Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/51

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23
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER.

for them on the high lands, or at any considerable distance from the places mentioned, would prove quite useless.

The plant on which you see these birds, grows in swampy places, but is extremely rare, and I have not been able to procure any scientific appellation for it. In Louisiana, it is called the Cane Vine. It bears a small white flower in clusters. The berries are bitter and nauseous. The stem, which runs up and over trees, resembles that of other climbing plants, is extremely elastic, and as tough as a cord. The leaves, of which you see the form and colour, are also tough and thick.


Sylvia Protonotarius, Lath. Ind. Ornith. vol. ii. p. 542.—Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 86.

Prothonotary Warbler, Sylvia Protonotarius, Wilson, Americ. Ornith. vol. iii. p. 72. Pl. xxiv. fig. 3.


Adult Male. Plate III. Fig. 1.

Bill nearly as long as the head, slender, tapering, nearly straight, as deep as broad at the base. Nostrils basal, lateral, elliptical, half closed by a membrane. Head rather small. Neck short. Body rather slender. Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus longer than the middle toe, covered anteriorly with a few scutella, the uppermost long: 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 first and second quills longest. Tail nearly even, of twelve straight, rather narrow feathers. Bill brownish-black. Iris hazel. Feet and claws greyish-blue. Head all round, neck and under parts generally, of a bright rich pure yellow, paler on the abdomen, and passing into white on the under tail-coverts. Fore part of the back and lesser wing-coverts yellowish-green. Lower back and wings light greyish-blue. Inner webs of the quills blackish. Inner webs of the tail-feathers bluish-grey at the base, then white to near the tip, which is black, as well as the outer webs. The two middle feathers blackish, tinged with greyish-blue.

Length 512 inches, extent of wings 812; beak along the ridge 712, along the gap 34; tarsus 1112.


Adult Female. Plate III. Fig. 2.

The differences which the female exhibits are so slight as scarcely to be describable, the tints being merely a little duller.