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Ornithological Biography/Volume 1/Carbonated Warbler

60 Carbonated Warbler.jpg


Sylvia carbonate.


I shot the two little birds here represented, near the village of Henderson, in the State of Kentucky, in May 1811. They were both busily engaged in searching for insects along the branches and amongst the leaves of a Dog-wood tree. Their motions were those common to all the species of the genus Sylvia. On examination, they were found to be both males. I am of opinion, that they were both young birds of the preceding year, and not in full plumage, as they had no part of their dress seemingly complete, excepting the head. Not having met with any other individuals of the species, I am at this moment unable to say any thing more about them. They were drawn, like all the other birds which I have represented, immediately after being killed; but the branch on which you see them was not added until the following summer.

The common name of this plant is Service Tree. It seldom attains a greater height than thirty or forty feet, and is usually found in hilly ground of secondary quality. The berries are agreeable to the taste, and are sought after by many species of birds, amongst which the Red-headed Woodpecker is very conspicuous.

Sylvia carbonata.

Young Male. Plate LX.

Bill of ordinary length, nearly straight, subulato-conical, acute, nearly as deep as broad at the base, the edges acute, the gap line slightly deflected at the base. Nostrils basal, lateral, elliptical, half-closed by a membrane. Head rather small. Neck short. Body slender. Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus longer than the middle toe, covered anteriorly by a few scutella, acutely-edged behind; toes scutellate above, the inner free, the hind toe of moderate size; claws slender, compressed, acute, arched.

Plumage, soft, blended, tufty. Wings of ordinary length, acute, the second quill longest. Tail short, notched.

Bill brownish-black above, light blue beneath. Iris hazel. Feet light flesh-colour. Upper part of the head black. Fore part of the back, lesser wing-coverts and sides dusky, spotted with black. Lower back dull yellowish-green, as is the tail, of which the outer web of the outer feather is whitish. Tips of the second row of coverts white, of the first row yellow; quills dusky, their outer webs tinged with yellow. A line from the lore over the eye, sides of the neck, and the throat, bright yellow. A dusky line behind the eye. The rest of the under parts dull yellow, excepting the sides.

Length 4¾ inches; bill along the ridge 5/12, along the gap 7/12; tarsus ¾.

The May-bush or Service.

Pyrus Botryapium, Willd. Sp. Pl. vol. ii. p. 1013. Pursh, Flor. Amer. voL i. p. 339. Icosandria Pentagynia, Linn. Rosaceæ, Juss.

This species is distinguished by its ovate, acuminate leaves, racemose flowers, linear-lanceolate petals, pubescent germens, and smooth calycine segments.