Coccothraustes Rubra: The Red Bird.
In Bigness it equals if not exceeds the Sky-Lark. The Bill is of
a pale red, very thick and strong. A black Lift encompasses the
Basis of it. The Head is adorned with a towering Crest, which it
raises and falls at Pleausure. Except the Black round the Basis
of the Bill, the whole Bird is scarlet, though the Back and Tail
have least Lustre, being darker and of a more Cloudy red.
The Hen is brown; yet has a tincture of red on her Wings, Bill
and other parts. They often sing in Cages as well as the Cocks.
These Birds are common in all parts of America, from New
England to the Capes of Florida, and probably much more
South. They are seldom seen above three or four together. They have
a very great Strength with their Bill, with which they will breack
the harden Grain of Maiz with much facility. It is a hardy
and familiar Bird. They are frequently brought from Virginia
and other parts of North America for their Beauty and agreable
Singing, they having some Notes not unlike our Nightingale, which
in England seems to have caused its Name of the Virginia
Nightingale, though in those Countries they call it the Red
Nux Juglans alba Virgiensis: The Hiccory Tree.
This usually a tall Tree, and oftenn grows to a large Bulk, the
Body being from two to three Feet Diameter. The Leaves are serrated,
narrower and sharper pointed than the Walnut, but in Manner of growing
on foot-stalks, like it. The Nuts are inclosed in like manner with
the Walnut, with an outer and inner Shell. In 0ctober, at
which time they are ripe, the outer Shell opens and divides in Quarters,
disclosing the Nut, the shell of which is thick, not easily broke
but with a Hammer. The Kernel is sweet and well tasted, from which
the Indians draw a wholesome and pleasant Oil, storing them
up for their Winter-Provision. The Hogs and many wild Animals receive
great Benefit from them. The Wood is course-grained; yet of much
use for many things belonging to Agriculture. Of the Saplings or
young Trees are made the best Hoops for Tobacco, Rice and Tar-Barrels:
And for the Fire no Wood in the Northern parts of America
is in so much Request. The Bark is deeply furrowed.
Nux Juglians Caralinensis fructu minimo putamine levi: The Pignut.
The Branches of this Tree spread more, are smaller, and the Leaves
not so broad as the Hiccory; nor is the Bark so wrinkled.
The Nuts are not above one forth part so big as those of the Hiccory,
having both the inner and outer shell very thin; so that they may
easily be broke with one's Fingers. The kernels are sweet; but being
small, and covered with a very hitter skin, makes them usuless,
except for Squirrels and other Wild Creatures.
Another Walnut remains to be observed, which I never saw but in
Virginia and is there called the white Walnut. The Tree is
usually small; the Bark and Grain of the Wood very White: The Nut
is About the size or rather less than the black Walnut, of an oval
form, the outermost shell being rough.