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

[Plate CIII. Red-vented thrasher; Crissal thrush; Henry's thrush. (Harporhynchus crissalis.) cont.],   pp. 151-152

Page 151

across, when its wings are spread. Some individuals are, how-
ever, larger, and some smaller, those of the first hatch being uni-
formly the largest. The upper parts of the head, neck, and back
are a dark brownish ash, and when new-moulted, a fine light gray;
the wings and tail are nearly black, the first and second rows of
coverts tipped with white; the primaries, in some males, are
wholly white; in others, tinged with brown. The first three pri-
maries are white from their roots as far as their coverts; the white
on the next six extends from an inch to one and three-fourths fur-
ther down, descending equally on each side the feather; the tail
is cuneiform; the two exterior feathers wholly white; the rest, ex-
cept the middle ones, tipped with white; the chin is white; sides
of the neck, breast, belly, and vent a brownish white, much purer
in wild birds than in those that have been domesticated; iris of the
eye, yellowish cream colored, inclining to golden; bill black; the
base of the lower mandible whitish; legs and feet black and
strong. The female much resembles the male, and is only dis-
tinguishable by the white of her wings being less pure and broad,
and her black feathers having a more rusty hue.
Palmer's Thrasher. (Hartorhynchus curvirostris.)
Fig. 4.
This is a species met with in Arizona, by Dr. Edward Palmer,
who says that it is very shy, and passes much of its time upon
the ground, where it was seen running beneath the bushes.
California Mocking Bird; Sickle-billed Thrush; California Thrasher.
(Hartorhynchus redivivus.)
Fig. S.
This plainly-colored species is restricted in its distribution to the
coast region of California. Dr. Gambel first met with it near Mon-
terey. It was taken whilst the bird was gathering insects on the
ground. It is difficult to approach. When alarmed, it takes to
the thick bushes, running some distance, and becoming afterward
unapproachable. He speaks of its song as a flood of melody,
equaled only by the song of the Mocking Bird.
Oinerous Thrush; Ashy Thrush; Cape St. Lucas Thrasher. (Hyporhyn-
chus cinereus.)
Fig. 6.
This is a new species discovered by Mr. Xantus, in 1859, at
Cape St. Lucas. So far as known, it is confined to the peninsula
of Lower California. Mr. Xantus found it quite numerous at the
Cape St. Lucas, in a region which was singularly unpropitious-a
sandy shore, extending about a quarter of a mile inland, whence
a cactus desert stretched about six miles up to a high range of
Bewiok's Wren: Western Mocking Wren.
var. spilturus.)
(Thryothorus Bewickii,
Fig. 7.
This variety is an inhabitant of the Western coast. Dr. Cooper
says they abound throughout the wooded parts of California and
northward, frequenting the densest forests as well as the open
groves. During the winter, they were found in the vicinity of Fort
Morgan, but left in April. They are known as Mocking Wrens,
though he thinks they do not really imitate other birds, but rather
have a great variety of their own notes, some of which resemble
those of other birds, and are well calculated to deceive one unac-
customed to them. The nest was built in a low bush, only three
feet from the ground. It was quite open above, formed of twigs,
grass, etc., and contained five eggs, which were white, with
brown specks near the larger end.
Allied Creeper Wren; Cape Cactus Wren. (Carfpylorhynchus afinis.)
Fig. 8.
This species was first discovered by Mr. Xantus in the southern
extremity of Lower California, where it is a very common bird.
So far as known it is only observed at Cape St. Lucas, Lower
Pygmy Nuthatch; California Nuthatch. (Sitta pygmxa.)
Fig. 9.
This little species is found on the Pacific Coast, and on the
western slope of the Rocky Mountains, from Washington Terri.
tory to Southern California. Dr. Kennerly found them quite
abundant in the Sierra Madre and San Francisco Mountains, even
as high up as the snow-line, seeking their insect food among the
tops of the lofty pines. Dr. Gambel mentions their almost ex-
traordinary abundance, in the winter months, in Upper California.
Around Monterey, at times, the trees appeared almost alive with
them, as they ran up and down and around the branches and
trunks, uttering their monotonous and querulous cries. Their
note he describes as a repeated whistling wit-wit. When one
utters this cry, the rest join in. Mr. Ridgeway found it exceed-
ingly hard to discover this bird among the branches, or even when
flying, owing to the swiftness and irregularity of its flight. When
the female of a pair had been killed, the male bird was extremely,
loud in his lamentations. Diminutive as this bird is, it is also the
noisiest of all the feathered inhabitants of the pines, though it is
less active in the pursuit of insects than the larger species.
Slender-billed, or Western Nuthatch. (Sitta carolinensis, var. acueata.)
Fig. 0o.
The Pacific Coast, and east toward the Rocky Mountains, is the
habitat of this western variety of the eastern species, the White-
breasted Black-capped Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis), represented
on plate 2, figs. 5 and 6, page 2. The habits of these birds are
similar; their note is a single harsh call, uttered occasionally, and
responded to by their comrades.
Black-whiskered Vireo; Florida Greenlet; Whip-Tom-Kelly. (Vireo
altiloqvuus, var. barbatulus.)
Fig. ii.
This species is met with in Cuba, the Bahamas, and casually
at Charlotte Harbor, Florida. It is very similar in habits and ap-
pearance to the common Red-eyed Vireo ( Vireo olivaceus), plate
49, fig. 8, page 73. Dr. Hurman describes its song as clear and
musical, and very distinctly uttered. It was constantly on the
search for insects, and appeared even more active than any of the
northern species, darting among the foliage, peering into crevices
and cobwebs, suspended from branches with its back downward,
and occasionally chasing a flying insect in the manner of a true
Flycatcher. These movements were usually accompanied by a

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