Whooping Crane. This is the largest bird in the United States, and the largest in the exhibition of birds in the American Museum of Natural History measuring four feet from tip of bill to tip of tail, from seven to eight feet from tip to tip of the wings and standing nearly as tall as a man. The group shows the birds as they doubtless once appeared on the shores of Heron Lake, Minnesota, a region they are known to have inhabited.
Golden Eagle. The natural food of the golden eagle in the west consists chiefly of small mammals, such as prairie dogs, rabbits and squirrels, but also of ducks and grouse. Occasionally it takes a young deer or antelope. On the whole, however, it is a beneficial bird because of the large number of rodents it destroys. Where sheep have been introduced it may become more or less injurious through its acquired habit of preying on lambs. It differs from the bald eagle, the common eagle of the eastern states, in color and in having the legs feathered quite to the toes. Reproduced from studies made at Bates's Hole, fifty miles north of Medicine Bow, Wyoming.
A Klamath Lake Bird Colony. On the borders of Klamath Lake, situated in northeastern California on the Oregon boundary line, a number of colonies of white pelicans, California and ring-billed gulls, terns, cormorants and blue herons have established their nests. The group shows the border of a tule island in the Lake, while in the background are other bird-inhabited islets, the surrounding treeless hills and Mount Shasta in the distance.
Arctic Alpine Bird Life. Eight thousand feet above the sea, where the summits of the Rocky Mountains, Sierras and Cascade Range reach above timber-line to the regions of perpetual snow, there is bird life such as appears in this group: white-tailed ptarmigans, snow finches and pipits. Great white anemones, heather and other flowers are in bloom. The studies for this group were made in the Canadian Rockies about fifteen miles north of Laggan at the Ptarmigan Lakes. Mount Temple, Mount Redoubt and other peaks of the range are easily identified.
Sage Grouse. This well known game bird is found in the high sage brush on the Plains, from western Nebraska and western Dakota north to the Canadian boundary, west to eastern Oregon and northeastern California, east to the Sierras and south through Utah and Nevada. The studies for the group were made at Medicine Bow, Wyoming, on the line of the Union Pacific Railroad. Elk Mountain is at the right and the mountains in the distance belong to the Snowy Range of Colorado. In the group may be seen a male grouse strutting and wooing a mate.
Prairie Chicken. The courtship demonstrations of the prairie hen occur during the mating season, from March until early May. Before daybreak the male birds go through most surprising antics in their efforts to attract the females. The feather tufts on each side of the neck are erected, the tail raised and spread, the wings drooped and the orange-like air-sacs on the side of its neck inflated. Then with a violent, jerking, muscular effort it produces the booming note of this birds which can be heard at a great distance. The scene represents a frosty morning on the United States Forest Reservation in western Nebraska.
Wild Goose. These birds arrive from the south before the ice leaves the lakes. They lay their eggs in early May in northern Canada. The sketches for the group were made at Crane Lake, Saskatchewan.
A Western Grebe Colony. These birds find ideal nesting places with other aquatic birds about the shores of Crane Lake, Saskatchewan. They walk with difficulty, and their homes must therefore be near the water. They are very shy and when setting leave the nest at the slightest alarm.
The Loon. The loon is famous for its skill as a diver, and there are stories of its being caught on "set lines" at a depth of from forty to sixty feet. It swims with great speed, and its call, a familiar sound on the northern New England lakes, is said by the superstitious to indicate the approaching death of some person in the vicinity. Though wintering on salt water, it nests on the fresh-water lakes.
Bird Rock. Here is reproduced a scene on Bird Rock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Seven species of birds are shown nesting in the group: common murre and Brunnich's murre, gannet, kittiwake gull, razor-billed auk, puffin and Leach's petrel. Cartier, who recorded his visit to the island in 1534, said that "these islands were as full of birds as any meadow is of grass . . . " Return to the South Pavilion of the American Museum of Natural History and enter the
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