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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/455

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THE HOUSE WREN.

Troglodytes ├Ždon, Vieill.

PLATE LXXXIII. Male, Female, and Young.


Although Louisiana is supplied with thousands of the Great Carolina Wren, not a single individual of the present species is ever to be found there. It appears, indeed, that the central districts of our Atlantic coasts are their principal places of resort, probably because certain portions of the country are intended to be occupied by different species of the same genus. Thus, I think it highly probable that the Great Carolina Wren has been intended for the Southern Districts, the House Wren for the Middle States, Bewick's Long-tailed Wren for the regions of the Rocky Mountains, and the Little Wren for our north-eastern territories, along the St Lawrence, although it also breeds in the State of New York, and even in that of Pennsylvania, where I have found it in the Great Pine Swamp. I am induced to think that a fifth species of Wren will yet be found within the limits of the United States. From this arrangement I exclude the bird called the Marsh Wren, which more properly belongs to the genus Certhia. But, as I have already said, I leave all these matters to be discussed by the system-makers.

The opinion expressed by a former writer, that the House Wren occurs in the United States, is as incorrect as the assertion of a subsequent author, that the Florida Jay is met with on the Mississippi and Ohio. During a residence of twenty years in the different States through which these great streams pass, I never saw either the one or the other of these birds. These are errors, however, which are to be attributed to the circumstance that one of the writers alluded to never visited the Southern or Western States, while the other merely passed once through them.

From whence the House Wren comes, or to what parts it retires during winter, is more than I have been able to ascertain. Although it is extremely abundant in the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland, from the middle of April until the beginning of October, I have never been able to trace its motions, nor do I know of any naturalist in our own country, or indeed in any other, who has been more fortunate.