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shuns the west side of the Sierras, and occiirs only within the
limits of the great interior basin and upon the eastern slope of the
Rocky Mountains. As its powers of flight are most ample, it is
within this area confined to no special limits of locality. By the
Mexicans it is called the Pinonario or Pinon Bird, and most appropri-
ately is it named; for, wherever within the limits assigned this
tree is found, there, at any season of the year, but especially in fall.

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Henshaw on the Nest and Eggs of the Blue Crow. 113

may the presence of this bird be coDfidently expected. Although
having no liking for the heavy coniferous forests, it b^ing the very
rare exception to find the species therein, it yet shares with the
Clarke's Crow a fondness for the seeds of the yellow pipe, and in
winter, the supply of pi&on nuts failing, and where the country is
but sparsely timbered, it will often be found plundering these trees
of their nutritious seeds.

Finally, juniper berries may be mentioned as making the third
most important item of fare. But doubtless during a bad year any
of the smaller seeds are acceptable, and perhaps berries do not
oome amiss. Certainly I have more than once seen these Jays
massing into flocks on the ground and feeding greedily upon grass
seeds, and others report a similar experience.

To none of our species can the term '* resident " be applied with
more exactness than to the present bird. Although its roving dispo-
sition is perfectly apparent at all seasons, and although, except dur-
ing the limited period of parental duties, its excursions are constant
and wide, yet in no part of its wide range does it appear to be
migratory, as the term is correctly understood. I have never my-
self found it living among the high mountains, and believe this is
contrary to its more usual habits. But in Arizona, according to Dr.
Cones, it is so found, and there, as he suggests, it doubtless does
migrate to the extent of forsaking them in winter for the more con-
genial lower districts. Usually, however, no change of habitat with
varying season takes place, and, wherever it occurs in summer, it
is also to be seen in winter ; although the ever-restless bands cover
in their joumeyings a radius of many miles, being seen here to-day,
to-morrow there, according as their tastes suggest a change of diet,
or as mere caprice may urge. Thus they may often appear to have
migrated from a district which in reality they have left only to re-
turn to in a few days. Its gregarious disposition is one of its most
marked and constant traits, and has been recorded by all who have
ever seen the species in the field. This close association of many
individuals appears to persist throughout the year, as well during
the breeding as at other seasons.

' Although so common and, in many respects, so well known a bird,
the acquaintance of most of its many observers has ceased with the
beginning of the nesting period, and it has been only within a com-
paratively short time that any information of its habits at this sea-
son has reached us. Mr. Ridgway was the first to supply any exact

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114 Henshaw on the Nest and Eggs of the Blue Crow.

facts ; bat his experience was limited to the discovery of the nests
and young, which he found fully fledged as early as April 21. This
was in 1868, and the eggs remained undescribed till 1875, when
Mr. Aikei) secured a nest with its complement in Colorado.

For additional information concerning the nests and eggs of this
curious bird we are indebted to the zeal of Mr. H. G. Parker of Car-
son City, Nev., who during the past spring has visited a breeding
colony on the same range of low pinon-covered hills where nine
years ago Mr. Ridgway obtained his facts respecting their nests.
This is a locality perfectly typical of the tastes of the bird, and here
they have maintained their hold for an indefinite term of years, and
reared many successive generations of young. Mr. Parker visited
the locality during the latter part of March, and found the pairs
then leisurely at work making their nests. On the 5th of April he
foUnd the females sitting, and took two nests, one with three, the
other with four eggs. One of the nests with its complement, pre-
sented by Mr. Parker to the Smithsonian Institution, is now before
me, and offers the following description : To begin with, it is a
really handsome structure, and indicates a higher order of construc-
tive ability than is usual in the Jay family. It is strongly made,
and though somewhat bulky and Jfvy-like externally, is more com-
pact and deeper, with higher sides than is ordinarily seen. As a
matter of course, the pinon-tree being almost the only living thing
found on these dry and desolate hills, the nest is made up largely
of twigs from this tree, which were evidently, as shown by the fresh
ends, broken off by the birds, not gathered from the ground. These
are interlocked firmly, so as to afford an admirable supporting base
for the nest proper. Here again the birds have had recourse to the
pifton, and have utilized long strips of the tough, fibrous, but soft
bark which make up the bulk of the lining. Fine shreddings of
the same and a few straws nicely arranged complete the interior.
The external diameter of the nest is nine and one half inches ; in-
ternal, four ; depth, three. The eggs are of a greenish-white color,
profusely spotted everywhere with small blotches of light brown
and purple. In one specimen the brown shows a faint reddish
tinge. Towards the larger ends the markings become more numer-
ous, and near the apex show a decided tendency, so usual in spotted
eggs, to form a confluent ring. They measure 1.27X.87, 1.27X.88,
1.27X.87, 1.23X.87. They thus appear to correspond very closely
with Mr. Aiken's set, and show only slight variations in size. They

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Brewster's Descriptions of First Plumages, 116

hardly need comparison with the eggs of anj other of the Jays,
having a much purer white ground-color and a very different style
of spotting.

The nest above described was found on the horizontal branch of a
nut-pine, toward the top, but only nine or ten feet from the ground.
Both our other observers' accounts indicate a similar position for
the nests, and it is probable that very little variation in this respect
is to be looked for.

Later Mr. Parker writes that he has since found a second colony
in another portion of the same range of hills, where '' thousands "
breed. Unfortunately he was too late for the eggs.




48. Vireo olivaoeiis.

Firtt plumage : male. Remiges, rectrices, and greater wing-coverts as
in adult ; rest of upper surface, including the lesser wing-coverts and
ramp, light cinnamon, tinged with ashy, and upon the interscapular
region washed faintly with dull green ; cheeks pale buff. Supia-orbital
line and entire under parts silky white, with a delicate wash of pale
brown on the sides. From a specimen in my collection taken at Upton,
Me., July 30, 1874.

49. Vireo gUvos.

AututwruH plumage: young female. Crown precisely as in spring
adult ; interscapular region much more strongly tinged with olive-green.
Primaries and secondaries tipped with ashy-white. Anal and abdominal
regions silky-white. Rest of imder parts creamy-buff, lightest on throat
and crissum, most pronounced on the pectoral region, and intensifying
into rich, though dull, brownish-yellow on the sides. From a specimen
in my collection, shot at Concord, Mass., September 12, 1877.

50. Vireo flavifrons.

Fint plumage: male. Remiges and rectrices similar to those of the
adults, but with the primaries and secondaries tipped and edged broadly

For Parts I and II, see this volume, pp. 15 - 23, 56 - 64.

Digitized by


116 Brewster's Descriptions of the First Plumage

with white. Best of upper parts uniformly blue-gray, tinged with cinna-
mon. Throat, cheeks, and pectoral region anteriorly, very pale yellow.
Rest of under parts silky-white. From a specimen in my collection ob-
tained at Cambridge, Mass., June 30, 1871.

51. Vireo solitarius.

First plumage : female. Upper parts dark ashy, becoming lighter on
the rump, and washed strongly with olive-green on the interscapular re-
gion. Abdominal region and throat soiled white, the latter with a faint
ashy tinge. Sides and crissum pale greenish-yellow. A V-shaped patch
of fawn-color on the lower pectoral region. From a specimen in my col-
lection s^ot at Upton, Me., August 23, 1873.

This bird is in transitional dress, being slightly past the first plumage.

52. Vireo noTeboraoensis.

First plrjumage : female. Entire upper parts brownish-olive ; wing-bands
pale fulvous. Throat, cheeks, and breast fulvous-ash. Central portions
t)f abdominal and anal regions soiled white. Sides and crissum pale yel-
low, tinged with buff. Otherwise similar to the adult From a specimen
in my collection obtained at Cambridge, Mass., July 20, 1871.

53. Pinioola enuc^eator.

First plumage : male. Forehead, crown, cheeks, and throat dull yel-
lowish-brown, lightest on the throat, with a few blood-red fathers iuter-
nuxed on the forehead and cheeks. A dusky line through the lores.
Occiput and interscapular region purplish olive-brown ; nape a lighter
shade of the same color ; tail-coverts and rump dull yellowish-red ; wing-
bands and edging of secondaries light wood-brown ; entire under parts
reddish-brown, lightest on abdomen, most pronounced on breast and sides.
From a specimen in my collection shot at Upton, Me., August 27, 1874.

Young birds in the second or autumnal plumage exhibit almost endless
variations of coloring. The males may be distinguished in most cases by
the coppery-red on the crown and rump ; but some females have the
ordinary brownish-yellow on those parts, strongly tinged with red. One
young male in my collection exhibits a broad pectoral band of light rose-
color mixed with reddish-yellow.

54. Carpodaous parpureua.

First plumage : female. Above dark brown, shading to lighter on the
rump, each feather edged with light reddish-brown. The forehead and
supra-loral line streaked with grayish. Under parts dull white, thickly
streaked everywhere, except on crissum and anal region, with very dark
brown. From a specimen in my collection taken at Cambridge, July 9,
1873. Although this bird is in strictly first plumage, it differs scarcely
appreciably in coloring from autumnal specimens.

Digitized by VjOOQIC

in Various Species of North American Birds, 117

55. Lozla lenooptera.

A male and female of this species, received from Mr. J. G. Rich, and
shot by him at Upton, Me., some time in April, differ widely in color-
ing from any specimens which I have previously examined. The male is
very brilliant carmine, nowhere streaked or obscured except on the sides,
abdomen, and forehead. The wings, tail, and scapulars are very clear
glossy-black ; the white wing-bands unusually broad and clearly defined.
The female is similarly marked, with pale orange replacing the carmine
of the male. The rump and breast exhibit large areas of the purest
orange, which, however, is scarcely less pronounced on the back and
crown, although there somewhat obscured by a dusky pencilling. Whether
these specimens represent some regular seasonal phase of plumage, or are
simply aberrant types, I am unable to decide. Both are apparently adult

56. Lozia ounrirostra amerioana.

First plumage : female. Upper surface generally brown, each feather
edged and tipped with dull gray. Interscapular region washed with
greenish-olive ; rump yellowish-white, with a greenish tinge ; a few only
of the feathers with darker centres. Beneath dull ash^ lighter on the ab-
domen, washed with greenish across the breast, each feather with a central
streak of dark brown. From a specimen in my collection obtained at
Upton, Me., June 26, 1873. In general aspect this specimen is much
darker than the adult female. It was moulting, and had acquired a few .
feathers of the autumnal plumage.

57. Chryaomltris pinna.

Fint phmage: female. Strong mustard-yeUoWy tinged on the upper
parts with brownish-olive, every feather, excepting those on the abdomen,
streaked with dark brown. Wing-bands and outer edging of secondaries
fulvous. From a specimen in my collection, shot at Upton, Me., Au-
gust 18, 1873. The first plumage of this species is certainly most remark-
able. The yellow is by no means a mere wash or tinge of color, but pure,
strong, and uniformly distributed. In a series of five or six specimens
collected at about the same time, several exhibit a brownish cast, espe-
cially on the upper parts, while scarcely any two agree as to the relative
amount and color of the dusky streaks. In one example they are very
broad and almost black, in another, tear-shaped and of a dull brown.

58. Chryaomltris tristia.

First plvmage: male. Crown, interscapular region, and rump light
reddish-bi^own, tinged with olive. Wing-bands and a broad edging upon
the secondaiies intense fawn-color. Forehead and entire under parts
fulvous-yellow, most prominent on the sides. From a specimen in my
collection, shot at Upton^ Me., August 29, 1873.

Digitized by


118 Brewster's Descriptions of the First Flvmage

59. PUotrophanas omatns.

First plumage: female. Above light reddish-brown, every feather
streaked centrally with very dark brown, most heavily so upon the crown.
Greater and middle wing-coverts pale ashy, tinged with reddish. Lores
and superciliary stripes dull gray, the latter minutely dotted with brown.
Under parts pale fulvous, streaked somewhat finely with brown upon the
breast and jugulum, with a maxillary series of spots of the same color.
From a specimen in my cabinet, collected by Dr. Coues, September 3,
1873, at Souris River, Dakota.

60. Pasftarotiliis savanna.

First plwmage: male. Above light brtwnish cream-color, streaked
thickly and finely on the top of the head and nape, more broadly on
the back, with dark brown. Beneath dull white, strongly tinged ante-
riorly with brownish-yellow, finely streaked everywhere excepting upon
the abdominal and anal regions with dull black. Wings paler than in
adult, with the greater and middle coverts tipped with fulvous. From
a specimen in my collection, shot at Upton, Maine, August 11, 1873.

61. Cotarniouluji henslowi

First plumage. Top of head, neck, upper parts of back and rump, oliva-
ceous brown ; crown with a broad black-spotted stripe on each aide.
Feathers of interscapular region with heavy central spots of dull black.
Beneath pure delicate straw-color, lightest on the abdomen, deepest, with
a strong buffy tinge, on the throat, breast, and sides ; tw spots or markings
of any kind on the under parts. Outer edging of primaries and secondaries
dull cinnamon ; wing-coverts buff. Lores and spot upon the auriculars
dusky. Bill colored like that of the adult. From two specimens in my
cabinet, x^oUected at Concord, Mass., June 19, 1878. With the single ex-
ception of Chrysomitris tristis, this is the only species of the FringiUida,
so far as I am aware, in which the young in first plumage are entirely
immaculate beneath.

Autu^mnal plumage: young female. Bill bkich. Crown, cheeks, and su-
perciliary line, anteriorly, reddish-buff. A narrow maxillary and infraniax-
illary stripe and a small spot behind the auriculars, black. Top of head
with two broad stripes of dark brown upon the sides. Post-orbital space,
neck, nape, and back anteriorly dull olive-green, the nape dotted finely with
dusky. Tertiaries, upper tail-coverts, and feathers of interscapular region
with broad, rounded, central spots of black, shading round their edges
into dark chestnut, and tipped narrowly with ashy-white. Outer surface
of wing similar to the adults, but paler. Under parts pale reddish-buff^
fading into soiled white upon the abdomen. A broad continuous hand
of black spots across the breast, extending down the sides to the ciissum.
Throat flecked faintly but thickly with dusky. Chin, jugulum, and
central abdominal and anal regions unspotted. From a specimen in

Digitized by VjOOQIC

in VarioTis Species of North American Birds, 119

my cabinet, collected at Osterville, Mass., November 6, 1874. In the
absence of sufficient material for comparison, I am unable to say whether
this specimen represents the typical autumnal plumage or not The
black bill is, to say the least, a remarkable feature, and one not found in
either the adult or young in first plumage.

62. CotumlotiliiB passeriniiB.

First plumage: male. Upper surface, including sides of neck, dark
brown, each feather edged and tipped with pale fulvous, — no chestnut
marking. Sides of head ochraceous, spotted finely with dusky. Super-
ciliary line«pale buflf. Greater and middle wing- coverts dull white. Be-
neath dull white (in some specimens with a decided yellowish cast).
Sides with a few dusky streaks. A broad continuous band of ovate black
spots across the breast and jugulum, running upward in a narrowing line
to the base of the lower mandible. Several specimens in my cabinet, col-
lected at Nantucket, Mass., in July, 1874. This species in the first plu-
mage may be at once separated from C. henslom in the corresponding stage
by the conspicuous band of spots upon the breast, and by the darker
and more uniform coloring of the upper parts.

63. AmmodromaB maritiinus.

First plumage. Above light olive-brown, with dusky streakings, broad-
est upon the interscapular region, narrower and more uniformly distrib-
uted upon the occiput and nape. A broad superciliary stripe of fulvous
extending backward to the occiput, finely spotted with dusky upon its
posterior half. Sides of head dull olive, with irregular patches of fulvous.
Wing-bands of pale fulvous upon the greater and middle coverts. Beneath
pale brownish-yellow, fading to soiled white posteriorly. Sides, and a
broad continuous band across the breast, spotted with dull brown. From
a specimen in my collection, taken at Bath, Long Island, September, 1872.

64. AmmodromaB oaadaoatus.

First plumage : male. General coloring, both above and beneath, bright
reddish-brown, nearly as in the superciliary stripe of the adult Feathers
of interscapular region streaked centrally with dark brown ; nape brownish-
olive, unspotted. Two broad stripes of dark brown on the sides of crown.
Wings and tail scarcely more reddish than in adult Sides of head with
fewer dark markings. Sides of breast somewhat thickly streaked with
dusky ; otherwise unmarked. From a specimen in my collection, taken
at Rye Beach, N. H., August 20, 1869. It is not a little remarkable that
in a family whose young are nearly without exception more thickly
streaked or spotted than their parents, — and often, indeed, conspicuously
marked in this manner, when the parent is entirely plain, — this bird in
first plumage should exhibit less streaking beneath than the adult, which
has not only a continuous band of dusky markings across the breast,

Digitized by


120 Brewster's Descriptions oj the First Plumage

but also the sides thickly marked in a similar maimer. In view of
this fact, the further development of the joung is most interesting.
When the autumnal plumage is acquired, the dusky streakings upon the
sides of the breast are entirely lost, and do not again appear until after the
spring moult, when, as previously stated, they are distributed over much
larger areas. A nearly analogous case of development is afforded by the
Arctic and Wilson's Terns, whose young have the bill and feet at first pale
red or yellow, afterwards dusky or nearly black, and again, when fully
adult, deeper and clearer red than when first from the nest

65; MeloBpisa paluBtrls. ^

First plumage : female. Crown blackish, each feather obscurely tipped
with lighter. Rest of upper parts reddish-brown, every feather streaked
centrally with dull black. Beneath dull ferruginous-brown, fading to
soiled white on the abdomen, streaked thickly but narrowly with dull
black everywhere excepting on the abdomen. Sides of head dusky, with
irregular patches of dark .brown. No appreciable ashy anywhere. From
a specimen in my collection taken at Cambridge, Mass., June 24, 1872.
Specimens in first plumage show considerable variation in the amount of
streaking beneath. Some are so faintly marked that at a little distance
they appear entirely plain. They may be at once distinguished from ex-
amples of M. melodia in corresponding plumage by the much darker cast
of the upper surface (especially of the crown) and by the finer character of
the markings beneath.

66. MeloBpisa melodia.

First plvmage : male. Above similar to the adult, but with the crown
less rufous, and the markings of the feathers upon the interscapular region
decidedly darker. The sides of the head are also more buf^ and the
markings fainter. Beneath light yellowish-brown, streaked and spotted
everywhere, excepting upon the throat and abdomen, with dusky brown,
of a much lighter and duller cast than in the adult From a specimen in
my collection shot at Cambridge, Mass., June 24, 1872.

67. Junoo hyemalls.

First plumage : male. Upper parts dark brown, everywhere suffused
with ashy, but most appreciably so upon the top and sides of head ; every
feather marked obscurely with dull black. Qreater and middle coverts
tipped with reddish-brown, producing two rather indistinct wing-bands.
Throat, and breast anteriorly, ferruginous-ashy, nearly obscured by
streakings of dull black. Rest of under parts dull ashy- white, with a
faint buffy tinge, spotted everywhere excepting on the abdomen with
dusky. Crissum pale fulvous. From a specimen in my cabinet collected
at Upton, Me., August 26, 1874. Considerable variation is exhibited by
the series of specimens in first plumage before me. Some have the upper

Digitized by VjOOQIC

in Various Species of North American Birds, 121

parts dull reddish-brown, with the streakings but faintly indicated, and
scarcely any appreciable ashy either above or beneath. The first plumage
is worn by the young of this species for an unusually long time.

68. Spisella sooialii.

First plvmage : male. Above light reddish-brown, lighter and with an
ashy tinge on the nape and rump, every feather streaked centrally with
dark brown. Superciliary line and a poorly defined median stripe upon
the crown pale fulvous. Beneath ashy-white, spotted and streaked every-
where, excepting on throat, anal region, and cnssum, with dull black.
From a sp^ my collection shot at Cambridge, Mass., July 9, 1873.

69. Spisella poBllla.

First plumage : male. Above olivaceous-ashy, the feathers of the inter-
scapular region with central streaks of dark brownish-chestnut Crown,
occiput, and nape unmarked. Entire under parts, including sides of head,
light brownish-ashy, paler posteriorly. A broad band across the breast
of fine, faint, but distinct spots of reddish-brown. From a specimen in my
collection taken at Belmont, Mass., July 30, 1875. Young of this species
in first plumage are readily separable from those of S. socicUis by the plain
crown and finer spottings of the imder parts.

70. Zonotrtohla albiooUis.

First plumage : male. Above bright reddish-brown^ darkest upon the
crown, the feathers of the interscapular region with obscurely defined dark
brown centres. Superciliary stripe, and a poorly defined median stripe
upon the crown, brownish-white ; no decided yellow anterior to the
eye. Beneath brownish-white, with dusky streokings everywhere ex-
cepting upon the abdomen. From a specimen in my collection taken at
Upton, Me., July 30, 1874.

71. Zonotriohia leaoophrya.

First plumage. Throat, breast, sides, and interscapular region streaked
thickly with dull black, most broadly so on the back ; on the throat these
streaks are reduced to mere spots ; lateral stripes of crown dark brown ;
central stripe dirty white. Anal and abdominal region immaculate. Cris-
sum faintly spotted. Otherwise like adult. From specimen in the col-
lection of J. Murdoch, obtained by him at Labrador, July, 1876.

72. Chondestea grammioa.

First plumage. Crown dark brown, faintly tinged with chestnut. A
median and two lateral stripes of pale brownish-yellow. • Rest of upper
parts similar to the adult, but with the rump obscurely spotted, and the
streaking on the feathers of the interscapular region much broader. Lores


Digitized by


122 Brewster's Descriptions of First Plumciges.

dull black. Beneath soiled white, thickly streaked eveiywhere, excepting

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