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In the Mississippi region the lesser telltale is far more common than in the east, but it is still abundant on the Atlantic coast in the autumn migrations, at least; and it is supposed to be every-where a commoner bird than the greater yellowlegs.
Solitary Sandpiper
Although the solitary sandpiper is known to make its nest in the United States, so cleverly does it conceal it, only a single clutch of eggs has ever been found, so far as known, the one taken by Richardson near Lake Bombazine, Vermont, in May, 1878.
None of the willets in that well populated marsh were ever caught in the act of swimming, though the partial webbing of their feet indicates that they must be able to swim well when necessary.
Bartramian Sandpiper
The Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subrufacollis) closely allied to the larger upland plover, like it prefers dry fields and grassy prairie lands, although during the migrations it too is often met with on beaches on the coasts of both oceans.
Spotted Sandpiper
Some quaint and ridiculous mannerisms, recorded in a large list of popular names, make this a particularly interesting bird to watch.
Long Billed Curlew
The Eskimo Curlew, Fute, Doe or Dough Bird, Short-billed or Little Curlew (Numenius borealis); about thirteen inches long, its short, decurved bill measuring less than two and a half inches, has blackish brown upper parts spotted with buff.
Black Breasted Plover
Twenty years ago the black-breasted and the golden plovers were abundant on the Iowa and Illinois prairies in spring and fall, but they were pursued by sportsmen so relentlessly that now a flock is seldom seen in either state.
American Golden Plover
Plovers' visits depend much on weather, a clear, fine day inviting a long, unbroken flight far out at sea during the autumn migration ; whereas lowering weather, especially an easterly storm, drives the birds to the coast, where, flying low, a warm reception of hot shot usually awaits them from behind blinds.
On the ground, where the killdeer spends most of its time, it moves about daintily, quickly, even nervously; for it never remains still except for the instant when it seems to gaze at an intruder with withering contempt.
Semipalmated Plover
Closely associated with the friendly little sandpipers, these small plovers likewise haunt the beaches, their plumage in autumn being precisely the color of the wet sand they constantly run about on in small scattered flocks.
Piping Plover
The Mountain Plover (AEgialitis montana), a distinctly prairie bird, rather than a mountaineer, has grayish brown upper parts, the feathers margined with chestnut; the white under parts grow yellowish on breast, but without belt or patches; the front of the crown and the cheeks black.
Wilson's Plover
Dr. Coues describes this plover's note as half a whistle, half a chirp, quite different from the other plovers' calls; but a plaintive quality can be detected in it, too, as in the voices of most beach birds, that reflect something of the mystery and sadness of the sea.
Joseph's coat doubtless showed no more variegated patch-work than the turnstone's nesting plumage, which, however, differs greatly in individuals, scarcely any two of which have precisely the same markings at any season.
American Oyster Catcher
Like gulls, terns, skimmers, and other beach nesters, the oyster-catchers allow the sun-baked sand to do the greater part of the incubating, the parents confining themselves only at night or during storms on three or four pale buff eggs spotted and blotched with chocolate, and laid directly on the shingle, in a depression.
Bob White
Among the thousands upon thousands of quail shot annually, some sportsman finds either an albino or some other freak wearing plumage that he is certain belongs to a distinct species; but the Texan and the Florida birds alone are true, but merely climatic, variations of our own Bob White.
Dusky Grouse
A small sac of loose, orange-colored skin, surrounded by a white frill of feathers edged with dusky, at either side of the neck, may now be inflated at will.
Canada Grouse
Indians tell of following great packs of these grouse that furnished meat to a tribe for weeks ; but a bevy of five or six birds is the largest recorded by scientists.
Ruffed Grouse
Where the Canadian variety encroaches its territory, however, little or no difference in the plumage may be detected. The account of the ruffed grouse's habits, nest, etc., should be read to avoid repetition, since the Oregon bird is simply a climatic variation of the eastern species.
Prairie Chicken
Unlike the rest of their kin, the prairie chickens can fly long distances, though not with such concentrated power as to pro-duce the thunder-like roar of the ruffed grouse, for example.
Prairie Sharp Tailed Grouse
The Sharp-tailed Grouse (Pediocaetes phasianellus), a bird that never shows its dark, rich plumage within the United States, however commonly the paler, yellower prairie, and the grayer Columbian varieties of this handsome grouse are called by its name, ranges over the interior of British America to Fort Simpson, and is comparatively little known.
Sage Grouse
Since the sage bush (Artemisia) grows to a height of only two or three feet, a partial migration of a winter pack sometimes becomes necessary when the plant is hopelessly buried under snow, however willing this as well as other grouse may be to plunge into shallow drifts.
Wild Turkey
The turkey-hen, happy in his exile, even takes pains to hide herself and nest from his lordship, for he becomes frightfully jealous of anything that distracts her attention from him, and will destroy eggs or chicks in a fit of passion.
Passenger Pigeon
The female either lacks the white collar or it is obscure, and her general coloring is much duller. Like the passenger pigeon, this bird sometimes lives in flocks of vast extent, its habits generally according with those previously described.
Mourning Dove
In the autumn a few pairs of doves show slight gregarious tendencies, feeding amiably together in the grain fields and retiring to the same roost at sundown.
Turkey Vulture
Without exerting themselves to form a nest, the buzzards seek out a secluded swamp, palmetto scrub, sycamore grove, or steep and sunny hillside, and deposit from one to three eggs, usually two, in the cavity of a stump, or lay them directly on the ground, under a bush, or on a rock—anywhere, in fact, that necessity urges.
Black Vulture
From North Carolina southward, every city and village contains a horde of these dusky scavengers, walking about the streets as familiarly as chickens to pick up the scraps of food that so quickly become putrid in a warm climate.
Swallow Tailed Kite
But when the nesting season arrives, these kites seek out uninhabited, inaccessible regions where it is well worth while to follow them, however, since their flight, always charming, dashing, and elegant, now assumes matchless perfection impossible to describe.
Marsh Hawk
Close along the ground skims the marsh hawk, since field mice and other small mammals, frogs, and the larger insects that hide among the grass are what it is ever seeking as it swerves this way and that, turns.
Sharp Shinned Hawk
Cac, cac, cac, very much like one of the flicker's calls, is this hawk's love song apparently, for it seldom, if ever, lifts its voice, except at the nesting season.
Cooper's Hawk
Cooper's hawk must be considered as one of the few really injurious Raptores found within our limits, and as it is fairly common at all seasons throughout the greater part of the United States, it does in the aggregate far more harm than all other hawks.
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