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Florence Merriam Bailey.

Handbook of birds of the western United States : including the Great Plains, Great Basin, Pacific Slope, and lower Rio Grande Valley online

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in fall and winter : upper parts olive green shading to gray
on upper tail coverts ; back and scapulars, sometimes crown
and rump, streaked with black ; wing bars usually tinged with yellow ;
superciliary olive yellowish ; throat, breast, and sides yellowish ; sides and
flanks indistinctly streaked ; belly white. Young in first fall and winter :
like adult fall male, but under parts yellow except on under tail coverts ;
upper tail coverts olive green instead of gray, back less distinctly streaked.
Young, first plumage : upper parts light grayish brown, streaked with black
except on rump, which is barred or mottled with black ; under parts whitish,
tinged with olive yellow in front, and mottled with dusky ; wings and tail as
in winter birds. Male : length (skins) 4.65-5. 51, wing 2.81-3.05, tail 1.91-2.13.
Female : length (skins) 4.53-5.00, wing 2.72-2.95, tail 1.77-2.01, bill .35-.43.

Distribution. Breeds from northern New England and the Catskill
Mountains west to the Rocky Mountains and north to Hudson Bay and
Alaska ; migrates west to New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana, and south
to northern South America, through West Indies ; not recorded from Mex-
ico or Central America ; accidental in Greenland.

Nest. On lower branches of coniferous trees, in the north often on the
ground ; bulky, warmly lined with feathers. Eggs : usually 4, white,
creamy, or biiff y, spotted or blotched, often wreathed with brown and lilac
gray.

Food. Insects.

The eastern black-poll, Prof. Cooke says, comes regularly, but in
small numbers, west to the Rocky Mountains, occasionally being
common during migrations both on the plains and at the base of
the foothills. There is one breeding record for Seven Lakes, near
Manitou, Colorado, at an altitude of 11,000 feet.

662. Dendroica blackburniae (Gmel). BULCKBURNIAN WAK-

BLEB.

Adult male in spring and summer. Throat brillant orange yellow ; rest
of under parts pale yellowish ; sides streaked with black ;
crown black with yellow or orange patch ; superciliary yel-
low or orange ; rest of upper parts black, streaked with white
on back ; wings with broad white patch ; tail with three outer
feathers white except shafts and tips. Adult female : similar,
but black replaced by olive brown, streaked ; orange replaced by yellow ;
wings and tail duller, white markings restricted. Young male in first fall
and winter : like adult female, but without yellow spot on crown ; yellow
of throat and chest paler. Young female in first fall and winter : similar
to adult female, but upper parts browner, streaks less distinct ; white
markings restricted ; under parts huffy ; throat sometimes pale buffy ;
streaks on sides dull brownish. Young, first plumage : upper parts brown,
middle of crown lighter ; back and rump indistinctly streaked ; supercil-
iary stripe and throat pale buffy ; chest darker, faintly spotted ; rest of




418 WOOD WARBLERS

under parts white, sides spotted ; wing and tail as in fall birds, but wing
bars brownish buff. Male : length (skins) 4.40-4.70, wing 2.57-2.73, tail
1.83-1.94, bill .37-41. Female : length (skins) 4.25-4.60, wing 2.48-2.58,
tail 1.82-1.87, bill .38.

Remarks. The young may be distinguished by buffy superciliary and
throat.

Distribution. Breeds in Canadian and Transition zones of the southern
British Provinces, northeastern United States, and mountain regions south ;
casually to Utah, western Texas, and New Mexico ; migrates to the Ba-
hamas, and through eastern Mexico to South America ; accidental in
Greenland.

Nest. In evergreen trees, bulky, composed of downy materials, espe-
cially cat-tail down, lined with fine lichens, and horsehairs. Eggs : 4 or 5,
greenish white or pale bluish green, speckled or spotted chiefly on or
around larger end with brown, reddish brown, or lilac gray.

Food. Largely winged insects.

664. Dendroica gracise Baird. GRACE WARBLER.

Adult male in spring and summer. Superciliary, spot on lower lid, throat
and chest bright yellow ; rest of under parts white, streaked with black ;
upper parts including ear coverts and sides of neck ash gray ; crown and
back narrowly streaked with black ; wings with two white bands ; two
outer tail feathers largely white on inner webs. Adult female in spring and
summer: like male, but duller, gray of upper parts tinged with brown,
black streaks indistinct, wing bars narrower, yellow paler, white of under
parts duller. Adult male in fall and winter : upper parts slightly tinged
with brown, streakings on back more or less concealed; under parts
brownish buffy. Adult female in fall and winter : like winter male, but
washed with olive brown above, wing bars brownish buff, and white of
under parts strongly buffy. Young male in first fall and winter : upper
parts strongly tinged with brown, black streaks on back concealed, and
flanks strongly brownish buff. Young female in first fall and winter : colors
duller, streaking indistinct or obsolete. Male : length (skins) 4.33-4.60,
wing 2.52-2.60, tail 1.85-1.97, bill .39. Female : length (skins) 4.45-4.53,
wing 2.37-2.44, tail 1.81-1.85, bill .39.

Distribution. Southwestern United States and adjacent parts of north-
western Mexico, breeding from Colorado to Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico ;
casual in southern California.

Nest. By two specimens, in pines, 50 to 60 feet from the ground,
made of vegetable fibers, straws, and horsehair ; also, in one case, strings,
oak catkins, bud scales, wool, vegetable down, and insect webbing. Eggs :
8 or 4, white, lightly spotted with reddish brown.

The Grace warblers are birds of the coniferous forests of the south-
western mountains. In the Guadalupe Mountains, Texas, we met
a small flock of them passing through the pines at about 8000 feet.

665. Dendroica nigrescens (Towns.). BLACK-THROATED GRAY

WARBLER.

Adult male in spring and summer. Whole head, throat, and chest black,
except for white streaks on side of head and along throat, and bright yellow
spot over lores ; breast and belly pure white ; sides streaked with black ;
back gray, more or less streaked with black ; wings with two white bars ;
tail with inner webs of two outer feathers mainly white. Adult female
in spring and summer: similar, but colors duller; crown usually gray,







WOOD WARBLERS 419

streaked with black ; black of throat largely mixed with white. Adult male
in fall and winter: like summer male, but gray of upper parts tinged with
brown, and black markings restricted, some-
times nearly obsolete. Adult female in fall
and winter : like summer male, but plumage
softer and streaks on back and upper tail
coverts obsolete or wanting. Young male in
first fall and winter : like adult winter male,
but gray of upper parts browner ; crown
brownish gray except on front and sides ;
streaks on back and upper tail coverts ob-
solete or concealed ; black of throat with
white tips to feathers; white of under parts Fig. 528. Blactthroated Gray
tinged with yellowish. Young female in first

fall and winter : entire upper parts brownish gray, crown bordered with
dusky ; white of under parts strongly tinged with brown. Male : length
(skins) 4.13-4.65, wing 2.35-2.62, tail 1.92-2.17, bill .32-.3S. Female:
length (skins) 4.21-4.80, wing 2.13-2.47, tail 1.85-2.01, bill .33-.3S.

Remarks. The yellow spot over lores is diagnostic.

Distribution. Breeds in Transition and Upper Sonoran zones from
British Columbia to Lower California and southern Arizona, and from
Colorado to the Pacific coast ; migrates to southern Mexico.

Nest. Low down in dense thickets of scrub oak, or high up in pines,
compact, cup-shaped, like that of D. wstiva, made of graj plant fibers,
lined with feathers. Eggs : 3 or 4, white, tinged with pink or cream,
spotted on or around larger end with reddish brown and lilac gray,
usually mixed with a few darker specks.

Food. Frequently green caterpillars.

The quiet little black-throated gray warbler is a restful contrast to
the whirligig of perpetual motion, the omnipresent Audubon warbler
of the Sierra Nevada. It seems to be especially a bird of Transition
low growth, such as scrub oaks, pifions, cedars, and manzanitas.

Along the North Fork of the Yuba River in the Sierra we found
it singing in the bushes along the road, and in the low trees on a
hillside near camp. Its song is a simple warbler lay, zee-ee-zee-ee,
ze, ze, ze, with the quiet woodsy quality of mrens and ccerulescens,
so soothing to the ear.

666. Dendroica chrysoparia 3d. $- Salv. GOLDEN-CHEEKED
WARBLER.

Adult male in spring and summer. Upper parts and throat black, upper
parts sometimes tinged with olive green ;
sides of head bright yellow, interrupted by
narrow black streak through eye; forehead
usually with yellow spot or streak ; breast
and belly white, sides streaked with black ;
wings and tail black, wings with two white

bands and tail with three outer pairs of """"^"^H

feathers with inner web largely white. ^^i

Adult female in spring and summer : like F .

summer male, but upper parts olive green,
indistinctly streaked ; throat yellowish, black showing through ; wings




420 WOOD WARBLERS

and tail duller, wing bands narrower. Adult male in fall and winter :
like summer male, but feathers of black throat patch edged with white or
yellowish. Young male in first fall and winter : like adult fall male, but
upper parts streaked with olive green and black, upper tail coverts edged
with olive green and gray, wings and tail duller, wing bars with black
shaft streaks. Young female in first fall and winter : like adult female,
but upper parts plain olive green, or indistinctly streaked ; throat and
chest grayish, throat tinged with yellow ; sides and flanks indistinctly
streaked with dusky. Young, first plumage : upper parts grayish brown
or brownish gray ; sides of head, throat, chest, and sides pale brownish
gray ; rest of under parts whitish, breast indistinctly streaked ; wings and
tail like adults, but wing coverts with dark mesial wedge-shaped marks.
Male: length (skins) 4.61-4.84, wing 2.45-2.58, tail 2.04-2.15, bill .36-
.40. Female : length (skins) 4.57-4.92, wing 2.28-2.43, tail 1.87-2.05, bill
.3S-.42.

Remarks. The black eye line through the bright yellow cheeks marks
both sexes of the golden-cheeked warbler.

Distribution. From western, central, and southern Texas south to
Guatemala.

Nest. Usually in red cedars, 10 to 20 feet from the ground, between
upright branches ; made of strips of inner cedar bark fastened with web
and lined with hair and feathers. Eggs : 3 or 4, white, spotted with red-
dish brown, sometimes mixed with lavender.

The golden-cheeked warbler is said to be common among the juni-
pers or 'cedar brakes,' as they are called locally, in central Texas.
It is said to be always on the alert for insects, hunting over the
branches and occasionally darting out for a passing insect. The
song of the male is given as tserr weasy-weasy tweah.

667. Dendroica virens (GmeL). BLACK-THROATED GREEN WAR-
BLER.

Adult male in spring and summer. Throat and chest black, sides
~ streaked with black ; rest of under parts white or yellowish

white ; forehead sometimes with yellow spot ; sides of head
bright yellow, olive streak through eye; upper parts bright olive
green ; back sometimes narrowly streaked with black ; wings
with two white bars, tail with inner webs of two outer feath-
Fig. 530. ers mainly white. Adult female in spring and summer : similar
to male, but black of throat and chest obscured by yellowish, and whitish
tips to feathers. Young male in first fall and winter : like adult female,
but olive green of upper parts and yellow of sides of head brighter, and
under parts yellower. Male : length (skins) 4.33-4.72, wing 2.40-2.52,
tail 1.77-1.93, bill .35-.39. Female: length (skins) 4.10-4.53, wing 2.28-
2.40, tail 1.77-1.85, bill .3S-.43.

Remarks. The bright olive green upper parts and whitish belly dis-
tinguish virens in all plumages.

Distribution. Breeds in Transition and Canadian zones from Hudson
Bay to northern Illinois and Connecticut, and along the Alleghanies south
to South Carolina ; migrates to Cuba and through western Texas and
Mexico to Central America and Panama.

Nest. In coniferous trees, usually at considerable height, made of strips
of bark, plant stems, leaves, twigs, and feathers, lined with hair and plant
down. Eggs : usually 4, white or creamy, spotted with reddish brown and
lilac gray, mixed with a few darker specks.

Food. Largely leaf worms, spiders, beetles, and flies.





WOOD WARBLERS 421

668. Dendroica townsendi (Towns.). TOWNSKND WARBLER.

Adult male in spring and summer. Head and throat black, except for
bright yellow superciliary and malar streak
bordering throat ; breast bright yellow fading
to white on middle of belly ; sides streaked
with black; back bright olive green, with
black arrow-point streaks ; wings and tail
blackish, wing with two white bars, tail with
inner webs of three lateral feathers white at
ends. Adult female in spring and summer :
like winter male, but black streaking of
upper parts and sides restricted or obsolete ;

crown sometimes blackish ; throat often blotched with black. Adult male
in fall and winter : like summer male, but black obscured ; crown and hind
neck with olive green edges to feathers ; cheek patch with olive green tips
to feathers ; throat lemon yellow ; chest and sides spotted with black.
Adult female in fall and winter : like summer female, but upper parts
slightly brownish, streaks indistinct ; sides and flanks brownish. Young
male in first fall and winter : like adult winter male, but streaks on crown
and back obsolete, and yellow of throat paler. Young female in first fall
and winter : like adult fall female, but yellow paler, and markings less
distinct. Male: length (skins) 4.21-4.80, wing 2.56-2.72, tail 1.89-2.01,
bill .32-.3S. Female : length (skins) 4.25-4.92, wing 2.48-2.60, tail 1.93-
L97, bill .32-.39.

Remarks. The wide band of black or olive on the sides of the head,
green back and bright yellow breast, are enough to distinguish townsendi
in any plumage.

Distribution. Breeds in Transition and Boreal zones in western North
America, from Yukon valley to Oregon, and east to Montana ; migrates to
Colorado, western Texas, and south to Guatemala ; accidental in Pennsyl-
vania.

Nest. Attributed to townsendi by Bendire, in willows, about 4 feet
from the ground, made of rotten plant fibers and roots, lined with rootlets,
hair, and plant down. Eggs : 3, pinkish white, spotted mainly about the
larger end with brown, lavender, and dark amber.

The Townsend warbler is a difficult bird to study, as it affects the
tops of lofty firs and spruces, hurrying from one to the other in
what may well appear unseemly haste to the observer below.

Dr. Merrill ascribes to it a mrens-like drawled dee' '-dee' '-dee '-de* dS.

669. Dendroica occidentalis (Towns.). HERMIT WARBLER.
Adult male in spring and summer. Top and sides of head bright yellow,

crown spotted with black, occiput usually mainly or wholly black ; throat
black ; rest of under parts white, some-
times streaked on sides ; hind neck streaked
black and olive green ; rest of upper parts
gray, tinged with olive green and streaked
with black; wings and tail black, wings
crossed by two white bands ; tail with two
outer pairs of feathers largely white. Adult
female in spring and summer: like winter
male, but forehead and crown largely yel-
low ; streaks on back restricted ; body less j, ;
brownish ; throat and chest often with




422 WOOD WARBLERS

dusky patch. Adult male in fall and winter: like summer male, but yel-
low of crown and occiput obscured by olive tips to feathers, black streaks
of back obscured by grayish edges to feathers, and black throat patch
with whitish tips. Adult female in fall and winter : upper parts plain
grayish olive, crown with traces of yellow ; under parts brownish white,
throat and chest with feathers dusky below the surface. Young male in
Jirst fall and winter : like adult fall male, but crown 'olive green, back
more olive, streaking 1 concealed or obsolete ; sides of head paler yellow
washed with olive ; throat and chest whitish or yellowish, feathers black
under the surface ; rest of under parts soiled white ; sides and flanks
tinged with olive brown. Male : length (skins) 4.41-4.80, wing 2.48-2.72,
tail 1.93-2.05, bill .3T-.43. Female: length (skins) 4.37-4.72, wing 2.44-
2.48, tail 1.83-2.01, bill .3S-.39.

Remarks. The adult males of this group of warblers may be distin-
guished by the color pattern of the side of the head. In the hermit it is
plain yellow ; in the black-throated green, crossed by an olive eye streak ;
in the yellow-cheeked, by a narrow black streak ; and in the Townsend
by a wide black band between superciliary and malar streaks.

Distribution. Breeds in high mountains from British Columbia to Cali-
fornia, and from the Pacific coast district of the United States to the
Rocky Mountains ; migrates to Lower California, Mexico, and Guatemala.

Nest. In coniferous trees, made of weed stems and pine needles, bound
by cobwebs and woolly materials, and lined with strips of cedar bark.
Eggs : dull white or grayish, spotted or blotched with lilac gray or browns,
chiefly around larger end.

"The hermit warbler is a frequenter of the conifers, although it
feeds in the bushes and black oaks in common with other species.
Its song is different from that of any other Sierra warbler, and seems
well represented by the words zeegle-zeegle-zeegle-zeek, which I borrow
from Mr. Bowles, of Waldo, Oregon. At close range the song of
the hermit warbler appears weak rather than otherwise, yet at Fyffe
I was impressed with its penetration, The bird will often mount to
the higher branches of the conifers by successive hops, much after
the manner of the blue-fronted jay." (Barlow.)

672. Dendroica palmarum (Gmel.}. PALM WARBLER.

Adults in summer. Crown chestnut, bordered by yellow superciliary ;
back olive or brown, narrowly streaked with darker and becoming olive
green on rump and upper tail coverts ; two outer tail feathers with large
terminal spots of white ; throat, breast, and under tail coverts light yellow ;
chest, and sometimes sides of throat, more or less streaked ; belly whitish,
more or less mixed with yellowish. Adults in winter : chestnut of crown
obscured or concealed ; throat and chest whitish instead of yellowish.
Young in first fall and winter : similar, but upper parts browner, supercil-
iary less distinct, and markings of under parts more suffused. Length :
4.50-5.50, wing 2.52, tail 2.24.

Distribution. Interior of North America, north to Fort Churchill,
Hudson Bay, and Great Slave Lake ; migrates through the Mississippi
valley, wintering in the South Atlantic and Gulf states, the West Indies,
and eastern Mexico ; accidental at Denver, Colorado, and on the Pacific
eoast, California.

Nest . On the ground, made of grass, strips of bark, and moss, lined




WOOD WARBLERS 423

with down and feathers. Eggs: yellowish or creamy white, spotted
chiefly around the larger end with brown and purple.

GENUS SEIURUS.

General Characters. Bill with rictal bristles short, but evident ; wings
pointed, much longer than tail ; tail nearly even ; tarsus longer than mid-
dle toe and claw.

KEY TO ADULTS.

1. Crown with orange brown patch inclosed by blackish stripes.

aurocapillus, p. 423.
1'. Crown plain brown like back notabilis, p. 423.

674. Seiurus aurocapillus (Linn.). OVEN-BIRD.

Adults. Crown with orange brown patch bordered by two blackish stripes ;
rest of upper parts olive green ; under parts white, streaked
with blackish across breast and on sides. In winter, colors
rather brighter. Young : crown without stripes, back deep
brown, narrowly streaked with blackish ; under parts strong
buff y, with narrow lines of blackish. Male : length (skins)
5.00-5.65, wing 2.79-3.11, tail 2.05-2.28, bill .44-.40. Fe-
male: length (skins) 4.90-5.45, wing 2.75-3.11, tail 1.96-
2.34, bill .4S-.47.

Distribution. Breeds in eastern North America northwest to Alaska
and from the Arctic Circle to Virginia and southern Kansas ; west to the
base of the Rocky Mountains ; winters in southern Florida, the West Indies,
and southern Mexico to Panama.

Nest. In dry woods imbedded in ground, made of dry leaves usually
roofed over, the entrance on one side. Eggs : 3 to 6, white or creamy,
spotted with reddish brown and lilac gray.

675a. Seiurus noveboracensis notabilis (Eidgw.). GRIN-
NELL WATER-THRUSH.

Adults. Upper parts sooty olive brown ; superciliary dingy white ;
stripe through eye dark brown ; under parts usually white with little if
any yellow tinge ; throat finely, and breast and
sides broadly streaked with blackish. Young :
like adults, but streaks on under parts less dis-
tinct, and feathers of upper parts tipped with
light fulvous, producing a spotted appearance.

Male: length (skins) 5.14-5.84, wing 2.90-3.20, tail 2.00-2.25, bill .49-.63.
Female : length (skins) 5.01-5.99, wing 2.88-3.11, tail 1.92-2.28, bill .48-.S6.

Distribution. From Alaska and British America (Fort Churchill) south
to Mexico, and from Illinois west to the Pacific coast ; winters from the
southern border of the United States south to Lower California, Mexico,
and northern South America.

Nest. On or near the ground, in wet woods or on borders of swamps ;
made of moss and grass, sometimes lined with fur. Eggs : 3 to 6, white,
spotted with reddish brown and lilac gray.

The Grinnell water-thrush, like the other water-thrushes, is a soli-
tary bird walking quietly over the banks of forest brooks or wading
in their shallows tilting its tail like a pipit. When its emotions are
stirred, it bursts forth into a loud musical song.




424 WOOD WARBLERS

GENUS GEOTHLYPIS.

General Characters. Bill slender, its greatest depth less than half the
distance from nostril to tip ; tail rounded or graduated, or with basal two
thirds hidden by coverts.

KEY TO ADULT SPRING MALES.

1. Head, neck, and chest gray.

2. Lores black ; a distinct white spot on each eyelid. Western.

tolmiei, p. 424.
2'. Lores not black ; a continuous white orbital ring. Eastern.

agilis, p. 424.
1'. Head, neck, and chest mainly yellow ; sides of head black.

2. Bill slender, its greatest depth much less than half its length from

nostril.

3. Larger, with wider frontal band . . . occidentalis, p. 425.
3'. Smaller, with narrower frontal band. Pacific coast region.

arizela, p. 426.

2'. Bill very stout, its greatest depth much more than half its length
from nostril. Rio Grande Valley, Texas . . . ralphi, p. 426.

Subgenus Oporornis.

Wings pointed, longer than tail ; tail nearly even, more than basal half
concealed by coverts.

678. Geothlypis agilis (Wils.). CONNECTICUT WARBLER.

Adult male in spring and summer. Head, neck, and chest ash gray ;
eye with conspicuous white ring ; gray of chest sharply contrasting with
yellow of under parts ; sides and flanks olive green ; back dark olive green.
Adult female in spring and summer : similar, but top of head uniform with
back ; throat and breast brownish. Adult male in Jail and winter : like
summer male, but gray of forehead and crown tinged with brown, and
feathers of throat and chest tipped with paler. Young male in first fall
and winter : like adult female, but crown brownish olive, and chest darker,
more olivaceous. Young female in first fall and winter : like young male,
but smaller, and with throat and chest more strongly tinged with brownish
buffy. Male : length (skins) 5.00-5.42, wing 2.79-2.97, tail 1.84-2.08, bill
.45-.40. Female : length (skins) 4.80-5.81, wing 2.65-2.83, tail 1.84-1.94,
bill .40-.47.

Distribution. Eastern North America, breeding in Manitoba and Onta-
rio ; migrating to northern South America ; accidental in Colorado.

Nest. On ground in swampy woods ; very compact. Eggs : 4, white or
creamy, spotted with lilac gray and shades of brown.

Subgenus Geothlypis.
Wings short and much rounded ; tail rounded.

680. Geothlypis tolmiei (Towns.). MACGILLFVRAY WARBLER.

Adult male in spring and summer. Head, throat, and breast slate gray ;
throat feathers edged with ash ; rest of under parts yellow ; lores deep
black ; eyelids with distinct white spots ; back olive green, sometimes
tinged with gray. Adult female in spring and summer: like adult male,
but crown, hind neck, and sides of head and neck mouse gray, fading to
pale grayish or grayish white oh throat and breast. Adult male in fall




WOOD WARBLERS 425

and winter : like summer male, but feathers of crown and hind neck tipped

with brown and light edges of feathers on

throat and chest broader, sometimes almost



Online LibraryFlorence Merriam BaileyHandbook of birds of the western United States : including the Great Plains, Great Basin, Pacific Slope, and lower Rio Grande Valley → online text (page 48 of 65)