The Hawks and Owls of the United States in Their Relation to Agriculture, Issue 6

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy, 1893 - 210 էջ
 

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Էջ 118 - ... be appeased without undue exertion. Then other kinds of insects and other forms of life contribute to their fare; and beetles, spiders, mice, shrews, small snakes, lizards, or even birds may be required to bring up the balance.
Էջ 154 - That it does occasionally make inroads upon the poultry-yard and does more or less damage among gamebirds is true ; but the systematic collection and examination of a large number of stomachs show the exceptional character of such acts and reveal the fact' that a large part of its food consists of mammals.
Էջ 161 - Owl is nocturnal in its habits, remaining quiet during the day in the thick foliage of the trees or bushes. In fact, its vision is apparently so affected by bright light that many specimens have been captured alive by persons walking up and taking them in their hands. On this account the Eskimo in Alaska have given it the name of 'blind one.
Էջ 149 - In all these cases owls are mentioned as thronging to the spot and rendering the greatest service in extirpating the pests. The like has also been observed in Scandinavia during the wonderful irruptions of lemmings and other small rodents to which some districts are liable, and it would appear that the Short-eared Owl is the species- which plays a principal part in getting rid of the destructive horde.
Էջ 101 - When close upon its quarry the eagle suddenly sweeps beneath it, and turning back downwards thrusts its powerful talons up into its breast. A brant or duck is carried off bodily to the nearest marsh or sandbar. But a Canada goose is too heavy to be thus easily disposed of ; the two great birds fall together to the water beneath, while the eagle literally tows his prize along the surface until the shore is reached. In this way one has been known to drag a large goose for nearly half a mile.
Էջ 30 - It is particularly fond of frogs." (Birds of the Northwest, p. 331.) Mr. Eidgway, in the Ornithology of the Fortieth Parallel (p. 580), states that the stomachs and crops of specimens killed at Pyramid Lake, Nev., were filled to their utmost capacity with the remains of small lizards, and nothing else. Dr. BH Warren gives the following summary of his investigations on this species: "In fourteen examinations made by myself, seven hawks had only field mice in their stomachs; three, frogs; two, small...
Էջ 31 - The Marsh Hawk is unquestionably one of the most beneficial as it is one of our most abundant Hawks, and its presence and increase should be encouraged in every way possible, not only by protecting it by law, but by disseminating a knowledge of the benefits it confers. It is probably the most active and determined foe of meadow mice and ground squirrels, destroying greater numbers of these pests than any other species, and this fact alone should entitle it to protection, even if it destroyed no other...
Էջ 149 - Undoubtedly field mice, and especially those of the short-tailed group or voles, are their chief objects of prey, and when these animals increase in an extraordinary and unaccountable way, as they sometimes do, so as to become extremely mischievous, owls, particularly of this species, flock to devour them. Thus there are records of ' a sore plague of strange mice ' in Kent and Essex in the year 1580 or 1581, and again in the county last mentioned in 1648.
Էջ 196 - It is no proof that the quadruped and the birds live together, that they are often seen to scuttle at each other's heels into the same hole when alarmed; for in such a case the two simply seek the nearest shelter, independently of each other. The probability is, that young dogs often furnish a meal to the Owls, and that, in return, the latter are often robbed of their eggs; while certainly the young of both, and the Owls' eggs, are eaten by the snakes.
Էջ 202 - I moved around a little to get a better chance to shoot, as the brush was very thick, but whichever way I went the wing was always interposed, and when I retreated far enough for a fair shot I could not tell the bird from the surrounding bunches of leaves. At length, losing patience, I fired at random and it fell. Upon going to pick it up I was surprised to find another, which I had not seen before, but which must have been struck by a stray shot.

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