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^— 5 

Vol. 2, No. 1. 

JANUARY. 1902. 

10c a copy, $1 a year. 




Entered at the Post Office nt Worcester, Mass. as seconj-class matter, Jan. i6, 1901. 

Tolished Gem Stones 

12 Fine Ones for 50c, postpaid. 

Wood Agate, Tiger Eye, Moss Agate, Carnelian, 
Garnet. Turquoise, Amethyst, Malachite, Bloodstone, 
Ribbon Agate, Gold Stone, Quartz Diamond. 

Chas K. R.eed, Worcester, Mass. 

America's Magazine for Sportsmen by Sportsmen 

Field and Stream 

Is truly in touch with Nature, It brings Sunshine to 
the Home and Rest to the Mind. One enjoys it like a 
breath of pure Air. Published Monthly. 
One Dollar a^ Yea^r Ten Cents a^. Copy 

Fine Large Game Pictures FREE to Subscribers. 
Address John T. "BurKhard. Publisher. 
46 W. Broadway, New York. 



Supplies for the Naturalist and Ta.xider- 
mist; Fine Glass Eyes a Specialty. 


illustrated catalogue and bargain list 
of Birds' Eggs and Skins upon application. 




$1.00 A YEAR. 

The only magazine in the country devo- 
ted entirely to Mineralogy. Now in its 
eighth year. Send for sample copy 

Exchange page free to Subscribers. 


238 Greene St.. ^EW YORK CITY 

Naturalist Supply Depot 



Mounted Specimens a Specialty. 
Send ten cents for a catalogue. 


Museum, - - - HYDE PARK, MASS, 


Makahs', Klamaths', Alaskans' 
Pimas', Apaches' and many weaves 
Mexican Drawn Work, Mexican Hand-carved Leather 
Belts, Chatelaines, etc., Indian Bead Work, Pottery, 
Alaska Ivory Carvings, Minerals and Fossils, Elk 
Teeth, wholesale and retail. Forty-page illustrated 
catalogue for Five Cents, stamps. 1^. W. STIL- 
WELL, Deadwood, Black Hills. South 


Over eight Hundred birds 


Only $18 by express prepaid. 

We have only a few copies at this price. 
This elegant work was published to 
sell at forty dollars. 

CHAS. K. REED, Worcester. Mass. 

School Curiosity Box. 

ONLY $3.00. 

AT Regular list prices these 
Specimens would Cost over $15.00. 
Jusl what is Needed in Every School 


Over fifty curious and showy specimens at 
less tKan one quarter of their list price. These 
are all good specimens selected with special care to 
be of value in study or for the collector of specimens. 
It contains Sea Urchins, Sea Horse, Resurrection 
Plant, Fossils, Egg of Skate or Sand Shark, Coral 
si.\ varieties. Sand Dollar, Silk Worm Cocoon, Saw 
fish Saw, Three varieties Star fish. Sea Fern, Chin- 
ese Horn Nut, Tarpon Scale, Golden Sea Fern, Nat- 
ive Lodestone, Twenty varieties of shells, Bo.n cf 
several hundred small mixed Shells, Electric Stone. 
Yellow.Sea Fan. I will deliver this Collection, care- 
fully boxed at express or freight office for only $3.00. 


Worcester, Mass. 

Frank Lattin, M. D., Albion, N. Y. 

Who, some years since, did the largest 
mail order business in the specimen and 
supply line in the World, is now devoting 
his entire time and energy to his Profes- 
sion—but he still has thousands of dollars 
locked up in his old business and is closing 
out specimens, collections, etc., at "un- 
heard of prices." New lists have just 
been issued on "Books for the Ornitholo- 
gist,' '.'Scientific Shells, " "Selected 
Corals, Shells, Minerals, Curios, Relics, 
etc." "Barrel of Shells," "Nature Study 
Collection" also a selected list of "speci- 
mens, curios and publications" which are 
being closed out at one-fourth rates. 
Other lists are to follow as time will per- 
mit. All are free upon request Write 


ti-U-lJ-M-tJ-Ci-tJ-(dt— 4J-fJ-tJ-tJ-(a-Ui-«-M-M 

VoL II. 

January, 1902. 

JVo, 1 

These young Red.shouldered Hawks extend, for us, a New Year's Greeting to you all. 

Their appealing attitudes, and especially their lusty voices, suggest the thought that 
they are calling for more subscribers to AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGY. Would it not be 
well for all, not now enrolled, to begin the new year aright and accept the invitation 
at once. 



A. O. I'. No. 353. (Haliaeetus leiioocephalus.) 


Distributed rather locally throughout the whole of North America. 

It breeds throughout its range, and in the winter migrates southwards, 
especially from the northern portions of its range. 

Length, about 3 feet; extent, from 6 to 8 feet; tail, about 1 foot. 
Adults: — The female is generally larger than the male. Eye, bill and 
feet, yellow. Head and tail, white. The remainder of the upper and 
tinder parts, together with the wings, are dark brown. This plumage is 
acquired during their third year. Young (1st year): — Eye and bill, 
brown. Feet, Yellow. Color, a uniform dark brown all over. (2nd 
year): — Uniform brown, with the feathers edged with lighter and feath- 
ers about the rump and base of neck light in places. 

The Bald Eagle nest in the tops of the tallest trees. The nest is nat- 
urally a very large structure composed of large sticks and lined with 
roots. As the birds use the same nest year after year, andrepair it each 
time, it becomes an enormous structure, often six or seven feet across. 


On rocky coasts where suitable trees are scarce, they will build their nests 
upon the high cliffs. Tn Florida they commence nesting early in Janu- 
ary, and the period varies from that time until the latter part of April in 
the northern parts of its range. The eggs are commonly two in num- 
ber, sometimes three. They have a granulated surface and are white 
in color, although nearly always they are somewhat nest stained. 


f"^ .'^^^^ 



1^^ ^^ 


. 11 iirT^JiiBWp 






Photograrh by E. W. Campbell. 



What pulse does not beat more rapidly at the sight ot an Eagle, as in 
his majestic flight, he executes circle after circle and finally vanishes 
from view without an apparent beat of his immense wings. From child- 
hood, we have had related to us, stories of the strength and daring of 
these grand birds, and although some of them are probably rudely shat- 
tered, still we always retain a wholesome respect for the bird that has 
gained so great renown. 

The variety best known to the Ariierican people, especially those near 
the coast, is the Bald Eagle. It must not be supposed that this magni- 
ficent bird of prey is in reality bald. This name was given him as, at 
a distance, it appears as if he might be in that unfortunate predicament. 
In reality his head is covered with snow white feathers, and "White- 
headed Eagle," a name that is often given to him, is much more appro- 
priate. The young birds of this species are of a uniform dark brown 
color, but after the third year of their existence, their head and tail be- 
come pure white, a change that comes remarkably early considering 
that their natural life is nearly a hundred years. It seems strange at 
first thought that the young birds should be larger than the old ones, but 
such is the case. As they grow older, the muscles become hardened by 
usage and gradually contract so that the adult bird will measure several 
inches less in extent than he did in his youth. This fact, together with 
the great change in coloration, gave rise to the former impression that 
the old and young were two distinct species. 

This proud monarch of the air is also our national bird and his por- 
trait adorns several of our coins. He was selected because of his im- 
posing aspect, size, strength and daring. Some have accused him of 
cowardice, because often crows or smaller birds will apparently drive 
him away, but it is a mistake on their part. In all probability, he acts 
on the same principle as the man who is hectored by small boys. Until 
they become too impudent, he disdains to notice them. 

Many a neighborhood boasts of its pair of Eagles, and so attached to 
them do the country folks become, that they would as soon think of 
making war upon each other as to harm them. It is well that popular 
sentiment protects them thus or they would soon all be destroyed. 

In their home life. Eagles are much devoted to each other and remain 
mated for life, using the same nest year after year, unless robbed. Their 
food consists of flesh, either fresh or decomposed. They are found much 
more commonly near the sea coast than in the interior, and they have 
the requisite speed and strength to capture many species of ducks and 
water birds. Their chief food, however, is fish. This they get in sev- 
eral ways. They sometimes dive for them in the manner of the Osprey, 


catching them in their talons; again they will stand in shallow water and 
strike at them with their bills, heron fashion; often they will rob the 
Fish Hawk of his skillfully gotten prey. The pursuit of an Osprey has 
been told, times innumerable. Suffice it is to say that the Eagle from 
his outlook watches the Osprey catch his fish, then pursues him; by 
superior speed and strength, he at length overtakes his victim, and the 
latter to save himself, drops the fish which is caught in mid air by the 

Because of being shot at so persistently, they are very wary, and will 
not, knowingly, allow any one to approach near. They are very cour- 
ageous and if wounded will put up a plucky fight for their life. They 
have been known to attack human beings without provocation, but such 
instances are very rare, and must be occasioned by extreme hunger. 

These birds are frequently seen in captivity, and are often kept for 
years. It must be hard though for a bird of their wild disposition, used 
to soaring through unlimited space, to be chained down or confined to 
the narrow boundaries of a cage. I hope soon to see them protected by 
law, in addition to sentiment, in all states. While the real good they 
do is limited to what carrion they destroy, the harm they do is limited 
also, and I think that we all will forgive the "emblem of our republic" 
if occasionally he makes a meal on some of the other birds, especially 
as the ones chosen by him have really no value to the community greater 
than that possessed by the Eagle. 


A. O. r. No. 264. (Numenius longirostris.) 


With the exception of the extreme northern part, this Curlew is found 
over the whole of North America. It is very irregularly distributed, 
and breeds along the South Atlantic coast and in the interior of its 


Length, about 25 in.; extent, 39 in.; tail, 4 in.; bill, from 6 to 8 in., 
and greatly curved. Eye, bill and feet, brown. General color above 
and below, dull yellowish red, lightest on the throat. The top of head, 
neck, breast and back are streaked and the wings and tail barred with 
dark brown. 


The nest of this bird is simply a hollow in the ground. They line it 
sparingly with a few grasses and during May and June lay three of four 
eggs. These are of a greenish yellow color, and heavily blotched with 



This is the largest of the American Curlews, and also of that class des- 
ignated as wading birds. He has no disagreeable traits whatever, still 
he is very unfortunate in several particulars. He has the misfortune to 
be classed by the sporting fraternity as a game bird, a misfortune that 
costs all birds, of whatever species, dearly, and that hits this bird rather 
more severly than some others. Another characteristic that often proves 
disastrous to the safety of the bird is its sympathetic nature. A sports- 
man, who enjoys his annual vacation, shooting shore birds on the South 
Atlantic coast has given a few notes on these birds from his point of 

These long-billed waders feed principally upon worms and small shell 
fish. These latter they obtain at low water on the mud flats that are 
laid bare at this time. When the returning waters cover these feeding 
grounds they retire to the meadows further inland and search for worms. 
Just above high water mark on one of these flats, the sportsmen had 
constructed a blind of driftwood and seaweed. For several days these 
men could be found in close proximity to this refuge. One morning as 
they were waiting for the flight of birds to commence, they saw coming 
a flock of about twenty large birds of the Plover family. They were fly- 
ing in the form of a letter V, with the point forwards, and as they pass- 
ed by just out of gun shot, they were able to identify them, by means of 
their extremely long curved bills, as the Long-billed or as the sports- 
men know them, "Sickle-billed" or "Spanish" Curlews. 

As they passed they were uttering a whistle, something like "ker-lee"; 
an imitation of this call, caused the entire flock to wheel about and cir- 
cle over the blind, and several fell as the four shots, fired by the two 
men, rang out. Instead of being frightened away, as most birds would 
have been, the remainder of the flock circled back time after time as 
though to encourage the wounded birds that lay, calling, on the beach, 
to rise and follow them. Of course each time as they went within gun- 
shot of the blind, several shots would be fired, and the result was that 
the men came home well satisfied with their score, and without giving a 
thought as to how long any of the birds would be left under this whole- 
sale destruction. They got fourteen out of the twenty. 

In considering this matter strictly in accordance with the law, this 
wholesale slaughter is justifiable, but as a lover of birds said to me only 
the other day, in speaking of the scarcity of game birds: "Well, if the 
birds had the power to talk, they would put up quite an argument as to 
why they should be allowed to live." 



It hangs in the branch of a pear tree, 

Lonely and tenantless now, 
'Mid Winter winds whistling and wailing 

It clings to the leafless bough. 

It hangs with its hay scented grasses 
Tattered and torn by the rain, 

A bit of sweet Nature's old story 
Left now at the Summer's wane. 

The Chickadees hop in the branches. 
Nuthatches pound on the tree. 

Where once in the sunshine of Summer 
The Vireo sang to me. 

He preaches a sermon of friendship, 

Over and over again, 
And tells in his own winning language, 

Of love and goodwill to all men. 

I wait till the Summer returning 
Laden with sunshine and rest. 

Shall bring back my Vireo preacher 
To build near the empty nest. 



Photo from life by T r. R. W. Shufeldt. 


In the course of my experiences in the photography of birds, the Am- 
erican partridges have always been favorites of mine. A year or so 
ago the opportunity was offered me to experiment in this way with a 
number of our western species and subspecies of the Perdichice, no- 
tably the Texan Bob-White [Colinns v. texaiuis) Figure 1, 5, the Plumed 
paxtridige (Oreo?'tyx p. phiDiifefemsJ the Chestnut-bellied Scaled Part- 
ridge ( Callipepla s. castanogastris) Figure 3, 6, and the California Part- 
ridge ( Callipepla californica) Fig, 2, 5. I have also successfully photo- 
graphed in life the common quail of Europe, both the male and the 
female birds, — adult specimens. 

All of the live American partridges I photographed were kindly loaned 
me by Mr. Edward S. Schmid, who keeps an Animal Emporium at No. 
712 12th street, N. W., Washington, D. C, he having received them 
from his collectors in the west. 

At that time I was living in Washington, and Mr. Schmid permitted 
me to take his birds to my home, and keep them in large cages until 
such times as I had been successful in securing negatives of them. As 
a rule I selected only the best plumaged and the strongest male birds, 
though in the case of the little common quail of Europe, I obtained fine 
results, both of the male as well as the female. 

These last named have been published in a number of places, but be- 
ing birds of another country they are not suitable subjects to reproduce 
here, that is, in a journal so strictly devoted to the ornithology of the 
United States. 

In the case of the Texan Bob-white, I secured my specimen in one 
instance almost life-size when standing; I also obtained it when perched 
up in the limbs of a tree. It was a fine male individual and after he had 
been in my possession about a week, he became very docile, and gave 
me but litte trouble in securing his photograph. 



To get him on the ground, I simply had a big piece of an old rough 
log put up in a favorable light in my studio. Then selecting a suitable 
part of this, I focussed upon it as sharp as possible with an open lens. 
My Partridge was then induced to walk up and down upon this log until 
be became thoroughly accustomed to the novelty of the procedure. Final- 
ly, in the course of these short promenades, he happened to stop on the 
very spot on the old log, where I had focussed. In the meantime, how- 
ever, I had inserted a very small "stop" and a very quick plate, and the 
light being exceptionally good, I risked what practically almost amount- 
ed to an instantaneous exposure. As a result of this operation, I se- 
cured a beautiful negative, and some day later on I hope to be able to 
publish a reproduction of it in the American Ornithology. 

The second time I attempted this Texan Bob-white was on the same 
•day and in the same place. Removing the log, I replaced it with the 
small limb of a tree, and by a little gentle persuasion, I was not long in 
inducing this very amiable Partridge to walk up along it. I had focus- 
sed on a point where the branches forked, and as he reached there he 
took a notion to squat down. He appeared so charming in this attitude 
and the high light rendered him and his deep tinted plumage so hand- 
some that I could not resist the temptation, so by a gradual, though, 
rapid pressure of the pneumatic bulb, I fortunately made a fine result, 
and a reproduction of this is here shown in figure 1, of the present 

I found Bob-whites far easier to photograph than any of the western 
Partridges, except, perhaps, the Chestnut-bellied Scaled Partridge, a 
iorm I was particularly successful with, both on the ground as well as 
on the limbs of trees. 

In figure 3, for example, we have this bird absolutely as he ap- 
pears in nature. Under the proper course of training he had become 
very gentle indeed, and would walk up and down my extended arm 
without any apparent fear or concern whatever. He was extremely 
alert, however, and the very slightest sound attracted his attention, and 
in expressing his state of incessant awareness he would keep raising 
and lowering his very pretty crest, and in the same gradual manner that 
some of the larger butterflies open and close their wings. At last, how- 
ever, when I felt pretty sure that his rufitled spirits were down to their 
normal ebb, I allowed him to walk off of my arm and hand or to the 
limb of an oak, which I had prepared for him in the same manner as I 
bad previously arranged the limb of a tree for my Texan Bob-white. It 
was not long before I had made three or four successful exposures on 
him in this situation, and one of the best of these is here reproduced in 
figure 3. 



Fig- 3- 

Photo from life by Dr. R. W. Shufeldt. 



He had turned about and faced the camera, which was not over a yard 
removed from him. Next, with great deliberation, he squatted down 
upon the limb. I then came over well to his left- side, and he slowly 
turned his head to regard me and my movemenTs. Waiting quietly a 
moment, I then attracted his attention with an alrnost inaudible squeak- 
ing note, made with my teeth and lips. This caused him to raise his 
crest to the full height, and this was exactly what. I desired. By cau- 
tiously varying the note, I powerfully held his attention, and induced 
him to keep his crest up for at least two seconds. During this very val- 
uable and important interval, I made the exposure, the plate being a 
very sensitive one, and 5 x 8 in the matter of size. In a few moments 
in the dark-room, I soon appreciated the fact that I had been successful 
in photographically ba'gging as handsome a specimen of this interesting 
little Partridge as ever was seen. 

On the same day, and by similar methods, I obtained several fine 
negatives of the California Partridge, both perched up on limbs as well 
as in other attitudes. One of these was nearly life size, and this one is re- 
produced here in figure 2, and it gives a very excellent representation 
of this bird as he appears perched up on the limb of a low shrub, at a 
foot or so above the ground. 

Photographs from negatives of this bird have been published by 
me before, both in this country and in Europe, and up to the present 
time, always as a specimen of Gambel's Partridge. I am now con- 
vinced that the bird is a California Partridge {Callipepla califoniica) , 
and that I have never made a photograph of Gambels. Mr. C. A 
Reed, the editor of the present journal, brought me about to this opin- 
ion and my thanks are due to him for his having kindly loaned me skins 
of the two different species for comparison. Primarily I was deceived 
in the premises by Mr. Schmid having told me that the birds were 
captured in Texas, and an authority on. game birds, who saw this lot 
alive, remarked ofE-hand that they were Gambel's Partridges, and the 
mistake, inadvertedly having started in this manner, is here, now cor- 
rected for the first time. 

The reproductions of the figures in the present article are from plati- 
num prints and therefore are not quite as strong or as sharp as had they 
been made from an albumen paper. Still they possess a softness and a 
charm that the plate made from the latter paper seems to be unable to 

In making pictures of this class one can only succeed with them by 
employing, in the case of his material and apparatus, the best of every- 
thing to be had in the market. The purest chemicals, the finest and 
quickest plates, not less in size than a 5 x 8, the most expensive len- 


ses, and, finally, good taste and judgment, and a constant exercise of all 
the wits and patience one has at command are all required. It is only 
by such means and procedures that the naturalist photographer can ever 
hope for even partial success and mediocre achievement in this truly in- 
teresting field. 


A. O. U. No. 584. (Mclospiza georglana.) 


Eastern North America from the Atlantic to the Plains and from 
southern Canada and New Foundland to the Gulf States, the latter lo- 
cality being its winter quarters. Breeds from the Northern United 
States northwards. 


Length, 5.75 in.; tail, 2.25 in. Bill, feet and eye, brown. Adult in 
spring: — Forehead, black. Top of head, chestnut, edged with blackish. 
Back, dull yellowish, broadly streaked with black. Primaries and tail, 
reddish brown. Line over the eye and band extending across the 
breast and to the back of the neck, gray. Sides of the head and flanks, 
yellowish brown. In the fall the chestnut on the head is nearly ob- 
scured by black streaks; this is also the case with the young birds. 


The Swamp Sparrow constructs its nest on the ground, in low 
swampy localities. It is generally concealed in some thicket by over- 
hanging clumps of grass. The eggs are three or four in number, pale 
blue, and quite heavily blotched with various shades of brown. They 
breed in the northern parts of the United States and in southern Cana- 
da about the latter part of May. 


All day long, and growing in intensity as dusk approaches, comes 
from the bog, the shrill calls of numerous young frogs, interspersed 
now and then with the deep bass voice of some of their elders; here the 
turtle basks in the sunshine on some half sunken log, and the muskrat 
leaves a widening trail of ripples as he wends his way up the stream; 
numerous unstable clumps of grass dot the edges of the creek, and be- 
neath the arch of overhanging alders is a tangled mass of weeds and 
blackberry vines. 






Photo by C. H. Morrell. 


Amid surroundings such as these, you will find the Swamp Sparrows. 
These dark colored, handsome members of the Finch family are much 
more intimately acquainted with neighbors such as these, than with 
mankind, for whom they have a wholesome fear and respect. 

Although there might be a large number of them in some low thick- 
et, unless you were purposely looking for them, in all probability you 
would pass by without being aware of their presence. Happy and ac- 
tive, when no one is around, the instant an enemy appears, all song 
ceases and with the exception of a few warning chirps, all are silent un- 
til you have passed. 

I have cautiously approached a flock, early in the morning when they 
are singing at their best, and seated myself in their very midst. Every 
once in a while, above the rustling of the leaves, caused by them in 
their search for food, I could hear a beautiful little song consisting of 
several trills given in a low sweet tone so as to appear to be at quite 
a distance from me. Another song frequently heard was a very rapid- 
ly repeated chirp, forming nearly a continuous note and not unlike that 
of the Chipping Sparrow. I had been there but a few minutes before 
one of them hopped to a twig within arm's reach from me. He had no 
idea there was anybody near and looked at me for an instant as if he 
could hardly believe his eyes, then with one loud, deep chirp, dropped 
out of sight. At once all the birds about me, who had been quite noisy, 
became silent. Evidently my discoverer told them all what was the 


matter, for one after another flew to a location from which they could 
see me. It is quite difficult to make them take wing, as they are very 
agile and will dodge in and out among the clumps of grass and escape 
observation., and when they do fly, it is only for a few feet. I have re- 
peatedly seen them do apparently impossible feats of walking upon the 
water. They would run rapidly across the creek, taking advantage of 
every floating twig or leaf, without allowing their unsecure footing the 
necessary time to sink beneath their weight. 


In nearly all New England woodlands, particularly those slightly in- 
clined to be marshy, the Veery will be found. He is frequently classed 
as the sweetest American songster, but although it is very pleasing to 
the ear to hear his clear, tremulous, whistling solo, early in the morn- 
ing and towards dusk, I hardly think that he has earned this high dis- 
tinction. I had the fortune to observe the home life of a pair of them 
this past summer. The illustrations with this article, I prize more 
highly than any others that I have secured, because of difficulties and 
other incidents connected with their taking. That I only secured two 
good photographs of the bird in as many weeks, does not signify that 
that this is all the plates that I exposed. On the contrary, at least 
a dozen were transformed into worthless pieces of glass, some from 
faults of my own and others from unavoidable circumstances. Before 
discovering the nest shown here, I had attempted to photograph two 
others, but could not as the patience of the birds exceeded my own, 
and neither of them would return while I was near. 

As I was walking through a certain small marshy bit of woods, I 
was startled by the flushing of a bird at my feet. Her alarm note as 
she disappeared through the underbrush announced that it was a Wil- 
son's Thrush or Veery. Glancing downwards, from whence she had 
started, my eyes at once rested on four bright blue eggs snugly nestled 
in a handsome cradle of grapevine. It hardly seems possible after 
finding the nest of this bird that one can go by and not notice such a 
conspicuous object; yet I have spent more than an hour looking for 
one, and been unable to find it, although I was certain that it was but a 
few feet away. These birds almost always nest in places which are 
well covered with brush or weeds, and a single fern or leaf over the 
nest conceals it effectively. 

The day following my discovery, I returned to see what success I 
might have with this nest. I first watched and saw that the bird al- 
ways entered the nest fiom the rear, and then I placed the camera in 



.Photo from life by C. A. Reed. 


front of the nest and with the lens about two feet from it. The whole 
outfit was then covered with a green cloth and plentifully sprinkled 
with leaves and branches, so as to attract as little attention as possible, 
although probably the bird thought that it was very conspicuous. I 
have often wondered that they dared to return to their nest when any 
such contrivance was placed before it. They prove that they have a 
large amocnt of courage and I doubt, were we placed in the same po- 
sition, if we would ever return to our homes. After having affairs ar- 
ranged to my satisfaction, I retired as far as the tubing would allow 
and, concealing myself as best I could, waited. 

The trees about me were very tall and the sun came through the 
dense foliage in only one large patch, from an opening nearly over the 
nest and a little to the southward, thus allowing the sun to shine direct- 
ly on the nest from about nine o'clock in the morning until two. After 
waiting about an hour without seeing a sign of either of the birds, I 
began to fear that unless they returned very soon the eggs would be 
baked by the extreme heat of the sun, so I arranged a blackberry 
branch, that had previously shaded the nest, so that with a thread I 
could very gradually draw it to one side when the birds returned, and 
allow it to furnish shelter to the eggs, when they were absent. Both 
birds would come at times, and after much calling to each other, depart 
although frequently during these intermittent visits^ my hand would 
grasp the bulb more firmly, in anticipation of seeing one of them hop 
to the nest. During their periods of absence, the silence was oppres- 
sive, the only notes heard being an occasional lisp from the Redstart,, 
who had a nest in a tree a short distance away, a sharp chirp from the 
little Chestnut-sided Warbler, whose nest was in the blackberry vines 
within plain view from where I sat, and the buzzing of numerous 
mosquitos. And by the way, if these last mentioned had confined their 
attentions to merely buzzing, their presence would have been more wel- 
come but as it was I can testify that, although they may not equal the 
famous Jersey mosquitos in size, their bites were of good quality. 

Just twice during the three days that I was present, while the nest 
contained eggs, did the owner visit the nest, that is to actually stand 
upon the edge. On the first negative that I exposed I was unable to 
find a trace of the bird, but on the next was the one shown here. The 
day after obtaining this picture, I found that the nest contained young, 
and the parents were much more anxious than formerly. Not wishing 
to expose the young to the sun even for a short space of time, I did not 
attempt to photograph the birds again until the little ones were a week 
old and commencing to look like feathered birds instead of the naked, 
helpless mites that they first were. 


Phjto from life by C. A. Rted 


From this time forth the parents remained in the vicinity of the nest 
when I was about. Several incidents occurred to relieve the monotony 
of waiting, although probably the birds would have returned to the nest 
sooner if the interruptions had been omitted. I had just settled down 
to business, and the Thrush was showing signs of returning for her 
portrait, when a fusilade of shots came from the edge of the wood. 
Soon a twenty-five year old boy appeared, armed with a small repeat- 
ing rifle. He passed by, about twenty yards from me, and showed his 
sporting proclivities by firing at everything animate that appeared, and, 
when he could see no living thing to try his skill upon, he would fire at 
the surrounding trees, just for excitement. I kept close watch of him 
to see that he did not notice the camera, for he certainly would have 
tried to hit it, although his enthusiasm far exceeded his skill, for he 
missed everything that he fired at while he was within my view. 

After the temporary excitement had subsided, the mother bird, with 
her beak filled with grubs, began her maneuvers about the nest. After 
inspecting the camera closely, from several points of view, she descend- 
ed to the ground and walked completely around the nest several times, 
each circuit bringing her nearer to the goal, and raising my hopes of 
obtaining her photopraph. Each time when she came to the small tube 
which connected the camera shutter with my place of concealment, she 
would stop and look it over carefully, then cautiously step over and in- 
spect it from the other side, before continuing her tramp. Finally she 
hopped on the edge of the nest to deliver her load to the expectant 
young, and my longed for chance had come. 

We went through this same operation several times during the next 
few days, but with the exception of the one shown here the results were 
a failure from my point of view. This photograph shows but three 
birds whereas there were four. One of them did not see the parent 
bird returning and the others in their eagerness to be fed, walked all 
over him. 

On one other occasion, after the shooting episode, my solicitude in 
regard to the safety of the camera was aroused. This little piece of 
woods was used as shelter from the heat by a number of cows. On one 
of the days when I was present, one of them noticed the camera, and 
having an inquisitive disposition, she proceeded to investigate. Al- 
though there were leaves of the same kind on every hand, she persist- 
ed in eating those on the branch that shielded the camera, and seemed 
to take it unkindly when I was forced to drive her away. 

And now we come to the closing chapter of my observations, and a 
sad one it is. On nearly every day that I was in the woods, I either 
saw or heard two dogs prowling through the underbrush. One of these 


was a light colored hound, and he was the author of the following deed. 
I was not more than forty feet from the Veery's nest, and was trying 
to photograph the Chestnut-side, which has been mentioned before. 
The gray hound was beating about the bush, throughout the woods 
and occasionally I would catch sight of him as he stopped and sniffed 
the air. Soon he uttered a short joyful bark, and then all was still once 
more. Evidently he left the woods at once, for I soon heard him bay- 
ing farther off. I understood the meaning of his bark, when I left the 
woods about ten minutes later. When I passed the Thrush's nest it 
was upside down and every little one had disappeared. Why the old 
birds had created no noticable disturbance, I cannot say, but before me 
was the evidence firmly fastening the guilt upon the dog. The parent 
birds must have left the locality at once, for they were neither seen nor 
heard there again. Let this be a warning to those who own a dog of 
any variety. Do not allow him to roam the woods alone, under the 
impression that he is only following the scent of some squirrel or rab- 
bit. Chester A. Reed. 


A. O. U. No. 674. (Seiurus aurocapillns.) 


Eastern North America generally, from the gulf to the arctic regions, 
apparently common and breeding everywhere throughout its range, 
wintering sparingly along the gulf coast, but mostly in the sub-tropical 
regions beyond. 


Length, 6 to 6.5 inches; extent, 9.5 in.; tail, 2.5 in. Eye, brown. 
General color above, brownish or yellowish olive, with an ochreous yel- 
low crown margined with black. The under parts and a line over the 
eye, white. The breast is streaked with arrow shaped spots of black, 
thus resembling very especially the thrushes in color, in which group, it 
was formally classed merely from anology, but it is now regarded as a 
sort of a wagtail Warbler. 


The nest, which is on the ground in the woods, is a very marked 
structure, generally substantial and roofed over, with an entrance on 
the side. This bears such a striking resemblance in miniature to the 
old fashioned out-door oven, that the builder has been quite generally, 
in fact almost universally christened, the "Oven Bird." The nest is 
mainly built of leaves compounded with dried grasses, shreds of bark. 





Photo bv C. H. Morrell. 


fine twigs and'often ornamented with mosses and skeleton leaves. Often 
it'is a thing- of beauty. I have found it, however, quite scantily built 
almost wholly of pine needles, when located in a pine forest. The eggs 
are four or five in number, unusually rounded, and are white as porce- 
lain, finely spotted and specked with red, brown and lilac, the marks be- 
ing mostly around the larger end in the form of a wreath. In a neatly 
built nest finely lined with skeleton leaves and horse hair, they are truly 
objects for admiration, and always seem to say to the beholder, "Hands 


One of the most constant and noticeable habits of this bird is its keep- 
ing so persistantly to the ground. Here it walks about, keeping time 
and balance with a motion of the head, in the most dainty dove-like 

It is pre-eminently a walking bird. Here, too, like the strictly ground 
Warblers, it must find its food. Never describing curves in the manner 
of the Flycatchers, nor flitting among the branches, like the Dendroica, 
(or Silviadae formerly), it scratches among the leaves after the manne, 
of a Chewink. Here its sharp chipping alarm note is often heard, 
especially in the breeding season, which is generally late in May or 
early in June. Nothing is more characteristic, of our beautiful forests 
than its unique chant, "Ke-chee, ke-chee, ke-chee, ke-chee, ke-cheer 
." Often beginning so softly that you might imagine the bird 


some distance away, but increasing in force noticeably to the end, per- 
haps becoming almost shrill and disclosing the ventriloquist near by on 
a lower limb, head up, motionless at first but finally shaking himself 
from head to tail in emphatic utterances of his last syllables. The per- 
formance is greatly enhanced in effect by a full woodland echo. This 
was formally supposed to be the full extent of the Oven birds' full capac- 
ity, even Wilson, Audubon and Nuttall discovering nothing more; but 
when Mr. Burroughs, a sort of delightful dramatic observer, came into 
the field, he called attention to this bird's extatic song flight. 

He says: "Mounting by easy flights to the top of the tallest tree, he 
launches into the air with a sort of suspended, hovering flight, like cer- 
tain of the Finches, and bursts into a perfect ecstacy of song,clear,ring- 
ing, copious, rivalling the Goldfinches in vivacity, and the Linnets in 
melody. This strain is one of the rarest bits of bird melody to be heard, 
and is oftenest indulged in, late in the afternoon or after sundown." 

This description is very accurate. I seldom heard this song, however, 
while in the north, but on coming to Maryland I found it to be a com- 
mon ornithological entertainment. In the forest around my field, there 
is a pair located every few rods, and the beautiful song flight is a com- 
mon occurance about sunset or even on cloudy days, in fact I have heard 
it at about all hours of the night, and a beautiful song in the night is 
enough to endear any bird to the heart of the insomnist. 

Rev. J. H. Langille, Kensington, Md. 


In loooking for old acquaintances among the feathered neighbors 
of China, it at first seemed that we had found Merula migratoria (Amer- 
ican Robin) masquerading in a suit of black, so perfectly did actions 
and voice agree with our old friend, but upon closer inspection this new 
bird was found to be the Asiatic Merle, or Black Thrush. 

The Merle is about the size of the American Robin, and of a uniform 
black color, with a bright yellow bill, and the tail somewhat fished. 

The female is the same as the male except that the front parts have 
a tinge of rust color showing through the black, as though the trans- 
formation from the American Robin had not been quite complete. 

Among the many sweet singers of the land of bird song, this bird is 
among the first. Though he may seem to be dressed in deep mourn- 
ing, his rich clear voice will soon convince you that he has nothing to 
be sad about. Just at that uncertain time of the morning, when the 
watcher is unable to tell whether night is fading into day, and ere the 


sun has been able to shoot his first finger of light into the sky above, 
the Merle awakens from his slumbers with a perfect flood of melody. 

Perched in some near by tree, he prefaces his song with a few sharp 
shrill whistles as if to command silence from the other feathered song- 
sters and then, as a master leader, he pours forth his sweet strains, 
awakening the stillness into life. His hours of song are not confined 
to the morning, but all through the day and late into the night his voice 
may be heard as he sits hidden somewhere in the densest foliage of the 
tree, trying to outdo himself in an ecstacy of song. 

The habits of this specie are very similar to the American Robin. 
The food consists largely of worms and larvae which are taken from 
the ground. With drooping wings this bird may be seen stealthily 
creeping along or at other times imitating our old friend the robin, as 
he will run a little way and straighten himself up, but all the time he is 
intently listening for the unsuspecting larva or insect which is to make 
his meal. As is common with most birds of this class, he also feeds 
on berries and fruits in their season and seems to enjoy them immensely. 

The nest of the Merle is placed in a vertical fork or perhaps, on a 
horizontal limb at a distance of from ten to forty feet from the ground 
and is composed of grass, leaves and vegetable fibres, lined with root- 
lets. This nest is very deeply cupped. The eggs are a pale olive 
green spotted, marked and blotched with various shades of brown, 

blue and burnt umber. 

Ernest B. Caldwell. 

[Although this magazine is especially devoted to our own birds, we 
are glad to have received the above article on the Asiatic form of our 
Robin, coming as it does from an American who is well acquainted 
with our birds, especially those of Tenessee, where he formerly re- 
sided. He has also favored us with an article comparing the bird life 
in far off China to that of this country. This we shall use a little later. 

Mr. Harry R. Caldwell, well known to ornithologists in the U. S., 
and who has been in China the past year writes: — I am very much in- 
terested in China and find it one of the most beautiful countries in 
the world. The southern portion of it is a little Eden, a land of fruit 
and flowers. I doubt that God and Nature ever joined hands in the 
production of a drama more beautiful, or a country more "in tune with 
the Infinite" than this great country." During the fifteen or more 
years spent by Mr. 'Caldwell with the birds of Tenessee, he has made 
many notes on their habits and we hope to draw from these from time 
to time. Ed.] 



Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, Box 772, Waterbury, Ct. 

To the boys and girls who read American Ornithology, — greeting: 
This magazine opens the new year with a special corner for the young 
folks. You have enjoyed its pages with the older people, but now we 
have a room by ourselves, we hope to become better acquainted with 
each other, and with our little brothers of the air. We hope that this 
department will help you to know the dress of the birds you meet in 
your everyday walks, their songs, and their habits, and thus to love 
more the beautiful things which God has given us to make us happier 
and better. So bring your questions and birding adventures, and talk 
them over with, Your friend, Meg Merrythought. 


Hurrah, boys and girls. Who is ready for a picnic this bracing win- 
ter m.orning? A picnic in January? I hear you say. I never heard of a 
picnic with the mercury at zero. Who is to be there? Is it to be held 
around a blazing fireplace? 

Nay, it is to be held under the great oak just beyond the house; there 
is a dashing brook, which Jack Frost has failed to chain, rushing down 
the hill in a field near by, and on its banks are still left some berries 
and seeds which our guests will enjoy. Of course the food is an im- 
portant part of every picnic. Our bill of fare includes a large piece 
of suet tied to a branch of the oak, a head of ripened sunflower seeds, 
hung from the trunk. A meaty bone swung from another bough, well 
out of reach of the cat, and some crumbs and seeds scattered about on 
the ground beneath, while the clear waters of the brook ripple an invi- 
tation to all who are thirsty. Listen and you shall hear all about the 
party that gathered here yesterday, indeed there is hardly a day 
throughout the winter, but some of our little friends feast in the oak 



Plioto from life by Ev 


First of all came a flock of Chickadees, warm as could be in their 
gray and white feather coats and black hoods, and singing: "Chickadee- 
dee-dee. Look under this tree. My thanks, friend, to thee." A 
Brown Creeper slipped around the trunk of the oak, and decided that a 
few bites of the suet would make a fine desert for his dinner of grubs. 
A downy woodpecker and his cousin hairy woodpecker, each in red 
caps, followed his example. There were sparrows galors running over 
the frozen crust; an occasional white-throated sparrow wearing a hand- 
some hood with black, white, and yellow stripes, and pure white ties- 
Of course the English sparrows were there too, tho' they were not in- 
vited, nor were they wanted, and one dear little song sparrow flew 
down and called: "Maids, maids, maids, hang on your tea-kettle." 
Then a company of juncos in trim slate colored coats and gray white 
vests, appeared, seeming to rejoice in the frosty air; you will find them 
ready for a picnic every day. Those polite quakers, the cedar birds, the 
welcome nuthatch, blue jays, crows, goldfinches, and even a few belat 
ed robins and blue birds came, glad of a chance to supplement a scanty 
breakfast. These and many others daily enjoy the feast of good things 
spread out for them. If you cannot come to our January picnic under 
the oak, spread a similar table for the winter birds near your own home, 
and I am sure you will be more than repaid for your trouble. 


There is a disease called aphasia, in which a person is unable to 
speak the word he wishes. In giving an account of the Junco, I must 
have had a touch of that malady, for I find many important words have 
been left out, so I ask the help of the boys and girls to supply the miss- 
ing words. 



Take your pencils and see how well you can do. As I passed along- 
one of the city streets not long ago, I found a dear little Junco lying- 
dead upon the pavement. Perhaps in flying swiftly to escape a , 

it had flown against a telephone wire. The bird was about inches 

long, its upper parts a color, darkest 

neck, its lower and grayish white, 

forming a clear cut vest. The two outer tail feathers , and 

a also of creamy whiteness. 

Almost any winter day you may see flocks of these cheery fellows 
swinging on the twigs above the snow drifts, and often plunging into 
the snow, for the seeds still left on many a weed stalk, with many 
whispered rippling twitterings. The Juncos are called chuck birds by 
the Swedes and snow birds by the English. They usually come to us 

the latter part of , and remain until late in 

. As you see this lively little winter friend, try to remem- 
ber his whole name, junco hyemalis. 


The busy brown tree creeper traced the crannies of the grizzled oaks, 
the nuthaches followed, and their complaining squeaks seemed expres- 
sive of disappointment that so little food was found. — Abbott. 

Not to have so much as a bowing acquaintance with the birds that 
nest in our gardens or under the very eaves of our house; that haunt 
our wood piles; keep our fruit trees free 
from slugs; waken us with their songs, and 
enliven our walks along the roadside and 
through the woods, seems to be, at least a 
breach of etiquette towards some of our most 
kindly disposed neighbors. — Neltje Blanchan. 


Dear little mite of woodland gray. 
Whistling "phoebe" throughout the day. 
Busily swinging from tree to tree 
Calling so saucily. Chickadee-dee. 

When wintry blasts doth blow on high 
Chickadee-dee is right close by. 
Cheerfully searching the trees with care, 
For all of the insects hidden there. 

Earle Stafford (Age 14.) „., < i* u n n . u 

^ Photo from life by Ev. E. Johnsc 



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Photo from life by C. A. Reed. 


Jennie Wren is as fussy as a Iiouse wren can he, 

Keeping Jack on the go, with no rest. 
He has looked high and low for the right kind of a tree 

In which they can locate their nest. 

He has shown her the very best sites, in his search, 
In boxes, in sheds and nooks near the ground; 

A nice hole in an oak, beech, chestnut and birch, 
But nothing to suit can be found. 

At last to the orchard with its fragrance so sweet 

The trees laden with blossoms so fine, 
He finds just wliat Jennie says is so neat 

And she knew where it was all the time." 




One bright sunny morning, 
during the latter part of May, 
I started out with the camera, 
intending to spend the day 
with the birds. As I was 
passing an old orchard, I 
heard the clear, unmistake- 
able, rollicking song of the 
House Wren. Following this 
welcome guide, I soon found 
him, perched on a dead twig, head up, and warbling as though his cup 
of happiness was bubbling over. There has always seemed to me to 
b)e something unusually attractive in the wren's song. It is no mere 
grandstand performance, but is expressive of his real feelings. 

Photo from life. 

As soon as he saw me approaching, his song stopped short and he 
uttered a sharp warning note. As if by some magic power, there ap- 
peared at his side, his exact counterpart. I stepped to the other side of 
the tree to see from where she came, and noticed a small hole in the 
■end of a dead limb. Matters were getting interesting for me as well as 



the little birds, who seemed very much excited and doubtless wished 
me anywhere except there. Despite their angry expostulations, I 
grasped the limb, drew myself up, and peered within the opening. 
There, upon a bed composed of twigs, and lined with hair and fine gras- 
ses, were nine small, finely speckled, pinkish eggs. Here was the cause 
of their present anxiety, as well as the male bird's previous jollity, which 
had betrayed his presence. 

During the next two months, I visited this charming couple frequent- 
ly, and when I came to know them better, designated her as "Jenny," 
and for want of a better name, called him "Jack." She soon became 
quite tame, and would enter or leave the nest, even when I was standing 
beside it. I think Jack must have been jealous, for he was always shy 
and scolded me when I came. 

F^hoto from life. 

The nest hole was barely above my head, and well lighted by the sun, 
in fact, it could not have been better situated for photographic purposes. 
While I was placing the camera in position, both birds were scolding in- 
cessantly. Jenny bopped to a twig about thre^-feet from me and, with 
her bill wide open, uttered continually a peculiar chattering sound, not 
nnlike the buzzing of a swarm of bees. As soon as I withdrew a few 



feet, all noise ceased, and Jenny immediately began to investigate. 
Jack, valiant bird, perched at a safe distance, and gave all manner of 
encouraging notes, and even scolded her for not going at once to the 
nest, but he himself showed no inclination to do so. Of course it would 
not do for him to get into danger, for if anything should happen to him, 
what would become of Mrs. Wren? Jenny approached nearer and nearer 
the hole, and at last suddenly dashed in. Seeing that nothing unusual 
happened. Jack took courage and came slipping and sliding down the 
tree trunk in a ludicrous fashion until finally he stood on top of the nest 
hole. Peeking in, he gave a querulous call that was immediately an- 
swered from within. Evidently the response pleased Jack, for he at 
once launched himself into the air and sailed proudly to the next tree, 
singing the sweetest melody that he could compose. 

This day I secured six exposures, but the verdict of the dark room al- 
lowed me but one good negative, that of the male bird standing head 
downwards, just looking into the nest. The chief difficulty in securing 
pictures of these birds was not that they were afraid to return to the 
nest, as is often the case with other birds, but that they were too active. 
When several of the exposures were made, the birds were moving at 
such speed that, although the exposure was only one one-hundredth part 
of a second, the bird showed only as a streak extending across the 

i^^^BBH^HCfl' ^ 



^' ■^■'-' 



m^ M 

pp., X'J'^^^^^Km 

^^^^^^^^HE: '■ )/^^^Bf 


Photo from life. 

On my next visit, several days later, I was surprised to see that^they 
were apparently repairing the nest. I looked in and — there was not, an 



egg there. Someone had found the nest and robbed it of its treasures, 
but evidently the wrens had ceased mourning their loss and were pre- 
paring to try again. When next I saw the nest, about two weeks later, 
I was delighted to find that it contained eight eggs, and once more Jack 
was the proudest of birds. 

Business now kept me av.'ay from their home for a number of days, 
but when I called again, their happy thrills assured me, before I reached 
the orchard, that they had not been molested a second time. It seemed 
to me that they were unusually busy, tor they were continually flitting 
from the tree to the ground and back, and did not notice me until I 
reached the nest. When I looked in the cause of their activity was ap- 
parent, for the eight eggs had been transformed into eight little baby 
wrens, each with an appetite all out of proportion to its size. They 
were not fastidious in the least, as their bill of fare included spiders, 
ants, small wasps, caterpillars and many other insects. During the next 
few days, Mrs. Wren caused me considerable trouble by flying directly 
into the nest, instead of alighting outside so that I might photograph 

Photo from life. 



From now on, affairs progressed rapidly at the nest and soon the lit- 
tle ones were feathered out and were very noisy. Their chattering, 
coming from the depths of the tree, had a peculiar sound and it would 
have puzzled anyone, not knowing where they were, to have located 
them. They were also becoming quite active, and when they heard 
their parents coming, would all rush to the entrance to get the first bit 
of food. 

Two days later, I tapped on the limb and out flew eight young wrens. 
It was their maiden attempt at flying; some landed on the ground, some 
on the trunks of neighboring trees, and one or two managed to alight 
on twigs, where they swayed to and fro in the endeavor to maintain 
their balance. 

The next day Jack was very busy going the rounds to feed his num- 
erous children. To my surprise, however, Jenny was at work renovat- 
ing the old nest, and before another month had passed, had successfully 
reared another brood of eight. These wrens proved to be a very thrifty 
pair, having reared sixteen young besides having nine eggs stolen. 

I passed many very pleasant hours watching them and was sorry to see 

them leave in the fall, but I shall look for a large wren population in the 

same orchard, next year. 

Chester A. Reed. 

Photo from life. 




A, O. U. No. 522. (Loxia leucoptera.) 

Found in the northern parts of North America; south in winter to the 
middle portions of the United States. They breed from the northern 
parts of the United States northwards. 


Length, about 6 in.; extent, 11.5 in.; tail, 2.5 in. Eye, brown. Bill 
and feet brown. Both mandibles are rather large at the base, but rap- 
idly become slender towards the point, the upper being curved down- 
wards and to one side, while the lower mandible is curved upwards and 
to the opposite side. Male, general color a bright rosy red, somewhat 
obscured by brownish on the back and changing to whitish on the belly. 
Wings and tail, black, the outer webs of the feathers of each being 
edged with rosy. The secondaries and wing coverts are broadly tipped 
with white; these two wing bars sometimes overlap and form one large 
wing patch. 

The tail is somewhat forked. Female: — General color a yellowish 
olive, changing to a bright yellow ochre on the rump. Both above and 
below, with the exception of the rump, they are streaked with dull 
brownish. Both sexes vary greatly in the coloration, some being very 
bright, while others show little color. 


It cannot be stated with certainty just what localities the White-wing- 
ed Crossbills will nest in each year. Their movements are very unreli- 
able and places where they nest one year may not see a single individ- 
ual the next. They may be met with breeding throughout any of the 
northern tier of states and the whole of Canada and Alaska. They are 

very early breeders and their nests have been found with sets from the 
middle of January to June. They build their nest at heights varying from 
ten feet to the tops of the tallest trees. It is generally placed on a hor- 
izontal branch at its junction with the main trunk, and is a good sized, 
flat structure made of small twigs, straw, moss and lichens, generally 
with some attempt to imitate the coloration of the bark on the tree in 
which it is placed. They lay three or four pale bluish eggs sparsely 
spotted at the larger end with black and lilac. 






HE most striking feature about this 
interesting species of birds is the odd 
shape of their bills, from which their 
name is taken. It would seem that a bill 
of such peculiar design would prove very 
inconvenient to the owner at feeding 
time, but, however, strange it may appear 
to us, they are very skillful in opening pine 
cones, apples and other articles that form their diet, 
and to them it is probably as useful as it appears odd 
to us. During the winter quite large flocks of Cross- 
bills come from Canada and rove about the country as far south as the 
middle portions of the United States. They are as irregular in their 
occurance in any one locality as they are erratic in their flight. With 
most birds you can depend upon finding them in some particular section 
of the country at a certain season of the year, but not so with the Cross- 
bills. One season they may be very abundant in a certain locality and 
then not be seen there again for several years. 

When present in a place they are continually wandering aimlessly 
about, and their destination seems to be as little known to themselves 
as it is to the observer. Frequently I have watched a flock flying swift- 
ly overhead with their characteristic undulatory flight, apparently bound 
for the next county or even farther. Suddenly, as if the entire flock 
were controlled by one mind, they all speed downward and alight in the 
top of a nearby pine. Whether they fly under the leadership of one in- 
dividual or each one for himself, they are exceedingly well drilled, for 
no military organization could execute the manouvers through which they 
go with equal speed and precision. 

They respond very readily to a crude imitiation of the continuous 
chattering whistle that they utter while in flight, but are ever restless 
when in the tree tops, and at some fancied danger the whole flock will 
rise as one bird, and, after a very round about course will, in all likeli- 
hood, alight in the same tree from which they started. Unless some 
sudden move is made to startle them they are very tame and pay little 
attention to observers. A small clump of pine not far from home is a 
favorite locality for them to occupy if any are in the neighborhood. In 
late fall and winter, they are often found here in company with the 
American Red Crossbills. Probably a small pond-hole in the midst of 
the grove has much to do with the popularity of the place, for these 
birds often like to quench their thirst while feeding. 

Often have I called, by imitation, a passing flock of these strange bil- 


led creatures, and had the satisfaction of seeing them alight in the tops 
of the pines. After a few minutes they commence to move about, and 
soon a snapping sound, accompanied by a shower of pieces and even 
whole cones, announces that they are busily engaged. While feeding 
they do not utter the loud peculiar notes which mark their flight, but 
often a strange humming or chattering sound comes from the tops of 
the trees, as though they were holding a conversation among themselves 
in a low tone. Standing on, or hanging from one of the cones they in- 
sert their crossed mandibles and with a single twist of the head force 
the cone apait. It makes little difference to them as regards their pos- 
ition when eating their meals. As often as not they will be seen head 
down, hanging from the branches. Their movements are slow and de- 
liberate and they use their bills in conjunction with their feet for hang- 
ing to the branches as they clamber about. Gradually, as I have watch- 
ed, they have been working their way towards the ground, and soon one 
flies down beside the pool. Others follow and soon the carpet of brown 
pine needles presents a handsome appearance, being dotted here and 
there with the reddish colored forms of the males and the yellow ones 
of the females, the wing bars of the white-winged varieties showing, in 
marked contrast, against the dark surroundings. At such times I have 
quietly approached them and their little fear of man is shown by the fact 
that often I have had my hand within a few inches of them before they 
hopped a few feet farther away. As long as a person's movements are 
quiet and deliberate, they exhibit no concern, but let a single quick 
motion be made and the whole flock will take wing instantly. 


A. O. U. No. 631. (Lanlus borealis.) 


Northern North America, breeding north of the United States. In 
winter it migrates south to the middle portions of the United States, 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 


Length, 9.5 in.; extent, about 14 in.; tail, 5.5 in. Eye, dark brown. 
Bill and feet, blue black. Upper parts a bluish gray, lightening in the 
crown, rump and sides of the back. Below light gray, the breast and 
belly being crossed with wavy, darker gray lines. Wings and tail, black, 
the former with a large white spot near the base of the primaries, and 
tips of most of the secondaries white, the latter with outer web of outer 
feather and tips of the remaining outer ones, white. A broad black bar 
extends from bill along the side of the head. A small white crescent on 
the under eyelid. Young birds of the year lack the wavy lines on the 
tinder parts; the upper parts are a uniform gray, and the wings and tail 
are of a brownish color. 



The lower portion of this Shrike's nest is mainly of sticks thrown 
loosely together. The remainder is a combination of twigs, grasses, 
strips of bark and feathers. This nest is placed in hedges or thickets, 
often near dwellings or in isolated bushes in a field bordering some 
piece of woodland. During May, they lay from four to six grayish or 
pale greenish colored eggs, thickly spotted with brownish and greenish 


IRDS are subject to as great differ- 
ences in disposition as are human be- 
ings. Some are shy and retiring, 
others bold and aggressive; some 
quiet and unobtrusive, others loud 
arid boisterous. The subject of this 
sketch is one of the oddities of the 
bird world. A casual observer, at a 
lid remark that from appearance the 
Shrike was a peaceable, law-abiding bird. A 
closer inspection reveals a hooked beak seeming- 
^/ ]y out of place, when the sparrowlike feet with 

//^<V which the bird is equipped, are considered. Beneath their 
■\\J ^°^^ of soft gray feathers, lies a nature, cruel and cunning 
v^'^.l':^ in the extreme, and I have seen their sharp brown eyes 
take on a look of sullen determination, comparable only to 
that of an ill-tempered bulldog. 
While in their summer home in Canada, their food consists almost 
wholly of mice, grasshoppers and beetles, and the good they do is in- 
estimable. Unfortunately for the good of their reputation, they are only 
seen in the United States during the cold of winter, when lack of food 
causes them to fall into line and come south with the other migrating 
birds. At this season of the year, their diet is mostly made up of what 
small birds they can capture, and their manner of serving them for din- 
ner has given them the unenviable name of "Butcher-bird." 

Owing to the character of their feet, they are unable to hold their 
prey firmly, when tearing it to pieces. To take the place of the talons, 





which they lack, the Shrikes make use of broken off twigs, thorns or any 
projection that will assist them in holding the bird they are about to 
"butcher." I once watched one for some time, while he was making a 
meal from a sparrow that he had recently captured. He was evidently 
one of the smart members of the family, and had appropriated for his 
own use, one of man's important inventions. He was perched on the 
top of a fence post and had tried to catch the sparrow on the barbs of a 
barb-wire fence. The spikes were not long enough to serve his pur- 
pose very effectually, and the bird continually fell off, sometimes on one 
side of the fence and again on the other. Each time he would hop to 
the ground and carry it back, until finally after much maneuvering, noth- 
ing remained but a few scattering feathers. 

Although there is much left to be desired in their manner of living, 
especially during the winter, they are not nearly as black as frequently 
painted and the tales often seen in print to the effect that the Shrike 
slaughters numerous birds and leaves their remains impaled upon thorn 
bushes, merely for sport, may be read doubtfully. 

It is a strange fact that few of the birds that subsist to any extent 
upon flesh, are gifted with the power of singing. The Northern Shrike 
is an exception and many a so-called song bird cannot successfully com- 
pete with him in vocal ability. His song is very varied and he has the 
power of imitating many of the common birds, a power that he uses to 
good advantage in luring his victims to within his reach. He has a re- 
markably clear whistle and if placed under the instruction of a skillful 
teacher would make a wonderful musician. In the uneducated state 
that he must remain, his song is frequently broken by creakings, croak- 
ings, cat-calls, and squawks as though he was unable to control his wild 
nature in the ecstacy of song. 

Whatever may be said against the Shrike, it will be admitted by all 
who know him, that no more courageous or audacious bird is to be found 
in the whole country, than he. Many instances have been recorded, in 
which they have entered houses, through -an open window, and attempt- 
ed to attack a canary whose cage hung in sight. A number of times 
I have had Shrikes brought to me that were captured alive. They had 
pounced upon some English sparrow in the street and rather than relin- 
quish their prize, have suffered themselves to be picked up, together 
with their quarry. Even after being captured they will continue to fin- 
ish their meal if permitted to do so, paying no apparent regard to their 

Often times they secure their prey by darting from a lookout after the 
passing bird in the manner of the small hawks. More frequently they 
will conceal themselves in some convenient shrubbery, even in the vines 
that cover some of the city houses, and by imitating the cry of a bird in 
distress, cause other birds to come to the rescue and thus become the 
victims. I think we will all admire this bold fearless individual, and 
doubtless if we knew him in his summer quarters, we would be ready to 
condone with him for his winter depredations. 




The above illustration is from a photograph of two pigeon hawks. 
One of them is a live bird and the, other is a mounted specimen. 
Can you pick out the live bird? This picture is one of a series taken 
of this little hawk, and we have been considerably amused by the at- 
tempts of those who have seen them, to locate the one that is alive. As 
the score now stands, about nine out of every ten have decided that the 
mounted bird is the live one, and we concluded that possibly many of 
our subscribers might like to judge for themselves before we announce 
which is the real bird. The story of this hawk in captivity will be giv- 
en in the next number. 

We should like to have all those who think that they can tell, to mail 
us a card stating which of the two birds, the right or left hand one, is 



Identification Color Chart No. 1, 

Birds conspicuously marKed tauiih y ellotnf about the head, 2/ocA^ Throais. 

A. O. U. No. 666, Golden-cheeked Warbler, 

(fDendwica chiysoparia). 

Range in the U. S. limited to southern Texas. Rare. 
Length, 4.5 in. Entire back, wings, and tail, black. Yel- 
low onlv on cheek and line on top of head. White wing 
bars. Inner webs of outer tail feathers, white. Below 
white. Nest in cedar trees. 

A. O. U. No. 667, Black-throated Green Warb- 
ler, {Dendroica virens) 
N. A. east of the Plains and south of Hudson Bay. 

Common. Found most often in fir trees where it nests. 

Length, 4.5 in. Top of head and back, greenish yellow. 

White wing bars and outer tail feathers. Female has the 

black of the throat indistinct and mixed with yellow. 



A. O. U. No. 668, Townsend's Warbler. (A'«- 

droica townsendi. ) 

N. A. chiefly west of the Rocky Mountains. Quite 
common. Breeds in coniferous trees. Length, 4.5 inches. 
Top of head and cheek, black. Back, greenish marked 
with black spots. Breast and sides yellow. White wing 
bars and tail feathers. Female paler and black indistinct. 

A. O. U. No. 669, Hermit Warbler, {T>t"ndroica 

U. S. west of the Rockies and south of Canada. Not 
common. Length, 4.5 inDhes. Breeds in pine trees. En- 
tire head, yellow. Back, gray spotted with black. Under 
parts white. White wing bars and outer tail feathers. 
Black throat on the female partly replaced with yellow, 
and head blotched with dusky. 

A. O. U. No. 684, Hooded Warbler, {Sylvania 

U. S. east of the Plains and south of the Great Lakes. 
Common. Length 5 inches. A ground warbler and nests 
on the ground. Very active. Catches insects on the 
wing, like flycatchers. Cheek, forehead, and under parts, 
\ellow. Black of throat meets that on top of head. Back, 
wings, and tail, greenish. No wing bars, but outer tail 
feathers are white. 



Birds with unmarKed yeltotaf Throats. 

A. O. U. No. 663, Yellow-throated Warbler. 
( Dendroica domiuica . ) 

Common in the Atlantic States, chiefly soutli of New 
England. Length, 5 inches. Nests in pine trees. Top 
of head and back, gray. Black of forehead separated from 
black cheek by white line over eye. Under parts white. 
White wing bars and outer tail feathers. Sub-species:— 
No. 663a. Sycamore Warbler. (D. dominica albilora). 
A lighter form of above, found in li.e Mississippi valley 
and west to Ihe Plains. 

A. O. U. No. 664, Grace's Warbler, {Uendwica 

Southern New Mexico and Arizona. Rare. Nests in 
pines. Length, 4.5 inches. Yellow of throat extends 
around eye. Gray crown edged with black. Black spots 
in middle of gray back. White wing bars and outer tail 

A. O. U. No. 677, Kentucky Warbler, (Geotb- 

lypis fonnosa.) 

Middle and southern parts of U. S. east of the Plains. 
Common. A ground warbler, nesting on ground in 
woods. Length, 5.5 inches. Yellow stripe over eye 
separates black crown from black cheek. Back, wings, 
and tail, greenish unmarked. Below yellow. 

A. O. U. No. 681, Maryland Yellow-throat, (Gco- 

thylpis trichas). 

Eastern U. S. and southeastern Canada. Very com- 
mon. Nest on ground. Length, 5 inches. Black mask 
around eye extending across forehead. Greenish back 
and tail, unmarked. Female without black mask. Sub- 
species; — No. 68ia, — West Yellowthroat (G. t. occiden- 
talis) U. S. west of Mississippi valley. No. 681 b. Fla. 
Yellow-throat (G. t. ignota) Fla. and southern Ga. No. 
682 Belding's Yellow-throat (G. beldingi) Lower Calif. 
No. 682, I Rio Grande Yellow-throat. (G. poliocephala 
ralphi) Rio Grande Valley. 

A. O. U. No. 683, Yellow-breasted Chat, {kteria 


U. S. east of the Plains. Very common, noisy and 
mimical. Nest on ground in thicket. Length, 7.5 inches. 
Black spot below and in front of eye. Crown and 
cheek, gray. Back, greenish unmarked. Sub-species; — 
No. 68?a. Long-tailed Chat. (1. V. longi'auda) U. S. 
west of Plains and south of British Columbia. 




In order to study the scissor-tailed fly- 
catcher {Mihmlus forficatus,) of which some 
friends had told me again and again in a glow 
of enthusiasm, I made a trip to southern 
Kansas and northern Oklahoma. Several 
days passed before an individual of this 
species^'put in appearance, as the scissor- 
tails, which are migrants, were just returning from their 
winter quartersjn a more southern clime, and so I had to 
wait for their arrival. 

One day a friend and I were driving along a country 
road over the broad prairie, when he exclaimed, "See 
there! what bird is that?" Sure enough, a quaint bird 
form went swinging from the wire fence by the road-side 
toward a clump of willows in a shallow dip of the prairie. 
Dashing after him, I heard a clear, musical call that pro- 
claimed a bird with which I had not yet made acquaintance. 
In a few moments he flew from the tree. My binocular 
was fixed upon him as he went flitting across the field and 
presently ahghted on the ground. It was the scissor- 
tailed flycatcher, one of the most unique and handsome 
birds belonging to our American avi-fauna, one that mer- 
its more than a passing notice. To see him perched on a 
fence or swinging gracefully through the air, and hear his 
bell-like calls and whistles, makes you feel as if you were 
suddenly transported to a foreign land, like Australia or 
Borneo, where so many feathered curios are to be found. 
In a fever of excitement I followed the beautiful bird, 
which presently flew back to the fence by the roadside. 
He flitted from point to point as my friend and I slowly 
pursued him, giving us an exhibition of his scissoring pro- 
cess. he would alight on a post, and then on 
the barbed wire, usually sitting flat on his breast, when open the tail 
is bi-colored, the outer border all around being white and the inner 
black. The effect is quite picturesque. His general color is hoary ash, 
paler or almost white below, giving out a slightdrridescence in the sun- 
shine; his wings are blackish, with white trimmings; while his flanks are 
washed with salmon-red, and when his wings are spread, there appears 


a large blotch of scarlet at the inner angle of intersection with the body. 
One individual afterward seen wore a scarlet epaulet, which was almost 
concealed by the other plumes when the wing was closed, but was clear- 
ly visible when it was extended. An orange or scarlet gem adorns the 
crown, but is so well hidden by the other crest feathers that it is seldom 

My friend and I were privileged to witness a rare and attractive scis- 
sor-tail show, more gratifying than any human trapeze performance. A 
loggerhead shrike suddenly appeared on the scene, and made an assault 
on the flycatcher, and then the two birds went gyrating, zigzaging, see- 
sawing through the air in a perfect jumble of white and black and ash. 
It must be remembered that the shrike himself makes a handsome pic- 
ture on the wing, and when you come to mix up a scissor-tail and a 
shrike in an inextricable confusion of colors, you have a feathery dis- 
play worth seeing. 

Nor was that the end of the performance, for in a moment a second- 
scissor-tail, the precise facsimile of the first; appeared from somewhere, 
and then the two flycatchers combined against their enemy, and for a 
few minutes there was such a chaos of shrike and scissor-tail that the 
excited spectators could hardly distinguish between them. By and by 
the shrike wheeled away, when, as if to bring the gladiatorial show to a 
climax, the scissor-tails engaged in a setto that was really wonderful, 
coming together in the air, whirling around and around, rising in a 
spiral course, opening and closing their beautiful forked tails in quick 
succession, the black and white trimmings flashing momentarily and 
then disappearing, until the contestants finally descended, parted in the 
most graceful manner, and alighted on separate fence-posts, none the 
worse for their exciting melee. 

In the evening I returned to the enchanted spot, but the scissor-tails 
had disappeared. Not having had my fill of these charmers, I stopped, 
on my return home, for a day at Wellington, Kansas, where I was so 
fortunate as to find three birds of this species, who permitted me to 
watch them to my heart's content. They are not shy birds, but fly in a 
graceful, leisvirely way from post to post along the fence as you walk 
or drive, sometimes sitting quiet to let you pass by. In this respect 
their habits are much like those of their cousin, the bee martin. 

As his name indicates, our bird is the proud possessor of a genuine 
scissor-tail. That appendage is divided into two long, slender prongs, 
which are spread far apart under certain conditions of flight. Let me 
describe the process minutely, for it is unique, especially here in North 
America where fork-tailed birds are rare. 

When the bird starts from a perch, he spreads apart the prongs of his 


tail for a moment, as if to give himself a spring; then he closes them in- 
to a single slender pole, tapering outward to a point, keeping them 
closed during prolonged flight, and then, just as he sweeps down to an- 
other perch, he opens his ornamental scissors again, shutting them up 
as soon as he has settled upon his resting place. He does not open 
and close his tail at regular intervals, as might be supposed, during 
flight, but keeps it closed until he descends to a perch, when it is open- 
ed for a moment in the act of alighting. However, if he has occasion 
to wheel or make a sudden turn in the air, either for an insect or for 
some other cause, his scissors fly open, one might almost say spon- 
taneously, no doubt serving the double purpose of a rudder and a two- 
part balancing-pole. When closed, the tail is very narrow, looking al- 
most like a single plume. On the perch (except when he desires to 
shift his position, when he also makes use of his wings) his tail is 
closed. Therefore the picture of this bird in Dr. Coue's "Key to North 
American Birds" is not accurate, for it represents our bird as sitting on 
a perch with the tines of his fork spread apart. If the wings were out- 
stretched, representing the bird in the act of alighting or shifting his 
position, the picture would be true to life. 

The range of these birds is somewhat restricted, and for that reason, 
doubtless, so little is known about their habits. According to Ridg- 
way, their proper home is in eastern Mexico and the south-western 
prairie districts of the United States, though many of them come north 
as far as southern Kansas and south-western Missouri to spend the sum- 
mer and rear their families. In winter they go as far south as Costa 
Rico. Restricted as their habitat is, it is curious to note that they are 
"accidental" in a few unexpected places, such as Key West, Fla., Nor- 
folk, Va., and also in several localities in New England, Manitoba and 
Hudson's Bay Territory. Prof. W. W. Cooke, of Colorado, says they 
are "rare, if not accidental" in that state. To show that our birds are 
unique, it is relevant to say that there are only two species of scissor- 
tailed flycatchers in North America, constituting the Genus Milvithis all 
to themselves. The other member of the genus is the fork-tailed fly- 
catcher {Milvnlus tyrannus.) which is a resident of tropical America, 
migrating north normally as far as southern Mexico. He is a sort of 
southern twin of our scissor-tail. 

The nests of the scissor-tails are set in the crotches of trees in the 
neighborhood of country homes on the prairie. Considering the size 
of the birds, their nests are quite small, not as large as the brown 
thrasher's, although the cup is deeper and the architecture more com- 
pact and elaborate. A friend describes a nest which he found on a lo- 
cust tree about sixteen feet from the ground. It was made mostly of 


dry grass and locust blossoms, with here and there a piece of twine 
braided into the structure. It had no special lining, but the grass was 
more evenly woven on the inside of the cup than elsewhere. 

From three to five eggs are deposited. The ground color is white, 
either pure or creamy, sparingly mottled with rich madder-brown and 
lilac-gray, the spots being thicker and larger on the larger end. While 
the nest is undergoing examination, the owners circle and hover over- 
head, much after the fashion of the red-winged blackbirds, and express 
their disapproval in loud and musicals calls, displaying their rich scar- 
let decorations. 

My descriptions have all related only to the male bird, whose beauti" 
ful forked tail is nine to ten inches long, and whose colors are clear and 
more or less intense. His spouse resembles him, but is slightly smal- 
ler, while her tail, though forked like her mate's, is from two and a half 
to three inches shorter. The salmon and scarlet ornaments on the sides 
flanks and axillars are paler than those of her lord, and the crown-spot 
shows very indistinctly on her occiput. The young don the dress of the 
mother bird, save that they fail to adorn themselves with a scarlet gem 
on the crown. 

Like all the members of the flycatcher group, the scissor-tails cap- 
ture insects on the wing, making many an elegant picture as they per- 
form their evolutions in the air. 


A. O. U. No. 641. (Helminthophila piiios 


Eastern United States, from southern New" England, Southern New 
York and Minnesota, southwards and west to Nebraska and Texas. 

Length 4.5 in.; extent, 7.5 in.; tail 2 in.; eye brown; lids, yellow; bill 
and feet black. Above olive green, brightest on the rump. Fore part 
of crown and the under parts, a bright yellow, wings and tail bluish- 
gray. There are two white bands on the wing and the inner webs of 
the three outer tail feathers are mostly white, as are the under tail co- 
verts. A black line extends from the base of the bill through the eye 
and to the cheek. The female differs but little in plumage, chiefly in 
the crown which is a dull yellow. 


They generally select an open place in a clump of brush, or on the 
edge of woods that contain a growth of rank grass or golden rod; some- 
times at the foot of a single sprout, but more often hidden in the rank 





grass or golden rod. I have found them beside cart paths, roads in 
fields near woods, in the woods on tussocks of grass, and in low, damp 
but not wet places; in fact most everywhere, but only where those fa- 
miliar would look for them. 

The nest is composed of dried o^k or chestnut leaves as a foundation, 
placed in such a way that they point up, forming a cup shaped affair. 
This contains the nest proper, which is made of long strips of grape 
vine bark and grass, running up and down and forming the letter U. 
The lining is composed of very fine strips of the same, fine grass, and 
sometimes a few hairs. This is not always the rule, as I have found 
them made entirely of ribbon-like grass, finer grasses and green bark, 
and lined with fine grasses, resembling a nest of the yellow throat. I 
have found nests measuring 6 in. high and 4 in. wide; again, only 3 in. 
high and 3 in. wide, and with leaves covering the top, so that nothing 
but the birds head could be seen. 

The eggs vary greatly in size and markings. Some of the markings 
are of a black tint, others of a brown, some few have no markings, 
some are well covered, and others have bold splashes. I have found 
one set so heavily marked, that it resembles a set of Magnolia Warb- 

Here in Fairfield county, Connecticut, the blue-wing Warblers, though 
not abundant, may be called common. 

About the first week in May you will hear the insect like song of the 
male, while feeding with the female; the second week you will find them 
busily engaged in building. 

Soon after they arrive here, they will be found about the orchards 
that are in full bloom, but later they are rarely seen about dwellings. 

June first you will find complete sets, though dates will change ac- 
cording to seasons, the average set being five, very often four and rare- 
ly six. The largest set I have ever seen was found by Mr. Beer of this 
city, contained six eggs, and one of the cowbird. The cowbirds destroy 
a great many nests by laying in them before the rightful owner, who 
will then leave it and build another nest. In these cases they seldom 
lay more than four eggs. When the cowbirds lay after the blue-wing 
has laid two or more eggs, they seldom leave the nest, but if only one 
egg has been laid, they desert at once. You will seldom find a nest 
containing a cowbird, and more than four eggs of the owner. This 



year we found several nests containing two and three eggs, andDin all 
cases it was all the birds had laid, as we had found the nest without 

A nest should never be touched unless the set is complete, and above 
all a new nest, for they are very peculiar and will desert at the least 

To those unable to find the nest, a point; the male has a route from 
tree to tree that he follows, singing his love song in each; along this 
route the female is sitting, and when he flies over, you will see him dip 
down and sometimes alight; now is your opportunity; go directly to 
the spot and begin your search. The female is a close setter and will 
let you almost touch her before she will leave, and then slides off of 
the nest. When you have found the nest, you will wonder howitis'you 
have never found them before, they are so large. 

J. B. Canfield, Bridgeport, Conn. 


Pho',0 by F. L. Rawson. 




A. O. U. No. 370. (Charadrius squatarola.) 


This Plover breeds in the extreme northern portions of North Amer- 
ica. It migrates in winter south of the United States. 


Length, 11.5 in.; extent, 24 in.; tail, 3 in. Eye, brown. Bill and 
feet, black. Has four toes, the hind one being very small, but serving 
to distinguish it from the similar Golden Plover, which has but three 
toes. Adult in summer: — Chin, throat, breast, under parts and sides of 
the head, black. Top of the head and sides of the neck, white, the 
feathers on the hind part of the crown being centered with black. Back, 
wings and tail, black, the feathers of the back being edged with white 
and the secondaries, coverts and tail feathers barred with the same. 
Under tail coverts, white. Auxiliary feathers (those under the wing 
and nearest the body), black. These feathers also serve to distinguish 
these birds in the winter plumage from the Golden Plover, these same 
feathers on the latter bird being white. 


The Black-bellied Plover nests in the extreme northern parts of N.A. 
The nest is simply a depression in the ground, and is lined with a few 
grasses. The three or four eggs are laid during the latter part of June 
or early in July. The ground color varies from a light to a deep olive 
buff, thickly spotted and blotched with umber and black of varying pat- 


The Black-bellied Plover is decidedly more a bird of the sea shore and 
mud-fiats than one of the interior, and with the exception of along the 
Mississippi valley, the greater part of them during migrations follow 
along down the coast lines. When in their spring dress, few of the 





plover family can compare with them in point of beauty. Their form is 
quite stout and the head is larger compared to the size of the body than 
that of other plovers. 

Few naturalists have observed the domestic life of this species in 
America, owing to their extreme range. The same plover is found in 
Europe and there is known as the Grey Plover. According to Mr. 
Seebohm, who has made careful observations of their breeding habits, 
their nests are very difficult to find and it is necessary to watch the birds 
closely for a long time before they reveal its location. The female 
seldom takes wing when she approaches the nest and is very cautious, 
and if she is not entirely satisfied that all is safe, will pass and repass 
the nest before finally settling upon it. She is very restless and con- 
tinually moves from one post of observation to another, while the male 
quietly stands upon the tussock of a ridge and watches her. 

After the old birds have moulted, they, accompanied by their young, 
leave for the south. The old birds have now lost their beautiful black 
under parts and look similar to the young. After their summer in the 
uninhabited north, and their long tiresome flight, both the old and young 
birds have lost the wariness, and at every feeding place at which they 
stop, as they pass through the civilized country, they are made the tar- 
gets of the hunters. These latter consider the plovers only as so much 
flesh, and at the close of the day's shooting, their score records the fact 
that they shot so many "Beetleheads" or "Bullheads" as they call them. 

These birds are remarkable travellers, many of them traversing the 
entire length of the two continents and wintering in southern South 
America. During March and April they don their black suits again and 
start on their long journey towards the north. Remembering their fall 
reception, they are very shy now and are much more difficult to call to 
the decoys than the Golden plovers. They fly most frequently in small 
flocks of perhaps six to ten individuals, although occasionally as many 
as forty are reported. 

Their call note is quite difficult to imitate, which fact, perhaps, partly 
accounts for their aversion of being decoyed. It consists of a peculiar 
whistle, and possibly may be expressed by the three syllables "Cl~ee 
up." Their food consists of marine insects and shells, which they find 
on the flats left bare by the receding tide, and various beetles, which 
they obtain in the adjacent meadows. Their flight is very strong and 
swift. Upon alighting upon the shore they have the same graceful habit 
as many of the other plovers, that of raising their wings over the back 
and disclosing the beautiful markings. 



Address cnmmunicitions for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, box 772. Waterbury, Ct. 

Dear Little Friends: 

Again, good morning to you all. How many of you can tell the 
length of the English sparrow? Read in our Gleanings this month 
what Dr. Van Dyke says of him. I wonder if you can tell why he has 
such a bad name. I am sure some of you can tell something good about 
him. I should like to hear from you on both sides of the question. 

Well, good or bad, he is such a well known little scamp that he is a 
good standard of measurement; so when you meet an unknown bird, 
think how much longer or shorter he is than the English sparrow, (five 
inches) and it may help you to name him. This is a fine time to begin 
to learn the birds, there are so few that you can fix their names firmly 
in your mind before spring fills the woods with gay visitors. 

The first necessity in making the acquaintance of our bird neighbors 
is patience, the second is more patience. Begin your quest with a large 
stock of patience, with a real love for the birds, note carefully the col- 
ors, the size, shape, the manner of flight, of perching, of feeding, etc., 
and you will soon make many friends which will fill every walk with 
pleasure. Who can tell the name of the bird, which, when disturbed, 
carries its little ones by the nape of the neck, just as puss carries her 
kittens? Hoping that little February will bring you new friends in the 
fields, I will bid you good bye till March. Your friend, 

Meg Merrythought. 


Do you know how many nice things there are in the woods in Febru- 
ary, waiting for us? Now that the trees are bare, each one showing its 
outline so clearly against the blue sky, we shall find disclosed many a 
nest which was so carefully woven and tightly wound to the branches 
that the fierce winter winds failed to loosen it. Now we can see how 


and of what these homes are built, without fear of disturbing the own- 
ers. Doubtless we shall find more of the little gray cups in which the 
baby vireos have been rocked than of any other nests at this time. I 
have one before me that a red-eyed vireo swung last summer between 
the forked branches of a young oak, beneath a green leaf umbrella. 

It is a wonderful little cradle. You or I, with ten fingers and a heap 
full of gray matter to direct them, could not form the like. 

How many miles the old birds must have gone in their search for the 
fibres and down to build it! We find in it plant fibres, cobwebs, bits of 
roots, leaves, cocoons, decayed wood, scraps from hornets' nests, and, 
as usual, some bits of news paper; for the vireos usually place good 
reading within reach of their little ones. 

No doubt we shall find many mud huts of the robins, and the similar 
homes of the Wood Thrush, nearer the ground. The wonderfully woven 
pockets of the Orioles still swing from many an elm, and you may find a 
deserted bird tenement which has been rented for a winter nursery by a 
family of field mice. If" we put our hands in the deserted home of the 
woodpecker we may find a lining of snake skins. The Great-crested 
Flycatcher is said to always use a snake skin to upholster its nest. 

It is too late to find the dainty flat nest of the Pewee, shingled with 
gray lichens, or the Dutch oven of the Oven-bird, and the rough struc- 
ture of twigs thrown together by the crows, the Cuckoos, and the Green 
Herons have long ago fallen apart. Nor would a search earlier in the 
season have shown you the nests of the Nighthawk or the Whip-poor- 
will, for they simply camp out on a gray rock or mossy hollow. I think 
you could make a long list of the materials used in the nests you might 
find in a winter's walk — moss, wool, seed pods, feathers, gum, rags, cat- 
kins, the hair of various animals — but you may complete the list, I know 
you can add many to it. But we speak of the "bird homes." They 
were but the homes of the baby birds. Do not think of the nest of a 
bird as a home where it returns to sleep at night. O, no; you will find 
the full grown bird at night fall, holding tightly by one foot to a branch 
in some high tree top, with its feathers fluiTed out like a great puff ball, 
and its head snugly tucked beneath its wing, motionless until reminded 
by the caress of the glowing fingers of the morning sunlight, that a 
new day is at hand. 


(In this account of Polly's mishaps, the sharp eyes of our readers may 
find concealed, the names of twenty common birds.) 

Many years ago, in a little brown house on a hillside, lived a little 
maiden named Polly Robinson. Besides Polly, there were her big 
brother Martin, four-year-old Bob, and baby Phebe, who was yet a tod- 


dler and creeper about the floor. Polly, I must confess, was what her 
big brother called a "fraid cat," and this caused her many unhappy 

One morning- Mrs. Robinson went to see a sick neighbor, half a mile 
distant, leaving Polly in charge of her little brother and sister. 

Father and brother Martin had started at daybreak for Mr. Shrike's 
woods to spend the day chopping down trees to make rails for a new 

"Be mother's brave little daughter, there's nothing to harm you," said 
her mother as she kissed her goodbye. vSlipping the bolt Polly turned 
back into the kitchen determined to prove worthy of her great grand- 
father, whose picture hung in the front room, draped with blue bunting 
in honor of his daring deeds in the wars of long ago. 

For a while she was so busy, that all fears were forgotten. She 
brushed up the floor, rocked the baby to sleep in the little wooden cradle, 
then hung the iron kettle on the crane in the old fashioned fire place, and 
trotting back and forth with the tin dipper, soon had it filled with water, 
ready to make the mush which was to form the mid-day meal. 

Deftly she arranged a pile of shavings and wood on the hearth, and 
soon a blazing fire was roaring up the chimney. Swiftly she sped to the 
woodshed and filled a basket from the sweet smelling cedar chips which 
were protected by a piece of old duck, and soon had Bobby happily en- 
gaged in building wonderful block houses, while she herself drew a lit- 
tle wooden rocker before the fire and built as wonderful air castles, by its 
flickering dancing flames. But soon there came to her mind, the stories 
she had heard Sam Plover telling the day before, of the immense flat- 
headed adder he had killed last summer, but a few feet away from the 
front gate. It was too bad that Polly should have thought of this now, 
for a snake was what she feared the most. Even a harmless striped 
snake slipping across her pathway would make flashes of red start into 
her cheeks, and bring such a lump into her throat that she could hardly 
swallow. Sam had said that when one snake was killed, its mate was 
sure to be found not far away, and she thought that although cooler fall 
days had come, that other adder might still be about. 

Hark! What was that noise? Oh, that was but the crowing of a cock. 
Hark! again. Could it possibly be that other snake? There it was again. 
"S-s-s-s." Louder yet. What should she do. She must be mother's 
brave girl. It took all her courage to go to the cellar door and lift the 
latch. She opened it the tiniest crack. "Hiss-s-s." Yes it surely was 
the hiss of a snake. Bob, white with fear, clung to her dress. She did 
not linger to listen, "Slam," the door was tightly closed and father's 
arm chair was pushed against it, as if fearful that Sir Snake might find 


some way to open it. She could still hear it hissing as if very angry. 
Polly lifted Phebe from the cradle and placed her on the high bed in the 
next room, with Bob to stand guard, then returned to the kitchen, and 
armed with the poker, stood ready to face any danger. 

You may think Polly a very foolish little girl, but this danger seemed 
real to her, and to be brave, even though afraid, is the test of courage. 
Now came a welcome voice — "let me in Polly." ' She fell sobbing int(> 
her mother's arms, and even as she told her story, a loud noise, as of>a 
falling body, came from the cellarway. Her mother opened the door 
and found — what do you think? An adder coiled for a spring? No, a 
jug of yeast, which had fermented, ("worked" she called it,) and after' 
a great amount of hissing and sputtering, had forced the cork and most 
of the contents from the jug. Of course when Martin was told the tale, 
he made a great deal of fun of his sister, and it was a long time before 
he ceased to tease her about snakes. But her father said she had shown 
herself a brave girl, and when Christmas came, she found in the top of 
her stocking, a bright half eagle marked, "For a Little Heroine, from 
Uncle Jack Larkin." Polly is a young lady now, but I doubt if she ever 
forgets her experience with flat-headed adders. 


To THE Chickadee: 

As if it said, "Good day, good sir; 
Fine afternoon, old passenger. 
Happy to meet you in these places. 
Where January brings few faces." 


The kingdom of ornithology is divided into two departments — real 
birds and English sparrows. English sparrows are not real birds, they 
are little beasts. Van Dyke. 

The missing words in last month's account of the snow bird have 
been found, and you shall have the list to compare with those with which 
you filled the blank spaces. Hawk, six inches, bluish slate, head, 
breast, belly, white, bill, September, April. 

^yimerican 4tA 

250 PaLges. 150 Firve IIlvistraLtions 

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Formerly published at $10. My price only $2.50 prepaid. 

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CKas. K. Reed, Worcester. Mass. 



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A. O. U. No, 581, (Melospiza melocUa,) 


Eastern North America. West to the plains and breeding from Vir- 
ginia and the southern portion of the lake states, northward to the fur 
countries. The Song Sparrow is represented in nearly every section of 
the country by a very similar sub-specie, the chief difference from the 
eastern variety being that the plumage is darker or lighter according to 
the nature of the country that they frequent. 


Length, about 6 in.; extent, 9 in.; tail, nearly 3 in. Bill and eye, 
dark brown. Feet, paler. 

General color above, brownish. The crowm is brown streaked with black 
and containing a stripe of dull ash color through the middle. The cheek 
and a line above the eye are also of this same ashy color. The feathers 
comprising the coverts and those on the back, have a black stripe in the 
center and are edged with dull reddish brown and light ash. The prim- 
aries and tail feathers are plain brown, the former with a dull reddish 
edging. A brown stripe extends from the eye to the ear and another 
from the base of the lower mandible down the side of the throat. The 
under parts are white, changing to a dull brownish color on the flanks. 
There are numerous brown streaks along the breast and sides, those on 
the breast generally uniting so as to form one large brown patch in the 


The Song Sparrow, by nature, is a ground bird and nests on the 
ground. Owing to numerous nr.ishaps that they have been subjected to 
from small mammals and snakes, many of them now place their nests 
in small bushes. They may be found either in marshy localities or on 
high dry land. When located on the ground, the nest is generally fair- 
ly well concealed by the clump of grass in which it is placed. The nest 
is formed of dried grasses and lined with finer ones. Their completed 
set numbers from three to five eggs. The ground color of these varies 



from a greenish to a grayish white. The markings on these vary in al- 
most endless pattern. On some the ground color is entirely obscured 
by the numerous spots and blotches of reddish brown and chestnut. On 
others the dots are minute and mostly scattered around the larger end. 
There are few eggs that show the diversity of markings that may be 
found among these. These Sparrows generally rear two broods of 
young each year and under favorable circumstances often three. 


Only Sparrows; plain little brown ground Sparrows. How many 
would pass them unnoticed and look only for some more gaudily attired 
bird. Yet those brown coats cover some of the sweetest and most at- 
tractive birds found in this country. In New England the Song Spar- 
rows come with the first signs of approaching spring, and the snow and 
ice seem literally to melt away under the warmth and fervedness of their 
songs. From the time of their arrival till their departure late in the fall, 
they are one continual outburst of melody. 





They sing as the sun first shows its face aud they sing a farewell when 
the reddening sky warns us that night is near. The wind that whistles 
mournfully through the leafless trees, and the biting cold that penetrates 
the heaviest garments, seem not to detract one whit from their joy. 

As the first showers of April burst the swelling buds, their cheery 
voices welcome the coming leaves and bid them hasten. During the 
sultry days of summer, when even the farmer is forced to leave his toil 
because of the extreme heat, their carols are the sweetest, for then they 
are singing to nests full of little birds and patient mates. In the fall, 
their summer's work completed, they while away the days in an ecstacy 
song as they prepare to leave for the south at the first severe snow 
storm. Is it any wonder that they have endeared themselves to all who 
know them? 

If you reside in the country or on the outskirts of the city and have a 
few vines or shrubs about the yard, you can easily attract a pair of the 
songsters to your home. If fed a few crumbs occasionally and treated 
kindly, they will remain, raise their young and return to the same place 
year after year. Even leaving out of account their numerous vocal en- 
tertainments, they would pay their rental hundreds of times over by the 
numerous insects they would destroy, either directly or in the form of 
eggs or larvae. 

Song Sparrows are mainly ground birds, and are extensively known, 
locally, as Ground Sparrows. Except when migrating at night, they are 
not commonly seen at a greater height than the summit of some small 
tree, upon which one may sit for many minutes at a time and exhibit his 
musical abilities in competition with those of his rival, who, perhaps, is 
perched not a great ways off on a fence-post or rock. 

They like the open country and are never found in the woods. For 
nesting sites, little preference is shown between low swampy land 
and the high dry pasture land, provided that the latter are well supplied 
with low shrubbery, bushes or clumps of grass. 

The tall rank tufts of grass bordering the streams that cross the 
meadow, furnish excellent breeding grounds, and in following the course 
of such a stream, one knows not at which step one of these little brown 
birds will scurry away. They sit very closely and so sudden is their 
rush when they do fly, that unless you were on the alert, it is sometimes 
very dii^cult to find the treasure. 

They watch over their nests very closely and anxiously, a habit that 
very often causes a nest to be discovered, that would otherwise never 
be sought for. Unless the female is sitting on the nest, both birds will 
commence chirping with great vigor when anyone approaches, and the 
nearness to the nest may be judged by the intensity of their protests. 


and when it is found their alternate angry and appealing entreaties would 
touch the heart of anyone who cared aught for the welfare of the 

Their anxiety is not limited by any means to the safety of their own 
young, but their sympathy is extended to all other afflicted or distressed 
friends. They will protest with just as much vim against the invasion 
of any of their neighbors' homes as against their own. From all points 
of view, our Song Sparrows are very desirable birds and should be en- 
couraged to come in greater numbers. Not a single disagreeable trait 
can be charged against them and their many and varied songs have, and 
will continue to bring delight to the hearts of those who roam the fields 
for pleasure or study. 'Tis only those who, themselves, are the slaves 
of fashion, who will call any member of this specie "only a Sparrow" 
because of his lack of bright colors. You may clothe a bird in all the 
colors of the rainbow and you cannot obtain the neat, attractive and well 
groomed bird that our Sparrow is. 


Last summer I was much interested in watching a pair of kingbirds, 
who were building their nest in a large burr-oak tree. They had the 
nest about half finished when a pair of English sparrows appeared, and 
after much noisy discussion, decided that was the exact spot for 
them to set up housekeeping in. So a\yay they went, and with the in- 
dustry which is the sparrows one good quality, were soon busy carry- 
ing the larger part of a straw pile and putting it on top of the kingbird's 
nest. When Mr. and Mrs. Kingbird returned, you may be sure there 
was a lively time. They chased the sparrows around and around until 
they retired apparently conquered, but no sooner were the kingbirds 
away for a minute than the sparrows were back busier than ever. After 
a time Mr. Kingbird stayed at home to guard the house while she went 
on with the building. Soon the sparrows returned again and he started 
in pursuit of one, but no sooner was he out of sight than the other spar- 
row was at the nest with its beak full of straws. This was kept up for 
two days when the kingbirds retired in disgust leaving the sparrows in 

Think of it. The kingbird, a very tyrant among birds, who will 
scream with delight at the sight of a hawk or crow to torment, defeated 
by a pair of English sparrows. Leslie l. haskin. 


In the northern part of Rock County, Wis., one mile east of the vil- 
lage of Milton, is a small but interesting lake. It is usually spoken of 
as a "mud hole," but to one who has spent many happy hours tramping 
about its grassy banks, gliding over its stagnant waters, or wading 
through its turbid marshes, the applied name becomes a bane. It is not 
picturesque to the casual observer. It is not noted for its magnificent 
hotels, its steamboats and picnic parties. Rut to the man of nature it is 
a perfect paradise. 

Let us leave the daily routine of our office, den or studio and take an 
afternoon tramp 'round its marshy shores. The day, which of the many 
shall it be? Let us select the tenth of August. Yonder, in the west, a 
great bank of clouds meets "Old Sol," now on his course downward, 
w4th a golden blush. 

A gentle zephyr waves the yellow grain, waiting for the binder. We 
wend our way onward. The land birds are all quiet, for it is not the 
time of year when they are apt to sing at mid-day. But we will be amply 
repaid before evening. 

Down the dusty lane we tramp, through the woods, across the corn- 
field, and we are greeted by a sudden "peet-weet" as a wary Spotted 
Sandpiper leaves his feeding ground for places on the mud banks, where 
human feet can ne'er approach. Let us wallow in the marsh grass. 
Here is a Sora, there a Least Bittern, yonder a Swamp Sparrow. Soar- 
ing in the zenith, a Cooper's Hawk, his eager eye on some young Rail, 
plans his afternoon lunch. 

Blackbirds innumerable (mostly the young of the year) restlessly fly 
from one patch of flags to another, apparently for no other purpose than 
to while away the time, yet ever ready to grasp such grain as may ap- 
pear in their course, or to relish some unfortunate worm. Across the 
lake we hear the "plunck-a-la-plunk" of an American Bittern. Yes, the 
bird itself has been honored with more names than Lafayette, and has 
been accredited with as many vocal discords as the English language is 
capable of expressing. 

Among the names applied to this bird, which come to ''my memory 



are Bittern, Barrelmaker, Shypoke, Plum Pudding, Bog Trotter, Bog 
Bull, Heron, Stake-driver, Thunder Pump and others. The vocal noises 
I will not mention, for who can imitate the sounds or songs of any 

We cease to listen to the cries of Botaurus and continue to rove, when, 
lo! we have a chilly sensation in our feet, and find ourselves buried to the 
hips in the mire. Master Muskrat is responsible for this mishap. After 
extracting ourselves, we continue, and come to a place where there is a 
break in the rushes. A "Coo-coo-coo-coo," and a streak of disturbed 
water tell of a badly frightened Coot. 

A Killdeer flying over the lake, utters his loud "kill-dee, kill-dee" and 
cautions all his feathered friends that danger is near. 

Out on the water, a mother Wood Duck sports with her flock of downy 
children. Now she ducks her head for a tender tadpole to feed her 
sprightly young; now filled with pride over her flock she rises up and 
flaps her wings. How obedient her ducklings are! How they scamper 
to her call! I think human children could take profitable lessons from 
any of our birds. 

GREEiN HERON. Photo from life. 

We watch them with delight, when from a grapevine, nearby, comes 
the "chow-chow-chow" of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, warning us that we 
must hurry on or be left in the dark. We heed the warning and leave 
the marsh for dry ground. 

Song Sparrows fly from under our feet and a Meadow Mole scuds 
away to hide in denser grass. 

We come to a pile of logs on the bank. What recollections are some- 


times associated with things! And it is none the less true of this log- 
pile. What a happy evening I had spent with a friend there, but a few 
weeks before (May 26th), trying to bring two young Screech Owl to a 
sociable disposition. But the Owls were indisposed, for turning their 
heads on one side, and snapping their beaks with a saucy, harsh, "ka- 
kaa" they would remind one of some cranky person, who thought he 
was supreme, but, who was afraid to venture an opinion on any sub- 

But another friend is there to-day. No sooner are we seated on the 
pile than a Gray Chipmunk comes and perches on the end of a log. We 
throw an acorn to him. He grasps it in his paws, then drops it and 
cocks his head on one side with an air of "thank you, sir, but it was no 
good," then scampers away to hide in the leaves. 

YOUNG NIGHT HERON. Photo from life. 

Twilight settles upon us. All is still, save the dismal croak of the 
frogs, the occasional cackle of the Gallinules, and the weird, sympathe- 
tic whinny of the Screech Owl in the woods. Motionless we think. We 
wonder at the past with its causes and events, the present with its ac- 
tualities, the future with its probabilities. A hoarse "qua" overhead 
suddenly awakens us from our dreams, and we realize that a Black- 
crowned Night Heron passing by has brought us, as it were, back to 

We recall the fact that we have had no supper, and,. taking a farewell 
glance at our recent pleasure ground, we depart for home, truly able to 
say to Mother Nature: 

An hour with thee! When sun is set, 

O, what can teach me to forget. 
Oh, what can frame my mind to bear 

The toil and turmoil, cark and care. 
New friends, which coming hours unfold. 
And sad remembrance of the old? 
One hour with thee! 




^^Sjpr'^ ■i»«S?"Ta^^^^^^M^^^t 9 


"" ^y" 1 


M-iL '" , ' c^" ;/ ;, H" 1^ . '^*, ^_ 

' <f^ 




A. O. U. No. 385. ((Jeococoyx californianas.) 


Southwestern United States, including the southern portion of Cali- 
fornia, southern Utah and Colorado, southwestern Kansas and western 
Texas. They are quite abundant throughout the greater part of their 


Length, about 24 in.; tail, 11 in.; extent about 20 in.; eye, dark brown; 
bill and feet, dark horn color, the latter rather lighter and sometimes 
more yellowish then the former. 

Adults. The entire plumage has a somewhat coarse and scrawny ap- 
pearance, and the feathers on the head and neck have a wiry texture. 
The crown has a crest of black. General color above is a dark lustrous 
greenish black changing to a dark steel blue on the head and neck. 
The edges of the feathers on the wings and tail have the appearance of 
being badly worn, leaving a whitish fringe-like edge. Breast, throat 
and sides mixed with tawny-white and black. Under parts a dull white. 

The outer tail feathers are broadly tipped with white, as are the pri- 
maries and secondaries. 

The Road-runner places his rude domicile in low trees,_ in the branch- 
es of a cactus or other thorny tree. The nest is clumsy and nearly flat. 
The eggs are deposited at intervals of several days and may be found 
in all stages of incubation, from fresh eggs to newly hatched chicks. A 
complete set of their eggs varies in number from five to eight or some- 
times more and they are laid from the first part of April till the latter 
part of May. They are white or buft'y wh'.te and nearly smooth. 


This bird, called by the Mexicans "Paisano," "Snake-killer" and 
"Chaparral Cock" is certainly one of the most comical of birds, both in 
looks and actions, with its extraordinarily long tail and legs. 

Its iiiquisitiveness, habit of flirting its long tail and wings, and ap- 


parent ability to move each individual feather on its whole body, in any 
direction it wishes, are enough to make one laugh, and the way it can 
get over the ground, when so inclined, is certainly astonishing. It is a 
combination of flying machine, aero-plane and kangaroo. 

They seldom fly, but when alarmed, spread their wings, start their 
feet in motion, and a gray streak through the underbrush and across 
country, shows their course. They will run ahead of a galloping horse 
and the best efforts of the rider cannot bring him abreast of the fleeing 
bird, until the latter, tired of the race, turns off into the underbrush. 

Their food consists of lizards, insects, snakes, etc. They are said to' 
be deadly enemies of the rattle-snakes, capturing them in a peculiar 
manner. When they find one asleep, they quietly gather up a quantity 
of cactus leaves and with them, build a fence around the snake. When 
they consider that they have a sufficient barrier, they give the snake a 
sharp peck and jump back to await developments. When the snake be- 
comes entangled among the cactus leaves, these long tailed jokers are' 
tmable to contain their joy and execute a war dance about their trap, go- 
ing through all the grotesque antics that they are capable of, and call- 
ing his snakeship all the pet names in their vocabulary. When the 
rattler finds that he is unable to extricate himself, it is said that he de- 
liberately turns his fangs upon himself and dies of his own venom. 

Having witnessed the last struggles of its victim, this queer bird 
dances a few more fancy steps on the body of its enemy, croaks awhile 
over its victory, and then goes off to search for more fun. I have never 
witnessed this performance, but have been told by those who have 
actually seen it, that it really does occur as described. I did see one, 
that did not get a little green lizard for dinner. 

I had been out since daybreak, feasting my soul as only a bird lover 
can. I had travelled many miles and the sun was high, and it certainly 
was hot. I had picked out a soft, grassy seat on the shady side of a 
mesquit bush and had just seated myself to eat my lunch, when I got 
right up. With an outlay of some time, patience, and rather ill-feeling, 
I succeeded in separating myself from a large balloon cactus. Not 
wanting to run any risks, and feeling a little sore over the matter, I 
sought a bare spot on the bank of a small stream, where I could see 
what I was going to sit on. As soon as I got settled, I saw a little 
green lizard coming up the bank, and looking under every leaf and twig 
with his bright little eyes, for grubs, etc. All at once he stopped and 
looked up — in an instant he was off like a flash and a Road-runner came 
jumping down the bank, squawking with anger and disgust at losing 
a tidbit. 

After a hearty laugh I too left for home well satisfied with my days 
outing, that is not taking the balloon cactus into consideration. 

Chas. E. Ho\le 




Among the most lively and interesting of our 
summer visitors, is the Least Flycatcher. It is 
with the deepest sense of enjoyment that I listen 
to and watch this little tyrant when he makes his 
first appearance in the spring. As you go out in 
the orchard some morning in May, watching for 
new comers, you will see him perched on a dead 
twig in the top of some old apple tree, and he will be uttering his sharp 
spoken notes with an emphatic snap of his head and tail at each note, 
stopping now and then to catch an unfortunate fly that should come 
within a few feet of him, or to drive away some sparrow that should 
dare to stop in his presence. 

Ah! Very little has he changed since last year. He is the same 
to-day, to-morrow and forever. I well remember a pair that took 
possession of a large willow tree quite near our house, a few years ago, 
and after guarding it properly a week or two, they decided to build there. 
Slowly the nest progressed, but day by day it grew larger. In a week 
or so it was finished, and finished it was, inside, and out. It was the 
most perfectly made nest that I have ever seen. Each hair was placed 
just so and each piece of bark, fibre and lichen on the outside was woven 
together tightly making it nearly as firm as the foundation of a house. 
It was placed in the fork of a branch overhanging the road and about 
twenty feet above it. So well was it concealed that only sharp eyes 
could detect it from the branches. 

In a few days more I made an examination and found four creamy 
white eggs in the nest. They were very beautiful and I decided at the 
time that I had never seen a more handsome set of unmarked eggs and 
I still think so. As the days passed by the eggs 
were hatched, and the young birds soon began 
to show their feathers. In a short time they be- 
gan to be crowded in the small nest, and I could 
see them peeping over the edge as though long- 
ing for the time when they would be 
able to leave their crowded home. 
They, as myself, little dreamed of the 
fate that awaited them. One rainy day 
while passing the willow, I heard a cry 
of 'distress, and upon looking up, I was 
much astonished to see a large 
adder coiled around the branches, 
with his gluttonous eyes peering 
into the little flycatcher's nest. 
He had been there sometime, as I 



found afterwards, and all this time the old birds had been fluttering" 
about him, doing their best to drive him away, but it was of no use as 
long as his appetite held good. I did not wait long to see him proceed, 
but ran as quickly as possible to the house and got a long spear. 

After arguing several minutes with the spotted demon, I brought 
him to the ground, and having seen his finish, I hastened to the nest. 
What a horrible sight. Three of the little birds were gone, and the re- 
maining one'was so badly bitten that he died in a few minutes. It was 
truly a sad day for the parent birds, and they seemed to show their sor- 

They stayed around the willow for a few days as if mourning their 
loss. Not once during these gloomy days did I hear their cheerful 
"che-bec." But as the sunshiny days came their spirits seemed to re- 
vive, and they decided to try and rear another family. They were wise 
enough this time, however, not to make their home in the same place. 
So they moved their nest, piece by piece, across the road to the top of 
a large butternut tree, and were doubtless as happy when migration time 

came as though they had not met with their sad misfortune. 

Wai. H. Sanders. 

Photo from life by Geo. C. Embody, 



Identification Color Chart No. 2. 


A. O. U. No. 595, Rose-breasted Grosbeak. 
{Habia hidoviciana). 

Eastern U. S. and southern Canada. Common Nest 
of twigs in trees, bordering woods or streams. Song a 
very brilliant and melodious whistle, always preluded witli 
a sharp chip. White wing and tail bars very conspicuous 
during flight. Female, a brownish bird with white mark- 
ings and yellowish or rosy tint under the wings. Young 
like the female. Length' 8 in. 

A. O. U. No. 593, Cardinal. {Cardinalis card- 
inal is). 

U. S. east of the Plains and soutii of New England and 
New York. Common. Nest of sticks in thickets and 
bushes. Crested. Black mask around the bill. Length 
8.5 inches. Female, yellowish brown, reddening on the 
wings, tail, and crest. Subspecies. 593a. Arizona Card- 
inal (C. c. superbas) Southern Arizona and Mexico. 593b; 
St. Lucas Cardinal (C. c. igneus) Lower Calif. 593c; 
Gray-tailed Cardinal. Southwestern Texas. 594; Texas 
Cardinal {Tyrrhuloxia siiniata) Bill stouter and more 
liooked than the Cardinal. Southwestern U. S. 594a; 
Arizona Pyrrhuloxia (P. s. heckhami) Southern Ariz, and 
western Texas. 594b; St. Lucas Pyrrhuloxia (7^. .■;. 
pe}!iiisiilae) Lower Calif. 

A. O. U. No. 471, Vermillion Flycatcher {Pyro- 

cephalus nibineus mexicanus) 

Southwestern U. S. Female has a brownish back and 
whitish underparts, streaked with dusky and tinged with 
red. Quite common. Lengtli 6 inches. 

A. O. U. No. 610, Summer manager, (Piranga 


Eastern U. S. south of Mass. and New York and west 
to the Plains. Color varies from rose red to vermillion. 
The wings and tail inclined to be brownish. Female, 
brownish yellow above and brighter below. Length 7 in. 
Subspecies. 609 Hepatic Tanager (P. hepatica) Upper 
parts brownish ashy tinged with red. Below, bright red. 
Female yellowish. No. 610a, Cooper's Tanager (Piranga 
rubra cooperi) A western form of the Summer Tanager. 
New Mexico and Arizona. 

A. O. U. No. 608, Scarlet Tanager (Pirafiga 

Eastern U. S. and southern Canada. Entirely ver- 
million except the black wings and tail. Female olive 
above and yellow below. Length 7 inches. 





Woodpeckers very prominently marked with red. 

CKeLrak-cteristics: Climb trees clinging to them witK feet aLSsisted by tKeir sKarp 
pointed ta.iI feSLthers. Tw^o toes in front aLnd two behind. 

A. O. U. No. 403, Red-breasted Sapsucker 
{Sphvmpicus ruber). 

Pacific coast, from British Columbia to Lower Calif. 
Whole head, neck and breast red. Primaries barred with 
white, middle tail feathers barred with white. 

A. O. U. No. 406, Red-headed Woodpecker (Mf- 
lanerpes ervthrocephalus). 

Central portion of the U. S. West to the Rocky Mt-;. 
and east to New England. Very common. Head and 
neck intense red. Larg'e white wing patches. Back, 
blue black. Lengtli 9 inches. 

A. O. U. No. 407, California Woodpecker, (M. 
formicivortis bairdi) . 

Pacific coast from Oregon to Lower Calif. Common. 
Black on breast extends on belly and flanks in streaks. 
Back, glossy black. Length 9 inches. Subspecies. 407a, 
Narrou- fronted Woodpecker (M. f. angitstitrons Lower 
Calif. White band on forehead narrower than the former. 

A. O. U. No. 408, Lewis' Woodpecker (M. 

Pacific coast, west of the Rockies and south of Britisli / 
Columbia, upper part irridescent greenish black. Face mI 
dark red. Gray collar and breast. Belly and sides streak- 1 
eJ with rose red and white. Length 10.5 inches. 

A. O. U. No. 409, Red-bellied Woodpecker (M. 

U. S. east of the Mississippi and from southern New 
England southwards. Common. Length 9.5 inches. 



Free as the wind, that gently sways the tree tops; wild as the torrent 
that dashes madly down the mountain side; proud as the monarch at 
whose commands, thousand of subjects tremble; and brave as the gen- 
eral, who leads his army to victory, a diminutive hawk gracefully, yet 
swiftly wends his solitary way across the meadow. Not a movement 
in the grass below escapes his keen sight, and not a rustle of a fright- 
ened bird in the bordering shrubbery, but what his sensitive ear catches. 
A field mouse that has inadvertantly exposed itself in scurrying from 
one retreat to another attracts his attention. A sudden swoop, a spas- 
modic squeak, and our hero, perched on a low stump, is greedily en- 
gaged in an anatomical examination of the smallest of rodents. Such 
escapades, the catching of numerous beetles and an occasional exciting 
chase after some small bird, formed the every day events in "Pidgy's" 
life before I knew him. 


One day in early fall, his adventurous spirit carried him too far, and a 
watchful farmer shot him as he sailed over the hen house. His misfor- 
tune befell him purely upon circumstantial evidence, as probably he had 
no designs on the inmates, but he was a hawk and hail to pay the pen- 
alty. Fortunately he was disabled in but one wing and was retained as 
a prisoner of war, instead of being promptly dispatched as is the usual 
custom in such cases. More likely though he was kept for mercenary 
reasons, as the following day he came into my possession. 



Fig. 2. 


Perhaps those who guessed wrong as to the live bird in Fig. 1, may like to try again 
and make up their minds before reading farther, which of the above is alive. It is pos- 
sible, too, that a few who were right before may make a mistake this time. 

Pidgy, and by the way, this name became associated with him instead 
of his whole name of Pigeon Hawk, was a beautiful bird, a trifle larger 
than the Sparrow Hawk. He had the brightest of bright brown eyes, and 
his yellow legs, though slender, contained sinews of steel. Woe to the 
creature that fell into the grasp of those sharp, black, needle-like claws. 
His back was just changing from the brownish color that denotes youth 
in these birds, to the blue gray of maturity. 

What's that noise.^ 

A small cord attached to his leg with a piece of chamois, served to 
keep him within reasonable distance of an old stump that we keep on 
hand for transient visitors. At first he was bashful about accepting the 
piece of meat that I tendered him, but a few hours later he concluded 
that he would satisfy his hunger even in the presence of spectators. 
The way having now been paved, our friendship grew apace. How his 
eyes would glisten when he saw me cutting up his meat, and how eag- 



erly he would cause it to disappear. 
He was very impatient and at last con- 
cluded that I was too slow in preparing 
his meals and thought that some help 
on his part would expediate matters. 
He would hop to my knee, then to my 
fingers and assist me by pulling at the 
piece that I held. He was very fastid- 
ious even when hungry, a condition that 
he always appeared to be in, and would 
not under any circumstances eat a piece 
of meat with any fat on it. Time after 
time I tried to fool him by concealing the 
fat part in my fingers, but to no avail, 
for as soon as he had it in his beak, a 
sudden flip of his head, and the obnox- 
ious piece would be thrown across the 

I soon concluded that it would be 
much better for Pidgy to prepare his 
own meals and it surely was more inter- 
esting to me. Immediately upon re- 
ceiving a generous portion of steak, Meditation. From Life, 
he would seize it in his bill, hop to his favorite end of the stump, grasp 
it in his claws, and "go for it." Pull, why at times it seemed as 
though he would lift himself bodily, together with the stump, and at 
times, when a particulary stubborn piece gave way, you would almost 
imagine that the whole building trembled, such was the violence of 
the reaction, 

Pidgy was also a good guardian of his property, and having become 
the possessor of a choice morsel, nothing could persuade him to relin- 
quish it, and he gave evidence that he would fight until death before 
giving up his booty. An unusually savage looking mounted Red-tailed 
Hawk, a bird about four times the size of Pidgy, was the cause of much 
anxiety on the part of our pet. At the mere sight of this fancied rival, 
he would raise his feathers till they stood on end, in the endeavor to 
make his small body appear as large as possible. 

As the larger bird was brought nearer, Pidgy would squat down and 
completely cover the piece of meat that was tightly clenched in one foot, 
while his sharp snapping eyes were on the alert for every possible move 
of his enemy. If perchance the larger hawk were brought too near, 
quick as a flash of lightning, out would dart one of our brave pet's feet. 



armed with its sharp little talons, and it required skillful action on the 
part of the manipulator of the dummy to avoid a catastrophe. 

Pidgy's wounded wing healed rapidly and every day he raised and 
lowered it for exercise and that it might set properly. In about a month 
it was as gqod as ever. We now found that he possessed much ability 
at weaving, or rather unweaving, for at least once a day he succeeded 
in untying the knot that held him. These escapes were always herald- 
ed by a peculiar rapidly uttered whistle as though he were laughing at 
his success. After a diligent search we would generally find him per- 
ched motionless in some exposed position. At first the sight of a tempt- 
ing morsel was sufficient to cause him to hasten to get it, but as soon as 
he found that it was but a lure he tried to keep out of reach, and it be- 
came necessary to resort to a buttefly net to bring him back to earth. 
This undignified termination of his escapades humiliated and likewise 
angered him and he always tried to bite the fingers of his captor. 

A Portrait. 



Before allowing him to leave us, we secured a number of photographs 
of him in various attitudes. Two of these, those showing the two birds, 
have created considerable interest among others and amusement to us. 
I am pleased to see that our subscribers are unusually observant. Of 
the replies as to which of these birds is alive, that have arrived up to the 
time of going to press, eighty-eight have guessed wrong and one hun- 
dred and twenty-four have chosen the correct bird. The Hawk on the 
left is Pidgy. We were very fortunate in securing the photo shown in 
Fig. 2. 

It was taken in a dimly lighted room for fast work and the lighting 
was assisted by means of several mirrors. Fortunately, just at the in- 
stant of exposure, Pidgy's wings were at the upper end of their stroke, 
and so are fairly sharp on the negative. To obtain this picture, the 
mounted bird was placed an the stump, with a piece of meat under it. 
Pidgy was brought in and placed on the other end of the stump. His 
anger was aroused immediately at sight of the other Hawk apparently 
feasting, while he had nothing. He uttered his challenging cry, made 
one jump, seized the meat in one foot and with the other was preparing 
to demolish the enemy, when the exposure was made. The other pic- 
ture containg the two birds represents Pidgy as he looked after being 
separated from his antagonist, and about to return to the attack. 

Chester A. Reed. 

Good Steak— but tough. 



Phoio from life by C. A. Reed. 




A. O. U. No. 357. (Falco Columtaarius.) 

The whole of North America. Breeds chiefly north of the United 
States and is found in the latter, except in the northern parts, only dur- 
ing the winter migrations. 


Length, from 11 to 12 in.; extent, 24 to 26 in.; tail, about 5.5 in. The 
larger of these dimensions applies to the female, which is quite a little 
larger than the male bird. Eye, brown. Feet, yellow. Cere and base 
of the bill, yellow, the remainder being blue-black. 

Male. — Entire upper parts a bluish gray, each feather on the back and 
coverts, having a black shaft line. The primaries are black, with light- 
er tips. The tail is like the back in color and is crossed by three black 
bands and tipped with one of white. The under parts are whitish, 
streaked longitudinally with dark brown, these streaks being bold on 
the breast and sides, while on the throat they are narrow pencil lines. 
A superciliary stripe of gray shows prominently above the eye. 

Female. — Young, and male in autumn plumage. The back and tail 
are dark brown instead of the blue-gray color, and the tail is crossed by 
three bands of dull yellowish white and tipped with band of white. 

Otherwise they are similar to the spring plumage of the male, except 
that young birds are apt to have far less numerous markings on the 
breast and throat. The bird shown in the illustration is an adult male 
in the fall dress. 


This Hawk- shows little partiality in the choice of a nesting site. It 
may be placed in the crevices of a cliff, in hollow limbs of trees, or on 
the branches. :^The eggs are laid during May and are generally three or 
four in number. -.- The ground color varies from a creamy to a cinnamon 
color 'and they are heavily blotched with various shades of brown. 



This is one of the smallest, most handsome and graceful of all the 
Falcons. One of his most striking personalities is his courage, indeed, 
if his body were directly in proportion to that quality he would perhaps 
be the largest of all birds. He will attack and capture birds of more 
than twice his size and is very persistent in his pursuit of any creature 
that may have attracted his fancy. One of these small hunters has been 
known to enter a house in pursuit of a Flicker, which had flown through 
the open window in the hope of escaping certain destruction, which 
would otherwise have befallen him. 

Contrary to the usual custom of other Hawks, they do not confine 
their attacks upon other birds to making sudden dashes at them in the 
hope of catching them unawares. If the object of their attack sees and 
avoids them at the first swoop, they will at once give chase, and follow 
every motion of their quarry through its devious course, and rarely will 
they fall short of success in their endeavor. Their swiftness andagility 
are phenomenal and no sudden or unexpected move of the pursued can 
throw this little harrier ofiE the track. 

As is nearly always the case, no matter how brave a bird may be in 
the presence of others of the feathered tribe, he will have a wholesome 
fear of a human being. In this respect, the Pigeon Hawk does not dif- 
fer from others, but is very wild and shy, except where the safety of its 
nest is concerned. The actions of different individuals of this species 
vary in regard to the reception they accord to molesters of their domes- 
tic life. One may immediately, apparently, leave the vicinity, while 
another may attempt to defend his home and make fearless swoops at 
the head of the invader. 

Although naturally shy, if captured they can easily be tamed, and 
doubtlessly in the day of falconry they could have been used in the chase, 
as was the Merlin, a very similar Hawk. Besides small birds, and large 
ones, too, his food is made up largely of mice, crickets and grasshop- 

Pigeon Hawks are rarely met with in the United States during the 
summer, except in northern New England and in the mountainous lo- 
calities of the northwest. By far the greater number of them nest in 
the interior of Canada. They are quite plentiful in Alaska and here 
nest on the clifl^s or in the tops of pine trees. Their nests when placed 
in the latter situation are very large for the bird and resemble Crow's 
nests. The adult male in summer is an unusually attractive bird and as 
with all the Hawks, is much smaller than the female or young. 






A. O. U. No. 377a. (Surnia ulula eaparoph.) 


Northern North America, migrating in winter to the northern bound- 
ary of the U. S. 


Length, 15 in.; extent, 33 in.; tail, 7 in. Eye, Yellow. Feet, feath- 
ered to the toes. Upper parts brownish, nearly black on the head, which 
is finely spotted with white. Back and wing coverts also spotted with 
white, and the tail is narrowly barred and tipped with light gray. Under 
parts white, closely barred with reddish brown. Face and throat white, 
bounded by a black crescent behind the ears and across the breast. 

Nests either in the tops of pine trees or in the hollow of a stump. It 
is lined with fine grasses and feathers. The eggs are laid during April, 
the time varying with the locality. The white eggs range in number 
from four to six. 


These birds might well be regarded as the connecting link between 
the hawks and owls. They have features that are common to both, 
though the owl like ones predominate. They hunt as freely by day- 
light as by night. They have the long tail of the hawk, and thus are 
able to more closely follow their prey through the brush. They often 
sail as the hawk does in circles, and their note resembles that of the 
small hawks. On the other hand they have the feet and soft plumage 
of the owl and can almost float through the air. Their food consists of 
rats, mice, insects and birds up to the size of a partridge. They fre- 
quent small woods and do their hunting chiefly in the mornings around 
the meadows. They are very bold, daring, and very savage in the 
defence of their homes. They are frequently caught in traps that are 
set for other creatures. In winter they create great havoc among the 
flocks of ptarmigan. But few of them cross the border to the \5 . wS. in 
the winter. 


Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, box 772, Waterbury, Ct. 

My Dear Young Folks: 

As I sat by the window one of the bright days in February, there 
flew down half a score of dear little birds with backs of blue and breasts 
of brick red, and softly twittering, alighted on a tree close by. They 
staid about all the morning, and I think they wished me to send you 
their greetings and tell you that spring is surely coming. 

The Bluebirds are dear friends of mine. Our hammock was swung 
when I was a child, from the corner of the house to a spruce tree; a lit- 
tle higher up on the tree trunk was fastened a box with a round hole in 
it, where a pair of Bluebirds made their summer homes for many years 
without seeming to resent the interest shown by several little lads and 
lassies in the training of the young birds. Indeed, they occasionally 
swung on the rope while the hammock was occupied by two or some- 
times three children, and seemed to know that naught but good will was 
felt toward them. Then, too, there was Sir Robin Redbreast, who 
would come 'daily to the window sill for his breakfast of crumbs, and if 
the window was closed, would tap the pane of glass with his bill to in- 
form us that he was quite ready for his regular rations. 

One of our young folks, Charles H. Rogers, of New York City, has 
sent a correct account of the Junco. If Roxana Hevy has access to a 
good "library, she will find more satisfactory answers to her long list of 
questions, in any good book on birds, than my space would permit me 
to give. Do not expect that your letters can be answered in the next 
month's magazine, for oftentimes it is already in press when your let- 
ters reach me. 

Your friend, 

Meg Merrythought. 





Such an adventure came to me, 

Methought, to our young friends I'll write 
No Sinbad sailing o'er the sea 

Has ever seen so strange a sight. 

Upon a bright and balmy day, 

When Bluebirds whispered "Spring is here,' 
And smiling nature seemed to say 

"Sweet flowers and birds will soon appear." 

A sheltered sunny bank I found 

And resting there wrapped deep in thought 
I soon was roused by whirring sound — 

There in my hair a bird was caught. 

The bird was dressed in plumage gray 

Flecked 'cross the back with spots of brown^ 

I raised my hands, and then straightway 
Folded the stranger in my gown. 


To finger tips thrilled with surprise, 
I quickly hastened back to town; 

And to some wise friends bore my prize — 
A captive worthy of renown. 

With bated breath, all neaier drew, 
There cuddled in a soft brown ball — 

Exposed to our astonished view. 
Lay — a black cat — and that was all. 

I started back with looks aghast. 
All stared — but no one said a word, 

Till some one cried — "I know at last. 
The mystery's solved, it's a cat bird." 

The kitten mewed, — Then I awoke, 

(Things are not always what they seem) 

Oh, no, my dears! This was no joke. 
It all was true. But 'twas a dream. 



"Beloved of children, bards and spring, 

O, birds, your perfect virtues bring — ■ 
Your song, your forms, your rhythmic flight, 

Your manners for the heart's delight; 
Nestle in hedge, in barn, or roof. 

Here weave your chamber weather proof. 
Forgive our harms, and condescend 

To man, as to a lubber friend. 
And generous, teach his awkward race 

Courage, and probity, and grace." 

— Emerson. 



"The electric light in the torch of the Goddess of Liberty Statute on 
Bedloe's Island in the harbor of New York kills many thousands of birds 
annually, much in the same way that a lamp does the moths. 

"There have come mornings after a stiff wind had been blowing, when 
several hundred of the poor little winged victims were picked up dead. 
There have been as many as twenty-seven varieties found at one time; 
thus showing that all kinds are at times attracted by glare." 

The birds which were concealed in the account of "Polly's Adventure" 
last month are as follows: Robin, Martin, Phoebe, Creeper, Shrike, Rail, 
Blue Bunting, Crane, Dipper, Chimney Swift, Cedar (bird), Duck, Flicker, 
Plover, Redstart, Swallow, Crow, Bob-white, Eagle, Lark. 

We would like to have our young folks have a finger in the "pi" this 
month. This printer's "pi" may not appeal to you as mother's pie does, 
but we rely on you to help us to dispose of it. Can you straighten out 
the type in this account of a bird in 


I am a kilcerf. Many of you doubtless have nicknames, but I have 
over fyto7\ Golden-winged odwo keircp, Yellow-hammer, High Hole, 
ecukry and clape are some of my common names. You may know me 
by the black crescent on my streab, the drc band on the back of my adhe, 
my twhie rump and lohcey wing linings. I have black seekch and doriin 
black spots on my belly; my back is dolneg-noivrb with black streakings. 
Unlike other members of my family, I spend much time on the dogrun 
eating sectins, especiallv nats. My home is in a high hole in an old tree, 
where I feed my young with softened odof from my own pore. Perhaps 
you have heard my loud voice in the woods, and the vigorous stttooa, 
which I beat upon a hollow milb to amuse myself and my mate. 


The little Brown Creeper climbs up the tree, 

Not stopping to talk with the Chickadee-dee 
And clinging on with his dear little feet, 

He looks unexpressibly cunning and sweet, 
We listen with joy to his cheerful note 
Coming from such a tiny clear throat. 

Peirce H. Leavitt, age 14, 

Cambridge, Mass. 

CaLi\ You Talk 
On Your Feet, 

Irv Either You Need 


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APRIL. 1902. 

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Phcto from life 



It is only within the past few years that huntino- birds with the came- 
ra has been attempted, and wonderful results are now being obtained. 
Nearly all that can be learned from the dead bird is now known, and 
many of those who were formerly devotees of the gun have now dis- 
carded it and adopted the camera in order to study the habits of the liv- 
ing bird. Nature photography in as much as it pertains to birds, may 
be separated into three classes based on the difficulty of securing good 
results and the value of the pictures obtained. Class I. relates to the 


photographing of nests and eggs. After having found a nest the rest 
is simple photography. However one must be careful not to frighten the 
bird and cause it to leave the nest. If proper care is taken to see that 
the nest is well lighted, and a small stop used to secure good defini- 
tion, satisfactory results may be obtained in all cases. In class 2 may 
be placed young birds and captives. As a general thing young birds, 
especially when they think they are about capable of flying, seem to 
think it is their duty to cause as much trouble to the photographer as 

The professional photographer, in his'studio with all facilities at hand, 



knows nothing of the difficulties incurred in trying to persuade a nest 
full of little birds to look pleasant. I might mention one case as an ex- 
ample of some of the trying situations encountered. After occupying 
about an hour's time and with much exertion, having got the camera up 
a particularly difficult tree, lashed it firmly in position, and focused 
sharply on a nest full of small bits of bird life, it is anything but en- 
couraging to have them suddenly decide that their presence is no long- 
er necessary, and see them scatter in all directions. One does not real- 
ize the labor spent in preparation until, his object defeated and enthusi- 
asm allayed, he makes the journey back to mother earth. After some 
such annoying failure I have often had to laugh as I realized the simi- 
larity between my situation and that of the cat, who having quickly and 
gracefully run up a tree, hoping to catch some unwary bird, her ambi- 
tion defeated, is obliged to clumsily and laboriously shin down back- 
wards. Pictures of captive birds always prove interesting and some- 
times amusing, but they present little of real value as to the habits or 
actions of the wild bird. The recently acquired captive nearly always 
has a frightened, unnatur- 
al expression, while the 
one that has been con- 
fined long enough to ac- 
custom himself to the life, 
has at the same time lost 
his natural traits. Class 3 
includes only photographs 
of free, adult wild birds. 
Pictures obtained under 
these conditions are im- 
measurably m.ore valuable 
than any that can be taken 
of captives, and by the way 
many of the bird photos 
that are appearing in pop- 
ular magazines are from 
birds in confinement and 
the articles should so state. 
There are many ways to 
obtain camera shots at wild 
birds and new ones are 
being constantly devised. 
The one that offers the 
most advantages and also 

Jj^t" \l 

f \-. 

% ^ k 




^ ^J^ 

i^i Mt 


^ • V 


^^^^irf^l^^^^^BlK- ' o4MI*" 


,J^ 1 



Fig. 3. Photo from life. 




shows the birds at the most interesting period is that of catching them 
caring for their young. The nest furnishes a center of attraction to 
which they are certain to return, and if arrangements are properly made 
the desired results may be had without any injury whatever to any of 
the parties concerned. Occasional snap shots may be had of birds as 
they hop from twig to twig. I do not wish any one to infer that it is 
possible to march about the country and snap shot every bird they see. 
You must bear in mind that all birds are shy, particularly so, if for any 
reason one wishes to approach closely, as it is necessary to do to secure 
a picture of any size suitable to show the bird. Another necessity, if 
this method is to be followed is a reflex camera, that is one in which a 
mirror is arranged to show the image up to the instant of exposure. 

One of the latest schemes to secure negatives of the elusive bird is a 
camera trap devised by Mr. Chapman. A perch is arranged so that the 
weight of the bird that alights upon it will make an electric connection 
and release the camera shutter. Doubtless many valuable photos will 
be secured in this way. 



Photo from life. 

I might have provided one more class for bird photos. That is the 
fraudulent class, birds that are said to be alive, but are not. There 
seems to be much need for such a class now, judging from the number 
of photographs that are being forced upon some of the popular month- 
lies and claimed to be from wild living birds when really they are from 
mounted ones and some very poorly done at that. In nearly all cases 
the makers of such photographs will allow some small detail to escape 
their notice, which to a close observer of birds, would expose the fraud. 



If only the editors of some of the magazines could be persuaded to sub- 
mit all Nature photos to some expert in the subject, it would not only 
prevent their being the ignorant deceivers of their readers but would 
drive such fraudulent schemers out of business by closing the market 
for their wares. 

The only qualifications necessary to 
successfully photograph wild birds are: 
A love for birds, (not a collective sort of 
love, but for their welfare;) an abundance 
of time; and an unlimited abundance of 
patience. There seems to be a general 
mistaken impression among those who 
have not tried, that good pictures can only 
be obtained with the most expensive appar- 
atus. This is not so and any one armed 
with a rectilinear lens and a wooden box 
for a camera, can do just as good work in 
this line as he who has a finely polished 
camera, brass trimmed and with all the 
latest improvements and an anastigmat 
lens. All of the pictures of live birds I 
secured the past year were made with the 
ordinary trade lens supplied by the Man- 
hattan Optical Co., on their 5x7 Wizard 
camera. With the subjects that I worked 
upon I could not have improved upon what 
I obtained if I had used any other lens of 
like focus, no matter how expensive. This 
year I have several other lenses to use, 
but they were selected solely because of 
their greater speed and not because they 
will take better pictures. 
A number of our subscribers have asked what equipment is necessary 
for nature photography. To anyone about to purchase an outfit I 
would suggest that they obtain a lens of between ten and twelve inches 
focus. This will be best adapted for all classes of work. The camera 
may be home made or a stock camera but for a lens of this focal length 
the bellows should not be less than eighteen inches long in order to se- 
cure good sized images of the birds. A good substantial tripod should 
be included and always carry some strong twine with your outfit. This 
will prove useful for tying back branches that would be out of focus or 

l-lg. 5. Photo from life. 



obscure the view, and also for tying the tripod legs to the branches 
when it is necessary to do aerial photography. For work about the 
nests a long rubber tube is a necessity to set off the camera shutter. 
About forty feet of this tubing will generally answer. A good mirror, 
not less than a foot square will often enable you to throw the sun light 
on nests that it would otherwise be difficult to photograph. Of course 
you will need a good pair of field glasses, both to find the nests and to 
watch the birds so as to know at just what instant to make the exposure. In 
selecting these you should get a pair that has a wide field or angle of view. 


Photo from life. 


A glass that will magnify three diameters is plenty strong enough for 
all work, and anything more powerful will have a narrower angle of 

The photographs shown with this were taken at various times during 
the past summer and furnished subjects for several interesting rambles. 
The Bluebird shown in Figs. 1 and 2 is the female who is just about to 
enter the hole in front of her, at the bottom of which are five light 
blue eggs. This nest is about twelve feet from the ground in a large 
apple tree. The only possible location for the camera was a single hor- 
izontal bough just below the nest. The camera was strapped firmly to 


this, with the lens about twenty-four inches from the nest hole. Owing 
to the location of the branch I was wholly unable to focus the camera 
from in front, as I was in my own light. I was thankful that there was 
no one to see or possibly photograph my maneuvers before I finally got 
to the rear end of the camera where I could see the image on the ground 
glass. As the camera was so close to the object, I stopped it down to 
32 and took the pictures with an exposure of a hundredth part of sec- 
ond. This short exposure under the conditions was only possible be- 
cause I had the bright sunlight reinforced by the reflection from the mir- 

In a previous number I have mentioned the little Chestnut-sided 
Warbler shown in Fig. 3. She was very tame and I had the camera set 
up in front of her home and focused on her before she left the nest. 

Fig-?. Photo from life. 

I doubt if she would have left the nest then, but the tripod leg slip- 
ped and she thought that the whole outfit was coming over on her. As 
she seemed so little afraid I did not hitch on the long tube, but waited 
until she had returned to the nest and then carefully walked up to the 
camera. As I approached, she became very nervous and several times 
rose to her feet and spread her wings as though going to leave. Her 
courage was good, however, and she allowed me to reach the bulb and 
make the exposure, after which I removed the camera and left her in 
peace still sitting on her four small eggs. As the lens was only about 
twenty inches from her and to reach the bulb my hand had to come to 
within about the same distance, you can imagine that she was a brave 
little bird. 


The two views of the Hairy Woodpecker, represent my only success- 
ful attempt to snap-shot a bird by walking up to him and guessing at 
the distance without the aid of a reflex camera. I followed this same 
bird as he flew from tree to tree until I had made six exposures of him; 
with the exception of these two all the attempts were flat failures, as ' 
were many others that I have tried to get by this means. '^. 

The Indigo Bunting and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak are examples oi 
waiting, the former proving an exceptional trying subject, and requiring 
several visits before I could get the picture shown here. 

No. 8, the Kingbird, might well be used as an example of photograph- 
ing under difficulties. Before I had reached the location of this nest the 
wind, which had been blowing gently when I had started, had been 
steadily increasing in force until it had almost reached the proportions 
of a hurricane. But for the fact that I did not expect to be able to make 
another trip to this place I should never have attempted to take any pic- 
tures on this occasion. Placing a camera in position when you are some 
distance from terra-firma is at best a rather delicate operation, but with 
all the branches swaying and creaking, I thought I never would succeed. 
During the several hours' wait that followed before Mrs. Kingbird 
deigned to return, I was in suspense all the time for fear that even if the 
tree did not blow down, at least the camera or the nest might fall to 
the ground at any instant. Chester a. reed. 


Photo from life. 




Jl. O. U. No, 636, (Mniotilta varia,) 


Very abundant in the United States east of the plains. They breed 
from Virginia and Kansas northwards throughout their range and in 
winter may be found from the gulf states southwards, 


Length, 5 in.; extent, 8,5 in,; tail, 2,25 in. Bill and feet, black. Eye, 
dark brown. Male: — Upper parts, black, streaked with white. Median 
line, Superciliary line, tips of middle and greater wing coverts, edge of 
secondaries and spots on inner webs of outer tail feathers, white. The 
under parts are white, heavily striped with black. Female: — The upper 
parts are similar to those of the male bird, but the under parts are 
mostly without the black markings. 


An overhanging stone, fallen tree trunk, decayed stump or a loose 
piece of bark is generally made use of to furnish a shelter for these 
nests. They are compactly made by twisting grass, leaves and strips 
of bark together and lined with hair or fine roots. Four or five creamy- 
white eggs speckled with chestnut will occupy such a nest about the lat- 
ter part of May. 


A musical dreamy note breaks upon our ears. A succession of hiss- 
ing whistles in a very high key. A Black and White Warbler is near us, 
but just how near remains to be seen, for their notes are very deceiv- 
ing when you try to find' them. We will not find his habits to be like 
those of the other Warblers. Neither are they the same as the Creep- 
ers, although he is as frequently called the Black and White Creeper, as 
a Warbler. He creeps about the limbs and trunks of trees to be sure, 
but the true creepers always assist themselves with their tail in clinging 
to the limb, while this Warbler does not. Again, unlike the creepers, 
who commence at the bottom of a tree and work their way by a series 
of hitches, upwards, this subject will traverse a tree in any position more 
.after the manner of the Nuthatches. The'strongly contrasting markings 
of the full plumaged male make a combination that is very dazzling to 
the eyes and gives the impression that his colors are a blue and black, 
whereas they are not. The height of diligence is shown by these gaud- 






r ^.^^^TS^W^^^^ii^ 


• \1^:\1 



ily marked creatures as they pick their way over the trunks and branch- 
es of the trees. They examine every nook and cranny in the bark, hop- 
ing to find some stray insect that had escaped the sharp eyes of the num- 
erous other birds that had searched the same territory. When thus oc- 
cupied they seem unmindful of any one watching them and only hop out 
of the way when one thinks he is close enough to catch them in the 

I know of no other Warbler, or in fact any of the smaller birds, in 
which the instinct of home preservation is so well developed. Last sum- 
mer as I was walking through a small swampy piece of woods, a small 
black and white bird fluttered in a most helpless manner across my path. 

If I had been unacquainted with the ways of this bird I should have 
thought that the poor bird had been the victim of some boy with an air 
gun or perhaps had barely escaped some of the eats that delight in roam- 
ing in the woods. As is my usual custom in such cases, after noting the 
exact place at which I had first seen the bird I followed it to see its ac- 
tions. It appeared to be in very bad shape and even the smallest twig 
was sufficient to cause it to stumble or fall. One wing was trailing be- 
hind and the bird really appeared to be wholly unable to use it. The 
mouth was open as though she was gasping for breath and it looked as 
though at any instant she might fall over and expire. Still she manag- 
ed to have vitality enough to keep herself always a few inches beyond 
reach of my outstretched arm. After she had led me by a very devious 
course to a distance of about twenty feet through the underbrush, she 
chirped in a gay manner and flew to the trunk of a tree, where she start- 
ed looking for food as innocently as though she had never seen me. If 
anyone had not noticed just where the bird started from, even if they 
had thought of a nest as being the cause of the strange actions, they 
would never have been able to find it again. I went back and in an old 
stump, the inside of which and one side, had rotted away, I found five 
eggs laying in a nest made of grapevine. After I had found the nest, 
the bird, though very angry, still had hopes of being able to deceive me 
and would again and again throw herself at my feet and try to lead me 
away. Why she had left the stump in the first place is a mystery, as 
several times afterwards, when I passed that way, I made a point of 
going by her home. Although she watched me very closely, even when 
I placed my hand on the stump she remained in position on the nest, 
crouched down so closely that the only visible portions were the sharp 
eyes and the tail that stuck upright against the side of the dead wood. 

Nature's provisions for the protection of her feathered children are 
truly wonderful, and are little realized by those who are content to spend 
their spare time in loitering about the city streets. 



Photo from life bv E. E. Johnson. 



Being somewhat familiar with most of our American birds and their 
habits, I have been greatly interested in the study of the Chinese birds 
since I came to Foochow two years ago. This is certainly a land of 
birds and that too of a great variety. Though I have not personally 
met so many species, I am told on good authority, that from this one 
province of Fukkien there have been sent to England the skins of about 
six hundred varieties, gnd when one remembers that in almost every 
case these birds are strangers to an American, you can imagine the 
pleasure in making their acquaintance and watching their habits. To 
begin with, the birds of this land are all very highly colored, on an ave- 
rage very much more so than their American friends, and almost to a 
bird they are songsters. We have only been able to recognize thus 
far, such friends as the White-necked Raven, the Black-billed Magpie, 
the Lark Sparrow and the English Sparrow^ and Barn Swallow. In the 
case of the friends whom we are able to recognize, there are some 


marked differences in appearance and habits from what we would ex- 
pect. The representative of the English Sparrow in this land is much 
smaller than his American relative, and the male and female are marked 
very much alike, each having a black spot under the throat. Their call 
note and habits are very similar to those we are acquainted with at 
home. The White-necked Raven is also much smaller than those at 
home, while they seem to confine their nest building to the trees in- 
stead of sometimes building on the cliffs as the American bird does. 
The Barn Swallow not having a barn to build in has taken up his abode 
in the house with man and goes about his business there as unconcerned 
as though he owned the place. 

It seems to me that I never saw so many Flycatchers elsewhere, and 
they are very highly colored and strangest of all, almost to a bird are 
songsters, in many cases having a very sweet note. Vireos are also 
plentiful, though their eggs in every case I have thus far noticed are 
either a bluish white or a clear white — nest is pendent and of about the 
same construction as the American birds. The most common variety 
of this little friend is a very rich olive on back with a yellow throat 
with breast shading to white — bird about size of White-eyed Vireo or 
smaller. Among all the different fiitters, we have failed to see a single 
warbler of any kind. To us this seems strange, for in most cases every 
family is represented in some way. In this connection I want to speak 
of what seems inexplicable to me and that is that, though this is the 
land of most lovely flowers, there are absolutely no Humming birds so 
far as I can learn. Why this should be I cannot tell. We miss their 
merry hum among the flowers. The representative of the Screech Owl 
is quite different from anything I have seen at home, though about the 
same size and of about the same habits. His note is more of a laugh 
though quite as weird, but the egg instead of being white is very much 
spotted with blood spots in most cases. These spots will wash off up- 
on applying hot water, but when taken from the nest the eggs look very 
much fly spotted, indeed these spots almost hide the color of the ^z^. 
The size is about the same as the Screech Owl's o.'g'S,- 

Kingfishers are numerous and of every size and color, but all are 
very highly colored, but they are by no means as noisy a lot as their 
relative, the Belted. 

Among the most interesting of the birds is the little Grassquit which 
is numerous here. This bird begins to build in early April and I have 
seen them at work building as late as October 10, though we have never 
found eggs later than the middle of August, hence I believe that the 
October work was play, or perhaps the birds were building just to keep 
in practice. Of all birds I have ever seen, this one is the most partic- 


ular about its nest, and is the easiest to break up. To put the hand 
in the nest is certain, and generally if the bird is sure that you have seen 
her carrying a straw to the nest which is a large round ball, composed 
of grass, with an opening on the side, she will leave it and destroy any 
Q^ZZ that she may have laid. 

Our representative of the Chickadee is a very beautiful little fellow, 
a little larger than the American bird, and very highly colored, with a 
broad metallic black stripe running from the bill, down the breast to the 
tail. A peculiar thing which we have noticed about this bird is that, it 
not only uses natural cavities in trees for its nesting place but very often 
makes use of holes in the ground, where we have found a genuine Tit- 
mouse nest with its young but thus far we have seen no eggs. 

Ernest B. Caldwell, Foochow. China. 


I will descrilDe a few of the odd nests that I have seen here in Kansas. 

The most out of place one was that of a pair of King birds. On the 
board fence of a cattle gap at a railroad crossing. Several trains 
passed each day not more than eight feet from the nest. For an Eng- 
lish Sparrow this would not seem strange, but Sir Tyrannus is not gen- 
erally friendly even with a freight train. The hottest of all nesting 
places that I have found was in the tool box of a mowing machine. A 
pair of Wrens built their nest in this cast iron house and raised a large 
family in it. I did not take the temperature of the box, but a thermom- 
eter placed in the dry sand in our yard went up to one hundred and forty 
six degrees, and any piece of iron laid in the sun soon got too hot to 
hold in one's hand. The tool box was not over four inches deep and 
had an iron cover. The Wrens came and went through a hole in the 
end of the box. The most perfect bit of bird skill was the nest of a 
Baltimore Oriole, made almost entirely of black and white horse hair. 
A colony of Crow-blackbirds got a bad habit of using binder twine 
picked out of straw stacks. It made very strong nests, but they did 
not have the skill of the Oriole, so the nests were rather fuzzy looking 

affairs. a. K. Boyles, Kansas. 


Identification Color Chart No. 3. 

Chestrvvit-colored Spa-rrows. 

No. 559, Tree Sparrow, {Spiiella monticola). 

Eastern North America. Breeds from the Arctic Ocean 
south through Canada and in winter migrates in large 
numbers through eastern U. S. to about the middle por- 
tion. 6 in. in length. Subspecies;— 559a. West Tree 
Sparrow, (S. m. ochracea). Western North America. 
Breeds in Alaska and the Arctic Regions. South in win- 
ter to New Mexico and Arizona. Paler than the eastern 

No. 560, Chipping Sparrow, {Spiyei/d socia/is). 
North America east of the Rocky Mts. and south of the 
Great Slave Lake in Canada. Breeds from the Gulf 
states northwards. Ver\' common. Length, 5.25 in. 
Subspecies; — 560a. West. Chipping Sparrow, (S. s. 
arizonae). Western U. S. from the Rocky Mts. to the 

No. 563, Field Sparrow, (Spinel/a pusilhi). 

Tlie U. S. and southern Canada east of the Plains and 
south to the Gulf States. Very common. Length, 5.5 
Sub-species; — 563a. West. Field Sparri)W, (S. p. aren- 
acea). Found in tlie Plains from Texas to Montana 
and Dakota. Wings and tail longer than the eastern bird 
and colors grayer. 564. Worthen's Sparrow, (Spizella 
wortheni). New Mexico. 


No. 561, Clay-colored Sparrow, {Spizella pallida.) 
Interior of N. A. from the Mississippi valley to tiie 
Rocky Mts. Length, 5.5 in. 562. Brewer's Sparrow, 
(Spizella breweri). Western U. S. from British Colum- 
bia southwards. Similar t<> the Cla>-colored, but upper 
parts are more narrowly streaked with black and it lacks 
tile median line. 

No. 584, Swamp Sparrow, (Melospi{a i^eorgiana.) 
Eastern North America. Breeds from the northern 
U. S. into southern Canada and in winter migrates to the 
(julf States. Very common. Length, about 6 in. 


Partridge, (commonly called quatil.) 

No. 292, Mountain Partridge, {Orcortvx pictus.) 

Pacific Coast Region, from central California nortli- 
vvards to Canada. Very common. Length, T1.5 m. 
Subspecies; — 292a, Plumed Partridge. (C. P. plumiferus). 
Southern portions of California and the mountainous parts 
to the eastward. 292b, San Pedro Partridge (O. p. con- 
fmis) Lower California. Differs from the two former in 
tiie grayer back and thicker bill. 

No. 294, California Partridge, {Callipcpla ui/i- 

;ion of California and north to British Colum- 

rnmmnn. I enirth. in-C in. Suh'^nerip's — 

Coast reg 
bia. Very common 
_,^.., Valle: 
of Californi 

Length, 10.5 in. Subspecies, 

294a, Valley Partridge. (C. c. Valiicola). interior valley 
California and tlie foot hills of the Sierra Nevadas. 

No. 295, Gambel's Partridge, {Callipepla gam- 

Southwestern United States. Very common. Length, 
10.5 in. 

No. 296, Massena Partridge, {Cvrtonyx iJtonte- Jl^\^\ 

Soutiiwestern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizon 1. 
Length, 9 in. 



A. O, U. No. 131. (Lophodytes cucuUatus.) 


This Merganser is distributed throughout North America, although 
in certain localities it is rather uncommon. 


Length, 17 in.; extent, 25 in.; tail, 4 in. Bill, black. Eyes, yellow. 
Feet, brown and webbed. Male: — Head with a beautiful, semicircular, 
thin, disk-like crest, this crest being black and enclosing a large white 
patch. Head, neck, back, wings and tail, black. Under parts, white. 
Sides, reddish-brown, crossed by wavy black lines. Secondaries, len- 
gthened and with a white stripe in the center. White patch on the cov- 

Female: — Crest, small and brown. Head, neck, back, wings, tail and 
sides, brown, lightest on the head and neck. Small white bar on the 
wing. Under parts, white. 


They nest in woody localities in the vicinity of water. A hollow in a 
tree or stump is lined with grasses, leaves and down, and from nine to 
fifteen eggs of a pearly white color are laid. The eggs are laid during 
the latter part of May or June and the young when hatched are said to 
be carried to the water in the bill of the female. 

Mr. James K. Thibault, Jr., has sent the following observations on 
the Hooded Merganser in Arkansas: The beautiful Hooded Merganser 
breeds in this locality, occasionally, but as a rule goes farther north to 
nest. It begins its nesting earlier than most of the Ducks and is one 
of the only two that breed here, the other being the Wood Duck. Like 
the latter species it nests in trees, but seldom alights upon them. It 





does not eat fish to nearly as great an extent as the larger Mergansers, 
confinmg his diet more to shell-fish and tadpoles. On this account his 
qualities as a table Duck are much better than many others and conse- 
quently he is much sought after for that purpose. 

To my mind this is second in beauty only to the Wood Duck, with 
which it is frequently confounded because of its tree-nesting habits.. 
This Merganser is an expert diver and secures most of his food in that 
manner. It seems as if it must have advanced a stage beyond the ex- 
pert in the matter of diving, for it can dodge shot as well as any Grebe 
ever could. They are exceedingly hard to approach after they have 
once seen you. I have walked around a pond five or six times in trying: 
to get on the same side with them, but to no avail, for every time I saw 
them there was the same amount of water between us. 

They are also endowed with a knowledge of fire arms that is aston- 
ishing. They appear to be able to tell whether a hunter carries a rifle 
or a shotgun and also just what distance either of them will kill. When 
happened upon unexpectedly, they will immediately dive and swim un- 
der water until they are at a safe distance or behind some friendly log, 
when they will come to the surface and swim away, always keeping some 
tree or log between themselves and the watcher after the same fashion 
as the Wild Turkey. I have waited for half an hour for a pair to come 
out from behind a tree and then to my great surprise noticed them clear 
across the pond. If they are in the least doubtful as to whether they 
are out of range, they will sink low down in the water, leaving but their 
bills and crests above the surface and in this way swim off. 

An acquaintance of mine shot one of these birds as he was flying from 
one pond to another. He was only slightly winged and I secured him, 
I had always known that these Ducks had a way of "playing possum," 
when wounded, but as I had never had the opportunity to see this won- 
derful feat, I watched him closely. It was certainly astonishing to see 
how closely it would imitate a dead bird. Wishing that my brothers 
might observe this I hastened homewards with the bird. 

When near the house my doij came out to meet nie and my Duck be- 
gan fluttering as though nothing had ever happened to him. On enter- 
ing the house the Duck "died again," and I called the whole family to 
view this wonderful mimic of death. They came and I am sorry to say 
that my own ruin cair.e with them, for on being asked to make the Duck 
come to life again, 1 could not to save myself. He did not appear to 
have been injured seriously, but he never came to life again. 

My diagnosis of his case was that he either died either from thinking 
so hard that he was dead, or in order to make me out to be a story tel- 



ler. Whichever was the cause, the latter was the result, for I never was 
believed about his playing possum. 

The female is always the first to perceive danger and is the first to 
dive or take flight. They are known here by the local names of Crap- 
pie-crown, Fish Duck and Tow-head. 



No bird is more generally known and less appreciated than the Crow, 
Corviis amerieaiius. His tribal family is very widely distributed, and it 
has been given distinguished prominence in sacred and profane history, 
and in the legends, folk-lore, and literature of many lands. 

While the Magpies and Blue Jays, like many of the human family, 
are more distinguished by their dress than by their manners, they and 
their cousins, the Ravens, Rooks, and Jack Daws, are all held in higher 
esteem than is their congenor, the Crow, which is by common consent 
called the bird of ill omen. The peculiarities and eccentricities of the 
former, their freaks and foibles, their pertinacity and mischief, are 
known only to be explained, apologized for, and condoned; but no one 
cares to be known as the friend or champion of the Crow. 


No other offense in his long catalogue of misdemeanors and crimes 
has earned him more deserved enmity or stimulated more relentless 
persecution than his warfare upon game birds. Sportsmen may truth- 
fully be called his enemies of the superlative degree. 

Whose blood would not boil at the sight, and who would not long for 
a weapon to reek summary vengeance upon the clamoring Crows 
that pounce upon, tear asunder, and beat the life out of an unoffending 
victim, and especially when the unoffending victim is the highly prized 
game bird? Such were my thoughts and such my sentiments while out 
trout fishing during the past season, when I witnessed such a tragedy, 
which I will briefly relate that it may throw additional light upon the 
true character of the Crow; and I shall regard it with complacency if the 
relation of what came under my personal observation serves to stimu- 
late recruits to join the army which makes successful warfare upon these 
black marauders. 

Journeying beside the brook through a piece of woodland a great 
commotion was heard among some crows a little distance away, and I 
concluded that some of their young had fallen out of their nest, or that 
the young brood had for the first time used their wings in flight, which 
is always a time of great concern to parent birds. As I proceeded their 
clamor grew in intensity and volume, out of all proportion to their num- 

Arriving at a road in the woods, which was used for hauling out tim- 
ber and lumber, I saw at a little distance away a great commotion 
among some half dozen or more crows; some darting hither and thither, 
— some flying upwards, then wheeling around and darting down again, 
— all intent upon attacking a seeming enemy, and all doing their utmost 
to add to the general din. 

I approached quite near to them before they heeded my presence, 
when the more timid took flight to the nearest tree tops and became in- 
terested spectators. One, more brave than the rest, was not to be 
driven away, but kept striking with his beak and tearing feathers and 
flesh from his victim; nor did he desist and take flight until my hand 
was within three feet of him, when he reluctantly beat an unwilling re- 

There before me lay gasping in the death struggle, a Ruffed Grouse 
hen, from the neck and back of which nearly all the feathers and flesh 
were stripped and torn away. Death came as a relief in a few minutes 
and ended the tragedy, unless perchance a brood of young were left to 
die of starvation or otherwise. dp. George mcAleer. 





A. O. U. No. 618. (Ampelis garrulus.) 


This specie is found in the northern parts of North America. It 
breeds north of the United States and is found in winter in the two 
northern tiers of states. Its occurrence is irregular wherever found in 
the Republic. 


Length, 7.5 inches; extent, about 12 inches; tail, 2.5 inches. Feet 
black; eye and bill brownish, the latter shading into black at the tip. 

General color, grayish brown, the forehead and sides of head, and un- 
der tail coverts being brighter, almost a reddish brown and the breast a 
trifle paler than the general color. Wings and tail towards the end 
blackish. The primaries and secondaries are tipped with white, also 
the primary coverts in very high plumaged birds. Often the primaries 
are broadly tipped with yellow forming a continuous line when the 
wings are closed. The throat and a narrow line crossing at the base of 
the bill and extending through the eye, 'black. The tail is tipped with a 
broad band of yellow and in the best of plumage, each of the tail feath- 
ers and also the secondaries, terminate with a red wax-like tip. 

The Bohemian Waxwing constructs a large, well built nesrt of leaves 
and bark and lined with grasses. It is generally located in a cedar or 
other coniferous tree. They lay four light blue eggs that are specked 
with dark brown. 


This bird, the larger of the two Waxwings that we have in this coun- 
try is a more brightly attired bird than the common Cedar Waxwing or 
Cherry bird. The Waxwings are very trim appearing birds and their 
feathers have such a soft texture that they look like silk. 

They are strong flyers but very erratic and no definite localities can 
they be stated positively to visit during migrations. Their note is the 
same well known lisp or hiss of the common Cedar Bird but is louder 
in proportion to the greater size of the Bohemian. Their food is said 
to consist of berries, or insects taken upon the wing. They generally 
go in flocks of about a dozen individuals and appear to take pleasure in 
sitting upright upon the tops of trees from whence they utter their sim- 
ple and hardly noticeable ditty. 



A. O. U. No. 475. (Pica pica hadsonica.) 


Northern and western North America, from the Plains to the Cas- 
cade Mountains and north to Alaska. South in the Rocky Mountains 
to New Mexico and Arizona. 


Length, about 16 inches varying in different specimens in accordance 
with the difference in the length of tail. Extent, about 24 inches; tail, 
nearly 12 inches. Bill and feet black. Eye, veiy dark brown. Entire 
head and neck intense velvety black. Back, wings, and tail, black with 
metallic reflections of green and purple. A large patch on the wing 
coverts and the under parts from the breast are white, as are also the 
inner webs of the primary quills. 


During April and early May, American Magpies may be found breed- 
ing throughout their range except in the more southern parts. 

Among the mountains and hills of Colorado they nest very abund- 
antly. Several nests may sometimes be found in the same tree, that is 
in some of the large pines. Nests may be found at varying heights 
from the ground, some not more than six or eight feet while others 
may be sixty feet. The nest is a huge pile of sticks and refuse and is 
arched over to form a roof, the entrance being on the side. They lay 
from five to eight or nine eggs, the ground color of which is grayish, 
yellowish or greenish white, thickly spotted and dotted with varying 
shades of brown. 


This near relative of the Jay is in many respects among the most in- 
teresting of all our birds. His striking plumage would immediately at- 
tract notice even if he were backwards about bringing himself to our 
attention. As a matter of fact, though, even if his plumage was of the 
plainest order and his actions were to remain unchanged, he would not 
allow you to remain in his vicinity for a minute without impertinently 
calling attention to the fact that you were transgressing upon his rights. 

The Jays are rightly given credit for being daring robbers, but for 




general thieving propensities and rascality they must bow to the su- 
perior abilities of the Magpie. They are very noisy, artful and crafty, 
and set up a discordant chatter at the sight of almost any creature. At 
all times they appear to be hostile to all forms of life, either bird or 

If captured when they are young they can easily be tamed, can be 
taught to perform many tricks, and it is said can be also taught to imi- 
tate many words. One thing they will not learn is to let alone what 
does not belong to them. Like a certain political party, they do not 
believe in the private ownership of property, unless it belongs to them- 
selves, and will go to no end of trouble to purloin any object that takes 
their fancy because of its brightness or color. 

Their mode of flight is by short rapid wing beats as though with con- 
siderable exertion, and their long, broad, tapering tail appears to great- 
ly impede their progress. When an ordinary breeze is blowing it is 
quite diflficult for them to steer a straight course and their evolutions 
are sometimes of a laughable character as they try to keep themselves 
right side up. On the ground they either hop or walk as their fancy 
strikes them. If suddenly startled when feeding on the ground, they 
will make the most frantic efiPorts to get out of the way as quickly as 
possible. It makes little difference to them as to their manner of re- 
treat, as they appear to hop forwards, backwards, or sideways with 
equal ease. 

If they are not hunted they become very friendly and impertinent, 
and numbers of them may be found around some farm houses. They 
will appropriate anything that they can pick up, edible or not, and in 
some cases become very much of a nuisance. They will eat with equal 
readiness, grain, fruit, insects, shell fish, fish, carrion, birds eggs, and 
even young birds. They are said to hunt for insects on the backs of 
sheep or cattle, and according to Bendire, there is some evidence that 
they will even peck into the backs of some of these animals at the flesh. 

If it were not for their laziness where actual work is needed, they 
would make very good housekeepers. They have rather advanced 
ideas of building their nests but do not have the patience to carry them 
out. They realize that on many occasions a roof to their dwelling 
would be a very great convenience, and so put one over it. It is built 
in such a shiftless manner, however, that it would be full as well with- 
out this improvement. The Magpies remain mated for life and add to 
the same home each year until it becomes of such proportions that the 
winds of winter blow it from its situation. 



Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, 80x772, Waterbury, Ct. 

My Dear Young Folks: 

My Rose-breasted Grosbeak has been singing a soft sweet song all 
the morning, and I think is trying to give me a message to you, so I 
have translated the bird notes as best I could, into English, and asked 
Mr. Reed to print them. I can assure you that her tale is strictly true 
for Peggy at this moment is sitting on my shoulder, pulling my ear, 
none too gentle, to demand attention, and occasionally hopping down 
on to the desk and seizing the pen with her bill, or trying to pull away 
the paper on which I am writing. She would like to sample the ink, 
and pecks at my hand when I drive her away. In spite of many lovable 
qualities, I must admit she is a saucy bird. I should like to make a list 
of your favorite birds for the June Ornithology. Will the boys and 
girls write me which bird they like best, giving the reason for their 
choice. Perhaps we shall find room to print one or two of the best let- 
ters. Please send your votes before May first. 

Cordially yours, 

Meg Merrythought. 


My name is Peggoty Zamelodia Ludoviciana, and my home is a cage 
in a sunny window of Meg Merrythought's dining room. Every day I 
have a grand splash in a large dish upon the floor. I go in and out two 
or three times, and take a good ducking, flirting the water over my 
back, and over everything else for several feet. After this it takes a 
long time to comb every feather with my bill. I have two new gowns 
each year, one in the fall, the other I am putting on now, and so shall 
have a new smooth coat before Eastertime, though the color and trim- 
mings will be exactly like my old one. Each day the old feathers are 
dropping out, and each day the tiny new pinfeathers grow a little longer. 
My only bright color is beneath my wing, a little yellow. My coat is a 



soft brown, with a vest of whitish buff, with brown markings, light 
stripes pass over and bsneath my eyes, and my wings show two light 
wing bars. 

My brother who lives not far away, is clothed now in the same soft 
brown, but when he dons his spring plumage he will be quite a gay fel- 
low, with black cap, black and white coat, pure white vest, and a bright 
rose-colored tie. This, again, will be changed next fall for the dull 
winter dress, and it is interesting to see the brown feathers gradually 
replacing the black and white ones. 

Do not think of me as an unhappy captive. No, indeed! I have the 
freedom of the house a part of each day, and have such delightful rides 
on my mistress's shoulder or head. At the dinner table I have the post 
of honor on her hand or shoulder, and enjoy many a choice morsel. I 
am especially fond of oysters, of peanuts, celery and butter. One day 
when I was left alone in the dining room a few minutes, I made a row 
of pretty marks all around the cake of butter with my bill. Then they 
shut me in my cage, but I did not care; there are nice seeds and play- 
things in it. I am very fond of a fern that stands on the table, but they 
will not let me prune it as I wish. 

I like to seize grandma's glasses, I like to eat sunflower seeds from 
the hands of the children, I like to pull my master's hair and mustache, 
I like to pull the pins from the cushion, I like to dart across the room 
and catch a fly for lunch, I like to throw the matches on the floor. Oh! 
there are many things that I enjoy doing, but better than all else I en- 
joy music, and sing (in harmony, too,) whenever I hear it. I would 
tell you more of my good times, but it is time for a nap, and I can only 
add a little about a trip I took one January morning. The outside door 
was left open, so I flew out to see what the wide, wide world that I had 
seen from my window was like. I slipped around the house into some 
trees a little distance away. Soon I heard them calling, "Peggoty, 
Peggoty." But I made not a sound, and after a long time they gave 
up the search. I found the new world I had entered was cold and bleak 
and after three hours was glad to fly around to the other side of the 
house, where my mistress sat near a window, 

I flew down onto the sill and cried "peepk, peepk," as loudly as I 
could several times before I attracted her attention, for she never ex- 
pected to see me again. She quickly opened the window and I gladly 
entered, and after a warm red pepper pill, fluffed out my feathers and 
had a refreshing nap in my own cosy cage. 

Now, little friends, I must sing to you no longer, but next summer, 
when all the woods are green again, and you hear the Grosbeaks mak- 
ing melody in the trees, do not forget Peggoty Zamelodia Ludoviciana 
in her snug home. 



Here are the plums which Tommy Tucker found in the March "pi"- 
1, Flicker; 2, forty; 3, Woodpecker; 4, Yucker; 5, breast; 6, red; 7, head; 
8, white; 9, yellow; 10, cheeks; 11, round; 12, golden; 13, brown; 14, 
ground; 15, insects; 16, ants; 17, food; 18, crop; 19, tattoos; 20, limb. 

There is an opportunity for sharp eyes to discover ten birds in these 
pictures. Who will discover every one? 


/2x/2 ^ /44 



So the Bluebirds have contracted, have they, for a house? 

And a nest is under way for little Mr. Wren? 
Hush, dear, hush! Be quiet, dear! Quiet as a mouse. 

These are weighty secrets, and we must whisper them. 

— Susan Coolidge. 

All ready, close by our summer dwelling. 
The Easter Sparrow repeats her song. 

A merry Warbler, she chides the blossoms, 
The idle blossoms that sleep so long. 



Possible some of the readers of the A. O. would like to hear about 
Jim, the Blue-fronted Jay, which I have had some months and which 
proves to be a most interesting bird. If you wish to know how he ap- 
pears, just look at the picture on the cover of A. O, for April, 1901. 
That is a good picture of Jimmie as he will look when he gets his new 
feathers; just now he has a somewhat ragged appearance. He is chang- 
ing his coat and the process is a slow one. I got him from a boy whose 



cat caught him and brought him to the house. I keep him in a cage 
about nine feet square. On the south side of the roof I left a large open 
space to admit the sunshine on wintery days and also to allow a sprin- 
kle of rain now and then. I gave him every comfort a captive bird can 
have, for I do not want him to rise up in the "limitless hereafter" and 
charge me with ill-treatment. So far as I can judge he has no thought 
of work beyond the preparation or preservation of his food. He will 
hide his acorns or prune pits in various parts of his house or in the 
ground, to be recovered when required or when softened by the mois- 

I think a prune pit is too hard for him, but you should see him open 
acorns. Taking one to a perch, he will hold it in both feet and hammer 
it with great vigor. When he has opened it he pecks it lightly, extract- 
ing the kernal and looking up, he seems to say, "It's mighty fine." 

Jimmie is of a very cheerful disposition and spends much of his time 
at play. I gave him a new perch one day, which, as he alighted upon 
it, would squeak loudly. That was just what he wanted. He just jump- 
ed up and down upon that perch for about two hours, until he had jump- 
ed all the squeak out of it. 

Each time I make an improvement in his house, he notices it immed- 
iately and proceeds to get all the fun he can out of it. A swing is too 
puerile a thing for him and he scorns to sit upon it. The only notice he 
gives it as far as I have seen, is to give it a kick as he flies by. 

Recently I put a Cal. Jay, three House Finches and a Golden-crowned 
Sparrow in with Jimmie. I put the smaller birds in first and for several 
weeks all went well and perfect harmony seemed to prevail. Later I 
put the Cal. Jay into the cage, and then the trouble began. One by one 
the small birds were found dead, headless and featherless, until only one 
House Finch remained. I gave him his liberty and now have only the 
two Jays, and the California one is the master of the house. 

CaLFi You Talk 
On Your Feet. 

In Either Ca^se You Need 


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A. O. U. No. 430, (Chordeiles virginianus.) 


In summer the common Nighthawk may be found in North America, 
east of the Plains and south of the middle portions of Canada. The 
Western Nighthawk, (Chordeiles virginianus henryi), is found west of 
the Mississippi River and south from British Columbia. In winter both 
varieties leave the United States. 


Length, about 9.5 in,; extent, 24 in.; tail 4.5 in. Eye, brown. Bill 
and feet very small in comparison to the size of the bird, the former 
being scarcely a quarter of an inch in length, although the gape is fully 
an inch and a half, thus forming an extremely large mouth in connec- 
tion with a very small bill. Mottled above with black, gray and tawny. 
Below, barred with black and dull white. A large white bar across the 
throat; also one across the primaries formed by a single large white 
spot about midway on each of the five outer primaries. A white band 
across the tail near the end. The female differs from the male in 
appearance in that the white of the throat and tail is replaced by tawny 
and on the latter may sometimes be lacking. The western form differs 
from the eastern very slightly if at all. The general average is sup- 
posed to be a trifle lighter in color than the eastern. The young birds 
have all the characteristic markings of the old but the under parts are 
more closely and distinctly barred. 



The nighthawks make no attempt at nest building. Their two eggs 
are laid upon the bare rocks or upon the rock lichens and moss that are 
common in localities where large boulders just peeping up above the 
surface of the ground are common. The eggs are mottled with vary- 
ing shades of white, gray and black, and are laid late in May or during 
June. About large cities it is not an uncommon occurrence for these 
birds to nest ur)on the gravel roofs of large buildings. The eggs re- 
semble very closeiy the rocks upon which they are laid and are difficult 
to distinguish. The eggs of the western bird average a trifle lighter 
than the eastern. 



Throughout the United States and the southern portions of Canada, 
the Nighthawk is a familiar object of interest to nearly everyone who 
is at all interested in bird life. If he is not known by his legitimate 
name of Nighthawk, he is apt to be familiar under the cognomen of 
"Bull-bat," or "Mosquito Hawk." Not infrequently, too, he is con- 
fused with the entirely different but somewhat similar appearing bird, 
the Whip-poor-will, and innocently goes under the assumed name of 
this bird. 

Woods, open fields, prairies, or even city life are acceptable to this 
species. During the summer months, large numbers of them may be 
seen about the larger cities, as at nightfall they start out on their daily 
trip after food. From all directions come the answering cries, given in 
a peevish, unmusical tone, "Spee-ek, spee-ek," a harsh, monotonous 
note that from long familiarity is apt to grow wearisome. Grace and 
skill are evident in their every movement as they wend their tortuous 
way across the sky, pursuing the course that is most thickly strewn with 
insect life. Imagine the horror of the winged insects when they see 
that gaping mouth following relentlessly in their wake. There is no 
escape for them, but they can perhaps console themselves with the 
unsatisfactory thought that they are furnishing renewed energy that the 
swift winged hawkers may more vigorously pursue their career of 
devastation, that results so beneficiently for mankind. 

The name Nighthawk does not imply that these birds fly only in the 
night, in fact more of them are on the wing in the day time than at 
night. In order that the name might have a literal meaning they might 
more appropriately be called dusk-fliers. Early in the morning, just 
after sun-down, and on cloudy days, you will see nighthawks in action 
of their own accord. At other times if one is seen, it is generally some 
belated traveller returning to his home or one that has been disturbed 
from his chosen retreat and obliged to seek his safety in flight. 

They are sociable birds when on the wing and nearly always do their 
hunting in small bands. From their activity and the number of times 
the band will circle about a field or near some pond any one would 
imagine that few insects could be left within their precincts. Now one 
will scale across our view with all the ease and grace of a swallow; 
another pursues the same course with rapid wing beats after the man- 
ner of the small hawks. Just before the nesting season is when their 
activity is most apparent. It is at this time that the often related 
"downward rush of the Nighthawk" takes place. From time to time 
as a band of these long-winged hunters are diligently pursuing their 
search, one of their number having secured a position somewhat more 





elevated than the rest, half closes his wings and makes a mighty plunge 
towards the earth. Down he comes with the speed of an arrow, the air 
hissing through his outspread primaries with a booming noise audible 
at a considerable distance. Just before he reaches the ground in his 
apparently suicidal effort, an upward fling of the tail and a change in 
the position of his wings and what a moment before looked like a sure 
death is transformed into a marvelous exhibition of skill, and the per- 
former is again tranquilly following the rest of the band while another 
goes through the same performance. As this occurs just at the mating 
time it is generally supposed that this is one of the tests of skill that 
the males are made to undergo before being accepted by the fair dam- 
sels of the flock. 

As an example of protective coloration, no better example can be 
found. So firm is the belief of the bird itself in its invisibility that 
nearly always they will not believe they are discovered until one actual- 
ly puts out the hand to seize them. I have been all about a sitting bird 
without pretending to notice it often putting my foot within perhaps 
twenty-four inches of where the mottled ball of feathers rested. I could 
see the feathers on the breast rise and fall as she breathed heavily in 
her subdued excitement. At the first sign that I had discovered her 
she flew away with a low purring note. A little later when the two 
stone colored eggs had been superceded by two downy little chicks, she 
was even more loath to leave the nest. Still hoping against hope that 
she might be able to lead me away from her small charges she practiced 
all the arts the most skillful bird is capable of. Owing to her short 
legs and extremely long wings, her deceitful manouvers undoubtedly 
would prove more successful than many of the other birds that resort 
to such tricks. The way she would trip and fall over her own wings 
did appear very natural. It is claimed by some that the Nighthawk 
will remove the eggs or young if discovered, though I have never had 
any such experience. 

When not in flight the birds are reposing quietly upon a rock, stone 
wall, roof-top, or upon a fence rail or horizontal branch of a tree; in the 
later cases they always sit lengthwise of the limb or rail. 

Their dislike for cold weather is shown by the fact that they are 
among the last of the arrivals in the spring and the first to leave. 

In their endeavor to get as far as possible from the severe winter 
weather of North America, at this time they are found distributed 
through South America, even to Patagonia. 






A. O. U. No, 653, (Ueiulroiea aestiva,) 

Found throughout North America except in the southwestern parts. 
In winter they migrate to Central America. In Arizona and western 
"Texas, the Yellow Warbler is replaced by the Sonora Yellow Warbler. 


Length, 5 in,; extent, 7.5 in.; tail, 2 in. Eye, bill and feet brownish. 
Entirely golden yellow with the back tinged with greenish. Numerous 
■chestnut streaks on the under parts. These streaks are lacking on the 
female and the head is also tinged with greenish on the crown. The 
yellow of the under parts is also paler. 

The Sonora Yellow Warbler (D. a. sonorana) is practically indistin- 
guishable from the common variety. In the comparison of a large 
number of specimens the chestnut streaks on the sides were found to 
be more faintly defined and somewhat fewer in number. The habits of 
both varieties are the same and may practically be considered as the 
same birds. 



Yellow Warblers begin their nest building about the first week in 
May. The nests are generally placed in fruit trees or low bushes and 
shrubbery. They are most often found at heights varying from two to 
ten feet, while occasionally one may be found at a greater elevation. 

The nest is firmly bound in the crotch formed by the union of two or 
more branches. It is a neat and artistic structure made of fibres and 
leaves and lined with plant down, feathers and horse-hair. The eggs 
liave a greenish white ground color and are prominently marked in the 
form of a wreath around the larger end, with spots of varying shades 
•of brown and gray. Three or four eggs commonly make the completed 

These bright golden gems come to us from their winter retreat about 
the iirst of May, and are the forerunner of the countless numbers of 
jewels that are soon to follow. They are the most sprightly, sociable, 
and entertaining of all the beautiful warblers, to me the most interest- 
ing of all birds. Soon after the trees have commenced to take on a 




green hue these spirited creatures come to add their gleams of sunshine 
to the beautiful mantle that is unfolding over the country. 

Almost without exception every garden or orchard will be selected 
for the home of one or two pairs of Yellow Warblers or Summer Yel- 
lowbirds as perhaps they are fully as well known. Golden Warbler is 
another name often aptly applied to these sprightly and talkative little 
warblers. They are architects of no mean ability, and their handiwork 
cannot be duplicated by human hands. I think that the most artistic 
nest of this species that I ever met with was one built ^by a pair of the 

birds near Warren, R. I. 
It was in the neighbor- 
hood of a large cotton 
factory and was com- 
posed entirely of cotton 
and lined with horse- 
hair. This was situated 
in an exposed position 
in a small birch and 
must have attracted the 
attention of any one who 
chanced to go near there. 
My observations have 
been that the Cowbird 
imposes upon the Yel- 
low Warbler more often 
than upon any other 
bird in the matter of 
forcing them to hatch 
their eggs and rear their 
young. As the nest is 
small and the contra- 
band egg of consider- 
able size comparatively, 
the rightful owner of the 
nest cannot lay more 
than three eggs at the 
most. The chances are 
that even if these are 
not broken before hatch- 
ing by the clumsy young 
cowbird, the young are 

Photo by J. B. Pardoe. "^ 

NEST OF THE YELLOW WARBLER. apt to be smothered bjr 


their larger and stronger foster brother. Yellow Warblers are among 
the most active of the family, being continually on the lookout for every 
passing insect as well as those that they glean regularly from the leaves 
and branches. When flitting spiritedly about in the bright sunlight 
they furnish one of the brightest spectacles in the bird world. Through- 
out the spring and summer months, their sharp business like chirping 
"Che-chee-chee-chee" may be heard at all hours of the day, provided 
that the weather is encouraging. They are also endowed with their 
share of courage and manage to keep all birds of their size under con- 
trol until a Least Flycatcher appears on the scene. This pugnacious 
little fellow has no superior in the ring and always puts his adversary 
to flight. 


Although February is the shortest month in the year, it seems by far 
the longest to bird lovers. But among the birds there are, even as 
early as Februarv, unmistakable signs that they know that spring is 

On February 16th a friend and myself spent the day with the birds 
and saw many interesting things. When we first went out, the east 
had scarcely began to brighten. As yet no bird was up; and so we had 
to content ourselves with walking about and wondering which one 
would arise first. 

At a little after six we heard the first note; it was a street sparrow 
singing; and a half an hour later some crows called. Soon after a Blue 
Jay sang his peculiar song, five Golden-crowned Kinglets flew about us 
in some low bushes, and our bird neighbors had begun the day in earn- 
est. As we were watching the kinglets, a Brown Creeper and Chicka- 
dee joined them and together they started on their daily rounds. As 
we stood watching them busily at work, we heard a drumming a short 
distance away, followed by a familiar call, and in a large oak tree we 
saw three Flickers, chasing each other, calling, and having a good time 
generally. After we had watched them some time, we went into a 
grove near by, and were immediately interested in a note which was 
new to us, although it had something strangely familiar in it. In the 
middle of the grove, on a tall elm we found a White-breasted Nut-hatch, 
the one which has been in these same woods since October. He was 
perched crosswise on the limb, uttering the laughing "Hah-hah-h^h" 
which is his song. We then left this place and went across Charles 
river, on which we saw Black Ducks, Herring Gulls and Golden-eye 
Ducks. After we had crossed the river we visited a picturesque little 


wood not far from Harvard, and here we saw five Downys, a Flicker, 
and a Blue Jay all in one tree. It seemed very lively there for a few 
minutes. A little farther on we saw two juncos. Up to this time we 
had been practically in the city. We had never been out of sight of rail- 
roads or electric cars, and yet we had seen twelve species of birds. 
But now we boarded a car and began rapidly to leave the city behind. 
We stopped when about half way to our final destination and wandered 
through the swamps and low lands, everywhere meeting little bands of 
Tree Sparrows. Often we saw Song Sparrows, and in one place, on 
hearing a familiar sound, we realized that one of them was singing to 
us. This was a very welcome sound, and indeed, as that handsome 
little bird sat singing on the topmost branch of a low bush, he must 
have been trying to tell us of spring. 

We left the song sparrow reluctantly, and soon after I was startled, 
as I always am, when a Rufifed Grouse flew up ten feet in front of me. 
We took another car from here and went into the genuine country. We 
passed farms and pastures, and began to see real chickens here and 
there. In a favorable place we ate our lunch, on a bench set up under 
a great oak tree, evidently for our special benefit. While we were eat- 
ing some crows flew around, betraying great curiosity, so we left as 
much lunch for them as we could spare, and started off to see some 
more birds. Out here, there were more signs of approaching spring 
than in the city. In one small wooded swamp, we saw several "skunk 
cabbages," some actually growing up through the snow. We had 
scarcely left these plants when we saw on the ground some gray furry 
pellets. There was about ten of them, and in vain we wondered what 
they were. At last my friend broke one open, and found two little 
skulls and some bones tightly packed inside; and, it dawned on us that 
this was an owls home. So putting a few of these in our bag for a 
more careful investigation, we passed on. By the side of an old road, 
we saw some juiicos which we watched for some time. They flew up 
as we approached uttering the twitter which they make in flight, and all 
disappeared behind some rocks in a meadow. We followed slowly and 
found that they were eating seeds. Soon they flew up to a friendly 
apple tree where we left them. This ended an unusually delightful day. 
We had seen fifteen species, three of which sang, and as we were near- 
ing home, we noted that the moon had a golden ring, and we were 
thankful for having had such fine weather all day. When I awoke next 
morning everything was white with snow. 

Guy Emerson, Brookline. Mass. 



A. O. U. No. 172. (Branta canadensis.) 


Throughout temperate North America, breeding in the Northern 
United States and the British Provinces. Migrates south of the 
United States in winter. 


Length, about 3 feet; extent, 5 feet; tail, 7 in. Eye, brown. Bill 
and feet, black. The general color above and below is a brownish gray, 
rather lighter on the under parts and changing to white on the belly. 
Head and neck, intense black. A broad patch of white extends across 
the chin and upon the sides of the head, back of the eyes. A small 
white spot is generally on each eyelid. The rump is whitish and the 
tail black. 


According to the nature of the localities or the individual dispositions 
of the birds, Canada Geese build their nests upon the sand, among the 
taller grass away from the water or on brush heaps or low trees. 
When placed upon the ground it is only a hollow scooped out of 
sufiticient size to hold the three to eight eggs that are laid. A few 
sticks are sometimes added around the circumference of this hollow, 
probably more from force of habit than from any advantages to be 
derived therefrom. When they build in trees they either use a deserted 
heron's or osprey's nest, merely adding material enough to make it 
tenantable. The nests are always softly lined with quantities of down. 
The eggs are of a dull, brownish, green color. 





The Canada Goose is universally conceded to be the king of Amer- 
ican game water fowl, and twice a year, during the spring and fall, mi- 
grations has to run the gauntlet of all the sportsmen from one extreme 
of the country to the other. So great a prize are they considered by 
the sporting fraternity that many who would object strenuously at being 
compelled to do a few hours work, will labor uncomplainingly in the 
hot sun for several days and expend much money, time and patience, 
that they may be the cause of the early and violent demise of a number 
of these grand birds. Thus during both migrations the life of the wild 
goose is a hard and dangerous one and so many of them fail in the 
attempt to run the gauntlet that unless new game laws are made within 
a short time, few flocks will be left to announce the coming of spring. 
Even if it is absolutely necessary that man should be allowed to grati- 
fy his desire to kill, the geese and all ducks should at least enjoy the 
privileges of being protected during either the spring or fall migration, 
and given a fair chance to preserve their race. 

The migratory flight of the Canada Geese is one of the most inter- 
esting and spectacular sights in the ornithological world, and has been 
the theme of much literature, both verse and prose. 

"Honk, honk," the sound comes faintly from a great distance, grad- 
ually drawing nearer and nearer, sounding not unlike the baying of a 
pack of hounds in full cry. You drop your work and hasten out of 
doors. You are not alone; from every house and shop in the neighbor- 
hood, men, women and children come rushing to witness the coming 
spectacle. You can imagine the astonishment of one not initiated in 
the ways of birdology to see this vast throng all gazing, open mouthed, 
towards the southern horizon, in which direction he looks in vain to 
discern the cause of gathering. Soon his eye perceives a thin black 
line faintly outlined against the sky and close to the horizon. The line 
grows larger and in a few moments he learns that it is composed of 
birds, large birds, and that they are flying in the shape of a wedge. 
As they sweep by overhead, added to the noisy honking is the beating 
of a hundred or more wings, and the long converging lines, headed by 
an old gander, appear smaller and smaller as they draw away and at 
last the vision fades from view in the distance. 

The goose is an affectionate parent and is very fierce in the defence 
of its young. They are believed to remain mated for life. They sub- 


sist mainly upon berries and grain. When migrating, they assemble 
in flocks, which, uniting, form vast columns, each section being headed 
by a leader. When about to alight, pioneers descend from the flock 
to select favorable and safe feeding grounds. Having decided upon 
the proper place they swoop rapidly down upon it with the wind, pass 
over to see if the coast is clear, and then return against the wind to 
alight. While on the ground the flock is guarded by sentinels with a 
zeal that renders a close approach impossible. The fact that they are 
so easily decoyed seals the fate of many of them. Gunners take ad- 
vantage of their well known feeding habits, and early in the morning 
set their decoys in some popular grain field. These decoys are made 
of wood, pasteboard, or sheet iron, and bear more or less resemblance 
to geese. Having concealed himself behind a brush heap or blind of 
cornstalks, the gunner awaits the coming of his victims. It doesn't 
take an expert to kill a goose by this method. 


Birds are victims of accidents fully as often as are members of the 
human race. Most of them are simply minor ones, such as broken 
wings or legs, and with a little careful nursing on the part of the bird, 
are as good as new in a few days. Besides the lesser accidents, the 
number of fatalities that occur among the feathered population (from 
purely accidental causes) is appalling. Thousands upon thousands of 
birds are killed yearly by flying into telegraph wires or against light- 
houses. I make mention of the following that were actually observed 
by human eyes. 

My nearest neighbor, early in April, was poking about among the 
weeds in a neglected flower bed. This bed was found to be by meas- 
urement twelve feet from the house. Suddenly from almost under his 
hands, flew a Bob-White. In its excitement and fear it took no notice 
of direction and struck against the side of the house, which by the way 
was painted white. He was picked up dead. 

Dr. M. of Monticello, while making a professional call seven or eight 
years ago, saw two large flocks of prairie chickens flying in opposite 
directions, about to cross the road in front of him. There was a collis- 
ion high in the air and one chicken came down dead. No wire. Sim- 
ply a collision in mid air. The doctor showed me the chicken and 
remarked at the time that I never could guess how it had met its death. 
It was a cloudy day and snowing at the time, which probably will 
account for this casualty. a. l. 



Identification Chart No. 4. 

Warblers prominently marked with 'y^eltottf. 

No. 655, Myrtle Warbler, {Dendroica coro- 


Length, 5.5 in. Very common in eastern North 
America, becoming less so as you approach the Pacific. 
They breed chiefly north of the United States and win- 
ter in the southern portions. Frequently called the 
Yellow-rumped Warbler. Large white patches near 
the end of all the outer tail feathers. Two bars on 

No. 656, Audubon's Warbler, {T>cndr(yiia au- 

duboni. ) 

Length, 5.5 in. The United States west of the 
Plains and north to British Columbia. Differs from 
the Myrtle chiefly in the yellow throat in place of white, 
and in the gray ear coverts where the Myrtle's are 
black. Known as the Western Yellow-rump. Large 
white spots near end of all outer tail feathers. Large 
white pat.:h on wing. 

No. 657, Magnolia Warbler, {Dendroica nmc- 

Length, 5 in. North America east of the Rocky 
Mts. Breeds from the northern tier of states to the 
Hudson Bay territory, in winter chiefly south of the 
U. S. Top of head gray, back, black; rump yellow; 
tail, black; each feather except the middle pair having 
a large square spot about midway. Called often the 
Black and Yellow Warbler. 

No. 685, Wilson's Warbler, {Sylvania ptisilla.) 
Length, 4.75 in. North America from the Rocky 
Mountains to the Atlantic and north to the Hudson 
Bay and Alaska. Breeds north of the United States. 
Wings and tail unmarked. Often designated as Wil- 
son's Black-cap. Subspecies; — No. 685a Pilejlated 
Warbler, (S. p. pileolata.) The Pacific coast from 
Alaska southwards. The yellow on this variety is 
somewhat brigliter than in the Wilson's. 

No. 686, Canadian Warbler, {Sylvauia cana- 

Length, 5.5 in. From the Plains to the Atlantic 
and from Newfoundland and Labrador southwards. 
Breeds from New England northwards. Wings and 
tail unmarked. 



Yellow eiLnd Chestnut Wa.rblers. 

No. 650, Cape May Warbler, (fDendroica tig- 


Length, 5.25 in Northern North America east of 
the Plains. Breeds from the United States northwards. 
Winter south of the United States. Ear coverts, 
chestnut. A large white patch on the wing, and three 
outer tail feathers with white spots near end. The fe- 
male lacks the chestnut ear coverts and the under parts 
are pale yellow. Wliite patch on the wing is smaller 
and less distinct. 

No. 652, Yellow Warbler, {Dendroica aestiva.) 
Length, 5 in. Very common throughout North 
America except in the southwestern part. Breeds 
throughout its range. Subspecies; — No. 652a. Sonora 
Warbler, ( D. a. sonorana). Replaces the Yellow 
Warbler in southern Arizona and western Texas. The 
female of both birds is similar to the male, lacking the 
chestnut streaks below. 

No. 659, Chestnut-sided Warbler, (T)cndroica 


Length, 5 in. Very common and breeds in eastern 
United States and southern Canada. Migrates in the 
fall chiefly south of the United States Female has 
much less chestnut on the sides. The young are plain 
olive green above and white below, with faint yellow- 
ish wing bars. 

No. 672a. Yellow Palm Warbler, {D. palmannn 


Length, 5 in. The Atlantic States to Hudson Bay. 
Breeds from Maine northwards. Winters in the Uulf 
States. No. 672, Palm Warbler, (D. palmarum). 
Interior North America to the Great Slave Lake. The 
yellow of the under parts paler than in the Yellow Palm, 
and the streaks dusky instead of chestnut. Both var- 
ieties have white spots at the tip of the two outer tail 

No. 673, Prairie Warbler, (JDcndroica dis- 
color) . 

Length, 4.75 in. The United States east of the 
Plains. Breeds from southern New England south- 
wards. Back with a patch of chestnut spots in the 
middle. Large white blotches on the outer tail feathers. 




"The beautiful is as useful as tlie useful"— VICTOR HUGO. 

S a rule I suppose that the artistic is not always con- 
sidered quite practical, but for the sake of the birds 
and the beautiful in nature, I wish that farmers in gen- 
eral were less devoid of it, also less addicted to that too all-prevailing- 
propensity that impels them to desecrate every fence corner by trim- 
ming it to the extremities of neatness. The everlasting pruning hook 
and scythe strikes terror to bird and flower as well as to the hearts of 
their human devotees. If there were advantages to be gained by this 
devastation, well and good, for a farmer's lot is none too easy at the 
best, and one can not blame him for utilizing every inch of his tillable 
area, but will no artistic sense teach him to leave in nature's hands the 
inaccessible hillside and corners, the steep ravines and wood-lot bound- 
aries that are such delights to the feathered folk. The Department of 
Agriculture has given us convincing evidence of the usefulness of bird 
neighbors in their economic. relations to us, so why not show them a 
little gratitude in return by leaving to them such undergrowth that is 
needed for the security of their young. In many sections of the old 
world, the farmers plant common cherries and lower grades of small 
fruits in order to induce the birds to locate near their farms, appreciat- 
ing the benefit they will derive from the destruction of the enemies of 
their cultivated fruits. Since we are, as a nation becoming so conspic- 
uous as defenders of the oppressed, why not exhibit a little of our ben- 
eficent charity to the natives of the soil? 

An incident occurred last summer that is illustrative of the attitude 
of the farmers in general. I chanced upon one of the workmen on a 
neighboring farm who was cutting down a great tangle of bitter sweet, 
that overhung a steep hill side overgrown with underbrush, and which 
had encroached upon the cultivated land for perhaps ten feet. The 


only reply that I could get in answer to my expostulation was: 

"He wants beans!" 

"But he can not raise beans under the shade of those oak trees," I 
answered, but he only reiterated: 

"He wants beans." 

So I tried to incite him with a little compassion for the noble vine 
that is none too plentiful in this section, owing to other provident 
mortals who "want beans." 

• "Is yer bitter-sweet good fer anything? What can ye do with it," he 
finally interrogated, and of course I was nonplussed, for the vine is 
neither "fish, flesh, fowl, or good herring," and I knew that my argu- 
ments in favor of the beautiful and artistic would not appeal to him in 
the least, so I went on my way while he continued to lay waste without 
let or hindrance. 

In this tangle was growing the young shoots of sassafras, so dear to 
the vireo family, for underneath their leaves dwell countless cater- 
pillars of the papilio astereas, which in the early stages are beloved of 
the red-eye, and also there was an abundance of the lesser fly, dear to 
the heart of the warbler family. Here too I saw my first chestnut- 
sided warbler, a veritable Joseph in his coat of many colors, yet very 
neat and dapper, notwithstanding his crazy quilt like combination of the 
different shades. Here again I saw the dandy of the same family, the 
black-throated blue, who is really the Beau Brummel of the birds. All 
of the warblers have a characteristically "pointed" appearance, all their 
corners being rounded to a V as it were, beak, wing points and tail, 
furled trim and ship shape, but the black-throated blue's the most so of 
all. To this same bitter-sweet comes the earliest blue bird bringing 
on his back our first glimpse of the summer sky. Underneath its 
shelter were born, bred and bullied by a little brown mother, six tiny 
representatives of the wren family, who were early cut adrift from the 
parental nest to become the blacks and tans of feathered society, and 
by the way, only a short distance from here, a sagacious little house 
wren allowed the limb in which she had built her nest, to be cut oi¥ 
and carried to a distant tree, and fastened to one of its branches, with- 
out disturbing her equanimity or household arrangements in the least, 
and continued with her business of incubation as unconcernedly as 
though she were an old stager at spring moving. 

In a great oak above the tangle a pair of crows nested, and were a 
continuous source of annoyance to three king birds, who must have 
made life something of a burden to them, for I seldom ever see a crow 
returning nestward without a kingbird in front of him distracting his 
attention, while the other two kept up a series of petty attacks in the 


rear. But I never saw any evidence of retaliation on his part, only an 
assumption of serene and dignified indifference to his assailants. 

Aut alas, what was once the abode of winged happiness and dissen- 
sion is now but a patch of brown stalks and stunted pigeon-grass, but 
I am glad to record that the crop that thrived so well under the tillage 
of Thoreau, did not "yield" in this instance, and the industrious farm- 
er who "wants beans" in return for the bitter-sweet, will have to seek 

them elsewhere. 

Alberta Field. 


Birds generally are rightly credited with having a good stock of 
common sense, but occasionally we come across one who is sadly de- 
ficient in this respect. A pair of Flickers spent a good deal of time 
and as much more hard work on the shaft box of an old wind mill that 
had had all the machinery blown off. The box was in the top of the 
tower about twenty feet from the ground. The birds sounded it and 
found it was hollow so they decided that they had found an unusually 
good location for their nest. By going to the top of the box they 
could have seen clear through it, but they began work about eighteen 
inches from the top, and hammered away until they had made a hole 
large enough for them to enter. Poor birds, they must have been 
considerably surprised and humiliated to find that their intended house 
had neither roof nor floor. 

I have always felt sorry for the little Screech Owl when the wood- 
peckers returned in the spring and found that their old nesting sites 
were occupied and that the present owners were engaged in the quiet 
occupation of setting. The poor little owls had to get out and hunt 
mice every night and then be bothered all day by a pack of woodpeck- 
ers who scratched and clawed up and down the tree. How poor Asios 
ears must ring when they pound on the hollow place just above the 
nest, and then every once in a while, one of them will poke his head 
into that hole and say mean things to the occupant. And when sev- 
eral came at once they would talk so harsh to each other, bobbing their 
heads and uttering that rasping call, just like the whetting of a scythe. 
But the owls had possession and did not leave until after the Flickers 
had gone to bed at night, and they always got back before the 
woodpeckers got around in the morning. 

A. K. liOVlEs. 



As I cross the fields, climbing a wall here and 
a fence there, pausing to watch a muskrat slip 
into the water from a river bank, and to exam- 
ine a cocoon that is waiting on a bare twig for 
the warm sunshine to change it from an inanimate 
thing to an airy, gorgeous creature of wings, I 
am conscious of the wonderful transformation 
going on around me, the awakening of the world 
from its winter lethargy. Its throb is in the grass 
blades under my feet, in the swelling branch tips, 
in the new tinge which is daily, hourly, changing 
the earth's surface, in the very brook whose wat- 
ers have a quickened, freer flow. It is whisper- 
ing, rustling, buzzing, singing, calling from all 
sides, around and above. The very sky has a new 
color, the earth a warmer glow, as though there were veins through 
the soil which were quickening into life. 

From a hole in a fence post a bee has crawled dully into the sun. 
He is weak, attenuated, dull of color from his long winter in the dark- 
ness of the past, but even as I look, with the warm sunlight resting 
upon him, he visibly enlarges, and his colors grow brighter and more 
life like. Presently he quivers his wings, weakly at first, but with 
more and more strength until he has raised them erect. Then he tests 
one leg after another, thrusting them out doubtfully, as though they 
might be numb with cramp, but apparently gaining confidence with 
each new eiTort. Already he seems like a new creature, and I know 
that before my return he will have flown away in search of food or 
others of his kind. 

Along the way are curious little finger-size plants, which rise from 
the ground and curl their fuzzy yellow-green tips into tight balls. The 
country folk call them "brakes," perhaps because they break at the 
slightest touch, and they gather and eat them as "greens." A few 
more warm days and the tightly closed balls will unwind and straighten 
out into delicate, feathery fronds of graceful ferns. They are scatter- 
ed thickly along the way, especially in places that have been burned 
over the year before, waiting with bowed shoulders and coldly clasped 
hands for the warm days, which the blue birds have told them will 
soon come. 



One of these blue birds is 
watching me now, ahnost with 
a fellow feeling and understand- 
ing it seems, for he is first on 
one side and then on the other, 
hopping from the swelling tip 
of an alder bush to the ground, 
running across the path behind 
me, and then flying on with a 
well modulated "I, I say, look 
at this," to a decayed log a rod 
or so in advance. Surely he 

knows that I am out to greet the newcomers for 
whom he has been watching these weeks past, and 
just as surely he realizes that he is able to give me 
an abundance of interesting information. What a 
companionable little fellow he is, and how plainly de- 
sirous of congenial company. I wonder if he has a mate, or if he has 
not yet begun his courting. Perhaps he has daringly come on ahead 
of all the rest, and is lonely and glad even for a human being to com- 
panion with. Or perhaps this warm, wondrous thrill of the awaken- 
ing is in his heart, as it is in mine, and he feels nothing but love and 
fellowship for all things around. 

As I approach nearer, his head cocks on one side and his tail bobs up 
genially, and only when I am within a few feet does he hop to a low 
branch, scarcely an arm's length away. Nor does this seem a move- 
ment of fear or distrust, but rather as a stepping aside for me to look 
at something which he has to show. 

One end of the log rests across a heap of stones, and upon the stones 
the sun is lying warm. At first I see only a small green lizard which 
has partially crawled from beneath the bark and is now lying in the 
sunshine, its eyes blinking in the very ecstacy of contentment. It is 
another of the creatures which the sun is awakening. 

But plainly it is not the lizard that attracts my friend's attention. He 
is raising and lowering his wings with ill-suppressed eagerness, and 
hopping from one end of the branch to the other. And he is not look- 
ing at the log at all, but at the stones beyond. "There it is," he 
plainly chirps, "there, there, there." 

Over the warm stones a dozen or more tiny forms are twisting about 
joyously. At first they appear to be worms, though unusually active; 
but a closer inspection reveals them as snakes. They are not more 
than three or four inches in length, and too small to determine the 



species. The mother is not in sight; doubtless she is off foraging, 
with the little ones left to play among the warm stones. 

Here on a south sloping bank is a small colony of plants, some of 
them already beginning to show flower. A chump of dogwood has 
only a deeper tinge of red to its bark, as some of the birches have a 
deeper yellow. But over there a pussy willow is clothed with a halo 
of fully developed catkins. No wonder it raises its head proudly above 
the bare limbs of its fellows, for is it not a pioneer in this tide of spring 
stirring and longing? 

A little farther and a brook crosses the path, spanned by a well worn 
log. I pause on the bank to watch the water as it gurgles and rushes 
on its way, scarce able to contain its joy within the narrow banks. 
There is the pure water of bubbling springs in its tide, the melting of 
mountain snow, the elusive fragrance of arbutus and wood violets. 
A pussy willow bends its tips to the surface as though to be kissed, 
and from the opposite bank a green robed damsel lifts eyes that are 
glistening with liquid pearls. 

At first there seems to be no foreign life wathin the dancing waters, 
but as the stillness is prolonged, a speckled trout flashes from some 
covert and poises in mid stream, apparently without motion in the 
swift, flowing current. Perhaps he has been awake all winter, some- 
where down there under the ice, 
or perhaps he has been dozmg at 
times in some safe retreat. But 
now he is alert and eager, watchful 
for any unfortunate insect that the 
warmth may entice too near the 
brook's surface. 

There is a slight stirring of the 
grass near the water's edge a few 
yards below; then a short space ot 
almost unnatu ral 
stillness, and the 
stirring is repeat- 
ed. Some water 
animal, perhaps 
out for his first 
spring reconnoiter- 
ing, is trying to 
escape unobserved 

But he has not 
yet reckoned on 



the keenness of spring eyes. Suddenly, from above my head, comes 
an eager, "There he is; there, there, there," and looking up I see my 
friend the bluebird swaying excitedly upon a slender branch, again 
almost within arm's length. Evidently he has followed me, either to 
observe what I might discover, or to give assistance, as in this case. 
But whether he wishes to call my 
attention to the trout, or to the 
stirring in the grass, or to some- 
thing which I have not yet seen, is 
uncertain, for he promptly flies to 
another branch a little farther off, ^^,^^»^ 
and continues to sway and sing, ^^J[-^^^:-^l 
"There ^"^^ 

ally, pu-ri-ty, pu-ri-ty, I — oh, pu-ri-ty." 

I continue to watch the grass for son)etime, but there is no further 
stirring. Probably the unknown animal has slipped into the brook and 
is swimming beneath the surface. When I turn back to the bluebird 
he is industriously pecking at a rough piece of bark. Presently he draws 
out a long white grub which the sun has not yet awakened, and swal- 
lows it. The grub is thus cut off from the great spring awakening, but 
perhaps his loss is the bluebird's gain, and through the bluebird the 
world's, who knows? 





A. O. U. No. 74. (Sterna antillariim.) 


The Least Tern may be found breeding in favorable localities from 
California, Minnesota, and New England southwards. 

Length, 9 in.; extent, 20 in.; tail, 3.5 in., forked for about half of its 
length. Eye, brown. Bill and feet, yellowish, the former tipped with 
black. Back, wings and tail, pearl gray. Two outer primaries, black. 
Top of head black, separated from a black line that extends from the 
bill through the eye by a white crescent across the forehead and con- 
tinuing up to the eye. Sides of head and under parts pure white. In 
winter the bill is black and the black of the crown is broken up into a 
few streaks. The mantle of the back is much darker than in summer. 


The Least Tern builds no nest whatever, and often even does not 
take the few moments necessary to scoop a small hollow in the sand, 
but will lay her eggs upon the beach among stones and pieces of shell. 
The color of the eggs harmonizes remarkably well with that of the 
sandy beach and it is very difficult to see them even at a short distance. 
Their breeding range is now limited to the few localities where they 
have not always been harassed to death, and islands along the Atlantic 
coast where they formerly nested by hundreds are now desolate. 

The eggs most commonly have a buff ground color and are specked 
evenly over the surface with black, brown and lilac markings. The 
two or three eggs which they lay are deposited early in June. 


Although this species is the smallest of the American Terns, it is 
none the less dexterous upon the wing. Its much shorter and less 
deeply forked tail, rather serve to detract from its grace of movement, 
when compared to some of the larger varieties. 

While this diminutive member of the tern family can with equal fa- 
cility perform all the intricate manouvers common to the terns, it seems 
to lack the strength and power of endurance of many of its relatives 



among the family. In stormy weather they appear to be unable to stand 
the buffeting of the gale and often are obliged to alight on the land 
where resting with their heads facing the winds they await the coming 
of more agreeable weather. They may be considered rather more a 
bird of the interior than of the sea coast. Vast numbers of them are 
found about the lakes of the Mississippi Valley, while most of the other 
varieties of terns spend the greater part of their lives around the salt 
water, some of them even venturing to a great distance upon the ocean. 

Photo by Wm. H. Fisher. 


They reach the northern limits of their range during the first part of 
May and leave again early in Sept. They migrate either in pairs or 
small flocks, generally at a great elevation, and either by day or night. 
They are sociable among themselves and not generally timid. They 
will probably never again be as abundant as formerly before the ladies 
conceived the unfortunate idea of using them as hat adornments. 



Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, 60x772, Waterbury, Ct, 

My Dear Young Friends: 

Our feathered friends are coming thick and fast; how glad we all are 
to see them again. Many of them make us but a little social call on 
their way north where they make their summer homes, but they are 
now wearing their best clothes, and singing their sweetest songs. 

On looking over my note books, I find there were about fifty birds 
which greeted me in my May wanderings last year. No wonder that 
the birding fever is easily caught during this fair month. 

Charles Rogers of New York City was the first to successfully 
straighten out the March "pi". He reports the arrival of the Crow 
Blackbird on March first, and the presence of Robins, Fox Sparrows, 
and a Hermit Thrush, all winter. The latter must have found an attrac- 
tive spot and kind friends to have lingered thus behind their mates. 

We print an account of a pair of Clapper Rails given by one of our 
young folks in R. I. 

Have you put up the box-homes for the Wrens and Bluebirds? 

Goodbye till we meet in the month of roses, and decide which bird 
we like the best. Your friend, 

Meg Merrythought. 

The birds represented in the puzzle pictures in the April Ornithology 
were: 1, Black and White Creeper; 2, Ovenbird; 3, Flicker; 4, King- 
fisher; 5, Chickadee; 6, Catbird; 7, Crane; 8, Chimney Swift; 9, 
Grosbeak ; 10, Nuthatch. 


I am composed of 11 letters. Alas, you will find my 11-7-9-5 in South 
Africa and South America at the present time, always accompanied by 


my 4-8-10-7-3-1. My 11-7-5-6-1 you may find to your sorrow in grand- 
mother's attic. My 1-6-2-10-3-1 you will find on the breakfast table. 
My 8-7-4-5 are often worn by beggars. My 4-8-2-11-5 is what your lit- 
tle sister does. My 1-6-7-9-5 are parts of a vessel. My 6-8-10-3-4 is 
part of a fork. My whole is a bird beloved by us all. 


"What is that noise I hear every morning when I am getting break- 
fast?" asked mama one morning in May. "What is it like?" I asked. 
"Oh, it is a clucking, screeching sound, like a man clucking to his horse, 
only louder and more prolonged, and seems to come from directly up 
the marsh." 

"I think," said I, "that it is one of our summer neighbors, Mrs. Clap- 
per Rail, just moved into the marsh." About two hundred yards back 
of our house is a salt water marsh which is a favorite feeding ground 
of the herons, spotted sandpipers and rails. I had heard these sounds 
myself and I made up my mind that a pair of Clapper Rails were nest- 
ing close by, and determined to find the nest. 

At high tide I took my boat and rowed around awhile, but could find 
no sign of them. When the tide had gone down, I took off my shoes 
and stockings and waded out to search more closely and again failed to 
find the nest, though I saw the birds skulking about among the grass 
tufts on the other side of the marsh. After I gave up the search, I 
could hear them chuckling and cackling as if they were rejoicing over 
my defeat. I kept a pretty close watch over them, aided by my field 
glasses, but though I could see them feeding, and hear their note, I 
could not locate the nest. 

One day in June I asked my father to take me to the Islands so that 
I might study Herring Gulls. He said that I had a good subject nearer 
home, so I determined to try again. I went straight for the highest 
tuft of grass on the marsh, when suddenly, up flew Mrs. Rail with a sort 
of startled cry, about four or five feet in front of me. She flew to a 
fallen cedar tree, and it was not many minutes before I was looking 
into her pretty home. 

The nest was made of grass a little above the water, and was arched 
over with thatch. It contained eleven eggs of a creamy color spotted 
with reddish brown about the larger end. The bird was dark in color, 
with long legs and neck. The next time I visited the nest, it was 
abandoned, and I suppose a brood of young rails were following their 
mother about the feeding ground. 

This is probably their permanent summer home, for I remember 


hearing them there the year before and no doubt they reared a brood 
then. They have never been disturbed and I anticipate their return 
this spring with much pleasure. Bonnie Buckham (aged 15). 


With the first May flowers come the Warblers. Most of them tiny 
sprites in gay plumage, who dart about as if to make the most of their 
short sojourn with us. Why they are called warblers has always been 
a puzzle to me, for surely the name is not suggested by the half whisp- 
ered, lisping notes, or the shrill insect like sounds which constitute the 
song of this class of birds. We may except the song of the Ovenbird, 
for the hour when you first hear the liquid melody of the ovenbird as 
he sings to his mate at twilight will never be forgotten. 

The Summer Yellowbird which spends the summer with us repeats 
"sweet" seven times over; the Redstart has a like story to tell but tells 
it in three syllables; look for him among the snowy blossoms of the 
cherry trees, and note the charming contrast he makes in his vivid 
orange and black, as he opens and closes his fan-like tail. 

The Maryland Yellowthroat cries "witchery, witchery, witchery" 
from the tangles all summer long, and the way that he succeeds in con- 
cealing his nest in the depths of the tangle, seems indeed to savor of 

These and half a score more of the warblers stay with us, while their 
companions hie away to our Canadian borders to nest, passing our way 
again in the Fall, on their return journey, hundreds of miles, to the 
sunny South, with their increased families. 

Always in motion, with many resemblances in size and color, the 
warblers are the most difficult of all our bird friends to learn. 

I am sure you will miss a great amount of pleasure if you fail to put 
some of these dainty folks on your calling list this summer. 


They'll come again to the apple tree 

Robin and all the rest. 
When the orchard branches are fair to see 
In the snow of the blossoms dressed. 
And the prettiest thing in the world will be 
The building of the nest. 

— From "The Building of the Nest." 

By Margaret E. Sangster. 



His mother was the Brook, his sisters were the Reeds 

And they every one applauded when he sang about his deeds. 
His vest was white, his mantle brown, as clear as they could be, 

And his songs were fairly bubbling o'er with melody and glee. 
But an envious Neighbor splashed with mud our Brownie's coat and vest. 

And then a final handful threw that stuck upon his breast. 
The Brook-bird's mother did her best to wash the stains away, 

But there they stuck, and, as it seems, are very like to stay. 
And so he wears the splashes and the mud blotch as you see. 

But his songs are bubbling over still with melody and glee. 

— Ernest Thompson-vSeton, in "Bird Lore." 


I stood in woods 'mong leafless trees 
One noisy winter's day: 
The winds were not like summer's breeze, 
I thought my hands and feet would freeze 
Before I went away. 

But long I looked with eager eye 
For some little happy bird; 
And ne'er was heard the Blue Jay's cry, 
Nor busy Woodpecker pounding nigh, 
But only winds were heard. 

"O, where, my darling, friends of glee," 
I broken hearted cried: 
"They fly no more from tree to tree 
To warble songs that gladden me — 
Oh, whither, do they hide?" 

I almost wept for spring again. 

For sunshine, warm and sweet; 

For the cherry songsters' mellow strain 

That calms me in the hour of pain. 

Or makes my joy complete. 

Benj. Phillips, 
Seiad, Calif. 

ffests and E^ggs of 
J^orth ^ytmerican "Birds, 

By Oliver Davie. 

TKe Best Book on Eggs Pviblished. 
V Finely Illustrated. V 

Thoroughly revised, 6oopp. Fifth Edition. 

Extra Cloth. Regular Price $2.25. 

My "Price 




Worcester, Mass. 

Ornithologists and Oologists Manual Free. 

We want to send our manual to every collector in- 
terested in birds and their eggs Send us tive names 
of collectors, with their address and what each collects, 
together with a two cent stamp to pay postage, and 
we will immediately mail you a manual. We have sold 
thousands at twenty-five cents each. Contains 100 
pages, just right size for pocket. Bargain lists in 
minerals, shells, curios, cerals, fossils, books, sup- 
plies, publications, eggs, etc. W. F. WEBB, 416 
Grand Avenue, Rochester, N. Y. 

The Bonanza Collection Of Curios. 

Contents: — Resurrection Riant, Mexico; Horn Nut, 
Ciina; I arpon Scale, Gulf Mexico; Skate Egg, 
Martha's Vineyard; "Electric Stone," Jefferson Co., 
N. Y.; Branch Coral, Singapore; Clay Police Whistle, 
Mexico; Black-mouth Tree Snail, Pavilion Key, Fla.; 
Alligator Tooth, Indian River, Fla.; Precious Coral 
Twigs, Med. Sea; Fossil Shark Tooth, Va., Dove 
Shells, (at World's Fair) Jamaica. 

Gem Stones: — Tiger Eye, South Africa; Sard In- 
taglio, Germany; Black Onyx, Uruguay; Tinted 
Agate, Brazil. "Entire collection carefully packed in 
box only $1.00. "Clearance Sale" Price only 34 cts. 
prepaid. Address. DR. F. H. LATTIN, Albion, N.Y. 


Makahs', Klamaths', Alaskans' 
Pimas', Apaches' and many weaves 
AicAican Drawn Work, Mexican Hand-carved Leather 
Belts, Chatelaines, etc., Indian Bead Work, Pottery, 
Alaska Ivory Carvings, Minerals and Fossils, Elk 
Ti;elh, wholesale and retail. Forty-page illustrated 
catalogue for Five Cents, stamps. L. W. S'l'IL- 
V\'ELL. Deadwood, Black hills. South 


Established 1891. 


The oldest, most popular and most prosperous 

amateur kennel publication in America. 

Contains each month appropriate reading matter and 

illustrations of great valne to every owner of a dog. 

..^d-Verlijerj get excellent results, and the rates 

are very low. Covers the entire United States 

and Canada, and if he's got a dog you are pretty 

sure to reach him through The Dog Fancier. 

A sample copy will be sent free. 

Subscription price, 50c a year. 

EUGENE GLASS, Publisher, 

Battle Creek, Mich. 

It is Ql C\jrio\is FoLct 

that a large number of our noted botanists 
were students of birds earlier in life. Many 
of them continue to be bird-lovers and no 
doubt many ornithologists would like to 
know more about the plant world. If you are 
one of the latter send a 2-cent stamp for a 
sample copy of s^ sp v.^ n*> 

The American Botanist 


The Only Untechnical Botanical Journal 


A monthly for boys and young men. 
"* Published by Men of To-day to interest 

and stimulate the Men of To-morrow to think, 
. act and live nobly. 

Its Departments are 

Especially Irvterestirvg 

as the following will show. "The Boy Collec- 
tor," "Eye Spy " "TheCamera, " "BoysOut- 

if doors," "Boys Reading, " and many others of 
equal interest. 

. Send ten cents for three months, 

$1.00 for one year to 

Men of Tomorrow, Box G, Albany, N.Y. 




$1.00 A YEAR. 

The only magazine in the country devo- 
ted entirely to Mineralogy. Now in its 
eighth year. Send 10 cts. for sample copy. 

Exchange page free to Subscribers. 


1 73 W. 65th St., New York City 


Address, THOS. FAINE, 16 Joslyn Park, 
Rochester, N. \. 




3 I 


frd-Lore has on its own merits taken its place at the front In the list of popular natural 
history magaxines." — The Auk. 


Edited by FRANK M. CHAPMAN. 

» 3 
": 3 

' I 

The April issue will contain a fully illustrated article by 
tOiltiam 'BretAfster on 

"The Bird Voices of a New England Marsh" 

Which will be of great value to Field Students. 

j\nnaal Subjcriplon, ■fl.OOi Single ^umberj, 20 cenlj; Speci- 
men Copy, 2 cent jtamp, 

i^^Subscribers to Vol. IV, T902, beginning with No. i, will receive, free, a copy of the 
December. 1901, number, containing the first article in the year's series on "How to Name 
the Birds," hy Frank M. Chapman, with illustrations of over 50 species, and EkNEST 
Thompson SbXON'S paper on "The Recognition Marks of Birds," with drawings of 18 
species of Hawks and Owls by the author. 


Crescent and Mulberrj' Streets, Harrisburg, Pa., or 66 Fifth Avenue, New York Citv. 


B\iy Books You Won't 0\itgrow. 

"Enclosed find Money Order for $40 for which pleuse send seven sets of the Birds and Nati/re maga- 
zines, and four sets Of the colored pictures to Rev. Marist Brothers, 15? E. 76th St., New York, N. Y. marked 
enclosure to France." BROTHER Henry, Laval College, Que. 

I like Birds and Nature the best of any magazine I have ever taken. HELEN G. SMITH. 

Fall River, Mass., March 9, 1902. 

One should buy books he will not outgrow. There has never been published be- 
fore a series of nature and outdoor books to compare with these and they are of interest 
alike to young and old — the most popular gift and holiday books. 

These books have cost over $80,000 and were it not for the fa:t that the sales are 
large and increasing we could not make the following low prices : 

Set of II v( lumes, cloth, containing 496 plates Jii.oo 

Set of 5 double volumes, half morocco, containing 456 plates 10.00 

The unbound magazines '97, '98, '99, 1900, 1901, 1902 6.00 

The 504 colored plates 5.04 

We always recommend the .set of five double volumes, half morocco, $10.00; the 
regular price is $15. 

A. W. MUMFORD. Publisher. 

706 Fine Arts Building. Chicago. 111. 

Vol. 2, No. 6. 

JUNE, 1902. 

10c a copy, $1 a year. 



Entered at the Post Ottice at Worcester. Mass. as seconJ-cbss matter. Jan. i6. tqoi 


American Ornithology, Vol. 1. Twelve numbers. 150 illus- 
trations, $1 00 

The same nicely bound in cloth, '. i 50 

Nests and Eggs, Oliver Davie, fifth edition, illustrated. The 

best book on nests and eggs published i 50 

Bird Homes. A. R. Dugmore. Nests and Eggs of birds in 

Natural Colors, 2 00 

Guide to Taxidermy. Instructions how to mount birds, ani- 
mals and fish, 50 

Methods in the Art of Taxidermy, O. Davie, 90 full page ill- 
ustrations, formerly published at J$ 10.00, my price 2 50 

Bird Neighbors. Neltje Blanchan. 52 Colored plates and 

description of 1 50 of our song birds, 2 00 

Birds that Hunt and are Hunted. Neltje Blanchan. Has fine 

colored plates of 173 of the Game and Water birds, 2 00 

Chapters on the Natural History of the United States. R.W. 

Shufeldt, 3 50 

The Butterfly Book. W. J. Holland. More than a thousand 

butterflies in Natural Colors, 3 00 

Studer's Birds of North America. Over 800 birds finely col- 
ored. Published to sell at ^40.00, my price, 18 00 

Taxidermy and Zoological Collecting. Wm. T.Hornaday ... 2 50 

Practical Taxidermy and Home Decoiator, Batty, i 50 

Taxidermy without a teacher, Manton, 50 

Manton'S Insects. How to catch and prepare them 50 

Manton's Field Botany. A needful and instructive manual. 50 

Ridgeway's Manual of North American Birds 7 50 

The Day Butterflies and Duskfliers, Knoebel 50 

Beasts of the Field by William J. Long. In this volume are collected 

all of Mr. Long's now widely known animal stories. 344 pages $1 75 

Fowls of the Air by William J. Long. A companion volume to the 
above, in it are collected all of Mr. Long's Bird Stories. Large 
square i2mo. 322 pages 1.75 

Bird-World by J. H. Stickney and Ralph Hoffman A charming bird 
book for young people. With 10 full-page illustrations by Ernest 
Seton-Thompson, and colored plates from nature. Square i2mo. 
Cloth. 214 pages, -75 

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this distinguished artist, with descriptive text by Ralph Hoffmann 
The pictures, twenty in number, are printed on he, ivy coated paper, 
8 1-2 X 12 inches in size. The entertaining descriptions by Ralph 
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bound in cloth with a cover design in three colors, 1.50 

Any of the above books will be sent prepaid upon receipt of price. 
^ CHAS. K. REED, 75 Thomas St.. WORCESTER, MASS. ^ 


The birds gave a picnic, the morning was fine, 
They all came in couples to chat and to dine; 

Miss Robin, Miss Wren, and the two Misses Jay, 
Were dressed in a manner decidedly gay. 

And Bluebird, who looks like a handful of sky. 

Dropped in with his spouse as the morning wore by; 

The Yellowbirds, too, wee bundles of sun. 

With the brave Chickadees came along to the fun. 

Miss Phoebe was there, in her prim suit of brown, 
In fact all the birds in the fair leafy town. 

The neighbors, of course, were politely invited. 
Not even the Ants and Crickets were slighted. 

The Grasshoppers came, some in gray, some in green, 
And covered with dust, hardly fit to be seen. 

Miss Miller flew in with her gown white as milk, 
And Ladybug flourished a new crimson silk. 

The bees turned out lively, the young and the old. 
And proud as could be, in their spencers of gold, 

But Miss Caterpillar, how funny of her, 

She hurried along in her mantle of fur. 

There were big bugs in plenty, and gnats great and small, 
A very hard matter to mention them all. 

And what did they do? Why they sported and sang 
Till all the green woods with their melody rang. 

Who e'er gave a picnic so grand and so gay? 

They hadn't a shower, I'm happy to say; 
And when the sun fell, like a cherry ripe red. 

The Fireflies lighted them all home to bed. 

"Home Songs' 






We will include the Purple Crackle and the two sub-species under 
this heading. The habits of the three varieties are very similar and 
the same illustrations will answer for either. The only differences are 
in the matter of size of the Florida Crackle and in the different color 
reflections of the other two, matters that can not be shown in the 
illustration. They are all commonly known in their several localities 
as Crow Blackbirds. 


A. O. U. No. 511. (Qalscalusqniscula.) 


Chiefly east of the Alleghanies along the Atlantic coast from Florida 
to Massachusetts. 


Length, from 12 to 13 inches; extent, about 18 inches; tail, from 5 to 
6 inches. The tail is very much rounded, the outer feathers being 
about an inch and a half shorter than the middle ones. Bill and feet, 
black. Eye very pale yellow almost white. Entire plumage, black. 
The iridescence is very variable but is most intense during the breed- 
ing season. The entire head and neck have brilliant purple and blue 
reflections. The wings and tail are steel blue, and the back and under 
parts have a duller and rather greenish iridescence. 


A. O. U. No. 511b. (Quiscalusqaisoala aeneiis.) 


This variety has by far the greater range and is found throughout 
the U. vS. east of the Rocky Mts. and in southeastern Canada. 

This bird is precisely like the former in size and form. The only 
difference being in the iridescence, which appears to be nearly the re- 
verse. The head is steel blue and the wings and tail purple, while the 
back and under parts have a very brassy reflection (from which the 
name aeneus is given to it) that is always lacking in the Purple Crackle. 


A. O. U. No. 511a. (Uuiscalus qiiiscula aglaeus) 

Found along the south Atlantic and southern Culf coasts. This va- 
riety is from an inch to an inch and a half shorter than the preceeding. 
Otherwise it is almost exactly like the Purple Crackle. 




The Grackles build large bulky nests of twigs, grasses and mud. 
They are generally placed on horizontal bough preferably especially 
where only a number are nesting, on coniferous trees. In some locali- 
ties large colonies of them breed together, but scattered throughout 
their range will be small bands of perhaps a dozen individuals which 
nest in some small clump of trees. They are not afraid of man's do- 
mains and will very often build their nests in trees in the yard. They 
lay from four to six eggs, the markings of which vary very greatly. 
The ground color is bluish white and is blotched and streaked with 
dark brown and fainter patches of lilac. 

Photo by Ross Nicholas. 




Although the Bronzed Grackles appear to winter in Arkansas, they 
are much more abundant during spring and summer, especially about 
corn planting time. At the time when they are most abundant here, 
they may be seen at late evening or early morning in vast numbers 
flying to or from the roosting ground. I have watched them for 
hours at a time without seeing any decrease in their numbers. Often 
one massive flock two or three hundred yards in width and over two 
miles long were in sight. As a general thing two or three such flocks 
would lead the procession, followed by numerous smaller flocks of 
several hundred individuals, until as darkness fell only a few belated 
stragglers would be be left in sight. 

It is quite an experience to visit the roosting place of these huge 
flocks of blackbirds. Just as the sun becomes a dull red and appears 
to pause a few feet above the horizon before taking its departure for 
the night, one standing near the roosting place casts his eye eagerly in 
all directions to catch the first sight of the coming hordes. 

Suddenly as if from behind the clouds the black and moving mass 
sweeps onwards to within perhaps two hundred yards of the roost, 
when suddenly as if obeying some order not heard by the observer, the 
whole flock breaks up into smaller flocks of three to fifty individuals 
and darts into the bushes with a whizzing noise not unlike that made 
by the escape of steam from a leaky valve. After the first rush the 
bystander is a fixture unable to move, unable to withdraw his gaze 
although his eyes fairly ache with the strain. Fixed to the spot, with 
senses lulled to slumber by the incessant chirping and the intoxicating 
whizzing of the tens of thousands of wings above his head, the weary 
gazer is asleep to all sounds and conditions, save the ones in which he is 
engulfed and long after the last straggler has found a resting place this 
would be naturalist gazes up at the vacant dome above, but a few 
moments before filled with countless numbers of animate creatures. 
Then as if aroused from his stupid slumber by some sound or move- 
ment, he suddenly starts, rubs his eyes and slowly feels his way out of 
the tangle of the thicket, for darkness has crept upon him ere he is 
aware of it. 

This roosting place is generally some impenetrable thicket and also 
serves as their breeding place. I call to mind one of these roosts 
which as far back as I can remember has been very popular with black- 
birds, both the Grackles and Red-wings. It is a thicket of young 
cotton wood and willows on a sand bar of the Arkansas River. It is so 
thick that a rabbitt must have some difficulty in traversing it, and I 
have seen this place litterally dotted with the nests of these two species. 


This grackle is also omnivorous to a great extent, eating flesh, grain, 
fruit and insects alike. In summer when the ponds are drying up one 
may see numerous blackbirds diligently fishing for crawfish, which 
now constitute nearly their whole diet. In time of wild cherries I 
have often caught these birds, they being intoxicated from eating too 
many. I have kept one in captivity for two or three weeks feeding it 
large grasshoppers alone, it taking them with an eagerness that showed 
a liking for this peculiar diet. True the blackbird does great injury 
to young corn and no longer ago than last spring I was forced to stand 
guard over a corn field on their account. The birds had caused my 
father to have to plant over twenty acres a second time. I did not kill 
many however, for it was only necessary to shoot at them a few times 
morning and evening to prevent them doing much mischief. 

If they do harm in the spring it is entirely counterbalanced in the 
late summer if cotton worms happen to invade the fields. On these 
occasions one may see the blackbirds rolling over a field much in the 
same way as wild pigeons, the tail end birds always rising and alight- 
ing in front. Thus the birds are ever on the move. They seem some 
scarcer in this locality than a few years back, probably from the fact 
that the breeding places on the sand bars are being cleared o£E for cul- 
tivation. They feed the young birds on insects entirely when very 

young. J. K Thibault. 


As ornithologists and all bird students think and believe that the 
Cowbird will build no nest but always lays in the nests of other birds, I 
am glad to give the results of my experiments. In order to get the de- 
sired results, in the spring of 1899, I secured a pair of Cowbirds and 
placed them in a large cage, cared well for them, and supplied them 
with plenty of nesting material. To my surprise the female built a 
nest, layed four eggs, hatched them and reared the young, and on July 
28th young and old all were given their freedom. This will show that 
the Cowbird will build a nest and care for its young in captivity, while 
in its wild life it has never been known to. 

Another queer incident that came to my notice was on June 2, 1901. 
While strolling through a pasture, I observed a bird flying to the 
ground and disappear. I recognized it as the Chimney Swift, and be- 
ing anxious to know what had become of it I at once went to the spot 
and found an old well about fifteen or eighteen feet deep above water. 
About ten feet from the ground was the bird resting on a nest with four 
eggs. I have never heard of a similar situation before. 




Come with me into our garden where you can see the bird houses, 
nesting boxes and the real nests not made with hands. The largest 
house which we call the castle is occupied in summer by Martins, and 
if it has never been your good pleasure to hear their strange songs and 
observe their maneuvers I am sure you could spend an hour or two 
with them and not weary with their entertainment. 

The "Progne subis" or Purple Martin belongs to the family "Hir- 
undinidae" or Swallows. It is their largest representative and meas- 
ures eight inches in length. The adult males are shining blue-black, 
but in the sunshine look decidedly purple. The females are grayish, 
tinged with steel blue above, lighter below. They are eminently in- 
sectivorous, consequently highly migratory. Their long pointed wings 
afford them wonderful aerial ability, enabling them to take their food 
while on the wing with wondrous ease and grace. Their song is very 
humble, little more than deep toned love talk, but is expressive of ten- 
der emotions. 

To some observers the song seems quite ridiculous and indeed is 
rather amusing when an old male tries to give expression to his ecsta- 
sies by a low, hoarse trill. The charm of the Martins is not in their 
song, but in the tender devotion of the mated pairs, the parental love 
and care displayed to the little ones in the nests, the sociability of large 
flocks, and their wonderful homing instinct. My notes tell me that they 
arrive in scattered flocks from April 16th to 28th and leave from Au- 
gust 12th to 20th, seldom varying three days from the first named date 
of arrival. They seem so glad and happy to get back to their pleasant 
summer home, the dear old home of their birth, that they announce 
their presence by loud demonstrations of joy and it is many days be- 
fore they become settled down like well regulated families. As each 
colony arrives and their numbers are being perceptibly augmented, dif- 
ficulties arise between them concerning the choice of rooms, as there 
are twenty-eight apartments and thirty-two windows in the house, and 
they all prefer the rooms on the north and east as these are nearest the 
water and meadows, and on the opposite side from our house. For 
many days there is a perfect babel of noises, harsh, strong, scolding 
notes are uttered to all intruders, and gentle little love notes from the 
same old veterans to the favored ones they have chosen for their mates. 
The nests are made by a few sticks pasted down by a bit of mud, just 
enough to keep the little ones from falling out of the house. As each 
brood is hatched the curiosity of the adult members of the colony is 
greatly incited, and for several hours they stand in flocks at the doors 
gazing either in admiration or wonderment at the new little babies; 





presently the irate father forgets that they are all one great family and 
exponents of sociability and intimacy and spreads his wings, ducks his 
head, and with open mouth forcibly and vociferously ejects them from 
his private domain. 

Twenty or thirty usually return in the spring and when they are 
ready to start for their southern home we can easily count seventy-five 
or more. We have the only flock of Martins in the town, although 
there are many attractive Martin houses. The secret lies in forcing out 
the House or English Sparrow. Most of the other houses are occu- 
pied by the Sparrows which have completely driven out the Martins. I 
have not observed that the Sparrows make open warfare against the 
Martins, but by their filthy habits about the boxes, and by robbing and 
mobbing they completely dishearten them and drive them from their 

At another time I will tell you about our Bluebirds and Tree Swal- 
lows and hosts of other beautiful little winged creatures that find refuge 
near by home. Francis, B. Horton, Brattleboro, Vt. 




Last May a little Maryland Yellow-throat built her nest in a rasp- 
Taerry patch by the roadside. It was made of bits of bark, tendrils and 
grass, and lined with finer grasses and horsehair. Just as it was com- 
pleted and the little birds ofiE for a nice breakfast, Mrs. Cowbird, who 
has a bad reputation, gained by her lazy habit of building no home for her 
offspring, but slying depositing her eggs in the nests of smaller birds, 
came stealthily through the bushes from the top of a tall tree from 
which she had been watching the construction of the little nest with a 
great deal of interest. After a hasty inspection she decided that it was 
a safe home for her future offspring. The ^^^ was left and Mrs. Cow- 
b)ird hastened away as slyly as she had come. On her return the 
Maryland Yellow-throat was much disturbed to find the large q^^ in 
lier little home, but she was wiser than many of her small neighbors 
for most of them do not seem to mind the intrusive ^^^ but go right 
•on about their housekeeping, and of course, the young Cowbird, being 
so much larger than the rightful occupants soon crowds them out of 
their home and keeps the poor tired little mother on the move to 
supply it with food. So for every cowbird a whole nestful of insect 
eating birds are sacrificed. But of course nature planned the Cowbird 
for some purpose and we are learning that its food consists of injurious 
spiders and insects, and seeds of obnoxious weeds. These little Yel- 
low-throats after much scolding decided to outwit the Cowbird, so very 
soon they were very busy building a platform over the large Q^z, and 
in a short time had a very imposing two story mansion. They worked 
very steadily indeed, until it was finished, and then flew off for a short 
outing before beginning the real cares of housekeeping. No sooner 
were they gone than back came Mrs. Cowbird and laid another o.^^ in 
the top story. When the owners returned and found that all their labor 
bad been fruitless they were furious and left the nest never to return. 
I do not know where they made their next home, but trust that they 
may have reared their family in peace. rest h. metcalf. 



A. O. U. No. 585. (Passerella iliac-a.) 


In the United States this sparrow is found east of the plains, but in 
Canada it is found distributed irregularly from the Atlantic to the Pa- 
cific and from Alaska and the Arctic coast southwards. It winters in 
the southern part of the United States and breeds north of our border. 

The Fox Sparrow nests either in small trees or on the ground, most 
often in the latter location. The nest is made of grasses and moss 
and lined with finer grasses and feathers. The eggs are laid during 
the latter part of June. They are pale greenish blue blotched and 
speckled with reddish brown. They lay four or five eggs. Size .90x.65 in. 

Length, 7 in.; extent, 11 in.; tail, 3 in. Feet, pale brown. Upper 
mandible dark; lower yellowish. Eye brown. The general color of 
the upper parts is a rusty red, this color being strongest on the rump, 
wings and tail, and the remainder of the upper parts being mixed 
somewhat with gray. Under parts white, thickly covered except on the 
belly with spots of reddish brown, these being mostly in the form of 
arrow points. The wing coverts are edged with whitish forming two 
narrow wing bars. 


The Fox Sparrow is the largest and is by many considered to be the 
handsomest of the whole family. Considered strictly in accordance 
to their inches in length, one or two others may be considered his 
equal in size, but this variety has a larger body, and his shorter tail 
accounts for his shortness in length. 

During the latter part of April flocks containing hundreds of these 
bright fox colored birds are scattered over the northern parts of the 
United States. These flocks do not tarry in one place more than a day 
but continue their journey northwards. For about a week, however,, 
there does not appear to be any diminution in their numbers, for when 
one flock leaves there is another to take its place. When on these 
migratory journeys they are very sociable with one another and I have 
never seen one of them quarreling with another. They take their food 
entirely from the ground and only leave it to hop to a low twig or a 





stone to see who is coming, and then return to their gleaning. Save 
for the rustling of the leaves, and by the way one would think that a 
whole army of men were the cause of this noise instead of a few score 
of little birds, they are very quiet during their travels. An occa- 
sional sweet thrill from some unusually happy individual is the only 
specific warning of their presence until they are disturbed by the un- 
desirable presence of strangers when the whole flock will unite in loud 
chirpings. How little we can tell of the real home life of a bird from 
the scant observations that we are able to make as they hasten past us 
on their way north. The Fox Sparrow during the nesting season is 
said to rival the thrushes in the brilliancy of his song. His song is 
more varied and the tones sweeter and purer than any of the thrushes 
and in addition his sociable ways with mankind have placed him high 
in the esteem of all bird lovers. 


This annual resident is one of the most industrious little fellows that 
I know, and always inspires me with an ambition to be up and doing 
myself. He is out all sorts of weather, for no matter how it blows, 
storms and snows he can find a sheltered side on the tree where his 
work is, and in the midst of all his busy searchings for food he forgets 
not to utter his cheery work-a-day ditty, so helpful to the observer in 
locating his presence and position. Many a time in a blinding, driving 
snow storm have I observed this little ball of feathered assiduity, dili- 
gently searching the sheltered side of the great pines and firs of the 
forest as sprightly and cheerily as though all nature were at peace and 
the warm sun beaming down. At such times his presence is a real in- 
spiration and a delight, especially if the observer chance to be snow 
bound in some log cabin in the wilderness. 

He is not a gregarious bird in either his nesting or working habits, 
and I had always supposed that he were a solitary householder in his 
lodging habits, at least that no more than himself and wife occupied 
the same apartments, unless it be occasionally with some friendly 
neighbor, or through misfortune. I never even supposed that he oc- 
cupied the same lodging twice in succession except it be in the nesting 

So little do we sometimes know of the habits of our most common 
bird neighbors that it was nothing short of a revelation to me one even- 
ing when coming home late from a winter gunning expedition, to learn 
that this whilom friend of mine had a regularly appointed lodgings of 
aristocratic proportions, done in natural wood, where all the birds of 


the order in that vicinity spent their nights in social and mutual warmth 
and comfort. Their palatial lodging was a great yellow pine that had 
been dead so long that its bark had disappeared. There was a weather 
or wind crack in its trunk just by the side of a knot, about ten feet from 
the ground, which served as the front door to the lodgings, and as it 
opened to the east by a quarter south it would get the first rays of dawn 
as they lighted the woods in that vicinity. 

By some chance I stopped near this tree, and while standing there a 
lone Nuthatch alighted upon the knot, went into the crack and out of 
sight. He had hardly disappeared before a second one alighted in the 
same place and vanished within the same doorway. Number two had 
scarcely gone before number three appeared upon the scene and fol- 
lowed the other two. I became interested at once and determined to 
see the end of this ornithological procession and stood attentively 

They continued to arrive, singly, as if by predetermined appointment, 
one after another until twenty-nine had come and disappeared within 
the spacious apartments of this one coniferous aviarian domicile, and at 
no time during all the lodgment of these twenty-nine birds, did two ar- 
rive at the same time, nor was there a variation in the time of the ap- 
pearance of any two birds of more than thirty seconds. Such clock 
like punctuality seemed marvelous to me, and is but another instance of 
the remarkable development of the faculty, if I may so term it, of time 
in birds. 

Unfortunately I never had an opportunity to follow up my observa- 
tions in this matter, and cannot say whether this gregarious habit of 
lodging with the White-breasted Nuthatch, is a local or a national trait, 
neither can I tell you whether these birds were all of one family or 
many; whether they got up in the orderly and chronological manner in. 
which they went to bed, nor yet if they occupied the same lodgings the 
following winter together with their summer's posterity, and least of 
all whether when the tree became unsafe from the decay of its roots, 
they sought out some other and safer habitation for their winter ren- 
dezvous. G. v. HARVfcV, M. D. Watsonville, Cal. 

It should be noted that one of the best methods of attracting birds is 
to have sunflowers planted near the house. In the fall these will fur- 
nish abundant food and quite a variety of birds will be observed im- 
proving the opportunity thus afforded them. In a small garden plot a 
few feet from my study windows, I have a considerable number of sun- 
flowers. Last fall long after they had lost their brightness, they con- 
tinued to draw large numbers of birds. I was particularly interested 



in the Goldfinches, to whom large seeded plants of this sort are a great 
delight. They had lost their black caps and their golden yellow had 
faded to a much duller hue, but their cheery notes, and their evident de- 
light in the toothsome dainties helped to make a charming scene. 
With them came flocks of Bluebirds with their gentle twitterings, spar- 
rows of different sorts, and individuals of other species. These few 
flowers furnished a feeding ground until well into the winter and served 

to brighten many a dreary day with glimpses of animated bird life. 

F. L. Grant. 


On February 11th I was walking in a marshy strip of land near Bos- 
ton, when a Kingfisher flew from some low trees nearby. Alighting in 
a tall oak, he looked around for a few minutes, then flew away towards 
a larger stretch of marsh land. I wondered where he found food as all 
the ponds near there were frozen; but his loud rattle as he flew away 
did not sound as if it were uttered by a starving bird. cuy Emerson. 

Robert of Lincoln is gaily drest 

Wearing a bright black wedding coat, 
White are his shoulders and white his crest. 

Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife 
Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings. 

Passing at home a patient life. 
Broods in the grass while her husband sings 

Bob-o-link, bob-o-link, 

Spink, spank spink. 
Brood kind creature, you need not fear 
Thieves and robbers while I am here. 





Identification Chart No. 5. 

Brilliantly Colored Shore Birds. 

A. O. U. No. 222, Red Phalarope, (Crv- 

mophilus ftdicarius . ) 

Length, 7.5 inches. Breeds in the Arctic regions 
and migrates in winter to the middle portions of the 
United States, along the coast. Head and around bill 
sooty. Rump, white. Bill, quite stout, (in winter.) 
Head all around and entire under parts white. Toes 
edged with a scalloped membrane which is united at 
the base making them semipalmate. 

A. O. U. No. 223, Northern Phalarope, (^Phal- 

aropus lobatus.) 

Length, 7 inches. Breeds in the Arctic regions and 
winters in the tropics. Bill slender, but not long. The 
rusty red of the neck almost meets in the back Rump, 
gray like the back. The sides, spotted with gray. A 
very broad white bar on the wing. 

A. O. U. No. 224, Wilson's Phalarope, 

(Phalawpus tricolor.) 

Length, about 9 inches. Inhabits temperate North 
America, breeding from middle United States north- 
ward chiefly on the interior. Migrates to South Amer- 
ica in winter. Bill very long and slender. The rich 
chestnut of the sides of tiie neck extends in a faint 
shade across the breast. Rump, white. (In winter.) 
Black stripe on the side of head and neck is very faint 
and the chestnut almost lacking. The lobes on the 
feet of this variety are much less pronounced than on 
the two previous ones. All three varieties are good 
swimmers and the two former are frequently found in 
large flocks far out at sea. 

A. O. U. No. 283, Turnstone, {Arenaria in- 

Length, 8.5 inches. Throughout North America. 
Breeds in the extreme north. Tail, rump and tail 
coverts, white, the former with a black band near the 
tip, and the latter with a black patch in the center. 
Secondaries and coverts very broadly tipped with 
white. In winter these birds almost entirely lack the 
chestnut and the black is broken and grayish. 

A. O. U. No. 288, Mexican Jacana, {Jacana 


Length, about 8.5 inches. Mexico and southern 
Texas. Head and neck, greenish black. Secondaries 
and inner webs of the primaries, greenish yellow. Re- 
mainder of body, a rich purplish chestnut. Bjll, front- 
al leaf and spur on the shoulder, yellow. Tail, very 
short, not as long as the coverts. Legs long and 
greenish black. Toe nails extremely long. 



Ring-necked Plovers With Only Three Toes. 

No. 273, Killdeer, {Aegialitis voc- 

A. O. U. 

if em. 

Length, 9.5 inches. Temperate North America, 
breeding north to southern Canada. Bill, quite long 
and black. Upper parts, brownish gray. Two black 
bands across the breast. Rump and tail coverts chest- 

A. O. U. No. 274, Semipalmated Plover, 
{Aegialitis semipalmata. ) 

Length, 7 inches. Breeds in the arctic regions and 
migrates to tropical America. Bill, short and black 
tipped. A single black band encircles the neck. Foot 
webbed between the outer and middle toe, to the first 

A. O. U. No. 277, Piping Plover, {Aegialitis 

Length, 6.5 inches. Eastern North America, breed- 
ing from Virginia to New Foundlandi Very broad 
white band across the foreliead. Bill, short and stout 
black tipped. Black crescent on each side of the neck, 
not meeting on the breast or back of neck. Tail, 
white with a black tip. 

A. O. U. No. 278, Snowy Plover, {Aegialitis 

Length, 6.5 inches. From the Mississippi Valley 
westwards and from northern California southwards. 
Bill, quite long and slender, black. Small black cres- 
cent on each side of the neck. A narrow black stripe 
back from the eye. Back, very light gray. 

A. O. U. No. 280, Wilson's Plover, (zAegial- 
itis wUsonia.) 

Length, 7.5 inches. Both coasts of the United 
States. Bill, quite long and stout. A broad black 
band across the breast. 




A. O. U. No. 261. (Barti-amia longicauda.) 


Quite abundant throughout North America, North to Alaska and 
Nova Scotia. Breeds throughout its range, but chiefly in the northern 
parts. Migrates south of the United States and into South America. 


Length, 12 in.; extent, 23 in.; tail, 3.5 in. Bill and feet, dull yellow- 
ish. Above, black, all the feathers having tawny edges. The second- 
aries are barred regularly with black and brownish. The rump and tail 
are brownish, the latter shading through orange brown to white on the 
outer feathers and being barred regularly with black. The tawny color 
of the upper parts extends across the breast. The rest of the under 
parts are white. The breast and sides are marked with arrow shaped 


This Sandpiper breeds abundantly on the western prairies and 
throughout Canada. Its nest is a hollow on the ground in which four 
eggs are laid. These are of a more or less bright buffy color and are 
heavily spotted and blotched with brown, particularly about the larger 
end. They breed frequently in pastures and on hillsides. 


There are exceptions to nearly every rule. We generally think of a 
Sandpiper or Plover as a bird of the marsh or beach. Most of them 
are, but the present species is one of the few that prefer a different 
mode of life. The broad prairie or hillsides and pastures are their 
favorite abiding places. There may be water within easy access, but if 
so, the locality is not chosen because of it as they are just as often 
found breeding miles away from any supply. Unlike the shore Sand- 
pipers their food consists almost entirely of insects and seeds. 

On the prairies in their breeding grounds they are very fearless and 





do not appear to realize the danger of too great an intimacy with man- 
kind, at least the greater part. 

These Sandpipers are much sought for by gunners during those sea- 
sons of the year when they are allowed to slaughter shore birds. Dur- 
ing migration the birds have a peculiar liking for some particular hill- 
side. Although there may be many other localities close by that to all 
appearances are equally suited to their needs, they will never be found 
on these. One pasture within the city limits is a favorite stopping- 
place for them and every night during the migration period a number 
of them will drop in here towards morning and spend the day in feeding 
preparatory to taking up their journey the following night. Every one 
that puts in an appearance has to take his chances with the dozen or so, 
more or less marksmen that frequent this pasture from the time that 
the first bird arrives till the last one departs. 

Their note is a two syllabled drawn out whistle and may be frequent- 
ly recognized during the fall migrations, at night, along with the chirps 
of the many smaller birds that are passing over at the same time. The 
names Upland or Grass Plover, or Prairie Snipe are probably more 
familiar to the majority than that of Bartramian Sandpiper. The birds 
however are the same. 


To me the study of the eggs of birds is next to the study of the birds 
themselves. Darwin's theory shows that related species are descend- 
ants from a common ancestor. Therefore the eggs of these descend- 
ants would naturally show a common likeness unless they were pow- 
erfully influenced by environment or by other circumstances. Thus 
the eggs of the Robin and the Thrushes are similar; also the eggs of the 
Kingbird and the Wood Pewee, the Thrasher and the Wrens, the Bobo- 
link and the Cowbird, etc., while the eggs of the Catbird and Thrasher, 
the Bank and Barn Swallows, and the Meadowlark and Oriole are much 
different from each other. These differences are caused mainly, I think, 
by the necessity of protection. An egg which from its situation has no 
need of protection is usually white, as the fowl and the Owls. The 
Bluebird, unlike the other Thrushes, builds in the holes of trees. Its 
eggs need no protection and are gradually becoming white instead of 
light blue. I found many nests containing white eggs last year and 
have heard of others in distant localities. The Phoebe's eggs have 
been through the change once already and are now turning back to 
their original color. Before the discovery of America the Phoebe built 
in holes of cliffs and rocks and the eggs were white. Now they build 
in sheds, under bridges, etc., and their eggs are gradually speckled 

with brown. C. W. Parker. 





A- <)• I'- No. 45() (Sayornis plioebe.) 


The Phoebe is found from the Rocky Mountains eastward and from 

the British provinces southward. They winter along the Gulf coast 

and breed throughout their range in the upper half of the United States. 


Length, 7 in.; extent, 11 in.; tail, 3 in. Bill and feet, black. Eye 
brown. Upper parts brownish gray, very dark on the head, almost 
black. Under parts dull white, the sides grayish, this color sometimes 
extending across the breast. The outer tail feather, secondaries and 
coverts edged with white. 


Early in May the Phoebe builds its nest of mud, twigs and moss. 
The nests are located on the rafters of buildings, under bridges, or on 
narrow shelves of ledges. Four or five plain white eggs are laid 
although frequently a set will be found that has more or less numerous 
specks of black, mostly towards the larger end. 



A plain colored, demure looking bird. He shares with the Robin, 
Bluebird, and Blackbird, the honor of being the first arrival from the 
winter quarters. Were it not for his energetic voice he would pass 
unnoticed among the numerous other birds that are found in the same 
haunts. He is a very interesting bird and after having watched him 
for some time and listened to his emphatic "phoebe, phoebe", each 
syllable being accompanied by a f^irt of the tail, and accented now on 
the first syllable, now on the last, we begin to wonder why Phoebe 
does not answer his entreaties or as he seems so anxious to see her, 
why he does not look her up. This is not Phoebe's only note for I 
have heard a low sweet, affectionate trill as he hovered for an instant 
before the ledge where Mrs. Phoebe was silently sitting. 

The Phoebes are devoted to old associations and will make their 
home in the same place year after year. I know of more than a dozen 
locations within two miles of home where I can depend upon finding a 


Photo by C. A. Reed. 



nest of the phoebe, pewit or pewee, all of which names are applied to 
the same bird. Early in May I started out with my trusty friend, the 
camera, in order to photograph a Phoebe's nest. I had in mind one of 
the most beautiful and picturesque spots in the country. A brook, one 
that has long been the Mecca of many local anglers, winds its circuitous 
way across fields, through woods, under roadways, until just before it 
empties into the lake it passes through a ravine and under several 
rustic bridges. This is one of the richest localities for bird products 
in this vicinity and within sight of its banks may be found breeding 
nearly all the perching birds known to inhabit here. 

Phoebe did not disappoint me and some time before I came in sight 
of the old bridge I heard amid the babble of the early arrivals, his 
familiar call. I found that the birds had already completed a new 
rustic moss covered nest, fastened securely to the third cross log under 
the bridge. These birds or others have had nests under this bridge 
for years. They vary its location from year to year and the old one 
nearly all falls down during the winter. What strange situations 
birds will choose in which to rear their families. Numbers of teams 
pass over the bridge daily and one would not think that a bird would 
enjoy having a horse's hoof pounding the boards not more than an 
inch above its head, especially as the bridge is old and somewhat shaky. 
The accompanying photo of the Phoebe's nest was taken with the 
tripod standing in the middle of the brook, (the operator incidently 
having an insecure, single-footed position on the sharp edge of a pro- 
jecting rock). The detail in the picture was obtained in the darkness 
under the bridge by a small stop and a minute's exposure. 

That those who are from any cause unable to take outings, might 
see one of Nature's beauty spots, I decided to photograph the bridge, 
as this is a typical spot for a Phoebe's home. One of the birds was in 
sight all the time, busily engaged in the dexterous pastime of captur- 
ing all insects that flew by. He was continually changing his position 
and when I was prepared to take my picture, he was occupying a look- 
out that was within range of the lens, and can be seen in the illustra- 
tion, just above the roadway and about half an inch from the left of the 
picture. I should like but have never had the opportunity to witness 
the young phoebes first flight. Unless they are more dexterous than 
the young of most birds on the maiden attempt, they must be very wet 
and bedraggled looking specimens when they reach the shore. 

1 84 


Photo by_C. A, Reed. 




The glorious month of May is again with us; the month of beautiful 
awakening; of blossoms, birds and song; the month of inspiration and 
rejoicing. Only those who have the opportunity to go and see for 
themselves can fully realize and appreciate the scenes and sounds 
which one cannot express or describe. 

An hour with the birds at dawn; how much it means at this season of 
the year, when all is activity and bustle among Nature's creatures. Out 
with the rise of the sun, when nature is donning her gayest robes of the 
year, and when the dew of Heaven is glittering like thousands of 
precious gems. At no time can one better enjoy an hour with the birds; 
just fresh from their night's rest, they all break forth in a volume of 
combined and harmonious song that is beyond description; it is well 
worth going miles to hear, yet it is free to all. 

The observations recorded in this article cover a series of walks tak- 
en by the writer in the early morning during the first two weeks of 
May. A few minutes stroll brings one within the borders of a rich 
meadow; and what a landscape! Stretching away in the distance is a 
line of rolling hills, some of them crowned with apple orchards in their 
prime of bloom; on another side one could see the delicate tints and 
harmonious blending of the young leaves on the forest trees, while un- 
der your feet was a soft carpet of fresh, young meadow grass, profuse- 
ly sprinkled on every hand with the pale blue and rich purple of thous- 
ands of violets, while here and there the golden chalice of an early but- 
tercup was nodding in the breeze. 

Passing along the edge of a grove, I observed a number of Towhees. 
Some were busily engaged in scratching among the dead leaves, now 
and again uttering their pleasant "Chewink, Chewink;" others would 
mount the tall trees aud indulge in a more elaborate song. They were 
very tame and I had an excellent opportunity of observing them. I al- 
so heard the shrill whistle of the Great-crested Flycatcher and the harsh 
cry of a Blue Jay. While passing some brush piles in this grove, I 
counted five White-throated Sparrows; Song Sparrows were also abund- 
ant and added their sweet notes to the general concert. A pair of 
Chipping Sparrows were taking a drink from a little brook and they 
raised their tiny heads as if in thankfulness that they had such clear, 
sparkling water with which to allay their thirst. The Field Sparrows 
too, appreciating the beauty of these mornings and the happy life 
around them, sang out "Oh see-see-see," with a pretty trill to the last 
of each syllable. 

Coming to a swampy region, I found the Red-wing Black Birds numer- 
ous, and they continued to call "Kon-ker-ee" from tussocks and sway- 


ing branches. The Meadow Larks also were fl^nng to and fro and 
occasionally one would mount the tip of a tall tree and pour out the 
fullness of his joy in sweet song. Leaving the swamp and passing on 
to another portion of the meadow where there were two or three large 
oak trees and considerable undergrowth, I observed a number of Gold 
Finches in a bunch of alders and they were calling to each other 
"dearie dearie," in most loving terms; what a pretty contrast — their 
rich black and bright yellow mingling with the vivid green of the young 
leaves. On a fence post near by, sat a little House Wren, and he was 
fairly bubbling over with song and motion, while Mr. Chat up in the 
oak tree would feign have you believe there were a dozen or more vo- 
calists there instead of one. It is truly amusing to watch the droll 
actions of these birds and to liste i to their wonderful mimicry. The 
Brown Thrasher was also in evidence and endeavored to rival the Chat 
in the variation of his song. I next heard "Chebeck, Chebeck" com- 
ing from a tree near by, and while I could not catch a sight of the bird, 
I knew it to be one of the smaller Flycatchers. Barn Swallows and 
Chimney Swallows were circling in the air, and a pair of Flickers raised 
serious objections as the writer came near to an old maple tree in which 
they, had their nest — the top being decayed and broken away. 

The cheery call of the Maryland Yellow-throats resounded on every 
hand and the low bushes and sedges along the run were fairly alive 
with flitting bits of bright color. While engaged in gathering some 
wild flowers, the writer tried imitating their note and soon had a goodly 
number of them near at hand, their curiosity getting the better of them. 
A Cat Bird also came to say "good morning" and to announce that he 
had but recently arrived from the South. 

From a woodland at some distance off, the sweet strains of the Wood 
Thrush's morning hymn was wafted across the vale, and the clear, 
rollicking song of the Carolina Wren came from the same source. I 
also heard one single note of an Oriole but did not succeed in locating 
it. Thus in about an hour's time during each of the morning walks in 
question, I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to from twenty to 
twenty-five different birds. All these feathered people will soon be se- 
lecting their nest sites and engaged in building their little homes ac- 
cording to their respective habits. Oh that everyone finding these 
little homes — which are just as dear to the birds as our homes are to us 
— would bear in mind that within each pretty q^^ are the possibilities 
of a happy life and a cheering song; that each one taken or destroyed, 
means a corresponding decrease in the number of wild birds which 
should inhabit our woods, fields any waysides. blrton MtRciR 



IsilBIll ClATS*'™ 

9 f^stiii ^amiimn ^ p 


Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, Box 772. Waterbury, Ct. 

My Dear Young Folks: 

I know that you have been having a good time since I wrote last. 
Who could help being glad as he watches the changes creeping over 
the brown earth; the bright flowers peeping from every nook; the won- 
derful cloaks of white, pink, red, and soft green which are thrown 
around the trees which have been bare so long. And as a crowning 
joy to this delightful season, a host of gay birds warbling their songs 
of love, have appeared during the last month. 

We have been greatly interested in the affairs of a family who have 
moved into a tenement next to us (they are true blue.) Ere they had 
completed their house-furnishing a pair of thievish English Sparrows 
who had rented a cottage near by, decided that the sticks selected by 
Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird were just what they would like, so went in and 
helped themselves when the pair were out marketing. Our little friends 
in blue would not stand that. No, indeed. As soon as Mr. and Mrs. 
English had their backs turned they marched boldly in and carried the 
sticks home again. For a week the sticks were carried back and forth 
from nest to nest, in this manner, till at last the perseverence of the 
Bluebirds won the day, and they were left in peaceful possession of 
their own house, while Mr. English was content to sit on his own 
veranda and saucily chirp, "I don't want to play in your yard." Mr. 
Blue did very little of the work in fitting up the new home — perhaps he 
could not do it to suit his wife — but kept close by her, singing a soft, 
sweet accompaniment as she worked. As I write he is busy carrying 
delicious morsels to the little mother who is patiently guarding four 
blue eggs. 

We have a long list of questions to puzzle you this month and if you 
can answer them all you are certainly entitled to a place on our Roll of 
Honor. Who will be the first to send me answers to them all? 

Cordially your friend, Meg Merrythought. 

The answer to the numerical enigma of last month is '\Song 


I think the little folks know the Brown Thrasher so well that they 
will have little trouble in supplying the missing words in this account 
of the Brown Thrasher. 

The Brown Thrasher (also called , brown mocking 

bird, , and mavis, (is inches in length, and 

has a very long . He is reddish above, with darerk 

, which have two bands. Beneath he is yellowish 

with very dark arrow-shaped spots on his 

and . He is usually found on or near the , and 

he has a habit of twitching and thrashing his when feeding. 

During and you may hear him by the half hour, pouring 

forth a flood of melody from a , head — and tail 

, but he never sings near his . Thoreau says, "While you 

are planting seeds he cries, 'drop it, drop it, — cover it up, cover it up, 
— pull it up, pull it up.' " Wilson Flagg quotes a shoemaker's trans- 
lation of the song thus: "Look up, look up. Glory to God! Glory to 
God! Hallelujah! Amen. Videlicet." 

The nest of the Thrasher is a rude structure of , twigs, 

and on or near the ground. In this she lays four eggs 

thickly speckled with . 


1. Name five birds which walk. 

2. Name five birds which sing on the wing. 

3. Name five birds which sing in the night. 

4. Name five birds which nest in holes. 

5. Name five birds which nest in bird houses. 

6. Name five birds that repair and use last year's nest. 

7. Name five birds which creep upon the trunks of trees. 

8. Name five birds which have blue plumage. 

9. Name two birds that carry their young as a cat does kittens 

10. What is a "Merry thought?" 


"My vote is for the Downy Woodpecker. I have no particular rea- 
sons for liking him except that he makes one feel that he has no cares 
and is free from all vices." — Pierce H. Leavitt, Cambridge, Mass. 

"I enjoy the little folks department very much. The bird I like best 
is the Bluebird. I like it because it comes so early in the spring, and 
its song is so pretty. I like the colors of the Bluebird too. I have 
seen some Bluebirds this spring. I like the birds very much." — Helen 
Tinkham, N. Middleboro, Mass. 


"Of all the birds of song, the Meadowlark is my favorite. When one 
hears his song a feeling steals over him that is indescribable. As the 
sun is sinking behind the hill and the woods echo with the songs of 
birds, one can hear in the distance, the sweet notes of the Meadowlark, 
as he calls his loved mate. He is so happy and cheerful, his song is so 
sweet, and he must know it for he keeps singing all the long summer 
day and stays with us from early spring until winter approaches." — 
Marietta Washburn, Goodwin, S. Dak. 

"I like Robin Redbreast best. He is so social, so pretty, so cheer- 
ful, has a pleasing song, and is a help to the farmer." 

"Among so many charming friends it is hard to choose; I am 
especially fond of the Wood Thrush. There is something in its song 
that appeals to me even more than the song of the Veery. There al- 
ways seems to be a personal element in it and when I meet the bird it 
seems like meeting a dear friend. The most delightful concert that I 
ever heard was at twilight, when a score of Woodthrushes made the 
wooded valley echo and re-echo with their soft flute like notes." 

"Here's my vote for the Song Sparrow. He is one of us. He is 
afraid of nothing, and even in cold and storm he pipes up and says, 
'Good, good times are surely coming.' " 

"I say, hurrah for the jolly Bobolink, who is bubbling over with fun, 
and has a rollicking, tinkling, broken up, crushed glass kind of 


That if but one of all the birds 

Could be my comrade everywhere. 

My little brother of the air, 

I'd choose the song sparrow, my dear. 

Because he'd bless me every year 

With "sweet, sweet, sweet, very merry cheer." 

Dr. Van Dyke. 


(Jne morning, our Uncle Eb. took us to a wood lot to get as he 
claimed, something very interesting. At an early hour a small pro- 
cession might have been seen, wending its way across a field towards 
some large trees, and carrying a shot gun, a long pole, some grain 
sacks, a basket, and clothes line. After silently pushing our way 
through underbrush and fallen tree tops we came to our destination, a 
tall beech tree which had a crow's nest well toward the top. After ty- 
ing one end of the clothes line to the pole and the other about his body. 
Uncle Eb. began to climb a tree near the one with a nest in. When he 


got to the top, he pulled up the pole, telling us to be ready to catch the 
young crows as he was about to push the nest from the tree top. Down 
came the nest and young crows, but two of them were killed by the 
fall. The third remained in the nest, falling the fifty feet in safety. 
Will and I put the live one in the basket and covered it with the grain 
sack. We then started with our captive for home, Uncle Eb. remain- 
ing without success to try a shot at the old birds. When first caught, 
he was anything but pretty to look at, being mostly mouth, legs, and 
stubby pinfeathers, but it was not long before his feathers grew out 
nice, black, and shiny and he learned to fly. The tiresome hours we 
spent getting him food will never be forgotten. One morning Will 
took "Jack" on his shoulder and started off to get pollywogs for our 
pet's dinner. He put Mr. Crow down in a convenient place, but when 
he was ready to go home Jack was gone. Imagine his surprise when 
he saw the rogue catching pollys for himself. This was good luck for 
now we could let Jack get his own dinners. The Robins and Bluebirds 
used to torment him until he was afraid to go to the orchard alone, and 
frequently when they chased him he would flee to the house for pro- 
tection. He was as curious as a Magpie, examining everything that 
came in his way until he was chased by a dog and nearly caught. For 
a while after that he stayed in the trees, but soon began his mischiev- 
ous habits again. He would steal all bright things, hiding them away 
anywhere. One day when we had forgotten to feed him we found him 
in the house helping himself from the table. As he got older he would 
go to the woods and visit the wild crows, but he never failed to come 
when we called him. We had heard of crows talking so we tried to 
teach Jack to say his name. When we called "Jack" he would always 
caw, but with all our trying we never succeeded in teaching him to say 
any words. Jack came to a very sad end. We were accustomed to 
giving him a drink of milk every night but one time we forgot him, so 
he attempted te help himself from the forty gallon milk can. He fell 
in and when we pulled him out he gasped a few times and died. Uncle 
Eb. was glad to be rid of the "black nuisance" as he called Jack. That 
made our loss all the harder to bear, so we shed some tears both of 
sorrow and indignation and secretly threw chips at our uncle for 
revenge, and clapped our hands in delight when he heard that the 
accidental drowning spoiled half a can of milk. 

We dug a grave for Jack in the garden under a nice peach tree, and 
made him a casket of a shoe box, fixing it all nice inside with soft paper 
and leaves. We next had the funeral and planted choice flowers on his 
grave. I want to go back to Pennsylvania next summer to see if I can 
find his grave. Had Jack been as wise as the crow that put pebbles in 
the pitcher to raise the water high enough to drink from, he might have 
lived longer. Fred T. Morison, Age 11. 



In Every City, Town and School 

to secure subscribers for 

^m e rica n Orn ith o logy. 

Write at once for our circular and terms to agents. During the summer 
so many are interested in birds tliat you can easily secure a large 
number and make good pay for your time :::::::::: 




School Curiosity Box. 

ONLY $3.00. 

At Regular list prices these 

Specimens would Cost over $15. 

Just what is Needed in Every School 


Over fifty curious and showy specimens at 
less thaLn one q\ja.rter of their list price. 
These are all good specimens selected with special 
care to te of value in study or for the collector of 
specimens It contains Sea Urchins. Sea Horse, 
Resurrection Plant, Fossils. Egg of Skate or Sand 
Shark, Coral, six varieties, Sand Dollar, Silk Worm 
Cocoon, Sawfish Saw, Three varieties Star fish, Sea 
Fern, Chinese Horn Nut, Tarpon Scale, Golden Sea 
Fern, Native Lodestone, Twenty varieties of Shells, 
Box of several hundred small mixed Shells, Electric 
Stone, Yellow Sea Fan. I will deliver this Collection, 
carefully boxed at express or freight office for only 
$3.00. ,^, 

PoHsKed Gem Stones. 

12 Fine Ones J^or 50c. postpaid. 

Wood Agate, Tiger Eye. Moss Agate, Carnelian, 
Garnet, Turquoise, Amethyst. Malachite, Bloodstone. 
Ribbon Agate, Gold Stone. Quartz Diamond. 


in Cash 


of live wild birds, nests and eggs 
(in natural situation) and young 
birds. We will give $10.00 for the 
best, $3.00 for the second and $2. 
for the third best photograph of the 
above description received before 
the ist of September, 1902. Other 
things being equal preference will 
be given for photos, of live birds. 
In addition to the above we will 
give the usual rate of fifty cents 
each for all prints that we can use. 
Prints may be on any paper except 
blue print. Photos of mounted 
birds will not be accepted. 

Chas. K- "Reed, 75 Thomas St. tOorcester. Mass. 


^itr;^'}^! Interested in Birds? 

If any of them are we wish to send them a sample copy of 
^ .American Orniihology -^ 

We offer the following as a reward for your kindness in sending 
the names and addressed of those whom you know to be interested 
in birds and whom you think may subscribe to our publication. We 
will extend your subscription one month for four names, two months 
for eight names and three months for twelve names. 

>-»-»-»->-♦-»-» ♦ ♦ ♦ >-♦ 


f<fesfs and E^ggs of 

By Oliver Davie. 

TKe Best Book on Eggs Pvjblished. 
V Finely Illustrated. V 

Thoroughly revised, 6oopp. Fifth Edition. 

Extra Cloth. Regular Price $2.25. 

My Trice ^l.SO Postpaid. 

CHAS. K. REED, Worcester, Mass. 


< Birds of North America 


Over eigKt hvindred birds 


Only $18. 

by Express prepaid. 

We have only a few- 
copies at this price. 

This elegarvt book 
was pvjblished to 
sell aLt 
Forty DoIIa^rs. 

Worcester, Mass. 

Methods in the Art of Taxidermy 

By Oliver Davie, author "Nests and Eggs 
of North American Birds." Etc., Etc. 


Never has the Art of Taxidermy had its 
practical methods and beauties portrayed as we find 
them interpreted in this worl<. It is a work of art 
from cover to cover. Formerly published at $10. 

My Price ^2. 50 Trepaid. 

CKas. K. Keed. Worcester, Mass. 

^yimerican 4^ 
Orn iih o logy 

Vol. 1. 250 Pages. 150 fine Illvistrations ► 

Nicely bound in Cloth, 
with cover design in Gold. 

Trice <^1.50 Tosipatd. 


Vol. 2, Xo. 7. 

JULY. 1902. lOcacopyJIayear. 

v\s^\i^ms \^<i^-t^Cx^ 


Seven Superb Large Volumes containing 

2500 pagfes. 10 1-4 X 7 1-4 inches 
232 plates in full color, photo- 
graphed from the birds, in- 
'sects. and flowers themselves 
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1000 text cuts 

f Bird Neighbors 

I Birds that Hunt (Game Birds) 

I Nature's Garden (Wild Flowers) 

■i Bird Homes 

The Mushroom Book 

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'"Mrs. Anna Botsford Comstock. a recogdized authority, says: 
"The New Native Library is designed especially to help those without 
scientific training to comprehend the beauties and wonders of nature. 
The illustrations have created a new epoch in colored pictures direct 
from photographs.and the text is uniformly interestingand instructive " 

The only up-to-date set of books in existence which will give the 
beginner an immediate acquaintance with the wild life of plants, birds, and 
insects which offers such a fascinating study. The possession of these 
books will double the pleasure you get out of the country. 

As a special introduction we offer the whole set. together with a year's 
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COUNTRY LIFE IN AMERICA is a monthly magazine devoted to 
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The Special Offer. 

.AMERICA, together with The New Nature Library (seven large 
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I accept your special offer of The New Nature Ubrary. and "Country -Life in America 
fo'».8.oo. Enclosed find $1.00 for first payment. 

•for one year 

Am. Or 7.2 Address \ \ 


Just as the sun is sinking 

Over the western hill, 
I wait for a tone that seems all my own, 

When the hum of the day is still. 
O, exquisite voice of the woodland! 

My heart throbs with bliss and with pain 
When your sweet notes I hear from the treetops anear, 
Echoing again and again. 

Hark to the song of the Veery 

Here on the edge of the town, 
"List to me, list to me, dearie, dearie," 
Just as the sun goes down. 

I love well the song of the Thrasher, 

Delivered in rollicking style; 
I wonder what mirth to his solo gave birth, 

'Twould make even an anchorite smile; 
And sweetly the voice of the Wood Thrush 

Is borne to the listening ear, 
O! tenderly, faintly, like joy that is saintly. 
Float over the liquid notes clear. 
But sweeter the song of the Veery, 

Enclosing my sense like a ring, 
"Here are we. here are we, dearie, dearie, 
So might a bird spirit sing. 

Now die the sweet sounds of the dingle, 

All nature is pensive and still. 
In the blue deeps, see, a single star peeps, 

There's the plaint of a sad Whip-poor-will; 
The good nights of the forest are ended. 

And the world seems a vast solitude. 
But no, for my Veery sings "dearie, dearie," 
From the edge of the darkening wood. 
And like tender harp-tones anear me. 

Or echoes of heavenly things; 
"List to me, list to me, Veery, Veery," 
Soft through the dying day rings. 





Reluctant the feet must turn homeward, 

Could we but in the woodland abide! 
Yet floating along comes the beautiful song, 

In a swelling and cadencing tide. 
Like angels of eventide singing 

Of heavenly blessings and peace; 
O bird of my heart, tho' too soon you depart, 
Yet your song in my soul shall not cease. 
Tho' you leave me my songster, my Veery, 

Your music abides with me aye. 
Your "list to me, list to me, dearie, dearie," 
To lighten my lonliest day. 

Bertha A, Joslyn, 


A. O. U. Xo. 756. (Tardus fuscesceus.) 


Eastern United States and Southern Canada. Breeds from the mid- 
dle portions of the U. S. northwards, and is found west to the Plains. 
Winters chiefly south of our borders. 


Length 7.5 in.; extent, 12 in.; tail, 3 in. Bill above dark brown, be- 
low paler like the feet. Eye brown. Upper parts including tail, red- 
dish brown. No distinct ring around the eye as in the Hermit or Olive- 
backed Thrushes. Under parts white, the breast and sides shaded with 
buffy and marked with a few small spots of brown. The throat is 
white shading into the bufify of the breast. 


A. O. U. No. 756a. (Tardus F. salioicola) 

This sub-species is the western form of the Wilson's Thrush. It is 
a somewhat larger and less tawny bird, but the difference is slight and 
could not be shown by a photograph. The range of the Willow^ Thrush 
is given as the Rocky Mountain region of the U. S. 



The Wilson's Thrush nests abundantly in nearly all low or swampy 
woodland. The nest is nearly always placed on a small elevation, 
either a grass tussock, in a clump of weeds, or at the base of a clump 
of young trees. It is made up of grapevine and leaves chiefly, and is 
lined with small rootlets. Of course, occasionally nests made of 
unusual material will be found, but they are always exceptions. In- 
stances have been reported of finding these nests in the holes of trees 
and placed on branches several feet from the ground but they are rari- 
ties. The eggs are laid according to the locality from the middle of 
May till the middle of June, or if the first clutcli has been taken they 
may nest even later than this. They lay from three to five plain, 
unspotted, blue eggs. 



Why is it that the Veery or Wilson's Thrush is such a universal 
favorite? Is it because he has a sweeter song than other birds? I 
think not, for surely his song can not compare with that of the Gold- 
finch, Grosbeak, Boboliak or scores of others that I might mention. 
Is it that he is gifted with greater personal beauty than others of the 
bird family? Surely not, for he would scarcely be noticed among such 



company as the Blue Jay, Scarlet Taiiager and others of our noted bird 
beauties. I think that there is a peculiar magnetism about this bird 
and its song that attracts everyone. His is a song that is beyond the 
powers of description or imitation. It is rich, sonorous, and metallic, 
and above all it is so mysterious; it seems to come from here, there, 
and everywhere at the same time. Now faint as though the performer 
were at a great distance, and now it rings out loudly and sweetly as if 
the bird were at the listeners feet. I remember when I was a boy that 
I used to liken it to someone whistling the scale through a drain pipe, 
a sort of spiral song commencing with the high notes and sounding as 
you might imagine that it would if the bird was being whirled about in 
a circle by the heels. Nearly every New England woodland seems to 
be invisibly divided into sections and on each dwells a pair of these 
Thrushes. They seem always to live at peace with one another as I 
have never seen a ciuarrel such as generally occurs when a bird of any 
other variety trespasses upon his neighbors grounds. The nest of the 
Wilson's Thrush that is shown here was built in a tangled clump of 
broken down and dried sweet fern. I was a witness to the operation 
when the bird was constructing it. Although leaves and grapevine 
bark were scattered about in great profusion it seemed to require a 
great deal of study and forethought on the part of the little mother 
before she could find just what she wanted. With each bit that she 
brought she would settle down in the growing nest and by twisting 
herself about in it, shape it with her body so that when sompleted had 
a very deep cup shaped interior, so deep in fact that but two of the 
eggs are in sight in the photograph, although there were four in the 
nest. I had serious misgivings when first I saw her at work on it for 
it was near a path and right out in the open without a shrub of any kind 
to help conceal it. But in a few days it appeared that Mrs. Thrush 
knew more about such matters than I, for on each side a luxurious 
growth of ferns appeared completely hiding the nest from inquisitive 
eyes. Four little Thrushes have just appeared in the nest and I hope 
to show them to our readers at a later date if a certain black cat that I 
have seen prowling through the brush near there, does not find them 
also. I have often wondered whether or not it be unusual shrewdness 
on the part of these birds when they leave their nest upon your approach. 
Vou have probably many times seen birds suddenly appear as if from 
nowhere, and excitedly scold you from a short distance. Of course you 
at once know that they have a nest within a very short distance. A 
Veery will pursue just the opposite course She will glide off through 
the underbrush without a sound and will not intentionally by any act of 
hers indicate that she is anxious about her home. A low metallic 
whistle is her only signal of distress and it is uttered at some distance 
from the nest. 






Above the sweet melodies of the numerous other songsters that echo 
through the woods is the "teacher, teacher, teacher," of the Oven Bird. 
Ere the last notes of his rapidly uttered ditty have died away they are 
picked up by and repeated by others in distant parts of the woods. 

At almost the same instant we notice a slight elevation among the 
leaves ahead of us. Instinctively we know that it is the little oven of 
the so-called Golden-crowned Thrush. Walking ciuietly up from be- 
hind, we carefully stoop over and look under the arched roof. Greatly 
disturbed by this undesirable curiosity, a brownish bird with a spotted 
white breast hastily dashed out and with many a flirt of her tail objects 
to our familiarity from a small twig a few feet away. 

Within the oven which by the way was an unusually handsome one 
even for this artistic bird to construct, were five eggs. Remembering 
the ease with which we had discovered the nest and thinking that others 
might do the same we decided to photograph it then, although the 
light was not very bright in the shaded woods. Having exposed one 
plate on the nest, we moved the camera back and prepared to get one 
of the bird herself. She had been watching the operation with a great 
deal of interest but when we had retired to a little distance, she 
appeared to lose all interest in the nest or its surroundings. Descend- 
ing to the ground, she started on a tour of the immediate neighborhood 
of the nest, and during the next few minutes she reminded me of the 
name that E. T. Seton has aptly given the Oven Bird, "A Pretty Pedes- 
trian." It will be noticed in all her wanderings that the nest is the 
center of attraction although she appears to pay no attention to it. She 
gradually drew nearer until finally she was perched upon the arched 
roof and within the scope of the lens. A sharp click, and one more 
bird had been photographically shot. Owing to the very insufficient 
light the resulting negative was ciuite thin but with intensification, 
yielded a passable fair print. 

It was fortunate that we secured it when we did for two days later 
not a sign of the nest remained except the hollow where it had rested. 
Whether its disappearance was due to a two or four footed animal will 
remain a mystery, as both red squirrels and members of the human 
family roam about the woods in equal numbers. 



Photo from life. 




A. O. U. No. 495. (Molothrus ater> 


The whole of the United States and southern Canada. South in win- 
ter into Mexico. 


Length, 7.5 in.; extent, 13.5 in.; tail, about 3 in. 

Adult male. Entire body, above and below, wings and tail, lustrous- 
greenish black with blue and purple reflections. Head and neck all 
around a smoky brown with few reflections. Bill and feet black. Eyes 

Female. A plain grayish bird nearly uniform in color but a trifle 
lighter below and the feathers have darker shafts, thus giving it the 
appearance of being streaked. Bill and feet brownish. The young 
are similar to the female except that the feathers have light edgings, 
thus giving them a mottled appearance. The female is somewhat 
smaller than the male. 


A. O. U. No. 495a. (Molothrus ater obscurus.) 

This variety is identical with the common Cowbird except in the mat- 
ter of size, it being somewhat smaller. The two varieties spend the 
winter in Mexico together but when migration time comes the common 
Cowbird is supposed to come north while the dwarf variety spends the 
summer in Texas and Arizona. Their habits are precisely alike and 
the eggs are similar with the exception that the dwarf variety will aver- 
age smaller. 


The Cowbird builds no nest of its own but lays single eggs in the 
nests of other birds generally choosing those that are smaller than itself. 
Just how many eggs each bird lays is not known but they probably lay 
four or five in as many nests. Frequently more than one &zz of this 
specie is found in a nest of some other bird. They are probably in this 
case laid by a number of Cowbirds, as it is generally believed that they 
will lay but one egg in a single nest. 


COWRIBD (Male and Female.) 


The cowbirds form one of the most interesting groups of birds 
found in our country. Interesting, not because of any particular value 
but because of their peculiar and unusual mode of life. They stand 
alone among American birds as the only ones who construct no nest 
of their own. They are literally a band of roving freebooters claim- 
ing the whole country as their home and having at no time any one 
place in which their affections are centered. 




Why this bird, and by the way the male Cowbird is surpassed in 
beauty by no other blackbird, should select this manner of life is a 
mystery. If it were not for their nesting habits and the fact that they 
are polygamus to the last degree, they would find many friends, but 
their unique habits have brought upon them the condemilation of near- 
ly every man, woman and child in the country. On the ranches in the 
west Cowbirds are the most numerous. There they literally swarm 
about the cattle and feed on the grubs that are dislodged by the latter 
as they feed. It is no uncommon sight to see them perched on the 
backs of some of these animals, where they will sit for a long time in 
apparent contentment. In New England they are not so common, yet 
I rarely spend a day in the woods without meeting with several of 


They appear to be ashamed of their conduct and are always skulking 
about the underbrush as if fearing to meet anyone. They display a 
great deal of cunning in watching their opportunity when the owner of 
a nest is away when they will sneak up and deposit a surreptitious q.zz 
and hastily retire. It does not seem possible that they can do this 
without the knowledge of the owner of the nest that they employ, and 
still more improbable does it seem that many of the birds in whose 
homes we find these superfluous eggs would knowingly submit to their 
being placed there. I have found these eggs in the nest of the. King- 
bird, a feathered pugilist, who will allow no other bird in the vicinity 


of his own home. It is to be noted that in nearly every instance the 
Cowbird will choose the nest of a bird smaller than itself on which to 
thrust its offspring. There are two reasons given for this choice. It 
may be because they fear the wrath of a larger bird in case they are 
discovered, or it may be in order that their young will have a better 
chance of thriving. It is true that their young do always thrive much 
to the detriment of the legitimate ones. They being larger and strong- 
er get a great deal more than their share of the food that is served. 
Warblers, Sparrows, and Vireos suffer to the greatest extent^from 
theiru visits, and many young of these species are undoubtedly killed 
yearly because of the Cowbird. 



Photo from life by J. E. Sherman. 





The photographs from which the illustrations with this were made, I 
think are equal to if not superior to any that have ever been secured 
of this bird, the American Robin. The nest is a very attractive one 
and the location is ideal for an artistic photograph as well as very con- 
venient one for the photographer, Mr. J. E. Sherman of this city. The 
nest was situated in an elm between fifty and sixty feet from the ground 
and about six feet from a window of a city block. It was therefore 
safe from the attacks of the small boy, and even puss would have a hard 
climb before she reached the nestlings, and Mr. Sherman confidently 
expected to obtain a series of photos illustrative of their home life. 
Unfortunately, as is the case with many nests in close proximity to a 
large city, there are dangers even more grave than those to be antici- 
pated from boys or cats. The nest was completed and occupied by 
four blue eggs without mishap, but as soon as Madam Robin had 
settled down to the peaceful occupation of setting, trouble began. The 
English Sparrows of Worcester are not one whit better than those of 
other parts of the country, indeed sometimes I think they are even 
more barborous. Although nesting material was abundant on every 
hand, out of pure deviltry they chose to steal it from the Robin rather 
than pick up that which was not already appropriated. One after an- 
other would slyly sneak up to the nest, grasp the end of a straw or 
string, pull it from its fastenings and with a gleeful chuckle fly away 
with it. These depredations continued unceasingly until the bottom of 
the nest was torn out and the eggs rolled to the paving below. This is 
but one instance among the thousands of like occurances that take place 
in every large city each year, and yet many will undertake to defend 
the English Sparrow. 

The only argument that can be advanced against their extermination 
is that they serve to enliven the long days of winter when other birds 
are absent. Those who make this plea never stop to consider why the 
other winter birds do not stay about the cities. Given a free field with 
no rowdies to contend and in any locality in which English Sparrows 
could thrive during the winter, would be found numbers of Chickadees, 
Nuthatches, and Woodpeckers. When the legislatures of each state can 
be induced to offer a bounty on the heads of the House Sparrow, then, 
and only then can there be hope of peace and happiness in the city bird 
population. May the day soon come. 



Identification Chart No. 6. 

A. O U. 


No. 75, Sooty Tern, {Sterna fuligi- 

A tropical species found in North America along the 
Gulf coast and south Atlantic. Length about 16.5 in. 
Back, sooty black. Bill and feet black. Iris red. Very 

A. O. U. No. 77, Black Tern, (^Hydrochdidoii 
nigra surmamensis.) 

Length about 9.25 in. Found in abundance through- 
out North America, both along the coast and in the 
interior. Breeds from the middle U. S. northwards. 
Head, neck and under parts, black. Back, wings and 
tail, lead gray. Under tail coverts, white, in winter: 
Forehead, sides of head, neck and under parts, white. 
Back and tail, grayish. Eggs laid on broken weeds and 
debris often on a floating mass. 

A. O. U. No. 79, Noddy, {^Anous stolidus). 

Length, 16 in. A tropical bird found in North Amer- 
ica, along the Gulf Co ist and the South Atlantic. 
Bill and feet, blackish. The entire body is of a dark 
brownish color, shading through a blue gray on the 
back of head to white on the forehead and chin. The 
tail is long and very much rounded. They breed by 
thousands along the Gulf coast placing the bulky nests 
of sticks in the mangroves and other bushes. 

A. O. U. No. 80, Black Skimmer, (Rynchops 


Length about 18 in. This is strictly a coast bird 
and is found in large numbers on the South Atlantic 
and Gulf coasts. Mandibles long and very thin, the 
lower mandible being about 3 inches in length. Basal 
half of bill, red, the remainder being black. Feet, 
carmine. Forehead, entire under parts and tail, white. 
Secondaries broadly tipped with white. Top of head, 
wings and back, glossy black. Nests in large colonies, 
the eggs being laid on the bare sand. 



A. O. U. No. 69, Foster's Tern, {Sterna 

fosteri) . 

Length, 15 in. Found througliout North America 
and breeds through the United States and southern 
Canada. Bill and feet, orange red, the former having 
the terminal half black. Back and wings, light pearl 
gray. The under parts and tail, white. The outer 
primaries are the same color as the back. Tail longer 
and more deeply forked than the others of this group. 
In winter the bill and feet become dusky and the black 
cap on the fore part of the he;id becomes mottled with 

A. O. U. No. 70, Common Tern, (Sterna 


Length, 14.5 in. Found in North America chiefly 
east of the Plains. Breeds from the Arctic coast to the 
Gulf States. Upper parts of a pearl gray, a shade 
darker than that of Foster's. Under parts a still 
lighter pearl gray, changing to white on the throat and 
under coverts. Outer web of the first primary is 
black, the remaining outer ones are grayish black with 
a silvery hoariness. The outer web of the outer tail 
feather is also dark. Bill and feet, coral red, the 
former with the terminal half black. 

71, Arctic Tern, {Sterna para- 

A..O. U. No. 
I disaea). 

Length about 15 in. Breeds from Massachusetts to 
the Arctic circle and winters from Virginia and Cali- 
fornia northwards. Bill and feet entirely lake red. 
Feet are very small, the tarsus being much shorter than 
that of the proceeding. Outer web of first primary, 
black, the remaining ones being silvery. Upper and 
under parts pearly gray, tiie latter being of a lighter 
shade, in winter they show the usual white on the 
crown and forehead. 

A. O. U. No. 72, Roseate Tern, {Sterna 


Length, 14.5 in. Founa on the Atlantic coast from 
Massachusetts southwards. The greater part of the 
bill is black, it being red only at base. Feet, bright 
red. Neck and entire under parts snowy white, tinted 
with a delicate rosy blush. Upper parts a pale pearly 
gray. Outer web of outer primary black, the others 
silver. In winter the bill is black and the feet dull. 
The rosy tint is wanting and the black cap has chang- 
ed to white on the forehead. 



Photo from life bv J. E. Slierma 




A. O. U. No. 351. (Limosa haemastica.) 


Entire North America, including Alaska, east of the Rocky Mount- 
ains. Breeds in the extreme north and winters south of the United 


Length, 16 in.; extent, 26 in.; tail, 3 in. Bill and feet, light gray, 
except the terminal third of the former which is black. Eye brown. 

Adult in summer. Back wings, and tail black, the feathers of the 
back and wings having buffy white spots on the outer edges. The 
rump and bases of the black tail feathers are white, this occupying 
about two-thirds of the outer tail feather and decreasing on each con- 
secutive one until the middle feather has barely a trace of white at its 
base. The tail feathers are also narrowly terminated with white. The 
whole head and back of neck are grayish white streaked with black. 
The under parts are a rich, reddish chestnut, barred with black, this 
barring being heaviest on the sides and flanks. This chestnut color 
extends up on the throat and neck in front to the chin, which is white, 
finely streaked with grayish. The under tail coverts are white or 
bufify and are broadly banded with black. The primaries are black 
with white quills and the secondaries are grayish or grayish brown, the 
feathers being darkest in the centers. In winter. General color all 
over is a grayish, this being rather darker and a grayish brown on the 
back. The wings and tail are the same as in summer. They have no 
distinct reddish coloration. The young are similar to the winter birds. 

This species breeds quite abundantly on the Barren Lands of the 
Arctic Ocean. Like most of the other varieties of Plover, their nest 
is merely a depression in the earth and is lined with a few grasses. 




The eggs are laid during June and are four in number, of a dark olive 
brown color and are blotched with darker brown. Very frequently the 
ground color is so dark as to obscure the markings of the eggs. 

The Hudsonian Godwit, Ring-tail Marlin, or American Black-tail 
Godwit appears to be about evenly distributed over the country ex- 
cept that portion west of the Rocky Mountains. It associates frequent- 
ly with the Marbled Godwit, but can always be told from the latter by 
its smaller size. Godwits are much esteemed as table birds and arecon- 
tinually sought by gunners. They are very shy and when alarmed 
will fly at a great altitude. Their flight is strong but not unusually 
rapid. On alighting they will nearly always elevate their wings above 
the back just before touching the ground, and then carefully fold them 
in place. They may be decoyed at times by an imitation of the call 
which is a gutteral two syllabled whistle. Wooden decoys also some- 
times cause them to descend to investigate. When necessity compels 
they can run remarkably fast although their usual walk is very stately 
and dignified. They are usually found in small flocks either composed 
only of their own kind or they may be with other birds of the same 
family. They frequent the muddy banks of inlets, rivers, ponds and 
marshes from which they get their supply of food. This consists 
mainly of minute shell fish, worms and aquatic insects. They get these 
by probing in the soft mud with their long bill. Frequently they will 
feed in water of such a depth that they are obliged to immerse their 
whole head and neck in order to reach the food they seek. They rare- 
ly swim however unless necessity forces them to save their lives. The 
little downy covered young take after their parents in athletic ability 
for they are remarkably adept at running and hiding in the grass. 
During their migrations they fly chiefly at night and in flocks of forty 
or fifty individuals. 


A. O. U. No. 587 ("Pipjlo erythropthalmus.) 


The United States and southern Canada east of the Plains. Breed- 
ing throughout its range and wintering in the southern half of the 
United States. 


Length, 8 in.; extent, 11.5 in.; tail, 3.5 inches. Bill, black. Feet, 
brown. Eye, red. Adult male. Head, neck, breast, back, wings and 







tail, black. A white band across the primaries formed by white patch- 
es on the outer webs. White spots on the outer webs of the inner 
secondaries. Outer web of the outer tail feather and about half of the 
inner web, white. The next two or three feathers with gradually de- 
creasing spots of white. Belly white and sides chestnut. The under 
tail coverts are pale brownish. Female. Similar to the male except 
that the black of the latter has been replaced with brown. The young 
birds and the adults in winter have white irides. 


A. O. U. No. 587a. (P e alleni.) 

Very similar to the northern Towhee. Less white on the wings and 
tail and the eye is always white. Also averages a trifle smaller. A 
resident of Florida and found on the south Atlantfc coast to South Car- 


The Towhee nearly always builds its nest on the ground, placing it 
under the shade of some bush. It is made of leaves, grasses, bark, and 
lined with fine rootlets. Occasionally a nest of this species will be 
found placed in a bush, but in this case it is due to some eccentricity 
of the bird and is a rare occurance. Side hills and valleys covered with 
a small growth of trees seem to be the most favored localities in which 
to find their nests. Their set is completed the latter part of May and 
consists of three or four white eggs with a pinkish tint. These are 
very finely specked over the whole surface with reddish brown and 

Towhee, Chewink, or Ground Robin are the names generally applied 
to this bunting. The first two names are the ones chosen by himself 
as he frequently repeats them, while the latter one" is given because of 
the Robin color on his sides and because he is a ground bird. 

These are one of the most common most inquisitive and noisiest of 
our birds throughout the summer. As long as you are in the wooded 
section they will follow you about, now scolding and now treating you 
to their peculiar but pleasing song. It has always seemed to me that 
their note sounds a great deal more like "Cherink" than the "Chewink" 



by which they are called. They are very industrious birds and when 
not either singing, scolding or engaged in the incubating of their eggs 
they are sure to be heard scratching away in the leaves as though their 
lives depended on the speed with which they could turn them over. 

They dislike very much to be disturbed when they are busy and upon 
catching sight of you will hop up to the farther side of a bush aad excit- 
edly chirp and "Cherink" at you. If you remain quiet they will gradu- 
ally come nearer and nearer until at last you may catch a glimpse of a 


Photo by C. A. Reed. 


pair of bright red eyes peeping out from between the leaves. If you 
do not move he will soon get over his anger and will mount to the top 
of a bush or small tree and pour forth a series of "Hip-to-hee's, inter- 
spersed frequently with the other rendition of his name. 


The temale is very tame while sitting upon the nest. She has a firm 
belief that owing to the dried leaf color of her plumage she is invisible, 
and no doubt their nests are much less often found than would be the 
case if they left it every time anyone came within sight. When you 
get so near that she is afraid to remain on the nest any longer she will 
quietly glide out the back way where she will be protected from view 
by the bush under which their nests are nearly always placed. 

Towhees are very quick actioned birds and they have a habit when 
flying through the brush of flirting their tail and spreading it at the, 
same time so that the white tail feathers always attract attention as they 
disappear and will serve to identify them. 


Near the north door in plain sight of two windows, I keep a large, 
shallow pan filled with water for the chickens. It was not long before I 
found out that the birds came here frequently to bathe and drink. 

A pair of Catbirds came often and were the boldest of all my feathered 
visitors. Madam Catbird would fly gracefully down to the pan, tip her 
head from side to side, take a sip, then another; then step lightly in and 
splash till every feather was dripping. If the water was mostly gone 
or she spied the cat, she would say "quit, quit," with a whispering 
sound, and if very much disturbed would cry "Ka-a-ah, ka-a-ah" in such 
a harsh, discordant tone that you would never expect to hear that sweet 
melodious song so much like the Brown Thrashers from her mate. 
And he can scold as well as she for I've heard him. Matronly Robin 
Redbreast was more cautious than the Catbird, and would fly down to 
the ground near the pan, run the rest of the way, step on the edge of 
the pan, drink, hop off, run around to the other side and in fact inspect 
it from all sides before she would risk getting in. One day she had 
been more deliberate than usual with her inspection, and had just nicely 
begun to bathe when Mr. Robin came for a bath. He wanted to begin 
at once, but she wanted to finish her bath first and drove him away 
several times. I looked for a family quarrel, and was sorry to see her 
get so angry, when all at once she seemed to change her mind, and 
stepped to one side of the pan, and they finished their bath together. 
My! How the water flew. I did not wonder then that the pan needed 
filling so often. I had to be very careful to keep out of the way when 
Mrs. Song Sparrow came. Her home was in the garden some distance 
away, and I suppose she did not feel as much acquainted as the others 
did. If she did not see me she would run to the pan, get in and flutter 
about until she was as wet as could be. One day mother and I were 


walking quietly along by the rose bushes when we heard an angry little 
chip. Looking closely we saw Mrs. Sparrow fly to the peach tree. At 
first we wondered what made her so angry for we were not near her 
nest. Then I noticed how wet she was. It seems that we had inter- 
rupted My Lady at her bath and she was telling us how rude we were. 
I wanted to see if she would come back, so we went on a little farther 
and kept quiet. In a few minuted she did come back and finished her 
bath in peace. Hark! Oh that is a Kingbird. He is perched on a wire 
that is stretched about ten or twelve feet above the ground, between 
the maple and the wild cherry. If you watch closely you will see that 
he is continually folding and unfolding his wings, turning his head from 
side to side and at the same time keeping up a continual chirping in a 
very noisy and restless manner. Watch, for he means to take a bath 
in that pan. He looks down and with a graceful swoop flies down to 
the pan, through the water, out at the other side, and with the same 
graceful curve rises until he can alight on the shed roof or maple. He 
never alights on the pan except to drink, but repeatedly flies through 
the water until he is as wet as the other birds are with all their splash- 
ing. I never tired of watching him, his ways were so different from 
the others. In the latter part of the summer I was out one morning 
when a heavy dew had fallen, and noticed a pair of birds flying so close 
to the tips of the branches of the dew laden trees that the tiny drops 
fell off in showers. Beautiful birds they were, but I do not know their 
names, although I have watched them nearly all summer. 


Maude L. Miller. 

While looking for a nest of the Night Hawk one bright sunny morn- 
ing, I was suddenly startled by a bellowing noise directly overhead. 
Jumping to one side and glancing up, I beheld a male bird rising in 
the air. I stood where I was watching the bird fly about, uttering his 
rasping-like call; after getting well up in the air, he suddenly paused 
and came soaring toward me like an arrow. About fifty feet in front 
of me his wings were lowered below his body, throwing them forward 
with the flight feathers spread wide apart. After travelling this way 
for ten feet or more, the bellowing-like noise to be heard. He would 
then rise to repeat the performance. His speed was so great that the 
flight feathers vibrated like a large loosely stretched rubber band when 
snapped with the fingers. This performance was repeated in front, back 
and beside me twelve times in all, never more than fifty feet away, and 
as near as fifteen. In all cases the wings were in the same position, 
and his mouth never open. 

As there is some dispute in regard to when, where, and how the 
Night Hawk makes this noise, I offer this as a possible solution. 

J. B Canfield, Bridgeport. Conn. 



Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, Box 772. Waterbury, Ct. 

Dear Boys and Girls: 

Now School is out and the long vacation begun; those of you who 
are so fortunate as to spend it in green country fields, on mountain 
slopes, or by the great waters, will no doubt have a jolly time getting 
better acquainted with Dame Nature, who "with a smile on her face, 
and a sprig in her cap calls you to feast from her bountiful lap." And 
what a feast she sets before us, a menu of many courses, from birds, 
trees, flowers, ferns, and insects, to frogs, lizards, and snakes; each one 
can find something to suit his taste. There will be some rainy days so 
the pages of the American Ornithology will not remain uncut, and 
we hope you will write to us of your good times with your neighbors 
in feathers. 

We print part of a letter from one of our readers in New Hampshire, 
who evidently makes good use of his eyes and ears. We also give you 
another numerical enigma sent by a friend over the Canada line. 

You will notice that we have added a Roll of Honor, where there will 
appear each month the names of the boys and girls who send correct 
answers to the puzzles and questions. Now we must say good bye for 
another month. Meg Merrythought. 

Exeter, N. H., May 2, 1902. 
Dear Meg Merrythought: 

I got my May number of the A. O. this afternoon, I think it is a good 
paper and the pictures are fine. Enclosed please find answer to the 
numerical enigma. I think it was quite a hard one, it took me an hour 
to get it out. I could get what the beggars wore, but the rest of it I 
couldn't make out. So I tried to find a common bird with eleven let- 
ters in its name, after awhile I got Song Sparrow. This is a very 
early year for birds, I have seen quiie a number of them. I saw a 


belated Robin two days after Christmas, I heard and saw what I was 
quite sure was a Cuckoo on the 20th of March. I was quite a ways ofiE 
so I couldn't tell, but it was going cu cu cuk, cu cu cuk, just the way I 
have always heard them. Heard a Hermit Thrush on the 22nd of April. 
I think their song is beautiful; it sounds like a flute, yet it tinkles like a 
bell. I saw a Brown Thrasher on the 27th of April and I crept up with- 
in ten feet of it before it flew. I saw some Blackbirds on March 18th 
and a Purple Finch and Red-winged Blackbird on April 17th. 

I never saw the Bluebirds so plentiful around here as they have been 
this year. I am not sure but the other morning I thought I heard an 
Ovenbird. Last year I knew where an Ovenbird had her nest. It was 
a little dome shaped structure made of pine needles and oak leaves, 
laying flat on the ground in some underbrush. You wouldn't see it un- 
less you knew where it was, and you had to go by some trees that it 
was near. There were two eggs in it. Whenever I approached she 
would run along the ground, like a Ruffed Grouse, trying to head you 
from her young ones, with her wings trailing and uttering a distressed 
cry, and walking as awkardly as she could. When I got to the nest 
she would fly back and light on some brush near by and scold me. One 
time a Ruffed Grouse fooled me; I was out with one of my neighbors, 
Constance Fuller, picking lady slippers, when I heard the funniest 
noise, at first I thought it was a boy getting a whipping and I ran to 
see, and there was a Ruffed Grouse running along the ground. I ran 
after it; I thought it couldn't fly, when all of a sudden I heard Con- 
stance holler to me tocome quick and see some baby Ruffed Grouse. 
I ran back but when I got there all had disappeared but one, and that 
one was just crawling under some leaves. I lifted him out and took 
him home to show. He looked just like a little chicken. The feathers 
were of a light brownish yellow and very downy. I had his picture 
taken and then took him back. That was a pretty good puzzle in your 
paper last month; I guessed all but that turkey. 

Yours truly, 

Stafford Francis. 

Answers to Puzzles in June number: Missing words in account of 
Brown Thrasher. 1, Brown Thrush; 2, Election Bird; 3, Eleven; 4, 
Tail; 5. Brown; 6, Wings; 7, Whitish; 8, White; 9, Brown; 10, Breast; 
11, Sides; 12, Ground; 13, Tail; 14, May; 15, June; 16, Treetop; 17, 
Up; 18, Drooping; 19, Nest; 20, Bark; 21, Grasses; 22, Roots; 21, Green; 
24, Brown. 

Answers for Nuts to Crack: 

1. Cowbird, Ovenbird, Meadowlark, Titlark, Partridge. 

2. Bobolink, Bluebird, Goldfinch, Indigo Bunting, Purple Finch. 


3. Chat, Vesper, Sparrow, Carolina Wren, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, 
Mocking bird. 

4. Woodpeckers, Bluebirds, Swallows, Great-crested Flycatcher, 

5. Martins, Bluebirds, Wrens, Sparrows, White-bellied Swallows. 

6. Owls, Eagles, Fish Hawks, Bluebirds, Great-crested Flycatchers. 

7. Brown Creepers, Black and White Warblers, White and Red- 
breasted Nuthatches, Woodpeckers. 

8. Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, Kingfisher, Blue Jay, Black-throated 
Blue Warbler. 

9. Whip-poor-will, Wood Duck. 

10. A Merrythought is the forked bone of a fowls breast, often 
called a wishbone. 


Leroy S. Noble, William U. Elliott, Stanley Drake, Stal^ord Francis. 


Willie Parmelee was lost. You would suppose that a boy who had 
just had a birthday, and was five years old would know better, but 
to tell the truth, he had run away. His mother told him not to go out- 
side the yard, but an organ grinder with just the cutest little monkey 
went up the street, and what small boy could resist following just a little 
way to see the queer antics of the little fellow in the cap and scarlet 
coat. Then, before he was fairly started for home again he heard a 
clear whistle which seemed to say to him, "look up, way up, look at 
me, Willie!" He looked up and there in the maple boughs sat another 
scarlet coated fellow, not a wizened faced monkey this time but a gay 

with bright coat and black wings. Will's 

sister had often read the American Ornithology to him; wouldn't 
she be pleased when he told her about this beautiful bird; so as the 

flew away towards the woods, the small boy trudged along 

after him, through bushes and briers, over stones and fallen logs, for 
another glimpse. Out of breath, he soon sat down under an old chest- 
nut tree. His little friend in scarlet had disappeared, but here were 
other birds all about him. He would use eyes and ears and learn what 
they were. A pair of jaunty little fellows with black velvety caps 
above gray and white coats, hopped fearlessly about from limb to limb. 
"Who are you?" whispered the boy softly, quick as a flash came back 

the reply, . A tiny olive brown bird with breast of 

yellowish white sat near by on a dead branch, and jerking head and tail, 
with great emphasis, clearly told him over and over that its name was 


; over yonder its larger cousin in a plaintive tone called 

, and a still larger cousin informed him between sallies into the 

air after passing insects that it was a . Other birds came about 

and in a most confiding manner gave their names in clear tones to the 
little chap sitting so quietly on the green moss. 

A black bird with white feathers in its wings and tail, with chestnut 
colored sides and white beneath, ceased scratching among the leaves 
and answered then flew to a high limb and laughed "Ho, he- 
he-he;" even the large blue and white bird which flew from the big pine, 

said in harsh tones that he was a . Here were some brown mottled 

birds slipping about among the leaves, could it be that grandpa's 
chickens had strayed so far from home; no, this was denied at once by 
one of the flock who mounted a fence and whistled his name 

From far over the meadows tinkled the bubbling notes of a black 
bird with white and yellow on back and wings. He seemed to say "I, 
am a . 

He caught a glimpse of a long-billed drummer with a crescent on its 
yellowish breast and a large patch of white on its lower back, who gave 

his name in nasal tones, . An irridescent dove-like bird 

in soft greyish brown with long tail tipped with white and a white 
breast slipped quietly past him, but from a tree not far distant answered 

the roll call with " ." Suddenly an olive green with 

yellow breast and white line over the eye darted through the thicket, 
and with twitching, jerking motions seemed to say to the little lad, 
"Tut-tut, what's this, why, why, ho, who, who are you, cluck, tut, boy 
go home." 

A white-eyed - peered out at him and cried, "I say, who are 

you, eh?" Well, that was but fair after so many of the feathered folks 
had told him their names, so politely bowing he replied "William 
Theron Parmelee." A voice from the woods startled him, it plainly 
said, "Whip-poor-will! Whip-poor-will!" How did that bird know he 

ran away? A swooped through the air for its supper 

and called "beef, pork," and all at once Willie realized that he was 
tired and hungry, darkness was closing about him, and home was a 
long way off. His shoes were coated with mud, his clothes torn, and 
his hands and face scratched. Which way should he turn? Hark! 
What was that? It was but a Wood serenely caroling its ves- 
pers, but it sounded like mothers voice, "Come to me." Will hurried 
through the undergrowth towards the songster, and hurrah, here was 
the grassy cart path which led directly to the meadows back of neigh- 
bor Clarks barn. He reached home just as his sister was starting out 


to look for him. After he had eaten his supper he told his sister how 
the birds had talked to him and told their names, and asked her to write 
them down for him to send to Meg Merrythought for her boys and girls. 
She did so, and that is the reason I have given you this story of lost 


I am corriposed of 9 letters. My 8-2-5-3-9-4 is a place for keeping 
odds and ends. My 1-6-3-2-4-9 is a danger of the seas in olden times. 
My 4-3-6-1 is what everyone ought to take sometime during the year. 
My 1-3-6-7-9 is that which no one should have too much of. My 8-5-6- 
4 is what everyone should have, and my 1-6-8 is what nobody likes to 
be thought (or an animal.) My 8-2-5-4-9-3 is what every proper young 
lady blushes to mention. My 1-9-5-4 is an adjective sometimes applied 
to school girls. My 1-6-9 is something a boy always wishes more of> 
and my whole is a bird whose greatest enemy is a gun 

Mrs. F. H. LiNGWOOD, Kingston, Ont. 



Bearing the cross while Christ passed forth forlorn 
His Godlike forehead by the mock crown torn, 
A little bird took from that crown one thorn 
To soothe the dear Redeemers throbbing head. 
Thus helping what she could: The blood, 'tis said, 
Down dripping, dyed her tender bosom red. 
Since then no wanton boy disturbs her nest. 
Weasel nor wild cat will her young molest. 
All, sacred deem the bird of ruddy breast. 

(A Breton Legend.) 

Gold Medal, Paris Exposition, 1900 Highest Award Pan American Exposition, 1901 

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Just over the road, where the world may see, 

A swinging nest hangs from a locust tree. 

The branch droops, a frail one, with leaf and flower, 

A fragrant place, truly, for birdies' bower. 

The white blossoms flutter, the cradle swings; 

The oriole mother's sweet love-call rings 

As, flying she darts in her open door 

And nestles, at dusk, by her treasures four. 

All carefully built in a hairy ball, 
Gray-painted, soft lined, with a close knit wall, 
The oriole nest is a work of art, 
A thought of the Master's own tender heart. 
The black and gold wings flicker bright about. 
And ever the clear, liquid notes pipe out 
As true to their lesson, the whole bird clan 
Gives praise, w^orking aye to their Maker's plan. 

Oh, rough winds, when tempest-tossed trees bend low, 
When gloomy clouds gather and wild storms blow. 
Brush not in your swift flight this swaying nest 
Where timid birds huddle to mother's breast! 
Oh, hands rude and thoughtless, for this nest wait. 
Until, with a satisfied song, each mate 
And fluttering birdlings fly forth to seek 
Another fair haven for breast and beak! 

Harriet L. Grove, Delaware, Ohio. 




■^^^- ''tt^^^i^nt^^^^^'^^^^* ' 





A. O. U. No. 676. (Seiurusmotacilla) 

Eastern United States, north to southern New England and Michi- 
gan and east of the plains. Breeds from the Gulf States northwards 
and winters in the West Indies, Mexico and Central America. 


Length, over 6 inches; extent, 10.5 inches; tail, 2.5 inches; Bill 
and eye dark brown; the lower mandible being rather lighter than the 
upper. Feet pale brown. Upper parts, including the wings and tail, 
which are unmarked, are a dark olive brown. Under parts white and 
except the throat and belly streaked with olive brown. This bird is 
quite similar to the common Water Thrush except that it is larger, 
the streaks are less numerous and the throat of the common variety is 
also finely streaked or spotted. The bill is also noticably larger in 
the Louisiana variety. 


The nest of the Louisiana Water Thrush is made of leaves and 
grasses and generally situated under the edge of an overhanging bank 
or the roots of a tree. They lay from four to six white eggs these be- 
ing spotted and specked with reddish brown more conspicuously in the 
form of a wreath around the larger end, although the entire surface 
may be sprinkled with them. 


Any of our New England brooks flowing through a fair size open 
piece of timber, will be a great inducement for one or two pair of 
Louisiana Water Thrushes to use the banks or roots of overturned 
trees along its course as their summer residence. 

This bird is of a retiring disposition, yet not averse to making its 
presence known but not often seen, and arrives in this locality about 
the middle of April. The male arrives first, but is soon followed by 
the female. At this time it will be seen feeding along the banks of the 
stream, flying just ahead of you, and when on the ground, bobbing its 
body up and down resembling in many ways the Tipup or Spotted 
Sandpiper. When suddenly disturbed while feeding, it will utter a 



scolding chip and fly into a bush ahead of you, scolding at you as long 
as you are near their chosen haunts. Later when the nest is completed 
and the female is setting, the male will perch on the top of a tree and 
sing as though he were trying to burst his throat, not near the nest, 
but within hearing distance of the female on it. 


Photo by J. 

The last week of April or the first day of May the birds begin the 
mating, and the woods then seem alive with them, as it is evident that 
the male who can sing the loudest or longest, is chosen by the female. 
Their love-making over, their first duty is the finding of a nesting site, 
which, as in most cases of this kind, seems a most vexing problem. 
Here is an upturned tree with a nice hollow in the dirt at the roots 
where some of it has fallen out or where a stone once rested; close 
beside the stream there is a bank with the sod hanging over form- 
ing a roof; just beyond this is a bank sparingly covered with grasses 
and ferns hanging down; under the ferns is a nice hollow that with a 
little work may be suitable. 

We will suppose they have selected the hollow in the root, after 
much chirping and many examinations. It may need some slight alter- 
ations, such as removing the loose dirt or enlarging; this being finished 



Photo by J. B. Canfield. 


both birds will fly up and down the stream until they have found some 
dead leaves resting in a little surface water, and often partially covered 
with mud. A leaf will be picked up here and there and carefully exam- 
ined, and if to their liking, will be taken to the site and laid down. 
The birds seem to select wet leaves, as they are not so apt to be 
blown away or misplaced. This operation will be gone through with 
until a large number of leaves have been placed in the cavity. The 
conformity of the hollow has been followed, and on the bed of leaves 
the nest proper is placed, made of grasses, skeleton leaves, etc. The 
lining is made of skeleton leaves, fine grasses, hair-like roots and horse 
hair. One or two days elapse before the female begins to lay, then laying 
one egg every day until the set is completed, five being the usual num- 
ber but often six. Incubation then begins and is continued twelve or 
fourteen days, depending on the weather. The female does most of 
the incubating, for I have never seen a male on the nest. She is a 
very close setter, often allowing you to almost touch her before leav- 
ing the nest, then sliding off like a mouse, stopping a few feet away 
chirping and scolding at you with great vehemence, and watching to 
see that you do not get too near. 

The young birds when hatched are brooded for a few hours before 
being fed. Both birds are ardent providers, and the young grow rap- 
idly leaving the nest in a week or ten days. After the young have left 
the nest, the old birds will often build and raise another brood, if the 
season is favorable. If robbed of their eggs they will lay a second 
and even a third set, returning year after year to the same locality. 

J. B. Canfield. Bridgeport, Conn. 







Photo from life by C. A. Reed. 




A. O. r. No. 563. (Splzella pusilla.) 


The United States and southern California east of the Plains. Win- 
ters along the Gulf Coast and breeds from middle United States north- 


Length, 5.5 inches; extent, 8 inches; tail, 2.5 inches. Eye brown. 
Bill pale reddish and feet pale brown. Crown dull chestnut, some- 
times showing traces of a median stripe. Ear coverts and postocular 
stripe also pale chestnut. Under parts white washed with pale brown 
on the breast and sides. Back rusty brown narrowly streaked with 
blackish. Two more or less distinct wing bars formed by the grayish 
tips to the middle and greater wing coverts. Rump and tail brown, 
the latter rather darker than the former and having the feathers edged 
with grayish. 

Western Field Sparrow. 

No. 563a. (S. p. arenacea.) 

Very similar to the eastern variety but having a longer tail and 
broad gray median stripe on the crown. Found in the Great Plains 
from Texas to the Dakotas. 

Worthen's Sparrow. 

Ao. 564. (Spizella wortheni.) 

Like the Western Field Sparrow except that the tail is shorter, the 
wing bars much paler, and the postocular stripe lacking. Locality, 
New Mexico. 


These three varieties of the Field Sparrow nest equally often on the 
ground or in small bushes. The nest is made of fine grasses and roots 
and nearly always lined with horse hair. They lay from three to five 
delicate bluish white eggs which are specked over the entire surface, 
but more particularly about the larger end with lilac and reddish brown. 
About the latter part of May, nests containing full sets of eggs may 
be found. Very frequently two broods of young are raised in one 

The accompaning photograph by Mr. Embody illustrates a very typ- 
ical nest located on the ground. 


As their name implies. Field Sparrows are inhabitants entirely of 
fields, not those that are carpeted with fresh green grass, but rather 
high and dry ones, dotted here and there with low bushes or shrubbery. 



r#c". * 

Photo from life by C. A. Reed. 


Throughout the East the high pitched piping melody that constitutes 
their song is one of the most familiar sounds of rural life. Beginning 
with a single drawn out whistle of a varying intermediate pitch, it con- 
tinues through a succession of three or four high keyed ones into'a 
pleasing trill. It is a little song that once heard and identified will not 
likely be forgotten or confused with that of any other bird. 

I have lately seen their song compared to that of the Prairie War- 
bler. Both of these birds breed in the same fields about Worcester 
and I have never seen resemblance enough to warrant considering 
them together. One is the clear fiute-like whistle of the Sparrow, 
while the other is composed of the peculiar, hesitating, squeaky notes 
common to many of the warblers. Both birds share equally the task 
of constructing their nest and in feeding the young. Both are equally 
emphatic in their objections when the home is threatened. Like all 
other species of birds different individuals show great differences in 
their temperaments. If you approach the nest of one pair they may 



perch on the top of some bush and keep up a regular and energetic 
chirping until you have left the neighborhood; another may be more 
confiding and if you remain quiet even near the nest, return to take up 
the household duties at the point where you interrupted them. I was 
fortunate in finding a nest of a bird of the latter nature. The nest, or 
what later was to be the nest, was discovered almost with the laying of 
the first straw. During the two hours following, observations were 
continued and in this time the nest grew wonderfully. She was the 
carpenter, Mi. Sparrow's part in the work being to gather his share of 
the material. Both birds would depart together, but she invariably re- 
turned first and had her grass ca^-efully and mathematically deposited 
before he arrived. 

From life bv C. A. Reed. 


In the course of three weeks, three of the four eggs that she had laid 
in the completed nest were hatched. When the young were six days 
old the photographs shown with this were taken. The camera was 
first placed about four feet from the nest, but was later moved to with- 



Photo by C. A. Reed. 


(Two days after leaving- nest.) 

in three feet. Although it was not concealed in the least, the Sparrows 
paid not the slightest attention to it and after I had been there a half 
hour returned freely to feed the young even when I was seated beside 
the camera and within four feet of them. Ants, spiders and plant lice 
seem to be the food most frequently brought, and small caterpillars 
also supplied a good portion of the bill of fare. Frequently when 
either bird returned with a load of provisions they would also have a 
number of small pieces of dried grass in their bills. I could not make 
out why this happened, but it looked as though in catching the insects 

*\ \ ^'^^'^^"^ 




they also freqently got pieces of grass with them and did not bother to 
separate the two. On the twelfth day after the eggs had hatched, I 
again visited the nest and found it empty. The adult birds were pres- 
ent and considerably excited, so I was certain that the young were 
close by. By carefully watching, two of the little ones were found and 
captured. The camera was now carefully focussed on a branch and we 
were ready to take their pictures. They w^ere not ready however, and 
for the next half hour we had a very busy session. Both adult birds 
were all the time fluttering about in the grass at our feet and calling 
for their little ones to fly from the branch whenever we placed them 
upon it. They were very obedient children and promptly minded their 
parents. Sometimes they would fly off, sometimes hop off and again 
fall off, but get off the branch they would and did, and as they had had 
a day's practice they could make quite extended flights. We did finally 
succeed in inducing them to pose for a fractional part of a second and 
the results were satisfactory to all parties as we had the pictures and 
they had their liberty. 

Photo by Geo. C. Embody 




NE beautiful Sunday afternoon in 
the month of March, 1900, I was 
sitting with a friend on the piazza of 
his home in the state of Florida. 
The day was an ideally perfect one, 
the lower south springtide was at its 
flood, and earth and air seemed 
vocal with rejoicing. In a close by 
date-palm a Mockingbird was indus- 
triously constructing her nest, se- 
renely oblivious to the command: 
"Six days shalt thou labor and do 
all thy work," while from the top- 
most twig of a live oak tree her 
mate poured forth his soul in the 
rhapsody of an impassioned love song; the Martins twittered and 
scolded from every window of their house, while a gorgeous Redbird, 
like a living flame, slipped in and out of the plumy depths of a clump 
of bamboo to the accompaniment of his clear, flute-like whistles; and 
everywhere the Blue Jays were living up to their well deserved repu- 
tation for noisiness and "as a disturber of the general peace." 

In the top of a tall black jack oak growing on the lower edge of a 
small field lying directly opposite the piazza on which we were sitting, 
two Jays in particular were strenuously endeavoring to outdo each 
other in clamor. Suddenly a dark streak cut athwart our line of vision 
and disappeared like a flash into the top of the oak, to almost instant- 
ly reappear and make off into the nearby hammock growth, and at the 
same time one of the Jays filled the air with cries of terror and pain, 
while its mate winged its way up across the narrow field with all the 
speed that mortal fear could inspire, and disappeared into the friendly 
shelter of the afore mentioned clump of bamboo. 

It all happened so suddenly and in so brief a space of time that we 
hardly realized what it meant. But as the terrorized cries of the Jay 
continued to arise from the hammock I exclaimed to my companion, 
"Something must have caught one of the Jays!" "Yes," said he, "it 
was a Blue Darter." And involuntarily we both sprang up and ran 
down across the field to the hammock, guided by the unceasing cries of 
the captured bird. I took a lane which ran along the edge of the wood, 
but my friend, more familiar with the location, turned into a by-path 
and the Hawk, hearing the noise of his approach, flew up and abandoned 



its prey. The Jay immediately ceased its cries and, although apparent- 
ly badly injured, managed to escape into the thick undergrowth. 

After we had returned and resumed our seats on the piazza we sud- 
denly discovered that something was missing which had helped to 
make up the beauty and glory of the day, it was the song and the 
sight of the birds. Where only a few moments before had been a 
scene of animation and the air aquiver with melody, not a bird was to 
be seen and an almost oppressive silence reigned; and those conditions 
continued throughout the balance of that day. 

Death was stalking abroad in Bird-Land and the terror stricken in- 
habitants were endeavoring to escape the grim specter. 

Walter Nathan Pike, N. Y. 


T was the writer's good fortune to 
spend the summer months of the year 
1900 in a cozy little cottage in a subur- 
ban district, the natural surroundings 
of which were such as to at once appeal 
to a naturalist, aside from furnishing 
ample opportunity for rest and quiet. 
The large lawn belonging to the prop- 
erty, with its abundance of shade trees, 
fronted on the main avenue of a popu- 
lous corporate town, while in the rear, 
as the title implies, was a strip of wood- 
land, which in turn, was bordered by 
a clearing, covered its whole length 
mainly by briars and low thick bushes, 
being intersected by a winding brook. 

Birds in the locality were quite numerous and some of them showed 
remarkable tameness. During the hours of night time, giving voice 
as it were to the weird lights and shadows around the house, we could 
hear the mournful ditty of a Screech Owl whose home was in a nearby 
hickory tree, while the first grey streak of each returning dawn was 
heralded by the sweet songs of the Robins. Flickers were frequently 
seen hopping around in the grass near the roots of various trees. 
Notes of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo were also heard in the thick foliage 
of the maples. Red-eye Vireos kept up a continual warbling all day 
long, and doubtless had a nest in the vicinity, as we observed the 
mother bird feeding two very young ones; the latter being perched in 


a low bush in the yard. The happy song of the House Wren was 
always in evidence and three nests were built under the porch roof. 
The writer personally observed one of the broods leaving the nest, and 
was surprised to see two of their number climb up the straight trunk 
of a wild cherry tree — genuine woodpecker fashion — for a distance of 
twelve or fifteen feet, where the limbs began to branch out. However, 
they arrived at the top safely and remained there for the balance of the 

Humming Birds often came and hovered over the many beautiful 
flowers in the yard and sometimes consented to alight for a few 
minutes for our benefit. On one of these occasions a party of five (in- 
cluding the writer's baby daughter) approached to within three feet of 
the tall flower stock upon which our little visitor was perched; still it 
sat there, turning its wee head this way and that, looking at us with 
fearless unconcern. At last it gave a sharp chirp, flew and was soon 
lost to sight. On one occasion in the early morning, we were greeted 
with the familiar call "Bob White", which seemed to come from the 
woods in the rear yard. The call was repeated several times but we 
were unable to discover the author of it. A tree of fine red cherries 
proved a great attraction for Cat birds and other feathered fruit lovers. 
But what we considered the greatest privilege, and one which we ex- 
ceedingly enjoyed, was the daily greeting of the Wood Thrushes dur- 
ing the breakfast hour and at twilight. What could be more charming 
than to sit leisurely eating the morning meal and all the while listening 
to the sweet clear strains of the loveliest bird songs, pouring from the 
throats of the russet-brown vocalists just outside the kitchen window 
peal after peal, in endless volume and variation. In addition 
to the birds already mentioned, we sometimes heard the shrill scream 
of the Blue Jay, also the notes of King Birds and Crested Flycatchers, 
while from the distance, floating to us from across some field or mead- 
ow came the morning song of a Meadow Lark or the well known call 
of the Killdeer. The crows also added their deep caw, caw, caw, to 
the chorus of woodland voices. The clearing above referred to 
proved to be the home of two or three species of the Warbler family 
and a walk through the vicinity the following winter revealed a number 
of nests. They were all placed low and one of them showed every indi- 
cation of having been built and occupied by an Oven Bird. A tame 
Chipmunk who resided under a board walk also proved of interest to 

The usual wild flowers of the season were abundant and the surround- 
ing country at large was admirably suited for exploration and research, 

hence our sojourn at the "Cottage" was one of pleasure and instruction. 

Berton Mercer. 



Identification Chart No. 7. 

Diving Birds— Grebes. 

No. 2, Holboell's Grebe, {Colymhiis holhoelUi.') 

Length, 19 in. Crown, back of neck, and upper 
parts black with a greenish gloss. Secondaries white, 
forming a conspicuous white patch on the wing. A 
broad patch of silvery ash on the throat extending on 
the sides of the head and changing to white as it meets 
the black of the head. Front and sides of neck brown- 
ish red spreading well on the breast in a fainter shade. 
Under parts silvery white. Found throughout North 
America. Young birds and winter adults have the en- 
tire under parts, including the neck and throat, white, 
and the crests are entirely lacking. 

No. 3, Horned Grebe, {Colvmlms aiiritus.) 

Bill tipped with yellow. A brownish yellow stripe 
over the eye and widening so as to take in the whole 
of the long crests. Crown, chin and the sides of the 
face, the feathers of which stand out making a full ruff, 
are a glossy, greenish black. Entire upper parts a 
brownish ( lack. Front and sides of neck rich brown- 
ish red, this extending on the sides and flanks. In 
winter the crests are very small and the neck is a dull 
white. Length about 14 in. Entire North America. 

No. 4, Am. Eared Grebe, 

Length, 13 in. Bill short, stout and black. Long 
golden brown ear tufts. Head and neck all around 
black. Other upper parts brownish. Sides reddish 
brown, this extending across the breast. Under parts 
white. No ear tufts in winter and the neck is sooty 
brown. North America west of the Mississippi. 

No. 5, St. Domingo Grebe, (Colymbus domin- 


Length, 9.5 in. Bill very short. Upp^r parts 
brownish black with blue reflections on the head and 
neck. Entire under parts white mottled. 

No. 6, Pied-billed Grebe, (^Podilymbus podi- 

Length, 13 in. Bill bluish white encircled by a 
broad black band. Entire upper parts brownish or 
grayish black, most of the feathers having lighter 
edges. A broad black patch on the throat. Other 
under parts silvery gray mottled with dusky. In win- 
ter the bill lacks the black band and the throat is uni- 
form with the other under parts. Throughout the 
United States and Southern Canada. 

(C. nigricollis cali- 



Crowned SpoLrrows. 

No. 553, Harris's Sparrow, (Zonotrichia quer- 


Length, about 7.5 inches. Crown, face and throat, 
black, this extending on the chest and along the sides 
in broad streaks. Under parts pure white, except 
along the flanks which are dusky. Middle and greater 
wing coverts tipped with white forming two white 
wing bars. The young birds have the black feathers 
of the crown edged with grayish and the throat is gen- 
erally white edged more or less with black. Found 
from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi. 

No. 554, White-crowned Sparrow, (Z. leuco- 


Length, 6.5 in. Crown black enclosing a very 
broad white medium stripe. The black of the crown 
extends in front of the eye thus cutting off the white 
superciliary stripe. A narrow stripe of black extends 
back from the eye over the ears. Back and coverts 
grayish streaked broadly with brown. Under parts 
grayish fading into white on the throat and brownish 
on the flanks. Young birds have the black of the 
crown replaced with brown and the white dusky. 
Found throughout the United States and Southern 

No. 554 a., Intermediate Sparrow, (Z. /. inter- 
media^ . 
Exactly like the last with the exception that the 
black on the forehead does not extend in front of the 
eye. From the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific. 

No. 554 b., Gambel's Sparrow, (Z./. ^a/wZ?^///) 
Head just like the last, but the back is more brown- 
ish and the streakings are sooty black. 

No. 557, Golden-crowned Sparrow, (Z. Coron- 


Length, 6.5 in. Crown black enclosing a median 
patch of yellow. The black extends in front of the 
eye. Back rather olive brown streaked with brownij.h 
black. Edge of wing yellow. 

No. 558, White-throated Sparrow, (Z. alhicol- 


Top of head black enclosing a narrow white stripe. 
A broad white stripe extends over the eye, that part 
between the eye and nostril being yellow. Edge of 
wing yellow. A black line from the bill through the 
eye, and another from the lower mandible downwards 
separating the white throat from the gray breast and 
under parts. Back striped with black, chestnut and 
dull white. Females and young are duller colored and 
the white throat is not always perceptible, but the yel- 
low before the eye is always present. 




A, O. U. Xo. 4D4. (Dolichonyx oryzivoru8.) 


United States and southern Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. 
South in winter to Cuba and South America. Breeds from the Middle 
States northwards. 


Length, 7 in; extent, 12 in.; tail, 3 in.; bill, black. Feet and eyes 
brown. Adult male in breeding plumage.— Head, chin, throat and 
under parts black. Back of head yellowish white. Scapulars, rump, 
and upper tail coverts, dull white. Tail feathers stiffened and pointed 
like those of the woodpeckers. Female and young, and male in the 
fall: — General color all over, a brownish yellow, this being a little 
lighter below. Top of head and back prominently streaked with black. 
Wings and tail blackish brown. Both the young birds, and male and 
female adults are somewhat more yellowish in the fall than is the 
female in the spring and summer. 


The Bobolink breeds abundantly throughout the northern portions of 
its United States range, placing its nest on the ground in large fields. 
The nest is made of dried grasses and is artfully concealed in a tuft of 
grass or weeds. The latter part of May or during June they lay from 
four to six grayish eggs that are heavily blotched, clouded and mottled 
with various shades of brown. 



In nearly all respects the Bobolinks are our most peculiar birds. 
They come to their northern breeding grounds during the first half of 
May and for the remainder of the spring and summer their sweet 
music and comical ways endear them to the hearts of all their northern 
friends. The male bird is decked out in a fantastically arranged suit 
of black and white, that seems to put to naught all theories as to the 
protective coloration of birds. His black under parts and the contrast- 
ing white on the upper make him a mark that can not be overlooked as 
you scan a meadow. As far as the eye can see you can detect him 
perched upon the top of a weed or blade of grass. 

His partner on the other hand, is dressed in the regulation garb of a 






ground bird, mottled brown and yellowish upper parts and lighter 
beneath so that she is but little noticed as she slips in and out among 
the grass looking after her affairs. From the time of their arrival un- 
til after the young have left the nest, the male Bobolinks are bubbling 
over with song, a rollicking jingle that has been immortalized by many 
literary geniuses both in verse and prose. These pen pictures of Bob- 
olink music do but scant justice however to what the bird is capable of. 
Possibly an expert player on the mandolin might with a great deal of 
practice be able to give a fair imitation of the song, but I have never 
heard it. 

Photo by C. H. Morrell. 


Their nest, concealed in the long grass of the meadow is hard to find 
both from the fact that it is well concealed and also because the male Bob- 
olink is a good guardian and always warns his mate when you are coming, 
so that she may glide away through the grass unseen. The highest 
point of an apple tree or the top of some particularly imposing stone on 
the wall are his chosen spots from which to look for danger and to serve 



as the starting points for his melodious aerial excursions. Between 
songs he will often give voice to a deep "chee" as if to inform you 
that he belongs to the blackbird family. Even when it is evident that 
he is very much alarmed and that you are very close to the nest that 
he treasures so much, he cannot remain quiet, but in spite of sorrow 
will continually take short flights into the air and sing as though his 
throat would burst, always returning quickly to continue his harsh 

^*^1 ^J 


^ • la 



scolding. A number of Bobolinks frequently build in the same field. 
On one day this summer I counted six male bobolinks in the same 
apple tree, all of whom had nests within a short distance. In the same 
field, there were nesting several pairs of Meadowlarks, a pair of Grass- 
hopper Sparrows and two Bay-winged Sparrows or Grassfinches. 

Soon after the young are ready to fly, during the middle of July the 
Bobolinks commence to moult and in another month the male bird 


would not be recognized. He, his wife, and their young now all have 
the same dress of yellowish brown and are ready to begin their migra- 
tion. The male has not only lost his brilliant clothes but his voice as 
well. His tongue will give voice to no more of the thrilling melodies 
until the coming of another spring. As soon as they leave their breed- 
ing grounds, they cease to be known as Bobolinks, and are called 
"Rice Birds." They now feed almost exclusively among the rice fields 
of the south, and from this they get their latin name of oryzvorus, 
which means "to eat rice". 

A few weeks feeding on this diet nearly doubles their ordinary 
weight and they are regarded as a great delicacy for the table. Hun- 
dreds of thousands of them are killed every fall and served in the ho- 
tels of the south. Those that are left of them continue their way 
southwards into South America, there to stay until our climate again 
becomes to their liking, when once more they will return in their festal 
dress to gladden the heart of the farmers, who by the way, from a sim- 
ilarity in colors to a certain obnoxious animal have generally come to 
know them as "Skunk Blackbirds". 


Soaring high o'er meadows wide, 

Skiinming low at streamlets brink; 
Gay and careless, free as air, 
Happy bobolink. 

Glad his song at break of day, 

Gladsome when the sun does sink; 
Maddest, merriest, melodies, 
Blithesome bobolink. 

What great happiness is yours. 

What the joyous thoughts you think. 
That your heart should be so glad, 
Merry bobolink? 

Mabel Cornklia Matson. 



A. O. U. No. 139. Olerganser americauus.) 


Found throughout North America. Breeds from the middle of the 
United States northwards. 


Length from 24 to 27 in. The female generally measuring an inch 
or two shorter than the male. Adult male; — Bill and feet- vermillion, 
the former with a black tip. Eye carmine. Entire head and upper 
part of neck, a beautiful glossy green. Entire under parts white with 
a delicate salmon blush. Flanks washed with gray and waved slight- 
ly with dark gray. Back and scapulars black, shading to an ashy 
gray on the rump and tail. Primaries black. Most of the secondaries 
white, the inner ones having black edges. Wing coverts white, the 
greater ones having black bases, which form a black bar across the 
large white surface of the wing. Female; — Bill, red; Eye, yellow; Feet, 
orange. Fully as imposing and handsome bird as the male. Head 
with a long crest while the male has practically none. Head and neck 
reddish brown, leaving a white patch on the throat, and terminating 
abruptly against the white of the under parts as does the green neck 
of the male. The salmon color is present, but less distinct than in the 
male. Back, rump, tail, scapulars, and lesser wing coverts gray, most 
of the feathers having black shafts. Primaries and outer secondaries 
black. Middle secondaries and greater coverts white, the latter hav- 
ing black bases and gray tips forming an indistinct narrow bar across 
the white patch. Male and female have both mandibles serrated or 
toothed and the upper one with a very decided hook at its tip. 






During June Mergansers breed throughout Canada and the northern 
tier of the United States. Like the Wood Duck they sometimes breed 
in hollow trees. They have been found at distances varying from 
fifty to five feet from the ground. The bottom of the hollow in the 
tree is covered with leaves and grasses, and this is lined with soft 
down from the breast of the old birds. At other times they conceal 
their nests in the grass under an overhanging bush. They lay from 
six to ten eggs which are of a buffy color. 

This duck and the other two Mergansers which constitute the saw- 
bill group of duck, are called fish ducks because these form a large 
part of their diet, and thus render their flesh unpalatable. Although 
they are absolutely worthless as articles of food, thousands of them are 
shot yearly by sportsmen who will shoot anything that swims or in fact 
that flies. In the spring and fall "Goosanders" or "Sheldrakes" as 
they are popularly called are very abundant both in the interior and on 
the coast, as they are partial to both fresh and salt water. 

In the autumn and winter they assemble in small bands of up to a 
dozen individuals. Although they appear to be quite social among 
themselves they do not so often mingle with other species of ducks. 

They are also quite shy in the presence of man, the male birds rather 
more so than the females. On the land they are quite awkward in 
their manners, although they can travel at a good rate when forced to. 
The water is their natural element and they are equally at home either 
above or below surface. It has been said that when their nest is at a 
distance from the water they will carry their young in the bill after the 
fashion of the Wood Duck. 


When one thinks of all the enemies our birds have to contend with 
in raising a family it seems really a wonder that we have so many of 
them to sing, eat insects that would destroy our flowers and grain, and 
in every way make the world brighter. Think of a small delicate bit 
of creation like the warblers, trying to sit on the eggs during a wind 
storm, or worse a hail storm. In the woods there is some protection, 
but on the prairies where the Horned Lark makes its perfect little cup 
of grass, lined with grass roots there is no protection from hail, water, 
skunks, badgers, snakes or the feet of grazing cattle. 


It cannot be estimated how many eggs are laid to give us a flock of 
one hundred of these cheery little friends that stay with us through the 
year. And when the Kansas blizzard comes where are they? As the 
sky begins to show signs of a storm they are more restless as if search- 
ing for a good location where the snow cannot cover all the weeds that 
furnish them with food. Snow storms often begin in the forenoon and 
by night the ground is well covered and the wind begins to drift it in 
long ridges. By morning a foot of snow has fallen, the storm has 
passed and the sun is dazzling bright reflected from the clean white 

But here are the larks, called snowbirds, busy at some weed that 
still has its top above the drifts. Did the birds keep moving all night 
to keep on top, or let it drift over them and burrow out in the morning? 

I consider snakes of all kinds the worst and most common of all 
enemies to birds, either song or game birds. They also kill many- 
toads that catch the nocturnal worms and bugs, such as the cutworms- 
and June beetles, that birds do not get. The snake is generally cred- 
ited with destroying many mice and gophers, but of the large numbers 
that I have killed and opened only in very rare instances have I found 
anything but birds eggs, toads and young rabbits or young birds. I 
once found a bull snake that had gone after a gopher and seemed to 
have found it, for he could not get out of the hole again farther than 
where the gopher was in his stomach. The sun soon put him out of 
his misery, as snakes cannot stand direct sun heat as is often supposed. 
The dust around the hole showed how the snake had worked to free 
himself. When a bull snake of three or four feet in length finds the 
nest of a quail or prairie chicken every q^^ is sure to go down his cold 
disgusting throat. The blue-racer, the harmless (?) garter snake are 
all just as fond of eggnog without the nog as the bull snake. 

One nest of a game bird is worth more than all the mice any lazy 
sneaking reptile could get up the energy to catch during his life 

Often I have found snakes quite a distance up in the trees after eggs. 
It is a mystery to me how they can locate a nest, and find the right tree 
to climb. I pulled a large bull snake out of a Yellow Hammer's hole, 
that had swallowed several great squabs or young ones while the old 
birds were making a good fight for them. a. k. BovLts.Saiina, Kan. 



Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, 60x772. Waterbury, Ct. 

My Dear Young Folks: 

Perhaps some of you who sent answers to "Nuts to Crack in the 
June Bird Chats" were disappointed when you found the answers 
given last month were unlike yours. But your answers were correct 
too, as most of the nuts contained more than one kernal. Two defini- 
tions of a Merrythought were especially good, so I pass them on to 
you. One writes "If you mean a bird, I think it is a Purple Finch, 
because his song sounds like "Be cheery, Oh!" Another defines it as 
"any thought relating to birds." Stafford Francis has been successful 
in finding nests of large birds this year. He writes of finding the nest 
of a Bittern, containing two eggs, two Partridges' nests with eleven 
and twelve eggs, a Marsh Hawk's nest and the nest of a Great Horned 
Owl, as well as the nest of a Nighthawk and others. To the questions 
of our little Ohio friend, Lillian Weeks, I would reply that the first 
bird she describes is doubtless a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, the second a 
Great crested Flycatcher, the other bird I am unable to name without a 
more minute description. If she can secure the Gnatcatcher's dainty 
nest when they are through with it she will be fortunate, and if she puts 
her hand into the hole in the apple tree, she will find the nest of the 
Flycatcher is lined with the skin of a snake. During August, Birdland 
is very quiet, but I am sure your sharp eyes will find something of 
interest even in this month, among the feathered gentry, and that you 
will write about it to your friend, 

Meg Merrythought. 

The answer to the Enigma in the July number is Partridge. 
These were the birds which told their names in the story of last 
month. 1, Scarlet Tanager; 2, Chickadee; 3, Chebec; 4, Pewee; 5, 


Phebe; 6, Towhee; 7, Jay; 8, Bob White; 9, Bobolink; 10, Flicker; 
11, Cuckoo; 12, Chat; 13, Vireo; 14, Nighthawk; 15, Thrush. 

ROLL OF HONOR:— Edgar Easton, Age 7, Charleston, 111.; Chas. 
H. Rogers, Brandon, Vt.; Stafford A. Francis, Age 14, Exeter, N. H.; 
Hubert Dodds, Charleston, 111. 


A little brown mite is Jenny Wren, 

Who once, never thought of rest. 
But busily worked from morn till night. 

When lo! A beautiful nest. 

Six tiny eggs it held one day. 

As pretty as they could be. 
They were the pride of Jenny Wren, 

And a happy bird was she. 

In a short time six baby wrens 

Were occupants of the nest, 
And the mother bird thought that they 

Were better than all the rest. 

The little wrens with feathers fine. 

One morning late in May 
Heard the call that the father bird gave. 

Then all of them flew away. 

Claude A. Barr, St. Louis, Mo. 


On a bright May morning when everything was its brightest and the 
grove rang with the voices of many birds, a dear little yellow bird lit 
under our kitchen window. He was not timid in the least, for he kept 
screeching for dinner while we had our faces near the window watch- 
ing him, as he was a stranger in our grove. By the identification chart 
in the May number of the American Ornithology we found him to be 
the Yellow Warbler. In the evening he and his mate came back to 
visit us. Now and then they would fly against the window trying hard 
to catch the millers that fluttered upon the inside of the pane. We 
placed freshly killed millers upon the outside window sill which they 
willingly took. 

A day does not pass but our little bird "Daisy" as we named her, 
comes to our window and takes the millers she finds waiting for her. 
In a plum tree a rod from the house, these little friends built their 


nest of cotton batting and straws. The male does not come to the 
window now, so Daisy often carries the food to him as he guards the 
nest while she is gone. Daisy is our little friend now, and as she sits 
on the window sill looking for her millers, which are gone, she chirps 
asking for more, which we quickly bring. 

Marietta Washburn, South Dakota. 

PI containing fifteen different parts of a bird: 1, worcn. 2, rafdeceho. 

3, deanbilm. 4, pean. 5, attroh. 6, streab. 7, teso. 8, mapriries. 
9, gwin-crevsot. 10, slapscaru. 11, gwin. 12, atli. 13, roles. 14, 
15, prum. 

What common birds are suggested by 1, A high official in the 
Roman Catholic Church? 2, A goat? 3, A common household pet? 

4, An animal of great use to man? 5, A piece of money? 6, A crown- 
ed ruler? 7, A part of a mountain range? 8, A girl's name? 9, Part 
of a country fence? 10, The act of drinking? 11 and 12, A flogging. 


How many of our young folks can give the names of these ten 
babies which I found in my little journeys in the woods in June? I am 
sure you would be able to name very few of them unless the parent 
birds were seen, for these woodland infants seem to consist chiefly of 
a gaping mouth attached to a limited amount of gray skin and bones. 

As I was walking along a shady road, my attention was called by a 
constant "chirp, chirp," to a little fellow clad in a gray downy coat, 
holding on for dear life to a short branch far above my head. His 
voice was hushed for an instant only, by a worm brought by the 
mother, a bird a little less than six inches long, with beautiful yellow 
throat and breast, upper parts an olive green, two wing-bars of white, 
and a yellow ring about her eye. From a higher branch hung a dainty 
cup, covered with grey lichens, which the little fellow had but recent- 
ly left. 

Near by was a mud plastered home, to which two olive-grey parents 
with breasts of red, traveled constantly with worms, berries, millers 
and all sorts of goodies to satisy four greedy mouths. 

Turning into a path through the woods, I followed a voice which 
seemed to say "Drink your tea" and through the leaves caught a 
glimpse of a black and white bird with chestnut colored sides. A short 
search revealed a home on the ground, beneath the shelter of a black- 
ened log. 

A brown bird, with a long tail and a spotted breast hopped along the 



path ahead of me, with a worm in her mouth. She was going away 
from her home not towards it. She knew from sad experience that 
mankind was not to be trusted, and hoped to lead me away from her 
home in the undergrowth. 

Turning from the beaten path, I almost stepped upon a dear little 
fellow which had but recently left its arched cave like home among the 
dead leaves, faint stripes showed upon its crown, and the tiny olive- 
green wing feathers had appeared; but the rest of its body was still 
covered with a soft downy coat, which in a few weeks would change to 
the thrush-like plumage of the mature birds. 

Photo from life bv C. A. Reed. 


Then I noticed a slight movement in some indigo weeds at my right, 
as a cautious mother slipped away through the bushes, and parting the 
green sprays, there was a dainty structure of grasses and fibre, its rim 
encircling four wide opened yellow mouths. From a distant tree a 
little fellow in olive green with a bright yellow breast streaked on the 
sides with black, cried in an ascending scale: "see, see, see, see." We 
saundered on, past a black and white bird wearing a red cap, who 
with his long straight bill was patiently hammering grubs from a dead 
tree trunk for his children, who looked well able to care for themselves. 
We past a scarlet and black beauty, who, with his green mate, was 
training up his plainly clad young in the way they should go. Past a 
dainty sprite clad in an entire suit of rich plain blue, who caroled to us 
of the bulky nest of grass which was swung between the tall stalks of 



some cinnamon ferns in yonder field, where even now the little spar- 
rowy mother was busily engaged in supplying food to the hungry 
occupants. On, past many a cradle rocked by murmuring breezes, 
until we came upon the prettiest sight of all, a dwelling of twigs, 
leaves and grass, about four feet from the ground, shaded by glossy, 
green laurel leaves. On the farther edge of the nest sat the mother 
bird, seemingly very proud, (as well she might be) of her four little 
ones which the nest would hardly contain. The youthful members of 
the family were nearly ready to go out and seek their fortune in the 
great world, for they had donned their brown coats and white vests 
with trimmings of dark brown spots, and their bright eyes looked out 
fearlessly upon a world of untried adventure. When next I passed 
that way they were gone, but from the slopes beyond came sweet bell 
like notes telling me that at least part of the family was safe and happy. 


A bird's nest, mark it well, within, without, 

No tool had he that wrought, no knife to cut, 
No nail to fix, no bodkin to insert. 

No glue to join; his little beak was all. 
And yet how neatly finished! What nice hand 

With every implement and means of art, 
And twenty years of apprenticeship, to boot. 

Could make one such another? — Hurdis. 

Do you never think what wondrous beings these? 

Do you never think who made them, and who taught 
The dialect they speak, where melodies 

Alone are the interpreters of thought? 
Whose household words are songs in many keys 

Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught. — Longfellow. 


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ONG years agone a wandering inquisi- 
tive blue bird in search of a nesting site, 
found an opening in a rainwater con- 
ductor, which led him to a full hogshead 
— and suicide. This unfortunate drown- 
ed bird was stuffed and mounted on a 
rustic perch by an ancient hermit taxi- 
dermist. This bird, the work of Nature 
and Art combined, was long the delight 
of the wondering juveniles of the fam- 
ily which was so fortunate as to possess 
it; but one evening little sister unwit- 
tingly placed a lamp in such juxtaposition 
to the specimen that its tail went up in 
fragrant (?) incense, and great were the 
lamentations thereat. Nevertheless this seeming calamity proved a 
blessing in disguise to one member of the family. Little brother, 
who had the budding instincts of a naturalist, who kept the house 
littered with last year's bird's and hornet's nests, rocks, snake skins, 
tortoise shells, bones, lichens, etc., who had constructed a large case, 
the compartments of which he had filled with birds eggs of many 
kinds, saw in this unfortunate accident a golden opportunity. He had 
spent the early morning hours of Spring and Summer, in watching the 
common birds of field, orchard and woodland. He had learned their 
names and notes, and, boylike, he now longed to "collect" them. 

The stuffed blue bird had awakened taxidermic ambitions and the 
ruin of the specimen furnished him with opportunities for the acquire- 
ment of useful knowledge, which till then had seemed unattainable. 
The stuffed bird and its rustic perch were both dissected. A book on 
taxidermy was obtained from the library and the mystery of bird stuff- 
ing was solved. Next came a thirst for the blood of the innocents. 
A deadly weapon was sought and found in the possession of another 
boy in the neighborhood. A trade was made. Seventy-five cents 
changed hands, and an old musket with a loosened sawed off barrel 
and broken lock changed owners. Boyish ingenuity was brought to 
bear on the loosened barrel and broken lock and for many moons that 
crude weapon carried on its work of destruction among the furred and 
feathered inhabitants of the woods; while under the midnight oil the 
collection of skins and mounted specimens grew apace. 

During all this time there was one crafty bird that always kept beyond 



Photo from life. 


(Just after feeding;.) 

the reach of a charge from the cut-off barrel. Morning after morning 
the harsh incisive alarm notes of the Blue Jay warned all creatures to 
beware of the hunter. Day by day while the boy was busied with his 
tasks at school this cry of the Jay rang in his ears. Early and late he 
sought the crafty creature through the glens, but Spring departed, Sum- 
mer waxed and waned, and the Autumn leaves were rustling down, ere 
his patience was rewarded. He had learned by this, time "as he be- 
lieved" to know the peculiar significance of each different call and to 
imitate some of them. Behold him seated on a rocky eminence one 


chilly Autumn morning, hoping for the appearance of the bird he longs 
to possess. He gives a few shrill decoy calls which deceive an incau- 
tious Jay whose answering cries announce its near approach. A glim- 
mer of blue, black and white flashes across the bright autumnal foliage. 
Instantly the gun is at the shoulder. As the echo of the report rattles 
through the woods something is seen to fall faster than the falling- 
leaves. The Jay is gathered to his father's. The boy has won his long 
coveted prize at last. Who can describe the ecstacy which follows that 
fatal shot — the delight of that misguided boy as he gloats over his fallen 
victim. There it lies in beauty between two moss grown rocks. The 
barred tail and wings broadly spread, the dark eyes open, moist and slow- 
ly glazing. The benighted assassin whoops and dances with delight in 
the exuberance of youth and hugs his miserable apology for a gun. 
Then the method of the naturalist asserts itself and he draws forth note 
book and pencil, but not content with merely making the usual entries he 
attempts to transfer his feelings to paper, and here is what we may yet 
read in the old note book. "Aha old robber! Destroyer of young 
birds, thy race is run. Never again wilt steal the farmers corn. Thou 
hast died as a bold robber should with thy boots on." Here a long 
pause ensues for the silence of the woods is broken by the mournful 
cry of the slain Jays mate. At her call charity, pity and mercy have 
come as tardy guests. The written page goes on "Still although thou 
art an outlaw, proscribed by man, perhaps thou hadst as good right to 
life as I. Alas all is done. Regrets are vain. Farewell to earth, thou 
forest planter. Farewell now to the wooded hillside, to summer's sun 
and winter's snow. In the evening shades thy mate shall call among 
the falling leaves like a mournful spirit, searching long through the 
darkling woods which shall never know thee more." 

So it was in those days. Those of us who studied the living bird at 
all studied it first over the sights of a gun and then measured and dis- 
sected the bleeding corpse, prepared the skin, duly labelled it and called 
our duty done. Consideration of the rights of the bird came afterward,. 
if at all. Today all is changed. The few "collectors" are in the sad 
minority, the work of the systematist is largely done. Now we look 
at the living birds through an opera glass and study their habits- 
afield, and our most trusted weapon is the camera. The Blue Jay 
skin shot so long ago still rests in a glass case, and the boy^ 
now the father of other boys, teaches them to use more modern 
weapons of his craft. Now instead of luring the Jay to its death, 
we disarm its apprehensions by acting the part of protector, ben- 
factor, and friend. We assume that attitude toward it which makes it 
an associate in our daily walks and occupations. Render the bird un- 



Photo from life. 

SHOT NO. 2. 

(About to clean the nest.) 

suspicious, tame it, or domesticate it and you experience all the ad- 
vantages of possession, without taking its life or abridging its liberty. 
In this way only, can one associate so intimately with the living bird, 
that he can study its character, emotions, language and food under- 
standingly. For years I have looked forward to the time when oppor- 
tunity could be afforded to study the nesting and food habits of birds 
by such intimate association with them. This hope seems at last 
about to be realized. Two years ago sufficient leisure was assured to 
admit of a search being made for a promising locality. A bicycle trip 
along the Massachusetts coast from New Hampshire to the Rhode 


Island line resulted in the choice of a small farm in Wareham, near the 
head of Buzzards Bay. This place situated near the confluence of two 
tidal rivers, appears to be in the direct line of bird migration on this 
coast. Surrounded by open meadows, fields and diversified woods, 
watered by brooks, flowing from living springs, within easy reach of 
Plymouth woods, where the deer still roam, it offers unlimited oppor- 
tunities for bird study. On the bay and the adjacent waters, seabirds 
breed or migrate. Along the small streams, shore birds and herons 
come and go. Here the Fish Hawk and Bald Eagle are commonly 
seen. Waterfowl find sheltered resorts in many ponds in the great 
woods. Hawks and owls also find in these woods secure nesting 
places. The immediate surroundings of the farm are such that the 
birds of field, orchard, wood, meadow and marsh, are always near at 

The first problem to be solved was how to attract them about 
the farm and garden. We found here a grove of white pines about 
four acres in extent, directly south of the house, which seemed to be 
calculated for a natural retreat for Blue Jays. The first summer prov- 
ed also that it was a great Robin roost. Hundreds of Robins roosting 
there nightly when the berries with which the country teems, have 
well ripened. Our first attempt at taming the Jays consisted of fast- 
ening bones, meat and suet upon the trees near the house. The birds 
were very wary for the first two or three months, but at last, one cold 
morning in winter, they were seen busily engaged in securing food 
from a "baited tree" near the house. 

Small branches were next fastened up to the kitchen and dining 
room windows, and there the most tempting food was exposed. The 
wary rascals watched from afar until the Chickadees and Nuthatches 
had frequented these windows for about two months. They made 
stealthy approaches, first coming to the thicket beyond the garden, 
next to the old pear tree on the hither side, then to a small heap of 
cinders thrown out to them to assist their digestion, and finally one snowy 
morning in January a loud hammering began on the window sill at day- 
break and there was Blue Jay helping himself. After that the Chickadees 
got very little food at that window for a time, for the Jays would tear away 
and carry off everything in the way of meat or suet that was put out. 
Bones with shreds of flesh and cartilage on them were then nailed fast, 
and the Jays soon became so tame that one could sit at the window and 
watch their feeding, their antics, and their quarrels going on just out- 
side the glass. It is indeed a novel sight to find three or four great 
handsome Blue Jays about your window on a cold morning in Febru- 
ary. By feeding the Jays a little all winter and putting out food 


about the door in the Spring, their shyness was so far overcome that 
they became accustomed to our presence. In the Spring one came in to 
the shed where it was easily caught, handled gently and released. This 
seemed not to alarm it for it remained near, and two pairs of these 
birds built their nests and reared their young near the house. One of 
the old birds finally became so fearless that she allowed a boy to 
climb to the nest and take her in his hand. On being released she did 
not fly away but quietly returned to the nest and settled on it. The 
Jays were not molested during the Summer and were given refuse 
grain and meat during the Fall and Winter. 

They had, by this time, so increased in number that six nests were 
built in the Robin roost last spring. Here they would have little dil^- 
culty in rearing their young were it not for the gray and red squirrels 
which have also increased in number. These animals have a well 
known fondness for the brains of young birds. Three pairs of gray 
squirrels and a larger number of the red species now inhabit the robin 
roost to the great worriment of both Jays and Robins. The Jays are 
fond of Robin's eggs. So fond indeed that although some thirty nests 
of Robins have been built near the house each year, less than twenty 
young birds have reached maturity. 

All through the season the shells of Robin's eggs could be found 
about the place with holes showing where the sharp bills of the Jays 
had perforated them. Very often indeed the "stop thief" of the Robins 

w... ^L. 

Photo from life. 

was heard as they chased the dashing intruder, who strove to make 
good his escape with an ^^^ on his beak. Although the Jays and 
Robins had many fierce battles they always joined forces against the 
common enemy. Thus six or eight of them might often be seen mak- 
ing desperate eft'orts to drive a squirrel away from a nest. Although 


the squirrel by dodging round the tree could easily avoid the rushes 
of a single bird, he was unable to escape the combined attack of sev- 
eral, for while avoiding one he would be pounced upon by another. 
The birds would dive upon the squirrel in turn, each giving one peck 
and getting away until the poor squirrel was forced to retreat precipi- 
tately. This season several young Jays were stolen by a Marsh 
Hawk. This bird is too strong for the parents. He gives them no 
time to concentrate their forces but swoops down to the nest snatches 
a young bird and bears it away to his home on the marsh followed by 
the screaming parents. The Jays feed their young largely on soft 
bodied caterpillars. Some of the birds begin their nesting operations 
the latter part of June, so there is an opportunity for observing their 
nesting habits for about two months. 

Early in June of the present year, the editor of this magazine hon- 
ored us by a visit. He appeared with camera and photographic out- 
fit. At the time of his visit there was but one easily accessible nest 
with young Jays in it. The others were mostly high in the trees. 
This nest was situated about nine feet from the ground on the south 
side of a tree on the sunny side of the grove, and well out toward the 
end of the branches. Here the light was good, and as the birds had 
frequently fed the young when we were near the nest, we assured Mr. 
Reed he would have no difficulty in catching one of them in the act. 
The first picture shows how the camera was raised into position. The 
apparatus used may appear like "heavy artillery'' to the casual reader. 
But the log truck with its long wagon box proved to be exactly adapt- 
ed to the purpose in this particular spot. It was backed up under the 
tree so that its hinder part was directly beneath the nest. The camera 
was then mounted on long stilts, a few branches were tied out of the 
way, and it was focussed. 

The birds being very unsuspicious came and went often, feeding 
their young about as usual, although doing it very quietly and in a 
more stealthy manner than common. To one who has heard much 
about the diificulty of photographing the Blue Jay at the nest this seems 
rather unusual. Probably much more difficulty would have been ex- 
perienced had not the birds learned that they were safe from harm at 
our hands. 

The second and third pictures show the parent bird at the nest. In 
the second the camera was snapped while the bird was in the act of feed- 
ing, but as seen in the picture she has gotten a little ahead of the 
camera, for she has already fed the young and raising her head, is now 
looking directly at it. The typical loose construction of the nest and 
its position on the bough of the pine can be plainly seen. It was plac- 
ed well out toward the end of the bough where it was normally con- 
cealed by the foliage of the limb above, which hung low over it and 
had to be temporarily pulled aside for the purpose of the photographer. 
The bird usually enters the nest by flying into the lower part of the 



Photo from life. 


tree, and then hopping spirally upward from bough to bough around 
the trunk, creeps out along the branch, reaching the nest usually from 
the rear, as it were, thus avoiding the observation of her enemies. 
These birds are almost constantly busy in feeding their young and 
cleaning the nest, and to one who will watch them for a few days, 
Dr. Brewers statement that a family of Jays consumes a million cater- 
pillars in a season will not seem incredible. The four young in this 
nest were not quite fledged at the time they were visited by the artist 
(June 10) and they were always hungry. In the picture of the nest 
three of them have their heads up and their open mouths turned toward 
their devoted parent. The other no doubt, is swallowing the food 
that has just been given him. The next picture gives a slightly 
closer view of the same young birds on a branch, apparently searching 
the blue arch of the heavens for more food. In their callow youth 
they will bite greedily at anything, and there is little that comes amiss 
to them in their more mature years. These little fellows were taken 
from the nest and perched on the limb where they remained without 
manifesting any fear and what was still more remarkable, the parents 
on their perches in the near by trees evinced no alarm and uttered no 
complaint. They conversed quietly with each other aside, as if they 
should say "These are some of our people from the farmhouse. Let's 
not say a word. Perhaps they will take the job of feeding the children 
off our hands for the rest of the day." As we replaced the young in 
the nest the old birds immediately bestirred themselves and began 
feeding them. The young grew rapidly, and on June 15th they went 
out into the wide, wide world. Owing to lack of time and space we 
must defer the remainder of this chronicle to another issue. 

Edward Howe Forbush. 



Someone aptly says; — 

"Our crested Jay with all his beauty 
Has neither sense of right nor duty." 

And farther on; — 

"Wherever he assumes his station 
He is master of the situation.", 

The writer was evidently acquainted with the Blue Jay in all his 
moods and variations. Some years ago a young student of Blackstone 
had in his possession a beautiful Blue Jay. During the day time Jack, 
for that was his name, had free range of the ofBce, and amused many 
callers with his cute, saucy tricks. At one time his master was the pos- 
sesser of a fine carbuncle, located on the back of his neck, that gave him 
great pain, so that he was forced to discard collar and tie, wearing only a 
silk handkerchief about his neck. One morning even that became un- 
bearable, and doffing coat, vest and "kerchief" he sat down at his desk 
and was soon deeply engrossed in his reading. 

Jack had been fed and let out from his cage and was now busily en- 
gaged in looking about for some mischief. As was often his custom 
when flying about the room, he alighted on the back of his master's 
chair, and began to call, hoping to arrest his attention; but the student 
was so busily engaged in his reading, that either he did not hear Jack 
or did not want to. Finally Jack spied the fine carbuncle on the 
back of his master's neck, and hopping on his shoulder, began a tour 
of inspection. 

He viewed it from first one side, then the other, then from the back 
of the chair, but seemed to arrive at no definite conclusion. Finally, 
cocking his head on one side, he communed with himself thusly: "I 
think it's a carbuncle. It's just in prime condition, why don't he have 
it lanced? Ah, I know. It's because he can't see it. No man has 
eyes in the back of his head. I guess I will do the job myself." Hop- 
ping around to the other shoulder, he carefully wiped his bill on his 
master's shirt, then giving him one keen glance, he drew back, took 
aim, and with one blow drove his beak to the bottom of the carbuncle. 

With a shout, the embryo senator leaped half way to the ceiling, the 

persperation oozing from every pore. His threats to "kill that bird" 

were of no avail and Jack from his perch over a picture only screamed 

back defiance as he carefully wiped his lancet on his glossy feathers. 

Mrs. L. Ma> Dean. 



A. O. V. No. 337. (Bnteo borealis.) 


Found through southern Canada and the United States east of the 
Plains. Breeds throughout its range except in the extreme southern 
portions. This species is subdivided into the following varieties: — 
337a. Krider's Hawk (B. b. kriderii). Found in the Plains in the 
middle portions of the U. S. 337b, Western Red-tail (B. b. calurus). 
North America west of the Rockies. 337c, St. Lucas Red-tail (B. b. 
lucasanus.) Peninsula of Lower California. 337d, Harlan's Hawk 
(B. b. harlani.) The lower Mississippi valley along the Gulf coast 
north casually to the middle portions of the U. S. 

Length about 22 inches; extent about 50 inches; tail 9.5 inches. 
Eyes, brown. Cere and feet, yellow. Upper parts, brownish black, the 
feathers being generally edged with lighter. Under parts white tinged 
with buffy. A broad zone of dark markings crosses the abdomen and 
the color of the upper parts is continued around the throat. The tail 
is a rich reddish chestnut with a narrow white tip and a broader sub- 
terminal bar of black. The young birds are similar in plumage ex- 
cept that the tail is gray and is crossed by ei^ht or ten black bars. 
Krider's Hawk is a light form of the above and is entirely white below. 
The Western Red-tail varies from about the typical form of the eastern 
to a uniform dark sooty brown, and the tail is generally banded. Har- 
lan's Hawk varies from the typical Red-tail to nearly black and the 
tail is mottled with rusty, white and dusky. 


The Red-tail places its bulky nest w^ell up in the high trees of dense 




woods. It is a rather shallow platform of sticks and lined with twigs, 
grasses, moss or anything that it may happen to pick up. The eggs 
are laid according to the locality from the latter part of March until the 
end of May. The eggs are a bluish-white in color and vary greatly in 
markings. Some are unmarked, and others faintly, while still others 
will be heavily dashed, blotched and spotted with varying shades of 
brown. They lay from two to four eggs, the former number being 
much more common than the latter. 

A bold, powerful and handsome hawk, this species is capable of 




Photo by C. A. Smith. 

creating great havoc among others of the feathered tribe, both wild and 
domestic. He is also capable of being of immense value to all who are 
interested in tilling the soil, and the trend of investigations have es- 
tablished the fact that he is to be considered as a valuable bird. 
Doubtless many of these hawks will from choice prefer a dinner of 
poultry, but then who among us humans does not like the same diet; 
but even if I were a poultry raiser, I doubt that I would declare war 
on everything that bore resemblance to a hawk because one of them 
now and then carried off a chicken. As for the chicken I doubt if he 
has any preference between being guillotined with an ax and strangled 
in a hawk's talons. 

The Red-tails' piercing, but pleasant whistle may be frequently heard 
as they soar at astonishing heights. Without a visible tremor to their 
wings they will describe circle after circle, each above the other till the 
aching eyes of the watcher can no longer make out their form in the 
heights above. Surely such sights as this are worth the occasional 
loss of a chicken. At least half of the food of the Red-tails consists of 
the destructive meadow mice. Other elements that enter into their 
diet are small animals, reptiles, frogs, insects, etc., and less than ten 
per cent, of their food is made up of poultry or game birds. In fact it 



is only when the supply of the former is exhausted that they will turn 
to the latter. The numbers of Red-tails in Massachusetts have de- 
creased amazingly in the last few years both from the cutting off of the 
heavy timber and through the destructive agencies of mankind. In the 
Fall they frequently band together into flocks and migrate to the 
southern parts of the U. S. 

I live in hopes of seeing the day when the word "Hen Hawk" will be 
unheard, and this hawk, as well as others of the family may enjoy the 
peace and prosperity that they deserve. When we come right down to 
the fine points of the game, and are judging the right of a bird to 
enjoy life solely by his usefulness in serving the ends of mankind, who 
is to judge us, who kill beast, bird and fish merely to satisfy the de- 
mands of a greedy appetite, or worse still "just for sport." 







Photo from life by C. A Smith. 




Identification Chart No. 8. 


No. 335, Harris's Hawk, {Parahiiteo unicinc- 
tus harrisi. 

Length about 21 inches. General color blackish or 
dark brown. Shoulders, lining of wings and tibia, 
rich chocolate brown. Tail coverts and base of tail, 
white. Tip of tail also white. Found throughout the 
southwestern states from the Mississippi to the Pacific. 
This hawk is sluggish in movement and feeds exten- 
sively upon carrion and associates with the vultures. 
The plumage of the young is more brownish and the 
tibia are whitish, barred with chestnut. 

No. 342, Swainson's Hawk, (Buteo swainsoni.) 

Length, 20 inches. Upper parts brownish gray. 
Chin and throat white. Breast pale chestnut, the 
feathers having black shaft lines. Rest of under parts 
whitish, more or less barred with light brown. Tail 
the same color as back and crossed by a number of 
dusky bands. This hawk varies greatly in plumage 
at different seasons and ages and may be found from 
the above description to nearly a uniform blackish 
brown. Western portions of North America from the 
Arctic region to Mexico. Rarely east of the Mississippi 

No. 347a, American Rough-legged Hawk, 
{Archibnteo lagopiis sancti-johannis.) 

Length about 21 inches. Legs thickly feathered 
down to the base of the toes. Head and neck, dull 
white, streiked with dusky. Rest of upper parts dark 
brown. A broad band of dusky across the belly. Base 
and tip of tail, white. From this plumage it varies to 
black but may be known by the feathered legs. Found 
throughout North America. 

No. 348, Ferruginous Rough-legged Hawk, 
( zArchibuteo ferrugineus . ) 

Length about 24 inches. Legs feathered to the toes. 
Upper parts rust brown, brightest on the shoulders. 
Under parts whitish, faintly barred with reddish. 
Thighs rusty and barred with dusky. Tail, white, 
washed more or less with brownish. Found in the 
United States west of the Mississippi, and in southern 



Owls halving elongated ear tufts. 

No. 367, Short-eared Owl, {Asio accipitrinus.) 

Length about 17 in. Entire plumage varying from a 
bright tawny to a buffy white, streaked above and 
below with dark brown. A broad black stripe entire- 
ly encircles the eyes. Ear tufts small. Found through- 
out North America. Breeds from the middle section 

No. 366, American Long-eared Owl, (c^s/o 

Length about 15 inches. Ear tufts very con- 
spicuous. Abi)ve dusky, mottled with tawny, gray 
and black. The facial dis: is inclined to a bright 
chestnut color. Under parts grayish white, streaked, 
mottled and barred with black and tawny. Found 
throughout temperate North America. Breeds where- 
ever found. 

No. 375, Great Horned Owl, (Bubo Virginia- 

Length from 20 to 25 inches. This owl is very 
large, strong and heavy. The ear tufts are very con- 
spicuous. Plumage of the upper parts irregularly 
variegated with zigzag lines of black, tawny and 
whitish. Tail mottled grayish white, and crossed by a 
number of dusky bands. Under parts whitish, washed 
with tawny and barred closely with black. Facial disc 
tawny and edged with black. A large white patch on 
upper breast and throat. The typical species is found 
in North America east of the Mississippi. The same 
bird is found in different phases throughout the coun- 
try and is subdivided as follows: — 375a Western (Bubo 
virginianus subarcticus.) This is a somewhat paler 
bird and is found from the Great Plains westwards 
and south to Mexico. 375b Arctic (Bubo virginianus 
arcticus) is found in the interior of Canada and in the 
middle of the northern tier of states. It lacks the 
tawny color entirely and is marked with black and 
white. 375c Dusky (Bubo virginianus saturatus) is 
found along the Pacific coast from Alaska to the Mexi- 
can border and is the darkest variety and shows little 




One of the most common birds of our eastern lowlands and hillside 
pastures is the lyrical meadow-lark. Every person who uses his eyes 
has seen this bird's golden breast flashing in the sun as he sits on a 
fence stake and pipes his blithe, wavering melody. 

You are doubtless aware that the familiar lark has a cousin which 
chooses our western prairies and plains and mountain parks for his 
dwelling place ? He is known as the western meadow-lark, and has the 
Latin adjective neglecta affixed to his name to distinguish him from his 
his eastern relative. 

There is slight dilference in the appearance of the two birds. Indeed, 
unless you had them in hand, or were very close to them in the open 
field with a good glass, you could not be absolutely sure whether any 
given birds were easterners or westerners. 

However, they are not precise copies of each other. For instance, in 
the eastern form the yellow of the throat does not reach out laterally 
over the malar region — that is, the region of the cheek — whereas in the 
western form it does. In general the upper parts of the western bird 
are paler and grayer and the black markings less distinct and confluent 
than are those of our eastern piper. The flanks and lower tail-coverts 
of the eastern lark are more or less heavily washed with buff, while 
these parts of the western type are white, only faintly tinged with buff, 
if at all. 

Thus it will be seen that there are three clear external markings 
whereby you may tell the two species apart. 

But, much as it might puzzle you at times to distinguish between them 
by their outward appearance, you would experience no such difficulty 
the moment the minstrel of the west opened his mandibles to sing you 
an aria. One spring I went down into Oklahoma to study the birds, 
and found both kinds of meadow-larks in great abundance on the broad 
prairies, and again and again I heard them singing — or, rather, whist- 
ling — at the same time. The following paragraph is quoted from my 
notes taken on the ground : 

" Sitting on a weed-stalk, or a fence post, or the grassy prairie, the 
easterner whistles or flutes his clear, two-part melody, which seems to 
fly like an undulating shaft across the fields ; his cousin, the westerner, 






pours forth a quaint, varied run, containing some gurgling notes which 
sound as if there was water in his larynx, or as if the palpitating air 
were thrown back upon itself and churned into music by some peculiar 
muscular movement of the windpipe. The eastern bird seldom varies 
his song, and even when he does, the change does not amount to a great 
deal ; not so with his gifted relative of the west, which rolls one distinct 
tune after another from his wonderful throat, sometimes chanting three 
or four different tunes in as many minutes, although his usual habit is 
to repeat one strain several times and then suddenly take up another." 

It must be admitted — for even the most ardent lover of the birds 
should be honest — that some of the western lark's airs are odd rather 
than musical ; but others are exceedingly sweet and melodious, almost 
bringing a shout of delighted surprise from an auditor. Some run very 
high in the scale, while others are tuned to a much lower key. 

One evening in June I was rambling among the foothills near Colo, 
rado Springs, Colorado, when a western lark piped five different tunes 
of rare beauty and power in as many minutes, all of them delivered with 
an air which seemed to say, "There ! I want you to know what I can do 
in the way of vocal gymnastics." If our bird is a little self-conscious, 
it does not in the least detract from his minstrelsy. 

In another respect he differs from our eastern fluter. You are 
doubtless familiar with the eastern lark's sputtering alarm-call, which 
you may hear almost any time that you enter his precincts, especially 
if there are nests with eggs or young hidden somewhere in the grass. 
The tenant of the western plains does not " sputter ;" instead, he utters 
a harsh chack very much like the protest of the crow blackbird. On 
several occasions I have heard one of these birds utter a loud, pro- 
longed call which sounded almost like a wail. 

The nesting habits of the two species are similar, the pretty crib 
being set on the ground, more or less carefully concealed in the grass, 
and often skillfully arched over from the rear- 

One of the questions that has puzzled the scientists and caused some 
dispute among them is, whether the eastern and western forms are dis- 
tinct species or only varieties. My own opinion is that they are en- 
titled to the honor of being called distinct species, and that they do not 
mingle together in the marriage relation. Here are some reasons for 
this view : 

First, as has been said, there is a striking difference in their songs- 
Much as I have listened to them, I am forced to say that the eastern 
larks almost always pipe the same tune, whether on a Kansas prairie or 
in an Ohio meadow. This is true even where the two species are des- 
canting in the same field and at the same moment- On the other hand. 



Photo by J. T. Little. 


I have never known the western lark to steal or mimic the tune of his 

■ To the statement just made, honesty compels me to admit one appa- 
rent exception, which will appear from the following quotation from my 
Oklahoma notes: "The next morning shortly after daybreak a meadow 
lark burst into an aria that was new to me, neither the song of the 
eastern or the western type, but a kind of combination of the two; this 
for a few minutes, and then the merry piper glided into the piercing- 
melody of a genuine 'down easterner.' Does this incident prove that 
the species sometimes get their songs confused, or that they purpose- 
ly mimic each other? That problem remains to be solved by the future 


However, with this one exception, I have never known the two 
species to borrow one another's music sheet. 

In Oklahoma I made some effort to find out whether the two forms 
mingle together in the family relation. A dip in the prairie through 
which a small stream flowed was the haunt of a brilliant lyrist of the 
western variety. On my first ramble, both going and returning, I 
found him there piping his marvelous tunes. Afterwards I visited the 
spot four times, and on every occasion this bird announced his presence 
by singing his bright lays, proving — so it seemed to me — that he was 
the same individual and that this place was his special precinct. Other 
larks of the eastern kind were tenants of the same large field, but they 
seemed to avoid this particular locality, as if they recognized the fact 
that their cousin had established a prior claim. 

Nor was this the only experiment of the kind I tried, and in every 
case conclusive proof was furnished that in the breeding season the 
two species keep well to their haunts, and do not often poach upon 
each other's presence. 

That eminent authority on birds, Robert Ridgway, says that the 
western lark is "without much doubt a distinct species." He also 
speaks of the "excessive rarity of intermediate specimens" — that is, 
the peculiar forms which some bird students have thought were the 
offspring of the crossing of the two species. 

It is interesting to note the ranges of these birds. On our western 
prairies both the eastern and western types dwell together in apparent 
harmony. As you go eastward, you will find the western form dwind- 
ling in numbers and becoming very rare in Illinois and Wisconsin, the 
eastern limits of their range. The precise reverse of this is true as 
you journey westward from the prairies to the arid plains. I have 
never seen or heard the eastern lark on the plains or among the foot- 
hills or in the mountain parks of Colorado, but in all these localities 
the westerners were found in great abundance. 

Far out on the arid plains, in regions where rain seldom falls and 
where living streams are unknown, many of the lyrical western larks 
find breeding and feeding grounds. One cannot help wondering how 
they solve the problem of drinking and bathing, but they must solve it 
in some way. 

However, the western larks are also found in goodly numbers on the 
irrigated portions of the plains and in the meadows that border the 
streams. Some of them make their summer homes on the parched 
mesas and among the rolling foothills. Do they also ascend into the 
mountains? Yes, in broad, open valleys, like the one in which Buena 
Vista is located, they rear their happy families and sing their loud 


choruses all summer long. In July I found them quite plentiful in 
South Park, whose elevation above sea level is about 9,500 feet. 

During the summer and autumn, after the breeding season is over, 
some of them move up to the regions above timber-line, an altitude of 
11,000 feet and over, where they range about on the grassy, flower- 
decked slopes and acclivities and find insects to their taste. Then, as 
winter approaches, they descend to the plains, and, after tarrying there 
a while, most of them retire to a blander climate than Colorado affords, 
although a few remain to spend the winter on the plains and among 
the sheltering foothills. No birds lead a freer or more jubilant life 
than the meadow-larks, whether they dwell in an eastern pasture 
field, or on the stretching plains of the west, or in an elevated Rocky 

Mountain park. 

Leander S. Keiser. 


A. O. U. No. 751. (Polioptila caerulea) 


Southern to middle portions of the Eastern U. S,, south in winter to 
Cuba and the Bahamas; rarely found north to southern New England 
and west to California. Migration in Tennessee — April and September. 

Length, about 4.5 inches. 

Male. — Grayish blue on upper parts, gray shading into white below. 
Wings tipped with darker shade of gray. Outer tail quills white, grad- 
ually changing darker to black quills in centre. Slight band of black 
over eyes. 

Female. — Same as male with colors less distinct, and without black 
marking on head. 

The nest of the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher is placed on a horizontal limb 
or in a vertical fork at a distance ranging from 10 to 60 feet from the 
ground, and often appears to be a mere mossy knot. The typical nest 
is saddled to the limb with grace. The nest is a compact structure and 
a thing of beauty. It is three or four inches high, and with well defined 
walls and deeply cupped, being constructed of small grasses, hair, leaf- 
down and hempen fiber woven and interwoven into a compact mass. 
The exterior walls are beautifully decorated with lichens overlaid with 
spider and caterpillar webs. The favorite nesting site is in the hickory, 
pine, oak or elm tree. 






Photo bv C. A. Smith. 


The eggs are commonly four or five in number, though in two cases 
in the year 1890 I found sets near Athens, McMinn county, Tennessee, 
consisting of eight eggs each, and during the same year found a nest of 
seven young. The ground color of the q^?. is a pale blueish or green- 
ish white, thickly speckled and spotted with brown and lilac, often form- 
ing a wreath around larger end. I found on May 3rd, near Chattanoga, 
Tennessee a set which were devoid of spots. The average size of eggs 
is about .56 x .43 inches. 


The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, sometimes (erroneously) called Long- 
tailed Titmouse, is an abundant summer resident of the southern and 
middle states. In early spring, ere the swollen buds of the maple and 
poplar have well begun to burst, the woodland and orchards are well 
populated with this graceful little friend. The peculiar little note "chee- 
e-e chee chee-chee" interspersed with the low but sweet warble from the 
tree top and even low shrubbery announce the arrival from winter 
quarters. Soon after their arrival the happy pair will diligently set to 
work erecting their summerhome. Their diligence often betrays them, 



Photo by C. A. Smith. 


for they are as busy as bees until the nest is completed. During the 
month of April, 1899 I found a great many nests of these birds near my 
home in Hamilton county, Tenn. On one day I found some twenty-nine 
pairs of this specie breeding. 

The movements of this specie are quick and spirited. It will be seen 
whirling and darting in mid-air or among the branches of the trees in 
pursuit of the little insect which forms his daily diet. The long grace- 
ful tail adds much to the beauty of the bird and is no impediment, for 
wings and tail seem lost in one, as the little fellow is whirling in quest 
of its prey. The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher suffers as perhaps no other 
bird of its section by the ravages of the Blue Jay, which devastate its 
little home devouring either eggs or well fledged young. 

H. R. Caldwell. 



11 .(cIM/ATlwiTH 



Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, 60x772, Waterbury, Ct. 

My Dear Young Folks: 

Our Roll of Honor this month shows that you have spent some of 
your time with our magazine during your vacation. I am afraid I con- 
fused some of you because I spelled phebe with five letters instead 
of six in the missing word puzzle for July. Though "phebe" and 
"phoebe" are both given in the Century dictionary, the latter seems to 
be the most familiar to our readers. Several gave pewit as the missing 
word which is another name for the same bird. Would you like a 
glimpse into our mail bag this month? It contained many nice letters 
from our little friends. Here is one from Kansas, in which Marjory 
Lester tells of the Blue Grosbeak, "which has a nestTin a tree in our 
yard, it is made of wool and paper, lined with fine root fibers, the eggs 
are white tinted with blue, and are very pretty." Stanley Cobb has a 
tip-top record, which I doubt if many of you can beat. He writes "I 
have had very good luck this year in seeing birds, having seen in all 
about ninety-three different kinds, and found several nests which I 
have photographed, the rarest of which is a Scarlet Tanager's nest," 
Have any of our readers identified a hundred different birds this year? 
Stafford Francis has been watching the Chewinks upon the ground. 
"They jump on the leaves with both feet, then they kick out with both 
feet at once, and send them flying, then they look around for bugs and 
worms, and then scratch again." This month the wonderful migration 
to the Southland takes place, keep a sharp lookout, boys and girls, and 
you may see a part of ihe procession. 

Your Friend, 

Meg Merrythought. 



Tim was a little helpless Crow when he was taken from the nest and 
"brought home. We kept him in a little box and fed him on bread and 
milk. At first he would not open his mouth, but we would swing a 
•cloth over his head, and he, thinking the mother had come, would open 
his mouth wide and we would drop in the bread. Soon he would eat 
all the bread and milk we would give him. After awhile he was able 
to walk, then we would take him from the box, and take him to walk. 
It would have made you laugh to see the funny little hops he took to 
keep up with us. We used to dig worms for him, and these he liked very 
much. Soon he became a strong handsome crow, and would take 
short flights through the orchard, always coming back when we called 
"Tim," but not always to be caught for he was shy and liked his liber- 
ty. In order to catch him, we would call him to a big rock that had a 
hollow in it, in which we would place an e^Z^ then stand ready to put 
our hands on him. 

One day we went to the flower garden and Tim came and perched 
on the fence close by. There was a lovely flower that we said was too 
pretty to pick, so we left it, and had only got into the house when Tim 
lit on the window sill with the flower in his bill, and looking very 
proud and wise. He was often busy turning over chips. One day I 
saw him rolling quite a large stick of wood, arid watched him to see 
how he could do it. He would put his bill down to the ground under the 
stick and then open his mouth wide and over the stick would go. Tim 
had a trick of filling his mouth as full of corn as it would hold, then he 
would hide it and cover it over with a chip. One day he had dropped 
his mouthful and was off hunting for a chip. When he came back he 
found the old duck just gobbling the last of the corn. He dropped the 
chip, walked up to her and yanked two or three feathers out of her 
neck. Oh he was mad! 

The first winter I kept him in a big box in the open chamber, and 
fed him on corn and bread, and fresh meat. He was active all the 
time. Nights he would busy himself carrying sticks and paper from 
one end of his box to the other. The next summer Tim was a lovely 
bird, so black and with such long wings. He did not fear the dog or 
hens then, but he loved to annoy the old duck, and when she would 
run for him he would fly on the fence and chatter at her. He could not 
talk, but he would mock the hens and was a noisy fellow. I would 
toss papers at him and he would dodge them, then take them and fly 
away. Well, Tim was a dear bird and we all liked him, and if I had 
cut his wings we should have him now, but I could not bear to do that 
so one day in December I let him out, and he flew over the barn then 


came over my head and flew off through the orchard, and I never saw 
him afterwards that I know of. The next spring a crow came early in 
orchard close to the house, and it may have been Tim. And so I lost 
my dear, tame crow, but perhaps he is happier flying round with his 
mates. Hope Ellingwood. 

ROLL OF HONOR.— Henri Behotegny, Wooster, O.; Geneva May 
Bierly, N. Pittston, Pa.; Marjory Lester, Kingsley, Kans.; Chas. H. 
Rogers, Chesham, N. H.; Stafford Francis, Exeter, N. H.; Stanley 
Cobb, Milton, Mass.; Frank B. Clark, Jr. Glastonburg, Conn. 


PI, Parts of a Bird. 1, Crown. 2, Forehead. 3, Mandible. 4, Nape. 
5, Throat. 6, Breast. 7, Primaries. 9, Wing Coverts. 10, Scapulars. 
11, Wing. 12, Tail. 13, Lores. 15, Rump. (The printer thought he 
could improve this PI by the addition of the letter (c) in number two, 
and also omitting number 14.) 

Suggested Birds. 
1, Cardinal. 2, Bunting. 3, Catbird. 4, Cowbird. 5, Eagle. 6, 
Kingbird. 7, Partridge, 8, Phoebe. 9, Railbird. 10, Swallow. 11, 
Whip-poor-will. 12, Thrasher. 

Names of Babes in the Woods. 
1, Yellow-throated Vireo. 2, Robin. 3, Chewink. 4, Thrasher. 
5, Ovenbird. 6, Prairie Warbler. 7, Downy Woodpecker. 8, Scarlet 
Tanager. 9, Indigo Bunting. 10, Wood Thrush. 

My 1st grows long for three months hence. My 2nd is a preposi- 
tion. My 3rd is unwelcome to sailors and bicyclists. My whole is one 
of the sweetest songsters. 

My 1st is a girl's name. My 2nd Columbus rejoiced at the sight of. 
My 3rd is not uncommon where there are boys. My 4th is a vowel. 
My 5th is used in producing my 3rd. My whole is a common bird. 


Although the English Sparrows are pretty little fellows, sociable and 
intelligent, they have few champions; there is a long black list against 
them. They drive away more desirable bird neighbors, take possession 


of the houses provided for other birds, are untidy, quarrelsome, thiev- 
ish, and even murderers. 

A pair of English Sparrows in this neighborhood lost a good friend 
a few weeks ago, when they were seen to enter a Bluebird's box and 
bring out and kill the four young Bluebirds. 

However, we are sorry to see the boys with air rifles destroying the 
little scamps, for oftentimes they are maimed, and the broken wing or 
leg causes suffering for a long lime. Then too, many a bright hued 
bird has lost its mate through the carelessness, which mistook her for 
"only a sparrow." It is possible too, that all the little folks may not 
be familiar with a score of others of the sparrow tribe, whose habits 
and songs make them most desirable friends. We give a list of some 
birds in brown plumage which might be mistaken for this little Eng- 
lish Sparrow. You will have to supply the vowels, as in some mys- 
terious manner they have disappeared from the type. Sparrows: — 
Chppng. Fid. Fx. Grsshppr. pswch. Svnn. Ssd. Shrptld. Sng. 
Swmp' Tr. Vspr. Whtcrwud. Wht-thrtd. Also the Gldfnch in winter 
dress, the females of the Bblnk, the Rd-wngd-Blckbrd, the Rd-pll, Prpl- 
fnch, ndg bntng, and the Grsbks. 


What a beautiful day! Now that Old Mother Nature (but in her gay 
attire she looks quite young and girlish) is arrayed in her prettiest 
garments, let us take a walk and admire them. Hush! what a beautiful 
Blue Jay just flew down to the walk in front of us, took a step and in a 
minute he was gone. Who would think that that bird with such 
gorgeous plumage could be so treacherous to his bird neighbors, but 
who are mostly all his enemies. See those dainty little asters, just the 
least bit tinted with blue. I will pick a few of them, while you pluck 
for your bouquet some of that — now what is the real name of this pretty 
yellow and orange flower — well call it the old fashioned name of butter 
and eggs. I am going to break ofif some of this tansy and pink and 
white clover, — why what makes you laugh? You think it is too com- 
mon to pick? Ah! no, they are just as beautiful to me even though 
they are so common. Well, well, see that bold little English Sparrow 
bathing in the pool of water; now see him trying to dry himself in the 

It seems rather queer to me to go and dirty oneself just after 
getting clean. Torn your stocking in the blackberry vine. No. 
Thats good. Hark! Do you hear that Catbird imitating our pussy at 
home? I'd like to have him come out of his hiding place, but as he is 


bound not to, we wont say a word but go away and see what more we 
can find. Hear the Robin singing his song of cheerily, cheerily, cheer- 
ily, cheer up, cheerily. Who could be lonesome even if left alone with 
just this one bird friend. Not I at least. See the timothy grass in 
yonder field waving to and fro in the gentle breeze. Come run, there 
is a little snake, O, it is running away from us, it won't hurt you. You 
say you _ wouldn't like to be left with that small wriggling creature, 
well, I quite agree with you there. Chip, chip, hear that Chipping 
Sparrow overhead and see that swallow flying up and then down. He 
seems to be always on the wing. I should really think he would be 
tired, I'm just beginning to feel tired myself, aren't you? Well let us 
sit under this birch tree and enjoy the shade it gives. Do you feel the 
gentle breeze? How refreshing it is. See those two swallow-tailed 
butterflies. Be still and they may come near. Yes they are right 
at my feet. See how perfect each marking ot black is. What is the 
use of these pretty flitting things? They have a use or our Heavenly 
Father would not have put them here. Their use may be just to make 
us think of Him. Do you hear Bob White telling us his name and the 
crow above saying caw, caw, caw? Let us be up and off. Just listen 
one minute and hear all the dififerent sounds that come from the birds, 
the tree toad, and the rustling of the leaves for an accompaniment. See 
that Chickadee in the pine tree yonder, and Oh, see that beautiful Blue- 
bird. It is the most beautiful one I have seen this year? 

How kind Mother Nature is to show us all these things, and how 
kind of our own Heavenly Father to put them on earth so that all who 
would, could see them. 

Mary F. W. Anderson, (age 14,) Wollaston, Mass. 


'Tis always morning somewhere; and above 
The awakening continents, from shore to shore, 
Somewhere the birds are singing ever more. 

— Longfellow. 


She rears her young on yonder tree, 

She leaves her faithful mate to mind 'em, 
Like us, for fish she sails to sea. 

And plunging, shows us where to find 'em. 

— Alex Gilson, 

I t 

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Photo from life by Dr. J. B. Pardoe. 




A. O. U. Xo. 390. (Ceryle alcyon) 


Found commonly throughout North America, from the Arctic Ocean 
to Central America. Breeds from the southern parts of the United 
States, northwards. 


Length about 12 in.; extent, 22 in.; tail 4 in. Bill and feet, blackish. 
Eye, dark brown. Top of head, upper parts and band across the fore 
part of the breast a bluish slate color. Spot in front of, and crescent 
below the eye are white. A broad band around the upper part of the 
neck, including the chin is white, as are also the remainder of the under 
parts except the band of slate already mentioned- Primaries black, 
the outer ones being irregularly barred or mottled with white. vSec- 
ondaries black, barred with white and with the outer webs for the 
greater part blue gray, these edges completely concealing the black when 
the wings are folded. Middle tail feathers gray; the next with the 
inner web black barred with white, these latter colors gradually replac- 
ing the gray until the outer feathers are entirely black and white. The 
female is similar to the male except that below the gray band across 
the chest is another one of chestnut which color extends along the sides 
also. The young of both sexes resemble the female. 

The Kingfisher builds its nest at the end of a tunnel in a bank. This 
tunnel varies in length from two to eight feet; the eggs are laid on the 
bare sand at the end of the burrow. The tunnel is dug by the bird and 
is used year after year. They lay from six to eight glossy white eggs. 



A harsh, disnaal rattling cry comes to our ears from some point up 
the lake. We listen and again it is repeated. We have orriinous 
thoughts of riots, the oflficer's rattle and the death cry of some animal 
or human being, which are dispelled as an odd but handsome bird 
perches on a branch overhanging the water and utters the same peculiar 






Tattle that had caused the misgivings. We watch him with much inter- 
■est as his bright bead-like eyes keenly scan the depths of the lake be- 
low. Without an instants warning we see a flash of gray and white 
■darting downwards and the quiet surface of the water is rufified as this 
king of fishers disappears beneath. Only an instant is he out of our 
sight and then with much splashing of water he emerges with a 
struggling fish held firmly in the grasp of his stout beak. 

F'hoto by C. A. ReeJ. 


Proceeding directly to his original perch, after shaking himself, he 
calmly turns the fish half way around; a convulsive movement of the 
head and the fish is seen no more, while the fisherman uttering another 
rasping rattle, his only attempt at a song, starts off for another hunting 
ground. The Kingfisher does not by any means confine his hunting to 
the comparatively inactive fish of the lakes and ponds but wanders up 
and down brooks where fishing is more difficult. 



g3:.-rl :-".!< ,;^^^''-r » 


Photo by C. A Reed. 

The larger trout are fairly successful in avoiding the hooks of human 
anglers, but the smaller ones are not so fortunate in escaping the beak 
of this more adept feathered angler and he rarely misses his aim. For 
a good many years a pair of Kingfishers have made their home along 
the banks of a certain small stream within the limits of the city of 
Worcester. Here in the solitude of the woods through which the 
stream flows, they have regaled themselves on trout, dace, sunfish, etc. 
Now and again, amid the babel of the numerous smaller birds, the 
Avarning rattle of one of them will ring out either for conversation with 
his mate or as a cry of exultation over the capture of another finny crea- 
ture. Their nest is in the bank under the roots of an overhanging oak. 
Doubtless if we could see the nest at the end of the tunnel we would 



find, as is generally the case where the nest has been used for a num- 
ber of years that it would be lined with the bones of fishes that the 
young had been fed upon. 

Photo from life by J. B. Pardoe. 


Salt water rivers and bays prove just as attractive to these crested 
fishers as do inland waters and they are commonly found along the 
coast, where they fish for the smaller fry near shore, leaving to the Os- 
preys the duty of catching the larger ones. Their vision is so keen 
that though the surface of the water may be ruffled so that a person can 

Photo from hfe by J. 




see nothing in it, they will catch their fish every time. Along the sea 
coast they are often seen perched on the masts or shrouds of schooners 
or smaller craft that may be at anchor near shore. Another familiar 
spectacle is that of a Kingfisher hovering in mid air over the water, 
motionless except for the rapidly vibrating wings, watching for a 
fish below to get in the proper position for him to make a successful 

Owing to their non-economic value and the small damage they do by 
the killing of young trout, sportsmen and fishermen are advocating the 
removal of the law that now gives them protection and favor killing 
them all off. Anyone that will advocate such a method shows that he 
has little appreciation of the beautiful and no ingenuity of his own or he 
would find an original method by which he could keep them away from 
hatcheries without injury to the birds. 







Photo from life by J. B. Pardoe. 



A. O. U. No. 595. 

(Habia linlovlciaua.> 


Eastern North America, breeding from the middle states northwards 
to Labrador and the Saskatchewan. Winters in Mexico and Central 
America. It has also been found in Ecuador and Cuba. 

About 8 inches long; the male has the head, neck and upper parts 
black; bill, rump, under parts, and markings on the wings and tail,. 




■F^ Ji 

^^ ' r jKyjj9 



mS ''^^m 

BE / r 

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white; breast, rose-carmine; lining of the under wing, delicate rose. 
The female has the upper parts a light brown streaked with darker; a 
line over the eye, a slight one below it and one of the middle of the 
crown, tips of the wing coverts, and under pArts, white; breast and sides 
streaked and spotted with brown; bright yellow under the wings, and 
sometimes a tinge of the same on the upper part of the breast. I have 
also seen a rose tint mixed with the yellow under the wings, and also a 
male with the most delicate tint of pink on the rump. 

The nest of this species, built late in May, is a frail and loosely 
woven affair, placed in the top of a bush or on the lower horizontal 
limb of a tree. It is composed outside of small sticks, twigs, or coarse 

strawy material, ornamented 
with a few skeleton leaves, and is 
lined with very fine dry twigs of 
some evergreen tree, or with fine 
rootlets, and is sometimes finish- 
ed with horsehair. The whole 
structure is so loosely put to- 
gether that one can see through 
it from below. The eggs which 
number 'four;'^ or five, are light 
greenish blue, speckled and spot- 
ted with brown and lilac, the 
markings often thickened or 
wreathed about the larger end. 
The nest and eggs strongly re- 
semble those of the Scarlet 
Tanager, both being a sort of 
rude log cabin sort of affair for 
birds of such "distant and high 
bred ways." 

Photo by J. P. Pardee. 




The stranger to our beautiful forests and sylvan retreats will scarcely 
know this charming bird, for its favorite haunts are the swampy woods 
where the shadows are deep from tangled vines and rank undergrowth; 
where blossoms are large and deeply tinted from vegetable molds, and 
where the fragrant atmosphere is cool and moist. It delights in thick- 
ets forming a border line between field and forest, and startles the 
echoes in the lofty arcades of the densest and darkest woodlands. In 
such places and rather local in its distribution, the male makes his ap- 
pearance in western New York from the first to the tenth of May, and 
stretching himself on tiptoe, delivers, in a hurried and spirited manner, 
his rare and delightful melody, which strongly resembles the finest per- 
formance of the Robin — only the warble is much more copious, con- 
tinuously prolonged and finely modulated with a peculiar richness, pur- 
ity, and sweet pathos in the tones. 




All his movements are stately and graceful, and his jet black with 
snow-white markings and rose on the breast render him a strikingly- 
beautiful object among the bright young foliage of early spring; but so 
shy and retiring is he at nearly all times, as to be much more frequent- 
ly heard than seen. Indeed it often requires careful observation to ob- 
tain a glimpse of him. He has been in favor as a cage bird and is said 
by some to sing freely in the night. The male seems quite attentive 
to the duties of incubation. I have seen him more frequently on the 
nest than the female. 

In early autumn as the young males go south, they resemble the fe- 
males in color and markings, only they are much darker and richer in 
tints and are tinged with rose on the throat, crown and under the wings. 
A family well represented at this time of year would make a truly 
beautiful group. Though closely related to the Sparrows and Finches, 
and therefore a seed eating bird in structure, he nevertheless devours 
multitudes of insects. rev. j. h. langille. 


OW pleasant it is to recall the delight- 
ful experiences of our summer ramble! 
While walking through a pine forest 
one morning in the latter part of June, 
it was my fortune to come upon the 
nest of an Ovenbird, placed in a hollow 
stump. There it was most deftly con- 
cealed and I never should have found it 
had the little mother remained in the 
nest. When one comes upon this bird 
by surprise as she is sitting in her little 
home, she will suddenly dart out and 
try to lead you away from the treasures 
that she loves so well. This nest con- 
tained four eggs and a few days later, 
four young birds that were as helpless as any living creatures could be. 
It was not long before they began to feather and I must say that I 
never saw so good a case of what ornithologists call protective color- 

But alas. This nest as well as too many others that I found came to 
a sad end. One day I went to pay them my usual visit and found noth- 
ing there, neither nest or birds. Something had torn the nest to atoms 


and what became of the birds I cannot say. What or who the robber 
was, I do not know, but I do know that these tragedies occur all too 
frequently in my locality. 

I must say something about that noted songster of the south, the 
Mocking Bird. Only today I found a nest of this member of the thrush 
family. They often build their homes near my residence and here they 
sing throughout the nesting season. This bird seems to me to be the 
most graceful of all our songsters. He mounts upwards to some tree 
top with an ease and grace that is all his own, all the while imitating 
the notes of some nearby bird who, I should think would feel ashamed 
to be outdone by this winner of the laurel— the Mocking Bird. I have 
often heard them singing in the quiet night. Then it seems that he 
sings with a sweetness that is rarely equalled by any other bird. 
There are many other birds that I frequently see in my rambles; among 
them I might mention the Red-headed Woodpecker, Cardinal, Summer 
Redbird, various sparrows. Thrushes and the like. 

My favorite of all the birds is the Wood Thrush. Last season a pair 
of them built their nest near a country homestead where I was stop- 
ping and I had ample opportunity for observing their winning ways. 
Very frequently the male would sing in the locusts and oaks near the 
door. What a thrilling musical tone he has. Every time I hear his 
song it has some new attraction. Clement s. bryan. 


Then the little Hiawatha 

Learned of every bird its language. 
Learned their names and all their secrets, 

How they built their nests in summer. 
Where they hid themselves in winter. 
And the birds sang round him, o'er him, 

"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha." 
Sang the Opechee, the Robin, 

Sang the Bluebird, the Owaissa, 
"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha." 

— Longfellow. 

So the struck eagle, stretched upon the plain 
No more through rolling clouds to soar again. 
Viewed his own feather on the fatal dart 
And winged the shaft that quivered in his heart. 

— Byron. 



Identification Chart No. 9. 


No. 208. King Rail, {Ralliis elegans.) 

Found in the fresh water marshes of eastern U. S. 
North to the border of the U. S. Length 18 inches. 
Above, streaked with black and tawny brown, the 
central portions of each feather being the darkest. 
Back of head and neck brown. Wing coverts, rich 
chestnut. Throat and chin white. Sides of head, 
neck, breast and below, a rich reddish brown. Flanks 
and lining of wings blackish brown, barred with white. 
Eve, bill, and feet, brownish. 

No. 212. Virginia Rail, {Ralhis virginianus) . 
North America to the British Provinces. Length, 
10 inches. Very similar in 'Coloration 'to the last 
species except in the matter of size, averaging perhaps 
a trifle darker 

No. 214. Sora Rail, (Por^ana Carolina.) 

Found in temperate North America, but less common- 
ly on the Pacific coast. Length, 9 in. Above, olive 
brown, streaked with black and white, the latter also 
m specks. Face and middle of throat, black. Re- 
mainder of throat, breast, and a line over the eye, gray. 
Sides and flanks faintly barred with black. Young 
birds lack the black face, the throat is white and the 
breast brownish. 

No. 215. Yellow Rail, (Pofy^ana novebom- 

North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 
North to Hudson Bay and Nova Scotia. Length, 6 
inches. Above streaked with black and yellowish 
brown and marked with numerous curved bars of 
white. Under parts pale brownish yellow. Flanks 
barred with white and black. 

No, 216, Black Rail, {Por^ana jamakensis.) 

Found in temperate North America from the Atlan- 
tic to the Pacific, south of the Canadian border. Length, 
5.5 inches. Above, black finely spotted and barred 
with white. Hind, neck and upper part of back 
dark chestnut. Head and under parts, dark slate 
color. Flanks and under tail coverts barred with 
white. The female is paler below and quite whitish on 
the throat 

No 216, I. Farallone Black Rail {Poriana 


Is much like the last, perhaps a trifle smaller and 
with few specks of white on the back. It is limited to 
the Farallone Islands off the coast of California. 




No. 146. Redhead, (/lythya americana.) 

Entire North America breeding from the northern 
tier of states northwards. Length, about 19.5 inches. 
Male;— Bill, legs, and feet, grayish blue, the former 
with a black band across the tip. iris orange. Lower 
neck, upper parts of the back, chest, rump, upper and 
lower tail coverts, black. Back, scapulars, and sides 
grayish white, finely barred with black. Wing coverts 
and speculum ash gray, the latter bordered above with 
• black and below with white. Bill, broadest at the tip 
and at the base taking an abrupt upward turn forming 
a very different angle to that of the Canvas-back. 
Female; — Head and neck, brownish, shading towhitisli 
on the chin and throat. Back, grayish brown. Wing 
coverts and secondaries pearly gray. Chest and flanks 
grayish brown. 

No. 147. Canvas-back, {Aythva vallisneria'). 

Whole of North America, breeding north of U. S. 
except in the west. Length, 20 inches. Bill, black. 
Eye, red. Legs and feet, dark brownish. Top of 
head and chin, black. Rest of head and neck reddish 
brown. Upper back, chest, rump, upper and lower 
tail coverts, black. Rest of upper and lower parts 
white, finely waved on the back and sides with black. 
Bill slopes very gradually from the top of head. Fe- 
male; — Head, neck, chest and upper back, brownish. 
Rest of upper parts dark brown slightly barred with 
ashy white. Wing coverts asiiy. Under parts white. 
No. 148. American Scaup Duck, (Aythya 

marita nearcticd) . 

Length, 19 inches. Head and neck (with green re- 
flection), forepart of back, chest, rump, upper and 
lower tail coverts, black. Back, sides and flanks, 
white, finely waved with black. Wing coverts black- 
ish. Speculum, white. Primaries, dark brown. Un- 
der parts white. Bill, blue gray. Eye, yellow. Legs 
and feet, brown. Female; — With the exception of a 
whitish forehead, the entire head, neck, breast, and 
upper parts are brown. Feathers on the back slightly 
barred with white. Wings brown with a white specu- 
lum. Belly white. 
No. 149. Lesser Scaup, {Aythya affinis). 

Whole of North America. Length, about 16 in:hes. 
The male differs from the former in being smaller and 
having purple reflections on his black head. Practical- 
ly no difference except in size between this and the 
last female. 
No. 150. Ring-necked Duck, (^Avthya coUaris) . 

Entire N. A. Length, 17 inches. Somewhat simi- 
lar to the last two varieties. A triangular patch of 
white on the throat, and a reddish brown collar around 
the neck. Head glossed with purple, and back, black, 
glossed with green. Speculum, gray. Under parts 
white. Bill, black, with the edges, base, and band 
near the tip, bluish white. Female; — Top of head, 
back of neck, back and wings, dark brown. Forehead, 
eyelids, chin, throat and neck in front yellowish white. 
Speculum, gray. Rump, black. Tail and upper cov- 
erts and breast brown, the feathers tipped with yellow- 
ish. Under parts white. 



A. O. U. No. 687. (Setophaga rnticilia.) 


Entire North America south of middle Canada. It is more abund- 
ant in the middle and eastern portions and is only found casually in 
California. Breeds from the middle United States northwards, and 
winters in Cuba, Mexico and Central America. 

Length, 5.5 in.; extent, 8 in.; tail, 2.5 in. Bill and feet, black. Eye, 
brown. Male: — Entire head, neck, and upper parts, a rich glossy blue- 
black. Remainder of under parts, white except the sides and under 
lining of the wings, which are a bright orange flame color. A band 
across the outer tail feathers and another across the wing formed by 
the basal portions of the quill feathers are of the same color. 

Female: — The black of the upper parts of the male is replaced with 
an olive gray rather more ashy on the crown, and the white of the 
under parts includes also the chin, throat and breast. The bright 
orange of the male is on the female a rich yellow. Eye lids and a 
stripe in front of the eye, are whitish. Young males resemble the 
female and do not gain their fullest plumage until the third year, the 
black gradually appearing upon them in patches. 


Redstarts build a beautiful and substantial nest of shreds of plants 
and spiders webs and line it skillfully with fine grasses and hair. This 
they sometimes saddle on a limb but much more often secure in a 
crotch of some bush or small tree at heights varying from four to 
twenty feet. They lay four or five pinkish white eggs which are rather 
more elongated than those of the Yellow Warbler, These are marked 
more thickly about the larger end with spots and specks of different 
shades of brown and gray. 


This warbler is small but he is very much in evidence wherever found 
because of his striking coloration, vivacious manners, and often repeat- 
ed high-pitched song, if the rapid repetition of a single syllable may be 
designated as such. Although uncommon on the Pacific coast, this 
warbler is to be noted as one of the very few whose range extends 
across the Continent. Their more common habits may be found in the 
following account: 


Photo from life by C. A. Reed. 




HE morning of June second found 
me threading my way along a nar- 
row foot path that wound its way in 
and out through one of the most 
delightful pieces of woodland that 
ever a bird sang within. As I 
walked slowly along, I was separat- 
ing, by their voices, the many varie- 
ties of birds whose babble was filling 
the woods with melody. A brisk, 
familiar "Chee-chee-chee" close be- 
side me is evidence that a Redstart 
is busily engaged at his work. I 
instinctively part the bushes and 
catch a glimpse of him in the act of 
tearing fragments from a caterpil- 
lar's nest. This material he carried 
across the path to a small maple 
about twenty feet from me, and wound it about the framework of a nest 
that the two birds were just building. Before he left, his less gaudy 
mate appeared with a like load, which she carefully and skillfully wove 
in the growing home. Seated under the shade of a young tree not 
more than six or eight feet distant, I watched the nest building opera- 
tion for the following two hours, and learned a great deal about the 
temperaments of these particular birds. 

The male was one of the brightest of Redstarts that I have ever seen. 
He was very proud and conceited too. His mate too was fully as beau- 

Undoubtedly she knew more about house-building than he, although 
she could not convince him, and whenever she objected to his manner 
of doing the work, he promptly drove her away with seemingly savage, 
yet playful snapping of his beak. They were exceedingly active in all 
their movements, and the way they would dodge around trees, over 
and under the brush, taxed my eyes to follow their movements. In the 
end, as is generally the case, she had her way about everything, for as 
soon as his back was turned to go on another journey after building 
material, she would set to work to arrange everything as she wished. 
Naturally, with so much play, the nest grew very slowly and it was 
over a week from the time I first saw them before the first ^^^ was 

A week later the nest contained four possibilities of future Redstarts 



Photo from life by C. A. Reed. 


[This is the same nest as shown in the previous photos, but is tal<en from another quarter.], 



and I decided it was time for me to act if I wished any record of this 
nest, as I knew from experience the sad results that are very apt to 
occur should a nest be found by certain beasts, birds, or boys. With 
little diiTficulty I secured a good likeness of the female as she was about 
to descend to the eggs. The male bird at this time was literally "out 
of a job" for I never saw him assist her in the duties of incubation and 
only once did I see him feed her while she was on the nest. Most of 
his time appeared to be spent in the tops of the taller trees catching 
insects and driving away all other small birds that came anywhere near 

With the advent of the young birds came an end to his period of loaf- 
ing and he did his duty manfully and with a great deal of enthusiasm. 
On an average of about once in every five minutes, one or the other of 
the parent birds came to the nest with a load of provisions with which 
to fill four gaping yellow mouths. 

The actions of the two adult'birds proved'to be entirely different in 
the presence of the camera. The male showed a disdain for it that was 
amusing. I placed the outfit in position while he was off foraging and 
had my head under the focussing cloth, when I felt a rush of air, a 

Photo from life b\ C. A. Reed. 



bright streak flashed across the ground glass, and the next instant the 
male Redstart was bending over his eager children. How I longed to 
reproduce the picture that I saw on the glass as he fed them in turn, 
his wings quivering in his enthusiasm and his tail opening and shutting 
like a fan. At no time did he appear afraid but he never became fa- 
miliar. The female was rather timid at first and approached the nest 
cautiously until we had been acquainted several days. Then she be- 
came very confiding and was continually searching for food close by, a 
number of times perching on my shoe while she carefully scrutinized 
me to see if I meant harm. They had a very bright quartet of young- 
sters and when they were a week old their curiosity was fully developed. 
They had the faintest suspicion of feathers on them, and when their 
parents were foraging, their bald heads would be hanging over the 
edges of the nest in a seemingly lifeless manner, but by watching 
closely it could be seen that their half open eyes took in everything 
that was going on about them. That young birds are sometimes 
naughty is shown by the illustration of the female attempting to brood 
her young. vShe kept turning this way and that in the endeavor to keep 
them all under her, but they would persist in poking their heads up to 
see what was going on. The one on the right really looks as though 
he were laughing at her vain attempts to control him. 

The nest which is plenty large enough for the full set of eggs and 
the young in the early stage, is shown by the last photograph in this 
series to be far too small for them as they grow older. We cannot but 
pity the poor little fellow that is vainly trying to push his way up from 
the bottom of the heap, but we can rest assured that when it comes his 
turn to dine, even if he has not succeeded in forcing his way to a more 
comfortable position, he will not be forgotten. At no time while I was 
watching them, did I see the old birds feed them large insects and 
moths such as many of the smaller birds frequently do. Their food 
was made up entirely of small insects and various worms. 


A. O- U. Xo. 305. (Tympanuchus anierioaiius-) 


Common on the prairies throughout the Mississippi Valley. Form- 
erly they ranged throughout eastern United States but they have been 
gradually forced back to their present habitat. Their range is limited 
on the north to Wisconsin and on the south to Texas and Louisiana. 




Length from 16 to 18 in.; the males being the largest; extent, about 
28 in.; tail, 4.5 in. Eye, bill, and feet, brownish. Upper parts varie- 
gated with black, tawny, brown and white. Under parts regularly 
barred with brown and white. Throat and legs, which are feathered to 
the toes, tawny. Tail, blackish-brown and terminating in a narrow 
edge of white. A lengthened tuft of feathers varying from two to 
three and a half in. long, project from either side of the neck. These 
are black, mottled towards the tips with brown and tawny. These 
feathers on the female are much shorter and sometimes hardly notic- 

The nest is placed on the ground under a bush or at the foot of a 
thick clump of prairie grass. It is only a slight hollow in the earth, 
lined with a few dead leaves and feathers. They commence laying 
about the last of April. A full set may contain from eight to sixteen 
eggs, although they rarely exceed twelve in number. These are of a 
buff or pale olive green color and are sometimes sprinkled with brown. 

A good many years ago, Prairie Chickens or Pinnated Grouse were 
found in abundance from the Atlantic Coast to the Rocky Mountains, 
but from various causes they have been gradually forced to limit their 
range till they have made a final stand on the prairies of the Mississippi 
Valley. To all appearances now, they will be able to hold their own in 
this section. Even now during the winter months large numbers of 
them come east to visit the homes of their ancestors. They come not 
as living birds but as inanimate bits of frozen flesh covered with feath- 
ers, and are displayed by hundreds in all the markets. They form a 
carpet for the windows, and strings of them decorate the store fronts. 
It does seem wonderful, with the thousands upon thousands of them 
that are shot every fall, that there should be a single bird left alive. 
When hunted with a dog, they are said to lie close and flush two or 
three at a time, giving the hunter an opportunity to load between times, 





so that he can secure the whole flock and then lament that there were 
not more that he could kill. 

In the spring, Prairie Hens are found in large flocks preparatory to 
breaking up into pairs for the summer. At this season the booming of 
the males may be heard every morning. Underneath the tufts of feath- 
ers or pinnates that adorn the sides of their neck, is a small sack which 
the bird inflates to about the size, and this appendage is about the 
color of a small orange. When the air is forced out of this sac it pro- 
duces a booming sound not unlike the low notes of a powerful organ. 
Mr. A. K. Boyles writes that he has seen them when they were in the 
midst of their mating performances. He constructed a blind of grass 
mounted on two wheels, which contrivance he pushed into a flock of 
booming chickens. Some forty birds took part in this ceremony. The 
hens were grouped on both sides and watched the exhibition with great 
interest and admiration. Two of the male birds would take their posi- 
tions at about twenty feet apart, and suddenly, with pinnates extended 
and the sacs filled to their limit, would rash towards each other, at the 
same time giving their booming note. 

Just at the instant that you would expect to see them crash into each 
other, one of them would leap into the air and the other pass safely 
under him. The strangest part of the proceeding was that they seemed 
to have some understanding before the rush so that each would know 
which was to jump and thus avoid the collision that would be inevitable 
should any mistake occur. All the males in turn would go through the 
same performance and rush between the lines of their admirers. 

Every morning for about a week this exhibition is given. By this 
time all the females have selected their partners. Now comes the time 
when these contests, which up to now have been mere exhibitions, be- 
come a reality. There are generally a few of the males that are left 
without mates. These attempt to purloin those of some of the successful 
ones and the fight is on in earnest. Generally no harm is done other 
than the loss of a few feathers and possibly, injury to the feeling of the 
vanquished one. Having settled down to a peaceable domestic life, 
they select a suitable clump of grass under which to build their home. 
The young chicks, like those of all the game birds are very lively and 
as soon as hatched it is a difficult matter to catch them. 

As soon as the young are able to fly, all the broods in the vicinity 
together with the old birds form into a large band, sometimes number- 
ing three or four hundred individuals. In this way they pass the win- 
ter and if the weather is too cold the greater part of the young and 
females migrate to the southwards. 



Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, Box 772, Waterbury, Ct. 

Dear Young Folks: 

Probably some of you have seen persons or animals that are called 
albinos, because of the lack of certain coloring matter beneath the skin; 
one of Waterbury's bird-lovers made the acquaintance of an albino 
robin last summer. The bird's breast was red, but there were large 
patches of white upon the back and outer tail feathers, while its bill and 
eyes were pink, When the robin moulted in the fall it donned the nat- 
ural colors worn by its mates. The same lady told of another robin 
which wore an overcoat of glossy black instead of rusty gray. 

A number of years ago we were visited by a white robin for two 
summers. Perhaps some of our little readers can tell us of some such 
ghostly visitors which they have had. 

It was great fun to watch some birds taking their bath the other 
morning, they seemed to enjoy the cold plunge, and splashing, and then 
what a long time it took to get every feather smoothed and cared for. 
You, — Madge Curlylocks — think it takes a long time to get the tangles 
from your hair, but these little fellows have a greater task. You have 
often seen puss wash her face and comb her hair with her paw, but 
what do the birds do for a comb and brush? It has only its tiny bill, 
and did you know that each one of these little feathered folk uses hair 
oil; and carries a su,>ply in a little gland at the root of the tail, with 
which he dresses his feathers? 

Our Roll of Honor has but three names this month. Perhaps the 
puzzles have grown a little harder, or was it because August was the 
last vacation month, and time was too precious to spend on puzzles? 
The September puzzles were still harder, but I am sure you will suc- 
ceed in finding the answers to some of them. 

Your Friend, 

Meg Merrythought. 




Charade 1. Nightingale. Charade 2. Maryland Yellow-throat. 

Birds resembling English Sparrows in coloring. Sparrows, Chipping, 
Field, Fox, Grasshopper, Ipswich, Savanna, Seaside, Sharp-tailed, 
Song, Swamp, Tree, Vesper, White-crowned, White-throated, the 
Goldfinch in winter plumage, also the females of the Bobolink, the 
Red-winged Blackbird, the Red-poll, Purple Finch, Indigo Bunting, 
and the Grosbeaks, 

ROLL OF HONOR.— Irene Williams, Platteville, Wis.; N. 
Heath, Grand Forks, N. D.; Stafford Francis, Exeter, N. H. 



Have you ever been to a corn roast? If you have not, you have 
missed a deal of fun. First, you find a grassy slope where the sun- 
shine sifts down between the quivering leaves of tall trees upon the 
gay flowers and feathery ferns which nod by the brook, for of course 
there must be a brook, to furnish music as it ripples along over the 


(Preacher Bird) 

Photo from Life. 


treacherous stones which roll you splash, into the water as you essay 
to cross on them. Then within a circle of stones you build a fire of 
charcoal, (if you can build it within the fairy's mushroom, 'twill bring 
you good luck.) Over the glowing coals hold the milky ears of corn, 
pierced to the heart by sharp-pointed wooden bayonet toasters. What 
an appetizing odor! If you never cared for corn before you will enjoy 
it now, and the striped chipmunks and chattering squirrels will enjoy 
their share too, while the birds overhead fly back and forth, and wonder 
what the stir in their woods is all about. 

This is what we did on one delightful August day. When the feast 
was over we buried a bag of charcoal which had not been needed, 
among the leaves at the base of a birch sapling, to use at some other 
outing should it remain undisturbed. But this is not the story I start- 
ed to tell you. What I want to tell you is of the notice which a little 
olive green bird posted in our picnic grounds of a year ago. Jack 
Frost visited the green wood. Winter wrapped soft white blankets about 
it, and the earth was newly dressed in fresh green robes, ere we passed 
that way again. We stopped at our old camp. The coal was gone. 
But what do you suppose we found. From a slendei forked branch of 
the tiny birch which stood guard over our buried treasure, swung the 
deserted gray nest of a "preacher" bird— the Red-eyed Vireo, with its 
fibers of bark, cobwebs, moss, leaves and grass, and with the usual lit- 
erary instincts of the Vireo family, bits of newspaper were daintily 
interwoven with the fabric of the swaying cup. However the bird had 
not gone without leaving a message for us. On a bit of paper securely 
fastened into the bottom of the nest was printed in large letters, 
—"DONE IN FIRST CLASS"— and turning the nest over, this is 
what we read upon a piece which decorated the' side — that — Harbor — 
that on May 27th supply of coal was taken— there were about forty tons. 


Boys take a 5-2-3 and get some 7, 6, 5, 7, 6, 3, 1, from the orchard, 
for your 4, 8, 2, 9, mother to 7, 2, 9, 8, for some 5, 6, 8, 1, then when 
the mail 2, 7, 5, 8, 2, 9, 1, you can go down by the brook and perhaps 
you will see a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, getting its breakfast. 

My 1st is in drowned, and also in rain. 

My 2nd is found in every green lane, 

My 3rd is in wave, but never in flag. 

My 4th is in brave, but not once in brag. 

My 5th is in snake. Now place them aright. 

These five letters spell a bird black as night. 

►-♦-^ -♦-♦- 


Here and there is a Graphophone or other talking-machine that is out of 
commission for the reason that the supply of records is worn out or broken. 
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Photo by C. A. Smith. 





A. O. r. No. 634. 

(Vireo olivaceas- ) 


Found throughout North America, east of the Rockies and from the 
arctic regions south. Breeds throughout its range. 

Length, 6 in.; extent, 10 in.; tail, 2.5 in. Eyes reddish brown. Bill 
dark above and lighter below. Feet grayish. Upper parts olive green. 
Crown grayish with a blackish stripe on either side. A white stripe 
extends over the eye and a dusky one from the bill through the eye. 
The under parts are white, tinged with yellowish green on the sides and 
under tail coverts. Wings and tail dusky, the outer edges of the feath- 
ers being olive. 


The Red-eyed builds a beautiful substantial basket like nest, which 
is suspended from the fork of a tree or bush and is generally located 
from one to ten feet from the ground. The outside of the nest is skill- 
fully woven with vegetable fibres, bark, and sometimes bits of paper 
and twine. It is lined with fine grasses and horsehair. The three or 
four eggs are laid during May or June and are white with a few specks 
of reddish-brown around the larger end. 


RINGING with them the 
good cheer of the South, 
the Red-eyed Vireos reach 
the northern boundary of 
the United States about 
the middle of May. From 
morning till night, regard- 
less of the weather, they 
pour forth song after song, 
and seem to be the most 
independent, happy-go- 
lucky fellows of the bird 
world. Business seems a 
pleasure to them and all 
day long they clamber 




Photo from life by C- A. Reed 


[June 18, Cloudy. 1-25 Sec f. 4. J 


about among the leaves freeing the trees from vermin and singing all 
the while. Very painstaking about their work they are, and every 
portion of the leaves is carefully searched both above and below, and 
the attitudes they assume are ridiculous in the extreme. Woodland 
composed of large trees rather than the smaller growths seems to be 
preferred, probably because of the greater abundance of their desired 
food. They are not in the least afraid of mankind or modern improve- 
ments, and are frequently heard about the houses even in large cities 
wherever there are large trees. Their song might be likened to a 
whistling interpretation of the word "Vireo," this being continually re- 
peated with countless variations as to accent and syllables. For hours 
at a time this music is heard with only short pauses when the bird stops 
to take breath or to swallow a morsel that he has found. I know of no 
other bird than the Vireos who are such persistent songsters. What- 
ever they are doing has to be done in time to the music. I have often 
seen one of them hanging head down from the under side of a branch 
and looking over the under surfaces of the leaves, but still singing as 
sweetly as though in a normal position. 

However welcome their song may be in some gloomy piece of woods, 
deserted by all the other birds, it becomes quite monotonous at times, 
and often upsets the equanimity of the observer who is earnestly try- 
ing to locate or identify some unknown species of bird by his song. 

Aside from their noise, Red-eyed Vireos are rather quiet mannered 
birds and seem to be slow to anger, but when they do get aroused they 
go at their opponent with a vim, and utter a harsh screech which gen- 
erally puts him to flight at the first onslaught. 

During the two weeks following June 10th of this year, I had a very 
pleasant acquaintance with an unusually bright pair of Vireos. It was 
on that date that I first saw their nest. It then contained four eggs. 
This nest was discovered by seeing one of the birds fly past with a 
piece of paper in its bill. I followed and was just in time to see the 
Vireo carefully weaving it into the outside structure to repair some 
point that did not just suit them. 

They had chosen for their summer residence, one of the prettiest 
places ever selected by a pair of Vireos. It was in a pleasant piece of 
woods overlooking Lake Quinsagamond. Not only were their natural 
surroundings pleasant, but they had congenial neighbors too. This 
latter fact added a great deal to my pleasure in the scene. Sitting 
under the shade of a giant chestnut tree within ten feet of the Vireos 
nest, I could plainly see with my glass all that transpired at the nest of 
the Redstart that was shown last month. Within about six feet of and 
behind me was the nest of an Ovenbird, and the owner of that domicile 



Fig. 2. 

Photo from life by C. A. ReeJ. 


lJune 18, Cloudy, i-ioo sec. f 4-J 



chattered and scolded a great deal over my presence. Undoubtedly 
you would also be interested in a number of other neighbors who had 
taken up their homes within one hundred yards of that of these Vireos. 
In a tangle of blackberry vines just beside the path where it enters the 
woods was a Catbirds nest occupied by four greenish eggs. These birds 
were always the first to greet me when I came. Their notes of warn- 
ing were generally followed by a resonant thrilling whistle and I knew 
that the Wood Thrush was still there. His nest was located in the 
alders overhanging the bed of a small brook. 

Fig. V 


[Taken June ig. Bright sunlight, i-ioo Sec, f. 8.J 

A few yards farther on was the nest of a pretty Chestnut-sided Warb- 
ler. It was artfully hidden in the top of a small oak bush about three 
feet from the ground. She was not timid in the least and nearly al" 
ways as I went by I would lift the leaf that hid her from view to catch 
a glimpse of the bright little eyes watching me from under a crown of 
gold. Sometimes she would even allow me to stroke her back. Half 
a dozen White-breasted Nuthatches were playfully chasing one another 
up and down and around the tree trunks. They were mostly young 
birds who had recently graduated from their nest, which was in a hol- 
low branch of the chestnut tree directly over the Vireo. Down in the 



hollow on the other side of the hill were the nests of a Towhee, Brown 
Thrasher, Wilson's Thrush, Indigo Bunting, and Prairie Warbler, "all 
within a square of not more than twenty-five feet. 


Amid these surroundings you can imagine that I was not lonesome 
at any time. But to get back to our Vireo. The eggs were well incu- 
bated and she sat very closely to them. From time to time the male 
bird brought her food so that she did not have to leave. I have said 
that these were a very bright pair of Vireos. An examination of the 
illustration will show why. In Fig. 1, you will notice the easy com- 
fortable position that the bird has assumed. Fig. 2 shows the contour 
of the rim of the nest to better advantage; notice the sag in the rim be- 
tween the points where it is joined to the branch. This allows her tail 
to project over the rim and the long V shape of the opposite end of 
the nest gives ample room for her to sit in a perfectly natural position. 
Compare her position with that of the bird in Fig. 6. This one was- 
obliged to sit with her head thrown back and tail in an upright position. 
She does not look nearly as comfortable as her neighbor, for these 
birds are neighbors too, their homes being not more than four hundred 
feet apart. 

Three days after I found the nest, the eggs hatched and when the 
young were five days old I first used the camera in connection with 
these Vireos. When I placed the camera in position, the female was 
brooding her young and the male was standing on the back edge of the 



nest. What a picture they would make if I could but get in readiness 
"before they flew off. But, no. It was not to be. Just as I was draw- 
ing the slide, olT they went and not another opportunity did I get to 
take them at the nest together. On this day, June 18th, I had the nest 
under observation from 10 a. m., until 1 o'clock, and during that time 
the young were fed with clock like precision, beginning within less 
than ten minutes after I had placed the camera and retired. The long- 
est period during which the adults were absent was seven minutes and 

Fig- 5- 

Photo from life by C. A. Reed. 


the shortest two minutes. However their time of absence generally 
varied but a few seconds from five minutes, and the two birds either 
arrived together or within a minute of each other. One would always 
wait' on the nest branch just out of the field of view of the camera, 
while the other fed the young, and immediately hop to the nest when 
the other flew away. They fed them chiefly on various worms and 
caterpillars, varied occasionally with dragon flies and small moths. 
During the three hours I made four exposures to illustrate various atti- 
tudes, but only two of them were good owing to rapid movement of 
the young. Fig. 2 shows a number of interesting points. Notice how 
the male has his bill thrust down the young bird's throat. This is the 



manner in which nearly all birds feed their young, but it is a difficult 
situation to photograph as both the old and young are generally rapid- 
ly moving at this instant. We see too that the fortunate young Vireo 
that is being fed also has his head raised higher than his companions. 
It is a fact that I have noticed in nearly all cases that I have observed, 
that the young whose turn it is to be fed next will have his head the 

See the little fellow in front. What a supplicant expression he has. 
I should judge that he was two or three days younger than the others, 
but when it came his turn to partake of food, someway or other he 
always managed to climb up over them so as to be ready. I know that 
the Q^z from which this little fellow emerged had not hatched on the 
day when the other two did, and one of the eggs did not hatch at all. 
This one remained in the nest unbroken until all the young had flown. 

One other interesting feature is shown by the young bird on the 
right. Notice the double impression of his lower mandible and the 
sweep between them, while the upper mandible is sharp. This shows 
that his head was rapidly oscillating about the upper bill as an axis. 
This movement peculiar to all young birds is one of the chief causes of 
failure when taking this class of photographs. The motion is usually 


a swaying one rather than a rotary, and the result is generally to blur 
the picture. 

The next day I caught the male bird (photographically) as he was 
bringing a dragon fly (Fig. 3.) This insect had been specially pre- 
pared for young birds and was divested of wings and all but one of its 
legs. To my astonishment, the male Vireo stepped up and cooly 
thrust this large insect headfirst down the throat of his smallest little 
one. About two inches of the flies body was left projecting from the 
young birds mouth and his contortions as he slowly but surely swal- 
lowed it were painful to watch. It was fully four minutes before the 
last of the dragon fly disappeared and the diner settled down in the 
nest to rest. For about fifteen minutes the head of this particular bird 
was invisible but at the end of that time it bobbed up as earnestly and 
wide open as before. The effect of motion on a dry plate is shown in 
Fig. 4. Here the movement of the adults head is clearly indicated by 
the streaks which extend from the breast to the bill showing the sweep 
of the bird's head during the early part of the exposure. One hundredth 
part of a second, which is the quickest exposure obtainable on most 
lens shutters, seems to be a remaikably short time to non-camera users, 
but it is entirely too long in which to photograph a moving object at 
short range even though the motion be slight. 

The odd appearance of a Vireo face too, is well shown in Fig. 5. 
This is the nest mentioned previously in this article. The bird is just 
returning to sit upon the eggs which are in the nest although it is so 
deep that it conceals them. After she had settled down as comfortable 
as she could owing to the limited quarters, I walked up, changed the 
plate and made the photo for Fig. 6 without disturbing her. She 
showed a decided lack of judgment in the choosing of the place for her 
nest. It was swung from a young oak and was built nearer the ground 
than I have ever before seen one of this species. When I first saw the 
nest it held one &z^ and at that time the bottom of the nest was within 
six inches of the ground. When the photograph No. 6 was taken, the 
weight of the four eggs, bird, and increased growth of leaves had 
caused the bottom to touch the ground, While the nest was perfectly 
concealed from above, the eggs had been there less than a week before 
they formed a meal for one of the numerous red squirrels or chipmunks, 
both of which fairly abounded throughout the woods- 



"Dear me, dear me; hear me, hear me.'" 

What's the matter pray? 
Clatter, clatter; chatter, chatter, 

All the livelong- day. 
Up among- the bloom and leaf. 

Peeping out from underneath. 
Little bird so pretty, O, 

Don't you ever stop to breathe, 
Darling little Vireo? 

Trees that screen it, dainty greenlet. 

Never screen its song. 
"What so happy, O, as the Vireo?" 

Ringeth loud and long. 
What so cheery, O, as the Vireo, 

What so jolly, O, sweet, 
"What so merry, O, as the Vireo?" 

All the leaves repeat. 

If rain doth spatter, thunder clatter, 

Still for a bit I'll be. 
But the sun's behind it, I never mind it, 

Safe up in my tree. 
It doesn't matter, the clouds will scatter. 

So I rest myself a wee. 
Then clatter, clatter, chatter, chatter. 

Over lawn and lee. 
"Hear me, the Vireo, all so merry, O." 

Bubbling in my tree. 

My mate, you've heard, is a lovely bird, 

Looks just like me, so neat. 
In our home on the limb, all snug and trim, 

Is my little wife, so sweet. 
Greenish brown is her quiet gown, 

White is her downy breast. 
Sweet, have no fear for I'm very near. 

To the place I love the best. 
When the nestlings come to our little home, 



My joy will be complete. 
Then what so happy, O, as the Vireo, 
What so merry, O, sweet? 

I've the gift of tongues. I can make a speech. 
I can give a sharp little Cat-bird screech. 

Me-a. Me-a. 
All the little bugs they try to flee 
And hide themselves in the bark of the tree, 
But they're not spry enough for me. 

Me-a. Me-a. 
I turn a somersault with perfect ease. 
I swing from twig to twig of the trees. 
I work so hard and I try to please. 

Me-a. Me-a. 

I cock my quick little roguish eye 
When you stand so near and whistle 'and spy. 
My little gray cap's almost awry, 

My tail's spread out like a V; 
But you'd never harm a Vireo, 

Merry little Vireo, pretty little Vireo, see. 
What so cheery, O, as the Vireo, 

What so jolly, O, tweet. 
What so happy, O, as the Vireo, 

What so merry, O, sweet? 

Bertha A. Joslin. 



;ai V- \.j^ii i .1 




HAD been searching: all the morning 
for a luna moth, but so far had been un- 
successfulfand yet I knew that this was 
a good hunting ground. I had often 
found their cocoons among the dry 
leaves or attached to a slender branch 
of some low-growing shrub. And more 
than once, during my evening rambles, 
I had caught brief glimpses of green 
wings floating indistinctly among the 
shadows. Even by daylight it was dim 
and cool in these woods, and the leafy 
recesses were full of mysterious whis- 
pers. Overhead the branches were 
thickly interlocked, and from behind the 
swaying lattices came the rich notes of 
unseen choristers. I walked on as softly 
as possible, and tried to separate my 
favorites from the multitude of voices. 
Occasionally squirrels chattered to me 
from neighboring branches, and once 
a rabbit scurried across my path and 
paused for a moment to give me a timid 
glance of inquiry ere he disappeared 
under a dense mass of laurel. 
Small white moths fluttered among the undergrowth, and now and 
then made blundering excursions about my face. Presently I came to 
a small open space where a stream of sunshine came glancing down 
through the trees. A large chestnut had been overthrown by some 
recent gale, and its upturned roots, and the irregular fringe of low blue 
huckleberries which surrounded them were bathed in the golden shower; 
and all the chirping and twittering birds of the neighborhood, and all 
the butterflies and bugs and small insects, seemed to have gathered in 
the sunshine to hold a carnival of joy. An Oriole held possession of 
the highest root, and from this point of vantage was pouring down an 
uninterrupted medley of brilliant notes. A pair of Wrens were hop- 
ping from one point to another, or making swift circles about the trunk, 
darting in here and there among the roots after some insect which the 
warm sunshine had lured into danger. As I sat down as softly as pos- 
sible, upon a mossy stone a few yards away, subdued twitters of satis- 
faction came to me from a space under the roots. I could not see the 


owner of the cheery voice, but I knew that my friend the Sparrow was 
pleasantly engaged in some private enterprise of his own. But I was 
most interested in a small warbler who was taking a sun bath. He had 
selected a spot a little apart from the others, and was in the height of 
luxurious enjoyment when I appeared. As I sat down upon the stone 
I was careful not to disturb him by the crackling of a twig or the rust- 
ling of a leaf. But I need not have feared. The bird was evidently 
too far gone in ecstacy to be conscious of his surroundings. Appar- 
ently he was oblivious of everything but his own enjoyment. Each 
particular feather stood on end, even to the small ones of his head, and 
he was constantly putting himself into grotesque attitudes. Now he 
stood up very tall, with neck stretched and tail flirted out to its fullest 
extent; again he leaned far over on one side and lifted his wings, one 
after the other, so that the sunshine could penetrate every part. And 
after his bath was finished, he spent fully half an hour preening himself. 

Each feather was carefully dressed many times over, and his head 
combed with his claws again and again. And not until each individual 
feather was afranged to his complete satisfaction, did he seek the roots 
and join the Wrens in their search after delicate morsels. 

In the opposite side of the open space was a large oak, and far up 
among its branches I had seen frequent gleams of red. Feeling sure 
that a cardinal bird's nest was somewhere in the vicinity, I half rose, 
intending to examine the tree more closely. But at that moment the 
tender opening notes of a serenade fell upon my ear, and, glancing up, 
I saw a gay troubadour of a bird balancing himself on a slender twig, 
and evidently trying to attract the attention of some sylvan beauty hid- 
den behind the network of branches. Resuming my seat upon the 
stone, I arranged myself for an hour's rare entertainment. And I was 
not disappointed. 

When I again arose, the patch of sunshine had shifted from the roots 
of the fallen chestnut, and was creeping back under the large oak. 
Most of the birds had disappeared, and the music of the insects had 
dwindled to the dull hum of a solitary bumble bee and the strident 
whirr of a pair of dragon flies that had wandered up from a neighbor- 
ing swamp. 

One of the small white moths fluttered past me, and I idly watched 
him as he settled down among the leaves of a laurel thicket. 

Then I noticed the peculiar movement of what appeared to be one of 
the leaves, and I stepped forward for a closer examination. As I part- 
ed the branches, a large green moth, with purple-bordered wings and 
yellow antennae rose sleepily into the air. But I was too quick for 
him, and a moment later I had a fine specimen of Actias luna in my 
possession. frank h. sweet. 



Identification Chart No. 10, 

Magpie, {Pica nuttal- 

No. 475. American Magpie, (^Pica pica hiui- 

Found from Alaska to Arizona and New Mexico and 
from tlie Plains to the Cascade Mountains. Length, 
about 18 inches. Eyes, bill and feet, black. General 
plumage an intense black, glossed with purple and 

No. 476. Yellow-billed 

Found in California west of the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains. Except that the bill is yellow this species 
is exactly like the last. This bird is not regarded as a 
separate species by some, yet for some unaccountable 
cause the majority of the birds found in this compar- 
itively restricted locality have the yellow bill, while 
those outside have a black one. 

No. 497. Yellow-headed Blackbird, (Xan- 

thocephahis xanthoceplalus . ) 

Found from the Mississippi River to the Pacific 
coast, and from British Columbia to Mexico. Length, 
10 inches. Whole head, neck and breast, a rich yel- 
low. Space around eye and bill, black as is the rest of 
the plumage. A large white patch on the wing is 
formed by the greater and middle coverts. Female, 
mostly dark brown. A line over the eye, the throat 
and breast are a dull yellow. They have no white 
patch on the wing. These birds sometimes stray from 
their regular'range and are found east. 

No. 501. Meadowlark, (Sfurnella magna.) 

Eastern United States and southern Canada. 
Length, 10 inches. Feathers of the back and neck, 
varigated with black, reddish brown and yellowish. 
Wings and tail, brownish and grayish and barred with 
black. A pale median stripe and line over the eye 
A short black stripe behind the eye and broad crescent 
across the breast. Throat and breast, bright yellow. 
Under parts pale, the sides washed with brown and 
streaked.with black. Outer tail feathers white. 

No. 501 a. Mexican Meadowlark, (S. m. mex- 


Smaller and darker than the eastern bird. South- 
western United States. 

No. 501 b. Western Meadowlark, (5. m. neg- 


Western United States from the Plains to the coast, 
and from British Columbia to Mexico. Differs from 
the eastern form in having the yellow' extend over on 
the cheek. 



No. 635. Bahama Honey Creeper, {Coereha 

hahamensis .') 

Found in the Bahamas and on the keys off the coast 
of Florida. Length, 4.5 inches. Darl< brown above 
and yellow below and on the rump. White spot on 
wings formed by the bases of the primaries. 


No. 636. Black and White Warbler, {Mfiiot- 


Eastern United States and Canada. Length, 5 
inches. Streaked above and below with black and 
white. White spots on the inner webs of the outer 
tail feathers. The female has less black than the male 
and is mostly white below. 

No. 654. Black-throated Blue Warbler, {Den- 

droica caeru/esams.) 

Eastern North America, from Labrador to the West 
Indies and Central America in winter. Length, 5 
inches. Male: Above, slaty blue, the back being more 
or less streaked with black. Large white spot at the 
base of primaries. Female: Upper parts, olive gray. 
Below, yellowish white. Known by the small white 
spot at the base of the primaries. 

No. 661. Black-poll Warbler, (T>endroica 

Whole of North America east of the Rocky Mount- 
ains. Length, 5.5 inches. Upper parts, grayish olive 
streaked with black. Whole crown, jet black. Up- 
per mandible, dark. Lower mandible and feet, flesh 
colored. Female: Entire upper parts, including the 
crown, greenish olive streaked with dusky. Under 
parts, white washed with yellowish and faintly streak- 
ed with dusky. Young more like the female, but pal- 
er and the streaks^ barely showing. 


No. 665. Black-throated Gray Warbler, 

( 'Dendroica nigresccns . ) 

Western United States, from British Columbia to 
Mexico. Length, 4.5 inches. Above, bluish-ash 
streaked with black. Below, white with", the sides 
streaked. A bright yellow spot in front of the eye. 
Female like the male except that the black of the 
crown is mixed with the ashy of the back and the 
black of the throat is broken by white tips to the 




A. O. U. No. 755. (Turdns mustelliuis.) 


United States east of the Plains. North to the southern boundary of 
Canada and south in winter to Guatemala and Cuba. Breeds from the 
middle states northwards. 


Length. 8 in.; extent, 13 in.; tail, 3 in. Bill brownish with a yellowish 
base. Eye brown. Feet yellowish or flesh colored. Upper parts a 
tawny brown, shading gradually from a bright reddish brown on the 
head and neck to an olive brown on the tail. The under parts are pure 
white, abundantly spotted on the breast and sides with dark brown. 

The nest is situated not far from the ground in bushes or low trees. 
It is made of leaves, grasses, fibres, etc., held together with mud. The 
nest is usually more artistic viewed from without than is the Robin's, 
as the cement is concealed by the other materials with which it ^is com- 
posed. They lay from three to five plain greenish blue eggs. These 
are very similar to the Robin's except that they are a little smaller. 



In all respects the Wood Thrush is the king of thrushes. He is the 
largest of the family and is the most beautiful. He is the only one 
having the spots on the breast and sides bold and distinct so that there 
is never any cause to doubt his identity. He is the only one other 
than the Hermit Thrushes that has both tawny and olive on his upper 
parts. As the Hermit Thrush has a tawny tail and the remainder of 
the upper parts olive, and the Wood Thrush has a tawny head while his 
back and tail are olive, this only further tends to distinguish the two. 
Among all the sweet voiced members of the Thrush family, the song of 
the Wood Thrush is the sweetest. From early May until late in July 
they daily add their voices to the general chorus and the woods are 
filled with wonderous melody. 

They love the solitudes of the deeper woods and it is there that their 
voices are raised in fervent song. Just before dusk when the other 
birds have retired for the night, the oppressive stillness of the woods is 






Photo by C. A. Smiili. 


broken by a song — a song so clear, simple, and flute like as to touch 
the very soul of mankind. Slowly and deliberately, the musician de- 
livers each note of his entrancing song, and as the last sounds fade 
away into silence, they are caught as if by an echo and repeated by a 
second chorister on the other side of the woods. To and fro, the 
thrilling notes are wafted until night turns all things to a uniform color, 
when each, tucking his head under his wing, seeks well earned rest. 

Like all gifted artists they are quite self-conscious. Even a noted 
prima donna can not walk with a more satisfied air then they as they 
daintily step along the fallen tree trunks and through the tangled under- 
brush. It is an event worthy of note to steal upon and watch one 
while he is in the ecstacy of song. I have seen one perch upon one 
foot for not less than half an hour and without changing his position 
in the least, mock the other fellow on the opposite side of the woods, 
who perhaps was in the same position. There he stood with eyes half 
closed and head thrown back while the only visible movement was the 
swelling throat. Apparently lost in the rapture of his own melody and 
oblivious to everything about him, I doubt not but what I might have 



Photo from life by C. A. Smith. 


quietly approached to within reaching distance before he discovered me. 
The lack of fear shown by these birds while upon the nest seems to 
be one of their characteristics throughout their range. The accom- 
panying excellent photograph of a "Wood Thrush on her Nest" taken 
by Mr. Clinton A. Smith shows the position that they commonly assume 
upon the approach of anyone. Their lack of fear may be seen from 
the following quotation from him, although this bird I think, must have 
been an exception as I have never seen or heard of one quite as tame. 
"This photograph was made after having already exposed two plates 
upon the same bird. The first one was taken at what I considered a 
safe distance; then as she did not fly I moved up closer and exposed 
another plate. The third one and the one shown was taken at a dis- 
tance of only three feet and then to my surprise the bird did not leave 
the nest, but allowed me to walk up and lift her off. I supposed that 
she had young but found that there were three blue eggs in the nest- 
These all hatched and were flying the next time I visited the nest. 
The photograph was taken with the back combination of the Rapid 
Rectilinear Lens." 




It had been my custom for several years to take my school and go to 
the woods at least once during the term, for the purpose of studying 
nature and gleaning some truth from her varied pages. I believe this 
is the only practical way to impress upon the child's mind, the wonder- 
ful and beautiful lessons contained in the great book of Nature. 

It was on the afternoon of May 17th that we left the schoolroom, 
about fifty in number, bent on making this one of the best of our annu- 
al outings, and to say the least we did not overestimate ourselves. 

We had gone but a short distance when we came to a dilapidated 
coal ripple, and to our great delight some of the boys announced "a 
robin's nest," and as birds were to be the special lesson for this trip, 
we were much pleased to find that Mr. and Mrs. Robin had utilized one 
of the horizontal timbers of this relic of a once flourishing industry, 
over which the black diamonds had for years tumbled, tumbled into 
cars to be borne to the iron mills or perchance to the happy home of 
the cottager. This nest was built strictly in accordance to the regular 
Robin style of architecture and contained three greenish-blue eggs. 
Leaving Robin we sauntered leisurely up the valley and presently came 
to an abandoned coal mine, evidently one that had furnished part of 
the coal just referred to. In went some of the boys and to our pleas- 
ure stated that Pewee (Phoebe) had a nest in the mine. Upon investi- 
gation we found that the beautiful moss covered nest contained four 
pearly-white eggs of this wise bird that "buildeth her house upon a 
rock." On leaving Phoebe to the quiet of her abode, we strolled along 
with our eyes closely watching bush, tree and fence lest we might skip 
some nest or bird. As we came to a thorn bush we found that feline im- 
itator, the Catbird, had a nest here containing three bluish-green eggs. 
Our next discovery was the house o-f a genial farmer who generously 
treated us to the draughts of the crystal fluid brought from far down in 
the earth in a veritable "oaken bucket." 

After resting for awhile under the broad trees that shaded his spaci- 
ous lawn, we again took up our search and were rewarded by finding a 
Barn Swallow's nest with four eggs. Some of the boys having separ- 
ated from us returned to report that they had found a Phoebe's nest 
with five young, and a ground bird's (one of the sparrows that nest 
on the ground) containing four eggs. This was truly a delightful and 
beneficial outing, and I would say to teachers, after years of experience 
that I find this the only practical way of teaching Nature. 


Photo from life by Geo. E. Mculthrope. 




Editor of American Ornithology. 

Dear Sir: — I was much pleased to learn that my Phoebe photo had 
been successful in your contest. It was through the medium of your 
magazine that I was induced to try this form of photography, and the 
past summer I have spent some of the pleasantest hours of my life 
attempting to lure some wily bird within range of my lens. 

The first subject upon which my attention was fixed was a Phoebe 
who had built her nest on a beam under the roof of a shed. She proved 
to be a very difficult subject to manage. " It was very dark in the shed 
and of course photographing a live bird under that condition was out of 
the question. The first thing to do was to find a means of lighting the 
nest sufficiently to admit of a snap shot. Obviously mirrors and re- 
flected sunlight were the solution of this. I secured two large, heavy 
mirrors and placed one of them outside at the correct angle to throw 
the light in the desired place. But what a change this made. The nest 
and the woodwork surrounding it were in the brightest of sunlight 
while the rest of the interior was even more dark by the comparison. 
What bird would have the hardihood to return under these changed cir- 

Before trying the old bird I thought it would be a good idea to get a 
good picture of the nest and eggs. But here again was another diffi- 
culty. The nest was situated above my head and close to the roof of 
the shed so that the eggs could not be seen. I could easily photograph 
the nest but I wanted to show the eggs too. The second mirror helped 
me out of this trouble and after I had it in position above the nest I 
made an exposure and got the nest as shown here. Besides showing 
the structure of a Phoebe's nest, this photograph has furnished no little 
amusement. The picture as printed here is right side up, but immedi- 
ately upon handing the photograph to anyone, they invariably quickly 
turn it around as though afraid that the eggs might fallout, and it takes 
some explanation on my part to show them that they are not looking at 
the eggs but only an image of them. 

Now to get the old bird. The second mirror was removed and after 
attaching a long rubber tube to the shutter I hid myself. She wanted 
to go back to the nest but every time that she went under the shed the 
brilliant state of affairs there caused her to make a hasty exit. Time 
after time she would almost touch the nest and then dash out as fast as 
possible. The shifting sun made it necessary to adjust the mirrors 
about every five minutes and undoubtedly this action delayed the 
Phoebe in her decision to return to the nest. After about an hour's 



Photo by Geo. E. Moulthrope 



waiting and many false alarms she finally did settle on the nest for the 
smallest fractional part of time. That instant was the one I had been 
looking for and the click of the shutter was the signal that I had won in 
my contest with the Phoebe. It was only in the dark room though 
that the extent of my victory could be ascertained. Another shorter 
wait and another shot was obtained of her facing the other way. I was 
a little afraid that the eggs might become chilled during the operation 
but later found out that they hatched all right and in due course of time 
the young were flying about with the old. 

Before I found this nest, I had found several under bridges and one 
in particular that interested me, while trout fishing. I passed under a 
bridge, and looking up noticed a Phoebe's nest built on a beam similar 
to the one shown in a previous number of your magazine, and on the 
next beam to it was another nest. I thought of course that one must 
be a last year's nest, but as two birds were there and it was a very 
warm day and I had had poor luck trouting, I sat down on the bank and 
watched the birds for about an hour. I found that there was only one 
pair and that they were constructing the two nests, as the same bird 
would build awhile on the one nest then work on the other. As they 
only made short trips after material and were in sight all the time, I 
saw the same bird go repeatedly from one nest to the other and con- 
cluded that they were confused and did not know which nest to work 

I think that camera hunting is one of the most fascinating of sports, 
and I think that a trial would convert a great many old-time hunters 
and also save the lives of thousands of birds. As for myself I know 
that one good negative of a bird as they actually live would give more 
satisfaction to me than would the killing of thousands with a gun even 
if I cared for such slaughter. 

I have quite a number of interesting photos and would be pleased to 
hear from any of your readers who might care to exchange photo- 
graphs with me. Geo. E. Moulthrope, Bristol Conn. 



.^1111 (glATSv"TH 


Address communications for this department to 

Meg Merrythought, Box 772, Waterbury, Ct. 

My Dear Young Folks: 

Now comes the Thanksgiving month when our boys and girls will be 
flocking to the old homestead to help grandfather and grandmother 
"count up their marcies," and I am sure there is no one who begins to 
count who will find the month long enough to sum them all up. 

We give you a new game to try on Thanksgiving day, and if you 
like this one you shall have an out-of-door game later on. J. Lewis 
Clay gives such an excellent description of one of our most cheery, 
confiding birds, that, I will print it and see how many of our little 
readers can name it. Stafford Francis reports a lawn-party of twenty- 
four Robins. I surprised a large party of Robins in the woods the 
othea day, but a great many Flickers were also invited. They were 
playing very quiet games, flying about from tree to tree, and back and 
forth to the ground with soft chirpings. 

Edward Graves of Clearmont, Mo., sends a good description of an 
Alder Flycatcher, with accounts of three of their nests that he has 
found; among other bird-homes he visited last summer were those of 
the Scarlet Tanager, the Yellow-throated Vireo, and the Yellow-breast- 
ed Chat. I am sure his name is worthy of a place at the very head of 
the list of bird observers, for he saw last season no less than one hun- 
dred and ten birds, which exceeds Stanley Cobb's good record by 
seventeen. Can any one send a longer list? 

When our next letter reaches you, you will be enjoying the Winter 
birds. I hope when you pull the wishbones on the twenty-seventh you 
will think of me. Your Friend, 

Meg Merrythought. 


Numerical Enigma. Sandpiper. Numerical Puzzle. Raven. 



Last June there gathered in a glen 

Not many miles away, 
A host of birds from every clime. 

Who chirped and sang all day. 

Was it a Guild? A Womans Club? 

A Mother's Meeting? No. 
Nor did they meet to arbitrate 

Nor grand degrees bestow. 

The Father-birds in Council met, 

For what, you'd never guess. 
They met — the fashions to discuss. 

And latest styles of dress. 

For Scribe, there came from Africa, 

A Secretary bird. 
The Chairman was a Snowy Owl, 

Serene, what e'er occurred. 

A pert young Wren made the first speech. 

He talked so fast and bold. 
You would ne'er think to hear him speak 

His wife was such a scold. 

"I think," said he, "for all round wear. 

For country, or for town. 
For concert, feast, or common use. 

There's naught so good as brozvn.'" 

A Partridge, Sparrow, and a Hawk, 

Wood-thrush, and Robert White, 
With one accord, loudly exclaimed, 

"Sir Christopher is right." 

''Our colors are more cheerful though. 

Made of condensed sunshine," 
Sang Yellow Warbler from a bush 

"Your sentiments are mine." 

Sang Goldfinch, who was eating seeds, 

"But velvet trimmings add," 
"Yes," echoed back a Chickade 

"Black velvet is not bad." 

A Blue Jay screamed till he was hoarse, 

"All gowns should be of blue, 
I, with Bluebird, in azure robes. 

Reflect the heaven's bright hue." 


"The color matters not so much," 

Declared a stately Stork, 
"But gowns should always be made short. 

Its easy then to walk." 

Then Tanager blushed rosy red, 
For awkward Penguin cried, 

"Pray add full ruffled pantalets, 
Your bony legs to hide." 

"Such a garb as that, may do for you," 
Spake Peacock, in disdain, 

"But I, who royal courts attend. 
Shall wear a gorgeous train! " 

"A wide neck-ruff, gives much more style. 
Said Partridge. "Better yet, 

A noble crest," cried Cockatoo, 
Kingfisher and Egret. 

Just at this point, a small gray owl. 

Who dozed upon a beech. 
Rose, blinked his eyes, looked very wise, 

And gave a dreadful screech. 

At once, a score of tiny birds 
Flew way back to the rear. 

While Sir Owl spoke for two long hours. 
Mid frequent cries of "Hear." 

Each argued long, but like mankind. 
Convinced against his will, 

When all was said, each bird maintained, 
The same opinion still. 

And when the night, around the glen 
Drew shadows soft and gray, 

There were as many diverse minds 
As at the break of day. 

So, to this day, these feathered folk 
Slight fashions stern mandate. 

The Grosbeaks wear black velvet hoods, 
And Catbirds gowns of slate. 

The Crows still wear black glossy coats, 
The Buntings still wear blue. 

The Blue Jays dress in blue and white, 
I'm glad they do. Aren't you? 

ROLL OF HONOR: — Marietta Washburn, Goodwin, S. D. Geoffrey 
J. Giles, Comfort, Texas. Ralph M. Hodnett, St. Paul, Minn. Eliza- 
beth J. Hill, Cheshire, Conn. Stafford Francis, Exeter, N. H. Hart 
Irvine, Mercersburg, Pa. Howard A. Houston, Wooster, O. 



(two words.) 

I am composed of 18 letters. 1, 14, 15, 11, 5, 17, 18, is one who has 
charge of the keys of a prison. 7, 15, 17, 17, 11, is one of Nature's 
restful colors. 2, 3, 11, 5, is several skeins of yarn fastened together. 
13, 15, 17, 3, 13, is an unusual pleasure. 12, 15, 17, 3, 13, 2, 17, 3, 15, 
1, is the name of a character in Pilgrim's Progress who conducted 
Christiana and her company to the House Beautiful. 9, 17, 17, 15, 18, 
13, 2, 15, 14, 6, 2, is a bird that sings sweetly at evening. 9, 8, 5, 10, 
4, 7, 6, were pirate chiefs from Scandinavia in the eighth Century. 6, 
13, 15, 10, 9, 10, 11, 12, is what you are now doing. My whole is a 
bird dear to all American boys and girls. 


The male bird is yellow all over except its wings, tail and his fore- 
head, which are black. It is about five inches long, the tail being two 
inches. The female is like the male, except the yellow is a yellowish 
gray. They lay four or five eggs. The eggs are about a half inch in 
length, and are pale blue. The nest I found was in an apple tree about 
six feet from the ground. It was made of soft down of the thistle, 
cotton and fine horsehair. I found the nest about the middle of last 
month, (August.) When the birds fly they sing. They nearly always 
ily with a wavy motion, singing as they go up. 

J. Lewis Clay, Chicago, 111. 


(a game for the children.) 

One corner of the room is the Cage; the opposite corner is the Nest; 
a row of chairs equal distant from the Nest and Cage, is the Ihicket; 
this row should contain one less chair than the number playing. 

One child is chosen as the Hunter, the other children stand in a line 
and each one (mentally) gives himself the name of some bird. Num- 
ber one in the row describes the bird which he represents, and the 
Hunter tries to guess what the bird is. If unable to guess from the 
■description he has the privilege of asking ten questions. When he 
guesses the name of the bird correctly, (that is captures him) the bird 
takes his place in the Cage. The hunter then proceeds to number two 
and tries to capture him in a similar manner, and so on down the line, 
asking but ten questions of each one. Should the Hunter be unable to 


identify a bird he sends it to the Nest. When all the birds are either in 
the Cage or Nest, that is, when the Hunter has received descriptions 
and asked questions of every child in the line, he sits down in the 
Thicket, (in one of the chairs in the row at the center,) and begins to 
spell very slowly, the words American Ornithology, stopping suddenly 
wherever he chooses before reaching the last letter and saying "^a;/^!"^ 
As the Hunter begins to spell, all the Birds leave the Nest and the Cage 
and march around the chairs, as he says Bang, each one tries to sit on 
a chair in the Thicket . (If desired, each bird sent to the N'est may be 
required to pay a forfeit, when the Hunter shall act as judge.) The 
one who fails to secure a seat is the Hunter in the next game. 

Have you ever seen two cock Blue Jays fighting in mid-air? There 
is a joust of brilliancy. They whirl over and over so fast that they 
look like a blur of amethyst smoke, shot with gleams of white fire; 
how their wings clash and their bills clack. Not much harm is done, 
but I venture to predict that no two human prize fighters (but are they 
ever human ?) can give and take blows so rapidly. 

Maurice Thompson. 


A facetious man who rejoices in the name of BIRD, conceived the 
idea of calling a convention of all the people in Philadelphia who be- 
long to his tribe- Of course it was a joke, but a glance through the 
pages of the directory convinced him that such a gathering would be a 
big one. He discovered there were an even hundred plain Birds, but 
the variety of those who specified their kinds was appalling. The list 
as far as he went, was as follows: Doves, 15; Eagles, 8; Larks, 6; 
Peacocks, 29; Pigeons, 1; Parrots, 40; Nightingales, 9; Partridges, 30,* 
Sparrows, 7; Sparrow hawks, 7; Wrens, 10; Robins, 15; Flickers, 5; 
Thrushes, 4; Canaries, 3; Geese, 2; and Turkey, 1. There were two- 
Chippies and Philip Ducks upheld the dignity of his branch of the fam- 
ily. — Philadelphia Record. 




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♦-♦-♦-♦-♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦- ' 

Vol. 2, No. 12. 

DECEMBER, 1902. 

lOc a copy, %\ a year. 


Entered at the Post Office at Worcester. Mass, as second-class matter. Jan. i6. iqoi 


With 6 colored plates and I 30 extraordinary photographs from life, $3., postage, 27c. 

There has been urgent need of an adequate volume on the mammals of North America, 
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Food and Game Fishes 
Bird Neighbors 
Birds that Hunt (Game Birds) 
Nature'sGarden(Wild Flow's) 


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400 half-tones (remarkable 
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Just as the soft light was breaking 

O'er the hill tops far away 
And the happy birds were waking 

To welcome the coming day. 
When the soft grass was gemmed with dew 

O'er the gentle sloping lawn, 
I strolled the peaceful woodlands through, 

Alone with the birds at dawn. 
The Lark's song from the meadow land, 

Came in cadence sweet and clear, 
It fell like some old anthem grand 

Upon my listening ear. 

The Catbird from his perch on high 

Sang love's story sweet and old. 
The Yellow Warbler flitted by 

Like a sudden gleam of gold. 

The Kingbird passed in graceful flight 

To catch his prey upon the wing. 
And from the elm tree's giddy height 

I heard the loved Robin sing. 
From swaying branches overhead, 

The Blackbird orchestra sang, 
Where Aurora, her radience shed, 

Until all the wild woods rang. 
O'er the woodlands there comes a hush 

As on ears attentive fall 
The varying notes of the Thrush, 

Sweetest singer of them all. 

An ecstacy my bosom stirred, 

Slumb'ring dreams awoke once more 
As that sweet melody I heard. 

With a joy unfelt before. 
If sorrow lurks within your breast. 

If from you some joy has gone. 
Seek once again sweet peace and rest 

Alone with the birds at dawn. 

Hattie Washbur: 



Chick-chickadee," I saucily say; 

My heart it is sound, my throat it is gay! 
Every one that I meet I merrily greet 

With a chickadeedee, chickadeedee! 
To cheer and to cherish, on roadside and street, 

My cap was made jaunty, my note was made sweet. 


First Day Out of Nest. 

I "chickadeedee" in forest and glade, 

"Day, day, day!" to the sweet country maid, 

From autumn to springtime I utter my song 
Of chickadeedee all the day long! 

The silence of winter my note breaks in twain. 
And I "chickadeedee" in sunshine and rain. 

— c. c. 




N the September number of this magazine, 
some of the results of our attempts to tame 
wild Blue Jays were related. The aim 
in that case was merely to allay the abnor- 
mal suspicions, as to human intentions, which 
seem to have become a part of the Jay 
nature, and to teach the birds to come to our 
windows to be fed. 

Incidentally an attempt was made to do 
still more with the Chickadee, which being 
naturally unsuspicious, can be tamed by any 
one who has a little spare time and some 

It is now well known that, in forest or or- 
chard, the Chickadee is one of the most use- 
ful birds, and that, so far as known, it has no 
habit of destroying any of the products of husbandry. 

If such birds as this can be brought to put their confidence in man, 
to leave the woods where they now breed in hollow trees, and 
to take up their abode in dwellings prepared for them about our build- 
ings, no doubt their numbers can be so increased under our protection, 
that the good they now do will be multiplied many fold. It is well known 
that in Europe many kinds of birds which once regularly bred in hol- 
low trees, in caves, or under overhanging banks or rocks have so 
changed their habits that for hundreds of years they have nested in, or 
about, buildings, chimneys, walls, or in bird boxes put up for their 

It is also well known that our newer American civilization has in- 
duced similar changes in bird habits and even in bird distribution. 
The Chimney Swift, Tree Swallow, Purple Martin, Bluebird, and House 
Wren have found nesting places provided for them in or near our dwell- 
ings, and in many cases they have occupied these from choice, even 
before their former homes, the dead and hollow trees of the forest, had 
been cut down. 

The Phoebe and Barn Swallow, finding that the dwellings of man afford- 
ed more secure retreats than cliffs or caves, have become widely distribut- 
ed along the lines of human emigration. The Night Hawks now breed, 
to some extent, on the flat roofs of large city blocks. In Europe cer- 
tain Woodpeckers and Titmice are among the birds which have now be- 
come semi-domesticated, and occupy dwellings put up for them by the 





householders. Here the Flicker has already begun to inhabit build- 
ings, using them chiefly as a winter protection and making a doorway 
of its own. The Chickadee, our only common titmouse, sometimes 
finds shelter about buildings during severe winter storms, but does not 
yet breed in buildings or bird boxes, except in rare cases. 

Thirty years ago, before the English Sparrow became common and 
widely distributed here, the Chickadee was a familiar bird about the 
farm, both in Winter and Summer. Its nest was built in some hollow 
fruit tree in the orchard, yard, or garden. Where Sparrows are scarce 
it still seeks such situations. Last Summer a pair of Chickadees reared 
their young in a hollow pear tree near the doorway of a neighbor, but 
wherever the ubiquitous sparrow has come to stay, the Chickadee is 
driven to the woods, returning to the farm yard chiefly in Winter when 
Sparrows do most resort to the village streets. There seemed to be no 
reason why the Chickadee could not be induced to breed in bird boxes 
if first the Sparrows could be banished from the premises. 

Bird boxes were put up on our buildings and trees quite largely in 
the Spring of 1901, and the Sparrows immediately took possession. 
They were pursued with the shot gun until the few survivors fled in 
dismay, but not until they had managed to prevent most other birds 
from breeding in the boxes for that season. However, the lesson the 
Sparrows received was so effectively given that they have not appeared 
since, though they still occupy a neighboring farm, having destroyed 
the nests of a colony of Eave Swallows and taken possession of the 
premises, by force. 

The Sparrows having been disposed of, other interlopers appeared. 
Squirrels and White-footed Mice occupied boxes put up in the woods, 
while the Jays manifested considerable curiosity as to the contents of 
the bird boxes. The Chickadees made no attempt to use them, merely 
looking one over now and then as if to see what new creature would 
pop its head out of the entrance. In the Fall of 1901 food for the birds 
was put out as usual about the house windows. The window over the 
wood shed was provided with what we might call an observation box. 
This box was made of old weather-beaten lumber and fastened to the 
window sill by a board support a foot long. A projecting piece of 
board protected the entrance from the driving rain. So far it appeared 
like any ordinary bird box, but the side next the window had the edge 
rabbited for glass like a windowsash. A pane of glass was fitted into 
this side and secured with glaziers points. The glass was covered 
from view externally by a shingle which was fitted into the rabbiting 
over the glass, and hinged at the bottom, so that it could be opened 
downward and laid flat on the supporting board. When this had been 





done all that went on inside could be viewed from the window. This 
box is similar to one I invented, when a boy, to watch the nesting habits 
of Swallows and Bluebirds. The glass is necessary only to prevent the 
entrance of bird enemies or the premature egress of young birds when 
the box is open. The box was so located that the direct rays of the 
sun could not strike the young birds when the door was opened. The 
photographer might prefer to have the sunlight strike directly upon 
them, but when the principal object is to watch and preserve them, this 
is a danger that must be avoided. The picture of the young birds in 
the nest shows how readily they may be observed or photographed in 
this manner. 

As the weather became severe some of the Chickadees evinced con- 
siderable interest in this box, and toward Spring one or more of them 
probably passed the night there. When Spring opened and the birds 
began to pair and retire to the woods to breed, one pair remained be- 
hind and began carrying nesting material into the box. Care was 
observed that they might be left undisturbed in this laudable enter- 
prise, and the members of the family were enjoined not to open the 
"box. An excellent opportunity of observing the nest building was 
thus lost for fear that otherwise they would be driven away and the 
main object, the raising of the young in the box would be frustrated. 
This excessive caution was perhaps not necessary, but nevertheless the 
Chickadees were allowed to go on with their household arrangements 
undisturbed, until at last one of our children, overcome by impatient 
curiosity, opened the cover and stole a look into the box. It was 
soon noised abroad that there were four or five "cunning little birds" 
in the box. Investigation revealed seven. The birds were now 
watched while feeding their young. The second picture shows how 
anyone at the window could look directly into the nest, and see the old 
"birds feeding and caring for their young. When this picture was taken 
the male bird was in the nest feeding the young while the female was 
clinging to the outside of the box, just beneath the entrance hole, with 
a beak full of plant lice and spiders for the next feed. It is by such 
methods of observation as this that we are able to learn much of the 
character of the food birds feed to their young. The great value of the 
Chickadee as a destroyer of hibernating insects and their eggs in Win- 
ter has been shown by Dr. Weed's investigations. It is also, in the 
warmer months, a great destroyer of injurious insects. We were there- 
fore, prepared to find it feeding great quantities of insect food to the 
young. During the greater part of the day the young were visited by 
one or the other of the parent birds as often as once in three to five 
minutes, and sometimes oftener. The old birds nearly always brought 



food. Caterpillars, plant lice and ants, formed the greater portion of 
the food brought, while the birds were under observation. Grasshop- 
pers and spiders were occasional- 
ly noted. The birds made fre- 
quent trips to two young apple 
trees, which were much infested 
by plant lice and in a short time 
they practically cleaned the trees^ 
which have since done finely, 
while two young cherry trees, at a 
distance from the house, and not 
visited by the birds, have since 
died, apparently from the effects 
of injuries to the twigs and foli- 
age by another, but similar, species, 
of plant louse. An apple tree 
near by contained a nest of the 
tent caterpillar, but the young 
caterpillars never grew large 
enough to do any material injury 
to the foliage, so closely were 
they pursued by the Chickadees 
and a pair of Bluebirds that occu- 
pied a box on the apple tree. 
Canker worms and other geomet- 
rid larvae were cleaned from the 
near-by trees, most of them going 
the same road, down the throats 
of the eager and expectant young- 
sters in the bird boxes. 

The young birds grew in grace, 
beauty, and strength, until on 
June 7th the stronger ones be- 
gan to manifest signs of a dis- 
position to explore the outer 
world. One in particular stood 
up, fluttered its wings and leaped 
repeatedly upward toward the 

FATHER COMES. On the 8th the editor of this 

magazine was notified that the subjects were ready to "have their pictures 
taken" and could not wait. Mr. Reed replied promptly and was at 
hand with his camera on the morning of the 10th. 



The pictures which illustrate this article are the results of his skill 
and care. He came just in time. The young birds were evndently 
about to fly. The old birds were calling them from the trees, and they 
answered, tried their wings and, now and then, sprang upwards. The 
box was opened and the camera placed in position at the window in the 
loft at 9:50 a. m. The old birds visited the young and fed them twelve 
times before 10:22. They brought either caterpillars or bunches of 
ants and plant lice in their beaks and distributed them to the open 
mouths of the eager seven in the nest. During this time the accom- 
panying snap shots of the old birds at the entrance of the box w^ere 
taken. A close inspection will reveal the mass of minute insects held 
in the beak of each bird. 

^ At 10:22 the largest 
■^ and most active young 
bird suddenly made a 
dash (the glass having 
^ been removed for con- 
^ venience in taking the 
picture) and flew direct- 
ly three or four rods in- 
to a maple tree, then 
failing to maintain his 
hold on the limbs in the 
face of a strong breeze 
he fluttered still farther 
, and alighted at last in a 
' stone heap near by. 

This seemed rather a 

remarkable feat for the 

} first flight, and perhaps, 

; could not have been ac- 

i complished without the 

aid of the strong breeze 

then blowing. This 

L* ' - - ^ youngster was captured 

THE HOME AT THE WINDOW. and replaced in the nest, 

but again insisted on leaving and this time took two flights, reaching a 

pine tree some six rods away. The old birds now ceased feeding the 

young and began to call them. Another sprang out flying nearly as 

well as the first, going with the wind. Now one of the old birds came 

to the roof overhead and the other alighted at the entrance of the box. 

I was then at the wandow with my face close to the young, when, as 



if by a signal, all sprang out and alighted upon my head, shoulders, and 
arms much to the delight of the children, who, watching from below, de- 
clared that I was "covered with birds." As I remained motionless the 
old birds came and piloted the five young to the branches of a pear tree 
near by, which they reached in the face of the strong breeze. The 
one at the end of the branch, he of the bristling crest, is the ambitious 
youngster who made the first long flight. If he lives no doubt we shall 
hear from him. We left the old birds happily feeding their reunited 
family in the pear tree. These experiments with the Chickadee have 
accomplished three results. We have induced two individuals of a 
species to change or modify their nesting habits. We have shown that 
it is possible to induce another most useful species to accept man's 
shelter and protection. We have demonstrated that the Chickadee can 
be so domesticated by this method that its food and nesting habits may 
be readily studied. What further results may come the future must 
determine. Edward Howe Forbush. 

The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year. 

Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear. 

Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the Autumn leaves lie dead; 
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbits tread. 

The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay, 

And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day. 

William Cullen Bryant. 



A. O. U. No. 435. (Aeronautes melanoleucus-) 


Western United States, from Wyoming and Montana to the 
Pacific, and south to Guatemala. 


Length, 7 inches; extent, 14 inches; tail, 2.5 inches. Bill and 
feet, black. Eye, brown. Top of head and neck, brownish. Rest 
of upper parts, sooty black, tinged with greenish reflections on the 
wings and tail. Tips of the secondaries and edge of the outer 
primaries and tail feathers, white. A white patch on each side of 
the rump and concealed white spots on the inner webs of all tail 
feathers near their base. Chin, throat, breast, and line down the 
middle of the belly, white. Rest of the under -parts as well as the 
under surfaces of the wings and tail are brownish black. 



The White-throated Swifts breed in large numbers in the lime- 
stone cliffs so common throughout the West. Fortunately they dig 
their tunnels at such a height up on the face of the cliff that they 
are rarely secured by the inveterate egg hunters and consequently 
are very rarely seen in collections. Their eggs are long, pure 
white, and probably most often five in number. 


By Dr. R. W. Shufeldt. 

The only opportunity I ever had of studying the habits and nest- 
ing of the White-throated Swift occurred early in the spring of 
1886, at which time I was Post Surgeon at Fort Wingate, New 
Mexico. I had never seen them in life but once before and that 
was in 1878 on the Chugwater Creek in Wyoming. There I found 
them breeding in the highest and most inaccessible cliffs near the 
old military road between Cheyenne and Fort Laramie. Thousands 
of them swarmed about their nesting places at the high bluffs. 

In some parts of New Mexico they are quite abundant, but by 
no means easy to collect, from the fact that in that region, too, 
they resort to the walls of the deepest canyons 'jto breed and only 
in certain kinds of weather fly low over the ground. Most of these 
canyons are from three hundred to four hundred feet in depth, and 


their sides more or less perpendicular, and the Swifts invariably 
select their homes in cracks and fissures up near their summit. 
This accounts for the small number of eggs of these species that 
are seen in collections. 

This Swift is a powerful flier and a handsome bird upon the 
wing, it's white throat, flanks and secondaries being strongly con- 
trasted with the otherwise dark brown plumage. I have never seen 
this bird alight anywhere except at the entrance to it's nest, in the 
places above described, and even then in some instances, it almost 
seemed to shoot into the cavity without condescending to even touch 
the sides or the doorstep wath his feet. On one occasion I saw a 
pair of them commence to quarrel when high up in the air, and 
continue the closely contested claw and wing contest until they 
reached the ground, where the dust they raised, prevented me 
from clearly seeing their movements ; but in a second they arose 
and were both in the air and off like two darts in opposite direc- 

During cloudy and rainy weather are about the only times when 
they descend from the heights, and fly like a lot of black and white 
meteors close over the surface of the ground and low growth of 
sage brush that grows on the prairie. In clear weather they appear 
like little specks shooting about against the clear blue sky, fully 
half a mile above the earth. These birds are always infested with 
a large species of louse, as well as an extraordinarly big species of 
tick. Many years ago I sent specimens of these to the British Mu- 
seum, where they were described as new to science and published 
in various journals abroad. 

The Swift as a rule is quite quiet during flight, but sometimes 
when flying up and down the canyons where they breed, they 
give vent to a series of twittering notes, that are uttered with still 
greater emphasis when they are disturbed by a gunshot or other- 
wise alarmed when within their nest holes. I believe that their 
mating is done entirely upon the wing and it is certain that they 
feed in no other way. 

That the intelligence shown by these birds in the selection of 
their nesting sites, is universal throughout their range, is shown by 
the following from Bendire's: "At San Diego, Cal., they winter in 
abundance, and are frequently seen feeding along the beach north 
of Point Loma. A colony was found nesting on Coronado Island 
on May 20, but the nests were inaccessible; they were - placed be- 
hind loose slabs of rock which had become detatched from the face 
of the cliffs, and from 20 to 30 feet above the water level. At 



From a colored drawing by Dr. Shufeldt. 




Guadulupe Island, this Swift was very abundant; the ragged, 
precipitous slides of the island, composed of lava and perforated 
with thousands of holes and crevices, furnish an abundance of nest- 
ing sites, and it is quite probable that this species is resident there 
throughout the year. At the time of my visit, in May, I found 
White-throated Swifts everywhere, from the top of the island at 
4000 feet elevation, to the beach, and birds were constantly seen to 
enter holes in the crags ; but in each case the nest was as inacces- 
sible as it is possible for a nest to be. On May 18th a Swift was 
seen to enter a hole in the face of a bluff, within eight feet of it's 
base ; even this proved to be as safe as the rest, as the nest was 
found to be out of sight and several feet back, in a narrow crack 
in the lava. " 

Photo by Clinton A. Smith. 





A. O. U. No. 735. (Parus atrlcapiUas.) 


Eastern North America, north of the Potomac and Ohio Valleys. A 
resident and breeds wherever found. 


Length 5.25 in.; extent 8 in.; tail 2.5 in. Whole top of head, chin 
and throat, black. Rest of upper parts brownish gray. Sides of head 
white; under parts dull whitish, shading into brownish on the flanks. 
Feathers of the wings and tail edged with whitish. vSubspecies; — 735a. 
Long-tailed Chickadee (P. a. septentrionalis.) Found in the Rocky 
Mountain region and east to the Plains. Slightly larger than the east- 
■ern Chickadee and the tail averages from a quarter to a half inch 
longer. The black of the throat extends down on the breast and the 
white of the head is purer than in the eartern bird. No. 735b. Oregon 
Chickadee (P. a. occidentalis.) Northwest coast region from Cali- 
fornia to Alaska. Similar to the common Chickadee except that the 
whites are duller and the sides heavily washed with brownish. 





^^^^■pp^^^"^ * **"' 


|P^ fe"~ 


i J^^ 









Chickadees nest 
in holes in trees, 
posts or fences. 
These may be 
either dug by the 
birds or natural 
excavations. The 
bottom of the nest 
is from three to 
eight inches from 
the opening and is 
thickly covered 
with downy feath- 
ers, hair, mosses, 
etc. They lay 
from five to eight 
white eggs that 
are finely specked 


Sets are generally complete about the latter part of May. 



Y the majority perhaps of 
those who take any inter- 
est in bird life, the Chick- 
adee is as well known as 
any other bird. They are 
bright eyed inquisitive lit- 
tle acrobats and no little 
amusement can be had by 
watching their movements 
among the branches. With 
the ease and grace of the 
most skilled performer 
they swing from twig to 
twig conversing freely with one another in their pleasing language of 
"de-dee-dee" interspersed frequently with a remarkable shrill clear 
whistle composed of two notes, the first being of the higher pitch. 
They are very companionable and if you remain quiet, they will grad- 
ually approach even to within reaching distance of your hand. Do not 
attempt to catch one when he thus puts his trust in you for you will not 
only fail but will also lose the confidence of a valuable and interesting; 




If you have never found the home of a Chickadee, you can easily do 
so. Next Spring before the leaves have come, go out armed with a 
jack-knife. Perhaps you know of some place where birch trees are 
abundant. If you do, see if you cannot find some among them that are 
decayed and only a stump is left. Dig a hole about an inch in diame- 
ter into these on the least exposed side, remember where they are and 
about the end of May visit all of them and see how many of your par- 
tially prepared homes are occupied. Last summer I found that four 
pairs of Chickadees had decided that the locations selected by me were 
satisfactory to them and all reared their families there. Chickadees 
are contented in very small quarters and a stump three inches or more 
in diameter is plenty large enough. They will successfully raise a 
brood of six or eight little ones in a nest that you would not think one 
bird could get into. The young seem to be piled in in layers and only 
one or two at the top can be seen at a time. In spite of their limited 
quarters, they are very neat birds and their nest is always clean. The 
bed of feathers and moss that it is made of, is so soft that the young 
sink way down out of sight in it, and it would seem as if those at the 

Photo from life by Geo. C. Embodv. 




bottom could not possibly breathe. For a few days preceding their 
departure from the nest, the young take turns in scrambling up to the 
entrance as if to get a peep into the future that is about to open to 
them. The young Chickadees are even prettier than their parents, if 
that is possible; fluffy little bunches of black and white down, supple- 
mented with two bright bead like eyes and a short tail. '"ITIIZ. 
The first few days following the egress of the young Chickadees are 
ones of anxiety and labor for the old birds. There are numerous chil- 
dren to feed and to keep from the clutches of various maurauders such 
as hawks, owls, crows, jays, etc. As the young are scattered about it 
would seem as though it would tax the mental faculties of the parents 
to remember their locations. 

When cold weather begins to come in the fall, several families form 
in one band and pass the winter together; a lonesome winter it must be 

with the ground cov- 
ered with snow and 
the woods deserted 
by all except a very 
few of the most hardy 
of the winter birds. 
In the fall they asso- 
ciate freely with the 
warblers as they mi- 
grate and it is strange 
that they do not con- 
tinue on with them, 
to share their pleas- 
ures in the south. 
The reason for their 
strange choice of 
winter quarters is yet 
to be discovered, un- 
less it be that they 
have an unusual at. 
tachment for the old 
homestead and would 
rather brave our se- 
vere winters than to 
leave it even tempo- 

MY MATE IS INSIDE. At this season of 

the year, they live on the larvae and eggs of the smaller insects, while 
some of the more fortunate ones find a welcome lunch counter provid- ' 
ed for them by some kind hearted member of the human race who takes 
more than a passing interest in the welfare of his feathered friends. 







Identification Chart No. 11. 

597. Blue Grosbeak (Guiraca caerulea). 
Eastern United States from New Jersey, Illinois and 

Nebra^ka southwards. Male: Length 6.5 in. Near- 
ly a uniform rich dark blue. Tail, wings, and feathers 
at the base of the bill, black, the former being edged 
with blue. Shoulder bright chestnut and edges of sec- 
ondaries and coverts pale chestnut. Bill, light horn 
color. Female: Brown above and paler below, with 
faint streaks on the under parts. Wings and tail gray, 
the former with whitish cross bars and the latter edged 
with bluish. 597a. Western Blue Grosbeak, (G. c. 
eiirhv>ica) Southwestern U. S. from S. Dakota, Col- 
orado and California to Mexico. Male and female like 
the eastern form. 

598. Indigo Bunting, (_Passerina cyanea). 
North America east of the Plains and south of south- 
ern Canada. Male: Length S-S inches. Intense blue 
on the head shading into a rather greenish blue on the 
rest of body. Wings and tail blackish glossed with 
greenish blue. Female: Above brown and below 
brownish white. Wings and tail slightly edged with 
greenish, but the former are not distinctly barred. 

766. Bluebird, {Sialia sialis). 

America east of the Rocky Mts. and south of Mani- 
toba and Nova Scotia. South in winter to the Gulf 
States and Cuba. Male: Length, 6.5 inches. Entire 
upper parts a rich azure blue. Chin, throat, and 
breast, chestnut. Rest of under parts, white. Female: 
Blue of the upper parts mixed with dull, reddish brown, 
except on the wi-gs, rump and tail, where it is bright. 
Under parts paler than in the male. 766a, Azure Blue- 
bird, (S. s. apirea) Southern Arizona and eastern Mex- 
ico. Very similar to the eastern Bluebird. 

767. Western Bluebird, (^Sialia mexicana oc- 
cidentalis) . 

West of the Rockies from British Columbia south. 
Male: Length, 6.5 inches. Whole head and neck, 
rumr', wings and tail, blue, Middle of back, 
breast and sides, bright chestnut. Belly and under 
tail coverts pale, bluish white. Female: Duller than 
the male; about the same as the eastern Bluebird. 
767a. Chestnut-backed Bluebird, (5. >n. bairdi) Rocky 
Mts. from northern U. S. to Mexico. Chestnut on 
the back, rather brighter than the Western. 767b. 
San Pedro Bluebird, (S. m. auabelae) Lower California. 
Like the Chestnut-backed. 

768. Mountain Bluebird, (Sialia arctica). 

America west of the Plains and from Great Slave Lake 
to Mexico. Length, 6.5 in. Above, light azure blue. Be- 
low, pale and more greenish and shading gradually into 
white on the abdomen. Female: Nearly uniform 
gray, lighter on the belly and brightening into blue on 
the rump, wings and tail. 



1 39. Green-winged Teal, (Anas carolinensis') . 

North America, breeding north of the U. S. and mi- 
grating south of U. S. Length 14 inches. Head, 
chestnut. Green patch back of the eye. Chin, black 
and rather lengthened crest of purplish black feathers 
on the back of the head. Upper parts and flanks 
barred with black. Wings gray with a green specu- 
lum. Female: Wings like the male; head, pale buff, 
streaked with dark brown. Upper parts brown with 
buffy edged feathers. Breast buffy and spotted; rest 
of under parts white. 

140. Blue-winged Teal, {Anas discors). 
Whole of North America, but more common in the 

East. Breeds from middle U. S. northwards. Length, 
15.5 inches. Top of head and chin, black; rest of head 
dark gray. A large white crescent on each side of the 
forepart of the head. Back dusky with U shaped bars 
of buff. Entire under parts reddish buff and spotted 
with dark brown. Lesser wing coverts, pale blue. A 
white patch formed by the tips of the greater coverts 
is in front of the green speculum. Under tail coverts, 
black. White patch on either side of the tail. Fe- 
male: Top of head, black; chin and throat, white; rest 
of head brownish white streaked with dusky. Other- 
wise similar to the male except that the green specu- 
lum is wanting. 

141. Cinnamon Teal, {Anas cyanoptera) . 
America west of the Rocky Mts.' from British Co- 
lumbia southwards. Length. 17 inches. Top of head, 
black. Rest of head, neck and entire under parts, dark 
chestnut. Back, wings and tail similar to No. 140. 
Female: Similar to the female of No. 140, but more 
reddish and the green speculum is slightly defined. 

142. Shoveller. {Spatula clypeata). 

Found throughout North America, but not common 
on the North Atlantic coast. Length, 19 inches. Head 
and neck, dark green. Upper back, neck and breast, 
white. Wing co\'erts pale blue with white tips. Wings 
brownish with a green speculum. Under parts rich 
chestnut. Black under tail covers and white patch on 
each side of tail. Female: Head, brownish white 
streaked with dusky. Chin and throat buffy shading 
into reddish buff below and spotted with brown. Up- 
per parts and wings similar to the male but paler. 
144. Wood Duck, {Ae sponsa). 

Whole of temporate North America, breeding 
throughout its range. Length, 18 inches. Lengthened 
crest and sides of head, metallic purple and green. 
Breast purplish with white arrow shaped spots. Fe- 
male: Head and short crest gray; throat, line around 
eye and space back of it white, as are the under parts. 
Breast reddish buff, spotted with dark brown. Back, 
brownish green. Wings like those of the male. 



Ruffed Grouse are very wary birds, especially in localities where 
they are extensively hunted, and that includes nearly their whole range. 
They rely to a great extent upon their color protection, but neverthe- 
less let them think that you see them, and they are very acute observers, 
and they will be off like a flash, followed by the rumbling whirr of their 
wings in their haste to get out of sight. 

Very few even passably good photographs are seen of Ruffed Grouse 
outside of captivity, and I doubt if they can be secured without great 
difficulty, except perhaps in Maine, where the hunters in their eager- 
ness to slay deer, rarely trouble the grouse. A few months ago one of 
the leading magazines of out door sports published two excellent pic- 
tures of a Ruffed Grouse on her nest. The maker of the photographs 
however did not effectively conceal his work and they plainly show 
that they are frauds. The photograph on the opposite page is the 
best bona-fide photograph of a live Ruffed Grouse that I have ever 
seen. The manner in which it was secured is described by Mr. Em- 

One afternoon. May 14, 1902, I was summoned by a friend to inspect 
a nest of a Ruffed Grouse on the top of a hill a little north of the 
beautiful village of Franklin, N. Y. At the base of a chestnut tree, 
only a few paces from a wood road along which I had often wandered, 
there greeted my eyes a bunch of leaves hollowed out slightly. A few 
leaves had been carelessly thrown over, but did not completely conceal 
the buff-tinted eggs. Later on several occasions when the female was 
flushed, the leaves were seen to fly back over the eggs as a result of 
the action, both of the feet and wings. By actual count after the re- 
moval of a few of the leaves, there were twenty eggs, a surprisingly 
large number. 

The nest, eggs and surroundings were easily recorded, but to phot- 
ograph the bird was quite a different matter. A semi-circular hide of 
bark was made and placed within five feet of the nest. Behind this 
the camera was so set that the lens projected slightly through a small 
opening towards the nest. Lack of light made it necessary to give an 
exposure of two seconds. Experience had taught that this could be 
done with a noiseless and well concealed shutter, only. A slight move- 
ment as well as the sharp click have spoiled results only too often 
previously. A paste board hood was drawn over the lens tube and the 
shutter was rendered noiseless by padding with rubber. Concealing 
myself forty or fifty feet away, I awaited the return of the parent bird. 

Over my head, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sounded his roll on a 
hollow oak, louder than I had ever heard before, while a chipmunk 



Photo from life b\' Geo. C. Embody 




scampered over to my carrying case to have a taste of my focussing 
cloth. An hour had passed and no grouse had yet shown up, so I de- 
cided to try another day. At the suggestion of my friend the hide 
was removed to a distance and was to be placed a few feet nearer each 
day until a favorable position had been reached. 

A week later, I had the opportunity to visit the nest again and found 
that so well had my friend aided me that the hide was within four feet 
of the nest and the old bird was still sitting. The bird left the nest 
while the camera was being adjusted and another hour of waiting did 
not see her return. The outfit was then left to the mercy of the 


Photo by Geo. C. Embody 

squirrels and wandering cattle, while I took a stroll to watch a couple 
of Red-tailed Hawks feeding their young in the top of a giant Hemlock 
tree. This proved to be very interesting but the light began to fail 
after a half hour of watching, so I hastened back to note developments 
at the base of the chestnut tree. Dame Partridge was settled on her 
eggs and a few minutes later I was returning to my room with a sat- 
isfied yet somewhat doubtful feeling. No time was lost in developing 
the picture which is reproduced here. A week and a half later as the 
nest was visited, three addled eggs and seventeen empty shells testified 
to the success of the faithful Ruffed Grouse. 




Coursing swiftly o'er the waters, 

Watching for his prey below him, 

Flies great Larus argentatus. 

Flies the Heiring Gull so proudly. 

Now he settles on the wave-tops. 

Calling oft' to his companions. 

Calling softly to himself now. 

Calling loudly to the swift wind. 

On the bay and rivers living, 

Neither fears he man nor powder; 

Soars he now, nor moves his great wings; 

Stained their tips with dark cold water, 

Where they touched it in their beating. 

In the winter, still undaunted, 

Gathers he with all his kinsman, 

Into crowds on frozen river. 

On the ponds and on the great lakes. 

Braving gale and coldest blizzard. 

Scorning cold and wind with brave heart. 

True child he of storm and winter. 

Going north when first the spring comes; 

North among the cliffs and icebergs, 

There to raise his young in safety. 

All admiring do we see him. 

Flying high above man's kingdom, 

Free to roam among the great clouds; 

The one sphere by man unconquered. 

May he e'er fly, unmolested. 

O'er our ice clad ponds and rivers. 

O'er our lakes and frozen waters. 

— Guy Emerson. 



A. O. U. No. 139. (Anas carolinen8is.> 


Found throughout North America, and breeds from the boundary of 
the United States northwards. In winter they migrate south of the 
borders of the United States. 


Length, 14 in.; extent 23 in.; tail 3 in. Eye, brown; bill, black; feet 
grayish. Head and the upper part of the neck, a rich chestnut; a black 
patch on the chin; a broad metallic green band back of the eye, shading 
into black and surrounding the eye, and margined below with a narrow 
line of white. Upper parts waved with fine black and white bars. 
Under parts buffy white, changing to a deep buff on the breast which is 
plentifully spotted with black. A white crescent in front of the wing. 
Primaries and wing coverts gray; speculum green on the inner half and 
velvety black on the outer, bordered in front with the chestnut tips of 
the coverts and edged behind with the white tips of the secondaries. 
Rump and tail coverts blackish, mottled with gray; the black extends 
below forming a band in front of the lower tail coverts, which are 
white below and rich cream color on the sides. Female — Upper parts 
light brownish streaked on the head and neck with dark brown and the 
feathers on the back having dark centers. Under parts white tinged 
with bufify on the neck and breast, and spotted with dark brown. Wings 
about the same as on the male. 


Breeds from the northern border of the United States to Alaska and 
Greenland. The nest is placed on the ground in a clump of grass, in 
swampy places along the borders of streams or ponds. . It is made of 
grass and weeds and lined with feathers from the breast of the bird. 
They lay from five to eight eggs of a plain buffy color. 

Green-winged Teal are a close second to the Wood Duck in point of 
beauty. According to sportsmen they have other good points besides 





their beauty, for they are considered to be the best table bird among 
the entire duck family. Although every fall and spring ihey are hunt- 
ed with great vigor in localities where they most frequent, they are 
still one of the most abundant ducks that we have. That so many of 
them are left is probably due to their activity and swiftness of flight, 
they being so speedy on the wing that it tests the skill of the best of 
marksmen to bring them down. 

Besides being very swift and powerful fliers, they are extremely 
active and graceful when on land. They have none of the waddling 
manner common to most of the ducks, but run about with an ease and 
.-agility that is not surpassed by the Snipe family. They are essentially 
fresh water ducks and few of them are found along the sea coast. 
Watery meadows, lakes, ponds, and rivers are their favorite grounds, 
especially those where flags and rushes are abundant to serve both as a 
natural screen from the observation of enemies and as good feeding 
grounds. They live for the greater part upon various grains, duck- 
weed and other water plants, grass, seeds and water insects. They 
■obtain most of their food at night, especially when the weather is fair 
and the moon is present. In the day time large flocks of them assem- 
We upon some quiet body of water and pass the time sleeping, where 
with heads laid on their backs, and the bill tucked beneath the feathers 
they float about like so many corks. In localities where they are much 
"hunted they do not often take such quiet naps, but are upon the move 
•nearly all day long, only stopping to rest when they find a natural hid- 
ing place where hunters rarely stray. 

They commence to come from the North about the end of Septem- 
l3er, and some time during March pass through the United States again 
•on the way to their breeding grounds. Their migrations for the most 
;part are performed at night although flocks that have not succeeded in 
-finding a favorable stopping place may be still seen upon the wing by 
•day. When migrating either by day or night, they fly at a high ele- 

When startled while upon the water, they immediately spring up- 
wards, using both their feet and wings and are in full and speedy flight 
at once. They never rise by running along the water a few paces as 
most ducks do, but clear it at the first jump. When moving from one 
locality to another they fly in a straight line, but at other times they are 
very erratic in their flight. A flock feeding peacefully, may suddenly 
«tart up, wheel about in z'igzag flight, then as suddenly return to their 
starting point. 



Even when the woods have given place to cultivated fields, and its 
first nesting- places have been destroyed by the progress of improve- 
ment, the House Wren does not, like some other species, forsake its 
haunts, but continues to dwell near the habitation of man, even though 
a towQ or city has sprung up where once the forest stood. In some 
cases men have been thoughtful enough to provide this untiring friend 
with a habitation by putting up boxes on posts; but where this has not 
been done, the Wren will soon find a satisfactory nesting place for 
himself, for no hole or corner is left unexplored, and if no other place 
can be found it will take possession in a crevice of a wall or even the 
pockets of an old coat if hung outside. On some occasions pumps have 
been so persistently filled up with grass and weeds that the owners 
were glad to provide their determined little tenants with suitable 

Few birds can drive away this Wren from a box or Woodpecker hole 
to which it has taken a fancy; even though it does not require it for 
immediate use. Though repeatedly expelled by superior force the 
cunning bird will bide his time, and in the absence of his opponent, fill 
up the entrance to the cavity so that the other party cannot enter, and 
will even destroy the eggs of the other bird if they have been laid. At 
times he will not hesitate to face in open combat birds many times his 
size, and such is the fierceness of his attack that he nearly always con- 

On one occasion a pair of Wrens nested near a dwelling house, and 
soon after she began to set, was caught and killed by a cat. The male 
bird who had witnessed the affair and tried at the risk of his own life 
to prevent it, ceased his song and disappeared from the premises. 
The next day he i-eturned with a companion and incubation proceeded 
as though nothing had happened. 

Wrens feed almost wholly on insects and their eggs, and they de- 
stroy such immense quantities of these that they are one of the most 
useful birds that the farmer can encourage to settle on his premises. 
If the weatheV is favorable they come to us in the spring about the 
middle of May and remain until during October. House Wrens have 
always been favorites of mine and one of the clearest recollections of 
my childhood days, is that of a pair of Wrens who took up their abode 
in a hollow stump in the garden. What a pleasure it was when first I 
viewed the bramble built nest and the six reddish dotted eggs. 




Address communications for thiis department to 

Meg Merrythought, 60x772, Waterbury, Ct. 

My Dear Young Folks: 

With this number closes the first year of our bird chats. How do 
you like our corner, and what part do you like the best? Write and 
tell me, and also tell me what you would like added to the department. 

We have enjoyed the letters from the young folks which Uncle Sam 
has brought from all over the country; from New York, Pennsylvania,. 
Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Dakota, Califor- 
nia, and even Texas, as well as from all the New England States- 
First comes one of our boys from Massachusetts, with his list of 93 
birds seen this year; then a Missouri lad goes to the head with his list 
of 110; and now a New York reader exceeds even this, with a list of 
114; we give you his letter on another page. 

I wish you could have seen an Indigo bunting and his wife getting 
their daily rations in our garden last fall. They were very fond of 
some stray heads of Hungarian grass, but the slender stalks would not 
bear the weight of even this tiny bird. How do you think he managed 
to get his dinner? Standing on the wire fence he pulled the seed- 
spikes towards him with his bill, held it there with his foot, and cracked 
seed at his leisure. Do not forget as you gather around your Christ- 
mas trees at the happy holiday time, that you have some little feath- 
ered friends outside, who will appreciate decorated trees as well as you. 
not however with candles and bright tinsel (though I doubt not they 
would enjoy pop-corn festoons,) but with berries, bits of suet, and nuts. 

We hope to meet every one of you in our corner of the magazine dur- 
ing the months of 1903, with many new friends. 
, May Christmas be a very merry one to you all is the wish of 

Meg Merrythought. 



Numerical. Enigma. Thanksgiving Turkey. What is its name. 
American Goldfinch. 

ROLL OF HONOR:— Julia H. Watts, Lexington, Texas; Dora 
Shirrefs Elizabeth, New Jersey; Chas. H. Rodgers, New York City; 
Marietta Washburn, Goodwin, S. D.; Ellora B. Mix, Stafford Springs, 
Conn. ^ 


The principal places where I have studied birds this year are Central 
Park, New York City; Leonia, N. J.; Brandon, Vt.; and Harrisville, 
N. H. My list since January 1st, is 114 species, representing 29 fami- 
lies, as follows: Warblers, 26; Finches, 19; Blackbirds, Orioles, etc., 7; 
Flycatchers and Thrushes, 6 each; Hawks, Vireos and Swallows, 5 
each; Woodpeckers and Wrens, 4 each; Herons, Titmice and Kinglets, 
3 each; Goatsuckers, Crows and Jays, 2 each; and Gulls, Ducks, Vul- 
tures, Swifts, Hummingbirds, Kingfishers, Cuckoos, Rails, Sandpipers, 
Grouse, Starlings, Tanagers, Waxwings and Creepers, one each. I 
have seen a number of partial albino English Sparrows in New York. 
If only a few feathers are white they are generally in the wings or 
tail. I have also seen a robin with a white feather in its wing, and 
several times a male Black-throated Blue Warbler with a white edge 
to the shoulder. Among the many gray squirrels in Central Park is a 
pure black one, Chas H. Rodgers, Age 14. 


Dacky Sponsa lived with his mother and eleven little sisters and 
brothers near a beautiful clear lake. Their house was of oak and al- 
though there was but one room, there was ample space for Mrs. Wood 
Duck and her children. The Wood Duck preferred to spend all his 
time out of doors, seeking food, or standing guard on a limb not far 
away from the snug home. 

The one room of the cottage was ceiled with oak, the carpet was of 
weeds and grass, and there was a feather bed for the babies, of the 
softest down, which the mother had taken from her own white vest. 

From the round doorway could be seen the blue waters of the lake, 
and wooded slopes now charming in the tender greens of early Spring, 
In spite of the beautiful surroundings, Ducky Sponsa was not happy, 
for with birds, as well with boys and girls, it is not what we have that 
makes us happy, but what we are, and I am sorry to say that a very 
discontented little heart beat beneath the downy breast of this little bird. 

Though he was not yet twenty-four hours old, he grumbled because 



his brothers crowded him and stepped on his toes, he grumbled be- 
cause he could not go out and sail upon the water, how should he ever 
reach it so far away. He cried because the doorway was so far from 
the ground. What if he should fall, he would surely break his neck. 
He cried for a gorgeous coat like the one his father wore; he cried 
because he was too warm; he cried because he was too cold; in short 
he cried for everything and he cried for nothing. As soon as the last 
fluffy duckling had left its shell, Mrs. Wood Duck decided that 
life in the open air was better for her children, and that once upon the 
waters of the lake, they could get plenty of food. But how do you 
suppose she was to get these twelve young ducklings from a hole in a 
tree, eight feet from the ground, to the waterside, twenty yards away. 
This is what she did. 

First she lifted squalling Ducky Sponsa in her bill, by the nape of 
the neck, and landed him safely at the foot of the tree; then back she 
flew and took Daffy Duckling by the wing and bore her to the ground 
to her brother's side; back again she fiew for another, then another and 
another until in less time than I can tell it, there were twelve fluffy 
balls on the grass ready to follow mother to the water's edge. 

Here, all through the bright summer months, the little family sailed 
upon the placid bosom of the lake, or played among the grasses at its 
edge, making trips into the forest for insects and other dainties for 
frequent lunches. Thus summer passed. The children grew, as 
children have a way of doing, and the twelve little ducklings were now 
twelve handsome full grown ducks. It was a pretty sight to see Ducky 
and his brothers floating on the water, proudly raising their golden- 
green crests, with their spotted ruddy breasts, white vests and ties, 
and with their irridescent backs throwing bright sprays of color into 
the sunlight, while Daflfy followed seemingly as happy as they, though 
her gown was of sooty brown with white feather trimmings. 

But alas. Although Ducky Sponsa had donned the splendid plumage 
of the mature bird, he still kept his ill-temper, and was as cross and 
hard to suit as when he first saw the sunlight in the hollow oak. 
"Peet-peet, oe-eek, oe-eek," you might have heard him scold all day 
long and I am not sure but that he scolded in his dreams. 

When October came with its cool days. Madam Wood Duck called 
her children to join their hands to take the trip to the warmer South- 
land. "Peet-peet" called Ducky Sponsa, "I shall not go. Who knows 
what dreadful things we might meet on that long journey?" So he 
slipped away and hid in a quiet inlet among the shadows of the forest, 
until his mates should be gone. 

Here on the very day after his comrades had taken their flight, he 


was seen and shot by a hunter, who stroked his feathers and admired 
the rich colors, and wished that his sister at home was not so particular 
about wearing birds on her hat. 


You'll find my 1st in swear words, 

My 2nd is in pray. 

My 3rd's not found in milk curds 

But always found in whey. 

My fourth and final letter 

Is in the word contend. 

There's no bird you know better 

Than this pugnacious friend. 


1. What bird sews leaves together to make a nest ? 

2. What birds build and live in a tenement house of many apart- 

ments ? 

3. What bird always uses snake skin to line her nest ? 

4. What three birds cover the outside of their nests with lichens ? 

5. What ones build a globe of coarse grasses with an entrance 

in the side ? 

6. Which nest in burrows made by themselves ? 

7. What two tunnel in banks ? 

8. Which one lines her nest with down plucked from her own 

breast ? 

9. Which one walls up his wife and feeds her through a small 

opening during incubation ? 
10. Name three which build no nest at all ? 



"There is no sorrow in thy song. 
No winter in thy year." 

"As I stood looking, I heard a smart 'Tche-day-day-day' close to 
my ear, and looking up, saw four or five chickadees which had 
come to scrape acquaintance with me, hopping amid the alders 
within three or four feet of me. I had heard them farther oflE at 
first, and they had followed me along the hedge. They day-day'd 
and lisped their faint notes alternately, and then, as if to make me 
think they had some other errand than to peer at me, they pecked 
the dead twigs, the little, topheavy, black-crowned, volatile fellows. 





Accidents 140 

Acrobats, The Little 31 

Alone With the Birds At Dawn 347 

An Interesting Captive 81 

An Unexpected Visitor 172 

Asiatic Merle, The 26 

Awakening, The 118 

Babes in the Woods 252 

Beans or Birds 115 

Bird Chats With Our Young Friends 28 












Bird Enemies 248 

Bird Land Tragedy, A 234 

Bird Photography, Ins and Outs of 96 

Bird's Picnic, The 159 

Birdless Wood, The 158 

Blackbird, Yellow-headed (color-chart) 330 

Blue Jay Then and Now, The 256 

" " Surgeon, The -• 264 

Bobolink 241 

" (Poem) 245 











Broken Series, A 

Brown Creeper, A^ ( Poem ) 

Camera Against a Phoebe, The 

Castle, The 

Chat, Yellow-breasted (color chart) 

Chickadee, Domesticating the (Poem) 

Cottage by the Wood, The 


" 'Dwarf 

Cowbird's Nest, A 1|J4 

Crossbill, White-winged 37 


Crow ( History of Tim ) 283 

" (Jack My Tame Crow) 189 

" The 116 

Curlew, Long-billed 5 

Daisy 251 

Deserted Home, The 8 

Domesticating the Chickadee 349 

Duck, Am. Scaup (color chart) 301 

Blue-winged Teal (color chart) 301 

Canvas-back (color chart ' 301 

Cinnamon Teal (color chart) 301 

Green-wing Teal (color chart) 367 

Lesser Scaup (color chart) 301 

Redhead (color chart) 301 

Shoveller (color chart) 367 

Wood (color chart) 367 

Eagle, Bald 2 

English Sparrow, The 284 

Fashion's Fancies 343 

Favorite Birds, The 188 

Feathered Acrobats 32 

February Birds 135 

Few of My Friends, A 297 

Flycatcher, Least 75' 

Flycacher, Scissor-tail, A Handsome 49 

Flycatcher, Vermillion (color chart) 78 

Gnatcatc.her, Blue-gray 278 

Godwit, Hudsonian 210 

Goose, Canada 137 

Crackle, Purple 160 

Bronze 161 

Florida 161 

Grebe, American-eared (color chart) 238 

Holboell's (color chart) 238 

Horned (color chart) 238 

'I Pied-billed (color chart) 238 

St. Domingo (color chart) 238 

Grosbeak, Cardinal (color chart) 78 

Grosbeak, Blue (color chart) 366 

Rose-breasted 293 

Rose-breasted (color chart) 78 

Grouse, RufTed (How a Ruffed Grouse was photographed) 369 

Gull Herring (poem ) 372 

Handsome Scissor-tail, A 49 

Hawk, American Rough-leg (color chart) 270 

Ferruginous Rough-leg (color chart) 270 

Harris' Icolor chart) 270 

Pigeon 87 

(An Interesting Captive) 81 


Hawk, Red-tailed 265 

Swainson's (color chart) 270 

History of Tim 283 

Honey Creeper, Bahama (color chart) 331 

House With Two Stories 167 

How a Ruffed Grouse was Photographed 369 

How Birds Bathe 216 

Ins and Outs of Bird Photography 96 

Jacana, Mexican (color chart) 174 

January Picnic, A 28 

Jay, Blue, Then and Now 256 

the Blue Jay Surgeon 264 

Jenny Wren (Poem) 251 

Jimmie the Jay 125 

Kingfisher, Belted 288 

Lodging of the White-breasted Nuthatch 170 

Magpie American (color chart) 330 

Yellow-billed (color chart) 330 

American 120 

Martin, Purple, the Castle 165 

^leadowlark, Western 273 

(color chart) 330 

western (color chart) 330 

Mergansers, American 246 

Hooded 113 

Merle, Asiatic 26 

Message from Peggy 123 

JSTest-building Under Diflficulties 68 

Nighthawk 128 

A Note on the 217 

Nuthatch, White-breasted, Lodging of 170 

Odd Nests 108 

One of My Favorites 376 

Oology 179 

Oriole's Nest, The 223 

Oven Bird 23 

"A Pretty Pedestrian 197 

Owl, American Hawk 90 

Long-eared (color chart) 271 

Arctic Horned (color chart) 271 

" Dusky Horned (color chart) 271 

Great Horned (color chart) 271 

Short-eared (color chart) 271 

Western Horned (color chart) 271 


Partridge, California (color chart) Ill 

Gambel's (color chart) Ill 

Massena (color chart) Ill 

" Mountain (color chart) Ill 

Plumed (color chart) Ill 

Patch of Sunshine, A Ill 

Phalarope, Northern (color chart) 174 

Red (color chart) 174 

Wilson's (color chart) 174 

Phoebe 181 

The Camera Against a 339 

Photographing Game Birds 10 

Picnic, A January 28 

Plover, Black-bellied 56 

Plover, Killdeer (color chart ) 175 

Piping (color chart) 175 

Semi-pahnated (color chart) 175 

Snowy (color chart) 175 

Wilson's (color chart) 175 


Acrobat, The Little 31 

Alone with the Birds at Dawn 347 

Birdless Wood, The 158 

Birds' Picnic, The 159 

Bobolink 245 

Brown Creeper 94 

Chickadee 30 

Chickadee 348 

Deserted Home, The 8 

Fashion's Fancies 343 

Herring Gull 368 

Jenny Wren 251 

Myth of the Song Sparrow 158 

Oriole's Nest, The 223 

Redbreast, The ■ 222 

True Incident, A 92 

Veery, The 191 

Vireo, the Warbling 325 

Polly's Adventure 60 

Prairie Hen 308 

Preacher or Yellow Journalist, Which? 313 

Pretty Pedestrian, A 197 

Rail, Black (color chart) 300 

Farralone (color chart) 300 

King (color chart) 300 

Sora (color chart) 300 

Virginia (color chart) 300 

Yellow (color chart) 300 


Ramble in the Marsh 69 

Redstart, American 303 

Roadrunner 73 

Robin (A Broken Series) 204 

Sandpiper, Bartramian 177 

School Outing, A 337 

Shrike, Northern 40 

Skimmer, Black (color chart) 206 

Some Winter Nests 59 

Sparrow, Chipping (color chart) 110 

Clay-colored (color chart) 110 

EngHsh 284 

'' Field 229 

Field (color chart) 110 

Fox 168 

Gambel's (color chart) 239 

Golden-crowned (color chart) 239 

Harris (color chart) 239 

Intermediate (color chart) 239 

Song 64 

Swamp 15 

Swamp (color chart) 110 

Tree (color chart) 110 

White-crowned (color chart) 239 

White-throated (color chart) 239 

Summer Acquaintance, A 156 

Swift, White-throated ' • 357 

Tanager, Scarlet (color chart) 78 

Tanager, Summer (color chart) 78 

Teal, Green-winged 373 

Tern, Arctic 207 

" Black (color chart) 207 

Common (color chart) 207 

" Foster's (color chart) 207 

Least 153 

" Noddy (color chart) 206 

Roseate (color chart) 207 

" Sooty (color chart) 206 

Thrush, Willow 193 

Wilsons 193 

Wilsons (A Woodland Songster) 18 

Wood 333 

Towhee 212 

" White-eyed 214 

Trials and Troubles of Birds 147 

Turnstone (color chart) 174 

Veery 193 

" (A Woodland Songster) 18 

Veeyr, The (Poem) 191 


Vireo, Red-eyed 316 

Warbling 325 

Voice from China 106 

Walk in July, A 285 

Warbler, Audubon's (color chart) 142 

Black and white 103 

Black and white (color chart) 331 

Black-poll (color chart) 331 

Warbler, Black-throated Blue (color chart) 331 

Black-throated Gray (color chart) 331 

Black-throated Green (color chart) 46 

Blue-winged 52 

Canadian (color chart) 142 

Cape May (color chart) 143 

Chestnut-sided (color chart) 143 

Golden-cheeked (color chart) 46 

Grace's (color chart) 47 

Hermit (color chart) 46 

Hooded (color chart) 46 

Kentucky (color chart) 47 

Magnolia ( color chart) 142 

Maryland Yellow-throat (color chart) 47 

Myrtle (color chart ) 142 

Palm (color chart) 143 

Pileolated (color chart) 142 

Prairie (color chart ) 143 

Sonora (color chart) 143 

Townsend's (color chart) 46 

Wilson's (color chart) 142 

Yellow 133 

Yellow (color chart) 143 

Yellow Palm (color chart) 143 

Yellow-throated (color chart) 47 

Water Thrush, Louisiana 225 

Waxwing, Bohemian 119 

With the Birds at Dawn 185 

Woodland Songster, A- • • • 18 

Woodpecker, Calif, (color chart) 79 

Lewis (color chart) 79 

Red-bellied (color chart) 79 

Red-breasted Sapsucker color chart) 79 

Red-headed (color chart ) 79 

Wren, House (The Little Acrobat) 31 

House (Feathered Acrobats) 32 





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