March 19, 1858

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

By the river I see distinctly red-wings and hear their conqueree. They are not associated with grackles. They are an age before their cousins, have attained to clearness and liquidity; they are officers, epauleted. The others are rank and file. I distinguish one even by its flight, hovering slowly from tree-top to tree-top, as if ready to utter its liquid notes. Their whistle is very clear and sharp, while that of the grackle is ragged and split.