10 January 2013

Migrating Birds Fly Into New York Office

One would hardly think of looking in the composing, or even editorial rooms, of a new York daily paper for living birds; yet during the last month several birds, migrating at night, have flown in at the windows of The Tribune rooms on the top floors of their new building about midnight, and their names have been taken. Thus came a ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula); a golden-crested kinglet (Regulus satrapa); a pine-creeping warbler (Dendroeca pinus); a white-eyed vireo (Vireo noveborensis); two white-throated sparrows (Zonotrochia albicollis); a snow bird (Junco hyemalis); and last, Wilson's black cap (Myiodioetes pusillias).

[Ernest Ingersoll]. November 4, 1875. Forest and Stream 5(13): 195. Scientific name typos have been corrected.

Kinglets and Warblers in Captivity at Jersey City

Jersey City, N.J., December 24th, 1875.
Editor Forest and Stream:—

My husband brought home, at different times, last October, several kinglets, one of which was the ruby-crowned, and the other the golden-crested, that had flown into his office in the top of the building, at midnight. They were all let loose in the house, and soon became very tame. At one time a gold-crest and a pine-creeping warbler were brought home by him, which we had for a night and day. For the first five or six hours they kept flying from the top of one door or window easing to the top of another; but after that the kinglet became bolder, and began to investigate the premises, and later in the day he would alight on the heads of any and every person entering, and allow himself to be handled even by our little two-year old. For food, he appeared to pick up crumbs, and helped himself to lice on some plants in the window. Catching sight of himself in a hand mirror lying on the table, he immediately hopped upon the glass, and began an energetic flapping of his wings, at the same time chirping loudly, as though to attract the attention of his vis a vis. I remarked it as a curious fact that, while he paid so much attention to his reflection, returning again and again to the mirror, he never noticed the warbler, or attempted to strike up an acquaintance with him. This kinglet, like all the rest, seemed entirely at home, and even when the window was opened and he was pushed out, he came flying back several times before he could make up his mind to leave us. But at least he did, and the last we saw of the gay little chap he was gleaning among the grape vines. Meanwhile the warbler seemed perfectly untamable, and would let no one come near enough to touch him. As night came on he became very restless, and threw himself against the window panes in frantic efforts to get out. This violence was very different from his demeanor during the day, since although sad and shy, he made no attempt to escape from the room, and I regarded it as an indication that it was his invariable habit to migrate at night, remaining quiet during the day. Seeing his distress, we opened the window and the captive joyfully darted out, and shot like a rocket up into the southern sky. Two white-throated sparrows were also caught at the office, and are mentioned, among others, in Forest and Stream of November 4th. They were taken home by a gentleman of our acquaintance and caged. He succeeded in reconciling them to confinement, but one died without any apparent cause, after four or five weeks. The other became so tame that he was given the liberty of the room, and would not leave even when the window was open. At last, only a few days ago, as he was standing on the sill of the open window, a sudden movement frightened him, and he hastily flew away.

Mrs. E.I. [Ernest Ingersoll.] January 6, 1876. Forest and Stream 5(22): 340.