Agassiz Association. Wilson Ornithological Chapter.

The Wilson bulletin (Volume 10, 1898) online

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ly lacking. It ought to be possible for many members to make observa-
tions this spring ; for instance, as to choice of nesting hole above the
ground, manner of excavation, etc. There are many interesting things
to be seen if one has the time and patience to watch the work of excava-
tion regularly for a few hours every day, from under cover. The time
of incubation, appearance of young when hatched, and the general life
history of the Flicker furnish a fine field for original investigation of the
highest grade. Careful study of the habits of one bird offers the best
chance of discovering something really new to ornithological science.

R. M. Strong, Frcsidcnt.


Responses to the call for i8g8 migration records for Kildeer, Meadow-
lark, Bronzed Crackle, Robin and Bluebird have been numerous and
gratifying, but a fuller report is desired before publishing the records.
Will not all who have not already sent their records do so at once!" Ad-
dress Lynds Jones, Oberlin, Ohio.


There is now before us a pamphlet entitled, 77if Dcsh-ucl/'on of Our
Birds and Mam?7ials, by William T. Hornaday. Extracted from the
report of the New York Zoological Society. March 15, i8g8.

The appearance of this pamphlet, at a time when interest in nature
study, and particularly in birds, is becoming so widespread, is cause for
congratulation. The unimpeachable character of the author and the re-
liable sources of his information make us feel that the conclusions
reached are absolutely accurate. No doubt many of us have realized in
a general way, and with hardly any definite feeling about it, that the
birds and mammals are really becoming fewer year by year. Those
who may not have remained in one place or section of the country for
more than a few years at a time probably attribute the greater scarcity
to the different region, while others have given it no other attention

Biillciin No. 20. 45

than "It was not so when I was young." But here we have in one Ijrief
review the opinions of one hundred and ninety persons qualified to give
accurate information in regard to this decrease. We are therefore with-
out further excuse for ignorance of the facts.

The "destructive agencies now in operation," according to this report,
are eighteen in number, half of which stand out prominently as menac-
ing factors. They are: Sportsmen, and so-called sportsmen; boys who
shoot: market hunters and "pot-hunters;" "shooters generally;" plume
hunters, and milliners' hunters; clearing off timber; development of
towns and cities; Italians, and others, who devour song birds. Other
agencies comprise so small a proportion of the whole that they scarcely
need mention here

While this report shows that the average decrease in the bird and
mammal fauna of the whole country is forty-six per cent, for the last
fifteen years, it also tells us that 154 species, including the Galliiiae,
CoIu}nba(\ IJynicoIae Piihidicolae, Ilerodioues and Anseres, are rapidly
becoming extinct. These comprise the so-called game birds and pluinage
birds. If the slaughter could be confined to these even, the problem of
adequate protection might be fairly easily solved ; but as these begin to
disappear the other birds, particularly the song birds, because they are
so easily secured, are set upon and destroyed

The problem, then, becomes one for universal protection for the birds
at least. It is a problem not alone to be grappled with by the scientist
and the legislator, but by every patriotic citizen of our country, because
the destruction of the birds, which, at the present rate will be complete
in the next fifteen years, touches every one in every walk of life. The
utility of the birds is universally accredited and need not be mentioned
here. The question is, what are we going to do about it ? W' hat is the
attitude our Chapter should take in view of these facts presented by Mr.
Hornaday ? This is a vital question to us, because we are acknowlodged
students of the birds. Shall we not have an universal expression of opinion
before the next issue of the Bulletin ? Let the question be, What
shall we do as a Chapter ? If yotl have no special thots on the subject,
or no special reply to make, will you not state as briefly as you please
how you stand with reference to the quc^stion ? Let us not delay.


Mr. Arthur H. W. Norton changes his address to Waring, Kendal
Countv, Texas.

46 Bill let ill No. 20.

Mr. Walton I. Mitchell desires his address changed to El Parvenir,
New Mexico.


Editor of The Wilson Bulletin:

Dear Sir : — Please make the following corrections in my note on page
8 of Bulletin No. 8: For Water Thrush {Seiii)-us )WTebo7'ace}isis) redid
Grinell's Water Thrush [s. n. nolabilis). A careful study of the spec-
imen convinces me of the error. Yours truly,

Sidney S. Wilson.
St. Joseph, Mo.


In Bulletin 19, p. 25, line 10, for Conk read Couk
Line 16, for Chiprie read Chipnie.
Line 23, for nearly read nearby.


Gleanings from jValure, No. i. Oo/ogica/ Ab?wrmai;lies. By J.
Warren Jacobs. This is the first of "A series of pamphlets based
chiefly on the author's research in ornithology and oology and pub-
lished from time to time as accumulating material and data permits."
In the preparation of this pamphlet "Over one hundred sets of eggs
[no], each containing one or more abnormal specinens, have been bro't
together along with the copious notes appertaining thereto. Care has
been taken to incorporate in the paper only such notes as have been
properly authenticated and are based wholly on adnormal sets in the
author's possession."

In the first si.xteen pages of this pamphlet the author presents in tabu-
lated form both the average size of a number of normal eggs and the
actual measurements of abnormal ones ; and discusses briefly some of
the reasons for the production of abnormalities in "Size," "Color,"
"Contour." In the remaining twenty pages the no sets in which ab-
normal specimens are found are carefully described, and the abnormal
features are made to at once appeal to the eye by being set in italics.

Bulletin No. 20. 47

The four photo-engravings, illustrating these abnormalities are of great
value in showing the variations in size and shape, but of necessity are
less useful with coloration.

The subject of Abnormalities is one which may well arrest our atten-
tion, and the difficulties which it presents serve only to spur us onward
in the research. The task which Mr. Jacobs set himself was no easy
one, and he has our thanks for this presentation of the facts gathered
after much time and labor.

Manipulation of Ihe Miooscofi'. By Edward Bausch. Third Edition.
This little volume of 200 pages and 47 figures in the text fills a gap in
microscopical literature. Its purpose is to acquaint the possessor of a
microscope, whether simple or compound, with that m.anipulation of his
instrument which will produce the best results. The language is simple
and the style clear, enabling anyone who is willing to give attention to
the subject to understand fully the tecnique of microcopical work. The
author, Mr. Edward Bausch, being a member of one of the largest
manufacturing firms of microscopes and their accessories in ihe country,
is especially fitted to undertake the preparation of a work of this nature.
This little book will be found invaluable to the beginner in the use of
the compound microscope.

I'he To)j_rrues of Birds. By Frederic A. Lucas, Curator of Compara-
tive Anatomy, U. S. National Museum. From the Report of the U. S.
National Museum for 1895, pages 1001-1019, with two plates, and thir-
teen figures in the text. An interesting and valuable treatise, discussing
the differences in tongues, the reasons for the differences and the value
of the tongue in determining relationships.

Taxidermal Methods; in the Leyden Museum, Holland. By R. W.
Shufeldt, Associate in Zoology, U. S. National Museum. From the Re-
port of the U. S. National Museum for 1895, pages 1031-1037.

Ohio Butter/lies. By James S. Hine. A list of 93 diurnil Lepidop-
tera or butterflies known to occur within the state of Ohio, with notes
upon many species, and many references to literature.

America)/ Monthly Mic)-oscopieal Journal, Vol. XIX. No. 4, April,

Ajinual Report of the State Botanist (f the State of Neic ]'orh, 1897.

Birds. Vol. Ill, Nos. 4 and 5, April and May, 1898.

48 Bulletin No. 20.

Book Rc2

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Online LibraryAgassiz Association. Wilson Ornithological ChapterThe Wilson bulletin (Volume 10, 1898) → online text (page 5 of 8)