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

[Plate CXIV. Black-headed finch. (Phonipara zena.) cont.],   pp. 173-174

Plate CXV. Common wild turkey; Mexican turkey. (Meleagris gallopavo.),   p. 174

Page 174

Mountain Partridge; Gray's Ruffled Grouse. (Bonasa umbellus, var. Un-
Fig. 26.
This bird is a Rocky Mountain variety of the typical species, re-
presented on Plate LXXVIII, fig. i, page I20.
Texan Guan; Chiacalaca. (Ortalida vetula.)
Fig. 27.
A species inhabiting the Valley of the Rio Grande, thence south-
ward. It is common near Matamoras and Brownsville, where it
is exposed for sale and held in high esteem by the Mexicans on
account of its good fighting qualities. According to Colonel Mc-
Call, it was abundant for miles along the Lower Rio Grande, and
throughout this region the remarkable and sonorous cry of the
male bird could not fail to attract and fix the attention of the most
obtuse or listless wanderer, who might chance to approach its abode.
He also states that the eye is a remarkable feature in the living
birds of this species, being full of courage and animation, equal,
in fact, in brilliancy, to that of the finest game-cock. He frequently
noticed this bird domesticated by the Mexicans at Matamoras,
Monterey, etc., and going at large about their gardens. He was
assured that in that condition it was not unfrequently crossed with
the common fowl.
Southern Sharp-tailed Grouse; Columbia, or Common Sharp-tailed
Grouse. (Pedioecetes fphasianellus var. columbianus.)
Fig. 28.
Of the two varieties of Sharp-tailed Grouse found in North
America this is the Southern or Western variety. The Northern
is represented on Plate XCVI, fig. 3, page 143. The present bird
is met with on the prairies of the Western States, and, according to
Dr. Newberry, it is said to lie close, and when flushed to fly off,
uttering a constantly repeated kurk-kurk-kurk, moving with stead-
iness and considerable swiftness. It is, however, easily killed.
The young birds are fat and tender, and as they fall on the grassy
prairie scatter their feathers, as if torn to pieces. For delicacy of
flavor its flesh is unequaled. Its combination of colors makes it
resemble the ground, on which it lives, requiring a keen and prac-
ticed eye to distinguish them when they have fallen. It also pro-
tects them from the hawks and owls. The food consists of berries,
insects, grass-seeds, etc.
Franklin's Grouse, or Spruce Grouse. (Tetrao canadensis, var.frank-
Fig. 29.
This variety of the typical species, represented on Plate XCVI,
fig. I, page I42, is met with from the Rocky Mountains to the
Pacific, and from Oregon to high northern latitudes.
Key West Dove, or Pigeon. (Geotrygon martinica.)
Fig. 30.
Audubon met with this rare species at the island of Key West,
which, so far as known, is restricted to that section. He describes
its flight as low, swift, and protracted, as he saw them passing
between Cuba and Key West. They usually move in loose flocks
of from six to a dozen, and so very low as to almost touch the sur-
face. Their coo is not so soft nor so prolonged as that of the
Common Dove, and may be represented by the syllables whoe-
whoe-oh-oh-oh. When suddenly approached, they utter a guttural,
gasping sound. They usually alight on the low branches of
shrubby trees, and delight in the neighborhood of shady ponds.
Scaly Dove; Long-tailed Ground Dove. (Scardafella inca.)
Fig. 31.
Lieutenant Couch obtained a specimen of this species in the State
of New Leon, Mexico, April i8, i853. It is supposed to be a
resident of the Rio Grande Valley, south to Guatemala. It is said
by Mr. Taylor to be very common in Honduras, where he gen-
erally saw it in pairs. He also found it good eating.
Blue-headed Pigeon, or Ground Dove. (Starnmnas cyanocephala.)
Fig. 32. -
This beautiful bird is a resident of the West India Islands and
Florida Keys. Mr. Audubon saw a pair near the water, picking
gravel, but they would not suffer a near approach. They usually
live in the most tangled thickets, and feed well on cracked corn or
Ground Dove. (Chamrapelia passerina.)
Fig. 33.
This is a small and delicate little species, of the South Atlantic
and Gulf Coasts.   In Jamaica, according to Mr. March, the
Ground Dove sometimes perches, and always roosts, on low trees,
but is otherwise generally found in pairs, feeding on the ground on
small grain and seeds.  Several pairs may be seen feeding to-
gether; but they do not associate. It is said to be very tame? and
to be found about homesteads and in streets and roads. It also
breeds in low trees; the carchew and the dogwood seeming to be
preferred. It is very rarely kept as a cage-bird, as its note is a
plaintive, mournful coo, and there is a creole superstition that mis-
fortune will happen to any one so treating it. The nest is slightly
made of twigs, lined with grass, and built in a fork or hollow.
The eggs are two, of a rounded oval, white, eighty-seven
hundredths of an inch by sixty-nine. Mr. Audubon describes the
flight of this Dove as low, easy, and accompanied by a whistling
sound, produced by the action of the wings when the bird is sur-
prised and forced to fly.
Common Wild Turkey; Mexican Turkey. (Meleagris gallopaavo.)
Fig. 1.
It is generally supposed that to this rare bird we are indebted for
the introduction of our common domestic Turkey, so popular with
the denizens of North America, on account of its surpassing ex-
cellence for the table. It is met with in the southern portions of
the Middle Province, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and south-
ward along the table-lands of Mexico.
(Meleagris galloaiavo, var. americana.)
Fig. 2.
This bird is a variety of the last-named, and is met with in
Eastern North America, north to Canada, and in the West along
the timbered river valleys, toward the Rocky Mountains, thence
south to the Gulf Coast, Mr. Dresser found the Wild Turkey
common in all the portions of Texas and Mexico that he visited,
and particularly so on the rivers between San Antonio and the Rio

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