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Author of "Land Birds," Water Birds," "North American Birds' Eggs, 
"Camera Studies of Wild Birds," etc. 







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This book is the result of repeated requests from sportsmen in the last few 
years for a convenient handbook illustrative and descriptive of the game 
birds. Although there are hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of volumes deal- 
ing with hunting the various species of wild fowl, we believe "American 
Game Biids" to be the first to illustrate practically all of them with accu- 
rately colored plates. 

Circumstances permitting, nearly every man or boy capable of holding a 
gun is, or sometime will be, a sportsman. Many sportsmen are expert orni- 
thologists, well acquainted with the names and habits of most of the birds, 
but the great majority are not and often secure game which they or their 
friends are unable to name. "American Game Birds," according to an old 
sportsman who has hunted all kinds of game in all parts of our country, will 
be a boon to sportsmen of all calibers, for "the novice has got to have it to 
know what he is shooting, the man familiar with the birds of his locality will 
want it in order to see what his brother sportsmen are shooting in other parts 
of the country, and the old-timer will literally renew his youth as he turns 
over the pages and sees portraits of his old bird acquaintances and recalls 
the exact places and circumstances of their former capture." 

A book with this title might very properly commence with the most pop- 
ular game birds and continue down the list to the least popular ones, but if 
we placed the Ruffed Grouse or the Bob-white in the van, some sportsman 
who beUeves there is no game but ducks would be sure to be offended. Since 
there is a natural order of birds that is adopted by scientists the world over, 
we have taken up our so-called game birds in this natural order, an arrange- 
ment that brings the Mergansers or "Fish Ducks" to the fore, even though 
they are not desirable as an article of food. We have included all the ducks, 
even though many of them are not fit to eat, and also all the sandpipers, 
even though many of them are so tiny that none but the veriest novice would 
intentionally shoot them, for the reason that they are very commonly seen, 
can be legally shot, and many are inadvertently taken before their identity 
is discovered. 

Chester A. Reed. 

Worcester, Mass., August, 191 2. 




MERGANSERS {Mergus americanus) are 
large ducks of unusual beauty of plumage, 
but otherwise of comparatively little inter- 
est to sportsmen, since their flesh is wholly 
unfit for the table. Their food consists very 
extensively of fish, a diet that gives a very 
strong and rank flavor to the flesh of any 
bird. That they are exceUent divers and 
swimmers is amply proven by the fact that 
they pursue and catch fish under water. 
The bill of the Merganser is quite slender 
and cylindrical, the edges being provided 
with sharp saw-teeth to enable them to 
firmly hold their finny prey. 

This species, although often frequenting 
salt water, is very partial to fresh-water 
lakes, creeks and rivers. They remain in 
such places during winter, just as far north 
as the water remains open. They are known 
by many local names, among the most com- 
mon of which may be mentioned "Goosan- 
der," "Saw-bill," "Buff-breasted Shel- 
drake," "Fishing Duck" and "Weazer." 
It is well to note some of the major differ- 
ences between this species and the next. 
The male Merganser has a somewhat puffy 
head, but no distinct crest as does the fol- 
lowing. The salmon-colored breast and 
under parts are unmarked. The females 
are more confusing, for both species have 
crests, but that of the present is heavier and 
browner. An infallible mark of distinction 
is the nostril, which in this species is just midway between the eye and tip 
of bill, while in the next it is located nearer the eye. The Merganser occurs 
throughout North America, breeding locally from the Northern States, 
northward. The eggs are laid in hollow trees or, in the far North, usuaUy 
on the ground. 

RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS {Mergus serrator) share most of the 
local names with the preceding species. They are, however, more commonly 
found on salt than on fresh water. They are cosmopolitan in distribution, 
nesting on the ground in Canada and spending the winter throughout the 
United States, but most abundantly on the coasts. 



(9, 6) 

cucullatus) . This smallest of the Sheldrakes 
has a magnificent circular, flat, fan-shaped 
crest which can be opened or shut to ex- 
press the emotions of the owner. Although 
quite universally known by its right name, 
this species is sometimes spoken of as the 
"Hairy-head," "Little, Wood, Pond or 
Summer Sheldrake." They at times live 
chiefly upon small fish, but at some sea- 
sons in some localities feed extensively upon 
moUusks and roots and their flesh then 
is quite palatable. 

Hooded Mergansers are exclusively North 
American, breeding throughout the United 
States and Canada, but quite locally. Their 
half dozen or more buff-colored eggs are laid 
on a soft bed of grass and down, in cavities 
of trees, generally along the banks of streams 
or lakes. These birds are exceedingly active 
on the surface of the water, and more so 
below, pursuing fish with the greatest agility, 
using both the wings and feet to propel them 
through the water. 

MALLARD {A nas platyrhynchos) . Prob- 
ably the most valuable of all wild water fowl, 
for they are easily domesticated and are the 
source from which some of our best barn- 
yard ducks have descended. As usual, 
other names are often associated with them, 
some persons knowing them only as " Green- 
heads," others as "Wild Ducks," while to the French they are the "Can- 
ard frangais" or "French Duck." They are found throughout most of the 
Northern Hemisphere and are very highly esteemed as table birds every- 
where. They feed almost wholly upon vegetable matter, such as tender 
roots of aquatic plants, which they get from the bottoms of ponds in shallow 
water, by "tipping up" and not by diving, and upon various grains and 
grasses in meadows or cultivated fields. 

During early summer, while the female is sitting upon her greenish-buff 
eggs in some remote part of the meadow, the drake moults to a plumage 
similar to that of his mate, only to again assume his handsome dress in Sep- 

MALLARD (<$,$) 


BLACK DUCK (Anas rubripes) . This spe- 
cies is in many respects quite similar to the 
Mallard, in fact it is often termed "Black 
Mallard " or " Dusky Duck." The sexes are 
quite similar in plumage, the female being 
only a Httle lighter colored. The female 
Mallard sometimes bears considerable re- 
semblance to the Black Duck, but always 
shows the two white bands bordering the 
greenish-blue speculum. The present spe- 
cies, too, has white linings to the wings, 
which are very conspicuous during flight. 
Black Ducks are found in eastern North 
America, nesting in Canada and the North- 
ern States, where to a large extent they 
replace Mallards, and wintering south to 
the Gulf States. 

The nesting and feeding habits of Black 
Ducks and Mallards are almost identical. 
They feed chiefly after dark, in marshes or 
shallow water, where they can easily reach 
the bottom. Although usually they are very 
watchful and wary, from time to time they 
forget caution and the marshes resound with 
their loud quacking. 

FLORIDA DUCKS (Anas fuhigula) are 
quite like the Black Duck, but the coloration 
is a trifle more buffy and the throat has less 
streaking. The feathers on the flanks and 
under parts are also somewhat differently pat- 
terned. They are found only in Florida. 

The MOTTLED DUCK (Anas fuhigula maculosa), which is found in 
southern Texas, is quite spotted on the under parts. 

GAD WALL (Chaulelasmus streperus). These birds, which measure about 
21 inches in length, are cosmopolitan in distribution, but in America are no- 
where as abundant as the following species. They frequent marshes about 
fresh-water lakes and ponds, breeding chiefly in the interior and western 
America and being only casually found during migrations on the Atlantic 
coast north of Chesapeake Bay. Compared to other species, the drake is 
rather poorly plumaged, the black, white and chestnut on the wings only 
serving to break the monotony of the general coloring. 


BALD PATES {Mareca americana), that 
is, the drakes, are quite handsomely plum- 
aged, as our picture shows. The name is 
bestowed because of the white crown, simi- 
larly as the Bald Eagle is so named, even 
though it is not in any respect bald. Some 
sportsmen prefer to term this species the 
"Widgeon," but since that is the name of 
the common European bird, the present one 
is better for this species. 

These birds are found, in the proper sea- 
sons, throughout North America, breeding 
chiefly in the interior, from the Arctic Circle 
south as far as Texas. They winter in the 
southern half of the United States and, while 
abundant on the South Atlantic coast, occur 
en the New England coast only casually 
during migrations. 

They are quite highly esteemed as table 
birds, for their food is almost who]ly of vege- 
table matter. They delight in accompany- 
ing flocks of Canvasbacks, Redheads or 
other deep-diving ducks, as they can feed 
upon the roots which, loosened by these 
birds, float to the surface. 

ope) are of the same size as the last species, 
about 20 inches in length, and similar in 
plumage except for the head, which is rusty 
brown with a buff -colored crown. This is a 
common Old World species that quite often 
occurs in eastern North America. 

GREEN-WINGED TEAL {Nettion carolinense). Although the smallest 
of our ducks, measuring but 14 inches in length, this species, which is some- 
times called " Winter Teal " because it mi- 
grates later in fall and earlier in spring than 
the next, is very attractive both in plum- 
age and actions. It nests on the ground, 
chiefly north of the United States border, 
but locally south to Colorado. 

They are very active, swift of flight, 
capable of diving deep and of springing 
from the water in full flight. 


BALDPATE ( ? , ' j 

^yl^f oVaea^n V/idaeou 

BLUE- WINGED TEAL (Querquedula dis- 
cors), which measure about one inch longer 
than the preceding species, are quite com- 
monly termed "Summer Teal," as they mi- 
grate earlier in fall and later in spring than 
the green-winged variety. They are found 
in North America, chiefly east of the Rocky 
Mountains, breeding in the Northern States 
and southern Canada and wintering from 
Maryland and Illinois south as far as Brazil 
and Chile. 

Among sportsmen, this species has the rep- 
utation of being one of the swiftest ducks in 
flight, the most wild and impossible claims 
of speed being mentioned, even up to two 
hundred miles per hour. Careful observa- 
tions by competent men have amply proven 
that this or no other duck can fly at a rate of 
more than sixty miles per hour. 

In autumn they feed upon wild rice, as well 
as other tender plants and insects, becoming 
quite fat and very toothsome, although of 
small size. They are never very shy and 
come readily to decoys, settling among them 
with the greatest confidence. They walk 
very gracefully and easily, and swim swiftly 
and with much buoyancy, usually keeping 
close together, the same as Green-wings do. 

Their nests are on the ground, in patches 
or tussocks of grass in meadows, or along the 
borders of streams, ponds or swamps. They 
are made of grass and weeds, thickly lined with feathers and down; six to 
twelve greenish-buff eggs constitute the full setting. 

CINNAMON TEAL (Querquedula cyanoptera) are abundant on the 
Pacific coast, not uncommon in states west of the Mississippi and of casual 
occurrence in eastern states. They are found even more abundantly and 
more widely distributed in South America. Like the other teal, they prefer 
fresh- water marshes and ponds and are seldom foimd on open salt water. 
Like all very active ducks, they run about meadows and catch a great many 
grasshoppers. This diet, together with the grain and tender plants they 
devour, makes their flesh very palatable. 

BLUE-WINGED -^.i^ , 



SHOVELLER {Spatula dypeata). These 
ducks are very easily identified, not only by 
their unusual and attractive plumage, but 
because of the comparatively large size of 
their bills, which are much larger than 
those of any other species in proportion to 
the size of the bird. Shovellers, "Broad- 
bills" or "Spoonbills," as they are perhaps 
more often termed, have a very wide distri- 
bution, being found in almost all parts of the 
Northern Hemisphere. In our country, 
they breed locally in the western and central 
states and throughout Canada. 

Shovellers frequent fresh-water ponds and 
lakes, especially where there are shallow bot- 
toms well covered with vegetation. They 
feed by "tipping-up," where they can reach 
bottom, sifting the mud through the very 
prominent strainers on the sides ot the bill, 
and eating the many insects and small mol- 
lusks so obtained. 

Their flight is quite swift and often a little 
erratic. They appear larger than they really 
are, for they have considerable spread and a 
large head and bill to give an appearance of 
size that does not exist in reality. Their 
flesh is quite desirable and they are often 
shot from blinds over decoys to which they 
come very readily and with little fear. 

PINTAILS {Dafila acuta), "Sprig-tails" 
or "Spike-tails," as they are about equally 
often called, are quite unusual among ducks and easily identified because 
they have such long slender necks and pointed tails, although the latter fea- 
ture is shared with the Old-squaw. This also is a cosmopolitan species and 
is found in both the Old World and the New. According to E. W. Nelson, 
who has had unusual opportunities of watching their actions during the mat- 
ing seasons, they are very playful, diving into the water when in full flight 
and emerging also in flight, chasing one another about and occasionally 
mounting high in the air to descend on set wings. They nest in Canada and 
south to interior United States. In winter they are usually seen in small 
flocks of their own kind, and seldom with other species. 

SHOVELLER ( 3 , ? ) 
PINTAIL ( $ , 6 ) 


WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa). Nearly 
everyone is agreed that Wood Ducks are the 
most beautiful of any species found in this 
or any other country. The exquisitely col- 
ored and crested head, the iridescent glossy 
back and the delicately marked flanks com- 
bine to produce an effect that cannot be sur- 
passed. Even the female is more beautiful 
than that of other species. 

Beauty proves fatal to them, however, 
for they are hunted, not only for sport and 
food, but for their feathers, some of which 
are used in fly-tying. Wood Ducks are oft- 
times called "Summer Ducks" because they 
are a warm-weather species and sometimes 
termed "Bridal Ducks" because of their 
beauty which is associated with bridal 

They frequent wooded lakes or creeks, 
where they occasionally perch in the trees, 
but more often are found along the shores or 
floating among the grasses of lagoons. 
Their note, which is sometimes uttered as 
they take wing, is a single sharply whistled 
"oeeck." They are of local occurrence and 
breed throughout the United States and 
southern Canada, but they are yearly be- 
coming more scarce in all portions of their 
range. Their nests are in the cavities of 
trees, but not necessarily near the water's 
edge. The ducklings either flutter down 
the tree trunk or are carried to the ground m the bill of the mother. 

REDHEAD {Marila americana). This name is so appropriate that it is 
known by few others, one of which is "American Pochard." Redheads bear 
superficial resemblance to Canvasbacks and the two are sometimes confused 
by novices; the differences are apparent from the pictures, and are pointed out 
in the next description. Redheads breed in central and western United 
States and Canada and are abundant on the South Atlantic coast during 
migrations and in winter. They are classed as one of the sea ducks, because 
they are able to dive to great depths, but are found equally common on fresh 
water. Their flesh is exceUent after suitable feeding. 

WOOD DUCK {6 , ? ) 
REDHEAD ( 9 , ^ ) 


CANYASBACK(Marila valisneria). This 
species ranges over the whole of North Amer- 
ica, but is quite rare on the Atlantic coast 
north of Long Island. They breed in the 
interior and northwestern United States and 
Canada, making their nests on the ground on 
the edges of sloughs or marshes, or some- 
times even piling up rushes in shallow water 
to form a foundation. They formerly win- 
tered very abundantly in the Chesapeake 
and North Carolina waters, but have been 
hunted so relentlessly that only iewer and 
smaller flocks now visit there. 

After feeding for several weeks on wild 
rice, wild celery and the tender shoots of val- 
isneria, Canvasbacks become the most 
toothsome of ducks, although Redheads ap- 
proach them very closely. 

This and the last species differ in the fol- 
lowing respects, as may be seen by referring 
to their respective pictures. The bill of the 
Canvasback is black and high at the base, 
while that of the Redhead is bluish, with a 
black nail, and is ordinary duck shape. The 
iris of this species is red, that of the last is 
yellow. The back of the Canvasback is 
very much lighter and more finely barred 
than that of Redhead. The females resem- 
ble each other closely, but can always be 
placed on account of the differently shaped 
bills. Both are quite wary, but come to and 
are shot over decoys. Their flight is perhaps the swiftest of that of any of 
the large ducks. They are one of the deep-diving ducks, a subfamily 
characterized by having a flap on the hind toe, although how this can 
prove of any assistance to them is difficult to understand. 

SCAUP DUCK {Marila marila). This is the larger of the two species 
that are very commonly known as "Bluebills" and "Blackheads," and less 
often as "Broadbills" and "Raft Ducks." This species measures 19 
inches in length, while the next is about 17, and the head is glossed with 
greenish, while that of the Lesser Scaup has purplish reflections. This spe- 
cies breeds in interior Canada and winters throughout the United States. 

CANVASBACK ( ? , 6 ) 
SCAUP DUCK ( 6 , ? ) 


finis) winter most abundantly in the in- 
terior of the United States, while the last spe- 
cies is the most commonly found on the 
coasts during winter. They nest chiefly in 
Arctic America, but casually south to Colo- 
rado and Iowa, the nest being on the ground 
in or close to marshes, as is usual with most 
ducks. They appear in numbers in the 
States late in fall and are, during winter, one 
of our most common species. A few of them 
pass the severe weather just as far north as 
open water can be found. They usually are 
found in quite large flocks; and as several 
flocks often unite and float about in the mid- 
dle of lakes or ponds, they have become 
known locally as "Raft Ducks." 

They dive in very deep water to pull up 
grasses or pick up mollusks from the bottom. 
Owing to their watermanship, wounded 
Scaups are diflEicult birds to secure, for, other 
means of escape failing, they will dive and 
hang to grass at the bottom, drowning 
themselves rather than be captured; first, 
however, they will attempt to escape discov- 
ery by immersing the body and leaving just 
the bill protruding, a ruse that usually 
works successfully. 

The females of the two Scaups are so 
nearly alike that only the matter of size can 
determine them with certainty. 

RING-NECKED DUCK (Marila collaris) 
same size as the last, is not apparently abundant anywhere, but, during the 
proper seasons, occurs throughout North America in small flocks or individ- 
uals in company with Scaups. The name Ring-necked Duck is owing to the 
narrow collar or band of chestnut feathers separating the purplish-black head 
from the intense black of the breast and back. They are locally known as 
"Ringbills," for the reason that the black bill has a bluish band across the 
middle. The female is quite like that of the Scaup, but can always be distin- 
guished by the prominent eye-ring. Notice, too, that the male has a tiny 
white spot on the chin. 


This species, which is of the 


GOLDEN-EYE (Clangula clangula ameri- 
cana). A handsome hardy species, length 19 
inches, that occurs commonly throughout 
North America at different seasons, breeding 
QDmmonly in northern Canada and south 
locally to northern United States, and winter- 
ing throughout the United States. At times 
we find them in the Northern States when 
the only open water is an occasional air hole, 
through which they are able to dive to the 
bottom and secure their food of plant, mol- 
lusks or fish. Golden-eyes are among the 
most active of all ducks. They spring from 
the surface of the water with the greatest of 
ease, their rapidly whirring wings producing 
a whistling sound, during flight, that can be 
heard even before a flock comes into view; 
on account of this sound, these birds are 
almost exclusively known among sportsmen 
as "Whistlers." Another name applied to 
them is "Spirit Duck," this because they can 
disappear so very rapidly under water. 

Golden-eyes normally lay their six to ten 
grayish-green eggs on a bed of down in cavi- 
ties of trees, but as suitable sites are scarce 
many of them locate on the ground under 
concealment of logs, rocks, etc. 

islandica) . Otherwise known as the ' ' Rocky 
Mountain Garrot," this species, which dif- 
fers from the preceding in having a white 
crescent before the eye in place of a round 
spot, having the head glossed with purple instead of blue and in having less 
white on the wings, is not nearly as abundant as the common Golden-eye. 
They breed in Canada north of the St. Lawrence and in the Rocky Moun- 
tains south to Colorado and winter only to the northern border of the United 
States. They commonly frequent quite turbulent streams, especially while 
nesting. The females of the two species of Golden-eyes so closely resemble 
each other that only the differences in the shapes of the bills can identify 
them, that of the present species being higher at the base when viewed from 
the side, and narrower at the tip when viewed from above. 

GOLDEN-EYE ( 9 , (? ) 


BUFFLEHEAD {Charitonetta alheola). 
These are handsome little ducks, length 13 or 
14 inches, about equaling in size the Green- 
winged Teal. Neither sex can be confused 
with any other species owing* to their tiny 
size and very characteristic markings. They 
are quite frequently known as "Butter- 
balls" because of their small, plump bodies, 
and as "Spirit Ducks" or "Dippers" be- 
cause of the extreme speed with which they 
can disappear under water. In the days of 
black powder, it was quite difficult to shoot 
one on the water, but modern weapons of 
offense give them no warning to dive, yet 
their bodies are so small and their sight so 
keen that they are well able to take care of 
themselves. They breed throughout central 
and northwestern Canada, laying their eggs 
on down in cavities of trees near the banks 
of streams. They are found quite uniformly 
over the United States in winter. They usu- 
ally add some fish to their diet, as do the two 
Golden-eyes, consequently their flesh is 
rather rank, although they are often eaten. 

OLD-SQUAW {Harelda hy emails). A spe- 
cies breeding in Arctic America and wintering 
in great numbers as far south as the Great 
Lakes and on the coast to North Carohna 
and southern CaHfornia. Otherwise known 
as "Long-tailed Duck," "Old-wife," "South- 
southerly" and other less common ones, most 
of which refer to their noisy gabbling. The 
summer and winter plumages are quite different, as shown respectively by 
the bird just diving into the water and the lower one. The male measures up 
to 23 inches , while the female averages about 18 inches long. Their food con- 
sists of shellfish, small fish and insects which 
they can secure in very deep water. Their 
f-esh is very tough and quite unpalatable. 

LABRADOR DUCK {Camtorhynchos lab- 
radorius), the male of which is shown in the 
little pen sketch, formerly Hved off the North 
Atlantic coast, but has been extinct since 
about 1875. 

OLD-SQUAW (summer, ? , 




EIDER (Somaferia dresseri). These very 
large and handsome ducks, measuring 24 in. 
in length, Hve quite extensively upon small 
fish as weU as mollusks and insects; their 
flesh is consequently tough and very unpal- 
atable, but they are nevertheless valuable 
birds, for they furnish the eider down of com- 
merce, this being gathered from their nests 
on northern islands. This species breeds 
from Maine to Labrador and in the southern 
half of Hudson Bay. Another species, 
^^ORTHERN EIDER {Somateria mollis^ 
sima borealis), which differs from this in hav- 
ing the soft basal portion of the bill pointed 
instead of rounded, breeds farther north and 
in Greer land. Both species winter south on 
the coast as far as Massachusetts. Their 
flight is rather heavy and is usually per- 
formed in Indian file. 

PACIFIC EIDERS (Somateria v-nigra) 
are plumaged just like the Northern, except 
that the male has a black V-shaped mark 
extending back from below the bill. Pacific 
Eiders are found chiefly on the coasts and 
islands of the Behring Sea and adjacent por- 
tions of the Arctic Ocean. 

fischeri) are very locally distributed on coasts 
of the Behring Sea. The male has a very 
pecuHar formation of short velvety feathers 
on the head, while the female can easily hz 
distinguished from other species because the base of the bill is wholly 

STELLER DUCK {Polysticta stelkri) is a smaller duck, measuring 
17 in. in length. The male, 
shown in the pen sketch, has 
a black throat and rusty col- 
ored under parts. The fe- 
male is brownish similar to 
the Eiders but of course 
much smaller. These ducks 
are not uncommon in Behr- 
ing Sea and adjacent waters. StaUav "D v.(;W 


EIDER ( „' , 9 ) 

Slpectd^cUd ^'vt^^v 

KING EIDERS {Somateria spectahilis) 
are found throughout the northern parts of 
the Northern Hemisphere, breeding in Arctic 
regions and wintering in America, south 
regularly to the Great Lakes, Long Island 
and the Aleutian Islands. They are hand- 
some birds, as may be seen from the illustra- 
tion, having more black in the plumage 
than the other Eiders and having a very 
large and prominent frontal process at the 
base of the bill. The female is slightly 
grayer than the other species, but can best be 
identified by the fact that the feathers on the 
sides of the bill come far short of reaching 
the nostrils. This seems to be even more ex- 
clusively a sea duck than the others and is 
rarely found inland. It^is of about the same 
size as other Eiders, namely, 22 or 23 in. in 

SCOTER (Oidemia americana) . This is 
the smallest of the so-called "Sea Coots," be- 
ing about 18 in. in length. Because of the 
slightly enlarged, bright yellow, basal portion 
of the bill, it is very often termed the "But- 
ter-bill." This species and the two follow- 
ing breed abundantly in the northern half of 
Canada and Alaska, and winter in "rafts " off 
the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the 
United States and on the Great Lakes. 
They are all excellent divers, feeding in deep 
water; their flesh is, however, very tough 
and Quite unpalatable, although it is sometimes eaten 

KING j;idi:r ( ^ , 9 ) 

SCOTER (9,6) 

SUPvF SCOTERS {Oidemia perspicillata) 
the pen sketch, are about 20 in. in length. 

WhUft-NMrnae-dStoXev Swv^ S>co^ev 

the male of which is shown in 
The female is chiefly gray, but 
has a large spot of white on the 
cheeks. The bill of the male 
is quite swollen and colored 
black, white and orange. 

{Oidemia deglandi), the largest 
of the Scoters, is 22 in. in length. 
The male is shown in the pen 


HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histri- 
onicus). A handsome and trim species, al- 
though the male is garbed in a clownish 
manner. Its pecuHarities are not confined to 
plumage, for Harlequins are rather solitary 
in their habits, while most ducks Hke com- 
pany of their own kind. 

They breed from the Arctic coast and 
Greenland south to Newfoundland and Brit- 
ish Columbia, and in mountains to Colo- 
rado. They frequent, from choice, turbulent 
streams such as are chosen by Golden-eyes, 
and most frequently lay their six to eight 
buffy eggs in feather and down-Hned hol- 
lows near the banks. In some sections it is 
also said that they nest in hollow trees. In 
winter they may be found locally throughout 
northern United States, but they are most 
abundant off the coasts from Newfoundland 
to Massachusetts and from the Aleutian 
Islands to California. 

In Alaska they are said to congregate in 
large flocks before and after breeding, but 
most observers in the States have found 
them in small numbers or even as individ- 

They are medium-sized ducks, measuring 
about 1 7 in. in length, but are unfit for food 
since their flesh is quite tough, coarse and 
tasteless. They are very active in the water; 
can dive very quickly and can swim to great 
depths in search of their food of moUusks and insects. They also rise from 
the water with the greatest ease and can fly very rapidly. They are usu- 
ally quite silent, but are said to utter shrill whistles during the mating 

RUDDY DUCKS (Erismatura jamaicensis) , although small, measuring 
only about 1 6 in. in length, are regarded as very fine table birds. Both bill 
and feet are of unusual size, the latter propeUing them through the water 
very swiftly. The narrow-feathered, stiff tail is usually perked comically 
over the back as they float upon the water. Their short, concave wings 
make a buzzing sound during flight, causing them to be known as 
"Bumblebee Coot" among sportsmen. They breed locally in the Northern 
States and northward and winter throughout the United States. 



SNOW GOOSE {Chen hyperhoreus hyper- 
horeus) . Geese are usually larger than ducks, 
their bills are shorter, stouter and the "gut- 
ters" or flutings on the sides are very promi- 
nent, producing a sort of grinning effect. 
Adult Snow Geese are entirely white, except 
the primaries, which are black. The head is 
often or usually tinged with pale rusty and 
the bill and feet are pinkish. Young birds 
are gray or variously mottled. This variety 
measures about 25 in. in length. They 
nest on the ground within the Arctic Circle 
west of Hudson Bay to Alaska. In winter 
they are found throughout western United 
States and casually in the east. They usu- 
ally occur in large flocks, fly high in a long, 
extended line and are very wary whether in 
flight or feeding. They live on grain, tender 
grasses, mollusks and insects; their flesh is 
palatable, but not nearly equal to that of 
Canada Geese. 

perhoreus nivalis) vary from the preceding 
only in size, measuring about 30 in. in length. 
Large specimens of the last are just Hke 
small ones of this, so that the distinction is 
not perfectly satisfactory, as it has to be 
based largely upon locaHty found. The 
present variety is supposed to breed east of 
Hudson Bay and to winter in southeastern 
United States. Migrates chiefly through 
the interior, but is not uncommon on the Atlantic 
peake Bay. 

BLUE GOOSE {Chen ccBrulescens) . This is midway between the two pre- 
vious varieties in size and for a long time was supposed to be a color phase or 
a young plumage of the Snow Goose. Its breeding range is not definitely 
known, but is supposed to be in northern Ungava. They migrate through 
the Mississippi Valley and winter in the southern portions of it. They are 
also of rare or casual occurrence on the Atlantic coast and west of the Rocky 
Mountains. They cannot be termed at all abundant, but sizable flocks of 
them are sometimes seen and again one or two individuals may be in with a 
company of Snow Geese. Those who have eaten them declare their flesh 
to be better than that of the last species. 

\ . GOOSE 

coast south of Chesa- 


ROSS GOOSE {Chen rossi) . This is by far 
the smallest of our geese, measuring but 21 
in. in length, about the same size as the Mal- 
^^^^■y —--^.„ ^^^d- The greatest difference between this 

^/^^ ~' ' species and Snow Geese, besides size, Ues in 

1^ ^ the bill, which has less prominent teeth, little 

I v*^i ^^ ^^ black along the open sides and which is 

1^ ^^^^ studded about the base with numerous little 

■^ "jj^^i carunculations. The breeding grounds are 

^B^^^^ ^^HIIH unknown, but are supposed to be north of 

^^^H^^K ^ Mackenzie. It is regarded as quite a rare 

^^^B^^^^~ . - bird, but sometimes appears in considerable 

^ * numbers in California during winter. 

EMPEROR GOOSE {Philade canagica). 
We have not figured this species since it is 
found in such a restricted and little visited 
area, it occurring only on the Alaskan coast 
chiefly north of the Aleutian Islands. It is 
a handsome species, the sexes as usual being 
alike in plumage. The white head is relieved 
by a black throat which shades into the 
bluish, slate-colored body, each feather of 
which is edged with black and white so as 
to produce a very scaly effect. 

bifrons gamheli). In the interior and west- 
ern portions of America this is one of the 
most abundant species of geese, but on the 
Atlantic seaboard they are only of casual oc- 
currence. They breed near the Arctic coast, 
west of Hudson Bay, and pass the winter 
months in the lower Mississippi Valley and on the Pacific coast. 

White-fronted Geese are very noisy, their loud and continued cackling 
being responsible for their being known quite commonly as "Laughing 
Geese." They are less often called "Pied Brant." When young birds first 
arrive from the north, they are not timid, and many are killed, but they soon 
become very shy and difficult to approach. When feeding, they post senti- 
nels to warn the rest of the flock of approaching danger. Most of them 
are secured by hunters who ambush them on the way to and from their feed- 
ing grounds. Their mode of flight is a V-shaped formation, the bird at the 
apex leading the way until tired and then falling back to the end of the 
hne and allowing a new leader to break the wind. 


CANADA GEESE (Branla canadensis 
canadensis) are the most highly prized of all 
water fowl. Great creatures, 3 feet or more 
in length, and with tender flesh and appetiz- 
ing, they appeal to the gourmand; wary yet 
coming to decoys, they furnish the greatest 
sport for the hunter, and he also gets game 
worth while when he brings one down. 

Canada Geese breed from the Northern 
States north to the limit of trees and winter 
chiefly in the southern half of the United 
States. Northern hunters eagerly await the 
loud honking of the first spring flock, while 
southern ones just as enthusiastically wait 
their return in late fall. It is a grand sight 
to see the wide V-shaped line of great birds 
swiftly speed overhead, their large wings 
strongly beating the air and from their 
throats to hear the loud honking that sounds 
so like a pack of fox hounds in full cry. 

HUTCHINS GOOSE {Brajita canadensis 
hutchinsi) . This is a slightly smaller variety 
found chiefly in western United States, meas- 
uring about 28 in. in length and the tail hav- 
ing normally but 16 feathers, while that of 
the last species has 18 or 20. It occasion- 
ally occurs on the Atlantic coast. 

canadensis occidentalis) . This species is 
equal to the Canada Goose in size but is 
slightly darker, especially on the under parts, 
and the black on the throat often extends up to the chin, thus making two 
white cheek patches instead of a single cravat extending from ear to ear. It 
is found on the Pacific coast, breeding in the north and wintering south to 

CACKLING GEESE {Branta canadensis minima) are quite small, measur- 
ing but 2 feet in length. In appearance they are just like a dwarfed White- 
cheeked Goose, only the tail normally contains but 14 or 16 feathers. They 
are found chiefly west of the Rocky Mountains. Geese feed upon berries, 
grasses and roots, which they gather in fields, along shore, or by " tipping" 
in shallow water. They swim well, but do not dive. On land they walk 
easily and gracefully compared with the walk of barnyard geese. 



P1HHB| BRANT (Brania bernicla glaucogastra). 
' The common Brant is found in eastern North 
America and Greenland, breeding on Arctic 
^^^ Islands and wintering on the Atlantic coast 
■jHi^ southward from Massachusetts. They 
^n^ make their appearance on the coast of the 

United States in October, the various flocks 
congregating in favorite places in immense 
numbers. They fly with no apparent leader 
and in a compact flock. They are very 
noisy, their notes being loud, rolling and gut- 
tural, quite unlike the honking of geese. 
They are not nearly as shy and wary as Can- 
ada Geese, it often being possible to approach 
a flock on the water or on a sand bar near 
enough for a shot. They come to decoys 
with the greatest confidence and, conse- 
quently, are killed in such great numbers 
that they are yearly becoming less abundant. 
Their food consists almost wholly of 
grasses and roots which are pulled up in shal- 
low water where they can easily reach bot- 
tom. They do not dive at all, in fact even a 
wounded Brant cannot dive, but tries to es- 
cape by swimming as rapidly as possible to 

Brant are about equally often called 
"Brent Goose" or sometimes "Black 
Brant" to distinguish them from the Snow 
Geese, which are in the same places called 
"White Brant." This latter cognomen, 
however, is quite incorrect ; it is reserved particularly for the next species. 

BLACK BRANT (Branta nigricans). This species is of the same size as 
the last, namely 24 in. in length. They are, however, darker above, and the 
black on the breast extends over the under parts to the belly and crissum. 
The white neck patches are also larger and usually meet in front. Black 
Brant are birds of the Pacific coast, there wholly replacing the species that is 
found in the east. They are rarely found inland, but keep off the coast and in 
bays in large flocks. Their flight is rather heavy and not very fast, per- 
formed in a widely strung out line at right angles to their line of progression. 
Both species of Brant usually fly rather low, following the coast line and 
rarely cutting across even short stretches of land. 


WHISTLING SWAN {Olor columhianus) . 
These great birds, measuring nearly 5 feet in 
length, are still not uncommon in the inte- 
rior and also occur in numbers on the South 
Atlantic coast. They nest only in high lati- 
tudes, chiefly on Arctic islands and the 
mainland from northern Hudson Bay to 
Alaska. This, the smallest of our two spe- 
cies, can best be identified by the form of the 
bill. The nostril is located about midway 
between the eye and the extreme tip, while 
that of the next species is nearer the eye 
than it is to the tip of the bill. The present 
species also has a small yellow spot between 
the eye and nostril. 

During migration, swans fly at a great 
elevation in a long V-shaped line with an 
wise old gander at the apex. Their flight 
is swift and very easy and graceful, as their 
wings are of enormous size, easily capable of 
carrying even such heavy bodies. From 
time to time, the leader or some of the band 
utter clear flageolet-like notes that reach the 
ground like voices from the sky, as the swans 
may be so high as to be almost invisible. 
When within sight of their final stopping 
places, they set their wings and gradually 
float downward, circle around so as to come 
up against the winds and then plump into 
the water with great splashes. They are 
most beautiful sights, either in flight or as 
they sit Hghtly and gracefully on the water. They feed chiefly upon grasses 
and roots that they puU up from the bottom, usually in water shallow enough 
so that they do not have to "tip up." They seldom come to decoys, but are 
shot by gunners in ambush between their feeding and resting places, or they 
are taken by saiHng down on them before the wind, the swans having to flap 
vigorously against the wind before being able to leave the water. 

TRUMPETER SWAN {Olor buccinator). This species measures more 
than 5 feet in length and differs otherwise as stated above. It is quite rare 
now, but breeds west of Hudson Bay and winters in southwestern United 
States and the lower Mississippi Valley. 



KING RAIL {Rallus elegans). These are 
the largest of the true rails, measuring about 
i8 in. in length. They are much brighter 
colored both above and below than the sim- 
ilar sized Clapper Rails. They inhabit al- 
most exclusively fresh-water marshes in 
eastern North America, breeding throughout 
the eastern states and wintering in the south- 
ern ones. Their form is typical of that of 
the rail family: long bill, long legs and short 
tail, the latter often carried erect over the 
back. They are very sly and secretive in 
all their habits, keeping well under cover of 
rushes or marsh grass, and doing most of their 
feeding after dark. It is very difficult to 
flush them, particularly without a dog. 
Their flight is very weak and fluttering; they 
fly but a few yards before dropping into 
the protecting grass again. On the ground, 
however, they are very active and quite 
graceful, running swiftly and threading their 
way with ease through the densest of weeds, 
rushes or brush. At night the marshes often 
resound with their loud, explosive, grunting 

Their food consists of aquatic insects, 
seeds, roots and grasses, which impart a deli- 
cate flavor to their flesh and puts them in 
the game-bird class, although the sport of 
shooting them is confined largely to one's 
ability to make them fly, for once awing 
they are so easy a mark that even a novice can seldom miss one. 

CLAPPER RAILS {Rallus crepitans crepitans), of the same size but paler 
colored than the last species, are confined almost wholly to salt or brackish 
marshes near the coast, breeding north to Massachusetts and wintering on 
the South Atlantic coast. Several local varieties are recognized: the Louisi- 
ana Clapper Rail on the coast of that state, the Florida Clapper Rail on the 
Gulf coast of Florida and the Wayne Clapper Rail on the coast from North 
Carolina to Florida. These differ but slightly in coloring or dimensions. 

CALIFORNIA CLAPPER RAIL {Rallus obsoletus), found in salt marshes 
of the Pacific coast near San Francisco, is marked like the Clapper Rail 
above and is as brightly colored as the King Rail below. 



VIRGINIA RAILS {Rallus virginianus) 

are in plumage almost perfect miniatures of 

King Rails, but they measure only lo in. or 

less in length. They are more or less abun- 
dant in fresh-water marshes throughout the 

United States and southern Canada, breed- 
ing in the northern parts and wintering in 

the southern parts of their range. They 

live usually in dryer portions of grassy 

marshes than Soras commonly inhabit, and 

usually nest on the edges, making a small 

mound of grasses and flags upon which the 

eight to twelve buffy-white, brown-specked 

eggs are laid. The young, hke those of all 

rails, are hatched covered with a jet-black 

down, leaving the nest and following their 

parent within a few hours after emerging 

from the eggs. 

SORAS {Porzana Carolina) ^ or Carolina 

Rails, are comparatively small, being only 

a trifle over 8 in. long. Immature birds 

have a white face and buff breast, while 

adults have a black face and blue-gray 

breast. Soras are the most abundant of 

our rails, breeding throughout the northern 

half of the United States and southern Can- 
ada and spending the winter in southern 

United States. Although of such small size, 

they are killed in almost countless numbers 

for the sake of the small but delicate morsels 

that their bodies afford. 

YELLOW RAIL (Coturnicops novehoracensis) . This is a diminutive 

species under 7 in. in length, inhabiting eastern North America, breeding 

in the northern states and Canada and wintering in the southern ones. 

So small and secretive as to 
be seldom observed. 

BLACK RAIL {Creciscus 
jamaicensis). Tiniest of our 
rails; but 5 or 6 in. in length. 
Also found in eastern North 
America; replaced on the Pa- 
cific coast by the very sim- 
ilar Farallon Rail. 



FLORIDA GALLINULE {Gallinula gale- 
ata). This is larger than any of our rails, 
measuring 14 in. in length; the bill is heavier 
even than that of the shorter billed rails and 
ends in a scaly shield on the forehead that is 
characteristic of gallinules. They share with 
Coots the names of "Mud-hen," "Water- 
hen" or "Moor-hen," the hen part of the 
name being because their notes, and they are 
very noisy birds, sound a great deal Hke the 
cackling of barnyard fowl. Their flight is 
no stronger than that of rails, but on land or 
water they are agile and graceful. Although 
they do not have webbed feet they can swim 
well and often dive when pursued. These 
birds are found commonly throughout tem- 
perate America, breeding from New England, 
Ontario and California south through South 
America to Chile. 

PURPLE GALLINULE (Jonornis martin- 
icus). Very similar in form to Florida Gal- 
hnules, but briUiantly plumaged, the whole 
head and under parts being a rich purplish- 
blue, becoming bluish-green on the sides and 
black on the belly; back and wing coverts 
olive-green; under tail coverts pure white. 
Not uncommon in the South Atlantic and 
Gulf States; wanders casually to Nova 
Scotia, Ontario and Wisconsin. 

COOT (Fulica americana). A most re- 
markable bird, at home equally in the water 

or on land in marshes. Plumage gray like that of the Florida Gallinule, but 

secondaries tipped with white, bill white with a black band or spots in the 

middle, practically no frontal plate, and the toes each with a lobed web. Coots 

swim and dive fully as well as any of 

our ducks, and are frequently seen on 

bays and in rivers in company with them, 

or in flocks of their own kind. While 

swimming they have a habit of nodding 

the head in time to the strokes of their 

feet. They are to be found throughout 

the United States and southern Canada. 

Commonly known as "Blue Peters." ^" ' VviVlpV^-"'\^r5>.V\i)(\wla 



AVOCET (Recurvirostra 'americana) . Eas- 
ily known by the very slender upturned bill 
and the long bluish legs, the latter giving 
them a local name of "Blue-stocking." 
They are among the largest of our waders, 
measuring about i8 in. in length. The bird 
shown is in summer plumage. In winter 
and immature plumage they have no rusty 
color on the head. The plumage of the 
under parts is very firm and duck-Uke. Their 
webbed feet enable them to swim easily and 
they frequently do so. 

They are particularly abundant in alkaline 
regions of the west, and occur north to Sas- 
katchewan. They are rarely found east of 
the Mississippi River, 

They frequently feed in shallow water by 
immersing the head and sifting the soft mud 
with their slender bills. 

topus mexicanus). These birds, which are 
easily recognized by their striking black-and- 
white plumage and by the unusual length 
and slenderness of their red legs, are abun- 
dant in southwestern United States, breed- 
ing north to Oregon and Colorado and 
along the Gulf coast to Florida and Cuba. 
They feed chiefly by wading and gleaning 
tiny insects from the surface of the water or 
from aquatic plants rising above the surface. 
PHALAROPES are small shore birds hav- 
ing lobed webs on each toe, thus having excellent swimming power. Their 
feathers underneath are very closely set and waterproof, Wilson Phalarope, 
which has a chestnut stripe on the side of the neck, breeds in the interior, 

from Alberta south to 
Texas. Red and North- 
ern Phalaropes, the former 
rufous below and the lat- 
ter with the neck largely 
reddish-brown, breed 
in Arctic regions and mi- 
grate chiefly on the coasts 
or at sea. 



WOODCOCK (Philohela minor) breed 
throughout eastern United States and the 
adjacent Canadian Provinces and winter 
chiefly in our southeastern states. They are 
stockily built, upland game birds, measuring 
about II in. in length, of which length about 
one quarter is contained in the long heavy 
bill. They feed at night in muddy places in 
bogs, swamps or along brooks, their bills 
with the flexible, finger-like tips being ad- 
mirably adapted to withdrawing worms 
from their places of concealment. Their 
eyes, which are large so that they may see 
well after dark, are placed far back and close 
to the top of the head so they may see about 
them when their bills are immersed to their 
hilts in mud. After showers Woodcock fre- 
quently come even into large cities and 
gather worms from lawns. This accounts 
for the numbers that are caught by cats and 
that are found dead after having flown into 
unseen wires. Because of their feeding 
habits, they are locally known as "Bog- 
birds." The term "Whistling Snipe" is 
sometimes applied, because during flight the 
three outer wing feathers, which are very stiff 
and narrow, produce a shrill whistling sound. 
Woodcock lay their four pear-shape eggs 
in depressions among dead leaves in thickets 
or woods, usually late in March or early in 

Their flight is fast and very erratic, making them difficult targets for the 
novice, which fact accounts for their continued existence in the face of the 
annual shooting to which they are subjected. 

WILSON SNIPE {Gallinago delicata). These birds, which measure about 
the same as Woodcock, although their bodies are much smaller, are common 
throughout North America, breeding in northern United States and Canada 
and wintering in southern United States. They frequent meadows and other 
open wet places, from which they flush with a sharply whistled "scaipe" and 
go zigzagging away in a manner most confusing to any but a tried gunner. 
They are almost wholly known among the sporting fraternity as Jacksnipe. 

Their excellent flesh, as well as the difficulty of shooting them, make 
them very popular among gunners. 



DOWITCHER {Macrorhamphus griseus 
griseus). Dowitchers are divided into two 
races: the present, which is the eastern form, 
and the Long-billed Dowitcher, which is 
supposed to be chiefly western. The former 
probably breeds in northern Ungava and 
Arctic islands and migrates chiefly along 
the Atlantic coast; the latter breeds along 
the Arctic coast west of Hudson Bay and 
migrates through the western part of Mis- 
sissippi Valley, both wintering from the Gulf 
States to South America. Since the dis- 
tinction is dependent wholly upon size and 
length of bills, and these features among 
shore birds are always very variable, they 
may well be considered as one variety, as in 
all probability they are. 

Like most of the sandpipers a great differ- 
ence exists between the summer and winter 
plumages, the latter being composed only of 
grays and whites, as shown by the small 
bird in the upper background. Although 
very small, only a trifle more than lo in. in 
length, they are shot in great quantities; 
while quite wary, they very readily decoy 
and consequently are very easy to secure. 
They are known by a great variety of names, 
most common of which are "Red-breasted 
Snipe," "Robin Snipe," "Brown Snipe," 
"German Snipe" and "Gray-back," some 
referring to the summer and some to the 
winter plumages. They are quite gregarious and are usually seen in large 
flocks during migrations, though sometimes a few mix with flocks of other 

STILT SANDPIPER (Micropalama himantopus). These are among the 
least often seen of the smaller shore birds and are most frequently observed 
in with flocks of smaller kinds. They themselves are tiny, measuring less 
than 9 in. in length and are consequently not often shot; yet they are yearly 
becoming scarcer and apparently will soon not be found at all. Several years 
ago I used to see flocks of from ten to fifty individuals, but the last few years 
I have seen only one or two Stilt Sandpipers in with flocks of the smaller 
Least and Semi-palmated varieties. They are not in the least timid and 
allow anyone to approach within a few feet of them. 



•#^*^^^B*^ KNOT (Tringa canutus). While these 

birds migrate to some extent through the in- 
terior, they are there seen in nothing hke the 
abundance with which they occur on the At- 
lantic seaboard, although they do not to-day 
occur in such numbers as they did a few years 
ago. During fall, when their numbers are 
augmented by the young of the year, flock 
after flock passes the length of our coast; at 
this season they are clothed in plain gray and 
white, the immature birds being rather hand- 
somer than their parents, for the feathers on 
the back are edged with dark gray and white, 
which gives a pleasing scaled effect to their 
plumage. In this dress they are almost uni- 
versally known as "Gray-backs," a name 
also apphed to Dowitchers, but more fre- 
quently to this species. In the spring dress 
they are known as "Red-breasted Sandpip- 
ers," "Robin Snipe" and sometimes as 
" Horse-foot Snipe." 

They are of quite stout build, but small, 
measuring but a little more than lo in. 
in length. They fly in compact flocks and 
come to decoys readily, their ranks being 
sometimes woefully thinned by the first vol- 
ley from the blind. They feed either along 
the beaches or mud flats, gathering insects 
and shellfish from the ground or probing for 
them like snipe. They breed in the extreme 
north and winter from the Gulf coast to Pat- 

PURPLE SANDPIPERS (Arquatella maritima maritima), "Rock Sand- 
pipers" or "Winter Snipe," delight in cold weather. They breed in the ex- 
treme north and in winter rarely go south of Long Island and many pass that 
season in high latitudes. They are casually found in the interior and rarely 
along the coast to Florida. They frequent bold rocky shores, getting their 
food chiefly from the kelp and seaweed. The winter plumage is shown by 
the second bird from the front; in summer the back is mixed with buff and 
rusty similar to that of the bird below which is a subspecies. 

PRIBILOF SANDPIPER (Arquatella maritima ptilocnemis) . This spe- 
cies, which is figured in the summer plumage, breeds in the Pribilof Islands 
and winters on the southeastern Alaskan coast. 

KNOT (winter; summer) 



maculata) , better known perhaps as the " Grass 
Snipe," are one of the most abundant of 
the sandpipers; in some locaHties, too, they 
are known as "Kriekers" because of the 
sharp notes that they utter. They breed on 
the Arctic coast west of Hudson Bay and 
winter in South America, migrating through 
the interior and Atlantic coast of the United 
States and rarely occurring on the Pacific 
coast south of British Columbia. Their 
plumage is a little brighter in summer than in 
winter but shows none of the marked changes 
like those of some of the preceding species. 
During breeding season the skin on the 
breast of the male becomes soft, flabby and 
capable of considerable distension; this pouch 
having been inflated is gradually decom- 
pressed as the birds utter musical resonant 

"Grass Snipe" frequent marsh and 
meadow in just such places as we find Wilson 
Snipe. Although they may be present in 
large flocks, they have the habit of taking 
flight one at a time and rapidly disappearing 
in an erratic course. Quantities of them 
find their way into the hunter's game bag, 
although they are too small to be of much 
account as food, being but 9 in. in length. 

UPLAND PLOVER (Bartramia longi- 
cauda), or Bartramian Sandpipers as they 
were formerly termed, are apparently following the course of the Eskimo 
Curlew and are on the road to complete extinction. Only a close season 
everywhere can prevent the calamity, and it may be too late now to save 
them by any means. They breed from Maine, Keewatin and Alaska south 
to Virginia, Missouri and Oregon and winter on the pampas of South 
America. During the nesting season they are usually in the vicinity of 
water, but at other times may be seen on hiUs or prairies catching insects 
of various kinds. During migration, they are shot relentlessly; they have 
their favorite feeding grounds known to hunters who there await them. 
Their call is a very melodious bubbling; they come readily to an imita- 
tion of it. They are about i foot in length. 




{Pisobia fuscicollis) are placed by sports- 
men in that class of small species known as 
"Peeps," too small to be worth the taking, 
the present species measuring but little more 
than 7 in. in length. Yet they have their 
dangers, for youthful hunters, unable to 
stalk larger game, often practice on these and 
I have known of men old enough to know 
better, to fire into flocks of "Peeps" just to 
see how many they could get. They breed 
on our Arctic coast and migrate most abun- 
dantly through the Mississippi Valley, but 
also in numbers along the Atlantic coast to 
southern South America. The upper bird 
^^''' ""' ^ i^iO shows this species in its summer plumage; 

^ ^^MMMi^^RL [^ is a trifle grayer in winter, being about the 

same color as the bird below, from which it is 
of course easily identified by the white rump 
patch; the breast of the present species is 
also more heavily streaked than that of the 

BAIRD SANBVIVER (Pisobia bairdi). 
This species, which has a dark rump, is of the 
same size as the last. Either kind may be 
found in flocks composed only of their own 
species or in mixed flocks of the two and 
other smaller sandpipers. Both species are 
very confiding and will allow anyone to ap- 
proach within a few feet of them as they run 
about at the water's edge gathering the tiny 
insects that are always present in abun- 
dance. Like the last, these birds migrate most commonly through the Mis- 
sissippi Valley, but they also occur on both coasts. 

LEAST SANDPIPER {Pisobia minutilla). The most diminutive of all 
our sandpipers, but almost matched by the Semi-palmated, being only 6 in. in 
length. The toes are wholly devoid of webbing, the back is browner and the 
breast more distinctly streaked than that of the other species of similar size. 
These sandpipers breed in the northern half of Canada and Alaska, and win- 
ter from southern United States southward occurring during migrations 
throughout the land. They are almost devoid of fear and are seldom and 
ought never to be shot. 



alpina sakhalina). Otherwise known as 
"Dunlin," "Black-bellied Sandpiper" and 
"Winter Snipe." Easily recognized, even 
when in the gray winter dress, by the rather 
stout slightly decurved bill. Like Purple 
Sandpipers they like cold weather, and after 
breeding along the Arctic coast they pass the 
winter along our coasts south of Washington 
on the Pacific and of New Jersey on the 
Atlantic side. They are rarely met with 
in the interior except casually along the 
shores of the Great Lakes. While they are 
but 9 in. in length, they are so plump and so 
numerous that some gunners cannot resist 
the temptation as they wheel over their de- 
coys, but the majority consider them not 
worth while as game. They may be found 
either on the sea beaches or on mud flats. 

SANDERLING {Calidris leucophcea). 
The lightest colored of the sandpipers, being 
chiefly white in winter, but in summer having 
the head and breast more or less washed with 
rusty. Breeds throughout the Arctic regions 
of the Northern Hemisphere and, in Amer- 
ica, winters from the Southern States south 
to Patagonia. On the coasts and the shores 
of the Great Lakes they occur abundantly 
during fall, frequenting the open sea beaches 
as well as more sheltered bays. Because of 
their Hking for the outer sand bars, they are 
often called "Surf Snipe." 

Their plump bodies are highly prized by youthful sportsmen, but those of 
more mature judgment pronounce their length of only 8 in. as below their 
standard of sportsmanship. 

SEMI-PALM ATED SANDPIPER (Ereunetes pusillus). So called be- 
cause a small web exists between the outer toes; to gunners they are known, 
with other small sandpipers, simply as "Peeps." Of the same size as the 
Least Sandpiper, namely 6 in. in length. Breeds in the Arctic regions and 
is very abundant during migrations from the Atlantic coast to the Rocky 
Mountains. West of the Rockies a very similar species. Western Sand- 
piper {Ereunetes mauri), occurs. Its upper parts are brighter, like those 
of the Least Sandpiper, and the bill is slightly longer. 





MARBLED GODWIT {Limosa fedoa). 
The Godwits are among the largest and most 
highly prized of shore birds, the present spe- 
cies measuring about i8 in. in length, includ- 
ing the long up-curved bill. They breed in 
the interior from Saskatchewan south to 
North Dakota and winter from the Gulf 
coast and Lower California southward. 
They only casually occur on either the At- 
lantic or Pacific coasts during migration. 
Their three or four creamy-buff eggs, spotted 
with yellowish-brown, are laid in scantily 
lined depressions on the ground in the vicin- 
ity of water; as usual with birds of this 
order, the eggs are pear-shaped and very 
large compared with the body of the bird. 

They are highly prized for the table and 

eagerly hunted whenever they appear on the 

/,J^'^~.\ C^jt^;^ / ' marshes; ordinarily, they are rather shy, but 

-wi.^i* ; -i^^-^'* * *^ 1 since they come to imitations of their calls 

and to decoys stuck up in the mud, their shy- 
ness does not avail them. They are com- 
monly known as "Brown Marlins" or 

asticd). A smaller species than the last, 
measuring about i6 in. in length; in winter 
plumaged in gray and white, but in summer 
brightly colored as shown. Notice that this 
species has a white rump, while the last has 
not. Hudsonian Godwits, otherwise known 
as "Ring-tailed Marlins," "Black-tails" and "White-rumps," breed in Arctic 
regions. Their fall migration is performed chiefly off the Atlantic coast, 
leaving land at Newfoundland and not stopping this side of the West Indies 
on their route to southern South America, unless blown from their course, 
when they occur on New England and Long Island shores. Returning, their 
course lies chiefly up the Mississippi Valley to their nesting grounds. Their 
line of flight is almost precisely the same as that taken by the Eskimo Curlew, 
which is now practically extinct. 

PACIFIC GODWITS {Limosa lapponica baueri), which are similar in 
size to the Marbled, breed in western Alaska and migrate through Japan and 
eastern Asia. They have no barring below, otherwise not differing greatly 
from Marbled Godwits. 

MARBLi;]) (.ODWir 


melanoleucus) . During migrations, these 
rather large shore birds, measuring about 
14 in. in length, appear abundantly in mead- 
ows, marshes, about ponds, streams or even 
on sandy beaches. They wade in the shal- 
lows, picking up all forms of animal hfe, 
even small fishes, or run with graceful car- 
riage along the shore. While they may at 
times be met in large flocks, they usually 
go in companies of about six. They are 
exceedingly wary and suspicious ; at the first 
sight of anyone approaching, away they go 
uttering loud warning whistles which re- 
semble wheu-wheu-wheu, alarming everything 
within hearing, often to the great discom- 
fiture of the sportsmen. Because of these 
tactics they are not very favorably regarded, 
as some of their local names show, such 
as "Greater Tell-tale," ''Tattler" and 
"Yelper." They are also termed "Winter 
Yellow-legs," because they appear within 
our border later in fall than the next species, 
usually not coming until August, while the 
next species arrives in July. Their call note 
is a clear, musical tu-weep, very different 
from the alarm cry. 

It is a beautiful sight to watch a company 
of Yellow-legs arriving at their feeding 
grounds. We hear the calls indicating their 
approach even before the birds become visi- 
ble high in the air. Sweeping swiftly down on their long angular wings, 
they circle about once or twice to make sure no enemies are lurking, then 
sail gracefully to the ground; as soon as their feet touch earth, their wings 
are carefully stretched upward to their fullest extent and then properly 
tucked away on the back. This is a habit that many shore birds have upon 

Greater Yellow-legs breed in northern Canada and winter from the Gulf 
States south to Patagonia. 

LESSER YELLOW-LEGS {Totanus flavipes) . Also called " Summer Yel- 
low-legs," in addition to most of the local names given under the preceding. 
Their breeding and winter range, as well as migration routes correspond to 
those of the larger species. The present one measures about 11 in. in length. 



solitarius). As the name would imply, these 
birds are not gregarious to any extent, rarely 
more than a half dozen being found together 
and usually individuals or pairs being met 
about the edges of ponds or small lakes, 
chiefly in wooded districts. They feed in 
the muddy or mossy banks, or wade in the 
shallow water, picking their food with grace- 
ful motions, stopping every once in a while to 
look about them and to teeter in a self-satis- 
fied way. They are usually quite silent and 
will allow a close approach before they take 
wing and easily sail across to the other side 
of the pond. They have, even more than 
other species, the habit of elevating their 
wings, showing the handsome markings on 
the under sides, and then folding them care- 
fully in place. Sometimes as they take flight 
they utter a very clear, meflow whistle. 
They average in length a little over 8 in. 

Solitary Sandpipers breed from northern 
United States northward and winter in South 
America. The present variety is found 
chiefly east of the Great Plains, while to the 
west is a very similar variety called Western 
Sohtary Sandpiper, which is very slightly 
larger and which has brownish spotting on 
the back instead of whitish, as in the eastern 
form. The nesting of these birds remained 
undiscovered for a long time and, while even 
at the present date but few nests have been recorded, we know that they lay 
their eggs in old nests of other birds, up to twenty feet above ground. Since 
this is the habit of a similar European species, it is strange that the nest in 
this country should have remained undiscovered until 1903. 

WILLET {Catoptrophorus semipalmatus semipalmatus) . These large 
shore birds, measuring about 16 in. in length, breed on our South Atlantic 
coast and winter in South America, often wandering north to New England 
after breeding. The Western Willet, which is very simflar, occurs chiefly 
west of the Mississippi River, but also on the Atlantic coast during migra- 
tions. They are very noisy, their loud whistles sounding like pilly-will- 




{Tryngites suhrujicollis) . This appears to be 

one of the rarer of the sandpipers, although 

it has been reported at times as abundant in 

the Mississippi Valley during migrations. 

It is seldom seen on either the Atlantic or 

Pacific coasts during its flights between the 

breeding grounds along the Arctic coast to 

Argentina, where it is found in winter. They 

are found feeding upon insects on the prairies 

rather than about ponds or marshes, their 

habits being quite similar to those of Up- 
land Plover. 


ularia) enjoy the distinction of being prac- 
tically free from destruction by gunners. In 

the first place they are too small to be worth 

while, being but little more than 7 in. in 

length; they seldom travel more than four 

in a flock and do not keep closely together; 

and as they commonly breed throughout 

the United States and Canada even in the 

vicinity of habitations and are so very con- 
fiding, they become so well known and ad- 
mired that only an ingrate would shoot them. 

They nest among grass or clumps of weeds 

anywhere, not necessarily near water. They 

live almost wholly upon aquatic or field 

insects and are useful birds economically. 

To a greater extent than any other of our 

shore birds they have the habit of almost 

incessantly teetering or bowing whenever 

they are standing, a habit that causes the country boy to almost universally 

know them as "Tip-ups" or "Teeter-tails." As usual with all birds of this 

order, the young are hatched covered with down, and leave the nest and 

follow their mother about almost as soon as 
they emerge from the eggs. 

incanus). This is a slate-gray and white 
species occurring on the Pacific coast, but 
never in any abundance. They breed on 
the Alaskan coast and winter on the shores 
,^ V .—- — p^isng^ss^- of Lower California. 

buff-breasted sandpiper 

spotted sandpiper (winter; 



americanus). The largest of the curlews and 
also the largest of the shore birds, measuring 
about 2 feet in length. The bill is very long 
and quite curved, measuring from 4 to 8 in. 
in length. Not many years ago these great 
birds occurred regularly along the Atlantic 
coast north to New England, but at present 
are only regarded as stragglers. They breed 
from Texas and northern Cahfornia north 
to Saskatchewan and winter on the South 
Atlantic and Gulf coasts. 

Even in the interior they are rapidly di- 
minishing in numbers, for no gunner loses the 
chance to bag them and they are the very 
easiest of game to secure. They are killed 
chiefly because of their size; their flesh is 
rather tough and not very desirable. They 
come to decoys readily, but one does not even 
need decoys, for an imitation of their clear 
flute-like cur-lew will bring passing birds 
within range without fail. 

hudsonicus) or "Jack Curlews," as gunners 
usually call them, measure only about 1 7 in. in 
length. Notice that the crown is solid brown- 
ish-black, with a narrow stripe through the 
middle, this easily distinguishing them from 
the smaller Eskimo Curlews, which have 
the crown streaked all over with buff. These 
birds breed along the Arctic coast and mi- 
grate mainly along both Atlantic and Pacific coasts to their winter homes, 
which are from the Gulf coast to southern South America. If the weather is 
favorable, they leave land at Labrador or Newfoundland and do not stop 
along the coast of the United States. 

ESKIMO CURLEWS {Numenius horealis) 
are but 13 in. in length, have short, little curved 
bills and differ otherwise from the preceding 
species as explained above. They bred in 
Arctic regions, migrated in close flocks along 
the coast to southern South America and re- 
turned through the Mississippi Valley; they 
are at present practically extinct. 





arola squatarola) . These handsome birds are 
known to sportsmen chiefly as "Beetleheads" 
or "Bullheads." Nearly a foot in length and 
heavy-bodied, these plover are among the 
most highly prized of shore birds, not be- 
cause their flesh is of unusual merit, for it is 
not, but because of their imposing size and 
the fact that they are just wary enough to 
furnish good sport. They will come to de- 
coys, but the gunner must be well concealed; 
and at the first shot they are off with a rush, 
never showing that helplessness that char- 
acterizes the curlew under similar condi- 
tions. They breed in the Arctic regions 
and migrate along both coasts, but are quite 
rare in the interior except casually about the 
Great Lakes. They winter from the Gulf 
coast southward. Their flight is powerful, 
but has an appearance of heaviness because 
they progress in straight lines with almost 
continuous flapping instead of twisting, as 
we are accustomed to see most shore birds 
do. They are found on mud flats rather 
than on ocean beaches. 

In winter both adults and young are quite 
similar in plumage, neither showing any 
strong black markings; the backs of the 
latter are spotted with dull yellow which 
often causes them to be mistaken for young 
of Golden Plover. The axillars, or long 
feathers Hning the under side of the wing, are black on this species, while they 
are gray on the next — an infalHble distinguishing mark. The present spe- 
cies also has a tiny hind toe, while the next has none. 

GOLDEN PLOVER {Charadrius dominicus dominicus). This is one of 
the very handsomest of shore birds, adults in summer being unmistak- 
able, while immature birds and winter adults differ from the preceding as 
explained above. After breeding in Arctic regions they migrate south 
across the Atlantic from Labrador to the pampas of South America. On the 
return journey they all pass through the Mississippi Valley. They feed on 
prairies and side hills as Upland Plover do. In consequence of the 
nature of their food their flesh is very palatable, much more so than that of 
the preceding. 




KILLDEER {Oxyechus vocijerus). These 
handsome but noisy birds are abundant 
throughout the United States and southern 
Canada except in New England and the east- 
ern Provinces, where they are only locally or 
casually found. The sexes are alike in plu- 
mage, and immature birds are only a httle 
duller plumaged than adults. They are very 
noisy at nearly all times; they delight in 
chasing one another over the fields, all 
screaming their loud, strident kill-dee, kill- 
dee, and when they happen near the nest of 
a pair, all the Killdeer in the neighborhood 
promptly arrive and add their voices to 
those of the owners. 

They are not at all confined to the prox- 
imity of water, in fact during the nesting 
season they may not be within miles of it. 
They are useful birds to the agriculturist, 
for their food is chiefly of injurious insects. 
They run rapidly and gracefully, stopping 
every few feet to stand erect and look about 
them. Their eggs are laid in pastures or 
cornfields in slight depressions with scant 
lining of straw and pebbles; they are creamy- 
buff, thickly speckled and blotched with 

ilis semipalmata) . Commonly known as 
" Ring-necksJ^ Considerably smaller than 
Killdeer, measuring but 7 in., while the last 
Breeds from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and 
Keewatin north to the Arctic coast, migrates throughout the United States, 
both coasts and interior, and winters from the Gulf States to Chile and 
Patagonia. During migrations they are particularly abundant on mud 
flats and protected beaches. The experienced gunner rarely shoots them, 
for they are too small to be of consequence and are too easy to get. But the 
small boy with his first gun may create havoc in their ranks, for they are 
still legally game, although it is the consensus of opinion among sportsmen 
as well as ornithologists that all small shore birds should be protected. 
''Ring-necks" are the most confiding of birds; they will feed along the 
water's edge within two or three feet of you, if you are sitting quietly. 


species measures about 10 in. 


PIPING PLOVER {Mgialitis meloda).' 
These birds, otherwise known as ''Beach 
Birds" and "Pale Ring-necks," are the 
lightest colored of any of our shore birds, 
even whiter than the next species, which is 
known as the Snowy Plover. They are 
found locally in the interior, chiefly about 
the Great Lakes and on the Atlantic coast 
north to Nova Scotia, although in the greater 
part of this range they have now become 
wholly extirpated because of shooting and 
more perhaps because of building along the 
coast. They are found almost exclusively 
upon sandy beaches, with which their colors 
harmonize so closely that they are hardly 
visible as they run about. Their eggs, 
which are laid in slight hollows in the sand, 
are also almost invisible since their ground 
is sand color and the few small specks that 
are on the surface only add to the degree with 
which they mock their surroundings. 

They can run with almost incredible 
swiftness, and they will usually attempt es- 
cape by running and hiding rather than by 
flight. The tiny little plover are just as 
nimble of foot as their parents, and wfll hide 
beside pebbles or behind a few spears of 
beach grass so effectively that it is almost 
impossible to discover them. 

Piping Plover fly swiftly and with the 
grace characteristic of shore birds, alter- 
nately twisting so as to expose first the upper parts and then the under sur- 
faces. Their notes are exceedingly musical, a clear, piping queep, queep, 
qiieep-lo. They measure about 7 in. in length. 

SNOWY PLOVER {Mgialitis nivosa). Slightly smaller than the last spe- 
cies, the back just a Httle darker, the addition of a black mark back of the 
eyes and with the bill wholly black instead of with an orange base like that of 
the Piping Plover. Their actions, like those of the latter bird, are quite dif- 
ferent from those of the abundant Semi-palmated Plover. Having the abflity 
to hide effectually, they constantly make use of this gift, which is wholly at 
variance with the habits of confiding " Ring-necks." Snowy Plover are found 
in southwestern United States, north to Kansas and central California. 



WILSON PLOVER (Ochthodromus wil- 
sonius) . This species differs from the "Ring- 
neck" most noticeably in the large size of 
the wholly black bill and the broader black 
band across the breast. It is also slightly 
larger, measuring a little under 8 in. in 

They breed along the South Atlantic and 
Gulf coasts from Virginia to Texas and casu- 
ally wander to New England and also to 
southern California. Their notes are quite 
different from those of other closely allied 
species, the call note being more of a chirp 
than a whistle, and their notes of anger, deliv- 
ered freely when one is in the vicinity of their 
nests, are excited chippering whistles. They 
match the color of their surrounding almost 
perfectly and, as might be expected, usually 
trust to their plumage to escape detection 
as they sit upon their eggs in slight depres- 
sions in the sand. 

MOUNTAIN PLOVER (Podasocys mon- 
tanus). These birds can be regarded as 
"mountain" only in that they are often 
found at high altitudes, but on arid plains 
they are often known as "Prairie Plover," a 
name that is in reality better suited to them, 
for they spend most of their time on the 
prairies picking up grasshoppers and other 
insects. In summer they are to be found 
distributed in scattered pairs, but in fall they 
unite in flocks of some size. They breed in western United States from Mon- 
tana and Nebraska south to Texas and New Mexico and winter from the 
southwestern states through Mexico. 

SURF BIRD (Aphriza virgata). This comparatively rare and httle known 
bird, called the "Plover- 
billed Turnstone " wanders 
along the Pacific coast from 
Alaska to Chile. Its nest 
and eggs have not as yet 
been definitely reported, but 
it is beheved to breed in 

the interior of northwestern ^ ,^ 

Alaska. "^V^wcW "l w>c u^\o weT^ S wj^ \i'k< ^ 



-. - -'--v ^' 



RUDDY TURNSTONE {Arenaria in- 
ter pres morinella) . Turnstones are unusual 
in form, in that the bill is quite stout, pointed 
and has an upturned appearance since the 
top of the upper mandible is perfectly straight. 
The present handsome species breeds on the 
Arctic coast and migrates abundantly along 
both coasts, wintering from southern United 
States southward. The common Turn- 
stone, a grayer variety, is an Old World 
species, a few of which breed in western 
Alaska and migrate through Japan. The 
Turnstone is commonly known among 
sportsmen as "Calico-back," "Horse-foot 
Snipe" and "Beach Snipe." 

BLACK-TURNSTONE {Arenaria mel- 
anocephala) . Of the same size as the last, 
measuring about 9 in. in length. Found on 
the Pacific coast, breeding in Alaska and 
wintering south from British Columbia. 

OYSTER-CATCHER (Hcematopus pal- 
liatus). A very large shore bird, measur- 
ing about 19 in. in length, breeding on the 
South Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Vir- 
ginia to Texas and wandering to New 

topus bachmani), shown in the pen sketch, 
is chiefly sooty black and white. This spe- 
cies, found along the whole Pacific coast of 
North America, is wholly blackish-brown 
in plumage; the bill is bright red and the feet flesh color. 

MEXICAN JACANA {Jacana spinosd) is a most remarkable species 
common in Mexico and reaching our borders in southern Florida and 

Texas. The plumage is 
black, chestnut and yellow- 
ish-green; a scaly leaf -like 
shield protects the top of 
the head; the shoulders are 
armed with sharp horny 
points; and the toes and 
nails are of exceeding length, 
enabling them to walk over 
floating vegetation with ease. 


B Va^tW OHS.\e>C- C S^Vc\\&^C - ^ SwQ. 3wU&w 


BOBWHITE {Colinus virginianus vir- 
ginianus) . Better known perhaps as " Quail " 
or, in the south, as "Virginia Partridge," 
these are favorite game birds throughout the 
region they inhabit, which includes from 
Maine, Ontario, and North Dakota south to 
the Gulf States. In the northern portions 
of their range, particularly in New England, 
they have become very scarce through ex- 
cessive hunting and unfavorable weather 
during nesting seasons. Although but lo 
in. in length, they have short plump bodies 
that are much larger than those of most 
other birds of their dimensions. As shown, 
the plumage of the sexes is very similar 
except that the male has a pure white throat 
and line above the eye, while on the female 
these regions are buffy. 

During fall and winter, flocks of six to 
twenty individuals may be found in brush- 
covered or stubble land. They squat mo- 
tionless upon the approach of anyone and re- 
main so until almost trod upon, when they 
rise with a sudden rush and whir and scatter 
in all directions. As their line of flight is 
direct and in open ground, they are very easy 
to shoot. Besides, the sportsman has his 
dogs to point to their places of concealment, 
so he does not even have the startling effect 
produced by an unexpected rising to con- 
tend with. Only their great productivity 
can withstand the pace the gunners set them, 
and even that does not avail in many sections. 

Early in spring the males select their mate or mates — for they are inclined 
to be polygamous — after short but exciting battles with others and spread out 
over the country, each pair selecting a suitable spot in tall grass bordering 
fields, along walls or fences, in which the ten to sixteen pure white eggs will 
be laid. 

During spring and summer the males repeatedly call to one another with 
their clearly whistled bob-white or bob, bob-white. In fall and winter they have 
a shorter call to gather scattered flocks, consisting of a repeated, soft quoit, 
quoit, etc. 

FLORIDA BOBWHITE is a local race found in that state, very much 
darker colored than the ordinary birds. 



MOUNTAIN QUAIL (Oreortyx picta 
picta). This, the largest of the quail, meas- 
ing II in. in length, is an abundant species 
in certain portions of Washington, Oregon 
and California. It is found in humid regions, 
while the very similar race, known as Plumed 
Quail, inhabits arid regions of the same states. 
The former has the upper parts slightly 
browner than the latter, a distinction that 
interests ornithologists but is of no conse- 
quence among sportsmen. During the hunt- 
ing season they go about in small flocks. 
They are difficult to put up with a dog, for 
they are very fleet of foot and trust to their 
legs rather than to their wings whenever pos- 
sible. If they are flushed, they separate and 
do not flock together again for some time, 
so that it is necessary to hunt them out one 
by one. This is very different from the 
actions of Bobwhite under similar circum- 
stances, for within a few minutes they will 
commence calling and soon the remnant of 
the flock will have been united. The flesh of 
this species is regarded as excellent, in fact 
almost as good as that of the eastern quail. 

The call of the male is a short hoarse crow, 
similar to that of a young bantam rooster. 
The female is plumaged quite like the male, 
but differs in having much shorter plumes. 
Their eight or ten eggs, which are laid in a 
grass-lined depression under a bush or log, 
are rather bright creamy-buff with no markings, or very faint ones. 

SCALED QUAIL {Callipepla squamata sqiiamata) . There are two races 
of this species, the present one, which is found in southern Colorado, Arizona, 
New Mexico and Texas, and the Chestnut-bellied Scaled Quail, which is 
found in the Lower Sonoran zone of southern Texas. The latter variety is 
much like the former, except that the back is slightly browner, the under parts 
more buffy and the male has a patch of chestnut on the belly. They inhabit 
the chaparral and mesquite in dry washes and foothifls and, like most western 
species, trust to their legs chiefly to take them away from danger. Com- 
monly called "Blue Quail." 



GAMBEL QUAIL {Lophortyx gamheli). 
A handsome species found in arid canyons 
and river bottoms of the southwestern states, 
north to Colorado and east to western Texas. 
In fall they gather into flocks sometimes 
numbering fifty or a hundred birds, spread- 
ing over the country to feed during the day- 
time and returning to huddle together at 
night. The experienced pot hunter or trap- 
per can get quantities, but, hunted in a legal 
and sportsmanlike way, it requires a lot of 
hard fast work to make a fair bag. No 
quail is more nimble of foot than these; 
they go through the mesquite and cactus 
with a speed few men can follow. Yet if 
one sits quietly down, he may often see num- 
bers of them at close range, for unless they 
are being hunted they are far from wild. 

They pair in February, at which time 
much vegetation is in bloom, and during 
March or early April sets of their eggs, 
numbering about a dozen, may be found in a 
slightly lined hollow beside a bunch of grass 
or under concealing bushes; they are buffy- 
white, with large spots of brown and laven- 
der. The call of the male during the mating 
and breeding season is a shrill cha-chaa. 

CALIFORNIA QUAIL {Lophortyx cali- 
fornica calif ornica). Of the same size, nearly 
lo in. in length, as the last and differing as 
shown. The curved feathers forming the 
handsome crest are ordinarily carried in a single packet, but they can be 
separated at will and thrown forward so that the first, or all of them, nearly 
touch the bill. These birds are locally abundant in the humid regions of 
the Pacific coast states. While they are shy 
when hunted persistently, they are very 
tame in parks where they are not molested. 
MEARNS QUAIL (Crytonyx montezumcB 
mearnsi), otherwise known as Massena 
Quail or "Fool Quail," this is the most strik- 
ingly marked bird of which I know. It is M^hi^W^^i^^^f/ 
found in upper arid regions of Mexico and --=^— 
north to Arizona and western Texas. "'" We2w>c~>^^ 



DUSKY GROUSE (Dendragapus obscurus 
ohscurus). With the exception of the Sage 
Grouse, this is the largest of American 
grouse, measuring about 20 in. in length and 
weighing about three pounds. This mag- 
nificent grouse is not uncommon in the 
Rocky Mountains from Arizona to northern 
Colorado. Another race, known as the 
Sooty Grouse, which differs chiefly in having 
a narrower tail band, is found from Alaska 
south to Oregon. Still another, Richardson 
Grouse, which shows scarcely any tail band, 
is found in the Rockies from Mackenzie to 
Oregon and Montana. All these birds are 
known to sportsmen as one, and are usually 
termed "Blue Grouse." 

During winter they spend most of their 
time in the tops of immense firs and pines, 
feeding upon the buds and needles and only 
coming down early in the morning or at dusk 
to drink. Living as they do, in places where 
the trees are of gigantic size and set closely 
together, these birds are difficult to see, since 
their colors match the bark well and they sit 
motionless until they are pretty sure they 
are seen, when they will whir away with 
a thunderous roar. As more than half the 
time the speeding bird is apt to be behind 
tree trunks, the chances of successful wing 
shots are not rosy. 

Their eggs, laid in slight depressions along- 
side of logs or under bushes, are creamy-buff, spotted all over with brown. 

CANADA SPRUCE PARTRIDGE. (Canachites canadensis canace). A 
medium-sized grouse, measuring about 15 in. in length, feeding chiefly upon 
spruce buds, which impart a disagreeable taste to its flesh, on which account 
they are seldom shot and are usually exceedingly tame. They are sometimes 
caught in the hands and often caught with a noose on the end of a pole. 
This species, or some of the almost identical forms, is found in wooded re- 
gions of Canada and northern United States. Franklin Grouse, found in 
western Canada and northwestern United States, has scarcely any band on 
the end of the tail and the upper coverts are broadly banded with white. 



RUFFED GROUSE {Bonasa umbellus 
umhellus). From the sportsman's point of 
view these grouse are quite generally regarded 
as the king of American game birds. Of 
good size, measuring about i6 in. in length, 
they inhabit wooded districts where a quick 
eye and cool head are necessary to bring them 
down, especially since they start with a 
thunderous rush, that often proves the un- 
doing of the novice, and speed swiftly away 
behind the sheltering tree trunks. 

Several races of Ruffed Grouse are recog- 
nized, but the sportsman need concern him- 
self with but one, since the chief differences 
are slight ones in the matter of size and shade 
of coloration. They are found throughout 
the northern half of the United States and 
the southern half of Canada in suitable 
wooded localities. 

Sometimes a brood may remain together 
through the winter, but different broods 
never unite to form a flock as quail do. In 
spring the males daily resort to favorite logs 
or rocks and send forth their challenging 
drumming. This is produced by the bird 
standing erect, with tail spread and nearly 
horizontal, and rapidly fanning the wings for- 
ward in front of the breast, the beating of the 
air producing a thump, thump, that, increas- 
ing in velocity, soon assumes the sound of 
a loud rapid drumming. They also strut 
about with head thrown back, ruff opened to form a complete collar and 
tail elevated over the back and spread to its fullest extent. Their nests 
are depressions in the leaves under the shelter of logs, stones or tree trunks; 
the eight to sixteen eggs are buff colored, unmarked. The httle chicks fol- 
low their mother immediately after emerging from the eggs. If disturbed, 
at a warning call each chick hides among the leaves and the mother runs 
away, whining and trailing the wings as though badly wounded, in an 
effort to lead the intruder away from her little flock. This ruse usually 
works with people and it must almost infallibly pass if they are discovered 
by foxes or other predatory animals. Birds in unsettled portions of the 
north are not at all shy, are in fact almost as stupid as Spruce Partridge. 
Often called "Partridge" in the north and "Pheasant " in the south. 



WILLOW PTARMIGAN (Lagopus lago- 
piis lagopus) . There are three distinct species 
of Ptarmigan or "Snow Grouse," several 
species not so well defined, and several, races 
of some of these species. The present spe- 
cies, or its varieties, inhabits the Arctic re- 
gions generally, in America breeding from 
southern Ungava, Keewatin and the Aleu- 
tian Islands northward, and in winter coming 
south to Ontario, Minnesota and British 
Columbia and casually to the New England 

ROCK PTARMIGAN {Lagopus rupesiris 
nipestris). SKghtly smaller than the last, 
measuring a trifle more than a foot. The 
bill is considerably smaller comparatively, 
and in all stages of plumage there is a black 
spot in front of the eyes. This species is 
found in northern Canada from Ungava to 
Alaska where several similar races occur. 

gopus leucurus) are still smaller and all the 
tail feathers are wholly white. These are 
found in the Rocky Mountains from New 
Mexico north to Alaska. 

Ptarmigan are remarkable birds in that 
they are in an almost continual state of 
molting, nearly every month in the year 
showing them in different stages of plumage, 
ranging from the snow-white winter dress to 
the summer one in which reddish-brown pre- 
vails on Willow Ptarmigan and a black and gray barred effect predominates 
on the other species. Notice that they are feathered to the toes, in winter 
the feathers on the toes growing dense and hair-like, not only protecting the 
toes from the cold but making excellent snowshoes which enable them to 
walk with impunity over the lightest snow. 

Ptarmigan form the staple article of diet for northern foxes, and were it 
not for the fact that their plumage changes to correspond to the appearance 
of the ground at the various seasons they would fare hardly indeed. 

In spring the little red combs above the eyes of the males are swollen and 
conspicuous. At this season they strut and perform curious antics, such as 
all grouse are noted for. 



americanus americanus) , Often known, too ^ 
as Prairie Hen and as "Pinnated Grouse." 
These are the game birds of the plains in the 
interior. They flock during the fall and winter 
months, lie well to dogs, frequent open, easily 
traversed country and above all their large 
size, 1 8 inches in length, and tender pala- 
table flesh are a reward to the hunter in addi- 
tion to the sport of capture. However, they 
do not require anywhere near the skill and 
quickness to secure that the Ruffed Grouse 
does. They are hunted on foot, on horse- 
back, in carriages and even from automo- 
biles, but always with dogs to locate the 
chickens and to put them up. 

They frequent the plains of central North 
America from southern Canada south to 

During the mating season the males per- 
form the most ludicrous antics; assembling 
on a slight rise, they strut about with the pin- 
nates elevated and the orange sacs beneath 
inflated until they look like little oranges 
and almost conceal the head which is drawn 
down between them ; the short tail is spread 
fan-like over the back; from all sides come 
the deep booming notes sounding like the 
gathering of a lot of enormous bullfrogs. 
When they get worked up to the proper 
pitch, the fight for partners is on in earnest, 
the feet, wings and bills being used with savage effect. The winners, of 
course, secure the belles, while the losers take what is left or go through 
the season as bachelors. 

HEATH HEN {Tympanuchus cupido) . This is the Prairie Chicken of the 
east, now confined to the island of Martha's Vineyard, but formerly ranging 
over southern New England and part of the Middle States. They are very 
little smaller than the last, the scapulars are broadly tipped with buff and the 
pinnates are pointed and less than ten in number. 

LESSER-PRAIRIE CHICKEN {Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is smaller 
and paler, and the bars on the back are brown with black edgings. Found on 
plains from Kansas to Texas. 



SAGE HEN (Centrocercus urophasianus) . 
This, the largest of American grouse, meas- 
uring about 28 in. in length and weighing up 
to 8 pounds, is found in western North 
America from Britsh Columbia and Assini- 
boia to central California and Colorado. 

The hen bird is considerably smaller than 
the cock, measuring but 23 in. in length. 

These great birds inhabit the Great Basin 
and arid plains throughout their range, 
where sage is the prevailing brush. They are 
strictly terrestrial fowl, feeding almost wholly 
on sage leaves which impart a disagreeable 
taste to their flesh. They remain common 
only in regions remote from civihzation, for 
their large bodies offer such an easy mark 
even though their flight be swift, that they 
soon become scarce after the country be- 
comes settled. 

Because of their great size, the actions of 
cock birds during mating season are even 
more ludicrous than those of other grouse. 
The air sacs on the neck are enormously in- 
flated until the whole breast is balloon- 
shaped and then he sHdes along over the 
bare ground for some distance on this im- 
provised pneumatic tire. While expelling 
the air, he produces a great variety of cack- 
ling and rumbhng noises. At the end of 
this season the feathers on the breast are 
worn away by this constant friction with 
the ground, leaving only the stiff shafts at their ends. 

WILD TURKEY {Meleagris gallopavo silvestris). Largest and finest of 
game birds and the originator of the common domestic turkey. Found in their 
several races in eastern and southern United States, north to Pennsylvania 
and west to Texas; formerly north to New England. Frequent wooded dis- 
tricts and are by nature very wary and shy, yet they are very easily trapped 
and it was this means that has driven them from most of their former range. 
At present they are taken chiefly by trailing or by calling. They have a re- 
markably keen sense of sight and smell and a strong pair of legs with which 
to run away, as well as good wings if necessity demands their use. With 
plenty of cover, the turkey is pretty capable of caring for himself. 



anus torquatus). These handsome birds 
have been introduced into various parts of 
our country and in some sections are thriving 
very well, notably so in Oregon and Wash- 
ington and almost as well in New England. 
The male is an exceptionally beautiful bird, 
measuring about 36 in. in length, including 
the long tail. They inhabit cultivated or 
weed-grown fields and brush-covered side 
hills or pasture land. Sportsmen who use 
only the pointer or setter have quite unani- 
mously voted Pheasants failures as game 
birds, but a well trained hound will fur- 
nish as much sport with them as can be se- 
cured from any bird. Some of my pleasant- 
cst days afield have been with a hound and 
without a gun. What more could one wish 
than to watch his faithful friend coursing all 
over the field, hot on the trail of the running 
cock pheasant and finally "standing" him 
in some thick cover. Some claim that it will 
spoil a-dog if you do not occasionally shoot 
game he puts up, but I have found that 
words of appreciation of his good work go 
just as far as getting the game. Everyone 
has his own tastes and, as an article of food, 
I have yet to find any game equal to the 
Pheasant. It is very like quail but with the 
great advantage of good size. 

Claims that Pheasants destroy young 
grouse I beheve to be contrary to fact and spiteful, since the two species do 
not frequent the same covers, and I have had much experience with both 
during the breeding season. 

PRAIRIE SHARP-TAILED GROUSE {Pedioecetes phasianellus campes- 
tris). The typical Sharp-tail is found from Central Alaska and British 
Columbia east to Ontario and western Ungava; the Columbian Sharp-tail 
inhabits the region from northeastern CaHfornia and Colorado north to 
Alberta; and the present variety occurs from Ilhnois and Kansas north to 
Manitoba. The three varieties differ only slightly in the tone of coloring, 
and even more sHghtly in size, averaging on 16 in. in length. Unlike 
Prairie Chickens, these birds do not thrive on cultivated land, but advance 
ahead of the settlers and make their homes in more remote country. 





Avocet 29 

Baldpate 10 

Beetlehead Plover 41 

Blue Peter. 28 

Blue-stocking 29 

Bob-white 46 

Bog-bird 30 

Brant 24 

Black 24 

Buffle-head 17 

Bull-head Plover 41 

Butter-ball 17 

Canvasback 14 

Chicken, Prairie 52 

Coot 28 

Sea 19 

Curlews 40 

Dipper Duck 17 

Dowitcher 31 

Duck, Black 9 

Blackhead 14 

Bluebill 14 

Broadbill 12 

Canvasback 14 

Dusky 9 

Florida 9 

Harlequin 20 

Labrador 17 

Long-tailed 17 

Mottled 9 

Pintail 12 

Ring-necked 15 

Ruddy 20 

Scaup 14 

SteUer 18 

Spoonbill 12 

Summer 13 

Wild 8 

Wood 13 

Dunlin 35 


Eider 18 

King 19 

Pacific 18 

Spectacled 18 

Fishing Duck 7 

Gad wall 9 

Gallinule 2S 

Garrot 16 

Godwit, Hudsonian 36 

Marbled 36 

Golden-eye 16 

Barrow 16 

Goosander 7 

Goose, Blue 21 

Cackling 23 

Canada 23 

Emperor 22 ■ 

Laughing 22 

White-fronted 22 

Greenhead 8 

Grouse, Blue 49 

Dusky 49 

Pinnated 52 

Ruffed 50 

Sage 53 

Sharp-tailed 54 

Snow 51 

Spruce 49 

Hairy-head • 8 

Heath Hen 52 

Killdeer 42 

Knot 32 

Mallard 8 

Black 9 

Marlin 36 

Merganser 7 

Red-breasted 7 

Hooded 8 

Mud Hen 28 




Old-squaw 17 

Ortolan 27 

Partridge 50 

Canada Spruce 49 

Virginia 46 

Peeps 34 

Pheasant 50 

Ring-necked 54 

Phalaropes 29 

Pintail Duck 12 

Plover, Black-bellied 41 

Golden 41 

Piping 43 

Mountain 44 

Ring-necked 42 

Semi-palmated 42 

Snowy 43 

Upland 33 

Wilson 44 

Prairie Hen 52 

Ptarmigan 51 

Quail 46 

California 48 

Gambel 48 

Mountain 47 

Scaled 47 

Mearns 48 

Raft Duck 14 

Rail, Clapper 26 

King 26 

Sora 27 

Virginia 27 

Redhead 13 

Sage Hen 53 

Baird 34 

Sandpiper, Bartramian 33 

BuJff-breasted 39 

Least 34 

Pectoral 33 

Pribilof 32 


Sandpiper {continued) 

Purple 32 

Red-backed 35 

Semi-palmated 35 

Solitary 38 

Stilt 31 

Spotted 39 

White-rumped 34 

Sanderling 35 

Scaup Duck 14 

Lesser • 15 

Scoter 19 

Sheldrake 7 

Summer 8 

Shoveller 12 

Snipe, Grass 33 

Jack 30 

Red-breasted 31 

Robin 32 

Wilson 30 

Winter 32 

Sora 27 

South-southerly 17 

Spirit Duck 17 

Sprigtail 12 

Stilt. 29 

Surf-bird 44 

Swan 25 

Teal, Blue- winged 11 

Cinnamon 11 

Green-winged 10 

Tell-tale 37 

Tip-up 39 

Turkey, Wild 53 

Weazer 7 

Widgeon 10 

Wild Duck 8 

Whistler 16 

Willet 38 

Woodcock : . . 30 

Yellow-legs 37 






In this one book you get as much or more value than you can from $50.00 
worth of personal instruction or correspondence. You get half a dozen dif- 
ferent courses at a fraction of the cost of one, and' can take up the work as 
rapidly or as slowly as you like. Two weeks' practice during your spare time 
should easily enable you to mount a bird excellently. 

Taxidermists charge from $1.25 to $15.00 for mounting a bird, and from 
$2.50 to $100.00 for animals. You can do this work yourself at the cost of 
but a few cents and a little of your spare time. Many professional taxider- 
mists have but little idea of the appearance of a bird or animal and use crude 
methods of mounting. You can mount your specimen as you saw it in life 
and by the most approved method. 

In the course of the year, you can pick up a great many dollars by doing 
work for your friends and sportsmen near you, or you can engage in taxi- 
dermy as a business. If you master the contents of this book you will be 
far better equipped for the business than are the majority of those now en- 
gaged in it. 

Personal instruction, in only one branch of taxidermy, costs from $15.00 
up, while the price of GUIDE TO TAXIDERMY, which includes half a 
dozen full courses, is only $1.50 net; postpaid for $1.65. 300 pages, cloth 




An illustrated pocket text -book that enables anyone to quickly identify 
any song or insectivorous bird found east of the Rocky Mountains. It 
describes their habits and peculiarities; tells you where to look for them and 
describes their nests, eggs and songs. 

EVERY BIRD IS SHOWN IN COLOR, including the females and young 
where the plumage differs, from water-color drawings by the 4-color process. 
The illustrations are the BEST, the MOST ACCURATE, and the MOST 
VALUABLE ever printed in a bird book. 

"LAND BIRDS" is the most popular and has had the LARGEST SALE 
of any bird book published in this country. It is used and recommended by 
our leading Ornithologists and teachers. 230 pages. 

Bound in Cloth, 75c. net; in Leather, $1.00 net; postage, 5c. 




This book is uniform in size and scope with " LAND BIRDS." It in- 
cludes all of the Water Birds, Game Birds and Birds of Prey, east of the 
Rockies. Each species is ILLUSTRATED IN COLOR from oil paintings; 
the bird, its habits and nesting habits are described. 

The pictures show more than 230 birds in color, every species found in our 
range. They exceed in number those in any other bird book. In quahty 
they cannot be surpassed — exquisite gems, each with an attractive back- 
groimd typical of the habitat of the species. 

"LAND BIRDS" and "WATER BIRDS" are the only books, regardless 
of price, that describe and show in color every bird. 2 50 pages, neatly boxed. 

Bound In Cloth, $1.00 net; In Leather, $1.25 net; postage, 5c. ^ 




A guide to the common wild flowers found in the Eastern and Middle 

" Wild Flower Guide " is the same size and scope as " Bird Guide." It 
has an extraordinary sale and has been adopted and used in quantities in 
many of our leading colleges and schools. 

The COLORED ILLUSTRATIONS, 192 in number, are beautiful, ar- 
tistic and accurate reproductions from oil paintings; the finest series ever 
made. The text tells where each is found, when it blooms, whether in woods, 
fields, swamps, etc., the height that the plant attains, whether it is self- 
fertilized or cross fertilized by insects and how; in fact it gives a great deal 
more information than one would think possible in a book to fit comfort- 
ably in the pocket. 

Bound in Cloth, 75c.; in Leather, $I.CX); postage, 5c. 




Interesting text and 250 illustrations from actual photographs of living 
wild birds. Some of the finest ever made. 300 pages, 5}^ x 73^^, cloth bound. 

$2.00 net; postage, 20c. 



This is the only book on the market that gives illustrations of the eggs of 
all North American birds. Each egg is shown FULL SIZED, photographed 
directly from an authentic and well-marked specimen. There are a great 
many full-page plates of nests and eggs in their natural situations. 

The habitat and habits of each bird are given. 

It is finely printed on the best of paper and handsomely bound in cloth. 
350 pages — 6 X 9 inches. 

$2.50 net; postage, 25c. 


A book to start the young folks along the right paths in the study of birds. 
Interesting stories. 40 colored illustrations. 112 pages. 

60c. net; postage, lOc. 


A book to call attention to the many interesting creatures to be seen on 
every hand — in brook, pond, field, swamp, woods and even in the dooryard. 
40 illustrations. 112 pages. 

60c. net; postage, lOc. 

Birds of Eastern North America 


THE BIRD BOOK of the year. It is authentic. The author KNOWS 
birds. He has studied them for thirty years — in the hand, for plumage, 
and in their haunts, for habits. He has studied them in their homes and has 
photographed hundreds as they were actually feeding their young. Besides 
being able to write about these things in an interesting and instructive man- 
ner, he is classed as one of the foremost bird artists in America. This rare 
combination of Artist- Author-Nat uraHst has produced, in " Birds of Eastern 
North America," the ultimate bird book. 

The technical descriptions aided by the pictures give perfect ideas of the 
plumages of adults and young. 

The descriptive text gives the important and characteristic features in the 
lives of the various species. 

The illustrations— well, there are 408 PICTURES IN NATURAL 
COLORS; they show practically every species, including male, female and 
young when the plumages differ, and they are perfectly made by the best 
process. No other one bird book ever had anywhere near as many ac- 
curately colored pictures. 

Bound in cloth, handsomely illuminated in gold; 464 pages {4}^ x 6J4)', 
408 colored illustrations; every bird described and pictured. 

$3.00 net; postage 15c. 
CHAS. K. REED, Worcester, Mass. 



East of the Rockies 


The latest flower book. 

In a class by itself. 

Original, beautiful, compact, complete, interesting, exact. 

Pictures 320 flowers, ALL IN COLOR. 

450 pages. 

Handsomely bound; boxed. $2.50 net; postage 15c. 

Field Glasses for Bird Study 

or equally good for the mountains, seashore or theater, or wherever a large, 
clear image of an object is desired. 

We carefully examined more than a hundred makes of field glasses, to select 
the ones best adapted for bird study. 

We found one make that was superior to any other of the same price and 
equal optically, and nearly as well made as those costing three times as much. 

They magnify about three diameters, and have an unusually large field 
ol vision or angle of view, making it easy to find a bird or keep him in sight. 
Price only $5.00 postpaid. 

CHAS. K. REED - - Worcester, Mass. 


mgk a 
• 60 net 





JAi4^ 194» 

' ■ — 1 

^AN 80 1945 






LD 21-100m-7,'40 (69368) 

Gaylord Bros. 


Syracuse, N. Y. 
PAT, JAN. 21. 1908 

J r