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

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


Page 138


TITMOUSE-SPARROW-CROSSt3ILL-WARBLER-OWL-BUNTING.
as long as its own body, and it succeeded, after great exertion, in
disposing of the big mouthful."
I
Yellow-headed Titmouse. Verdin. (Auriparus flavicefis.)
Fig. 4.
This species is an inhabitant of the valleys of Texas, Arizona,
New Mexico, South and Lower California.
iI found numbers of this beautiful little bird," says Cooper,
"4 at Fort Morgan, during   the whole winter, frequenting the
thickets of Algarobia and other shrubs, and having habits rather
intermediate between the Titmia and Warblers, corresponding with
their intermediate form. They had something of the same song
as the Parus, and a loud call, generally uttered as they sat on a
high twig, besides a lisping triple note, like that of tsee-tu-tu.
The nest is usually built by forming a wall nearly spherical in
outline, out of the-thorny twigs of the algorabia, then lining it with
softer twigs, leaves, down of plants, and feathers, covering the out-
side with thorns, until it becomes a mass as large as a man's head,
or 9x5.50 inches outside, the cavity 4.50x2.70, with an opening in
one side, just large enough for the bird to enter. The eggs num-
ber four, and are pale blue, with numerous small brown spots,
chiefly near the large end, though some had very few spots and
were much paler; size o.60xo.44 inch.
Wollweber's Titmouse. Bridled Titmouse. (Lopthophanes wollweberi.)
Fig. S.
The habitat of this species is in the Southern Rocky Mountains
of New Mexico and Arizona, thence South into Mexico. Its habits
and characteristics are similar to those of its allies.  It is readily
distinguished from all others of its genus by the variety of the colors
in its plumage.
Black-throated Finch. Black-throated Sparrow. (Poospiza bilineata.)
Fig. 6.
This species is to be met with in California, Texas, New Mexico
and Arizona. Cooper says: " On the barren, treeless, and water-
less mountains that border the Colorado valley, this was one of the
few birds enlivening the desolate prospect with their cheerful pres-
ence. They were nowhere numerous, but generally seen in pairs
or small parties hopping along the ground under the scanty shrub-
bery. In winter they descended to the hills near the Colorado,
when the males, perched on a low bush, sung short but lively ditties
toward spring."
American Red Crossbill. Common Crossbill. Large-billed Crossbill.
(Loxia curvirostra, var. mexicana.)
Fig. 7.
This species is a Mexican variety of our Common Red Cross-
bill, represented on Plate XXXVIII, figures 7 and 8, and de-
scribed on page 53.*   It is a resident in the Sierra Nevada, of Cal-
ifornia, south along the Alpine regions of Mexico to Guatemala.
Black-throated Gray Warbler. (Dendrxca nigrescens.)
Fig. 8.
This species is frequently to be met with along the Pacific Coast.
"On the twenty-third of May," Nuttall says, "1 I had the satisfac-
The striking difference between the two birds is in the Mexican variety having
the larger bill.
tion of hearkening to the delicate but monotonous song of this bird,
as he busily and intently searched every leafy bough and expand-
ing bud for larva and insects, in a spreading oak, from whence
he delivered his solitary note. Sometimes he remained a minute
or two stationary, but more generally continued in quest of prey.
His song, at short and regular intervals, seemed like t'shee, 'tshay,
'tshaitshee, varying the feeble sound but very little, and with the
concluding note somewhat slenderly and plantively raised." Ac-
cording to Townsend, it is abundant in the forests of the Columbia,
where it breeds, and remains until winter; and that the nest is
formed externally of fibrous, green moss, and is generally placed
on the upper branches of the oak, suspended between two small
twigs.
Whitney's Owl. (Micrathene whilneyi.)
Fig. 9.
This singular little Owl is one of the most noteworthy and in-
teresting of the many late additions to our knowledge of western
birds. Until recently, the last-noticed species (Pygmy Owl) was
properly regarded as the smallest of its family in North America;
but it somewhat surpasses Whitney's in size. The latter is not so
long as many of our Sparrows, being the least among our rapto-
rial birds, if not the smallest known Owl. It was discovered at
Fort Majoon, in x86o, by Dr. J. G. Cooper, to whose exertions in
developing the zoology of the West we are so much indebted. We
learn from Dr. Cooper's account that it is an arboreal, not a terres-
trial, species; is partly diurnal, and feeds upon insects. It is
probably a rare bird, to judge from its having remained so long
undetected. But Mr. A. J. Grayson lately found it on Socorro Is-
land, off the coast of Mexico, while several specimens have been
taken in Arizona, by Lieutenant C. Bendin and Mr. H. W. Hen-
shaw. The former found it breeding in the hollow of a mezquito
stump.
Lark Bunting. White-winged Blackbird. (Calamospiiza &iclor.)
Fig. io.
The Lark Bunting is an abundant species, mostly met with on
the prairies, on the western plains to the Rocky Mountains, and
southward to Mexico. A striking circumstance connected with
this bird, is the seasonable change of plumage, which corresponds
very nearly to that of the Bobolink. Between the two, there is
quite a similarity in their coloration.
It is stated that this change was first noticed by Mr. Allen, who
says, after the moulting season, the males assume the plumage of
the female, the change in color being similar to that of the males
of Dolichonyx oryzivora. The same writer also says:
"1 The Lark Bunting, though of rather local distribution and
limited range, must be regarded as one of the most characteristic
and interesting birds of the plains. Generally, in the breeding
season, a number of pairs are found in the same vicinity; while
again not an individual may be met with for many miles. At
other seasons, it is eminently gregarious, roving about in consider-
able flocks. In its song and the manner of its delivery, it much
resembles the Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens), like that bird,
rising to a considerable distance in the air, and poising itself by a
peculiar flapping of the wings during its utterances, then abruptly
descending to the ground, to soon repeat the maneuver. It is a
very strong flyer, and seems to delight in the strongest gales, sing-
ing more at such times than in comparatively quiet weather. I
met with several colonies, not far from Fort Hays, in June and
July, and later at Cheyenne, Laramie, and in South Park, and in
the elevated, open table-lands, between South Park and Colorado
City. They were also frequent along the route from Colorado
City to Denver, sometimes considerable flocks being met with.
138


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