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Plate XL, IV 


This species is a permanent resident, but not so plentiful in winter as in summer. The site for the 
nest is chosen in May, sometimes earlier. The pair work at intervals for several days, or even weeks, ex- 
cavating the cavity, according as the wood is soft or hard, or according as they are hurried to complete it. 
After it is finished some days generally elapse before the eggs are deposited. The usual time for incuba- 
tion is the first two weeks of June. Ordinarily but one brood is reared, but occasionally two sets of c^s 
are hatched, in which case a second nest may be excavated, or the first may answer for both broods. 



But little preference is displayed in selecting a locality for a nest. High dry hills and damp low 
valleys, and all points between, are alike frequented, provided a suitable situation can be found. In the 
country, the majority of nests are in the dead limbs or trunks of large trees standing about the borders 
of woods or in fields. Frequently the nest is to be seen ina gate-post, telegraph-pole, or even in a fence- 
post, along the most public road. In town, the dead limb of any orchard-tree or shade-tree may furnish 
the site, but it is not often that the Woodpecker deserts the country for a city residence. 


Usually the nest is in a perpendicular limb or trunk, but. sometimes an horizontally inclined branch 
is selected. In this case the entrance is on the under surface. The distance from the ground varies from 
three or four to one hundred feet; ordinarily it is between eight and twenty feet. 


No materials are carried for the nest. The only requisite is a suitably situated piece of wood, large 
enough for the cavity and soft enough for the birds to excavate. Dead wood is most frequently selected. 
Sometimes, however, living wood is chosen. The diameter of the wood varies from that of a man's arm 
to several feet. The Woodpecker begins by picking a conical hole which is projected at about right 
angles to the external surface until it has entered a sufficient distance, generally three or four inches 
then a large curve is made, and the "excavation continued at right angles to its previous course for a 
depth varying from two to twelve inches, usually about four inches. The entrance is circular, and rarely 
varies in diameter more than one-eighth of an inch from one and three-fourths inches. At the bend the 
cavity begins to enlarge, reaching its greatest diameter, commonly about three and one-half inches, about 
one inch from the bottom. Between the bend and the bottom it is not always circular, often beino- half 
an inch or more greater in one diameter than another. The eggs generally rest upon a few soft chips. 


The complement of eggs is generally five, sometimes one more or one less, The shell is pure white, 


unmarked. Some eggs are very pointed; some arc nearly elliptical, while others, the most usual pattern, 
are about midway between these extremes. 

See Table. 


The illustration, Plate XLIV, represents a section of a limb containing a Red-headed Woodpecker's 
nest and three eggs. The size of the entrance, the curve, depth, and diameter of the cavity are about 
the average. The eggs show the usual shapes and sizes. 

The Red-headed Woodpecker is one of our most familiar and useful birds. Being conspicuous by 
his national colors, and very quarrelsome and noisy, his presence is generally known wherever he is. 
The sexes are alike; but the young do not acquire their fall coloring until nearly a year old. 

The Woodpecker will make long foraging excursions to a corn-crib or a cherry-tree, taking, at each 
trip, a single grain of corn or single cherry. In winter Woodpeckers generally retire to the deepest 
forests, and glean most of their living from acorns, beech-nuts, and insects found in dead trees. Fre- 
quently they store away in the fall such provisions as acorns and grains of Indian-corn ; sticking them in 
crevices about the bark of trees, presumably for use in winter emergencies. 

With the return of spring the Red-heads leave their retirement, and, greeting the return of their 
southern friends, are heard about every field, as well as timber-land Mating soon begins, and building 
sites are chosen. After days have been spent in constructing a home, a Bluebird or House Wren may 
decide to possess it, and such an unceasing war is waged against the owners that they will abandon it, 
rather than be in a continual fight. Sometimes a pair of Red-heads, instead of building, will select an 
old house of a Yellow Hammer or some other Woodpecker, or even a natural cavity. I knew one pair 
to raise their young in a Yellow Hammer's nest from which I had recently taken a set of eggs. The 
decayed wood I chopped away with a hatchet, so that my hand could enter, and in this opening I 
wedged a stone, leaving a hole just large enough for the Red-heads to enter. The young are homely 
little things, and, when full fledged, are so cowardly that they will frequently remain in the nest, calling 
for food, from day to day, when they are abundantly able to care for themselves. The parents are, how- 
ever, exceedingly indulgent, and seem strongly attached to their offspring, feeding and protecting them 
even long after quitting the nest. Yet, notwithstanding this solicitude for their progeny, they frequently 
starve to death all of the brood but one or two. In .every brood there is one bird older and stronger 
than the rest, and this one is sure to be on top and get his head to the hole first when the old ones 
come with food. Being stronger at the start than his brothers and sisters, and, each day getting more 
food, he gains more strength ; and, gaining more strength, he gets each day more food. While this 
double acting system progresses, the reverse is happening to his mates, until, in extreme cases, they 
actually die of starvation, and are not even carried out of the nest by the parents. 

A friend related to me, some years since, a curious incident, as follows: While he was riding along 

a country road, a medium-sized Hawk darted after a Red-headed Woodpecker that had just fled from a 

fence-post, and both went to the ground together. Having some curiosity to see why the Hawk, which 

was fluttering wildly, did not rise with the prey, and, also, a desire to free the Woodpecker, which was 

screaming at the top of his voice for help, he dismounted, climbed the fence, and approached the birds, 

when, to his surprise, he discovered that the Hawk was endeavoring to get away, but was being held 

by the Woodpecker. By a dexterous movement he grasped the Hawk, and, with difficulty, freed him 

from the grip of his antagonist, which held him firmly about the leg with one foot, while, with the other, 

he clung to a small root. DSI 


P1.XLV. Fig.l. 


Fig. 2. 





TP^ L 


.♦ .* 

Fig. 4-. 



Plate XLV. 

Fig, 7. TRINGOIDES MACULAR I US-Spotted Sandpiper, 

The Spotted Sandpiper arrives about the loth of April. Two weeks later many of them have se- 
lected sites for their nests, and perhaps with a few exceptions oviposition has commenced. Two broods 
are frequently, if not usually, reared by each pair during the season. Early in September they depart for 
their winter home. 


The locality chosen is always near water; either a lake, river, creek, canal, or pond. Often a 
pair will build their nest in an upland field beside a small artificial pool made for watering stock. It is 
immaterial what the character of the surrounding country is. As a rule, the nest is placed in a ploughed 
field, or upon the sand or gravel along a river or creek, unprotected by any vegetation. Sometimes it is 
among young willows and weeds, or even occasionally in grass. Once I found a nest in a piece of woods, 
near a little pond only a few yards square. 


The nest is always upon the ground; either in a natural depression or in a slight concavity scratched 
for the purpose. Sometimes quite a neat little excavation is made. 


Small sticks, bits of weed-stems, blades of grass, slender strips of corn-husks, and like materials 
are sometimes used as a lining to the concavity. But frequently no materials are carried by the build- 
ers, the eggs being deposited upon the bare ground, or upon whatever natural covering there is to the 
chosen spot. When the selected site is upon a gravel-covered shore, the eggs often rest upon joebbles, 
and, being surrounded by stones nearly their size, are very difficult to discern. No measurements can be 

given because the outlines are uncertain. 


Four eggs are nearly always deposited in the first set. They are arranged with their points together, 
so as to occupy the least possible space. In the second set, sometimes only three are laid. The ground- 
color is smoky-buff of an indescribable shade. There is but slight variation in color in specimens of dif- 
ferent sets. The markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of brown, varying in different e^-o-s 
from a light tint of Vandyke-brown to the darkest of sepia. Some eggs are uniformly and thickly spotted 
and speckled. Some have several large blotches of color with spots and specks between, while others, 
and this is the commonest pattern, have bold spots and speckles of various shades, increasing in size 
and number from the point to the base. The deep shell-marks are bluish, and vary greatly in number 


in different ea'<rs. In long-diameter they measure from 1.15 to 1.30, and in short-diameter from .80 to .90. 
The longest egg* in five sets is 1.30 x .93; the smallest, 1.20 x .81. The usual size is about 1.25 x .87. 


The size of the eggs will always enable one to differentiate them with certainty from those of other 
species which otherwise they resemble. 


The eggs illustrated, Plate XLV, Fig. 1, represent the extremes and average in size, shape, and 
markings taken from eighteen eggs. They are colored from blown specimens about a year old. The 
colors do not fade much, but they lose with time the brilliancy which they possessed when the eggs 
were fresh. 

The Spotted Sandpipers select a locality for their home as soon as mated, and during the Summer 
they remain near the spot. Wherever a pair is observed in the Spring, it can be predicted with con- 
siderable certainty that their nest is or will be close by. 

I have found the nest most frequently in newly ploughed fields that reached nearly to the edge of 
some water-course or pond, and usually by accident; although sometimes I have located it by the actions 
of the birds. They are very watchful and anxious for its safety, and will often attract the attention of 
a passer-by by their cries and uneasy flight. When sitting, the female is easily driven from her eggs, 
but she will soon return, often in the face of the same danger that frightened her away. The eggs 
seem out of all proportion to the size of the bird. It is really wonderful how such a little body can 
safely lay them. The young run about as soon as hatched, and follow their parents wherever they lead. 
They soon learn to glean their living, and in June are the most plentiful and attractive of all our 
waders. They are neat and dainty, and when walking tilt themselves in a characteristic manner, which 
has given them the vulgar name of teeter-tails. 


Plate XLV. 


The Ivilldeer, or, as it is more commonly called, Killclee, is the first of all our shore-birds to arrive 
from the South. Often as early as the last of February a few stragglers may be seen or heard flying 
over head. Like Ducks and Snipe they journey principally at night. They remain in the fall until cold 
weather comes. Usually they have all left by the last of November. Nesting generally begins in April 
for the first brood, and in June for the second. May 14th, 1879, I saw young Killdeers nearly grown ; 
and May 8th, L882, I saw young ones almost as large. 


The nest is always made in the neighborhood of water, either a lake, river, creek, canal, or pond. 
Sometimes it is placed in grass or beside an old log in a pasture or sparsely timbered woods. Some- 
times it is on the muddy, sandy, or pebbly bank of a stream, unprotected by even the slightest vegeta- 
tion, but, ordinarily, it is in a newly ploughed field adjoining some small pond or stream. 


The nest is always upon the ground, either in a natural depression or in a slight concavity made by 
the birds. Considerable skill is shown in selecting a low spot, and, at the same time, avoiding places 
where water from rains would either overflow or collect. 


Usually the female Killdeer collects a few short weed-stems or bits of slender twigs of uniform size, 
and lines the bottom of the selected cavity. Sometimes, when the nest is in grass, blades of dead grass 
are similarly used. Sometimes, when the nest is on a gravelly shore or any other uirprotected spot, no 
materials are carried, the eggs being deposited on the bare ground or upon whatever happens to cover 
the site. 


Four eggs are the usual complement, but in the second set sometimes but three are laid. The 
ground-color is uniformly a smoky-buff. The marks consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of dark brown, 
at times almost black. They are distributed over the entire shell, but are larger and more numerous 
on the basal half. Usually each egg contains several blotches, but occasionally specimens are marked 
entirely with speckles. In long-diameter they vary from 1.40 to 1.48, and in short-diameter, from .98 to 
1.07. A common size is 1.42 x 1.00. 

See Table. 



The eggs illustrated, Plate XLV, Fig. 2, were selected from seven sets as representatives of the 
average and extremes in size, shape, color, and markings. The middle one is the commonest pattern. 

The Killdeer is a very common summer resident, and familiar to nearly everybody. They are tame 
and unsuspicious birds except during the breeding season. At this time they are extremely solicitous. 
The male generally stands guard over his mate, and, on the approach of supposed danger, gives his 
alarm notes. It is easy to tell when a pair have a nest or young, by their circling flight and pleading- 
cries, but it is very difficult to locate the nest by their actions, as they are purposely misleading. 

When driven from her eggs, the female will often feign lameness in hope of persuading the intruder 
to pursue her, and in the chase lose the location of her home. The same stratagem she will resort to 
when surprised with her young. I have seen a female save her chicks from a dog by throwing herself 
in front of him and inviting pursuit. At times it seemed as if the dog would surely catch her, but she 
safely led him a sufficient distance, when she flew away, and, by a circuitous course, returned to her brood. 


Plate XLV. 

Fig, 5. AS/0 ACCIPITRINUS-Short-eared Owl. 

In the fall, while Quail-shooting, and in the spring, while Snipe-shooting, I have frequently found 
the Short-eared Owl in low, damp, grassy lands, and sometimes, also, in upland stubble-fields, occasionally 
flushing several dozens from a few acres.' By the middle of April or the first of May they are no longer 
found in flocks, but only here and there in pairs, the crowd having passed on to the North, leaving but 
few of their number to breed. The eggs are laid about the first of April. I think but one brood is 
reared during the season. 


The nest is generally built in damp prairie-land that grows during the summer rank grass, which 
when killed by the winter, becomes matted down, forming a close covering to the soil. In such a spot, 
and there are many such in every county, occasionally a pair or several pairs of these Owls, at the proper 
season, may be found nesting. 


A natural depression in the ground is chosen in which to place the nest, or it is situated at the root 
of a bush, beside a log, or in a burrow made by a rabbit or muskrat; usually it is in the first position 
mentioned, unprotected even by any surrounding weeds. 


The soft grasses which happen to cover the site selected ordinarily suffice for the nest, but sometimes 
the bird will scrape together quite a handful of well dried grasses and weed-stems, and perhaps a few of 
her own feathers, and, upon these, deposit her eggs, or sometimes she will lay upon the bare ground. 


The complement of eggs varies from four to seven; four is the most I have ever found in a*set. 
The shell is dull white, unmarked except by grass stains, mud, or the bird's excrement. The shell, never 
very glossy, is usually quite unpolished. They measure in long-diameter from 1.50 to 1.70, and in short- 
diameter from 1.15 to 1.25. A common size is 1.22 x 1.58. Sometimes they are elliptical, and sometimes 
considerably more j>ointed at one end than at the other. 


See Table. 


The eggs illustrated, Plate XLV, Fig. 3, were selected from four sets as representatives of the 


various sizes unci shapes that commonly occur. The center one is perhaps the most frequently observed 
pattern. One specimen shows several little irregularities in the formation of the shell. 

The first nest of the Short-eared Owl that I ever found was on March 23d, 1878. It was in a piece 
of marshy land two miles from Circleville. I had just killed a Snipe, and was looking for the dead 
bird, when, right at my feet, a Short-eared Owl flew up and soared in the air high above me. Having 
recovered from my surprise, I looked down, and there were four. eggs lying in a little depression where 
the grass had been eaten away by some cattle that were grazing in the field. A few feet away the 
ground was some inches lower and very wet. Having done the eggs up in my handkerchief, I remained 
some minutes to watch the Owl, which continued circling around the spot, some hundred feet overhead. 
Finally, she alighted in a distant part of the prairie, and I proceeded on my Avay. Several more Owls 
were flushed during the next half-hour, each of which made long-continued circular flights before alight- 
ing. The following day I hunted for Owl-nests over the same ground, and found a second one in a 
burrow, about a foot within the entrance, containing three eggs. 

The food of these Owls consists principally of mice, and consecjuently they frequent the grassy marsh- 
lands in which the field-mice delight. Judging from the remains seen, vast numbers of mice must be 
destroyed by them. Last spring, 1882, I found a few pairs of Owls in a small piece of wet grass-land, 
and upon nearly every square foot of the ground were balls of indigestible mouse-hair and bones, which 
had been ejected, after the fashion of the Owl. 

The Short-eared Owl, like others of the family, bolt their food. Having captured their prey, it is 
at once swallowed whole, if not too large. This leaves to the stomach the office of masticating, as well 
as digesting and appropriating every thing but hairs, feathers, and larger bones. The refuse is rolled 
together into a ball, by the natural motions of the stomach, and then disgorged. The stomach of a well- 
fed Short-eared Owl is a curious sight. It is sometimes so filled with indigestible things that it is 
quite prominent, and, upon dissection, a handful of wads of hair and bones may be taken out. 


Plate XLV. 

Fig. 4. CORVUS FRUGIVORUS-Common Grow. 

The Crow is found throughout Ohio at all seasons of the year. In the spring and fall very large 
flocks are sometimes seen on their way to summer or winter homes beyond the limits of the state. 
Those that spend the winter with us are commonly found in small flocks, roaming about in search of 
food. The nest for the first brood is generally completed by the second week in April, unless the season 
is unusually cold, and, in July, a second structure is often built, and a second brood hatched. 


In the spring, some individuals separate from the flock in which they have passed the winter, 
and search out a suitable spot for their nest. Others form themselves into a colony, and, taking- 
possession of a piece of woodland, build their houses in neighboring trees. Timberland, bordering upon 
a lake, or upon the bluff bank of a river, is a favorite place for the summer habitation of a colony. 
Isolated nests may be placed in almost any large forest tree, in any kind of woods, from an oak forest 
containing hundreds of acres to the small grove adjoining a barnyard, as the fancy and judgment of the 
birds may permit. 


The nest usually rests in a perpendicular crotch formed by the branching of the main trunk of the 
tree. Sometimes it is in a perpendicular fork formed by several branches of a large limb; and, occa- 
sionally, it is built upon a horizontal limb, where it joins the main trunk, or at the point of bifurcation 
into smaller limbs. Its distance from the ground varies from thirty to eighty feet. 


A nest before me, taken from an oak tree, near the Ohio canal, in Pickaway county, is composed as 
follows: The foundation is loosely but firmly constructed of pieces of dead branches and brush, varying 
in length from four inches to two feet, and in diameter from one-eighth to three-eighths of an inch. The 
majority of sticks are about one foot long by one-fourth of an inch in diameter, and quite irregular and 
crooked. Within this coarse foundation is a very compact superstructure, made of pliable weed-stems, 
corn-silk, corn-husk,, and soft fibres and roots of various kinds of weeds, the whole felted together in a 
superior manner. The cavity thus formed is nicely rounded and lined with weed-fibres and strips of 
o-rape-vine bark. The superstructure and lining together is from one and a half to two inches in thick- 
ness. The cavity measures seven inches in diameter by three in depth. The foundation projects beyond 
the rim of the cavity upon one side about one foot; at other places, but a few inches. This irregularity 
corresponds to the shape of the crotch in which it is placed, the least material being adjacent to the 


limbs. The above represents a typical nest. The materials of construction, of course, vary somewhat 
in different localities. 


The usual complement of eggs is six, but four or five frequently constitute a set. They measure in 
long-diameter from 1.50 to 1.90, and in short-diameter from 1.10 to 1.25 of an inch. The average size 
in several sets is 1.18 x 1.70. 

The usual ground-color of the shell is a light greenish-blue; exceptionally it inclines to a yellow- 
brown. The marks consist of small blotches, spots, and speckles of bistre; upon some eggs these are 
moderately dark, upon others very faint. They may be so numerous as to almost conceal the ground- 
color, or scattered sparingly. Occasionally, an unmarked egg is found. Marks beneath the surface are 
somewhat purplish. An egg before me, of the usual pattern, has a ground of light greenish-blue, visible 
between large, irregular patches of various shades of bistre. The large masses of color are formed by 
confluent blotches, spots, and speckles. There is great diversity in coloring among the eggs of this 
species, and it is impossible to give a description that will accurately cover each specimen. 

See table. 


The eggs illustrated on Plate XLY, Fig. 4, represent the variations in size, shape, color, and 
markings that usually occur. The middle egg is the commonest pattern. 

The Common Crow, except in cases of partial or complete albinism, is so intensely and uniformly 
black that the name has become a synonym for the color. Their coats are glossy and beautiful, and 
give to their owners an air of gentility of the kind commonly associated with broadcloth. In intelli- 
gence, the Crow is surpassed by none of our native birds, and equaled by few. It is possessed of a 
mind rapid in action, deep in penetration, and logical in method. All of these qualities, together with 
the fact that the moral code of the Crow does not exist, make it a bird feared by the feathery tribe 
and despised by man. 

In Southern Ohio, the Crow is not as plentiful, either in summer or during migrations, as it was 
twenty years ago. Formerly, it was not uncommon to see the air blackened with them upon their 
journey South; but now flocks of more than a hundred are rarely seen. In December, 1882, I saw 
several hundreds feeding along the Mill Creek bottoms, just out of Cincinnati, and I am informed by my 
friend, Dr. W. W. Dawson, that there is within the city limits a roost which has been occupied nightly, 
winter and summer, as far back as the memory of the oldest inhabitant can recall. 

The Crow is quiet about home, and takes great precautions not to be seen near the nest. Some- 
times they will fight for their young, to which they always show great attachment. If the nest contains 
only eggs, the owners will often surfer it to be robbed, without making any demonstration. The young- 
are fed upon grubs, eggs, young poultry, mice, and whatever else in the way of meat can be procured. 
By nature, the Crow is a thief, and hungry young at home increase their prowess and braVery. They 
will catch young chickens, ducks, or turkeys, like a Hawk, and are more dreaded, because more cunning. 
They will enter the barnyard and carry off eggs in a manner so sly that it is difficult to catch them. I 
saw a female Crow take nine Guinea's eggs, in rapid succession, and fly with them to her nest, about a 
quarter of a mile away, and, if I had not interfered, the remaining twenty would soon have gone the 
same road. 

When taken young, they are easily tamed, and are full of cussedness and tricks of all kinds. Some 
people like to have them about, and endure their mischievousness for their company. 




Plate XLVL 

TELMATODYTES PALUSlRIS-Long-billed Marsh Wren. 

The Long-billed Marsh Wren is common throughout Ohio during its migrations in April and Sep- 
tember, but, during the summer months, it is only to be found about large marshes. The nest for the 
first brood is constructed in May, and in July a second nest is often built, for many pairs rear two 
broods each during the season. 


The nest of this species is said to have been found at St. Mary's and also at Licking reservoirs. 
In the northern marshes, hundreds may be taken in a single day, so numerous are the\ r . In the neigh- 
borhood of Circleville, I have never been able to discover the nest, although I have repeatedly searched 
for it in the little marshes where these Wrens are plentiful during their migrations, and which, in every 
particular except size, seem suitable for their summer home. As only large marshes are used for breeding 
grounds, the summer distribution of the species is very uneven. The nest, therefore, is very common in 
some localities, while in others it is entirely unknown. 


The nest is usually between one and three feet above the ground or water, as the case may be. It 
is firmly attached to a bush, to reeds, to cat-tails, or to a number of blades of tall marsh-grass, by the 
long grasses of which it is composed. If a cluster of grasses is chosen for the site, it is bound, generally 
posteriorly, to several perpendicular stalks, and, for additional security perhaps, is fastened rather 
more loosely to a few stalks or blades outside of the bundle which gives its main support. 


The nest is a globular structure, about the size and shape of a cocoanut. It is composed principally 
of long blades of dead grass, nicely interwoven. The cavity within is small compared to the exterior, 
and is usually lined with fine grasses. The entrance is generally in the upper half, and completely con- 
cealed by elastic grasses, which the birds force apart going in or coming out. Sometimes weed-fibres, 
long strips of leaves, and similar vegetable substances, or mud may be mixed with the grasses. The 
lining is occasionally composed of feathers instead of grass. The diameter of the nest from side to side 
is about four and one-half inches. The diameter from top to bottom is about five and one-half inches. 


The complement of eggs varies from four to six, six being the common number. Nine eggs, it is 
said, have been taken from one nest. The ground-color of the shell is chocolate, often of a pinkish cast, 
varying in intensity in different specimens from a slight wash to a shade nearly as dark as a grain of 


browned coffee. The ordinary ground-color is about like that of the common clay marble called a commie." 
The markings consist of spots and speckles, often confluent, of a deeper shade of the ground color. 

Some effffs are unmarked. Others are thickly and evenlv marked over the entire surface. Some 
have a well-defined, some a faint wreath of confluent marks about the crown, while others have the 
wreath about the smaller end. Some have the marks very fine and indistinct, others moderately large 
and bold. The various shades of ground-color and the different markings combine to make an endless 
variety of patterns in these eggs. But, notwithstanding this great diversity, there is an indescribable 
something about them which suggests, upon sight, to the experienced oologist, their parentage. Eggs 
from the same set generally show considerable uniformity in coloring and also in size. The shell is 
sometimes highly polished, sometimes dull. 

Ten sets of eggs, collected by Mr. J. B. Porter, of Glcndale, Ohio, near Port Clinton, Ottawa county, 
o-ive an average size of .50 x .65. The largest measures .50 x .70; the smallest, .49 x .60 of an inch. 
The greatest long-diameter is .70; the least long-diameter is .60. The greatest short-diameter is .51; 
the least short-diameter is .48. 


See differential points under "House Wren." 


Plate XLVI represents a nest and three eggs of the Long-billed Marsh Wren, taken in Ottawa 
county, by Mr. J. B. Porter, in 1880. The specimen had been in his cabinet about two years before it 
was drawn. The entrance is figm-ecl opened, as it can thus more readily be seen. The eggs show the 
usual sizes, shapes, and markings, the center one being the commonest pattern. 

Mr. Porter, to whom I am much indebted for information regarding the breeding habits of the 
species, found these birds plenty in the marshes about Sandusky Bay, in 1880, and, in company with 
Dr. Langdon, examined a good many nests. Every ornithologist has noted the fact that but few nests 
of the whole number found contain eggs, and many guesses have been made to account for the construc- 
tion of so many useless houses. Mr. Porter found eggs in about every third nest, and noted that those 
which contained eggs were somewhat more compactly built than the others. 

The Wrens seem to have sentinels all about their breeding grounds, whose duty it is to give the 
alarm (a squeaky little note), on the approach of danger. When once the alarm is sounded, it is carried 
from one to another, until every bird is aroused. This habit makes it very difficult to catch the birds 
in or even near their nests. Dr. Coues, in " Northwestern Ornithology," says: "On entering a patch of 
rushes where the Wre::s are breeding, we almost instantly hear the harsh, scraping notes with which 
those nearest scold us, in vehement and angry resentment against the intrusion. From further away in 
the maze of reeds we hear a merry little song from those still undistiu^bed, and presently we see 
numbers flitting on feeble wing from one clump of sedge to another, or poised in any imaginable attitude 
on the swaying stems. . . . Others may be seen scrambling like little mice up and down the reed- 
stems or all over their globular nests. They appear among themselves to be excitable to the verge of 
irascibility, and not seldom quite beyond such moderate limit; but on the whole they form a harmo- 
nious little colony which minds its own business, and doubtless makes pleasant company for the Black- 
birds and other larger species which build among them." 




FIG. 2. 

Fig. 3. 

gallinula galeata 

florida gallinule . 

■'"•'; '■■■■■ : '-l-' vt-]>l*'V*''j>.-'/r 

v>\.V •.•,-•■::... r+'X 

• •■ . v v ' * : - • " ■•„■■ - ■ "•-.'.■■•.vs 

■*" ■■-■•■-. .:• '■■■•■■'.'■/.;•- ..-:».•..*■•-«' 



Plate XL VII 


In Northern Ohio the Black Tern is a common summer resident. In other parts of the State it is 
an irregular spring and fall migrant, and possibly rare summer resident, frequenting the rivers, creeks, 
canals, and ponds. It may possibly breed about the large reservoirs and rivers in the central and 
southern portions of the State, but I know of no instance where its nest has been taken south of the 
Lake Eric marshes. Two broods are commonly hatched by each pair during the season. The first set 
of eggs is laid in May, the second in July. 


Like the Long-billed Marsh Wren, the Black Tern resorts to large marshes for the purpose of nest- 
ing. The site chosen for the home is often a long distance from shore, upon a muskrat house, a little 
island of matted reeds and grass, or any floating vegetable debris of the marsh. At other times it is 
upon the ground along shore, or even, perhaps, some distance from the marsh, on the bank of a stream. 
Usually the site is surrounded by water several feet deep. 


The only point about which this bird seems particular in selecting a position for the nest is that the 
little patch of muddy ground or decaying vegetable debris chosen for the eggs to rest upon shall be well 
exposed to the sun's rays, the heat of which probably plays an important part in incubation. 


r\ T o materials are carried by the Black Tern for its nest, nor does it very often make an effort to 
arrange the materials about the chosen location. Sometimes it will elevate a little mud or decayed bits 
of reeds slightly above the surrounding surface, and, upon this elevation, which is a little concave on top, 
deposit its eggs. The numerous suitable positions for the eggs to rest upon in the localities selected for 
breeding-grounds, make unnecessary any effort upon the part of the bird to construct a nest. 


The complement of eggs in the first set is three, in the second set it is often one less. The ground- 
color varies in different specimens from a light wash of a yellow-brown to a rich olive-o-reen, less fre- 
quently it is coffee-brown of various shades. The most frequent color is perhaps an olive-tinted yellow- 
brown. The markings consist of bold blotches, spots, and speckles of sepia so heavy as to appear black. 
Some eggs are marked principally with large distinct blotches and spots, some have only small spots and 
speckles confluent about the base; others present various combinations of these extremes. The deep shell- 
marks show a bluish tint upon light ground-colors. When the eggs are taken from the nest all markings 


are frequently entirely obscured by a coating of mud. The eggs look as if they had been purposely 
rolled about on the muddy ground so as to cover up their light colors and make them appear like 
chunks of earth or stones, a procedure which must be very effectually protective. 

In long-diameter the eggs measure from 1.25 to 1.35, and in short-diameter from .85 to .98; a com- 
mon size is about .92 x 1.30 inches. 


The size, shape, and colors of the eggs will easily distinguish them, excepting in extreme cases, from 
any other species. See "Upland Plover." 


The three eggs illustrated, Plate XL VII, Fig. 1, were selected from a number of sets in the pos- 
session of Mr. J. B. Porter, of Glcndalc, 0. They represent the different sizes, shapes, ground-colors, 
and markings commonly observed. Mr. Porter, to whom I am under obligations for the examination and 
use of his specimens, has several years found the Black Tern building in large numbers in the marshes 
in Ottawa county, and has collected a o- od many e^o-s and noted their breeding; habits. Dr. F. W. 
Langdon, who has also observed the Black Tern in its summer home, wrote of it, in Volume III, No. 3, 
of "The Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History," as follows: "A very common summer 
resident in the marsh; nesting, or rather laying its eggs on the little islands of decaying vegetation and 
mud formed by sunken muskrat houses. . . . The sun appears to be their chief incubator, although 
the decaying vegetation of which the abandoned muskrat houses consist, doubtless plays some part in 
the process. In no instance did we succeed in flushing a bird from the eggs, although they would appear 
in pairs to the number of twenty or thirty and hover about within a few feet of our heads making a 
great outcry when we approached their property, which was soon to be ours by right of discovery. At 
other times the birds were not at all gregarious, being usually observed foraging singly or in pairs. 
Several young of the year were taken, thus confirming the statement of the resident who informed us 
that he had taken numbers of the eggs of the first brood in May. Of the dozen or more sets of e<xas 
taken by us early in July, more than half were fresh or nearly so." 

In the spring and fall I have frequently seen Black Tern singly or in small flocks fishing along the 
Scioto river. It seemed at these times to be fearless, often coming within a few feet of me, and then 
gracefully sailing off as if its curiosity had been satisfied.. It often remains several days or even weeks 
in the same locality. Having selected a stretch of river, it flies up and down, back and forth, constantly 
watching for some small fry in the water beneath or catching small insects in the air. When a minnow- 
is espied a rapid dive is made for it, the bird often going entirely below the surface and out of sight. 
Suddenly it reappears and, stretching its long wings with a laborious and uncertain movement, rises in 
the air again, to repeat, at the first opportunity, its difficult work for food. Its flight is graceful and 
even careless. It sails through the air with the ease consequent upon a, large expanse of wing and a 
small light body. Now circling up, now dropping like a feather upon some log lodged in the current. 
Here it sits for a few moments, apparently contemplating suicide, then suddenly, as though some circum- 
stance over which it has no control had decided the matter, it starts off to repeat its search for food. 


Plate XLVII. 

Fig. 2. GERYLE ALCYON-Betted Kingfisher. 

The Kingfisher is a bird of striking outline, of beautiful plumage, and of very interesting habits 
It is a summer resident throughout the State, quite uniformly distributed, but . nowhere very numerous. 
In the neighborhood of Circleville a few may be seen during even the severest winters, and I believe 
these to be the same birds that breed here in the summer, from the fact that I have observed them in 
the same localities throughout the entire year. But one brood is usually reared by a single pair during 
a season. This is hatched about the second week in June. 


The site usually chosen for the home is a prependicular sandy or clayey bank along a creek, canal 
river, pond, or lake where shallow water and small fish abound. Sometimes the site is half a mile 
or more from water in the bank of a gravel-pit or some similar place, but such a situation is exceptional. 
A bluff sandy bank on the convex side of a rapid but shallow stream is of all others the favorite locality. 


The excavation of the hole, which is preliminary to the nest proper, is generally begun several 
feet below the top of the bank, but high enough above the surface of the water to escape being flooded 
during freshets. If a low bank is selected, this, however, may not be possible. Often the hole is in a. 
bank fifty or a hundred feet high; in this case it is usually much nearer the top than the water. As a 
rule, the nest is situated above the high-water mark of the stream along which it is built. I have 
several times seen nests overflowed which contained either co'o-s or vounar. 

The excavation is projected horizontally into the bank from three to six feet; exceptionally even to 
the distance of eight or nine feet, usually in a tolerably straight- line, but sometimes it makes quite an 
angular course or even an abrupt angle, either to avoid a stone or root or perhaps simply to please the 
builder's fancy. The diameter of the hole is often large enough for a man's fist to enter, and at the 
opening the bird's feet and feathers round the edges, especially the lower part, which frequently shows 
the marks of the bird's toe-nails. I took a set of eggs from a nest a few years since about twenty-five 
feet above the water, and as many feet below the top of the bank. It was situated in a vein of fine 
yellow sand. The hole, after entering the sand about three feet, turned to the right at nearly right 
angles, and at the end of about three feet more enlarged into a cavity a foot in diameter. The hole is 
usually enlarged somewhat at its extremity where the eggs are placed, but this one exceeded in this 
respect any before seen. 


A few blades of grass, straws, or like materials usually cover the floor of the enlarged cavity at the 
end of the excavation, and upon these the eggs are laid. Fish-bones and scales and craw-fish remains 


left from meals are added to these materials as oviposition and incubation progress, and by the time 
the little ones are out a handful of bones and scales has often accumulated. Sometimes large quantities 
of rubbish, such as sticks, straws, leaves, bark, and moss arranged promiscuously, constitute the nest 
proper. I have taken a large hatful of materials from a single nest, and, again, I have found the eggs 
resting upon the bare ground, no materials at all having been carried into the cavity by the_ birds. 


Six or seven eggs generally constitute a set. They are beautiful clear white, with moderately thick 
hard shells, highly polished. They measure in long-diameter from 1.26 to 1.37, and in short-diameter 
from 1.00 to 1.06; a common size is about 1.32 x 1.0-4 inches. 

See " Wild Pigeon." 


The eggs figured represent the extremes and average in size and shape occurring in six sets. 

The Kingfisher is a hardy, bold bird and an ornament to our fauna. It frequents retired places, 
and except during the nesting season is quiet and unobtrusive. During the last of April and the first 
of May, its rattling notes are frequently to be heard. In the vicinity of its nest it is quiet and rarely 
seen. So far as I have observed, it excavates its nest and feeds its young at night. In 1880 a pair 
selected for their home a bank along a much frequented road, about two hundred yards from the Scioto 
river. There was rarely half an hour during the day from suniase till dusk that teams did not pass the 
spot. I drove by it dozens of times after first noticing the hole, but never saw the birds. One dav I 
concluded to stop and see if the cavity was inhabited. A long buggy-whip was pushed into the nest. 
The old bird was there, but I could not drive her out. Procuring a spade, I dug down and easily 
caught her with my hand. She was sitting upon six eggs, and within ten feet of a public road. 

The female sits closely, and will savagely strike at sticks or any object poked at her. She becomes 
greatly attached to the locality of her first nest, and will build year after year in the same bank, either 
deepening and cleaning out the old excavation or making a new one near by. The nest is usually com- 
pleted by the first week in May. The young are helpless things, and require a deal of patient care and 
hard work to rear and teach the skill of proficient fishermen. To dive into the water and catch a 
minnow is no easy task, and much practice is necessay before they are able to support themselves. The 
Kingfisher catches its prey in its bill, and hastening from the water, it alights upon a limb, either the 
one from which it made the dive or a neighboring one, and holding the fish about midway between its 
head and tail, repeatedly and quickly raps it against the limb until dead; it is then swallowed head 


Plate XL VII. 

Fig. 3. GALLIIVULA GALEATA-Fiorida Gallinule. 

The Florida Gallinule arrives in Southern Ohio on its northward migrations during the last week in 
April, frequenting reedy ponds and sloughs along our rivers and canals. It is not a very common bird in 
this section of the State, where it usually tarries but a few days before resuming its journey to its more 
northern breeding grounds. Along the southern shore of Lake Eric, in suitable localities, it is a common 
summer resident. In other parts of the State, excepting the large reservoirs, it breeds only occasionally. 
Dr. F. W. Langdon has kindly written for me the results of his observations concerning the breeding- 
habits of this species in the lake marshes, and I append his text almost entire. He says: "Nest-building is 
completed early in June, and by the first week in July the sooty-black, down-covered young, with their coral- 
red bills tipped with orange, may be seen following the parent bird about the marsh. Having reared 
their progeny the\ r remain until the October frosts chill these northern waters and warn them to take their 
departure for their winter home in the everglades of Florida. They leave about the middle of October. 


" The more open portions of the marsh are usualty preferred for nesting places by this species. 
The site chosen for the nest may be on the low grassy border of the marsh, but is usually on some of 
the numerous submerged islets, overgrown with flags and saw-grass, which abound in such localities. An 
isolated clump of bulrushes and saw-grass standing in the water is also a favorite nesting place. 


"The nest is usually supported by the foot-stalks of the clump of flags or saw-grass in which it is 
placed, its height vai-ying from a few inches to a foot or more from the water. Floating nests are also 
of occasional occurrence, always being anchored, however, by a few blades of saw-grass. 


"The foundation of the nest is begun by bending the surrounding blades of saw-grass toward a com- 
mon center, and upon the support so formed is placed a mass of crossed and interlaced fragments of dried 
saw-grass and other vegetable debris. The nest proper is a shallow affair, composed of smaller and finer 
fragments of the same materials. In size and shape its cavity might be likened to that of an ordinary 
soup-plate. There is frequently on one side of the nest, and leading from its rim to the water's edge, an 
inclined plane or causeway, about eight inches in width, composed of the same materials as the remain- 
der of the nest. This seems to be built with an especial reference to the access and departure of the 
birds, but may of course be merely the result of the trampling incidental to these occurrences. 

"An average nest, foundation included, measures about twelve inches in diameter at base, tapering 

to six or seven inches at the rim; height from foundation to rim, five or six inches; depth of cavity, 

one and one-half inches. 



"The complement of eggs varies from six to ten. In shape they are an elongated oval. They 
measure from 1.55 to 1.84 in long-diameter by 1.12 to 1.26 in short-diameter. The average of a set of 
ten is 1.77 x 1.24. The ground-color of the shell is pale brownish-buff. They are studded every-where with 
small blotches, specks, and dashes of rich chocolate-brown; the markings being larger and more numerous 
toward the greater end. 


"The nest and eggs can only be compared, as regards Ohio, with those of the Coot; the differences 
being as follows : The nest of the Gallinule is, on the average, considerably smaller than that of the 
Coot, measuring two or three inches less in diameter, and other dimensions less in proportion. The eggs 
also are smaller and less pointed than those of the Coot, and their ground-color inclines to brown, which 
is not the case with the Coot's e^'S. The markings of the Gallinule's es'gs are larger and less numerous, 
and are red-brown, while those upon the eggs of the Coot are sepia, so dark as to appear in some speci- 
mens almost black." 


The eggs figured, Plate XLVII, Fig. 3, were selected from several sets in the possession of Mr. 
J. B. Porter. They represent the patterns and variations in size commonly observed, the middle egg- 
being perhaps the commonest form. 

The Florida Gallinule is in many respects a curious bird. It occasionally is found during its periods 
of migration in open fields away from water, or even in the barn-yard. Some years ago a gentleman in 
Circleville found one walking about among his chickens. To him it was a new and strange bird, and he 
concluded to capture it and see where it was hurt. He at once gave chase and soon caught it, but a 
careful examination failed to reveal a wound. I saw the bird later in the day walking about his yard. 
It seemed as tame as the chickens and jierfectly contented. On the flat, hard ground it moved about 
awkwardly, often stepping with one foot upon the toes of the other, an accident which seriously affected 
the grace of its movements. The gentleman could not be persuaded that the bird was not hurt, and hav- 
ing no idea it could fly, it was left in the yard with the poultry. The following morning it was gone, 
having' disappeared as mysteriously as it came. 

The Florida Gallinule is often mistaken for the rarer and handsomer Purple Gallinule. The Purple 

Gallinule has only within the last few years been taken this far North, being emphatically a Southern 

bird. In 1877, May 10th, I killed a beautiful specimen, and have since seen one bird. It is probable 

that it breeds in the State when it happens to visit us and is unmolested, and in time it may become a 

common summer resident. 


Plate XLVII. 

Fig. 4. FUUGA AMFRICANA-American Coot 

The American Coot, Mud Hen, or Water Hen, as this species is variously called, is a summer resi- 
dent in suitable localities throughout the State. In the northern marshes it is plentiful ; in the large 
reservoirs it is not uncommon; other places it is scarcer and irregular. It arrives from the South about 
the last week in March; stragglers arc often seen much earlier. On the 22nd of February, 1883, I saw a 
single specimen, and during the past week, March 18th to 24th, the ponds in the neighborhood of Circle- 
ville have contained hundreds. In November it traces its course to the South. The nest is completed 
the last of May or first of June. Nests containing fresh eggs have been found by Mr. J. B. Porter the 
second week in July. In these cases the first sets had probably been destroyed. 

The following, upon the breeding habits of this species, as observed in the Lake Erie marshes, is 
from the pen of Dr. F. W. Langdon : 


"The nest is usually situated amongst the tall reeds standing in the water; occasionally, however, 
the more open patches of saw-grass and wild-rice are selected for nesting. 


"The height of the nest from the water varies. Amongst the tall reeds it is supported by their 
stems, often a foot or more above the water, whilst, in other cases, the base rests directly upon the mud 
or the surface of the water. 


"The following description of a Dakota nest of this species, by Dr. Coues, answers equally well for 
Ohio specimens: 'Among many Coots' nests I have found, one was built in a clump of reeds where the 
water was about knee-deep; it was a bulky affair, resting securely on a mass of reedy debris. The nest 
itself was built of the same materials, heaped up and a little hollowed; it was about fifteen inches in 
diameter, and half as high. The reed-stems appeared to have been bitten by the bird into short pieces ; 
there was no special lining. This nest was a floating one, in the sense that the platform of. broken-down 
reeds upon which it was built rested on the water ; but it was perfectly secure, raised out of the wet, 
and though loosely constructed, could be lifted up intact.' Birds of the Northwest, page 542. 


"The complement of eggs varies from eight to ten in number. They are rather sharply pointed. 
The ground-color is clear grayish-white. The markings consist of dots and speckles of sepia distributed 
uniformly and thickly over the entire shell, but rarely ever confluent. Few of the marks are larger than 


a pin head, and most of them mere specks. The eggs measure from 1.70 to 1.95 inches in length, by 
1.22 to 1.32 in breadth; average of nine specimens, 1.83x1.28. 


"These have been already noted in the account of the nesting habits of the Florida Gallinule." See 
page 164. 


To the above account of the nesting of the American Coot, kindly furnished me by Dr. Langdon, I have 
no original observations to add, having never found a nest of this species. The Coot is a familiar bird 
in the spring and fall throughout the entire State, being met with along all water courses as well as in 
the lakes and ponds. In March and April, and also in the fall, large flocks are often seen swimming 
about with wild ducks or feeding restlessly among reeds and grass. They are shy, but rarely take wing, 
preferring to swim than to fly to a safe retreat. Sometimes they may be forced to fly; in this event, 
they rise awkwardly from the water, skim over its surface, and alight a few hundred yards away. 

In the small ponds about Circleville several pairs of Coots breed every year. I have repeatedly seen 
the old birds during the summer months, and once a brood of young but a few days old. 

The Coot is not often killed for the table, although, as I am informed, its flesh is not much inferior 
to the Scaup or Ring-necked Ducks. 

The three eggs illustrated on Plate XLVII, Fig. 4, represent the common sizes, shapes, and mark- 
ings. The specimens from which the drawings were made were collected by Mr. J. B. Porter, in Ottawa 

county, in 1880. 









Fig 2. 

Plate XLVIII. 

Fig. I VIREO NOVEBORAGENSIS-Wkite-eyed Vireo. 

The White-eyed Vireo arrives in the spring and departs in the fall about the same time as the 
other species of the family. During the nesting season it is very unequally distributed throughout the 
State. In some localities it is not found; in some it is an occasional resident only; in others it is com- 
mon. Dr. J. M. Wheaton has not been able to find it breeding in the neighborhood of Columbus, nor 
have I been able to discover it about Circleville. Dr. F. W. Langdon refers to it in his catalogue of 
1879 as "a common summer resident" near Madisonville. 

Nest-building begins the last of May or the first of June. Two broods are probably reared by each, 
pair during the season. 


The nest is uniformly placed on a low limb of a tree or in a bush situated in shrubbery. A low, 
moist thicket of bushes and small trees is a favorite locality. Occasionally, the nest is built in an orna- 
mental bush or tree in a town or country lawn. 


The nest is pensile, and is situated in a horizontal fork in a similar manner to the nest of the 
Red-eyed Vireo. Its distance from the ground is usually between three and six feet. 


The material of construction is very similar to that of the nest of the Red-eyed Vireo, but it is 
arranged exteriorly in a much looser manner. A specimen before me, which may be considered an 
average nest in size and material, is constructed and measures as follows: Externally are visible 
pieces of corn-husk, bits of leaves, bark, fibres, grasses, wool, and a few lichens. The whole is rather 
roughly arranged, and is held together by fine vegetable fibres, spider's web, and other silky threads. 
Within this somewhat flimsy exterior, or foundation, is a thin layer of grasses and fibres which corre- 
sponds to the superstructure in a nest supported from below. The lining comes next, and is also very 
thin, being composed of roller-grass and split grasses. About the rim the grasses of the lining are 
arranged circularly, and are bound to the exterior and to the branches of support by thread-like vege- 
table fibres and web. The whole is quite strong and durable, notwithstanding its thin walls and frail 
appearance. The external diameter of this nest is two and three-fourths, and its external depth nearly 
three inches. The diameter of its cavity is two and one-eighth inches in its widest part. At the rim it 
is but one and seven-eighths inches. The depth of its cavity is two and three-eighths inches. 

In place of the corn-husk in the nest just described, newspaper, paper from the nest of the wasp 
or hornet, and similar material, is frequently substituted; and mosses, insects, catkins, pine-needles, and 


other substances, which seem to the builder to be useful or ornamental, are added to or take the place of 
materials mentioned above. There is not much variation in the dimensions of different nests of the 
species under consideration from the measurements given. The external dimensions are of course subject 
to the usual variations for nests of this size. Of the internal measurements, the diameter of the cavity 
is the more constant. 


The complement of eggs is usually five. They are pure white, marked, about the base especially, 
with a few spots and minute specks of dark chocolate-brown or sepia laid on so thickly as to appear black. 
The deep shell-marks are neutral tint. A set of eggs before me measures, respectively, .75 x .52, .76 x .53, 
.78 x .52, and .80 x .53. One of these contains nine marks, another eleven, another twelve, and the fourth 
thirteen, varying in size from a faint speck to a bold dot as large as a pin's head. Eggs of this species 
vary in size from .50 to .60 in short-diameter, and from .73 to .83 in long-diameter. A frequent size is 
about .53 x .76. 


See Lanivireo flavifrons, Yellow-throated Vireo. 


Plate XLVIII, Fig. 1, illustrates a nest and three eggs of the White-eyed Vireo. The nest was 
collected August 2nd, 1879, near Locust Corner, Clermont county, by Mr. Leonard Freeman, of Cincinnati. 
The nest was discovered on July 21st, in a thicket of small trees. It was situated about three feet from 
the ground, in a fork, at the extremity of a long slender branch of a plum tree, and contained one egg. 
On the 25th it contained three eggs. The bird was observed upon the nest, and was finally shot when 
the nest was taken. The season at which the nest was built, and the small complement of eggs, sug- 
gest that this was probably her second 'nest for the year. 

The eggs figured were selected from three sets. They represent the ordinary variations in size, 
shape, and markings. 

The White-eyed Vireo differs from others of the family breeding in the State, in the fact that it 
frequents shrubbery instead of timberland or open fields with here and there a solitary tree. Its char- 
acter is very similar to that of the Warbling Vireo. Dr. Coues has so well described this species during 
the nesting season, that I can not do better than to copy his words. Page 524 of "Birds of the Colorado 
Valley." He says: "The White-eyed Vireo has always been notable, even in groups of birds whose 
spirit is high, for its irritable temperament; and, during the breeding season, nothing can surpass the 
petulance and irascibility which it displays when its home is too nearly approached, and the fuss it makes 
when its temper is ruffled in this way. It skips about in a panicky state, as regardless of exposure as 
a virago haranguing the crowd on a street corner, seemingly at such loss for adequate expletives that 
we may fancy it quite ready to say 'Thank you,' if somebody would only swear a little. . . . Their 
uneasiness is chiefly exhibited during the breeding season, and all their vehemence is but the excess of 
their concern for their little families, which, as they seem to be aware, are peculiarly exposed to danger 
in their lowly homes ; their ai-dor exhausts itself when the occasion is past, and, what had been excess- 
ive solicitude gives way to simple sprightliness and vivacity, which then appears as an agreeable trait." 


Plate XLVIII. 


The Bay-winged Bunting, or Grass-finch, is one of the commonest birds of the State. It arrives 
about the 1st of April, and remains until November, or later. During the summer it frequents 
pastures and poorly cultivated fields, especially fields of grass and clover. It is often seen feeding along the 
public road or wallowing in the dust. It may always be easily recognized by the one or more wholly or 
partly white feathers upon either side of its tail. These feathers are very conspicuous when the bird 
flies, and afford a ready means of distinguishing it at a distance from other species which it closely re- 
sembles in sizo and general color. The nest is built in May for the first brood and in July for the second. 


The locality chosen for the nest is generally a barren field, with here and there little clumps of grass 
or weeds. Both high lands and low lands are frequented. Occasionally, the nest is placed in the border of 
a wood or even along a road side. 


The nest is always situated upon the ground in a slight concavity, usually unprotected by any 
vegetation ; but sometimes it is built at the root of a thistle or other weed, and, rarely, is in a little bunch 
of grass or among straggling stems of clover. The concavity is generally a natural one. The bird may 
scratch it out some and smooth it, but she rarely if ever makes the entire excavation. The rim of the 
nest is usually but little above the surrounding ground. 


The nest is a very simple affair. The foundation and superstructure consist chiefly of a few weed- 
stems, grasses, straws, and rootlets, entwined and matted together, and the lining is made of a few grasses, 
rootlets, and horse-hairs. The average diameter of the cavity is about two and seven-eighths inches, its depth 
about three quarters of an inch: the external diameter is generally about four and one-half or five inches. 

A nest before me is composed as follows: The foundation consists of rather coarse weed-stems and 
weed-rootlets, loosely arranged in the concavity and most abundant about the periphery. Next is a compact 
layer about three-eighths of an inch thick of dead and blackened blades of blue-grass mixed with a few 
weed-stems. This makes up the bulk of the nest. The lining is composed of a few white horse-hairs 
and a few very fine whitish rootlets, arranged circularly. The entire nest just as lifted from its 
position weighs only one half an ounce. The nests which I have observed have not varied much from 
the one described. The materials of course vary somewhat with locality and individual fancy, hut 
there is much uniformity in structure as a whole. 



The complement of eggs is usually four, sometimes five, rarely six. The ground-color of a number 
of blown eggs before me varies from a grayish-white to a pinkish-white. The majority have a faint blue- 
gray tinge. The markings are very variable. One egg before me has but one decided mark upon it, this is 
at the base, and is an irregular blotch of sepia about one-fourth of an inch long by one-sixteenth wide. 
The entire shell is pretty thickly marked with faint pinkish blotches, spots, and speckles. One is thickly 
and evenly blotched, spotted, and speckled with similar faded pinkish-brown marks, but contains no well- 
defined spots. One has numerous faint lavender spots and speckles and four or five irregular blotches of 
sepia very similar to the marks on the Orchard Oriole's egg. One is thickly blotched with reddish-brown, 
the blotches being fainter at the edges than in the center, and the marks are crowded at the base so that 
they form a confluent wreath. One has spots of faint lavender, and small blotches and speckles 
of reddish-brown, and, besides, numerous dots, lines, and scrawls of intense sepia. Others present various 
combinations of the markings described. Of twenty specimens, the average long-diameter is .78, the 
average short-diameter is .60. The greatest long-diameter is .84, the greatest short-diameter is .68. The 
least long-diameter is .76, the least short-diameter is .57. A common size is about .79x.60. 


See Table. 


The nest and eggs illustrated, Plate XLVIII, Fig. 2, was found May 12th, 1880. The nest was care- 
fully lifted from its position and placed upon level ground, so that the drawing would show to better advan- 
tage the depth of the structure and the material of which it is composed. The eggs figured illustrate 
the sizes, shapes, and patterns commonly met with. The middle egg of the three lower ones is perhaps 
nearest the average in all respects. 

The Bay-winged Bunting is in the neighborhood of Circlevillc and Chillicothe nearly as plentiful as 
the Song-Sparrow, but it is not as well known to the people, from the fact that it avoids towns and resi- 
dences. The song of this species is pleasing and is most frequently heard in the evening, often after 
other birds are silent; accordingly, it has been named the Vesper Sparrow. 

Mr. Audubon did not meet with the Bay-winged Bunting in Ohio, when he journeyed through the 
State. It is probable that at that time it was not a resident. Like the Black-throated Bunting and 
some other birds, it has but recently become common. Like many other birds that build on the ground, 
the Bay-winged Bunting feigns lameness when she believes her nest or young are in danger. I have up- 
on several occasions witnessed this ruse and once was fooled by it, so perfectly did the mother play the 
role of cripple. The female sits closely upon her nest, and will permit one to approach within a foot or 
two before she will leave it. Generally, she runs a short distance before taking wing. 



fig. a. 


FIG. 3. 

FIG. 4. 

Plate XLIX. 


The Sparrow Hawk is to a certain extent a permanent resident of the State, especially in the south- 
ern section ; many of them, however, are only summer residents, going south as winter comes on, and 
returning again at the first approach of spring. The site for the nest is usually chosen in April, and 
sometimes even in March, but cold weather may delay oviposition until several weeks later. Ordinarily, 
only one brood is reared by a single pair during the season. 


The eggs are placed in a hollow in a dead stump, limb, or trunk of a tree; usually along the border 
of a stream or pond, or in a low field. The large sycamores in river bottoms are much frequented nest- 
ing places. In upland districts, a tree along a ditch or pond is generally selected in preference to others. 
Occasionally, the nest is in a tree at the edge of a woods; but rarely, if ever, is it any considerable dis- 
tance within woods. A natural cavity, such as is frequently seen at the extremity of a broken limb, or 
the deserted home of any of the large Woodpeckers, answers equally well for the location. The majority 
of nests are undoubtedly in abandoned Woodpecker-holes, as these are much more numerous than artifi- 
cial cavities of suitable size. 


The nest is usually between twenty and fifty feet from the ground; but, sometimes, it is near the top 
of a giant sycamore, and at others in a low stump. 


The Sparrow Hawk rarely, if ever, carries material for its nest — being satisfied to place its eggs 
upon the decayed wood which usually covers the bottom of the chosen site. Several years ago I found 
a nest containing five eggs, which had considerable material, mostly grasses, arranged in an irregular mat 
upon the floor of the cavity. This material may have been carried by a Bronzed Grackle or a Blue- 
bird, and the site afterward abandoned, or the birds may have been driven off by the Hawks before 
their nest was completed. 


The complement of eggs varies from four to seven, four or five is the number usually deposited. 
Mr. Audubon found a set containing seven. They vary in long-diameter from 1.30 to 1.45, and in short- 
diameter from 1.05 to 1.23. A common size is about 1.10 x 1.37. The ground-color of the shell varies, 
in different specimens, from chalky white to burnt sienna of various shades of intensity; and the mark- 
ings vary in color from a yellowish-brown to a reddish-brown, and in size, from a minute speck to a 


blotch covering a quarter of the egg. Some eggs are almost unmarked, others have blotches, spots, and 
speckles confluent, and placed, one upon the other, about the base so thickly as to form a solid mass of 
color — the rest of the shell being but sparingly marked: and others are streaked with thin washes of 
color from point to base. As a rule, the ground-color is burnt sienna; and the markings reddish-brown, 
and but few in number. 


See Circus 7mdsonius, Marsh Hawk. 


The eggs illustrated, Fig. 1, Plate XLIX, were selected from four sets, and represent the sizes, 
shapes, colors, and markings commonly met with. The middle egg is the usual pattern. 

The Sparrow Hawk is one of our commonest species, and is looked upon with more favor than 
other Hawks. It subsists principally upon mice; and, consequently, is frequently seen about corn-fields, 
corn-cribs, and hay-stacks. Its food is, however, by no means limited to mice, as it will catch small 
birds and insects at every opportunity. It often follows the farmer to the field in the winter, and 
pounces down upon the mice which he disturbs. It is not uncommon for a pair of these birds to follow 
the fodder sled, every day throughout the winter, in its trips to the corn-field. During the first bright 
clays of spring the Sparrow Hawks choose their nesting-place; and, although cold may delay egg-laying 
some weeks, the pair remain in the neighborhood of their home, going in and out at frequent intervals, 
as if the contemplation of the future responsibilities was a source of the greatest pleasure. When the nest 
is approached by man the birds leave with an air of indifference, and will not return so long as they 
believe they are watched. Their young are helpless in the extreme; even after they are large enough 
to fly, and have left the nest, they require a good deal of care for some weeks. Like the young of all 
birds of prey, they learn to provide for themselves slowly, and require much instruction and experience 
before they become expert enough to procure their daily food. 

When taken young the Sparrow Hawk makes an intelligent and companionable pet, and might, if 
properly trained, be of much use about the barn as a mouser. 


Plate XLIX. 

Fig 2. ACCIPITER GOOPERI-Cooper's Hawk. 

The Cooper's Hawk is a common resident of the State. According to Dr. J. M. Wheaton, it is less 
numerous in the Northern than in the Southern Counties. About Circle ville it is plentiful in winter and 
summer. The nest is constructed the latter part of April. But one brood is reared bv each pair during 
the season. 


The nest is placed in a tree in a small grove, or in a woods, frequently, near a pond or stream. 


It is built either in a prependicular or horizontal fork, generally in the latter position near the ex- 
tremity of a limb fifty feet or more from the ground. Nests are sometimes found much lower, but as a 
rule they are high up in the trees. 


The materials of construction consist principally of coarse sticks, to which grasses, feathers, corn-silk, 
and similar materials, may be added for the lining. The nest is a rough affair, measuring from a foot 
and a half to two feet in diameter and but a few inches in thickness. It has been compared to the 
nest of the Crow; but it is by no means so elaborately constructed. Its concavity is very slight, and 
frequently but sparingly lined. 


The eggs of a set vary in number from three to six, four being the usual complement. The shell 
is somewhat granular, and varies in color from chalky white to a faint greenish-blue. Ordinarily it 
is tinted with greenish-blue. Sometimes the tint is of different intensity in different parts of the same 
egg. The markings consist of blotches, spots, and, occasionally, streaks of brown. Usually the marks are 
very indistinct, and may easily be overlooked. Sometimes the brown is decided. The markings are 
most abundant about the base. Some eggs are entirely unmarked. In size the eggs average about 
1.48x1.90. According to Dr. Brewer, eggs of this species vary from 1.50 to 1.60 in short-diameter, and 
from 1.85 to 2.00 inches in long-diameter. Dr. Coues, in "Birds of the North-West," gives the vari- 
ations from 1.80 to 2.10 in long-diameter, and from 1.55 to 1.60 in short-diameter. A set of eggs 
collected by Mr. Ohas. Dury of Cincinnati, measures respectively 1.45x1.90, 1.46x1.87, and 1.46x1.88. 
Incubation is said to last twenty-seven days. 



See Circus hudsonius, Marsh Hawk. 


Fig. 2, Plate XLIX, represents the usual sizes, shapes, and colors of the eggs of the Cooper's Hawk. 
Two of the eggs figured were collected by Mr. Chas. Dury, April 29th, 1879, near Cincinnati; the other 
egg figured, came from a set collected in Ross County, in May, 1880. 

My experience in collecting the eggs of this species has been very limited. I have found numbers 
of nests, but never an accessible one that contained fresh eggs. I raised from a nestling a male Cooper's 
Hawk, and kept him until he was nearly a year old. He was an interesting pet, full of cunning and 
boldness. He became so tame that he had the liberty of the town. He would wander about from 
tree to house-top, and would sometimes be gone a whole clay. He was very fond of buggy-riding, and 
would sit on the dash-board for hours manifesting the greatest interest in the objects passed. I intended 
to teach him to hunt, and was making rapid progress with his lessons, when I was obliged to leave for 
college. Some months later a letter brought me news of his death. A bov had killed him with a stone. 
The Cooper's Hawk, or the Hen Hawk, as the species is called by the country people, is the most de- 
structive to poultry of any of the family. It is active on the wing, and of courageous spirit, and does 
not hesitate to attack birds much larger than itself. It catches many small birds upon the wing, and it 
sometimes even attacks ducks. I have twice seen a Cooper's Hawk dart into a flock of Red-winged 
Blackbirds, and in each instance it secured a Blackbird in its talons. 

Instead of Buteo cooperi, Plate XLIX, read Accipiter cooperi. 


Plate XLIX. 

Fig. 3. BUTEO UNEATUS-Red-Shouldered Hawk. 

The Red-shouldered Hawk, although throughout the year a common resident of the State, is more 
plentiful in winter than in summer. Its distribution during the nesting season is irregular. About 
Circleville, the Red-tailed Hawk seems to take its place, and in some sections where it is plentiful during 
the nesting season, I am informed, the Red-tailed Hawk is uncommon. Dr. J. M. Wheaton, in his re- 
port upon the ornithology of Ohio, states that the two species mentioned seem complementary to each 

The nest is constructed in March or the first part of April. But one brood is reared by a single 
pair during the season. 


The nest is placed in a tall tree; usually in a retired wood, near low, swampy ground. 


A perpendicular or horizontal fork is chosen for the site, at a distance of fifty feet or more from the 
ground. Occasionally, a nest is found much lower; but, as a rule, they are high up in the largest trees. 


The nest is composed principally of coarse sticks, arranged into a strong, round platform, slightly 
concave on top. In the concavity are usually placed moss, feathers, strips of bark, corn-husks, or other 
soft materials, which serve as a lining. The depth of a nest used for the first time is about four inches; 
the diameter, about two feet. The diameter of the cavity can not be measured, as it has no well-defined 


Three or four eggs generally constitute a set. The shell is granular; and varies in ground-color 
from white, generally soiled, to quite a dark shade of yellowish-brown. Some eggs are entirely or almost 
unmarked; others are thickly blotched, spotted, and speckled with various shades of brown. One egg 
before me is blotched so thickly, about the basal half, that a mass of almost solid color is formed, which 
covers a third of the shell ; the remaining two-thirds is also heavily marked, but patches of ground-color 
are here and there plainly visible between the blotches and spots. Another egg is spotted pretty regu- 
larly over the entire shell, with marks about the size of a pin's head. Another egg has fifteen good 
sized circular blotches, and about as many more which are two or three times as long as wide, and much 
less distinct — the latter have their greatest length parallel with the long-diameter of the egg, and be- 
tween these are innumerable dots and speckles. Another has fifteen to twenty marks, composed of 


blotches, spots, and speckles, principally about the base ; and another is similarly marked about the 
point, the basal half being immaculate. 

Deep shell-marks are infrequent; but, when they occur, they appear grayish. It is impossible to 
more than indicate the various patterns. Even between eggs of the same set there is great diversity of 
markings. Sometimes a plain egg is found in a set, all the others of which are plentifully marked, and 
vice versa. The color of the markings is subject to considerable variation. Sometimes it is greenish- 
brown, sometimes yellowish-brown, and sometimes reddish-biwvn ; and these colors run through all shades, 
from the faintest to the deepest. 

The eggs vary in long-diameter from 2.00 to 2.25 inches, and in short-diameter from 1.60 to 1.80. 
The majority of eggs measure between 2.10 and 2.20 in long-diameter, and between 1.70 and 1.78 in 
short-diameter. Incubation lasts, according to Mr. F. W. Carpenter, twenty-seven days. 


See Buteo borealis. 


Fig. 3, Plate XLIX, represents three eggs of the Red-shouldered Hawk, selected from two sets. 
One of these was collected by Mr. Charles Dury, near Cincinnati, in April, 1870. The other was col- 
lected north-east of Columbus, in April, 1883. 

The Red-shouldered Hawk is said to feed largely upon frogs, rats, and mice. Only occasionally does 
it commit depredations on the poultry yard. The pairs remain mated throughout the year, and do not 
engage in family quarrels as soon as the brood is reared, as do the Red-tailed Hawks. A pair will 
occupy the same nest for a number of years, if undisturbed, adding each spring the necessary repairs. 

The Red-tailed Hawk has the same habit of remodeling its old nest year after year, instead of build- 
ing an entirely new structure. I have known a nest to be occupied the year after I had killed one of a 
pair which, at the time, had young in the nest; and from this I inferred the remaining bird had found 
another mate, and had returned to the old home, or else a pair of birds too lazy to build a new nest 
had taken possession of the old one which had been abandoned. 

Nesting of the Red-shouldered Hawk is often delayed by cold and stormy weather several weeks 
beyond the usual time. Generally, egg-laying begins about two weeks later than with the Red-tailed 
Hawk; but, if the spring is wintry, the time between the laying of the two species is considerably 
lengthened, from the fact that B. borealis cares little for cold and wind when the season of house-keep- 
ing arrives. I have discovered its eggs when the temperature was below freezing and the ground cov- 
ered with snow, and have no doubt that many of the sterile eggs found are rendered so by too great a 
loss of heat. 

A wet season affects materially the appearance of the eggs of both species, as the coloring matter 
of the markings is quite soluble in water. In a given set of eggs, the brightness and intensity of the 
markings, as well as the clearness of the ground-color, depend largely upon whether the days during 
oviposition have been wet or dry. Thus, if showers occur, the eggs exposed will be more dingy, cloudy, 
and nest-stained than if dry weather prevails. 


Plate XLIX. 

Fig 4. BUTEO BORE/\US-Red-tailed Hawk. 

The Red-tailed Hawk, or Hen Hawk, is a very common and well-known bird. It builds its nest in 
March, or earlier. The young are generally hatched about the 20th of April. But one brood is reared 
by each pair during the season. 


The nest is always placed in a tree, generally at the edge of thick woods, but sometimes in the in- 
terior. Occasionally an isolated tree, or one in very open timber-land is selected for the site. The large 
sycamores in river bottoms furnish secure and favorite situations. 


The nest is generally situated near the top of the tree, in a perpendicular crotch formed by two or 
more branches; but, sometimes, it is built at the bifurcation of a horizontal limb, and is held in posi- 
tion by small perpendicular twigs. It is not often within fifty feet of the ground; and, ordinarily, is as 
much higher as the selected tree will permit, 


Rough sticks compose the bulk of the nest. These arc crossed and tangled into a large and firm 
platform, concave on top, between two and three feet in diameter, and from a few inches to a foot or 
more in depth. The lining consists of corn-husks, corn-silk, strips of grape-vine bark, feathers, leaves, 
weed-stems, and like material. The concavity of some nests is well lined, and measures several inches 
in depth; in others it is poorly lined, and but slightly concave. 


The complement of eggs is commonly three; occasionally one more or less. They measure in long- 
diameter from 2.15 to 2.60, and in short-diameter from 1.80 to 2.00 inches. The majority of eggs are 
between 2.30 and 2.50 in lorrg-diameter, and between 1.85 and 1.95 in short-diameter. The ground-color 
is either chalky white, a light tint of yellowish-brown, or, as is generally the case, dirty, or soiled 
white. Some eggs are unmarked. Some are marked with indistinct blotches and spots of ochre; and 
others are variously blotched, spotted, and speckled with reddish-brown or yellowish-brown. One egg in 
my cabinet is unmarked, except by indistinct clouds of yellowish-brown. One is marked principally 
about the point, by a number of large, bold blotches of ochre. One has seven large blotches, and about 
twice as many spots of reddish-brown, besides a blotch of ochre about an inch in diameter, and a num- 
ber of rather distinct, purplish deep shell-marks. And one is sparingly marked by small round blotches 
of yellowish-brown. The shell of the egg is granular, often even quite rough. The blotches, except the 


more indistinct ones of yellowish-brown and ochre, are often made up of numerous confluent marks, and 
have generally ragged edges. The majority of the markings are usually about the point, instead of about 
the base as is the case with most eggs. 


The eggs of the Red-tailed Hawk average some larger than those of the Red-shouldered Hawk, and, 
as a rule, arc not so heavily marked. There is also less yellow on the latter. Extreme specimens of 
each it is impossible to identify. 


Fig. 4, Plate XLIX, represents three eggs of the Red-tailed Hawk, selected from five sets. The 
egg at the left was taken April 19th, 1879, from a nest two miles south of Circleville. The other two 
were taken from nests east of the same town, in 1878 and 1882. 

The Red-tailed Hawk, or Hen Hawk, has many enemies. The hunter and the whole country popu- 
lace are arrayed against it, and the State, until recently, has paid fifty cents for every head. But, not- 
withstanding, the species is plentiful. I rarely go to the country without seeing one or more of these 
birds; and I can easily count a dozen nests within a radius of five miles. This Hawk, like all of the 
family, is very intelligent, and is expert in avoiding danger. It seems to be perfectly familiar with 
all kinds of guns, and gives them a wide birth. It is impossible to walk near enough to an old bird to 
kill it with a shot-gun; but young ones are not so shy. 

The Red-tailed Hawk feeds principally on rats, but it is by no means limited to this diet: mice, 
snakes, squirrels, rabbits, quail, chickens, and numerous small birds, fall prey to its hunger. Through- 
out the year this species remains in the neighborhood of its nest, but it makes long journeys in search 
of food, the hunting grounds of a single pair of birds often extending over many miles of territory. 
In February, these Hawks are frequently seen in pairs circling in the air, or sitting near together upon 
a tree. During the period of egg-laying and incubation the male is watchful, and shows his mate much 
attention. Pie often brings food to her, and, when the young are hatched, he becomes solicitous for their 
wellfare and hunts the greater part of the day for their support. In 1879, I climbed to a nest which 
contained three young birds but a few days old, and, much to my surprise, found five full grown rats 
lying upon the rim of the nest. They were nicely laid away, probably to be used at some future time 
when the result of the days foraging would not be sufficient to appease the growing appetites of the lit- 
tle ones. 

When sitting upon her eggs, the mother bird is often invisible from below, and is with difficulty 
driven from her nest. Of all the birds which I have observed, the Red-tailed Hawk shows the most valor 
and love of offspring. I have seen the female take load after load from a shot-gun, while defending her 
home from attack, and, finally, with shattered bones and wounded muscles alight beside her youno-, when 
she must have known that such an act would be certain death. 

The cry of the Plen Hawk is shrill and grating, and is well known by domestic fowls, which, hold- 
ing the Hawk in dread, duck their heads and scamper for cover at every cry. The Blue Jay mimics to 
perfection its screaming notes, and may possibly enjoy flying noiselessly into a tree under which 
chickens are feeding and then suddenly uttering the Hawk's scream. I have seen the Blue Jay do this 
trick several times, and I imagine he has just mischief enough in him to delight in the fear and conster- 
nation of the chickens. 






Plate L. 


The House Wren arrives in the vicinity of Columbus about the middle of April, and remains until 
October. It is very prolific, generally rearing two, and often three, broods during the season. The first 
nest is constructed early in May, the second in Jane or July, and the third in August. 


The House Wren frequents out-houses and dwellings in town and country, and may place its nest 
in any sheltered cranny. Occasionally, it retires to the woods or field, considerable distance from a 
dwelling, and builds in the hollow of a log, stump, or limb, or in a fence corner, brush-heap, or some 
such place; but it is fond of human society, and quite generally takes advantage of the protection which 
the. works and presence of man afford. Curious and unexpected situations are sometimes chosen for the 
nest, such as an old human skull, a buggy-top, a bee-hive, an old boot or hat, the sleeve or pocket of a 
coat — in fact, none of the hundreds of places which the rubbish about a house offers escapes the inquisi- 
tive search of this delightful little bird when on the lookout for a building site. Corners and holes in 
old barns and wood-sheds, hollows in old apple trees, and small boxes, made for the purpose and placed 
on poles or nailed under the eaves of houses, furnish the most frequented nesting places. 


The nest rests upon the bottom of the chosen cavity, and often fits snugly against the sides. Its 
distance from the ground varies from a few inches to twenty or thirty feet. When a natural cavity in a 
tree is selected, it is seldom but a few feet from the ground. 


Sticks, weed-stems, strings, horse-hairs, bits of paper, rags, feathers, grass, moss, and rootlets, in 
various proportions, constitute the greater part of the nest. The rougher materials arc in the foundation 
and superstructure, the finer in the lining. One nest in my cabinet has a foundation and superstructure 
of small sticks, and a lining of grass and horse-hair. One has, in its foundation and superstructure, be- 
sides sticks, moss, bark, leaves, and lichens. Another has, besides the materials just mentioned, paper, 
rags, and spider's web. The lining of the last two nests is very similar, being composed almost entirely 
of an abundance of chicken-feathers, held in place by a few horse-hairs. The diameter of the cavity 
is the same, about two inches, in each of the three nests. The depth of cavity in each measures, 
respectively, one and three-quarters, two, and two and one-eighth inches. A nest from Columbus meas- 
ures but one and one-half inches in depth of cavity. The external dimensions vary with situation. The 
birds always fill the cavity as completely as possible, whether it is a half-bushel basket or a three-inch 
mortise hole. The cavity of the nest generally opens from above ; but sometimes the materials of 
construction are piled up the sides so as to nearly roof it over. 



The complement of eggs varies from five to nine. The first set contains more than the second, and 
the second more than the third. They measure from .62 to .72 in long-diameter, and from .48 to .55 in 
short-diameter. A set of six eggs, collected by Mr. J. M. Thayer, of Cleveland, measures, respectively, 
.67 x .53, .67 x 50, .67 x .51, .66 x .51, .65 x .49, and .70 x .52. Another set of six, from Fayette county, 
averages about .65 x .50. The ground-color of the shell is sometimes white, sometimes pinkish or pinkish- 
gray in tint. The markings are uniformly brown-madder ; but the deep shell-marks appear bluish or pur- 
plish. The following descriptions of eggs show the common variations in pattern: No. 1 is marked, upon a 
white ground, with speckles and minute dots, everywhere so thickly and uniformly distributed as to nearly 
obscure the ground. No. 2 has a pinkish ground, and is pretty thickly marked over its whole surface 
with almost invisible speckles. No. 3 is plentifully marked with spots and speckles about the smaller 
end, and has a well-marked wreath about the base, composed of irregular dots and lines confluent with 
each other and with numerous deep shell-marks. No. 4 shows, between fine speckles, small patches of 
white ground about the point, and has a well-marked wreath of dots about the crown. No. 5 is similar 
to No. 4, except that the speckles are about the base and the wreath is about the point. The shape of 
the eggs varies considerably, some are slender and pointed, others are elliptical, with bat little difference 
in the length of the axes. Between these extremes there are various forms. 


Since writing the description of the nest and eggs of the Bewick's Wren, I have found four nests 
of that species, containing from four to six eggs each. On comparing these five nests, with their accom- 
panying eggs, with those of the other Wrens, the following points of similarity and difference are 
apparent: The nest of the Bewick's Wren resembles, in materials of construction and workmanship, that 
of the Carolina Wren closer than that of the House Wren ; but, in size and shape, it is more like the 
latter. When the nest of the House Wren is confined to a small space, it approaches very closely the 
nest of the Bewick's Wren. The lining of the two nests is often exactly alike, but the foundation and 
superstructure of the House Wren's nest is seldom composed of as fine and various materials as is the 
nest of the Bewick's Wren, and its cavity is, as a rule, a little deeper and a little less in diameter. The 
difference in the materials of construction is apparent in the illustrations. When the House Wren is 
not limited in space, its nest is unique. The eggs of the House Wren generally bear but little resem- 
blance to those of the Bewick's Wren, or to any of the family. Exceptional specimens are sometimes so 
sparingly marked as to look like the eggs of the Bewick's Wren, and sometimes so heavily marked that 
they bear a great similarity to eggs of the Long-billed Marsh Wren. The eggs of the Carolina Wren 
are the largest, the eggs of the Bewick's Wren come next, and those of the Short-billed Marsh Wren 
last. The eggs of the House Wren and Long-billed Marsh Wren are the same in size, and smaller, 
on the average, than those of the Bewick's Wren. 


The illustration, Plate L, respesents a nest of the House Wren, taken June 12th, 1883, from a 
hollow apple-tree, on the grounds of Mrs. Ide, at Columbus. It was in the main trunk of the tree, 
about two feet from the ground. It is of rather small size in external dimensions, but its position and 
materials of construction are typical. In order to picture the nest to advantage, it was necessary to lift 
it from its position, as was done with the nests of the Carolina Wren and the Bewick's Wren. The 
eggs figured were selected from about a dozen sets. They represent the usual variations in size, shape, 
and markings. 





Plate LI. 


The American Redstart is a common summer resident throughout the State. It arrives from the 
South the last of April, -or the first of May, and remains until the middle of September or later. It, 
frequently rears two broods during the season, the first nest being constructed about the loth of May, 
and the second early in July. June 14th, 1883, I saw a Redstart feeding her young; they were out of 
the nest and well able to fly; and on August 1st, I saw another young brood following their mother. 


The nest is usually on a sapling, sometimes on a branch of a tree, in dense woods. Occasionally it 
is in an isolated tree in town or country. During the nesting-season, I have always found the Red- 
start the most plentiful in woods along rivers and creeks; but, on account of the heavy undergrowth in 
such localities, it is very difficult to discover their nests. 


The nest is usually built either in an upright crotch formed by two or more branches, or is placed 
against the trunk of a slightly inclined sapling where one or more small twigs or leaf-stems put forth. 
Occasionally it is fastened to a perpendicular trunk, and is unsupported by branches or leaf-stems. When 
in a fork, it is generally at the bifurcation of the main trunk, and, whatever its position, is but 
rarely concealed or protected by foliage. Its distance from the ground varies from five to twenty feet, 
ten or twelve feet being the ordinary height. Although often built at the bifurcation of the trunk, or of a 
branch of a sapling, it is not saddled in the crotch. A fork narrower than the nest is selected, and then the 
nest is placed against the branches in such a manner, that a perpendicular line drawn through its center is 
exterior to the main stem. It also differs from other nests situated in forks, in the fact that the ma- 
terials of construction are fastened to the bark instead of being wound around the branches. 


A nest found May 15th, 1880, was situated nine feet from the ground, at the bifurcation of an elm 
sapling. Its foundation and superstructure are composed of gray flaxen fibres from the inner-bark of a 
weed, probably the common milk-weed. Some of these fibres run completely around the nest, especially at 
the rim, which is slightly contracted, but the majority begin and end at the branches, the bark of which 
is rough and affords good points of attachment for the fibres. None of the fibres are wound around the 
branches. In several places bits of web are attached to the bark, and to the nest. The lining is com- 
posed of long white, black, and red horse-hairs arranged circularly, and at the rim felted with fine vege- 
table fibres which are continuous with the foundation and superstructure. The nest is quite round, and 
measures two and one-eighth inches in external diameter, by two and one-fourth in external depth. The 


diameter of the cavity is one and seven-eighths, its depth one and one-half inches. From these measure- 
ments it will be seen that the wall of the nest is very thin. 

A nest taken June 20th, 1882, is similar as regards position, but is a little larger externally, and 
has mixed with the flaxen fibres of the foundation and superstructure strips of grape-vine bark, and with 
the hairs of the lining split grass and roller-grass. Another nest discovered June 24th, 1883, in dense 
upland woods, was situated twelve feet from the ground on a slightly inclined hickory sapling, at a 
point where a small twig branched from the main trunk at an angle of about 45°. It is constructed so 
that the twig runs through it, between the lining and the superstructure. Upon one side about two- 
thirds of the nest is exterior to the crotch. Its foundation and superstructure are composed of flaxen 
fibres, inner bark of grape-vine in long shreds, and balls and strings of snow-white web from a peculiar 
plant-louse which infested the maples the past year. The grape-vine bark is most abundant around the 
rim. The lining is composed of very finely split grasses, long black horse-hairs, and one black feather. 
The materials are not wound around the trunk, but arc fastened to the bark by web. The external 
diameter of the nest is about two and one-half inches; the external depth two and three-eighths. The 
diameter of the cavity is one and seven-eighths; the depth one and one-half inches. This nest, although 
much more loosely built, and some larger externally than the others, has exactly the same internal di- 
mensions. Other materials besides those mentioned in the above descriptions, often enter into the com- 
position of the nest; such as soft vegetable-downs, rootlets, and leaves. Some nests are composed largely 
of down and fibres felted together, and some are lined entirely with split grasses or rootlets. But what- 
ever the materials or external dimensions, the diameter of the cavity is very uniform. 


Four or five eggs constitute a set, four is the usual number. Those in my collection from Ohio, 
vary in long-diameter from .59 to .68, and in short-diameter from .45 to .51. Ten eggs, from as many 
sets, collected in widely different parts of the United States, come nearly within the same limits. The 
usual size is about .49 x .60. A set of four measures, respectively, .48 x .61, .50 x .62, .49 x .60, and .48 x 
.60. The ground-color of the shell is white, often of yellowish or soiled appearance. The markings are 
yellowish-brown of quite uniform tint, but of slightly various shades. The deep shell-marks are slate 
color. An egg of the usual pattern is blotched, clotted, and speckled; the clots and speckles are scattered 
sparingly over the whole shell, and about the crown the blotches, which are in places confluent, form a well- 
marked wreath. An extreme specimen has its pointed half immaculate, but about the base there is a 
well-defined ring of small blotches, dots, and speckles, rarely confluent, of pale surface marks and deep 
shell-marks in about equal proportions, and besides several fine, irregular lines. Another extreme speci- 
men is boldly blotched, clotted, and speckled, from point to base, most plentifully at the base, with a 
dark shade of yellowish-brown. Between these extremes there are various combinations. 


The nest and eggs of the Redstart have often been said to resemble those of the Summer Warbler, 
and there is. on casual inspection quite a similarity. Reference to page 71 will, however, show quite dis- 
tinct points of difference between the nests, not only as to size, but also as to materials, and mode of 
construction. The eggs of the two species are at times very much alike, but as a rule those of the Red- 
start are the smaller. See also table. 


The illustration, Plate LI, represents a nest of the American Redstart, collected June 24th, 1883, 
a description of which is given above. The eggs figured show the sizes, shapes, and patterns of mark- 
ings ordinarily observed, the middle one being perhaps the commonest form. 




i * ■* 

Plate LII. 


The Cedar Wax-wing, Cedarbird, or Cherrybird, as this species is variously called, is usually seen 
between the months of November and June, inclusive, in flocks of a dozen to fifty, flying high in the 
air or perched upon some friendly tree. It is emphatically gregarious and nomadic, except during the 
period in which it is engaged in rearing its young, which is any time from June until October. As soon 
as mated, the pairs leave the flock and go in search of a suitable locality for the nest. It often hap- 
pens thats everal pairs build in close proximity to each other, but on different trees. Only one brood is 
reared during the season. Although seen in large flocks most of the year, but few seem to breed 
within the limits of the State; at least, its nests are uncommon and unequally distributed in the terri- 
tory with which I am familiar. 


A medium sized tree near a dwelling, either in town or country, is usually selected for the site of 
the nest. An apple-tree or pear-tree is a great favorite; but not infrequently a cedar, maple, wild-cherry, 
or some ornamental tree in a lawn is chosen. The nest is rarely built in woods, unless about the border, 
as the birds prefer open and cultivated ground. The nest is said, by some writers, to be occasionally 
built in a low bush. I have never observed it in this situation, but have several times met with it in 
a stunted elm or other dwarfed tree along the wooded banks of the Scioto river. 


The nest is usually saddled on a horizontal or slightly inclined limb, at a point where a horizontal 
branch puts forth or at a bifurcation of the limb; and, in either case, is generally supported firmly at 
the sides by a number of upright twigs from the limb. Sometimes it is built in a perpendicular crotch 
formed by two or more branches. Its distance from the ground is ordinarily between ten and fifteen feet, 
but occasionally it is as low as three feet or as high as twenty or twenty-five feet. 


The materials which enter into the construction of the nest are very numerous, and often quite dis- 
similar in different nests, according to the fancy of the builder for this or that material, or accordino- to 
the locality of the site. Rootlets, weed-stems, tendrils, vegetable-fibres, grass, green and dead leaves, leaf- 
stems, strings, paper, and rags, are usually found in greater or less proportions. The material is mostly 
quite soft and tine for the kind, and the foundation, superstructure, and lining, differ but little in composi- 
tion. Perhaps, as a rule, the lining contains more thread-like rootlets than any other part of the struc- 
ture. The exterior is rough and untidy in appearance, and at once suggests the roving and careless 
disposition of the builder. The external diameter measures from four to live inches, and its depth about 


three inches. The diameter of the cavity varies from two and three-fourths to three and one-eighth in- 
ches, and its depth from one and one-half to two and one-half inches. 


The complement of eggs is four or five, four being the usual number. They vary in long-diameter from 
.80 to .91, and in short-diameter fro'm .57 to .07. The largest egg in ten sets measures .91 x .60, the 
smallest, .82 x. .57. The common size is about .88 x .60. The ground-color of the shell is generally 
moderately tinted with bluish-green, but occasionally with blue-gray or slate-color, and still less frequently 
it is clouded by a wash of brown. The markings consist of well-defined dots and specks of sepia, so 
heavily laid on as to appear black. On some eggs the marks are distributed sparingly, but quite regu- 
larly, over the whole shell. On some they wreath around the base, while on others, and this is the usual 
pattern, they are scattered in small coalescent groups here and there over the surface. Considerable 
space generally separates the dots from each other, and it is exceptional to find more than two or three 
marks that are confluent. The deep shell-marks are often nearly as numerous as surface marks, and 
occasionally more plentiful. Their color is neutral tint of more or less intensity, according to their depth. 

See table. 


The nest illustrated, Plate LII, was taken July 20th, J 883, from a small elm tree within twenty 
vards of Mr. Samuel Evans' residence, on Pickaway Plains. It was about fifteen feet from the ground, 
and opposite a second-story window, from which point a good view of it could be obtained. It is com- 
posed principally of split weed-stems, fine rootlets, dead-leaves of the elm, strings, and a bunch of linen 
ravelings. The lining differs from the foundation and superstructure only in being made of the best 
quality of the materials. The coarsest weed-stems and rootlets are exterior, the finest within. The exter- 
nal diameter is about four and three-fourths inches. The diameter of the cavity about three and one- 
quarter inches, the depth, one and three-fourths inches.- The eggs figured represent the common sizes, 
shapes, and markings — the center one is perhaps nearest the average in all respects. 

The Cedarbird is of beautiful form and feather, and is especially attractive on account of its handsome 
crest and "wax-tipped" secondaries. The vermilion wax-like tips are most plentiful on old birds, and, in 
very fine specimens, are not limited to the secondaries, but may be found also on the tail feathers. In two 
instances I have found four secondaries beautifully tipped in nestlings. The Cedarbird is said to have a 
very low song; ordinarily, it utters but a single note, a squeaking whistle of high pitch and peculiar tim- 
ber. Its domestic life is largely a pantomime show. The billing and cooing is carried on with but an oc- 
casional word, and the young are apparently deaf and dumb. I visited the nest illustrated several times 
before the little ones were out, and found each time the parents absent. At one visit I hunted the 
neighboring trees, and soon espied the pair, but could not induce either bird to show itself by threaten- 
ing to take their home. I have frequently taken the eggs of this species without the parents making 
the slightest resistance, and at other times they have been very demonstrative. Their intelligence is of 
low order. They are great gormandizers — fearless when hungry, and stupid when satiated. They destroy 
immense quantities of cherries and small berries; and thousands are shot every year by fruit-growers, 
who are not far sighted enough to see that the large crops are often due to the Cedarbird, which, in sea- 
sons of the year when berries are wanting, feed upon destructive insects, or their eggs and larva3. 





;haetura pelasgica 
chimney swift. 

Plate LIII. 

Fig. 1. MELOSPIZA PALU8TRIS— Swamp Sparrow, 

The Swamp Sparrow is known in Ohio chiefly as a spring and fall migrant, but it is highly probable 
that, to a limited extent, it is a permanent resident. I have seen it early in February, and as late as 
the 10th of November. In the northern counties it is said to breed rather plentifully, and I have no 
doubt but that it nests in suitable localities throughout the State. In other States, where it has been 
observed carefully, it generally rears two, and sometimes three, broods during the season. In regard to 
its nesting habits within the limits of Ohio, I know but very little; and, as there is but little valuable 
literature upon the subject, I have been obliged to compile the following text from old and recent writ- 
ings upon the species, as seen in other parts of the United States. 


The nest is generally situated in a swampy piece of land, with small bushes and tussocks of grass 
scattered here and there. The low, moist places along rivers, creeks, and ponds, with bunches of reeds 
and water-grasses growing luxuriantly from the rich soil, and, also, swampy prairie lands, furnish many 
suitable sites. 


Usually the nest is built on the ground in a slight natural concavity at the foot of a bunch of 
grass or reeds, or in a tussock. Occasionally it is placed in a low bush, and may be a few inches, or 
three or four feet, above the ground or water. 


It is constructed of dried grass of various kinds, weed-stems, rootlets, and sometimes weed-fibres. 
The foundation and superstructure are composed principally of coarse, dead grass, frayed weed-stems, and 
rootlets, and the lining of well selected grass, or of grass and rootlets combined. It measures, externally, 
from three and three-quarters to four and a half inches in diameter, by three to three and a half inches 
in depth. Its cavity measures, in diameter, from two to two and one-quarter inches, and in depth, from 
one and one-half to two inches. 


The complement of eggs is four or five. The ground-color of the shell is commonly light bluish-green, but 
sometimes it is clay-colored, or clouded by a light wash of brown. The markings consist of blotches, 
spots, speckles, and, rarely, short lines of reddish-brown, sometimes nearly burnt-sie;;na. The deep shell- 
marks are bluish or purplish, and not abundant. Some eggs are so heavily marked at the base, that the 
ground-color is obscured, the rest of the shell being but sparingly dotted and speckled. Some are thickly, 


some sparingly dotted and speckled over the whole shell, and some have a wreath of confluent marks 
about the crown. Others, and this is the usual pattern, have a small patch of confluent marks at 
the base, and from the periphery of this patch the marks become less and less plentiful as the point is ap- 
proached. They measure in long-diameter, from .69 to .78, and in short-diameter, from .53 to .58. The 
average is about .75 x .56. The largest egg of three sets is .77 x .58, the smallest .69 x .53. 


See Yellow-winged Sparrow. 


The nest and eggs illustrated on Plate LIU, Fig. 1, were discovered the last of May, 188] . I was 
walking leisurely along a small ditch which drained a field of wet grass-land, and was just in the act of 
stepping across it, when a small bird flew from under me. I. stopped, stooped down, and, after some 
search, found a little nest hidden under a bunch of long grass. I retired a convenient distance and 
awaited the return of the owner. In about fifteen minutes she came back and entered the nest. I at 
once approached, so that I could see the bird. My conjecture was verified, it was a Swamp Sparrow. 
The bird was finally flushed and shot, and the nest and its five eggs were carefully lifted from the 
ground and carried home. This is the only nest of the species I have found, although I have frequently 
searched for it. The kind of country inhabited by this Sparrow, its retiring habits, and general incon- 
spicuousness, all combine to make its home difficult to find, and its habits hard to study. Even in sec- 
tions where it is common, it is but infrequently seen, and it might breed and remain throughout the year 
in many localities in the State and escape observation by any one able to distinguish it from other 

In the illustration the nest is shown turned over on its side, as this position better shows its size, 

shape, and structure. It is made principally of coarse grasses and frayed weed-stems a few rootlets are 

to be seen in the foundation, and the lining is composed of grasses. The diameter of the cavity is two 
inches, its depth, one and one-half inches. When in position, the rim of the nest was on a level with 
the surrounding sod, and a long tuft of grass concealed it from above, and protected it from the weather. 

During its migration the Swamp Sparrow is seen in uplands as well as in swampy districts, and 
often in company with other Sparrows. It has no song except during the nesting season. At this time 
it has an animated melody which it frequently utters from the top of some low bush, very much after 
the manner of the Song Sparrow, but its notes are by no means so attractive. The history of the 
domestic life of the Swamp Sparrow is yet to be written. 


Plate LIII. 

Fig. 2. CH/ETURA PELASGICA-Chimney Swift, 

The Chimney Swift, or Chimney Swallow, is very plentiful and regularly distributed throughout the 
State. It arrives in Central Ohio about the first week in April, and remains until October, during 
which time it ordinarily rears but one brood; the nest being built the last of May or first part of June. 


The nest is generally placed in a chimney, either in town or country, the large, old-fashioned flues 
being preferred. Sometimes it is built in a hollow trunk of a tree, under the eaves of a house, or on 
a rafter in a barn, but the last two locations are very exceptional. Before the days of chimneys, the 
nest was placed almost exclusively in hollow trees, and, even to-day, there are some birds which cling 
to this ancestral habit. About two miles east of Circleville, on Darby creek, is a giant sycamore which, 
a century or so ago, was topped by the wind; in the trunk of this tree, which is hollow to the roots, 
Chimney Swifts have built for years. There are other hollow trees in the neighborhood, into which I 
have also seen the Swifts carrying sticks; and, if all such trees in the State could be counted, they would 
probably foot up hundreds, or, perhaps, even thousands. 


The nest is always built against a perpendicular sm^face, being held in place by glue secreted spe- 
cially for the purpose. When located in a chimney, or in a hollow tree, it is not many feet from the 
top; its distance from the ground accordingly varies with the height of the flue or tree. 


The materials of construction consist of sticks and glue; the glue is secreted by glands emptying 
into the mouth of the bird; it is soft and sticky wdien fresh, and on drying becomes hard and somewhat 
brittle. The sticks are pretty uniform in size, generally measuring about one-tenth of an inch in diam-. 
eter, and from one-half to three inches in length; they are glued to the supporting wall, and to each 
other, in such a manner that a semi-circular, concave shelf is formed, which is, in anteroposterior 
diameter, from one and a half to three inches, and, in transverse diameter, from three to four inches. 
A common proportion is two and one-quarter by three and three-quarters inches. The nest, near its 
attachment to the wall, consists of three or four layers of sticks, at its periphery of but a single layer. 
The cavity varies from one-half to one inch and one-half in depth. Sometimes the sticks are so covered 
with glue that they appear as if varnished. 


The complement of eggs is usually four. They are pure white, and measure in long-diameter from 
.75 to .85, and in short-diameter from .49 to .35. A common size is about .52 x .79. 



The nest is unique. The eggs resemble those of several other species. See White-bellied Swallow. 


The illustration, Plate LIII, Fig. 2, represents a nest and eggs of the Chimney Swift, built in a 
hollow apple-tree. The specimen was obtained by Mr. Jos. M. Thayer, of Cleveland, and kindly loaned 
to me for illustration. 

The Chimney Swift, in many of its habits, is very peculiar, and its nest is certainly a curious and 
ingenious piece of workmanship. All day the Swift flies high in the air, often out of sight, and never 
alights except at its nest or roost. Its food consists of various insects, which it procures while on the 
wing, occasionally after dark. The material for the nest is also obtained while flying, and in a remark- 
able manner. Having selected a site for their nest, the birds busy themselves gathering twigs every 
morning and evening until it is completed. Locust-trees and fruit-trees furnish the sticks for the ma- 
jority of nests, as they generally have numerous dead branches. The Swift, having chosen a tree from 
which the material is to be obtained, circles about it until a suitable twig is espied, then flies at it in a 
gently curving or straight line, in such a direction that it can be seized in the bill and broken off by 
the momentum acquired by the flight, If the twig docs not break it is dropped, and another trial is 
made, or another twig selected. Both male and female gather sticks, but whether the male does or does 
not secrete glue, and just how important a part he takes in construction, I am unable to sav. It is 
probable, however, that the female does the greater part of the work. Several nests are frequently built 
in one chimney; and if, as sometimes happens, hard rains so soften the glue of the nests that their own 
weight, and the weight of the little ones, precipitate them to the bottom of the flue, a great commotion 
follows for some days. Sometimes the nestlings manage to climb to the top of the chimney, but usually 
they perish of hunger. 

After the young are safely reared, the life of the Chimney Swift becomes a great holiday. All day 
they fly about in scattered communities, and at night collect in some favorite chimney to roost. It is 
an entertaining sight to see them, as night approaches, hastening from every direction to their home. 
At first, but few are to be seen; but, as the evening glow begins to fade, more and more plentiful they 
become, delaying the roosting, however, until the last moment. They fly in circles around and around 
the chimney. Now a small band separates from the rest and flies off to prolong its frolic, now it re- 
turns and joins the throng, which resembles leaves carried up in a whirlwind more than a flock of birds. 
Now some sleepy fellow hangs over the chimney, as if hesitating or measuring the fall, then, suddenly, 
partially closing his wings, down he tumbles; a dozen follow in rapid succession. A short interval, and 
another group falls in, others follow, and still others. Now something disturbs those within, and out 
come fifty or more, and resume their circling flight. Finally, just as darkness comes on, they fall into 
the chimney in a column. In their eagerness some miss the flue, others strike the masonry, and, occa- 
sionally, one is impaled on a sharp-pointed lightning-rod. Thus, to the ordinary observer, ends for the 
night the incessant chatter and the whirling flight of this bird-colony; but if, with superhuman power, 
one could divine the thoughts and emotions, the pleasures and hardships of the lives within that long, 
dark, and often sooty tube which the Chimney Swallow calls home, what sensational bird-history it would 
make ! 








« » 










Plate LIV. 

Fig. 7. MY/ARCHUS GRINIJUS-Great Crested Flycatcher, 

This species is the largest of the Flycatcher family inhabiting Ohio, and is one of our most interest- 
ing birds. It arrives the latter part of April, and remains through the second week of September, or a 
week or two later if the weather is exceptionally tine. It is not so numerous as the Acadian Flycatcher, 
still it is plentiful in all wooded districts. It is very noisy, uttering at frequent intervals, daring the 
mating season, a loud, harsh cry, and, being shy and retired in disposition, it is much oftener heard than 
seen. The nest is built early in June, and but one brood is reared during the season. 


The nest is usually placed in a hollow, horizontal limb, or in the decayed trunk of a low tree in 
rather open woods. In town, and about country dwellings, an apple-tree is the favorite site. Some- 
times a deserted Woodpecker-hole, a bird-box, or a crevice in an old stump is selected. Dr. Wheaton 
has seen the Great Crested Flycatcher forcibly expel a pair of Bluebirds from their home, break and 
throw out their eggs, and take possession of the premises. 


The nest is placed on the horizontal floor of the cavity, often several feet from the opening. When 
in a hollow limb it is seldom over fifteen feet from the ground, between seven and ten being the usual 


The size and shape of the nest vary with the dimensions of the cavity in which it is placed, and 
the materials of construction vary considerably even in the same locality. Nearly every available sub- 
stance is at times used; weed-stems, grass, leaves, feathers, hair, rootlets, moss, vegetable-down, strings, 
rags, paper, and bits of cast-off snake-skins, being found in various proportions in different nests. Leaves, 
rootlets, grass, and weed-stems generally make up the foundation and superstructure, and feathers and 
hair, or grass and fine fibres compose the lining. The most constant substance is the cast-off snake-skin. 
Every one who has described this nest mentions having found more or less snake-skin, and I have never 
seen or heard of a nest that did not contain it, It is commonly placed about the rim in little pieces, 
but it sometimes occurs in large sheets and in wrinkled sections in various parts of the structure. The 
object which the birds have in using this singular and apparently useless substance can only be conject- 


The complement of eggs varies from four to six ; the most frequent number is, perhaps, five. They meas- 


ure in long-diameter from .80 to .95, and in short-diameter from .60 to .72. A common size is about .88 x 
,65. Dr. Brewer, in " North American Birds," mentions an egg which was 1.10 x .70, and another .90 
x .75, and he gives the average size, 1.00 x .75. Dr. Coues, on the other hand, gives the usual size 
about .85 x .62, page 239, "Birds of the North-west." The ground-color of the shell is buff or yellow- 
ish clay-color. The markings consist of lines, blotches, spots, and speckles of burnt umber, or walnut- 
color; the deep shell-marks appearing purplish or bluish. The eggs are very beautifully and curiously 
marked, being entirely different from any other eggs of the State. The lines run lengthwise principally, 
beginning sometimes with a blotch at the base and narrowing out to the width of a pen scratch at the 
point Between, and often crossing these lines, are others which are shorter and more uniform in diam- 
eter; and, scattered pretty evenly over the shell, at various angles with these, are other lines which are 
quite short, and as sharp and delicate as can be made by an etcher's pen. While the marks are largely 
lines, still, on every ogg } and on some more than others, are to be found, at irregular intervals, blotches, 
spots, and speckles. The ground-color is generally plainly visible between marks, but, occasionally, it is 
obscured at the base by confluent, deep shell-marks and surface marks. It is difficult to describe the 
usual pattern of these eggs accurately, and it is impossible to give a good idea of the curious designs 
sometimes seen. 


The nest of the Great Carolina Wren is occasionally so located and constructed as to resemble some- 
what that of M. crinitiis, and is the only other nest in the State which often contains snake-skin. With 
this exception, the nest under consideration may be known by the cast-off snake-skin. The eggs are so 
different from any others that they can always be recognized at a glance by any one who has once seen 
them, or who has read a description of them. 


Fig. 1, Plate LIV, represents three eggs of the Great Crested Flycatcher, of the usual sizes, shapes, 
and markings. They were selected from five sets. 

The Great Crested Flycatchers are very quarrelsome and tyrannical among themselves, or at least they 
appear to be, as they are continually scolding and complaining to each other and engaging in fights. 
This, however, may all be in fun, and their notes, which are so harsh and grating to the human ear, 
that when once heard are never forgotten, may convey to each other very pleasant and peaceful ideas. 

Their food consists of insects, which they catch on the wing, in true Flycatcher style, and also of 
small fruits and berries. After the young are out of the nest they remain with their parents up to the 
time of their departure for the South. In 1879, I found a nest in a hollow limb of an apple-tree which 
was about the dirtiest and foulest bird-home imaginable. The site had evidently been occupied by the 
Flycatchers for several seasons, and, previously, by Bats and Screech Owls. There was a hat full of half- 
decayed vegetable material, upon which the young were lying, and in this rubbish were worms, ants, bed- 
bugs, lice, and a partially decomposed young Flycatcher that sent forth a sickening odor. It was, all 
things considered, a most undesirable place to live, yet the parents seemed to take much pride in their 
residence, and made a great noise and bluster during the limited time I was examining it. As a rule, 
the nest is not very clean and tidy, and it may be that the snake-skin used in the nest has an odor 
pleasant to the birds. 


Plate LIV. 

Fig 2. PASSER DOMESTIGUS-Engiish Sparrow. 

The English Sparrow has adapted itself so well to the climate of Ohio, that it is now necessary to 
consider it among the permanent residents of the state. It generally builds its nest during the first 
warm weather in March or April, and rears from two to four broods during the year. In mild winters 
it is not uncommon for a few ambitious birds to begin nesting at any time; nests are probably built 
every month of the year, but incubation is not often successful except during the warm months. 


The English Sparrow frequents towns almost exclusively during the nesting season. Sometimes 
however, a few may be found about country residences, and it is probable that as their numbers increase, 
the country as well as the city will become infested with them. The nest is generally placed about the 
cornice or a window cap of a building, in a bird-box, a densely clustered vine, a hollow limb, a forking 
branch, or some such place which will afford a suitable protection from the weather. It is astonishing 
with what courage and vigor they take possession of any available hole, crevice, or nook, and with what 
pluck and stubbornness they defend their assumed rights. They insinuate themselves into every hole and 
crevice about the cornice and windows of the best buildings on the principal streets of our cities. So 
numerous are they that dozens of families are reared about a single building. It will not be necessary 
to attempt an enumeration of the different situations in which the nest is placed, as it is found almost 
any-where at times. 


The nest is supported from below, at the sides, or from below and at the sides combined, according 
as it is built in a cavity, a crevice, or in a forking limb. 


Any thing which the builders can carry may be taken for construction purposes; but generally straws 
rootlets, grasses, bits of paper, strings, horse-hairs, and feathers from the poultry-yard, compose the home. 
The bulk of the nest is made of the coarser materials. The feathers are used for the lining. The 
external dimensions of the nest vary with the situation. There is often half a bushel of rubbish in one 
nest, and again scarcely a handful. The diameter of the cavity rarely varies three-eighths of an inch 
from three inches. Usually the cavity is globular, with a side entrance, but sometimes an open nest is 
constructed, in which case the cavity is about two inches deep. A nest built over my office door, in a 
ventilating window, rests upon the sill between the glass and an iron grating. The entire space is nearly 
filled with hay, straw, and coarse materials. The entrance to the cavity is at the left, and extends by a 
narrow passage-way about a foot, where it opens into a globular-shaped room, about four inches in diam- 


eter. Opposite this entrance is another door which leads to a smaller room, and in this, at the present 
writing, are four half-grown Sparrows. The first room was probably used for a previous brood. 


The complement of eggs varies from four to six; the ground-color of the shell is tinted faintly with 
grayish-blue, and upon this ground occur spots, blotches, and speckles, and also occasionally coarse lines 
of sepia. Some eggs are pretty evenly and thickly marked. Some are marked principally at the base, 
and others are evenly but sparingly dotted and blotched. There is, however, much more uniformity in 
the eggs than would be expected under the circumstances. They measure in long-diameter from .85 to 
.95, and in short-diameter from .60 to .65. A common size is about .88 x .61. 


See Table. 


Fig. 2, Plate LIV, represents three eggs of the English Sparrow of the usual sizes, shapes, and 
markings. The center egg is perhaps the commonest size and pattern. 

As the House Sparrow is not one of our native birds, and as the nest varies so much on account of 
the species' semi-domestication, only the eggs are here illustrated. About fifteen years ago the first suc- 
cessful attempt was made to start a colony of House Sparrows in an Eastern city. A few years later 
other colonies were started in several Atlantic towns, and from this small beginning, the country is to-day 
overrun with this pugnacious little foreigner. In Ohio it is no longer limited to the cities, but is found 
in every village as well, and it is not uncommon to see large flocks of young birds hunting the country 
fields for food, or resting on some roadside fence. 

Much has been written against this remarkable bird, as well as much in its favor. That it is of 
some value in destroying noxious insects can hardly be denied, but it is also true, I think, that it pre- 
fers other food, and generally gets its living from the streets and yards, rather than from the trees. It 
seems to be peaceable enough with other birds, but quarrels some with its own species. It frequently 
takes possession of a Martin-box, and has its nest constructed when the Martins arrive, but in every in- 
stance that I have observed the Martins have easily repossessed their home and turned the Sparrows out 
in the cold. I can not see that our native birds have diminished any in number since the Sparrow has 
become so plentiful; certainly the food supply of the insectiverous birds has not been perceptibly dimin- 
ished. The greatest objection to the new-comer is that he is a dirty and noisy little fellow and is inclined 
to keep the fronts of our houses unclean. To- counterbalance these disadvantages, he has some good quali- 
ties, among which may be mentioned his cheerfulness during the cold, bleak months of winter, when most 
birds are quiet, and but few have the hardihood to show themselves at all. 

The English Sparrow is very watchful of its nest and is very attentive to its young. At times it is 
brave and fearle&s, and many true and touching instances of its care and affection might be related if the 
length of this article were not already drawn out. Whatever sins may be laid at the door of this 
Sparrow, it must not be forgotten that he did not come here uninvited. In fact, it nearly broke his heart 
to leave his native land, but having recovered from homesickness he began to show qualities of pluck 
and endurance which challenge all bird history. And now, whether we like him or not, he cares but little; 
all the means which can be used to exterminate him will not avail. He came against his will, but he 
now likes this free country, and he is prepared to stay. 


Plate LIV. 

Fig. 3. M0L0THRU8 ATER-Cowbird. 

Cowbirds arrive about the middle of March and remain until November, with the exception of a 
few weeks in July and August, during which time they" disappear. . Dr. Wheaton has seen them at this 
season in the mountains of Pennsylvania, but "where they go, and what they do, has never been cer- 
tainly discovered." 

At the present time the Cowbird is a very common species, but as late as 1853 it was by no means 
numerous, and Dr. Kirtland admitted it to the fauna of the state on "rather doubtful authority." 


The eggs of the Cowbird measure in long-diametev from .78 to .90, and in short-diameter from .60 
to .66. Ten eggs, selected from about one hundred specimens, measure as follows: .78 x .65, .81 x .66, 
.82x.65, .83x.63, .86 x .66, .87 x .64, .87 x .66, .86x.61, .90x.64, .90 x. 65. The ground-color of the shell 
is white, but sometimes it is obscured by the abundance of the markings. These generally consist of spots 
and speckles, distributed pretty evenly over the entire shell, together with blotches which are the most numer- 
ous about the base, and commonly confluent with the spots and speckles. The speckles predominate on 
most eggs. Occasionally, an egg is marked almost entirely with irregular spots of about the area of a 
pin's head. The color of the markings is very uniform, being brown inclined to yellow; sometimes it is 
pretty- deep in tint, but usually it is rather faded in appearance. The deep shell-marks-, which are fre- 
quently quite numerous, have a faded, bluish cast. 


When the egg of the Cowbird resembles so closely the eggs in the nest where it has been laid, as 
to make identification uncertain, it is a good plan to blow all the eggs and notice if the suspected egg 
has a yelk of different tint from the balance of the set. If it has, it is strong evidence that it was laid 
by some intruder, for almost invariably eggs of the same set have the same tinted yelks. 


The Cowbird does not build a nest, preferring to deposit her eggs in the nests of other birds. The 
fact that the maternal cares are by this species imposed upon others, and that the mother herself hastens 
to the mountains during the most heated time of the summer, suggests the probability of the Cowbird 
belonging to some ultra fashionable circle of society. Plowever this may be, it is certain that the species 
has attained an unenviable notoriety among its associates as well as among ornithologists. 

Cowbirds during their residence in the -state may frequently be seen in flocks of a dozen to fifty or 
more, following the cows or cattle as they graze. They sometimes alight upon the animals, and sit con- 
tentedly for considerable time if undisturbed. Their fondness for cows and cattle is one of the many 


curious traits of this most exceptional bird. They never pair, and, having no family cares, are nomadic. 
When the female feels the necessity of laying an egg, she leaves the flock and hurries to some neighbor- 
ing wood where a nest is likely to be found, or seeks one in the pasture where she happens to be. If hard- 
pressed, and no unwatcheel nest can be discovered, she drops her egg upon the ground, but probably 
with many misgivings. Most of the small birds arc annoyed by the Cowbird, and but few nests, from the 
size of the Wood Thrush's down to that of the little Blue-gray Gnatcatcher's, are exempt from her assault. 
I have repeatedly found her eggs in the nests of Sparrows and Warblers, which build upon the ground, 
as well as in the nests of the small birds which build in bushes and trees. As a rule, the nest of a 
bird smaller than herself is selected for her eggs, but there are occasional exceptions. I once 
found her egg in a Meadow-lark's nest, and once in a Robin's. The nests of the Woodpeckers and 
of other birds wdiich build in holes in trees, and the nests of birds which build in crevices about ma- 
sonry or in holes in banks, are seldom, if ever, invaded ; nor does the Cowbird often lay in the nest of 
the Wren or Oriole. Ordinarily, but a single egg is placed in a nest, but sometimes as many as four 
or five are left to the care of one small bird. The Acadian Flycatcher is frequently the recipient of 
two, and once I found three with three of the Flycatcher's own eggs. 

The Cowbird causes much anxiety to the birds of the wood and field, and is as much to be dreaded 
as the Blue Jay or the snake. The busy, peering intruder is a familiar object in the woods in May and 
June. She hastens from branch to branch, scanning with her trained eyes every crotch and nook likely 
to contain a nest, and, indeed, but few escape her notice, although many are too well guarded for her 
purposes. She is a coward, and never takes forcible possession of a nest, but, finding one unprotected, 
she occupies it for a minute or two and then sneaks away, apparently satisfied that her young one will 
be well able to hold its own in company with the strangers. Nor is she mistaken, for generally the 
young Cowbird is the strongest and largest of the brood. It not only has an advantage as to size, but 
frequently has the additional advantage of being hatched a day or two before its mates. It often hap- 
pens that the young Cowbird soon becomes so strong and large that it gets all the food and occupies all 
the nest, the real heirs being slowly starved and eventually crowded from their home. Under these 
exasperating circumstances the foolish mother still continues to feed and care for the Cowbird as if it 
were some giant of her own species of which she is especially proud, I have often seen a Chipping 
Sparrow, a Summer Warbler, or some other small bird, devoting every energy to the care of a large, 
clumsy Cowbird, which w r as well able to fly, but still too inexperienced to procure food for itself. 

After the Cowbird is hatched, all possible attention is given it, although much uneasiness and distress is 
sometimes produced when the foreign egg is first discovered. The Summer Warbler frequently builds a 
second nest over the first, thus burying the obnoxious egg. See page 72. The Chipping Sparrow and 
Wood Pewee occasionally abandon their nests rather than incubate a Cowbird's egg, and there is scarcely 
a doubt but that all birds recognize the despised egg at once, and probably they have some idea of the 
result if it is hatched. This being the fact, it is to me surprising that some way does not suggest itself of 
getting rid of the detested egg. The cleanly habits of the birds will not permit of its being broken in 
the nest, but most birds are certainly strong enough to roll it out. While all birds dislike the egg, 
they seem to have a certain amount of respect for it; much more than we would suppose under the 
circumstances. But in judging of such matters, we should take into consideration that our point of de- 
parting and that of a bird are probably some distance apart. 


Plate LIV. 


The Night Hawk is one of our most familiar birds. It is distributed quite evenly throughout the state, 
and is found in town as well as in the country. It arrives from the south about the middle of April, 
and remains until November. The young are hatched the last of May or the first of June. 


In town the Night Hawk usually selects a flat roof of a building for a place for depositing its eggs, 
but in the country a rocky ledge or a plat of dry barren land in an open field is chosen for the site. I 
have found its eggs on the dry sheeting of the state dam, across the Scioto river, just below Circleville, 
and also upon its stone abutments. Wherever the "Hawks" abound the eggs maybe looked for in the 
most exposed and barren places — places which receive the sun's rays during the greater part of the 
day. No materials are carried for the nest; even the natural surroundings of the spot selected are 
seldom, if ever, disturbed; the eggs being laid in a slight depression, or among pebbles, which prevent 
their rolling. 


A full set of eggs consists of but two; those of the same set are quite like each other; but eggs 
from different birds vary much in size, shape, ground-color, and markings. Dr. Brewer, in " North 
American Birds," describes the eggs as folloAvs : 

"The eggs of this bird are always two in number, elliptical in shape, and equally obtuse at either 
end. They exhibit marked variations in size, in ground-color, and in the shades and number of their 
markings. In certain characteristics and in their general effect they are alike, and all resemble oblong. 
oval dark-colored pebble-stones. Their safety in exposed places is increased by this resemblance to the 
stones among which they lie. They vary in length from 1.30 to 1.13 inches, and in breadth from .84 to 
.94 of an inch. Their ground is of various shades of stone-color; in some of a dirty white, in others 
with a tinge of yellow or blue, and in yet others a clay-color. The markings are more or less diffused 
over the entire egg, and differ more or less with each specimen ; the prevailing colors being varying 
shades of slate or yellowish-brown." 

The three eggs illustrated, Plate LIV, fig. 4, show the extreme varations in size, shape, and mark- 
ings in those eggs with which I have met, but I have not found many sets. The eggs in my possession, 
taken in Ohio, measure as follows : 1.08 x .77, 1,10 x .76, 1.13 x .78, 1 .13 x .80, 1.15 x .80, 1.17 x .82, 1.17 x .86. 


The eggs of the Night Hawk are of such size, shape, color, and marking, that with a little attention 
they can be readily recognized. 



The name "Night Hawk " is very improperly applied to the species under consideration. Undoubtedly 
it is most frequently seen between sundown and dark, and between dawn and sunrise, owing to the fact 
that the insects upon which it feeds are at these times upon the wing. But at all hours of the day this 
"Hawk" flies about, and not infrequently is heard or seen circling high in the air under the most glaring- 
noonday sun. The cry of this bird is peculiar. It is sharp and penetrating, and repeated at short intervals, 
as the bird wheels and circles about. Its timbre is such that it is impossible to estimate its distance or 
direction. Now it seems to come from in front of you, now near by, now immediately it is behind and 
far off, now overhead, but low, now again it can not be located; and when, eventually, the bird is discov- 
ered by the eye, it is found that all the while it has been describing circles high in the air above you, 
so high that the bird is with difficulty seen. 

Many people confound the Night Hawk with the Whip-poor-will, a clumsy mistake, as the points of 
resemblance are hard to find, either in the appearance or habits of the two species. About dark the 
Night Hawk goes to roost, and is in no sense a night bird, although crepuscular, as stated. The Night 
Hawk is much attached to her eggs and young, and gives them the most watchful attention. She sits 
closely upon her eggs, permitting herself to be almost grasped with the hand before she will fly. Driven 
from her home, she does not fly away and suffer it to be despoiled, with apparent indiffence, as some birds 
do, but she at once appears wounded, and fluttering at your feet, endeavors to draw you by strategy 
from the spot. So well does she imitate a cripple that one is pretty apt to give chase before the decep- 
tion is apparent. The eggs are difficult to find even when at your feet, owing to their protective colors; 
and if you give chase to the bird, for even a few steps, the probabilities are that the eggs are lost, un- 
less, indeed, you take the trouble to watch the bird return to her treasure or again flush her. 

In August and September the Night Hawk is generally seen in flocks, and in the evening is most 
numerous about ponds and streams of water, on account of the abundance of insects at such places. Once 
in September, just after sunset, I saw thousands of Night Hawks whirling and darting about over the 
low land along the Scioto river near Chillicothe. This immense flock was probably made up of migrating 
birds that had settled upon this spot for rest and food. 

On the wing the Night Hawk is very active, but owing to the innumerable angles and curves in- 
harmoniously joined, its flight is far from graceful, yet it is light and easy. It alights frequently upon 
a tree, but oftener upon a log or the ground. 


Plate LIV. 

Fig, 5. COLAPTES AURATUS-Yellow-shafted Flicker. 

The Yellow-shafted Flicker, Yellow Hammer, Flickup, Golden-winged Wookpecker, or Highholer, as 
this bird is variously called, remains in Ohio throughout the year. It is at all times common, but is the 
most plentiful during the summer and fall. The nest is constructed in May or the first of June, and 
two broods are sometimes reared by a single pair during a season. 


The Yellow Hammer frequents partially cleared land and fields, with here and there a decayed tree or 
tree-trunk still standing, in preference to heavily wooded districts. Although shy, it is not afraid to venture 
into the orchard and lawn, and even at times into town. When the nesting season arrives, a dead limb 
or trunk is chosen for the site from among the trees in its accustomed haunts. Occasionally the nest is 
excavated in a gate-post, a telegraph pole, or some such place on the most frequented country thoroughfares. 


The excavation for the home is usually made in a perpendicular trunk or limb, but sometimes it is in 
a trunk or limb considerably inclined, and even occasionally in a horizontal limb. Its distance from the 
ground varies from four or five feet to the height of the tallest limbs large enough for the nest. The 
majority of nests are within fifteen feet of the ground. When the trunk or limb inclines, the door-way 
is situated on the underside; thus water is prevented from running into the nest. Not infrequently the 
door-way is placed immediately under a projecting knot or limb. 


No materials are carried for the nest; the only requisite being a suitable piece of wood large enough 
for the cavity, soft enough for the birds to cut with their bills, and properly situated. Dead and semi- 
decayed wood is selected, on account of the ease with which it can be worked. The entrance to the nest 
is circular, and about three and one-eighth inches in diameter. A few inches from the surface of the trunk or 
limb the cavity turns downward, just as illustrated on Plate XLIV, in the nest of the Red-headed Wood- 
pecker. The depth of the cavity varies much; usually it is about twelve inches, but it maybe consider- 
ably less, or even twice as much. The diameter of the cavity is also subject to great variation in dif- 
ferent nests ; commonly it is in its smallest diameter about twice the size of the door-way. A quantity 
of chips are always left in the bottom of the cavity, and these form a soft and even floor for the eggs 
and young. Very rarely a natural cavity is used for the nest. 


The complement of eggs varies from five to nine, six or seven being the ordinary numbers; very 


exceptional numbers have several times been taken. In one instance fourteen were found, and in another 
twelve young birds, but it is an open question whether these large sets are not the joint labor of two 
or more birds. The eggs are pure white and highly polished. They measure in long-diameter from .93 
to 1.19, and in short-diameter from .79 to .90. A common size is about .81x1.02. Two sets, of seven 
each, measure as follows: .86x1.17, .85x1.16, .85x1.13, .85x1.01, .85x1.14, .84x1.15, .80x1.15, and 
.82 x .99, .80 x 1.02, .79 x .90, .82 x .99, .81 x 1.03, .83 x 1.04, .79 x 1.01. Another set of five measure, respect- 
ively, .85x1.09, .80x1.02, .86x1.06, .83x1.02, .88x1.02. 


See Table. 


The three eggs illustrated, fig. 5, Plate LIV, show the extremes and average in size and shaj^e of 
the eggs which I have collected of this species. The nest has not been figured, as it is but the counter- 
part of that of the Red-headed Woodpecker, so far as method of construction is concerned. 

The Yellow Hammer alights upon the ground much oftener than any of our Woodpeckers, and pro- 
cures much of its food from fallen logs, and from the ground in open fields. It is common to see it 
scratching and digging in a clover-field, or stubble, for ants and other insects. There is a great tempta- 
tion to the gunner to shoot them when they are flushed from the open field, and many are thus wantonly 
killed. "Flicker pie" is a favorite dish with the colored people of this section, and consequently the 
name of "Nigger Quail " has been added to the bird's many aliases. 

During the month of April the Yellow-Hammer is very conspicuous and noisy. It is at this season 
that the birds mate, and each male strives to be seen and heard by every thing in the vicinity. A small 
grove is a favorite place for these birds to congregate, and from here, on all pleasant spring days, their 
course, loud voices jar upon the ear. But as soon as mating occurs, they become shy and cautious in 
selecting a site for their nest, and can seldom be surprised at work excavating the cavity. All Woodpeckers 
are alike in this respect, and the elevation from which they observe the surrounding country gives them 
ample opportunity to hide, or leave the premises before they can themselves be seen. 

When found upon her eggs, the Yellow Hammer hastens to escape, and once out of the hole, flies 
away to a safe distance. Occasionally a bird will show fight, but this is exceptional. 

The Yellow Hammer as well as the Red-head has a habit of boring holes about the cornice of country 
school-houses and barns. There is scarcely a school-house of any age in Pickaway county that has not 
a number of holes in its loft. Until recently, I have been at a loss to know the purpose of these holes. 
Last winter I found several Woodpeckers wintering in a school-house attic, and I am of the opinion 
that the holes are made for the purpose of obtaining winter quarters. Perhaps many of them were orig- 
inally made in search of food, the hollow sounding boards suggesting a cavity behind, or perhaps they 
were cut from pure mischievousness ; but whatever the original motive, it is a fact that some of these 
birds take shelter during the severe weather of winter in the warm garrets of country school-houses. 

Near Circleville, a pair of Yellow Hammers have for five years occupied a natural cavity in an oak- 
tree for their summer home, and in the fall and winter the same cavity is inhabited by gray squirrels. 
Just what agreement exists between the occupants can only be imagined, but I suspect the birds drive 
the squirrels out each spring. 


Plate LIV. 

Fig. 6. CAPRIMULGUS VOCIFERUS-Whip-poor-will. 

The Whip-poor-will arrives in Central Ohio about the first of April, and remains until October. In 
the level, cultivated districts it is an uncommon visitant, but in the hilly districts it is plentiful. The 
eggs are laid in May; and possibly a second set is sometimes laid in July. 


During the day-time the Whip-poor-will frequents the densest woods, preferably rocky ravines, where 
the sun rarely penetrates on account of the thick foliage of the trees and underbrush, and in such a local- 
ity it lays its eggs, placing them upon a shelving rock, or upon the ground among fallen leaves. Occa- 
sionally they are deposited beside a fallen log on the decayed wood-chips, which have been scattered by 
squirrels and Grouse, and occasionally upon a broad leaf, which is spread flat upon the ground. No 
materials are carried for the nest, nor are the natural surroundings usually disturbed. I have several 
times found these birds breeding in the level woods in Pickaway county, and always in the gloomiest 


Two eggs constitute a set. They are elliptical, moderately polished, and have a white ground- 
color. The markings consist of large and small spots, and some speckles, of light yellowish-brown, dis- 
tributed rather abundantly and evenly over the entire shell. Occasionally a blotch or two may be 
observed. The deep shell-marks are about as numerous as the surface marks, and are of a lavender tint. 
The eggs measure in long-diameter from 1.08 to 1.20, and in short-diameter from .80 to .90. A common 
size is about 1.12 x .88. 


When the position in which the eggs are laid, together with their number, size, shape, and markings 
is considered, identification is easy and certain ; and even with specimens, the data in regard to which 
are entirely unknown, identification is possible if attention be given to size, shape, and markings, as 
described above, as there are no other eggs which resemble the Whip-poor-will's closely enough in all these 
respects to be mistaken for them. 


The eggs illustrated, Fig. 6, Plate LIV, were found May 24th, 1876. The two at the left are of 
the same set. When discovered they were resting upon a bed of several thicknesses of oak leaves, in a 
dark and clamp part of a large wood. I had almost stepped upon the mother bird, and was just in the 
act of bringing my left foot over the nest, when she fluttered off and exposed the eggs to view. While 


I stood watching, she performed all manner of antics in her endeavor to persuade me that she was but 
a poor cripple at best. She would limp over the ground, with both wings hanging as if broken, and 
then for a time lie panting as if dying. Finally I gave chase, having first taken the eggs, and was lead 
some distance into the woods, when, suddenly, my cripple disappeared in the direction of her nest. I at 
once returned, but she had discovered the robbery and abandoned the cheat. The male did not appear 


at anv time. 

I have frequently flushed Whip-poor-wills in September and October while Grouse hunting, and 
several times have encountered quite large flocks, but usually only a single bird is seen at a time. In 
May and June they are much less numerous than in the fall. During the day they sit about on old 
logs, on the lower branches of trees, and upon the ground, in the most retired places, apparently sleeping. 
When flushed they utter no note, but fly off like a bat for a short distance, and alight, If caution 
is used, one can approach very close at such a time before the bird will again fly. They seldom cry out 
during the day, unless it is exceptionally dark; but as soon as night comes on they repeat at short inter- 
vals their notes, which have by some lively imagination been likened to the words whip-poor-will. The 
sounds, however, bear no closer resemblance to these words than to many others. 

The food of the species consists chiefly of insects, which are captured principally during twilight and 
dawn. During their search for food the birds leave the woods and fly about over the fields and marshes, 
and other places where insects abound. I have several times seen old birds feeding their young along 
the roadside, the young being perched upon the fence or sitting in the road. Their flight is noiseless 
and uncertain, and even more zigzag than that of the Night Hawk. 

It has been recorded that the Whip-poor-will has the ability to carry off her eggs and young from 
the nest to a place of safety, when she believes them to have been discovered and are in danger. As 
improbable as this seems at first thought, I do not doubt it. The evidence is such as can hardly be 
gainsaved. It is related by Mr. Audubon, that the Chuck-will's widow carries its eggs in its mouth, and 
it is probable that the Whip-pooi'-will does the same. But whatever the method of transfer, it is quite 
certain that the eggs and young are at times removed as stated above. 


Plate LIV. 

Fig. 7. ARDEA HERODIAS-Greaf Blue Heron, 

This magnificent bird is still a resident of the state, and is not infrequently seen, from March until 
November, along streams and about ponds and lakes. It sometimes arrives very early in the year, even 
before the frost is out of the ground, and stragglers occasionally remain until the winter's cold freezes over 
their accustomed hunting grounds. 

The nest is usually ready for the eggs by the middle of May. But one brood is reared by each 
pair during the year. . 


The nest is built in a tall tree, either in bottom-land along a pond or stream, or on a lake bank 
near a marsh. All the nests which I have seen have been in sycamores, along rivers and creeks. Near 
the mouth of Big Walnut, in Franklin county, there is a heronry of seven or eight nests, several of 
which are occupied every year. In the West the Heron frequently builds on rocky ledges, and also in 
small trees and bushes. 


The nest is placed near the top of the tallest trees, either in a perpendicular fork, or on a horizon- 
tal limb near the main trunk, or at a point of bifurcation. It is generally very inaccessible; and any 
attempt to procure the eggs is attended with much labor and danger. 


In general appearance the nest resembles at a distance that of the Red-tailed Hawk, but it is not 
so compact and well made. It is composed almost entirely of sticks, loosely woven into a large platform. 
The nest of the Green Heron, illustrated on Plate XXVII, is a pretty good miniature representative of 
that of the Great Blue Heron. The plan and material of the two are very similai\ Considering 
the loose construction of the nest, it is remarkable how very strong and lasting it is. The elements 
make but little impression upon it ; and until the sticks of which it is composed have decayed, it defies 
the winds and storms. On account of this stability the Heron does not build a new nest each season, but 
occupies for a number of years the same structure, perhaps adding a few repairs, as occasion demands. 
When the old nest begins to crumble, another is frequently built immediately upon it, either by the original 
builders, or possibly some of their descendants, and on account of this habit, nests are sometimes found 
which measure more than two feet in thickness. 


The eggs of the Great Blue Heron measure from 2.50 to 2.75 in long diameter, and from 1.75 to 


1.90 in short-diameter. The shell is a uniform bluish-green, varying slightly in tint in different eggs. 

A full set consists generally of three eggs, but occasionally four are laid. The three eggs illustrated, 

were taken from a nest in the Spring of 1883. They measure respectively 2.53 x 1.88, 2.56 x 1.76, and 
2.53 x 1.76. 


The size, together with the color of the shell, will suffice to always identify these eggs. 


Fig. 7, Plate LIV, represents a set of eggs of the Great Blue Heron, which shows the variations 
in size and color remarkably well. As a rule, sets are much more uniform in color than this one. 

The Great Blue Heron is a bird that commands attention and excites admiration, whether it be 
seen alive or dead. Its graceful form, beautiful plumage, and natural suiToundings, all combine to make 
a harmony difficult to surpass. So graceful is the family of which it is our best representative, that 
the nation which leads the world in the art of decoration has for centuries celebrated by pictorial song 
its elegance and dignity. Besides, it is a bird of great judgment and much cunning, and is an expert 
in avoiding danger. It is only by accident, or by patient waiting, that it can be shot, as it usually flies as 
soon as it sees a gunner, and is very cautious about alighting at its feeding grounds. Its food consists 
chiefly of fish, which it catches by wading out in the shallows of streams and along the shores of ponds. 
It will stand for hours in the water up to its knees, with its head drawn down upon its shoulders, 
watching the minnows and small fry; and every little while, swift as an arrow, it shoots out its long- 
neck and dives its head under the water after an. unfortunate fish, which it seizes in its long bill and 
immediately swallows. 

The flight of the Great Blue Heron is slow, but well sustained. Its wings are very large for the 
weight of its body, and consequently but comparatively few strokes are made in a minute. When it 
takes to wing it usually flies a long distance before alighting, sometimes as far as several miles. 

When wounded it will fight either man or dog, and may proove a dangerous antagonist. A blow 
from its powerful beak makes a frightful wound, and since having been attacked by a bird with a broken 
wing, I can readily understand how very disastrous an encounter might prove. All our Heixtns are 
vicious; and, when being handled, the greatest care should be taken that the eyes do not come within 
reach of the beak. For an eye is a favorite target, and when one is least expecting it, may be struck to 
blindness. A White Egret, with a broken wing, was a few year since turned loose in a friend's lawn, 
and after its wing healed it became quite tame, but always showed a bad temper, and finally became so 
vicious it was killed. It would attack strangers, especially children, and drive them from the lawn. 
The Great Blue Heron has a similar disposition, and is a very unsafe bird to handle or be about. 



uhondestes grammica 


Plate LV. 


The Lark Finch was first noted as an Ohio bird by Dr. J. M. Wheaton, in 1861. At the present 
time it is a rather common resident in Central Ohio from the middle of April until August or September. 
In Southern Ohio it is less common, and in the northern part of the State it is unknown. 

The nest is built early in May, and by the first week in June, or earlier, the young are generally 
hatched. It is probable that a second sitting of eggs is sometimes incubated in July. 


The nest is usually placed in a field of clover or grass adjoining a wood, preferably a field of poorly 
cultivated, undulating land, along a road or small stream. 


It is said that the nest is sometimes placed in a bush or tree; but in Ohio such a position must 
be very rare. Every nest which I have found or heard of has been situated in a slight depression in 
the ground, either "natural, or fashioned by the bird. The little cup-shaped cavities which occur so 
abundantly beside the footstalks of red clover, furnish most desirable sites. 


The materials of construction vary somewhat in different nests, according to the fancy of different 
birds for this or that material, and also according to its abundance. A nest before me, may be taken 
as a good example of the architecture of the Lark Finch. It is composed and measures as follows: 
The coarser and external part of the nest consists of dried, loose, and semi-decayed stems of clover, 
and small weeds, interwoven into a compact cup — thickest about the rim, and thinnest at the center 
of the bottom. Within this cup is a thin layer of light-colored, fine, round fibres, and a few thin strips 
of plant-bark, and within this is the lining proper, which consists of a pretty thick layer of black and white 
hairs from the tail of the horse. At the center of the bottom of the nest the middle layer is wanting, 
and as the external structure is at this point almost absent also, the lining rests nearly upon the ground. 

The external diameter is about four and one-eighth inches ; external depth, one and five-eighths. The 
internal diameter is two and five-eighths; internal depth, one and five-eighths inches. 

Another nest is quite similar to the above, except that it is lined with round and split grasses. 
Another has many dark-colored rootlets in its exterior. As a whole, the nest is generally very compact 
for its situation, and in dimensions does not vary much from the measurements given. 


The complement of eggs is either three or four, commonly the latter number. They measure from 


.59 x .76 to .67 x .89. Five eggs, selected on account of their different sizes, measure as follows: .67 x .89, 
.68 x .87, .62 x .80, .63 x .85, .59 x .76. The ground-color of the shell is white, with just the faintest creamy 
tint, and is marked with spots, dots, speckles, and lines, which are sometimes circular, sometimes wavy, 
and sometimes zigzag. The color of the marks is very dark brown, so dark as to be almost black when 
heavily laid on. When beneath the surface they appear lavender. One egg in my collection is marked at 
the base with a wreath, about one-eighth of an inch wide, of fine, wavy, circular lines, superimposed upon 
similar but coarser deep shell-marks. Another is similarly marked, but with much broader and bolder 
lines, and also a few spots near its point. Another is marked at its base with large confluent spots, and 
a few short, wavy lines. Another is sparingly marked from point to base with curved lines, confluent 
and isolated spots and minute speckles, about half of which marks are beneath the surface. Another has 
the appearance of having a soiled-white ground, on account of innumerable deep shell-speckles, and faint, 
fine, surface marks, and besides these, are a few bold marks about the base. Another is immaculate, 
except two fine, short, surface lines, and some very faint, deep shell-marks at its base. Another is marked 
solely with spots and speckles, chiefly about the base. 

From the above descriptions it will be seen that there is considerable latitude in the method of 
marking; the most constant feature being the wreath of lines about the base. 


The nest and eggs together can easily be identified, from the position, materials, and size of the nest 
and the size and markings of the eggs; but it is much more difficult to identify each separately. In 
fact the nest alone can not be recognized with certainty from that of the Bay-winged Bunting, and of 
several other Sparrows which build on the ground, although the measurements and materials of the nest 
under consideration are on the average somewhat different, as will be seen by reference to the text. The 
eggs have a resemblance to those of the Baltimore Oriole at times, and with exceptional eggs of each, 
identification may be impossible. Ordinarily, however, the size and markings will identify them. 


The illustration, Plate LV, represents a nest and eggs of the Lark Finch, found May 20th, 1884. 
It was situated on a hillside in a clover field, in a slight natural concavity, near the foot-stalks of 
red clover. While driving along a country road on the day mentioned above, I noticed a pair of 
Lark Finches on the fence, and after I had passed by they flew about a hundred yards and dropped into 
a clover field. I at once got out and went to the spot, but the birds were not there. I took a few steps 
to the right, and they then both arose some distance ahead. Instead of flying away, the female hovered 
over me, and also attempted to draw me from the spot by feigning lameness. After a few r minutes 
search I discovered her nest. Near this same place, on June the first, following, I found another nest 
containing two young birds. When frightened from her nest, the female Lark Finch generally runs a 
few yards before taking wing, after the manner of the Bobolink. This trick makes it hard to determine 
just where the treasure is. 

Different from other Sparrows, the Lark Finch runs instead of hops, and it is not uncommon to 
see a number running along the road like Quail. Early in May and in late summer, they are in flocks, 
and frequent fields and roadsides. 

The three eggs figured out of the nest represent the common sizes, shapes, and markings. 




Plate LVL 

P/CUS PUBESCENS- -Downy Woodpecker, 

The Downy Woodpecker is a common resident, and is our smallest representative of its family. 
It is a very conspicuous and sociable bird, and is generally known by the name u Sapsucker." 

The nest is constructed early in May, and the young are hatched about the 1st of Jane. A second 
set of eggs is frequently laid in July. 


The home of the Sapsucker is always placed in dead wood, either a limb or trunk of a tree, a 
fence-post, a stump, or some such place. It is not uncommon to find it nesting in a fence-post along a 
country road, in an orchard-tree about a farm-house, or even in a shade tree in a large city. But of all 
places the bank of a stream is preferred. Here the willow stumps offer the most desirable sites, and are 
eagerly sought for. Along the Scioto river a dozen or more nests may be found to every mile of the 
shore, along that part of the stream where willows abound. In the upland country, other trees about 
the outskirts of timber-land, or even deep in the densest woods are occupied. 


The nest is almost invariably in a perpendicular or slightly inclined piece of timber, at a distance 
from the ground, varying in different instances from two to forty feet. The usual height is about ten 


As with other Woodpeckers the nest consists simply of an excavation in dead and generally semi- 
decayed wood. The opening is round, or almost round, and measures about one and three-sixteenths 
inches in diameter. It is projected nearly or quite at right angles to the surface of the timber, and 
enters a variable distance, according to the diameter of the wood and the fancy of the builders. Generally 
after a hole is cut about an inch and a half deep, during which distance there is but little change made 
in its diameter, a turn is made downward, and the cavity enlarged as it progresses, until it becomes 
about seven inches deep and three and one-fourth wide. The excavation is seldom round, being half an 
inch or more in one diameter than another, and sometimes it is a foot or more in depth. Instead of 
extending parallel with the side of the timber in which it is cut, it almost invariably makes an angle 
with it, as shown in the illustration. 

The labor of making a nest varies from two to five days, according to circumstances, and is shared 

by male and female alike. The chips are permitted to fall to the ground, and may be found scattered 

beneath the site, if it is high up, or piled up beneath, if it is low down. At the bottom of the cavity 

a layer about three-quarters of an inch in depth, of fine, soft chips, is left for a bed for the eggs and 




The complement of eggs varies from three to five. They are nearly elliptical in shape, pure white, 
and quite glossy. They measure from .57 to .67 in short-diameter, and from .78 to .88 in long-diameter. 
A set of three measures .58 x .85, .59 x .78, and .58 x .80. Another set of five measures .59 x .80, .61 x .86, 

61 x .85, .63 x .84, and .63 x .86. 


See Table. 


Plate LVI represents a sectional view of a nest and eggs of the Downy Woodpecker, taken June 
1st, 1884. It was in a willow stump about five feet from the ground. 

It has been stated that the interior of the cavity is finished smoothly, and that the chips are carried 
away from under the site. My observations do not confirm either of these statements. The walls of the 
cavity are moderately smooth, but no more so than would be expected from the size of the chips which 
the birds are able to cut away. Nor can I confirm the statement that the eggs rest upon the floor of 
the nest, which is made very even for their reception. On the other hand, I have invariably found quite 
a layer of chips protecting them from the hard wood beneath. 

The Sapsucker is a nervous, active bird, and is constantly occupied. During the time which the 
female is sitting, the male often excavates one or more small cavities in some neighboring tree, with 
no other object apparently than to be at work. He is very attentive to his partner the while, and 
carries her choice morsels of food. When the young are hatched, he is equally solicitous with the mother, 
and the pair seldom go far from home. 

When their premises are invaded they become very angry and excited, and scold in their rude way. The 
young when two weeks old can fly, but they stay around the tree in which they were hatched for some 
time after, going in and out of their houses at will. At this age they are very pretty, fat, and saucy. 
Their plumage is lemon-yellow where their parent's is white; this makes them even handsomer than when 
older, notwithstanding they have not the scarlet patch on their heads, so characteristic of all Woodpeckers. 
AVhen Circe struck Picus, the hunter god of Latium, on the head with her wand, she changed him unto 
a bird. The wound bled, and this blood stain still marks the spot of the blow on the heads of all his 
adult descendants. 

The food of the Sapsucker consists chiefly of insects and their larvas, and hence these birds are of 
inestimable value to the fruit-growers and our forests. On this account, if for no other, they deserve 
every protection. The immense swarm of harmful insects which this species alone destroys in a single 
year, is beyond our comprehension, so vast is the number. 





Plate LVII. 


The Chestnut-siclecl Warbler arrives in the vicinity of Cleveland about the first of May, and remains 
until the last of September, or the first of October. During its migrations it is more plentiful than in 
the summer, being quite common in the fall in some localities. It builds its nest about the first of 
June, and rears but a single brood during the season. 


It frequents the saplings and underbrush of retired woods, and the bushes and weeds among the 
tall timber along the banks of streams. It prefers damp soil, but is often found in dry upland woods. 
As a site for a nest it generally selects a bush or low sapling in a thicket, about the border of the timber- 
land where it makes its home; but occasionally a similar position is chosen in the interior of the woods. 
The hazel bushes which abound in many parts of the State furnish favorite situations for the nest, 


The site is commonly a fork, formed by two or more slender twigs, either twigs from the same stem 
or branches which accidentally cross each other. In such a crotch, about three or four feet from the ground, 
and well concealed by thickly clustered leaves, the materials are carried which are dexterously worked 
into one of the most beautiful and substantial specimens of woodland architecture. 


The nest measures in external diameter between two and one-half and three and one-half inches, and 
in external depth, between two and three-eighths and three and five-eighths inches. The diameter of its 
cavity varies but little from one and seven-eighths inches, but its depth ranges between one and one-fourth 
and two inches. A nest before me measures two and three-fourth inches in external diameter, and is 
the same in external depth ; its cavity is one and seven-eighths inches in diameter, by one and three- 
eighths in depth. It is built in a fork of a hazel bush, and is also fastened to a blackberry stem. About 
two-thirds of the nest is on one side of the crotch, so that it may be said to be built against it rather 
than saddled in it. The coarser parts consist of several wide strips of the inner bark of some forest tree, 
and a number of blades of grass. They are arranged circularly, and are secured to the branches in 
some places by being wrapped several times, and in others they are bound down with web or silken 
threads from cocoons. The bark and grass form a loose foundation, upon and within which is placed the 
superstructure of gray fibres and light-brownish, wiry weed-stems, and round tendrils from some climber. 
There is great uniformity in the size of these fibres, many of which have been split to reduce their 
thickness. Within the superstructure is a thick, red-brown lining of fine wiry threads of grape-vine bark 
and round grass. Another nest is placed against the crotch of a hazel bush, and is further supported by 


a hazel stem running horizontally. Its cavity measures one and seven-eighths by two inches. It differs 
in construction from the one above described, in that it is fastened at the rim to the horizontal twig 
and has a few horse-hairs in the lining. 

All the nests of this species which I have seen have been remarkably uniform in size and materials 
of construction, but from descriptions of nests found at various times in different parts of the United 
States, there seems occasionally to be considerable variation. One nest is stated to have been four inches 
in outside diameter. Another is said to have been lined with woolly vegetable-down and horse-hair; and 
another has been found which was nearly pensile, its lower two-thirds being entirely free from any 
supporting twig. These and other variations are, however, no greater than is to be expected, as such 
variations from the common type occur to a greater or less extent in the nests of every species. 


The number of eggs in a set is either four or five, usually four. They measure between .57 and .69 
in long-diameter, and betweeen .46 and .51 in short-diameter. A common size is about .48 x .64. The 
ground-color of the shell varies from nearly pure white to a slight creamy tint, and occasionally even to 
a faintly greenish or bluish tint. The following description of six eggs will comprehend the usual varia- 
tions. No. 1. Size, .49 x .60. Ground-color white. Markings, confined to a wreath about the base, con- 
sist of blotches, spots, and speckles, slightly confluent in places, of several shades of Vandyke-brown. 
Deep shell-marks numerous, lavender. No. 2. Size, .46 x .58. Ground-color faintly buff-tinted. Markings 
confined to a broad wreath about the base, of confluent deep shell-marks and surface blotches, spots, and 
speckles. The deep shell-marks are chiefly blotches, and are decidedly lavender color. The surface marks 
are brown and superimposed upon these. No. 3. Size, .48 x .66. Ground-color slightly greenish tinted. 
Markings confined to ring about the base, composed of numerous but well defined spots and speckles of 
dark brown. Deep shell-marks and surface marks are about equal in number, the former are lavender. 
No. 4. Size, .48 x .65. Ground-color soiled white. Marking distributed over entire shell, but most 
numerous at the base. These are blotches, spots, and speckles of various shades of light brown, having 
well defined outlines, which at the base occasionally overlap or fuse into each other. The speckles are 
plentiful over the entire shell, and are placed on the blotches and spots as well as on the white ground. 
The lavender, deep shell-marks are few and small. No. 5. Size, .49 x .63. Ground-color slightly greenish 
tinted. Markings similar to No. 4, except that the speckles are fewer and the browns are darker. No. 
6, similar to No. 2 in size and ground-color. Markings few and confined to base. Some of the larger 
blotches are nearly black in the center, with faded edges. Deep shell-marks well defined, lavender. 

See Table. 


The nests and eggs illustrated, were found in June, 1883, in a small upland woods. The nest was 
in a hazel fork, in a dense thicket of briars and other bushes, within a few yards of a country road. 
It is a good example of the architecture of this species. The eggs, three in number, show the common 
shapes and markings, but they are a little less than the average in long-diameter. 

It is impossible to say how many nests have been taken in Ohio. In 1852, Mr. Reed stated it was 
rather common in Northern Ohio, and he found and described a nest which, in locality and position, 
corresponds exactly with those I have discovered. Careful observation will probably place this Warbler 
on the list of summer residents in the southern as well as in the northern part of the State. In Central 
Ohio I have several times found it nesting, and in the extreme southern limits I have seen it in July. 



PL Lvm. 


Plate LVIII. 


The Wilson's Thrush is occasionally found breeding in the Southern States, but its summer residence is 
chiefly the Eastern United States north of the 42° of latitude. I have never seen it in Ohio except during 
its spring and fall migrations, but it undoubtedly nests in rare instances in the southern and middle portions 
of the State and more commonly in the northern counties. Dr. J. M. Wheaton considers it a summer resi- 
dent in Northern Ohio and possibly in all parts of the State ; and Dr. F. W. Langdon has met with it 
as late as June in Hamilton County. Wherever found during the latter part of May or in the month 
of June it undoubtedly breeds. In the North-eastern States two broods are often reared by a single 
pair; the first nest being constructed the latter part of May, the second in July. 


The nest of this species like that of the Wood Thrush is built in retired woods, where the ground 
is damp and the trees are mossy, and in shady ravines beside running springs and boggy earth. The 
bird is naturally shy, and usually avoids man, but instances are recorded where it has made its home in 
a country garden and even in a city laAvn. 


The nest like that of the Chewink is generally placed on the ground, beside a log, at the roots of 
bushes, or in a tussock of grass among the dead and semi-decayed leaves of the woods. When not sup- 
ported by the ground or a bed of leaves, it is built in a low crotch, a thicket of branches, or some such 
place. Mr. C. J. Maynard, in " Birds of Eastern North America," writes as follows concerning the nest- 
ing habits of this Thrush in Massachusetts where it is very common: " They generally build their nests 
during the last week in May; nearly always in the thick woods. It is usually placed upon the ground 
by the side of a prostrate tree or log or else at the foot of a clump of bushes. The situation chosen is 
almost always upon a sloping hillside, near a swamp, where the trees grow thick and the shade is dense. 
But a short time since, however, I was suprised by seeing a nest built on an apple-tree in the orchard 
of the well known apiarist, Mr. H. Alley, at Wenham. The nest was placed on the tops of some twigs 
and limbs, after the manner of the Cuckoos, and at the height of ten feet from the ground. It was con- 
structed of much the same material as usual, and contained four eggs in an advanced stage of incuba- 
tion. This is the first out of many instances where I have found the nest of this bird in any other situa- 
tion than on the ground." 


Weed-stems, leaves, leaf-stems, grap-vine bark, grass, rootlets, and occasionally moss, comprise the 
materials of most nests. Two nests before me, which are average specimens, are composed as follows: 


No. 1. Foundation and superstructure are made chiefly of hollow weed-stems, some of which are a foot 
long by one-eighth of an inch in thickness, and dried and skeletonized leaves of oak and beech. The rim 
is well formed of weed-stems adroitly intertwined. The lining is scant, and consists of roller-grass, vine- 
tendrils, and skeletonized and broken leaves. The external diameter is four and one-half inches ; external 
depth, four inches; diameter of cavity, two and one-half inches; depth of cavity, two and one-fourth 
inches. No. 2. Foundation and superstructure consist of weed-stems, strips of grape-vine bark, maple leaves, 
leaf-stems, and rootlets ingeniously matted together into a rather firm structure. The lining is made of 
roller-grass, rootlets, and skeletonized leaves. External diameter, six and one-half; external depth, four 
inches. Diameter of cavity, two and five-eighths; depth of cavity, one and five-eighths inches. These 
nests are very light for their size, weighing respectively one ounce and a quarter, and one ounce. 


The number of eggs in a set varies from three ( to five— the usual complement is four. They are 
rather long and pointed, and are uniform greenish-blue when fresh-— a shade between the Catbird's and 
Wood Thrush's. The color fades some in time. In long diameter they measure .85 to .95; and in short 
diameter from :58 to .68. A common size is about .62 x .90. A set of four eggs before me show the 
following variations: .89 x .63, .90 x .62, .92 x .63, .92 x .62. 


The nest and eggs together when still in position can not be mistaken, and even when collected and 
separated it is still possible to identify each. The eggs have a tint peculiarly their own, and even when 
this has faded by time to the tint of the Wood Thrush's eggs their size will still insure identification. 
The eggs of the Wood Thrush average about .100 x .70; those of the Catbird, .95 x .69. The nest re- 
sembles in construction that of the Catbird and Chewink, but its internal diameter is smaller. It also 
resembles the nests of several Warblers, but the dimensions of its interior are larger. From the Wood 
Thrush's nest it can at all times be distinguished by the absence of mud in its superstructure. 


The nest illustrated, Plate LVIII, was found in Franklin County, May 21st, 1884. It was in a damp, 
shady ravine, about twenty inches from the ground, and contained four eggs. As the common position is 
so similar to that of the Chewink's nest, it seemed best to figure a structure in a more unusual situa- 
tion. The eo;o- s , selected from three sets, show the usual sizes and color. 

In a general way the habits of the Wilson's Thrush and the Wood Thrush are similar. Both birds 
are fond of solitude and look somewhat alike, though the former is a little smaller and darker colored, 
except its breast-spots, which are much fainter. The song of the Wilson's Thrush is inferior and less 
frequently heard. From its habit of singing at night the bird has been called the "Nightingale." All 
writers agree that this Thrush is a timid bird and so shy as to avoid more than a glance from its 
biographer, and even while sitting the female shows little of that anxiety and fearlessness of danger which 
the Robin exhibits when her home is being inspected. 

I have a nest and four eggs of the Wilson's Thrush which were taken from the leaf of a skunk- 
cabbage plant situated at the edge of a swampy woods. The nest was placed at the base of the leaf about 
eighteen inches 7rom the ground. In materials and workmanship it is in no way different from nests in 
the usual positions. 



* . 






Plate LIX. 

Fig. 1. OIRGUS HUDSQNIUS-Marsh Hawk. 

The first recoi'd of the Marsh Hawk in Ohio was made by Dr. Kirtland of Cleveland, in 1838, on 
the authority of Dr. Sager. In 1858, Mr. Kirkpatrick found it quite common about Sandusky Bay. In 
" Geological Survey of Ohio," vol. iv. 1882, Dr. Wheaton writing of this species says: "In the vicinity 
of Columbus it was once rather common, and bred in the swamp 'prairies south of the city. A few remained 
here during the winter but "they were never numerous in summer. Now, it is comparatively rare ; in 
some seasons none are seen." Mr. Dury a few years ago found it breeding at the Mercer County 

At the present time, the Marsh Hawk is in some localities of the State a permanent resident; in 
some, it is an occasional or a rare summer resident only ; while in other sections it is not found at all 
except as an irregular spring and fall migrant. In the spring of 1870, I first met with it in the Scioto 
Valley. Since this date I have several times seen it during the spring, summer, and fall. In 1882, a 
pair built a nest within two miles of Circleville, but 1 do not think it has nested in Pickaway County 
during the past two years, although several pairs have been seen each spring. 

Nidification begins the last of April or the first of May. But one brood is reared during a year, 


The nest is generally placed near a swamp, pond, or wet prairie-land upon moderately dry ground. 
There are in the State many acres of land too wet for cultivation, which in the summer grow luxuriant 
grass, and often patches of flags, rushes, and low bushes, that fulfill in every particular the requirements 
of the Marsh Hawk during the breeding season. And it is in such places, although sometimes cf but 
few acres in extent, that the nest is to be looked for if the Hawks are suspected of breeding in the 
locality. About large ponds with swampy borders the nest is often built in an adjoining meadow, instead 
of in the grass near the edge of the marsh. More rarely the site is among the dead leaves at the root 
of a tree in the border of a wood adjoining wet land. 


The nest is almost invariably situated on the ground, upon whatever dead or growing vegetation 
happens to be on the site. Sometimes it is in open grass, sometimes it is beside a log, and sometimes 
under a bush ; but wherever placed little or no effort is made at concealment. 


The eggs are sometimes laid upon the natural debris cf the site, without much if any arranging by 
the birds. More commonly, however, dead grass, leaves, weed-stems, and small sticks in various propor- 
tions compose a rough and scanty foundation upon which the eggs are deposited. But some birds go 


even further in their architecture and line this rude foundation with grass, moss, hair, and feathers. At 
best the nest is but an artless affair and shows but the crudest workmanship. 

Mr. Audubon described a nest which he found on Galveston Island, Texas. It was about twelve 
inches in external diameter, with a cavity two and one-half inches deep by eight inches in diameter. 
Another nest of this species, taken near Lake Erie, is described to me as about fifteen inches in external 
diameter by eight in depth. It is but slightly concave on top, the cavity having no well marked out- 
line. It is composed chiefly of coarse sticks and grass. These two nests are larger and more elaborate 
than usual, at least so far as Ohio specimens are concerned. 


The complement of eggs varies from four to six. The shell is rough and unpolished and has a faint 
greenish-blue tint. At first glance most eggs seem to be unmarked, but upon closer inspection the shell 
is found to be clouded with blotches of various sizes of the faintest yellowish-brown or lilac. These mark- 
ings are so obscure as to appear clue to dirt, but the most careful cleaning will not remove them. The 
majority of them are on the surface as can readily be demonstrated by immersing the egg in an acid 
solution. This will dissolve away the outer coating of the shell and leave it immaculate except for 
a few formerly deep shell-marks about as faint as the surface marks just removed. Some eggs are un- 
mistakably marked with a few light yellowish-brown blotches, spots and irregular streaks. Besides these 
marks which are natural to the shell, the eggs are often stained by the grass and dirt upon which they 
lie. One egg in my collection has eight or ten spots of dark brown, almost black, about its base. 

They measure in long-diameter from 1.76 to 1.86, and in short diameter from 1.38 to 1.45. Three eggs 
before me that are fair examples of the usual sizes, measure respectively, 1.38 x 1.85, 1.33 x 1.80, 1.43 x 1.85. 


See Broad-winged Hawk, page 214. 


Fig. 1. Plate LIX, illustrates the ordinary variations in the size, shape, color, and markings of 
the eggs of the Marsh Hawk. 

As its name implies, this Hawk generally frequents marshy land, and so constant is this habit that 
it has become a striking characteristic of the species in whatever part of the world it is found. Its chief 
article of food in Ohio consists of field mice. These little animals are extremely numerous in damp 
prairies and furnish an abundant supply of fresh meat, not only for this Hawk, but for the Short-eared 
Owl, Sparrow Hawk, and other raptores as well. I have several times found the Short-eared Owl and 
Marsh Hawk inhabiting the same field, and apparently upon good terms. This close association suggests 
many points of similarity between the two species in their habits of nesting and procuring their living. 

The nestlings of the Marsh Hawk are homely and ungainly little things, and like the young of all 
Hawks require much attention and instruction after they leave the nest, before they become expert 
enough to obtain their own food. Their first plumage is a reddish down ; after their feathers appear 
both sexes are still much alike, and also very similar in color to their mother. 

Mr. C. J. Maynard states that the female will leave her nest when she considers herself in danger 
and run off some distance before taking wing. This habit makes it difficult to surprise her sitting, and 
consequently her nest is hard to find. Many other birds which nest on the ground have this same 
trick, and they practice it so effectively that by this means alone, many eggs are probably saved from 
the clutches of that deadly enemy to all birds, the insatiable egg collector. 


Plate LIX. 

Fig. 2. BUTEO PENNSYLVANICUS-Broad-Winged Hawk. 

The Broad- winged Hawk is one of the rarest Hawks breeding in Ohio. It is not so very uncommon in 
the winter, but as spring approaches it goes northward. In the northern section of the State it is of more 
frequent occurrence, both during its migration and in the summer, than further south. 

It builds its nest in March or April, and rears but one brood during the year. 


This Hawk is fond of damp retired woods and wooded swamps, and in some such locality it builds 
its nest, choosing for the site a tall or medium-sized tree. 


The nest is placed in a perpendicular or horizontal fork, or in a crotch formed by the main trunk 
with one of its large horizontal branches. The site is between twenty and fifty feet from the ground. 


Like the nest of many other Hawks, the nest of this species is composed of sticks, weed-stems, 
grasses, and other vegetable substances for its foundation and superstructure, and similar but better 
selected material for its lining. It is a little smaller than that of the Red-shouldered Hawk, with about 
the same depth of cavity. 


The complement of eggs consists of three or four, rarely five. They measure in long-diameter from 
1.90 to 2.00, and in short-diameter from from 1.48 to 1.55. 

Dr. Brewer in " North American Birds" gives the following measurements: Average length 2.09 
inches, average breadth 1.61 inches. Smallest egg, 1.50x1.94 inches; largest egg, 1.72x2.11 inches. 
The ground-color of the shell varies from dirty white to brownish. The markings consist of clouds, 
blotches, spots, and speckles of yellowish-brown or reddish-brown of various shades. Four eggs before me 
are marked, and measure as follows: No. 1. Size, 1.53 x 1.90. Ground-color soiled white. At the base 
are a few small blotches and speckles of Vandyke Brown, the remainder of the shell is unmarked except 
by cloudings of dirt and a few fine speckles of yellowish-brown. No. 2. Size, 1.55 x 1.97. Ground- 
color soiled white. Surface marks consist of a few irregular blotches and groups of small spots of a dark 
shade of reddish-brown arranged in a circle about the base, and a few speckles of the same color scattered 
from point to base. Deep shell-marks are large and numerous, almost the entire shell being clouded by 
faint neutral tint blotches varying in size from a silver dime to an eighth of an inch in diameter. They 
have faded and irregular outlines, and are often confluent. The surface marks are generally superimposed 


upon them. No. 3. Size 1.54x2.00. Ground-color yellowish-tinted. No deep . shell-marks. The pointed 
third of the egg is completely covered by a wash of yellowish-brown. At the base the ground-color is 
plainly visible between fine speckles which become thicker and thicker as the middle of the egg is 
approached until finally they merge into the solid wash of color mentioned. No. 4. Size, 1.52 x 1.98. 
Ground-color faintly yellowish tinted. No deep shell-marks. Surface 'marks consist of a few blotches of 
light yellowish-brown distributed irregularly over the egg. 


The nests of all the large Hawks which build in trees are very similar. They are so difficult to 
obtain in perfect condition and so large, that but little interest is attached to them other than their 
location, position, and in a general way their materials of construction. The following species of Hawks 
breed in Ohio: Red-tailed Hawk, Fish Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad- winged Hawk, Cooper's 
Hawk, Marsh Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Sparrow Hawk. The eggs of these eight Hawks vary 
in size in the order named. The most highly-colored eggs of the lot are the Fish Hawk's. The Red- 
tailed Hawk's are the largest, but the Fish Hawk's approach them very closely in size. The third in 
size, and quite similar to the Red-tailed Hawk's in markings are the eggs of the Red-shouldred Hawk. 
The chief point of difference is that of size, this is usually sufficient to differentiate them. The next in size 
are those of the Broad-winged Hawk, they are about as much smaller than the Red-shouldered Hawk's 
as the Red-shouldered Hawk's are smaller than the Red-tailed Hawk's. This difference together with 
the difference in the color of the markings will usually enable one to distinguish them. Except the 
eggs of the Fish Hawk, those of the Sharp-shinned Hawk and Sparrow Hawk are the most heavily 
marked. Their size is much less than any of the others. See " Differential Points" under " Sharp- 
shinned Hawk." The faintest marked eggs are those of the Cooper's Hawk and the Marsh Hawk. The 
latter are a little the smaller and the ground-color is a little fainter, but they are so nearly alike that 
any but typical specimens can not be positively identified by size, color, and markings alone. 


The three eggs illustrated, Fig. 2, Plate LIX, were selected for me by Mr. Jenks of Providence, R. I., 
from a number of sets, as I was unable to obtain eggs of this species taken in Ohio, although it is cer- 
tain that the birds breed here. Dr. J. M. Wheaton states that Mr. W. M. Wilson of Yellow Springs, 
Ohio, took a nest and four eggs of this Hawk, and there are other records of its breeding equally relia- 
ble. Mr. Alexander Wilson killed but a single specimen of the Broad-winged Hawk, and Mr. Nuttall 
never saw it. Mr. Audubon frequently observed it and found its nest and eggs. His account of the 
female, from which he made the drawing for his great work, is certainly remarkable. He discovered her 
upon her nest, and his brother-in-law climbed the tree, threw his handkerchief over her and carried her 
to the ground. The bird was then taken to the house and placed upon a stick, where she sat motionless 
during the time Mr. Audubon was drawing her portrait, and even suffered herself to be stroked and 
accurately measured with compasses without showing any irritation. The Hawk was finally tossed out 
of the window, when she at once made off to the woods. Accordingly Mr. Audubon characterized the 
species as inactive and wanting courage, which was certainly the case in this instance. 

According to " North American Birds" Mr. Boardman has found the Broad-winged Hawk one of the 
most courageous and spirited of its family. On one occasion when a man, employed by him, was ascend- 
ing to a nest, a parent bird assailed the disturber with great fury, tore his cap from his head, and would 
have done the man serious injury had it not been shot. 

In another instance one of these birds attacked a boy climbing to its nest, and fastened its talons in 
his arm, and could not be removed until it was beaten off and killed with a club. 


Plate LIX. 

Fig. 3. SJRIX NEBULOSA-Barred Owl. 

The Barred Owl is nearly as common as the Great Horned Owl ; indeed, it is said in some sections 
of the State to be even more numerous. 

It is a very hardy bird, is a permanent resident, and builds as early as the last week in February. 


It inhabits retired woods, and nests in large trees, either among the branches or in a natural cavity. 
Low bottom-lands heavily timbered furnish the usual nesting places, but not infrequently its home is met 
with in small tracts of upland timber. 


Sometimes the nest is situated in a horizontal or perpendicular crotch formed by several branches, 
sometimes it is on a large limb, in the angle formed with the main trunk, and sometimes it is in a 
hollow trunk or limb. The relative frequency of these positions it is impossible to more than conjecture. 
But wherever the site may be it is generally from forty to sixty feet above the ground. 


When a cavernous tree is chosen for the home, it is said that few if any materials are carried for 
the nest, the eggs being laid on the soft decayed wood common to such places. When the nest is built 
among the branches, rough sticks compose its foundation, and upon this is placed a superstructure of 
weed-stems, grasses, rootlets, leaves, and similar materials, and within the slight cavity thus formed are 
artlessly arranged as a lining a little soft grass, bits of weed-fibres, and perhaps a few feathers. The 
nest resembles that of the Great Horned Owl or that of some of the larger Hawks. 


The eggs are spheroidal, almost equally obtuse at each end. The shell is white, almost as granular, 
and about as smooth and well-polished as an ordinary hen-egg. In long-diameter they measure from 1.87 
to 2.04, and in short-diameter from 1.52 to 1.75. The common size is about 1.65 to 2.00. Two or three 
eggs constitute a set. 


The following species comprise all the Owls which I have been able to positively identify as breeding 
in Ohio at the present time: Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, and 
Screech Owl. The Acadian Owl probably breeds in the northern counties, and the Barn Owl wherever 
found. At Glendale, Ohio, two years ago, several Barn Owls were found in a cupola, and I have many 



reasons for thinking they have nested there. The eggs of the species enumerated above as spring 
residents are all white, and vary in size in the order named. The difference in size is not sufficient 
however to identify them. Between the eggs of the Great Horned Owl and Barred Owl there is commonly 
considerable difference in dimensions in favor of the former, but sometimes they approach each other so 
closely as to make identification by size alone impossible. The eggs of the three remaining species stand 
by themselves when compared with the first two. But among each other they vary so that recog- 
nition is impossible, except with typical specimens. The eggs of the Short- cared Owl are the most 
slender, and are apt to be considerably more pointed at one end than at the other. The eggs of the Lono*. 
eared Owl average about the same in size as those of the Short-eared, but are seldom so pointed, usually 
being equally blunt at both ends. The eggs of the Screech Owl are more nearly round than either of 
those just mentioned, but they may be like the others exactly in dimensions. The measurements of each 
given in the proper places will make apparent the variations in size. 


Fig. 3, Plate L1X, represents the extremes in size and shape of the eggs of the Barred Owl. The 
specimens illustrated were selected from a large number of eggs taken in the Middle and Eastern States. 

I have never found a nest of the Barred Owl. The species in the neighborhood of Circleville is bv 
no means common. So rare is it that in ten years I have seen but three or four specimens. It is said 
by those who have studied the habits of this Owl that it frequently takes possession of an old Hawk's 
nest for purposes of rearing its young, as does the Great Horned Owl. It is also said to have better 
eye-sight in daytime than most of the other Owls. It has been seen searching for prey in broad daylight, 
and is reputed to be very watchful throughout the day while it rests in the woods. My observations 
upon owls have convinced me that they are by no means so blind during the daytime as they are 
said to be. I have frequently tested the vision of the Great Horned Owl in confinement, and 
consider it quite acute, and in the woods, even on the brightest days, it watches the man with a gun so 
closely that it is by the merest accident he can approach near enough for a shot. When disturbed in 
the woods it flies with the greatest ease and certainty, and by no means in the stumbling manner which 
some authors have described. The vision of the Screech Owl and Long-eared Owl is also very good, and 
in daytime is quite sufficient for all ordinary purposes. 

The Barred Owl is a real desperado, and its depredations are as much feared by the country house- 
wife as those of the Great Horned Owl. Each of these birds when pressed for food will boldly enter the 
poultry-yard and carry away chickens, ducks, and even young turkeys. The manner in which they 
catch chickens is unique, if the stories which I have heard can be relied upon. It is said that these 
Owls will alight upon the roost beside the chickens and sidle along, crowding them until one loses its 
place and falls groundward. As quick as a flash the Owl darts after it, and before the unlucky bird 
touches the earth it is in the talons of the robber and is rapidly borne away to be devoured at leisure. 

A pair of Owls will in a single night destroy a large number of chickens, apparently delighting in 
the sport, The country people have a novel way of entrapping those rascals, viz.: A long, stout pole is 
planted in the earth near the poultry-yard, and upon the top of this a small cross-bar is driven, and 
upon this cross piece an ordinary steel trap is set. The Owls hunting for a place where they can inspect 
the neighborhood before beginning their thieving, espy the pole, and, considering it a good point of 
observation, at once take possession. As a result the farmer finds an owl in his trap the following 
morning. I have seen nine Owls caught in two weeks, one Barred Owl and eight Great Horned Owls. 


Plate LIX. 

Fig. 4, BUBO VIRGINIANUS-Greai Homed Owl. 

The Great Horned Owl is a common resident species throughout the State, and in some sections is 
nearly as numerous and as well known as the Screech Owl. It usually nests in February, and rears but 
one brood during the year. 


The nest is generally situated in a tall tree in dark and retired woods. The timber in river-bottoms 
and uplands is each frequented, but the species prefers especially the large and gnarly sycamores which 
grow along the banks of rivers and creeks. Exceptionally the nest is built in an isolated tree, or in 
one of a small clump of trees a half a mile or more distant from the nearest timber-land. 

I have several times found it in low trees in cultivated fields. 


The largest and tallest trees are commonly selected for the nest, the chosen site being a cavern- 
ous limb or trunk, or a perpendicular or horizontal fork formed by three or four branches, from thirty 
to sixty feet above the ground. I recently found a nest in the crotch of a honey-locust tree which was 
exceptionally low, its height being but sixteen feet. 


When the nest is in a hollow tree the materials of which it is composed consist chiefly of weed- 
stems, corn-husks, corn-silk, leaves, feathers from the mother-bird, and other pliable material in greater 
or less quantity, according to the size of the cavity and the individual fancy of the builders. I have 
heard of an instance where the eggs were laid upon the soft decayed wood which had accumulated in the 
interior of an old tree-trunk. The composition of the nest when built among the branches differs from 
the above description only in the addition of a foundation of coarse sticks. These are necessitated by 
the position and are worked into a rough platform like that in the nest of the Crow or some of the 
larger Hawks. A nest taken in February 1882, is composed and measures as follows : Position, crotch 
of Elm tree. Height, forty feet. Foundation, coarse twigs varying from a few inches to a foot and a half 
in length, and from one-sixteenth to three-eighths of an inch in diameter. Superstructure, grasses, rootlets, 
sod, weed stems, oak-leaves, corn-husks, and similar flexible materials intertwined and felted. Lining- 
grasses and feathei^s from the breast of the builders. The structure resembles the nest of the Crow in 
size as well as in materials and mode of construction. The cavity is shallow measuring but two inches 
in depth. Its diameter is about eight inches. 


Two or three eggs compose the complement. Two are found oftener than any other number. The 


shell is white, when clean, with a granular surface moderately polished. They are spheroidal in shape 
and measure from 2.17 to 2.30 inches in long-diameter by 1.80 to 2.10 in short-diameter. The common 
size is about 1.95 x 2.20. Three eggs from three sets measure 1.95 x 2.20, 1.80 x 2.18, and 1.82 x 2.17. 


See page 216. 


The three eggs illustrated Fig. 4, Plate LIX, represent the common shapes and sizes. 

The Great Horned Owl is the earliest of all our birds to begin the cares of housekeeping. Often 
some weeks before winter has fairly taken its departure, a home has been built or rented, and the mother- 
bird is busily engaged in the wearisome task of incubation. As early as the 15th of February I have 
found this Owl sitting on a complement of eggs, when the weather was so cold that a single hour's neg- 
lect would most certainly have resulted in their destruction by freezing. 

On the 26th of March, 1881, the ground was covered with several inches of snow and the tempera- 
ture for some days had been below freezing. Upon the day mentioned I visited a nest and found 
the female sitting surrounded by snow. She suffered me to approach within a few feet before she took 
flight. I then discovered two owlets about the size of goslings two days old, and covered with down of 
much the same color. I took them home and found them the most ungainly youngsters I had yet 
examined. They were strong with their feet and could make one cry out with pain when the hand 
was grabbed in their talons, yet they were too feeble to walk and rolled over with every attempt. 
When undisturbed they made a curious noise; each one of them alone made sounds which resembled a 
whole flock of little chicks huddled under their mother's wings, and when put under a hat, no one could 
guess from the peepings the number of peepers. The weather seems to have but little influence over the 
nesting of this owl. When the middle of February arrives, whatever the temperature may be, oviposition 
becomes the all-absorbing topic. Just the proportion of birds which build in cavities to those which nest 
among the branches it is difficult to estimate. I am inclined to believe they are about equally divided. 
Of the birds which nest in the latter position, but few construct their own homes. The owl can become 
a pretty fair architect, constructing a nest as well as the Red-tailed Hawk, but it is generally too care- 
less or lazy to try its skill in this direction. It prefers to take advantage of the labor of some other bird, 
generally the Red-tailed or Red-shouldered Hawk, and, laying its eggs earlier than these birds, it has the 
privilege of choosing from all nests of the previous year. I have in mind one nest in a very large willow- 
tree, three miles below, Circleville which has been occupied during the past six years, two seasons by the 
Great Horned Owl, and three by the Red-tailed Hawk, one year it was tenantless. 

When a pair of Owls take possession of an old nest, it is renovated only by the addition of a new 
lining. The mother-bird sits very closely during the three weeks of incubation, and the male bird is 
very attentive to her and probably brings her food, and, at times, relieves her at her task. If the eggs 
are not yet hatched the female will often slip from her nest at the approach of man before he is within 
gunshot, but if the young have made their appearance she will boldly defend them. 

The Owl bolts its food and throws out of its stomach whatever in the way of hair, feathers, and bones 
can not be digested. Their capacity at swallowing is considerable. I have over and over again fed to my 
pet Owls large Norway rats, which they would swallow head foremost without breaking the skin, and, 
hours afterward, the tails of the rats could be seen dangling from the mouths of the satiated and now 
sleepy Owls. As digestion proceeded the tails would slip down and finally disappear. In due time the 
remains of the rat which could not be assimilated would be vomited up in the form of a ball, and the 
Owl be again ready for another feast. 









_C C 




65*? ■::■.,- . •: 










Plate LX. 

Fig. I G0T1LE RIPAR/A-Bank Swallow. 

The Bank Swallow arrives from the South about the middle of April, and remains until the first 
week in September or later. It rears two broods a year, laying the first set of eggs in May and the 
second set in July. 


As its name implies, this Swallow builds its nest in a bank. It is especially fond of sandy cliffs, 
washed at their base by the sluggish current of a river, and it is in such steep, almost perpendicular 
sandy walls that the majority of nests are placed. Occasionally, nests are found at a distance from wa- 
ter, in the bank of a gravel-pit or some such place. 


Like the Kingfisher, the Bank Swallow excavates a burrow. This is round or elliptical and is pro- 
jected horizontally into the earth from one to three feet, and, occasionally, even to a greater distance. Two 
feet is about its usual length. At its end the burrow enlarges into a globular room upon the floor of 
which the nest proper is placed. The distance of the nest from the top of the bank and from the level 
of the water below, depends upon the conformation of the earth. There are generally several kinds of 
dirt in these river-banks. First, the surface soil which is a foot or more in depth. Next, a mixture of 
clay and gravel, then, perhaps, a vein of sand, and below this again gravel or clay. But, whatever the 
arrangement or proportions of these various layers, the Swallow almost invariably selects the vein of sand 
for its nest. Often this sand is near the top of the cliff forty or fifty feet, or even a greater distance 
above the water. Sometimes the cliff itself is low and the sand is within ten feet of the water. As a 
rule the burrow is placed as near the top of the bank as the sand will permit, and it is seldom a bank 
is chosen for the site in which the top of the sand layer is nearer the water than ten feet. 


The floor of the room mentioned above is concave, from four to six inches in diameter, and affords a 
suitable foundation for the nest. I have examined nearly fifty of these nests and have found weed-stems, 
straws, and chicken-feathers in various quantities and proportions in nearly all of them. In three in- 
stances the eggs were deposited upon the sand, not even a straw having been carried into the burrow. 
The most perfect nests consist of a layer of weed-stems and straws about half an inch thick and are lined 
with an abundance of long, soft feathers from the poultry-yard, many of these feathers being twice the 
length of the Swallow. Generally a few straws, Aveed-stems, and feathers carelessly arranged as a lining 
for the sandy cavity satisfy the builders. The entrance to the nest is usually round, and about two and 
a half inches in diameter. Sometimes it is elliptical with the greatest diameter in the horizontal plane. 



The complement of eggs is commonly five or six, for the first set, and four or five for the second. 
The shell is pure white, unmarked, and but moderately polished. Fifteen eggs taken as they come from 
about one hundred specimens measure as follows: .48 x .72, .51 x .68, .48 x .72, .50 x .69, .49 x .65, .50 x .67, 
.49 x .69, .49 x .70, .48 x .66, .51 x .68, .50 x .71, .48 x .70, .48 x .67, .50 x .69, .48 x .69. The smallest egg 
in the collection measures .47 x .60, the largest, .50 x .72. The greatest long-diameter is .72, the least 
long-diameter is .60. The greatest short-diameter is .51, the least short-diameter is .47. 


See "White-bellied Swallow." 


The four eggs of the Bank Swallow figured on Plate LX., Fig. 1, show the common sizes and shapes, 
and one exceptionally small egg. 

The Bank Swallow- is the only one of its family which has not changed to any extent the location 
of its nest under the influence of civilization. The Rough-winged Swallow, now takes advantage of the 
stone bridge-piers and even crevices about town buildings. The White-bellied Swallow resorts to bird- 
boxes. The Cliff Swallow hangs its nest under the friendly eaves of houses and barns. The Barn Swal- 
low has abandoned the caves for the sheltered rafters of barn lofts, and the Purple Martin is nearly as 
domesticated as the House Sparrow. 

Although civilization has not changed the nesting habits of this Swallow it has undoubtedly dimin- 
ished its numbers. At the present time the distribution of the species is irregular as well as limited to 
localities adapted to the bird's requirements. Of the numerous banks suitable for their nests with which 
I am familiar, I know of but two that are inhabited. These, from my earliest recollection, have afforded 
dwelling places for the Bank Swallow, and they have nested here year after year, undisturbed except by 
myself, until each colony now consists of hundreds of birds. The sand vein in one of these banks about 
five miles north of Circleville, on the Scioto River, is, in the summer, literally honeycombed with the 
burrows. The bank is about seventy feet high, and the vein of sand is about ten feet from its top. 
The freshets, wind, and rain cave in this bank somewhat every Spring, so that the returning Swallow's 
find fresh, clean sand for their lodgings. 

All Swallows colonize more or less during the nesting season, but this trait of character is most 
marked in the Bank Swallow, and least developed in the Rough-winged and White-bellied Swallows. 
Some years ago I noticed that the nests of the Bank Swallows which I was examining were infested with 
fleas. I shot several of the birds and found them similarly inhabited. Two years ago I examined several 
dozen nests and found that every one contained fleas. Those nests which contained the most material 
contained also the most fleas. The number of these pests in a single nest was astonishing, and it seemed 
impossible that the mother-bird could incubate her eggs under such circumstances. The young, if they 
had any ideas at all, must have looked forward with something akin to joy to the day when nature 
would release them from this bondage in "flea-land." 


Plate LX. 

Fig 2. STELG/DOPTERYX SERRIPENNIS-Rough-winged Swallow. 

The Rough-winged Swallow arrives and departs about the same time as the preceding species. It 
rears two broods each year, the first set of eggs being hatched in May, the second set in July. 


In the early history of this country the nest of the Rough-winged Swallow was built in clayey and 
sandy banks along rivers, creeks, and other bodies of water, and also in crevices in rocky cliffs border- 
ing streams, or even at considerable distance from water. At the present time the majority of these 
birds still cling to the nesting habits of their ancestors, but there are some that have succumbed to the 
influence of man and seem to have acquired new tastes under their new surroundings. The following from 
the pen of Dr. J. M. Wheaton, of Columbus, well describes some of the modern nesting sites: "With 
us, although the greater number are found within the vicinity of water, the Rough-winged Swallow is a 
bird of general distribution. It was first detected in this State by Dr. Kirtland, who found them abun- 
dant and nesting in the banks of Rocky River, near his residence. In 1861, I found it common in the 
vicinity of Columbus, and discovered its nest on a beam under a low bridge. Since then, they appear 
to be increasing in numbers, at least in the city. They nest abundantly in the banks of rivers and 
creeks, and in gravel pits, where they excavate holes, larger, but not so deep as the holes of the Bank 
Swallow. They generally choose a spot where excavation is easy, an isolated pair often removing a de- 
cayed root; small colonies generally excavate their holes between a layer of loam and one of sand, in 
such a manner that the loam forms the roof and the sand the floor of the excavation. . . . Their 
nests are often in the cracks of rocks of stone-quarries, and very frequently in the crevices of the piers 
and abutments of bridges, the foundation of mills, and other masonry. In the city they frequently place 
their nests in the most frequented places. A pair nested for several successive years not more than 
thirty feet from the principal business street of this city, occupying a pudlock hole in a brick building 
about ten feet from the ground, and below the windows of a telegraph office. Another pair nested in an 
alley in a hole in a brick wall under a door in the second story, through which goods were daily raised 
and lowered by a hoist. They also build on the projecting caps of the large pillars in the portico of the 
State House." 


The burrow in which the nest is built, when the Swallows do their oavu excavating, is seldom above ten 
feet from the surface of the water, and often much nearer. The majority of nests along the Scioto River 
and its tributary branches are in low clayey banks within five feet of the water. The burrow enters 
nearly horizontally to a depth of two or three feet and then enlarges into a room with low ceiling. When 
masonry or a rock-quarry is the selected locality the nest is situated in a crevice, sometimes but a few' 


inches from the entrance. Its distance from the ground or water varies considerably in this case accord- 
ing to the opportunities afforded by the site, usually it is as low as the locality will permit. I have 
taken the nest within three feet of the ground within the city limits of Circleville, and, again, I have 
observed them nesting under the sills of a third story window. 


The room at the end of the burrow is from four to six inches in diameter, and its floor is slightly 
concave. Upon this is usually arranged in a loose manner a layer of straws, weed-stems, and various 
kinds of large feathers. A nest taken May 6, 1880, contained a few straws and a layer of large, white 
feathers from the breast of the tame goose; upon this the eggs rested. Another, taken April 28, 1880, 
contained straws and chicken's feathers. Another, taken May 14, 1883, contained straws, weed-stems, 
and two small feathers. Nearly every nest which I have examined contained an abundance of soft 
feathers for a lining. Nests in any of the other positions named, differ but little, if any, from the nest 
in a burrow. The entrance to the nest when formed by the birds is seldom round, being somewhat wider 
than high, and upon the whole, larger than that of the Bank Swallow. 


The complement of eggs is usually five for the first set and one less for the second set. Occasionally 
six eggs complete the first laying. The shell is pure white, unmarked, and, although quite fragile, is 
considerably thicker and stronger than that of the Bank Swallow's egg. In long diameter these eggs 
vary from .68 to .76, and in short-diameter, from .50 to .51. A common size is about .52 x .69. A set 
of five eggs measures respectively .53 x .69, .52 x .75, .52 x .70, .51 x .69, and .51 x .69. 


See "White-bellied Swallow/' 


Fig. 2, Plate LX represents the ordinary variations in the size and shape of the eggs of the species 
under consideration. The two middle eggs show the commonest forms. 

The Rough-winged Swallow is a very plentiful species in Ohio, especially in the central portion of 
the State along the large rivers and creeks. I have found their nests along the Scioto River alongside 
those of the Bank Swallow, the two species being apparently very friendly. Although several pairs of 
these Swallows may build their nests neighboring each other, they do not seem to form a close colony 
like the Bank Swallows. I have seldom seen half a dozen nests in the same masonry or side by side in 
a bank. Yet in half a mile of shore along the above mentioned stream, from twenty to thirty isolated 
nests can usually be found. From this I infer that these bh'ds have not the disposition to colonize, so 
strongly marked in most of the Swallows. The Spring and Summer freshets destroy large numbers 
of nests, eggs, and young birds. A rise of fifteen feet in the streams along which these Swallows breed, 
will generally flood nine-tenths of their nests, and with the most disastrous results. When their nests are 
disturbed by man they show great anxiety and fly about the head of the intruder in a threatening man- 
ner. Often the female will remain on her nest until the earth is dug away so that she is exposed to 
view. I have twice captured the mother-bird in my hand, she seeming to be willing to take any risk 
rather than leave her prospective young. In the fall after the last brood of young is able to fly, these 
Swallows collect in large flocks, and, some days previous to their departure, hundreds may be seen in the 
air hunting over the water and the adjoining fields. 


Plate LX. 

" Fig. 3. PROTONOTARIA CiTREA-Prolhonoiary Warbler. 

The Prothonotary Warbler is included among the, summer residents of Ohio, on the authority of Mr. 
Chas. Dury of Cincinnati, Ohio. He discovered its nest at the St. Mary's Reservoir in a deserted Wood- 
pecker's hole. I have never seen this species alive and have no record of its time of arrival and 
departure, and of its breeding habits within the limits of the State, other than just referred to. The follow- 
ing text is condensed from a most interesting article by Mr. Win, Brewster, in the Nuttall Ornithologi- 
cal Club Bulletin, October, 1878, and from ''Birds of North America," 


This Warbler inhabits bottom-lands, principally bushy swamps, and willows along the borders of 
stagnant lagoons, or ponds near rivers, and, in such localities, in common with the White-bellied Swal- 
low takes possession of the holes of the Downy Woodpecker, Chickadee, and natural cavities in old stumps 
and tree-trunks in which to build its nest. 


The nest is seldom above fifteen feet from the ground, and usually is about four feet. To give a 
description of the various situations in which it is placed, would entail an account of nearly every kind 
of hole and tree-trunk. Suffice it to say the nest is snugly fitted to the chosen cavity, being supported 
at its bottom and sides. 


Fresh green moss enters largely into the composition of the nest, the shape and size of which varies 
with that of the cavity in which it is placed. When the hole is deep it is usually filled up to within 
four or five inches of the entrance. Thus the nest when removed presents the appearance of a compact 
mass of moss five or six inches in height by three or four in diameter. When the cavity is shallow, it 
is often only scantily lined with moss and a few fine roots. The deeper nests are of course the more 
elaborate ones. One of the finest nests which Mr. Brewster found near Mt. Carmel, Illinois, is composed 
of moss, dry leaves, and cypress twigs. The cavity for the eggs is a neatly rounded cup-shaped hollow, 
two inches in diameter by one and a half in depth, smoothly lined with fine roots and a few wing feathers of 
some small bird. Another nest taken near Neosho Falls, Kansas, was built in a Woodpecker's hole in 
the stump of a tree, not more than three feet high. The nest was not rounded in shape, but made to 
conform to the irregular cavity in which it was built. It was made of fragments of dried leaves, broken 
bits of grasses, stems, mosses and lichens, decayed wood, and other materials, the upper portion consist- 
ing of an interweaving of fine roots of wooded plants, varying in size, but all strong, wiry, and slender. 
It was lined with hair. 



The number of eggs constituting a full set, varies to an unusual degree. Out of fifteen sets exam- 
ined by Mr. Brewster, two included seven eggs; three, six; three, five; four, four; two, three; and one, 
one. The average number is probably five or six. They measure from .58 x .67 to .59 x .73. They are 
noticeably blunted at the smaller end. The ground-color is clear, lustrous white, with a high polish. 
Eggs from different sets vary considerably in markings, but two types of coloration seem to prevail. In 
one, spots and dottings of dull brown with faint submarkings of pale lavender are generally and evenly 
distributed over the entire surface. In the other, bold blotches of bright reddish-brown are so thickly laid 
on, especially about the larger ends, that the ground color is in some instances almost entirely obscured. 

See Table. 


The three eggs of the Prothonotary Warbler represented on Plate LX, Fig. 3, were taken from a 
nest found in Indiana in 1880. The set consisted of six eggs. 

It is probable that the Prothonotary Warbler breeds every year in suitable localities, in various parts 
of Ohio, and I hope yet to be able to discover it and personally learn something of its habits. Mr. 
Brewster, from whom I have already quoted largely, in the article referred to above, writes as follows: 
41 In the hope of presenting to the reader's mind some slight idea of the general character and surround- 
ings of the locality where the Prothonotary Warblers were found breeding in the greatest abundance. I 
close with a brief description of a visit, on May 11th, to Cypress Swamp. Towards the middle of the 
afternoon we reached Beaver Dam Pond, and embarked in an old weather-beaten dugout. Our guide, a 
half-breed Indian and a most accomplished woodsman, took his station in the stern, and with a vigorous 
shove upon his long push-pole sent the frail craft well out into the pond. Before us stretched a long, 
narrow sheet of water hemmed in on every side by an unbroken wall of forest trees. Ai*ound the margin 
grew a fringe of button-bushes, with a sprinkling of tall slender willows, while behind and above them 
towered the light-green feathery crests of numerous cypresses. The low shores were in many places 
flooded with water for a considerable distance back into the woods, to where the land rose in broken 
ridges and the cypresses gave way to a growth of oaks, black-walnuts, lindens, and numerous other 
forest trees. The depth of the water, even in the center of the pond, did not exceed five feet, and over 
the greater part of its extent rank grasses, yellow water-lilies, and other aquatic plants reared their tall 
stalks or broad leaves in such profusion, that every-wherc, except immediately around the canoe, the eye 
rested upon what seemed a meadow of waving green. As we pushed our way through the denser growths, 
the stems yielded before the bow with a slight rustling sound. Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers 
rose on every side, while their broods of downy ducklings scuttled off among the water-plants, sometimes 
huddling close together, a dusky mass of bobbing little forms, at others, when closely pressed, separating 
and diving like water sprites. From the lower depths of the forest came innumerable bird voices,— the 
slow, solemn chant of the Wood Thrush, the clear whistled challenge of the Cardinal, the sweet wild notes of 
the Louisiana Water Thrush, the measured pter-dle, pter-dle, pier-die, of the Kentucky Warbler, and the 
emphatic song of the Hooded Flycatcher. . . . From all along the pond edges came the Sandpiper-like song 
of the Prothonotary Warblers. . . . Although the willows grew rather thinly, the spaces between the 
living stems were filled with stubs in every stage of decay, and perforated with countless Woodpecker- 
holes, most of them old, and long since given up by their original tenants. That a locality so favorable 
in every way had not been overlooked by the Prothonotary Warblers was soon evinced by the presence 
of the birds on all sides in numbers that far exceeded any thing which we had previously seen, and care- 
ful search soon revealed a number of nests." 


Plate LX. 

Fig. 4. COTURNICULUS PASSERINUS-Yettow-winged Sparrow. 

The Yellow-winged Sparrow is a resident of Ohio from April until September. In some localities it 
is quite common, in some, it is but moderately plentiful, while in other sections, equally well adapted to 
its wants, it is rare. About Circleville it is neither common nor rare, being just numerous enough to 
escape either adjective. Two broods are frequently reared by a single pair during the summer. 


It inhabits clover and grass fields, and in such localities builds its nest. It associates with the 
Black-throated Bunting and Bay-winged Bunting, the three species often building near each other in the 
same field. 


The nest is placed on the ground at the foot-stalks of a bunch of red clover, or in a tussock of grass 
or of small weeds. Every nest which I have found has rested in a depression in the earth, similar to 
the nest of the Bay-winged Bunting. 


A nest before me is composed of a foundation of rough grasses and weed-stems, a superstructure of 
similar but better selected material, and a lining of horse-hair and fine bleached grasses. Its external 
diameter is four and one-eighth inches ; its external depth is one and seven-eighths inches. The diameter 
of its cavity is two and one-half inches ; its depth of cavity is seven-eighths of an inch. The structure is loosely 
put together and displays but little skill in workmanship, it is, however, a fair example of the archi- 
tecture of this species. 


The complement of eggs consists of four or five. They measure in long-diameter from .70 to .74 of 
an inch, and in short-diameter from .56 to .59 of an inch. The ground-color of the shell is white. The 
markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of reddish-brown; the deep shell-marks appear lavender 
or neutral tint. Three eggs from as many sets are marked and measure as follows: No. 1. Ground-color 
white ; base thickly marked with confluent blotches, spots, and speckles of reddish-brown, some of which 
are much darker in shade than others. Remainder of egg is sparingly dotted and speckled with same 
color, and in addition there are several cloudy patches made up of a number of very faint gray blotches 
and speckles. Deep shell-marks are few in number. Size, .53 x .70. No. 2. Ground-color white. Mark- 
ings consist of brown-madder blotches, spots, and speckles, the majority of these form a wreath about the 
crown, the remainder are scattered irregularly over rest of shell. Deep shell-marks are neutral tint, they 


are numerous and are often confluent and occasionally obscured by surface marks. Size, .59 x .74. No. 3. 
Ground-color white. Surface-marks are very faint burnt-sienna, and consist of blotches, spots, and speckles 
and occasionally, irregularly short lines. The deep shell-marks are twice as plentiful as surface marks, 
they are pale lavender and are chiefly in a wreath about the base, while the surface marks are distrib- 
uted for the most part over the pointed half of the shell. Size, .54 x .71. From the above descriptions 
the reader will see that there is considerable variation in the amount and pattern of markings. 


The eggs of the Yellow-winged Sparrow are easily recognized from the eggs of other Sparrows which 
build in a similar locality and position, by their size, ground-color, and color and arrangement of the 
markings. The eggs of the Swamp Sparrow, the Song Sparrow, the Bay-winged Banting, and the Lark 
Finch arc so entirely different from those of the species under consideration, there is but the slightest 
chance of confusion. There ai-e eggs which resemble them closely, but the nests are entirely dissimilar 
in location, position, and construction. See Table. 


Fig. 4, Plate LX, represents three eggs of the Yellow-winged Sparrow, they show the common sizes, 
shapes, ground-color, and pattern and color of the markings. The location, position, and construction of 
the nest is so similar to some of the nests upon the ground already illustrated that a drawing of it is 

On page 555, Vol. 1, "North American Birds," Mr. Brewer, writing of the eggs of this species, says: 
'.'Wilson and Nuttall describe the eggs as grayish-white, sprinkled with brown. Audubon says they are 
dingy-white, sprinkled with brown spots. This is not accurate. The ground-color is a clear crystalline 
white, beautifully dashed and marbled with bold markings of an almost golden brown. These spots vary 
in size, are often quite large, and occasionally make a corona about the larger end. The eggs are of a 
rounded oval, almost spherical, shape, measuring .75 x .63 of an inch." Page 127, "Birds of Eastern North 
America," Mr. C. J. Maynard says: "Eggs four or five in number, rather oval in form, ashy-white in color, 
spotted and blotched with reddish-brown and lilac, more thickly on the larger end." Mr. H. D. Minot, 
in "Land and Game Birds of New England," describing the eggs under consideration, writes: " Four or 
five eggs are then laid, averaging .78 x .60 of an inch, and normally are white, with a wreath of blended 
reddish-brown and obscure lilac spots about the greater end, and a few scattered spots of the former color 
elsewhere. In some cases the markings cover the greater end, so that there is no distinct ring." From 
the above it will be seen that, making due allowance for errors of description, there is considerable 
variation in the eggs of this Sparrow. 


Plate LX. 

Fig, 5. PARUS GAROUNENSIS-Carotma Chickadee. 

The Carolina Chickadee is a southern species which, according to "North American Birds," seldom 
breeds, further north than the Ohio River. Dr. Wheaton, in his last report on the ornithology of his 
state, says of this species: "Not common summer resident. Breeds. Arrives about the middle of April, ap- 
parently departs for the south soon after the breeding season. Resident all the year in South-western Ohio." 
Dr. F. W. Langdon gives it as a common resident about Madisonville, and Mr. Chas. Dury has found it 
breeding about Cincinnati. I have repeatedly seen it about Circleville late in the fall, and once I saw 
it in December when the ground was covered with snow. During the summer it is by no means un- 
common, but it seems to be irregularly distributed. The first set of eggs is laid in May, and probably 
a second set is occasionally deposited in July. 


It usually frequents sparsely timbered borders of streams, swamps of willows, and ravines about 
creeks and springs, and in such places finds a site for its nest. It generally excavates a cavity in a 
dead limb, trunk, stump, or even a prostrate and semi-decayed log which, lodged on the bank of a stream, 
overhangs the water. Some individuals, either incompetent or too hurried to cut a cavity, build their 
nests in deserted Woodpeckers' holes or in natural cavities, and some, differently constituted from the 
majority of their species, prefer upland woods or an orchard to the ranker vegetation and taller timber 
of the lowlands. 


As a rule the nest is over four and under twenty feet from the ground. When an excavation is 
made the birds commonly select a horizontally inclined piece of timber, and make the entrance on the 
under surface. The doorway is projected nearly at a right angle to this surface for a short distance, 
then turns downward and enlarges into a cavity of considerable size, within which the nest proper is 
placed. The cavity formed is as well and accurately cut as that made by any of the Woodpeckers. 


Differing from most birds which excavate a hole in decayed or dead timber, the Chickadee carries 
an abundance of soft material into the cavity, which is worked into a soft felt-like lining, and within this 
the mother-bird deposits her eggs and rears her young. Soft vegetable fibres, vegetable down, wool, moss, 
and fine, short hairs from various animals compose the bulk of the nest. When a natural cavity is 
chosen the site is often much too large and a great deal more material is demanded than when the 
builders do their own carpentry, but the internal dimensions of the nest are always about the same. 



The complement of eggs varies from five to seven. They measure from .45 to .51 in short-diameter, 
and from .54 to .64 in long-diameter. Four eggs from as many sets measure respectively, .46 x .59, .47 
x .54, .48 x .55, .48 x .60. The ground-color of the shell is pure white. The marks consist of large 
blotches, spots, speckles, and short lines of light reddish-brown ; at times almost pure burnt sienna. One 
egg before me contains about three dozen blotches, none of which are smaller than a pin's head, and 
several are four times this area, scattered from tip to base. Interspersed between these are about twice 
as many spots which are occasionally confluent with each other and the blotches; and upon the back- 
ground still unmarked are some very fine and indistinct speckles. The deep shell-marks are few and 
have none of the purple or lavender tint so common to them, but are simply paler than the surface mark- 
ings. Another egg is similarly but less heavily marked, except on its basal half, which resembles closely 
the same part of the egg just described. Another contains at its basal end several small, deep reddish- 
brown blotches and a number of spots and speckles of lighter shades, superimposed upon about as many 
and very similar deep shell-marks ; the rest of the egg is sparingly dotted with rectangular spots, speckles, 
and short, fine lines. Another contains blotches, spots, and speckles at its base. The larger marks form 
a slightly confluent wreath, within the circle of which are numerous spots and speckles; the remainder 
of the egg is sparingly speckled. There are but few deep shell-marks, these have a faint lavender tint. 
The above described specimens show the variations which commonly occur. 


For detailed description and comparison of the nests and eggs of P. carolinensis and P. atricajnllus, 
the reader is referred to the text upon the nesting habits of the latter species. 


Fig. 5, Plate LX, represents three eggs of the Carolina Chickadee, of the usual sizes, shapes, and 
markings. Two of these were collected by Mr. Chas. Dury, in Hamilton County, May 27th, 1869. The 
third is one of a set taken in Pickaway County, May 20th, 1884. 

The Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees are frequently confounded on account of their very close 
resemblance to each other. The subject of this sketch is in fact a little the smaller bird, averaging 
about half an inch less in length than its relative referred to, but their plumage is so similar that it is 
impossible for one not familiar with both species to say with which he has to deal when he only sees 
them at a distance in the woods. The most apparent difference between the two birds is in their habits. 
The Carolina Chickadee has a softer and more deliberate manner, and its voice is less loud. It is also 
shyer, seldom coming into towns, and seems in every way to be a more delicate and more finely organ- 
ized bird. It is not gregarious like atricapillus, but is usually seen in pairs. 

Dr. Coues, in his " Key to North American Birds," makes only a variety of Carolinensis, but lately 
it has taken rank as a species, as it formerly did with Audubon, who named it. 


Plate LX. 

Fig. 6. BOIVASA UMBELLUS-Ruffed Grouse. 

The Ruffed Grouse is a permanent resident of the State, and one of our hardiest birds. It is much 
less abundant than formerly, but is still plentiful in suitable localities. It builds its nest in April, and 
by September the young are about grown. When the season and surrounding conditions are favorable, 
this Grouse not infrequently rears two broods between the first of April and the middle of October. If 
the first set of eggs is destroyed, as often happens, another nest is soon constructed in a different locality, 
and the mother-bird is before long again absorbed in the duties of incubation. 


The nest is usually situated about the border of a large woods, in a thicket of dense undergrowth; 
but occasionally the bird is bolder, and builds in a briar thicket in a pasture, or may even venture into 
a small wood adjoining a farm-house or road. 


The nest is built on the ground, or upon a bed of semi-decayed leaves, about the roots of briars and 
bushes, beside a log, a stump, in a brush-heap, or even under the branches of a fallen tree. 


Little or no art is displayed in building, although great caution and judgment are exercised in selecting 
the site. This accomplished the female scratches and wallows in the dried leaves and soft loam until a con- 
cavity is formed from seven to nine inches in diameter. In this, without further work, the eggs maybe 
deposited, but generally a few soft leaves and grasses are selected and placed in the cavity as a lining. 
As the young run about as soon as hatched, it is not necessary that much care be given to the construction of 
their birthplace, but great skill is necessary to conceal it from the many prowling enemies in the woods. 


The Ruffed Grouse lays from six to fifteen eggs, at the rate of one a day. The shell is cream-color, 
of various shades, sometimes so dark as to be nearly brownish, and at others almost milk-white. They 
are often stained in wet weather by leaves upon which they lie, and according to some writers are 
sometimes blotched and spotted with dark shades of the ground-color. 

In long-diameter they measure from 1.40 to 1.70, and in short-diameter from 1.11 to 1.30. A common 
size is about 1.58 x 1.12. Five eggs, from as many sets, measure respectively,. 1.11 x 1.48, 1.12 x 1.43, 
1.15 x 1.55, 1.20 x 1.58, 1.20 x 1.63. Dr. Coues, in "Birds of Colorado Valley," gives the average size of 
the eggs as 1.20x1.66. Mr. H. D. Minot, in "Land and Game Birds of New England," gives 1.25 x 
1.65 as the average, and in " Birds of North America," Mr. Brewer gives 1.15 x 1.60. 



When the nest and eggs are found in the woods, it is hardly possible to mistake them so character- 
istic are the location and construction of the nest, and the size, shape, and color of the eggs. 

A single egg, when separated from its natural surroundings, may also generally be readily recognized 
by its color, shape, and size. 


The eggs illustrated, were taken from three nests, and represent the usual sizes and colors of the 
shell. Although the Ruffed Grouse is being rapidly driven to the dense woods of the uncultivated 
hills of the State, yet a few remain in nearly every large tract of woodland in the most densely peopled 
districts. In Pickaway County, within a radius of ten miles, there are generally six or seven broods 
raised each year. I occasionally run across a nest or an old bird with young. 

The mother-bird feigns lameness when she sees her brood in danger; and it is a beautiful sight to 
see an old bird scatter her little ones in the underbrush, and by her numerous devices endeavor to 
draw the intruder from the spot. 

The young are very sensitive to cold and wet, and many of them are draggled to death during 
heavy rains. But when grown there is no bird superior in activity and hardihood, and their pursuit is 
one of the most delightful sports of the State. The following account of the Ruffed Grouse has been 
prepared, by request, by Dr. N. E. Jones: 

" Hearest thou that bird? 
I listened, and from 'midst the depth of woods 
Heard the love signal of the Grouse that wears 
A sable ruff around his mottled neck : 
Partridge they call him by our northern streams, 
And pheasant by the "Delaware. He beats 
'Gainst his barred sides his speckled wings, and makes 
A sound like distant thunder ; slow the strokes 
At first, then fast and faster, till at length 
They pass into a murmur, and are still." 

The Ruffed Grouse is usually found in woodland having thick undergrowth, and inhabits alike 
craggy mountain sides, rocky ravines, and low borders of rivers and streams. 

This Grouse may be briefly described as having a brown bill, crested head, hazel eyes, naked tarsi, 
grayish feet with the two anterior toes joined at the base and to the first joint. It measures from bill 
to end of tail, sixteen to nineteen inches — from tip to tip of wings twenty-three to twenty-four inches, 
and its tail measures six and a half to seven inches. Its weight is one and a half to one and three- 
fourths pounds. The plumage is variegated rufous brown. On the back it is grayish and rufous brown 
with numerous oblong pale black-edged spots: — on the sides and belly lighter shades, with blotches of 
brown and gray, edged with black: — the neck has an admixture of white, yellow, black and biwvn, and 
is ornamented with a tuft of long black or brown glossy feathers on either side which gives to the bird 
its distinctive name. The tail is usually composed of eighteen principal feathers of a rufous brown marked 
near their extremities with a broad black or brown zone between two narrow bands of light grayish- 
brown speckled with black. The dark broad band is about three-fourths of an inch wide, while the light 
grayish band, which is at the terminal end of the feathers, is about half an inch in width; and the other 
light border-band is nearly half the width of the latter joined to a black or brown margin upon the 
basal side. These light-gray or ash-colored bands extend across all the feathers of the tail alike, while 


the wide dark sub-terminal band is usually broken at the two central feathers. In addition to these ter- 
minal bands, the surface of the tail shows eight or nine wavy bands, half an inch wide, of rufous brown 
with dots, speckles, and dashes margined with black or brown. 

There is so much difference in the size of birds of the same sex and so much irregularity in the 
shades of color of the Ruffed Grouse, I believe it is impossible to distinguish the sexes by comparative 
size or by the plumage. Mr. Brewer in "North American Birds" says the female is smaller than the 
male and the neck tufts less developed but similar in color; while other observers make no difference 
in the size nor in the development of the tufts, but found the distinguishing marks upon shades of 
color of raffs and tail zones; the dark shades being males and the light females. It is evident, however, 
that all these indications will be found unsatisfactory, as birds of different genders may show like dimen- 
sions and like color of tufts and zones from jet black through several shades of brown to light rufous, 
and the investigator will be unable to determine by these rules or by comparison which bird is large 
enough or dark enough for a male, or small enough or in color light enough for a female. I have fre- 
quently killed birds in the same woods, and no doubt of the same brood, presenting the same weights 
and dimensions, but of every gradation of shade in tufts and bars from black glossed with metallic hues 
to light rufous. Once in particular as I find by my notes of 1879. — One bird had large light rufous tufts 
and light rufous tail-feathers destitute of the terminal bands or zones, while others differed in this respect 
and with each other through several shades of rufous brown and black irrespective of sex. 

The Huffed Grouse subsists upon grain, seeds, berries, grapes, acorns, beech-nuts, and insects. When hard 
pressed for food in winter and spring it feeds upon buds and leaves. The slippery or red elm, sassafras, 
hazel, birch, and apple-tree arc its favorites ; and when a tree or bush is once taxed for daily supplies 
the foraging will continue until the selection is effectively stripped of its prospective foliage and blossoms. 

The habitation of this bird is readily known by a drumming sound made by the male at nearly 
every season of the year, but most frequently during spring and summer. How so great a noise can be 
produced by the exterior of so small an object has called forth much conjecture and contradictory obser- 
vation. E. J. Maynard in "The Birds of Eastern North America" advances a theory that the drumming 
is vocal from the fact the laryngeal muscles are constructed in a manner similar to the Pinnated Grouse 
the tootings of which are vocal, and says: "The wings merely aid in producing it or are beaten down- 
ward as accessories to the note, just as a rooster crows, flapping its wings at the same time." The logic 
of all this would appear much better without the illustration; for most certainly it is too generally known 
that the rooster flaps his wings before he crows, and does not use these appendages as "accessories" to 
the sound. And it can not be well said that the sounds made by the bird in question are produced 
just as the rooster crows. Some years since, I had a favorable opportunity to witness the act of 
drumming and did so with great interest, as so many statements had been made implying contradictions 
or want of agreement, excepting in one particular, viz.: that a log, stump, or stone is a necessary appliance 
in the production of the sound. My observations did not however verify even this agreement, for I saw 
the bird drumming while on the ground time and time again — moving along through the woods — going 
through his strutting antics and drumming every few minutes wherever he happened to be. A log, 
stump, or stone may often be selected as an elevation while making the noise, but not always nor neces- 
sai'ily; for sounds are made quite as well when standing on the ground. The elevated sites may be 
selected to give a favorable opportunity to see and to be seen; for the bird is not destitute of vanity by 
any means, and it is highly probable from his poligamous nature that the drumming is a special summons 
or call to distant females to come and witness a display of attitudes, airs, and splendors which are so attract- 
ive to the sex, and he may select favorable positions to show off to good advantage. Henry William 
Herbert who often took notes of these performances, on one occasion saw seven hen birds called around 

a male during the drumming. 


No gifted pen has given a better description of this bird in all his pompons acts, than that 
given by Charles Hallock :— " While drumming, his form is erect, and his feathers appear to stand 
on end, grander and more delicate than the Turkey Cock. His head is posed over the end of his wing 
within four inches of his tail. The tail is spread like an open fan, making a half-circle, showing the 
many beautiful tints. His ruff, which is on each side of his neck, is raised, showing the beautiful jet 
it contains. The delicate curve of the wing lies close to the feet, almost hiding them. See him now, as 
he whirls right and left, and struts upon his favorite log. In ten or fifteen minutes he closes the 
whole of his feathers, and of a sudden he stretches himself, beats his wings in the air close to his sides, 
after the manner of the dung-hill cock, but more clearly and with lightening rapidity; these rapid strokes 
produce a sound resembling the rumbling of thunder in the distance. One may often hear it six hundred 
yards, and in clear weather with wind favorable it can be heard at a much greater distance." 

Ruffed Grouse of age and experience, and in accustomed woodland wilds, are watchful, wary, and 
sagacious, and in times of danger well know how, when, and where to go ; and will often conceal them- 
selves and withhold the scent so that neither sportsman nor" dog can find or get them up." But when 
young and especially when away from home, they become easily bewildered and act stupid and senseless 
and become subjects of easy capture. I knew one to be taken by a gentleman in this city, who found 
the bird standing on his window-sill apparantly gazing around in wonderment at the new creation. Another 
was caught by a small dog; and another through the instrumentality of a common hen. The hen was 
discovered fighting, as the owner supposed a hawk, and he approached and caught the intruder, which to 
his astonishment proved a Ruffed Grouse. It would seem that many of the young birds when grown 
have a disposition to stray off into towns and cities and are taken in various ways, showing little or no 
disposition to use the means nature has given for escape — true these are the exceptions, and perhaps silly 
birds, deficient in the ordinary instincts inherited usually for self preservation. I mention this from the 
fact that I have quite a number of times found birds in the woods similarly stupid, and the sportsman 
knows they are not naturally nor generally stupid birds. Once while driving some hogs through a piece 
of woodland in the winter, I saw a bird light upon a limb of a small tree about ten feet from the ground. 
It sat there with head erect apparantly unconcerned or having its attention upon some other object than 
myself. I approached and commenced clubbing it; the missiles passed in close proximity on all sides 
without making the poor creature move a muscle. I then picked up a long broken limb of a tree with 
which I easily knocked it over. At another time, some years after, while riding along a by-road leading 
through some timber, as I passed under the boughs of an oak bush I saw a Ruffed Grouse on a limb 
only a few feet above my head. The bird did not appear to notice my presence and I dismounted and 
killed it in the manner above described. 

Like other aeronauts having great velocity, they loose their lives sometimes by coming in contact 
with objects in their flight, which they either do not see, or 'from which they are unable to turn their 
course in time to avoid disaster. Not long since,' a lady in this city found a Grouse dead, and still warm, 
lying on the front door-step, having, no doubt, lost its life by flying against the building. And it is pos- 
sible accidents of this kind may frequently happen to them in the woods. I am inclined to believe so 
from circumstances noted as follows: A few years since, while hunting, I flushed an old bird, without 
getting a shot at it, or otherwise giving it any unusual alarm. It went off through the timber at double 
railroad speed, and struck my friend, luckily, a glancing blow on the head, while he was standing still, 
awaiting my movements several hundred yards distant. This Grouse has one very characteristic trick- 
to lie close while a person is within a few feet of it, and when he has passed on some distance, to get 
up with a whir and go off at full speed. Why this is occasionally done is quite inexplicable, for gener- 
ally they will not permit their enemies to come within even a few yards of them, and, sometimes, are so 
wild that the gunner, is unable to get within shooting distance. 


In the early part of the season for shooting, the Ruffed Grouse is found in small flocks, but later, 
in the fall and winter the family associations appear to be broken up, and single birds, or at most two 
or three, remain together. This isolation is probably not with them a matter of choice; but as they have 
no call note, except drumming, when once dispersed, it is only by accident they arc enabled to reassemble. 
The flesh is white and delicious. The young are generally full grown, well fledged, and ready for table 
use by the first of October. And from this time on through the season, the sportsman enjoys a pleasure 
surpassed by the pursuit of no other game. The dog must be well trained, having a nose that scents the 
birds at long distances, must make his approaches slowly, and when within fifteen or twenty yards of the 
Grouse, must stand staunch and immovable. And the sportsman must be skilled in handling the gun, 
and with coolness and quickness must direct his shot, or he will not receive the reward nor experience 
the full pleasure derived from this delightful recreation. Much, indeed, depends upon the composure and 
activity of the sportsman. A delay of an instant may put the game beyond reach or out of view. As 
the bird has usually a rise of ten to fifteen yards, and gets away at the rate of forty to fifty yards in 
a second of time, it is quite manifest if there is the least delay on the part of the gunner, his pellets 
even when well directed may not bring down the bird. For should the game spring ten yards in ad- 
vance and fly straight off, and three-fourth of a second be consumed in taking aim, or in getting ready 
to fire, the charge will not overtake the object short of forty yards, and the bird at this distance will, 
in all probability, escape unharmed. As this bird usually flies in a straight line, if once flushed, it may 
be found and flushed again and again, each time offering better and better chances by its rising closer 
and flying slower, and once found it will most likely be bagged, unless it takes to a tree unseen. And 
even then if the dog is well up to its tricks, and you are pot-hunter enough to gratify and reward a faith- 
ful friend, you may secure it by shooting over a point high up in the branches of a tree. True, to shoot 
any thing sitting or standing, whether on a tree or on the ground, is not allowable by professional sports- 
men unless to fill an -empty camp-kettle, or to verify the assertion: "all may be killed that are found in a 
tree by shooting the lowermost one each time." 

Fifty years ago Ruffed Grouse were quite numerous in this State. The country then was compara- 
tively new, and much of the present farm-lands were covered with native forests and thickets bearing 
wild grapes, berries, and nuts, making the ranges more extensive and better fitted to their nature than 
now. In those days it was customary to shoot them at all seasons of the year. The old flint-lock rifle 
was the only kind of fire-arm handled by the hunter, and consequently these birds received no attention 
while in motion, but it was the pride of the amateur marksman to shoot off the head when found in a 
quiet position. The writer well remembers a small dog he had when a boy, the greatest pleasure of 
which was to put this bird up in the branches of a tree and keep it there by his attractive barking 
until assistance arrived. The bird would stand erect, with head elevated and motionless, as if in fixed 
amazement at the antics of the little feist. If a miss was made, the object of the shot would usually 
stav unmoved, taking notice of nothing but the whining, yelping noise of the dog. and sometimes three 
or four shots would take place before decapitation was accomplished. 

Since shot-guns came into fashion in Ohio very many birds have been bagged by "still hunting," 
without a dog. This is accomplished by quietly and cautiously moving upon favorable points, thick 
clusters of undergrowth, such places as the bird usually spends its leizure hours through the day, and 
when close enough and in position to observe any moving body in the cover, the hunter stops, and 
remains a few moments perfectly quiet, with gun cocked and in position to shoot. If nothing is seen to 
move, the hunter gives a low, whistling note. If there is a bird concealed near by it will move from its 
hiding place, spread its tail, utter a low, piping noise, and take several slow and measured steps, pre- 
paratory to going off on the wing. It is at the first sight of the object that the trigger is pulled, which 
brings the responsive sounds made by the flutter of a dying bird in the bushes. I believe they are 


never found huddled together so the pot-hunter can "smother" them as he does the Quail. Still two 
and sometimes three birds are close enough to receive parts of the same charge. In 1855 the writer 
was out after Wild Turkeys, in company with H. Clay Smith, of Cleveland, Ohio. It was a warm, still 
bright day in October. Late in the afternoon we were moving slowly through the woods and thick 
undergrowth, within gunshot distance of each other, and to ascertain the location of my friend, I made 
a halt, and while listening for his movements, my attention was directed to an object resembling the 
head of a bird projecting above a large grape-vine, which lay upon the ground, about thirty yards 
distant, directly across the channel of a natural ditch. The ground was then dry, but the water after 
rains had washed leaves and left them lodged against the vine on the side on which I stood, showing an 
offset upon the opposite side, or wash-out from the water-fall over this little artificial dam. The longer 
I looked at it the more certainly it resembled the head of a Ruffed Grouse. To give satisfaction and to 
end up a day's hunt, I took deliberate aim at the object as if a bird was concealed behind the baricade, 
and fired. A Ruffed Grouse immediately went off from the spot, running, tumbling, and trying to flv, 
with one wing fractured. My little spaniel was near at hand and gave chase, but the bushes and briars 
were so very thick that the active little fellow did not, with all the assistance I could render, capture 
the bird until it got off, and that surprisingly quick, more than two hundred yards. Fatigued 
and warm I sat down on a log, and was examining the beautiful plumage of the Grouse, when my friend 
came up. I related the circumstances, and said the place was not examined after the shot was fired, and 
it was possible another bird might have been pi-esent and shared the charge. The proposition to walk 
back that way Mr. Smith would not entertain, saying he considered it in the wrong direction for one 
already fatigued. The matter was compromised by his agreement to remain until I returned. To my 
surprise, when within seeing distance, the light belly of a bird was visible on the ground near the little 
wash-out. It was lying on its back dead ; and in great haste it was picked up, and with feelings elated 
I returned to my friend, who at once boastingly offered to bet a handsome consideration that the egg- 
bag performance could not be played upon him any farther. The writer replied it was an easy matter 
to go back again to the same place and get another bird if it was necessary to do so. After much con- 
troversy and boasting and counter boasting, I started back rather reluctantly, but not without hope, as 
I had omitted to look into the little wash-out, the very place I should have expected to find the game 
after the shot was fired. Sure enough, there was another bird in a sitting posture, with outstretched neck, 
and spread wings, in the bottom of the cavity under the grape-vine, "dead as a mackerel." The third 
bird was produced, winning the bet, which was, with all obligations growing out of the transaction fully 
and most satisfactorily canceled the next day at the dinner table. 

Many pleasant occurrences connected with the pursuit of this bird might be selected from the folio 
of a lifetime. It is a sport full of memorable incidents, and when once enjoyed can never be lost from among 
the sunny associations of the past. Photographs of ragged mountains — rocky ravines — shady dells — run- 
ning brooks— quiet streams — forests rich and ripe with every shade of color and tint of autumn — quiet 
secluded places, where nature reveals her sweetest charms — and scenery which in inimitable splendor 
mocks the artist's pencil and poet's pen, are indelibly fixed in the mind of the sportsman as the home 
and haunts of this most beautiful bird. 


Plate LX. 

Fig. 7. ARDETTA EXIUS-Least Bittern. 

The Least Bittern is the smallest of its tribe, and, to my eye, the most beautiful. It arrives in 
Central Ohio about the first of May. In the northern marshes it is a common summer resident; in 
other localities its presence is quite irregular, some seasons being plentiful about small grassy ponds, 
and then again not seen in such localities for several years. I have counted as many as twenty birds on 
the 10th of June, about a pond of six or seven acres in extent. Generally it is one of the shyest of birds 
and is but seldom seen. Frequently, in tramping through the Montezuma marshes at the foot of 
Cayuga Lake in New York State, where it breeds in the greatest abundance, I have found as many as 
ten or a dozen nests, all containing eggs, but have failed to see a single bird; and during many years 
experience among these marshes I have never seen more than eight or ten birds altogether. On the 
other hand I found two birds upon their nests last year in a little pond in Central Ohio. It is probable 
that two broods are frequently reared by a single pair during the summer. 


A dense swampy tract overgrown with cat-tails and the various coarse swamp grasses, is the favorite 
breeding place of this Bittern. But the nest may be occasionally found in any small marshy piece of 
ground with aquatic reeds and grasses. Dr. F. W. Langdon found the Least Bittern abundant near Port 
Clinton, Ottawa County, Ohio, in 1880. Writing on the "Summer Birds of a Northern Ohio Marsh," he 
savs of this species: "Quite common, frequenting and nesting among the 'deer-tongue' and 'saw-grass' 
at a considerable distance from land. Judging from the depth of water in situations where they were 
most numerous, we inferred that they spent much of their time clinging to tall aquatic grasses, and 
walking about on the lily 'pads' in search of food." In my experience the Least Bittern prefers to nest 
along the edge of the marsh, as indeed do most water birds, and even at times a nest is to be seen in 
a tussock of grass some yards inland. 


Usually the nest is placed near the surface of the water in a cluster of reeds or a tussock of grass, 
and sometimes also, it is said, in a bush, though I have never seen one in this position. Many nests 
which I have found have been floating, a few have rested on the ground. 


Contrary to the statements of many authors, sticks are seldom if ever used in the construction of the 
nest. Generally it is composed entirely of dry reed-stalks, lined with thin flat leaves, and possibly inter- 
mixed with coarse grass. Many of the reeds are often bent down and fastened together without being- 
broken, so as to form a sort of platform on which the nest proper rests. Fresh green stalks are seldom 


seen in the structure. The ordinary diameter of the nest is about eight inches. Dr. Langdon, in the 
article quoted from above, says of this nest: "Rather bulky often for the size of the bird, composed 
entirely of 'saw-grass,' a platform beng constructed by bending a number of green blades toward a com- 
mon center so that they cross each other at a height of fifteen or twenty inches from the water; this plat- 
form is slightly depressed in the center, and the depression lined with a few blades of dried grass of the 
same species as that used in the foundation." With the exception of being smaller the nest is very similar 
in position, construction, and materials to that of the Florida Gallinule, and can be found without difficulty 
in swamps which these Bitterns frequent. 


The complement of eggs varies from three to five, usually four is the number. The second laying 
genei'ally contains but three. They measure from 1.16 to 1.27, in long-diameter, and from .94 to 1.00 in 
short-diameter. A common size is about .98 x 1.20. Like all the eggs of this genus they are oval in 
form. The ground-color of the shell is pale blue, without spots. The color fades quite rapidly when the 
shell is exposed to the light after the eggs are blown, and less rapidly, but none the less surely, when 
kept in the dark, to a dull milky white. 


The nest and eggs of the Least Bittern when together can always be readily recognized by the 
characteristics stated above. The eggs when out of the nest can scarcely be confounded with those of any 
other bird except perhaps those of the two Cuckoos; from these they may be distinguished generally by 
the smoother surface, rounder form, and somewhat fainter tint of shell. 


Fig. 7. Plate LX represents three eggs of the Least Bittern, taken June 10th, 1884, from two nests 
near Circleville, Ohio. They show the common sizes, shapes, and color of shell when freshly blown. 

In regard to the domestic life of this diminutive Bittern I know but little. I have often encountered 
it during spring migrations as well as during the building season, and at all times it seems to be the 
same quiet, melancholy, half stupid creature. At the time of mating it is the most animated, and may 
often be seen climbing about the stems of the water-plants like the Starling. It flies with like motions to 
those of the larger members of its family, and as silently as a bat. In the day-time it will seldom fly 
but a few yards, and with a little perseverance it may be run down and captured when found on dry 
land. I have had several specimens alive, and have endeavored to discern some interesting trait of 
character, but in vain. The last one I caught was a perfect beauty in plumage, but after keeping him a 
few days I concluded to give him his liberty. At dusk one pleasant evening I tossed him in the air; he 
started off bravely and was soon out of sight. The next morning his head and some wing feathers were 
brought to me by a neighbor, all that the house-cat had left of this beautiful little bird. 


Plate LX. 

Fig 8. AS/0 AMERICAN US- American Long-eared Owl. 

The Long-eared Owl confines itself chiefly to dense woods, and consequently, even if it were as 
plentiful, it would not be as well known as many of its brethren. Its nest and eggs are as common in 
collections as those of almost any other species of Owl. I have found at least two nests of this bird to 
one of the small Owls. This is due to the fact that the nest is quite exposed, and also to the fact that the 
bird has a habit of craning its neck over the side of the nest, thus establishing beyond doubt that it is 
not a set of Crow's eggs that will reward the labor of climbing. Hence the nest is seldom passed by 
without yielding its quota to the Oologist's collection. The nest is built and the eggs deposited about 
the same time as with other Owls. 


The nest is situated in comparatively retired woods, either on high or low ground. Upland timber 
seems to be preferred so far as my observation extends, but some of the best authorities give preference 
to swampy woods. Probably it makes little difference to the Owls, provided the wood is dark and quiet. 
Usually the nest is in a tree, but it may be upon the ground, in a bush, or even upon the top of a 
low stump. 


I have never seen a nest except in a tree, generally about fifty feet from the ground and placed 
upon a horizontal limb close to the main trunk. Dr. Coues states that it is sometimes placed in a hollow 


The nest is usually a very loose affair of sticks, lined with grass or leaves, and may be occupied 
for a number of years with a little repairing each spring. 

The above remarks refer to nests constructed by the Owls. Now it is a very common occurence with 
this species as with others of the family, that instead of building their own nests, the birds select that 
of a Crow or Hawk in which they deposit their eggs and rear their young, and no matter how shabby 
the domicile is, they seldom expend much if any tabor upon it. 


The complement of eggs varies from three to six, the former being the commonest number. They 
are pure white, as are those of all Owls, rather smooth of surface, and almost perfectly elliptical in out- 
line. They measure in long-diameter from 1.58 to 1.80 and in short-diameter from 1.24 to 1.30. A 
common size is about 1.70x1.25. 


See Little Screech Owl. 


The three effgrs illustrated were selected from four sets, all of which were found in the northern counties. 
They show the ordinary shapes and sizes. 

The Long-eared Owl, as stated in the beginning of this sketch, is exclusively a woods bird, being 
seldom, I might almost say never, seen in the open. That the species is very common in some localities 
of the United States thei'e can be no doubt. IT. D. Minot says: "It is, perhaps, the most numerous of 
American Owls." Its habits of life and silence contribute to make it apparently much more scarce than 
it really is. In Ohio, especially in central and southern, it undoubtedly is very scarce. During the past 
fifteen years, much of which time I have spent in the woods, I have never encountered but one of these 
Owls, and up to the time I took up residence in New York State I was entirely unacquainted with its 
breeding habits, although familiar with nests and eggs of most other Owls. There is no doubt but that 
this species is far more common in the east than in the western and middle states. 

It is possible to pass close by these birds in the woods and yet not perceive them, as they sit very 
quietly when one approaches, being either too stupid or too cunning to fly. The whole nature of the 
bird is retiring and quiet, and in captivity it maintains the same traits, seldom showing a disposition 
to fight or bite. It is more truly nocturnal than most of the small Owls, hunting entirely by night. I 
have never heard it utter a cry, nor have I, while camping in such places as it usually inhabits, ever 
heard a cry that did not bespeak the author of it too plainly to cntert-tin the suggestion that the sound 
might have come from one of these birds. With the exception of their love song, which all birds seem 
to have, it is, I believe, mute. C. J. Maynard thinks he has heard them utter a cry during the 
breeding season, but is not sure, and he thinks it highly probable that they have characteristic calls 
as well as a love song. H. D. Minot, in speaking of the species, says: "I have never heard them utter 
any notes, and they are probably silent except during the season of love." Audubon, however, states: 
"When camped in the woods I have frequently heard the notes of this bird at night; its cry is prolonged 
and plaintive, though consisting of two or three notes repeated at intervals." Beside such testimony all 
negative observations must be taken with great caution. 


Plate LX. 

Fig. 9. PHILOHELA MINOR- American Woodcock. 

This splendid bird comes from the south with the first approach of spring, and remains until the 
frosts harden its feeding grounds. In the northern counties it is absent but a few months in the 
coldest years; while farther south, in mild winters, it soai'cely goes out of the State. 

It builds in March or April, and probably, sometimes in February. Two broods are usually reared 
during the season. 


Upon their arrival in spring, Woodcock frequent wooded slopes, and damp, dense woods, either 
upland or lowland; and in such localities they find suitable nesting sites. 


The nest is situated upon the ground at the root of a tree or stump, beside a log, or even in an 
entirely open space between large trees. The nest rests directly upon the ground, sod, or decayed leaves 
natural to the spot, with no effort at concealment. 


It is composed chiefly of dead leaves, as found fallen from trees in the vicinity, and is a very 
insignificant affair, yet one which answers the purpose well, as it resembles exactly the surroundings, in 
fact, is part of them; and since the young, like Quail, run about as soon as hatched, an elaborate structure 
is not necessary for their comfort. The quantity of leaves in the nest is quite variable. If the sod is 
well covered with them the bird may simply select a matted bunch, and upon this deposit her eggs. 
At other times she will arrange a hatful of oak or other leaves in a little depression, and rest satisfied 
with this. There are no outlines to the structure which are of any value for measurements. 


Four eggs are the usual number in a set. I have never found more than this, but I have seen an 
old bird with five young ones. As is usual, the second set probably contains one less than the first. 
The ground-color of the shell is brown, of different shades in different sets. In some it is light 
Vandyke brown; in others it is a moderately dark tint of the same color; in others it is a light shade 
of bistre; while in others it is a yellowish-brown, such as may be formed with bistre and yellow ochre. 
The markings consist of numerous blotches, spots, and speckles, often confluent, distributed most numerously 
about the larger end. The deep shell-marks appear purplish or neutral tint, while the surface marks 
are of various shades of the ground-color, always of course deeper in tint. When placed upon a bed of 
winter-beaten oak leaves, the colors of the eggs and leaves are so similar that I know of no eggs which 


offer a better example of protective coloring. In shape the eggs are not very different from common 
hen's eggs. They measure from 1.10 to 1.20 inches in short-diameter, and from 1.44 to 1.65 in long- 
diameter. A common size is about 1.18 x 1.55. 


The eggs are so distinctive in marking and coloring, when taken together with their size, that they 
can not be mistaken for those of any other bird. The nest amounts to but little by itself and can only be 
saved with great care. 


The eggs figured, Fig. 9, Plate LX, were taken near Circleville, on the 28th of March, 1878. 
They had been sat upon four or five days. The three show the usual shapes, sizes, ground-colors, 
and colors and forms of markings. 

The American Woodcock is quite universally distributed over the United States, and in Ohio is 
quite plentiful, though by no means as numerous as in years gone by. It is noted for its seclusiveness, 
and no doubt finds in solitude all the charms that sages have seen. If this characteristic is an evidence 
of wisdom, verily the Woodcock is a Solon among the feathered tribes, for it seeks the most solitary and 
unfinished spots on earth, places where the soil is soft and moist; and here, with no near companion, it 
passes most of its life in satisfactory if not sweet meditation. According to some the male is given to music, 
and has a song as varied as that of insessorial birds, while others- assert the contrary. Mr. Charles 
Hallock, in "Sportman's Gazetteer," says: . . . "By the first of April, on any clear moonlight night, 
at all hours, the male may be heard from every quarter chanting his weird and unmusical song to the 
object of his affections. This note so closely resembles that of the Nighthawk as to be easily mistaken 
for it." 

After the 4th of July, the law of Ohio permits the killing of Woodcock. It would be far better if 
the close season extended until the middle of August. At this season of the year the birds resort to 
timbered islands that are damp and overgrown with horse-weeds, nettles, elders, and creeping vines. 
They are also found along the mucky banks of willow-bordered streams and similar places, and owing 
to their inexperience and want of wing power are easily killed. Often in July I have flushed old birds 
with half grown young, and even the oldest birds of the year are hardly full size and strong flyers 
before Seotember. 

The flesh of the Woodcock is very highly esteemed; in fact, it ranks first in flavor among all game 
birds. A single bird served for the table brings from one dollar to one dollar and fifty cents, at any 
fashionable restaurant, and even at this price they are difficult to obtain. Unquestionably the Woodcock 
is a fine table bird, especially in early fall, after it has left its summer feeding grounds for the 
ditches and springs of upland fields, but to my taste there are other birds superior even then. I make 
this statement with some trepidation, knowing that such belief is the rankest epicurean heresy. 

The cocker spaniel is presumably the dog to hunt Woodcock with, but here again I must declare 
my infidelity by preferring a pointer. Poor Greek! Was there ever another such dog? For twelve 
years he was my constant companion in the field, and such work as he would do! Grouse, Quail, Doves, 
Snipe, Ducks, Woodcock, he understood at once what was demanded of him. In the thickest possible 
cover he would point the Woodcock with the certainty and stanchness that he would a Quail in open 
stubble. I have killed hundreds over him, and he was ever the same, faithful' and true, and but for the 
dastardly act of some townsman he might be living to-day and eager for the fall sport. The law of Ohio 
does not recognize a dog as property, although it taxes him. Hence, any cowardly person can, unobserved 
or even openly, give poison, without fear of punishment. 



"V- ; 


,>- "'., 

_■. _ 


Plate LXI. ' 

Fig. 7. LANIVIREO FLAVIFRONS-Yellowthroated Vireo. 

The Yellow-throated Vireo arrives and departs about the same time as the other species of its family. 
It builds its nest in the latter part of May or first of June, and not infrequently in July it builds a 
second time. 


An orchard or shade tree in a lawn, either in the country or in town, is often chosen for the site of 
the nest; but more commonly a forest tree in large woods is preferred. 


The nest is pensile, and is generally placed at the bifurcation of a small horizontal branch, or in 
the angle where a small twig shoots from a horizontal branch. Its height from the ground is from five 
to twenty feet. 


A nest before me is composed externally of pieces of hornets' nest, vegetable down, lichens, strips 
of the inner bark of some weed, web from the common plant louse which infests the maple trees, and 
spicier-web felted together in a promiscuous but firm manner. In several places of small dimensions the 
lichens cover the exterior. Within this purse-shaped cavity is a thick layer of bleached blades of blue- 
grass. The nest is firmly attached to its two supporting twigs by its external layer, which is wrapped 
around and bound fast to the branches with web. Its diameter is 3J inches; depth, 2\ inches; diameter 
of cavity is 1^ inches; depth of cavity, If inches. Dr. Brewer, writing of this nest, says, page 380, Vol. 
I, " North American Birds: " " Their nests, built usually in low and rather conspicuous positions for birds 
of this kind, occur most frequently in gardens and orchards. One of these, found suspended from a moss- 
covered branch of an apple-tree in Roxbury, may be taken as typical of its kind. Its rim was firmly 
bound around the fork of a branch by a continuation of the materials that form the outside of the nest 
itself. These are an interweaving of spiders' webs, and silky threads from insect cocoons, largely inter- 
mingled with mosses and lichens, and thus made to conform closely in appearance to the moss-grown 
bark of the tree. The under portion of the nest is strengthened by long strips of the inner bark of the 
wild grape. Within is an inner nest made of fine grassy stems and bark. It forms exactly a half sphere 
in shape, is symmetrical, and is very thoroughly made. Its diameter is four, and its height two and one- 
fourth inches. 

"Mr. Nuttall describes a nest of this kind, found by him suspended from the forked twig of 
an oak, near a dwelling-house, as coated over with green lichens, attached very artfully by a slender 
string of caterpillars' silk, the whole afterwards tied over by almost invisible threads of the same, so 


nicely done as to appear to be glued on. The whole fabric was thus made to resemble an accidental 
knot of the tree, grown over with moss." 

The few nests of this species which I have seen have corresponded closely with the first two described 
above. It is to be expected that occasionally a nest will be found which is elaborately covered with 


The complement in a set varies from three to five. Five are seldom found, however. Thev measure 
from .82 to .95 of an inch in long-diameter, and from .59 to .66 in short-diameter. A common size is 
about .61 x .88. The ground-color of the shell is pure white. The markings consist of blotches, spots, 
and speckles of a very dark brown, scattered sparingly over the shell, generally, however, decidedly -the 
most numerous at the base. Occasionally a few spots are confluent. Deep shell-marks are gray, and 
sometimes nearly as plentiful as surface marks. Dr. Brewer, page 381, Vol. 1, " North American Birds," 
says: "The ground-color is white, often with a very perceptible tint of roseate when fresh. In this 
respect they differ in a very marked manner from the eggs of any other of this genus, except, perhaps, 
the barbatala, and may thus always be easily recognized. They are more or less boldly marked with 
blotches of a dark roseate-brown, also peculiar to the eggs of this species, though varying greatly in their 
size and depth of color." 


But four of the Vireos have so far been found breeding in Ohio. Of these the Reel-eyed is the most 
plentiful. The Warbling Vireo is nearly as numerous, while the remaining two are about equally scarce. 
It is not a very difficult task to designate substantial differences between the nests and eggs of these 
species when they are compared with each other, or even with certain exceptions, to tell their nests and 
eggs at sight, in spite of their similarity. The points of variance between the first two species men- 
tioned have already been given. It remains only to speak of the nests and eggs of the White-eyed and 
Yellow-throated Vireos when compared with the other two. The nest of flavifrons is distinctive and can 
always be recognized from that of any of the Vireos, as well as from that of any other bird, by its being 
a lichen covered pensile nest. The nest of noveboracensis is usually recognizable by its dimensions. See 
page 167. 

The eggs of the Vireos stand in size in the order named below: 

L. flavifrons — long-diameter, .82 to .95 ; short-diameter, .59 to .66. 

V. olivaceus— " .75 to .95; " .52 to .66. 

V. noveboracensis— " .73 to .83; " .50 to .60. 

V. gilvus— " .68 to .70; " .51 to .60. 

The ground-color of all is the same. The size, shape, and color of markings is also about the same; there 
is though a slight difference in their quantity, flavifrons probably containing the most, and noveboracensis 
the fewest, while gilvus contains more than olivaceus. 


The nest and eggs illustrated, Plate LXI, Pig. 1, were found the 26th day of June, 1882. The 
eggs are a little smaller than the average, but they show well the variations in markings. They measure 
respectively, .82 x .59, .84x.60, and .84 x .60. The nest was built in a little wood adjoining an orchard, 
in a horizontal fork about eight feet from the ground. It is typical in size, shape, and position, but is 
probably more elaborately covered with lichens than is usual. 


Plate LXL 

Fig. 2. HELMINTHOPHAGA CHRYSOPTERA-Golden-Winged Warbler. 

According to "Worth American Birds," the Golden-winged Warbler is nowhere a common species, 
being but occasionally met with from Georgia to Massachusetts, and from New Jersey to Missouri 
and Wisconsin. In Ohio it is certainly rare. It has been found as early as the 15th of May. Its time 
of departure is unknown. It builds the last of May or first of June, and probably rears but one brood 
during its yearly visit to the State. 


Woodlands, bushy pastures, and small clumps of timber, provided the soil is damp, are the most fre- 
quented nesting places. According to Dr. Wheaton, swampy places are usually selected. 


The nest is built at the root of a bush or young tree, or in a tussock of grass or weeds, and is 
generally supported by several upright stems as well as by resting upon the ground, dead leaves, or 
such debris as covers the site. Mr. Win. K. Limpert, of Franklin County, found a nest of this species 
resting on the ground under the broad leaf of a skunk cabbage. 


The only nest which I have seen is before me. It is the one illustrated on Plate LXI, Fig. 
2. It was situated under a little bush in a low piece of ground. In diameter it is about four inches, 
in depth about five inches. Its inside diameter is about two and one-eighth inches, its inside depth is 
about three and three-quarters inches. It rested upon a deep layer of beech leaves, and leaves were piled 
up around it in a seemingly careless manner, as if blown by the wind. When the leaves are taken away, 
the nest proper is seen to be made of long strips of grape-vine bark, weed-fibres, and pieces of beech 
leaves, and lined with split grasses. The materials are very loosely woven into a purse-like shape, the 
rear wall being an inch or more higher than the front portion. 


Four or five eggs compose a set. The ground-color is white, when blown, sparsely marked with 
brown spots, dots, and speckles, which incline to form a wreath at the base. They measure, according to 
May.nard, from .50 to .55 in short-diameter, and from .66 to .67 in long-diameter. According to Dr. Brewer, 
they vary in short-diameter from .49 to .53, and in long-diameter from .63 to .70. Five eggs belonging to 
the nest illustrated, measure as follows: .49 x .68, .51 x .68, .52 x .68, .52 x .67, and .53 x .69 of an inch. 
Before they were blown the shell appeared decidedly pink. The markings are Vandyke brown and bistre, 
confined chiefly to the base, where they generally form a wreath. One egg is quite thickly speckled 


from point to base, and besides the ordinary spots, there are about the crown several large irregular 
blotches, which have the appearance of being faded. The remaining four eggs are very much alike, being- 
marked sparingly from point to base with the minutest speckles, some of which are beneath the surface, 
while at or about the base occur small blotches and spots, which either form a ring or make a group at 
the axis. 

See Table. 


J. Warren, in "Bulletin of the Nuttall Ornithological Club," Vol. I, pages 6 and 7, says: "The first 
authentic nest found in this section of the country (Massachusetts) was that collected by Mr. C. J. Maynard, 
June 1*2, 1869, and admirably described by him on page 100 of the "Naturalist's Guide." This nest was 
placed on a slightly elevated tuft of moss, near a swampy thicket, within a short distance of a travelled 
road, and contained four eggs, and also one of a Cow Bird (Molothrus pecoris), which were within a few 
clavs of hatching. Since this nest was found there have been no others taken, to my knowledge, until 
the past year, when three were discovered; one each by my friends, E. B. Towne, Jr., and W. W. Eager, 
who have kindly allowed me to use their notes, and the third by my brother and myself. 

"We were out collecting on the afternoon of June 8th, 1875, and while passing through a strip of swampy 
land on the outskirts of a small Avood, flushed a bird from under a plant known as 'Skunk Cabbage' 
(symplocarpus fbetidus). 

"Upon searching we found the nest concealed by the large leaves of the plant. It was raised about 
two inches above the wet ground by dead oak and maple leaves, which were quite damp. The owner 
soon came back, and hopping excitedly from branch to branch of an alder thicket, a few yards away, 
almost continually uttered a sharp chirp of alarm, betokening her strong dislike to the intruders; but, 
strange to say, her mate did not make his appearance, although we could hear him distinctly zee-zee-zeeing 
a few rods away. As it was fast growing dark, and feeling satisfied she had laid her set, we shot her. 

"The nest, which closely resembles that of the Maryland Yellow-throat (Greothlypis trichas), is composed 
outwardly of dry oak and maple leaves, interspersed with long strips of the outer bark of the grape 
vine; and is lined with fine fibrous shreds of the same reddish tint, interwoven with one or two very 
small pieces of dry grass. The measurements are as follows: Height, 2.75 inches; width, 4.25; diameter 
inside, 2.30; depth inside, 1.60. 

"The eggs are three in number, two pure white; the third sparsely spotted on the larger end, and 
measured respectively, .69 x .53, .68 x .51, and .65 x .49 

"The following is an extract from Mr. Towne's Journal: 'While out collecting early in the morning 
of the 29th day of May, 1875, as I was walking up a hillside through small white birches, saw a Golden- 
winged Warbler within twelve feet of the muzzle of my gun ; was about to shoot, when I noticed a small 
straw or dry blade of grass in her mouth. The thought of finding her nest induced me to watch closely. 
She soon flew and alighted in the centre of an old cart path. I went to the spot and was delighted on 
finding in the center of a small tussock of grass the commencement of a nest. Went to the place the 
next day and saw the female at work; did not go again for two days, when there was one egg. On June 
5th I took the nest with four fresh eggs. By creeping up carefully and putting my hand over the nest, 
succeeded in catching the female. Saw the male soon after, but he was exceedingly shy.' 

"In structure the nest closely resembles mine, but is a little narrower and deeper inside. It measures 
in height, 3.00 inches ; width, 3.80; diameter inside, 1.90; depth inside, 2.00. The eggs are white, faintly, 
spotted with red on the larger end, and measure .72 x .52, .70 x .56, .70 x .48, and .68 x .58 inches." 










• Plate LXII. 

Fig. 7. QUERQUEDULA DISOORS-Blue-winged Teal. 

This beautiful little Duck is a very common migrant, and in the northern part of the State is a not 
infrequent summer resident. It arrives in Central Ohio about the first of April, and often remains until 
late in May. In the fall it leads the great army of Ducks on their way south, arriving about the first 
of September. It builds in June, and rears but one brood during the season. 


It is probable that in the early settlement of Ohio this Teal bred in suitable localities throughout 
the State; but civilization has forced it to the north until its only breeding grounds, so far as I can learn, 
are in the uninhabitable marshes of the lake counties, and even here its numbers are very limited. Mr. 
J. B. Porter, of Grlendale, Ohio, in June, 1880, found it breeding in the Ottawa county marshes. 


The nest is located either in the marsh or about its edge, and is concealed by the surrounding 
vegetation. I have never found this nest, nor can I find an accurate account of it. The above brief 
statement must therefore suffice. 


Grass, weeds, and feathers from the builder compose the materials of the nest. 


The number of eggs in a set varies from six to ten. The shell is quite smooth, but not glossy, and 
is a rich cream color or light buff. Occasionally there are cloudy patches of neutral tint at various parts 
of the shell. They measure in long-diameter from 1.76 to 1.90, and in short-diameter from 1.28 to 1.34. 
A common size is about 1.30x1.85. C. J. Maynard gives their dimensions as between 1.30 and 1.35 in 
short-diameter, and between 1.90 and 1.95 in long-diameter. 

See Mallard Duck. 


The three eggs illustrated, Fig. 1, Plate LXII, were selected from a set of eight eggs taken in 
Dakota in 1883. They show the various shapes and tints of the complement. Although unfamiliar with 
the nesting habits of the Blue-winged Teal, I am well acquainted with it as a game bird, and several 
times have thought I was about to find it breeding near Circle ville. I have known the birds to mate 


and remain about a small pond until in June; but about the time a nest was to be expected, the Ducks 
would leave. 

These birds are especially fond of muddy pools and ponds overgrown with lilies and rushes. During 
the spring they frequent the river bottoms, and take great delight in muddy sloughs after freshets. In 
the fall they feed about ditches and stagnant ponds. They often congregate in large flocks of twenty-five 
or more, and during midday enjoy sitting on the edge of a mud-puddle in perfect quiet, at which time 
one can walk close to them without noticing their presence, so closely do they sit to the ground and so 
protective is their coloring. 

Of all our Ducks the Teal is perhaps the most unsuspecting or unintelligent, or both, for 
they will usually allow a gunner to walk close to them, without taking to wing, and if they show- 
any alarm it is to their disadvantage, for when frightened they huddle together so closely that twenty 
birds will scarcely occupy a square yard of space. The experienced gunner knowing this pecu- 
liarity watches his opportunity and is often enabled to kill a dozen or more birds at one discharge of 
his gun. Certainly a cruel and unsportsman like method of procuring game, but I observe that few 
hunters despise such an opportunity. When surprised and mistreated in this way, the uninjured Ducks 
take wing, but being loth to leave their dead and wounded companions, or else not comprehending the 
situation, fly off a short distance and circling about will relight in the very same place or hover about 
the hunter time and again, until several more shots still farther decimate their numbers. At last the 
few remaining seem to comprehend that they are in danger and hastily fly away. Often however, they 
will return the next, and on following days if undisturbed. However easy it may be to kill these birds 
during their resting period of the day, the sportsman will find it an entirely different matter to shoot 
them about dark when coming into their roosting places. At this time they fly like an arrow, and a 
single bird will pass any but the very best marksman. When properly cooked, the flesh is generally excellent, 
though sometimes it is oily and strong. Birds that have become too fat arc especially fishy. Nearly 
all Ducks as they come to us, are fatter in the fall than in the spring, and are also tenderer and 
more edible, but the Teal is better in the spring, because at this time they are not so fat. Every- 
where they are much prized as table birds, and when in proper form, this praise is very just. 

Like all game birds their numbers are becoming rapidly lessened. Indeed they are but poorly 
prepared to withstand the everlasting firing of the standing army of hunters equipped with deadly 
breech-loaders. Nearly every pond is now guarded; nearly every mud-hole has an armed sentinel, and 
the day is not far distant when this fine little Duck will be as rare as it was at one time common. Such 
seems to be the fast approaching fate of all our highly prized species. Like the Indian, I look back 
over years past and deplore the inroad of civilization. My "Buffalo" were the Duck; my "Deer" the 
Turkeys, the Ruffed Grouse, and the Quail. My "hunting-grounds," the weedy stubble and the unmo- 
lested wood. Nearly all of these are gone, and gone never to be restored. I can well fancy the deep 
emotion, the heart-felt wrong of Nature's child, as he witnessed the advance of the tide of empire. 


Plate LXIL 

Fig. 2. BOTAURUS LENTIGINOSUS- American Bittern. 

The American Bittern arrives in the southern part of Ohio early in March, on its way to northern 
breeding grounds. A few individuals find suitable localities in the southern counties, but its occurrence 
in summer south of the lake marshes is irregular and uncertain. In the fall it is often seen about 
swampy places, and if undisturbed remains until cold weather. Like other members of its tribe, it is a morose 
and solitary bird, and is seldom seen unless scared from its haunts by the intrusion of a stranger. It 
builds its nest about the middle or last of May, at which time it is extremely shy. But one brood is 
probably reared by a single pair during the season. 


Swampy districts overgrown with long grass, bushes, and weeds, and retired islands, with abundant rank 
vegetation, are the favorite nesting localities. The nearer overflowed such an island may be, without being 
actually under water, the better pleased is the bird. At least spots of this description contain the most nests. 


The nest is situated on the ground, often but a few inches above water, and occasionally is built in 
shallow water, and is concealed from view by the surrounding bushes, grass, and weeds. 


The nest is composed of sticks, often some of these are quite large for the purpose, with perhaps a 
rude attempt at lining with coarse grass and weeds. 


The eggs are from three to six in number. In color they vary from dingy greenish-blue to olive-brown, 
and are unspotted. They measure from 1.95 to 2.20 in long-diameter, and from 1.40 to 1.60 in short-diameter. 
Mr. C. J. Maynard gives their dimensions as follows: Long-diameter, 2.10 to 2.25; short-diameter, 1.65 to 1.80. 


The size and color of the Bittern's eggs will usually suffice to distinguish them at once. When 
together with the nest identification is certain, as there is no other species laying eggs of this size and color, 
which builds a similar nest, 


The three eggs figured, Fig. 2, Plate LXII, were selected from several sets, and show the common 
sizes and various colorings met with in eggs which have been blown for several years. 


The American Bittern, though shy and retiring, always makes his presence known, and any one who 
has lived long in the neighborhood of a swamp inhabited by these birds is familiar with their peculiar 
and gloomy cry, not at all unlike in sound, some ancient bullfrog; not that the one could be mistaken 
for the other, but that the same booming, hollow sound characterizes them both. 

For many years I looked in vain for the nest of one of these birds, though living on the borders of 
a swamp inhabited by them. I think now that I was in the habit of seeking them on ground that was 
too high and dry, for of late years they seem easy enough to discover, though the birds are not as 
plentiful as heretofore. They are somewhat gregarious in their habits, at least at nesting time, in so much 
that when the birds are at all abundant, if one nest be found others are sure to be near by. I once had 
one of these birds for a long time in captivity, and some of his antics were very amusing. Once or twice 
I caught him in the act of uttering his strange booming cry, when he would squat quite close to the 
ground, draw in his neck as if gathering a long breath, then straightening himself up and stretching his 
neck, his throat would swell out and forth would come the strange call. This bird was omnivorous, at 
least he soon became so, and would eat a meal of potatoes, bread, and other vegetable food with as much 
gusto as that of fish or meat. 

As regards the American Bittern as an article of food, Frank Forester says: "Though a very 
common and extremely beautiful bird, it is the object of a very general and perfectly inexplicable 
prejudice and dislike, common it would seem to all classes. The gunner never spares it, although it is 
perfectly inoffensive; and although the absurd prejudice to which I have alluded, causes him to cast it 
aside, when killed, as uneatable carrion, its flesh is in reality very delicate and juicy, and still held in high 
repute in Europe; while here one is regarded very much in the light of a cannibal, as I have myself 
experienced, for venturing to eat it. The farmer and the boatman stigmatize it by a filthy and indecent 
name. The cook turns up her nose at it, and throws it to the cat; for the dog, wiser than his master, 
declines it — not as unfit to eat, but as game, and therefore meat for his masters. Now the Bittern would 
probably not be much aggrieved at being voted carrion, provided his imputed carrion-(fo?^, as Willis would 
probably designate the condition, procured him immunity from the gun. But to be shot first and thrown 
away afterward, would seem to be the very excess of that condition described by the common phrase 
of adding injury to insult. 

"If, when struck down from his pride of place by the crooked-beaked blood-hound of the air, as in days 
of old, his legs mercilessly broken, and his long bill thrust into the ground, that the falcon might dispatch 
him without fear of consequences, and at leizure, it w T as doubtless a source of pride to him, as to the 
tortured Indian at the stake, to be so tormented, since the amount of torture was commensurate with the 
renown of the tortured; besides — for which the Bittern was, of course, truly grateful — -it was his high and 
extraordinary prerogative to have his legs bi*oken as aforesaid, and his long bill thrust into the ground, 
by the fair hand of the loveliest lady present — thrice blest Bittern of the days of old. 

"A very different fate, in sooth, from being riddled with a charge of double Bs from a rusty flint- 
lock Queen Anne's musket, poised by the horney paws of John Verity, and then ignobly cast to fester in 
the sun, among the up-piled eel-skins, fish-heads, king-crabs, and the like, with which, in lieu of garden- 
patch or well trained rose-bush, the south-side Long Islander ornaments his front door-yard, rejoicing in 
the effluvia of the said decomposed piscine exuviw, which he regards as 'considerable hullsome' beyond 
Sabsean odors, Syrian nard, or frankincense from Araby the blest!" 

When wounded, it makes vigorous resistance, extends its wings, erects the feathers on its head and 
neck, and assumes a fierce warlike expression, and will attack in self defense man or dog, and with deadly 
aim directs the blows of its sharp pointed beak for the assailant's eyes. 


Plate LXII. 

Fig, 3. AIX SPONSA-Wood Duck. 

The Wood Duck, or Summer Duck, is a common summer resident throughout the State. It arrives 
in March and remains until November. But one brood is generally reared during the season. 


The nest is placed in a tree along the bank, or in the neighborhood of a marsh or small pond. 
The large sycamores which grow on the river islands, or on the bank of a stream near the mouth of a 
small creek, or beside a lagoon are favorite localities. 


A natural cavity in the trunk or limb of a tree, or an artificial hole long since abandoned by its 
owner, is the customary place for the nest. The structure rests at the bottom of the cavity in the case 
of a hole in a perpendicular trunk, and upon the floor of the cavity in the case of a hollow, horizontal 
limb. Its distance from the entrance in the latter instance may be five or six feet, or more, according 
to conditions and the fancy of the birds. 


The materials are sticks, straws, pieces of bark, grass, weeds, feathers, and down, in varying proportions, 
the softer materials constituting the lining. 


The complement of eggs varies from six to twelve. They are elliptical in form, creamy brown, often 
slightly greenish in color, and quite smooth of shell. They measure in long-diameter from 1.70 to 2.10; 
and from 1.50 to 1.60 in short-diameter. C. J. Maynard gives the dimensions at 1.05 x 1.55, to 1.15x1.65. 

See Mallard Duck. 


Fig. 3, Plate LXII, represents three eggs of the Wood Duck of the common sizes and shapes. The 
coloring is that of eggs which have been blown about two years. 

The Wood Duck ranges throughout the United States; but it is much more plentiful in some sections 
of country than in others. In Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Ohio it is the only native Duck 
that is at all common. The male is the handsomest of all our summering birds, and rivals in brilliancy 
of plumage many of our most conspicuous song birds. Of perfect form and splendid action he has but to 


be seen to be admired. Excelling the spectrum in gorgeous tints, he moves, a perfect rainbow of color, 
with equal ease and grace among the lilies of the pond or branches of the forest tree. Upon his head 
he wears a crest of iridescent green and purple, and narrow, parallel, curved, white, superciliary, and 
post-ocular stripes. His throat is pure white, irregular in outline, but sharply defined. His breast is brown 
madder, spotted with irregular white patches, while the sides of his body are finely vermiculated with 
rich blue-black, and form a striking contrast with the wings. His feet are pale brown or flesh-tint, and 
his bill, which contains two red patches, is tipped with dark blue, and his iris is red. The female and 
young are modestly clothed in gi"ays and dull white, with slight iridescence on some of the feathers. 

In the proper season, and when fed upon good food, the flesh of the Wood Duck is hardly 
excelled by the Canvas-back, Red-head, or Teal. With such an exceptional combination of characters it 
is no wonder that he is so prized by the taxidermist, who stuffs him for the library stand, and by the 
epicure, who has performed upon him the same ceremony for the dining-room table. But in spite of the 
collector and the sportsman the Wood Duck is still moderately plentiful in certain sections of the State. 
Unlike some of its family the presence of man does not disturb it, in fact it rather courts his shelter 
and protection, and delights in his harvests. When taken young it readily adapts itself to the environment 
of the poultry-ycii'd, and when properly cared for may be domesticated successfully. In the wild state the 
birds begin mating in -March; the large flocks which have but just returned from the south are thus 
broken up, and by April they are seen principally in pairs. About the first of June the little Ducks 
break the shell which confines them, and from this time on to August they demand the care of their 
parents. If the nest is situated so that the Ducklings can climb out they leave it as soon as they are 
two or three days old, by jumping to the ground or water beneath; but if the nest is in a cavity so 
deep that they can not climb to the exit, or if unwilling to leave of their own accord, the most curious 
thing in the life-history of the Wood Duck occurs. The mother-bird appreciating the fact that they must 
leave such confined quarters, takes her downy brood in her bill, one at a time, and throws them out of 
the tree to alight the best they can. It is a very interesting sight to see an old Duck thus engaged in 
launching her young ones. The little fellows, as they obey the law of gravity, extend their legs and wings 
in an irregular and comical manner; now one turns a summersault, another spins around like a falling- 
autumn leaf, and still another, parachute like, descends with a sailing motion, all striking with a soft thud 
if upon ground, or a sharp splash if in water, and as if the breath was entirely knocked out of them, 
remain quiet a moment upon the rippled surface. Soon they recover from the shock and boldly strike 
out with their paddles as if delighted with the qualities of H 2) and thankful to be released from their 
previous home at any price. I have heard it related that the mother bird sometimes carries the little 
ones in her bill to the ground instead of throwing them out as mentioned, and I believe the statement 
is true. 

Often long journeys are made by water or land to some favorite pond; in which case the Ducklings 
swim or waddle over fields and through woods to their destination. In making these trips, the mother 
selects a well covered route and often leads the way on wing, flying some distance in advance, then 
returning and repeating; thus keeping the little ones on line of march by uttering low, motherly tones. 

Born with an insatiable appetite, with a vacancy within which they vainly endeavor to fill, they spend 
-the first few weeks of their existence chiefly in eating and drinking. Their food consists of snails, roots, 
seeds, leaves of various aquatic plants, worms, and such insects as they can catch, mixed in various 
proportions. Like tame Ducks and chickens, they soon learn to hunt for themselves, yet they are largely 
dependent upon their mother, and she in turn is very solicitous for their welfare. At the age of two 
months they arrive at the period designated "Whippers." At this time they are nearly full-grown, and 
excepting wings and tail are full-feathered. Whippers were formerly taken by thousands, and in certain 
sections still are captured in considerable numbers. The method of taking them is as follows: A small 


pond known to be the home of a few flocks of young Ducks is visited by two or three men with one or 
more dogs, either pointers or setters, and beginning at one end they raid the premises, splashing and 
beating the lilies and wild grass which conceal much of the surface of the water. This greatly frightens 
the young Ducks, causing them to leave the water and hide in the thick grass which abounds around the 
border of the pond. Having gone over as much space as desired, the dogs are taken into the vegetation 
along the shore and commanded to hunt. A point is soon made and the hiding Duckling, scared half to 
death, is picked up from under the dog's nose and killed. Point after point is made in quick succession, 
and Duck after Duck is added to the bag. A retriever properly trained will pick them out from their 
concealment and deliver them in his mouth to his master. Two men and two o-ood doss can take a 
great many Whippers in this way in July and August, but no one but the veriest pot-hunter would resort 
to such means. The true sportsman is content to wait for the full growth of the wing feathers, for the 
beautiful fall months of September and October. At this time the birds are strong, vigorous flyers, having 
for some weeks practiced daily the use of their pinions. As soon as old enough for successful flight, they 
leave the pond in which they were reared, early in the morning, under the guidance of their parents or 
parent, to feed upon wheat in a neighboring field, and having finished their repast instead of returning 
to the pond, they frequent some river or creek in the vicinity, where they amuse themselves in shady 
nooks upon an overhanging branch or half submerged log, or by paddling about in a sleepy manner. 
About one or two o'clock in the afternoon they again visit the wheat stacks, but soon return to the delightful 
shade of the river. Again in the evening they betake themselves to their feeding grounds; at this time 
the largest meal of the day is devoured. If unmolested they eat voraciously until sundown, when they are 
literally stuffed with wheat and ready to return to the pond left in the morning. Day after day the family 
run through this routine of life, each day extending their journey and seeking new feeding grounds as the 
old become dangerous or exhausted, until destroyed by the hunter or driven south by the cold. 

It is in September that the finest shooting is afforded. Early in the season, before they have been 
frightened much by the hunter, they come into the ponds in large flocks, fat, delicious young birds, with 
crops packed with wheat, or sweet acorns, contented, perhaps even happy, they come leisurely sailing 
into the roost. But a fatal surprise is in wait for them, several hunters are concealed in the tall grass, 
and before the Ducks are aware of danger the death dealing sixes from several guns along the line have 
decimated their number and frightened the uninjured so that the flock is broken, perhaps for the first 
time. Dazed, terror-stricken, they, singly and in pairs, fly about the pond seeking to alight or to reform 
into a flock. It is now that the best shooting is obtained. The sun has already gone down, but there 
is a delightful twilight, a clear soft yellow-red tint illumines the whole western sky, and upon this back- 
ground the gunner can shoot until the east is totally dark. 

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! echoes along the pond, and again and again in rapid succession 
the guns are discharged, until the barrels fairly burn the hands that hold them. Twilight is fast fading 
into night, but the Ducks increase in numbers with the darkness, and fly so close you can almost strike 
them with the gun, too close to shoot, they may alight right at your feet and refuse to be walked up. With 
the departing ray of twilight the last Ducks settle, and now all is still and quiet. You give attention to 
your retriever, good dog, you had entirely forgotten him in the excitement of the past few minutes, but 
he has done his work and has deposited near by a goodly number of Ducks, others lie dead in marked 
S£>ots, but the thick cover, the soft mud, and mossy water reaching to your waist, together with the 
darkness forbid your hunting, so pocketing the retrieved birds you slowly pick your way to shore. 

This is called sport. The men engaged in it are called " sportsmen." And I have considered myself 
as one enjoying the former as well as belonging to the latter, still there is no denial, it is downright 
cruelty, premeditated — Duck murder, 


Plate LXII. 

Fig. 4. ANAS BOSCAS-Mallard. 

The Mallard, or Green-head, as it is commonly called, is found chiefly during the period of its 
migration : in the spring, from February to April, and in the fall, from September to December, but at no 
time is it entirely absent, A few ordinarily winter in Central and Southern Ohio; and in the northern part 
of the State some remain every summer and rear their young. The nest is built in May or June, and but one 
brood is reared during the season. 


Any quiet, marshy place, thickly overgrown with reeds and grasses, may be selected as the site of the 
nest. Open water is usually near by, and generally the drier ground along the edge of the marsh is covered 
with large and small trees. A friend found in his orchard a female Mallard sitting upon six eggs. The 
nest was in the grass, beside a stump, several hundred yards from a small stream with marshy edges, 


The nest is concealed from view by being placed in a clump of grass or reeds, and rests upon the 
ground or upon the old vegetation which covers the site. 


Coarse stalks of reeds and grasses compose the foundation of the nest, and upon these are placed 
softer blades of grass and reeds, intermixed perhaps with feathers from the mother-bird, or other soft 
materials. The whole is a rough affair, and has about it little of character or interest. 


The female lays from six to ten eggs, almost identical in appearance to the eggs of the tame Mal- 
lard. The shell is smooth and oily to the touch, greenish-white or brownish in color, and elliptical in 
shape. They measure in long-diameter from 2.12 to 2.30 inches, and in short-diameter from 1.68 to 1.72. 
A common size is about 2.25x1.70. 


At the present time but three Ducks can be positively placed upon the list of summer residents : 
the Mallard, the Wood Duck, and the Blue-winged Teal. Other Ducks probably breed within the limit 
of the State, but I can obtain no certain evidence of the fact. The Black Mallard, the Widgeon, the 
Gadwall, the Shoveller, the Lesser Black-head, the Merganser, and the Hooded Merganser, are designated 
by Dr. Wheaton, in "Ohio Geological Survey," Volume IV, as rare or probable summer residents in 
Northern Ohio. The eggs of the three species mentioned as positive summer residents are quite different 


in size, and by this alone may be readily distinguished from each other. That of the Mallard is the 
largest, measuring about 2.25x1.72; next, the egg of Wood Duck, about 1.90x1.50; and last, that of 
the ^Blue-winged Teal, measuring about 1.85x1.30 inches. The Teal's eggs are decidedly buff tinted 
the Wood Duck's less so, while the Mallard's arc usually greenish or brownish in color. 


The three eggs illustrated, Fig. 4, Plate LXII, are part of a set of seven taken in Ottawa county, 
in 1879. The coloring is that of blown specimens about five years old, but as they fade but little it is 
sufficiently near in tint to the fresh eggs. 

With the exception of the Wood Duck, the Mallard is the handsomest of all the Ducks that are 
found in Ohio, or even our entire continent ; and were not the old adage true, that familiarity breeds 
contempt, "would be considered much more beautiful than it is at present. Let any one observe for a 
short time a full plumaged drake, how proudly he stands among his soberly attired companions, for he 
is no believer in furbelows and gewgaws of fancy colors as ornaments to the female form. For himself 
on the contrary, nothing can be too fine, provided always it is in good taste, for he is not of the common 
herd. Now see him change his position and pose upon one leg — even this is a feat not gracefully 
performed by every one — while he turns slightly to one side his metallic-green head. Now he lovingly 
strokes the feathers upon his beautiful back, and wriggles from side to side the jaunty curled feathers 
of his tail. Now he stretches his gorgeous wing to its full extent along his orange-colored leg and foot 
twisting and bending it till in turn each part sparkles in the sunlight as if set in costly gems. "Awkward 
as a Duck." Nonsense! In repose or upon his native element there is not among Nature's store a 
more graceful bird. He rivals the Peacock in his plumage, and outdoes him in the way he wears it. 
The one is a vulgar upstart, the other an elegant gentleman. 

The Mallard is without doubt the progenitor of our common domestic Duck, but when or where it 
was first domesticated is never to be answered. So far as we know the domesticated Duck was a stranger 
to the Greeks and Romans as late as the Christian era, but the Egyptians were certainly familiar with 
it; and it is a well established fact that the Chinese have reared and cultivated Ducks from time 
immemorable. The Chinese Duck is not however our Mallard, consequently our domestic Mallard did 
not come from this eastern stock, or if it did it has lost its old characteristics by mingling with the 
wild Mallard. It is much simpler and more probable to suppose that our tame Ducks descended from 
the wild Mallard. Cultivation would change their plumage and size some, and intermixing with Eastern 
stock would change them still more. All through the country are to be seen tame Ducks almost exactly 
like the Mallard in size and plumage, and knowing that the wild bird is easily domesticated I see no 
reason to go farther for the origin of our tame Mallards. 









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Plate LXIII. 

Fig. 1. AOGIPITER FUSCUS.-Sharpshimied Hawk. 

In Middle and Southern Ohio the Sharp-shinned Hawk is not common, indeed it is almost rare; but in 
Northern Ohio it is said to be a frequent resident. Dr. Kirtland and Mr. Read wrote of it as a common 
species about Cleveland. Where found it is probably a permanent resident. It builds in April or May. 


Usually the nest is placed in the fork of a tree in dense woods, preferably pine woods, near a stream ; 
but in the absence of evergreens, scrubby oaks are chosen. Occasionally the nest is placed in a cavity 
similar to the Sparrow Hawk's, or even upon the ledge of a rock overhanging a lake or river. 


When situated in a fork the nest is generally close to the main trunk and is supported like the 
nest of the Crow. When in a hollow limb it rests upon the floor of the cavity; when upon a rock it 
is in a concavity upon a horizontal surface. Mr. Audubon found a nest of this species in a hole in the 
rocks along the bank of the Ohio river, certainly an exceptional position. 

If built in a fork of a tree its distance from the ground may be as little as eight feet, or as much 
as fifty feet. If upon a rock it may be high above the bottom of the declivity. 


Mr. Kennicott found a nest at Fort Resolution composed entirely of fine spruce twigs and a few bits 
of the outer bark of the spruce, the latter being placed in the bottom of the cavity for a lining. One of the 
three nests mentioned by Audubon was in a rock cavity; this was but a slight affair, composed of a few sticks 
and some grasses carelessly put together. The second was in a hollow limb; the eggs rested upon the 
wood, no materials having been used. The third was in the fork of an oak, it was an elaborate affair 
not quite finished. A pair of Sharp-shinned Hawks observed by Mr. William Street, of Easthampton, 
deserted their nest after having their eggs stolen, and layed four more eggs, one every third day, in an 
old squirrel's nest. I have seen but one nest of this species. It was in the fork of a small oak, about 
twelve feet from the ground, in a dense wood two hundred yards from the Scioto river. It was composed 
entirely of sticks and leaves, the sticks were used as foundation and superstructure, the largest being 
used first, and the leaves lined the slight cavity formed by them. In diameter it was about twenty inches, 
though too irregular to be accurately measured. Nests are said to be occasionally well lined with feathers, 
moss, and other soft materials. 


The number of eggs in a set varies from three to five, but four is the commonest number. They are 


nearly spherical, measuring from 1.12 to 1.18 in short-cliameter, and from 1.35 to 1.45 in long-diameter. 
A common size is about 1.14x1.40. The ground-color is faint greenish-blue, almost white. The markings 
consist of large irregular blotches, spots, lines, and speckles of various shades of brown. Three eggs before 
me are marked as follows: 1. About the middle of the shell a large band made up of irregular 
blotches encircle it. The colors of these blotches vary from yellowish-brown to sepia, the tints are nowhere 
distinct, but are blended and superposed ; the rest of the shell is spotted pretty thickly with Vandyke 
brown. A few deep shell-marks show neutral tint. 2. Three-fourths of the shell is faintly clouded with 
yellowish-brown blotches, and superposed upon these are spots, short lines, and speckles of darker brown. 
The intervening whitish places are likewise spotted and speckled. 3. About the base are a number of spots 
of faded brown, and diagonally across from a little beyond the middle of the shell to almost the point is 
a line an inch long of dark brown, at the point are blotches of neutral tint. Point and base have been 
spoken of, as a matter of fact the eggs are so near alike at their ends that it requires an accurate eye 
to determine the one from the other. 


The eggs of the Sharp-shinned Hawk are so characteristic in their markings that this feature, when 
taken with their size, is sufficient to identify them. The eggs of the Sparrow Hawk may be of the exact 
dimensions expected in the eggs of the species being considered, but their markings are so essentially 
different in color that they can never be mistaken, the one for the other. See page 214. 


Fig. 1, Plate, LXIII, represents three eggs of the Sharp-shinned Hawk, of the ordinary sizes, shapes, 
ground-color, and markings. They were taken the 3rd of May, 1881. The coloring shows them as they 
are to-da} r , I can not notice that the shades have faded any since the eggs were dried five years ago. 

The Sharp-shinned Hawk attracts the attention of the field ornithologist by the peculiarity of its 
flight. It propels itself through the air with a peculiarly quick, flapping movement of the wings, resembling 
not a little the motion of the Sparrow Hawk. The rapidity it attains is astonishing, it darts around and 
through bushes with the speed of an arrowy and like a dart carries destruction in its path. None of our 
Hawks are more rapacious; woe to the small bird that comes in its way. It seems unable to resist the 
temptation to destroy every little bird it espies, and almost before its unsuspecting victim is aware of 
danger the Hawk will whirl upon its prey and bear it off, a mass of quivering, suffering flesh, and flying 
feathers. A Sharp-shinned Hawk descending blindly and furiously upon its prey, broke through the glass 
of the green-house at the Cambridge Gardens, and still pursuing fearlessly passed through a second glass, 
and was only brought to a halt by a third glass partition. It was a little stunned, and its wing-feathers 
were so broken that the bird was caught. 

This Hawk is especially adapted for training by the falconer ; its boldness, cunning, light-weight, 
quickness of movement, and, above all, its docility and readiness to learn, give an indication of what 
might be expected of it if properly schooled. A bird of this species owned by a friend always reminded 
me of a trained bull-clog. In the wild state the Sharp-shinned Hawk sometimes attacks birds larger than 
itself, but the bird of my friend certainly outdid the record, by attacking a Great Blue Heron which 
was tied by one leg in the yard. 


Plate LXIII. 

Fig. 2. POD/LYMBUS PODICEPS -Thick-billed Grebe. 

The Thick-billed Grebe is the common Dabchick, Water-witch, Dipper, or Diver so frequently seen 
in the spring and fall along water-courses throughout the state. In the northern counties it is a common 
summer resident, while in the central and southern counties it is but occasionally seen during the breeding- 
season. It builds the latter part of May or the first of June. 


The nest is placed in a marsh, often considerable distance from land. The large lake marshes in 
the northern part of the state are the most frequented places. 


The nest is situated either in a bunch of saw-grass, or other grass or reeds, or is composed of a 
floating mass of material anchored in open water. Dr. Langdon observed a number of nests in the 
marshes of Ottawa county, in 1880. Writing of them in "Summer Birds of a Northern Ohio Marsh," he 
says: "As more or less doubt appears to prevail in regard to the building of floating nests by members 
of the Grebe family, I desire here to testify to the fact that the nest of the present species does float, 
notwithstanding the skeptical ' it is said ' of Dr. Coues, in his remarks on the nidification of the family." 


When the nest is situated in a bunch of grass, the blades are matted against the earth, and on top 
a little well selected material is added as a sort of lining. If the nest is a floating one, a clump of 
grass or other detached vegetation is taken as a nucleus, and the birds add to this moss, mud, blades 
of grass, and reeds until it reaches sufficient dimensions. The part above water is chiefly mud and 
grass. Dr. Langdon, in the same article quoted from above, says: "The little floating island, of decay- 
ing vegetation held together by mud and moss, w 7 hieh constitutes the nest of this species, is a veritable 
ornithological curiosity. Imagine a * pancake' of what appears to be mud, measuring twelve or fifteen 
inches in diameter, and rising two or three inches above the water, which may be from one to three feet 
in depth; anchor it to the bottom with a few concealed blades of saw-grass, in a little open bay, leaving 
its circumference entirely free) remove a mass of wet muck from its rounded top and you expose seven or 
eight soiled brownish-white eggs, resting in a depi*ession the bottom of which is less than an inch from 
the water; the whole mass is constantly damp. This is the nest of the Dabchick, who is out foraging 
in the marsh, or perhaps is anxiously watching us from some safe cover near by. 

"The anchoring blades of coarse saw-grass or flags, being always longer than is necessary to reach 
the bottom, permit of considerable lateral and vertical movement of the nest, and so effectually provide 
against drowning of the eggs by any ordinary rise in the water-level such as frequently occurs during 


the prevalence of strong easterly winds on the lake. A small bunch of saw-grass already growing in a 
suitable situation is evidently selected as a nucleus for the nest, and the tops bent so as to form a part 
of it. 

"During the day we invariably found the eggs concealed by a covering of muck as above described, 
but, as we ascertained by repeated visits at night and in the early morning, they are uncovered at dusk 
by the bird, who incubates them until the morning sun relieves her of her task. 

" The above description applies equally well to any of the six nests observed by us, and to the 
dozens observed by Mr. Porter at the same locality, during the past four or five years; he notes, however, 
a few instances in which the nest instead of being entirely free at its circumference, as above described, 
was held in place by the surrounding 'deer-tongue.'" 


The complement of eggs varies from five to eight, seven being the usual number. They measure in 
long-diameter from 1.70 to 1.80, and in short diameter from 1.10 to 1.20 inches. A common size is 1.18 
xl.73. The shell is smooth for the size of the egg, and frequently has round, slightly raised, warty 
prominences upon it. In color it varies from greenish-milk-white to a yellowish-brown. One egg before 
me is decidedly olive in coloi*, but this tint is very superficial as a little acid at once exposes the milk- 
white shell beneath. The cro when taken from the nest are often covered with mud so that it is 
necessary to clean them before the true tint of the shell can be discerned. 


See Horned Grebe, page 261. 


The three eggs figured Plate LXIII, Fig. 2, were selected from two sets of six and seven respectively, 
taken in Ottaw T a county in 1882. They show the common sizes, shapes, and colors of the eggs of the 
Thick-billed Grebe. Every boy is familiar with the Dipper, and every one who carries a gun has 
sought in vain to shoot the little diver before it could disappear under the water. Although common 
enough in all streams in the spring and fall, and often remaining about some favorite spring when all 
surrounding water is frozen over, yet few persons encounter the birds in the summer south of the lake 
marshes. The following is from page 497 of "North American Birds," by C. J. Maynard: 

"The Pied-billed Grebe is one of the best known species of the genus, as it is remarkably 
common, especially during migrations, throughout our section. They winter from the Carolinas, 
southward, but are particuliarly common in Florida at this season, where, perhaps, a few remain to breed. 
As do all the members of the family, the Pied-billed Grebe places its nest on a mass of floating debris 
in some quiet, reedy cove of a pond or river, depositing the eggs early in June. The young follow their 
parents as soon as hatched and are cared for by them with great assiduity. All the Grebes possess the 
power of inflating the space between the skin and body, and thus they can ride lightly on the water, or 
by contracting the- skin and feathers, are enabled to sink slowly beneath the surface, often swimming 
with only the head exposed; or, they will remain hidden in the reeds, with the bill alone projecting." 


Plate LXIII. 

Fig. 3. GUPIDONIA GUP/DO -Prairie Hen. 

The Prairie Hen, or Pinnated Grouse, like the Wild Turkey, is almost exterminated. In the early 
settlement of Ohio it was by no means a rare resident in the neighborhood of Sancluskv, and even to-clav 
a few still remain in the most unfrequented stretches of prairie land. Dr. Wheaton, writing of this 
species, says, page 4-16, Vol. IV, "Geological Survey of Ohio:" "Rare resident in Northwestern and 
Central Ohio. Probably breeds. ... A male Pinnated Grouse was killed by a gunner seven miles 
west of Columbus, November 16th, 1878. By the kindness of Mr. A. B. Stevenson, who purchased .the 
bird, the skin is now in my collection. As long ago as 1838, Dr. Kirtland wrote: 'The Prairie Hen is 
found in considerable numbers in the northwestern parts of the State.' It is now very rare, though a 
few remain in the vicinity of Toledo, and in Erie, Ottawa, Crawford, and Marion counties. ... I 
learn that they also remain in- Wyandot county, and in the vicinity of Venice, Sandusky county, though 
in very limited numbers ; and perhaps on less reliable authority that they have been seen in Fairfield and 
Pickaway counties. It seems not impossible that they may be now on the increase after having once 
been nearly exterminated or driven from the State." 

Having never found the nest of this Grouse, and having no record of its time of nesting in Ohio, nor 
any particulars in regard to its breeding habits, I have been compelled to compile the following from 
observations made in the Western States, where these birds are still quite plentiful. The nest is built 
the last of April or the first of May; but one brood being generally reared by a single pair during the 


Tall grass in open prairie is usually selected for the site of the nest. 


It is carelessly placed upon the ground or upon the dead vegetation covering the site, either in a 
tuft of grass or at the foot of a small bush. 


Dried grasses, leaves, and straws interwoven and matted together compose the bulk of the nest. 


The complement of eggs varies from eight to twelve. They measure from 1.65 to 1.75 in long-diameter, 
and from 1.20 to 1.30 in short-diameter. The ground-color of shell varies from a light clay-color to a 
rather dark, brownish olive-green; some eggs are almost unmarked, others are uniformally speckled, more 
or less plentifully with brown. They are said to be incubated in twenty days. 



The eggs under consideration are so characteristic in size, shape, ground-color, and markings, that 
identification is easy. When compared with the eggs of the Ruffed Grouse, they are seen to be larger, 
darker in ground-color, and generally more or less speckled; differences which are material and striking. 


The three eggs illustrated, Fig. 3, Plate LXIII, were taken in Indian Territory. They are said 
to represent the average sizes, shapes, ground-colors, and markings. 

The following is copied from "North American Birds," page 444. "The young broods when come 
upon suddenly and taken by surprise, instantly scatter and squat close to the ground, so that, without 
a dog, it is impossible to find them. The mother gives a single loud chuck as a signal of danger, and 
the young birds rise on the wing and fly a few yards in different directions, and then keep themselves 
perfectly still and quiet until the mother recalls them by a signal, indicating that the peril has passed. 
In the meanwhile she resorts to various devices to draw the intruder away from the place. 

" The Pinnated Grouse is said to be easily tamed, and may be readily domesticated, though I do 
not know that the experiment has been thoroughly tried. Mr. Audubon once kept sixty of them in a 
garden near Henderson, Kentucky. Within a week they became tame enough to allow him to approach 
them without being frightened. lie supplied them with abundance of corn and other food. In the course 
of the winter they became so gentle as to feed from his hand, and walked about his garden like so 
many tame fowl, mingling occasionally with the poultry. In the spring they strutted, * tootted,' and 
fought as if in their wild state. Many eggs were deposited, and a number of young buxls were hatched 
out; but they proved so destructive to the vegetables that the experiment was given up and the Grouse 
were killed. The male birds were conspicuous for their courage, and would engage in contest with the 
Turkey cocks, and even with the dunghill cock, rather than yield the ground." 

260 . 

Plate LXIII. 

Fig. 4. DYJES AURITUS-Horned Grebe. 

The Horned Grebe is quite common on some of our ponds and rivers, making its appearance early 
in the spring. Few. however, remain to build nests, preferring more northern waters. In the fall it is 
again common. In Western New York it is one of the first migratory birds to be seen on the small 
lakes with which that section of country abounds. I have several times found in the Montezuma 
marshes, in June, nests containing fresh eggs. Audubon says it breeds in Northern Ohio, and Dr. 
Langdon speaks of two supposed nests of this bird from Ottawa County. 


Like all the Grebes, this bird during the breeding season confines itself to the marshes, seldom, at 
this time, being seen far from shore. It prefers some pond with reedy borders, though no doubt building 
also along the river bottoms. Nests which I have found at the foot of Cayuga Lake, Central New York, 
were invariably some distance within the marsh and always not far from the edge of some quiet pool of 


The nest is generally found floating upon the surface of the water, or at least the nest proper is 
placed upon some floating mass of dead reed-stalks, roots, etc, and is extremely difficult to find, owing 
to the habit the birds have of covering up their eggs whenever they leave the nest, so that one may 
pass within a few feet of it without seeing more than a mass of floating debris. I once actually sat down 
upon a nest of this bird ; it was placed upon a rather large amount of floating rubbish and completely 
covered over, there being not the slightest indication of a nest visible, for I examined the mass carefully 
to see if it was likely to bear my weight. I did not discover my mistake until the seat began to sink 
with me, when, getting up rather hastily, I disturbed the covering enough to expose the eggs, three in 
number, but two of them quite naturally Avere broken. 


The nest has little of interest so far as materials of construction are concerned, as it is only a heap 
of reeds, grass, and such coarse vegetable material as is common to the locality. The whole forms a 
rude mass, always water-soaked and looking like the conventional " last year's bird's nest." 


There seems to be some discrepancy among authors as to the number of eggs this bird is in the 
habit of laying. Mr. Maynard says from four to six is the complement, this I think is too many. Dr. 
Langdon is inclined to the opinion that two eggs make a full set, this I am sure is too few. According 


to my observation either three or four eggs constitute a full set, three being the commonest number. 
They are long and pointed in outline, measuring from 1.75 to 1.95 in long-diameter, and from 1.16 to 
1.19 in short-diameter. A common size is about 1.18x1.90. The shell is moderately rough, and greenish- 
yellow in tint. It is unmarked except occasionally by a few dots of neutral tint, barring of course the 
stains of mud and of wet vegetation. 


But two species of Grebes have been positively identified as summer residents of Ohio — the Thick- 
billed Grebe and the Horned Grebe. Their nests and eggs are very similar, but I believe it is generally 
possible to tell, by careful measurements of the eggs and inspection of the tints of the shell, to which 
species a given nest and eggs belong. 


The eggs illustrated, Fig. 4, Palte LXIII, were selected from three sets, one of which came from 
Ottawa County, the remaining two from New York State. They show the common sizes, shapes, and 
tints of shell. 

This odd little bird is familiar to most boys living in the neighborhood of a pond, lake, or stream, 
but usually is not distinguished by them from the Thick-billed Grebe. ■ It has the same faculty of disap- 
pearing beneath the surface of the water when fired at or frightened in any way, and the same power 
of inflating itself with air, thus riding lightly on the water or by contracting its skin and feathers sinking 
at will to any desired depth. I have repeatedly shot at them, both with rifle and shot-gun, when they 
were watching me, and often at quite close range, yet they invariably disappear before the shot strikes 
the water. There is a common impression that these birds never take wing, in fact that they are unable 
to flv, this is of course an error. I have often killed them when on the wins:, and even forced them to 
rise from the water, which they do with comparative ease, flying with considerable rapidity when once 
fully under headway. 

Dr. Lano-don, of Cincinnati, found a few years since in the Ottawa Countv marshes, a number of 
nests which he believes were the property of the Horned Grebe, the birds themselves he was never able 
to find upon the nests. He says: "These eggs are chalky-white, with a faint though definite tinge of 
pale bluish-green, much like the tint of the Least Bittern's egg, and very unlike the pale whitey-brown 
of the eggs of P. podiceps observed by us; they are also more elongated in shape than the ordinary egg 
of P. podiceps, and taper nearly equally toward both ends, which are decidedly pointed, rather more so 
than the eggs of P. podiceps; another important point of distinction is the number in a full set which 
is apparently but tAVo, the complement of P. podiceps being from four to eight. That our sets were probably 
full is indicated by the fact that one of them contained fully developed young, which swam, and even 

attempted to dive, on being placed in water after removal from the egg, they presented 

slight, but constant differences in the head and neck markings, and the size of the bill, as compared 
with the young of P. podiceps, obtained in the same manner, those supposed to be P. comutus being 
smaller, with more slender bills, less blotching about the head and neck, and none in the median line 
of the throat." In regard to the complement of eggs, it may be remarked, that the nests referred 
to above were taken in July. This makes it probable that they were all second sets ; hence, the small 
number of e<2*°;s in each. 


Plate LXIII. 

Fig. 5. BARJRAMIA LONGICAUDA-Baviram's Sandpiper. 

The Bertram's Sandpiper, or Upland Plover, is often met with in large numbers during the migratory 
time in spring and fall, and in the summer time it is by no means rare, though not near so common 
as some Ohio authors have stated it to be. 

It nests in May or June, rearing but a single brood during the season. 


. Upland fields of clover, grass, or wheat, in the neighborhood of a pond or marshy piece of land 
are usually selected by these birds for their summer home. I have found them most frequently in 
clover fields adjoining the Ohio canal. 


The nest rests upon the ground in a little depression and is concealed by the vegetation surrounding 
it. Frequently an open space a foot or two in diameter and almost free from any living thing is the 
chosen site. 


A few blades of grass or stalks of clover or wheat are carelessly placed in the depression after it 
has been properly cleared by the bird, and upon this as a suitable resting place the mother-bird lays 
her eggs. There is not enough of the nest to give it any importance or character. 


The complement of eggs consists of three or four, usually the latter number. The} r are quite blunt 
at one end and pointed at the other. In long-diameter they measure from 1.75 to 1.90; and in short- 
diameter, from 1.25 to 1.38. A common size is about 1.30x1.85. The ground-color of the shell varies 
in different specimens from light drab to yellowish-brown. A little Vandyke-brown and raw sienna gives 
the ordinary tint. The markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles, distributed in various proportions 
over the entire shell. Some eggs contain a number of bold blotches, others are entirely speckled, but 
whatever the combination of blotches, spots, and speckles, the shell is pretty uniformly covered. The 
surface marks are usually Vandyke-brown, laid on boldly and distinctly. The deep shell marks appear 
Pa}^ne's grey or neutral tint, and are seldom abundant. 


The size and shape of the eggs under consideration are sufficient to identify them, as they are 
considerably larger than any other eggs which bear a close resemblance in shell tints and markings. 



Fig. 5, Plate LXIII, represents three eggs of the Bartram's Sandpiper, found near Circleville in 1880 
and 1882. They have been selected from three sets as representative in size, shape, ground-color, and 

About Circleville the Bartram's Sandpiper nests in certain localities every year. It is by no means 
difficult to find a field containing a pair or two of these birds, but to find their nest is an entirely 
different matter. I have spent hours and days looking for it, and have resorted to all manner of devices 
to discover it, but have invariably failed, until accident came to my relief. As soon as a pair of these 
birds have reason to suspect that you are about their premises for no good purpose, they begin to mislead 
you from their nest. If you are in the opposite side of the field from their treasure they wheel and 
circle about your head as if you were about to tramp on it. Now the male perches upon some adjoining 
fence post and you almost forget about his nest in watching his performance. He will balance himself 
upon his toes, and, with extended wings, utter a mellow thrilling note that is incomparable. Now he bows 
and gesticulates with his wings. Now he straightens up and draws his feathers close till he appears 
but half his former size, and observes you as if frightened. About the time you think he is really 
scared he comes at you in a fury, and then perhaps alights closer by, as if to assure you the whole thing 
is a hoax. When on the ground the female stealthily steps through the grass, peering on every side 
with her black eyes; and with young ones following after, she always reminds me of a poor old Turkey 
hen with her brood. This Plover, during the mating and nesting season, is very fond of perching upon 
a fence post or tree top, and uttering a loud pleasing whistle, interspersed now and then with the tremulous 
scream referred to above. Both notes are very pleasing and weird, and on a still day in May or June 
form a fitting accompaniment to the dreamy thoughts of the ornithologist, as stretched upon the sod 
under the shade of some friendly tree, he rests his weary limbs. When disturbed near her nest or with 
young the female feigns lameness, and resorts to the many other tricks so often related of birds to draw 
attention to themselves instead of having it bestowed upon their eggs or little ones. 







' k-SS 









Plate LXIV. 


Fig, h PIOUS VILLOSUS-Hairy Woodpecker. 

The Hairy Woodpecker is not a very common summer resident, though at times in late spring it 
is quite numerous. In the fall also it is more plentiful than in summer, and even in the coldest winter 
weather a few are usually to be seen about orchards or town trees. The nest is made in May or early 
in June, and but a single brood is generally reai'ed during the season. 


The nest of this species is commonly built in an orchard or about the edge of woods, but sometimes 
it is found in a shade tree in an open field or near a farm-house, or even in a gate-post or fence-post- 
Being less shy than others of the family a pair of these birds occasionally come into a large town and 
go to house-keeping in some dead branch of a tree growing on the most frequented thoroughfare. The 
Downy Woodpecker also comes into town to nest, but not as frequently as the Hairy Woodpecker 
considering the relative abundance of the two. 


The nest consists of an excavation in wood, generally, if not always dead wood, at various heights 
from the ground according to the locality. It may be in the perpendicular trunk of a tree or in a 
horizontally inclined limb. If in the latter situation, the entrance is on the under side of the branch. 
The usual distance from the ground is between ten and twenty feet, but it often is much lower, or even 
in the topmost branch of suitable size of the tallest forest tree. 


No materials are carried into the cavity, the fine chips made during the excavating being considered 
sufficiently soft for the eggs to rest upon. The same general plan of carpenter work is adopted by this 
Woodpecker as by the Downy Woodpecker, heretofore described, but upon a larger scale. The diameter 
of the entrance is about two inches. This extends horizontally four to eight inches, and then turns nearly 
at right angles and is enlarged to two and one-half to three inches in diameter and continues to the 
depth of ten to twenty inches. Sometimes, though rarely, a natural cavity is chosen for the home, in 
this case the birds are not particular about proportions. 


The complement of eggs varies from four to six, five is probably the most frequent number. They 
are pure, pearly white, like all eggs of the family, and about the same shape. They measure 
from .87 to 1.05 in long-diameter, and from .68 to .75 in short-diameter. A common size is about 
.69 x 1.00 inch. 



See Red-bellied Woodpecker. 


Plate LXIV, Fig. 1, shows three eggs of the Hairy Woodpecker; they are of the common sizes 
and shapes. On account of the slight difference, except in size, between the nest under consideration 
and that of the Downy Woodpecker, it has not seemed necessary to figure but the one. 

In regard to the general habits of this species not much need be said. It is one of the most widely 
distributed species and is subject to innumerable local variations of plumage. Audubon encountered it 
wherever he went as did also Wilson. While not numerous in Ohio during the summer, yet a few are 
to be met with in every part of the State. It seldom associates with other birds, and always appears 
busy and dignified. It feeds chiefly upon insect food, much of which it procures by probing the crevices 
of the bark of trees, and by excavating into small cavities which contain eggs or larvae; on this account it 
has been called the " Sapsucker." While this name is certainly misapplied, it is no more incorrect than 
the majority of common and scientific (?) names which are attached to objects in natural history. 


Plate LXIV. 

Fig. 2. CENTURUS CAROLINUS— Red-bellied Woodpecker. 

The Red-bellied Woodpecker, or Chow Chow as the country boys call this bird, is frequently seen in 
Central Ohio in the fall, winter, and spring, but I have never been able to find its nest. Dr. Langdon speaks 
of the species as a common resident near Madisonville, and Dr. Wheaton says, "common resident, breeds." 
He further adds: "Mr. Kirkpatrick, as the result of his observations near Cleveland, suggests that it 
may be a summer resident only in Northern Ohio, which would account for their greater abundance, 
apparently in other parts of the State in winter." There is no question about it being a resident north, of 
the dividing line, and it is probable that occasionally a pair-may nest in even the extreme southern part 
of the State. It seems singular, that a bird so decidedly southern should be with us in the colder 
months and almost absent, except in the coolest part of the State, during the summer. One would 
naturally expect that from the distribution of the species, that if found breeding at all it would be in 
the southern counties, and I am entirely unable to explain why this is not the case. 

The nest is built in May, and but a single brood is reared. 


This species is probably the most retiring of the family, preferring dense, tall timber to the more 
open wood frequented by the Red-headed Woodpecker and others, and its nest is generally made in a 
large dead tree about the outskirts of such timberland. Some writers state that it generally excavates 
its nest in living wood, some, that it selects a hollow limb and bores an entrance to it, others, that it 
usually selects a dead trunk and penetrates it near a limb, but all agree that it prefers a secluded 
locality. Occasionally a pair departs from the ordinary custom and builds a home in an orchard tree, 
or shade tree in a country lawn. I have never seen the species in town, even in the fall. 


The nest is high up as a rule, forty or fifty feet from the ground, and is located in a perpendicular trunk 
or in a limb forming an angle with the horizon. In the latter position the opening is always on the underside. 


No materials are carried into the excavation, a few fine chips being left in the bottom for the eggs 
to rest upon. According to Maynard, the diameter of the entrance is two inches ; beyond the turn the 
cavity becomes gourd-shaped, its greatest diameter being about five inches, and its depth about fourteen 
inches. If there is as much variation in the size of the excavation as there is in nests of others of the 
family, the above dimensions will vary somewhat for every nest. The most constant part of any 
Woodpecker's nest is the size of the entrance. This seldom varies for a given species more than one-eighth 
of an inch from a fixed diameter. 



The complement of eggs is four or five. They are pure, pearly white, with a fine polish, and 
measure from .90 to 1.00 in long-diameter, by from .70 to .78 in short-diameter. A common size is about 
.72 x .95. Maynard gives the dimensions as follows: "1.04 x .80 to .95 x .75." "North American Birds" 
says: "The eggs vary from an oblong to a somewhat rounded oval shape, are of a bright crystalline 
whiteness, and their measurements average 1.02 inches in length by .88 of an inch in breadth." 


The eggs of the five Woodpeckers known to be summer residents differ from each other only in 
size and shape. All are pure white, and almost all have highly polished, pearly shells. The largest are 
the eggs of the Golden- winged Woodpeckei', the smallest those of the Downy Woodpecker. In the 
following list they occur according to their size: 

C. auratus — long-diameter, .93 to 1.19; short-diameter, .79 to .90. 

M. erythrocephalus— " .90 to 1.10; " .70 to .85. 

C. carolinus— " .90 to 1.00; " .70 to .78. 

p. villosus— " .87 to 1.05; " .68 to .75. 

P. pubescens— " .78 to .88; " .57 to .67. 

The Pileatecl Woodpecker is possibly a summer resident in certain sections of the State, but I have 
been unable to obtain an undoubted record of its occurrence. 

It will be seen from the above dimensions that it is not possible to differentiate eggs of the first 
four species with any degree of certainty unless a large number of specimens are considered. 


Fig. 2, Plate LXIV, represents three eggs of the Red-bellied Woodpecker of the common sizes and 
shapes. They were selected for me from a number of sets in the possession of Mr. F. T. Jenks, of 
Providence, Pt, I. 

I frequently see this handsome Woodpecker along the country roads in Central Ohio, but never in 
the nesting season. It is always alone, and usually not very wild. I hope yet to be able to find its 
nest in Pickaway County, and thus add one more of the family to my local list. 


Plate LXIV. 


The Sora Rail, or Carolina Rail as it is more commonly called, begins to arrive from the south the 
last of March or first of April, and by the latter part of the last named month every piece of wet 
grass-land and reedy pond contains many representatives of this species. Suddenly late in May, about the 
time to expect them to begin building, they nearly all disappear from the southern and central portions 
of the State, but in the northern marshes they still remain in large numbers and are soon busily engaged 
with the cares of nidification. They raise but a single brood during the season, and as soon as the young- 
are well able to fly, they begin their journey southward, arriving about Circleville in September and 
October, where, at this time, they again fairly swarm about all suitable swamps. As cold approaches 
they become less plentiful, but a few individuals often remain far into the winter months. 


As stated, the northern marshes are the great breeding grounds, but in other sections of the State a 
nest is sometimes built in a small pond, or even in an open field where a spring and some slight 
depression in the ground have combined to form a permanently moist spot. Such places the birds seem 
to like, although they may be of very small extent, probably they enjoy the open meadow around 


The nest is either placed upon the ground, or upon some rubbish, the top of which is slightly above 
the water level, with but little effort at concealment. 


At best the nest is a poor affair, loosely and poorly constructed, but considering the fact that the 
vouns run about as soon as hatched, it is sufficient. It is composed of grasses, weeds, strips of flags, 
rushes, and such other bits of vegetable material as come handy. It bears a close resemblance to the 
other aquatic nests. 


The number of eggs in a set varies from six to ten. They measure in long-diameter from 1.20 to 
1.30 and in short-diameter from .80 to .90. A common size is .85 x 1.25. The ground-color of the shell 
is brown shading toward olive, or brownish-buff, and the markings consist of dark blotches, spots, and 
speckles of the same color. The markings are not very numerous and are well distributed over the 
shell. Deep shell-marks are often wanting, but when they occur, are of good size and bluish-gray in 



See Virginia Rail, page 275. 


he three eggs of the Carolina Rail figured on Plate LXIV, Fig. 3, were taken from a set of 
eight found in Ross County in 1879. They show the coloring after the lapse of six years. The nest 
was on the ground near a spring branch running through wet grass land. It was about eight inches in 
diameter, and rather bulky and well built for this species. 

The Carolina Rail is by far the .commonest of the five Rails that visit Ohio, and in the fall affords 
fair sport to some hunters. They fly slowly, and are about as easy to kill as butterflies, when the loads 
are proportioned to their bodies. The chief difficulty experienced by the gunner is in making them take 
wing, a thing which they avoid as much as possible, either by running through the weeds like mice, 
or by hiding like quail. A dog properly trained will flush enough birds, however, in an afternoon to 
afford fair shooting, provided of course the ground is such as to permit of a dog hunting at all. When 
forced to fly the Rail flutters along just above the tops of the weeds, hardly clearing the taller stems, 
and the chances are will tumble as if shot before far enough off for the hunter to shoot. If once flushed 
it is next to impossible to make them rise a second time, and they are such consummate adepts at hiding 
that I would about as soon look for a needle in a hay-stack as for a Rail in tall grass. Just before 
dusk they are much easier put on wing than at any other time during the day. Often while shooting 
Duck at dusk the report of the gun is sufficient to scare up dozens of Rail, and every few steps one is 
routed, when half an hour before you could with difficulty start a single bird. While waiting for the 
coming of Ducks, I have often been amused by the confiding nature of this Rail, and also by its curiosity. 
I have had them come up to me and peck my gum boots, and play with the gun barrel as a bantam 
rooster does when teased. One instance in particular I remember, I was having such sport playing with 
one of these birds that I refrained several times from shooting at Wood Duck. 

I have frequently captured them alive, and have kept them for months. They do well in confine- 
ment, soon becoming very tame. I kept one all winter some years ago, and fed it chiefly upon minnows. 
They are adept fishermen, resorting to the same tactics for their capture as do the Herons. 


Plate LXIV. 

Fig. 4. MIMUS POLYGLOTTUS-Mockingbird. 

The Mockingbird, although a southern species, occasionally breeds in Central and Southern Ohio. I 
have never found its nest but once, but I frequently hear of instances of its occurrence. It can safely 
be classed as a constant though rare summer resident. It arrives in April or May, and builds its nest 
the last of May or early in June, and probably with us rears but a single brood. 


In its favorite breeding grounds of the South, this species has acquired a liking for the habitations 
of man, and is to be found in greater abundance about dwellings than in dense woods. Even in the 
wilds of Florida, according to Maynard, it lives in " little hummocks and clumps of bushes that grow in the 
open pine barrens," rather than in thickly wooded sections. The pair which I observed in 1880, made 
their home in a little thicket of two or three acres, on the bluff bank of the Scioto river, four miles north 
of Circleville. A few large oak trees were still standing among the undergrowth and from the top of one 
of them, the male stood on guard and sang to his mate through most of the day. 


The nest is usually in a low tree or bush, its distance from the ground being from two or three feet to 
eight or ten feet. It is situated in a crotch or upon interlacing stems after the manner of the nest of the 
Wood Thrush or the Cardinal Redbird. 


The foundation and superstructure are composed of weed-stems, roots, straws, bits of leaves and 
pieces of twigs, in various proportions, the twigs generally predominating and forming the exterior, and 
the finer and more pliable material going to make the superstructure. The cavity is lined with small 
dark rootlets, or more rarely with weed-fibres, horse-hairs, strings, or such other soft material as is 
accessible. According to "Birds of North America," page 17, its external diameter is about 6.00 inches; 
internal diameter, 3.50 inches; external depth, 2.00 inches; internal, 1.50 inches. 

LGrGrb : 

The number of eggs in a set is usually four or five. The ground-color is pale greenish-blue, on 
some very faint, on others quite decided. The markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of brown- 
madder or reddish-brown. The deep shell-marks appear lilac. I have before me three eggs, representa- 
tive of the various styles of markings: No. 1. At smaller end, ground-color largely obscured by the 
confluence of four or five large surface blotches, around these are smaller blotches, and as the equator of 
the egg is approached the blotches give place to spots and the spots to speckles, so that the basal half 


of egg is unmarked except by speckles and deep shell-blotches. Speckles are also scattered over the 
smaller end, between and upon the blotches and spots. No. 2. At larger end are an abundance of 
blotches, occasionally confluent, about the size of the letter o of this type. The equator of egg is com- 
paratively free from blotches, but the smaller half is blotched quite abundantly. Between the blotches 
are spots and speckles, and occasionally deep shell-marks of lilac. ~No. 3. Pointed half entirely unmarked; 
basal half thickly speckled with reddish brown; no blotches or spots anywhere. The speckles, although 
covering the entire base, are so distributed that they form a wreath of almost solid color. The eggs vary 
in size from .87 to 1.00 in long-diameter, and from .69 to .79 in short-diameter. A common size is about 
.74 x .96 of an inch. 


Of the seven Thrushes known to build in Ohio, five lay blue or greenish-blue eggs, but they can 
generally be distinguished from each other by their size and tint. The nests of these species are more 
readily recognized than their eggs, being easily identified by their size and material of construction. The 
eggs of the remaining species, the Brown Thrush and the Mockingbird, are entirely different from each other 
and from the eggs of the other Thrushes, in fact the eggs of M. polyglottus are so distinctive in their 
ground-color and markings, that they bear little resemblance to any other Ohio eggs of the same size. 


Fig. 4, Plate LXIV, represents three eggs of the Mockingbird; one of them was taken in Ohio in 
1880, the other two came from the South. They show the variations in size, shape, ground-color, and 
markings usually met with. 

The Mockingbird visits this State so rarely that little is known about its habits in this climate, and 
whether it will ever become a common summer resident is open to discussion. As a rule I suppose the 
tendency is for the northern birds to become more southern, rather than the reverse, yet it is a fact that some 
southern species have in recent years become common, which formerly were unknown in this latitude, or 
were rare. It is said by some of the older ornithologists that thirty or forty years ago the Mockingbird 
was more plentiful here that at present, this seems to indicate that the time is not far ahead when it will 
be unknown except as a cage-bird. 


Plate LXIV. 

Fig. 5. ECTOPISTES MIGRATOR I A-Passenger Pigeon. 

The history of the Passenger Pigeon, or Wild Pigeon as it is more commonly called, as it is 
found in Ohio to-day, will consume but little space. Once it summered here in countless thousands, 
now it is only occasionally that a nest is to be seen, and the birds themselves are met with only 
in small straggling bands. About ten years ago I found a small colony nesting in a large oak woods, 
about live miles west of Circleville, but since then I have only encountered these birds in the spring 
and fall. In October, 1884, I saw a flock of about fifty birds, and in the following spring I saw two feeding 
in a cattle-yard. 

Two broods are commonly reared by a single pair during the summer. 


The nest is placed in a tall tree in a forest. The locality being selected chiefly with reference to 
food and water supply. 


It is usually situated in a perpendicular or horizontal fork, and may be at any distance from the ground, 
from the lowest to the highest suitable branches. 


The principal materials are sticks and straws, arranged crosswise, and interlaced so that they form 
a platform slightly concave on top. The structure is held in position by the interweaving of the sticks 
with the branches of support, or by resting upon a large limb. 


The eggs are two in number, elliptical in shape, white, unmarked, and measure from 1.35 to 1.55 in 
long-diameter, by from .98 to 1.08 in short-diameter. A common size is about 1.00 x 1.50. 


See Table. 


Fig. 5, Plate LXIV, represents three eggs of the Passenger Pigeon, of the ordinary shapes and 
sizes. It was impossible to obtain a fresh nest in position for illustrating. 

Civilization has made marked changes in the habits and numbers of the resident, migratory, and 
summer-resident birds of Ohio, but in no instance is this change more marked than in the case of the 


Passenger Pigeon. As the forests have been cut away these birds have gradually diminished in numbers, 
until in Central Ohio, a section where formerly the most numerous, they are seldom seen. I have within my 
easy recollection seen the sky darkened by them during their morning flights to their feeding grounds, and 
have seen several thousands taken in a single day in a spring-net. But at the present writing, the words 
occasional visitor and possibly summer resident, describe their numerical position in the bird-list of the 

In contrast with these few words I shall quote from Audubon. He writes as follows, page 320, 
"American Ornithological Biography": "The multitude of Wild Pigeons in our woods are astonishing. 
Indeed, after having viewed them so often, and under so many circumstances, I even now feel inclined 
to pause, and assure myself that what I am going to relate is fact. Yet I have seen it all, and that, too, 
in the company of persons who, like myself, were struck with amazement. 

"In the autumn of 1813, I left my house at Henderson, on the banks of the Ohio, on my way to 
Louisville. In passing over the barrens a few miles beyond Harciensburg, I observed the Pigeons flyin°- 
from north-east to south-west, in greater numbers than I thought I had ever seen them before, and feeling 
an inclination to count the flocks that might pass within reach of my eye in one hour, I dismounted, 
seated myself on an eminence, and began to mark with my pencil, making a dot for every flock that 
passed. In a short time finding the task which I had undertaken impracticable, as the birds poured in 
in countless multitudes, I rose, and counting the dots then put down, found that 163 had been made in 
twenty-one minutes. I travelled on, and still met more the farther I proceeded. The air was literally filled 
with Pigeons; the light of noon-day was obscured as by an eclipse; the dung fell in spots, not unlike 
melting flakes of snow; and the continued buzz of wings had a tendency to lull my senses to repose. . . . 
"Before sunset I reached Louisville, distant from Harciensburg fifty-five miles. The Pigeons were 
still passing in undiminished numbers, and continued to do so for three days in succession. The people 
were all in arms. The banks of the Ohio were crowded with men and boys, incessantly shooting at the 
pilgrims, which there flew lower as they passed the river. Multitudes were thus destroyed. For a week 
or more, the population fed on no other flesh than that of Pigeons, and talked of nothing but Pigeons. 
The atmosphere, during this time, was strongly impregnated with the peculiar odor which emanates 
from the species. . . 

"Let us now inspect their place of nightly rendezvous. One of these curious roosting-places, on the 
banks of the Green River in Kentucky, I repeatedly visited. It was, as is always the case, in a portion 
of the forest, where the trees were of great magnitude, and where there was little underwood. I rode 
through it upward of forty miles, and crossing it in different parts, found its average breadth to be more 
than three miles. . . . The dung lay several inches deep, covering the whole extent of the roosting- 
place, like a bed of snow. Many trees two feet in diameter, I observed, were broken off at no great 
distance from the ground; and the branches of many of the largest and tallest had given way, as if the 
forest had been swept by a tornado. Every thing proved to me that the number of birds resorting to this 
part of the forest must be immense beyond conception. . . . 

"The breeding of the Wild Pigeons, and the places chosen for that purpose, are points of great 
interest. The time is not much influenced by season, and the place selected is where food is most plentiful 
and most attainable, and always at a convenient distance from water. Forest-trees of great height are 
those in which the Pigeons form their nest. Thither the countless myriads resort and prepare to fulfil 
one of the great laws of nature. . . , . On the same tree from fifty to a hundred nests may frequently 
be seen: — I might say a much greater number, were I not anxious, kind reader, that however wonderful 
my account of the Wild Pigeon is, you may not feel disposed to refer it to the marvellous." 


Plate LXIV. 

Fig. 6. RALLUS VIRGINIANUS-Virginia Rail. 

^ The Virginia Rail, though not as common as the Carolina Rail, is still quite plentiful throughout 
Ohio during the periods of its migration, and even during the summer it may be found in suitable localities 
from the central portions of the state northward, while to the south it occurs with less regularity. At 
Circleville it arrives in March and April, and is common until late in May; at this time it mostly 
disappears. The few remaining begin nesting early in June, and rear but a single brood during the 
season. In September it begins to arrive from the north, and by October is again common. A few cold 
nights at this season hurries it southward, but stragglers are occasionally found as late as December. 


Large, bushy swamps, and wet meadows overgrown with rank grass, and dotted occasionally with 
clumps of rushes, flags, and shrubbery, are the favorite nesting places; but not infrequently a pair of 
these Rails will choose for their summer home a site bordering a little pond, or even a boggy bit of ground 
but a few feet in diameter at the source of some neglected spring. 


The nest is built either upon a little spot of ground or upon a little mat of rubbish which is slightly 
above the water level, and not much if any effort is made at concealment. 


The materials of construction consist of grass, weeds, bits of flag, and strips of rushes loosely and 
poorly matted together. It resembles closely the nest of the Sora Rail, and is built upon the same plan 
as the nests of the allied aquatic birds. 


The complement of eggs varies from six to ten, eight or nine being the usual number. They 
measure in long-diameter from 1.15 to 1.30, and in short-diameter from .83 to .93. A common size is 
.88 by 1.24. The ground-color of the shell is faint yellow-brown, fading somewhat after the eggs are 
blown. The markings consist of reddish-brown, almost pure burnt-umber, blotches, spots, and speckles. 
They are distributed chiefly about the larger end, the pointed half of the egg being comparatively immaculate. 
Exceptionally an egg is quite uniformly marked from point to base. Generally there are a number of 
deep shell-marks, they are violet-grey in appearance, and often have surface marks superposed on them. 


The Virginia Rail, the Carolina Rail, and the Red-breasted Rail are the only species of the family 


that have been found breeding in Ohio. It is probable that the Yellow Rail, and possibly the Black 
Rail, may yet be discovered nesting in this State. The eggs of the summer-resident species bear a general 
resemblance to each other, yet the difference in size, ground-color, and markings is quite sufficient to make 
identification easy. The eggs of the Red-breasted Rail may be known by their size, ground-color, and 
markings, and the remaining two species may readily be recognized by the ground-color and markings, 
although in size and shape they are very similar. 


The three eggs illustrated, Fig. 6, Plate XLIV, show the sizes, shapes, ground-colors, and markings 
of the eggs of the Virginia Rail. The coloring is that of eggs which have been blown about two years. 

The Virginia Rail is a very interesting bird, whether in its wild state or in captivity. I have several 
times reared young birds of this species and have been much entertained with them. Mr. Maynard has 
written so accurately of their habits that I can not do better than to copy his text. On page 420, "North 
American Birds," he says: "The Virginia Rails inhabit the wet, fresh water marshes from Canada to 
Florida, but appear to prefer those which are partly grown up to bushes. This propensity I could not 
explain, until I saw one in the aviary of Mr. August Koch, who has fitted up an abode for captive birds 
with great care, having a fountain, miniature pond, rock work with grottos, all embellished with numerous 
plants, among which are some vines that twine up to the ceiling. One of the. most attractive birds, among 
many which lived in this enclosure, was the Rail mentioned, which was quite tame, and which evidently 
behaved much as it would have in its native swamp. It fed readily, waded about in the water, and 
when slightly alarmed, would take refuge among the surrounding ferns, etc.; but what surpinsed me most, 
was to see it climb up the vines, which it did with the utmost ease, clinging to the branches with its 
long claws, and in this way it often reached the top, some ten feet from the ground. The bird was 
evidently hunting for insects, and this habit was probably acquired when among the bushes in the meadows. 

"When only slightly alarmed, the Virginia Rails utter a chuckling sound, but if badly frightened or 
greatly annoyed, especially during the nesting season, when they have young, they will emit a sharp squeak, 
but their regular notes are harsh screams, usually given at night. These Rails breed early in June, 
building on some slightly elevated spot, either in the grass or among the bushes, and when their domiciles 
are approached the birds quietly leave them. The young leave the nest as soon as hatched, and run 
nimbly through the grass. They become scattered somewhat during the day, but toward night they 
will utter sharp cries, in order that the adults may know of their whereabouts, and then the entire brood 
will gather beneath the pai-ent for warmth. I have, on several occasions, captured these little black Rails 
in the evening, having ascertained where they were by hearing them peeping. When taken young they 
become very tame, feeding readily upon bits of meat or insects, behaving much like young chickens. They 
arc, however, very delicate and difficult to rear, as they require considerable attention, especially at night? 
when they should be kept warm." 


Plate LXIV. 

Fig. 7. RALLUS ELEG AN S. -Red-breasted Rail. 

The Red-breasted Rail is not an uncommon migrant in the spring and fall, at which times it is 
found about marshes and ponds. In the summer it is less numerous by far than during the migrating 
periods, but it breeds regularly throughout the State, in suitable swamps. I have several times found 
the young in July nearly grown, and from this I infer the nesting time is June. But one brood is 
probably reared during a season. 


About Circleville this Rail builds in the small swampy ponds, places overgrown with saw-grass, 
cat-tails, rushes, white lilies, and other aquatic plants, and presumably is to be found in similar localities 
in other parts of the State. 


I have never found this nest containing eggs, but I have twice discovered nests which, identifying 
by exclusion, undoubtly belonged to the Red-breasted Rail. These nests were situated on the ground a 
little above the water level, and in every respect except size were like the nest of the Carolina Rail. 


The nests referred to were composed of blades of grass, stalks of smart-weed, and bits of leaves and 
fibres from neighboring plants. They were loosely put together, the materials being matted rather than 
woven. Mr. Maynard, in "Birds of North America," says of the nest and eggs of this species: " Wests, 
placed on the ground in marshy places, composed of grass, weeds, etc. Eggs, from eight to ten in 
number, oval in form, bluish-white or creamy in color, dotted and spotted sparsely with reddish-brown 
and lilac. Dimensions from 1.15 x 1.55 to 1.25 x 1.75." 


It will be seen from the quotation above that eight to ten eggs constitute a full set. Six young- 
birds are the most I have seen in any one brood. Eggs in my possession measure from 1.58 to 1.63 in 
long-diameter, by from 1.18 to 1.25 in short-diameter. The common size is about 1.20 x 1.60. The 
ground-color of the shell varies from bluish- or yellowish-white to a decided reddish or flesh tint. The 
markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of umber, inclining to brown-madder or burnt sienna. 
Many of the markings are beneath the surface, the color of these appearing of different tints, according 
to their depth. The marks are never very numerous. Sometimes they are confined to the base chiefly, 
sometimes to the point, but more frequently they are quite regularly distributed over the surface. In the 
majority of eggs the ground-color is not very different from that of the egg of the Virginia Rail. 



The size of the eggs under consideration is sufficient to distinguished them from the eggs of the 
other summer-residents of the family, and their size and markings together make a combination so 
distinctive that there is no difficulty in identifying them, although thrown among eggs of every other 
summer-resident species of the State. 


The three eggs illustrated, Fig. 7, Plate LXIV, show the common sizes and the extremes in coloring 
of the eggs of the Red-breasted Rail, or King Rail. The egg at the left is by far the commonest in size, 
shape, ground-color, and marking. The one at the right the next most frequent type, while the middle 
egg represents an unusually highly colored specimen. 

The King Rail is frequently mistaken for the Clapper Rail. The latter species is exclusively a salt 
water bird, and probably has never been seen, if it has ever occurred in Ohio. Of the two, the King Rail 
is a little the larger and a little brighter colored in plumage, but these differences are so slight that it is 
not to be wondered at that those persons ambitious to find something new should occasionally encounter 
the salt water species. I have observed very little difference in the habits of this Rail from those of 
the more diminutive species. It inhabits the same swamps, feeds upon the same kind of food, and is 
as difficult to make fly, though easier to shoot when once on the wing, on account of its larger size. Its 
flesh is especially delicate, in this respect excelling all others of the family. The first of these birds I 
ever saw my dog brought me, he having captured it in the tall grass bordering a small pond. It was a 
young bird, certainly not sufficiently feathered to fly. Since then I have killed a good many, and several 
times have found half-grown young following their parents. A few years since, while standing in mud and 
water hip-deep, waiting for Wood Ducks to come into a small pond to roost, I had an opportunity of 
observing a Red-breasted Rail feeding and playing in its natural home. I was first attracted by the 
bird swimming toward me from a bunch of rushes; it sat upon the water like a Duck and leisurely 
propelled itself along, occasionally picking at something upon or beneath the surface. Considering the 
anatomy of its feet I was surprised how swiftly at times it could swim. Having approached within ten 
feet of me, it walked onto some submerged rubbish and began pluming itself. After this act was 
satisfactorily performed, during which time it repeatedly stretched its wings and long legs, it climbed 
among the roots of some aquatic bushes and rested, until the report of my gun frightened it away. 


Plate LXIV. 

Fig, 8. SCOPS ASIO-Litite Screech Owl. 

The Little Screech Owl, or Mottled Owl, is one of the commonest of its tribe, not only in the State 
of Ohio, but throughout the United States generally. It is a permanent resident here as elsewhere, 
caring nothing for extremes of heat or cold as long as mice and other small game abound. 

It builds its nest early, as do all other Owls, the time being from the last of February to the last 
of April. But one brood is generally reared during the year. 


The nest is placed in a hollow trunk or limb of a tree in retired woods, or in an orchard. Sometimes 
a shade tree about a country dwelling or even in town is the selected site. Next to the thickly wooded 
islands of rivers this Owl prefers an old and deserted orchard for its home, choosing for the nest a hole 
in a gnarled and weather-beaten trunk. 


The nest rests upon the bottom of the cavity, whether in a perpendicular or horizontal limb. It is 
seldom nearer the opening than a foot or two and often is eight or ten feet distant. Its height from the 
ground is very variable, sometimes it is within five feet, and then again it is well toward the top of the 
tallest tree. Usually it is not higher than fifteen feet. 


Sometimes the eggs are laid upon the rotten wood in the bottom of the chosen cavity, but usually 
grass, dried leaves, a few feathers, and like materials are loosely matted together on its floor. The same 
hole is often occupied for a series of years by a pair of these Owls, in this case there is frequently quite 
an accumulation of rubbish. 


The number of eggs in a set varies from four to six. They are nearly spherical in form, have smooth 
shells, and are pure white. They measure in long-diameter from 1.34 to 1.58 inches, and in short-diameter 
from 1.18 to 1.25. A common size is about 1.23 x 1.48. 

See page 216. 


Fig. 8, Plate LXIV, represents three eggs of the Little Screech Owl, of the common sizes and shapes. 


They were selected from a number of sets found in various parts of the State. The middle e°*g is more 
oval than usual, the others while ordinary in shape show the variations in size. 

Throughout Ohio this species is plentiful, seeming to delight in the gloomy woods along the river 
banks and in the numerous well wooded districts with which the State abounds, but its occurrence is bv 
no means limited to such localities. It is frequently seen about the trees and barns of the country 
houses, and it also makes its residence in the smaller towns, where at certain seasons it annoys the restless 
sleeper with its weird and tremulous notes. For a number of years a pair of these birds have lived in a 
large oak-tree, which is standing within twenty feet of a dwelling, in a town of six thousand inhabitants. 
They have always been treated well, and consequently are quite tame, often perching within a few feet 
of the folks of the house. 

In the late summer and fall this otherwise well behaved Owl often catches the unlucky cage-bird 
that happens to be left out after dark. It will alight upon the cage and frighten its occupant until, in 
its endeaver to escape, the little captive flutters into the clutches of the Owl, when it is summarily dragged 
between the wires, leaving the gilded prison with scarcely a feather to indicate the terrible trao-edv of the 
night. Many poor canaries, roosting without the reach of the prowling cat, have thus lost their lives to 
the wonder and grief of their owners. 

As soon as the young become feathered the old birds conduct them from the nest to some suitable limb 
and there they sit during the day, seldom moving unless disturbed. I have often run across broods of 
them perched upon some low limb, and occasionally I have taken one or more home and made pets of 
them. Although timid and stubborn by nature they soon learn to know the hand that feeds them, and 
soon abandon the habit of ruffling their feathers and snapping their bills except at strangers. They 
possess the same variations in plumage as do adults, ranging from a very decided red through all shades 
of gray and brown, and even young from the same nest I have seen having these various colors. 

The food of the Screech Owl is varied, consisting principally of small birds, mice and insects, of the 
last they eat large quantities, nor do they despise a frog or fish. They are essentially a home bird, seldom 
going far from their abode and remaining in the same place many years, as proven by the pair alluded 
to above, which has dwelt so long in the oak-tree. 

Many writers state this Owl can see but little in the day time, an assertion entirely devoid of any 
facts to support it. Their eyes are unquestionably intended to see with by night, but it does not follow 
from this that they are blind or nearly so during daylight. Any one who will take the trouble to 
investigate the matter will learn that the vision of this owl on the brightest day is fully equal to that of a 

The notes of the Screech Owl are of considerable variety. Mr. Maynard says, writing of this species, 
page 282, " Birds of North America:" " The alarm note is, as related, a kind of croak but is quite 
melodious and is given high or low, depending upon the proximity of the object which frightens the 
bird. . . . "Another of Scopsie's* notes, or rather a series of them, indicates anger or dislike, for when 
a stranger approaches his box, especially if he be sitting outside of it, he will raise his ear tufts, wink his 
eyes slowly, at the same time uttering a rattling, guttural sound. This is merely indicative of antipathy, 
for when handled by any one whom he does not fancy, he will give the same sound, much louder and in 
a higher key, frequently ending in a kind of scream. " . . . 

Besides these sounds this Owl possesses a love song, consisting of a few simple notes of varying loudness, 
uttered sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, and upon the whole not unpleasing to the ear. 

*Scopsie was Mr. Maynard's pet Owl. 


Plate LXIV. 


The Florida Cormorant is properly an inhabitant of the South Atlantic and Gulf States, coming north 
however to the Ohio, and perhaps somewhat farther. Dr. Wheaton says, speaking of this species: 
"Spring and fall migrant in Western Ohio, summer resident in some localities. Breeds." 

It probably arrives here along with other aquatic birds about April, building its nest in May or early 
June. It is certainly a rare bird now; I have myself never seen its nest. 


Cormorants are found in the greatest abundance in the neighborhood of some permanent body of 
water, such for instance, as some of the State reservoirs; they are also found occasionally along any of 
the larger rivers. The nest is usually built in a tree, or, in places where trees are not available, upon 
a rocky cliff. The latter would seem to be the more natural locality, but at the reservoirs a dead tree 
partially submerged seems to be the favorite nesting site. 


When in a tree, the nest rests in a fork formed by several large branches at no great distance from 
the ground. When on a rocky cliff, it is placed upon a bare horizontal shelf. In the building season 
the birds form rookeries, a great many nests often being within a small space. 


The materials of construction are very simple, consisting merely of a few dry sticks, loosely laid 
together in the' fork of some convenient dead branch, or of marsh grass, or something of^that nature, when 
the nest is built on a rock. But in either case it is a rude affair and entirely exposed. 


The complement of eggs is three or four. They are ovoid in form, greenish-blue in color, and are 
covered with a peculiar deposit of dirty white lime. They measure in long-diameter from 2.25 to 2.50, and 
in short-diameter from 1.38 to 1.60. A common size is about 1.50 x 2.35. 


The eggs are altogether unique in appearance, certainly a partial compensation for their extreme 
homeliness. Usually there is some small spot upon the shell where the greenish-blue background shows 
through the outer calcareous deposit, but if this does not exist the lime covering can easily be scraped off 
with a knife, so as to show the true shell. 



Fig. 9, Plate LXIY, represents three eggs of the Florida Cormorant, of the common sizes and shapes. 
The egg at the left shows a very rough deposit of lime on the shell; the one to the right shows the 
color of the true shell, through a break in the outer covering made with a knife. 

The Florida Cormorant is merely a localized variety of the common Black Cormorant. Dr. Wheaton 
says: " Simply a localized southern race of dilopkus, smaller in general dimensions, with relatively larger 
bills, as usual in such cases; the sac seems to be more extensively denuded." 

It is at present but a rare bird in Ohio, although not many years ago it would seem to have been 
quite abundant, as Dr. Langdon, quoting from an account furnished him by Mr. Chas. Dury, of Cincinnati, 
says: "On the south side of the reservoir, about seven miles from Celina, was the 'Water Turkey' 
rookery. Here I used to go to shoot them, with the natives who wanted them for their feathers; I 
have helped kill a boat load. 

"One season I climbed up to their nests and got a cap full of eggs. The nests were made of sticks 
and built in the forks of the branches. The trees (which were all dead) were mostly oaks, and covered 

with excrement. I found from two to four eggs or young to a nest. The young were queer little creatures 

looked and felt like India rubber. The old birds flew around in clouds, and made their croaking notes, 
indicative of their displeasure at my presence. Some of the trees had ten or twelve nests on them. As 
the timber has rotted and blown down, the birds have become less and less numerous." 

The above circumstances occurred in June, 1867, since when, as Mr. Dury states, these birds have 
rapidly decreased in numbers. 

Dr. Langdon notes its capture, in June, at Sandusky Bay, but says: "My own observation of the 

species in Ohio is confined to a single specimen found floating in the reservoir late in October, 1874, 
when its comrades had probably migrated. It has also been identified on both the Miamis during 
its migrations." 

The Cormorant is extremely abundant in Florida, frequenting all the rivers as well as the sea coast, 
their ungainly forms being seen perched upon the top of almost any stake or piece of brush sticking out 
of the water. They are fierce, pugnacious birds when cornered or wounded, but very shy withal. Being 
so little acquainted with the bird myself, I shall quote from Maynard's excellant account of the Black 
Cormorant, which applies equally well to the bird now before us, it being only a variety of the black 
species. He says : " The collector in Florida soon learns the position of every stake or buoy that stands 
in the water, for they are generally ornamented by a Cormorant, but these wary birds know how to take 
care of themselves, and it is seldom that one can be approached near enough to be shot. 

"Even while nesting they are very shy, and whenever a rookery is approached, all the birds rise, 
circle about in confusion for a short time, then retreat a few hundred yards and settle down in a compact 
body upon the water. Nor will they return until they are sure that the intruder has departed. 

"I found the eggs of the Black Cormorant freshly deposited on the Florida Keys, about the twentieth 
of March, and the birds continued to lay from that time till the middle of April. Late in May the 
black, downy young are nearly fully grown, but still remain in the nest as they are comparatively helpless, 
being unable to fly, and are regularly fed by the parents. When approached at this season, however, 
they display all the wariness of the old birds, for after disgorging the contents of their stomachs, as is 
the custom with the young of many fish-eating birds when disturbed, they will drop from the nests or 
limbs on which they are perched into the water, for the bases of the trees in which their homes are 
placed are nearly always submei'ged, after which it is almost impossible to secure one, as they dive and 
swim both beneath and on the surface of the water with the greatest ease." 


Plate LXV. 

SIURUS AURICAPILLUS-Golden-crowned Thrush. 

The Golden-crowned Thrush, or Ovenbird, as this species is sometimes called, from the resemblance 

of its nest to an old-fashioned oven, arrives the last of April or the first of May, and, during the summer 
is a common resident. It departs for its southern home about the first week in September, unless the 
weather is exceptionally fine, in which case it may remain several weeks later. During its residence here 
each pair usually rears but a single brood of young, but if the first set of eggs should be destroyed a 
second nest is soon built. This fact accounts for many of the late nests, but it is probable that two 
broods are occasionally hatched by a single pair of birds. Ordinarily oviposition is completed by the 
20th of May, and early in June the young are hatched. 


The nest is built in dense, solitary woods, old timberland, in which there are little ravines, prostrate, 
decayed trunks of trees, and considerable underbrush being preferred; but these birds are so plentiful 
that the nest may be found in almost any upland wood not cleared for pasture. 


The nest is placed on the ground at the foot of a bush or sapling, beside a log, or among the leaves 
and grass in a thicket of bushes. 


Leaves, leaf-stems, grass, twigs, hair, lichens, moss, and fibres and shreads from various plants 
compose the materials of construction. Externally the nest is chiefly leaves, while within it is lined with 
grass, and sometimes horse-hair and fibres. Between these two layers may be found in various proportions 
any or ail of the materials mentioned above. The whole is loosely interwoven and matted into a some- 
what egg-shaped mass, with an entrance to its interior at the larger end, somewhat above its axis. Its 
external diameter is from five to seven inches. Within, the cavity is globular, and from three to three 
and one-half inches in diameter, while the doorway is from one and one-half to two inches in diameter. 
After the nest becomes a few days old the entrance becomes oval, the shortest diameter being perpendicular, 
this is due to the weight of the roof; rarely a nest is built without the domed roof. 


The complement of eggs is four or five. When blown the shell is white, fairly well polished and 
of firm texture. They measure in long-diameter from .76 to .84 of an inch, and in short-diameter, from .50 
to .60. A common size is .55 x .80. The markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of different 
shades of reddish-brown, those beneath the surface appear grey. Usually they are limited to the larger 


end, and sometimes are confluent, or form a wreath. Occasionally an egg is spotted regularly from 
point to base. 


The nest is sufficiently characteristic in style of architecture and dimensions to make indemnification 
easy and certain. The eggs are less readily known. See table. 


Plate LXV represents a nest and three eggs of the Golden-crowned Thrush. The former was built 
in May, 1885 ; the latter were taken from three sets found during the past ten years. The nest is 
typical in size, shape, and materials of construction, and the eggs are of the ordinary size, shape, and 
markings, the one at the left being perhaps the most typical. 

Any visitor to the woods during the months of May and June, must be startled by the shrill te cha, 
te cha, te cAa, of the Golden-crowned Thrush, at first uttered so low as to sound at a distance in the bush, 
and then becoming louder and louder with each utterance, and also more rapid, until it becomes so loud 
that it is painful to the ear, when suddenly, having reached its climax, it ceases. While wondering how 
vocal chords so small as a bird's, for the notes are evidently from a bird, can make such a volume of 
sound, it again begins, soft, slow, and low, and terminates as before. The author of these notes is difficult 
to discover, but a little quiet search may perhaps reveal a spotted-breasted little bird perched on some 
low limb or stepping about upon the ground. He is a home body, seldom going far from his mate, to 
whom he repeats his cheering song at intervals. The nest of every Ovenbird in the woods may be located 
within a few yards by observing the singing male, but they are very difficult to actually find on account 
of their situation and protective covering. Dilligent search about every log, and at the foot of every 
sapling and bush is the surest and quickest way to discover them. 

The Golden-crowned Thrush spends most of its time on the ground, searching for food among the 
decayed leaves. It walks about and scratches in the soft loam like a chicken, instead of hopping like 
others of its family. It is very attentive to its young, caring for them long after they can fly. 








Plate LXVI. 

PARU8 ATR/OAPILLUS-Black-capped Chickadee. 

The Black-capped Chickadee or Common Titmouse is known generally over the greater part of the 
United States, and by mutual consent is looked upon as the typical representative of its family. It 
crosses the line of the summer habitation of P. carolinensls in Ohio, and at such places both species are 
found together. Dr. Wheaton says, Vol. IV, Geological Survey of Ohio: "Abundant resident in Northern and 
probably Eastern Ohio. Twenty-five years ago the Black-capped Titmouse was as abundant in Central Ohio, 
as the Tufted. Since that time it has become quite rare, and a winter visitor only in the vicinity of Columbus. 
In some seasons none are seen. I have seen but two or three individuals in the city limits within ten years." 

Occasionally I have found this species in Central Ohio in the summer. It nests early in May. Two 
broods are frequently reared during a season. 


"While it seems to prefer the edges of woods as best affording the means of food and shelter, it 
by no means confines itself to these localities, not only appearing familiarly around the dwellings in the 
winter season, but also occasionally breeding in open and exposed places. A hollow post of a fence in 
the midst of open cultivated fields, a decayed stump near the side of a public highway, a hollow log in a 
frequented farm-yard, and even the side of an inhabited dwelling, are localities these birds have been 
known to select in which to rear their young. On one occasion a pair had built its nest over a covered 
well, which connects with the dwelling by a side door, through which water was drawn at -all hours of the 
day by means of buckets and a rope, the wheel for which was in close proximity to their nest. They 
manifested no uneasiness, however, and even after the young were ready to fly, the whole family would 
return to the place for shelter at night and during inclement weather." 

Sparcely timbered borders of streams, and ravines about creeks and springs it also frequents for 
nesting sites, usually excavating a cavity in a dead limb, trunk, stamp, or even a prostrate log. Some 
individuals either incompetent or hurried build in a deserted Woodpecker's hole, or a natural cavity. 


As a rule the nest is over four and under twenty feet from the ground. When an excavation is made 
the birds commonly select a piece of dead timber of considerable size, and, having made a round hole for 
the doorway, this is projected into the wood for an inch or more, and then turning downwards enlarges 
into a cavity about three inches in diameter at its widest part, by five or six inches in depth. The 
excavation is often as well and accurately formed as that made by any of the Woodpeckers. 


Differing from most birds that excavate a home in decayed or dead timber, the Black-capped Chickadee 


carries an abundance of soft material into the cavity, and forms a soft felt-like nest, in which the mother- 
bird lays her eggs and rears her young. Fine vegetable fibres, vegetable down, wool, moss, and fine, short 
hairs from various animals compose the bulk of the nest. Soft fur and downy feathers are also sometimes 
found in the lining. When a natural cavity is chosen the sight is often much too large and a great 
deal more material is demanded than when the builders do their own carpentry, but the internal dimensions 
of the nest are always about the same. In shape the structure is globular or purse-like, from two and 
one-half to three inches in diameter, by from one and one-half to two and one-half deep externally. Within 
it measures about an inch and five-eighths each way. The mouth of the nest is usually contracted so 
that it measures from an inch and one-eighth to an inch and three-eighths. The diameter of the hole into 
the cavity is about an inch and one-eighth. 


The complement of eggs varies from five to eight, six being probably the most frequent number. 
They measure in long-diameter from .58 to .65, and in short-diameter from .47 to .52. A common size is 
about .48 x .60 of an inch. " North American Birds" gives the average size as .58 x .47. Maynard's 
" Birds of North America" gives their dimensions as .45 to .50 in short-diameter, by .50 to .60 in long- 
diameter. Minot gives .50 x .63 as the average size. The ground-color of the shell is white. The markings 
consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of light reddish-brown; at times almost pure burnt sienna. Deep 
shell-marks are infrequent. 


The nests of P. carolinensis and P. atricapillus are alike in materials of construction and size as well 
as in location. The eggs are also remarkably similar, yet a large series of each make apparent certain 
differences. The latter, according to eggs in my possession, average a little more in short-diameter, and 
a little less in long-diameter; this makes them the nearer spherical in shape. There are, however, a 
number of eggs of each which measure .48 x .60, or within .01 of this. The former contain not only the 
most marks, but they are upon the whole larger. The color is the same for each. I do not believe it 
is possible to distinguish with certainty the nests and eggs of the two species. 


Plate LXVI represents a nest and three eggs of Partes atricapillus. The former was taken in 
Northern Ohio in 1885, the latter were selected from three sets, only one of which is from this State. 
The nest was three feet from the ground in a decayed stump, and the cavity was made by the Chickadees. 
It is composed entirely of moss and very fine downy fibres, the lining being similar to the exterior 
except that the fibres are more numerous within. For differences between the two species see page 228. 








Plate LXVII. 

OPORORNIS FORMOSA-Kentucky Warbler. 

The Kentucky Warbler is a rare summer resident, occurring in particular localities in the southern 
and western parts of the State. Dr. Kirtland found its nest at Cleveland, Audubon notes it in South- 
western Ohio, and Dr. Langdon writes of it as a well known summer bird of this same district. I have 
never seen the species in Central Ohio, although I have made diligent search for it, and these nests are 
all that I can hear of as being found in the State; but others certainly must have been taken. It 
arrives in the vicinity of Cincinnati about the first of May, and remains until September, during which 
time it rears a single brood. 


Dr. Langdon, writing of a nest of this species which he found near Madisonville, says: "The 
locality chosen for this nest was a gentle slope, well wooded and covered with undergrowth, situated 
within a short distance of a small woodland stream on the border of an open glade." 


" The nest, which was placed on the ground at the root of a small elm sapling, was concealed by a 
sparse growth of weeds." Dr. Grearhardt of Georgia, found several nests of this Warbler, all of which 
were on the ground, usually under a tuft of grass in a dry place. It is said, that sometimes it is placed 
in a bush, or in a bunch of rank weeds or grass. 


Continuing, Dr. Langdon says : " The foundation was a saucer-shaped mass of beech and maple 
leaves loosely interwoven with a few weed-stems and retained its shape sufficiently well to permit careful 
handling without injury; surmounting this basal portion was the nest proper, a rather bulky and inele- 
gant structure, elliptical in shape, composed of dark brown rootlets and weed-stems, with which were 
interwoven a few dried leaves. There was also a trace of an effort at hoi'se-hair lining, a half-dozen 
hairs perhaps being dispersed around its interior. Its measurements are as follows : Internal long- 
diameter, 2\ inches; internal short-diameter, 2 inches; depth of cavity, 1J inches; average thickness of 
nest proper, about f inch; ditto of foundation, about 1 inch." 

Page 294, "North American Birds," says: "Nearly all nests met were made externally of a loose 
ao-o-re^ation of dry oak and chestnut leaves, so rudely thrown together as hardly to possess any coherence, 
and requiring to be sewed to be kept in place. The interior or inner nests were more compactly inter- 
woven, usually composed of fine dark-brown roots. Instead of being small, they are large for the bird, 
and are inelegantly and clumsily made. They measure four inches in their diameter, three in height, 
and two in the depth of their cavity. One nest, is large and peculiar in its construction. 


It is nearly spherical in shape, with an entrance partially on one side and nearly arched over. The 
periphery of this nest is composed exclusively of partially decayed deciduous leaves, impacted together, 
yet somewhat loosely. Within this outer covering is a fine framework of stems, twigs, and rootlets, and 
within this a snug, compact lining of hair and fine rootlets and fibres. This nest is six inches in diameter 
and five in height. It contained four eggs." 


"These eggs have an average length of .69 of an inch, and a breadth of .56 of an inch. They have 
an oblong-oval shape, a crystalline-white ground, and the entire surface is sprinkled over with fine dots 
of red and reddish-brown. These, though most abundant about the larger end, are nowhere confluent, 
and do not form a crown." The nest taken near Madison ville referred to above, contained four eor^s, 
exclusive of a Cowbird's egg. They were "spotted and speckled every-where with reddish-brown and 
lilac on a glossy white ground, the markings on two specimens being massed at the larger end, while 
those on the other two form a distinct ' wreath ? around the rather blunt apex. They were far advanced 
in incubation* (May 28), and measure respectively, .72 x .54, .73 x .56, .75 x .56, .73 x .55." 

By the kindness of Prof. Baird and Dr. Bendire, I have had access to the collection of eggs of this 
species in the National Museum, and I have carefully measured them, and have selected typical and 
extreme specimens in shape, size, and markings for the illustration accompanying. The egg to the left 
upon the line is of the most ordinary pattern, while the other two are more unusual in size and mark- 
ings. The average of ail the specimens in the museum is .76 x .54 of an inch.. In long-diameter they 
vary from .72 to .80 and in short-diameter, from .55 to .58. The ground-color of all is white, and the 
markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles of reddish-brown, with but few deep shell-marks. One 
pattern of egg is speckled from point to base, sparingly at the point and base, but becoming more and 
more heavily marked as the equator of the egg h approached, to the basal side of which they become so 
numerous as to form a heavy wreath of confluent marks. Another is blotched about the base with a 
deep shade of reddish-brown, and between the blotches and over the remainder of the shell are numerous 
speckles of the same color, while here and there are blotches and spots beneath the surface, which appear 
lilac. A third pattern, and this perhaps is the commonest form of all, is blotched, spotted, and speckled 
over the entire surface, heaviest, however, about the base. All the marks are subdued in tint and have 
irregular and indistinct outlines, like color which is laid on damp, porous paper. While I have endeavored 
to give the three types of eggs, a typical and two extremes, it must be remarked that none of these are so 
extreme as to be uncommon. Indeed, in eggs of this size and style of marking, it is difficult to select 
any one or even three patterns which may be said to be representative. 

See Table. 


Plate LXVII repi'esents a nest and eggs of the Kentucky Warbler. The nest was found on the 
20th of May, 1882, in the State of Kentucky, near the Ohio line. It was built in a piece of thickly 
timbered bottom woods on the ground near an elm sapling, and was unprotected by grass or weeds. 

Its foundation is composed of dead leaves of elm and oak and leaf-stems. Within this is a super- 
structure of leaf-stems, pieces of slender vine, and rootlets, and this is lined with a compact layer of fine 
dark rootlets and a few horse-hairs. The cavity is round and measures about 2 inches in diameter by If 
inches in depth. The external diameter of the structure is about five inches. By an accident the eggs 
to this nest were broken before measurements were taken. The eggs are colored from cabinet specimens. 






























Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 1. TACHYCINETA BICOLOR-White-betiied Swallow. 

This beautiful Swallow is a common summer resident, but is irregularly distributed. It arrives about 
the first week in April and remains until September or October. It usually nests the last of May and 
commonly rears but a single brood during the season. 


The natural desire of the White-bellied Swallow is for sluggish moving rivers and large ponds of 
stagnant water, and so far as my observation extends, they frequent such places entirely, in company 
with the Rough-winged and Bank Swallows. In the Eastern States, and, according to Dr. Wheaton, also 
in Northern Ohio, its habits have materially changed. Capen says: The nest "is usually placed in 
boxes and the like, put up for its accommodation. In sparsely settled districts it nests in hollow trees." 
Page 288, "Geological Survey of Ohio," Vol. IV, is the following: "The White-bellied Swallow is, in 
the vicinity of Columbus, rather rare except during the migrations; formerly, they were abundant, and 
nested in the holes of dead trees along the river banks ; as these trees disappeared, the Swallows removed 
to some more suitable locality. I have never known them to breed in bird-boxes in this vicinity, though 
they sometimes do so in Northern Ohio." Along the Scioto and its tributaries, this Swallow still builds 
in its primitive way, selecting for the nest a natural cavity or an abandoned nest of a Woodpecker in 
some dead tree upon the bank. Just above Circleville, along the river, there are a number of large dead 
sycamores, many of the limbs of which are fairly honeycombed with Woodpecker's holes. Here every 
year these Swallows build, but most of the nests are inaccessible. 


The nest rests upon the bottom of the cavity, being supported solely from below. Its distance from 
the ground varies from ten to forty feet; perhaps sometimes it is even higher, but generally it is within 
thirty feet of the surface. 


The chief materials of the nest are grass, straws, and leaves for a foundation, and upon these an 
abundance of feathers from chickens, geese, ducks, or other birds is placed for a soft lining. 

One nest taken in 1882, was composed of a few old grass-stems, and four large, soft goose feathers, 
arranged with their soft ends to the center. Another taken in 1879, had a foundation of blue grass, and 
upon this was placed a large handful of white goose feathers. The average nest is between these extremes 
in quantity of material. 



The complement of eggs consists of four, five, or six, five being perhaps the most frequent number. 
They are pure white, with shell so thin that the yolk shows through, giving a pinkish cast to fresh 
specimens. In long-diameter they vary from .68 to .84, and in short-diameter, from .51 to .58; a common 
size is about .74 x .52. 


The eggs of the Rough-winged Swallow, the Bank Swallow, and of the species being considered, 
measure as follows, the order in which they are named being preserved : 

Long-diameter, .68 to .76; short-diameter, .50 to .54; common size, .52 x .69. 
.60 to .72 ; " .47 to .51 ; " .49 x .68. 

.68 to .84; " .51 to .58; " .52 x .74. 

From this it will be seen that it is difficult if not impossible to identify eggs alone of these Swallows 
with any degree of certainty. Other data, such as locality, position, and materials of the nest must 
accompany them in order to be certain of the species. 


Plate LXVIII, Fig. 1, represents three eggs of the White-bellied Swallow, the middle one being 
the common size, the others the extremes. 

Nearly all our Swallows show the influence of the civilization of this country, and even the White- 
bellied Swallow is not exempt. The Barn Swallow has entirely deserted its former haunts for the 
beams and rafters of barns; the Cliff Swallow has abandoned the caves and rocky ledges for the protect- 
ing eaves of our out-buildings. The Purple Martin now takes advantage of the bird-boxes of the town 
and country, while the Rough-winged Swallow nests in crevices about masonry and frame buildings. 

In the East, where the country has been long settled, according to "North American Birds," the 
White-bellied Swallow is most numerous in the towns and cities, and is seldom found building except in 
some box arranged for the purpose. It is to be presumed that before many } r cars the same influences 
which have worked such a change there, will also domesticate here our wild and nature-loving Swallow, 
whose white and silvery breast is now only seen along the most uninhabitable banks of our streams. 
Then there will remain only the little Bank Swallow to be converted to the ways of man. Just what 
changes may yet take place in the nidfiication of this species it is impossible to predict, but that it will 
escape the influence of civilization entirely, is improbable. 


Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 2. DENDRGCA MAGULOSA-Black and Ye/low Warbler. 

The Black and Yellow Warbler is a rare summer resident in the northern part of Ohio. Over the 
rest of the State it usually occurs only as a migrant. In Central Ohio it is a plentiful species in May, 
and also in the fall. Dr. Wheaton has seen it the first week in June in the neighborhood of Columbus. 
This "indicates its breeding at no great distance." It builds in June, and rears but a single brood 
during the season. 


It prefers low, heavily timbered woods for its home, selecting for the site a bush or sapling. 
Audubon found its nest among the horizontal twigs of a low fir tree; Mr. Kennicott found one in a 
similar position in a spruce tree near Great Slave Lake; and Mr. R. Dean met with a nest near Lake 
Umbagog in the fork of a low spruce. Many other nests have been taken, all of which are in a like 


It is placed in a horizontal or perpendicular fork from two to ten feet from the ground. 


A nest before me is a frail affair, resembling very much that of a Chipping Sparrow or Field Spar- 
row in material and mode of construction. Externally is a foundation of light colored tendrils of a slender 
trailing vine. Within this basket work is a thicker layer of still more slender, brown-madder-colored 
vegetable threads of vine, and within this is a lining of hair-like fibres of black moss. The diameter of 
the cavity is one and seven-eights inches; the depth is one and one-eighth inches. The wall in the 
thickest place is three-quarters of an inch, but the whole structure is so loosely woven that even here it 
can be readily seen through when held up to the light. This nest was found in 1884, at Grand Menan, 
N. B., in a fork of a low spruce, three and a half feet high. One of the nests referred to above "was 
only one and a half inches deep, with a diameter of three and a half inches; the cavity only one inch 
deep, with a diameter of two and a half inches. It was made almost entirely of fine stems of plants 
and slender grasses and a few mosses. The cavity was lined with finer stems, and fine black roots of 
herbaceous plants." Capen says, page 25: "Of nine nests I have examined, all are similar in construction. 
They are composed of fine dry grass, weed-stalks, twigs, and fine rootlets, with a small amount of plant- 
down here and there attached to the outside, thinly lined with horse-hair and black fibres of some variety 
of moss. They are lightly though strongly made, and the bottoms of all were so slightly built as to 
present a sieve-like appearance." Page 29, "Nests and Eggs of North American Birds," Mr. Davie says: 


"It is a light structure, resembling that of the Chestnut-sided Warbler, composed of twigs, weed-stalks 
and grasses, lined either with horse-hair or fine rootlets." 


The complement of eggs is four or five. Davie describes them as follows : " Creamy white, blotched 
sparingly over with large spots of lilac and umber, and wreathed about the larger end with brown, 
clouded with lilac spots and blotches ; usually four and sometimes five, and measure from .62 to .65 by 
.46 to .50." Dr. Brewer, in "North American Birds," writes: "The eggs of this Warbler are, in shape, 
a rounded oval, one end being but slightly more pointed than the other. They measure .62 of an inch 
in length, and .49 in breadth. Their ground-color is a light ashen hue or a dull white, and this is 
more or less sprinkled with fine dots and blotches of a light brown* For the most part, these are grouped 
in a ring about the larger end." Eggs in my possession average about .49 x .65. Some are pretty 
heavily blotched and speckled, others less so, while still others are entirely and uniformly speckled. 
The color of surface-marks is nearly brown-madder in tint, never very decided in tone; deep shell-marks 
aj)pear gray. Some eggs look as if most of the color had been washed off, or had been applied very wet 
and had soaked in. 

See table. 


Plate LXVIII, Fig. 2, represents three eggs of the common size and markings of the Black and 
Yellow Warbler. I am satisfied these Warblers regularly build about Circleville, but I have never 
found their nest. I have, however, seen a pair of old birds feeding their young. So far as I am 
aware, this nest has yet to be discovered in Ohio. There are a number of birds which regularly or 
irregularly breed in the State, that I have searched for in vain. Some of these, like the Cerulean 
Warbler, are common, but there are so many obstacles in the way of finding their homes, that search 
is almost useless unless favored by accident. 


Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 3. PARULA AMERICAN A-Blm Yellow-backed Warbler. 

The Blue Yellow-backed Warbler is inserted here as a summer resident of Ohio on the authority of 
Dr. Wheaton, "Geological Survey of Ohio," Vol. IV, page 239: "Not common, spring and fall migrant 
in Southern and Middle, summer resident in Northern Ohio. Mr. Eead notes it as 'common in the 
spring, a few spend the summer.' Dr. Kirtland says: 'I have repeatedly seen them feeding their young 
in July.' It may breed in the vicinity of Columbus, as I saw a specimen in my garden June 30, 1879. 
Mr. Ridgvvay says it breeds in Southern Illinois." It arrives in the neighborhood of Circleville about 
the first week in May on its way to northern breeding grounds, and returns in September. When it 
occurs as a summer resident, it probably builds in June, and rears but a single brood during a season. 


Page 209, "North American Birds," says: "Even where most common it is not an abundant species, 
and is to be found only in certain localities, somewhat open and swampy thickets, usually not of great 
extent, and prefers those well covered with the long grey lichens known as Spanish moss. In such 
localities only, so far as I know, do they breed. . . . Mr. Audubon speaks of this species as breeding 
in Louisiana, but his description of the nest differs so entirely from such as are met with in Massachusetts 
as to suggest doubts as to the correctness of the identification. He describes them as flitting over damp 
places, the edges of ponds and streams, and pursuing their prey with great activity. They resort to the 
woods as soon as the foliage appears on the forest trees, and glean among the leaves for the smaller 
winged insects." 


"The nests are sometimes constructed on the sides of trunks of trees, when covered with the long 
grey lichens, but are more frequently found hanging from branches, usually not more than six or eight 
feet from the ground." 


All authors give very similar descriptions of this nest. In fact, I know of no species that builds a 
more uniform structure, so far as shape and materials are concerned. Maynard says: "Some beautiful 
specimens of these nests are composed of long gray moss, but differ from that described above in beino- 
perfect little purses, with the entrance hole on the side. There is no other material used for lining than 
that of which the structures are made." Davie says: "Nests in my collection are beautiful structures. 
They are pensile, with an entrance on one side. They are composed of long greenish or. gray Spanish 
moss. As a whole, the nest is one of the most curious specimens of bird architecture; the long pieces of 
moss are woven and twined together in a large, purse-shaped mass." Minot says: " The nest is globular, 


with an entrance on the side, and is composed principally of hanging mosses." Capen says: "Nests are 
purse-shaped, having a small hole for entrance at the top or side. They are composed of hanging mosses 
and lichens, with a slight lining of pine grasses and a few hairs, occasionally without any lining 
whatever. They are usually placed near the end of a branch in a hemlock, cedar, oak, or old orchard 
tree, from ten to fifty feet from the ground." 


The same writer continues: "Eggs are four in number, and rarely five. They are white in ground- 
color, finely spotted with light reddish-brown, intermingled with lilac, chiefly about the crown; others 
quite heavily blotched, and often tending to form a ring about the crown. They are usually laid the 
first week in June, and measure about .62 by .48 of an inch." Davie gives their size from .62 to .65 in 
long-diameter by .49 to .52 in breadth. Maynard gives the same dimensions as from .66 to .70 and .48 
to .50 of an inch. A set of four eggs before me measures as follows: .62 x. 51, .63 x .52, .63 x .50, and 
.62 x .48. The ground-color of the shell is pure, glossy white. About the base, two of the eggs are 
spotted and speckled plentifully with very dark brown, almost black; about two-thirds of these marks 
are beneath the surface, some deeply, others but slightly, so that there are several shades of brown, 
becoming lilac in the deepest laid marks, the balance of the eggs being but very sparingly speckled. 
The other two eggs contain several blotches at the crown; otherwise they are similar. 


Plate LXVIII, Fig. 3, represents three eggs of the Blue Yellow-backed Warbler, from Eastern 
New York. They are of the common sizes, shapes, and markings. There is but little doubt that this 
Warbler builds in Ohio, though I can find no nest and eggs in any of the local cabinets. It has been 
seen in late June in the central part of the State, and I have in my possession a nest and two eggs 
from near Mt. Sterling which probably belong to this species, though the materials of construction are 
very dissimilar from that of the eastern nests. It contains a few threads of long gray lichen or tree 
moss of some kind, and numerous wiry threads of vegetable fibre. In appearance it resembles a 
Baltimore Oriole's nest, but is much smaller. 


Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 4. 8IURUS MOTACILLA-Large-billed Water Thrush. 

"Common summer resident, but of irregular distribution. Arrives about the middle of April or 
earlier, and departs in August. 

"The Large-billed Water Thrush is one of the birds which is not uniformly distributed, either when 
migrating or breeding. In general, it may be said that as we approach the northern limit of the range 
of a species, the individuals representing it become fewer, and, during the breeding season, are only to 
be found in such localities as are pre-eminently suited to their taste and wants. This appears to be true 
in this State of the present species, the Yellow-throated, Prairie, and Pine-creeping Warblers, White-eyed 
Vireo, Whip-poor-will, and perhaps others. When on their migrations they seem to pass rapidly from 
one breeding locality to another, seldom making a stop at intermediate points. 

"In the immediate vicinity of this city, I know the Large-billed Water Thrush only as a rare 
migrant, appearing sometimes as early as April 13th, and with the Yellow-throated Warblers, the first 
of the family to arrive. They are then found in wet woodlands and along the muddy wooded banks of 
streams, never in open places, as is the frequent habit of the Small-billed Water Thrush, nor are they 
as silent as that species. 

"The Large-billed Water Thrush was first introduced as an Ohio bird in my list of 1861, on the 
authority of Mr. John Kirkpatrick, who informed me that it was found in the vicinity of Cleveland. Dr- 
Kirtland and Mr. Read had confounded the two species. Mr. Langdon gives it as a rather common sum- 
mer resident in the vicinity of Cincinnati, and I have seen specimens from Sandusky. My first acquaint- 
ance with the bird in the breeding season was made June 19, 1875, in the 'glen' at Yellow Springs. 
Here I found them abundant, and busily engaged in feeding half-grown Cowbirds. I afterwards found 
them in the ravines above Worthington, in this county, where they were equally abundant, and making 
preparations for nesting. Here they were indiscriminately in trees, on the ground, or wading on the level 
slaty bottoms of the shallow brooks. Frequently they mounted to the upper branches of high trees over- 
hanging the ravines, whence their loud and mellow song echoed along the winding banks with surpassing- 

The above is quoted from Vol. IV of "Geological Survey of Ohio." 


Mr. Brewster describes a nest of this species as follows: "The nest taken with the female parent, 
May 6th, contained six eggs, which had been incubated a few clays. The locality was the edge of a 
lonely forest pool in the depths of a cypress swamp near White River (Indiana). A large tree had fallen 
into the shallow water, and the earth adhering to the roots, formed a nearly vertical, but somewhat 
irregular wall, about six feet in height and ten or twelve in width. Near the upper edge of this, in a 
cavity among the finer roots, was placed the nest, which, but for the situation and peculiar character of its 


composition, would have been exceedingly conspicuous.'* Often the nest is placed beside a log, among the 
roots of a tree, or at the foot of a sapling, usually in the deepest, dampest woods, along streams, about 
the border of ponds, and in similar places. 


It is generally placed in a little depression on the ground, but sometimes, as when among the roots 
of an overturned tree, it is several feet high. 


The materials of construction are leaves, grasses, weed-stems, and similar coarse vegetable materials 
for the foundation and superstructure, and fine fibrous roots for a lining. The nest referred to above, 
taken by Mr. Win. Brewster, is described as follows: "The nest which is before me, is exceedingly large 
and bulky, measuring externally 3.50 inches in diameter by 8 inches in length, and 3.50 inches in depth. 
Its outer wall, a solid mass of soggy dead leaves, plastered tightly together by the mud adhering to 
their surfaces, rises in the form of a rounded parapet, the outer edge of which was nicely graduated to 
conform to the edge of the earthy bank in which it was placed. In one corner of this mass, and well 
back, is the nest proper, a neatly rounded, cup-shaped hollow, measuring 2.50 inches in depth. The inner 
nest is composed of small twigs and green mosses, with a lining of dry grasses and a few hairs of squirrels 
or other animals arranged circularly." 


The complement of eggs is four or five, usually the former number. They are white, blotched, 
spotted, and speckled with faint reddish-brown; deep shell-marks appearing blue-gray. The commonest 
type of these eggs is blotched, spotted, and speckled with faint reddish-brown chiefly about the basal 
third of the shell ; the remaining two-thirds being sparingly spotted and speckled. Another pattern 
has a well defined wreath about the crown composed of confluent blotches, spots, and speckles of a darker 
shade of the same brown, while the remainder of the egg is blotched or speckled here and there with a 
much lighter shade. A third egg is irregularly marked from point to base with bold blotches, spots, and 
speckles. In long-diameter they measure from .69 to .79, and in short-diameter from .58 to .62; a com- 
mon size is about .75 x .60. 

See table. 


Plate LXVIII, Fig. 4, represents three eggs of the Large-billed Water Thrush. They were selected 
from the specimens in National Museum, and are believed to represent the common variations which 
occur, the middle egg being the pattern most frequently seen. 

I have never seen the Large-billed Water Thrush except in the spring, and therefore have been 
compelled to compile this article from the writings of those who have been more fortunate. 



Fig. 5. LOPHOPHANES BIOOLOR-Tufied Titmouse. 

The Tufted Titmouse is a common resident, inhabiting both town and country. It builds its nest in 
May or June, and occasionally a second brood" is hatched the latter part of July. 


The nest of this species occurs in nearly every locality, from the shade-tree along the busiest street 
of a town, to the densest and dreariest woodland; but the favorite place is a tall tree along a river-bank 
or on a river-island, situations where the soil is continually damp and overgrown with the rankest vege- 
tation. Here this bird selects a natural cavity or the abandoned home of a Woodpecker in a part of the 
tree so high that it rears its young in absolute security from man. 


The nest rests upon the floor of the cavity, generally a considerable distance from the opening. Its 
height from the ground is usually forty or fifty feet; occasionally it is as low as eight or ten feet. 


The amount of material in the nest depends largely upon the size and condition of the chosen cavity. 
Commonly there is only sufficient to make a warm, soft lining upon which the eggs are placed. The 
chief substances employed are bits of leaves, grasses, lichens, moss, and often a few feathers and hairs. 
Dr. Wheaton has found the eggs resting on the bare floor of the cavity. 


The complement of eggs is five or six. They measure in long-diameter from .66 to .74, and in short- 
diameter from .53 to .57; a common size being about .54 x .70. The ground-color is pure white. The 
markings are made up of spots and speckles, rarely blotches, of brown-madder. On some specimens the 
color is deep and the spots large and confluent at the base. Others are thickly spotted and speckled 
from point to base, but most abundantly at the base, with a very light shade of color. Others, and this 
is perhaps the most frequent type, are sparingly spotted and speckled from point to base, with a slight 
tendency to the formation of a wreath about the crown. Deep shell-marks are not numerous. 


See Table. 


Fig. 5, Plate LXVIII, illustrates three eggs of the Tufted Titmouse, of the usual shapes, sizes, and 


markings, the middle egg being perhaps the nearest the average in every respect. The specimens from 
which the drawings were made were kindly loaned for the purpose from the National Museum. 

I have often found trees in which this Titmouse was building, but never but once an accessible nest ; 
this contained young. I know of a giant sycamore along the Scioto River, which has a hollow limb about 
an hundred feet above the ground; this limb has been broken off so that the cavity can be entered from 
the free end. Here for years the Tufted Titmouse has built and probably safely reared its young. Neai'Iy 
all the nests of this bird which have come under my observation have been in some such place, where 
none but the most reckless climber would dare venture. 

Dr. Wheaton of Columbus, 0., writing of this species, says: "I have seen them in this city through- 
out the breeding season, carrying materials for building, and feeding their scarcely fledged young. Its 
ordinary note is a monotonous dee, dee, dee, often repeated, as if from habit. Its song is a loud whistle, 
resembling the syllables peto, peto, peto, in addition to which it has numerous and varied notes, some of 
which are modifications, both of the ordinary notes and of the song, others appear to be an attempt to 
imitate other birds, the notes of the Blue Jay being frequently recognized. 

"I do not think it is generally known that the Crested Titmouse has the singular habit of amusing 
itself somewhat as the House Wren is said to do. On two occasions I have found them employed in 
filling holes in trees with flowers of forest trees. In the first instance I watched the birds, apparently a 
pair, for several days, and saw them carry for a considerable distance the blossoms of the ash, and deposit 
them in a hole in an ash tree about twenty feet from the ground. At length, tired of waiting, I mounted 
the tree and found a dark hole only, a stick was thrust into it for a distance of four or five feet, and 
met no resistance. On the second occasion I met with a similar experience, except that disappointment 
was not unlooked for. A lady friend complained to me that a pair of the birds vexed her much by 
picking to pieces and carrying away the moss from her hanging baskets. A gas-post had been put in 
position in the vicinity, but no lantern or gas-pipe had been attached. Into the cavity of this the birds 
carried the moss and any other articles which they found portable. Conjecture fails to account for such 

Many birds busy themselves during the time when their partners are sitting, and also later after 
the bi^ood has been reared, in performing pretty much the same labor as in the constriction of their nests. 
Mark Twain records a fact (?) about the Blue Jay, which occurs to me in this connection, which I believe 
is not generally known by ornithologists. The reader is referred to page 38 of "A Tramp Abroad." 


Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 6. SITU GAROLINENSIS-White-bellied Nuthatch. 

The White-bellied Nuthatch is a common resident, more plentiful in winter than in summer. It 
builds the last of April or the first of May, and usually rears but one brood. 


The nest is generally in woods, in the dead trunk or branch of a tall tree; both uplands and low- 
lands are frequented. Sometimes it builds in a town, selecting an orchard or shade tree for its home. 
At Geneva, K Y., a pair built several years in a large oak tree within a few feet of a dwelling. At 
Grambier, it has been known "to build in a crevice in the Avail of a stone building." 


The nest is placed in a hole, excavated by the birds, as a rule, from twenty to forty feet from the 
ground, and rests upon the bottom of the cavity. A natural cavity is said to be occasionally selected for 
the site. Commonly the nest is in a perpendicular trunk or limb. 


Audubon found the eggs of this species resting on the bare floor of the excavation ; this is certainly 
exceptional. All later observers agree that the cavity is lined with hair, feathers, down, fur, grasses, and 
the like, thrown carelessly together and pressed down by the weight of the birds, so as to form a warm, 
soft resting place for the eggs and young. I have at hand no measurements of the door and interior of 
the excavation, but as I remember them they are about the same in dimensions as in the nest of the 
Downy Woodpecker. 


The complement of eggs varies according to different writers from four to nine. Two sets before me 
contain five and six each. The ground-color of the shell is white when blown, marked with blotches, 
spots, and speckles of brown-madder, usually of light tint. The marks beneath the surface are grayish 
in appearance. One egg from the two sets mentioned is marked at its base with confluent blotches, 
spots, and speckles; the remainder of the shell is quite thickly spotted and speckled, but the marks are 
seldom confluent. Another egg is boldly blotched at its base with a dark shade of color, but the blotches 
seldom coalesce ; the balance of the shell is blotched and spotted more sparingly, but in the same clear- 
cut, decided way. Another specimen is uniformly speckled from point to base with the minutest dots 
of color, so that eighteen inches away it appears like a pink egg with here and there a spot. The first 
egg described is the most ordinary type, but each of the three is common. Of eleven eggs in my 
possession, the greatest long-diameter is .73, the least long-diameter is .70. The greatest short-diameter 


is .61, the least short-diameter is. 53. A common size is about .71 x .54. The eggs of this species in the 
National Museum measure from .68 to .78 in long-diameter, by .52 to .58 in short-diameter. A common 
size is about .73 x .52. The average size of eggs of this species, as given by many authors, is greater 
than the largest egg in the National Museum or in my collection. "North American Birds" gives their 
size at .80 x .62 of an inch. " Birds of the North-west," .78 x .59. '''Nests and Eggs of North American 
Birds," Davie, .80 x .60. " Land and Game Birds of New England," Minot, .80 x .60. "Life Histories 
of Birds," Gentry, .80 x .62. "Oology of New England," Capen, .80 x .60. 


There is a number of eggs that resemble so closely those of the White-bellied Nuthatch that iden- 
tification is uncertain, without full data accompany the specimens. See Table. 


Fig. 6, Plate LXVIII, represents three eggs of the White-bellied Nuthatch of the common sizes, 
shapes, and patterns of markings. The egg to the right is the least common in size and markings. The 
drawings were made from specimens in the National Museum, as my Ohio eggs were at the time mis- 
laid. They have since been found, and from the measurements given it will be seen they are somewhat 
more obtuse than those shown on the plate. 

The White-bellied Nuthatch is the only one of its family that breeds in Ohio, and it is by far the 
commonest species, even during spring, fall, and winter; in fact, in some parts of the State, it is the 
only representative of the family even in winter. It feeds upon insects and their eggs, and is usually 
busily engaged climbing around the trunks and larger limbs of trees in search of them. Its habits in 
this respect are similar to the smaller Woodpeckers', but it differs in its climbing ability from its red- 
headed friends, being able while clinging to a tree to turn around and descend, head downward, a feat 
impossible to our Woodpeckers. 

The following is from "North American Birds," page 115: "The habits of this and the other species 
of Nuthatches partake somewhat of the smaller Woodpeckers and of the Titmice. Without the nois}^ and 
restless activity of the latter, they seek their food in a similar manner, and not unfrequently do so in 
their company, moving up or down the trunks and over or under the branches of trees, searching every 
crack or ci'evice of the bark for insects, larvae, or eggs. Like the Woodpeckers, they, dig industriously 
into decayed branches for the hidden grub, and like both Woodpeckers and Chickadees, they industriously 
excavate for themselves a place for their nests in the decayed trunks of forest trees. . . . The 
European Nuthatch is said to plaster up the enteince to its nest, to contract its opening, and lessen the 
dangers of unfriendly intrusion. This habit has never been observed in any of the American species. 

"All our ornithological writers have noticed the assiduities of the male bird to his sitting mate, and 
the attention with which he supplies her with food. He keeps ever in the vicinity of the nest, calls her 
from time to time to come to the mouth of the hole to take her food, or else to receive his endearments 
and caresses, and at the approach of danger fearlessly intervenes to warn her of it. When feeding- 
together, the male bird keeps up his peculiar nasal cry of honk-honk, repeating it from time to time, as 
he moves around the trunk or over the branches." 




The Savannah Sparrow is a common migrant, but a rare summer resident. I have never found its 
nest, and never but once have I seen it in summer. It has, however, been found breeding at Gambier 
by Mr. H. C. Benson. It arrives in April and remains until about the time for it to build, and then 
disappears to return again in the fall. It probably rears two broods each year. 


The nest is placed on the ground in open land, especially fields of grass and weeds in the neighbor- 
hood of water. 


It is generally situated in a little depression, without attempt at concealment further than that 
afforded bv its similarity to its surroundings. 


The foundation and superstructure are composed of coarse grasses; the lining of finer grasses and 
sometimes horse-hairs. According to Maynard, "Birds of North America," page 99, it measures as 
follows: "External diameter, 4.00; internal, 2.75. External depth, 2.50; internal, 1.75." 

EGGS : . . 

The same author says in regard to the eggs: "Four or five in number, oval in form, bluish-white 
in color, spotted, blotched, and dotted with reddish-brown and lilac. Dimensions, from .80 x .60 to 
.90 x .65." Dr. Brewer in "North American Birds," page 536, says: "The eggs, five or six in number, 
vary considerably in their appearance. In shape they are a rounded oval, one end being much more 
pointed than the other. They measure .68 x .55 of an inch. In some, the ground-color, which is of a 
greenish-white, is plainly visible, being only partially covered by blotches of brown, shaded with red and 
purple. These blotches are more numerous about the larger end, becoming confluent and forming a 
corona. In others, the ground-color is entirely concealed hy confluent ferruginous fine dots, over which 
are darker markings of brown and purple, and a still darker ring of the same about the larger end." 

" Oology of New England"- gives the usual number of eggs as four, with dimensions varying from .52 
to .60 of an inch in short-diameter, by .68 to .83 in long-diameter. Eggs in my possession measure from 
.54 to .59 in short-diameter, by from .73 to .80 in long-diameter. The ground-color is dirty white or 
greenish-white, and the markings are reddish-brown. Some eggs are chiefly speckled, others are plenti- 
fully blotched, spotted, and speckled, while others are mainly spotted. The same diversity of coloring 
exists with these eggs as with the eggs of the Song Sparrow. 


See Table. 


Fig. 7, Plate LXVIII, represents three eggs of the Savannah Sparrow, of the common sizes, shapes, 
and markings. They were selected from eggs furnished by Mr. Jenks, of Providence, R. I. 

Mr. Maynard has written so pleasantly of the southern home of this species, that I take pleasure 
in quoting him. He says: "The Savannahs of Florida are wide spread plains, either fresh or salt. 
The former are covered with a luxuriant growth of grass, often six feet high, while on the latter the 
herbage is shorter, and consists of several species of plants, among which is the peculiar sea purslane 
(sesurium portulacastrum). This creeping herb quite covers the ground in many localities, and the red, 
succulent leaves yield a peculiar spicy scent when crushed beneath the feet. This aromatic odor always 
reminds me of the marshes of Indian River, for it was there that I first saw the plant growing to 
perfection. These salt plains are the resorts of many birds, but none are more abundant there than the 
little Sparrows which I have under consideration, and which derive their common and specific names 
from their habit of frequenting savannahs. Many other species of the family are arboreal, but none 
among them are so fond of open, grassy sections as the Savannah Sparrows. In Florida, they are abun- 
dant in the marshy country along the sea board, or rivers of the interior, and are common on the 
plantations of Georgia and the Carolinas. In Pennsylvania, they are found in the rich interval lands; 
in Massachusetts and Maine they swarm along the sand hills and marshes of the coast, and I have even 
found them on the grassy hillsides of the Magdalen Islands, Gulf of St. Lawrence. They are retiring in 
habits, often running a long distance before flying. The males, however, are fond of perching on a low 
limb of a tree or fence top, to give their peculiar lay, which consists of a few lisping notes terminating 
in a faint warble; the whole performance being rather an unsatisfactory apology for a song. 

" The nests are built on the ground in open fields, along the edges of the sand hills, or on the 
marshes. There is very little attempt at concealment, but as the females sit closely it is exceedingly 
difficult to flush them, and when forced to leave they will frequently run some distance before rising, often 
feigning lameness in order to attract attention from the nests. The eggs are deposited about the first of 
June, and a second litter in July. They breed a little later on the Magdalen Islands, where I should 
judge that they only rear one brood. They leave Florida early in March, arriving in New England 
about the middle of April, and remain until the first of November. 1 ' 


Plate LXVIII. 


This beautiful representative of the family of Fringillidae is found in summer only in the north- 
eastern part of the State, and then in limited numbers. In other sections it is occasionally seen in 
the spring and fall, and in the extreme southern counties, even in winter. It builds in May, or early 
June for the first brood, and late in July for the second. 


At Geneva, N. Y., where the Purple Finch is one of the commonest summer residents, it builds 
almost exclusively in evergreen trees about town and country lawns. I have also known it to build in 
a pear tree. During its migrations in spring it usually frequents woods, where it feeds upon the buds 
of the trees and seeds; but later, when the foliage is fully started, it chooses more open ground. In the 
campus of Hobart College, I have taken numbers of their nests from the ornamental pines, cedars, and 
firs, which adorn the grounds. 


These nests were invariably near the top of the trees, no matter how low or tall they happened to 
be, and were usually situated upon a small branch or two, close to the main trunk. Dr. Brewer has 
known this nest to be placed not more than five feet from the ground, and at other times near the top 
of a lofty fir tree. The majority of nests are probably within fifteen feet of the ground. 


Dr. Brewer says : a The nests are, for the most part, somewhat flat and shallow structures, not more 
than two and a half inches in height, and about three and a half in breadth. The walls of the nest 
average less than an inch, and the cavity corresponds to its general shape and form. The frame-work of 
the nest is usually made of small denuded vegetable fibers, stems of grasses, strips of bark, and woody 
fragments. The upper rim of the nest is often a curious intertwining of dry herbaceous stems, the ends 
of which project above the nest itself, in the manner of a low palisade. The inner nest is made up of 
minute vegetable fibers, closely interwoven. There is usually no other lining than this. At other times, 
these nests are largely made up of small, dark colored rootlets of wooded plants, lined with finer materials 
of the same, occasionally mingled with the down of birds and the fur of small animals." 

A nest before me, a fair representative of the species, is composed of a foundation and superstructure 
of brown roots, the coarsest being in the foundation; many of these are one-sixteenth of an inch in 
diameter by six or eight inches in length. They are arranged circularly and form a ragged looking 
exterior, about five inches in diameter outside of the loosest rootlets. Within the superstructure 
is a beautifully wrought lining, with walls about three-eighths of an inch thick, of the very finest, light 


brown rootlets. These are so curly and curved, and interlaced and twisted together at the rim, that the 
inner nest suggests a piece of silver filigree work. The diameter of the cavity is about two inches; the 
depth, one inch. Another nest is very similar in size and shape, but has in its foundation a few weed- 
stems, and in the interior nest or lining a few horse-hairs. Upon the whole, these nests resemble 
closely nests of the Sparrows which build upon the ground, being much flatter than is usual with nests 
built in trees. 


The complement of eggs is four, five, or six, seldom the last number. The ground-color is beautiful 
greenish-blue when first blown, but as with all eggs of this color, they soon fade to dull, light blue. 
The markings consist of blotches, spots, and speckles, and occasionally lines and scrawls of very dark 
brown, almost black. The deep shell-marks appear gray or lilac, according to their depth. As a rule, the 
eggs are sparingly spotted and speckled, chiefly about the base. Occasionally an egg is spotted from 
point to base rather plentifully, with here and there a blotch or scrawl and a few speckles, and also 
occasionally an egg nearly unmarked is seen. Three sets show variations in long-diameter, from .78 to 
84; and in short-diameter, from .56 to .63. A common size is about .59 x .79. "North American Birds" 
gives their length from .81 to .92 of an inch, and their breadth from .60 to .70 of an inch. Davie gives 
their average at .65 x .85 of an inch, and Capen in "Oology of New England," says: "They vary in 
dimensions from .72 to .80 in length by .53 to .62 of an inch in breadth." 


The nest and eggs of the Purple Finch resemble the nest and eggs of the Chipping Sparrow in 
many respects, but there is so much difference in size that they can be easily distinguished, the one 
from the other. There are no other nests and eggs with which this species can be confounded, by even a 
casual observer, if attention is paid to measurements. 


Plate LXVIII, Fig. 8, illustrates three eggs of the Purple Finch, of the common sizes, shapes, and 
markings. They are colored from cabinet specimens. There is a number of nests which the limits of 
this work will not permit of illustrating. We regret this in every instance, but especially when a nest 
as beautiful as the one under consideration must be omitted. This work was promised to be completed 
in twenty-three parts, containing sixty-nine plates; that number has now been reached, and rather than 
continue it through another year or two, it seems best to leave out the nests of many species, and group a 
number of eggs upon one plate; by so doing, the eggs of all known summer residents can be figured, 
but many nests will be left, possibly for illustration in the future as an appendix, at which time the 
birds can also be added. 


Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 9. MNIOTILTA VARIA-Black and White Creeper. 

The Black and White Creeper is a regular summer resident in suitable localities throughout the 
State, arriving in the spring, the last of April or the first of May, and remaining till September, during 
which time it usually rears but one brood. 


It frequents woodlands generally in the early part of the season, but as the time for nesting- 
approaches it is only found in retired pieces of timber with underbrush, according to Dr. Wheaton, 
"preferably second growth, mixed woodland." The nest is built on the ground at the foot of a stump, 
a sapling, or some such place, with but little effort at concealment other than that afforded by the general 
similarity of its materials to the surroundings. 


A slight depression in the ground, or among the leaves and debris of the site, is chosen as a suitable 
position, and thus, supported from below and about its circumference, the nest is snugly and safely 


The foundation usually consists of rather coarse weed-stems, strips of bark, leaves, leaf-stems, and 
the like, arranged circularly and criss-cross, and compactly pressed together. Finer material of the same 
kind, and in addition grasses and tendrils, compose the superstructure, and within this is a lining made 
up of very fine grasses, hairs, and frequently plant down. Nests have been found that were roofed, like 
the nest of the Golden Crowned Thrush, and it is said that occasionally, instead of building on the 
ground, this Warbler nests in a hole in a tree or a crevice in the bark, after the manner of the Tufted 


The complement of eggs is four or five. The ground-color is white, and the markings, which consist 
chiefly of blotches, spots, and speckles, are reddish-brown, the same color as the marks on the eggs of 
L. bicolor. Eggs before me measure in long-diameter from .65 to .74, and in short-diameter from 
.50 to .55. A common size is about .53 x .70. The following measurements are given for these eggs by 
different writers: .69 to .75 of an inch in length, and from .50 to .53 of an inch in breadth, .70 to .75 
in length, and from .50 to .52 in breadth, .65 x .55 of an inch, .70 x .50 to .80 x .55, and .65 x .54 of an 
inch. The markings are generally most plentiful about the base, often forming a more or less confluent 
rin°\ As with most eggs of this size and color of markings, specimens are frequently found without 


blotches or spots, being, instead of blotched and spotted, entirely and evenly speckled, so that a little 
way off the shell appears pink. 


There is a number of birds whose eggs resemble closely those of the Black and White Creeper, some 
of them so closely that differentiation is impossible. These will be considered in the tables, and when- 
ever possible, points of difference will be designated. If, however, the nest and eggs of these various 
species are considered together, and the locality and position of each is stated, then no trouble will occur 
in identification, as each has some characteristic noted in the text, which is sufficient to insure its 


The three eggs figured, Plate LXVIII, Fig. 9, represent the common sizes, shapes, color, and 
patterns of markings. The specimens illustrated were selected from three sets, all of which were taken 
in Ohio, and one of them in Pickaway county. 

The Black and White Creeper is a bird easily recognized by its black and white streaked back, and 
by its habit of climbing the trunks and limbs of trees after the manner of the Nuthatches and Chick- 
adees. When seen in the woods, it is generally busily engaged creeping about the trees in search of 
insects or their eggs and larvae, upon which it feeds almost entirely. It often utters its alarm note if 
disturbed, or if unmolested repeats to itself its apology for a song. I have found the young birds of 
this species in the nest, but have never taken a set of fresh eggs. The parents are very solicitous for 
their young when they are disturbed, and show signs of anger and valor usual to the smaller birds. 




The Hermit Thrush is not an uncommon migrant in April and October, and in limited parts of the 
State it is an occasional summer resident. Dr. Brewer says: " The present species is found throughout 
Eastern North America to the Mississippi, and breeds from Massachusetts to high Arctic regions. It is 
only occasionally found breeding so far south as Massachusetts ; through which State it passes in its 
spring migrations, sometimes as early as the 10th of April; usually reaching Calais, Maine, by the 15th 
of the* same month. 

"It is a very abundant bird throughout Maine, where it begins to breed during the last week of 
May, and where it also probably has two broods in a season. 

"The greater number appear to pass the winter in the Southern States; it being common in Florida, 
and even occasionally seen during that season as far north as latitude 38° in Southern Illinois, according 
to Ridgway." 

Mr. Chas. Dury, of Cincinnati, notes a nest and eggs of the Hermit Thrush taken near said city on 
May 10, 1877, by Mr. G. Holterhoff' 


Minot, writing about this species in "Land and Game Birds of New England," says: "In the 
woods about Boston (and of course in other woods), whether swampy or dry, and also along the wooded 
roadsides, from the middle of April until the first of May, one may see a great number of Hermit 
Thrushes. During their stay here, these birds, often in pairs, and sometimes in small parties (a fact 
which shows that their name is not altogether an appropriate one), spend their time for the most part 
in silence, busied among the dead leaves and underbrush, occasionally resting on a low perch, and rarely 
flying far when disturbed. They are quiet birds, and, though often easily approached, prefer those places 
where they arc not likely to be intruded upon. On leaving this State in the spring, they pass on to 
Northern New England and to Canada, where they spend the summer and rear their young, being in 
some localities the most common Thrushes. In October, they return to Massachusetts in the course of 
their journey to their winter homes in the south, and a few linger until November is well advanced. 
During their sojourn here in autumn, they frequent the ground much less than in spring, and feed largely 
on various kinds of berries, many of which they find in swamps. 

"These birds are to be associated with October, when the roads, hardened by frost, are neither 
muddy nor dusty; when the paths through the woods are strewn with the soft fallen leaves, which rustle 
pleasantly beneath one's feet; when the clear, cold, exhilarating weather is well adapted to exercise; when 
the maples are in the utmost splendor of their brilliant coloring; and finally when the hills, covered with 
the oaks of low growth, where once forests stood, glow with the rich crimson, which at last becomes a 
dull brown, showing winter to be near at hand. 


"The nest of the Hermit Thrush, which has been rarely found in Massachusetts, is placed almost 
invariably upon the ground, occasionally in swamps, but more often on sunny, sloping-, and shrubby banks 
near them. It is much like that of the Wilson's Thrush, though usually rather larger, coarser, and 
more loosely constructed." 


The nest rests in a little concavity, usually under overhanging branches of low trees or bushes. 


It is made of leaves, twigs, strips of bark, roots, grasses, and frequently hairs occur in the lining. 
According to Brewer, it is three inches high, and five in diameter, with a cavity three and one-fourth 
inches wide, and three-fourths deep. Maynard gives its external diameter at five inches, and its internal 
diameter at two and one-half inches, and its external depth at three inches, and its internal depth at 
two inches. The coarser materials mentioned are used in the foundation and superstructure, and grasses, 
fine roots, and hair are used for the lining. 


The eggs in a set are usually four; they are pale bluish-green in color, unspotted, and measure in 
long-diameter from .82 to .93, and in short-diameter from .63 to. 68. A common size is .66 x .88. Maynard 
gives their dimensions as follows: "From .88 x .60 to .92 x .65." 

See Table. 


Fig. 10, Plate LXVIII, shows three eggs of the Hermit Thrush, of the common sizes and shapes. 
They were selected for illustration from the collection in the National Museum. The color is like cabinet 
specimens a year old, and consequently less brilliant than that of fresh specimens. 

I have no knowledge of the Hermit Thrush breeding in Ohio other than stated, though I have heard 
of it being seen at various parts of the State in the summer. It is more than possible that in most, if 
not all of these instances, Wilson's Thrush has been mistaken for it. 


Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 11. ZAMELOD/A LUDOVICIANA-Rose-breasted Grosbeak. 

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is one of our most beautiful birds in song as well as in plumage. It 
arrives the last of April or the first of May, and remains until September or later. In Southern and 
Central Ohio it seldom breeds, and is not a very common migrant, but in the northern counties it is a 
common summer resident. Dr. Wheaton once found its nest on the bank of the Olentansy River, near 
Columbus; Audubon states that he discovered its nest and eggs in the vicinity of Cincinnati; and Dr. 
Kirtland and Mr. Read speak of its nest as plentiful about Cleveland. But one brood is usually reared 
during a season. 


The nest is placed in a tree or tall bush, either in high or low woodland, though the preference is 
decidedly in favor of the wooded bank of a stream. A cranberry marsh or a thicket among sycamore 
trees is said to be a common locality for the nest in Northern Ohio. 


It is usually from six to twenty feet from the ground, and is supported by a number of small branches 
or twigs near the center of the tree. Dr. Hoy, of Racine, found six out of seven nests between six and 
ten feet from the ground, in the central portion of the tops of thorn-trees. Other observers have also 
noticed a liking on the part of this bird for the thorn-tree as a place for nesting. 


Dr. Brewer describes the nest as follows: "Their nests are coarsely built, with a base composed of 
waste stubble, fragments of leaves, and stems of plants. These are intermingled with and strengthened 
by twigs and coarser stems. They have a diameter of eight inches, and a height of three and a half. 
The upper portion of the nest is usually composed of dry usnea mosses, mingled with a few twigs, and 
lined with finer twigs. Its cavity is three inches in diameter, and one in depth, being quite shallow for 
so large a nest." Dr. Coues, in "Birds of the North-west," says: "I have nowhere found this beautiful 
bird more abundant than along the Red River of the North, and there may be no locality where its 
nidification and breeding habits can be studied to greater advantage. On entering the belt of noble timber 
that borders the river, in June, we are almost sure to be saluted with the rich, rolling song of the rose- 
breasted male, and as we penetrate into the deeper recesses, pressing through the stubborn luxuriance of 
vegetation into the little shady glades that the bird loves so well, we may catch a glimpse of the shy 
and retiring female, darting into concealment, disturbed by our approach. She is almost sure to be 
followed the next moment by her ardent spouse, solicitous for her safety, bent on reassuring her by his 
presence and cai'esses. Sometimes during this month, as we enter a grove of saplings, and glance care- 


fully overhead, we may see the nest placed but a few feet from the ground, in the fork of a limb. The 
female alarmed, will flutter away stealthily, and we may not catch another glimpse of her, nor of her 
mate, even though we hear them both anxiously consulting together at a little distance. The nest is not 
such an elegant affair as might be desired; it is, in fact, bulky and rude, if not actually slovenly. It is 
formed entirely of the long, slender, tortuous stems of woody climbers, and similar stunt rootlets; the 
base and outer walls being very loosely interlaced, the inner more compactly woven, with a tolerably firm 
brim of circularly-disposed fibers. Sometimes there is a little horse-hair lining, oftener not. A very com- 
plete nest before me is difficult to measure, from its loose outward construction, but may be called six 
inches across outside by four deep; the cavity three inches wide by one and a half deep. 


"The nest contained three eggs, which I think is the usual number in this latitude; four I have 
only found once. The eggs are usually rather elongate, but obtuse at the smaller end. Different specimens 
measure 1.00x0.75, 1.08x0.70, 1.03x0.75, 1.02x0.72, 0.96x0.76; by which dimensions the variation 
in shape is denoted. The average is about that of the first measurement given. They are of a light 
and rather pale green color, profusely speckled with dull, reddish-brown, usually in small and also rather 
diffuse pattern, but sometimes quite sharply marked; the sharper markings are usually the smallest. 
There is sometimes much confluence, or at least aggregation, about the greater end, but the whole sur- 
face is always marked." Maynard places the complement of eggs at four in number. He says they are 
oval in form, bluish-green in color, spotted and blotched with brown and lilac, and measure from .68 x .92 
to .75x1.00. Capen writes about the eggs under consideration as follows: "Usually four in number, 
often three, and seldom five, are bluish-green, or dull, greenish-gray, spotted all over with obscure lilac, 
pale, reddish, and purplish-browns of varying intensity. In others, the markings are darker and more 
sharply defined." Three eggs before me taken from a nest built near Cleveland, measure respectively, 
1.04 x .67, .99 x .69, and .98 x .66." 


There is a general similarity between the nest and eggs of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and the nest 
and eggs of the Summer Redbird, and the Scarlet Tanager, but the difference in size suffices for easy 
differentiation. See Table. 


The three eggs illustrated on Plate LXVIII, Fig. 11, show the common sizes and patterns of 
markings of the eggs of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The specimens were selected from two sets from 
Northern Ohio. 




The Bobolink, or Reed-bird of the South, is a common summer-resident in suitable localities through- 
out Ohio. About Circleville, there are a number of fields in different directions, where they can be found 
every year, yet there are few citizens who know the bird, or knowing it, have ever seen it here. They 
arrive about the first of May and remain until September, during which time but one brood is usually reared 


The Bobolink builds its nest in damp meadow-lands, and also in clover- and timothy-fields in dry 
uplands. It prefers for its nest a field containing a mixture of blue-grass and red-clover, with here and 
there small trees and bushes, and especially is such a locality desirable, if it contains a little ditch, or 
several low spots of ground which are continually damp. 


The nest rests on the ground in a little natural depression, and is well concealed by the luxuriant 
clover or grass surrounding it. 


The chief materials of construction are grass and clover stalks arranged circularly and crosswise, 
the finest material being used for a lining. Externally, it measures from four to four and a half inches; 
internally, its diameter is about three inches, and its depth about two inches. There is not much of 
interest about this nest. It is well built for its position, and is composed of the materials which answer 
best for its concealment. 


The complement of eggs is four or five. They measure in long-diameter from .70 to .90, and in 
short-diameter from .55 to .65. A common size is about .60 x .81. The ground-color is gray; the marks 
consist of large blotches, spots, and speckles, and occasionally scrawls of warm, ric.h brown, or a darker 
and heavier brown, which, when laid on thickly, appears nearly black. The deep shell-marks are 
frequently numerous, and vary in tint according to depth, from a darker shade of the ground-color to 
purplish-gray. One egg before me is thickly marked with large, irregular, and sometimes confluent 
blotches of Vandyke brown from point to base, and the parts of the shell which have escaped the blotches 
are thickly speckled with the same brown. Deep shell-marks are inconspicuous. Another egg is spotted 
and speckled with sepia about the base, the pointed half of the shell being only speckled slightly with 
the same color ; no deep shell-marks. Another specimen is blotched and spotted moderately from point 
to base with rich brown, and also speckled and marked with a scrawl or two. There are a number of 
deep shell-marks, and these give a purplish cast to the egg. Other eggs differ in pattern through numerous 
combinations, as varied in extent as the markings on the eggs of the Song Sparrow. 


See Table. 


Fig. 12, Plate LXVIII, represents three eggs of the Bobolink, of the common shapes, sizes, and 
patterns of markings. The nest of the Bobolink is very difficult to find, owing to its position, and also 
to the fact that the female will not flush from her nest, but will run off through the grass when alarmed. 
It is therefore impossible to locate the nest by the place from which the female is scared up, and also 
equally impossible to locate it by the place at which she alights when going to her eggs, as she resorts 
to the same tactics upon her entrance to her home as upon her departure. Diligent search through the 
grass over the locality suspected to contain the nest is the quickest and surest way of finding it. 

The most remarkable thing about the Bobolink is its song. It has been celebrated in prose and 
verse until even those persons who have never heard the bird sing must have some familiarity with its 
notes. But to those individuals who in early June have listened to the sweet music poured forth by 
the Bobolink, while perched upon some swaying bough or tall blade of grass, or like a Sparrow Hawk 
balanced in the air, there must ever occur pleasant memories at the mere suggestion of the songster's 
name. In 1879, the Rev. C. S. Percival, after a long residence in the West, met for the first time in 
years the Bobolink. The following verse, handed to me a few days after, seems so truthful and so fine 
in thought that I take the liberty of reproducing it here: 

How are you, old fellow? You know me, 

Though 't is many a year since we met. 
I knew you the moment I heard you ; 

That melody who can forget ? 
That rollicking, jubilant whistle, 

That rolls like a brooklet along — 
That sweet flageolet of the meadows, 

Your bubble-ing, bobolink song! 

In the beautiful vales of Oneida 

I first heard that sweet roundelay, 
Which, afar on the Iowa prairies, 

I 've pined for through many a May. 
But here are the fields of Ohio ; 

And you 've come from those valleys half way. 
To meet me and greet me, still singing 

Your bubble-ing, bobolink lay ! 

'T was kind of you, Bobbie, to do it, 

For here I must linger awhile ; 
And hence to that home of my childhood 

Still stretches full many a mile. 
And, ere I had reached you, the autumn 

Had banished you far to the South ; 
And the snow and the storm-wind had silenced 

That bubble-ing, bobolink mouth ! 

Then sing once again the sweet ditty, 

My boyhood delighted to hear ; 
And my laugh, though a tear must spring with it, 

Will ring out in spite of the tear. 
And the long-silent voices of loved ones, 

And the forms on which memory dotes, 
All shall live in the magical echoes 

Of those bubble-ing, bobolink notes! 

Do you mind, my dear Bobbie, how often 

I tried to poke fun as you sang, 
And mimicked your musical nasals 

Willi my hoarse "Okelang, okelang ? " 
But 1 mind how you commonly taught me 

That the poked is the fellow that pokes; 
For, somehow, you always got round me 

With these bubble-ing, bobolink jokes! 

"Only think" — with your eye cocked upon me — 

"That a chap without voice, ear, or wings, 
" Should think he can mimic the singing 

"Of a fellow that flies as he sings! 
"Ok go Hang. Give it up? You can 't come it ! 

" Chee, chee ! — what a figure he makes, 
" Who apes, with his hiccoughing quavers, 

" My bubble-ing, bobolink shakes ! " 

But Bobbie, how is it? — I 'm puzzled. 

Come to think, it is wonderful strange 
That you look and sing as you used to, 

While I — have you noticed the change? 
Yflur plumage still wears the old colors, 

While mine like a badger's has grown, 
My songs are sung out, while yours echo 

The same bubble-ing, bobolink tone? 

Did your mother, the first time she saw you, 

Dip you, heels and all, into the Styx ; 
And thus, on her musical wonder, 

A long immortality fix? 
Or, down in that South, did you drink of 

The fount Ponce sought for in vain — 
And thence is the fresh juvenescence 

Of your bubble-ing, bobolink strain ? 

I know not, dear Bobbie, and care not ; 

For in fact I 'm as young as yourself, 
For all of your juvenile antics— 

You jubilant, rollicking elf! 
The heart that possesses the power 

Beneath your wild music to thrill, 
Is as young as the heart that produces 

Your bubble-ing, bobolink trill! 

But the heart, Bobbie, never gets older ; 

And that 's the one musical thing — 
The only thing here or in Iieaven, 

That ever could, can, or will sing ! 
And that is the reason I 've lingered 

To-day in this meadow so long ; 
And joined my old base to the treble 

Of your bubble-ing, bobolink song! 


Plate LXVIII. 

Fig. 13. RHYACOPHILUS SOUTARIUSSolitary Sandpiper. 

The Solitary Sandpiper* is a rather common migrant, but an irregular and rather rare summer- 
resident. I have several times found young birds in July, and have also seen old birds in May and 
June. The eggs are probably laid in April or May, and but one brood reared during a season. 


This Sandpiper is very retired in its habits, frequenting little muddy ponds in lonely woods, shady 
nooks, and sloughs along rivers and creeks, and similar damp, mucky places. The nest is supposed to 
be placed generally in an open field adjoining or neighboring its feeding grounds. Few nests have ever 
been taken, and little is actually known regarding its breeding habits. 


The eggs, according to authorities, are placed on the ground in a little depression, the nest being- 
similar to that of the Spotted Sandpiper. Mr. Ridgway informs me that he believes the eggs are often 
deposited in abandoned nests of the Wood Thrush. Such nests, when they occur, as they frequently do 
in the neighborhood of the summer home of this Sandpiper, should certainly be examined. 


Very little attempt at constructing a nest is probably made; either the eggs are placed directly 
upon the ground, or a little rubbish, such as is used by the Spotted Sandpiper or the Killdeer, is carried 
to the site and carelessly deposited in the bottom of the chosen depression. 


Dr. Wheaton, some years since, sent to the Smithsonian Institution an egg collected by Oliver Davie 
in an open field bordering the Scioto River, near Columbus, which, though without any positive claims, 
possessed characters that at the time seemed to entitle it to consideration as possibly belonging to R. 
SoUtarius. Dr. Coues, in " Birds of the North-west," speaks of two eggs of this species from Cleveland, 
belonging formerly to the collection of Dr. Kirtland, as the only ones he had ever seen. They measured 
1.50 x 1.05. The ground was clay-colored ; the markings were heavy and numerous on the larger half of 
the egg, smaller and fewer elsewhere. They were blackish-brown and lacked the slightest shade of 

The collection of the National Museum contains five specimens, supposed to belong to the species 
being- considered. One of these is the egg sent by Dr. Wheaton, referred to above, and the remaining 
four belong to a set taken in the East. The single egg is the one figured; the others are entirely different 
in markings. Their ground-color is drab, finely spotted with dark brown, with many deep shell-marks, 


having a slate-color. They average about 1.30 x .90. Mr. Jenness Richardson, in a letter to Mr. Capen, 
describes the finding of a set of these eggs as follows: "At Lake Bombazine, Castleton, Vt., near Avhat 
is known as 'Birch Point,' there is a small stream emptying into the lake, at the mouth of which is a 
large swampy tract, covering several acres, and having a dense growth of alders. The swamp at this time 
of the year is partially flooded. Here the Woodcock, Snipe, and Solitary Sandpiper are very abundant. 
A search was at once commenced to find the nest of the last bird. One morning, about twenty feet from 
me, as I was about to enter the swamp, I flushed one of these birds, which displayed considerable anxiety. 
I immediately began hunting for its nest, which I soon discovered, concealed, and partly sheltered, by a 
thicket of small hemlocks. The nest was a mere depression on the ground, without any vestige of a 
lining whatever, and contained only one egg. The bird was shot, and, upon dissection, two eggs were 
found, which would probably have been laid in a few days. This egg was found May 28, 1878." 

Maynard, in '-North American Birds," says: "There are few birds, the eggs of which have remained 
so long unknown, as the present species] At first ornithologists were inclined to believe the birds would 
be found breeding in the deserted nests of Crows or Hawks, after the manner of the closely allied 
European species, and such may be the case at times. I am inclined to think, however, that these 
Solitary Tattlers generally place their eggs on the ground. . . . They are from two to four in 
number, varying from creamy to pale buff in color, spotted and blotched with umber-brown of varying 
shades, with the usual pale shell markings. Dimensions from .95 x 1.35 to 1.00 x 1.40. . . . The 
eggs from which I have taken my description came from Utah, and as I have every reason to believe, are 

See Table. 


Fig. 13, Plate LXVIII, represents an egg now in the National Museum, supposed to be that of 
the Solitary Sandpiper. It is the one referred to above, which was found by Oliver Davie, of Columbus. 
It measures 1.83 x .94. 



Compiled from the Authorities and Arranged for this Work by Rev. S H, McMullin, A. 

Accipiter cooperi. 

accipiter, subs. L.,=hawk. 
cooperi,=of (W.) Cooper. 

Accipiter fuscus. 

accipiter, subs. L.,— hawk. 
fuscus, adj. L.=sw r arthy. 

Agelceus phoeniceus. 

ageloeus, adj. Gr. from o\yety,=gTQ- 

phoeniceus, adj. L.,=purple red. 

Aix sponsa. 

aix, subs, Gr. (a#r),=a water-fowl 

mentioned by Aristotle. 
sponsa, subs. L.,— a bride. 

Ampelis cedrorum. 

ampelis, subs. Gr.,=the aa-sli- or 
d/f-EUov, a bird mentioned by 
Aristophanes in The Birds. 

cedrorum, subs. L.,=of the cedars. 

Anas boschas. 

anas, subs. L.,=duck. 

boschas, subs. Gr. (fioaxd':), =&\\ck. 

Ardctta exilis. 

ardetta, Italian diminutive from 

ardea, subs. L.j=heron. 

Latin d.imiii,=ardeola. 
exilis, adj. L.,=small. 

Ardea virescens. 

ardea, subs. L.,=heron. 
virescens, adj. L.,=greenish. 

A participle of inchoative verb 
viresco,=I become green. 

Ardea herodias. 

ardea subs. L.,=heron. 

herodias, subs. Gr. k t ooJO£6z,=h.eron. 

Asio americanus. 

asio, subs. L.,=horned owl. 
americanus, adj. L., =American. 

Asio accipitrinus. 

asio, subs. L.,=horned owl. 
accipitrinus, adj. L.,=hawk-like. 

Astragalinus iristis. 

astragalinus, subs. Gr.,=goldnnch. 
tristis, adj. L.,=sad (voiced). 


Bartramia longicauda. 

hartramia, adj. L.,— of (W.) Bartram. 
longicauda, adj. L.,= long-tailed. 
comp. of longus, =\ong. 
Bonasa umbellus. 

bonasa (properly bonasus), subs. Gr. 

umbellus (properly umhclla), subs. 

Botaurus lentiginosas. 

botaurus, subs. L.,— bittern. 
lentiginosus, adj., L.,=freckled. 

Bubo virginianus. 

bubo, subs. L.,=horned owl. 
virginianus, adj. L.,=Virginian. 

Buteo lineatus. 

buteo, subs. L.,=falcon. 
lineatus, adj. L.,=striped. 

Buteo borealis. 

buteo, subs. L.,=falcon. 
borealis, adj. L.,=northcrn. 

Buteo pennsylvanicus. 

buteo, subs. L.,=falcon. 
pennsylvanicus, adj. L.,=Pennsylvanian, 


Cardinalis virginianus. 

eardinalis, adj. L.,— cardinal red. 
virginianus, adj. L.,=of Virginia. 

Caprimidgus vocifcrus. 

caprimidgus, subs. L.,— goat-sucker, 
comp. of caper,— go&t. 
mulgo,=I milk. 
vocifcrus, adj. late L.,=vociferous. 

C-arpodacus purpureus. 

carpodaeus, subs. Gr.,=fruit-eater. 
comp. of xa ( 07roc,= fruit. 
odxu (o,=l bite. 
purpureus, adj. L.,=purple. 

Cathartes aura. 

caihartes, subs. Gr.,=purifier. 
aura, subs. L.,=in the air. 

Ceryle ale-yon-. 

ceryle, subs. Gr.,— a sea-bird of the 

halcyon kind. 
alcyon, subs. Gr.,— king-fisher. 

Centurus caroHnus. 

centurus, adj. Gr.,=prickle-tailed. 
comp. of *iy- ( oov,=a goad. 
dopd,=a, tail. 
carolinus, adj L.,=(improperly) of 

Choetura pelasgica. 

choetura, adj. Gr.,=hair-tailed. 
comp. of £a/r^,=liair. 
pelasgica, adj. Gr.,=wandering. 

Chondestes grammica. 

chondestes, subs. Gr.,=groundling. 

Formed from %ovs, ground. 
grammica, adj. Gr., =striped. 
From ypdfxtia, a line. 


Chordeiles popeiue. 

ckordeiles, subs. Gr.,— chord of evening. 
popeiue (perhaps from Ttonondt, =cry of 
the hoopoe). 

Circus cyaneus, var. Hudsonius. 

circus, subs., Gr. (xipxoc) 9 =h&Yrk. 
cyaneus, adj. L.,=deep blue. 
hudsonius, adj. L.,=Hudsonian, i\ e., of 
Hudson's Bay. 

Colaptes auratus. 

colaptes subs. Gr. (w/«^:^c),=haranicr. 
auratus, adj. L.,— golden gilded. 

Coccyzus americanus. 

coccyzus, subs. Gr. (#o;«yc),=cuckoo. 
americanus, adj. L.,=American. 

Coccyzus erythropthalmus. 

coccyzus, subs. Gr. (*o*;oc), — cuckoo. 
crythrophthedmus, adj. Gr.,— red-eyed. 
comp. of lpud-pdz,=Te&. 

Collurio ludovicianus. 

collurio, subs. Gr. (xoXXup'uov), - a bird 
of the thrush family mentioned 
by Aristophanes. 
ludovicianus, adj. L.,=pcrtaining to 
Louisiana. Formed from Ludo- 

Contopus virens. 

contopus, subs. Gr.,— short-footed, 
comp. of *ovroc,=short. 

virens, adj. L.,=greenish. 

Corvus frugivorus. 

corvus, subs. L.,=a raven. 
frugivorus, adj. L.,=fruit-eating. 
comp. of fruges=Y>u\se. 

voro,—I eat greedily. 
Cotile riparia. 

cotile, subs. Gr. (/wn/ac),=swallow. 
riparia. adj. L.,=frcqucnting banks of 

Coiurniculus passerin us. 

coiurniculus, subs. L.,=dittle quail. 

Formed from coturnix. 
passerinus, adj. L.,— sparrow-like. 

Cupidonia cupido. 

cupidonia, adj. L., =Cupid-like. 
Irregularly formed from 

cupido, subs. L.,=Cupid. 

With probable allusion to the small 
wing-like tufts on the neck. 

Cyanospiza cyanea. 

eyanospiza, subs. Gr.,=blue chaffinch, 
comp. of /Wv^oc,— dark blue. 
<7/T^«,= chaffinch. 
cyanea, adj. Gr.,=dark blue. 

Cyanurus cristatus. 

cyanurus, subs. Gr.,— blue-tail. 
comp. of *yavct)c,=dark blue. 
(3u ( od,=tail. 
cristaia, adj. L.,=tufted. 


Dendrceca maculosa. 

dendroeca, subs. Gr. ? =tree dweller, 
comp. of oi»3pov=& tree. 
dcxeco y =l dwell. 
maadosa, adj. L.,=parti-colored. 

Dendroeca cestiva. 

dendroeca, subs. Gr.,=tree dweller. 
cestiva, adj. L. ? =of the summer. 
Dendrceca pennsylvanica. 

dendroeca, subs. Gr.,— tree dweller. 
pennsylvanica, adj. L.,=of Pennsylvania. 

Dolichonyx oryzivorus. 

dolichonyx, subs. Gr.,— long-nail, 
comp. of oohyo^^lowg. 

Jj^c,~nail, claw. 
oryzivorus, adj. L.,=rice eating. 
comp. of oryza,=ricc. 

voro,~I eat greedily. 
Dyies auriius. 

dyics, subs. Gr. (V)yr^r),=diver. 
auritus, adj. L., =furnished with ears. 


Ectopistes migratoria. 

ectopistes, subs. Gr. [ixro7tlaTr^\-=^dJX~ 

migratoria, adj. L.,=wandering. 

Empidonax acadicus. 

empidonax, subs. Gr.,=mosqnito king, 
comp. of £//7r/c,=mosquito. 
acadicus, adj. L.,=Acadian. 

Empidonax traiUii. 

empidonax, subs. Gr.,=mosquito king. 
traillu, adj. L.,=of Traill (Mr. T. S. 
Traill, of Edinburgh.) 

Euspiza americana. 

euspiza, subs. Gr.,=great chaffinch, 
comp. of &>,=well. 

<T^/fa ? =cliaffinch. 
americana, adj. L.,=American. 


Fulica americana. 

fulica, subs. L.,=a coot. 
americana, adj. L.,= American. 


Geothlypis trichas. 

geothlypis, adj. Gr.,— earth-thlypis. 
comp. of ;^j=the earth. 

#^7ttc,— proper name. 
trichas, subs. Gr. (Tpc%d$),— thrush. 


Harpjorhynchus rufus. 

harporhynchus, subs. Gr.,=diawk-bill. 

comp. of a ( o-//,=the Egyptian kite. 
fr'jr%oz,=& bill or beak. 
rufus, adj. L.,— reddish brown. 

Helm intliophaga pinus. 

helminthophaga, subs. Gr.,=worm-eater. 
comp. of £fy^Cj~worm. 
(payi£v,=to eat. 
jrinus, subs. L.,=of the pine. 

Helminthophaga chrysoptera. 

helminthophaga, subs. Gr.,— worm-eater. 
chrysoptera, adj. Gr.,— golden-winged, 
comp. of ^o^o^^goU!. 

Ilirunclo erythrog aster. 

hirundo, subs. L.,=swallow. 
erythrog aster, adj. Gr.,=red-bellied. 
comp. of ipu$p6s,=Tedi. 

ITydrochelidon lariformis surinamensis. 
Itydrochelidon, subs. Gr.,=water swallow, 
comp. of SJw^,=water. 

#s^;owy,— swallow. 


lariformis, adj. L.,=gull-shaped. 

comp. of larus,=-& sea bird. 

forma,=form } shape. 

surinamensis, adj. L.,=pertaining to 

Hylocichla fuscescens. 

hyloeiehla, subs. Gr.,=wood thrush, 
comp. of S^,=wood. 
x/^<7,— thrush. 

fuscescens, adj. L.,=somewhat swarthy. 

Hylocichla unahcce pallasi. 

hylocichla, subs. Gr. ; =wood thrush. 
unalascce, subs. L.,=of Unalasca. 
pallasi, subs. L.,=Pallas\ 

Icterus baliimovc. 

icterus, subs. Gr.,=a yellow bird. 
baliiiuore, Eng. adj.,— Baltimore. 

Icterus spurius. 

icterus, subs. Gr.,— a yellow bird. 
spurius, adj. L.,=spurious, bastard. 

Icteria virens. 

icteria, subs. Gr.,=jaundice color. 
virens, adj. L.,=greenish. 

Lanivireo flavifrons. 

lanivireo, subs. ~L.,=butcher vireo. 
comp. of lanius,=& butcher. 
vireo,=& greenlet. 
flavifrons, adj. L.,=yellow-throated. 
comp. of ^avws^yellow. 

Lophophancs bicolor. 

lopkophanes, subs. Gr.,=crest displayer 
comp. of /ocro^,=crest. 

^y/i^Cj— displaying. 
bicolor, adj. L., of two colors. 
comp. of fo's,=twice. 
cofor,— color. 


Melospiza mclodia. 

melospiza, subs. Gr.,=singing finch. 
comp. of //.i/oc, =song. 

(TTr/tTa,— chaffinch. 
mclodia (properly meloda), adj. L.,= 

Meleagris gallopavo americana. 

meleagris, subs. Gr.,=guinea-fowl. 

Named from Meleager. 
gallopavo, subs. L.,=cock pea-fowl. 
comp. of gallus,=CQok. 

americana, adj. L.,=American. 

Melanerpes erythroccphalus. 

melanerpes, subs. Gr.,=black creeper, 
comp. of /^i/«c,~black. 

£/J77^c,= : creeper. 
erythroccphalus, adj. Gr. ? — red-headed, 
comp. of ipud-po<:,=Ye&. 
y.c<fa/:/ / ,=^\\eiid. 
Melospiza palustris. 

melospiza, subs. Gr.,— singing finch. 
comp. of /^i/o;-,=song. 
<7;r/^«,— finch. 
palustris, adj. Gr.,=of the marsh. 

Mimus carolinensis. 

mimus, subs. L.,=mimic. 
carolinensis, adj. L.,=of Carolina. 

Mimus polyglottus. 

mimus, subs. L.,=mimic. 
polyglottus, adj.' Gr.,=many-tongued. 
comp. of ;ro/uc,=many. 

Molothrus ater. 

molothrus, subs. Gr.,=parasite. 

ater, adj. L.,=black. 

Mniotilta varia. 

mniotilta, subs. Gr.,=moss-plucking. 
comp. of /mov,=moss. 

tIXX(o,=1 pluck. 
varia, adj. L.,— parti-colored. 

Myiarchus crinitus. 

myiarchus, subs. Gr.,— fly-catcher. 

For /jtucaypoz,=md,me of an Elean 
crinitus, adj. L.,=hairy. 


Ortyx virginianus. 

ortyx, subs. Gr. (o/?ru?),=quail. 

virginianus, adj. L.,— Virginian. 

Oxyechas voeiferus. 

oxyechus, subs. Gr.,=high sounding one. 

comp. of o?uc?=sharp. 
. ^oc,=soTind. 
voeiferus, adj. L., ^vociferous. 

Pandion halioetus carolinensis. 

p)andion,=[Javdc6v, a Greek proper 

haliaetus, subs. Gr.,=sea eagle. 

Parula americana. 

parula, subs. L.,=a little tit. 
americana, adj. L.,=American. 

Par us carolinensis. 

parus, subs. L. (parvus) ,=the tit. 
carolinensis, adj. L.,=belonging to 


Parus atricapillus. 

parus, subs. L.,=4he tit. 
atricapillus, adj. L.,=black-haired. 
comp. of ater,— black. 
eapillus,—B> hair. 

Passer domestieus. 

passer, subs. L.,=a sparrow. 
domestieus, adj. L.,=of the house. 

Passerculus sandivichensis savanna. 

passerculus, subs. L.,— little sparrow. 
sanclwichensis (properly sandvicensis), 
adj . L . ,— of the Sandwich (one of 
the Aleutian Islands). 
savanna, subs. Hispan.,— meadow. 

Petrochelidon lunifrons. 

pctrochclidon, subs. Gr.,=cliff swallow. 
comp. of 7r&j0a,=a rock. 

yj.hocov,=& swallow. 
lunifrons, subs. L.,=r=crescent-face. 
comp. of luna,=mooTL. 

/rofts,=forehead, face. 
Philohcla minor. 

pliiloliela, subs.Gr.,=lovinglowground. 
comp. of ^&oc,=loving. 
i/oc,— marshes. 
minor, adj. L.,=less. 

Plialacrocorax dilophus jloridanus. 

phalaerocorax, subs. Gr.,=bald raven, 
comp. of ca/ax/yoc,— bald. 


dilophus, adj. Gr.,— double-crested, 
comp. of &Vj— twice. 
floridanus, adj. L.,=of Florida. 

Pious pubescens. 

pious, subs. L.,=a woodpecker. 
pubescens, adj. L., —hairy. 

Picas villosus. 

picus, subs. L.,=a woodpecker. 
villosus, adj. L,,— shaggy. 

Pipilo eryihropMJialm us. 

pypilo (for pipio), subs. L.,=a chirping 

eryihrophihalmus, adj. Gr.,=red-eyecl. 
comp. of ipud-p6z,—redi. 
6wd-a?./x6^, : =ejG. 

Pooecetes gramineus. 

pooeceies, subs. Gr.,=grass-dweller. 

comp. of "o«,==grass. 

gramineus, adj. L.,=grassy. 

Polioptila ccerulea. 

polioptila, subs. Gr.,=gray-wing. 
comp. of 7toXcd<;,=gY&y. 

7rr/AoVj=feather, wing. 
ccerulea, adj. L.,=blue. 

Podilymbus podeceps. 

podilymbus, subs. Gr., — rump-footed 
swimmer, diver. 

comp. of podiceps, adj. L.,=rump- 

footed [podex=YVLm.y,pes={oot). 

colymbus, subs. Gr. {x6h)fxfio$)y= 

podi(ccps) (cot) lymbus. 
podiceps, adj., L.,=rump-foQted. 

Porzana Carolina. 

porzana, subs. Ital.,=a crake. 
Carolina, adj.,=of Carolina. 

Prague purpurea. 

progne, Gr. prop. name,=:swallow. 
purpurea, adj. L., =purple. 

Protonotaria cltrea. 

protonotaria, subs. L.,=prothonotary. 

cltrea, adj. L.,=yellow.. 

Pyranga ruba. 

pyra?ig a, =n&tive Indian name. 
ruba, adj. L.,— red. 

Pyranga cestiva. 

pyranga,=T\&tive Indian name. 
cestiva, adj.,=of the summer. 


Qucrquedula discors. 

querquedula, subs. L.,=a teal. 

Same as xspxoupc^. 
discors, adj. L., ^discordant. 

Quiscalus purpureus, var. JEneus.' 

quisccdus, subs. L.,=Quiscal, a proper 

purpureus, adj. L.,— purple. 
ceneus, adj. L..=brassy. 


Rhyacophilus solitarius. 

rliyacopldlus, subs. Gr.,=a lover of 

comp. of (7uaxo^,-=oi a brook. 
<p'do^,=& friend. 
solitarius, adj. L.,— solitary. 


Sayornis fuscus. 

sayomis, subs. L. and Grr.,=Say's bird, 
comp. of sayi,=gen. of (Thos.) Say. 
fussus, adj. L.,=tawny. 

SctopJiaga ruticilla. 

setophaga, subs. Gr.,=moth-eater. 
comp. of <t^c,— moth. 

e<f'ayov,=I ate (iadico). 
ridieilla,=&dj. L.,=reddish. 

Sialia sialis. 

sialia, adj. Gr.,— slavering. 

Perhaps of (TcaXo$,=a, slavering. 
sialis, subs. Gr.,=name of some bird. 

Sitta carolinensis. 

sitta, subs. Gr. (<r/rr^),=nuthatch. 
carolinensis, adj. L.,=of Carolina. 

Seiurus auricapillus. 

seiurus, subs. Gr.,— tail-shaker. 
comp. of <rh(o,=I shake. 
dupdj—the tail. 
auricapillus, adj. L.,— golden-crested, 
comp. of aurum,= golH. 

capillus=the hair. 

Seiurus motacilla. 

seiurus, subs. Gr.,=tail-shaker. 

motacilla,=subs. L.,=water wag-tail. 
Spizella pusilla. 

spizella, Ital. subs.,=little finch. 
Formed from <7;r;ca,=finch. 

pusilla, adj. L.,=very little. 

Spizella socialis. 

spizella, Ital. subs.,=little finch. 
socialis, adj. L.,— companionable. 

Stelgidopteryx serripennis. 

stelgidopteryx, subs. Gr.,=rough--win£ 
"ipuz, =wing. 
serripennis, subs. L.,=rough-wing. 
comp. of serraj=B> saw. 
penna,=s> wing. 

Strix nebulosa. 

strix, subs. L.,=screech owl. 

nebulosa, adj. L.j=clouded. 
Sturnella magna. 

sturnella, subs. L.,— little starling. 

magna, adj. L.,=great. 

Tachycineta bicolor. 

tachycintea, adj. Gr.,=quickly moving 
comp. of rayjjz, =quick. 

bicolor, subs. L.,=two-colored. 
comp. of fo's, — twice. 

Telmatodytes palustris. 

tehnatodytes, adj. Gr.,=swamp-dweller 
comp. of re^ct,=swamp. 
palustris, adj. L.,=marshy. 

Thryomanes bewicki. 

thryomanes, subs. Gr.,=rush dweller, 
comp. of #pbov,~ix rush. 
^«v^'c ? — an inhabitant. 
bewicki, subs. L.,— Bewick's. 

ThryotJiorus ludovicianus. 

thryothorus, adj. Gr., ^brush-leaping, 
comp. of &pudv y —& rush, a reed. 
&Y)£*v,=to leap upon. 
ludovicianus, adj. L.,=Louisianian. 


Tinnunculus sparverius. , 

tinnunculus, subs. L.,=kestrel. 
sparverius, adj. L.,=like a sparrower. 

Tringoides macularius. 

tringoides, adj. Gr.,=sandpiper-like. 
comp. of Tp6yfa<;,=& sort of wagtail. 

macularius, adj. L.,=spotted. 

Trochilus eolubris. 

trochilus, subs. Grr.,=a bird of the sand- 
piper species. 

From Tp£%'w,—1 run. 
eolubris, subs, irregularly formed from 
the South American name of the 

Troglodytes aedon. 

troglodytes, subs. Gr.,=cave dweller, 
comp. of Tpttrjrfa},=& hollow. 
duco,~l. enter. 
aedon, subs. Gr. (dr]da>v),— singer. 

Turdus mustelinus. 

turdus, subs. L.,=thrush. 
mustelinus, adj. L.,=weasel-like. 
mu$tela,=w ea,se\. 

Turdus migratorius. 

turdus, subs. L.,=thrush. 
migratorius, adj. L.,— migratory. 

Tyrannus carolinensis. 

tyrannus, subs. L.,=tyrant (kin< 

carolinensis, adj. L.,— of Carolina. 



Vireo gilvus. 

vireo, subs. L. : 

gilvus, adj. L.,=pale yellow. 

Vireo olivaceus. 

vireo, subs. L.,— greenlet. 
olivaceus, adj. L.,— olive-colored. 

Vireo noveboracensis. 

vireo, subs. L.,=a greenlet. 
noveboracensis, adj. L. ; =of New York. 


Zenaidura carotin ensis. 

zenaidura, subs.,=Zenaide-tail. 

comp. of Zenaide,=proper name. 
carolinensis, adj. L.,=of Carolina. 

Zamelodia ludovicianus. 

zamelodia, subs. Gr.,— much singing. 
comp. of £<£;=very. 

/i£^cyjo/«,=melody (perhaps 
for ^eAu;<?6c,=melodioiis). 
ludovicianus, adj. L.,=of Louisiana. 
From Ludovicus,=Louis. 

Note — The above key gives the names as they are in the text and upon the plates. Coues' "Check List" of 1873 was used for the first few parts, afterward 
the nomenclature of the United States National Museum, edition of 1881, was exclusively employed. 










MRS. S. B. CONE, . 

J. A. HAWKS, . 












DR. W. W. DAWSON, . 









I). P. REMER, 

DULAU & CO., . 







0. J. MAYNARD, . 


Circleville, Ohio. 
Farmington, Conn. 
Palnesville, Ohio. 
Washington, D. C 
Worcester, Mass. 
Baltimore, Md. 
Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Stockbridge, Mass. 


Cleveland, Ohio. 

Fremont, Ohio. 

Peterboro, Ontario, Canada. 

Boston, Mass. 

Boston, Mass. 

West Point, New York. 

Columbus, Ohio. 

Highland Falls, Neav York. 

Boston, Mass. 

Albany, Neav York. 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Cambridge, Mass. 


Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Norwich, Conn. 


Columbus, Ohio. 
Oberlin, Ohio. 
London, England. 
New York City. 


Washington, D. C. 
East Hampton, Mass. — Uncolored 
Abilene, Kansas — Uncolored. 
Newtonville, Mass. — Uncolored. 
Washington, D. C. — Uncolored. 



Plates Published in 1879. 
I. Icterus galbula. — Baltimore Oriole. 
II. Hylodchla mustelina, — Wood Thrush. 

III. Coceyzus erythropthahnus. — Black-billed Cuckoo. 

IV. Cyanospiza cyanea. — Indigo Bird. 

V. Agekt'us phceniceus. — Red-and-buff-shouldered Black, 

VI. Tyrannus carolinensis. — Kingbird. 

Plates Published in 1880. 
VII. Quiscalus purpureas (var. JEneus, Rdgw.). — Bronzed 

VIII. Merula migratoria. — Robin . 
IX. Lanius ludovicianus. — Loggerhead Shrike. 
X. Sayornis fuscus. — Pewit Flycatcher. 
XI. Tkryothorus ludovicianus, — Great Carolina Wren. 
XII. Sialia sialis. — Bluebird. 

XIII. Hirundo erythrogaster. — Barn Swallow. 

XIV. Coceyzus americanus. — Yellow-billed Cuckoo. 
XV. Dendrceca (estiva. — Summer Warbler. 

XVI. Sp'tzella pusilla. — Field Sparrow. 
XVII. Galeoscoptes carolinensis. — Catbird. 
XVIII. Ortyx virginiana. — Quail; Bob-white. 

Plates Published in 1881. 

XIX. Fig. 1. Empidonax acadicus. — Acadian Flycatcher. 
" " 2. Contopus virens. — Wood Pewee. 

XX. Icteria virens. — Yellow-breasted Chat. 

XXI. Geothlypis trichas. — Maryland Yellow-throat. 

XXII. Cardinalis virginianus. — Card in al Red bird. 

XXIIL Fig. 1. Vireosylvia gilva. — Warbling Vireo. 

" " 2. Vireosylvia olivacea. — Red-eyed Vireo. 

XXIV. Zenaidura carolinensis. — Mourning Dove. 

XXV. Fig. 1. Trochilus colubris. — Ruby-throated Humming- 
" " 2. Polioptila ccendea. — Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. 

XXVI. Spizella socialis. — Chipping Sparrow. 

XXVII. Butorides viresc&ns. — Green Heron. 

XXVIII. Progne purpurea. — Purple Martin. 

XXIX. Euspiza americana. — Black-throated Bunting. 

XXX. Melo&piza melodia. — Song Sparrow. 

Plates Published in 1882. 
XXXI. Harporhynchus rufus. — Brown Thrasher. 

XXXII. Helminthophaga pinus. — Blue-winged YellowWarbler. 
XXXIIf. Pyranga rubra. — Scarlet Tanager. 

X^XXIV. Pyranga (estiva. — Summer Redbird. 
XXXV. Empidonax pusillus traUli. — Traill's Flycatcher. 
XXXVI. Cyanocitta eristata.^ — Blue Jay. 
XXXVII. Pipilo erythrophihalmus. — Chewink ; Towhee. 
XXXVIII. Sturnella magna. — Meadow Lark. 
XXXIX. Fig. 1. Pandion kaliaetus carolinensis. — Fish Hawk ; 
American Osprey. 
" 2. Meleagris gallopavo americana. — Wild Turkey. 
" 8. Cathartes aura. — Turkey Buzzard. 
XL. Icterus spurius. — Orchard Oriole. 
XLI. Petrochelidon lunifrons. —Cliff Swallow. 
XLII. Thryothorus bewicki. — Bewick's Wren. 

Plates Published in 1883. 

XLIII. Astragalinus tristis. — American Goldfinch. 
XLIV. Melanerpes erythrocephalus.— Red-headed Woodpecker. 
XLV. Fig. 1. Tringoides macularius. — Spotted Sandpiper. 
' ( 2. Oxyechus vociferus. — Killdeer. 
" 3. Asio accipitrinus. — Short-eared Owl. 
" 4. Corvus frugivorus. — Common Crow. 
XL VI. Telmatodytes %)cdustris. — Long-billed Marsh Wren. 
XLVII. Fig. 1. Hydroehelidon lariformis surinamensis. — Black 
" 2. Ceryle aleyon. — Belted Kingfisher. 
" " 3. Gallinula galeala. — Florida Gallinule. 

" "4. JPulica americana. — American Coot. 

Fig. 1. Vireo noveboraeensis. — White-eyed Vireo. 

" 2. Pocecetes gramineus. — Grass Finch. 
Fig. 1. Tinnuncidus sparverius. — Sparrow Hawk. 
" 2. Accipiter cooperi. — Cooper's Hawk. 
" 3. JButeo lineatus. — Red-shouldered Hawk. 
" 4. Buteo borealis. — Red-tailed Hawk. 
Troglodytes aedon. — House Wren. 
Setophaga ruticilla. — American Redstart. 
Ampelis cedrorum. — Cedar Wax-wing. 
Fig. 1. Melospiza palustris. — Swamp Sparrow. 
" " 2. Chcetura pelasgica. — Chimney Swift. 

LIV. Fig. 1. Myiardiuscrinitus. — Great Crested Flycatcher. 
" " 2. Passer domesticus. — English Sparrow. 

" 3. Molothrus ater.— Cowhhxl. 
" " 4. ChordeUes popetue, — Nighthawk. 

" " 5. Colaptes auratus. — Yellow-shafted Flicker. 

" "6. Caprimulgus vociferus. — Whip-poor-will. 

" " 7. Ardea herodias. — Great Bine Heron. 















Fig. 1. 

" 2. 

" 3. 

" 4. 
Fig. 1. 

" 9 


Plates Published in 1884. 

Ghondestes grammica. — Lark Pinch. 

Pious pubcscens. — Downy Woodpecker. 

Dendrocca pennsylvanica. — Chestnut-sided Warbler. 

Plates Published in 1885. 
Hylocichla fuscescens. — Wilson's Thrush. 

Circus hudsonius. — Marsh Hawk. 
Buteo pennsylvan'tcus, — Broad-winged Hawk. 
Strix nebulosa. — Barred Owl. 
Bubo virginianus. — Great Horned Owl. 
Cotile -riparia. — Bank Swallow. 
Slelgidopteryx serripennis. — Roughed-winged 

3. Protonotaria citrca. — Prolhonotary Warbler. 

4. Cotiimicvlus passerinus. — Yellow - winged 

5. Pants carolinensis.- — Carolina Chickadee. 

6. Bonasa umbellus — Ruffed Grouse. 

7. Ardetta ex'dls. — Least Bittern. 

8. Asia amerlc-anus. — American Long-eared Owl. 

9. Pkilohela minor. — American Woodcock. 

Plates Published in 1886. 

Lanivlreo flavifrons. — Yellow-throated Vireo. 
Helminthophaga chrysoptera. — Golden-win \ 

Querqiiedula discors, — Blue-winged Teal. 
Botauriis lentlginosus. — American Bittern. 
" 3. Aix sponsa. — Wood Duck. 
" 4. Anas bosccts. — Mallard. 
Fig. 1. Accip'Uer fuscus. — Sharp-shinned Hawk. 
,, 2. Pod'dymbus podiceps. — Thick-billed Grebe. 



( i 







Fig. 3 


« 4 

I i 

" 5. 


Fig. 1 


" 2, 

1 1 

" 3 

1 1 

" 4 

i t 

" 5 

i < 

" 6 


" 7 

t ( 

( ' 8 


11 9 








Fig. 1 




Cupidonia cupido. — Prairie Hen. 

Dyies auritus. — Horned Grebe. 

Bartramia longicauda. — Bartram's Sandpiper. 

Plcus villosus.—EL&ixy Woodpecker. 

Centurus carolinus. — Red-bellied Woodpecker. 

Porzana Carolina. — Sora Rail. 

Mimus polyglottus. — Mockingbird. 

Eciopistes migratoria. — Passenger Pigeon. 

Rallies virginianus. — Virginia Rail. 

Eallus elcgans. — Red breasted Rail. 

Scops asio. — Little Screech Owl. 

Phalacrocorax dilophns floridamis. — Florida 
auricapillus. — Golden-crowned Thrush. 
atricapillus. — Black-capped Chickadee. 
ids fprmosa. — Kentucky Warbler. 

Tachycineta bicolor. — White-bellied Swallow. 

Dendrceca maculosa. — Black and Yellow 

Panda americana. — Blue Yellow-backed 

Siurus motacilla, — Large-billed Water Thrush. 

Lophophanes bicolor. — Tufted Titmouse. 

Sitta carolinensis. — White-bellied Nuthatch. 

Passer cuius sandwichensis savanna. — Savannah 

Carpodacus purpureas. — Purple Finch. 

Mniotilta varia. — Black and White Creeper. 

Hylocichla unalascce pallassL — Hermit Thrush. 

Zamelodia ludoviciana. — Rose-breasted Gros- 

Dolichonyx oryzivorus. — Bobolink. 

Rhyaeophilus solitarius. — Solitary Sandpiper. 




Acadian Flycatcher XIX 

Accipiter Cooperi XLIX 

Accipiter fuscus LXIII 

Agelseus phceniceus V 

Aix sponsa LXII 

American Bittern LXII 

American Coot XL VII 

American Goldfinch XLIII 

American Long-eared Owl LX 

American Osprey XXXIX 

American Redstart LI 

American Robin VIII 

American Woodcock LX 

Ampelis cedrornm LII 

Anas boscas LXII 

Ardetta exilis LX 

Ardea virescens XXVII 

Ardca herodias LIV 

Asio americanns LX 

Asio accipitrinns XLV 

Astragalinus tristis XLIII 

Baltimore Oriole I 

Bank Swallow LX 

Barn Swallow XIII 

Bartramia longicauda LXIII 

Bartram's Sandpiper LXIII 

Barred Owl LIX 

Bay-winged Bunting XLVIII 

Belted Kingfisher XLVII 

Bewick's Wren XLII 

Bittern, Least LX 

Black-billed Cuckoo Ill 

Blackbird, Red-winged V 

Blackbird Crow VII 

Black-throated Bunting XXIX 

Black Tern XLVII 

Black-capped Chickadee LXVI 

Black and White Creeper LXVIII 

Black and Yellow Warbler LXVIII 

Bluebird, Eastern XII 

Blue Jay XXXVI 

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher XXV 






































































Blue-winged Teal LXII 

Blue-winged Yellow Warbler XXXII 

Blue Yellow-backed Warbler LXVIII 

Bobolink LXVIII 

Bobwhite XVIII 

Bonasa u m bell us LX 

Botaurus lentiginoeus LXII 

Broad-winged Hawk LIX 

Bronzed Grackle VII 

Brown Thrush XXXI 

Bubo virgtnianus LIX 

Bunting, Black-throated XXIX 

Bunting, Bay-winged XLVIII 

Buteo lineatus XLIX 

Buteo Borealis XLIX 

Buteo pennsylvanicus LIX 

Cardinal Redbird XXII 

Cardinalis virginianua XXII 

Caprimulgus vociferus LIV 

Carpodacus purpureus LXIII 

Carolina Chickadee LX 

Carolina Love XXIV 

Carolina Rail LXIV 

Carolina Wren XI 

Catbird XVII 

Cathartes aura XXXIX 

Cedar Waxwing LII 

Centu rus carolinus LXIV 

Cerulean Warbler. .' 

Ceryle alcyon XLVII 

Chsetura pelasgica LIII 

Chat, Yellow-breasted XX 

Chewink XXXVII 

Chestnut-sided Warbler LVII 

Chickadee, Black-capped LXVI 

Chickadee, Carolina LX 

Chipping Sparrow XXVI 

Chimney Swift LIII 

Chondestes grammica LV 

Chordeiles popetue LIV 

Circus hudsonius , LIX 

Cliff Swallow XLI 






































































Colaptes auratus LI V 

Coccyzus americanus XIV 

Coccyzus erythrophthalmus Ill 

Collurio ludovicianus IX 

Common Crow XLV 

Contopus virens XIX 

Corvus frugivorus ■ XLV 

Cormorant, Florida LXIV 

Cotile riparia LX 

Coturniculus passerinns LX 

Cowbird LIV 

Coot, American XL VII 

Cooper's Hawk XLIX 

Creeper. Black and White LXVIII 

Crow Blackbird VII 

Crow, Common XLV 

Cuckoo, Black-billed Ill 

Cuckoo, Yellow-billed XIV 

Cupidonia cupido LXIII 

Cyanospiza cyanea ■••• IV 

Cyan urus cristatus XXXVI 

Dendrceca maculosa LXVIII 

Dendrceca sestiva XV 

Dendrceca pennsyl vanica LVII 

Dolichonyx oryzivorus LXVIII 

Dove, Carolina XXIV 

Downy Wood pecker LVI 

Duck, Summer LXII 

Duck, Wood LXII 

Duck, Mallard; Greeuhead LXII 

Dy tes auritus LXIII 

Eastern Bluebird XII 

Ectopistes migratoria LXIV 

Eggs, key to 

Empidonax acadicus XIX 

Empidonax traillii XXXV 

English Sparrow LIV 

Euspiza americana XXIX 

Finch, Purple LXVIII 

Field Sparrow XVI 

Finch, Lark LV 

Finch, Grass XLVIII 

Fish Hawk XXXIX 

Flicker, Yellow-shafted LIV 

Florida Gallinule XLVII 

Florida Cormorant LXIV 

Flycatcher, Acadian XIX 

Flycatcher, Pewit X 

Flycatcher, Traill's XXXV 






' 45 











































































Flycatcher, Great Crested. 
Fulica americana 

Gallinule, Florida 

Gallin u la galeata 

Geothylpis trichas 

Goldfinch, American 

Golden-crowned Thrush 

Golden-winged Warbler 

Grackle, Bronzed , 

Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray 

Grass Finch 

Great Blue Heron 

Grebe, Horned 

Grebe, Thick-billed 


Great Carolina Wren 

Great Crested Flycatcher 

Great Horned Owl 

Green Heron 

Grosbeak, Rose-breasted 

Ground Robin 

Grouse, Ruffed 

Grouse, Pinnated 

Hairy AVood pecker 

Harporhynch us rufus 

Hawk, Broad-winged 

Hawk, Cooper's 

Hawk, Marsh 

Hawk, Sparrow 

Hawk, Sharp-shinned 

Hawk, Fish 

Hawk, Red-shouldered 

Hawk, Red-tailed 

Helminthophaga pin us 

Helminthophaga chrysoptera 

Heron, Green 

Heron , Great Blue 

Hermit Thrush 

Hirun do erythrogaster 

Horned Grebe 

House Wren 


Hydrochelidon lariformis surinamensis... 

Plylocichla fusccscens 

Hylocichla unalascse pallasi 

Icterus baltimore 

Icterus spurius 

Icteria virens 







































































































































Plate. Tig. Page. 

Jaybird XXXVI 123 

Jay, Blue XXXVI 123 

Key, Etymological 315 

Key to Eggs 34 

Killdeer XLV 2 151 

Kingbird VI 51 

Kingfisher, Belted XLVII 2 161 

Kentucky Warbler LXVII 287 

Lanivireo flavifrons LXI 1 241 

Lark Finch LV 203 

Least Bittern LX 7 235 

Lark Meadow XXXVIII 127 

Large-billed Water Thrush LXVIII 4 295 

List of permanent residents 12 

List of summer residents 11 

List of probable residents 12 

List of every species found in Ohio 13-26 

List of subscribers 321 

Long-billed Marsh Wren XL VI 157 

Long-eared Owl LX 8 237 

Loggerhead Shrike. IX 57 

Lophophanes bicolor LXVIII 5 297 

Mallard Duck LXII 4 253 

Marsh HawK LIX 1 211 

Maryland Yellow-throat XXI 89 

Martin, Purple XXVIII 107 

Meadow Lark XXXVIII 127 

Meleagris gallopavo americana XXXIX 2 131 

Melanerpes erythrocepbalus XLIV 147 

Melospiza melodia XXX 111 

Melospiza palustris LIII 1 185 

Mimus carolinensis XVII 75 

Mimus polyglottus LXIV 4 271 

Mniotilta varia LXVIII 9 305 

Mockingbird LXIV 4 271 

Molothrus ater LIV 3 193 

Mottled Owl LZIV 8 279 

Myiarchus crinitus -■• LIV 1 189 

Names of subscribers 321 

Nighthawk LIV 4 195 

Nuthatch, White-bellied LXVIII 6 299 

Oporornis formosa LXVII 287 

Orchard Oriole XL 139 

Oriole, Baltimore I 41 

Oriole, Orchard XL 139 

Ortyx virginianus XVIII 77 

Owl, Barred LIX 3 215 

Owl, Short-eared XLV 3 153 

Plate. Fig. Page. 

Owl, Great Horned LIX 4 217 

Owl, Long-eared LX 8 237 

Owl, Little Screech LXIV 8 279 

Oxyechus vociferus. XLV 2 151 

Pandiou haliaetus carolinensis XXXIX 1 129 

Parula americana LXVIII 3 293 

Parus carolinensis LX 5 227 

Parus atricapillus LXVI 285 

Passer domesticus LIV 2 191 

Passenger Pigeon LXIV 5 273 

Passerculus sandwichensis savanna LXVIII 7 301 

Petrochelidon lunifrons XLI 141 

Pewit Flycatcher X 59 

Phalacrocorax dilophus floridanus LXIV 9 281 

Philohela minor LX 9 239 

Picus pubescens LVI 205 

Picus villosns LXIV 1 265 

Pipilo erythrophthalmus XXXVII 125 

Pigeon, Passenger LXIV 5 273 

Pocecetes gramineus XLVIII 2 169 

Polioptila c£erulea XXV 2 101 

Podilymbus podiceps LXIII 2 257 

Porzana Carolina LXIV 3 269 

Prairie Hen LXIII 3 259 

Pvogne purpurea XXVIII 107 

Protouotaria citrea LX 3 223 

Prothonotary Warbler LX 3 223 

Purple Martin XXVIII 107 

Purple Finch LXVIH 8 303 

Pyranga rubra.. XXXIII 117 

Pyrauga sestiva XXXIV 119 

Quail XVIH 77 

Quercpiedula discors LXII 1 245 

Qniscalus purpureus VII 53 

Rail, Carolina LXIV 3 269 

Rail, Sora LXIV 3 269 

Rail, Virginia LXIV 6 275 

Rail, Red-breasted LXIV 7 277 

Rallus elegans LXIV 7 277 

Rallus virginianus LXIV 6 275 

Red-breasted Rail LXIV 7 277 

Red-bellied Woodpecker LXIV 2 207 

Redbird, Cardinal XXII 91 

Redbird, Summer XXXIV 119 

Red-headed Woodpecker XLIV 147 

Red-eyed Vireo XXIII 2 95 

Red Start, American LI 181 

Red-shouldered Hawk XLIX 3 175 

Red-tailed Hawk XLIX 4 177 

Red-winded Blackbird V 49 


Plate. Fig. Page. 

Rhyacophilus solitarius LXVIII 13 313 

Robin VIII 55 

Rough-winged Swallow LX 2 221 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak LXVIII 11 309 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird XXV 1 99 

Ruffed Grouse LX 6 229 

Sandpiper, Solitary LXVIII 13 313 

Sandpiper, Bartram's LXIII 5 2G3 

Sandpiper, Spotted XLV 1 149 

Sayornis fuscus X 59 

Savannah Sparrow LXVIII 7 301 

Screech Owl, Little LXIV 8 279 

Setophaga ruticilla LI 181 

Scarlet Tanager XXXIII 117 

Scops asio LXIV 8 279 

Sharp-shinned Hawk LXIII 1 255 

Short-eared Owl XLV 3 153 

Shrike, Loggerhead IX 57 

Sialia sialis XII 65 

Sitta caroHnensis LXVIII 6 299 

Siurus auricapillus LXV 283 

Siurus motacilla LXVIII 4 295 

Solitary Sandpiper LXVIII 13 313 

Song Sparrow XXX 111 

Sora Rail LXIV 3 269 

Sparrow, Savannah LXVIII 7 301 

Sparrow, Field XVI 73 

Sparrow, Chipping XXVI 103 

Sparrow Hawk XLIX 1 171 

Sparrow, Song XXX 111 

Sparrow, Swamp LIII 1 185 

Sparrow, English LIV 2 191 

Sparrow, Yellow- winged LX 4 225 

Spizella pusilla XVI 73 

Spizella. socialis XXVI 103 

Spotted Sandpiper XLV 1 149 

Stelgidopteryx serripennis LX 2 221 

Strix nebulosa LIX 3 215 

Sturnella magna XXXVIH 127 

Summer Duck LXII 3 249 

Summer Redbird XXXIV 119 

Summer Warbler XV 71 

Swallow, Bank LX 1 219 

Swallow, Barn XIII 67 

Swallow, Cliff. XLI 141 

Swallow, Chimney LIII 2 187 

Swallow, Rough-winged. . LX 2 221 

Swallow, White-bellied LXVIII 1 289 

Swamp Sparrow LIII 1 185 

Tachycineta tricolor LXVIII 1 289 

Tanaeer, Scarlet XXXIII 117 

Teal, Blue-winged 

Telmatodytes palustris 

Tern, Black 

Thick-billed Grebe.. 

Titmouse, Tufted 

Thrush, Brown 

Thrush, Wood 

Thrush, Wilson's 

Thrush, Golden-crowned 

Thrush, Large-billed, Water. 












Thrush, Hermit LXVIII 

Thryomanes bewicki XLII 

Thryothorus ludovicianus XI 

Tinminculus sparverius XLIX 

Towhcc XXXVII 

Traill's Flycatcher XXXV 

Tringoides macularius XLV 

Trochilus colubris XXV" 

Troglodytes aedon L 

Tufted Titmouse LXVIII 

Turdus mustelinus II 

Turd us migratorius VIII 

Turkey Buzzard XXXIX 

Tyrannus carolinensis VI 

Vireo gilvus 

Vireo olivaceus 

Vireo, Red-eyed 

Vireo, noveboracensis. 

Vireo, White-eyed 

Vireo, Yellow-throated. 
Virginia Rail 








Warbling Vireo XXIII 

Warbler, Summer XV 

Warbler, Blue- Winged Yellow XXXII 

Warbler, Chestnut-sided LVII 

Warbler, Cerulean 

Waxwing, Cedar , LII 

Warbler, Prothonotary LX 

Warbler, Golden-winged LXI 

Warbler, Black and Yellow LXVIII 

Warbler, Blue Yellow-backed LXVIII 

White-bellied Swallow LXVIII 

White-eyed Vireo XLVIII 


White-bellied Nuthatch, 

Wild Turkey 

Wilson's Thrush 


Wood Duck 

Wood Pewee 








Fig-. Pnga. 

1 245 

4 295 
10 307 



1 171 


1 149 
1 99 


5 297 



3 137 






6 199 
6 299 
2 131 
9 239 





Woodpecker, Downy LVI 

Woodpecker, Hairy LXIV 

Woodpecker, Red-bellied LXIV 

Woodpecker, Red-headed. XLIV 

Wood Thrush II 

Wren, Great Carolina XI 

Wren, Bewick's XLII 

Wren, Long-billed Marsh XLVI 

Wren , House L 




Plate. Fig. Page. 

Yellow-breasted Ghat XX 87 

Yellow-billed Cuckoo XIV 69 

Yellow -throated Vireo.J LXI 1 241 

Yellow-shafted Flicker LIV 5 197 

Yellow-winged Sparrow LX 4 225 

Zamelodia ludoviciana LXVIII 11 309 

Zenasdura Carolinensis XXIV 97 


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