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Studer, Jacob Henry, 1840-1904. / Birds of North America
(1903)

Plate LIII. Black-backed three-toed woodpecker. (Picoides arcticus.),   pp. 79-80


Page 79


WOODPECKERS-CHICKADEES-CROSSBILL-CREEPER-MAGPIE.
79
will occasionally select a hole in a tree as a breeding place; even
in the North I observed a pair several times about an old apple-
tree, which stood in a remote place, and, being aware that they
had a nest there, made repeated search for it; but, after vainly
looking in every bole which I thought they could enter, gave up
in despair. But on passing the place one day, I saw the female
emerge from a very small orifice in a high limb, which was not
larger around than my arm, and upon examining, found the nest
concealed in it. The House Wrens breed in New England about
the first week in June; in Florida, somewhat earlier. They are
constant residents in the South, but migrants at the North, arriving
in the spring about the first of May, and departing in early Oc-
tober.
PLATE LIII.
Blaok-baoked Three-toed Woodpecker. (Picoides arcdicus.)
I                   Fig. i.
The range of this bird is confined to the far North, touching the
extreme arctic region, and extending as far south as Northern Mas-
sachusetts, NewYork, and Ohio. Its nest is made by boring into live
trees, usually without regard to kind, pine, oak, or other timber being
selected indiscriminately, and the borings made near the first limbs.
They vary in depth from twenty to twenty-four inches, with an
entrance barely large enough to admit the occupant, but broad and
smooth at the bottom. The eggs are from four to six, rather
rounded, and pure white. One brood only is raised in a season,
and the young keep with their parents until the approach of au-
tumn, when they separate and shift for themselves. They seem
destitute of vocal accomplishments, their utterance being confined
to a loud shrill call. Their flight is long and undulatory, and
when on the wing they frequently give-voice to their peculiar call.
They pursue insects on the wing, indulge in berries and other
small fruit, and in search of food move with great rapidity over the
trunks and limbs of decaying trees.
Banded Three-toed Woodpecker. (Picoides americanus.)
Fig. 2.
This bird is very rare in the United States, and but little is
known of its habits. It is confined almost entirely to the arctic
circle, and is not migratory. It is found in the spruce and fir for-
ests lying between Lake Superior and the Arctic seas, and is most
common north of Great Slave Lake.
Hudson's Bay Chickadee-Hudsonian Chiokadee-Hudsonian Titmouse.
(Parus hudsonicus.)
Fig. 3.
This bird is confined to the northern and eastern portions of the
United States, and is found in Northern New York, Vermont,
New Hampshire, and Maine. Though in many things resembling
the common Black Cap, it is far more retiring in its habits, usually
confining its residence to lonely forests. Its song is far more dis-
tinct, the tsche-dee-dee-dee having almost the clear pronunciation
of the human voice. The nest is usually built in the hollow of a
tree or stump, two or three feet from the ground, is purse-shaped,
and composed of furs finely matted throughout. The eggs are of a
rounded oval shape. Though a shy bird, this Chickadee resents
all intrusion upon its haunts, and displays the utmost courage and
disregard of life in protection of its young. Dr. Brewer gives a
charming description of his attempt to examine one of their nests
Containing young. This nest could only be reached by using the
hatchet, and he tells us that "1 they flew at our faces, assailed our
arms as we wielded the invading hatchet, and it was difficult not
to do them unintentional injury without abandoning our purpose.
Before we could examine the nest, they had entered and had to be
removed again and again. As soon as we were satisfied that the
nest of this heroic pair did not contain what we sought, we left
them, and turned to look with equal admiration upon the indig-
nant assembly of feathered remonstrants by which we were sur-
rounded.'
White-winged Crossbill. (Loxia leucoptera.)
Fig. 4.
This bird inhabits the northern parts of North America gener-
ally. It has been found as far south as Maryland. It is a resi-
dent throughout Eastern Maine, where it breeds in the winter. In
the arctic regions it finds shelter in the dense forests of fir and
spruce, and food in the seeds of their cones. Their diet is not
confined to the floral world, however, canker worms and other
animal food proving equally acceptable. The female possesses
the faculty of song, and sings with equal sweetness with the male.
The nest is composed of moss, spruce twigs, nearly circular, and
is lined with coarse hairs and the shreds of bark. The eggs are
pale blue, the large end covered with fine spots of black and light
purple. They are very affectionate, Dr. Brewer recording the
death of one from grief at the loss of its mate. They congregate
-in flocks, fly with an undulatory motion, and are fearless in the
presence of man.
Bpown Creeper. (Certhia familiaris.)
Fig. S.
Though nowhere an abundant bird, the Brown Creeper is found
in every State and Territory in the Union. Owing to its markings
so closely resembling the bark of the trees which furnish its food,
the study of its habits is attended with some difficulty. It is a fear-
less bird, paying little regard to the presence of man. Solitary in
its habits, it yet is sometimes found associated with the Titmice and
small Woodpeckers. Its food is confined entirely to the small insects
which find shelter in the bark of trees. Up and down the most
rugged oak or elm it works its way, picking a dainty bit here and
there, but never using its bill as a hammer. It rarely proceeds
in a straight line, but constantly turns to the right and left, some-
times entirely circling the hole, and when one tree has been thor-
oughly examined, instantly flies to another, and thus day in and
day out spends its time. It builds its nest in decayed trees, some-
times using the holes deserted by the Woodpeckers, and without
much regard to symmetry, gathers together a mass of rotted wood,
lining it with feathers and the fur of small animals. The eggs are
usually five in number, small for the size of the bird, nearly oval
in shape, grayish-white, dotted with fine reddish-brown spots. Be-
sides the constantly repeated cree cree cre-ep, to which they give
utterance while searching for food, they possess a song somewhat
resembling, though much harsher than that of the Wren.
American Magpie. (Pica candata.)
Fig. 6.
This bird, which is nearly identical with the European species,
is confined to Western and Northern North America. In the New
World as in the Old, it is the same daring murderer and robber.
Its food consists of carrion, smaller birds, eggs, and the young
of Partridges, rats, frogs, mice, snails, worms, grubs, and cater-
pillars. It is possessed of a most omniverous appetite, and will
alight upon the backs of horses and mules, and work further mis-
chief to any galled places that may be found. So ravenous are
they that they have been known to fairly snatch food from the hands


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