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tropical birds in abundance one must go prehensible completeness until assured at least to South America ; but I have yet of the safety of their surroundings, they to find, in a somewhat extended experi- began slowly to more about in search of ence, any place where certain eminently
food. characteristic tropical species are more Red-billed pigeons (Coluba flatirosabundant than we found them at this
tris) nearly as large as our domestic bird, camp on the Tamesi River distant less than four days from Chicago!
shouted their empliatic “lurral," and the
clainty little scaled doves filled in the gaps I LINII, L.11 1:.
with their quaint put-a-coo. put-a-c00; We were awakened by the low calls ground dores mourned gently, if inconof flying parrots, not passing over at in
solably, and the pygmy owl (Glaucidium) great height, en route to some distant
whistled with clock-like regularity from feeding ground, is one usually sees them, the top of a leatless tree-a perch which but stopping with much conversational this diurnal, liglit-loving midget prefers. chatter, to join scores which were break Great-tailed grackles creaked, sniffled, fasting in the trees overhanging our tents whistle, choked, and rattled; queer little
we recognized the "double Nevica crow's, looking not much larger yellow-head" (ma con orarir) of the than blackbirds, perched in flocks in the bird stores, rated by dealers as second leatless trees, snoring and grunting: tlyonly to the grax, red-tailed Ifrican par- catchers (1/viosetetes torensis and Tyrot in its power of speech, and second to ramus melancholicus) twittered excitnone as a whistler. With it was a slightly edly: Derby flycatchers (Pitangus) cried smalleri red-capped parrot (macon hiri hip horax: gold and black orioles curidiginalis), which, whatever it may be whistle like 'school - boy's homeward in a cage,
is vocal enough in nature. bound; anis whined: golden - fronted Parrakeets of 1110 species, with darting: roodpeckers coughed: and ever and again ove-like light, shot through the clearing; the big Mexican pileated woodpecker uttering their sharp, rolling cry, or, enter sprang his thumping, reverberating rattle ing a tree-top, disappeared with incom with astonishing effect.
I NATURALIST'S JOURNEY TROUND VERI CRUZ
BOLD IND TIMID BIRDS
DREAM COME TRUE.
eloquence than progress when one atIt was such a scene as one might well
tempted to leave the forest path. have dreamed of, but scarcely expect to find when waking; nor did it altogether
Ilere, if one could avoid the big brown fade with the rising sun. These birds
jay's (Psilorhinus), which, with jerky were not only feeding, but living, near us,
Night and raucous calls, followed one with and when their early morning hunger was mad lening persistence, he might find the satisfied many of them were found to be copper-tailed trogon and hear its flickernesting, or preparing to nest, within sight like coo or detect the elusive, echo-like of our tent.
loot of the mot-mot; and in the early A ground dove sat calmly on her two
morning the air vibrated with the soft, white eggs in the heart of a small orange conch-like cooing of the semi-terrestrial tree at the ranch-house door; a red-billed white - fronted dove (Leptotilla), while pigeon, for some reason dissatisfied with chachalaccas rattled, woolhewers (Denthe site in which its nest was built, was
drornis) piped, wrens of several species moving it twig by twig to a new situation called or sang from the lower growth, in a limb above our tent; a pair of pileated and overhead there were warblers, tanwoodpeckers had taken possession of a agers, and vireos, some
on their way dead trunk about 150 feet from camp, north, others preparing to nest. making the entrance to their nest directly The banks of the river were too high beneath a large projecting fungus, which and too continuously wooded to be suitserved as
an admirable hood to their able for water-loving birls, and the river doorway; yellow - headed parrots were is memorable to lis chiefly as a fly-way prospecting for a homestead in a dead
of the splendid Muscovy duck, wild antree on the river shore, and appeared and cestor of a much degraded barn-yard ledisappeared in its hollow limbs in a man scendant. ner which seemed to indicate they felt at No one lacked for occupation at l'aso home; while a pair of red-capped parrots del Ilaba. Shiras hunted with camera by were evidently much annoyed to find that sunlight and flashlight, securing photoa cavity which appeared to be acceptable graphs of birds by clay and of beasts by was already occupied by a lizard about night, and left, no doubt, a more vivid 2 feet in length, who refused to be dis- and lasting impression on the minds of lodged, but continued to bask quietly at two natives who unwittingly sprang one his threshold with, no doubt, irritating of his flashlight camera-traps than even calmness.
his dry plate recorded. * Three factors accounted for the abu
The naturalists added to their store of dance and familiarity of the birds about
notes and specimens, while the keen, disour camp in the ranch-house clearing: criminating ear of Fuertes led to the disFirst, the larger forest trees had been covery of a surprising new species of left standing and only the undergrowth oriole, possibly the ancestral form of our cut out; second, many of these trees, familiar orchard oriole. locally known as "otaheite," were bearing fruit of which parrots and some other
ORNITHIOLOGIST'S LIRUDISE birds were particularly fond; thiral, the Given the same considerate host who birds were not molested.
made our stay at his home so care-free, To see the species which required either
and hence productive as well as enjoyundergrowth or wholly primeval condi able, and somewhat more stable governtions, it was necessary only to climb the mental conditions than have lately precorral fence, 200 yards away, and enter Vailed in this vicinity, and I know of 10 the forest on its farther side. The trees place where an ornithologist might hope were not high, but the growth was dense, to learn more of the habits of many tropiand in places the ground was covered with wild pines having leaves bordered
* See the article by Mr. Shiras in NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, July, 1913, “Wild aniby a series of strong hooks, which, set in
mals that took their own pictures by day and both directions, were more productive of by night,” page 807.
TIE SITIOSIL GEOGRIPITIC MAGAZINE
cal species concerning whose home lives With anticipations of better things beWe know as let little or nothing. Of the pond, we putied along as rapidly as a 88 species recorded bills during the reek head wind and live towed row-boats of our stay, no less than 30 are tropical laden with gasoline, provisions, and camp forms, which are here it on
equipment would permit. Our objective northern limit of their range
point was the home of a certain Indian This fact in distribution, together with hunter whom Charles Sheldon had told the specimens 10 confirm it, filled our me could give iis all needed information present was, and we returned 10 Tam about bird life in general and roseate pico to continue ou reconnaissance in the spoonbills in particular; but it must be tropical fauna among the water birls of admitted that the fact I had forgotten the the Tamiahua lagoon to the southward. man's name and mislaid the notebook in
1 canal which had lateli been com which it as recorded rather clouded our pleted from the l'anno River to the immediate future. northern end of the Tamialuua lagoon llowever, when we landed on the eastgale Cast access to that large body of en shore of the lagoon for the night we
llaving 1011 10 supply our 01111 learned from a troop of small Indian launch, several days were lost in over bors, who gravely shook hands with each coming the numberless obstacles which one of us as we stepped ashore, that a invariably confront the hurried traveler thatched hut on a near-by bluff was the in the topics, but the importance of 20 home of the man we had been blindly tually starting induced 115 10 leave Tam seeking "Taclodeo" was the name to pico at 3.30 in the afternoon of Iprilli which a dormant memory instantly rerather than wait until the following sponded. morning Suset found is still in the canal and
I JUNGLE VISITING CARD We were forced to camp for the night Vacloleo proved to be absent lunting on the lately crected mu-bank which alligators, but when, the following mornformed its shores a site fully demon ing: I intro luced myself to his wife as a strating the importance of a tent with a friend of "el. Imericano Don Carlos" a permanently attached water-proof Hoor- lash of comprehension illumined her cloth. There were a few ducks in the previously puzzled features, and hurrybordering mangrove swamps,
Fuertes ing into the dimness of her thatch she killed three blue-winged teal soon after quickly returned with a small, still white Tre landed, and a pair of gadwalls, which and evidently precious bit of cardboard, took wing as he tired, were dropped, it on which has engraved “Charles Shelnot literally in our pot, at least in the don, Vadison avenue, New York City," fireplace
a treasured memento which completed The spot was a good one to leave, and the identification of Vaclodeo! we were oli carly in the morning on our Information now came readily, and we run to the southern end of the lagoon. learned that not only spoonbills, but serGreat brown rail runides). MUSCONY cral other species of birds were nesting ducks, and black-necked stilts
on a group of small islets about 10 miles among the noteirorthy birds about us, farther south. In spite of our ardent dewhile an astonishing muber of coots sire to see these birds, our surroundings (Fulica ) were found resting on the long were too attractive to leave without at jetty-like arms which carry the caval to least a casual exploration. deep water in the lagoon. With explo The peninsula is here about 10 miles sive, protesting cucks they pushed off in width, and in place of a growth of into the water, forming, finally; a solid acacias, cacti, and other xerophytic black raft seemingly several acres in ex plants, such as characterize the coastal tent. Ilong the shore there were a few plain to the north and to the south, it is canvasback, gadwall, and shovelers: but for the greater part covered with a forest most of the ducks had evidently left for of surprising luxuriance. The common the north, and birds as a whole were far occurrence of fresh water at a depth of from common.
10t more than two feet indicates that
this forest has appeared in response to a genera Saltator and Phanicothraupis, natural subsurface irrigation. However and flycatcher-like birds of the genera this may be, the fact remains that at this Latliria and Platypsaris. point luxuriant tropical forest growth Even this encouraging and suggestive reaches its northern limit at sea-level, a showing could not induce uis longer to circumstance which implies that one may expect to find here many species of plants, Possibly, too, our departure was in a
postpone our visit to the bird islands. birds, and mammals heretofore known
measure hastened by the ticks and mosonly from farther south, as well possibly quitoes, and on the morning of April 14 as some local forms.
we continued our voyage, and two hours IN UNEXPLORED REGION
later landed on Pajaro Island in a tiny The region is practically unexplored
core, with a sand beach overhung by zoologically, and offers an attractive as black mangroves—a most attractive camp well as a readily accessible field to the
site. The beach, some 30 feet wide, was faunal naturalist. Purely as a bit of per
bordered by lower, grass-grown. evitinent information, it may be added that
cently at times marshy, but now dry, no one should attack it who is not proof ground, and on the other side of this lay against mosquitoes and the small ticks, a still lower area several acres in extent, locally known as "pinaleas."
covered with black mangroves and other A day near Vaclodeo's added to our low trees and bushes growing in water. list of purely tropical species a third Up to this time few birds and no spoonparrot, a tinamou (Tinamus), a great bills had been seen ; but giving no exprescacique (Gymnostinops), a hawk (R11 sion to our disappointment or to our rappornis), a falcon (Falco albigularis), a idly changing estimate of Señora Macloioucan (Ramphastos), a flycatcher (Me- deo's veracity, ve crossed the narrow garh ynchus), blackbirds of the genera marsh and entered the wall of vegetation mblycerous and Dixes, tanagers of the on its farther side.
I BIRD TRIIST:
vious that lie had before us an unusual If we had suddenly opened the door of opportunity to record photographically, an overcrowded hen-house and thrown a
both with motion film and fixed plate bomb within, the change could not have cameras, the appearance and habits of been greater or the elicet more surpris
some little-known birds. ing. Tundreds of birds which had been
We first directed our attention toward quietly resting at mid-day, with squawks the spoonbills, the most difficult, as well of alarm, sprang into the air, and for a as the most valuable, subjects before us. moment we were dazed by the confusion
Satisfactory studies could not be made about us But among the numberless
from below, and the trees were generally herons of several species ne could see
too small to furnish support at the dedozens of delicately colored pink forms,
sirel height, and before a proper location While in nearly every tree was one or
was found and the umbrella blind and more nests holding young nearly as large cinematograph placed in position our and as pink as the parents which had just strength, if not patience, was fully spent. left them. We had at last reached the
SACRIFICED TO ESTION home of the spoonbill (see pp. 548-550). Further exploration revealed a surpris
Theodor from the decaving bodies of ing number of birds on the island. There white egrets which, stripped of their were Louisiana and little blue herons in plumes by hunters, had been thrown into great abundance, few reddish and the semi-liquid mud of the rookery, of
Imerican egrets, black-crowned and little their dead young in the nests above and green herons, 11ood ibis and black-necked water below, of the fragments of food stilts, snowy bank of white ibis, at and sundry débris of a great gathering of probably 200 pairs of roscate spoonbills. birds, the extreme heat—the mercury Nearly all were nesting, and it was ob reached 09°—and the abundance of mos