COLOR KEY TO
NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS
With Bibliographical Appendix
FRANK M. CHAPMAN
CURATOR OF ORNITHOLOGY
IN THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Author of “Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America,”
With Upward of 800 Drawings
CHESTER A REED, B. S.
D. APPLETON & COMPANY
That is the title of a book written in 1912 that has been reproduced by Project Gutenberg in ebook format. It is in the Public Domain. It has some very interesting drawings and information that I want to share here. The information will be used with the Birdwatching and Birds of the World sections.
I realize the information is “dated” but that does not mean that it lacks usefulness. This page will have links to articles and places where the information is used. Bird names change quite frequently, as I have found out, so I will try to give the current names. That is one of the main reasons that they use the “scientific or latin” names for birds besides their common names. As times change, at least you know what bird they are referring to.
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)
The illustrations in this volume are designed to aid the student in identifying birds in their haunts by giving, in color, those markings which most quickly catch the eye. They do not pretend to be perfect reproductions of every shade and tint of the plumage of the species they figure, but aim to present a bird’s characteristic colors as they appear when seen at a distance. It was impracticable to draw all the birds to the same scale but all those on the same page are so figured. Reference should always be made, however, to the measurements given at the beginning at each description. The figures are based on the male bird.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS.
♂. The sign of Mars, signifying male.
♀. The sign of Venus, signifying female.
Ad. Adult, a bird in fully mature plumage.
Yng. Young, a fully grown bird which has not yet acquired the plumage of the adult.
L. Length, the distance from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail. This measurement is made from dead birds, birds in life appear somewhat shorter.
W. Wing, the distance from the ‘bend’ of the wing to the end of the longest feather.
T. Tail, the distance from the insertion of the tail-feathers to the end of the longest one.
Tar. Tarsus, the distance from the heel to the insertion of the toes, or of the so-called ‘leg.’
B. Bill, the distance from the feathers at the base of the bill above to its tip.
Note. All measurements are in inches and tenths, and a variation of about ten per cent. from the figures given may be expected. The number before the name of each species is that of the American Ornithologists’ Union’s ‘Check-List of North American Birds.’ (Way out of date now.)
How To Learn A Birds Name
How Birds Are Named – next