46 THE CONDOR Vol. XIX On one of the drifts that contained thirty-one dead cattle besides the bo- dies of two hundred and fifteen birds of various kinds, there stood a solitary Scarlet Ibis. Like a garnet in the sands, or a rosy promise of the morning sun, it stood, gracefully poised above the terrible ruin--an encouragement, an in- spiration, an unfailing hope--not as the rainbow suggesting the possibility of another destructive force, but as an animated symbol that life is immortal. Houston, Tezgas, December 28, 1916. BIRDS OF THE HUMID COAST By FLORENCE MERRIAM BAILEY (Continued from page 13) III. THE CENTER OF A COMPRESSED NESTING AREA There was so little cleared land that in a radius of fifty rods, including a few cleared acres and half lumbered woods, there was a compressed nesting area including a large variety of species. So well tenanted were the carpenter's acres that we could study ornithology indoors. Through the open windows the cheerful song of the California Purple Finch was sometimes heard at breakfast, a loud rapid round that added brightness and vivacity to the general medley of Sparrows, Vireos, Warblers, Wrens, and Robins, but was too bright and viva- cious to accord with the sublimated songs of the Olive-sided Flycatchers, Nutt- all Sparrows, and Varied Thrushes. While the round of the Purple Finch was occasionally heard, the song that came in through the windows from daybreak until dark was that of the Russet-backed Thrush, a song that, while it lacks the rare spirituality and deep serenity of that of th6 Hermit Thrushes, is so gentle, sweet, and musical that it seems fitted to harmonize all discords, avian or human. In the dusky margins of the days about the middle of June the voices of a family of Screech 0wls were added. to those of the song birds heard through the open windows. From the sitting-room window we looked out on a charred spruce stub full of big holes dug out by the Pileated Woodpecker, and one day when I was away, one pounded there for twenty minutes, as the carpenter's wife reported. Not long after, I was called excitedly from my room with the good news, "He's there now!" And there he was, great Cock-of-the-Woods, second only to the still rarer Ivory-billed, with large black body, glowing red crest, and white neck stripe; lordly bird, the unusual sight of whom thrills the bird lover in heavily wooded regions from Maine to Oregon, making himself at home just outside our sitting room window ! As he worked, someone coming up the trail startled him and, alas, away he flew out of sight. Several times later I heard the stirring chuck, chuck, in the woods, and one morning the sound of muffled blows in dead wood was followed by the chuck-ah, chuck-chuck-chuck, and as I crept silently down a trail in the dense protecting shadow of the timber the dull pounding stopped me and through an opening in the trees I discovered one of the splendid birds on a finger of broken branch in a niche, sunning and plum- ing itself. As if for an audience it spread one wing wide in the sun, tipping it
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