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198 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89

41. Oporornis fonnosa. — Add to breeding area, " from Southeru
and Eastern Ohio."

Since then Prof. Jones has found the White-throated Spar-
row {Zonotrichia albicollis) breeding in Ohio, in two suc-
cessive seasons, which should also be added to the check list.



NINETEEN YEARS OF BIRD MIGRATION AT
OBERLIN, OHIO.

BY LYNDS JONES.

Migration studies have been carried on at Oberlin for up-
wards of twenty-five years, but there seem to be good reasons
for limiting this record to the years since 1895. The data
have not been presented before in this complete form because,
in the opinion of the writer, the records were not sufficiently
numerous to furnish a reliable table for the use of those who
may wish to continue these studies.

For the first six years the territory covered lay almost whol-
ly within Lorain county, extending from about five miles south
of Oberlin to the shore of Lake Erie, and east and west from
Oberlin about five miles, comprising a territory seventeen
miles north and south by ten miles east and west. In this
area, all of which was originally virgin forest, there are two
river valleys extending in a northerly direction, extensive open
fields, remnants of the original forest, brushy tangles where
the dumps of abandoned sandstone quarries have been over-
grown, and the lake shore with its considerable marshy areas
at the mouths of streams. There are no 'elevations of im-
portance. The two river valleys now have slender remnants
of once considerable growth of white pine and red cedar, with
islands of hemlock.

Since 1900 operations have been extended to include the
Cedar Point sand pit with the adjacent extensive marshes and
lake shore, and the narrow area bordering the road between
Berlin Heights and the lake shore at Ceylon Junction, and
also the mouth of Old Woman's Creek, the lower reaches of
which are extensively marshy. Perhaps it would have been



Jones — Migration at Oberlin, O. 199

better to separate the records from this distinctively different
region from those of the definitely Oberlin reg-ion, but that
•could not be done without danger of serious mistakes. The
Cedar Point sand pit records are mainly those of water birds,
at least as they affect the appended tables. Some land birds
tarry there later in the spring than they have been found in
the Oberlin region.

I have no hesitation in saying that the percentage of error
in these records must be small, because observations have
been carried on almost every day during the season of mi-
gration, and for weeks before any migration began and for
three weeks after it closed, and by a considerable body of
trained observers. Questionable records have been elimin-
ated.

Since the Crow, Robin, Bluebird, ^leadowlark. Northern
Flicker, Bronzed Crackle, and Mourning Dove regularly re-
main all winter in small numbers, the exact arrival of the first
migrating individuals may not have been determined with
certainty in every instance, but the migration of these species
has been considered as begun with the advent of a considerable
number of individuals who were singing and evidently indi-
viduals which had not remained in the region all winter.

The writer is well aware of the fact that averages based
upon few records are of questionable value. Nearly all of
the species which have been recorded as migrants are here
given for the sake of completeness, with no thought that av-
erages based on as few as nine records can be taken as true
averages.

The median rather than the average date of arrival has been
used in these tables, because the median has proved the more
reliable in practice. Extremes in either earliest arrivals or
latest records of species which pass north to breed do not af-
fect the median as they do the average.

The species are arranged according to their average date
of arrival as a matter of convenience for further studies of
the migrations rather than according to the systematic ar-
rans^ement of the A. O. U. Check-List. If this arrangement



200 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89

be objected to on the ground that it is inconvenient to find
any species because it is out of ahgnment with the Check-
List, one would answer that the purpose of this paper is not
to show the systematic relationships, but rather groupings ac-
cording to times of migration. Even if it were possible, in
any list arranged according to taxonomic relationships, to
show those relationships accurately, which is avowedly im-
possible, the inconvenience of such a list when used in almost
any sort of field work is considerable, so considerable that
some other arrangement must often be devised. The only
general utility arrangement is the alphabetical one.

Where the records are less than twelve in number it is likely
that additional records covering a number of years will change
the date here given as the median. In such cases, then, this
paper claims only to give a basis upon which further work
may be done. It is entirely possible that any of the dates
given here as first seen may be moved forward by later re-
cords. They are of value only in showing what the range
of variation may be, and also in showing that the birds are
held back by a backward spring, and encouraged to move
northward early in an early spring.

It will be noted that there is very marked disagreement in
the dates of " Last seen." The irregularity is rather more
marked among the water birds than among the land birds.
The very late date of the Mallard in 1904 possibly indicates
that the pair seen was breeding, although no nest was found.
Color is lent to this supposition by the finding of a female
Mallard in the marshes of Bay Point on the last day of June,
1914. The case of the Olive-backed Thrush (June 13, 1905)
cannot be explained in this way. The single individual seen
did not seem to be abnormal. There is a strong suspicion
that the single Semipalmated Plover recorded on June 17,
1904, was a wounded bird. It flew without difficulty when
approached too closely, but permitted an approach within five
feet. The other June records are not particularly notable,
since mv records show a consid'crable number of early June
" lists " for transient species.



Jones — Migration at Oberlin, O.



201



The average variation between first arrivals (earliest and
latest) for all of the species here listed is 21 days. The av-
erage variation of first arrivals of the water birds is 33 days,
and of the land birds 20 days. The variation in the land
birds which remain to breed is 20 days, of the transient spe-
cies is 19 days. The land bird with the least variation is the
Black-throated Green Warbler with 8 days, and the greatest
variation is the Pipit, with a variation of GG days. It is like-
ly that the regular route of migration of the Pipit does not
cross this region, since only occasional scattered flocks are
found. The March 15, 1901, record is my own. There were
two birds, one of which was secured for positive identification.

Number

Records

Crow 19

Robin 19

Killdeer 19

Bluebird 19

Canada Goose 14

Meadowlarli 18

Bronzed Grackle 19

Song Sparrow 19

Northern Flieljer 17

Red-winged Blaclibird. . . 19

Blaclj Ducli 11

Baldpate 9

Redhead 8

Mourning Dove 14

Migrant Shrike 19

Canvas-back 7

Cowbird 19

Rusty Blackbird 19

Towhee 19

Pintail 10

Whistling Swan 5

Greater Scaup Duck.... 11

Field Sparrow 19

Mallard 12

Fox Sparrow 19

Red-breasted Merganser. 11

Belted Kingfisher 19

Phoebe 19

Merganser 5

Turkey Vulture 18

Vesper Sparrow 19

Wilson's Snipe 19

Chipping Sparrow 19

Shoveller 8

Lesser Scaup Duck 16



Median


Earlies






Median


Laiest




First Seen


Record






Last Seen


Laggard


Fel). 28


Feb. 11,


•98:


Breeds








Feb. 28


Feb. 14,


14;


Breeds








Mar. 1


Feb. 18,


■12;


Breeds








Mar. 1


Feb. 16,


'11;


Breeds








Mar. 6


Feb. 19,


'13




Apr. 1;


Apr. 15,


'07


Mar. 6


Feb. 22,


'13;


Breeds








Mar. 6


Feb. 1.5,


'12;


Breeds








Mar. 6


Feb. 26,


'06;


Breeds








Mar. 7


Feb. 26,


'06;


Breeds








Mar. 8


Feb. 26,


'13;


Breeds








Mar. 14


Feb. 22,


'06




Apr. 4;


Apr. 15,


'99


Mar. 14


Mar. 9,


'08




May 10


May 27,


'07


Mar. 15


Mar. 9,


'08






Apr. 21,


'03


Mar. 15


Mar. 11,


'07:


Breeds








Mar. l.^


Mar. 2,


'01


Breeds








Mar. 17


Mar. 13,


'03




Apr. 1:


Apr. 10,


'05


Mar. 17


Mar. 9.


'10;


Breeds








Mar. 17


Mar. 5,


'10




May 8


May 16,


•08


Mar. 17


Mar. 6,


'99;


Breeds








Mar. 18


Feb. 22,


'09




Apr. 20;


Apr. 29,


'07


Mar. 18


Mar. 14,


'04






Apr. 3,


'99


Mar. 19


Mar. 2,


'04




Apr. 19






Mar. 19


Mar. 12,


•98-


Breeds








Mar. 20


Mar. 5,


'06




Apr. 10


Jun. 17,


•04


Mar. 20


Mar. 5,


'10




Apr. 21


May 2,


'07


Mar. 21


Mar. 15,


'09




Apr. 30


May 22,


'09


Mar. 22


Mar. 11,


'10;


Breeds








Mar. 22


Mar. 5,


'05;


Breeds








Mar. 23


Feb. 22,


'06






May 10.


'12


Mar. 24


Mar. 11,


'08;


Breeds








Mar. 25


Mar. 16,


'03;


Breeds








Mar. 27


Mar. 15,


'03




May 3


May 22,


•09


Mar. 30


Mar. 21,


'10


Breeds








Mar. 31


Mar. 18,


'07






Apr. 21,


•14


Mar. 31


Mar. 9,


•08


Breeds









202 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89



Number Median Earliest Median Latest

Records First Seen Record Last Seen Laggard

Coot 14 Mar. 31 ; Mar. 9, '08 May 5; May 22, '09

Woodcock 18 Mar. 31; Mar. 10, '02: Breeds

Swamp Sparrow 18 Mar. 31: Mar. '13, '08; Breeds

Hermit Thrush 19 Apr. 2; Mar. 21, '03 May 8; May 26, '10

Pied-billed Grebe 18 Apr. 3: Mar. 16, '07 May 6: May 28, '04

Hooded Merganser 7 Apr. 3; Mar. 11, '11 Apr. 20; Apr. 30, '11

Great Blue Heron 18 Apr. 5; Mar. 20, '97; Breeds

Brown Thrasher 19 Apr. 5; Mar. 22, '02; Breeds

Pectoral Sandpiper 13 Apr. 6; Mar. 30, '10 May 2; May 11, "07

Yellow-I)ellied Sapsucker. 19 Apr. 6; Mar. 23, '10 May 9; May 30, '11

Bufflehead 14 Apr. 8; Mar. 15, '09 Apr. 26; May 13, '07

Purple Martin 19 Apr. 9; Mar. 23, '10; Breeds

Bittern 12 Apr. 10; Mar. 25, '10; Breeds

Barn Swallow 19 Apr. 11; Mar. 30, '07; Breeds

Blue-winged Teal 12 Apr. 12; Mar. 22, '13: Breeds

Ruby-crowned Kinglet. .. 19 Apr. 12; Mar. 25, '05 May 12; May 24, '10

Tree Swallow 18 Apr. 12; Mar. 31, '10; Breeds

Upland Plover 19 Apr. 13; Mar. 22, '04; Breeds

Bonaparte's Gull 14 Apr. 14: Mar. 31, '13 May 20; May 22, '11

Ruddy Duck 11 Apr. 14; Mar. 26, '07 May 10; May 13, '02

Horned Grebe 13 Apr. 16; Mar. 24, '14 Apr. 29; May 17, '08

Osprey 11 Apr. 16: Apr. 5, '08; Breeds

White-throated Sparrow. 19 Apr. 16; Mar. 21, '03 May 18; May 22, '09

Louisiana Water-Thrush. 19 Apr. IG; Mar. 28, '04; Breeds

Loon 10 Apr. 17; Mar. 19, '07 May 8; May 21, '01

Spotted Sandpiper 18 Apr. 18; Apr. 9, '04; Breeds

Savanna Sparrow 13 Apr. 18; Mar. 30, '12 May 12; May 25, '06

Wood Duck 6 Apr. 19; Mar. 23, '04; Breeds

Chimney Swift 19 Apr. 19; Apr. 10, '10; Breeds

Greater Yellow-legs 13 Apr. 20; Apr. 12, '10 May 12

Myrtle Warbler 19 Apr. 20; Mar. 26, '08 May 19; May 27, '07

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. . . 19 Apr. 20; Mar. 29, '07; Breeds

Bank Swallow 18 Apr. 22; Apr. 6, '02; Breeds

Green Heron 17 Apr. 23; Apr. 6, '13; Breeds

Yellow Warbler 19 Apr. 24; Apr. 11, '08; Breeds

Grasshopper Sparrow 19 Apr. 25; Apr. 10, '10; Breeds

House Wren 19 Apr. 25; Apr. 17, '96; Breeds

Rough-winged Swallow. . 17 Apr. 26; Apr. 16, '02; Breeds

Solitary Sandpiper 18 Apr. 27; Apr. 18, '09 May 17; May 25, '03

Bobolink 19 Apr. 27 ; Apr. 16, '04 ; Breeds

Warbling Vireo 19 Apr. 27; Apr. 17, '96; Breeds

Oven-bird 19 Apr. 27; Apr. 22, '99; Breeds

Catbird 19 Apr. 27; Apr. 19, '13: Breeds

Long-billed Marsh Wren. 17 Apr. 27; Apr. 16, '06; Breeds

Olive-backed Thrush 19 Apr. 27; Apr. 13, '08 May 25; Jun. 13, '05

Cliff Swallow 19 Apr. 27; Apr. 6, '03; Breeds

Wood Thrush 19 Apr. 27; Apr. 10, '04; Breeds

Red-headed Woodpecker. 19 Apr. 28; Apr. 13, '10; Breeds

Kingbird 19 Apr. 28; Apr. 19, '14; Breeds

Baltimore Oriole 19 Apr. 28; Apr. 14, '05; Breeds

Lark Sparrow 10 Apr. 28;

Blue-headed Vireo 17 Apr. 28; Apr. 17, '02 May 16; May 22, '07

Black and White Warbler 19 Apr. 28; Apr. 19, '14; Breeds



Jones — Migration at Oberlin, O.



203



Number Median
Records Fiist Seen

Blue-winged Warbler 19 Apr. 28

Ilenslow's Sparrow 5 Apr. 29

Black-thr. Green Warbler 19 Apr. 29

Palm Warljler 10 Apr. 29

Yellow-legs 12 Apr. 30

Red-eyed Vireo 19 Apr. 30

Maryland Yellow-throat. . 19 Apr. 30

Sora 17 May 1

Crested Flycatcher 19 jNIay 1

Scarlet Tanager 19 May 1

Nashville Warbler 19 May 1

Water-Thrush 16 May 1

Redstart 19 May 1

Veery 18 May 1

Virginia Rail 19 May 2

White-crowned Sparrow . 19 May 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak.. 18 May 2
Yellow-throated Vireo. .. 19 May 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 13 May 2

Least Flycatcher 19 May 3

Florida Gallinule 9 May 4

Orchard Oriole 18 May 4

Cerulean Warbler 19 May 4

Black-thr. Blue Warbler. 19 May 4
Chestnut-sided Warbler. . 17 May 4

Whip-poor-will 16 May 5

Indigo Bunting 19 May 5

Northern Parnla Warbler 13 May 5
Magnolia Warbler ...... 18 May 5

Short-billed Marsh Wren 7 May 5

Pipit 17 May 6

Pine Warbler 6 May 6

Blackburnian Warbler. .. 18 May 6

Kirtland's Warbler 3 May 6

Common Tern 14 May 7

Least Bittern 9 May 7

King Rail 9 May 7

Wood Pewee 19 May 7

Yellow-breasted Chat .... 19 May 7
Gray-cheeked Thrush. ... 14 May 7

Philadelphia Vireo 8 May 8

Golden-winged Warbler. . 8 May 8
Prothonotary Warbler. . . 5 May 8

Acadian Flycatcher 18 May 9

Dickcissel 7 May 9

Lincoln's Sparrow 12 May 9

Hooded Warbler 12 May 9

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 17 May 10

Kentucky Warbler 8 May 10

Tennessee Warbler 17 May 10

Bay-breasted Warbler 18 May 10

Canada Warbler 18 May 10

Cape May Warbler 12 May 10



Earliest
Record

Apr. 19, '14; Breeds

Apr. 22, '07; Breeds

Apr. 25, '96

Apr. 20, '08

Apr. 1, '12

Apr. 27, '06; Breeds

Apr. 19, '14; Breeds

Apr. 11, '08; Breeds

Apr. 24, '13; Breeds

Apr. 24, '13; Breeds

Apr. 27, '14

Apr. 24, '13

Apr. 25, '12; Breeds

Apr. 20, '99: Breeds

Apr. 14, '13; Breeds

Apr. 21, '11

Apr. 27, '96; Breeds

Apr. 20, '14; Breeds

Apr. 26, '09

Apr. 11, '03

Apr. 20, '07; Breeds

Apr. 29, '99; Breeds

Apr. 29, '99; Breeds

Apr. 27, '96

Apr. 30, '06

Apr. 19, '14; Breeds

Apr. 26. '02; Breeds

May 1, '00; Breeds

Apr. 28, '96

Apr. 30, '06; Breeds

Mar. 15, '01

Apr. 29, '98

Apr. 27, '05

May 2, '06

Apr. 29, '07; Breeds

Apr. 25, '04; Breeds

May 4, '08: Breeds

May 2, '99; Breeds

May 1, '03; Breeds

Apr. 29, '99

Apr. 29, '07

May 4, '02

Apr. 27, '13; Breeds

May 3, '13; Breeds

May 6, '96; Breeds

Apr. 14, '12

Apr. 22, '14; Breeds

May 6, '99: Breeds

Apr. 27, '04

May 1, '13

May 4, '02

Apr. 28, '96

Apr. 27, '14



Median
Last Seen



May 22;
May 16;
May 13;



May 21 :
May 20;



Latest
Laeeard



May 28, '07
May 22, '09
May 19, '03



May 27, '01
May 25, '03



May 19; May 22, '09



May 14;
May 24;



May 22;
May 23:



May 22, '09
Jun. 3, '10



May 29, '01
May 27, '07



May 22; May 28, '08



May 16;
May 13:
May 22



May 26, '99
May 15, '14
May 29, '09



May 22;
May 20;
May 14;



May 29, '09
May 27, '07
May 23, '05



May 14; May 23, '04



May 22;
May 21 ;
May 22;
May 16;



May 30, '13
May 28, '07
Jun. 3, '10
May 27, '07



304



The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89



Number Median Earliest

Records First Seen Record

Connecticut Warbler .... 9 May 10; May 3.

Black Tern 12 May 11 ; May 2,

Black-billed Cuckoo 18 May 11; May 4,

Ruby-thr. Hummingbird. 19 May 11; May 2.

Prairie Warbler 9 May 11; Apr. 29,

Mourning Warbler 15 May 11; May 3,

Least Sandpiper 10 May 12; Maj' 4,

Nighthawk 17 May 12; Apr. 21,

Black-poll Warbler 18 May 12; May 4,

Semipalmated Plover 5 May 13; May 11,

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 4 May 13; May 9,

WiLson's Warbler 14 May 13; May 5,

Red-backed Sandpiper.... 4 May 14;

Alder Flycatcher 19 May 14; May 7,

Olive-sided Flycatcher. . . 5 May 14; Apr. 29,

Ruddy Turnstone 10 May 18: Mar. 31,

Semipalmated Sandpiper. 5 May 20; May 16,



Median
Last Seen



Latest
Laggard



14

07: Breeds

14: Breeds
•06; Breeds
■99
'14
•14

•09: Breeds
'06

12
'04
•00

'02; Breeds

'13

'12

•03



May 25: May 29, '12



May 17;

May 25
May 16;

May 24;
May 25;
May 26;
May 25;
May 17;

May 27;
May 28;
May 23;



May 20, '07
Jun. 2, '13
May 22, '10

Jun. 3, '04
Jun. 17, '04
Jun. 1, '14
Jun. 3, '10
May 20, '10

Jun. 1, '14
Jun. 1, '14
Jun. 1. '14



THE FOLLOWING SPECIES ARE WINTER RESIDENTS



Brown Creeper 17

Tree Sparrow 19

Golden-crowned Kinglet. . 16

Slate-colored Junco 18

Purple Finch 16

Winter Wren 18

Red-breasted Nuthatch.. . 12

Pine Siskin 7

Horned Lark
Northern Shrike
Snowflake



Apr. 28;
Apr. 29;
Apr. 30;
May 1;
May 2;
May 8;
May 13:
May 13:



May
May
May
May
Ma.y
May
May
May
Apr.
Apr.
Mar.



24, '10

9, '09

11, '09

20, '07

28, '07

17, '98

28, '07

20, '07

1, '99

3, '99

16, '08



The following species have been recorded, but the records
are either too few or too irregular to be of any value for
reference. They need particular attention. The species are
arranged alphabetically.



Chickadee, Carolina

Cormorant, Double-crested

Crossbill, White-winged

Curlew, Hudsonian

Dowitcher

Duck, Ring-necked

Eagle, Golden

Gadwall

Golden-eye

Golden-eye, Barrow's

Goose, Blue

Goose, Snow



Goose, White-fronted

Goshawk

Grosbeak, Evening

Grosbeak, Pine

Hawk, Duck

Hawk, Rough-legged

Knot

Lark, Hoyt's Horned

Longspur, Lapland
Mockingbird
Murre, Brunnich's
Owl, Saw-whet



Jones — jMigration at Oberlin^ O.



205



Owl, Short-eared
Owl, Snowy
Phalarope, Wilson's
Plover, Black-bellied
I'lover, Golden
Plover, Piping
Sandpiper, Baird's
Sandpiper's, Stilt
Sparrow, Bacbman's



Sparrow, Nelson's
Teal, Green-winged
Tern, Caspian
Vireo, "SMiite-eyed
Warbler, Worm-eating
Waxwing, Bohemian
Willet. Western
Wren, Bewick's



The Red-Crossbill is too irregular to be placed in any group.
It is sometimes found every month in the year, but often
absent.

The Herring and Ring-billed Gulls are present all the year,
but do not breed in the vicinity, of course. The departure in
spring of the birds which breed during the season cannot,
therefore, be ascertained with any degree of accuracy.

The following species are regular residents : Alphabetically
arranged.



Bob- white

Cardinal

Chickadee

Eagle, Bald

(xoldflnch

Grouse, Ruffed (scarce)

Hawk, Cooper's

Hawk, Marsh

Hawk, Pigeon

Hawk, Red-shouldered

Hawk. Red-tailed

Hawk, Sharp-shinned

Hawk, Sparrow

Hawk, Broad-winged



Jay, Blue

Lark, Prairie Horned

Nuthatch, "^Tiite-breasted

Owl, Barn

Owl, Barred

Owl, Great Horned

Owl, Long-eared

Owl, Screech

Titmouse, Tufted

Waxwing, Cedar

Woodpecker, Downy

Woodpecker, Hairy

Woodpecker, Red-bellied

Wren, Carolina



206 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89

DISCOURAGING THE ENGLISH SPARROW.

BY THOMAS H. WHITNEY.

For nearly two years I have spent a good deal of leisure
time on the almost hopeless task of ridding my home grounds
of the English sparrow. Having tried nearly all the methods
I could think of or read about that promised any practical
results, in the hope my experience may be of some little value
to others, I venture to describe it briefly.

The sparrow problem naturally divides itself into three
parts : Destruction, Prevention of Increase, Protecting Food
Supplied to Native Birds.

DESTRUCTION.

In the twenty months elapsed since I began work, I have
killed 216 sparrows. Not a very large number, but ours is a
small inland city which does not harbor any big flocks in the
upper residence districts, the sparrows being rather evenly dis-
tributed a few to a place, as nesting and roosting are con-
venient. Those formerly resident in our grounds have long
since been killed, and the great majority of those destroyed
were new-comers in search of food or un-preempted home-
sites. The total number killed is divided as follows :

Poisoned by strychnine-coated wheat 13

Shot with air-rifle 10

Shot with .22 cal. rifle 31

Caught in wire funnel trap 13

Caught in nest box trap 137

Total 216

There are practical difficulties in the use of poison, the prin-
cipal one that of limiting the poisoned bait to sparrows only.
I have a fresh supply of poisoned wheat made up for use this
winter, but juncoes linger, and would probably be killed with
the sparrows. Better a whole flock of sparrows than the un-
necessary death of one native bird.

It is only occasionally that a bird can be killed or even in-



Whitnev — Discouraging the English Sparrow 207

jured with an air-rifle, irrespective of marksmanship, as the
shooting- quality of the ordinary air-gun is very unrehable.

In my judgment the best gun for shooting sparrows in
towns is the .22 caHbre rifle, using shot cartridges, and to be
equipped with a silencer; it is then practically noiseless, and
almost certain to drop the bird if fired from a reasonable dis-
tance. When shot at irregularly and with this gun, sparrows
do not become especially "gun-shy," as they certainly will if
hunted in the ordinary way. Shooting', however, is usually
against the ordinances of towns and cities, and apt to be dan-
gerous, no matter how much care is 'exercised. Moreover,
little impression can be made in this particular way, on the
large numbers of sparrows always present in towns.

The ordinary funnel wire trap such as advertised extensive-
ly of late by various bird supply houses, I have tried out thor-
oughly, and found wanting. It will catch a few birds the first
time or two of setting, — after that the sparrows will not en-
ter, no matter how carefully the bait is placed, and irrespec-
tive of moving the trap to different locations. Where locali-
ties are over-run with large flocks of sparrows, a funnel trap
will at first catch a g"Ood many, but the fact remains that they
will not enter it after a few days, and further setting is use-
less.

It will be noted that more than 50% of the sparrows killed
have been caught in a nest box trap. This kind of trap is
fully described in the U. S. Farmer's Bulletin " The English
Sparrow as a Pest." All the time I have been trying to shoot,
poison, and trap sparrows by other means, this nest box trap
has been steadily reducing their numbers, in all sorts of weath-
er, and in all seasons of the year ; it makes no difference when
the bird arrives, the trap is ready and there is no escape. A
thousand nest box traps put in commission throughout the
country, would take their annual toll of tens of thousands of
sparrows, and if placed with discretion will catch few native
birds.

Of all the methods I know, the nest box trap is by far the
best ; not only from the standpoint of actual results in my



308 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89

experience, but because it affords a really constant menace to
tlie sparrows. Poisoning, shooting and trapping by other
means are effective only when attended to by some one. The
nest box trap, once put up, is always set, and if the receiving
sack be fairly large, needs visiting only once or twice a sea-
son, though common humanity will direct attention to it at
frequent intervals to prevent unnecessary cruelty.

PREVENTION OF INCREASE.

Sparrows are not allowed to roost anywhere on our prem-
isis ; at intervals of not more than a few days, we make the
rounds of the house and grounds, and by poking with a fish
pole in corners and above windows, and shaking vines and
awnings, any birds present are driven off; if disturbed more
than once, the same birds will not return. This undoubtedly
discourages to a large extent any attempt to build in these
places.

Boxes made of boards are put up only for wrens, the hole
being made too small for sparrows. Any board box contain-
ing an ordinary sized hole, and especially if fitted with a perch
or ledge, will certainly be occupied by sparrows and not a
chance afforded the birds for which it was erected.

Several boxes in the von Berplesch style hung on our trees
have been successfully occupied by wood-peckers, and are
now in use by nuthatches and possibly chickadees as winter
c[uarters. Early last spring the sparrows reconnoitered nearly


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Online LibraryAgassiz Association. Wilson Ornithological ChapterThe Wilson bulletin (Volume 26, 1914) → online text (page 17 of 19)