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List of the birds of Nelson County / by Charles Wickliffe Beckham. Beckham, Charles Wickliffe. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-229-31183845 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. List of the birds of Nelson County / by Charles Wickliffe Beckham. Beckham, Charles Wickliffe. John D. Woods, Frankfort, Ky. :  58 p. ; 28 cm. Coleman Text dated: March 25, 1885. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04760.07 KUK) Printing Master B92-229. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Birds Kentucky Nelson County. KENTUCKY GEOLOGIC AL SURVEY. JOHN RE PROUTER, Lirfetor. .o..-o.LIS1l OFP THEPI--0 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. BY CHARLES 'WICKLIFEE BECKHAM. XLFCTROTYPED FVlR TIM UBRVE:Y Ili JOlHN D. MWOOIS, PUBLIC PlRINTER AND BINDERB, FRANKFORT, KY. I This page in the original text is blank. INTRODUCTORY. THE following paper is based almost entirely upon my for- mer list of the birds of this locality, written in January, 1883. and is prepared at the suggestion of Professor Procter, State Geologist, to accompany Mr Linny's report on the geology of Nelson county. So short a time has elapsed since the former paper was writ- ten, and my opportunities for field work have been so limited, that I can only add four species to the fauna as herotofore given, namely: Coturniculus henslowi, Jonornis martinica, Nettion carolinensis, and Fdligula collaris. The first, third and fourth of these were all taken by myself, and the circum- stances which induce me to include the latter are fully set forth in another place. Most of the observations were made in the immediate vicin- ity of Bardstown, which is situated in N. Lat. 37o52', W. Long. 85018', just on the western limit of the "Bluegrass Region, forty miles southeast of Louisville, and about one hundred southwest of Cincinnati. The sylvan flora of this locality is quite diversified. The ' A list of the birds of Bardstown, Nelson county, Ky. By Charles Wickliffe Beckham.-Jour- nal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, Vol. VI., July, I 83, pp. 136-147. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. most characteristic trees are beech, red and white oak, black walnut, butternut, poplar, (Liriodendron tulipifera), sycamore, black gum, dogwood, white elm, and hickory (Carya aTba, to- mentosa et glaabra), and in some places there are dense and ex- tensive glades of red cedar. The country is gently undulating, and is mostly in a high state of cultivation. In summer the greater part of the small water courses become dry, and there is a corresponding scarcity of that desirable liquid. In the western part of the county there are still many large tracts of wild, uncultivated land, where such birds as the Pileated Woodpecker, the Ruffed Grouse, and the Wild Turkey are still to be found. The list represents barely two-thirds of the birds that are, doubtless, to be found here at one season or another, but it is thoroughly trustworthy, as far as it goes, for no species has been admitted on any but the best of evidence. Out of the one hundred and seventy-one enumerated, the writer is personally responsible for all but eight of them. He here takes the opportunity to say that any information in regard to the birds of this and neigh- boring counties, that may be in the possession of any one into whose hands this paper may fall, will be gratefully received. The nomenclature followed in this catalogue may strike some as being rather peculiar-which it doubless is-but I am merely adopting the emendations and corrections that are being carried out under the authority of the American Ornithologists' Union, principally by Dr. Leonhard Stejneger, whose intimate acquaint- ance with the classical literature of ornithology fit him particu- larly well for this difficult task. The reasons for all of these changes are clearly set forth in his "An alecta Ornithologica" articles, already published and to be published in "The Auk." The average ornithologist loves diversity in the closet as well as in the field-when he can't find a new bird to describe, he 4 BIRDS O1F NELSON COUNTY. 0 will go to work and give a new name to an old bird-and for most of them- "-the new has charms which the old has not, And the stranger's face makes the friend's forgot." But let us hope that, with the " Stricklandian Code" as a beacon-light, our nomenclatural pilots will be enabled to steer the name-battered old bird-ship into a safe andfinal port before she is engulfed by the sea of synonyms that just now surges around her. This page in the original text is blank. BIRDS OF NELSON UNTY Species known to breed here are indicated by an asterisk (!; those strongly inferred to do so, by a dagger (t'j Order PASSERES: Perching Birds. Suborder OSCINES: Singing Birds. Family TURDIDAE: Thrushes. Genus Hylocichla. 1 Hyloijchla mustolina (GMEL.). Wood Thrush. A common summer resident; arrives about April 20th; departs about October 15th. In quality of tone perhaps the most gifted of our woodland vocalists. The song of no 1ird that I know comes anywhere near the full, liquid timbre of the note of the wood thrush. It is most often heard during the last hours of the long spring and early summer afternoons; and he also, when in pursuit of the " early worm," doubtless serenades the rising sun, but I have never heard him at that unseasonable hour. The song, however, lacks one important elepient of attractive- ness-that is, quantity. The bird generally stops sing- ing just as you prepare to give him your undivided atten- tion. Their food is composed almost entirely of insects. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 2. lylocichl& fuscescens (STEPH.). Wilson's Thrush. Transient; uncommon in April and May. I have only seen this bird Uapon two occasions in the spring, and have ne-er recognized it at all in the fall. It breeds in the northeri. Fait of ,;he United States and in Canada. 3. -.41cc;cLla alicia BA.rKwI. Grey-cheeked Thrush. Transient; common during the last week of April and the first week of May. Generally found in company with the next, which it much resembles, as I have taken speci- mens that gave me considerable trouble to distinguish from the other sort. 4. Hylocichla ustulata swainsoni (CABAN.). Olive-backed Thrush. Transient. The most abundant of the thrushes during the migrations, except the robin. A few stragglers are seen as late as May 20th. 6. Hylocichla Un1aascw pallasi (CABAN.). Hermit Thrush. Transient; common; arrives last of March; leaves for the South about November 1st. It is highly probable that a few of these thrushes winter here in sheltered places, as I have found them common at the same latitude in Maryland, where the temperature was as low as 6 Fah., and they are known to winter north of here in Illinois. Genus Merula. 6. Merula migratoria (LINN). American Robin. A permanent resident. It is quite likely that the Robins we see during winter leave in the spring, and are suc- ceeded by birds that have wintered farther South. On the 15th of February, 1881, immense numbers of these began to congregate in the dense cedar groves near Fred- iicksburg, in Washington county, nine miles from Bards- 8 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. town, and remained about there until March 8th. Thous- ands of them were captured by merely picking them off the branches of the cedars at night, and were sold as low as ten cents a dozen. The "roost" was raided in force, by a lot of men and boys, on the night of February 21st, and eight thousand birds were killed. [See files of Nel- son0 County Record for February and March, 1881. Genus Mimus. 7 Jjimus polyglottus (LINN.). Mocking-bird. A common summer resident. A few remain all the year, as I have observed them in every one of the twelve months. Ten years ago they were comparatively rare here, but now there are few gardens or yards where one or more pairs do not nest. They often sing quite late in the fall. I heard one in full song on the 8th of Novem- ber. Genus Galeoscoptes. 8. Galeoscoptes carolinensis (LANN.). Cat-bird. A common summer resident. An inveterate bug-hunter, hence a good friend to the farmer, but he also enjoys strawberry and cherry time about as well as the rest of us, and on this account the small fruit grower regards him with an evil eve. Genus Harporhynchus. 9 Haporbynhus rufus (LINN.). Brown Thrasher. "French Mocking-bird." Common summer resident. Always one of the earliest of the spring arrivals. In 1881 I saw one on March 3rd. Found almost exclusively in thickets and dense shrub- bery. 9 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Sialia. 10. Siaia sialis (LINN.). Blue-bird, A common permanent resident. The habits of this popu- lar bird-"with the sky on his back"-are too well known to require comment here. Family SYLVIIDA: Old World Warblers. Genus Polioptila. 11. Polioptila cxrulea (LINN.). Blue-gray Gnat-catcher. An abundant summer resident. Arrives about April 1st. Fresh eggs are found July 2nd, when fully fledged young are flying about. The nest of this dainty little midget is a marvel of avian architecture, rivalling in the delicate beauty of its structure, and its ingenious illustration of what may perhaps be termed the principle of protective imitation, that of the humming-bird. On account of its outer covering of lichens, which give it the exact ap- pearance of the limb to which it is attached, it is very difficult to find. The bird can not sing, but apparently has a good time trying, as they are quite noisy after their puny fashion. Genus Regulus. 12. Regulus calenduld (LINN.). Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Transient. Abundant in spring and fall. Arrives about April 1st; departs about October 16th. Most abundant in cedar and other evergreen trees and shrubbery. Their song, which is not often heard with us, is one of surpris- ing depth and sweetness. 13. Regulus Satrapa LICHT. Golden-crowned Kinglet. Transient, but a good many winter here. Inhabiting the BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. same places as the last, with which it often associates. The last of theeljeave for the North about April 25th. Family PARIDA: Titmice, &c. Genus Lophophanes. 14. Lophophanes bicolor (LINN.). Tufted Titmouse,"Tomtit." Also known as "Peter-peter," In imitation of one of its notes. An abundant permanent resident. Never taken its nest, and it is a standing mystery why the nest of so common a bird should be so difficult to find, as I have no trouble in finding those of other hole-breeding species. Genus Parus. lb. Parus carolinensis AUD. Carolina Chicadee. An abundant permanent resident. Fond of the society of the preceding. The Chicadee raises quite a large family for such a small bird. I have several times counted seven young "chicks" in a nest, and other observers have re- corded as high as ten. It must keep the industrious lit- tle birds always "a hustling" to provide for so many g.apirig mouths, and they doubtless make it lively, if not interesting, for the bugs and other creeping things. Family SITTIDE: Nut-thatches. Genus Sitta. 16. Sitta carolinensis GMEL. White-bellied Nut-thatch. A common permanent resident. This Nut-thatch is popu- larly "lumped" with that imaginary group, the 'Sap- suckers i. e., the smaller woodpeckers, but I have yet to see the man who ever saw this useful little bird pursu- ing this nefarious practice. Their food is strictly insect- iverous. 11 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 17. Sitta canadensis LINN. Red-bellied Nut-thatch. An irregular fall and winter visitant, but whenever pres- ent, always quite common. Family CERTMIIDI: Creepers. Genus Certhia. 18. Certhia familiaris rufa (BARTR.). Brown Creeper. A winter resident; sometimes quite common in spring. Arrives about October 15th; leaves about April 15th. Family TROGLODYTIDA: Wrens. Genus Thryothorus. 19. lyotborus ludovicianus (GMEL.). Carolina Wren. An abundant permanent resident. The liveliest and noisiest bird for its size that I know. Appears to always have a quarrel on hand with somebody, and their ire reaches fever heat whenever the ubiquitous cat happens around. Their song is very strong and melodious, and is often heard in mid-winter. Genus Thryomanes. 20 Thryomanes bewicki (AUD.). Bewick's Wren. Not uncommon. Probably a permanent resident, as I have seen them in mid-winter. Found almost exclusively in the vicinity of dwellings. Genus Anorthura. 21. Anorthura hiemalis (VIEILL.). Winter Wren. A rather common winter resident; arrives about October 15th. Genus Cistothorus. 22. Cistothorus stellaris (LICHT.). Short-billed Marsh Wren. 12 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. I have never seen but one specimen of this wren, a male, which was shot May 1st, 1882, from the top of a small blackberry vine in a rye field, while singing, if the queer stridulous noise he made can be called singing. Family MOTACILLIDE: Wagtails and Titlarks. Genus Anthus. 23. Anthus ludovicfianus (GMEL.). American Titlark. Transient. Captured as late as April 19th. Generally found in wet fields. In my former list it is stated that this bird was sometimes seen here in winter. This state- ment was made upon what I am now convinced, was insuf- ficient evidence, although it doubtless does occur here at that season. Family MNIOTILTIDE: American Warblers. Genus Mniotilta. 24. Mniotilta raria (LINN.). Black and white Creeper. An abundant summer resident. Arrived, in 1882, as early as April 1st. Genus Helminthophila. 2b. tHelminthophila pinus (LINN.). Blue-winged Yellow Warbler. Common from April Ioth to May 25th a few probably remain to breed. Unlike most of the arboreal ifniotilti- dae, which generally do their so-called "w warblingo" while tlitting about amongst the tree-tops in pursuit of insects- this dainty little beauty perches himself in the top of some small tree thirty to forty feet high. and at interrals of two or three minutes, pours forth his " screepy ' solo ; sometimes remaining fifteen or twenty minutes on ike. 13 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. same perch. On several occasions, although knowing that the birds were generally only twenty or thirty feet from me, I have had a great difficulty in finding them, so well do they conceal themselves in the foliage. 26. Helminthophila chrysoptera (LINN.). Golden-winged War- bler. Rare; one specimen only. On May 11th, 1877, while sauntering through my favorite collecting ground, I saw four or five warblers skipping about the top of a small willow tree; getting two of them in line, I fired, and down came this bird and a Cape May Warbler-two species entirely new to me, and both very rare in this locality. Only those who are " in the secret" can appreciate my feelings upon that occasion. 27. Helminthophila ruficapilla (WILSON). Nashville Warbler. Transient; not uncommon. 28. Zelminthophila celata (SAY.). Orange-crowned Warbler. Transient. 29. Helminthophila peregrina (WILSON). Tennessee Warbler. Transient; sometimes common in the fall. Genus Compsothylpis. 30. tCompzothy1pis americans (LINN.). Blue yellow-backed Warbler. A common summer resident. Very abundant in spring. Exceedingly variable in plumage. Genus Perissoglos8a. 31. Perissoglossa tigrina (GMEL.). Cape May Warbler. Transient. Rare; two specimens only; both taken in May. 14 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY- Genus Dendrmlca. 32. Dendrca mstiva (GMEL.). Summer Yellow-bird. A common summer resident, arrives about April 15th. This warbler, which is found all over the United States during the breeding season-" from Sandy Hook to the Golden Gate," is perhaps the most abundant representa- tive of the genus here. 33. Dendrmca cmrulescens (LINN.). Black-throated Blue Warbler. Transient. Common; arrives about May 5th; departs October 10th to 12th. Frequenting the lower limbs of trees and bushes in preference to the tree-tops. 34. Dendirca maculosa (GMEL.). Black and yellow Warbler. Transient; abundant. Arrives about May 7th; departs about October 10th. 35. Dendrwca coronata (LINN.). Yellow-rumped Warbler. An abundant winter resident; arrives about October 10th and the last of them leave about May 8th. Theey winter in the cedar glades near Bardstown, where their lively " tsip " is often the only sound to be heard in those dis- mal solitudes. 36. Dendrwca cxruIea (WILSON). Caerulean Warbler. A common summer resident; arrives about April 10th. Very abundant in the spring. I have several times killed two at one discharge of my gun. 37. Dondrwca pennsylanica (LINN.). Chestnut-sided Warbler. Transient. Common; particularly so in September. Ar- rives about May 7th; departs about October 10th. 38. Dendwca castanea (WILSON). Bay-breasted Warbler. Transient. Not common; arrives about May 10th. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 39. Dendrica striata (FORST.). Black-poll Warbler. Transient. Rather uncommon; arrives May 7th to 10th; departs about October 10th. 40. Dendrxca blackburnix (GMEL.). Blackburniaen Warbler. Transient. Very common in September; but all of them are very plainly colored then as compared with the fiery hues of the vernal costume. Generally an early arrival. In 1882 I took one on April 3rd. They leave towards the last of September, but I have taken stragglers as late as October 13th. 41. Dendroca dominica albilora BAIRD. Sycamore Warbler. A common summer resident; arriving very early in April. Almost always found along streams in the sycamore trees (Plantanus occidentalis), amongst the branches of which they creep in their search for insects with more of the habits of a Certhia than those of a warbler; occasionally uttering their rather musical song, which is singularly like that of the Indigo Bird. Their nest I have never been able to find, although they undoubtedly breed here. 42. tDendrmca 7frens (GMEL.). Black-throated Green Warb- ler. Transient. Very common. Arrives about April 18th; departs October 10th to 15th. I saw and identified one on July 14th, 1882, but, of course, didn't have a gun along, and the bird was not captured. All the specimens I have ever taken show great variation in the amount and, intensity of the black on the breast. 43. Dendroca pinus (WILSON). Pine-creeping Warbler. Transient. Common in April and September. It is quite likely that this bird breeds here. 16 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 44. Dendrxca palmarum (GMEL.). Red-poll Warbler. Transient. Quite common. A few undoubtedly winter here in sheltered places, as I have seen them in December and in the middle of January. Exclusively a terrestrial bird; generally associating in flocks with the smaller sparrows. 45. tDendrxca discolor (VIEILL.). Prairie Warbler. Common in the spring. So far as my observations have extended, this warbler is transient here, but for reasons too lengthy to mention now, I feel quite sure that a few of them breed. An inhabitant of sassafras and cedar bushes, etc., that have grown up in old abandoned fields, where its curious song, which Dr. Cones likens to "a mouse complaining with the toothache," can always be heard in spring, during the intervals between his short flights after mosquitoes, flies, and other pestiferous flying things. Genus Siurus. 46. tSiurus auricapillus (LINN.). Golden-crowned Thrush. Common in spring and fall. Nearly always found in wood- land, where their loud monotonous chant "drowns" all other bird music. 47. Siurus noveboracensis (GMEL.).Small-billed Water Thrush Transient. Rare, as I have never seen but two here-on May 17th, 1882. 48. SjiuruS Motacilla (VIEILL.) Large-billed Water Thrush. An abundant summer resident; arrives about April 1st. Frequenting small woodland watercourses, every one of which generally has a pair. They are first-class musi- cians, but do most of their singing during the first two 17 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. weeks after their arrival from the South. They are said to build their nests among the exposed roots of trees along the streams, but I have never been able to find one of them. Genus Oporornis. 49. Oporornis agilis (WILSON). Connecticut Warbler. Transient; rather rare. I have taken it only twice in the spring-May 12th and 13th, and once in the fall-Octo- ber 11th. 50. Oporornis formosa (WILSON). Kentucky Warbler. A common summer resident; arrives about April -20th. This handsome ground warbler is another bird that in- dulges in the erroneous idea that he knows how to sing, if one may judge from the stolid persistency with which he grinds out his wearisome ditty, but it doubtless has the desired effect upon "Mrs. Kentucky," and he cares not for the plaudits of any one else. Genus Geothylpis. 51. Geothylpis philadelphia (WILSON). Mourning Warbler. Transient; rather rare. I have only taken three speci- mens, all in May. Its habits are very similar to the next, but its song impresses me as being much finer. 52. Geothylpis trichas (LINN.). Maryland Yellowthroat. An abundant summer resident. Arrives about April 20th; departs October 10th to 12th. An inhabitant of bushes and tangled thickets in the neighborood of streams. Very suggestive of the wrens in its nervous, jerky disposi- tion and quick movements. Sometimes, during the breed- ing season, the males indulge in a curious habit of flying up obliquely to the height of thirty or forty feet, and then descending, singing volubly all the time. 18 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Icteria. 53. bcteria virens (LINN.). Yellow-breasted Chat. A common summer resident; arrives about April 25th. If birds were not known to be temperance folks, the Chat would be accused of " alcoholism," for this would be a very logical explanation of his absurd squawkings and clown like gyrations in mid-air when the nuptial ecstasy is upon him. Like the preceding species they prefer the seclusion of thickets to all other places, and in such haunts they generally bring up their families; but I once knew a pair to build their nest in a wren box on a piazza. [See Bulletin Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1881, Vol. vi., P. 1151. Genus Sylvania. 54. Sylvania mitrata (GMEL.). Hooded Warbler. Transient. One of our rarer, as well as most beautiful warblers. I have never taken but two specimens-April 19th and May 9th, 1877. 55. Sylvania pusilla (WILSON.) Black-capped Yellow Warbler. Transient in May; not common. Generally in low trees in sparsely wooded thickets. 56. Sylvania canadensis (LINN.). Canadian Fly-catching Warbler. Transient. Abundant in May; arrives May 10th to 15th. A bird of the forest. This and the Black-poll generally form the "rear guard" of the great sylvicoline army in their annual march towards the Nortlh, as it is always, with us, the last of the warblers to appeal. 19 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Setophaga. 57 Setophaga ruticilla (LINN.). American Redstart. Summer resident. Very abundant during the migrations, but not very common in summer. Arrives April 23rd; departs about September 15th. Fresh eggs found May 27th. One of the handsomest representatives of our syl- van ornis, and unrivalled as an insect-catcher; it must be a very "cold day" indeed when the Redstart has to go without his dinner. Family VIREONIDE: Vireos, or Greenlets. Genus Vireosylvia. 58. Tiriosyvlia olivacea (LINN.). Red-eyed Vireo. An abundant summer resident; arrives April 10th. They nest in the immediate vicinity of dwellings as well as in the forest. 59. Vireosylvia philadelphica CASSIN. Philadelphia Vireo. Rare. One specimen only; shot May 19th, 1877. 60. Vireosylvia gilva (VIEILL.). Warbling Vireo. A common summer resident; arrives about the 1st of M ay. All the nests of this species I have ever seen were placed near the tops. of trees instead of within a few feet of the ground-situations that the Red-eye and White-eye generally select. This dull-looking, inconspicuous little bird is one of our sweetest songsters, although his voice is not particularly strong, and the variety of his notes is limited. Genus Lanivireo. 61. taivires flavfirons (VIEILL.). Yellow-throated Vires. Rather common; arrives about April 20th. I have never 20 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. taken the nest of this greenlet, but I think that they breed here. 62. Lanivireo :olitarius (VIEILL.). Blue-headed Vireo. Transient. Not common. Arrives about April 20th; leaves about October 20th. Genus Vireo. 63. Virso noveboracensis (GMEL.). White-eyed Vireo. Abundant in spring, and rather common in summer. Ar- rives April 15th to 20th. Fresh eggs found May 16th. An inhabitant of the thicket, exclusively, and an exceed- ingly lively little bird, with a voice loud enough for one four or five times his size. Capt. Saville Reid, in his "Birds of the Bermudas" likens one of its characteristic calls to the suggestive phrase "ginger-beer-quick." Family AMPELIDE: Waxwings. Genus Ampelis. 64.t Ampelis cedrorum (VIEILL.). Cedar Waxwing. "Cherry Bird." An irregular, but at times very abundant, permanent resi- dent. Common in the cedar glades, whenever here. In Louisiana this bird is known as the "Ortolan." There are no less than five different birds that have had this name applied to them: 1st. The true Ortolan, Eniberiza hortulana of Europe. 2d. The Sora-Rail, PoZana caro- lina. 3d. The Bobolink or Reed-bird, Dolichonyx oryZi- VOrMS. 4th. The Shore Lark, Oocorgs alpestris (see Lemoine's ' Oisseaux du Canada," p. 225); and 5th, the bird under consideration. It is suggested that those who contend for a vernacular nomenclature, instead of a Latin and Greek one, put this in their pipes and smoke it. 21 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Family HIRUNDINIDA: Swallows. Genus Progne. 65. Progne subis (LINN.). Purple Martin. A common summer resident; arrives about March 20th; sometimes as early as the 10th. A general favorite, breed- ing here, as elsewhere, in boxes put up for their accom- modation, which sometimes occasion a triangular fight between this bird. the Blue-bird and the English Sparrow. In one three- or four-days battle, which I witnessed, the Blue-birds came off victorious. Genus Petrochelidon. 66. Petrocheljdon lunifrons (SAY). Cliff Swallow. A rather common summer resident. I have never seen their nests. Genus Chelidon. 67. Chelidon erythrogstra (BODD.). Barn Swallow. An abundant summer resident; arrives about April 20th. These swallows do not appear to be nearly as common about here as they were ten or fifteen years ago. Boys destroy a great many of their nests, in the barns and other out-buildings, which has doubtless had a very appreciable effect upon their numbers. Genus Clivicola. 68. tClivicola riparia (LINN.). Bank Swallow. "Sand Martin." A common summer resident. Genus Stelgidopteryx. 69. Ste1gidopteryz serripennis (AUD.). Rough-winged Swal- low. 22 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY- A common summer resident. In the immediate neighbor- hood of Bardstown this is the most abundant of all the swallows. Their favorite nesting places about here are natural cavities in the limestone cliffs that surround the town. Family TANAGRIDA: Tanagers. Genus Piranga. 70. Piranga erythromelas (VIEILL.). Scarlet Tanager. Transient. Abundant in May and September; not seen during the summer; arrives about May 1st. A bird of the forest; rarely seen about cultivated places. 71. Piranga rubra (LINN.). Summer Red-bird. A common summer resident; arrives April 20th to 25th. Fresh eggs are generally to be found about May 15th. Their nesting sites are confined exclusively to " the open," and almost always near a path or road. The terminal portion of a lower limb is selected, upon which the nest is " saddled;" the beech being their favorite tree. They frequently build in the immediate vicinity of dwellings. One was taken by me in May, 1882, in a small dogwood near a cistern, directly over a paved way, and within twenty or thirty feet of the house. About four- fifths of the nests contain three eggs-the remainder four. They have a rather pleasing song, which is heard only in May and June. In September they seem to become particularly abundant, and wander around in an uneasy, anxious sort of way, constantly uttering their querulous call-note. Family FRINGILLIDE: Finches, Sparrows, &c. Genus Carpodacus. 72. Carpodacus purpureus (GMEL.). Purple Finch. A common transient. A few probably winter here. Prin- 23 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. cipal food the leaf-buds of trees; those of the " poplar " (Liriodendron), being apparently preferred to any other. I have heard them singing in October, but have never seen any birds in the red plumage at that time, all of the males being then in the sombre plumage of the female. Genus Loxia. 73. Louis currirostra americans (WILSON). American Cross- bill. A flock of six or eight of these birds appeared here on November 18th, 1882, in some pine trees, the first time I had ever observed them. They remained only a day or two, and none were seen until the 17th of March, follow- ing, when I shot eight out of a flock of about twenty, in the same place where they had previously been seen. Sev- eral flocks were observed about the same time near Bloom- field and Glenville, in this county, and excited considerable comment on account of their queer bills. The weather at the time was quite mild, so their appearance here was probably due to some other cause. Genus Spinus. 74. Spinus tristis (LINN.). American Gold-finch. "Yel- low-bird." An abundant permanent resident; more so in spring and fall than in summer and winter. Always in flocks, except for a short time while they are nesting. 75. S'pinUs pins (WILSON). Pine Gold-finch. I observed two small flocks of this bird here in November, 1882. Their habits appeared to be very similar to those of the last species. 24 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Passer. 76. Passer domesticus AUCT. English House Sparrow. These obtrusive aliens made their appearance here about the year 1879, and are increasing at a rapid rate, and are to be found at several places in the country, as well as in town. They are generally appreciated by the poople at their true value, and are regarded as an unmitigated nuis- ance. Pert and impudent here, as everywhere else. they act as if they owned the town. There must be something wrong about a theory-" survival of the fittest"-that lets this bird live-what are they fit for anyway Genus Passerculus. 77. Passerculus sandwichensis Sarana (WILSON). Savanna Sparrow. Transient; abundant; arrives about March 20th Most common in wet meadows. Genus Powcetes. 78. Powcetes gramineus (GMEL.). Grass Finch. A common summer resident; arrives about the middle of February, and leaves about November 20th. A first-rate songster although eminently a " ground bird," when- ever one of them experiences the musical impulse he flies to the top of the nearest high tree, and perching himself upon the topmost twig '- turns himself loose." Genus Coturniculus. 79. Coturniculus savannarum (GMEL.). Grasshopper Spar- row. A common summer resident. Fresh eggs found May 20th. I have taken the bird here as late as October 26th. The+ build on the ground in open fields, and conceal their nests 26 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. with more dexterity than any other sparrow that I know. of. Their note is about on a par with that of an able- bodied Kansas grasshopper. 80. Cot uiculus henslowi (AUD.). Henslow's Sparrow. On October 30th, 1884, while out quail shooting one of my dogs, a green pointer puppy whose field education was just beginning, "came down" in a wet clover field. Going up to the spot I flushed the bird, which turned out to be Henslow's Sparrow, and a new one to this locality. Of course the dog escaped the threshing he deserved for not distinguishing the difference between a " jack-spar- row " and a Bob White. The bird flew a few yards before alighting, and then scurried through the short tangled clover like a mouse, which it did so dexterously that I had great difficulty in getting a shot. The only other Ken- tucky record of this sparrow that I am aware of, is that given by Audubon (Birds of America, 1841, iii, p. 75), who took the type of the species near the Ohio river, oppo- site Cincinnati. Genus Chondestes. 81. Chondestes grammacus (SAY). Lark Finch. An abundant summer resident; arrives about April 22d. They hatch two broods; the young of the first brood are fully fledged and able to fly about June 25th. A most accomplished musician. In California, according to Mr. Ridgway, they are in great demand as cage birds. Wal- lace, in his " Geographical Distribution of Animals " (vol. 1, p. 24), mentions two species of North American birds, Thryothoruus ludovicianus, and Petrochelidon lunifrons, that have greatly extended their range since the time of Alexander Wilson (the beginning of the century), and he 26 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. might also have included this bird. In Bonaparte's edi- tion of Wilson's work (1834), the Mississippi river is given as the eastern limit of their range, but now they are very common hundreds of miles to the East of that stream, and have even been seen at Washington (Ridgway) and in Massachusetts (Brewer). They certainly have increased in numbers in this locality since I first began to "notice " birds. Genus Zonotrichia. 82. Zonotrichia leucophrys (FORST.). White-crowned Spar- row. Transient. Common in May. I have seen them in the fall as late as October 31st. 83. Zonotrichia albicollis (GMEL.). White-throated Sparrow. Transient. Very common. A few winter here, as I have seen them on December 24th, and on February 1st. One of the last of our birds to leave for the North; stragglers sometimes seen as late as M\ay 18th. Genus Spizella. 84. Spizella monticola (GMEL.). Tree Sparrow. A common winter resident; arrives about October 12th. 85. Spizella socialis (WILSON). Chipping Sparrow. "House Sparrow." An excessively abundant summer resident. It is proba- ble that some of them rwinter here, as I have seen them here in cold weather, as late as December 28th, and as early as February 24th. Here, as in most places, the best known and most familiar of the sparrows. 86. Sp.;zella pusilla (WILSON). Field Sparrow. An abundant summer resident, arrives about March 1st; 27 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. leaves about December 1st. One of the last of our birds to leave off singing in the summer, as their pleasing song is heard all through " blackberry-time." Genus Junco. 87. Junco bhemalis (WILSON). Junco. "Snowbird." An abundant winter resident, from October 25th to April 15th. Often caught around barns, when the snow is on the ground, by boys in "figure 4" traps. Genus Peucaea. 88. theucwa Tstivalis bachmani (AUD.). Bachman's Finch. Rare. Only one specimen; shot April 28th, 1877, from a low limb of a small oak while singing. The song was an exceedingly soft snd sweet strain, and seemed to be some- what ventriloquial, apparently issuing from several dif- ferent places, as it was sometime before I could discover the bird. Genus Melospiza. 89. Melospiza fasciata (GMEL.). Song Sparrow. In the previous list this bird is given as "an abundant resi dent." This is partially incorrect as they are quite scarce in Summer. I have never found the nest. One of the earliest of our birds to "tune up" for the great Spring song festival, and on this account quite a general favorite. 90. Melospiza georgiana (GMEL.). Swamp Sparrow. Transient. Rather uncommon; arrives April 1st to 10th. 91. Melospiza lincolni (AUD.). Lincoln's Finch. Transient. Not uncommon in May. Like the last an inhabitant of wet and swampy places. 28 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Passerela. 92. Passerella iliaca (MERREM). Fox-colored Sparrow. Abundant in March and November, and common during some winters. A bird of the thickets, in preference to all other places. Genus Pipilo. 93. tPipilo eytbrophtbalmus (LINN.). Towhee. "Joree." A common permanent summer resident. Thickets and brush-piles are their favorite resorts. Genus Cardinalis. 94. adiiscardais(LINN.). CardinalGrosbeak. "Red- bird." An abundant permanent resident, and a favorite cage-bird. Three is the most usual number of eggs that their nests contain. Genus Habia. 95. Habia ludovician (LINN.). Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I have never met with this beautiful grosbeak but upon two occasions. On May 1, 1882, I shot one out of a flock of eight or ten individuals, and the following day, in the same place, I saw the same flock and four more were sac- rificed to the cause of science. They were feeding appar- ently upon the seeds of the sycamore tree. I heard no note from them whatever. Genus Passerina. 96. Passerina cyanea (LINN.). Indigo Bunting. An abundant Summer resident from April 20th to October 18th. A voluble, but rather poor singer, compared to some of his Fringilline cousins, but his intentions are good and he doubtless does the best he "knows how." 29 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. At least one-third of the nests I have found contained eggs of the cow-bird. Genus Spiza. 97. Spiza americans (GMEL.). Black-throated Bunting. A very common Summer resident, but they conceal their nests with so much skill that I have never been able to find one. During May they sing a great deal; their fa- vorite perches when they are uttering their stridulous notes being the tops of the stakes of rail fences. Family ICTERIDA: American Starlings. Genus Molothrus. 98. JZolotrus ater (BODD.). Cow-bird. A common Summer resident. The only parasitic bird we have in the Eastern part of North America. They con- gregate in large flocks in the Fall, and leave for the South about November 20th. Genus Agelaius. 99. Jvjus phwniceus (LINN.). Red-and-buff-shouldered Blackbird. A common Summer resident. Arrives in large flocks early in March. Genus Sturnella. 100. StnQella magna (LINN.). Meadow Lark. "Field Lark. " Resident all the year. Abundant in Spring and Fall. There is a current belief, doubtless well founded, that, at certain seasons, the flesh of this bird is infested with worms, perhaps some species of cestoidea, but I have never observed the phenomenon myself. 30 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Icterus. 101. Icteus spurius (LINN.). Orchard Oriole. A common summer resident. Arrives about April 20th. Sings a great deal on the wing. 102. .'cterus galbula (LINN.). Baltimore Oriole. A common Summer resident. Arrives about the same time as the preceding. A great depredator upon grape arbors. Gov. J. Proctor Knott finds them a great nuisance in his large vineyard near Lebanon. When engaged in their robberies they are absolutely silent, and are perfectly aware, that, as far as they are concerned, grapes are for- bidden fruit, for whenever a man with a gun comes into view, they are "off like a shot" -and it may be super- fluous to add, before they are shot. Genus Scolecophagus. 103. Scolecophagus CarolinUs (MULL.). Rusty Blackbird. Transient. Common during the migration. Sometimes appearing as early as the middle of February, and occa- sionally seen as late as November 4th. The " rusty " part of his name will apply as well to his voice as to his coat. Genus Quiscalus. 104. Quiscaluspurpumusneus RIDGWAY. Bronzed Grackle. A summer resident; very abundant in early spring. This is the commonest and best known of the three blackbirds we have here. A noisy colony of them have for many years bred in some tall pine trees in a large yard in Bards- town, and one night in August, 1880, during an exceed- ingly violent storm many of them were killed, probably by flying, or being violently blown against obstacles of some sort. 31 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Family CORVIDL: Crows and Jays. Genus Corvus. 105. Corvus americanus (AUD.). Crow. An abundant permanent resident. Here, as everywhere else, a pariah amongst birds, but the brainiest of them all. He has no friends, and apparently doesn't want any, for he increases and multiplies in the face of the most unrelenting persecution. He knows the range of every gun in his bailiwick, and in him the honest farmer's unsightly "scare-crow" excites no emotions, save those of derision and contempt. Genus Cyanocitta. 106. Cpnocitta cristata (LINN.). Blue Jay. A permanent resident; very abundant in the fall. Nests generally placed in tall trees near dwellings. A noisy, quarrelsome, and nest-robbing pirate. The popular belief that he is in league witk the devil and visits his sulphur- ous majesty every Friday, to report to him and consult upon mundane affairs, is amply supported by his wicked disposition and general "cussedness." Family ALAUDID.E: Larks. Genus Otocoris. 107. Otocoris alpestris praticola HENSHAW. Prairie Lark. A common winter resident; appearing in irregular flocks about the first week of November. Suborder CLAMATORES: Songless Perchers. Family TYRANNIDAE. Genus Tyrannus. 108. Tyranus tyrannus(LINN.). King Bird. "Bee Martin." An abundant summer resident; arrives about April 20th. 32 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Several years ago, in May, I saw one of these birds occu- pying an exposed perch on a pear tree in bloom, about which many bees were darting. Several times I observed that the bird caught the insects without leaving his perch, by quickly turning his head and "grabbing" them. My attention being thoroughly aroused, I noticed that many of them seemed to fly directly towards him; the majority appearing to "shy off" at a short distance and change their course, but very few that came within reach escaped him. The question naturally suggests itself: did the thrifty Hymenopterwe mistake the fully displayed crimson crown (I could see that the crest was erected) for a flower Once since I have observed the same phenomenon, but not as well as upon this occasion. Mr. C. C. Nutting, who has spent considerable time studying the birds of Costa Rica and Niagara in their native haunts, states that he has seen Muszcivora mexicanna perched upon a twig, and waving its curious and brilliant fan-shaped crest after the manner of a flower swayed by a gentle breeze, and thus attracting insects within reach. In fact the majority of the fly-catchers, a family that numerically reaches its great- est development in the Neotropical Region, all have some lively colored coronal decoration, which, perhaps, has been evolved for the special purpose above suggested. I understand that this subject has been discussed by Mr. IT. K. Coale in a recent paper read before the Ridgway Ornithological Club, of Chicago, but I have not seen it, and am unaware whether or not he has touched upon this particular phase of the matter. Genus Myiarchus. 109. Myiarchus crinitus (LINN.) Great-crested Fly-catcher. An abundant summer resident , more numerous than the 33 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. preceding. They arrive about April 20th when they hi- mediately begin to make the wood, orchards and gardens ring with their loud call-notes. They all appear to put in their appearance on the same day, and do not straggle in from the South like most of the migratory birds. Fresh eggs are to be had about a month after their arrival. All of the few nests I have found of this species-they breed in hollows in trees-contained the inevitable cast-off snake skins. Whether or not they act upon the idea that "the hair of a dog is good for his bite," which is merely a homely rendition of the homeopathic canon of "similibus similibus curantor," and put the skins in to keep the snakes out, I leave for the determination of some of our ornithological quidnuncs. Genus Sayornis. 110. Sa6yms phbbe (LATH.). Pewee. A common summer resident, and one of our best known birds. On account of their confiding habit of building their nests in conspicuous and easily accessible situations, they are the most common victim of the nest-destroying- small-boy vandals, who on account of the vast amount of total depravity and original sin that is in them, break up their well made houses "just because," as one of the little fiends said to me, "they's so easy to punch with a stick." The pewees build much earlier than any of our common birds. I have found fresh eggs on March 29th. A few undoubtedly winter here, as I have seen them in Decem- ber, January and February. Genus Contopus. 11. Contopus virens (LINN.). Wood Pewee. An abundant summer resident. I have seen them here as 34 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. late as October 10th. As its name indicates this fly- catcher is exclusively a woodland bird, and builds the handsomest nest of any eastern representative of its fam- ily, but it is a very difficult one to find. Genus Empidonax. 112, Empidonaz a viventris BAIRD. Yellow-bellied Fly- catcher. Transient. Rather uncommon. 113. Empidonaz acadicus (VIEILL.). Acadian Fly-catcher. A common summer resident; arrives about May 1st. Fresh eggs found May 20th. Their nests are quite strong. but are so slightly built that the eggs can be easily seen by anyone standing beneath them. 114. Empidonaz minimus BAIRD. Least Fly-catcher. Transient in April and May. Common. An inhabitant of orchards and open places, in preference to the wood- land. Order PICARIUE: Picarian Birds. Suborder CYPSELIFORXES. Family TROCHILIDE: Humming Birds. Genus Trochilus. 115. Trochilus colubris LINN. Ruby-throated Humming Bird. A common summer resident; arrives about April 25th. On account of the differences of plumage between the male and female Ruby-throat, it is popularly believed that we have two species of humming birds, but out 35 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. of the four hundred kinds known to inhabit the two American continents, only one is found east of the Mis- sissippi river. This particular little "winged gem" has a curious habit, when just caught alive in the hand, of " keeling over" on its back and feigning death, but they always neglect to close their eyes and so rarely deceive anyone. One spring, many years ago, dozens of them frequented an extensive honeysuckle vine, in a large tree within ten or twelve feet of the house, and at least twenty of them, at different times, flew into the open windows, and were captured, all of which invariably "played possum" in the way above indicated, to the great interest and amusement of the inmates of the house. They can be easily tamed and taught to feed upon sugared water, and make very interesting pets. Family CYPSELIDIE: Swifts. Genus Chwtura. 116. Cbmtura pelagica (LINN.). Chimney Swift. "Chim- ney Swallow." An abundant summer resident; arrives about April 10th. A general favorite, all of whose habits are too well known to bear repetition here. Family CAPRIMULGIDE: Goat-suckers. Genus Caprimulgus. 1 17. tCaprimulgus vocierus WILSON. Whip-poor-will. An uncommon summer resident. I have never heard it in the vicinity of Bardstown. Genus Chordeiles. 118. tChordeiles virginianus (GMEL.). Night Hawk. "Bull Bat." Summer resident. Abundant in Augnst and September, 36 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. and excessively so during a warm "spell" which lasted during the first three days of October, 1879. Bull Bat shooting is a favorite sport here during the last hour of the afternoon in August and September, but their uncer- tain and devious flight taxes the skill of the most expert gunner. Suborder PICIFORMES: Piciform Birds. Family PICIDA: Woodpeckers. Genus Dryobates. 119. Dryobates villosus (LINN.). Hairy Woodpecker. Permanent resident, not very common, but more so in winter than at any other time. A rather shy bird. 120. Drobates pubescens (LINN.). Downy Woodpecker. A common permanent resident. Genus Sphyrapicus. 121. Sphyrapicus varius (LIN-N.). Yellow-bellied Wood- pecker. Winter resident. Rather common in the Fall, when they are most often seen about orchards, etc., wsihere they are supposed to carry on their nefarious practice of "sap- sucking." The name "sap-sucker," is lopularly applied to this bird as well as the two last, but the others should certainly stand acquitted of the crime. In fact all of the woodpeckers are insectivorous and are of incalculable ben- efit to man. Genus Ceophleus. 122. +Ceophb1us pileatus (LINN.). Pileated Wood-pecker. "Wood-cock." An uncommon permanent resident in heavily wooded por- tions of the county. Less than fifteen years ago I often 37 BIRDS OF' NELSON COUNTY. noticed them within a mile or two of town but now they seem to have entirely disappeared from this vicinity. Always, a wary bird and very difficult to approach except in Florida where I found them quite tame. Genus Centurus. 123. Centuruscarolinus (LINN.). Red-bellied Wood-pecker. "Checker-back." A common permanent resident. Also, accused by the farmers. without reason, however, of being a "sap-sucker." Genus Melanerpes. 124. M9lanerpej erythrocapbalus (LINN.). Red-headed Woodpecker. A permanent resident. Very abundant at times, but dur- ing some years none are seen for several months. They are rolicking, noisy sort of birds, and sometimes in Octo- ber the racket that two or three dozen of them will make in the woods is almost deafening. Like the rest of his family he is eminently an insect eater, but is also very fond of a nice ripe cherry, and during the season makes frequent excursions to the orchard, where he is often shot for his pains, along with the Cherry Birds, by the watch- ful boy on guard-if the latter isn't up the tree himself. Genus Colaptes. 125. Colaptes auratus (LIN.). Yellow-shafted Flicker. "Yellow hammer." An abundant permanent resident. Stays much on the ground, feeding in company with robins. Very fond of the berries of the black gum. Here the Flicker is the principal " game" of juvenile sportsmen, and some people eat them, but they are not popular as an article of diet. 38 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Suborder CUCULIFORMES: Cuculiform Birds. Family ALCEDINIDE: Kingfishers. Genus Ceryle. 126. Ceryle alcyon (LINN.). Rather common. Not observed in winter, but a few are doubtless to be found here at that season. Family CUCUIIDE: Cuckoos. Genus Coccyzus. 127. Cooy.zus americanus (LINN.). Yellow-billed Cuckoo. " Rain Crow." A common summer resident; arrives about May 1st; de- parts about October 12th. An inhabitant of the densest foliage of the tree-tops, where it is easy enough to hear him, but very difficult to see him. 128. tCoccyzus erythrophtbalmus (WILSON). Black-billed Cuckoo. " Rain Crow." A rather uncommon summer resident. Similar in habits to the last. As is very well known these two birds get the name of "Rain Crow" from the wide-spread popular belief that their mournful notes are only heard before a rain. Like most signs it signally fails in dry times. Order RAPTORES: Birds of Prey. Suborder STRIGES: Nocturnal Birds of Prey. Family ALUCONIDA: Barn Owls. Genus Aluco. 129. Aluco eammeus pr3tincolus (BONAP.). American Barn Owl. 39 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. In the museum of the Louisville Polytechnic Society there is a mounted specimen of this owl, which was shot in Bullitt county, fifteen or twenty miles north of here. Family STRIGIDE: Owls. Genus Asio. 130. 4sio accipitrinus (PALL.). Short-eared Owl. Rare: one specimen only, flushed from a clump of briars, November 17, 1881, and shot by Mr. W. H. Rowan, of Bardstown. Genus ScopB. 131. Scops 51'0 (LINN.). Little Screech Owl. A common permanent resident. I have seen fully fledged young birds on the wing May 31st. For two or three years a pair bred in a locust tree on the edge of a carriage way, and within thirty feet of the door of a large house. Genus Bubo. 132. Bubo vrginanus (GMEL.). Great Horned Owl. A rather common Summer resident. A gentleman near here caught six or eight within a week with steel traps placed on a conspicuous perch in his barn-yard where the big marauders were accustomed to get their suppers. Genus Nyctea. 133. Nyctea nivea (LINN.). Snowy Owl. A circum-polar bird that occasionally visits these climes during severe winters. I know but two records of its capture: Audubon mentions one being taken "neai Bairdstown, Kentucky," and several years ago Mr. E. E, McKay, of this place, shot one sitting on a gate-post dur ing a snow-storm. 40 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Suborder ACCIPITRES: Diurnal Birds of' Prey. Family FALCONIDE: Hawks, Etc. Genus Falco. 134. Falco sparvcrius (LINN.). Sparrow Hawk. A common permanent resident. Very wary; understand- ing as well as a crow how to take care of their skins. Genus Accipiter. 135. Accipiter cooperi (BONAP.). Cooper's Hawk. Sometimes rather common. 136. Accipiter fuscus (GMEL.). Sharp-shinned Hawk. A common permanent resident. Genus Buteo. 137. Buteo lineatus (GMEL.). Red-shouldered Hawk. "Chicken Hawk." Permanent resident; probably the most common hawk found here. Genus Halietus. 138. Halietus lencocephalus (LINN.). Bald Eagle. "Gray Eagle." A newspaper paragraph (Nelson County Record, June 27, 1881) mentions the fact of one of these birds having been seen for several days near Boston, in this county. Family PANDIONIDE: Ospreys. Genus Pandion. 139. Pandion halietus carolinensis (GmEL.). Fish Hawk. Rare. Mr. Rowan Wickliffe, of Bardstown, shot one in April, 1882, which is the only record of its occurrence here that I am aware of. 41 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Suborder CATHARTIEDES: American Vultures. Family CATHARTIDE. Genus Cathartes. 140. Cathartes aura (LINN.). Turkey Buzzard. A common permanent resident, most abundant in sum- mer. Genus Catharista. 141. Ctharista atratS (WILSON). Black Vulture. Carrion Crow. An uncommon summer resident. Order COLUMBAM: Columbine Birds. Suborder PERISTERM. Family COLUMBIDA: Pigeons and Doves. Genus Ectopistes. 142. Ectopistes mita (LINN.). Passenger Pigeon. Wild Pigeon. Excessively common during some falls, but not nearly as abundant as formerly. There was an enormous flight of them here about fifteen years ago. The following extract from Alexander Wilson's account of this species in his "'American Ornithology," published about the year 1810, will doubtless prove interesting: " Not far from Shelby- ville, in the State of Kentucky, about five years ago, there was one of these breeding places, which stretched through the woods in nearly a north and south direction, and was several miles in breadth, and was said to be upwards of 42 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. forty miles in extent! In this tract almost every tree was furnished with nests, wherever the branches could ac- commodate them. The pigeons made their first appear- ance there about the 10th of April, and left it altogether, with their young, before the 25th of May. As soon as the young were fully grown, and before they left the nests, numerous parties of the inhabitants, from all parts of the adjacent country, came with wagons, axes, beds, cooking utensils, many of them accompanied by the greater part of their families, and encamped for several days at the immense nursery. Several of them informed me that the noise in the wood was so great as to terrify their horses, and that it was difficult for one person to hear another speak without bawling in his ear. The ground was strewed with broken limbs of trees, eggs, and squab pigeons, which had been precipitated from above, and on which herds of hogs were fattening. Hawks, buz- zards, and eagles were sailing about in great numbers, and seizing the squabs from their nests at pleasure, while from twenty feet upwards to the tops of the trees the view through the woods presented a perpetual tumult of crowding and fluttering multitudes of pigeons, their wings roaring like thunder, mingled with the frequent crash of falling timber, for now the axe-men were at work cutting down those trees that seemed to be most crowded with nests, and continued to fell them in such a manner that in their descent they might bring down several others, by which means the falling of one large tree sometimes produced two hundred squabs, little inferior in size to the old ones, and almost one mass of fat. On some single trees upwards of one hundred nests were found. It was dangerous to walk under these flying and 43 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. fluttering millions, from the frequent falling of large branches, broken down by the weight of the multitudes above, and which, in their descent, often destroyed num- bers of the birds themselves, while the clothes of those engaged in traversing the woods were completely covered with the excrements of the pigeons. These circumstances were related to me by many of the most respectable part of the community in that quarter, and were confirmed, in part, by what I myself witnessed. I passed for several miles through the same breeding place, where every tree was spotted with nests, the remains of those above de- scribed. In many cases I counted upwards of ninety nests on a single tree; but the pigeons had abandoned this for another, sixty or eighty miles off, towards Green river, where they were said at that time to be equally numerous. From the great numbers that were constantly passing overhead to or from that quarter, I had no doubt of the truth of this statement. The mast had been chiefly consumed in Kentucky, and the pigeons, every morning a little before sunrise, set out for the Indiana territory, the nearest part of which was about sixty miles distant. Many of these returned before ten o'lock, and the great body generally appeared on their return a little after noon." Shelbyville is about thirty-eight miles north of Bardstown. It is hardly necessary to state that no pigeon roost" is known to exist in Kentucky at this day. Genus Zenaidura. 143. Zenaidura carolinensis (LINN.) Mourning Dove. A common permanent resident. They congregate in large flocks in the corn-fields during the fall and winter. 44 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Order GALLINAI: Gallinaceous Birds. Family MELEAGRIDIDA: Turkeys. Genus Meleagris. 144. tMoealearis gallopavo LINN. Wild Turkey. Said to still occur sparingly in the western part of the county. Family TETRAONIDM: Grouse. Genus Bonasa. 145. Bonasa umbellus (LINN.). Ruffed Grouse. "Pheas- ant." Permanent resident. Not uncommon in deep wooded ravines and other suitable places in the western part of the county. Family PERDICIDA3: Partridges and Quails. Genus Colinus. 146. Colinus nrginianus (LINN.). Bob White. American Quail. " Partridge." A common permanent resident, but with hawks, cold weather and sportsmen, has a hard time of it in " the struggle for existence." They sometimes breed very late. On October 15, 1884, I found a large bevy in a corn field so young that they were unable to fly. During the early part of the shooting season the birds spend most of their time in the woods; only taking to the stubble during cold weather. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Order HEERODIONES. Family ARDEIDE: Herons. Genus Ardea. 147. Ardea berodias LINN. Great Blue Heron. Transient. Rather uncommon, on account of the absence of suitable places for them. Genus Herodias. 148. Herodias egratta (GmEL.). American Egret. Mr. J. W. Fowler, of Louisville, informs me that he shot one of these herons in October 1881, near Fairfield, in this county. Genus Garzetta. 149. Garzetta candidissima (GMEL.). Snowy Heron. A hunter informs me that several years ago he shot a "white fly-up-the-creek" near here, which is probably referable to this species. Genus Butorides. 150. Butorides virescens (LINN.). Green Heron. "Fly-up- the-creek." A common Summer resident. Arrives about April 20th. Fresh eggs obtained May 12th. Nests generally placed in cedar trees, ten to twenty feet from the ground near streams. 46 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Nyeticorax. 151. ifcticorax eriseus navius (BODD.). Black-crowned Night Heron. Transient in May; not very uncommon. Genus Botaurus. 152. Botaurus lontiginosus (MONTAG.). American Bittern. Transient; rather uncommon. Order LIMICOLAE: Shore Birds. Family CHARADRIIDE: Plovers. Genus Oxyechus. 153. Ozyechus vociferzs (LINN.). Killdeer. A permanent resident. Common in the Spring, but rare in summer and Winter. Family SCOLOPACIDE: Snipe, Etc. Genus Philohela. 154. tPbilobela minor (GMEL.). Woodcock. Transient, so far as I know, but a few probably breed here. Not very common. Genus Gallinago. 155. Gallinago wilsoni (TEMM.). Wilson's Snipe. "English Snipe. Transient. Abundant in March and the first part of April. 47 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Rhyacophilus. 1 56. Rhyacophllus solitarius (WILSON). Solitary Sandpiper. Transient. Quite common in Spring. Genus Actitis. 157. Actitis m=cularla (LINN.). Spotted Sandpiper. Transient, so far as my observations have extended. Ar- rives April 5th to 10th, when it becomes rather common for several weeks. Order ALECTORIDES: Cranes, Rails, Etc. Family RALLIDM: Gallinules, Rails and Coots. Genus Ralluu. 158. Rallus virgtianus LINN. Virginia Rail. Transient. Rare; but one specimen-May 10th, 1882, which was killed with a stone by a boy, who brought it to me. Genus Porzana. 159. Pouzan Carolina (LINN.). Sora Rail. Transient; rather common in October in fields overgrown with briars, where they are very difficult to flush. Octo- ber 12th is the latest record I have of their occurrence here. Not seen at all in spring. 160. Porzana noboracensis (GMEL.). Little Yellow Rail. Transient; rare. The only time I have ever met with this rail was on October 1, 1880, when a male and female were shot in an old briary field. 48 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Ionornis. 161. Jonornis martinica (LINN.). Purple Gallinule. Fourteen or fifteen years ago, when the writer was a boy of ten or twelve years of age, a strange looking bird was caught on "I the creek" by one of his juvenile companions in iniquity, and for several days we held it captive with a string tied around one of its legs, and finally, I believe, not knowing what to do with it we turned it loose. The appearance of the bird with its brilliant plumage, its queer feet with the long toes, &c., made such a lasting impression upon me, that years afterwards, when I first saw a Purple Gallinule in Florida, I immediately recog- nized it as the counterpart of our quondam pet in Ken- tucky. On account of what I am now satisfied was over caution, this bird was not included in my former list. Genus Fulica. 162. Fulica americana GMEL. American Coot. Transient. Rather uncommon. In October, 1880, two were captured alive and brought to me. They were con- fined during the winter in a dry and well-lighted base- ment room, by themselves, and became very tame, always coming up when called by the person who fed them. Their food consisted of corn-bread crumbs and other mis- cellaneous table "scraps," upon which they throve tinely. In April they were liberated in the yard with the poultry. and made no attempt at all to leave, but soon made them- selves at home, and, by their strongly evinced disposition to assert their rights, enforced the respect of the numer- ons domestic birds with which they were brought into contact, who seemed at first inclined to regard them as intruders, who were to be vigorously pnt down. After 49 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. the first two or three days it was quite amusing to watch the other fowls sidle off when the Coots came up for their rations. The nearest water was a spring branch a hun- dred yards distant, which they regularly visited two or three times a day. They remained all summer, appar- ently perfectly satisfied with their humdrum domestic life, but in September they wandered off, probably im- pelled by the migratory instinct. An account of these two birds was published in Forest and Stream in July, 1881. Family GRUIDE: Cranes. Genus Grus. 163. GruS americana (LIN'N.). Whooping Crane. Mr. E. E. McKay informs me that many years ago he ob- served this bird near Bloomfield in this county. 164. Grus mexicana (MULL.). Sandhill Crane. Inserted on the authority of Mr. E. E. McKay, who has frequently seen it on the Beech Fork of Salt River in this county. Order ANSERES. Family ANATIDE: Swans, Geese and Ducks. Genus Branta. 165. Branta candensis (LINN.). Canada Goose. " Wild Goose." Rather common in the air; but very few are seen on terra firma in these parts. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Genus Anas. 166. Anas boscas LINN. Mallard. Transient; common. Genus Querquedula. 167. Querquedula discors (LINN.). Blue-winged Teal. Transient; common. The last of the ducks to pass north- ward in the spring. Genus Nettion. 168. Nettion carolinensis (GMEL.). Green-winged Teal. Transient; common. By one of those slips that happen to all of us, this duck was omitted from the former list. Genus Aix. 169. Aiz sponsa (LINN.). Wood Duck. Summer Duck. An uncommon summer resident. Genus Fuligula. 170. Fuligula collaris (DONov.). Ring-billed Blackhead. The only time I have ever met with this duck was on February 16, 1883, when a solitary female was shot on a small pond in a woodland. Order PYGOPODES: Diving Birds. Family PODICIPEDID.A: Grebes. Genus Podilymbus. 171. Podilymbuspodiceps (LINN.). Thick-billed Grebe. 'Di- dapper." " Helldiver." Transient; common on the streams and ponds in early spring. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. It will be at once observed that, as regards the Birds of Prey and Water Birds, the list is very incomplete. Not being suffi- ciently acquainted with, the former to infallibly identify them at a distance, or expert enough, as a collector, to shoot them, I have to leave out many species that undoubtedly occur here; and on account of the almost total absence of marshes, sloughs and ponds, very few water birds ever halt here during the migra- tions. The Passerine portion of the list is very much better; the only additional species that can reasonably be expected to occur here being Parus atricapillus, Troglodytes cedon, Telmatodytes palustris, Protonotaria citrea, Helmitherus vermieorus, Hi- rundo bicolor, Lanius ludoizcianus, Plectrophenax nivalis, 6Suiraca ccErulea, and Empidonax pusillus trailli. Audubon speaks of Protonotaria citrea as being common near Louisville, and there are many other birds he alludes to as being found in Kentucky, which on account of the local character of this list are not included. The following tables of seasonal distribution of the differ- ent species will doubtless prove interesting: Winter Residents. Birds that go north in Summer but spend the Winter here. 1. Regulus satrapa. 2. Certhia familiaris rufa. 3. Anorthura hienialis. 4. Dendromca coronata. 5. Dendrmeca palmarum. 6. Carpodacus purpureus. 7. Zonotrichia albicollis. 8. Spizella monticola. 9. Junco hyemalis. 10. Passerella iliaca. 11. Otocorys alpestris praticola. 12. S'phyrapiciis ariuis. 52 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. Summer Residents. Birds that spend the Summer here but winter fzrtter south. 1. Hylocichla mustelina. 2. Galeoscoptes carolinensis. 3. Harporhynchus rufus. 4. Polioptila caerulea. 5. Mniotilta varia. 6. Helminthophila pinus. 7. Compsothylpis americana. 8. Dendrceca awstiva. 9. Dendrceca carulea. 10. Dendromca discolor. 11. Dendrceca dominica albilora. 12. Siurus auricapillus. 13. Siurus motacilla. 14. Oporornis formosa. 15. Geothylpis trichas. 16. Icteria virens. 17.' Setophaga ruticilla. 18. Vireosylvia olivacea. 19. Vireosylvia gilva. 20. Lanivireo flavifrons. 21. Vireo noveboracensis. 22. Pronge subis. 23. Petrochelidon lunifrons. 24. Chelidon ervthrogastra. 25. Clavicola riparia. 26. Stelgidoptervx serripennis. 27. Piranga rul)ra. 28. Poawcetes graimineus 29. Coturniculus passerhinus. 330. Cliondestes gramnmica. 31. Spizella socialis. 32. Spizella pusilla. 33. Peuciea tustivalis )baclnimaii. 34. Passerina cyane.t. 35. Spiza znniefIcana. 53 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. Molothrus ater. Agelaius phceniceus. Icterus spurius. Icterus galbula. Quiscalus purpureus mneus. Tyrannus tyranuus. Myiarchus crinitus. Sayornis phoebe. Contopus virens. Empidonax acadicus. Trochilus colubris. Chaetura pelagica. Caprimulgus vociferus. Chordeiles virginianus. Ceryle alcyon. Coccyzus americanus. Coccyzus erythrophthalmus. Catharista atrata. Butorides virrscens. Aix sponsa. Transients. Birds that are only foftnd here during the Spring and Faxll migrations. 1. Hylocichla fuscescens. 2. Hylocichla ustulata swainsoni. 3. Hylocichla alicie. 4. Hylocichla unalasca pallasi. 5. Regulus calendula. 6. Cistothorus stellaris. 7. Helminthopnila ruficapilla. 8. Helminthophila celata. 9. Helminthophila peregrina. 10. Helminthopnila chrysoptera. 11. Anthus ludovicianus. 12. Perissoglossa tigrina. 54 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 13. Dendcrceca cerulescens. 14. Dendcrceca mnaculosa. I5. Dendrceca pennsyivanica. 16. Dendrcca castanea. 17. Dendrceca striata. 18. Dendrceca blackburniae 19. Dendro-ca virens. 20. Dendrixca pinus. 21. Siurus noveboracensis. 22. Oporonis agilis. 23. Geothylpis philadelphia. 24. Sylvania mitrata. 25. Sylvania pusilla. 26. Sylvania canadensis. 27. Vireosylvia philadelphica. 28. Lanivireo solitarius. 29. Piranga erythromelas. 30. Passerculus sandwichensis savanna. 31. Coturniculus henslowi. 32. Zonotrichia leucophrys. 33. Melospiza georgiana. 34. Melospiza lincolni. 35. Habia ludoviciana. 36. Scolecophagus ferrugineus. 37. Empidonax flaviventris. 38. Empidonax minimrus. 39. Ectopistes migratoria. 40. Ardea herodias. 41. Herodias egretta. 42. Garzetta candidissima. 43. Nyticorax griseus nawvius. 44. Botaurus lentiginosus. 45. Philohela minor. 46. Gallinago wilsoni. 47. Rhyacophilus solitarius. 48. Tringoides macularius. 49. Rallus virginianus. .50. Porzana carolina. 51. Porzana noveboracensis. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 52. Fulica americana. 53. Grus americana. 54. Grus mexicana. 65. Branta canadensis. 56. Anas boscas. 57. Querquedula discors. 58. Nettion carolinensis. 59. Fuligula collaris. 60. Podilymdus podiceps. Permanent Residents. Birds that are found here during the whole year: 1. Merula migratoria. 2. Mimus polyglottus. 3. Sialia sialis. 4. Lophophanes bicolor. 5. Parus carolinensis. 6. Sitta carolinensis. 7. Thryothorus ludovicianus. 8. Thryomanes bewicki. 9. Ampelis, cedrorum. 10. Spinus tristis. 11. Passer domesticus. 12. Melospiza fasciata. 13. Pipilo erythrophthalmus. 14. Cardinalis cardinalis. 15. Sturnella magna. 16. Corvus americanus. 17. Cyanocitta cristata. 18. Dryobates pubescens. 19. Dryobates villosus. 20. Ceophleus pileatus. 21. Centurus carolinus. 22. Melanerpes erythrocephalus. 23. Colaptes auratus. 56 BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 24. Scops asio. 25. Bubo virginianus. 26. Falco sparverius. 27. Accipiter cooperi. 28. Accipiter fuscus 29. Buteo lineatus. 30. Cathartes aura. 31. Zenaidura carolinensis. 32. Meleagris gallopavo. 33. Bonasa umbellus. 34. Colinus virginianus. 35. Oxyechus vociferus. Iqrregular casual visitants. 1. Sitta canadensis. 2. Loxia curvirostra americana. 3. Spinus pinus. 4. Aluco flammeus pratincolus. 6. Nyctea nyctea. 6. Asio accipitrinus. 7. Halietus leucocephalus. 8. Pandion haliaeus carolinensis. 9. Ionornis martinica. The following table gives the families represented here, with the number of species contained in each one, in the order of their numerical importance: 1. Mnistiltidae-34 species. 2. Fringillidae-26 species. 3. Turdid&-10 species. 4. Icteridae-7 species. 5. TyrannidT-7 species. 6. Picidae-7 species. 7. Vireonidae-6 species. 8. Falconida-6 species. BIRDS OF NELSON COUNTY. 9. Ardeide 5 species. 10. Anatidie 6 species. 11. Hirlndiride--5 species. 1I . Strigidwe-5 species. 13. Rallide- 5 species. 14. Troglodytidae-4 species. 15. Scolopacidde--4 species. '16. Sylviidw-3 species. 17. Paridae 2 species. 18. SittidT 2 species. 19. Tanagridw 5 species. 20. Corvidw-2 species. 21. Caprimulgid.T 2 species. 22. Cuculidve-2 species. 23. Cathartide-2 species. 24. Columbide-2 species. 25. Tetraonidfe-2 species. 26. GruidT-2 species. 27. Certhiida.-1 species. 28. Motacillida- 1 species. 29. Ampelide 1 species. 30. Alaudidae-1 species. 31. Trochilid.e-1 species. 32. Cypselidae-1 species. 33. Alcedinida,-1 species. 34. Meleagrid.T 1 species. 35. Charadriidwe-1 species. 36. Podicipedidae-1 species. MARCH 25, 1885.