“This beautiful species is destitute of song, and is of solitary habits, preferring at all times the interior of the forests, but not the densest part of them.  I have observed that woods interspersed with what are called scrubby hickories or stunted oaks, are favourite resorts of the Summer Red Birds.

Their residence in the United States scarcely exceeds four months.  None remain in any of the more southern parts of our districts.  Indeed, by the middle of September, it would be difficult to see a single pair in the forests of Louisiana.  So very tender do they seem to be in regard to cold, or even temperate weather, that they seldom go farther north than Boston, or the shores of Lake Erie, but prefer the sandy woodlands all along the eastern shores, as far as Massachusetts.

. . . I have represented an adult male, his mate, and a young bird in its singularly patched state, to enable you to judge how different a family of these birds must appear to the eye of a person unacquainted with the peculiarity of these differences and changes of plumage.”

–J. J. Audubon, Ornithological Biography, I (1831), 232-233 [excerpted].

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