Turkey Vulture or Turkey Buzzard. Once regarded as a useful scavenger and protected by law, it is now regarded with suspicion on account of its spreading hog cholera as a result of feeding on carrion. The locality shown in this part of the American Museum of Natural History is Plummer's Island, in the Potomac, just above Washington.
Cactus Desert Bird Life. Mockingbirds and thrashers, cactus wrens, road-runners, quail, nighthawks, doves, spar-rows and other birds are shown on a great cactus-covered desert, characteristic of the more arid portions of southern Arizona. Various species of cactus, candle bush and palo verde in blossom form part of the accessories.
California Condor. The studies for this group of birds were made in Piru Canon, fifty miles southwest of Santa Barbara, California. The condor's rapid decrease is believed to have been caused by its feeding on poisoned carcasses of sheep and other cattle exposed by ranchmen as a bait for predatory animals.
Brandt's Cormorant. About a quarter of a mile off the coast near Cypress Point, Monterey, California, is such a scene as is here pictured. The cormorant is an expert diver and the Chinese and Japanese fishermen make use of it as an assistant in their occupation.
Summer Bird Life of the San Joaquin Valley. Formerly a dry and arid region, irrigation has transformed this land into a series of creeks, ponds and marshes. In the group are stilts, avocets, killdeer, terns, night herons, ibises, coots, and various species of ducks. The studies for this group were made at Los Banos.
A Flamingo Colony. Prior to 1904, the time when the studies for this group of birds were made, very little was known concerning the nesting habits of flamingoes. At this time an expedition from the Museum to the Bahamas was successful in discovering a rookery containing more than 2,000 birds and in making a series of studies and photographs of their habits. The birds lay a single egg in May in a nest constructed by scooping up mud with the bill and patting it down with the bill and feet. The nests are raised to a height of from eight to fourteen inches to protect the contents from water. Both sexes incubate, one by day and the other by night. The young bird is fed by the mother on predigested food. When hatched it is covered with brown colored down, and it does not assume the brilliant plumage of the adult until five or six months old.
The Booby and the Man-o'-War Bird. The male mano'-war bird has a remarkable habit of inflating its throat-pouch until it resembles a toy balloon. With its great wing expanse of between seven and eight feet, the man-o'-war bird is one of the most powerful and graceful of fliers. The boobies were found to nest only on the ground. The scene is reproduced from studies made on Cay Verde, a coral islet in the Bahamas.
A Florida Rookery. In this group of birds are roseate spoonbills, snowy American egrets, herons, ibises, cormorants and water turkeys. Studies made on an islet in Cuthbert Lake, Florida.
Whistling Swan. These birds are noted for their clear, far-reaching voices. They are fierce fighters, striking dangerous blows with the bony knob on the wing and using bill and claws vigorously. This is now one of the rarest birds in North America, there being no recent records of its nesting. Reproduced from studies made on Southampton Island in the mouth of Hudson Bay for the American Museum of Natural History.
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