Volume 1, Plate 1

Blue Jay
Yellow Bird (goldfinch)
Baltimore Bird

Blue Jay

"He is not only bold and vociferous, but possesses a considerable talent for mimicry, and seems to enjoy great satisfaction in mocking and teasing other birds, particularly the little hawk, imitating his cry wherever he sees him and squealing out as if caught: this soon brings a number of his own tribe around him, who all join in the frolic, darting about the hawk, and feigning the cries of a bird sorely wounded, and already under the clutches of its devourer; while others lie concealed in bushes, ready to second their associates in the attack. But this ludicrous farce often terminates tragically. The hawk, singling out one of the most insolent and provoking, sweeps upon him in an unguarded moment, and offers him up a sacrifice to his hunger and resentment. In an instant the tune is changed; all their buffoonery vanishes, and loud and incessant screams proclaim their disaster."


"The seeds of the lettuce, thistle, hemp &c. Are their favorite food, and it is pleasant to observe a few of them at work in a calm day, detaching the thistle down, in search of the seeds, making it fly in clouds around them. The figure on the plate represents this bird of its natural size."

Baltimore Oriole

"Buffon and Latham have both described the male of the bastard baltimore...as the female baltimore...all the ornithologists of Europe, with whose works I am acquainted, who have undertaken to figure and describe these birds, have mistaken the proper males and females, and confounded the two species together in a very confused and extraordinary manner....This obscurity I have endeavoured to clear up in the present volume of this work...by exhibiting the male and female of the Oriolus spurius in their different changes of dress, as well as in their perfect plumage; and by introducing representations of the eggs of both, have, I hope, put the identity of these two species beyond all future dispute or ambiguity."