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

[Plate LXIX. Common gannet--salon goose. (Sula bassana.) cont.],   p. 99

Page 99

any other of our aquatic birds; for, traversing the air in all di-
rections, as soon as it discovers the fish, it rises to such a height as
experience shows best calculated to carry it by a downward motion
to the required depth, and then, partially closing its wings, it falls
perpendicularly upon the prey, and rarely without success; the
time between the plunge and immersion being about fifteen seconds."
This species is from thirty to thirty-three inches long, and from
seventy-two to seventy-four inches broad. The wing measures
twenty-one, and the tail ten ipches.  The female is somewhat
smaller than her mate.
Forster's or Havell's Tern. (Sterna forsteri.)
Fig. 2.
This bird has often been taken to be the common Tern, which
is a mistake. The late authorities all agree that it is a distinct and
separate species.
Dr. Coues says: " No Tern of this country is more widely and
generally distributed than this one. It may be found in every part
of the country, at one season or another, and in the interior, es-
pecially, almost replaces the common Tern, being in fact the most
characteristic of the species. Doubtless some of the local quotations
of ' the common Tern' from interior States really refer to this species.
It appears to be hardier than some of its allies, as it winters on
our Atlantic coast north of Long Island, while most others proceed
further south at this season. It is the commonest Tern, in winter
and during the migrations, in the harbor of Baltimore. Neverthe-
less its wanderings at this season are pushed to South America.
On the Carolina coast it is chiefly a migrant, but also a winter res-
ident. Comparing it with the common Tern, it is there seen to be
the more northerly species of the two, migrating earlier in the
spring and later in the fall, besides wintering where the common
Tern does not. A few of Forster's Terns come back to the Carolinas
in August; they become abundant the following month, and there
is little or no decrease of their numbers until December, when a part
go further south, to return the latter part of March, and the rest
remain. It is one of the most plentiful Terns on the harbor of
Beaufort in October and November, when it may be distinguished
at any reasonable distance with ease, Wilson's Tern being the only
one at all resembling it, and this being differently marked about the
head at this season. Quite early in the spring it leaves for its nor-
thern breeding-grounds, generally acquiring its complete plumage
before it leaves the United States.  It breeds in the interior of
British America." The general habits of this bird agree entirely
with the other well known species of Terns.
Big Black-head-Greater Scaup Duck-Blue Bill-Broad Bill-Shuffler.
(Fuligula marilla.)
Fig. 3.
Nuttall says: " This species, better known in America by the
name of the Blue Bill, is another general inhabitant of the whole
Northern Hemisphere; passing the period of reproduction in the re-
mote and desolate hyperboreal regions, from whence, at the ap-
proach of winter, they issue over the temperate parts of Europe
as far as France and Switzerland; and in the United States are ob-
served to winter in the Delaware, and probably proceed as far as
the waters of the Southern States. . . . Their breeding-places,
according to the intelligent and indefatigable Richardson, are in
the remote fur countries, from the most southern point of Hudson's
Bay to their utmost northern limits. The present species is said to
derive its name from feeding on scaup, or broken shell-fish, for
which, and other articles of subsistence, such as marine insects, fry,
and marine vegetables, it is often seen diving with great alertness.
It is a common species here, both in fresh waters and bays. They
particularly frequent such places as abound in their usual fare, and,
like most of their tribe, take advantage of the accommodation of
moonlight. They leave the Middle States in April, or early in
"1 Both male and female of the Scaup make a similar grunting
noise, and have the same singular toss of the head, with an opening
of the bill, when sporting on the water in the spring. While here,
they are heard occasionally to utter a guttural quauck, very dif-
ferent from that of the common Ducks. In a state of domestica-
tion, during the summer months, when the larva of various insects
are to be found in the mud at the bottom of the pond they frequent,
they are observed to be almost continually diving. They feed,
however, contentedly on barley, and become so tame as to come to
the edge of the water for a morsel of bread. Mr. Rennie adds:
' Of all the aquatic birds we have had, taken from their native
wilds, none have appeared so familiar as the Scaup. The flesh of
this species is but little esteemed, though the young are more tender
and palatable."'
Audubon's Warbler. (Dendroeca audubonii.)
Fig. z.
This, in some localities, from the Rocky Mountains to the
Pacific, is a common species. In the spring it may be found in
company with the Yellow Warbler, occupying the undershrubbery,
occasionally venturing into the open fields and clearings. It was
discovered by Mr. Townsend, who named it after Mr. Audubon.
He states that " the Chinock Indians know it by the name of
'Fout-sah,' and that it is very numerous about the Columbia River."
Audubon says: " Its voice so nearly resembles that of the Chestnut-
sided Warbler as to render it difficult to distinguish them." Mr.
Nuttall gives the following account of this Warbler: " This ele-
gant species, one of the beautiful and ever welcome harbingers of
approaching summer, we found about the middle of April accom-
panying its kindred troop of warblers, enlivening the dark and
dreary wilds of the Oregon.   .  .  .  . Nothing contributes so
much life to the scene as the arrival of those seraphic birds, the
Thrushes and Warblers, which, uniting in one wild and ecstatic
chorus of delight, seemed to portray, however transiently, the real
rather than the imaginary pleasures of Paradise.  . . . The
harmonies of nature are not made to tire, but to refresh the best
feelings of the mind, to recall the past, and to make us dwell with
delight upon that which best deserves our recollection. But what
was my surprise to hear the accustomed note of the summer Yel-
low Bird delivered in an improved state by this new warbler, clad
in a robe so different but yet so beautiful. Like that species, also,
he was destined to become our summer acquaintance, breeding
and rearing his offspring in the shady firs by the borders of the
prairie openings, where he could, at all times, easily obtain a sup-
ply of insects or their larva."
Townsend's Warbler. (Dendroeca townsendii.)
Fig. 2.
This species is met with from the Rocky Mountains to the Pa-
cific, but is nowhere abundant. Nutall says: "I Of this fine species
we know very little, it being one of those transient visiters, which,
on their way to the north, merely stop a few days to feed and re-
cruit, previous to their arrival in the higher latitudes, or afterward
disperse in pairs, and are lost sight of till the returning frosts and
famine of the season impel them again to migrate, when, i illing
on the same path, they are seen in small, silent flocks adxincituu
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