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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
(1880)

Hoy, P. R.
Fauna of Wisconsin,   pp. 134-139 PDF (2.7 MB)


Page 139


FAUNA OF WISCONSIN.
Black river, December, 1863. Badgers are now nearly gone, and in a few years
more, the only
badgers found within the state, will be two legged ones. Beavers are yet
numerous in the
small lakes in the northern regions. Wolverines are occasionally met with
in the northern
forests. Bears, wolves, and deer, will continue to flourish in the northern
and central counties,
where underbrush, timber, and small lakes abound.
      All large animals will soon be driven by civilization out of Wisconsin.
The railroad and
 improved firearms will do the work, and thus we lose the primitive denizens
of the forest and
 prairies.
                         PECULIARITIES OF THE BIRD FAUNA.
      The facts recorded in this paper, were obtained by personal observations
within fifteen
 miles of Racine, Wisconsin, latitude 42046' north, longitude 870 48' west.
This city is situated
 on thewestern shore of Lake Michigan, at the extreme southern point of the
heavy lumbered
 district, the base of which restson Lake Superior. Racine extends six miles
further into the
 lake than Milwaukee,' and two miles further than Kenosha. At this point
the great prairie
 approaches near the lake from the west. The extreme rise of the mercury
in summer, is from
 9o9 to ioo Q Fahrenheit. The isothermal line comes further north in summer,
and retires further
 south in winter than it does east of the great lakes, which physical condition
will sufficiently
 explain the remarkable peculiarities of its animal life, the overlapping,
as it were, of two distinct
 faunas. More especially is this true of birds, that are enabled to change
their locality with the
 greatest facility. Within the past thirty years, I have collected and observed
over three hundred
 species of birds, nearly half of all birds found in North America. Many
species, considered
 rare in other sections, are found here in the greatest abundance. A striking
peculiarity of the
 ornithological fauna of this section, is that southern birds go farther
north in summer, while
 northern species go farther south in winter than they do east of the lakes.
Of summer birds
 that visit us, I will ennumerate a few of the many that belong to a more
southern latitude in the
 Atlantic States. Nearly all nest with us, or, at least, did some years ago.
     Yellow-breasted chat, Ic/eria virdis; mocking bird, M/fimus pollygloftus;
great Carolina wren,
 Thriolhorus ludovicianus; prothonotary warbler, Protonolaria ci/rea; summer
red bird, Pyrangia
 est4va; wood ibis, Tantalus loeu/a/or.
     Among Arctic birds that visit us in winter are:
     Snowy owl, Nyc/ea nivea; great gray owl, Syrnium cinerus; hawk owl,
Surnia ulula; Arctic
 three-toed woodpecker, Picoides arc/ius;*banded three-toed woodpecker, Picoides
hirsuius; mag-
 pie, Pica hudsonica; Canada jay, Perisorius canadensis; evening grosbeak,
HesJeriPhona vesjper..
 tina; Hudson titmouse, Parus hudsonicus; king eder, Soma/eria spec/abilis;
black-throated diver,
 Colymbus arcdicus; glaucus gull, Laurus glaucus.
     These examples are sufficient to indicate the rich avi fauna of Wisconsin.
It is doubtful if
there is another locality where the Canada jay and its associates visit in
winter where the mock-
ing bird nests in summer, or where the hawk owl flies silently over the spot
occupied during
the warmer days by the summer red bird and the yellow-breasted chat. But
the ax has already
leveled much of the great woods, so that there is now a great falling off
in numbers of our old
familiar feathered friends. It is now extremely doubtful if such a collection
can ever again be
mad( within the boundaries of this state, or indeed, of any other.
139


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