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Sciences Corporation

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CIHM/ICMH

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32X

ORNITHOLOGY

OF

HASTE RX NORTH AMERICA.

I.\ TWO VOLUMES.

V^OL. II.

f

A POl'ULAR IIAXUIiooK

OF THK

ORNITHOLOGY

OF

EASTERN iXOKTII AMERICA.

THOMAS NUTTALL.

SFCOND REVISED AND ANNOTATED EDITION Bv MOxX'l'AGUE CHA.MUl- RI.AIX.

WITH ADDITIONS AND ONK HFNnKED AXU I KX IFLFSi RATIONS IX COLORS.

Vor,. II.

^amc anD caatrr l3irDs.

I^ O S T O X : LITTLE, BROWN, AND CO.MPANY.

1897.

Little, IJkown, and Company.

D D Di

John Wilson and Son, C\mhridge. U.S.A.

C ( ) X 1 IL \ "IS.

A r.ii.ATKos.s. Vcllow-nuscd

Wandering Aiil<, (Jrcu

Ra.or-billed . . , Avdcet ....

l!\f.M'Aii; ,

l.'itttin. .

Cory's Least

l!ob-Wliite .

Hooijv . .

iirant .

Least

Coot

Cormorant ....

Double-crested Crane, Little Brown . Sandhill . . Wliooping . Curlew. L>l<imo" . . " Hud.sonian . Long-billed .

Dove, Ground . . -Mournintr ^enaida .

Dovekie ....

Dowitclicr

Duck, lilack . . . <^'anvas-back Harlequin . Labrador . Lesser Scaup Ring-necked

-II

^:«

410 106

99

102

lor

-> -> -J

379

iJuffle-head . . .' ' ' ' " !?^

197

l<^)

373

76

77

71

122

. nS

'^ I f

10

403

. 169 ,

3^5

35- 30- 345 346 1

iJuck, Ruddy . . Scauj) . . ! Wood .

EfiRKT

l<<.iidish . Eider

j ^i'^C^

I Northern . .

' Fl.AMI.NGo .

i Fulmar .... Lesser . .

Gaij\v,\i,i, Gallinule, Florida . Lin-jjle . Gannet ....

Godwit. Hudsonian -^L^rbled . Golden-eye ...

Barrow's . Goose, Blue . . . .

Canada . . Greater Snow Hutchins's White-fronted Grebe, Ilolball's . Horned . .

I'

33 i 343 3K

64

MS

3-^4

329

5-9

104

2(hj

::7r

201

375 16.S

£66

349

35 f

-^3

2S

281 290 2S4

3^4

i'ied-billed 3.%

-, Canada . .

Grouse

Ruffed . .

Sharp-tailed Guillemot, Black

Gull, Bonaparte's ..... 2^8 Franklin's ... C^s:

41

30

39

395

VI

CONTKN'IS.

Gull

(;l.'^l^Cf^U^ ...

(iiL-.it r.lacklKickccI llLniii,n

Icchuul . .

Ivor^- . . Kiimlii.irs

l,.iUL;iiiti,^ . . Kiiig-billucl

Ross's . . .

Sal)inc's . .

IlKN, Ilcatli . . .

I'lairic . . . llcruii, Ulack-ciowiic Clicai I'll tic Gical \\ hitc (iiccn . . Litilc IMiic Louisiana . Snowv . . Ward's . . Yellow-crowned

Ibis, Glossy Scarlet While Wood

N

Xi

Jaegkk. Lonti-tailcd Parasitic . Pomarine .

KlI.LDEKR Kitti\val<e . Knot . .

LlMI'KIN ....

Loon

IHack-throated Kcd-throated.

Mam-ARH ....

Man-of-war Bird . .

Merganser .... Hooded Red-breasted

Murre

Biiinnich's

ght

Pa(.i-

24(1 250

241

P.\(,R

Ninmv

251

3'^ 35 9'

Sj 97 94 'P S6

&z 90

114 112 112 1 10

259

25S

257

62 241 140

102

391 393

373

360

39S 401

Oi.n-si.iuAW .... ( )yst(jr-catcher . . .

Pki.ka.n, r.rown . .

Wliitc . .

Petrel, Leach's . . .

Stormy . . .

Wilson's . ,

Phalarope, Northern .

keel . . .

Wilson's .

Pheasant, l!nglish . .

Pigeon, Passenger . .

White-crowneil Pintail

IMover, lilacU-bellied .

( 'loldi'U .

Piping . . .

Ringed . . .

.Semi palniated

Wilson'.-. .

Prairie lien ....

Ptarmigan, Rock . .

Welch's .

Willow

Pnfdn

QUAll.-littVK. liluehcadc Kev West

Rail, ]!lack . Clapper King . Virginia \'cllow

Redhead . .

Ruff . .

Sanhk.ri.inc. . . .

Sandpii)er, J^aird's

liartramian l!uff-l)reaste( Curlew- Least . . Pectoral . Purple

355 54

36,S 3''4

267

264

207 205

21 I ■» ->

I

7

309 6S

57

59 66

64

61

35

47 4S

43 406

'4 9

196

^\^>

iSS

I So •94 340 150

49 142

164

■3f>

134

Paue .233

355 54

3(iS

3' '4

2''3 267

J07 -05

311 I

7

309

68

57

59 66

''4 61

35 47 4,S

43 406

14 9

196

X83

18S

iSo 194 340 150

49 142 164

C( ).\Ti:.\is.

Sandpiper, Rcd-!iackcil . Scnii-p.tlniatcd Sulitary , Spotted . , Stilt . . . ,

Wliitc-runipcd Scoter, American . . , .

Suri

White-winged .

shearwater. Audubon's . .

^<'ry'> . . .

Cireater . . .

Sootv . . .

black

Shoveller

Skimmer,

Skua . . , .

Snipe. Wilson's .

.Sora

Spoonbill. Roseate

Stilt. . iack-necked

Swan, TrumpettT .

Whistling .

I'AOh

. 1 36

'43

'57 . 160

'45 . IJ9

■»■»-.

jjj

33i

334

=75

=74

' -/ -

-'75 joo

260

=55 •72 1S9

lOS

52 299

296

TlAi., lilue-win.uLd

(MlLll-WIUyetl

IViii Arciic . .

lilack . .

Cabot's

(."aspl.tii

Coniiiiiiu .

Foiftter's .

(aill-l)illcd

Least . .

Roseate .

Ko\al . .

Sooty . Tropic liird. Red billed Turkey, Wild . Turnstone . .

Winc.KoN . ... NNillct ..... Wdodcock . ...

Via.i.uw-i.Kcs

Greater

VII

Pa>.e

3>9

3='

J30

3;,o

-'•3

3IO

2IS

=25

23.S

3^' '5

3^3 146

170

'54 15=

125 136

130 134

i

ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOL. II.

COLORED PLATES

Pi \I! XI. . . . Fro.itisfiic- I K'" K I'lAK.Mic.w (Male). ::. i<«" K I'lAKMicAN (Feinalf).

r\KTKnii:i;.

Wij.l) Fi(;i,(j\ (Male).

Will) I'lcinN (Female)

KlMiKii Gkoisi;.

4-

r^^e A2

I'lAl) XIl. . . .

I. 1'IP1N(; I'l.ovi.K.

:;. SiMl-l'Al.MATKI) I'LUVKK.

3. Gul.DKN ri.(ni;K.

4- Pkairik IIkn.

5. Canada Gkui'sic

I- WfiiTj>Ku.\iPi;D Sandi'ii-kr. 2. Knot.

3 HlllKKN

4 Samikki.inc. 5- Kk.ldkkr.

Tlatk XIV.

I- Gkkatkr Yr.M.o\v-Li;(;s.

2. Kkddish E(;rkt.

3. Rfd-Rrkasikd S.vu'i;.

4 L'.NC-Bli.i.Kn CURLKW

Pci-e 152

I'l.AII. XV. . . . I .SokA. 3. ViKdIMA k\II.

Ci.APf'KK k\ri.. \VX.\mW k.\ii.. Fl.AMix«;o.

Paire iSj

3- 4. y

'•'^'^ -WI pa^, ,38

I NoklllKkN PHALAkOPE.

2. IioNAi'AkTKS Gill.

3. Wilson's ThkN.

4. HK.kkiM; Gull (Adult Male).

5. HiRRiNf; Glll (Young. First

.Autumn I.

Platk XVII. . , .

1. IJRANT.

2. Wilson's pKTkF.L

3. ROSKAIK TKkV.

4- Canada G< xj.sk.

Pl.ATK XVIII. . . .

1. WoolMoCK.

2. Canvas-Ha. K Dl'CK

3- MAi.i.Akii Dcr K.

4- lii.Ai K 1)1 «:k. 5. Ki 11 v I)n K.

Pa-e r64

Page 3if

?f

ILLUSTRATIONS.

I'l.Aii XIX /'<',.v 350 , Pi. ATI; XX.

1. Gadwai.l Duck.

2. Scaup Dtck.

3. AMI.RH AN Gii1.|)|;N-EVK.

4. H/KLK(jri.N Duck.

5. Slrf Dl'ck.

/'</.

1. Duli;lk-Cki:stli) Cokmok-

AM.

2. Loi>.\.

3. likU.NMCH's MlRRE.

4. Plkfix.

5. King Eidkr.

ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT.

87.

yo. 91. 92.

93- 94 95-

96.

97-

98.

99.

100.

lOI.

102.

103. 104.

106. IC7.

loS. 109. 1 10.

r 1 1. 112.

"3- 114.

Pas.sengkr Pigeon . . i

Kkv \Vi:.st (^UAIL-Dovi. 9

MuuRM.Nt; Du\ 1: . . [I

\Vii,i; TiRKiiv ... 15

l)Oi;-\Viirn: .... 23

Pk.urik Hen .... 35

SiiARi'-TAii ED Gruu.se 39

Sa.Miekli.ng .... 49

A.MERICAN OV.Sl'ER-

Catcher .... 54

Ri.\. ; Plover .... 66

]ii..\cK-l]EEMED Plover 6S

Turnstone 71

Snowy Heron ... 86 Bl AC K-C RoWN EI ) N 1 1 ; 1 1 r

Heron 91

Flamingo 104

Roseate Spoonimll . lOcS

Wood Iins 1 10

Glossy Ir.is .... 114

HunsdNi.w CuRi.iAv . 120

Curlew Santptper . 125

RUKF-l^.REASTEI) S.WD-

i'lPER 132

Purple Sandpiper . . 134

Knot 140

S em i-Palm ated S a n i >-

piper 143

WiLEET 146

RUEF 150

Solitary Sandpiper . 157

Spotted Sandpiper . 160

Vo.

'5- 16.

17- 16. 19. 20. 21.

26.

27- 28.

33-

34- 35- 36.

J/ 38.

39.

40. 41.

42. 43-

Marbled Godwit . Wilson's Snipe . . Virginia Kail . . King K.vil .... Yellow Rail. . . American Coot . . Red Phalarope . . Co.MMON Tern . . Gull-Billed Tern . Arctic Tern . . . Caspian Tern . . Black Tern . . . Sai!Ine'.s Gull . . Laughing Gull Kittiwake .... Ivory Gull . . . Herring Gull . . Gi .\ucous Gull . . Great Black-Backed

GULI

Skua

Pomarine Jaeger . Leach's Petrel . .

Fulmar

Greater Shearwater Yellow-Nosed Alp.a-

TROSS

Gre.\ter Snow Goose American \VinTE-

Fronted Goose . . Canada Goose . . . Erant ......

166 172

180 18S

194

IT

213 218

220

236

2_ll 244 246 24S

257 263 269

27 2

281

284 285 293

ILLUS'iRAlIONS.

XI

144. 145. 146.

147- I4.\

i-VJ- 15c.

OJ-

154.

:>:)•

1 5(j.

<57- 15s.

Sikjvki.i.kk . . ,

Ci.MiWAl.l. . .

I'lM All. . . .

l;.\l.l)l'ATK . .

WllKlKOX \V()(jD I)U( K . . (IkKK.N-WlNCl It Tl A.Ml-.KIC.W IjlU-.K M'l;l-' Sci.ill.K . . RkDHKAI) . . AMKKICAN SCAl 1' J) 1!U1 ri.l.-llLAl) llARLKQlIN DrCK UU) SnVAW . .

Hu(j1)J:ij Mei'ga.\si:k

1.

300

309

3"

317 3-' 3-4

■>y

3-10 " '•^ 343

347

35-

355

Ak

159. CoKM<,)RANT , . .

160. CA.N.NKr ....

161. Ki;i)-l;il.|.i;lj iKoi'ic

lilKli

i6j. II(jk.m-.ij Gki i;i; . .

163. l'[i.i)-l;ii,i.i.i. (;ri i;k

164. L(ju.\ . . . .

165. Kl I) TllKoAl I I) L(M\

166. 1!| Ai K C.t'II i : Mol

167. Ml'kRK

l6S, KrUWICII'.S MlRRL 169. l)(i\ I.KIK . ...

I/O. Pri'i'iN , . . , .

171. R.\Z(jR-i;n,i.i:i) .XiFK

172. Grkai Auk

375

3^'

3S(,

3SS

393 395 39^ 401

403 406

410

414

1

i

PASSENGER PIGEON.

WILD PIGEON. ECTOPISTF.S MIGRATORIUS.

Char. Above, grayish blue, deeper on head and rump, back tinccd with brown; primaries l)lackisli with border of ]Kile bhie ; middle tail- feathers dusky, the remainder shading through blue to white ; neck with metallic reflections of golden purple and wine color ; under parts brown- ish red with a jmrple tint shading through purplish jiink to white.

A't'st. In tree. a frail platform of twigs.

£,^xs- I or 2 ; dull white; r.45 X 1.05.

The Wild Pigeon of America, so wonderful for its gregarious habits, is met with more or less according to circumstances

V(^L. II. 1

PIGEON TKIIiE.

fnjin Mexico to Hudson 15ay, in which inhospitable region it is seen even in December, weathering tlie severity ut" the climate with indifference, and sui)porling itself upon the meagre buds of the juniper when the ground is hiddt-n by inundating snows, do the west it is found to the ba^)C of the Northern Andes, or i\.ocky Mountains, but docs nut appear to l)e known beyond this natural barrier to it.-, devious wanderings. As might be su])posed from its extraordinary history, it is formed with peculiar strength of wing, moving through the air with extreme rapidity, urging its tlight aLo by (juick and very muscular strokes. During the season of amorous address it olten Hies out in numerous ho\ermg cir- cles ; and while thus engaged, the ti[)s of the great wmg- feathers are heard to strike against each other so as to produce a very audible sound.

'I'he almost incredible and unjiaralleled associations which the species form with each other appear to have no relation wuh the usual motives to migration among other birds. .\ general and mutual attachment seems to occasion this congre- gating propensity. Nearly the whole species, which at any one time inhabit the continent, are found together in the same place ; they do not tly from climate, as they are cajxible of enduring its severity and extremes. They are even found to breed in the latitude of 51 degrees, round Hudson Bay and the interior of New Hampshire, as well as in the 32(1 degree in the dense forests of the great valley of the Mississippi. The accidental situation of their food alone directs all their move- ments ; while this continues to be supplied they sometimes remain sedentary in a particular district, as in the dense forests of Kentucky, where the great body remained for years in suc- cession, and were scarcely elsewhere to be found : and here, at length, when the mast happened to fail, they disappeared for several years.

The ra])idity of flight, so necessary in their vast ilomestic movements, is sufficiently remarkable. The Pigeons killed near the city of New York have been found with their crops full of rice collected in the plantations of Georgia or Carolina ;

l'A»EN(.EK I'lGEc^iN.

c region y uf the jion the ddeii by r,e oi the it apl)ear devious aordiiiary ;. moving ht i\Uo by reason of .crnig cir-

dtice

o pro

ons which [10 relation birds. A Ins congre- at any one the same capable of 11 found to n l>ay and |l degree in >pi. The heir move- sometimes use forests ars in suc- and here, isappeared

[t domestic ?ons killed I their crops Ir Carolina ;

an<l as this kind of food is (Ui-rested by thcin enlirel) in twelve hours, ilu-y nuist liave travelled i)robiibly three or four humlred inik's iri about the half of that time, ur have speil at the rate of a uiile in a minute. W ith a velocity like this, our i'igcon might visit the shores of Kurope in less than three days ; and, in fact, according to Flemming. a straggler wa^ actually hhot in Scetl- iand in the v,-mter of 162^. A^isociatetl with this rapidity of tlight must also be the extent and acuteness of its virion, or otherwise the object of its motions would be nugatory; so that while thus tlarting over the country almost with the velocity of thought, it still keeps up a strict survey for its Lire, and in passing over a sterile region sails high in the air with a widely extended front, but instantly droj)s its tlight at the prospect oi food, flying low till it alights near an amjile sui)ply.

The associated numbers of Wild Pigeons, the nimierous llocks which compose the general swarm, are without any other parallel in the history of the feathered race ; they can indeed alone be comjjared to the finny shoals of herrings, which, descending from the .Arctic regions, discolor and fill the ocean to the extent of mighty kingdoms. Of their amaz- ing numbers and the circumstances attendant on this fact, tne reader will do well to consult the indefatigable Wilson and the celebrated .\udubon. Our limits and more bounded personal information will not allow us to enlarge on this curious and extraordinary subject. To talk of hundreds of millions of individuals of the same species habitually associated in feed- ing, roosting, and breeding, without any regard to climate or season as an operating cause in these gregarious mo\ements, would at first appear to be wholly incredible if not borne out bv the numerous testimonv of all the inhabitants of the neigh- boring districts. The approach of the mighty feathered army with a loud rushing roar and a stirring bree/i attended by a sudden darkness, might be mistaken for a fearful tornado about to overwhelm the face of Nature. For several hours together the vast host, extending some miles in breadth, still continues to pass in flocks without diminution. The whole air is filled

I'IGEOX TRIBE.

3

with birds ; their mutin^^ r^'scmbles a shower of sleet, and they shut out the hght as if it were an ecHpse. .\t the ajijiroach of the Mawk their subhnie r^nd l)eautiful aerial evoKitions are disturbed Hke the ruffling s(|uall extending over the placid ocean : as a thundering torrent they rush together in a concen- trating mass, and heaving in undulati'ig and glittering sweeps towards the earth, at length again jjroceed in lofty meanders like the rushing of a niight\- animated river.

I>ut the Hawk is not their only enemy : i';ns of thousands are killed in various ways by all the inhabitants far and near. The evolutions of the feeding Pigeons as they circle round are both beautiful and amusing. Aligiiting, they industriously search through the withered leaves for their favorite mast ; those behind are continually rising and passing forward in front, in such raj^id succession that the whole tlock, still cir- cling over the ground, seem yet on the wing.

As the sun begins to decline, they depart in a body for the general roost, which 's often hundreds of miles distant, and is generally chosen in the tallest and thickest forests, almo.st divested of underwood. Nothing can exceed the waste and desolation of these nocturnal resorts ; the vegetation becomes buried by their excrements to the depth of several inches. The tall trees for thousands of acres are completely killed, and the ground strewed with m.assy branches torn down b\- rhe clustering weight of the birds which have rested upon them. The whole region for several years presents a continued scene of devastation, as if swept by the resistless blast of a whirlwind. The Honorable T. H. Perkins informs me that he has seen one of these desolated roosting grounds on the borders of Lake Champlain in New York, and that the forest to a great extent presented a scene of total ruin.

The breeding-places, as might naturally be expected, differ Irom the roosts in their greater extent. In 1807, according to A\'ilson, one of these immense nurseries, near Shelbyville in Kentucky, \vas sew ral miles in breadth and extended through the woods for upwards of forty miles. After occupying this situation for a succession of seasons they at length abandoned

fi

I'ASSENGKk rU iKoN.

5

ind they iroach of ions are ;e placid . concen- g sweeps iieanders

:hoasands .md near, round are Ivistriously •ite mast ; orward in ;, still cir-

)dy for the ant, and is sts, almost 1 waste and becomes ral inches, illed, and a by ihe ipon them, nued scene whirlwind. IS seen one rs of Lake reat extent

'C

ted, differ ccording to

Ibyville in led through iipying this

abandoned

v?

it, and removed sixty or t-ighty miles off to the bank^ df dreen Kivfr in thi- >ame State, w!ierc they congregated m (.-(lual numbers. These situations seem regulated by the prospect of a NUpplv of food, such as beech and (jak mast. 'I'Ik-}' also i'jL-d ou most kinds of jiulst.' and grain, as well as wJKHtle- l)i.rries, with those of the holly and nettle tree. W'iNou often counted upwards of ninety nests in a single tree, and the whole forest was filled with them. These frail cradles for the young are merely formed of a few slender dead twigs negligently i)Ut togetlier, and with so little art that the concavity aj)pcars scarcely sufficient for the transient reception of the young, who are readily seen through this thin fiooring from below. The eggs are white, as usual, and only two in number, one of them abortive, according to Wilson, and producing usually but a single bi''d. Audubon, however, asserts that there are two, as in the tame Pigeons, where the number of the sexes in this faithful tribe are almost uniformly e([ual. '1 heir c(>oi/ii( call, billing, and general demeanor are apparently (juite similar to the l)ehavior of the domestic species in the breeding-season. iJinls of jirey, and rapacious animals generally, are pretty regular attendants upon these assailable communities. I'ut their most destructive enemy is man ; an<l as socjn as the young are fully grown, the neighboring inhabitants asseml)le and encamp for several days around the devoted Pigeons with wagons, axes, and cooking utensils, like the outskirts of a destructive army. The perpetual tumult of the birds, the crowding and fluttering multitudes, the thtmdering roar of their wings, and the crash of falling trees, from vv-hirji the young are thus precipitated to the ground by the axe, ])r()- duces altogether a scene of indescribable and almost terrific confiision. It is dangerous to walk beneath these clustering crowds of birds, from the frequent descent of large branches broken down by the congregating millions : the horses start at the noise, and conversation can only be heard in a shout. These S(/im/>s, or young Pigeons, of which three or four broods are produced in the season, are extremely fat and palatable, and as well as the old birds killed at the roosts are often, with

I'IGKON TRII'.E.

;i waiuon i)n)(liLMlily ;;ncl l)ro(li,^ilJU^( slaughter, strewed (ju the L^rouiid a> tatu-iiin.u; fixul for thr ho^^s. At the rocjsts the (Icstniction i:i iio 1l>s extensive; {^uins, chibs, long poles, pots of burning siil[»lnu-, and every other engine of d'. stru( tiun which wanton avarice can brnig forward, are all eniploNed against llu- swarming host. Indeed for a time, in manv places, nothing scarcely is seen, talked of, or eaten, but Pigeons.

In the Atlantic States, where the flocks are less abi.ndant, the gun, dec(jy, and net are put in operation against the devoted throng. Twenty or even thirty dtzen have been cauglit at a single sweep of the net. Wagon-loads of them are pin'.red into market, where they are sometimes sold for no more than a cent ai)iece. Their combined movements are also sometimes sufficiently extensive. The Honorable T. H. Perkins remarks that about the year i 79S, while he was pass- ing through New Jersey, near Newark, the flocks continued to pass for at least two hours without cessation; and he learnt from the neighboring inhabitants that in descending upon a large pond to tlrink, those in the rear, alighting on the backs of the first that arrived (in the usual order of their movements on land to feed), pressed them beneath the surfiice, so that tens of thousands were thus drowned. They were likewise killed in great numbers at the roosts with clubs.

Down to twenty years ago immen.^e fiocks of Pigeons were seen yearly in every State of New England, and they nested n\ communities that were reckoned by lliousands. Now, in place of the myriads that gathered here, only a few can be found, and these are scatteied during the breeding-season, each pair selecting an isolated site for the nest.

Twenty years ago the Wild Pigeon was exceedingly abundant in the Maritime Provinces of Canada: now it is rare. Mcllwraith sends a similar report from Ontario. Wheaton, in Ohio, finds it " irregular and uncommon," and writes of the " throngs " that formerly nested there. Ridgeway says nothing of its occurrence in Illinois to-day, but repeats the story of the older observers, to whom it was familiar. Warren says it appears in Pennsylvania in the fall, but no longer in the abundance of former years. To- day we riust go to the upper regions of the Mississippi valley and

^f

th(

wniTE-cK' tWNKn I'ir.roN.

[ on the losts llie Ics, pols ,t.ni(tii)n mploycd .n many ten, bui

brndant, linsl the avc bcL-n i of them ,1(1 for no iicnts are ble l'. H. was pass- iitinued to

he learnt

ig upon a

le backs of

ements on

at tens of killed in

[eons were nesled n\

in place of and these

; electing an

abundant in Mcllwraith hio, finds it ,ags" diat occurrence observers, ennsylvania years, lo- valley and

;ii ihe heavily iimhered di.>trif.> ui .MiehiuMn to tiiul large Hocks of ligeons, and even there wc can rind but a remnant of the hosts that assembled in those regions a tew years ago.

The most important of recent contributions to the biography of this si)eiies is Mr. William lireuster's a'ticjr in "'Ihe Auk" for October. 18.S9. He tells there of a -nesting"" in Michigan in 1S77 that covered an area' twenty-eight miles long and tiiree to four miles wide, and says ; " Kor t!ie entire distance of t\veiity-ei;.;ht miles everv tree of any size had more or less nests, and nuuiy tree.> were filled with them."

Brewster visited Michigan in iSSS, and lieard that a large riock !iad passed over the nortliern .section of the southern penninsula. l)u' t liad gone farther nortii l)efore nesting. he could not find it. He thinks the tlock was sutiiciently large to stock the Western States again, were these birds protected for a few years from the terrific slaugluer that now imperils their existence : lor it is simply this slaughter that has dimini.slied tlie numbers of the jjirds. Tliere is no mysterv aliout their disappearance, as many writers iiave tried to represent. Doubtless this species has been irregular in appear- ing in any given locality at all times, the movements of the tlock.s being influenced by the food supply. Hut the Pigeons have been e.xterminated in t!ie East just as they are being exterminated in the West, bv -netting." One old netter tolcl Mr. Brewster that during 1881 as many as five hundred men were engaged in nettmg Pigeons in Michigan, and. said he, -'They ca])tured on the average twenty thiiu>and apiece during the season."' At this rate the Pigeon will soon ioin the buffalo on that list so di.sgraceful to humanity, "the extinct species.*" a list that will be filled rapidly if a check is not iir.t on men's avarice and the law's shameful negligence.

WHITE-CROWNED PICiEON.

COLL'MB.\ LEUCOCF.PHAL.\.

' rfAK. (ieneral color dark slate blue, darker on winps and tail, p.-iler below ; ui)per part of head white ; cape on hind neck of rich maroon, and below it a band of metallic green, each feather bordered with scale-like liatches of black. Length about i^Ji inches.

AV.fA In low tree or bush, made of twigs and roots, lined with gr.ass

Ei.'l^s. 2; white; 1.40 v 1.05.

This species, well known as an inhabitant of Mexico and the West Indies, is also gregarious, and found in great numbers

8

I'ICJLON TKIIit:.

on tin- rocks of the l-'lorida Keys, where it breeds in society .111(1 when llrst seiMi in the s|)ring feeds i)rin(:ii);illy upcjn the bceeh-phnn and .he berries of a kind of pahn. Kroia the pecuhar seK( t'on of its hri'edin,i,'-pla(;es it is known in some of the W t -.1 ., particularly Janiaiea, St. I )oniin^'o, and I'orto

Rico, by the name of Rock Pigeon, it likc.vise abounds in the llahama islands, and f(jrms an important article of food to the inhai)itants, particularly the young birds as they become fully grown.

.According to .\udubon, these birds arrive on the s(juthern keys of the Floridas, from the island of Cuba, from tl.e 20th of April to the ist of May, remaining to breed tluring the >um- mer season. 'I'hey are at all times extremely shy and wary, remaining so indeed even while incubating, skii)ping from the nests and taking to wing without noise, and remaining off sometimes as much as half an hour at a time. In the month of May the young s(iuabs are nearly able to lly, and are killed in great numbers by the wreckers who \isit the ke)s. The nest ih ])laced on the summit of a cactus shoot a few feet from the ground or on the u])i)er branches of a mangrove, or (]uite low impending over the water; externally it is comjjosed of small twigs, and lined with grass and fibrous roots. The eggs are two, white, rather roundish, and as large as those of the domestic Pigeon. This bird has apparently several broods in the season. His cooing may be heard to a considerable ilis- tance ; after a kind of crowing ]:)relude he repeats his /v/^ k/x^ kop. When suddenly ai^proached, he utters a hollow guttural sound, like the Common Pigeon. White-crowned Pigec^ns are easily domesticated, and breed in that state freely. About the beginning of October they are very numerous, and then return to pass the winter in the West India islands.

society

)on the

rum tlio

scMiie of

1(1 I'urto

junds in

food to

become

s(juthern

he 2oih

the >uin-

nd wary,

from the

ming off

\v month

lie killed

vs. I'he

feet from

or quite

posed of

The eggs

e of the

,i

)roods in

T

able dis-

"f

i

i /:('<> k(>o

guttural

1

[eons are

3

liMUt the

■J

t\\ return

4

KKV WKSr QIAIL-DOVE.

rAKTKIIXiK PKiKoX. ( JK( tlRVGON MARI INUA.

Char. Above, reddish purple, tlic iicik and liead with metallic retlcc- tioiis ui green ; beluw, pale viiiaceoiis, lading to white un chin, and x.>y buff on under taiVcovcrts; white of chin extends below the eyes. Length about II inches.

Xest. In low branches, sometimes on the ground ; made of liulu twigs.

Eg^s. 2; white: 1.40 X i.oo.

This beautiful species, orig nally discovered in Jamaica, was found by Audubon to be a summer resident on the island u( Kev West, near the extremity of East Florida ; it retires \n winter to the island of Cuba. Its flight is low, swift, and protracted, keeping in loose flo( ks or families of from five or six to a dozen. These dwell chiefly in the tangled thickets, but go out at times to the shore to feed and dust themselves. This bird contracts and spreads out its neck in