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

[Plate CXV. Common wild turkey; Mexican turkey. (Meleagris gallopavo.) cont.],   pp. 175-176

Page 175

Grande. He says it proved to be wary and difficult to approach
in the daytime; but by watching to see where they roosted,
and visiting them by moonlight, one or two could generally be se-
cured.  They generally preferred roosting in high cottonwood
trees, on the banks of a stream, perching as high up as possible.
He once saw eleven Turkeys on one large bough of a cottonwood
tree, on the Medina. When the pecan-nuts are ripe, the Turkeys
become very fat, as they are extremely fond of these nuts, which
are very oily. One very plump bird was found, after it had been
dressed, to weigh sixteen pounds. The Mexicans on the Upper
Rio Grande sometimes domesticate the Wild Turkey. Mr. Dres-
ser saw two that had been caught when quite young, that became
very tame.
The food of Turkeys consists of pecan-nuts, wild grapes, grass,
various kinds of plants, corn and other grain; also, fruit, seeds,
beetles, small lizards, tadpoles, etc.
Dusky Grouse; Gray Grouse; Blue Grouse; Pine Grouse; Spruce Par-
tridge. (Telrao obscurus.)
Fig. 3.
Mr. Trippe gives the following interesting account of this species:
"The ' Gray Grouse,' as this species is universally called, is a
rather common bird throughout the mountains, from the foot-hills
up to timber-line, and, during summer, wanders at times above the
woods as high as the summit of the range. Excepting for a brief
period in August and September, it rarely approaches the vicinity
of clearings, frequenting the dense pine forests, and showing a
preference for the tops of rocky and inaccessible mountains. In
its nature, in short, it is the exact counterpart of the Ruffed Grouse,
having the same roving, restless disposition; living upon the same
diet of buds and berries; frequenting the same rugged, craggy
mountain haunts; and, like that bird, is more or less solitary in its
habits, and constantly moving from place to place on foot. Its food
consists principally of the leaves and berries of various species of
Ericaca, which abound in all its haunts. It is also very fond of
grasshoppers and all kinds of insects, and, while the snow lies deep
upon the ground, lives for the most part upon the buds and tender
leaves of the pines. When the grain is cut in the valleys, the
Grouse are frequently to be found, in the stubble-fields and adja-
cent coverts, in small flocks of three or four up to eight or ten.
They are then so tame as to be easily approached and killed, but
later in the season become somewhat wilder, though never very shy.
They never gather in large flocks, like the Pinnated and Sharp-
tailed Grouse, more than a single family being rarely found to-
gether. The brood separate as soon as they are well grown, and,
from the middle or close of autumn until the succeeding pairing
season, the Gray Grouse is usually found alone. On being sud-
denly startled, this bird takes wing with great rapidity, sometimes
uttering a loud crackling note, very much like that of the Prairie
Hen on similar occasions, frequently alighting on the lower limb
of a tree after flying a little way, and watching the intruder with
out-stretched neck. Sometimes they will fly up to the top of a tall
pine and remain hidden in the thick foliage for a long time; nor
will they move or betray their position, although sticks and stones
are thrown into the tree, or even a shot fired. Late in summer
many of them ascend to the upper woods to feed upon the multi-
tude of grasshoppers that swarm there in August and September,
in the pursuit of which they wander above timber-line, and may
sometimes be met with in great numbers among the copses of willows
and juniper that lie above the forests.
" The flight of the Gray Grouse is rapid and powerful. Its flesh
is white and tender, resembling that of the Ruffed Grouse. In all
respects it seems to fill the same place in the mountain fauna of
Colorado that is occupied by the latter bird among the mountains
of New England and the Middle States."
Texas Quail. (Onyx virginianus, var. texanus.)
Fig. 4.
This bird is a Southern Texas and Valley of the Rio Grande
variety of the typical species, represented on Plate XXVII,
page 28.
Alice's Thrush; Gray-cheeked Thrush. (Turdusswainsoni, var. alicia.)
Fig. S.
This is a variety of the typical species, represented on Plate
CXIV, fig. 24, page 173. Its distribution or habitat is about the
Henslow's Bunting. (Cotarniculus henslowi.)
Fig. 6.
The distribution of this Bunting is eastward to Massachusetts,
and westward to the Loup Fork of Platte. In Florida, Audubon
met with it in winter, they were in great numbers in all the pine bar-
rens of that state; in light and sandy soil, and in woods but thinly
overgrown by tall pines. They never alight on trees, but spend
their time on the ground, running with great rapidity through the
grass, in the manner of a mouse. Mr. Maynard describes their
song-note as like the syllables see-wick, the first syllable prolonged,
the latter given quickly.
Mangrove Cuckoo. (Coccyzus seniculus.)
Fig. 7.
Mr. Nuttall was the first of our naturalists to include this species
among our North American birds. He mentions it as an inhabi-
tant chiefly of Cayenne, and as an occasional visitor to the more
Southern States. Mr. Audubon only obtained specimens of it in
Florida and Key West. He says it is a regular summer visitor to
those places.
Black-billed Cuckoo. (Coccyzus erytArophthalmus.)
Fig. &
This bird is common to most all parts of North America, and is
generally accompanied by its relative, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo,
represented on Plate XXVIII, fig. I, page 30. These birds are
often confounded by persons who have not become familiar with
them. Its habits are much like the last named.
Brotherly-love Vireo; Philadelphia Greenlet.  (Virao philadelphicus.)
Fig. 9.
This rare bird was discovered by Cassin, in September, 1851,
near Philadelphia. It was in the upper branches of a high tree,
in a woods, capturing insects, supposed to be resting while on its
southern migration.
Nashville Warbler. (Helminthophaga ruficapilla.)
Fig. io.
In i8ii, Wilson met with this bird near Nashville, Tennessee.
It is a common bird of Eastern North America. Mr. Allen met it
at Springfield, Massachusetts, and says it is abundant in May and
in the early part of autumn. Arrives May Ist to 5th, and for two
or three weeks is a common inhabitant of the orchards and gar-
dens, actively gleaning insects among the unfolding leaves and

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