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with something like a warble, as they approach their companions on the strand. The cry then varies to 'peet, weet weet weet, beginning high and gradually declining into a somewhat plaintive tone. As the season advances, our little lively marine wanderers often trace the streams some distance into the interior, nesting usually in the fresh meadows among the grass, sometimes even near the house, and I have seen their eggs laid in a strawberry bed, and the young and old pleased with their allowed protection, familiarly fed and probed the margin of an adjoining duck pond, for their usual fare of worms and insects.
THE YELLOW SHANKS TATLER.
YELLOW SHARK TATLER
The Yellow-Shanks, in certain situations, may be considered as the
most common bird of the family in America. Its summer residence or breeding station, even extends from the Middle States to the northern extremity of the conti nent, where it is seen, solitary or in pairs, on the banks of rivers, la kes, or in marshes, in every
situation contiguous to the ocean. And though the young and old are found throughout the warm season of the year in so many places, the next and eggs are yet entirely unknown. Calculating from the first appearance of the brood abroad, they commence laying by the middle of June, and are seen in this neighborhood at that season. It resides chiefly in the salt marshes, and frequents low flats and estuaries, at the ebb of the tide, wading in the mud, in quest of worms, insects, and other small marine and fluvatile animals. They seldom leave these maritime situations, except driven from the coast by storms, when they may occasionally be seen in low and wet meadows, as far inland as the extent of tide-water. The Yellow.Shanks has a sharp whistle of three or four short notes, which it repeats when alarmed and when flying, and sometimes utters a simple, low, and rather hoarse call, which passes from one to the other, at the moment of rising on the wing. It is very impatient of any intrusion on its haunts, and thus often betraying, like the preceding, the approach of the sportsman to the less vigilant of the feathered tribes, by flying around his head, with hanging legs and drooping wings, uttering its incessant and querulous cries.
THE GREAT MARBLED GODWIT.
THE GREAT MARBLED GODWIT
The Marbled Godwit is only a transient visitor along the sea coasts of the United States, in the spring and fall, on its way to and from its breeding place in the north. According to Richardson, they abound in the summer season in the interior of the fur countries, being particularly plentiful on the Saskatchewan plains, where it frequents marshes and bogs, walking on the surface of the
swamp moss, (Sphagna,) and thrusting down its bill to the nostrils in quest of worms and leeches, which it discovers by the sensitive point of its bill, thus finding means to obtain a kind of food which would otherwise be imperceptible to any other sense. They, no doubt, likewise vary their fare, and feed also upon insects, and larve. They arrive on the coasts of the Middle States in the month of May, and linger on till some time in June. Many, however, at this time, have already arrived at their ultimate destination in the north, so that it is not improbable but some of these Godwits may breed in more temperate regions to the west as well as north, selecting the high plains of the Rocky Mountains, in situations sufficiently moist. At all events, they are seen in the lower part of Missouri, in the course of the spring, but migrate, like most other waders, along the sea coast, in the way to their tropical winter quarters.
The Marbled Godwit, in large flocks, appears in the salt marshes of Massachusetts, about the middle of August, particularly towards the eastern extremity of the Bay, around Chatham, and the Vineyard; their stay is, however, very short, and they, at the same time, no doubt, visit the eastern coast of Long Island. On these occasions, they are assembled by many hundreds together, and usually associate with the Short Billed Curlews, they themselves being called Red Curlews; though here they are distinguished by the name of Doe-birds, and, being at this season fat, are highly esteemed for the table. They
GREAT WARBLED QODWIT.
are very shy and cautious, but when once confused by the fall and cries of any of their companions, great destruction may be made among them before they recover from the delusion; they thus make repeated circuits round the wounded and complaining, and may also be enticed within gunshot, by imitating their whistling call in the man. ner of the Curlew. Indeed, without some contrivance of this kind, they can seldom ever be approached, They are seen it appears, in the Middle States as late as October, or November, but are not met with on the Massachusetts coast beyond the close of September.
Bartram's Tatler, known here by the name of the Upland Plover,
very distinct from the rest of the tribe with which it is associated in the sys. tems, is one of the most common birds along the sea coast of Massachusetts, making its appearance with its fat and well-fed brood, as early as the 20th of July, becoming more abundant to
wards the middle BARTRAM'S TATLIR.
of August, when the market of Boston is amply supplied with this delicate and justly esteemed game.
According to the season of the year, they are found throughout the continent, many retiring south of the equator to pass the winter. They are observed in May, already busily gleaning coleopterous in. sects on the remote boreal plains of the Saskatchewan, and abound in the extensive prairies west of the Mississippi. At this time, and in June, they are seen common also, in Worcester county, (Mass.) and are believed to breed there. They are equally frequent on the plains of Long Island and New Jersey, and in similar bare and dry pastures in various parts of Massachusetts, particularly about Sekonk, and in Rhode Island, near to the sea.coast, where they pass the greater part of the summer. Wilson, who first described the species, met with it in the meadows of the Schuylkill, pursuing insects among the grass with great activity. As a straggler, it has been seen, though very rarely, in Germany or Holland.
The breeding range of this species, extends, in all probability, from Pennsylvania to the fur countries of Upper Canada, as weil as
THE COOT-CRESTED GREBE, OR GAUNT.
westward, on either side of the Mississippi. Scattering b:oods and nests, made in dry meadows, are not uncommon a few miles from Salem, where Mr. N. West informs me, he saw the young just fledged, in the month of July.
The Coot much resembles the Water-hen in its habits. It is usually found in large sheets of water, particularly if sheltered by trees. The nest is a huge mass of flags, reeds, and
grass, usually at the water's edge, but sometimes actually in the water. In
Due 1849 I took five Coot's eggs from a nest situated at the Reservoir near Swindon. The nest was nearly fifty
Bike yards from the bank, and was made on a very small sunken hillock, in three feet water. In the nest are from seven to ten greenish white eggs, spotted with brown.
THE CRESTED GREBE, OR GAUNT.
The Crested Grebe, inhabiting the northern parts of both the old and new continents, is met with in Iceland, northern Europe, and the cold as well as temperate parts of Siberia ; in winter passing south as far as Italy, and along the coasts of the Mediterranean. In America they are found in all the secluded reedy lakes of the moun tainous and woody districts, in the remote fur countries around Hudson's Bay. This species is also common in some parts of England, where it is known by the provincial name of Cargoose, or Gaunt. They breed in the meres of Shropshire and Cheshire, and in the eastern fen of Lincolnshire. They also pass the period of reproduction in some of the Scottish Isles, particularly in Zetland, and are abund. ant in Germany, Holland, and France. In the United States they are only seen in winter, proceeding leisurely towards the south, as tho severity of the season increases, often migrating by water, rather than on the wing, and keeping generally at no great distance from the sea, or tide-water estuaries, thus securing their retreat from the surprise of sudden and severe frost.
The nest of the Crested Grebe, concealed among the reeds and
fags of the ponds, in which
back, or under her wing. Their food consists of fish, fry, coleoptera, marine worms, and often, in part, of vegetables. In Canada, from their remarkable agility in diving, they are kuown by the name of Water Witches, and are here called Dippers, as they plunge beneath the water on the least appearance of danger, depending very little on their wings for safety; and when incst disturbed seldom fly farther than from one side of ibe pool to the other. The young are said to be common in the winter season, in small flocks, on the lake of Geneva, in Switzerland, and are killed for the sake of their beautiful skins; the under side being dressed, with the feathers on, are made into muffs and tippets.
THE LITTLE GREBE, OR DABCHICK.
The Dabchick, the smallest of the species, in length only about ten inches, is again a race of birds common to the colder parts of both continents, having been seen round Hudson's Bay, though hitherto unknown even as a visitor within the limits of the United States. This is the least and most plentiful species, being common in Europe and the north of Asia in most lakes, slow running rivers, streams, and ponds, which are well supplied with the shelter of reeds. It seldom takes to wing, but dives on the least alarm, and will remain under water amongst the floating weeds and sheltering berbage, with its bill