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are added to the list then given, four of which are entirely new to the fauna of the State, and the others have not before been fully established as occurring within it, though supposed to from their known general distribution. Two, the Barn Owl (Strix pratincola) and Varied Thrush (Turdus nævius), have only been previously given in Dr. Coues' Addenda to his "List of the Birds of New England."*
The latter occurs only as a straggler from the far interior and western portions of the continent. Another now added, the Baird's Finch (Centrony Bairdii), discovered by Mr. C. J. Maynard at Ipswich (see notes beyond for farther particulars), is another similar example equally remarkable, it having been previously known only from near the mouth of the Yellowstone River. A few errors in that Catalogue are also now corrected, with the design of making that and the present paper a fair exposition of the ornithological fauna of the State, so far as it is at present known. Three species † there included are now stricken out. Numerous unrecorded instances of the capture of rare specimens within the State are also chronicled, as also the breeding of a few not before positively known to breed here. There are remarks also on a few species, for obvious reasons, that are not to be regarded as among the rarer species of the State.
The whole number of species of birds now known to occur in Massachusetts is three hundred.
GERFALCON. Falco sacer Forster. (F. candicans et Islandicus Auct.) A specimen in the speckled plumage was taken near Providence, R. I., by Mr. Newton Dexter, during the winter of 1864 and 1865. Its occurrence so far south appears to be wholly accidental.
The suspicion many authors have had that the F. candicans and F. Islandicus were but birds of the same species in different states of plumage, my own examination of specimens of both, in the Museum of the Boston Society of Natural History and elsewhere, has led me to believe is actually the fact. Sabine, so long ago as 1819, I think has fully shown this in his remarks on Falco Islandicus in bis Memoir on the Birds of Greenland.* According to the late lamented Mr. Cassin, sacer is the specific name which has priority for this species. †
* Proceedings of the Essex Institute, Vol. v, p. 312. Archibuteo Sancti-Johannis, Helminthophaga Swainsonii, Quiscalus major.
AMER. NATURALIST, VOL. III. 65
Duck Hawk. Falco peregrinus Linn. (Falco anatum Bon., and F. nigriceps Cass). I stated in my Catalogue, published five years since, that the eggs and the young of this species had been taken at different times from Mount Tom, and that the young had also been obtained from Talcott Mountain in Connecticut. A few months later I had the pleasure of giving a full account of the eyrie on Mount Tom, with a detailed description of the eggs, and some general remarks on the distribution of this interesting species in the breeding season. $ These eggs were the first eggs of the Duck Hawk known to naturalists to have been obtained in the United States, the previous most southern locality whence they had been taken being Labrador; but the species had previously been observed in the breeding season by Dr. S. S. Haldeman as far south as Harper's Ferry, Virginia. One or more pairs of these birds have been seen about Mounts Tom and Holyoke every season since the first discovery of the eggs at the former locality in 1864. Mr. C. W. Bennett, of Holyoke, their discoverer, has since carefully watched them, and his frequent laborious searches for their nest have been well rewarded. In 1866 he took a second set of eggs, three in number, from the eyrie previously occupied. In 1867 the male bird was killed late in April, and this apparently prevented their breeding there that year, as they probably otherwise would have done. At least no nest was that
*Transact. London Linn. Soc., Vol. xx, p. 528.
See Dr. Coues' List of the Birds of New England, Proceedings of the Essex Insti. tute, Vol. v, p. 254.
See Proceedings Essex Institute, Vol. iv, p. 153.
year discovered. In 1868 hawks of this species were seen about the mountains, and although they reared their young there, all effort to discover their nest was ineffectual. The present year (1869) they commenced to lay in the old nesting place, but as they were robbed when but one egg had been deposited, they deserted it and chose a site still more inaccessible. Here they were equally unfortunate, for during a visit to this mountain, in company with Mr. Bennett (April 28th), we had the great pleasure of discovering their second eyrie, and from which, with considerable difficulty, three freshly laid eggs were obtained. Not discouraged by this second misfortune, they nested again, this time depositing their eggs in the old eyrie from which all except the last set of eggs have been obtained. Again they were unfortunate, Mr. Bennett removing their second set of eggs, three in number, May 23d, at which time incubation had just commenced. The birds remained about the mountain all the summer, and from the anxiety they manifested in August it appears not improbable that they laid a third time, and at this late period had unfledged young.
The first set of eggs and the female parent, collected April 19th, 1864, are in the Museum of Natural History at Springfield, as also a male killed subsequently at the same locality in April; the second set, collected in April, 1866, are in the cabinet of Mr. E. A. Samuels; the third and fourth sets, collected April 28th and May 23d, 1869, are in that of Dr. William Wood, of East Windsor Hill, Conn. Although in each set the different eggs sometimes varied considerably from each other, neither of the three last present that remarkable range of variation exhibited by the first. * It is probable that some years more than one pair have nested on Mount Tom, but only one nest-site had been discovered before the present year.
I learn from Dr. Wood that this bird is every year seen also about Talcott Mountain, and that it probably regularly breeds there. The young
* See Proceedings of the Essex Institute, Vol. iv, p. 157.
obtained from it in 1862 Dr. Wood kept till the following fall, when they were sent to Professor Baird, and died at the Smithsonian Institution the succeeding spring. Mr. G. A. Boardman informs me that the Duck Hawk in summer keeps about the islands in the Bay of Fundy, and "breeds upon the high cliffs all along this bay.*”
As stated by me elsewhere, f the Duck Hawks repair to Mount Tom very early in the spring, and for a month or six weeks, as Mr. Bennett informs me, carefully watch and defend their eyrie. They often manifest even more alarm at this early period when it is approached than they do later when it contains eggs or young.
SPARROW Hawk. Falco sparverius Linn. In reference to this species, Dr. Wood communicates the following interesting fact. "A few years since a pair of Sparrow Hawks attacked and killed a pair of doves and took possession of the dove cot and laid four eggs. Being too familiar with the farmer's chickens they were shot, and I had the good fortune to obtain two of the eggs.”
GOSHAWK. Astur atricapillus Bon. This species varies most remarkably in the number of its representatives seen in different years, and also in the same season at localities in Southern New England not far apart. Some winters the only season at which it is usually seen in Massachusetts - it is extremely rare, while the next it may be one of the most numerous species of its family. In years when it is generally common some of our most careful observers do not meet with it. Dr. Wood writes me, under date of October 22d, 1868, that with him "it has been a very rare winter visitor until the last winter, when they were more common than any of our rapacious birds. I mounted five specimens and sent away several for exchanges. I think twenty were shot within a radius of five miles. I have resided at East Windsor Hill twenty-one years, and have
* In epist., Sept. 19, 1864. † Proceedings of the Essex Institute, Vol. iv. p. 155.
known only three specimens taken here prior to 1867.” At Springfield, less than twenty miles in a direct line north of East Windsor Hill, and at nearly the same elevation above the sea, I have known them to be quite common during several winters within the last ten years. Mr. J. G. Scott says it was common at Westfield in 1867, and not rare during the three or four winters immediately preceding. When numerous this species is very destructive to the Ruffed Grouse, which forms its principal food. In some localities they sometimes hunt them almost to extermination.
Mr. C. J. Maynard informs me that he is confident that this species, sometimes breeds in Massachusetts. He says he once observed a pair at a locality in Weston until the latter part of May; after this time he had no opportunity of observing them, but he feels sure that they bred there. This is not improbable, since its usual breeding range embraces the greater part of northern New England, and probably the mountains of Western Massachusetts.
Dr. Wood mentions in his letters another interesting fact respecting this bird, which I think all careful observers are apt to notice, not only in this species but as a general fact; namely, that the birds in immature plumage are often larger than any specimens obtained in mature plumage. Dr. Wood observes, "the young are very unlike the adult both in size and markings; the young is the largest until after moulting, when the wing and tail feathers never again acquire their former dimensions. The same difference is observable in the Bald Eagle between the young and the adult."* I have myself observed it in Ardea herodias and other Herons, in Thrushes, and in Larus argentatus, and other species of Larida. This difference in size between the adult and the young has also been reported to me by Messrs. Maynard and Bennett.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. Buteo lineutus Jard. This species was placed in the list of "Summer Visitants" instead of
* See also American Naturalist, October, 1869.