“Although this smart little bird breeds in the State of Louisiana and the adjacent districts, it is not there found in so great numbers as in the Middle States, and farther to the northward.  It generally prefers the depth of the forests during summer, after which it approaches the plantations, and even resorts to the granaries for corn.

. . . They move about in little companies formed of the parents and their young, eight or ten together, and escorted by the Nuthatch or the Downy Woodpecker . . .

. . . This species sometimes forms a nest by digging a hole for the purpose in the hardest wood, with great industry and perseverance, although it is more frequently contented with the hole of the Downy Woodpecker, or some other small bird of that genus.  It fills the hole with every kind of warm materials, after which the female deposits from six to eight eggs, of a pure white, with a few red spots at the larger end.

. . . The species of Pine, on a twig of which you see a pair of these birds, is the White Pine (Pinus Strobus), a tree of great beauty, of which individuals have been observed of the enormous height of 180 feet, with a diameter at the base of from six to eight feet.  The trunk is branchless for two-thirds of its height, and afford the most valuable wood perhaps of any tree in the United States.”

–J. J. Audubon, Ornithological Biography, I (1831), 199-200 [excerpted].

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