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ponds and springs, and of salt water in creeks, coves, bays
and small inlets, passing to a description of the simple and
happy life led by its original inhabitants before the white
man came. The settlement by the whites was briefly narra-
ted—the arrival from England in 1639, of the minister
Lothrop, with a portion of his church, to take up their abode

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in Cummaquid, now Barnstable ; of Rev. William Loveridge,
with a number of families at Monomet (Sandwich,) and
organizing a church in 1640 ; of Mr. Matthews at Yarmouth
with others, nearly at the same time ; and Gov. Prince with
a part of the Pilgrim church at Nauset (Eastham) in 1644.
The progress of the Cape in improvements, the social and
hospitable character of its inhabitants, the number of ship-
masters, their skill, education and integrity were portrayed
The fisheries and farming, the beauty of the villages, the
distinguished merchants and professional men born in this
region, and achieving for themselves honorable distinction
in our great cities, and the importance of this portion of our
territory for the harbors on Massachusetts Bay, and for
raising up seamen to enrich the nation in peace and protect
it in war, came under consideration.

Rev. Joseph B. Pelt followed with remarks upon the
aboriginal inhabitants of the Cape, and the remarkable dis-
temper that had, a few years previous to its settlement, nearly
depopulated the region round about, resembling, in many
respects, the yellow fever. He also alluded to the idolatry
of the Indians and of the difficulty that the missionary Elliot
had to contend with on that account.

Rev. S. M. Worcester, who had been invited to prepare
a paper upon the early founders of the American Foreign.
Missionary Society, declined to do so, saying that the sub-
ject had been already thoroughly prepared, and that any
questions that might arise would be fully answered by con-
sulting the pages of a book which he now presented to the
Institute, just published (1862,) in Boston — " The Memo-
rial Volume of the Pirst Pifty Tears of the American Board
of Commissioners for Poreign Missions." He remarked
that John Elliot derived a large portion of encouragement
and pecuniary support from the contributions of christian
friends at home in England. He also spoke of the avowed

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idolatry of the Indians, of whick there is abundant proof^.
but which has been often overlooked or misstated by writei»
upon the character of the Indians.

A. C. Goodell^ Esq., and Bev. Mr. Felt, contintled a dicK
cussion of the paper read by Bev. Mr. Beaman, more par-
ticularly in relation to the early pirates that infested these
shores, such as Gapt. Kidd and John Quelch, and of the:
thorough manner in which the Earl of Bellamont suppressed
tins nefariou^ outlawry.

After a vote of thanks for the paper which had afforded so
muchi information, the President concluded the discussiou
of the evening by remarks tending to clear the skirts of'
Massachusetts from the implication of interest or connivance
with the buccaneers. He also alluded to prominent men
who first saw the light of day on that barren Cape, if barren
it could be considered while so fruitful in the sterling patri*
otism of it& sons.


Monday, March 10, 1862

Meeting this evening, A. Huntington, President, in the^

Becords of preceding meeting read.

A. E. Verrill, of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at.
Cambridge, being introduced to the meeting, spoke of the
structure of corals and of the polyps producing them, and
gave a history of our knowledge of them.

The class of polyps is now divided by natuxaUst? into twci
principal grouj^ or orders. The first of these orders, caUed
Actinoid Polyps or ZoanthariaymsLjhe distinguished by hav-
ing a varying number of simple cylindrical tentacles. TTie
number varies from twelve to several hundred, but is almost

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always some multiple of six. These tentacle^ increase in
numoer by the introduction of new ones between those first
formed, in a very regular way and according to very beauti-
ful laws. The common Sea Anemones, or Actinias, belong
to this order, but they never produce corals. Those kinds,
by which the corals that are porous and consist of limestone,
are formed, resemble the Actinias very much, but deposit
limy matter in their sides and internal membranes and only
the upper parts of their bodies and their tentacles remain
soft and flexible. The coral itself is a complete internal
skeleton of the polyp that forms it.

These polyps may be very minute or they may be several
inches or even a foot in diameter. Some, like the Fungia,
remain always simple and free, but others adhere to rocks
or other solid substances. Other kinds develop buds upon
their sides or other parts, and these buds soon become per-
fect individuals, but generally remain connected with the
parent polyps so as to form clumps or masses. The star-
corals (^Astrea) and the common branching corals (^Madre-
pora) are formed in this way. Again, some species, when
they have reached a certain size, begin to widen and finally
divide in the centre, so as to form two distinct individuals
with two mouths, two stomachs and two sets of tentacles,
^from what was before one individual. In some cases the
separation remains incomplete, and the polyps are united in
long series. Corals of this kind generally iorm large solid
mafeses and are among the most important of the reef-build-
ing species. The common Brain Coral (Meandrind) is a
good example of this kind.

The next order, called Halcyonoid Polyps or Akyonaria,
have always eight tentacles and these are always compound
or lobed along the sides. These also may be soft and pro-
duce no coral or they may form corals, but never such ones
as are produced by the Actinoids. Some of them produce
solid calcareous corals without pores or cells, but such corals
serve merely as a support for the polyps which are situated in a
soft extems^ crust and secrete the solid coral from their
inner membranes. The well known Red Coral is formed in
this way. Other kinds, such as the Gorgoniae or " Sea Fans"
and "Sea Plumes" form solid interior corals resembling
liom, and are generally dark colored, but the crust that
covers them and in which the polyps are situated is gener-

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ally friable and brilliantly colored, so that these kinds of
corals often resemble bright colored sea weeds. The curi-
ous red coral called Tubipora belongs to this order, and also
the singular " Sea Pens" (^Pennatuld) and the strange
Renilla found on our southern coast, and many other allied

The red coral used for ornaments, ( Corallium rubruin)
seems to have been known in very ancient times, but the
first naturalist who mentioned it was Theophratcs a disciple
of Aristotle. By him it was thought to be a mineral sub-
stance formed in some unknown manner at the bottom of
the sea. Ovid alludes to them as plants that are soft while
in the water, but hard when dry. Pliny also considered
them as plants, and mentioned several other kind, among
them Gorgonia and Antipathes. From the time of Pliny
there was but little advance in the study of corals until the
sixteenth century, when they were studied by the leading
botanists of that period. Lobel in 1576 gave figures of six
species found in the Mediterranean. In 1605 Clusius fig-
ured and described among the marine plants, several foreign
species of corals. Several other botanists of this period
added others to the species already known. The works of
Ferrate Imperato published at Naples were very important.
Rumphius during a long residence in Amboina, studied the
corals of that island and made excellent drawings of them,
but his great work (Herbarium Amboinense) was not pub-
lished until after his death, in 1705. He had previously, iu
1684, expressed some doubts in regard to the vegetable na-
ture of the corals, and spoke of their relation to Actinias and
starfishes, but he gave no proof of their animal nature, and
his views passed unnoticed. In the beginning of the
eighteenth century the corals were universally considered
as plants, and placed among the plants without flowers.
The first naturalist who studied corals in the living state, was
Boccone, but he failed to perceive their true nature, though
;he ascertained many important facts. He learned that it
was covered when living in the sea with a soft crust, but
that the coral itself was hard. He opposed the idea of their
vegetable nature but considered them mineral concretions.
His work was published in 1671. Marsilli in 1707 an-
nounced the discovery oiihQ flowers of the coral, but Shaw
in 1727 considered the polyps that he had observed on their
^uiface, as roots.

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Reaumer in 1727 wrote a treatise on corals, in which he
considered them as plants and opposed the ideas of an ob-
servei', whose name he withheld, that they were animals.
This observer was Peysonnel who first studied corals on the
coast of Barbary, and afterwards at the island of Guadaloupe,
He made many very careful experiments on the coral polyps
in a living state, and in a paper communicated to the Royal
Society of London, in 1751. he fully established their animal
nature and showed their relation to the Actinias, which had
long been considered as animals. This paper, however, was
never published entire. Reaumer became finally convinced
that he was right, but considered that the hard corals were
built by the polyps, as bees build their cells ; — ^an idea which
still lingers in some of the popular text books. The discov-
eries of Peysonnel made a complete revolution in the study
of corals. Ellis also in 1754, proved the animal nature of
the hydroid polyps ; like Sertulnria. From^this time writers
on polyps became numerous. In the beginning of the pres-
ent century Lamark, Oken, Lamouroux and Cuvier in their
works, brought something of system into the classification of
polyps, but still their classifications were unnatural because
they united all those polyps that produce hard corals into
one group, and those that always remain soft into another.
In 1828 Milne Edwards and Andouin made an elaborate study
of the anatomy of the polyps, and established the two natu-
ral orders determined by the number and structure of the
tentacles. The intimate relation between the Actinias and
^ coral polyps, had however been well shown by Charles A.
Lesueur in a paper, accompanied by excellent plates, pub-
lished in the Journal of the Philadelphia Academy in 1817.
Among the numerous works published during the past
twenty five years, the magnificent work of Prof. J. D. Dana,
of New Haven, on. the Zoophytes of the U. S. Exploring Ex-
pedition, under Capt Wilkes, deserves particular notice.
This work is accompanied by a large number of excellent
plates of the coral polyps drawn from life. This work was
published in 1846.

About this time a series of monographs of various families
of corals were commenced by Milne Edwards and Jules
Haime. These appeared at various times, from 1845 to
1855, and in 1857 the work entitled Histoire Naturelle des
CoralUaires was published. This is a complete work on the

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whole class of polyps, both recent and fossil, and must re-
main the standard work on this class for many years.- It
appeared under the name of Milne Edwards alone, M. Haime
having died in 1856, but his cooperation in the preparation
of the work is fully acknowledged in the preface.

Since these careful researches of Milne Edwards and
Haime have been published, it may be stated that the polyps
are known about as thoroughly as any other class.

A. E. Verrill presented the following catalogue of the
birds found at Ncwway, Maine, containing notes on each
species, such as their relative abundance, the season of the
year when found, the time of arrival in spring, and when
possible, the time of laying the eggs.

Catalogue op the Birds found at Norway, Oxford Co.,


by a. e. verbill.

In the preparation of the following catalogue I have
endeavored to give a correct idea of the ornithology of a
single locality, but do not offer it as a complete enumeration
of all the species that may be found there. It is indeed
quite probable that several additional species of the smaller
birds, such as Warblers, and Sparrows may be not uncom-
mon, and that various others may be occasionally found as
rare or accidental visitors. But it seems to me much more
important in the study of the geographical distribution of
birds, to know the common and most characteristic birds of
any region and their relative abundance, than to know every
species found there without knowing which are common
and which rare or merely accidental. It is to be regretted
that so many local lists have been published consisting
merely of an enumeration of names with no indication of
those that really belong to the region, in distinction from
those that are mere stragglers, belonging properly in some
other country. It is also very important to make a distino-
tion between those that are resident at the locality during
the whole year and those that are migratory and found only
at certain seasons ; and among the migratory ones, those

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that are found in summer, and breed, should be distinguished
from those that breed further north and come to us only in
winter, or in spring and fall during their migrations.

Tor these reasons I have added remarks after each species
indicating its season and relative abundance as far as known
to me, and also, when possible, the time of laying the eggs or
of hatching the young. I regret that I have not been able
to make these observations more complete, and would call
the attention of our naturalists residing in the country to
these important questions as offering a field for useful and
interesting study. The time occupied in incubation also, is
known for very few of our most common birds. Another
interesting question, upon which I trust the present list will
throw some light, is the determination of the boundaries
between the Canadian Fauna and that of the Eastern Uni-
ted States, or Alleghanian Fauna.* Although many of our
common birds range during the breeding season from Vir-
ginia, or even farther south, to Labrador, yet when we com-
pare the birds of Canada or northern Maine, as a whole,
with those of Massachusetts or any more southern locality,
we find them very different. Many of the most common
Canadian summer birdp visit us only in winter,' or are seen
only during there passage to and from a still more southern
ijlimate, and other species that reside there during the whole
year are never seen, except in rare instances, farther south
than Northern New England.

Among the first, I will mention for examples the common
Blue Snow Bird, Pine Finch, Canada Jay, White-winged
Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, Black-poll Warbler, Fox-colored
Sparrow and many kinds of Ducks and Waders. Among
the resident birds of Canada, the Spruce Partridge, Ptarmi-
gan, Hawk Owl, and Black Three-toed Woodpecker are
examples. On the contrary, many of our common species
do not breed in Canada or are rare there except in some
peculiar localities, while other species that are abundant
here become less common northward and are gradually re-
placed by allied species having similar habits, though not
always belonging to the same genera.

* The term *^ Alleghanian Fauna" was applied in 1853 to the fauna of the middle
and Eastern States, by Frof. L. Agassiz, in ** A Sketch of the Natural Provinces
'Of the Animal World and their Rebtion to the different Types of Man/' in Nott and
Gliddon's " Types of Mankind."


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There is still a great amount of uncertainty concerning
the distribution and range of our^ smaller birds, although it
is to these that wc must chiefly look for the determination of
Faunae, but as far as my observations go the following ap-
pear to be instances of representation. The Towhee Bunt-
ing in the Alleghanian Fauna is represented by the Fox-col-
ored Sparrow in the Canadian ; the Grass Sparrow, by the
Savannah ; the Song Sparrow, in part by the White-throat-
ed ; the Chipj)ing Sparrow, in part by the Tree Sparrow and
Blue Snow Bird ; the Pine Warbler, by the Yellow Rump ;
the Prairie Warbler, by the Magnolia and Black Poll; Wil-
son's Thrush, by Swainson's Thrush. These are not however
given with much confidence, since the observations have not
yet been made sufficiently general. Many other more or
less doubtful instances might be added, especially among
the warblers and flycatchers, but much still remains to be
done concerning these very interesting groups. It seems to
be well established however that there are two distinct Fau-
nae as indicated above. The chief difficulty is to determine
their boundaries. To me it seems best to take, as a guide
in determining the northern limits of the Alleghanian
Fauna, the most southern localities in which those birds pe-
culiar to the Canadian Fauna commonly breed. The line
thus established seems to separate the two Faunae more dis-
tinctly than any other. The birds which have been most
useful in this investigation, their habits being best known,
are the Blue Snow Bird, Pine Finch, Canada Jay, Crossbills,
Black-Poll Warbler, and Spruce Partridge. Whenever
these breed abundantly in any region it may safely be con-
sidered as belonging to the Canadian Fauna. According to
this arrangement the Adirondack region of New York, the
northern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire, including
most of the higher parts of the Green Mountains and all of
the White Mountains, and even the summits of the higher
Alleghanies, will be included in the Canadian Fauna. But
the Alleghanian Fauna will extend northward into some
parts of Canada West, about Lake Ontario, and along the
viedley of the St. Lawrence, perhaps as far as Montreal. In
Maine the Canadian Fauna will embrace most of the north-
em portion of the state extending southward as far as the
TJmbagog Lakes in the western part. Concerning central
and northeastern Maine I cannot speak with certainty, but

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the <x)ast region, from Mount Desert to Eastport, together
with the islands in the Bay of Fundy, and the southeastern
coast of New Brunswick, belong to the Canadian Fauna.

The central and southern parts of Nova Scotia however,
are somewhat more southern in character.

It will doubtless be found that other animals, and per-
haps plants, agree to a certain extent with the birds in their
distribution. I have found that forests of Spruce and
White Birch, so characteristic of the northern parts of New
England, generally commence with the southern limits of
the Canadian Fauna, yet most of the birds seem in no way
dependent upon such forests, and many do not even frequent

The situation of Norway is about forty miles south of the
Umbagog Lakes, and about the same distance north of Port-
land, yet the birds agree more nearly with those of Massa-
chusetts than with those of the Umbagog region. It may
be considered as very near the northern limit of the Alle-
gjianian Fauna.

The notes and specimens that have served for the basis of
the following list were obtained during a residence of sev-
eral years at the locality, but I have also received much as-
sistance and many specimens from my brothers, B. D. Verrill
Bfiid G. W. Verrill, and from my friend Mr. Sydney I. Smith.

In this list I have followed the classification adopted by
Prof. S. F. Baird in the General Report on the Birds of
North America, (Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad
Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean,
vol. ix.)

Falco anatum, Bon. Duck Hawk. Spring and fall. Rare.
I have seen this species only during the migrations of the
ducks in spring and fall. I have been informed by
George A. Boardman Esq. of Milltown, Maine, that he has
known it to breed on a clifi' at Grand Menan.

P. coLUMBABius, Linn. Pig-eon Hawk. Spring and fall.
Rare. I have never succeeded in obtaining a specimen of
this hawk at Norway, and have seen it only a few times.
The species generally called "Pigeon Hawk" in New
England is Accipiter fuscus.

P. CANDiCANS, Gm. Jer Falcon^ " Wliite Hawk.^^ Win-
ter. Not uncommon. A white hawk probably of this

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species is frequently seen during winter flying about
extensive meadows near Norway, but they are very shy
and watchful and I have never been able to procure a
P. SPABVERius, Linn. Sparrow Hawk. Spring and fall.
Not very common. This species possibly breeds at Nor-
way although I have never seen it there in summer.

AsTUB ATRiCAPiLLUS, Bon. Goshawk, " Blue HawkJ^ Res-
ident. Common. Breeds. This is one of our most com-
mon hawks. When in the brown immature plumage it is
usually confounded under the name of " Hen Hawk,"
with Buteo borealis and B. lineatus. It may always be
distinguished readily from either, by its more slender
form, relatively longer legs and tail, and shorter wings.

AcciPiTEB CooPEBH, Bou. Cooper*s Hawk. Summer vis-
itant. Not common.

A. Fuscus, Bon. Sharp-shinned Hawk. Summer visitant,
very common. Breeds. Arrives the last of March or
first of April. The young are fully grown by the first
of August.

BuTEO BOBEALis, Vicill. Red-tailed Hawk " Hen Hawk?^
Summer visitant. Common. Breeds. Arrives about the
middle of March. The eggs are laid about the middle of

B. LINEATUS, Jard. Red-shouldered Hawh Sununervis*
itant. Not very common. Breeds. The only eggs o^
this species that I have obtained at Norway were
collected May 24th, 1860. The difierences in size
between specimens referred to this species from Florida,
and those from Maine and other parts of New England,
are very great, and may indicate a specific diflFerence,
although there is little or no difierence in color. Nor
would this be the only instance in this family where
species, recognized as distinct, dilffer in no important
character except size. This is particularly the case in the
three North American species of Accipiter. I give below
a table of comparative measurements taken from speci-
mens in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Gam-
bridge, except the last one which is copied from meas-
urements given in the General Report on the Birds of
North America.

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Locality and by
whom collected



19 m.






























Leg from
knee joint,





Nature of







Sex and







It is stated however by several excellent observers that
the difference of size, in this, and several other species of
hawks, is due to the effect of the climate, and, that interme-
diate forms exist in the Middle States. By Audubon they
were considered distinct species, the northern form being
cidled Falco hyemalis, Gm. He also states that they differ
greatly in their habits. For the present therefore it may be
well to consider the large northern form as a variety, apply-
ing to it the name, Buteo lineatus, var. hyemalisy Gm.

BuTEO PENNSTLYAincns, Bon. Broachoinged Batch. Sum-
mer visitant. Common. Breeds. A nest found June
12th, 1858, contained two eggs nearly hatched. This spe-
cies is still more abundant near the Umbagog Lakes, and
is apparently the most common Hawk in tibat vicinity.

•M Msonments mad* from the specimens vhile fresh, by the collector.

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Abchibutbo SANCTI-J0HANNI8, Gray. Black Hawk. Win-
ter visitant. Not common. This species is occasionally
seen in autumn and winter. I have never met with A.
loffopusj although it probably occurs.

Cmcus HUDSONius, Vieill. Marsh Hawk. Summer visi-
tant. Very common. Breeds. Arrives from the middle
to the last of April. Lays generally six eggs in a nest
on the ground. I have found young just hatched, June
9th, and others just beginning to fly, July 9th.

Aquila canadensis, Cassin. Golden Eagle. Winter,

Haliaetus leucocephalus, Savigny. White-headed Eag-le.

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Online LibraryLeeds Philosophical and Literary SocietyProceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and ..., Volume 7, Issues 3-4 → online text (page 11 of 23)