“These birds become at once so abundant, that it would be more difficult not to meet one, than to observe a dozen or more, during a morning walk.  Their motions are as animated as their music.  They pass from twig to twig, upwards or downwards, examining every opening bud and leaf, and securing an insect or a larva at every leap.  Their flight is short, light, and easy.  Their migrations are performed during the day, and by passing from one low bush to another, for these birds seldom ascend to the tops of even moderately tall trees.  Like all our other visitors, they move eastward as the season opens, and do not reach the Middle States before the end of April, or the beginning of May.  Notwithstanding this apparently slow progress, they reach and disperse over a vast expanse of country.  I have met with some in every part of the United States which I have visited.

…The figure of a male has been given on a branch of the tree called in Louisiana the Pride of China, an ornamental plant, with fragrant flowers.The wood is extremely valuable on account of its great durability, and is employed for making posts and rails for the fences.  Being capable of receiving a beautiful polish, it is also frequently made into various articles of furniture…”

–J. J. Audubon, Ornithological Biography, I (1831), 328-329 [excerpted].

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