The Bird Book/Ducks, Geese and Swans
Order V. ANSERES
DUCKS, GEESE AND SWANS. Family ANATIDAE
The birds comprising this family are of greatly varying sizes, but all have webbed feet, and generally the bill is broader than high, and is serrated on the edges or provided with gutters to act as a strainer in assisting the birds to gather their food.
12Q. MERGANSER. Mergus americanus.
Range. North America, breeding from the northern border of the United States northward.
The three species of Mergansers are almost exclusively fish eating birds. Therefore their flesh is unpalatable and they are known as "Pish Ducks." They are also sometimes called "Saw
bills" because of the teeth-like serration on both the upper and the under mandibles. Unlike the other species of ducks, their bills are long, slender and rounded instead of being broad and flat; it is also hooked at the tip. Like the Cormorants, they often pursue and catch fish under the water, their teeth-like bills enabling them to firmly hold their prey.
The American Mergansers, Goosanders, or Sheldrakes, as they are often called, are found botii on the coast and in the interior. Except in certain mountainous regions, they breed chiefly north of the United States. The male bird has no crest and the head is a beautiful green, while the female has a reddish brown crest and head, shading to white on the chin. They build their nest in hollow trees near the water. It is made of grasses, leaves and moss and is lined with feathers from the breast of the female. During May, they lay from six to ten eggs of a creamy or buff color. Size 2.70 x 1.75. Data. Gun Is., Lake Winnipeg. June 16, 1903. Eleven eggs in a nest of white down, located between two large boulders. Collector, Walter Raine.
THE BIRD BOOK
Hooded Merganser Mallard
130. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. Mergus ser rator
Range. North America, breeding from northern United States northward.
This species is more abundant than the preceding. It is slightly smaller, being 22 inches in length, and the male is crested. Found abundantly in the United States in winter. Breeds commonly in the interior of British America and in Labrador and Newfoundland. They make their nests on the ground, near the water, concealing them under rocks or tufts of grass. The nest is made of grasses, leaves and moss and lined with feathers. They lay, generally, about ten eggs of a buffy or greenish buff color. Size 2.50 x 1.70. Data. Lake Manitoba, N. W. Canada. Two eggs in a hollow lined with down, under a patch of rose bushes near shore. Collector, Jos. Karnaugh.
131. HOODED MERGANSER. Lophodytes cucullatus.
Range. North America, breeding locally throughout its range, in the interior. These are beautiful
little Ducks distinguished from all others by the semi-circular, compressed crest which is black with an enclosed white area. They make their nests in hollow trees, in wooded districts near the water, lining the cavity with grasses and down. They lay ten or twelve grayish white eggs. Size 2.15 x 1.70.
132. MALLARD. Anas platyrhynchos.
Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in America from northern United States northward, and wintering south to Panama and the West Indies.
Contrasting with the preceding Pish Ducks, the Mallards are regarded as one of the most esteemed table birds. They feed on mollusks and marine insects which they generally reach by tipping in shallow water. They nest in many localities in the United States but more abundantly north of our borders. They nest in fields in close proximity to ponds or lakes, placing their nests of grasses and feathers in the tall grass. In May and June they lay from six to ten eggs of a buffy or olive color. Size 2.25 x 1.25. Data. San Diego, California, May 19, 1897. Nest made of grass, lined with down, placed on the edge of a field near a pond.
Lake Winnipegosls, June 16, 1902 Walter Kaine
NEST AND EGGS OF AMERICAN MERGANSER
This species usually nest in holes in trees, but on this island they were nesting
in holes under boulders.
THE BIRD BOOK
133. BLACK DUCK. Anas rubripes.
Range. Eastern North America, breeding from the middle portions north to the Hudson Bay territory and Labrador.
Throughout their breeding region, one or more pairs of these ducks nest in nearly every favorable locality. Their nests are placed on the ground in marshes, swamps or fields bordering a pond or lake, the nest being concealed in the long grass
Pale greenish buffi
or reeds. They breed in equal abundance, either in the interior or along the sea coast; in the latter case their nests are often placed beside of, or under an overhanging rock. It is made of weeds, grass and moss and is lined with feathers and down. They lay from six to twelve eggs during May and June; these are buff or greenish buff in color. Si^a 2.30 x 1.70. Data. Duck Is., Maine, June 3, 1893. Nest of grasses, concealed in a large tuft on water's edge.
134. FLORIDA DUCK. Anas fulvigula fulvigula.
Range. Florida and the GuK of the Mississippi.
This is a similar, lighter colored, locally distributed race of the foregoing. The most noticeable difference in plumage between this and the Black Duck is the absence of markings on the chin. The habits are the same, and the eggs, which are deposited in April, are similar to those of the Black Duck, but smaller. Size 2.15 x 1.60.
MOTTLED DUCK. Anas fulvigula maculosa.
Range. Gulf coast of Texas and up the Mississippi Valley to Kansas.
The habits of this bird differ in no way -from the preceding ones. The six to ten eggs are greenish buff in color. Size 2.15 x 1.55.
335. GADWALL. Chaulelasmus streperus.
Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in America, chiefly in the United States and north to Manitoba, chiefly in the interior.
South in winter to the Gulf. The males of these birds may be identified by the white speculum and the chestnut wing coverts. Gadwalls nest on the ground among the reeds of marshes or in the long grass of bordering fields; they make little or no nest but line the cavity with down from their breasts. They lay from seven to twelve Gadwall eggs of a creamy buff color. Size 2.10 x 1.60. Data. Benson Co., North Dakota, June 19, 1898.
Eight eggs. Nest on the ground among rank grass on a low island in Devils Lake. Made of weeds lined with down. Collector, E. S. Rolfe.
136. WIDGEON. Mareca penelope
Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in America, only in the Aleutian Islands ; rare or accidental in other parts of the country.
The European Widgeon is similar in build and plumage to the following species, except that the whole head, with the exception of the white crown, is chestnut. They build their nests in the rushes, making them of reeds and grass and lining them with feathers. They lay from six to ten light buff colored eggs. Size 2.20 x 1.50,
THE BIRD BOOK
137. BALDPATE. Mareca americana.
Range. North America, breeding in the interior from Texas north to Hudson Bay.
The Baldpate (so-called because of the white 3rown) or American Widgeon is a handsomely marked bird and is regarded as a great table delicacy. The male birds cannot be mistaken for any other species because of the white crown,
Baldpate Green-winged Teal
wing coverts and underparts and the broad green stripe, back of the eye. They breed locally in many parts of the country, building their nests of grass and weeds, neatly lined with feathers, on the ground in marshes. They lay from six to twelve creamy eggs. Size 2.15 x 1.50. Data. Lac Aux Morts, North Dakota. Eight eggs. Nest of grass and down on ground in a grassy meadow. Collector, E. S. Bryant.
[138.] EUROPEAN TEAL. Nettion crecca.
An old world species that is casually found on both coasts of America.
139. GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Nettion carolinense.
Range. Whole of North America,
^******** breeding chiefly north of the United
A small, handsome species, the male of which can readily be identified by the reddish brown head and neck, with the large green patch behind each ear ; length fourteen inches. Green-winged Teals are our smallest representative of the Duck family. They are eagerly sought by sportsmen, both because of their beauty
/ ^^^^^^^^P^" and the excellence of their flesh. They
are among the most common of Ducks in the interior, where they nest generally in tufts of grass along ponds, lakes or -as;,^ brooks. Nest of grass and weeds, lined with down from the bird. Eggs buffy,
four to ten in number. Size 1.85 x 1.25.
140. BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Querquedula discors
Range. North America, breeding from northern United States northward; rare on the Pacific coast.
Another small species, known by the blue wing coverts and the white crescent in front of eye. They nest in the same localities with the preceding species, placing their nest of grass and weeds on the ground in meadows near water. Eggs buffy white. Six to twelve in number. Size 1.90 x 1.30.
141. CINNAMON TEAL. tera
Range. Western United States, chiefly west of the Rocky Mountains. Casually east to Texas, Illinois and British Columbia.
The Cinnamon Teal is another small Duck, marked by the uniform rich chestnut plumage and light blue wing coverts. The speculum is green. The nesting habits are the same as those of the Teals, the nests being placed on the ground in marshes or fields near water. Their nests are closely woven of grass and weeds and lined with down and feathers from the breast of the bird. The eggs are pale buff and number from six to fourteen. Size 1.85 x 1.35.
[141.1.] RUDDY SHELDRAKE. C as area ferruginea.
This is an Old World species that has accidentally occurred in Greenland.
THE BIRD BOOK
142. SHOVELLER. Spatula clypeata.
Range. Whole of North America, breeding in the interior from Texas northward.
This strikingly marked Duck is twenty inches in length, has a green head and speculum, blue wing coverts and chestnut belly. The bill is long and broad at the tip. It makes its nest on the ground in marshy places, of grass, weeds and
Dull olive gray
feathers. Six to ten eggs constitute a complete set. They are greenish or leaden gray color. Sise 2.10 x 1.50. Data. Graham's Island, North Dakota, May 28, 1899. Nest of dead weed stems and grass, lined with down. Ten eggs. Collector, E. S. Bryant.
PINTAIL. Dafila acuta.
Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in North America from northern United States northward, wintering south to Panama. This species, which is also known as the Sprig-tail, is very common in the United States in the spring and fall migrations. It is about thirty inches long, its length depending upon the development of the tail feathers, the central ones of which are long and pointed. They breed casually in many sections of the United States, but in abundance from Manitoba to the Arctic Ocean. They nest near the water, laying from six to twelve eggs of dull olive color. Size 2.20 x 1.50. Data. Graham's Island, Devil's Lake, N. Dakota, June 15, 1900. Ten eggs. Nest on the ground, of weeds, lined with down. Colony breeding. Collector, B. S. Bryant.
144. WOOD DUCK. Aix sponsa.
Range. Temperate North America, breeding from Labrador and British Columbia south to Florida.
Bridal Duck is a name often given to this, the most beautiful of all Ducks.
They are beautifully marked, have a large crest, and are iridescent with all colors of the rainbow. They frequent wooded country near ponds and
lakes, feeding on water insects and mollusks in the coves. They build their nests in hollow trees and stumps, often at quite a distance from the water. When the young are a few days old, they slide, scramble, or nutter down the tree trunk to the ground below, and are led to the water. The nest is made of twigs, weeds and grass, and warmly lined with down. The eggs are a buff color and number eight to fifteen. Size 2. x 1.5.
[145.] RUFOUS-CRESTED DUCK. Netta rufina.
A European species; a single specimen taken on Long Island in 1872. 146. REDHEAD. Marila americana.
Range. No f rth America at large, breeding from northern United States northward, chiefly in the interior.
A bird commonly seen in the markets where it is often sold as the following species because of their similarity. The nests are placed on the ground in marshes or sloughs, and are made of grasses, lined with feathers. Eggs from six to fourteen in number, of a buffy white color. Size 2.40 x 1.70.
147. CANVAS-BACK. Marila valisineria.
Range. Whole of North America, breeding chiefly in the interior from the United States to the Arctic Ocean.
A noted table bird, especially in the south where it feeds on wild celery. Can be distinguished from the Redhead by its darker head, lighter back, and gradually sloping bill. They nest abundantly in Manitoba, their habits being the same as the preceding. They lay from six to ten eggs of a darker shade than the Redheads. Size 2.40 x 1.70. Data. Haunted Lake, N. Alberta, June 12, 1897. Ten eggs. Nest of reeds in a heavy reed bed out in the lake. Collector, Walter Raine.
1 18. SCAUP DUCK. Marila marila.
Range. North America, breeding from North Dakota northward, chiefly in the interior; south in winter to Central America.
Canvas-hack American Scaup Duck
Pale greenish gray
This and the following species are widely known as "Blue-bills" owing to the slaty blue color of that member. Their plumage is black and white, somewhat similar in pattern to that of the Redhead, but darker, and the whole head is black.
They nest, in marshes about many of the ponds and lakes in the interior of British America. The nest is made of marsh grasses and lined with feathers. The six to ten eggs are pale grayish or greenish gray. Size 2.50 x 1.70. Data. Saltcoats Marshes, N. W. Canada, June 15, 1901. Ten eggs. Nest in the grass; a depression lined with down and dried grasses. Collector, Walter Raine.
THE BIRD BOOK
149- LESSER SCAUP DUCK. Marila affinis.
Range. North America, breeding from North Dakota and British Columbia northward; win ters south to Central America.
This Duck is distinguished from the preceding, chiefly by its size which is about two inches less, or 17 inches in length. The nesting habits are the same as those of the Greater Scaup and the eggs are similar but smaller. Size 2.25 x 1.55. Data. Northern Assiniboia, June 10, 1901. Ten eggs on grass and down at the edge of a lagoon. Collector, Walter Raine.
150. RING-NECKED DUCK. Marila collaris.
Range. North America, breeding in the interior, from North Dakota and Washington northward. Winters from Maryland on the east and British Columbia on the west to Central America.
Lesser Scaup Duck
Similar to the Lesser Scaup in size and plumage, except that it has a narrow chestnut collar around the neck, the back is black instead of barred with white, and the speculum is gray instead of white. The habits and nesting habits of the Ring-neck do not differ from those of the other Scaups. They lay from six to twelve eggs. Size 2.25 x 1.60. Data. Cape Bathurst, N. Y. T., June 18, 1901. Ten eggs in a slight hollow in the moss, lined with down. Collector, Captain Bodfish.
Range. North America, breeding both on the coast and in the interior, from the northern border of the United States northward to the Arctic Ocean.
These are handsome Ducks known as "Whistlers" from the noise of their wings when flying, ind "Greatheads" because of the puffy crest. The
head is greenish with a large round white spot in front of, and a little below the eye. The rest of the plumage is black and white. This species nests in hollow trees near the water, lining the cavity with grass, moss and leaves, and lining the nest with down from thefr breasts. In May and June they lay from six to ten eggs of a grayish green color. Size 2.30 x 1.70.
152. BARROW'S GOLDEN-EYE. Clangula islandica Range. Northern North America, breeding north of the United States except from the mountainous portions of Colorado northward.
This Golden-eye differs from the preceding chiefly in the shape of the white spot before the eye, which in this species is in the form of a crescent. The size is the same, about 20 inches in length. The reflections on the head are purplish rather than greenish as in the preceding. The nesting habits are the same, they building in hollow trees near water. The six to ten eggs are not different from the preceding. Size 2.30 x 1.65. Data. Alfusa, Iceland, June 30, 1900. Seven eggs. Nest of grass and down in a box attached to a tree by an islander.
THE BIRD BOOK
153. BUFFLE-PIEAD. Charitonetta albeola.
Range. North America, breeding from United States northward. Winters south to Mexico.
Gunners know this handsome little duck by the names of "Butter-ball," and "Dipper," a name also given to Grebes. It is also quite similar, but smaller (15 in. long), to the American Golden-eye but has a large white patch on the back of the
head, from eye to eye. It is an active bird and, like the two preceding, is capable of diving to a great depth to get its food. Its nesting habits are like the preceding. Eggs eight to fourteen. Size 2 x 1.40. Data. Alberta, Canada, June 6, 1899. Seven eggs. Nest in hole in tree stump, lined with down. Collector, Dr. George.
154. OLD-SQUAW. Harelda hy emails.
Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in the
Arctic regions; south in winter to New Jersey
The Long-tailed Duck, as it is called, is especially noticeable because the breeding plumage of the male differs markedly from that in the winter. In summer their general plumage is blackish brown, with a white patch around the \ eye, and white belly. In winter they are \. largely white. The central tail feathers are much lengthened. They breed abundantly in Greenland, Alaska and the Hudson Bay Territory, placing their nests of grasses and weeds on the ground near the water. It is generally concealed in the long grass. The eggs number from six to twelve. Size 2. x 1.50. Data N. Iceland, June 10, 1900. Nest on ground, lined with down. Collector, S. H. Wallis.
155. HARLEQUIN DUCK. histrionicus.
Range. Northern Hemisphere in America, breeding from Newfoundland and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, northward. South in winter to California and New England.
A beautiful and most gorgeous bird, not in colors, but in the oddity of the markings, the colors only including black, white, gray and chestnut. Either sex can be recognized by the small short
bill. They breed mostly in single pairs along swiftly running streams, placing their nest, which is woven of weeds and grasses, in the ground near the water. It is also claimed that they sometimes nest in hollow trees. They lay from five to eight eggs, yellowish or greenish buff in color. Size 2.30 x 1.60. Data. Peel River, Alaska, June 13, 1898. Seven eggs in a hollow in river bank, lined with down. Collector, C. E. Whittaker.
156. LABRADOR DUCK. dorius.
This bird, whose range was from Labrador to New Jersey in the winter, has probably been extinct since 1875, when the last authentic capture was made. It is a strange fact that a bird of this character should have been completely exterminated, even though they were often sold in the markets. Only forty-one specimens are known to be preserved at present and nothing is known in regard to their nesting habits or eggs.
THE BIRD BOOK
157- STELLER'S DUCK. Polysticta stelleri.
Range. Arctic regions in America, chiefly on the Aleutian Islands and northwest coast of Alaska.
A very beautiful species eighteen inches long; head white, washed with greenish on the forehead and nape; chin, throat, neck, back, tail and crissum, black; underparts chestnut; wing coverts white, the long scapulars black and white. It breeds on the rocky coasts and islands of Bering Sea. The six to 'nine eggs are pale olive green in color. Size 2.25x1.60. Data. Admiralty Bay, Alaska, June 22, 1898. Nest on a hummock of the tundra, near a small pool, lined with grass and down. Collector, B. A. Mcllhenny.
158. SPECTACLED EIDER. Arctonetta fischeri.
Range. Coast of Alaska from the Aleutians to Point Barrow.
Pale olive green
Like the rest of the true Eiders, this species is black beneath and mostly white above. The head is largely washed with sea green, leaving a large patch of white, narrowly bordered by black around each eye, thus resembling a pair of spectacles. The nests are made of grass and seaweed and lined with down; they are placed on the ground in clumps of grass or beneath overhanging stones. The five to nine eggs are an olive drab or greenish color. Size 2.70 x 1.85. Data. Point Barrow, Alaska, June 15, 1898. Six eggs. Nest of moss and down in a hollow in dry tundra. Collector, E. A. Mcllhenny.
159- NORTHERN EIDER. Somateria mollissima borealis.
Range. North Atlantic coast, breeding from Labrador to Greenland and wintering south to New England.
A large Duck similar to the next species, but with the base of the bill differing, as noted in the description of the following species, and with a more northerly distribution. The nesting habits are the same as those of the other Eiders. Six to ten eggs generally of a greenish drab color. Size 3. x 2,
160. EIDER. Somateria dresseri.
Range. Atlantic coast, breeding from Maine to Labrador and wintering south to Delaware.
This species differs from the preceding only in the fleshy part of the base of the bill, which extends back on each side of the forehead, it being broad and rounded in this species and narrow and
pointed in the Northern or Greenland Eider. This species, but more especially the Northern Eider, are the ones chiefly used for the eider-down of commerce. The preceding species is often semidomesticated in Greenland, the people protecting Eider them and encouraging them to nest in the neigh- Pacific Eider borhood. They make their nests of seaweed and grass and warmly line it with down from their
breast; this down is continually added to the nest during incubation until there is a considerable amount in each nest, averaging about an ounce in weight. The birds are among the strongest of the sea ducks and get their food in very deep water. Their flesh is not good eating. Their eggs number from five to ten and are greenish drab. Size 3. x 2.
161. PACIFIC EIDER. Somateria v-nigra.
Range. North Pacific from the Aleutian Islands northward, and east to Great Slave Lake.
This bird is, in plumage, like the Northern Eider, except that it has a black V-shaped mark on the throat. They nest sparingly on the Aleutian Islands, but in great numbers farther north on the coast about Point Barrow. Their habits, nests and eggs are precisely the same as those of the eastern forms. Their eggs number from five to ten and are of olive greenish color. Size 3. x 2. Data. Cape Smythe, Alaska, June 8, 1900. Eight eggs. Nest a hollow in the moss, lined with grass and down.
THE BIRD BOOK
162. KING EIDER. Somateria spectabilis.
Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in America from Labrador to Greenland and the Arctic Ocean; south in winter to the New England States and rarely farther on the eastern side, and to the Aleutians on the Pacific; also casually to the Great Lakes in the interior.
A handsome and very different species from any of the foregoing, having the crown ashy blue, and the long scapulars black instead of white. It also has a broad V-shaped mark on the throat. Like all the other Eiders, the female is mottled brown and black, the different species being very difficult to separate. The nests are sunk in the ground and lined with down. Eggs number from six to ten. Size 2.80 x 1.80. Data. Point Barrow, Alaska, July 5, 1898. Five eggs. Nest a hollow in the moss on tundra lined with moss and down. Collector, E. A. Mcllhenny.
163. SCOTER. Oidemia americana.
Range. Northern North America, breeding from Labrador, the Hudson Bay region and the Aleutien Islands northward; winters south to Virginia, the Great Lakes and California.
Scoters or "Coots" as they are generally called are sea ducks whose plumage is almost wholly black; they have fantastically colored and shaped bills. The American Scoter is entirely black without markings; base of bill yellow and orange. This species nest as do the Eiders, often concealing the nest, of grass and feathers, under some overhanging rock. They lay from six to ten eggs of a dingy buff color. Size 2.50 xl.70. Data. Mackenzie Bay, June 15, 1899. Ten eggs. Nest a hollow in the sand, lined with down.
[164.] VELVET SCOTER. Oidemia fusca.
An Old World species that has accidentally occurred in Greenland.
165. WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. Oidemia deglandi
Range. Abundant in North America, breeding from Labrador, North Dakota and British Columbia, northward. Wintering south to the Middle States, southern Illinois and southern California.
The largest of the Scoters, length 22 inches, distinguished by a large white speculum on the wing, also a white comet extending from under the eye backwards. It also has a yellow eye. Like the other Scoters, this species often feeds in very deep water. They are strong, active diving birds, and are also strong on the wing, generally flying close to the surface of the water. Their flesh is not regarded as good eating, although they are often sold for that purpose. They nest on the ground, generally in long grass or under low bushes making a coarse nest of grasses, and sometimes twigs, lined with feathers. They lay from five to eight eggs of a pale buff color. Size 2.75 x 1.85.
166. SURF SCOTER. Oidemia perspicillata.
<Range. Northern North America, breeding north of the United States boundary, and wintering south to Virginia and southern California.
The male of this species is entirely black, except for the white patches on the forehead and nape, and the vari-colored bill of black, white, pink and yellow. They nest either along the coast or in the interior, building a nest lined with down, in the marsh grass bordering small ponds. They lay from five to eight buffy cream colored eggs. Size 2.40 x 1.70. The females of all the Scoters are a dingy brownish color, but show the characteristic marking of the species, although the white is generally dull or sometimes mottled. Data. Mackenzie River, June 25, 1894. Six eggs in a nest of down on an island in the river.
THE BIRD BOOK
167. RUDDY DUCK. Erismatura jamaicensis.
Range. Whole of North America, breeding chiefly north of the United States border except locally on the Pacific coast. Winters along the Gulf and through Mexico and Central America.
This peculiar species may always be recognized by the brownish or chestnut upper parts, blackish crown, white cheeks and silvery white underparts. The bill is very stout and broad at the end, and the tail feathers are stiff and pointed like those
of a Cormorant. They build their nests in low marshy places, either placing them on the ground near the water or in the rushes ovei it. Their nests are made of rushes and grasses, sometimes lined and sometimes not, with down from the parents breast. The eggs number from six to twelve and are grayish in color. Size 2.40 x 1.75. Data. Northern Assiniboia, Canada, June 6, 1901. Eight eggs. Nest made of aquatic grasses, lined with down. Built in a tuft of rushes in a marsh. Collector, Walter Raine.
[168.] MASKED DUCK. Nomonyx dominions.
This is a tropical species which is resident in Mexico, Central America and in the West Indies. It occurs in Mexico north to the lower Rio Grande Valley and has in three known instances strayed to northern United States. The general plumage is a rusty chestnut, mottled with blackish, it has a black face and throat, with white wing bars.
SNOW GOOSE. hyperboreus.
Range. North America west of the Mississippi Valley, breeding in northern Alaska and the Mackenzie River district.
This smaller species of the Snow Goose nests on islands in rivers along the arctic coast. The nest is a depression in the ground, lined with grasses and, occassionally down. They lay from four to eight eggs of a buffy or yellowish white color. Size 2.75 xl.75.
l69a. GREATER SNOW GOOSE.
Chen hyperboreus nivalis.
Range. Eastern North America, breeding in the Arctic regions and wintering chiefly on the Atlantic coast, south to Cuba.
Grayish White Lesser Snow Goose
This bird is like the preceding; except in size;
about thirty-six inches, instead of twenty-six inches in length as is the lesser variety. The entire plumage is white except for the black primaries. They construct their nests of grasses on the ground the same as the preceding variety. The eggs number from five to eight and are cream colored. Size 3.40x 2.40.
169.1. BLUE GOOSE. Chen ccerulescens.
Range. North America, principally in the interior, breeding from Hudson Bay northward and wintering along the Gulf coast.
This species may always be recognized by the entirely white head and neck, the body being grayish or bluish gray. They nest on the ground as do the other geese laying from four to eight eggs of a brownish buff color. Size 2.50 xl.75. Data Cape Bathurst, Arctic coast, June 29, 1899. Four eggs laid in a depression lined with grass, on an island. Collected with the parent bjrds by the Esquimaux.
THE BIRD BOOK
170. Ross's SNOW GOOSE. Chen rossi.
Range. This beautiful species, which is similar in plumage to the large Snow Goose, is but twenty-one inches in length. It breeds in the extreme north, and in winter is found in the western part of the United States as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. Their nesting habits and eggs probably do not differ from others in the family except in the matter of size.
[171.] WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. Anser albifrons albifrons.
This European species is exactly like the American except that it is said to average a trifle smaller. It is occasionally found in Greenland.
171a. AMERICAN WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. Anser albifrons gambeli.
Range. Whole of North America, breeding in the Arctic regions and wintering south to the Gulf coast; not common on the Atlantic coast during migrations.
These birds may be recognized by their mottled plumage, dark head and white forehead. This species is more abundant than any of the preceding and nests in large colonies along the arctic coast and in Alaska. Their nests are made of dried grasses, feathers and down and are placed on the ground in a slight depression. From four to nine eggs are laid; these have a dull buff ground. Size 3.00x2.05. Date. Island in delta of Mackenzie River, June 10, 1&99. Pour eggs. Nest of grass and feathers on the ground on a small island. Collector, Rev. I. O. Stringer.
[171-1.] BEAN GOOSE. Anser fabalis.
This European spocies is casually found in Greenland. It is one of the most ccmmon of the Old World Species.
CANADA GOOSE. canadensis.
Range. The whole of North America, breeding from northern United States northward, and wintering in the southern parts of the United States.
This species is the most widely known of American Geese and is the most abundant. Its familiar "honk" has long been regarded as the signal of the coming of spring, and the familiar V-shaped formation in which the flocks migrate is always an object of interest to everyone. With the exception of in North Dakota and Minnesota, they breed chiefly north of the United States. They construct quite a large nest of weeds and grass, and warmly line it with down and feath.ers. They lay from four to nine eggs of a buff or drab color. Size about 3.50x2.50. Data. Ellingsars Lake, North Dakota, May 18, 1896. Five eggs. Nest on an island in the lake, constructed of weeds and trash, and lined with a few feathers. Collector, Edwin S. Bryant.
172a. HUTCHINS GOOSE. Branta canadensis hutchinsi.
This sub-species is like the preceding except that it is smaller, thirty inches in length. It is a western variety, breeding in Alaska and along the Arctic coast and wintering to southern California. Its breeding habits, nests and eggs are the same as the common goose except that the eggs are smaller. Sibe 3.00 x 2.05.
172b. WHITE-CHEEKED GOOSE. Branta canadensis occidentalis.
This bird is about the same size as the Canada Goose and the plumage is very similar except that the black sometimes extends on the throat, thereby isolating the white cheek patches, and there is a white collar below the back of the neck. It is a western species, breeding in Alaska and wintering along the Pacific coast of the United States. Its nesting habits and eggs are same as those of the Canada Goose except that the latter are a trifle smaller.
I72c. CACKLING GOOSE. Branta canadensis minima.
This bird is really a miniature of the Canada Goose, being but twenty-four inches in length. It breeds in Alaska and along the Arctic coast and migrates into the western parts of the United States. They are abundant birds in their breeding range, where they place their nests upon the shores of ponds, or on islands in inland rivers or lakes. The nests are made of weeds and grasses, lined with down. The eggs which are buff colored, number from four to nine and are laid during June and July. Size 2.30 x 1.95.
173. BRANT. Branta bernicla glaucogastra.
Range. Eastern North America, breeding in the Arctic regions and wintering in the United States east of the Mississippi.
The Brant resembles a small Canada Goose, except that the black of the neck extends on the breast, and only the throat is white. They are one of the favorite game birds and thousands are shot every fall and spring. Their nests and eggs are the same as the next species.
174. BLACK BRANT. Branta nigricans.
Range. Western North America, breeding in Alaska and wintering on the Pacific coast of the United States. Rare east of the Mississippi.
Brant Black Brant
This species is like the last except that the black extends on the under parts. This species nests very abundantly in northern Alaska, laying their eggs in a depression in the ground, lined with down. Favorite locations are the many small islets in ponds and small lakes. They lay from four to eight grayish colored eggs. Size 2.80 x 1.75. Data. Cape Bathurst, North West Territory, Junes 22, 1901. Seven eggs in a small hollow in the ground, lined with down. Collector, Capt. H. H. Bodfish.
THE BIRD BOOK
[175.] BARNACLE GOOSE. Branta leucopsis.
This Old World species occurs frequently in Greenland and very rarely is found on the mainland of this continent.
176. EMPEROR GOOSE. Philacte canagica.
Range. Alaska, south in winter casually to California.
This handsome species is twenty-six inches in length; it may be known from the mottled or "scaly" appearance of the body, and the white head with a black chin and throat. While not uncommon in restricted localities, this may be considered as one of the most rare of North American Geese. Their nests are built upon the ground and do not differ from those of other geese. They lay from three to seven eggs of a dull buff color. Size 3.10x2.15. Data. Stuart Island, Alaska, June 16, 1900. Six eggs laid in a slight hollow in the ground, lined with a few feathers and some down. Collector, Capt. H. H. Bodfish.
Egg of Canada Goose Buffy drab 112
177. BLACK-BELLIED TREE-DUCK. cygna autumnalis.
Range. Tropical America, north in the Rio Grande Valley to southern Texas.
These peculiar long-legged Ducks are very abundant in southern Texas during the summer months. They build their nests in hollow trees, often quite a distance from the water. They lay their eggs upon the bottom of the cavity with only a scant lining, if any, of feathers and down. They are very prolific breeders, raising two broods in a season, each set of eggs containing from ten to twenty. These eggs are creamy or pure white, size 2.05 x 1.50. The first set is laid during the latter part of April or early in May, and fresh eggs may be found as late as July. They are especially abundant about Brownsville and Corpus Christi, Texas. Data. Hidalgo, Mexico, May 29, 1900. Ten eggs in a hole in an old elm tree on side of lake in big woods near town. Eight feet from the ground. Collector, F. B. Armstrong.
Black-bellied Tree duck
FULVOUS TREE-DUCK. Dendrocygna bicolor.
Range. This species is tropical like the last, but the summer range is extended to cover, casually the whole southwestern border of the United States.
This bird is long-legged like the last, but the plumage is entirely different, being of a general rusty color, including the entire under parts. The nesting habits and eggs are the same as those of the Black-bellied Duck, the white eggs being laid at the bottom of a cavity in a tree. They number from eight to (in one instance) thirty-two eggs in one nest. This species is nearly as abundant as the preceding in southern Texas.
THE BIRD BOOK
[179-] WHOOPER SWAN. Olor cygnus.
This European variety frequently is found in Greenland and formerly, regularly bred there. It nests in secluded swampy places in northern Europe.
180. WHISTLING SWAN. Olor columbianus.
Range. North America, breeding in the Arctic Circle, and wintering south to the Gulf of Mexico.
These birds, which are nearly five feet in length, are snow white with the exception of the black bill and feet. The Whistling Swan is distinguished from the next species by the presence of a small yellow spot on either side Df the bill near its base. Their nests are made of a large mass of rubbish, weeds, grass, moss, feathers and occasionally a few sticks. It is generally placed in a somewhat marshy place in the neighborhood of some isolated pond. The eggs are of a greenish or brownish buff color, and number from three to six. Size 4.00 x 2.75. Data. Mackenzie River. Nest a mass of weeds, sods and grass, lined with feathers; on an island near the mouth of the river. Collector, I. O. Stringer.
181. TRUMPETER SWAN. Olor buccinator.
Range. Interior of North America from the Gulf of Mexico northward, breeding from northern United States northward.
This is a magnificent bird, about five and one-half feet in length. Its plumage is exactly like that of the preceding except that the bill is entirely black, and the nostral is located nearer the eye. Their nesting habits and eggs are the same as those of the Whistling Swan. While a few pairs may breed within the United States by far the greater number are found in the extreme north, from Hudson Bay to Alaska. The eggs may average a trifle larger than those of the preceding species.