University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

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

Plate CXIII. Hawk owl; day owl. (Surnia ulula, var. hudsonia.),   p. 171

Plate CXIV. Black-headed finch. (Phonipara zena.),   pp. 171-172

Page 171

Hawk Owl; Day Owl. (Surnia ulula, var. hudsonia.)
Fig. x.
This Owl is an inhabitant of the northern portions of North
America. Unlike many other Owls, it retires to rest at night. It
was often seen by Mr. Dresser, in New Brunswick, hawking after
prey in the strongest sunshine, or seated quietly blinking on the
top of an old blasted tree, apparently undisturbed by the glare of
the sun. Its food consists mostly of small birds, field mice, grass-
hoppers and other insects. Its nest is usually found in the hollows
of trees; it is also found on the branches, constructed of feathers,
grass, and sticks.
Richardson's Owl; American Sparrow Owl; Tengmalm's Owl.
tale tengmalmi, var. rtchzardsonii.)
Fig. 2.
This Owl is an inhabitant of the northern parts of North Amer-
ica, and in winter it extends its migrations regularly to our frontier
regions. According to Coues, "1 It had been at first considered the
same as its European representative, and afterward held to be a
distinct species, this interesting Owl has at length settled into its
true position as a geographical race of NV. tengmalmi of Europe,
as ascertained by Mr. Ridgeway's studies. It differs from its con-
gener, just as the American Hawk Owl does, in an excess of
darker colors; the legs being ochrey-brown, much variegated with
darker, instead of white, with little marking; and there is more
dark color on the crissum. It is, perhaps, the most decidedly
boreal of our species of the family; for although it does not range
further north than some, such as the Hawk Owl, the Snowy, and
the Great Gray Owl, its southern limit is more restricted. It has
never been observed as far south as all of the three just mentioned
are known to range in winter." This species is confined to wooded
regions, and its food consists of insects, mice, and small birds.
The eggs are like those of other Owls.
American Long-eared Owl. (Otus vulgaris, var. wilsonianus.)
Fig. 3.
This is a common species met with throughout temperate North
America. According to Mr. Gentry, it is quite common in
Eastern Pennsylvania throughout the year. It is more retir-
ing in its nature than   ATycdale acadica, Plate CX, fig. 7,
page i66.   The latter prefers an orchard, in close proximity
to man; while the former, according to his experience,
evinces by its actions a partiality for deep forests of evergreens,
where the hum and stir of busy farm-life is nearly unknown. The
nests are usually constructed of rude sticks, sometimes of boughs
with the leaves adherent thereto, externally, and generally, but
not always, lined with the feathers of birds. The same nest is
made use of for several successive years. The female begins to
lay early in April, and sometimes produces two broods in a season.
The eggs are never more than four in number; sometimes as low
as two have been observed. It is stated by both Audubon and
Wilson, that the nests of other birds, when of sufficient size, are
generally used in which to rear its young. Although it has not
been his fortune to know of such a case by personal experience,
yet he can not doubt the observations of these learned authorities.
One of the best authenticated cases is that related by Wilson,
where one of these Owls had taken possession, forcibly, as he is
led to infer, of the nest of the Qua-bird (Night Heron), and was
actually setting.  Within three-quarters of a mile of Chestnut
Hill (upper part of Germantown), existed an immense forest of
pines, within a comparatively recent period, which was the great
place of rendezvous of the Long-eared Owl, during the dreary
winter months, and where, in springtime, the females deposited
their eggs in rude and unsightly nests of their own construction.
The number that thronged this thicket of pines was prodigious,
so there were very few of the trees, if any, that had not supported
one or more nests. The many fragments of the bones of mam-
mals and birds, and the other remains of the same that laid in
piles upon the ground, bore testimony of the wholesale destruction
of life that was carried on.
Great Gray Owl; Cinereous Owl. (Syrnium cinereum.)
Fig. +
An Arctic American bird that, in winter, extends its migrations
into the northern parts of the United States. It is considered the
largest of our Owls. Mr. Richardson met with this Owl in the
fur regions, where he noticed that it inhabited all the wooded dis-.
tricts which lie between Lake Superior and latitude 670 and 68f,
and between Hudson's Bay and the Pacific. He observed it to
keep constantly within the woods, and not to frequent the bar-
ren grounds, in the manner of the Snow Owl, nor was it as often
met with in daylight as the Hawk Owl, apparently preferring to
hunt when the sun was low, and the recesses of the woods deeply
shadowed, when the hares and other smaller quadrupeds, upon
which it chiefly feeds, were most abundant.
Arctic or Western Horned Owl. (Bulo virginianus, var. arcticus.)
Fig. 5.
A variety generally distributed through the wooded regions from
the Arctic districts to the table-lands of Mexico. Its habits are
very similar to the typical bird, represented on Plate V, fig. I,
page 5.
Feilner's Owl; Flammulated Owl. (Scops flammeola.)
Fig. 6.
This is a small Owl, met with in Mexico and Central America,
usually seen among the mountains of Mexico, thence northward to
California.  A specimen of this bird was obtained by Captain
John Feilner, at Fort Crook. Its habits are supposed to be similar
to the Mottled Owl, represented on Plate LXXXI, fig. 2, page
I25. Its form and general appearance are also similar.
Western Barred Owl; Spotted Owl. (Syrnium occidentale.)
Fig. 7.
One specimen of this bird was taken at Fort Tejon, California.
There is nothing recorded as regards its habits.
Pacific Horned Owl. (Bubo virginianus, var. paczffcus.)
Fig. 8.
This bird is a Pacific Coast variety of our common Great Horned
Owl, represented on Plate V, fig. i, page 5.
Black-headed Finch. (Phonipara zena.)
Fig. i.
A single female specimen of this little Finch was obtained in
Florida, by Mr. Henshaw, in company with Mr. Maynard. There

Go up to Top of Page