Agassiz Association. Wilson Ornithological Chapter.

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all of these boxes, but made no attempt to occupy them and
have not annoyed the rightful tenants. It may be too soon to
be sure, but indications point strongly to the immunity of this
style of nest boxes from occupation by the sparrows. If this
is so, they certainly deserve a wide sale.

Our martin house has to be carefully watched, even for
some time after arrival of the martins. At least one pair of
sparrows will be allowed to rear broods without objection by
the martins, and it has been necessary each spring to climb
up several times and tear out nests. If the owner of a mar-
tin house is not persistently watchful, young sparrows will be

Whitney — Discouraging the English Sparrow 209

reared amidst the martins without his knowledge, as the par-
ents develop astonishing cunning in concealing the presence
of the family.

Once in a while some one writes that he does not let any
sparrows nest in his yard. All praise to those who pursue this
laudable ambition. " No sparrows nests " ought to be the slo-
gan of every member of the Wilson Club, and every one else
who takes an interest in our native birds.


I have tried out two of the best known winter feeding de-
vices, one a self feeder attached to a tree, the other an expen-
sive glass shelter with self feeding hopper for nuts, 'erected on
an iron pole. The tree self-feeder was up only a short time
till the sparrows began to frequent it, to the virtual exclusion
of all others. Even when it contained food they did not want,
the sparrows sat around anyway, and kept other birds at a
distance. The glass shelter worked admirably last winter,
and afforded the chickadees and a red breasted nuthatch
plenty of dry food, and a sunny and shelterd place to rest. I
thought the recommendation of its makers, that sparrow.'^
were afraid to enter, was justified ; but alas, my fond expecta-
tions were dashed this fall by finding it the favorite resort of
sparrows, who drove the returning chickadees away. Pos-
sibly it should not have been left standing all summer, and
familiarity bred contempt. Any way, it has been taken in
now, to be put up again later if there seems to be possibility
of the sparrows forgetting it.

No attempt is now made to feed any of the hard billed or
seed eating birds, as it seems to be impossible to prevent such
food being monopolized by the sparrows. At present I am
feeding sun-flower seeds in cloth pockets on the trunks of
trees, and suet in mesh bags. Both these supplies are tacked
or tied on the upright trunk, and all small nearby limbs or
other projections that might serve as perches, are carefully cut
awav. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and brown
creepers have no difficulty in using these food supplies owing

210 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89

to their ability to cling to the bark, the lack of which faculty
prevents the sparrows from interfering.

In our part of Iowa, practically no seed eating birds are
seen in towns during the winter. It is therefore not worth
while to in efifect invite the sparrows by putting out grain of
any kind, especially as any such attempt is sure to be ren-
dered valueless by the pugnacity and persistance of the spar-
rows, who will eat or waste all the food put out.

In conclusion, I believe I have demonstrated to my own
satisfaction that sparrows can be successfully combated, by
any one who can devote a small part of his spare time to the
work. It requires energy and persistence, but it can be done.

In every locality, there needs to be a development of public
sentiment to a point where many will be become interested
enough to help. It is all well enough to talk and write about
conserving our native birds, putting up nest boxes for them,
etc., but in my humble opinion the crying need at present is
an active campaign against the sparrow. If we will reduce
the numbers of sparrows, native birds will certainly come in
of themselves, and have a chance to survive the increase in
towns and cities, which is denied them under present condi-

Those of mature age can remember when the first visit of
the snow birds was a welcome event of the early winter.
When the lovely blue-birds, and vireos, and phoebes were
about our yards in town all summer. How sad it is that all
this is gone, perhaps forever, and we are compelled to listen
to the incessant chirp of the alien sparrows, and witness their
persecution of any hapless native birds that chance to stop
even for a day, in their migration.

Lack of training and in doors occupation doubtless pre-
vents many members of the Wilson Club, as well as myself,
from following many lines of bird study we would enjoy;
these must be left to others. But there is a line of work we
can engage in, and one of the greatest importance. The des-
truction of the English Sparroisj.


A Quarterly Magazine Devoted to the Study of Birds. Official Or-
gan of the Wilson Ornithological Club



Price in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, One Dollar a year. 30 cents a number,
post paid. Price in all countries in the International Postal Union, $1.25 a year, 40 cents
a number. Subscriptions may be sent to Lynds Jones, Oberlin, Ohio, or to Mr. P. B.
Coffin, 3232 Groveland Avenue, Chicago, 111.


President : Dr. T. C Stephens, Morningside, Sioux City, Iowa.

Vice-president : Geo. L. Fordyce, Youngstown, Ohio.

Secretary: Orpheus M. Schantz, 5215 West 24th St., Cicero, 111.

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

Editor " The Wilson Bulletin " : Lynds Jones. Spear Laboratory,
Oberlin, Oliio.

Business Manager : Gerard Alan Abbott, 943 ^larquette Build-
ing, Chicago, 111.


The considerable delay of this number does not presage a like
delay for the March number. Many things have conspired to bring
about this delay, but they need not be enumerated. Suffice it to
say that copy for the March issue is now ready.

Now that the annual meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Club
has been sanctioned officially and is a settled event, as many mem-
bers as possible should make definite plans to attend. It does not
seem likely that the holiday .season will prove to be a convenient
time. President T. C. Stephens would be glad to have all mem-
bers express their opinions in regard to the best time for the meet-
ing. The editor favors the two days following Thanksgiving.
What is your preference? Tell Stephens.

Notice is hereby given that membership dues are now payable.
They should be sent to Treasurer P. B. Coffin, 32.32 Groveland Ave-
nue, Chicago, 111. If members will heed this notice it will save
the time of the Treasurer as well as save the expense of sending
out notices.

212 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89



The prothouotary warbler was first seen by me, in Huron, on
April 27, 1913, when one was found singing in an orchard, where
it stayed until May 3. On May 4 one was found singing on the
Cedar Point sandspit.

On May 22, 1914, one was found singing in town. It was seen
nearly evei-y day until June 7, when it disappeared. It appeared to
be prospecting for a nest, as it would investigate holes in trees and
even started carrying nesting material into a sprinkling can hang-
ing on the back porch of a house. On May 31, besides the one in
town, two others were heard singing at Rye Beach, about two miles
west of Huron on Lake Erie. On June 14, two were found at Rye
Beach in the willows and button bushes fringing the marsh. One
was singing, but the other used only a scolding note. From their
actions I suspected a nest, but was unable to find it. I searched
on several occasions after that, but it was not until June 26 that
I was successful. By watching the male bird it was found that
he had a certain perch where he would sing at about fifteen min-
ute intervals and that after singing he would occasionally drop
down into the underbrush. Search near there finally flushed the
female from the nest, which was situated in an old woodpecker hole
in a stub of a button bus;h, about four feet from the ground. The
nest was about four inches below the opening, was lined with grass
and contained two quite heavily marked eggs.

The stub was part of a clump of bushes and in the spring was
evidently surrounded by water, but at this time the water had
dried up so as to leave the ground nearly dry. On June 28, I ex-
amined the nest again and found but one egg. Both birds were
seen, but not close to the nest. On July 3 the nest was empty and
the birds were not seen, but on July 9 I found the male singing
about a hundred yards from the old nest. This was the last seen
or heard of them. The eggs were probably taken by red squirrels,
as there were numbers of these around.

This record extends the known breeding range of the species in
Ohio north to Lake Erie, previous records being chiefly at St.
Mary's reservoir and at Licking reservoir. H. G. Morse.

Field Notks 213


On September 20, 1914, seven members of the Sioux City Bird
Club made a trip to a point about eigbt miles southeast of the city,
to observe a small colony of Burrowing Owls. Three pairs of these
owls have occupied holes, in which they have reared their young,
in this pasture during the past summer. The owls have been com-
ing to this locality for a number of years, during which time their
habits have been observed closely by the boys on the farm. The
holes occupied by the owls were probably originally dug by coyotes
or other mammals. The birds have occupied the same holes from
year to year. The holes are on the side of a hill — the northwest
exposure. As we approached first one and then another started in
flight, flying perhaps 300 yards before alighting again. The birds
were very shy, and it was not possible to get close to them or to
get a good view of them. The holes in which they have their nests
are not deep, the boys say, they having dug out one or more of
them. After entering the ground, the holes make a turn, and at
the end, where the nest is located, is a cavity three or four feet
in length. There is no evidence that any other animals except the
owls occupy the holes. When the owls have young in the nests
they are much bolder than at other times. When a dog belonging
to the place would enter the holes he would be attacked by the
old birds on the outside. At other times the owls would attack
the dog while he was following the cattle through the pasture. The
owls migrate for the winter, and will leave, according to their habit,
about the first week in October. A. F. Allen.


An incomplete census of nesting birds within sight from the
porches of our house shows nests (or sites of nests not plainly vis-
ible) of the following: One pair of Oven-birds, one of Red-eyed
Vireos, one of Scarlet Tauagers, one of Wood Pewees (on a limb
in a maple within thirty feet from a window!), one of Phoebes, one
of Flickers, one of Bluebirds, one of House Wrens, one of Chipping
Sparrows, one of Song Sparrows, one of Catbirds, and four of
Robins. I am quite certain that continued searching would have
revealed the nests of Indigo Buntings and Cardinal Grosbeaks veiy
near at hand. This autumn we find several on the leafless limbs
that we missed in the summer.

One afternoon this autumn a Red-tailed Hawk flew into a field
near the woods, and capturing a small animal, flew into a leafless
elm. With my glasses I could see the Hawk plainly, but not his

214 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89

prey, which, however, could not have been much larger than a field
mouse. The incident was of especial interest because three or four
chickens were scratching in the grass within a few rods of where
the Hawk struck for the mouse. The field was far enough from
the house that it is not probable the Hawk left the chickens undis-
turbed out of fear, and the story lends strength to the argument
that the Red-tailed Hawk, as a rule, attacks chickens only when
other prey is not to be found. Alice Edgerton.

Columbiana, Ohio.


A pair of Simimer Tanagers was first observed on May 4, 1913,
flitting through the dazzling noonday sunlight and alighting on a
nearby wire fence. The favorite places of these birds are the boi"-
ders of the forest, where they may be seen flying about among the
trees or perching on the telephone poles. The latter part of June
the frequent visits of a pair to a particular spot revealed their
secret. The nest was in a catalpa tree about twenty feet from
the ground and two feet from the end of a limb, carefully con-
cealed. The young left the nest July 1st.

Katie M. Roads.


The list is unusual, only because the birds have all been found
within a radius of less than a mile. Others seen, but not within
this radius, are omitted. The selected area contains a little of
almost every attraction for bird life : woodland, meadow, hedge,
orchard, evergreen, thicket, stream and pond. Being unable to
hunt the birds every day during the migratory season, I have not
seen the entire list in one year. But, with the few exceptions,
which I have marked rare, no doubt they might all be recorded the
same year.

The Bobolinks, Stilt Sandpiper and Bonaparte Gull made their
first appearance within this radius this last May. The Bachman
Sparrow is very rare. Another bird student and I together saw
the bird and heard the clear sweet song.

The Mockingbird, Evening Grosbeak, Pileated Woodpecker and
Black-crowned Night Heron are accidentals ; no other record be-
ing had from this locality, that I know of.

A decrease in the number of Hairy Woodpeckers has been noticeable
for two or three years ; while this season a decided increase in Blue
Jays, Robins, Brown Thrashers, Wood Thrush, Cedar Waxwings,
and Shrikes is marked, and never have we had such flocks of Juncos

Field Notes


and Tree Sparrows as assembled together during March and the
first two weeks of April ; the sweet tinkling voices filled the air
with melody, and the telltale white feathers looked like hundreds
of tiny pennants.

Only once before have I heard the song of the Fox Sparrow.
This April a number of Songsters remained in the thicket for over
a week. I cannot tell of that music, the sunset glory through the
budding trees must go with it.

Song Sparrow

Lark Sparrow — Rare

Vesper Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Bachman Sparrow (one year

only, but seen distinctly and

heard singing)
White-throated Sparrow
AYliite-crowned Sparrow

Purple Finch — Rare
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak (Feb. to May,

Dickcissel — Rare
Indigo Bunting

Snowflake — Rare
Bronzed Grackle
Rusty Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Scarlet Tanager
Summer Tanager
Blue Jay

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Prairie Horned Lark
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Hermit Thrush

Wilson Thrush

Wood Thrush

Olive-Itacked Thrush

Gray-cheeked Thrush



lU'own Creeper


Brown Thrasher

Bewick Wren

Carolina Wren

Winter Wren — Rare

House Wren

Southern Mockingbird (Sept. and

Oct. 1912 only)
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow

Rough-winged Swallow — Rare
Bank Swallow — Rare
Purple Martin
Red-headed Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpeclcer
Downy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Northern Pileated Woodpecker

(once only)
Wood Pewee
Crested Flycatcher
Traill Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Ruby-throated Humming-bird
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Yireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo — Rare
Warbling Vireo


The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89

Migrant Shrike

CLiimuey Swift

Blue-winged Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Myrtle Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Black and White Warbler

Wilson Warbler

Mourning AVarbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Kentucky Warbler — Rare

Palm Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Cerulean Warbler — Rare

Northern Parula Warbler — Rare

Nashville Warbler


Yellow-breasted Chat


Louisiana Water-Thrush


Northern Yellow-throat

Black-poll Warbler

Canada Warbler

Bohemian Waxwing — Rare

Cedar Waxwing

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo


Mourning Dove

Turkey Vulture

Cooper Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

I'igeon Hawk

Sparrow Hawk

Screech Owl

Saw-whet Owl


Semipalmated I'lover

Wilson Snipe

Pectoral Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper


Greater Yellow-legs

Solitary Sandpiper

American Woodcock

Blue-winged Teal Duck

Lesser Scaup Duck

Buffle-head Duck

Ruddy Duck

Baldpate Duck

I'ied-billed Grebe

American Bittern

Sora Rail

Virginia Rail

Black-crowned Night Heron

Great Blue Heron


Bonaparte Gull (May, 1914)

Bobolink (May, 1914)

Stilt Sandpiper (May, 1914)

Mks. Robert T. Scott.

I would like to call the attention of bird-lovers to the efficiency
of the nest-box trap for English sparrows. This trap is fully illus-
trated and described in U. S. Bulletin " The English Sparrow as
a Pest," but I have never found reference to its use in current bird

Poisoned grain is liable to kill native birds. Wire traps must be
baited with tempting food, and after two or three settings in the
same place, sparrows will not enter at all. Shooting is effective to
only a limited extent, and dangerous as well as unlawful in towns.
In contrast to these methods, the nest-t)ox trap needs no bait
wliatever; every bird that enters disappears and will quickly die
of suffocation if not removed and killed ; it has the attraction of
mystery, for none of those that enter are able to warn their com-
panions of the danger ; and it is in working order all the time,
whether any one is at home or not.

Field Notes 217

The possible objection is that native birds of course can be
caught, as well as sparrows, and will die unless soon removed.
However, in my experience, only two birds other than sparrows
have entered ; both were wrens, and one was released unhurt ; the
other, a very young bird, was dead when found. To minimize this
risk, the trap may be placed in a position frequented by sparrows
and therefore apt to be avoided by other birds, and examined dur-
ing the nest hunting season as often as possible ; or the rack can
be detached during that time.

My nest-box trap w^as built in April, 1913, and cost only a trifle.
Since its erection, or a year and six months to date, it has caught
152 sparrows, with no attention except to remove and destroy the
victims. Five or six live sparrows have been taken out at one

I often feel that the stern necessity for constant war against the
sparrow is not properly kept in mind by all of us as bird lovers.
Nest boxes and martin houses are worse than useless if not care-
fully guarded ; feeding devices for winter birds are monopolized by
sparrows sooner or later in the majority of cases. It is not enough
that we occasionally use the dust-shot gun or air rifle ; there must
be active antagonism as nearly all the time as possible. It seems
to me that the nest-box trap above referred to affords a constant
means of destruction, and I urge its adoption by all those inter-
ested in the preservation of our native birds. t. h. w.

loica. October, lOl'i.


There are no Chickadees in the vicinity of Oberlin, Ohio. It
would be interesting to know if they have gone farther south than
is their custom in winter. Reports from more southern counties
indicate that there is no lack of Chickadees there. The editor would
be glad to receive reports on the Chickadee for this winter.

218 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 89


A letter wiitten to Dr. T. C. Stephens by our fellow member.
Dr. P. A. Taverrier, of the Victoria Memorial Museum, Ottawa, Can-
ada, is of such general interest that with the permission of both
gentlemen it is reproduced here. Dr. Taveruer says :

I have just returned from a field trip to the South Shore of
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, for the Zoological Division of the Geo-
logical Survey of Canada. We spent a month from May 21st on
Miscou Island, N. B., and then went to Perce, across the Bay of
Chaleurs ; where we spent the remainder of the season to August
23d, with side trips to Gaspe and a flying visit to the Magdalen

Most of the work after Miscou was put on sea birds and Bona-
venture Island the famous Gannet breeding place, three miles from
Perce was a mine of interesting experiences and at Gaspe we made
an economic study of the Cormorant — Phalerocorax auritus — in re-
lation to the salmon fisheries and hope that incidentally we have
gone far to stop the killing of these birds.

We obtained a fine series of skins of nearly all the sea species
inhabiting these shores, showing the various summer plumages of
the various ages.

We are also able to correct the generally reported identification
that gives P. carho as the breeding Cormorant of this section. They
are in fact all auritus, and one of the interesting problems will be
in future to map out the summer distribution of these two species
on the St. Lawrence coasts.

Besides this expedition we have two others in the field yet. Dr.
R. M. Anderson is collecting and second in command with the Ca-
nadian Arctic Expedition under Stephanson. Our latest reports
from him were written last December, but at the time of his writ-
ing he was in good health and his collecting progressing most fa-
vorably and with the promises of most satisfactory results. For-
tunately he was not with the ill-fated " Karlark," that was crushed
in the ice and whose crew we are still anxiously waiting to hear
of through the U. S. Revenue Ship Bear.

Mr. Francis Harper of Cornell, constitutes the Zoological section
of another expedition crossing from Lake Athabasca to Great Slave
Lake. His last report was dated Athabasca Lake, June 8th, when
about to make the final traverse. His results so far seemed most
satisfactory and doubtless his final report on return will continue
the promise of the earlier work.

Yours sincerely.

P. A. Tavekner.

Reviews of Pup.lications 219


Handbook of Birds of the Western United States. Florence Mer-
riam Bailey. Houghton, Mifflin Co. $3.50, net. Fourth Edition

This last edition of a well known and useful book is in the main
a reprint of earlier editions, but with an extended '"Addenda " of
58 pages, in which are indicated the changes in the nomenclature
made in the last revisions of the Check-List of the A. O. U. com-
mittee, together with the addition of 56 forms and the elimination
of 52. The last part of this "Addenda " is concerned with the
" Birds of the Western United States in the Nomenclature of the
1910 Check-List," and with a list of "Books of Reference." The
book was so complete for its purposes in the first edition that there
has been little need for other changes than those given above.

L. J.

Alaskan Bird-Life as Depicted by Many Writers, edited by Ernest
Ingersoll. Seven plates in colors and other illustrations. Pub-
lished by the National Association of Audubon Societies. New
York, 1914.

As stated in the introduction by T. Gilbert Pearson, the Secre-
tary of this Association, the object of this volume of 72 pages is
for free distribution among the people of Alaska for the purpose of
educating them in regard to the real value of the birds and thus
securing their cooperation in the conservation of Alaskan birds.
This finds the hearty approval of the United States Bureau of
Education. The birds of the several districts into which Alaska is
divided toix)graphically and climatically are treated on the group
plan, and the volume closes with the extended treatment of the
Tufted Puffin by William Leon Dawson, the Crested Auklet by
Charles Haskins Townseud, the Emperor Goose by Edward W. Nel-
son, the Hudsonian Curlew by A. C. Bent, and the Alaskan Long-
spur by Edward W. Nelson. There are colored plates of these spe-

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