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Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/357

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329
WHITE-EYED FLY-CATCHER.

nests, which have so great a resemblance to paper, that the nest appears as if studded with bits of that substance. It is lined with fine fibrous roots, and the dried filaments of the Spanish moss. The nest is of the form of an inverted cone, and is fastened to two or three twigs of a Green Briar, a species of Smilax abundant in the old fields and along the fences. The eggs are from four to six, of a pure white, with a few dark spots near the larger end. In those districts where the Cow-bird is found, it frequently drops one of its eggs among them. I have seen the first brood from the nest about the middle of May. Unless when disturbed while upon its nest, this bird is extremely sociable, and may be approached within a few feet; but when startled from the nest, it displays the anxiety common to almost all birds on such occasions. The difference of colour in the sexes is scarcely perceptible.

The figure of a male has been given on a branch of the tree called in Louisiana the Pride of China, an ornamental plant, with fragrant flowers. The wood is extremely valuable on account of its great durability, and is employed for making posts and rails for the fences. Being capable of receiving a beautiful polish, it is also frequently made into various articles of furniture. For these reasons, the planters have found it expedient to adopt measures for increasing the propagation of this tree. It bears a pulpy fruit inclosing a hard seed, which is swallowed by different birds during the winter months. It has been thought deleterious, but without reason. A decoction of the root is used by the planters as an effectual vermifuge.


Vireo noveboracensis, Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 70.

Muscicapa noveboracensis, Gmel. Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 947.—Lath. Ind. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 489.

Hanging Fly-catcher, Lath. Synops. Suppl. p. 174.

White-eyed Fly-catcher, Muscicapa cantatrix, Wils. Amer. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 266. Pl. 18. Fig. 6.


Adult Male. Plate LXIII.

Bill shortish, nearly straight, rather strong, conico-acuminate, compressed towards the end; upper mandible slightly notched, and a little deflected at the tip; lower mandible ascending at the tip. Nostrils basal, rounded. Head and neck of ordinary size; body rather slender. Feet