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Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by USGS

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by USGS

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VOLUME II. JULY TO DECEMBER, 1897.

INDEX.

Anhinga, or Snake Bird, Anhinga Anhingapages  Page  26-27
Avocet, American, Recurvirostra Americana 14-15
Audubon, John James 161
Bird Song JulSep
Bird MiscellanyBird Miscellany Plus 195-235
Blue Bird, Mountain, Sialia arctica 203-205
Bunting, Lazuli, Passerina amoena 196-198-199
Chimney Swift, Chætura pelagica 131-133
Captive’s Escape 116
Chat, Yellow-Breasted, Icteria virens 236-238-239
Cuckoo, Yellow-Billed, Coccyzus americanus 94-95
Dove, Mourning, Zenaidura macrura 111-112-113
Duck, Canvas-back, Athya valisneria 18-20
Duck, Mallard, Anas boschas 10-11-13
Duck, Wood, Aix Sponsa 21-23-24
Eagle, Baldheaded, Haliœtus lencocephalus 2-3-5
Flamingo, Phœnicopterus ruber 218-221
Flycatcher, Vermillion, Pyrocephalus rubineus mexicanus 192-193
Gold Finch, American, Spinus tristis 128-129-130
Goose, White-fronted, Anser albifrons gambeli 166-168-169
Grackle, Bronzed, Quiscalus quiscula 228-230-231
Grosbeak, Evening, Cocothraustes vespertina 68-70-71
Grouse, Black, Tetrao tetrix 217-220-223
Heron, Snowy, Ardea candidissima 38-39
How the Birds Secured Their Rights 115
Humming Bird, Allen’s Selasphorus alleni 210-211
Humming Bird, Ruby-Throated, Trochilus colubris 97-100-103
Junco, Slate Colored, Junco hyemalis 153-155
Kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus 156-158-159
Kingfisher, European, Alcedo ispida 188-190-191
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned, Regulus calendula 108-110
Lark, Horned, Otocoris alpestris 134-135
Lost Mate 126
Merganser, Red-Breasted, Merganser serrator 54-55
Nuthatch, White-Breasted, Sitta carolinensis 118-119
Old Abe 35
Ornithological Congress 201
Osprey, American, Pandion paliœtus carolinenses 42-43-45
Partridge, Gambel’s, Callipepla gambeli 78-79
Phalarope, Wilson’s, Phalaropus tricolor 66-67
Pheasant, Ring-Necked, Phasianus torquatus 232-233
Phœbe, Sayornis phœbe 106-107
Plover, Belted Piping, Aegialitis meloda circumcincta 174-175
Plover, Semipalmated Ring, Aegialitis semi-polmata 6-8-9
Rail, Sora, Porzana Carolina 46-48-49
Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied, Sphyrapicus varius 137-140-143
Scoter, American, Oidemia deglandi 32-33
Skylark, Alauda arvensis 61-63-64
Snake Bird, (Anhinga) Anhinga anhinga 26-27
Snowflake, Plectrophenax nivalis 150-151-152
Sparrow, English, Passer domesticus 206-208-209
Sparrow, Song, Melospiza fasciata 90-91-93
Summaries (See each bird)
Tanager, Summer, Piranga rubra 163-165
Teal, Green winged, Anas carolinensis 213-214-215
The Bird’s Story 224
Thrush, Hermit, Turdus Aonalaschkae 86-88-89
To a Water Fowl 76
Tropic Bird, Yellow-billed, Phaethon flavirostris 184-186-187
Turkey, Wild, Meleagris gallopava 177-180-183
Turnstone, Arenaria interpres 170-171
Verdin, Auriparus flaviceps 226-227
Vireo, Warbling, Vireo gilvus 138-141
Vulture, Turkey, Catharista Atrata 72-73-75
Warbler, Blackburnian, Dendroica blackburnia 123-125
Warbler, Cerulean, Dendrœca caerulea 178-181
Warbler, Kentucky, Geothlypis formosa 50-51-53
Warbler, Yellow, Dendroica æstiva 83-85
Woodcock, American, Philohela minor 28-30-31
Wren, House, Troglodytes ædon 98-101-104
Wood Pewee, Contopus Virens 144-146-147-
Yellow Legs, Totanus flavipes 58-60

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How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17 NKJV)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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Next Article – TBA

The Previous Article – The Yellow-breasted Chat

Wordless Birds

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Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) for Birds Illustrated

Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) for Birds Illustrated

From col. F. M. Woodruff. Copyrighted by
chicago colortype co. Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

I am often heard, but seldom seen. If I were a little boy or a little girl, grown people would tell me I should be seen and not heard. That’s the difference between you and a bird like me, you see.

It would repay you to make my acquaintance. I am such a jolly bird. Sometimes I get all the dogs in my neighborhood howling by whistling just like their masters. Another time I mew like a cat, then again I give some soft sweet notes different from those of any bird you ever heard.

In the spring, when my mate and I begin house-keeping, I do some very funny things, like the clown in a circus. I feel so happy that I go up a tree branch by branch, by short flights and jumps, till I get to the very top. Then I launch myself in the air, as a boy dives when he goes swimming, and you would laugh to see me flirting my tail, and dangling my legs, coming down into the thicket by odd jerks and motions.

It really is so funny that I burst out laughing myself, saying, chatter-chatter, chat-chat-chat-chat! I change my tune sometimes, and it sounds like who who, and tea-boy.

You must be cautious though, if you want to see me go through my performance. Even when I am doing those funny things in the air I have an eye out for my enemies. Should I see you I would hide myself in the bushes and as long as you were in sight I would be angry and say chut, chut! as cross as could be.

Have I any other name?

Yes, I am called the Yellow Mockingbird. But that name belongs to another. His picture was in the June number of Birds, so you know something about him. They say I imitate other birds as he does. But I do more than that. I can throw my voice in one place, while I am in another.

It is a great trick, and I get lots of sport out of it.

Do you know what that trick is called? If not, ask your papa. It is such a long word I am afraid to use it.

About my nest?

Oh, yes, I am coming to that. I arrive in this country about May 1, and leave for the south in the winter. My nest is nothing to boast of; rather big, made of leaves, bark, and dead twigs, and lined with fine grasses and fibrous roots. My mate lays eggs, white in color, and our little ones are, like their papa, very handsome.

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) WikiC

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) WikiC


THE YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

A

COMMON name for this bird, the largest of the warblers, is the Yellow Mockingbird. It is found in the eastern United States, north to the Connecticut Valley and Great Lakes; west to the border of the Great Plains; and in winter in eastern Mexico and Guatemala. It frequents the borders of thickets, briar patches, or wherever there is a low, dense growth of bushes—the thornier and more impenetrable the better.

“After an acquaintance of many years,” says Frank M. Chapman, “I frankly confess that the character of the Yellow-Crested Chat is a mystery to me. While listening to his strange medley and watching his peculiar actions, we are certainly justified in calling him eccentric, but that there is a method in his madness no one who studies him can doubt.”

By many observers this bird is dubbed clown or harlequin, so peculiar are his antics or somersaults in the air; and by others “mischief maker,” because of his ventriloquistic and imitating powers, and the variety of his notes. In the latter direction he is surpassed only by the Mockingbird.

The mewing of a cat, the barking of a dog, and the whistling sound produced by a Duck’s wings when flying, though much louder, are common imitations with him. The last can be perfectly imitated by a good whistler, bringing the bird instantly to the spot, where he will dodge in and out among the bushes, uttering, if the whistling be repeated, a deep toned emphatic tac, or hollow, resonant meow.

In the mating season he is the noisiest bird in the woods. At this time he may be observed in his wonderful aerial evolutions, dangling his legs and flirting his tail, singing vociferously the while—a sweet song different from all his jests and jeers—and descending by odd jerks to the thicket. After a few weeks he abandons these clown-like maneuvers and becomes a shy, suspicious haunter of the depths of the thicket, contenting himself in taunting, teasing, and misleading, by his variety of calls, any bird, beast, or human creature within hearing.

All these notes are uttered with vehemence, and with such strange and various modulations as to appear near or distant, in the manner of a ventriloquist. In mild weather, during moonlight nights, his notes are heard regularly, as though the performer were disputing with the echoes of his own voice.

“Perhaps I ought to be ashamed to confess it,” says Mr. Bradford Torrey, after a visit to the Senate and House of Representatives at Washington, “but after all, the congressman in feathers interested me most. I thought indeed, that the Chat might well enough have been elected to the lower house. His volubility and waggish manners would have made him quite at home in that assembly, while his orange colored waistcoat would have given him an agreeable conspicuity. But, to be sure, he would have needed to learn the use of tobacco.”

The nest of the Chat is built in a thicket, usually in a thorny bush or thick vine five feet above the ground. It is bulky, composed exteriorly of dry leaves, strips of loose grape vine bark, and similar materials, and lined with fine grasses and fibrous roots. The eggs are three to five in number, glossy white, thickly spotted with various shades of rich, reddish brown and lilac; some specimens however have a greenish tinge, and others a pale pink.

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Summary:

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.Icteria virens.

Range—Eastern United States to the Great Plains, north to Ontario and southern New England; south in winter through eastern Mexico to Northern Central America.

Nest—In briar thickets from two to five feet up, of withered leaves, dry grasses, strips of bark, lined with finer grasses.

Eggs—Three or four, white, with a glossy surface.


Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by Daves BirdingPix

Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by Daves BirdingPix

Lee’s Addition:

Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered; I mourned like a dove; My eyes fail from looking upward. O LORD, I am oppressed; Undertake for me! (Isa 38:14 NKJV)
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. (Psa 96:1 NKJV)

The Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) is a large songbird in the Muscicapidae – Chats, Old World Flycatchers Family. They are one of 313 members of that family. Another one of the Lord’s beautiful creatures. I haven’t seen that many, but they would sure be a delight to see.

Identification Tips: From USGS

Length: 6.25 inches
The largest warbler
Thick bill
White spectacles
Yellow throat and breast
Whitish belly and undertail coverts
Olive upperparts
Fairly long tail
Dark legs
Females and males similar in plumage
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Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) USGS

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) USGS

The song of this bird is an odd, variable mixture of cackles, clucks, whistles and hoots. Their calls are harsh chak’s. Unlike most warblers, this species has been known to mimic the calls of other birds. Thus, less experienced field birdwatchers sometimes overlook chats after mistaken their song for species such as Gray Catbirds and Brown Thrashers, which share similar habitat preferences and skulking habits, though are generally much more abundant. During the breeding season, Chats are at their most conspicuous as they will usually sing from exposed locations and even fly in the open while gurgling their songs.



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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – Volume II. July to December 1897 Index

The Previous Article – More Bird Miscellany

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

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American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest ready to eat ©WikiC

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest ready to eat ©WikiC

BIRD MISCELLANY.

Knowledge never learned of schools
Of the wild bee’s morning chase,
Of the wild-flowers’ time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell;
How the woodchuck digs his cell;
And the ground-mole makes his well;
How the robin feeds her young;
How the oriole’s nest is hung.
—Whittier.


Mangrove Warbler (Dendroica petechia) (aka Yellow) by Anthony747

Mangrove Warbler (Dendroica petechia) (aka Yellow) by Anthony747

Consider the marvelous life of a bird and the manner of its whole existence…. Consider the powers of that little mind of which the inner light flashes from the round bright eye; the skill in building its home, in finding its food, in protecting its mate, in serving its offspring, in preserving its own existence, surrounded as it is on all sides by the most rapacious enemies….

When left alone it is such a lovely little life—cradled among the hawthorn buds, searching for aphidæ amongst apple blossoms, drinking dew from the cup of a lily; awake when the gray light breaks in the east, throned on the topmost branch of a tree, swinging with it in the sunshine, flying from it through the air; then the friendly quarrel with a neighbor over a worm or berry; the joy of bearing grass-seed to his mate where she sits low down amongst the docks and daisies; the triumph of singing the praise of sunshine or of moonlight; the merry, busy, useful days; the peaceful sleep, steeped in the scent of the closed flower, with head under one wing and the leaves forming a green roof above.
—Ouida.


Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) on nest by Nikhil

Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) on nest by Nikhil

THE BIRD’S STORY.

“I once lived in a little house,
And lived there very well;
I thought the world was small and round,
And made of pale blue shell.

I lived next in a little nest,
Nor needed any other;
I thought the world was made of straw,
And brooded by my mother.

One day I fluttered from the nest
To see what I could find.
I said: ‘The world is made of leaves,
I have been very blind.’

At length I flew beyond the tree,
Quite fit for grown-up labors;
I don’t know how the world is made,
And neither do my neighbors.”


Lee’s Addition:

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalm 104:12 NKJV)

These three miscellaneous articles give various lessons. The Bird Miscellany informs us that book learning only goes so far, then you need to go out and observe what is going on around you. Same way with bird watching. You can read all the books, but you won’t become a birdwatcher until you go watch birds.

The second segment talks of a peaceful bird just enjoying its life. Last, the Bird’s Story reminds us of growing up.

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14 NKJV)

Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife. (Proverbs 17:1 NKJV)

If you have an opinion, leave a comment. Always interesting to hear different points of view.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – The Yellow-breasted Chat

The Previous Article – The Ring-necked Pheasant

Gospel Presentation

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Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) "Ring-necked" for Birds Illustrated

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) “Ring-necked” for Birds Illustrated

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE RING-NECKED PHEASANT.

W

E are fortunate in being able to present our readers with a genuine specimen of the Ring-Necked species of this remarkable family of birds, as the Ring-Neck has been crossed with the Mongolian to such an extent, especially in many parts of the United States, that they are practically the same bird now. They are gradually taking the place of Prairie Chickens, which are becoming extinct. The hen will hatch but once each year, and then in the late spring. She will hatch a covey of from eighteen to twenty-two young birds from each setting. The bird likes a more open country than the quail, and nests only in the open fields, although it will spend much time roaming through timberland. Their disposition is much like that of the quail, and at the first sign of danger they will rush into hiding. They are handy and swift flyers and runners. In the western states they will take the place of the Prairie Chicken, and in Ohio will succeed the Quail and common Pheasant.

While they are hardy birds, it is said that the raising of Mongolian-English Ring-Necked Pheasants is no easy task. The hens do not make regular nests, but lay their eggs on the ground of the coops, where they are picked up and placed in a patent box, which turns the eggs over daily. After the breeding season the male birds are turned into large parks until February.

The experiment which is now being made in Ohio—if it can be properly so termed, thousands of birds having been liberated and begun to increase—has excited wide-spread interest. A few years ago the Ohio Fish and Game Commission, after hearing of the great success of Judge Denny, of Portland, Oregon, in rearing these birds in that state, decided it would be time and money well spent if they should devote their attention and an “appropriation” to breeding and rearing these attractive game birds. And the citizens of that state are taking proper measures to see that they are protected. Recently more than two thousand Pheasants were shipped to various counties of the state, where the natural conditions are favorable, and where the commission has the assurance that the public will organize for the purpose of protecting the Pheasants. A law has been enacted forbidding the killing of the birds until November 15, 1900. Two hundred pairs liberated last year increased to over two thousand. When not molested the increase is rapid. If the same degree of success is met with between now and 1900, with the strict enforcement of the game laws, Ohio will be well stocked with Pheasants in a few years. They will prove a great benefit to the farmers, and will more than recompense them for the little grain they may take from the fields in destroying bugs and insects that are now agents of destruction to the growing crops.

The first birds were secured by Mr. E. H. Shorb, of Van Wert, Ohio, from Mr. Verner De Guise, of Rahway, N. J. A pair of Mongolian Pheasants, and a pair of English Ring-Necks were secured from the Wyandache Club, Smithtown, L. I. These birds were crossed, thus producing the English Ring-Neck Mongolian Pheasants, which are larger and better birds, and by introducing the old English Ring-Neck blood, a bird was produced that does not wander, as the thoroughbred Mongolian Pheasant does.

Such of our readers as appreciate the beauty and quality of this superb specimen will no doubt wish to have it framed for the embellishment of the dining room.

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Summary:

RING-NECKED PHEASANT.Phasianus torquatus. (Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) - Today)

Range—Throughout China; have been introduced into England and the United States.

Nest—On the ground under bushes.

Eggs—Vary, from thirteen to twenty.


Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

Lee’s Addition:

“As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, So is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool.” (Jer 17:11 NKJV)

What a lovely creation from the Creator. The male is especially beautiful and brightly feathered. The Common Pheasant is in the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies. Family which currently has 182 species. Partridges are also part of the family and are closely related.

It is native to Asia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe (where it is naturalized), it is simply known as the “pheasant”. Ring-necked Pheasant is both the name used for the species as a whole in North America and also the collective name for a number of subspecies and their intergrades which have white neck rings.

It is a well-known gamebird, among those of more than regional importance perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the whole world. The Common Pheasant is one of the world’s most hunted birds; it has been introduced for that purpose to many regions, and is also common on game farms where it is commercially bred. Ring-necked Pheasants in particular are commonly bred and were introduced to many parts of the world; the game farm stock, though no distinct breeds have been developed yet, can be considered semi-domesticated. The Ring-necked Pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, one of only three U.S. state birds that is not a species native to the United States.

There are many colour forms of the male Common Pheasant, ranging in colour from nearly white to almost black in some melanistic examples. These are due to captive breeding and hybridization between subspecies and with the Green Pheasant, reinforced by continual releases of stock from varying sources to the wild.

The adult male Common Pheasant of the nominate subspecies Phasianus colchicus colchicus is 24–35 in. in length with a long brown streaked black tail, accounting for almost 20 in. of the total length. The body plumage is barred bright gold and brown plumage with green, purple and white markings. The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattle. P. c. colchicus and some other races lack a white neck ring.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Female

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Female

The female (hen) is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over and measuring 20–25 in. long including a tail of around 8 in. Juvenile birds have the appearance of the female with a shorter tail until young males begin to grow characteristic bright feathers on the breast, head and back at about 10 weeks after hatching.

In the USA, Common Pheasants are widely known as “Ring-necked Pheasants“. More colloquial North American names include “chinks” or, in Montana, “phezzens“. In China, meanwhile, the species is properly called zhi ji (雉鸡) – “pheasant-fowl” –, essentially implying the same as the English name “Common Pheasant”. Like elsewhere, P. colchicus is such a familiar bird in China that it is usually just referred to as shan ji (山雞), “mountain chicken”, a Chinese term for pheasants in general.

There are about 30 subspecies in five (sometimes six) groups. These can be identified according to the male plumage, namely presence or absence of a white neck-ring and the color of the uppertail (rump) and wing coverts.

Common Pheasants feed solely on the ground but roost in sheltered trees at night. They eat a wide variety of animal and vegetable type-food, like fruit, seeds and leaves as well as a wide range of invertebrates, with small vertebrates like snakes, lizards, small mammals, and birds occasionally taken.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Egg

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Egg

The males are often accompanied by a harem of several females. Common Pheasants nest on the ground, producing a clutch of around ten eggs over a two-three week period in April to June. The incubation period is about 23–26 days. The chicks stay near the hen for several weeks after hatching but grow quickly, resembling adults by only 15 weeks of age.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Chick One Hour Old

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Chick One Hour Old

Two links, one to a photo and the other to information that I do not like, but it happens:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Game_birds_Borough_Market.jpg - Game birds at Borough Market in London.

http://www.featherstore.com/English-Ringneck-Pheasant-Tails-10-12-p/erpt1.htm - Tail feathers for sale.

One remark to these is that Our Heavenly Father knows when they fall.

… And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. (Mat 10:29 AMP)

My other remark is that, like the Partridge, they are “Clean” birds and are allowed to be eaten. I can handle that, but those that only hunt them for a plaque on their wall or feathers for a hat, for me, it is sad.

Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the LORD, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains. (1Sa 26:20 ESV)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – More Bird Miscellany

The Previous Article – The Bronzed Grackle

Gospel Message

Links:

Ring-necked Pheasant – All About Birds

Common Pheasant – Wikipedia

Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies. Family

Birds of the Bible – Partridge

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