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authentic instance, on record, of the procuring the true L. canus in
North America.

2BgialitiB hiatioala. Ringed Plover. The capture of one of
this species, a female, by H. W. Feilden, of the British Arctic Expedi-
tion of 1875-76, under circumstances that leave no doubt it was
nesting in the neighborhood, places it once more, and this time be-
yond dispute, among the birds of North America.* The individual
in question was taken August 4, 1875, on the beach bordering the
valley of the Twin glacier, in Buchanan Strait, latitude 78'' 48' N. Its
more or less common presence in Greenland has been known for some
time, as also its being migratory, in high northern latitudes, and there
breeding ; occurring there, according to Hewitson, from March to
October, and, according to Linnceus, reaching even the Lapland Alps.
Scoresby, in his Journal, mentions having met with this species on
the eastern coast of Greenland, and more recently other arctic ex-
plorers have observed them on the western coast of the same island,
at Prince Regent's Inlet and at Hecla Cove. Professor Newton is
authority for its breeding generally throughout Greenland, and for
its being also found on Sabine and Clavering Islands. It is stated
to be abundant on the shores of Possession Bay as well as Regent's
Inlet. It was taken by Professor Torell on the Seven Islands, in
latitude 80® 46' N., which was, before the recent British expedition,
the highest known range of any shore bird. Since then Strepsilas

* Wilson includes '* Charadrius hiaticula " among American birds, but his ex-
ample was, without question, the semipalmatus in its spring plumage.

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53 Merriam on Birds of Lewis Cov/nty, Hew York,

trUerpres has been observed as late as September 5 in latitude 82"
3(y N., Calidris areiiariay with nest and eggs, in latitude 82" 33' N.,
PhaXaropus fulicarius in latitude 82® 27', and Tringa canutus in lati-
tude 82° 33' N.

Podioeps oristatuSy Latham. Crested Grebe. This has been
counted as a North American bird by Bonaparte (Syn. p. 417), by
Richardson (Faun. Bor. Am. II, p. 410), by Nuttall (Water Birds,
p. 250), by Audubon (Om. Biog. Ill, 595, pi. 292), and others. It
is retained by Mr. Lawrence in the ninth volume of Pacific Railroad
Reports, and is even given by Dr. Coues in his " Birds of the North-
west," without any expression of doubt as to its existence in North
America; indeed, he ventures the remark that he sees no differ-
ence between American and European specimens. Nevertheless it
is now universally conceded that not a specimen is in existence of
American origin, and that there is no authentic record of the cap-
ture of a single specimen in America, Every specimen that has been
referred to this species, where in existence, proved to be either
immature examples of P. griseigena^ or to be foreign examples, and
by no one is this now more cheerfully conceded than by Dr. Coues

It is very obvious now, in reading Mr. Audubon's notes by the
light of our present knowledge of the habits of the American form
of the Red-necked Grebe, that all he wrote in reference to the sup-
posed American P, cristatus relates exclusively to the former species,
of which he makes but a brief mention, and with which he appeared
to regard himself as unfamiliar, although it is so common about East-
port and the provinces where he spent the spring of 1833.



With Remabks by A. J. Dayan.

The county of Lewis, though small, is interesting omithologi-
cally, from the fact that the Canadian and AUeghanian faunae meet
within its boundaries, and that the densely wooded portion lying
east of the Black River Valley constitutes the western border of

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MeRriam on Birds of Lewis County, New York 53

that extensive district well known to sportsmen as " John Brown's
Tract," which is embraced in the " Great Adirondack Wilderness,"
of the northeastern portion of the State. This eastern district is
characterized by a sandy soil, which supports an immense forest,
chiefly of coniferous trees. In the northwestern part of the county
is another large tract, called " Tug Hill," lying between Lake On-
tario and the Adirondack Wilderness, which is characterized by the
same class of forest-trees and the same general physical features.
The eastern, or Adirondack, region is truly Canadian in its fauna ;
the western partially so ; while the valley of the Black River and
the middle portion of the county lying west of it is strictly AUe-

In the eastern (Adirondack) district are found breeding Turdus
pallasif T, stvainsoni, Sitta canadensis, Anorthura troglodytes var.
hyemaliSf Dendrceca ccerulescejis, D, coronata, D. hlackhumias, 2>.
macidosOj Geothlypis Philadelphia, Myiodiodes canadensis, Loxia
leucoptera, L, curvirostra var. americana, Zonotrichia albicollis,
Junco hyemalis, Carws corax, Perisoreu^ canadensis, Contopus
borealis, Hylotomus pileatus, Picoides arcticus, P. americanus,
Sphyrapicus varius, Tetrao canadensis, Ardea Iierodias, Colymbus
torquatus, and many other less characteristic species.

At my request, Mr. A. Jeniugs Dayan, one of our most careful,
enthusiastic, and conscientious collectors, sends me the following
notes concerning a few species found in the middle (Alleghanian) dis-
trict of the county. When not otherwise stated, his observations
pertain to the town of Lyon*s Falls, in the Black River Valley.

** Eremophila alpestria. Horned Lark. — A tolerably common spring
migrant ; a few breed. Dr. C. P. Kirley of Lowville [middle district]
haa kindly given me this note on its breeding : * I first observed Eremo-
phila alpestris July 16, 1876, when I shot one two-thirds grown, and saw
the parents. In the same locality, June 24, 1876, I noticed a pair of old
birds, and on searching for their nest, I found it not more than eighteen
inches from the main road. It contained three unfledged young. Since
then I have both seen and taken it during the breeding season.'

"Helminthophaga peregrlna. Tennessee Warbler. — I have taken
two of this species (May 19 and 23, 1877), the only record of its occur-
rence in this locality.

"Collurio IndoTioianus [var. exoubitoroidee, see below]. Logger-
head Shrike. — I shot a fine adult male September 24, 1877. Through
the kindness of Mr. A. M. Church, I have examined a nest and five eggs
of this bird, taken here May 11, 1877. He secured the female as she left
the nest

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54 Merriam on Birds of Lewis County, New York,

'' Bunila ulula var. hndBonioa. Hawk Owl. — Dr. Kirley has two
specimens, male and female, taken near Lowville,. October 24 and No-
vember 16, 1877.

"Lobipes hyperboreuB. Northern Phalarope. — I shot a young
male on Black River, September 6, 1877. One other was taken about the
same date, near Boonville.

*'Qldemia amerioana. American Black Scoter. — Saw a flock of
four on Black River, September 27, 1877, and secured them all. The
gizzards of all these birds were absolutely empty, with the exception of a
fragment of a shell in one."

Much of interest attaches itself to the breeding of two of these
species {Eremophila alpeiftris and CoUurio bidovicianus var. excu-
bitoroides) in this the northeastern portion of the State. Regard-
ing the first of these, Dr. Coues, in his inexhaustible " Birds of the
Northwest " (p. 39), says : " East of the region abpve specified [from
Iowa and Minnesota westward] the Homed Lark is not known to
breed in the United States ; and the only record of its occurrence
in summer which I have seen, that given by Mr. Mayuard, as
above [Massachusetts in July], most probably indicates a highly ex-
ceptional instance." Since the publication of the above (1874) it
has been ascertained that the bird in question breeds, sparingly, in
the western and central portions of the State. In the last number
of this Bulletin (p. 40) Mr. John M. Howey calls attention to the
fact of its breeding in the vicinity of Canandaigua, in Western New
York, but states that he does not " know of a previous instance of
this bird's nesting in this State," thus overlooking Mr. Hathbun's
record in his " Complete List of the Birds of Cayuga, Seneca, and
Wayne Counties," which appeared in the "Auburn Daily Advertiser "
of August 14, 1877. Mr. Rathbun states that it is '' resident and
tolerably common in winter,'* and that " a few breed," in Central
New York. Mr. Dayan's note (on the authority of Dr. C. P. Kirley)
is particularly interesting, as it extends the known breeding range
of the species, unthin the United States, eastward to the western
border of the Adirondack Wilderness, beyond which it must pass
to the northward (through St. Lawrence County) into Canada, and
thence to Labrador. Whether it has for many years bred within
the limits of the State of New York, or has recently extended its
breeding range, as seems to be the case with the Lark Finch
(Chondestes grammaca) and some other species, remains to be de-
cided ; I incline to the latter view. It breeds about Hamilton, Can-

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Merriam on Birds of Lewis County, New York. 55

ada West (Mcllwraith), and abundantly along the Labrador Coast
(Audubon and Coues).

Concerning the " Loggerhead Shrike," the case, though in some
respects parallel with the above, is much more diflBcult of ex-
planation, and has given rise to much confusion, owing to the com-
plication arising from the close relationship existing between the
Southern and Western forms. Coues, in his " Key," states that " ex-
treme examples of hidovicianus and excubttoroides look very differ-
ent, but they are observed to melt into each other when many
specimens are compared, so that no specific character can be as-
signed," and if the doctor had substituted the term varietal for
specific, he would have hit equally near the truth. The fact is,
there is so little difference between Eastern examples of excuhitor-
oides and the Southern bird that they have oflen been confounded,
and it is practically almost impossible to distinguish them. My
own opinion is that the locality whence the specimen came fur-
nishes the most valuable clew to its identity. In a specimen
(^, juv.) taken by Mr. Dayan at Lyon's Falls, Lewis County, New
York, September 4, 1877, the light ash of the upper parts contrasts
strongly with the " dark plumbeous-ash " of typical Southern exam-
ples of ludoviciantis in the cabinet of Mr. George N. Lawrence, to
whose kindness I am indebted for the comparison, and for many
other favors. In other respects the bird more closely approaches
the Southern form. The Western bird breeds abundantly in Ohio
(Wheaton), and was first observed in Canada West (near Hamilton)
by Mcllwraith about the year 1860, since which date it has bred
regularly in that locality. Allen, in 1869, published in the "Ameri-
can Naturalist" (p. 579) the first record of its breeding in New York
State (" near Buffalo "), and Rathbun (in the list above referred to)
gives it as breeding at Auburn, in the central portion of the State.
Fred.'tr. Davis, Esq., iuforms me that he has taken several of its
nests in the vicinity of Utica, and the fact of its breeding in Lewis
County (Dayan, above) completes its eastern range to the Adiron-
dacks. Beyond this barrier it is not, to my knowledge, found, ex-
cepting as a rare straggler ; and most of the New England speci-
mens have commonly been regarded as accidental visitors from
the South. Mr. Purdie, however, in this Bulletin (Vol. II, No. 1,
p. 21, 1877), records the capture of a " typical " specimen of var.
excubitoroides at Cranston, R. I., September 2, 1873, by Fred. T.
Jencks. This is, so far as I am aware, the only recognized in-

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56 Bkewstek's Descriptions of the First Plvmage

stance of the capture of the Western form in New England. As
a prettj conclusive proof that our New York bird has been derived
from the Western {excuhitoroides) " type," we have the fact of the
continuity of its range eastward from the Mississippi to the Adiron-
dacks (through Ohio to Buffalo, Auburn, Utica, and Lewis County,
New York) ; while, on the other hand, its entire absence from those
portions of the State where the Carolinian Fauna is most marked
(notably along the Hudson River, where such characteristic birds as
Icteria virens^ Mytodioctes mitratus, Helmitherus vermtvortts, aod
Siurus motacilla breed in abundance) is sufficient evidence that it
is not the Southern bird. That it does not occur in the region
above specified is pretty clearly shown by the fact that neither Ed-
gar A. Meams (of Highland Falls, near West Point) nor Eugene P.
Bicknell (of Riverdale), two of our most enterprising young collec-
tors, have ever met with even a single straggler of the genus, other
than C, borecUtSj although they have both made the birds of the
Hudson River Valley a special study.

{To be continued,)



24. Helminthophaga ohrysoptera.

Fall plumage : male. Upper parts bluish-gray, washed strongly with
olive-green on the back. Forehead and crown yellow, somewfat ob-
scured by greenish streaking. Occiput bright greenish-yellow. Patch on
wings clear yellow. Band through the eye and entire under parts, as in
the adult. Chin, throat, and jugulum black, each feather broadly edged
with soiled white. White maxillary stripes fairly meeting oi\ anterior
portion of chin., (This last feature may probably be explained by indi-
vidual variation, not by age. I have seen many adults similarly charac-

Fall plumage : female. Remiges, rectrices, etc., as in adult Pileum
and nape uniform olive-green ; back and rump bluish-gray, washed with

• For Part I, see this volume, pp. 15-23.

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in Various Species of North American Birds. 57

greenish-olive. Upper tail-coverte clear bluish-gray. Sides of head and
entire under parts with a slight wash of brownish-yellow ; otherwise col-
ored like the adult. From two specimens in my collection shot at Cam-
bridge, Mass., July 18, 1874. It may be well to mention that these birds
are in somewhat transitional dress, and have hardly, perhaps, passed from
the first plumage, but as the female differs but little from a specimen of
the same sex in the perfected fall dress, taken August 21, 1876, 1 have
thought it best to describe them both as in full autumnal plumage.

25. Helminthophaga mfioapilla.

First plumage : female. Remiges, rectrices, etc, as in adult. Two
conspicuous wing-bands of bright buff. Pileum and nape light ashy,
tinged with fulvous. Back ashy, just touched with green ; rump bright
olive-green. Supra-orbital line, ring around eye, and the throat, bright
buff. Lores, maxillary line, and auriculars pale ashy. Breast and cris-
sum gamboge-yellow, each feather tipped with whitish, producing a some-
what hoary appearance. Abdomen jmle yellow ; sides dull cinnamon,
with a shade of ashy. From a specimen in my collection taken at Upton,
Me., August 14, 1873. A full series of specimens illustrates well the
progressive stages. The fall plumage is very quickly acquired by young
of this species.

26. DendroDoa Tirene.

First plumage : male. Kemiges and rectrices as in adult ; greater and
median wing-coverts just tipped with soiled white, forming two very
narrow, indistinct wing-bands. Rest of upper parts dark slaty-brown,
each feather of the back edged with bright greenish. Superciliary
stripes (just meeting in a narrow line on the forehead), eyelids, maxillary
line, and chin, bright yellow. Sides of head dark slate ; under parts
soiled white, each feather on the breast and sides with a terminal spot of
black ; on the throat and jugulum, these spots become large blotches of
dark slate, the feathers being just tipped and edged with light yellow.
From a specimen in my collection shot at Cambridge, Mass., July 30,
1875. Like most of the previously described young Warblers, this bird
has a narrow central line of yellow feathers extending down the throat
and jugulum to the breast.

27. DendroDoa oaBrulesoens.

First plumage : male. Remiges and rectrices as in autumnal males, the
former slightly paler in color. Rest of upper parts, including the wing-
coverts, dark olive-brown ; sides of head very dark brown ; lores black ;
throat, jugulum, lower eyelids, and a very conspicuous supra-orbital line,
pale buff ; breast and sides ashy, tinged with olive. Abdomen, anal re-
gion, and crissum strong sulphur-yellow. White spot on base of prima-
ries fully developed.

First plumage : female. Remiges and rectrices as in autumnal female.

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58 Brewster's Descriptions of tJu First Plumage '

Rest of upper parts, including wing-coverts and sides of head, light olive-
brown. Lores dull black. Superciliary line, both eyelids, throat, jugulum
abdominal and anal regions, with crissum, light buff. Breast and sides
olive, tinged with buff. Spot on base of primaries dirty-white. From two
specimens, male and female, in my collection, shot with parents at Upton,
Me., August 11, 1873. The male above described shows a few black
feathers on one side of the throat. Seveial adult females in my collec-
tion, taken both in spring and fall, lack the white wing-patch altogether.
Others have it but faintly indicated.

28. DendrcDoa ooronata.

First plumage: female. Upper parts, in general, dull grayish-white,
tinged with brownish, heavily streaked with slaty-black, the streaks
broadest on the back and narrowest on the pileum ; rump soiled white,
with well-defined streakings like the back. Lower parts pale lemon,
tinged with brownish on the throat, narrowly but distinctly streaked with
dull black over the entire surface. From a specimen in my collection,
shot at Upton, Me., August 7, 1874. The first plumage of no other bird
that I am acquainted with exhibits such a remarkable variation from the
more mature stages. The specimen just described resembles closely, in
general markings and coloration, the Pine Finch {Chrysomitris pinus)*
As is well illustrated by a full suite of specimens in transitional stages,
the yellow of the rump is acquired early in the first moult, which is very
nearly completed, in most cases, before that of the crown appears.

29. DendrcDoa blaokbnmlaB.

First plumage : male and female. Reraiges, rectrices, etc., as in au-
tumnal adult ; rest of upper parts uniform dark brown, each feather on
the back edged with light buff ; the white scapular stripe poorly defined.
Head markings precisely similar in pattern to the adults', but with the
orange everywhere replaced by white, slightly tinged with buff on pos-
terior half of superciliary line. Throat and entire under parts, in the
male, clear white, tinged with pale yellow, each feather (excepting on
throat) spotted terminally with black. From two specimens in my col-
lection taken at Upton, Me., August 5 and 6, 1874. One of these, the
male, has a few orange feathers on the throat, indicating the coming fall

" Young in autumn. Above similar to the adult female in fall plumage,
but more olivaceous ; all the markings less distinct. Superciliary stripe
and entire lower parts, except the crissum, pale yellowish-buff, hardly
brighter on the jugulum. Sides very faintly streaked with grayish. In
my collection (No. 1003), Mt. Camiel, III., August 15, 1870." — R. R.

30. DendrcDoa castsmea.

First plumage : female. Reniiges, rectrices, primary coverts, and alulae
as in adult. Pileum, nape, and rump dull brown ; back dull olive-green ;

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in Various Species of North American Birds, 59

upper tail-coverts slaty-black. Entire under parts creamy-white, with
the slightest possible tinge of clay-color, varying to ashy on the breast.
No trace of chestnut on the flanks. Sides of head buflF, strongly tinged
with greenish on the auriculars and maxillary line. Each feather of the
body, both above and beneath, with a large terminal spot of black; the
posterior half of abdomen, anal region, and crissum are, however, im-
maculate. In my collection, from Upton, Me., August 9, 1873.

A very complete suite of specimens, taken late in August and early in
September, illustrates well the development of the plumage of the young
of this species. The spotted feathers of the under parts, with the excep-
tion of a narrow line down the centre of the breast, are the first to disap-
pear, and simultaneously with their . removal, the chestnut flank-patches
become apparent. Next the pileum and nape take on the autumnal
green, and last of all the feathers of the back and central line beneath
are changed. Adults of this species in fall dress are indistinguishable
from the yoting, except by the more pronoxmced chestnut on the sides.

31. Dendroeoa pennsylvanioa.

First plumage : male. Remiges, rectrices, etc., as in spring specimens.
Wing-bands white, scarcely edged with yellow, and the general aspect of
wing much duller than in fall specimens. Rest of upper parts, sides of
head, jugulum, breast and sides, pale cinnamon, brightest on pileum,
lighter on throat and sides of head. Feathers of back with central spots
of dull black. Abdomen, anal region, and crissum creamy- white. From
a specimen in my collection shot at Cambridge, Mass., July 18, 1874. It
is not a little remarkable that the wing-markings of this bird are much
more nearly like those of adults in spring than of the young in autumn.

32. Dendrcaca maculosa.

First plumage : female. Remiges and rectrices slightly paler than in
adult ; greater and middle wing-coverts just tipped with fulvous, forming
two narrow wing-bands; rest of upper parts, sides of head, including
orbital region and eyelids, and breast, dark ashy, somewhat lighter on rump.
Abdomen, anal region, and crissum pale sulphur-yellow, blotched somewhat
indistinctly anteriorly with ashy. Throat pale ashy, with a few yellow
feathers intermixed. From a specimen in my collection shot at Upton
Me., August 10, 1874. This bird was very young, indeed barely able to
fly. Several specimens a little further advanced show an increased
amount of yellow on the throat and abdomen, but are otherwise similar.

33. Dendrcaoa discolor.

First plumage: male. Remiges, rectrices, etc., as in adult Wing-
bands very rich buff ; rest of upper parts, with sides of head, light cinna-
mon, becoming almost ashy on the forehead and rump, and tinged slightly
with yellowish-green on the back. Eyelids dirty white. Entire under
parts pale lemOn-yellow, somewhat duller, and with a shade of ashy on

Digitized by


60 Brewster's Descriptions of the First Plumage

the breast and sides. From a specimen in my collection shot at Cam-
bridge, Mass., July 11, 1873. This bird has also two patches of bright
yellow on the breast.

34. Periasoglossa tigrina.
First plumage : female. Remiges, rectrices, and primary coverts as in
adult. Pileum, nape, rump, and upper tail-coverts dark slaty-brown,
the back \i'ith an indistinct patch of olive-green. Eyelids, throat, jugu-
lum, and sides of breast dark slate ; abdomen, anal region, and crissum
solid white, tinged with dull yellow. From a specimen in my collection
shot at Upton, Me., August 21, 1874. This bird exhibits a few irregular
patches and isolated feathers of dull yellow on the breast and throat, ^fore-
runners of the fall plumage.

35. Siunu aurioapUluft.

*^ First plumage, Remiges, rectrices, etc., as in the adult. "R^st of
upper parts dull fulvous-brown ; the crovm without stripes, all the feathers
very indistinctly darker centrally ; lower parts paler, more buffy, fulvous,
growing gradually white toward the crissum, the bufiFy portions (breast
and sides), with very fine indistinct streaks of dusky. From a specimen
in my collection obtained near Washington." — R. R.

36. OporomlB formoaa.

" First plumage. Remiges, rectrices, primary coverts, and alulse as in the
adult. Pileum and back dull raw-umber-brown, tinged with rusty on the
back and scapulars; throat, jugulum, breast, and sides pale grayish-fulvous,
the abdomen and crissum paler, and slightly tinged with yellow. No
markings of any sort about the head. My collection, Mt Carmel, IlL,
July 27, 1875.'' — R.R.

37. loterla virens.

" First plumage. Remiges, rectrices, etc., as in the adult. Head, su-
periorly and laterally, uniform grayish-olive, with a barely appreciable
whitish supraloral line and orbital ring, and without black markings.
Whole throat pale ash-gray (almost white on the chin), stained laterally

Online LibraryNuttall Ornithological ClubBulletin of the Nuttall Ornithological Club: a quarterly jjournal of ornithology → online text (page 32 of 50)