Image from page 248 of "Bird-life; a guide to the study of our common birds" (1898)
Publisher: New York, D. Appleton and company
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress
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and, although on principle one may ascribe al-most any strange call to the Blue Jay, it is well to with-hold judgment until his loud, harsh jay ! jay ! betraysthe callers identity. Not content with a language ofhis own, he borrows from other birds, mimicking theircalls so closely that the birds themselves are deceived.The Red-shouldered, Bed-tail, and Sparrow Hawks arethe species whose notes he imitates most often. The Blue Jay nests in the latter part of May, build-ing a compact nest of rootlets in a tree ten to twentyfeet from the ground. The eggs are pale olive-greenor brownish ashy, rather thickly marked with varyingshades of cinnamon-brown. Orioles, Blackbirds, etc. (Family Icterid^.) The popular names of many of our birds were giventhem by the early colonists because of their fancied re-semblance to some Old World species. The fact thatsome of these names are incorrect and misleading hasbeen pointed out scores of times, but they are now asfirmly fixed as the signs of the zodiac.
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Plate XLVIII. Page 145. JUNCO. Length, 6-25 inches. Male, upper parts, throat, and breast slate-color;belly and outer tail-feathers white. Female, similar, but plumage moreor less washed with brownish. BALTIMORE ORIOLE. 131 Thus the Robin is not a Robin but a true Thrush,the Meadowlark is not a Lark but a Starling, and theOrioles are not Orioles at all, but members of a distinc-tively American family having no representatives in theOld World. This family contains one hundred and fiftyspecies, of which nearly one third belong in the genusIcterus. The prevailing colors of the birds of this genusare orange and black, hence their resemblance to the trueOrioles (genus Oriohos) of the Old World. Our Baltimore Oriole is a worthy representative of a group remarkable for its bright colors. It is to these Baltimore Oriole same colors that the bird owes not only icterus gaibuia. its generic but its specific designation, Plate xxxv. orange and black being the livery ofLord Baltimore, after whom t
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