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Studer, Jacob Henry, 1840-1904. / Birds of North America

Plate XXXVIII. The chestnut-sided warbler. (Dendroica pennsylvanica.),   p. 52

Page 52

alarmed, it escapes from the nest in great silence and rapidity,
running along the ground like a worm, as if afraid to tread too
heavily on the leaves. If you stop to examine its nest, it also
stops, droops its wings, flutters, and tumbles along, as if hardly
able to crawl, looking back now and then to see whether you are
taking notice of it. If you slowly follow, it leads you fifty or sixty
yards off, in a direct line from its nest, seeming at every ad-
vance to be ga ning fresh strength; and when it thinks it has
decoyed you to a sufficient distance, it suddenly wheels off and
The Cow-pen Bunting frequently selects this bird to act the part
of a foster parent to its young. It deposits its eggs in the nest,
and leaves the result to the tender mercy of the Thrush, who gen-
erally performs the duties with care.
This species is six inches long, and nine inches from tip to tip
of wing. Below, pure white, the breast covered with deep-brown
pencil-shaped spots; above, rich yellow-olive; the tips of the wings
and inner vanes of the quills dusky brown; the three first prima-
ries are about equal; from the nostrils a dusky line passes to the
hind head; crown brownish orange; legs pale flesh color; bill
The Chestnut-sided Warbler. (Dendroica jennsylvanica.)
Fig. i, Male. Fig. 2, Female.
This is one of our rare and beautiful species that probably winter
in tropical America. It generally appears in the Middle and
Eastern States early in May, on its way to breed. In Canada and
around Hudson's Bay, they may be seen in the spring. Accord-
ing to Dr. Coues, "IThey are abundant in woodland in the east-
ern part of the United States." According to Wilson: "I It is one
of those transient visitors that pass through Pennsylvania in April
and May, on their way farther north to breed. During its stay
here, which seldom exceeds a week or ten days, it appears actively
engaged among the opening buds and young leaves, in search of
insects; has no song but a feeble chirp or twitter, and is not nu-
merous." According to Nuttall: "1 A few remain, no doubt to
rear their young, in secluded mountainous situations in the North-
ern States. The note of the male was very similar to that of the
Summer Yellow-bird, being only a little louder and less whistling.
It resembles 'Vsh, 'Vsh, tsh, 'tshyia, given at about an interval of
half a minute, and answered by his mate at some distance, near
which, it is probable, there was a nest. He appeared to be no way
suspicious of our approach. His restlessness was subdued, and he
quietly sat near the same low bushes, amusing himself and his
consort for an hour at a time, with the display of his lively and
simple ditty."
The length of this species is about five inches, and about eight
inches broad; the bill is black; the iris dark hazel; the front line
over the eye and ear-feathers pure white; the crown is a brilliant
yellow; a triangular patch of black beneath the eye and connected
with the lores; the hind head and back are streaked with gray, an
obscure black, and a dull yellow; feathers of the back and rump
black, edged with greenish-yellow. The wings are dusky, the
primaries edged with whitish; the first and second row of coverts
broadly tipped with pale yellow; the secondaries edged with
greenish-yellow. The tail is forked, dusky exteriorly, edged with
ash or with greenish-gray. Sides, from the back beneath the eye
to the thighs, furnished with a broad stripe of bright chestnut; the
rest of the parts below, pure white. The legs and feet are of a
light-ash color.
The Black-polled Warbler. (Dendroica striata.)
Fig. 3.
This snecies is one of those silent. shv, and solitarv hirds that
mostly seek the deep retreats of the forest, and are not very gen-
erally known to the public. It is said when the Black-polls appear
in force, the collecting season is about over. Wilson says: " This
bird may be considered as occupying an intermediate station be-
tween the Fly-catchers and the Warblers, having the manners of
the former, and the bill, partially, of the latter. The nice grada-
tions by which nature passes from one species to another, even in
this department of the great chain of beings, will forever baffle all
the artificial rules and systems of man. And this truth every fresh
discovery must impress more forcibly on the mind of the observing
This species is an active insect-hunter, and keeps much toward
the tops of the highest trees, where it darts about with great activ-
ity, and hangs from the twigs with fluttering wings. Audubon
"' It enters Louisiana as early as the middle of February. At
this time it is seen gleaning food among the taller branches of the
willows, maples, and other trees that overhang the rivers and
lakes. Its migrations eastward follow the advance of the season,
and I have not been able to comprehend why it is never seen in
the maritime parts of South Carolina, while it is abundantly found
in the State of New Jersey close to the sea-shore. There you
would think that it had changed its habits; for, instead of skipping
among the taller branches of trees, it is seen moving along the
trunks and large limbs, almost in the manner of a Certhia, search-
ing the chinks of the bark for larvae and pupae. They are met
with in groups of ten, twelve, or more, in the end of April, but
after that period few are to be seen. In Massachusetts,theybegin to
appear nearly a month later, the intervening time being no doubt
spent on their passage through New York and Connecticut. I
found them, at the end of May, in the eastern part of Maine, and
met with them wherever we landed on our voyage to Labrador,
where they arrive from the ist to the ioth of June, throwing them-
selves into every valley covered by those thickets, which they
prefer for their breeding places. It also breeds abundantly in New-
" In these countries, it has almost become a Fly-catcher. You
see it darting in all directions after insects, chasing them on wing,
and not unfrequently snapping, so as to emit the clicking sound
characteristic of the true Fly-catcher. Its activity is pleasing, but
its notes have no title to be called a song. They are shrill, and
resemble the noise made by striking two small pebbles together,
more than any other sound that I know. They may be in some
degree imitated by pronouncing the syllable sche, sche, sche, sche,
so as progressively to increase the emphasis."
According to Maynard-" In April, when the great Magnolia
is in full bloom, the Black-polled Warblers may be found in Flor-
ida. Later, in May, when all the apple orchards of New England
are snowy with blossoms, the same birds appear and linger a time,
then depart for the north, arriving in the British Provinces and
Labrador when nature has assumed her most festive garb."
The Black-poll Warbler is a gentle bird, by no means afraid of
man, although it pursues some of its smaller enemies with consid-
erable courage. The sight of a Canadian Jay excites it greatly,
as that marauder often sucks its eggs or swallows its young.
This species is five and one-half inches long, and eight and a
half inches broad. Whole crown pure black, upper parts streaked
with black and grayish-white; cheeks white; below the eye, from
the lower mandible, runs a streak of small black spots-the rest
of the lower parts white; primaries black, with greenish-yellow
at the end, the first and second coverts broadly tipped with white;
tail black, edged with ash; vent white; upper mandible black;
lower mandible, legs, and feet flesh-color; iris hazel.

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