The Hawkeye Ornithologist and Oologist. Vol. 1. No. 4 April 1888
VOL. 1 APRIL, 1888. NO. 4.
EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY
WEBSTER AND MEAD
CRESCO, : IOWA.
Contents For April
- An Eclipse Among the Alps H. F. Hegner.
- Oologists vs. “Rage Collectors” W. Hull.
- Bird Destruction Jos. M. Wade.
- The Wood Thrush Jas. B. Purdy.
- Canadian Flycatchers, Wm. L. Kells.
- Bird Nesting in The North of England Walter Raine.
- Notes on Some of the Passeres of Fulton Co., Kentucky L. O. Pindar.
- Death of Prof. Charles Linden Correspondence.
- The Largest of Its Species New York Sun.
- Oological Correspondence Jas. C. Jay.
- Suggestions for Properly Forming Collections of Birds’ Eggs Smithsonian Bulletin.
- Migration Notes.
- How to Collect and Prepare Conchological Specimens J. A. Singley.
- The Scientist H. F. Hegner.
- Care of Minerals W. S. Beekman.
R. E. RACHFORD & SON,
—AND WHOLESALE DEALERS IN—
BIRD SKINS AND EGGS,
The Hawkeye Ornithologist and Oologist.
“Better to search the fields for health unbought,
Than see the doctor for a nauseous draught,
The wise for health on exercise depend.
God never made his work for man to mend.”
VOL. 1. CRESCO, IA., APRIL, ’88. NO. 4.
AN ECLIPSE AMONG THE ALPS.
BY H. F. HEGNER, DECORAH, IOWA.
Far along the frozen glaciers
Where the milky waters leap,
Through the fresh and quiet valleys,
Down the gorges wild and deep.
Creeps the night: The stars are shining
In the twilight and the gloom:
Drifting through the Alpine heavens,
Gently shines the rising moon.
Now she’s climbing upward; shadows
Dropping from the summit’s crest,
Wrap the valleys in the darkness,
Slumber on the mountain’s breast.
But the earth has trailed her shadow
Far out into empty space;
And the moon walks through the shadow
With earth’s image on her face.
Oh, how often has that journey
By a human soul been made;
Passing through this world of trouble,
Into sunshine—out of shade!
Long I watch her evening journey
Far above the mountain’s reach:
Her sad face is almost human,
With an eloquence of speech.
For my soul is ever climbing,
Through an Alpine world of thought;
Giant Blancs to be surmounted
Icy battles to be fought.
OOLOGISTS VS. “RAGE” COLLECTORS.
BY W. HULL.
By a “Rage” Collector is meantone who is suddenly seized with theidea that he is deeply interested inoology, and must get together a collectionof eggs as soon as possible.Some are inspired by reading oologicalpapers, others become interestedby associating with those who are atthe height of excitement.
A great many persons are seizedwith a greater or less desire to collectstamps, coins, etc. These can beidentified at any time, but eggs cannot.
A true oologist collects with a scientificpurpose, actuated by a truelove of nature, and an egg is of novalue to him unless its identity is certain.Some collectors have a largecollection, but know little or nothingabout the parent birds. This wouldnot be the case if they really caredfor the eggs, but they simply keepthem to gaze upon in blank admirationand boast that they have somany more eggs than some one elsewho may or may not collect withreal interest.
I have on my tongue’s end thenames of at least two dozen collectorsof this class, those that collectmerely for the number of eggs. Thesecollectors can truly be called “GreatAmerican Egg Hogs.” Unrefined asthis expression is, nevertheless it is tothe point.
This class of collectors numbermany hundred throughout the UnitedStates and Canada. The excuse is“that egg collecting is a healthfuland innocent pastime.” Healthful itis, if one collects the eggs himself(which is not the case with the majority)but as to the innocence, thatis due to the fact that it is not takenunder a full view, and as long as it ishealthful and no serious results areimmediately visible, it is taken forgranted to be innocent. This is amatter which the American Ornithologist’sUnion is acting upon, and appealsto the true oologists, for theirassistance in discouraging these “naturalists”(?)in their wild career.—MilwaukeeNaturalist.
BY JOS. M. WADE.
Twenty to thirty years ago, it wasnot an unusual sight to see even thescarlet tanager, a bright red bird withblack wings and tail, flitting fromtree to tree in the heart of our citieslike a fiery meteor in the sun-light,and to find their nests, built verylightly of straws and similar materialon the horizontal limbs of our shadetrees. But they were killed or drivenoff long before the advent of birdmillinery as a fashion. They were,indeed, a “shining mark,” and everybody wanted a specimen, or thoughtthey did, until at the present timethe scarlet tanager is really a veryrare bird throughout the New EnglandStates.
The Baltimore oriole, so named becausethe colors of the bird, blackand yellow, resembled those of LordBaltimore, has almost met the samefate, as it has done duty in ornamentingthousands of ladies’ bonnets withinthe past five years. Four years agothis bird was quite plenty on theelms of Boston and suburbs. Thehanging nests, made of hemp, oldtwine, etc., were quite common. Butthe past season showed a greatchange. These birds have been shotso ruthlessly, both while here and atthe South, and during the migration,that hardly a pair could be foundduring the breeding season of 1886.
For The Hawkeye O. and O. THE WOOD THRUSH.
COMPOSED BY JAMES B. PURDY.
The wood thrush is singing from the depth of the glen,
His clear, bell-like music, so pleasing to me
In the fair month of May, when all nature looks gay;
They vie with each other from briar and tree.
In a deep shaded nook, where the woodbine twine,
And the dark gloomy forest conceals them from view;
By a clear, winding brooklet, o’er tangled with vines.
His dear mate is guarding her treasures of blue.
Though dark be the weather and gloomy the morn,
And all other birds in the forest are still,
And the sad face of Nature, all dreary, forlorn,
His clear, mellow notes through the dripping woods thrill.
In the evening, when nature is seeking repose,
And his dear little mate has repaired to her nest,
And the last golden sunbeams are kissing the rose,
It is then that his song is the sweetest and best.
Oh, then man why repine, be downcast on your way.
As through the long years you are journeying on;
For the sadder the morning and gloomier the day,
The happier and sweeter is the wood thrushe’s song.
For The Hawkeye O. and O. CANADIAN FLYCATCHERS.
BY WM. L. KELLS, LISTOWEL, ONTARIO.
(Empidonax pusillus Trailli.)
In size and general appearance,this species closely resembles thewood pewee; but its habitat andmode of nesting are much different. Itdoes not frequent the back-woodsnor the high timbered places; andnot until a thick second-growth oflow underwood succeeds the originalforest in low swampy places does itmake its appearance in the centraldistricts of Ontario. Then it is so shyand wary, darting off into the deepestconcealment whenever its hauntsare invaded by the presence of humankind, that were it not for itsnoisy notes, it would scarcely beknown to exist.
It arrives in this vicinity towardthe end of May, when its haunts arebeing clothed with the emerald foliageof summer, and when it can themore easily conceal itself from observation,which it appears to dread.Then, however, the rapidly repeated“wick-we-o” of the male, as heperches on some elevated, but shadybranch, intimate its presence, andthat his mate has probably chosenthe neighboring thicket for her summerhome, while should this be penetrated,her sharp “twick,” repeatedin a repellant tone, gives the intruderto understand that she is there, andthat his presence is not welcome.
It is very active in its movements,and darts through the shrubberywith the rapidity of a flash. It appearsto subsist chiefly on insects,many of which it captures on thewing after the manner of its family.It is only in recent years that thisspecies has become a summer residentof this vicinity; and in the particularplaces where it chooses to reside,it seems yearly to be morecommon. In the manner and positionof its nest, it differs from all theother Canadian flycatchers. This isplaced in deep concealment amongthe thick foliage of the particularshrub, bush or underwood in whichit is built, and if the first efforts atbrood raising are successful, it doesnot appear to nest again that season,but if otherwise, it will try again.Its first nest may be found the early54part of June, but its efforts at reproductionappear to cease after themonth of July, and it becomes silentas August advances.
On the 19th of July, 1885, my boysreported to me they had found thenest of a new kind of bird in a pieceof low woods on the farm oppositeWildwood. They stated that thebird was nearly as large as a hermitthrush, but more like a flycatcher;that the nest—placed in a low bluebeech—was like an indigo bird’s, butthat the three eggs which it contained,were like those of a vireo. Eagerto ascertain what this new discoverymight be, I returned with the boysto the nesting place, and though theowner was absent, I saw at a glancethat it was a discovery new to me.The nest was placed in the fork of asmall blue beech, three feet off theground, well concealed among theleaves and surrounding raspberryvines. It was composed externallyof wool and coarse grasses; and linedwith fine dry grass and some horsehair.The three eggs were of awhitish-yellow hue, with a few redishdots toward the large end. Now,anxious to see the owner of this nest,I took a ramble through the wood,where I heard and saw the male bird,and when I returned the femaleflushed off the nest and darted intothe neighboring thicket, and forsome time I supposed this species tobe the olive sided flycatcher, butlearning my mistake, I became certainthat it was the Trailli, and havesince been confirmed in this identification.The next summer, about the20th day of June, within a few yardsof the above mentioned place, Ifound in the forks of a small swampelm, about four feet off the ground,another nest of the same species;much the same in composition, andcontaining three fresh eggs, similarin hue and markings. And on thesame day, a few rods further in thewood, another nest of this species,containing three young a few daysold. This nest, however, was in theforks of a red-maple sapling aboutnine feet off the ground, and some ofthe coarse grass stalks of which itwas composed hung down nearly afoot from the bottom of the nest.Last season I failed to discover anynests of this species, though I foundthe birds in several other places.
THE LEAST FLYCATCHER.
This species, in general appearanceand place of habitat, much resemblesthe wood pewee, but it issmaller in size, and its mode of nestingis quite different.
Its scolding notes are the repetitionof a simple “chip”; but these are seldomheard except when its nest oryoung are approached. Its song, ifsuch it may be called, resembles theword “chebeck” repeated in a cleartone, may often be heard, especiallyfor some weeks after its arrival.
Its advent here usually occurs inthe latter part of May; and it leavesCanada for more southern latitudesin the early part of September.
Its usual habitat is the high, rolling,hard-wood timbered lands; andfor the hilly margins of gravel-bottomedcreeks, it seems to have a decidedpartiality.
In the dry season it feeds occasionallyon small fish, which it easily captures,as they wriggle in the shallowwater, though in general it feeds onsmall insects and their progeny invarious stages of development.
This little creature is quite pugilistic,and in the pairing season twomales often indulge in a free andfierce fight, which probably influencesthe female in her decision ofaccepting the victor as her futurepartner.
The nest of this species is placed inthe upright fork of a small tree, orwhere some small branches projectfrom a larger stem. It is a neat,compact structure, much like that ofthe redstarts, composed chiefly ofthe fibrous matter that forms betweenthe bark and wood of decayedtrees, lined with fine hair. The setof eggs,