotted and streaked 
with dark red at the larger end ; in number four or five. 

*' However domestication may change the feather, I have no 
reason to believe that it produces any alteration in the colour 
of the egg; and, in this instance, both the nest and eggs agree 
closely with the other species of the genus to which the Canary 

-" Domestication, though continued for years, produces no 
change in the eggs of pheasants, &c. &c." 

The Canary has been known to breed in confinement in this 
country six or eight times a year ! 

While the Man akin murmur'd a tremulous song, 
The Mocking-bird followed with music along. 



Pipra Musica.— {Linn.) 

I would sing with much pleasure, but oh! its so shocking, 

The instant I open my bill and begin, 
That insolent bird, which some call, I think, mocking, 

Repeats all my notes in unmannerly din. 

Already you hear him ! I can't go on singing : 
You, I know, will excuse me : indeed I'm unwell. 

Whoe'er can endure, for a moment, such ringing 
Of changes ? — his voice is just like a crack'd bell. 

Alas ! he'll not suffer me even to utter 

A word of complaint ! I beseech you to hear : 

Be my notes high or low, or a warble, a mutter, 
Be they loud, be they soft, be they distant or near, 

What then is this mockery ? weapon of witlings, 
To whom wisdom and truth are both often un- 
known ? 
Who, in order to shine like some little Tomtitlings, 
Sport the bright thoughts of others, and call them 
their own. ( 64 ) 

( 64 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Manakin, the Tuneful, 
the Rock. 

The genus Pipra, (Linn.) or Manakin, comprehends more 
than forty species, inhabitants of the warm climates of Asia, 
Africa, and America; they have the bill shorter than the head, 
strong, hard, nearly triangular at the base, and slightly incurved 


Turdus Polyglottus.— (Linn.) 

I now sing with much pleasure, my notes never shocking; 

Know ye not that, before I look round and begin, 
I'm that musical bird, which some choose to call 


And my notes oft respond in melodious din. 

Already you hear me ! I must go on singing : 

You, I know, will excuse me ; I'll try to sing well : 

You all will be pleas'd, I doubt not, with my ringing 
Of changes,— much better than those on a bell. 

Delightful! permit me my feelings to utter ; 

Not a word of complaint shall you now from me hear : 
Be my notes low or high, or but merely a mutter ; 

Be they soft, be they loud, or far distant, or near. 

Then welcome, dear mockery! charmer of witlings, 

To whom wit, if not wisdom, hath long time been 

known ; 

Who, to shine like bright stars, not as silly Tomtitlings, 

Sport of others the thoughts much improv'd by their 


at the tip ; nostrils naked : feet gressorial ; tail short. The fol- 
lowing are the chief:— 

The Musica, or Tuneful-Man akin, is black, beneath orange; 
front and rump yellow ; crown and nape blue ; chin, throat, 


and legs, black ; four inches long ; inhabits St. Domingo ; is very 
shy, and easily eludes the vigilance of those who attempt to 
take it, by perpetually skipping, like the creeper, to the oppo- 
site branches of the tree : its note is musical, and forms a com- 
plete octave, one note regularly succeeding another. 

The Rupicola, Rock or Crested -Man akin, Cock-of -the- Rock, 
or Hoopoe-Hen, is a showy and elegant bird ; the crest is erect, 
very large for the size of the animal, and edged with purple; 
bill yellowish ; body bright, reddish orange, varied in the wings 
with white and brown; legs yellow, size of a pigeon ; length 
from ten to twelve inches ; eggs two, white; builds in the clefts 
of remotest rocks; shy, but may be tamed if taken young; feeds 
on small wild fruit. Female and young birds brown ; inhabits 
the rocky parts of South America. 

The Manucus, or Black-capped-Manakin, is black above, 
beneath white; spot on the neck, above, and on the wings, 
white; bill black, legs yellow; it is a restless bird; gregarious ; 
and inhabits the woods of Guiana. 

The Minuta, or Little-Man a kin, is grey; head black, 
speckled with white ; size of a small wren ; inhabits India. 

For an account of the Mocking-bird, see page 373; but it 
may be stated here that its day~song consists generally of the imi- 
tations of the notes of other birds; its night- song, (see forward,) 
is its own. 



Oriolus Nidipenduhis. — (Linn.) 

" He who'd live a happy life, 
Let him live as we; 
We defy both care and strife, — 
Are from sorrow free." 

The Lark's Song 

You may sing of your dells, 
Of your groves and your trees, 

Of your vallies and fells, 
Of vour cool mountain breeze : 

You may prattle to solitude 

All the day long ; 
And let none but the wood 

Hear your voice or your song : 

You may sing of the sorrow 

Of love-dying swain ; 
Or of maidens who sigh 

For their charmers in vain : 

You may sing of Savannahs, 

And swamps, and the fall 
Of the fam'd Niagara ; — 

Sublime may it call. 

408 FOREIGN lilRDS. 

Give me a rich field 

Heavy laden with corn, 
Just before its consign'd 

To the planter's strong barn. 

Give me too, — its the zest 

Of the Oriole's life,— 
A crowd of companions 

Without care or strife. 

Be monkish who may, 

I no monk e'er will be ; 
I like j oily fellows 

Around me to see. 

Ah, its all very well 

Now and then to retire 
To the mountain or moor, 

And pure Nature admire ; 

But, what fancy may prompt us, 

What ardour may burn, 
To society's smiles, 

Soon or late, we return. ( 6S ) 

( 6s ) Order, Pice, (Linn.) Hangnest-Oriole. 

The Oriolus Jiidipendulus, Hangnest-Oriole, Spanish" 
Nightingale, Watchy- Picket, or American- Hangnest, has the 
frontlet and wreath black ; crown, neck, back, and tail, reddish 
brown ; breast and belly tawny yellow; length seven inches; 
sings charmingly; builds a pendulous nest on the extreme 
branches of a high tree ; inhabits the woods of Jamaica, and , 
most probably, many other of the West India islands. 

For an account of other Orioles, see note (32). 



Tanagra Mexicana. — (Linn.) 

I envy not, I ask not, 

A gay or gaudy life; 
I wish not, I seek not, 

The haunts of noisy strife* 

I love not, I hope not, 
To dwell amid the crowd, 

Where think not, where care not, 
The haughty and the proud. 

I should not, I could not, 
Behold without much pain 

The reckless, the heedless 
O'erbearings of the vain. 

I should not, I could not, 
Behold the poor oppress'd, 

Without some poignant anguish 
Arising in my breast. 



Then give me not, I ask not, 
A gay or gaudy life ; 

I wish not, I seek not, 

The haunts of noisy strife.* ( 66 ) 

( 66 ) Order, Passeres, (Linn.) Tanager the Black and 
Blue, the Red-breasted, the Golden. 

The genus Tanagra, (Linn.) or Tanager, consists of more 
than sixty species, nearly all found in the West Indies and 
America. They have been considered as similar to the sparrows 
of Europe, to which they approach in almost every particular, 
except colour and the small grooves hollowed out at the sides 
of the upper mandible, towards the point. They are also, like 
the sparrows, gregarious; but lay only two eggs at a brood. 
They, however, as well as most birds in warm climates, breed 
very often. The following are deserving notice : — 

The Mexicana, or BLACK-and-BLUE Tanager, is black 
beneath yellowish; breast and rump blue. Another variety, 
with tail coverts green, body beneath white ; five inches long ; 
sings very finely; inhabits South America. 

The Jacapa, or Red-breasted Tanager, is black ; front, 
throat, and breast scarlet; female purplish brown, beneath 
reddish, wings and tail brown ; six and a half inches long; builds 
a pendulous, cylindrical, and somewhat-curved nest ; feeds on 
fruit; eggs white, with reddish spots. Inhabits South America. 

The Violacea, or Golden Tanager, is violet; beneatii and 
hind head fine yellow ; another variety black instead of violet ; 
female olive brown ; young bird blue olive ; three and a half 
inches long ; variable in its colours ; very destructive to rice 
plantations. Inhabits Brazil and Cayenne. 

* This song has been set to music by my friend, W. Jacob, 
Esq. It will, most probably, be published in a separate form. 




Ipse Pater, media nimborum in node, corusca 
Fulmlnu molitur dextra .- quo maxima motu 
Terra tremit ; fugere fera ; et morialiu corda 
Per gentes humilis stravit pnvor. 

Virgil, Georgic I. 

Now the sun with his steeds, that no mortal may tame, 
In his chariot descending, and rob'd in bright flame, 
O'er the west shed a radiance, when suddenly grew 
A blackness in air, that a gloom around threw. 
Oppressive, hot stillness, an ominous sign, 
With fear that astounds, seem'd in league to combine. 
With clouds, dark, portentous, deep stain'd was the 

The sea-winds rose suddenly howling on high : 
The sea, black and stormy, with white foam boil'd o'er; 
Ships, torn from their moorings, were toss'd on the 

shore : 
The wild curling breakers, like wolves, fierce and 

Ran yelling and dashing in fury along : 
Round the mountainous rocks numerous sea-birds 

scream'd loud, 
As they, terror-struck, flew in a dark wavy cloud : 

* For some of the thoughts in this Poem the author is indebted 
to Hall's South America: see vol. ii. page 317. 



From the earth, borne aloft by the maniac gust, 
Arose in wild whirlwinds the darkening dust. 

Now the isle shook with strange trepidation, and high 
The sea heav'd her billowy mountains ; the sky 
Look'd a concave of horror, what time from the shore 
The winds up the dell wound in deep hollow roar : 
The lightning, at distance, leap'd over the hill; 
No more now was heard the soft roll of the rill ; 
No more heard of warblers, — of parrots the note; 
No more on the breeze was heard music to float: 
For Thunder, approaching in haste from the west, 
With his voice loud, appalling, shook many a breast. 

From the sea came the Storm-birds, with screams 
up the dell ; 
And rain, mix'd with hail, now in torrents down fell. 
The Birds all sought shelter, — the Vulture his rock 
Forsook for a place more secure from the shock : 
The Tornado grew furious, and, lashing the trees, 
Twisted some off their trunks, — their limbs swam on 
the breeze. 

The din and destruction now thicken'd apace ; 
It seem'd as though Uproar with Storm had a race ; 
Or, rather, that Nature (maniacal joy) 
Sought, by one crashing stroke, her own works to 

The palms were uptorn, and borne far in the air; 
The birds, on their leaves, became stunn'd with despair: 
The rock, where the Vulture had sat, at one stroke 
Of the lightning's hot shaft, into two at once broke: 

A STORM. 413 

One roll'd crashing, overwhelming afar down the dell, 
The other stood still the disaster to tell ; 
Around which the thunder oft rattled and rang, 
While the light'ning from crag unto crag swiftly sprang. 
In the dell roar'd a torrent, where many a tree 
Floated down with dead birds and dead beasts, to the 

Not a note now was heard from a chorister's lute; 
All the birds, still alive, struck by fear, became mute : 
They, closely impacted in groups, might be seen 
Beneath a scath'd palm, or uptorn evergreen. 

Again the isle shook, and the sea on the shore 
Still roll'd in tumultuous and deafening roar ; 
O'er the dark vault of heav'n the fierce light'ning still 

And the clouds rais'd their heads in terrific review. 

A moment of silence, — of calm, — came at length, 
And proclaim'd that the giants had wasted their 

strength : 
While the sun shot a beam of bright light from a cloud, 
A token he meant, ere he slept, to unshroud ; 
The thunder retir'd with a muttering growl, 
And the wind flew away in an ominous howl. 
The rain ceas'd ; the clouds, too, soon hurried away ; 
And the birds now look'd out from the house of 

At length, in his splendour, the sun in the west 
Rode forth, and lit hope up again in the breast. 


The Vulture first rose : on the havoc profound 
He glanc'd ; it might even a monarch astound : 
Nought abash'd, he flew over the desolate dell, 
Then, stooping, he swept o'er the water's deep swell ; 
A favourite morsel roll'd down in the tide,— 
Its possession an instant enough to decide. 
The Grallators dipp'd, too, their long beaks in the 

At times they were stain'd or with gore or with blood. 
The Goatsuckers, Scansors, the Parrots, a few, 
Their clamorous notes chose again to renew ; 
But the powerful impression the hurricane made 
The birds of fine feeling detain'd in the shade : 
Yet the musical Wood-thrush, torn laurels among, 
As ev'ning approach'd, warbled forth a sweet song : 
The sad and the sombre become him the best : 
Thus he sang, as he perch'd on his leafy beech nest : — 



Turdus Mtlodus. — (Wilson.) 

Still Memory culls, O, Happiness ! 

For thee her sweetest flowers ; — 
The violet, the pink, the rose, 

And woodbine, from her bowers. 

When earth becomes a dreary void, 

For thee her magic wand 
She waves, and lo! in colours bright, 

A wondrous fairy land ! 

When friends forsake us — when the fates 

The dearest friends divide, 
For thee still Memory hovers near, 

Thy long affianc'd bride* 

The tender look — the dying word 

She holds for ever dear; 
And, while affection prompts the sigh, 

And sorrow sheds the tear, 

She beckons Hope, in misty robe, 

And thee to deck the urn ; 
And dwells with sad delight, on hours 

That never can return. 


Ye victims of the Storm! for you 

This requiem I sing : 
And for your shroud pimenta leaves 

Abundant I shall bring ; 

Here, wrapt in fragrance, you shall lie ; 

Oft from the giddy throng 
I'll steal apart and warble here 

For you, my saddest song. 

'Tis said that Man, a monarch here, 

Though he like us, too, dies, 
In other worlds for ever lives 

Amidst unclouded skies. 

Then why not we — why should the gates 

Of death affections sever- 
Why might not we, as well as man, 

Live too, and love for ever ? 

Ecstatic thought ! midst laurel shades 

For ever thus to sing; — 
Our long lost friends to find again 

In everliving spring ! 

Still Memory culls, O, Happiness! 

For thee her choicest flowers : — 
The violet, jasmine, pink, the rose, 

And woodbines, from her bowers. ( 6? ) 

( 67 ) Order, Passeres ; Thrush, the Wood, the Red- 


The Turdus Melodus, Wood-Thrush, Wood-Robin, or Ground- 
Robin, inhabits the whole of North America, from Hudson's Bay 


io-Florida. Arrives in Pennsylvania about the 20th of April, and 
returns to the south in October. Length eight inches ; the 
whole upper parts are a fulvous brown, brightening into 
reddish on the head, and inclining to olive on the rump and 
tail ; throat and breast white, tinged with light buff colour, and 
beautifully marked with dark spots running all over the belly, 
which is white. Frequents solitary woods; sings finely in the 
morning and evening, and also in moist and gloomy weather : 
the sadder the day the sweeter its song. Eggs four or five, 
light blue, without spots ; nest, in a laurel or elder bush, com- 
posed of beech leaves exteriorly, lined with mud, over which is 
laid fine black fibrous roots of plants; the nest is found in 
moist situations and the neighbourhood of brooks. This bird 
is often heard, but rarely seen. For its Morning Song; see 
page 551. 

The Turdus A%ra£onws, Red-breasted-Thrush, or Robin, 
of Wilson, is nine and a half inches long ; sings very pleasantly ; 
frequently seen in America in cages, in one of which it has been 
kept for seventeen years; inhabits the whole of North America, 
from Hudson's Bay to Nootka Sound and Georgia; rarely 
breeds on the east side of the mountains south of Virginia. See 
page 350. 

Eve at length came, in mantle of purple array'd, 
While the moon o'er the mountains her radiance dis- 

The birds sought repose — who had journeys to take, 
Deferr'd their return till the morning should wake ; 
Meantime, the sweet Mocking-Bird, true to his lay, 
Thus welcom'd the Night, thus took leave of the Day: 




Tardus Pohiglottvs. — (Linn.) 

The garish day is gone to rest, 
Then welcome gentle Night! 

I love thy solemn silent hours 
When moon and stars are bright. 

I love, O night ! to hear repose 
In breathing slumbers sweet ; 

I love to hear thy crystal rills 
Flow murmuring at thy feet. 

Sweet night ! of love the tender nurse, 

I offer unto thee 
The holiest and the purest vows 

That e'er can offered be. 

Hast thou, sweet night ! a maiden seen 
Array 'd like seraph bright ? 

She wanders oft in yonder grove ; 
Oh tell me, gentle night ! 


Awake, O, breeze ! and bear my song 

To that fair seraph bright ; 
Tell her that love awaits her steps 

In the bower of moonlight. 

Then welcome be thy silent hours, 

Thy moon and thy starlight ; — 
Thy deep repose, thy bowers of bliss — 

Thrice welcome gentle night ! 

For an account of the Mocking-bird, see note (41), page 373 ; 
but it may be stated here, in regard to its song, that during the 
day its chief notes consist of the imitations of the songs of its neigh- 
bours ; at night its song is more peculiarly its own. 




Near the Hotwells, Bristol. 

"Then, said T, master, pleasant is this place, 

And sweet are those melodious notes I hear; 

And happy they, among man's toiling race, 

Who, of their cares forgetful, wander near." 

[To those who might not happen to know St. Vincent's 
Rocks, Clifton, and the very beautiful scenery near the 
Hotwells, Bristol, it might be desirable to state that the 
river Avon winds here through a sinuous defile, on one side of 
which the Rocks rise perpendicularly in a hold yet irregular 
manner to the height of many hundred feet ; the opposite side 
is not so bold, but it is, nevertheless, extremely beautiful, being 
clothed, in many places, with wood, and has, besides, a Valley 
through which you may ascend to Leigh Down. This valley has 
been named the Valley of Nightingales, no doubt, in consequence 
of those birds making it their resort. 

u "Where foliag'd full in vernalpride, 
Retiring winds thy favourite vale j 
And faint the moan of Avon's tide 
Remurmurs to the nightingale." 

C. A. Elton, Poems, Disappointment. 
In a note Mr. Elton informs us that this stanza alludes to 
the "Valley of Nightingales opposite St, Vincent's Rocks at 
Clifton." The lovers of the picturesque will here find ample 
gratification. If, in the following poem, the truth in Natural 
History be a little exceeded in reference to a troop of nightin- 
gales, it is hoped that the poetical licence will be pardoned. 
The vicinity of the Hotwells has been lately much improved by 
a carriage drive beneath and around these rocks.] 



Seest thou yon tall Rocks, where, 'midst sunny light 
They lift up their heads and look proudly around;— 
While numerous Choughs, with their cries shrill and 
Wheel from crag unto crag, and now oe'r the pro- 
found ? 

Seest thou yonder Valley where gushes the fountain ; 

Where the Nightingales nestling harmoniously sing; 
Where the Mavis and Merle, and the merry Lark 

In notes of wild music, now welcome the spring ? 

Seest thou yonder shade where the woodbine as- 

Encircles the hawthorn with amorous twine, 
With the bryony scandent in gracefulness blending ; 

What sweet mingled odours—- scarce less than di- 



Hearest thou the blue Ring-Dove in yonder tree cooing ; 

The Red.breast — the Hedge-Sparrow, warble their 
The Cuckoo, with sameness of note ever wooing; 

Yet ever to pleasure such notes will belong ? 

And this is the Valley of Nightingales? — listen 
To those full swelling sounds — with those pauses 
between ; 
Where the bright waving shrubs 'midst the pale hazels 
There oft may a troop of the songsters be seen. 

Seest thou yon proud Ship on the stream adown sailing, 

O'er ocean her course to strange climes she now 

bends ; 

Oh ! who may describe the deep sobs or heart wailing, 

Her departure hath wrought amongst lovers and 

friends ? 

The rocks now re-echo the songs of the sailor, 
As he chearfully bounds on his watery way ; 

But the Maiden ! — ah what shall that echo avail her, 
When absence and sorrow have worn out the day ? 

Behold her all breathless, still gazing, pursuing, 
And waving at times, with her white hand, adieu ; 

On the rock now she sits, with fix'd eye the ship viewing, 
No picture of fancy — but often too true ! 


Dost thou see yon flush'd Hectic, of health poor re- 
With a dark hollow eye and a thin sunken cheek ; 
While Affection hangs o'er him with thoughts that 
have pain'd her, 
And that comfort and hope still forbid her to speak?* 

Yes, Friendships ! Affections! ye ties the most 
tender ! 

Fate, merciless Fate, your connexion will sever ;•— 
To that tyrant remorseless, all — all must surrender ! 

I once had a Son — here we parted for ever !f 

Now the sun o'er the earth rides in glory unclouded ; 

The Rocks and the Valleys delightedly sing ; 
The Birds in wild concert, in yonder wood shrouded. 

Awake a loud chorus to welcome the spring. 

And this is the Valley of Nightingales; — listen 
To those full-swelling sounds — with those pauses 
Where the bright waving shrubs midst the pale hazels 
There oft may a troop of the songsters be seen. 

May, 1826. 

* The Hotwells are, unfortunately, too often the last resort 
of the consumptive. 
t A promising youth who died some years since at Berbice. 



" Approach ! thou delight of the children of men, 
Fair Freedom! approach!" 

See Part I. page 170. 

The questions as to the justice of buying or selling any 
of our fellow men, of whatever colour or condition, or of 
retaining them, as Slaves, have been, it is presumed, long 
ago decided. The emancipation of such unfortunate beings 
must, therefore, sooner or later take place. The only 
questions which remain appear to be those relative to the 
manner and the time. 

The ignorance and prejudices of the Slaves on the one 
hand, and the immediate interests and prejudices of the 
Planters on the other, are, it must be admitted, difficulties 
of no ordinary kind. While some of our benevolent enthu- 
siasts have advocated early, or even immediate, emancipa- 
tion, the planters have, in too many instances, done all 
they could to prevent the diffusion of knowledge amongst 
the slaves, and, by such and other obstructions, have, 
doubtless, retarded the desired consummation. Both pro- 
ceed injudiciously and unwisely. To expect the Slaves 
to be at once capable of rational freedom is not less absurd 
than to expect ignorance to produce rational obedience. 
The only safe course is by enlightening their understand- 
ing, shewing them their true interests, and teaching them the 
arts, conveniencies, and decencies of civilized society; and 
also by shewing them that humanity to which they, as well as 
the whites, are equally entitled. Vindictiveness, on either 


side, will be, most certainly, productive of a retaliation 
greatly to be deplored. 

The anomaly which is found in some of the United Stales 
of America, where the Negro is still bought, sold, and 
treated as a Slave by the white Proprietor, who, at the 
same lime, is loud in his demands of Liberty for himself, 
furnishes a lesson that will, it is to be hoped, have, in time, 
a proper influence on the manners and councils of that 
otherwise highly favoured and happy country. 

The existence of Slavery, however, in the United States 
of America, it is evident, is tolerated, not encouraged, by the 
intelligent portion of their social community. From some 
efforts which have been lately made by those states where 
Slavery is not tolerated, we learn that the state of 
Mississipi, where, of course, Slavery is tolerated, has 
transmitted a report and resolution in which the proposal 
of the state of Ohio relative to the emancipation of Slaves is 
disapproved ; and in which, also, complaint is made of the 
interference of non-slaveholding states. The report, in 
effect, declares that the right of property in Slaves is as 
sacred and inviolable as that of any other personal property ; 
that, however great the national evil of Slavery may be, 
and however much it may be regretted, circumstances have 
rendered it inevitable, and placed it without the pale of 
legislative authority ; that the state cannot concur in any 
arrangement for emancipating Slaves; that any interference 
by non-slaveholding states on subjects of this nature may 
produce deplorable consequences, excite prejudices, and 
weaken the union of the states ; and, instead of ameliorating 
the condition, can only aggravate the misfortunes of the 
Slaves; that, by a gradual emancipation, the hopes of those 
who remained in slavery would be excited to insurrection, 
and the lives of the citizens endangered; the state, for 


these reasons it seems, determined to participate in no 
such measure. 

In conclusion, this right, hearty, and determined Slave- 
holding state, claims the right, in concert with the southern 
states, whose situation is similar, of moving this question 
when an enlarged system of benevolence shall, in consistency 
with their rights and interests, render it practicable. Most 
excellent morality certainly ! Which enlarged system of 
benevolence it is not difficult to prophesy will never, under 
the direction of these Slave-holders, unless continually 
stimulated and prompted by their neighbours, arrive. And, 
notwithstanding the high tone of such moral professors, it 
is devoutly to be hoped that their neighbours will continue 
to remind them of their Duties, in temper and conciliation 
of course. The haughtiness of these worthies, among their 
other qualities, is not a little remarkable : you must not 
meddle in their concems t although their bad example may 
contaminate all their neighbours ! It is to be hoped, 
however, that, notwithstanding the peculiar sensitiveness 
of the Legislators of Mississipi, their Intelligent Neigh- 
bours will not fail to keep a watchful eye over them, and 
WizXpublic opinion will ultimately operate beneficially upon 
the obliquity of their morals and their understandings. 

We now come to legislators of a higher grade ; and here 
it is impossible to observe, without regret, that a Resolu- 
tion concerning Slavery in the district of Columbia was 
offered, among others, by Mr. Miner, of Pennsylvania, to 
the Congress of the United States, a short time since, 
and negatived by an apparently large majority ; this reso- 
lution was as follows : 


That the district of Columbia being placed under 
the exclusive regulation of the United States, ought to exhibit 


to the nation, and to the world, the purest specimen of govern* 
ment, vindicating the superior excellence of free institutions ; 
that, as we are here establishing a city, ( Washington,) in- 
tended as the perpetual Capital of a great Republic, it is due 
to Ourselves, and to Posterity, that the foundations thereof be 
laid in wisdom, and that no fundamental evils in the structure 
of its policy be permitted to take root, which might become 
inveterate by time, but which prudent and timely policy may 

We turn from the unfruitful efforts of the intelli- 
gent and benevolent in America to the speech of Don 
Manuel Lorenzo de Vidaurre^ Minister from Peru at the 
opening of the American Congress at Panama, on the 22d 
of June, 1826. Here shall we find sentiments in accordance 
with the times and with truth; after expatiating on various 
interesting topics, he thus alludes to the Slave. 

" Let," said he, "the sad and abject countenance of the 
poor African, bending under the chains of rapacity and 
oppression, no longer be seen in these climes; let him be 
endowed with equal privileges with the white man, whose 
colour he has been taught to regard as a badge of su- 
periority; let him, in learning that he is not distinct from 
other men, learn to become a rational being." 

To such efforts and such sentiments as these, who does 
not wish success? 



Shall Birds and their Freedom engross all the 

Song ? 
Forbid it, O ye! Jthat to music belong. 
Awake Harp ! once more with thy melody wake ! 
Let the Freedom of Man of the Song now partake ; 
Let the chords from thy strings in loud energy roll; 
And let Truth and let Justice the cadence control. 
Who hath not heard of Freedom ? — delightful the 

sound ! 
Wherever she dwells may be deemed holy ground. 
In cities she, sometimes, is pleas'd to reside; 
And. sometimes, the hermit's lone cottage beside ; 
But the country, for ever, abode of her choice : 
In woods, meadows, on mountains, her footsteps rejoice. 
.She hath long had, in Britain, a high chosen seat; 
And Columbia, for her, is a sacred retreat. 
O'er the South — o'er Peru — to the Andes — the Shore, 
Where Tezcalipoca* the natives adore, 

* One of the imaginary Gods of the Mexican Indians, of whom 
thus sings South ev in his Madoc 

" Among the Gods of yon unhappy race, 

Ttzculiboca as the chief they rank, 

Or with their chief co-equai ; maker he 

And master of created things esteem'd. 

He sits upon a throne of trophied skulls 

Hideous and huge." 

Part II. Seel. II. 


She now stretches her arm with glad tidings for all 
Who on her may choose for assistance to call. 
Her permanent palace an undulate Hill, 
At whose feet gushes forth, in sweet warble, the rill ; 
On whose top looking round you all nations behold — 
Their valleys of verdure — their rivers of gold. 
That ocean of isles looking far to the west, 
Hath nature with plenty abundantly bless'd. 
There the swart Sons of Africa labour and sigh ; 
And oft, too, for Freedom, are willing to die. 

On that Hill top, in vision, enraptur'd I saw, 
Fair Freedom unfetter'd by Custom or Law ; 
Her form the most graceful — step airy and light ; 
And her robes gave to splendour intensity bright ; 
Her countenance shone ; and her look was benign ; — 
Her contour and movement bespake her divine. 
Beside her walk'd Knowledge, like vestal sedate, 
Nor airs of importance surround her, nor state ; 
Her language was simple, yet touching the grand, 
And such as the simplest could well understand;' — 
No sentence involv'd, nor terms learned, abtruse, — 
Nor pride to exhibit what is of no use. 
She, the punning of pedants — the play upon names — 
With the lumber of learning, consigns to the flames. 
To Teach, her sole object, the Useful and True ; — 
By the aid of enquiry examines the new : 
To Progression pays homage, and, as the Time flies, 
Collects from his passage the words of the wise. 
Content, too, awaited in Freedom's fair train ; 
And Happiness smil'd, in robes homely and plain. 


Innumerous the sylphids who wander among 

The groves and the glades, while the Birds, in full 

Sent o'er hill and o'er valley the notes of delight, 
As the sun of the morning in splendour rose bright. 

The Children of Africa, groaning and sore 
With the chains of oppression, will bear them no 

On her hill top fair Freedom they ken from afar, 
And indignantly threaten their Masters with war: 
They to her look for succour — to her they appeal — 
That she the deep wounds of oppression will heal. 
She, in accents benignant, bright hope by her side, 
To the tale of their sorrows thus kindly replied : 

" Ye Children of Afric! your manifold wrongs 
" Long by me have been heard in your prayers and 

songs ; 
" Nor have heard I in vain : for gone forth is a sound 
" That will your oppression abash and confound : 
"That sound is of Knowledge the mild and still 

" At whose bidding all nations shall sing and rejoice. 
" My handmaid is she — will my fiat attend, 
" And ever will prove your inflexible friend. 
" O seek her, pursue her by day and by night ; 
" All her paths are of peace and are strew'd with de- 
;i Without her what aid can I, Freedom, impart? 
" It is Knowledge with me that must govern the 


" Be patient then Children of Afric ! your sun 
" Hath his glorious career o'er the mountains begun ; — 
■ l You, my Children of Britain will never for- 
sake ; — 
" For You, they will efforts incessantly make ! 
" Ye days of bright promise, O hasten ! speed ! 
u When Knowledge shall make all, at length, free 

She ceas'd for a moment; then turn'd unto those 
Whom the Africans deem, at once, masters and 

"You, who hold in your hands all the issues of life — 
" Of the Negro —his children — son — daughter, and 

wife ; 
" Who transfer, when you please, be they blind, be 

they lame, 
" Their persons for gold unto whom you may name ; 
" You, whose ships float along on the tide of success ; 
" You, whom power enables to curse or to bless ; — 
" Oh fail not in duty's imperious commands ; 
" Be a blessing to those whom you have in your hands ; 
" Smooth the pillow of age — and to youth be e'er 

kind — 
" And thus lead, not administer ybrce to, the mind. 
" Consult too the feelings, — affections, — nay, pride ; 
" Nor mother from daughter, son, father, divide ; 
" Nor wife from the husband, nor friend from the 

friend ; 
" And thus o'er your Slaves benign influence extend. 


"Teach them lessons of love by the pure Gospel 

" Apart from the webs superstition hath wrought. 

" Diffuse, too, the wisdom which knowledge im- 
parts ; 

; ' Teach them foresight, and prudence, the useful in 

" Be, in your own persons, the picture I draw, 

" And soon shall you need not the terrors of law. 

'* This do, and your Slaves will, aye, maugre your 

" Soon become all well fitted for freedom indeed. 

" My realm they may enter with dance and with song", 

" While happiness leads them, in triumph, along!" 

She said, — a dark cloud now arose on the hill ; 
No more she was seen ; aloud warbled the rilh 




"O reminiscences of youth! ye charm 
The years of manhood, soothe the aches of age ; 
Your pencil paints the pleasures of the past 
In liveliest hues, while many a rueful pain 
Ye darken o'er with shade." 

From an unpublished Poem, 

Ye minstrels of melody ! children of song ! 
A moment yet more I the strain must prolong. 
Yes, lovely enchanters of wood and of deli ! 
One moment yet grant me to bid you farewell.-/* 
One moment to thank you for much of delight ; — 
For much ting'd with rapture, by hope colour'd bright ; — 
What time I have listened, in glens and in groves, 
In moorlands, in meadows, to songs of your loves; — 
How often the Lapwings have heard on North-moor ! 
How often the Rooks, at my natal cot's door \ 
And both those and the Ring-Doves, %XP ether ton- Park, 
While o'er the rich meadow sang sweetly the Lark ! 
And the Thrush's, the Black-bird's, and Red-breast's 

soft note, 
Seem'd, buoyant like bubbles, on ether to float ; — 
The Cuckoo's loud monotone spake of delight ; — 
Of May time the Nightingale sang at midnight ; — 



Or, while the tenth wave* rising roll'd on the shore, 
And, lifting his head, gave a loud hollow roar, 
Have heard the wild sea-bird's loud screaming, not 

As I wander'd with pleasure the sea marge along. 
In youth, ere Experience, with look sedate, chill, 
Fix'd on Feeling the rein, there I wander'd at will, 
While the young laughing Love, with his sinuous art, 
Threw his magical sympathies over my heart. 
In manhood less rapture, more pleasure, my share : 
For reason had taught me your feelings to spare ; 

* The tenth wave has excited the attention of the poets. 
Maturin somewhere speaks of the "tenth wave of human 
misery." In turning over lately some of our older poets, I met 
with an allusion to the ninth wave : in whose works I do not. 
now recollect. Ovid has the following passages relative to this 
subject : 

Qui veuit hie fluctus, fiuctus supereminet omnes; 
Posterior nono est, undechnoque prior, 

Trislia Elegia, 2. 
Vastius insurgens declines riiit impetus nndce. 

Metamor-ph. Lib. xi. 

This notion concerning the tenth wave has also been long 
entertained by many persons conversant with the sea-shore : I 
often heard it when I was a boy, and have repeatedly- 
watched the waves of the sea when breaking vn the shore, 
(for it is to this particular motion that the tenth wave, as far as 
I know, applies,) and can state that, when the tide is ebbing, xm 
such phenomenon as the tenth wave occurs; but that, when the 
tide is flowing, some such is often observable; it is not, however, 
invariably the tenth wave : after several smaller undulations, a 
larger one follows, and the water rises. This is more distinctly 



Of your homes and your little'ones often I thought; 
For your pleasures, your wrongs, too, I manfully 

fought ; 
And, now I am come to the threshold of age, 
For you I a war still am willing to wage. 
But no more ! of your songs — of the meadow, or dell — 
No more — ye wild Warblers! I bid you farewell ! 
And farewell, too, to song I — for your minstrel 

grows old, 
And the world, frowning o'er him, looks callous and 

No more he, perchance, shall awaken the lyre, 
But in this, his last song, his last thoughts may 

When he sleeps in yon woodland, will you, in the spring, 
O'er his sod, in remembrance, a requiem sing ; — 
Will you visit the woods where he once touch'd his 

shell ?— 
Ye Minstrels of Melody! hail! andFAREWEti! 

seen on a sandy, or smooth muddy shore of more or less 

I take occasion to observe here that the Sea is a subject of 
intense interest, solemnity, sublimity, at all times; but, per- 
haps, most so on a still evening about high water, when it makes 
no noise except at intervals, as its wavy yet smootli undulations 
break with a peculiar and indescribable hollow sound as they 
roll over on the shore, reminding us of 

" Eternity, eternity, and power." 



^* A few other words of rather uncommon occurrence mill also be 
found in the preceding pages, but, as they hive a place in Todd's 
Johnson's Dictionary, it lias been thought unnecessary to 
explain them in this glossary. The anglicized words are 

Birds of the Duck 
A bird of the Heron 
Birds of the Heron 

Al'cad. A bird of the auk tribe. 

Alcada. Birds of the (tuft tribe. 

Alerabical. Having the shape 
of an alembic. 

Anat/id. AbirdoftheDi/c/ctribe, 


tribe. . 


Aves. Birds. 

Bombyelne. Silky, formed of 

Bu'cerid. A bird of the Horn- 
bill tribe. 

Buceridte. Birds of the Horn- 
bill tribe. 

Capistrum. The face. 

Caprimul'^id. A bird of the 
Goat-sucker tribe. 

Caprimulgidce. Birds of the 
Goatsucker tribe. 

Carinate. Formed like a keel. 

Caruncnlate. Having caruncles. 

Cere. The membrane covering 
the base of the bill ; the wax. 

Cereless. Without a cere. 

Cer'thiaii. A bird of the Creeper 

Certhindce. Birds of the Creeper 



Charad'riad A bird of the Pto- 
vei- tribe. 

Charadriadee- . Birds of the Plo- 
ver tribe. 

Cin'nyrid. A bird of the 
nyris or Sun bird tribe. 

Cinnyridce. Birds of the 
nyris or Sun-bird tribe. 

Colunvbid. A bird of the Pi- 
geon tribe. 

ColumbidcE. Birds of the Pi- 
geon tribe. 

Colym'bid. A bird of the Diver 


conic biH', 

nic bills. 

Coi'vid. A bird of the Crow 'tribe. 

Corvida. Birds of the Crow tribe. 

Cra'cid. A bird of the Cur as- 
sou? and Penelope tribp. 

Cracidee. Birds of the Curassow 
and Penelope tribe. 

Cn'culid. A bird of the Cuckoo 

CuculidcE. Birds of the Cackw 

Den'tirost. A bird havin-: a 
toothed bill. 

Birds of the Diver 

A bird having a 

Birds having co- 



Dentirostres. Birds having 
toothed bills. 

Expansile. Capable of being 

Fal'conid. A bird of the Eagle 

or Falcon tribe. 
Falconides. Birds of the Eagle 
or Falcon tribe. 

Farinacea. Those vegetables, 
particularly corn, which are 

Ferruginous. Having the co- 
lour of rusty iron. 

Filiform. Having the shape of 

Fis'sirost. A bird with a deft 
or notched bill. 

Fissirostres. Birds with cleft 
or notched bills. 

Frin'gillid. A bird of the 
Finch tribe. 

Fringillidce. Birds of the Finch 

Autescent. Shrubby. 

Fulvous. Tawny, mixed with 
red and yellow. 

Gape. The whole extent or 
cavity of the mouth. 

Genera. The plural of genus. 

Gralla'tor. A wading bird. 

Grallatores. Wading birds. 

Gressorial. (Gressorius.) Form- 
ed (literalhj) for stepping; 
but used by Lvvkeus, and 
some other naturalists, for 
hopping or leaping. 

Gru'id. A. bird of the Crane 

Gruidas. Birds of the Crane 

Gular. Belonging or attached 
to the throat. 

Halcyon'id. A bird of the King- 
fisher or Halcyon tribe. 

HalcyonidcE. Birds of the King- 
fisher or Halcyon tribe. 

Hirun'dinid. A bird of the 
Swallow tribe. 

Hirundinidce. Birds of the 
Swallow tribe. 

Ingluvies. The crop. 

Inses'sor. A perching bird. 

Insessores. Perching birds. 

Intratropicah Being within 
the tropics. 

Irids. The plural of Iris. The 
coloured circles in the globes 
of the eyes surrounding the 

La'niad. A bird of the Shrike 

Laniades. Birds of the Shrike 

Lar'id. A bird of the Gull tribe. 

Laridce. Birds of the Gull tribe. 

Leguminous. Bearing pods. 

Liddcn. A song ; a note. 

Lobate. Divided into lobes. 

Lore. A naked skin between 
the eye and bill. 

Lox'iad. A bird of the Gros 
beak and Crossbill tribe. 

T,oxiad(B. Birds of the Gros- 
beak and Crossbill tribe. 

Lunula. ) A small crescent like 

Lunule. 5 the increasing moon. 

Magnates. The great people ; 
the nobility. 

Mammalia, s. pi. Those ani- 
mals which suckle their 
young, consisting chiefly of 
Quadrupeds and Man. 

Meliphag'id. A bird of the 
Honey-eater tribe. 

MeliphagidcE. Birds of the 
Honey-eater tribe. 

Mer'opid. A bird of the Bee- 
eater tribe. 

Meropidce. Birds of the Bee' 
eater tribe. 

Mer'ulid. A bird of the Thrush 

Merulidoe. Birds of the Thrush 

Mongamous. Confined to one 
sexual association. 

Muscicap'id. A bird of the 
Fly-catcher tribe. 

Muscicapidee* Birds of the Fly- 
catcher tribe. 



Nata'tor. A swimming bird. 

Natatores. Swimming birds. 

Natatorial. Having the quality 
of a natator ; swimming. 

Naive. Natural, simple. 

Nectarin'iad. A bird of the 
Honey-eating tribe. 

Nectariniadce. Birds of the 
Honey-eating tribe. 

Ochraceous. Of the colour of 
ochre, dull yellow. 

Olivaceous. Of an olive colour, 
somewhat olive. 

Orbit. The ring or circle sur- 
rounding the eye. 

Palmate. > „ • u 

Palmated. J Having webs. 

Pelecan'id. A bird of the Pe- 
lican tribe. 

Pelecanidts. Birds of the Pe- 
lican tribe. 

Peaduline. Pendulous, not 
supported below. 

Phasian'id. A bird of the 
Pheasant tribe. 

Phasianidce. Birds of the Phea- 
sant tribe. 

Pfcid. A bird of the Wood- 
pecker tribe. 

Picidce. Birds of the Wood- 
pecker tribe. 

Pinnate. Furnished with little 

Pip'rid . A bird of the Manakin 

Pipridce. Birds of the Manakin 

Polygamous. Not confined to 
one sexual association. 

Prairie. An extensive plain 
in the back settlements of 
America, covered chiefly 
with grass. 

Primaries. The chief quill fea- 
thers of the wing. 

Promer'opid. A bird of the 
Hoopoe tribe. 

Promeropidce. Birds of the 
Hoopoe tribe. 

Psit'tacid. A bird of the Par- 
rot tribe. 

PsittacidcB. Birds of the Par- 
rot tribe. 

Ral'lid. A bird efihe Rail tribe. 

Rallidee, Birdsof the Rail tribe. 

Ramphas'tid. A bird of the 
Toucan tribe. 

Ramphastidce. Birds off the 
Toucan tribe. 

Rap'tor. A bird of the rapto- 
rial tribe. 

Raptores. Birds of prey, or 
raptorial birds. 

Raptorial. Having the quality 
of snatching — rapacious. 

Ra'sor. One of the gallinaceous 
or scratching birds. 

Rasores. Birds whose cha- 
racteristic is scratching : gal- 
linaceous birds. 

Recurvate. Curved backwards, 

Reniform. Kidney shaped. 

Retractile. Capable of being 
drawn backward or inwards. 

Revolute. Rolled or turned 

Rufous. Reddish yellow, some- 
what red. 

Scandent. Climbing. 

Scansile. Formed for climbing. 

Scan'sor. A climbing bird. 

Scansores. Climbing birds. 

Scansorial. Formed for climb- 

Scapular. Belonging to the 
shoulder blade. 

Scapulars. Feathers covering 
the back part of the shoulder. 

Scolopa'cid. A bird of the 
Snipe tribe. 

ScolopacidcB. Birds of the Snipe 

Scratcher. A bird that scratches 
the ground to obtain its food. 

Secondaries. The quill feathers 
of the second size in the wing. 

Semipalmate. 1 Half or parti- 

Semipalmated. > ally webbed. 



Snatcher. A bird of prey : a 
raptorial bird* 

Sqnamiform* Shaped like 

Sternum* The breast bone* 

Stri'gid. A bird of the Owl 

Strigidts. Birds of the Owl tribe, 

Struthiones. Ostriches: 
birds of the Ostrich tribe, 

Struthion'id* A bird of the 
Ostrich tribe. 

Strut hionidee. Birds of the 
Ostrich tribe* 

Stmthious. Having tiie quali- 
ties of the Ostrich tribe. 

Stur'nid. A bird of the Starl- 
ing tribe. 

Sturnidce. Birds of the Starling 

Subarched. Somewhat arched. 

Subconic. Somewhat conic. 

Subcrested. Somewhat crested. 

Subcylindric. Somewhat cy- 

Subincurved. Somewhat in- 

Subulate. Awl=.shaped~ 

Syl'viad. A bird of the Warbler 

Sylviadce. Birds of the Warbler 

Tenu'irost. A bird having a 
slender bill. 

Tenuirostres. Birds having 
slender bills. 

Tertials. The .smallest quill 
feathers of the wing* 

Tetraon'id. A bird of the 
Partridge and Grouse tribe. 

TetraomdtE . Birds of the Par- 
tridge and Grouse tribe. 

Textor. A weaver, 

Thoiacic duct. That tube or 
vessel which conveys the nu- 
triment from the absorbents 
to the blood. 

To'did. A bird of the Tody 

TodidfB. Birds of the Tody 

Tro'chilid. A humming-bird, 

Trochilidee* Humming-birds. 

Truncate* Appearing lopped 
or shortened* 

Vertebrce, The bones of the 
back and neck. 

Vinaceous. Having the colour 
of grape leaves, pale dull 

Viscera. The plural of Viscus. 

Viscus. A bowel or entrail : it 
is, however, used by auato- 
mists in a more extensive 
signification than this ; the 
heart is called a viscus ; and 
we frequently hear of the 
thoracic, as well as abdominal 

Vul'turid. A bird of the Vul- 
ture tribe. 

Vulturidee. Birds of the Vul- 
ture tribe. 

Wax. The membrane covering 
the base of the bill ; the ceve~ 


( * The Scientific names are distinguished thus: the ordinal 
and generic by capitals; the specific by Italics; the 

English, names by Roman letters. 



253 J 

Alca Alle 


Accipitres 32, 37, 




Address to the Blue-Bird 












theHedge-Sparrow 267 



Mrs. Kay 




























to a Wren 








African Beef-Eater 






American Hang-nest 










Arvensis ib 


























Amsel 259 








Anser (Ferus) 






the Chocolate, 






















Anas Crecca 


A ptenod yt es Patachoniea 




Apterix Australis 


Cygnus (Olur) 
















Gambensis , 


















































Arrangement of Brisson 

, 31 













Anatomy of Birds 




Angling, Lord Byron, on 


Arse-foot 189 

, 190 









the Greater 


the Black-billed, 














Anser Ferus 






Austrian Kite 










Cincinnatus, ib. 













The American, 















Bald Buzzard 


Banana Bird 










Baltimore Bird 


Banquet, the 








Barbauld, Mrs., Lines on 

the Quinary Arrangement,40 



the Abyssinian 




Spotted-bellied, ib. 

Yellow-cheeked, ib. 

Barbican, the Abyssinian, 












Barrington, Hon. [>., on 

the Songs of Birds 
















the Common 












the African 




Bell-bird 312, 341, 








Birds of London 


Bird of Paradise 


the Greater, ib. 
King of the, 321 
Bittern 200 

the Little 199 

Bittour ^00 

Black-bird 126, 264 

the Crow 357 

Michaelmas, 259 
's Song 263 j 

Black-Cap, 180, 219,220,273 j 
's Song 272 ] 

Cock 223 j 

Eagle 103 ! 

Game . 223 

Black Swan 125,344 

Black-necked Swan 125 

Blacky-Top 248 

Bloodof Birds 51 

Blow-pipe, the Indian 294 

Blue- bird 332 

Address to the, 334 

's Song 333 

Jay 154 

Boat-bill 340 

the Crested ib. 
White-bellied, ib. 

Bohemian Wax-wing 341 

Bone-Taker 20l 

Bones of Birds 48 

Booby 355 

Boonk 199 

Bottle-nose 213 

Bottle-Tom 218 

Bramble 253 
Brambling 193, 253 

Brantail 246 

Breaker 324 

Brisson's Arrangement, 30 
British and European 

Birds 97 

British Museum 94 

Bucco 324 

Elegans 325 

Philippensis, ib. 

Saltii 392 

Tamatia 325 

Zeylonicus ib. 

Bucerid 42 

BuCERIDiE ib. 

Buceros 383 

Bicornis ib. 

Hydrocorax, 384 

Undulata ib. 

Bulfinch 269 

the Greatest, 175 

's Sonnet 268 

Bum-barrel 218 

Bumpy-Coss 200 

Bunting 191, 192 

the Cirl 193 

Common 192 

Cow 337 

Green-headed, 193 

Mountain ib. 



Banting, the Reed 






Butcher- bird 




Another sort 

of, ib. 



the Greater, 














Buphaga, Africana 




Burrow Duck 



Buzzard, the Bald 






the Field 






By ros, Lord, on Angling, 6 









Callgels Cinerea 



's Song 



Canorous Cuculid, 


Caper-Calze 222 

Caper-Cally ib. 

Caprimulgid 41 

Caprimulgid^e 42 

Caprimulgus 310 

Americanns 3J5 
Asiaticus 313 

Carolinensis 315 
Europceus 311 

Grandis 313 

Indie us ib. 

Longipennis ib. 
Novte HollandicB i b . 
Virgini anus 

Carpenter's- Bird 
Cassowary, theGaleatcd, 


New Holland, ib. 
Southern, ib. 

Cassowary, the Van Die- 

men's Land 




Casuarius Dicmenianus 






Novte Hollands, 


the New Hollant 

!, ib. 



















the Pied 








Character, on the Forma- 

tion of, 


















Chatham, the first Loid, 






Chatterer, the Bohemian 341 
Carunculated 342 

























the Cornish 


Chuck-Will's- Widow 






















Cobler's Awl 




Cock and Hen,theCommon 

j 146 

ofihe Mountain 






the Indian 




Cockatoo, tlieBanksian 




Yellow-crested ib. 





Cold- Finch 




Coleridge, Mr., on the 

Nightingale's Song 


Colius, Leuconotus 














Columba Domestica 

Pas serin a 



Columbine Birds 

Colv, the White-backed 







G lac talis 






Coni rost 



the Bald 


Cornish -Chough 

Corrira Jtalica 





























Corvus Cristatus 154 
Cor ax 150 
Comix 153 
Corona ib. 
Frugilegus 148, 149 
Graculus 156 
Glandarius 154 
Monedula 153 
P^ca 155 
Cotiuga, the Scarlet 341 
Coucal 391 
the Gigantic ib. 
Pheasant ib. 
Coulternal 213 
Courser 390 
Courier, the Italian 265 
Cow-Bunting 337 
Blackbird ib. 
Cowpen ib, 
Bird ib. 
Oriole ib. 
Coy-Pools 130 
Coystrel 107 
Cracid 41 
Cracid^e ib. 
Cracker 186 
Crake 169 
the Corn 186 
Bean ib. 
Gallinuie ib. 
Water 169 
Crane 196,197,201,355 
the Common 197,198,201 
Dancing 202, ib. 
Gigantic 201 
Numidian 197 
Cranerv 198, 199 
Crank -Bird 167 
Crax 344 
A lector 345 
Galeata ib, 
Globicera ib. 
Pauxi ib. 
Vociferuns ib. 
Creeper 193 
the Common ib. 
Great Hooked- 
billed 330 
Long-billed 319 
Mocking 193 

Creeper, the Olive 320 

Tree 193 

Crek 186 

Criks 397 

Crocker 180 

Crooked-Bill 227 

Crop of Birds 52 

Cross-bill 174, 175 

Titmouse 219 

Crotophaga 326 

Ambulatoria ib. 

Ani ib. 

Major ib. 

Varia ib. 

Crow, the Buting 153 

Carrion ib. 

Common 161, ib. 

Dun ib. 

Gor ib. 

Hooded ib. 

Indian 397 

Mire 180 

Pease 344 

Red-Leeged 156 

Royston 153 

Scare ib. 

Sea 180, 354 

Crowned Vulture 104 

Cruelty to Animals, on, 

281, 282, 283 

Cuckoo 133, 137 

the Common ib. 

Honey-Guide 143 

Long-billed-Rain 144 

Pheasant 391 

Red-headed 393 

Sacred 144 

Address to the, 137 

Cuckoo's Maiden 208, 209 

Cuculid 42 

the Canorous 137, 303 

Cuculid^e 42 

Cucultjs 137 

Canorus ib. 

Flavus 144 

Honor atus ib. 

Indicator 1 43 

Orient alis 144 

Phasianns 391 

Vetula 144 















the Cashew 










the Fasciated 


















the Piping 








Curlew, the Common 

161, 163 





















Cygnus Ferus 







163, 20? 












the Black- throated 


the Black-bellied 




Surinam 343 
















Demoiselle-Heron 197 

, 202 











Dermody, a note on 


the Black and White, ib. 











the Hooded 












Domesticated Birds 












the Sea 




Doucker, the Great 










the Whinnle 






the Greenland. 187 




Dove, the Mountain 


Duck, the Edder 


Ring 118, 




's Lament 






St. George's 










of the Uni- 

Ducker, the Greater, 

ted States 


Crested, and Horned 














the Barra 










Dung- Hunter 










E m b l R i Z a Chlorocephala 


the Bald 








































East India House Museum 













Education, notice concern- 

of New South Wales 







Eggs of Birds 


English Lady 


Egret, the Great 


















the Abyssinian 








Esculent Swallow 158 


Ember Goose 



Change, Birds ar, 







Falco ioo 

JEruginosus 106 

Antillarum J 07 

Austriacus 105 

Burbatus 1 04 

B«<eo 106 

Coerulescens 109 

Chrysa'etos 101 

Communis 109 

Cyaneas 104 

Fulvus 1 03 

Gallicus 104 

Gyr falco 109 

Halia'etos 105 

Harpyia 104 

Lunnarius 109 

Leucocephalus 103 

Milvus 105 

A'isas 108 

(Esolon 109 

Orient alls 10? 

Ossifragus 102 

Palumbarius 108 

Peregrinus 110 

Pumilius 109 

Pygargus 1 04 

Seipentarius ib. 

Subbuteo 109 

Tinnunculus 107 

Vespertinus 109 

Falcon, the Aged 109 

Common ib. 

Gentle ib. 

Ingrian ib. 

Kestril 107 

Peregrine 110 

Tiny 109 

Yearly ib. 

Falconid 43 

Falconid^ 41 

Fallow Smich 247 

Finch ib. 

Feathers of Birds 46 

Feldef'are 258 

Fieldefare ib. 

Fieldfare 258 

the Pigeon ib. 

Fig-Eater 248 

Finch 252 

the Beech ib. 

Canary 401 

Cold 370 

Cherry 175 

Fallow 217 

Gold 252 

Great Pied 

Mountain 193 

Green 175 

Haw 175, 176 

Lesser Mountain, 193 



Pied Mountain 




the African 
Fire- Bird 


Fissirost 43j 



the Chilese 
Fly -Catcher 

the Cat 

throated 371 
Spotted 370 
Food of Birds, on the, 53,55,276 
Foreign Birds 201 

Forest-Hill 9 

French Eagle 104 

Pie 194 










Frigate- Bird 


Fringilla Spinus 






the Great 












































Galeny 230 

Gallina ib. 

Galling 34 

Gallinaceous Birds ib. 

Gallinula 36 

Galunule 216, 217 

the Common 216 

Crake 186 

Crowing 218 

Purple ib. 

Spotted 187 

Gambet 183 

Game, what, 207 

Black 223 

Moor 207 

Red 224 

White 222 

Gannet 227,356 

Garganey 129 

Gaunt 189 

Geese, on the Plucking of, 287 

Gid 162 

Gillihowter 235 

Glareola 211 

Austriaca ib. 

Navia ib. 

Senegalensis ib. 

Glead 105 

Glee 275 

Glossary 437 

Goat-Owl 311 

Goat-Sucker 156, 310 


the Bombay 










Nocturnal 311 

Short-winged 313 




Will 313 


Goderich, Lord Viscount 


a Note 


Godwit, the Cambridge 




















Goldfinch 174, 


's Song 




Goose, the Barrel Headed 126 













Goose, the Bustard 126 

Canada 12? 

Chinese 126 

Clatter 12? 

Ember 188 

Eider 12? 

Fen 129 

Great, of Siberia 126 

Grey-Lag 129 

Imber 188 

Muscovy 126 

Rat 127 

Road ib. 

Sly 126 

Small Grey 127 

Snow 126 

Soland 356 

Spar-winged 126 

Swan ib. 

Tame 129 

Wild 213, ib. 

Goosander 209 

the Imperial 210 

Red-Breasted ib. 

Gor-Cock 224 

Gor-Crow 153 

Goshawk 108 

Gracula 357 

Barita ib. 

Crist ellaia 353 

Quiscala 357 

Religiosa ib. 

Sturvina ib. 

Grakle ib. 








the Boat-tailed 

Grall^s; Pinnatipedes 36 

Greatest Buifinch 175 

Grebe 187 

the Crested 189 

Dusky ib. 

Eared ib. 

Little ib. 

Tippet ib. 

Green-Finch 175 

Green Humming-Bird 350 

Linnet 175 

Legged-Horseman, 163 

Sparrow 349 

Greenshank ib. 

Greenland-Dove 187, 213 

Gregariousness of Birds, on 

the, 85 

Grey-Pate 252 

Skit 186 

Grigi 347 

Grosbeak 174, 175 

the Abyssinian 177 

Brimstone 176 

Cardinal ib. 

Green 175 

Haw ib. 

Pensile 177 

Philippine 176 

Pine 175 

Sociable 177 

Three- toed 364 

Ground-Pigeon 120 

Huck-muck 246 

Parakeet 350 

Grouse 221, 222 

the Black 223 

Great 222 

Pinnated 224 

Red ib. 

Wood 222 

Gruid 43 


Guan 339 

the Crested ib. 

Guillemot 187 

the Black ib. 

Foolish ib. 

Lesser 188 

Winter ib. 

Guinea-Fowl 58, 230 

Hen ib. 

Guira-Guainumbi 368 

Gull 178 

the Arctic 180 

Black-Cap ib. 

Headed ib. 

Toed 131 

Brown ib. 

Headed 180 



Gull, the Cloven-Footed 344 

Common 178 

GreatBlack-backed 179 

and White ib. 

Herring ib. 

Laughing 180 

of Montagu 181 

Less Black-blacked 180 

Gull, the Pewit 180 

Sea 178 

Skua 181 

Wagel ib. 

White- Web-footed, 178 
Winter 18 1 

Teazer 180. 343 

Gyr-falcon, the Brown 109 




H^ematopus ostrulgeus 














the American 


Banner's Cottage 


Hawfinch 175 






the Duck 






Hover 107,140 



























's Complaint 


Lines to a, 




Hen and Cock, theCommon 146 









Heron ib 

. 200 

Heron, the Common 

Demoiselle 197, 
Great White 
Lesser Ash-Co- 






Hick- Wall 


Hill of Freedom 














ib. 388 



Pelasgica 159 

Purpurea 158 

Riparia 159 

Rufa 158 

Rustica 157 

Vrbica 158 

Hobby 109 

Hocco 345 

Home-Screech 258 

Holm-Thrush ib. 

Honey-Eater 329 

the Great-Hook- 

ed-billed 330 
Hooked-billed ib. 

Olive 320 

Foe 329 



Honey-Eating Birds 42 

Hooded-Crow 153 
Hoop 202, 269 

Hooper 125 

Hoopoe 202 

tiie Common ib. 

Crested 203 

Hoopoe-Hen 406 

Horn-Pill 383 

the Indian 384 

Jealous ib. 

Philippine 383 

Undulate 384 

Horse-Finch 252 

Horse of the Woods 222 

House-Sparrow 280 

's Speech 279 

Hover-Hawk 107, 140 

Hovvlet 235 

Huck-Muck 218 

Hamming-Bird 316 

the Green 349 

Least 318 

Red-throated 317 

Ruby-necked 318 

Supercilious ib. 

Hurgill 201 

Ibis 325 

the Egyptian ib. 

Glossy 327 

Scarlet 326 


Wood ib. 

Imbei-Diver 188 

Goose ib. 


Incubation of Birds 
ib. I Insessor 






Insessores 41, 42 

Instinct, on, 289, 290, 291, 292 
Introduction i 




Jacana, the Faithful, 


the American 








New Holland 










the Blue 


the Chesnnt 










', the Common 171 



Crested 172 



Green-Headed ib. 



Purple ib. 



Splendid ib. 





Kidneys of Birds 


the Austrian, ib. 









the Belted 







Lady's Hen 



Land -Hen 












the Bunting 

177, 183 
43, 343 
Crested" 114 

Common Field, 112,250 
Dusky 114 

Field ib. 

Lesser Crested ib. 

Field ib. 

Meadow 113, 114 

Mounting 112,250 

Old Field 113 

Pennsylvania 114 

Pipit* 112 

Red 114 

Rock ib. 

Sea ib. 473, 192 

Short-heeled Field, 114 
Sky 112,250 

Tit 113 

Willow 248 

Wood 113,114 

's Song 249 

Larus 178 

Argent at us 180 

Atricillu 181 

Carnts 178 

Caturractes 181 

Crepidatas ib. 

Fuscus 179 

Larus Marinus 179 
N&vius 181 
Parasiticus 180 
Ridibundus ib. 
Rissa ib. 
Latham's Arrangement 31 
Laverock 250 
Lavy 187 
Lee 8 
Lewisham 1, 8 
Linnean Arrangement 27 
Society 97 
Linnet, the Brown 262 
Common ib. 
Greater Red- 
headed 253 
Green 175 
Grey 262 
Lesser Red- 
headed 253 
Mountain ib. 
's Song 261 
Liver of Birds 55 
Locust -Bird 260 
Long-Legs 174 
Neck 199 
Tongue 208 
Long-tail-Mag 218 
Pie 219 
Long-tailed Capon 218 
Titmouse ib. 
Loon 187, 188 
the Ash-coloured, 189 
Greater ib. 
Grey ib. 
Speckled ib. 
Lory, the Ceram 397 
Scarlet ib. 
Yellow-breasted ib. 
Louisine Starling 169 
Loxia 174 
Abyssinica 1 77 
Cardinalis 176 
Chloris 175 
Coccothraustes ib. 
Curvirostra ib. 



Loxia Enuclealor 




Pens His 






Lunda Bouger 




Lungs of Birds 



177 1 Lnscinian Sylvia 

132, 303 


176 J Sylviad 







Macaw, the Red and Bine 










Novce Hollandids 




the New Holland 






the Mountain 


the Minute 


Male and Female, differ- 

Red-breasted ib. 

ence between, 58, 64 



Malkoha, the Red-headed 








Man-of-War Bird, 336 

, 355 







theBlack-capped 406 



















's Song 












Ma rail 










Merulid 42 


xMartin, the Bank 






Mew, the Sea, 








Migration of Birds 




Migratory Summer Birds 




Winter Birds 




Mimic Thrush 







3 94 







Maw, the Sea 


















to the, 




Mocking-bird's Song 405 
\s Night Sortg 418 
the English 

273, 375 

French 375 

Mock-Nightingale 373 

Momotus 567 

Brasiliensis 368 

Moor Buzzard 106 

Cock 224 

Coot 216 

Hen ib. 

Titling 248 

More- Hen 216 

Morrot 188 

MoTAcn.LA 241,365 

Africana 366 

Alba 247 

Arundinacea 246 

Atricapilla 273 

^Estiva 366 

Bananivora 367 

Boarula 247 

Calendula 367 

Curolinensis ib. 

Curruca 366 

Cyanea ib. 

Dartfordiensis 248 

Flava ib. 

Hippolais 246 

Ilortensis ib. 

Luscinia 132 

Nodularis 266 

iSWiu 248 

CEnanthe 247 

Palmarum 366 

Pensilis 367 

Phixnicurm 246 

Regulus 254 

Nubecula 241 

Rubetra 248 

Rubkolu ib. 

Motacilla Salicaria 243 

Sphiicauda 366 

Sutoria 323 

%/fia 248 

Sijlriella 248 

Sylvicola 246 

Troch'rius ib. 

Troglodytes C M°2 

Mother Cary's Chicken 214 

Goose ib. 

Motmot 367 

the Brazilian 368 

Moulting of Birds 46 

Mountain Dove 120 

Finch 253 

Cock 224 

Linnet 253 

Magpie 194 

Mounting-Lark 250 

Mouse-Hawk 236 

Birds 286 

Mullet 213 

Mumruffin 219 

Murdering-Bird 194 

Murre 187,212 

Musclcapa 370 

A'edon 371 

Atricapilla 370 

Carolhiensis 371 

Flabellifera ib. 

Grisola 370 

Rubicollis 37 1 

Musicapid 42 

Muscicapid-*; ib. 

Muscovy-Duck 130 

Muskef 107 

Musophaga Violncea 390 

Musquet ib. 

Mycteria 369 

Americana ib. 

Asiatica ib. 

RovceHoUandice 370 


Na?ator 43, 99 

Natatohes 41 

Nectariniad 42 

Nectariniad^e ib. 

Nest of the Blackbird 19 

Nest of the Chaffinch 19 


lovv 23 

Goldfinch 19 

House-Sparrow 20 



Nest of the Humming- 


, 81 

Night Heron 



Jar 194, 








Nightingale 128 




Address to the 

, ib. 



's Notes, on the 

!, 68 



's Song 




the Mock 


Rnfous Bee- 









Nomenclature of Ornitho- 
















Numida Meleagris 










the White 






Nullification of Birds 




Night Hawk 







Oriolus Textor 


Oriental Hawk 


Ornithologia, Part I. 





Part II. 


the Baltimore 






the English 


Black and Yellow ib. 

Osprey 102, 105, 








the Black 



























's Song 


Ourah, what 







the Brook 





































the Aluco 




Owl, the Black 


Owl, the 











Common Barn 











































>ter-Catcher, the Pied 





Pairing of Birds 


Partridge, the Perching 














Crist at a 


Pa u us 


















Parakeet, the Caroline 








Paroquet, the Golden 














Passenger Pigeon 




Pass ekes 29, 33 



Passerine Birds 






the Alexandrine 














Thibet anus 








the Crested 










the Barbary 


























Pel ec an us Carbo 354 

Graculus 355 

Onocratalus 353 

Sula 355 

Peiecanid 43 

Pelecanid^; 41 

Pelican 348, 353 

the Frigate 355 

White 353 

Penelope c3§ 

Cristata ib. 

Cumunensis ib. 

Maril ib. 

Pi-pile ib. 

Penge-Wood 12 

Penguin (see Pinguin) 

213, 387 

Pennant's Arrangement 30 

Perchers 42 

Persic 36y 

Petrel 214 

the Broad-billed 215 

Fulmar ib. 

Giant 214 

Little ib. 

Shear-Water 215 

Stormy 214 

Petty-chaps, the Greater, 246 

Lesser ib. 

Pewit 183 

Fhalaiope 184 

the Grey ib. 

Red ib. 

Phalaropus 36, ib. 

Pharoah's Chicken 310 

Phasianid 43 

Phasianid^e 41 

PR ASIAN us 144,391 

Argus 147 

Colchicus 144 

Cristatus 147 

Gullus 146 

Mexicanus 147 

Super bus ib. 

Phaeton 348 

JEthereus i 349 

Meianorynchos ib. 

Pha;nicuru8 ib. 

Pheasant 144 

the Arjrus 147 

Pheasant, Cock 345 

the Common 144 

Courier 147 

Crested ib. 

Golden ib. 

Mountain 385 

of Guiana 345 

Philomel 132 

Philomela jb. 

Phcenicophaus Pyrrhoce- 

phalus 393 

Phcenicopterus 322 

Chilensis 313 

Ruber 322 

Phytotoma Rara 354 

Picarini 227 

Pic^e n f 33 

Picid 43 

Picid^; 42 

Picus 164 

Auratus 167 

Erythrucephalus 166 

Major 16? 

Martins 165 

Minor ±67 

Principalis 166 

Pubescens 167 

Villa sus jb. 

Viridis 16 5 

Pie 155 

the French 394 

Pienet gjj_ 

Pies 27," 33 

Piet i69 

Pigeon 34,115 

the Carolina 120 

Carrier 1 16 

Common ib. 

Domestic ib. 

Fan-tail ib. 

Great Crowned 

Indian 121 

Ground 120 

Horseman 1 1 6 

Passenger 120 

Ring 271 

Rock ii 8 

Hough-footed 116 

Stock ib. 

Tumbler ib. 
x 2 



Pigeon, the White-Rumped 118 

J Plover, the Stone 


Wood 115,118,271 















the Apterous 






Honey -Eater 




Bird's Song 




Pogonius Saltii 




















Pope on Instinct 


Pip, the 


























the Austrian 












Prior on Reason and In 





Pitt, Mr. 


Prist Andun 






the Abyssinian ib. 







Plantain-Eater, the Violet 


























Pi omerops, the Grand 








New Guinea, 

Plough Boy's Song 






Proventriculus of Birds 


the Bastard 








Cream-coloured ib. 











Green 173, 





















40 i 

Psittaccs Crist atus 


























Pulse of Birds 

















Qua- Bird 



27 1 





the Virginian 




Quebrada, what 


Quinary Arrangement 





RECURViRosTRA^lmencawas ib. 





the Land 






's Song 












Legged -Crow 








the Greater 








Shank, the Spotted 










Ram plies tid 










Red-Headed- Widgeon 




Reed- Bunting 







43, 99 

the Lesser 







43, 99 









Rhynchops nigra 


the Night 








Reason, what 






Ring-Dove 115 

, 271 



'8 Lament 







Roller, the Brazilian Saw- 





Ring-tailed- Eagle 








the Golden 


Rook ' 





Address to the, 







the Wood 




Robin et 

















Scolopax CEgocephala 










the Aberdeen 




Ash-coloured ib. 









Scopus Umbretta 




















the Chaja 












Scytiirops Psittacus 





J 80, 


































Scientific Terras 


Bal tner's Great 

























the Lesser 




















161 j 





Sedge-Bird 243 

Warbler ib. 

Wren ib. 

Selby's British Birds 92 

Senses of Birds 49 

Serpent-Vulture 104 

Serula 210 

Seven-Sleepers 82 

Shag 355 

Shear- Water 215 

Sheath-bill, the White 384 

Sheldrake 126 

Sheld-Apple 175 

Shepster 168 

Shieldrake 126 

Shore-Bird 159 

Shoveler 128 

Shovelards v 207 

Slireek 194 

Shrike ib. 

the Cinereous ib. 

Great ib. 

Cinereous ib. 

Red-Backed 195 

Tyrant 196 

Silk-tail 341 

Siskin 253 

Sitta Europcea 205 

Skeer-Devil 158 

S kiddy-Cock 186 

Skimmer, the Black 324 

Skippog ib. 

Skir-Devil 158 

Skreech 258 

Thrush ib. 

Sky-Lark 250 

's Song 249 

Sleep of Birds 56 

Smew 210 

the Minute ib. 

Red-Headed ib. 

Snake-Eater 104 

Bird -342 

Snatchers 123 

Snipe, the Common 16 1 

Great ib. 

Jack 162 

Jadreka ib. 

Least 185 

Spotted 162 

Snipe, the Summer 185 

Suite 161 

Snorter 247 

Snow-Bird 191 

Bunting ib. 

Flake ~ ib, 

Soland Goose 356 

Song of the Blackbird 263 

Black-Cap 272 

Blue-Bird 333 

Bulfinch (Son- 
net) 268 
Canary- Bird 400 
Goldfinch 25 1 

Complaint 265 
Linnet 261 

Manakin 404 

Mocking-Bird 405 
Night 418 

Nightingale 69,274 
Oriole 407 

Plough-Boy 3 

Poe-Bird 33l 

Redbreast 239 

Ring-Dove (La- 
ment) 270 
Skylark 249 
Tan age r 409 
Thrush 255 
Woodlark (In- 
vocation) 112 

(Morning) 351 


(Evening) 415 

Songs of Birds, on the 67 

Song-Thrush 257 

Sonnet of the Bulfinch 268 

Spar-Hawk 108 

Sparkling-Fowl 210 

Sparrow 280 

the Green 349 

Hedge 266 

House 280 


Hawk 108 

Lesser-Reed 248 

Sparrows 29 








the Dwarf 






Nova Hollanditc 






Spring, Address to the 












Stare 167 

, 168 







the Cape 








































Sterne's Starling 


the Car 







Stomach of Birds 
















Lesser Sea 




Swan, the Black 























Stopping, what 




Stork, the White 


Sweet, Mr. on the Songs 



of Birds 








the White-Collared 
















Sylvia 239, 
























Passei ina 










the Luscinian 




Sylviad 42, 



Structure of Birds 











Tetrao Scoticus 


's Nest 
















the Black and Blue ib. 











's Song 






Thrush 66, 67, 




the Alarm 
















Missel toe 


























Taylor- Bird, see Tailor- 







Teal, the Common 


Wood 350 




's Song 




Tidley Goldfinch 




Tinamou, the Great 








Tinta Negra 




Tiny Falcon 






the Black 










the Amorous 








Blue 162 

, 219 



























Tod id 


















X 3 



To d us Platyrhynos 


Troehilid 4S 

i, 251 





Tody, the Green 
















Tomtit 162 




the Great Black- 







Little Black- 













Tropic Bird 





the Green 














Tronpiole 340, 363 

, 364 





Trachea of Birds 


the Gold- breasted ib. 



























Melodus 351,352 
















































the Common 














Tringa, the Cock-Coot- 





of the United 

Grey Coot- 





the Sea 


Red Coot- 














Umbre, the Tufted 


Upupa Papuensis 















Vaginalis Alba 



Valedictory Lines 


the Aquiline 


Valley of Nightingales 




Vanellus Tricolor 








Velvet Runner 




Vigor's Arrangement 














Vultures, the King of the 












, 123 


Waders 28, 35 

Warbler, the Superb 










the Cinereous 






Warblers, Address to the 




























Hen, the Common 














the African 










Wattle Bird, the Cinereous 384 



W T ave, the Tenth 















Web-footed Birds 
















Wheat-Ear 247 

Wheel-Bird 311 

Whewer 128 

Whim ib. 

Whimbrel 163 

Whin-Chat 248 

Whip-poor-Wili 313, 314 

White-Game 222 

Nun 210 

Tail 247 

Throat §48 

the Lesser ib. 

Wagtail 247 

Widgeon 128 

the Red-headed ib. 

Wierangle 194 

Wild-Geese 129, 213 

Willock 187, 213 

Willow-Lark 248 

Wiliy-Wmky 192 

Wilson, Alexander, 

some Account of 90 

Wind-Hover 107 

Winter Gull 181 

Mew ib. 

Witch 214 

Wit-wall 362 

Wood-Chat 195 

Woodcock 160 

the Sea 1 62 

Woodcracker 205 

Woodlark 113 

's Invocation 112 

Wood-Pigeon 115, 118, 271 

Quist ib. 274 

Robin 350, 351 

's Song ib. 

Address to the, 352 


Thrush 351 

Titmouse 245 

Woodpecker 164, 165, 166 

the Downy 167 

Gold en- winged ib. 

Great-black 165 


Green 165 

Hairy 167 

Ivory-billed 166 

Lesser-spotted 167 

Red-headed 166 

White-billed ib, 

Woodspite 165 

Woodwall ib. 

Wourali Poison, what 294 

Wran 242 

Wren ib. 

the Caroline 367 

Common 242 

Cutty ib. 

Golden 245 

Crested ib. 

Green 246 

Ground ib. 

Louisiane 367 

Reed 246 

Ruby-crowned 367 

Scotch 246 

Sedge 248 

Tailor 323 

Willow 246 

Wood ib. 

Yellow ib. 

Wren, Lines to a 243 

Wryneck 208 





Yar whelp 



Zoological Society 





Yellow-Bird from Bengal 362 

Young Birds 
Yunx Torquilla 


99 I Zumbadore 


ib. 226 




307, 315 





Was designed to have been presented to the House 
of Commons during the Session of 1827; but on its 
being placed in the hands of one of the leading mem- 
bers of the House, it was found, as it was in effect, a 
Petition for a pecuniary grant, that it could not be pre- 
sented without the sanction of the Crown. It is, therefore, 
now made public, in the hope it may excite that attention 
which it is believed the plan deserves. 

To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of 
Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled. 

The humble Petition of James Jennings, of Dalby 
Terrace, City Road, Gentleman, 


That your Petitioner has been for many 
years engaged in the composition of several Literary 
Works, among others, of the Family Cyclopedia; — Observa- 
tions on the Dialects of the West of England, particularly 
Somersetshire, with a Glossary of Words now in use there, 
and Poems and other Pieces exemplifying the Dialect ; — and 
of Ornithologia, or the Birds, a Poem, with an Introduction 
to their Natural History, and copious Notes. That he has 
also devoted much of his time to the study of Lexicography, 
as his work on the Somerset Dialect will shew, and is de- 
sirous of preparing a Dictionary of the English Language 
that shall be at once the most copious in words, the most 



useful and the most convenient of any extant; and one which, 
lie trusts, would do credit to the Country, to the Language, 
and to himself. 

That the deficiency of most, if not all, of our present 
Dictionaries has been long acknowledged ; that the volumi- 
nous work of Dr. Johnson, improved as it has been very 
materially by Mr. Todd, is yet extremely deficient in many 
words, particularly in those relative to, or used in the pro- 
cesses connected with the arts, manufactures, and science. 
That such words as are now commonly used in popular 
treatises on Medicine, Chemistry, Botany, &c. ought to be 
found in an English Dictionary ; and that many other 
words in constant use, but which have not yet been fixed in 
a Dictionary of the English Language, ought also to have 
a place there. 

That it will, no doubt, excite surprise to be told that 
neither the word Brad, as a generic term for a nail without 
a head (of which there are various sizes from half an inch 
to three inches in length,) nor the compound word Brad-awl 
will be found in Todd's Johnson. It is true the word 
Brad is in that work, but is there defined " a sort of nail 
to floor rooms with ;" thus only giving a specific definition 
instead of a generic one, which ought to be given, and thus 
misleading the reader as to the meaning of the word. 

That in the Dictionary which your Petitioner contem- 
plates, he will not servilely follow, as has been too commonly 
the practice, either Dr. Johnson or any other writer, in 
the Definition, Orthography, Etymology, or Pronunciation 
of words. He will correct such Definitions as are ma- 
nifestly erroneous ; and the Orthography and Pronunciation 
will be regulated by the best usage : in a word, his Dic- 
tionary shall be, if possible, what it ought to be, a complete 
copy of our language as spoken and written at the present 
time. l 


That such a Dictionary will be, therefore, not only more 
correct in its definitions, but, it will be also the Petitioner's 
peculiar care to make it, the most copious in words, of 
any Dictionary extant; that he will avail himself of all 
the knowledge which is abroad relaiive to Etymology in 
addition to his own ; and that he will, besides, make it a 
Pronouncing Dictionary. That it is by the Copious Ad- 
dition of Words, and upon the combination of Pronunciation 
with Etymology and Definition in one Volume, he 
chiefly relies for the originality and utility of his work. 
But this is not all. Your Petitioner will add, in a separate 
Alphabetical arrangement, all our provincial words, as far 
as they can be collected, either from his own knowledge or 
from respectable Glossarists ; and also such terms of art, 
words from foreign languages, &c. &c. which often occur 
in English authors, but which are, nevertheless, not English 
words ; such are Ennui, aufait, literati, andante, &c. &c. 

That many words not now used, but found in our old 
authors, usually termed obsolete words, would, in this last 
arrangement, find an appropriate place; where also such 
synonyms as Sarum for Salisbury, Barum for Barnstaple, 
Salop for Shrewsbury, &c. &c. would appear, an explana- 
tion of these being essential to a correct knowledge of 
our Language by Foreigners, as well as, indeed, by the na^ 
tives of this country. 

That, in order to render the Dictionary as complete as 
possible, he should prepare an original and compendious 
Grammar for it, in which a series of Lessons would be 
given in which this part of the science of speech may be 
more effectually and expeditiously acquired. 

That it would also contain a History of the Language 
itself, and a brief sketch of the principal Grammars and 
Dictionaries relating to it which have appeared since the 
invention of the art of printing. 


That such a Dictionary should be published in one 
quarto volume of about one hundred sheets; and also 
afterwards in octavo. That such a work is a Desideratum 
in our Literature, and would, if published, obtain extensive 
circulation, and greatly contribute to a correct knowledge 
of our copious and excellent language. 

That the work of your Petitioner on Birds, a work of 
considerable labour, and, he hopes, of some merit, has been 
for many months ready for the Press, and although, in other 
times, it would most probably have met with a ready ac- 
ceptance among the Booksellers, not one to whom it has 
been offered will, in the present depressed state of trade, 
undertake its publication. 

That this circumstance is in itself greatly distressing to 
your Petitioner with his scanty means of subsistence ; and 
he cannot, therefore, however willing, afford to devote so 
much time (at least three years of incessant assiduity) as 
will be requisite to prepare such a Dictionary for the Press, 
unless he can be assured of pecuniary remuneration ; and 
he has no reason for believing that any bookseller would, 
at the present time, be disposed to give an order for such 
a work. 

Your Petitioner, therefore, most humbly prays that your 
Honourable House will be pleased to take the Premises into 
your consideration ; and he solicits and hopes that, from the 
desire which your Honourable House has evinced for the 
encouragement of Literature, you will afford him such 
assistance and in such a way as to your Honourable House 
shall seem meet. 

And your Petitioner shall ever pray. 

London ; 
No. 9, Dalby Terrace, City Road. 
May 15, 1827. 


In two vols. 8vo. price 26s. 





Second Edition, 


This work is alphabetically arranged., and comprises all the 
recent Inventions, Discoveries, and Improvements, in Domestic 
Economy, Agriculture, and Chemistry; the most approved me- 
thods of Curing Diseases ; with the Mode of Treatment in cases 
of Drowning, other Accidents, and Poisons ; Observations on Diet 
and Regimen; a comprehensive account of the most striking 
objects in Natural History, animate and inanimate; and a detail 
of various processes in the Arts and Manufactures; also a 
concise view of the Human Mind and the Passions, with their 
particular application to our Improvement in Education and 

For a character of this work see the Revue Encyclopedique 
for March, 1821, and Jan. 1822 — the Monthly Magazine — the 
Journal of Arts — the Taunton Courier, &c. &c. 

London : Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper. 

In Svo. price 4s. 







In December and November f 1822, 


For a character of this work see the Public Papers at the time 
of its delivery — the Monthly Magazine, Literary Chronicle, 
Journal of Arts, &c. &c. 

London : Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper. 

In l2mo. price 7s. 


Particularly Somersetshire ; 






" We have read with much pleasure the above ingenious 
work, and are persuaded that the curious etymologist and 
philological inqtiirer will regard it as a literary gem."' 

" The exemplifications of the dialect in verse and prose are 
copious and judicious. Several of the poems will be admired 
for their pathetical simplicity. If there be a man in the me- 
tropolis who may have resigned the cottage for the warehouse, 
the grove for the mart, and can read * Good bwije ta thee CotJ 
without a sigh of regret, we sincerely congratulate him — London 
agrees with him." — Gent Blag. Supp. for 1826.— See also the 
Monthly Mag. for 1825. 

London : Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. 

In the Press, and shortly will be published, 
By the same Author, 





The Science of Phrenology— the Doctrine of Necessity — Punish- 
ment, and Education, are particularly considered, 
(A Lecture delivered at the Mechanics' Institution, London,) 



London: Poole and Edwards, Ave Maria Lane. 

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