The Bay State Oologist, Vol. 1 No. 4, April 1888 A Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Study of Birds, their Nests and Eggs
Entered at Pittsfield Post Office as second-class matter.
VOL. 1. APRIL. 1888. No. 4.
A Monthly Magazine Devoted to
the Study of Birds, their
Nests and Eggs.
EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY
W. H. FOOTE, PITTSFIELD, MASS.
Subscription Price 50 Cents per Year in Advance
Press of H. C. KELLS, Book and Job Printer.
Vol. 1, No. 4. April, 1888.
|Notes on Some Birds of Texas||J. A. Singley||25|
|The Nashville Warbler||Wm. L. Kells||27|
|Instructions for Collecting and Preserving Birds and Eggs||J. A. Singley||28|
|The Pileated Woodpecker||J. W. Jacobs||31|
|A Day’s Collecting||H. C. Cook||32|
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The Bay State Oologist.
VOL. 1. PITTSFIELD. MASS., APRIL, 1888. NO. 4.
Notes on Some Birds of Texas.
BY J. A. SINGLEY, ESQ.
(continued from page 11.)
No. 36. Lophophanes bicolor (Linn.). Tufted Titmouse.
They are not very particular about a nesting place—provided it’s a hollow—andwill indifferently occupy a natural cavity in a tree, an old woodpecker’s nestor a martin box. The nest is composed of dead leaves and moss and very oftencast-off snake-skin, invariably lined with some sort of animals’ hair.
The bird will not leave the nest after incubation commences, but will sit closewhile the entrance to the nest is being enlarged, and when a hand is inserted inthe cavity will puff itself up, make a hissing noise and peck at the intruder.It has to be lifted off the nest before the eggs can be taken, thus making identificationpositive.
The number of eggs in a set varies from four to eight, usually six or seven, andvarying from a blunt oval to elongated, almost equal-ended: white, spotted withreddish-brown, thickest at the larger end, where are also found some obscure lilacshell markings. Sometimes the brown is very pale and the spots few and small.Eggs like this resemble those of the Plain Titmouse. A series of fifteen eggsaverage .75×.36 inches. Two or more broods are raised, fresh eggs being foundfrom the 1st of April to the last of May.
No. 42. Parus carolinensis (Aud.,) Carolina Chickadee.
Like the last, this is called “Tomtit” by the natives. It shares most of thehabits of the Titmouse but I don’t think it is a nest robber.
This species is very like the Black-capped Chickadee of the Eastern States, replacingthat species in the South Atlantic and Gulf States. The chin, throat andtop of head to nape, black, sides of head, whitish; rest of upper parts brownish-ash;under parts dingy white and slightly brownish on the sides. Wings andtail like the upper parts. A specimen before me measures—length, 4.53 in.; extent,7.02 in.; wing, 2.46; tail, 2.24. It is very close to P. atricapillus and should reallybe listed as a variety of that species.
This Chickadee is resident here, and is found chiefly in the timbered uplands,where its merry “Chick-a-dee-dee” is heard all the year round.
It commences nesting in March, and fresh eggs can be found until June (thusindicating that two or three broods are raised in a season.) It is a little morechoice in its location for a nest than the Titmouse. A deserted Woodpecker’snest is often used, but the majority of the nests I find are in rotten black-jackstubs and excavated by the birds themselves. A few of them nest in boxes thatI’ve nailed up in the woods. The nests vary but little being built of moss, cotton(when obtainable) a few feathers and generally lined with rabbit fur, sometimeswith the hair or fur of other animals. The bird sets close when the nest is disturbedand it is necessary to lift it off to see what it is trying to conceal.
The eggs vary in number from five to seven, never more with me; oval inshape, white, thickly spotted with reddish-brown. The spots are sometimes confluent,forming blotches, occasionally covering the larger end of the egg. Sometimesthe eggs are finely speckled with small pale-brown spots, and one specimenbefore me has these specks forming a wreath about the smaller end. A series ofeleven eggs (two sets,) average .63×.52 inches. I have also found several setswhere the eggs were sub-globular, like those of some owls.
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The Nashville Warbler.
BY WM. L. KELLS, LISTOWEL, ONTARIO, CANADA.
The life-history of this bird is yet, to a great extent, wrapped in obscurity.Sometimes it is numerous in the Spring migration; again it is comparatively rare.It can only yet be regarded as a migrant in the south and central parts of Ontario,as no certain record has yet been made of its nesting, or making its summer homein this locality; though it is very probable that more of this genus of birds mayremain during the summer, and nest in the deep, swampy woods of this Province,than is now generally known.
In my early days, while rambling in the forest, or at work in the woods in thesummer time, I have seen nests of little birds, never since discovered byme, and almost every year since I began to form my Oological collection, Ihave taken one or more nests of Warblers previously unknown to me, and as I occasionallycatch glimpses of others in my hunting excursions in the summer season,I am led to believe, that as time progresses and more attention is given to thesubject, more nests of these birds will be discovered and described by our risingOrnithologists, and among others that of the Nashville Warbler. This is themore probable in the case of this species, from the fact that its general habitat isin deep, swampy places, where few persons interested in Ornithology care to penetrate,and also from the fact that specimens of this species are occasionally observedon the margins of swampy woods, in the summer season.
It is said that this species nests upon the ground in the moss that grows in dampplaces, and to form the same with dry leaves, fibres of bark, pine needles, fine, drygrass and hay. The eggs, four or five, are white, speckled with lilac or reddish-brown.
This is one of those wanderers of the Mississippi Valley which appear to enterOntario from the south-west. It is between four or five inches in length, and onthe upper parts the plumage is of an olive-green, brighter on the rump; but ashyon the head. Below it is bright yellow, paler towards the lower parts, with oliveshading on the sides. Crown with a chestnut patch, and pale ring round theeyes.
Instructions for Collecting and Preserving Birds and Eggs.
BY PROF. J. A. SINGLEY, GIDDINGS, TEXAS.
(continued from page 21.)
Each of the three eggs should be marked No. 10. By this method, the first numberalways representing the number of the set, the second the number of thespecies and the third the number of eggs in the set, mistakes are almost impossible.If he saw the bird he should write “seen” after the last item. If the bird wascaught or shot, he can mention it instead of “seen.” The last two items explainthemselves, and all these items except the first, must enter into the data of the set.It is not necessary to give materials of nest, except in the case of rare species. Ifollow the above method of authenticating, to save time; but the collector whohas plenty of that commodity to spare, can of course write out full particulars ofeach set in the field. Never trust to memory in these matters, have it in blackand white.
The collector, having returned home and being ready to prepare his eggs, lethim take them out of his box where he has placed them well wrapped in cotton,as taken, and unwrapping them, place each set by itself on the “dryer” describedelsewhere (he will now begin to appreciate that useful article,) now getting histools, not forgetting a glass of water to use in rinsing the eggs, he is ready to goto work.
The points of the drills, as bought, are always dull, and it is recommended tostart the hole in the egg with a pin or needle. These useful articles are small,likely to get lost while working with, and make one more article to look after.You can dispense with them by carefully filing the point of your drill to a needle-likepoint. Select the least showy part of the egg, and holding it (the egg) inyour left hand (the right if you are left-handed) put the point of the drill againstthis “least showy part,” and twirl it (the drill) between the thumb and forefinger.Don’t bear on the drill, as if you were drilling in iron, if you do you’ll have a holeclear through both sides of the egg, something you don’t want. The hole, beingdrilled until the largest circumference of