Young and old associate together, and live in great harmony. I have not seen this species farther eastward than North Carolina.
The branch on which two of these birds are represented, is that of the tree commonly called the White Cucumber, a species of Magnolia. It flowers as early in the season as the Dog-wood. The flowers open before the leaves are expanded, and emit an odour resembling that of a lemon, but soon becoming disagreeable, as the blossom fades. This tree seldom grows to the height of thirty feet, and is consequently disregarded as a timber-tree. I have met with it only in the States of Mississippi and Louisiana, where it grows on the grounds preferred by the Kentucky Warbler during its stay in those States.
Kentucky Warbler, Sylvia formosa, Wils. Amer. Ornith. vol. iii. p. 85. Pl. xxv. Fig. 3.
Sylvia formosa, Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 34.
Adult Male. Plate XXXVIII. Fig. 1.
Bill of ordinary length, nearly straight, subulato-conical, acute, the edges acute, the gap line a little deflected at the base. Nostrils basal, lateral, elliptical, half closed by a membrane. Head and neck of ordinary size. Body rather full. Feet of ordinary length, slender; tarsus longer than the middle toe, covered anteriorly by 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 second quill longest. Tail of ordinary length, slightly forked when closed.
Bill brownish-black above, lighter beneath. Iris hazel. Feet pale flesh-colour. The general colour of the plumage above is deep yellowish-green, the crown of the head, and a broad patch under the eye, including the lore, black. Under parts, and a broad streak over the eye, bright yellow, tinged with green on the sides, abdomen, and under tail-coverts. Wings and tail yellowish-green, the inner webs only being dusky. Some spots of bluish-grey on the occiput.
Length 5½ inches, extent of wings 8; bill along the ridge 5⁄12, along the gap 7⁄12; tarsus 11⁄12, middle toe 5⁄6.
Adult Female. Plate XXXVIII. Fig. 2.