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localities of each of the tribes mentioned, beginning with the Fuegians, and passing to the two races. of Patagonians, the Araucarians of Chile, whom he identified with the Pehuenches, Huilliches and Aucas of the Pampas of Buenos Ayres, the Abipones, Tobas, Mocobis, Ocoles, Mataguayos and Machicuys of the Gran Chaco or region between Paraguay and Bolivia.

He then described the Guaranis and Payaguas of Paraguay, the Atacamus, Quichuas, Aymaras, Chiriguanos and Chiquuitians of Bolivia, and giving many facts respecting the character of their various languages. He adverted to the extensive area of the Guarani tongue, which extends substantially from the La Plata to the Oronoco, embracing a great portion of Brazil and most of the basin of the Amazon. He stated that he had found the Quichua language spoken in the centre of the Argentine Republic, in the province of Santiago del Estero, cight hundred miles from the nearest point in Bolivia where the same language is now spoken. Consequently Mr. Bliss considered this province to have been an outlying colony of the empire of the Incas.

The languages of the Indians of the Chaco are extremely meagre, and none of them exceeds about a thousand root-words.

Mr. Bliss stated that the principle of reduplication was largely concerned in the formation of the language of the Incas, and that he had collected in Bolivia more than three hundred geographical names formed in this way, as Mocomoco, Coro-coro, Quilli-quilli, and cited as a double reduplication the name of the famous lake Ti-ti-ca-ca. He stated that within two hundred years the Guarani language had undergone an almost complete change, so that instead of being now, as formerly, made up from monosyllabic radicals, it is quite as polysyllabic as most other Indian tongues.

Mr. E. S. Morse's paper “On the Early Stages of Brachiopods” was reported in the September number.

Prof. 0. C. Marsi read a paper on the “Discovery of the Remains of the Horse among the Aucient Ruins of Central America,” the title of which was inadvertently omitted in our list of papers presented to the Association.

VALUABLE LIBRARY FOR SALE. — The Library of the late Dr. B. F. SIIUMARD, of St. Louis, consisting principally of works on Geology and Palæontology, and believed to be very perfect so far as relates to North America, is offered for sale by M. L. Gray, administrator, No. 105 North 5th street, St. Louis. The Library (and also the collection of Fossils and Minerals, also for sale) can be inspected at No. 1302 Olive street, St. Louis.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. L. H.P. --The name of your "moss" is lastigobrium trilobatum Nees., and the bit of " light wood” is stained by the Peziza æruginosu, a verdigris-green colored fungus not uncomnion in woods. -J. L.R.

J. P. S., Glen Falls, New York - A quotation from Agassiz's Method of Study in Natural History, p. 276, will give you the desired information regarding the egg cases of the cockle you speak of. “No one who has ever walked across sand beaches in suminer can have failed to remark what the children call · sand saucers.' The name is not a bad one, with the exception that the saucer lacks a bottom; but the form of these circular bands of sand is certainly very like a saucer with the bottoin knockerl ont. Hold one of them against the liglit and you will see that it is composed of countless transparent spheres, each of the size of a small pin’s head. These are the eges of our common Natica, or Sea-snail. Any one who remembers the outline of this shell will easily understand the process by which its eggs are lent lying on the beach in the form I have described. They are laid in the shape of a broad, short ribbon, pressed! Letween the mantle of the animal and its shell, and, passing out, they cover the exterior of the shell, over which they are rolled up with a kind of glutinous envelope,- for the eggs are belil together by a soft glutinous substance. Thus surrounded, ihe Satica, where habit it is to bwrow wider the surface of the beach, soon covers itself with sind, the particles of which, in contact with the glutinous substance of the eas, quickly forms a cement that binds the whole together in a kind of paste. When consolidated it drops off from the shell, having taken the mould of its form, as it were, and retaining the curve which distinguishes the Natica. Although these salcers look perfectly round, it will be found that the edges are not soldered together, but are simply lappeil one over the other. Every one of the thousand little spheres crowded into such a circle of sand contains an eyg

W. L. T., Minneapolis, Minn. — The Philadelphia Vireo (Vireosylria Philadelphica Cassin), taken by you at Minneapolis, and respecting whose history you enquire, is a species not yet very well known. It was first described by Mr. Cassin, from a specinien taken near Philadelphia, in 1851. Seven years later, when it was rectescribeil by Professor Baired; it was known also from Cleveland, Ohio, and Dane County, Wiscousin. In 1806, when mentioned again by Professor Bitird, additional specimens hail been received at the Smithsonian Iustitution from Maine, Moose Factory, II. B. T., and Guatemala. But a single specimen is thus far known from New England, taken by Professor C. E. Hamlin, at Waterville, Maine; it seems to be more common in the interior. In May, 1857, I found it one of the most common Vireos in Cook County, Illinois. It is bence known to have a wide distribution. In habits, as in size and general appearance, it greatly resembles the well known Warbling Vireo (Mircosyiria gilva Cass.). For descriptions of this species Eee Proc. Phi]. Acad. Nat. Sci., vol. v, p. 153; Bitird's Birels of North America, p.235; Bairl's Review of American Birits, p. 341.

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonux fluvirentris Baird), respecting which you make a similar mquiry, is also a species imperfectly known. First (described by Drs. S. F. and W. M. Barrd, in 1943, from specimens taken in Pennsylvania, its range bas since been fou to extend throughout eastern North America, if not througliout the continent, but it appears to be nowhere very common. Its retiring habits, and close resemblance, at a little distance, to the more common species of its genus roubtless tend greatly to render its capture so relatively unfrequent. It shows in maked prestilection for thickets and wooded situations. In Massachusetts it is more or less common in May, and towarıls the close of summer, but I am not aware that it has been seen here in the breeding season, although its breeding range is known to extend from the District of Columbia to Labrador. Its rather low but somewhat pleasing notes have been deemed by some to be worthy of being called a song. It is fully described in the later general works on North American Birds. – J. A. A.

BOOKS RECEIVED.

Sketch of the Life of Professor Chester Derrey. By M. B. Anderson. Alhany, 1889. Sro, pp. 11.

Contributions from the Sheffield Laboratory of Fale College. XX. On Durangile a Fluo-Arsenate from Darano in Merico By G. J. Brush. xxi. 8vo. pp. t.

on the Jeteoric Stone arhich rell December 5th, iss, in Franklin Co., Alabama. By G. J. Brush. Svo, !!!. 4. From the American Journal of Science and Arts, Neu llaren,

American Bee Journal. Sept.. Oct., 1869. A ciuile-koukut Florida and the South, for tourists, Inralius and Emigrants, iritha Vapor the St. John Hirer. By D. G. Brinton, L. 1. Philadelphia, M. 12m), pp. 134. Price $1.

Annals of Bee Culture for 1869, a bee-heeper's Year Book, D. L. Adair, Editor. Louisville, 1869. Sin. pp. 37.

Popular Science Rerierr. July. London. Science Coxsip. August, Sept., Oct. London. Le Naturaliste (analien. Quichee. Jully, September. Cananın Vaurulent and colourist. June, 1809, Montrea.. Annals of the lyceum of Natural History of New York. Vol. ix, Nos. 5, 6, 7. Marclı – May, 1809.

Petites Nourelles Entomologiques. Vol I. Bi-monthly. Nos 1-7. July 1 to Oct 1, 1569. Paris.
E. Drolle, Fils.

Bulletin de la Soriete Imperiale (l'Acclimatation. VI. Jan. to Aug., 1879. Paris.
American Journal of Conchology. vol. 5, P1, 2, 1808. Philadelphia. Nos. 1-8.
Quarterly Jerund of Science. Oct., 1809. London.
Scientific Opinion. "Vol. 11, Pt. xi, Oct., 1869. London.

THE

AMERICAN NATURALIST.

Vol. III.- DECEMBER, 1869.- No. 10.

NOTES ON SOME OF THE RARER BIRDS OF

MASSACHUSETTS.*

BY J. A. ALLEN.

THE Natural History of any portion of country cannot, of course, be too fully known; and the few ornithological notes at this time presented I feel sure will be acceptable to those who are interested in the study of the New England birds. While a large portion of the facts now communicated are of my own observing I am greatly indebted to the kindness of other persons for many of the interesting notes that, during the last five years, have been accumulating in my note-book. As the authorities upon which the observations not my own in the following pages are communicated are always indicated, I have here but to return thanks to my numerous ornithological correspondents and friends who have so generously favored me from time to time with their valuable contributions. Only by knowing thoroughly the fauna of a locality can the subsequent changes in it, induced by its becoming more densely settled, or by

* A supplement to a Catalogue of the Birds of Massachusetts, published five years since by the writer in the fourth volume of the Proceedings of the Essex Institute.

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by the PEABODY ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts, AMER. NATURALIST, VOL. III.

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other causes, be traced. As is well known, the mammalian and bird faunæ of all the older settled parts of the United States are vastly different from what they were two hundred years ago. These changes consist mainly in the great decrease in numbers of the representatives of all the larger species, not a few of which are already extirpated where they were formerly common; a few of the smaller species of both classes have doubtless increased in numbers. Two causes operate unfavorably upon the larger ones-; the disforesting of the country and the sporting propensities of the people, everything large enough to be shot, whether useful or otherwise, being considered as legitimate game. The former destroys the natural haunts of many species, while the latter destroys and drives away others that would otherwise remain. Many of the water-fowl that are now only transient visitors, as the Canada Goose, the several species of Merganser, Teals, Black Duck and Mallard, undoubtedly once bred in this State, as did also the Wild Turkey and the Prairie Hen. Several of the Gulls and probably some of the Tringe have been driven, like the Ducks and Geese, to seek more northern breeding grounds. In comparatively recent times, geologically speaking, probably other causes, as climatic, have been operating to effect a gradual northward migration, in certain species at least. These changes are of great interest, not only generally, but in a scientific point of view, and we shall be able to trace them and their causes only by comparing, from time to time, exhaustive faunal records of the same localities.

In a district so little diversified as that portion of Massachusetts lying east of the Connecticut River, it is perhaps a little unexpected that marked discrepancies should occur in the observations made at adjoining localities by equally competent naturalists, in respect to the relative abundance of certain species. As every experienced observer must have noticed that the birds of passage, as many of the Warblers especially, vary greatly in numbers in different

years,

and in the time occupied by them in passing a given locality, it is less surprising that at different points they should vary in abundance the same year. Among the birds that regularly breed in the district in question, there are some that are not equally common at all points. The Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus savanna), for instance, that along the coast and on the islands is one of the most common species of its family during the summer, is almost unknown at this season in the interior of the state, although a species that at different seasons of the year is found throughout nearly the whole continent. The Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza palustris) is likewise locally restricted, for while a common summer bird in many of the larger swamps in the eastern part of the state, as the Fresh Pond marshes in Cambridge, it has thus far escaped the detection of very expert observers in the interior and western part. The Yellow-winged Sparrow (Coturniculus passerinus) is likewise partial to peculiar localities, preferring apparently sandy plains and dry open pastures; while it is one of the most numerous summer sparrows about Springfield, on Cape Cod and at Nantucket, it is generally much more rarely observed in the eastern counties of the state, where at some localities it is deemed rare. The same remarks apply to other species, as the Solitary and White-eyed Vireos (Lanivireo solitarius and Vireo Novæboracensis), etc. The Prairie Warbler (Dendroeca discolor) is much more at home in old pastures partially grown up to barberries and cedars than elsewhere. The Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia), generally so numerous everywhere, I found last year was one of the rarest sparrows on the islands and extreme coast border, where its relative, the Savannah, was so common.

Birds, as probably other animals, are not quite so invariable in their habits as has been commonly supposed, nor in the precise character of their notes and songs, or the situation and materials of which they compose their nests. Hence one should not rashly question the accounts given by usually

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