Agassiz Association. Wilson Ornithological Chapter.

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25. Elanoides forficatus. Swallow-tailed Kite. I spent much time
looking for the breeding haunts of this species, which is still to be found
in certain of the wilder parts of Florida, and was rewarded bj' finding
it nesting at two widely separated points, one far down on the. edge of
the Big Cypress Swamp, the other near the Ocaloacooehee Slough. It is
a bird to be associated with cypress swamps. It loves the broad, open
glades that fringe them, and here of a late afternoon you may chance
to see them feeding. Gracefully and tirelessly they circle back and
forth, chattering as they pass close to one another, and perhaps if the

Bird Life Big Cypress Swamp Region 97

mood is on them they will take a turn at somersaulting and otlier start-
ling aerial stunts. They show very little fear of man at such times,
for more than once as I have stood watching them they would swing
unconcernedly within 30 or 40 feet of me. The birds are to a certain
extent gregarious, for where you find one pair there will likely be two
or three more nesting within a radius of half a mile or so. The Kite
population of the vicinity can easily be arrived at when you start to
climb a nest. The cries of its owners quickly attract the other Kites
within hearing distance, and they join in the outcry, though at a safer
distance. At each of the nests I climbed from five to eight Kites were
circling above me by the time I had gotten well started.

It is an exhilarating experience to sit in the top of one of those tall
southern pines, with the breeze swaying j^ou gently back and forth, and
watch these matchless fliers sweep and careen above you. Only once
did I encounter a really vicious bird. Time and again she swooped
down on me, once just brushing my shoulder with her wing. It took
all my attention to do the climbing and I never knew just when I was
to feel the rush of her wings and hear the sudden boom of their arrested
motion right at my ear. It was just a little nerve trying.

Two different times I had the good fortune to watch the birds nest
building, and both times the ceremony was much the same. The female,
escorted by the male, carried the nesting material. With the most
graceful of evolutions, accompanied by a constant chatter, very pleasing
to hear, and which reminded me much of the love-making of a pair of
Barn Swallows, they flew to a point above the nest. The female dropped
down for a moment, arranged the stick or bit of moss in the nest, then
rejoining the male away they went chattering as far as one could follow

The nests I examined were made of dead cypress twigs and Spanish
moss, and were lined abundantly with a soft, silky, green moss plucked
from dead cypress trees. In all I found six nests. Two were in the
process of construction, the other four contained two eggs each. Five
were in pine trees, the sixth in a tall slim cypress. One was at the com-
paratively low elevation of 55 feet, the highest about 85 feet up and
well out on a branch running off at an angle of 45 degrees, the most
difficult climb of them all. This last mentioned nest I collected together
with the eggs, first crawling out and securing the eggs, then roping up
the limb and cutting it off with a hand axe. Nesting dates were March
17th, an unusually early date, perhaps a record, March 28th, April 7th
and April 21st. In the latter case the eggs were half incubated. The
dates when observed building were April 6th and 7th.

26. Circus Imdsonius. Marsh Hawk. Observed several times quarter-
ing over marshes and ponds during April, and I am inclined to think it
nests here.

27. Buteo liorealis borealis. Eed-tailed Hawk. This species is rare
in Lee County. One nest found April 5th about 20 miles south of the

98 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 87

Ocaloacoochee Slough. It was about 75 feet up in a big pine. Unfor-
tunately a cattleman, who chanced to take dinner with us near the spot,
had shot the female about three weeks previous. Her body lying under
the tree was sufficiently preserved to make certain of the identity.

28. Buteo lineatus alleni. Florida Eed-shouldered Hawk. By far
the most abundant of the hawks. Fully 20 nests were seen and no
especial effort made to find them. Seven which I examined had either
two eggs or two young, not a single one three. The birds nest either
in pine or cypress, and where available use large quantities of Spanish
moss. Nesting dates: March 15th incubated eggs, April 7th eggs far
advanced in incubation, April 3rd half -grown young.

29. Buteo hrachyurus. Short-tailed Hawk. Eare. Found breeding
by Baynard in February, 1912.

30. Haliocetus leucocephalus leucocephalus. Bald Eagle. There was
one large nest in a pine standing at the edge of the Corkscrew marsh.
As breeding begins in November, the young had already left.

31. Falco sparverius paulus. Florida Sparrow Hawk. Moderately
common resident of the pine woods and hammocks.

32. Polyborus cheriway. Audubon's Caracara. Nowhere common.
It prefers the more open country and the palmetto hammocks, this tree
being its favorite nesting site. I found a nest on April 5th about 50
feet up in a pine, containing two half-grown young. Green reported
seeing two young just out of the nest at the edge of a palmetto ham-
mock April 15th.

33. Fandion haliaetus carolinensis. Osprey. There were two occu-
pied nests in the Corkscrew cypress swamp. One was a huge affair
planted squarely on the top of a limbless cypress stub, 60 feet up. At
both nests the birds were incubating eggs the third week in March and
were very noisy as long as we remained in the vicinity.

34. Strix varia alleni, Florida Barred Owl. Abundant. Their nightly
serenades were one of the most interesting features of camp life. On
March 16th, while exploring a little cypress head, I found a young one
about 15 feet up in a sapling. He could get about the limbs and work
from tree to tree too lively for me and I tried in vain to catch him.
During the proceedings the mother came up close, ruffling her plumage
and clicking her bill savagely. On the above basis it would seem that
nesting begins early in January.

35. Otus asio floridanus. Florida Screech Owl. Apparently not very
common. Heard two or three times about hammocks.

36. Bubo virginianus virginiamis. Great Horned Owl. A rare resi-
dent. Heard once down on the edge of the Big Cypress Swamp.

37. Speotyto cunicularia floridana. Florida Burrowing Owl. This
interesting little Owl is nearing extinction. On the prairie near Immok-
alee I could find only four or five pair nesting where formerly it was
abundant. The hand of the cattleman is against it. A couple of bur-

Bird Life Big Cypress Swamp Region 99

rows excavated April 4th showed the birds just getting ready to nest.
One contained one egg.

38. Cavipephilus principalis. Ivory-billed Woodpecker. In Florida
this splendid Woodpecker is now confined to the wildest and remotest
swamps. Far down in the Big Cyjiress I had the good fortune to see
and hear it, the reward of hours of laborious wading. It is readily
distinguishable from the Pileated Woodpecker in flight by the large
amount of white on the wings. Its call is quite different, too. There is
a distinct pause between the notes and it lacks the carrying power of
that of the Pileated. Two nesting sites of former years were seen, both
in cypress trees. They may be identified with certainty, as the hole is
somewhat oblong in shape, the height being to the width in about the
ratio of three to two. The birds also have the peculiar habit of stripping
the outer bark from the trunk for a considerable distance below the
nest. *

39. Dryobates iorealis. Eed-cockaded Woodpecker. Locally dis-
tributed in the higher pine woods. Several nesting sites noted. These
are cut into living pines with dead hearts, and the trunk for several feet
below the nest is thickly smeared with pitch.

40. Phlwotomus pileatus pileatus. Pileated Woodpecker. Common
and observed almost daily. Three nests were found, all in dead pines,
one with three slightly incubated eggs April 5th, a second on the follow-
ing day with three half-grown young, and the third April 18th, in which
the birds were feeding young. One fact that I noted several times is
that this bird feeds on the ground after the manner of the Flicker.

41. Melanerpes erythrocephalus. Eed-headed Woodpecker. Common,
but less so than the two following species. Beginning nesting in

42. Centurus carolinus. Eed-bellied Woodpecker. Common and nest-
ing in March. I found one pair apjjropriating a former nesting cavity
of the Eed-cockaded Woodpecker.

43. Colaptes auratus auratus. Flicker. Common throughout the pine
woods. Nests with fresh eggs April 19th and 23rd.

44. Antrostomus carolinensis. Chuck-will's-widow. Common in the
hammocks, but rare elsewhere. Nesting in April.

45. Chordeiles virginianus chapmani. Florida Nighthawk. Observed
during early April near Immokalee and it probably nests there.

46. Tyrannus tyranmis. Kingbird. A common resident of the pine
woods. Saw my first Kingbird March 21st and in a day or two they
were plentiful. Observed a pair building April 19th.

47. Myiarclms crinitus. Crested Flycatcher. Abundant. The small
cypress heads are their favorite haunts and nearly every one harbors
a pair or two. They were common everywhere when I first entered the
woods March 14th. Nesting begins in April. On the 7th I observed a
bird carrying material into a hole in a small cypress tree, and on the
17th I picked up part of an eggshell from the ground.

100 The Wilson Bulletin— No. 87

48. Cycuwcitia cristaia forincoJa. Florida Blue Jay. A few were
observed about liaminocks, but not commonly. No nests found.

49. Corvus brachyrhynclws pascuus. norida Crow. Abundant and
many nests seen. Eggs far advanced in incubation March 17th.

50. Corvus ossifragus. Fish Crow. Found only in the vicinity of
rookeries, particularly at Corkscrew, where they do a great deal of
damage. Collected a set of five slightly incubated eggs March 28th, the
nest being in the bud of a slim pine.

51. AgeJaius plweniceus florid-anus. Florida Eed-wing. Common on
the marshes and larger ponds. Nesting in April.

52. Sfuri)eJla magna argutula. Southern Meadowlark. Abundant in
the open pine woods and prairies. Nesting dates: March 25th four
fresh eggs, Ajiril 4th three incubated eggs.

53. Quiscahts qaiscula aglaeus. Florida Grackle. We found quite
a colony nesting in cavities in the cypress trees at Corkscrew March 20th,
and the latter part of April I found another group making use of sim-
ilar sites in a small cypress head.

54. Megaquiscalufi major major. Boat-tailed Grackle. Observed nest-
ing in several ponds in early April. Common where it can find suitable

55. Ammodramiis savannarum floridanus. Florida. Grasshopper Spar-
row. Bather common on the prairies. I scratched up a lot of grass
looking for their nests when flushed at close range, but was no doubt
too early for them.

56. PipiJo eryihrophtlialmxis alleni. White-eyed Towhee. Very local
and not common. About Immokalee quite a few were seen.

57. Cardinalis cardinalis floridanus. Florida Cardinal. Common
near Fort Myers and about Immokalee, but almost entirely wanting in
the wilder sections.

58. Progne subis subis. Purple Martin. In early April half a dozen
pair were nesting in woodpecker holes in a couple of dead pines near

59. Laiiius ludovicianus ludovicianus. Loggerhead Shrike. Observed
only in the orange groves at Immokalee.

60. Vireo griseus maynardi. Key West Vireo. Not common. Seen
only a very few times. One nest found April 10th containing four fresh

61. Geothlypis trichas ignota. Florida Yellow-throat. Noted fre-
quently about the saw palmetto growth in the vicinity of Immokalee.
Apparently nesting about the middle of Ajiril.

62. Mimus polyglottos polyglottos. Mockingbird. Like the Cardinal
the Mocker prefers the haunts of man. They were common at Immokalee,
but I don 't think I ever saw one in the wilder country.

63. Thryotliorus ludovicianus miamensis. Florida Wren. A common
resident. I saw a nest in an old tin coffee can hanging on the side of
a shed at Immokalee April 4th. At Green's camp a pair built in the

Bird Life Big Cypress Swamp Region 101

jioeket of an old sweater. I also saw a nest in a natural cavity of a
gnarled pine tree at the edge of cypress swamp 20 miles from any human

64. Sitta i)usilla. Brown-headed Nuthatch. Moderately common resi-
dent of the pine woods. Saw a pair building March 16th, and another
pair feeding young April ISth.

65. Sialia sialis sialis. Bluebird. Quite common in the pine woods.
Observed them about nesting holes several times in April, but examined


A Quarterly Magazine Devoted to the Study of Birds.
Official Organ of the Wilson Ornithological Club.

Edited by LYNDS JONES.

Price in the United States, Canada and Mexico, one dollar a year, 30 cents a
number, postpaid. Price in all countries in the International Postal Union,
$1.25 a year, 40 cents a number. Subscriptions should be sent to P. B. Coffin,
3232 Groveland Ave., 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, Ober-
lin, Ohio.

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


The editor's address for the summer — until the middle of August —
will be Sandusky, Ohio, care Dr. C. B. Bliss. Mail addressed to Oberlin
will reach him, but will be delayed somewhat in reforwarding.

The short time between the two issues of the Bulletin and the ex-
amination season have conspired to prevent reviews of literature for this
number of the Bulletin. They will be resumed in the September number.

Interest in studies of the nesting behavior of birds has increased many-
fold in the last five years. While July may seem to be rather late for
most birds to nest, experience has proven that nests of many of our
common birds may be found even into August. Studies of nesting be-
havior are exceedingly valuable and ought to be taken up more generally
over the country before we may hope to get far in our understanding of
the inner life of the birds. The intimate study of the Red-winged Black-
bird at Ithaca by Mr. A. A. Allen well illustrates what valuable results
may be achieved by faithful and long continued studies of this sort, and
the papers by Miss Sherman, Mr. Gabrielson and others well illustrate
that valuable facts may be discovered by even a one-nest study. Let
everybody try at least one nest.

Field Notes 103



We have found a yellow warbler's nest with a cowbird's egg in the
bottom, over which the warbler had built a second floor on which to lay
her own eggs. ' E. A. Fields.

Sioux City, Iowa.


A pair of wrens had reared a brood in a box on our back porch and
were preparing to raise a second brood, when the cover of the box was
loosened by the wind and was tied down with a white string. This
aroused suspicion on the part of Mrs. Wren, who immediately removed
the six eggs and part of the nest. I removed the rest of the nest, but
the wrens did not use the box again. What became of the eggs I do not
know, as there was no trace of them either in the box or on the porch.

Sioux City, Iowa. E. A. Fields.


In the woods bordering Lake Okoboji, Iowa, in July, 1912, some bird
lovers discovered a daintily constructed red-eyed vireo's nest, covered
with a pure white, web-like substance, making it the most beautiful nest
we had ever seen. Evidently we were not the only ones attracted to it,
as it contained four cowbird 's eggs and no vireo 's eggs. While we ex-
amined the nest the vireos, much disturbed, sat on a branch near by. We
removed the eggs and returned a week later, hoping to find that the
proper owners had used it, but the nest was empty and another vireo's
nest was being built near by, presumably by the same birds.

Sioux City, Iowa. E. A. Fields.

Through the kindness of Mr. A. J. Anderson I was permitted to see a
specimen of Phalaropus fulicarius, which had been shot on a sandbar in
the Missouri river below Sioux City. It was presented to Mr. Anderson
on November 28, 1912, and had been taken a day or two before. The
bird was in the white winter plumage. It was mounted and is now in
Mr. Anderson's collection. It seems that this species has never hereto-
fore been reported for either Iowa or Nebraska. T. C. Stephens.


On October 15, 1913, my friend, Mr. Fred C. Smith, learned of large

flocks of strange birds along the Missouri river bottoms near the villages

of Owego and Holly Springs. Word came to the Sioux City sportsmen of

the abundance of these birds, and several went down. Mr. William

104 The Wilson Bulletin— No. 87

Anderson shot several and one of these was taken to the Stag Cigar
Store, and there identified as a Gohlen Plover. Mr. Anderson described
the birds as having a short bill and a ' ' black back speckled with greenish
yellow. ' ' Dr. B. H. Bailey, with whom I interviewed Mr. Anderson, was
satisfied of the correctness of the identification.

A Dr. Flageau, of Holly Springs, reported that large flocks of these
birds, which were locally called "Prairie Pigeons," had been seen in the
vicinity for the past ten days "feeding on the winter wheat." Mr.
Anderson thought they were feeding on the crickets and grasshoppers
rather than the wheat.

A Mr. Williams, of Owego, was also (pioted as having seen these
birds in large numbers about the same time. Mr. Anderson says he
was able to obtain very few birds because of their shyness. When dis-
turbed they would tiy up \'evy high in the air, circle around, and finally
fly away. T. C. Stephens.


During the winter of 1913-1914 several records of unusual interest to
nie were made in this locality.

Red-headed Woodpecker {Melanerpe-s enjtlirocepludus). In the fall
long after the other individuals had left three of this species were to
be seen about the cemetery. Every time I passed thru that region I
expected to discover that they were gone, but they remained thru the
winter. The cemetery contains large numbers of oaks of different species
and the Red-heads used tlie acorns, particularly those of the white oak,
for food. These three birds were to be seen at any time either feeding
or fighting with the Blue Jays. They had one particular tree which
they seemed to use as a sleeping place, and tliey allowed no Jays to
remain in that vicinity.

Red-bellied Woodpecker {Centurus carolinus). This species was another
form which I was surprised to find here during the winter. I liave re-
garded this as a rather rare bird in this locality, as the only other
specimen noted in two years' field work was one taken April 4, 1913.
This second specimen remained all winter in the cemetery and is still
here at the present writing (May 5). This bird was much more shy than
the Red-heads and not so noisy, but we managed to see him on nearly
every trip during the winter.

Tufted Titmouse {Bceoluphus bicolor). On the 25th of January, as
I was walking thru a small Avillow thicket, a small bird flew into a bush
not ten feet in front of me. It was snowing hard at the time and this
made any observation work difficult. However, I recognized the bird as
one of this species and after considerable maneuvering managed to se-
cure him. A short time later another was secured. This is another form
which I have considered rare, tlie only other record being a pair noted
on two different dates in April, 1913. Ira N. Gabrielson.

Field Notes 105



Apj)arently the blue-wingeil warbler is not common in this area even
in migrations. However, some few observations made at a time when
the presence of the bird argued the likelihood that it had remained to
breed in the locality are on record, and Mr. Frank M. Woodruff in
' * Birds of the Chicago Area " ' has been led to say, ' ' It does not seem
imjjossible that a very few individuals may remain and breed within
our limits. ' '

On May 23 while pushing my way through cover of lesser growth, but
comparatively free of underbrush — a rather damp part of the woodland,
at its edge and situated between its higher slopes and the creek bottom-
land — I came upon a nest new to me but quite certainly the nest of a
warbler. There were no eggs nor for a time was any bird in evidence.
Presently, liowever, I caught sight of a small yellow head peering out of
the greenery. That, I believe, was the male; for my next glimpse was
of a biril not so bright but exhibiting some alarm in frequent chippings
though for the most })art contriving to keep in concealment.

Upon revisiting the nest. May 29, accompanied by Dr. Frederick C.
Test, I found it to contain four small, delicately marked eggs, but, as
before, the birds were shy and it was only after a considerable interval of
waiting that Dr. Test and I were able to descry the female. She kej^t to
the higher branches of the nearby trees, and while manifesting alarm in
nervous chipping, seemed indisposed to make the fearless approach
common to most of the smaller birds when their nests are threatened.

Th» nest was placed on the ground and supported by the three stems
of a small choke-cherry shrulj, to which it was not in any manner at-
tached. It was composed of oak leaves, the stems up-pointed, strips of
grape-vine bark and a few coarse grasses. The lining was of long fibres
of plant stems, brown in color, and some horse hair.

The record refers to a locality near Fort Sheridan, Lake county,
Illinois. Edward R. Ford.


On December 28, 1912, while out on a bird "hunt," my brother and
I noticed a bird flying along a hedge before us. At first we thought
it was a brown thrasher, but soon we found our error and identified it
as a fox sparrow (Passerella iliaca). We soon noticed that it was
in some way crippled, and at last we saw that its right wing was not
fully develojied. It was alile to fly short ilistances easily and avoided

During the winter we saw it again on February 16, 1913, with a
companion of the same species, so that our fears for its surviving the
winter were allayed. It was easily identified as the same individual we
had before seen by its wing. On February 23, 1913, it was again seen

106 The Wilson Bulletin — No. 87

with a companion, as it was again March 16. It was recorded by itself
on March 24 and 26, but with a companion on March 30. From that
date it was observed with or without a companion (which being so often
seen with him, and being somewhat lighter colored, was finally concluded
to be his mate) on the following dates: April 1, 6, 8, 9, 10, 19; May 5,
8, 12, 23, 29; June 16, 25; July 12, 24; August 15; September 9 and
21. In October he was observed several times, but with others of his
kind, which we gathered, from their actions, were not only of his kind,
but of his family. Although no nest could be found, I feel certain that
this maimed bird and his mate raised a brood of young fox sparrows
in this vicinity. The birds were always found in an abandoned road-
way about a half mile from my home. I am also glad to say that our
hero's wing seemed to develop during the summer, and though not as
strong as the other nor as large, he got along very well and would take
long flights without much trouble. George E. Ekblav^.

Eantoul, 111.


Pound a Black-bellied Plover in an oat field half a mile south of
Huron on May 24.

A pair of Prothonotary Warblers have been around Huron for several
days prospecting for a nesting place. I had always supposed that these
birds were swamp-loving birds, but this pair stay around houses. They
were trying to get into wren boxes, and yesterday (May 24) they
started building in an empty sprinkling can hung up on the back of a
house. They have been around today, but have not done any more
building. H. G. Morse, Huron, Ohio.


Apparently a season of erratic weather conditions is favorable for
the appearance of extralimital species. The spring migration of 1914

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