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

Plate CXVIII. Alaskan gray jay; dusky Canada jay. (Perisoreus canadensis, var. obscurus.),   p. 178


Page 178


PIPIT-WHIP-POOR-WILL-HUMMINGBIRD-WOODPECKER-KINGFISHER, ETC.
near San Antonio, in Texas, where he saw it frequently, and al-
ways in company with the Vultures, which he says they greatly
resemble in their habits.
Meadow Pipit. (Anxhus 5ratensis.)
Fig. io.
A place is given to this species among our North American birds,
on the ground that a straggler from Asia was obtained at St.
Michael's, Alaska. The specimen is in the Smithsonian Institute.
NuttaO's Whip-poor-will or Poor-will. (Anthrostomus Buttali,)
Fig. izi.
Audubon first mentioned th's species as obtained near the Rocky
Mountains. Nuttall observed it amidst the granite hills of the
sources of the Upper Platte River, called sea water, and from the
clefts of the rocks they were uttering at intervals a low, wailing cry,
in the manner of the Whip-poor-will, and sounding like the cry
of the young of that species, or p-cia. According to Allen:
" Nuttall's Whip-poor-will was first met with on my western ex-
pedition at Topeka, Kansas, where it was by no means infrequent.
We often heard it at night near the outskirts of the city, and re-
peatedly met with it in the day time in the darker and denser por-
tions of the woodlands bordering on the Kaw River, reposing on
the ground, like the common Whip-poor-will of the Eastern States.
When flushed it passed rapidly, with a noiseless, skimming flight,
through the more open parts of the undergrowth, soon realighting
again on the ground. In the mountains of Colorado we again met
with it at a few points in great numbers, as high even as eight thou-
sand feet above the sea. At our camp of July x2th, on Turkey
Creek, just above the canon, scores were heard singing on the
neighboring slopes throughout the beautiful moon-light night, but our
pursuit of them was fruitless, as they could be seen only as they
flitted from point to point when disturbed. We afterward heard
them in considerable numbers at the Garden of the Gods, near Colo-
rado City, and found them very numerous in September at the mouth
of Ogden Canon, near Ogden City, in Utah. Here, as soon as
the dusk of the evening rendered it difficult to distinguish such
small objects with distinctness, the whole hill sides seemed to be
alive with the tantalizing abundance of these birds. Like the com-
mon Whip-poor-will of the East, they seem to sing at intervals
throughout the season, and at this date (September) appeared
fully as musical as during the breeding season. It lingers at its
summer home till the autumn is far advanced, as we found it at
Ogden as late as October 6th, quite far up the slope of the moun-
tains, in the midst of a driving snow-storm-the first of the season-
the snow having then already accumulated to the depth of several
inches."
Allen's, or Green-backed California Hummingbird. (Selahphorus alleni.)
Fig. I2.
A new species, found by Mr. Allen in California. It arrives
from Mexico about the last of February, and repairs at once to the
mountains, where it feeds on the blossoms of the full-bloomed
manzanita. After mating, they retire to the lower valleys. Mr.
Allen found them in considerable numbers all winter in the gardens
about Los Angeles.
Narrow-Fronted Woodpecker.  (Melanerpes formicivorus, var.
angustifrons.)
Fig. x3.
This is a variety of the typical species, represented on Plate
XC, fig. 6, page 135, obtained by John Xantus at Cape St. Lucas,
Cabanis, Texas, or Green Kingfisher. (Ceryle americana, var. cabaxisi.)
Fig. i+
The Rio Grande region of Texas, and southward, is the habitat
of this bird, which was first noticed by Captain McCown. It is
a smaller bird than its northern relative, the Belted Kingfisher,
represented on Plate XIX, fig. 2, page 20. Their habits are quite
similar.
Ani, or Savannah Blackbird. (Crotophaga ani.)
Fig. iS.
A common species, of the West India Islands, that occasionally
visits the south of Florida.
Western Horned Lark. (Eremophila alpestris, var. chrysolama.)
Fig. t6.
This variety of the typical bird, represented on Plate LVI, fig.
4, page 82, is an inhabitant of Western North America, south into
Mexico.
PLATE CXVIII.
Alaskan Gray Jay; Dusky Canada Jay. (Perisoreus canadensis, var.
ooscurus.)
Fig. 1.
A variety of the Canada Jay, represented on Plate LXVII, fig.
3, page 97, that is met from Alaska to California. According to
Mr. Lord, it is so familiar and confiding, and so fond of being
near the habitations of man, that the settlers never harm it. In
the cold weather he has seen it hop by the fire, ruffle up its feathers,
and warm itself, without the least fear, keeping a sharp lookout
for crumbs, and looking so beseechingly with its glittering gray
eyes that no one could refuse such an appeal for a stray morsel.
Dr. Cooper met with this variety at the mouth of the Columbia
River, in March, industriously seeking insects and seeds among
the spruce trees, occasionally whistling in a loud, melodious tone,
like that of the Cardinal Grosbeak. He also states that the notes
of this bird differ most from the other Jays in being clear and mu-
sical, and they sometimes show a considerable variety of song.
Its winters are passed in British Columbia and Vancouvers Island.
Paisano; Road Runner; Chaparral Cook; Ground Cuckoo; War-
bird; Medicine Bird. (Geococcyxcalifornianus.)
Fig. 2.
This active Cuckoo is a resident of the Pacific States, thence
south into Mexico. It is considered the fleetest bird on foot con-
nected with North American species, which accounts for the sport
it gives to parties, who often pursue it on horseback and with
hounds. It is most seen on the ground, at which time its move-
ments of the tail, which is borne in an erect position, assume a
variety of grotesque positions. Col. McCall, who published an
interesting account of this species, in 1847, states that the resista-
bility of the outer toe favors its use for climbing or perching, as
well as for movements on the ground. He also states that when
suddenly alarmed in open ground, it rises with a light, quick mo-
tion, and flies some hundreds of yards continuously with an ease
that attests its ability to maintain even a longer flight. Dr. Cooper
mentions its note as similar to the cooing noise of a dove.  Its
food consists of insects. The nest is built on. a bough, Qr in a
178
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