Agassiz Association. Wilson Ornithological Chapter.

The Wilson bulletin (Volume 26, 1914) online

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Treasurer : P. B. Coffin, 3232 Groveland Ave., Chicago, 111.

Editor "The Wilson Bulletin"; Lynds Jones, Spear Laboratory, Ober-
lin, Ohio.

Business Manager: Edw. R. Ford, 1100 Great Northern Building,
Chicago, 111.


Remember the second annual meeting of tlie Wilson Ornithological
Club, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois, on December 29 and 30,
1914. The first opportunity for a gathering of ornithologists in the
central part of the United States was presented at the 1890 American
Association for the Advancement of Science held at Indianapolis. The
writer attended that meeting, where he met Mr. O. Widmann, Dr. B. W,
Evermann, Dr. A. W. Butler, Dr. Morris Gibbs and others. The next
opportunity was offered in February, 1914, at Chicago, when we met last
spring. We ought to make this tliird opportunity count big by planning
now to attend.

In anticipation of the Chicago meeting, plan to present a paper. Send
the title to the chairman of the program committee, Lynds Jones,
Oberlin, Ohio, not later than December 1, but as soon as you can. Plan
to place these papers in the hands of the editor for publication in the
Wilson Bulletin, to be published after the meeting.

148 Thk Wilson Bulletin — No. 88

There are large mimhers of oiuithologists througliout the central dis-
tricts of the United States who are not now affiliated with any organiza-
tion but who ought to be for their own sakes. Such persons would
probably be glad to join our Club if its existence and aims were made
known to them. Be a missionary and help all such known to you to find
themselves among our number this year.

There are too few short field notes. As the Wilson Bulletin grows
this lack ought to be supplied. It is an easy matter to write up a
short account of some happening worth recording, as compared with
preparing an article of some length. If written at the time of the
happening, in first draft form or in permanent form, the thing is done.
Trv it.

We regret to have to say that on account of the Pan-European war
Eev. W. F. Heuninger's work on the Ne-arctic Ornis will be indefinitely
postponed. The first part was about ready for mailing when the war
began. Mr. Henninger has our sincere sympathy in this bitter disap-


The next meeting of the Club will be held in Chicago on Tuesday and
Wednesday, December 29th and 30th. It is probably not possible to
select a date suitable to every one, but we have done the best we could
do, taking all things into account.

Now, we hope this will be a great meeting, and things even now point
to a large attendance. Last spring we had a very good meeting, without-
very long notice in advance. This year the notice is ample, and we hope
that every one will plan to attend who possibly can do so.

In the meantime cannot each member do a little toward strengthen-
ing our membership? It is our liojie to greatly increase our member-
ship before the next meeting. Will each member try to secure at least
one or two new members, and send to the officers the names of others
who may be solicited?

We need a larger membership in order to publish a larger Bulletin.
Cooperation at this time will mean a great deal to the future of the Club.

Sincerely yours,

T. C. Stephens.

Field Notes 149


Ax Experience Wrn£ a Florida Gallixule.

On or about the twelfth of last May I beard of a strange bird that
was in a certain grocery store window. Being naturally curious I
thought I would stop in and see it. The grocer was not acquainted with
the binl and was not able to find any more definite name for it than that
it was a green legged snipe. I myself had never seen a gallinule but I
knew at first glance that it belonged to the same family as the coot, which
bird 1 was quite familiar witli in some of his northern Iowa breeding

I got out my Chapmans and Eeed's and easily placed him with his
proper name. This incident occurred in Des Moines, la. The breeding
ground of the gallinule is in Minnesota and the Dakotas. This par-
ticular species, the Florida gallinule, is never found in this territory
except on its yearly migrations.

The bird was found tangled up in some barb wire fence about a mile
from a river in a more or less populated portion of the city. My assump-
tion is that the bird in flying strayed a little lower than its comrades
and thus met its fate. It had the characteristic slate color of the family,
the legs were a bright green with a reddish tinge on the upper part of the
femur, the bill and nose plate were red, except for about one-half an inch
of yellow on the tip of the bill. This latter point or characteristic was
probably an anomaly. This is true of the Purple gallinule but not of
the Florida. The serrated edging of white along the lower margin of the
wings, together with the reddish upper femur, distinguished it as the
Florida rather than the Purple, which it so closely resembles. I have
found these differences and variations in the color of the mandibles of
water birds to be quite common.

The fact that these birds fly at night, and being as they are by nature
weak flyers, probably accounts for the strange situation in which he
was found.

I paid the sum of fifty cents for the bird, took it to the zoology
department at Drake University, where we caged it and kept it under
observation while it recovered from its unusual experience.

At first he was very tame and made no fuss at being handled, but
soon he became restless and it became a problem what to do with his
Floridaship, The bird thrived on angle worms but ate cracked corn
when there Avas nothing better.

When school closed the tenth of .lune, I carried him in a yeast foam
box a distance of about two hundred miles north to the Iowa City Lake-
side Laboratory at Lake Okoboji. Here I tethered him out on the shore
by a string about twenty feet long. He seemed quite content with his

150 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 88

lot and spent liis time feeding amongst the seaweed and drift on the
water's edge. Tliere were a number of Scaup du

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