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Title: An Introduction to the Birds of Pennsylvania
Author: Sutton, George Miksch
Language: English
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PENNSYLVANIA ***

    [Illustration: “When apple trees are white
    With their burden of delight.”
    _Baltimore Orioles (lower, male; upper, female) in an Adams County
    Orchard_]



                         AN INTRODUCTION TO THE
                                BIRDS OF
                              PENNSYLVANIA


                                   BY
                          GEORGE MIKSCH SUTTON

                  STATE ORNITHOLOGIST OF PENNSYLVANIA
              CHIEF OF BUREAU OF RESEARCH AND INFORMATION
                   PENNSYLVANIA STATE GAME COMMISSION
           MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGISTS’ UNION, ETC.

  _With a frontispiece in color and numerous pen-and-ink text-drawings
                             by the author_


                                  1928
                              PUBLISHED BY
                      J. HORACE McFARLAND COMPANY
                           HARRISBURG, PENNA.

                            Copyright, 1928
                     By J. HORACE McFARLAND COMPANY
                          MOUNT PLEASANT PRESS
                           Harrisburg, Penna.



                               Dedication


   MY MOTHER THINKS SHE DOES NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT BIRDS; BUT SHE KNEW
   ENOUGH ABOUT THEM TO LET ME BRING THEM, ALIVE, DEAD, OR WORSE THAN
DEAD, INTO HER BUSY HOUSEHOLD, AND I THINK SHE IS A GOOD ORNITHOLOGIST.



                             PREFATORY NOTE


I have written this book for those who are beginning a study of birds in
Pennsylvania; or for those who, after some study in a certain region,
wish to know more about the birds in other sections of the Commonwealth.

This book is not intended to be a complete reference work. The
descriptions of the birds and statements of their status are as brief as
I felt I could make them under the circumstances. Many species of birds
which have been recorded in Pennsylvania are not even mentioned. These
are omitted so as to simplify the list for the beginner, who is
confronted with a sufficiently formidable array of new and strange names
as it is. All important species are, however, included.

Colored illustrations throughout this hand manual would, of course, have
been desirable, but their cost is great, and the pen drawings are
adequate for field-work; perhaps, in fact, even better than fully
colored drawings which often lead the beginner to expect too much from
the glimpses he may have of birds in the field.

Throughout the manual I have attempted to stress the points which are of
importance to the field student, and have tried to eliminate material
which might lead to confusion.

Thorough, detailed works on Pennsylvania birds are needed. Such volumes,
one on western Pennsylvania, by W. E. Clyde Todd, of the Carnegie
Museum, Pittsburgh, and one on eastern Pennsylvania, by Dr. Witmer
Stone, of the Philadelphia Academy of Arts and Sciences, are in the
making now. But it may be years before these completed volumes are ready
for distribution, and in the meantime our budding ornithologists are
carrying on their studies handicapped by a lack of any sort of reference
work which is up-to-date, understandable, simple and local in its
treatment, and within reach of those of average means. This volume has
been prepared to meet this need.

It is hoped that the ornithological notes of those who use this manual
may be so conscientiously written and so carefully kept that they will
be of value in the final preparation of the larger, more exhaustive
works which are to follow.

I have a suggestion to make to those who would like to make this volume
more attractive and somewhat personal in character. Why not, as certain
birds are identified, color in the pen-and-ink drawings with water-color
or crayon so that they will greet the eye in color as the pages are
turned? The paper used is such that colors may be applied with safety,
if care be exercised. Children, in particular, will greatly enjoy this
feature of their bird-study work. Teachers who like to combine
elementary art work with nature study will welcome such a suggestion. A
book which has, in a sense, been thus personally illustrated, becomes
invaluable to the owner.

I should like to extend a word of gratitude to the following people who
have helped me in the preparation of this volume: Captain George Finlay
Simmons, of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Mr. Wharton Huber,
of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences; Mr. Robert McFarland,
of the Mount Pleasant Press, Harrisburg; Miss Evangel Sutton, my sister;
Mr. Leo A. Luttringer, Jr., my assistant; and Miss Effie Riemensnyder,
of Harrisburg.

                                                    GEORGE MIKSCH SUTTON

  Harrisburg, Pa.
    _July 29, 1928._



                                CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE
  Introductory                                                       vii
      A Word to the Beginner                                           1
      Bird-Songs                                                       2
      Note-Books                                                       3
      Specimens                                                        3
      Field-Glasses                                                    3
      Books                                                            4
      Magazines                                                        4
      Bird Hikes                                                       5
      In the Field                                                     5
      Value of Pennsylvania Birds                                      6
      Helping Our Bird Friends                                         7
      Life-Zones in Pennsylvania                                       8
      Bird-Migration in Pennsylvania                                   9
  List of Species                                                     11
  Index of Bird Names                                                163



                         AN INTRODUCTION TO THE
                         BIRDS OF PENNSYLVANIA



                         A WORD TO THE BEGINNER


As you glance over the pages of this book you may say to yourself, “I
can never learn all of these birds.” This is a natural attitude of mind
upon the part of one to whom many bird-names are new and who feels that
he doesn’t know much about birds.

It may be reassuring to you to learn that most people know more about
birds than they realize. Already your mind is full of common bird-names.
You wouldn’t be reading this book had you not already learned a good
deal about some birds.

Here is a bit of good advice. Instead of taking this book to the field
with you in the hope that you may accurately identify every bird you
see, suppose you choose eight or ten birds which you do not know, but
about which you wish to learn, and concentrate upon these. You already
know the Bluebird, the Robin, the Crow. Suppose you try now the Wood
Thrush, the Towhee, the Meadowlark. Look these up in the book, find out
whether you may expect to see them at the time you are to make your trip
of discovery, learn where to look for them, what to look for when they
appear, something about what they will say as they call or sing—and
fasten these facts in your mind. If you adopt this procedure, you will
not be misled into identifying some bird of the deep woods as a
Meadowlark, or a bird of the open field as a Wood Thrush. Some birds
will puzzle you, of course, but as you continue your study these
problems will be solved.

As a serious bird student you will, first of all, want to be able to
describe a bird accurately, using some acceptable scientific terms. Some
of these will be new to you, but they will all become understandable in
a short time. On the next page is a chart showing the names of the
bird’s parts. You should become so familiar with these words that they
will not confuse you.

Many books give complete color keys which are to help the beginner. I do
not believe much in these, because I have always found them tedious and
difficult. I believe that good sketches obviate much of the need of such
keys.

    [Illustration: Topography of a Bird]

In making your studies be careful not to expect to find birds during
seasons when they do not normally occur. On the other hand, if you
identify a bird at a time which is not indicated in this manual, special
note should be made, for pioneer records such as these are valuable to
the author who wants to gather together all data, and the last word has
not yet been said upon all the movements of even our commonest species.


                               BIRD-SONGS

It is my belief that but few people altogether lack a sense of tune.
Some of my students at the University of Pittsburgh had difficulty, I
remember, in diagramming bird-songs; but with a little practice you will
be able to jot down syllables which will help you to recall bird-songs.
The well-known names _Chickadee_, _Phœbe_, and _Killdeer_ are all
permanent records of this very sort of syllabization of bird-songs—an
attempt to write down what the bird is saying. Sometimes a bird will be
heard again and again before it is seen. If my notes concerning songs
are at all accurate, some of these will help you to find birds which you
might have difficulty in identifying from appearance alone.


                               NOTE-BOOKS

Write down all sorts of notes, be they ever so incomplete. Make sketches
of birds as you see them; diagram the songs and call-notes. Keep all
that you write as accurate and free from imagination as possible. Do not
accredit a bird with certain colors until you see them.

A note-book may take the form of a diary wherein is stated the
temperature of the day, the weather conditions, the length and route of
your field-trip, and the birds which you saw, together with notes upon
them. Or, your system may be more elaborate, with a separate sheet for
each species whereon you put all the data which you accumulate, more or
less, perforce, in chronological order. The principal point to remember
is that notes should be written while they are fresh in the mind, on the
spot, if possible, to avoid inaccuracies.


                               SPECIMENS

Only a few ornithologists can have a complete collection of birds for
reference. Everyone can save feathers of birds, or old nests, however,
and when birds are found dead, they may be saved as specimens, if a
permit for holding them is requested from the State Game Commission.
When I was a lad I saved feathers which I found in the woods and had a
large collection of these. Some of them, I later found, were all that
were needed in authenticating a good record.

You will find it helpful to visit a good museum occasionally, so as to
have a close view of the birds you have been reading about, or studying
under difficulty, in the field. Here you will see clearly the color
patterns, the anatomical characteristics, and the actual size of the
birds that have puzzled you.


                             FIELD-GLASSES

A good binocular, preferably one which magnifies about six times, is a
great aid to the amateur. The field of the glass, its illumination, ease
of adjustment, and such points should be investigated before the
purchase is made. A well-made glass with good lenses is probably the
best in the long run, even though it be more expensive. Glasses should
be handled carefully. They should have a good carrying-case, and should
not be left lying in the sun nor exposed to the rain.


                                 BOOKS

Many excellent standard works upon birds are available. When I was a
youngster I wore out three volumes of Dr. Frank M. Chapman’s
_Bird-Life_; I devoured the reading matter, cut up the pictures, and
studied the technique of the artist who had painted them. By the time I
had destroyed the third copy of this helpful volume, I knew the birds
treated there pretty well. Chapman’s _Handbook of Birds of Eastern North
America_ is a desk-side companion today. The little pocket volumes
called _Bird Guides_, by C. A. Reed, are helpful; but the color-plates
in them have been used so many times that they are worn out, with the
result that the colors are often very misleading. Dr. B. H. Warren’s
volumes on the _Birds of Pennsylvania_, published in 1888 and 1890,
contain much of value and interest, including a series of colored
pictures which always elicit praise. These volumes, while interesting
historically, do not meet the needs of the Pennsylvania bird student
today, in the light of present knowledge. The excellent state
publications _Birds of New York_ (Eaton) and _Birds of Massachusetts_
(Forbush), are magnificently illustrated and are well worth possessing;
they treat of many of the species found in Pennsylvania. Books on
general aspects of ornithology which you will find useful are: Wetmore’s
_The Migrations of Birds_, Ball’s _Bird Biographies_, Blanchan’s _Bird
Neighbors_ and _Birds That Hunt and Are Hunted_, Chapman’s _What Bird is
That?_, Coues’ _Key to North American Birds_, the National Geographic
Society’s _Book of Birds_, and Forbush’s _Useful Birds and Their
Protection_.


                               MAGAZINES

The proceedings of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Society, published
under the title _Cassinia_, contain a wealth of material interesting to
the Pennsylvania student. _The Cardinal_, journal of the Audubon Society
of the Sewickley Valley, and a well-edited periodical, contains articles
of interest chiefly to workers in western Pennsylvania; _The Auk_, _The
Wilson Bulletin_, _Bird-Lore_, _The Oologist_, _The Condor_ (western),
and _Nature Magazine_, all are likely to contain articles of interest to
Pennsylvania bird students.


                               BIRD HIKES

Early-morning hikes are good, but activity among birds is high, as a
rule, until 10 o’clock A.M., or later, so you need not be in haste to
get out at 4 o’clock, unless you have to go far. The trained bird
student so comes to depend upon songs that he stays out as long as the
birds are singing. Windy days are poor, because the birds are shy. In
gentle rains, birds will often be very active and tame. Toward evening,
birds often become active and vociferous again. Only a few of our birds
sing during the heat of the midsummer noon.


                              IN THE FIELD

Winter is an ideal time to begin bird-study, because there are no leaves
and because the birds are few and not difficult to identify. If you
learn the winter birds thoroughly, you will be ready for the rush of the
spring as old favorites return and new friends appear.

Midsummer is often a disappointing season because birds are silent and
in poor feather. At this time you will be able to study the plumages of
the young birds, however, and you will find much of interest in watching
the affairs of family life. Migrant shore-birds should be watched during
late summer.

Fall is the season of trials. Now come the restless, sombre-colored
hordes, most of them silent save for a few brief call-notes. When you
can easily identify all the fall birds, you are a pretty good
ornithologist.

In approaching a bird, common sense will warn you that you should be as
quiet as possible. You should be obscurely dressed, and if you can go
under, around, or between bushes, rather than through them, you will
cause less disturbance. Often the best way to study birds is to find a
pleasant, somewhat hidden spot and remain there for an hour, watching
all that comes by. A good bird student, in the course of his walk, will
try to visit as many different kinds of country as he can; he will visit
the ponds and marshes, the grape-vine thickets, the open fields, and the
hemlock woods of his neighborhood. He knows that in these different
regions he is likely to find different birds. In fact, unless he does
carefully study _all_ of these regions, he is not thoroughly studying
the bird-life of his locality.

You may have trouble in seeing some birds, though you pursue them ever
so tirelessly. Try kissing the back of your hand in such a manner as to
imitate the cries of a young or wounded bird. This sound will often
arouse the curiosity of the wariest bird and he will come close. I thus
made a squeaking sound once and a Robin hit me with full force on the
neck; she was so convinced that I had one of her young in my dreaded
clutches that she gave stern battle! These squeaking cries sometimes
draw even the birds of prey.


                      VALUE OF PENNSYLVANIA BIRDS

Birds are of great value from the economic standpoint. The insects,
destructive mammals and reptiles, and weed-seeds which they destroy are
all enemies of man. It is amazing that in the scheme of nature certain
birds should patrol the air, others the fields, others the trees, others
the forest-floor, and so on, so that all outdoors is, in a sense, cared
for by our feathered friends. It has been said that our very existence
depends upon these birds who make it possible for the trees, the
flowers, and the grain-fields to grow. And all the while these same
creatures are delighting us with their beautiful colors and their
cheerful songs.

Game-birds are important in Pennsylvania, with 700,000 hunters faring
forth each fall. In addition to our popular game-birds, the Bob-White,
Wild Turkey, and Ruffed Grouse, the Game Commission has introduced the
Ring-necked Pheasant and Hungarian Partridge. These foreigners relieve
the burden of shooting from our native game.

From the economic standpoint only a few birds in Pennsylvania may be
said to be thoroughly undesirable. The Goshawk is a savage destroyer of
small game and poultry. His smaller cousins, the Sharp-shinned Hawk and
Cooper’s Hawk, are killers. The Great Horned Owl is destructive at
times. Other hawks and owls, the Crow, Kingfisher, Starling, and other
species have some destructive or undesirable traits, but they are not
altogether bad.

Our valuable song and insectivorous birds have been protected since
1858. Certain migratory birds, such as the loons, grebes, herons, and
gulls, have been protected since 1900 by the International Bird Treaty
with Canada. Today we protect one admittedly destructive bird—the Raven,
because it is so rare and because of its fame in literary circles.


                        HELPING OUR BIRD FRIENDS

We may encourage birds to live about us, if we bear in mind their needs.
In winter we may feed the Chickadees, Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers, and
other birds which live in our neighborhood. We may tack pieces of suet
on a sheltered branch and scatter grain and grit on “feeding counters.”
When snow is on the ground the birds have considerable difficulty in
getting enough food, and our assistance will sometimes keep them from
starvation. Feeding-shelters may be very simple, or they may be
elaborate, but they should be placed and built so as to serve the needs
of the birds best. A feeding-shelf built at a window furnishes a very
attractive and useful device.

Before spring is upon us we should erect nesting-boxes for the Purple
Martins, Bluebirds, and House Wrens we wish to attract. Those who are
interested in securing specifications for these boxes should write to
the Game Commission at Harrisburg for their bulletin, “A Year’s Program
for Bird Protection.”

In spring we should think of the trees or shrubs which will attract
birds. A fruit-laden mulberry tree always attracts birds in midsummer.
Thick bushes placed in clumps will almost surely lure nesting Catbirds
or Chipping Sparrows; a trumpet vine will mean Hummingbirds!

In midsummer the birds’ bath must be arranged. Such a bath may be very
simple. But it must not be deep, and the edges should slope into the
deeper water gradually. Remember that the water should be changed
frequently unless a running stream is provided.

House cats and birds do not thrive together as a rule. If you wish to
make conditions as nearly ideal as possible for your bird friends, you
had better not keep a cat, for these animals are, by nature, crafty and
bloodthirsty, and they will catch birds for “sport,” even though they
are well fed.

If you carefully watch the birds, you will become aware of their needs.
You may find it necessary to shoot Starlings occasionally if they
persist in ousting Flickers from their nests. You may have to plant
sunflowers to attract Goldfinches; you may find it desirable to allow
part of your property to grow up into weeds and bushes so that it may
furnish a home for some unusual bird neighbor. At my home at Bethany,
West Virginia, we have permitted raspberry vines to grow on a hillside
back of the house, and here Indigo Buntings nest, within a few rods of
the open windows!


                       LIFE-ZONES IN PENNSYLVANIA

The term _Life-Zone_ is used by scientists in referring to a region
where environmental conditions so react upon each other as to form a
suitable home for certain plant and animal forms. A Life-Zone naturally
has no hard and fast boundaries as does a geographical zone; its
boundaries are determined by temperature, rainfall, soil, altitude,
drainage, and innumerable other factors, which so create a certain
average whole as to attract certain species of plants, birds, mammals,
and so forth, which in turn themselves become part of the environment,
and are responsible for the presence of certain forms. These Life-Zones
are, then, associations which naturally develop in sections where
similar conditions exist. In Pennsylvania there are three or four of
these associations. One, noticeable in the southern and southwestern
counties, has been called the Carolinian Life-Zone. Here such birds as
the Carolina Wren, Cardinal, Tufted Tit, and Red-bellied Woodpecker
live. In much of Pennsylvania the Alleghenian Life-Zone occurs, where
the Least Flycatcher, Wilson’s Thrush, Swamp Sparrow, and Rose-breasted
Grosbeak are to be found in summer. Higher in the mountains is the
Canadian Life-Zone; here the Junco, Hermit Thrush, Red-breasted
Nuthatch, Wilson’s Snipe, and Northern Water Thrush nest. As you read
this book, you will notice that many birds are to be found in _northern
or mountainous counties_; others in _southern or less mountainous
counties_, and so forth. This is an indication of Life-Zone
distribution.


                     BIRD-MIGRATION IN PENNSYLVANIA

Some of our winter birds spend the year round in one region. Certain of
them, like the Song Sparrow and Crow, migrate to an extent, the nesting
individuals moving southward during winter, their place being taken by
other individuals of the same species from farther north. Some winter
birds, such as the Junco, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, and
Tree Sparrow, visit us from the north and return to their Canadian
nesting-ground with the arrival of spring. Most of our familiar summer
birds spend the winter to the southward, many of them in South America.
They come to us for a few months each year for the sole purpose of
bringing forth their young. Many species of birds pass through
Pennsylvania en route from their home in the south to their
nesting-grounds in the north, and back again in the fall.

By far the greater number of species migrate to an extent. The
phenomenon of bird-migration has caused many a student to wonder. How
did such a tremendous annual movement originate? How do the birds endure
their great flights across bodies of water?

The probability is that the migration of birds developed in past
centuries as the food-supply in the tropics became insufficient for all
the nesting birds which tried to bring forth their young there. Urged by
the need for solitude and a good food-supply, certain birds pushed out
from the ancestral range and established a new summer home. After the
young were reared, instinct drew them back to the region which was
familiar to them, and so great migration routes have developed. Today
the tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbird rears his young in our woodlands,
then returns to South America with the young birds. Our Yellow Warbler,
Red-eyed Vireo, Purple Martin, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager,
and many others, all go to South America.

Food-conditions, no doubt, have something to do with migration
movements. Birds are well clothed with feathers, to be sure, but many of
them depend on an insect diet, such as would be difficult to secure
during cold winters. Some of our birds actually do not migrate if a
food-supply is available.

Most of the smaller birds migrate at night, following streams or
mountain ranges. Swallows and hawks usually migrate by day, ducks and
geese by both day and night. The Ohio, Delaware, and Susquehanna river
valleys are important routes of migration. The shore of Lake Erie is a
resting-ground for birds which have flown over this large body of water.
In fall, at Presque Isle, the trees may be alive with birds which have
just made the flight. The Atlantic Coast is an important route of
migration for many waterbirds. Since Pennsylvania has no salt-water
shore-line, we do not find some species which are to be found along the
coast of New Jersey and Delaware.

Many birds which occur in abundance at Erie, in fall, rest there until
they are able to take another flight; then they start southward for a
feeding or resting-ground south of Pennsylvania, and therefore skip over
most of the Commonwealth.

The distribution of birds and the constancy of their migration routes is
a source of much wonder to all of us. Why should the two Palm Warblers,
for instance, so invariably be found each year, one to the eastward, one
to the westward of the mountains? Why should some birds be here in fall
and not in spring? Why should others be so variable in numbers? If you
keep careful notes upon the migratory birds, you may eventually help to
solve some of these problems.


                              HORNED GREBE
                       _Colymbus auritus_ Linnæus

  Other Names.—Dipper; Hell-Diver.

  Description.—Neck long; no tail-feathers; toes flat and broad, feet at
  rear of body; sexes similar. _Adult in spring_: Large, puffy head,
  black, with stripe and silken plumes behind eye buffy; plumage of back
  blackish edged with gray; secondaries white; neck, breast, and sides
  chestnut; belly silvery white; eyes bright pink, the pupil encircled
  with a white ring. _Immature birds and adults in winter_: Grayish
  black above, silvery white beneath, grayish on the throat, with white
  cheek-patches which nearly meet on nape. _Length_: 13½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant throughout the Commonwealth from
  March 20 to May 10 and from October 1 to November 30; occasional in
  winter when water is free of ice.

    [Illustration: Horned Grebe, Winter Plumage]

The white on the sides of the head and the white wing-patches
distinguish this species in winter plumage from the Pied-billed Grebe;
the gay spring plumage of the Horned Grebe is unmistakable. Look for
this bright-eyed diver along the larger waterways. Its ability in
swimming under water causes it to evade its enemies by disappearing
beneath the surface rather than by flying. Grebes have the interesting
habit of swallowing their own feathers as they moult, or as they pluck
them out.

Holbœll’s Grebe (_Colymbus holbœllii_), a much larger bird, is very rare
in Pennsylvania. In spring plumage it has a red-brown neck. It is about
twice as large as either the Horned or Pied-billed Grebe and has a
proportionately heavier and larger bill.


                           PIED-BILLED GREBE
                _Podilymbus podiceps podiceps_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Dabchick; Hell-Diver; Dipper; Dipper-Duck (erroneous).

  Description.—Sexes similar. _Adults in summer_: Glossy, dark brown
  above; throat black; neck, breast, and sides grayish, washed with
  brownish and indistinctly mottled with blackish; lower breast and
  belly glossy white; black band across bill. _Immature birds and adults
  in winter_: Similar, but without black on throat and bill. _Length_:
  13½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rare as a summer resident, chiefly because
  there are so few lakes and marshes suited to its nesting; fairly
  common as a migrant from April 1 to May 15 and from August 25 to
  October 30.

  Nest.—Flat, composed of decaying vegetation, floating among
  water-weeds or anchored by plants which are attached to the bottom.
  _Eggs_: 4 to 7, dull white, usually so heavily stained as to be
  brownish in appearance.

    [Illustration: Pied-billed Grebe, Breeding Plumage]

The Pied-billed Grebe is such an excellent diver and can so artfully
escape detection by swimming beneath the surface of the water, with only
its bill exposed, that it is often a difficult bird to observe. On land
it is virtually helpless. The shortness of the body of the swimming
grebe makes it comparatively easy to identify, and the unmarked wings
distinguish this species from the Horned Grebe. The Pied-billed Grebe
will frequently be seen along smaller streams and in little ponds.


                                  LOON
                     _Gavia immer immer_ (Brünnich)

  Other Names.—Great Northern Diver; Loom.

  Description.—Size large; bill long and sharp; tail very short, with
  legs sticking out behind. _Adults in spring_: Upperparts black, with
  bluish and greenish reflections; patches on throat and sides of neck
  streaked with white; back and wings marked regularly with rows of
  white squares; underparts silvery white; sides black, spotted finely
  with white; eyes red. _Immature birds and adults in winter_:
  Upperparts blackish, margined with gray and without white spots;
  throat and neck grayish; underparts white. _Length_: about 30 inches.

    [Illustration: Loon, Breeding Plumage]

Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant along the larger lakes
and waterways from March 15 to May 10 and from October 1 to December 15;
occasional in winter when the water is free of ice.

The Loon is at perfect ease in the water; on land it shuffles along,
using its wings as feet, and it cannot rise in flight from the ground.
It lives almost altogether on fish which it captures under water and
swallows entire. As a rule, it is to be seen far out from shore,
floating quietly. Easily it slips under the water, perhaps to reappear a
hundred yards or more from the point at which it went down. The weird,
laughing cry, which is famous in literature, is not often heard in
Pennsylvania, since the birds do not nest here.

In the hand, the Loon is easily recognized by its striking coloration in
spring; or in winter by its long, sharp bill and its large, webbed feet;
at a distance, in the water, it may be confused with a cormorant, which
has a hooked bill and a rather long tail, or with some of the larger
ducks which have shorter, more stubby bills.

The smaller Red-throated Loon (_Gavia stellata_), usually a rare bird in
Pennsylvania, is found during winter or early spring. In winter the back
is gray, _flecked with white_; in spring there is a triangular patch of
red-brown on the lower throat; it is always white below.


                              HERRING GULL
               _Larus argentatus argentatus_ Pontoppidan

  Other Names.—Sea Gull; Gray Gull.

  Description.—Sexes similar. _Adults in summer_: White, with pearl-gray
  back and wings; tips of wings black with white spots; bill yellow with
  orange spot near tip of lower mandible; feet pale pink; eyes pale
  yellow. _Adults in winter_: Similar, with gray spots on head and neck.
  _Immature birds_: Dark gray-brown at a distance, with blackish bill
  and dark brown eyes; in the hand the upper-parts are found to be dark
  gray, considerably marked with buffy. The acquiring of fully adult
  plumage requires several moults. Birds which are not fully adult may
  have black-tipped, white tails. Young in their first flight plumage
  are darker than older individuals. _Length_: 24 inches.

    [Illustration: Herring Gull, Breeding Plumage]

Range in Pennsylvania.—A somewhat irregular migrant and winter resident
throughout, save at Erie, where it is common during summer, though it
does not, apparently, nest there. In the interior it appears in spring
as soon as the ice breaks up and is usually noted along the larger
waterways.

Large gulls seen in Pennsylvania are usually of this species. Their long
wings and graceful flight mark them at great distance. The smaller
Ring-billed Gull, which is not easy to distinguish from this species in
the field, has greenish yellow feet and a black band across the bill.
Herring Gulls are often abundant about the harbor at Erie.


                            RING-BILLED GULL
                        _Larus delawarensis_ Ord

  Description.—Sexes similar. _Adults in summer_: Like the Herring Gull,
  but much smaller, with greenish yellow bill crossed near tip by black
  band, and with greenish yellow feet. In winter the head and neck are
  spotted with gray. _Immature_: Gray-brown; tail white, with black band
  near tip; end of bill black. _Length_: 18 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An irregular migrant in February, March, and
  April, and in October and November, sometimes appearing in flocks;
  occasional in winter.

The Ring-billed Gull should be identified in the field with a glass. It
is much like the Herring Gull in general appearance, and, unless it be
compared directly with the larger bird, may pass undetected. Remember
the yellowish feet and the black band across the bill.


                            BONAPARTE’S GULL
                  _Chroicocephalus philadelphia_ (Ord)

  Description.—Size small; sexes similar. _Adults in summer_: White,
  with rosy flush on belly, _head black_ with white spot at eye,
  pearl-gray mantle, and black-tipped wings. Adults in winter lack the
  rosy flush of the underparts and have white heads upon the back of
  which are two dusky spots. Immature birds are similar to adults in
  winter but have a black band near the tip of the tail. _Length_: 14
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly regular migrant along the waterways
  from about April 1 to May 10 (sometimes considerably later) and from
  September 1 to October 10. Not often seen in winter.

This, the smallest of our gulls, is often seen in flocks. At Conneaut
Lake, Crawford County, where they are regular visitors, they circle
about rapidly, like terns, resting on the water at intervals or standing
on a floating timber. Their black heads distinguish them easily from all
other species save the Laughing Gull (_Chroicocephalus atricilla
megalopterus_) a larger species which nests along the Atlantic Coast,
and which may occur occasionally along the waterways of the southeastern
part of the Commonwealth.


                              COMMON TERN
                        _Sterna hirundo_ Linnæus

  Other Names.—Sea Swallow; Striker; Wilson’s Tern.

  Description.—Smaller than a gull, with long, deeply forked tail.
  _Adults in summer_: Top of head glossy black; rest of body pearl-gray,
  save throat, sides of head, and tail, which are white, the outer
  tail-feathers with outer webs pearl-gray; bill red, with black tip;
  feet orange-red. _Adults in winter_: Similar, but with forepart of
  head and underparts white, and bill blackish. _Immature_: Similar to
  adults in winter, but plumage considerably washed with brownish,
  lesser wing-coverts slaty, and tail short, though forked. _Length_: 15
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather irregular migrant.

The more rapid flight, long forked tail, and habit of pointing the bill
downward, rather than forward, while flying, distinguish the terns from
the gulls. Common Terns are sometimes seen flying gracefully about a
small pond, seeking small fish or aquatic insects, which they capture
with great dexterity. During migration they are usually silent, and they
do not often remain long in one locality.

    [Illustration: Common Tern, Adult]

The much larger Caspian Tern (_Hydroprogne caspia imperator_) is similar
in color-pattern to the Common Tern but has a much heavier, _red_ bill,
and a short, though forked tail. This species, which is decidedly rare
as a migrant in the interior, has established a small nesting colony
near Erie. The Caspian Tern is 21 inches long.


                               BLACK TERN
                _Chlidonias nigra surinamensis_ (Gmelin)

  Other Name.—Marsh Tern.

  Description.—Size small; tail short, forked. _Adults in summer_: Head
  and underparts black, save under tail-coverts, which are white;
  upperparts gray; bill and feet red. _Adults in winter and immature_:
  White, with pearl-gray back and wings and dusky spots on head; bill
  and feet dusky. _Length_: 10 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Irregular as a migrant throughout the
  Commonwealth; more frequently seen than other Terns about marshes and
  on small bodies of water; usually seen between April 25 and September
  30. Though it is thus to be seen in midsummer irregularly, it is not
  known to nest in Pennsylvania at the present time.

    [Illustration: Black Tern, Adult]

The adult Black Tern, as it courses about a marsh or pond, is a
beautiful, buoyant creature. Its flight is swallow-like. It is probable
that this species nests occasionally along the Lake Erie shore, or at
some of the larger lakes wherever there are marshy shores.


                        DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT
                _Phalacrocorax auritus auritus_ (Lesson)

  Other Name.—Shag.

  Description.—Four toes all webbed together; bill long and strongly
  hooked at tip; tail stiff and moderately long; plumage thick and firm.
  _Adults in breeding plumage_: Glossy greenish black, save on back
  which is dark gray, each feather being margined with lighter gray; two
  filamentous tufts of black feathers on back of head; neck with thin
  sprinkling of silken white feathers during period of courtship; bill
  blackish, marked at base with dull yellow; sack under bill yellow;
  eyes bright green. _Immature and adult in winter_ (the plumage usually
  seen in Pennsylvania): Without crests, and whole plumage brownish
  black, somewhat mottled beneath, and with light area on throat; eyes
  grayish green, not bright green. _Length_: About 30 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant found principally along the larger
  water-ways from about March 20 to May 10 and from September 15 to
  November 15. It is occasionally seen in winter when the water is free
  of ice.

    [Illustration: Double-crested Cormorant, Breeding Plumage]

Cormorants sit low in the water so that, while swimming, their tails do
not show as field-marks, but their long necks, large heads, and the
strongly hooked bills distinguish them at a considerable distance. In
flight their wings beat regularly.

The bulky, wide-winged White Pelican (_Pelecanus erythrorhynchos_) is
occasionally noted as a straggler in Pennsylvania. It is white, with
black wing-tips, and is so noticeably equipped with long bill and
throat-pouch that it can hardly be confused with any other species. Its
four toes are all webbed together, as in the Double-crested Cormorant.
Additional records of this species are desirable.


                               MERGANSER
                  _Mergus merganser americanus_ Cassin

    [Illustration: American Merganser, Male]

  Other Names.—Shelldrake; Goosander; Fish Duck; Sawbill; American
  Merganser.

  Description.—One of the largest of the ducks; bill long and narrow,
  with teeth on both mandibles. _Adult male_: Head and upper neck
  greenish black; lower neck, patches in wings, and underparts white;
  belly suffused with salmon-pink, noticeable in some individuals; back,
  shoulders, and wings black; rump and tail gray; bill and feet red;
  eyes bright red. _Adult female_: Head, with two large crests, and neck
  rich brown, marked with white areas in front of eye and on chin and
  upper throat; upperparts ashy gray; patch in wings, and breast and
  belly white. _Length_: 25 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant along the
  larger waterways and sometimes on the smaller streams from about March
  15 to April 20 and from October 1 to December 1. It frequently occurs
  in winter when the water is free of ice.

The mergansers are all expert fishermen and like to fish in swift water.
They dive easily and their serrate bills help them to hold their
slippery prey.

The female Merganser is difficult to distinguish from the female
Red-breasted Merganser; in the present species, however, the white area
on the chin and upper throat is sharply defined, whereas in the
Red-breasted species the chin and throat are _not_ white, but of a
brownish color, paler than the rest of the head.


                         RED-BREASTED MERGANSER
                       _Mergus serrator_ Linnæus

  Other Names.—Shelldrake; Fish Duck; Sawbill.

  Description.—Male, with long, graceful crest of fine feathers; female
  with double crest, as in the female Merganser. _Male_: Head and upper
  neck glossy greenish black; lower neck, patch on upper chest, patches
  on wing, and underparts white; back black; rump and tail grayish;
  breast reddish brown, mottled with black, and on sides marked with a
  striking double row of black and white feathers; sides finely barred
  with blackish; legs, feet, and eyes red. _Female_: Head and neck
  rufous brown, grayish on crown and crest; throat not white, but of
  paler brown than rest of head; back grayish, washed with brown;
  underparts white, sides marked with brown; bill and feet brownish;
  base of lower mandible reddish; eyes, brown. _Length_: 22 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant,
  principally along the larger waterways, appearing somewhat later in
  spring than the preceding species and disappearing earlier in the
  fall.

    [Illustration: Red-breasted Merganser, Male]

It is said that the Red-breasted Merganser is less frequently seen along
the smaller streams than is the larger Merganser. Both species eat fish
and therefore are not considered as of much value for food.


                            HOODED MERGANSER
                   _Lophodytes cucullatus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Shelldrake; Fish Duck.

  Description.—Bill long and narrow, with teeth on both mandibles.
  _Male_: Head, neck, back, and tail black; a high, fan-shaped crest on
  head strikingly marked with white; speculum white; sides rufous,
  finely barred with black; breast and belly white; eyes bright yellow.
  _Female_: Dull brown, somewhat brighter on the thin crest, and grayer
  on head and neck; upper throat, belly, and speculum white; eyes brown.
  _Length_: 18 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common and regular as a migrant from
  March 25 to April 15 and from October 25 to December 10. It has been
  noted in summer locally, so there is a possibility that it nests,
  though there are no definite records at present.

    [Illustration: Hooded Merganser, Male]

The male Hooded Merganser is one of our most striking birds and cannot
easily be confused with any other species. The Hooded Merganser may be
found along a quiet stretch of a small stream where the handsome males,
at rest, do not display their high crests. In such mood the head has
much the appearance of that of the other species of Fish Duck—thin,
long, and snake-like. When rising, the birds beat their wings with
amazing rapidity, the white speculum in the wings flickering
brilliantly. This species is not so often found in swift water as are
the Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser.


                                MALLARD
               _Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos_ Linnæus

  Other Names.—Gray Mallard; Wild Duck.

  Description.—_Male_: Head and neck rich glossy green, with violet
  reflections; neck with striking white collar; back and wings gray;
  speculum violet, bordered with black and white; rump, and upper and
  under tail-coverts black; tail feathers whitish; breast rich glossy
  chestnut; sides gray, finely barred; belly white; bill yellow; feet
  bright pink. _Female_: Mottled and streaked all over with grayish
  brown; speculum as in male; bill dull greenish yellow; feet dull pink.
  _Length_: 23 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common and regular as a migrant from March 1 to
  May 20 and from October 1 to December 15; nests locally and
  uncommonly, chiefly in swampy regions or along small upgrown streams.

  Nest.—Built in a depression under a bush or in high grass, usually
  near the water, and lined with down. _Eggs_: 6 to 15, pale greenish
  buff. Duck eggs are usually glossy in appearance.

    [Illustration: Mallard, Male]

The Mallard, best known of our ducks, is the ancestor of several
domestic strains of water-fowl. It is usually found in flocks along the
shallow margins of streams, where it procures its food by nibbling along
the bottom while its tail protrudes from the water.

The white tail and red feet of the male, which contrast with the gray of
the back and wings, are good field-marks as the flock hurriedly rises
and makes away.


                               BLACK DUCK
                    _Anas rubripes tristis_ Brewster

  Other Names.—Black Mallard; Dusky Mallard.

  Description.—Sexes similar; general appearance dark brown, darkest on
  top of head and on back, all feathers margined with brownish buff;
  cheeks buffy, streaked with black; speculum rich violet, bordered with
  black, and, at tips of feathers, with white; under-wing plumage white;
  bill greenish; _feet dusky_ in Black Duck; bright red in the
  Red-legged Black Duck. _Length_: 22 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant from March 1 to May 10
  and from October 1 to December 25; uncommon and local as a summer
  resident, chiefly near lakes or quiet stretches in streams. _Nest_ and
  _eggs_ like those of the Mallard.

    [Illustration: Black Duck, Male]

Two forms of the Black Duck occur in Pennsylvania: The smaller, duller
Black Duck as a migrant occurs at about the same time as the Mallard and
nests locally. The Red-legged Black Duck (_Anas rubripes rubripes_), a
summer bird of Labrador, comes south later in the fall, and has been
known even to occur in the northern part of the State in late December,
so there is a probability that this form occasionally winters when the
water is free of ice.

Both the Mallard and Black Duck quack loudly, like domestic ducks,
particularly when they are surprised. Large, dark-colored ducks which
show white under the wings as they fly off are likely to be Black Ducks.


                                GADWALL
                   _Chaulelasmus streperus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Gray Duck.

  Description.—Smaller than Mallard. _Male_: Top of head with low,
  fluffy crest, mottled with rufous and black; sides of head and neck
  buffy, streaked and spotted with black; breast and lower neck black,
  each feather with a central spot and border of white which gives a
  remarkably beautiful scaled appearance; back gray-brown; rump and
  upper and under tail-coverts black; breast and belly whitish; sides
  finely barred with blackish, _lesser wing-coverts chestnut_; speculum
  white; _feet yellow_. _Female_: Similar but duller, and with chest and
  sides buffy, thickly spotted with blackish; underparts white, more or
  less spotted with black, and with little or no chestnut on the lesser
  wing-coverts. _Length_: 20 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and irregular migrant from about March
  10 to April 30 and from September 25 to October 30. This is one of our
  rarer ducks.

    [Illustration: Gadwall, Male]

I have found the yellow feet of this species to be a fairly good
field-mark, but in the swimming birds the white speculum, though it be
nearly covered by the flank-feathers, is a reliable feature. Gadwalls
feed in shallow water, as do their close relatives, the Black Duck and
Mallard, and they often feed at night. Definite records of this species
in Pennsylvania are desirable.


                                BALDPATE
                      _Mareca americana_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Widgeon; American Widgeon.

  Description.—_Male_: Top of head white or buffy; sides of crown back
  of eye glossy green, spotted with black; rest of head buffy, finely
  streaked and spotted with black; breast and sides pinkish brown, the
  sides finely and thickly barred with black; belly white; back
  gray-brown, finely barred black; bill blue-gray. _Female_: Head and
  neck pale buffy, finely streaked with black; breast and sides dull
  pinkish brown, washed with grayish; belly white; back grayish brown,
  barred irregularly with buffy; greater wing-coverts brownish gray,
  their outer webs mostly or entirely white, their tips black, sometimes
  edged with white; greater under wing-coverts white. _Length_: 19
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rather common as a migrant from March 1 to
  August 15 and from October 1 to November 1, sometimes abundant,
  particularly along the larger streams.

    [Illustration: Baldpate, Male]

The white crown-patch of the male Baldpate not only has given this bird
its name but also furnishes an excellent field-mark. The pinkish brown
breast and sides are somewhat diagnostic also, though this color is not
usually seen to good advantage in the field. The call-note is said to be
“a sort of _whew, whew, whew_.” Baldpates are, as a rule, shallow-water
feeders.

The European Widgeon (_Mareca penelope_) should be looked for in
Pennsylvania. The male has a buffy crown. The under wing-coverts of the
female are barred, whereas in the female Baldpate the greater under
wing-coverts are white.


                           GREEN-WINGED TEAL
                     _Nettion carolinense_ (Gmelin)

  Other Name.—Mud Teal.

  Description.—Small for a Duck, being about half as large as a domestic
  Duck. _Male_: Head, with flowing crest, chestnut, an area around and
  back of eye to nape glossy green, bordered below with a thin whitish
  line; chin black; upperparts gray, finely barred with black; speculum
  green, bordered with black and buffy; middle under tail-coverts black,
  lateral ones creamy; breast and sides pinkish brown, finely barred
  with black, a white bar on side of breast; belly white or buffy,
  spotted, sometimes irregularly, with blackish. _Female_: Top of head
  blackish, feathers edged with rufous; sides of head and neck white,
  heavily streaked with black; upperparts blackish, all feathers
  margined with buffy; green speculum on wing, as in male; underparts
  considerably mottled—not barred as in male. _Length_: 14½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant from March 20 to April 20 and from
  September 25 to November 10, often found along smaller streams.
  Locally, as at Conneaut Lake and at Erie, it is common during the
  height of migration.

    [Illustration: Green-winged Teal, Male]

The Teals are our smallest ducks. Their size and remarkably swift flight
make them comparatively easy to identify, save in foggy weather when the
apparent size of birds in the field is apt to be misleading. The
Green-wing feeds like the Mallard and Black Duck, by “tipping” in
shallow water and plucking food from the bottom.


                            BLUE-WINGED TEAL
                    _Querquedula discors_ (Linnæus)

    [Illustration: Blue-winged Teal, Male]

  Description.—Size small, as in Green-wing. _Male_: Head dark blue-gray
  with violet reflections; crown dark brown; chin and sides of base of
  bill blackish; a crescent-shaped patch of white in front of eye; back
  brown, barred and mottled with black; breast white, buffy, or rusty,
  heavily spotted with black; lesser and middle wing-coverts gray-blue,
  forming a conspicuous color-area, particularly in flight; speculum
  glossy green. _Female and immature_: Crown dark brown, irregularly
  streaked with grayish; sides of head and neck grayish, streaked with
  black; throat whitish; breast and belly usually whitish spotted and
  margined with blackish; speculum glossy green. _Length_: 16 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant from April 15 to May 15 and from
  September 1 to October 15, sometimes quite common. It may nest
  occasionally in marshy situations.

The blue lesser wing-coverts of this species are fairly easy to
recognize, even at a considerable distance. It is relatively silent
while it is passing through Pennsylvania; the Green-wing is more
voluble. At Wildwood Lake, near Harrisburg, Blue-winged Teals occur with
some regularity along a marshy neck of land which protrudes into the
lake at the mouth of an inflowing stream. Here the birds rest quietly,
feeding in early morning and toward evening, and flying about only when
they are disturbed. They are usually mated by the time they reach this
latitude in the spring.


                                SHOVELER
                      _Spatula clypeata_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Spoonbill Duck.

  Description.—Comparatively small, but larger than the Teals. Bill very
  large and broad, noticeably so even at considerable distance in the
  field. _Male_: Head and neck rich black, glossed with green and
  violet; line down back of neck and back dark brown; belly and sides
  rich chestnut; lesser wing-coverts gray-blue, as in the Blue-winged
  Teal, the greater coverts brownish, tipped with white; speculum green;
  upper and under tail-coverts black; eyes yellow; feet pink. _Female_:
  Head and neck streaked with black and buffy bars; throat buffy;
  underparts buffy, feathers margined and spotted with dark brown and
  buffy; feet orange-pink, paler than in male; eyes brown; bill greenish
  yellow, blotched with brownish. _Immature birds_ are intermediate in
  appearance between the adult male and adult female. The immature
  female’s speculum is noticeably grayish, with little green. _Length_:
  20 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rather rare migrant from March 1 to April 15
  and from September 15 to November 1. Not usually seen in large flocks.

    [Illustration: Shoveler, Male]

The huge bill of this species will distinguish it in any plumage. Its
blue wing-coverts have much the appearance of those of the Blue-winged
Teal.


                                PINTAIL
                  _Dafila acuta tzitzihoa_ (Vieillot)

  Other Names.—Sprig; Sprig-tail; Spike-tail.

  Description.—Neck long and slender in both sexes. _Male in mating
  plumage, which is characteristic of the winter months_: Head warm
  brown, glossed faintly on cheeks with violet; back of neck blackish,
  bordered by white stripes which run down sides of neck to breast; back
  brownish gray; shoulders black, margined with white or buffy; wing
  brownish gray, the greater coverts tipped with cinnamon; speculum
  green, bordered narrowly with white; central tail-feathers very long
  and narrow, black; underparts white; sides heavily marked with fine
  lines of black. _Female_: Crown blackish, irregularly marked with rich
  brown; throat white; sides of head and neck considerably streaked;
  breast buffy, spotted with blackish; feathers of sides margined and
  barred with dark brown and white; under wing-coverts dark brown,
  bordered with whitish. The male in summer breeding dress resembles the
  female. _Length_: Male, 28 inches, in full, long-tailed plumage;
  female, 22 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant from March
  1 to April 15 and from September 20 to December 15. It has even been
  known to winter in the northern part of the Commonwealth.

    [Illustration: Pintail
    Male    Female]

The female, while not strikingly marked, may be recognized by the long
neck, the sharply pointed middle tail-feathers, and by the dark under
wing-coverts. Pintails are swift fliers, and have the ability of rising
straight into the air from a pond or from the ground.


                               WOOD DUCK
                         _Aix sponsa_ (Linnæus)

    [Illustration: Wood Duck
    Female    Male]

  Description.—Smaller than Mallard; both sexes with crest, smaller in
  female than in male. _Male_: Head and crest rich glossy green, with
  violet and blue reflections; a line from bill over eye, a line along
  side of crest, and other lines in flowing feathers of crest, white;
  throat, a band from it up cheeks, and a wide band at nape, white;
  breast and an area at either side of base of tail, chestnut, the
  breast spotted with white; band on breast in front of wing, white;
  sides buffy, finely barred with black, the long flank-feathers tipped
  with striking bands of black and white; back greenish brown; scapulars
  blackish, glossed with steel-blue and greenish; speculum steel-blue
  tipped with white; primaries tipped with greenish blue; tail
  blue-black; eyes red; bill dusky, white, and red; feet yellowish.
  _Female_: Area below and back of eye, and throat, white; crown brown,
  glossed with purplish; sides of head ashy brown; breast and sides
  grayish, streaked and mottled with brownish; belly white; back
  olive-brown, glossed with greenish; the inner primaries tipped with
  greenish blue. The immature resembles the adult female. The male in
  eclipse plumage, which he assumes during late summer, is similar to
  the female. _Length_: 18½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common as a migrant and summer resident
  throughout, arriving in early April and remaining until November 1.
  Commoner than most species of this family along the smaller streams.

  Nest.—In a cavity in a tree. _Eggs_: 7 to 15, buffy white.

The male Wood Duck, thought by many to be the most beautiful American
bird, is a gorgeous creature. It is little wonder that an Indian legend
tells us that a little gray duck, while on a search for happiness, swam
into the end of the rainbow and came forth the brilliant creature we now
call the Wood Duck.

Agile almost as a perching bird, these ducks run about on the ground,
snapping up insects, or swim buoyantly in quiet pools near the woodland
they have selected as their summer home. In a cavity in a tree,
sometimes at considerable distance from the water and at quite a height
from the ground, the down-lined nest is built.

The young birds, it is said, clamber out of the nest and fall to the
ground as best they can, without being helped by either parent. Surely,
young birds which survive such an ordeal are prepared for the later
battles of life!

Wood Ducks are fond of acorns and of the seeds of many aquatic plants.
The young birds, like the adults, are amazingly agile and run about like
young chickens, bright-eyed, attractive, and so small as to be fairly
ludicrous as they race into the water for a swim!


                                REDHEAD
                       _Nyroca americana_ (Eyton)

  Description.—Head high, rising abruptly from bill; both sexes with
  tendency toward fluffy, round crest. _Male_: Entire head bright
  rufous, glossed with purplish; lower neck, all around, breast, and
  upper back, blackish; rest of back and scapulars finely barred with
  wavy black and white lines of equal width; wing-coverts brownish gray;
  wings gray, without a noticeable speculum; upper and under
  tail-coverts black; belly white, lower belly more or less barred like
  back; sides barred as in back; eyes yellow; bill blue-gray. _Female_:
  Upperparts dark grayish brown, darker on wings, all feathers more or
  less margined with buffy or ashy; neck buffy, somewhat mottled; breast
  and sides gray-brown, washed or margined with buffy; belly and under
  tail-coverts somewhat suffused with buffy; eyes brown; bill blackish,
  with blue-gray band at end. _Length_: 19 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common as a migrant, noticeably along
  the larger waterways, from March 1 to April 25 and from October 10 to
  November 15. Sometimes occurs in great flocks.

    [Illustration: Redhead, Male]

The high head and yellow eyes distinguish the male Redhead from the male
Canvasback, which is otherwise similar in appearance.


                               CANVASBACK
                   _Aristonetta valisineria_ (Wilson)

  Description.—Bill long and gradually sloping up to the head which is
  long and low, different markedly in this respect from that of the
  Redhead. _Male_: Head and neck rufous; chin and crown blackish; lower
  neck, breast, and upper back, black; back and wing-coverts barred with
  black and white, the white lines so much wider as to appear, even at
  some distance, whiter than in the Redhead; belly white, sides finely
  barred; upper and under tail-coverts and tail, black; eyes reddish
  brown; bill blackish. _Female_: Head, neck, breast, and upper back,
  light rufous; throat pale, the frontparts of head somewhat brighter;
  back, grayish brown, feathers washed with wavy white lines which the
  female Redhead does not have; belly white; sides grayish brown,
  sometimes marked like back. _Length_: 21 inches. The female is a
  little smaller than the male.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant,
  principally along the larger waterways, usually from March 10 to April
  20 and from October 1 to December 15, sometimes abundant; irregular in
  winter.

    [Illustration: Canvasback, Male]

The white back of the male Canvasback is noticeable at a distance. The
female, which is rather similar to the female Redhead, may always be
recognized by the long, rather thin bill and low head.


                                 SCAUP
                  _Fulix marila nearctica_ (Stejneger)

  Other Names.—Blue-bill; Black-head; Raft Duck; Greater Scaup; American
  Scaup.

  Description.—_Adult male_: Head, neck, breast, and upper back, black,
  head with greenish reflections; back and scapulars barred with black
  and white; speculum white; upper and under tail-coverts black; belly
  white, lower belly and sides finely barred with black; bill blue-gray;
  eyes yellow. _Female_: Area about base of bill white; head, neck,
  upper back, and breast, dark brown, margined with buffy on breast;
  rest of upperparts somewhat lighter brown; sides brown, marked with
  wavy white lines; belly and speculum white. _Length_: 18½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common as a migrant from March 10 to
  April 25 and from October 1 to December 10. The Scaups are among the
  species of this family most commonly recorded at reservoirs and along
  large waterways.

    [Illustration: Scaup
    Female    Male]

The two Scaups are not easy to distinguish in the field, and certain
identification depends upon the males, for the females are very much
alike. The male Scaup’s head shows _greenish_ reflections; the Lesser
Scaup’s head is glossed with purplish.


                              LESSER SCAUP
                        _Fulix affinis_ (Eyton)

  Other Names.—Blue-bill; Black-head; Raft Duck.

  Description.—Decidedly similar, in both sexes, to the preceding
  species, but smaller, and the male’s head with purplish, rather than
  greenish reflections. The barring of the sides of the Lesser Scaup is
  stronger than in the Scaup. The females of the two species are
  practically indistinguishable in the field. _Length_: 16½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Commoner throughout than the preceding species,
  although some of our field records may be open to question in view of
  the similarity of the two. The white speculum, dark head, and
  _blue-gray_ bill are good field characters to remember.


                           RINGED-NECKED DUCK
                   _Perissonetta collaris_ (Donovan)

  Other Names.—Blue-bill; Black-head; Raft Duck.

  Description.—Both sexes similar to the Scaup and Lesser Scaup in
  general appearance, differing in the following respects: in the male
  Ring-neck the chin is white; the head, which has a somewhat higher
  crest than in either Scaup, is richly glossed with purplish blue;
  there is a rich brown collar about the neck (not easily noted in the
  field); the _back is blackish_, and the _speculum is gray_, not white;
  the female Ring-neck may be distinguished from the female Scaups by
  the gray speculum; the head and neck of the female Ring-neck often has
  a mottled or spotted appearance. In both sexes the blackish bill,
  which is crossed near the tip with a whitish band, is an excellent
  field-mark. If the sun is bright, this band may give the impression
  that the bird is holding some small shining object in its bill.
  _Length_: 16½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—While our records tend to indicate that this
  species is less common than the Scaup or Lesser Scaup, it is probably
  fairly regular and common as a migrant, occurring at about the same
  time as the Lesser Scaup.


                               GOLDENEYE
             _Glaucionetta clangula americana_ (Bonaparte)

  Other Names.—Cuphead; Whistler.

  Description.—Both sexes with short, stubby bills and high heads.
  _Male_: Head black, glossed with green; a white spot below and in
  front of eye; neck, exposed part of wing-coverts, speculum and part of
  scapulars, and underparts, white; rest of plumage black; eyes yellow.
  _Female_: Head brown, neck paler; breast, back, and sides gray;
  speculum and underparts white; eyes yellow. _Length_: 20 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant which sometimes occurs in winter when
  there is open water, but is not often common. It is to be found from
  March 1 to April 15 and from October 10 to November 30.

    [Illustration: Goldeneye, Male]

Goldeneyes will sometimes be seen resting on a floating piece of ice.
The musical, whistling sound of their beating wings has been responsible
for their common name, “Whistler.”

The large head and ludicrously short bill are fairly good field-marks
for this species, even at a considerable distance. The strongly
contrasting black and white plumage of the male is not easily to be
confused with that of any other species.

The Barrow’s Goldeneye (_Glaucionetta islandica_) is much rarer in
Pennsylvania than the Goldeneye. The male has a purplish head and a
somewhat crescent-shaped patch in front of and below the eye. His
scapulars are marked with white areas along the shafts. Records of this
species are very desirable.


                               BUFFLEHEAD
                    _Charitonetta albeola_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Butterball; Dipper Duck.

  Description.—About half as large as a Mallard; both sexes with short
  bills and high, rounded crests, more or less as in the Goldeneye.
  _Male_: Head black, glossed handsomely with greenish, purplish,
  bluish, and fiery orange; a large white band across back of head from
  eye to eye; lower neck, wing-coverts, speculum, outer scapulars, and
  underparts, white; back and wings black; lower back and tail grayish;
  eyes dark brown. _Female_: Head and upper breast dull brown, patch on
  either side of head, speculum, and breast and belly, white. _Length_:
  15 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common, sometimes abundant, as a migrant, from
  March 15 to April 15 and from October 1 to November 10. It is often
  seen along the smaller, swifter streams and at small lakes. Mated
  pairs are usually noted in spring.

The male, like the Wood Duck, is a creature of great beauty. The
Bufflehead is a good diver, and can disappear at the wink of an eye with
the agility of a grebe. It eats much animal matter, including small fish
which it captures while diving. These ducks are often exceedingly fat,
and this tendency, as well as the plump roundness of their body, has
given them the common name, “Butterball.”

    [Illustration: Bufflehead, Male]


                               OLD SQUAW
                     _Clangula hiemalis_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Old Wife; Sou’ Southerly; Long-tailed Duck.

  Description.—Male with very long, narrow, middle tail-feathers, longer
  than in the Pintail; female without long tail-feathers. _Male in
  winter_: Sides of head washed with grayish brown; sides of back of
  head and upper neck black, more or less margined with buffy; rest of
  head, neck, upper back, scapulars, and lower belly, white; back and
  wings, breast, and upper belly, black; bill black with yellowish
  orange band across end; eyes pale brown. _Female_: Upper parts dark
  brown; scapulars and back more or less margined with grayish; sides of
  head and neck white or whitish; breast gray; belly white. The male in
  summer has the sides and front of head white; the rest of the plumage
  is chiefly black, save the belly, which is white. _Length_: male, 21
  inches; female, 16 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant from February 20 to April 10 and from
  November 1 to December 20, sometimes occurring in winter, and
  irregularly very abundant. Tremendous flocks have been noted at
  Conneaut Lake and at Lake Erie.

The Old Squaw is a handsome and noisy species and demands attention
wherever it is found. It usually feeds in deep water, and therefore is
found but rarely in smaller ponds or along streams. The under
wing-coverts are dark, and there is no speculum in the wing. Its rapid
flight carries it along, a few feet above the water, at from 35 to 60
miles an hour, perhaps faster, and it alights with a swish. It is an
expert diver.

    [Illustration: Old Squaw, Winter Plumage]


                              THE SCOTERS

Three species of scoter occur in Pennsylvania. They are diving ducks and
are usually to be found only on the larger bodies of water. As a rule,
they are not common; they are fond of salt water, and are commonly found
in the bays along the Atlantic coast. The adult males all have grotesque
and highly colored bills. All scoters are commonly called “Black Ducks”
in the interior; along the coast they are called also “Sea Coots.”
Scoters will, as a rule, be found in large, raft-like flocks.


                            AMERICAN SCOTER
                      _Oidemia americana_ Swainson

  Description.—_Male_: Black, with rich purplish reflections; ridges
  among feathers of neck, bill black, with knob at base of upper
  mandible _peach-yellow_; feet brownish red; eyes dark brown. _Female
  and young_: Gray-brown in general appearance, with cheek region
  whitish, sharply defined from crown; underparts whitish, irregularly
  barred and mottled with dusky. _Length_: 19 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rare migrant and winter visitant from November
  until early April, commonest, perhaps, at Lake Erie and Conneaut Lake.

    [Illustration: American Scoter, Male]

This is probably the rarest of the scoters in Pennsylvania; further data
are desirable.


                          WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
                      _Oidemia deglandi_ Bonaparte

  Description.—Size large, noticeably larger than a Mallard. _Male_:
  Black, with white spot below and at rear of eye, and white speculum;
  belly and sides rich deep brown; bill orange, with long knob, black at
  base, feathers reaching forward on it far beyond corners of mouth;
  feet red; _eyes white_. _Female and immature_: Deep brown, lighter
  below; speculum white; spot at base of bill and ear-coverts whitish,
  not always clearly defined. _Length_: 22 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—As a rule, rare, save at Lake Erie and Conneaut
  Lake where it is sometimes fairly common during late fall; it is rarer
  in spring than in fall.

    [Illustration: White-winged Scoter, Male]

The white speculum of this large, heavy species will serve to identify
it at some distance.


                              SURF SCOTER
                  _Melanitta perspicillata_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Larger than Mallard. _Male_: Black, with square
  crown-patch and triangular nape-patch of white; feet red; bill marked
  with red, white, and yellow, a black spot near base; eyes white.
  _Female and immature_: A whitish spot at base of bill and on
  ear-coverts, much as in the White-winged Scoter; upperparts dark
  brown; throat, breast, and sides grayer; belly white. _Length_: 20
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Like the White-winged Scoter, rare, save at
  Conneaut Lake and Lake Erie where it is a fairly common fall and rare
  spring migrant, which sometimes occurs during the winter. Scoters are
  occasionally seen along the Susquehanna and the Delaware rivers, but
  they are not, as a rule, either common or regular.

    [Illustration: Surf Scoter, Male]

The strange shape and color-pattern of the bills of male scoters will
distinguish them at once in hand. They are given to flocking and, as
they feed, most of the flock may disappear for seconds at a time, to bob
up buoyantly as others of the flock slip under.


                               RUDDY DUCK
                   _Erismatura jamaicensis_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Butterball; Bullhead; Bullneck; Dipper Duck.

  Description.—Both sexes with thick necks, short upper tail-coverts,
  and stiff tails; about half as large as a Mallard. _Male_: Crown
  black; cheeks and chin white; throat, neck, and back rich rufous;
  lower back and tail blackish; breast and belly silvery white, somewhat
  mottled along sides; bill pale gray-blue; eyes black. _Female and
  immature_: Upperparts dark grayish brown, feathers marked with narrow,
  wavy, buffy bars; sides of head and upper throat whitish; lower throat
  and neck grayish; underparts silvery white. _Length_: 15 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common and regular as a migrant,
  sometimes abundant, from April 1 to May 15 and from October 1 to
  November 15. It is seen along smaller as well as larger waterways
  where it may dive readily upon being approached.

    [Illustration: Ruddy Duck
    Male    Female]

The Ruddy Duck, with its stiff, upturned tail, is comical in appearance.
The male, while in bright breeding plumage, is given to holding himself
with a jaunty air. They are expert divers but sometimes have difficulty
in rising from the water, for their wings are comparatively small. As
they get under way they patter with their great feet while their wings
beat the water noisily. The neck of the Ruddy Duck is unusually large
for a duck. The head may even be pushed back into the skin of the neck;
in most ducks the circumference of the neck is noticeably less than that
of the head at its greatest diameter.


                              CANADA GOOSE
                _Branta canadensis canadensis_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Wild Goose; Honker.

  Description.—Size large, about that of a domestic Goose, with about
  the same proportions; sexes similar. Head and neck black, a broad band
  under eye, and across throat, white; upperparts brownish gray, the
  feathers margined with a lighter shade, giving a somewhat scaled
  appearance; breast and sides gray-brown, more or less as in back;
  belly white; rump and tail black; upper tail-coverts white. Feet and
  bill black; eyes dark brown. _Length_: About 3 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A regular and sometimes common migrant from
  mid-February to early April and from October 15 to November 30,
  sometimes occurring in winter, even when ice covers the lakes, at
  which times the great birds stand about on the frozen surface. As a
  rule, Canada Geese do not stop long in Pennsylvania; most flocks do
  not linger here at all, merely passing over.

    [Illustration: Canada Goose]

For us, since the days of our forefathers, and for the Red Man who
originally inhabited Penn’s Woods, the V-shaped spring flocks of Canada
Geese have heralded the breaking up of the winter, and, in the fall, the
coming of the cold season. Canada Geese migrate both by day and night,
but they are noticed at night more often than by day because in the
comparative stillness of the dark hours their loud, musical bugling
drifts down to us as we lie awake, thrilled at the sound. Could we see
the great birds, could we know the distant clime toward which they are
heading, some of the mystery might be dispelled; but their long journey,
their great bodies speeding along at 60 miles an hour or more, and their
wide, swishing wings are only suggested by the clamor and challenge that
comes to us, holds us spellbound, then gradually dies away as the flock
passes on.

Canada Geese are not so aquatic in habit as are ducks. Large flocks
often descend to the fields where they feed upon grass or sprouting
grain and where they walk about in a dignified fashion.

It is supposed that an old gander always leads the migration flocks.
While this may not be the case, it is reasonable to assume that adult
birds, with their experience and intelligence, should determine the
movements of the flock. Canada Geese sometimes fly in a line, sometimes
abreast, but the V-formation is characteristic.

The Greater Snow Goose (_Chen hyperboreus nivalis_), a white bird with
black wing-tips, sometimes flies across Pennsylvania. It has been
recorded once or twice in huge flocks. The White-fronted Goose (_Aner
albifrons gambelli_), a gray goose with a white area at the base of the
bill, black spots on the belly, and yellow feet, occurs rarely. The
Brant (_Branta bernicla glaucogastra_), smallest of our geese and
similar to the Canada Goose but with only a suggestion of a white band
on the neck, occurs rarely. It is a maritime species, not often noted
inland.


                             WHISTLING SWAN
                       _Cygnus columbianus_ (Ord)

  Description.—Size very large; neck extremely long, and wing-spread
  sometimes as much as 6 to 7 feet; sexes similar. _Adults_: Pure white;
  bill and feet black, a small yellow spot at base of upper mandible
  just in front of eye; eyes brown. Young birds are pale brownish gray
  in color, usually darkest on the head and neck. As the immature
  plumage is replaced by the adult plumage, a vague mottling appears.
  _Length_: About 4½ feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly regular migrant along the larger
  waterways; rare and irregular elsewhere; occasional in winter. It is
  usually seen in early spring from March 20 to April 15 and from
  October 15 to December 1.

A flock of swans flying in the sunlight is an inspiring spectacle. The
birds are so large and their plumage so immaculate that they attract
attention everywhere.

They sometimes migrate in immense flocks. In storms or on foggy nights
they may become bewildered and descend to smaller streams, but, as a
rule, they are found only along large open stretches of water.

At Harrisburg, swans sometimes spend the winter along the Susquehanna
when the water is open.

The Trumpeter Swan (_Olor buccinator_), always a very rare bird in the
eastern United States, and of late thought to be on the verge of
extermination, is even larger than the Whistling Swan. The bill of this
species is entirely black, lacking the yellow spot which is
characteristic of the adult Whistling Swan and being of a different
shape.


                            AMERICAN BITTERN
                   _Botaurus lentiginosus_ (Montagu)

  Other Names.—Thunder-pump; Bum Cluck; Stake-Driver; Plum Pudd’n.

  Description.—Sexes similar; larger than Crow. Upperparts brown,
  considerably mottled, streaked, and barred with black; a glossy black
  streak from corners of mouth down sides of neck; throat white; neck
  and breast marked with broad buffy brown streaks, which are mottled
  with brownish gray, in imitation of dead cat-tail leaves; belly buffy;
  feet greenish; bill greenish yellow at base, blackish at tip; eyes
  bright yellow. _Length_: 28 inches, with neck stretched out.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common migrant and summer resident,
  nesting only in marshy situations. It arrives in early April and
  leaves in late September or early October.

  Nest.—A platform of cat-tail leaves and stalks, or other dead
  vegetation, usually placed in a remote section of some marsh, among
  rather high weeds. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, pale buffy brown.

    [Illustration: American Bittern]

The Bittern is a terrestrial heron and rarely alights in trees. It may
be confused with the immature Black-crowned Night Heron, which, unlike
the Bittern, often perches on a prominent branch or on a tree top.

To know the Bittern one must penetrate the swamp. From the cat-tails, a
great brown bird arises, green feet awkwardly dangling. Rapidly the
creature makes away, once it has started; perhaps it utters a startled
squawk as it jumps from the grass.

In the spring, male Bitterns have a remarkable courtship ceremony which
is accompanied by the queer sounds which have given the bird most of its
common names. These names, most of which are very good renditions of the
queer sounds the birds give, are: “Bum Cluck” or “Plum Pudd’n.” The
familiar nicknames, “Stake-Driver” and “Thunder-Pump” also suggest the
sounds. While they give these sounds, the male birds inflate their necks
and fluff out their feathers, as they strut and bow, and snap their
bills.

The sitting mother bird depends greatly upon her remarkably protective
coloration. Taken unawares, the hunting Bittern will stand erect with
bill pointing skyward, realizing that its dull colors, its streaked
breast, and its sharp bill _all_ resemble cat-tail leaves. The eyes of a
Bittern are so arranged that the bird can point its bill straight up yet
at the same time look directly at us as we approach. Its golden-yellow
eyes have a serpentine appearance.

Young Bitterns, in their ragged natal down, are odd creatures. They
clamber about their crude cradle, soon developing remarkable strength in
toes and feet.

The Bittern and young Black-crowned Night Heron are our only large,
brown herons; the Bittern has yellow eyes; the young Black-crown has
dark brown eyes.


                             LEAST BITTERN
                  _Ixobrychus exilis exilis_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—Size very small, body hardly as heavy as that of a Robin;
  proportions those of a heron, however, with long bill and feet and
  short tail. _Male_: Crown, which has a crest, back, and tail, glossy
  black; back of neck chestnut; lesser wing-coverts buffy; greater
  wing-coverts and secondaries chestnut, darker than neck; underparts
  buffy, somewhat streaked on neck with white and fine lines of
  brownish; a black patch at each side of breast; throat, line along
  sides of back and of breast, and under tail-coverts, whitish; feet
  yellowish green; bill yellowish, tipped with dusky; eyes yellow.
  _Female and immature_: Similar, but black of crown and back less
  glossy, coloration throughout less striking. _Length_: 13 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rather rare migrant and summer resident, save
  locally, when it nests in cat-tail swamps and similar situations. Its
  date of arrival is open to question since the birds are so silent and
  retiring as to pass for the most part unobserved. They probably come
  in mid-April and leave in late September.

  Nest.—A platform of cat-tail stalks and similar materials built on the
  ground, or a few inches above the ground, _or in weeds above the
  water_, and surrounded by high weeds and grasses. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale
  blue.

The Least Bittern is one of our quietest, most retiring birds, and is
therefore but little known. It may occur regularly in cat-tail swamps
where it has never been seen, simply because no one ventures into its
damp, shadowy home among the high, green blades.

    [Illustration: Least Bittern]

It moves slowly, as a rule, and with marvelous control. As it has very
strong feet, it can climb up the cat-tail leaves where it sometimes
perches so as to survey its surroundings the better.

If startled, it flies up rapidly; but, like a Rail, it does not like to
fly far because its long, rather awkward wings appear to tire quickly,
and it drops back into its retreat, where it is usually difficult to
find it again.

The parent bird has the strange habit of destroying, and perhaps eating,
her eggs if they are disturbed. We found a nest containing two fresh
eggs at Sandy Lake, Mercer County. Upon returning, a few hours later, I
found but a few shells in the nest. I feel certain the parent bird,
either the male or female, had destroyed the eggs.


                            GREAT BLUE HERON
                   _Ardea herodias herodias_ Linnæus

  Other Names.—Crane; Fish Crane; Sandhill Crane (all erroneous).

  Description.—Size very large, the largest of our herons; sexes
  similar. _Adults in breeding plumage_: Blue-gray, generally speaking;
  center of crown and throat white; sides of crown and nape black, where
  long, black feathers form a considerable crest; neck grayish brown,
  tinged with pinkish; a narrow black, white, and buffy line down middle
  of foreneck; feathers of lower neck much lengthened and narrowed, with
  whitish and blackish streaks; bend of wing chestnut-brown; a ruff of
  black on shoulders; breast and belly streaked with black and white;
  feathers on legs reddish brown; legs and feet black; lower mandible
  yellow; eyes bright yellow. _Immature_: Similar but entire crown black
  and plumage considerably marked, margined, and washed with rusty.
  Adults have plume-like feathers on the lower back which the immature
  birds lack. _Length_: About 4 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common summer resident along all water-ways;
  irregular and local as a nesting species, however; usually found in
  colonies. The birds arrive in mid-March and remain until late October.
  They have been noted irregularly during winter.

  Nest.—In Pennsylvania, the Great Blue Heron usually, if not always,
  nests in trees; in some sections of the United States it nests on the
  ground. The nest is a huge, sprawling affair, made of long sticks, and
  placed high in a tree, which, if alive, becomes dead as a result of
  the droppings from the birds. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale blue.

    [Illustration: Great Blue Heron]

Reports concerning Sandhill Cranes in Pennsylvania usually refer to this
species, as cranes do not occur here. Cranes have an elevated, short
hind toe; the hind toe of a heron is on the same level as the other
toes, and therefore shows in the track. Herons fly with their necks
doubled back, except when they are springing into the air or alighting;
cranes always hold their necks straight out.

The Great Blue Heron is an expert fisherman. Statuesque, he stands in
the water, intently watching for fish, which he captures with his great,
powerful bill, and he can swallow a 14-inch fish without great
difficulty. He has favorite fishing-points, and here, in the mud along
the bank, his great tracks may be seen. If the bird student wishes to
see one of these herons he usually has but to wait at such a point for
the evening hour of fishing, and the wide-winged bird, with neck drawn
back into the body, and feet sticking straight out behind, will fly
deliberately down to the angling-grounds, and there promptly devote
himself to capturing a meal.


                             AMERICAN EGRET
                  _Casmerodius albus egretta_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Egret; White Crane (erroneous).

  Description.—Size large, standing about 3 feet high. Pure white, with
  _black-tipped yellow bill_, yellow eyes, and _black feet_. In its
  breeding plumage it has exquisite plumes on the back. Birds seen in
  Pennsylvania usually have no trace of these plumes. _Length_: About 3
  feet, with neck fully stretched.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A midsummer wanderer, found chiefly in the
  southeastern counties where it may occur in some numbers during July
  and August.

The Egret, as it stands along a verdant bank, is a creature of great
beauty. Its white plumage makes it conspicuous in any setting. It is
larger than the Little Blue Heron which, in its white phase of plumage,
also occurs in Pennsylvania during midsummer. The delicate nuptial
plumes, stripped from the backs of nesting birds, were once very popular
as decorations for women’s hats.


                           LITTLE BLUE HERON
                  _Florida cærulea cærulea_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—White Heron; White Crane (erroneous).

  Description.—Smaller than Egret. White, with _dusky wing-tips_; bill
  dark, dull gray-green; feet greenish. In its breeding-range some birds
  are dark blue, others white. It is supposed that there are two phases
  of plumage. In Pennsylvania the white phase is customarily seen.
  _Length_: 22 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A midsummer wanderer, usually seen in the
  southeastern counties during July and August.

This bird should not be confused with the Snowy Heron, a southern
species which does not wander much during summer, and which _never has
dusky spots_ on the wing-tips. The smaller Green Heron has a somewhat
bluish back, but must not be confused with this species.


                              GREEN HERON
               _Butorides virescens virescens_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Fly-up-the-Creek; Shite-poke; Green Bittern.

  Description.—Size small; sexes similar. Crown, crest, and line below
  the eye black, glossed with green; throat whitish, extending down neck
  as a frontal line which widens at breast; neck reddish brown, glossed
  with purplish; back with plume-like feathers, blue-green, appearing
  blue in most lights; wing-coverts glossy green, margined with buffy;
  tail green; belly gray, some feathers edged with buffy; bill yellowish
  with dusky tip; feet and eyes bright yellow. _Immature_: Mottled in
  appearance, considerably streaked with black on neck and underparts;
  crest small; no plume-like feathers or blue-gray color on the back.
  Nestlings are covered with long, irregular down. _Length_: 17 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common summer resident from April 10 to
  September 30. It is to be found along all small streams and ponds.

  Nest.—Of sticks, placed together as a shallow platform, from 6 to 30
  feet from the ground in a bush or tree. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale blue.
  Green Herons sometimes nest in small colonies, but in Pennsylvania are
  more frequently found in solitary pairs.

    [Illustration: Green Heron]

The Green Heron has the interesting habit of twitching its tail
nervously when it is excited. These small but adept fishermen are
usually frightened from some favorite haunt along a stream. They fly up
rapidly, uttering loud, harsh squawks which may be written _keeow_, or
_skeeowp_. Their yellow feet and blue backs show plainly as the birds
fly away. The fact that the Green Heron’s back is so noticeably blue
should not lead the bird-student to think he is seeing the Little Blue
Heron; a species which is rare in Pennsylvania and which, when it does
occur, is usually found in its white plumage.


                       BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON
                _Nycticorax nycticorax nævius_ (Boddært)

  Other Names.—Quawk; Bull Bittern.

  Description.—Larger than Crow; bill heavy and blunt for a heron; neck
  usually drawn in, though it is of considerable length, as in other
  members of the family; sexes similar. _Adults_: Forehead, lores, neck,
  and underparts white, somewhat grayish on neck; crown, upper back, and
  scapulars black, glossed with green; two or three long white plumes on
  back of crest; wings, tail, and lower back clear gray; legs and feet
  yellow; bill dusky with yellowish green base and bare area in front of
  eyes; eyes red. _Immature_: Grayish brown above, the feathers streaked
  or tipped with buffy or whitish; outer webs of primaries rusty;
  underparts whitish, streaked with dark gray-brown; feet and legs
  yellow; bill dusky; eyes dark red-brown or red. _Length_: 2 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A summer resident, locally abundant in eastern
  and southeastern Pennsylvania, where colonies occur along the
  Susquehanna and Delaware rivers; in western Pennsylvania the species
  is rare and irregular; at Erie it has been noted a few times. It
  arrives at its nesting-grounds in late March or early April and
  remains until October.

  Nest.—A platform of sticks, usually placed high in a tree. Many nests,
  sometimes hundreds of them, are placed together in a favorite grove
  which is usually near a lake or on an island in a river. At Harrisburg
  the Night Herons nest on McCormick’s Island. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale
  blue.

The loud, barking _qua_ of the Night Heron as it rises from its
fishing-ground and flies over after nightfall is a startling sound. The
species may be identified easily from this sound alone.

    [Illustration: Black-crowned Night Heron]

Immature birds look somewhat like a Bittern, but the Bittern is a bird
of the ground, rarely alighting in trees, whereas the Night Heron, after
being frightened from a retreat along the shore, usually alights on a
high branch.

Night Herons sometimes circle over the water, snatching their food from
the surface, like gulls. As a rule, such activities are noted only
during the nesting season, however, when the young have to be fed. When
there are no family duties, they prefer to hunt at night.

The heavy bill and habit of perching with neck drawn in gives the bird a
characteristic appearance at a distance.

The nesting colony, while interesting to the bird-student, is
offensively filthy and has a disagreeable odor. The young, when newly
hatched, give forth a peculiar, chuckling _peep_ which has a somewhat
ventriloquistic quality. As they develop they clamber about the
branches, using their necks, wings, and bills in crawling from perch to
perch.


                               KING RAIL
                    _Rallus elegans elegans_ Audubon

  Description.—The largest of our rails, about the size of a crow, but
  with slenderer body; sexes similar. Upperparts dark brown, feathers of
  the back and scapulars widely margined with olive-gray; wings and tail
  olive-brown; throat and areas in front of and above eye, white; neck
  and breast rich reddish brown, much like the breast of a robin; sides
  and flanks dark brown, or blackish, sharply and widely barred with
  white; bill dull reddish yellow, tipped with black; feet dull reddish;
  eyes bright red. Immature birds are darker and less handsomely marked.
  _Length_: 15 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare, local migrant, probably occasional as a
  summer resident. It nests only in marshy sections. Nesting records are
  very desirable. It is to be found from April 15 to mid-September.

The King Rail, though a rather large bird, is so rare and retiring that
it is rarely seen, and Pennsylvania records are few. It has been noted
chiefly in the less mountainous counties and is apparently commoner in
the fall, when the gunners sometimes take the bird. King Rails are weak
fliers; sometimes they drop exhausted in the middle of a city and
residents are startled at seeing a queer bird on the streets.


                             VIRGINIA RAIL
                      _Rallus virginianus_ Linnæus

  Description.—Size of robin; sexes similar. Upperparts dark brown or
  black, the feathers edged with olive-brown or gray; wings and tail
  dark brown, reddish brown on coverts; forepart of superciliary line
  and throat, white; cheeks grayish; underparts reddish brown, save on
  flanks and under tail-coverts which are black or dark gray, sharply
  barred with white; bill and feet reddish; eyes red. Immature birds are
  darker throughout and the red-brown of the underparts is replaced by
  blackish, mixed with white. _Length_: 9½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly regular but local summer resident,
  sometimes common, from April 15 to September 30. It nests only in
  marshy situations, where it lives among cat-tails or other aquatic
  vegetation.

  Nest.—Of cat-tail leaves or grasses, made in a cup, placed at the base
  of water-plants on the ground, or a short distance above the water,
  usually well sheltered from above, sometimes by a canopy of cat-tail
  leaves which has been arranged by the parents. _Eggs_: 6 to 11, buffy
  white, spotted with dark or reddish brown.

    [Illustration: Virginia Rail]

The pig-like grunts and squawks of a pair of Virginia Rails may bewilder
the casual wayfarer near a cat-tail marsh. Rails are rarely seen but may
appear along one of the open waterways if the observer remains
motionless and silent.


                               SORA RAIL
                       Porzana carolina (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Ortolan; Reed Bird; Carolina Rail.

  Description.—Smaller than a robin; bill rather short; sexes similar.
  _Adults_: Center of crown, region at base of bill back to eye, and
  broad line down chin and throat, black; front of crown, sides of head,
  and rest of throat and breast, ashy gray, a tiny white spot back of
  eye; upper-parts olive-brown, the feathers with blackish centers,
  those of the back and scapulars narrowly but sharply edged with white;
  wings dark brown, the coverts somewhat lighter; belly and sides of
  under tail-coverts white; bill yellow; feet green; eyes brown.
  Immature birds are similar but lack all black on face and throat; the
  breast and neck are washed with cinnamon-brown, rather than gray, and
  the upperparts are darker. _Length_: 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common and regular as a migrant; locally
  abundant from April 25 to May 15 and from August 25 to October 15;
  occurs as a summer resident wherever marshes furnish it a
  nesting-site. It is not common as a breeding species.

  Nest.—A crude cup made of dead cat-tail leaves or grass, arched over
  and well concealed by surrounding marsh vegetation. _Eggs_: 8 to 16,
  buffy, spotted with brown.

    [Illustration: Sora Rail]

The Sora is a weak-winged bird and during migration often flies so low
that it strikes itself against wires. These injured birds are often the
only individuals of this retiring species which are seen by Pennsylvania
bird students, unless the cat-tail marshes, where the birds nest, are
visited and penetrated.

In the home of the Sora many strange call-notes are to be heard when the
birds are curious or disturbed. Some of these notes are sweet and
musical; others are strange and hardly bird-like. One call, which is a
series of rapidly descending notes, is characteristic.

The Yellow Rail (_Coturnicops noveboracensis_) is smaller than the Sora
and is rich buffy yellow with dark, streaked upperparts. It is
exceedingly rare, in fact, virtually unknown, save at Erie and in the
marshes about Philadelphia, where it occurs chiefly as a migrant.
Additional records are very desirable.

The tiny Black Rail (_Creciscus jamaicensis jamaicensis_) is about as
large as an English Sparrow, and is dark brown, sprinkled with white
above, with a red-brown mantle from nape down neck, and dark ashy gray
below, with barred flanks and red eyes. The Black Rail has been noted
but a few times in Pennsylvania. Additional records are very desirable.


                           FLORIDA GALLINULE
                 _Gallinula chloropus cachinnans_ Bangs

    [Illustration: Florida Gallinule]

  Other Name.—Mud Hen.

  Description.—Smaller than crow; bill of medium length; general
  appearance rail-like; sexes similar. _Adults_: Head, neck, upper back
  and underparts slaty gray, darker on crown and face; a row of white
  streaks along sides and indistinct bars of white on the belly; lower
  back and wings olive-brown, richest on scapulars and tail; under
  tail-coverts white laterally, black in middle; bill, with frontal
  shield, red, and yellow tip; feet greenish yellow, with red area on
  tibiæ just above heel; eyes red-brown. _Immature_: Similar but with
  underparts whitish, no red on legs, and bill brown, with small frontal
  shield. _Length_: 13½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather rare migrant during mid-spring and
  early fall; rare and local as a summer resident.

  Nest.—A crude cup of dead cat-tail leaves, placed on the ground or
  above the water, among water-plants. _Eggs_: 3 to 10, buffy, finely
  spotted with brown.

The Florida Gallinule, while not often recorded in Pennsylvania, may be
commoner than we suppose. Look for it in cat-tail marshes, along
channels or little pools of open water. Its call-notes are rather
chicken-like.


                                  COOT
                       _Fulica americana_ Gmelin

  Other Name.—Mud Hen.

  Description.—Size of a small duck; feet with wide, flat _lobes_,
  unique among American birds; sexes similar. _Adults_: Head and neck
  black, rest of plumage dark slaty gray, somewhat paler below, and
  sometimes irregularly barred with whitish on breast and belly; edge of
  wing, tips of secondaries, and lateral undertail coverts, white; bill
  whitish, with frontal shield and two small spots near tip
  mahogany-red; legs and feet greenish, somewhat paler on tibiæ and on
  lobes on toes. _Young_: Similar but with a brownish wash on back and
  lighter below; frontal shield noticeably smaller. _Length_: 15 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly regular and common migrant, especially
  on the lakes and larger waterways, from April 15 to May 15 and from
  September 15 to November 15; often found in company with ducks. Rare
  as a summer resident. It should be looked for along the shore of Lake
  Erie in summer.

  Nest.—A crude cup made of cat-tail leaves, sometimes placed in a
  rather open situation, but arched over with grasses. _Eggs_: 7 to 15,
  pale buffy white, heavily and evenly sprinkled with small dark brown
  spots.

    [Illustration: Coot]

The Coot’s queer feet are distinctive. As the bird rises from the water,
it patters along with these until it has sufficient momentum to rise.
Nesting records for the Coot in Pennsylvania are desirable.


                                WOODCOCK
                       _Rubicolor minor_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Wall-eyed Snipe; Bog Snipe.

  Description.—Appearance snipe-like, with very long bill and large eyes
  in back of the head, but feet very short, more as in gallinaceous
  birds; sexes similar, the female larger; three outer primaries narrow
  and stiff. _Adults_: Back of crown black, crossed with buffy bars;
  upperparts dark brown and black, the feathers barred, margined, and
  speckled with buffy brown and gray; wing coverts buffy brown, barred
  with darker brown; underparts buffy, tending toward rufous; tips of
  tail-feathers gray above, silvery white underneath; eyes dark brown;
  bill and feet pinkish flesh color. Downy young buffy brown
  considerably marked with blackish. _Length_: 11 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather uncommon and somewhat irregular
  migrant and summer resident, coming sometimes as early as the first
  week of March and remaining until the middle of October. It is
  sometimes common during migration, particularly in the fall.

  Nest.—A mere depression in the leaves, usually in more or less open
  woodland, sometimes concealed from above by brush or a bush or tree.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, buffy brown, spotted with darker brown.

    [Illustration: Woodcock]

In spring the Woodcock must be sought in some bushy swale, along the
borders of a marsh, or near a small stream where the low banks are
constantly moist and where brush and old logs give this retiring species
a retreat. Here the nocturnal birds bore in the mud with their long
bills, searching for food which they may grasp with the mobile tips of
their mandibles. When disturbed they fly up rapidly, their wings
whistling musically as they make off, somewhat erratically, through the
undergrowth.

The spring courtship flight of the Woodcock is remarkable. On warm
evenings the males _bleat_ in their favorite haunts, then, as darkness
descends, mount on whistling wings higher and higher, until they are far
above the earth. They then hurl themselves back and forth as they start
pitching toward the earth, the while producing a twittering sound with
their throats as they drop at considerable speed, to alight not far from
the point at which they started. Courting Woodcocks will sometimes
alight within a few feet of a quiet observer.

Because the incubating bird is quiet and her back so perfectly resembles
the leaves and twigs near her, she is very difficult to see. She so
implicitly believes that she cannot be seen that she is not often
flushed from her nest; sometimes she will permit her back to be stroked
or her whole body to be lifted from her eggs.


                             WILSON’S SNIPE
                   _Capella gallinago delicata_ (Ord)

  Other Names.—Jack Snipe; English Snipe (erroneous).

  Description.—A little heavier than a Robin, but with short tail, very
  long bill, and moderately long feet; sexes similar. Upperparts black,
  plumage edged, barred, and variously marked with white, buffy, and
  grayish; a light line through middle of crown, another over eye; wings
  dark brown, outer edge of outer primary and tips of greater coverts,
  white; tail black, tipped with orange-buff and white, the outer
  feathers white, barred with black; throat and belly white; neck and
  breast buffy, indistinctly barred with dark brown; sides barred with
  black; under tail-coverts buffy, barred with black; bill greenish
  dusky; feet dull green; eyes, which are placed rather far back in the
  head, dark brown. The female is somewhat browner than the male;
  immature birds are sometimes quite brownish, especially in the region
  of the head and neck. _Length_: 11 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—As a migrant, rather regular and common,
  particularly in suitable marshes or along the margins of streams, from
  March 15 to May 20 and from September 15 to November 10; as a summer
  resident, local, known to nest at Pymatuning Swamp, Crawford County,
  and presumably in other northern counties where there are suitable
  marshes.

  Nest.—A shallow cup made of dead stalks of various plants, placed on a
  small island or a water-soaked log, or in a low, moist, field, among
  the grass. _Eggs_: 4, olive-brown, spotted with rich dark brown,
  chiefly at the larger end.

    [Illustration: Wilson’s Snipe]

The average bird student knows the Snipe as a bird which springs from a
marshy spot with startled _scaip, scaip_ as it zigzags its way to a safe
retreat, or mounts in the air to circle and return. At such a time the
reddish brown band at the tip of the tail and the white belly, which
flashes as the bird erratically turns, are good field-marks.

On its nesting-grounds the Snipe is a different creature. High overhead,
in wide circles, the birds fly, giving forth strange windy hoots which
they are said to produce by spreading widely the outermost feathers of
the tail. When the performers come to earth they may perch on a wayside
post, on a fence, or on a tree—an unheard-of feat for a Snipe at any
other season. The male Snipe, and perhaps the female also, performs many
queer antics during the nesting season.

The downy young, which leave their nests shortly after hatching, are
beautiful creatures—dark brown and black with cream-colored and buffy
spots and flecks which are arranged in a pattern which gives them a
protective coloration. They are strong-legged creatures and can run
rapidly and swim with ease as soon as they leave the nest.

The Dowitcher (_Limnodromus griseus griseus_), a shore-bird which
resembles the Wilson’s Snipe, is a rare migrant. It is pale rufous,
speckled with black below, and variously mottled above in summer; in
winter it is brownish gray above, white below, with a few dark barrings;
in all plumages the rump and upper tail-coverts and tail are noticeably
barred with black and white. _Length_: 10½ inches.

The rare Stilt Sandpiper (_Micropalama himantopus_) has long _green_
legs, but otherwise looks rather like a Yellow-legs. In spring it has a
red-brown patch on the face and heavily barred underparts; in the fall
it is gray above, white below, with a few dusky spots on the breast. The
upper tail-coverts in any plumage are white.

The Knot or Robin Snipe (_Calidris canutus rufus_), is a rare migrant
also. It is dull rufous below in spring, and the upperparts are streaked
and barred with black, white, and rufous. In winter it is gray above,
with black and white barring on the upper tail-coverts; below it is
white, with faint dark barring. The upperparts in winter have a scaly
appearance as the result of light margins of the feathers. _Length_: 10½
inches.


                           PECTORAL SANDPIPER
                     _Pisobia maculata_ (Vieillot)

  Other Name.—Oxeye.

  Description.—Smaller than Robin. _Adults in summer_: Upperparts black,
  the feathers margined with creamy buff, a distinct superciliary line
  of buffy white; rump and upper tail-coverts black, narrowly tipped
  with buffy; middle tail-feathers brownish gray, narrowly margined with
  white; underparts white, the neck and breast rather heavily but finely
  streaked with blackish and buffy brown. _Adults in winter and
  immature_: Similar, but the general appearance much more reddish
  brown. _Length_: 9 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Recorded chiefly at Erie; a rather rare and
  irregular migrant in spring from March 20 to May 15; somewhat more
  common and regular in midsummer and fall, occurring from late July to
  late October, though it is highly probable that individuals do not
  remain in one place during this period. As nesting duties in the north
  are completed, the immature birds and adults in fresh plumage come
  south in flocks.

The shore-birds are not, as a rule, common in Pennsylvania. There are
not many extensive mud-flats where they may feed, and many of the
streams have been polluted, destroying the animal food. Erie is such an
admirable resting and feeding-ground for such birds that many of them
stop there after their flight across Lake Erie, then strike out to the
southward, _flying over_ most of Pennsylvania.

The White-rumped Sandpiper (_Pisobia fuscicollis_), which resembles the
Pectoral Sandpiper but has a _distinctly white rump_, is a rare migrant,
noted chiefly at Erie and in the Pymatuning Swamp region. The Baird’s
Sandpiper (_Pisobia bairdi_) is rare, save at Erie, where it is a fairly
regular and common fall migrant from late August to the end of
September.


                            LEAST SANDPIPER
                     _Pisobia minutilla_ (Vieillot)

  Other Names.—Meadow Peep; Oxeye.

  Description.—About as large as an English Sparrow. _Adults in spring_:
  Upperparts black, margined and tipped with buffy and reddish brown;
  rump and upper tail-coverts black; middle tail-feathers black, outer
  ones ashy gray; throat, superciliary, and narrow ring about eye,
  white; neck and breast buffy, streaked with dark brown; rest of
  underparts white, the sides with narrow streaks of dusky; bill
  blackish; _feet dull green. Adults and young in winter_: Upperparts
  brownish gray; breast pale brownish gray or grayish, indistinctly
  streaked. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—The Least Sandpiper occurs with some regularity
  both in spring and fall throughout the Commonwealth. It may be found
  at almost any wayside puddle or along the margins of streams from
  early May until about the end of the month and from mid-August to
  early October, and is particularly common at Erie.

    [Illustration: Least Sandpiper]

The Least Sandpiper is noticeably smaller than the common Spotted
Sandpiper and does not have that species’ habit of “tipping up” its
tail. It is, however, very similar in general appearance to the
Semipalmated Sandpiper, which may occur at the same time, but differs in
having _green feet_, and (if the bird be in the hand) in having no
_partial webs_ between the toes.


                          RED-BACKED SANDPIPER
                    _Pelidna alpina pacifica_ Coues

  Description.—About the size of a Spotted Sandpiper; bill slightly
  curved at tip. _Adults in spring_: Back and scapulars bright reddish
  brown, the feathers with dark centers; breast white, finely streaked
  with dark brown; _large black patch on middle of belly_; lower belly
  white. _Adults and young in winter_: Upperparts gray, wing-coverts
  gray, edged with buffy; underparts white, the breast grayish, the
  sides sometimes somewhat streaked. _Length_: 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant, rare in spring, fairly common in
  fall, especially at Erie, where it has been noted from mid-August to
  late October.

    [Illustration: Red-backed Sandpiper]

The gay spring plumage of this species is easily remembered. In the gray
winter plumage it is not so easy to recognize, but its somewhat curved
bill is diagnostic.


                         SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER
                     _Ereunetes pusillus_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—About as large as an English Sparrow; half-webs between
  the front toes, which are responsible for the bird’s name. _Adults in
  spring_: Upperparts dark brown, plumage margined with brownish gray
  and traces of reddish brown; rump grayish brown; upper tail-coverts
  blackish; tail gray, central feathers darkest; underparts white, with
  faint streaking on breast. Young birds in their first fall plumage
  have a somewhat scaly appearance above as a result of the buffy tips
  and borders of the feathers; their breasts are buffy, unstreaked; bill
  black; feet blackish. _Length_: A little over 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant, commoner in the fall than in the
  spring, and noted chiefly at Erie. It occurs during May and from late
  July or early August to late September.

The legs and feet of this species are black; in the Least Sandpiper they
are greenish. The bill of this species is about straight; that of the
Least Sandpiper is slightly decurved at the tip; in any age or plumage
the Semipalmated Sandpiper may be recognized when in the hand by its
partially webbed front toes.


                               SANDERLING
                       _Crocethia alba_ (Pallas)

  Description.—_Three toes_; a little smaller than Robin. _Adults in
  summer_: Head, back, lower throat, and sides of breast, rusty brown,
  the feathers edged with whitish and centered with black; wings with
  white area on basal half of inner flight-feathers; belly and narrow
  margins of tail-feathers white. _Adults in winter_: Gray above, white
  below, with white face and eye-ring. _Young in first winter plumage_:
  Whitish, streaked with black above; breast buffy; rest of underparts
  white. _Length_: 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant fall migrant at Erie from late July
  on; rare elsewhere.


                          GREATER YELLOW-LEGS
                    _Totanus melanoleucus_ (Gmelin)

  Other Name.—Yellow-legs Snipe.

  Description.—Larger than Robin; legs very long and _yellow_; bill
  long, slender, and straight. _Adults_: Upperparts black; head and neck
  streaked with white; feathers of back spotted and barred with whitish;
  upper tail-coverts and tail white, barred with black; underparts
  white, breast spotted and sides barred with black. _Adults and young
  in winter_: Similar but with less striking markings both above and
  below; sides only slightly barred; bill and eyes black. _Length_: 14
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant throughout, to be
  observed at small pools and larger bodies of water from mid-April
  until May and from early August to latter October; not often seen in
  flocks.

    [Illustration: Greater Yellow-legs]

The Greater and Lesser Yellow-legs are much alike in appearance, this
species being much the larger. Their loud, clear whistles and their
habit of lifting their wings high above their backs as they alight are
characteristic.


                           LESSER YELLOW-LEGS
                      _Totanus flavipes_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Summer Yellow-legs; Yellow-legs.

  Description.—Remarkably similar to the Greater Yellow-legs in all
  respects, even in habits, but noticeably smaller, even in the field.
  _Length_: Almost 11 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant, often
  commoner than the Greater Yellow-legs and more apt to be noted in
  small flocks. It is to be found from late April to mid-May and from
  early August to mid-October.

Look for the Yellow-legs along some mud-flat, preferably on an inland
pool. The clear whistle may be imitated easily, and will sometimes lure
the birds back after they have taken flight. Both the Greater and Lesser
Yellow-legs jerk their bodies stiffly as they become uneasy.


                           SOLITARY SANDPIPER
                  _Tringa solitaria solitaria_ Wilson

  Description.—Smaller than Robin; flight swift and graceful; _wings in
  flight look black_. _Adults_: Upperparts dark olive-brown; head and
  neck streaked, and back finely spotted with white; middle
  tail-feathers dark, the others _white, barred with black_; underparts
  white, the breast streaked, the sides sometimes barred with black. In
  winter the birds are similar but are less streaked and spotted.
  _Length_: 8½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common and regular migrant from early May until
  about the first of June and from mid-July to early October. It
  sometimes occurs in midsummer and may nest, though we have no actual
  records at present.

    [Illustration: Solitary Sandpiper]

The Solitary Sandpiper is confused more easily with the Spotted
Sandpiper than with any other species. It _jerks stiffly_ and does not
bob constantly as does the Spotted when approached; the wings of the
Solitary are dark, unmarked, while the Spotted Sandpiper’s wings have a
band of white which shows plainly in flight; and the Solitary’s tail
appears white in flight, while that of the Spotted is dark. Look for the
Solitary Sandpiper at small pools in woodlands, or along the grassy
margins of slow-moving streams or of ponds.

The Willet and Western Willet (_Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
semipalmatus_ and _s. inornatus_) rarely occur. They are large gray
shore-birds, much barred with blackish above and below in spring, plain
gray above in winter, the wings always with large, noticeable white
patches which show plainly in flight. _Length_: 15 inches.


                  BARTRAMIAN SANDPIPER; UPLAND PLOVER
                   _Bartramia longicauda_ (Bechstein)

  Other Names.—Field Plover; Prairie Whistler.

  Description.—Larger than Robin; tail rather long and much pointed;
  upperparts rich buffy; the head and neck streaked and the back barred
  with black; primaries dark brown, the outermost barred with white;
  inner tail-feathers dark brown, the outer ones buffy, all tipped and
  edged with white, showing plainly in the field, and all more or less
  barred with black and marked with noticeable subterminal band of
  black; underparts whitish, the breast and sides washed with buffy and
  marked with black in the form of delicate bars, arrow-heads, and
  spots; legs and feet brownish yellow. Young birds are similar but the
  buffy coloration is richer. _Length_: 11½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather local summer resident, found only in
  wide, open fields, apparently rare in western Pennsylvania, save in
  Mercer and Crawford counties where it nests irregularly, but fairly
  common in southeastern Pennsylvania, where it inhabits the wide fields
  in the less mountainous districts from early April to mid-September.

  Nest.—A depression in the ground, usually in the middle of a large,
  flat, upland field, not near water. _Eggs_: 4, buffy brown, spotted
  with dark or reddish brown. The eggs are surprisingly large for so
  small a bird, as is the case in all shore-birds.

    [Illustration: Bartramian Sandpiper]

The Upland Plover is a bird of wide pastures and grassy fields. It is
difficult to approach, save at the nesting season, when it may come near
so as to lead us away from its young; but its presence is announced by
the high and musical whistle which has given the bird one of its popular
names, “Prairie Whistler,” and which it utters from the ground, while in
flight, or while perched on a fencepost, telegraph-pole, or tree.

The flight of this bird is singularly beautiful as, with wide wings
beating through a comparatively short arc, it fairly quivers through the
air. All its movements seem tremulous and graceful, and as it alights it
lifts its wings gracefully, high above its back, and folds them
carefully.

Its call-note, which is heard as the bird is disturbed, is a mellow,
bubbling whistle, very musical, and with a quality of liquidity which
few bird-notes possess.

The young birds run about shortly after hatching and are difficult to
find. They never go to the margins of streams to hunt their food, as do
other members of the family, and when autumn comes they mount to the sky
and make their way to the prairies of Texas where they stop for a time
while _en route_ to their winter home in Argentina.

If this magnificent bird is given careful protection, it may survive;
but unless it is guarded in South America, as well as in its
nesting-grounds, there is little hope for it.


                           SPOTTED SANDPIPER
                     _Actitis macularia_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Tilt-up; Tip-up; Peep.

  Description.—Larger than an English Sparrow, with long, narrow,
  pointed wings; upperparts brownish gray, with a faint greenish gloss,
  more or less barred with black; an indistinct superciliary line of
  white; face and underparts white, _spotted throughout with black_, the
  largest spots on the sides and flanks; wings like back, the bases of
  the primaries and secondaries whitish, showing in flight; inner
  tail-feathers dark like back, outer ones lighter, about white, but
  never appearing, even in flight, as white as in the Solitary
  Sandpiper. Immature birds are not spotted below, and the barring of
  the upperparts is restricted to the scapulars and wing-coverts; there
  is a slight buffy gray wash on the breast. _Length_: 7½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common summer resident throughout from
  mid-April to late September. It is found along all small streams,
  sometimes even in the mountains and heavily wooded districts.

  Nest.—On the ground, often near a stream, sometimes in a field, and
  made of dead weed-stalks, lined with finer materials. _Eggs_: 4,
  whitish to brownish buffy, irregularly and sometimes heavily spotted
  and blotched with reddish brown, usually about the larger end.

    [Illustration: Spotted Sandpiper]

The Spotted Sandpiper is our best-known shore-bird. It is not
particularly wary, and frequents all the small streams which have not
been polluted. As it runs along the muddy margin, it bobs and teeters
constantly, perhaps calling softly. Fluttering out over the water, its
wing-tips almost touching the surface, it whistles _tweet_, _tweet,
tweet, tweet_, clearly, and circles back to the shore or alights on a
stone or fallen tree. The white areas in the wings show rather plainly
in flight.

The young are so small and flimsy that they are comical, with their
wisps of tails and long, slender feet. They can swim readily, however,
and run with amazing rapidity. Even the adult can swim and dive if
necessary.

The Spotted Sandpiper is a much more energetic, nervous bird than its
relative, the Solitary Sandpiper, and it is not so often found wading
about in deep water as is that somewhat larger, darker bird. When the
two species fly up, the Solitary usually utters two or three loud, sharp
whistles as it flies directly away, or up into the air. The Spotted, on
the other hand, usually flutters away, just a little above the water,
and customarily circles back to the shore not far away.


                                KILLDEER
                _Oxyechus vociferus vociferus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Killdee; Killdeer Plover.

  Description.—Three toes; size of Robin; forehead, patch over eye,
  throat, ring around neck, and underparts white, the breast crossed by
  _two prominent black bands_; forepart of crown and line from bill
  under eye, blackish; rest of head and upperparts gray-brown, with
  greenish reflections; wings with bases of flight-feathers white,
  showing plainly in flight; rump and upper tail-coverts bright
  orange-brown; middle tail-feathers dark brown, outer feathers white,
  all with white tip and irregular subterminal bar of black; bill black;
  feet pale flesh-color; eyelids red. _Length_: 10½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A widely distributed migrant and summer
  resident from mid-March to mid-November; occasional in winter.

  Nest.—A depression in the sod or among gravel, sometimes rather
  carefully lined with pebbles or bits of debris. _Eggs_: 4, whitish to
  buffy brown, heavily spotted with dark or reddish brown.

    [Illustration: Killdeer]

Our Killdeer is a bird of the open pastures. Although it searches for
food along the water’s edge, it often builds its nest some distance
away. The striking coloration and clear whistled cry _kill-deer,
kill-deer_ make this one of our most easily identified birds, even at a
considerable distance.

The large Black-bellied Plover (_Squatarola squatarola cynosuræ_) is
common during the fall migration at Erie from mid-August to
mid-September and later, but is rare elsewhere in Pennsylvania. The
black underparts of the adult in spring and the _black underwing
feathers_ of the young and adult in winter are diagnostic marks. The
call-note may be written _too-ree_.

Somewhat smaller is the Golden Plover (_Pluvialis dominica dominica_),
whose black underparts and golden flecked upperparts make the spring
plumage easily recognizable; it is dull brownish in fall, with golden
flecks on the crown and back. At Erie it is common in fall from early
September throughout the month; elsewhere in Pennsylvania it is rare,
and it is not noted during the spring, for its northward migration route
passes along the Mississippi Valley.


                          SEMIPALMATED PLOVER
                  _Charadrius semipalmatus_ Bonaparte

  Other Name.—Ring Plover.

  Description.—Like the Killdeer in general appearance, but much
  _smaller, and with only one black band around the neck_; rump and
  upper tail-coverts the same gray-brown as the back; eyelids yellow;
  bill short, orange, tipped with black. _Length_: A little under 7
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather rare migrant during May and from
  August 10 to October 1, save at Erie, where it is regular and common.

    [Illustration: Semipalmated Plover]

The clear call-note of this species, _ker-ee, ker-ee_, suggests that of
the Killdeer. Young Semipalmated Plovers coming south for the first time
are often very easy to approach.

The Piping Plover (_Charadrius melodus_), which is about the size of the
Semipalmated Plover and like it in pattern, is pale sandy above, with a
blackish ring about neck, black primaries and central tail-feathers, and
bright yellow eyelids and feet. This species nests at Erie, arriving in
mid-April and remaining until early September; elsewhere in Pennsylvania
it is very rare.


                            RUDDY TURNSTONE
                _Arenaria interpres morinella_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Size of Robin; bill sharply pointed. _Adults in spring_:
  Upperparts strikingly marked with black, white, and rusty red; tail
  white, with black band near tip; underparts white, marked with black
  on throat and breast. _In winter_: Upperparts blackish, the feathers
  margined with grayish; lower back white; tail as in summer; legs
  orange-red. _Length_: 9½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare but rather regular migrant in May and
  September, noted chiefly at Erie.


                          RING-NECKED PHEASANT
                _Phasianus colchichus torquatus_ Gmelin

  Other Names.—Ring-neck; Pheasant; English Pheasant.

  Description.—Size of a chicken; male with a long, pointed tail; female
  with shorter, more rounded tail. _Adult male_: Head and neck, with
  tufts on sides of head, glossy green; collar about neck white; back
  and scapulars golden yellow, the centers of the feathers glossy green;
  rump grayish, glossed with green, and marked with black spots; wings
  light gray, the primaries barred with black; tail brown, barred with
  black and glossed with pinkish; breast rich copper-red, glossed with
  violet, the feathers tipped with black; sides golden yellow, spotted
  with glossy purple; belly black; face bare, the skin deep red; bill
  and feet light gray; eyes bright yellow. _Female and immature male_:
  Pale sandy brown, the head and neck with a pinkish cast, and entire
  upperparts streaked and barred with dark brown and black, giving the
  bird an entirely different appearance and color pattern from that of
  the adult male; eyes dark brown. _Length_: Male, about 30 inches;
  female, about 24 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A permanent resident, very common in some
  districts, notably in the less mountainous counties. It is becoming
  common throughout much of the Commonwealth through the restocking
  efforts of the Game Commission.

  Nest.—A depression in the ground, lined with grasses or other
  vegetation, usually placed in a field not far from a brush-lined
  stream, or under a fallen bough at the edge of a woodland. _Eggs_: 8
  to 20, olive-brown in color, glossy in appearance.

    [Illustration: Ring-necked Pheasant, Male]

The Ring-neck is a native of Asia. It was brought to Great Britain at
the time of the Roman invasion and has become thoroughly acclimated
there. In many parts of the New World, Ring-necks have been introduced
and they seem to make their way very well. They have been present in
Pennsylvania for only a few years, yet during the 1927 hunting season
177,500 of the birds were taken as legal game.

In spite of its magnificent coloration, the Ring-neck is protectively
colored, though birds which wander about through the open field, where
they search for food, can be seen easily. As they fly up, it sometimes
takes a second or two for them to get well under way, but they fly
strongly and make a difficult mark for the sportsman once they learn the
meaning of a gun.


                               BOB-WHITE
              _Colinus virginianus virginianus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Quail; Partridge; Virginia Partridge.

  Description.—Size of small bantam chicken. _Male_: Head blackish,
  mottled with gray and red-brown; throat, spots on neck, and a
  prominent line above eye, white; back and breast mottled with gray,
  pinkish brown, buffy, black, and white; scapulars bordered with buffy;
  rump and tail gray; belly whitish, barred with black; flanks rusty
  red, feathers margined with white. _Female_: Similar, but with buffy
  yellow superciliary and throat. _Length_: 10 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common permanent resident, chiefly in the less
  mountainous counties, and usually to be found in cultivated districts.

  Nest.—On the ground, in high grass or among brush, made of dry
  grasses, arched over with grasses or other vegetation; usually placed
  along a road, or at the edge of a field. _Eggs_: 12 to 24, pure white.

    [Illustration: Bob-White, Male]

In winter Bob-Whites frequent old weed-patches, briar-thickets, or
cornfields where the stalks have been left standing. They are very
sociable, and wander about in flocks, searching for food, roosting
together on the ground in a compact ring, their heads out and tails
together. Being protectively colored, they usually do not fly until they
are virtually tramped upon. When a flock is disturbed, they rush into
the air on noisy wings and scatter in all directions. After a short time
the birds begin to call to each other, _pur-lee, pur-lee_, and the flock
reassembles.

With the coming of spring the flocks break up. Male birds mount favorite
fence-posts, stones, or low boughs and give the clear whistle which
every farmer boy can imitate. This whistle is one of the clearest and
most powerful of bird-notes.

Male and female birds share the duties of incubating the eggs, which are
turned over carefully so that they get the proper amount of heat.
Sometimes the eggs are so numerous that they are piled upon each other
in the nest, and at such times the lower layer of eggs must receive
special attention. As a rule, all the eggs hatch.

Among the enemies of Bob-Whites are the blacksnake, which eats the eggs
and young; the Cooper’s Hawk and the Goshawk, which capture the adults;
and the skunk and other ground-prowlers which eat the eggs and sometimes
the adults. Half-starved house cats are frequently serious enemies of
this popular game-bird.

The Hungarian or European Gray Partridge (_Perdix perdix_ _perdix_), a
bird a little larger than the Bob-White, gray in color with a dark brown
horse-shoe shaped mark on the breast, a red-brown tail, and reddish
eyelids, has been released in several parts of Pennsylvania as a
game-bird, and it is now on the increase. The bright red-brown tail of
this species is very noticeable in flight.


                             RUFFED GROUSE
                  _Bonasa umbellus umbellus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Partridge; Gray Partridge; Birch Partridge; Silver-tail
  (gray phase); Pheasant (erroneous).

  Description.—Size of chicken, with broad, fan-shaped tail; sexes
  similar. Upperparts principally reddish brown, irregularly marked with
  black, buffy, gray, and whitish; _sides of neck with ruffs of broad,
  black feathers_ glossed with greenish; tail reddish brown or gray, or
  of intermediate shade, irregularly barred and mottled with black, with
  a broad blackish band near end, and a gray tip; throat and breast
  buffy; rest of underparts white, tinged with buffy and barred with
  black or dark brown, the bars indistinct on the breast and belly,
  stronger on the sides. The female, which is a little smaller, has
  smaller ruffs on the neck, and, as a rule, a shorter tall. _Length_:
  17 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A permanent resident throughout in the wilder,
  wooded sections; variable in abundance as a result of unfavorable
  nesting seasons, change of forest conditions, destruction by natural
  enemies, disease, and heavy hunting.

  Nest.—A hollow lined with leaves at the base of a stump, under a low
  hemlock, or under the fallen branch of a tree. _Eggs_: 7 to 14, pale
  buffy.

    [Illustration: Ruffed Grouse]

The Ruffed Grouse, our best-known game-bird, is a creature of
personality. Protectively colored, he waits until he is almost trodden
upon, then rises with a startling whir of wings, leaving the wayfarer
thunderstruck. The female, as she incubates, is rarely seen, for she
does not stir, and her back perfectly imitates her surroundings.

In the spring, the male Grouse struts and drums at chosen spots in the
woodland. On a log he paces up and down, ruffs lifted, wide tail fully
spread and elevated; or he stands erect, and, beating his chest rapidly
with his wings, produces the drumming sound for which he is so famous.
Grouse may drum at any time of the year, and sometimes at night, but
they do so chiefly during the morning on spring days.

The young run nimbly soon after hatching and leave their nest at once.
They develop rapidly. After a week they can fly readily though they are
very small. The mother Grouse, in luring an enemy from her young,
employs broken-wing tactics, dragging herself over the ground as though
she were badly wounded.

In the winter, Grouse develop long lateral scales on their toes which
function as snow-shoes. Their neat tracks in the snow lead from a roost
under a branch to which dead leaves cling, and wander about the bushes
and trees where the birds have been feeding on buds, twigs, and dried
berries. Grouse are especially fond of aspen, birch, beech, and maple
buds. They like wild-grape vines both for the food and the shelter which
they afford. During summer, Grouse eat much insect food, as well as
berries and leaves. They sometimes eat hemlock needles and leaves of
mountain laurel.


                              WILD TURKEY
               _Meleagris gallopavo silvestris_ Vieillot

  Description.—Size and appearance very similar to that of the domestic
  bird, but tips of tail-feathers and upper tail-coverts rich deep
  chestnut; primaries barred with black and white; feet mahogany-_red_.
  A large Wild Turkey gobbler in spring is a magnificent creature with
  its rich, iridescent plumage, highly colored and wattled head, and
  proud carriage. _Length_: About 4 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Once fairly common throughout the State,
  especially in the southern mountainous counties, but brought to the
  verge of extermination through forest fires, excessive hunting, and
  encroaches of civilization. The Game Commission has brought in some
  birds from other States to replenish our stock; some mingling has
  occurred between wild birds and domestic individuals which have
  wandered from the farms. Wild Turkeys are now to be found chiefly
  along the ridges of the South Mountain District, and seem to be
  holding their own fairly well. While these are not strictly the
  original strain, they are nevertheless wild, and are therefore fairly
  representative of the race which once occurred. The Wild Turkey is a
  permanent resident.

  Nest.—A depression in the leaves, under brush, or in a thicket,
  usually well concealed from above. _Eggs_: 6 to 15, cream-buff,
  thickly but finely spotted with reddish brown.

The sight of a flock of Wild Turkeys coasting on their strong wings from
the crest of a ridge to the lower levels is one long to be remembered.
The spectacle before us, of weighty, muscular creatures hurling
themselves through the air is difficult to believe, accustomed as we are
to the flightless clumsiness of their cousins of the barnyard.

Having very keen senses, the Wild Turkeys are difficult to approach, for
they are very wary and at the slightest warning make off on a run up the
ridge, or leap into the air.

In summer, they eat many small fruits and insects, including
grasshoppers, but in winter, when it is often necessary for them to
scratch in the snow, they eat chestnuts and acorns, the berries of
Jack-in-the-pulpit, corn if they live near the farms, and other such
food as they can find. In some districts these splendid birds have
difficulty in finding adequate food to carry them through the winter and
in such regions the Game Protector sees that the birds are fed, and Boy
Scouts, sportsmen’s organizations, and others coöperate in saving the
birds.

The Wild Turkey gobbler, notably in the spring, has the same tendencies
toward fighting and vainglorious display as has his domestic relative.


                             MOURNING DOVE
              _Zenaidura macroura carolinensis_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Carolina Dove; Rain Crow (erroneous); Turtle Dove.

  Description.—A little larger than a Robin; head small, tail long and
  pointed. _Adults_: Crown clear gray; front of head, face, throat, and
  lower neck, soft reddish brown, two small black spots back of and
  below the eye; sides and back of neck gray, with patches of iridescent
  feathers which reflect greenish, golden, and purplish lights; back and
  wings grayish brown, some of the coverts and tertials with black
  spots; rump and tail gray, the outer tail-feathers noticeably tipped
  with white; underparts pinkish brown, lightest on belly and under
  tail-coverts; bill black; feet reddish. _Female_: Less brightly
  colored than male. Young birds in their first flight plumage are much
  scaled in appearance and lack the bright colors of the adult.
  _Length_: About 12 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common summer resident throughout, arriving
  in late March and remaining until November. It is occasionally found
  in winter when the ground is free of snow or when food in the form of
  seed or grain is plentiful. In many sections it is becoming commoner.

  Nest.—A flimsy, flat structure made of small twigs, weed-stalks, or
  other bits of vegetation, placed, usually, on a horizontal branch or
  in an ample crotch in an orchard tree or willow, often near a stream,
  and usually not at great height from the ground. The nest is sometimes
  placed on the ground. _Eggs_: 2, white.

    [Illustration: Mourning Dove]

Doves are often to be seen perched on a prominent dead branch, and at
such times their small heads, erect posture, and pointed tails are
noticeable. As they fly up from a field, or alight, the white in their
outer tail-feathers shows plainly, but wherever they occur they may be
recognized by the characteristic whistling sound of their wings in
flight and their gentle cooing. This song may be written _coo-oo-oo,
ooh, ooh, ooh_, the opening syllable using three notes, the middle note
being the highest in the song. At close range this cry is rough and
throaty; at a distance it is mellow and soft, its tender, mournful
quality making adequate description difficult.

Young Doves are fed with partly digested food which the parents pump up
from their stomachs. They are helpless, dowdy creatures while in the
nest, and they sometimes come to an untimely end when a gale blows the
structure from its scant moorings or when, from lack of proper balance,
it topples to one side.

The white eggs, when fresh, are translucent as moonstones, and the
sunlight, in penetrating the thin shells, discloses faintly the color of
the golden yolk.

Doves eat a great deal of weed seed. They have no destructive habits
whatever, and are worthy of all possible protection. They appear to be
on the increase as a result of shortening the shooting season in the
South, where they are popular as game-birds.


                             TURKEY VULTURE
                 _Cathartes aura septentrionalis_ Wied

  Other Names.—Buzzard; Turkey Buzzard.

  Description.—Smaller than a Turkey; head and upper neck virtually
  bare; ruff of feathers about lower neck; wings long as in most birds
  of prey, but feet without the sharp, curved claws of the hawk tribe;
  plumage blackish brown, glossed with purplish when fresh, rusty and
  soiled in appearance when old; under surface of flight-feathers
  lighter, showing in flight; skin of neck and head reddish, with
  whitish tubercles and ridges, and some hairs and small feathers; bill
  whitish; feet dull flesh-color; eyes brown. Downy young, white in
  color with pale blue-gray feet and head. _Length_: About 30 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A regular and fairly common summer resident in
  the southern half of the Commonwealth and locally in western
  Pennsylvania, at least as far north as Crawford County, where it nests
  in limited numbers at Pymatuning Swamp. It arrives in mid-March and
  stays until November, or later. In the southernmost counties, and
  occasionally elsewhere in its range, it remains throughout the winter.

  Nest.—No nest is built. _Eggs_: 2, whitish, blotched irregularly with
  black, brown, and gray, placed on the ground in a cavity among rocks
  or in a hollow log.

    [Illustration: Turkey Vulture]

At close range the Turkey Vulture is not a beautiful creature—its
carriage is slovenly, its facial expression unpleasant, and its plumage
harsh; but circling in the sky, its wide wings hardly moving for hours
at a time, it becomes a glorified being, among the most graceful and
well-balanced of our soaring birds.

It is equipped by Nature as a carrion-eater, the bare head and neck
permitting it to eat the flesh of dead animals without soiling its
feathers. Its feet are not used in capturing or carrying prey, but a
considerable burden may be carried in the bill. When Vultures find a
dead cow or horse, word seems to travel immediately to all nearby
districts and the great birds swing silently in to the feast. They are
frequently seen along roadsides where they devour rabbits and other
small mammals which have been killed by motor cars.

It is said that the Turkey Vulture carries the germs of hog cholera and
the dreaded foot-and-mouth disease. This is only occasionally, if ever,
true, however, and, as a rule, it is a harmless and highly beneficial
bird. Nevertheless, it is not protected in Pennsylvania at the present
time.

Young Vultures cannot stand when newly hatched.


                               MARSH HAWK
                  _Circus cyaneus hudsonius_ (Linnæus)

    [Illustration: Marsh Hawk
    Male    Female]

  Other Names.—Swamp Hawk; Marsh Harrier; Pigeon Hawk (erroneous);
  Chicken Hawk; Hen Harrier.

  Description.—Face with an owl-like ruff of feathers; wings _and tail_
  long; feet long and slender. _Adult male_: Upperparts light ashy gray,
  somewhat darker on top of head, and slightly streaked on neck; tips of
  wings black; tail barred with black; _upper tail-coverts white_; lower
  parts white, grayer on throat and upper breast, and flecked with pale
  reddish brown on sides and flanks; eyes bright yellow. _Adult female_:
  Plumage rich brown, considerably mottled throughout, sometimes heavily
  streaked with blackish below, and feathers sometimes considerably
  margined with buffy; _upper tail-coverts always white_; eyes yellow.
  Immature birds are usually plain brown, unstreaked below, and have
  brown eyes. The feet are always yellow. _Length_: About 20 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common though somewhat local migrant and
  summer resident from March 15 to November 1. Less often seen in the
  mountainous counties and occasionally noted in winter. Its summer
  range depends more or less upon swampy country in which the nest is
  characteristically built.

  Nest.—On the ground in a swamp, composed of dead weed-stalks, cat-tail
  leaves, and similar materials, sometimes with neat cup and lining, at
  other times loosely constructed with little attempt at neatness.
  _Eggs_: 4 to 7, pale blue or chalky white, occasionally _faintly_
  spotted with brown.

The Marsh Hawk is usually to be seen flying near the ground over a field
or low meadow. Beating its way along rapidly, it pauses at times to
watch the grass where prey may hide, sometimes wheeling suddenly toward
the ground as it captures a mouse or shrew. It may always be recognized
by the _white upper tail-coverts_ which show plainly in flight, a mark
which our other hawks do not have.

Occasionally the Marsh Hawk circles high in air where the white patch on
the back is not visible. At such times the _long and somewhat pointed
wings_, black wing-tips, long tail, and white appearance of the male and
the dull brown appearance of the female will distinguish the species.

The male has the interesting custom of looping the loop during its
season of courtship. At the nest the birds are very fierce in defending
their young and swoop about the intruder, uttering loud, piercing,
Flicker-like cries.

Its food consists of mice, frogs, snakes, and other creatures which are
captured among the cat-tails or on the ground. Occasionally it takes a
bird or visits the poultry-yard, but, as a rule, it is a beneficial
species. It is not protected in Pennsylvania.


                           SHARP-SHINNED HAWK
                       _Accipiter velox_ (Wilson)

  Other Names.—Bird Hawk; Blue Darter; Chicken Hawk; Pigeon Hawk
  (erroneous).

  Description.—Small for a Hawk, being but little larger than a Robin;
  wings comparatively short and rounded; tail long and _square at tip_:
  female considerably larger than male. _Adults_: Top of head and neck
  blackish, base of feathers of nape white; cheeks and malar region
  whitish streaked with reddish brown; throat white, finely streaked
  with black; upperparts blue-gray, the tail marked with three or four
  blackish bands; underparts white, heavily barred with reddish brown
  save on middle of belly and under tail-coverts. _Immature birds_:
  _Brown_, not gray, plumage of the upperparts edged with rusty brown
  and underparts _streaked_, not barred, with dark brown. The eyes of
  adults are usually red; of immatures, yellow. The feet, which are long
  and slender, are always yellow. _Length_: Male, 12 inches; female, 13½
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant and summer resident throughout from
  March 1 to November 25; occasionally to be seen in winter.

  Nest.—A rather large, flat platform made of slender twigs, built near
  the trunk on a hemlock bough, or in other sheltered situation, usually
  30 to 40 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, pale greenish white,
  handsomely and irregularly blotched with rich brown.

The Sharp-shin is the enemy of all small birds. It is swift in flight
and skulks along among the bushes, pouncing upon its victims suddenly.
Near the nest of a pair of these birds located at McDonald Water Works,
Washington County, there were no small birds—they had probably all been
killed or driven out by the Sharp-shins.

Another very small member of this family, the Sparrow Hawk, is a bird of
the open fields, with long, _pointed_ wings and red-brown back. The
Sharp-shin sometimes circles rapidly in the open but does not hover over
its prey as does the Sparrow Hawk.

    [Illustration: Cooper’s Hawk, Female
    Sharp-shinned Hawk, Male]

Young Sharp-shins, which are downy white, are fed upon small birds which
are neatly plucked by the parent.


                             COOPER’S HAWK
                    _Accipiter cooperi_ (Bonaparte)

  Other Names.—Chicken Hawk; Blue Darter; Pigeon Hawk (erroneous); Hen
  Hawk.

  Description.—Almost precisely like the Sharp-shin in proportions and
  coloration, but larger, the smaller male bird usually being a few
  ounces heavier than the largest female Sharp-shin, but not always to
  be distinguished easily from that species in the field. In the hand
  the Cooper’s Hawk may always be recognized by the shape of the tip of
  the tail which is _rounded_, not square, as it is in the Sharp-shin.
  _Length_: Male, 16 inches; female, 19 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common summer resident in wooded
  sections from March 1 to December 10; occasional in winter.

  Nest.—A bulky mass of twigs, lined with flakes of bark, usually placed
  from 40 to 60 feet from the ground in a beech tree. _Eggs_: 3 to 6,
  chalky blue-white.

The Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, both bird-killers, are fairly
common and are to be rated as our most objectionable birds of prey. They
are not protected in Pennsylvania.


                                GOSHAWK
               _Astur atricapillus atricapillus_ (Wilson)

  Other Names.—Hen Hawk; Gray Hawk; Partridge Hawk; Squirrel Hawk;
  Chicken Hawk.

  Description.—A large, heavy-bodied Hawk, with comparatively short
  wings and long tail; female considerably larger than male. _Adults_:
  Crown black; area above and back of eye white, marked irregularly with
  black; rest of head whitish, streaked with black; upperparts
  blue-gray, the tail marked with three or four broad blackish bands;
  underparts heavily and finely barred with clear gray _throughout_,
  also somewhat streaked, particularly on the breast; eyes red or
  red-brown; cere and feet yellowish green. _Immature birds_: Brown, not
  gray; plumage of upperparts dark brown, margined and edged with buffy
  and whitish, and on wing-coverts with rusty brown; underparts buffy
  white, heavily streaked with blackish. _Length_: Male, 21 inches;
  female, 24 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rare as a permanent resident in the northern,
  more mountainous counties; known to have nested at seven localities.
  As a winter visitant, irregular, though in some sections, notably
  among the eastern counties, to be found with some regularity from
  about October 20 to March 1.

  Nest.—A large mass of sticks, with a shallow cup, lined with bark and
  occasional sprigs of green hemlock, placed from 40 to 60 feet up in a
  beech or hemlock tree. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, chalky white, with a faint
  bluish cast.

The Goshawk is our most savage destroyer of small game. In occasional
winter invasions it is abundant, and at such times takes a terrific toll
of Ruffed Grouse, Ring-necked Pheasants, poultry, and cotton-tail
rabbits.

    [Illustration: Goshawk]

In the field, it has a very gray appearance, more so than any other
species; even its heavily marked underparts, at a distance, are gray. It
does not often circle in the sky, preferring to fly at about the level
of tree tops, or, indeed, a few feet from the ground, so as to drop upon
unsuspecting prey.

The parent birds are formidable warriors when their nest is disturbed.
While I was making notes at a nest in Potter County, the heavy female
bird struck me on the head, shoulders, and back a dozen times with her
large feet. The male was wary, though he joined in the battle
occasionally.

Rarely does the Goshawk capture mice or other destructive small mammals,
eating virtually nothing but Grouse so long as these birds can be found.
It is not protected in Pennsylvania.


                            RED-TAILED HAWK
                   _Buteo borealis borealis_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Chicken Hawk; Hen Hawk.

  Description.—Large, with broad wings and comparatively short tail;
  often seen circling in the sky or perched on a prominent dead stub;
  female larger than male. _Adults_: Upperparts dark brown, glossed with
  violet on back; scapulars and wing-coverts somewhat barred with buffy
  brown; throat white; breast usually crossed by a brownish band or by a
  row of streaks; rest of underparts whitish, barred and streaked with
  blackish, particularly on flanks and sides; tibial feathers buffy;
  tail bright red-brown with white tip and subterminal band of black;
  eyes dark brown; feet and cere greenish yellow. Immature birds are
  similar but the plumage of their upperparts is considerably mottled
  and edged with buffy, and the tail is gray, crossed with many narrow
  black bands. The underparts are often more heavily marked than in the
  adults, and the eyes are grayish yellow, not dark brown. _Length_:
  Male, 20 inches; female, 23 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common permanent resident, save at high
  altitudes, where it is to be found only irregularly during winter.
  Some Red-tails migrate into or through Pennsylvania during fall and
  early winter, but it is now believed that most nesting birds actually
  remain in one region during the entire year. In many sections of the
  State it is becoming rarer each year.

  Nest.—A bulky affair of twigs and branches, lined with leaves and
  finer materials, placed usually in a large, high, deciduous tree, at
  from 50 to 80 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 2 or 3, whitish,
  irregularly blotched and spotted with reddish brown.

    [Illustration: Red-shouldered Hawk
    Red-tailed Hawk]

The Red-tail may easily be confused with the Red-shoulder, which, while
smaller, has the same proportions. The Red-shoulder is more often found
in swampy country or in the lowlands; the Red-tail is a bird of the
fields and open wood-lots. The Red-shoulder’s scream is clear and loud;
that of the Red-tail is wheezy and often whistle-like in quality. The
Red-shoulder’s flight is more rapid, at times more owl-like than that of
the Red-tail, and, of course, the Red-shoulder’s tail is never
red-brown, but is black, crossed with narrow white bands. Immature
Red-shoulders are to be distinguished from immature Red-tails with
difficulty, partly because the birds do not call much and partly because
there is variation in the size of the sexes—a small male Red-tail being
not much larger than a female Red-shoulder; in the hand, however, the
young Red-shoulder is more conspicuously _streaked_ below than is the
young Red-tail, and the feet are _always_ slenderer and more delicate
than in the larger species.

The Red-tail’s food habits are, for the most part, innocent;
nevertheless, it is not protected in Pennsylvania at the present time.


                          RED-SHOULDERED HAWK
                   _Buteo lineatus lineatus_ (Gmelin)

  Other Name.—Chicken Hawk.

  Description.—Smaller than the Red-tail, with broad wings and
  comparatively short tail. _Adults_: Head and neck dark brown, streaked
  with reddish brown; back dark brown, with irregular barring and edging
  of gray and whitish; wings black, barred and spotted with white,
  lesser coverts rich reddish brown; tail black, crossed with three
  distinct but narrow white bands; underparts reddish brown, barred on
  belly, sides, and flanks with white; throat whitish, streaked, not
  barred, with dusky; a black spot on malar region; under tail-coverts
  white; feet and cere greenish yellow; eyes dark brown. _Immature
  birds_: Dark brown above, neck and back streaked and spotted with
  whitish and buffy; lesser wing-coverts reddish brown; primaries edged
  with buffy brown; tail gray-brown crossed with several light bars;
  underparts buffy white, streaked with black, principally on breast,
  sides, and belly; eyes pale grayish, with a yellow cast. _Length_:
  Male, 18½ inches; female, 21 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A somewhat local summer resident from March 1
  to December 1, often found along river valleys or in swampy country;
  winters occasionally, chiefly in the southern half of the
  Commonwealth. Usually not so common as the Red-tail.

  Nest.—Of twigs, lined with leaves and other fine materials, _and
  usually with a sprig or two of fresh hemlock_, built in a hemlock,
  beech, or other forest tree, usually from 30 to 60 feet from the
  ground. Sometimes the Red-shoulder adds materials to the last year’s
  nest of a Crow and uses this structure as a nest. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale
  greenish white, irregularly blotched with dark reddish brown.

Even at a distance the bright reddish coloration of the underparts of
the adult Red-shoulder should serve to distinguish it. The bird student
will do well to remember that the Red-shoulder and Red-tail customarily
choose prominent perches from which to watch for prey, whereas the
Cooper’s Hawk, Sharp-shin, and Goshawk almost never choose such lookout
posts. A large Hawk seen on a dead stub in the open is almost certainly
either a Red-shoulder or a Red-tail. The flying Red-shoulder circles
more rapidly than does the Red-tail, and with a glass the dark,
white-barred tail should be seen easily.

It is fond of snakes, frogs, and mice, which it captures usually in the
lowlands. Occasionally it catches a bird or young poultry, but it visits
the farms only when food is scarce in its wilder habitat. Young
Red-shoulders whose stomachs I examined at Pymatuning Swamp had eaten
only grasshoppers, field-mice, snakes, frogs, and beetles.

The Red-shoulder’s loud, clear scream, when familiar to the bird
student, is diagnostic. The Blue Jay can imitate this scream almost
perfectly, however, so the bird student must use care in recording the
species from call-note alone. This species, while for the most part
innocent in food habits, is not protected in Pennsylvania.


                           BROAD-WINGED HAWK
               _Buteo platypterus platypterus_ (Vieillot)

  Other Names.—Chicken Hawk; Pigeon Hawk (erroneous).

  Description.—The Broad-wing, because of its name, is often thought to
  be one of our largest hawks, but in reality it is one of the smaller
  species, being about the size of a Crow. _Adults_: Gray-brown above;
  throat white; malar region blackish; tail crossed with three distinct
  and rather broad white bands; underparts warm brown, the belly and
  sides heavily barred with white, the under tail-coverts largely
  whitish; cere and feet yellowish green; eyes dark brown. _Immature_:
  Dark brown, with head and neck considerably streaked; wing-coverts
  edged with buffy white; underparts buffy white, heavily streaked with
  black; tail grayish, marked with five or six black bands. _Length_:
  Male, 16 inches; female, 17 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An uncommon and local summer resident from
  about April 20 to October 1. This hawk is _not found_ in winter in
  Pennsylvania, for it migrates to Central America during the cold
  months.

  Nest.—A platform of sticks, usually placed in a large crotch of a
  deciduous tree, and not often at great height from the ground. An old
  Crow nest is sometimes used. _Eggs_: 2 to 4, whitish, spotted and
  blotched, sometimes very handsomely, with rich brown.

A _small_ hawk with wide wings, short tail, and the general appearance
of a Red-tail is likely to be a Broad-wing. Look for it about deciduous
woodlands. Its scream is feeble. It nests in woodlands not far from
Pittsburgh.


                           ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
             _Archibuteo lagopus sancti-johannis_ (Gmelin)

  Other Name.—Chicken Hawk.

  Description.—Larger than a Red-tail; two distinct types of plumage,
  one light, one dark; feet, _down to the very toes_, fully feathered.
  _Light phase of plumage_: Head and neck black, boldly streaked with
  white; back dark brown; tail white at base, black on terminal third;
  breast and throat buffy, broadly streaked with black; feathers of leg
  buffy, spotted with blackish; belly and under tail-coverts _black_;
  wing-linings white, with black spots at wrist and black tips on all
  primaries and secondaries; cere and feet yellowish; eyes dark brown.
  _Dark phase_: Brownish black, spotted irregularly with white on belly,
  the tail marked with three or four narrow whitish bands. _Length_:
  About 22 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and irregular winter visitor from the
  far North, usually seen in the more northerly counties and in fairly
  open country.

The great Rough-leg will perch on a hay-stack or a low stump in an open
field in preference to a high stub. In searching for prey, it beats over
the ground in the manner of the Marsh Hawk. It is distinctly beneficial
in food habits. In any plumage the bird in the hand may be recognized by
the feathered feet; in the field the distinctly black underparts are
diagnostic. Unfortunately, this species is not protected at the present
time in Pennsylvania.


                              GOLDEN EAGLE
                _Aquila chrysaëtos chrysaëtos_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Size very large; wing-spread from 6 to 8 feet; female
  noticeably the larger. _Adults_: Plumage rich deep brown, save on
  crown, nape, and hind neck where the pointed feathers are golden
  brown, and on the basal half of the tail, which is barred with whitish
  or gray; cere and toes yellow; bill blue-black; eyes dark brown;
  tarsus, which is fully feathered down to the toes, white or pale
  buffy. _Immature_: Similar, but the basal half or two-thirds of the
  tail is _white_ and the under tail-coverts are margined with buffy.
  _Length_: About 3 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A winter visitant, usually rare, though
  sometimes recorded several times during a single season. It is most
  often to be seen in the mountainous counties.

The Golden Eagle is occasionally caught in steel traps which have been
set for foxes or other fur-bearers. Each winter one or two of these
great birds are thus made captive or shot by farmers who are protecting
their poultry.

It is a magnificent creature, with its regal bearing, its deep set,
brilliant eyes, and its sleek, lustrous plumage. In captivity it is not
given to beating itself about, but bears itself with simple dignity, as
though it understood the futility of trying to make an escape.

In the field, it is to be distinguished with difficulty from the
immature Bald Eagle, the latter bird having white areas on the under
wing which the Golden Eagle lacks. Close at hand, it will be noted that
both birds have long feathers on the tibial region, the tips of these
feathers sometimes reaching well toward the toes, but in the Golden
Eagle the whole foot, down to the toes, is covered with short, thick
plumage.

The Golden Eagle has been known to kill foxes and lambs. There is an
authentic record of the killing of a sturdy, though small, fawn by one
of these great birds. Pursuing the fawn through the woods, it frightened
it over a sharp declivity, and its leg was broken in the fall. The
Eagle’s long, vise-like talons and great bill finished the unfortunate
creature.


                               BALD EAGLE
           _Haliæëtus leucocephalus leucocephalus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—American Eagle; White-headed Eagle.

  Description.—Size very large, a wing-spread of over 6 feet. _Fully
  adult birds_: Brownish black with head and neck, tail, and upper and
  under tail-coverts, white; bill clear bright yellow; feet dull yellow;
  eyes bright pale yellow. _Young birds in their first plumage_: Almost
  black, with irregular mottling of white on underparts; bill and cere
  dusky; eyes dark brown. In somewhat older young the plumage is much
  mottled with white, buffy, and grayish on the upperparts as well as
  below, and the under wings are blotched with white. As the bird grows
  older the light areas become more extensive. In the fourth year the
  head and tail become pure white and the mottling of the rest of the
  plumage does not reappear. Immature Bald Eagles sometimes have the
  general appearance of a Golden Eagle, but the feathers of the feet
  _never_ extend down to the toes, as they do in the Golden Eagle.
  _Length_: A little under 3 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rare and irregular migrant and summer resident
  (occasionally noted in winter), save at Erie, where it is fairly
  common. Here it searches for fish and refuse along the shore and nests
  in the vicinity. In October and November, Bald Eagles from the North
  Country migrate through Pennsylvania, following some of the ridges of
  the eastern counties. They are sometimes noted along the Susquehanna
  and Delaware rivers, where formerly, and perhaps in limited numbers
  today, they nest on the larger wooded islands.

  Nest.—A huge mass of sticks and débris, sometimes a wagon-load or
  more, built into the principal crotch or top of a sycamore or other
  large tree, often at great height from the ground. _Eggs_: 2 or 3,
  chalky white.

    [Illustration: Bald Eagle, Adult]

The Bald Eagle is usually seen along waterways or in the mountains. It
ranges widely and flies with great majesty, its wide, heavy wings giving
it, even at great distance, the appearance of weight and strength.

It is fond of carrion and pursues the smaller Osprey or Fish Hawk until
that bird is forced to give up the prey which it has captured. Bald
Eagles rarely take poultry. They sometimes pursue water-fowl, but in
Pennsylvania do not destroy much game or valuable wild-life and are
therefore protected.

The cry of the Bald Eagle is a barking squeal, sometimes very high and
thin, often scarcely to be heard.

A dark-colored Eagle with white patches showing on the under-wing is
likely to be an immature Bald Eagle. The Golden Eagle almost always
appears dark from below, save for the basal half of the tail, which is
grayish or white.


                               DUCK HAWK
               _Rhynchodon peregrinus anatum_ (Bonaparte)

  Other Names.—Peregrine Falcon; Rock Hawk; Bullet Hawk; Blue Hawk;
  American Peregrine; Ledge Hawk.

  Description.—Size medium; female much larger than male; wings long and
  pointed; plumage very firm and stiff. _Adults_: Top of head and patch
  below eyes and on rear part of cheeks, black; back, wings, and tail
  bluish slate, heavily barred with darker gray; tail tipped with white;
  underparts buffy, barred and spotted with black, chiefly on sides and
  flanks. _Immature_: Upperparts dark brown, the plumage considerably
  margined with buffy or pale brownish; area below eye black; cheeks
  brownish; underparts dark brown, all the feathers widely margined with
  buffy, giving a mottled and streaked appearance; cere and feet yellow;
  eyes very dark brown. _Length_: Male, 16 inches; female, 19 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare summer resident from March to November
  along cliff-lined rivers. It occasionally occurs in migration and has
  been known to winter in the Philadelphia region, where the solitary
  birds live upon pigeons, and roost on the ledges of tall buildings.

  Nest.—None is made. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, whitish, heavily spotted with
  rusty or chocolate-brown, or solid brown, laid either on the bare rock
  in a sheltered niche on a high cliff, or in a slight depression in the
  earth on such a ledge, if there be any soil.

    [Illustration: Duck Hawk, Adult]

This is one of Pennsylvania’s rarest hawks. Along the Juniata River, and
where there are cliffs along the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers, they
are sometimes seen beating their way buoyantly, high in the air, or
plunging down from the heights either in pursuit of prey or in play.
Their call-note, a sharp and rapidly repeated _kee, kee, kee, kee_
echoes among the rocks. Near their nest the birds are vicious toward
intruders.

For speed and daring, the Duck Hawk is famous. It pursues and captures
the most rapid ducks, even Teal. I have seen it kill Pileated
Woodpeckers and Crows, but, as a rule, it captures Meadowlarks, Blue
Jays, Robins, and shorebirds which happen to pass by its eyrie, or for
which it watches from its high vantage-point. It is particularly fond of
domestic pigeons if there be any in the vicinity, and will live almost
exclusively upon them as long as the supply lasts. Striking its prey
with closed fists, it slashes the skin open with the long claws of the
hind toe.

Sometimes a Duck Hawk may be seen from the train window in the vicinity
of Huntingdon, Spruce Creek, Palmerton, or Dauphin. The Duck Hawk is not
protected in Pennsylvania.


                              PIGEON HAWK
             _Tinnuculus columbarius columbarius_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Size small, a little larger than a Sparrow Hawk, but
  heavily built, and with plumage firm like that of the Duck Hawk.
  _Adults_: Blue-gray, narrowly streaked with black above, an
  inconspicuous band of buffy or pale reddish brown at neck, primaries
  barred with white; tail blackish with three or four distinct, though
  narrow, white or grayish bars, and a white tip; underparts buffy or
  rich ochraceous, streaked with black, save on throat. _Immature_: Dark
  brown above, the primaries and tail barred with buffy; underparts much
  as in adult birds; cere and feet yellow; eyes black. _Length_: About
  10 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare migrant, additional records for which
  are very desirable. It usually occurs in late April and early May and
  in late September and early October. It is said to have nested in Pike
  County.

So many hawks are called Pigeon Hawk that it is difficult to make
Pennsylvania farmers and gunners realize that this little hawk is really
a comparatively rare bird. It flies rapidly, directly, and is, in
general appearance, much like a Sparrow Hawk with a blue-gray back.

I have noted Pigeon Hawks in Pennsylvania only a few times. Each time
the hawk was surrounded and besieged by a flock of swallows, one of
which it may have been holding in its talons.

    [Illustration: Sparrow Hawk, Male
    Pigeon Hawk]


                              SPARROW HAWK
               _Cerchneis sparveria sparveria_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Mouse Hawk; Killy Hawk; Pigeon Hawk (erroneous).

  Description.—Size small, not much larger than a Robin; adults and
  young alike; wings pointed. _Male_: Top of head blue-gray, with rusty
  brown crown-patch; sides of head buffy or whitish, with black marks
  below eye, on ear-coverts, and on side of nape; back rich reddish
  brown, barred on scapulars, and sometimes on back, with black;
  wing-coverts blue-gray, spotted with black; primaries black, barred
  with white; tail rich rufous, tipped with white, and with a broad
  subterminal bar of black; underparts whitish or buffy, sometimes quite
  reddish, with spots or bars of black on sides and flanks; cere and
  feet yellow; eyes dark brown. Female quite different, having the back
  and tail heavily barred with black, the wing-coverts reddish brown
  barred with black, and the underparts _streaked_ with pale reddish
  brown. _Length_: About 10 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common and widely distributed summer resident
  from March 10 to November 15. Occasional in winter.

  Nest.—In a cavity in a tree or in a bird-box from 20 to 40 feet from
  the ground. _Eggs_: 4 to 8, buffy or whitish, heavily spotted with
  reddish brown.

The trim form of this elegant creature is a familiar roadside
acquaintance, and the piercing _killee, killee, killee_ of the bird, as
it hovers looking for prey, is characteristic. The Sparrow Hawk is
distinctly beneficial, feeding upon grasshoppers, field mice, and other
small mammals. It is protected by law at all times in Pennsylvania.


                           OSPREY; FISH HAWK
               _Pandion haliaëtus carolinensis_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—Size large, wings long, giving the bird in flight
  somewhat the appearance of a gull; feet large, the outer toe
  reversible, the under side of the toes with spiny scales for holding
  slippery prey; upperparts blackish brown, the feathers margined with
  brownish; nape and superciliary white or whitish spotted with black;
  tail with from six to nine grayish bands, noticeable particularly on
  the inner web; underparts shining white, with spots of brown on
  breast, particularly in the female. The under wings are white save the
  greater coverts and flight feathers which are prominently barred; a
  black area at the bend of the wing; bill black; feet pale blue-gray;
  eyes orange-yellow. _Length_: 23 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common and regular, principally along the
  waterways, as a migrant in April and May and in September and October.
  Rare and local as a summer resident. Additional nesting records are
  desirable.

  Nest.—A bulky mass of sticks and débris, usually placed in a dead
  tree, sometimes at the very top, from 20 to 50 feet from the ground.
  _Eggs_: 2 to 4, whitish, spotted with reddish brown, or solid rich
  brown. There is much variation in the color of the eggs.

    [Illustration: Osprey]

The Osprey is usually seen near a lake or waterway. Its easy flight
gives it somewhat the bearing of a gull, but its broad, barred tail and
dark upperparts distinguish it even at a great distance.

The Osprey’s food is almost altogether fish. Its firm, glossy plumage,
its great claws, its slender, long wings, are all adapted to the capture
of fish, upon which it pounces from the air, plunging into the water,
sometimes to be lost to view for a second or more. Occasionally it grips
a fish so large that it cannot extricate its talons, and is dragged to
an unfortunate death. When the Osprey rises from a plunge in the water
it often halts in mid-air to shake itself free of water, a somewhat
amusing performance.

Although the Osprey eats fish almost exclusively, it is protected in
Pennsylvania. It sometimes captures the destructive carp which is such a
pest in some localities. It does not often take trout or other valuable
food or game-fish and never captures birds or game. Smaller birds, such
as grackles, fear the Osprey so little that they have been known to
build their own cradles among the foundation material of the Osprey’s
bulky eyrie. Along the Atlantic Coast Ospreys sometimes nest on the
ground.


                                BARN OWL
                   _Tyto alba pratincola_ (Bonaparte)

  Other Names.—Monkey-faced Owl; Golden Owl.

  Description.—Larger than a Crow; face with round ruff of feathers
  about eyes; legs very long and lanky, with sparse feathering down to
  tips of toes. Face white, with reddish brown area about eye and narrow
  ring of reddish brown at outer edge of facial disc; upperparts golden
  brown, much variegated with fine gray barring and black and white
  speckling; underparts white, buffy, or ochraceous, finely spotted with
  black. The under surface of the wings is principally white, but the
  flight-feathers, as well as the tail, are narrowly barred with dark
  gray; bill pale flesh-color; eyes black. _Length_: 18 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common though somewhat local summer
  resident, chiefly in the southern and southeastern counties, and only
  rarely in the northern and mountainous counties and at high altitudes,
  from late March to November; occasional in winter. In the western
  counties it has been known to nest as far north as Crawford County.

  Nest.—In a large cavity in a tree, often a sycamore, or in a barn or
  loft wherever the eggs may be laid with safety. _Eggs_: 5 to 9, white.

    [Illustration: Barn Owl]

When a country newspaper announces the capture of a creature, half
monkey and half bird, the bird student may be fairly certain that
someone has found a Barn Owl. The strange, melancholy expression of the
bird’s face, its peculiarly awkward, long legs, and its odd habit of
bowing, hissing, and swaying back and forth, all make it an object of
great curiosity.

The Barn Owl can see perfectly by day, though it is chiefly nocturnal.
It preys upon rats, mice, and shrews principally, and is almost
altogether beneficial in its food-habits. All Owls have the habit of
throwing up wads of indigestible matter, such as the bones and fur of
the mice they have eaten. An examination of the pellets of the Barn Owl
has shown that these creatures eat but very few birds and virtually no
game.

Half-grown young in their nest, clamoring for food, make a considerable
outcry. They have insatiable appetites and during early summer the
parents are kept busy bringing in rats and mice for their hungry
offspring.

The Barn Owl’s golden brown and gray back, its white appearance beneath,
and its _lack of any ear-tufts_ are good field-marks. This species is
protected in Pennsylvania.


                             LONG-EARED OWL
                    _Asio otus wilsonianus_ (Lesson)

  Other Names.—Cat Owl; Cedar Owl; Hoot Owl.

  Description.—Size medium, about that of a Crow; head with two
  prominent tufts of feathers which are nearly always held erect in
  life; feet fully feathered. Upperparts gray, mottled with buffy brown
  and speckled with black and white; tail with six or eight dark gray
  bars; face whitish to rich buff, bordered by black; ear-tufts black
  margined with whitish or buffy; underparts whitish, washed irregularly
  with buffy—the breast broadly and irregularly streaked and the sides
  and belly _barred_ with dark brown and gray; feet buffy; eyes bright
  yellow. _Length_: 15 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common, though somewhat local
  resident, which may migrate to an extent when food is scarce during
  winter. It is usually to be found near hemlocks.

  Nest.—A flat platform of twigs, sometimes built upon the old nest of a
  squirrel or Crow, lined with finer materials and a few belly feathers
  from the owls. Sometimes an old Crow nest is used without any
  renovation or addition. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, white.

    [Illustration: Long-eared and Short-eared Owls]

Long-eared Owls are neither noisy nor bold, and may therefore live in a
region without being known unless the bird student assiduously searches
for them in dense hemlock clumps, in cedars, or thick grape-vine
tangles, where they are usually to be found. They are principally
nocturnal, and it is sometimes difficult to make the birds fly from
their perches during the day. Any medium-sized owl which flies from a
dense hemlock is likely to be of this species. Its general appearance,
at such a time, is grayish.

It is a highly beneficial bird, living almost altogether on mice which
it captures both in the woodlands and at the edges of fields. These it
swallows wherever it may be, but the pellets are usually cast up during
the daytime at the favorite resting-place, so after a few months’
sojourn at one point the pellets become numerous. Pellets of this
nature, strewn over the ground, are always a fairly sure sign of the
presence of owls.

The young, which resemble their parents in color, are remarkably adept
at clambering about their nesting-tree before they can fly. They are odd
in appearance when newly hatched, with their queer eyes and large
mouths. Since the eggs are laid and hatch at intervals of two or three
days each, the young are of different sizes.

The call-note of this Owl, which I have not frequently heard, resembles
a Screech Owl’s quavering whistle somewhat, but is shorter, more
whining, and less musical, and is varied with angry, coughing sounds.
This species is protected in Pennsylvania.


                            SHORT-EARED OWL
                     _Asio flammeus_ (Pontoppidan)

  Other Names.—Meadow Owl; Marsh Owl; Swamp Owl; Bog Owl.

  Description.—Size medium, like the Long-eared Owl; head with very
  small tufts, _not apparent in field_. Dark brown above, the feathers
  margined with buffy brown, the wings spotted and barred with buffy,
  the tail with rich buffy and brown bands of about equal width;
  underparts buffy or whitish, streaked, broadly on breast, narrowly on
  belly, with dark brown; feet buffy; eyes yellow. _Length_: 15 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant from March
  1 to April 15 and sometimes later and from October 1 to November 15.
  It has been known to nest once or twice within the Commonwealth; it is
  sometimes found in winter, particularly in the lowlands of the less
  mountainous counties.

The Short-eared Owl sometimes hunts during the day. It courses over the
meadows and marshes, its wide, soft wings carrying it easily but rather
unsteadily, a few feet from the ground. As a rule, it prefers to hunt at
eventide.

It nearly always perches on the ground. Its coloration is protective as
it sits among the dead grasses or cat-tail leaves, motionless until it
springs awkwardly into the air and makes off. It does not often alight
in trees, though it may occasionally roost in low, dense bushes or
conifers.

As the Short-ear flies away, the light spots on the upper surfaces of
the wing and the dark spots at the bend of the wing on the under surface
are usually noticeable. Any medium-sized owl which flies up from the
ground in the open is almost certain to be of this species.

Its food habits are strictly beneficial. It captures mice, preferring to
hunt in the open, almost never capturing its prey in the woodlands. It
is often found in large flocks during the period of migration. In fact,
where one occurs others are likely to be found. Flocks sometimes number
a hundred or more individuals. When these owls visit a farm in such
numbers for a week or two, they may effectively destroy the mice and
other destructive small mammals.

The Short-eared Owl is curious; squeaking cries, given in imitation of a
mouse or small bird, will sometimes cause it to come very close, where
it may hover for several seconds, if the observer remains perfectly
motionless. The Short-eared Owl is protected in Pennsylvania.


                               BARRED OWL
                       _Strix varia varia_ Barton

  Other Names.—Hoot Owl; Black-eyed Owl (rare).

  Description.—Much larger than a Crow; no tufts on the head; feet
  feathered almost to claws. Upperparts dull chocolate-brown, each
  feather with two or three grayish white or buffy bars, especially
  noticeable on scapulars; tail and wings distinctly barred; face
  grayish, finely barred with dark gray; underparts whitish or grayish
  white, tinged with buff, the breast distinctly _barred, the belly and
  sides streaked_ with dark brown; bill greenish yellow; eyes very
  large, dark brown with blue-black pupils. _Length_: 20 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common but rather local permanent
  resident, found chiefly in deep woodlands and usually along streams or
  in lowlands, not on the ridges as is the Great Horned Owl.

  Nest.—Almost always a cavity in a tree, though sometimes the deserted
  nest of a Crow or hawk. _Eggs_: 2 to 4, white, and quite round.

    [Illustration: Barred Owl]

I shall never forget my first glimpse of a Barred Owl. In a deep
woodland, where all was quiet and where shadows lent an air of mystery,
I suddenly realized that a shapeless ball of brown on a nearby branch
was _three_ young Barred Owls, sitting very close together, eyes nearly
shut. As I approached they refused to budge, preferring, it appeared, to
keep their eyes closed so as not to be bothered with any unpleasant
consideration of an encounter with an enemy. When I rapped the branch
upon which they sat, they opened their eyes, popped their beaks, and
flew off grunting. Their mother swooped down upon me with an angry cry.

The Barred Owl’s song is weird. It is a series of eight or nine hoots
which are given with much vigor, and which, at a distance, sound like
the barking of a dog. When two or three Barred Owls join in a chorus,
the effect is unbelievably comical. The usual cry is often varied with
single hoots, barks, or grunts.

It is not blameless in food habits. The usual fare of mice and chipmunks
is occasionally varied with squirrels, rabbits, and birds, usually of
smaller varieties.

A good imitation of the cries of a Barred Owl may draw the creatures
close, sometimes many of them at once. This cry will sometimes attract
Crows also, who sense the possibility of a good hour’s attack upon an
ancient foe.

The Barred Owl is not protected in Pennsylvania.


                              SAW-WHET OWL
                 _Cryptoglaux acadica acadica_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—Considerably smaller than a Screech Owl; no tufts on
  head. _Adults_: Facial disc white, with radial streaks of brown;
  upperparts dull chocolate-brown, finely streaked on head and spotted
  on back and wings with white; tail with three or four whitish bars;
  underparts white, broadly streaked with dark reddish brown; legs and
  feet white, feathered down to claws; eyes yellow. _Immature_: Like
  adult, but head and back unspotted, and breast brown, unstreaked;
  belly deep buffy; eyes brownish. _Length_: 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Nests rarely in the northern and mountainous
  counties. Chiefly to be found as an irregular visitor in winter, in
  northern and central Pennsylvania.

  Nest.—In a cavity, frequently a woodpecker’s deserted nest. _Eggs_: 3
  to 5, white.

This tiny owl is rarely seen, even though it lives in the vicinity. It
hunts its food at night and sleeps so soundly by day that it may be
captured in the hand. Its food habits are strictly beneficial and it is
protected by law.

Look for the Saw-whet Owl in dense growths of alder, hemlock, or in
vines. A very small owl of erratic, rapid flight is likely to be of this
species. All records of it are very desirable.

    [Illustration: Screech Owl, Red Phase
    Saw-whet Owl]


                              SCREECH OWL
                      _Otus asio nævius_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Squinch Owl; Little Owl; Red Owl; Gray Owl; Hoot Owl;
  Squeak Owl; Mottled Owl.

  Description.—Size small, but little longer than a Robin, though
  heavier; head with prominent ear-tufts, almost always visible in the
  field; feet feathered down to claws. _Red phase of plumage_:
  Upperparts bright reddish brown, finely streaked with black, the
  scapulars streaked with buffy white; underparts white, streaked finely
  with black, and barred with reddish brown, chiefly on sides. _Gray
  phase of plumage_: Upperparts gray, mixed with brownish, streaked with
  blackish and mottled with white and buffy, especially on scapulars;
  underparts white, streaked and barred with black, grayish, and white,
  some of the patterns of the feathers being beautiful and unusual; eyes
  yellow. _Length_: 9½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common permanent resident throughout the
  Commonwealth.

  Nest.—In a cavity in a tree, often in an orchard. _Eggs_: 4 to 6,
  white.

The Screech Owl is usually a familiar village bird whose quavering song
is thought by some to be sad and ominous, by others to be among the most
beautiful songs given by our birds. It lives principally upon mice but
it also captures small birds, particularly in the spring when it feeds
upon nestlings which it finds in the vicinity. The coloration of the
Screech Owl is interesting. That there should be two distinct types of
color pattern, wholly independent of age, sex, or season, seems rather
useless. Some purpose at present unknown may be served by this
phenomenon. The Screech Owl is protected in Pennsylvania.


                            GREAT HORNED OWL
                _Bubo virginianus virginianus_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Hoot Owl; Big Owl; Cat Owl.

  Description.—Size large; head with prominent tufts of feathers; feet
  fully feathered down to claws; female noticeably larger than male.
  Facial disc rich orange-brown; ear-tufts black, edged with rich buffy;
  upperparts mottled and speckled with gray, black, white, and buffy;
  throat pure white; underparts buffy and white, finely and thickly
  barred with black; feet buffy; tail and wings inconspicuously barred;
  eyes large, bright yellow. _Length_: About 2 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common permanent resident throughout,
  particularly in higher woodlands along the ridges.

  Nest.—An old Crow’s or hawk’s nest, somewhat relined, or a large
  cavity in a tree or cliff. _Eggs_: 2 or 3, white, and nearly round.

  The eggs of this great bird of prey are laid early. More than once I
  have seen the mother incubating eggs, her back covered with snow. In
  Pennsylvania, nesting usually begins in mid-February, though a set of
  eggs has been taken in late January.

    [Illustration: Great Horned Owl]

The Great Horned Owl is so muscular and so well armed with heavy beak
and iron talons that it does not hesitate to capture large prey, such as
large chickens, geese, and even turkeys. It is very fond of cotton-tail
rabbits, whose skulls it crushes with a nip of its beak, and often kills
skunks, though it may carry a reminder of the encounter for months. It
is one of our most destructive birds of prey, though it varies its diet
with mice and other harmful creatures.

The deep-voiced hoot of this owl is usually heard on early spring
nights. A mellow, bass _who, who-who-who, who, who_, with remarkable
carrying power, is the love-song. It is sometimes given all night long
during late January, when the moonlight gives the woodlands a chilly and
mysterious brilliance. A loud and startling scream is sometimes given,
which is often wrongly attributed to a wild cat. The probability is that
a wild cat in its wildest fit of anger or alarm could not produce a
sound half so loud and terrifying.

In captivity the Great Horned Owl rarely becomes tame, though it may
stand on its perch quietly enough during the day. One which I had at one
time was somewhat tractable, yet not to be trusted. It caught the
fingers of my left hand one day with its great claws. Being unable to
extricate myself, and being threatened at any minute with a nip from the
vicious beak, I summoned aid. I learned a little that day about the
terrific grip that closes upon the unfortunate rabbit or skunk this
creature captures.


                               SNOWY OWL
                       _Nyctea nyctea_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—White Owl; Arctic Owl; Snow Owl.

  Description.—Size large, head without ear-tufts; feet so heavily
  feathered that the claws are sometimes hidden. Plumage white, barred
  with dark grayish brown, particularly on the back and wings and sides
  of breast. Individuals vary greatly in appearance, some being pure
  white, others being heavily barred. Younger birds are usually darker.
  Eyes bright yellow. _Length_: About 2 feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and irregular winter visitor,
  particularly in the northern counties, and occasionally common as
  during the hiemal invasion which occurred in 1926-27.

The Snowy Owl is a bird of the open fields, not of the woodlands, and,
like the Rough-legged Hawk, is likely to be seen perched on a
fence-post, a hay-stack, or on the ground, rather than in a tree. Its
white plumage makes it a prominent feature of the landscape save when
there is snow on the ground.

In Pennsylvania, its food includes small game animals and birds, mice,
and other small mammals, and, occasionally, poultry. It is not
particularly harmful, since it usually confines its hunting to the open
fields. In the North Country it preys upon water-fowl. Its flight is
very strong and rapid. It is not protected in Pennsylvania, though it
should be because of its great rarity.


                          YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO
               _Coccyzus americanus americanus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Rain-Crow.

  Description.—A long, slender bird about the size of a Robin, with very
  long tail and curved bill; feet with two toes pointing forward, two
  backward. Upperparts olive-gray, glossed with green, the primaries
  rich reddish brown, apparent in flight; tail with outer feathers
  black, _broadly_ tipped with white, the outer vane of outer feathers
  also white; underparts white; bill blackish, the lower mandible rich
  yellow; eyes dark brown; eyelids yellowish. _Length_: 12 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A summer resident from early May to late
  September, found chiefly about orchards and shade trees, principally
  in the southern and less mountainous counties. Additional nesting
  records of this species are desirable.

  Nest.—A loose platform of twigs placed on a horizontal branch, usually
  not more than 15 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale greenish
  blue.

The cuckoos are slim, retiring birds, which often are not seen unless
they fly from the thick leaves where they have been searching for
caterpillars—their favorite food. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo’s very
reddish wings serve to identify it at considerable distance. Its song is
an unmusical series of _kuks_. No song is given which resembles the word
“cuckoo,” our birds receiving their name merely from their relationship
to the famed English bird.

    [Illustration: Yellow-bulled Cuckoo
    Black-billed Cuckoo]


                          BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO
                  _Coccyzus erythophthalmus_ (Wilson)

  Other Name.—Rain-Crow.

  Description.—Upperparts grayish brown, faintly glossed with greenish
  and bronze; outer tail-feathers narrowly and _inconspicuously_ tipped
  with white; underparts white, somewhat grayish on throat and breast;
  bill black; eyes dark brown; _eyelids red_. _Length_: A little under
  12 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A summer resident from early May to latter
  September. I have found this species common in some of the northern
  counties where the Yellow-billed species was rare.

  Nest.—A rather well-built platform of twigs, lined with leaves and a
  few grasses, usually but a few feet from the ground on a horizontal
  branch in a rather thick clump of saplings or in alders. _Eggs_: 2 to
  5, glaucous green, somewhat like those of the Yellow-bill, but darker
  and smaller.

The Black-billed Cuckoo is fond of lowlands which are upgrown with young
saplings, or of alders along streams. It is sometimes seen in orchards.
The song of the Black-bill differs from that of the Yellow-bill in that
the syllables are grouped, usually in threes. The song might be written
_kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk, cl-uck, cl-uck, cl-uck, kuk-kuk-kuk, kuk-kuk-kuk,
kuk-kuk-kuk, kuk-kuk-kuk_, the last syllables dying off gently. The
Yellow-bill’s song is louder.

Like its slightly larger relative, the Black-bill is fond of
caterpillars, and both are very valuable birds. They eat so many
“woolly” caterpillars that their stomachs become lined with the spines
from the bodies of their prey.


                           BELTED KINGFISHER
                _Streptoceryle alcyon alcyon_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Head large, with long bill and prominent crest; feet
  small and short; plumage firm and compact. _Male_: Head and crest
  blue-gray, the feathers with dark centers; two spots, one in front of,
  and one under eye, and collar about neck, white; back and band across
  breast blue-gray, the wings and tail considerably spotted with white;
  bill blackish; eyes dark brown. _Female and young_: Similar, but with
  sides and a broken band across lower breast bright reddish brown,
  noticeable in the field. _Length_: 13 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common and widely distributed summer resident
  from late March until the end of October; occasional in winter, when
  the streams are open. It does not occur along streams which have been
  polluted by mining refuse and other poisonous waste products.

  Nest.—At the end of a 6-foot burrow in a bank, made of a few
  fish-bones and scales crudely scraped together. _Eggs_: Usually 7,
  glossy white. The burrow, while usually dug rather high on a bank,
  directly along the stream, is sometimes located at some distance from
  water. It is dug with the bill and feet.

    [Illustration: Belted Kingfisher, Male]

The flashing white collar and underparts of the Kingfisher gleam as he
flies rapidly along his chosen stream, giving his loud, rattling call.
As he perches on a favorite overhanging stub, he elevates his crest,
rattles once or twice, then becomes quiet as he watches the pool below
him. Suddenly he dives from his perch, there is a splash, and he
disappears beneath the surface. In a few seconds he arises, a slim,
glistening fish in his mandibles. He makes off up stream, rattling again
and again as the fish ceases its struggles, then swallows his prey, head
first, entire. In addition to fish, he eats crayfish and other small
aquatic creatures, and sometimes mice.

When the young hatch they are naked and ugly. They soon are covered with
pin-feathers, however, and when the tips of these break, the young begin
to look like their parents at once. Several days before they leave the
burrow to learn angling for themselves, they scuttle about on their
short feet, sometimes coming to the entrance for a moment to glimpse the
world that is soon to be such an unfolding of adventure for them. They
rattle like their parents, and if a hand is thrust in among them, they
pick savagely at the fingers—either in anger or with the belief that a
larger, finer fish than parents ever caught has come to be swallowed.

Kingfishers capture some trout and other valuable food or game-fish and
are therefore not protected in Pennsylvania.


                            HAIRY WOODPECKER
                _Dryobates villosus villosus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Sapsucker (erroneous).

  Description.—Smaller than Robin; like other Woodpeckers, usually seen
  perched on the trunk of a tree or flying, in a strongly undulating
  fashion, through the air. _Adult male_: Top of head, line through eye
  and line from lower mandible to rear part of head, black, _nape bright
  red_, rest of head, white; back, black with white median stripe; wings
  black, spotted profusely with white; tail black, the outer feathers
  _white, unspotted_; underparts white. The adult female is precisely
  the same but lacks the red nape. Young birds have the _crown_ red, the
  tips of the feathers lightly speckled with white. _Length_: 9½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common permanent resident, usually to be
  found in the higher woodlands but often also in the towns.

  Nest.—A cavity in a tree trunk, usually from 25 to 60 feet from the
  ground, the entrance about 2 inches in diameter. _Eggs_: 3 to 5,
  glossy white.

    [Illustration: Hairy Woodpecker]

The Hairy Woodpecker’s loud, sharp _peek, peek_ is a welcome sound in
winter woods of northern Pennsylvania where so few birds are found
during the cold season. This species is the enemy of all wood-boring
larvæ, its sharp, chisel-like bill, long, barb-tipped tongue, strong
feet, and stiff tail all being peculiarly adapted to existence on the
tree-trunks. It is sometimes found in orchards, but about towns and
human dwellings is not nearly so often seen as its smaller, more
confiding relative, the Downy Woodpecker.


                            DOWNY WOODPECKER
               _Dryobates pubescens medianus_ (Swainson)

  Other Name.—Sapsucker (erroneous).

  Description.—About the size of an English Sparrow. Precisely like the
  Hairy Woodpecker, but noticeably smaller, with shorter, weaker bill,
  and the _outer tail-feathers distinctly barred with black_. The Downy
  is quieter, less energetic bird than its larger cousin; its call-note
  is softer in quality and its song, which is composed of a series of
  call-notes rapidly repeated, is more musical than that of the Hairy
  Woodpecker. _Length_: A little under 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant permanent resident, often seen in
  the towns.

  Nest.—A cavity in a dead stub, usually from 15 to 30 feet from the
  ground, the entrance about 1½ inches in diameter. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, laid
  on a heap of small chips at the bottom of the cavity, glossy white.

The careful bird student can distinguish the Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers
from call-notes, general appearance, flight, or even from the sound of
their pounding on wood, which in the Hairy is so loud and positive in
nature as to suggest, at times, a much larger bird. The amateur,
however, may have some difficulty in distinguishing the two species.

The Downy and Hairy both like to be fed suet during the winter. They
will come regularly to the feeding-counter and often become quite tame.


                        YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER
                 _Sphyrapicus varius varius_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Yellow-bellied Woodpecker; Sapsucker.

  Description.—Smaller than a Robin, with all the characteristics of the
  woodpecker tribe to which it belongs. _Adult male_: Top of head and
  throat rich, deep red; lines below crown-patch, back of eye, and
  enclosing throat to form prominent breast-patch, _black_; lines above
  and below eye white; back black, spotted with white; wings black, with
  prominent white patch on greater coverts, and primaries spotted; tail
  black, the central and outer feathers marked with white; underparts
  whitish and pale yellow, barred on sides and flanks with blackish
  gray. _Adult female_: Similar, but throat white. Immature birds are
  similar to the adult female, save on the head and back, which are
  brownish throughout, spotted irregularly with black and on top of head
  with flecks of red, yellow, and glossy black. _Length_: 8½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant, sometimes abundant, from
  March 30 to May 15 and from September 1 to November 15; rare and local
  as a summer resident in the northern and mountainous counties; casual
  in winter.

  Nest.—A cavity in dead or living wood, often in a yellow birch, from
  30 to 60 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, glossy white.

    [Illustration: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker]

The Sapsucker is, for the most part, a quiet and rather dignified
woodpecker. Rarely does it pound noisily at a dead stub, searching for
grubs. As a rule, it is to be seen drilling its sap-wells on the lower
trunk of a maple, apple, or hemlock, where it clings sometimes for hours
at a time if unmolested. These wells, which penetrate only to the
sap-bearing layer of bark, are made in regular rows. Here gathers the
sap which the bird regularly swallows, together with all the small
insects which have come to drink. This sap-drilling is a destructive
trait, for many valuable trees are girdled annually through the attacks,
chiefly, of the migrant birds. During the summer the parents capture
only insect food for their young.

The mewing note of the Sapsucker will startle the beginner in
bird-study. It is almost as convincing an imitation of the cry of a cat
as is the scolding, querulous call of a Catbird, and is a familiar sound
of the spring woods.

When courtship starts, Sapsuckers quite forget their dignity and go
flashing through the tree-tops, sometimes three or four in a flock,
bowing and dancing, displaying their spotted wings and tails and giving
forth loud and incessant Flicker-like cries of _plee-kah, plee-kah_.

A Sapsucker sometimes actually becomes intoxicated with the juice it has
drunk and wanders through the woods bumping into trees and branches,
grasping the bark as best it can with toes which are marvelously adapted
to holding to rough surfaces, even while the bird sleeps.


                          PILEATED WOODPECKER
                _Phlœotomus pileatus abieticola_ (Bangs)

  Other Names.—Red-headed Woodpecker (erroneous); Cock o’ the Woods;
  Log-cock; Woodcock (erroneous); Indian Hen; Black Woodpecker.

  Description.—Size large, about that of a Crow; both sexes with
  prominent triangular crests. _Adult male_: High crest and line from
  lower mandible to middle of head, bright glossy red; narrow line back
  of eye and prominent line from bill under eye to neck and down to edge
  of breast, white; throat whitish; patch at base of folded primaries
  and irregular barring, on sides and flanks, white; _the under-wing
  lining and most of the inner web of primaries white_, showing plainly
  in flight. Rest of plumage brownish black; eyes bright orange-yellow.
  _Female_: Similar, but front of head brownish, only the rear part of
  the crest red. Immature birds are similar to the female. _Length_: 17
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare permanent resident, found chiefly in the
  northern mountainous counties, but a few still persist in the
  southwestern counties and locally elsewhere. It is becoming somewhat
  commoner as a result of rigid protection.

  Nest.—A large cavity in a tree, drilled by the birds, usually in a
  dead stub, though sometimes in a living yellow birch, at from 20 to 60
  feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, glossy white.

    [Illustration: Pileated Woodpecker]

The magnificent Log-cock is all too rare in Pennsylvania, but wherever
the striking creature swings noisily across a valley or pounds with its
great bill into soft wood, the bird student receives a thrill few of our
birds can afford. Its flight is rather slow and laborious, and
noticeably less undulating than in other woodpeckers.

It is given to searching for food in deep, shadowy woods, where it is
sometimes the only bird to be found, and where the sound of its
hammering gives the only hint of life in the vast stillness.

The call of the Pileated is a high, irregular cackle, something like the
spring song of the Flicker, but more noisy and irregular. An imitation
of this cry, a clapping of the hands, or the beating of a dead stub with
a stick, will sometimes bring the curious, bright-eyed creatures very
close—too close, if the gunner be of the law-breaking kind. The fact
that this bird is sometimes called Woodcock, and therefore regarded as a
game-bird, has led to the destruction of many of them. They are
naturally creatures of the wilderness, and have never been really
common. Careful protection will be necessary if we are to keep them from
extinction in this Commonwealth.

The food of the Pileated Woodpecker is chiefly grubs, bored sometimes
from the very center of great trees. Its long, barb-tipped tongue aids
it in securing its food.

In looking for the bird, seek the wild, wooded mountains. Listen for the
cackling cry; watch for a big, black bird with flashing wing-linings;
and attempt an imitation of its hammering by beating two sticks
together.


                         RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
         _Melanerpes erythrocephalus erythrocephalus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Red-head.

  Description.—A little smaller than a Robin. _Adults_: Head, neck, and
  upper breast, rich, deep red; upperparts glossy blue-black; the
  terminal half of the secondaries, rump, and upper tail-coverts, white;
  tail black, the outer feathers tipped and somewhat edged with white;
  lower breast and belly white, a reddish or buffy cast in the middle.
  _Immature birds_: Head and neck grayish brown, somewhat mottled; upper
  back glossy black, barred with gray; wings black, the terminal half of
  secondaries _barred with black and white_; tail usually as in adults;
  underparts white; the sides more or less streaked and spotted with
  dark brown or gray. _Length_: 9½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A local but usually common summer resident from
  April 15 to October 1; casual in winter.

  Nest.—A cavity drilled in a dead tree or telegraph-pole, usually from
  15 to 30 feet from the ground, often in an oak. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, glossy
  white.

    [Illustration: Red-headed Woodpecker]

The white wing-patches of this bird are conspicuous, particularly in
flight, and its loud cry, _kree-er, kree-er_, is a familiar roadside
sound. It is given to capturing insects flycatcher-fashion and is an
accomplished acrobat in the air. The food of the Red-head is varied, and
while it often eats grubs, it also takes other insects and much small
fruit. Occasionally an individual develops the habit of eating the eggs
of other birds.


                         RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER
                     _Centurus carolinus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Ladder-back; Zebra Woodpecker; Chiv; Sapsucker
  (erroneous).

  Description.—A little smaller than a Robin. _Adult male_: Top of head
  and back of neck bright, glossy scarlet; rest of head, neck, and
  underparts, ashy gray, the region about the bill and the belly usually
  tinged with red; upperparts, including wings, strikingly barred with
  glossy black and white; upper tail-coverts white, with median streaks
  or sagittate markings of black; tail black, the feathers considerably
  marked with white. _Adult female_: Similar, the forepart of the head
  gray. Immature birds are similar to the female, but the belly is often
  tinged with brownish rather than red. _Length_: 9½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common in the extreme southwestern
  counties; local, sometimes common, in other western counties as far
  north as Crawford County, and through the southern tier of counties; a
  permanent resident wherever found.

  Nest.—A cavity drilled from 20 to 60 feet from the ground, usually in
  a forest tree. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, glossy white.

The squirrel-like cry of this woodpecker, which may be written _chiv,
chiv_, is a familiar sound in some of the woodlands of Greene County.
Its call-notes resemble those of the Red-head and Flicker, and are
considerably varied. The principal range of this species is the southern
United States. It is gradually moving northward, however, like the
Cardinal, and should be looked for in all central counties. The bright
red top of the head and prominently barred back are good field-marks.


                            NORTHERN FLICKER
                    _Colaptes auratus luteus_ Bangs

  Other Names.—Golden-winged Woodpecker; Yellow Hammer; Wake Robin;
  Ground Woodpecker; Wickup; Clape; Yarrup; High-hole; Plickah;
  Ant-bird, and many other names, most of them colloquial.

  Description.—A little larger than a Robin. _Male_: Top of head gray,
  scarlet patch on nape, black patch extending backward from each lower
  mandible, rest of head cinnamon-brown; back and wings olive-brown,
  barred with black, the wing-linings and shafts of feathers bright
  yellow, noticeable in flight; rump and upper tail-coverts white;
  tail-feathers black above, edged with whitish, bright yellow below;
  breast with prominent black patch; underparts light cinnamon-brown,
  each feather with round black spot at tip; under tail-coverts barred
  with black. _Female_: Similar but lacking the black marks which extend
  backward from the lower mandibles. _Immature birds_: Similar to the
  female, but with red sprinkled over _top of head_. _Length_: 12
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant and widely distributed summer
  resident and migrant from March 15 to November 15; casual in winter.

  Nest.—A cavity drilled in a living or dead tree, often an apple or
  maple, from 4 to 40 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 5 to 11, usually 7
  or 8, glossy white.

The Flicker is one of our best-known birds. Living in the towns, and
conspicuous as it is with its golden wing and tail-linings, its white
rump-patch, and easily imitated cries, it is familiar to all, and has
won for itself many a nickname.

It is often seen hopping about on the lawn. Its ability in perching or
in standing on the ground marks it as a creature of wide adaptation, yet
on the tree-trunk it is a normal woodpecker, using its still
tail-feathers as a prop.

    [Illustration: Northern Flicker
    Red-bellied Woodpecker]

The Flicker is very fond of ants. Patiently it will sit on an ant-hill,
probing its long, saliva-covered tongue down into the burrow, drawing
the insects out and eating them by the dozen. It may remain thus at an
ant-hill half an hour at a time, filling its gizzard and crop with the
insects, whose bites and acid flavor seem not to be objectionable.

Flickers sometimes become annoying when they choose a tin roof or
favorite spot on a gable as a drumming-point. At such a place they will
roll out their challenge at sunrise on the spring mornings, wakening all
the household. Occasionally they drill their nests in houses, under the
eaves, and thereby may do considerable damage.

The courtship dance is animated and beautiful. With handsome wings
flashing and tail widely spread, the birds bow to each other, calling
rapidly _wickah, wickah, wickah_. Flickers are considerably persecuted
by Starlings which oust them from their nests and use the cavities as
their own.


                             WHIP-POOR-WILL
                _Setochalcis vocifera vocifera_ (Wilson)

  Description.—Head and eyes large; bill very small; mouth lined with
  long, hair-like feathers which protrude in front of bill; feet small
  and weak; plumage soft and lax; color pattern highly protective. Head
  and upperparts rich deep brown and gray, streaked, mottled, and barred
  with black, buffy, and whitish; a noticeable white band across throat;
  tail with terminal half of three outer feathers white; _no white spot
  in wings_; underparts buffy, irregularly and finely barred and marked
  with blackish; eyes deep brown. The female differs only in having the
  throat-patch and tips of the outer tail-feathers buffy instead of
  white. _Length_: 10 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A somewhat local summer resident from April 20
  to September 30; found only in deep woodlands.

  Nest.—None. _Eggs_: 2, white, spotted sparingly with grayish, lilac,
  and brownish, and laid on the leaves or ground, without even a
  depression.

    [Illustration: Whip-poor-will]

The Whip-poor-will is never seen flying high in the sky, and the absence
of white spots in the wings always distinguishes it from the Nighthawk.
To find the Whip-poor-will one must go to the deep woods where, in a
quiet tangle of ferns and bushes, a dark brown, silent-winged creature
may fly from the leaves, to flutter a few rods farther on, and drop
again to the ground. The well-known song which is given with such
constancy and fervor on spring and summer nights may be written _chuck,
whip-poor-wee-ah, chuck, whip-poor-wee-ah_. Sometimes the song is
repeated two hundred times or more without cessation.


                               NIGHTHAWK
                _Chordeiles minor minor_ (J. R. Forster)

    [Illustration: Nighthawk]

  Other Names.—Bull-Bat; Whip-poor-will (erroneous); Goatsucker; Night
  Jar; Mosquito Hawk.

  Description.—Mouth without prominent bristles protruding in front of
  short bill; wings long and pointed; tail forked. _Male_: Upperparts
  black, barred and variously marked with whitish, gray, buffy, and
  cream-color, the flight-feathers blackish, the _middle of the
  primaries marked with a prominent bar of white_ which is especially
  noticeable from below, in flight; tail with a white bar across all but
  the middle feathers; throat marked with a prominent white patch; chin
  and upper throat black, the feathers tipped with buffy; underparts
  whitish, regularly and heavily barred with blackish. _Female_:
  Similar, but lacks the white on tail, the throat-patch is buffy, and
  the underparts are buffy barred with blackish. _Length_: 10 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant, but very local summer
  resident from the first week of May to mid-September; during the fall
  migration it is likely to occur in large flocks.

  Nest.—None. _Eggs_: 2, white, heavily spotted with gray, placed on the
  ground, _in the open_, not, as a rule, in woods.

The Nighthawk is a familiar bird of summer evenings, when even over the
cities it circles back and forth, calling as it hunts its insect food,
_pee-ah, pee-ah_, in a rough, grating voice. In spring it courts its
mate by plunging rapidly downward on set wings, producing with the
vibrating primaries a booming sound which has given the bird the
nickname “Bull-Bat.” It is one of our most beneficial birds. During the
day it sleeps or rests on the ground, or sits lengthwise on a horizontal
branch. It has recently taken to laying its eggs on gravel-roofed
buildings in the city. Young Nighthawks, equipped as they are with
strong feet, can run nimbly. The parents, though able to fly well, have
lost much of the power of their foot-muscles and can scarcely walk.


                             CHIMNEY SWIFT
                      _Chætura pelagica_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Chimney Swallow (erroneous).

  Description.—Wings very long; bill and feet very small; tail of stiff
  feathers, all with noticeable spines at tip; sexes alike. Plumage
  brownish black, grayer on the throat, a deep black spot in front of
  eye; a ridge of feathers over the eye, forming a sort of brow.
  _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and summer resident from about
  the middle of April to October. It is widely distributed and _occurs
  in all towns_.

  Nest.—A shallow, basket-like structure of small twigs glued together
  _with saliva from the bird’s mouth_ and fastened to the bricks on the
  inside of a chimney, or rarely on boards on the inside of a barn, or
  in a hollow tree. The nest has no lining. Nests built in a chimney are
  usually placed well down from the top. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, white.

The familiar Chimney Swift, with its cheerful chittering cries and its
rapid “bow and arrow” flight, is a common bird in all Pennsylvania
towns. In the wilder sections—in the mountains, for instance—it is rare.
It has come to depend upon chimneys almost exclusively as nesting-sites.
This is a valuable bird, eating only flying insects, which it captures
from the air.

    [Illustration: Chimney Swift]

It alights nowhere save inside the chimney, where it clings to the rough
bricks with its exceedingly strong and sharply clawed feet, using its
spiny tail as a prop. In securing nesting material it breaks dead twigs
off with its feet _while flying_, lifting these to its mouth while in
the air, there to cover them with saliva.


                       RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
                    _Archilochus colubris_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Hummer; Ruby-throat.

  Description.—Our smallest bird; bill about twice as long as head; feet
  small, with downy plumage at base; wings with comparatively short
  bones, but with powerful muscles; tail-feathers pointed in male,
  rounded in female. _Adult male_: Upperparts glossy, bright green;
  wings and tail with steel-blue or violet reflections; throat gorgeous
  orange-red in proper lights, velvety black from some angles; breast
  with noticeable white patch; rest of underparts grayish, glossed with
  green on sides; tail forked. _Female_: Similar, but with almost pure
  white underparts and no ruby throat-patch; tail somewhat rounded, with
  three outer tail-feathers tipped with white. _Immature_: Similar to
  female, the male having its throat streaked with dusky and sprinkled
  with occasional ruby feathers. _Length_: 3¾ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and summer resident from May 1
  to October 1 and sometimes later.

  Nest.—A small, dainty structure made of plant-down, lichens, and
  cobwebs, saddled to a horizontal, and often dead, branch, from 10 to
  60 feet from the ground, in an orchard, yard, or woodland. _Eggs_: 2,
  plain white.

    [Illustration: Hummingbird]

The rapid, buzzing flight of these birds as they wander about the
cannas, honeysuckles, or nasturtiums, fanning the leaves and petals with
their shining wings as they search for nectar and tiny insects, is known
to all who have a flower-garden. The Hummingbird should not be confused
with the hawk-moth or sphinx-moth which come out at about the same time
in the evening and which have much the appearance of tiny birds as they
buzz among the flowers.


                                KINGBIRD
                 _Tyrannus tyrannus tyrannus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Bee Bird; Bee Martin; Tyrant Flycatcher.

  Description.—Smaller than a Robin, with upright attitude in perching;
  sexes alike. Upperparts dark gray, darkest on head, wings, and tail;
  crown with concealed patch of orange-red; wing-coverts edged with
  lighter gray; _tip of tail white_; underparts pure white, washed with
  grayish on throat and breast; eyes dark brown. Young birds are
  similar, but lack the crown-patch, are duller in appearance, and the
  plumage is often more or less tinged with buff. _Length_: 8½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant and summer resident, common in the
  agricultural districts, rather rare in forested districts, from
  mid-April to mid-September.

  Nest.—Well constructed, of dead weed-stalks, string, and plant-fibers,
  lined with softer materials, placed from 4 to 30 feet from the ground,
  in alders, orchard, or other trees, usually in a crotch of several
  branches, and well toward the end of the branch. _Eggs_: 4, sometimes
  3 or 5, white, spotted with dark brown.

The Kingbird is often to be seen on a barbed-wire fence, telegraph-wire,
or prominent dead stub where he watches for passing insects or for hawks
or Crows, which he chases with energy and effect. As he flies, his wings
beat rapidly with a fluttering motion, and the white tip of his widely
spread tail shows plainly at considerable distance. His challenge note,
which may be written _pi-tink, pi-tink_, irregularly repeated, is the
only outcry usually heard, though he occasionally indulges in a softer
effort which may be called a song. If a small pebble is tossed at him in
play, he watches it carefully in a curiously puzzled fashion, as though
he were at the point of capturing and swallowing it. He has some
difficulty in tiring and capturing insects as large as a dragon-fly, but
he is very fond of these strong-winged insects, and pursues them
assiduously. Rarely he captures bees, and these are usually drones.

    [Illustration: Kingbird]

He is at his best when he chases a hawk, owl, or Crow. At such times his
anger mounts and he gives battle with all the fury of his small body
thrown into the noisy and vicious attack. So determined a combatant is
he that he sometimes actually alights on his larger, more awkward enemy,
picking at the plumage, and perhaps at the skull and eyes.


                           CRESTED FLYCATCHER
                   _Myiarchus crinitus boreus_ Bangs

Description.—A little smaller than a Robin, with upright perching
attitude and dignified, masterful bearing; sexes similar. Upperparts
grayish olive-brown, outer primaries edged with dull reddish brown, and
_inner-vane of all tail-feathers pale reddish brown_, which often shows
plainly in flight; throat and breast light gray; belly pale yellow.
_Length_: 9 inches.

Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant and summer resident in
the orchards and woodlands, from mid-April to mid-September.

Nest.—Of vegetable fiber, roots, downy material, and a cast-off
snake-skin or two, in a cavity in a tree or a nesting-box, at from 10 to
40 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, creamy white, heavily streaked,
longitudinally, with rich brown.

    [Illustration: Crested Flycatcher
    Olive-sided Flycatcher]

The Crested Flycatcher’s loud, incisive _creep, creep_ rings through the
spring woodlands as the handsome bird seeks mate and nesting-place. His
large, crested head and yellow underparts are usually obvious in the
field. He is given to perching on high dead branches, usually beneath
the canopy of outer leaves, and he turns his head from side to side
thoughtfully as he watches for passing insects which he captures with
great agility.

This is our only bird which regularly uses cast-off snake-skins in its
nest. These may serve to frighten off intruders.


                                 PHŒBE
                       _Sayornis phœbe_ (Latham)

  Other Names.—Bridge Bird; Phœbe-bird; Pewee (erroneous).

  Description.—Larger than English Sparrow, with upright position and
  comparatively long tail _which is occasionally quickly lifted_ as the
  bird watches for insects. Upperparts grayish olive-brown, darkest on
  top of head; bar on wings noticeable in field; tail with outer edge of
  outer tail-feathers white, not noticeable in field; underparts white,
  suffused with yellowish, and tinged with brownish gray on breast and
  sides; bill and eyes black. _Length_: 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Abundant migrant and summer resident from
  mid-March to November.

  Nest.—Of moss and vegetable substances, lined with finer, softer
  materials, placed on any projection which will hold it, under a
  bridge, on a stone ledge, in a well or spring-house, or under the roof
  of a porch. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, white, rarely with a few small brown
  spots.

The simple call-notes, _fit-i-bee_ and _zee-bee_, and the habit of
wagging or jerking the tail now and then, serve to identify this bird,
even though no colors be noted. Look for it along small streams or near
rock-ledges, where the nests are built in April. The Phœbe is a
confirmed eater of insects and is one of our most valuable birds. It
comes with the pussy-willows and the first cries of the tiny tree-frogs,
and stays until the host of migrating warblers has all but passed
through.

    [Illustration: Wood Peewee
    Phœbe]


                         OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER
              _Nuttallornis borealis borealis_ (Swainson)

  Description.—Smaller than a Robin, with upright carriage and dull,
  unmarked appearance. Upperparts, sides of breast, and sides dark
  olive-gray; wings and tail darker; throat and middle of breast and
  belly very pale yellow, or yellowish white; under tail-coverts marked
  with dusky; a loose tuft of fluffy, silver-white feathers on either
  flank, sometimes _protruding through wings, on back_; bill dark, save
  base of lower mandible which is yellow. _Length_: 7½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather regular but rare migrant from mid-May
  to about the end of the month and from late August to the middle of
  September. As a summer resident, found only in coniferous woodlands at
  high altitudes or in the northernmost counties.

  Nest.—Rather well made of twigs and mosses, placed on a branch of
  hemlock or other conifer at from 25 to 40 feet from the ground.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, creamy white, spotted, chiefly at larger end, with
  reddish brown.

The Olive-side will usually be seen on the _topmost twig_ of a tree,
sitting quietly in a dignified, upright manner. His call-note, _pit,
per-wheer_, is very distinctive—not to be confused with any other
bird-song of this latitude. The white tufts of feathers on the flanks I
have found not to be a good field-mark, for they do not, apparently,
often show; but the call-note and the dark sides are unmistakable. At
Pymatuning Swamp I have seen fair-sized flocks of Olive-sided
Flycatchers late in spring. The bird is usually so rare that the sight
of several of them sitting about on the tips of the hemlocks is long to
be remembered. Additional records of this species are desirable. (See
illustration page 87.)


                               WOOD PEWEE
                     _Myiochanes virens_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—About the size of an English Sparrow, with _upright
  perching attitude_. _Adults_: Dark grayish olive above, the wings with
  two rather indistinct whitish wing-bars; underparts white or pale
  yellowish, washed with grayish on sides of throat and on breast; upper
  mandible dark; lower mandible yellowish; eyes black. _Immature birds_:
  Similar, but the wing-coverts tipped with buffy and underparts more
  yellowish. _Length_: 6½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and summer resident from May 1
  to October 1.

  Nest.—A shallow cup made of vegetable fibers, small twigs, cocoons,
  lichens, and moss, saddled on a horizontal branch from 25 to 40 feet
  from the ground, usually in a shady woodland. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, creamy
  white, with a wreath of dark brown spots about larger end.

The Wood Pewee’s plaintive, musical _pee-a-wee, pee-wee_, the first half
ending with an upward inflection, the latter with a distinct falling, is
a characteristic bird-note of the summer woodlands. The singer is
usually seen high in a tree, not near the ground, as is the Phœbe. It
does not have the habit of flicking its tail. A bird of the shadowy
woodland, not of the open stream-sides, it will not be confused with any
other bird if its song may be heard. In appearance it is much like the
other small flycatchers. The song is often almost perfectly imitated by
the Starling, so that Pewee songs heard in winter or in unlikely places
should be investigated.


                         THE SMALL FLYCATCHERS

The bird student will find the shy, dull-colored, small flycatchers
difficult to identify. All forms of the group found regularly in
Pennsylvania, aside from the Phœbe and Pewee, are dull olive-green or
grayish above, lighter or whitish below, have a more or less noticeable
eye-ring and two noticeable wing-bars. These small flycatchers are so
similar in size and color that it is at times almost impossible to
distinguish specimens in the hand. But they are reasonably easy to
identify in the field, _chiefly from their call-notes_ which are very
distinctive, from their habitat which differs considerably, and from the
dates upon which they are seen. They are all under 6 inches in length.
All of these birds have an erect perching attitude; none of them,
strictly speaking, sings a song; all are equipped with broad, flat
bills, for capturing insects.

    [Illustration: Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
    Least Flycatcher    Alder Flycatcher]


                       YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER
            _Empidonax flaviventris_ (W. M. and S. F. Baird)

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is a migrant in mid-spring and early
autumn, _not found during summer_, save at one or two high altitudes,
where it nests rarely. It is always rather noticeably yellow below and
is found in low, thick woodlands, not often far from the ground. The
call-note is a nervous _tsek_, or _chuh-bec_, its song a querulous
_tsu-eek_, with a rising inflection. In fall immature birds are
sometimes exceedingly abundant.


                           ACADIAN FLYCATCHER
                    _Empidonax virescens_ (Vieillot)

This flycatcher lives in shadowy woodlands _along ravines_ where long,
swaying branches of beech, maple, or hemlock overhang a stream. Here,
not at great height, is built the shallow, thin nest, where three eggs
are laid. These are creamy white, spotted with dark brown at the larger
end. The call of this bird may be written _pit-i-yuk_ or _wee-zee-eep_,
and is of an explosive character. _Do not look for this bird save in
woodlands along streams._ It will not be found in swamps, or in
orchards. It comes in early May and stays until mid-September and occurs
chiefly in the southern and less mountainous counties.


                            ALDER FLYCATCHER
                _Empidonax traillii traillii_ (Audubon)

The Alder Flycatcher will be seen in low growth along streams or in
swamps, often actually among alders. Its sides are yellowish, but the
belly is always white. The song of this species, which is usually
delivered from a prominent and sometimes high perch, may be written
_becky-weer_, and is different from any other flycatcher song, save,
perhaps that of the Olive-sided. Its nest is a compact structure, built
in the alders, 2 to 3 feet from the ground, usually in a swamp. The
three or four eggs are white, sparsely spotted with brown. The Alder
Flycatcher is found chiefly in the more northerly counties as a summer
resident, from early May to September.


                        LEAST FLYCATCHER; CHEBEC
              _Empidonax minimus_ (W. M. and S. F. Baird)

The Least Flycatcher is a bird of open aspen copses or orchards. Its
energetic _che-bec_, which is given with a violent toss of the head, is
always characteristic and is responsible for its common name. Look for
the bird during migration in May and in September. As a summer resident
it occurs chiefly in the more northern counties, where it builds its
deep nest in the crotch of some low tree. The eggs, 3 or 4 in number,
are pure white. Feathers are often used in the nest, which is made of
vegetable fiber and hair.


                              HORNED LARK
                _Otocoris alpestris alpestris_ (Linnæus)

This northern relative of our Prairie Horned Lark visits Pennsylvania
occasionally in winter, especially in the northern counties. It is a
larger, more reddish bird, and the line above the eye is distinctly
yellow, sometimes quite colorful.


                          PRAIRIE HORNED LARK
                 _Otocoris alpestris praticola_ Henshaw

  Other Name.—Shore Lark.

  Description.—Larger than an English Sparrow; a bird of the ground,
  with straight toe-nails, the hind one very long. _Adult male_: Patch
  on forepart of crown with lateral lines leading to two tiny tufts or
  horns on nape, patch in front of and below eye, and another on upper
  breast, black; forehead and line above eye whitish, sometimes very
  faintly tinged with yellow; throat pale yellow; back of head and
  upperparts pale grayish brown mixed with reddish brown on neck, back,
  and wings; middle tail-feathers brown, the other feathers blackish,
  the outer vanes of the outer feathers white; lower breast and belly
  whitish, suffused with pinkish brown on sides and flanks; bill, feet,
  and eyes black. _Female and immature_: Similar, but duller. Young
  birds in their first plumage are much spotted, with pale yellowish
  above, and with blackish below. _Length_: A little over 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Local permanent resident, sometimes quite
  common, and found only in the opener sections, on bald hilltops or in
  wide fields in agricultural districts.

  Nest.—A cup in the ground lined with grasses, plant-down, and other
  vegetable material. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, greenish white, heavily marked
  with grayish brown, sometimes with a wreath of heavier spots around
  larger end. The nest is always placed in a wide-open field, sometimes
  on a bare hilltop. It is built very early in the season, sometimes in
  early or mid-March, while snow is still on the ground.

    [Illustration: Prairie Horned Lark]

In the windy, open fields or on treeless hilltops, this demure and
dull-colored bird lives. As he walks or runs among the short grass,
twittering in a companionable way, standing still for a moment to survey
his surroundings, then wandering off again, little is noted to remind us
of the glorious courtship song which this bird of the ground gives
during early spring, and for which he should be as famous as the English
Skylark. Mounting upward from the clods, he finally reaches a far
height, where he pours out his melodious, tinkling music, minute after
minute, sweeping about in wide circles, or steadily flying into the
wind. Thirty or forty times he may give his song, then becoming tired of
his performance, downward he drops to the earth in long, graceful sweeps
to alight unconcernedly. He sometimes sings from the ground or from a
fence-post.

Horned Larks are given to flocking together in the winter, and when snow
covers the ground they sometimes come into the farmyards, or congregate
along roads, where they eat horse-manure or waste grain. Look for the
black facial markings of these plain brown birds, and remember that they
will be found _only in open country_.


                                BLUE JAY
                _Cyanocitta cristata bromia_ Oberholser

  Description.—Larger than Robin; sexes similar, both with prominent
  crest; nostril covered with tuft of feathers. Head, crest, and back
  grayish blue; forehead and a noticeable collar across lower throat,
  ear-coverts, and back of crest, black; region about eye whitish;
  throat and underparts grayish white, darkest on sides; wings and tail
  bright turquoise-blue, the greater coverts, secondaries, and tertials
  tipped broadly with white, and all of the feathers barred strikingly
  with black on their exposed surface; tail-feathers barred with black,
  the outer ones tipped noticeably with white; feet and bill black; eyes
  dark brown. _Length_: About 12 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—We should expect the Blue Jay to be a permanent
  resident in Pennsylvania wherever it is found. It occurs the year
  round, notably in the southwestern and southern counties, and is
  usually a summer resident and early spring and mid-fall migrant from
  March 20 to November 1; as a summer bird it is somewhat local in
  distribution.

  Nest.—A bulky mass of twigs, rootlets, and weed-stalks, rather well
  made and neatly cupped, placed from 10 to 30 feet from the ground,
  usually in a more or less open situation and often in a conifer.
  _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale gray green or greenish gray, heavily marked with
  dull and indefinite brown and gray spots.

    [Illustration: Blue Jay]

The Blue Jay’s colors and manners are unmistakable. As he flies, the
white-tipped outer tail-feathers and secondaries show plainly; as he
perches, his crest is prominent. But when the bird student essays to
identify the Blue Jay from call-notes alone there may be trouble, for
this bright creature not only has a considerable vocabulary of his own
but also imitates other birds extremely well. He can reproduce the
scream of a Red-shouldered Hawk so faithfully that small birds of the
vicinity drop into silence for an instant. More than once this cry has
misled me. As a rule, he screams _peer, peer_ in a dominant, harsh
voice, or gives violin-like, squeaky calls, the pattern and musical
intent of which are known only to himself.

He is a confirmed nest-robber and is not protected by law in
Pennsylvania. While it is true that he eats the eggs and young of
smaller birds, yet he has some food habits in his favor, and at worst is
a handsome villain.

The nest is defended valiantly by the parents. I once climbed to a Blue
Jay’s nest and took the last remaining young one. As I started to
descend I felt a sharp blow on my forehead. When I reached the ground my
face was lined with blood; the parent bird had punctured my skin with
her beak.

In fall and winter, Blue Jays are very fond of beechnuts and acorns. At
the feeding-counter they often choose peanuts if these are to be found.
Their hearty manner and brilliant colors make them an attractive
addition to any flock of bird-neighbors, in spite of their objectionable
traits.


                             NORTHERN RAVEN
                   _Corvus corax principalis_ Ridgway

  Description.—Much larger than a Crow; bill and feet very strong and
  heavy; feathers of throat long and _pointed_, not rounded. Entire
  plumage black, glossed with steel-blue and pale greenish and purplish.
  _Length_: About 24 inches. Wingspread about four feet.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare permanent resident, found only in the
  wildest mountain gorges, chiefly in the central counties.

  Nest.—A very large and bulky affair, deeply cupped like a Crow’s,
  usually placed in an inaccessible niche on a cliff or high in a tree.
  It is made of twigs and branches and is lined with moss, hair,
  grape-vine bark, and rootlets. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, usually pale bluish or
  bluish green, spotted with brown, olive, and gray.

Ravens might easily pass for Crows, were not their cracked, raucous
voices to echo solemnly through the gorges which they inhabit. Looking
up we may see the great black birds _circling_ through the sky like
hawks; we may be near enough to note that the tail is not rounded as in
the Crow, but wedge-shaped, the middle feathers being noticeably the
longest. When a Raven does not soar, nor croak, he appears much like a
Crow, and identification ought to be either from notes, or flight, or
from direct comparison with Crows. These smaller cousins, incidentally,
mob the Raven with as much gusto as they exhibit in attacking an owl.

    [Illustration: Northern Raven]


                                  CROW
              _Corvus brachyrhynchos brachyrhynchos_ Brehm

  Description.—Black, glossed with bluish and purplish, underparts
  duller in appearance. The Crow is probably our best-known bird.
  _Length_: 19 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—In southeastern counties the Crow occurs the
  year round, and during winter in great flocks; elsewhere it is chiefly
  absent in winter, returning in late February or early March, and
  remaining until December. It is widely distributed and abundant as a
  summer resident.

  Nest.—A bulky structure made of twigs, moss, and leaves, lined with
  hair, grape-vine bark, and moss, placed from 20 to 60 feet from the
  ground, in trees. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, generally light bluish green,
  heavily spotted with brown and gray.

Call-notes, flight, appearance, and bad habits of the Crow are all well
known and need no discussion. It should be said, however, that its
destruction of ground-inhabiting insects, tomato and tobacco worms, and
small mammals, is to its credit. The Crow is not protected in
Pennsylvania.


                               FISH CROW
                       _Corvus ossifragus_ Wilson

The Fish Crow is decidedly smaller than the common Crow (16 inches in
length), though this is not noticeable in the field. The underparts are
brightly glossed as above, and the call-notes are decidedly different
from those of the Crow, being higher and not sounding like a _caw_. The
Fish Crow occurs in Pennsylvania chiefly along the Susquehanna and
Delaware rivers, and is not usually seen far from these streams. At
Harrisburg a large colony nests at McCormick’s Island. Fish Crows often
pick their food from the surface of the water like gulls.


                                STARLING
                  _Sturnus vulgaris vulgaris_ Linnæus

  Other Names.—Blackbird (erroneous); Black Sparrow (erroneous).

  Description.—A little smaller than a Robin, with a long, pointed bill
  and short tail; feathers of head and neck narrow and pointed; _walks
  when on the ground_. _Adults in spring_: Plumage black, highly glossed
  with blue, green, purple, and violet, particularly on the neck, _all
  feathers above more or less broadly tipped with creamy_ or buffy;
  unspotted below, save on sides and flanks; wings brown, the coverts
  glossy, all feathers edged with brownish gray; feet mahogany-red;
  _bill yellow_; eyes dark brown. _In winter_: Similar, but underparts
  as well as upperparts spotted with whitish or creamy buff; _bill
  brown_, not yellow. Young birds, before they moult into the first
  winter plumage, are dull grayish brown, unmarked; their bills are
  blackish brown. _Length_: About 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Now found in almost every county and rapidly
  encroaching upon the western and more mountainous counties;
  exceedingly abundant in the southeastern counties, occurring locally
  at certain seasons in flocks of thousands.

  Nest.—Of grasses, leaves, and weed-stalks, placed in a natural cavity
  in a tree, a woodpecker nest, or bird-box. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale blue.

    [Illustration: Starling, in Spring]

Introduced from Europe about fifty years ago, the Starling has extended
its range rapidly, so that it is today one of the abundant birds of most
of Pennsylvania. It is very gregarious and, save in the spring, is
usually seen in immense flocks, walking through fields or wheeling about
in the air, with fluttering flight.

It nests early, utilizing all available cavities, and if there are not
enough to go round, it permits Flickers or Red-headed Woodpeckers to dig
one and then ousts the owners so as to use the new cavity for its own
nest. It has been known actually to kill Flickers in driving them from
their newly made nests. As Starlings become increasingly abundant, there
is grave danger of their making it difficult for some of our birds to
rear their young at all.

The Starling is a great mimic. It has a characteristic, high, thin
squeal and numerous chuckling notes, which it intersperses with
imitations of the Wood Pewee, Bob-White, and other well-known birds. As
it sings, it puffs out its throat-feathers, and during spring, shakes
its wings in ecstasy.

Favorable remarks must be made concerning the food-habits of this bird.
It eats, especially during spring and summer, much noxious insect life,
noticeably larvæ which it finds in lawns and fields, and it preys upon
the dreaded Japanese beetle. As its natural enemies come to assert
themselves, it may eventually become a desirable bird citizen.

Starlings roost together in great numbers. They like to congregate in
barn-lofts, cupolas or steeples, or along the high window-sills and
cornices of buildings where they squeal all night as they crowd each
other, or take short flights in the soft glow of the electric lights.


                                BOBOLINK
                   _Dolichonyx oryzivorus_ (Linnæus)

    [Illustration: Bobolink, Male, in Spring]

  Other Names.—Skunkbird; in fall, Reedbird; Ricebird.

  Description.—Bill short, conical, and sparrow-like; tail-feathers
  sharply pointed. _Adult male in spring_: Glossy black, with broad
  patch of buffy yellow on nape and hind neck, a few streaks of
  yellowish on the back, and scapulars, lower back, rump, and upper
  tail-coverts, white, the upper part of the rump-patch grayer; tertials
  and greater coverts edged with buffy; underparts sometimes
  indistinctly barred with buffy; eyes brown; bill black; feet
  mahogany-red. _Female_: Sparrow-like in appearance, buffy in color,
  heavily streaked above, lightly on sides; a black line back of eye,
  and crown blackish divided by median buffy line. Immature birds in
  first fall plumage are similar to the adult female, but much lighter
  in appearance, sometimes quite yellow, noticeably so in the field. The
  adult male after a complete early spring moult is rich in appearance,
  the brownish tips of this plumage wearing off in forming the nesting
  plumage with which we are best acquainted. _Length_: 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A summer resident, common in certain
  localities, almost altogether absent elsewhere. It is to be looked for
  from mid-April or early May until mid-October.

  Nest.—On the ground in a grassy meadow, well hidden from above and
  difficult to find, made of grasses and rootlets, lined with finer
  materials. _Eggs_: 3 to 7, pale grayish, spotted and scrawled,
  sometimes quite heavily, with dark brown and olive-gray.

Robert o’Lincoln is not to be found in every meadow where daisies grow,
and where the grass is deep and green, but in those wide, green lowlands
or grassy slopes which he has chosen for his own, the gay songster
reigns supreme, flying on tremulous wings over the flowers, trailing
into the grasses to let his legs and wings hang limp while he continues
his bubbling song, flying boldly toward the intruder and luring him
aside. The Bobolink’s song is a marvel of bird-music. It seems to spring
from an inexhaustible supply of strange syllables and genuine musical
notes, offered in a tumultuous jumble as profligate as the manner in
which the bird lets himself fall into the grass while he continues to
sing. Sometimes I have thought the birds wanted to stop their song but
could not. And, meanwhile, the female is warned of the approach of an
enemy; she sits quietly on her nest, or slips away.

In the autumn, the birds abandon their nesting-grounds and flock in the
grain-fields, garden-patches, or swamp-lands where goldenrod and rank
weeds furnish food and shelter for the night. Here the yellowish young
troop along, gaily calling _wink, wink_ as the weed-tops bend with the
weight of their plump bodies. On a cool night they rise to pass to the
rice-fields of the South, where they will be shot by the thousand as the
dreaded Ricebird, and thence to South America, their winter home.


                                COWBIRD
                    _Molothrus ater ater_ (Boddaert)

  Other Names.—Cow Blackbird; Blackbird.

  Description.—Smaller than Robin; bill short, heavy, and sparrow-like.
  _Adult male_: Head, neck, and breast coffee-brown, with faint purple
  gloss; rest of plumage black, with greenish reflections over most of
  the surface, but bluish and purplish in certain lights. _Adult
  female_: Noticeably smaller than male, dull gray-brown all over,
  slightly streaked on underparts, and paler on throat. Young birds are
  similar to the female but are somewhat more buffy on the throat, and
  the underparts are slightly more streaked, the feathers being edged
  with buffy brown. _Length_: About 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant summer resident from about March 15
  to November 1; casual in winter.

  Nest.—The Cowbird builds no nest but lays its eggs in the nests of
  other, usually smaller, species, and does not incubate them nor care
  for the young in any way. The species most commonly thus parasitized
  in Pennsylvania are the Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Phœbe, Song
  and Field Sparrow, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, and others. I have never
  found Cow-bird eggs in a Red-winged Blackbird’s nest, and, as a rule,
  Red-wings chase Cowbirds away from their home swamp angrily whenever
  they appear.

When the Cowbird comes in spring he is usually concerned over his
mating, and while he is not a songster, he puts much energy into his
high, thin squeak as he bows, almost upside down, with wings and tail
outspread, in the top of some tree. This same high note is often to be
heard as the birds, in groups of three or four, pass over, undulating
slightly in the manner of their tribe.

On the ground, the Cowbird walks in a quiet and dignified manner. It may
be seen in pastures, sometimes perching on the cows’ backs where it
captures insects. I once saw a flock of them remain an entire morning
near a newly born calf, evincing great interest in the little creature
and its mother.

The female is an expert at locating nests. Evidently she watches smaller
birds, learns where they are building their nests, and then while they
are not watching her, slips in and deposits her egg. Sometimes the egg
is laid long before the nest is completed. Occasionally, when an egg is
thus deposited before the rightful owner of the nest has laid her eggs,
the little birds build another bottom in their nest, sealing the heavy
egg beneath the hair and vegetable fiber. Yellow Warbler nests are thus
sometimes several stories high, and I have more than once found eggs
sealed into the foundation material of the nests of larger birds. I
remember one Scarlet Tanager nest which held two eggs of the owner and
four of the Cowbird, and there was an additional Cowbird egg sealed in
the foundation material.

    [Illustration: Cowbird, Male]

Being larger than his nest-mates, the young Cowbird claims the most
attention. He may actually push the other young and eggs out of the
nest.

The Cowbird’s food habits are not objectionable, however, and no ill
effects seem to result from this parasitism upon smaller birds.


                          RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
               _Agelaius phœniceus predatorius_ (Wilson)

  Other Names.—Swamp Blackbird; Redwing; in autumn, Reedbird.

  Description.—Smaller than Robin. _Adult male in spring_: Black, with
  bluish reflections and occasionally narrow rusty edgings; lesser
  coverts bright scarlet, the outer row of largest feathers buffy or
  whitish; eyes dark brown; bill and feet black. _Males in first
  breeding plumage_: Similar but likely to be more marked with rusty,
  and some of the feathers of the scarlet patch are streaked with dark
  brown. _Adult males in winter_: Upperparts edged with rusty. _Adult
  females_: Heavily streaked with dark brown and buffy above, and with
  blackish and light gray below, a pinkish or orange-buffy suffusion
  over the face, particularly on the throat. Immature birds are similar
  to the females. Young birds in the moult in August and September are
  strangely blotched with black and buffy. _Length_: Male, about 9½
  inches; female, about 8½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common though somewhat locally distributed
  summer resident from mid-March to early November. Found as a nesting
  bird only where there are cat-tail swamps or low meadows. Sometimes
  noted in winter.

  Nest.—A neatly woven basket of dry grasses suspended, usually, between
  cat-tail stalks a few feet above the water in a swamp, or in weeds or
  bushes in a low meadow. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale blue, spotted and
  scrawled, chiefly at the larger end, with black.

    [Illustration: Red-winged Blackbird, Male]

At about the time the hilarious tree-frogs set up their evening
choruses, the Red-wing returns. His handsome plumage enlivens the
stretches of dead cat-tails, and his tuneful, liquid song delights the
ear. As he sings, he spreads his blazing wing-patches and fluffs out his
glossy plumage. The males come north in a body before the females
arrive.

The females set to work building the nests almost at once. If the
weed-growth is low in the swamp, they build them but slightly above the
water; those built by females which arrive later are higher. If nests
are suspended upon growing cat-tail leaves or stalks, they are sometimes
overturned by the unequal growth of the vegetation.

Let a hawk or Crow appear near the Red-wing’s swamp, and a spirited
chase ensues. Almost with a Kingbird’s persistence, the brilliant males,
sometimes several of them, dive and scold at the intruder, the while the
smaller creatures of the swamp cease their noises and watch the busy
scene.

Red-wings occasionally do considerable damage in grain-fields in late
summer and early autumn, but their food habits are, for the most part,
beneficial, or at least not harmful.


                               MEADOWLARK
                   _Sturnella magna magna_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Field Lark.

  Description.—Size of Robin, with short tail, large, strong feet, and
  long, pointed bill. _Male_: Upperparts brown, the plumage of the back
  marked with black and margined with creamy and whitish, the tertials
  and middle tail-feathers barred with black; line above eye, yellow in
  front and buffy behind; cheeks gray; throat, breast, and belly bright
  yellow, the breast marked with a prominent black collar; sides buffy,
  streaked heavily with dark brown and black; _outer tail-feathers
  white_, showing plainly in flight; eyes dark brown; bill brownish;
  feet flesh-color. _Female_: Similar, but duller. _Adults and young in
  winter_: Much browner, the yellow of the breast considerably clouded
  by brown tips of the new plumage, which wear off as spring approaches.
  _Length_: 10½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant summer resident from mid-March
  until November; casual, sometimes fairly common, in winter, if food is
  available.

  Nest.—A depression in the ground, in a wide field, among deep grasses,
  lined with dry grass, the surrounding grass pulled into an arch above.
  _Eggs_: 3 to 6, white, spotted with reddish brown, chiefly at the
  larger end. Meadowlark nests may sometimes be found by dragging a
  rope, loosely stretched between two persons, across the meadow.

    [Illustration: Meadowlark]

The high, clear whistle of the Meadowlark, as he perches in a tree or
stands erect on the ground, is a familiar bird-song of the early spring.
His bright breast glows in the sunshine as he stands for an instant,
then disappears altogether as he lowers his head and walks through the
grass. Let him slip out of sight for a second, and it may be difficult
to see him again, for he is protectively colored, the margins of the
feathers of his back forming lines which resemble the dead grasses. As
he flies, his wings beat in a muscular fashion and the white outer
feathers of his short, widespread tail show plainly. If his nest is
nearby, he may perch on a post and call with a rough chattering as he
flashes his tail energetically.

The Meadowlark’s food habits are chiefly beneficial. It eats many grubs
and cutworms, confining most of its foraging to the ground.

In the early fall, they sometimes congregate in great flocks, during the
latter part of the period of moult. They do not usually sing at such
times, but when the new plumage is complete, and the day warm, the whole
flock may begin to sing, with remarkable effect.


                             ORCHARD ORIOLE
                      _Icterus spurius_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Orchard Bird.

  Description.—Smaller than Baltimore Oriole. _Adult male_: Head and
  neck, back, wings, and tail black, the greater coverts and secondaries
  edged with white; breast, belly, rump, upper tail-coverts and lesser
  coverts of wing, rich deep chestnut. _Female_: Olive-gray above;
  yellow on face, underparts and rump; wings with two whitish bars. The
  male in its first breeding plumage is like the female, but has a black
  throat-patch. _Length_: A little over 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather rare and exceedingly local species,
  found chiefly in the southern counties, but occasionally as far north
  as Crawford County in western Pennsylvania. It arrives in late April
  or early May and remains until September 15.

  Nest.—A pouch of grass which is green when the nest is constructed,
  usually swung between upright twigs at the top of a small tree—rarely
  in a conifer. The nest is not so deep as that of a Baltimore Oriole
  and is never swung at the tip of a drooping branch, so far as I know.

    [Illustration: Orchard Oriole, Male]

The exceedingly bright and varied song of this species may puzzle the
bird student who hears it for the first time. It is hardly deliberate
enough to suggest an Oriole, but it is full-throated and tropical in
fervor and decidedly noticeable. The flight is characteristic, giving
the impression that the wings are never lifted above the back. Orchard
Orioles are likely to nest in groups, several pairs in one neighborhood.
They are so irregular in their occurrence that the bird student must
watch assiduously for them.


                            BALTIMORE ORIOLE
                      _Icterus galbula_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Hang-bird; Hang-nest; Golden Robin.

  Description.—Smaller than Robin. _Adult male_: Head, neck, back,
  wings, and tail, black; lesser coverts orange; tertials and greater
  coverts edged with white; outer tail-feathers tipped with orange or
  yellow; breast, belly, rump, and upper tail-coverts, bright orange,
  deepest on breast. _Female_: Olive-brown above, yellow below; breast
  somewhat tinged with orange; wings with two noticeable buffy yellow
  bars; tertials prominently edged with whitish. Immature birds are
  similar to the female. Eyes dark brown; bill and feet blue-gray.
  _Length_: 7½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant summer resident from latter April
  to early fall. It is not often seen in the fall as it usually leaves
  before the middle of September.

  Nest.—A deep pouch of plant-fibers, horse-hair, and string, lined with
  soft materials, swung from the tip of a branch, usually of an elm,
  maple, or sycamore, 15 to 60 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 4 to 6,
  white, scrawled with blackish, chiefly at larger end.

The male Oriole is one of our most gorgeous birds, with his bright
colors and loud, assertive song. In the full-flowered apple trees, the
dignified creature crawls about, nipping at buds or snatching up
insects. The female builds the nest, and the young call for food
incessantly, often attracting attention to it. Some of the Oriole’s
call-notes and alarm-notes are exceedingly harsh and grating, calling to
mind the tropics, their ancestral home.


                            RUSTY BLACKBIRD
                     _Euphagus carolinus_ (Müller)

  Description.—Smaller than Robin. _Adult male in spring_: Entire
  plumage glossy blue-black; bill and feet black; eyes pale yellow.
  _Adult female_: Slate color, somewhat glossy above; wings and tail
  blackish. _Adult male in winter_: Black, all the feathers edged with
  buffy brown, the top of the head almost solid brownish. Young birds in
  their first winter plumage are chiefly responsible for the name of the
  bird. They are rusty brown, paler on head, richest on back, with
  slate-colored wings and tail, a dark line through the eye, and pale
  yellow eyes. _Length_: 9½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant, sometimes
  abundant, from early or mid-March (sometimes earlier) to early May and
  from September 10 to November 15. It usually occurs in flocks.

This is our _blackest_ Blackbird in the spring; in the fall it is hardly
a black bird at all. Look for this species in swampy situations or along
the margins of streams. It likes to walk about on the ground and
_through water_ like a sandpiper, and is more terrestrial than the
Red-wing. The spring flocks sometimes burst forth into song, and the
effect at a distance is that of sleigh-bells—a jangling, jolly chorus. A
single male’s efforts hardly merit being called a song. Rusty Blackbirds
are grackle-like in actions, and their whitish eyes suggest grackles,
but they do not have trough-shaped tails and the tail-feathers are about
of equal length.


                   PURPLE GRACKLE AND BRONZED GRACKLE
               _Quiscalus quiscula rigdgwayi_ Oberholser
                                  and
                   _Quiscalus quiscula æneus_ Ridgway

  Other Names.—Blackbird; Crow Blackbird.

  Description.—Males larger than Robin, with large tails, distinctly
  trough-shaped, especially in flight. The male Purple Grackle’s head
  and neck are brilliant, iridescent blue and violet; the body, which
  appears blackish at a distance, is glossed with blue, green,
  plum-color, and bronze, and the back and scapulars, and sometimes the
  sides, _are crossed with iridescent bars_. The male Bronzed Grackle’s
  head is iridescent greenish blue, with little or no violet reflection,
  and the body is rich, glossy bronze, _without iridescent bars_. In
  both these forms the females are similar but duller, and noticeably
  smaller. The eyes of all are pale yellow. Young birds are dull brown
  and, when quite young, have grayish eyes which turn to pale yellow as
  the bird grows older. _Length_: Male, 12 to 13½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—The Purple Grackle is found _east of the
  Alleghany Mountains_; the Bronzed Grackle occurs west of the
  Alleghanies. In the mountainous sections the forms intermingle to a
  certain extent. Grackles are abundant summer residents from mid-March
  to November.

  Nest.—A large, amply cupped structure of grasses, weeds, and other
  materials, sometimes strengthened with mud, usually built in a
  coniferous tree, in a yard, or on a campus, from 20 to 60 feet from
  the ground, but also built in willows, in bridges, high buildings, and
  rarely among cat-tails. _Eggs_: 3 to 7, pale blue, gray, or whitish,
  scrawled and blotched with brown, black, and gray.

This is the bird which is everywhere called “Blackbird.” It is a bird of
the town, not of the wilds, preferring to nest in parks, cemeteries, and
college campuses, among the pines, spruces, or cedars. It eats many
cutworms, but does some damage in grain-fields, and in destroying fruit.

Grackles walk sedately about the lawns, their white eyes gleaming with a
ghostly brilliance. The call-note is a harsh _tschack_.

    [Illustration: Purple Grackle]


                            EVENING GROSBEAK
            _Hesperiphona vespertina vespertina_ (W. Cooper)

  Description.—Smaller than Robin; beak very large and heavy. _Male_:
  Forehead, line over eye, scapulars, lower back and rump, sides of
  breast and belly, dull yellow; crown and most of wing brownish black;
  secondaries and their greater coverts white, a prominent field-mark;
  rest of plumage olive-brown. _Female_: Grayish, the back and scapulars
  faintly washed with olive-yellow; wings, tail, and upper tail-coverts
  considerably spotted and marked with white; tips of the inner webs of
  all the tail-feathers, white; bill pale yellowish gray. _Length_: 8
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and irregular winter visitant, noted
  chiefly in the northern counties. In Pike and Tioga counties it has
  been noted with some regularity during the latter part of recent
  winters. It is usually to be seen in small flocks and it often occurs
  in towns.

Evening Grosbeaks see so little of man in their wilderness home in the
Great Northwest that they are surprisingly unsuspicious when they visit
us during the winter. They are sociable, almost always being seen in
flocks, and they feed upon seeds of maple and other trees, upon frozen
apples, and upon berries which they find, notably those of the mountain
ash. Occasionally they visit the leafless shade trees of towns.

    [Illustration: Pine Grosbeak
    Evening Grosbeak]


                             PINE GROSBEAK
                 _Pinicola enucleator leucura_ (Müller)

  Description.—About the size of a Robin; a small bunch of bristling
  feathers over the nostrils; bill sparrow-like, but upper mandible
  somewhat curved like a parrot’s. _Adult male_: Gray, suffused with
  soft rose-red, principally on the crown, rump, upper tail-coverts, and
  breast; wings and tail dark brownish gray, the wings with two
  prominent white bars. _Adult female_: Gray, the crown, rump, upper
  tail-coverts, and breast more or less strongly suffused with yellowish
  or olive; the wings and tail as in the male. Immature males resemble
  the adult female, but are brighter. _Length_: 9 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and irregular winter visitant recorded
  from many sections of the Commonwealth, but doubtless of most frequent
  occurrence in the more northerly counties.

The Pine Grosbeak has been well named. So fond is it of coniferous trees
and the food it finds among the needles and buds that its bill is
frequently covered with resinous substances. In Pennsylvania the bird
also eats the berries of mountain ash, sumac, and similar plants. It is
sometimes quite unsuspicious, being unacquainted with the ways of man,
and will allow the observer to approach very closely. The call-note is a
clear, bell-like whistle; its full song is rarely to be heard in this
latitude. (See illustration, page 103.)


                              PURPLE FINCH
               _Carpodacus purpureus purpureus_ (Gmelin)

    [Illustration: Purple Finch
    Upper, Female; Lower, Male]

  Other Name.—Linnet.

  Description.—Size and general proportions of English Sparrow; nostrils
  covered with small, bristly feathers; tail slightly forked. _Adult
  male_: Head and breast rosy pink, _not purple_, some of the feathers
  with dusky tips, and a darker streak through the eye; back brownish
  gray, streaked and suffused with rose-color; wings and tail brownish;
  belly whitish; sides somewhat streaked with brownish. _Adult female_:
  Very sparrow-like in appearance, in fact closely resembling a female
  English Sparrow, but the whitish underparts _heavily streaked with
  dark brown_. The immature male is much like the female, and this
  plumage is held through the first nesting season, the subsequent moult
  leading into the rose-red plumage of the full adult. _Length_: A
  little over 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant throughout,
  from mid-March to mid-May and from September 15 to October 31. As a
  summer resident it is found only in the northern and mountainous
  counties, and it is decidedly local as a nesting bird. It is
  irregular, though at times common, in winter.

  Nest.—A neat structure, with wide, full cup, constructed of
  plant-stems and fibers, lined with finer materials, placed in a
  conifer, orchard tree, or sapling at from 20 to 40 feet from the
  ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, pale blue, wreathed about the larger end with
  spots and lines of black.

The lovely Purple Finch is all too little known. It occurs at some time
during the year at every locality in Pennsylvania, yet it is not a
familiar bird. The song alone should win it wide acclaim as a
bird-neighbor, for, delivered from the top of a tree, or from a vine or
weed, it is one of the brightest, most varied of our bird melodies and
is given with such enthusiasm that we recognize in the singer a
canary-like interest in prolonging the performance.

Purple Finches are often seen among the budding branches of a fruit
tree, balancing on the slender twigs as they eat buds and capture
occasional insects. The females are virtually silent, until they have
cause to depart, then they swing off into the air, bound merrily higher
and higher above the tree-tops, and make off as they call _tik, tik_ in
a characteristic tone. This important call-note should be remembered; it
often serves to identify the species when the colors cannot be seen.

In its nesting-range, the song of this Finch is to be heard during all
the spring and early summer days. At Pymatuning Swamp, restless males
sang almost constantly while their mates assembled nesting materials. An
ecstatic flight-song is frequently given when the bright male flutters
high into the air and, still singing, descends on trembling wings to the
twigs and new leaves.

The Purple Finch’s habit of eating buds and flowers of trees, including
valuable orchard varieties, causes it to be unpopular when it is too
common.


                       RED OR AMERICAN CROSSBILL
                   _Loxia curvirostra pusilla_ Gloger

  Description.—Size and general shape of English Sparrow, but mandibles
  sharply pointed and _crossed_. _Adult male_: Deep dull red, brightest
  on rump, browner on back; wings and tail brownish black. _Female_:
  Dull olive-green, yellowish on the rump; head and back indistinctly
  streaked with blackish; underparts mixed with whitish. _Immature
  male_: Like the female, with some red mixed in the plumage. _Length_:
  6 inches.


                         WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL
                       _Loxia leucoptera_ Gmelin

  Description.—Size and shape of English Sparrow. _Male_: Dull
  rose-pink, brightest on rump, more or less streaked with blackish on
  back; wings and tail black, the wings with _two prominent white bars_,
  the tertials sometimes tipped with white; belly and under tail-coverts
  whitish. _Female_: Dull grayish green, yellowish on the rump, grayish
  below, the wings, as in the male, with two prominent white bars.
  _Immature male_: Similar to the female, but mottled irregularly with
  pink. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Both Crossbills are irregular winter visitors,
  sometimes abundant. They are usually found among coniferous trees. The
  Red Crossbill nests rarely in our higher mountains among the
  coniferous trees.

These two species are nearly always to be found together during winter,
and in any plumage may be recognized by their wings, those of the
White-winged species _always_ having two wing-bars, those of the Red
Crossbill never being marked. The Crossbills feed upon seeds of hemlock,
pine, and spruce, which they secure by wrenching off the scales of the
cones with their sharply pointed and crossed beaks.

    [Illustration: Red Crossbill
    White-winged Crossbill]


                                REDPOLL
                  _Acanthis linaria linaria_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Smaller than an English Sparrow; conical bill, sharply
  pointed; nostrils covered with tufts of bristling feathers. _Adult
  male_: Crown bright red; chin and upper throat blackish; neck and back
  grayish brown, streaked with buffy and whitish; rump grayish, tinged
  with pink; wings and tail dark brown, the wings with two white bars;
  breast and cheeks washed with delicate rosy pink; belly white; sides
  buffy streaked with blackish. _Female_: Similar, but more heavily
  streaked above and without pink on breast or rump. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and irregular winter visitor from the
  Far North. It sometimes occurs during the entire winter, but it is
  usually seen during the latter part, and chiefly in the northern
  counties.

    [Illustration: Redpoll]

Redpolls, like Goldfinches, swing about through the air with strongly
undulating flight. They give a rasping, querulous squeal as they lift
their crests and watch us. The birds are fond of weed seeds which they
pick up from the snow. Usually they sit with feathers considerably
fluffed out, and at such times the rosy breast of the male is
noticeable.


                               GOLDFINCH
                _Astragalinus tristis tristis_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Salad Bird; Wild Canary; Thistle Bird; Yellow Bird.

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow; bill sharply pointed.
  _Adult male in summer_: Bright lemon-yellow with black crown, wings,
  and tail, the wings crossed with two white bars, the lesser coverts
  yellow like the body, and the tail-feathers with their inner webs
  white; upper tail-coverts gray. _Adult female in summer_: Upperparts
  yellowish brown, the crown unmarked; below, dull yellowish; wings and
  tail more or less as in male, but not so black, nor so strikingly
  marked; lesser coverts dull olive-green. _Adult male in winter_: Like
  adult female, but _lesser wing-coverts yellow_; breast dull yellow;
  belly whitish; sides brownish. _Young male in winter_: Similar but the
  _lesser wing-coverts are dull greenish or grayish_. _Young males in
  summer_: Like the adult but the lesser coverts are dull greenish or
  grayish. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common permanent resident, somewhat irregular
  in winter, and often not known as a winter bird because of the
  complete change of color and habits.

  Nest.—A compact, neatly built cup of weed-stalks and vegetable fiber,
  lined with soft materials, placed from 3 to 30 feet from the ground,
  often in a shade tree, on a branch extending over the highway. _Eggs_:
  3 to 6, pale blue.

    [Illustration: Goldfinch
    Female    Male]

The Goldfinch is comparatively unknown as a winter bird. With the change
of color the birds become wilder in disposition, no longer frequent the
lawns and roadsides, and band together in large flocks. In summer the
brightly colored males are very noticeable as they swing about among the
flowers in a field or perch on dandelions in the yard. They are
brilliant singers, even in winter, and may be recognized at a great
distance in the summer by the flight-song, which has been written
_per-chick-o-ree_, and which is repeated with each bound of the deeply
undulating flight.

This bird nests very late, eggs being laid in latter June and July. In
spring they are sometimes considerably mottled in appearance, as the
brown winter plumage drops out and is replaced by the yellow of summer.
This prenuptial moult is usually complete by the middle of May, or
earlier, and with the brighter plumage return all the familiar
call-notes and graceful motions which we associate with these attractive
birds.

Goldfinches are fond of sunflower and cosmos seed, and we may lure them
to the garden, perhaps for the entire year, by planting such flowers as
these regularly.


                              PINE SISKIN
                     _Spinus pinus pinus_ (Wilson)

  Other Name.—Pine Finch.

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow; bill sharply pointed; a
  tuft of small feathers over nostril. Upperparts grayish brown streaked
  with black, the feathers margined with buffy; wing-feathers edged with
  yellowish and _yellow at base_; tail dark gray-brown, neatly forked,
  all but middle feathers _yellow at base_; underparts white, washed
  with buffy and heavily streaked with black. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A somewhat irregular migrant in April and May
  and in September and October; sometimes very common. Irregularly
  abundant in winter. It has been known to nest in the mountainous
  counties.

    [Illustration: Pine Siskin]

When winter flocks of these sociable finches visit Pennsylvania, the
birds feed largely upon the seeds of hemlock and alder. Merrily they
bound about through the air, giving their rough, querulous squeal. In
looking for this bird, remember that the heavily streaked underparts and
the yellow on the wings and tail are unmistakable. Siskins will
sometimes be found feeding among the alders, not far from the ground.
They often wander about with flocks of Goldfinches.


                            ENGLISH SPARROW
                     _Passer domesticus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Sparrow; House Sparrow.

  Description.—_Male_: Chin and throat black; crown gray; cheeks
  whitish; back of head, neck, and back reddish brown, the back streaked
  with black; a prominent white wing-bar; underparts grayish white;
  wings and tail dull brown. _Female_: Grayish brown, with an indistinct
  wing-bar, a darker line through the eye, and a rather distinct
  superciliary line. _Length_: About 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant permanent resident, principally in
  the towns and on the farms.

  Nest.—A bulky mass of dry grasses, usually domed over and lined warmly
  with feathers, placed in crevices in buildings, in bird-houses, in
  cavities in trees, and rather rarely on a branch of a tree. _Eggs_: 4
  to 6, white, spotted with gray.

The amateur bird student may do well to fix definitely in his mind the
size and appearance of this abundant bird, since it is advisable to know
these when making the acquaintance of other bird friends, and especially
when studying the rather difficult sparrow group.

English Sparrows are not altogether objectionable. During summer they
prey upon almost all kinds of insects, including the hard-shelled and
disagreeably scented insects which many birds pass by. Nevertheless, we
regret that these birds are so abundant because of their tendency toward
driving out some of our more beautiful native birds.


                              SNOW BUNTING
               _Plectrophenax nivalis nivalis_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Snowflake; Snow Bird.

  Description.—A little larger than an English Sparrow. _Male in
  winter_: Upperparts dull reddish brown, darkest on the crown; feathers
  of back with partly concealed black bases, causing a streaked effect;
  outer primaries black, _white at base; secondaries white_; middle
  tail-feathers black, outer ones white; underparts white. _Female_:
  Similar, but duller, and with primaries all dark brown, and white
  secondaries somewhat tipped with dusky. _Length_: 6¾ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and irregular winter visitant, save at
  Erie, where it is fairly regular and sometimes common on the outer
  beaches from November to early March. It is occasionally seen in small
  flocks in other northern counties.

A single Snow Bunting in flight might suggest to the bird student an
albinistic sparrow of some sort, but a whole flock of the remarkably
colored creatures, as they swing over a dead weed-field, can but bring
the instantaneous thrill which a glimpse of such exotic creatures always
brings. Snow Buntings are usually seen in flocks, often in company with
Horned Larks or Tree Sparrows, their companions in the North Country,
and they have a jovial twitter.

The Lapland Longspur (_Calcarius lapponicus lapponicus_) occurs rarely
during early spring or late fall migration, or in winter. It is about
the size of an English Sparrow, and in winter has a concealed reddish
patch on the neck, a concealed blackish belly, and is to be seen in
fields where it sometimes associates with Snow Buntings, Horned Larks,
or Tree Sparrows.


                             VESPER SPARROW
                _Poœcetes gramineus gramineus_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Grass Finch; Grass or Ground Sparrow; Bay-winged Bunting;
  Road Sparrow.

  Description.—Size of English Sparrow. General appearance grayish
  above, lighter below, considerably streaked above and on breast and
  sides; outer tail-feathers white; lesser wing-coverts reddish brown,
  not particularly conspicuous save at close range. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common summer resident from early April to
  late October. It is not found in woodlands.

  Nest.—A cup in the ground, in an open field, lined with grasses, hair,
  and other fine material. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, white, spotted and scrawled,
  chiefly at larger end, with blackish.

    [Illustration: Savannah Sparrow
    Vesper Sparrow]

The Vesper Sparrow is not very easily recognized by its appearance
alone, as it stands on the ground or on a fence-post, but if the bird
student will remember that this species is always found in the open,
never at great distance from the ground, and that the _white outer
tail-feathers always show in flight_, identification should be easy. The
bright song is given with great enthusiasm, often in a remarkably
beautiful evening chorus. At the beginning of this song we usually hear
two accented descending whistles which stand out more prominently than
any other portion of the warbling performance. Look for Vesper Sparrows
along fields and roadsides in country districts.


                            SAVANNAH SPARROW
              _Passerculus sandwichensis savanna_ (Wilson)

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow. General appearance above,
  gray, considerably streaked, and with white underparts considerably
  streaked on breast and sides with black; line above eye pale _yellow_,
  not noticeable in field save at close range in ideal light; a blotch
  of blackish in middle of breast. _Length_: 5½ inches

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common but not often recorded migrant,
  and a local and sometimes common summer resident, particularly in the
  central and northern counties, from early April to mid-October.

  Nest.—A depression in the ground, in an open field, lined with grasses
  and other soft material. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, pale bluish or bluish green,
  irregularly and sometimes heavily spotted with brown.

Look for the Savannah Sparrow in spring and summer only in wide, open
fields where the grass is short. Here a slight, buzzing, trilling song
may be heard from a sparrow which is _prominently streaked below_, and
which has much the appearance of a Song Sparrow, but does not bob its
tail as it flies, nor seek cover in bushes. If the bird student will
remember that this species is to be found only in wide fields, usually
when there are no bushes, and that there are no prominently white outer
tail-feathers, as in the Vesper Sparrow, he may find this little-known
bird fairly common in his region. In fall it is found in weed-patches
along roads or in bushy fields. (See illustration, page 109.)


                          GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
               _Ammodramus savannarum australis_ Maynard

  Other Names.—Yellow-winged Sparrow; Yellow-winged Bunting.

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow. Tail-feathers rather short
  and pointed. _Adult male_: General color buffy brown, the upperparts
  streaked with black and margined with whitish, in characteristic
  pattern; bend of the wing yellow (this mark usually not evident in the
  field); forepart of superciliary line yellow, noticeable in good light
  in the field. _Female_: Similar, but duller. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather local summer resident throughout, from
  late April or early May to September 15. It is found only in more or
  less flat, wide meadows, not usually in marshy places, and never in
  woodlands.

  Nest.—A depression in the ground beneath a clump of grass, lined with
  fine, dry grasses. _Eggs_: 4 or 5, white, spotted, chiefly around the
  larger end, with reddish brown.

Here is a bird which will more than likely pass unnoticed unless the
fine, insect-like song is heard. Some bird students never realize that
this species nests in their region, for they never hear this song, and
they have not the patience to trail about after every little brown bird
they see. The Grasshopper Sparrow’s song is dry, unmusical, and buzzing,
and it seems a fitting accompaniment to hot midsummer fields which are
covered with dust and upgrown with coarse weeds. The bird is almost
never seen, save while it is singing from the top of a weed or from a
fence-post. On the ground it disappears almost at once, for its colors
are highly protective. The flight is fluttering and somewhat erratic. If
the bird flushes from the grass, it usually does not alight near at
hand, but zigzags to a far corner of the field and drops into the grass.

    [Illustration: Grasshopper Sparrow
    Henslow’s Sparrow]

The smaller Henslow’s Sparrow (_Nemospiza henslowii susurrans_) has a
greenish cast over the head and neck. This retiring, unmusical little
bird occurs in Pennsylvania as a very rare and exceedingly local summer
resident. Its ludicrously short song, _chis-lick_, is to be listened for
in low meadows where the grass is thick and deep. Additional records of
this species are very desirable.

The Nelson’s Sparrow (_Ammospiza caudacuta nelsoni_) occurs at Erie as a
migrant, particularly in the fall.


                         WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW
                _Zonotrichia leucophrys_ (J. R. Forster)

  Description.—One of the larger sparrows, being larger than an English
  Sparrow. _Adult male_: Crown white, with two broad black streaks along
  either side and a blackish streak through eye; rest of upperparts
  grayish brown, considerably streaked; underparts clear light gray,
  palest on throat and belly, and somewhat brownish on sides. _Adult
  female_: Similar, but duller. _Immature_: Similar, but crown buffy and
  brown, and underparts more buffy. _Length_: A little under 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A regular and fairly common migrant throughout
  from latter April to May 20 and from October 1 to 20.

The large size and noticeable markings of this sparrow make it
comparatively easy to identify. It is not often so common as its near
and similar relative, the White-throated Sparrow, from which it differs
in having no yellow before the eye or on the bend of the wing, and _no
white throat-patch_. The song of the White-crowned Sparrow is composed
of soft, rich whistles which have a plaintive character, similar to that
of the well-known White-throat’s _peabody_ song, with an additional
rough undertone between the first and latter parts of the song. The
White-crown, while in Pennsylvania, nearly always occurs in flocks,
usually in the woodlands, in brush-piles, or along hedges. _Remember
that a bird with a white crown need not necessarily be this species_,
for the White-throat also has such a crown; but the plain gray throat of
the White-crown is usually easy to detect in the field, since the birds
are not wild. All members of the sparrow tribe are seed eaters.

    [Illustration: White-crowned Sparrow
    White-throated Sparrow]


                         WHITE-THROATED SPARROW
                   _Zonotrichia albicollis_ (Gmelin)

  Other Name.—Peabody-bird.

  Description.—A little larger than an English Sparrow; similar in
  general appearance to the White-crowned Sparrow. _Adult male_: Crown
  white, marked laterally with two black bands which extend backward to
  nape; forepart of superciliary line _yellow_; rest of upperparts rich
  brown, streaked with black and margined with grayish; bend of wing
  yellow, _not usually noticeable in field_; chin and throat pure white,
  in contrast with gray of breast; belly whitish; sides washed with
  brownish. _Female and young_: Similar but duller. _Length_: 6½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A regular and abundant migrant throughout, from
  mid-April to May 20 and from September 15 to November 1.

The clear, fragile whistle of the White-throat is one of our most
beautiful bird-notes, and is a familiar song of the spring woodlands. It
has been written as _sweet, sweet, peabody, peabody, peabody_. The white
throat and yellow spot in front of the eye must be looked for in this
species. A trained observer can recognize the White-throat easily by its
characteristic, rather metallic, call-note, but the beginner had best
depend on the markings of the bird which are easy to note. Sometimes
these birds are common about lawns in towns.


                              TREE SPARROW
                  _Spizella arborea arborea_ (Wilson)

  Description.—About as long as, but slenderer than, an English Sparrow;
  tail longer proportionately than an English Sparrow’s. Crown-patch
  bright rufous; rest of upperparts brownish gray, streaked with black
  and reddish brown; wing with two noticeable white wing bars;
  underparts brownish gray, whitish on chin and throat, and in middle of
  belly; a dusky spot in center of breast. _Female_: Similar but duller.
  _Bill yellow with dusky tip._ _Length_: About 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A winter visitant from the Far North, arriving
  in October and remaining until late March or April.

The Tree Sparrow is a bird of weedy fields and hedges. In flocks they
search for seeds which have fallen upon the snow. When the winter sun
shines they call in companionable and softly musical notes. In spring
the Tree Sparrow has a gay, somewhat warbler-like song, which I believe
is not very well known among our bird students. The Tree, Field, and
Chipping Sparrows are similar in appearance. Identification of these
birds should not be difficult, however, if one remembers that the Tree
Sparrow is a _winter_ bird, while the Field and Chipping Sparrows
usually arrive in spring after the Tree Sparrows have returned north. If
by some chance the three sparrows do occur together, remember the black
spot in the breast of the Tree Sparrow and the yellowish bill,
field-marks which the other two species do not have.

    [Illustration: Tree Sparrow]


                            CHIPPING SPARROW
               _Spizella passerina passerina_ (Bechstein)

  Other Name.—Chippy.

  Description.—A small, slender Sparrow, noticeably smaller than the
  English Sparrow. _Male_: Crown bright reddish brown; forepart of crown
  and line through eye black; line above eye whitish; rest of upperparts
  grayish brown, streaked with black; chin and throat white; rest of
  underparts grayish; _bill black_. _Female_: Similar, but duller. In
  winter both sexes are similar but they are much more streaked,
  particularly on the crown. _Length_: Under 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant summer resident from early April to
  mid-October.

  Nest.—A neat cup made of fine weed-stalks and grasses, lined almost
  invariably with horse-hair, and placed in a low bush or rose vine, or
  sometimes at some distance from the ground in an evergreen tree.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, delicate blue, wreathed about the larger end with
  black spots and scrawls.

    [Illustration: Field Sparrow
    Chipping Sparrow]

Look for the Chippy, as a rule, _only near houses or farms_. It is not a
bird of the wilds, and because of its confiding disposition has come to
be associated with our very doorsteps. The monotonous, though cheerful,
chipping song of this bird is familiar to all who listen for bird-calls.
So rapidly are the chips of its song given that it is almost impossible
to imitate it. Remember the _black bill_ and unmarked underparts of the
Chipping Sparrow.


                             FIELD SPARROW
                  _Spizella pusilla pusilla_ (Wilson)

  Description.—Size small; this is one of our slenderest, smallest
  sparrows. _Male_: Crown-patch rufous; upperparts grayish brown,
  streaked with black and rufous; wings with two prominent white
  wing-bars; underparts whitish, unmarked; _bill pink_. _Female_:
  Similar but duller. _Young_: Similar but somewhat more streaked.
  _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant summer resident from early April to
  mid-October, and occasionally later.

  Nest.—A neat cup made of fine grasses and slender weed-stalks, lined
  usually with finer grasses and, as a rule, not with hair, placed on
  the ground among weeds or in a low, thick bush in a pasture or field.
  _Eggs_: 3 to 5, bluish white, spotted with reddish brown.

The clear, whistled trill of the Field Sparrow is a welcome promise of
spring, as the bird, just returned from the south, sings in the brown
fields. This song is often but a simple repetition of the same note,
becoming more rapid toward the end and running into a sort of trill.

This bird is rather shy, and in flying away gives us a rather
unsatisfactory glimpse of fairly long tail and grayish rump. If we look
carefully at the little creature with a glass, we note the white
wing-bars, the dark eye which is surrounded with a grayish ring, and the
_pink bill_. (See illustration, page 113.)


                          SLATE-COLORED JUNCO
                  _Junco hyemalis hyemalis_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Snow-bird; Junco.

  Description.—About the size of an English Sparrow, but with a longer
  tail. _Male_: Head, neck, breast, and upperparts slaty gray, sometimes
  brownish on the wings and back, the _outer tail-feathers pure white,
  always showing in flight_; bill pink, narrowly tipped with dusky.
  _Female and young_: Similar, but duller and often browner. _Length_: A
  little over 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Best known as a winter visitant from October 1
  to about the first of May, or later; rather rare and local as a summer
  resident in the higher mountains.

  Nest.—A cup of fine grasses, built in a bank in woodlands. _Eggs_: 3
  to 5, white, spotted with brown.

    [Illustration: Slate-colored Junco]

The Junco is easy to recognize anywhere, because the dark plumage of its
back contrasts so startlingly with the white outer tail-feathers. Its
song is not so easy to recognize, however, being a rather musical
chipping song, resembling that of the Chipping Sparrow, but more
deliberately given. Juncos do not often sing during the winter, but with
return of spring they trill in the sunlit corners of the woods where
they feed upon weed-seeds. Nesting records of the Junco in Pennsylvania
are desirable.


                              SONG SPARROW
                  _Melospiza melodia melodia_ (Wilson)

  Other Name.—Ground Sparrow.

  Description.—About the size of an English Sparrow, but with relatively
  longer tail; sexes similar. Above, rich brown streaked with grayish
  and black; a rather distinct gray superciliary, and a buffy streak
  back from lower mandible; underparts white, heavily streaked with
  black, especially on breast and sides; a blotch in the center of the
  breast. _Length_: A little over 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—In much of Pennsylvania the Song Sparrow is
  abundant the year round; it is migratory, however, to an extent, and
  summer-resident individuals may be replaced during winter by birds
  from farther north.

  Nest.—A neat cup built of grasses, lined with finer materials, and
  usually with rather bulky foundation, built on the ground in a
  sheltered situation or in a low bush. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, greenish or
  grayish white, rather heavily spotted with brown.

    [Illustration: Song Sparrow
    Swamp Sparrow]

The Song Sparrow’s heavily streaked underparts will distinguish it from
all other sparrows, save the rare Lincoln’s Sparrow, the Savannah
Sparrow, which is found only in wide, open fields, the Fox Sparrow,
whose tail is bright reddish brown, and the female Purple Finch. Look
for Song Sparrows along brooks among the bushes. As the brown birds fly
away, their rounded tails pump rather regularly.

The song is bright and varied, with usually two or three accented,
repeated notes which give it a syncopated rhythm, and is generally
delivered from the topmost twig of a bush or low tree.

Lincoln’s Sparrow (_Melospiza lincolnii lincolnii_) is a little-known
migrant in May and September, which may be far commoner than is
supposed. It looks much like the Song Sparrow but has a _buffy area
across the chest_ and the streaking of the underparts is finer. Look for
this species along the brushy margins of streams. The song, which is a
remarkably sprightly, gurgling performance, is quite unlike that of any
other sparrow which I have heard.

Bachman’s Sparrow (_Peucæa æstivalis bachmani_) is a very rare summer
resident, known from southern counties only. This species looks like a
Song Sparrow but it has no streaks on the underparts. It is found on
brushy hillsides.


                             SWAMP SPARROW
                     _Melospiza georgiana_ (Latham)

  Description.—A little smaller than an English Sparrow, with the
  proportions of a Song Sparrow. _Male in summer_: Crown rich reddish
  brown; rest of head gray, a black line through the eye, and a buffy
  streak extending backward from the lower mandible; back reddish brown
  streaked with black, the feathers margined with grayish; _no
  wing-bars_; underparts grayish, the sides washed with olive-brown.
  Female: Similar, but duller. _Male in winter_: Somewhat streaked
  crown-patch and duller in general appearance. _Length_: A little under
  6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant in latter April and May and in
  September and October; in the northern counties and at higher
  altitudes, locally, it occurs as a summer resident, nesting where
  there are suitable marshes.

  Nest.—Of grasses, with bulky foundation and neat cup, usually placed a
  few inches from the ground or above water, in a clump of weeds or in
  cat-tails. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, pale blue, blotched and spotted irregularly
  with brown.

Look for the Swamp Sparrow, as a rule, only in marshy country. The gray,
unstreaked underparts, the red-brown crown-patch, and a shy, furtive
manner characterize this species. Its song, which is usually delivered
from a cat-tail or high weed-stalk, but often from a hidden spot among
the weeds, is somewhat like a Chipping Sparrow’s, with the chips given
much more slowly and loudly. (See illustration, page 115.)


                              FOX SPARROW
                  _Passerella iliaca iliaca_ (Merrem)

  Description.—Larger than an English Sparrow. _Male_: Rich, warm brown
  on crown and back, these regions somewhat streaked; superciliary line
  and neck gray; ear-coverts brown; _slight wing-bars_; _rump, upper
  tail-coverts, and tail bright reddish brown_, very noticeable in the
  field, particularly when the bird is in flight; underparts white;
  breast and sides heavily streaked with black. _Female_: Similar, but
  duller. _Length_: A little over 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common and regular migrant from mid-March
  (sometimes earlier) to April 20, and from early October to November
  15. It is one of the earliest of the spring migrants.

    [Illustration: Fox Sparrow]

Its rich red-brown rump and tail are sufficient to distinguish this bird
from the other sparrows, but not always from the Hermit Thrush, a bird
with a surprisingly similar color-pattern when seen from the rear or in
flight. The thrush has a slenderer bill, of course, and has the habit of
elevating the tail when it alights. Usually, the Fox Sparrow occurs in
flocks; in spring it indulges itself in song—a rich, ringing melody,
among the most impressive of our sparrow songs. The call-note is a heavy
_tschŭp_, somewhat like the alarm-cry of the Brown Thrasher. Look for
the Fox Sparrow in thick woodlands, among grapevines and similar
tangles. This species responds readily to squeaking.


                                 TOWHEE
          _Pipilo erythrophthalmus erythrophthalmus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Chewink; Ground Robin; Swamp Robin; Joree; Guffee
  (local).

  Description.—A little smaller than a Robin, with long tail and
  comparatively short wings. _Male_: Head, neck, upper breast, and
  upperparts black, the base and part of the outer web of the primaries,
  and spots on the tertials, white; three outer tail-feathers with white
  tips, the outer web of the outer feather entirely white; sides and
  under tail-coverts rich reddish brown, bordered irregularly with black
  spots along sides of belly; belly white; eyes bright red; bill black.
  _Female_: Similar in pattern, but black of male replaced throughout by
  rich, grayish brown, quite bright in some individuals; eyes bright
  reddish brown. _Length_: 8½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant migrant and summer resident in all
  woodlands, usually from early or mid-April to late October or later.
  Occasionally it is found in the dead of winter, even when the snow is
  deep.

  Nest.—A cup of grasses and slender weed-stalks, generally placed on
  the ground, rarely in a low bush, lined with finer materials, and
  usually located in the woodlands at the base of a small tree, under a
  May-apple plant, or in a bank. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, white, thickly, evenly,
  and finely spotted, and sometimes blotched with reddish brown,
  grayish, and black.

    [Illustration: Towhee, Male]

The Towhee’s interesting habit of scratching among the leaves is
characteristic and rather amusing. Like a little hen, the bird bustles
about on the ground, jumping back and forth as the leaf-mold flies and
as the small terrestrial insects and fallen weed-seeds are exposed. A
Towhee thus hunting for food may make a laughably big noise.

Its flight is jerky, not usually rapid, and the tail pumps and flashes
considerably, showing the white tips of the outer feathers plainly. None
of our woodland birds more clearly displays white in the tail than does
this ground-inhabiting species, unless it is the smaller Junco.

Listen for the often-repeated, rather loud call-note of this bird,
_too-whee_, as he elevates his crest and flicks his tail. The song is
rather musical and resembles somewhat the following syllabization
_prit-tel-lee, lee, lee, lee, lee_, the last part being run together so
rapidly as to be scarcely pronounceable. The Towhee sings from the top
of a bush or low tree and, while performing, lets his tail hang limp and
lifts and throws back his head.

Young Towhees, carefully guarded by their voluble and agitated parents,
are hard to find in their leafy home. They have heavily streaked
underparts, and therefore look a good deal more like the race of
sparrows, to which they belong, than do their parents.


                                CARDINAL
             _Richmondena cardinalis cardinalis_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Redbird; Virginia Cardinal or Redbird; Cardinal Grosbeak.

  Description.—Smaller than Robin; both sexes with high crests and huge,
  pink bills. _Adult male_: Bright, deep rose-red, richest on breast;
  back, wing and tail-feathers edged with grayish; region in front of
  eye and on throat black; bill orange-pink; eyes brown. _Female_:
  Grayish brown above, buffy white and grayish below, the crest, wings,
  and tail tinged with red, noticeable especially in flight. _Young
  male_: Like the adult female, but the under-wing linings are pink and
  the breast is blotched with red. _Length_: 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant permanent resident in southern and
  western Pennsylvania, and locally in the mountains. It is extending
  its range northward along the river valleys.

  Nest.—A neat but rather thin cup of weed-stalks and grasses, scantily
  lined with rootlets and other fine materials. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white,
  spotted and speckled with lilac and grayish.

    [Illustration: Cardinal, Male]

Both the male and female Cardinal sing a loud, whistling song which may
be variously written as _poo-ree, poo-ree_, _reap-er, reap-er_, _whit
you, whit you_, or _what cheer, what cheer_, many times repeated. The
call-note is a metallic chirp. Cardinals are sometimes familiar
door-yard birds. Since they stay the year around, a special effort
should be made to feed them corn, suet, nuts, sunflower seeds, and grit
during the snowy spells.

Cardinals like to nest in shadowy places, and will sometimes rear their
young in shrubbery or vines which grow about our porches.


                         ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK
                   _Hedymeles ludoviciana_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Smaller than Robin, with very large beak. _Adult male_:
  Head, neck, and upperparts black, the wings, tail, and upper
  tail-coverts marked with white; triangular breast-patch and under-wing
  linings light rose-red; rest of underparts white, streaked on sides
  with black; bill white or pinkish white; eyes dark brown. _Adult
  female_: Sparrow-like in appearance, being dull brown, streaked with
  black above, the wings marked with two whitish wing-bars, the
  underparts buffy, streaked with brown on breast and sides. _Young
  males_: Like the females but with rosy under-wing linings. _Adult male
  in winter_: Like adult female, but the wings and tail more or less as
  in the spring plumage and rosy breast-patch showing to an extent.
  _Length_: 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A somewhat local and irregular migrant
  throughout, and a summer resident chiefly in the central and northern
  counties from late April to mid-September.

  Nest.—A cup made of vegetable fibers and rootlets, often so thin that
  the eggs show through, placed in a thick tree, in a low, damp
  situation, 8 to 25 feet from ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale blue-green,
  spotted with brown.

    [Illustration: Rose-breasted Grosbeak
    Male    Female]

The song of this bird is a bright, musical warble, resembling the carol
of a Robin. Both sexes incubate the eggs, and the male may sometimes be
heard singing softly or in a full-throated manner while at his domestic
duties. These birds eat many destructive insect pests, including the
much-dreaded Colorado potato beetle. The call-note may be written _eek_.


                             INDIGO BUNTING
                      _Passerina cyanea_ (Linnæus)

    [Illustration: Indigo Bunting
    Female    Male]

  Description.—_Adult male in spring_: Bright, glossy green-blue all
  over, purplish on head, somewhat dusky on wings and tail, and the
  belly sometimes marked with a few whitish feathers; bill and eyes
  black. _Adult female_: Grayish brown, lighter below, the lesser
  coverts and edge of wing and tail-feathers bluish; two obscure grayish
  wing-bars. _Young birds_: Like the females. _Adult males in winter_:
  Similar to those in spring but all feathers tipped widely with brown,
  giving an effect much as in the female. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and summer resident from late
  April or early May to mid-September; sometimes very abundant in
  favorable localities.

  Nest.—A rather firm, deep cup made of weed-stalks and plant fibers,
  placed a few feet from the ground in a raspberry or other low bush,
  usually at the edge of a woodland or in an open space among the trees.
  _Eggs_: 3 to 5, very pale blue or bluish white.

In the very top of a tree, along the hot midsummer roadside, sings the
brilliant male during the lazy noon hours, his bright, rich music an
accompaniment to the damp warmth which rises from the fields or to the
dust that settles on the leaves near the road. Approach the singer
carefully or he will fly before you get a good glimpse of him. The
female is not easy to recognize unless she happens to be with or near
her mate. She is very dull in color and is not often seen. Raspberry and
blackberry thickets are the favorite haunt of this bird.

The larger Blue Grosbeak (_Guiraca cærulea cærulea_) should be looked
for in southern counties. Records for this rare species are very
desirable.

The Dickcissel or Black-throated Bunting (_Spiza americana_) is a very
local summer resident which should be looked for in open fields. It is
English Sparrow-like in appearance, but has a yellow breast. Its song
may be written _Dick, dick, chic, chic, chic_.


                            SCARLET TANAGER
                      _Piranga olivacea_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—Larger than the English Sparrow, with bill which is heavy
  like a sparrow’s but longer and not so conical. _Adult male in
  summer_: Bright scarlet, our brightest red bird, with black wings and
  tail, pale olive-green bill, and dark brown eyes. _Adult female_:
  Olive-green above, dull yellow below. _Male in winter_: olive-green,
  like the female, but with black wings and tail. Male birds in changing
  plumage, such as is found in late summer, are much blotched in
  appearance. _Length_: A little over 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and summer resident of the
  woodlands from late April and early May to mid-September.

  Nest.—A rather shallow, thinly constructed cup made of rootlets and
  weed-stalks, placed from 20 to 40 feet from the ground, usually in a
  deciduous tree. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, pale blue-green, speckled with reddish
  brown.

    [Illustration: Scarlet Tanager, Male]

The slow, crawling movements and lazy, rather harsh, warbling song of
this bird strongly suggest the tropics, its ancestral home. Its song is
much like a Robin’s, but it is more alto and is harsher and lazier, and
its call-note is a plainly given _chi-perr_, which is often more
frequently heard in the damp woodlands than any other bird-note of
midsummer. The intensity of the male Scarlet Tanager’s full plumage
fairly takes the breath. At a distance, the dull female may suggest a
vireo or a large warbler, but her movements are always characteristic of
this family.


                             PURPLE MARTIN
                     _Progne subis subis_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Larger than English Sparrow; wings long and pointed; tail
  moderately long and noticeably forked. _Adult male_: Rich purplish and
  bluish black, the lores velvety black; feet and bill black; eyes dark
  brown. _Adult female_: Blackish glossed with blue above; forehead,
  underparts, and imperfect collar around neck, gray; belly whitish.
  _Immature birds_: Like the adult female. _Length_: 8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common but extremely local migrant and
  summer resident from early or mid-April to mid-August and occasionally
  later.

  Nest.—Made of leaves and grasses in a cavity in a tree, crevice in a
  building, or in a bird-house, from 12 to 40 feet from the ground.
   _Eggs_: 3 to 7, white.

    [Illustration: Purple Martin; Barn, Rough-winged, Bank, Cliff, and
    Tree Swallows]

Spluttering notes, some of which resemble an old-fashioned music-box,
announce the return of the Martins to their accustomed nesting quarters.
Gracefully, the glossy birds sail about, calling to each other,
capturing insects, and perching near or upon their nest. They have
almost altogether given up nesting in hollow trees and prefer to use
bird-boxes, it appears, though in such towns as Waynesburg, Ligonier,
and Coudersport they nest in any cranny among the buildings which they
can find. Martins are very fond of dragonflies; they have the
interesting habit of bringing green leaves into the nest during summer,
either as new lining for the nests, to make the young birds cooler, or
for some other reason. In late summer they band together, sometimes in
tremendous flocks, depart for some congregating point along the New
Jersey or Delaware coast, or elsewhere, and prepare for the journey to
their South American winter home. Purple Martins are temperamental in
choosing their nesting quarters. Certain towns do not please them, and
they will not, apparently, nest; in other towns they nest anywhere.


                      CLIFF SWALLOW; EAVES SWALLOW
            _Petrochelidon albifrons albifrons_ (Rafinesque)

  Description.—About the size of an English Sparrow, but with long
  wings; tail of moderate length, not noticeably forked; sexes similar.
  _Adults_: Forehead buffy white; crown and back glossy steel-blue, the
  latter obscurely streaked with white; cheeks, ear-patches, chin, and
  throat rich reddish brown; back of neck, narrow collar, and underparts
  grayish; belly white; wings and tail blackish, glossed with blue;
  _rump pale reddish or orange-brown_, very noticeable in flight.
  _Young_: Dull grayish brown, the rump noticeably rusty though not as
  plainly so as in adult. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant throughout and
  extremely local summer resident, chiefly in the northern counties,
  from early or mid-April to early or mid-September.

  Nest.—A bottle-shaped structure of mud, lined with grasses and
  feathers, the funnel-shaped entrance to the nest pointed outward and
  downward. It is built under the eaves of a barn or other building,
  _always on the outside_, or on a cliff or bridge abutment. Usually
  many nests are found together. _Eggs_: 4 to 7, white, or creamy white,
  speckled with reddish brown.

Look for the buffy rump-patch of this slow-flying, graceful swallow,
which gathers mud for its nest without alighting on the ground and whose
conversational twitterings sound like the squeaks produced by rubbing a
piece of wet rubber with the finger. In early spring and during later
summer, several kinds of swallows will be found together in the
migratory flocks. Cliff Swallows are easily driven from their nests by
English Sparrows or Starlings; they will not use bird-boxes put out for
them.


                              BARN SWALLOW
               _Hirundo rustica erythrogastris_ Boddaert

  Description.—Smaller and slenderer, but longer than an English
  Sparrow, with long, pointed wings and very long, deeply forked tail
  which is noticeable in flight or while the bird is perched on a wire.
  _Adult male_: Forehead, chin, and throat rich reddish brown; line
  through eye and band across breast blackish; upperparts blackish,
  highly glossed with steel-blue, the inner margins of the tail-feathers
  marked with white spots; rest of underparts and wing-linings pale
  reddish brown. _Adult female_: Similar, but duller. _Young birds_:
  Almost white below and with only moderately long, though noticeably
  forked tails. _Length_: 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant migrant and summer resident from
  mid-April to late August or early September.

  Nest.—A cup of mud, lined with feathers and a few grasses, built upon
  a rafter _on the inside of a barn_ or other building, usually in a
  more or less inaccessible spot. _Eggs_: 3 to 7, white, spotted with
  brown.

Every farmer boy loves the cheerful swallows which twitter so amiably
and circle so tirelessly about the barn, capturing insects above nearby
pools and darting through the doors, or sometimes through mere cracks in
the boards, so unerringly. These birds have good reason to be popular,
for they are not only beautiful and companionable neighbors, but they
are distinctly beneficial because of their capturing of myriads of
flying insects which they eat or feed to their ravenous young. I once
saw a blacksnake at the nest of a Barn Swallow, high on an upper rafter
in a barn-loft, and it had eaten two of the young before I interrupted
its meal.


                  TREE SWALLOW; WHITE-BELLIED SWALLOW
                    _Iridoprocne bicolor_ (Vieillot)

  Description.—Smaller than an English Sparrow; tail of moderate length
  and not deeply forked. _Adult male_: Upperparts glossy blue-green,
  brightest on crown and back, less colorful on wings and tail; _entire
  underparts pure white_. _Female_: Similar, but duller. _Young birds_:
  Like the female. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant throughout, but a
  rather rare and local summer resident in northern counties and at high
  altitudes, from early April to late August. As a nesting bird, it is
  almost always found near a body of water.

  Nest.—Of grasses and other vegetable matter, lined with feathers,
  placed in a cavity, an old woodpecker nest, or in a bird-box, usually
  from 15 to 60 feet from the ground, in a tree at the edge of a lake or
  in the water. _Eggs_: 3 to 7, white.

The swallows are easily distinguished once their outstanding characters
are firmly fixed in the mind. This bird has white, _absolutely unmarked_
underparts—the Bank Swallow’s white breast is crossed with a brownish
band; the Rough-wing’s throat and breast are gray. I have seen Tree
Swallows nesting at Conneaut Lake, Crawford County, and at several of
the lakes in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.


                              BANK SWALLOW
                  _Riparia riparia riparia_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Sand Martin.

  Description.—Smallest of the swallow family, considerably lighter and
  slenderer than an English Sparrow; sexes similar. _Adults_: Grayish
  brown above; wings and tail noticeably darker than back in flight;
  underparts white; breast crossed by a narrow, dull brown band,
  distinctly noticeable when the bird is at rest; tail not deeply
  forked. _Length_: About 5¼ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Formerly found at several points during summer
  where it does not nest now, due to pollution of the streams. It is a
  fairly common migrant and local summer resident from mid-April to
  early or mid-September.

  Nest.—Of grasses and rootlets, lined with feathers, placed at the end
  of a long burrow which is usually several feet above high-water-mark
  and sometimes 5 to 6 feet long. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, white or creamy white.

This little swallow usually nests in large colonies. It has a graceful,
fluttering flight, much less direct and rapid than that of the somewhat
larger, though amazingly similar, Rough-winged Swallow, which occurs in
many parts of Pennsylvania where the Bank Swallow does not nest. In
identifying this species, take care to observe closely the brown band
across the breast and the light brown back which contrasts with the
blacker wings and tail.


                          ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW
           _Stelgidopteryx serripennis serripennis_ (Audubon)

  Description.—About the size of a Barn Swallow; outer web of outer
  primary with tiny recurved hooks along the entire edge, noticeable
  when the thumb or finger-nail is drawn along it; these hooklets are
  sometimes absent in the female; the purpose they serve is not known.
  _Adults_: Above brownish gray, quite dark on wings and tail; throat
  and breast pale brownish gray; belly white. _Immature_: Similar, but
  the outer web of the outer primary has no hooklets and the gray of the
  throat and breast is sometimes washed with reddish brown. _Length_:
  5¾inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather rare, somewhat local, and never
  abundant summer resident from April 15 to September 1, found almost
  altogether in the more southern and less mountainous counties.

  Nest.—Of grasses and weed-stalks, lined with finer materials, _but not
  with feathers_, placed at the end of a burrow in a bank, as is the
  Bank Swallow’s, or in crevices in rocks along a stream, in abutments
  of bridges, or sometimes in pipes about dwellings which stand near
  streams. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, white.

The Rough-wing’s graceful, sweeping flight is less fluttering than that
of the Bank Swallow. All of the swallows usually allow fairly close
approach and therefore should not be difficult to identify.


                             CEDAR WAXWING
                     _Bombycilla cedrorum_ Vieillot

    [Illustration: Cedar Waxwing]

  Other Names.—Cherry Bird; Cedar Bird.

  Description.—Plumage soft and silken; feet rather short and small;
  head with high crest; bill small. _Adult male_: Head, neck, breast,
  and back, glossy olive-brown; forehead and line through eye, chin, and
  throat, black; a white line extending backward from lower mandible to
  beneath eye; black forehead bordered behind with white; wings, rump,
  and tail, blue-gray; secondaries tipped with small waxen appendages;
  _tail prominently tipped with pale yellow_; sides and belly
  sulphur-yellow; under tail-coverts whitish; bill, feet, and eyes,
  black. _Female_: Similar, but usually lacks the waxen appendages on
  the secondaries. _Young birds_: Similar, but with only a small crest
  and noticeably streaked. Waxen appendages sometimes occur on the
  secondaries of the female as well as on the tips of the tail-feathers
  in both sexes. _Length_: A little over 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An erratic and irregular permanent resident,
  being sometimes abundant, sometimes absent for several seasons;
  usually seen in flocks.

  Nest.—Neatly built of weed-stems, twigs, and fibers, lined with softer
  materials, placed in a tree, usually from 12 to 20 feet from the
  ground, and toward the end of the branch. Nesting often takes place
  rather late in summer. I have seen a female sitting upon her eggs as
  late as September 11. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, blue-gray, spotted with black.

The Cedar Waxwing’s trim form and sleek plumage make him an
outstandingly handsome bird. He has no song, however, giving forth only
a fine, shrill _eeeeeeee_, which is scarcely audible to some observers.
A flock of these plump-bodied birds sometimes sit in a tree-top, their
feathers fluffed out. They catch insects like flycatchers. Sometimes
they indulge in a queer little dance. In a cherry tree which is full of
fruit, they sometimes pass tid-bits between them in a strangely
deliberate, polite fashion. They are very fond of cedar berries, poke
berries, and the fruits of the Virginia creeper, but the name “Cherry
Bird” is well earned. Remember the crest, the upright carriage, the
flocking tendency, and the _yellow-tipped tail_ of this species. The
waxwings are the only birds which have their tails tipped with yellow.

The Northern or Bohemian Waxwing (_Bombycilla garrula_) is to be found
rarely in winter. Records of this species in Pennsylvania are very
desirable. It is like the Cedar Waxwing in color, but is larger; the
under tail-coverts are rich reddish brown, and the wings are marked with
a white patch on the primary coverts, white tips on the secondaries, and
white and yellow edgings on the primaries. When Bohemian Waxwings appear
they are likely to be docile and unsuspicious, and will therefore give
the observer an excellent opportunity to identify them satisfactorily.


                            NORTHERN SHRIKE
                       _Lanius borealis_ Vieillot

    [Illustration: Northern Shrike]

  Other Name.—Butcher Bird.

  Description.—Size of Robin, but with larger head and large, strongly
  hooked bill; sexes similar. _Adults_: Top of head, hind neck, and
  back, light gray, lightest along outer edges of scapulars and fading
  into white on rump and upper tail-coverts; line above eye, white;
  broad line through eye to ear-coverts, wings and tail, black; tips of
  the secondaries, base of the primaries, and tips of outer
  tail-feathers, white; underparts _finely barred with light gray_;
  bill, feet, and eyes, black. _Young birds_: Brownish gray, with dark
  brown wings and tail which are marked with white much as in the
  adults. The underparts are finely barred with brownish. _Length_: 10½
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rather rare winter visitant from late October
  or November to March. It is found chiefly in the northern counties in
  more or less open regions.

The shrike’s striking black and white plumage will suggest a
Mockingbird. Its harsh cries have a sinister quality, however,
suggesting a bird of prey. The heavy, hooked bill and strong feet assist
it in capturing the mice, small birds, and insects which are its food,
and which it impales on thorns or on barbed wire. Records of this
species are desirable.


                             MIGRANT SHRIKE
                _Lanius ludovicianus migrans_ W. Palmer

  Other Name.—Butcher Bird.

  Description.—Smaller than Robin, with proportionally large head and
  strongly hooked bill; sexes similar. Top of head, hind neck, and back,
  clear gray, shading into whitish at outer edges of scapulars and on
  rump and upper tail-coverts; wings and tail black; tips of
  secondaries, base of primaries, and tips of outer tail-feathers,
  white; broad band through eye back to ear-coverts, black; underparts
  white, grayer on breast and belly, _which are not barred_.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather rare and local migrant and summer
  resident from early March to November, nesting chiefly in the Lake
  Erie coastal region and elsewhere in flat, open country.

  Nest.—A bulky affair made of twigs, lined with feathers, placed in a
  thorn tree not far from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, white, spotted
  with gray or olive-gray.

    [Illustration: Migrant Shrike]

When a Shrike moves from one perch to another, it drops to within a few
inches of the ground and moves along with characteristic buzzing flight,
at which times its gray, black, and white plumage is conspicuous. In the
field its head appears large, and it is given to perching in prominent
barren places, on the top of a tree or on a wire.


                               THE VIREOS

The Vireos are a difficult group for the beginner. They are dull in
color, they come at a time when other birds are abundant, and they do
not, for the most part, have particularly noticeable songs. In
identifying the Vireos it is well to remember that _all of them move
deliberately_, turning the head from side to side pensively, and
crawling about the branches in a very characteristic fashion. No Vireo
has any white in the tail, as have many of the otherwise similarly
colored warblers. Note that the first three species have no wing-bars;
the other three have two wing-bars.


                             RED-EYED VIREO
                    _Vireosylva olivacea_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Preacher Bird.

  Description.—Size of English Sparrow. _Adults_: Top of head blue-gray;
  line above eye white, bordered above with a blackish line; line
  through eye blackish; rest of upperparts olive-green; underparts
  whitish, washed with olive-green and pale yellowish on sides; eyes
  reddish or red-brown. _Young_: Similar, but duller. _Length_: 6¼
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Abundant migrant and summer resident from late
  April or early May to late September and October.

  Nest.—A pensile cup made of vegetable fibers, cobwebs, and so forth,
  _lined with grape-vine bark_, placed on a branch of a low sapling,
  usually from 5 to 10 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white, with
  a few dark brown spots.

    [Illustration: Warbling Vireo
    Red-eyed Vireo]

The oft-repeated song of this bird, which is delivered all during the
warm hours of the summer days, has been responsible for the name
“Preacher Bird.” This song, given while the bird searches for food among
the leaves, is repeated at intervals of a few seconds, sometimes
apparently for hours at a stretch. Look for the Red-eye in shady
woodlands where there are deciduous trees. The harsh note of alarm is
not unlike the well-known cry of the Catbird.


                           PHILADELPHIA VIREO
                   _Vireosylva philadelphica_ Cassin

  Description.—Like the Red-eyed Vireo, but smaller, with slightly
  shorter bill, greener upperparts, and rather decidedly yellower
  underparts.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather rare and little-known migrant in late
  April and early May and in September, found usually in alder thickets
  in the company of various species of the warbler family.

This species is not easy to identify in the field. Its song, which is
like the Red-eye’s, but more rapidly delivered, may be heard in the
spring; but in the fall, the chances are the bird will pass unnoticed
since neither its song nor its color in any way attracts attention. All
records are desirable.


                             WARBLING VIREO
                  _Vireosylva gilva gilva_ (Vieillot)

  Description.—Like the Red-eye, but smaller, less strikingly marked,
  the top of head being almost the same color as the back, the sides
  less tinged with yellow. _Length_: 5¾ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common summer resident from late April to
  late September; usually found in or near towns.

  Nest.—A pensile cup, made much like the Red-eye’s, but found high in
  shade trees, in towns, or along country roadsides. _Eggs_: 3 or 4,
  white, with a few small spots.

Dull, plain in appearance, this is one of our most perfectly named
birds, for its song is a _warble_—a somewhat unmusical, wheezy, lisping
warble, usually delivered from the shade of a big tree.


                         YELLOW-THROATED VIREO
                   _Lanivireo flavifrons_ (Vieillot)

  Description.—About the size of the Red-eye, but with line in front of
  and around the eye, and chin, throat, and breast, clear light yellow;
  _two prominent white wing-bars_, and the blackish tertials strongly
  edged with white. The sexes are similar. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common but somewhat irregular summer
  resident from late April and May to September.

  Nest.—A deep, pensile cup, swung from a branch high in a large
  deciduous tree standing at the edge of a woodland or in an open field.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, buffy white, with a few red-brown spots.

The song of this species, which is deliberate, and alto in quality, has
been written _Mary, Mary, come ’ere_, the _’ere_ with a downward
inflection.

    [Illustration: Yellow-throated Vireo
    Blue-headed Vireo]


                            WHITE-EYED VIREO
                   _Vireo griseus griseus_ (Boddaert)

  Description.—Smaller than the Red-eye and with a more sprightly
  manner. Line above and around eye _yellow_; wing with two yellowish or
  white bars; sides yellowish; breast and belly grayish; chin and throat
  white; _eyes white_, rather noticeable in the field. _Length_: 5¼
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An extremely rare migrant in the western part;
  east of the mountains somewhat commoner, particularly along the
  Susquehanna and Delaware drainage, where it sometimes nests.

  Nest.—A neat, pensile cup, placed in a low bush or tree, usually not
  far from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white, with a few dark brown
  spots.

The song which may be written _pit, pit-a-ta-chee-whēēr_, does not
suggest a vireo at all. Remember that this bird will be found among low,
thick bushes.


                           BLUE-HEADED VIREO
               _Lanivireo solitarius solitarius_ (Wilson)

  Description.—Size of the Red-eye, but upper part of head rich
  blue-gray, with a _prominent line in front of and around eye, white_;
  _wings with two noticeable bars_; sides yellow, irregularly washed
  with olive-green; chin, throat, breast, and belly, white. _Length_: A
  little over 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant and summer resident. It
  is the first of the vireos to arrive in spring, appearing in mid- or
  latter April and remaining until October. It nests only at high
  altitudes in the mountains or in the northern counties.

  Nest.—A neat and beautifully built pensile cup, swung on a horizontal
  hemlock, witch hazel, or alder bough, usually deep in the woodlands.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white, with a few small black spots.

The song of this handsome vireo is rich and beautiful—easily the most
musical of all our vireo songs. It is to be heard chiefly in the depths
of the coniferous woodlands. Unusually elaborate and prolonged songs are
sometimes given in the spring. Remember the prominent _white eye-ring_
of this species.


                        BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER
                      _Mniotilta varia_ (Linnæus)

  Other Names.—Black and White Creeper; Black and White Creeping
  Warbler.

  Description.—Black and white all over, the colors about evenly
  balanced, giving the bird in the field a streaked appearance,
  noticeable particularly in the male. Since no other warbler is thus
  streaked with black and white _all over_, it is thought that this
  description is sufficient. _Females and young_: Duller, the young with
  buffy washings on sides. _Length_: 5⅓ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant and summer resident from late April
  and early May to September. It is rather local as a summer resident
  though it may occur in any suitable woodland.

  Nest.—A cup of rootlets and fine grasses placed on the ground at the
  base of a sapling or a fallen bough or log, usually in rather open
  woodland. _Eggs_: 4 or 5, white, with a neat wreath of fine red-brown
  spots about the larger end.

    [Illustration: Black and White Warbler]

This bird is nearly always seen creeping about the trunks and larger
branches of trees, and its boldly streaked plumage is unmistakable. Its
song, which has been written _wee-see, wee-see, wee-see, wee-see_, is
wiry and unmusical, and the untrained ear will probably not catch it.
Look for this bird in any woodland, particularly where there are
deciduous trees.

The southern Prothonotary Warbler (_Protonotaria citrea_) is rarely
recorded in the southern counties. This species has blue-gray wings and
tail, _no wing-bars_, and the head and breast are rich orange-yellow.
Records are desirable.

The Yellow-throated Warbler (_Dendroica dominica dominica_) is a
long-billed species which looks a good deal like a Black and White
Warbler with a yellow throat; it occurs in the southernmost counties. It
may be found as a nesting bird.


                          WORM-EATING WARBLER
                   _Helmitheros vermivorus_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—Crown and superciliary buffy brown; prominent black
  streak at either side of crown; black streak through the eye;
  underparts buffy, the centers of the under tail-coverts darker;
  upperparts olive-green, much as in a vireo. _Female and young_:
  Similar but duller. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—In southern and particularly southwestern
  Pennsylvania this species is a fairly common summer resident from
  early May to mid-September. It is found chiefly in deciduous woodlands
  along streams. It is rare in central and northern counties.

  Nest.—A neatly built cup of rootlets, hair, and vegetable fiber,
  placed on the ground, usually at the base of a sapling. _Eggs_: 4 or
  5, white, finely speckled with reddish brown.

    [Illustration: Worm-eating Warbler]

The song of this comparatively little-known species is very much like
that of a Chipping Sparrow. If you hear a Chipping Sparrow in the woods,
you had better look for the bird; you may make a startling discovery,
since Chipping Sparrows are rarely found away from human dwellings in
Pennsylvania.

The Worm-eating Warbler is nearly always found near the ground, and it
is usually necessary to keep quiet so as to let the bird approach if you
wish to have a good look at it.


                          BLUE-WINGED WARBLER
                      _Vermivora pinus_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Blue-winged Yellow Warbler.

  Description.—_Adult male_: Front of head, breast, and belly bright,
  clear yellow; sharp black line through eye; back of head and back
  olive-green; wings and tail blue-gray, the wings _with two noticeable
  white bands_; the tail with white spots at tips of inner webs of outer
  feathers. _Female_: Much duller, the whole top of the head being
  greenish, as a rule. _Length_: 4¾ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A _decidedly local_ summer resident from early
  May until mid-September, to be found in all but the mountainous
  counties.

  Nest.—A cup made of leaves, lined with fine grasses, placed at the
  base of a weed or a little bush, usually in a low meadow or at the
  edge of an alder swamp. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, white, spotted with reddish
  brown, chiefly at the larger end.

    [Illustration: Blue-winged Warbler
    Golden-winged Warbler]

The characteristic song of this bird may be written _zwee-chee_, the
former syllable with an inhalant, the latter an exhalant quality. Later
in the summer other songs are given which combine this song with many
_chips_. Look for the Blue-wing near the ground in a swampy situation,
among alders, or willows. In the fall it sometimes occurs in the higher
woodlands along with other migrating species.


                         GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER
                   _Vermivora chrysoptera_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—_Male_: Top of head yellow; line through eye, and chin
  and throat, black; an area from lower mandible back to neck, white;
  back of head, neck, wings, and tail, gray; wing, with lesser and most
  of greater coverts, pale yellow; outer feathers of tail with white
  spots on inner webs; breast and belly white, the sides washed with
  grayish. _Female_: Similar, but duller, the black of the head being
  replaced with gray. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather uncommon and local summer resident
  from early May to September, found in low meadows or in bushy edges of
  woodlands.

  Nest.—Of leaves, lined with finer materials and often somewhat arched
  over with leaves, placed at the base of a bush. _Eggs_: 4 or 5, white,
  speckled with brown.

The song may be written _see, zee, zee, zee_.

The Brewster’s and Lawrence’s Warblers, hybrid forms which result from
the interbreeding of the Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers,
sometimes occur in Pennsylvania. The typical Brewster’s Warbler has the
white underparts and yellow-marked wings of the Golden-wing. The breast
and belly of Lawrence’s Warblers are yellow, and there are two prominent
white wing-bars as in the Blue-wing.


                           NASHVILLE WARBLER
              _Vermivora ruficapilla ruficapilla_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Upper part of head blue-gray, with a partly
  concealed rufous crown-patch _and noticeable white eye-ring_; chin,
  throat, breast, and belly clear, strong yellow; upperparts
  olive-green, without markings in wings or tail. _Female_: Duller.
  _Immature_: Almost unmarked, the eye-ring being buffy and not
  noticeable, the sides being washed with buffy. _Length_: 4¾ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A regular and often abundant migrant in May and
  September; rare and very local as a summer resident in northern
  counties and at high altitudes.

  Nest.—On the ground, near a log or at the base of a sapling. _Eggs_: 4
  or 5, white, speckled with red-brown.

    [Illustration: Nashville Warbler
    Orange-crowned Warbler]

The song is a series of _chips_, introduced by the syllables _wee-see,
wee-see, wee-see_.


                         ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
                    _Vermivora celata celata_ (Say)

  Description.—Olive-green above; crown with more or less concealed dull
  orange patch, not easily seen in the field; underparts and obscure
  ring about eye dull yellow; sides irregularly streaked with
  olive-green; sexes similar. _Young birds_: Duller. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—The Orange-crown is one of our little-known
  warblers which may be considerably commoner than we suppose. It occurs
  as a migrant in May and September, and is to be found chiefly in
  swampy situations, principally among alders.

The song, which is not often heard in Pennsylvania, according to my
experience, is considerably like that of a Nashville or Tennessee
Warbler, being a series of _chips_, but the tempo is different. All such
songs should be thoroughly investigated to make certain some rare bird
is not passed by. (See illustration, page 131.)


                           TENNESSEE WARBLER
                     _Vermivora peregrina_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Crown clear gray; prominent white
  superciliary; line through eye black; underparts white, washed along
  sides with faint yellow; upperparts olive-green; wings unmarked; outer
  tail-feathers marked with white along the inner margin. _Female_:
  Similar, but crown tinged with greenish. _Immature_: Olive-green
  above, brightest on rump; dull yellowish below, brightest on the under
  tail-coverts. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant in May and September, apparently
  fairly regular and common in spring among the mountains, rare east of
  the mountains, but equally abundant everywhere in the fall.

The song of this bird is a series of chips, the tempo of which changes
twice, the most rapid part of the song coming at the last. This bird is
like a vireo in color but not in actions. Young birds are sometimes
exceedingly common in the fall.

    [Illustration: Tennessee Warbler
    Parula Warbler]


               PARULA WARBLER; BLUE YELLOW-BACKED WARBLER
               _Compsothlypis americana pusilla_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Head, all but chin and throat, blue-gray,
  extending down to upper back, scapulars, wings, and tail; _back dull
  yellow_; wings with two prominent white wing-bars; outer tail-feathers
  with white along inner vanes; chin, throat, and lower breast clear
  yellow, a dusky band across upper breast which is bordered below with
  reddish brown; belly, sides, and under tail-coverts white. There is an
  almost complete, but not particularly noticeable, white eye-ring.
  _Female_: Similar, but less brightly colored; breast usually without
  much trace of the dusky and reddish brown band. _Young birds_: Similar
  to the female. _Length_: 4¾ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common as a migrant during May and September;
  rather local as a summer resident, having been known to nest at
  several points in the State.

  Nest.—Generally built of and among tree moss, in a conifer or other
  tree, usually from 20 to 40 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 4 or 5,
  white, speckled with brown at the larger end.

The thin, squeaky song of this species is not noticeable. It might be
written _pit see, pit see, pit see see_. A thin, insect-like, ascending
trill is also occasionally given; this trill resembles one of the songs
of the Redstart.


                            CAPE MAY WARBLER
                      _Dendroica tigrina_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Crown black, the feathers tipped with gray
  toward the back of the head; patch about eye, including ear-coverts,
  rich orange-brown; fore part of superciliary, chin and throat, sides
  of neck, breast, sides and rump, clear yellow; lower throat, breast,
  and sides strikingly streaked with black; wing with two wing-bars
  which are so broad that they merge, forming a white patch; outer
  tail-feathers with white spots on inner vanes at tip. _Female_: Much
  duller, the brown of the side of the head being replaced with
  olive-green, the yellow of rump and underparts dull, sometimes hardly
  noticeable, the wing-bars narrow and obscure. _Young birds_: Like
  their parents, but duller, the white wing-patch in the young male
  usually being evident. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant, rare, as a rule, in the spring, when
  it is seen during May. It is often abundant in the fall, from early
  September through October, and sometimes later.

This very handsome warbler can hardly be called a songster. The song is
thin and squeaky, sometimes like the shrill squeaking of a large
insect—_see, see, see, see, see_, it might be written, the syllables
becoming louder toward the end. Usually the song is given from a rather
high perch. The heavily streaked breast is a pretty good field-mark for
any age or plumage of this bird.

    [Illustration: Yellow Warbler
    Cape May Warbler]


                             YELLOW WARBLER
                   _Dendroica æstiva æstiva_ (Gmelin)

  Other Names.—Summer Yellow Bird; Wild Canary (erroneous).

  Description.—_Adult male_: Head and underparts bright yellow, the
  breast, sides, and belly streaked with reddish brown; back, wings, and
  tail dull yellowish green, brightest on rump, and obscurely streaked;
  wing with two yellow wing-bars, and the inner webs of all the
  tail-feathers but the central pair, yellow, showing plainly in flight.
  _Female_: Similar, but much duller, the underparts almost altogether
  without streaks. _Length_: A little over 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant migrant and summer resident from
  late April and early May to early September.

  Nest.—A neat, usually deep cup, made of vegetable fiber lined with
  wool, feathers, and soft materials, held in place with a few
  horsehairs. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, white or bluish white, spotted with gray,
  chiefly about the larger end.

The Yellow Warbler’s fondness for lilac bushes and other shrubbery about
our yards leads him to be a favorite and familiar bird. His bright
though unmusical song is almost incessant during the days of early
spring, when much time is spent, prior to building the nest, in chasing
about, sparring with rival males, or in courting. During these pursuits
the yellow inner vanes of the tail-feathers are likely to be plainly
seen.


                      BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER
              _Dendroica cærulescens cærulescens_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—_Male_: Upperparts dark gray-blue, lightest on forehead
  and crown; face, throat, upper breast, and sides solid black; belly
  and under tail-coverts white; base of primaries with a white spot,
  rather obscure in some individuals; tips of inner vanes of outer
  tail-feathers white. _Female_: Dull greenish gray above, pale buffy
  gray below, with _white spot at the base of the primaries_ which is
  always characteristic of this species in any plumage. The female has
  an obscure whitish line above the eye. _Length_: 5¼ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant in May and September. Found as
  a summer resident in the northern and more mountainous counties where
  it occurs almost wherever there is a rhododendron growth.

  Nest.—A neat but rather shallow cup, usually placed in rhododendron 2
  to 3 feet from the ground, often in the deepest part of the woodland.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white or creamy white, spotted about larger end with
  reddish brown.

    [Illustration: Myrtle Warbler
    Black-throated Blue Warbler]

The song of this species is deliberate and rich, though droning and
insect-like rather than musical. It might be written zuree, _zuree,
zuree, zeee_, or _zwee, zwee, zwee, zwee_. The colors of the male are
unmistakable, but the dull-colored female and young will puzzle many a
beginner. Remember the white patch at the base of the primaries. Look
for the bird in midsummer, in rhododendron thickets.


                 MYRTLE WARBLER; YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER
                _Dendroica coronata coronata_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—_Adult male in spring_: Crown-patch, patches at sides of
  chest, and rump, clear yellow; white line above eye; rest of
  upperparts blue-gray; back streaked with black; wings with two white
  wing-bars; outer tail-feathers tipped with white on the inner webs;
  chin and throat white; sides of breast black, merging into streaks
  along the sides; belly and under tail-coverts white. _Adult female_:
  Similar, but browner, and the black breast-patches replaced with
  streaks. _Immature and adults in winter_: Brownish, the yellow patches
  on crown, sides of chest, and rump, obscure. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant in late April and May and
  September and October; occasional as a winter resident; it has been
  noted thus principally at Erie.

The Myrtle Warbler is usually not shy and may be identified easily. In
its winter range it spends much of its time on or near the ground, where
it eats many seeds. While with us it is usually seen in the lower trees
and bushes, where a good view may be obtained of the upperparts with the
bright yellow rump-patch. The song is not noticeable; it does not have
any particularly accented notes, and will not be of much use in
identifying the bird. Myrtle Warblers are to be found in any sort of
woodland; they have no preference for coniferous trees during migration,
though they nest in them in Canada.


                            MAGNOLIA WARBLER
                     _Dendroica magnolia_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Crown blue-gray; line above eye and spot
  under eye, white; area in front of and behind eye, black; back, wings,
  and tail blackish; wing with large white patch; tail with the _bases_
  of the inner webs of all but the inner pair of feathers _white_; rump
  and underparts yellow, breast and sides heavily streaked with black;
  under tail-coverts white. _Adult female_: Similar, but duller, the
  underparts less heavily streaked. _Immature_: Dull olive-greenish
  above, without noticeable superciliary or spot under eye, but with two
  wing-bars and markings on the tail same as in adult; underparts
  yellow, obscurely streaked along the sides with black; under
  tail-coverts white. _Length_: 5¹/₁₀ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—As a migrant abundant in May and September,
  particularly the latter, when hordes of young birds are migrating. As
  a summer resident rather rare and local, found principally among or
  near hemlock growth, chiefly in the northern and more mountainous
  counties.

  Nest.—A shallow, neat cup, made of fine twigs, lined with finer
  materials and hair, placed a few feet from the ground, often in a
  hemlock sapling. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white or creamy, with red-brown spots
  at larger end.

This very active warbler may be “squeaked up” easily. As it dashes
about, the white band at the base of the tail usually shows plainly, for
it spreads its tail widely at times. The song is a brief unmusical
effort which ends with a chopped-off falling inflection. (See
illustration, page 136.)


                            CERULEAN WARBLER
                      _Dendroica cerulea_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Light gray-blue above, with a distinct
  white line over the eye, two prominent white wing bars, and obscure
  black streaking on the back; inner webs of outer tail-feathers tipped
  with white; underparts white, a band of gray or gray-blue usually
  completely encircling the breast; sides streaked with black. _Female_:
  Glossy green-blue on the head, dull grayish green on the rest of the
  upperparts, the wings and tail marked much as in the male; underparts
  dull yellowish white. _Length_: 4½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant summer resident from early May to
  mid-September, locally, in the southwestern counties; elsewhere it is
  rare and irregular.

  Nest.—A shallow, neat cup of lichens, vegetable fiber, and
  tree-flowers, saddled on a horizontal limb from 20 to 50 feet from the
  ground, often in a beech tree. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white, spotted with
  grayish, especially at larger end.

The song of this handsome bird may be written _cheery, cheery, cheery,
chee_. It is rather rapidly given, with a rising inflection at the end.
The Cerulean Warbler usually stays high in the trees.

    [Illustration: Magnolia Warbler
    Cerulean Warbler]


                         CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER
                   _Dendroica pensylvanica_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Crown pale yellow; line through eye black;
  back greenish or yellowish white, strikingly streaked with black;
  wings with two white wing-bars; inner webs of outer tail-feathers
  tipped with white; underparts white or grayish white, the sides marked
  with a _broad streak of chestnut very noticeable in the field_.
  _Female_: Similar, but duller, the chestnut of the sides being almost
  obsolete at times, the top of the head streaked. Immature birds are
  not easy to identify; they are plain yellowish green above and whitish
  below; the eye is encircled with a whitish ring, which is quite
  noticeable, and the wings are marked with two prominent wing-bars.
  _Length_: A little over 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant during May and
  September; as a summer resident, local and sometimes abundant in the
  northerly and more mountainous counties. It is to be looked for
  anywhere in the State as a nesting bird—wherever there are
  thicket-covered hillsides.

  Nest.—A rather well-made cup which is sometimes semi-pensile, placed 2
  to 3 feet from the ground in a low bush or in a blackberry vine. It is
  composed of weed-stalks, vegetable fibers, and other soft materials.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white, wreathed about the larger end with fine
  chestnut-brown spots.

It has been said that the bright, varied song of this bird ends with the
syllables _Miss Beecher_. It is not amiss to bear in mind such a
characterization, for though the bird never gives such syllables
distinctly, when the song is once learned the name will always jump to
mind the minute it is heard. Look for these active birds in thickets on
hillsides.


                          BAY-BREASTED WARBLER
                     _Dendroica castanea_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Mask across forehead and face, including
  the ear-coverts and entirely surrounding the eyes, blackish brown;
  prominent round patch on side of neck, buffy white; back of head,
  chin, throat, upper breast, and sides, rich reddish brown; back
  grayish, streaked with black, the wings with two prominent white
  wing-bars, the inner webs of the outer tail-feathers white at tips;
  lower breast, belly, and under tail-coverts white or creamy white.
  _Adult female_: Has but little suggestion of the reddish brown on
  head, breast, or sides, and the black of the face appears in a few
  streaks; two prominent wing-bars and the suggestion of reddish color
  on the sides are characteristic. _Young birds_: Obscure, being
  olive-green above, dull yellowish below, and, as a rule, having a
  trace of reddish brown; two prominent wing-bars; face and breast of a
  decidedly yellowish tone. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant, common in the spring during May,
  sometimes staying quite late, and abundant in the fall, the young
  fairly swarming through the trees in September and early October.

    [Illustration: Bay-breasted Warbler
    Chestnut-sided Warbler]

The buffy white patches on the sides of the neck of the adult male are
excellent field-marks, and gleam like beacons when the red-brown cannot
be distinguished. Young birds may easily be confused with immature
Black-poll Warblers, however, and also look a little like vireos. The
young Bay-breast is a yellower bird than the young Black-poll, however,
and is somewhat more deliberate.

The song is a thin, wiry warble which does not lend itself readily to
syllabization. Look for these birds in woodlands not far from streams,
in spring. In autumn the young are to be found almost anywhere, even in
the towns, and they are frequently to be seen searching for insects
among rank weeds or low bushes.


                           BLACK-POLL WARBLER
                  _Dendroica striata_ (J. R. Forster)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Crown black; sides of head below eye,
  white, showing plainly in the field; black line from lower mandible to
  side of breast; neck, back, and wings greenish gray, streaked with
  black, the wings with two white bars, the tail with the inner webs of
  the outer feathers white; underparts white; sides of neck and breast
  and the sides heavily streaked with black. _Adult female_: Lacks the
  black crown and white facial patch, is dull olive-green all over,
  yellower on the breast, is noticeably streaked with black, even over
  top of head, and has two noticeable wing-bars. _Immature_: Plain
  olive-green above, obscurely streaked; dull yellowish below, with an
  indefinite line above eye and two prominent wing-bars. If specimens
  have been taken, the young Black-poll may be distinguished from the
  young Bay-breast by its _yellowish_ rather than dusky feet. This mark
  may sometimes be seen in the field, since the birds are unsuspicious
  and may easily be observed. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant, fairly common _in late spring_, from
  about the middle of May on for three weeks; in the fall abundant,
  particularly the young birds, which during latter September may
  outnumber all other species combined.

    [Illustration: Black-poll Warbler
    Blackburnian Warbler]

The droll, unmusical song of the spring Black-poll will escape all but
the sharpest ears. _Ee, ee, ee, eee, eee, eeee_, it seems to be, the
latter syllables becoming louder. The first song I ever heard I listened
to for a quarter of an hour before I could locate the singer among the
leafy tops of some high elms. Once caught within the range of the
binoculars, his colors were unmistakable, but it seemed scarcely
possible that the slight, ventriloquistic song could be coming from him.

Remember that this bird comes late in spring. Its head pattern, at a
distance, is somewhat like that of the Chickadee.


                          BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER
                       _Dendroica fusca_ (Müller)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Above black; center of forehead, line above
  eye, patch on side of neck, and spot under eye, bright orange-yellow;
  back with two lateral streaks of yellow; wings with two wide white
  wing-bars which so merge as to form a patch which extends into the
  white edging of the tertials; tail-feathers edged with whitish,
  particularly at the base, and inner webs of outer tail-feathers tipped
  with white; chin, throat, and breast, bright, rich orange, fading into
  yellowish on belly, and to whitish on under tail-coverts; breast
  heavily streaked with black. _Female_: Similar, but duller, the black
  of the upperparts being replaced with grayish. Young birds resemble
  the female but are less conspicuously marked, the breast usually being
  dull buffy yellow without any trace of orange, the wings marked with
  two white bars, not with a white patch. _Length_: 5¼ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant throughout, noticeable in
  mid-spring. As a nesting bird, found only in the higher and more
  northern counties, and usually among conifers, where in midsummer the
  birds are so infrequently seen that their presence is often unknown.

  Nest.—A neat cup made of fine twigs, lined with finer materials.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, creamy white, wreathed about larger end or speckled
  all over finely with brown. The nest is usually placed high in a
  hemlock.

The color scheme of this gem among warblers is much the same as that of
the Baltimore Oriole, and a full-plumaged male among the spring blossoms
of an apple tree is a sight which can hardly be rivaled for sheer color
and delicacy. The song is a disappointing, wiry lisp, usually delivered
from the top of the tree, and so slight and unmusical as to pass
unnoticed as a rule.

If you expect to see this bird in its summer home, you will have to look
up a great deal into the tops of the hemlocks.


                      BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER
                   _Dendroica virens virens_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Top of head and line through eye,
  olive-green; sides of head clear yellow; chin, throat, and upper
  breast, black; back, wings, and tail, olive-green, back streaked
  obscurely with black; wings with two white wing-bars; outer
  tail-feathers with white on inner webs; belly and sides white, washed
  with yellowish, the sides streaked with black. _Female and young_:
  Similar, but duller, having very little black on the throat, and being
  somewhat more yellowish on belly. _Length_: A little over 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—As a migrant abundant during May and September;
  as a summer resident found in the more northern and mountainous
  counties _where there is hemlock growth_.

  Nest.—A deep, neat cup, made of fine hemlock twigs and lined with
  finer materials, including fur, saddled on a hemlock bough from 5 to
  30 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 4 or 5, white, speckled with brown
  about the larger end.

    [Illustration: Black-throated Green Warbler
    Pine Warbler]

In the hemlock shade, during summer, sounds the plaintive and musical
song of this bird, which may be diagrammed thus, _dēē dēē dēē
dēē, dèē dēē_. This bird is to be looked for anywhere in sturdy
hemlock growth; during migration it may be seen near the ground in lower
growth; during the summer, however, males often sing from favorite
perches high in the trees.


                              PINE WARBLER
                    _Dendroica pinus pinus_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Olive-green above, with yellow superciliary
  not clearly defined; _two prominent white wing-bars_ and the tips of
  the inner webs of the outer tail-feathers white; underparts dull
  yellow; an obscure line of olive-green from lower mandible leading
  back to side of chest where streaking of sides begins. _Female_:
  Similar but a little duller. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A summer resident rather locally distributed;
  found chiefly in the southern and central mountainous counties and
  more or less restricted as a nesting bird to areas in which pine trees
  grow. Sometimes arrives very early in spring.

  Nest.—A cup made of twigs and fine weed-stalks, lined with finer
  material, placed near the tip of a pine bough, often at great height.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white, spotted with brown.

The Pine Warbler’s rather dull coloration and resemblance to other
species of the family would make it a difficult bird to identify were it
not that it _is virtually always found among pine trees_. Its bright
chipping song, which resembles that of the Chipping Sparrow a good deal,
is delivered from the tip of a pine bough, and at such times the yellow
breast and white wing-bars are evident. At Mont Alto, Franklin County,
and in certain sections of Huntingdon County, I have found this bird
abundant.


                  PALM WARBLER AND YELLOW PALM WARBLER
                 _Dendroica palmarum palmarum_ (Gmelin)
                                  and
                _Dendroica palmarum hypochrysea_ Ridgway

Two forms of the Palm Warbler occur in Pennsylvania, both as migrants.
They are usually seen near the ground and are especially noticeable in
the spring when they appear among the first of the smaller birds.

  Description.—_Adult male Palm Warbler_: Crown rufous; rest of
  upper-parts dull olive-green, brightest on rump; wings with two white
  wing-bars; outer tail-feathers marked with white; dusky line through
  eye; distinct yellow line above eye; chin, throat, and breast dull
  yellow, streaked with olive-green; belly and under tail-coverts
  whitish. _Female and young_: Similar, but duller. The Yellow Palm
  Warbler is much brighter, though similar in general appearance. The
  entire underparts are yellow, _including the under tail-coverts_, and
  the breast and sides are streaked with reddish brown.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—The Palm Warbler occurs as an early spring and
  mid-fall migrant in western Pennsylvania, west of the mountains. The
  Yellow Palm Warbler occurs in the eastern portion of the Commonwealth.
  At Harrisburg, the Yellow Palm Warbler occurs among the earliest
  spring migrants.

    [Illustration: Palm Warbler
    Prairie Warbler]

The Palm Warblers both have the habit of wagging their tails. They are
often seen near the ground, or in low bushes, and are usually not
difficult to observe. Their songs are a broken series of _chips_, given
in a rather subdued voice.


                            PRAIRIE WARBLER
                    _Dendroica discolor_ (Vieillot)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Upperparts olive green, back with patch of
  rufous brown; wing-bars yellowish; outer tail-feathers with white
  patches at tips; line over eye, face, and underparts yellow; lores and
  line under eye black; sides heavily streaked with black. _Adult
  female_: Similar, but duller, the back sometimes without reddish
  brown. _Immature_: Much duller than adults. _Length_: 4¾ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant east of the Alleghany
  Mountains in late April and May and in September; it has been known to
  nest in Lancaster County.

  Nest.—A compact cup of plant fibers and down, lined with hairs,
  fibers, and rootlets, placed low in bushes. _Eggs_: 4 or 5, white,
  spotted with brown, chiefly in a wreath at larger end.

The Prairie Warbler is to be looked for in old pastures, or
brush-covered hillsides, or in low pine or cedar growth. It is rather
retiring in disposition. Its song is a series of _zees_ rapidly
repeated. In summer this species is decidedly local in distribution.


                                OVENBIRD
             _Seiurus aurocapillus aurocapillus_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Crown-patch orange-brown, bordered on
  either side by a black stripe; rest of upperparts dull olive-green; a
  rather prominent white eye-ring; underparts white, washed with buffy
  along sides, and heavily streaked on breast and sides with black.
  _Female and young_: Similar but duller. _Length_: A little over 6
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant migrant and summer resident from
  early April to November; found in open woodlands.

  Nest.—A neat cup of leaves, grasses, and weed-stalks, _arched over the
  top_ with the same materials, in the shape of an old-fashioned oven.

    [Illustration: Ovenbird]

Beneath the ferns and the low bushes a small bird walks daintily among
the leaves, jerking its tail a little as it pauses to search for food.
As it turns, we glimpse the eye-ring and its heavily streaked
underparts. In a moment it puts back its head and sings _teecher, tee
cher, tee cher, tee cher_, the notes becoming louder toward the end.
Occasionally the Ovenbird sings a flight-song, a brilliant repetition of
its usual song, embellished with additional notes and phrases, and
enlivened by enthusiasm.


                         NORTHERN WATER-THRUSH
            _Seiurus noveboracensis noveboracensis_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—Upperparts, including wings and tail, olive, without
  wing-bars or marks on tail; line over eye, buffy or yellowish;
  underparts whitish, tinged with pale yellow; throat, breast, sides,
  and belly streaked with black. The sexes are alike and young birds are
  like adults; in fall, the underparts are more yellowish than in
  spring. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather regular and fairly common migrant
  throughout, from latter April to mid-May, and during the first half of
  September; summer resident in the northerly counties and at high
  altitudes.

  Nest.—Built among the roots of a fallen tree in a damp forest, or in a
  wooded swamp, lined with fine grasses, rootlets, and moss. _Eggs_: 4
  or 5, white, spotted with brown, chiefly at larger end.

    [Illustration: Northern Water-Thrush]

The Water-Thrushes wag their tails in a characteristic fashion as they
walk among the ferns and mosses, or seek their food at the edge of a
woodland pool or thickly up-grown stream. They are not particularly shy,
and may sometimes be “squeaked up” very close. Their song is loud,
bright, and clearly patterned, and has been ably written _hurry, hurry,
hurry, pretty, pretty, pretty_. It is usually not to be found along
swift, shallow woodland streams, but seems to prefer more quiet, even
stagnant, water.


                         LOUISIANA WATER-THRUSH
                     _Seiurus motacilla_ (Vieillot)

  Description.—Like the Northern Water-Thrush, but a little larger, the
  line over the eye whiter and more conspicuous, _the underparts white_,
  tinged with buffy, not with yellow, and streaked with blackish on the
  breast and sides, _not on the throat or belly_. _Length_: 6¼ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common but local summer resident in
  central and southern Pennsylvania.

  Nest.—Built along the bank of a stream, sometimes not far from the
  water’s edge, of leaves, lined with grasses and rootlets. There is
  often a neat pavement of leaves in front of and below the nest.
  _Eggs_: 4 to 6, white, spotted and flecked all over with brown.

The Louisiana Water-Thrush’s home is the wooded ravine, where a swift
stream speeds down its rocky bed amid fallen trunks and mossy ledges.
Here the shy birds dash about with swift, erratic flight, walk among the
mosses, teetering as they go, or singing their remarkably loud, ringing
song when they are not disturbed. The song is louder, more ringing, and
less abrupt in closing than is that of the Northern Water-Thrush.


                            KENTUCKY WARBLER
                     _Oporornis formosus_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Male_: Crown and area below eye and on side of throat,
  black, crown-feathers tipped with gray; line from bill, which extends
  over and back of eye, yellow; rest of upperparts olive-green; wings
  and tail unmarked; underparts bright, clear yellow. _Female_: Similar,
  but duller, the black areas inclined to be grayish and not clearly
  defined. _Length_: About 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common summer resident in southeastern
  and southwestern counties from about May 1 to September 5. It is a
  bird of the Carolinian faunal zone, which is probably gradually
  extending its range northward.

  Nest.—On or near the ground, rather bulky, and made of leaves and
  roots, lined with rootlets and other fine materials. _Eggs_: 4 or 5,
  white, rather evenly spotted or speckled with brown. Nests of this
  species are often difficult to find.

    [Illustration: Kentucky Warbler]

In southwestern Pennsylvania, where I first became acquainted with the
species, the Kentucky Warbler lives in damp, dense woodlands, usually in
ravines. Its song is a strikingly smooth and sweet-voiced, rolling
_tootle, tootle, tootle, tootle_, which has a penetrating quality. In
singing, the males often sit upon the lower branches of the great trees;
they search for their food chiefly on the ground. The black area on the
face and the bold yellow line about the eye are striking field-marks.


                          CONNECTICUT WARBLER
                      _Oporornis agilis_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Head, neck, and breast, ashy gray, with
  _prominent white eye-ring_; rest of upperparts olive-green; wings and
  tail unmarked; underparts yellow; sides washed with olive-green.
  _Female and young_: Similar to adult male, but uniform olive-green
  above, the lighter eye-ring _not_ noticeable, the throat and breast
  light brownish gray. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant, very rare in spring, during latter
  May, and somewhat commoner from latter August to about the end of
  September.

    [Illustration: Mourning Warbler
    Connecticut Warbler]

This rare bird does not often sing in Pennsylvania. Look for it among
high weed-growth in fall and among undergrowth in damp woods.


                            MOURNING WARBLER
                   _Oporornis philadelphia_ (Wilson)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Much like the Connecticut Warbler, but
  without eye-ring, and throat blackish, _blending into a fan-shaped
  black area on breast_. _Female and young_: Similar, but with
  upperparts olive-green, slightly grayer on head, and throat and breast
  gray, lightest on throat. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather uncommon migrant during May and from
  mid-August to the end of September. As a summer resident it occurs
  only in the northern and higher counties.

  Nest.—A rather bulky structure, among weeds, on or near the ground,
  made of grasses, plant-fiber, and old leaves, lined with hair or fern
  rootlets. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, white, spotted with brown at larger end.

Look for this beautiful warbler in dense weed-growth or in brush along
lowland streams. It is not particularly shy, but is very difficult to
see because it slips away so easily among the shadows. The song, which
is not heard in the fall, as a rule, has been written _trú ee, trú ee,
trú ee, trú, too_. The voice rises on the first three parts of the song,
and falls on the last two.


                         MARYLAND YELLOW-THROAT
                 _Geothlypis trichas trichas_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—_Adult male_: A mask of black across forehead; cheeks and
  ear-coverts bordered behind by gray; rest of upperparts olive-green,
  unmarked; throat and breast bright yellow, fading to white on belly
  and brownish on sides; under tail-coverts yellow. _Female_: Similar,
  but without the black mask, the forehead sometimes tinged with reddish
  brown. _Adult males in the fall_: Browner above and on sides.
  _Immature males_: Black facial mask obscured by grayish edgings.
  _Length_: 5⅓ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and summer resident from late
  April to about the end of September.

  Nest.—On or near the ground, of grasses, leaves, and bark strips,
  lined with finer materials, in a swamp or low meadow. _Eggs_: 3 to 5,
  white, sparsely speckled with brown, often chiefly at the larger end.

    [Illustration: Maryland Yellow-throat]

This warbler is so common that it should be known by all. Look for it
along up-grown streams where weeds are thick and deep, or along the
margins of marshes. The song has been written _witchity, witchity,
witchity_, but this is sometimes varied considerably. The call-note is a
harsh, rather loud tschack. The facial mask of the male is to be
confused with no bird other than the rather rare Kentucky Warbler which
is to be found _on wooded hillsides_, not in deep weeds along streams
and pools. The Yellow-throat gives a flight-song, and also has a Red
Squirrel-like, long-drawn-out series of chips, not often heard. If you
make it a point to visit a marshy spot in late summer or early fall, you
will almost certainly see these birds in the deep weeds, sedges, or
cat-tails.


                          YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
                   _Icteria virens virens_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Larger than an English Sparrow; the largest of our
  warbler tribe. _Adults_: Upperparts olive-green, grayer on crown;
  wings and tail unmarked; line from bill over and around eye, and line
  on side of throat, white; throat and breast rich yellow; sides
  grayish; belly and under tail-coverts white. Young birds in first
  flight plumage are much streaked. _Length_: 7½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A decidedly local summer resident from May 1 to
  mid-September—common in some sections, absent in others, usually found
  in central and southern counties.

  Nest.—A bulky, well-built structure made of weed-stalks, grasses, and
  leaves, neatly and deeply cupped, placed in a small bush or bramble
  thicket a short distance from the ground. _Eggs_: 3 to 6, white,
  evenly speckled with brown.

The Chat has his own ideas about singing. He fluffs out his feathers,
mounts a tree above the brush-covered hillside where his nest is hidden,
and begins an odd performance. He clucks, he squeals, then repeats
several times a loud, deep whistle. Perhaps, in his enthusiasm, he flies
upward, to somersault back to the leaves in reckless fashion. He spreads
the feathers of his dandelion-yellow throat and twirls his head as he
sings. It seems that surely he will lose some of his feathers while he
flops about.

    [Illustration: Yellow-breasted Chat]

You cannot intrude upon his concert. He hears the snap of a twig, the
song ceases, and perhaps you will catch only a glimpse of the
olive-green back.

The nests, which are large enough to be noticeable, are sometimes very
poorly hidden, and may be found by looking through the interlaced
branches of low bushes or thickets.


                             HOODED WARBLER
                     _Wilsonia citrina_ (Boddaert)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Forehead and sides of head rich yellow;
  crown, hind neck, and throat black; rest of upperparts olive-green;
  outer tail-feathers white on their inner webs; rest of underparts
  bright yellow. _Young male_: Similar, but the black feathers of head
  tipped with yellow. _Adult female_: Like adult male, but duller, the
  black of the head largely replaced by gray. _Length_: A little over 5½
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Fairly common summer resident in central and
  southern counties from about May 1 to mid-September.

  Nest.—A neat, deeply cupped structure of grasses, fibers, rootlets,
  and cobwebs, placed from 3 to 15 feet from the ground in a slender
  sapling or on a small branch of a larger tree. _Eggs_: 4 or 5, white,
  thinly wreathed with brown about the larger end.

The flashing white inner webs of the outer tail-feathers of this species
are an excellent field-mark. Wherever the bird is found, it is easily
observed, though it is very active. Its song I have written as _too-wit,
too-wit, too-wee-oh_, given in a sprightly manner. Look for it in
luxuriant, young tree-growth on partially shaded hillsides. In the fall
Hooded Warblers may be silent, but they usually flash their tails as
they become excited over our presence. The somewhat similarly colored
Wilson’s Warbler has no black on the throat.

    [Illustration: Hooded Warbler
    Canadian Warbler]


                            WILSON’S WARBLER
                  _Wilsonia pusilla pusilla_ (Wilson)

  Other Names.—Black-capped Warbler; Wilson’s Black-cap.

  Description.—_Male_: Forehead and underparts bright yellow; crown
  glossy black; upperparts olive-green; wings and tail unmarked. _Female
  and young_: Similar, but duller, the female with only a suggestion of
  the black cap, the young altogether without it. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant from May 10 to June 10
  and from early to latter September. It appears to me to be less common
  in spring than in fall.

The jaunty Wilson’s Warbler, with his odd, unmusical, chipping song, has
the habit of tilting or jerking his tail and flirting his wings in a
very characteristic manner. Look for him in vines or low trees. He is in
color a warbler, but in insect-pursuing tactics a flycatcher. As he
tumbles after a gnat, his wide bill snaps audibly.

    [Illustration: Wilson’s Warbler
    Redstart]


                            CANADIAN WARBLER
                    _Wilsonia canadensis_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Upperparts gray, darkest on crown; line
  from bill to eye, and underparts, yellow; marks on sides of neck
  black, and a necklace of black spots across breast; under tail-coverts
  white. _Female_: Similar, but duller, with no black on head, and only
  a suggestion of the black necklace. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant in May and September,
  found chiefly in low, bushy growth. As a summer resident, found only
  in more northerly and mountainous counties, usually in damp woodlands.

  Nest.—Of leaves, lined with rootlets and other fine materials, placed
  at the base of a tree or in a bank. _Eggs_: 4 or 5, white spotted with
  brown.

The nervous, sprightly song of this little-seen bird ends with a
decisive, upward _tsip_. If you can catch a glimpse of the singer you
will see that his song is a fair representation of the bird, for he is
energetic, nervous, and erratic in his movements. He is adept as a
flycatcher. (For illustration, see page 146.)


                                REDSTART
                    _Setophaga ruticilla_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—_Adult male_: Glossy blue-black, with basal half of the
  wing-feathers and basal two-thirds of tail-feathers orange-pink, the
  sides of breast and flanks bright rosy orange, and the belly white.
  _Adult female_: Grayish above, white below; wings, tail, and sides of
  breast with the same pattern as male, but marked with yellow, not
  orange-pink. _Young males_: Like the females, but more or less mottled
  with black. During the young male’s first breeding season he looks
  much like the female; with the succeeding moult he assumes the plumage
  of the full adult. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Abundant migrant and summer resident from early
  May to October, commoner in summer in more northerly and mountainous
  counties.

  Nest.—A deep, firm, neat cup of fibers, cobwebs, and bark, saddled
  into the large crotch of a sapling from 5 to 20 feet from the ground.
  _Eggs_: 3 to 5, white, speckled with gray or brown, chiefly at larger
  end.

Here is a bird well worth finding. It is common and confiding, but its
gorgeous plumage never fails to produce a gasp of amazement. As though
the Redstart felt the need of making the most of his beautiful attire,
he spreads his wings and tail, flashing them as he bustles about the
twigs, fans them widely as he tumbles after an insect, and pauses in the
sunshine a moment between his foraging expeditions. Even the female
spreads her yellow-marked wings.

The song is not musical; it is wheezy and wiry, and not easily
syllabized. It often ends with a decisive downward note.

Look for the Redstart in open woodlands.


                             PIPIT; TITLARK
                _Anthus spinoletta rubescens_ (Tunstall)

  Description.—A little larger than an English Sparrow. Grayish brown
  above, the edge of outer tail-feathers _white_; a buffy line over the
  eye; underparts buffy; breast and sides streaked with dark brown. If
  the bird be in the hand, the hind toe-nail, which is very long, will
  be noted. _Length_: 6½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather irregular migrant from early April to
  mid-May and from late September to late October, sometimes fairly
  common, and often occurring in flocks; occasional in mild winters.

Here is a bird utterly unknown to the average citizen of Pennsylvania.
It lives in the open fields or on bald hill-tops. The Pipit walks
daintily, after the manner of a Horned Lark, and if frightened springs
into the air, to bound away, uttering its simple call-note, _tsit-tsit,
tsit-tsit_, as it disappears high in air. It almost constantly moves its
tail in a wagging manner. The white-edged outer feathers should be
noted.

    [Illustration: Pipit]


                              MOCKINGBIRD
               _Mimus polyglottos polyglottos_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Length of Robin, but slenderer. Light gray above, with
  whitish line above eye; wings and tail dark brown-gray, the primaries
  basally white, the outer tail-feathers white; underparts grayish
  white; eye pale yellow. _Length_: 10½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Rare and irregular in the southernmost
  counties, where it may occur at any time of the year. It occasionally
  nests.

  Nest.—Bulky, of twigs, lined with rootlets, placed in a bush or low
  tree. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, pale green-blue, spotted and blotched all over
  with brown.

The Mocker’s song is world-famous. It is a remarkable medley of
bird-songs, varied with a few original whistles and cries. While
singing, this bird often leaps into the air, to tumble back to his perch
with loosely flashing wings and tail. He sometimes sings for hours at
night. While rare in Pennsylvania, he seems to be extending his range
gradually northward.

    [Illustration: Mockingbird]


                                CATBIRD
                   _Dumetella carolinensis_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Smaller than Robin; slate gray with blackish crown, tail
  and wings, and rich red-brown under tail-coverts. _Length_: Almost 9
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Abundant migrant and summer resident from late
  April to early October, especially common in more cultivated
  districts; usually rare in wilder woodlands.

  Nest.—A large, bulky structure of twigs, lined with rootlets or
  grape-vine bark. _Eggs_: 3 to 5, deep blue-green, glossy. Nests are
  placed in thickets or bushy trees, from 3 to 15 feet from the ground.

The Catbird’s colors, call-notes, and manners are easily remembered. He
is plainly attired; his cat-like call is familiar; and his jaunty
appearance in yard or orchard is instantly recognizable. His song, while
varied and pleasing in spots, is interspersed with squeaks and chuckles
which are not musical. As he sings, his tail droops, but when he is
bustling about on every-day business he is given to changing his
attitude with the passing instants—now he is fluffy, now sleek; up goes
his tail; he jumps; he flashes his wings, droops them and spreads his
tail. It takes many an insect and berry to keep so active an organism
alive.

    [Illustration: Catbird]


                             BROWN THRASHER
                    _Toxostoma rufa rufa_ (Linnæus)

  Other Name.—Brown Thrush (erroneous).

  Description.—Size of Robin, with longer tail. Rich, bright red-brown
  above, the wing-bars whitish, and a rather noticeably buffy line above
  eye; underparts whitish, heavily streaked with black, save on throat
  and middle of belly; eyes yellow. _Length_: 11½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant migrant and summer resident from
  mid-April to mid-October.

  Nest.—Large and strong, of twigs, lined with rootlets and strips of
  weed-stalks, usually placed in a bush a few feet from the ground.
  _Eggs_: 3 to 6, whitish, thickly and finely peppered with brown and
  gray.

    [Illustration: Brown Thrasher]

The Brown Thrasher, with its short wings and long, brown tail, is a big
relative of the wrens and is _not a thrush_. He lives in brushy
pastures, where his rich, varied song, wherein all phrases are repeated
twice as the music progresses, is given from a high bough. Disturb him
in his thicket home and he scolds with a harsh _chuck_, coming close to
peer with his startlingly golden eyes. Rightly has this bird been called
the “Mocker of the North,” for its song is a succession of excellent
imitations of many bird-songs, together with a few which are of the
Thrasher’s own invention.


                             CAROLINA WREN
            _Thryothorus ludovicianus ludovicianus_ (Latham)

  Other Name.—Teakettle Bird.

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow, but largest of our wrens.
  Rich red-brown above; prominent whitish or buffy line above eye;
  concealed white spots on rump; wings and tail barred with blackish;
  underparts buffy, lightest on throat, sometimes somewhat barred on
  flanks and under tail-coverts. _Length_: 5½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A local permanent resident in the southernmost
  counties; its range is apparently gradually extending northward.

  Nest.—Large, loosely made, of leaves, twigs, weed-stalks, and débris,
  often almost completely domed over and neatly cupped, placed in a shed
  or in a crevice in an old log or tree-trunk. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, white,
  rather heavily spotted with reddish brown.

The song of this big wren has given it the common name, “Teakettle
Bird.” It is not so friendly as the House Wren, and often prefers the
woodlands along streams to the towns. Yet I have known it to nest in
nooks in sheds and barns, and even in boxes which had been piled at the
edge of a dump-heap.

    [Illustration: Carolina Wren
    Bewick’s Wren]


                             BEWICK’S WREN
                _Thryomanes bewickii bewickii_ (Audubon)

  Description.—Dark gray-brown above, with whitish line over eye; wings
  and tail barred with black; outer tail-feathers _broadly tipped with
  gray_; underparts grayish; flanks brownish. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare, irregular, and local summer resident in
  southern, central, and southwestern counties, where it occurs in
  sections in which the House Wren is not found, from early April to
  October, and perhaps occasionally in winter.

  Nest.—Built under or about buildings, often near the ground, of
  leaves, grasses, weed-stalks, and similar materials, lined with finer
  materials. _Eggs_: 4 to 6, white, thinly spotted and often wreathed
  with reddish brown.

This little-known bird is all too rare. It likes the dwellings of man
and in some localities is a familiar bird.


                               HOUSE WREN
                   _Troglodytes aëdon aëdon_ Vieillot

  Other Name.—Jenny Wren.

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow; tail usually held erect.
  Brownish gray, brightest on rump and tail, the wings and tail finely
  barred with black; underparts grayish; sides, flanks, and under
  tail-coverts barred with blackish. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Abundant migrant and summer resident from
  mid-April to latter September; commonest near the habitations of man,
  as a rule.

  Nest.—A bulky mass of twigs, lined with feathers, generally filling
  the cavity in tree, bird-box, or crevice where the structure is
  placed. _Eggs_: 5 to 9, pinkish white, finely spotted and wreathed
  with reddish brown. Nests are often built in very odd situations, such
  as the pockets of overalls which have been hung in old sheds.

The House Wren is destined to be popular because he nests in bird-boxes,
even though they be poorly constructed and improperly placed. So intent
is he upon rearing a brood that he builds in almost any sort of crevice,
and so fond of gathering and hoarding twigs is he that he fills cavities
just for amusement. Such a “fake” nest, which I examined, held three
nails, two hairpins, a safety-pin, a dozen matches (which were partly
burned), and innumerable twigs!

    [Illustration: House Wren
    Winter Wren]

His marital customs, which have just been brought to light of day, are
to be talked of in lowered voice. Apparently there is no such thing as a
faithful husband, or wife, for that matter, among the House Wren tribe.
Mother or father may leave at any time and consequences will take care
of themselves.

Hue and cry about the House Wren’s habit of puncturing the eggs of the
other birds in the neighborhood seem not to be greatly affecting this
sturdy, interesting little creature’s popularity.


                              WINTER WREN
                _Nannus troglodytes hiemalis_ (Vieillot)

  Description.—A chubby, small wren, with ludicrously short tail.
  Upperparts deep brown, barred on wings and tail with black; buffy line
  over eye; underparts buffy, barred and speckled with black, whitish,
  and brown. _Length_: 4 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common migrant from early April to
  mid-May and from mid-September to October 20 or later; a summer
  resident in the mountainous counties; occasional in winter.

  Nest.—Of moss and plant-down, finely built, placed on or near the
  ground in a tree-trunk or mossy bank. _Eggs_: 5 to 7, white, thinly
  peppered with brown.

The remarkably long and rippling song of this diminutive bird will
arouse interest and wonder at once. Catch sight of the mouse-like
performer, and he may dive for the underbrush. The alarm-cry is a
double-syllabled harsh note which resembles the throaty _chup_ of a Song
Sparrow. In migration, the Winter Wren will be seen about the roots of
trees or along little streams; in summer, look for him in deep hemlock
forests.


                        SHORT-BILLED MARSH WREN
                   _Cistothorus stellaris_ (Naumann)

  Description.—Small, even for a wren. Upperparts _brownish buffy_,
  streaked with black and white; wings and tail barred; underparts
  white; under tail-coverts, flanks, and zone about breast, buffy brown.
  _Length_: 4 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rare and local migrant and summer resident
  from early May to October.

  Nest.—Spherical, of grasses, built on or near ground among grasses in
  marshy situations, the entrance to one side. _Eggs_: 5 to 8, white.

I have seen this bird in only a few places in Pennsylvania. It is to be
looked for in grassy marshes, but does not seem to like cat-tails,
preferring coarse, rank grass which grows in water or on damp ground.
The song, as I heard it, sounded like _dick, putt, jik, plick, tick,
tick, tick_. These wrens may be fairly common in a certain locality, but
unless they are singing or are literally _kicked_ from the grass, they
will not be seen. All records are desirable.

    [Illustration: Long-billed Marsh Wren
    Short-billed Marsh Wren]


                         LONG-BILLED MARSH WREN
              _Telmatodytes palustris palustris_ (Wilson)

  Description.—Crown brown, bordered on sides with black; white line
  over eye; middle of back _black streaked with white_, rest of back
  brown; wings and tail barred with black; underparts white; sides
  reddish brown. _Length_: About 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant and summer resident in suitably
  marshy situations from latter April to early October. It is very local
  in occurrence.

  Nest.—A globular, strongly built structure of grasses and cat-tail
  leaves, made _while the materials are damp_, and placed among weeds or
  rushes a few feet from ground or water; the entrance is on the side.
  _Eggs_: 5 to 9, dark brown, or light brown, heavily and finely spotted
  with darker brown.

To find these wrens, wade out into the very heart of the marsh. Here the
clackety songs of the nervous creatures announce to us that we are near
the nest. We find three or four of these, but discover no eggs. Patient
hunting finally reveals a set of eggs after we have located perhaps a
dozen “dummy” nests.


                             BROWN CREEPER
                _Certhia familiaris americana_ Bonaparte

  Description.—Climbs a tree-trunk like a woodpecker; smaller than an
  English Sparrow; bill curved like a wren’s. Plumage brown above,
  considerably streaked and otherwise marked with white, grayish, and
  darker brown; underparts grayish white; tail-feathers pointed and
  somewhat barred. _Length_: 4½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant in March and April and in
  September and October; occasional, sometimes common, in winter; a
  summer resident only at high altitudes or in northern counties.

  Nest.—Of bark-strips, fibers, plant-down, and the like, placed under
  loose or curled bark, at from 6 to 20 feet from the ground, usually in
  a dense, low, woodland or wooded swamp. _Eggs_: 4 to 7, white, spotted
  with brown.

The Brown Creeper’s fine, lisping call is not always heard, even by the
keenest ear. Its song is a delicate, warbler-like bit which I have
syllabized as _dee-dee, diddily, de-dwee_. This bird begins his
trunk-searching at the base of the tree; he ascends spirally, searching
carefully as he jerks along and when he gets to the upper branches, he
dives to the base of the next tree, to begin his ascent again.

    [Illustration: Brown Creeper]


                        WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH
                 _Sitta carolinensis cookei_ Oberholser

  Description.—Size of English Sparrow, but with long, pointed bill,
  short tail, and short, strong feet. _Adult male_: Crown glossy
  blue-black; rest of upperparts blue-gray; outer tail-feathers
  blackish, tipped with black and white; wings with indistinct bars, and
  the tertials marked with black spots; sides of head and underparts
  white; under tail-coverts mottled with reddish brown. _Female_:
  Similar, but top of head grayish, not black. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common, permanent resident throughout.

  Nest.—Of hair, mosses, feathers, and shredded bark, placed in a cavity
  at from 15 to 60 feet from the ground, usually in a forest tree.
  _Eggs_: 5 to 9, white, spotted evenly and thickly with reddish brown.

    [Illustration: Red-breasted Nuthatch
    White-breasted Nuthatch]

The Nuthatch’s habit of perching and hopping, upside down, on
tree-trunks is unmistakable. Actually, he seems to prefer to eat his
food thus, making it proper to say, perhaps, that he _eats his
caterpillars_ _up_. He may realize that the creepers, woodpeckers, and
Black and White Warblers, working upward as they do, find the insects
which can be seen from below or from the side, while he prefers to
investigate the crannies that these other birds may pass by.

This neighborly winter bird visits the food-counter regularly and is
very fond of suet. He has the habit of hiding food in the bark of trees.
I once saw a Nuthatch thus hoarding sunflower seeds. At least a full
hour he worked, hiding dozens of the little kernels. He was watched _and
followed_ by a pair of lazy Downy Woodpeckers who deliberately ate the
seeds as fast as the Nuthatch could hide them. The Nuthatch, it
appeared, has great faith in his ability to hide food where it cannot be
found—so great a faith, in fact, that he did not properly guard his
store.

He calls _drrr, drrr, drrr_ in a nasal voice, as he busies himself with
pounding at a bit of food. As he looks out from the trunk his neck is
bent from his body at even more than a right angle, yet he does not seem
to tire of these strained attitudes.


                         RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH
                       _Sitta canadensis_ Linnæus

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow. _Male_: Crown and wide line
  through eye to back of head, glossy black; line over eye white; rest
  of upperparts bluish gray, the outer tail-feathers blackish with white
  spots near their tips; underparts pale reddish buff, save on throat
  which is whitish. _Female_: Similar, but duller, the black of the head
  replaced with gray. _Length_: 4½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant in late April and May, and more or
  less throughout the fall; occasional in winter, sometimes abundant.
  Nests rarely in northern counties and at high altitudes.

  Nest.—Of mosses, hair, and such soft materials, in a cavity, often in
  a conifer. _Eggs_: 4 to 7, white, speckled with brown and gray.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch’s mouselike body seems strangely small as it
moves about the great trunk of a high hemlock, far from the ground. As
it disappears behind the tree, we hear its querulous, complaining _nă,
nă, nă_, as it searches for insects. During migration it is often to be
seen about the outer twigs where it sometimes hangs upside down, like a
Chickadee. On the tree-trunks its actions are much the same as those of
its larger relative, the White-breasted Nuthatch. (See illustration,
page 153.)


                            TUFTED TITMOUSE
                     _Bæolophus bicolor_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Size of English Sparrow; with prominent crest. Upperparts
  gray, forehead dark brown, a light spot in front of and above eye;
  underparts grayish white, the sides washed with reddish brown.
  _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common permanent resident in southern and
  middle counties, gradually extending its range northward.

  Nest.—Mass of leaves, mosses, hair, and feathers, placed in a cavity,
  at from 10 to 30 feet from the ground. _Eggs_: 5 to 8, white, spotted
  and blotched with reddish brown.

A small _gray_ bird with a noticeable crest is likely to be the Tufted
Tit. He is fond of the lower branches and is almost never seen perching
on a tree-top, where the Cedar Waxwing, another crested species, prefers
to watch for passing insects.

    [Illustration: Tufted Titmouse
    Black-capped Chickadee]

The song, which is a musical whistle, may be written _wheedle, wheedle,
wheedle_. He has other call-notes which resemble those of the Chickadee.
In his nest he gives a snake-like hiss.

Like the Chickadee, the Tufted Tit is an acrobat. He pounds away at a
rolled leaf, or at a beechnut, hanging upside down on a slender twig. He
may carry food about with him in his feet, but nesting material is
gathered with the bill.


                         BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE
            _Penthestes atricapillus atricapillus_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Smaller than English Sparrow. Top of head and throat
  black; cheeks white; rest of upperparts grayish; underparts grayish
  white, washed with brownish on sides. _Length_: 5 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common permanent resident, usually more
  numerous about towns in winter than in summer.

  Nest.—Of fur, plant-down, and feathers, couched in moss and bark
  strips, placed in a cavity in a tree, usually from 5 to 15 feet from
  the ground. The birds often dig their own nest-cavity. _Eggs_: 5 to 9,
  white, spotted with brown, often chiefly at larger end.

The friendly, jolly Chickadee is one of our most popular birds. He calls
his name plainly, and his color-pattern is distinctive. In spring he has
a plaintive love-call which sounds like _phee-bee_. An imitation of this
whistle often brings the bird very close.

In winter, Chickadees may visit the lunch-counter daily; but in summer,
when the duties of family-rearing are pressing, they may not be seen for
weeks at a time. For this reason they are frequently considered as
winter birds.

In late summer and autumn the family groups wander about among the
trees, searching for caterpillars and insect eggs, and calling sociably
to one another.

The Carolina Chickadee (_Penthestes carolinensis carolinensis_), a
slightly smaller species, with almost precisely the same coloration as
the Black-capped Chickadee, is to be found locally in the southernmost
counties.


                         GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLET
                 _Regulus regulus satrapa_ Lichtenstein

  Description.—Size very small, one of our smallest birds; tail somewhat
  forked. _Male_: Center of crown red-orange, bordered with yellow which
  sometimes conceals the orange, and with black; line above eye whitish;
  rest of upperparts olive-gray; wings with an indistinct bar; tail and
  rump with greenish edgings; underparts pale gray, washed with olive
  and dull yellowish. _Length_: 4 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and winter resident from about
  the first of October to the end of April. It has been known to nest in
  the higher mountains but it is exceedingly rare as a summer bird.

    [Illustration: Golden-crowned Kinglet
    Ruby-crowned Kinglet]

The Golden-crowned Kinglet is most noticeable as a winter bird when many
of our familiar species are to the southward. It is a tiny bit of
feathers, and as it perches on its slender legs it seems to be too
fragile to endure the snow and cold weather. The call-note is a short
lisping _tsee_, repeated three or four times. In spring it gives a song
which starts with several wiry notes resembling one note given by the
Chickadee and ending with an abbreviated series of _chips_.
Golden-crowns like to hunt for food in coniferous trees.


                          RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET
               _Corthylio calendula calendula_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Size very small, tail somewhat forked. _Adult male_:
  Grayish olive above, grayest on head, greenest on rump; crown with
  brilliant red patch which is sometimes concealed; wings with two
  indistinct bars; underparts soiled white, washed with faint yellowish
  and olive. _Length_: 4½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant, usually common, from mid-April to
  mid-May, and from mid-September to latter October.

The song of the tiny Ruby-crown is amazingly loud and brilliant, and as
the little creature sings, it may lift and fan out its startling crest.
It is usually to be found in small trees or thickets, where it flits
about, snapping up insects, and it often comes close at hand, when its
bright eyes have a staring quality. Occasionally, it flicks its wings.
Its alarm-note may be written _chŭ-dah_, rapidly given.


                         BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER
                 _Polioptila cærulea cærulea_ (Linnæus)

  Description.—Size very small, with long tail and short wings. _Male_:
  Upperparts blue-gray, a line across forehead and above eye white,
  bordered above by narrow black line; central tail-feathers black, the
  outer ones white; underparts soiled whitish. _Female_: Similar, the
  black of the head duller or missing. _Length_: 4½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather local summer resident in southern
  counties.

  Nest.—A beautifully made structure of fur, plant-fibers, and bark,
  covered with lichens and dried flower petals, held in place with
  cobwebs, from 15 to 40 feet from the ground on a horizontal branch.
  _Eggs_: 3 to 5, pale blue, rather heavily spotted with brown.

    [Illustration: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher]

This dainty little creature is restless; his tail wags or shakes almost
constantly as he pursues insects. His usual cry is a complaining _new,
new_, whined as he hops about among the foliage. Both birds assist in
covering the nest with lichens, which they gather from nearby
tree-trunks, and which they bind into the structure with cobwebs so that
it is firm and neat. The male may, at times, be rather noisy about the
family secrets, and if we patiently watch him as he flits through the
branches, he may lead us to the nest.


                              WOOD THRUSH
                    _Hylocichla mustelina_ (Gmelin)

  Description.—Smaller than Robin. Rich brown above, brightest on head
  and neck, with noticeable whitish eye-ring; below white, marked all
  over _with round black spots_; eyes large, very dark brown. _Length_:
  8 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Common migrant and summer resident from about
  the first of May to October. It is not found in dense hemlock woods in
  the wilder districts, nor at higher altitudes.

  Nest.—A firm, neat cup of grasses, weed-stalks, paper, string, and
  leaves, lined with finer materials, with an inner wall of mud, placed
  from 5 to 20 feet from the ground in a tree. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, pale
  blue, much like those of the Robin in color, but smaller.

    [Illustration: Wood Thrush]

This is the largest, brightest, and most strikingly marked of our
thrushes, and he is the only one whose underparts are marked _all over
with round black spots_.

The Wood Thrush lives in shady lawns as well as in wilder woodlands. He
is often a familiar dooryard bird, hopping about on the grass or singing
from a low perch. The song is delivered in sections, with pauses of a
few seconds between. Some of the notes are rich and deep; others are
high and flute-like; others tremble like a twanged banjo string. The
alarm-note is loud and sharp.


                         WILSON’S THRUSH; VEERY
             _Hylocichla fuscescens fuscescens_ (Stephens)

  Description.—Smaller than Robin. Uniform brown above; throat and belly
  white; sides of throat and breast washed with buffy, and marked with
  indistinct rows of short, brown streaks; sides white, faintly washed
  with gray-brown; eye-ring not noticeable in field. _Length_: 7½
  inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant throughout in later April and
  May and in September. Nests in the more northerly counties and in the
  mountains. It is common as a summer resident in suitable damp
  woodlands.

  Nest.—On the ground, made largely of leaves, lined with rootlets and
  small grasses. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, delicate greenish blue.

Go to a wooded swamp or to low, thick woodlands to find this elusive
bird. If you keep quiet for a time, you may see his brown back as he
flashes through the undergrowth. Make a slight disturbance, and he may
call _zeu_ in a penetrating tone. He may sing his remarkable ringing
song which, in liquid, tinkling, descending spirals, sounds a little
like _veery, veery, veery, veery_. If you become familiar with him, you
will see him hopping over the ground like a Wood Thrush; he snaps up an
insect here and there, or flops the damp leaves over looking for food.


                          GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH
                   _Hylocichla minima aliciæ_ (Baird)

  Description.—Upperparts olive, unmarked, not even a whitish eye-ring
  being noticeable in the field; _sides of head dull grayish_; sides of
  throat and breast faintly washed with buff, the breast marked with a
  few dark streaks, which lie in rows; throat and belly white; sides
  gray. _Length_: 7½ inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A regular migrant, though not often recorded,
  during May and in late September and early October.

This bird is difficult to identify in Pennsylvania. It does not often
sing, and it is shy. Probably it is commoner than we suppose, but the
thrushes look so much alike that we are afraid to record the species
unless we have a specimen in hand. It resembles most closely the
Olive-backed Thrush; it differs in having a dull whitish eye-ring and
grayish cheeks, which in the Olive-back are distinctly buffy. Records of
this species should be made with a good glass. The song, which may
occasionally be given here, is like a Veery’s.


                          OLIVE-BACKED THRUSH
               _Hylocichla ustulata swainsoni_ (Tschudi)

  Description.—Upperparts olive; _eye-ring and sides of head buffy_, the
  color spreading more or less over the face, throat, and breast; throat
  streaked and breast somewhat spotted with blackish; belly white; sides
  grayish. _Length_: A little over 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—An abundant migrant in late April and early May
  and in September and October; rare as a summer resident, found only at
  high altitudes in the mountains.

  Nest.—Deeply cupped, compact, and neat, of grasses, moss, rootlets,
  and twigs, placed in a forest tree from 6 to 20 feet from the ground.
  _Eggs_: 3 or 4, pale blue, spotted or blotched with red-brown.

    [Illustration: Olive-backed Thrush]

The Olive-back’s song is a little like the Wood Thrush’s, but is longer,
and it usually ascends the scale, in this respect differing from the
Veery’s. Its buffy eye-ring is usually a dependable field-mark. The
alarm-note may be written _pert_, pronounced in front of the teeth.


                             HERMIT THRUSH
              _Hylocichla guttata faxoni_ Bangs and Penard

  Description.—Underparts olive-brown, with a somewhat noticeable buffy
  eye-ring, and a _noticeably red-brown tail_, which is the most
  dependable field-mark; throat and breast washed with buffy, the breast
  marked with rows of short, blackish, rounded streaks; belly white;
  sides grayish brown. _Length_: A little over 7 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant, appearing early in spring
  often during March, and remaining late in fall, often until November
  or even Christmas; it is casual in winter. As a nesting bird it is
  rather rare, occurring in the northern counties and at high altitudes.

  Nest.—Usually on the ground, of leaves, rootlets, grasses, and moss,
  lined with finer materials. _Eggs_: 3 or 4, greenish blue.

The Hermit Thrush’s red-brown tail is usually a good field-mark because
it shows plainly, even as the bird flies away. It should not be confused
with the Fox Sparrow, however, which has a brown back and bright
red-brown tail, and which, curiously enough, occurs as an early spring,
or late fall migrant, at about the same time as the Hermit Thrush.

The song of the Hermit Thrush is thought by some to be the highest point
attained in American bird-music. It may be described as an elaborated
and refined Wood Thrush song, given in deliberate, easy manner, often in
the evening, and sometimes virtually at nightfall.


                                 ROBIN
               _Turdus migratorius migratorius_ Linnaeus

  Description.—_Adult male_: Head blackish; partial white eye-ring; rest
  of upperparts gray, darker on wings and tail; outer tail-feathers
  narrowly tipped with white; throat white, streaked with black; breast
  and sides brownish red, sometimes somewhat barred with whitish; belly
  and undertail-coverts white, the latter sometimes marked with grayish.
  Eyes dark brown. _Female_: Duller. _Young_: The breasts are spotted
  with black. _Length_: 10 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—Abundant migrant and summer resident, appearing
  early in spring, sometimes in February or March, and lingering often
  until November; casual in winter, when it is likely to be seen in
  flocks.

  Nest.—A firm, neatly cupped structure of grasses, weed stalks, string,
  and so forth, with an inner lining of mud, placed in trees, on
  window-sills, under porches, and sometimes on the ground. _Eggs_: 3 or
  4, pale blue.

    [Illustration: Robin]

The quiet, homelike beauty of the Robin appeals to every American. As
the trim bird runs about the dew-drenched lawn, he seems to impart to us
his own belief in the goodness of life. He pauses to listen for an
earthworm as it scratches its way along its dark tunnel; but if he does
not catch the worm, he looks up brightly, runs nimbly a few feet further
on, and listens again, firm in his knowledge that he will sooner or
later come into his own and catch a worm perhaps even longer than the
one he missed. The spotted breasts of the young bespeak kinship with the
thrushes.


                                BLUEBIRD
                   _Sialis sialis sialis_ (Linnaeus)

  Description.—A little larger than an English Sparrow. _Adult male_:
  Rich, deep, glossy blue above; throat, breast, and sides reddish
  brown; belly and under tail-coverts white. _Female_: Similar, but
  upperparts largely gray, bluest on wings and tail. _Young_: Similar to
  female, but with spotted breast. _Length_: 6 inches.

  Range in Pennsylvania.—A common migrant and summer resident from early
  March until November; casual in winter. It is to be found chiefly in
  more cultivated districts.

  Nest.—Of grasses, in a cavity in a tree or bird-box, from 5 to 20 feet
  from the ground.

    [Illustration: Bluebird]

The soft, brief warble of the Bluebird in spring, and the gentle
farewell it sings in the fall as it flies over, are to be classed among
the sweetest of bird music, to my way of thinking. The Bluebird is not
only beautiful in song and in color, but it is decidedly beneficial, and
since it rears two or three broods of young a year, when it can, it
destroys much insect life in feeding the hungry young which eat
proportionately more than their parents.

The Bluebird’s interesting habit of lifting its wing after alighting, or
as it sings, is characteristic.



                                 INDEX


In the following list only common bird names are given. Beginners will
find it desirable to trace the accurate name of a bird through the use
of this list.


                                   A
  Acadian Flycatcher, 90.
  Alder Flycatcher (figured p. 90), 91.
  American Bittern (figured), 32.
  American Crossbill (figured p. 106), 105.
  American Eagle. See Eagle, Bald.
  American Egret, 35.
  American Merganser. See Merganser.
  American Peregrine. See Hawk, Duck.
  American Scaup. See Scaup.
  American Scoter (figured), 28.
  American Widgeon. See Baldpate.
  Ant-bird. See Flicker, Northern.
  Arctic Owl. See Owl, Snowy.


                                   B
  Bachman’s Sparrow, 116.
  Baird’s Sandpiper, 43.
  Bald Eagle (figured p. 65), 64.
  Baldpate (figured), 20.
  Baltimore Oriole, 101.
  Bank Swallow (figured p. 121), 123.
  Barn Owl (figured), 69.
  Barn Swallow (figured p. 121), 122.
  Barred Owl (figured), 72.
  Barrow’s Goldeneye, 27.
  Bartramian Sandpiper (figured), 47.
  Bay-breasted Warbler (figured), 137.
  Bay-winged Bunting. See Sparrow, Vesper.
  Bee-bird. See Kingbird.
  Bee-Martin. See Kingbird.
  Belted Kingfisher (figured), 77.
  Bewick’s Wren (figured), 150.
  Big Owl. See Owl, Great Horned.
  Birch Partridge. See Grouse, Ruffled.
  Bird Hawk. See Hawk, Sharp-shinned.
  Bittern, American (figured), 32.
      Bull. See Heron, Black-crowned Night.
      Green. See Heron, Green.
      Least (figured), 33.
  Black and White Creeper. See Warbler, Black and White.
  Black and White Creeping Warbler. See Warbler, Black and White.
  Black and White Warbler (figured), 129.
  Black-bellied Plover, 49.
  Black-billed Cuckoo (figured), 76.
  Blackbird. See Grackle, Purple and Bronzed; Starling; Cowbird;
          Blackbird, Rusty and Red-winged.
  Blackbird, Cow. See Cowbird.
      Crow. See Grackle, Purple and Bronzed.
      Red-winged (figured p. 99), 98.
      Rusty, 102.
      Swamp. See Blackbird, Red-winged.
  Blackburnian Warbler (figured), 138.
  Black-cap, Wilson’s. See Warbler, Wilson’s.
  Black-capped Chickadee (figured), 155.
  Black-capped Warbler. See Warbler, Wilson’s.
  Black-crowned Night Heron (figured p. 37), 36.
  Black Duck (figured), 19.
  Black-eyed Owl. See Owl, Barred.
  Black-head. See Scaup and Lesser Scaup; Duck, Ring-necked.
  Black Mallard. See Duck, Black.
  Black-poll Warbler (figured p. 138), 137.
  Black Rail, 39.
  Black Sparrow. See Starling.
  Black Tern (figured), 15.
  Black-throated Blue Warbler (figured), 134.
  Black-throated Bunting, 120.
  Black-throated Green Warbler (figured), 139.
  Black Woodpecker. See Woodpecker, Pileated.
  Blue-bill. See Scaup; Scaup, Lesser; Duck, Ring-necked.
  Bluebird (figured), 160.
  Blue Darter. See Hawk, Sharp-shinned, and Cooper’s.
  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (figured), 157.
  Blue Grosbeak, 120.
  Blue Hawk. See Hawk, Duck.
  Blue-headed Vireo (figured), 128.
  Blue Jay (figured p. 93), 92.
  Blue-winged Teal (figured), 21.
  Blue-winged Warbler (figured), 130.
  Blue-winged Yellow Warbler. See Warbler, Blue-winged.
  Blue Yellow-backed Warbler (figured), 132.
  Bobolink (figured), 96.
  Bob-White (figured), 52.
  Bog Owl. See Owl, Short-eared.
  Bog Snipe. See Woodcock.
  Bohemian Waxwing, 125.
  Bonaparte’s Gull, 14.
  Brant, 31.
  Brewster’s Warbler, 131.
  Bridge Bird. See Phœbe.
  Broad-winged Hawk, 63.
  Bronzed Grackle, 102.
  Brown Creeper (figured), 153.
  Brown Thrasher (figured), 149.
  Brown Thrush. See Thrasher, Brown.
  Bufflehead (figured), 27.
  Bull-Bat. See Nighthawk.
  Bull Bittern. See Heron, Black-crowned Night.
  Bullet Hawk. See Hawk, Duck.
  Bullhead. See Duck, Ruddy.
  Bullneck. See Duck, Ruddy.
  Bum Cluck. See Bittern, American.
  Bunting, Bay-winged. See Sparrow, Vesper.
      Black-throated, 120.
      Indigo (figured), 119.
      Snow, 109.
      Yellow-winged. See Sparrow, Grasshopper.
  Butcher Bird. See Shrike, Northern and Migrant.
  Butterball. See Bufflehead; Duck, Ruddy.
  Buzzard. See Vulture, Turkey.
  Buzzard, Turkey. See Vulture, Turkey.


                                   C
  Canada Goose (figured), 30.
  Canadian Warbler (figured), 146.
  Canary, Wild. See Goldfinch; Warbler, Yellow.
  Canvasback (figured), 25.
  Cape May Warbler (figured), 133.
  Cardinal (figured), 118.
      Virginia, See Cardinal.
  Cardinal Grosbeak. See Cardinal.
  Carolina Chickadee, 156.
  Carolina Dove. See Dove, Mourning.
  Carolina Rail. See Rail, Sora.
  Carolina Wren (figured), 150.
  Caspian Tern, 15.
  Catbird (figured p. 149), 148.
  Cat Owl. See Owl, Great Horned and Long-eared.
  Cedar Bird. See Waxwing, Cedar.
  Cedar Owl. See Owl, Long-eared.
  Cedar Waxwing (figured), 124.
  Cerulean Warbler (figured), 136.
  Chat, Yellow-breasted (figured), 145.
  Chebec. See Flycatcher, Least.
  Cherry Bird. See Waxwing, Cedar.
  Chestnut-sided Warbler (figured p. 137), 136.
  Chewink. See Towhee.
  Chickadee, Black-capped (figured), 155.
      Carolina, 156.
  Chicken Hawk. See Hawk, Marsh, Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s,
          Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, Broad-winged, Rough-legged,
          and Goshawk.
  Chimney Swallow. See Swift, Chimney.
  Chimney Swift (figured), 85.
  Chipping Sparrow (figured), 113.
  Chippy. See Sparrow, Chipping.
  Chiv. See Woodpecker, Red-bellied.
  Clape. See Flicker, Northern.
  Cliff Swallow (figured p. 121), 122.
  Cock o’ the Woods. See Woodpecker, Pileated.
  Common Tern (figured p. 15), 14.
  Connecticut Warbler (figured), 143.
  Cooper’s Hawk (figured), 59.
  Coot (figured), 40.
  Cormorant, Double-crested (figured p. 16), 15.
  Cow Blackbird. See Cowbird.
  Cowbird (figured p. 98), 97.
  Crane. See Heron, Great Blue.
      Fish. See Heron, Great Blue.
      Sandhill. See Heron, Great Blue.
      White. See Egret, American; Heron, Little Blue.
  Creeper, Black and White. See Warbler, Black and White.
      Brown (figured), 153.
  Crested Flycatcher (figured), 87.
  Crossbill, American (figured p. 106), 105.
      Red (figured p. 106), 105.
      White-winged (figured p. 106), 105.
  Crow, 94.
      Fish, 95.
      Rain-. See Cuckoo, Yellow-billed and Black-billed; Dove,
          Mourning.
  Crow Blackbird. See Grackle, Purple and Bronzed.
  Cuckoo, Black-billed (figured), 76.
      Yellow-billed (figured p. 76), 75.
  Cuphead. See Goldeneye.


                                   D
  Dabchick. See Grebe, Pied-billed.
  Darter, Blue. See Hawk, Sharp-shinned, and Cooper’s.
  Dickcissel, 120.
  Dipper. See Grebe, Horned and Pied-billed.
  Dipper Duck. See Grebe, Pied-billed and Horned; Duck, Ruddy;
          Bufflehead.
  Diver, Great Northern. See Loon.
  Double-crested Cormorant (figured p. 16), 15.
  Dove, Carolina. See Dove, Mourning.
      Mourning (figured), 55.
      Turtle. See Dove, Mourning.
  Dowitcher, 42.
  Downy Woodpecker, 78.
  Duck, Baldpate (figured), 20.
      Barrow’s Goldeneye, 27.
      Black (figured), 19.
      Blue-winged Teal (figured), 21.
      Bufflehead (figured), 27.
      Canvasback (figured), 25.
      Dipper. See Bufflehead; Duck, Ruddy.
      Fish. See Merganser, and Mergansers, Red-breasted and Hooded.
      Gadwall (figured p. 20), 19.
      Goldeneye (figured), 26.
      Gray. See Gadwall.
      Green-winged Teal (figured), 26.
      Lesser Scaup, 26.
      Long-tailed. See Old Squaw.
      Mallard (figured), 18.
      Old Squaw (figured p. 28), 27.
      Pintail (figured p. 23), 22.
      Raft. See Scaup; Scaup, Lesser; Duck, Ring-necked.
      Redhead (figured), 24.
      Red-legged Black, 19.
      Ring-necked, 26.
      Ruddy (figured p. 30), 29.
      Scaup (figured), 25.
      Shoveler (figured), 22.
      Spoonbill. See Shoveler.
      Wild. See Mallard.
      Wood (figured), 23.
  Duck Hawk (figured p. 66), 65.
  Dusky Mallard. See Duck, Black.


                                   E
  Eagle, American. See Eagle, Bald.
      Bald (figured p. 65), 64.
      Golden, 64.
      White-headed. See Eagle, Bald.
  Eaves Swallow (figured p. 121), 122.
  Egret. See Egret, American.
      American, 35.
  English Pheasant. See Pheasant, Ring-necked.
  English Snipe. See Snipe, Wilson’s.
  English Sparrow, 108.
  European Gray Partridge, 52.
  European Widgeon, 21.
  Evening Grosbeak (figured), 103.


                                   F
  Falcon, Peregrine. See Hawk, Duck.
  Field Lark. See Meadowlark.
  Field Plover. See Sandpiper, Bartramian.
  Field Sparrow (figured p. 113), 114.
  Finch, Grass. See Sparrow, Vesper.
      Pine. See Siskin, Pine.
      Purple (figured), 104.
  Fish Crane. See Heron, Great Blue.
  Fish Crow, 95.
  Fish Duck. See Merganser; Mergansers, Red-breasted and Hooded.
  Fish Hawk (figured), 68.
  Flicker, Northern (figured p. 83), 82.
  Florida Gallinule (figured), 39.
  Flycatcher, Acadian, 90.
      Alder (figured p. 90), 91.
      Crested (figured), 87.
      Least (figured p. 90), 91.
      Olive-sided (figured p. 87), 88.
      Tyrant. See Kingbird.
      Yellow-bellied (figured), 90.
  Fly-up-the-Creek. See Heron, Green.
  Fox Sparrow (figured), 116.


                                   G
  Gadwall (figured p. 20), 19.
  Gallinule, Florida (figured), 39.
  Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray (figured), 157.
  Gnatsucker. See Nighthawk.
  Golden-crowned Kinglet (figured), 156.
  Golden Eagle, 64.
  Goldeneye (figured), 26.
      Barrow’s, 27.
  Golden Owl. See Owl, Barn.
  Golden Plover, 50.
  Golden Robin. See Oriole, Baltimore.
  Golden-winged Warbler (figured p. 130), 131.
  Golden-winged Woodpecker. See Flicker, Northern.
  Goldfinch (figured p. 107), 106.
  Goosander. See Merganser.
  Goose, Canada (figured), 30.
      Greater Snow, 31.
      White-fronted, 31.
      Wild. See Goose, Canada.
  Goshawk (figured p. 60), 59.
  Grackle, Bronzed, 102.
      Purple (figured p. 103), 102.
  Grass Finch. See Sparrow, Vesper.
  Grasshopper Sparrow (figured p. 111), 110.
  Grass Sparrow. See Sparrow, Vesper.
  Gray-cheeked Thrush, 158.
  Gray Duck. See Gadwall.
  Gray Gull. See Herring Gull.
  Gray Hawk. See Goshawk.
  Gray Mallard. See Mallard.
  Gray Owl. See Owl, Screech.
  Gray Partridge. See Grouse, Ruffed.
  Great Blue Heron (figured), 34.
  Great Horned Owl (figured), 74.
  Great Northern Diver. See Loon.
  Greater Scaup. See Scaup.
  Greater Snow Goose, 31.
  Greater Yellow-legs (figured), 45.
  Grebe, Holbœll’s, 11.
      Horned (figured), 11.
      Pied-billed (figured p. 12), 11.
  Green Bittern. See Heron, Green.
  Green Heron (figured), 36.
  Green-winged Teal (figured), 21.
  Grosbeak, Blue, 120.
      Cardinal. See Cardinal.
      Evening (figured), 103.
      Pine (figured p. 103), 104.
      Rose-breasted (figured), 119.
  Ground Robin. See Towhee.
  Ground Sparrow. See Sparrow, Song and Vesper.
  Ground Woodpecker. See Flicker, Northern.
  Grouse, Ruffed (figured), 53.
  Guffee. See Towhee.
  Gull, Bonaparte’s, 14.
      Gray. See Herring Gull.
      Herring (figured), 13.
      Laughing, 14.
      Ring-billed, 13, 14.
      Sea. See Herring Gull.


                                   H
  Hairy Woodpecker (figured), 78.
  Hammer, Yellow. See Flicker, Northern.
  Hang-bird. See Oriole, Baltimore.
  Hang-nest. See Oriole, Baltimore.
  Harrier, Hen. See Hawk, Marsh.
      Marsh. See Hawk, Marsh.
  Hawk, Bird. See Hawk, Sharp-shinned.
      Blue. See Hawk, Duck.
      Broad-winged, 63.
      Bullet. See Hawk, Duck.
      Chicken. See Hawk, Marsh, Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, Red-tailed,
          Red-shouldered, Broad-winged, Rough-legged; Goshawk.
      Cooper’s (figured), 59.
      Duck (figured p. 66), 65.
      Fish (figured), 68.
      Gray. See Goshawk.
      Hen. See Hawk, Cooper’s, and Red-tailed; Goshawk.
      Killy. See Hawk, Sparrow.
      Ledge. See Hawk, Duck.
      Marsh (figured), 57.
      Mosquito. See Nighthawk.
      Mouse. See Hawk, Sparrow.
      Partridge. See Goshawk.
      Pigeon (figured p. 67), 66. See also Hawk, Marsh,
          Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, Broad-winged, and Sparrow.
      Red-shouldered (figured p. 61), 62.
      Red-tailed (figured p. 61), 60.
      Rock. See Hawk, Duck.
      Rough-legged, 63.
      Sharp-shinned (figured p. 59), 58.
      Sparrow (figured), 67.
      Squirrel. See Goshawk.
      Swamp. See Hawk, Marsh.
  Hell-Diver. See Grebe, Horned and Pied-billed.
  Henslow’s Sparrow (figured), 111.
  Hen Harrier. See Hawk, Marsh.
  Hen Hawk. See Hawk, Cooper’s and Red-tailed, and Goshawk.
  Hen, Indian. See Woodpecker, Pileated.
  Hermit Thrush, 159.
  Heron, Black-crowned Night (figured p. 37), 36.
      Great Blue (figured), 34.
      Green (figured), 36.
      Little Blue, 35.
      White. See Heron, Little Blue.
  Herring Gull (figured), 13.
  High-hole. See Flicker, Northern.
  Holbœll’s Grebe, 11.
  Honker. See Goose, Canada.
  Hooded Merganser (figured p. 18), 17.
  Hooded Warbler (figured p. 146), 145.
  Hoot Owl. See Owl, Barred, Screech, Great Horned, and Long-eared.
  Horned Grebe (figured), 11.
  Horned Lark, 91.
  House Sparrow. See Sparrow, English.
  House Wren (figured p. 151), 150.
  Hummer. See Hummingbird, Ruby-throated.
  Hummingbird, Ruby-throated (figured), 86.
  Hungarian Partridge, 52.


                                   I
  Indian Hen. See Woodpecker, Pileated.
  Indigo Bunting (figured), 119.


                                   J
  Jack Snipe. See Snipe, Wilson’s.
  Jay, Blue (figured p. 93), 92.
  Jenny Wren. See Wren, House.
  Joree. See Towhee.
  Junco. See Junco, Slate-colored.
      Slate-colored (figured), 114.


                                   K
  Kentucky Warbler (figured), 143.
  Killdee. See Killdeer.
  Killdeer (figured), 49.
  Killdeer Plover. See Killdeer.
  Killy Hawk. See Hawk, Sparrow.
  King Rail, 37.
  Kingbird (figured p. 87), 86.
  Kingfisher, Belted (figured), 77.
  Kinglet, Golden-crowned (figured), 156.
      Ruby-crowned (figured), 156.
  Knot, 43.


                                   L
  Ladder-back. See Woodpecker, Red-bellied.
  Lapland Longspur, 109.
  Lark, Field. See Meadowlark.
      Horned, 91.
      Prairie Horned (figured p. 92), 91.
      Shore. See Lark, Prairie Horned.
      Tit- (figured p. 148), 147.
  Laughing Gull, 14.
  Lawrence’s Warbler, 131.
  Least Bittern (figured), 33.
  Least Flycatcher (figured p. 90), 91.
  Least Sandpiper (figured), 44.
  Ledge Hawk. See Hawk, Duck.
  Lesser Scaup, 26.
  Lesser Yellow-legs, 46.
  Linnet. See Finch, Purple.
  Little Blue Heron, 35.
  Little Owl. See Owl, Screech.
  Log-cock. See Woodpecker, Pileated.
  Long-billed Marsh Wren (figured), 152.
  Long-eared Owl (figured), 70.
  Long-tailed Duck. See Old Squaw.
  Longspur, Lapland, 109.
  Loom. See Loon.
  Loon (figured), 12.
      Red-throated, 13.
  Louisiana Water-Thrush, 142.


                                   M
  Magnolia Warbler (figured p. 136), 135.
  Mallard (figured), 18.
      Black. See Duck, Black.
      Dusky. See Duck, Black.
      Gray. See Mallard.
  Marsh Harrier. See Hawk, Marsh.
  Marsh Hawk (figured), 57.
  Marsh Owl. See Owl, Short-eared.
  Marsh Tern. See Tern, Black.
  Martin, Purple (figured), 121.
      Sand. See Swallow, Bank.
  Maryland Yellow-throat (figured), 144.
  Meadowlark (figured p. 100), 99.
  Meadow Owl. See Owl, Short-eared.
  Meadow Peep. See Sandpiper, Least.
  Merganser (figured), 16.
      American. See Merganser.
      Hooded (figured p. 18), 17.
      Red-breasted (figured), 17.
  Migrant Shrike (figured), 126.
  Mocker of the North. See Thrasher, Brown.
  Mockingbird (figured), 148.
  Monkey-faced Owl. See Owl, Barn.
  Mosquito Hawk. See Nighthawk.
  Mottled Owl. See Owl, Screech.
  Mourning Dove (figured), 55.
  Mourning Warbler (figured p. 143), 144.
  Mouse Hawk. See Hawk, Sparrow.
  Mud Hen. See Gallinule, Florida and Coot.
  Mud Teal. See Teal, Green-winged.
  Myrtle Warbler (figured p. 134), 135.


                                   N
  Nashville Warbler (figured), 131.
  Nelson’s Sparrow, 111.
  Nighthawk (figured), 84.
  Night Jar. See Nighthawk.
  Northern Flicker (figured p. 83), 82.
  Northern Raven (figured), 94.
  Northern Shrike (figured), 125.
  Northern Water-Thrush (figured), 142.
  Northern Waxwing, 125.
  Nuthatch, Red-breasted (figured p. 153), 154.
      White-breasted (figured), 153.


                                   O
  Old Squaw (figured p. 28), 27.
  Old Wife. See Old Squaw.
  Olive-backed Thrush (figured), 159.
  Olive-sided Flycatcher (figured p. 87), 88.
  Orange-crowned Warbler (figured p. 131), 132.
  Orchard Bird. See Oriole, Orchard.
  Orchard Oriole (figured p. 101), 100.
  Oriole, Baltimore, 101.
      Orchard (figured p. 101), 100.
  Ortolan. See Rail, Sora.
  Osprey (figured), 68.
  Ovenbird (figured), 141.
  Owl, Barn (figured), 69.
      Barred (figured), 72.
      Big.  See Owl, Great Horned.
      Black-eyed. See Owl, Barred.
      Bog. See Owl, Short-eared.
      Cat. See Owl, Great Horned and Long-eared.
      Cedar. See Owl, Long-eared.
      Golden. See Owl, Barn.
      Gray. See Owl, Screech.
      Great Horned (figured), 74.
      Hoot. See Owl, Barred, Screech, Great Horned, and Long-eared.
      Little. See Owl, Screech.
      Long-eared (figured), 70.
      Marsh. See Owl, Short-eared.
      Meadow. See Owl, Short-eared.
      Monkey-faced. See Owl, Barn.
      Mottled. See Owl, Screech.
      Red. See Owl, Screech.
      Saw-whet (figured), 73.
      Screech (figured), 73.
      Short-eared (figured p. 70), 71.
      Snow. See Owl, Snowy.
      Snowy, 75.
      Squeak. See Owl, Screech.
      Squinch. See Owl, Screech.
      Swamp. See Owl, Short-eared.
      White. See Owl, Snowy.
  Oxeye. See Sandpiper, Pectoral, and Least.


                                   P
  Palm Warbler (figured), 140.
  Partridge. See Bob-White and Grouse, Ruffed.
      Birch. See Grouse, Ruffed.
      European Gray, 52.
      Gray. See Grouse, Ruffed.
      Hungarian, 52.
      Virginia. See Bob-White.
  Partridge Hawk. See Goshawk.
  Parula Warbler (figured), 132.
  Peabody-bird. See Sparrow, White-throated.
  Pectoral Sandpiper, 43.
  Peep. See Sandpiper, Spotted.
      Meadow. See Sandpiper, Least.
  Pelican, White, 16.
  Peregrine, American. See Hawk, Duck.
  Peregrine Falcon. See Hawk, Duck.
  Pewee. See Phœbe.
      Wood (figured p. 88), 89.
  Pheasant. See Pheasant, Ring-necked, and Grouse, Ruffed.
      English. See Pheasant, Ring-necked.
      Ring-necked (figured), 51.
  Philadelphia Vireo, 127.
  Phœbe (figured), 88.
  Phœbe-bird. See Phœbe.
  Pied-billed Grebe (figured p. 12), 11.
  Pigeon Hawk (figured p. 67), 66. See also Hawk, Marsh,
          Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, Broad-Winged, and Sparrow.
  Pileated Woodpecker (figured), 80.
  Pine Finch. See Siskin, Pine.
  Pine Grosbeak (figured p. 103), 104.
  Pine Siskin (figured p. 108), 107.
  Pine Warbler (figured), 139.
  Pintail (figured p. 23), 22.
  Piping Plover, 50.
  Pipit (figured p. 148), 147.
  Plickah.  See Flicker, Northern.
  Plover, Black-bellied, 49.
      Field. See Sandpiper, Bartramian.
      Golden, 50.
      Killdeer. See Killdeer.
      Piping, 50.
      Ring. See Plover, Semipalmated.
      Semipalmated (figured), 50.
      Upland. See Sandpiper, Bartramian.
  Plum Pudd’n. See Bittern, American.
  Prairie Horned Lark (figured p. 92), 91.
  Prairie Warbler (figured p. 140), 141.
  Prairie Whistler. See Sandpiper, Bartramian.
  Preacher Bird. See Vireo, Red-eyed.
  Prothonotary Warbler, 129.
  Purple Finch (figured), 104.
  Purple Grackle (figured p. 103), 102.
  Purple Martin (figured), 121.


                                   Q
  Quail. See Bob-White.
  Quawk. See Heron, Black-crowned Night.


                                   R
  Raft Duck. See Scaup; Scaup, Lesser; Duck, Ring-necked.
  Rail, Black, 39.
      Carolina. See Rail, Sora.
      King, 37.
      Sora (figured p. 39), 38.
      Virginia (figured), 38.
      Yellow, 39.
  Rain-Crow. See Cuckoo, Yellow-billed and Black-billed; Dove,
          Mourning.
  Raven, Northern (figured), 94.
  Red-backed Sandpiper (figured), 44.
  Red-bellied Woodpecker (figured p. 83), 82.
  Redbird. See Cardinal.
  Redbird, Virginia. See Cardinal.
  Red-breasted Merganser (figured), 17.
  Red-breasted Nuthatch (figured p. 153), 154.
  Red Crossbill (figured p. 106), 105.
  Red-eyed Vireo (figured), 127.
  Redhead (figured), 24.
      See also Woodpecker, Red-headed.
  Red-headed Woodpecker (figured), 81.
      See also Woodpecker, Pileated.
  Red-legged Black Duck, 19.
  Red Owl. See Owl, Screech.
  Redpoll (figured), 106.
  Red-shouldered Hawk (figured p. 61), 62.
  Redstart (figured p. 146), 147.
  Red-tailed Hawk (figured p. 61), 60.
  Red-throated Loon, 13.
  Redwing. See Blackbird, Red-winged.
  Red-winged Blackbird (figured p. 99), 98.
  Reedbird. See Bobolink; Blackbird, Red-winged; Rail, Sora.
  Ricebird. See Bobolink.
  Ring-billed Gull, 13, 14.
  Ring-neck. See Pheasant, Ring-necked.
  Ring-necked Duck, 26.
  Ring-necked Pheasant (figured), 51.
  Ring Plover. See Plover, Semipalmated.
  Road Sparrow. See Sparrow, Vesper.
  Robin (figured), 160.
      Golden. See Oriole, Baltimore.
      Ground. See Towhee.
      Swamp. See Towhee.
      Wake. See Flicker, Northern.
  Robin Snipe, 43.
  Rock Hawk. See Hawk, Duck.
  Rose-breasted Grosbeak (figured), 119.
  Rough-legged Hawk, 63.
  Rough-winged Swallow (figured p. 121), 124.
  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (figured), 156.
  Ruby-throat. See Hummingbird, Ruby-throated.
  Ruby-throated Hummingbird (figured), 86.
  Ruddy Duck (figured p. 30), 29.
  Ruddy Turnstone, 50.
  Ruffed Grouse (figured), 53.
  Rusty Blackbird, 102.


                                   S
  Salad Bird. See Goldfinch.
  Sanderling, 45.
  Sandhill Crane. See Heron, Great Blue.
  Sand Martin. See Swallow, Bank.
  Sandpiper, Baird’s, 43.
      Bartramian (figured), 47.
      Least (figured), 44.
      Pectoral, 43.
      Red-backed (figured), 44.
      Semipalmated, 45.
      Solitary (figured), 46.
      Spotted (figured), 48.
      White-rumped, 43.
  Sapsucker. See Woodpecker, Hairy, Downy, and Red-bellied;
          Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied.
      Yellow-bellied (figured), 79.
  Savannah Sparrow (figured p. 109), 110.
  Sawbill. See Merganser.
  Saw-whet Owl (figured), 73.
  Scarlet Tanager (figured), 120.
  Scaup (figured), 25.
      American. See Scaup.
      Greater. See Scaup.
      Lesser, 26.
  Scoter, American (figured), 28.
      Surf (figured), 29.
      White-winged (figured), 29.
  Screech Owl (figured), 73.
  Sea Gull. See Herring Gull.
  Sea Swallow. See Tern, Common.
  Semipalmated Plover (figured), 50.
  Semipalmated Sandpiper, 45.
  Shag. See Cormorant, Double-crested.
  Sharp-shinned Hawk (figured p. 59), 58.
  Shelldrake. See Merganser, Red-breasted and Hooded.
  Shite-poke. See Heron, Green.
  Shore Lark. See Lark, Prairie Horned.
  Short-billed Marsh Wren (figured), 152.
  Short-eared Owl (figured p. 70), 71.
  Shoveler (figured), 22.
  Shrike, Migrant (figured), 126.
      Northern (figured), 125.
  Silver-tail. See Grouse, Ruffed.
  Siskin, Pine (figured p. 108), 107.
  Skunkbird. See Bobolink.
  Slate-colored Junco (figured), 114.
  Snipe, Bog. See Woodcock.
      English. See Wilson’s Snipe.
      Jack. See Snipe, Wilson’s.
      Robin, 43.
      Wall-eyed. See Woodcock.
      Wilson’s (figured p. 42), 41.
      Yellow-legs. See Yellow-legs, Greater.
  Snow-bird. See Junco Slate-colored, and Bunting, Snow.
  Snow Bunting, 109.
  Snowflake. See Bunting, Snow.
  Snow Owl. See Owl, Snowy.
  Snowy Owl, 75.
  Solitary Sandpiper (figured), 46.
  Song Sparrow (figured), 115.
  Sora Rail (figured p. 39), 38.
  Sou’ Southerly. See Old Squaw.
  Sparrow, Bachman’s, 116.
      Black. See Starling.
      Chipping (figured), 113.
      English, 108.
      Field (figured p. 113), 114.
      Fox (figured), 116.
      Grass. See Sparrow, Vesper.
      Grasshopper (figured p. 111), 110.
      Ground. See Sparrow, Song and Vesper.
      Henslow’s (figured), 111.
      House. See Sparrow, English.
      Nelson’s, 111.
      Road. See Sparrow, Vesper.
      Savannah (figured p. 109), 110.
      Song (figured), 115.
      Swamp (figured p. 115), 116.
      Tree (figured p. 113), 112.
      Vesper (figured), 109.
      White-crowned (figured p. 112), 111.
      White-throated (figured), 112.
      Yellow-winged. See Sparrow, Grasshopper.
  Sparrow Hawk (figured), 67.
  Spike-tail. See Pintail.
  Spoonbill Duck. See Shoveler.
  Spotted Sandpiper (figured), 48.
  Sprig. See Pintail.
  Sprig-tail. See Pintail.
  Squeak Owl. See Owl, Screech.
  Squinch Owl. See Owl, Screech.
  Squirrel Hawk. See Goshawk.
  Starling (figured), 95.
  Stake-driver. See Bittern, American.
  Stilt Sandpiper, 43.
  Striker. See Tern, Common.
  Summer Yellow Bird. See Warbler, Yellow.
  Summer Yellow-legs. See Yellow-legs, Lesser.
  Surf Scoter (figured), 29.
  Swallow, Bank (figured p. 121), 123.
      Barn (figured p. 121), 122.
      Chimney. See Swift, Chimney.
      Cliff (figured p. 121), 122.
      Eaves (figured p. 121), 122.
      Rough-winged (figured p. 121), 124.
      Sea. See Tern, Common.
      Tree (figured p. 121), 123.
      White-bellied (figured p. 121), 123.
  Swamp Blackbird. See Blackbird, Red-winged.
  Swamp Hawk. See Hawk, Marsh.
  Swamp Owl. See Owl, Short-eared.
  Swamp Robin. See Towhee.
  Swamp Sparrow (figured p. 115), 116.
  Swan, Trumpeter, 32.
  Swan, Whistling, 31.
  Swift, Chimney (figured), 85.


                                   T
  Tanager, Scarlet (figured), 120.
  Teakettle Bird. See Wren, Carolina.
  Teal, Blue-winged (figured), 21.
      Green-winged (figured), 21.
      Mud. See Teal, Green-winged.
  Tennessee Warbler (figured), 132.
  Tern, Black (figured), 15.
      Caspian, 15.
      Common (figured p. 15), 14.
      Marsh. See Tern, Black.
      Wilson’s. See Tern, Common.
  Thistle Bird. See Goldfinch.
  Thrasher, Brown (figured), 149.
  Thrush, Brown. See Thrasher, Brown.
      Gray-checked, 158.
      Hermit, 159.
      Olive-backed (figured), 159.
      Water-, Louisiana, 142.
      Water-, Northern (figured), 142.
      Wilson’s, 158.
      Wood (figured), 157.
  Thunder-pump. See Bittern, American.
  Tilt-up. See Sandpiper, Spotted.
  Tip-up. See Sandpiper, Spotted.
  Titlark (figured p. 148), 147.
  Titmouse, Tufted (figured p. 155), 154.
  Towhee (figured), 117.
  Tree Sparrow (figured p. 113), 112.
  Tree Swallow (figured p. 121), 123.
  Trumpeter Swan, 32.
  Tufted Titmouse (figured p. 155), 154.
  Turkey Buzzard. See Vulture, Turkey.
  Turkey Vulture (figured), 56.
  Turkey, Wild, 54.
  Turnstone, Ruddy, 50.
  Turtle Dove. See Dove, Mourning.
  Tyrant Flycatcher. See Kingbird.


                                   U
  Upland Plover. See Sandpiper, Bartramian.


                                   V
  Veery, 158.
  Vesper Sparrow (figured), 109.
  Vireo, Blue-headed (figured), 128.
      Philadelphia, 127.
      Red-eyed (figured), 127.
      Warbling (figured), 127.
      White-eyed, 128.
      Yellow-throated (figured), 128.
  Virginia Cardinal. See Cardinal.
  Virginia Partridge. See Bob-White.
  Virginia Rail (figured), 38.
  Virginia Redbird. See Cardinal.
  Vulture, Turkey (figured), 56.


                                   W
  Wake Robin. See Flicker, Northern.
  Wall-eyed Snipe. See Woodcock.
  Warbler, Bay-breasted (figured), 137.
      Black and White (figured), 129.
      Black and White Creeping. See Warbler, Black and White.
  Warbler, Blackburnian (figured), 138.
      Black-capped. See Warbler, Wilson’s.
      Black-poll (figured p. 138), 137.
      Black-throated Blue (figured), 134.
      Black-throated Green (figured), 139.
      Blue-winged (figured), 130.
      Blue-winged Yellow. See Warbler, Blue-Winged.
      Blue Yellow-backed (figured), 132.
      Brewster’s, 131.
      Canadian (figured), 146.
      Cape May (figured), 133.
      Cerulean (figured), 136.
      Chestnut-sided (figured p. 137), 136.
      Connecticut (figured), 143.
      Golden-winged (figured p. 130), 131.
      Hooded (figured p. 146), 145.
      Kentucky (figured), 143.
      Lawrence’s, 131.
      Magnolia (figured p. 136), 135.
      Mourning (figured p. 143), 144.
      Myrtle (figured p. 134), 135.
      Nashville (figured), 131.
      Orange-crowned (figured p. 131), 132.
      Palm (figured), 140.
      Parula (figured), 132.
      Pine (figured), 139.
      Prairie (figured p. 140), 141.
      Prothonotary, 129.
      Tennessee (figured), 132.
      Wilson’s (figured), 146.
      Worm-eating (figured p. 129), 130.
      Yellow (figured), 133.
      Yellow Palm, 140.
      Yellow-rumped (figured p. 134), 135.
      Yellow-throated, 129.
  Warbling Vireo (figured), 127.
  Water-Thrush, Louisiana, 142.
      Northern (figured), 142.
  Waxwing, Bohemian, 125.
      Cedar (figured), 124.
      Northern, 125.
  Western Willet, 47.
  Whip-poor-will (figured p. 84), 83. See also Nighthawk.
  Whistler, Prairie. See Sandpiper, Bartramian.
  Whistler. See Goldeneye.
  Whistling Swan, 31.
  White-bellied Swallow (figured p. 121), 123.
  White-breasted Nuthatch (figured), 153.
  White Crane. See Egret, American; Heron, Little Blue.
  White-crowned Sparrow (figured 112), 111.
  White-eyed Vireo, 128.
  White-fronted Goose, 31.
  White-headed Eagle. See Eagle, Bald.
  White Heron. See Heron, Little Blue.
  White Owl. See Owl, Snowy.
  White Pelican, 16.
  White-rumped Sandpiper, 43.
  White-throated Sparrow (figured), 112.
  White-winged Crossbill (figured p. 106), 105.
  White-winged Scoter (figured), 29.
  Wickup. See Flicker, Northern.
  Widgeon. See Baldpate.
  Widgeon, American. See Baldpate.
  Widgeon, European, 21.
  Wild Canary. See Warbler, Yellow; Goldfinch.
  Wild Duck. See Mallard.
  Wild Goose. See Goose, Canada.
  Wild Turkey, 54.
  Willet, 47.
      Western, 47.
  Wilson’s Black-cap. See Warbler, Wilson’s.
  Wilson’s Snipe (figured p. 42), 41.
  Wilson’s Tern. See Tern, Common.
  Wilson’s Thrush, 158.
  Wilson’s Warbler (figured), 146.
  Winter Wren (figured), 151.
  Woodcock. See Woodpecker, Pileated.
  Woodcock (figured p. 41), 40.
  Wood Duck (figured), 23.
  Wood Pewee (figured p. 88), 89.
  Wood Thrush (figured), 157.
  Woodpecker, Black. See Woodpecker, Pileated.
      Downy, 78.
      Golden-winged. See Flicker, Northern.
      Ground. Flicker, Northern.
      Hairy (figured), 78.
      Pileated (figured), 80.
      Red-bellied (figured p. 83), 82.
      Red-headed (figured), 81. See also Woodpecker, Pileated.
      Yellow-bellied. See Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied.
      Zebra. See Woodpecker, Red-bellied.
  Worm-eating Warbler (figured p. 129), 130.
  Wren, Bewick’s (figured), 150
      Carolina (figured), 150.
      House (figured p. 151), 150.
      Jenny. See Wren, House.
      Long-billed Marsh (figured), 152.
      Short-billed Marsh (figured), 152.
      Winter (figured), 151.


                                   Y
  Yarrup. See Flicker, Northern.
  Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (figured), 90.
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (figured), 79.
  Yellow-bellied Woodpecker. See Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied.
  Yellow-billed Cuckoo (figured p. 76), 75.
  Yellow Bird. See Goldfinch.
  Yellow Bird, Summer. See Warbler, Yellow.
  Yellow-breasted Chat (figured), 145.
  Yellow Hammer. See Flicker, Northern.
  Yellow-legs. See Yellow-legs, Lesser.
      Greater (figured), 45.
      Lesser, 46.
      Summer. See Yellow-legs, Lesser.
  Yellow-legs Snipe. See Yellow-legs, Greater.
  Yellow Palm Warbler, 140.
  Yellow Rail, 39.
  Yellow-rumped Warbler (figured p. 134), 135.
  Yellow-throat, Maryland (figured), 144.
  Yellow-throated Vireo (figured), 128.
  Yellow-throated Warbler, 129.
  Yellow Warbler (figured), 133.
  Yellow-winged Bunting. See Sparrow, Grasshopper.
  Yellow-wing Sparrow. See Sparrow, Grasshopper.


                                   Z
  Zebra Woodpecker. See Woodpecker, Red-bellied.



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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