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

Plate CVI. Crested grebe. (Podiceps cristatus.),   pp. 159-160

Page 160

Dab-ohick; Pied-billed Grebe; Dipper; Diedapper. (Podilimbuspodi.
Fig. 4
This well-marked bird is abundant throughout North America,
in the places that Grebes are usually met with.
American Eared Grebe. (Podiceps auritus.)
Fig. S.
In western Arctic America and in winter in the Pacific States
this species is common. Dr. Coues saw the species alive in South-
ern California, where he found it to be very common, both on the
waters of the bay of San Pedro and in the sloughs back of the
coast. They were of course in immature dress, the season being
November. During the past year he was pleased to find the birds
breeding, in pools about Turtle Mountain, with various other water-
fowl. This is apparently the northeasternmost point at which the
species has been observed. Visiting this locality in July, he was
too late for eggs, for the young were already swimming, and, in
most cases, fledged. The birds were very common, rather more
so than P. cornutus, with which they were associated. Many
specimens were secured in their full nuptial dress. The change
begins in August, but it is not completed until well into the follow-
ing month, as traces of the breeding plumage persist several weeks
after it has grown faded and obscure. On the breeding grounds,
as just said, the Eared Grebes were more plentiful than the Horned,
since a majority of the latter breed further north; but upon the mi-
gration, when these come south, the proportion is reversed. Both
species were to be seen together upon all the water-courses of
Northern Dakota when he left the country in the middle of October.
He saw nothing notably different in their general habits.
Red-neoked Grebe. (Podicepsgriseigena.)
Fig. 6.
The habitat of this species is Greenland and America, a fact
that has been established by Dr. Coues. It was formerly consid-
ered identical with that of the Old World.
Western Grebe. (Podiceps occidentalis.)
Fig. 7.
Clark's Western Grebe. (Podiceps occidentalis, var. clarkii.)
Fig. 8.
Both of these birds are met with west of the Rocky Mountains.
They are considered ihe largest Grebes of this country. Dr. Coues
observed them frequently on the California coast, at San Pedro, in
November, when they were common on the waters of the harbor,
with the Pacific Diver, Cormorants, and numerous other water-
fowl. They are fine-looking birds on the water, have a trim and
shapely aspect, like a clipper ship, while their long sinuous neck is
held in a graceful curve, or variously deflected to either side. A
specimen which he opened had the stomach filled with a kind of
aquatic grass. The birds were not very shy and several were
readily procured, notwithstanding their great powers of diving.
Yellow-billed Loon. (Colymbus torqiuatus, var. adamsii.)
Fig. 9.
Alaska and the interior of Arctic America is the residence of
this species. It is similar in appearance, with the exception of the
bill, to the Great Northern Diver Loon, Plate XIV., fig. I, page I+.
Black-throated Diver. (Colymbus arcticus.)
Fig. zo.
The Black-throated Diver is an inhabitant of the northern hemi-
sphere. It is smaller than the preceding, but very much like it in
its colors and markings. Mr. Dunn, who observed these birds in
Norway, writes that the eggs have a rank fishy taste, but are much
sought after by the Lapps. After the young are hatched, both
male and female are very assiduous in bringing them food, and
may be seen flying at a vast height, with fish in their beaks, from
one lake to another; on arriving over the lake where they intend
to alight, they descend very suddenly in an oblique direction. Their
cries are very peculiar during the breeding season, and may be
heard at a great distance. The voice is said to be very melan-
choly, and to resemble the cry of a human being in distress.
Fork-tailed Petrel. (Oceanodromafurcata.)
Fig. 11.
Hornby's Petrel. (Oceanodroma hornbyi.)
Fig. 12.
Ashby Petrel. (Cymochorea homochroa.)
Fig. 13.
Black Petrel. (Cymochorcea melania.)
Fig. Z+
Wedge-tailed, or Least Petrel. (Halocyptena microsoma.)
Fig. IS.
Leach's Petrel. (Cymochorea leucorrhoa.)
Fig. I&
Petrels, Swallow Petrels, or Storm-birds are distinguishable from
all other birds by the circumstance that their nostrils are repre-
sented by horny tubes, situated upon the upper beak. Nuttall says
of them, they are oceanic birds, wandering out far from the land
nearly at all seasons of the year, and are found in all parts of the
world. Their flight is rapid, like that of the swallows, which they
so much resemble in general appearance; they fly low, skimming
the water, and attentively scanning its surface for their diminutive
prey of marine insects and small molusca. They venture out at
all times of the day in quest of their accidental fare, and follow the
wakes of vessels partly for the animal productions which are thus
whirled to the surface, and not less for the fat and other animal
matters which are occasionally ejected from the decks. In stormy
weather they easily find shelter from the blast by skimming
through the valleys of the mountain waves. They are often seen
tripping upon the surface of the water, while eagerly engaged in
seizing their food, balancing themselves with singular lightness,
by gently flapping and fanning their expanded wings. At such
times they often dip their heads beneath the water, and though
they swim and rest upon that element at night and in fine weather,
they are incapable of diving. Their voice is low, gutteral, and
somewhat chattering, particularly at night and during clear
weather. They breed in society near the sea, selecting for their
nests the holes and cavities of rocks, which they sometimes bur-
row out for themselves, but often make use of the deserted resorts
of other hiding animals; the eggs are one or two. and they feed

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