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ORDER PERCHING BIRDS
*The numbers in parentheses are taken from the Check-List of the American Ornithologists' Union.
1. *(766) BLUEBIRD
A summer resident, quite common. A party of us saw one March 7, 1915, but the regular time of arrival is about March 20. It remains till the first of November and stragglers are seen even later. The bluebird is a good fighter. It spends much time peeping here and there for nesting places. Two broods are reared. While the robin's spring note is the first for the city, the bluebird is usually seen a morning or two earlier in the country. Its note is a welcome sound on that March morning when the "earth tinge on his breast and the sky tinge on his back" give us the first color of spring as he flies from "post to post." That rich contralto warble often heard in the air before the bird is seen, is associated with early spring. Burroughs says its song expresses love. After it changes the first love song to one of only three notes, the "de-a-rie" is poured forth with that richness of quality peculiar to the bluebird. About April 20 it settles down to housekeeping and the song is heard less. In the autumn its notes have that sweet plaintiveness quite in keeping with the season.
2. (761) AMERICAN ROBIN
A very abundant summer resident. Not all that are seen during the spring migration remain. Some go farther north for the summer and reappear on their way south in the autumn. It arrives from the 18th to 27th of March and departs the last of October, though stragglers may be seen later, occasionally in the winter. April 3, 1917, a pair commenced building a nest on a porch of one of the houses near the city. Two or three broods are reared each season.
I do not know as it is universal, but in many cases the males go every night to roosting places and as soon as a brood can fly they take the young to these roosts.
Burroughs says there is something military in the robin's song. Its first spring note in March awakes us to the realization that spring is here. Because of its democratic and neighborly ways the robin's note is known to every one. Probably most of us remember learning from a mother the joy of that early spring song.
In midsummer it loses its loquacity, but even into autumn bursts forth now and then with the familiar strain. In October I have heard a flock uttering their "laughing" song, a "cheery call full of joy and vivacity" as they fed on the mountain ash berries as if it were their last play time before leaving for the south.
The name was given by the Pilgrims. After the terrible winter of 1620-21 these "red-breasted" birds appeared at Plymouth reminding the people so much of the English robin that they called them robins. From that day till now this thrush has been called the American Robin.
3. (759b) HERMIT THRUSH
During my student days when gathering botany specimens a sweet, solitary song was heard as the evening shadows fell. I kept wondering what bird I enjoyed so much till a friend well versed in ornithology told me it was the Hermit Thrush, and there began my bird-study.
A summer resident. Although it sometimes nests near the city, we must go to the woodland for its real home. The earliest date of arrival that I have is April 16. By the 19th we expect to hear their song if the weather is mild. In September individuals begin to migrate from farther north and depart by the first of November, my latest date being November 1.
This most exquisite of songsters keeps in tune till about August 12, which indicates the rearing of two broods. The last time I listened to the thrush was August 14, 1917, as we walked through an evergreen growth. It was nearly sunset and no other song was heard. The spirituality of its tones affected me as always, for almost unconsciously I was walking through the wood with bowed head.
One morning in early June as my sister and I were on our way to friends who live near a woodsy place, we heard a hermit singing. After searching we were surprised to
see one perched on a trolley wire. We stood entranced when we saw him so near and there we watched and listened. He sang in the contralto register, then in the mezzo, and finally in that register so high that one must be near to catch it.
How my whole being was thrilled, for he sang to me as Burroughs says "Oh spheral, spheral! O holy, holy!" I had had my spiritual uplift for the day. The impression made on me that he sang to his Maker has been expressed by Van Dyke: "A hermit-hymn poured out for God to hear!"
Another impression that he was singing to his mate is expressed in the same poem:
"Little love, too, forever, ever near,
Warm love, earth love, tender love of mine,
In the leafy dark where you hide,
You are mine — mine — mine!"
He certainly sang for no applause, for on seeing us he flew to the ground uttering that harsh "peet," his note of alarm.
He has several other call-notes, some of which seem too harsh for so sweet a singer.
The vesper hymn of the hermit is the last song of the day and in mid-summer, when the robin has lost some of its exuberance, it "opens the matutinal chorus" at early dawn.
Mathews says: "One must hear the melody in order to fully appreciate its subtle beauty; the song is charming because of its spirituality of tone and its depth of expression."
4. (758a) OLIVE-BACKED THRUSH
A migrant; not common. The earliest date of arrival that I have is May 19. It stops a few days or a week, then goes farther north. In autumn it reappears from the middle of September to the first of October on its way south. I have seen one September 16 and one was found nearly dead October 16. It has been known to nest in this vicinity. Its song "sweet, clear and liquid" is a combination of the hermit's and veery's. During the migration of 1915 we were privileged to hear the song.
5. (756) WILSON'S THRUSH; VEERY
A common summer resident. Arrives early in May, the first date I have is May 12, but it has been reported earlier. It is never much in evidence till after the middle of the month as no song is heard till the birds have been here a few days. The song period practically ends the last of July. I have never seen this thrush after September 20, but it has been reported later. According to Chapman, the song represents the word vee-ry repeated several times around a series of intertwining circles.
Dyke was evidently a great admirer of the veery for in 1895 he wrote
the following poem:
The moonbeams over Arno's vale in silver flood were pouring,
When first I heard the nightingale a long-lost love deploring:
So passionate, so full of pain, it sounded strange and eerie,
I longed to hear a simpler strain, the wood-notes of the veery.
The laverock sings a bonny lay, above the Scottish heather,
It sprinkles from the dome of day like light and love together;
He drops the golden notes to greet his brooding mate, his dearie;
I only know one song more sweet, the vespers of the veery.
In English gardens green and bright, and rich in fruity treasure,
I've heard the blackbird with delight repeat his merry measure;
The ballad was a lively one, the tune was loud and cheery,
And yet with every setting sun I listened for the veery.
O far away, and far away, the tawny thrush is singing,
New England woods at close of day with that clear chant are ringing;
And when my light of life is low, and heart and flesh are weary,
I fain would hear, before I go, the wood-notes of the veery.
— Henry Van Dyke.
When I read this poem I feel that Van Dyke could never have known the song of the hermit thrush as we hear it in its nesting places.
6. (755) WOOD THRUSH
Extremely rare; apparently only an accidental visitor. I have never seen this species but during some spring migrations it has been seen in the country by reliable observers. Its regular place of nesting is south of Maine.
7. (749) RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET
Abundant during the spring and autumn migration. April 17 is my earliest date of spring arrival, but it has been reported earlier. It is seen for nearly a month before proceeding farther north. Returns the last of September and is quite plentiful during the middle of October. My latest date of seeing one is November I. Chapman says its song is mellow and flute-like, "loud enough to be heard several yards; an intricate warble past imitation or description and rendered so admirably that I never hear it now without feeling an impulse to applaud." Audubon first met this bird in Labrador. After a specimen had been taken and he held it in his hand he exclaimed "And so this is the tiny body of the songster from which came the loud notes I heard!" He writes of its canary-like notes that are more beautiful than those of the canary. I never watch the tiny singer but I think what a wonderful throat he has to pour forth such beautiful music. Its song may be heard in the autumn.
8. (748) GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET
A spring and autumn migrant. It arrives the same as the preceding species but does not tarry so long before going north. Occasionally one is seen in the deep woods in winter sometimes in the company of chickadees. In the autumn it is most in evidence during October. My latest date of observation is November
The song is insignificant.
9. (740) HUDSONIAN CHICKADEE
A rare accidental fall and winter visitant from the north. I saw one October 29, 1916, and others were seen about that time. It had been reported one year before. Its song is much like the "black cap" only more "babyish."
10. (735) BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE
A permanent resident. In September they leave the woods and their familiar notes may be heard in our orchards and gardens near the city, where a few are seen all winter except in extremely cold weather. In February we hear their sweet phe-be (this note may be heard in all the winter months if the weather is mild) reminding us spring is coming. Later they return to the woods for the summer.
"Thy call in spring,
As 'twould accost some frivolous wing,
Crying out of the hazel copse, Phe-be!
And in winter, Chic-a-dee-dee!
In March and even later a beautiful warble song may be heard. Our most common winter bird, renowned for its sociability, for when we are in the woods it always sings for us. It frequently comes to our homes and feeds from our hands. After a ramble through the pines in late November with a literary friend, she described the chickadees in a nature editorial as making "music like somebody rubbing a finger over a fine silver wire."
It is to be presumed in the case of birds called permanent residents that they are not represented by the same individuals the entire year as many of our summer residents go south while others come here from the north for the winter.
11. (728) RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH
A permanent resident; more abundant in the spring and in autumn. During the vernal migration it is more in evidence in early May. In September it leaves the wood and we hear the "yank yank" in our gardens and trees along the city streets.
12. (727) WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH
Resident all the year; most common in autumn. In the spring I see it in May, but October is the month associated with this nuthatch, for I am reminded of the first time I met with it. One crisp, sunshiny October morning we saw that blue, gray and white color scheme running down a tree trunk at the entrance of Riverside Cemetery and it followed us with its "yank yank" to the bridge over the railroad.
13. (726) BROWN CREEPER
A spring and autumn migrant; may be seen during the winter. Arrives April 10 and after. Some years quite common and seen till the last of May. It returns in late September (once I saw one in August) and disappears by November. A party of us saw and heard one at Riverside Cemetery January 24, 1915. The song is a fine siz. In spring a tiny warble is sometimes added.
14. (722) WINTER WREN
A rare migrant. Seen in the vernal migration from the middle to last of April and in autumn during October and November. My fall date is October 6 and I heard one sing April 29. The song is one of the most brilliant and surprising of all our songsters. Wilcox says it is "exquisite and brilliant, one of the rarest of our sylvan melodies." There is a quality that reminds me of the song of the ruby-crowned kinglet and also of a sylvan strain of the Canadian warbler.
15. (721) HOUSE WREN
A summer resident. Usually arrives about the middle of May.
It has been a very irregular resident in this locality. Some years ago they were here, then followed several seasons when none were seen. As birds return to the same locality, we could explain their absence from Lewiston only in one way, that ours were lost in their migration. In the summers of 1914-15-16 a few pairs nested either in Lewiston or Auburn. During the summer of 1917 the song of several house wrens was one of the pleasures of bird-lovers. We hope they will continue to visit us for a house wren in the garden, the good fortune of one of my friends, is a great delight. The interpretation by one of our devoted bird-lovers of the song of the wren was that its throat bubbled over with music. One May morning we heard just such a song and following the sound had our introduction to a house wren. It has also a scolding note. I have heard one singing as late as September 14, but the regular song period closes the latter part of August. Two broods are reared. The latest I have seen this species is September 16, although it has been reported later.
THRASHERS AND MOCKINGBIRDS
16. (705) BROWN THRASHER
A common summer resident. The earliest date of arrival I have is April 27. It remains into September, my latest date being September 12, but it has been reported as late as September 30. Its song is "loud, rich and wonderfully varied," said to consist of twenty-two distinct phrases. Audubon says it "mounts the topmost twig of a detached tree" where it will sing for hours at a time, "several cadences, all so full of sweetness and melody." While the song period ends the last of July another bird-lover and I were surprised to hear one sing August 31, 1916, as we enjoyed an early morning walk.
"He sings each song twice over
Lest you should think he never could recapture
That first fine careless rapture!"
17. (704) CATBIRD
A common summer resident. My earliest date of its arrival is May 9; a few days later is when we usually expect it. The latest I have seen this species is October 10. It is the only mockingbird in the north. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the song from that of the brown thrasher, yet, if one stops to listen closely, he will discover that the catbird's song is less varied. It pours forth its music from a lower limb on a bush. I have heard one sing in the night. Its name is from the call-note resembling the mew of a cat. The song is heard less frequently after the last of July.
18. (703) MOCKINGBIRD
I have never seen a Mockingbird, but one was in the city during a winter. It was observed taking spiders from their nests under the eaves of one of the houses. There was a mystery where it could have come from as its feathers or plumage showed no signs of having been kept in a cage.
One was about Portland during the winter of 1917.
19. (697) AMERICAN PIPIT; TITLARK
A rare migrant usually seen in the autumn near and on plowed ground from the last of September to the first of November. My only date is October 21, 1917.
20. (687) AMERICAN REDSTART
A very common summer resident. May 9 is the earliest I have seen this species and it remains into September. 1 heard one sing September 4 and saw a few September 14. Blanchan's interpretation of the song is "Zee-zee-zeet!" Sometimes I have heard a warble song.
21. (686) CANADIAN WARBLER
A fairly common migrant; occasionally nests in this neighborhood. Arrives the middle of May (May 19 the earliest date I have recorded) and may be found for two weeks. If the season is backward I have seen this warbler migrating the first week in June. Its autumnal flight is early — the last of August or first of September. One of my most interesting experiences with the songs of birds was during an afternoon in May. As we walked along a country road, we heard a most beautiful song in a brush heap. I went through tangle and underbrush to reach the spot but found no bird. Silently it had stolen away. But I must know what bird could sing like that, and a few days later a party of us went to the bird retreat. We had scarcely reached the place when that jubilant outburst of sylvan melody greeted our ears, so like a canary but more beautiful and as Chapman says, sweet, loud and spirited. One member of the party crawled cautiously down over old tree trunks, undergrowth and damp places. Soon I caught a glimpse in a nearby tree of the necklace of a Canadian warbler singing the song familiar to me. This gave a suggestion and I passed the word along. Soon the reply came back, "Yes, it's the Canadian for I saw the gray back as the bird sang." What a victory we had achieved on this ramble only those who have had the experience can know!
I hear this warbler's song into August which is later than most sing.
22. (6 8 5) WILSON'S WARBLER,
A migrant, some years very rare and some years quite a few are seen from about May 20 till the first of June. One year I saw it as late as June 1. One of the first warblers to return from the north during the autumnal migration. It is seldom seen later than the first of September. Hoffman says its song suggests that of the Yellow Warbler; "it is briefer, less lively, and ends in some rapidly delivered notes." A very restless little bird, difficult to observe.
23. (681) MARYLAND YELLOW-THROAT
A common summer resident. Sometimes seen the first of May but the usual time of arrival is the middle of the month. It remains till the latter part of September, my latest date of seeing one being September 30. I have heard its "witchity-witchity-witchity" till into August. In the autumn I have seen this species on dry places under trees. It is one of the warblers that rears two broods and generally nests on the ground, using the coarsest material of any warbler.
24. (679) MOURNING WARBLER
A very rare migrant. I saw one June 24, 1917, in the southerly part of Turner. Whether its being there at that time indicated that it was nesting or had been left behind, I am unable to say. It is reported by one bird observer to be here with the warbler migration arriving from the middle to the last of May.
25. (678) CONNECTICUT WARBLER
I have never seen this warbler but reliable observers have reported it mostly during the autumnal migration in September. Possibly it may be found in the vernal migration.
26. (675) WATER-THRUSH; WATER WAGTAIL
A rather rare migrant. It arrives the first of May (May 5 my earliest date) and departs in September. Knight reports seeing it as late as September 25. I have found it nesting in the southern part of Turner where I always hear a loud, clear, rollicking warble near a brook, louder than any other bird song in that location. The bird is seldom seen but I hear the song as late as the first of August. It is a walker, wading in shallow water and constantly wagging its tail. Nearly every spring some bird-student sees one at Jepson's brook in Riverside Cemetery, but its stay in this vicinity is always brief.
27. (674) OVEN-BIRD; GOLDEN-CROWNED THRUSH
A somewhat common summer resident. May 9 and September 17 are the earliest and latest dates that I have observed one, but it has been reported later in the autumn.
It usually sings from a high limb. At other times it may be seen walking over dry leaves or along some low limb. The song ceases the latter part of July.
Its loud song, Teacher, TEACHER, TEACHER, reminds me of a perfect crescendo. One morning we heard an oven-bird sing teacher and instead of completing the crescendo sing such a lovely strain that others of the party declared it was the purple finch. A few days later my nephew asked what bird it was that began its song like the oven-bird but ended it differently. His question set me investigating. I found Burroughs called it his love song. Chapman says, "If there be such a thing as inspiration I believe the oven-bird sings under its influence," and quotes Mr. Bicknell, "he bursts forth with a wild outpouring of intricate and melodious song," the very force of which carries him up into the air among the tree tops. This was the song we heard that spring morning though it is usually sung at evening.
28. (672a) YELLOW-PALM WARBLER; YELLOW REDPOLL
A migrant; some years very common. Our first warbler to arrive in the vernal migration and the last, excepting a few myrtles, to leave in the autumn. It may be seen from April 12 to the first of May. It reappears in the autumn from the last of September to the last of October, my latest date being October 28. It seldom sings in migration but one spring we were favored with a few trills and a warble at the end of the tiny song
29. (671) PINE WARBLER; PINE CREEPING WARBLER
A somewhat common summer resident. Arrives just after mid-April, my earliest record being April 19. Usually the second warbler to be seen during the spring migration. It is found mostly in pine trees where it sings those trills so much like the Chipping Sparrow. During the first days after arrival, it may be found on the ground and creeping over tree trunks. I have seen one as late as October 5, but the greater number migrate in September. It sings less towards the last of July, but I have heard the song in mid-September.
30. (667) BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER
A summer resident in evergreen growth; more abundant in the spring and autumn migrations. Arrives early in May, the earliest I have seen one being May 7. It is quite numerous till after the middle of the month and I have seen it on David's Mountain the first of June. In September it is much in evidence again. My latest date of seeing one is October 10.
Its song is a drawling, wheezy tone with a musical note in the middle of the strain. When I hear its pastoral music, I feel like saying, the oboe of the sylvan orchestra.
As most warblers rear but one brood the song period is brief and by the last of June there is a change in their songs and family life, but this species is one of the warblers that sings well into the summer.
31. (662) BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER
A somewhat rare migrant; occasionally nests in this locality. I saw one just north of Lake Auburn in nesting time. My record gives the earliest date of arrival as May 19, but it has been reported earlier. The cold spring of 1917 none were seen till the last days of May, so that I saw one on David's Mountain that year as late as June 7. From my observation this warbler enjoys the tip end of an evergreen tree. One of the most interesting sights was this color scheme of black, white and grey on the back and the beautiful orange of the throat, performing acrobatic feats on the tiptop of a spruce. The declining June sun shining on bird and tree made a good subject for an artist.
32. (661) BLACK-POLL WARBLER
A somewhat common migrant. The last warbler to arrive during the vernal migration. It may be seen after May 20, but is more numerous the last days of May and first of June. About the middle of September flocks of these warblers reappear in changed plumage of greenish streaked with black above and yellowish underneath. They usually leave by the last of September, my latest date being September 28. The song is an insignificant metallic tsee, tsee.
33. (660) BAY-BREASTED WARBLER
A rare migrant; more common in 1916 and 1917. It. arrives the last of May, my earliest record being May 26, but it has been seen earlier. In the autumn it may be found during September. A reliable observer saw one in Riverside Cemetery August 13, 1916, indicating an early move southward. To an enthusiastic bird-student nothing is so alluring as the quest for a rare bird. There is no rest for the eager pursuer till the bird is seen. This was my experience with the Bay-breasted Warbler till the spring migration of 1915 when the pursuit was ended.
34. (659) CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER
A summer resident arriving about the middle of May. It departs in September, my latest date being September 14. It has more varied songs than any other warbler I have heard. One bird-lover has verified Mathew's interpretation, "I wish to see Miss Beecher." Its most common song begins like the yellow warbler and ends like the redstart. Their yellow crown patch, "snowy bosoms and pretty chestnut lacings" are a cheerful sight.
35. (657) MAGNOLIA WARBLER; BLACK AND YELLOW WARBLER
This beautiful warbler is a migrant with us seen chiefly during the spring migration. It occasionally nests in this vicinity. I have seen one as early as May 9 but the usual time of arrival is about the 20th and after. I have never found one during the autumnal flight, but Knight reports it as leaving in September. It has a warble song in early spring, but later the note is more like the sound of an insect.
36. (655) MYRTLE WARBLER; YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER
Our most common warbler during the spring and autumn migrations. A few nest here. It may be seen any time during the last week in April. In the autumn it reappears in flocks by mid-September. It is now in fall plumage, the principal marking being the yellow rump. It is the last warbler to migrate south, October 28 being my latest date. According to Knight a few have been seen along the coast during the winter months. In late November Professor Baird went to the lighthouse at Cape May to observe the migration. In the morning after a severe storm several hundred of these warblers were found dead.
The bird has several songs that keep the observer on the alert.
37. (654) BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER
A fairly common migrant. I saw one as early as May 9 but it is more in evidence later. A few may be seen till the last of the month.
The latest I have seen this warbler is September 6.
The song is "one of the most languid and unhurried sounds in all the woods." The resemblance to the droning of bees was impressed on me one beautiful June morning as I watched one on David's Mountain fly from low bush to low bush in the morning sunshine, all the time singing its characteristic hoarse song.
38. (652) YELLOW WARBLER; SUMMER YELLOWBIRD
A very common summer resident. Arrives first of May unless delayed as in the cold spring of 1917. Its "golden little body" may be seen fluttering through the shrubs and trees about our streets and homes which it enlivens with its familiar notes. It also frequents the shrubbery in wet places. I heard one sing as late as September 23 which was either a second song or a young male trying his voice. Nearly all have migrated before October.
39. (650) CAPE MAY WARBLER
An extremely rare migrant. May 27, 1916, I saw one and the college class saw a pair. A few were seen in 1917, so it may become more common.
40. (648a) NORTHERN PARULA WARBLER
Chiefly a common migrant. Arrives the first of May (May 7 my earliest date) and tarries two weeks. Occasionally one is seen the last of the month. Its nest made in usnea is found in swampy places, Sabattus Pond being a favorite spot. It begins to move southward the last of August and many are seen from the middle to the last of September.
41. (647) TENNESSEE WARBLER
A migrant that has become quite common in the spring migration. It usually arrives the last of May, but is occasionally reported earlier. It has been remarked as a very rare occurrence for birds of like genus to resemble each other so nearly in song as does this warbler and the Nashville. Reed calls it "a simple ditty similar to that of the "Chipping Sparrow." It has been known to nest in this locality.
42. (645) NASHVILLE WARBLER
A somewhat common summer resident. The earliest I have seen this warbler is May 7. One was in Auburn September 25, 1917, probably about the last to migrate.
Its song resembles that of the yellow warbler.
43. (636) BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER
A common summer resident arriving the last of April. Its song reminds me of the "filing tone" of a saw. I have seen one as late as September 16 and it has been reported the last of September.
44. (629) BLUE-HEADED VIREO; SOLITARY VIREO OR GREENLET
A migrant; not very common. It has been known to nest in this neighborhood. It is the first vireo to arrive during the vernal migration, the earliest date I have being May 6. The song has some quality of the Red-eye but is more varied and musical. I hear this vireo in nesting time at South Turner. In the autumn I have seen it migrating from the middle of September to October 7.
45. (628) YELLOW-THROATED VIREO OR GREENLET
A somewhat common summer resident. Arrives early in May (my earliest date May 9).
Sometimes its harsh note is heard in the shade trees along the street as well as in the open wood. Coues says 'The hanging basket in which the Greenlet cradles its hopes is one of the most beautiful of the pensile structures which birds of this family fabricate, being elegantly stuccoed with lichens, like a Humming-bird's." It has a beautiful fringe of birch bark. I have heard the song as late as September 12 and the latest I have seen the bird is September 14.
46. (627) WARBLING VIREO OR GREENLET
A rather common summer resident in the elm trees along the city streets. Cones describes them as "gentle, silvery-tongued creatures." Its song is a true warble varying but little through the day. It is easily confused with that of the purple finch but is less varied and not so rich in quality. It arrives early in May, my earliest record being May 9, but it is more common a few days later.
I heard one sing September 18 which was its second song just before departing.
47. (626) PHILADELPHIA VIREO OR GREENLET
I have never seen this vireo, for it is an extremely rare summer resident. One of our best authorities on birds has discovered it nesting here and has also heard its song.
48. (624) RED-EYED VIREO OR GREENLET
A very common summer resident. The last of the family to arrive. Usually seen the latter part of May, but one year it was observed May 19. It is found in every piece of high, open woods. Its song is heard day after day in the shade trees. All day and all summer it repeats over and over the same few notes. I have heard the song as late as September 10. A bird lover who keeps a back yard list saw it on her lawn after the middle of September, 1917.
49. (622e) MIGRANT SHRIKE
According to the A. O. U. check list the Loggerhead Shrike is found in the south and the one that is here in the summer is the Migrant. A rather rare summer resident; smaller than the following species. Hoffman says the Northern Shrike is here between October and April, consequently it is safe to call one seen in other months the Migrant. It builds a large and conspicuous nest. The spring I saw it we were favored with a few musical strains, but its call-notes are harsh.
50. (621) NORTHERN SHRIKE; BUTCHER BIRD
A winter resident; not common. It arrives from the north during October and returns the first of April. Occasionally it sings even in the winter, but more often in February and March a medley of harsh calls interspersed with some sweet notes suggesting the song of the Catbird. It perches on the top of some tree or bush. Nuttall speaks of its mimicking other birds so that in some parts of New England it has been called a Mockingbird. He also heard one "employed in a low and soft warble" and one of our bird-lovers has heard this performance in the trees near her home as well as the notes resembling the Catbird's song. April 5, 1917, I heard one mimicking grackles. Its usual note is harsh and grating.
51. (619) CEDAR WAXWING CHERRY BIRD
A summer resident. Occasionally a few are seen in the winter or early spring. The migrants arrive the last of May. The earliest date I have is May 20. It nests one of the latest of our summer residents, the latter part of June or first of July, and often rears two broods. The song is a lisping note. October 9, 1917, I saw a small flock evidently preparing to go south.
52. (616) BANK SWALLOW
A very abundant summer resident where there are sand banks. It has been reported at Lake Auburn as early as April 19, but I never see it at the nesting places near Riverside Cemetery till the first of May. In August it gathers with other swallows at roosting places and departs the first of September.
53. (614) TREE SWALLOW; WHITE-BELLIED SWALLOW
A summer resident; the first of the family to come. It may be seen the middle of April and departs in September. It builds its nest in holes of trees, and in the bird boxes near our homes. One July 15 we saw a family scattered over the branches of an old apple tree taking life very easily. Soon they would be flocking with others of their kindred. The songs of all swallows except the martins are twitterings but this species sometimes indulges in a tiny warble.
54. (613) BARN SWALLOW
An abundant summer resident about barns. Arrives any time on and after April 19. In company with other swallows it is seen "fringing" the telegraph wires in August and by early September it is migrating. Occasionally a few are here later and one year a "left behind" was seen in December.
55. (612) EAVE SWALLOW; CLIFF SWALLOW
A summer resident nesting under the eaves of buildings. In the west the nests are on the cliffs. It arrives early in May and leaves the first of September.
56. (611) PURPLE MARTIN
A common summer resident nesting only in "martin" houses in this vicinity. Arrives the middle of April. Its animated musical chatter may often be heard in the morning earlier than the robin's song. It usually leaves the houses in August and flocks in company with other swallows till the first of September when nearly all migrate. As is characteristic of the family a pair may remain later to rear young, either a second brood or a brood to take the place of one that may have been destroyed.
I have heard the song as late as September 15.
57. (608) SCARLET TANAGER
The most of the Tanagers we see are migrants, but occasionally one nests in this vicinity. I have seen it at Mt. Apatite and near the Auburn-Turner boundary. It may be expected about May 20. I shall long remember one May morning when a party of us were looking for birds near Riverside Cemetery. Suddenly one, with the keenest eyes of our observers, exclaimed, "The Scarlet Tanager!"
In a short time everyone within the sound of our voices had seen the brilliant bird that awakens activity among bird lovers. Before night probably nearly every one knew that the tanager was here and all interested were out in full force the next morning to find it. Perhaps they were successful in their search and possibly it was not seen again, for some years its stay is brief. Each spring the same excitement is repeated when some one observes the only bird we have with the tropical plumage. During spring migrations it has been known to be on David's Mountain several days in succession. The song, a burst of rich, sweet melody, is the quality of the robin's, but more brief.
FINCHES, SPARROWS, ETC.
58. (598) INDIGO BUNTING
A somewhat rare summer resident. Arrives the last of May. This charming bird, a study in blue, sings its vivacious song hour after hour even through the intense heat of a summer day, perched upon a wire or top of a low tree.
I have heard it as late as the middle of August, the bird having kept in song since its arrival.
59. (595) ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK
Summer resident. I have seen one as early as May 10, but it is more common later. The passage south is in September, the 14th being my latest date. It sings till the last of July, a song similar to that of the robin — somewhat less varied, using the same strain over and over.
60. (587) TOWHEE; CHEWINK
A rare summer resident. This is about the northern limit of its migration. I have seen these birds at Mt. Apatite and along the Turner Road in North Auburn. It appears early in May (May 7 my earliest date) and departs late in September. It sings occasionally as late as the first of September and I have heard its call-note September 25th. This is one of the birds that gave me more than one year of excursions for its identification.
61. (585) FOX SPARROW
A spring and autumn migrant. Some years it may be seen for two weeks after its arrival the last of March. Other years its stay may be brief. In autumn it is about the last migrant to return from the north, arriving here the last of October and departing the last of November. It has been known to sing during the fall migration.
I cannot forget hearing, one April morning after a rain, the beautiful whistles from a flock that had arrived during the night. Blanchan says it is the most welcome "glad surprise" of all the spring. Such a song at such a time, the bleak days of early spring, is enough to summon out of doors anybody with a musical ear. "His voice is loud, clear and melodious, his notes full, rich and varied."
62. (584) SWAMP SPARROW
A summer resident; not common. It arrives the first of April. I have heard it at Lake Auburn and Sabattus Pond. One might think that a chipping sparrow had chosen a home in the marshes, except that its song is louder and more musical.
63. (581) SONG SPARROW
A very common summer resident, one of the first spring arrivals, coming in full song. The earliest I know of one being seen is March 22. This sparrow sings more months in the year than any other bird — in wind and rain keeping the world cheerful. It is not unusual to see it in November and it has been found in the winter. I have never heard the song after October.
Dyke has described this singer so perfectly that I add here a few of
"There is a bird I know so well,
It seems as if he must have sung
Beside my crib when I was young;
• • • • •
He comes in March, when winds are strong,
And snow returns to hide the earth;
But still he warms his heart with mirth,
And waits for May. He lingers long
While flowers fade; and every day,
Repeats his small, contented lay,
As if to say, we need not fear
The season's change if love is here
• • • • •
I like the tune, I like the words;
They seem so true, so free from art,
So friendly, and so full of heart,
That if but one of all the birds
Could be my comrade everywhere,
My little brother of the air,
I'd choose the song-sparrow, my dear,
Because he'd bless me, every year,
With 'Sweet-sweet-sweet-very-merry-cheer.' "
One day in October a new song from the shrubbery near a brook caught my ear. I searched for the musician and found the familiar song sparrow with a new tune. I presume it is the song of an immature male for I hear that warble each autumn in the low places which the song sparrow frequents. I have heard one sing in the dusk of early morning when other birds were still sleeping.
64. (567) SLATE-COLORED JUNCO; SNOWBIRD
Chiefly a migrant. It has been known to nest on David's Mountain but the regular breeding ground is farther north. The spring passage is from the last of March to the first of May. In autumn it reappears in September, becomes abundant during October and departs in November. A few may be seen in winter.
While its song resembles that of the chipping sparrow, it is more musical.
65. (563) FIELD SPARROW
A summer resident, not common. May be seen any day after the middle of April. Flocks of these sparrows appear the latter part of September and nearly all have departed by the middle of October. The latest I have seen them is October 13. Minot says "No sounds are more refreshing on a warm afternoon of early summer, than those which they produce." Most writers speak of their wonderful evening song, but the morning song appeals most to me, being associated with bright sunshine, old pastures and breakfast out of doors.
The song, a few notes uttered high and leisurely, then running very rapidly toward the close, which is low and sweet, is heard till the last of August.
66. (560) CHIPPING SPARROW
A very abundant summer resident. Arrives any time after the middle of April. It may be seen in large flocks migrating the middle of September and nearly all leave in October. I have found one as late as November 14. Like the House Wren it is half domesticated. The song is so common that every one with any knowledge of birds is familiar with it. Occasionally one is heard in the night. The singing grows less and less after late July.
67. (559) TREE SPARROW; WINTER CHIPPY
A winter resident; one of the birds that frequents feeding stations. A straggler may be seen in September, but its regular period of arrival from the North is in October and November. It becomes more plentiful with the approach of spring and returns to its nesting ground in April.
My introduction to a flock of these birds was one winter afternoon as they came to a feeding place in Auburn. They lingered till after sunset, when they flew together toward the roseate hues of the February afterglow. I have spoken of its song in the chapter Spring Migration.
68. (558) WHITE-THROATED SPARROW
A summer resident. Arrives early in April, becomes plentiful after the middle of the month, continuing so till the latter part of May when the greater number go farther north. In the autumn large flocks reappear in October. A few remain till November and it may be seen in the winter. Its well-known song which has given it the name "Peabody-bird" is one of the sweetest notes of bird music. Winthrop Packard's interpretation, "Oh, happiness, happiness, happiness," appeals to me. The song which is varied by different individuals is so simple that one can whistle a good imitation. In autumn I have heard the most contented gem of song as it feeds under shrubbery. I have heard one at peep of dawn before darkness had lifted from the earth. Stewart Edward White speaks of hearing this bird during the night.
69. (554) WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW
A migrant; some years not common and others quite a few are seen. This aristocrat of the sparrow family arrives about May 10 and tarries a week or more before going north for the summer. It reappears in October for a short time before leaving. The song is similar in quality to the white-throats, but has fewer notes.
70. (542a) SAVANNA SPARROW
A somewhat common summer resident, arriving just after the middle of April. Its song which I have heard till the last of July is an insignificant warble ending with a grasshopper-like sound.
71. (540) VESPER SPARROW; BAY-WINGED BUNTING; GRASS FINCH
A fairly common summer resident, arriving about April 13th. I heard one sing at Mt. Apatite October 7. It has been seen in the winter. Burroughs describes the song of this musician of the Finch family as "two or three silver notes of peace and rest ending in some subdued trills and quavers." The tendency to sing at sundown has given it the poetic name of "vesper-bird." By the first of August this sparrow has become more quiet and I miss its evening song. It is difficult for a beginner to distinguish the song of this species from that of the song sparrow.
72. (536) LAPLAND LONGSPUR
I have never seen this bird, as it is an extremely rare winter visitant but several years ago it was observed in this vicinity. Two years ago it was seen in company with snow buntings and alone. Sometimes it is found in company with horned larks.
73. (534) SNOWFLAKE; SNOW BUNTING
A common winter resident. If there is snow it may be seen late in October, but usually the period of arrival is in November. It is quite likely to be seen just before and during snow storms. The call of the north comes in March. One season I saw a few April 5 and a flock was reported April 9.
74. (533) PINE SISKIN; PINE FINCH OR LINNET
A winter resident, rather rare; one winter quite plentiful when they were in the trees along the city streets. Its arrival from the north is in November. Most years the call of spring to return is in March.
In 1917 a flock was seen near David's Mountain for nearly a week the first of June — an occurrence never known before. It was reported to be in other parts of the country at the same time. The note "like a noise made by blowing through a comb covered with paper," helped me to identify the bird.
75. (529) AMERICAN GOLDFINCH
Most of this species are summer residents arriving during May in summer plumage and departing in late autumn. A few individuals remain through the winter when they are in dull "flaxen" attire, the change having taken place in late fall. It is gregarious till June being one of the last birds to mate. Nest building takes place during the last of June and first of July. Its flight song is per-chic-o-ree expressing life and joy as it undulates through the air. Perched upon some pole or tree it pours forth a beautiful canary-like song.
76. (528) REDPOLL
A winter resident, some seasons quite plenty. I have seen it as early as November 5 but the first of December is the usual time of arrival. The North calls to its nesting ground in April.
Soft twitterings and musical cherees resembling the notes of the goldfinch are cheerful sounds on a winter day.
77. (522) WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL
A rare and very irregular visitant more often seen in the autumn. I suppose I saw two immature birds October 23, 1916, at a bathing place south of Riverside Cemetery. Some seasons it has been quite plentiful.
78. (521) AMERICAN CROSSBILL; RED CROSSBILL
An irregular, erratic visitant. Seen any season but more frequently in spring or autumn. It rears its young in the woods very early.
Olive Thorne Miller says of the crossbills that one season they make glad the bird student in one place and the next drive him to despair by their absence. While this crossbill is more common than the preceding species, it has been so erratic the last few years that I have never seen one. Consequently I am still in pursuit, for an enthusiastic bird-student must sooner or later solve such problems.
79. ( ) ENGLISH SPARROW; HOUSE SPARROW
This sparrow was introduced from Europe between 1850 and 1860. It has made very wide invasions and become a much berated nuisance. A permanent resident especially in the city. There may be those who like to witness this bird-life in winter, but bird-lovers have no use for an English Sparrow. It drives other birds away that formerly nested about our homes, disfigures any place where it roosts and instead of making musical sounds (it does make a few in February and early spring) titters only bickerings and quarrelsome notes.
80. (517) PURPLE FINCH
A fairly common summer resident. Seen some seasons before the bluebird and robin arrive; others it comes late in April. This species remains till November or later and may be found in the winter. During the autumn flocks of these birds, mature and immature, are seen in orchards, as the fruit of the pear tree is a favorite. Immature males and females are sparrow looking birds, but the thick bill is a distinguishing mark.
March 16 I heard a fine rendering of finch music in a tree near my home. The song, which is confused with that of the 'Warbling Vireo, is a burst of melody and more musical. The Warbling Vireo is also a much later spring arrival. One May afternoon a party of us listened as a Purple Finch sang a most beautiful love song. Each exclaimed over its exquisiteness. It is one of our finest singers. Chapman says "his song is a sweet, flowing warble, music as natural as the rippling of a mountain brook."
81. (515) CANADIAN PINE GROSBEAK
A winter visitant. Its arrival from the North has been reported the last of October but its appearance is more often in November or later. During April it feels the call of spring and returns. I saw two in the woods April 29, which is unusually late. None were reported in this vicinity during the cold winter of 1918.
These birds are closely associated with a snow-shoe tramp on Stetson's Brook when a flock of mature and immature males and females flew into some evergreen trees uttering for me their sweet whistles and twitterings. Although the day was cold and blustering the tramp home was a happy one, for after long watching and much pursuit, I had seen a Pine Grosbeak.
82. (514) EVENING GROSBEAK
An irregular winter visitant. In 1913 it appeared the last of the winter. In 1914 it was seen in January. Two-other years it came in December and remained into May.
This bird was unknown in this county till the winter of 1889-90 when one was taken on the college campus. None were seen again until February, 1913, when two were observed by one of our careful and reliable bird-students near her home. The next winter a flock was. about the home of an Auburn bird-lover, the first one appearing January 26. We who failed to see it that season were disappointed and had to "learn to wait." None were reported in the winter of 1914-15. From an article in Bird-Lore, May-June 1916: December 31 (1915) an immature male was seen in the trees on one of the side streets of the city. A few days later flocks of eight were reported in different places. Sometimes they would stay three or four hours, but usually would feed a short time then fly away, making it impossible for the place to be reached before they had gone. No sooner had one been seen by a bird-lover than telephones would be busy notifying all interested. The last two weeks in January a. flock of seventeen visited a lawn on Auburn Heights every morning. The ground being bare, they fed on seeds that had fallen from a tree. A little snow came and they disappeared. When the lawn was bare again, the flock returned increased to thirty-five or more. As soon as snow came in February small flocks were seen about the residential sections of the city. After I wrote the above the birds were observed as late as May, the last date being. May 7. December i 1, 1916, they came again and were numerous during the winter. Seed was furnished one flock till the tenth of May. It is uncertain how long they would have remained if the feeding had continued. None were reported after May 24. As far as I know, this species was not seen in this locality during the winter 1917-18. Bird-students will continue to watch for the coming of the Evening Grosbeaks as their yellow, black and white plumage is one of the finest sights in a Maine winter.
BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES, ETC.
83. (511b) BRONZED GRACKLE; CROW BLACKBIRD
A common summer resident near wet places. Arrives during the last week in March and departs late in October. More plentiful during spring and autumn migrations when flocks whistle and squeak like signboards.
"The blackbirds clatt'rin' in tall trees,
An' settlin' things in windy congresses." — Lowell.
NOTE. — The Crow Blackbird in the neighborhood of New York City is the Purple Grackle. About Boston and northward it is the Bronzed Grackle.
84. (509) RUSTY BLACKBIRD
A migrant; more common in the autumnal than in the spring migration. Arrives the last of March or first of April. It may be seen about two weeks before going to its nesting ground. I saw a few April 22 which is late. The last of September and first of October it reappears and feeds among the ripened corn shocks. The South calls the bird away the latter part of October.
85. (507) BALTIMORE ORIOLE; GOLDEN ROBIN
A summer resident, arriving the first of May (May 7) and leaving the first of September. One was reported on a city lawn September 11.
This bird sings from the time of its arrival to its departure, although the song perceptibly wanes late in July.
The oriole is a bird of our city streets and lanes as well as of the country. After the young have flown it leaves the nesting locality returning only at intervals. Coues says: "This is one of our famous beauties of bird life, noted alike for its flash of color, its assiduity in singing and its skill at the loom." Its song resembles the robin's but the whistles are loud and clear.
86. (501) MEADOWLARK
A summer resident one of the earliest of the spring arrivals, being heard soon after the bluebird and robin. It remains into October, my latest date being October 21. Some of the college professors have observed it in the winter months. December 8, 1917, a flock of seven was seen above the college and about that time it was reported in other localities. One remained on the college campus during a winter and perished the first of March. Its song is a beautiful whistle with a touch of plaintiveness described by Chapman "clear as the note of a fife, sweet as the tone of a flute."
87. (498) RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
A common summer resident in swampy places. Arrives any time after the middle of March and leaves the last of October. Its o-ka-lee is a pleasant sound when in the vicinity of ponds and marshes. Chapman says "when a red-winged blackbird is seen we may be sure the tide of the year has turned and spring has come."
88. (495) COWBIRD
A summer resident. The first of April is the time to look for this bird. Although not likely to be seen in flocks, for several days in the spring of 1917 fifty or more visited the northerly side of David's Mountain. It is our only parasite and that flock made me think how many foster-mothers had sacrificed their own young by feeding these. In mating time it makes queer contortions to utter its squeaky song.
89. (494) BOBOLINK
A summer resident to be expected May 9 or later. Just after mid-July the song ceases and the nuptial dress is laid aside for the quieter garb of the female. By the first of August it is wholly changed. I saw a flock in tawny plumage gathering for the night of August 27 in Garcelon's Bog. Three days later they left for the rice fields of the South where they are a pest. Mabel S. Merrill says: "The sweet magician of our fields is the bobolink. He is an enchanter who doesn't need even to wave a wand. Though he chose to sing in a snowdrift, you would have to believe it was June when you heard him, so inwoven is that music with memories of fields of shining daisies, billows of red clover, and the first shadowy bluebells afloat on a feathery sea of grass. The coming of the bobolink is always an event to us."
Chapman describes the song as "the jolliest, tinkling, rippling song that ever issued from a bird's throat."
90. (493) STARLING
The Starling was introduced from Europe into Central Park and has spread over much territory. None have been reported here till the last of March, 1917. It was seen at a home south of Riverside Cemetery near the river. Three were in the vicinity of Upper Main Street during the summer. I saw them April 24. One has since been seen in Auburn. We were not glad to have them appear, although we knew they would arrive sooner or later.
CROW, JAYS, ETC.
91. (488) AMERICAN CROW
Crows are seen mostly from February till late fall. Probably the greater number of those we see during the winter fly inland from the coast for the day. When they become more numerous and noisy in February we are reminded that spring approaches. It makes long flights to rookeries. In the Bulletin of the United States National Museum Coues speaks of the flight beginning early in the afternoon and continuing till dark of each day. They return at early dawn.
Coues also says: "Such 'roosts' are well known in various parts of the Eastern United States; but the impulse whose potency forces such long daily journeys upon the birds is a mystery as yet unexplained." Bird observers in this vicinity have witnessed these flights toward the last of August and continuing into late autumn.
92. (477) BLUE JAY
A resident all the year. More common in autumn and winter. It is a bird of the woodland but occasionally one is seen near David's Mountain and Riverside Cemetery. In September its call, jay, jay, is a harbinger of autumn. In winter the blue and white plumage is a sight so cheerful over the landscape that we can forgive bad habits. It utters such a variety of different noises that a frequenter of the woods once said, if a strange note is heard, in nine cases out of ten it is a Blue Jay.
93. (474b) PRAIRIE HORNED LARK
A summer resident; not very common. Our earliest spring migrant arriving about the middle of February or after. In autumn I have seen one October 27, but it may be found later.
A cheerful sound on an early March morning before other songsters have come, is to hear the whistles from a flock as they rise and fly over the fields still spotted with snow.
94. (474) HORNED LARK; SHORE LARK
A rare migrant seen in late February and March and again in October and November. It has been known to be here in the winter. My only observation was October 27 as a flock was having a gala time burrowing on the sunny side of a plowed field.
95. (467) LEAST FLYCATCHER; CHEBEC
A very common summer resident. Arrives first of May (May 7) and leaves in September. It is very little in evidence in August. The morning of arrival we hear the jerky song che-bec. In mating time a short warble, almost a whisper note, may be heard.
96. (466a) ALDER FLYCATCHER
A somewhat rare summer resident. One of the latest migrants, arriving the last of May or first of June. If there is plenty of insect life it may be seen till October. I heard the song, probably that of a young male, October 16.
97. (463) YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER
A very rare migrant, arriving almost, if not quite, the latest of any bird. It has been reported May 23. I saw it on David's Mountain, June 5, 1917.
One year an excellent observer found a bird of this species in this vicinity the middle of June. The fact that it was in the habitat for nesting indicated a home had been made there for that season.
98. (461) WOOD PEWEE
A common summer resident. Arrives the last of May or first of June and leaves in September. I saw one September 16 and occasionally it is seen later. All summer we hear its sweet, plaintive pee-a-wee — a restful note, distinctly a lullaby and a true sylvan strain.
Flycatchers are not classed as singing birds, yet the notes of this species are of the sweetest we hear whether we walk where the shade trees border our city streets or in a woodland. Probably more poets have been attracted by this sylvan song than by that of any other American bird except the Hermit or Wood Thrush.
99. (459) OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER
A somewhat rare summer resident in swampy places. Arrives the middle of May and sings its pip, pip-pelt from the top of a dead tree. Sometimes the call-note, pip, pip, reminds me of the quality of the robin's call.
100. (456) PHOEBE; BRIDGE PEWEE
A summer resident. One of our earliest spring arrivals; to be expected any day after the first of April. It begins its nest building on arrival and rears two broods. One of our friendly birds, building on a porch, under a bridge, or around a barn. My latest date of seeing one is September 23; it has been seen later. Its note, plebe, gives the name.
101. (452) CRESTED FLYCATCHER
A very rare summer resident arriving the middle of May. It nests near the Auburn-Turner boundary and at No Name Pond. The note is a harsh screech. As far as my friends have observed it selects a snake skin for part of its nest.
102. (444) KINGBIRD
A common summer resident. Arrives the first of May and leaves the first of September. It may be seen later. Just before the autumn migration flocks hold carnival with the flies.
A music critic has observed that its note is pitched higher than that of any other bird.
ORDER GOATSUCKERS, SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS, ETC.
103. (428) RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
A summer resident seen about our flower beds. Arrives about the middle of May and remains into September. My latest observation is September 12. The only hummingbird known east of the Mississippi River.
Audubon reports another species, the Mango, found once at Florida Keys. So far as we know there is no other report of any being seen.
"The least of birds, a jewelled sprite
With burnished throat and needle bill."
Once I caught a tiny note but usually the buzz of wings is all we hear.
104. (423) CHIMNEY SWIFT
A very abundant summer resident arriving in flocks the first of May. It chippers continuously till late August as it flies overhead and departs early in September. It formerly nested in hollow trees but since houses have been built, occupies chimneys that emit no smoke in summer.
NIGHTHAWKS, WHIP-POOR-WILLS, ETC.
105. (420) NIGHTHAWK
A summer resident. Arrives the middle of May, May 20 my earliest date, and leaves the first of September. It nests on flat roofs of city blocks as well as in the country. It is not nocturnal like the following species, for it goes to roost the same as other birds only later. In the morning its harsh peent is heard before the morning chorus.
106. (417) WHIP-POOR-WILL
A summer resident, arriving any time from the 10th to the middle of May and departing the last of September. Although known to come near the city it is a bird of the country. The song has been reported as late as September 23. Being nocturnal it is more often heard than seen. Dusk is coming on before the song begins, which may be heard at intervals through the night. The strains of whip-poor-will cease at early dawn. My only sight of one was near the woodsy growth at the end of Winter Street in Auburn.
107. (412a) NORTHERN FLICKER; YELLOW-HAMMER
An abundant summer resident. Arrives about the middle of April. Stragglers have been reported the last of March. During the autumnal migration it becomes numerous the last of September and first of October and departs the latter part of the month. My latest date is October 14. Occasionally one is seen in November and even later.
108. (406) RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
A very rare migrant. I have never seen this species, but it was on the college campus two or three days one spring and at Riverside Cemetery several years ago. One was seen the first of May, 1917, in North Auburn.
109. (405a) NORTHERN PILEATED WOODPECKER; RAIN CROW
A rare resident. In woods north of here this species is quite common. Sometimes a pair rear their young in this vicinity where there are thick woods. It may be seen all the year, but is more in evidence in autumn and winter. My only sight of one was June 29 at South Turner. I heard his high-pitched, ringing call before I caught a glimpse of him.
110. (402) YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER
A rare summer resident in this vicinity. More abundant during the spring and autumn migrations. In the spring it may be seen from the middle of April to the first of May. Every year I see one on Patriots' Day. The middle of September it reappears and departs in October. A squealing cry resembling the call of a jay is sometimes heard; also it drums like other woodpeckers.
111. (401) AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER
A very rare accidental winter visitor. I have never seen this woodpecker and have supposed that it did not come so far south but have recently learned that several years ago it was seen during the short days of a very cold winter.
112. (400) ARCTIC THREE-TOED WOODPECKER
A rare winter visitant arriving from the north very late in September and during October. It remains till early spring. My first study of one was on October 6.
113. (394c) DOWNY WOODPECKER
A permanent resident; more abundant in the spring and autumn. A visitor at feeding places within the city limits during the winter. Its drumming is heard in the mating season; it utters a shrill cry with a rapid falling inflection.
114. (393) HAIRY WOODPECKER
A permanent resident; not as common as the preceding species, being seen more in wooded districts where its young is reared. During the seasons of migration it may be seen nearer the city. In winter it often comes to the feeding stations of my friends living in the suburbs. Its note resembles the Downy's but is somewhat heavier.
CUCKOOS, KINGFISHERS, ETC.
115. (390) BELTED KINGFISHER
A summer resident arriving the first of April and remaining into late autumn. My latest date is October 17; stragglers have been reported in the winter months.. Several pairs nest on the banks of various streams. Their "watchman's rattle" as they fly calls attention to them.
116. (388) BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO
A summer resident. Arrives the middle of May and departs in October. I heard one in an orchard October 6. Cuckoos pick the hairy caterpillars out of their web-like nests for food.
117. (387) YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO
A very rare summer resident. This species, whose natural habitat is farther south, I have never seen but it has been known to nest in this vicinity.
There has been one report of the Bohemian Waxwing. As it is a winter rover of uncertain habits, it may be found and it may never be seen again. There have been reports of its casual appearance in other parts of the State, especially near Bangor.
The Canada Jay has been taken in Sumner, Maine, and has been seen nearer this vicinity. To my knowledge there is no record of its being found about Lewiston or Auburn.
There have been several reports of the Orchard Oriole and once I thought I saw a two-year-old male. I have not been able to get sufficient proof of its identity to include it in my catalogue.
BIRDS OF PREY
FAMILY HORNED OWLS
Most owls are dwellers of the deep forest. For this reason few are seen in this vicinity. Specimens of each of the following species have been taken in this neighborhood and are in collections here. The Screech Owl is the only one I have observed.
118. (377a) AMERICAN HAWK OWL
A rare winter visitant.
119. (376) SNOWY OWL
An irregular winter visitant.
120. (375) GREAT HORNED OWL
A permanent resident. Often builds its nest in February. A specimen was taken at Lisbon in the autumn of 1917. Several years ago a nest was found on the Sabattus River in April containing young owls. It was about seventy feet from the ground in a yellow birch tree.
121. (373) SCREECH OWL; MOTTLED OWL
A common permanent resident.
June 10, 1915, a nature lover and I were looking across Jepson's Brook at the sunset. Suddenly she exclaimed "Owls!" There they were — a family perched on different limbs. They remained in that locality several days till nearly all interested had seen them.
Some Screech Owls are gray, others reddish brown.
122. (372) SAW-WHET OWL; ACADIAN OWL
This smallest of the family is a common permanent resident, seen mostly in the autumn and winter. One was taken in a barn near the North Auburn road in January, 1918.
123. (371) RICHARDSON'S OWL
A rare fall and winter visitant.
124. (370) GREAT GRAY OWL
An extremely rare winter visitant.
125. (368) BARRED OWL
A permanent resident most common of the large owls. It has been reported more than any other except the Screech Owl. In December, 1916, one was observed near the "Logan" in Auburn.
126. (367) SHORT-EARED OWL
A somewhat rare summer resident. Nests in some lonely marsh or meadow, Farwell's Bog being one place to find it.
127. (366) AMERICAN LONG-EARED OWL
A fairly common summer resident. This species has been taken in the spring and fall and found nesting in the summer. One season a nest was discovered at South Lewiston built in an old crow's nest which had been repaired and filled. It was sixty feet from the ground in an evergreen tree.
FALCONS, HAWKS, EAGLES, ETC.
128. (364) AMERICAN OSPREY; FISH HAWK
A summer resident nesting near ponds and lakes. It arrives the middle of April and departs the first of October. Every spring one is in the vicinity of the "Logan" in Auburn. I have seen it at Lake Auburn and Sabattus.
129. (360) AMERICAN SPARROW HAWK
A common summer resident. The time of arrival is just before the bluebird and robin. Most years the time of departure is late in September. In August I had a study of a family near the Stetson Road.
130. (357) PIGEON HAWK
A fairly common migrant. Seen the last of March or early in April and soon passes farther north to nest.
I have never identified this or the following species, but other bird-students have taken them so I include them in my list.
131. (356a) DUCK HAWK
An extremely rare migrant, reported as early as April 10.
132. (352) BALD EAGLE
This beautiful bird is seen daily flying over the lakes and the river during the summer from the first of June till into the autumn. Hence a proper inference is that it nests in this neighborhood, though no nest has been found to my knowledge. One August morning a beautiful mature male circled very low over Riverside Cemetery.
133. (347a) AMERICAN ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
An extremely rare winter visitant, consequently I could hardly expect to see one, but it has been in this locality.
134. (343) BROAD-WINGED HAWK
A somewhat common summer resident, arriving the last of March and departing by early October. I have made several attempts to find this hawk but have not succeeded in identifying one.
135. (339) RED-SHOULDERED HAWK; HEN HAWK
A fairly common summer resident. Seen from the last of March till the last of October; the 21st I saw one sailing over Taylor Pond.
136. (337) RED-TAILED HAWK; HEN HAWK
A summer resident; not as common as the preceding species. Arrives the last of March or the first of April and leaves the last of October. During July and August, 1917, I saw two immature birds at South Turner.
137. (334) AMERICAN GOSHAWK
A rare winter visitant; occasionally somewhat common. Arrives from the north in October (one was reported September 28, 1917). December 3 is my date of identification.
138. (333) COOPER'S HAWK
A common summer resident. Arrives the first of April and leaves the latter part of September or first of October. It has been found in winter. September when hawks are more plentiful has been my time of making its acquaintance.
139. (332) SHARP-SHINNED HAWK
A common summer resident, arriving the last of March or first of April and departing in late September or October, but stragglers are seen in the winter. September is the month when I usually see this species.
140. (331) MARSH HAWK
A common summer resident, arriving the last of March or first of April and leaving in October. My latest -observation is October 24. Seen mostly flying low over marshes.
PIGEONS AND DOVES
FAMILY PIGEONS AND DOVES
141. (316) MOURNING DOVE
A very rare migrant. I have never seen one, but during the May migration in 1916 a pair were seen near the "Power House" in Turner. June 5 1917, one was in North Auburn and the last of July, 1917, it was observed in the south-eastern part of Lewiston.
Note: PASSENGER PIGEON. — Years ago this pigeon was very abundant in this locality. After 1880 it became more and more rare and is extinct now. The last one in the country died in September, 1915.
Tame Doves are called city pigeons. They are thought to be all derived from the blue rock pigeon (Columba Livia). None were ever seen in this city.
142. (300a) CANADIAN RUFFED GROUSE; PARTRIDGE
A permanent resident in the woodsy sections of this vicinity. In spring it drums! whir! whir! The startling sound of a partridge in winter makes one feel the presence of life when walking through the wood in a snow storm.
NOTE. — Bob-white, or Quail, has appeared in Maine but none in this vicinity.
An English Pheasant has been in Waterboro and three in Springvale, Maine, this winter, 1918, coming to houses for food. It is advancing this way from Massachusetts where it was introduced and no doubt some day will be in this vicinity. A strange bird has been reported here whose description was that of a pheasant, but I have no proof of one being in this neighborhood.
List of water birds I have identified. Following is a list of those identified by other observers.
143. (274) SEMIPALMATED PLOVER; RING-NECK
A migrant. My observation of this bird was on the coast, but it is found at Sabattus Pond and Lake Auburn chiefly in the autumn.
FAMILY SNIPES, SANDPIPERS
144. (263) SPOTTED SANDPIPER
A somewhat common summer resident. Arrives the first of May and remains till October. My latest date of seeing this species is October 11.
145. (256) SOLITARY SANDPIPER
A somewhat rare spring and autumn migrant. I found one August 31, 1917, around a mud pond south of Riverside Cemetery. It remained till September 12.
146. (255) YELLOW-LEGS; SUMMER YELLOW-LEGS
A migrant, somewhat rare. Resembles the following species so closely (the difference being in size) that I am uncertain which I saw October 28.
147. (254) GREATER YELLOW-LEGS; WINTER YELLOW LEGS
A migrant, somewhat rare. October 28 I saw a yellow-legs which I listed as this one.
148. (248) SANDERLING
A migrant. In the autumn a few are seen at Sabattus.
149. (246) SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER
A migrant. In autumn these birds have been taken at Sabattus.
150. (242) LEAST SANDPIPER
A migrant. This is one of the many sandpipers found at Sabattus Pond. It has been seen at Lake Auburn. My observation of the last three species was at the coast.
151. (228) WOODCOCK
A summer resident; not as common as in former years. Arrives as soon as the ground thaws enough to probe its bill in the mud; the latter part of March or first of April. My latest date of observation is October 16, but it has been seen later.
FAMILY HERONS AND BITTERNS
152. (201) GREEN HERON
A rare summer resident. Arrives the first of May. It nests near the "Logan" in Auburn and at Sabattus. May 6 I saw one flying to Jepson's Brook in the cemetery where it was seen the next morning by the college class.
153. (194) GREAT BLUE HERON
A rare summer resident; seen from the middle of April to the first of May or later at Lake Auburn and along the Androscoggin River and again in August when the move southward begins. The latter part of October is the time of departure. One year a "left behind" was seen in December.
154. (190) AMERICAN BITTERN; MARSH HEN;
A summer resident, arriving the middle of May. The first of October is the time for going to its winter home.
FAMILY DUCKS, GEESE AND SWANS
NOTE. — For the very unusual appearance of Whistling Swans see at the end of this list.
155. (172) CANADA GOOSE
A migrant the last of March and first of April. The V-shaped flock is seen more often about the tenth of April. In the fall it flies south about Thanksgiving. A flock was seen October 13 1917, which is unusually early.
156. (167) RUDDY DUCK
A fairly common migrant. April 11, 1915, a party of us saw this and the following species fly up from Jepson's Brook in Riverside Cemetery.
157. (151) AMERICAN GOLDEN EYE; WHISTLER
A fairly common migrant.
158. (133) BLACK DUCK
A rare summer resident. A few are seen in the spring but the fall is the time when abundant. It arrives the first of April and begins to move southward in August.
159. (129) AMERICAN MERGANSER; SHELDRAKE
A somewhat common migrant. Arrives the last of March or first of April and leaves in late autumn. I saw one November 17. It has been known to be in the river during the winter months if there is open water.
FAMILY TERNS AND GULLS
160. (51) HERRING GULL
A summer resident along inland water but I know of no record of its nesting in this vicinity. During the winter months one may be seen sailing over the river. In
March it becomes quite abundant and may be observed all summer. My earliest date is February 28 and latest November 17.
ORDER DIVING BIRDS
161. (7) LOON; GREAT NORTHERN DIVER
Fairly common during the vernal and autumnal migrations. A few nest in this vicinity. I have seen it as early as April 22.
The last of October 1917, a daily observer of birds saw a flock of forty-nine Whistling Swans fly over Lake Auburn. Doubtless they alighted in the lake, their 'flageolet-like" notes being heard for some little time. October 27 three appeared at Kezar Pond near Fryeburg, Maine, and the next day twenty-eight were there. Two were captured and sent to the State Museum at Augusta. These birds are very rare in New England. To my knowledge there is no report of any having been previously seen in this vicinity.
Probably few have an adequate idea of the number of birds that may be seen in this vicinity. Of the one hundred sixty-one birds in the catalogue I have personally identified one hundred and thirty-seven, divided as follows:
Singing, Songless Birds, etc., 108
Birds of Prey and Game Birds 11
Water Birds 18
All have been seen no farther away than Greene, Turner and Lisbon, except four water birds that I studied at the seashore and which I might have found at Sabattus or Lake Auburn. Doubtless most of these may be seen throughout the county. In the northern section I should expect to find birds that belong to the Canadian Zone (Lewiston and Auburn are in the Transition or Alleghenian Zone) which are not included in this catalogue.
By making special effort during my last year of observation for this pamphlet I identified one hundred and twenty-eight different species. A bird-student could hardly expect to see as many unless there was some object in view.
When one of Professor Stanton's class in ornithology brought in a list of seventy different birds seen between Thanksgiving and Commencement, he considered that good work had been done. If a student had identified from seventy-five to eighty the work was excellent.
List of water birds identified by careful observers and most of the species taken at Lake Auburn, Sabattus Pond or along the Androscoggin River.
I desire to express my appreciation to those who have contributed the information which has made this list possible and reliable.
A rare summer resident.
AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER
Formerly a fairly common f all migrant now somewhat rare.
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER; BEETLE-HEAD
A common migrant.
BARTRAMIAN SANDPIPER; UPLAND PLOVER
At one time a common summer resident; now extremely rare.
RED-BACKED SANDPIPER; DUNLIN
Accidental. One taken at Sabattus.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER; GRASS BIRD
A common migrant.
WILSON'S SNIPE; AMERICAN SNIPE; JACK SNIPE
A common migrant.
Accidental. One shot at Sabattus October, 1906.
A migrant; not as common as in previous years.
A rare migrant.
A straggler wholly beyond its normal range. One taken at South Lewiston April 1, 1897.
SORA; CAROLINA RAIL
A summer resident.
A summer resident; more common than the preceding species.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON
It may be a summer resident as it has been seen at Sabattus the first of September.
A rare summer resident.
A fairly common migrant in the fall.
A migrant. If there is a bad storm on the coast these birds may be seen inland during October and November.
A fairly common migrant in autumn.
Accidental. One taken early in the spring from the Androscoggin River.
A migrant, seen mostly in autumn.
A fairly common spring and fall migrant.
LESSER SCAUP DUCK; LITTLE BLUE-BILL
A fairly common migrant.
SCAUP DUCK; BLUE-BILL
A very rare migrant.
Formerly a common summer resident; now rare.
A rare migrant.
A fairly common migrant.
A fairly common migrant.
A migrant; not very common.
Some years a common migrant in the autumn.
The Arctic Tern has been seen at Androscoggin Lake.
COMMON TERN; SEA SWALLOW
Accidental. Reported once at Lake Auburn. It is seen on Androscoggin and other inland lakes. I have seen these birds at the coast.
Accidental. One taken at Sabattus, one at Turner.
It has been taken at Lake Auburn and one was taken at Greene in January 1918.
BLACK GUILLEMOT; SEA PIGEON
Once after a heavy storm this species was seen at Lake Auburn which is entirely out of its normal range at the sea-coast where I have seen it.
PIED-BILLED GREBE; HELL-DIVER
A common summer resident.
A migrant; not common.
A rare migrant.
NOTE. — I am not acquainted with the water birds of Androscoggin Lake or other ponds in the county. There may be other species found that are not in this list.