The Bird Book/Snipes, Sandpipers, etc

The Bird Book by Chester A. Reed
Snipes, Sandpipers, etc: Family Scolopacidae


SNIPES, SANDPIPERS, Family SCOLOPACID^

Members of this family are long-legged waders, of either large or small size, and found either about streams or ponds in the interor or along the coasts. They feed upon small shell fish, or insects which they get usually by probing in the soft mud.

227. EUROPEAN WOODCOCK. Scolopax rusticola.

This European bird is similar to the American Woodcock, but is larger and is barred beneath. Their habits are the same as those of our species.

228. WOODCOCK. Philohela minor.

Range. Eastern North America, north to the British Provinces, breeding throughout its range.

This is one of the most eagerly sought game birds of the east. Their flight is very rapid and erratic, and accompanied by a peculiar whistling sound made by the rapid motion of the wings; it requires a skillful marksman to bring them down. They frequent boggy places especially "runs" lined with alders, where they bore in the soft ground for worms and grubs. Their eggs are laid up

Buffy gray.

AmerTTTcrn Wilson'

on the bare

ground among

the leaves and sticks; they are of about the color

of dead leaves, as is also the bird, making it quite

difficult to discover their nests. They lay three

or four eggs of a buffy color, with yellowish brown

spots. Size 1.50x1.15.

[229.] EUROPEAN SNIPE. Gallinago gallinago.

A common species in Europe; of casual or accidental appearance in Greenland. The bird does not differ essentially from our Snipe and its habits are the same.

X40

C. A. Reed.

WOODCOCK ON HER NEST. 141

SHORE BIRDS

230. WILSON SNIPE. Gallinago delicata.

Range. North America, breeding from northern United States northward; winters along the Gulf States and to California, and southward.

Another favorite game bird, but one which requires skill to hunt successfully. Of about the same size as the Woodcock (11 inches long). This species, to a great extent frequents the same haunts used by Woodcock, but is especially fond of open marshy meadows, with winding brooks. Their nests are depressions in grassy banks, generally unlined; the three or four eggs have an olive gray color and are strongly marked with blackish brown. Size 1.50 x 1.10. Data. Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, June 10, 1903. Nest in a hollow on a tuft of marsh grass, the four eggs having their points together. Collector, Walter Raine.

Olive gray.

[230.1.] GREATER SNIPE. Gallinago media.

A European species, only American as having accidentally occurred at Hudson Bay; similar in appearance to the preceding species.

NKST AND EGGS OF WOODCOCK.

143

THE BIRD BOOK

fffr ""

231. DOWITCHER. Macrorhamphus griseus.

Range. North America, most abundant in the eastern parts; breeds in the extreme north, and winters from the Gulf States to Northern South America.

This species is commonly known as "Red-breasted

, .^^aoewm - Snipe" in late

^^^^e?k spring and sum X^^^a.^^^/A mer because ofi

^m^SL "^^^^Sfe^ the rich > rusty

1 " red coloration of

the underparts, and as "Grayback in winter because of its color at that season. They are very common along the Atlantic coast during the Spring migration; they can be easily identified by their very long bills, which are over two inches in length and nearly one quarter the length of the whole

They nest during June, placing their three or four eggs in a slight hollow, which may or may not be lined with dried grass or leaves. The eggs have a greenish or brownish buff color and are boldly marked with dark brown. They do not differ greatly from those of the Snipe. Data. Mackenzie River, June 27. 1900. Four eggs in a hollow in the grass, lined with dead grass. Collector. Walter Raine.

Grenish buff

Dowitcher.

bird.

LOON.

144

SHORE BIRDS

232. LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER.

Macrorhamphus griseus scolopaceus.

Range. Whole of North America, but not common on the Atlantic coast; breeds in the Arctic regions and migrates chiefly through the central and western parts of the United States to Mexico. This bird is practically the same as the last, but is a trifle larger and the bill averages about a half inch longer. They are very numerous in

tifceir breeding haunts, and, during their migrations, fly in large compact . flocks. They are u not very timid, and consequently fall an easy prey to the gunners. Their nesting habits and eggs are the same as the last species, except that the eggs may average a trifle larger. Size 1.75 x 1.15. Data. Norton Is., Alaska, June, 1900. Nest a small hollow in the dry ground. Four eggs. Collector, Capt. H. H. Bodfish.

' .. -' V *

ut^'f. "? s. &, jfcjk- - y

Greenish buff.

Micropalama himan

233. STILT SANDPIPER. topus.

Range. North America, east of the Rocky Mountains; breeds in the Arctic regions and winters from the Gulf States southward.

In the summer, these birds may be known by the reddish coloration of the underparts, which are numerously barred; they are smaller than the preceding, length about eight inches. Their nesting habits are the same as those of the majority of the members of the family. The three

or four eggs are buffy or grayish, and are blotched and spotted with shades of brown. Size 1.40 x 1.00.

145

10

THE BIRD BOOK

Knot. Purple Sandpiper.

234. KNOT. Tringa canutus.

Range. Arctic regions in summer; south through the United States, chiefly on the Atlantic coast, to South America.

Of about the same size as the Dowitchers, length 10.5 inches, but with a much shorter bill. In summer the entire under parts are a uniform reddish chestnut color. They are known to breed in Arctic America, from Point Barrow and Hudson Bay, northward, but no authentic eggs are known, at present, to exist in collections. One taken from a bird by Lieut. Greely, was a pea green color, specked with brown; size 1.10x1.00. As it was not fully developed, it was probably correct neither as to size nor color.

235. PURPLE SANDPIPER. Arquatella maritima maritima.

Range. Arctic regions, wintering south to the Middle States and the Great Lakes, but chiefly on the coast.

A grayish and blackish colored species, about nine inches long. It nests in northern Labrador, about Hudson Bay and in Iceland. Its eggs are a grayish buff color handsomely splashed with rich shades of brown and obscure markings of darker gray. Data. Northern Iceland, June 7, 1897. Four eggs. Nest a hollow in the ground among grass and weeds

Grayish buff. and lined with a few

grasses. Collector, C. Jefferys.

235a. ALEUTIAN SANDPIPER. Arguatella maritima couesi.

Range. Supposed to be a resident on the coast and islands of Alaska, from the Aleutians northward.

A very similar species to the preceding; scarcely distinguishable. These Sandpipers, which are found in Alaska at all seasons of the year, breed during May and June. Their nesting habits are the same as those of the preceding bird and the eggs are indistinguishable. Size 1.40 x 1.00. Data. Unalaska, Bering Sea, June 3, 1898. Nest containing four eggs, a depression in the moss, lined with grasses and bits of moss. The eggs were laid with their small ends together.

146

SHORE BIRDS

237- PRIBILOF SANDPIPER.

Arquatella maritina ptilocnemis.

Range. Coast and islands of Bering Sea, south in winter to southern Alaska.

This bird, which is ten inches in length, has the feathers of the upper parts edged with rusty, and the underparts light, with a distinguishing patch of black on the breast. Similar in appearance to the Red-backed Sandpiper, but not so reddish above, and the latter has the black patch on the belly. They breed commonly on the Pribilof and other islands in Bering Sea, nesting the same as other Sandppers. Their four eggs are similar to those of the preceding, but average darker. Size 1.50 x 1.05.

238. SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER. Pisobia aurita.

Range. An Asiatic species, quite abundant in Alaska in the summer; supposed to migrate south in winter, wholly on the Asiatic side of the Pacific.

A similar bird, in appearance, to the following, but slightly smaller and with the breast more ruddy. Its nesting habits probably do not differ from those of the following Sandpiper.

239- PECTORAL SANDPIPER. Pisobia maculata.

Range. Whole of North America, breeding in

the Arctic regions, and wintering south of the

United States, most abundant in the eastern parts

of the United States during migrations.

This species is blackish brown above, with

light brown edgings to the feathers, and white

below, except the chest, which is brownish,

streaked with black. A very peculiar species,

having the power, during the mating season, of inflating the throat to a great extent, making a balloonlike appendage, nearly the size of the bird. They have more the habits of Snipe, than do most of the Sandpipers, frequenting grassy meadows or marshes, in preference to the seashore. Their nests are grass lined depressions, and the eggs are grayish or greenish buff, blotched with brown. Size 1.45 x 1.00. Data. Cape Smythe, Alaska, June 1900. Four eggs in a hollow in the ground, lined with grass

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. Pectoral Sandpiper.

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THE BIRD BOOK

White-rumped Sandpiper Baird's Sandpiper Least Sandpiper.

240. WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER. Pisobia fuscicollis.

Range. North America, breeding from Labrador and southern Greenland, northward and wintering from central to Southern South America; most common on the Atlantic coast.

This species is 7.5 inches in length, and has white upper tail coverts; otherwise it is marked similarly to the preceding Sandpiper. Its nesting habits are the same as those of the majority of the family, and the three or four eggs that they lay cannot be distinguished from those of the following species. Size 1.30 x .90. These are one of the most common of the beach birds along the Atlantic coast during migrations; they are very often known as Bonaparte Sandpipers.

241. BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. Pisobia bairdi.

Range. North America, chiefly in the interior, breeding along the Arctic coast and about Hudson Bay, and wintering south of the United States.

A very similar species to the preceding, but without the white rump. Their nests are hollows in the ground, generally concealed in a tuft of grass, and lined with grasses and a few leaves. They lay three or four eggs having a grayish colored ground, and marked with different shades of brown, and also with some faint markings of lilac. Sh;e 1.30 x .90. Data. Peel River, Arctic America, June 18, 1898. Pour eggs, taken with the bird by an Indian. Eggs in a slight hollow on the river bank.

242. LEAST SANDPIPER. Pisobia minutilla.

Range. North America, breeding from the southern parts of the British Provinces northward; winters from southern United States southward. Common in the interior and on both coasts.

This is the smallest of our Sandpipers, being under six inches in length. Except for size, they are similar in ^aBBB^k^ appearance to Baird's Sandpiper, only the back is browner. A very abundant species during migrations, being found on the seashore or in marshes, nearly always in company with other species of the family. Their nests are the same as other Sandpipers, and the eggs are grayish, thickly specked with brown. Size 1.15 x .80. Data. Peel River, Arctic America, June 20, 1899. Nest simply a depression in the river bank, lined with grass.

148

Grayish.

SHORE BIRDS

[242.1.] LONG-TOED STINT. Pisobia damacensis.

An Asiatic species accidentally found on the Alaskan shores. It is a very similar bird to the Least Sandpiper, and about the same size. As implied by its name, it has unusually long toes. [24-3.] DUNLIN. Pelidna alpina alpina.

A very common Sandpiper in the British Isles and in Europe, but only casually occurring as a straggler along the Atlantic coast. Very similar to the next species, but a trifle smaller. The nest and eggs do not differ from the following.

243a. RED-BACKED SANDPIPER. Pelidna alpina sakhalina.

Range. Whole of North America, breeding

from southern Greenland, Labrador, Hudson Bay

and the Yukon, northward, wintering from the

Gulf States southward. This handsome species is similar to the Pribilof Sandpiper, but is smaller (length 8 inches), the upper parts are more reddish, the breast more heavily streaked, and it has a black

patch on the belly instead of on the breast as in

ptilocnemis. Their nesting habits are similar to

others of the family; they lay three or four eggs

with a brownish or greenish buff color, heavily

blotched and spotted with shades of brown and

chestnut. Size 1.40x1.00. Data. Peel River, Arctic America, June 30, 1899.

Nest a simple cavity in the ground, lined with a few grasses and three or four

leaves. Collector, J. O. Stringer.

Greenish huff.

Red-backed Sandpiper. Curlew Sandpiper.

244. CURLEW SANDPIPER. Erolia ferruginea.

Range. A common Old World species, but regarded as rare in eastern North America and northern Alaska.

A bird of slighter build, but similar coloration to the Knot; smaller (length eight inches) and with a slightly decurved bill. Until within recent years, eggs of these birds were rarely seen in collections, and I believe they have not yet been taken in this country, although a few pairs nest along our Arctic coast. Their eggs are very similar to those of the Red-backed Sandpiper, but average somewhat larger. Size 1.50 x 1.05. Data. Kola, northern Lapland, June 15, 1898. Four eggs laid in a grass-lined hollow in the ground. Collector, J. Ramberg.

149

THE BIRD BOOK

Spoonbill Sandpiper. Semipalmated Sandpiper

[245.] SPOONBILL SANDPIPER.

EurynorTiynchus pygmeus.

A very rare Asiatic species, which has been taken in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska. A very peculiar bird having the end of the bill broadened and flattened into a sort of spatula. Otherwise very similar to the Least Sandpiper, but with the breast and sides of neck ruddy in summer. About 75 specimens of this rare bird are known to exist.

246. SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. Ereunetes pusillus.

Range. Whole of North America, but chiefly in the eastern and central parts, breeding about the ponds and streams of Labrador and Hudson Bay, and northward. These little Sandpipers are abundant during the migrations either in marshes or on beaches. They are most often found in company with other species, such as the Spotted and Least Sandpipers. Their appearance is very similar to that of the Least Sandpipers, but they are slightly larger and the feet are partially webbed. Their eggs have a greenish buff or grayish ground color and are spotted with brownish or blackish, sometimes, so heavily as to completely obscure the shell color. Size 1.20 x .80. Data. Small island near Okak, Labrador, July 3, 1895. 2 eggs. Nest a hollow at the foot of a tuft of grass, lined with a few bits of grass and small leaves. Eggs unmistakable in this dark type.

Grayish.

150

SHORE BIRDS

Grayish buff.

247. WESTERN SANDPIPER. Ereunetes mauri.

Range. Western North America, breeding in the Arctic regions and migrating through the United States, chiefly west of the Mississippi to the Gulf States and southward.

Scarcely to be distinguished from the preceding species, but the upper parts are said to be brighter and the bill, to average a trifle longer. The nesting habits and eggs are precisely the same as those of the Semipalmated variety. Data. Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, June 28, 1898. Four eggs. Nest a neatly rounded hollow, sunk into a mossy hummock in marshy ground. Collector, Joseph Grinnell.

248. SANDERLING. Calidris leucophaea.

Range. Found in all parts of the northern hemisphere, breeding within the Arctic Circle and wintering in North America, from California and South Carolina southward.

A handsome and abundant species, found during migrations by thousands on beaches and about large bodies of water in the interior. They are one of the lightest colored of the Sandpipers, either in winter or summer plumage. In summer the upper parts are a light rusty color and black, and the whole underparts are white. Owing to their extreme northerly distribution in summer, but few of their eggs have been taken. Their nesting habits are like those of the other Sandpipers. The three or four eggs are greenish buff in color, spotted and blotched with brown. Size 1.45 x Alaska, June 18, 1897. Three eggs in a depression on

Western Sandpiper.

Sanderling-. Marbled Godwit.

.95. Data. Peel River, the ground.

249. MARBLED GODWIT. Limosa fedoa.

Range. North America, breeding, chiefly in the interior, from northern United States northward.

Godwits are large Plovers with long slightly upcurved bills. This species is 19 inches in length, is of a nearly uniform ruddy color and is handsomely marbled above, and barred below with black. Their eggs are laid upon the ground in the vicinity of ponds or rivers; sometimes there is no lining and again a few straws or grasses may be twisted around the depression. Their eggs number three or four and have a ground color of grayish or greenish buff, sometimes quite dark, and are blotched with dark brown. Size 2.25 x 1.60. Data. Devil's Lake, N. D., June 10, 1895. Four eggs laid on the ground in the middle of an un-used road. Lined with a few grasses. Collector, W. F. Hill.

v

161

THE BIRD BOOK

250. PACIFIC GODWIT.

Limosa lapponica baueri.

Range. Coasts and islands of the Pacific Ocean on the Asiatic side, north in summer to Alaska.

This species is more uniform and brighter ruddy beneath than the preceding, and the back is not marbled as strongly. Even in Alaska where it breeds, it is not a common species, and it only occurs elsewhere on the Pacific coast of America, casually. The nesting habits are the same, but the eggs are somewhat darker than those of the preceding, but not as dark as those of the following species. Size 2.20x1.45.

251. HUDSONIAN GODWIT. Limosa haemastica

Range. North America, east of the Rocky Mountains, breeding in the Arctic regions and wintering south of the United States.

Brownish.

Pacific Godwit. Hudsonian Godwit.

This species is apparently not as common or is more locally distributed during migrations than is the Marbled Godwit. They are more abundant in their breeding grounds and are occasionally seen in large flocks. They are smaller than the Marbled Godwit (length 18 inches) and are deep reddish brown below. They lay four eggs on the ground, in marshes or near ponds or streams, lining the hollow with weeds and dried leaves. The eggs have a dark brownish buff ground color and are blotched with brownish black. Size 2.20 x 1.40. Data. Mackenzie River, Arctic America. Four eggs laid in a hollow in the ground. Collector, J. O. Stringer.

[252.] BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. Limosa limosa.

A European and Asiatic species only casually occurring in Greenland. Very similar in appearance to our Hudsonian Godwit, which is frequently called by the name of this species. The nesting habits and the eggs are precisely like those of the American bird.

[253.] GREEN SHANK. Glottis nebularia.

A common bird in Europe and the British Isles, but only American as having been taken once in Florida. A very similar species to the following.

152

SHORE BIRDS

254. GREATER YELLOW-LEGS. Totanus melanoleucus.

Range. Whole of North America, nesting in the British Provinces and rarely in the northern part of the Mississippi Valley.

This and the next species are much sought by sportsmen during their migrations; they are commonly called "Tell-tale," the present species being the "Greater Tell-tale." They are blackish above, speckled with white, and below are white and, in summer, marked with arrowhead spots of black. The legs, as implied by the name of the

Grayish white.

bird, are yellow and long; length of bird, 14 inches. They nest most abundantly in localities remote from habitations, in the interior of Canada. The eggs are generally laid on the ground, near a marsh or on the bank of a stream, with little or no lining to the nest. They are grayish white, boldly splashed with several shades of brown, and with lilac. Size 1.65 x 1.25. Data. Whale River, Labrador, June 10, 1902, Eggs laid on the ground in an open marsh.

Greater Yellow-legs. Yellow-legs.

255. YELLOW-LEGS. Totanus flavipes.

Range. North America, breeding chiefly in the interior and eastern parts of Canada, and rarely in the upper Mississippi Valley. This species is very similar to the preceding, but is smaller; length 10.5 inches. It is also called the "Lesser Telltale," a name applied because of their wariness, and because, when they fly, they warn all other species within hearing, of danger. Their eggs are laid on the ground, and in similar localities to the preceding. They are three or four in number, grayish or buffy in color, and are quite heavily blotched and spotted with rich brown and grayish or lilac. Size 1.60 x 1.20. Data. Whale River, Labrador, June 14, 1902. Pour eggs laid on the ground in a large marsh. Buffy.

153

THE BIRD BOOK

256. SOLITARY SANDPIPER.

Helodromas solitarius solitarius.

Range. Eastern North America, breeding chiefly north of the United States boundary, but apt to be found nesting in any part of its range; winters south of the United States.

A bird with a greenish gray back, barred with white, and white below; length 8.5 inches.

Solitary Sandpiper.

Clay-colored.

This species is one of the oddities among the waders. They are most always met with, singly or in pairs, and are very rarely seen, even in very small flocks. Their preference is for small ponds or streams in wet woods or open meadows, rather than marshes which are frequented by other species. They are occasionally seen during the nesting season, even in the southern parts of their range, and they probably breed there although their eggs are very rarely found. The eggs are clay-colored, spotted with brownish black. Data. Simco Island, Kingston, Ontario, June 10, 1898. 5 eggs in a shallow depression on the ground, lined with a few grasses.

NEST OF SPOTTED SANDPIPER,

154

256a. WESTERN SOLITARY SANDPIPER. Helodromas solitarius cinnamomeus.

Range. North America, west of the Plains; breeds in British Columbia and probably south of there, also.

This bird is like the last, except that the spots on the back are buffy instead of white. Its nest and eggs will not differ in any respect from those of the eastern form.

[257-] GREEN SANDPIPER. Helodromas acro phus.

This species, which very closely resembles our Solitary Sandpiper, is common in the northern parts of the Old World. It has only accidentally strayed to our shores.

258. WILLET. Catoptrophorus semipalmatus

semipalmatus.

Range. Eastern United States, breeding north to the Middle States and occasionally straying to

SHORE BIRDS

Buff.

Western Sandpiper

Willet.

the Canadian border, especially in the Mississippi Valley.

These large waders are among the most abundant of the marsh or beach birds. They breed in small companies in marshes, frequently in those which are covered with water at high tide, building a frail nest of grasses and weeds, where it will be barely out of reach of the highest water. The three or four eggs have a brownish, or sometimes greenish, buff ground color and are blotched with umber, and have fainter markings of lilac. Size 2.00 x 1.50. Data. Sandy Bank, South Carolina, May 3, 1901. Nest on the ground, secreted in the high grass. Made of dead marsh grass, lined with finer grasses.

155

THE BIRD BOOK

258a. WESTERN WILLET.

Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornatus.

Range. Western North America, breeding north to Manitoba and British Columbia. Casually found on the South Atlantic coast during migrations.

A larger and paler form of the preceding species; length 15.5 inches. The nesting habits are the same, and the eggs cannot be distinguished from those of the common Willet. Data. Refugio, Texas, May 18, 1900. 4 eggs in a grass lined depression on the bay shore flat. Collector, J. W. Preston.

25Q. WANDERING TATTLER. canus.

Heteractitis in

Wandering Tattler.

Ruff. Upland Plover.

Range. Pacific coast of North America, breeding from British Columbia northward.

This is a handsome species, uniform grayish above and white below, closely barred (in summer) with blackish. During the breeding season it is found on the rugged coasts and islands of Alaska, and casually south. It breeds in the marsh grass near the shores and along the banks of streams.

[260.] RUFF, Machetes pugnax,

A common European species, occasionally found on the Atlantic coast of North America. It is a species remarkable for its pugnacity during the mating season; in size and appearance it is about like the Upland Plover, with the exception of the "ruff" which adorns the neck and breast of the male bird,

261. UPLAND PLOVER. Bartramia longicauda.

Range. North America, chiefly east of the Rocky Mountains, breeding from middle United States, northward.

A handsome bird, 12 inches in length, '^^' r

generally known as the "Upland Plover," from its habit of frequenting dry side hills, where it feeds upon grasshoppers and worms. It is a favorite bird with many sportsmen. It builds a nest of grasses, on the ground in a tuft of grass in the middle of fields. The three or four eggs have a buff ground and are blotched with yellowish brown. Size 1.75 x 1.25. Data. Stump Lake, N. D., June 10, 1897. Nest of grass, lined with wool, under a tuft of grass left by the mower. Collector, Alf. Eastgate.

Buff.

J56

NEST AND EGGS OF UPLAND PLOVER.

Walter Uaine.

THE BIRD BOOK

262. BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER.

Tryngites subruficollis.

Range. Interior of North America, breeding from the Hudson Bay region to the Arctic coast.

A buffy colored species, with a peculiarly marbled back. Size 8.5 inches long. It is an upland species like the last. The nests are scantily lined depressions in the ground. The eggs have a grayish white ground and are boldly blotched with rich brown and chestnut with fainter markings of lilac. Size 1.45 x 1.05. Data. Cape Smythe, Alaska, June, 1900. 4 eggs in a hollow in dry spot on a marsh. Collector, H. H. Bodfish. Grayish white.

263. SPOTTED SANDPIPER. Actitis macularia.

Range. Whole of North America from Hudson Bay southward, breeding throughout its range.

A small wader about 7.5 inches in length, with brownish gray upper parts, and white underparts thickly spotted with blackish, especially on the breast and flanks. This is the most abundant of all the shore birds, and its "peet-weet" is a familiar sound to every country boy. It has a peculiar habit of continually moving its tail up and down, when at rest on a stone or when running along the shore; from these characteristic actions it has received the very common names of "Teetertail" and "Tip-up." They build their nests on the ground near ponds, brooks or marshes, generally concealing it in a tuft of grass or weeds on the shore or in the high grass at the edge of the meadows. The eggs number from three to five and are of a grayish buff color, spotted and blotched with blackish brown. The young, like those of all the shore birds, are hatched covered with down, and run about as soon as born. They are anxiously attended by the parents and at the least sign of danger, conceal themselves beneath ^ 3^5 ^. a tuft of grass or behind a small stone, where they ^ r remain perfectly motionless until called by the old birds. The adults frequently attempt to lead an enemy away from the young by feigning a broken wing, or lameness. Size of eggs 1.35 x .90. Data. Parker County, Ind., May 22, 1901. Nest about six yards from bank of creek, among weeds on a sand bar; a hollow in the sand lined with weeds. Collector, Winfield S. Catlin. Buff.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Spotted Sandpiper.

158

264. LONG-BILLED CURLEW. Numenius americanus.

Range. Breeds in the South Atlantic states and northward in the interior to Manitoba and British Columbia.

This is the largest of the family of shore birds, having a length of about 24 inches. Its plumage is of a buffy color, much variegated above with black and brown ; the bill is strongly curved downward and is from four to eight inches in length. Their nests are located on the ground in meadows

SHORE BIRDS

Greenish buff.

or on the prairies, and three or four eggs are laid, of a buff or greenish buff color, covered with numerous spots of brownish black. Eggs of the common Curlew of Europe, have been very frequently used as belonging to this species, but the eggs of our species have a lighter and more greenish ground, and the spots are smaller and more numerous. Size, 2.50 x 1.80.

Long-billed Curlew.

Hudsonian, Curlew,

265. HUDSONIAN CURLEW. Numenius hudsonicus.

Range. Whole of North America, breeding in the Arctic regions and wintering south of the United States.

This species is smaller (length 17 inches), darker, more grayish and has a shorter bill than the preceding species. It also has white median and lateral stripes on the top of the head. The nesting habits are the same as those of the Long-billed species; the three or four eggs have a brownish bulf ground color and are blotched with blackish brown. Size 2.25 x 1.60. Data. McKenzie River, Arctic America. Nest a pile of grass, moss and weeds on an island in the river.

Brownish buff.

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THE BIRD BOOK

Eskimo Curlew.

266. ESKIMO CURLEW. Numenius borealis.

Range. Eastern North America, breeding in the Arctic regions and wintering in South America; migrating through the eastern half of the United States, more abundantly in the interior than on the coast.

A still smaller species than the last (length 14 inches) and very similar to it. A few years ago this was considered the most abundant of the curlews, but so persistently have they been hunted that they are now practically exterminated. They were the most unsuspicious of the shore birds, and would allow the near approach of the gunner, and the penalty may now be seen. Only a short while ago they were very often found, during migration, in company with ether waders such as the Golden or Blackbellied Plovers. . Their nests are simply hollows in the plains, lined with a few grasses, dried leaves, or moss. The three or four eggs are the same as the last for color but are smaller; size 2.00 x 1.45.

[267.] WHIMBREL.' Numenius phaeopus.

A European species casually appearing in Greenland; very similar to the Hudsonian Curlew, but with the rump white,

This species is known as the

Jack Curlew in England and ^^^dBUBH^G*

Scotland, where it is very abundant, and is a favorite game bird. It breeds in the northern parts of Europe and Asia, and in the extreme north of Scotland and on the Shetland Islands. The eggs are laid in hollows on the ground on higher parts of the marshes. The three or four eggs have an olive or greenish brown color and are blotched with dark brown. Size 2.30 x 1.60. Data. Native, Iceland, May 29, 1900. Six eggs. Nest a depression in the ground, lined with dried grass. Olive br o W n.

[268.] BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW. Numenius tahiliensis.

Range. Islands and coast on the Asiatic side of the Pacific; casually found in Alaska. A very peculiar species with many of the feathers on the flanks terminating in long bristles.

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