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former for the supposed trespasses he commits on their indian corn, or the trifle he will bring in market, and the latter for the mere pleasure of destruction, and perhaps for the flavour of his flesh which is in general esteem. In the state of Pennsylvania he can scarcely be called a bird of passage, as even in severe winters they may be found within a few miles of the city of Philadel phia; and I have known them exposed for sale in market every week during the months of November, December and January, and that too in more than commonly rigorous weather. They, no doubt, however, partially migrate, even here; being much more numerous in spring and fall than in winter. Early in the month of April they begin to prepare their nest, which is built in the hollow body or branch of a tree, sometimes, though not always, at a considerable height from the ground; for I have frequently known them fix on the trunk of an old apple tree, at not more than six feet from the root. The sagacity of this bird in discovering under a sound bark, a hollow limb or trunk of a tree, and its perseverance in perforating it for the purpose of incubation, are truly surprising; the male and female alternately relieving and encouraging each other by mutual caresses, renewing their labours for several days until their object is attained, and the place rendered sufficiently capacious, convenient and secure. At this employment they are so extremely intent that they may be heard till a very late hour in the evening, thumping like carpenters.

I have seen an instance where they had dug first five inches straight forwards, and then downwards more than twice that distance through a solid black oak.

They carry in no materials for their nest, the soft chips and dust of the wood serving for this purpose. The female lays six white eggs almost transparent. The young early leave the nest, and climbing to the higher branches are there fed by their parents.

The food of this bird varies with the season. As the common cherries, bird cherries, and berries of the sour gum successively ripen, he regales plentifully on them, particularly on the latter; but the chief food of this species, or that which is most frequently found in his stomach, is wood lice, and the young and larvæ of ants, of which he is so immoderately fond, that I have frequently

found his stomach distended with a mass of these and these only, as large, nearly as a plum. For the procuring of these insects nature has remarkably fitted him. The bills of Woodpeckers in general are straight, grooved or channelled, wedge-shaped and compressed to a thin edge at the end, that they may the easier penetrate the hardest wood; that of the Golden-winged Woodpecker is long, slightly bent, ridged only on the top, and tapering almost to a point, yet still retaining a little of the wedge form there. Both, however, are admirably adapted for the peculiar manner each has of procuring its food. The former like a powerful wedge, to penetrate dead and decaying branches, after worms and insects; the latter like a long and sharp pick-axe to dig up the hillocks of pismires that inhabit old stumps in prodigious multitudes. These beneficial services would entitle him to some regard from the husbandman, were he not accused, and perhaps not without just cause, of being too partial to the indian corn when in that state which is usually called roasting-ears. His visits are indeed rather frequent about this time; and the farmer suspecting what is going on, steals through among the rows with his gun, bent on vengeance, and forgetful of the benevolent sentiment of the poet; -that

-Just as wide of justice must he fall

Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.

But farmers in general are not much versed in poetry, and pretty well acquainted with the value of corn from the hard labour requisite in raising it.

In rambling though the woods one day I happened to shoot oneof these birds, and wounded him slightly in the wing. Finding him in full feather, and seemingly but little hurt, I took him home and put him into a large cage made of willows, intending to keep him in my own room that we might become better acquainted. When he found himself enclosed on all sides, he lost no time in idle fluttering, but throwing himself against the bars of the cage, began instantly to demolish the willows, battering them with great vehemence and uttering a loud piteous kind of cackling, similar to that of a hen when she is alarmed, and takes to wing. Poor Baron Trenck never laboured with more diligence at the

walls of his prison than this son of the forest in his exertions for liberty; and he exercised his powerful bill with such force, digging into the sticks and shaking them so from side to side, that he soon opened for himself a passage; and though I repeatedly repaired the breach, barricadoed every opening, yet on my return into the room, I always found him at liberty, climbing up the chairs or running about the floor, where from the dexterity of his motions, moving backwards, forwards and sideways with equal facility, it became difficult to get hold of him again.

Having placed him in a strong wire cage, he seemed to relinquish all hopes of escape and soon became very tame, fed on young ears of indian corn, refused apples, but ate with avidity the berries of sour gum, winter grapes, and several kinds of berries; he exercised himself in climbing or rather hopping perpendicularly along the sides of the cage, and as evening approached, fixed himself in a hanging position with his head under his wing. As soon as dawn appeared, even before it was light enough to perceive him distinctly across the room, he descended to the bottom of the cage, and began his attack upon the ears of corn, rapping so loudly as to be heard in every room in the house. After this he would sometimes resume his former position, and take another nap. He was beginning to be very amusing and even sociable, when, after a lapse of several weeks, he became drooping and died, as I conceived from the effects of his wound.

Some European Naturalists, and among the rest Linnæus in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturæ, have classed this bird with the genus Cuculus, or Cuckoo; that it is almost always on the ground; is never seen to climb trees like the other Woodpeckers, and that its bill is altogether unlike theirs; every one of which assertions I must say is incorrect, and could only have proceeded from an entire ignorance of the habits of the bird. Except in the article of his bill, and that, as has been observed, is a little wedgeformed at the point, it differs in no one characteristic from the rest of its genus. Its nostrils are covered with tufts of recumbent hairs or small feathers; its tongue is round, worm-shaped, flattened towards the tip, pointed and furnished with minute barbs; it is also long and missile, and capable of being instantly protruded to an uncommon distance. The os hyoides, like those of its

tribe, is a substance in strength and elasticity resembling whalebone, divided into two branches each of the thickness of a knitting needle, which pass on each side of the neck, to the back part of the head, where they unite and run up along the scull in a groove covered with a thin membrane or sheath; they descend into the upper mandible by the right side of the bill, to which they are attached by another extremely elastic membrane that yields when the tongue is thrown out, and contracts when it is retracted. In the other Woodpeckers we find the same apparatus, differing a little in different species. In some, these cartilaginous substances reach only to the top of the cranium, in others to the nostril, and in one species they are wound round the bone of the right eye, which, for its accommodation, projects considerably more than the left.

The tongue of the Golden-winged Woodpecker, like the others is supplied with a viscid fluid secreted by two glands, situated under the ear on each side, and are at least five times as large in this species as in any other of its size. In this the tongue is continually moistened, so that every small insect that it touches adheres to it.

The form and strength of the claws and tail, prove that the bird was designed for climbing; in fact I have scarcely ever seen it on a tree for five minutes at a time without climbing, hopping, not only upwards and downwards but spirally, pursuing and playing with its fellow round the body of the tree. I have also seen them a hundred times, alight on the trunk of the tree, though more frequently on the branches; but that they climb, construct their nests, lay the same number and similarly colored eggs, and have the manners and habits of the Woodpeckers, is notorious to every American Naturalist, while they have no resemblance to the Cuckoo except in the bill being somewhat curved, and the toes being placed, two before, and two behind.

It may not be improper, however, to remark, that there is another species of Woodpecker, also called Gold-winged,* which inhabits the country near the Cape of Good Hope, and resembles the present, it is said, almost exactly in color and form of the bill, and in the tint and markings of its plumage, with this difference, that Picus Caper, TURTON's Linn.

the mustaches are red instead of black, and the lower side of the wings, as well as their shafts, are also red, while the others are golden yellow. It is also considerably less. With respect to the habits of this new species we have no particular account; but there is little doubt of their being found to coincide with those of the one which we are now describing.

The abject character which the Count de Buffon, with equal eloquence and absurdity, has drawn of the whole tribe of Woodpeckers, belongs not to the elegant and sprightly bird now before us. How far it is applicable to any of them, will be examined hereafter. He is not "constrained to drag out an insipid existence in boring the bark and hard fibres of trees to extract his prey," for he frequently finds in the loose ruins of a mouldering stump, the capital of a nation of insects, more than is sufficient for the wants of a week. He cannot be said to "lead a mean and gloomy life, without an intermission of labour," who usually feasts at the first peep of dawn, and spends the early and sweetest hours of the morning on the highest peaks of the tallest trees, calling on his mate or companions, or pursuing and gambolling with them for hours together.

Can it be said that "necessity never grants an interval of sound repose,, to that bird, who while other tribes are exposed to the rude peltings of the pitiless storm, lodges dry and secure in a snug chamber of his own constructing, or that "the narrow circumference of a tree, circumscribes his dull round of life" who, as the seasons and inclination inspire, roams from the frigid to the torrid zone, feasting on the abundance of various regions? Or is it a proof that "his appetite is never softened by delicacy of taste," because he so often varies his bill of fare, occasionally preferring to animal food the rich milkiness of young indian corn, and the nourishing berries of the wild cherry, gum and cedar? It is truly ridiculous and astonishing that such absurdities should escape the lips or pen of one so able to do justice to the respective merits of his subjects; but the Count de Buffon had too often a favourite theory to prop up, that led him insensibly astray, and so, forsooth, the whole tribe of Woodpeckers must look sad, sour, and be miserable, to indulge the caprice of a whimsical Philosopher who takes it into his head that they are and ought to be so.

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