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Cornell University Library 
QL 684.I3F24 

Bird observations near Chicago 

3 1924 022 561 611 







Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 924022561 61 1 

Bird Observations 


Ellen Drummond. Farwell 

Introduction by 
Mary Drummond 

With Illustrations 

Rivatehr Printed 

Oji nih<- 


Copyrighted 1919 

John V. Farwell 


Ellen Drummond Farwell loved birds 
for many reasons, but especially because 
they seemed to her the spiritual in nature. 

To her their songs expressed the spon- 
taneous joy and gladness of a life, seem- 
ingly higher and freer in some respects 
than our own. 

During the last years of her life, as her 
duties and pleasures became more and 
more restricted, she spent some of her 
happiest moments observing the birds on 
our place and in the neighborhood. Once 
in the South and once abroad she made 
notes of what she saw. 

As Mr. Henry Oldys and some other 
trained observers, in reading these notes, 
felt that quite a number of bird lovers, old. 
and young, would enjoy comparing their 
notes with these, and that in so doing some 
little additional knowledge might be re- 
corded, I decided at their suggestion to 
print a small edition for personal friends 
and a few others who might enjoy having 

John V. Farwell. 
Ardleigh, January 20, ioig. 




Foreword 5 

Introduction 11 

Warblers Identified, Elmhurst and 

Lake Forest 17 

List of Birds that We Have Found 

Nesting in Ardleigh and Edgewood 1 9 
List of Birds Observed at Augusta, 

Ga 21 

Number of Species Observed at One 

Time 23 

General Observations 25 

Bird Observations in Europe 169 

Notes Made from Collection of Birds 

in Illinois Building at the World's 

Fair 185 

Birds Observed at Savannah, Ga.. . . 189 

Observations before July, i8g6, were 
made generally in Elmhurst, after that 
generally in Lake Forest. 



Portrait of Mrs. Farwell. . . .Frontispiece 

Opposite page 
Spotted Sand Piper . . 17 

Nest of Meadow Lark 23 

Ardleigh 25 

Young Chicadee 40 

Nest of Indigo Bunting 62 

Great Horned Owl (captive) 74 

Young Phoebes 77 

Nashville Warbler 142 

Nest of Field Sparrow 188 

The photographs from which these illus- 
trations were made were taken by Henry 
Emerson Tuttle through whose courtesy 
they are used. 



It is hoped that these "Bird Observa- 
tions" by Ellen Drummond Farwell may 
be welcomed by bird students, because of 
the accuracy and extent of their observa- 
tions and the possibility that they may 
supply some new data, particularly as to 
bird songs. By Mrs. Farwell's personal 
friends they will also be welcomed as 
bringing back to them the thought of one 
whose mental ability, true Christian love- 
liness and nobility of character created a 
personality always uplifting and strength- 
ening in its influence. 

Partly through the influence of Mrs. 
Sara A. Hubbard, to whom many can trace 
their first interest in birds, and partly, it 
sometimes seemed, because of a kinship 
between the birds, the least earthly of the 
animal creation, 

"Whose habitations in the tree-tops even, 
Are half-way houses on the road to 

and her own deeply spiritual nature, she 
turned more and more to bird study with 
much interest and pleasure. Like most 


bird students, she soon formed the habit 
of jotting down her experiences and the 
"observations" are the result — kept, it 
need hardly be said — with no thought of 
their being seen by any but her closest 
friends and fellow bird lovers. 

For a number of years, in spite of long 
intervals of illness, these notes were kept, 
the last being entered not many days be- 
fore her death. 

It was a very curious fact that while the 
ordinary songs of the birds did not rouse 
her from her light morning sleep, an un- 
usual note would waken her at once ; that, 
in the spring before her death, when all 
she could see and hear of the birds was 
from her bed, a Hermit Thrush should 
sing his lovely song near her window 
seemed like a special benediction. His 
song is rarely heard in this latitude and 
her joy in it was great. Her hearing was 
very acute and she knew all the common 
and most of the uncommon notes of the 
birds of this region. 

Mrs. Farwell was not only a bird 
student but a bird lover and this implied, 
with one like her, that, as much happiness 
came to her from the birds, so she must 
do for their happiness all in her power 

[12 ] 


and so it was that she was one of the 
chief organizers of the Illinois Audubon 
Society (April, 1897), and served, either 
as director or vice-president, till her death. 
Must we not feel that her chief wish, in 
the publication of these notes, would be 
that they might help, in their measure, the 
cause of bird protection which was so 
near her heart, and for which she worked 
so earnestly and well? 

Mary Drummond. 
Lake Forest! January 20, IQ ig. 

[13 1 

Spotted Sandpiper 
Brooding Young -y 



Elmhurst and Lake Forest 






















Bird Observations 






louisiana water-thrush, 


In Georgia. 






List begun in IQOJ, but including former 
years also 

CATBIRD, yellow warbler, robin, blue 
jay, scarlet tanager, towhee, redstart, 
red-eyed vireo, great crested flycatcher, 
phoebe, wood thrush, flicker, red-headed 
woodpecker, cedar bird, chimney swift, 
indigo bird, brown thrasher, song sparrow, 
house wren. 

August 8, iqoi. Saw first fall migrant, 
a young warbler, what species I could not 

May 2 and 5, IQ02. After a warm day, 
and a shower the night of May 1st, I 
observed twenty-three new immigrants, 
fourteen of them warblers, in the two 



March 20, 18Q5 

J UNCO, robin, chipping sparrow, white- 
throated sparrow, black and white 
creeper, tufted titmouse, mocking bird, 
cardinal, blue jay, downy woodpecker, 
flicker, chickadee, brown creeper, hermit 
thrush, field sparrow, sapsucker, towhee 
bunting, golden kinglet, brown thrasher, 
bluebird, vesper sparrow, goldfinch, yel- 
low-throated warbler, Carolina chickadee, 
loggerhead shrike, crow, gnatcatcher, 
white-eyed vireo, ruby kinglet, turkey buz- 
zard, red headed woodpecker, mourning 
dove, swift, yellow-throated vireo, Phila- 
delphia vireo, kingbird, summer tanager, 
red-eyed vireo, wood pewee, myrtle 
warbler, hooded warbler, fish crow (?). 


Arched Nest -of 
Meadow Lark M 



TK/i AY ig, i8gs- I saw and heard 
J-r-i- thirty-three species of birds. 

October 18, i8gs- I identified sixteen 
species, an unusual number for this time 
of year. 

May g, i8g4- Fifty species, red-winged 
blackbird, bluebird, bobolink, indigo bunt- 
ing, catbird, cowbird, crow, flicker, gold- 
finch, rosebreast, grackle, bluejay, king- 
bird, ruby kinglet, meadow lark, shore 
lark, Baltimore oriole, oven bird, robin, 
chipping, song, field, white-throated, white 
crowned and vesper sparrows, barn swal- 
low, swift, scarlet tanager, brown thrasher, 
olive-backed and wood thrushes, che- 
wink, black and white creeper, Blackbur- 
nian, black-throated blue, black-throated 
green, chestnut-sided, magnolia, myrtle, 
Nashville, pine, Tennessee, yellow and 
palm warblers, red-headed woodpecker, 
house wren, mourning dove, Acadian fly- 
catcher, sycamore warbler (?) redstart 
(fourteen warblers). 

May io, i8g4. Twelve species of war- 


Bird Observations 

biers in two hours in the morning. On 
this day I saw three Blackburnians, one 
bay-breasted, one black-throated blue, two 
chestnut sided and a parula in one tree. 
Warblers very abundant this year. 

May 15, 18Q4. Eleven species war- 

May 7, i8q$. Eleven species warblers. 



May 12, IQ05, at Lake Forest, 
noted fifty-seven species 

BLUEBIRD, bobolink, indigo bird, cat- 
bird, cowbird, crow, Acadian fly- 
catcher, yellow-bellied flycatcher, chebec, 
phoebe, blue grey gnatcatcher, goldfinch, 
humming bird, jay, kingbird, ruby kinglet, 
nighthawk, Baltimore oriole, robin, sap- 
sucker, red-headed woodpecker, house 
sparrow, song sparrow, vesper sparrow, 
white-throated sparrow, swift, tanager, 
brown thrasher, grey-checked thrush, wood 
thrush, olive-backed thrush, Wilson's 
thrush, towhee, red-eyed vireo,* yellow 
throated-vireo. (Warblers), black-throat- 
ed green, black-throated blue, black and 
white creeper, Blackburnian, Canadian, 
chestnut-sided, Cape May, magnolia, 
myrtle, Maryland yellow-throat, oven 
bird, orange-crowned,* parula, palm, 
Tennessee, Wilson's, yellow, water thrush, 
redstart, house wren, whip-poor-will. 

May 75, igo6. Noted fifty-six species, 
Lake Forest. Catbird, house wren, brown 

* Not absolutely certain. 


Bird Observations 

thrasher, cowbird, red-wing, blackbird, 
grackle, Baltimore oriole, meadow lark, 
bobolink, robin, wood thrush, Wilson's 
thrush, bluebird, towhee, blue jay, crow, 
swift, martin, chickadee, mourning dove, 
kingbird, phoebe, pewee, great crested fly- 
catcher, chebec, red-headed woodpecker, 
downy, sapsucker, flicker, chipping spar- 
row, field, vesper, song and house sparrow, 
indigo bird, rose-breasted grosbeak, gold- 
finch, tanager, red-eyed vireo, solitary 
vireo, yellow-throated vireo, coot, Virginia 
rail, Carolina rail, yellow, cerulean, black- 
throated blue, black-throated green, black 
and white creeper, chestnut-sided, redstart, 
oven bird, Blackburnian and Maryland 
yellow-throat warblers, also a Louisiana 
Water-thrush (probably a Louisiana), 
and whip-poor-will. 


(Lake Forest) 

MAY i8, igoi. Twelve species 
warblers. Bay-breasted, black and 
white creeper, Blackburnian, black- 
throated blue, Canadian, redstart, yellow, 
oven bird, Tennessee, Louisiana water 
thrush, chestnut-sided and magnolia. 

May 12, IQ04. Sixteen species war- 
blers, all in Lake Forest village. 

May 14, 1904. Saw from my window 
and porch 10 species warblers. Redstart, 
black throated blue, Blackburnian, magno- 
lia, yellow, Wilson's, Canadian, black and 
white creeper, Tennessee, black-poll. 

May 14, iqo6. Sixteen species, Black- 
throated blue, black-throated green, Black- 
burnian, black and white creeper, Cana- 
dian, chestnut-sided, magnolia, myrtle, 
Maryland yellow-throat, oven bird, Ten- 
nessee, yellow, Wilson's, water thrush, 
Louisiana water thrush, redstart. 

May 14, 1907. Thirteen warblers, 
forty-nine species in all, beside some her- 
ons, probably black crowned night, and a 
vireo, probably red eyed. 

May 1 6, 1907. Sixteen warblers, four- 
teen of them on the ground on our place 

C 27 1 

Bird Observations 

(the mourning on F. D.'s screen porch). 
They have been tumbling and flitting about 
the lawn all day, rarely in the trees. Such 
a view of warblers I have never seen. 
They were all so wonderfully tame, and 
would feed within a few feet of us. It 
was a moderate day as to temperature, a 
light westerly wind and partly sunny. 
Species: Black and white creeper, bay 
breasted, Blackburnian, Canadian, chest- 
nut sided, Cape May, golden-winged, mag- 
nolia, Maryland yellow-throat, mourning, 
redstart, Wilson's, yellow, oven bird, and 
in the Durand ravine, Louisiana Water- 
Thrush and orange crowned warbler. 

May 23, igoj. Saw eleven species, 
nine of them close to the house. They 
were on the roof a great deal, dashing af- 
ter insects. It was after twenty-four 
hours of heavy, wet weather. Black- 
throated blue and green, Connecticut 
(male and female), orange-crowned (seen 
against the roof plainly), redstart, mag- 
nolia, Maryland yellow-throat, Cape 
May, Grinnell's water thrush, chestnut 
sided, yellow. This has been a cold, late 
spring and warblers are very late in going 
through. The trees, too, are not yet in 
leaf, so one can see them very plainly. I 


Bird Observations 

saw many individuals of most of the above 

May 2J, IQOJ. Two Cape Mays, sev- 
eral redstarts, a Wilson, a chestnut-sided, 
a Canadian, and of course some yellow 
warblers all in our yard this morning; also 
at Mr. Day's and here, the magnolia, 
black-throated blue and Blackburnian. 

May 28, 1907. This remarkable spring 
the warblers are still lingering and still 
mostly flying very low. Observed today 
the black throated green and blue, Cape 
May, Wilson's, magnolia, yellow, redstart, 
Canadian, Maryland yellow-throat, pa- 
rula, a mourning (probably). 

IQ08. A few myrtles and palms came 
in an early migration wave about the mid- 
dle of April as reported by Mrs. Moss 
and others. (I was ill in bed. ) This was 
followed by a remarkable spell of con- 
tinued cold and northeast winds, from 
about April 23 to May 9, when very warm 
weather set in. This cold weather ended 
with several days of fierce northeast 
storm. No warblers were reported as far 
as I know in this period of over two 
weeks. I only saw one, (which I could 
not identify) and a water thrush, which I 


Bird Observations 

May ii, igo8. I saw eleven species 
and heard the water thrush. 

May 2j, igo8. Noted fifty-one species 
of birds: Wood thrush, bluebird, robin, 
northern yellow-throated, redstart and yel- 
low warblers, Baltimore and orchard 
orioles, song, field, vesper and grasshopper 
sparrows, Dickcissel, goldfinch, scarlet 
tanager, redwing, yellow-headed blackbird, 
grackle, cowbird, flicker, red-headed wood- 
pecker, indigo bird, red-eyed vireo, war- 
bling vireo, barn and cave swallows, mar- 
tin, brown thrasher, catbird, house wren, 
blue jay, cedar bird, coot, bittern, black 
tern, bobolink, phoebe, kingbird, crested 
flycatcher, pewee, meadow lark, shore 
lark, kingfisher, swift, mourning warbler, 
mourning dove, rose-breasted grosbeak, 
veery, chewink, nighthawk, oven bird. 

May 13, igog. Thirteen warblers, 
myrtle, magnolia, Tennessee, black- 
throated green, black-throated blue, black 
and white, Blackburnian, yellow, redstart, 
golden-winged, oven bird, chestnut-sided 
and Cape May. On May 14, 1909, four- 
teen warblers, same as preceding except 
myrtle and golden-winged, with parula, 
water thrush and Nashville added. 


Bird Observations 

May 2 3, igio- Noted eleven warblers 
from Kay's balcony. 

May 22-2 s, 19 io. First "rush" of 
warblers on our place; very cold May. 

June 5, igio. Many migrant warblers 
still here. 

r 31 1 


TWfAY 14, IQ06. Found one roosting 
J-V-l in a thorn tree not one hundred 
feet from the house. He sat there as long 
as we wanted to study him, and we came 
as near as we liked, he following us all the 
time with his strange yellow eye. He sat 
like a ten pin on the branch, his neck and 
bill stretched straight up and a front view 
looking like this : 

his eyes looking perfectly round, not fore- 
shortened to an oval, a most curious and 
weird effect. He still sat there, immov- 
able, when we left. What protective col- 
oring. His stripes look like brown reeds, 
and his light colored bill looks like the tip 
of one. 



April s, 1894 

THE cowbirds mingle a good deal with 
the grackles when migrating. They 
are easily distinguished from them by 
their smaller size and less conspicuous 
tails. The males have brown heads and 
necks and black bodies; the females are 
grey all over. They utter while flying a 
peculiar long whistling note, ending with a 
quickly repeated trembling note on a little 
higher key. It is rather a plaintive song 
' — if it can be called a song — and is quite 
different from the scratching, cackling 
notes of most blackbirds. They only 
seem to practice this song a comparatively 
short time in the year, in April and May. 
I have also heard them utter a harsh rat- 
tle while flying, much like the rattled notes 
of the meadow lark. I think the females 
made this note but am not sure. 

May, iqo6. The males make a noise 
just like the gurgle of water through a 
long necked bottle. 



June 8, 18Q4 
May 7, i8gs 
May 12, i8q6 


THE incessant chee-chee-chee-chee-chee 
of this bird may get monotonous 
when heard too often, but it is always a 
delightful sound to me. Its reedy quality 
attracts me ; and it always means long June 
days and sunny prairies to me. It is essen- 
tially a denizen of the meadows. Few 
birds are more abundant or more promi- 
nent than these buntings are here. They 
mount on posts or tall grasses and shout 
at you energetically as you drive by, not 
in the least alarmed at your presence. In 
Lake Forest they are not so abundant. I 
only see a few birds out west. 

May 27, IQ08. I saw two and heard 
two more when going out to Libertyville 
today. I have not seen or heard one since 



March 2, i8gs 
March 3, 18Q4 

THE pair that built in my box in 1893 
raised two broods. In 1894 they 
began building. May 3d, 1895, I have 
seen no sign of a bluebird up to this time 
— May 13 — and no one else has seen one 
here either. It is most remarkable. May 
28, still no bluebirds. July 14, heard one 
warble today, the first one of the season. 
The latter part of July, 1895, I saw a 
family of six birds. September, 1895, I 
heard one warble, the first one observed 
near our house this year, the others were 
seen on drives. 



I OBSERVED this bird first at Harrow- 
gate, Tennessee, in April, 1894, and be- 
came very familiar with, him in Augusta, 
Georgia, in March, 1895, and in other 
southern trips. But I had never seen him 
in our northern regions till today, April 
4, 1902. A female has been seen with 
him by Emerson Tuttle, but I saw only 
the one bird, a male. He sang, and the 
song impressed me as very varied; the 
opening notes like a robin's warble, then 
a few chords, a warble too, but with the 
double sound which the veery has, only, of 
course, bold and loud. His whistles always 
have inflection in them. 

April 75, igog. Saw and heard a male 
cardinal at the Byron Smith's. He sang 
frequently, a loud clear whistle. Mrs. 
Burnap reported that she saw him yester- 
day and two females were with him. 

June 5, igio. A cardinal woke me with 
his loud sweet whistle this morning. 
Never heard one on our place before. He 
was in the maple by my window. He sang 
several times. 


Bird Observations 

June ig and 26, igio. Sang both these 
days; must be nesting near here. 

May 5, IQ12. Heard today and many 
days after on our place. 

June ig and 20. Again. 



May 4, 1894 
April 27, 1896 
May 8, 1897 

I THINK each year that I have learned 
all the catbird's odd ways, but each 
spring as he returns he surprises me with 
some new vagaries either in song or be- 
havior. He seems to revel in the un- 

May 30 1895. At 2 130 this morning 
I woke up and the first sound I heard was 
the soft singing of a catbird in the trees 
across the field. It sounded strange in the 
darkness of the night, and the strangest 
part of it was that he kept on singing in a 
broken, meditative sort of way for a full 
hour. By that time the first streaks of 
dawn began to appear, and the chorus of 
other birds drowned his voice. 



April 3, 1893 

NOT a common bird here. Much 
commoner in Lake Forest. 
August 9, 1901. Found a nest in a 
nearby elm containing four eggs ; how late 
in the season ! 



August 25, 1893 

THESE birds do not seem as plentiful 
here as the books report them in the 
east. The quality of their note, chick-a- 
dee-dee, is something like that of the che- 
wink's call note, strident, but sweeter and 
of course much fainter and finer. The 
plaintive clear minor whistle of two notes, 
the first higher, the second a half note 
lower, I have also frequently heard. 

April II, 1903. A note I did not rec- 
ognize at first I found to be that of this 
bird. It sounded like a blackbird in the 
distance. It was a decided cut-cut-ca-da- 
cut strongly emphasized at the end, and 
rather harsh, not contented as a hen 
gives it. 


Young Chicadee 


March 2Q, 1895 

LIKE our northern bird, but without 
the white edges to the tail. The note 
is described most accurately in Torrey's 
Florida Sketch Book, four notes, very 

[41 J 


TWfAY 24, IQ0$. Heard a loud rasping 
IV 1 "ker-chee-e-e" in the woods, utterly 
unlike any note I ever heard a cowbird 
utter before. I felt sure it was some 
strange flycatcher note till I saw the bird. 
He uttered it many times, such a queer, 
grating sound. It never occurred to me it 
could be anything but a flycatcher till I 
watched the bird do it. 



Spring, 1893 
October 13, 1893 
April 3, 1894 

SAW one in Lake Forest as late as May 
13 in 1907. 



November i, 18Q5 
August 23, i8q6 

MY attention was attracted this after- 
noon by a flock, of about twenty 
birds flying vigorously and directly to- 
wards some spruce trees near me. They 
were uttering a clear, whistling chirp con- 
stantly as they flew. I was sure they were 
birds I was unfamiliar with, and when 
they settled on the tops of the spruces and 
I brought my glass to bear on them I was 
delighted to recognize this long-looked for 
species. There were a few bright colored 
males, but most of them were the plainer 
olive females and the striped young birds. 
They were exceedingly tame, and were 
busily engaged in crawling up and down 
the branches and crunching the cone seeds 
in their bills. They made a decided noise 
with their wings when they fluttered about, 
louder than that of an English sparrow. 
Their crossed bills and short tails are con- 
spicuous points. 

August, i8q6. I saw a large flock to- 
day as I was sitting on the porch of our 
new house. I recognized them at once by 
the notes. Most of them were young birds. 



Jl/TAY ig, IQ02. I find this species 
■i-r-t- much less common here than the 
yellow billed; saw one unmistakably this 

I 45] 


> May, 1893 

■--<■ May 14, 1894 

May 13, 1895 

(Lake Forest) 

A PRIL 29, 1901. Had a fine view of 
-*1 this bird in a bare tree. How rufous 
his wings are and his bill looks as if it 
were all yellow and not just the lower 
mandible, at least it looks so in the sun. 
No notes from this bird today. I wish I 
could tell his notes from the black-billed. 
Was it this bird that has been giving a low 
coo at intervals for several days? (July 
31, 1 901) or the black-billed? I could 
only see that it was a cuckoo, not a bittern 
as we first thought. He keeps this cooing 
up for hours; so different from his loud 



MAY 30, 1907. Watched two on the 
barn fence for a long time. They 
tilt their tails as the phoebe does, only it 
is a much more nervous and rapid motion 
than the phoebe's. A wood pewee was on 
the same fence uttering his sweet wail 
many times, and I could compare the two 
to great advantage. The Acadian looked 
so small and green beside the pewee. His 
wings were so barred and his eye ring so 



... . June 13, 18Q4 
June 2, 18Q5 
May 8, i8q7 
May 21, i8q8 

1~* HIS fellow just lit on a branch near 
- me on the road to the spring for a 
minute, and then was off and away, and I 
saw no more of him this summer of 1894. 
In Lake Forest, June 2, 1895, I again 
saw him and heard him give his loud wild 
cry, but I have not yet had a satisfactory 
study of the bird. 

June 15, i8q$. I had quite a good look 
at the great-crest today. The sulphur yel- 
low is so conspicuous underneath. 

May, igo6. When he flies he looks al- 
most as long as a cuckoo. 



...., 1893 
May 12, 1895 

IN my four years of bird study (1895) 
I have only observed this little fellow 
twice ; never have heard him utter a sound. 



MRS. HUBBARD pointed this bird 
out to me once on a high oak in our 
yard. I do not know what year, perhaps 
about 1904 or 1905, but I had a poor study 
of him on that day. Today, May 13, 
1907, I watched him as long as I wanted 
to in a most favorable situation. He was 
perched on the dead stub of a tree, on the 
bluff on the Buckingham place, and as the 
tree was below me he was nearly on a level 
with me. He is a powerful looking bird. 
Such a strong bill, and such vigorous move- 
ments as he had! He would dart at in- 
sects a great distance away, but always 
returned to the same stub at the top of the 
tree. I noticed that he always faced south, 
no matter at what angle he lit on the stub 
he always took his position facing me and 
turned his eye towards the sun, which was 
bright and hot, without blinking. It was 
the same when I went to the west of him : 
he still faced south, so it was evidently not 
done with the object of keeping an eye on 
me. Was it that he saw the insects better 
between the sun and himself, I wonder? 



Ti/fAY 18, IQ02. We were walking in 
■* ' -* the McCormJcks' ravine when I 
chanced to see a bird sitting perfectly still 
on a high crotch of a maple. We all 
viewed it through our glasses as long as 
we wanted to. Saw the leaden black 
breast and the brilliant red patch above the 
bill. It never moved, except to turn its 
head now and then for, I should think, 
twenty minutes. It looked like a rail, but 
I had never heard of one such an extraor- 
dinary color. Finally John and John 
Case threw stones to make it fly, but it 
simply craned its neck over to look at 
them. They banged the tree with a big 
stick, but it would not budge. Finally as 
we were turning to go it crept stealthily up 
the sloping branch of the tree, and settled 
itself in another position, where we left it, 
and hurried home to look up our remark- 
able bird. It uttered no sound of any 



April, 1894. 

April s, 1895 

April 26, 1896 
(Lake Forest) 

May 5, 1897 
(Lake Forest) 

IN Tennessee when I saw this bird I 
heard nothing but the soft little mew it 
gives as it flutters around among the 
branches. But here in Augusta I have had 
a fine view of two of these tiny birds and 
heard the song many times. Such a sweet, 
varied, soft, little song, something like a 
goldfinch's, but with almost as much vari- 
ety in it as a thrasher's. It seems to me 
the faintest, tiniest little song and just 
suited to the size of the bird. 

April, 1896. There are several of these 
little birds around our new house as it is 

May 5, 189J. Saw a pair back of our 



January 14, igoi 

SAW and heard numbers of this 



January 4, igoi 

AW a flock flying south and have seen 
em at intervals through December. 




(Lake Forest) 
April 28 

WHAT a little beauty this gull is ! His 
black head, pearl grey wings, and 
flashing white under parts are a pleasure 
to see as he wheels and turns over the 
lake. He is one of the smaller gulls, and 
is very graceful in his movements. 



April 1 6, 1896 
April 26, 1896 

FLOCKS of a dozen or fifteen of these 
handsome birds have been here 
(Lake Forest) since the first of the month. 
They are so tame it is easy to study them, 
and their call note, a loud, metallic whis- 
tle, without any inflection in it, proclaims 
their presence unfailingly. The note re- 
minds me of one of the notes of the tufted 
titmouse. The whistle is accompanied by 
a sort of rattling trill at intervals. They 
seem to have disappeared now (May 5). 
February 19, 1902. Saw a flock of fif- 
teen, seven males and eight females in 
Fannie Tuttle's yard. They were on a 
bare spot on the ground under a maple, 
feeding on the maple seeds, apparently, 
and were so tame and close together that 
I had fourteen of them in the field of my 
glass at one time. The notes could be 
heard some distance away. The loud 
"peep, peep" reminded me of a little 
chicken's peep, when it is very loud, and 
the little sorter rattle sounded like the 
soft rolled R a chicken gives as it cuddles 


Bird Observations 

under its mother's wing. The loud "peep" 
is more of a whistle than a chicken gives, 
but heard at a distance it reminds one of 

March 3, IQ02. Saw a large flock. 
Counted fifty-two and some others escaped 
me. There must have been sixty or 
seventy in the flock. They have been seen 
here constantly now for three weeks. 

March 23. Still here. 

April 4, jgoi. Saw and heard many 
this morning. The rattled note reminded 
me of a car conductor's whistle. 

April 15, IQ02. Saw two full colored 
males and a number of females. 

April 11, igog. Saw several males and 
females. Have been here all winter, but 
this was my first view of them. 

April 18. Still here; a large flock in 
the ravine near President Nollen's house. 

May 6. Heard several. 

May 7. Saw seven grosbeaks and 
heard others. Seems remarkable that they 
are still here. It has been very cold up to 
May 5, when it was 86° ; May 6, was 
over 70 . 

May 14, igog. Still here. 

[57 J 


Spring, 1892 
May 9, 189s 
May 3, 1894 
May 2, 1896 

THESE birds are regular in their com- 
ing, and are among our best known 
birds here, though they are never plentiful. 
The male is a beautiful singer, his sweet, 
melodious warble resembling a robin's, 
only it is much more finished, sweeter, with 
a. softer and more oriole-like quality. He 
is one of our most constant and fearless 
singers during June. Later in the summer 
he is entirely silent. 

September 1, 1895. I heard one warble 
quite a long song, and as sweet in quality 
as his spring song. I have heard this bird 
sing exultantly as he soared in the air, after 
the manner of a bobolink. Both male and 
female throw themselves in the air and 
turn graceful somersaults in pursuit of in- 
sects. The male utters a loud chirp which 
is very unmusical, like the squeak of a 
wheel which needs oiling. The grosbeaks 
were very common here in the spring and 
summer of 1895. One would hear six or 


Bird Observations 

eight singing in the course of a morning 

May 75, igoi. Counted eight females 
and three males on Alcott school lawn. 
Miss Burt said that in the morning they 
counted thirty. 

r 59 



THERE is a large and remarkable col- 
ony of these birds which nests in the 
Bryan's place every year. They occupy the 
tops of the evergreens there, and the 
squawking clamor they make, especially 
towards evening, can be heard over here. 
They fly over our place every night about 
sunset, on their way to the creek for fish, 
uttering their loud "quauk" as they go; 
their white breasts gleaming in the light, 
and their wings "opening and shutting" 
with the regular flight which most water 
birds have. 

June 15, i8g$. I visited this heronry 
this morning and found the remnants of 
egg-shells thickly scattered on the ground 
under the nests. They were as large as 
hen's eggs, of a robin's egg blue in color. 



Ti/fAY g, igoi. One sat on a small tree 
■*■ yj- on the edge of our bluffs for about 
five minutes, and I viewed him through 
our big glass. He is a most curious and 
weird looking bird. His yellow iris and 
voracious looking bill give him an uncanny 
look. He hunched himself together and 
would then stretch his neck up to an in- 
credible height. He looked much larger 
flying than sitting on the tree. This is 
the second one I have identified here. I 
saw his legs and feet very plainly and 
they certainly looked a bright flesh pink, 
not olive as the books say. 



July 20, 1893 
May 7, 1894 
May 4, 1896 
May 10, i8gj 
May 19, 1898 

THE blue of the indigo bunting is very 
different from that of the bluebird, 
darker and more metallic looking, but very 
brilliant in the sunshine. The light colored, 
thick bill is a distinguishing mark. Song 
a little like a goldfinch's — sweeter, less 
jumbled together, more of a "set song." 

May 12, 1903. Saw four birds on the 
lawn east of house, three of them high 
colored, the other blue but not so deep 
and brilliant. Close to them were two 
goldfinches and a white crowned sparrow, 
a beautiful company. All were eating 
dandelion seeds. 

May 30, 1907. Saw one male and two 
females eating dandelion seeds. What a 
reddish hue the lady birds have. 


Nest of Ihdigo Bunting 




THE arrival of these flocks of slate 
colored snow birds is always a sign 
of approaching winter. They feed on the 
ground. They utter frequently a low 
t'sip, t'sip, and sometimes the whole flock 
will light on the lower branches of a clump 
of evergreens and keep up a continuous 
low, sweet, twittering, which is pleasant to 
hear at a season when there are so few 
bird notes. 

March, 18Q4. I watched one sitting 
quite high in a tree who threw his head 
back and sang with all his might. His 
song began quitei like a canary's, with 
some little runs and trills, but did not have 
the variety or brilliancy of that songster, 
as he soon relapsed into his customary 
sweet twittering. 

[63 J 


May 20, 18Q3 

KINGBIRDS seem to fly out further 
in their flights after insects than other 
flycatchers. Their motions are very grace- 
ful and beautiful. 




March 26, 1893 
March 21, 1894 
December 2, 1894 
September 29, 189$ 


THE stripe of vivid orange on the head 
is always visible and not sometimes 
concealed as in the ruby-crowned. The 
note is exceedingly thin, scarcely audible 
at times. It is not at all shy and will often 
allow you to get within ten feet of him. 
The faint squeaking "zie" is usually re- 
peated three times. 

March, 1902. Have never heard any 
other sound from them except this zie- 

March, 1907. Heard a song I thought 
must be a warbler song, faint and uninter- 
esting in character, but new. Found sev- 
eral gold crests and one or two sang fre- 
quently. I followed them for some time. 
Description in Chapman's Handbook ex- 
cellent. First time I ever heard this spe- 
cies sing. 

[6 5 1 



April 9, 1893 
September 22, 1893 
September 24, 189$ 


THE smallest birds — these and the 
golden crowned — in this part of 
the country except the humming birds and 
winter wrens. General coloring and habits 
much like some warblers, but they are 
smaller, and the shape is not so long and 
thin. The expression of the eye is quite 
different too, caused by a round yellowish 
mark around the eye, while the warbler's 
eye markings are usually horizontal. This 
gives him a wide-eyed, surprised look. 
The ruby lifts his wings constantly in a 
restless way, more than the golden. The 
ruby spot on the head is plainly visible all 
the time in the spring in some individuals, 
and is not concealed at all. Kinglets are 
much hardier than warblers, coming 
earlier and staying later. I have heard 
the ruby utter a harsh, chattering, scold- 
ing series of notes, much like a house 


Bird Observations 

sparrow, and quite loud. It is much like 
that of a winter wren. The song I have 
heard a number of times, a deliciously 
sweet fairy-like performance. 

April 24, IQ02. Heard three different 
individuals singing this morning. All had 
the chattering notes, interspersed with a 
hurried louder whistle, very like the 
"cher-o-kee, cher-o-kee" of the Carolina 
wren. This part of the song could be 
heard some distance, though of course it 
was not as loud as the wren's. 

April 16, 1903. Saw a kinglet with a 
gorgeous ruby crown, and supposed a fe- 
male must be near whose attention he was 
trying to attract, but I soon saw another 
male, also showing his ruby spot. There 
was a little sparring and then the one I had 
first seen flew away, his whole head look- 
ing like a living coal of fire. 

April 27, 1907. Heard five kinglets 
singing this morning as I walked to Julia 



Autumn, 1892 
June 28, 1893 


I SEE this beautiful bird here at inter- 
vals through most of the year. I heard 
one sing quite a sweet little warble from 
the top of the fence when the ground was 
covered deep with snow. They utter a 
number of notes beside this warble. They 
have a lonely sounding "peep-peep" as 
they fly off from the road in scattering 
flocks, and they also utter some loud sweet 
notes, having a quality not unlike those of 
the meadow lark, though fewer in num- 
ber. The yellow under the bill varies 
greatly in different individuals. In the 
birds where the color is pale, the species 
is probably the "Prairie" variety, the 
others the "Horned" simply. They are 
not at all shy, yet I have never observed 
them venture within the confines of a 



April 28 
(Lake Forest) 

SAW three in the lake; they dive like 
loons. The white back of the crest 
was most conspicuous, only it looked yel- 
low in the strong afternoon sunlight. 
They stay under water quite a while, and 
throw themselves down, when they start 
to dive, with the utmost vigor. 



March 21, i8g$ 
(Augusta, Ga.) 

THE song is so like that of the brown 
thrasher, and yet it is more varied, 
and seems to me to have less of the bold 
dash of that bird, and more sweet melody 
in it. But it introduces more cat-calls and 
uncouth noises, so that it is not as dignified 
a performance as that of the brown 

April 1st. On hearing the song more 
often it seems less attractive to me than 
the thrasher's, though more remarkable. 



September 7, 1894 
August 29, 1895 

I NOTICE a great deal of variety in 
the coloring of the breasts of these 
birds. Some are as bright a bay as many 
robins, and others have only a pale yel- 
lowish-red wash over the white. 



April 15, 18Q4 

1HAVE never yet seen these birds in 
Elmhurst ( 1 895 ) . I wonder why they 
are not here. The red-breasted I see every 
autumn. I enjoyed my one and only sight 
of this bird when I saw him in the Tennes- 
see woods. He is too marked a bird to 
be mistaken for any other, even on a first 
acquaintance. In 1896, in January, I saw 
these birds in Lake Forest. 

April, i8q6. They are abundant here. 



June 8, igoo 

SAW and heard this bird today after 
having watched for him for nine years 
of bird study. Found him in a tree near 
Atteridge's farm, a mature male. Song 
beautiful, full, vigorous, rich, finer than 
the Baltimore. 

May II, 1903. I have seen two orioles 
in our grounds for two days, and this 
morning I saw three, two mature males 
and an immature male of the second 
year, really a handsomer bird than the 
others with his trim olive coat and jet 
black face. The orchard oriole has a very 
difficult song to describe, a full, flowing 
warble, interjected with the characteristic 
blackbird note of the orioles at frequent 
intervals, but it is not loud enough to spoil 
the beauty of the song. 

May 23, igoj. Saw a young male some 
days ago, in song, and today saw an old 
male in our yard. 



A PRIL 22, igo2. Saw him in the ra- 
+ *■ vine back of the Henry Durand 
place (bird class). What a big fellow he 
is ! And what remarkable ears or horns ! 
A most weird looking bird. It is strange 
that in all my bird study I have seen so 
few owls. This and the screech owl are 
the only ones I am acquainted with. 


Great Hof hed Owl 


May 28, 18Q5 

MRS. HUBBARD and I spied two of 
these handsome birds in a small 
pond on the road to the spring. We had 
the most satisfactory study of them. They 
allowed us to come within about fifteen 
feet of them, and we watched them as long 
as we wanted to. There were two of 
them, both females, possibly, as these are 
described as the more brilliant of the two 
sexes. They were most conspicuous, 
striking birds, with their gleaming white 
breasts, black stripe through the eye, run- 
ning into chestnut on the neck and back, 
and the broad white stripe on the back of 
the head and neck. They were most un- 
concerned about our presence, and went on 
wading in the puddle and feeding in the 
water as calmly as if we had been miles 
away. One bird was very belligerent to 
the other one and drove it away numbers 
of times. There was another smaller bird 
with these two beauties, apparently of the 
same family, but it was striped with grey 
and brown on the back, and plain white 
underneath, a sparrowy looking creature. 


Bird Observations 

He was quite unconcerned while the fights 
were going on between the other two. He 
tallied exactly with the description of the 
immature phalarope, but how could he 
have been that at this time of the year? 
On the whole I never had a finer chance to 
study a new bird than I did this time. The 
phalaropes uttered no sound except a 
plaintive "tweet, tweet," now and then. 

[76 J 

Young Phoebes 



A PAIR nested on our west gable, 
before our Ardleigh house was fin- 

July 6, igoi. This is the sixth year 
phoebes have nested on the house. I 
wonder if it is the same pair. Three years 
under the roof of the porch, twice under 
the porch, and once on the gable. This 
year they began nesting May 17th, began 
sitting June 3rd, and the young flew July 

April 20, 1902. Phoebes began nesting 
on the top of the porch pillar, their fourth 
year on this identical spot. 

May 3rd. Began sitting. 

May 17th. One just hatched, four 
other eggs in nest. 

May 18th. All hatched. 

June 2nd. Five lusty birds flew out of 
the nest today. 

June 15th- The same pair (presumably) 
began to investigate the old nest again, 
and on the 17th I saw the female sitting. 

19 10. Phoebes still nesting on our 
house. This is the fifteenth consecutive 



MAY 20, 1907. A flock of sixty birds, 
counted through my glass, and with 
others I could not count scattered about, 
feeding on dandelion seeds, was what I 
saw at the Winter Club this afternoon. A 
number of goldfinches were with them, but 
the siskins were much more numerous. 
Their notes first attracted my attention, 
a great deal of goldfinch like chatter, but 
with a constant burr or buzz interspersed 
with it, that distinguished it from the 
familiar song of that bird. I could get 
quite near the birds, they seemed unsus- 
picious, and to have the same gentle, con- 
fiding natures that the goldfinches have. 
How striped they were! All over, just 
the yellowish bars on the wings to break 
the effect. I wish we could induce them 
to stay and eat up our dandelion seeds. 

May 14, igog. A flock in the Granger's 
yard. The burr in the notes very notice- 



June 28, 18Q3 
May 28, 18Q5 

WHEN I first saw pipits running along 
the road I thought they were shore 
larks. Their movements and size are so 
like the lark's. But a nearer view shows 
them to be very different. They appear 
dappled all over except on the lower 
breast, and they lack the black markings 
around the head which the lark has. 


laboratory ot Ornithology 
,159 Sapsucker Woods RoaO 
Bamell University 
Utoa. New York 14850 


October i, i8q$ 
April, i8q6 

ELMHURST has never yielded a single 
example of this bird, as far as I have 
yet discovered. I saw my first specimens 
in Lake Forest, John Ferry pointing them 
out to me. There was quite a flock of 
them feeding on the seeds of the ironwood 
trees. They were all in sparrowy dress, 
without the reddish hue they acquire later 
in the year. Their manners resemble those 
of the grosbeak, and they reminded me 
of the way that bird twists about after 
food, and almost crawls over the branches 
like a parrot. They look like small edi- 
tions of the female rose-breasted. The 
thick bills and deeply forked tails of these 
finches aid in identifying them. In April, 
1896, I saw them again in Lake Forest, 
this time the males had their rosy colors. 

May, 1 goo. Am sure I heard the song, 
so loud and melodious, a little like the 
warbling vireo's; did not see the bird, but 
heard the song several times. 

April, igoi. Heard the song numbers 
of times and saw the birds, later heard 


Bird Observations 

them various times and saw one male in 
fine summer plumage, and he really did 
look very purple in the sunlight. The 
song, when I first heard it, made me think 
of a warbling vireo, trying to sing like a 
goldfinch. Such a variety of notes, and 
yet the song was short. A few days later 
the song I heard was more flute-like, 
louder, and fuller — but still short. 

February 15, 1903. Saw a flock of 
about fifteen birds in our grounds. They 
were very silent. The males had a dusky 
purplish hue. There were several inches 
of snow on the ground, and it was still 



Ti/iAY 8, igos, in the pond west of 
■LV-M- Libertyville, there must have been 
many of them. 

May 15, 1906. One in marsh west of 
Convent Crossing, Lake Forest. Such a 
loud cackle of alarm as he gave, but 
looked as tranquil and tame as possible 
while he paddled about close to me. Why 
don't the books speak of his yellow bill, 
and of the Virginia's red one? The two 
birds were both together there. Some of 
their loud explosive notes make me think 
of a chat. 



MAY 75, igo6. Saw my first one in 
marsh west of track at Convent 
Crossing. He cack-ed and kuk-ed, and 
waded about very near me. His bill 
looked so red. No book speaks of a red 
bill, but this one certainly looked so. 

[83 J 


April 24, 1894 
May 28, 1895 

I NEVER see this shrike here in num- 
bers, but it is a regular summer resi- 
dent, and in my drives over the prairies 
I usually see one or two individuals. 

May 28, 1895. We found five young 
shrikes, hardly able to fly, in a thorn hedge 
today. They were lovely little fellows, 
their plumage as soft as eiderdown, and 
they huddled close together, three of them 
on one branch, and looked as innocent of 
being members of a murderous race as if 
they were turtle doves. We found the re- 
mains of a small bird, supposably of a 
house sparrow, impaled upon a thorn 
near by their nest. The parent birds were 
nowhere visible, though we passed the 
place both morning and afternoon. 


March i6, i8q4 

THE plumage of this bird seems dull 
beside that of the Loggerhead, with 
its clear pearl greys, black and white, 
which I see here so often in summer. I 
have seen this bird only once so far. It 
sat on a lonely tree by the roadside and 
uttered a curious low-pitched gurgling 
noise, unlike any other note I ever heard. 



SONG varies very much in different in- 
dividuals, always sweet, rich and me- 

March 24, IQ02. Singing in our grounds. 
The song has a decided melody and form. 
The first note single, several others in 
couples, then something of a jumble, a 
pure whistle. A quiet repose about it, 

April 8, 1 9 03. Watched one sing a long 
time. Such purity, such delicious sweet- 
ness of tone ! Hardly any two songs alike, 
yet all about the same length, often ending 
with a little soliloquy, as it were, some- 
times a slightly chattered note or two. All 
the songs had form, and had a large range 
of notes. 

March 31, 1908. So many singing, if 
one starts the whole flock begins to sing. 
The Asso. hymn "True hearted, whole 
hearted, faithful and loyal," recalls the 
form if you accent strongly the heart both 
times and the ful in faithful. 



June 21, i8q5 

I HAVE heard the feeble insect-like 
trill of this bird several times, but have 
never been able to identify it till today. 
We were driving near Addison, and Edith 
Skeele and I heard the note and followed 
up the bird. He flew from one weed to 
another, singing with his head thrown 
back, and with an energy worthy of a 
better cause. His song is so weak, just a 
low trill, without any of the strident 
qualities of the chipping sparrow. It can 
only be heard a very short distance off. He 
is one of the smallest sparrows; the head 
showing the narrow median and the wider 
superciliary stripes very plainly; the wing 
tinged with yellow towards the front. 

[8 7 1 


ll/TAY 2Q, IQ02. A single pair are try- 
■trJ. ing to nest on Frank F.'s house. 
This morning I was awakened at 4 : r 5 by 
the squawking of one of the pair, presum- 
ably the male. After listening to its 
monotonous chirping for ten minutes I was 
impressed with the number of times it re- 
peated its note, and at what regular inter- 
vals it was uttered. I began to count the 
squawks, and counted one thousand one 
hundred twenty-seven of them with 
scarcely a variation in time or tone. Then 
it stopped for two or three minutes, began 
again, and this time I counted three hun- 
dred sixty chirps, when I grew tired of 
counting and went to sleep. At 6 130 when 
I awakened, the same bird was holding 



June 25, i8q? 

SAW four or five of these birds in a field 
about six miles west of Lake Forest. 
They were singing when I first noticed 
them, a sweet song, something between a 
goldfinch and a vesper sparrow. Their 
marked heads and white bordered tails 
(the latter almost as conspicuous as a 
mourning dove's) make them easy to 
identify. They were very unsuspicious. 

June 28, i8gj. Saw three more near 
Lake Forest. 



1K/IAY 8, igoi. Saw two sparrows 
J- *■*■ which I took to be this species, but 
am not quite positive. Song, a faint whirr, 
but too little of it to tell. The yellow in 
front of eye most marked, but one of the 
birds certainly seemed to have a spot on 
the breast like a song sparrow. (No such 
mark in the books.) Its breast was quite 



Jl/TAY i, 1903. First view of this bird 
■1V-I- after all these years of bird study. 
He was in a swampy place west of the Wal- 
den gate. How he did flirt his tail and bob 
about! As active as a wren or a water 
thrush, indeed the tilting of his tail was 
very much like the latter bird. Then he 
would drop down into the grass and run 
through it like a mouse. He is smaller 
and more conspicuously striped than most 
of the plain sparrows, and the chestnut 
on head and wings is very striking. I 
heard no song, only a small weak chirp. 

May 6, 1904. In our garden, a single 
bird, so restless and active. On first seeing 
it flit in and out of the bushes before I saw 
the colors, I thought it was a warbler. 
This bird chirped continually, not such a 
very weak chirp. 

April 24, 1 90S- In our garden again, 
two of them, chirping constantly, quite 
loudly. Such restless, active birds, and so 
pretty. There were decided streaks on this 
bird's breast, not dark, very light, but 
plainly visible. 

April 29, 1906. Close to our front door 
in the bushes — tilting his tail as usual. 

[9i ] 

Bird Observations 

Colors so bright and rufous, such a chest- 
nut crown. A pretty fellow indeed. Ran 
like a mouse between bushes, and was very 
active, but not as shy as some I've seen. 

[92 J 


March 15, 1894 

MY first sight of this bird was as I was 
walking along the village road one 
windy morning. I knew him at once, he 
was so like the chippy, only he seemed 
warmer colored, and a little lighter. The 
reddish cap was very marked. He is a 
trim, aristocratic looking bird, much more 
so than the chippy, I think. 

March 16, 1894. Saw a large flock, 
they sang a great deal, a very sweet song, 
but somewhat thin, quite varied, something 
of the goldfinch quality. They trill like a 

November 4. Saw spot on breast and 
two white wing bars, very distinct. 



April 17, 1894 

May g, 1896 
May 5, 1897 
May 19, 1898 

I HEARD this species sing for the first 
time this morning, May 7, 1900. Again 
May 9th saw a flock and many of them 
in song. A very sweet, rather plaintive 
song, opening with a few notes in quality 
like the vesper sparrows, but in form a 
little like the meadow lark's, and ending 
with a few hoarse notes. 

May 8, 190 1. Saw seven birds on one 
small tree, nearly all sang. Quite a va- 
riety in their songs as to the pitch of the 
notes, but all had the clear meadowlark 
whistles first, and then the lower, harsher 
notes. A peculiar and distinctive song. 

May 16, 1901. Waked up at 5 a. m. 
by an unfamiliar song. A clear, sweet 
whistle, just like this : 



Bird Observations 

No husky trill after it, yet I think it 
must have been the white crown. 

May 1 8. Several here still, and singing, 
the song as when I first heard it, not the 

[95 1 


April 20, i8g$ 

I SAW numbers of these birds out in the 
park, and watched some of them fly 
in and out of a nest hole in a high rocky 
bank. They are without the grey band 
across the breast which the bank swallow 
has, and are much the soberest of the fam- 
ily. They look so much shorter than the 
barn swallow, and gleam white and then 
brown as they fly in the sunlight. 

[96 J 


May 10, 18Q3 
May g, 1894 
May 4, i8q6 
May 8, 1897 

I HAVE known the male of this species 
ever since I was a child, but have never 
known its song till May, 1894. Its warble 
is like the robin's, but louder, more 
solemn, without the cheerful, everyday 
quality of the latter's song. It intersperses 
its song at times with its call of "chip- 
chirr," which is such a marked and char- 
acteristic note. 

[97 ] 


April g, 1895 

1WAS walking home to the Bon Air 
today, and my attention was attracted 
by a curious clicking noise in a tree near by. 
It sounded like a chisel slipping on stone, 
not in the least like a whistle, or the trilling 
or warbling of most birds. I looked up 
and there was the summer tanager on a 
branch not far off. He is so handsome 
with his bright red plumage, though he 
does not look such a vivid scarlet as our 
tanager. He is smaller, too. He did not 
seem at all shy, and I had a fine chance 
of observing him. He uttered his clicking 
notes at intervals while he hunted about 
the tree for insects. They sounded like 
"kick-up," "kick-up" to me, and sometimes 
"kick-a-poo," the first notes higher than 
the others. They were not very loud. 

April 11, 1895. Heard and saw him 
again today. This time he ran six or 
seven notes rapidly together, each with 
the sharp "click" to it. 

April 13th. Heard a tanager sing this 

[98 1 

Bird Observations 

morning. I heard this song like a robin 
at a distance and was sure it must be the 
tanager, and sure enough there was his 
red coat among the branches. I do not 
recall any other bird who sings so much 
like a robin as he does. The cadence and 
inflection of the warble seem almost 
identical with that of the robin, yet the 
quality is different, and has something of 
the scarlet tanager's individuality in it. I 
found, too, that the song is more broken 
than the robin's, being repeated at inter- 
vals, instead of being an uninterrupted 

April 1 6th. This tanager utters some- 
times a curious squawking note very like a 
woodpecker. It is loud, and uttered at in- 
tervals from the top of some tall tree, so 
that until I discovered the small red object 
sitting up in a high pine and watched his 
bill open and shut I would not believe that 
there was not some new and large species 
of woodpecker up there. 



May 27, 1895 

THE only wild duck I have ever seen 
around here, except the flocks one 
sees flying through the sky in the spring 
and fall. This solitary individual was 
in a marsh on the road to the spring. 
His chestnut head and neck, light back and 
breast, and the white crescent on his side 
just ahead of the wing, were his striking 

[ 100] 


May 12, i8q6 

THE absence of the yellow eye ring 
is the only way to distinguish this 
thrush from the olive-backed. It sings a 
low, sighing sort of a song, here, not its 
full song,. 

May 12, i8q6. I heard and saw one 
sing in this way. I have always thought 
these faint breathed notes, which I have 
heard so often issuing from the depths of 
some evergreen tree, came from the veery, 
but was undeceived today. It is a peculiar 
song, unlike any other, as if wet rubber 
were rubbed together; it rises a little and 
dies away, rises and dies away, in a sort 
of cadence — all as if it were singing under 
its breath. 

May ioth. I saw a thrush which seemed 
to be the grey cheeked and which sang in 
the same way, but this and the occurrence 
of 1896 as noted above are doubtless cases 
of mistaken identity. No doubt both birds 
were veeries, which goes to prove that 
that bird varies a good deal as to his color- 
ing, and is by no means always so tawny. 



Spring, 1892 
April 3, 1893 
October 11, 1893 
March 22, 1894 

VERY plentiful here during spring mi- 
gration, apparently not so much so 
in fall, and more shy in latter season. The 
olive head and back and decidedly rufous 
tail make it easy to distinguish from other 

April 17, 19 1 2. Was awakened at 5 
a. m. by this thrush singing in a tree close 
to my window. Sang clearly about this 
number of notes : 

JJ ,.JJ o^J *." ° JJ „J jj: 

I have often heard the bird in S. W. Har- 
bor, Me. This song was an unmistakable 
thrush song. It could not have been any- 
thing but the Hermit at so early a date. I 
did not see the bird, however, being ill in 
bed. I have not heard of its singing dur- 
ing migration in this locality before, 
neither had Mr. B. T. Gault, of Glen 

[ 102 J 

Bird Observations 

Ellyn, to whom I wrote. But he feels, as 
I do, that I have made no mistake in being 
sure that it is a Hermit. 

[ 103 ] 


April, i8gs 
April 28, 18Q4 
August 30, 18Q4 

THESE thrushes are here in great 
numbers the first part of May, one 
of the commonest birds in the spring mi- 
grations. They come around the house 
constantly, in spite of the fact that there 
is almost no cover for them. I have 
studied them with great care, but find it 
difficult to be certain whether there are 
any gray-cheeked thrushes among them. 
The orbital ring does not seem very dis- 
tinct in many of them, and yet they all 
have some, which the gray cheeks are not 
supposed to have at all. They utter a 
loud snapping chirp when alarmed. I 
heard one singing a twittering song softly 
to himself once, the way the tawny thrush 

[ 104 ] 



May ig, 1893 
May i j, i8q5 
May 16, 1896 

THE first acquaintance I had with this 
thrush was in White Birch. It was 
singing softly to itself, in a twittering sort 
of way. I did not see it that day, but Mrs. 
Hubbard, who was with me, told me it 
was the Wilson's thrush.* Afterwards 
I saw the bird under an evergreen in our 
yard at Wheaton. 

May 11, 1895. I had a fine study of the 
veery in White Birch. The bird hopped 
about on the road not ten feet from us, 
and stayed there as long as Edith Skeele 
and I wanted to look at it. It is so much 
more delicately colored than any of the 
other thrushes — the back and tail a light 
fulvous brown, the throat without spots, 
and the spots on the breast very faint. The 
markings about the eye and down from 
the bill are also exceedingly faint, not dark 
as in the olive-back and Hermit. The 
upper breast has a wash of decidedly 

* See grey-cheeked thrush. 
[ IO5 ] 

Bird Observations 

tawny color across it, changing to whitish 
lower down on the breast. The veery is 
never as abundant here as the other 

May 1 6, i8g6. I heard a veery give a 
loud, curious, whistle this afternoon, then 
a whining "whee-oo" several times, quite 
a different sound from any other note I 
ever heard from a thrush. 

May ii, 1897. I found two veeries 
this a. m., both very easy to approach. 
They seem less shy than other thrushes. 
One had almost no perceptible spots on his 
breast, in the other they were quite dis- 
tinct. Both uttered the peculiar complain- 
ing call. One made a series of odd 
whining clucks, then changed the key sud- 
denly to a low one, and then changed 
again, so that he had quite a variety, and 
confused me at first as to what bird it 
could be. 

June 26, iqii. Heard a veery near 
Stone Gate. Nearly every summer a pair 
nests in the woods west of our house. I 
have never found the nest, but I have 
heard them singing or giving their peculiar 
whining calls all through June and July. 

[io6 1 


March 20, 1895 
(Augusta, Ga.) 

THE notes of this bird resemble so 
closely those of the chickadee that at 
first one cannot tell them apart. In ap- 
pearance it bears a general resemblance to 
the cedar bird, but is smaller and less ex- 
quisitely colored. The titmouse has a clear 
whistle consisting of three, sometimes 
four, notes all on exactly the same key, and 
without inflection or variation, a simple, 

flain whistle, unlike the cardinal's in this, 
t also has a more common note, a whis- 
tle of two quickly repeated notes, the sec- 
ond note about four notes higher than the 
first; the two are generally given four or 
five times in quick succession. All the tit- 
mouse's notes seem to me to lack melody, 
and the pathos which is as characteristic 
of the chickadee's whistle. They are emi- 
nently prosaic. The notes always remind 
me of a penny whistle. 

April nth, Georgia. One feels as if 
there was always more to learn about the 
titmouse's notes. This morning I heard 

[ 107 1 

Bird Observations 

two or three notes squeaked out like a 
wheel of a barrow, and found it to be this 
versatile bird. 



Ti/tARCH ii, 1904. I saw one bird, 
IVl and on the 12th I saw two males 
over near the Stone Gate, and another 
when I reached home, presumably three 
birds — remarkably early migration. 

[ 109 ] 



April 5, 1895 


SMALLER than the other vireos, except 
the white-eyed, or perhaps the war- 
bling, this bird looks more like the latter, 
except that it is yellower. The breast, 
especially, is perceptibly washed with yel- 
low on the sides. The song I have had 
a fine opportunity of hearing here in 
Georgia. It is quite unlike the other vireos, 
has more snap to it, beginning with a 
sharp "whit-tee," followed by some war- 
bled notes. This is repeated several 
times at quite short intervals, and then a 
new refrain is taken up. Altogether the 
song lacks the monotony of the red-eye's 
entirely. Sometimes it begins with "whit- 
whit-whit" before the warble, each note 
sharp, and with the snapping quality of 
some of the white-eye's notes. 



MAY 18, igoi. Saw the second I have 
seen this spring. I rarely see more 
than one or two in a season and have never 
heard them sing. I think this is the most 
beautiful of all the vireos. 



June 12, 18Q3 
May g, 18Q4 
May, 18Q5 
May 12, i8q6 

A GREYER and slightly smaller bird 
than the red-eyed vireo. I first saw 
this bird sitting on its nest in a Cottonwood 
tree, warbling sweetly as it sat there (the 
males sit as well as the females) . In 1893. 
The birds do not seem abundant around 
here. I have observed perhaps half a 
dozen this summer. 

June 21, i8q$. Edith and I saw another 
nest today, this time in an apple orchard- 
The bird was plainly visible sitting on it. 
The nest looked as if it had cotton on the 
outside. The song of these vireos is a 
lovely, smooth, flowing warble, meander- 
ing in rhythm something as the grosbeak's 
is. It is one of my favorite bird songs. 
It is soft and dreamy, quite unlike the 
energetic notes of the red-eye. 

[T12 1 


April i, 18Q5 

THIS vireo is the last one of the vireos 
(except Bell's) which I have learned 
to know. I have seen and heard sing, two 
of them this morning, and certainly they 
are the most extraordinary of the family 
as far as song goes. It is a curious sput- 
tering performance, resembling that of the 
catbird, "only more so." This is the clown 
vireo, surely, and April ist is an ap- 
propriate day to become acquainted with 
them. This species is as small as the war- 
bling vireo. 




April 5, 1895 

May, 189 s 
May 4, 1896 
May 8, 1897 
May 12, 1898 

WE found this vireo nesting on the 
road to the spring, the male and 
female alternating in sitting on the eggs. 
Edith Skeele and I watched them for an 
hour, and it was very interesting to see one 
slip silently off the nest as the other came 
up. The coloring of this bird is very 
beautiful. The song is shorter than that 
of the red-eyed, deeper in tone, and not 
quite so varied and flexible, but it is richer 
in quality, and louder. In general char- 
acter, however, it resembles the red-eye's 
song more than that of any other vireo. 
(I have not yet heard the solitary sing.) 
But I think it is, if anything, more deliber- 
ate and repeated at longer intervals. I 
have only observed one pair of these birds 
in Elmhurst, but in Georgia I have had 
ample opportunity to study them. Every 

Bird Observations 

morning I hear one singing among the 
oaks in front of the hotel, and it keeps 
it up for hours at a time. 



May io, 18Q4 
May, 18Q5 
May 2Q, i8gj 

THERE is no mistaking this handsome 
warbler with his unusual coloring, of 
rich bay, cream and cinnamon. There is 
no other warbler in the least like it. 

May 24, 18Q4. Heard them sing their 
monotonous, saw-filing note, one of the 
poorest and weakest of the warbler songs. 

May 18, 1 go 1. Saw several in the "chat 
woods." No song. They were uncom- 
monly thick f° r bay-breasteds, which are 
usually a rare bird here in Lake Forest. 
Mrs. Hubbard and I must have seen at 
least four, probably more. 




August 30, 18Q4 

August 25, 1895 

NO matter what other members of the 
warbler family fail to appear in 
the spring this one is always on hand. I 
suppose one reason one always sees him is 
that he is not at all shy, but allows a very 
near approach. I saw this bird in Ten- 
nessee and in Georgia when I was there, 
and in both places heard the thin, wiry 
song, a small, saw-filing sound, with the 
harshness taken out — one of the thinnest 
of bird notes. 



May 6, 1894 
May 7, 1895 
May 6, 1896 
May 14, 1897 

THE Blackburnian does not seem at all 
shy in spite of his flaming throat and 
black and white stripes which make him so 
conspicuous. The song is not unusual, a 
little husky, and about the usual warbler 
length. I heard one May 24, 1894, which 
was a fine singer — for his kind — a jumbled 
succession of notes changing to another 
jumble four notes higher, rather longer 
than usual. 

May 12, 1894. Saw several of these 
birds together today. 

May 8, 1896. One sang a jumbled suc- 
cession of notes, about the usual warbler 
length, ascending in key, ending in an alter- 
nated, very high squeak. 

May 12, 1896. Heard one sing just this 
way again. 

May 18, 1901. Saw five males and 
three females over in the "chat woods," 
and there must have been many more; 
none were singing. 


Bird Observations 

May iy, IQ02. Knew the song when I 
heard it today, a rising squawk at the end. 
Not a musical song. 

May 7, IQ05. The squeak at the end 
gets very attenuated and fine, and very 
high pitched. First part of song sounded 
very like redstart's. 



May 28, 1893 
May 12, 1894 
May 7, 1895 
May 8, 1896 

I NEVER like to see this bird appear 
because it means that the "warbler 
season" is nearly over, as it is usually 
about the last to come. This bird, though 
striped with black and white, as the black 
and white creeper is, is far less beautiful. 
The song is a little like the creeper's, but 
is more hesitating, and lacks the ease of 
the creeper's song. It is "saw-filing," 
though, and unmusical. It sometimes sings 
so low that it might be mistaken for an 
insect, but at other times it is quite loud, 
though never heard at much of a distance. 
May, 1894. A closer analysis of the 
song gives it did-did-did, hesitating, un- 
musical, staccato, not a "saw-filing" in time 
(that is, one note does not follow another 
as part of it, as in the song of the creeper 
and the bay-breasted; each note is sepa- 

May 14, 1904. Seen against the grass 
what a brilliant bird a spring male is ! 

[ 120] 



September 20, 1893 
May 5, 1894 
May 7, 1895 
September 22, 1895 
May II, 1897 

THE plumage of all the warblers is 
smooth and beautiful, but that of this 
bird particularly so. It is the darkest of 
all the family. The female, though green, 
can easily be identified by the fleck of clear 
white on the wings. Its chirp is an ex- 
tremely fine thin squeak. The song is low, 
hoarse, and without the vibrating quality. 
I never see this bird in flocks, as the Yel- 
low, Palm and Pine Warblers come some- 
times, but in small numbers it is a very 
regular visitant. 

May 11, 1894. The song is certainly 
like the opening notes of the black 
throated green's in quality. 

May 18, 1901. I like his queer, coarse 
little song. It is usually three or four 
notes long. He is such a fearless fellow. 
He seems to prefer to work towards you 
rather than away from you in his tree 

[ 121 ] 


May 10, 1893 
September 22, 1893 
May 3, 1894 
September 6, 1894 
September 1, 1895 
May 4, 1896 
May 8, 1897 

1 SOMETIMES think this bird is hand- 
somer than the Blackburnian, even, he 
is such a beauty, with his yellow sided 
head, green back and jet black V on his 
throat. In autumn this last is obscure or 
wanting, but the black stripes ori side of 
breast are always plainly visible. The 
song is one of the most beautiful of all the 
warblers, more of a melody or tune in it, 
and with a sweetly deliberate quality in it. 
It has a lovely quaver in the middle notes, 
higher than the first and last. It is such a 
satisfaction to be able to identify this bird 
so unfailingly in the autumn, when so many 
of the family are so puzzling. 

[ 122 ] 


May 19, 1893 
May 15, 1894 
August 30, 1894 
May 18, 18.96 
May 20, 1898 

NEVER a common bird here. It is one 
of the many dark-backed, yellow- 
breasted warblers but the back is bluish 
instead of the usual olive, and the crescent 
of spots on the breast differs from the cus- 
tomary stripes of many of the warblers. 

May, 1896. Heard its song, loud, jum- 
bled, slightly resembling the indigo bird's; 
varies a good deal, often begins with a 
little whirr or snap. 

May 31, 1901. One has been singing 
at intervals all day here in our grounds. A 
bright, sweet little song, something of the 
red-eyed vireo's flexibility in it. He seems 
to me to say "t'le'we, t'lee we, t'le'we, 
t'lee we, t'l'it wit," but it is a difficult song 
to put into syllables. It has a more liquid 
and a more uncertain sound than the busi- 
nesslike red-start's. 

May 22, 190^- Has been singing for 
three or four days around the house. 

[ 123 ] 

Bird Observations 

There have been several here today. Song 
as above described, varies a good deal in 
loudness, is sometimes not loud at all. 

May 14, IQ04. Two flitted close to me 
on our lawn for a long time. They usually 
appear singly, these birds, but this time 
these two males stayed together for an 
hour or two. 

May 18, IQ06. Several have been here 
for several days. At a distance one bird I 
heard certainly did sound a little like an 
indigo bird, but more liquid and less cer- 
tain in form. He began often with "chip- 
chip," twice or thrice repeated, and he 
often continued his song quite as long as 
the indigo does — it went on and on, as it 

May 24, igo8. One sang at frequent 
intervals all day yesterday and today. Did 
not begin with a whirr or snap once; not 
as loud or bright or long as some indi- 
viduals I have heard; uncertain quality 
very apparent, wavering, varied, no def- 
inite "form." Bird seemed very shy. 

June 5. Two singing in my yard today, 
one been singing constantly for many 
days. They always stay here some time 
in migration. 



May 18, 1893 
May 12, 1894 
May y, 1895 
May 12, 1896 
May 20, 1898 

DIFFERENT individuals vary very 
much, I find, in the brilliancy of the 
coloring. The brighter ones are beauties, 
The orange-yellow neck and side of head 
give it the appearance of a yellow-headed 
bird, almost as much as the black-throated 
green warbler. The chestnut ear patches 
are almost lacking in many specimens. 
They seem to prefer orchards; they are 
very plentiful at times. Song not remark- 
able, a thin but rather sweet squeak, re- 
peated several times. 

May, 1897. The song impresses me as 
one of the thinnest and least musical of the 
warbler songs. 

May 7, 1905. What a study of one 
today, in the Joseph Durand ravine, just 
below us on a bare, small tree, a few feet 
away, as long as we wanted to watch him ! 
He ran his bill industriously and faithfully 
up and down the twigs, eating bark lice 

[ 125 J 

Bird Observations 

eggs ; they could not have been insects. He 
kept at this as long as we watched him, 
ten or fifteen minutes. 

May 27 , 1907. Many Cape Mays, male 
and female, have been in our yard since 
May 14th. This cold, backward spring 
prevents their going north. They seem to 
be a rather pugnacious bird, and are ex- 
tremely lively, darting out at other birds 
and driving them off. They have been 
feeding in the barberry blossoms, and 
along the branches. They have a thin, 
sharp chirp, like the click of two pebbles 
struck together, quite characteristic. 

May ig, igo8. Cape May's have been 
thicker than I've ever seen them this year. 
It's been cool and very wet, and a poor 
year for most warblers, but they seem to 
thrive. The females are abundant today, 
such dusky, striped birds. They feed so 
much on insects (supposedly) in the cen- 
ters of the barberry blossoms and reach 
away out on the ends of the branches to 
get them. 

[126 1 


May 5, 1896 
May 8, 1897 
May 16, 1898 

I WAS attracted to these birds by their 
marked song. Several were singing in 
the tops of the trees in our place where 
our new house is building. The song is 
four repeated notes, then four more a lit- 
tle higher in key, ending with a sort of 
burr-r-r. It has something of the quality 
of the black-throated blue's song. They 
all seemed to sing just alike, a quick, de- 
cisive song. The collar of grey blue across 
the throat is plainly visible on the white 
under parts (and the under parts are about 
all one sees of these dwellers in the tree 

May 6th. Heard them again — the 
four notes repeated first are all on one 
key — the last ones a quick, upward, chro- 
matic run — ending in the burr-r-r. 

May 16th. Still here, incessant singers. 

June 18th. Still here. They must be 
resting here, it is so late. Heard numbers 
of them, and saw one on a comparatively 
low tree, the first good view I have yet 

[ 127 ] 

Bird Observations 

had. They were singing constantly and I 
find they vary the song a good deal. Some- 
times it is shorter, and only two notes at 
first, but it always has that upward run, 
and that sweet whirring sound, like a lit- 
tle wheel. It is unlike any other warbler 
song, I think. 

May 24, IQ05. Heard one sing a song 
very like the red-start's "shree-shree- 
shree" in form, but the voice was the soft, 
husky, wheeling song of the cerulean. He 
sang many times and never had the up- 
ward run once. 

May 2t, iqo8. Watched one sing for 
half an hour, song like the one of May 
24, 1905. No upward run. This bird 
came very near and moderately low, yet 
the blue never looked bright, always dull 
and greyish. I wonder if the individual 
males differ much in brightness of color, 
for it seems as if the dulness of some 
birds was not only because I did not see 
them in a good light. 

[128 J 


TK/f AY 18, i go i. Saw a female — never 
J-Vl. remember seeing one before. She 
is a pale edition of the male, just a touch 
of chestnut, and her yellow cap duller. 
The male sang, a song almost exactly like 
the yellow warbler in form, but lacking the 
piercing quality of that bird's song. 

May, IQ02. Heard a very full sweet 
song from this bird, quite loud, much more 
pleasing and rounder than the yellow. 

May ig, igoj. The song struck me as 
very like the yellow's, but less piercing, 
and the finale had more of a twist to it. 

[ 129 ] 


May 29, 1894 
May 16, 1896 
May 21, 1897 
May 20, 1898 

I SAW this bird first on a low tree in the 
main street of Elmhurst. I followed 
the loud, ringing, wheedle-dee, wheedle- 
dee, wheedle-dee, supposing of course I 
should see a Maryland Yellow-throat, 
when what was my surprise to find it the 
Connecticut warbler. I watched it sing 
many times. The song is almost exactly 
like the Maryland. It is often repeated 
three times, sometimes only twice. Its 
ash-colored head and yellow breast and 
under parts, with no white on wings make 
it a sober bird. The ash terminating 
abruptly into yellow on the breast is the 
distinguishing mark, and the light ring 
around the eye enables one to identify it 
as a Connecticut and not a light-colored 
mourning warbler which it otherwise 
closely resembles. 

May, 1896. The loud ringing song at- 
tracted me again to this bird in Lake For- 
est this morning. It utters the first two 

[ 130 1 

Bird Observations 

notes without the third quite often. It is a 
remarkable song, heard at a long distance, 
but seldom uttered. It is a more vigorous 
and resonant song, than the yellow- 
throat's, but the form of it very similar. 
It is a hard bird to see, for though it al- 
lows you to come quite close it keeps con- 
stantly in the thick foliage, usually in 
hedges, or the lower part of spruces. 

May iy. Have heard it again. On 
more familiar acquaintance it sounds more 
like "too-too-whit" than the syllables of 
the yellow-throat. Mrs. Hubbard is with 
me today, and has heard it too. 

May, 1897. A fine study of the bird, 
the best I ever had. How loud and strik- 
ing the song is ! It seems less and less like 
the yellow-throat's. He shakes his little 
body all over when he sings, wings and tail 
vibrate furiously, and he throws his head 
away back. He sings from a low branch 
and then dives down into a thicket and is 
quiet for a time. 

May 23, IQ07. A Connecticut warbler 
stayed in the thicket south of our library 
window for a long time. I watched him 
through the long field glass. He stood 
for some minutes motionless on the 
ground, evidently watching some other 


Bird Observations 

birds in a tree. He looked like a little 
gnome or sprite against the dark back- 
ground, and when he faced me he looked 
like a spectacled brownie with his light eye 
rings. He's a great bird to keep under 
cover and I never had such a long and 
satisfactory view of one before. 

[ 132 ] 


May 25, igoo 

FOUND him after a long chase in the 
"chat woods" west of Fort Sheridan. 
The song first attracted me, and was many 
times repeated. An indolent, rather 
wheezy three, or usually four, notes, all 
on one note. Like the cerulean's a little 
in quality only, or a little of the black- 
throated blue and green's huskiness. A 
lazy song, very distinctive, not loud, often 
repeated. Syllables that recall it to me, 
"S'h, hush, hush, hush," the last three 
slightly quicker than the first, but all 
drawled and insect-like. 

June 8th. The same bird still in the 
same place. Can he be nesting? Sang just 
as constantly as before. Had fine views 
of him, and was struck with the vividness 
of his yellow crown. 

May 14, iqoi. Saw him in our own 
grounds and heard the song again. First 
description tallies exactly with the second 
impression, not always the case with bird 
songs. I have now seen this warbler 
three times this spring. He probably did 
not nest in the chat woods last year, as I 
never saw him after June 8th. 

[ 133 ] 


April 1 6, 18Q5 

I FOLLOWED the loud song of this 
warbler for a long time in the thick 
woods this morning before I discovered 
what bird it came from. It was a vigor- 
ous, rather short warbler song, sounding 
like the syllables in "Yes, yes, yes, I know 
it," with an upward inflection on the "I 
know." There were a number of these 
warblers in the woods but I only saw two. 
The song of the second was longer, and 
not so marked in its inflections, so that I 
did not recognize it as coming from the 
same species till I saw the bird. This is 
certainly one of the most striking of the 
warblers. The black hood, extending 
round both front and back of the neck and 
the back part of the head, encircles the 
brilliant yellow of the forehead and the 
part around the eye. The contrast makes 
the yellow appear more gorgeous than al- 
most any other bit of warbler coloring, 
except, perhaps, the throat of Blackburn's 



Spring, 18Q3 
May 8, 1894 
May, 18Q5 
May IJ, 1896 
May 11, 1897 

THIS bird ranks close to the Black- 
burnian and black-throated green 
warblers in brilliancy. 

May 75, 1894. I heard the song, quite 
sweet, warbled, something like the first 
"whee-chee-tee" of the Maryland yellow- 
throat, but it is broken off, in fact the bird 
never seemed to finish it. It is not nearly 
as long as the yellow-throat's song, but it 
is sweet and melodious. 

May 24th. It varies its song a good 
deal, but retains the broken off, interrupted 
effect, and is always musical and sweetly 

July 14, 1905. S. W. Harbor, Me. 
Song "whit-chee, whit-chee, whit-chee, 
wee-up," the last very hurried and broken 
at the end, the whole sounding at a dis- 
tance as broken off and abrupt as the 
Acadian Flycatcher. Heard another song 
among the thick woods for days and days, 

r 135 ] 

Bird Observations 

but could never see the bird. Was it the 
magnolia? It said "whit-che-tee, wee-up," 
over and over again. 

July 25, 1 go 5. Female magnolia with 
insect in her bill chirped almost as loud 
and as harshly as a house sparrow, then 
changed to the usual warbler chirp, then 
to a faint " 'tsip" like a kinglet. She 
changed back and forth in these various 
chirps many times. 

May, 1906. Lake Forest. Yes, I think 
that S. W. Harbor bird was the magnolia 
without a doubt. This one said "veni 
vidi, vici" over and over to me, in the 
same tone of voice. 

[136 J 


May is, 18Q4 
May 21, 1897 

THESE warblers keep in the dense 
thickets and evergreens, usually low 
down, so they are hard to see, but the 
song, as constant as the red-eyed vireo's, 
betrays their whereabouts. The song, well 
described by "whee-che-tee," three and 
sometimes four times repeated, is loud and 
seems to me to have more of the red-eyed 
vireo's quality than the warbler songs 
usually have. It is a vigorous and marked 
song. Yet I have heard the Connecticut 
warbler sing exactly like it. 

May 14, 1906. This sang "wit-che-tee, 
wit-che-tee, wit-che-tee, wee-chee-hall-or- 
ee," a little variation after each thrice re- 
peated wit-che-tee. 

May 20, 1907. Saw a female Mary- 
land yellow-throat today. Such a charm- 
ing little creature as she was, carrying her 
tail like a little wren. She had quite a 
tinge of reddish on her forehead, and the 
yellow of the under tail coverts was plain- 
ly visible. She stepped along in the grass 
with such a dainty air — she seemed as 
pretty and winning as the male. 

[ 137] 


May 27, i8g8 
(Lake Forest) 

HAVE watched for this bird all these 
years and never seen him till today. 
The dark line around eye and back of it 
distinguishes it readily from the Connecti- 
cut warbler. No song heard. 

May 26, igoo. Saw a fine male, the 
breast markings very dark. Sang con- 
stantly, a pretty song, flexible, whistled, 
less in volume than the Connecticut war- 
bler, but reminding one a little of it. It 
was repeated three or four times always, 
the syllables seemed like "hall-or-ree, 
hall-or-ree, hall-or-ree," and sometimes 
ending with a "whoit, whoit" on a lower 
key at the end. A slight resemblance to 
the oven-bird's, and yet so much less loud 
and beating. It is louder at the end, 
though, than at the beginning. 

June 7, igoo. Heard him singing con- 
stantly in one place, but got a poor view 
of him. He was a regular will-o'-the-wisp 
and led me a chase. I never saw a bird 
seem so shy. 


Bird Observations 

May 29, 1903. Saw him and heard the 
song constantly, quality as described, but 
form different, more monotonous, less of it 
and not three times repeated, just four or 
five liquid notes, not to be described in 

May 25, igo8. One sang for nearly an 
hour, and when I came back two hours 
later he was still singing in the same spot. 
The song was loud, and uttered with al- 
most no variation the entire time I listened 
to it. It was a rapid, rolling whistle, "hall- 
or-ee," three or four times repeated, the 
liquid, rolling sound being very pro- 
nounced, a noticeable and attractive song. 
Saw the bird well and watched him sing. 
He is a shy bird, though, and keeps well 
out of sight. I must have followed him 
three-quarters of an hour before I caught 
a glimpse of him. 

May 27, iqo8. Had good view of fe- 
male — hard to tell from male Connecticut 
— but the eye ring was not conspicuous 
nor consecutive. Throat was whitish in 
middle otherwise breast was a pure French 
grey color. Under parts quite yellow, a 
lovely bird. 

June 6, 1909. Have seen and heard 
the mourning warbler several times since 

[ J 39 ] 

Bird Observations 

May 28th on our place, near the hoUse. 
Singing constantly. 

June 6th. Sang nearly all day. 

[ 140] 


April 3, 1893 
September 20, 1893 
April 22, 1894 
October n, 1895 
May 5, 1897 
April 17, 1898 

THE earliest to arrive of the whole 
warbler family, and individuals either 
linger here or pass through up to the mid- 
dle of May. They also stay here some 
autumns till the end of November. The 
white tail feathers and yellow rump show 
plainly while flying. It is less restless than 
most of the warblers, and sometimes sits 
still on a tree. The chirp is loud, and ro- 
bust in tone, not a thin squeak. 

April 21, 1898. Heard song for first 
time. Very varied, sweet, liquid, some- 
times quite long. This bird sang con- 
stantly while I watched him, and it seemed 
as if he changed his song dozens of times. 
Yet it is a genuine warbler song, recogniz- 
able as such at once. 



September 25, 1893 
May 9, 1894. 
May 10, 1897 
May 13, 1898 

THE coloring of the Nashville is 
in plain washes without distinctive 
marks. Upper parts olive, head and sides 
of neck bluish ash, throat pure yellow shad- 
ing to lighter yellow underneath. It is the 
yellowest of the plain warblers. 

May 10, 1807. I heard its song, some- 
what jumbled, a little like a goldfinch, but 
I only heard it a few times. 

May, 1898. Had fine study of song. 
Description in Chapman's book perfect. 
First note very high, repeated several 
times, second note lower and uttered 
rapidly like a chipping sparrow's. Rather 
an insignificant and unmusical song. 

July, 1905- Heard a warbler — always 
invisible — for several weeks at S. W. 
Harbor, Me., sing over and over a never 
varying song — six notes all alike, then a 
rapid trill like a chippy. Was it the Nash- 
ville? It was not just like what I had 


Nashville Warbler 

Bird Observations 

heard before, and I never saw a Nashville 
once at S. W. 

May g, igo6. Heard a song very lijke 
the above out my window, and looking 
out saw the Nashville, no doubt the Mt. 
Desert bird, but his song in migration is 
less pronounced and vigorous. 

\ 143 1 


TK/IAY 16, IQ07. Twice before I have 
•L 'J. identified this bird, only once to my 
own satisfaction, but today I had a fine, 
close study of him, or her, I think it was. 
Such a darkish, dull bird, and perceptible 
eye ring, especially top and bottom, a small 
darkish line through the eye. Side of head 
all washed with olive, not separated into 
dark and almost white by a horizontal eye 
line as in the Tennessee. 

[ H4] 


May 19, 1893 
May 6, 1894 
May, 1895 
April 29, 1896 

I ALWAYS see the oven bird here in 
the village in the spring migration, and 
usually in the fall also, but in summer it 
takes to the thick woods, where its loud 
remarkable "whip-tee" can be heard rat- 
tled off with great energy at almost any 
hour of the day. In June, 1894, Edith 
Skeele and I found a young oven bird sit- 
ting serenely on a branch while the parent 
bird shouted in vigorous tones in the neigh- 
borhood. But the little bird was not at 
all afraid of us, and ate some large worms 
which we presented to it. 

[ 145 ] 


May io, 1894 

May ii, 1897 
(Lake Forest) 

THE triangular patch of greenish yel- 
low is plainly seen on the back of this 
bird. The throat and breast are golden 
yellow, with a wash of grey across the 
lower throat, and the yellow ends rather 
abruptly in the white of the under parts. 

May 11, 1897. Only the second time I 
have seen this bird, and only one individual 
this time, and no song either time. 

May 28, 19OJ. Heard two sing. Song 
a little like the cerulean's, but more rasp- 
ing, not so deliberate, a trill, with an up- 
ward break at the end. 

[146 J 


May 5, 1894 
May 6, 1895 
September 29, 1895 
May 7, 1898 

THE chestnut on this bird's head is 
almost as bright as that of the chip- 
ping sparrow and the line dividing this 
from the cheek quite as conspicuous only 
it is yellow. It is a very lively warbler, 
flirting its tail constantly, and running on 
the ground like a wren. It is remarkable 
how closely it resembles the Carolina 
wren when seen in this way. 

Lake Forest, May 4, 1901. Watched 
a palm warbler sing this morning, the first 
time I ever heard the song. It is some- 
thing between the chipping sparrow and 
the black and white creeper, a monotonous 
che-we, che-we, che-we. 

April 2J, 1906. Saw three, and two at 
least were singing, a rather canary-like 
trill, not a noticeable song. It likes the 
fences along the roadsides — and flirts in 
and out tilting his tail constantly. 



September 9, 1893 
May 4, 1894 
August 30, 1894 
September I, 189$ 

THE white wing bars are a distinctive 
mark in identifying this bird. They 
seem more plentiful in the fall than in the 
spring. In September, 1893, tne whole 
village seemed to be full of them. Their 
note at this time was the typical warbler 
squeak, uttered very often. 

April 27, 1906, Lake Forest. The pine 
warbler does not seem to me as dainty and 
aristocratic a bird as most of his family. 
The one I saw today had very inconspicu- 
ous wing bars — hardly noticeable. 

[148 J 


May is, 1893 
May, 18Q4 
May 7, 1895 
April so, i8q6 
May 9, 1897 

THE redstart is supposed to nest here 
but I seldom see it in summer, though 
it is always a common migrant in the 
spring. It always seems as if there were 
so many miniature males and females in 
proportion to the brilliant old male birds. 
The song is very like many of the other 
warbler songs (how confusing they are!) 
but it is apt to end its zie-zie-zie with a 
break at the end, giving it a sharp, unfin- 
ished sort of termination. Sometimes they 
sing as a black and white creeper does, a 
sort of saw filing, but not so thin in quality. 

[ 149 ] 


September 7, 1893 
May 8, 1894 
September, 18Q4 
May 6, i8g6 
May 14, 1897 

SUCH a plain little warbler compared 
with the gayer members of the family ! 
It it so like the warbling vireo in color, only 
the line through the eye is more obscure. 

May 15, 1894. I saw this species sing 
frequently, a very loud song beginning 
with a sort of sawing two note trill, rather 
harsh and very staccato, but hesitating in 
character, increasing to a rapid trill almost 
exactly like a chipping sparrow's. A 
noticeable but not especially musical song. 

May 10, 189$. I again heard many of 
these birds sing. They seem to be one of 
the most constant and vociferous singers of 
any of our warblers. 

May 14, 1904. Seen against the grass 
this bird is far from dull. Head so bluish, 
and back so green, and all so soft and 
delicately tinted. 



April 24, i8q8 
(Lake Forest) 

FINE view of bird in the south ravine. 
He is so yellow below, especially 
towards the tail. His legs looked so pink 
and clean. I have seen this bird in Elm- 
hurst (I suppose) at least twice, but have 
never been able to get a good enough view 
of him to be sure he was not the Louisiana. 
April 25, IQ04. Had fine study of one. 
Saw his streaked chin and dull whitish line 
over eye, sang constantly, always the same 
song: three notes "wee-wee-wee" (all 
same note) then "wee-chy, wee-chy" — not 
so loud and piercing — the whole song, I 
mean, as many I have heard. I hope I 
can learn the difference between the songs 
of the two water thrushes. Individuals 
differ so, it is hard to distinguish which 
species is singing. 



May 5, 1897 
May, 1898 

(Lake Forest) 

1 HEARD a loud, sweet song in our ra- 
vine this morning and thought at first 
it was an indigo bird, but soon noticed that 
it was wilder and less regular in the open- 
ing notes. The song was repeated almost 
at regular intervals, like a warbler's song, 
but not quite so often. I only saw the bird 
once, but his whitish line over his eye was 
most conspicuous. 

May 11, 1897. He has been here con- 
stantly now for nearly a week. He con- 
fines his ramblings entirely to our ravine 
and occasionally a few neighboring ones. 
I have had a fine study of him this a. m. 
which I have found a difficult thing to get, 
as he is extremely shy. He waded along 
the edge of the brook, singing from time to 
time, and showing his white throat and 
long superciliary white line most clearly. 
The song is about eight notes, uttered 
nearly all day. Two notes low, two high 

[ 152 1 

Bird Observations 

and then about four low again and more 
rapid. He left May 19th. 

June 21, i8q8. Heard the water thrush 
again, so he must be breeding here. In 
May I saw several of these birds. 

May 18, igoi. Identified one today 
past a doubt. Saw the white throat, and 
how white the breast was, compared with 
the short-billed! 

April 20, IQ02. Heard and saw one 
sing. Except for the three opening notes 
I never would have recognized the song. 
The first three notes were the usual clear, 
piercing water thrush whistle, but the rest 
was an intricate jumble of fine notes far 
softer, and of an entirely different quality, 
quite a song, not a brief note or two. He 
repeated this song several times, always 
beginning with the three piercing notes. I 
saw him finely, his white, unstreaked chin, 
and pure white underparts. 

May 14, IQ04. Song consisted of three 
notes "wee-wee-wee," then "whit-chee, 
whit-chee," followed by a confused and 
less loud jumble — reminded me of song of 
Canada warbler, only louder. 

May 4, 1905. Close to me, no doubt 
that it was the Louisiana. Sang number of , 
times, always the same, a liquid, rolling 

[ 153 ] 

Bird Observations 

"wit- wit- wit," seven notes in all, louder in 
the middle. 

April 20, igo6. Still struggling to tell 
the songs of the two water thrushes apart 
Watched a Louisiana today — he sang the 
song exactly as heard May 14, 1904, ex- 
cept that the jumble did not usually follow. 
Heard a second bird sing an intricate low 
song, as if to himself, as jumbled as a gold- 
finch's, but with the "wee-wee-wee" thrown 
in every now and then. Thought this bird 
was a noveboracensis, but am not sure. 



May 13, 1893 
May 21, 18Q5 
May 25, 1897 
May 21, i8q8 

THE first glimpse I had of this pretty 
warbler was in the currant bushes at 
Cherry Farm in Elmhurst. He looked yel- 
lower than the books describe him, and 
with his jet black cap he was quite a con- 
spicuous bird. I have not seen him again 
till May, 1895. The side view of his black 
cap makes him look as if he had a black 
stripe over his eye. This warbler seems to 
be one of our least common species. 

May 13, 1895. Saw him again this 
afternoon on the road to the spring. 

May 25, 1897. Watched this warbler 
for an hour back of our garden. He came 
several times within five ft. of me and was 
as friendly as possible. He sang re- 
peatedly, a full, chord-like "chee-chee- 
chee" followed by a goldfinch trill, varied 
somewhat asi to this latter, but usually the 
prelude the same. 

May igth. The black cap has been un- 
commonly abundant this year. I have seen 

[ 155 J 

Bird Observations 

him four or five different times, and usu- 
ally I see him but once or twice. Saw one 
sing today, a jumbled, not loud, warbler 
song, with a warbled or vibrating qual- 
ity in it, not the "zie, zie." 

May 28, 1907. This bird twitches his 
tail nervously with the rotary motion the 
cat-bird has, and also lifts his wings at the 
same time as the ruby kinglet does. 

May 24, igio, and later, been singing 
constantly, quality a little like mourning 
warbler's " 't'le, t'le, t'le, t'le, chee, chee, 
chee," quite loud and ringing, watched him 



May 10, 18Q3 
May 5, 1894 
May "j, 1895 
April so, 1896 
May 8, 1897 

PLAIN golden yellow, the back tinged 
with green and the breast more or less 
distinctly streaked with brown. One of the 
few warblers that nests here. 

May 18, 1901. How abundant this 
bird is at Ardleigh ! At this time of the 
year redstarts and yellow warblers mo- 
nopolize our woods. He always seems to 
me to say "hip-hip-hip-hip, hip-hurrah- 

[ 157 J 


May 12, i8q8 
(Lake Forest) 

I HAVE been watching for this bird for 
years but have never seen it till today. 
I rode out to the woods west of Ft. Sheri- 
dan and while there heard the queerest 
loud whistle followed by a rapid scolding. 
As this issued from a thick bush I thought 
of a chat at once, but could see nothing. 
This whistling and scolding was repeated 
at intervals from various parts of the wood 
and I followed, determined to see him if 
possible. But after following the queer 
sounds for an hour or so I was just giving 
up and going home when there he was on a 
low bush some distance ahead of me, but 
near enough to see his gorgeous yellow 
breast clearly. He hopped about and 
stayed long enough for me to see him as 
much as I wanted to, and came nearer so I 
could distinguish all his markings. His 
"song" is certainly the most remarkable 
one I ever heard. All his notes are so loud 
and imperative. He whistles as clearly as 
a quail, but louder, chatters like a giant 


Bird Observations 

wren, caws like a crow, and makes queer 
guttural sounds that are unlike anything I 
ever heard. It is all so loud and each note 
so distinctive and different that the varia- 
tions of a catbird or brown thrasher sink 
into sparrow twitterings beside it. 

July 2-5, i8q8. Heard him again, on 
second date heard two birds. (Was one 
the female?) One sang a much louder 
and more varied "song" than the other. It 
was in the Ft. Sheridan woods. He must 
have nested here. 

May 12, IQ02. Mrs. Moss and I heard 
one just west of the Chat woods, and after 
stalking him for a short time saw him on a 
bare tree where he sat and jerked out his 
ejaculations for a long time. He after- 
wards changed to two other trees, in both 
of which we had simply perfect views of 
him. He pumps himself into this position 


when "singing," with his throat and rump 
protruding most grotesquely. I never had 
a better study of any bird. The mate an- 
swered him, so I hope they will nest here- 
again. The unmistakable and constantly 

[159 J 

Bird Observations 

recurring "kouk" in his song makes it easy 
to identify, not to mention its other pe- 



March 2Q, 18Q5 


T CERTAINLY thought I saw this 
■■■ handsome bird in Elmhurst a year ago, 
and yet it had a striped back. I cannot 
be sure that I did. This one in Georgia 
has a blue-ash back, and with the black tri- 
angle back of his eyes, and his bright yel- 
low throat is certainly almost as beautiful 
as the magnolia warbler. His song was 
quite loud, and varied, usually about six 
or eight notes and then a trill on another 
key. An unmistakable "warbler song" to 
my way of thinking, and not like the in- 
digo's as the book says. 

April i£, i8g$. I saw this bird again 
here in Georgia and the song this time con- 
sisted of several notes ending in a trill very 
much like a chipping sparrow. 



May 8, 1897 
May 7, 1898 

(Lake Forest) 

I USED to hear these birds constantly 
around our old farm at Winfield,. and 
once I think I saw two of them. But here 
in Elmhurst I have never yet ( 1 895 ) heard 

May 8, 1897. Kitty Pomeroy and I 
started up a whip-poor-will in the ravine. 
It lit on a branch near us, and sat there as 
long as we wanted to look at it, and then 
as we came near it flew off as silently as a 
bat. In the evening we heard two answer- 
ing each other in the thick woods. They 
are plentiful here (later) . 

May 17, 1901. One flew down on the 
walk twenty ft. from where we were sit- 
ting. He seemed to lie sidewise on the 
path instead of perching, and after a min- 
ute or two flitted silently away. 

[ 162 ] 


April 30, 18Q4 

SAW a pair feeding in the Sturges 
garden, mostly on the ground, but they 
frequently flew into a tree, when the male 
would throw back his head and give a 
sweet, twittering wren song, not nearly so 
exultant or gushing as the house wren's. 
He sang this song many times and did 
nothing else. These birds appear quite 
unlike the other wrens, being larger, and 
the rusty yellow under parts, the long dark 
streak over the eye, and the rump much 
brighter than the rest of the back (the one 
I saw looked almost greenish red), dis- 
tinguish it from the house wren or Bewick's 
wren. These birds when on the ground 
would run very fast, and every now and 
then would flirt up into the air with a regu- 
lar redstart rush and tumble. 

May 3rd. Have seen them again. The 
male sang as before, nothing else. 

Spring, i8gg and igoo. Saw and heard 
this bird frequently in Virginia and North 
Carolina. Do not feel sure of it always 


Bird Observations 

as distinguished from Bewick's, as far as 
the song is concerned. 

August is, 1900. Was awakened about 
five a. m. here at Ardleigh by the clear 
whistle "willy-way, willy-way, willy-way," 
outside of my window. 

August 22nd. Still here, have heard 
him several times in the garden, but have 
not seen him yet. Heard him up to the last 
of September at intervals. 

October 10th. Saw and heard him 
again, good view of him. 

October 13th. Here still. 

June 27, igoi. Heard him again. 

August gth. Has been here at frequent 
intervals since June 27th, and several times 
I have seen two birds. 

November 24th. Heard again ! 

December ij, igoi. Heard a vigorous 
"wren scolding" and saw a Carolina wren 
sitting on the woodbine on our east porch. 
He stayed there ten or fifteen minutes, and 
seemed to be pulling off bits of bark. I 
could not detect any berries. He was cold, 
and sat down on his feet a great deal. It 
was only i° above zero, and it was — 13 
two days ago. He did not sing, but 
scolded a great deal, and bobbed his tail 
over his head. He let me come very near. 

[ 164 ] 

Bird Observations 

His tail and wings and rump were very 
rufous, the breast slightly washed with 
yellowish rufous, and the light stripes over 
his eyes were very grey, not white. 

May ig, igo2. This bird has been here 
for weeks and is undoubtedly nesting here. 
How I wish I could find the nest ! Saw a 
pair in the McCormick ravine, near the 
lake, a few days after this last entry. 

June 24th. Heard the song for the first 
time since last note. 

October 30, igo2. The wren has been 
here at intervals all the fall. This a. m. 
I saw two, presumably a pair. One sang 
steadily for nearly twenty minutes, chang- 
ing its song many times. He would repeat 
the same roundelay several times, and then 
start on another, repeat that, and so on. 

August 12, igo8. Heard one again, 
after an interval of four years in which I 
have not seen or heard a trace of one. 
Twice a few days before this date I 
thought I heard one in the distance, but 
this a. m. he was close by and singing 

August 14th. Still here. 

July i, igog. The wren has been here 
all the spring and sung constantly. He 
must have nested in the near vicinity.. Is 
still singing daily. 



April 8, i8gy 

(Chicago Heights) 

Fall, 1897 
April iy, i8g8 

(Lake Forest) 

I GOT a fine study of this wren on my 
first sight of him. He stayed in a hol- 
low of the wood as long as I wanted to 
look at him, and frisked about not ten 
feet away from me, peering out at me every 
now and then, but otherwise quite uncon- 

April, i8q8. Heard a fragment of its 
song, too little to tell much about it, and he 
would not repeat it. 

October 8, 1900. One bobbed at me 
from a nearby branch most vigorously, 
and scolded me well. He chirped a great 
deal, two chirps uttered in quick succession, 
the last a note higher than the first, quite 
a distinctive, double sort of chirp. His 
scolding, a small chatter, reminds me of 
the ruby crowned Kinglet's. 


Bird Observations 

December 8, IQOJ. A winter wren 
came on the porch this morning and flitted 
in and out of the railing and sat on the top 
of it for some time. It was a mild day, no 
snow. I have never seen one so late be- 

r i6 7 j 



July', August and September, igo6 

7ULY 16th. Stormy Petrel. A small 
flock flying back and forth at the stern 
of the ship in mid-ocean. They looked so 
small and so black, and the rump so white. 
They flew like martins, and kept close to 
the water. They followed the ship for 
some days. 

July 20th. Herring Gulls. Seen before 
land was in sight. As we came nearer land 
they came in crowds, and followed the ship 
for food. 

July 20th. Lesser Black-Backed Gulls. 
I felt satisfied it was this species that 
mingled with the herring gulls — though 
their backs were not black, but brownish, 
not in full plumage yet. 

July 20th. Puffin. Close to the English 
coast one of these queer birds was sitting 
in the water. His bill gave him the effect 
of wearing a red mask, and he looked like 
a clown. He half tumbled, half flew out 
of the way of the ship. 

July 2 ist. House Sparrow. First bird 

[I7i J 

Bird Observations 

heard in France, and noted in many cities 
and villages afterwards. 

July 25th. Vevey. Black-headed Gull. 
Numbers of them sitting on the blue 
waters of Lake Geneva, and later in the 
morning flying gracefully over it. Hand- 
some birds, beautifully marked, and giving 
a most charming effect seen against the 
turquoise blue of the lake with the moun- 
tains for a background. 

July 25th. Vevey. Swallow. Many 
flying about the hotel and over the lake, 
pretty fellows, and though marked rather 
differently from our barn swallow looking 
much like it as they fly. 

July 25th. Vevey. Martin. Associated 
with the swallows, but the white rump 
and much less deeply forked tail made it 
easy to distinguish. Smaller than o,ur mar- 
tin, only five and one-half inches. 

July 26th. Vevey. Greenfinch. Saw one 
close to the hotel, all olive green and yel- 
low, saw the yellow rump plainly. He had 
a very heavy bill. He sang a very sweet 
song, trill after trill, on varied keys, all 
soft and attractive, sometimes a warble 
introduced, but mostly the trills. 

July 27th. Vevey. Common Buzzard. 
He has been sailing over the lake daily, 

[ 172] 

Bird Observations 

a sinister, dark bird, his wings flapping like 
a crow, sometimes soaring; tail long, a 
falcon beak, the ends of his wings having 
the quills spread apart like the fingers of 
a hand. He seemed to be looking for food 
from the ships, I thought, for he would 
dive down once in awhile, as if he were 
pouncing on his prey. 

July 30th. Zermatt. Swift. 

July 30th. Zermatt. Saw large black 
or very dark birds, larger (I should think) 
than a crow, soaring over the mountains 
at the Staffel-Alp, a dozen or so. They 
had conspicuous yellow bills. What were 
they? Do not think their bills were 
hooked like a hawk, but am not sure. 
(This was Coracias des Alpes, Fregilus 

July 30th. Zermatt. Chaffinch. Saw a 
handsome male in the road, and later near 
the hotel a female feeding a young one, no 

August 2Jth. Common everywhere. 

August 1st. Baveno, Italy. Black-Cap 
Fauvette. Studied songs of two birds, 
both undoubtedly blackcaps (Sylvia atie- 
capilla) though they were difficult to see, 
as they kept in the tops of high, thick trees. 

But I had several fairly good views of 

[ 173 ] 

Bird Observations 

them, and could see the blackcap, slender 
black bill, ash grey breast, and the greyish 
olive back, no white marks. Movements 
were like our vireos', only a little quicker. 
They sang in the garden back of the hotel 
from 6 a. m. to 7 :30 p. m. with no very 
long intervals. I never heard so much song 
from any species. Song varied very much. 
Heard at a distance, or when sung softly 
it was much like our warbling vireo's. 
When full it was much more vigorous, 
brilliant, varied, and with an oriole quality. 
At its best it was as loud and lively as a 
Japanese robin's. The ordinary intervals 
were about the same length as a warbling 
vireo's. Often the bird began with a few 
sputtering notes, and he introduced a great 
many small chips and chirps between the 
songs. Sometimes he would whistle three 
or four notes all on one note during his 
song, quite noticeable. Song usually 
"worked upwards" in key as a ruby king- 
let's does, — as the song went on — higher 
at the end than at the beginning. Still 
this was not always so. There is quite a 
suggestion of the purple finch in it. At its 
best it was a loud, noticeable and very 
beautiful and varied song. Birds seemed 
very shy, though they sang over my head 


Bird Observations 

for hours, but almost never came low, only 
saw one do it once. The two would an- 
swer each other as they sang. A most 
interesting study. The day was very hot 
and sunny, but it did not seem to affect 

August 2nd. Heard them again all day 
and got several views of one, also a female. 
Kay saw them too, black, cap of male very 
distinct as he leaned his head down. We 
were doing nothing but staying in the 
garden, as it was very warm, and it took 
long patience to see the birds. One male, 
while he flitted about a good deal, seldom 
left the vicinity of four or five trees near 
where we sat. 

August 3rd. Baveno. Isola Madre. 
Heard a loud, bright, challenging song, 
sung over and over, beginning with several 
rapid notes all on one key, and then a 
warble, all bright, noticeable, and gay. 
The gardener said it was a "fringuello," 
chaffinch, and I believe it was. 

August 3rd. Baveno. Saw gulls in the 

lake, all the primaries tipped conspicuously 

with black, and just like description of the 

Common Gull.* Also saw terns, but could 

not tell which kind. 

* Luens ridibundus have black primaries and 
often no black on head. 


Bird Observations 

August 15th. Lugano. Gold crest? 
Heard in the tops of the pines, same note, 
it seemed to me, as that of our kinglet. 

August 20th. Tellsplatte. Lake Lu- 
cerne. Spotted Flycatcher. No mistaking 
this fellow, so like our flycatchers in his 
ways, and general appearance. 

August 20th. Tellsplatte. Nuthatch. 
More like our red breasted than the white 
in coloring, heard no note. 

August 20th. Tellsplatte. Willow 
wren probably (or Chiffchaff?). Had a 
fine view of this bird, as he was most con- 
fiding. Color of back seemed a duller 
olive than the willow wren's, otherwise 
description the same. There was a dark 
line through the eye as well as the yel- 
lowish one over it, and the primaries were 
some of them yellowish, and others dark. 
No white on tail or wings. No song heard. 
Also saw a tit today, but could not identify 
it. Must have been the blue or marsh tit, 
seemed rather a greenish bird in the light 
I saw it in. 

August 23rd. Grindelwald. Crow. 

August 23rd. Grindelwald. Pied Wag- 
tail ( ?) . Only a glimpse of a slim light 
colored bird with a black throat and neck 
(looked like a black bib) , long tail, rather. 


Bird Observations 

Saw the black throat and breast unmistak- 
ably and don't think there is much doubt 
that he was the wagtail. 

August 27th. Grindelwald. Great Tit- 
mouse. Notes very varied, some of them 
like our chickadee, a very pretty bird, and 
a very active one. Saw also today a bird 
that looked the size and type of a bluebird 
on a fence, close at hand, slaty grey, very 
dark all over, no white, except lighter on 
belly, under tail and back of belly certainly 
seemed to be a chestnut. Eye and bill and 
legs very black. No white marks. Bird 
seemed to act like a thrush, but too small 
for the blackbird. What could it have 
been? Seemed shy. 

August 27th. Spiez. Blackbird. Sooty 
black all over, except head brown on top 
and breast darkly mottled with brown. 
Size about eight or nine inches. Acted 
like robin, pulling up and listening for 
worms on lawn. Build of brown thrasher, 
somewhat. No yellow bill or orbit, was 
it a female? Yes, or young male bird. 
Bird very near. Saw it perfectly. 

August 28th. Saw another just like 
description, but it seemed not so long a 
bird to me this time, more like our robin. 

[ 177 ] 

Bird Observations 

August 28th. Aschi. Wagtails. Saw 
about a dozen running about on the low 
roof of a chalet in a meadow, flying down 
to the meadow occasionally, but mostly 
sunning and preening themselves on the 
roof. One was evidently the pied, or the 
continental form, motacilla alba. In the 
one I saw at Grindelwald the breast seemed 
to have the black end in this shape \^J 
at the bottom, not as in the picture. WW 
The other wagtails were young pieds or 
the yellow, which ? They answered to the 
description in Hudson "top of head, lore, 
nape, back and scapulars greenish olive, 
bright yellow streak over the eye, lower 
parts sulphur yellow," except that they did 
not seem as brightly colored as that, and 
they had a noticeable grey spot, rather 
large, on the breast, the coloring about the 
throat, sides of head, etc., was quite yel- 
lowish, outer tail feathers white. Wag- 
tails do not carry their tails as high as our 
water thrushes, drag them more, but the 
motion is otherwise quite similar. Were 
these birds motacilla rayii or flava (Euro- 
pean form of yellow), or young of lugu- 
brir? Watched them a long time in excel- 
lent light. 

August 2Qth. Saw three wagtails this 

[ 178 ] 

Bird Observations 

a. m. very close too, all alike. Had grey 
upper parts, a pure grey, no olive, wings 
edged with white (each feather), and a 
white bar, tail with white outer feathers. 
No black on throat or breast except a 
large dark spot in the middle, forehead 
and sides of head and stripes over eye 
light, but not white, breast and belly with- 
out yellow, whitish. 

August 2Qth. Spiez, Magpie. Came 
suddenly into sight in an apple tree. Splen- 
did big fellow in his black and white. 
Chased a chaffinch ( ?) out of the tree. 

August 2Qth. Spiez. Coal Titmouse. 
Followed the song, a sweet, clear "Hall-or- 
ree, hall-or-ree, hall-or-ree," then after 
while a change, on a different key, "which- 
er-ree," several times, the form reminding 
me of the Carolina wren, the tone of our 
chickadee's phoebe note, only not so plain- 
tive, gayer, and a little thinner. He sat on 
a telegraph wire and sang over and over. 
I had heard the same notes in Grindelwald, 
but could not trace them. He looks very 
much like our chickadee, as does also — in 
less degree — the marsh titmouse. 

August 2Qth. Spiez. Marsh Titmouse. 
Head and nape jet black, but no black on 

[ 179] 

Bird Observations 

throat. Saw two, one seemed to be keep- 
ing company with the coal tit. 

August 2Qth. Spiez. Blue Titmouse. 
Just a glimpse of him, no such study as I've 
had of the great and the coal, but enough 
to be sure of his identity. Saw him well 

August 28th-2Qth. Spiez. Nightingale. 
Saw a bird dash out from shrubs near a 
garden wall, chase an insect and back sev- 
eral times, something like a flycatcher. 
Watched him again next day near an old 
barn in an orchard. Size and coloring 
seemed to answer exactly to the nightin- 
gale. He was very rufous on the tail and 
wings, light brown upper parts, and dull 
whitish breast, bill black, something like a 
bluebird's in shape (I should think) , faint 
trace of light orbital ring, coloring on the 
whole something like our veery, only no 
spots on breast. What was it? 

(Luscinia Philomela, in Paris Collec- 
tion. ) 

August 30th. Had fine study of him, 
he was chasing flies over a cabbage patch 
(not pressing his breast against a thorn!). 
Bill was as above, legs and feet dark flesh 
color. He had a timid, thrush-like air, but 
would let me get quite near, he lifted his 


Bird Observations 

wings nervously once in awhile. He 
caught his food on the ground or made 
sallies after it in the air, and often lit on 
the top of a bean pole where I could see 
him to perfection. He could be nothing 
else but the nightingale, I feel sure. If I 
could only have heard his songs ! (Proved 
to be above by collection in Paris.) 

August 30th. Spiez. Goldfinch. A 
pretty flock in a sunny meadow, all chirp- 
ing together like our birds, but not quite 
so sweet a note. Charming birds, they 
were, but they did not stay long to be in- 
spected. I saw a handsome male, though, 
with his red front. Chaffinches abound 
everywhere. Today, September 2nd, one 
came right on to the porch where we were 
sitting. They are so tame. 

September 2nd. St. Beatenberg. Wren. 
Scolded just like our wren and acted and 
looked very like him. 

September 2nd. St. Beatenberg. Ruti- 
cilla tithys. Black Redstart. Had a good 
study of this bird, have had glimpses of 
him before in other places. He kept low, 
fed on the ground, flew in and out from 
stone piles and thickets. Size of bluebird, 
bill similar also, like a thrush bill. Upper 
parts dark bluish slate, lower the same, 


Bird Observations 

less bluish and not quite so dark, still not 
at all light, whole bird as dark as a junco, 
tail chestnut underneath, and with same 
color on the outer feathers (saw this 
plainly). Bird lifted his tail nervously 
quite often, and appeared shy, but came 
fairly near. Slight trace of light eye ring. 
Might have been a colaris, Alpine accen- 
tor, which is a little larger than modularis. 
Ruticilla tithys is this bird, some specimens 
very black, some just like above. Paris- 
Jardin des Plantes, verified bird notes. 
Wagtails were all albas that I saw, and 
though none had as little black on the 
breast as the birds I saw they must have 
been young ones, for no other motacillas 
were like them. No young in collection 
except two very young birds. 



September 16th. Henley-on-Thames. 
Robin. So small compared with ours, and 
with such dainty, shy ways (but he isn't 
shy, really), a pretty fellow. 

September 20th. Leamington. Abund- 
ant wherever I've been, and singing con- 
stantly even in dark damp weather. A 
tinkling song, stuttering a little at the out- 
set, very varied, sweet — resembles slightly 
the shore lark's, but much more of a song. 
Sings from bushes close to you, or a coping, 
or from a housetop, as one did from a 
house opposite Shakespere's in Stratford. 

September 16th. Henley-on-Thames. 
Heron, Dabchick, Moor Hen, Starling (a 
great flock), Rooks, Missal Thrush (a 
pair), Kingfisher, Pied Wagtail (Mota- 
cilla lugubris), several of these pointed out 
to me by Mr. Crisp — and not very good 
views of them. Starlings I saw well at 
Magdalene College, Oxford, afterwards, 
and rooks are everywhere, noticeable espe- 
cially about the top of Guy's Tower, War- 
wick Castle. 

September 21st. Lichfield. Jackdaws 
in crowds about the spire of the cathedral. 

September 24-th. Rowsley. Robins 


Bird Observations 

everywhere, and singing constantly — such 
a bubbling, rippling little song, all of a 
light and gentle character, but no two 

Rowsley. Song Thrush. Not a very 
good look at him, looked so yellowish on 
the sides of his breast. 



Pipits. Fawn breast and belly, with 
a few grey spots, short white mark over 
eye, back slate, outer tail feathers white. 

Cuckoos. Only difference is black 
billed species has ebony black bill, the 
yellow billed has lower madible and part 
of upper yellow. 

Swallows. The rough-winged is the 
only dull grey swallow, and this is white on 
vent. Bank swallow, conspicuous white 
throat, grey breast and white belly, back 
dark greyish brown. 

Tufted Titmouse resembles Cedar 
bird in shape, though colors are duller ; has 
no black line through eye, back grey. 

Bohemian Waxwing. Quite a little 
larger than Cedar bird. Breast of latter 
shades into pure white on belly and under 
tail, the Bohemian has belly same color as 
breast, cinnamon brown, and feathers 
under tail decidedly red. Bohemian here 
in winter. 

Shrikes. Loggerhead seems much 
higher colored than Northern. Sharp jet 

[ 185 ] 

Bird Observations 

black heavy mark through eye, throat pure 
white, breast almost so. Northern has 
breast with fine vermicular markings, which 
make it look much duller; black marks not 
so conspicuous. Loggerhead here in 

Orchard Oriole. One of the darkest 
colored birds we have. I can think of none 
except blackbirds, crows, and chewinks 
which are blacker. 

Horned Lark. Prairie and Shore both 
here in winter. Latter has yellow stripes 
on head and throat yellow, where the for- 
mer has white. 

Nuthatches. White-breasted has only 
one broad black stripe on top of head, red 
breasted has several narrow ones. 

Flycatchers. Crested: belly yellow, 
breast, grey. Olive sided: large birds, 
white throat extending down in narrow line 
through middle of breast, breast sided with 
dark grey, quite a marked bird. 

Phoebe. White of throat extends half 
way around neck, showing at sides 
plainly; it does not extend so far in 
Pewee. The Pewees are darker and more 
slate colored than some of the Phoebes, 
some individuals of the latter being 
brownish and marked in stripes and dots. 


Bird Observations 

Thrushes. It is very difficult to dis- 
tinguish the Olive-backed from the Grey- 
cheeked. The throat of the Olive-backed 
is whiter, and breast spots rather darker 
and more clearly defined; it also has a 
marked ring of yellowish around eye, but 
the Grey-cheeked has this also, though not 
so distinctly. Breast spottings of both' 
these thrushes are darker and more dis- 
tinct than those of Wilson's Thrush (the 
Veery, or Tawny Thrush) ; the latter has 
rather faint tawny spots, which do not ex- 
tend far down from the throat. 

VlREOS. The Warbling is the dullest 
colored and one of the smallest. It has a 
wavering white line over the eye which 
stops just in front of eye. The Red-eyed 
has a straight white line over the eye 
which extends to bill, giving a striped ap- 
pearance to side of head; the Red-eyed is 
also decidedly green on the back and a 
much prettier and more elegant looking 
bird than the Warbling. Bell's Vireo is 
dull like the Warbling, but much smaller, 
the smallest of the family. Philadelphia 
vireo, a lovely bird, soft, delicate coloring, 
with faint wash of yellow on breast, back 
tinged with ashy red. Yellow-throated 
vireo, throat bright yellow (much yellower 


Bird Observations 

than the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher), dis- 
tinct white marks on wing. The White- 
eyed vireo looks like a feeble edition of 
the Yellow-throated, washes of faint yel- 
low on sides of breast and yellowish line 
over eye. Blue-headed vireo, very marked 
bird, slate blue head, line over and around 
eye white, throat pure white, shading to 
ashy on breast, a migrant. 

Warblers. Tennessee as dull as the 
Warbling vireo, dullest of all except the 
Orange-crowned. The Tennessee has 
whiter throat than latter, and top of head 
is slate colored, of the Orange-crowned, 

Sparrows. Field sparrow, dull and 
grey in color, no marks on breast, prevail- 
ing color dark. Leconte's, a little like 
Snowflake in color, light, warm tints pre- 
vailing. White-throated has plain grey 
breast below its white throat. Savanna 
resembles white-throated in its markings, 
having the striped appearance to the head, 
but the breast is heavily striped with black 
radiating from throat. Fox sparrow, 
very large, breast marked with large irreg- 
ular reddish spots. White-crowned spar- 
row, equally large; no white on throat, 
breast plain ash. 


Nest of Field Sparrow 

MARCH 12, 1907 



MARCH 12, 1907 



























Bird Observations 


(Forty species). 

* Heard what I suppose to be the Pine war- 
bler's song many times, birds always in tops of 
pines, breast decidedly yellow, could not see wing 
bars or back. Song a sweet trill, tremulous as the 
field sparrow's, and soft, not strident like a chip- 
py's trill. 

t Song begins a little like yellow warbler's, but 
not so piercing, and ends with an abrupt little up- 
ward quaver, quite unfamiliar. 

[ 192 ]