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Lab 0/ Ornithology 


at Sapsucker Woods 


Illustration of Bank Swallow by Louis Agassiz Fuertcs 

Cornell University Library 
QL 188.A5 

Wild animals of Glacier National Park.Th 

3 1924 022 556 074 

All books are subject to recall after two weeks 






i/Tu^-^^U^i^ ^' ' 




STEPHEN T. Mather; DIRECTQH_j^j>,^ ,,, 




With Notei on Phjaiography and Life Zone* 


Chief Field Natuialiil, Bureau of Biological Surveyi^ Depaitmeot of Agrlcultura 




Auihot of Hudboak of Birdi ol thi Weitein UaM Suua 




11^ 3 

Lab 0/ Ornithology 


at Sapsucker Woods 

Illustration of Bank Swallow by Louis Agassiz Fuertes 


L8boratoi7 ot Ornithol»gy 


i59 Sapsucker Wood 

FRANKLIN K. LANE. SECRETARY yjjjjj^ f^gy, york l|4850 







With Notes on Physiography and Life Zones 


Chief Field NatmalisI, Bureau of Biological Survey. Department ol Agricultuie 



Author of Handbook of Birds ot (lie J^^<:$V^-i^e|^)a!^ M PA 




C~s' ^- 





General features governing life in Glacier National Park 15 

I. Physiography 15 

II. Life zones J8 

Transition Zone 19 

Canadian Zone 20 

Hudsonian Zone 22 

Arctic-Alpine Zone 23 


Order Ungulata: Hooted animals — cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer 25 

Family Bovidse: Cattle, sheep, and goats 25 

Bison, or buffalo 25 

Mountain sheep, or bighorn 26 

Mountain goat 28 

Family Antilocapridae: Prong-horned antelope ?,1 

Prong-horned antelope ,31 

Family Cervidfe: Moose, elk, and deer 31 

American moose 31 

American elk, or wapiti 32 

Mule deer 33 

Western white-tail deer 35 

Order Rodentia: Gnawing animals 37 

Family Sciuridae: Squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, etc 37 

Richardson pine squirrel 37 

Flying squirrel 39 

Yellow-bellied chipmunk 40 

Forest chipmunk 42 

Little mountain chipmunk 42 

Mantled ground squirrel 43 

Columbia ground squirrel 45 

Richardson ground squirrel 49 

Striped ground squirrel 50 

Glacier hoary marmot 50 

Brown wood chuck 53 

Family Muridee: Mice, rats, etc 53 

Gray bushy-tailed woodrat 53 

Forest white-footed mouse 58 

Mountain lemming mouse 59 

Red-backed mouse 60 

Large-footed meadow mouse 61 

Rocky Mountain meadow mouse 62 

Drummond meadow mouse 63 

Rocky Mountain muskrat 63 



Order Rodentia: Gnawing animals — Continued. Page. 

Family Oastoridfe: Beavers 64 

Beaver 64 

Family Erethizontida": Porcupines _ 66 

Yellow-haired porcupine 66 

Family Zapodidse: Jumping mice _ 69 

Rocky Mountain jumping mouse 69 

Family Geomjddfe: Pocket gophers - 71 

Saskatchewan pocket gopher 71 

Brown pocket gopher T.', 

Order I.agomorpha: Rabbitlike animals 75 

Family Ochotonidse: Conies 75 

< 'ony - 75 

Family Leporid^ : Rabbits and hares 77 

Snowshoe rabbit 77 

Prairie jack rabbit - 78 

Order Carnivora : Flesh eaters 79 

Family Felidse: Gats 79 

Mountain lion 79 

Canada lynx 81 

Bobcat 82 

Family Canidae : Wolves and foxes 82 

Gray wolf - 82 

Northern coyote 83 

Mountain red fox 84 

Kit fox, or swift 85 

Family Mustelidas: Otters, nuirtens, minks, weasels, c(c 85 

Otter 85 

Mink 86 

Arizona weasel 87 

Long-tailed weasel 87 

Bonaparte weasel 88 

Marten 88 

Fisher 90 

Wolverine 90 

Northern skunk 91 

Badger 91 

Family Ursidse ; Bears 92 

Black or cinnamon bear 92 

Grizzly bear, or silvertip 96 

Order Insectivora: Insect eaters 97 

Family Soricidas : Shrews - 97 

Water shrew 97 

Dusky shrew - 98 

Dobson shrew 99 

Masked shrew 100 

Order Chiroptera: Winged mammals 100 

Family VespertilionidEe : Bats 100 

Long-legged bat 100 

Brown bat 101 

Silver-haired bat 101 

Hoary bat 101 




Introductory 103 

I . Itinerary and acknowledgments 103 

II . Where the summer bird.s may be found 104 

Birds of the lower levels 104 

Birds of the middle regions 105 

Birds of the higher regions IOC 

III. Permanent residents and transient visitants 107 

IV. Key to the commoner summer birds 107 

Order Pygopodes: Diving birds 110 

Family OoljonbidtB: Grebes 110 

Western grebe 110 

Holbcell grebe - Ill 

Horned grebe 112 

Eared grebe 112 

Family Gaviidse: Loons 113 

Loon 113 

Order Longipennes: Long-winged swimmers 114 

Family Laridse : Gulls and terns 114 

California gull 114 

Ring-billed gull 114 

Bonaparte gull 114 

Forster tern 114 

Order Steganopodes: Totipalmato s-\nmmers . . _ _ 115 

I\imily Phalacrocoracidie : Cormorants 115 

Double-crested cormorant 115 

Family Pelecanidce: Pelicans 115 

White pelican - 115 

Order Anseres : Lamellirostral s'S'immers 115 

Family Anatidse: Ducks, geese, and swans 115 

Merganser 115 

Red-breasted merganser 116 

Hooded merganser 116 

Mallard 117 

Gadwall 118 

Baldpate 118 

Green-winged teal 118 

Blue-winged teal 119 

Cinnamon teal 119 

Shoveller 119 

Pintail 120 

Wood duck 120 

Redhead 121 

Canvas-back 121 

Scaup duck 121 

Lesser scaup duck 121 

Ring-necked duck 122 

Barrow golden-eye 122 

Buffle-head 124 

Harlequin duck 124 

WTiite-winged scoter 127 

Ruddy duck 127 

Snow goose 127 


Order Anseres: Lamellirostral swimmers — Continued. 

Family Anatidse: Ducks, geese, and swans — Continued. Page. 

Ross goose 127 

Canada goose _ 127 

Whistling swan 129 

Trumpeter swan 129 

Order Ilerodiones: Herons, bitterns, etc 129 

Family Ardeidis : Herons, bitterns, etc 129 

Bittern 129 

Great blue heron 1:31 

Order Paludicolse : Cranes, rails, etc 131 

Family Gruidae: Cranes 131 

Sandhill crane 131 

Family Rallidae: Rails, coots, etc 131 

Sora rail 131 

Coot 132 

Order Timicolae ; Shorebirds 132 

Family Phalaropodidse : Phalaropes 132 

Northern phalarope 132 

Family Recurvirostridae : Avocets, etc 132 

Avocet 132 

Family Scolopacidse: Snipe, sandpipers, etc 132 

Wilsim snipe 132 

Pectoral sandpiiJer _ 133 

Greater yellow-legs 133 

Western solitary sandpiper 133 

Upland plover 133 

Spotted sandpiper 133 

Canadian curlew 134 

Family Charadriida? : Plovers 134 

Black-bellied plover 134 

Killdeer 134 

Order Gallina;: Ciallinaceous birds 135 

Family Odontophoridae: Bob- whites, etc 135 

B(jl>white 135 

Family Tetraonida: Grouse, ptarmigan, etc 135 

Richardson grouse 135 

Franklin grouse - 136 

Gray ruffed grouse 137 

Southern white- tailed ptarmigan 139 

Columbian sharp-tailed grouse 145 

Order C(.ilumbse: Pigeons 145 

Family Columbidte: Pigeons 145 

Western mourning dove 145 

Order Raptores: Bu'ds of prey 145 

Family Cathartida?: Vullm-es 145 

Turkey vulture 145 

Family Buteonida?: Hawks, eagles, etc 146 

Marsh hawk 146 

Sharp-shinned hawk 146 

Cooper hawk 146 

Western goshawk 147 

Western red-tail 147 

Rwainson hawk 147 

Squirrel hawk 147 


Order Raptores: Birds ot prey — Continued. 

I'"'amily Buteonidae: Hawks, eagles, etc — Continued. Page. 

Golden eagle 14S 

Bald eagle 149 

Family Falconidie: P^alcons, etc 149 

Prairie falcon 149 

Duck hawk 149 

Pigeon hawk 149 

Desert sparrow hawk 149 

Family Pandionidse : Ospreys 150 

Osprey 150 

Family Bubonidte: Horned owls, etc • 154 

Short-eared owl 154 

Great gray owl 154 

Richardson owl 154 

Saw- whet owl 155 

JIacFarlane screech owl 156 

Western horned owl 156 

Arctic horned owl 156 

Snowy owl 156 

Hawk owl 156 

Rocky Mountain pygmy owl 157 

Order Coccyges: Cuckoos, kingfishers, etc 157 

Family Alcedinidie : Kingfishers 157 

Belted kingfisher 157 

Order Pici : Woodpeckers, etc 158 

Family Picidse : Woodpeckers 158 

Rocky Mountain hairy woodpecker 158 

Batchelder woodpecker 158 

Arctic three-toed woodpecker 158 

Alaska three- toed woodpecker 158 

Red-naped sapsucker 159 

Williamson sapsucker 159 

Northern pileated woodpecker 159 

Red-headed woodpecker 160 

Lewis woodpecker 161 

Red-shafted flicker 161 

Order Macrochires: Nighthawks, swifts, and humminglnrds 161 

Family Chordeilidse: Nighthawks 161 

Pacific nighthawk 161 

Family Micropodidaj : Swifts 162 

Vaux swift 162 

White-throated swift 162 

Family Trochilidie : Hummingbirds 162 

Black-chinned hummingbird 162 

Broad-tailed hummingbird 163 

Rufous hummingbird 163 

Calliope hummingbird 163 

Order Passeres: Perching birds 164 

Family Tyrannid* : Tyrant flycatchers 164 

Kingbird 164 

Olive-sided flycatcher 164 

Western wood pewee 164 

Western flycatcher 164 


Order Passeres: Perching birds — Continued. 

Family Tyrannidae: Tyrant flycatchers — Continued. Page. 

Traill flycatcher . ." 164 

Hammond flycatcher 165 

Family Alandidae: Larks 165 

De.-^ert horned lark 165 

Family Cor"\T.die: Crows, jays, magpies, etc 165 

Magpie 165 

Black-headed jay 165 

Rocky Mountain jay 160 

Raven 167 

Western crow 167 

Clark nutcracker 107 

Family Icteridte: Blackbirds, etc 109 

Sagebrush cowbird 169 

Thick-billed redwing 169 

Western meadowlark 170 

Brewer blackbird 170 

Family FringilUdse: Finches, sparrows, etc 171 

Western evening grosljeak 171 

Rocky Mountain pine grosbeak 171 

Cassin purple finch 172 

Crossbill 173 

VvHrite-winged crossbill 173 

Gray-crowned leucostictc 173 

Redpoll . 174 

Pine siskin 174 

Snow bunting 175 

Alaska longspur 175 

Chestnut-collared longspur 175 

McCown longspur 176 

Western vesper sparrow 176 

Western Savannah sparrow 176 

Western lark sparrow 176 

White-crowned sparrow 177 

Gambel sparrow 177 

Western tree sparrow 177 

Western chipping sparrow 177 

Montana junco 177 

Mountain song sparrow 178 

Lincoln sparrow 178 

Slate-colored fox sparrow 178 

Arctic towhee 179 

Black-headed grosljeak 179 

Lazuli bunting 180 

Family Tangaridse : Tanagers 180 

Western tanager 180 

Family Hirundinidse: Swallows 180 

Cliff swallow 180 

Barn swallow 180 

Tree swallow 180 

Northern violet-green swallow 181 

Bank swallow 181 


Order Passeres: Perchin<^ birds — Continued. Page. 

Family Bomlsycillidte : \\'axwings LSli 

Bohemian waxwing 181! 

Cedar waxwing 181! 

Family Laniidae : Shrikes 1 8:'> 

White-rumped shrike 18?. 

Family Vireonidce : Vii-eos 183 

Western warbling \-ireo 18.3 

Family MniotiltidEe: Wood warblers 183 

Black and white warbler 1 83 

Orange-crowned warbler 183 

Yellow warbler 1 83 

Audubon warbler 183 

Townsend warl^ler _ . _ 184 

Grinnell water-thrush 184 

Macgillivray warlder 186 

Western yellow-throat 186 

Pileolated warbler 186 

Redstart 187 

Family Motacillidae : Wagtails 187 

Pipit 187 

Family CinclidEe : Dippers 1 88 

Water ouzel 188 

Family Mimidee: Mockingliirds. catliird.s, etc 190 

Catbird - 190 

Family Troglodytidse : Wrens - . 191 

Rock wi'en 191 

Western house wr'en - - - 191 

Western winter wren . - 191 

Family Certhiidse : Creepers - - 192 

Rocky Mountain creeper - - - 192 

Family Sittidse; Nuthatches 192 

Rocky Mountain nuthatch - 192 

Red-breasted nuthatch - 193 

Family Parida;: Titmice - 193 

Long-tailed chickadee 193 

Mountain chickadee 193 

Chestnut-backed chickadee 194 

Family Sylviidse: Kinglets, etc 194 

Western golden-crowned kinglet - 194 

Ruby-crowned kinglet 194 

Family Turdidte : Thrushes, solitaires, Iduebii-ds, etc 195 

Townsend solitah'e 195 

Willow thrush 195 

Olive-backed thrush 196 

Audubon hermit thrush 196 

Western robin 196 

Northern varied thrush 197 

Mountain bluebird 198 






Pi.ATR I. I>ife zone section of slo]3e in Glacier Park 24 

1 1. liufl'alo ball on Flathead Bison Range near Dixon, Mont I'o 

ITI. Fig. 1.— A band of old rams in Yellowstone Park. Fig. 2. — Moun- 
tain sheep just below timberline in Glacier Park 28 

IV. Fig. 1. — A bunch of mountain goats in Alpine meadow. Fig. 2. — 

Mountain goat in Bronx Park 29 

V. Fig. 1. — A family of goats on their way down the mountain side. 

Fig. 2. — The same family of goats feeding in an Alpine meadow ?.0 

VI. Fig. 1. — Mule deer buck in short summer red coat. Fig. 2. — Mule 

deer in -ivinter 34 

VII. Fig. 1. — Wliite-tail deer in summer red coats. Fig. 2. — Wliite-tail 

doe in long gray winter coat ?>5 

VIII. Fig. 1. — Mantled ground squirrel in upright position. Fig. 2. — 

Mantled ground squirrels feeding on scattered oats 44 

IX. Fig. 1. — Burrow of Columbia ground s([uirrel. Fig. 2. — (Jolumliia 

ground squirrel and burrow 45 

X. Fig. 1. — Richardson ground squirrel. Fig. 2. — Pale tliirteen-lined 

ground squirrel 50 

XI. Fig. 1. — Hoary marmot at Lake Ellen Wilson. Fig. 2. — Hoary mar- 
mot in Gunsight Pass 52 

XII. Fig. 1. — Bushy-tailed woodrat at entrance of cave. Fig. 2. — Bushy- 
tailed woodrat and Ijuilding material 53 

XIII. Fig. 1. — Beaver house on bank of Belly River. Fig. 2. — Beaver in 

National Zoological Park 64 

XIV. Fig. 1. — Porcupine retreating down trail. Fig. 2. — Porcupine com- 

ing up trail 68 

XV. Fig. 1. — Mountain lions in top of yellow-pine tree. Fig. 2. — The 

same lions in another position 80 

XVI. Fig. 1.— Canada lynx. Fig. 2.— Bobcat 81 

XVII. Fig. 1. — Coyote in National Zoological Park. Fig. 2. — Wolves in 

National Zoological Park 82 

XVIII. Fig. 1. — Fisher in captivity. Fig. 2.— Otters in captivity 86 

XIX. Black bears at garbage pile 94 

XX. Fig. 1.— Ground where bears have dug up bulbs. Fig. 2.— Burrow 

of ground squirrel dug out by bear 95 

XXI. Grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park 96 


XXII. Eared grebe 112 

XXIII. Loons 113 

XXIV. Mallards 118 

XXV. Shovellers 119 

XXVI. Sora rails 130 

XXVII. Ruffed grouse 136 

XXVIII. Marsh hawks 146 




Plate XXIX. Young ferruginous rough-leg 148 

XXX. Young golden eagle _ 149 

XXXI. Belted kingH.'^her.s - 156 

XXXII. Williamson sapsuckers - 158 

XXXIII. Black-billed magpies : - 164 

XXXIV. Water ouzel's nest ^ 188 

XXXV. Oatliirds 190 

XXXVI. Northern \ aried thrush 197 

XXXVII. Map of life zone In pocket. 

Text Fioure.s. 
the mammals. 

Fic. 1. Transition Zone on Big Prairie in Xorth Fork Valley 20 

2. Head of 5-year-old ram from (.'hief Mountain 28 

:'. A fi\e-point Jjull elk in early winter 3-3 

4. Head of mule deer Inick from Hucklelierry Mountain 34 

5. Head of white-tail deer at Belton, Mont 35 

6. (I) Yellow-hellied chipmunk; (II) pale 13-lined ground stiuirrel; 

(III) mantled ground scpiirrel; all from museum skins 40 

7. Plan of underground den of Columbia ground squirrel 48 

S. Woodrat in his nest of moss and lichens in old cabin 56 

9. Woodrat nest on shelf in corner of cabin 57 

10. Cottonwood stump cut by beavers on Camas Creek (iO 

1 1 . Jumping mouse 70 

12. Pocket gopher of the genus Thoiiinmys 71 

13. Xorthern white-tailed jack rabljit in March 78 

14. Two mountain lions that will kill no more game 80 

15. Mountain red fox in Wind River Mountains, Wyoming - 84 

] 0. Mink photographed at old cabin above Kintla Lake 86 

17. (I) Dusky shrew; (II) masked shrew; photographed from alcoholic 

specimens 99 

18. (I) Brown bat; (II) long-legged bat; museum specimens 100 


19. Western grebe Ill 

20. Horned grebe 112 

21. Bed-breasted merganser 117 

22 . Hooded mergansei' 116 

23. Baldpate 118 

24. Green-fldnged teal 119 

25. Blue-'ivinged teal _ _ 120 

2(i . Cinnamon teal 1 20 

27. Pintail 120 

28. Canvas-back 121 

29. Scaup duck 121 

30. Golden-eyes on Yellowstone Lake 122 

31 . Buffle-head t24 

32. Western harlequin duck 124 

33. I-Iarle(iuin duck at Iceberg Lake 126 

34. White-winged scoter 127 

35. Ruddy duck 127 

36. Canada geese 128 

37. Bittern 130 

38. Young great blue heron VM 

39. Avocot. . - 132 

40. Wilson snipe 1 33 

41. Killdeer ]:U 



Fig. 42. Franklin grouse i:!(i 

43. Female ptarmigan in summer 1 :),S 

44. Mother ptarmigan and chicks 139 

45. Ptarmigan in -winter _ 143 

46. Sharp-tailed grouse 1 14 

47 . Sharp-shinned hawk - _ _ 14(; 

48. Goshawk - 14(i 

49. Red-tailed hawk 147 

•'lO. Swainson hawk [47 

51 . r.ald eagle 149 

02. Duck hawk - 14!) 

53. Pigeon hawk - 149 

54. Sparrow hawk 150 

55. Nest of osprey 151 

5fi. Two photographs of osprey and nest 152 

57. Short-eared owl 154 

58. Saw-whet owl 154 

59. Screech owl 155 

60. Horned owl 156 

61. Arctic three-toed woodpecker 158 

62. Northern pileated woodpecker 159 

63. A family of red-.shafted flicker..! 160 

64. Nighthawk 162 

65. Rufous hummingljird 163 

66. Calliope hummingbird - 163 

67. Kingbird 164 

68. Horned lark 165 

69. Rocky Mountain jay 166 

70. Clark nutcracker 168 

71. Red-winged blackbird 169 

72. Meadowlark 170 

73. Brewer blackbird 170 

74. Evening grosbeak 171 

75. Cassin purple finch 172 

76. Crossbills 172 

77. Gray-crowned leucosticte 173 

78. ^^'hite-crowned sparrow 176 

79. Western chipping sparrow 1 77 

50. GUff swallow 180 

81. Barn swallow 181 

82. Tree swallow 181 

83. ( 'edar waxwing 182 

81. Audubon warbler 184 

85. Townsend warbler 184 

86. Macgillivray warbler 186 

87. Western yellow-throat 186 

88. Water ouzel at entrance to nest 188 

89. Western house wren 191 

90. Young Rocky Mountain nuthatches 192 

91. Long-tailed chickadee 193 

92. Mountain chickadee 194 

93. Western robin 197 

94. Mountain bluebird 193 


By Vernox Bailey. 


Glacier National Park lies in northwestern Montana, along the 
main range of the Eocky Mountains from the Canadian boundary 
south to the Great Northern Railway. P>om the rugged crest of the 
Continental Divide it descends on the east to the edge of the Gi-eat 
Plains, and on the west to the dense forests of the Flathead Valley. 
Its sinuous and spiny backbone forms one of the roughest ranges on 
the Continent; and, while its highest peaks reach an elevation but 
little above 10,000 feet, it has all the appearance of a more lofty 
range, for the timberline is low and its upper slopes and peaks reach 
far into the snow and glacier-laden Arctic- Alpine Zone. Its steep and 
jagged sides are deeply cut and furrowed by ancient glaciers, and the 
old glacial troughs are now filled by long, deep lakes of wonderful 
purity and beauty. Some of the smaller lakes are still milky from the 
grinding of the glaciers above them, but those farther from the ice 
throw back from transparent depths the deepest shades of blue and 
green. The long lake valleys on both sides of the range extend out 
between riblike lateral ridges almost as high and rugged as the dorsal 
crest of the range. In fact some of the highest peaks rise from these 
lateral ridges, while the main divide- has been eaten through by the ice 
in notches that serve as the only available passes for present trails and 
future highways. 

The tilted and heavily stratified shale, limestone, sandstone, and 
argillite, which make up a great part of the range, have given strik- 
ing contrasts to the configuration of the park. Great cliffs and ter- 
races, sharp peaks and jagged walls on one side and shelving slopes 
on the other, render many of what seem to be unattainable heights 
from some points of view quite possible of access- from other points. 
Faint trails of mountain sheep and mountain goats may be found 
threading the narrow shelves and niches to the tops of many of the 



liighest peaks, but some are too precipitous for even these skilled 
climbers. The lower slopes of the mountains are generally covered 
with soil, slide rock, or morainal deposits and, in each case, with 
such growth of vegetation as the depth of soil will support. The 
valleys and basins are rich and fertile, as is shown by dense forests 
and brilliant flower gardens. 

Great melting snowbanks feed the foaming streams, while glaciers 
grind and sift their floury silt from muddy to milky streams and 
white to tinted lakes. Springs of purest water in countless numbers 
break out from the mountain sides and unite into rivulets and creeks 
and torrents as they descend the steep slopes, while the seepage of 
underground waters feeds velvety meadows and dense fern-clad 
glades. The whole region is enriched by its bounteous humidity, 
and the vintage of the heavy winter snows is poured out over the 
thirsty valleys far and wide. 

Plant life is abundant and varied, and as the* endless combinations 
of plant associations crowd and push for supremacy, those best fitted 
for the existing local environment hold the main areas while the less 
fitted are crowded back. Temperature, light, shade, moisture, depth 
and nature of soil, wind, and fire have all been potent factors in the 
present arrangement of the vegetation of the mountains, and all but 
the last have added beauty and interest to the flora. Fortunately the 
ravages of fire have not been extensive, and the grazing of domestic 
stock has not injured the virgin beauty of the mountain meadows, 
which are among the greatest attractions of the park. The flower- 
ing of one set of plants after another spreads clouds of color over 
the meadows and open slopes, where on one day a golden glow of 
dogtooth violets holds the eye, and a week later the creamy white 
of the west-wind flower is seen, only to be followed in rapid sequence 
bj' the delicate purple of the vetchling and the deep blue of the gen- 
tian ; and so on until the short summer is over. But each dominant 
flower has its understudies of varied shape and color filling in every 
available nook and corner, while each difi'erent type of soil or vary- 
ing belt of soil-moisture holds its own sets of species, from beds of 
purple and creamy heather above timberline down to the tall white 
globes of beargrass on the open slopes below. Even the deep shade 
of the forest is brightened by the white stars of the pine lilj (CJ/n- 
tonia) and single-floAvered wintergreen (Moveses) on carpets of false 
mitrewort and lacelike T'larella^ and by purple and white pyrolas 
and Chlviaphlla, scarlet painted-cups, magenta and yellow monkey 
flowers {H/imttlns), together with a host of other common flowers, 
and occasionally some of the rare and exquisite wood orchids. 

The forests vary from deep and somber stands of closely set tnniks 
of i^ine, spruce, and fir, cedar, hemlock, and western tamarack, to the 
open and straggling timberline belts, the Christmas-tree parks of 


second-grcwth pines over fire-swept areas, the groves of delicate 
aspens scattered over the open spaces, and sturdy bhick cottonwoods 
along the streams. In each area one species holds supremac}' and all 
others take subordinate places. The lodgepole pine is the most 
widespread and abundant tree, forming clear stands of slender poles 
or smooth trunks of sawjog size over great areas. Engelmann spruce 
is scattered over mncli of the park area and fills the Upper St. Mary 
and Waterton Valleys with almost pure stands of tall, straight, and 
graceful trunks. Balsams are generally scattered, but on some slopes 
are the dominant trees. Hemlock, tamarack, cedar, yellow pine, and 
western white pine are alj\mdant and variously mixed in the ^-al- 
leys of the west slope of the park, where each in turn donunates its 
favorite ground, while together they form the most superb forest area 
of the park region. The scrubby but picturesque white-stemmed 
pine (Pimis alhicaulis) of the timberline belt baffles the winds and 
storms more successfully tlian any other tree, living and thriving 
where beaten to the ground and held down by heavy winter snows 
and fierce winds until it seems little more than a coniferous car]iet. 
Engelmann spruce, the sulialpine fir, and the Lyell tamaraclc 
also struggle up to timberline in dwarfed form, and sometimes 
prove almost as hardj^ as the white-stemmed i^ine with which they 
are associated. Many other trees find a foothold and fill minor places 
in the forest. The Douglas spruce and limber pine, white fir, and 
a few junipers are found at lower levels. The graceful white birch 
on the west slope and the little brown western birch low down along 
the streams with the mountain maple and alder and many of the 
larger shrubs help to fill subordinate places. 

The shrubs and undergrowth of the forested and open areas include 
manv useful, ornamental, and interesting species. Flowering shrubs, 
as the syringa, ocean spray, mountain balm, and meadow-sweet, are 
conspicuous. Fruit-bearing shrubs, as chokecherry, pin cherry, thorn 
apple, serviceberry, elderberry, high-bush cranberry, mountain ash, 
red raspberry, thimbleberry, blueberries of three or more species, 
wild currants, and wild gooseberries, grow in greater or less profu- 
sion. The western yew and devil's cluli add peculiar interest and 
character to the shrubbery of the west slope, as do the ground cedar 
and silver leaf to the east slope of the park. 

Even the ferns and club mosses and the real mosses and lichens in 
great profusion and variety add their touch to the beauty and 
interest of the plant life of the park as well as to the charm of the 
forest and the rock shelves and shady cliffs of the mountains, Avhile 
the least of all the visible plant life, the pink snow, gives a rosy 
glow to the surface of the snow banks and glaciers, 
51140°— 18 2 


The bird and mammal life of the park are too rich and varied to 
be touched upon lightl^y, and each is M^orthy of a volnnie by itself. 
In few other places on the continent can so great a variety of the 
larger game animals be found close together.. The moose, elk, mule 
and white-tail deer, mountain goat, mountain sheep, grizzly and 
black bears, and the great hoary marmot are all common in parts 
of the park, while many of the smaller mammals furnish constant 
interest along the trails and about the hotels and camps. 

While certain areas are at times almost devoid of bird life, there 
are always others where birds are abundant and where the songs 
of the varied thrush, the olive-backed and western hermit thrushes, 
the gray fox sparrow, the white-crowned sparrow, warblers, vireos, 
wrens, and other choice songsters may be heard. Above timberline 
the rosy finches and pipits breed, and mother ptarmigans lead about 
their broods of downy young, while lower down the Franklin, Eich- 
ardson, and ruffed gTouse may be studied along the trails. A number 
of water birds breed in the- lakes, and many of the- individuals are 
becoming unafraid of man. The opportunity for close bird study 
is unusually favorable, and the bird life is as full and varied as in 
any part of the Eocky Mountain region. 

Most of the streams are well stocked, and many afford excellent 
trout fishing. In the larger lakes and streams the trout are large 
and gamey, while in the smaller streams their abundance usually 
compensates for their smaller size. 

Eeptiles and amphibians are generally scarce in the park, but two 
species of small garter snakes are found, and several species of frogs 
and toads are connnon. 


The plants and animals of the park are distributed in a series of 
approximately horizontal belts or zones, but on such broken slopes 
that only by a broad view can tlie zonal arrangement be rec-ognized. 
Four of the transcontinental life zones are I'epresented, tlie Transi- 
ticm, Canadian, Hudsonian, and Arctic- Alpine, ranging from the 
basal slopes upward, each with its characteristic set of mammals, 
birds, and plants. The boundaries of these bolts are not sharplj- de- 
fined, and each zone merges into those adjoining in a way that at times 
is confusing, but the conformity of certain sets of s]iecies to certain 
linuts of altitude is apparent to the most superficial oliserver. That 
these limits are due to climatic conditions dependent largely upon 
altitude and slope exposure is also apparent when the evidence is 

The natund grouping and arrangement of the ]))ant and animal life 
of the park can be best understood on the basis of the connnon laws 
of distribution. Certain species are adapted to a restricted range of 


temperature or climate, Avliile large numbers of species have approxi- 
mately the same climatic and consequently geographic range. Ac- 
cording to well-known laws the climate normally becomes colder as 
the altitude and latitude become higher, but not uniformly, as slopes 
inclined toward the south receive and absorb more heat from the 
sun's rays than do level areas, and far more than the slopes inclined 
toward the north. Thus slope exposure greatly modifies the local 
climatic conditions and consequently the distribution of plant and 
animal life. The altitude of the base level, or country surrounding 
the base of the mountains, also in 'part determines the amount of heat 
available to the slopes above. A high base level holds the sun-warmed 
air up against the sides of the mountains and thus enables associated 
species to grow at higher levels than where the surrounding country 
is lower. JSIany other local influences, as air currents, prevailing 
Avinds, light and shade, humidity, and soil conditions, further modify 
the environment that determines the nature of the fauna and flora. 

The open plains country, Avhich barely penetrates the eastern edge 
of the park, supports the peculiar types of plant and animal life be- 
longing to the Transition Zone, traces of which are found also in the 
lower valleys on the west slope of the park. The dense forests of 
lodgepole jjine, spruce, and fir, Avhich cover the base of the moun- 
tains, mark the Canadian Zone; the narrow belt of dwarfed timber 
at and near timberline, the Hudsonian Zone ; while depauperate 
plants above timberline partly cover the peaks and ridges of the 
.\rctic- Alpine Zone. 


The Transition Zone, an area relatively warm and fertile and of 
■\alue for the production of wheat and other cereals, lies mainly out- 
side the park, but fortunately enough of it is included to add some 
of its characteristic species to the fauna and flora of the park and 
(o provide suitable winter range for some of the important game 
animals of the higher and colder zones. On the east slope it is 
present in dilute form up to about 4,500 feet altitude on the warmest 
exposures, those facing toward the southwest at Glacier Station, and 
in the St. Mary, Swiftcurrent, and Belly Eiver Valleys. It is indi- 
cated hj tongues or j^atches of prairie carrying the prairie species 
of plants and animals, and is mainly without timber. Its shrubby 
vegetation consists of the little western birch, the diamond willow, 
serviceberry, silver-leaf, western snoAvberry, prairie rose, and creep- 
ing juniper, but its dominant vegetation consists of prairie grasses 
ruixed with the loco, vetch, milk vetch, bluebonnet, broAvn-eyed Susan, 
balsam root, i^rairie aster, blazing star, Indian paintbrush, larkspur, 
puccoon, geranium, purple Avind floAver, and a host of other plants 
of the Great Plains Transition Zone area. Its characteristic mam- 


mals include the Richardson and thirteen-lined ground squirrels, the 
Saskatchewan pocket gopher, and the prairie hare; while the west- 
ern vesper sparrow, western Savannah sparrow, western chipping 
sparrow, lazuli bunting, yellow warbler, and long-tailed chickadee 
are characteristic birds. 

On the west slope of the park traces of the zone are seen in the 
yellow pines in the North Fork Valley, a few mountain junipers 
along the river banks, black thornapple along the lake shores, west- 
ern birch along the streams, and an abundance of serviceberrics, 
syringa, ocean spray, and Ceanothus sanguineus on the low, warm 
slopes ; but no considerable area can be called Transition Zone. The 
climate of these low valleys is mild, but the snowfall is so heavy and 
the timber growth so dense that melting snow, delayed late into 

Fig. 1. — Open Transition Zone valley. Yellow pines on and along edge of Big Prairie 
in North Fork Flathead Valley, looking east to Vulture Peak. April 16, 1918. 

spring by the cool forest shade, favors the plant growth and the 
animal life of the Canadian Zone, which dominates the valleys. 


Tlie Canadian, which comprises the well-timbered areas of the 
park, is the most extensive of the four life zones. It reaches from 
practicallj' the base of the park all around up to altitudes of approxi- 
mately G,000 feet on northeast slopes and 7,000 feet on southwest 
slopes, varying somewhat with the steepness and soil cover and 
with the amount of sunlight allowed to reach the surface of the 
ground. Most of the zone is covered by heavy forests of lodgepole 
pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, aspens, black cottonwood, 
and mountain maple, but over the lower part of the west slope of the 


park the predominating forest trees are j'elloAv cedar, western hem- 
loclv, western taniaraclv, grand tii', Canada spruce, ])aper birch, west- 
ern yew, and devil's-chib, which give a western chiiracter to the 
forest, stril'cingl}' resembling that of the Pacihc slope of the Cascade 

The shrnbby growth of the zone is characterized by an abundance 
of alders, numerous species of willow, mountain ash, shrubby bii'ch, 
shrnbby juniper, Canadian buffalo-berry, red-berried elder, black- 
berried elder, Pachj/.sthna myrxinites (an abundant little evergreen 
shrub), red-berried and black-berried honeysuckle, thimbleberry, 
gooseberry, currant, purple mountain blueberry, little red blueberry, 
a great abundance of smooth Meiizlesia^ and a little rusty Blerizic-ilit. 
Among the many conspicuous flowers of the zone are the tall, white 
globes of the bear paw, bear grass or squaw grass, the great yellow 
western dogtooth violet {Erythroniu7ih graiidlfloruni) , the green- 
flowered hellebore {Veratrum viride), the pine lily (Clintonia urd- 
fora) like a white star on the lacelike forest carpet of TiareJla, 
the yellow columbine, the deep-blue larkspur, light-blue Cletimtis, 
and baby-blue false forget-me-nots, the purple and the blue Pentste- 
mon, the magenta Indian paintbrush in the open and the rose-red 
Miinulus along the streams, the golden Arnica in the woods in mid- 
summer, and later the goldenrod and purple asters and tall pink 

The common mammals of the Canadian Zone are moose, elk, mule 
deer, white-tail deer, red squirrel, flying squirrel, yellow-bellied and 
forest chipmunks, gray-mantled ground squirrel, Columbia ground 
squirrel, bushj'-tailed woodrat, white-footed mouse, red-backed 
mouse, Rock}' Mountain lemming mouse, long-tailed and big-footed 
meadow mice, beaver, porcupine, jumping mouse, brown pocket 
gopher, snowshoe rabbit, Canada lynx, red fox, gray wolf, northern 
coyote, marten, Arizona weasel, grizzlj^ bear, black bear, and the 
water, dusky, masked, and Dobson shrews. 

A few of the characteristic birds are the loon, Barrow golden-eye, 
and harlequin ducks, Franklin, Eichardson, and ruffed grouse, golden 
eagle, goshawk. Cooper and sharp-shinned hawks, pileated wood- 
pecker, Arctic and Alaskan three-toed woodpeckers, hairy wood- 
pecker, red-naped and Williamson sapsuckers, black-headed blue jay, 
Rocky Mountain jay, Clark crow, crossbill, siskin, junco, white- 
crowned sparrow, gray fox sparrow, cedar waxwing, Wilson, Audu- 
bon, and Macgillivray warblers, water ouzel, winter wren, Rocky 
Mountain brown creeper, red-breasted nuthatch, mountain chickadee, 
ruby-crowned and western golden-crowned kinglets, the northern 
varied thrush, Audubon hermit and olive-backed thrushes, and tlie 
mountain bluebird. 



The Hndsoniaii, or tiniberline, zone is a narrow belt around the 
peaks about 1,000 feet in average vertical width, reaching generally 
from 0,000 to 7,000 feet in altitude on the -cold northeast exposures 
flnd from 7,000 to 8,000 on the warmer southwest exposures. On very 
steep slopes it often runs beyond these average limits, falling lower 
on cold and rising higher on warm exposures. Its borders are very 
irregular, but across a canyon its upper edge may be readily traced 
on opi^osite slopes by tlie fingertips of dwarfed or prostrate trees, 
while below it melts into tlie solid Canadian Zone forest. It has 
far more open than timbered areas and includes cliffs and extensive 
rock slides and snow banks. In midsummer it is the most attractive . 
zone of the mountains, with its brilliant flower gardens carpeting the 
open slopes and grassy meadows, its miniature forests and scattered 
groves of dwarfed and wind-beaten timber, its unusual bird and ani- 
mal life, numerous snow banks, little lakes and roaring rivulets, cool, 
fresh air, and glorious mountain views, all combining to make of it 
an inspiring camp ground. 

Its dominant tree is the small white-barked pine {Pinus alhicauUs) , 
but the dwarfed mountain tamarack {Larix lyelli) is occasionally 
found. The Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir also occur in 
stunted, dwarfed, and windswept forms, reaching to extreme timber- 
line, althouoh their real forest growth is confined to the zone below. 
Shrubby vegetation is scarce except for dwarfed willows, the purple 
and white heathers {Phyllodoce enijJetnformis and P. glanduliflora), 
Eocky Mountain laurel {Kalmla glanca)^ mountain gooseberry, and 
dwarf blueberry. The conspicuous flowering plants, however, are 
legion and are often massed in areas of almost solid color. The great 
j'ellow dogtooth violet fills this zone as well as the Canadian Zone 
below and at times gives a dominant color to the slopes. The large 
white flowers and woolly heads of the west-wind flower- (Pulsatilla oe- 
cidentalis) , the creamy globe flower, and the milk vetch are abundant 
and conspicuous, the creamy, roselike Dryus octopetala. often carpets 
the ground, and many species of saxifrage are found, with the little 
white Areiuiiia and Stellaria. The blues are conspicuous in the little 
larksjnir, the Jacob 's-ladder (Polemoniutn viscosnm) , a water leaf 
{Phacella), Venus's-looking- glass, and the deep-blue gentians. The 
reds and pinks and purples are shown in Indian paint brushes, moun- 
tain evening primroses {Godetia quadrivul/nera) , louseworts, elephant 
heads, and PeriMcmon. The yellows of buttercups, cinque foils, and 
golden asters, and the orange of Arnica, hawk-weed, and tSeneeio are 

Among the niannuals are white goats, mountain sheep, hoarv 
marmots, conies, and alpine chipnamks, while the Columbia ground 


squirrel occupies tlie lower ]);irt of the zone, as do also to some extent 
the mantled ground-squirrels and yellow d^ellied and l^ig-tailed chiji- 

The conspicuous birds are the ])tarmigan, rosy finches, pipits, sis- 
kins, crossbills, and white-crowned sparrows, while many of the 
Canadian Zone species come into the lower edge of the zone, and 
golden eagles are often seen around the ])eaks and cliU's. 


The Arctic-Alpine Zone caps the peaks and extends on cold slopes 
below many of the passes to 7,000 feet and on warmer slopes to 8,000 
feet. It lies entirely above the last trace of timber and dwarfed 
trees and includes most of the glaciers and large snow iields, great 
expanses of barren cliff and rock, and also extensive areas of thin soil 
and depauperate vegetation. For the greater part of each year it 
is buried in snow, but during the short summer everjr available bit 
of fertile soil is carpeted with green or is bright Avith alpine flowers, 
and even the cracks and niches in the rocks shelter hardy plants that 
deiy wind and storm and frosty nights. 

There are no trees or upright shrubs, but many of the plants have 
woody stems and most have unusual root development to enable them 
to withstand such adverse climatic conditions. Several species of 
dwarf willows grow as carpets with leaves and stems flat on the 
ground and each plant sends up a single tiny catkin of flowers and 
fruit, often less than an inch from the surface of the ground. Cush- 
ions of mountain pinks {tSUene acaulls) lend color to the slopes 
as do also the deep blue Jacob's-ladder, and dwarf blue columbine, 
the alpine harebell, the little fragrant beds of forget-me-nots, many 
species of saxifrage, a delicate pink spring beautj^^ a dwarf bitterroot, 
tiny crimson shooting stars, yellow S/Lhaldla, buttercups, and cinque- 

Of mammals there are none restricted to this zone, though in 
summer the white goats and mountain sheep spend their days mostly 
in it, usually coming down into the edge of the Hudson! an to feed at 
night, and in winter the goats remain chiefly on its wind-swept 
ridges. Hoary marmots and alpine chipmunks often run up into it 
but really belong to the zone below. 

Birds of many species fly over and wander into the. zone, but the 
onljr one breeding entirely within its boundaries is the gray-crowned 
rosy finch. The ptarmigan and pipit are often found high in this 
zone in summer, but apparently breed mainly lower down in the 


While tlie zone lacks elements purely utilitarian, it is supremely 
endowed with the highest- type of the esthetic. Its lofty mountain 
peaks crowned with the glories of sunlight and snow have inspired 
the naturedoving native to regard them as connecting links between 
earth and heaven. To the more learned mind they are an equal in- 
spiration, as in their beauty and grandeur they rise far above the 
good green fields, with strong appeals to come up higher and stand 
in the clear light and gaze far and wide over the tiny fields of man 
below and then off over the sea of giant peaks that challenge the 
strongest fibers of mind and body. 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Wild Animals Glacier Park. 





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By Vekixon P.aii.ey. 

In addition to its natural beauties and wonderful scenerj^, the 
Glacier National Park contains a goodly variety as well as a great 
number of large game animals. The bison have vanished, but the 
white goats, mountain sheep, moose, elk, mule deer, white-tail deer, 
and grizzly and black bears are present in abundance, while many of 
the smaller mammals are numerous and so unafraid that they con- 
stitute a great attraction to the visiting public. Under the careful 
protection afforded bj^ the park most of the species are increasing and 
will be easih' maintained in sufficient abundance to perpetuate the 
natural fauna over a wide area of public domain. 

Properly to protect and control the animals within the park and 
to make the interesting species accessible to the visiting public, it is 
necessary to learn as much as possible of the life history of each. 
Unfortunately many of the obscure habits of the commoner mammals 
are still unknown, but by putting on record our present knowledge, 
the accumulation of additional information will be encouraged and 
the interesting study of home habits of the animals will be made 
possible for a greater number of people who have the time and 
interest to pursue it. 

The present report is based on field work carried on by the United 
States Bureau of Biological Survey from May 20 to June 26, 1895, 
and from July 5 to August 30, 1917, and on information gathered 
from rangers, guides, and other residents in and around the park. 

Order UNGULATA: Hoofed Animals— Cattle, Sheep, Goats, 
Antelope, and Deer. 

Family BOVID.^: Cattle, Sheep, and Goats. 

Bison; Buffalo: Bison hison bison (Linnaeus). — The plains along 
the eastern edge of Glacier Park were once a famous stamping ground 
for the buffalo and hunting ground for the Blackfeet Indians. These 



were among the last hunting grounds in the United States from which, 
about the year 1884, tliis noble game animal vanished. In 1895 bufl'alo 
l)oues were thicklj- strewn over the prairies along the eastern edge of 
tlie park, although they had been gathered up everywhere within a 
day's drive of the railroad and shipjied away for commercial fertilizer. 
They were numerous on the edge of the prairie at the lower end of 
St. Mary Lake, and skeletons were found in all the little open prairie 
strijDS well back into the timber along the sides of the lake. In 1917 
few bones Avere to be seen, but old skulls are still picked up in the 
thickets and among the rocks well back into the narrow valleys and 
edge of the timber of the eastern border of the park, and many of 
these may be seen at the park hotels and chalets, at ranger stations, 
and ranches along the border. In the timber just west of McDermott 
Lake on the Swiftcurrent Creek in 1917T found a half -buried skeleton 
in the humus of the pine woods and picked out an almost perfect ver- 
tebra with a 14-inch dorsal process, which once helped to support the 
high shoulder hump of an old bull. At the ranger station on Belly 
River, just inside the park line, two skulls were seen in a fair state of 
preservation, and numerous grassed-over trails leading from the steep 
slopes of the benches to the river bottoms showed where the buifalo 
had at one time occupied this valley in great numbers. At the ranger 
station on the North Fork of Kennedy Creek was a fairly good skull 
with two old horns that had been picked up in that vicinitj^ At 
Waterton Lake a good buffalo skull adorned the front of t>he ranger 
station just inside the jDark line, and at the north end of the lake under 
our camp woodpile I uncovered an old skeleton of a bull bison. There 
are no live buffalo in the- park at present, but some ideal sections of 
their original range could be inclosed, where a few of these animals 
could thrive the year around with little or no care or expense, and add 
one more to the many attractive features of the park. The climate 
is less severe than that where the wild herd now winters at 8,000 feet 
altitude in the Yellowstone Park, and the conditions would be more 
favorable for an all-year range. 

Mountain Sheep; Bighorn: Ovis canadensis canadensis Shaw. — 
Mountain sheep are abundant on practically all the high, rugged 
ranges throughout Glacier Park, especially on the rocky slopes above 
Two Medicine Lakes and around Chief and Gable ^Mountains. In 
summer they scatter out over the high and more inaccessible ridges 
above timberline and are less conspicuous than the white goats, but 
during the winter they come down on the lower slopes and, espe- 
cially in spring and early summer, are much in evidence alonii 
the roads and trails in the more accessible parts of the park. 
Park Eanger W. S. Gibb counted 207 sheep in March. 1917, on 
the slopes near Many Glacier and photographed them at close quar- 


ters along the I'oad and around the chalets there. lie says that 
they may be seen any daj' during early summer from the Many 
Glacier Hotel. Probably no one is more familiar ^Yith the sheep 
anil their range and abundance over the whole park than ]\Ir. (xibb, 
but he insists that a reliable estimate of their numbers would be im- 
possible. From many local reports, in many places in the park, how- 
ever, I am convinced that the number can not be less than 2,000. In 
winter many sheep come down along the rocky slopes east of Water- 
ton Lake and spend a part of each year on the Alberta side of the 
line, returning in summer to the high ridges, of which Mount Cleve- 
land is the culmination point. The Canadian Government has wisely 
created a national park on its side of the international boundary, 
which effectively protects the animals that wander back and fortli 
from one country to the other, as well as giving free access to the 
tourists who wish to visit the northern end of the Glacier Park 
without getting out of protected areas. To a certain extent the sheep 
are migratory, but in a vertical direction, traveling during the late 
summer from the highest peaks down to the lower rocky and 
warm slopes, where in winter they can find abundant food and still 
be on ground rongh enough for them to have the advantage over most 
of their natural enemies. 

Their food in summer consists lai'gely of the leaves, buds, and 
seeds of a great variety of shrubby and herbaceous plants, as well 
as some grass, but as a general thing mountain sheep are not grass- 
eaters. In winter they take the rough slope and cliff vegetation as 
it comes, browsing off whatever is exposed above the snow or projects 
if^rom the cracks and crevices of cliifs and ledges, whether it be the 
buds and tips and leaves of shrubs or tops and stems of dry grass. 
They also tramp and paw to the ground for the low vegetation 
under the snow, and eat the green and dry plants, including grass 
and sedges, and even the close carpet of mosses and lichens, until the 
ffround is left with a bare surface on some of their favorite feeding 
slopes. Stevenson saj's they even dig up the roots on slopes where 
they can get at the ground. They are good rustlers and usually 
come through the winters in good condition. 

The young are apparently mostly born in June, as in 189.5 I found 
many herds of ewes up to the last of May and among them only one 
young lamb, on May 25. Mr. Gibb tells me that he has often found 
two lambs with one ewe and thinks that this is not an unusual number 
of young. During the summer the rams and ewes usually travel in 
separate bunches, but occasionally a mix^d herd is found. 

Their summer trails lead up over steep slopes and along the faces 
of cliffs on narrow shelves and ledges that from below are lost to 
view, and the animals seem to be climbing perpendicular walls. 
When actually following their trails, however, I have found none of 




AVILD ANIMALS OF- eiiSiilift-lN^ 


Ihem which a man well shod and used to the mountains could not 
travel, and others who have been long familiar with the animals on the 
native peaks are frank to saj' that a man can go anywhere that they 
do. From the highest and most inaccessible slopes where they spend 
the summer days the sheep are forced to descend at night or at cer- 
tain times to lower levels where they may obtain their food from the 

scanty growth of alpine meadows. 
It is probable that they would re- 
main throughout the day at these 
more accessible levels but for their 
persistent enemies, the big moun- 
tain coyotes, which prowl along 
the trails and over the slopes as 
high as their unshod feet will 
allow them to travel with com- 
fort. Apparently these are the 
principal enemies of the sheep, 
and if their destruction could be 
accomplished the sheep would in- 
crease more rapidlj' and would be 
more conspicuous along the trails 
and over the mountain passes 
during the tourist season. As the 
sheep meat is considered hy many 
the most delicious of all game 
meats, the animals are not easily protected from poachers outside the 
park areas, but with the excellent ranger service they should steadily 
increase in the park until it is stocked to its full capacity, when they 
will overflow into neighboring ranges where hunting maj' at some 
time be resumed. 

Mountain Goat: Oreamnos mmifavvs m-iHsoulae Allen. — ^^Vhite 
goats are common on all of the high peaks and ridges throughout 
the park. During the tourist season they are generally found above 
timberline or from the last scrubby growth of timber up to the tops 
of the highest peaks. Occasionally the goats or their tracks Avere 
seen where the animals crossed from one range to another, along 
some of the trails well down in the timber, and little festoons of 
fine white goat wool were found on bushes along the trails near 
Elizabeth Lake on the head of the Belly Eiver, and in the 
ujDper part of Waterton Lake valley. While the goats do not make 
the same vertical migration u]) and down the slopes as the mountain 
sheep, they wander ccmsiderably and keep some of the trails w'ell 
worn between the different ranges. TTnless disturbed by their 
enemies, their travel is mainly in daily trips up the slopes to high 
ledges and shelves during the morning hours, often to the very crests 

Fig. 2. — Head of 5-year-old ram from 
Chief Mountain country. Mounted and 
photographed by H. H. Stanford, Kal- 


Wild Animals Glacier Park. 

PLATE 111. 

Photo, by M. P. Skinner. egoiM 


Photo, by Walter S. Gibb. 


Wild Animals Glacier Par 











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of tlio highest ridges and peaks wliere they seem to feel safe and can 
sleep until the sun gets low in the west. Usuall}' about -i or 5 o'clock 
they begin to come down from the steep cliffs and crags and before 
dark are feeding in the little alpine meadows not far above timberline. 
These daily climbs are evidently imj^osed upon them by the big nioun- 
lain coj'otes, which are constantly prowling along the trails and over 
the open slopes as high up as they dare go in search of 5''ouno- goats 
and sheep or other game. Ovei' any of the high passes in the park, 
as Tavo Medicine, Gunsight, Piegan, Swiftcurrent, and Kootenai, 
goats may be seen from the trails, especiall^y in the early hours 
of the day before they have worked up to the crests of the ridges. 
At Iceberg Lake they may be found in the morning almost without 
fail down near the trail, and later in the day may be seen as white 
specks lying on the shelves of the great cirque which rises steeply 
back of the lake. Their trails thread the narrow shelves and go up 
step by step through niches and naiTow clefts to the very summit of 
the Garden Wall, which here forms the Continental Divide. Some 
of these trails, which I followed out through what seemed to be in- 
accessible heights, were not difficult when I tried them with rough- 
shod boots and sharp staff, although in many places four legs would 
have given a better footing than only three. The heavj^ square 
hoofs of the goat afford a most perfect climbing and clinging surface 
for rock work, and are used with great skill and steadiness. The 
goats are phlegmatic animals, apparently without nerves, and one is 
compelled to admire their self-possession in situations where a mis- 
step would mean sudden death. 

In June of 1895, while climbing the east side of Going to the Sun 
Mountain for a particularly fine specimen of an old billj' goat, I 
kept an eye on an old nannie and her kid resting on a narrow shelf 
high on the face of a cliff that seemed perfectly sheer in its descent 
for a thousand feet below them. Presently a roar and crash impelled 
me to lean toward the mountain side and make sure of my footing 
before looking around to see a great mass of ice from the front of 
the Sexton Glacier thundering down, to be ground into a cloud of 
foamj' dust on the rocks hundreds of feet below. The prolonged 
roar and heavy vibrations from the mass of grinding ice fairl}^ shook 
the atmosphere if not the mountain side, and after my first impulse 
to cling to something stable was the thought of the effect on the old 
goat and kid located on the narrow shelf midway between me and 
the avalanche. I expected to see them come dashing along the ledge 
toward me, and was eager to see how they managed the narrow foot- 
holds, but, much to my surprise, they seemed to take no notice &f 
the disturbance and did not so much as get up out of their beds on 
the narrow shelf. The whole display was in plain view from their 
niche, but evidently it was a commonplace affair to them. 
51140°— 18 3 


A little later, in plain view of the two goats, an old gi'izzly bear 
and her cub crossed one end of the glacier somewhat below, but 
caused no excitement, and mj- presence on the other side on a level 
with them seemed not to be noticed. The security of their position 
apparently banished all fear, but in more accessible places they 
usually show as much caution and timidity as other game animals 
imder the same conditions of clanger. Like many of the high moun- 
tain species of animals, however, the goats are usually so imfamiliar 
with man and his destructive habits that for a game animal they are 
comjiaratively tame. 

In winter they seek the crests of the ridges at high altitudes, Avhere 
the snow is swept from the dwarf plant growth and food is alwaj^s 
available. Their dense coats of silky wool seem to be proof against 
the severest cold and storms, but during a strong wind they seek the 
sheltered side of the mountain or the protection of cliffs and rocks 
and even caves. Above Iceberg Lake I found tjie well-used beds 
back under little shelves of rock where the kids had apparently taken 
shelter from wind and rain. Near Sexton Glacier, on the side of 
Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, I saw two old goats emerge from 
shadowy caverns in the rocks which liad entirely concealed them-dur- 
ing the day. On the side of Chief Mountain, among the big bowlders 
far above timberline, I tried to bring an old goat and her little kid 
closer to me by throwing stones lieloAv them, but instead of coming up 
where I was they quickly took refuge under the side of a huge bowlder 
and refused to leave their shelter when the stones were striking the 
rocks beyond them. In a few cases I was able to get near enough to 
watch them feeding on the small mountain plants, but could not distin- 
guish clearly which they selected for food. Apparently they grazed 
at random among the little dwarf willows and in the beds of short 
mountain grass and sedges, where a great variety of other plants also 
were bedded together. Individual plants of a little water leaf [Pha- 
ceJia) and mountain sorrel (Oxyrhi digyna) had been eaten off and 
seemed to be rather favorite foods. Of their winter food little is 
definitely known. 

Earl_y in July tlie kids were well grown and probably about a 
month old. Generally each mother goat was followed by one j'oung, 
but Eanger Gibb tells me that in a number of cases he has found 1\yo 
young following one old goat, and he thinks that twins are not rare 
among them. The young of a month old seem to be as much at 
home as their parents in climbing the cliffs and difficult trails, and 
they even frisk on the steep snowbanks and walk the narrow crests 
of ice and snow drifts for the mere sport of doing difficult stunts. 

If their principal enemy, the coyote, were destroyed, it is probable 
that the goats would be much more common along the trails and at 

wild Animals Glacier Park. 





levels where the tourists could be on more intimate terms' with them. 
Apparently they are hfildiiig their own and increasing somewhat, in 
sjiite of the fact that coyotes prey upon them to- a considerable extent, 
as is indicated by droppings alcjng the higher trails, which are com- 
posed largely of goat wool and the hair of mountain sheep. As 
goats are one of the greatest animal attractions in the park, their pro- 
tection should be as complete as possible, and every care should bo 
taken by visitors to avoid disturbing or frightening tliem. 

Family ANTILOCAPRID^: Prong-horned Antelope. 

Pkong-hoejvED Antelope: Antiloeapra amfrifmw cirnrrirrina 
(Ord). — At the- present time there are no antelope in the Glacier 
Park, and even back in 189.") there were said to be none there or on the 
Blackfeet Indian Reservation, although they were, then connnon and 
still are found to the east and south of this area. Their absence is 
undoubtedly due to the persistent hunting which followed the disap- 
pearance of the buffalo, as they must have ranged into the eastern 
edge of the ^Dark in open strips of prairie, such as are found at the 
lower end of St. Mary Lake and along the Swiftcurrent and Belly 
Eivers. If a- buffalo pasture were inclosed in one of these warm, 
open valleys, it would serve also as a suitable yearlong range to a few 
of these rare and interesting animals. 

Family CERVID/E: Moose, Elk, and Deer. 

American ]\Ioose: Alces americanus- ajnericanits Jardine. — A few 
moose are at ]3resent found along the east slope of the park in 
densely wooded and swampy vallej's, such as those along Two Medi- 
cine Creek, Eed Eagle Creek, Upper St. Mary River, upper Swift- 
current Valle^y, and the branches of Belly River and the upper 
AYaterton Valley, while on the west slope they are far more numerous 
in the vallej's tributary to the North Fork of the Flathead River. In 
the valleys above McDermott Lake, Ranger Gibb re])orts a cow and 
calf and one bull moose during the summer of 1917, and says there 
are a few in the valley on the South Fork of Belly River. In August 
I saw one moose and a few tracks around the upper end of Glenn 
Lake, on the North Fork of Belly River, and a few moose tracks 
along the shores of McDonald Lake. J. E. Lewis tells me that in 
July, 1917, an old bull moose swam across the lake in plain view 
of the guests of the hotel. He says there are a large number of 
moose on the west slope of the park north of Little St. Mary Creek 
and all up through the North Fork Valley, but that they are rare in 
the country south of Little St. Mary Creek, which is mainly elk 
range. Ranger Gibb says that in winter considerable numbers 
of moose yard near the mouth of Dutch Creek and on Camas Creek, 


wliile other winter yards are found along Logging C'reelt and one 
opposite the mouth of Starvation Creel-c. He would make no esti- 
mate of the number of moose occupying this region, as, even with 
his intimate knowledge of their range for many years, such an esti- 
mate would be a mere- guess; but, from what he and other guides 
and rangers and other residents of the country have told me, it 
seems safe to place the probable number in the park at several hun- 
dred individuals. 

In 1895 I was told that moose were then more numerous in the jsark 
than elk. Two had been killed that spring near St. Mary Lake and 
others were reported in the valleys west of Upper St. Mary and Red 
Eagle Lakes. At Summit Station I was told by a man who had been 
there for several years, and had hunted and trapped in the country 
now included in Glacier Park, that moose were common in the north- 
ern part of the region, but were being rapidly destroyed by trappers 
for bear bait. He estimated that for 100 bear that he had known to 
be caught in that region no less than ."iOO moose and elk had been shot 
for bait, and of these more moose than elk. He acknowledged that he 
and his partner during one spring's trapjiing had killed about TO 
moose and elk for bait. While it is to be hoped that this practice has 
been greatly lessened in recent years, it is common knowledge that 
bear trapping generally is a serious menace to the large game of any 
region. The moose are evidently increasing in the park at present and 
are spreading to other valleys where they were- formerly numerous. 
The great extent of dense forest, containing lakes, marshes, and wil- 
low thickets, constitutes ideal moose range over a large part of the 
joark, where manj- thousands of the animals could range at will 
without interfering with other kinds of game. 

American Elk; Wapiti: Ccrvws cwiuulensis canadensis Erxle- 
ben. — A few elk are still found along the east slope of the Glacier 
Park, but they are scarce, shy, and widely scattered in small bunches. 
Early in the spring of 1917 nine were reported lulled by the Indians 
where they had been forced down by the heavy snows. In July I 
found fresh tracks in the timber near Two Medicine Lake and a few 
tracks in Roes Basin north of St. Mary Lake, and learned that a few 
elk were reported around Red Eagle Lake the previous fall. Donald 
Stevenson reported eight seen at the salt lick near Upper St. Mary 
Lake in 1912, and a few on SAviftcurrent Creek in 1915. In August. 
1917, I found old winter elk sign on the warm slopes of Belly River 
valley near the park boundary, where a few elk had lived during 
one of the preceding winters. In all, there may be 50 elk along the 
east slope of the park, and it is doubtful if they are holding their own 
against the severe climate and the necessity of coming down on to the 
Indian Reservation in winter, where they are unprotected. On the 




west slope of the park there are a few elk along the Middle Fork 
of the Flathead Eiver from Little St. Mary Creek southward, where 
they occupy the high valleys and ridges during suuuner and the lower 
warm slopes in Avinter. In the spring of 1918 about 500 were reported 
as having wintered on the slopes of Double and Rampage Mountains 
and in Park Creek valley. The main elk range of this region, how- 
ever, lies south of the park along Big River and the South Fork of 
the Flathead River, and some of these animals undoubtedly wander 
through the park at times. The southern and eastern part of Glacier 
Park contains much ideal elk range, and if suitable wintering grounds 
could be provided where the animals would be safe from molestation 
their numbers would undoubtedly increase until the country would 
become well stocked. 


-A flve-poin'c bull oik in early winter. 

Mtjle Deer: Odocoileus heviionus heviionus (Rafinesque). — The 
Rocky Mountain mule deer are readily distinguished at all ages from 
the smaller white-tail deer b}^ their very large ears, small, white tail 
with black tip, and conspicuous white rump patch, and the old 
bucks by their forked antlers. They generally average considerably 
larger than the white-tails, but size is not a safe distinguishing char- 
acter. It is important to distinguish them, for a few of each are 
found on both slopes, although the mule deer keep for the most part 
to the east and the white-tails to the west slope, and both range into 
the high mountains in summer, when they ma}^ be found close to- 
gether. In July, 1917, mule deer were seen at the lower and upper 
ends of St. Mary Lake, at ISIcDerinott Lake, and along the Swift- 



current River; and in August their tracks were common along Ken- 
nedy Creelv, Belly River, and in the Waterton Lake valley. Most of 
those seen were does and fawns, and close to the buildings at Sun 
Chalet an old doe and her spotted fawn were seen almost every da}', 
up to July 25. During July and August many tracks and a few old 
bucks were seen near timberline along the crest of the range. At 
Granite Park, July 18, five bucks in red summer pelage, with 
velvet-covered horns were seen together. A buck with horns in the 
velvet was several times seen near Piegan Pass in the upper edge of 
the Hudsonian Zone, and fresh tracks were seen near the Blackfeet 
Glacier and in many other of the high sections, but the tracks do not 

usually distinguish the species. 
Generally, in midsummer, the 
bucks are at the upper edge of 
timber, where troublesome flies 
and mosquitoes are swept away 
by the wind, while the does hide 
their fawns in the deep woods and 
thickets of the lower levels and 
depend on the dense cover and 
water for protection from insect 
pests. There is much shifting 
back and forth as the deer are 
disturbed, and their tracks often 
show along the trails for consid- 
erable distances. During the year 
there is also a well-defined migra- 
tion from the high-up range of 
the bucks in summer down to the 
steep, warm slopes of the lower 
valley sides in winter. At the 
lower end of Waterton Lake 75 or 
100 mule deer were estimated last 
winter to be along the warm rocky 
slopes. Considerable numbers are said to winter along the warm 
slopes of Swiftcurrent and St. Mary Lake valleys, where bare slopes 
may usually be found and wdiere browse and winter food are abun- 
dant. Some drift out of the park and are killed, but apparently 
the deer are steadily increasing with the protection afforded them 
by the park rangers. With the abundance of choice food and favor- 
able wintering grounds many thousands of deer could occupy these 
slopes, instead of the few hundred now to be found, but with the 
present numbers of the large timber-inhabiting coyotes, which are 
constantly prowding for fawns, there can be no rapid increase of such 
game animals. 

Fig, 4. — Head of mule deer killed on 
Huckleberry Mountain. A perfectly 
normal head of buck witb doubly 
forked antlers, large ears, and- strongly 
contrasted face markings. 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 



Photo, by Norman J. McClintock. 


Wild Animals Glacier Park. 



■*■'"■ VV 



^r----:. r . 



'M^ •: "U^di 

|v jH IkSH^KljI 

. ■,/■■.'■,■■"-•>. 


J'hoto. by Albert Schlechteu. 





'Western White-tail Deer : Odocolleus vtrginiajius macrourus 
(Eafinesque). — These small, graceful yellow deer are readilj^ distin- 
guished from the larger mule deer by their long, bushy tails, Avhich 
show white only when raised, by their small ears, and in the bucks 
by horns with a single beam and upright prongs. The white 
rump patch of the mule deer is lacking, but in running the tail of 
the white-tail is throAA'n up and the long, white hairs are spread at 
will, making an enormous fan-shaped flag that is far more conspicu- 
ous than the white rump patch of the mule deer. White-tails are 
abundant on the whole west slope of the park but are rarely found 
in the valleys of the east slope. Their favorite ha.unts are the mead- 
ows, thickets, and deep forests, 
but in summer a few, especially 
the old bucks, range high up in 
the open areas near timberline. 
The stream banks, lake shores, 
and little meadows are their 
favorite feeding grounds, but 
their beds are found in dense 
thickets or the deep woods in 
summer, and their slender tracks 
dot the margins of every pool and 
stream and beach throughout this 
•wonderful forested area. Their 
numbers will never be known, but, 
judging" from the abunxlance of 
tracks and the extent of the range, 
they must run' into the thou- 
sands. If their enemies, the coy- 
otes and mountain lions, could 
be kept down, their increase 
would be so- rapid that a great 
overflow into surrounding areas 
would inevitably take place. Even in their present abundance 
they are often seen along the trails and near the hotels and 
camps in summer. At Granite Park they are common, and in 
crossing Kootenai Pass from Waterton Lake to Granite Park we saw 
above timberline near the summit of the pass on the Avestern spur of 
Cathedral Peak, or what the guides call Flat Top Mountain (not 
the Flat Top of the map), a beautiful bunch of three bucks and 
a yearling. They were lying in the shade of rock shelves on the cold 
slope when first seen at 2 p. m., and allowed the saddle and pack 
horses to come close up before they spread their great white tails 
and loped over the ridge ahead of us-. They showed very little fear 
and much curiosity, and would lope a little way in advance and wait 

Fig. 5. — Head of white-tall deer at Bel- 
ton, Mont., with characteristic single- 
beam antlers, amall ears, and obscure 
face markings. 


tor US to come up, watching curiousl}', undecided whether to run or 
stand their ground. While standing watching us the}' Itept raising 
raid spreading their tails and occasionally waving them from side to 
side, like signal flags. A yearling was especially active in waving 
its tail, often switching it rapidly from side to side through a full 
half circle. When the tail was raised and the lung lateral white 
hairs thrown open on each side at right angles to the shaft, a huge 
white fan, fully a foot wide and a foot and a half high, was produced. 
This, set above the white hams and belly, screened most of the body 
color of the deer and explains what seems to be an incomprehensible 
expanse of white that, as the deer bound away through the brush and 
woods in great curving leaps, shows one hnge flash after another, as 
if the animals had no other color than white. As they stop and stand 
with drooping tail the white is practically all concealed and the uni- 
form yellow-brown of sunmier or light gray of winter renders them 
inconspicuous, and in slight shadows often invisible. With these 
deer, directive and jDrotective coloration is often more strongly em- 
phasized than in the antelope, which are usually considered the best 
illustration of the law of directive coloration. 

White-tail deer are social, often running in family parties of an 
old doe and her two fawns or larger parties of sometimes a dozen 
individuals. In winter they are even more gregarious and in times 
of deep snow often yard to some extent, keeping their trails well 
packed so that free access to moss and browse and bushes insures 
ample food for the severest weather. 

In August they were feeding on the low plants of the Hudsonian 
Zone meadows and slopes, but I could not determine the actual 
species of plants selected for food. One old doe seemed to be nib- 
bling at the beds of moss in a little alpine meadow, but she may have 
been selecting tiny saxifrages or heather or even the low sedges 
that grow among the white mossj^ cushions. As elsewhere, their 
food probably consists mainly of buds, leaves, and browse of a great 
variety of bushes, with seeds, flowers, and delicate tips of tender 
plants. In winter the deer are said to feed on the lichens that hang 
from the low branches in the deep woods, and on the twigs of hem- 
lock, birch, and other trees, together with a great variety of shrubs. 

Outside of the park the chief enemies of white-tail deer are bear 
trappers, hunters, and the predatory animals, while in the park 
the coyote and mountain lion are practically the only check on their 
increase. The coyote droppings along the trails on the west slope 
were composed mainly of deer hair, and as coyotes are numerous 
in the timber and up the mountain sides, their destruction of both 
fawns and groAvn deer is of serious consequence. That they do not 
confine their killing to fawns is shown by an instance observed just 
west of the park by W. C. Gird, one of the best-lolown park guides. 


A coyote following a four-point b.uck was several times charged by it 
and clri\'en away, until finally another coyote joined the first and 
together they quickly caught and killed the buck before Gird could 
reach them on his horse. A few mountain lions in the park range 
mainly on the west slope, where the deer are most abundant and form 
their principal prey. The control of such predatory species is neces- 
sary to a good supply of game, even in a region so favorable to game 
animals as the Glacier Park. 

Order RODENTIA: Gnawing Animals. 

Family SCIURID^: Squirrels, Chipmunks, Woodchucks, etc. 

EiCHARDsoN Pine Squirrel : Sciurus hudsonicus richiirrUdni 
Bachman. — The only tree scjuirrels in the park are the little dark- 
red, bushy -tailed pine squirrels which are abundant throughout the 
length and breadth of its timbered areas. Through the breeding sea- 
son of spring and early summer they are quiet and inconspicuous, but 
late in summer, in autumn, and in winter they are busy, noisj', and 
much in evidence. As soon as the young are old enough to be out 
of the nest and take care of themselves their cheery call note — a long, 
high-pitched, vibrant cTierrrrrrrri^r — is heurd all through the woods, 
most frequently in the early morning, but sometimes throughout 
their dajdight working hours. The Canadian Zone coniferous forest 
is their home, but occasionally they are found a little below its edges 
on the eastern sloi^e and slightly into the yellow-pine Transition of 
the Flathead Valley and also up into the edge of the dwarf timber of 
the Hudsonian Zone. The overlapping, however, is not more than 
is usual for a species which fuUj^ occupies its zone and scatters out 
slightly at the edges. The lodgepole pine, more fully than any other 
tree, marks their full range and furnishes board and lodging for more 
of their numbers than does any other tree, although every conifer 
contributes more or less to their food supply. Their nests are placed 
indifferently in the branches of Douglas or Engelmann spruce, the 
various pines, balsam, hemlock, tamarack, or cedar. 

Before the seeds are fullj' matured in the cones they begin to serve ■ 
as food for the squirrels, and when well ripened the cones are cut from 
pine, spruce, and fir trees in such numbers that the woods often re- 
sound with their steady thumping on ground and logs. During au- 
tumn great numbers of cones are cut off and stored in little pockets oi' 
holes in the ground, under logs, rocks, or brush heaps, or in the piles of 
old cone scales at the base of feeding trees, where they can be readily 
found under the deep snows of winter. The long cones of the moun- 
tain white pine are cut off and dragged into piles for winter food or 
eaten on the ground, as they are too heavy to be held and eaten on the 
branch of a tree. The big nutlike seeds of the scrubby Avhite-barked 

pr;. — ^ pjty: C'CTCT- 132'^ '' 


■OM, PA. 


pine near timberline are a favorite food wherever they can be ob- 
tained. The little hard cones of the lodgepole pine, with their small 
seeds, mean hard work for small returns, but they are always abun- 
dant and are easily held in the hands and eaten nutlike on the 
branch of the tree. The small spruce, balsam, hemlock, and tamarack 
cones are usually well filled with rich, oily seeds which are eagerly 
sought by the squirrels, unless larger and more desirable seeds are 
available. As there are no real nuts in the country the cones are 
stored for winter, and the ample stores usuallj' last the squirrels until 
the next fall's crop is ripe. In summer many mushrooms and some 
green plants are eaten, and mushrooms are tucked away in dry places 
or under the bark or on branches of the trees, where they become 
well dried for winter food. Late in winter the squirrels evidently 
feel the need of green food, as they often cut the tips from pine 
branches and eat the inner bark of the twigs just back of the tips. 
Some seeds and berries also are eaten in summer, and the squirrels 
occasionally gather around the camps and hotels for scattered gi'ain, 
crumbs, and scraps of such food as bread, butter, and bacon. 

Each squirrel has its own hunting and storing ground where its 
winter supplies are gathered and hoarded, and woe to any other 
squirrel that invades its territory after the storing is begun. Owing 
to the necessitj' of each squirrel's providing for its own needs in this 
manner, the animals become solitary to a great extent, but indulge 
their social instincts by loudly calling back and forth while at work. 
In winter they scamper over the- crusted snow in great glee and in 
evident enjoyment of the cold weather and the deep snow through 
which they burrow to their tunnels underneath. In spring as the 
snow disappears their network of tunnels made over the surface of 
the ground is gradually exposed and disappears when no longer 

In June the four to six young are born in the big grass nests up 
among the branches of the trees or in well-lined hollow trunks. 
For a long time they are naked and helpless, and apparently they 
do not usually come out of the nests as half-grown squirrels until 
the latter part of July. They are carefully watched and nursed 
and fed by the mother squirrel until they have learned the ways of 
the woods, and by the latter part of August have scattered out, each 
storing his own winter supplies or all worldng and storing together 
as a family for the winter's supply about the old parental tree. 
Usually the families do not entirely break up before the following 

Apparently the cutting of cones and branch tips has no injurious 
effect upon the forest, and the storing of cones aids in planting and 
distributing tree groAvth. The stores of cones are often used by the 
foresters as the best source of seed supply where tree seeds are being 


fTitthered. Fortunately for the squirrels they have neither incurred 
the enmity of man nor are they in danger through their value for 
fur or as game. Their natural enemies — hawks, owls, foxes, cats, and 
martens^are not sufficiently numerous to keep their numbers down 
below the normal, and they are likely to remain as permanent resi- 
dents of the forests. They are easily tamed and make interesting and 
attractive pets, whether in captivity or coming only for food to the 
camps and hotels. 

Flying Squirrel: Glaucomys sabrinus latipes Howell. — This very 
large, dark-colored flying squirrel is common throughout most of the 
timbered area of the Glacier Park, but seems to be most abundant on 
the west slope and at the lower levels. There are no specimens on 
record from within the park boundaries, but one that I took in 1895 
at Nyack, just across the river from the park, is referred by Howell 
to Glaucomys sabrinus latipes. Another specimen taken at Paola 
proves to be nearer the slightly smaller and paler G. s. hajigsi, which 
not improbably occupies the higher levels and possibly the eastern 
slope of the park, as it is more closely related to the northern 
Glaucomys sairinus. 

Flying squirrels are so strictly nocturnal, so soft and owl-liJve in 
their structure and habits, that they are not often seen except by the 
naturalist-collector or the professional trapper. They may be com- 
mon about camps in the deep woods every night, but with their furry 
feet and softly fui-red monoplane membranes they glide from tree 
to tree so noiselessly that they are rarely seen. The collector usually 
gets his specimens in traps set on logs or stumps in the woods or 
about some old camp ground or in deserted cabins, where the squir- 
rels come to pick up scattered scraps of food. The trapper finds 
them frequently in his marten traps set out through the heavy 
forests and baited with meat, birds, rabbits, or squirrels. The flying 
squirrels probably get into the traps through curiosity rather than 
because of a carnivorous taste, and then serve their turn as an 
attractive bait for the martens. Some trappers have reported dozens 
and others hundreds of flying squirrels caught on their winter's 
trap line through this region. The animals are unsuspicious and 
easily caught in box traps set in the woods, and in this way could 
be made available for examination and study, but otherwise the only 
possibility of their being seen by tourists and the visiting public is 
by awakening them in their nests during the daji;ime with blows of 
ax or club on the hollow trees in which they sleep. 

Large woodpecker nest cavities in trees are favorite homes for 
the flying squirrels, but any hollow trunk with a small opening 
answers their purpose, and it is probable that, like other species, 
they build the outside nests of grass, moss, and bark fibers on the 
branches much as do the pine squirrels. In the soft-lined and well- 



protected nests the fcnir to six young are born and nursed by the 
mother until old enough to come out and gather their own food at 
night. With their big bbck eyes, soft fur, and rounded heads they 
are almost owl-like in appearance as well as habits, and if taken while 
young become very tame and make delightful pets. They are active 
all winter, and become so densely furred that the cold has no terrors 
for them, even at night when it is most bitter. No matter how deep 
the snow, they tra'i'el freely from tree to tree gathering their food 
from the seeds of conifers or from the stores of cones cut off in 
autunm ajid put away where they can be found under the deep snow. 
Occasionally a track is seen where one has dropped with widespread 
feet upon the snow tn the middle of an open space, either to burrow 


Fig. 6. — No. 1, Yellow-bellied chipmunk ; No. 2, pale 13-linecl ground squirrel ; No. 3, 
mantled ground squirrel. Skins from study series in United States National Museum 

down to the ground and come out at some distant place or to lope over 
the surface of the snow to the nearest tree or stump or log, where food 
is to be found. They seem to be even more omnivorous than most 
squirrels, and besides eating a wide variety of seeds thej' are fond of 
almost any camp provisions, including biscuits, crackers, prunes, 
raisins, rolled oats, or scraps of bacon and other meat. 

Yellow-bellied Chipmunk : Eutamias luteiventris (Allen) . — The 
yellow-bellied chipmunk is the middle sized of the three species inhab- 
iting the Glacier Park, and while all have the many-striped back, 
this is the only one with the j'ellow extending across the belly in a way 
to give it its common name. Only when they sit up is this character 
shown, however, and as they scamper over the ground it is not always 
easy to tell one species from another. 


These are the abuiuhint chi])nimiks around the liotels and camps 
and along the traiL in the lower le\'els of both slopes of the park. 
Their principal range is along the lower edge of the timbered slopes, 
but in many places where- the conditions are especially favorable it 
extends np on open slopes nearly to timberline. At Glacier Station 
they were common along the creek from the hotel well up the side of 
the mountain. A few were seen on Two INIedicine Lake and at the 
lower end and along the north side of kSt. JMary Lal^e. They were 
common in the Swiftcurrent Valley, along Kennedy Creek, in the 
Belly Eiver valley, ;ind at the Waterton Lakes, where, in 1ST4, the 
type was collected bj' Dr. Elliot Coues; also on the west-sloi)e ai-ound 
Lake McDonald, at Belton, and in the Xortli Fork Valley. They rarely 
climb trees and much prefer logs and stumps and brush patches, slide 
rock, or such cover as they can hnd about the caui]3s and hotels. Their 
homes are underground, among rocks, or in hollow logs, and they 
rarely go far from their burrows or from retreats into which they can 
quickly escape their numerous enemies. At Many Cirlacier Hotel sev- 
eral were in the habit of coming for scattered criun))S to the kitchen 
door, and for oats to the place where horses were being fed. They had 
become so tame that they would take food from the hands of some of 
the employees with whom they became friendly, but occasionally were 
scared away by some one foolishly trying to catch them. It was a 
source of dailj- interest to watch them come for food and fill their 
cheek jjoiiches until thej' bulged out on both sides, then rush away 
to a l.)urrow under some rock, where the pockets were emptied into 
their winter storehouse. They were easily photographed at 4 or 6 
feet from the camera, but their motions are so quick that usually 
only snapshots are possible. 

As a chipmunk gathers the scattered oats around a feed box he 
shells each seed as it is held between his thumbs and in a twinkling 
tucks it into a pocket and goes after another. The pockets grow- 
rapidly in size as the animal works, and often in a- space of five min- 
utes they M'ill contain a good load for the granary. The chipmunks 
are strictly diurnal in habits, and though industrious do not observe 
union hours. Thej' work from sunrise to sunset, with a long siesta 
at noontime. From midsummer until the snows cover their food 
plants they work with great energy, and the stores of seeds, grain, 
and nutlets which they lay away are evidently ample to carry them 
through the long cold winter. They do not become/ excessively fat 
in autumn and no one knows whether they really hibernate in their 
underground dens or Avhether they merely doze and sleej) and eat 
in their warm nests under the (lee]i snow. The first light snow does 
not drive them into their dens, but after it becomes deep and the 
weather is cold they are not seen, and renuiin hidden until the. warm 
clays of April begin to bring bare spots on the hillsides. 
.51140°— 18 4 


The, five or six young are born late in May or early in June. By 
the first of July they are out playing and learning the ways of chip- 
munk world, and by August they, too, are busy storing away winter 
supplies. Occasionally in theii- eager seai'ch for food they appro- 
priate camp supplies not intended foi' them, Ijiit in* most cases they 
are welcome visitors to camp, and their' sjiritcly ways and cheery 
chijiper along the trails add one more bright and attractive phase 
to the animal life of the park. 

Forest Chipmunk: Evfamkif; vmhrinus fclix (Ehoads). — These 
large, bushy-tailed, white-bellied chii^imunks are readily distin- 
guished from the yellow-bellied b}' their slightly' larger size and 
richer colors, in strong contrast to their pure white bellies. Mainly 
forest dwellers, they climb trees readily, and if frightened often go 
up a tree instead of down into the ground. Their voices also are 
shar])er, more shrill, and l)irdlike, both, in their slow chip! chip! 
chip! and in their rapid and sometimes frantic chipper of alarm. 
They are not abundant and are seen only occasionally, generally in 
the Canadian Zone forest of the middle slopes of the park. In 189.") 
specimens were collected along thC' south side of St. Mary Lake, and 
others Avere taken at Summit and Paoja. In 1917 one was found 
living among the ruins of the old chalet at the- lower end of Gun- 
sight Lake, but even in this mass- of ruins when alarmed it took 
refuge in a spruce tree nearby. Forest chipmunks seem less friendly 
than the abvnidant little yellow-bellied spee-ies, but this is doubtless 
due to their scarcity and lack of frequently coming in touch with 
people. The. four or five young are born in June, and the same cycle 
of breeding, storing food, and sleeping through the long winters is 
gone through each year. 

Little Mountain Ciiipjiunk: Euta'muis oreocetes Merriam. — 
This tiny chipmunk, pale-yelloAvish with pure white belly, is appar- 
ently common at timberline along the crest of the range throughout 
the park. The type specimen was collected in 189.5, at 7,500 feet, 
on the high ridge, north of Summit Station on the Great Northern 
Eailroad, and in 1917 two more were taken in Piegan Pass at 7,-1:00 
feet altitude, and others were seen in (iunsight Pass at 7,500 feet. 
All of those collected and others seen have been at or near the ex- 
ti-eme ujiper limit of dwarf tree growth or on slopes several hundred 
feet above. They are usually found among the rocks, scampering 
over them like tiny nervous sjn-ites, never still for a moment, Hashing 
from one stone or little alpine ]5lant to another, or dashing in and 
out among rocks or under ])rostrate branches of dwarfed trees. In 
I'iegaii Pass I followed one for some distance as it ran over the rocks, 
apparently with some distant object in view, until it came to a little 
creek that emerged from under a great snow bank. It quickly dis- 


appeared over the edge of tlie rocks down into the cavern, where the 
Avater was roaring, and. after getting a drink, flashed back and out 
over the great snow field ; otliers were seen sitting on the tips of some 
sliarp peaks of rock, flipping their slender tails and uttering a weak 
little chip! chip! chip! When startled in the trails where they were 
hunting for scattered grain they would rush away to the rocks with 
a fine rapid chipper that corresponded well with their diminutive 
size and sparklike motions. They were eagerly collecting seeds from 
some of the tiny alpine plants, and in Piegan Pass one taken for a 
specimen had filled its cheek pouches with crumbs of bread from the 
hmches of passing tourists. On August 3 the j'oung of the year were 
nearly full grown and were as busy as their parents in search of 
seeds. In their high alpine world the summers are short, and for 
about nine months of each j^ear they are buried deep the snow. 
They do not become fat in autumn, and it is doubtful if they hiber- 
nate to the full extent that the ground squirrels do. Thus they have 
to work fast to obtain the large supply of seeds needed to carry them 
through the winter. As grains of oats scattered along the trails by 
the- horses are eagerly sought by them, tourists may look for them 
wherever the trails cross'the highest passes in the park. 

Maktled Ground Squirrel: CaUospermophHus lateralis cinera- 
xcens (Merriam). — Mantled gromid squirrels are generally spoken of 
as large chii:)munks, which they somewhat resemble in the heavy black 
and buffy side stripes, moderately bushy tails, and bright Ijrown 
or grayish brown' heads and shoulders, but they are more like the 
ground squirrels in having heavy bodies, rather short ears, and the 
burrowing habits of true ground squirrels. In structure they are 
somewhat intermediate between the two groups and are well placed 
in. a genus by themselves. 

While generally distributed over the whole- Glacier Park region, 
they are usually not numerous. In 1895 a- specimen was taken -at 
Summit on the railroad, a few: at St. Mary Lake, and others were 
seen on Flat Top Mountain north of the lake: and in 1017 they were 
found at Sun Camp on St. Mary Lake, in Gunsight Pass, Piegan Pass, 
at Many Glacier, and about Waterton Lake. They are generally 
seen about the hotels or camps where,coming for scattered grain and 
crumbs, they soon become very tame. At Many Glacier Hotel one 
was in the habit of coming daily to the kitchen door and to the place 
where saddle horses were hitched to the trees and occasionally fed 
oats, and he would take food from the hands of several of the 
employees who had cultivated his acquaintance. To the children 
especially, one of the interesting features of the day was to watch 
him tilling his capacious cheek pouches with crumbs, peanuts, or 
grain, until they bulged out on both sides of his neck, before he 
scampered away to unload his stores into an underground chamber in 


the slope above the h(}teh One came to a. feed box below the hotel 
near' the edge of the lake, and another could nsually be found on the 
rocks near the chalet or along the canyon walls above the waterfall 
where the river leaves the lake. They also were so tame that their 
pictures could be taken at. a distance (if only 4 or 6 feet from the 
camera, 'and often in very pretty attitudes as they sat on the rocks or 
squatted, on their heels' shelling the oats before putting them in their 
cheek pouches. At the north end of Waterton Lake two were in the 
habit of coming to a 'place where horses had been fed on the ground, 
and on several occasions I was able to secure photographs. As I sat 
on the ground with the camera open they would feed all around me 
with very little sign of alarm, and one gave beautiful illustrations 
of muscular control of its tail. While sitting up watching me it 
would often spread the tail to full width by drawing the skin for- 
ward on each side imtil every hair stood out at right angles to the 
axis, giving the tail a width of about an inch and a- half instead 
of the usual half inch. It would thus spread and then close the 
hairs slowly, just as a ruffed grouse often spreads and closes the tail 
as it struts through the woods. I could not be sure whether the 
motion was due to fear or surprise or a wish to puff itself up and 
frighten me or another intruder of its- own species awaJ^ or whether 
it was merel3' a vain displa)^ of its beautiful plume. Fortunately one 
of my photographs showed this one's tail partially spread, its width 
strongly ccntrasted with that of another individual in the same snap- 
shot. It soon became accustomed to my presence, and would pay no 
attention to me while l)usily filling its cheek pouches with oats which 
had been scattered on the ground 'by the horses. Its nose was run 
rapidly over the siirface of the ground until an oat was discovered 
and quickly picked up in the teeth, and in about three motions as 
quick as a flash the hull was removed and the kernel tucked into a 
cheek pouch, t^omctimes the grain was held in one hand and grasped 
between the fingers and the palm as the animal sat up on its heels, 
but generally it was held between the two thumbs to be shelled. 
The squirrels work so rapidly that in a few minutes the cheek pouches 
begin to bulge, and in 10 or 15 minutes are puffed out like a bad case 
of mumps, and then the animals run away and a little later return 
with pockets empty. In Gmisight and Piegan Passes they were seen 
on the rocks near extreme timberline, where they were gathering seeds 
from the little wild plants and gleaning a few scattered oats along 
the horse trails. They are generally found near rocks, old logs, or 
other secure cover under which they burrow and make their winter 
homes. They rarely climb frees, although in emergency thev can 
cliinb to escape from danger. They are quiet little animals, not so 
(juick and nervous as the chipmunks and generally silent. On rare 

wild Animals Glacier Park. 




Wild Animals Glacier Park. 



The burrow excavated and mapped is shown in text figure 7. 


JULY, 1917. 


occasions one may be heard to make a long- shrill squeak or whistling 
note, but this is so rai'e that few people ever notice it. 

The li\'e or six young are born in Ma.y or June and by August are 
well grown and caring for themselves. Like tlie ground squirrels 
and unlike the chipmunks, they become extremely fat during the 
summer, and before the cold weather begins they enter their warm 
r.nderground" nests, where apparently they hibernate for the long 
winter period, or from September to April. Just when the winter's 
stores of seeds and grain are eaten is not. definite^ known, but they 
are probably intended to tide the sleepers over the beginning and 
end of their hibernation period, when food is scarce or they are too 
sleepy to go after it. 

CoLUJiBiA Ground Squirrel : Cltdlus coIii7nhianus (Orel) . — Colum- 
bia ground squirrels, or, as often called, picket pins, and, incorrectly, 
gophers, ai'e in many places in the park the most abundant and con- 
spicuous mammals to be found. The_y are among the largest of the 
ground squirrels. An unusuallj^ large old male at Many Glacier 
weighed 1^ pounds, and while not fat, was nearly twice as heavjr as 
some of the. others taken at the same place. They have short legs, 
short bushy tails, and short ears, and in every respect are adapted to 
their mode of life on the surface and under the ground. Even their 
coarsely mottled graj' coats, with the reddish-brown nose and throat, 
lowerparts, and hams, are protectively imitrtive of the colors of the 

They occupy practically all of the open country along the lower 
borders of the park and throughout the Hudsonian Zone, but do not 
enter the heavily timbered areas. At Glacier Station the}'' were com- 
mon along the creek valleys, and in Swiftcurrent Valley they i>re 
abundant from the Sherburne Lakes west to McDermott Lake, and 
thence almost continuously through the open slopes and burnt strips 
up to Iceberg Lake and Swiftcurrent Pass. Xone were seen in the 
Kennedy or Belly Eiver valleys, but in the Waterton Lake valley 
they are abundant, and also in the high country around Boundary 
Peak, over Kootenai Pass, on Flat Top Mountain, at Granite Park, 
Piegan Pass, Gunsight Lake and Pass, and around the Blackfeet 
(ilacier. On the west slope I found old burrows on the western arm 
of Stanton Mountain, and collected specimens on the high ridge just 
south of Nyack near the southern line of the park. In the North 
Fork Valley they were common from Camas Creek to Big Prairie, 
on April 15, 1918, but were not yet out on Round Prairie. The 
open slopes and little parks and meadows of the Hudsonian Zone 
are their favorite range in this region, and here they become very 
numerous and are generally conspicuous and noisy in the open spaces 
along the trails. Sometimes a dozen or more may be seen running 


Ilirougii the <;Tass and llowerw ahead of a ])rtrty of tourists, and their 
loml fhirpiiiji; notes may be heard up and down the slopes for a long 
ilisfancc as they rush for their burrows and then stand erect watch- 
ing for (huiger and passing along the ahirni call. They are not 
usually found actually above tiniberline, but in many places are 
common among the dwarfed trees only a little below, and on open 
slopes or in the path of avalanches or fire-swept strips they range 
clear through the Canadian Zone to the open areas lower down. 

Columbia ground squirrels are strictly ground dwellers, never 
climbing trees but often seen on logs- and rocks, where they sit to 
watch for danger. Their burrows enter the sidehills or the flat 
ground wherever there is sufficient soil to give room for comfortable 
winter cpiarters. About the hotels and chalets they often live under 
the buildings and sit on the porches when no one is around. They 
gather at camp sites to pick up scraps of scattered food, and sit on 
the abandoned benches and tables, in places becoming very tame 
and confidential. Generally, however, they are wary and suspicious, 
for their enemies are more numerous than their friends. They are 
rarely found far from their burrows, and when alarmed all rush to 
the nearest burrow or slielter, no matter to whom it 'belongs. Their 
little roadway's lead through the grass from one burrow to another 
and radiate out from the central dens into the meadows where they 
feed. Their call notes render them conspicuous where they would 
not otherwise be noticed. The first one that discovers an approaching 
enemy or suspicious character gives a loud churp! which is quickly 
taken up by others within hearing, and soon the word has been passed 
along far and wide. As one walks through their meadows these 
notes are heard on all sides. At first the note is a loud churp! churp! 
churp! at intervals of two or three seconds, repeated by each of the 
animals, but as the danger approaches the warning becomes more 
vigorous and rapid until a final shriek of blended churps the 
nearest animal disappears down its burrow and. others beyond double 
tlieir energy in giving the alarm. The notes vary under ditferent 
conditions. When a sharp-shinned hawk came swooping over an 
alpine meadow the notes were especially soft and did not seem to 
indicate much alarm. At another time when a large hawk was cir- 
cling overhead their notes were shrill and almost frantic. Different 
tones and inflections e\'idently convey to them difl'erent meanings, 
but to ^'I'liat extent they use vocal communication is miknown. A 
(luick sharp note of the mother s(iuirrel sends the brood of young 
scampering down the burrow, while her softer tones only induce them 
to seek the edge of the burrow where they may await further in- 

Their food consists largely of a great variety of green vegetation — 
leaves and buds and flowers and seeds of the mountain plants. The 


contents of their stomachs iisiiiilly show a finely jnasticated mass of 
green j^nlp, in which fil)ers of roots, bulhs, and ])lant steins may be 
detected among the strealvS and spots of bright-colored th)Wcr and 
berry stains, some particles of seed capsnles, and occasionally bits of 
grasshoppers and other insect or animal remains. Their stomachs 
are large and, except early in the morning, seem always to be filled 
to their utmost cajiacity. The tender, starchy bidbs of the great 
dogtooth violet are one of their favorite foods and often the moun- 
tain sides are thickly pitted with little cavities from which the squir- 
rels have extracted them. Camas and onions and other small bulbs 
also are dug and eaten and the seed-laden heads of grasses are a 
favorite autumn food. Toward the close of the season the squirrels 
find more ripening seeds and these form a greater share of their food 
than earlier. Consequently at this season they are taking on the 
necessary winter's fat more rapidly and their appetites and capacity 
seem to know no bounds. 

Usually four to six young are born early in May in the warm 
grassy nests underground, and early in June these are beginning to 
appear outside the burrows, Avhere they play aljout in interesting 
little family groups. A month later they are half-grown, getting 
their own food from the green plants, flowers, berries, and insects, 
and are growing rapidly. By the first of September they are nearly 
full-grown, and even the young have accumulated a considerable 
quantity of fat inside their skins for winter fuel. 

The old males are the first to become very fat and hibernate, and, 
strange to say, those at the lower levels hibernate considerably earlier 
than those high up in the mountains, apparently because they have 
had more time to accumulate their store of fat. The old females are 
next to disappear, and last of all the later broods of young which 
were still busily gathering food near timberline up to August 24, 
long after inost of the animals had disappeared from the surface in 
the low valleys. In their big warm nests deep underground they 
sleep through the long winter, apparently without waking, as no 
food is stored for winter use and they must depend entirely on their 
supply of fat. Early in April they begin to reappear in the lower 
part of their range, but it is probable that they are considerably later 
in emerging from hibernation at the upper levels, which at that time 
are still deeply buried in snow. 

Their winter dens are well made and the best of them are used 
year after year. On July 27, at 7,000 feet altitude near Piegan 
Pass, I selected one of the numerous large mounds over the mountain 
side for a careful study of the den. A little fresh earth was being 
added to the mound each day. A trap set at the entrance caught a mod- 
erately fat old female that was evidently preparing her winter quar- 
ters. The mound at the entrance of the burrow contained about -i 





bushels of earth and stones brought from the burrow, and the lower 
part was packed and hard as though an accumulation of several years. 
There were two other openings farther back from which no earth 
had been thrown and evidently thoy had been tunneled to the surface 
from below. The main shaft of the burrow was usiudly ;> or -1- inches 
in diameter, and back a couple of feet from the entrance, just before 
the burrow forked into two main shafts, was a roomy chamber where 
the sfjuirrels could turn around and sit up comfortably, a sort 
of reception room. Kear secondary forks were also two other 
chambers which may have served several purposes, such as con- 
venience in storing earth brought out of the tunnels, or places of re- 
treat from whicli to watch for enemies that might enter the burrow 

from either direction. Well back 
about 8 feet from the entrance and a 
foot below the surface of the ground 
was a lai'ge nest chamber about a foot 
in diameter nearly filled with old soft 
nest material. The nest was composed 
almost entirely of the soft flat leaves 
of the brown " glacier grass " {Jun- 
coi/les parvifloruTn) which abundantly 
covers the mountain slopes. At the 
bottom it was damp and moldy, but 
from the bed in the center to the top, 
it was dry and clean, and a few fresh, 
green blades had been brought in for 
food or nest material. It had evi- 
dently served as winter quarters for 
the old squirrel and as a nest for her 
young and was being prepared for the 
coming winter. From one side of the 
nest chamber the burrow led down to 
an older and deeper chamber of some 
previous year, containing at the bottom an old rotten nest half full 
of excrement. A tunnel ran from it back toward the main entrance 
and into the main tunnel near the middle, making an easy way of 
escape if an enemy should dig to the first nest. Back of the nest a 
small shaft led to the surface of the ground and another opened 
out at the end of the first main fork of the tunnel. These rear open- 
ings were half concealed in the grass and evidently were for use as 
avenues of escape in case the burrow should be entered by a weasel 
or dug out hy bear or badger. 

Many places were found where bears had dug for the squirrels, 
teai'iug up great tough sods of bear grass and even small trees and 
large stones in their effoits to get at the nest. In many cases they 

F'IG. 7. — Plan of underground den of 
Columbia ground squirrel as ex- 
cavated and mapped near Piegau 
Pass, July 2T, 1917. 


had evidently been successful in making a meal of a nice fat ground 
squirrel, as the nest had been pulled out and apparently no avenue of 
escape had been i)rovided. Probably the bears are more successful 
in this kind of hunting after the squirrels have gone into their winter 
dens and become torpid, as most of the digging seemed to have been 
done late in fall. 

The edible qualities of these squirrels have been discovered not 
alone by bears, as badgers, coyotes, foxes, cats, and hawks are fond 
of them. Some which I had collected for specimens and broiled 
on sticks over the coals of the camp tire were pronounced delicious 
by every member of the party. The young of the year are certainly 
as good as any young tree squirrel, and some of the party pronounced 
them better than young rabbit or chicken. In places where the 
squirrels have become so numerous as to be troublesome about camps 
or injurious to the meadows, it would not be difficult to control their 
abundance by allowing the campers to snare enough of them for their 
supplj^ of camp meat. Any boy with a piece of string and a little 
patience would be able to provide a good mess of squirrels in a morn- 
ing's hunt. 

Richardson Ground Squirrel: Cltellus rlchardsonl (Sabine). — 
The common flickertails of the Plains are small, plain 3'ellowisli 
ground squirrels, like miniature prairie-dogs. They are Plains ani- 
mals, reaching into the eastern edge of Glacier Park only on the 
tongues of open ground. The only place where they are actually 
common within the boundaries of the park is at the lower end of St. 
Mary Lake, but they have been reported above the Sherburne Lakes 
in the Swiftcurrent Valley, and they come close to the park line 
in the Cut Bank, the Bell}' River, and Waterton Valleys. Along the 
stage road from Glacier to St. Mary they are in places abundant and 
consi^icuous over the prairies, as also they are from St. Mary around 
to the Swiftcurrent Valley, so that a. trip through the park implies 
a rather close acquaintance with these little squirrels. 

They are strictly prairie dwellers, living in the open and depend- 
ing on keen sight and hearing for ])rotection from their numerous 
enemies, and on their skill in disappearing underground in case of 
danger. From the road their sharp whistle is frequently heard, 
and at a little distance they may be seen standing straight up in 
the grass like picket pins, which they are often called, but on nearer 
a])proach they quickly drop to the ground and disappear as by magic. 
In places the low mounds of earth at their burrows dot the valleys 
and their runways form a network through the short grass. 

On bright summer mornings they are esi3ecially busy gathering 
food from the leaves, stems, seeds, and roots of numerous prairie 


plants, or cliiising gTasslio2)i)er,s and crickets, Avliich form an im- 
portant part of their summer food. Farther out among the wheat 
fi(dds tliev gather from far and near and hiy a hea\v tribute on the 
har\est of grain, but in the park they dO' little damage and are an 
ever-present source of interest. 

The young are born early in IMay, and before the end of the month 
they are out gathering food and playing about the burrows in family 
l^arties usually of four to six. By the first of September the young 
are nearly full grown and have accumulated a sufficient stock of fat 
to carry them through the winter. With the first cold weather all 
disappear in their underground nests, where tliey sleep soundly until 
the warm days of early sjiring return. The nest burrows are usually 
simple and not very extensive, so that badgers dig out great num- 
bers of the squirrels all through the summer, and even after they 
have hibernated, until the ground becomes well fi'ozen. 

Striped Grofno Squirkel: CiteJhis tridecemlineatus pallidus 
(Allen). — The pale, western form of the 13-lined ground squirrel nurv 
usually be recognized by the parallel lines of dark brown on a ground 
color of buff over the upperparts. They are slender, almost weasel- 
like, animals, with short ears and slightly bushy tails. So protec- 
tively colored are they that in the prairie grass they are rarely seen, 
but their shrill bubbling trill is often heard along the roadsides. 

These squirrels also are prairie dwellers and come into the Glacier 
Park only in a few open spots along the eastern border. In 1895 a 
fevf were found at the lower end of St. Mary Lake, and others along 
the railroad at the southern edge of the park in open spaces nearly 
to the summit of the range. They were reported in the Swiftcurrent 
Valley between Sherburne and McDermott Lakes, and conditions are 
favorable for them in the Belly River valley well into the park. 

In habits they are shy and secretive, keeping much under the cover 
of the prairie grasses and low vegetation, and even the doorways of 
their burrows are often well hidden. 

Their food consists largely of seeds, with some green vegetation, 
and usually a larger projiortion of insects than with most ground 
squirrels. Their regular cycle of habits — hibernating through the 
long winter, breeding early in spring, caring for the young, and 
storing up a winter's supply of fat — is similar to that of many other 
sjjecies. In places where they are numerous they do much damage 
in the grain fields, but here on the western border of their range 
they are so scarce and inconspicuous that they are not even much 
of a feature of interest, except to the field naturalist, who is alwaj's 
looking for the rarer kinds of animal life. 

Glacier Hoary Mahmot: Marmota calujata nivarut Howell. — 
The gi'eat gray mountain marmots are about twice the size of the 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 



Photo, by E. R. Warren. 



«■ V*»- vrf" 

MAMMALS. ^ 61 

ordinary woodcluick and A-ary in color from a yell&wifeiltJJf<iv'ifS^j| 
midsummer to a liglit gray winter coat in fall and spring. The head, 
feet, and tail are always dark, but a white band around the nose in 
front of the eyes is usually a conspicuous mark, even at a distance. 

They live mainly in the Hudsonian Zone, but often range over the 
open slopes of the Arctic-Alpine above the exti'cme limits of timber- 
line. Apparently they fill the Avhole Hudsonian Zone area of the 
Glacier Park region and may be seen on every high pass over which 
trails lead. They are common at Cracker and Iceberg Lakes, over 
Gunsight, Piegan, Swiftcurrent, and Kootenai Passes, and on the 
ridge at the head of Kintla Lake. They extend also north through 
the Canadian Eockies and south to the Bitterroot and Sawtooth 
Mountains of Idaho, while closely related forms are found in Alaska 
and the northern Cascades. 

In habits they are burrowers in open country where they depend 
largel}^ on rocks for the protection of their dens and on rock towers 
or ledges for lookouts from which to watch for numerous enemies. As 
some of them seem always to be on guard, a long, evenly sustained 
and piercing whistle usually greets the tourist before the whistler 
is visible. The alarm note is generallj' taken up and repeated along 
the mountainside, while every little and big whistler that is out 
feeding lopes for the meadows or snow banks or the nearest rock 
pile, where it can also gain a wide view. Having short legs and 
heavy bodies, their only protection from nmnerous enemies is con- 
stant vigilance and close proximity to sheltering crevices and caverns 
among the rocks, where, to escape bears, coyotes, or golden eagles, 
they can quickly take refuge. They are occasionally seen crossing 
the great snow fields or the glaciers from one point of rocks to 
another, and on the pass at the head of Kintla Lake one old fellow 
had a well-worn trail from his fortress on the rock cliff across a 
Avide bare slope to the only patch of gi-een Avillow-carpeted turf 
within reach. Occasionally a big burrow is found on the sidehill in 
the open, but generally they are located under the edge of some 
great boAvlder or go into the ground underneath a heap of broken 
rocks at the base of some clitf, or back in a crevice between rock walls 
that will admit no larger animal. In these rocky fortresses the 
animals are comparatively safe, but in the open the bears occasion- 
allv dig out their dens and feast upon the occupants. Marmots are 
good climbers and are often seen high on the face of clilfs where 
they could go only by the help of their strong curved toenails. 
After a hearty meal they spend much time sunning themselves on 
the cliifs and rock pinnacles where they have a wide \iew over the 
country and can absorb the rare Avarmth of the sun's rays in these 
high altitudes. 


Their food consists iiii\inly of green vegetiition, and they are often 
seen grazing in the meadows, picking tlie various little plants and 
eating them, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds, and all. I have not been 
able to determine the species eaten, but their large stomachs usually 
contain a well-masticated mass of green herbage with traces of 
flowers, seeds, and stems. One old fellow in Kootenai Pass, when 
suddenly alarmed while feeding, rushed to the top of a big bowlder 
with his mouth still full of green leaves which he slowly chewed 
while watching me. 

Along the trails over tlie high passes marmots gather to pick up the 
scattered oats left by the horses, and are often so eager for this un- 
usual feast that they would let me take snapshots at 15 or 20 feet 
before they would leave the trails. The constant passing of tourists, 
pack trains, and saddle horses is teaching them confidence in these 
strange new denizens of the park, and evidently with a little care and 
feeding they could be coaxed into tameness. 

The young are born apparently about the first of June, as a female 
collected May 27, 1895, contained five well-grown embryos. At the 
same time several specimens of half-grown young of the previous 
year were collected, which sliows that the j'oung do not fully mature 
the first year, but apparently reach maturity and a breeding age by 
the second spring. On August 1, 1917, in Gunsight Pass a family of 
four young about the size of ground squirrels were photographed 
among the rocks by the side of the trail while their mother whistled 
loudly from a ledge above our heads. On August 4: two young about 
quarter grown were seen in Piegan Pass, and in Kootenai Pass on 
August 22 several small young were seen among the rocks. In every 
case the mother was near and was very solicitous for their safety. 
"Whether these small young are able to lay in sufficient food to carry 
them thi'ough the winter s hibernation or whether thej' are nursed by 
the mother up to the time of hibernation Inis not lieen determined, 
liut that they come through the winter in good condition is indicated 
by the half-grown specimens collected in May. 

Like all hibernating mammals, marmots have large stomachs and 
good digestion and assimilation. After the breeding season is over 
they take on fat rapidly, and by the beginning of cold weather the 
adults at least have laid in a large quantity of oily fat under their 
skins, and even the inner body cavities have become loaded with fat. 
I'p to August 24, when for the last time I crossed Swiftcurrent Pass, 
marmots Avere still active and their loud whistles were heard across the 
timberline slopes. A cold wave and snowstorm a few days later may 
liave driven them into their winter dens, but in the short season of 
tliese high iiltitudes they probably remain active as long as the warm 
days and green food last. At best they must be buried under the 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Photo, by Mr. and Mrs. M. I. Berger 


Photo, by Mr. and Mrs. M. I. Bergcr. 

51140°— 18 5 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 





deep snow for seven or eight months, and as they do not lay up any 
stores, the accumulated fat must carry them through this inactive 
period. Dry grass and sedges are carried into-their burrows for nest 
material, and we can imagine them comfortably curled up in their 
Avarm beds deep under the cover of ground and I'ocks and snow ; but 
except for a few burrows excavated l)y bears, I have ncAer been able 
to explore their dens. 

Brown Woodciiuck : Marmota mona.v pcfrensis HowelL — The 
brown woodchuck, which is found a little farther north and west, 
undoubtedly does occur in some of the lower areas of the park, but I 
could not get any definite record of its occurrence. Park Ranger 
Gibb thinks he has seen them within the park boundaries, but could 
not give me a specific locality record. Apparently none of the other 
rangers had seen or recognized the species. 

Family MURID^: Mice, Rats, etc. 

Gkay Bttsiiy-tailed Woodeat: Neotoma cinerea cinerea (Ord). — • 
These bushy-tailed woodrats, pack rats, trade rats, or cliff rats, as 
variously called, are not closely related to the common barn rat, 
or wharf rat, which is justly held in such ill repute. They belong 
to a different subfamily and are natives of America, while the -wharf 
rat is an introduced pest of Asiatic origin. Far from having the dis- 
gusting habits and mean appearance of the wharf rat. woodrats are 
bright, attractive animals Avith big eyes, expressive faces, and 
squirrel-like tails, and no animal could be more neat and exemplarjr. 

They are common wherever rocks and cliffs or any suitable cover 
provides them with homes throughout the lower levels of the park. 
Their greatest abundance is in the Transition Zone borders of the 
park, and usually they do not extend far into the- Canadian Zone 
nor at all above it. They are not strictlj^ confined to any zone, how- 
ever, as their selection of homes protects them from the. severity of 
climate and enables them to adaj^t themselves to- a wide range of 
environment. A broken cliff or deep talus on a steep' south slope 
will sometimes carry them well up the mountain side without ex- 
posure to the extreme cold of the higher zone, and occasionally their 
signs are found almost up to timberline. 

Woodrats are the original cliff dwellers, having made their' homes 
among the rocks for so many ages that some of their deposits- have 
become almost geological in formation. Their safest strongholds 
are found in caves and crevices in the rocks and they have adapted 
their building methods and manner of life to these cliff dwellings. 
A typical family residence was found in the wall of the canyon 
over Swiftcurrent Falls near Many Glacier Hotel. The overhanging 
cliff shelters a small cave which opens back in narrow cracks and 


crevices into tlie limestone ledge. Here the rats have piled up bush- 
els of sticks and chips, bark, and stones in the mouth of the cave, 
closing- up many of the narrow places to keep out their enemies and 
to -form' a front door barricade for the protection of their nests and 
li\'ing rooms behind. The ledges and rock shelves are worn smooth 
by their little feet which for ages have been running back and forth 
from one opening to another or away to tlie>berry liuslies and patches 
of weed seeds and pine cones beyond the edge- of the cliff. Their 
runways and nest chambers are clean and neat, and they use some 
out of the. way corner of the rocks in which to deposit- their little 
black pellets. All food refuse is used for building material, and 
their system of home economy is i:)ractical and efficient. 

As they are strictly nocturnal, it is difficult to study their habits 
or obtain photographs of them at 'home. To obviate this difficulty 
as far as possible I -placed an inverted box by the side of their hou: e. 
bent and lashed a twig into an oval loop and, placing the rounded end 
under the edge of the- box and a bit of bread and bacon on the sharp 
end of the stick mider the middle of the box, left it over night. In 
the morning, as I expected, the loop had slipped out and the box 
had fallen and underneath vras Madam "Woodrat sitting in a dark 
corner awaiting further developments. I slipped a gunny sack under 
and over the box, including its' occupant, and then, removing the box, 
carried the Avoodrat to my back porch at the hotel and placed her in 
a screen-covered box. She seemed greatly surprised, lint not much 
alarmed, at all of this unusual ]irocedure, and when I placed a buncli 
of green plants of various kinds in the box she at once seized upon 
tliem and began to enjoy her nuich-delayed breakfast. She would 
stop eating and fix her big shiny eyes upon me as I came near the 
box, and with erect ears and long, vibrating mustaches she a 
most animated and interesting picture. If I approached closelj- she 
would sit straight up on her hind feet with her little fists rounded 
in a most pugilistic attitude, and once as I tried to pass her a more 
dainty plant to eat she jumped at my hand and gave me a vigorous 
nip with her teeth. Again as I tried to put a bag over her to trans- 
fer her to better quarters she caught me by the finger and bit a hole 
through the end of it. I left the bag in her box while bandaging 
my finger and when I returne<l she had crawled into tlie bottom of 
the bag, just where I wanted her for a transfer to a glass jar, where 
she could be more conveniently studied. 

When alone in her box she would often make a thumping or drum- 
ming sound, and by approaching carefully I could watch her raise 
her hind feet and strike the soles down flat on the bottom of the box, 
both together, with a sound such as one makes by striking the flat of 
the finger on a table. These taps were repeated rapidly or slowly at 
varying intervals of from se^'eral to a second to only one or two, 


and were given in varying numbers that reminded me of a tele- 
graphic code of signals. This was not due to her im]irisonment, as I 
lia\'c ])re\iously heard and wat(hed woodrats make these signals in 
camps and cabins and among the I'ocks. The oljjecl is evidently to 
call or attract the attention of other individuals, to gi\'e some warn- 
ing, or to convey such meaning from one to anuther as may be of serv- 
ice to them. While not given in the dots and dashes of the Interna- 
tional Morse Code, there is sufficient variation in the tapping to con- 
\ey considerable expression of feeling if not of definite ideas. The 
tail was never moved during the thumping and was usually coiled 
along the side or lying fiuietl^y at rest. 

Bread, toast, blueberry roll, crackers, and oatmeal in plenty were 
put in the box with her. but she seemed not to care much for any of 
them. When I put in a bunch of green plants she at once began 
to eat the leaves of the fireweed, thimbleberry, Spircva, and other 
plants, and the next morning had finished most of the leaves, 
although she had scarcely touched the bread and grain. She was 
active all night and kept me awake by gnawing her box, thumping 
with her feet, and trying to find a way out of her well-screened cage. 
One morning, putting her in a bag, I took her back to her house 
in the cave, and after looping a soft, gTeen fishline over one foot lot 
her sit on her old doorstep for a picture. She posed well in many 
positions and with many expressions before I let her go back to her 
children in the old and well built cliff dwelling that she may have 
inherited from a thousand generations of ancestors. She could cer- 
tainly never have been happy away from this familiar cliff above the 
roar and spray of the falls, where every shelf, nook, and corner were 
familiar to her, where the trails led around to a brush-covered rock 
pile, where thimbleberries, serviceberries, chokecherries, and numer- 
ous seeds and bulbs coidd be found to go with her fare of green 
leaves and flowers, and where a power house not far away and 
neighboring chalets and outbuildings afforded some choice scraps of 
food and interesting ground for exploration. 

In winter some of the more adventuresome individuals of this 
woodrat colony visit the storehouses and even take up their abode 
in them. A teamster who slept at night in the winter storehouse 
at the end of the bridge told me that one morning he missed his 
Avatcli and was sure a woodrat had taken it, because a piece of leather 
showing the print of sharp teeth was left where the watch had been 
Iving on the floor by the side of his bed. A careful search under 
the floor of the building finally disclosed the watch with other accu- 
mulations of building material where a woodrat had established 
its residence. As woodrats are inveterate builders, always gather- 
ing building material of a size convenient for carrying, the habit 
of dropping whatever they are carrying and taking any other object 



that seems better suited to their purpose lias given them tlie name 
of " trade rat." Many stories are told of their exchanging sticks 
for pijoes, jackknives, or other articles that they may prefer but 
that do not always satisfy the other party to the trade. The same 
collecting habit has also given them the name of " pack rat " and 
perhaps also of woodrat, for a large part of their building material 
is of sticks, chips, and bark, and many of their houses have a very 
woody appearance. 

To one familiar with their habits their presence in a cliff or rock 
slide can usually be detected even at a distance by the white streaks 
on the points and edges of the cliffs near the dens. These have some- 
times caused geologists much perplexity, but they are merely the 

age-long accumulations of 
calcareous matter from the 
urine of the woodrats. In 
some places the cliffs are 
heavily streaked with 
white, as though the little 
pinnacles were touched up 
with a paint brush, and 
often the white stony crust 
is 2 or 3 millimeters thick. 
While devoted to their 
homes, some of the wood- 
rats are evidently pos- 
sessed with a desire to 
wander, for occasionally 
one will appear in some 
camp or cabin far from 
the rocks, and invariably 
take up his abode. Even 
a part of the time by 
occupied by the wood- 




1. fir'- A „ 

Fig. 8. — Woodrat in his nest of moss and lictiens 
in a cabin at the mouth of Quartz Creek. lie 
had been killed by some passer-by and left on 
the floor, and "was put in his own nest and photo- 
graphed in as natural a pose as possible, but 
without the animated expression of life. 

the ranger cabins, which are occupied 
their rightful owners, are often also 
rats. xVt the cabin on the west side of Waterton Lake the animals 
had built nests and stick piles in the storage room but evidently had 
been caught or driven away by the ranger. In another abandoned 
cabin at the upper end of Waterton Lake they had two beautiful 
nests of chewed-up tow from a gunny sack, one on the floor in the 
corner and the other on an old bed. The door had been left open 
about 4 inches, where it stuck tight, and in order to close it as much 
as possible they had piled sticks and chips in the opening. On the 
old bunk in the corner of the cabin a bushel or more of green leaves 
and stems of plants had been piled up and had become dry and 
green like good fresh hay. Among them I recognized thimbleberry, 
mountain ash, meadow rue, Actaea^ and other familiar plants which 
grew about the cabin. The open spaces between the double roofs of 



the cabin also were stuffed full of similar weed-liay for winter use. 
In many places the accumulation of winter hay is almost as extensive 
as that provided by conies, and in one place near Granite Park I 
found where the woodrats and conies had evidently been using the 
same stack of hay through the winter. At Lake McDonald, where 
there are many summer cabins, the woodrats often take possession of 
those unoccupied during the winter and hold high revelry until the 
owners return. In one cabin on the edge of the lake were bushels 
of leaves and branches brought 
in for winter food and a pile of 
chips and sticks in the open 
doorwajr between the two rooms 
suggested an attempt to barri- 
cade the smaller room, of which 
the)' had taken possession. On a 
high shelf in the corner a large 
bowl-like nest had been built of 
the soft brown fibers of cedar 
bark, moss, and lichens, and well 
lined with bits of cotton from 
the inside of an old cotton com- 
forter which had been left in the 
cabin. The nest was as well 
built as those of many birds, and 
somewhat in the form of the 
robin's nest, only a little larger 
and of much softer material. It 
was just large enough for one 
good-sized occupant to lie curled 
up below its rim, and I know of 
no prettier animal picture than 
that presented by the big ears 
and bright eyes of a woodrat 
peering over the top of one of 
these nests. 

In some cases poisoned grain or a few rat traps are left in a cabin 
that is to be unoccupied duriug the winter to prevent any possible 
mischief from the woodrats, but generally bedding, food, and such 
things as they are likely to misappropriate are suspended froui the 
ceiling by wires or kept in tin-lined cupboards or boxes. If a gunny 
sack is left for them to build a nest of, and a box with a hole in it for 
them to use as the foundation for their building operations, they 
are not likely to do much damage. 

They have a slight musky odor which seems to come from a large 
gland in the skin of the belly, but when properly dressed and cooked 

B I 8506 

Fig, 9. — Woodrat nest, lined "with cotton 
out of old quilt, on shelf in corner of 
cabin at Lake McDonald. April 21, 1918. 


the flesh is as delicate and delicious as that of quail or any other game 
animal, and the woodsman who knows the habits of wild animals can 
usually carrj^ a trap in his pocket and li\e comfortably on woodrats 
and other small game, including ground s(iuirrels and pocket gophers. 

I<\)i;F.s'r AViiiTE-FOOTED ]M()usp: : Pcromi/scits manicndatus artcmisim 
(Rhoads). — These little white-footed or woods mice may be known 
by their large thin ears, long slender tails, pure white feet and 
lowerparts, and buffy-gray or bluish-gray upperparts. While tiny 
animals themselves, they are slightly larger than the Plains species 
(P. m. osf/oodi), and have relatively larger ears and longer tails. An 
adult female from McDermott Lake measured, in millimeters : Total 
length, l'.)l; tail, 95; hind foot, 22. 

These are probably the most abundant mammals of Glacier Park, 
although they are rarely seen and their presence is often unknown. 
They occupy the whole timbered area, of the park from the valley 
bottoms up to timberline and in some cases even above, among the 
rocks of the open slopes. Few animals have the ability to adapt 
themselves to a wider range of climate and general environment. 
Through the woods they live in hollow trees or logs, among the 
broken rocks at the base of cliil's, in the little caves and caverns of 
the cliifs, or in underground burrows which thej' make for them- 
selves or appropriate from other animals. An abandoned pocket- 
gopher burrow w'ill often provide homes for a dozen of them, while 
\'acant dons of ground squirrels, chipmunks, or other mice are ap- 
propriated, and even camjjs, cabins, chalets, and hotels are taken 
])ossession of in a way that is sometimes only anuising, but at others 
annoying. All they ask is a safe and well-sheltered corner or cavity 
for their nest and family, soft material from which to make their 
nests, and plenty of almost any kind of food. In helping themselves 
to these necessities they sometimes infringe u])on the property rights 
of others and fall into more or less disfavor. Generally, however, 
their presence in the park is not seriously detrimental and they fur- 
nish much interest and anmsement, especially in buildings to which 
they come at night to scamper about the floors in search of stray 
crumbs and scattered bits of food. 

They are strictly nocturnal in habits and do not become active 
until about the time the lights are turned on. Artificial light seems 
not to trouble them, however, and they often go scampering through 
camp and occasionally nuiy be seen playing about the corners of the 
main hotel corridors or rimning from one place of concealment to 
another over the flooi's, much to the amusement of the guests, and 
especially of the children. I caught a number of them in m}^ hands 
and kept some in captivity for several days to study their habits 
more closely. Generally they were nervous and timid when cap- 


tured, but tli(\y soon became quiet and gentle. They would some- 
times try to nip any fingers, but wlieu ])roper care was tak'en they 
would let nio tal<e them in my hands, and would m;dve little effort 
to escape. 

They are prolific Ijrceders, and tlie four to eight young in a, litter 
are brought forth in the warm soft nests in dry and secluded cavities 
underground, among rocks, hollow trees or logs, in boxes or crevices, 
or in corners of buildings. They quickly mature and are soon run- 
ning about in the blue-gi'ay coats which are worn through most of the 
fii'st year. Several litters are raised each season, and the increase 
is so rapid that any safe retreat like a vacant building is soon over- 
run hy them. Outdoors the little owls, weasels, coyotes, and foxes 
])ick them up so rapidly that their abundance is well checked, and 
when (he breeding season is over their numbers steadily decrease 
imtil the next spring. 

They do not hibernate or become noticeably fat, but during the 
autumn they store np considerable quantities of seeds, grain, and 
nutlets for winter use. Buried under the deep snows of winter 
they live safely and in comparative comfort and luxury next to the 
ground in the tunnels which they make under the snow. They 
also come to the surface and run over the soft snow, and lines of 
delicate tracks may be traced in winter from one log to another, from 
tree to tree, or from roclv pile to cliff, and thus some clue to their 
winter habits is obtained. They climb trees readily and often oc- 
cupy hollow trunks or even old woodpecker holes in stumps and trees. 

Mountain Lemming Mouse: Plienafomys orophUiis ^lerriam. — 
These rare little lemming mice somewhat resemble tfie meadow mice, 
but differ radically from them in having molar teeth with well- 
developed, roots and different t,ype of enamel pattern. In external 
characters they may be distinguished by their small size, light gray 
color, and by the tail, wdiich is slender and does not noticeably taper. 
An adult male collected on the Swiftcurrent Ri'i'er below McDermott 
Lake measured, in millimeters: Total length, 122; tail, 30; hind foot, 
18. Their measurements serve to distinguish them from almost any 
of the other little rodents except the red-backed mouse, from wdiich 
they differ strikingly in color. 

In the spring of 1895 Howell and I collected a dozen specimens 
of these little mice at St. Mary Lake, one at Midvale, and one at 
Summit; in August, 1917, T caught one in the open valley just 
below McDermott Lake; and in April, 1918, I found one dead in the 
trail near Kintla Lake. These records would indicate that lemming- 
mice are unusually common in the Glacier Park region, and may 
be found anywdiere along the lower slopes of the park or in the 
open Hudsonian Zone area near timberline. Most of the specimens 


taken wore from lower altitudes, but usually the zonal range of the 
species is considered more Hudsonian than Canadian. They are 
mountain dwellers of wide distribution over the Eocky Mountain 
region from northern New Mexico to British Columbia, but over 
much of this area they are so scattered and so rarely found that 
they are generally considered rare. 

In habits as well as appearance they are obscure and inconspicuous. 
They live in burrows in the grassy parks and make tiny runways 
under the fallen gray grass from one burrow to another and out 
to' their feeding grounds, but so well concealed are both their bur- 
rows and their runwaj's that the animals would rarely be seen, even 
if they were not largely nocturnal. The field collector with a line 
of mouse traps in all kinds of situations occasionally gets one by 
accident and disco^'ers where they are living, and then by continued 
trapping in the vicinity can usuallj^ secure other specimens. In 
the grassy openings along the south side of St. Mary Lake they 
were found in unusual numbers. By parting the old fallen grass 
their runways and burrows could be detected over the surface of 
the ground, and a little clue to their habits was obtained from the 
specimens collected, the nature of their homes and the varieties of 
plants which they had cut for food. The fragments of grass and 
other green plants were found along the runways and in places had 
Ijeen drawn into the burrows to be eaten at leisure. The stomachs 
of the mice collected contained mainly green vegetation. The bur- 
rows and runways were more or less grouped, indicating colonies 
or family residences. The nests and homes appear to be entirely 
underground, and the females .taken for specimens in May and June 
usually contained four to six embryos. Later in the season young 
of all ages are found, and it is probable that several litters are 
raised during the summer. 

Eed-backed Mouse : Evofo'nvys gapperi galei Merriam. — These little 
furry, short-tailed, short-eared, red-backed mice may always be rec- 
ognized by their bright hazel or chestnut-brown backs and buffy gray 
sides and lowerparts. They live mainly in the woods and are com- 
mon throughout the timbered area of the park. Specimens have been 
collected at St. Mary Lake, McDermott Lake, Waterton Lake valley, 
Piegan Pass, Summit Station, and Java. They are generally found un- 
der old logs in the woods, but also where there is an_v protecting cover — 
as creek banks, loose rocks, brush, or dense growth of vegetation. 
They burrow in the melloAV ground or run in natural cavities where 
they have their nests and homes and from which they forage out 
over their feeding grounds. In places where they are common little 
runways are found, but in general the animals are more on the open 
ground where they scamper from place to place without the neces- 



sity of roads. They clamber o^er logs and even climb trees, but 
generally keep under cover as nnicli as possible to avoid their enemies. 
While mainly nocturnal they are often caught in traps in the woods 
during the daj'time and especially toward evening, when they seem 
to be most active. Their food consists chiefly of green grass and a 
great varietj^ of small plants and seeds. Their stomachs usually con- 
tain a combination of green-plant tissue and the white starchy part 
of seeds, but they are always eager for rolled oats or any kind of 
grain that is offered as trap bait. They seem, however, not to be 
inquisitive and rarely get into camp supplies or do any mischief 
except where provisions are left on the grovuid vmprotected. In fact, 
their presence is rarely discovered by the camper or even by the ex- 
perienced woodsman and fur trapper Avho spend much time in their 
habitat. A few traps, set in proper locations, will soon reveal the 
presence of the mice, and a tin can at the bottom of a hole in the 
ground will often be found occupied by some that have tumbled in 
during the night. 

Four to six embryos in females taken for specimens indicate 
the size of their families ; but little is known of their actual breeding 
habits other than Avhat is learned from an occasional nest of hairless 
young found under an old log, board, or other protecting cover. 
Much remains to be learned of the habits of such obscure small mam- 
mals by those who have time and patience to make careful studies of 
them on their home grounds. 

Laege-footed INIeadow ISIguse : Microtus rlchanlsoni macropus 
(Merriam). — The largest of all the meadow mice, often measuring 8 
to 10 inches in total length, are common along the streams and in the 
meadows and wet places throughout the Canadian and Hudsonian 
Zones of the park. They are semiaquatic in habits and are rarely 
found far from water. In many places their large trails and runways 
extend through the shallow water of the marshes or lead into the 
edges of small streams or ponds and reappear on the ojoposite sides. 
Often along the creek banks one will be seen to jump into the water 
and swim across the stream deep below the surface. Their dense fur 
and large hind feet are w'ell adapted to a partially aquatic life, e\en 
in the cold streams up to the snow banks. Their burrows often 
honeycomb the creek banks, and their summer nests, in which the 
young are raised, are found in cavities to which these burrows lead. 
In winter some of their big grassy nests are placed on the ground 
under the deep cover of soft snow, and as the snow disappears in 
spring their runways show a network of tunnels over the surface. 

Grass and sedges form the principal part of their food in both 
winter and summer. In winter they are gathered from the surface 
of the ground under snow, and in summer the tender shoots are cut 

(j2 wtt.d animals of glacier national paek. 

along the edges of the streams and along the ti'ails in the marshes. 
In places the surface of little pools will be found strewn with grass 
blades, where the mice have been eating their meals on the mai'gins 
in exactly the manner of muskrats. Green vegetation constitutes 
13ractical]y their entire food for the whole year, and seems always 
to be easily ol^tained. The mice do not become fat or show any signs 
of hibernation, and it is probable that in winter their life is just as 
comfortable as in summer and fraught with less clangers. 

RocKT Mountain Meadow Mot^se : Microfus mordax mo-rdax (Mer- 
riam). — Specimens of these middle-sized, long-tailed meadow mice 
have been taken at St. Mary Lake, McDermott Lake, Belly River, 
Summit Station, Java, Belton, and Indian Creek. They are the most 
abundant and generally distributed meadow mice of the park, from 
the lowest levels to timljerline. Generally they are most abundant 
along the banks of streams, in meadows, and about springs, but often 
they are found on the open mountain-sides under grassy cover or the 
drooping leaves of bear grass. Their medium-sized burrows and run- 
ways are easily found by examining the surface of the ground in 
almost any meadow or grassy situation, and specimens are readily 
secured by setting out-of -sight mouse traps across the runwaj^s and 
baiting them with a little rolled oats. They are less aquatic and less 
adapted to life in the water than the big-footed meadow mice, but are 
good swimmers and do not hesitate to jump into a creek or river and 
swim across- if frightened or if they wish to visit the other shore. 
Their thick gray fur is amjtle protection against both wet and cold, 
and they often live and seek their food in places that are damp and 

Their food consists mainly of green vegetation, of which grass 
stems and seeds form the greater part. Along their runways little 
heaps of grass stems cut into lengths of 1 or 2 inches may be found 
where the mice have brought down the seeds and blades within reach 
by simply cutting the stems in sections, and drawing them down each 
time until the tops were obtained. The contents of their stomachs 
usually show nothing but the finely pulverized tissue of green vege- 
tation. Seeds or grains, however, are very acceptable and readily 
taken when offered as tra}) bait. The mice never come into houses 
and camps, so that their presence in the park can do no harm other 
llian to the grass which they consume in the meadows. 

The four to six young are born in warm, soft grassy nests in the 
summer burrows and apparently several litters are raised during a 
season. Thej' have need to multiply rapidly as their enemies are 
numerous. Plawks and owls, ravens and jays, and weasels, foxes, 
cats, and coyotes, are always snapping them up as they appear on the 
surface of the ground. In winter, under the cover of deep snow, they 
are far safer. When the first soft snows fall they plow little tunnels 


over tlie surface of the ground, and these become hardened and 
throughout the winter are avenues of travel and food supply as long 
as the snow lasts. Many winter nests are built on the surface of the 
ground and occupied until the snow (lisapi)ears, when the occupants 
are again foi'ced to tlieii' underground dwellings for j^rotection. Tlio 
i'lU'ry coats of these mice become dense and a beautiful light gra^y 
ihiring the winter, but the animals do not become fat or show any 
signs of hibernation. In summer the heavy winter coats are changed 
for a much thinner and harsher coat of a darker gray color that 
blends well with the shadows of the half-concealed runways. 

Dkujimoxd Meadow Mouse: Microtus dnimmond't (Audubon and 
Ijachman). — These little dark brownish-gra}' meadow mice with mod- 
erately short tapering tails are common in the ope-n country about 
.St. Mary Lake, along Swiftcurrent Creek, between Sherburne and 
jNIcDermott Lakes, at Summit, and on the Big Prairie in the North 
Fork of the Flathead A'allej', where specimens have been taken, 
but they undouljtedly have a much more general range- o\'er the 
park in suitable localities. The}' live in meadows and other grassy 
places generally, but are sometimes found in wet marshes- and 
along the margins of streams and lakes. They are not usually found 
in the timber, except as they follow meadows or open strips of coun- 
try. In general habits they are more like the eastern meadow mouse, 
to which they are related, and their runwaj's and burrows may gen- 
erally be found under the tall grass and dense vegetation of the more, 
fertile areas. Any naturalist should be able to go to a favorable loolc- 
ing meadow or grassy slope and by parting the fallen grass, find the 
little roadways and burrows of these mice, but these are rarely seen 
by the person without the naturalist's training, unless by the farmer 
in gathering his hay or grain. Out on the prairies, the mice (|uickly 
gather under the haycocks or the shocks of grain, and when these 
are removed to the stack they are seen scampering in all directions. 
While with other rodents they help to lay a heavy ti'ibnte on th ■ 
agricultural products of much of the countrj', here in the park the}' 
are practically harmless and are too obscure and unnoticed to form 
even an interesting feature of the animal life. 

Rocky Mountain Muskkat: Fiber zibethieus osoyoo><ensis Lord. — 
A few muskrats are found in most of the lakes and along the cjuieter 
streams of Glacier Park, but nowdiere have I found them so numerous 
as they are out on the Plains and in the low country. A few- tracks 
were seen around the edges of McDermott and Josephine Lakes and 
along the river above Upper Waterton Lake, and in 1895 I trapped a 
specimen in a beaver pond near Summit Station. Don Stevenson re- 
ports a. family of 11 cream-colored albinos, which he once trapped in 
Swiftcurrent Lake. Their signs were seen along the Swiftcurrent 


Creek at Sherburne Lake and above, and a muskrat was seen swim- 
ming in a beaver pond on Appekunny Creek. Apparently they are 
not sufficiently numerous to form an important part of the fur catch 
of the region, but there are enough for tourists occasionally to get 
a sight of one SAvimming in a lake or stream or quietly sitting up 
in a brown furry ball on a log or stone at the edge of the water, 
munching his breakfast or supper. In the marsh and slough coun- 
try of the Plains muskrats build numerous houses of mud, roots, and 
plant stems, but here in the park they live mainly in the banks of 
streams and lakes. Their burrows enter from below the surface of 
the water and lead back to cavities in the banks a little above the 
water level, but usually without any openings to the surface of the 
ground. In these well-protected bank dens they spend the winter 
in comparative comfort, and in summer raise their families of young 
until they, too, are old enough to dive through the waterway and 
swim out into the light of clay on the surface of the lake. The usual 
number of young produced at a time seems to be from four to eight. 
An old female taken for a specimen in a beaver pond near Summit 
Station on June 18, 1895, contained 13 large embryos, evidently an 
unusual number for one litter. She had the usual number of 8 mam- 
mae. She was a very large individual, weighing 3 pounds, and 
evidently in the prime of life. The- young when first born are naked 
and helpless, but develop rapidly and are soon well furred little 
muskrats, paddling about in the water and diving with great skill. 

Muskrats furnish one of the cheaper furs, not from a lack of 
beauty or softness, but because the animals are so abundant and 
widely distributed that vast numbers are trapped each year. Com- 
pared with many of the more expensive skins they are equally at- 
tractive and give better service, warmth, and wear. 

Family CASTORID^: Beavers. 

Beaver: Castor canademis canadensis Kuhl. — Beavers are irregu- 
larly distributed over the park, but are fairly common in some sec- 
tions. Their houses, dams, and ponds are conspicuous along side- 
streams in the Swiftcurrent Valley above Sherburne Lake, and old 
houses and dams could be seen far out into the shallow edge of the 
lake that was being flooded by the reclamation project in 1917. 
There were also beaver cuttings around the edges of McDermott, 
Josephine, Grinnell, Swiftcurrent, TTpper St. Mary, Waterton, 
Kintla, and McDonald Lakes, and many of the streams above the 
lakes in the park. In Gunsight Lake, which lies near timberline, 
beaver cuttings were noticed along the shore at both ends, and several 
beavers were watched as they gathered their food and ate it on the 
beach or on low rocks out in the water. A few tracks and cuttino-s 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 





were found iilong the edges cjf Elizabeth, Crossley, and (Jlenn Lakes 
in the Belly River valley, and the banks of Bell}' Ei\'er were in many 
places, where beavers were inhabiting tlie bank dens, conspicuously 
marked near the deep water by large bea\er houses or by aspens that 
had been freshly cut and were to be dragged into the river for food 
or building material. Many of the small side streams along this 
valley had been dammed up by the animals for ponds as good 
building sites for their houses. 

On Belly Eiver near the park line a huge old beaver came out one 
evening near our camp and worked for a half hour before the dark- 
ness closed in and hid him from view. Pie would go to the shore 
and cut willow branches and carry them to some shallow beach 
where he could sit in the water and trim the leaves and bark from 
the branches for his supper. He would then swim to another place, 
often with loud splashes of his tail, and gather more willows. Again 
lie would come out on the grassy bank and graze like a cow for some 
time in the meadow, and in many places I found where the grass had 
been thus eaten down all along the shores until it was as closely 
cropped as if by horses or cattle. On a steep bank high above the 
river this beaver had been cutting aspen trees the previous night and 
dragging the logs down the steep slope into deep water where they 
could be floated around the bend to his house or simk to the bottom 
of the river for winter food. No dam crossed the river at this point, 
but the Avater was deep and permanent, and a large beaver house had 
been built on the bank. The house was not surrounded by water as 
those in beaver ponds usually are, but the burrows entered from 
deep under the bank and came wp to the nest cavity inside. The 
thick walls of the house, built of sticks laid at all angles and firmly 
plastered with mud, afforded ample protection from all enemies 
except man, and even man armed with ax and spade has hard work 
to dig through such Avails. Dui'ing the winter when heavy ice covers 
the Avater and the beaver houses are frozen solid the animals are 
especially safe and comfortable and enjoy the even temperature to 
Avhich thej' are adapted. They have usually stored up ample food 
for the Avintcr's supply in the bark of trees CTit and sunk to the 
bottom of the jDonds, but the myriads of tender roots Avhich penetrate 
the banks of streams and are ahvays accessible from under Avater 
apparently form a large part of their food in Avinter as Avell as in 

As their destruction of timber for building and food pur]wses is 
limited almost entirely to small cottonwoods, aspens, and Avillows of 
no particular value, the claim that they are doing damage to the 
forest is generally Avithout foundation, while their dams and ponds 
are often a great benefit to the country in storing water, providing 
51140°— IS 6 



fish-breeding ponds, and affording one of the interesting features of 
animal life in the park. 

While it is possible even now for the tourist to find beavers that 
can be observed at work, their study would be far more interesting 
with ten times greater numbers of the animals, and the country would 
be generally benefited by the surplus that would stock surrounding 

The Ijeautiful dense furry coats of the beavers, which adapt tliem 
to their peculiar mode of life, have put a price on their backs that 
has almost jDroved their destruction. In spite of well-framed laws 
imposing severe penalties for trapijing or killing the animals, the 
temptation for trappers to snealt in and get as many skins as possible 
is often too great to be resisted. In spite of e\ery precaution many 

Fig. 10. — Cottonwood tree, 46 inches across stump, cut down by beavers near mouth 
of Camas Creek. Photographed April 14, 1918, several years after it bad fallen. 

beavers are trapped each year and their numbers are kept doAvn to a 
very slight increase, if not to a dead level of meager existence. 

Family ERETHIZONTIDiE: Porcupines. 

Yellow - HAIRED Porcupine: Eretliizon epi.vanfhy/iii cpixanfhmn 
Brandt. — Porcupines are suiliciently common in the park to be 
often seen by the Ansiting tourists. At Granite Park one usually 
came around the chal(>t every day and did not seem to mind beinff 
shut up occasionally in the woodshed where he could be released 
after the tourists had arrived over the pass at noon and be watched 
by a large number of people as he shuffled down the trail and over 
the big snow bank to the rocks beyond. Several years ago while this 


chalet was being built porcupines were numerous and troublesome 
about the construction camp. Their principal mischief consisted in 
cutting the tent ropes at night so that the tents would often fall over 
before morning. The^y also did some damage to the camp provisions, 
being esjoecially keen in their search for bacon and salt pork. The 
cook finally vowed vengeance- on all porcupines and, armed with a 
stout club-, is said to have slain 150 of them at night about the camp 
before their raids ceased to be troublesome. This was evidently at 
the crest of their wave of abundance, as it is well known that they 
increase slowly until in many jilaces they become numerous and then 
decrease for a term of years until they are again scarce. 

During the summer of 1917 porcupines were moderately common 
throughout the park and were occasionally seen along the trails or 
about the camps and chalets. Their little flat-footed, oval, rough- 
soled, toed-in tracks are often seen in the dust along the trails which 
they sometimes follow for miles at night, and occasionally one of the 
animals is overtaken as it shuffles slowly along on its short legs. M. I. 
Berger Avas fortunate enough to meet one wlien the light was strong 
enough for a good photograph. Their presence is more often noticed, 
however, by the patches of raw wood on the pine trees from which 
they have gnawed the bark for food, and one needs onlj' to ride 
through the forest to learn how common porcupines are in any section, 
or examine the scars to tell in what j^ear they were most numerous. 

In almost every camp and abandoned cabin in the park one 
may see where the animals have gnawed the floors or doors, boxes, 
tables, or any wood that has becomei impregnated with salt or 
grease or a flavor of camp food. Boxes in which camp supplies have 
been, kept are usually almost devoured ; sometimes only a few boards 
are left that have not been chewed up by the porcupines. The boards 
of an old floor are sometimes gnawed through, and the table if left 
in a greasy and soiled condition is likely to be entirely eaten up. 
JMarks of the big chisel-like incisors of porcupines show on the boards 
and in wood that has been gnawed, and their large oval sawdust pel- 
lets are generally found scattered around the floor of an old camp. 
At some of the camps the quills and bones of animals -previously 
killed by campers are found, but unless the animals are so numerous 
as to be really troublesome they are usually not disturbed. 

At the lower end of Glenn Lake I came across a camping party 
from the farming country below, spending a week in the beautiful 
valley, and the man finding that I was interested in the animal life, 
showed me a very large porcupine which he had that morning killed 
at camp. It proved to be a handsome old male with a rich coat of 
long yellow hairs and a dense armor of quills bedded in the black 
fur underneath. Several men who lifted it estimated its weight at 


40 to 50 pounds, and I think they were not far from correct. My 
own estimate was 35 pounds as the lowest possible limit, but we had 
no scales or am' convenient means of accurate determination of the 
weight. It was unusually large, however, and showed some intei-est- 
ing features. Although a male the four abdominal mammse were 
almost as conspicuous and well developed as in the females and were 
arranged as usiuil in a large quadrangle in the middle of a very large 
abdomen. The man apologized for killing the porcupine, which he 
had driven awa^- from the camp several times on two successive 
evenings, but it insisted on returning and had climbed into his wagon 
and eaten pieces oiit of his harness, bridles, and halters until he was 
afraid there would be no harness with which to return to the ranch. 
To protect his pro])erty he had finally taken an ax and smashed the 
skull of INIr. Porcupine so badly that there was not enough left to 
make a good specimen. 

Fortunately dogs are not allowed in the park, so the principal 
objection to porcupines, the unpleasant misunderstanding between 
rodents and canines, is avoided. Apparently the wild carnivores that 
have had a longer acquaintance with tlieni have a better understand- 
ing of the nature of their defense and do not often get into trouble. 

The erroneous inq:)ression that porcupines can throw their quills 
is surprisingly connnon among those unacquainted with animals, 
and often the first question asked is how far can they throw their 
quills and make them stick. The tradition is perhaps an important 
protection for the uninitiated, for the porcupine is not a safe animal 
to play with unless the mode of defense is understood. The power- 
ful muscular tail is heavily armed above and on the sides with quills 
set at all angles, and an upward or sidewise blow from this tail will 
drive the quills deeply through clothing or shoe leather with very 
painful residts. The- porcuinne's method of defense is to keep its 
back to tJie enemy, with quills erect all over the body and with quick, 
powerful strokes of the tail to inflict as much injury as possible. 
AVith its short legs an effort to escape is useless and rarely attempted. 
When aj^proached at close quarters porcupines will often climb a tree 
if one is convenient and take refuge among its branches or sit on the 
side of the trunk, resting wood])eckerlike on the stiff', bristly coat of 
the under surface of the tail, which is held pressed against the bark. 

In sununer the principal food of the porcupines is green vegeta- 
tion, of which they eat practically everything that comes their way, 
until their enormous stomachs are filled. In winter their principal 
food is the inner bark of pine trees. Occasionally the Douglas and 
Engelmann spruces also are gnawed, but their favorite food trees 
seem to l)e the lodgepole, limber, and white-barked pines. Laro-e 
patches of bark are gnawed from these trees, sometimes at the sur- 
face of the snow anywhere from 1 to 6 feet from the ground or on 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Ptiuto. liy Mr. and mi^. ivi. i. Berger. 


Photo, by Mr. and Mrs. M. I. Berger, 



the sides of the trunk up among the branches where some limb has 
served as a rest wliile tlie animals were getting their breakfasts of 
bark, or even on the branchless trunk of a tree where while feeding 
they have rested in perfect comfort on the bristles of their tails. 
Usually a patch of bark the size of a hat seems to have served as a 
meal, but in manj' cases several meals have been made from the same 
part of the tree and occasionally the bark is removed clear around 
the trunk in a broad band that completely girdles and kills it. In 
other cases some of the branches are thus peeled and killed or the 
top of the tree may be girdled and the future shape of the tree en- 
tirely changed. When abundant, porcupines often do considerable 
damage to the forest, but in ordinary numbers this injury is not very 
serious. When they become very numerous they should undoubtedlj' 
be destroyed, but in their present abundance they merely add a fea- 
ture of interest for many of those visiting the park. 

The theory that porcupines should never be killed, as they might 
furnish food to some one who was lost in the woods, has very little 
value as a practical precaution. Generally an}'one who will get lost 
in the woods would not know enough to kill and skin and cook a 
porcupine if the opportunity were otfered, and it might be several 
days before one could be found. Porcujnnes are fairly good eating, 
however, and the Indian method of cooking them is very simple 
and could be adopted by anyone capable of wielding a club and build- 
ing a fire. Without any joreparation whatever the porcupines should 
be buried in coals, or placed on a fire and more fire built on top of 
them, and left to roast for 20 minutes or a half hour. When prop- 
erly cooked the}' should be drawn from the fire and the shell of 
burned quills and skin broken oil the ovitside, when the meat will be 
found white and tender and well cooked imderneath. One would not 
have to be star\-ing to enjoy such a feast, but the meat is apt to have 
a flavor of the pine bark, and while thoroughly wholesome and nu- 
tritious the flesh of an old porcupine is not an epicurean dish. 

Family ZAPODID^E: Jumping Mice. 

EoCKY Mountain Jumping Mouse: Zapu~s princeps princeps 
Allen. — Jumping mice are graceful, slender little animals with very 
long tails and long hind legs and feet. They are kangaroolike in build 
and form, with tiny hands that are rarely used for aid in traveling. 
Their slender tails are much longer than the head and body, and their 
rich buffy sides, dark bulfy gray backs, white bellies, and pointed ears 
combine to make an animal of unusual beauty. They are common in 
the park region and often are the principal animals caught in a line 
of mouse traps. They live mainly in the meadows and open grassy 
slopes, where there is ample cover of grass, plants, and bushes for 



their protection. They do not make runways, and their presence is 
rarely detected unk>ss tliey are occasionally seen when disturbed in 
the daytime bounding awa}- from one's feet in long leaps through 
the grass. Their summer nests are usually placed on the surface of 
the ground and are well concealed by sheltering vegetation. These 
are neat little balls of grass with a hole in one and sometimes in two 
sides to serve as doorways. As one steps near a nest the mouse 
usually bounds out and gives two or three long leaps and then stojosto 
wait for further developments. Hj noting the place where it stops 
and by creei)ing up cautiously one can almost invariabh' catch the 
mouse by clapping the hand down quickly over it. When thus ca])- 
tured it does not seem much alarmed, and when held gently in the 
hands for a little time becomes quiet and may be examined at leisure. 
The mice rarely oft'er to bite and seem nnich more gentle in disposi- 
tion than most species. If suspended l)y the i\p of the tail one will 

almost invariably curl up 
until it can reach the base 
of the tail with its hand'> 
and then, like a sailor 
climbing a vope, come 
hand over hand up the tail 
to the fingers holding it. 
If shaken down it will 
repeat the ojoeration again 
and again, much to the 
amusement of the onlook- 
ers and with no harm to 
the ropelike tail. 

The food of jumping 
mice consists mainly of 
seeds of grasses and other small plants. To obtain the seed-laden 
heads of tall grasses they reach up and cut off the stem and draw it 
down to the ground; then, repeating the operation, they cut off sec- 
tions and draw the stem down until the seeds are brought within 
reach. These are eaten and other stems are cut and drawn down in 
the same manner until a good square meal is obtained. The sections 
of grass stems thus cut are usually three or four inches long and can 
iJways be recognized as the M'ork of this mouse, in distinction from 
those of the other nuce with shorter legs that can not reach so high 
and consequently cut their grass stems into shorter sections. Little 
lieaps of these long grass sections scattered through the meadows will 
often indicate the presence and abundance of the species and give the 
naturalist a clue to i)laces where his traps will yield specimens. 

The four to eight young are l)orn in the grass nests, and by early 
autumn have become almost full grown and are laying in a supply of 

Photo, by C. Birdseye. Bi296l 

Fir;. 11. — Jumping mouse, from photocTaph of a 
captive individual at Floronce, Mont. 



fat for winter. Unlike most of our native mice tliey do not lay up 
stores of food, but become excessively fat, and with the first cold 
weather of autumn enter a long period of hibernation. Soft, warm 
winter nests are constructed in little cavities well under ground, and 
in these the mice curl up for their long winter sleep. Usually they 
are not found abroad after the first killing frost in September and 
are not again seen until the snow has disaiDpeared in April or May. 
They are among the most harmless and attractive of the great variety 
of little animals to which the odious name of mouse has been unjustly 
given. They do not belong to the same family as any of the other 
so-called mice or small rodents of the region, and in soRie respects 
show a closer relationship to porcupines than to any other animal of 
this country. 

Family GEOMYID^: Pocket Gophers. 

Saskatchewan Pocket Gopher: Thomomys taJpoides talpoides 
(Richardson). — These plumbeous-gray pocket gophers belong to the 
Plains country and may generally be distinguished from the rusty 
brown form inhabiting the mountains by color, slightly larger size, 
and in the females by the 

six pairs of mammae in- 
stead of four. 

Specimens have been 
taken in the Swiftcurrent 
Valley between the Sher- 
burne and McDermott 
Lakes and on the Belly 
Eiver at the ranger sta- 
tion. In both these val- 
lej's they are abundant in 
the open prairie - grass 
areas, but apparently they 
do not go into the tim- 
bered or mountainous part 
of the park. Over the 
plains to the eastward they have a wide range through western Mon- 
tana and Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta. Among the prairie 
grasses their little mounds of fresh black earth are conspicuous at 
intervals along the lines of their underground tunnels, but the 
animals are rarely if ever seen even by the inhabitants of the country. 
Practically their whole lives are spent underground, except when for 
a few minutes an opening is made to the surface, the loose earth 
pushed out, and a few plants quickly cut and stuffed into the capa- 
cious and fur-lined cheek pouches to be carried back into the burrows 

Photo, by N. H. Kent. m49S 

Fig. 12. — A pocket gopher of the genus Tlwmomys, 
phoiogfaphed ffom a captive intlividual. 


and, after the doorway Ikih been securely packed full of earth, eaten 
at leisure. 

Long' front claws' and powerful muscles jieculiarly fit them for 
digging- and tunneling underground, and their burrows are extended 
day after da,y through the rich soil, a fcAv inches to a foot below the 
surface, where the endless variety of roots and bulbs and under- 
ground vegetation encountered furnishes them ample food through- 
out the year. There is plenty of moisture in their food so that 
Avater is not necessary, and they rarely leave the burrows. Occa- 
sionally in spring males do leave in search of mates, but generally 
there is sufficient underground communication to make even this 

During most of the year there is Init one pocket goplier to a set of 
liurrows, and while their lives may seem like solitary confinement at 
hard labor, these rodents are evidently as happy and contented as 
other and more sociable animals. Their houses are comfortable and 
without sudden changes of temi)erature. They have clean, sweet- 
smelling, fresh earth walls, which are always being extended into 
new ground as the old burrows are abandoned. Eoomy chambers are 
built along the tunnels, and the four to six young are brought forth 
and cared for in dry nest-chambers, while food is stored in other 
chambers excavated for the purpose. Their small eyes and ears are 
of minor importance in the dark underground galleries, but the sensi- 
tive nose and tip of tail guide them in their shuttlelike motions back- 
wai'd and forward through the tuimels, and apparently they travel 
with equal facility in cither direction. As soon as the young are old 
enough to make their own burrows and get their own food they strike 
off in new galleries, and soon each is humched on its independent 
career. When little more than half grown they usually leave their 
mother's burrow and may not see another of their kind until the fol- 
lowing summer when the sex imjiulse urges them to search for mates. 

They are sturdy fighters, and with large chisel-like incisors and 
powerful muscles they defend their homes against most enemies of 
their own size, except the weasel and the goidier snake, which quickly 
disi^atch them when once an entrance is gained to their tunnels. 
Hawks, owls, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes snap them up occasionally 
when they are throwing t)ut earth from their burrows, but their 
main protection is in keeping well out of sight and thoroughly 
barricaded under ground. 

On farms they do a great deal of mischief in destroying crops. 
They are fond of potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, onions, and prac- 
tically all underground ci'ops, and they cut the roots from fruit 
trees and berry bushes, cut the growing grain and draw it into 
theii- burrows to be eaten, and with their mounds of earth cover 
u]-> (he young grain, clover, and grass. While practically harm- 


less on the open range, they are naturally considered undesirable 
tenants in cultivated land, and their destruction is often necessary 
to successful agriculture. Fortunately, they are easily trapped and 
poisoned and can be eliminated from the farming areas at slight 
expense of time and trouble. 

Pocket-gopher flesh is as good as that of rabbit or squirrel, and 
as the animals are always healthj' and of exemplary food habits 
there is every reason for utilizing them as food. A camp cook who 
is also a good trapjoer can in many localities supply his party with 
an occasional feast of pocket-gopher stew at any time during the 
summer without violating the game laws. 

Bkown Pocket Gopher: Thomomys fusciifi fuseus Merriam. — ■ 
These small buffy brown pocket gophers are easily distinguished 
from the larger, grayer species of the Plains, and in adult females 
the mammae are arranged in two posterior and two anterior pairs. 
They are the only pocket gophers inhabiting the higher parts of 
the park, where their range is hy no means continuous or general. 
Specimens were collected on Big Prairie, in the North Fork of the 
Flathead Valley, in the garden back of Glacier Park Hotel, at Sum- 
mit Station, and near the lower end of St. Mary Lake ; and charac- 
teristic mounds were seen in other places in the park. In 1895 the 
mounds were found near tiniberline south of Eed Eagle Lake, and 
in 1917 on the pass between Chief ^fountain and Galjle Mountain 
in the open Hudsonian Zone. As these pocket gophers do not inhabit 
the timbered areas, their range in this region is much more restricted 
than in the more ojjen counti-y to the south and west. Little open 
parks and dry meadows are their favorite haunts wherever they can 
find an abimdance of mellow soil in which to bin-row and A'cgetation 
for food. Their hills and burrows are noticeably smaller than those 
of the larger species of the Plains, but otherwise- their habits are 
essentially the same. The mounds often extend in irregular lines for 
long distances over the ground, and each shows some indication of the 
length of time that has elapsed since it was brought to- the surface. 
Usually a few are of fresh loose black soil that has not been rained on, 
some are dotted over with a sprinkle of drops, and others washed 
smooth and rounded by one or more heavy rains, while those of the 
early springtime are packed and hard, and grass is growing up 
through them. The winter activity of pocket gophers is shown in 
the long snakelike molds on the surface of the ground Avhere the soil 
has been pushed out under the snow and left in long snow tunnels. 
These have frozen and then become packed and cemented until, 
as the snow disappears from above, the hard forms have remained 
through the summer. TTsually the mounds are .5 to 15 feet apart 
along the tunnels or often in groups as the tunnels run in circles 


find tne mounds are close together. Deer and other animals often 
step on the soft ground over the tunnels and break through, but 
the opening is promptly closed by the occupants. As the older 
burrows become more broken up, however, they are gradually aban- 
doned and closed up back of the fresher tunnels which are always 
kept in good repair. 

In the hotel gardens at Glacier Park seven or- eight pocket gophers 
were reveling in the beds of onions, peas, beans, and potatoes. I 
caught two of these in the onion beds, from which most of the young 
onions had disappeared as far as the j^ocket gopher hills extended, 
and found their stomachs well filled with onicms and their whola 
bodies strongly scented with them. Two others caught in a patch of 
green peas had cut and dragged the plants into their burrows and 
eaten them — tops, peas, and all — so that along their lines of travel 
nothing but weeds remained. Their stomachs were full of pea vines, 
and the characteristic odor of the plants was very noticeable when 
the pocket gophers were being skinned. These four were taken one 
evening with two gopher traps, but as I was leaving, early in the 
morning I did not have time to get the remaining animals, and they 
probably spent the summer feasting on fresh young vegetables that 
were not intended for their use. An hour's trapping would have 
removed all from the garden, and as others slowly worked their way in 
from the surrounding grassland they could easily have been caught. 
With a long-'bladed knife or flat stick it was a simple matter to 
follow down the closed tunnel where the soil had been thrown out 
imfil the open burrows were found 6 or 8 inches below the surface ; 
then, by cleaning out the loose earth with my hand and slipping a 
gopher trap down into the burrow and half closing the opening thus 
made, it took but a few minutes to place the trap where it would 
catch and kill the animal when he came along. These animals were 
caught in the Macabee gopher trap, but several other kinds are almost 
as effective. 

Pocket gophers never become fat and do not hibernate, so- in winter 
their burrows merely run deeper below the frozen ground and thev 
still obtain ample food from the roots and underground vegetation. 
The passages are usually kept open to the surface of the ground, 
where the loose earth from the excavations is pushed out under the 
snow, and along these surface tunnels some food is obtained from 
green vegetation and the bark of trees and bushes. 

While the home life of these animals forms an interesting sub- 
ject for close study, it is so difficult to observe them that few people 
take any special, interest in them or usually notice more than their 
little earth mounds on the surface. Those who are raising crops or 
gardens are the ones most likely to be interested in them, and this 
from purely economic reasons. What little is known of their habits 


is chiefly' through trapping, either for specimens or to protect crops 
and trees, but the more difficult and more interesting task of ex- 
caA'ating their lengthy tunnels and making a thorough study of 
their homes and of the animals when captured alive remains to be 
performed by some one witli ample time and qualities of keen and 
accurate observation. Practically nothing is known of the- breeding 
habits and family relations of these animals, and few specimens of 
the very young have ever been seen even by naturalists. The number 
of embryos in females collected for specimens is usually four or 
five, and apparently but one litter is raised in a season. 

Order LAGOMORPH A : Rabbitlike Animals. 
Family OCHOTONIDiE: Conies. 

Cony: Ochotoim princeps (Richardson). — The cony, pika, little 
chief hare, or calling hare, as various!}' designated in published re- 
ports, and McGinty rabbit, as sometimes called locally, is an odd little 
labbitlike animal the size of one's fist, with short round ears, short 
legs, and no tail at all. The fur is a^ brownish gray color which 
blends perfectly with the rocks among which the animals live and 
renders them practically invisible except as they move or utter their 
little lamblike bleat. 

Conies are common throughout most of the beds of broken slide 
rock, or talus, near timberline of the whole park region. In 1895 I 
collected specimens on the high ridges southwest of Red Eagle Lake, 
and in 1917 foimd them in Gunsight- Pass, near Blackfeet Glacier, in 
Piegan Pass, near Granite. Park, on the- side of Chief Mountain, on 
Kootenai Pass, and near Wateilon Lake. Generally they Avere in 
the Hudsonian Zone and often at its extreme upper edge, where the 
last traces of depauperate trees are found; but where the slide rock 
extends far down the side of the mountain they follow it also to lower 
levels, and at the north end of Waterton Lake they were common in 
an extensive talus slope at the lower edge of the Canadian Zone only 
no feet above the level of the lake. The prime requisite for their 
habitat is a mass of broken rocks under which they can take refuge 
and make their' homes safe from numerous enemies. Wherever ex- 
tensive rock slides are found the conies may be looked for. In Piegan 
Pass one lived in the mass of broken diorite, a little above where the 
trail crosses the summit, and in Gunsight Pass their calls were heard 
from a mass of broken rock just south of the trail. On Kootenai 
Pass they were calling from the rocks close to the trail on the 
southernmost of the two summits- over which it leads. In Swiftcur- 
rent Pass there are good rock slides just west of the summit, and 
while I did not hear any of the conies in them, remains of their last 

76 WILD ANIMAtS oTYfci©Jl^i^^tCtAt PAKK. 

winter's haystacks and alDiinctiivfygns weA. seen not far awa^y, to 
the north of Granite Park. Just east of the point where the trail 
crosses the ridge west of Cliief Mountain they were calling loudly 
from the slide rock along the side of the little meadow, and as I dug 
some little wild onions for my lunch one watched me with evident 
interest and an oft-repeated yrrmp, ynmp. Apparently he could not 
make out what kind of animal I was nor why I should be digging 
grass in his meadow where all of the scanty hay was needed for his 
Avinter supply. 

During the short, bright summers of these high, altitudes conies 
are busy little people energetically gathering the grass and sedges 
and various, small plants and storing them for winter use under the 
rocks, where they dry and become like well-cured hay. A great 
A-ariety of plants are thus, collected and apparenth^ nothing is re- 
jected that has green foliage or stems. As the cold weather draws 
near they redouble their energy, and the haystacks grow steadily 
until the first permanent snows close in and bury both hay and hay- 
maker. As storm after storm sweeps over and the mountains are 
Ijuried deeper and deeper under the winter blanket, the conies are well 
protected from both the severe weather and the attacks of numerous 
enemies. Deep under the. rocks they can come a.ncl go for long dis- 
tances and undoubtedly visit back and forth and perhaps exchange 
dainty selections of hay with their friends and neighbors. In June, 
when most of the big snow banks have melted over their rock piles, 
a few little sticks and dry stems and particles of the hay are all that 
I'emain, but the conies are out gathering the tender green plants as 
they come up from the newly warmed earth. Their long, furrj', win- 
ter coats are gradually exchanged for thinner and harsher summer 
Avear, but otherwise they are the same timid, bright little animals of 
the previous- autumn and none the worse for being buried seven or 
eight months under the snow. 

The three or four young are born early in June, and by the middle 
of July are usually found running about over the rocks with their 
parents, and by the middle of August are helping to store the next 
winter's hay crop. As they scamper about over the rocks with their 
furry-soled feet, noiseless as the flight of an owl, they are rarely 
seen except by those Avho know their voice and something of their 
habits and the nature of their habitat. They are very timid, 
and at the first alarm dive like a flash out of sight among the 
rocks, but if one secures a good position from which to Avatch and 
sits quietly for a fcAV minutes they Avill reappear as noiselessly ajs 
they disappeared and often sit and Avatch the strange intruder at 
close range foi' many minutes. Occasionally they will open their 
mouths and emit a squeaky ijmnp while they Avatch closely to see 


what effect it has on tlie intriuler. Those at a distance often take up 
the call note, which seems to be a warning signal, and, with patience, 
one may ofteit have them calling on all sides. Finally deciding that 
there is no danger, they will resume their work and run back and 
forth from the meadows to the rock-sheltered haystacks Avith great 
wads of grass and flowering plants in their mouths or sit on the rock 
points to munch their midday meal of grass stems or other green 
plants. It is usually possible with patience and perseverance gradu- 
ally to win their confidence until they can be photographed at 6 or 
even 4 feet from the camera. They are such gentle little animals 
that it seems strange they have not been tamed and introduced as pets 
for children, but it is doubtful whether they would thrive away from 
their native rock piles. 

Family LEPORID^: Rabbits and Hares. -^ i Y « OJO'C"'Z 

Snowsiioe Eabbit : Lepiis hairdihairdiJIixjden. — The large wcwds* > '" A. 
rabbits, pure white in winter and dark brownish gray with white 
feet in summer, are common throughout the whole timbered area of 
Glacier Park, mainly in the Canadian Zone. They are so protectively 
colored in both winter and summer as to be inconspicuous and not 
often seen, but their little trails through the bushes and their large 
flattened pellets of sawdust droppings may usually be found any- 
where in the woods. Occasionalh' one is seen in a trail or road early 
in the morning or evening or is frightened out of its form under a 
bush or log and goes bounding away with conspicuous flashes of the 
big white feet until at a little distance it suddenly stops and sits 
down on the white feet, absolutely lost to view. More often one 
will -sit quietly close to the trail or allow a person to pass near 
without making any move or sound. Even when they do run 
their softly padded feet make little sound and they generally escape 
without being noticed. Near the St. Mary Chalet at dusk one even- 
ing I saw one sitting in the trail at the edge of the woods. It had 
CA'idently found some salt or scattered grain which it was eagerly 
j^icking up from the ground, and by approaching slowly and talking 
softly to it, I was able to come v^dthin about 15 feet before it became 
alarmed. Unfortunately the light Avas too far gone for a photograph, 
but the rabbit ran only a few feet away and then stopped to wait until 
the coast was clear for a return to its feeding ground. Apparently 
it Avould not be difficult to bait them along some of the woods trails in 
order to study them at close range. 

The food of these rabbits consists of green plants of a great variety, 
especially the wild clovers and leguminous species, and in winter 
chiefly bark and buds from twigs and bushes. As the snow gets 
deeper it only raises them higher up to a new supply of choice buds 



and bark, and few animals are better adapted to deep snow and 
rigorous winter climates than these densely furred and well-shod 
snowshoe rabbits. The long coarse hairs of the feet spread and help 
carry them over the surface of even the soft snows, M'hile over well- 
packed or crusted snows they scamper with evident enjoyment and 
wonderful speed. 

Their mating time is early in spring, and the four to six young, 
born in May or June, are soon big enough to pick tender green vege- 
tation as a part of their food. When first born they are well- 
furred, perfect little rabbits with sharp incisor teeth and open 
eyes, and of such a soft, shadowy, woodsy color that it would seem 
they must defy the keenest eyes of owl or fox. About the time of 

the first snows in autumn the 
white hair begins to appear 
through their coats and they are 
at first grizzled and mottled, but 
later, as the whole world about 
them becomes pure white, they 
rapidly acquire the full white coat 
of winter. 

Thej^ do not become fat or hiber- 
nate, but seem always to be plump 
and healthy, and for food are 
among the most delicious of all 
the rabbits. Their arch enemy, 
the Canada Ij'nx, is also common 
throughout this region and prob- 
ably more than any other animal 
keeps their numbers down to a minimum. Hawks, owls, foxes, and 
coyotes occasionally prey upon them but often are unable to capture 
them, either by stealth or in a test of speed. 

Prairie Jack Eabbit; Lepus townsendi campanius Hollister. — 
These big white-tailed jack rabbits with gray summer and pure 
vrhite winter coats are common over the Plains along the eastern side 
of the park and extend in open areas up to the edge of the timber. 
In the Museum of Comparative Zoology, at Cambridge, there is a 
specimen collected by Dr. Coues, August 16, 1874, and labeled Chief 
Mountain. This may have come from the open countiy at the base 
of Chief Mountain or from the Belly River valley, but as the park 
line cuts through the middle of the mountain there is some doubt as 
to whether it was collected in the park or outside. Rabbits are most 
likely to be seen along the stage road to St. Mary, or from St. Mary 
around to the Swiftcurrent Valley or in the open parks along Belly 

Photo, by Norman McClintock. lOisM 

If'iG. 13. — Northern white-tailed jack- 
rabbit, photographed at Fort Yellow- 
stone in March, 1017. 

Laboratory of Ornitnoiogj 
159 Sapsucker Woods Roafl 
MAMMALS. Cornell University 79 

Utiaca. New York 14850 

Once seen, there can be no mistiiking the species, for large size, 
long ears, and a big white puffy tail are conspicuous characters, to 
be recognized almost as far away as the white rump of the antelope. 
The animals arc strictly prairie dwellers and are generally seen as 
they bound out of their forms in the grass where the}' sit during most 
of the day. Their long leaps above the prairie grass are almost as 
startling as the white flashes of the white-tail deer in Hight, and their 
speed is perhaps exceeded only by that of the antelope and grey- 
hound. As game animals they afford good spurt in shooting, and 
their meat is considered excellent. 

Their food in summer is niainl}' of grass and the leaves of tender 
prairie plants or any growing grain, clover, or alfalfa that may be 
found on farms, while in winter it is chiefly of twigs, bark, and buds. 
In farming sections jack rabbits often do some mischief during the 
winter season in cutting off' young fruit trees and bushes, but over 
most of their range thej' are a harmless and valuable game animal. 

Order CARNIVORA: Flesh Eaters. 
Family FELID^: Cats. 

Mountain Lion : Fells hippolestes Merriam. — The northern 
pumas, cougars, or mountain lions are still common on the west 
slope of the mountains in Glacier Park where the dense forest and 
abundance of deer offer them unusual advantages in safe cover and 
ample food suj^ply. On the east slope they are comparatively scarce, 
and I have only one definite record of tracks seen, one at Iceberg 
Lake in Xovember, 1907, by Donald H. Stevenson. In many j^cars' 
residence in the park he found no other tracks on the east slope, but 
found them common on the west, and reported about 24 lions 
taken each year. In 1917, Park Kanger Gibb told me of 11 killed 
by one hunter in the North Fork Valley during tJie preceding win- 
ter. Apparently they are still almost as numerous as they were in 
1895, when I first went through the park region. At that time they 
were common all along the west slope of the park, and at one of my 
camps just west of the park I had the unusual pleasure of hearing 
one's wild cry in the mountains at night. It was not the childlike 
scream of the young horned owl, so often attributed to mountain 
lions, but a long, hoarse woh-'u-p-o-u somewhat suggcGting the roar 
of a lion, but more like the exaggerated caterwauling of the back 
yard tomcat in its deepest and most pensive mood. This prolonged 
call was repeated at intervals of about one minute as the animal 
passed through the forest not far from camp, and could lie heard 
for a long distance in the still night. On onlj' two other occasions 
have I heard this cry in the woods, and once in the National Zoo- 
511-10°— IS 7 



logical Park, and while it may not be the only call of the mountain 
lion, it is certainly very different from the wild scream usually 
attributed to it. 

During the winter of 1809, A. Henry Iligginson, while camped at 
the southern border of the park, in the vicinity of Nyack, found 
these animals abundant throughout the forest. One was shot near 
his camp, and the carcasses of two deer were found on wdiich they had 
been feeding. As his man was returning late one evening a moun- 
tain lion followed him to within 50 yards of the cabin door, as was 
shown by its tracks the next morning. It seems to be a common 
habit of these animals to follow a man at a safe distance, but there 
are few records of their attacking human beings. It is not unusual 
to find their tracks near camp in the morning, but the animals are 

Fic. 11, — Two luonntnin lions th;it will kill no moro gamo. The only good mountain 
lions in c! big game country arc those gathered in by hunters and trappers. 

SO silent and stealthy that they are rarely seen, even where most 

In this region their food consists mainly of the Avhite-tail deer, 
which abound on the west iilope of the park, but it is prol)able that 
they get some elk and moose and occasionally mountain sheep and 
goats. When a deer is killed they often return to the carcass for a 
second feed, but as often move on and kill another deer Avhen hungry. 
One deer every few days would be a fair estimate of the game de- 
stroyed by each of these big cats, and a hundred deer a year would 
probably not be too high for each adult. 

The young are usually three or four to a litter, but as many as 
eight are recorded for this species. As soon as old enough to travel 
with their mother they join in the venison feasts, which, to satisfy 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


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il« AS 

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Photo, by Jacob NeitzUng. b m i r m 



Photo, by Jacob Neitzling. bui2m 


Wild Animals Glacier Park. 



Phnto. by Donald Stevenson. 



their growing appetites, require tlie sliuigliter of a large quantity of 
game. As tlie lions are almost never seen except by hunters, their 
contribution to the interest of the park is negligible, and some 
effective means should be taken for their destruction. 

Canada Lynx : Lynx canadensis Kerr. — These short-tailed, tas- 
sel-eared, big-footed cats are more or less connnon throughout the 
Glacier Park region. Their actual weight is usually no more than 
that of the large northern bobcat, but owing to their longer legs and 
longer fur they have the appearance of being much larger. A large 
one taken by Stevenson weighed 28 pounds. They are readily dis- 
tinguished from the bobcat not only by the large feet, long legs, and 
light gray color, but most infallibly by the solid black tip of the short 

Their range covers the whole park region, especially in the timber 
and brushy areas where the snowshoe rabbits abound. In 1895 I 
found their tracks in the woods about St. Mary Lake, and one was 
caught near timberline, just north of the lake, in a bear trap baited 
with mountain sheep. Don Stevenson, who has trapped and shot 
many of them in the area now comprised in the (xlacier Park, says 
he has never known of their killing any game larger than snowshoe 
rabbits and grouse. He says also that he has heard them make a 
cry not unlike a young puppy in distress. Park Ranger Gibb and 
T'ark Guide Gird, who trapped in this region before it was made 
a park and have been familiar with the country ever since, also report 
the lynx as common, and J. E. Lewis, at Lake McDonald, tells me 
that their skins constitute one of the important furs in the catch 
of the trappers in that region. The animals, however, are rarelj' seen 
by anyone in summer and seldom even in winter by the hunters and 
trappers, unless caught in traps or their tracks followed on the snow 
until the animals are forced out of their daytime concealment. Their 
hunting is mainly but not entirely at night, and with soft, furry feet, 
stealthy habits, and owl-like silence, they are expert in keeping out 
of sight. 

The snowshoe rabbit is their principal game, and with its abund- 
ance they increase or decrease in a mysterious synchronism that has 
given them the reputation of being partially migratory. It seems 
more probable, however, that in years of well-fed vigor they breed 
and multiply more rapidly, and in lean years, perhaps, fail to breed 
or even in some cases become so weakened by hunger as to fall prey 
to disease or enemies. At all events, during years when rabbits are 
abundant they, too, become abundant, and when there are few rab- 
bits they are correspondingly scarce. While evidently a great part 
of their food consists of rabbits, grouse, squirrels, and other small 
o-ame, the fact that they have been found by Charles Sheldon killing 


full-gi'own mountain sheep in Alaslca^ is sufficient evidence tliat they 
are a menace to many of the large game animals. From their abun- 
dance and stealthy habits it would seem almost inevitable that the 
young of mountain sheep, deer, and goats must suffer greatly from 
their depredations, and as their presence adds little of interest to the 
park, tlie}^ could certainly be vifell spared in the interest of game 

Bobcat: Lynx u'mta Merriam. — The northern bobcat, "wildcat, or 
bay lynx, while one of the largest of the group, has the aiDpearance 
of being much smaller than the Canada h'lix, owing to its shorter legs, 
smaller feet, and shorter fur; but in actual weight it apparently 
equals, if it does not exceed, the Canada lynx. The type of the 
species, an old male collected at Bridger's Pass, Wyo., weighed 31-J 
pounds. In color bobcats are variable from buffy to rich ochraceous 
gray, with heavily spotted belly, sides, and flanks. The ear tassels 
and facial ruffs are not so prominent as in the Canada Ij-nx and the 
tip of the short tail is white with a black band above. 

Bobcats are not common in the Glacier Park, but I have seen their 
unmistakable tracks along the shores of St. Mary Lake, and Gird 
tells me that there are a few in the lower areas of the park. They 
belong mainly to lower zones, the Transition and Austral, and are 
common along the cliffs and canyons of the lower levels of the State. 

Their game is principally cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, 
pocket gophers, mice, and other small animals and birds, but the 
freedom with which they kill and eat domestic sheejo would indicate 
that they are not safe animals to have in a region where the increase 
of large game is to be encouraged. They have the reputation of 
destroying great numbers of j^oung deer, mountain sheep, and other 
game animals, and it is fortunate that they do not reside in the park 
in abundance. 

Family CANID/E: Wolves and Foxes. 

Gray Wolf: Canis nuh'ilus Say. — Along the eastern edge of the 
park, in the open country, are still found the large light-colored 
plains wolves, known also as buffalo wolf, loafer, and lobo, and a few 
occasionally range up through the valleys and over the high parts 
of the mountains. J. E. Lewis tells me of two that were caught on 
Flat Top Mountain in the winter of 1916-17, and along the trails in 
the Belly Eiver valley in August, 1917, I saw wolf signs that were 
not very old. The wolves had evidently been down in the cattle 
country as the sign was composed mainly of cattle hair. Don 
Stevenson reports them in the country about Chief Mountain for 

1 Wilderness of the LTpper Yukon, by Charles Sheldon, pp. 314-.'31."i. Scrihner's, 1911. 


Wild Animals Glacier Park 






the past 20 years, where they have ranged up and down the edge of 
the Plams killing cattle and some horses, and in 1914 he saw their 
tracks on St. Mary Ridge at the park line. There are said to be some 
in the North Fork Valley, where it is probable they are attracted by 
the abundance of deer, as they are on the eastern border by the 
abundance of domestic stock. In 1895 they seemed to be no more 
common than at the present time, as I saw then only a few tracks 
on the prairie below St. Mary Lake, and some fine skins among the 
Indians on the Blackfeet Reservation. 

As the valleys settle up, more vigorous hunting and trapping is 
likely to crowd the wolves back into the park at any time and make 
them more numerous than they are at present. If so, their de- 
struction of game will be correspondingly increased, and the sheep, 
goats, deer, elk, and moose will suffer from their depredations. If 
unmolested they seem to prefer the domestic stock where it is 
abundant and easily accessible, but, if a supply of beef can not be 
obtained, they readily take to the game trails and will hunt success- 
fully either in the woods or in the open. It is to be hoped that their 
abundance can be controlled and their presence in the park practi- 
cally eliminated before many years. 

Northern Coyote: Canis lafrans Say. — The big, northern, brown 
coyote seems to be the predominant species in the mountains of 
Glacier Park, but it is not improbable that the smaller, paler nehra- 
censis enters at least the lower, more open valleys on the east. As 
no specimens are available from the park or immediate vicinity, the 
determination of the form must rest upon the large size and dark 
color of the individuals seen in the park. They are surprisingly 
common in the elevated interior, where their tracks and signs were 
daily seen along the trails, over the passes, and even along sheep and 
goat trails above timberline. One seen on July 31 picking its way 
over the rocks across the lower end of Blackfeet Glacier was in 
the thin summer coat of dark grizzled brown, but was not thin and 
skinny as summer individuals usually are. He looked plump and 
well fed and was so large that I looked closely to see if he were not 
a wolf. The tracks seen along the trails, about Gunsight Lake, in 
Piegan Pass, along the Swiftcurrent Creek, both forks of Kennedy 
Creek, the Belly River valley, about Elizabeth and Glenn Lakes, in 
the Waterton Lake valley, the whole length of the North Fork Val- 
ley, about Lake McDonald, and over Kootenai Pass and Flat Top 
Mountain were generally large. Along the side of Gable Mountain 
a track had followed sheep trails over the snow banks for several 
miles. In other places the animals followed the trails for long dis- 
tances through heavy timber, where they seemed to be as much at 
home as in the open above or below timberline. 



Along tho higher trails their sign "was almost entirely of goat 
wool and sheep hair, showing what had been their principal prey, 
but in some cases deer hair was also detected, and in the vallej^s 
it was the main refuse from their food. In places where their 
tracks were most abundant the sheep and goats were usually scarce, 
and evidently the almost inaccessible clitfs to which these animals 
resort during the daytime are their only protection from constant 
attacks of the coyotes. In the evening botht the sheep and goats 
come down into the little alpine meadows to feed, and if not con- 
stantly harassed they would undoubtedly remain at much lower 
levels during the daytime than at present, when they would be of 
more general interest to the tourists. Their only safety seems to be 
in getting on the narrowest, most elevated shelves of the cliffs, where 
pursuit would be difficult and dangerous, and where the naked rocks 
arc too rough and sharp for the bootless feet of carnivores. To save 

their feet the coyotes keep 
very largely along the 
trails or in the meadows 
where the ground is soft, 
and for this reason they 
are easily trapped. I was 
told that last winter one 
trapper caught 22 on Flat 
Top Mountain where they 
pass over from the "Water- 
ton to- the McDonald 
Creek valley. It would 
not be difficult for one or 
two reliable and skillful trappers, kept on the job throughout the 
year, to keep the number of coyotes in the park to a practically 
harmless minimum. 

Mountain Red Fox: Vidpcs; fulva inocroura Baird. — The moun- 
tain red or cross foxes are occasionally seen in Glacier Park, and 
in all their various color phases can be readily recognized by the 
large white tips of the bushy tails. They vary in color from the 
yellow red to a very much darker' yellowish brown, with often a pro- 
nounced dark stripe across the shoulders, which gives this phase the 
name of cross fox. J. E. Lewis, at Lake McDonald, had some skins 
of the pure red, but more of varying shades of cross, and one that 
was showing the white tips on a very dark underfur that would have 
been classed as a silver-gray, except for a little rusty on the sides of 
the neck and flanks. I could get no record of the pure black fox 
from the park area, but this fully melanistic phase is so rare that 
very few are taken anywhere in the Rocky Mountain region. All 



!«■-;'■ _^, ... . 



Photo, by J. A. Loring. ICIIM, 

Fig. 15. — Mountain red (ox in Wind River JIouu 
tains, Wyoming. 


the grades of color comprise but a single species or subspecies of the 
red fox group. 

In 1895 Hank Xorris told me that there -n-ere a few red foxes about 
St. Mary Lake, and Don Stevenson caught a pair on Swiftcurrent 
Creek in 1903 and says that old trappers reported them abundant in 
the eighties. In Julj^, 1917, one was seen near Piegan Pass, and they 
are reported by Gibb as fairly common in the open along the crest 
of the range. In their favorite haunts on Pludsonian Zone meadows 
and open slopes, ground squirrels, mice, and birds supply them with 
abundant food, and among the broken rocks safe dens are always 
available. Their slender tracks in the trails and occasionallj' the 
sharp fox bark are the usual indications of their presence, except as 
one of the animals may be seen gliding lightly across the meadows. 
While it is probable that they get some ptarmigan and grouse, their 
numbers are so well kept down by the trappers around the borders of 
the park that they are not likely to be a serious menace even to the 
small game of the region. 

Kit Fox; Swift: Yulpes velox hehes Merriam. — These little 
buffy gray foxes with black tips to the tails are conmion over the 
Plains along the eastern edge of the park, and undoubtedly enter its 
present borders in the open area at the lower end of St. Mary Lake 
and in the Swiftcurrent and Belly Eiver valleys, but there seems 
to be no positive record of their having been seen or taken within 
the park boundaries. They are shy animals, not often seen even 
where most common, but wherever they occur their tiny doglike 
tracks may be found along dusty trails, and on rare occasions one 
may be seen gliding through the prairie gi-ass with light, graceful, 
rapid motions, which have given them their connnon name of swift. 

Family MUSTELID.^: Otters, Martens, Minks, Weasels, etc. 

Otter : Lutra canadensis canadensis Schreber. — Otters are said 
to be fairly common along many of the streams in the park, especially 
on the west slope and in the north fork of Flathead Valley. Donald 
Stevenson reports them on Swiftcurrent Creek and St. Mary Eiver, 
and in 1895 I was told that there were a few at Eed Eagle Lake. 
Eanger Gibb reports them at Tavo Medicine Lake, on McDonald 
Lake, and other localities in the North Fork Valley. Before the 
Glacier Park was set aside otter skins were a small but important 
part of the winter's catch of the trappers in this region, and some 
very choice skins were obtained. 

While swimming in the water of the lakes or streams, where they 
are most likely to be seen, otters may be recognized by their long 
and slender bodies and rapid, graceful motions. Except the beaver 
and muskrat, they are more perfectly adapted to life in the water 



than any other fur bearers of the region. Their long, tapering, and 
powerfully ninsciilar tails serve as propellers as well as rudders, and 
the animals glide through the water with great swiftness and an 
almost serpentine grace that distinguishes them even at a distance 
from the heavy-bodied bea\'er. Their dark glossy brown fur has put 
a high price on their heads and nowhere are they at present found in 
any great abundance. 

Mink: Lutreola 'vison energumenos (Bangs). — Minks are fairly 
common along the streams and lake shores in the park, but nowhere 
numerous, as their numbers are kept down by persistent trapping. 
A few tracks were seen along the banks of Belly Eiver, Two Medicine 
Creek, and shores of St. Mary, Kintla, and McDonald Lakes. Eanger 
Gibb reports them along most of the streams and Donald Stevenson 
says they are especially common along the streams where fish abound. 
J. E. Lewis, at Lake JNIcDonald, had skins from that general region. 

Fig. 16. — Mink photographed at old cabin a)jove Kintla Lake. 

that showed good color and excellent fur, and says that thej' con- 
stitute an important part of the fur catch of the region each year. 

Minks are rarely seen except as caught in traps, but occasionally 
one gets a glimpse of a little dark brown animal with fuzzy tail dart- 
ing along the creek banks or loping with arched back along the lake 
shore or swinmiing rapidly in the stream or lake. They are generally 
found in the vicinity of water, where much of their hunting is done. 
Their food consists mainly of mice and other small rodents, birds, 
birds' eggs, frogs, and fish. Of small game they occasionally kill 
muskrats, ducks, and probably grouse. At what appeared to be a 
breeding den at an old muskrat burrow on Lower Waterton Lake duck 
feathers were scattered thickly about the burrows, while at one side 
Avas a large heap of characteristic mink sign, composed also largely, 
of feathers and bones of water birds. A family of mink on the breed- 
ing grounds of water birds is always a serious drain on the bird life, 
and it is fortunate that they are not abundant and that their attrac- 

Wild Animals Glacier Parl<. 





^- W, v||;; 


D. C. 


tire fur puts a high value on their slvins. Their destruction of fish 
is apparently not serious, although they feed quite extensively upon 
minnows and small fish, which they catch alive, but it is probable that 
the larger fish caught are the sick or injured individuals. 

Arizona Weasel: Mustela arkonenfils (Mearns). — These are me- 
dium sized weasels with buffy brown backs and white lowerparts in 
summer, but in winter pure white, except the tip of the tail, which 
is at all seasons black. They are probably the commonest weasel 
throughout the park and may be found at all altitudes and in all 
kinds of countrj' from the deep woods to the open meadows and bare 
slopes above timberline. In June, 1895, I caught one on a log over 
a creek at St. Mary Lake. They are great hunters and wanderers 
and seem to be incessantly chasing over logs and under brush, 
through rock piles, and from burrow to burrow and nest to nest of 
the small game which they pursue. Api^arently thev have no choice 
of day or night for hunting, but simply hunt until their appetites 
are satisfied and then keep on hunting for the pleasure of killing, 
(xround sfiuirrels, chipmunks, mice, and all small rodents are at once 
thrown into a panic when a weasel appears on the slope, and with 
loud calls warn each other as far as possible in advance of a danger- 
ous enemy. Even the pocket go]:)her in his tunnels imderground is 
]iot safe if an open door can be found or an entrance forced into his 
galleries. He is relentlessly follo^^'ed up and quickly dispatched and 
devoured and often his burrow is used as a temporary residence while 
the other rodents in the vicinity are being killed and eaten, or killed 
and left uneaten. Any thing of the weasel's own size or even con- 
siderably larger is fair game, but I have never known of this species 
killing the snowshoe rabbit. The conies are greatly excited by the 
appearance of a weasel, and many of the colonies that seem to have 
disappeared were probably exterminated by weasels, which readily 
follow their runwaj^s under the rocks and give them no chance 
of escape. In winter their tracks are seen in long zigzag lines over 
the snow, or they disappear at a round burrow which has been forced 
down through the snow to the surface of the ground, where mice and 
squirrels and pocket gophers have their runways and can be fol- 
lowed up and caught. The pure white winter coats, however, have 
a market value, and great numbers of weasels are caught in the lines 
of ti'aps set for minks and martens and more valuable game. While 
not sufficiently large and long furred to be as valuable as the Old 
World ermine, their pure white skins are extensively used for furs. 

Long-tailed Weasel : Mustela. longicauda longicaiuJa Bonaparte. — 
These large, long-tailed, yellow-bellied weasels also are buffy brown 
in summer and pure white in winter, except for a usual sulphur- 
colored stain over the belly and the long black tip of the tail. 


They are common over the Phiins along the eastern edge of the 
Ghxcier Park and apparently extend up in the open tongues of 
prairie which follow up the valleys. Two specimens collected by 
Coues in 1877 at Chief Mountain Lake (Waterton Lake) were in or 
close to the edge of the park, and one collected by Ernest Thompson 
JSeton on Eagle Creek has been listed as this species. In May, 1895, 
I collected an adult female on Cut Bank Creek below the park line, 
and in August, 1917, I found one dead by the trail between Upper 
and Lower Waterton Lakes. These large weasels are closely asso- 
ciated with the flickertail, or Eichardson ground squirrel, over much 
of their range. At Cut Bank Creek I shot one that was running from 
one burrow to another in pursuit of these squirrels and after some 
digging found it dead curled up in the nest of the squirrel at the far 
end of the burrow. Mice and other small rodents probably furnish 
much of their food, but the ground squirrels and especially the j'oung 
are easily obtained and apparently relished by the weasels. The 
weasels are never abundant, however, and the squirrels thrive in spite 
of the numbers destroyed. Possibly some small game and birds may 
be killed by them, but as a general thing they may be considered very 
useful animals. In winter their white skins have some value for fur, 
but the j-ellow suifusion usualty renders them less valuable than the 
species with pure white fur. 

Bonaparte Weasel : Mustela cicognanii cicognan'd Bonaparte. — ■ 
A very small weasel is reported in the Glacier Park which probably 
is this species, but no specimens are available for actual determina- 
tion. Donald Stevenson reports them apparently fully adult and in 
the white winter coats, but only eight inches long, including the black 
tip of the tail. This could hardly be any other species, unless it can be 
referred to the still smaller leptus of the southern Rocky jNIountains. 
Usually these little weasels are less common than the larger species, 
or else from their small size they more generally escape notice. They 
range at all altitudes through the mountains and feed mainly upon 
mice, which they readily follow through the runways and burrows. 
In summer they are brown above and white below and in winter pure 
white except the black tip of the tail, but their skins are so small as to 
be of little value, and perhaps owing to their small size they are not 
so often caught in steel traps set for larger game. 

Marten: Maries americana catmna (Merriam). — The marten is 
al)0ut the size of a mink, but with longer, lighter fur and more promi- 
nent ears, which in the wild state give them a much brighter, more 
foxlike expression. Their furry coats vary from light yellow to 
dark brown with lighter or sometimes bright orange throat and bellv. 
They are probably as common in the park as anywhere in the 
country, but no animal with the price on its skin that they have 


long maintained, cauki well be numerous or very common. For at 
least half a cenfmy the park region has been famous for the number 
of martens caught e^ch year by trappers. In 1895 old and fresh 
marten traps and old tra-pper cabins were common throughout the 
area where the park now lies, and lines of blazed trees, that once 
marked trap lines may still be found through the most remote and 
heavily wooded sections of the park. The animals are reported to 
be more common on the west slope of the mountains than on the east, 
but this is probably because the timber there is more dense and ex- 
tensive and it has not been possible to trap them out so thoroughly. 

Martens are forest animals, keeping usually in the heavy timber, 
where they hunt from tree to tree and over and under logs and brush 
for their prey. They are expert climbers, and if seen at all in the 
woods are most likely to be seen in the trees. When startled thej' 
usuallj' take refuge in a tree and may thus attract attention by the 
noise they make in climbing. At McDonald Lake in August, 1917, 
while picking my way through the underbrush, several ruffed grouse 
started up with a roar of wings, and from close to the spot a marten 
rushed up the trunk of a small Cottonwood tree. He was so close to 
the grouse that he had evidently been stalking or lying in wait for 
them, but when I flushed the flock he also took alarm and made a 
ra-ther noisy escape. When up 30 or 40 feet from the ground he 
seemed to consider himself safe and sat on a branch watching me 
with keen interest. To further test his climbing powers I climbed 
the tree to within a few feet of him, when he became greatly alarmed 
and made a long jump to the branches of the next tree. By swinging 
my tree as far as possible I was able to catch one of the branches of 
the tree he was in, and by quick jerks shook the tree until he became 
still more alarmed and made a flying leap for the ground, about 40 
feet below, where he struck lightly and, bounding away through the 
Avoods, was soon lost to sight and sound. 

Donald Stevenson, who has spent many winters in trapping them, 
states that the principal food of martens is snowshoe raljbits and pine 
siiuirrels, but they also catch mice, wood rats, and conies, and un- 
doubtedly a good many birds. The scarcity of grouse in a good 
marten country is easily interpreted. Rabbits, squirrels, and birds 
are mostly used for trap bait, and the traps are set in a little jDen 
cohered to keep out the snow, or on the top of a stump with a shelter 
or on a little shelf on the side of a tree above which the bait is sus- 
pended. Steel traps are generally employed, but many deadfalls 
of the ordinary type are used and some are made with the butt end 
of a small tree boxed into the top of its stump with a figure 4 under- 
neath. Martens are as a rule unsuspicious and easily caught wher- 
ever they occur. Their abundance in the park would tend to keep 
down other small animal life, especially the squirrels and grouse, 
51140°— 18 s 


which furnish important features of interest. A few would do no 
serious harm, but the delicate balance of species is not easilj'- main- 
tained by hard and fast laws of man. Special permits to reliable 
parties for trapping them in the park during a limited season when 
they become too numerous would probably control their numbers 
here, while outside the park there is no danger of their ever becom- 
ing too abundant. 

Fisher: Maries pennanti (Erxleben).^The fisher is many times 
larger than the marten, with long coarse fur of a black or dark gray 
color. Although ranging entirely across southern Canada, it is 
at present a rare animal in any part of the United States. A 
few are reported in the park, where they are likelj' to hold their own 
and through proper jirotection maintain a remnant of the species for 
a long time to come. In many years of trapping in the park region 
in the early days, Walter S. Gibb has caught three of these animals, 
but some of the old trappers have not secured a skin. Donald Stev- 
enson reports two skins that were taken by trappers on the Upper 
Swiftcurrent in 1910, and tracks which he saw on Swan Eiver and 
South Fork as late as 1912. 

In habits these animals are much like the marten, hunting through 
the forest country for rabbits, squirrels, and grouse, and ranging 
over a wide territory. They are expert climbers and are said to pur- 
sue their prey even through the tree tops in long leaps from tree to 
tree. Their fur is heavj^ and soft and overlaid with rather coarse 
but glossy hairs that render it durable and attractive. It ranks as one 
of the more valuable furs, partlj' from its intrinsic qualities and 
partly from its rarit_y. 

Wolverine: GvIo Jiiscus (Linna:'us). — The wolverine is a sturdy, 
heavy-boclied animal, with short bushy tail, long coarse hair, and a 
unique pattern of brown and black, with a yellow band over back and 
sides. It is the largest of our weasel tribe and has the reputation of 
being a fierce little beast, ready to fight anything of its own size or 
many times larger. 

In 1895 I was told by trappers at St. Mary Lake and over the 
range that there Avere a few in the region and occasionally one was 
caught. Eanger Gibb reports a few trapped each year before the 
park was created, and Stevenson reports one killed by his father on 
Kennedy Creek in 1902 and tracks seen above St. JNIary Lake in 1910. 
Gird told me of one killed in the Kintla Lake region a few years 
ago, but Lewis thinks there are none left in the park at present. 
They are great wanderers, however, and in this forested region one 
is likely to ajDpear at any time from some neighboring range. 

With their short legs and heavy build they are not expert in the 
pursuit of live game and to a great extent are scavengers and rob- 


bers. They often follow the trap lines, breaking up the trap pens 
and eating the bait without getting caught, or when caught in small 
traps breaking the traps and so going free with an experience that 
is valuable to them later in keeping out of other larger traps. The,y 
travel long distances in search of any dead, sick, or crippled animal, 
and they have the reputation of feeding even upon the porcupine. 

Their long, coarse fur, when in prime condition, makes up into 
beautiful robes and coats and brings a high price in the fur market. 
It is very durable and has a beauty and individuality which give it 
a high rank. 

Northern Skunk; Mephitis hudsonica Eichardson. — The large 
northern skunks are common in many places in the lower levels of 
the park. They belong to the Transition Zone, but at times wander 
slightly beyond its borders. At Many Glacier and about Lake Mc- 
Donald they are fairty common, and tracks were seen near St. JNIary 
Lake, and in 1895 a specimen was collected at Nyack, a little station 
on the Great Northern Railroad between the summit of the range 
and Belton. They are not sufficiently numerous to be troublesome, 
and I did not detect their powerful odor at any place in the park. 
Thej' are harmless and interesting animals, except on rare occasions 
when they find convenient quarters under camps or cabins and on 
being disturbed make themselves offensive. Whenever they become 
objectionable they may easily be caught in box traps and carried 
to a safe distance for release or be dispatched if necessary. 

Skunks make much of their food of insects, mice, and any small 
rodents that they can dig out of the ground or capture by their 
slow methods. They are fond also of berries or any sweet fruit and 
find much to their taste in the garbage piles or refuse thrown out 
from camps and hotels. In autumn they become very fat, and about 
the time the ground begins to freeze enter their deep burrows and 
curl up for a long winter sleep. Their fur is at its best just before 
they enter upon or after they emerge from hibernation, and, while 
not high-priced, it often forms an important part of the trappers' 
catch in the low country. 

Badger: Taxidea taxus (Schreber). — Badgers are common over the 
Plains country along the eastern border of the park, and if they 
enter the present park boundaries at all it is only in the open areas 
in its eastern valleys. Apparently they are entirely absent from the 
timber or mountainous area. In 1895 I reported them as common 
at the lower end of St. INIary Lake. Isut in 1917 could find no trace 
of even their burrows inside of the park line. Ranger Gibb says 
that he has never seen- them in the park. They certainly are not a 
common animal within its borders. 

c'^'^i'^' 'f^' Z fp 'p 1 


Out over the Plains they spend most of their time digging out 
the. burrows of the flicliertail, or Eichardson ground squirrel, and 
feasting upon the fat occupants. While thus engaged in doing 
the greatest possible service to the ranchmen they are killed on 
every possible occasion, because their big burrows on the prairie 
are a menace to horse and rider. They are also trapped to some 
extent for their fur, which in this northern climate becomes very 
long and is in considerable demand for clothing. Meanwhile the 
ground squirrels, in imchecked abundance, destroy the crops and 
forage until the country Ijecomes sufficiently populous and jarosper- 
ous for them to be systematical!}^ destroyed by artificial means. In 
autumn badgers become very fat, and before the ground is frozen too 
far down they dig deep burrows, in which they barricade themselves 
for a long winter's hil)ernation. 

Family URSID^: Bears. 

Black Bear; Cinnamon Bear: Ursiis americanus Pallas. — Black 
and brown bears are found over practically all of Glacier Park, 
and at various seasons range from the lowest levels to above timber- 
line. During July and August of 1917 they were most abundant 
in the valley bottoms, where the many ripening berries had attracted 
them. Their tracks and signs were seen along the trails and roads 
at St. Mary Lake, in the Swiftcurrent, Belly Eiver, and Waterton 
Valleys, at the lower ends of Gunsight and Ellen Wilson Lakes, and 
about Granite Park. During the last week in August bears were 
especially common about Lake McDonald, and they are said to 
be numerous throughout the valley of the North Fork of Flathead 
River. They are not restricted to any life zone, as their search for 
food throughout the season carries them back and forth from above 
timberline to the lowest valleys and even out along the streams into 
the Plains country. In a single night a bear maj' pass through all 
of the zones on one slope of the mountains and over the top and 
down the other side without making an unusuallv long journey. 
Often their tracks will be found following a trail for miles until they 
branch off on some other trail that will be followed in turn for many 
more miles. 

An old brown bear with two cubs was seen lietween Belly River 
and Waterton Lake on August 14, and a small black bear came to 
our camp one night in the Waterton Valley and carried off a ham 
from one of the pack sacks. At Lake INIcDonald late in August 
an old bear and two large cubs were feeding at the garbage pile 
back of Lewis's Hotel, but another bear that claimed some of the 
garbage caused the mother much anxiety for the safety of her cubs, 
and she kept chasing him away. Every time she charged the other 


bear the cubs rushed up the nearest tree and remained until the 
coast was clear and quiet again prevailed, when they would come 
down and very cautiously approach the garbage ; but usually before 
they reached the heap of tin cans another w-o-o-f of the mother in 
pursuit of the stranger would again send them up the nearest tree. 
The mother seemed anxious to have them get their share of the food, 
and as soon as she had chased the intruder out of sight she would 
come back to their tree and scratch on the trunk, when the young 
would come down slowly and cautiously. During the half hour in 
which we Vv^atched them they did not reach the food supply, but 
probably succeeded in getting some of it later in the evening. A little 
earlier there were said to be six bears at the garbage i^ile at one time, 
including one brown, but some of them were not very tame and left 
as soon as the tourists began to appear. The next day on the shore 
of a little pond in the woods near Lake McDonald we heard a twig 
snap and soon saw a medium-sized black bear feeding on the service- 
berries only 20 or 30 yards away. He was so eager for the berries 
that he did not notice us and went on eating the ripe, sweet fruit 
hanging in luscious bunches from the bushes. He would stand up 
straight on his hind feet and with both hands pull down branches 
of the bushes and pick off the big purple berries with his lips and 
tongue. After stripping one bush he waded into a small pond, across 
which he swam and went off through the woods, making for a bear 
an unusual amount of noise and crackling. He was probably one of 
the garbage-pile bears which had lost some of his caution in finding 
that man was after all a harmless animal. 

The story of the food of these bears gives most of their life history. 
The old droppings of early spring showed a ravenous appetite that 
was oft^n appeased by dry grass, pine needles, bits of rotten wood, 
and bark that had been gathered up with a few ant-s, beetles, and 
larvae that served to fill up and furnish a little nutriment. An occa- 
sional feast on the carcass of some animal that has died or has been 
killed during the winter helps out at this time of year, and the left- 
over supply of winter fat helps carry them through the early spring- 
time. As soon as vegetation starts a great variety of green plants 
are eaten, and as the frost leaves the warm slopes many roots and 
bulbs are dug up for food. The great yellow-flowered western dog- 
tooth violets grow in profusion throughout the Canadian and Hud- 
sonian Zones, and as they begin to come up and blossom at the lower 
levels the bears dig the tender starchy bulbs in great numbers for 
food. As they blossom soon after the snow has disappeared, there 
is a continuous zone of the flowers creeping up the sides of the moun- 
tains from May at the lower levels to late in August near timberline. 
In the latter half of July they were at their best in the Hudsonian 


Zone, where acres of the brilhaut yellow lilies covered many of the 
open slopes between the groves of wliite-barkecl pines. Here the 
bears were reveling in a feast of the jnicy bulbs. Near (iranite Park, 
in numerous places over the mountain sides, they had torn up the sod 
in areas of a few yards to several square rods in extent, tearing it up 
continuously from the edge and turning out the bulbs 4 or 5 inches 
below the surface and rolling the sod back, first one way and then 
another, until the ground had the appearance of having been plowed. 
On both sides of Gunsight Pass, at the lower edge of Blackfeet Gla- 
cier, on Flat Top Mountain, and at Elizabeth Lake extensile areas were 
found plowed o\-er by the bears for these bulbs, each one of which, the 
size of a small onion and much more palatable, would make a pleasant 

Prolial)ly these liears obtain many other bulbs and roots and some 
insects and larvae while digging for these bulbs. At times even 
late in summer large quantities of green vegetation are eaten, as 
shown by the sign, but the particular sjoecies of plants are not easily 
recognized. The tender young flower stalks of the bear gi'ass (Xero- 
phyllu7n tenax) are eaten to some extent, but as the blossoms begin to 
develop they soon become tough and hard. Some of the white, ten- 
der mountain thistles had been cut off, evidently by bears, and the 
COM' parsnip {Ileracleum lanatum) had been eaten while young and 
tender. On the west slope of the mountains and in Waterton Valley 
many trees had been peeled near the base for the layer of sweet cam- 
bium underneath the bark. A mouthful of bark had been bitten 
loose near the ground and pulled off as high as it woidd strip from 
the trunk of a tree, and then another and another until a consider- 
able area of the trunk was left bare. In midsummer this growing 
wood is covered with a layer of soft gelatinous tissue that later 
hardens into the annual growth of wood, but at this time is sweet and 
nutritious. "With the lower incisors the bears scrape the wood up- 
ward and thus scoop into their mouths the soft cambium layer and 
apparently get a good square meal from the trunk of a tree peeled 
halfway around and as high as they can conveniently reach. Hun- 
dreds of trees may be found tJiat have thus furnished nueals to the 
bears. The lodgepole pine and P]ngelmnnn spruce were the species 
usually choseji, but some white-barked pines had been peeled, and 
on the west slope the tamarack (LarLv occidentnlls) seemed to fur- 
nish the favorite bear food; even as late as the last of August it had 
a pleasant flavor. Most of the trees, however, were peeled in mid- 
smnmer, when the cambium was at its best. During August the bears 
were feeding extensively on berries and fruit, of which they obtained 
a considerable variet}'. The little red blueberries were scarce in 
1017, but in places a few were found and stripped off. leaves and all, 
to make them go as far as possible. The abundant little red bear- 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Wild Animals Glacier Park, 





berry {ArctostapJnilos iira-itrsi). which occurs in carpets over the 
ground and is usually loaded with dry, mealy berries, is extensively 
eaten, but the favorite food of the bears is the serviceberry {Amelan- 
chwr alnifolia). which is especially abundant and prolific on the west 
slope. Some berries of the mountain ash were sought for, but these 
were onljr beginning to ripen the last of August. Thorn apples 
{Cixitxpgus douglasi) furnish an abundance of sweet, purple fruit on 
the west slope, and raspberries, thimbleberries, currants, and goose- 
berries all contribute to the summer food. 

Great numbers of the burrows of the little, fat ground squirrels 
(Citellus coltunhianus) are excavated bj^ bears, and apparently the 
occupants contribute an important article of food. A few of these 
burrows are dug out during the summer, but probably more of them 
late in fall after the squirrels have become very fat and hibernated 
and after other bear food has become scarce. In the vicinity of 
Granite Park I found dozens of these burrows that had been torn 
open through the tough sod and stones, and even small trees were 
thrown out in getting to the bottom of the burrow, where, 2 or 3 
feet down, the soft grassy nest had been reached and its remains left 
scattered about. As the squirrels hibernate at least a month before 
the bears do, they evidently are a great help in enabling the bears to 
lay in sufficient fat for their winter's store. 

There is no evidence that the bears molest any large game, and 
the scouts and old hunters and trappers say that they do not. As 
they are great scavengers, and quickly locate dead animals, they are 
trapped mainly by the use of meat bait. In this way great numbers 
of game animals have been destroyed by trappers for bear bait, and 
as late as June 22 I have found bear traps baited with freshly killed 
deer and goats. Moose and elk have also suifered severely in this 
way before the Glacier Park Avas created and put under proper 

As the establishment of Glacier Park was comparatively recent, the 
bears have not yet gathered about hotel and camp garbage piles as they 
do in Yellowstone Park, but they will soon learn, and under proper 
management of the garbage they can be made a perfectly safe and 
very attractive feature of the animal life of the park. A place for 
the garbage might be selected in the open, close to the edge of the 
woods, but where the bears can be plainly seen and readily photo- 
grajohed, and where no one would accidentally come upon them un- 
noticed at very close quarters ; then a tourist-proof fence could be 
erected in a semicircle at a safe distance around the open side of the 
garbage. This would not only allow the bears to have some peace 
and quiet in which to enjoy their meals and enable the visitors to 
watch them at reasonably close range, but would prevent interference 
with the bears by the few foolhardy visitors who do not realiza that 


a bear, while a most respectful and dignified animal, has not un- 
limited patience and is capable of resenting with fatal results any 
undue familiarity. Only those who are familiar with them through- 
out the season should be allowed to feed or take any liberties with 

Grizzly Bear; Silvertip: TJrsus horrililis imperator?^ Mer- 
riam. — During the summer of 1917 a few grizzly bears were re- 
ported in the less frequented areas of the park, and a few are said 
to have been killed around the edges each year. They are very shy 
and few have learned to come to the hotel garbage piles. One visited 
our camp at the Eeynolds Cabin, in the Upper Waterton Valley, one 
night in August, but quickly left when he found the cabin occupied, 
and the cook and guide were the only ones to get a glimpse of him. 
In the spring of 189.") they were the commonest bears in the St. Mary 
Lake region, and their great tracks were seen on the snow along the 
trails every time we climbed the mountains. One day in May, 1895, 
as Howell and I came down the mountain we saw one splendid silvery 
gray fellow in a little park close to the edge of the thick timber. He 
was evidently digging bulbs or hunting for mice or insects, but was 
too far away for our short-range guns, and our shots only sent him 
quickly into the woods. On June 3, as Hank Norris and I were 
watching a drove of white goats on the side of Going-to-the-Sun 
Mountain, we saw an old bear and small cub going down across the 
glacier into the bottom of the valley. "\Ye quietly slid down the side 
of the mountain and tried to head her off as she made for a piece of 
timber below, but seeing or hearing us she turned up the opposite 
slope and beat us to the top of the range by nearly a mile. We sat 
on the snow and watched her and her cub climb the slope and dis- 
appear over the crest of the ridge. The cul) was about the size of a 
raccoon and could not travel very fast, but the old bear kept only 
a little ahead of him and anxiously coaxed him along as fast as pos- 
sible, looking back and encouraging him to follow her at the best 
speed he could make. The track made by the hind foot of this old 
bear measured 6 inches across the ball of the foot and 11 inches long 
where it made the full print in the snow. 

As we returned clown the canyon between Going-to-the-Sun and 
Goat Mountains we found where a still larger bear had followed the 

' At Ipast two and probably three species of grizzly bears occur in the filacier Park 
region, as even the trappers have long recognized. Donald Stevenson, who lived (or 
many years on Swiftcurrent Creels and trapped and hunted In the region before it 
was a park, tells mo that some are nearly black in color, with white tips to the hairs 
of the face and sides ; some are a rusty brown ; and others a golden yellow along the 
sides. Sufficient skulls have not boon obtained to determine satisfactorily the spe- 
cies occupying the region, and there are still fewer skins to go with these skulls to show 
which color pattern belongs to each of the different species. The habit notes are also 
generalized under one heading, so that it is impossible to separate them or tell whether 
the range and habits of the different forms vary as do the cranial and external char- 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Photo, by M. P. Skinner. bioo6m 



track of a white goat across the snow bank until he struck tlie trail 
■\ve had made in going up the canyon four hours earlier. He had 
left the goat track and followed our trail, but in the wrong direc- 
tion — down the mountain instead of up — so we did not see him. A 
few days later while on Flat Top Mountain I found where an old 
grizzlj' and two cubs had been eating a mountain sheep up near 
timberline. The tracks were not a da}' old, and the sheep had been 
entirely eaten, except a few pieces of skin and bits of bone. While 
the snow was bloody and much trampled, there was no indication 
that the sheep had been killed by these bears. More probalily it had 
been shot by hunters or killed and partly eaten by mountain lions 
or wolves and then finished b}^ the bears, which could not well have 
caught an able-bodied mountain sheep on its own rocky slopes or 
on deep, well-crusted snow. Throughout the forest in this region the 
bear tracks, beds, and signs were abundant at the lower levels. ISIost 
of the sign was composed of the remains of various green j^ilants. 
Near timberline on the warm slope of Flat Top Mountain the cones 
under the white-barked ])ine trees had been chewed up as though )\y 
hogs. This was undoubtedly the work of bears in shelling out the 
pine seeds or nuts, of which they are especially fond. It was evi- 
dently done during the previous fall while the squirrels were getting 
the cones for their winter stores. 

From the early eighties to the time when Glacier Park was created, 
in 1910, this was one of the most popular regions for hunting grizzly 
bears in the whole United States, and many were killed each j^ear 
by sportsmen, and others M-ere caught by the numerous trappers of 
the region. In ISO;") I found lines of bear traps between Summit and 
Belton up to late in June. Even then some of the trap]:>ers who were 
thoroughly familiar with the methods of killing large game for bear 
bait considered bear trapping the greatest menace to the game of 
that region. Traps were baited with mountain sheep, goats, and 
deer, and I was told that at least 500 elk and moose were killed every 
year for bear bait. Most of the trapping was done in spring, when 
the bears first came out of hibernation and the fur was at its longest 
and best. As they enter their dens for the wdnter hibernation with 
the first cold weather and deep snows, usually in late Octolier or 
early November, and do not reappear until early in April, the time 
for securing their skins in prime condition is short at either end 
of the season. 

Order INSECTIVORA: Insect Eaters. 
Family SORICID-gE: Shrews. 

Water Shrew: Neosorex narir/afor navif/ator Baird. — The large, 
long-tailed, velvety, black-backed and white-bellied water shrews are 

98 O/^f^f^^JS^^^^'^^t^^ NATIOKAL PARK. 

the largest of their fam'ilj' m 1:.he Eocky Mountain region. Adults 
measure, in millimeters : Total length, about 148 ; tail, 71 ; hind foot, 
20 or 21. With their long, flexible noses, minute eyes, and incon- 
sj^ieuous ears they are typical of this family of insect eaters; but, 
unlike the other members, they are highly specialized for life in the 
water. The hind feet are large, with fringed margins for swinuning, 
and the long tail is evidently useful as a rudder. They are probably 
common and generally distributed over the park, as well as north 
and south and west of it. In 189.5 specimens wore taken at St. Mary 
Lake and along the railroad between Paola and Nyack, all in the 
vicinity of creeks, springs, or ponds in the Canadian Zone. The 
shrews are not often seen except when caught in traps, but on rare 
occasions one may be seen darting about in the water, over the sur- 
face or underneath, in search of its preJ^ as much at home as a seal or 
otter. They are less often seen on land, as thej keep mainl}' under 
cover of logs, banks, or fallen vegetation, where they hunt for insects 
and any small animal life that conies in their way as food. Usually 
they are found not far from water and on wet ground or luider damp 
logs or banks. Their stomachs are generally full of the finely chewed- 
up remains of insects and miidentifiable particles of small animals, 
and any kind of meat used as trap bait is eagerly taken. If a mouse 
has been caught in the trap before a shrew comes along, it is invari- 
ably partly, and sometimes wholly, eaten, and the shrew is generally 
caught if the trap is reset in the same place. 

There has been much speculation as to whether the shrews catch 
small fish and eat fish eggs, and while there seems to be no positive 
evidence on the subject, they would doubtless do so if opportunity 
offered. Their skill and quickness in the water would certainly 
enable them to catch minnows and small fish, but fortunately they 
are not sufficiently abundant to do any serious harm. Any oppor- 
tunity to study their habits in life should be followed up with great 
care, as the subject is one of importance as well as of general interest. 

Dusky Shrew : Sorex obscurus obscurus Merriam. — These little 
dusky brown shrews, while only 110 to 115 millimeters in total 
length, with tail about 45 and hind foot 13, are the largest and ap- 
parently the commonest of the three species of little shrews occur- 
ring in the park. At St. Mary Lake, Howell and I caught nine speci- 
mens in May and June, 1895, and in 1917 I collected specimens in the 
park at Many Glacier and at AVall Lake, British Columbia, close to the 
northern line. They are generally caught in traps set for other mice 
under logs or rocks, or in holes, creek banks, and runways through 
the meadow grass. Tiny roadways are found under the surface layer 
of leaves and fallen vegetation, where the shrews run through their 
covered galleries from burrow to burrow or follow the trails of 
meadow mice and other species through the grass and weeds. They 



are active both night and clay and probably de^Dend more on the 
sense of touch in the long flexible nose than on the vision of minute 
and almost invisible eyes. In pursuit of insect and other small forms 
of animal life, Avhich constitute most of their food, they are ener- 
getic hunters, and are eager for any kind of meat that may be used 
for trap bait, never failing to tear and eat other mice that are caught 
in traps. To what extent they kill the young or adults of other mice 
is not known, but they are savage little animals, perfectljr capable of 
killing rodents much larger than themselves. 

An old female collected at St. Mary Lake on June 1 contained 
eight small embrj^os, but this was probably an vniusually large num- 
ber, as her mammae were onlj' six, arranged in three pairs close 
together. Apparently none of the shrews become fat or hibernate 
in winter, and their tiny tracks may often be seen over the surface of 
soft snow, into which they burrow and push their way from top to 
bottom with perfect freedom. They are as easily caught in winter as 
in summer, and a piece of frozen 
meat placed under a log in the 
woods for a few days will gen- 
erally attract several shrews that 
eagerlj' gather to gnaw at it. 
Against cold and wet their dense 
fur seems to be at all times ample 
protection. While so tiny, they 
are vigorous and powerful animals 
for their size, with many inter- 
esting habits not well known or ^^^^ ^^_^^ j^ ^^^i^^ ^i^^^^. ,,,„ 2, 

Vmderstood. masked shrew. (Photographed from 

alcoholic specimens.) 

DoBSON SiiKEW : Sorex vagrans 
dobsoni Merriam. — These little brown shrews are scarcely distin- 
guishable in the field from the dusky shrew, with which they are 
often found. "Wliile the teeth and skulls show well-marked char- 
acters, the size and color are so similar that a critical examination 
of the skulls is necessary to tell them apart. For this reason the 
habits of the two as collected in the field are rarely distinguished, 
and it is doubtful if they differ to any great extent, as all small 
shrews seem to be rather similar in habits. Two specimens collected 
at Summit Station in June, 1895, measured in millimeters: Total 
length, 110, 115 ; tail, 41, 45 ; hind foot, 13, 14. Another collected by 
Howell near Nj^ack measured : Total length, 108 ; tail, 44 ; hind foot, 
14. These were caught in the woods under logs, fallen grass, and the 
drooping leaves of bear grass (Xerophi/Ihim tenaiv). Those at Sum- 
mit Station were on the north side of the railroad, actually within 
the present boundaries of the park; while the one near Nj^ack was 
taken on the opposite bank of the river just outside the park. 





Masked Siieew: Sorex personatus I. Geoffroy St. Hilaire. — These 
are the smallest shrews in the park, adult specimens measuring in 
millimeters: Total length, approximately 100; tail, 10; hind foot, 
12. In color they are plain sepia brown, slightly paler below, 
and •^'ery similar to both the dusky and the Dobson shrews in sum- 
mer pelage. Their small size, however, usually serves to identify 
them in the field, but their habits apparently do- not differ much 
from those of the other two species. In 1895 Howell and I col- 
lected three specimens at St. JMary Lake on the same ground with a 
larger series of the dusky shrew, and no difference in the habits of 
the two could be discovered. Another specimen collected at Mc- 
Donald Lake and others in country surrounding the park would 
indicate a distribution over the whole park area in suitable situa- 
tions. Generally they are forest dwellers, but may be found in 
meadows or along the streams and out in the prairie and Plains 
country, and while so ininute as rarely to be noticed, they are prob- 
ably much more common than is generally supposed. 

Order CHIROPTERA: Winged Mammals. 


Long-legged Bat: Myotis lucifugus longicrus (True). — A small 
quick-flying brownish bat seen commonly about the hotel at Lake 
McDonald on still evenings in August was probably of this species, 

which Howell and I 
found abundant a t 
Flathead Lake in 1895 
and of which we col- 
lected a large series of 
specimens. Xone were 
collected in the park, 
as they were seen only 
while flying about the 
hotels. Evidently they 
had made their homes 
in dark corners and 
crevices of the build- 
ings, from which they 
emerged at dusk to 
begin their evening 
flight in pursuit of winged insects. They circled rapidly about 
the buildings, under the piazzas, and occasionally through the open 
doors, and were seen also along the lake shore where they often 
dipped down to the surface of the water to drink. Thev are so 
strictly nocturnal that it is difficult to secure specimens, except by 

IS. — No. 1, brown bat ; No. 2, long-k'gged 
(Pliotographed from Diuseum specimens.) 


shooting them on the wing when tliey first come out of tlieir diurnal 
liiding places, and usually the light is so dim when they first appear 
that wing shooting is rendered difficult, and in most cases considerable 
ammunition is wasted for the few specimens secured. Occasionally 
one is caught in a room at night, or a hiding place is found where they 
juay be secured from a crack or crevice as they hang head downward 
during the day. Specimens of these or any other bats in the park 
should be saved whenever possible, as it will be long before sufficient 
material is obtained to show all of the species inhabiting the area. 

Bkown Bat: Epfesicus f uncus fuscus (Beauvois). — Large, brown, 
rapid-flying bats seen of evenings about the Many Glacier Hotel in 
mid-July were apparently of this species, but no specimens were ob- 
tained, owing to the danger in shooting around occui:)ied buildings. 
Those seen were flying rapidly about the buildings and along the lake 
shore at earlj' dusk, while it was still light enough to see color and to 
have easily secured them on the wing with a shotgun if shooting had 
been permissible. Evidently thej' are not very common in the park, as 
none were seen in other locations away from buildings, although the 
species often lives in hollow trees or under bark in the woods as well 
as in the dark spaces under eaves and cornices of buildings. They 
undoubtedly range over most of the park areas, but are rarely seen 
except near where they spend the day and as they first come out of 
their roosting places. 

Silver-haired Bat. Lasionycteris noctivar/ans (LeConte). — A 
number of medium-sized very dark and rapid-flying bats seen over 
the hotel and among the trees at Lake McDonald, August 29, were 
evidently of this species. The silvery tipping of the black fur over 
the back could not be seen with the bats on the Aving, but the size, 
rapid flight, and dark color are almost unmistakable characters with 
this species. The dense forests of the park present ideal conditions 
for these boreal, forest-loving bats, the loose bark on numerous dead 
trees affording favorite places in which to spend the daylight hours, 
and the forest-dwelling insects, their favorite food. I tore the bark 
from many old trees in the woods in the hope of securing specimens 
from underneath, but was not successful Avithin the park area. If 
possible, specimens should be secured and preserved in order that 
l^ositive records for the park may be obtained, as flight identification 
of bats is at best unsatisfactory. 

HoartBat: Nj/ctnis cinerea (Beauvois). — At Waterton Lake. near 
the north end of the park, at 11 o'clock in the morning of August 15, 
one of these big gray, short-eared bats was seen flying about in the 
bright sunlight over the vrater and back into the trees on the shore of 
the lake. It was watched for several minutes with the field glass and at 
such close range that, with its every mark and character plainly recog- 
51140°— IS 9 


nized, its identitication ayus as unmistakable as if tlie specimen had 
been collected and preserved. While it flew freely and seemed perfectly 
at home in the bright light, it probably had been driven from its roost 
among the leaves of some cottonwood tree on the shore by the campers 
along the lake. These bats have rather large eyes, and their evening 
flight begins usually a little earlier in the dusk than that of most 
bats, l)ut the habit of flying in broad daylight is certainly not com- 
mon with them and probably means that they ha^"e been disturbed 
in their roosting places. Usuallj' during the day they hang head 
downward in some dense cluster of leaves where well concealed, but 
where the light is not wholly excluded, as in the hiding places of 
most of our northern bats. While never abundant, they are a wide- 
ranging boreal species, breeding usually in the Canadian Zone and 
migrating southward in winter over practically the whole United 


By Flokence Merriam Bailey. 


The material for the basis of tlie accompanying report on the birds 
of Ghicier Park was obtained during July and August, 1!J17, when in 
addition to the automobile trips from Glacier l*ark Hotel to Two 
IMedicine, St. Mary, and Many Glaciers, and short trips to Grinnell 
Lake, Iceberg Lake, and Granite Park, a month's pack trip was 
made to the Canadian boundary and return. Starting from Going- 
to-the-Sun Gamp ive went to Lake Ellen Wilson, and by way of 
Piegan Pass to Many Glaciers and the Swiftcurrcnt Plats; thence 
northward through the Kennedy Creek and Belly Eiver regions — 
visiting Crossley and Glenn Lakes — to the Lower Waterton Lake 
in Alberta. P'rom Waterton Lake a side trip was made to the Bound- 
ary Mountains in British Columbia overlooking the Kiiitla Lake 
region, after which we returned by way of the Waterton Valley and 
the Kootenai Trail to Granite l*ark and Many Glaciers. A railroad 
trip to Belton and a week at Lake McDonald completed the season's 

In the two months a general idea as to the breeding birds of the 
region was obtained. But additional material regarding the spring 
and fall migrants and winter residents has been procured from Dr. 
George Bird Grinnelhs article entitled " Some Autunni Birds of the 
St. ^Mary Lakes Region," published in Forest and Stream in 1888; 
a manuscript report kindly submitted to me by Mr. A. H. Pliggin- 
son, of Boston, on the winter birds of Stanton Lake — just outside the 
park — and notes from park officials and taxidermists of the region, 
who have supplemented my meager field experience by knowledge 
gained during years of I'esidence in the park. Reports from Messrs. 
Vernon Bailey and Arthur H. Howell, from St. Mary Lake, and from 
Blackfoot to Belton in 1895, and from Mr. Bailey, from Belton to 
Kintla Lake, and from Lake McDonald in April, 1918, have been 



examined in the files of the Bureau of Biohjgical Survey, and lists 
of birds observed during short visits to the park have been kindly 
turned over to me by Mr. Harold C. Bryant, of California, and IMr. 
Edward K. Warren, of Colorado. To these gentlemen, as to Mr. 
E. S. Bryant, taxidermist, of Columbia Falls; Mr. Walter Scott 
Gibb, assistant chief ranger of the park; Mr. William C. Gird, park 
guide; Mr. Harry P. Stanford, taxidermist, of Kalispell; and Mr. 
Donald H. Stevenson, formerly a park guide, I would extend my 
sincere thanks for much valuable information. Records of a hundred 
and eighty-seven species have been olitained altogether, but many 
more doubtless remain to be discovered by future workers in the park. 
The illustrations are from photographs by Messrs. Vernon Bailey, 
A. C. Bent. E. J. Cameron, J. E. Haynes. H. W. Nash, H. & E. 
Pittman, Eobert B. Rockwell, J. EoAvley, Hon. George Shiras, 3d, 
and Mr. E. R. Warren; and drawings by Maj. Allan Brooks and 
by Messrs. Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Bruce Horsfall, John L. Eidgway, 
Robert Ridgway, and Ernest Thompson Seton; and in the main 
have appeared previously in the publications of the Bureau of Bio- 
logical Survey, U. S. Department of xVgriculture, and the National 
Association of Audubon Societies; in Bird-Lore; and the Handbook 
of Birds of the Western States, published by the Houghton Mifflin 

The classification and nomenclature used in the report are those of 
the 1910 Check List of the American Ornithologists'' Union, the Six- 
teenth Supplement, and the proposed changes in The Auk, up to 
April, 1918. 


The park with its heavy forest cover and its snow banks and glaciers 
would seem an unlikely place for birds to spend the summer, as few 
species care for either deep forests or snow-clad mountains; but 
while general conditions limit the abundance of birds found within 
the boundaries of the park, certain local conditions increase their 
numbers, so that by knowing where to look one may find a richly 
varied bird population. While birds breed within fairly definite 
boundaries governed by temperature during the breeding season, 
many of them wander widely afterwards, and in the late summer 
may be encountered almost anywhere in the park. 


Around the warm outer margins of the park — in the Lake Mc- 
Donald and the North Fork of the Flathead regions on the west, 
and the St. Mary, Sherburne Lake, and Belly River regions on the 
east — islands and tongues of Transition Zone prairie together witli 
swampy meadows, sloughs, and large lakes affording more or less 

BIRDS. 105 

marshy cover introduce an element that brings in a variety of birds, 
however rare or meager in numbers, birds that outside the park 
breed on the adjoining plains among the lakes and ranches. 

Notable among these, including some for which there are no 
definite breeding records, are the western grebe, Holboell grebe, eared 
grebe, merganser, red-breasted merganser, hooded merganser, mal- 
lard, gadwall, green-winged teal, ring-necked duck, bufHe-head, 
ruddy duck, bittern, great blue heron,^ sora rail, coot, upland plover, 
killdeer, shai*p-tailed grouse, mourning dove, turkey vulture, marsh 
hawk, Swainson hawk, ferruginous rough-leg, prairie falcon, short- 
eared owl, Acadian owl, Batchelder downy woodpecker, red-headed 
woodpecker, nighthawk, magpie, crow, raven, cowbird, thick-billed 
redwing, western meadowlark. Brewer blackbird, western vesper 
sparrow, western Savannah sparrow, song sparrow, black-headed 
grosbeak, lazuli bunting, cedar waxwing, yellow warbler, western yel- 
low-throat, redstart, catbird, western house wren. Rocky Mountain 
nuthatch, long-tailed chickadee, and willow thrush ; while on remote 
wooded lakes, especially on the west side of the park, the shy soli- 
tary loon is sometimes found. 

While by no means all of these birds will be seen by the hurried 
tourist, as some of the hotels and chalets are too high for them, and 
the generally frequented trails follow through the deep forest or over 
the rocky passes, it is interesting to know of the presence of these 
lowlanders, and the fact that the birds of the park range from such 
familiar friends as the catbird, kingbird, and red-headed woodpecker 
of the low country in Transition Zone to the unfamiliar ptarmigan, 
leucosticte, and pipit of the Arctic-Alpine slopes above timberline 
affords an interesting and striking illustration of the vertical vari- 
ation of the park faima. 


The characteristic birds of the warm low Transition Zone levels of 
the park, which are associated with the silver leaf, service berry, wild 
rose, D'ouglas spruce, and yellow pine, drop out in the middle or 
Canadian Zone regions of the park, leaving only the species which 
thrive in both the lower and middle regions or are characteristic of 
the colder, higher regions of the Canadian, where they are associated 
with willows and alders, shrubby birch, smooth Menziesia, honey- 
suckle and blueberry bushes, lodgepole pines, and the firs and spruces 
of pure Canadian Zone. 

The centers of bird life here are the lakes and streams with their 
bordering willow and alder thickets, together with the burned-over 
brushy slopes. Flying over the rivers and lakes, fish hawks and swal- 

1 In former years, sandhill crane. 


lows— either the tree, the cliff, the bank, or the northern violet- 
n-reeii — may occasionally he seen. Even on the most frequented lakes 
numerous broods of golden-eye ducks may be found, and on the 
less frequented lakes the rare harle(|uin may sometimes be seen al- 
though it prefers rapid rivers and streams to the quieter waters. On 
lakes where safe secluded nesting sites are to be had the Canada goose 
may jierhaps be discovered. Along the lake shores the spotted sand- 
piper, CJrinnell water-thrush, and now and then the kingfisher and 
water ouzel may be noted, although both kingfisher and ouzel are 
more generally seen along rivers and streams, the ouzel especially 
near waterfalls or cascades. 

On the brushy slopes above the lakes where the forest cover has been 
replaced by chaparral, among other birds may be found slate- 
colored fox sparrows, white-crowned and chipping sparrows, juncos, 
Swainson vireos, Audubon and Macgillivray warblers, and some of 
the smaller flycatchers, such as the western and Traill. 

In the open a variety of hawks — the sparrow hawk, sharp-shinned. 
Cooper, and goshawk — may be noted, and now and then among the 
cliff's and canyons a golden eagle may be descried. On rare occa- 
sions a western nighthawk, a swift — the black, Vaux or possibly the 
white-throated — or a hummingbird — generally the rufous but possi- 
bly the calliope, black-chinned or broad-tailed — may be caught sight 
of in passing. 

Inside the forest three species of grouse — the Richardson, Frank- 
lin, and ruffed — may be flushed, while the close in\estigator or the 
camper may be fortunate enough to discover some of the resident 
owls, including the MacFarlane screech owl, the western and dusky 
horned owls, the rai'e hawk owl, and the Eocky Mountain pygmy. 
A uumljer of woodpeckers are also to be closely watched for. among 
them the Eocky Mountain hairy, Arctic three-toed, Alaska three-toed, 
red-naped sapsncker, Williamson sapsucker, northern pileated. and 
the red-shafted flicker. Among other birds that may be seen are the 
black-headed jay, western evening grosbeak, Montana junco, western 
tanager, western winter wren, Eocky Mountain creeper, red-breasted 
nuthatch, mountain chickadee, chestnut-backed chickadee, western 
golden-crowned kinglet, Townsend solitaire, olive-backed thrush, 
Audubon hermit thrush, northern varied thrush, and mountain blue- 


In the narrow timberline or Hudsonian Zone where the white- 
barked pine is the dominant tree, there are relatively few character- 
istic birds. Among them are the Eocky Mountain jay, Clark crow, 
Eocky Mountain pine grosbeak, Cassin purple finch, crossbill, pine 

BIRDS, 107 

siskin, and Bohemian waxwinji'; Avhile above tinibcrline the ninnlier 
of characteristic sunnner birds is reduced to three — the white-tailed 
ptarmigan, gray-crowned leucosticte, and pipit. 


While most of the birds found in the park in summer are merely 
summer visitants, coming north in the spring to nest and returning 
south in the fall to v^'inter, there are some permanent residents, such 
as the grouse, some of the hawks, owls, and woodpeckers, together 
with the jays, water ouzels, nuthatches, and chickadees, which pre- 
sumably never leave the park. Similarly, the birds found in the park 
in winter may be either i:)ermanent residents or winter visitants from 
farther north, such as the snowy owl, great gray owl, redpoll, snow- 
Hake, Lapland longspur. Bohemian waxwing, and northern shrike, 
which come south during the fall or winter and return north on the 
approach of spring. In still another category come the spring and 
fall visitants, which merely pass through the park on their north- 
ward and southward migrations, as some of the ducks, snow geese, 
swans, phalaropes, snipe, and doubtless man3r of the smaller birds, 
overlooked or unrecognized by casual observers. 


[ c? male; 9 female.] 



I. Body gray, head and neck l)laek, with white throat patch 

Caiiadii GooKe, p. 106. 
I'. Body black and white, neck streal-ced witli wliite Loon, p. 113. 


Head parthi or tchoUij green. 

I. Head wholly dark green. 

2. Bill narrow, underparts wholly white or pale salmon 

Merganser, $ , p. 11,5. 
2'. Bill wide, underparts brown and white or lirown and gray. 
3. Bill spoon-shaped, breast white, belly reddish brown 

HhoreUer, $, p. 119. 
3'. Bill not spoon-shaped, brown, belly gray 

Mallard, $ . p. 117, 
I', Head partly green, 

2. Head dark green with white spot at base of bill 

narrow Golden-eye. $, p, 122. 
2', Head brown with green stripe ou siCLH--Green-i.vinged Teal, 3, p, 118, 


Iliiiil rcddUh, bi'oirn, of gray. 

I. Head reddisli or dark l)rown. 

2. Head reddish, crested; bill Ions and narrow Merganser, $, p. ]l."j. 

2'. Head dull brown, bill short and wide. 

3. Head piilTy, unmarked, collar white 

Barroio GoUlcn-ei/e, ?, j). 122. 
3'. Head not jiuffy, side of head with tliree wliite spots 

Western Jlarlequin Diul:. 5, ]i. 124. 
I'. Head not reddish or dark brown, 

2. I'Uinia,;;e plain sray, or sra.v, strilcinsly marlced with white and brown. 

3. I'hnna^e phiin sooty .yra.v, head black, bill wliite Coo/, p. 132. 

3'. I'limui.u'e strikin.^ly marked with wliite and brown 

Western Hdrleniiiii Duet;, i , p. 124. 
2'. l'luma,se brown, flnelj' streaked and spotted. 

3. AVing patcli mainly lii;ht blue or bright fcreen. 

4. Wins patch mainly li.nlit blue, hill spoon-shaped, size 

large Khrjvetter, 5, p. 119. 

4'. Win}; jiatch mainly bright green; bill not spoon-shaped; 

size small Green-iringed Teat, 9, p. US. 

S'. Wing patches brown and white or purple and white. 

4. AViiig ])atches brown and white Gadwatl, p. US. 

4'. Wing patch purple, inclosed by white bars 

Matlard, 9. p. 117. 


I. Breast white, spotted or banded. 

2. Breast and back spotted, tail habitually tipped 

Sli(]tted f^andpiper. p. 133. 
2'. Breast crossed with two Idack bands, tail not habitually tipped 

KiUdeer. p. 134. 
I'. Breast bluish gray, face and front of neck black Sora 7?m7, p. 131. 


I. Spread wings .5^-71 feet. 

2. Spread \yings about 5J feet; head and underparts white 

Fish Haifl-.p. 150. 
2'. Spread wings about 6-J-7J feet; liead and body brown 

Golden Eagle, p. 148. 
I'. Spread wings much less than .5i feet. 
2. Largel.v brown or sooty gray. 

3. Brown, barred ; head crested, neck ruffed, tail banded 

Ruffed Grouse, p. 137. 
3'. Sooty gray, mottled; without ruffs or tail bands 

Richardson Grouse, p. 135. 
2'. Largely blad^ and white. 

3. Wings and tail white; timberline slopes 

Wliite-taited Ptarmigan, p. i:',!). 
3'. Wings and tail black, marked with wliite; forests 

Franklin Grouse, p. 136. 

BIRDS. 109 


LarycJij blue, broicn, sooti/, or ».s7( iinnj. 

I. l^argely liluish, or reddish brown liarred with hlacl^. 

2. Upiierparts partly or mainly bluisU. head crested, bill long. 

3. AVings and tail dull blue, spotted with white ; lakes and stream-^ 

Belted Kint/fislier, ]). LIT. 
3'. AVings and tail purplish blue, ))arred witli black; forests 

Black-lieaded Jin/, p. 105. 
2'. Upperparts brown, or blue and brown, head not crested, bill hooke<l ; 

over open tields Desert ^piirrow Hawk, p. 149. 

r. I^argely brown or gray. 

2. Body brown, rump white, wings and tail reil below 

Red-sliaftcd Flieker, p. 101. 
2'. Body gray, forehead white. 

3. Body dark gray, back of neck with dark patch 

h'oekii Mountain ■lini, p. 100. 
3'. Body ash gray, wiugs and tail bl.ick and white 

Clark Xuteraeker, p. 107. 
SIZE or A r.oBiN. 

I. T'nderparts bright rusty brown ; lireast with blackish necklace 

Northern Viirud Thnixli. p. 197. 
I'. Underiiarts reddish brown: breast witliiuit necklace ^Ventern Robin, p. 190. 


Partly yellow, contrasted uitli slaty, hlaelc, or broicn. 

I. Undei'parts partly or wholly yellow or greenish yellow. 

2, Underparts yellow and slaty, or yello^^•, lilaek, and white. 
3. Underparts yellow- and slaty, head slaty ; bushes 

MdcgiUivray Warbler, p. ISO. 
3'. Underparts wliite, yellow, and black; throat, crown patch, and 

rump yellow; trees Audubon Warbler, p. 1S3. 

2'. Underparts plain yellow or greenish yellow. 

3. Underparts yellow, face with black mask; bushes 

Western Yclloir-tliroat, p. ISO. 
3'. Uudei'iiarts yellow, wings and tail black; fore.sts 

Western Erening (Iro.'ibeak. p. 171. 
I'. Underparts witliout yellow. 

2. Body black and white, crown with yellow- patch ; forests 

Alaska Tlirec-toed Woodpeeker, p. li^S. 

2', Body brown, streaked; wings and tail w-ith yellow patches; cone-laden 

tree tops Pine Siskin, p. 174. 

Partly or mainhi broicn, gray, or blue. 

I. Partly or mainly brown or gray. 
2. Partly or mainly brow-n. 
3. Mainly brow-n. 

4. Barred with black. 

.5. Tail very short : forests 

Western Winter Wren, p. 191. 
5'. Tail normal ; open woods 

Western House Wren, p. 191. 

' The females of striltingly coloreJ birds are usually duller or without color patches. 


i'. Ni.t liaiTcil with black; gorget fire red, orange, and lirassy 

^•l■^.|.n Itiifoiix JliiiiiiiiiiKjhinl, ii. 103. 

3'. Pari l.v lirown. 

4. Crown conspii'uon.^ly marked. 

5. Crown striped with Idack and wliite 

M'liitc-croirnrd ^jiarroti:, ji. 177. 
r/ . Ci-ciwn i-eddish |jr(jwn 

]\'('>ilrni Cliiiijiiiiij SiJiirroir. ]]. 177, 
4'. Crown not conspicuously marked. 

!">. T'pper])urts Ijrown. indistinctly streaked: outer 
tail f'eatliers partly white; tail wag.ged ; timber- 
line shijies I'iliit. p. 187, 

r,'. I'lijierparts pUiin brown and shity ; rusty on wings 
and tail ; bushes, near water 

SIntr-colorcd Fox Hpurroio, p. 178. 
2'. Partly or mainly gray, 

3, Mainly slate gray or slate gray and white, 

4. Mainly slate gray, tail short ; streams and waterfalls 

H7(rrrOH.:c/. p. ISS. 
4'. Head, neck, and chest slate gray ; lielly and outer tail 

featliers white MDninna .Juhco, p. 177. 

3'. P>ack gray; cap and throat black; cheeks white. 
4. Cap Willi wliite line over eye; forests 

Mountain Chickadee, p, 193, 
4', Cap without wliite line over eye; valley bottoms 

Lonfi-tailed Chickadee, p, 193, 
I'. Pai-tly or mainly blue, 

2. Upperparts grayisli lilue, marked with black and white; tail short; 

forests Rocky ilountaiii Nntltatch. p, 192, 

2', Upperparts light blue or greenish blue, unmarked; tail normal; in 
the open Mountain Bluebird, p. 198, 

riirtlii or irlioHii (jrecn or reddish. 

I. T'pperparts greenish. 

2. Crown red, or black, yellow, and orange. 

3. CroMii red Rulni-croirncd Kinjilrt. p. 194. 

3'. Crown black, yellow, and orange 

Wcxtirn <fold(n-croir)ird Kiniiict, p. 194. 
2'. Crown gray, bordered \ty white below 

^Yes1crn Warlilinn Mrco. p. 183, 
I', P.ody dull reddish or pinkish, 

2. Mandibles crossed; bead and back uniform r/'0.S'.'<;))7?, p, 173, 

2', Mandibles not crossed ; head with squarish crimson patch 

Cassin Purple, p, 172, 

Order PYGOPODES: Diving Birds. 

Family COLYMBID.a;: Grebes. 

Western Grebe : .-Echmophorus occidenfaUs. — The snowy-throated 
western grebe or swan grebe, the hirgest and most distinguished 
of all the family, should be watched for carefully in the park. 
as there are several records of its occurrence. One taken on the 



North Fork of the Fhithead is to be seen at Lewis's Hotel, and Mr. 
F. F. Liebig, of Kalispcll, has one that came from Lalte INIcDonald 
before the pai'lc was esta)ibslu'(L It lias lieen seen in simihir country 
close to the park, and one of its floating nests has been found by 
Mr. Donald H. Stevenson inside the park. 

When the grebes nest, as they nsually do, in colonies in the tides, 
after the nesting season they assemble in large companies about good 
feeding grounds, where thej' disport themselves with so nuich vivacity 
and originality that they supply ready entertainment for many a 
summer day. Their presence may be recognized by their loud, dis- 
tinctive l;a-ree' , I'ct-rec' , and its variations which carrj^ far over the 
water. Or, they may be picked ont from a flock of quiet phlegmatic 
ducks lying on the water by their quick motions, slender necks, and 
rapid disappearances and reappearances ; for like all grebes they are 
rapid, expert divers. They also have the grebe habit of lying on one 
side, showing the silvery and all too famous grebe breast. Across 
the width of a laJ^e, mirror- 
like flashes from the breast 
■should be watched for, as 
also short white lines on 
the surface of the water, 
for the long swan-like necks 
seen at a distance suggest 
short, white sticks vanish- 
ing and reappearing so 
rapidly that it is difiicultto 
keep track of them. But if 
you would see these charming birds at their best, get near enough to 
watch their dextrous work and their delightful individual play. 

FIoLBCELL Grebe : Colymhus IioIh(elIi. — While we saw the Holbcell 
onlj' on the lower Waterton Lake in Alberta during the summer, 
it has been found by Mr. Bryant on Lake McDonald, and on April 
22, 1918, two were seen by Mr. Bailey, " one at the upper end of the 
lake in quiet water and one out in the middle of the lake where big 
waves were rolling higher than its head ; " so another rare possibility 
is open to observers on that lake rich in opportunities. 

Next to the western gi'ebe in size and striking appearance the 
Holboell has a rather heavy red neck and a white throat patch that 
give it a certain stolidity of appearance when compared with the 
swan grebe; but while it may lack vivacity and grace, like all the 
grebes it is a master of its trade and a study of an old mother diving 
for water weeds for her young, and leading them along safe and 
pleasant shores will afford many enjoyable hours. 

From Handbook of Birds of the Western United States. 

Fig. 19. — Western grebe. 


Horned CJeebe : C'ohjml>ii!< aurilus. — On a pond above the Swiftcur- 
rent Lakes, only a short distance from Many Glaciers, Mr. Steven- 
son Avas fortnnate enongh to discover the floating nest and eggs of 
the sprightly little horned grebe, whose reddish neck, pnify side 
crests, and bright red eyes, almost " perched on 
its bill," as he says, make it a striking, cocky 
figure. Sometimes when diving it gets so wet 
that all its distinctive plumes are lost sight of 
and only the red neck is left to tell the tale. 
Careful watch should be kept of the marshy 
meadows of this fruitful Swiftcurrent section 
and similar places in the park that other nests 
maj' be discovered. 

In October, 1887, Dr. George Bird Grinnell 

From Handbook of Western p t,i ^ • -\ a •, i T ill ii in, 

Birds. L.A. Fuertes. fouiicl tlic bircls cfviite abundant on the St. 

Fig. 20. — Horned Mary Lakes and the prairie lakes about the head 

s'^^^"'- of Milk River.^ A pair were also reported in 

June, 1895, by Messrs. Vernon Bailey and Arthur H. Howell, from 

a pond on the prairie near Blackfeet Agency, now Browning. 

On April 21, 1918, Mr. Bailey saw dozens of the puffy headed 
horned grebes, in full breeding plumage, on Lake McDonald, but 
the next day, when the wind had come up and the waves were rolling, 
only a few were seen. 

Eared Grebe : Colyinbus nigricoUis ccdifornicus. — As this is the 
grebe most likely to be seen in the park, it is important to know its 
distinctive characters. Only about half the size of the white-throated 
western grebe and the red-throated Holboell — or about a foot long — • 
its median, pointed crest, light ear tufts, and dusky neck distinguish 
it from the puffy-headed, rufous-necked little horned grebe. In man- 
ner, also, it is quite different from the cocky little horned grebe, which 
comes up from below with a shake of its feathers, points its bill down, 
and is gone ; for it Avill sit quietly on the water looking at you with 
gentle interest for a long time. It lias been reported by Mr. W. S. 
Gibb as breeding on various park lakes, notable among them Lafe 
McDonald, and it has been found by Mr. "\Y. C. Gird, in July and 
August, on the middle lake of the Swiftcurrent chain not far from 
the place where Mr. Stevenson found the nest of the horned grebe 
and where it was evidently taking advantage of the superior feeding 
ground offered by the unusually muddy lake bottom. Mr. Gird has 
also seen it on Glenn and Elizabeth Lakes, in the Bellj' River coun- 
try, and on Waterton- Lake, at the Canadian boundary. It is inter- 
esting to know that in October, 1887, Dr. Grinnell also found it 
abundant on the St. Mary Lakes. Wherever it is found, close at 

• Some Autumn Birds of the St. Mary Lakes Region, Forest and Stream, VoL XXX, 
J). 308, May 31, 1888. 

Wild Animals Glacier Parl<. 


Jil"l 6(a'!IS''i ■^' 

rrom Handbook ol 1 ml-, of flic ^\ f~.u ni I nil 1 ■-i 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 



Courtesy of National Association of Audubon Societies. 


BIRDS. 113 

hand it is a quiet companion of the solitudes, while at a distance its 
mellow hoy-ee-ujt comes to be pleasantly associated with the beauti- 
ful lakes where it makes its home. 

Family GAVIID^: Loons. 

LooN : Gavia immer. — Few of the large conspicuous birds which 
once dignified our frontier are left to delight the eye of the nature 
lover. Trmiipeter swan, sandhill and whooping cranes, Hudsonian 
curlew, and godwit alike have fallen prey to the thoughtless marks- 
man, and even the great blue heron is now rarelj^ to be seen. But the 
loon, though driven by the advance of the gunning tourist and the 
motor boat to seek deeper and more remote solitudes, is still to be 
found on the forest-encircled lakes of Glacier Park, which afford him 
ideal refuges. 

While the name Loon Lake has been given locally to Eogers Lake 
on Camas Creek, Mr. Gibb saj's he has seen dozens of young loons 
in other parts of the park, and they apparently breed on the lakes 
of both eastern and western boundaries, and from Sherburne Lake 
below Many Glaciers to the Waterton Lakes on the Canadian line. 
On the small lake.s along the North Fork of the Flathead — Bowman, 
Quartz, and Logging — Mr. Gird says they have to leave in October, 
as the water is generally frozen over by November ; but at the upper 
end of Kintla Lake Mr. Bailey saw a returned migrant on AjDril 
16, 1918. They can stay all winter on Lake McDonald, as both the 
inlet and outlet remain open. On the Lower St. Mary, just outside 
the park, during October and the first half of November, 18S7, Dr. 
Grimiell saw several of the loons, and reported hearing them fre- 

In the nesting season one pair of the great, handsomely marked 
black and white birds seems to populate a mountain lake, their loud 
weird crj^ adding a rich flavor of wild life to its forested shores. 
On two of the most secluded lakes that we visited, fleeting glimpses 
were had of the noble birds. Glenn Lake, whose four miles of narrow 
timbered lengih lead up a glacial amphitheater, offers peculiarly safe 
harbor for the hunted creatures of forest and lake. Here, on leaving 
(he trail to get sight of the lake, after forcing a passage through 
the dense undergrowth and the down timber, at the edge of the 
water a resting loon was almost stepped on, and up at the head of the 
lake under the glacier a group of Canada geese was discovered. 
Another lookout across the lake revsaled a dark reddish brown form 
standing on a short strip of beach on the opposite shore, and the 
glass excitedly raised showed the long stiltlike legs and dark color 
of a vouno- moose. A congenial home, indeed, for the solitude-loving 


loons ! Crossley Lake, separated from Glenn Lake by a terminal 
moraine, may afford additional feeding grounds for the Glenn Lake 
loons, or shelter a pair of its own. In any case, on another day 
when looking out over its broad surface toward the great glacial 
amphitheater above, I saw two of the loons sitting unafraid out on 
the middle of the lake. As I watched they rose and flapped their 
black wings, dived, and came up, lying with super-duck length on the 
water and flashing their white underparts. Then, perhaps becom- 
ing conscious of observation, thej' made their way over the beautiful 
green and purple deeps of the lake toward the sheer wall of Gable 
Mountain, all too soon disappearing from view. 

Order LONGIPENNES: Long-winged Swimmers. 
Family LARID^: Gulls and Tems. 

California Gull : Larus calif oi-nicits. — Mr. F. F. Liebig of Kalis- 
pell has a mounted specimen of one of these large gulls in the 
mottled immature plumage which was taken at Lake McDonald, 
and he has seen two others on the lake. 

EiNO-niLLED Gull: Larus delaivarcnsis. — The ring-billed gull, 
with white head and underparts, and yellowish bill with a black 
band near the tiji, has been identified just outside the park by Dr. 
Grinnell, who saw it several times on the Lower St. Mary Lake in 
September and October, 1887, resting on sand bars in company with 
terns-; and Mr. Stevenson writes me that "at least one variety of 
gull is a summer visitor of the park, while they are common on the 
plains east of the park, noticeal)ly at Duck Lake and the slaughter- 
house located on a pond at Browning." He says that he has also 
noted them on Sherburne Lake in midsummer. Mr. Gibb states that 
gulls nest at St. Mary Lake and Lake McDonald, along the North 
Fork of the Flathead, and on the Belly Eiver, and adds that he has 
seen them in summer on Lake INIcDermott. On April 21 and 22, 
1918, Mr. Bailey saw a few gulls, apparently of this species, on Lake 

Bonaparte Gull: Lams philfi.delphia. — The smaller Bonaparte 
gull, the summer adults of which have both bill and head black, and 
the winter adults and young of which have a conspicuous dusky spot 
on the ear coverts, is reported from the park by the two taxidermists, 
Mr. Bryant and Mr. Stanford, and Mr. Bryant thinks he has seen 
it on Lake McDonald. Mr. F. F. Liebig has a mounted specimen 
taken on St. Mary LaJre when the park was a National Forest, 

FoRSTER Tern: Sterna fomteri {?). — Black-crowned and forked 
tailed terns presumably of this species were seen flying over the 
northern Waterton Lake in August, and they probably cross the 

BIRDS. 115 

park on their migrations. In September and October, 1SS7, Dr. 
Grinnell found small terns abundant on the Lower St. INIary Lake. 
They were apparently feeding on small fish ami were busy over the 
shallows near the inlet, where thej^ were wind-bound for several days. 

Order STEGANOPODES: Totipalmate Swimmers. 
Family PHALACR0C0RACID7E: Cormorants. 

DoTJBLE-CRESTED CoRMOKANT : Phaldn^ocorax aiiritvs our! f us. — One 
of these singular black birds with long snakj^ neck and plumelike 
crests over the eyes was added to the park list by Dr. Grinnell, 
October 15, 1887, when he found it on the Upper St. Mary Lake 
below the narrows. 

Family PELECANIDi^: Pelicans. 

White Pelicax : Pclecanvs crythrorhi/iirhoH. — The great, spectac- 
idar white pelicans, with iheir long bills and large orange fish 
pouches, have been seen by Mr. Gibb at Lakes INIcDonald and Sher- 
burne in July and August, usually in twos, evidently wandering after 
the breeding season. Dr. Grinnell, in October, 1887, saw a solitarj^ 
wanderer at Pike Lake near the foot of Chief Mountain. It ap- 
peared from the north just before sunset and spent the night on the 

These records, together with those of other rare birds, while inter- 
esting in themselves are peculiarly so to the observer who by care- 
ful watching may make equally notable discoveries. 

Order ANSERES: Lamellirostral Swimmers. 
Family ANATID^: Ducks, Geese, and Swans. 

Merganser: Mergiix amerkanus. — JNIr. Stevenson informs me that 
the merganser breeds throughout the park. One of the females with 
light reddish brown head and horizontal crest was seen August 6 
hj Mr. Bailey on Swiftcurrent Creek, below the falls; and two 
others with one of the green-headed, light-breasted males were seen 
on August 27 on Lake McDonald. On April 11, when ]\Ir. Bailey 
visited the lake, mergansers were common there, and were said to have 
been there all winter; during the weeks when the lake was frozen 
over, gathering in considerable numbers in the rapids of ISIcDonald 
Creek. On April 21 and 22 they were on the lake in moderate num- 
bers. Many were also seen along the North Fork of the Flathead 
between April 11 and 21. 

Mr. Higginson, when collecting just outside the park, wrote: "Six 
birds — two males and four females (or young) — stayed around 
51140°— 18 10 



Stanton Lake all wintei- long. When the lake froze up they went 
up the creek, swimming about in the big pools. No wild fowl of any 
other kind came into the lake from November 15 to February' 22." 
Mr. Bryant has taken merganser eggs on Stanton Lake, so the birds 
are doubtless resident. 

The mergansers have the interesting habit of fishing in small 
bands, and their maneuvers will repay close observation. 

Eed-beeasted Merganser: Mergus serrator. — Late in October, 
1887, Dr. Grinnell found red-breasted mergansers, with the long, 
hairlike crests, in company with a large variety of waterfowl, abun- 
dant on the Lower St. Mary Lake, and Mr. Gird reports them as 
found in spring, summer, and fall between Waterton Creek and the 

From Handbook of Birds o£ the Wpstern ITnitpd States, 

Fig. 21. — Red-breayted merganser. 

North Fork of the Flathead on the west and Belly River on the east 
side of the park. Mr. F. F. Licbig has a specimen taken on Lake 
ilcDonald some years ago. 

These mergansers also hunt in companies, as Mr. E. LI. Eaton 
describes it, " sometimes advancing with wide, extended front, driv- 
ing the fish before them and diving simultaneously so that, which- 
ever way their prey xni\y dart, there is a serrated beak and capacious 
gullet ready to receive them." 

FIooDED Merganser: Loplwdyfes cucuUatus. — Mr. Stevenson re- 
l)orts seeing the hooded merganser, with the white-centered, wheel- 
shaped crest, mostly in spring and fall, in ones or twos on small 
ponds, but Mr. Bryant says that it breeds on the Middle Fork of the 

BIRDS. 117 

Flathead and ' is great for la3diig eggs in the nests A¥ith golden-eyes 
and bnffle-heads and then scrapping over the nest." Apparently it is 
commonly called wood duck. 

Mallard: Anas plafyrhijncha. — The green-headed drake mallard, 
which is familiar to all from his resemblance to the domestic stock 
derived from the wild, and the brown-mottled female, which may 
be recognized by her large size, white-bordered purple wing patches, 
her white outer tail feathers, and her loud barnyard quack, should 
be looked for in the lower levels of the park. In the willowy borders 
of Sherburne Lake, on August 5, we heard the quacking of mal- 
lards, and at the oil wells down the lake were shown two nearly 
grown young that the Stevensons had raised from eggs under a 
hen. They had become so thoroughly domesticated that they allowed 
the children to carry them around, 
and, although they went down to the 
lake with the wild mallards in the 
daytime, returned to the house at 
night. An adxilt and one nearly grown 
young were seen, August 9, by Mr. 
Bailey in a marsh just above Lake 
Elizabeth, and on August 20 across the 
Alberta line three were flushed from 
one of the small sloughs. On August 
21, we saw eleven mallards on Rey- 
nolds Lake a few miles south of the 
boundary. "^ .^--.=.-.-^ 

-m, r r~i I ^ I ii ^ T From Handbook of Western Birds. L. A. Fuertes, 

Mr. htevenson says that thev breed 

•' " Fig. 22. — Hooded merganser. 

m lakes and ponds at the lower eleva- 
tions of the park and in 1914 were quite plentiful on the inlets 
of both the upper and lower Sherburne Lakes. A mounted mal- 
lard seen at Lewis's came from the North Fork of the Flathead, 
and Mr. Gird says they are common there as well as about 
old beaver ponds on the Belly Pviver. In the fall of 1887 Dr. Grin- 
ncU found them "extremely abundant throughout the St. Mary 
Lakes region." They were also foimd feeding in open water late 
in November, and he said that undoubtedly "a few remain all 
winter on mountain streams." 

A few mallards were seen by Mr. Bailey, April 10 and 11, 1918, 
alono- the Middle Fork of the Flathead and at Lake McDonald ; and 
more', mostly in pairs, April 12-19, along the North Fork, from the 
mouth of Camas Creek to Kintla Creek, and in many of the small 
lakes and ponds; also on April 21, uumy pairs and flocks on Lake 
McDonald. They were evidently both breeding and migrating. Mr. 
E. H. Myrick, the forest ranger at Belton, saw a family with five 




downy young in a pond on the river fiats near Nyack, April 5 ; and 
as tlie forest cruiser, H. E. Flint, saw mallards in the river near 
there in December, they evidently wintered there and bred early. 

Gadwall: Chcmlelasmufi streperux. — As their Latin name indi- 
cates, the gadwalls are noisy ducks. The drake may be recog- 
nized by his brown and wliite wing patches, and the duck by her 
Avhite patches and pure white wing linings. 

A brood of about a dozen dark, j'ellow-spotted, downy young were 
found, July 19, by Mr. Bailey, swimming around under the willows 
on a beaver pond between ]\Iany Glaciers and Sherburne Lake. 
One adult was also seen, August 9, on Lake Elizabeth, in the Belly 
River region. In the fall of 1887 Dr. Grinnell found gadwalls 
" abundant on shallow j^rairie lakes on Milk River Ridge and north- 

Baldpate: Mareca awericana. — Mr. Stevenson questions whether 
the baldpates breed at all in the park, and Mr. Gibb reports them 

only as spring and fall mi- 
grants. In 1887 Dr. Grin- 
nell found them in the St. 
ilary Lakes region, abun- 
dant through September 
and October but leaving be- 
fore the 1st of November. 
On April 21, 1918, Mr. 
Baile}' found baldpates the 
most numerous ducks on 
Lake McDonald, in large 
and small flocks, out in the 
middle of the lake and along shore. Sometimes a hundred or more 
would be seen sitting in long rows on a beach in the sun. The next 
daj^ the lake was rough and few were seen, so it is evident that the 
migrating hordes had merelj' stopped to rest. 

Green-winged Teal: Nettion caroKnense. — A mounted specimen 
of the prettj' little green-winged teal Avith brown head, green cheek 
stripe and wing patch may be seen at Lewis's, and Mr. Gibb says 
that it nests in the park, particularly on the west side of the moun- 
tains. Mr. Stevenson says that it is seen in great flocks spring 
and fall, being the commonest teal of the park. In 1887 Dr. Grin- 
nell found it abundant in the St. Mary Lakes region in open water 
'up 1o November. 

On April 21 -and 22, 1918, Mr. Bailey found green-winged teal 
among the most abundant ducks on Lake McDonald. Hundreds 
were seen scattered over the lake in small mixed flocks of other 

From Handbook of Birds of the "Western United States, 

Fig. 23. — Baldpate. 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Courtesy of Natioual Assouiatiuu ul Auduljun Socktics. 

Left figure, female; right figure, male. 



Blue- WINGED Teal: Querquedula discors. — The blue-winged teal 
with his white eye crescent, larg,. bine wing patch, and brown body- 
is one of the easily recognized ducks and may be looked for as a 
spring and fall migrant. In 18S7 Dr. Grinnell found the bine-wing 
abundant on the Lower St. Mary Lake in September, but he says it 
was one of the earliest ducks to leave for the south. 

Cinna:mon Teal: Qiierqiiedula cyanoptera. — Mr. Stevenson has 
noted the cinnamon-colored teal in the spring migration, and Mr. 
Bryant says that it used to breed at Flathead Lake. 

Photograph by Robert E. Rockwell. 

Fig. 24. — GrePn wingpcl teal. 

Shoveller : Spatula chjpeata. — A female shoveller with its spoon- 
shaped bill was seen, August 29, and a male and female on August 30 
on Lake McDonald. Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Gibb report them as 
spring and fall migrants, but not common. In the fall of 1887 Dr. 
Grinnell found them very abundant on the prairie lakes and the 
Lower St. Mary Lake associated with teal, widgeon, gadwall, and 
mallard. He said they left late in October. In June, 1895, Messrs. 
Bailey and Howell reported shovellers seen in nearly all the ponds 
on the prairie near Blackfeet Agency, now Browning. Six or eight 
pairs were seen and a few single males. On April 21, 1918, Mr. 
Bailey saw hundreds of shovellers on Lake McDonald, some in pairs 
but more in large flocks, and all the males in handsome spring dress, 
with black head, white chest, and chestnut belly. 



Pintail; Dafila acuta tzltzUioa. — Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Gibb 
speak of seeing the brown-headed pintail in spring and fall; and Mr. 
Gird, who has noted them in the Belly Eiver region and the north- 
ern part of the park, says the}' come into the mountain lakes from 
the prairie about September. In the fall of 1887, Dr. Grinnell found 
them in small numbers on Milk 
Eiver Ridge and the prairie lakes 
of the St. Mary Lakes region, 
though they were not nearly so 

From Handbook of Woatcrn Birds. 
L. A. Fucrtcs. 

Fig. 25. — Clup-wingcd tcul. 

From Handbook ol WL-stcrn Birds. 

Fig. 2G. — Cinnamon teal. 

abundant as other fresh-water ducks. On April 21, 1918, Mr. Bailey 
found them fairly common on Lake McDonald in small flocks. 
While mixed with other species on the water, they kept together 
when they flew. 

"Wood Duck: Aix sponna. — Great confusion has arisen from the 
local application of the name wood duck to the Barrow golden-eve 
and the merganser, but Mr. H. P. Stanford has a mounted wood duck 


Prom Handbook of Birds of the Western United States. 

Fig. 27. — Pintail. 

that he took at Flathead Lake, and says he has seen tlie ducks on the 
ponds at the upper end of Lake McDonald. 

All the ducks of the region which may be called wood ducks 
because they nest in hollow trees should be carefully distinguished. 
In the golden-eyes the drake has a green head with a white spot 
at the base of the bill, while the duck has a puffy, dai^k-brown 
head. In the sheldrake, the scarcely crested head of the drake is 
dark green, while the long-crested head of the duck is reddish- 
hroivn. In the hooded merganser the drake has a black wheel- 



From Handbook of Birda of the WestiTn Lniti'il Staffs. 

Fig. 28. — Canvas-back. 

shaped crext with a large white fan-,shui>ed patch, while tlie fhiclc 
has an vniiuirh-d, grayish hnnvn head. But in the wood chick.s 
the drake has red eyes, a pnqdish-ehestniit breast spotted with 
white, a heavy green and purple drooping crest and the ddes of the 
head streaked ivith white; while 
the gray-headed female has a 
irhlte eye patch streahlncj Tjack- 
ward. The white lines on the 
head are enough to distinguish 
both sexes of wood duck from 
both mergansers and golden- 

Redhead: Mar ila ameri- 
cana. — Though not a common 
migrant in the park, the red- 
head has been noted by Mr. Ste- 
venson, Mr. Gibb, and Mr. Gird. 
In October, 1887, Dr. Grinnell 
found it abundant on the St. 
Mary Lakes. On April 21, 1918. 
Mr. Bailey saw a pair out in the 
middle of Lake McDonald. 

Canvas-back : MarUa valisineria. — Mr. Gibb reports seeing the 
canvas-back during migration, and Mr. Stevenson reports it from 
Duck Lake east of the park in fall. In October, 1887, Dr. Grinnell 
foimd it on the Lower St. Mary during bitter cold weather in con- 
siderable numbers. On April 21, lOlS. jNIr. I>ailey saw a few small 

flocks on Lake McDonald, readily distin- 
guished from the surrounding flocks of 
smaller ducks. 

ScATjp Duck: Marlla marlla. — On 
April 21, 1918. Mr. Bailey found these 
large scaups with light-gray backs and 
bright blue bills scattered over Lake Mc- 
Donald from one end to the other in both 
large and small flocks, aggregating at 
least hundreds. In the fafl of 1887 Dr. 
Grinnell found them abundant on the 
Lower St. Mary just outside the park. 

Lesser Scaup Duck : Marlla affinh. — 
Mr. Bryant told us that the lesser scaup, 
whose head is glossed with purple instead of green, passes over Lake 
McDonald, and Mr. Stevenson writes that a duck which he takes for it 
occurs in the park during the fall months in large flocks. Dr. Grinnell 
in 1887 found it abundant on the prairie lakes adjoining the St. Mary 
Lakes region, and when these froze up on the Lower St. Mary Lake. 

Prom Handbook of WtsttTn Birds. 

Fig. 29. — Scaup Juck 



Ring-necked Duck: Marila eollaris. — Mr. Bryant saj's that the 
ringneck is found in swampy ground in the park in summer, so that 
it is well to add it to the list of those to be carefully looked for. The 
drake, while having tlie black head and breast of the scaups, may be 
distinguished by the light ring on its bill, the brown collar and black 
back, the duck by the gray wing patch. 

Barrow Golden-eye: L'lan<jula islandica. — The handsome green- 
headed Barrow drake has Avhat has been described as a " spread- 
wing shaped white patch " at the base of the bill which distinguishes 
the Barrow golden-eye of the mountains from the American goklen- 
ej^e, whose drake has only a round white spot at the base of his 

PhotogruDh liy (ii'orKe Shira-s, 31 

Courtesy of Hircl-Tji 

— <':f)ldon-r'yes 

n yrllowRtonp Lake. 

bill. But like most male ducks, the handsome Barrow is rarelv 
seen in late summer, apparently going off to some secluded place to 
luolt, leaving his mate to rear the young. An old duck, with puffy 
brown head, golden eye or " brass eye," white underparts and large 
white wing patch, leading around a brood of downy young, is one of 
the delightfully familiar sights on the beautiful mountain lakes of 
Glacier Park. When rowing on Lake INIcDcrmott one July evening, 
along the shore opposite Many Glaciers we came to an old mother 
with three young. Her white neck line, cutting the brown of her 
liead, sliowed conspicuously in the dusk, as did the little white cheeks 
contrasting with the dark crowns of Ihe ducklings. When we i-owed 
near the mother gave a low guttural call, in response to which the 

BIRDS. 123 

little felloT\'s instantl}' swam close to her side. When thej' all swam on 
together and we followed, though my quieting talk partly reassured 
the anxious mother, her distress was so a])pealing that with a (juick 
turn of the paddle I sent the boat out into the lake — to our mutual 
relief. Feeling safe at last, the little ones strung out in single file 
behind their mother, swimming slowly and contentedly along close to 
shore. As we watched them, they seemed a fitting part of the peace- 
ful sunset picture — the quiet lake over which the cool night air came 
down from the mountains, the dark-spired shore line from which 
came the vesper song of the thrush, and the sunset light above, fading 
out on the snowy slopes of the peaks. 

The anxiety of the old duck had doubtless been partly due to tragic 
experiences, for up the lake two broods were seen, one with 11 and one 
with 12 young, while one w^as reported to us from Sun Camp with 14, 
and the usual clutch ranges from 9 to 12. Four-footed prowlers had 
perhaps troUed along the lakeshore by moonlight, in their turn hav- 
ing to provide for hungry families waiting in some well-hidden den — 
for so the world progresses. Broods of various ages as well as num- 
bers were seen in the park, some just hatched, some fairly well grown, 
while old ducks apparently only leaving their nests for a meal were 
noticed at various places. One of these solitary ones flew up near the 
head of Grinnell Lake one day, where it dived deep through the 
green water. It was aggravating not to be able to follow the ducks 
as they flew back down the lakes to their nests. What may have been 
such a return home was happened on a year or so ago by Dr. Grinnell, 
though he saw it at too great a distance to be sure. He writes, " I saw 
a golden-eye that had been swinging about over the lake on the middle 
fork of Swiftcurrent, fly over some dead, burned, pine timber on 
Wilber Creek and stop before a large pine, where it hovered as a 
barn swallow does before its nest, and then disappeared." 

At Sun Camp, one morning late in July, I was surprised to see a 
golden-eye fly out over the lake below in large disturbed circles, and. 
as a motor boat came noisily by, fly high up on the side of the cliff 
below the chalet, acting strangely as if going to take refuge on the 
rocky promontory. That same morning Mr. Bailey saw a flock of 
thirty or fortv golden-eyes fly up past the chalet toward the upper 
end of the lake, already gathered into a fall flock anticipating the 
southward flight, although Dr. Grinnell found the ducks on the 
Lower St. Mary among the last to leave. 

On April 22, 1918, when at Lake McDonald, among the golden- 
eyes seen too far out to distinguish the species, Mr. Bailey saw one 
small flock at the upper end of the lake so close in shore that with 
the' <^lass he could distinctly see the crescent-shaped spots on the 
cheeks of the two old males, which were in high breeding plumage. 




Buffle-iiead: Cliar'itonvtta alheolo. — ]Mr. Bryant once found a 
nest in a stump on a flat of Dutch Creek, which he identified from 
the egi>s as that of a bnffle-head, but tlie bird was not seen and no 
nests wei'c found in the marsh bordering the hike. Mr. Stevenson 
saj-s the butlle-head is common in the park in spring and late fall, but 

he has never seen either nest 
or joung. His father now 
suspects that it breeds 
near Sherburne Lake. The 
mounted bird to be seen at 
Lewis's came from the Mid- 
dle Fork of the Flathead. 
On the St. Marjr Lakes, Dr. 
Grinnell found it, like the 
Barrow golden-eye, among 
the last to leave. 

On April 21, 1918, Mr. 
Bailey found many flocks of buffle-heads on Lake McDonald, usually 
with large flocks or in the great assemblies of mixed species of ducks. 
At a distance, he says, they looked like pure white balls— snowballs — 
floating on the water. 

Western Harlequin Duck : Histrionicus Mstrionlcus faclfcus. — 
The western form of the little harlequin, whose distribution is given 
as northwestern America and Siberia, 
and which spends its summers in rapid 
mountain streams, is one of the most 
notable birds found in Glacier Park. 
Everj'thing about it is distinctive. The 
plumage of the drake is bizarre enough 
to merit the name harlequin, with its 
gray and rich brown body colors strik- 
ingly slashed with white, and while the 
duck, according to the accepted custom in 
ornithological circles, is as dull colored 
and inconspicuous as her lord is hand- 
some and striking, she still has unusual 
face marks — two white spots on each side 
of the head that serve to identify her 
across a lake. 

Still more distinctive are the harlequin's habits, for, like the Avater 
ouzel, an habitue of foaming mountain streams, it rides their rapids 
with the abandon of enjoyment. On- the rapids connecting the two 
St. Mary Lakes, in the spring of 1895, Mr. Bailey found eight or 
ten " diving, bobbing on the rough surface, drifting or darting- 
down over the rapids, and then- gathering in a bunch below to fly 

From Handbook of Wfatirn Bir 


-Wosteni harlequin 

BIRDS. 125 

back upstream for another descent.'' A family of seven was seen 
near the end of August by members of our party on Mineral Creek, 
"bobbing over the rapids in single file," and on McDonald Creek 
a few days hater we saw a family of five. Here gently tilted shelves 
of shale gave an alternation of green shallows and foaming rapids 
that the ducks could nuike their way through upstream. As we 
looked, the close file of five, each with its white head spots and so 
nearly alike in size that we could only surmise that the leader was 
(he mother, swam rapidly np through the white foam, using wings 
as well as webbed feet and holding their heads high, as the foam some- 
times came up to their bills. Once when a rapid was too high they 
made a detour up a slanting side chute ending in a ledge over a foot 
in height. Four of them successfully jumped up the wall, but the 
fifth made a slip and was caught by the swift current and carried 
back several feet into the foam. When he came up he made another 
mistake, steiiping on a slippery, sloping rock, and a second time was 
caught by the water and carried down into the foam. When the 
whole five had gone np through a long stretch of rapids toward the 
fall where seme old water ouzel's nests were found, they discovered a 
fisherman casting a line in the bottom of the gorge; so after some 
hesitation they turned around and giving themselves up to the 
churning water came bobbing down over the rapids with an air of 
buoyant ease that made a rarely pretty sight. At the foot of the 
rapids one of them, perhaps the unskillful one which had had trou- 
ble in getting upstream, instead of pointing head forward was turned 
sideways across the stream. As they swam over to a quiet bay along 
shore they were greeted by one of the family that had been left be- 
hind — if appearances were to be trusted. 

A mother and six young were seen at Grinnell Lake about the 
middle of August by Dr. Grinnell, who sent me an interesting ac- 
count of their actions. He was standing on the beach when they 
came in sight, swimming close to the shore. He says : " They did not 
notice me and went along slowly and passed me within 12 or 15 feet. 
The little ones were active in diving, as much so as the mother bird, 
but remained under the water a much shorter time. All were active, 
vigorous swimmers and divers. I heard no call from the young, but 
the mother uttered a hoarse croaking quack. 

"After they had gone perhaps a hundred yards beyond me, they 
seemed to have satisfied their appetites, and drew close to shore, 
disappearing behind a little point. I went around to the little cove 
where they had gone, and as I appeared they were startled and 
swam swiftly from the shore out into the lake. As I stood quiet they 
at once recovered from their alarm, turned about, and swam back 
toward shore, and then all seven climbed out on a dead tree trunk 
that had fallen into the lake and stood there side by side, drying 



tlioir plumage and seeming to enjoj' the sun. They reminded me of 
a row of wood ducks. When the young had finished dressing their 
down, thej' sat down on the stick, some lengthwise and some across 
the log, the mother, Avhich had been the last to leave the water, being 
nearest to it." 

In the Olsen Yalle}^, August 21, 1917, Mr. Robert S. Yard saw 
seven harlequins, the young apparently nearly grown. On Gunsight 
Lake, a month earlier, we saw several harlequins which flew up and 
down the St. ]\Iary Eiver, near whose rajiids they very likely made 
their homes. On the North Fork of the Flathead they have been 
seen by JSIr. Bryant, and ]\Ir. Stevenson feels sure that they breed 
along swift mountain streams throughout the park. On August 4: 

and 5, 1914, Mr. Aretas A. 
Saunders saw five birds on 
the Upper Two Medicine 
Lake. One of the hardy 
ducks was seen in the win- 
ter of 1917 by Mr. Gibb 
swimming in the swift 
Avater above McDermott 

On Iceberg Lake, June 
27, 1913, Mr. E. E. Warren 
saw a pair of the ducks and 
photographed one. "At the 
time," he says, "the lake 
was mostly covered with 
ice and snow, merely a nar- 
row strip of open Avater 40 or 50 feet wide along the side opposite the 
glacier, and in this the brightly clad drake and his more quietly 
dressed mate were swimming back and forth. They were compara- 
tively tame and joaid little attention to me as I stood on the shore and 
watched them, though they kept in motion continually. The only time 
they took wing was to fly over a narrow bit of ice. Later I saw them 
get out and walk on the same ice. While I was equipped with a 
Graflex camera, the day was very dark and cloudy, raining occasion- 
ally, and I did not succeed in getting a single good negative. Even 
the strong reflection from the ice and snow did not help out suffi- 
ciently. It was the chance of a lifetime, and I will never cease to 
regret not having obtained good pictures." Borrowing Mr. War- 
ren's best negative, we had it strengthened and touched up and 
present it here for its great local interest. Bird photographers vis- 
iting the park while the drake is still to be seen in June should watch 
carefully for opportunities to obtain better results. 

Photograph by E, R. Warren (retouched). 

Fig. 33. — Ilarlcquiu duck at Iceberg Lake. 




n Han.ibnr.k of \\'est>Tn Birds. I.. A. Fuertca. 

Fig. o4. — Whiti'-wingrd scotrr. 

WiiiTE-wiNCED Scoter: Oidemld. (IcgJandi deglandl. — One of these 
large black sea ducks was seen by Mr. Stevenson in the fall of 1900, 
after a big storm, and in September, 1910, he shot three on a 
small pond near the east line of the 

EuDDY Duck : Erismatura janiai- 
censis. — The droll little rudd_y duck, 
with his bright blue bill, ruddj' body, 
and spiked tail, has been found by 
Mr. Bryant in the nesting season o!i 
the North Fork of the Flathead, 
where there are a number of small 
ponds and sloughs that offer congenial nesting sites; but no actual 
rests have been located. During the spring migration Mr. Steven- 
son has found the ruddies rather connnon on Sherburne Lake, and 
in October, 1887, Dr. Grinnell found them very abundant on all the 
lakes of the St. Mary region. 

On April 21, 1918, Mr. Bailey found them among the more nu- 
merous ducks on Lake McDonald, " often giving a ruddy glow to 

the gieat mixed flocks along the 
shores, on the beaches, or out in the 
middle of the lake. Many hundreds 
or a few thousands would give a 
fair statement of their numbers on 
the lake." 

Snow Goose : Chen hi/perhorea 
liyperhorea. — Hordes of white geese 
are reported bj' Mr. Stevenson as 
passing over the park in the migrations, especially in fall; but in 
1887, among the thousands of geese seen in October. Dr. Grinnell 
identified only three as hyperhorca. They came October 25, and 
kept mostly by themselves, feeding with the ducks in the shallows 
where the inlet enters the lake. 

Eoss Goose: f'hcn rosxl. — The first Ross goose reported by Dr. 
Grinnell in the St. Mary Lakes region was on October 1, 1887. He 
at first took the flocks for snow geese but one shot by an Indian 
proved to be the Ross goose, which is smaller than the snow goose 
and whose bill is without black on the cutting edges. For a month, 
he says, jnigrating flocks of from twenty to a hundred were con- 
stantly passing over the lakes and crossing the mountains on their 
way south. 

Canada Goose: Branfa cmuiden.sis canaden-^k.— Several pairs of 
the great gray Canada geese, with the black head and white throat 

. r.w^,.^,. ., , -c:;c,c:-t32r 

C/ . ,; p^^ 

Fig. 35. — Euddy ducU. 



patch, nest in the vicinity of Many Ghaciers, especially about the 
head of Sherburne Lake. One pair with very j'oung goslings has 
been noted on Lake McDermott. A pair had nested on Lake Joseph- 
ine for six years, Mr. Gibb told us, but had apparently been driven 
off by the reason's logging. Perhaps they had gone up to Grinnell 
Lake, he suggested. Anxious to find the great birds at home on their 
northern breeding grounds, when we rode up to the lake in July, on 
dismounting I hurried to the shore and swept the lake eagerh^ with 
my glass. Nothing was to be seen on the opposite shore or below, 
but up at the head of the lake, under the glacier, with its ice cascades 

Fhotoeraph by E. R. Warrea. 

Fig. 36. — Canada geese. 

and waterfalls, sitting quietly in a beautiful family group were the 
old and young. They evidently saw us as soon as we saw them, for 
they quickly vanished. To get another sight of them, we spent an 
hour forcing our way through the dense chaparral bordering the 
lake and working across slippery snowbanks to a steep white slope, 
ending only at the edge of the water. Then across the lake we dis- 
covered white spots — five or six the glass revealed, the young about 
half grown — close along the shore with green chaparral-covered 
mountain slopes and snowbanks above them — quite a ditferent set- 
ting from those we had been watching in the Washington Zoo in 
June ! 

Another family was seen by ISIr. and Mrs. Yard from the steam- 
boat on St. Mary Lake near the narrows — two old geese and two 

>u uiu gce»e ami VWO 
wj vnA gccoc auu LWO 
"J uni gccoe aiiu two 

BIRDS. 129 

grayish young about the size of duclis, while at the head of Glenn 
Lake, under the glacier, when Mr. Bailey fluslfed the loon he also 
saw a gi'oup of six geese. A nest was discovered June, 1915, by Mr. 
(iird on a hunnnock of an old beaver dam between the two St. Alary 
Lakes. In 1887 Dr. Grinnell found that the southbound geese reached 
St. Mary the last of September and were very abundant there all 
through October, some of them staying into November. 

When we were camped on the Swiftcurrent, a mile below Many 
Glaciers, early in August, on walking across the horse pasture near 
sunset one evening, overhead came the stirring honking of geese, the 
bugle call that in spring sounds the knell of winter and quickens the 
pulses with its prophecy of spring. Six of the great broad-winged 
birds came flying abreast through the sky. They wore going out to 
the flats to feed, and after sunset came flying back, disappearing up 
toward the glaciers. 

While some of the geese winter as far north as British Columbia, 
others go as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. On the return north 
this year large flocks passed over Lake ]\IcDonald in March, many 
of them stopi^ing on the lake, which was then partly frozen over. On 
April 12, Mr. Bailee' saw a pair on the Xorth Fork of the Flathead, 
at the mouth of Camas Creek, said to have been there for a week or 
more and supposed to have a nest. Several other pairs were seen 
and heard along the river above Logging Creek, and they are said to 
breed habitually along the river. 

Whistling Swan: OJor cohimhianux. — During the spring and fall 
migrations, Mr. Stevenson says, whistling swans are seen at the 
Swiftcurrent lakes almost every year. At Lake McDonald, in April, 
1918, Mr. Bailey was told that numbers of swans went over the lake 
in March, and a few stopped in the open water. 

Trumpeter Swan : OJor Inireinator. — In October and November, 
1887, Dr. Grinnell found trumpeter swans— largely young of the 
year — abundant at the extreme upper end of the Lower St. Mary 
Lake, and, as he says, " these, like most of the geese when they started 
south, were headed in a southwesterly direction and would thus have 
crossed the park, it seems safe to include the splendid birds, now prac- 
tically extinct, in the list of the birds of the park." 

Order HERODIONES: Herons, Bitterns, etc. 
Family ARDEID^: Herons, Bitterns, etc. 

Bittern: Botaurua lcnti(]hwsm.— ^\\\\<i the bittern is a bird that is 
easily overlooked except by the saunterer along quiet streams and the 
leisurely explorer of moist meadows, sloughs, and marshes, its voice 
51140°— IS 11 



L. A. Fucrtcs. 

and habits make it too interesting to miss. Its famous vocal imitation 
of an old wooden pump once heard v/ill be recognized even in the dead 

of night, and its 
imitation of stake 
driving in a bog is 
so good that it is 
known not only as 
the prairie pump 
but the stake driver. 
Its brown streaked 
form will generalh^ 
be seen from the 
back as at one's 
slow approach it rises from a reedy slough or stream bank, and with 
a deliberate, casual air silently crosses to the next cover, when it 
quickly drops out 
of sight. If come 
upon suddenly, as 
by a noiseless 
canoe, instead of 
taking flight it 
turns its protec- 
tively colored front 
toward you, assum- 
ing one of the won- 
derful attitudes so 
often found among 
protectively colored 
insects. Pointing- 
its bill to the sky, 
with long, slender 
body held erect and 
motionless, it 
might well pass for 
one of the reeds by 
Avhich it is sur- 

It is good to hear 
that even in this 
mountain park 
there are abundant 
opportunities foi' 
discovering it. 
The best places to 
look seem to be on 
the low, Avet land 

Photograph by Robert B. RockwoU. 

Fn3. 38. — Yoims 

great blue bei'ou. 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Courtesy of National Association of Audubon Societies. 


BIRDS. 131 

on the west side of the mountains, where many birds unlvnown in 
other parts of the park may be found. Here, as Mr. Gibb says, " in 
slow water where there are rushes," as in McGee Meadow, and along 
Camas, Dutch, and Indian Creeks, and the North Fork of the Flat- 
head, bittern have been seen and may well be looked for. But just 
outside the east side of the park, near Browning, in 1895, Mr. Bailey 
and Mr. Howell heard one pumping. 

Great Blue Heron : Ardeu herodias herodias. — A sight of the 
great blue heron, like that of the bittern, is one of the rare pleasures 
offered the leisurely explorer of the park, and one look at the blue 
figure standing erect on the edge of a lake or suddenly bending low 
to spear a fish may well become a cherished memory. 

Order PALUDICOLiE: Cranes, Rails, etc. 
Family GRUID^: Cranes. 

Sandhill Crane: Grus canadensis mexicana. — Notes on the sum- 
mer occurrence of cranes are now matters of park history. In June, 
189r), Messrs. Bailey and Howell reported several heard both day and 
night on June 12, 13, and 14 on the prairies near Midvale; and they 
added that one pair flew down quite close to camp. In 1899, Mr. 
Bryant found old nests with eggshells in them on McGee Meadow 
near -Camas Creek. He also found one in a bog on Whitefish 
Mountain when hunting clucks. He saw a head with pink on it and 
then saw the bird fly off. About twenty years ago Mr. Lewis saw two 
sandhill cranes standing out on the prairie on the North Fork of the 
Flathead. Not unnaturally, when he first saw tlie tall birds at a dis- 
tance, he " thought they were people." Mr. Stevenson has been told 
rather recently of a nest in a marsh in the St. Mary Valley below 
the i^ark. 

At present the park records are restricted to rare migrants flying 
over, as tAvo seen by Mr. Gibb in May, 1917, at Sherburne Lake. If it 
were not too late the protected prairie patches on the edges of the 
park might still recall these original, fantastic birds whose presence 
adds so much to any locality: but, associated with the daj^s of the 
Indians on the plains, they, too, belong to " a vanishing race." 

Family RALLID^: Rails, Coots, etc. 

Soea Rail: Porsana Carolina. — Another delightful bird has been 
added to the possibilities of the close observer in the park by Mr. 
Bryant's record of the sora in McGee Meadow, a few miles west of 
Lake McDonald, and its jubilant descending chromatic scale should 
be listened for in all suitable marshes. An Indian legend attaches to 
the sora as one of the birds called crane's back, because it is supposed 
to adopt the easy method of migrating on the back of the crane. 


Coot: Fulica americana. — While the coot — recognized always by 
its slaty body, black head, and white bill, as b^' it^ loud and varied 
cackling talk — is not a common bird in the park, and neither Mr. 
Bryant nor Mr. Stevenson have found its nests, there are records 
from a number of localities on the lower edges of the park — notably 
Sherburne Lake, the Lower St. Mary. Browning, and Belly River 
on the east, and Lake McDonald, Camas Lake, Mud Lake, and the 
North Fork of the Flathead on the west. 

When at Lake McDonald April 21. 1918, Mr. Bailey found coots 
numerous, " often in flocks of from twenty to a hundred." On the 
next day, when the lake was rough, onlj' two were seen, and these 
were " up under the bushes on the shore running about like quail." 

Order LIMICOLiE: Shorebirds. 

Family PHALAROPODID^: Phalaropes. 

XoRTHEKX Phalaeope: Lohifcs lobatus. — Mr. Bryant reports that 
the northern phalaropes are seen in fall on the high lakes. Minia- 
ture ducks, as they have been called, the dainty little gray and white 
birds may be known by their slender necks, delicate forms, and the 
habit of spinning around or darting to right and left to pick up 
insects from the surface of the water. 

Family RECURVIROSTRID^: Avocets, etc. 

Avocet: Hecurvirosfra americana. — Mr. Bryant and ]Mr. Gibb have 

both seen the large, pale 
cinnamon and white Avo- 
cet. with its long slender 
recurved bill, during mi- 
gration ; and Mr. Bryant 
says that while it is rare, 
it visits the prairie 
patches along the North 
Fir,. 39.— Avocet. Fork of tliB Flathead. 


Prom Handbook of Birds of the Westprn United Statpa. 

Family SCOLOPACIDiE: Snipe, Sandpipers, etc. 

Wilson Snipe : Gallinago delicata. — On June 11, 1895. jMr. A. H. 
Howell found the Wilson or jack snipe six miles west of Browning, 
and Mr. Bryant thinks it breeds in the park ; so its probings — holes 
in the soft mud — should be carefully looked for in swamps and 
meadows. As it feeds largely at night and is so protectively 
striped that it is well hidden in the grass in the day time, it may 
easily be overlooked unless almost stepped on, when it springs into 
the air and darts off with baffling zigzag flight. Its song, erratic as 
its flight, is often given high in air from rapidlv vibrating Aving-s. 

BIRDS. 133 

Pectoral Sandpipek: PisoUa m,acuIata.—Jn fall when on its way 
between Alaska and South America, the pectoral sandpiper, with 
black rump and up])er tail coverts and neck and breast closely 
streaked, has been found by Mr. Bryant in the higher parts of the 
park, notably at the head of Dutch Creek near the snow and ice, 
and at such lakes as Iceberg Lake with its large glacier. 

Geeatek Yellow-legs: Totanus rnelanoleuciis {?). — One of the 
yellow-legs is a rare migrant in the park, and Mr. Stanford thinks 
it is the greater. As the bird may be seen on its way south in July 
it is well to watch for it and make sure of its identity. The white 
rump and tail uuirk it as a form of yellow-legs, while the size de- 
termines which — the greater being from 12 to 15 inches long, its 
bill about 2-|, and its exposed leg bone 21 inches or longer. 

Western S'olitaet Sandpiper: Ilelodrorans solitarlus cimuimo- 
mevs. — The solitary, which is to be looked for in the park on its 
early fall migration, may be distin- 
guished from other sandpipers in the 
field by its dark color, black wings, and 
shrill note. Mr. Bryant reports it from 
the valley of the North Fork of the 
Flathead, and Mr. Bailey on August li 
noted four or five a short distance north 
of the Alberta boundary line. 

Upland Plover: B artrcvmia longi- 
cd'uda. — Another rare, delightful bird to From Handbook of wcatcm Birds, l. a 
be looked for on the prairie patches of "' t^° ,„ wi 

-■- J- 1^ IG. 40. — Wilson snipe. 

the North Fork of the Flathead is the 

gentle upland plover, whose sweet bubbling notes from the sky are 

heard less and less as the years pass. On the plains east of the park 

the curlew and plover are both occasionally found, and in June, 1895, 

two pairs of plover were seen by Messrs. Bailey and Howell near 


Spotted Sandpiper : Actitis inacularia. — The sandpiper seen com- 
monly along the lakes of the park, trotting over the pretty red and 
green pebbles, and curving out from the shores, skimming low over 
the water, showing a white line down the wing, is the same little 
tip-up Ave have always laiown on river bank and ocean beach, and 
its sweet peet-toeet, peter- meet has a strangelj homelike ring 
under glacier-clad mountains. On Gunsight Lake, beside tiie ruin 
of the avalanche-wrecked chalet, I found tlie meager nest of one of 
the gentle birds, and when the young hatched watched the mother 
tenderly sheltering them from the cold wind sweeping down from 
the mountain. A pair on the Belly River near the International 
Boundary line were so excited by our advent that they, too, doubtless 



had callow yornig hidden on the banks of the curving river. Grov?n 
young were seen along beaver ponds in various places, all new and 
fresh, plump, snowy-breasted little fellows with the grayish suffusion 
on the chest at the bend of the wings. 

Canadian Curlew : Numenius americanus occidentalis. — In the 
early summer of 1S!)5, Messrs. Bailey and Plowell reported the brown- 
streaked curlew with the long decurved bill not only from the plains, 
l)ut the St. Mary Eiver, and once from the Upper St. Mary Lake. 
Several pairs were seen about June 8. 

Family CHARADRIIDiE: Plovers. 

Black-bellied Plover: Squatarola squatarola. — A mounted speci- 
men of the black-bellied plover with the minute hind toe, in fall plum- 

Copyright by H. and E. PittmaD. 

Fig. 41.— Killdeer. 

age, was seen by Mr. Bailey in the collection of Mr. Frank F. Liebig, 
at Kalispell. During a cold storm it was found helpless and chilled 
on Swiftcurrent Pass, and en being carried home by Mr. Liebig, lived 
several months on bread crumbs and flies. 

Killdeer : Oxyechus vociferus vocifer-us. — Though the killdeer — 
recognized on the wing by its familiar kill-dee, kill-dee, and on the 
ground by its two black chest bands, white forehead and collar, and in 
disappearing by its ochraceous rump patch — is not common in the 
park, it is reported from a number of localities in the low country. 
Mr. Gibb says it breeds at Sherburne Lake, and jMr. Bryant reports 
it from the valleys of the north and middle forks of the Flathead, 
while Mr. Gird adds Belly River and the INIcDonald Lake country. 
At McDonald Lake, one was seen by Mr. Bailey April 21, 1918, 
flying along the shore. 

BIRDS. 135 

Order GALLING : Gallinaceous Birds. 
Family ODONTOPHORID^: Bob-whites, etc. 

Bob-white: Col'mus virginianus virf/lniamis. — The bob-white of 
the eastern lowhmds seems a strange bird to find in Glacier Park, 
but it has been introduced into the Flathead Valley, and Mr. Bryant 
says has followed np the north and middle forks. Mi-. Stevenson 
has seen " a iiock of twenty or more at Swan Lake, in the heart of a 
wooded area at least '20 miles from the grain fields," and is inclined 
to believe that the quail stray into the park at times, not only on 
the North Fork but near Belton. 

Family TETRAONID^: Grouse, Ptarmigan, etc. 

RiciiAKDSON Grouse: Dendragapuft oljHcurun rirhardfioni. — The 
large sooty grouse which bursts away noisily from before your 
pacli train as you climb np through the forest is common throughout 
the heavily timbered higher regions of the park, and when camp- 
ing in the mountains many broods will be met with. Up j\Iid\ale 
Creek, back of Glacier Park Hotel, early in July we saw our first 
bird of the season — an old hen, probably just off the nest, walking 
quietly along in the grass. She cocked her head, tweaked her tail, 
and walked quickly away on finding herself discovered, but stood still 
and did a little observing herself when talked to reassuringly. Two 
of her feathers, one the double kind that give the northern grouse 
warm body cover, were found in a scooped-out hollow in the trail, 
showing where she had been dusting. About two weeks later, on 
the Sexton Glacier trail, as we rode out of the dark woods the 
peeping voices of young were heard, and as the first horse shied a 
big mother grouse flew conspicuously into the top of a low ever- 
green, while her brood, circling out on widespread curving wings 
like young quail, disappeared under cover. Early in August, on the 
Swiftcurrent, an old grouse and seven half-grown young, finding our 
camp nearly deserted, walked calmly past the tents and under the 
kitchen awning on their way to the creek. On reaching it the mother 
flew across, calling the brood till they followed, when they all 
walked off toward the blueberry patch in the pine woods. On our 
way to the Canadian boundary a number of broods of various sizes 
were flushed in the mountains. 

In the breeding season the males may be heard giving their ven- 
triloquial hoot from the tops of high trees. The birds nest, Mr. 
Gird says, on rocky ridges, and Avhen flushed fly down timbered 
canyons. Aftar the 1st of November he never looks for them in the 
pine country, for they have gone to the red-fir timl)er in the deep 
canyons, he says, where they live on the needles during the Avinter. 



Mr. Gibb has found them in winter in snow from one to twontj'-five 
feet deep, and saj's they roost in lioles in the snow. 

Franklin Grouse: Canach'ites franl-lini. — Tlie Irundsomest grouse 
found in (he iiarlt is the small, trim Franklin, the male with his red 
eye combs, and strikingly black and white banded plumage adapted 
to the dark depths of the forest. One of them was found by Mr. 
Bailey in dense lodgepole, spruce, and fir timber on the south fork 
of Belly River in August, and in April a pair was flushed by him 

1 Biological tiurVL-y, 

Fir,. 42. — Franklin grouse. 

on the north shore of Kintla Lake. The Franklin is found mainly, 
Mr. Gibb says, in the timber along the principal streams, such as 
the north fork of Kennedy Greek, and Dr. (Jrinnell says they live 
in the thickest timber, in damp, cool situations. In winter they are 
said to stay up in the spruces and pines and live entirely on the 
leaves of the conifers. 

A brood of three half-grown buffy -breasted and tailless youno- 
were seen in the Waterton Valley about the middle of Aiigust. wan- 
dering around enjoying themselves in deep, soft-carpeted woods of 
spruce and fir, where they jumped up to pick black honeysuckle 
])erries from the low- busl^jes, or answered their mother's call to come 
and eat thimbleberries. One of them, which flew up on a branch, also 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


From Bureau of Biological Survey. 



X- i 

BIRDS. 137 

passed the time eating fir needles. When surprised by our appear- 
ance the little fellows ran crouching down the trail showing a keen 
hiding instinct, but their mother had little sense of danger. When 
the young were approached she merely turned her head over and 
called mildly in soft remonstrance. She w;is the genuine fool hen of 
Montana, we were told, whom the Pdatheads and the mountain 
Indians never kill except when in great need of food, as the birds 
are so tame they can be snared at will, without ammunition; as the 
Indians say, with string from a moccasin. 

The same brood, we supposed, was met with a few days later on 
the same trail. One of the young was in the trail and the mother 
was sitting on a log when we came up, but on seeing us she called 
the little ones into the bushes. When driven out for a better view 
she climbed a bank adorned with bear grass, dwarf brake, and linnaea 
carpet, and, stopping under a long drooping spray of Streptopus — 
imder whose light-green leaves hung beautiful bright red berries — 
she jumped up again and again to pick off the berries. Then, flying 
up on a fallen tree trunk almost over my head, she sat there looking 
very plump and matronly and entirely self-possessed, while I ad- 
mired the white and tawny pattern of her plumage. She sat there 
calmly overlooking the brushy cover where the young were hidden 
and showed no disapproval when the three came out and walked a 
log by the trail. She called to them in soft, soothing tones and they 
answered back in sprightly fashion. It would have been so easy to 
win their confidence completely and to watch their engaging ways 
that it was trying to have to leave them and pass on up the trail. 

Gray Eitffed Grotjse : Bonasa umheTlus urnbelloides. — In the 
pines and aspen thickets of the eastern slope and also in the dense 
hemlock woods of the western slope of the mountains, one may look 
for this handsome brown grouse whose crested head, black shoulder 
ruffs, and banded fan tail give him an alert appearance, and whose 
loud sonorous drumming is one of the most stirring sounds of the 

" The grouse hatch Ioav," I was told by Mr. Gibl.i, and broods of 
young were reported in July from the Cracker Lake trail by Mr. 
M. T. Berger, from Dead Man's Gulch by Mr. Young, the ranger, 
and from the Iceburg Lake trail about 4 miles above Many Glaciers 
bv Mr. C. W. (rriffing. "Along in September you find them on the 
lodgepole pine ridges," Mr. Gibb said, and added that they stay both 
high and low all winter. From April 12 to 22, 1918, Mr. Bailey 
found them common along the North Fork of the Flathead, many 
being seen along the trails and heard drumming in the woods. They 
are the most abundant grouse of the low valley country. 

In August between Swiftcurrent Creek and Waterton Lake we 
flushed a number of them along the trail. On the Belly River 



ti'iiil on successive days three broods whirred up from almost under 
the feet of the first horse, making him shj' and jump as if lie had 
surprised a bear. One of the first brood, instead of flushing, stood by 
his guns, trusting instinctively to his protective coloration and atti- 
tudes. Drawn up thin and tall in unbirdlike form, the little brown 
fledgling stood on a branch close to the trail looking greatly scared as 
we passed. When the second brood sprang up from before us, one of 
them calmly took his stand down the road right in the way of the 
prancing Iiorse — a cocky little half-grown grouse with small crest up, 
ruffs spread, and short tail flashing — sword drawn across our path ! 
As we rode down on him he flew to his brothers in the cottonwoods. 

Photograph by E. II. Warren. 

Fig. 43. — Fciiinlc iit;ii'jin,:^;in in smiinier. 

but a flicking fan tail that we caught bight of may have been his, 
venting his last bravado. As we sat on our horses listening to the low 
conversational notes of the brood, their mother, showing her adult 
tail band, gave a low purring call and led them off — she would take 
no more chances with her adventurous spirits ! The third family 
which we surprised near the Canadian boundary line had no bold 
knight errant to stay us, and tlie mother, crouching low in decoy, 
ran off on one side of the road while the brood dispersed on the other. 
Two days later an old cock, disturbed when dusting himself, stood 
his ground valorously. To be sure he had lost his tail, but he spread 
his black epaulettes with great effect as he strutted off through the 
lodgejuole pines. 




'pctens. — One of the mowt interesting birds of the world, Avhose 
Arctic-Alpine hahitat makes its acquaintance impossible for most 
of us, in Glacier Park is found close to the trails frequented by the 
tourist, where a half hour's walk from a chalet may afford a study 
Mdiose intimacy is limited only by the patience of the observer. As 
I had hunted vainly for ptarmigaii over cloud-swept ridges in New 
Mexico, it was doubly exciting to be told of a nest on the (iranite 
Park trail " in the grass near the trail by the first snow bank." 
When we got there the brood had apparently gone, but as we 
crossed ywiftcurrent Pass INIr. Bailey pronounced the slopes on the 
south side " ideal ptarmigan slopes," and so, after our dinner at 

Copyright by E. R. Warnn. Cuurtray of Dinl-Lur,'. 

Fig. 44. — Molher ptarmigan and chicks. 

the chalet, when he returned to cliinlj the peak on the north side of 
the pass, I accompanied him to make my way up the slopes of the 
south peak looking for the birds. Skirting an acre of snow, I zig- 
zagged back and forth over the face of the " ideal ptarmigan slope," 
open to swift-winged enemies, but by its broken surface and variety 
of colors affording a safe background for ptarmigan in the mixed sum- 
2ner plumage. Even the wide ex])anse of slide rock was l)roken 
by occasional dwarf evergreens and streaks of grass, and many of 
its red shales were patterned with lemon-yellow or curly-brown 
lichen covering deep ripple marks. Above the main mass of slide 
was a wide grassy slope of soft yellowish brown tones that would 
soon match the brown of the ptarmigan. Above this the narrow 


outcropping ledges and stony slopes made a terraced Alpine flower 
garden, one of the gardens that are among the choicest of all nature's 
lavish gifts to man; this one, with its maturing seed harvest, pro- 
viding veritable grain fields for hungry bird and beast. Some of 
these Alpine terraces were fairly white with the lovely low, wide- 
smiling Dryas octofetala. In other places the beds of white were 
spotted with the pink mossy cushions of Silene arniilh. while in 
still others there were clumps of dwarf sedum, whose dark-red 
flowers and seed pods contrasting strikingly with their pale green 
leaves might well attract the attention of furry vegetarians locating 
granaries, and make good feeding grounds for the Arctic grouse. 
Under a protecting ledge that faced the morning sun and had a 
dwarf fir in its doorway, a ptarmigan feather told of safe pleasant 
liours on the mountain side. Sometimes they choose such places for 
the nest, it is said; but not a bird could I discover. 

Meanwhile on the opposite mountain, the diminishing figure 
climbed till it became a hair line on the crest of the bare dome, when, 
turning my glass to sweep the rocky wall below I caught sight of a 
mountain goat, with short tail up, walking along the ledges as if he 
had been disturbed by noises from above and was getting out of the 
way. Walking along deliberately at first, he finally made a jump 
and disappeared, not long after which a pack train returning to 
Many Glaciers also disappeared down the first angle above the zigzag. 

Hoping to discover the ptarmigan above, I climbed on till the 
glacier-carved walls on the east framed a view out over Swiftcurrent. 
the Sherburne Lakes, and the open plains beyond, while on the west 
a sublime view imfoldcd — snow-clad mountain masses with the full 
sun on them uplifted to the skjr. But there were no ptarmigan. At 
last, discouraged, I retraced my steps and had gone about halfway 
down the steejo, stony slope of the mountain when — what was that 
sound? Listening, I caught it again — the softest possible call of a 
mother ptarmigan ! There she stood, only a few feet from me, hard 
to see except when in motion, so well was she disguised by her huffy 
ground color finely streaked with gray. A round-bodied little grouse 
Avith a small head, she was surrounded by a brood of downy chicks, 
evidently just hatched, as their bills still held the sharp projection 
for pipping the shell. Preoccupied with the task of looking after her 
little family, as I talked reassuringly to her, she ignored my presence. 
Nothing must hurry the unaccustomed little feet, nothing must inter- 
fere with their needed rest. Talking softly she graduallv drew 
the brood in under her motherly wings and sat there only a few 
yards from me, half closing one eye in the sun and acting oblivious 
to all the world. Once the downy head of a chick appeared between 
the fluffed-out feathers of her breast, and once she preened her win"- 

BIRDS. 141 

SO she showed the white quills renuiiiiing from the white plumage 
ol: winter. 

Her bill opened and her throat palpitated as if she Avere thirsty, as 
she sat brooding the young, and I imagined that the last hours of 
hatching high above water had been long and trying to the faithful 
mother. But though water — clear cold mountain brooks — were be- 
low, no need of her own could make her careless of her little ones. 
Keeping up a motherly rhythmic cluck-uk-uJi, cluck-uk-uk, inter- 
larded with a variety of tender mother notes, she led them down by 
almost imperceptible stages, slowly, gently, carefully, raising a furry 
foot and sliding it along a little at a time, creeping low over the 
ground with even tread, picking about as she went, while the little 
toddlers gradually learned the use of their feet. Like a brood of 
downy chickens, some wer-e more yellowish, some browner than 
others, but they all had dark lines on head and body giving them 
a well-defined color pattern. Peeping like little chickens, while their 
mother waited patiently for them, they toddled around, trying to 
hop over tiny stones and saving themselves from going on their bills 
by stretching out wee finny wings. As chickens just out of the shell 
instinctively pick up food from the ground, they gave little jabs at 
the fuzzy anthers of the dryas, little knowdng that pollen was the 
best food they could find, a rich protein food from which the bees 
make bee bread to feed their larvse. Did Nature teach them also to 
find a starch as she does the bees, who add honey to bee bread to pro- 
duce a balanced ration ? It would be interesting to determine. 

As Ave all made our way slowly down the slope, I watched Mr. 
Bailey's descending figure on the opposite slope and Avhen he reached 
the pass, signaled for the camera. The addition of a second sym- 
pathetic observer did not disturb the old mother ptarmigan, and she 
allowed a large part of a film — most unfortunately spoiled by a drag- 
ging shutter — to be taken at decreasing distances until Avithin the 
shortest possible focus. When one of the chicks was picked up by 
Mr. Bailey it sat in his open hand unafraid and unnoted by its 
mother, but when a second was reached for more obviously, she gave 
a low hiss and drew her white wings down threateningly at her 
sides, so, unwilling to trouble her, we hurriedly left ; but, on slipping 
back in a few moments for a last look, found her composedly brood- 
ing her little ones. 

The next day when Mr. Bailey went to look for mammals, I re- 
turned to look for my ptarmigan. Thinking to find them Avhere I 
liad left them or higher, I climbed up through the floAA^er gardens to 
the foot of the cliffs croAvning the mountain, Avhere four-footed moun- 
taineers had climbed before me. From the foot of the cliffs on the 
east, I looked down on the seamed face of SAviftcurrent Glacier. 
51140°— 18 12 


and on the west, as the cool, invigorating air swept across the slope, 
looked off on the row of mountain peaks seen from Granite Park, 
standing out wonderfully in the full morning light, their sides 
veiled in rich purple and buffy atmosphere, the white of their snowy 
summits repeated ethereally at higher levels by cloud caps dissolving 
ill the pale blue sky. 

But though an occasional siskin might be heard passing over, not 
a ptarmigan was to be found on the slopes, and it finally came over 
me that it was illogical to look for them so high. They must have 
water, and at present were quite unequal to mountain climbing. I 
shoidd have looked at water level. Hurrying down, I passed the 
wind-flattened evergreens and snow banks, and as I came to the 
first open water came face to face with my lovely little family. 
Yes; there were five; they were my brood. As I greeted the mother 
I noticed appreciatively her selection of a drinking place for her 
callow young, for the water seeping down through the spong}' grass 
trickled over a shallow rocky saucer just the right depth for downy 
chicks. As I watched, the old grouse drank thirstily herself, as if 
enjoying her release from the dry slopes al)ove. The soft sod gave 
uuich easier footing than the rocks, and a few hours of practice with 
feet had told remarkably in the skill of the brood, for they wobbled 
much less and ran around in a sprightly waj^, sometimes straying a 
rod or more from their guardian. 

She appeared a little nervous out in the open, and suddenly turn- 
ing her head on one side to look up gave a prolonged low call. The 
brood, which had been picking around in plain sight, at the alarm 
simply vanished. As nothing came and the warning was not re- 
jieated, one after another the little forms became visible again right 
under my astonished eyes. One little tot, I was amused to see, had 
been sitting down back to a stone that helped make him invisible. 
Meanwhile the sky, so far as I could see, was vacant of menace. 
Had the wise old mother been giving fire drill? Up the trail came 
a party from Many Glaciers, led hy its big-hatted guide, but they 
had not alarmed her, for, though passing only a rod or so from the 
family, she bai-ely moved. And still, while her little ones strayed off 
or fed around her, as she talked to them she kept looking up nerv- 
ously. Did she feel that they were too conspicuous out in this 
o]ien grass? Would it be too easy to pounce down and carry one 
off? Whatever her argument, or instinct, she edged up onto a ledge 
and stood back against a rock, where she was less conspicuous, and 
after pluming herself gathered her little ones under her wings. As 
I glanced down over the rocks below the ])ass T started, for there 
were three mountain sheep — big horns, Avith brownish bodies and 
white rump patches — standing on the flat rocks at the edge of the 
cliffs beyond the trail. Could the old ptarmigan, with her keener 



senses, have heard them as they came-do^Mi the ^\a\l of the mountain ? 
She sat there all unconscious now, while they, looking thin and 
shorn compared with th& shaggy white goats, stamped and kicked 
at the flies and put down their big-horned heads. Presently the three 
started over the edge of the cliff, and after a few- moments a ewe, 
with shorter, straighter horns came down and followed along after. 
All this time the old ptarmigan with feathers puffed out sat on -her 
rock about ten feet from me. Once a little head peeped out from 
among the feathers, but all was quiet, so quiet that I could hear the 
water trickling through the grass. When well rested the downy 

Photograph by E. R. Warren. 

Fig. 45.- 

-Ptarmi,!;;;]!! in winter. 

chicks came out and began to peep and run around again, one of 
them coming within five or six feet of me without question from his 
mother, for we were old tried friends now. 

But what were they finding to eat? The drj'as was higher up on 
the mountain. As I questioned, I discovered one of the little tots in 
a bed of dwarf willows whose pinkish stamened catkins stood about 
an inch from the ground. Making a quick run at a catkin the little 
fellow gave a jab at the fuzzy anthers ! Droll little chicks ! Appar- 
ently their mother approved of their diet if she did not understand 
dietetics, for as they went busily about among the flowers and grasses, 
she left them to their own selection. But it was high noon and time 
to go back to the chalet. AVhen I returned in the afternoon a storm 



was coming and my little family had apparently gone to shelter — 
possibly under a dense mat of evergreen or into a safe cavern under 
a ledge, for they are said to- roost along the edges of coarse rock 
slides under dwarf evergreens — and greatly to my disappointment, 
I never saw them again. 

Another brood of five downy chicks was found by a member of 
our party on the crest of the mountain opposite, but in this case there 
was melting snow near at hand. A brood of six larger young was 
found near the top of Piegan Pass in August, also in easy reach of 
water, and where there were bunches of red sorrel whoso seeds the 
3'oung were eating. On Kootenai Pass still later the turkeylike 
kerp, hcrp, of a mother ptarmigan calling her brood was heard in 

Photograph by E. J. Oameroo. 

Fig. 46. — Sharp-tailed grouse. 

passing. Near Blackfeet Glacier feathers were found, and at Gun- 
sight Pass a lineman reported seeing the birds where the open slopes 
afford abundant food. 

In winter the ptarmigan feed on willow buds and the evergreen 
leaves of the dryas, Mr. Stevenson tells me. He has found them with 
their snow white winter plumage complete the last of September, and 
in winter has seen them on the mountain tops, " each bird sitting in 
the snow lodged behind a rock on the bare, rocky, wind-swept bar- 
rens." After hard storms, he saj's, thej' may also be found at the 
bases of the mountains, and one flock was discovered in the willoAvs 
above Sherburne Lake during a blizzard. But though a few may 
occasionally be driven below by stress of storm, the ptarmigan live on 
the mountain tops, where the mountain sheep and goats make their 
homes, and where they, too, are nourished by the hardj', dwarf, Arc- 
tic-Alpine flora. Having had little to fear from the hand of man, 
these gentle birds offer one of the most delightful of all experiences 
to the bird lover, the opportunity to study their natural home life 
close at hand. 

BIRDS. 145 

Columbian Shaep-tailed Grouse : Pedimcetes phananellus co- 
lumlihinHS. — Birds of the, plains and the willowy ravines of the foot- 
hills, the Columbian sharp-tails thou<;h rarely, if ever, breeding in 
the park, are sometimes very plentiful along- the eastern boundary, 
Mr. Stevenson says, in the winter months coming up the open ridges 
well into the park, and being especially numerous between the two 
Kennedy Creeks and below Chief Mountain. The heavy rain and 
flood of the ^^ear 1908 killed off the greater part of them, but in Jan- 
uary, 1912, between the two Kennedy Creeks, Mr. Stevenson saw 
flocks of literally thousands feeding on the low flower buds of the 
water bii'ch. That year they were common all along the park line 
from. Cut Bank County to the Canadian line. They used to be in the 
Fhvthead Valley and the small prairies on the North Fork, Mr. 
Bryant saj^s, but now are practically gone. Three flocks wintered 
in the open country near the Adair ranch just south of Logging 
Creek in 1915-16, but thej' left in the spring and no others have 
been seen. 

Order COLUMB^: Pigeons. 

Family COLUMBID^: Pigeons. , t'- C.*C- C! 

Western Mourning Dove: Zenmdura macroura, marginslla- — - '' 
The familiar mourning or turtle dove, with the graduated tail, is a 
bird of the lower levels rarely seen in the park. Mr. Stevenson has 
seen only two in 17 years. On October 30, 1887, Dr. Grinnell saw one 
on the Lower St. Mary Lake, and in 1895 Messrs. Bailey and Howell 
saw a pair at St. Marj^ Eiver, and two near Midvale. Mr. Gibb has 
seen the dove around Adair near the North Fork of the Flathead in 
summer, and Mr. Lewis speaks of seeing it at Lake McDonald. 

Order RAPTORES: Birds of Prey. 
Family CATHARTIDJE: Vultures. 

Turkey Vulture : Cathwtes aura seffentnonalifi. — In the fall of 
1885 Dr. Grinnell found the turkey vulture with the bare red head 
and neck of a turkey gobbler common over the prairies of the St. 
Mary Lake region, and in 1895 Messrs. Bailey and Howell saw 
two over the St. Mary River ; but Mr. Gird says that, like the eagles, 
they have been getting caught in fur traps and so done away with. 
In a fifteen-year residence Mr. Lewis says he has seen only two, and 
those outside the park. Mr. Bryant has seen the vulture about the 
prairie patches on the west side and has mounted some killed less 
than ten miles from the park, but says that the bird is almost un- 
known now, especially on the west side. 



From Biological Survey. 

Fn:. 47. — Sbarp-shinni'd 

Family BUTEONID^: Hawks, Eagles, etc. 

Marsh Hawk; t'irciis ci/d.nevs hii(h<>nlus. — The mouse hawk, as it 
is known locally', is easily recognized by its wliite rump jDatch as it 
Ijeats low over meadows, marshes, and beaver ponds, hunting for 
small manunals. While restricted to the lower levels, it is reported 
from Sherburne Lake, Lake St. Mary, and the 
North Fork of the Flathead. Several were seen 
by us in the Belly "River country, at Waterton 
Lake, the Reynolds Lakes, and along, the Koote- 
nai Trail. 

The marsh hawk nests on the ground, and 
when opportunity offers it is a peculiarly in- 
teresting bird to study and photograph. 

Sharp-shinned Hawk : Acciplter relo.r. — 
The long-tailed little sharp-shinned hawk darts 
about, picking up birds or small mammals with 
dextrous ease, but occasionally he finds his 
match. One morning in August, as the sun was 
shining over the garden wall at our Granite 
Park camp and the small birds were flying 
around among the tall firs, Mr. Bailey saw a band of Clark crows and 
Oregon jays come into the white-barked jiines. " Suddenh'," he said, 
" the ground squirrels began to chirp in a low tone quite different 
from their usual alarm note, and a sharp- 
shinned hawk dashed across from one tree 
to another in pursuit of an Oregon jaj' of 
his own size." Such temerity was not to go 
unpunished, and the jay, with loud squawks, 
promptly chased him back to another tree, 
a Clark crow joining in " witli liarsli 
cries and widely flajDping wings." 

A few hours later, as we were crossing 
Swiftcurrent Pass, we saw a sharp-shin 
skim low over the ground and make a quick 
dive at a ledge of rock, when a ground 
squirrel with a sharp sqiieak dodged back 
out of his reach. After the hawk had dis- 
appeared, the half-grown ground squirrel 
came out and loudly celebrated his escape 
with warning whistles to his brothers. 

Cooper Hawk : Acdpiter coopen.— One of the Cooper hawks, simi- 
larly marked but a size larger than the sharp-shinned, -was seen by 
Mr. Bailey on August 9, flying over the low peak adjoining Chief 
INIountain. The hawk was also reported by Mr. Frank M. Stevenson 
from the Sherl)urne Lake region. 

From Bioloffical Sii 

Fig. 48.- 


Wild Animals Glacier Park 


From Handbook of Birds of ttie Western United States. 





From Biological Survey. 

Fig. 49. — Red-tailed hawk. 

Western Goshawk : Astur gcnt'dis Htrintulus. — The destructive 
goshawk, which lives largely on poultry in settled regions and on 
game Ijirds in the inountains, may be recognized by its bluish bade 
and swift flight, which give it the name of blue darter. A hawk 
seen from a distance, at the base of (irinnell Mountain, was appar- 
ently a goshawk. A mounted bird from 
Lake McDonald is in the collection of F. F. 
Liebig, of Kalispell. One taken for the 
eastern forna by Mr. H. C. Bryant, of Cali- 
fornia, was seen July 23 on the trail be- 
tween Reynolds Creek and Piegan Pass. 

Westken Red -tail: Buteo horealis 
calunis. — The widespread rufous fantail of 
this hawk seen overhead, as he circles high 
in the sky giving his high-pitched squeal, 
identifies him anyAvhere. While the red- 
tail is one of the most beneficial hawks, 
waging an incessant warfare on injurious 
mammals, such as ground squirrels and 
mice, it is often called henhawk or chicken- 
hawk and killed through popular prejudice, greatly to the detriment 
of the ranchman. 

In 1885 and 1887 Dr. Grinnell found it connnon among the foot- 
hills and on the plains of the St. Mary region, but only two were 
seen by us in the park during the summer, one 
on the Swiftcurrent, below Lake McDermott, 
and one over the flats of Belly River; but on 
April 19, 1918, Mr. Bailey saw one on the road 
just west of Dutch Creek. Another was seen in 
1913 by Mr. E. R. Warren on Bison Mountain. 
SwAiNSON Hawk: Bwteo swainsoni. — Mr. 
TI. C. Bryant, of California, reports having 
seen a Swainson several times " on the open 
prairie about a mile down the Swiftcuri'ent 
River from Many Glaciers," and Mr. E. ,S. 
Bryant saj'S the birds nest on Teakettle Moun- 
tain on the southwestern edge of the park. 
One of these prairie-frequenting hawks was 
seen by us in August on the Belly River flats. 
As if letting the upcurrent take it, it rose higher and higher, squeal- 
ing something like a red-tail, till it was only a black line against a 
white cloud. 

Squirrel Hawk: Archihuteo ferrugineus. — Another prairie hawk, 
the large squirrel hawk or ferruginous rough-leg, was seen in the 

From Biological Survey. 

Fig. 50. — Swainson hawk. 


iidi'se pasture below Many Glaciers. It was a inchuiistic, blackish, 
immature bird, with reddish breast, and the characteristic feathered 
legs. Its presence on a low tree overlooking the field produced a 
great barking of ground squirrels and chij^ping of birds, although, 
had the birds but known it, he was not looking for them, for he lives 
almost exclusively upon small mammals and reptiles, with the addi- 
tion of crickets. 

Golden Eagle: Aqv'da chrysaetos. — Eagles were seen in a number 
of places, hunting over the sides of the mountains. From St. Mary 
Lake one of the dark forms was seen moving along the face of 
Flat-top Mountain ; near Many Glaciers, on looking across the green 
water of Lake Josephine and over the dark conifers of the island, up 
against the red strata of Grinnell Mountain another large dark form 
was seen; and near Piegan Pass, at Granite Park, and above Lake 
Ellen Wilson still others of the great birds were seen as landscape 
features projected against mountains or diving deep into canyons 
for their prey. 

When we were camping in their country, our guide, Mr. Gird, 
described some interesting experiences he had had with them : " Once," 
he said, " I happened to look up and here come an eagle like an arrow. 
I scrouched — and he didn't go a hundred yards from me when he got 
his marmot." "An eagle will carry off a Irid as he would a marmot." 
he added. When we were camped on the head of Mineral Creek, 
pointing to the cliff opposite, he told of a- battle he had seen there 
between a pair of eagles and a full grown mountain goat. 

" He was right up there where that stone looks like a goat at the 
top of that green " — pointing to some timberline dwarfs. " The 
nannie and the kid had gone ovei' the ridge and he was going when 
the eagle attacked him. The eagle came and kept swooping down at 
him till he run into the green. He must have hid in the green — we 
could see very little white. Then the eagle went away and when the 
goat came out, he came back with his mate. It was funny to see them 
work. One would stay up and the other would dive. He would make 
a little run and when they would come he would rare up and paw at 
them with his front feet, and then they'd beat it. He was making for 
that dark ledge " — pointing up. " 'Wlien they was raising, the goat 
would make a run for the cliff. When he got to the cliff' they couldn't 
dive at him. They sure did hate to give him up. They sailed round 
for a long time. It was about this time " — six o'clock — " and he 
stayed around till nearly dark." Gazing up at the cliffs reminis- 
cently, he concluded emphatically, "The old sport was scared a 
little bit!" 

When men are trapping for mountain lions, Mr. Gird said, they 
sometimes get eagles. " Royal eagles" he called IheuL and said that 
to the Indians they appaiently represent force. 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


i^uurue^^ ui Liid L/vm. iiiuiu. ]jy ii. W . Nash. 


Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Courtesy of Bird Lore. Photo, by H. W. Nash. 




Bi^LD Eagle: Tlalmetus Icucoccplialus leu- 
oocephalus. — No bald eagles ^Yere seen by us 
in the park except the mounted specimen at 
Lewis's, on Lake McDonald. Mr. Stevenson 
says he has seen only one or two adults in 
the park, but tliat the birds are known to 
nest on the rocky buttes out on the plain?; 
east of the park. Mr. Br3'ant says they 
also nest on the North Fork of the Flat- 
head. In 1887 three or four aduhs were 
seen by Dr. Grinnell in the St. Mary Lakes 

From Biological Survpy. 

Fig. 51.— Bald caglp 

As the bald eagle lives largely on fish, 
taken dead or alive, Mr. Gird says they 
class him Avith the vulture. As he said, " He's not tlie hunter 
the roj-al eagle is." 

Family FALCONIDiE: Falcons, etc. 

Pbaieie Falcon : Ilierofalco niexicanus. — 
Near Kootenai Pass, as Ave rode along the 
vertical wall of a mesalike mountain mass 
suggestive of the homes of the prairie 
falcon, high overhead we were much pleased 
to see one of the small hawks fly out witli 
its characteristic quick, hard wing beats. 
It was the only one seen or heard of during 
the summer, but in the fall of 1887 Dr. 
Grinnell found it common on the plains 
and about the Upper St. Mary Lake. "When 
seen near at hand, it may be known by its 
pale clay brown upperparts, white collar 
and underparts. 
Duck Hawk : Rhynchodon peregrinus anatum. — One of the duck 

hawks, which rank next to the goshawk as fierce birds of prey, was 

seen by Dr. Grinnell in 1887, feeding on a 

female shoveller, on a bluff overlooking Red 

Eagle Creek during a blinding snowstorm. 
Pigeon Hawk: Tinnunculus coliimlmrius 

coIumiarius.—TYie pigeon hawk— one of the 

small bird-catching hawks— was reported from 

the park by Mr. Bryant. 

Desert Spakrow^ LIawk: Cerchneis sparreriu 

j)hal(ena. — The familiar rufous and brown 

sparrow hawk, v/hich lives largely on grass- 
hoppers and nests in a hole in a tree trunlv, From BioioeiCTi survey. 

was seen a number of times in the park. An fig. os.^rigcon hawk, 

From Biological Survey. 

Fig. 52. — Duck hawk 



From Biological Survey. 

Fig. 54. — Sparrow hawk. 

fidult was seen at Glacier Park carrying a mouse, while a young 
one sat in a dead tree containing a nesting hole, and a family 
of young seen in a burn along the Swiftcurrent trail were being 

fed in a tree top. Two Avere also seen at 
St. Mary Lake chasing a goshawk, and 
one was fourd at Big Pi'airie, on the 
North Fork of the Flathead. 

Family PANDIONID/E: Ospreys. 

Ospret; Fish Hawk: Pandlon hall- 
aetus vafollncnsis. — A note from the sky, 
followed by a shadow projected over the 
green water of Lake Josephine, drew my 
r.ttention to a large, whitedieaded, brown- 
backed bird, white underneath to the 
linings of its long, outstretched wings. 
As I watched, higher and higher it rose 
in the sky until it was no longer to be 
seen in the blue. Had the osprey wandered across from a distant 
r.'est to investigate the fishing'* It is said to live throughout the 
park wherever there are fish and the Upjier St. Mary, near Reynolds 
Creek, the Swiftcurrent above Sherburne Lake, and the southern 
Waterton Lake all boast ancestral nests. 

A fish hawk's or osprey's nest is one of the most interesting ornith- 
ological features of the landscape. Built, as on the Swiftcurrent, 
on top of a broken-ofi dead tree, where it can be seen for miles 
around, the great gray mass of sticks grows higher and higher as 
the j'ears pass, and one who has once made the acquaintance of the 
family will welcome their return each spring, sure of rare enter- 
tainment in watching them rear their young. The nest on the 
Swiftcurrent, easily watched from the high embankment above the 
creek, was on a dead limby spruce about 40 feet from the ground 
and was perhaps 4 feet wide by 2^- feet high. 

When I first went to watcli the nest from the point on the embank- 
ment that I named Fish Hawk Point, one of the parents — let us 
say the mother — stood on the tip of a tall spruce commanding lioth 
nest and surrounding landscape. On Guard, her picture might have 
been labeled. In the nest white flashes came from the moving young, 
away in the distant background were seen the forested slope of the 
moraine, and above, the bare, rocky cliff, gilded by the afternoon 
light. Down the river the other parent was fishing, his loud peeping 
yelp-elp-elp-elp being heard as he flew, now over the trees, now 



over the lakes, now against the mountain-side, finally disappoai-ing 
in twinkling white flashes in the distance. As we watched, thinking 
he had gone, back he came calling, with a fish in his claws, held 
head-on to cut the air as he flew. 

Copyright by Haynes, St. PauL 

Fig. 55. — Nest of osprey. 

Early the next morning I took my stand at Fish Hawk Point, 
where I spent a large part of the day. A parent and both young were 
standing on the nest on my arrival, one leaning over eating. Pres- 
ently the parent raised its head and looked over in my direction; 
then liftino- its wings and spreading them wide, flew straight across 



the creek bottom, full of •willow thickets and beaver dams, till it 
came crying over my head. After careful inspection it circled back 
and lit on the tip of a spruce spire, the other parent watching from 
an ailjoining tree and crying loudly yeJ p-elp-elp-elj), yelp-cl p-elp-clp^ 
while the two at the nest at intervals raised their weak j'oung voices. 
Perched on high spires, the parents made handsome figures, with the 
sun full on their white breasts and j^roudly raised white heads, and 
vihen thej' flew al)oiit they flapped and sailed beautifullj^, their brown 
wings almost shining under the sun. 

PhotOKraph by A. f. Bent, CnurtDsy of Bird-Lorp. 

Fig. 50. — Two photographs of an osprcy .md its nest from a distance of 30 feet, the 
smaller with a 6-inch-fociis lens ; the larger with a 26-inch-focus lens. 

The birds in the thicket below made merry, the siren of a passing 
automobile stage sounded, and finally one of the parents relaxed its 
vigilant sentry duty enough to go to the nest for breakfast. After 
eating its fill it stood on the nest for a long time, its young one, 
as if quieted by its presence, lying down in the nest for a rest. "When 
I moved there was another inspection and then both parents stayed 
for some time out of sight from the nest, calling as if they sus- 
l^ected danger and were encouraging the young to leave. At any 
rate, one of the fledgelings, as if in resjionse, flapped his Avings over 
the nest again and again, his thin I'ch-heh-J.'ch sounding Aveak, in- 
deed, compared with the strong dp-clp-clp of his parents. Presently 

BIEDS. 153 

one of the old birds came to the nest, holdino- its long -wings out 
over the platform a moment in alighting. As if to draw the young, 
it stayed but a moment, and when it had gone the urge to follow 
came irresistibly to the more courageous of the two brothers. Stand- 
ing on the edge of the nest, he raised his wings above it. As he 
held them lifted there came a beautiful moment when the wind 
seemed to fill his sails. All the possibilities and joy of flight Avere 
in that tremulous moment. Then, with the courage and strength 
of a creature born to fly, his feet loosened and up ho rose above the 
nest ! Thrilled by the poetry of the first flight, I sat spellbound 
watching him. Would he drop back? No; he had tasted freedom 
and power. But the wind blew hard in his face, and he was borne 
back behind the nest tree. Rallying, perhaps in a lull, he flew 
ahead again. But what should he do out in this limitless space? 
For a few moments he drifted around aimlessly, and then, quite 
naturally, having always lived in a tree top, flew down over a spruce 
spire and, with much flapping of wings and evident perturbation, 
finally let his feet down and got his balance. 

His mother meanwhile had flown to the nest, from which she 
watched the vagaries of his first flight; but when he lit she flew 
to the top of a neighboring spire closer by. After an interval, when 
the two sat like statues on the two spires, the courageous son again 
sallied forth, this time wandering back almost to the nest and then 
over near his parent, where he tried to light on a slender, imstable 
spire. Greatly scared, he flapped his wings, and ci'ied in his weak, 
young voice for a long time before he could accomplish it ; and no 
sooner was he settled than the wind came and almost upset his bal- 
ance, making him flutter distractedly — alas for the saints on the 
point of a needle ! The parent, who was on a large stable stub, gave 
herself a shake that would have precipitated the youngster, and 
merely looked about with an air of accustomed power. Then, watch- 
ing her wind-blown wabbling son, she leaned over, looking as if 
she wanted to help, and — whether with deliberate intent or not — 
flew ofl^ and let him take her stable perch. This was such an im- 
provement that after a time the courageous one actually leaned back 
and preened himself, as if he had stood on spires all his days. Get- 
ting tired, he tried sitting down on his perch, but spires and wide- 
platformed nests were quite a different matter, and his weary legs 
wabbled so that he was forced to take wing, flying and circling, till 
he finally made his way back to the nest. With outspread wings he 
hovered over it, legs dangling, but at last let himself dowi^ — home 
again for a good rest. 

"When the timid brother finally got up his courage to leave the 
nest, he, too, wanted the solid perch, but succeeded only so far as to 
51140"— ].8 la 



dislodge his brother. Over and over again the round was repeated, 
the young making short flights, lighting on the solid perch or wob- 
bling on a spire, and then circling back again to the nest. And here, 
when I had been wondering how they could be fed on spires, it 
proved that the parents brought the fish to the nest, where they and 
the young ate in comfort from their broad dining table. During 
the afternoon the jDrogress of the young was surprising, and before 
I left I was not always sure that a direct powerful flight was that 
of a parent, for the 3'oung aeronauts were rapidly getting to feel 
at home in the sky. 

Family BUBONID^: Homed Owls, etc. 

From Biolotrlcal Survey. 

Fig. 57. — Short-cared owl. 

Short-eared Owl: Asia fammcus famnievs. — The interesting 
short-eared, one of the partially diurnal owls which lives in the 
open, is reported from the flats, heavy wil- 
lows, and dense brush of the park. 

Great Grat Owl: Scotiaptex neljulosa 
nehulosa. — A mounted specimen of the great 
gray, a diurnal owl of dense forests, was 
caught in a coyote trap in the park and is 
now to be seen at Lewis's Hotel. From the 
concentric rings of gray that make up its 
facial disk, it is called locally the saucer- 
faced owl. Mr. Gibb says that it is resident 
in the park, and Mr. Stanford says he has 
known of j'oung, scarcely able to fly, being 
seen north of Kalispell. Mr. Gird reports 
it from the prairies and the automobile road to Many Glaciers in fall, 
and Mr. Bailey saw the wing of one at a house on Camas Creek Eidge. 

EiCHARDSON Owl: Crrjpfoglaux 
funerea richardsoni. — A mounted Rich- 
ardson seen at Lewis's was caught in a 
coyote trap west of the park, but Mr. 
Bryant says they are common, and trap- 
pers catch them in marten traps. Beach- 
ing their southern limit in the northern 
United States, they are interesting owls 
to watch for. Only 9-12 inches long, 
their dark brown upperparts are spotted 
with white, their breast heavily blotched 
and the belly streaked with dark brown, 
while the feathered flanks and feet are usually buffy, more or less 
spotted with brown. As they are so nocturnal that they \vaxq been 

From Handbook of Woatcrn Birds. 

Fig. 5S. — S:nv-whot owl. 



taken in the hand in the daytime, the Eskimos of Alaska have given 
them the name of " blind ones." 

Saw-wiiet Owl : C ■ryptoglaux acadlca accu/tca.—Mv. Bryant says 
that the saw-whet is rare in the park and (hat the mounted one at 

Photograph by Robert B. Rockwell. 

Fic. 59. — Screech owl at home in a hollow tree. 

Lewis's came from outside the park. In 1895 Messrs. Bailey and 
Howell reported hearing one at dark on June 1, at the upper St. 
Mary Lake. As it is a small nocturnal owl of the deep forest it 
may easily be overlooked. 



MacFaklake Screech Owl: Otiis cislo macfarlanel. — A mounted 
specimen of the familiar little horned screech owl from 7-J to 10 inches 
long may be seen at Lewis's. xVs it is an owl of the low coimtry, its 
quavering crj^ should be listened for at night hy campers along the 
edges of the park. 

"Western Horned Owl: BuIjo virginianus occidentalis. — The 
great liorned owl should be looked for in the more open parts of the 
park. Its nesls may be found on old hawk nests, in hollow trees, or 
in caverns in the cliffs. It is one of the most spectacular birds of 
the park. On a moonlight night, one has been seen sitting on the 

bridge over the Swiftcurrent at 
Many Glaciers, and at manj^ a 
camp in the mountains the 
loud hooting has brought a 
thrill of keen satisfaction to the 
lovers of the forest. 

Arctic Horned Owl: Bubo 
rlrginianus subarcticus. — In the 
winter of 1916-17, Mr. Bryant 
reports, so many Arctic horned 
owls were seen that " it seemed 
like a flight." Every few years, 
he saj's, the owls come in num- 

Snowt Owl: Nyctea nyc- 
tea, — The circumpolar hornless 
snowy owls, pure white, or 
white marked with black, some 
of which come into the United 
States in the Avinter, have been 
seen by Mr. Gird in January and February along the border of the 
park. In the winter of 1910-17, Mr. Brj'ant says, quite a number 
were seen. 

Hawk Owl: Smmia ulula caparocJi. — The hawk owl, which is a 
medium-sized northern owl, has been found in Montana in summer 
and should be carefully looked for. Strictly diurnal, it often watches 
for its prey from the top of a dead tree in bright sunlight, and with 
swift, hawklike flight pitches down from its high perch nearly to the 
ground, and after capturing its prey rises quickly again to its tree 
top. Seen close by, its light face is encircled by a heavy black ring, 
and its underparts are closely barred. 

On the Yellow JNIountain ridge, between the forks of Kennedy 
Greek, on August 9 we saAV what Mr. Bailey took for a hawk owl, a 

From Handbook of Birds of the Western United States, 

Flo. GO. — Ilorned owl. 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


(. ulli 1 1 S 1 1 J 

\ (.1 Lll ri \ii i ' 1 ■-<>( I TH^ 

Upper figure, female; lowerfigure, male. 


BIRDS. 157 

bird with long wings and white spots flying swiftly down from the 
spires of nn old burn. Mr. Bryant has shot it on top of high peaks 
and thinks that it breeds in the Park. Dr. Grinnell saw one, as he 
remembers, in 1891 in the St. Mary Lake woods, and in January, 
1913, Mr. Stevenson saw what he describes as " a small owl with a 
long tail " in the timber of a mountain top. On June 16, 1895, Messrs. 
Bailey and Howell imported a female shot at Summit, when " feeding 
in a marshy tract, watching its prey from the tojos of dead trees." In 
the winter of 1899-1900 ^fr. Higginson reported one shot by Charles 
Olson on the ridge back of his cabin, where it was busily eating a 
Franklin grouse. 

EocKT Mountain Ptgmt Owl: GlaMcidium gnoma pinicola. — • 
A mounted specimen of the hornless pygmy owl, only 6 or 7 inches 
long, in the collection of Mr. Liebig, came from Lake McDonald, and 
Mr. Bryant thinks it nests in the park, where it should be looked 
for mainly in the pines and on dead trees. Although diurnal, this 
tiny owl is more commonly seen at dusk or in the early morning 
in September or October around the border of the prairie patches on 
the west side of the Park. Mr. Bryant writes : " On a fine sunny day 
the pygmy owl will often perch on the topmost twig of some tall 
larch, and morning and evening give a peculiar but pleasing sort of 
whistle." The white-headed lumberjacks " can mock them perfectly," 
he says, and he adds, " Many times when I thought I was about to 
collect a pygmy I have come face to face with the jack." 

Order COCCYGES: Cuckoos, Kingfishers, etc. 
Family ALCEDINIDiE: Kingfishers. 

Belted Kingfisher: StreftoceryJe alcyon alcyon. — The bluish- 
gray kingfisher is quite common in the park, along creeks where 
there are fish. It was seen on Kennedy Creek, Belly Eiver, the 
North Fork of the Flathead, and Lake McDonald, and one came 
flying up the sharp turns of the Swiftcurrent when we were camped 
below Many Glaciers, where the high banks of the creek offered good 
nesting sites. Just the right kind of soil is needed for the nest, 
which is above high-water mark, at the end of a laboriously exca- 
vated horizontal tunnel five or six feet long. 

In the park where harlequin ducks and water ouzels are the famil- 
iars of the waterfalls and rapids along the mountain streams, the 
rattle of the kingfisher is heard with a start, associated as it usually 
is with placid pasture brooks and quiet lake shores. 



Order PICI: Woodpeckers, etc. 

Family PICID^: Woodpeckers. 

IvocivY MoTJXTAix Hairt "Woodpecker : Btyobates villosus monti- 
cola. — The Eocky Mountain form of the black and white hairy wood- 
jiecker with the red patcli at the back of its crown, one of tlie nicsi: 
useful destroj^ers of wood borers, was reported by Mr. H. C. Bryant, 
of California, from Iceberg Lake, July 27, and McDonald Creek, 
July 31, 1917, and the following April Mr. Bailey noted it at intervals 
from Lake McDonald to the Kintla Lakes. In 1895 several were 
noted and one taken ]>y Messrs. Bailej^ and Howell at St. Mary Lake. 
Batchelder "Woodpecker : Dvyohates fubescens homorus. — The 
smidl familiar note of this downy Avoodpecker may often be heard 

when the little black and white form is 
hidden in the shadows of the forest. It 
was seen at St. Mary chalet, Bellj' Eiver, 
and Lake McDonald, and Mr. Stevenson 
records it from Swiftcurrent Creek. 

Arctic Three-toed Woodpecker: 
Plcoides arcticus. — A woodpecker recog- 
nized by his yellow crown patch as a three- 
toed, and hy his solid black back as an 
Arctic three-toed, was seen in the woods 
near Lake Josephine. In June, 1895, 
Messrs. Bailey and Howell reported the 
birds as quite common on the west slope, 
mostly in the burnt timber, and in the 
winter of 1899-1900 Mr. Higginson found 
them " in great abundance " around Stan- 
ton Lake, near the western border of the park, " on the ridges and 
in the river bottoms." In April, 1918, Mr. Bailey saw them in many 
of the old burns in the valley of the North Fork of the Flathead, 
heaps of bark scales often marking the base of some dead tamarack 
where they had been feeding. 

As the great Ijulk of the food of the three-toed woodpeckers con- 
sists of the lar\'a» of wood borers, they rank among the most im- 
portant conservators of the coniferous forests. 

Alaska Tiiree-toed Woodpecker : Picotdes americanus fasciafus. — 
By the trail near Baring Falls, at Going-to-the-Sun Camp, hearing a 
soft tapping on the side of a spruce stub I discovered a woodpecker 
with the 3'ellow patch above his bill that names him a three-toed, and 
a white stripe down his back, barred with black, which gives him the 
name of " ladder-back." 

From BioloEical Survey. 

Fig. G1. — Arctic three-toed 


wild Animals Glacier Park. 


From Bureau ol Biological Survey. 


Left figure, female; right figure, male. 



With quick, masterful blows, now from the left, now from the 
light, sometimes steadying himself with a strong foot, he would send 
the bark scales flying. But when the hole of the borer was uncovered, 
after digging straight down, he would carefully pull out the delec- 
table larva. He paid little heed to me, and when a guide with goat- 
skin chaparrajoes rode rapidly by down the trail he merely sidled 
around to the back of the tree trunk. 

A number of other Alaska three-toes were seen during the summer, 
notably on the Swiftcurrent, near Many Glaciers, at (jlenn Lake, on 
the Kootenai Trail, and at Lake McDonald. On the Swiftcurrent Pass 
Trail one flew from an old bum, and another, crossing the trail ahead 
of us, became so absorbed in picking on an old log that he let us ride 
up within a few feet of him. On the Piegan Pass Trail near Many 
Glaciers in a windfall where uprooted trees and twisted-off trunks 
made a confused tangle, letting in the light, between the trees cob- 
web bridges caught the sun, and the sunlit spaces below were filled 
with beds of fresh green ferns, hellebore, and bright yellow arnicas. 
Here a family of j'oung three-toes were 
living, in early July. Short-billed and 
short-tailed, the little fellows called in 
monotonous iteration, as if to keep their 
parents informed of their whereabouts, 
and at intervals announced with sudden 
emphasis the arrival of a meal. At Lake 
McDonald, the last of August, an old 
Picoides was seen with its young one on 
an old tamarack, the young one still call- 
ing in infantile tones. 

Eed->^aped Sapsuckee: S phyrapieus 
varius nuchalis. — The red-naped sap- 
sucker — whose red crown and nuchal patch are separated by a 
black area and whose chest is black between the red throat and 
pale lemon-yellow belly — is said by Mr. Bryant to nest in lodgepole 
pines. The work of sapsuckers — bands of small holes girdling the 
trees — was seen in a number of places. 

Williamson Sapsucker: Sphyrajncus thyroideus natalke. — Like 
other sapsuckers, the Williamson, which is notable for the strikingly 
different plumage of the sexes — the female brown barred and the 
male black, red, white, and yellow — is found in the lower levels of 
the park. It was reported by Mr. H. C. Bryant, of California, from 
Lake Ellen Wilson, July 21 ; Reynolds Creek, July 23 ; and McDonald 
Creek, July 3L 

Northern Pileated Woodpecker : Fhlaotomus pnleatus picinus. — • 
Laro-est and most notable of all the woodpeckers of the North, the 

From Biological Survey. 

Fig. 62. — Northern 




UTeat pileated, with its black body and fed-crested head, shoidd be 
loolied foi' diligently. While it is a rare, shy bird, its presence 
may be guessed by its hammering, its loud: chuch-chuch-chuch-chuck- 
chvch-chucl'-ehuck, and by its borings — excavations, often two feet 
long, made in the soft, decaj'ed wood of old trees. Borings were seen 

Photograph by Robert B. RockwoU- 

Fir,. fi.'H. — A family of recl-sliaftod flickeri5. 

in various places in the park, and near Sun Camp Mr. Bailey saw one 
of the great birds at work. Mr. Stevenson reports the pileated from 
the North Fork of the Flathead, and Mr. Bryant says it nests in the 
tamaracks on the west side. 

Eed-iieaded Woodpecker : Melaner-pes eri/throccphaluK. — The red- 
headed should be carefully distinguished from other woodpeckers 

BIRDS. 161 

haTm<? red patches on the head. In the red-head the entire head 
iind neck down to the white breast and the bhick back is crimson, and 
the rinnp and a wide patch near the ends of the win^s are solid wliite. 
Mr. Gibb thinks he has seen it on Belly River and Kennedy Creek, 
and a few around St. Mary Lake and Lake McDermott, and reports 
it from Belton, in winter. Mr. Stevenson also records it from the 
west side of the park. 

Lewis Woodpecker: Asyndesmus levrisi. — Mr. Stevenson writes 
that he has seen the Lewis woodpecker — with iridescent greenish 
black upperparts, gray collar, crimson face, and rose-pink l^elly — on 
the North Fork of the Flathead ; and Mr. Liebig writes that he once 
secured three specimens at the head of Lake McDonald and one near 

Red-shafted Flicker : Colaptes cafcr coUaris. — Flickers were fre- 
quentl}^ seen in early August on the level floor of the horse pasture 
below Many Glaciers; as usual, looking for ants on the ground. 
When they rose they showed the rich salmon wing linings which 
have given them their name. The golden-shafted flicker is recorded 
by Mr. Bryant from the Flathead Valley, and in 1895 Messrs. Bailey 
and Howell secured a specimen at the L^pper St. Mary Lake which 
was a typical red-shafted except for its head and neck, which were 
like those of the golden-shafted. 

The red-shafted were seen in a number of places, mainly in the 
lower parts of the park, such as St. Mary Lake, the Swiftcurrent 
Flats, Belly River, Lake McDonald, and the open areas along the 
North Fork from Dutch Creek to Kintla Creek, especially at the 
Adair ranch and on the Big Prairie section, but they were also seen 
in the Kootenai Pass, August 22, and heard by Mr. Bryant at Iceberg 
Lake July 28, 1917. Mr. Stevenson reports finding a number of nests 
in the park. 

Order MACROCHIRES : Nighthawks, Swifts, and 

Family CHORDEILID/E: Nighthawks. 

Pacific Nighthawk: Chordeiles minor he.tperis. — Nighthawks 
have been noted in the park by Mr. Gibb and Mr. Stevenson, and 
also by Mr. Bryant, who has found them in the prairie patches along 
the North Fork of the Flathead. 

Early in July, from the western windows of Glacier Park Hotel 
at sunset one of the slender-winged birds was seen tilting about 
in the purple middle distance between the hotel and the mountains, 
getting his evening meal. A montl- Inter, while watching the fish 



hawk's nest on the Swiftcurrent at sunset, the sound of j)eent, pee- 
auh, delighted mj' ear — here was a nighthawk inside the parlv at 
hist! Still l)etter, there were two, tilting and pitching about, show- 
ing their white wing bands. Creatures of air and sky, it seemed 
rarel_y fitting that they should be here to explore the purple heights 
and golden summits. On they went up toward the glacial basins of 
Grinnell and Swiftcurrent, dark and somber now, but with buffy 
clouds above their peaks, and lines of gilding and touches of light 
vivifying the picture. 

The only other nighthawks seen by us in the park were flying about 
near the International Boundary — a wide green swath down the for- 
ested side of the mountains — the unfortified, unguarded line where 
brother meets brother under the open sky. 

Photograph by E. R. Warren. 

Fig. 64. — Nighthawk. 
Family MICROPODID^: Swifts. 

Vaux SwirT : Chatura vauxL — Three swifts, with their bony out- 
line and irregular, batlike flight, were seen July 8 near Many 
Glaciers, twittering softly as they flew high through the skj. 

AA^iiiTE-TiiROATED SwiFT : Ah'onciutes inelanoleucus. — Mr. Gird 
thinks he has seen a swift with white underneath on the North Fork 
of the Flathead and about Hanshaws Ford, three miles from the foot 
of Bowman Lake ; and in June, 1895, Messrs. Bailey and Howell re- 
ported " one seen at Paola and a pair at Columbia Falls." 

Family TROCHILID^: Hummingbirds. 

Black-chinned Humjiingbird : Archilochus aJexandri. — Both Mr. 
Bryant and Mr. Stanford record the Hummingbird " with the black 
gorget." Mr. Bryant says that years ago he shot several of them. 



Handbook of Western Birds 

05. — RufoiTs hum- 

Broad - tailed Hummingbird : Selasphorus plafycercys. — Two 

broad-tailed hummingbirds were collected hy Messrs. Bailey and 

Howell in 1895, a female taken May 23 in the spruce woods near 

the Upper St. Mary Lake, and a male with rose-pink gorget and 

bronzjr green head taken June 17 at Summit. 

Rufous Hummingbird : Selasjthoms rvfuft. — The reddish-brown 

hummingbird whose gorget flashes fire red, orange, and brassy green 

Avas seen July 8 on a telephone wire near the 

tepees at Many Glaciers, and Mr. Gibb said 

one had come to the piazza at his ranger sta- 
tion. One was also seen about the lake on June 

29, 1913, by Mr. E. R. Warren. Xt Granite 

Park Mr. Bailey saw one on July IT, and on 

the pass between Gable and Chief Mountains 

on August 9, 1 caught a flash of rufous as one 

came up from below and wdiizzed on across 

the pass. In June, 1895, Messrs. Bailey and 

Howell reported quite a number seen and one 

shot at about 5,000 feet on the mountain 

near Nyack. 
Hummingbirds are said to be found close to the glaciers, and the 

mountain flower beds should be watched for them. Spirited little 

knights of Tournay, with flashing armor and lances at rest, they 

may well afford rare entertainment for spectators. 

Calliope Hummingbird: Stellula calliope. — 
This little hummingbird, one of the smallest 
found in the United States, with pink gorget 
and sides tinged with brown and green, should 
be looked for, as it is a mountain-loving species 
frequenting mountain parks and rocky hill- 
sides from 6,500 to 8,000 feet during the nest- 
ing season. At Fort Sherman, Idaho, its 
arrival is said to be coincident with the bloom- 
ing of the wild hawthornc. 

At Granite Park on July 17 a hummingbird, 
with the soft flight of calliope, darted into a 

white-barked pine in front of the chalet; but, unfortunately, before 

it could be examined, darted out again and was gone. 

There is one definite record for the park, however, as a female was 

collected May 31, 1895, by Messrs. Bailey and Howell at the Upper 

St. Mary Lake. Mr. Stanford has also heard of the bird, though he 

has never seen it himself. 

From Rjdgway. Smithsonian Inst, 

Fig. 6G. — Calliope hum- 


Order PASSERES : Perching Birds. 

Family TYRANNID^: Tyrant Flycatchers. 

Kingbird: Tyrannus tyrannus tyranniis. — The- familiar kingbird 
Avith the white unclerparts and white tail band is recorded Ijj' Mr. 
Brj^ant from the parli along the iSTortb Fork of the Flathead. He 

says it breeds but is not common anj'- 
where in the park or in the northern part 
of Flathead Count}-. 

Olive-sided Flycatcher : Nuttallovnis 
horealis. — One of the characteristic notes 
of the forested mountains is the plaintive 
pew-jnp, pew-peio-pe' -oh, peto-pip, peio- 
pew-pc'-oh. It was heard in a number 
of places in the park, and one of the birds 
was seen August 19, at the Reynolds Cabin 
From Biological Survey. Lakes, iieaL Watertou Lake, sitting char- 

FiG. 07.— Kingbird. ■ , ■ ii , ,. • 

acteristicaliy on top of an evergreen spire, 
its white median line showing between the dark graj' of its sides 
as it raised its head to give its sweet call. On the southwestern 
boundary of the park, from Java to Belton, in June, 1895, Messrs. 
Bailey and Howell found it in the dead timber ranging to tim- 

Western Wood Pewee : Myiochanes richardsoni richardsoni. — In 
June, 1895, at the upper St. Mary Lake, Messrs. Bailey and Howell 
collected one pewee and saw one or two more ; and from Summit 
westward along the boundary line of the park a few others were 

The pewee is a bird that is easily overlooked, as its gray plumage 
renders it inconspicuous and its quiet call — given as tioeer or deer — 
can be heard only near at hand. Like the eastern wood pewee, it sits 
erect watching for passing insects, when one appears, darting out, 
snapping it up and circling back again to its perch. 

Western Flycatcher: Emp>ulona.n difflcviis dificilis. — A small 
flycatcher taken for the Avestern was heard, July 10, above Lake 
Josephine and two having the characteristic dull yellow underparts 
were seen July .30 near Gmisight Lake, and August 28 on the Camas 
Lake Trail above Lake McDonald. 

Traill Flycatcher : Empidonax trailli trailli} — A small graj' fly- 
catcher with white chin, gray breast, and v^'hite wing bars, was seen 
in several places in the park among the willows, where its pip, pip, 
and its explosive ha-wcc'-wr were heard as it circled out from its 
perch to snap up passing insects. 

^ Formerly the Alder Flycatcher, EiiipUJonax traiUl alnonini. 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


''Jl/Q ^jtiiUj^^^e/',^^ 

I'rcm Handbook or Birds ol the Western United States. 


.51140°— IS 14 









BIRDS. 165 

Hammond Flycatcher: Emi>idona,e hammondl{?) . — Mr. H. C. 
Bryant, of California, saw an Empidonax July 31, 1917, that he took 
to be hainviondi in " some open woods near Lewis's on Lake Mc- 

Family ALAUDID^: Larks. 

Desert Horned Lark: Otocorls alpestris leucolcemci. — Mr. Bryartt^^ 
has seen horned larks at Belton on the railroad track in fall, but never 
in the park. Mr. Stevenson, howevei', has seen them on the high 
barren ridges of the park, and says they are com- 
mon outside on the dry plains to the east. On 
April 15, 1918, Mr. Baile)' saw two on the Big 
Prairie of the North Fork, where there were 
open fields suitable for breeding grounds. 

Family CORVID^: Crows, Jays, Magpies. 

Fig. (J8. — Uorurd lark. 

Magpie : Pica pica liudsonla. — The magpie, 
with its striking black and white plumage, long 
gTaduated tail, and loud, strenuous voice, is one of the spectacular 
birds of the region, but the only ones seen by us were outside the 
boundary of the park, near the upper St. INIary Lake, although they 
are said to come up into the park for exposed garbage. The bulk of 
them, Mr. Biwant says, enter the park in September and leave the 
last of March. In fall and winter he has seen them on the prairie 
patches along the North Fork of the Flathead. 

Black-headed Jat: Cyanocitta stelleri anncctens. — The high- 
crested, black-headed blue jay is one of the handsomest, most domi- 
nant birds of the pine forests, dashing around and flying from tree to 
tree, calling loudly as he goes. For this reason the apparent decrease 
in his numbers in the park is striking. In 1887 Dr. Grinnell said that 
in the St. Mary Lakes region the jays were common in the pine forest 
up to the rocks ; and in 1895 Messrs. Bailey and Howell observed them 
at timberline and in the spruce timber on the side of Kootenai Moun- 
tain, and reported them common from Java to Belton. In the winter 
of 1899-1900 Mr. Higginson reported them very abundant in the 
Stanton Lake region, staying most of the time on the high ridges. 
But during the two months that we spent in traversing the park Ave 
saAV them in only four localities — at a lumber camp at the head of Lake 
Joseplime, near Waterton Lake, at the Eeynolds Cabin, and on the 
Camas Lake Trail above Lake McDonald ; and on Mr. Bailey's return 
to the west side of the park in April, he saAV only one — at Belton. 
Perhaps, like the eagles, they have been accidentally caught by 
the fur trappers. 



In winter, Mr. Gibb told us, the handsome birds liave come to Iiis 
ranger cabin for food, getting so tame that if the door were left 
open they would come inside. 

EocKY Mountain Jay: Perisoreus canadensis oapltalis. — The big 
fluffy camp bird, or lumber jack, when met with in the park was 
sometimes on guard, slipping through the tree tops and sailing 
down across an open space Avith short wings and long tail outspread in 
absolute silence, but when off guard it flew about giving A'ent to its 
feelings in a most surprising variety of loud, strange calls. The 
hunter who names the jay " moose bird " complains that " he bothers 

Photograph by E. R. AVarrpn. 


GO. — Rocky Mountaiu j;iy. 

a fellow stalking game^geta up in a tree and bawls you out — every- 
thing in the counti'y knows you are around." Where game has been 
killed, as Mr. Higginson says, the jays seem to gather like buzzards 
to feed off the meat, becoming so tame they will allow a close ap- 
proach. They have been found storing food by Dr. Grinnell, putting 
it in moss near the ends of branches of tall firs and spruces. 

In Avinter Mr. Gibb has had these familiar friends of the forest 
come to his ranger cabin, where they became so tame and persistent 
that it was hard to keep the coveted meat from them. They got so 
expert that they could pry off the lid of a granite bucket and, chat- 
tering while they worked, actuallj^ untied the knot in a string Avith 
which Mrs. Gibb had fastened on tjre lid. 

BIRDS. 167 

Eaven : Corvus corax sinuatus. — The nivens, while not becoming 
tame lilie tlie camp jays, are said to come around the reclamation 
camps for food. At Stanton Lake Mr. Higginson found them very 
common winter visitors "round the deer offal in the river bottoms 
and also quite a frequent visitor at the lake." He says, " We used to 
hear their mournful croak as they sailed over us at all times, but they 
seemed to be particularly attached to the river bottoms, and it was 
there that I saw most of them. They were wary and shy to a degree." 

Like the jays they are on the lookout for game. As an old hunter 
said, " Go out in a canyon and kill a deer, and these buggers will 
come," and he added that "they will circle around when meat is 
being dressed." The Blackfeet, he told us, " instead of hanging 
up their meat as other hunters do, hide it on the ground, and to 
protect it from the ravens and coyotes take a stick that will peel off 
white and sharpen the end of it, and after dressing the deer stripe 
the stick with blood like a barber's pole, and lay it alongside the 
meat. This they have done for generations and generations." 

The ravens are common on the west slope of the mountains, Mr. 
Stevenson says, and seen occasionally on the east slope. The only 
two seen by us during the summer were flying from the park across 
Belton. Three were seen by Mr. Bryant, of California, flying over 
Lincoln Pass. " While they were in sight," he says, " several mar- 
mots in the vicinity seemed greatly disturbed, each standing erect 
and giving his loud piercing whistle." In April, 1018, INIr. Bailey 
saw and heard them from Lake McDonald up the North Fork valley 
to the Kintla Lakes, especially where coj'otes had been killing deer. 

Western Ceow: Comts hrachyrhynchos hesperis. — A pair of 
crows were seen at their nest July 5 at Glacier Park, and a flock 
seen July 7 between Glacier Park and St. Mary Lake. They were 
also seen on the Sherburne Lake Flats and north of the Alberta 
boundary. They are said by Mr. Gibb to stay in the park from 
earlj' spring until late fall. 

Clark Nutcracker: Nucif^uga coluvibiaiui. — At Many Glaciers, 
when the automobile stages are drawn up before the door, one of the 
strongly marked Clark crows, or nutcrackers, may be caught sight 
of, glancing back warily as he flies away over the tree tops; or in one 
of the lower valleys, such as the Swiftcurrent, he may be seen cross- 
ing with strong direct flight from ridge to ridge of the landscape; 
but at such places as Granite Park or Iceberg Lake, as on rocky 
slopes among the timberline dwarfs, he is foimd at home, his loud 
har'r'r'r sounding through the clear mountain air as he goes about 
hmiting for cone seeds in the pine tops. Flying in straight as a 
i-uler he will often curve up to the spire and light with a steadying 
flash of his black and white tail. 



At Iceberg Lake, while a party of us were lunching among the 
dwarf balsams, a family of the nutcrackers came into the trees on the 
edge of our circle. When we were discovered the weak-voiced though 
grown young were apparently taken oif by themselves, after which 
the old ones returned with the air of being accustomed to sharing 
meals with their vihitors. One of them, encouraged by his reception, 
flew down and picked up half a slice of bread, returning to his tree 
with it. As he started to lay it down on a branch, one of the ladies 
cried out in consternation, " He's going to drop it ! " 

" Not much, he Avouldn't drop it for a farm," one of the men 
assiu-ed her, following with a dissertation on the thrifty bird's 

Photograph by E. R. Warren, 
Fifi. 7(1.- 

-A Clark uu(<'rackiT in tno niurh uf a hurry. 

storing habits. All eyes wei'e fixed on the big black and white form 
of the visitor, and when at last he carefidly laid the slice of bread on 
the green shelf the troubled lady cried out with relief, " Now he's got 
it stored!" 

A few moments later — our attention having been diverted — we 
looked back just in time to see a nutcracker come in, pick up the 
bread, and fly off with it. 

" She swiped his bread ! " one of the men exclaimed. But was it 
the suspected spouse, or had her lord, thinking of a safer place for 
his treasure, slijaped back quietly to remove it* Let us give the lady 
the benefit of the doubt. Among other dainty morsels accepted by 



one or the other of our guests at the lunch hour was part of a tongue 

The nutcrackers' more natural feeding habits are described by Mr. 
Higginson from Stanton Lake, where he spent the winter. " They 
were common," he wrote, " on the high ridges and seen frequently at 
our camp, but never lower down. They were for the most part in 
flocks of from six to a dozen, sometimes in pairs, but never apparently 
single. Often during a cold afternoon one Avonld hear their harsh 
cry and going out of the cabin find a little liunch at work on one of 
the large fir trees which were near by. TTnlike the jays, they usually 
began at the top of the trees and worked down to the bottom. If 
distiu'bed, they would fly off to the nearest dead tree and, sitting on 
its topmost limbs, utter their opinion of us in very powerful lan- 

Family ICTERIDiE: Blackbirds, etc. 

Sagebrush Cowbied : Molotliruft afcr artemJs'w. — In the horse pas- 
ture of Many Glaciers 13 cowbirds were seen July 11 walking about 
among a group of horses, rising and 
following as they started away. In 
the wooded creek bottom near bv, a 
striped female in the top of a dead 
spruce called loudly until her brown- 
headed, glossy black mate joined her; 
Avhen thejr sat looking around while 
a 3'ellow warbler and a Maryland 
j^ello-w-throat sang. Were the soi'ry 
pair, in search of orphanages, taking 
notes? Here were two small birds 
in whose nests an extra egg or two 
might safely be left. Were they waiting for the songsters to go to 
their nests or merely locating the families before making a detaded 
inspection of likely bushes ? 

The rope corral at camp where our horses were fed attracted 
the cowbirds, and when we broke camp one of them followed 
our pack outfit for more than a mile. At a subsequent camp on 
Belly Eiver two other cowbirds made themselves at home in the 
corral, nonchalantly perching on the backs of the horses. By 
going about among" such a bunch of horses with which there were 
cowbirds, Mr. Stevenson once succeeded in taming two of the birds so 
that they would take flies and mosquitoes from his hand. 

Thick-billed Eedwing: Agelaius phmniceuH fortls.—'Neixv the 
Sherburne Lake flood land I heard what I took to be the o-ka-lee 
of a redwing on August 4, but none of the birds Avere seen. 

From Biological Survey. 

Fig. 71.— Red-winged blackbird. 




1 Handbook ot Birds of the Western United States. 

Fig. 72. — Mradowlark. 

Stevenson says it is " rare, but noted," and Mr. Gird records it from 
the swamps of the North Forlv of the Flathead, and also the 

Bellj' River country. 
W E s T E R X JSIead- 
owlaek: Sturnella 
neglecta neglecta. — 
The meadovrlark, 
■with his handsome 
black- collared yel- 
low breast and his 
protectively colored 
brown-streaked back, 
is rare in the park, 
though seen between 
]\Iany Glaciers and 
the St. Mary Lakes and reported from the Sherburne Lake Flats, 
Belly Eiver, and the North Fork of the Flathead. One was seen 
years ago by ]\Ir. Bryant 
at Ernest Christianson's 
ranch on Camas Creek 
at Thanksgiving, and 
Mr. Christianson has 
told him of one winter- 
ing in his hay sheds. 
On April 18, 1918, Mr. 
Bailey heard meadow- 
larks singing in the 
fields at the Adair ranch, 
south of Logging Creek, 
but apparently they had 
not yet reached the Big 
Prairie country. 

Brewer Blackbird: 
E up hag us cyanoceph- 
alufi. — The only black- 
birds seen by us were 
just outside the bounda- 
ries of the park in one 
of the valleys a few 
miles north of Glacier 
Park Hotel and on the 
Belly Piver north of the 
International Boundary, 
but both were so near the lino that the birds would very likely have 
come into the park. Mr. Bryant reports them from ^the prairie 

PhotoKraphcd by E. R. Warren. 

Fid. 73. — Brewer bhickbird. 



patches along the North Fork of the Flathead, and Mr. E. R. "Warren 
on June 20. 1913, saw them at St. Mary Lake. 

Family FRINGILLIDiE: Finches, Sparrows, etc. 

Western Eveking Grosbeak: Ilesperiphona respcrtina Tjrookf<i. — 
The yellowish green underparts, bright yellow forehead, and olive 
back of the grosbeak, set off by his black inarkings, identify him 
unmistakably even when his large yellowish green seed-cracking 
beak can not be seen, and he should be watched for in the park, as 
he is said to breed in the region. On July 2 and 4, 1913, INIr. "Warren 
saw four at Belton, and on July 17, 1917, Mr. II. C. Bryant, of 
California, saw a pair around the Belton chalets. The birds were 
also said to have come to the cottages 
at Lewis's for food, much to the enjoy- 
ment of the visitors. Mr. E. S. Bry- 
ant thinks they are most plentiful in 
the spring migration, but says they 
breed some years fairly commonly and 
are seen throughout the year. He has 
seen them feeding young at Columbia 
Falls, and Mr. Stanford says they bred 
at Kalispell in the summer of 1917. 
Mr. Stanford adds that both grosbeaks 
and Bohemian waxwin 
feed ai'ound town all 
Bryant has seen them in late winter 
in such places as alder bottoms. At 
Stanton Lake, in the winter of 1899-1900, JNIr. Higginson saw onlj' 
one small flock. On April 11, 1918, Mr. Bailey saw one at the lower 
end of Lake McDonald. 

EocKY Mountain Pine Grosbeak : Plnlcola enucleator montana. — 
A bird taken for the pine grosbeak, which is larger than the evening 
grosbeak and carmine red in full adult plumage, was heard singing 
high on a dead tree on the Camas Lake Trail on August 28, 1917. Mr. 
Gibb says he has seen it in the park in summer, and Mr. Bryant 
thinks it nests there. Mr. Stevenson reports it as rather a common 
bird of the winter months, and Mr. Bryant has found it along the 
alders in the bottoms after heaA^y snowstorms, although in clear, cold 
weather as late as February he has found it at 7,000-foot levels. Mr. 
Gibb has had the birds come to his ranger cabin for food in winter, 
and as they were tame and unsuspicious they made delightful winter 
pets. Mr. B. N. Gephart reports that they are abundant all winter 
about his place on the Camas Creek Eidge, as many as fifty often 
being seen on his doorstep. 

winter. Mr. 

From Biolotiicnl Survey. (Fucrtes.) 

Fig. 74. — Evening grosbeak. 



From his Stanton Lake camp Mr. Higginson wrote : " I had been 
on the lookout for these birds all winter, but without seeing any until 
January 29. On that day I walked out of my cabin to find the small 
pine trees occupied by about 20. From this time on they were very 
plentiful, and I took a number of specimens varying in plumage from 
the 3'oung gray birds to the old dark red males. Some flocks I found 
low down in small trees, but for the most part they Avere in the tall fir 
trees that bordered the edge of the lake." In the fall of 1887 Dr. 
Grinnell found the pine grosbeaks quite abundant in the mountains 
about Eed Eagle and Cut Bank, " many singing sweetly, even during 
snowstorms." On April 10. 1918, Mr. Bailey heard them singing at 
Belton, and one was seen and heard, April 19, near Dutch Creek. 

Cassin Purple Finch : Carpodacwi 
cassini. — A pair of the Cassin finches, 
the male dull pinkish with a square 
crimson crown patch, and the female 
brown and streaked, were found at 
Granite Park in the middle of July 
singing around the chalet and pick- 
ing up 


grain spilled by the saddle 
Doubtless the same pair were 
seen there by Mr. H. C. Brj^ant, of Cali- 
fornia, the last of July. 

Crossbill: Loxia curvttostra hendirei. — A large parti-colored 
flock — some red. some yellowish, and some striped — were seen July 

From Handbook of Western Birds. 

Fig. 75. — Cassin purple lincti. 

Copyright by 11, & E. Pittman. 

Fi(j. 70. — CroysbiUs. 

BIEDS. 173 

18 in the wooded basin below tlie chalet at Granite Park going 
around from tree top to tree top in search of the cones whose seeds 
their sharply pointed crossed bills enable them to extract with dex- 
terity. The metallic himp Idm^) of the crossbills was heard in a 
number of places — Many Glaciers, Going-to-the-Sun Camp, Black- 
feet Glacier Amphitheater, Waterton Lake, Eeynolds Cabin Lakes, 
Kootenai Pass, and Lake McDonald. On April 21, 1918, Mr. Bailey 
heard crossbills about Lewis's Hotel. 

In 1900, Mr. Bryant says, there were more crossbills than he has 
ever seen, but their numbers decreased steadily for several years 
afterwards. On May 30, 1895, Messrs. Bailey and Howell reported a 
flock of fourteen flying over the woods near Red Eagle Lake. 

"Wi-iiTE-wixoED Crossbill: Loxia leucoptera. — ]Mr. Bryant has 
found the white-wing feeding j^oung, and saj^s it undoubtedly breeds 
at times in the park. From 1900-1902, he says, the birds were in 
the park in great numbers along with the common crossbill. 

Geat-crowxed Leucosticte: Leucosticte 
tephrocotis tephrocotis. — The summer home of 
the rare leucosticte or rosy finch is above ptar- 
migan slopes, among bare rocks such as the 
Garden Wall, and the rock piles of passes and 
summits where conies and marmots live ; for in 
niches protected from the wind these hard,y 
birds find shelter for themselves and their 
young. Outside few people ever see (he delight- 
ful birds, for the search for them records long, 
hard climbs to lofty mountain peaks; but in i-™- "-if-.k "/J-"- B.r<i=. 
the park, the trails over the passes leading by fio- 77. — Gray-.rownod 
the ptarmigan slopes take one almost to the 

homes of the rosy finches, and by listening for loud, raucous calls 
and watching for wind-blown figures around the peaks, one may 
occasionally be able to locate them. 

At Gunsight Pass, attracted by their calls, we found them flying 
around the pinnacles above the trail, where there was a rare view 
down the grim canyon and over the smooth, green waters of Lake 
Ellen Wilson to the hazy ridges beyond the park. 

In Piegan Pass a pair of the birds were found on the south slope 
feeding young and flying back and forth from the first dwarf spruces 
below the pass to the broken rocks of the diorite ridge on the crest 
above the pass, where perhaps some of the brood still lingered near 
the nest. A couple of days later a brood was seen on the warm 
south slope along the trail, where pipits were also feeding young 
and an old ptarmigan was leading around a brood. Busily hunting 
for tiny seeds and small insects, the rosy finches raised their caps so 

1Y4 'P r'"-M\^ILD ^^Tiff^i^^aF' GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. 

often that tlio gray border made a good field character, and now and 
then a deeply notched tail or a bright pink wing patch showed 
clearly. Back and forth across the trail they flew, now hunting over 
the grassy flower-strewn ground, now examining the dwarf firs, and 
now hunting over the great snowbank on the side of Piegan Moun- 

On Kootenai Pass leucostictes were also found, but of all the rare 
summits on which these birds of the peaks were seen perhaps the 
best was in the Boundary ]\Iountains. A family of five Avere flushed 
here from a ridge whose summit was crowned by a monument mark- 
ing the International Boundary, and near which a green swath 
through the forest divided British Columbia and Alberta. Here, 
where the mountains of the park reach their culminating grandeur, 
lofty peaks and ranges are gathered in such close conclave as to 
suggest a council of chiefs from north, south, east, and west. The 
broad seamed face of Agassiz glacier, the rough cascaded front of 
Kintla Glacier, with Kintla Peak towering 4,000 feet above its lake ; 
snow patches, glaciers, looming peaks, ridge close behind ridge, and 
below, a mantle of dark timber — such was the chosen home of 

Hardy mountaineers, in spring while the mountain tops are still 
buried under snow, thej- may be found in the low mountain valleys ; 
but in late fall they have been found high up in the mountains, and 
seen in the valleys only in the worst snowstorms. 

Eedpoll: Acanth/s linaria Unana. — A specimen of this redpoll 
with crimson crown, black chin, and streaked body was given us by 
]SIr. Bryant, who said that in the spring one would think the Flat- 
head Eiver the main avenue of travel north for the j uncos and red- 
polls of all Xorth America. JNIr. Gibb has seen redpolls in the park 
in winter. 

From Stanton Lake, in the winter of 1900, ]\Ir. Pligginson wrote : 
" Toward the beginning of February we began to hear these bright 
little songsters, sounding for all the world like a canary, singing away 
on the border of the lake. Just across from the cabin was a little 
thicket of alder bushes, and in this thicket the redpolls could almost 
always be found. They fed on the buds of this bush and there they 
would hang half the time head down stuffing themselves full, and 
only stopping every now and then to sing." As Ihe lake is only 
about two miles fi'om the pai'k, the birds might easilj' stray across 
the boi'der. 

Pine Siskin : SplnitH p/iiiif; iiimin. — One of the notes most fre- 
<juently heard in the higher parts of the park is the wild s])lit note 
(,f the little siskin, the brown-striped cousin of the goldfinch, whicli, 

BIKDS. ^^^J/Ji::,a .._^i/- / ;_-. 175 

in its undulating flight seems to f:url,y launch itself into the air, 
spreading its wings so wide that their yellow patches sliow. At Gun- 
sight Lake, from a bear grass alcove between conifers, one day a 
siskin answered a brother passing overhead with an almost ])nre gold- 
finch — ^canary — note, over and o\'er again; Ijut at last, taking wing it 
launched out with the true wild call of its kind. Some that we 
watched through the glass seemed to l)e picking small insects from the 
needles of the firs, but when, in more usual custom, they hung head 
down from the catkins at the tip of the birch branches, they were 
doubtless extracting seeds. 

At Lake McDonald the last of August, when a family lit on the 
broad top of a stub, small Avings fluttered and young voices en- 
treated — then all were off in air again. Around the hotel and up the 
lake shore, flocks were heard gi\'ing both their own wild notes and 
the sweet homelike notes of the goldfinches, and some of the little 
birds were seen coming down to the water's edge to drinlc. On Mi-. 
Bailey's return to Lake McDonald in April the siskins were coming 
to the doorstep of Lewis's for crumbs, often flying into the house. 
They were numerous all through the valley of the North Fork of the 
Flathead and around the camps and ranches. 

Snow Bunting : Plectrophcnax nivalis nivcdis- — The white and 
rustjf snowflakes which breed in the circumpolar regions come down 
into the northern United States in winter in large flocks, their appear- 
ance being considered a " sure sign of snow," and Mr. Gibb says 
thousands of them come into the park. 

Alaska Longsptje : Calcarius lapponicuH alascensis. — Breeding in 
Alaska, the longspurs winter as far south as Colorado and western 
Kansas. Large flocks have been noted by Mr. Stevenson in spring, 
and they have been seen in fall by Mr. Bryant on the prairie patches 
of the North Fork of the Flathead, and on the ridges with the 
leucostictes. Snowflakes and pipits are often seen in company with 
the longspurs, Mr. Bryant says. He has positively identified only 
this one species of longspur — with black foreparts and white belly — 
but suspects that a " close examination of the long.spur flock would 
reveal some McCown and jDOSsibly chestnut-collared." 

Chestnut-collared Longspue: Calcarius ornafus. — The Chestnut- 
collared, which breeds from Alberta to Kansas and can be distin- 
guished from the Alaska longspur by its black underparts, which 
contrast sharply with its white and buffy throat, should be carefully 
Avatched for, as Dr. Grinnell thinks he has seen it on the Inlet Flat 
between the two St. Mary Lakes, and in June, 1895, Messrs. Bailey 
a,nd Howell saw one not far from the park line, and found them 
common on the lower plains near Blackfoot. 


McCoAVN LoNGsruR: Rhijncojjharies mecoivn!. — The summer Mc- 
Cown, distinguished from the Alaska and the chestnut-collared 
longspurs by its black-tipped tail, its rufous shoulder patch, and 
crescentic black chest patch, has been suspected by Mr. Bryant in 
longspur flocks in the park. Breeding on the Great Plains from 
Alberta to Colorado, it has been reported by Dr. Grinnell as very 
common close outside the park. "While he writes that he should hesi- 
tate to say that he has seen it within the boundaries of the park, he 
says: "I have no doubt whatever that it would be taken by anj^one 
who looke<l for it on the Inlet Flat, and probaljly also in the valley 
of the Swiftcurrent. I remember at times during the migration hav- 
ing seen flocks of these various prairie finches upon the Inlet Flat, 
and should offhand state with some positiveness that they were made 
up of McCown's bunting and the chestnut bunting." 

Westekx Vesper Sparrow: Pooicetes grmnlneus confinis. — The 
pale, streaked vesper sparrow, marked by white outer tail feathers 
and made attractive by its rich, sweet song, was found on the prairies 
near the Upper St. Mary Lake, July 22, singing loudly from the low 
weeds. Others were seen between St. Mary and Many Glaciers, and 
Mr. "Warren found them between Glacier Park Hotel and Bison 
Mountain in the small parks, in June, 1913. Mr. Bryant says they 
are also found in the prairie patches of the North Fork of the 

Western Savannah Sparrow: Passerculus sandwichensw aJaudl- 
^a(.s-.— The small, heavily streaked Savannah sparrows with light 
stripe through crown and over eye were seen, July 7, between 
Glacier Park Hotel and St. Mary Lake; July 21, at the Upper St. 
Mary ; August 5, on the Swiftcurrent Flats ; August 13, along Belly 
Eiver ; and August 27, above Lake McDonald. They are also reported 
by Mr. Bryant from the prairie patches on the west side of the park, 
and Mr. Bailey found several of them on Big Prairie. April 18, where 
they seemed much at home on the fences and in the grassy fields. 

Western Lark Sparrow: Chondestes 
grammacus strigatus.— In speaking of 
the birds seen on the prairie patches of 
the Xorth Fork of the Flathead, Jklr. 
Bryant says, " I have never had the bird 
in hand, but I am sure I have seen the 
western lark sparrow." The chestnut 
patch and black and white streaks on 
the side of the head, together with the 
white tail corners, make it an easy bird 
to recognize. 

White -CROW NED Sparrow: Zono- 

¥rani Biolosical Survey. (Fucrlea). fricllia ICUCOpliryS. TllC ll a n d S O m 6 1 y 

Fig. 78.— White-crowned sparrow, marked M'hite-crown is One of the most 

BIKDS. 177 

abundant and generallj' distributed birds of the parlt, its gTave, sweet 
song being heard from the level of the prairie to timberline, and from 
the southern entrance of the park to the Canadian boundtry. Its four 
slow, clear notes are followed by grace notes that in some renderings 
seem rather out of keeping, but in the best renderings seem the neces- 
sary counterpart and completion of the first part of the song. Accord- 
ing to the setting the song suggests various phrasings, as " Clear 
mount' -ain Ijj'ooI', there-it-is ; " '' Oh see' the ft/rs, see-see-see-see.'''' At 
Sexton Glacier, where we were studying the glacier front with its 
irregularly flattened and compressed annual layers, the song rang in 
our ears till it seems to say, " Oh see'' the ice, say-see-see; Oh see' the 
ice, say-see-see ;" but where no esi")ecial phrase was suggested by the 
landscape, the words " High tip, high nf, see-see" seemed to fit the 
cool, grave, uplifted song. 

Gambel Sparrow: Zonotrichia gamheli. — On Maj' 27, 1895, 
Messrs. Bailey and Howell collected a Gambel sparrow at St. ]\Iary 
Lake. While resembling the white-crown very closely, it differs 
from it in having the space between the ej^e and the bill white in- 
stead of black. 

Western Tree Spaeeow: Spizella mont'icola ochracea. — In 18S7 
Dr. Grinnell reported the western tree sparrow — which has a black 
spot on the unstreaked breast, and the crown and line back of the 
eye rufous — as quite abundant during the coldest part of October 
in the St. Mary Lakes region. 

Western Chipping Spaeeow : Spizella passeinna arizonce. — Eufous- 
capped chipping sparrows were seen in many places, especialljr along 
the lower edges of the park, notably at Glacier Park Hotel, St. Mary 
Lake, Swiftcurrent Flats, Lake McDermott, 
Belly River, Crossley Lake, Gunsight Lake, 
and Lake McDonald. They are recorded from 
the prairie patches on the west side of the park 
by Mr. Bryant and were found by INIr. H. C. 
Bryant, of California, late in July at Iceberg 

Montana Junco: J unco oreganus mon- 
tanus. — Montana Juncos with slate-colored From Handbook of wcstemBWs. 
head, neck, and chest, white belly and brown- ^^"^ pl'n7^p*'ai*i.ow. ''^'^' 
ish back, abound in the park, their 'tsip 

being frequently heard and their disappearing white outer tail 
feathers often seen along the trails. A grown young one was 
seen July 8, at Lake McDermott, and two nests were found 
by Mr. and Mrs. M. I. Berger— one with three eggs, July 13, 
at Sun Camp, and another with six eggs, July 16, near Ice- 


berg Lake. Young just out of the nest were seen by Mr. H. C. 
liryant, of California, July 22, near Lake Josephine. The birds were 
seen feeding grown young in many j^laees. Mr. Stevenson speaks of 
seeing large flocks in spring and fall. While quiet birds that on your 
appi'oach liide away in the bushes, the Juncos when sitting undis- 
turbed in the sun have a pleasing little song, and their presence adds 
a grateful touch of life to the forest. 

Mountain Song SrAURO'w : Mclospina melodia fallax. — Song spar- 
rows were found in the bushes at the head of Sherburne Lake and 
on Belly Eiver. One was found by Mr. Warren June 27, 1913, at 
Iceberg Lake, and others were recorded by Mr. Bryant from the 
North Fork of the Flathead, while a few were noted in 189.j bj- 
IMessrs. Bailey and Howell at the St. ISIary Lakes. 

The possibility of finding the familiar song sparrow in tlie jiark 
adds to one's zest in seai'ching among the bushes of the lake borders, 
for though he is here a bird of the mountains and his brown back may 
lie a different shade from the one known at home, the spot on his 
streaked breast and the homely sweetness of his call and song are the 
same — a different subspecies he is, but a song sparrow is a song 
sparrow for a' that. 

Lincoln Sparrow : Mdospiza lincohii lincolni. — The Lincoln 
sparrow should be carefully watched for about the willows of the 
mountain meadows. While suggesting a small song sparroAV, his 
bufly chest band, finely penciled breast, and individual song set him 
a]>art from his relati\es. A bird that was taken for the Lincoln was 
heard by Mr. H. C. Bryant, of California, in one of the mountain 
meadows near the Sperry chalets. 

In 1895 Messrs. Bailej^ and Howell reported these sparrows com- 
mon in the brush patches and willow thickets at the u^Dper St. Mary 
Lake. They were also found tolerably common near Blackfeet 
Agency, now Browning, and one or two were seen at Summit and 
Midvale, a nest with four eggs being found June 18, at Summit. 

SljVte-colored Fox Sparrow : PassercUa iliaca schisfaeea. — Two 
dominant songs are heard in following the trails along the willow- 
bordered lake shores and through the open parts of the park, those 
of the white-crowned sparrow and the slate-colored fox sparrow. 
The black and white striped crown of the white-crown identifies 
him readil}', but the dark gray head of the fox sparrow is less con- 
spicuous, and unless you press close to the singer it is difficult to 
make out the characteristic fox-colored spots on his breast and his 
reddish tail. But once learned there is no mistaking his bright, 
cheery song, and as he stands silhouetted against the astonishingly 
green water of one of the beautiful mountain lakes the notes, with 

BIRDS. 179 

tlie catchy I'hj'thm, phrase themselves — " Green, ejreeiv, iva'ter, see-it- 

Like the song of the white-crown, the plirase may change with 
the setting, as under the white snow of Baring Basin one seemed 
to say, " WMte, white snmv' hanks, see'them-there" and at Gunsight 
on a cokl, cloudy morning, with fresh snow on the mountain sides an- 
other sang, " Cold, cold wafter, see-it-there." A second song, clear, 
rich, and musical, something like the four-noted song of the white- 
crown, but reversed, began high and descended, suggesting " Green 
lake, green lake, see-it-there." 

In the grim amphitheater of Iceberg Lake, with its high glacier 
debouching into the green water, as we watched insectlike mountain 
goats climbing up the mountain walls above us and nutcrackers 
flying about over beds of heather, wind-bared, wide-skirted spruces, 
and snow banks tinted with the famous pink snow of circumpolar 
and Alpine regions, the '■'■ Iligh-np, high-up" of the white-crown 
seemed well attuned to the spirit of the place. Then suddenly, 
to my astonishment there rang out loud and clear the bright, cheery 
'''' Green, green ica'ter, see-it-there" What was he doing up here? 
As I asked myself the question I looked about and the willow thicket 
bordering the lake answered me. He was simply following the wil- 
lows. Tracing the loud, sweet song to a hedge of spruce, on the tip 
of a spire I caught the familiar dark-gray head of my bird, and as 
he pitched clown and I went to look for him, I found that he had been 
singing over a spruce alcove carpeted with the exquisite lemon-yellow 
Er^^thronium that was filling the air with its fragrance at the edges 
of melting snowbanks. But never did I appreciate the lovely song 
so much as when after protracted days of following trails through 
the dark coniferous forest we came out onto the simny chaparral 
slope of Cathedral Peak and were greeted again by the bright, cheer- 
ing A'oice of our friend. 

Aectic Towhee : Pipilo maculcdus arcticus. — The strikingly marked 
arctic towhee — the male with black foreparts, white belly, and brown 
flanks ; the female with black rejalaced by olive brown — found scratch- 
ing among the leaves on the ground or singing in a bush not far above, 
Avhile characteristically a bird of the Transition and Upper Sonoran 
zones, breeds at these lower levels as far north as Alberta and Sas- 
katchewan, and several were observed by Messrs. Bailey and Howell 
on May 24, 189.5, at St. Mary Lake. 

Black-headed Grosbeak : Zamelodia jnelanoeephala melano- 
cephala. — Mr. Bryant reports the musical brown-breasted, black- 
headed grosbeak nesting in mountain maples inside the park in the- 
region of the N'orth Fork of the Flathead. 
51140°— 18 15 


Lazuli Bunting: Passerina mruEAia. — A little male Lazuli with 
bright-blue back and brownish breast was seen back of Glacier Park 
Hotel on a tree above a brushy bench, where it sang its bright, cheery 
song. Another lazuli Avas seen at Lake McDermott. The birds are 
also recorded from the North Fork of the Flathead by Mr. Brj'ant, 
and on July 1, 1913, Mr. Warren saw one along the railroad track 
about three-quarters of a mile Avest of Glacier Park Hotel. On Oc- 
tober 18, 1887, Dr. Grimiell saw one in the brush of the St. Mary 
Lake shore. 

Family TANGARID^: Tanagers. 

Western Tanager: Piranga ludavlciana. — At St. Mary Lake the 
latter part of July, a,s I followed a quiet wood road in the dark 
Douglas spruce forest with here and there a slanting streak of light 
from the late afternoon sun, I caught a song unheard for many years. 
Though failing to recognize it on the instant, I found myself trying 
to imitate it in the swinging rhythm of the tanager's eong, and in a 
moment more caught a flash of yellow from the bird's breast, and at 
a turn got a glimpse of his red head between tliB closely spaced trees. 
But as I was exulting over the discovery, the beautiful bird disap- 
peared as suddenly as he had come, among the dark shadows of the 

The only others seen by us were two found the last of August on 
the Camas Lake trail above Lake McDonald, but Mr. Bryant reports 
them from the North Fork of the Flathead, and in 189.") Messrs. 
Bailey and Howell saw one on the mountain near Nyack and heard 
a few along the line of the park between there and Belton. 

Family HIRUNDINID^: Swallows. 

Cliep Savallow: PctvochcJldon oJhifrons aJhifrons. — S^vallows 
taken for the cliff were seen August 2 flying over the flats of the St. 
Maiy Eiver and August 6 over the Swiftcurrent 
Flats. Mr. Gird thinks he has seen them on the 
North Fork of the Flathead. 

Barn Sav allow: Hirundo rv^tica erythrogas- 
fris. — ]\Ir. Stevenson reports that the barn swal- 

p'rnm irandbook of Birds, 

.— c 


F.«. 8o.-ciiff swai- i^^g ^.-^^-^^ ^YiQ long, forked tails have been seen, but 

are rare, and that they liaA'e been noted on the 
plains to the east of the park. On May 25, 1895, one or two were seen 
at the upper St. Marj^ Lake, and on June 20, 1913, Mr. Warren saAV 
one or two along the road between Glacier Park Hoiel and St. ISIary. 
Tree Savallow: Iridoprocvr hi'color. — At the Upper St. Mary 
Lake, on July 21, in cottoiiAvood stubs, Ave found three nests of the 



tree swallows with their snowy underparts and burnished steel-blue 
upperparts. The parents were still going to the nest holes, which 
were respectively about 8, 15, and 20 feet from the ground, but part 
of each family seemed to have flown and the air was alive with birds 
weaving about among the trees. Toward simset we found a number 
of them on the telephone line that marks the 1;oundary of the park. 
Thej and some mountain bluebirds had possession of the wires, but 
(hough there seemed to be abundant space, the swallows apparently 

wanted it all. Several times there was 

a heated chase, and once when a gentle 
bluebird was driven low it actuallj' sat 

down on the ground and let the domi- 
neering swallow go by. 

At Mirror Pond near the Gunsight 

Trail tree swallows and probably cliff 

swallows were flying about over the 

quiet water with its yellowish green 

marshy border, disappearing up the 

river vista with its beautiful view of 

Gunsight Pass and its guarding peaks. 


TacJii/cineta thalassina lepicla. — The 
swallows of the park need to be very 
carefully discriminated. The two with the brown breast are the barn 
swallow with the long forked tail, and the cliff swallow with the light 
forehead and pale rufous rump, while the two that are snow white 
underneath are the tree swallow, with the steel-blue upperparts, and 
the violet-green swallow, whose green crown and back contrast 
sharply Avith the violet of the rump patch. The cliff swallow makes 
a retort-shaped mud nest, often hung from a cliff or roofing slab of 
rock, while the barn swallow makes a cup-shaped 
nmd nest often attached as a wall pocket to a rafter 
in a barn. The tree and violet-green swallows nest 
in holes in trees, and the violet also in cliffs. As it 
will nest in knot holes and bird houses, it is one of 
the birds that may be attracted by offers of hospi- 
tality. It would be worth while trying to attract 
it by bird houses at Lake McDonald, as it has recently been found on 
McDonald Creek. 

Bank Swallow: Riparia riparia riparia (.^)— Like the tree and 
violet-green, the bank swallow is white underneath, but it has a dark 
band across the chest that distinguishes it, and it nests in colonies in 
banks such as railroad cuts or creek embankments. A nesting colony 
has been reported by Mr. Gibb from the Swiftcurrent, probably of 

I Biological Survey. 

Fig. 81. — Barn 

From Handbook o£ Birds. 

Fig. 82. — Tree swal- 



bank swallows, although the unmarked, gray-breasted, rough-winged 
swallow also nests in colonies. Both the rough-winged and the bank 
are without the iridescent colors of the other swallows. 

Family BOMBYCILLIDiE: Waxwings. 

Bohemian Waxwixg : Bomljye'iUa garnda pallidiceps. — The fawn- 
colored, high-crested Bohemian waxwing, which breeds from Alaska 
to the northwestern border of the United States, should be looked 
for in the park. It may easily be told from the cedar waxwing, 

w h i c h breeds at 
the lower levels, by 
its larger size, 
brown forehead, 
and yellow and 
white wing mark- 
ings, but it also has 
the waxy red wing 
appendages and the 
yellow tail band of 
tlie cedar waxwing. 
One of the distin- 
guished looking 
birds was seen hj 
us July 18 in the 
firs below the Gran- 
ite Park chalet. 

During migra- 
tion, in 1887, "br. 
Grinnell found the 
Bohemians going 
about in close flocks 
of from 20 to 100, 
and extremely 
abundant about 
the St. IMary Lakes. 
He says : " Scarcely 
a day passed without one or more flocks being seen. They a]i- 
peared to prefer the mountain side to the valley, though flocks 
were seen a number of times among the firs and spruces of the 
Inlet Flat." 

Cedar Waxwing: Bomhycilla cedrorum-.—ln the bottoms of the 
Upper St. Mary Lake, where the tree swallows were nesting, the 
" beady note "' of the waxwing was heard July 22, and one was discov- 
ered apparently feeding young. On the Swiftcurrent, August 6, grown 

From Handbook of Western Birds, (Ernest Thompson Seton.) 

Fig. S3. — Cedar waxwiug. 

BIEDS. 183 

young were seen with their parents in the willow thickets of the bot- 
tom eating black honeysuckle berries. In the Belly River country 
they Avere frequently seen, and they were also found in the Waterton 
Lake Valley and at Lake McDonald. 

Family LANIID^: Shrikes. 

White-eumped Sheike : Lanius liidoviclanus excuMtorides. — Sev- 
eral times in the fall of 1887 Dr. Grinnell saw the white-rumped 
shrike — with hooked bill, black eye stripe', slaty upperparts, and 
l)lack and white wings and tail — on the Upper St. ISIary Lake and in 
the valley of the St. Mary River. 

Family VIREONID^: Vireos. 

Western Warbling Vieeo: Vlreosylva gilva sivainsoni. — The low 
pleasing ix)und of the little olive-drab vireo was frequently heard 
in the willow thickets along watercourses in tJie park — at Glacier 
Park Hotel, St. Mary Lake, Swiftcurrent Creek Flats, Gunsight 
Lake, Crossley Lake. Belly River, and Lake McDonald. 

Family MNIOTILTIDiE: Wood Warblers. 

Black and White Warbler: Mniot'dta varia. — A black and white 
striped Mniotilta was seen, August 26, creeping over the trunks and 
branches at Lake McDonald, and Mr. Bryant is sure that he has seen 
the bird on the North Fork of the Flathead. 

Orange-cbowned Warbler: Vermivora celata orestera. — A number 
of the dull olive-green orange-crowned warblers were seen, August 
22, in a chaparral basin on the Kootenai Trail with a fall flock of 
migrants, and others were seen a week later in several places in the 
vicinity of McDonald Lake. 

Yellow Warbler: Bendroica a'sfiva cpsfira. — Yellow warblers, 
their underparts streaked with rufous, were found in willowy and 
brushy thickets at Glacier Park, the Swift- 
current Flats, Upper St. Mary Lake, Belly 
River, and Lake McDonald. In 189-5 
]\Iessrs. Bailey and Howell found a nest 
just completed on June 12. 

Audubon Waeblee : Dendroica auduboni 
auduboni. — The handsome Audubon, which 
in flying from you flashes a bright yellow 
rump patch and when hunting for insects 
near by shows his yellow tliroat patch and From sioioeicai survey. 
black, yellow, and white under .markings, ^'°- s*— ^-i-^'-- -"^er. 
is one of the most abundant and conspicuous warblers of the Glacier 
Park forests. In gathering insects for his young he goes about 


rapidlj' and capably, covering a great deal of ground from the dead 
tree tops down, jerking out his flat quip' with a preoccupied air, or, as 
he looks up and around, sometimes stopping to sing his loud warbler 
chwee-chwee-chwee or swee-Hwee-swee, sioec-ah, swee-aJi, swee-ah, 
swee, but keeping on with his work till his bill fairly bristles with 
insects, and the voices of young birds are heard from back among 
the dense spruces. 

During the migrations, Mr. Bryant says, the Audubon warblers 
pass through the North Fork of the Flathead Valley " in immense 

TowNSEXD ^Vaeblee: Dendrolca townsendi. — On the trail from 
Many Glaciers to Iceberg Lake the middle of July, high in the 

spruce and fir tops, both going and 
coming, I heard a faint warbler song 
with a drawled quality suggesting the 
eastern black-throated green, the near- 
est of kin to the Town&end. At Gran- 
ite Park the same song was heard and 
a small warbler was seen flying out 
of a high tree top. Late in August, 
From Handbook of wo,u.m Bird,. (Fucrt.B.) .^^^^.^lers taken for Townsends were 

Fig. 85. — Townsend warbler. , t- . • n^ -i t , t i 

seen on the Kootenai irail, and at Lake 
ilcDonald about half a dozen were seen in the willows bordering a 
small pond, near enough to see their handsome yellow and black 
markings; while on the Camas Lake trail a number of others were 
seen in a fall flock of wandering migrants. 

Grinnell Water-thrush: Seiunts noveioracensis nofaiiUs. — 
When at Lake McDonald the last of August, we followed along 
the shore toward McDonald Creek till we came to a small pond 
formed by a trickling woodland brook, where two red-tailed Audu- 
bon thrushes stopped us. Along the marshy edge of the pond, 
in the soft brown earth, we discovered fresh tracks of deer and 
bear, which had gone down to the still pool to drink. As the 
woods were dark, the passing birds had gathered in the sunnj^ wil- 
lows on the opposite side of the pond, making such a busy throng 
that we sat down on a log under concealing branches to watch them. 
Bright yellow, black-capped warblers were whipping about ; quiet, 
dull yellow, orange-crowned warblers were quietly hunting; and a 
sudden flash of salmon made us exclaim, " Redstart ! " The drawl 
of a Swainson vireo called our attention to a small leaf-colored bird 
with neck outstretched hunting painstakingly for measure worms; 
little gay outbursts came from the warblers in the willows, and when 


BIRDS. 185 

the woods had been resounding with the phec' -he-he and tsche'-de-de 
tscTie'-de-de of cliickadees, a band of the clieery birds flew in, possess- 
ing the bushes. Then came a party of briglit Townsend wai'blers witli 
yellow cheeks, black eyelines, and green backs, keeping us busy watch- 
ing them, now disappearing and then reappearing among the green 
leaves. Siskins and crossbills flew overhead calling, and occasionally 
the small voice of a Batchelder downy woodpecker or the remote 
henlii-hcnh-henh-hcnh of a distant nuthatch were heard from inside 
the Avoods. Suddenly an exclamation came from Mr. Bailey, with 
glass focused on the willow border of the pond : " A Grinnell water- 
thrush ! " We had been talking of the rare bird and hoping to see 
it, and here it was at last. Named for the ornithologist whose earlj' 
exploration of the park had affixed his name to so many of the noble 
landscape features, this seemed indeed an appropriate place to find 
it, as I did now for the first time. Like its eastern relatives, the dark- 
backed bird, with streaked throat and breast and a dingy line over 
the eye, Avalked deliberately along the brown bank under the willows, 
teetering and dipping its tail according to the best water-thrush 
traditions ; and then, perhaps, feeling itself too much the center of 
attention, disappeared in the dark thicket. 

Happening to glance up along one side of the pond, I started, for 
there was a black bear coming leisurelj' along toward us ! Entirely 
oblivious of our presence, he stopped beside a tall serviceberry bush 
on the edge of the pond and, raising up on his hind legs, pulled down 
the branches with his paws and proceeded to eat the delectable 
berries. Then, perhaps discovering us, he turned and, instead of 
coming on down the beach, waded, with low hind quarters, across 
the pond and disappeared in the thicket on the other side. As he went 
he flushed the water-thrush, which came hurriedly flying across the 
water, past us and off through the trees. What a rare secluded retreat 
we had happened on ! Here at last we had seen the water-thrush and 
the warblers we had barely met in passing, and here at last we had 
found not only the usual woodland tracks but a maker of tracks, 
an actual denizen of the forest in one of his own quiet haunts. As 
we regretfully l^ft the little pond in the woods, Mr. Bailey pointed 
out a beaver-cut tree and moose tracks — probably those of a moose 
that had been seen swimming the lake not long before. We had, 
indeed, chanced on a rarely favored drinking pool Avith its wildwood 
privacy ! 

Up the beach a short distance we came to McDonald Creek, and 
near its Avaterfall found the old nests of Avater ouzels, Avhile oA^er 
the rapids Ave Avatched the family of harlequin ducks riding; after 
which Ave cut across through beautiful hemlock forest back to the 




From Ilandhftokof Birds. (Fuertes.) 

Fig. ST., — M a c g i 1 1 i v r a y 

hotel trail. The woods were still — not a breath stirred the leaves, 
not a sound broke the silence, and patches of light lay unmoved on 
the tree trunk's. Looking down we found we were following pointed 
tracks — a deer had been along the trail since we went up ! A red- 
letter day, indeed, was that on which we discovered the Grinnell 
Water-thrush ! 

jMacgillivray Waebler : Ojyorornis tohniei. — The Macgillivray, 
with his slaty head and neck, bright yellow underjoarts, and olive- 
green back is one of the most abundant birds 
of the park, his leisurely rather throaty 
tm-'-fur-tur-turty-tah being heard not only 
from the willow thickets but from the chapar- 
ral of the mountain slopes. The songster may 
sometimes be discovered throwing back his 
head to sing from the tip of an evergreen 
spire, and sometimes caught giving a delight- 
ful flight song over the bu.shes. 

Western Yellow-throat : Geothly pis 
trichas oecidentalis. — During the nesting sea- 
son the \oltcli-awee\ witch-awee' , tvifch-awee' of the j-ellow-throat 
was heard from the willows near the tepees on Lake McDermott. 
and, by quietly watching, the busy songster with black mask, yellow 
breast, and olive back was caught sight of in passing. 

Below McDermott Falls, in a willow and spruce thicket protected 
from the wind bj' a high mountain wall, where fragrant ladies' tresses 
and pink castillejas brightened the ground, the birds of the neighlior- 
hood — yellow warblers, white-crowned spar- 
rows, Swainson vireos, ruby kinglets, Mac- 
gillivray warblers, and yellow-throats — were 
gathered one sunny morning holding a merry 
concert. The yellow-throat brought out all 
his best variations — wree-cha-ree', wi-ee-cha- 
ree' , wrec-cha-ree' , wltch-awee-ivitch' , witch- 
cavee-wifch' ^ and witch-awee-ioitcTi' ah. 

Below St. Mary Chalet, late in July, a 
yellow-throat was seen carrying food, and 
as late as August one was seen giving his flight song over the 

PiLEOLATED Warbler: Wilsonia pusilla pUcohifa. — The jauntj' lit- 
tle black-capped yellow warblers were found in the bushes in a num- 
ber of places, notably at Glacier Park, Swiftcurrent Flats, Gunsight 
Lake, Waterton Valley, the Kootenai Trail, and Lake McDonald. 
One was seen July 13, at Lake McDermott, carrying food. 

l''roiu Handbook of Birds. (Fuorlcs.) 

Fi(i. ST.- — Western yellow- 

BIEDS. 187 

Redstart : Setophaga 7'uticiUa. — Mr. Bryant records the redstart 
from the North Fork of the FLathead, and in 1895 Messrs. Bailey 
and Howell saw several males at the St. Mary Lakes. 

In a country where they are imcommon the sudden sight of a 
striking bird like the black ami orange redstart, with its long, fan- 
tail, seems an experience worth recording. We saw three — one at 
Glacier Park, one near the Reynolds cabin in the Waterton Valley, 
and one at Lake McDonald, each bringing the thrill of surprise and 
pleasure of an unexpected meeting with an old friend. 

Family MOTACILLID/E: Wagtails. 

Pipit: Aiithus splnoletta ?'iilescens. — On the timberline slopes of 
the park, stony and flower strewn, in company with the leucosticte and 
ptarmigan, one finds the pipit, smaller and more slemler than the rosj^ 
finch, and without his charming touches of color, but a hardy little 
mountain friend for all of that, with a dull brownish suit to protect 
him from enemies, and white enough on the outer edge of his dark 
square tail to help his family follow his flight. Better known when he 
is going about in flocks on the lowlands in the migrations and winter 
months, he ma^^ be recognized on his Arctic Alpine breeding grounds 
by his deliberate walk, his habit of tipping his tail, and occasionalljr 
nodding his head, and also b_v his plaintive Ir'-we and clieep'-ep, 
uttered as he flies about, buffeted by a wind often too strong to stand 
against, and which sometimes blows him back against a snowbank. 

A record of one's meetings with Anthus becomes a record of the 
peaks and passes visited, for while both ptarmigan and leucosticte are 
often overlooked on hurried visits, Anthus is generally in evidence. 
We found old ones feeding young at Siyeh Pass, Gunsight Pass, 
Piegan Pass, and Kootenai Pass, and saw them flying around on the 
slopes adjoining Blackfeet Glacier. Dr. Grinnell, in the St. Mary 
Lakes region, found them also on Flat Top, Goat Mountain, and Red 
Eagle Mountain. 

Sometimes the pipits were found flying about over bare steep slide 
rock; once they kept me waiting for a long time on the edge of a can- 
yon, flying from rock to rock, one of them finally eating up the in- 
sects it had gathered rather than show me the hiding place of its 
brood. On Gunsight Pass, where siskins flew overhead and leu- 
costictes called around the peaks, the broken faces of strata regis- 
lered the titanic convulsions of geologic ages, but the gentle hand 
of time had lain disguising carpets of heather and moss and dwarf 
firs, and conies squeaked from the interstices of coarse rock slides. 
Here the familiar voice of the pipit was heard from rock masses 
above and beloAv, and round about us we discovered the little forms 



of well-grown j^oung — yellowish-breasted young that tilted their tails 
like their parents, but still had a decided air of staying where they 
were put — an air Avhose reason- was explained when their business- 
like, knowing parents quietly whisked them out of danger's way. 

Family CINCLID^: Dippers. 

Water Ouzel : Cinclus mexicanus unicolor. — The water ouzel, also 
called clipper from its wren-like habit of bobbing or dipping, one of 
the most remarkable birds of the West, can be easily watched at its 
nest by even the hurried visitor to the park. From the bridge over 

Photu. by J. Rowley, Courtesy of Bird-Lore. 

Fig. 88. — Water ouzel at entrance to nest. 

the Swiftcurrent — only a few steps from Many Glaciers Hotel — 
where trains of saddle horses and automobile stages go rushing by, a 
pair of the short-tailed gray " water wrens " were seen flying swiftly 
low over the water on their way back and forth between their feed- 
ing grounds along the lake above and their nest at the foot of the 
waterfall below. And from- the top of the gorge, marking the his- 

Wild Animals Glacier Park„ 







toric Lewis Overthrast Fault, of the map, the ouzel was watched 
through the glass flying down over the white roaring waterfall, turn- 
ing a shielding point of rock, and buzzing like a hummingbird in 
front of a ledge before the open mouth of a domed mossy nest from 
which, with a noisy Avelcome, widely gaping yellow bills reached 
down to be fed. Then off like a flash, the eager parent flew over 
the frothing swirling water and through the wind-blown spraj' back 
up the tumbling falls to its hunting ground on the lake above. 

When tired pei'haps by strenuously climbing waterfalls, one of 
the pair went hunting l)elow along the bank of the creek, and 
an observer new to water ouzels and their strange ways, catching 
the enthusiasm of knowledge, exclaimed excitedly, " TZe 
went right doivn, under water! He went down under water !" When, 
lured by some tempting morsel at the bottom of the creek, the little 
water wren, secure in his oilskin suit, does go below in this way, he 
often swims along a bit before coming up, though boasting no 
webbed feet to paddle with. A commoner " stunt " is to stand on a 
rock — like the large one in the middle of Swiftcurrent facing his 
nest, Avhich holds a basin of water — and plunge his head in up to 
his body, giving an amusing headless horseman effect. 

At this time of year he had little need to hunt under water, for 
banks and shores and ledges were fairly alive with caddice flies just 
coming out of their cases, and we could see long wings in the bills 
of the parents. The family providers had long hours to work here 
in the north where daylight lasts so late. One was actually seen 
taking food to the nest at 9 o'clock at night. And by 6 — and no 
one knows how much earlier — the pair were at work again the next 
morning. When the sun first came into the cold gorge of the glacial 
stream, the father of the family, sitting on the rock in the middle 
of the creek, burst into song and sang jubilantly for some time, 
but then stopped short and began the work of his long busy day. 

When the sun got in far enough to light up the nest the picture 
from the bottom of the gorge facing it was a pretty one, though the 
strong draft sweeping through shook the legs of the tripod disas- 
trously, and the dashing spray clouded the lens. The mossy nest, 
resting on a narrow shelf several feet above the roaring stream, was 
securely wedged in under a roofing ledge. Dark mosses growing 
over tlie ledges and small bright green ferns on either side of the 
nest itself added to the attractiveness of the picture. What a home 
the little water wrens had chosen! How they must love the rush 
and roar of water, the exhilaration of wind-blown spray, the music 
of the cascades, and the privacy of their rainbow-arched gorge beyond 
Avhose white Avaterfalls looms the noble head of Grinnell Mountain 
under resplendent clouds I 


But what would happen to the young when they left the nest? 
Would they fall into the frothing, swirling torrent and be washed 
downstream? Their parents had no such anxieties. Ledges and cav- 
erns that seemed faii'ly negligible from the top of the gorge, from 
below proved veritable mammoth caves for exploration by fledgelings. 
And if a too-venturesome one went too close to the water, a thud of 
spray on its back taught it a lesson. 

Another ouzel's nest, this time about 30 feet above the creek on 
the ledges besides Baring Falls, was one of the prime interests of 
visitors to Going-to-the-sun Camp, and while the nest itself was pro- 
tected from the too curious by the heavy spray of the cataract, in 
going to and from it the ouzels sometimes — as on the occasion of the 
visit of the Ploward Eaton party^iad to run the gauntlet of a long 
row of siiectators. 

After the nesting season two nests were found near the falls of 
]\IcDonald Creek where the harlequins rode the rapids. Ouzels were 
seen flying up the beautiful waterfall — split by red rocks — just off 
the Granite Park trail, and they i3rol)ably had a nest at its foot. In 
a number of other places in the park the birds were seen in j^assing, 
either about falls or fl3nng swiftly up or down mountain streams. 
The,y were so busy feeding young that their song was seldom heard; 
but it is a delightful one, that should be carefully listened for, and 
that may be heard in the park in winter. 

In writing of winter experiences with the ouzels Mr. Higginson 
says : " I very much doubt if the weather ever comes that drives these 
birds to take shelter. On a day in January, with the thermometer 
at 35° below zero and everything combining to make the weather 
unbearable, I heard one of these birds, and looking out discovered 
him sitting on a little rock in the middle of an icy mountain stream 
pouring forth his song at the very top of his little lungs. Many 
people do not know what a sweet song the dipper possesses, as sweet 
a strain as one often hears, poured out with all the subdued energy 
of the winter wren, whose song it sometimes resembles." 

The hardy little musicians are early builders. On April 21, 1918, 
Mr. Bailey found a pair carrying building material under the Fish 
Creek log bridge near Lake McDonald, and the next day found a pair 
lining their nearly completed nest in a niche of the rock wall below 
the falls on McDonald Creek, where he had found two old nests the 
previous summer. 

Family MIMIDiE: Mockingbirds, Catbirds, etc. 

Catbird: Dumefdld vdvoUnengis. — At the upper St. Mary Lake 
July 21, when looking for new and strange harlequin ducks, I Avas 
surprised to come face to face with a homelike catbird, with slate- 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


Courtesy of National Association of Audubon Societies. 




gray body and black crown and tail, sitting in the bushes on the 
lake shore, looking conscious of observation, but unafraid. 

The bird has been seen by Mr. Bryant, both in the park and on the 
Flathead, and in June, 1895, Messrs. Bailey and Howell reported one 
or two seen on Willow Creek near the Blackfeet Agency, now Brown- 

Family TROGLODYTID^: Wrens. 

EocK Ween: Salpinctes ohsoletus ohsoletus. — Although the rock 
wren is mainly a bird of warmer zones, it has been reported by so 
many observers that it should be sharply looked for. Its wrennish 
figure and graduated tail with subterminal band of black, held like 
a spread fan tilted up at its back, are enough to identify it. 

Dr. Grinnell writes me that he has an impression that he has seen 
it on the east side of the park, and the botanist, Mr. Marcus E. Jones, 
unqualifiedly records seeing it " among the rocks." Mr. Bryant has 
never collected it, but feels confident 
that he has seen it, as do Mr. Gibb 
and Mr. Gird. 

Western House Ween : Troglo- 
dytes aidon -parkmani. — The house 
wren was found August 5 on Swift- 
current Creek, a mile below Many 
Glaciers, singing volubly and acting 
interested in a hole in a stub. ISIr. 
Gibb says a number of the wrens are 
seen around Lewis's on Lake Mc- 

Westeen Wintee Ween : N annus 
hiemalis pacificus. — Along the Gun- 
sight Trail we heard the tinkling song of the little bobtailed winter 
wren coming from a dark thicket in the mossy woods; and again at 
Wall Lake, before a thunderstorm had cleared, the gloom of the well- 
like cirque and its black water bordered hy dark spruce woods was 
relieved by the sprightly song of the jolly little wren. 

But not until we were following the bear-tracked Kootenai trail 
thi'ough the dark Engelmann spruce forest did we get our first sight 
of the brown mite. On the trail beside some fallen logs we were ar- 
rested by its " watch-winding " scold, as Mr. Bailey expressed it, 
and discovered a pair of old wrens with stul)by tails up over their 
backs, and one fuzzy-headed, yellow-gaped j^oungster just out of the 
nest. With quivering wings and twitching tail, the parent on guard 
scolded around in nervous solicitude, not daring to call attention to 
the youngster by feeding it even when food was brought. Occasion- 
51140°— 18 1\) 

From Handbook of Weetem Birds, 

Fig. so.- — Western house wren. 


ally the two-syllabled ta-tih' was given, but generally it was the long 
scolding chatter. When finally relieved of our pi'esence the parents 
expressed their feelings in various low notes followed by their sweet 
tinkling song. The nest of the wrens is described by Mr. Stevenson 
as " a small oven made of moss on the side of a rotten log." 

One of the winter wrens was seen by Mr. Gibb in July on Lake 
Josephine, and Mr. Bryant, of California, when in the park heard 
them in many places and found them " much in evidence along Lake 
McDonald and McDonald Creek." Mr. E. S. Bryant says they are 
common all winter. 

In April, 1918, Mr. Bailey found them " singing in many places 
along the way," up the Xorth Fork of the Flathead, and says : " One 
was living under some logs of the road grade on the Fish Creek hill, 
where four feet of snow covered his dark, cold den. He Avould come 
out and bubble away as if the flowers were blooming, tlien dive back 
into the black caverns under the snow bank." 

Photograph by R. B. Rockwell. 

Fig. 90. — Young Rocky Mountain nuthatches. 
Family CERTHIID^: Creepers. 

Rocky Motintain Creeper: Certhia famillaris montana. — The 
little bark-colored creeper, rocking up to the top of one tree trunk 
and then flying down to the foot of another to start over again in his 
search for bark insects, may be easily overlooked in the dense coni- 
ferous forest; but his small beady note on the order of the wax- 
wings, when once heard will readily place him. Only one was seen, 
but a number were heard during the summer in various parts of the 

Family SITTID.^: Nuthatches. 

Rocky Mountain Nuthatch: Sltfa carolinensis 7icho»i. — The 
small short-tailed bluish gray bird with black crown and plain white 



ch(!eks, seen ■walking head down on the side of a tree trunlf, was 
found on all sides of the park, notably at Many Glaciers, Going-to-the- 
sun Camp, Waterton Valley, Kootenai Trail, and Lake McDonald. 

It is less frequently seen than heard, its soft henh-henh-henk-henk, 
catching the ear from a distance. Sometimes it is only a flute-like 
hanh that penetrates the woods, but it is redolent of balsamic odors 
and the still depths of the forest. 

Eed-breasted Nuthatch : Sitta canadensis. — The red-breasted nut- 
hatch with black and white stripes on the side of its head was seen, 
August 30, at Lake McDonald. 
Mr. Bryant, of California, found 
it there on July 18, and on Mc- 
Donald Creek July 31. In June, 
1895, Messrs. Bailey and Howell 
reported it from St. Mary Lake 
as " quite common around camp." 
In the winter of 1899-1900 Mr. 
Higginson found both it and the 
white-breasted around Stanton 
Lake, " more frequently on the 

Family PARID-3E: Titmice. 

LoNG-TAILED Chickadee : Pcn- 
thestes atricapiUus septentrion- 
alis. — As several species of chick- 
adees may be found in the park, 
the flocks should be examined 
carefully. The long-tailed, with 
its plain white cheeks and un- 
derparts and its pale gray back, 
was seen on Swiftcurrent Creek, 
Kootenai Trail, and Lake McDonald, families of grown young being 
found in the forest in many places, although the birds are more 
likely to breed in the partly open valleys. 

In April, 1918, Mr. Bailey found the long-tailed chickadees com- 
mon from Belton to the Kintla Lakes, especially along the willow 

Mountain Chickadee: Penth^stes gambeli gamheli. — Mountain 
chickadees, easily recognized by the white line over the eye, are 
common in the park, so that their delightful and varied notes may be 
studied at will. In speaking of the birds around his winter camp 

PhotorrJ.i)h by E R ^\ jnrn 

Fig. 91. — Long-tailed chickadee. 

at Stanton Lake, Mr, 

Higginson wrote. 

" Of course the chickadees 



were our ever faithful neighbors during tlie winter. Wlien other 
birds were in hiding, in cold or stormy weather, these little fellows 

would come around the camp 
and cheer us up with their inces- 
sant song." 

Chestnut - backed Chickadee : 

P cnthestes rufescens rufes cens 
{?). — In the dense cedar, tama- 
rack, and hemlock woods border- 
ing Lake McDonald, August 26, 
we saw what, Avith the unsatisfac- 
tory glimpses vouchsafed us, ap- 
peared to be the chestnut-backed, 
with top and back of head hair- 
brown, and back, sides, and flanks 
dark reddish brown. 

Family SYLVIID^: Kinglets, etc. 

Western Golden -crowned 
Kinglet: Regulus satrapa oliva- 
ceus. — On the park side of the 
North Fork of the Flathead at 
Belton, August 31, a golden- 
crowned kinglet was seen with a 
flock of chickadees, and at Stanton 
Lake INIr. Higginson found one or more with every flock of chicka- 
dees. A few kinglets were seen by Mr. Bailey on April 16, 1918, at 
Kintla Lake. Dr. Grinnell says that he has seen them a number of 
times on the east side of the park. 

EuBY-CROWNED KiNGLET : CortJvylio caleiulula calendula. — Fre- 
quently heard among the firs and spruces of the park, the rippling, 
charming song of the ruby kinglet, often given sotto voce, sometimes 
suggests the reading", " Roundelay, roundelay, roundelay , cheery, 
cheery, cheei-y, cheery, cheer,^^ ending with a tsche-da, tsche-da, 

Wlien the lovely tripping song had been heard a great deal on the 
east side of Lake Josephine, on going along the west side of Lake 
McDermott one morning I caught sight of a little green woodlander 
with big eyes and a scarlet cap on his head, standing in a spruce near 
the trail. At the same time he caught sight of me, and after flutter- 
ing his wings and giving a few chattering notes, stopped short. 
Wanting to sing, he started with the first merry notes, but, remember- 
ing me, changed to a worried call — a single, rich, throaty note that he 

Photograph by E. R. Warren. 

Fig. 92. — Mountain cliickadue 

BIRDS. 195 

kept repeating for some time. Tlien, as I looked on quietly and nnob- 
tnisively, he apparently dismissed me from his mind and went about 
himting insects. When he had gathered so many that they showed 
in his bill he could contain himself no longer and burst out with his 
gay, light-hearted round — hi^oh, hl-oh^ hl-oh, Jd-oh, hi. 

At Gunsight Lake, the last of July, I happened on a family of very 
spruce-looking, recently fledged little kings whose busy, harried 
mother looked as if she had not had time to plume herself. A 
month later, when family cares were over for the year, at Lake 
McDonald a ruby was seen going about with a flock of chickadees 
and warblers, again singing snatches of his carefree, light-hearted 

Family TURDID^: Thrushes, Solitaires, Bluebirds, etc. 

TowNSEiv'D Solitaire : Myadestes townsendl. — The solitaire — a gray 
bird a little smaller than a mockingbird, with a very short bill, in 
flight showing a line down the wing — was seen a number of times 
in the park. As I had generally seen the solitaires high up on the 
mountains I was surprised to discover one sitting in a tree a few 
3'ards from the l;)ack of Many Glaciers Hotel. While I stared he 
flew down on the edge of the lake looking about with utmost com- 
posure. The same one. as I imagined, was seen several times at the 
tepee end of the lake, and one day in the middle of July there were 
two evidently getting food, as they flew low and then returned to the 
tree tops; but though I looked carefully for young and followed 
when they left, they cjuickly disappeared ahead of me in the dense 
forest. At all our meetings they had maintained strict silence — ex- 
cept for a rich call note suggesting the rare quality of their song — 
the silence, as I interpreted it, of parents guarding young. But on 
July 24, near Going-to-the-Sun Camp, one of the birds, apparently 
accompanied l)y grown young, sang soft broken snatches of song that 
made me long to hear again the full rhapsody of the mountain tops. 
My only other meeting with the rare songster was at Crossley Lake, 
when, silent and flitting, he stopped for a few moments in the top 
of a lodgepole pine on the moraine aboi'c the lake. In the nesting 
season of 1895 a pair were found above timberline near Midvale. 

Willow Thrush : BylocuMnfusf-escens salhicola. — The pale bufi'y 
chest with its triangular spots, together with the uniform olive brown 
of the upper parts, identify the willow thrush when seen; but, like 
all the thrushes, quiet brown-backed birds of the woodland, in a coun- 
try of dense forest growth he is very difficult to see. His calls, among 
them the familiar bleat and the appealing whee' you of his eastern 
congener, the veery, were apparently heard in the willow thickets of 
the lower part of the park, and Mr. Bryant, of California, reported 
hearing the songs at Lake McDonald and St. Mary Lake. The exqui- 


site song of the fuscescens has been described as a series of descending 
silver rings, but that only gives a hint of its rare quality and charm. 

Olive-backed Thrush : IlyJocicKla ustulaia swainsoni. — The olive- 
backed — distinguished from the willovF by its bright buffy throat, its 
more heavily marked breast, and especially by its buffy cheeks and 
eye ring — and distinguished from the red-tailed Audubon hermit 
by having the tail nearly the same color as the back, is said, by 
Mr. Bryant, to breed in the park. A nest that we took for a swain- 
soni was found near Glenn Lake, in a small balsam about 10 feet 
from the ground, and was loosely made of soft black and green 
bearded lichens, moss, and grass, lined with lichen. It contained one 
young bird and one dull-green egg lightly spotted with brownish. 

The loud beautiful song of the olive-back whose effect, as it is 
said, " is much enhanced by the evening hush in which it is most often 
hoard," must be listened to carefidly to distinguish it from that of 
the Audubon hermit. Not only do its cadences ascend rather than 
descend, but, as Dr. Jonathan Dwight describes the song, it " lacks 
the leisurely sweetness of the hermit thrush's outpourings, nor is 
there pause, but in lower ke^' and with greater energy it bubbles on 
rapidly to a close rather than fading out with the soft melody of its 
renowned rival." 

Audubon Hermit Thrush : Hylocichla guttata auclubonl. — Two 
Audubon thrushes seen at the Grinnell water-thrush pond on Lake 
McDonald close enough for a distinct view of their diagnostic reddish 
brown tails, were probably migrants, but four others were seen or 
heard during the nesting season, two of them close enough for iden- 

The songs heard were, curiously enough, associated with particu- 
larly impressive mountain views. On the trail to Iceberg Lake, when 
w^e had been slowlj^ climbing up through the dark forest of close-set 
shagg}' firs and spruces, with only an occasional sunbeam lighting up 
a green fern bed, a patch of lemon yellow lichen, or a clump of 
magenta Mimulus, suddenly, at a turn, we rode out of the shadowed 
forest and looked across a great space upon the Swiftcurrent glacier 
and the noble peak of Grinnell Mountain. As we gazed, spellbound, 
at the landscape, over our heads came the thrilling, exalted song of 
the Audubon hermit, unheard before in the mountains, with its sub- 
limated refrain — ''''Tligh ahove you, high above you.'''' Farther along 
the trail, when once more we rode out of the shadowed forest for our 
first inspiring view of the uplifted head of Mount Wilbur and the 
glacier above Glacier Lake, we were again thrilled by the exalted 
song with its cool, serene notes — " Iligh ahove you, high above you.'''' 

Western Eobin: Planesticus migi^atorius propinquus, — Familar 
homelike robins, practically indistinguishable from the eastern, were 
nesting on beams under the eaves at Glacier Park Hotel and at Many 

Wild Animals Glacier Park. 


From Handbook of Birds of the Western United States. 



Glaciers, and they are said to nest c<inimonly in suitable localities 
throughout the park. 

Some of the robins winter as far north as southern British Colum- 
bia, and from April 9-H), 191S, Mr. Bailey found them common from 
Belton up through the North Fork valley, especially from Dutch 
Creek to Big Prairie. "At Adair's ranch they were numerous, and 
busy hunting worms in the meadow and singing from the tree tops." 

NonTiiEKx Varied Thrush : Lroreus nwvius me7'"uloides. — The va- 
ried thrush, Avliose size and rusty brown breast might suggest a rusty 
robin with a black necklace, was seen or heard in a number of places 




^0 ^^V Miw¥ ^^^aHpWH^^^^^^^H 



PhoLograph by E. R. V<''d 

Fig. 93. — Western robin. 

during the nesting season; and Mr. Bryant says it winters half way 
up the mountains, in the heavy timber near open water or springs, 
where it can doubtless find berries, such as mountain ash, high-bush 
cranberry, and yew. On April 9, 1918, Mr. Bailey found varied 
thrushes singing on both sides of the river at Belton, and during the 
next two weeks found them around Lake McDonald and at various 
points along the North Fork nearly to Kintla Creek, their long- 
thrilling note often coming from deep woods where there was still 
two or three feet of snow. 

In Auo-ust, on the Kootenai Trail near the home of the winter 
wren family, a spotted-breasted young varied thrush was seen in a 


spruce, and a whistled call brought a response of rare unmistakable 
quality from its parent. And once on the south side of Lake Jo- 
se2:)liine nn^ ear caught the famous note that holds the rapt sublima- 
tion of the songs of all the thrushes. It was only given twice, but 
that was enough to thrill me with the knowledge that the rare 
musicians were in the park. 

At the head of Griimell Lake in July, after leaving our saddle 
horses at a large snowbank, I followed along the shore until I dis- 
covered a diving golden-eye. While quietly watching her, the voice of 
a varied thrush was heard, and soon two of the birds flew swiftly 
clown through the evergreens, so close to me that I could see their 
brown, collared breasts. Another interval of silence and from the 
trees almost over my head came the sjolit, vibrant note, later followed 
by a soft tinkling note as of birds undisturbed in their home. And 
what an ideal place for Ihe Alaska mountain dweller — on the spruce- 
clad wall overlooking the milky glacial lake, with the notes of nut- 
crackers given in passing over from the peaks ! Weeks passed before 
I was able to return to the home of the varied thrush, but then, on 
the way back from Gunsight and Piegan Pass, as I rode down into 
the beautiful secluded gulch beside Grinnell Glacier, the vibrant 
swelling note caught my waiting ear. Dismounting and answering 
each call as it came — now the split note and now the Long swelling 
note — I followed the direction of the sound till I stood at the foot 
of a noble brotherhood of dark-green, high-pointed spruces, from 
which the rare song came. On recounting the circumstance to Dr. 
Grinnell soon after, when he was visiting one of our camps, ho 
told me that he had found the varied thrushes in that very same 
gulch, as he remembered, some twenty-six years before, many years 
before the park ha<l been established ! 

In still another of nature's secluded chambers was the note of the 
varied thrush heard — in the amphitheater of Iceberg Lake, where 
the presence of man seemed an intrusion and the sublimed voice of 
ihe bird in rare harmony. Silenced by the arrival of the horse trains, 
only one note was given, but a quiet walker who had preceded us said 
that before we came the thrush had been singing marvelously. 

MocrxTAiN BLTjEniRD : Suilia currucoides. — Like its eastern relative, 
a l)ii-d of the open, the mountain bluebird, associated with the beauti- 
ful moinitain parks and meadows of the West, in Glacier Park is 
found in the open lower margins, such as the region of St. ]\Iary Lake 
and the North Fork of the Flathead. 

Some of the pleasantest experiences of the summer, which was 
filled with delightful incidents, were at Glacier Park Hotel, at the 



entrance to the park, for there, be- 
sides being welcomed by tire rich 
song of a thrush coming from the 
willow- thickets under our win- 
dows and hearing the homelike 
notes of nesting robins, we found 
a pair of the exquisitely tinted 
mountain bluebirds, most beautiful 
of all the lovely bluebirds, actually 
nesting in an old woodpecker hole 
in one of the great yellow-pine pil- 
lars of the hotel. How touching- 
it seemed that the grand old tree, 
felled in its might and carried 
far from its forest home, had 
brought shelter for the gentle 
pair, helpless to excavate a nest 
of their own and otherwise unpro- 
vided ! A pretty sight the father 
bluebird made sitting on a beam 
close to the nest while the mother 
brooded inside. 

At Many Glaciers nature had 
made no such kindly provision for 
the bluebirds, and, as the slen- 
der young trees around the hotel 
offered no natural nesting boxes 
and man had failed to supply the 
deficiency, a pair seeking the shel- 
ter and protection of the hotel 
were sorelj^ put to it. At last, 
trjing to forget family traditions, 
they built on a rafter at the end of 
the piazza, over the heads of the 
hotel guests promenading back 
and forth enjoying the Avonderful 
views of the mountains reflected in 
the lake. Shy and nervous in such 
an unnatural position, the gentle 
birds made a pathetic appeal for 
hospitality; and how well they 
would repay it, numbered as they 
are among the loveliest birds of 
the West ! 

Photograph by KobL-rt H. RockwL-11. 

Fig. 94. — Mountain bluebird. 


Acanthls linaria llnarla, 174. 
Aecipiter cooperi, 146. 

velox, 146. 
Actsea, 50. 

Actitis macuUu'ia, 1.33. 
^"Echmophorus occidentalis, 110. 
Aeronaute.s raelanoleucu.s, 102. 
Agelaiu.s phceniceu.s fortis, 109. 
Aix sponsa, 120. 
Alaska longspur, 175. 

three-toed woodpecker, 158. 
Alaudid£e, 165. 
Alcedinidse, 157. 

Alces americanus americanns, 31. 
Alders, 21. 

Amelauchier alnifolia, 95. 
American elk, 32. 

moose, 31. 
Anas platyrliynclia, 117. 
Anatidse, 115. 
Anseres, 115. 

Antelope, prong-horned, 31. 
Anthus spinoletta rubescens, 187. 
Antilocapra americana americana, 31. 
Antilocaprida;, 31. 
Aquila chrysaetos, 148. 
Archibuteo ferruglnens, 147. 
Archilochus alexandri, 162. 
Arctic-Alpine Zone, 23. 

towhee, 179. 
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, 95. 
Ardea herodias herodias, 131. 
Ardeidas, 129. 
Arenaria, 22. 
Arnica, golden, 21, 22. 
Asio tlammeus flammeus, 154. 
Aspen, 20. 
Aster, golden, 22. 

prairie, 19. 

purple, 21. 
A.stur gentilis striatulus, 147. 
Asyndesmus lewisi, 161. 

Audubon hermit thrush, 196. 

warbler, 187. 
Avocet, 132. 


Badger, 91. 
Bald eagle, 149. 
Baldpate, US. 
Balsam root, 19. 
Bank swallo^v', 182. 
Baru swallow. 181. 
Barrow golden-eye, 122. 
Bartramia longicauda, 133. 
Bat, bi-own, 101. 

hoary, 101. 

long-legged, 100. 

silver-haired, 101. 
Batehelder woodpecker, 158. 
Bear, black, 91. 

cinnamon, 91. 

grizzly, 96. 

silvertip, 96. 
Bear-))erry, 94. 
Bear, 21, 94. 
Bear paw, 21. 
Beaver, 64. 

Belted kingfisher, 157. 
Bighorn, 26. 
Birch, paper, 21. 

shrubby, 21. 

western, 20. 
Bi.son, 25. 
Bittern, 129. 
Bitterroot, dwarf, 23. 
Black and white warbler, 183. 
Black-bellied plover, 134. 
Blackbird, Brewer, 170. 

redwing, thick-billed, 169. 
Black-chinned hummingbird, 162. 
Black-headed grosbeak, 179. 

jay, 165. 
Blazing star, 19. 
Blueberry, little red, 21. 

purple mountain, 21. 




I'.luehird, iiKinntaiii, IDS. 
Bluebouiiet, 19. 
Blue-winseil teal, 119. 
Bobcat, nortliern, 82. 
Bob-white, 135. 
Bohemian waxwiiig. L'-!2. 
Eombycilla cetlroruui, ]82. 

garnila pallidiceps, IS2. 
B.jmbycillicte, 182. 
Bonaparte Kull, 114. uinljellus umljelloides, 137. 
Botauriis lentiginosus, 129. 
Branta canadensis canadensis, 127. 
Brewer blackbird, 170. 
Broad-tailed Imuimingbird, 103. 
Brown bat, 101. 
Brown-eyed Susan, 10. 
Brown woodcluiclc, fio. 
Piubonidre, 154. 
Bubo virginianus on-ideiilalis, l.jG. 

subarciicus, l.Kj. 
Buffalo, 2ri. 

Buffalo berry, (Canadian, 21. 
Buffle-heacl, 124, 
Bunting, lazuli, 180, 

snow, 17.J, 
Buteo borealis calurns, 147. 
Buteonidfe, 140, 
Buteo swainsoni, 147. 
liuttercup, 22, 23. 

Calcarius laiiiionicus alascensis. 17."i. 

ornatus, 17.j. 
Calliope humniingl)ird, 10.".. 
Callospermopbilus lateralis cineras- 

cens, 43. 
Camp bird, ICG. 
Canachites franklini, 136. 
Canada goose, 127. 

lynx, 81. 
Canadian curlew, 134. 

Zone, 20. 
<Janidre, 82. 
Canis latrans, 83. 

nebracensis, 83. 

nuhilus, S2. 
Canvasback, 121. 
Carnivora, 79. 
Carpodacus cassini, 172. 
Cassin purple finch, 172. 
Castor canadensis canadensis, C4. 
OastoridiP, 04. 

Catbird, 190. 

Cathartes aura seiitentrionalis, 145. 

Cathartidfe, 145. 

Coanotlius sanguineus, 20. 

Cedar waxwing, 182. 

Cedar, yellow, 21. 

Cerchneis sparvei-ia jilialiiena, 1-50. 

Certhia famillaris niontaua, 192. 

Certhiidfe, 192. 

Cei-vida;, 31. 

Cervus canadensis canadensis, 32. 

Clactura vauxi, 102. 

Charadriid*, 134. 

Charitonetta albeola, 124. 

Chaulela.smus streperus, 118. 

Chen hyperborea hyperborea, 127. 

ro,ssi, 127. 
('hestnut-liacked chickadee, 194. 
Chestnut-collared longspur, 175. 
Chickadee, chestnut-backed, 194. 

long-tailed, 193. 

mountain, 193. 
<'ln[iniunk, forest, 42. 

mountain, 42. 

yellowdiellied, 42. 
Cliiroi)tera, 100. 

Cliondestes granunacus strigatus, 17G. 
Chordeiles minor hesperis, 161. 
Chordeilida;, 161. 
Cinclidce, 188. 

Cinclus mexicanus nuicolor, 188. 
Cinnamon teal, 119. 
Ginquefoil, 22, 23. 
Circus cyaneus hudsonius, 146. 
Citellus columl)iauus, 45, 95. 

ricbardsoni, 49. 

tridecemlineatus ]iallidus, 50. 
Clangula islandica, 122. 
Clark crow, 167. 

nutcracker, 167. 
Clematis, 21. 
Cliff rat, .53. 

swallow, 180, 
Clintonia uuitlora, 21. 
Coccyges, 157. 
Colai)tes cafer collaris, 161, 
Colinus virginianus virginianus, 135. 
Columb;!?, 145. 

C(dumbia ground squirrel, 45, 
Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, 145, 
Columbida;, 145, 
Columbine, dwarf blue, 23. 

yellow, 21. 
I Colynibidip, 110. 



Colymbus auritus, 112. 

holbcelli, in. 

nijiricolli.s culifuruicus, 112. 
Cony, 75. 

Cooppr hawk, 146. 
Coot, 132. 

Cormorant, double-crestoil, IW. 
Corthylio calendula calendula. I'M. 
Corvidaj, 165. 
Corvus brachyrhynchos hesperis, 167. 

corax sinuatus, 167. 
Cottonwood, black, 20. 
Cougar, 79. 

Cowbird, sagebrush, 169. 
Cow parsnip, 94, 
Coyote, northern, 83. 
Crane, sandhill, 131. 
Crat;egus douglasi, 95. 
Creeper, Rocky Blountain, 192. 
Crossbill, 173. 

white-winged, 173. 
Crow, Clark, 167. 

western, 167. 
Cryptoglaux acadica acadica, 155. 

funerea richardsoni, 1.54. 
Cuckoo, 157. 
Curlew, Canadian, 134. 
Currant, 21. 
Cyanocitta stelleri annectens, 165. 


Dahla acuta tzitziliou, 120. 
Deer, mule, 33. 

white-tail, 35. 
I>endragapus ob.scurus richardsoni, 135. 
Dendroica asstiva testiva, 1S3. 

auduboni auduboni, 183. 

townsendi, 184. 
Desert horned lark, 165. 

sparrow hawk, 149. 
Devil's-club, 21. 
Diamond willow, 19. 
Dipper, 188. 
Dobson shre^^', 99. 
Dogtooth violet, 21, 22, 47, 94. 
I >ouble-crested cormorant, 165. 
Dove, western mourning, 145. 
Drummond meadow mouse, 63. 
Dryas octopetala, 22, 140. 
I.>ryobates pubescens homorus, 158. 

villosus montlcola, 158. 
Duck hawk, 149. 
Ducks, 115. 

Ducks — Continued. 

baldpate, 118. 

Barrow golden-eye, 122. 

buffle-head, 124. 

canva.s-back, 121. 

gadwall, lis. 

lesser scauii, 121. 

mallard, 117. 

pintail, 120. 

redhead, 121. 

ring-necked, 122. 

ruddy, 127. 

scaup, 121. 

western liarlequin, 124. 

white-winged scoter, 127. 

wood, 120. 
Dumetella carolinensis, 190. 
Dusky shrew, 98. 
Dwai'f l)luel)('rrv, 22. 



le, bald, 149. 

golden, 148. 
Eared grebe, 112. 
Elder, black-berried, 21. 

red-berried. 21. 
Elephant heads, 22. 
Elk, American, 32. 
Empidonnx difflcilis difficilis, 104. 

hammondi, 165. 

trailli trailli, 164. 
Engelmann spruce, 20, 22. 
P'ptesicus fuscus fuscus, 101. 
Itlretluzon epixantlium epixanfhuni, 66. 
p]rethizontid.'e, 66. 
Erisraatura jamaicensis, 127. 
Erythronium grandiflorum, 21. 
Euphagus cyanocephalus, 170. 
Eutamias luteiventris, 40. 

oreoeetes, 42. 

umbrinus felix, 42, 
Evening primrose, mountain, 22. 
Evotomys gnpperi galei, 60. 


Ealcon, prairie, 149. 

Pelidre, 79. 

Fells hippolestes, 79. 

Fiber zibethicus osoyoosensis, 65. 

Finch, Cassin purple, 172. 

Fireweed, 21. 

Fir, grand, 21. 

Fish hawk, 150. 



rislier, 90. 

Flicker, red-shafted, 1(31. 
Flickertail, 92. 
r^lycatfher, Hammond, IG.j. 

olive-sided, 164. 

Traill, 164. 

western, 164. 
Flying squirrel, 39. 
Forest cliipmunk, 42. 
Forset-me-not, 23. 

false, 21. 
Forster teni, 114. 
Fox, cross, 84. 

kit, 8.J. 

mountain red, 84. 
Franklin grouse, 136. 
FringlUidse, 171. 
Frogs, 18. 
Fulica anierieana, 132. 


Gadwall. 118. 

Galliniie, 13.5. 

Gallinago delicata, 132. 

Gambel sparro\\', 177. 

Garter snakes, 18. 

Gavia imnier, 113. 

Gaviidw, 113. 

Gentian, 22. 

Geomyidre, 71. 

Geothlypis triclias occldentalis, ISU. 

Geranium, 10. 

Glacier hoary marmot, ."lO. 

Glaucldium gnoma iiinlcola, l.Ti7. 

Glaucomys sabrlnus, 39. 

bangsi, 39. 

latlpes, 39. 
Globe flower, 22. 
Godetia quadrlvulnera, 22. 
Golden eagle, 148. 
Goldenrod, 21. 
Gooseberry, 21. 
Goose, Canada, 127. 

Ross, 127. 

snow, 127. 
Gray-crowned leucostiete, 173. 
Gray wolf, 82. 
Great blue heron, 137. 
Greater yellow-legs, 133. 
Grebe, eared, 112. 

IlolbffiU, 111. 

horned, 112. 

swan, 110. 

western, 110. 

Green-winged teal, 118. 
Grinnell water-thrush, 184. 
Grosbeak, black-headed, 179. 

Rocky Mountain, 171. 

western evening. 171. 
Ground squirrel, Columbia, 4.5. 

mantled, 43. 

Richardson, 49. 

striped, .50. 
Grouse, Columbian sharp-tailed, 145. 

Franklin, 136, 1.57. 

gray ruffed, 137. 

Richardson, 13.5. 
Gi-uidre, 131. 

Grus canadensis mexicana, 131. 
Gull, Bonaparte, 114. 

California, 114. 

ring-billed, 114. 
Gulo luscus, 90. 


Halifeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus, 

Hammond flycatcher. 165. 
Hare, little chief, 75. 
Harebell, alpine, 23. 
Hawk, Cooper, 146. 

desert sparrow. 149. 

duck, 149. 

flsh, 1.50. 

marsh, 146. 

mouse, 146. 

pigeon, 149. 

prairie falcon, 149. 

sharp-.shinned, 146. 

squirrel, 147. 

Swainson, 147. 

western gosha\^k, 147. 

western red-tail. 147. 
Hawk owl, 156. 
Hawk-weed, 22. 
Heather, purple and white. 22. 
Hellebore, green flowered, 21. 
Helodromas solitarius cinnanioneus, 

Hemlock, western. 21. 
Heracleum lanatum. 94. 
Herodiones, 1 29. 
Heron, gi-eat blue. 131. 
Herring gull, 114. 

Hesperiphona vespertina brooksi, 171. 
Hierofalco mexicanus, 149. 
Hirundinidn?. ISO. 



Hirundo rustica erytlirogastris, 180. 

Histrionicais histrionicus iiaclficus, 1 L'4. 

Hoary bat, 101. 

Hoary marmot, glacier, ,">;». 

Holbfell grebe. 111. 

tloneysuckle, black-l)errie(l, 21, 130. 

red-lieri-ieil, 21. 
Hooded merganser, 110. 
Horned grebe, 112. 
Hudsonian Zone, 22. 
Hummingbird, blaclc-cliinned, 102. 

broad-tailed, 163. 

calliope, 1G.3. 

rufous, 103. 
Hylocichla fuscescens salicicola, 105. 

guttata auduboni, 190. 

ustulata swainsoni, 196. 

Icterida;, 109. 

Indian paint brush, 19. 21. 22. 

Insectivora, 97. 

Iridoprocne bicolor, 180. 

Ixoreus nsevius meruloides, 197. 

.laik rabbit, prairie, 78. 
.lacob's-ladder, 22. 

blue, 23. 
Jay, black-headed, 105. 

Rocky Mountain, 166. 
.Tumping mouse, 09. 
Junco, Montana, 177. 
.Tunco oreganus montanus, 177. 
Juniper, creeping, 19. 

mountain, 20. 

shrubby, 21. 


Kalmia .glauca, 22. 
Killdeer, 134. 
Kingbird, 104. 
Kin.gfisher, belted, 157. 
Kinglet, golden-crowned, 194. 
ruby-crowned, 104. 


I.agonioriiha, 75. 

Lagopus leui'urus altipetcns. 1.30. 

Laniid:^. 1S3. 

Lanius ludo\-icianus e.vcubitorides, 183 

I.aridfG, 114. 

Larix lyelli, 22. 

occii'.entali.s, 94. 
51140"— IS 17 

I^ark, desert horned, 105. 
Larkspur, 19, 21, 22. 
I.arus californicus, 114. 

delawarensis, 114. 

])liiladelpliia, 114. 
Lusicmyctcris noctiviigaii:., 101. 
Lazuli liunting, ]X0. 
Lemming mouse, mountaiji, .50. 
Leporidre, 77. 
Lepus bairdi liairdi, 77. 

townsendi canipanius, 78. 
Lesser scaup duck, 121. 
Leucdsticte, gray-crow iicd, 173. 
Leucosticte tephrocotis tephrocotis 

Lewis woodpecker, 101. 
Life zones, 18. 
Limicolie. 132. 
Lincoln spari'ow. 178. 
Little chief hare. 75. 
Little niiamtain cliipniunk, 42. 
L(jliipes lobatus, 132. 
Loco, 19. 

Lodgepole jiine, 20. 
Ijongipennes, 1 14. 
Long-legged bat, 100. 
Lo]igspui\ Alaska, 175. 

chestnut-collared. 175. 

Me<*owii, ]70. 
Long-tailed cliiclwidec, 103. 
Looji, 113. 

Lophodytes cucullatu::, 110. 
I^ouse\^'ort. 22. 
Loxia curvirostra l>i':;ilirei, 173. 

leucoptera. 173, 
Luml)er .jack, 100. 
Lutra canadensis canadensis, 85. 
Lutrecila vison encrgunienos, SO. 
Lynx, l.iay. 82. 

Canada, 81. 

canadensis, 81. 

Uinta, S2. 


HcCown longspur, 170. 
MacFarlane screech owl. 150. 
Macgillivray warl)ler, 180. 
Macrochires. 101. 
INIa.giiie. 105. 
Mallard, 117. 

Mantled ground squirrel, 43. 
?.laple, mountain, 20. 
;Mareca americana, 118. 



Slui'ila alliiiis, lliL 

americiiim, 121. 

collai'is, IL'2. 

maiila, 121. 

valisinciiu, 121. 
llnnnota calisata uivari;!. 50. 

iiionax peti'ensis, u3. 
Blai-sh hawk, 146. 
Jlarten, SS. 

Martes americana caurina, SS. 
Wartes pennantl, 90. 
Masked shrew, 100. 
Jleadov.'lark, western, 17(J. 
Meadow rue, 50. 

Mehinerpes erythroeephalus, 100. 
Melospiza lincolni lineohii, ITS. 

melodia fallax, 178. 
Meiiziesia, rusty, 21. 

smooth, 21. 
Mephitis hudsonica, 91. 
Jlerganser, 115. 

liooded, 116. 

red-breasted, 110. 
Mergus americauus, 115. 

serrator, 116. 
rncropodidie, 102. 
Jficrotus drummondi, 63. 

mordax mordax, 02. 

richardsoni macropus, 01. 
Milk vetch, 22. 
Mimldfe, 190. 
J.Iimulus, rose-red, 21. 
Mink, S6. 

Jtniotilta varia, 1S3. 
Mnintiitidfe, 183. 
Mockingbird, 190. 
Jlolothrus ater artemisi;e, 169. 
Montana juuco, 177. 
Moosebird, 106. 
Motacillidfe, 187. 
Mountain ash, 21, 56, 95. 

bluebird, 19S. 

chickadee, 193. 

goat, 28. 

gooseberry, 22. 

lion, 79. 

pink, 23. 

red fox, 84. 

sheep, 26. 

song sparrow. 177. 

sorrel, 30. 
Mouse, Jumping, 69. 

meadoAV, Drunmiond, 63. 
large-footed. 01. 
Rocky Jlountain, 02. 

Jlouse — Continued. 

mountain lemming, .59. 

red-backed, CO. 

white-l'(3oted, 58. 

woods, ,58. 
Mule deer, 33. 
Muridffi, 58. 
Muskrat, 03. 
JIustcl.-i ai'izonensis, 87. 

cicognanii cicognanii. 88. 

longicauda longicauda, 87. 
ilustelid.T?. 85. 
Myadestes t(jwn.sendi, 195. 
]\ryiochanes i-ichardsoni richardsoni, 

Myotis lucifugus longicrus, 100. 


Nannus hiemalis paciflcus, 191. 
Neosorex navigator navigator, 97. 
Neotoma cinerea cinerca, 53. 
Nettion carolinense, 118. 
Xighthawk, Tacific, 161. 
Northern phalarope, 132. 

pileated woodpecker, 159. 

varied thrush, 197. 

violet-green swallow. 181. 
Nucifraga Columbiana. 107. 
Numenius americanus occidentalis, 134. 
Nutcracker, Clark, 167. 
Nuthatch, red-breasted, 193. 

Rocky Jlountain, 192. 
Nuttailornis liorealis, 104. 
Nyctea nyctea, 156. 
Nycteris cinerea, 101. 


Ocean spraj-, 20. 

Ochotona princeps, 75. 

Ochotonid:ie, 75. 

Odocoileus hemionus hemionus, 33. 

virginianus macrourus, 35. 
Odontophorida\ l."5. 
Oidemia de,glandi deglandi. 127. 
Olive-backed, 190, 
Olive-sided flycatcher, 164. 
Olor buccinator. 129. 

columbianus. 129, 
Opcn-ornis tolniici, 180, 
Orange-crov,'ned warbler, 183. 
Oreamnos montanus missoula\ 28. 
Osprey, 150. 
Otocoris alpestris leucola^ma, 105. 



otter, 85. 

(;>tus asio macfarlanei, l.jG. 

Ouzel, water, ISS. 

Ovis canadensis canadensis, 26. 

Owl, Arctic liorned, 1.56. 

great gray, 15-1. 

hawk, 156. 

MacFarlane screech, 1.56. 

Richardson, 154. 

Rocky Mountain pygmy, 157. 

saw-whet, 155. 

short-eared, 154. 

snovv'y, 156. 

western horned, 156. 
Oxyechus vociferus vociferus, 134. 
Oxyria dlgyna, 30. 


Pachystima myrsinites, 21. 

Pacific niglithawk, 161. 

Pack rat, 53. 

Paludicolse, 131. 

Pandion haliaetus carolinensis, 1.50. 

Pandionidffi, 150. 

Panther, 79. 

Paridse, 193. 

Passerculus sandwichensis alaudinus, 

Passerella iliaca schistacea, 178. 
Passeres, 164. 
Passerina amcena, ISO. 
Pectoral sandpiper, 133. 
Pedioecetes phasianellus columbianus, 

PelecanidiK, 115. 
Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, 115. 
Pelican, white, 115. 
Penthestes atricapillus septentrionalis, 

gambeli gambeli, 193. 

rufescens rufescens, 194. 
Pentstemon, 22. 

blue, 21. 

purple, 21. 
Perisoreus canadensis capitalis, 166. 
Peromyscus maniculatus artemisiae, 58. 

osgoodi, 5S. 
Petrochelidon albifrons albifrons, ISO. 
r'ewee, western wood, 164. 
Phacelia, 22, 30. 
Phalacrocoracidffi, 115. 
Phalacrocorax auritus auritus, 115. 
Phalarope, northern, 132. 

Phalaropodida;, 1.32. 

Phenaconiys orophilus, .59. 

Phlteotomus pileatus picinus, 1.50. 

Phyllodoce enipetriforniis. 22. 

I'hyllodoce glamlulillora, 22. 

Physiography, 15. 

Pica pica huilsonia, 165. 

Pici, 158. 

Picida-, 1.58. 

Picoides auiericanus fasciatus, 1.58. 

arcticus, 15S. 
Pigeon, 145. 

hawk, 149. 
Pika, 75. 

Pileolated warbler, 1S6. 
Pine lily, 21. 
siskin, 174. 
squirrel, 37. 
I'inicola enucleator montana, 171. 

Pink snow, 17. 

Pintail, 120. 

Pinus albicaulis, 22. 

PipDo niaculatus arcticus, 179. 

I'ipit, 187. 

Piranga ludoviciana. ISO. 

Pisobia maculata, 1.33. 

Planesticus migratorius propinquus, 

Plectrophenax nivalis nivalis, 175. 

Plover, black-bellied, 1.34. 
upland, 133. 

Pocket gopher, brown, 73. 
Saskatchewan, 71. 

Polemonium viscosum, 22. 

Pofficetes gramineus confinis, 176. 

Porcupine, yellow-haired, 96. 

Porzana Carolina, 131. 

Prairie falcon, 149. 

Flarmigan, southern white-tailed, 139. 

Pulsatilla occideutalis, 22. 

I'uccoon, 10. 

Puma, 79. 

Pygopodes, 110. 


Querquedula cyanoptera, 119. 
discors, 119. 


Rabbit, prairie .lack, 78. 

snowshoe, 77. 
Rail, sora, 131. 
Rallidfe, 131. 



Itaptores, 14;>. 

liaspljeiTles, 95. 

Kuven, IG7. 

Recurvirostra aiuericana, 132. 

Kecurvirostridfe, 132. 

Ked-backed mouse, CO. 

Red-breasted mcifiaiiser, 110. 

nuthatch, 102. 
Redhead, 121. 

Red-headed woo(li>efl;('i-, I'O. 
Red-naped sapsu( ker, l-j!). 
Redpoll, 174. 
Red-shafteil llifkcr, vn. 
Redstart, 1ST. 
Red-tail, western, 147. 
Redwing, thick-liiUed, 109. 
Regulus satrapa olivaceus. l'.:4. 
Rliynchodon pere,grinus aniitum, 149. 
Rhyncophanes mccowni, 170. 
Itichardsou ground squirrel, 49. 
grouse, 135. 
owl, 154. 
pine squirrel, 37. 
I;iug4]ellied gull, 114. 
Ring-necked duck, 122. 
Riparia riparia riparia, ISl. 
Robin, western, 190. 
Rock wren, 191. 
Rocky llountaln creeper, 192. 

hairy woodpecker, 15.S. 

.lay, 100. 

laurel, 22. 

meadow mouse, 02. 

nuthatch, 192. 

pine grosbeak. 171. 

pygmy owl, 157. 

Rodentia. 37. 
Rose, prairie, 19. 
Ros.s goose, 127. 
Ruby-crowned kinglet, 194. 
Ruddy duck, 127. 
Ruffed grouse, gray. 137. 
Rufous huramingbiril, 103. 


Sagebrush cowbird, 109. 
Salpinctes olisoletus obsoU'tus, 191. 
Sandhill crane, 131. 
Sandpiper, pectoral, 133. 

spotted, 1.33. 

Avestern solitary, 133. 
Sapsucker, r(>d-naped, 1-59. 

Williamscin. 159. 

Saw-whet owl, 155. 

Saxifrage, 22. 23. 

Scaup duck, 121. 

Sciuridfe, 37. 

Sciurus hudsonicus richardsoni, 37. 

ScolopacidjB, 132. 

Scoter, white-winged, 127. 

Scotiaptex nebulosa nebulosa, 154. 

Seiurus noveboracensis notabilis, 184. 

Selasphorus platycercus, 163. 

rufus, 163. 
Senecio, 22. 

Service berry, 19, 20, 95. 
Setophaga ruticilla, 187. 
Sharp-shinned hawk, 146. 
Shooting star, 23. 
SlKjrt-eared owl, 154. 
Shoveler, 119. 
Slirew, r)o))S(Mi, 99., 98. 

masked, 100. 

water, 97. 
Shrike, wliite-runi|)ed, 183, 
Si,-di.-i currucoides, 198. 
Sibbaldia, 23. 
Silene acaulis, 23, 140. 
Silver-haired bat. 101. 
Silver-leaf, 19. 
Siskin, pine, 174. 
Sitta canadensis, 193. 

carolinensis nclsoni, 192. 
Sittida?, 192. 
Skunk, northern, 91, 
Slate-colored fox sparrow. 178, 
Snipe. Wilson, 132. 
Snowlierry, western, 19. 
Snow bunting, 175. 
Snow goose, 127. 
Snowshoe rabliit, 77. 
Siilitaire, Townsend. 195. 
Sora rail, 1,31. 
Sorex ohsrurus obscurus. 98. 

persona tus. 100. 

vagrans dobsoni, 99. 
Soricidre, 97. 
Sorrel, mountain, 130. 
Southern white-tailed iilarmigan. 139. 
Sparrow, Ganibel, 171. 

lark, 176. 

Lincoln, 178. 

mountain song, 178. 

slate-coloi-(>d fox, 178, 

tree, 177. 

vespei'. 170. 



Sparrow — Continued. 

western cliiiipuig, 177. 
we.stern Suvannali, ITG. 
white-crowned, 177. 
Spatula clypeata, 119. 
Sphyrapicus tliyroideu.s natalire, 1.^0. 

variiis nuclialis, Wd. 
SpinuK pinus yiinus, 174. 
Sliir.-pa, .">.1. 
Spizella uionticola oclirarea, 177. 

pa.sserina arizoni(\ 177. 
Spotted sandpiper, 1.33. 
Sprins beauty, 23. 
Spruce, Canaila, 21. 
Squatarola srpiatarola, 134. 
Squaw si'ass, 21. 
Squirrel liawk. 147. 
Siiuirrcl, Ricliardson pine, 37. 
SteKaniipodes, 11^. 
Stellaria, 22. 
Stellula calliope, 103. 
Sterna forsteri. 114. 
Streptoceryle alcyou alcyon, l."7. 
Streptopus, 137. 
Striped ground squirrel, 'I'.'l 
Sturnella neglecta neglecta, 170. 
Subalpine fir, 20, 22. 
Surnia ulula cap.'irocli, l.'G. 
Swallow, bank, 181. 
barn, ISO. 
cliff, ISO. 

northern violet-green. ISl. 
tree, ISO. 
Swan, trumpeter, 129. 

whistling, 129. 
Swift (foxl. S.l. 
Vaux, 162, 
white-throated, 102. 
Sylviidip. 104. 
Svringa, 20. 

Taehycineta thalassina lepidn, 181. 
Taniaraclc, dwarf mountain, 22. 

western, 21. 04. 
Tanager, western, 180. 
TangaridiP, ISO. 
Taxidea taxus, 91. 
Teal, blue-winged, 119. 

cinnamon, 119. 

green-winged, 118. 
Tern, Forster, 114. 
Tetraoniihe, 13-5. 

Thick-l)illed redwing, 169. 
Thimlileberry, 21, .5-5, .^0, O'j. 
Thistle, mountain, 94. 
Thomomys fuscus fuscus. 73. 

talpoides t.'ilpoides, 71. 
Thornapple. black, 20. 
Tlirush, Audubon hernnt, 19.1. 

northern varied, 197. 

olive-backed, 196. 

willow, 10.^. 
Tiiirell.-i, 21. 
Tinnunculus Cdlumliarius coluniiiarius 

] 49. 
Titmous(-, 193. 
Toad, 18. 

Totanus iiielanolencns, 133. 
Towliee, Arctic, 179. 
Townsend solitaii'e, 19."i. 
Trade rat, .^)3. 
Traill flycatcher, 104. 
Transition Zone, 19. 
Tree swallow, 180. 
Trochilidre, 162. 

Troglodytes aedon parknuini, 191. 
Troglodytida', 191. 
Turdid,i=, 19-1. 
Turkey vulture, 14."i. 
Tyraunida", 104. 
Tyrannus t.\r.-iiinus tyr.-mnus, 100. 


Upland pliivcr. l.")3. 

Ursida?, 92. 

Ursus americaiius, 91. 

horribilis imperatnr, 90. 


^'aux swift, 162. 

Yenus's-looking-glass, 22. 

Veratrum viride, 21. 

Yermivora celata orestcrn, 1"3. 

■\'e,spertilionida^ 100. 

Vetch. miUc 19. 

Yireo. western warliling, 1S3. 

Yireonidw, 183. 

Yireosylva gilva swainsDiii, 183. 

Yidpes fulva niacroura. S4. 

velox helies. So. 
Vulture, tui-key, 14.1. 






\Vai'l)lcr, Auduliou, 183. 

lilack and white, 1S3. 

Macgillivray, 186. 

orange-crowned, 183. 

pileolated, 1S6. 

Townsend, 184. 

western yellow-throat, 186. 

yellow, 183. 
AVater leaf, 22. 
Water shrew, 97. 
Water ouzel, 188. 
Water-thrush, Grinnell, 184. 
Waxwing, Bohemian, 182. 

cedar, 182. 
Weasel, Arizona, 87. 

Bonaparte, 88. 

long-tailed, 87. 
Western birch, 19. 

chipping sparro«', 171. 

crow, 167. 

evening grosbeak, 171. 

flycatcher, 164. 

golden-crowned kinglet, 194. 

goshawk, 147. 

grebe, 110. 

harlequin duck. 124. 

horned owl, 156. 

house wren, 191. 

lark sparrow, 176. 

mourning dove, 145. 

redtail, 147. 

robin, 196. 

solitary sandpiper, 133. 

tanager, 180. 

tree sparrow, 177. 

vesper sparrow, 176. 

warbling vireo, 183. 

white-tail deer, 35. 

winter wren, 191. 

wood pewee, 164. 

yellow-throat, 186. 
A\'hite-barked pine, 22. 
White-crowned sparrow, 177. 
White-footed mouse, forest, 58. 
White goat, 28. 

pelican, 115. 
White-rumped shi-ike, 185. 
White-tail deer, 35. 
White-throated swift, 162. 

White-wingod crossbill, 102. 

scoter, 127. 
Wild cat, S2. 
Willow, 21. 

dwarf, 23, 143. ■ 

thrush, 195. 
Williamson sapsncker, 159. 
Wilson snipe, 132. 
Wilsonia pusilla pileolata, 186. 
AVind flower, 22. 

purple. 19. 
^Voodchuck, brown, 53. 
AVoodpecker, Alaska three-toed, 158. 

Arctic three-toed, 158. 

Batchelder, 158. 

Lewis, 161. 

northern pileated. 157. 

red-headed, 160. 

Rocky Mountain liairy, l.jS. 
AA'oodrat, gray Inishy-tailed, 53. 
AVolf, gray, 82. 
AA^oods mouse, 58. 
AA'olverine, 90. 
AVren, rock, 191. 

western house, 191. 

western winter, 101. 


Xerophyllum tenax, 94. 

A'ellow-bellied chipmunk. 40. 
Yellow-legs, greater, 133. 
Yellow pine, 20. 
A'ellow-throat, western, 186. 
Yellow warbler, 183. 
A'cw, western, 21. 


Zamelodia melanocephala melanoceph- 

ala, 179. 
Zapodida;, 69. 

Zapns princeps princeps. 69. 
Zenaidura macroura marginella, 145. 
Zone, Arctic-Alpine, 23. 

Canadian, 20. 

Hudsonian, 22. 

Transition, 19. 
Zonotrichia gambeli, 177. 

leucophrys, 177. 







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