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Our birds @ A Catalog of Birds: Home

Birds photographed on the grounds of the campus of The College of St. Scholastica.

By the numbers, 1 - 100

No. 1

Corvus brachyrhynchos - 1978
"Take off his wings, and put him in breeches, and crows make average men. Give men wings, and reduce their smartness a little, and many of them would be almost good enough to call crows." - Henry Ward Beecher
Image from Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 2

Spinus tristis - 1978
These beautiful little creatures are often known as Thistle-birds and Wild Canaries, the former name because they are often seen on thistles, from the down of which their nests are largely made, and the latter name because of the sweet canary-like song .. They are very sociable and breed usually in communities as well as travel in flocks in the winter. Their food is chiefly of seeds and they often come to gardens in fall and winter to partake of sunflower seeds, these flowers often being raised for the sole purpose of furnishing food for the finches in the winter.

Song: Sweet, prolonged and canary - like; call, a musical “tcheer,” and a twittering in flight.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 3

Turdus migratorius - 1978
These well-known birds are very abundant in the northern half of the United States, being found most commonly about farms and dwellings in the country, and also in cities if they are not persecuted too severely by English Sparrows.

Song: A loud cheery carol, "cheerily-cheerup, cheerily-cheerup,” often long continued.
Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 4

Poecile atricappillus - 1978
The Chickadees are one of the most popular birds that we have, owing to their uniform good nature even in the coldest weather, and their confiding disposition. They are common about farms and even on the outskirts of large cities they will come to feasts prepared for them on the window sill.

Notes: A clear "phe-be"; a "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" or "dee-dee-dee," and several scolding or chuckling notes.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 5

Euphagus cyanocephalus - 1978
This is the Western representative of the preceding [Rusty Blackbird]; it is most abundant west of the Rockies, but is also found on the Plains. Its distribution is not so northerly and it nests commonly in its United States range. Their eggs are whitish, very profusely spotted and blotched with various shades of brown.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 6

Setophaga fusca - 1978
Without exception, this is the most exquisite of the whole [warbler] family; it is the most eagerly sought bird by bird lovers, in the spring. Some years they are very abundant, while others few are seen, their routes of migration evidently varying. They arrive about the time that apple trees are in bloom, and are frequently seen among the blossoms, dashing after insects.

Song. -A high-pitched lisping zwe-zwe-zwe-see-ee-ee,” ending in a thin, wiry tone, almost a hiss; it is very distinct from the song of any other bird.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 7

Cyanocitta cristata - 1978
These are one of the best known and most beautiful birds that we have, but, unfortunately, they have a very bad reputation. They often rob other birds of their eggs and young as well as food and nesting material. They are very active birds and are always engaged in gathering food, usually acorns or other nuts, and hiding them away.

Notes. A two-syllabled whistle or a harsh, discordant scream. Besides these two common notes they make an endless variety of sounds mimicking other birds.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 8

Molothrus ater - 1978
Groups of these birds are often seen walking sedately about among the cows in the pasture, hence their name. They are the only birds that we have that neither make a nest of their own nor care for their young. The female slyly deposits her egg in the nest of a smaller bird When the owner is absent, leaving further care of it to its new owner. Warblers, Sparrows and Vireos seem to be most imposed upon in this manner.

Notes. - A low “chack,” and by the male a liquid, wiry squeak accompanied by a spreading of the wings and tail.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 9

Toxostoma rufum - 1978
Taken as a whole, I think that the song of this Thrasher is the most musical and pleasing of any that I have ever heard. It has a similarity to that of the Catbird, but is rounder, fuller and has none of the grating qualities of the song of that species. They apparently have a song of their own and do not deign to copy that of others. They are one of the most useful and desirable birds that we have.

Song: —A bright and cheerful carol, often long continued, but always clear and sweet; call , a clear whistled "wheuu.”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 10

Spizella passerina - 1978
One of the commonest and most useful of our Sparrows, frequenting orchards , yards and bushy pastures . They are not at all timid and frequently nest in vines, covering porches or the side of the house, provided that English Sparrows are not too plenty. great quantities of insects and worms, and some seeds, feeding their young wholly upon the former.

Song: -- A very rapidly chanted chip, chip, chip, chip, continued for several seconds; call, a sharp chip.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 11

Geothlypis trichas
One of our most common birds in swamps and also in shrubbery along roadsides or walls. They are very inquisitive, and their bright eyes will peek at you from behind some leaf or shrub as long as you are in sight.

Song: -A lively “witchity - witchity - witch”; call, a deep chip; also a rattling note of alarm. [Note: Reed call is a "Maryland Yellowthroat"].

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 12

Picoides pubeescens - 1978
Downies are one of the commonest of our Woodpeckers and are usually tame, allowing a very close approach before flying. They remain in orchards and open woods throughout the summer, and in winter often come to the windows in places where they are fed, as many people are in the habit of doing now. Their food, as does that of nearly all the Woodpeckers, consists entirely of insects, grubs and larvae.

Note .-- A sharp “peenk” or a rapid series of the same note , usually not as loud as that of the Hairy Woodpecker.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 13

Sturnus vulgaris - 1978
These European birds were introduced into New York a number of years ago ... They live about the streets and in the parks, building their nests in crevices of buildings and especially in the framework of the elevated railroads of the city, and less often in trees. How they will affect other bird life, in case they eventually become common throughout the country, is a matter of conjecture, but from what I have seen of them they are quarrelsome and are masters of the English Sparrow, and may continue their domineering tactics to the extent of driving more of our song birds from the cities.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 14

Coccothraustes vespertinus - 1978
As would be judged from the large bills that these birds have, their food consists almost entirely of seeds, with occasionally a few berries and perhaps insects. In certain localities they are not uncommon, but, except in winter, they are rare anywhere in the U. S. and east of the Mississippi they can only be regarded as accidental even in winter. They have been taken several times in Massachusetts. In winter they usually travel about in small bands, visiting localities where the food supply is the most abundant.

Song. - A clear Robin - like whistle; call, a short whistle.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 15

Charadrius vociferus - 1978
These handsome but noisy birds are abundant throughout the United States ... they are very noisy at nearly all times; they delight in chasing one another over the fields, all screaming their loud, strident kill-dee, kill-dee, and when they happen near the nest of a pair, all the Killdeer in the neighborhood promptly arrive and add their voices to those of the owners. They are not at all confined to the proximity of water, in fact during the nesting season they may not be within miles of it. They are useful birds to the agriculturist, for their food is chiefly of injurious insects. They run rapidly and gracefully, stopping every few feet to stand erect and look about them.

Reed, Chester. American Game Birds. 1912.

No. 16

Setophaga magnolia - 1978
One of the prettiest of the Warblers and one of the least timid. I have often had one or more of these birds follow me the whole length of a piece of woods apparently out of curiosity, coming down to the nearest twigs within arms' reach of me. Birch woods are their favorites during migrations, although a few of them will be found almost anywhere.

Song -- A short, rapidly uttered warble.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 17

Colaptes auratus - 1978
These birds are very often known as “Golden-winged Woodpeckers,". "High-holes” and about a hundred other names in different localities. Flickers are found commonly in woods, orchards or trees by the roadside; on pleasant days their rapidly uttered, rolling whistle may be heard at all hours of the day.

Note. — A rapidly repeated whistle, “cuk," "cuk," "cuk”; an emphatic “quit-u,” "quit-u,” and several others of a similar nature.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 18

Sitta canadensis - 1978
These birds have the same habits as the larger Nuthatch, but are often found in flocks, while the White-breasted are usually in pairs and in the fall accompanied by their young.  In the winter we usually find them in coniferous trees, where we can locate them by their nasal calls or by the shower of bark that they pry from the tree in their quest for grubs.

Song: -A nasal “yank-yank," like that of the last, but not so loud , and usually repeated more times .

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 19

Vireo olivaceus - 1978
Throughout the United States this is one of the most abundant of the family. All through the spring and summer months their warble is heard from woodland and roadside, often becoming so monotonous as to be irritating. Oftentimes during the spring migrations of Warblers, Vireos are so numerous and singing so lustily that it is impossible to hear or distinguish the songs of any of the smaller birds.

Song. – Delivered in parts with intermission of a few seconds between, from morning until night; a short varied warble; call, a petulant mew.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 20

Agelaius phoeniceus - 1978
Male black, with scarlet and buff shoulders; female brownish black above and streaked below. Nearly all our ponds or wet meadows have their pair or colony of Blackbirds.

Note. - A harsh cack; a pleasing liquid song, conk err-ee,” given with much bowing and spreading of the wings and tail.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 21

Larus delawarensis - 1978

Image from Eaton, Elon Howard. Birds of New York. Albany: University of the State of New York, State Museum, 1916.

No. 22

Passerculus sandwichensis - 1978
Breast and sides streaked with brownish, and yellow before the eye and also on bend of wing. These finches are very abundant in eastern U.S. during migrations and a few remain in the northern parts through the summer.

Song: -A weak trill or twitter; a short chip.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 23

Melospiza melodia - 1978
This is probably the best known, most abundant and most widely distributed (in its numerous subspecies) of all our birds. They are quite hardy and many of them winter in the northern states, but the majority go farther south, returning to their summer homes about the first of March . They may be found anywhere where there are bushes, vines or hedges, and very often about houses, even in large cities.

Song: -- Very pleasing and musical, strongly resembling brilliant measures from that of the Canary.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 24

Leiothlypis peregrina - 1978
A dull-colored bird that, with the exception of the bill, bears a strong resemblance to some of the Vireos. Like many others of our birds, this one has received an inappropriate name, because the first specimen was shot on the banks of the Cumberland River, while the bird is no more abundant in Tennessee than in other states during migration.

Song: -A simple ditty similar to that of the Chipping Sparrow.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies,1915.

No. 25

Tachycineta bicolor - 1978
These Swallows are also abundant about farmyards; except when they are skimming over ponds, they are almost always scouring the air above buildings or fields, at higher elevations than the Barn Swallows When weary they roost on dead twigs or telephone wires, hundreds often being seen in rows on the latter. Like the Martins, these birds frequently nest in bird boxes, but usually not more than one or two pairs in a single house.

Notes. — A twittering like that of the other Swallows.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies.1915.

No. 26

Setophaga petechia - 1978
An abundant bird everywhere in woodland, park, orchard or garden and one of the most vivacious of the family. Arrives in the north soon after May first and is seen flitting about like a gleam of sunshine snatching insects from the foliage or darting after them in the air. Often known as the Summer Yellowbird. It frequently nests in garden or orchard trees, where it is a most welcome tenant.

Song: -A sharp, vigorous " che-wee, che-wee, che-wee.”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 27

Setophaga ruticilla - 1979
In the northeastern half of the United States, these are one of the commonest and most active of the species. Both the males and females seem to be proud of their handsome plumage and are continually spreading and closing their tails. They are equally happy whether in the tree tops or near the ground, and are as often found in the one place as the other.

Song: -- Che-wee, che-wee, che-wee,” very similar to that of the Yellow Warbler and also the Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 28

Setophaga tigrina - 1979
In the greater part of eastern North America, Cape May Warblers are regarded as rare birds; they appear to migrate in compact bodies, not spreading out over: the country as do most of the others; consequently they may be very common in restricted areas while lacking entirely in others. I have never met with but two specimens in Massachusetts. While passing through the United States you may meet with them in open woods , parks or in shade trees along the streets of cities .

Song. -- A thin, high-pitched whistle repeated several times.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915. 

No. 29

Setophaga pensylvanica - 1979
Nearly every swamp or bush - covered pasture within their range shelters one or more pairs of these Warblers. While they sometimes feed in the tree tops, they are birds of the lower foliage and are usually seen in low bushes.

Song: -Similar to that of the Yellow Warbler but more choppy.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 30

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota - 1979
This is what is commonly called the Eave Swallow in the East, because of its habit of plastering its nests on the outside of barns or other buildings, up under the eaves. In the West they usually resort to cliffs where, sometimes, large sections of the face will be completely covered with the little mud flasks; often colonies of several thousand will build their nests together.

Song. – A continuous twitter, uttered while on the wing or at rest.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 31

Chordelies minor - 1979
Male with white throat and white band across tail; female with rusty throat and no white on tail. Notice that the Nighthawk has a forked tail and white band across the wings, thus being readily distinguished at a distance from the Whip-poor-will.

Note.-- A loud nasal "peent.”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 32

Junco hyemalis - 1979
These are one of our most common winter birds, easily recognized, while perching or on the ground, by the white or pinkish bill, and when flying by the white outer tail feathers and the gray and white plumage. They are very common about houses as well as on the edges of woods and in pine groves, being very tame and coming into the dooryard to feed upon crumbs or chaff which is often thrown out for them.

Song: -A sweet simple trill, which has a beautiful effect when given by a whole flock in unison.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 33

Dumetella carolinensis - 1979
This is one of the most common birds throughout the United States, being found equally abundantly in gardens, swamps and scrubby pastures. They are very persistent songsters and have a large repertoire of notes, as well as being able to imitate those of many other birds. They delight in spending an hour or more at a time, perched in a bush or tree top, singing, and apparently making their song up as they go along, for it is an indescribable medley interspersed with various mews and cat calls.

Song: - A medley like that of the Mockingbird; sometimes pleasing, sometimes not.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 34

Geothllypis philadelphia - 1979
These birds are found in swamps and thickets, as well as among the bushes and weeds along walls, fences and the edges of woods. Their habits are like those of the Maryland Yellow - throats, they being found on or near the ground, scratching about among the leaves or gleaning insects from the foliage of the low shrubbery. They appear to be the most abundant in the middle States and northward.

Song. – Similar to the liquid song of the Water Thrush; call, a sharp “peenk,” like that of the last.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies.1915.

No. 35

Leiothlypis ruficapilla - 1979
Dry side hills covered with young trees are favorite resorts for the Warblers. They conceal their nests on the ground under tufts of dead grass or overhanging stones. They are often rather shy and hard to sight, but you can usually hear their song, a lazy sounding “ker-chip-chip-chip-cherr-wee-e-e.” ending in a short trill. These birds breed in the northern half of the U. S. and southern Canada, wintering in Central America.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 36

Seiurus aurocapilla - 1979
This bird is found in open woods, where it builds its arched nest on the ground among the leaves or pine needles. It is the peculiar oven - like construction of their nests that gives them their name. They are essentially ground birds, only mounting to the lower branches it trees to sing or when scolding an intruder.

Song: -A peculiar ascending song resembling the word teacher, repeated five or six times and gathering strength and volume with each syllable; call, a sharp chip.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 37

Pheucticus ludovicianus - 1979
The center of abundance of these beautiful creatures is in the northern half of eastern U. S. In beauty and song he fully atones for what we northerners lose because of the southerly distribution of the Cardinal. We find them in swamps, small patches of woods, and, sometimes, in orchards. They are rather quiet birds, that is they do not move about much, but they can easily be found by their song .

Song. - A rich, full, whistling carol, almost without exception immediately preceded with a sharp chip. Call, a deep-toned chirp.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 38

Regulus calendula - 1979
Male with a concealed patch of red on the crown; female with no red. Like the last, these are chiefly winter visitants in the United States and they do not remain with us in the coldest weather, but pass on to the southern half of our country. They are nearly always met with in pine or other coniferous trees, being very abundant in spring in open pine woods and parks.

Song. – A clear warble, surprisingly loud and varied for so small a bird; call, a grating chatter.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 39

Bonasa umbellus - 1979
The grouse spend the winter in thick, deep swamps, or ... where evergreens grow, ... Life is easy for the birds , which wander about over their limited range , scratching , when the snow is not too deep , for the fruit of the skunk cabbage , for the fruit and leaves of wintergreen and partridge berry and arbutus , for hibernating insects , for nuts overlooked in autumn by themselves and the squirrels; or, if the ground is deeply snow-covered and ice-bound, taking to the tree-tops, where they glean a plenteous harvest of buds, and usually come out in spring strong and well nourished .

Grinnell, George Bird.  American Game-Bird Shooting. 1910.

No. 40

Piranga olivacea - 1979
These beautiful birds are found in open woods, but they often come out in fields, parks, orchards and sometimes in yards when feeding; one of the prettiest sights that I ever saw was of about a dozen of these birds tripping along the furrows of a ploughed field, where they were feeding on insects. Besides berries and seeds, they live upon quantities of insects, frequently catching them on the wing in true Flycatcher style.

Song. – Resembling that of the Robin, but harsher, less varied and higher pitched. Call, a ' sharp chip or “chip - churr."

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 41

Zonotrichia albicollis - 1979
In thick underbrush, we hear these birds scratching about among the leaves; occasionally one of them will hop up on a twig and give his clear peabody song, or; hearing or seeing you, give a sharp chirp and dash out of sight again. They are birds of the ground, always busy and always happy. I think that without any, exception, they are the handsomest of our Sparrows, their colors are so rich and harmonize and blend together so well.

Song: -A high-pitched, very clear and sweet whistle, "pea–bo-dy-bird. ”Call and note of alarm a metallic chirp.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 42

Setophaga coronata - 1979
During migrations these pretty birds [Myrtle Warblers] are very abundant in the United States. They usually travel in large flocks so that a small piece of woodland is liter ally flooded with them when they pause in the flight to feed upon insects or small berries. They are often known as Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Song: -A clear, broken trill or warble.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 43

Bombycilla cedroum - 1980
Plumage very soft colored with a general brownish tone, shading to gray on the rump. The Waxwings are named from the curious wax - like appendages attached to the tips of the secondaries, and rarely to the tail feathers. They are very sociable and usually feed in flocks. They live chiefly upon fruit and are especially fond of cherries, for which reason they are very often known as Cherry-birds. They are very tame and allow anyone to almost touch them while they are feeding or sitting upon their nests.

Note. - An insignificant lisping hiss.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 44

Anas platyrhymchos - 1980
The Mallard, Green-head, or common wild duck is well known over nearly the whole northern hemisphere and is the original of the domestic duck, the ordinary breeds of which resemble the Mallard very closely in color, voice and habits. The Mallard's nest is placed on the ground, usually near some slough or marshy stream, sometimes on a rotten stump or even an old Crow's nest, and is thickly lined with downy feathers.

Eaton, Elon Howard. Birds of New York. 1910-1914.

No. 45

Certhia american - 1981
These odd birds are fairly common throughout the United States in winter. They will be found in woods always climbing up tree trunks, carefully investigating every crevice in the bark for larvae or grubs. When they reach the top of one tree, they drop to the foot of the next and continue the operation. They are very tame, not seeming to comprehend that danger can befall them, for they will allow anyone to approach very closely, so that they have been caught under a hat.

Song: -A very faint trill; call, a weak “tseep,” hardly noticeable unless very near them.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 46

Corvus corax - 1981
The habits of all the ravens and crows are identical and are too well known to need mention. They are all very destructive to young birds and eggs. The Raven can be known by its large size, its very large bill and lanceolate feathers on the throat. They are found in the mountains from Georgia and on the coast from Maine northwards.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 47

Leuconotopicus villosus - 1981
In summer these Woodpeckers are found in heavy woods, where they breed, but in winter they are often seen on trees about houses, even in the larger cities, hunting in all the crevices of the bark in the hope of locating the larva of some insect. They are usually more shy than the Downy, from which they can readily be distinguished by their much larger size.

 Note. — A sharp whistled “peenk .”

Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 48

Passer domesticus - 1981
These street urchins were introduced into our country from Europe about 1850, and have since multiplied and spread out so that they now are found in all parts of our land from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Hereto fore they have confined themselves chiefly in the immediate vicinity of the larger cities and towns, but it is now noted with alarm that they are apparently spreading out into the surrounding country. They are very hardy creatures, able to stand our most rigorous winters. They are fighters and bullies from the time they leave the egg, and few of our native birds will attempt to live in the neighborhood with them.

Notes.-- A harsh , discordant sound, which they commence early in the morning and continue until night.

Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 49

Passerina cyanea - 1981
A jolly summer songster, dwelling with us from the latter part of May until September. You will meet with these Buntings along roadsides lined with scrubby trees or bushes, or in pastures or along the edges of swamps. The male usually has some favorite perch upon which he spends a large portion of his time singing; it is nearly always the top of a tall bush or tree.

Song. – A sprightly little warble with many canary like notes. Call, a sharp chip.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 50

Zenaida macroura - 1981
... the Wild Pigeon, is now so rare that its occurrence is worthy of note. Less than fifty years ago it was exceedingly abundant, but its sociable habits of nesting and flying in enormous flocks made it easy prey for the market hunter, and, with that entire disregard of consequences which seems to characterize man's action when his greed is aroused, the birds were pursued so relentlessly that they have been practically exterminated. The Mourning or Carolina Dove has happily been more fortunate. Nesting in isolated pairs, and not gathering in very large flocks, it has escaped the market hunter.

Chapman, Frank M. Bird-Life. 1919.

No. 51

Spinus pinus - 1981
These are also northern birds, being found in the U S., with the exception of the extreme northern parts only in winter and early spring. Their habits are just like those of the Goldfinches, for which species they are often mistaken, as the latter are dull - colored in winter. Their song and call - notes are like those of the Gold finch, but have a slight nasal twang that will identify them at a distance, after becoming accustomed to it. They are often seen hanging head downward from the ends of branches as they feed upon the seeds or buds, and when thus engaged they are very tame.

Song. — Quite similar to that of the Goldfinch.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 52

Progne subis - 1981
These large, jolly Swallows are commonly seen about cities and towns within their range. Originally they dwelt in hollow trees, and some do yet, but the majority have recognized the superiority of man's dwelling and now live in houses built especially for them or in cornices of houses or barns. It is no uncommon sight to a handsome gabled structure of many rooms, perched upon a twelve-foot pole, on the lawns of many wealthy residents; others less bountifully supplied with this world's goods use plain soap boxes for the same purpose, and the Martins seem to like the one as well as the other.

Song: -A strong, varied grating warble or twitter, more forcible than melodious.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 53

Icterus gabula - 1982
They are sociable birds and seem to like the company of mankind, for their nests are, from choice, built as near as possible to houses, often being where they can be reached from windows. As they use a great deal of string in the construction of their nests, children often get amusement by placing bright - colored pieces of yarn where the birds will get them, and watch them weave them into their homes.

Song. -A clear, querulous, varied whistle or warble; call, a plaintive whistle.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 54

Megaceryle alcyon - 1982
Kingfishers may be found about ponds, lakes, rivers, the sea - side or small creeks; anywhere that small fish may be obtained. Their food is entirely of fish that they catch by diving for, from their perches on dead branches, or by hovering over the water until the fish are in proper positions and then plunging after them.

Note. -- A very loud, harsh rattle, easily heard half a mile away on a clear, quiet day

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 55

Vireo solitarius - 1982
This species, to my eye, is the prettiest of the Vireos, all the colors being in just the right proportion and blending and harmonizing perfectly. They are solitary, in that they are usually found in deep woods, glens or ravines, and seldom is more than one pair found in a single woods.

Song. – Similar to that of the Yellow - throated Vireo but longer and more varied.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 56

Spatula discors -1982
Among sportsmen, this species has the reputation of being one of the swiftest ducks in flight, the most wild and impossible claims of speed being mentioned, even up to two hundred miles per hour. Careful observations by competent men have amply proven that this or no other duck can fly at a rate of more than sixty miles per hour. In autumn they feed upon wild rice, as well as other tender plants and insects, becoming quite fat and very toothsome, although of small size. They are never very shy and come readily to decoys, settling among them with the greatest confidence. They walk very gracefully and easily, and swim swiftly and with much buoyancy ... 

Reed, Chester. American Game Birds. 1912.

No. 57

Acanthis flammea - 1982
In winter these northern birds may be found in rocks gathering seeds from weeds by the roadside and stone walls. Their actions greatly resemble those of our Goldfinch, but their flight is more rapid.

Song -Strong, sweet and canary - like.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 58

Quiscalus quiscula - 1982
All the Grackles are very similar in appearance, the colors varying with different individuals of the same species. Their habits are alike, too, and I consider them one of the most destructive of our birds.

Notes. - A harsh “tchack," and a squeaky song.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 59

Contopus virens - 1982
In life, the Pewee can best be distinguished from the larger Phæbe, with which it is often confounded, by its sad, plaintive “pe ah-wee," "pee-wee,” which is strikingly different from the brusque call of the Phæbe. Pewees are also found more in high, dry woods where they build their little moss - covered homes on horizontal boughs at quite a height from the ground. Like the other flycatchers they always perch on dead twigs, where their view is as little obstructed as possible.

Note. - A clear, plaintive whistle,* pe-ah-whee,” “pee-wee.”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 60

Haemorhous purpureus - 1982
These beautiful songsters are common in the northern tier of states and in Canada. In spring the males are usually seen on, or heard from, tree tops in orchards or parks, giving forth their glad carols. They are especially musical in spring when the snow is just leaving the ground and the air is bracing. After family cares come upon them, they are quite silent, the male only occasionally indulging in a burst of song.

Song.-- A loud, long - continued and very sweet warble; call, a querulous whistle.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 61

Euphagus carolinus - 1982
In the United States we know these birds chiefly as emigrants; but a few of them remain to breed in the Northern parts. Their songs are rather squeaky efforts, but still not unmusical. These birds are found east of the Rockies .

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 62

Tringa solitaria - 1982
Solitary sandpipers are so called because they rarely, if ever, go in flocks. They frequent fresh-water ponds and meadows, preferring those surrounded by woods or underbrush. They run swiftly to and fro along the edges, gathering anything edible from the soft soil or the surface of the water. Occasionally they cross the pond, their fluttering wings down-curved in sandpiper fashion and tail spread so that their distinguishing marks, the white outer tail feathers with black barring, may be distinctly seen. 

Reed, Chester A. Birds of Eastern North America. 1912.


Cardellina pusilla - 1982
These little fly-catching Warblers are abundant in the United States during migrations, being found in woods or swamps, and very often in apple trees when they are in bloom. They fly about among the outer branches snatching insects from the foliage or blossoms, and often dashing out to catch one that is flying by: Their natural pertness is intensified by their very attractive plumage which harmonizes perfectly with green leaves.

Song: -A simple and rather weak trill.

Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 64

Bubu virginianus - 1984
These large birds are the most fierce and destructive of the family. They are powerfully built, and their size and strength allow them to attack and secure some of the larger animals, such as skunks, woodchucks, rabbits, grouse and poultry. They seem to be especially fond of skunks, and more than half of them that are killed will have unmistakable evidence of their recent and close association with this animal.

Reed, Charles. Western Bird Guide1927.

No. 65

Archilochus colubris - 1984
Owners of flower gardens have the best of opportunities to study these winged jewels, on their many trips to and fro for honey, or the insects that are also attracted there by. With whirring wings, they remain suspended before a blossom, then--buzz--and they are examining the next, with bill lost within the sweet depths. Their temper is all out of proportion to their size, for they will dash at an intruder about their moss-covered home as though they would pierce him like a bullet.

Their angry twitters and squeaks are amusing and surprising, as are their excitable actions.

Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 66

Spizelloides arborea - 1985
These Sparrows are summer residents of the Arctic region , passing the winter in the northern half of the U. S. They bear considerable resemblance to our common Chipping Sparrow, but are larger and have characteristic markings as noted above . They appear in the U. S. in October and many of them pass the winter in the fields and gardens in our northern states.

Note. A musical chirp; song , strong , sweet and musical and ending in a low warble.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 67

Mniotilta varia - 1985
These Warblers are usually known as Black and White Creepers because of their habit of creeping along the limbs and branches of trees. They are abundant in northern United States, being found in open woods, swamps and often in parks, gleaning insects and grubs from crevices in the bark.

Song. - A weak, thin, wiry “ tsee, tsee, tsee. ”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 68

Catharus guttatus - 1985
During its migrations it rarely sings but in its summer home it is regarded as a remarkable musician. Its song has the sweetness and purity of tone of that of the Wood Thrush, and is , perhaps , more varied , but it is not nearly as powerful, and has a ventriloquial effect. I watched one that was perched on a dead stump, about twenty feet from me, for several minutes with a pair of glasses before I could make sure that he was the author of the song I heard, for it sounded as though coming from across the next field.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 69

Sphyrapicus varius - 1985
This species has gained some ill - repute because of its supposed habit boring through the bark of trees in order to get at the sap, and thus killing the trees. However, I very much doubt if they do any appreciable damage in this manner. I have watched a great many of them in the spring and fall and have clearly seen that they were feeding upon insects in the same way as the Downy.

Note. - A loud whining “whee,” and other harsh calls similar to the scream of a Blue Jay.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 70

Tringa flavipes - 1986
Both Audubon and Nuttall appear to have regarded the bird as one of the most numerous of American waders, and many who are still active hunters can recall the days when big bags were common. The yellow-legs, however, decoys well, and when a flock has been decimated by the first discharge will frequently return at the whistled call. The trustfulness of shorebirds is great, their wiles few and ineffective, and they have to pay the natural penalty, since there is little pity in the heart of the man with a shotgun.

Henshaw, Henry. The Book of Birds, Common Birds of Town and Country and American Game Birds, 1918.

No. 71

Sitta carolinensis - 1986
Male with the crown bluish black; female with the crown gray; both sexes with chestnut under tail coverts. These birds seem to be the very opposite of the Brown Creepers . Their tails are short and square, and nearly always pointed toward the zenith, for Nuthatches usually clamber among the branches and down the tree trunks, head first.

Note. — A nasal “yank-yank, ” and a repeated “ ya-ya, ” all on the same tone.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 72

Zonnnotrichia leucophrys - 1986
We know these birds in the U. S., except in mountain ranges or in the extreme northern parts, only as migrants, they then being found in brushy woodlots or along roadsides. In the north they are found in deeply wooded ravines and on side hills. While with us they rarely if ever sing, but in their summer home they have a clear tinkling song like that of the White throated Sparrow, with which we see them associated but here.

Song. A clear, sweet, piping “see-dee-dee-dee-de-e; " call note a sharp chip.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies[1915].


No. 73

Perisoreus canadensis - 1987
These birds are well known to hunters, trappers and campers in the northern woods. They are great friends, especially of the lumbermen, as some of the pranks that they play serve to enliven an otherwise tedious day, They seem to be devoid of fear and enter camp and carry off everything, edible or not, that they can get hold of They are called by guides and lumbermen by various names, such as Whiskey Jack, Moose Bird, etc.

Notes. - A harsh "ca-ca-ca," and various other sounds.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 74

Troglodytes aedon - 1987
Above brownish with tail and wings barred; below dull grayish, barred on the flanks with brown. These are bold, sociable and confiding birds, seeming to prefer men's society, building their nests in bird boxes that are erected for them, or in the most unexpected situations about buildings. They are one of the most beneficial birds that can be attracted to one's yard, feeding wholly upon insects.

Song: -Loud, clear and bubbling over with enthusiasm.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 75

ROCK PIGEON [aka  Rock Dove]
Columba livia - 1987
.. the Rock Dove, since it is probably the ancestor of all our domesticated races. Readily distinguishable by the double black bar across the wings and the white patch on the lower part of the back, this bird is to be found only in a truly wild state where caves or deep fissures in rocks exist. It is a common bird in Scotland and is met with abundantly on the west coast of Ireland, where it finds suitable breeding-places in the rugged cliffs facing the Atlantic. Though partial to grain, the Rock Dove feeds largely on the roots and seeds of various troublesome weeds ... in drinking, they do not raise the head, but keep the bill immersed.

Knight, Charles, & Ella Hardcastle. Birds of the World for Young People. 1909.

No. 76

MERLIN [aka Pigeon Hawk]
Falco Columbarius - 1988
A small Falcon, similar to the Sharp-shinned Hawk, but a much darker and stouter built bird. It is a daring little fellow, and will attack birds much larger than itself. It feeds on small birds and mice.

Reed, Charles K. Western Bird Guide. 1927.

No. 77

Dryocopus pileatus - 1988
Male with a scarlet crown and crest and moustache or mark extending back from the bill; female with scarlet crest but a blackish forehead and no moustache. Next to the Ivory-bills, these are the largest of our Woodpeckers. Like that species it is very destructive to trees in its search for food. While engaged in this pursuit, they often drill large holes several inches into sound wood to reach the object of their search. Like all the Woodpeckers, they delight in playing tattoos on dry, resonant limbs with their bills.

Note. A whistled "cuk," "cuk," "cuk,” slowly repeated many times, also a "wick-up” repeated several times.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies: 1915.

No. 78

Stelgidopteryx serripennis - 1988
[No. 617, on right]. The outer vane of the outer primary is stiff and bristly, thus giving the species its name. from the Gulf north to Massachusetts and Washington, in banks or in crevices of stone bridges. The eggs can not with certainty be distinguished from those of the Bank Swallow.

Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 79

Regulus satrapa - 1989
Although very small, these birds are very rugged and endure the severe storm and low temperatures of our northern states apparently with little concern, for they always seem to be happy. They are always busily engaged among the underbrush of side hills and along the banks of brooks, hunting for the scanty fare that awaits them.

Song. — A few weak chips, chirps and trills .

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 80

Ardea herodias - 1989
The presence of a stately Great Blue Heron or " Crane " adds an element to the landscape which no work of man can equal. Its grace of form and motion, emphasized by its large size, is a constant delight to the eye; it is a symbol of the wild in Nature; one never tires of watching it. What punishment, then, is severe enough for the man who robs his fellows of so pure a source of enjoyment? A rifle ball turns this noble creature into a useless mass of flesh and feathers; the loss is irreparable. Still, we have no law to prevent it. Herons are said to devour large numbers of small fish. But is not the laborer worthy of his hire? Are the fish more valuable than this, one of the grandest of birds? 

Chapman, Frank. Bird-Life, 1919.

No. 81

Cardinalis cardinalis - 1989
Noble in carriage, beautiful of plumage, amiable in disposition and excellent singers are some of the qualifications of these large-billed birds. They are southern birds, rarely seen in northern U. S. unless in cages, for large numbers of them are trapped for this purpose, a practice that is being stopped as rapidly as possible by enforcing the laws which protect them. They are hardy birds, often passing the winter in the northern parts of their range when the ground is covered with snow. They frequent gardens, plantations and open woods, where they glean their food of seeds, berries, fruit and insects.

Song.-- A loud , clear and lively warble; call, a low chip .

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 82

Spizella pallida - 1991
The habits of these birds are the same as those of the Chippy; they are abundant on the Plains north to Saskatchewan and breed south to the northern portion of the United States. They spend the winter in Mexico. Their nests and eggs cannot be distinguished from those of the preceding, accept, perhaps, by the fact that the nest has more grass than hair.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 83

Sialia sialis - 1991
These beautiful, gentle and well - known birds spend the winter in the southern parts of the United States and north to the snow line; some more hardy than the rest are found throughout the winter in southern New England.

Call. — A short sweet warble; song, a continued warbling.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 84

Anas carolinensis - 1991
Although the smallest of our ducks, measuring but 14 inches in length, this species, which is sometimes called " Winter Teal " because it migrates later in fall and earlier in spring than the next, is very attractive both in plumage and actions ... They are very active, swift of flight, capable of diving deep and of springing from the water in full flight.

Reed, Chester. American Game Birds, 1912.

No. 85

Catharus fuscescens - 1991
Entire upper parts a uniform reddish brown; below soiled white with a few faint marks on the breast. This species is more abundant than the last. It is found in swamps and also in dry open woods, they being especially numerous where ferns grow luxuriantly.

Song: - Very peculiar and not nearly as melodious as that of the Wood Thrush, but still attractive ; a slightly descending “too-whe-u-whe-u-whe-u”; call, a clear “whee you.”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 86

Bombycilla garrulus - 1993
Larger and grayer than our common Cedar Waxwing and with yellow and white on the wing; it is a northern species and is only casually found in eastern U. S. They nest within the Arctic Circle and only a few of their nests have ever been found. In winter they are found in flocks, roving restlessly about the country, often appearing where least expected and utterly deserting other places where they are usually found.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 87

Hirundo rustica - 1994
This is the most graceful and beautiful of all our swallows, and is the most common about farm houses, the inside beams and rafters of which they appropriate for their own use. They delight in skimming over the rolling meadows or the surface of ponds, now rising with the wind, now swooping downward with the speed of an arrow.

Song. – A continuous, rapid twitter.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 88

Zonotrichia querula - 1994
This species is one of the largest of the Sparrows. It is found abundantly on the prairies during migrations, but about nesting time they all seem to disappear and no one has, as yet, been able to locate their exact breeding range. It is supposed to be among some of the foothills of North Dakota and northward through Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as they have been found during the summer in all these localities. Nests supposed to belong to this species have been found, but they lack positive identification.

Song. A series of musical, piping whistles.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 1915.

No. 89

Carpodacus mexicanus - 1994
With his bright colors, and the more quiet colors of his mate, and the habit they have of keeping close to civilization, building their nests in the vines about the porches of the houses, both in the country and even in the cities, they are great favorites with everyone. Their clear and pleasant song is kept up continually during the day, and where two or three pairs are nesting nearby, there is no lack for bird music. Their nests are made of fine rootlets and grass placed in almost any bush, tree or vine, if near some dwelling.

Reed, Charles. Western Bird Guide, 1927.


Setophaga striata - 1995
These birds are one of the latest of the migrants to arrive, reaching northern United States about the last of May, but coming in such numbers that they are found everywhere. While their plumage somewhat resembles that of the Black and White Warbler, their habits are entirely different.

Song: -A high-pitched, hissing whistle similar to that of the Black and White Warbler but uttered more deliberately and with an instant's pause between each note.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 91

Chaetura pelagica - 1995
Unused chimneys of old dwellings make favorite roosting and nesting places for these smoke-colored birds. They originally dwelt in hollow trees until the advent of man furnished more convenient places, although we would scarcely consider the soot-lined brick surface as good as a clean hollow tree. Spines on the end of each tail feather enable them to hang to their upright walls, and to slowly hitch their way to the outer world. Throughout the day numbers of them are scouring the air for their fare of insects, but as night approaches, they return to the chimney.

Note. - A continuous and not unmusical twittering uttered while on the wing and also within the depths of the chimney.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.


Sayomis phoebe - 1995
A Phæbe is always associated, in my mind, with old bridges and bubbling brooks. Nearly every bridge which is at all adapted for the purpose has its Phæbe home beneath it, to which the same pair of birds will return year after year, sometimes building a new nest, sometimes repairing the old. They seem to be of a nervous temperament, for, as they sit upon their usual lookout perch, their tails are continually twitching though in anticipation of the insects that are sure to pass sooner or later.

Note. — A jerky, emphatic “phe-be,” with the accent on the second syllable, and still further accented by a vigorous flirt of the tail.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.


Myiachus crintus - 1995
These large flycatchers are very noisy in the mating season, but their notes are rather musical than those of the Kingbirds. They appear to be of a quarrelsome disposition, for rarely will more than one pair be found in a single piece of woods. They also frequently chase smaller birds, but never attack larger ones, as do the Kingbirds. They have a queer habit of placing a piece of snakeskin in the hole in which their nest is located, for what purpose, unless to scare away intruders, is not known, but it seems to be a universal practice.

Notes. - A clear whistle, “wit-whit,” “wit-whit,” repeated several times. This is the most common call; they have many others less musical.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 94

Empidonax minimus - 1995
Common everywhere in orchards, swamps or along roadsides. They are very often known by the name of “Chebec,” because their notes resemble that word. Their nests are placed in upright forks of any kind of trees or bushes; they are made of plant fibers and grasses closely felted together. The eggs range from three to five in number and are creamy white, without markings.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 95

Spizella pusila - 1996
You will find these birds in dry pastures, stubble fields and side hills. The hotter and dryer a place is, the better they seem to like it. They are often the only birds that will be found nesting on tracts of land recently burned over, upon which the sun beats down with stifling heat.

Song: - A series of shrill piping whistles on an ascending scale and terminating in a little trill, "swee-see-see-se-e-e.”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 96

Empidonax alnorum - 2005-2018

Eaton, Elon Howard. Birds of New York, 1916.

No. 97

Haemorhouos mexicanus - circa 2005-2018
In the adult birds, the white head and tail will always identify them, but in the first and second year they are a brownish black, the second year showing traces of the white on head and tail. They are found throughout the United States. Their food consists largely of fish.

Reed, Charles. Western Bird Guide, 1927.

No. 98

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (AKA Artic Three-Toed Woodpecker)
Picoides articus - circa 2005-2018
Woodpecker traditionalists knew the Black-Backed Woodpecker as the Arctic Three-Toed Wood- pecker until The American Ornithologist's Union changed the name in 1931 to the Black-Backed Three-Toed Woodpecker. Not content with the confusion they had sown, the AOU changed the name again in 1983 to the laconic, and definitely less-fun to say, Black-Backed Woodpecker.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies1915.

No. 99

Setophaga caerulescens - circa 2005-2018
You will find these birds in damp woods or swamps, or less often in parks or open woods. They are usually seen at low elevations in scrubby underbrush. Their notes are very peculiar and will draw attention to them anywhere.

Song: -- A deep grating whistle with a sharply rising inflection, "zee-zee-zwee.”

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 100

Setophaga virens - circa 2005-2018
A common bird in pine groves in northern United States, or during migrations in birch woods. I have found them most abundant on side hills covered with low-growth pines. They seem to be very nervous and are greatly excited if you appear near their nests. They often have the habit of building several nests , whether with the deliberate intent to deceive or whether because the first was not satisfactory as to location is not known.

Song. – Entirely different from that of any other bird; a rather harsh ' zee ” repeated six times , with the fourth and fifth syllables lower.

Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

Gallery of CSS Birds

Turkey Vulture

A campus trail camera picked up this image of a dining Turkey Vulture in April 2024. The image has been used by Chris Baszuro in his research on local scavengers for Dr. Pam Freeman's course on Animal Behavior.

Summer Tanager

This female Summer Tanager, which was found in Gethsemane Cemetery in May 2023, is the first vagrant species added to our 45-year old list. It is typically not found above southern Iowa.  The bird was first misidentified as the much more common Scarlet Tanager. The correction was made by author-ornithologist Laura Erickson who has confirmed all of our additions to the species list in recent years.

American Pipit

A small flock of migrating  American Pipits, including this perching individual, was sighted in the Gethsemane Cemetery in September 2023. It was the first confirmed campus sighting of this species which typically nests in the Arctic tundra.

Northern Waterthrush

This Northern Waterthrush, spotted near the bridge over Chester Creek at the north entrance to campus, was the third new species added to the Catalog of Birds in 2023. Its sound was picked up on Cornell's Merlin app several days before the sighting. 

Great-horned Owl

This juvenile Great-horned Owl was photographed near the Little Theater in May 2007.

Yellow Warber seen near lower lots on June 14, 2020.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler is one of 19 warbler species which have been seen on campus since 1978. This individual was found near Lot 6A on June 14, 2020.

Black-throated Green Warbler seen near overlook to Valley of Silence. June 20, 2020.

Black-throated Green Warbler

This male Black-throated Green Warbler was heard singing into the Valley of Silence on June 20, 2020.

Barred Owl

This stunning Barred Owl was seen at dusk near the monastery cemetery on the day after Thanksgiving last year.

Hermit Thrush

This Hermit Thrush was found in the monastery cemetery on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2020. 

American Redstart

American Redstart

Seen near drive below Science Building on June 22, 2020.

Winter Wren

Winter Wren is one of three wren species which have been seen on campus. This particular individual was seen in the monastery cemetery in October 2020.

Song Sparrow near Gethsemane Cemetery on June 13, 2020.

Song Sparrow

Seen in a field of wild lupine near Gethsemane Cemetery on June 13, 2020.

Chipping Sparrow

Seen near Cedar Hall on June 19, 2020.

Northern Flicker near Lot 15 on June 13, 2020.

Northern Flicker

Pictured near Lot 15 on June 13, 2020.

Mourning Warbler

Mourning Warbler

Found near Lot 15 on June 20, 2020.

Black and White Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler near the south entrance to campus in September 2020.

Northern Flicker and Sharp-shinned Hawk

This skirmish between a Northern Flicker and Sharp-shinned Hawk was photographed behind the BHC.

A Gallery of Campus Warblers

Black-throated Green Warbler

This Black-throated Green Warbler was found singing one of its signature songs into the Valley of Silence last summer: "Trees, trees, whispering trees."

It is one of 19 warbler species which have been found on campus since the late 1970s.

Black and White Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

The sighting of the first warbler of spring migration is always momentous. The honor this year goes to this Black-and-white Warbler, which was seen in Gethsemane Cemetery on May 8, 2021.

Black and White Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

A more impressionist view of Black-and-white Warbler. This individual was found near the entrance to campus in September 2020. This is the only warbler species known for going "upside down" as it forages the trunks of trees for insects.

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

This photograph of a Blackburnian Warbler was taken behind Gethsemane Cemetery by author/ornithologist Laura Erickson during a walk she led for us on June 2, 2017.

Chestnut-sided Warbler

This juvenile Chestnut-sided Warbler was found snacking near Gethsemane Cemetery before its first fall migration.

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Seen near Gethsemane Cemetery in September 2020.

Bay-breasted Warbler

We had our first sighting of a campus Bay-breasted Warbler in fall 2020. This individual was found near the back of Gethsemane Cemetery. The trailhead which leads down towards campus housing can be an outstanding location for finding warblers.

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson's Warbler was another addition to our species list in fall 2020. It was found in Gethsemane Cemetery.

Mourning Warbler

On a campus walk in 2016, Kim Eckert--author of the outstanding A Birder's Guide to Minnesota--remarked that Mourning Warbler is often sought out by visiting birders to northern Minnesota. This individual was seen near Lot 15 in June 2020.

Tennessee Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

We needed some expert help from our friend Laura Erickson to identify this Tennessee Warbler which was seen on campus last fall. This species, which bears a resemblance to Orange-crowned Warbler, can be distinguished by its white undertail coverts. Orange-crowned Warbler has a longer tail, which is yellow underneath.

American Redstart

American Redstart

Seen near drive below Science Building on June 22, 2020.

Yellow Warber seen near lower lots on June 14, 2020.

Yellow Warbler

Seen near Lot 6A on June 14, 2020.

Palm Warbler

While the Palm Warbler isn't the flashiest of the warblers, it has its own subtle beauty which naturally blends with fall colors. This photo--taken behind the BHC on September 13--is of interest since it provides a good view of the white tail spots which can be seen when the bird fans its tail.

Common Yellowthroat

A Common Yellowthroat singing near Chester Creek. May 19, 2021



More often heard than seen, the Ovenbird is known for its emphatic song: "Teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher!" Ovenbirds can often be heard singing from the woods surrounding Gethsemane Cemetery where this individual was found on May 13, 2021.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

We were impressed by the outstanding posture of this juvenile Yellow-rumped Warbler found in Gethsemane Cemetery last fall. The brilliantly colored adults of this species should return to campus in late May and early June.

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler is another species which we look forward to seeing in its stunning spring plumage. Even in its less spectacular fall wardrobe--as seen here in a September 2020 photo from Gethsemane--this species remains impressive year-round.

By the numbers, 101 - 137

No. 101

Buteo platypterus - 2005-2018
Broad-winged hawks are quite evenly distributed over eastern North America. The great Mississippi River marks the western boundaries of this species … While they are not very active, a trait, and perhaps a commendable one, common to all Buteos, they often delight in soaring high over the woods or fields, apparently just for exercise, for their hunting is accomplished by quietly perching on a suitable place to command a good view of a considerable area of ground, and suddenly dropping upon the squirrel or other rodent that first shows itself. They also catch many frogs, larvæ of large moths, grasshoppers, and other insects.

Text & image form Reed, Chester. Birds of Eastern North America, 1895.

No. 102

Branta canadensis - circa 2005-2018
Canada geese … are the most highly prized of all water fowl. Great creatures, 3 feet or more in length, and with tender flesh and appetizing, they appeal to the gourmand; wary yet coming to decoys, they furnish the greatest sport for the hunter, and he also gets game worthwhile when he brings one down. Northern hunters eagerly await the loud honking of the first spring flock, while southern ones just as enthusiastically wait their return in late fall. It is a grand sight to see the wide V-shaped line of great birds swiftly speed overhead, their large wings strongly beating the air and from their throats to hear the loud honking that sounds so like a pack of fox hounds in full cry.

Text & image from Reed, Chester. American Game Birds, 1912.



No. 103

Setophaga palmarum - 2005-2018
During migrations you will find these Warblers along roadsides, in open woods and scrubby pastures. They are of a very nervous temperament and, when at rest or when walking, are continually flirting their tail, a habit which none of the Warblers, except the Water-thrush, seem to have. They are one of the earliest of the family to appear in the spring, reaching northern United States in April.

Song. – A short trill; an ordinary Warbler chirp.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 104

Cathartes aura - 2005-2018
These birds are extremely useful in ridding the ground of fetid matter that would otherwise pollute the air ... they are almost exclusively carrion-eaters, although like other Vultures they will eat fresh meat when obtainable. Their sight is remarkably keen, and they are often seen flying over wooded or marshy country, seeking with their sharp eyes for the carcasses of animals. After these birds have eaten heavily, they sit ... in a drooping attitude, with wings hanging listlessly at their sides. The object of this is probably to air and cleanse the feathers, but when in this position they have a most depressing effect upon the observer. These birds are strong and beautiful flyers, soaring in the air for hours at a time without flapping their wings. When rising from the ground, however, or starting from a tree, they flap heavily several times in order to gain momentum for flight, but once on the wing they rise and fall without perceptible motion of the wings.

Text and image from Knight, Charles, & Ella Hardcastle. Birds of the World for Young People. 1909.

No. 105

Pelecanus erythrorhynchos - 2019
Plumage mostly white, with black primaries; eyes white; bill and feet yellow, the former in the breeding season having a thin upright knob about midway on the top of the upper mandible. They get their food by approaching a school of small fish and suddenly dipping their head beneath the surface, sometimes scooping a large number of fish at a time; they contract the pouch, allowing the water to run out of the sides of the mouth, and then swallow the fish.

Text and image from Reed, Charles. Western Bird Guide, 1927.


Vireo solitarius - 2019
This species, to my eye, is the prettiest of the Vireos, all the colors being in just the right proportion and blending and harmonizing perfectly. They are solitary, in that they are usually found in deep woods, glens or ravines, and seldom is more than one pair found in a single woods.

Song.– Similar to that of the Yellow-throated Vireo but longer and more varied.

Image & text from Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 107

Melanerpes  carolinus - 2019
Like the Red-heads, these birds are noisy, but they have few of the bad qualities of the others. Besides the regular Woodpecker fare, they get a great many ants and beetles from the ground and fruit and acorns from the trees. They are said to also be fond of orange juice. In most of their range they are regarded as rather shy and retiring birds.

Note. - A sharp, resonant “cha," "cha," "cha," repeated.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 108

Grus canadensis - 2019
As the crane struts majestically about, it keeps a watchful eye for enemies, and when the danger proves threatening, it spreads its broad wings and with measured beats flies slowly away. Its loud bugle-like notes, when heard coming from mid-air, as the birds slowly pass out of sight, have a delightful musical quality. The food of this crane consists of a large variety of animal life, among which are grasshoppers and meadow mice, so that a distinct claim of economic usefulness may be made for it. Unfortunately for its safety its meat is by no means unpalatable and in some localities it is much sought after for food ... Probably the fate of such a large bird, requiring so much space and freedom, cannot be averted , but it can at least be postponed, and every man who carries a gun should do his part by refraining from making a target of its big body.

Henshaw, Henry. The Book of Birds, Common Birds of Town and Country and American Game Birds. 1918.

No. 109

Troglodytes hiemalis - 2019
This is the shortest and most stoutly built Wren that we have. They look very pert with their little stubby tail erect over their back. In most of the United States we only see them in the winter, and they are associated, in my mind, with brush heaps in woods and gardens. They will hide in a small pile of brush, running from side to side, so that it is almost impossible to make them leave it.

Song. – A rippling flow of melody, not as loud, but more musical than that of the House Wren.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 111

Passerellidae iliaca - 2020
In winter we find these large Sparrows in quiet swamps and open woods, where they scratch about among the fallen leaves, after the manner of domestic fowls; they will scratch energetically for a few seconds, then pause to see what they have uncovered. They have a short but loud and joyful song, with which they greet you on clear frosty mornings, and the effect is very beautiful when a large flock of them are singing in chorus.

Song. – A loud, clear and melodious carol; call, a soft chip.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockie, 1915.

No. 110

Setaphaga castanea - 2020
These Warblers are only locally abundant during migrations, while in eastern New England they are rare. They are active insect hunters, darting rapidly about the tree tops or, less often, in brush; their habits most nearly resemble those of the Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Song: -A low, liquid warble.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. [1915].

No. 112

Eremophila alpestris - 2020
This variety, which is larger than its sub-species, is only found in the U.S. in winter, but several of the sub-species are residents in our limits. During the mating season they have a sweet song that is uttered on the wing, like that of the Bobolink.

Notes. - Alarm note and call a whistled “tseet" "tseet”; song a low, sweet and continued warble.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 113

Calcarius lapponicus - 2020
As indicated by its name, this is a Northern species, which spends the cold months in northern U. S., traveling in flocks and resting and feeding on side hills, often with Snowflakes , or on lower ground with Horned Larks .

Song. – A sweet trill or warble, frequently given while in flight; call, a sharp chip.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 114

Melospiza lincolnii - 2020
These finches are quite abundant in the West, especially during migrations, but are rather uncommon in the eastern states. Their habits are similar in some respects to both those of the Song Sparrow and of the Grasshopper Sparrow. They are very lively at all times and in the mating season quite pugnacious. They sit for minutes at a time upon the top of bush pouring forth their melody, and they have one of the most brilliant songs of any of the family.

Song. – Loud, clear and gurgling, after the style of the house Wren; call, a metallic chirp.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 115

Accilpiter gentilis - 2020
Goshawks ... when hungry, a condition they are in a great deal of the time, they are fearless beyond comparison. A farmer feeding his fowls may hear a swish of wings, and see one of his favorite hens borne off before his eyes; so sudden and unexpected is the rush that he is wholly powerless to prevent it. Unfortunately our farmers are not usually well versed in ornithology. They know no distinction between hawks save Hen Hawks (large) and Chicken Hawks (small) ... Ptarmigan, grouse, poultry, ducks, rabbits, and lemmings are the principle staples in the order of the Goshawk preference. Sir Goshawk may play a waiting game and sit patiently on his perch until some delectable morsel passes within range of his sudden dash; but when hunger spurs him, he slowly and silently wings his way through the woods, along creeks or across fields. The creature that betrays its presence is doomed, for his sharp talons will strike it down before it has fairly started in flight. 

Reed, Chester. Birds of Eastern North America, 1912.

No. 116

Lanius borealis - 2020
This shrike is larger than any of the species found in summer in the United States and has the breast quite distinctly barred. Shrikes are cruel, rapacious and carnivorous birds, feeding upon insects, grasshoppers, lizards and small birds. As they have passerine feet, the same as all our small birds, they are unable to hold their prey between the feet while tearing it to pieces, so they impale it upon thorns or the barbs of a wire fence, so they may tear it to shreds with their hooked bill.

Song: -Loud snatches consisting of various whistles and imitations suggesting that of a Catbird.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.


Pinicola enucleator - 2020
These pretty birds visit us every winter, coming from Canada and northern New England, where they are found in summer. They are very fearless birds and might almost be regarded as stupid; when they are feeding you can easily approach within a few feet of them, and they have often been caught in butterfly nets. They may, at times, be found in any kind of trees or woods, but they show a preference for small growth pines, where they feed upon the seeds and upon seeds of weeds that project above the snow.

Song: -A low sweet warble; call, a clear, repeated whistle.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 118

Buteo jamaicensis - 2020
The red-tailed hawk or "hen-hawk," as it is commonly called, is one of the best known of all our birds of prey ... its habit of sitting on some prominent limb or pole in the open, or flying with measured wing beat over prairies and sparsely wooded areas on the look-out for its favorite prey, causes it to be noticed by the most indifferent observer. Although not as omnivorous as the red-shouldered hawk, it feeds on a variety of food, such as small mammals, snakes, frogs, insects, birds, crawfish, centipedes, and even carrion. In regions where rattlesnakes abound it destroys considerable numbers of the reptiles. Although it feeds to a certain extent on poultry and birds, it is nevertheless entitled to general protection on account of the insistent warfare it wages against field mice and others small rodents and insects that are so destructive to young orchards, nursery stock, and from produce. Out o 530 stomachs examined, 457, or 85 per cent, contained the remains of mammal pests, such as field mice, pine mice, rabbits, several species of ground squirrels, pocket gophers, and cotton rats, on 63 contained the remains of poultry of game birds.

Henshaw, Henry. The Book of Birds, Common Birds of Town and Country and American Game Birds1918.

No. 119

Buteo lagopus - circa 2005-2018
The Rough-legged is one of the largest and handsomest of its kind ... though the Rough-leg is one of the largest of the Hawks, its food consists almost entirely of small mammals—mostly mice, as its legs, feet, and bill are comparatively small and week and not fitted for seizing and handling other than such small quarry. Its destruction by the game wardens of the state and by farmers is a serious mistake as it is one of the most beneficial of the Hawks. If it were more generally abundant it would be better for both agriculturalists & horticulturists. 

Text & image from Thomas, Robert S. The Birds of Minnesota, 1932.

No. 120

Accipiter striatus - 2020
It is the Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks who are the real culprits in Hawkdom. They feed almost exclusively on birds, and, having once acquired a taste for tender young broilers, they are apt to make daily visits to the hen yards. They are less often observed than the Hawks previously mentioned, seeking less exposed perches and soaring comparatively little; but, when seen, their slender bodies and long tails should aid in distinguishing them from the stouter, slower-flying Hawks. As a rule, they are silent. It is difficult to explain the differences between these and other Hawks with sufficient clearness to prevent one's killing the wrong kind, but if the farmer will withhold his judgment against Hawks in general, and shoot only those that visit his poultry yard, he will not go far astray.

Text & image from Chapman, Frank. Bird-Life: A Guide to the Study of Our Common Birds, 1919.

No. 121

Catharus ustulatus - 2020
Upper parts wholly olive gray, with no brownish tinge; eye ring, sides of head and breast distinctly buff; breast spotted with blackish .

Song. —Quite similar to that of the Veery.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No 122

Melospiza georgiana - 2020
A very quiet and unobtrusive species that dwells, as its name implies, chiefly in swamps. They creep about under the rank weeds and underbrush like so many mice; they are especially fond of the soft mires where walking is so difficult for human beings; they patter around on the soft mud with evident enjoyment, occasionally walking across an open space of water on what floating debris they may find available.

Song. - A feeble chant; call, a sharp metallic cheep.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 123

Loxia leucoptera - 2020
These curious creatures appear in flocks on the outskirts of our cities every winter, where they will be found almost exclusively in coniferous trees. They cling to the cones, upon which they are feeding, in every conceivable attitude, and a shower of seeds and broken cones rattling through the branches below shows that they are busily working. They are very eccentric birds and the whole flock often takes flight, without apparent cause, only to circle about again to the same trees. The flute-like whistle that they utter when in flight sounds quite pleasing when coming from all the individuals in the flock.

Song: - A low twittering; call, a short flute-like whistle.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies. 


Strix varia - 2021
Next to the Screech Owl the Barred Owl is doubtless our most common representative of this family, but its fondness for deep woods prevents its being known to many who recognize the Screech Owl's mournful song. In both voice and appearance the Barred Owl seems the most human of our Owls. Its call is a deep - voiced questioning whoo-whoo-whoo, who-whoo, to-whōō-ah , which may be heard at a distance of half a mile. It echoes through the woods at night with startling force, and the stories told of its effect on persons who were ignorant of its source are doubtless not without foundation. Other calls are a long-drawn whō-ō-ō  ō-āh, and rarely a thrilling , weird shriek . When two or more Owls are together, they sometimes join in a most singular concerted performance. One utters about ten rapid hoots, while the other, in a slightly higher tone, hoots about half as fast, both birds ending together with a whōō-ah. At other times they may hoot and laugh in a most remark able and quite indescribable manner. 

Text & image from Chapman, Frank M. Bird-Life: A Guide to the Study of Our Common Birds, 1919.

No. 125

Phalacrocorax auritus - 2021
Double-crested cormorants ... [are one of] ... the most abundant of the three eastern species. On the coast they nest ... on rocky ledges; in the south they nest in trees in dense swamps; and in the interior of the United States and Canada they commonly nest on the ground. Whatever the locations, cormorant nesting grounds are filthy places, the rocks, the ground or trees being smeared with white excrement and reeking with the odor of decaying fish. They always nest in colonies, every hollow on the ground sometimes containing its quota of eggs or young. The young birds are fed upon the same diet as their parents - fish. These are brought to the nest in the throats and pouches of the parents, into which the black-skinned, repulsive looking little cormorants insert their heads and help themselves. Ugly as young cormorants may appear to us, they are regarded as delicacies by gulls that nest near them, and they, as well as the cormorant eggs, are devoured at every opportunity.

Reed, Chester A. Birds of Eastern North America, 1912.

No. 126

Cistothorus palustris - 2021

This species [Short-Billed Marsh Wren] can readily be distinguished from the next, as the whole crown is streaked with black and white, whereas that of the Long-bill is uniformly colored. Both species are marsh birds, at home among the reeds, to which they attach their globular woven nests, with the little entrance in the side. The eggs of this species are pure white. It is found in eastern N. A. from the Gulf to southern Canada … The bill of this species [Long-Billed March Wren] is .5 inch or more in length; that of the last is .4inch or less. This species is by far the most abundant. Its eggs are so profusely dotted with dark brown as to appear a chocolate color. Breeds from the Gulf to Massachusetts and Manitoba.

Text & image from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1921.

No. 127

Circus hudsonius - 2021
Marsh Hawks ... alight upon the ground more often than any other of our hawks, but builds its nests in the marshes or meadows. These nests are made chiefly of grasses or rushes, quite well hollowed out to receive the four to seven unmarked bluish - white eggs ... the parents seem to share about equally the task of feeding the young. The whole family usually remains united until they migrate ... During early morning or toward dusk they may usually be seen. sweeping in wide circles over most marshes or meadows, searching for meadow mice and moles, which constitute the greater part of their bill of fare. The poor mouse has pretty good prospects of sooner or later finding a final resting place in the stomach of some carnivorous or raptorial creature; if it ventures abroad during daylight, it finds scores of hawks and herons ready to pounce upon it; if it emerges from its retreat at dusk , the present hawk, the Night Heron, or the Short eared Owl may at any instant spy it; or if it comes forth in the dead of night, other owls or predatory mammals are still lurking about with unappeased appetite.

Reed, Chester A. Birds of Eastern North America, 1912.

No. 128

Contopus cooperi - 2021
These birds can scarcely be called common anywhere, but single pairs of them may be found, in their breeding range, in suitable pieces of woodland. I have always found them in dead pine swamps, where the trees were covered with hanging moss, making it very difficult to locate their small nests. Their peculiar, loud, clear whistle can be heard for a long distance and serves as a guide-board to their location.

Note. - A loud, clear whistle, “whip-wheeu,” the first syllable short and sharp, the last long and drawn out into a plaintive ending.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 129

Falco Sparverius - 2022
Those of you living in the modern world know it as the American Kestrel, but for those of us not of the modern world, it is the Sparrow Hawk ...  “The little Sparrow Hawk is arrayed in a varicolored dress of strikingly contrasted pattern, which makes it one of the handsomest of its tribe in Minnesota. 'The prettiest and jauntiest of our Hawks, and yet no prig; a true falcon, if a little one, with as noble mien and as much pluck as the best among his larger brethren, we can but admire him” (Coues, Birds of the Northeast, 1874). In only one other of our Hawks, the Marsh Hawk, is the plumage of the male and female clearly distinctive. At close range the sexes in this species are easily distinguished by the markings indicated above and shown in Mr. Brooke’s painting … the most frequent call-note may be represented by the syllables killy, killy, killy, killy, high-pitched and uttered rapidly. Mr. Kendell refers to their occasionally soaring at no great height. The writer has seen the male leave the nesting-site and ascend in wide circles and long, straight climbs, until lost to the naked eye.” - Roberts, Thomas. The Birds of Minnesota. 1936. pp. 363-365.

No. 130

Tyrannus tyrannus - 2022

A Catalog of Birds added its 128th member this May, with the camera bagging an Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus). Kingbirds are "one of the most noisy birds, always quarrelling about something, and usually coming off victorious in whatever they may undertake.  Crows are objects of hatred to them, and they always drive them from the neighborhood, vigorously dashing upon and pecking them from above and often following them for a great distance. They have their favorites perches from which they watch for insects, usually a dead branch, or a tall stake in the field."

"Note. - A series of shrill, harsh sounds like "thsee," thsee.""

Text & image from Reed, Chester. A. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 131

Bubo scandiacus - 2022
Like the Horned Owls they are strong, fearless and rapacious birds, feeding upon hares, squirrels and smaller mammals, as well as Grouse, Ptarmigan and many of the smaller birds. They are locally abundant in the far north, preferring low marshy land to the more heavily timbered districts.

Text and image from Reed, Charles K. Western Bird Guide: Birds of the Rockies, 1927.

No. 132

Amtjis rubescens - 2022
These are Arctic birds that spend the winter months in the United States. We find them in flocks along roadsides or in fields, feeding upon weed seeds. They are shy and take wing readily, uttering sharp whistles as they wheel about in the air. They are always restless and stay in a place but a short time. They nest on the ground in northern Canada.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 133

Catharus miinimus - 2023
Quite similar to the following but with the eye ring white and the sides of head and breast much paler. Breeds in northern Canada and migrates through the eastern states to Central America.

Image & description from: Reed, Chester Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 134

Parkesia noveboracensis - 2023
This species always has a yellowish tinge to the under parts and the stripes beneath are narrow, but prominent. These Warblers are found in tangled underbrush near water. They have a habit of continually flirting their tails, thus giving them the local name of Water-Wagtail. Their call is a sharp metallic "chink ”; their song a loud , liquid “quit-quit-quit-que-quewe-u .” Breeds from the northern edge of the U.S. northwards; winters south of U.S."

Text & Image from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies,1915.

No. 135

Piranga rubra - 2023
These Tanagers have a more southerly distribution than the Scarlet variety, but are found in the same kind of territory. In its localities it is rather more abundant and less retiring than is the latter bird in the north, and more often dwells in public parks. This bird is often called the Redbird and in localities where both the Scarlet Tanager and this species are found, they are frequently known by the same name, as their habits and notes are similar.

Song. – Similar to that of the Scarlet Tanager but said to be sweeter and clearer, and to more nearly resemble that of the Robin.

Text & Image from: Reed, Chester. Bird Guide: Land Birds East of the Rockies, 1915.

No. 136

Gavia immer - 2024
The Loon … is known to almost every one by name, but only those who have visited its summer haunts among the Northern lakes and heard its wild call can be said to know it. Nuttall writes of its cry as " the sad and wolfish call of the solitary Loon, which, like a dismal echo, seems slowly to invade the ear, and, rising as it proceeds, dies away in the air." It " may be heard sometimes for two or three miles, when the bird itself is invisible, or reduced almost to a speck in the distance.

Text & image from: Chapman, Frank. Bird Life: A Guide to the Study of our Common Birds. 1919.

No. 137

Pooecetes gramineus - 2024

The name Vesper Sparrow is given this bird because of its habit of tuning up along towards evening; it is perhaps more often known as the "Bay-winged Sparrow" or "Grass Finch." They are found chiefly in dry pastures or along dusty roadsides, where they start from the ground in front of us, their white tail feathers showing prominently as they fly, so that there will be no mistake as to their identity.

 Song. - A clear, ascending series of whistles, given from a fence post or bush top; call, a sharp chirp. 

Text & image from: Chapman, Frank. Bird Life: A Guide to the Study of our Common Birds. 1919.