All the twenty-one families of eastern North American perching birds are represented: flycatchers, swallows, wrens, mockingbirds, catbirds, thrushes, kinglets, vireos, waxwings, shrikes, nut-hatches, brown creepers, warblers, pipits, horned larks, sparrows, honey creepers, tanagers, blackbirds, orioles, English starling, crows and jays, as well as many foreign and tropical species.
The cages in the Glass House of birds in the Bronx Zoo, flanking the passage to the Parrot Hall, contain especially rare, delicate or quarrel-some birds, which thrive better here than in the larger flight cages. Among many of uncommon interest is the lately arrived cock-of-the-rock from South America.
A collection of quail is also to be found in cages in the Glass House.
In order that the visitor of the Bronx Zoo may distinguish between the many birds in each cage, a picture key is provided on all the labels of all the bird exhibits.
A circular flying cage for birds at the outer corner of the Glass Court contains the flicker, tanager, robins, thrushes, cardinal, Baltimore oriole and others hardy enough to winter out of doors.
In cages along the outside of the western hall of the Large Bird House will be found the crow and blackbird families. On the east side of Baird Court, between the Primate House and the Administration Building, an exhibit of bird houses, shelters and food holders designed for attracting and encouraging wild birds is arranged in order to stimulate and encourage public interest in bird preservation and protection.
Leaving Baird Court by the steps southwest of the Large Bird House, the Eagle and Vulture Aviary at the left (11 on map of the Bronx Zoo) claims attention, containing in seven large flight cages and six smaller cages a fine collection of these birds of prey. Among them are the lammergeier vulture of Asia, the booted eagle, vulturine sea eagle, the bateleur eagle of Asia and Africa, the rare harpy eagle of South America, the kolbe, the red-tailed and other hawks, the American or bald eagle, condor and others.
A beautiful wooded park containing a herd of the European red deer surmounts the slope overlooking the Eagle Aviary, and south of these the Zebra House with its out-door corrals (14 on map) accommodates the zebras and wild asses. The Wild Horse House and corrals adjoin these on the west.
Grevy's zebra, Grant's zebra, Chapman's zebra and the rare mountain zebra of Cape Colony are here, and the herd of Mongolian wild horses is especially interesting, providing a link between the zebras and wild asses and the unstriped domestic horse.
The Persian wild ass, the gudha, or dwarf donkey, and the Rocky Mountain sheep have their homes here.
Descending again into the bird valley, east of the European red, deer, passing the outdoor cages for various pigeons and doves, the Aquatic Bird House is found, surrounded by ten large outside cages containing the owls.
The house is used in winter for the occupants of the out-door Flying Cage; in summer the Aquatic Bird House is closed. Several large outdoor bird cages southwest of the Aquatic Bird House contain the grackles, finches, sparrows and other hardy American birds.
The Flying Cage (5 on map) is one of the most interesting installations in the Bronx Zoo: a huge structure of wire netting supported by a steel frame and enclosing several large trees and a good-sized pond. The cage is 152 feet long, 55 feet high and 75 feet wide, permitting a considerable range of flight to its occupants. These are a varied assortment of rare and showy water birds, among which are the wood ibis, the Indian, black, scarlet, black-headed, and white ibises, the roseate spoonbill, purple gallinule, snowy egret, cormorant, the Franklin and several other species of gull, the snake bird, some rare ducks, and five species of the active and amusing pelican. Feeding time for the Flying Cage is 4 p.m.
The Crane Paddock, west of the Cage, is a large open-air enclosure where a series of cranes has been acclimatized and remains winter and summer. At the south end is the breeding cage of the rare Cereopsis, or Cape Barren, geese, which do not care to swim.
Of the cranes, the rare and beautiful whooping crane, once abundant in this country but now practically extinct, is worth attention. The hooded sandhill and European cranes, the wonderful crowned crane of Africa, the Javan and Indian adjutants, marabou stork and several species of heron occupy this enclosure, but the more delicate species occupy the Ostrich House and its yards. West of the Crane Paddock, two outdoor bird cages house gyrfalcons, and opposite these is a perch for the gaudy and noisy macaws.
The Goose Aviary (3 on map) is a long pond with three islands, on which latter are breeding houses for the birds. American flamingoes, Chilean skua, African spur-winged goose, red-breasted merganser, herring gull, white stork and other interesting species share this Aviary, and on Cope Lake to the north are the swans and Canada geese.
The northwest corner of the Bronx Zoo is devoted to the deer of Asia, which continent is richer than any other in species of deer. On the hill to the west of this area the herds of Indian sambar, Malay sambar, Indian thameng and beautiful barasingha deer have their ranges, faced on the south by the Colombian black-tailed species.
The Japanese sika deer occupy a slope to the east; the Indian axis deer, the most beautiful of all tropical deer, and the hog-deer of India share the Axis Deer House above, and the ranges of the fallow deer, a native of Africa but acclimatized in Europe, and the Axis Deer Range bring the visitor to the northwest or Fordham entrance of the Park.
From here it is possible to walk or take a surface car half a mile to the Fordham station of the elevated railroad, which connects with the subway at 149th Street; or, one may return through the Park to the Boston Road entrance and take the subway at 180th Street.