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

Plate XCII. Woodhouse's jay. (Aphelocoma floridana, var. woodhousei.),   pp. 137-138

Page 137

upon the wing, at other times fish, small reptiles, and similar fare,
for which they wade deep into the water, answers their purpose.
The nest usually contains about three eggs, of a dull greenish
Prothonotary Warbler. (Prothonotaria citrza.)
Fig. 2.
This beautiful and uncommon Warbler is an inhabitant of the
south Atlantic and Gulf States, and occasionally extends its migra-
tions north as far as the State of Maine. It is also met with in
Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, and Merida. Swamps, thickets, and
the swampy forests along the Mississippi and the wilds of Florida
are the usual places of resort. The food consists of larva, small
land shells, insects, and catterpillars. The song consists of a few
feebly-uttered notes.
Little Black Rail. (Porzanajamaicensis.)
Fig. 3.
This very small species is very rarely seen in the United States.
The West Indies, South and Central America are its places of res-
Little Yellow-breasted Rail. (Porzana noveboracensis.)
Fig. 4
This pretty little bird is met with mostly along the shores of
fresh and salt-water marshes of Eastern North America. It ex-
tends its migrations north as far as Hudson's Bay, and winters in
the Southern States. Its song consists of a shrieking noise, usually
uttered in the morning and evening. The food consists of insects
and seeds. Its eggs, which are placed in the grass, on the ground,
are of a rich buffy-brown color, marked with reddish chocolate
dots and spots.
Barrow's Golden-eye. Rocky Mountain Garrot. (Buceihala
Fig. 5.
This uncommon Arctic-American species of the Duck family is
mostly met with in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Its mi-
grations south, in winter, are extended to the Northern States. The
habits of this species are similar to those of the Golden-eyed Duck,
figured on Plate XXXV, and described on page 48, for which the
Rocky Mountain Garrot is often taken.
Stilt, Blaok-neoked Stilt, Longshanks, and Lawyer. (Himantopus
Fig. 6.
The Stilt is a common bird to many sections of North America,
mostly along the sea-shore, and on lakes and rivers. It is also
met far inland, in places least expected to be inhabited by wading
birds. Its food consists mostly of aquatic insects. When on the
wing, a flock of these birds make a very attractive sight, appear-
ing black, then in a few seconds white, as they show the upper or
lower parts of the body. It is a very graceful bird, and its move-
ments, whether on the ground or wading in the water, are made
with a decided and measured step. In the fall, about the time
they are preparing to migrate to the warmer sections, their flesh is
tene.r and good for the table.
Woodhouse's Jay. (Aphelocoma oridana, var. woodhousei.)
Fig. I.
This Jay is abundant in the Southern Rocky Mountain region.
It is also more generally distributed than other species of Jays
common to that section. Pine-seeds, acorns, and juniper-berries
constitute its food. The eggs, about five in number, are laid early
in May. The nest is outwardly composed of twigs and fine roots,
and lined with horse-hair.
Dr. Coues, who often noticed this species in the upper parts of
Arizona, says:
"d Its preference is for oak openings, rough, broken hill-sides,
covered with patches of juniper, manzanita, and yuccas, brushy
ravines, and wooded creek-bottoms. The ordinary note is a harsh
scream, indefinitely repeated with varying tone and measure; it is
quite noticeably different from that of either Maximilian's or Stel-
ler's, having a sharp, wiry quality, lacking in these. It is always
uttered when the bird is angry or alarmed, and consequently is
oftener heard by the naturalist; but there are several other notes.
If the bird is disporting with his fellows, or leisurely picking
acorns, he has a variety of odd chuckling or chattering syllables,
corresponding to the absurd talk of our Blue Jay under the same
circumstances. Sometimes, again, in the springtime, when snugly
hidden in the heart of a cedar-bush, with his mate, whom he has
coaxed to keep him company, he modulates his harsh voice with
surprising softness, to express his gallant intention; and if one is
standing quite near, unobserved, he will hear the blandishments
whispered and cooed almost as softly as a Dove's. The change,
when the busy pair find they are discovered, to the ordinary scream,
uttered by wooer and wooed together, is startling."
Mountain Warbler. Virginia's Warbler. (Helminthophaga virginia.)
Fig. 2.
Very few specimens of this species have been seen, and very
little is known of its habits, which are said to resemble to a marked
degree the Nashville Warbler (H. ruyfcapilla), and the Orange-
crowned Warbler (H. celata).
Leaden Titmouse. Lead-colored Titmouse. (Psaltripars plumsbeus.)
Fig. 3.
This little bird is a resident of the Southern Rocky Mountain
region. It is very closely related to the Least Titmouse, the Pa-
cific Coast species. Dr. Coues says of this species:
" It is a resident of the mountains of Arizona, where it braves
the rigors of winter, without apparent inconvenience, though one
is tempted to wonder how such a tiny body, no larger than the end
of one's thumb, can retain its animal heat during exposure to cold
that sometimes destroys large birds, like the Raven. It is a socia-
ble little creature, generally going in companies of from half a
dozen to fifty, actively engaged in their search for minute insects,
and continuously calling to each other with their curiously~squeaky
notes. It scarcely knows fear in the presence of man, and will
continue its busy search, though an observer may be standing
within a few feet of it. I found it oftenest in the shrubbery of the
hillsides, and the dense undergrowth which fills the ravines; it
appeared to have little fancy for the higher growths of oak or
pine. It is surprising what large insects this little creature will
sometimes capture; I saw one struggling with a caterpillar nearly

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