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loose texture, with its filaments not adhering; the white is in the centre of every feather, and is skirted with brown; lower part of the back, rump, and tail-coverts, rusty brown, the last minutely tipt with whitish; the tail is as long as the body, of a light drab colour, with the inner webs dusky, and consists of twelve quills, each sloping off and tapering to a point in the manner of the Woodpeckers, but proportionably weaker in the shafts; in many specimens the tail was very slightly marked with transverse undulating waves of dusky, scarce observable; the two middle feathers the longest, the others on each side shortening by one-sixth of an inch to the outer one; the wing consists of nineteen feathers, the first an inch long, the fourth and fifth the longest, of a deep brownish black, and crossed about its middle with a curving band of rufous white, a quarter of an inch in breadth, marking ten of the quills; below this the quills are exteriorly edged to within a little of their tips with rufous white, and tipt with white; the three secondaries next the body are dusky white on their inner webs, tipt on the exterior margin with white, and above that alternately streaked laterally with black and dull white; the greater and lesser wing coverts are exteriorly tipt with white, the upper part of the exterior edges of the former rufous white; the line over the eye and whole lower parts are white, a little brownish toward the vent; but on the chin and throat pure, silky and glistening; the white curves inwards about the middle of the neck; the bill is half an inch long, slender, compressed sidewise, bending downwards, tapering to a point, dusky above and white below; the nostrils are oblong, half covered with a convex membrane, and without hairs or small feathers; the inside of the mouth is reddish; the tongue tapering gradually to a point, and horny towards the tip; the eye is dark hazel; the legs and feet a dirty clay colour; the toes placed three before and one behind, the two outer ones connected with the middle one to the first joint; the claws rather paler, large, almost semi-circular, and extremely sharp pointed; the hind claw the largest. The figure in
the plate represents a male of the usual size in its exact proportions, and, but for the satisfaction of foreigners, might have rendered the whole of this prolix description unnecessary.
BLACK AND WHITE CREEPER.
[Plate XIX. -Fig. 3.]
EDWARDS, pl. 300.-White poll Warbler, Arct. Zool. 402. No.
293.-Le figuier varié, Buff. V, 505.-LATH. 11,488.-Turton, 1, p. 603.—PEALE's Museum, No. 7092.
This nimble and expert little species seldom pcrches on the small twigs; but circumambulates the trunk, and larger branches, in quest of ants and other insects, with admirable dexterity. It arrives in Pennsylvania, from the south, about the twentieth of April, the young begin to fly early in July; and the whole tribe abandon the country about the beginning of October. Sloane describes this bird as an inhabitant of the West India islands, where it probably winters. It was first figured by Edwards from a dried skin sent him by Mr. William Bartram, who gave it its present name. Succeeding naturalists have classed it with the warblers; a mistake which I have endeavoured to rectify.
The genus of Creepers comprehends about thirty different species, many of which are richly adorned with gorgeous plumage; but, like their congenial tribe the Woodpeckers, few of them excel in song; their tongues seem better calculated for extracting noxious insects from the bark of trees, than for trilling out sprightly airs; as the hardened hands of the husbandman are better suited for clearing the forest or guiding the plough, than dancing among the keys of a forte-piano. Which of the two is the most honourable and useful employment is not difficult to determine. Let the farmer, therefore, respect this little bird for its useful qualities, in clearing his fruit and forest
• Linnæus placed this bird in his genus Motacilla, and Latham arranged it in Sylvia. It does not belong to the genus Certhia as at present restricted.
trees from destructive insects; though it cannot serenade him
with its song.
The length of this species is five inches and a half, extent seven and a half; crown white, bordered on each side with a band of black, which is again bounded by a line of white passing over each eye, below this is a large spot of black covering the ear feathers; chin and throat black; wings the same, crossed transversely by two bars of white; breast and back streaked with black and white; tail, upper and also under coverts, black, edged and bordered with white; belly white; legs and feet dirty yellow; hind claw the longest, and all very sharp pointed; bill a little compressed sidewise, slightly curved, black above, paler below; tongue long, fine-pointed, and horny at the extremity. These last circumstances, joined to its manners, characterize it, decisively, as a Creeper.
The female and young birds of the first year want the black on the throat, having that part of a grayish white.
GREAT CAROLINA WREN.
[Plate XII. -Fig. 5.)
Le Roitelet de la Louisiana, Pl. Enl. 730, fig. 1.-Lath. Syn. vii,
p. 507, var. B.-Le Troglodytes de la Louisiana, Buff. Ois. v, p. 361.-Motacilla Caroliniana (regulus magnus,) BARTRAM, p. 291.—Peale's Museum, No. 7248.
This is another of those equivocal species that so often occur to puzzle the naturalist. The general appearance of this bird is such, that the most illiterate would at first sight call it a Wren; but the common Wren of Europe, and the Winter Wren of the United States, are both warblers, judging them according to the simple principle of Linnæus. The present species, however, and the following (the Marsh Wren,) though possessing great family likeness to those above mentioned, are decisively Creepers, if the bill, the tongue, nostrils and claws are to be the criteria by which we are to class them.
The colour of the plumage of birds is but an uncertain and inconstant guide; and though in some cases it serves to furnish a trivial or specific appellation, yet can never lead us to the generic one. I have, therefore, notwithstanding the general appearance of these birds, and the practice of former ornithologists, removed them to the genus Certhia, from that of Motacilla, where they have hitherto been placed.
This bird is frequently seen, early in May, along the shores of the Delaware, and other streams that fall into it on both sides,
• This and the two following species were placed by Latham in the genus Sylvia, whence they have been removed by Wilson, without apparently, sufficient reason.
| We add the following synonymes:-Motacilla troglotydes, varg Gmel. vol. I, p. 994.--Sylvia ludoviciana, Latu. Index Orn. sp. 150.