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

Plate CV. Rio Grande, or green jay. (Xanthoura incas, var. luxuosa.),   p. 156


Page 156


TOWHEES-JAYS-EMERALD-HUMMINGBIRDS.
ners and general habits it is similar to the common Meadow Lark
(Sturnella nmagna), Plate XXIV, page 23. Its striking charac-
teristic is its song, which is spoken of as highly musical.
Mr. Ridgeway, who found this bird very numerous in California,
and all fertile portions of the interior as far east as the Missouri,
says, although closely resembling the eastern bird in appearance,
its song is totally different, not a note uttered by it having more
than a very distant resemblance to any of the well-known magna
of the eastern meadows. In the depth of its tone and the charms
of its articulation, its song is hardly excelled, resembling very
nearly the song of the Wood Thrush; its modulation is best ex-
pressed by the syllables tung-tung-tungah-til'lah-til'lah-tung, each
note powerful and distinct. HIe adds that, the difference between
the other notes of the two birds is still greater than in their song,
and even in character these are not alike. In the neglecta, the
call-note of watchfulness or alarm is a loud, deep-toned tuck, sim-
ilar to the chuck of the Black-bird, but much louder and more me-
tallic. That of sympathy for the young, or anxiety when the nest
is approached, is a loud, liquid tyar, slightly resembling the com-
plaining note of the eastern Black-bird, and also of the Orchard
Oriole. Their flight is also quite different. That of the eastern
species is carried on by an occasional spasmodic beat or jerk of
the wings, which are then extended, the bird sailing a short dis-
tance. The flight of the Western Lark is much more irregular,
the bird flitting along by a trembling flutter of the wings, never
assuming those peculiar features.
Brown, or Crissal Towhee; Canon Finch. (Pipilo fuscus, var. crissalis.)
Fig. 31.
This Towhee is met with on the coast of California. Dr. Cooper
regards it as one of the most abundant and characteristic birds of
California, residing in all the lower country west of the Sierras,
and extending up the slopes of the Coast Range to the height of
three thousand feet. Their habits are similar to those of all other
species, living much upon the ground, and seeking their food
among the dead leaves, which they generally resemble in color.
They have but little song, and only utter a few faint chirps, and
hurried notes, as they sit perched upon some low bush, in the
spring.
Cape, or White-throated Towhee. (Pipilo fuscus, var. albigula.)
Fig. 32.
This variety was first met with by Mr. Xantus, in the southern
extremity of the peninsula of Lower California.  Nothing is
known in regard to its habits, but is supposed to be similar to
other species.
PLATE CV.
Rio Grande, or Green Jay. (Xanthoura incas, var. luxuosa.)
Fig. z.
This beautiful Jay is a resident of the Valley of the Rio Grande,
thence southward into Mexico. It was first described by the French
Naturalist, M. Lessor. Specimens were obtained by Lieutenant
Couch, on the Rio Grande, at Matamoras, New Leon, and San
Diego, Mexico, who states that its food consists of seeds and in-
sects. Colonel McCall was the first who collected specimens of
this species within the limits of the United States. They were
obtained in the forests that border the Rio Grande, on the south-
eastern frontier of Texas. They were mated, and had their nests
in the extensive and almost impenetrable thickets of mimosa, com-
monly called chaparral. In character and temperament, these
birds appeared to be very active and lively, though less noisy than
some other species of the family. Their gay plumage was exhib-
ited to great advantage, as they flitted from tree to tree, or dashed
boldly in pursuit of such of their more plainly attired neighbors at
ventured to intrude upon their domains.
Sierra, or Blue-fronted Jay. (Cyanurus stelleri, var. frontalis.)
Fig. 2.
This variety is an inhabitant of the whole length of the Sierra
Nevada. Its habits and characteristics are very similar to the
Eastern Blue Jay (6Cyanura cristatus), represented on Plate
XXXIX., figs. 3 and 4, page 55, and those of the typical bird,
Steller's Jay (Cyanura stellert), represented on Plate LXXI.,
fig. I, page ioi.
Long-crested Jay. (Cyanura stelleri, var. macrolopha.)
Fig. 3.
This variety, in habits and manners, is similar to the species
mentioned above. The Southern Rocky Mountain region is its
place of habitation.
Sieber's Jay. (Cyanocitta ultramarina, var. sordida.)
Fig. +
Very little is known regarding the habits of this variety. Its
habitat is mostly along the southern borders of Arizona and New
Mexico.
Linne' Hummingbird; Linnaeus Emerald. (Thaumatias linnie.)
Fig. 5.
These birds belong to South and Central America, and extend
their migrations to Guatemala. The species is figured in this
work as a member of our North America fauna, although it is
very doubtful if it is entitled to that recognition. It is said that
Mr. William Brewster shot a specimen in the summer of x868,
near Mount Auburn, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nothing has
been given to the public as regarding any distinctive habits.
Heloisa's Hummingbird. (Atchis heloisa.)
Fig. 6.
This little Hummer was first discovered by Mr. Delattro, on the
highlands of Mexico, between Jalapa and Quatepa. He states
that the male bird is known to rise very early in the morning, and
is never seen in quest of food later than nine in the forenoon. It
very seldom goes to any distance from its mate or young, seeming
to prefer to frequent the flowers in the edge of forests, but does not
disdain those of open fields. This bird is accorded a place in the
list of North American species on the ground of a specimen taken
by Mr. Clark, at El Paso, Texas.
Xantus' Hummingbird. (Heliopfadica xantusi.)
Fig. 7.
This distinctly-marked species was discovered by Mr. Xantus,
at Cape St. Lucas.
Refulgent Hummingbird. (Rugenes fulgens.)
Fig. 8.
A new species of Hummingbird, discovered a few years ago,
by Mr. H. W. Henshaw. It is a resident of Arizona.
156


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