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

[Plate CI. Texas orchard oriole. (Icterus spurius, var. affinis.) cont.],   p. 149

Page 149

cisely like those of the Song Sparrow (AM. Afelodia). See page
4. This species, he states, occurs throughout New Mexico, Ari-
zona, and a part of Southern California, and is particularly abun-
dant in the valley of Colorado.
Western Chipping Sparrow. (Spizella socialis, var. arizona.
Fig. io.
This species is met with in the western parts of the United States,
from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific; south in winter into
Middle and Western Mexico. Its habits are similar to its eastern
relative, mentioned on page 68.
Short-tailed Albatross. (Diomedea brachyura.)
This is a very abundant species, that is met with off the Pacific
coast. Its habits are similar to the Albatross, represented on Plate
XCIX., and described on page i46.
Mountain Plover. (dgialitis asiaticus, var. montanus.)
Fig. 3.
This bird, so far as known, inhabits the western countries of
North America, and is supposed to extend its migrations to South
America. According to Dr. Coues, it is common on dry plains,
and even in deserts; independent of water; feeds on insects, es-
pecially grasshoppers. He found it in New Mexico in June, and
abundantly in California in November.
Dr. Coues further says regarding this species:
"' In the desert region of New Mexico, between the Rio Grande
and the base of the mountains to the westward, I found these Plo-
vers abundant, late in June, together with the Long-billed Curlews,
and presume that they breed there, although I found no nests.
The old birds that I shot were in poor condition and worn plumage.
A few were seen in Arizona, at various seasons, but they did not
again occur to me in abundance until I reached Southern Califor-
nia, in November of the following year. In the vicinity of Los
Angeles I found them in large flocks on the dry plain which
stretches down to the ocean. They were not difficult of approach,
and I had no difficulty in securing as many as I desired. On be-
ing disturbed by too near approach, they lower the head, run rap-
idly a few steps in a light, easy way, and then stop abruptly, draw-
ing themselves up to their full height and looking around with
timid yet unsuspicious glances. Their notes are rather peculiar,
as compared with those of our other Plovers, and vary a good deal,
according to circumstances.  When the birds are feeding at their
leisure, and in no way apprehensive of danger, they utter a low
and rather pleasing whistle, though in a somewhat drawling or
rather lisping tone; but the note changes to a louder and higher
one, sometimes sounding harshly. When forced to fly by persist-
ent annoyance, they rise rapidly with quick wing-beats, and then
proceed with alternate sailing and flapping, during the former ac-
tion holding the wings decurved. They generally fly low over
the ground, and soon realight, taking a few mincing steps as they
touch the ground; they then either squat low, in hopes of hiding,
or stand on tip-toe, as it were, for a better view of what alarmed
"1 The Mountain Plover's food consists principally, if not wholly,
of insects. I examined the stomachs of a great many with refer-
ence to this matter, finding in them nothing whatever but insects,
excepting, as usual, a little sand or gravel. Grasshoppers, in their
season, seem to be the bird's main reliance, though numerous
other insects, as crickets and beetles, are also eaten; and I sup-
pose that worms and small land-molluscs would not come amiss.
In the fall, when food is plenty, the birds become very fat, tender,
and juicy, affording excellent eating."
Snowy Plover. (.Egi*1itis cantianus.)
Fig. 3.
This is a California coast species, where it is found quite common
during the winter season, occupying the sandy or gravelly shores
of rivers.
Sooty Albatross. (Diomedea fuliginosa.)
Fig. +
This species is met with on the Pacific coast. Its habits are
about the same as the other Albatross represented on this plate.
White-headed Gull. (Larus heermati.)
Fig. S.
This bird is met with on the Pacific coast, thence southward. It
is a common species, and most generally found in deep water some
distance from shore.
Wandering Tattler. (Heteroscelus incaxxs.)
Fig. 6.
This species has a very general distribution on the coast and
islands of the Pacific ocean.
Red-vented Thrasher; Crissal Thrush; Henry's Thrush. (Harfiorhyx.
chus crissalis.)
Fig. t.
The valley of the Rio Grande, Colorado, and California is the
habitat of this rare species. Very little is known in regard to the
habits of this little bird. A specimen was first obtained by Dr. J.
C. Henry, near Mimbres, who published a description of it in
May, z858.
Bendire'sThrush. (Harporhynchus Bendirei.)
Fig. 2.
This is a new species lately found by St. Bendire. It is a resi-
dent of the valley of the Rio Grande, Colorado, and Arizona. Its
nests are usually built on trees instead of bushes, and at times as
high as thirty feet from the ground.

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