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TeUow-kgs and Plover, S& a dozen.

C;. W. SIMMONS A SON, Oak Hall, Boston, Mass.


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A Quarterly Journal of Ornithology.


The present purober brings to a close Volome 11 of the Balletin. With the beg^noiog of
Volume III, it has been decided to increase the number of pages in each irsne from 24 to
48, and to raise the subscription price to $ 2.00. The present size of the mtgaxine having
proved to be far too smnll to afford space fur all of the valuable matter contributed to its
pages, its enlargement h^s become Lecessary ; and we trust that the advance in price, accom-
panied as it is with a corresponding addition of matter, will deter none of our present sub-
Ecribers from promptly renewing their subscriptions, and that they will, as heretofore, use
their influence to extend its circulation. The gradual increase of our subscription-list
during the past year, together with the large amount of matter offered for publication,
sh^ws plainly that the Bulletin meets a long-felt want, and leads us to hope that its per-
manence as an Omithol «gical Magazine is assured. The favor with which this periodical
has thus far been received leads us to believe that during the coming year it will be possible
to further increase its size without additional coHt to subscribers.

It will l>e continued under the same editorial management as heretofore, and the aim will
be to keep it at such a standard of excellence as to make it indispensabb not only to every
w rkiug ornithologist, but to every one interested in the progress of American Ornithology.
A special feature of Volume III will be an exhaustive rSsumS of the current literature
relating to North American Ornithology, wherever appearing.

Ck>mmunIcation8 for Volume II have been received from no less than thirty contributors,
embracing all the leading authorities (of this country) on American Ornithology. With
such ample literary support, the magazine in its enlarged form cannot fail to be worthy of
the most liberal patronage.

In order to assist in defraying the expenses of publication, advertising sheets will be
issued with each number, relating mainly td Natural History, and especially to Ornithology.
The attention of dealers in specimens of Natural History and collectors' and taxidermists*
materials, and of publishers of works relating to Natural History, is hence called to the
Bulletin as a desirable advertising medium.

TERMS. - Subscription, S 2.00 a year (including postage), strictly in advance ; single
numbers, 60 cents.
Subscriptions should be forwarded to Mr. RUTHVEN DEANE, C^mbridive, Mass*

AdYeitisinfr Rates. — First insertion, 80 cents a line (Bourgeois), or $ 12.00 per page ;
$6.60 per half-page. A discount of twenty-five per cent will be made for each subsequent

Commanlcatioiis intended for publication, as well as advertisements, should be sent
to Mr. J. A. Allem, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Mass.

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or THB

NuTTALL Ornithological Club:



9i,MotXAU (Bixioxn,


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U. S. A 1

On THB Spbcibs OF THE Gekus Passbrblla. By ff. W. ffenshaw . . 8


FOBiacus. By WiUiam A, Cooper 8

VEBCBOTtov OF A Nbw Wbbm fbom THB Tbbb Mabias Islasds. By

Robert Sidgwag 10

Addxtiosal Rbmabks on Selasphobus allemi. By H, W, ffenehaw . 11


Ambbicab B1BD8. By WilHam BreweUr 16

Ah Ibadbquate " Thbobt of Bibdb* Nbsts." By J, A. Alien • • 28
Bbbbdiho of the Duck Hawk iir Tbebs. By N, 8. Qom . . . • 82


Bird! of the Vicinity of Cincinnati, 84. - Birds of Central New York, 84.—
Brown on the Distribntion of Birds in North-European Russia, 86. — Sum-
mer Birds of the Adirondacks, 86. — Birds of Southern Illinois, 86. — Gen-
try's ** Life-Histories of the Bh^ of Eastern Pennsylvania,'' 86.


Three Additions to the Avifauna of North America, 87. — The Rock Ptarmigan
{Lagopm rvpestrie) in the Aleutian Islands, 88. — Cotumieulm henelowi in
New Hampshire, 89. — Breeding Habits of Geococcyx caUfomianue, 89. —
Occurrence of a Second Specimen of Swainson's Buzzard {Buteo twain-
•out) in Massachusetts, 89. — Breeding of the Hooded Merganser (Mergtie
cucuUatve) in Florida, 40. — Breeding of the Shore-Lark in Western New
York, 40. — The Northern Phalarope hi North Carolina, 40. — Relaying of
Hawks In the same Nest when robbed, 41. — The Willow Grouse in New
York, 41. — Pipilo trythrophihalmm with Spotted Scapulars, 41. — Vireo
vicmior in California, 42. — Nest and Eggs of Zonotrichia coronaiOf 42. —
Note on Dendraca domimcoj 48. — Eastern Range of Ckondettee grammacci,
48. — The Lark Finch (Chondestes gramnutca) again in Massachusetts, 44.
A Third Specimen of Hebninihophaga leucobronchialU, 44. — The Black-
throated Bunting {EwpUa americana) nesting in Massachusetts, 46. — The
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher {PolioptUa cosrulea) in Massachusetts, 46. — The
Capture of several Raro Birds near West Point, New York, 46. — The Fish

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iv Contents of Volume III.

Crow (Corma otsi/ragtu) on Long Island, 47. — CJorrection, 47. — Mela-
nism of Turdus migratoriuBf 47. — The Seaside Finch {Ammodromtis mart'
Umus) in Eastern Massachusetts, 48. — The LarlL Bunting {Calamogfiza
bicolor) in Massachusetts, 48.


Chaitoes in our North American Fauna. By T. M, Bretoer ... 49
Remarks on some of the Birds of Lewis Ck>UNTT, Northern New

York. By C Hart Merriam^ with Notes by A, J. Dayan .... 62
Descriptions of the First Plumage in Various Species of North

American Birds. By WUUam Brewster 56

Notes on some of the Birds of Calaveras County, California, and

adjoining Localities. By Robert Ridgway 64

Notes on the Breeding Habits of Hutton's Vireo ( Vireo huitorU) and

THE Gray Titmouse {Lophophanes inorTuUuB)^ with a Description of

THEIR Nests and Egos. By William A, Cooper 68

A Description of unusually developed Individuals of three Species,

AND Remarks on Uncommon Plumages in several others, taken

NEAR West Point, N. Y. By Edgar A, Afearm 69

Notes on Junco caniceps and the closely allied Forms. By T, M,

Brewer 78

Effects of the Warm Winter on the Migration of Birds. By JoAa

Murdoch 76


Sharpens "Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum,'* 77. — Rowley's
** The Pied Duels," 79. — Street's Notes on the Birds of Lower California
and the Hawaiian and Fanning Islands, 80. — Bendire's Notes on the Birds
of Southeastern Oregon, 81. — Ridgway's Report on the Ornithology of the
Fortieth Parallel, 81. — Recent Lists of the Birds of Central New York, 88.
— Barrows's "Catalogue of the Alcidea," 86. — Feilden's "List of Birds
observed in Smith Sound," 86. — On the Moult of the Bill and Palpebral
Ornaments in Fratercula arctica, 87.


Habits of the Kingfisher ( Ceryle alcyon), 92. — The Painted Lark Bunting {Plec-
trophanei pictm) in Texas, 92. — Notes on a few Birds observed in New
Mexico and Arizona, 92.-— Capture of JSgialitis meloda var. circumdnetaf
Ridgway, on Long Island, 94. — Nest and Eggs of Selasphorut platycercui,
95. — Nesting of Vireo olivaceus^ 96. — Califomian Prairie Chickens, 96. —
Report of the Second Capture of the Orange-crowned Warbler {Helmintho-
phaga celata) in New Hampshire, 96. — Robin's Egg% spotted, 97. — Some
New Traits for the Red-headed Woodpecker {Melamrpes erythrocephalm),
97. — Spurious Primaries in the Red-eyed Vireo, 97. — The European Wid-
geon (Mareca penelope) in the United States, 98. — The Sharp-tailed Finch
'Ammodromut caudacutus) in Maine, 98. — The White-throated Warbler

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Contents of Volume III.

{ffebninthophaga leucobronchiaKi) in Connecticut, 99. — The Occurrence of
Myiarchus crinitw var. erythrocercutf Sclat. at Fort Brown, Texas, 99. —
The Golden Eagle in the Hudson Highlands, 100. — Meaning of the Word
" Anhinga,*' 101. — Late Capture of the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher in Mas-
sachusetts, 101. — The Ipswich Sparrow {P(ustradu$ princeps) on Long
Island, N. Y., 102. — The Stilt Sandpiper (Micropalama himantopus) at Port-
land, Me., 102. — Nesting-Habits of Parut monlanus, 102. — Persistency
in Nest-Building of a Pair of City Robins, 108. —Deadly Combat between
a Bobin and a Mole, 104.


Thb Eave, Cuff, or Cresceitt Swallow {PetrockeHdon Iwiifrons), By

Dr. ElUott Couu, U. S. A 106

Kb8t and Eggs of the Blub Crow ( Gymnokitia cyanocephala). By ff, W.

Henthaw . . 112

Descriptions of the First Plumage in Various Species of North

American Birds. By William Brewster 116

Remarks on some of the Birds of Lewis County, Northern New York.

By C. Hart Merriam 128

Evidences of the Carolinian Fauna in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Principally from Observations taken at Riverdale, N. Y. By

Eugene P. BickneU 128

Nesting of the Large-billed Water Thrush {Siurut motacHla), By

William Bretctter 188

Description of a Hybrid (Hirundo horreori-lunifroru) between two

North American Swallows. By Spencer Trotter • . . . 186


Ornithology of the Wheeler Expeditions of 1876 and 1877, 130. — Allen's
"Birds of Massachusetts," 188. — Mr. Howard Saunders on the StermncSf
140. — Sennett's "Notes on the Ornithology of the Lower Rio Grande,
Texas," 144. — Maynard's ** Birds of Florida," 146.— Jordan's "Manual
of Vertebrated Animals," 145.


Capture of the Yellow-throated Warbler in Massachusetts, and Notes on other Rare
Massachusetts Birds, 146. — Capture of two Rare Birds in the Hudson River
Valley, 146. — The Blue-^^y Gnatcatcher (PoUoptila candea) in Massa-
chusetts, 146. — The Ground Dove ( Chamapeleia pasterina) in New York,
147. — Swallow-tailed Kite in Dakota in Winter, 147. — Apologetic, 147.
— The Stilt Sandpiper {Micropalama himantopui), 148. — Occurrence of
three Species of Sea Ducks at St. Louis, Missouri, 148, — The Carolinian
Fauna, 140. — Phalarope, — an Etymological Blunder, 150. — Breeding of
the Woodcock in Georgia, 151. — Interesting Captures, 161. — The Glossy
Ibis in Massachusetts, 162. — Two more Birds new to the Fauna of North
America, 162.

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vi Contents of Volume III.


Tbk Pbothonotart Wabblbr {ProUmotaria cUrea), By WHUam Brewtter. 163
Notes on Bikds obsxrved at Mouirr Carmkl, Southebn Illuiois, nr

TBK Spkibo of 1878. By Robert Ridgway 182

Tbb Nest and Egos of the Yelu>w-belued Fltoatchbr {Empidonax

Jhvkentrit), By H. A. Purdie 166

A List of Birds obsebted at Coosada, Gebtbal Alabama. By Natkam

Clifford Brown 16$

Desobiptioks of the Fibst Plumage in Vabiovs Species of Nobth

Amebioah Bibdi. By WUHam Brewdor ....... 176


£lliot*s ** Review of the nmHua, or Ibises/' 189.— Rfdgway's **Stndies of the
American Hercdionet^** 182. — Reiclienow*8 Review of the Herons and their
Allies, 188. — Brewer's Supplement to his Catalogue of New England Birds^
186. ~^ Saunders on the LartNcs, 186.


Nesting of the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher {Empidoma jUmvtntru\ 187. —The
Blue-winged Yellow Warbler {Helminthophaga pmuM) in Massachusetts,

188. — The Skua Gull {StercnrariuM catarractes) on the Coast of Massachu-
setts, 188. — Rufous-headed Sparrow (PetiaM ruficepi) in Texas, 188. —
Early Nesting of the Shore Lark near Indianapolis, Ind., 189. — Breeding of
the Shore Lark in Western New York, 189. — Red-headed Woodpecker
eating Grasshoppers, 189. — Song of Hepburn's Finch (LeucotticU KUoraUg)

189. — The Short-Uiled Tern (Hffdrochelidonjiiapes) in Massachusetts, 190.
— The Black-throated Bunting (£'ti^»«a americana), 190. — A Hint to Egg-
Collectors, 191. — The Kentucky Warbler ( Oporonds formomu) at Sing
Sing, N. Y., 191. — The Snow-Bird in Summer on Mount Wachosett, 192. —
An Albino Anna Hnmming-Bird, 192.— Wilson's Thrush, with Spotted Eggs,
and nesting on a Tree, 198. — The Pygmy Owl (Ghucidium califomicum),
198. — The Carolina Wren in Massachusetts, 198.- The Titlark (ilfiMMi
ludovidanus) in Massachusetts in June, 194. — Nests and Eggs of Belmin*
ihophaga pmut, 194. — The Winter Wren breeding in Southern New York,
194.— The Sooty Tern in New Hampshire, 196. — Sabine's Gull in Maine,

196. — The White-crowned Sparrow breeding in Vermont, 196. — Nesting
Habits of the Red-bellied Nuthatch, 196. —Tragic Fate of a Summer War-
bler, 197. — Eggs of the Solitary Sandpiper {Rkyacophilm m)Htariu$\ 197.—
Lincoln's Finch (Meloqnza lincobn) breeding in Hamilton County, N. Y.,

197. — Occurrence of the Whistling Swan ( Cygnut americamu) in Massa-
chusetts, 198.— Capture of a Fifth Specimen of the White-throated War^
bier {Htbninihcphaga leuco4tronchialis)^ 199. — Nesting of the Banded
Three-toed Woodpecker {Piooidu americanm) in Northern New York, 200.

Index, 201

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Vol. III. JANUARY, 1878. No. i.

By Dil Elliott Coubs, U. S. A.

Thb Nuttall Ornithological Club gratefully acknowledges the
liberality of Messrs. T. Sinclair and Son, the well-known lithog-
rapherSy of Philadelphia, through which the opening number of
the third volume of the Bulletin is illustrated with a fine colored
plate of Baird's Bunting. The figure was drawn under my direc-
tion by Mr. Edwin L. Sheppard of Philadelphia, and represents the
adult male as I have often observed it singing during the breeding
season. The plate was engraved and printed in colors by the
Messrs. Sinclair, in the interests of science, and the whole edition
was generously presented by them to the Club.

No full-length colored figure of this species has hitherto been
published since Audubon's original, which was taken from a speci-
men in worn pliimage, as the type now preserved in the Smith-
sonian attests, and is far less characteristic than the Sinclair plate.
The colored head in Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway, as well as the
wood-cuts on page 631 of their work below cited, were all from that
same specimen. In fact, no second specimen was known until
1872, when Mr. C. E. Aiken took, in El Paso County, Colorado, a
young bird, which was soon after described as a new species, Cen-
tronpx ochrocfphaltis. The following year he obtained another;
and during the summer of that year great numbers were taken in
Dakota by Mr. J. A. Allen and myself, and also in Arizona by Mr.
H. W. Henshaw. Since that time the species has been well known
and illustrated by an abundance of specimens.

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2 CouES (m PasserciUus bairdi.

There is no occasion here to enter into its history, as all that is
known is already published in the works below cited, — the more
complete notices being those in the ^* Birds of the Northwest" and
the ** History of North American Birds/' especially in the Appendix
of Vol. III. of the latter.

At one time it was thought that Baird*s Bunting had been found
in Massachusetts. The error was not rectified un^il several notices
to such effect, including Mr. Maynard's full account, and his plate
of the supposed Massachusetts ** CerUronyx/* had appeared. Mr.
Maynard made the correction in 1872, when the New England bird
was named FasserciUus princeps.

The complete synonymy of the two species, and then: nearly en-
tire bibliography, are as follows : —

Paseercnliu bairdi

Emheriza hairdii^ AuD., B. Amer. 8vo. ed. vii, 1843, 359, pi. 600 (orig.
description. Fort Union, Dak.). — Baird, Stansbury'B Rep. Great Salt
Lake, 1852, 330 (mere quotation).

Cotumiculus bairdi, Bp., Consp. Av. L, 1850, 481 (mere quotation).

CerUronyx bairdii, Bd., B. N. A. 1858, 441 (type of the genus. Species
redescribed from the type specimen). (Not of any aulliors referring to
the supposed appearance of the bird in New England.) — CouES, Key,
1872, 135 (compiled description). — Aiken, Am. Nat vii, 1873, 236
(comparison with the new C, ochrocephalus from Colorado). — Ridgw.,
Bull. Essex Inst, v, 1873, 182 and 190 (Colorado ; critical reference to
Aiken's specimens, which had been named C ochrouphcUtui). — CouES,
Am. Nat vii, 1873, 695 (rediscovery in abundance in Dakota ; history
and criticism). — Henshaw, Am. Nat viii, 1874, 241 (Arizona). — Allen,
Pr. Bost Soc. xvii, 1874, 57 (Dakota ; nest and eggs). — Coues, B. N. W.
1874, 126 (synonymy, redescription, general history and habits). — Hen-
shaw, Rep. Omith. Specs. 1874, 1 10 (New Mexico and Arizona, abun-
dant). — Henshaw, Rep. Expl. W. 100 merid. Vol. v. Zoology, *» 1875" =
1876, 253 (same). — Bd., Brew., and Ridgw., Hist N. A. B. i» 1874,
531, figs. pi. 25, f. 3 ; iii, 1874, 510 (general account, wood-cuts, and
colored plate of head). — Henshaw, List B. Arizona, 1875, 158.

Emberixa (Centronyx) bairdii, Gray, Hand-list, ii, 1870, 116, No. 7733.

Ammodromus bairdi, Qiebel, Nomencl. Av. i, 187-, 328.

Passercultu bairdii, CouES, Am. Nat. vii, 1873, 697.

Passercului bairdi, McCauley, BulL U. S. Geol. Surv. iii. No. 3, 1877,
663 (Canoncito Texas ; nesting).

CerUronyx ochrocephalui, "Aiken" [Ridgway], Am. Nat. vii, 1873, 237
(El Paso, Colorado, autumnal specimens described as new species. — See
Scott, ibid. 564; Coues, ibid. 696; Ridgw. Bull. Essex Inst v, 1873,

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Henshaw on the Species of the Genus Pdsserella. 3

Passeronliu prinoeps.

Ctntrmyx bairdii, Allbn, Am. Nat. iii, 1869, 513 (original notice of
supposed occurrence of P. bairdi in Massachusetts, the actual reference
being to P. prineeps), — Mayn., Am. Nat. iii, 1869, 564 (next notice of
the same). — Allen, Am. Nat. iii, 1869, 631 (third notice of the same).

— Mayn., Nat. Guide, 1870, 113, frontisp. (fourth notice of the same).

— Brewst., Am. Nat. vi, 1872, 307 (fifth notice of the same, and of
additional specimens).

Passerculus prineeps, Mayn., Am. Nat. vi, 1872, 637 (explanation of
the error, and the supposed " G. bairdii" from Ipswich, Mass. named P.
prineeps). — CouES, Key, 1872, App. 352. — Coues, Am. Nat. vii, 1873,
696. — Bd., Brew., and Ridgw., Hist. N. A. B. i, 1874, 540, pi. 25, f. 2. — -.
Brewer, Pr. Bost. Soc. xvii, 1875, 441. — Brewbt., Bull. Nuttall aub,
i, 1876, 52 (New Bnmswick). — Merriam, Bull. Nuttall Clxxh, i, 1876,
52 (Connecticut). — Brown, Bull Nuttall Club, ii, 1877, 27 (New
Hampshire). — Bailey, Bull. Nuttall Club, ii, 1877, 78 (Coney Island,
N. Y.). — Minot, Birds New Engl. 1877, 195 (general account). — May-
NARD, Nat. Guide, 2d Ed. 1877 (colored plate ; text rewritten).

by h. w. henshaw.

The genus Fasserella was instituted by Swainson in 1837 to re-
ceive the only species known at that time to him, the Fringilla
Uiaca of Merrem and of the early authors generally. The Aonal-
ashka Bunting, doubtfully the P. tawnsendi of recent authors, was
named by Gmelin, in 1 788, constituting bis Fringilla unalaekensts.
In the uncertainty respecting Gmelin's bird, his description apply-
ing equally well to the Melospiza iiisignis, the townsendi of Audubon,
named in 1838, has been accepted by most ornithologists. The
genus, with its two species, thus remained till 1858, when Profes-
sor Baird described the P. schistacea from the interior, and at the
same time noticed a closely allied form from California with larger
bill, for which he proposed the name megarhyncha. These four
" species," as they have sometimes been called, or forms, make up a
very interesting as well as puzzling group, as shown by the doubt-
ful manner in which they have been treated by various writers,

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4 Hbnshaw on the Species of the Genus PasssreUa,

more than one haying strongly hinted at the probable specific iden-
tity of the four, while the methods in which they have been com-
bined have been nearly as varioas as the number of authors who
have had occasion to notice them.

While the very close relationship existing between the two more
recently discovered forms (sehistcicea and megarhyncha) has usually
been recognized, from the occurrence of intermediate or doubtful
specimens, the tendency has been strong to keep separate the two
earlier described birds, mainly because no specimens with clearly
intermediate characteristics have been recognised. Having had the
very unusual opportunity of studying in the field the four forms in
question, as well as of examining a very large series of specimens in
the Smithsonian collection, many of which were collected by myself
in connection with the United States Geographical Surveys west
of the 100th Meridian, the conclusion seems to me to be unavoid-
able that the four forms are but modifications of a single speciea^
brought about through the agency of the laws of Geographical

Considering first in their relations to each other the P. schistacea
and P. megarhynchay the first from the northern interior region,
the latter from the Southern Sierras, we find that, though very
distinct from each other when extreme samples of either form are
selected, they yet in the full series before me grade directly to-
gether, both in color and general size. Taking examples of mega-
rhyncha from the southern Coast Range of California, which may
be considered as the true home of the variety, that is, where its
peculiarities attain their greatest development, we find them in
their enormously developed bills and excessively lengthened tails,
as well as darkened colors, to present such a totally different
aspect that to liken them to schistaoea seems almost absurd.
Changing, however, our point of observation to the eastern slope
of the Sierras, about Lake Tahoe, which is a region approaching
somewhat closely the home of schistaeea^ we find that the Passe-
rellas, though readily referable to megarhyncha, present very ap-
preciable difierences from those from the region just noted, and
furthermore, that the variation is directly towards the schislacea
type. The bills in specimens from the eastern slope are invariably
and very decidedly smaller than in examples from Fort Tejon and
that vicinity, though still much thickened when compared with
specimens from the interior (schistacea). The color of the under

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Henshaw an ike Species of the Genus Passerella. 6

mandible in typieal megarhyncka is of a quite obaracteristie bluish*
wbite, but in these specimens it is of a decidedlj yellowish cast,*
Tery much as seen in eckistacea. A similar tendency in them to
approach the light ashy coloration of schUtacea is also to be noted.
By means of these and other specimens we hare no difficulty in
forming a very complete chain from the one extreme to the other^
and hence we consider the two are to be distinguished only varie-
tally, whatever may be theu- relations to the others.

Of megarhyncka it is to be said that the individual variation is
very great, being much more marked than in any of the three
others. Though in its extreme condition it is certainly one of the
most, perhaps the most, noteworthy of the four birds, its characters
, are so very inconstant that unless taken from the same locality it
is not easy to find two specimens that exactly agree, the variation
being especially well marked as to size. In a series even from the
same neighborhood the variation is apt to be very considerable,
more so, I think, than is the case with any other bird I am ac-
quainted with. As this variety is probably a resident, at least in
much of the region inhabited by it, it is not «asy to understand
this tendency in individuals to vary to so great an extent. On the
other hand, its claim to similar recognition as the others is seen in
the fact that its habitat is distinctly marked from that of its con-

Online LibraryNuttall Ornithological ClubBulletin of the Nuttall Ornithological Club: a quarterly jjournal of ornithology → online text (page 26 of 50)