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Report on a collection of birds and mammals from the Atlin region, Northern British Columbia Swarth, H. S. (Harry Schelwald), 1878- 1926

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University or Caufobnia Publications in Zoology
Volume 30, No. 4, pp. 51-162, plates 4-8, 11 figures in text
1928 j
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12. New Subspecies of Birds from Patagonia, by Alexander Wetmore.   Pp.
333-837.    June,  1923 .  -.-. —     ■Sf' REPORT ON A COLLECTION OF BIRDS AND
HARRY S. SWARTH University of California Publications in Zoology
Volume 30, No. 4, pp. 51-162, plates 4-8, 11 figures in text
Issued September 24, 1926
University of California Press
Berkeley', California
Cambridge University Press
(Contribution from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology of the University of California)
Introduction     51
Itinerary and descriptions of localities    53
Zonal and faunal position of the Atlin region    56
Check list of the birds     59
General accounts of the birds     61
Check list of the mammals  145
General accounts of the mammals  146
Literature cited  152
During the summer of 1924 the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
sent an expedition into the Atlin region, in extreme northwestern
British Columbia. The expenses of this expedition, as of all previous
zoological work carried on in the northwest by this Museum, were
defrayed by Miss Annie M. Alexander, whose interest in the Museum's
work, and particularly in developing a knowledge of the vertebrate
natural history of the northwest, has been unflagging. Atlin was
chosen as a base largely on account of its geographical position with
relation to the valleys of the Stikine and Skeena rivers, to the southward, which had been visited by Museum parties in previous years.
The writer went alone from the Museum, that is, unaccompanied
by any Museum assistant, but he was fortunate in being joined at
the outset by Major Allan Brooks, of Okanagan Landing, British
Columbia. Major Brooks painted and collected specimens independently, but the companionship proved mutually helpful in many
ways. Specimens collected by the writer consist of 387 birds, 76
mammals, 12 amphibians, 11 birds' nests, and 16 sets of birds' eggs.
Major Brooks' collection of birds was also at my disposal in writing
the report that follows. 52 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
Acknowledgments are due to the Dominion Parks Branch, Department of the Interior, Canada, for permission to collect migratory birds,
and to the Game Conservation Board, Vancouver, for permission to
collect non-migratory birds and for other courtesies.
In working up the collection it proved necessary to borrow specimens from many institutions. The study of the ptarmigans in particular called for the assemblage of as large series of certain forms
as could be brought together, and appeal was made to all museums
and private collections that seemed likely to have pertinent material.
Generous response to the many requests for the loan of specimens came
from all who were asked, comprising the following: American Museum
of Natural History, New York (including many specimens from the
Sanford collection) ; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Colorado Museum
of Natural History, Denver; Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge ; Museum of History, Science and Art, Los Angeles; Provincial
Museum, Victoria; United States Biological Survey; United States
National Museum; Victoria Memorial Museum, Ottawa; Louis B.
Bishop; Donald R. Dickey; George Willett.
To Major Brooks I am indebted for help extended daily during
the season's field work, for specimens turned over to me from day to
day, field observations proffered, and for advice and critical comments
pertaining to the systematic treatment of various species. The cordial
assistance extended to us both by individuals resident in Atlin, whose
acquaintance we made there, was a most important factor in making
our work pleasant and profitable. In particular, mention should
be made of Mr. C. L. Monroe, Government agent, for aid in his
official capacity, and, together with Mrs. Monroe, for many unofficial
courtesies; of Mr. A. B. Taylor, Government telegraph operator, a
sportsman and a keen observer, in whose company I made many
pleasant trips, who aided in securing numerous specimens and who,
with Mrs. Taylor, did all he could to make our summer a pleasant
one; and of Mr. H. Maluin, whose cordial welcome to his mining camp
on Otter Creek enabled us to work in that region. On the train,
en route from Skagway, we first made the acquaintance of Inspector
Moorhead, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who, then and
later in the summer, lost no opportunity of extending such courtesies
as lay in his power. To Corporal Robert McCleery and Mrs. McCleery,
in their isolated post on Lake Teslin, the writer is indebted for cordial
hospitality and for aid in securing needed specimens. From Mr. and
Mrs. John Garrett, of Atlin, we received innumerable courtesies. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 53
The drawings of birds' bills and tails illustrating parts of this
report were made by Miss Anna Hamilton. The outline maps illustrating birds' ranges are the work of Miss Margaret W. Wythe, of
the Museum staff.
In September, 1913, and from June 5 to August 19, 1914, the
Provincial Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, carried on field work
in the Atlin region. The first trip was conducted by Mr. F. Kermode,
Director, with Mr. E. M. Anderson as assistant, the second by Mr.
Anderson and Mr. C. B. Garrett, and both were reported upon in
annual reports of the Provincial Museum for the years 1913 and 1914,
respectively. We found these published accounts of the birds and
mammals that were collected extremely useful, and had occasion to
refer to them constantly during our season's work.
I was joined by Major Brooks at Vancouver the morning of May 17.
We left Vancouver that evening, arrived at Skagway, Alaska, early
in the morning of May 21, and at Carcross, Yukon Territory, the afternoon of the same day. We had planned to go on at once to Atlin, but
navigation had not yet opened on the lakes, and we therefore remained
at Carcross for one week. On May 27 we took advantage of an opportunity to reach Atlin on a motor boat that was taking the mail, the
first to be forwarded to that place for many weeks. We left Carcross
at 1 p.m., reached the portage at Taku about midnight, and Atlin,
across the lake, two hours later.
The town of Atlin remained our base throughout the summer, the
only long departure therefrom being to a camp in lower Otter Creek,
where we stayed from July 26 to August 9. Major Brooks left on
August 30, for a brief stay at Log Cabin, White Pass, en route homeward.   I left Atlin on September 24, reaching Berkeley on October 3.
On September 7, at the invitation of Captain Moorhead, Mr.
Monroe, and Mr. Taylor, I accompanied them on a trip to the police
post at Nisuttlin Bay, Teslin Lake, some eighty miles (by the trail)
northwest of Atlin. The first day we traversed the length of Surprise
Lake and then the trail to Gladys Lake, twelve miles beyond. The
second day was spent at that point (fortunately in comfortable
quarters) in a downpour of rain that lasted the whole day long. The
third evening we reached Grouse Creek, and the fourth afternoon 54 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
Teslin Lake. We left Teslin on the return trip the morning of September 13, reaching Atlin September 15. The trail lies in the lowlands the
whole distance, passing through stretches of spruce, pine, and poplar
woods at intervals, with occasional tracts of open meadow and marsh
land. Rugged mountains enclose Surprise Lake, but beyond that point,
to the northeast, the mountains are left behind and rolling, forested
country stretches in all directions, save for isolated groups of peaks
such as the conspicuous Dawson Peaks (locally known as the Four
Aces) on the British Columbia-Yukon boundary at Lake Teslin.
This is the Caribou Crossing of former days, now a station on the
White Pass and Yukon Railroad. It is situated at the junction of
Bennett and Tagish lakes, near the north base of White Pass, sixty-
eight miles inland from Skagway. Our limited work here was within
a radius of six or eight miles of the town, and entirely in the lowlands,
as the nearby mountains were inaccessible from the depth of soft,
melting snow with which they were then covered. The valley is clothed
with open woods, poplars and small jack pine mostly, interspersed
with stands of white spruce, and with willow copses in the more
swampy ground. A large slough (with wide margins of exposed mud
in May, filled with water in September) lies but a short distance from
the town, an attraction for water birds of many sorts. A striking
feature of this region is the vast expanse of shifting sand dune country.
The lower end of Lake Bennett is broadly margined with sand dunes,
and as far as we went in the woods to the northward we found similar
sandy mounds covered with forest trees. It is a windy region; during
our stay there were strong winds daily rushing inland through the
White Pass. (For a detailed discussion of the faunistic features of
the region, see Osgood, 1900, pp. 8-12.)
The town of Atlin is on the east shore of Lake Atlin, at an altitude
of 2200 feet. The valley bordering the east side of the lake is forest
covered mostly, but the woods are open and easily traversed. Quaking
aspen, or "poplar," is the dominant deciduous tree, and almost
unbroken stands of poplar cover miles of territory. White spruce grows
in many places in the lowlands, and in denser stands and over greater
areas on the adjoining mountain sides.   The lowland woods are broken l92fi]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 55
in many places by tracts of swamp, grass-covered or grown up with
willow thickets, and the woods are interspersed with many small lakes.
Three or four miles east of Atlin, Lake Como, the largest of these
small lakes near the town, supports a considerable population of
water birds.
Some four miles south of Atlin, Monarch Mountain rises (see pi. 6,
fig. 5), the nearest peak of a series of rounded and, for the most part,
not particularly rugged mountains, that border Pine Creek Valley to
the eastward of Atlin and the lake shore to the southward. Conditions
on this mountain may be briefly described, as generally applicable to
that type of country in this region. Poplar woods border the lowest
slopes of the mountain, but ascend its sides only a few hundred feet
before giving way to the belt of darker and denser spruce. Between
3500 and 4000 feet altitude spruce is largely replaced by balsam fir,
growing to large size at its lowest level and persisting over the summit
of the peak in more or less dwarfed and prostrate form. At the upper
edge of the spruce belt the woods become more thin, and are cleft by
wider and wider areas of open grass or lupine covered slopes. On
the summit (3800 to 5000 feet altitude) upright timber of any size
disappears, save in a few sheltered spots, and the scattered thickets of
scrubby balsam sprawling close to earth are surrounded by wide areas
of open ground, grass covered or here and there grown up with false
heather over limited damp areas. Creeping birch grows here, too, and
in extensive tracts; on this particular mountain I saw little that was
more than knee-high.
Directly opposite the town of Atlin lies a group of three islands,
the nearest within a quarter of a mile from the shore, and none of
them more than a few acres in extent (see pi. 5, fig. 2). A striking
feature of these islands is the fact that of the forest trees with which
they are covered nearly all are balsam fir. There are relatively few
spruce or jack pine. On the adjacent mainland I saw no balsam at the
lake level. The islands are the nesting grounds of small colonies of
water birds (short-billed gull, Bonaparte gull, and Arctic tern) and
they harbor an extraordinary number of small land birds. We listed
fifteen species of land birds as nesting there, some of them (such as the
black-poll warbler) extremely scarce on the neighboring mainland.
These small birds, too, were rearing their young successfully, in contrast to conditions on the mainland, where subsequent destruction of
nest, eggs, or young was the usual fate of most of the nests we found.
On the islands there were no red squirrels, no chipmunks,  and no 56 University of California Publications im, Zoology    [Vol. 3u
Canada jays; the absence of these factors may have been the favorable
feature of- the place. The nesting species of gulls and tern were not so
fortunate, for they suffered severely from the raids of herring gulls, to
the ultimate destruction of nearly all the young that were hatched.
The upper portion of Otter Creek (3500 to 4000 feet altitude),
where we worked for two weeks, may be described as characteristic of
vast areas throughout this region that lie in an intermediate position
between the wooded lowlands such as border Lake Atlin and the
timberless mountain tops. Willow is the dominant forest growth
along the bottom of this valley, never as large trees but as densely
growing, rounded bushes, rarely more than twenty feet high and
usually much lower. On Otter Creek, as on some other streams, the
necessities of hydraulic mining have caused the damming of the stream
far up the valley. For miles above the lake thus formed the valley
floor is transformed into a willow swamp, a haven for ducks.
The mountain slopes on either side, and much of the valley floor
in the upper reaches of the stream, are dry and more sparsely covered
with vegetation. There are extensive grassy areas, and at about 3800
feet altitude the creeping birch begins to be conspicuous. Mostly
this is a rather innocuous shrub, low-growing and easily walked over
or avoided, but I found some sections (at about 4000 feet altitude)
where it formed a chaparral on hill sides and ridges ten feet high or
more and well-nigh impenetrable.
On the surrounding mountain sides, especially on north and east
facing slopes, spruce, and above that, balsam, grow in small groves in
some places, in solid stands for miles on favored exposures. On Spruce
Mountain, forming the western boundary of Otter Creek Valley, this
forest ceased abruptly between 4500 and 5000 feet altitude. Above
that boundary grassy slopes and ridges prevail, with a very little false
heather in places and a few scattered thickets of balsam.
Atlin occupies a position relative to the coast about the same as
Telegraph Creek, in the Stikine Valley, and Hazelton, in the Skeena
Valley, 150 miles and 375 miles to the southward, respectively. Both
of these places I had visited in previous years (see Swarth, 1922,1924),
and comparisons between the regions naturally follow.   Atlin Lake is at I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 57
an altitude of 2200 feet, compared with Telegraph Creek at 540 feet,
and Hazelton at 973 feet, and this increase in elevation, together with
the more northern location, has almost eliminated at Atlin certain
Canadian Zone elements that are conspicuous at the more southern
stations. The lowlands of the Atlin region, it seems to me, are Hud-
sonian Zone, with but a slight infiltration of Canadian Zone species.
There is no definable zone between the lowlands (2200 feet altitude)
and the Alpine-Arctic mountain tops, with timber line between 3500
and 4000 feet. The same species of plants, mammals, and birds, with
few exceptions, range from timber line downward in suitable places
throughout the valleys. The converse of this, however, is not true,
of birds at least, for all species of birds that occur in the lowlands do
not range upward to timber line. Then, a further exception must be
made of three species of birds, Dendragapus obscurus flemingi,
Spizella monticola ochracea, and Lanius borealis, the former two
occupying in abundance, the latter in small numbers, types of country
that are found in some places immediately below timber line (see
pi. 6, fig. 4). However, making due allowance for the more decidedly
Hudsonian character of higher altitudes, the general tone of the
valleys, too, is of the Hudsonian Zone. This is exemplified in the
extensive stands of white spruce with such accompanying bird species
as the Alaska hermit thrush, Hudsonian chickadee, Canada jay,
goshawk, and spruce grouse, all occurring in abundance.
In the upper Skeena Valley the Canadian Zone is dominant, as
demonstrated by the presence of many elements over a vast expanse of
country. In the upper Stikine Valley, while the Canadian Zone characterizes the region, there are fewer bird species represented and
they occur over a relatively restricted area. In the lowlands of the
Atlin region there is but the merest infiltration of Canadian Zone
elements into prevailing Hudsonian Zone surroundings.
Lakes and streams in the Atlin region all find their way into the
Arctic drainage, and here, too, in coming from the south, one first
finds a few real Arctic birds. Among such may be mentioned the
pair of black-throated loons we saw, apparently in two minds as to
nesting in the region, the northern phalarope, apparently breeding at
Carcross, the gyrfalcon, and the northern shrike.
Some comparisons can be made of the status of certain species of
birds at Hazelton, Telegraph Creek, and Atlin. Bubo virginianus lago-
phonus is abundant at Hazelton. We secured no horned owls at Telegraph Creek, but at Atlin the breeding subspecies is the more northern
form, B. v. subarcticus.   Dryobates villosus monticola is abundant at .">-» University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.
IInzi'lt"ii ami Telegraph Crook. At Atlin. hairy woodpookcrs were all
but absent, but tho specimens secured were the northern /). v. leuco-
melas. Dryobatts pubescent leucurus is common at Hazelton. wo
found no downy woodpecker at Telegraph Crook, and at Atlin the one
specimen of this species that was taken proved to be the northern
I). /). nclsoni. Selanphorus rufus is abundant at Hazelton, less common at Telegraph Crook, ami decidedly rare at Atlin. Carpodacus
purpurcus juirpiirrus, abundant at Hazelton. was rare at Telegraph
Crook, and seen onee at Atlin. Vireosylra giJra mvainsoni. abundant
at Hazelton and Telegraph Creek, was represented by one pair seen
at Atlin. Oporonis tolmiei. abundant at Hazelton and Telegraph
Creek, was doubtfully identified once at Atlin (June 24, 1924; not
included in the following list). Sctophaga rutirilla, abundant at
Hazelton and but little less numerous at Telegraph Creek, was
decidedly rare at Atlin. Pcnthestes gambeli abbreviatus, found in
small numbers near Hazelton and Telegraph Creek, was seen once at
Atlin. Cypseto-ides vigor borealis, Chaetura vauxi, Melospiza melodia
morphna, and Piranga ludoviciana, are species that apparently all
find thoir northern limit near Telegraph Creek, none being seen at
The non-occurrence of any form of Passerella in the Atlin region
is of interest. /'. ilitwn altivagam was found breeding in the vicinity
of Hazelton hut nowhere near Telegraph Creek. Its absence in the
Atlin region, too, suggests that there is a wide gap between the breeding ranges of /'. i. iliara and /\ i. altivagans, and thus that these
forms may not really be so closely related as I had supposed (Swarth,
1920, p. 93), a belief founded largely upon the appearance of certain
winter birds of intermediate character. Altivagans apparently occurs
throughout a wide range of territory between the habitat of P. i.
.irhislaiia. uf the Rooky Mountain and Great Basin regions, and of
P. i. fuJiijinosa, of the coast, but it does not seem to range northward
as far as tho summer home of P. i. iliaca.
Faunally, Atlin may be considered as the extreme southern limit
of the Yukon region. As regards birds there are many southern
-;>•..• - that find their northern limil a short distance to the southward.
and certain characteristic northern species that extend barely this far
south. The Atlin avifauna is of the interior, purely. There is not a
single distinctively coastal species that penetrates this distance inland,
less than one hundred miles away from salt water. I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 59
1. Colymbus holboellii (Reinhardt)
2. Colymbus auritus Linnaeus
3. Gavia immer Brunnich
4. Gavia paeifica (Lawrence)
5. Gavia stellata (Pontoppidan)
6. Stercorarius parasiticus (Linnaeus)
7. Larus argentatus Pontoppidan
8. Larus brachyrhynchus Richardson
9. Larus Philadelphia (Ord)
10. Sterna paradisaea Brunnich
11. Mergus americanus Cassin
12. Mergus serrator Linnaeus
13. Lophodytes cucullatus  (Linnaeus)
14. Anas platyrhynehos Linnaeus
15. Nettion earolinense (Gmelin)
16. Spatula clypeata (Linnaeus)
17. Dafila acuta tzitzihoa (Vieillot)
18. Marila affinis (Eyton)
19. Glaucionetta islandica (Gmelin)
20. Charitonetta albeola (Linnaeus)
21. Histrionicus histrionicus pacificus W. S. Brooks
22. Oidemia deglandi dixoni W. S. Brooks
23. Oidemia perspicillata (Linnaeus)
24. Branta canadensis (Linnaeus), subsp.?
25. Lobipes lobatus  (Linnaeus)
26. Gallinago delieata (Ord)
27. Pisobia maculata (Vieillot)
28. Pisobia bairdii (Coues)
29. Pisobia minutilla (Vieillot)
30. Ereunetes pusillus  (Linnaeus)
31. Totanus flavipes (Gmelin)
32. Tringa solitaria Wilson
33. Heteroscelus incanus  (Gmelin)
34. Aetitis maeularia  (Linnaeus)
35. Numenius hudsonicus Latham
36. Oxyechus vociferus (Linnaeus)
37. Charadrius semipalmatus Bonaparte
38. Aphriza virgata (Gmelin)
39. Dendragapus obseuru3 flemingi Taverner
40. Canachites canadensis osgoodi Bishop
41. Bonasa umbellus umbelloides (Douglas)
42. Lagopus lagopus albus (Gmelin)
43. Lagopus rupestris rupestris  (Gmelin)
44. Lagopus leucurus leueurus (Swainson)
45. Circus hudsonius  (Linnaeus)
46. Aceipiter velox (Wilson)
47. Astur atrieapillus atricapillus (Wilson)
48. Buteo borealis harlani (Audubon) 60 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
49. Aquila chrysaetos  (Linnaeus)
50. Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascanus C. H. Townsend
51. Falco rusticolus rusticolus Linnaeus
52. Falco peregrinus anatum Bonaparte
53. Falco columbarius suckleyi Ridgway
54. Cerchneis sparveria sparveria (Linnaeus)
55. Pandion haliaetus carolinensis  (Gmelin)
56. Bubo virginianus subarcticus Hoy
57. Bubo virginianus lagophonus   Oberholser
58. Surnia ulula caparoch (Miiller)
59. Ceryle alcyon cauriua Grinnell
60. Dryobates villosus leucomelas (Boddaert)
61. Dryobates pubeseens nelsoni Oberholser
62. Picoides americanus fasciatus Baird
63. Colaptes auratus borealis Ridgway
64. Chordeiles virginianus virginianus (Gmelin)
65. Selasphorus rufus (Gmelin)
66. Sayornis sayus yukonensis Bishop
67. Nuttallornis borealis  (Swainson)
68. Myiochanes richardsonii richardsonii (Swainson)
69. Empidonax traillii alnorum Brewster
70. Empidonax hammondii (Xantus)
71. Empidonax wrightii Baird
72. Otocoris alpestris areticola Oberholser
73. Pica pica hudsonia (Sabine)
74. Perisoreus canadensis canadensis  (Linnaeus)
75. Corvus corax principalis Ridgway
76. Euphagus carolinus (Miiller)
77. Carpodacus purpureus purpureus (Gmelin)
78. Loxia leuooptera Gmelin
79. Spinus pinus (Wilson)
80. Calcarius lapponicus alascensis Ridgway
81. Passerculus sandwichensis alaudinus Bonaparte
82. Zonotrichia gambelii (Nuttall)
83. Zonotrichia coronata (Pallas)
84. Spizella monticola ochracea Brewster
85. Spizella passerina passerina (Bechstein)
86. Spizella taverneri Swarth and Brooks
87. Junco hyemalis connectens Coues
88. Melospiza lincolnii lincolnii (Audubon)
89. Petrochelidon lunifrons lunifrons (Say)
90. Hirundo erythrogaster Boddaert
91. Iridoprocne bicolor (Vieillot)
92. Tachycineta thalassina lepida Mearns
93. Riparia riparia  (Linnaeus)
94. Bombycilla garrula pallidiceps Reichenow
95. Lanius borealis Vieillot
96. Vireosylva gilva swainsonii (Baird)
97. Vermivora celata celata (Say)
98. Vermivora celata orestera Oberholser
99. Vermivora peregrina (Wilson)
100. Dendroica aestiva aestiva (Gmelin) 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 61
101. Dendroica coronata hooveri McGregor
102. Dendroica striata (J. R. Forster)
103. Dendroica townsendi (J. K. Townsend)
104. Seiurus noveboraeensis notabilis Ridgway
105. Geothlypis trichas occidentalis Brewster
106. Wilsonia pusilla pileolata  (Pallas)
107. Setophaga ruticilla (Linnaeus)
108. Anthus rubescens (Tunstall)
109. Sitta canadensis Linnaeus
110. Penthestes atrieapillus septentrionalis (Harris)
111. Penthestes gambeli abbreviatus Grinnell
112. Penthestes hudsonicus columbianus  (Rhoads)
113. Regulus satrapa olivaceus Baird
114. Regulus calendula  calendula  (Linnaeus)
115. Myadestes townsendi  (Audubon)
116. Hylociehla ustulata swainsoni (Tschudi)
117. Hylociehla guttata guttata (Pallas)
118. Hylociehla guttata pallasii (Cabanis)
119. Planesticus migratorius migratorius (Linnaeus)
120. Ixoreus naevius meruloides (Swainson)
121. Sialia currucoides (Bechstein)
Colymbus holboellii (Reinhardt).   Holboell Grebe
Present during our entire stay in the region.   Pairs were seen in
various lakes, large and small; and early in June the curious courting
antics were commonly observed.   No nests were found, nor were any
young birds seen.
Colymbus auritus Linnaeus.   Horned Grebe
A pair or more could be found on every lake, large or small.   Seen
at Carcross, May 22, and a single bird was noted near Atlin on
September 21, my last day afield.   Migrating in numbers during the
second and third weeks in September.
On July 18 a nest was found in a small lake at the head of Canon
Creek, about 3500 feet altitude. The young birds had apparently but
just hatched. They, with one parent, were occupying the nest when
it was found, and the family, as observed from a distance, returned
to it when I left. The nest was a circular mass of sodden grass floating
amid a sparse growth of short, green grass, about three feet from the
shore. It was somewhat hidden by a small willow overhanging from
the adjacent bank. 62 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
Gavia immer Brunnich.   Common Loon
Seen on most of the lakes, and presumably nests in the region.   No
evidence of breeding was found, however, other than the presence of
loons, some in pairs, throughout the summer.
Gavia pacifica (Lawrence).   Pacific Loon
Seen at Carcross, presumably migrating, on May 22.   The presence
of a pair of Pacific loons on a small lake a few miles north of Atlin,
on June 23 and 24. led to the hope that they would nest there.   A few
days later, however, they were gone, and no others were seen.
Gavia stellata (Pontoppidan).    Red-throated Loon
Seen on but one occasion, a single bird on Lake Atlin on June 20.
Stercorarius parasiticus (Linnaeus).   Parasitic Jaeger
One seen in pursuit of a gull at Lake Teslin, September 11.   The
jaeger was at close enough range to permit observation of details of
color and markings.
Larus argentatus Pontoppidan. Herring Gull
A nesting colony of this species on an island in Atlin Lake has
been described by Anderson (1915, p. 9). Herring gulls were seen
commonly along the shore of Atlin Lake all through the summer, at
Surprise Lake in August, and at Teslin Lake during the second week
in September. Herring gulls raided certain breeding colonies of short-
billed gulls. Bonaparte gulls, and Arctic terns near the town of Atlin,
to such effect that only an extremely small proportion of the young of
those species survived.
There is a published record of the occurrence of Larus californicus
at Lake Atlin (Anderson, 1915, p. 9), based upon a specimen in the
collection of the Provincial Museum, Victoria. I have examined this
specimen, which proves to be, though a rather small individual,
unquestionably Larus argentatus.
Larus brachyrhynchus Richardson.   Short-billed Gull
Seen at Carcross. May 22.    A small nesting "colony," consisting
of at least four pairs and perhaps seven or eight, was distributed over
the three islands nearest the town of Atlin.    Short-billed gulls were 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 63
seen continually in some numbers along the lake shore, and the species
was probably nesting at various points. We did not discover the
colony alluded to above until all young birds had left the nests. Due
to the ravages of the herring gull, as seemed evident, eggs and young
in this colony were destroyed until just one young bird remained. This
lone survivor, with wing quills partly grown but not yet able to fly,
was several times seen, swimming on the lake, dodging attacks from a
herring gull, which persisted until the entire adult population of
short-billed and Bonaparte gulls came to the rescue.
A short-billed gull's nest was discovered July 15 on the "middle
island" opposite the town of Atlin. It was placed in the top of a
small balsam fir (with which trees these islands are thickly covered),
about fifteen feet from the ground, and not at all easy to see in the
flattened tree-top where it was placed. The young had been gone for
some days at least, and buried in the bottom of the nest, entirely
covered and hidden, was an addled egg (no. 1978). One or two other
nests were seen in similar situations.
Two specimens of short-billed gull were preserved, an adult male
(no. 44628) taken June 15, and a young female (no. 44629) molting
from down to first winter plumage, taken July 14.
Larus Philadelphia (Ord).   Bonaparte Gull
Seen at Carcross, May 22. Two days later a pair of these birds
had apparently preempted one end of a slough at the edge of the
town, and they dived at our heads with loud outcries whenever we
At Atlin, this species, like the short-billed gull, was nesting on the
islands opposite the town, and, as with the larger species, the young
had left the nests before we discovered this breeding ground. There
were apparently ten or twelve pairs of Bonaparte gulls domiciled upon
the islands, and, due again to the raiding herring gulls, from all these
broods but three young birds reached an age when they could fly.
Several nests were found on the islands, which, without question,
must have belonged to this species. They were frail affairs, not much
larger than waxwings' nests, placed on widespreading side branches
of balsam firs, near the tops of the trees, some fifteen or twenty feet
from the ground. Just as is seen in the descriptions of Bonaparte
gulls' nests given by the several authors that are quoted in Bent's
(1921, p. 176) "Life Histories," they were suggestive of pigeons'
nests more than anything else. 64 University of California Publications in Zoology    [Vol. 30
Bonaparte gulls were seen on all the small lakes of the region, and
may have been nesting in such places, too, though we had no positive
evidence to this effect. The species apparently left early in August;
none was seen after the first week of this month.
One specimen was collected (no. 44630), a young bird, taken
July 14, molting from the down to first winter plumage, and not yet
able to fly.
Sterna paradisaea Briinnich. Arctic Tern
Seen at Carcross, May 22, on Tagish Lake May 27, and at Atlin
upon our arrival the next day. Nesting in some numbers (ten or
twelve pairs at least) on the islands opposite Atlin, and certainly at
other nearby points also, for the birds were seen constantly along the
shore of Atlin Lake and about some of the smaller lakes. On the
islands mentioned, none of the young survived the onslaughts of the
herring gulls.
The species was last seen August 8. One specimen was collected
(no. 44631), a young bird taken July 14, molting from the down to
first winter plumage.
Mergus americanus Cassin.   American Merganser
A single male bird was seen at Carcross on May 24.    The species
was not otherwise observed during the summer.
Mergus serrator Linnaeus.   Red-breasted Merganser
Apparently rare.   An adult male was seen on Atlin Lake, June 6.
Several were seen on Surprise Lake, September 15, and one collected
(no. 44632), a young bird, fully feathered as regards body plumage
but not yet able to fly.
Lophodytes cucullatus (Linnaeus). Hooded Merganser
An adult male, a single bird, seen on a pond near Atlin on June 17,
and watched through binoculars for some time. This is perhaps the
most northwestern point of record for the species. Great Slave Lake,
its northernmost limit in the interior, is but a little farther north
than Atlin.
Anas platyrhynchos Linnaeus.   Mallard
Seen at Carcross, May 22.    There were probably a few scattered
pairs breeding in the marshes about Atlin, but not many.    Only an 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 65
occasional bird was encountered, and at long intervals, during the
summer. Flocks were seen at Lake Teslin, September 11, and at Fat
Creek (between Teslin and Gladys lakes) on September 13. On
September 21, my last day afield, I saw two mallards near Atlin.
Nettion carolinense (Gmelin). Green-winged Teal
Seen at Carcross, May 23. About Atlin, though not common, there
were scattered pairs nesting in most of the marshes. More were seen
in flooded bottom lands of the upper portion of Otter Creek than
anywhere else. Flocks of nearly full-grown young were noted July 28,
on Otter Creek, but on August 6, at the same point, a brood of downy
young was seen that could have been hatched but a few days. The
species apparently leaves early for the south, though such late-hatched
young as were just mentioned must linger to a relatively late date.
No green-winged teal were seen about Atlin after the middle of
Spatula clypeata (Linnaeus). Shoveller
A single bird, a cripple, was seen by Brooks on a pond near Atlin
on June 27. At Carcross we were shown a mounted shoveller that had
been shot near that town. The rarity there of this species may be
attested by the fact that this bird had been preserved as a curiosity.
No one in the community knew what it was.
Daflla acuta tzitzihoa (Vieillot).   American Pintail
Seen at Carcross, May 22.   A fairly common species about Atlin
during the summer, and especially abundant in the swampy upper
reaches of Otter Creek.   The first young were noted on June 23, when
two newly hatched broods appeared on Lake Como.
I saw no pintails, definitely recognized as such, after the end of
Marila affinis (Eyton). Lesser Scaup Duck
Scaups seen at Carcross, May 22, were presumably M. affinis. This ha __ >^,o~l/«~>
was the most numerous breeding duck in the Atlin region, where hardly
a pond could be found that did not harbor at least one scaup family.
Nests were built in grassy swales or marshes adjoining open sheets of
water. Early in June these ducks were in pairs, but by the third week
of that month most of the drakes were congregated in flocks by themselves, sometimes three or four birds together, sometimes ten or twelve. 66 University of California Publications in Zoology    [Vol.30
On June 23 three nests were found in one marsh. Two of these were
about twenty feet apart, the other some two hundred yards away.
The two closely adjoining nests when found held, respectively, two
and four eggs, the other, eight. The nests with two and four eggs, on
July 2 held, respectively, nine and ten.
The three nests were similarly placed, each in a tussock of long
marsh grass, barely above the level of the water, and they were similarly built. Construction was of the slightest, the nest walls being
formed largely of growing grass, and the bottom of the same sort of
grass, some placed there but mostly consisting of the crushed vegetation
that had been growing on the hummock. The upper rim of the nest
wall was dry, but the lower two-thirds was sodden and the eggs were
wet. There was no down in any of the nests. In each case the parent
bird could slip off of her eggs directly into water deep enough to swim
in, six or eight inches in depth, and, by narrow channels through the
hummocks, she could reach an open pond nearby.
On July 7 many male scaups were seen that were assuming the
eclipse plumage. Two drakes noted July 18 were mostly in eclipse,
but were strong on the wing. On July 20 the first downy young
appeared. On September 19, the last date on which I visited a suitable
spot for this species, several small flocks were seen, perhaps twenty-five
or thirty birds, all told.
Four specimens were collected (nos. 44633-44636), one adult male,
one adult female, and two downy young.
Glaucionettaislandica (Gmelin).   Barrow Golden-eye
Present at Carcross when we arrived, May 22. One of the most
abundant ducks about Atlin; nearly as numerous as the lesser scaup
and of even more general distribution. The difference in habitats of
the two species lay in the greater abundance of the golden-eye in
the little mountain lakes at high altitudes. We found no nests, but
the situation of some of the broods seen precluded the possibility of
their having been hatched within cavities in trees. Many families
were found on lakes above timber line, long distances from trees of
sufficient size to afford sheltering holes.
The first young appeared July 3. This particular brood was kept
under observation until August 13. Originally nine in number, it was
reduced (cause unknown) to seven by July 7. On August 13, the flock
consisted of six, plus the mother, and the young then were about three- 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 67
fourths the size of their parent. Small patches of pale-colored down
on the sides of the head were all that remained of the young plumage.
The young were as yet unable to fly.
On June 14 six adult males were seen together, first evidence of
the impending departure of the drakes, and during the next few days
southward flying flocks were noted over Lake Atlin and elsewhere. No
old drakes were seen during the latter part of the summer. One shot
on June 30 was beginning to molt into the eclipse plumage.
Golden-eyes were seen on Lake Teslin, September 11, and there were
a few still on Lake Como on September 19.
Six specimens collected, the adult male mentioned above, and five
downy young, from two broods of different ages (nos. 44637-44642).
Charitonetta albeola (Linnaeus).   Buffle-head
Seen at Carcross, May 22 and 24.   Not otherwise observed.
Histrionicus histrionicus pacificus W. S. Brooks
Western Harlequin Duck
Breeds in small numbers and at widely scattered intervals throughout the region, where the species generally passes by the name of
'' wood duck.'' Two were seen on Lake Atlin, June 20. On September 1
a brood was encountered at "Blue Canon," and two were collected,
an adult female and a young male (nos. 44643-44644). The female
had finished the annual molt and the young were full grown. On
September 7 a brood was seen in the rushing water of Consolation
Creek, near Gladys Lake.
Oidemia deglandi dixoni W. S. Brooks.   Dixon White-winged Scoter
At Carcross, May 24 to 26, white-winged scoters were arriving in
numbers from the coast. The flights occurred in the evenings, when
flock after flock appeared from over the snowy mountain barrier to
the westward. They circled about overhead, a few individuals uttering
harsh quacks at infrequent intervals; some flocks dropped down to
rest in the nearby lakes, while others, after many aerial evolutions,
eventually speeded on farther into the interior.
In the Atlin region there was a colony of this species established at
Lake Como, but we saw none during the summer on any of the smaller
lakes.   Just how many pairs nested could not be accurately determined, 68 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
but there were at least twenty or twenty-five adults of each sex settled
there at the beginning of the nesting season, and eight or ten broods of
ducklings appeared upon the lake later on.
On June 1, at Lake Como, the scoters were all in pairs, and they
continued so until near the end of the month. On June 29 the first'
small flocks of males were seen leaving for the coast; some remained
inland until near the end of the summer.
On July 20 the first brood of young was seen, others following
within a few days. Broods counted consisted of eight or nine ducklings, but counts had to be made soon after hatching, for the broods
quickly merged into loosely assembled flocks so that it was not long
possible to keep track of separate families. Sometimes two or three
adults were seen in attendance upon sixteen or twenty young, and
once a single duck appeared leading thirty-two small ducklings across
the lake. The young were very self-reliant, and sometimes six or eight
would be found foraging independently, unattended by any old bird.
Thus this colony of white-winged scoters led a markedly communistic
existence, individuals, young and old, gathering together into larger
or smaller groups as suited their convenience at the time. The scaups,
too, had as little seeming regard for family ties, their habits in these
matters being much the same as with the scoters.
Young scoters but a day or two old were seen diving expertly,
making long stays below the surface. Old birds, carefully watched
through binoculars, were frequently seen to make use of their wings
as they dived, but this was not invariably the case. White-winged
scoters to the number of twenty or more were still on Lake Como on
September 19, the last day I visited the lake.
Four specimens were preserved, ducklings not more than two or
three days old (nos. 44645-44648).
Oidemia perspicillata (Linnaeus).   Surf Scoter
An adult male that was seen on Lake Atlin, opposite the town, on
July 21  and on several days following, was the only surf scoter
encountered during the summer.
Branta canadensis (Linnaeus), subsp.?   Canada Goose
Canada geese were migrating in some numbers at Gladys Lake,
September 8, and they were abundant at certain points on Lake Teslin,
September 10 to 13.    A flock of about fifty passed over Atlin on l92eJ      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 69
September 21. As these were the only migrating geese I saw there,
though they were so abundant on the more eastern lakes mentioned
above, it would seem that Atlin Lake is not on the most generally
used migration route of this species.
Lobipes lobatus  (Linnaeus).    Northern Phalarope
A pair of northern phalaropes that were seen in a swamp several
miles north of Carcross on May 23 were observed going through
courting antics and then copulating, and were thus judged to be
preparing to nest there.
The first south-bound migrant, a single bird still in summer
plumage, was seen near Atlin on July 21; a flock of about thirty-five
birds appeared on August 27. On September 1 single birds and groups
of two and three were found scattered over various small lakes above
timber line.
Gallinago delicata (Ord).   Wilson Snipe
Seen at Carcross, May 22. Breeds in fair abundance in the Atlin
region; there was probably a pair or two in every swamp of any
size. From the town of Atlin the "bleating" of the snipe could be
heard almost continuously during June and early in July. Frequently
when awakening at night during the brief period of partial darkness at
that season, I heard snipe circling about overhead. The '' bleat'' under
such conditions was very suggestive of the call of the California screech
The birds were often observed performing these aerial evolutions,
and in practically all respects our observations bear out the descriptive
comments of Kitchin, Dawson, and Hoffmann, as detailed by the last
mentioned writer (Hoffmann, 1924, p. 175). This performance ceased
abruptly the middle of July, the last "bleating" being heard on
July 17. The birds are otherwise unobtrusive, and I saw none after
that date.
Pisobia maculata (Vieillot).   Pectoral Sandpiper
Seen on but one occasion, a single bird in a flock of lesser yellow-
legs on June 4.
Pisobia bairdii (Coues).   Baird Sandpiper
Seen at Carcross, May 22.   Not otherwise observed. 70 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
Pisobia minutilla (Vieillot).   Least Sandpiper
Seen at Carcross May 22. At Atlin the first south-bound migrants
appeared June 29, when two single adults were seen at different points.
One of the birds was performing the usual mating flight. A few days
later small flocks began to drop in at intervals, continuing until
August 27, when the last was seen.
Ereunetes pusillus (Linnaeus).    Semipalmated Sandpiper
A single bird, a south-bound migrant, was collected at Atlin,
July 17. This specimen (no. 44649) is an adult female, in which the
annual molt has just begun. Two were seen at close range on the shore
of Morley Bay, Lake Teslin, September 12.
Totanus flavipes (Gmelin).   Yellow-legs
Present in some numbers at Carcross, May 22, and evidently then
preparing to nest. The birds were in pairs and noisy and solicitous at
any invasion of their territory. Some were going through the nuptial
flight and "song," some perched on tree-tops scolded the intruder.
About Atlin there were yellow-legs in nearly every lowland swamp.
While the breeding birds were thus distributed in pairs over the
country, there were also wandering flocks that appeared at intervals
during June and July. These were evidently composed of non-breeding
We found no nest, but Brooks collected a newly hatched chick on
June 17. The downy young had the faculty of remaining invisible,
or nearly so, but when almost full grown they became conspicuous
about the edges of the ponds, and were then indifferent to approach.
By July 20 the yellow-legs had nearly all left for the south; the last
birds were seen August 13 and 14.
Three specimens were collected by me, young nearly or quite full
grown (nos. 44650-44652).
Tringa solitaria Wilson.   Solitary Sandpiper
First seen at Carcross, May 25. Early in June the species was
encountered not uncommonly about Atlin, and the birds seen had all
the appearance of being upon their nesting grounds. Individuals were
going through their courting flight and song overhead, and some were l926J      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 71
settled at certain spots where they resented intrusion. Whatever
the reason, these birds all disappeared before the end of June, and we
had no evidence that any broods were hatched in that vicinity. The
first fall migrant appeared on upper Otter Creek, July 27, and during
the next ten days they were of daily occurrence.   Last seen August 6.
Two specimens were collected (nos. 44653-44654), an adult male at
Carcross, May 25, and an immature male on Otter Creek, July 27.
From outward appearances these birds might be referred to two
different subspecies, the first to the eastern form, Tringa solitaria
solitaria, the other to the western, T. s. cinnamomea, but I am not
satisfied that this division is justified. These two subspecies, at best,
are but poorly defined. The latest monographer of the group
(Ridgway, 1919, pp. 353, 358, 363) gives the distinguishing characters
of the two as follows: Tringa s. solitaria. Size smaller. "Summer
adults with upper parts much more distinctly spotted with white;
young with spotting on upper parts white or grayish white; white
bars on tail averaging wider; the middle pair of rectrices never
wholly grayish brown."
T. s. cinnamomea. Size larger. " Summer adults with upper parts
much less distinctly spotted with white; young with spotting of upper
parts brownish buffy or cinnamomeus; white bars on tail averaging
narrower, the middle pair of rectrices often (usually?) wholly deep
grayish brown."
An additional character cited by Brewster (1890, p. 377) in his
description of Totanus solitarius cinnamomeus, but not used by
Ridgway, is the presence in cinnamomeus of more or less "freckling"
at the inner base of the outermost primary.
Examination in the present connection of some forty-odd specimens
of eastern and western birds revealed no more satisfactory mode of
dividing them than by regard to the points of capture. Some eastern
specimens (from Indiana and Pennsylvania) are smaller than any
western birds, but others are well within the size limits of cinnamomea.
Also, some western birds, taken in the fall and presumably immature,
are more cinnamomeous in color of upper parts. As regards distinctness of spotting above, and character of tail markings, I found it
impossible to make division by these features. Most (but not all)
western birds show more or less of the "freckling" at the base of the
primary, and it is not present in any eastern specimens at hand.
The several characters indicated are independently variable, so that
a given specimen may, on the basis of one certain feature,  seem 72 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
referable to the eastern subspecies, and to the western on just as strong
resemblances in other respects. The fact that so little is known of the
breeding ranges of the two forms is an added reason for conservative
systematic treatment of non-breeding birds.
Heteroscelus incanus (Gmelin).   Wandering Tattler
An adult male, a single bird (no. 44655), was shot by Brooks at
Carcross, the evening of May 25.    It was presumably en route to its
breeding grounds farther inland.
Actitis macularia (Linnaeus). Spotted Sandpiper
Seen at Carcross, May 22. Abundant in the Atlin region. Breeding along the lake shore and along stream beds; inevitably encountered
wherever conditions are favorable. During the second week in June
unfinished nests and incomplete sets were found; by the third week
in July young birds had appeared; by the middle of August the young
were full grown and in the first fall plumage. The last spotted
sandpiper was seen at Surprise Lake, September 15.
Numenius hudsonicus Latham. Hudsonian Curlew
One was shot near Atlin by one of the residents of the town, about
the middle of May, shortly before our arrival. I saw the mounted bird.
This is of interest as an inland occurrence of an usually maritime
species; I know of no other occurrence in British Columbia away from
salt water.
Oxyechus vociferus (Linnaeus). Killdeer
At Atlin, May 28, a pair of killdeers were found established in a
marsh immediately behind the town. They were seen there several
times, but apparently left without successfully nesting. On July 7
a single bird was seen on the shore of Lake Como, and on July 10 one
was flushed from a marshy spot in dense woods near that lake. These
occurrences constitute probably the northernmost records of this
species so near the coast, though inland it has been found somewhat
farther north, to Great Slave Lake.
Charadrius semipalmatus Bonaparte.   Semipalmated Plover
Present at Carcross, May 22, and at that time in pairs and evidently
ready to nest.   Fairly common in the Atlin region; that is, a pair or I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 73
two could be found wherever conditions were favorable, a gravelly or
sandy shore being the main requisite. The birds were noisy and
solicitous on the breeding grounds. The sitting bird left the nest at
the first appearance of an intruder in the distance, and male and
female together hovered about, calling overhead or fluttering painfully
over the ground with wings and tail outspread and dragging.
A nest was found June 10, containing four eggs, heavily incubated.
This was in a gravelly area of wide expanse where Pine Creek empties
into Atlin Lake, a locality that held at least three pairs of the plovers.
The nest was in hard gravel, a depression about one inch deep and
with vertical, sharply defined walls, the hole partly filled with
small chips of wood and a few coarse straws. The eggs were placed
perpendicularly, points down.
On June 20 the first young were seen, just hatched. The last semipalmated plover, a single bird, was seen at Como Lake, August 21.
Two specimens were collected (nos. 44656^4657), both newly hatched
young, one taken June 20, the other, July 21.
Aphriza virgata (Gmelin).   Surf-bird
A single bird was shot by Brooks at Carcross, on the morning of
May 27. It was taken at the same spot as the wandering tattler of
two days before.
Dendragapus obscurus flemingi Taverner.   Fleming Grouse
Nine specimens wrere collected by me (nos. 44658-44665, and one,
unnumbered, presented to Allan Brooks). The series includes one
small chick changing from natal down to juvenal plumage; one young
male nearly through the post-juvenal molt; two old cocks, two years
old or more; two males of the previous summer; two females in fully
acquired first winter plumage; one. adult female just through the
annual molt. Brooks collected additional specimens, old and young,
all of which I examined, and there are at hand, from previous expeditions in northern British Columbia, five adult females and three birds
in juvenal plumage throughout. During the late fall following my
departure from Atlin, Mr. A. B. Taylor, of that place, secured for me
twelve additional specimens (nos. 46091-46102), six males and six
females, some fully adult and some birds of the year. These constitute
an invaluable series, as all are in freshly acquired fall plumage. 74
University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
All this material affords an opportunity both for determining the
characters of the subspecies flemingi and for following some of the
complicated plumage changes that are undergone by grouse of this
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a    I
Fig. A. Map showing distribution of grouse of the genus Dendragapus:
1, D. fuliginosus sitkensis; 2, D. f. fxiliginosus ; 3, D. /. sierrae; i, D. f. howardi;
5. D. obscurus flemingi; 6, D. o. richardsonii; 7, D. o. obscurus.
The type locality of flemingi is given by Taverner (1914, p. 386)
as "near Teslin Lake." The country about Teslin Lake is mostly lowland, with not much mountainous territory suitable to this species. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 75
I learned that the man who collected the type series of flemingi (a
trapper, who sold specimens to the Canadian Geological Survey) had
had his headquarters at Nisuttlin Bay, on the east side of the lake,
and, from what I was told, in all probability his birds were shot on a
low mountain that rises some four or five miles north of that point.
Flemingi is unquestionably closely related to richardsonii and much
farther removed, genetically, from the coastal forms of Dendragapus
whose ranges it approaches so nearly on the westward.   In the descrip-
Fig. B. Tails of Dendragapus obscurus flemingi, showing variation due to
sex and age; about % natural size, a, adult male, in second year or older
(M. V. Z. no. 46091) ; b, immature male, during first year (M. V. Z. no. 46092) ;
c, adult female (M. V. Z. no. 42001); d, immature female  (M. V. Z. no. 46093).
tion of flemingi, Taverner (loc. cit.) properly makes most of his comparisons with ricliardsonii, as its closest relative, but he lays undue
stress upon certain features that are of no systematic import. In the
description of the tail he says: "Tail feathers not having the same
chopped off appearance. Middle and several lateral feathers slightly
to markedly double-rounded at end." This is a matter of age (see
figs. B and C) ; the shape of the tail is the same in both subspecies.
i 76 University of California' Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
The distinguishing feature between the two is color. The adult
male of richardsonii is grayish in general appearance with some light
brown mottling on back and sides. In flemingi the brown markings
are much reduced and of a darker shade; in general appearance the
fully adult male bird is almost black. In the adult female and in
immatures (natal down and juvenal plumage of richardsonii not
seen), corresponding differences exist. In most cases the distinctions between the two subspecies are evident upon the most cursory
examination, and with the exception of one specimen they are uniformly maintained throughout the series at hand. The exception is
an immature female of flemingi (no. 44665, head of Surprise Lake,
Atlin region, September 14, 1924), which is much paler than others
from the same general region, and hardly to be distinguished from a
selected specimen of richardsonii from southern British Columbia.
This bird may be taken to exemplify intergradation by individual
variation between the two subspecies.
The sequence of plumage-changes with age in the grouse of the
genus Dendragapus is sufficiently complicated to be difficult to follow,
and extensive series of specimens are needed to trace the different
stages. An understanding of the development of the individual bird
is, however, absolutely necessary in order to avoid mistakes in making
comparisons between the several forms included in this group.
Taking the subspecies flemingi as a basis, the following stages may
be described as indicating the course of development followed in these
grouse.   Dates given apply to conditions in northern British Columbia.
Natal down: Sexes alike. There is no specimen of flemingi at hand
entirely in the down, but comparing small young, still down-clothed
on head and breast, with specimens of sitkensis and fuliginostos at the
same stage, young flemingi is seen to be much less yellow, more gray,
than are the young of those forms.
Juvenal: Again much more gray than in sitkensis and fidiginosus.
Rectrices and remiges begin to appear a few days after hatching, and
the young birds are able to fly long before the natal down is all lost.
The head and neck are the last parts to be clothed in feathers, as shown
in a specimen collected July 8. There is continuous replacement of
plumage on the wings from the time the bird is hatched until it has
finally completed the post-juvenal molt and is practically full grown.
As shown by specimens of young flemingi and of other subspecies also,
there are two complete sets of primaries, secondaries, tertials, and
greater coverts,  at least,  acquired during the juvenal stage.    The I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region
newly hatched bird grows a set of small-sized wing feathers to accord
with the tiny wing, and these are molted and replaced with others of
the same juvenal type but of larger size. This can be demonstrated
by measurement of corresponding feathers upon the wings of young
birds of different ages.
Fig. C. Tails of Dendragapus obscurus richardsonii, showing variation due to
;; % natural size, a, immature male, during first year (M.V.Z. no. 42642);
idult male, in second year or older (M.V.Z. no. 533).
b, adult
First winter plumage (male) : The sexes are unlike at this stage,
nearly as much so as in the fully mature birds. The post-juvenal molt
begins late in July or early in August, inaugurated by the shedding 78 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
of the juvenal rectrices (as pointed out by van Rossem, 1925, p. 417),
and continues until nearly the middle of September. It may not continue over this entire period in the case of any one bird, but the time
indicated is when the young, as a group, are undergoing this molt. The
molt of the tail begins with the outermost feathers and progresses
toward the middle. As in the post-natal molt, the head and neck are
almost the last parts affected. The very last feathers to be changed
appear to be • the tertials. Juvenal tertials may be found on birds
otherwise entirely in first winter plumage, as in two females at hand,
collected September 14 and 15, respectively. The male in first winter
plumage is in general like the fully adult except in tail character. The
young male (until the end of the second summer) has the tail rounded,
with the individual feathers relatively narrow and rounded. As a rule
it has the tail more distinctly gray-tipped than is the case in adults.
Minor color characters that appear in the first winter plumage, as compared with the fully adult, are: much more white spotting on upper
breast, sides, and flanks; on the wings, the primaries, secondaries,
tertials, and coverts are all more extensively mottled with rusty.
Adult plumage (male) : The first post-nuptial molt begins about
the middle of July of the second year and lasts until about the middle
of September. The change in character of rectrices is the one conspicuous feature of the mature plumage. I cannot find that there is
any renewal of rectrices (except sporadically, presumably as the result
of accidental feather loss) until this molt regularly begins. This, I
believe, is the only point in which I disagree with van Rossem (1926,
pp. 417-422) in the conclusions drawn by him regarding molt in this
genus. The fully adult tail, now acquired, is square ended, the feathers
broad and truncate. Minor color differences are a clearer gray coloration below and less white spotting on breast and sides, while the
mottling on dorsal surface of wings and on interscapulars is less in
extent, and gray instead of brown.
In the female the differences between first winter and later
plumages are not so apparent, but here, too, the greater breadth of the
tail feathers is a feature of the mature bird.
The several recognized forms of Dendragapus are currently
regarded as being all subspecies of one species, Dendragapus obscurus,
but it seems to me that there are, rather, two species involved in this
assemblage. Under the species Dendragapus obscurus I would place
(from north to south) the subspecies D. o. flemingi, D. o. richardsonii,
and D. o. obscurus.    Under the species Dendragapus fidiginosus I 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region
would place as subspecies, D. f. fuliginosus, D. f. sitkensis, D. f. sierrae,
and D. f. howardi. The differences between the obscurus and fuliginosus aggregations are trenchant ones and I have seen no doubtful specimens, no " intergrades," from regions where the two come
closest together. There are various statements in literature affirming
the existence of intergradation between obscurus and fuliginosus, but
these are all assertions of the most casual nature, with no detailed
information accompanying them.
Fig. D. Tails of Dendragapus obscurus obscurus; % natural size, a, immature
female, during first year (M.V.Z. no. 32051); b, adult male, in second year or
older (M.V.Z. no. 45556).
In this connection it is pertinent to note conditions at Log Cabin,
on the east slope of White Pass, about on the boundary between the
ranges of fuliginosus and flemingi, where Brooks hoped to collect
specimens of grouse that would have bearing on this problem. He,
himself, found no Dendragapus there, and he was told by residents
that none occurred in that stretch of country. 80 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
As between the two aggregations, obscurus and fuligimosus, besides
color differences and besides the shape of the tail, so markedly contrasted in the closely adjacent northern subspecies, account must be
taken of the call-notes of the male birds, which are so radically different
as to indicate a wide divergence and one of long standing, a specific
difference. The reverberant, wooden call of an old "hooter" (Dendragapus fuliginosus) is the same from Alaska to southern California,
a sound that carries a half-mile or more, and a very different call
from the subdued tooting of the Richardson grouse and its allies.
Complementary to this, the relative development of a part of the hooting apparatus, the naked skin on the sides of the neck, is another difference between the two forms (see Brooks, 1912, p. 252; 1926, p. 283).
It looks as though in all the earlier studies of these grouse the
presence of a terminal gray band on the tail alike of obscurus and of
fuliginosus was allowed to outweigh all other features of resemblance
or dissimilarity between the several forms. Aside from this, an adult
male of obscurus is very closely similar to an adult male richardsonii.
The tail of an adult male obscurus at hand, from Colorado, is nearly
as square as in richardsonii, not rounded as in fidigvnosus. The
rectrices of obscurus, however, are not markedly truncate.
In years past richardsonii has sometimes been regarded as a species,
distinct from the several other forms of "blue grouse," all regarded
as subspecies of D. obscurus, but study of a map outlining the distribution of the races will show how illogical such division would be
(see fig. A).
It is curious to what an extent certain of the characters of
richardsonii parallel the distinguishing features of Canachites frank-
linii. This grouse (which is currently regarded as a species, distinct
from other forms of Canachites) has developed the same square-tipped
tail with broad, truncate feathers, and, besides this striking resemblance, the distribution of the Franklin grouse is almost the same
as in the Richardson grouse; almost, but not exactly, for northward
the range of Canachites franklinii extends well within the territory
of Dendragapus o. flemingi. In the northern portion of its range,
D. o. flemingi is accompanied by Canachites canadensis osgoodi.
In differentiating the several subspecies of "blue grouse" (both
species), shape and markings of the tail are useful characters, but to
ascribe proper weight to these variations an understanding is necessary
of the development of the individual bird, of the stages gone through
to reach maturity, as previously indicated in this paper.   In both sexes
/ 1926]      Sivarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region
of all the forms of Dendragapus there is more or less variation with
age in the shape of the tail feathers, in the length of the tail, and in
the shape of the tail as a whole.
In the plumage as a whole there is marked seasonal variation, too,
that must be taken into account. Birds in fresh fall plumage (both
sexes and both the yearlings and fully mature) are of a clearer blue-
gray, compared with late spring and summer specimens, in which this
color has changed to a dingy brown.
it,   ^
c d
Fig. E. Tails of Dendragapus fuliginosus sitkensis, showing variation due to
sex and age, about % natural size, a, adult male, in second year or older (M.V.
Z. no. 133) ; b, immature male, during first year (M.V. Z. no. 136); c, adult female
(M.V.Z. no. 134); d, immature female (M'.V.Z. no. 135).
Relative roundness of tail, besides being a marked age character in
certain forms, is also a feature in geographical variation. The subspecies howardi was described as having the tail longer and more
graduated than sierrae (Dickey and van Rossem, 1923, p. 168), and
the comment is made that "throughout the range of Dendragapus
obscurus in California there is a gradual geographic variation which
particularly affects the length and graduation of the tail.'' This same
variation can be traced beyond California,    From the northern limit 82
University of California Publications in Zoology    [Vol. 30
of the species Dendragapus fuliginosus in southeastern Alaska to its
southern limit at Mt. Pinos, California, there is a steadily increasing
degree of graduation in the tail. The same sort of geographical
variation (that is, shape of tail) is seen to some extent in the richardsonii group. Flemingi and richardsonii are alike in possessing square-
tipped tails, but the more southern form, obscurus, has the tail slightly
Fig. F. Tails of Dendragapus fuliginosus sierrae and D. f. howardi; about %
natural size, a, D. f. sierrae, adult male (M.V.Z. no. 5082); b, D. f. sierrae, adult
female (M.V.Z. no. 14069); c, D. f. howardi, adult male (coll. D. E. Dickey,
no. K-240); d, D. f. howardi, adult female (coll. D. E. Dickey, no. J-881).
In the more southern subspecies of the fuliginosus group the gray
terminal tail band is notably broader than in the northern races. In
the southern obscurus, again, this feature is prominently developed, in
contrast to conditions in the more northern richardsonii and flemingi,
where it is all but absent. 19261      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region
In the course of this study I had occasion to examine five adult
Dendragapus (in the D. R. Dickey collection) from the coastal side of
White Pass, above Skagway, Alaska, and, most unexpectedly, these
birds proved not to be of the subspecies sitkensis. They are exactly
similar to specimens of fuliginosus from Vancouver Island. Prior to
this I had seen but two specimens of Dendragapus from a mainland
point in Alaska, a male and a female from Glacier Bay. The female
was recognized as darker colored and less reddish than any island
specimens of sitkensis, but it is in badly worn plumage, and this worn
condition, it was assumed, might account in part for the difference.
Fig. G. Tail of Dendragapus fuliginosus fuliginosus, showing variation due
to age; immature male (M.V.Z. no. 15579); % natural size. Four central
immature rectrices were lost by this bird in some way other than by the regular
molt. The four longer rectrices that replaced them are of the adult type. The
shorter lateral rectrices are of the immature type and have their full length.
This bird, shot June 22, would not have molted for two months.
In the light of the additional specimens from Skagway, however, a
revision of this view is necessary. It looks as though the subspecies
Dendragapus fuliginosus fxdiginosus must occur northward continuously along the mainland coast of British Columbia and southeastern
Alaska, leaving sitkensis restricted to an island habitat.
In the Atlin region the "blue grouse" is resident and fairly common at high altitudes. It is a favorite game bird of the region, both
from its large size and from the excellent quality of its flesh. Its
habitat is about timber line, where there is open country interspersed
with clumps of balsam firs. The dense thickets of these stunted trees,
with their gnarled and spreading branches, afford shelter from enemies
and from inclement weather, and in the foliage food also is furnished
when other sources fail. /
84 University of California Publications M Zoology     I v*">M
Small chicks were seen on July S. By the first of September young
birds were nearly finished with the post-juvenal molt, anil about two-
thirds the size of adults by measurement, though of only one-half the
weight. The broods are cared for solely by the hen. The old cook is
u-.ii.illy solitary during the summer, though males of the previous
year sometimes form small coveys, together with non-breeding females.
Such gatherings were encountered on several occasions. The hen with
a brood is sometimes tame to the verge of stupidity; I found several
that were, literally, as indifferent to approach as any barn-yard
fowl. I have, however, seen an occasional covey of young birds that
was extremely hard to approach. The broods often feed over open
meadows, where they are exposed to attack by hawks and other enemies,
and there must be a heavy mortality from such causes. That this is so
is iKirne out by the small size of most of the broods encountered, and
by the number of hens seen with no broods at all.
Following is a list of subspecies of the grouse of the genus
Dttulragapus. arranged according to their geographical position, from
north to south.
1. Dendragapus obsrurus flemingi Tnvcrncr.    Fleming Dusky Grouse.
2. Dendragapus obscurus richnrdsonii (Douglas).   Hiehardson Dusky Grouse.
3. Dendragapus obscurus obscurus (Say).    Colorado Dusky Grouse.
4. Dendragapus  fuliginosus fuliginosus   (Ridgway).    Oregon  Sooty  Grouse.
5. Dendragapus fuliginosus sitkensis Swarth.    Sitka Sooty Grouse.
8. Dendragapus fuliginosus sierrae Chapman.    Sierra Sooty Grouse.
7. Dendragapus   fuliginosus   howardi   Dickey  and  van   Kossem.     Mount   Pinos
Sooty Grouae.
Canachites canadensis osgoodi Bishop.   Alaska Spruce Grouse
Ordinarily this is a common species in the region, but in 1924, for
some reason that was not obvious, spruce grouse had declined in num-
ben» to a |>oint of actual scarcity. Single birds were flushed at long
intervals, as were (M-cusionally hens with their broods, consisting of
• in-. i\\". or three chicks. No larger broodi WtOtt seen. Karly in
September, traveling from Atlin to Lake Teslin and back, a week's
trip. I saw all told only ten or twelve spruce grouse. This waa in
country that was throughout suitable to the spi-oies, and where during
other years it had b»«cn found in abundance.
The spruce grouse is primarily a lowland species in the Atlin region.
In the valleys it  occupies the spruce woods almost entirely,  being 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 85
rarely seen in the groves of poplar (the principal deciduous forest
tree), and it follows the spruce up the mountain sides as far as that
tree goes. We saw none in the balsam woods of slightly higher altitude,
where the blue grouse (Dendragapus) is found.
Twelve specimens of spruce grouse were collected (nos. 44666-
44677) : two adult males, one adult female, one downy chick, near
Atlin, June and July; one adult male, Spruce Mountain, August 8,
nearly through the molt; one adult female and one immature male,
Atlin, August 27, both finishing the molt; one male, Gladys Lake,
September 9; one male and three females, Fat Creek, five miles west
of Lake Teslin, September 13.
These birds were all taken within fifty or sixty miles of Lake
Ma'-sh, the type locality of osgoodi, and may fairly be assumed to be
typical of that subspecies. Through the courtesy of Dr. L. B. Bishop
I have been able to examine three near-topotypes of osgoodi, females
from Lakes Marsh and Lebarge, but these birds, taken in July, are in
such worn plumage as to be of little value for color comparisons. Most
of the specimens from southern Yukon and northern British Columbia
are appreciably different from birds from the northern limits of the
habitat of osgoodi, as currently defined. Northern Alaskan birds
exhibit the extreme of grayness seen in the species Canachites
canadensis. One female taken in June at Atlin is as gray as any of the
more northern birds, but the rest of the series are less overcast with
grayish dorsally, less heavily marked with white on the breast, and
are generally more richly colored. For the present it seems best to
continue to use the name osgoodi for the race of spruce grouse occurring from northern Alaska south into northern British Columbia, but
future collecting, especially of series from Alberta and Mackenzie,
may show the desirability of a different arrangement.
Bonasa umbellus umbelloides (Douglas).   Gray Ruffed Grouse
An uncommon species in the Atlin region, in our experience. An
occasional cock bird was flushed in poplar thickets, and two broods of
young were seen during the summer. Aside from the chicks, not more
than eight or ten birds, all told, were seen. Two specimens were
collected (nos. 44678-44679), adult males, taken September 19 and 21,
respectively. 86 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
Lagopus lagopus albus (Gmelin).   Southern Willow Ptarmigan
Specimens of willow ptarmigan collected by myself in the Atlin
region include three adult males and one adult female in summer
plumage, two in natal down, two in juvenal plumage, twelve adult
males and five adult females in "winter plumage, preliminary" or
partly in that plumage, five immature males and two immature females,
mostly in first "winter plumage, preliminary," a total of thirty-two
skins (nos. 44680^44711). Additional specimens collected by Brooks
near Atlin and near Log Cabin were also at my disposal.
In previous papers I have used the name alexandrae for the willow
ptarmigan of British Columbia, but this additional mainland material,
together with a large series of alexandrae from the Alexander Archipelago, southeastern Alaska (in the collection of George Willett), now
available, demonstrates differences that exist between the two.
Riley (1911, p. 233) divided the willow ptarmigan of the North
American mainland into two subspecies, Lagopus lagopus ungavus
from the region east of Hudson Bay, and L. I. albus from the region
to the westward. Ungavus he describes as having a heavier bill than
albus. The range of albus is given as "from the west side of Hudson
Bay, west through northern Alaska to eastern Siberia."
Clark (1910, p. 52), on the other hand, had previously said of the
mainland birds (to which he gives the name Lagopus lagopus albus)
that'' all those from Labrador and central arctic America, with others
from Point Barrow, Kotzebue Sound, Cape Lisbourne, Kowak River,
Yukon River, and near St. Michaels, belong to a well-differentiated
race, with the beak very large, high, and stout, the culmen strongly
arched, and usually with a prominent ridge from the inferior corner
of the maxilla to in front of the nostril. They are identical among
themselves, it being impossible to tell from the examination of any one
specimen whether it was taken in Alaska or in Labrador.''
Thayer and Bangs (1914, p. 4) described Lagopus lagopus koreni
from eastern Siberia, as differing from the willow ptarmigan of northern Alaska in its still heavier bill.
Differences which I had previously noted between British Columbia
ptarmigan and those from northern Alaska were not to be reconciled
by either Clark's or Riley's treatments of the races, and compelled
further comparisons. Through the courtesy of Dr. Alexander Wetmore,
Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, I was enabled to
borrow from the United States National Museum three specimens of 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 87
willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus albus) from the west coast of
Hudson Bay, and ten (L. I. ungavus) from Fort Chimo, Ungava.
Comparison of these birds with the series in this museum convinced
me of the existence of the following recognizable subspecies of the
willow ptarmigan on the North American mainland: (1) Lagopus
lagopus ungavus from the region east of Hudson Bay, as defined by
Riley (lac. cit.) ; (2) Lagopus lagopus albus from the west shore of
Hudson Bay westward to the coast ranges of northern British
Columbia, and for an undetermined distance northward; (3) an
undescribed subspecies from the Alaskan mainland and extending for
an undetermined distance eastward in the extreme north.
To clear the ground for further discussion the Alaskan bird may
now be described, as follows:
Lagopus lagopus alascensis, new subspecies
Alaska Willow Ptarmigan
Type.—Male; no. 32125, Mus. Vert. Zool.; Kowak Eiver Delta, Alaska;
June 20, 1899; collected by J. Grinnell; original no. 4031.
Distinguishing characters.—Slightly larger than albus. A large-billed race;
bill slightly smaller than in ungavus, much larger than in albus. (see fig. H).
In summer plumage, generally more reddish-colored than either ungavus or
albus, a difference that is most conspicuous in females in the barred breeding
Sange.—The Alaskan mainland except on the southeastern coast, northern
Yukon Territory (specimens from vicinity of Forty-mile), and eastward for an
undetermined distance.
Two males and one female ptarmigan at hand from the west side
of Hudson Bay, one from Fort Churchill, July 24, and two from a
point 75 miles north of York Factory, July 19, may be assumed to
represent Lagopus I. albus (Tetrao albus Gmelin, 1788, p. 750,
described from Hudson Bay). In bill structure they are like the
British Columbia birds. In color the two males are like the British
Columbia birds, but the Hudson Bay female is more reddish as compared with the gray-colored females of the latter series. Despite this
difference in the females it seems best for the present to regard all as
of the same subspecies, a small-billed southern race of the willow
ptarmigan extending from Hudson Bay westward to the coast ranges of
southeastern Alaska and northern British Columbia. ss University of California. Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
Alexandrae and albus are alike in possessing a small, slender bill,
as contrasted with the heavy, more stubby bill of alaseensis, and in
color and markings they are closely similar in some plumages. Adult
males in breeding plumage are essentially alike. The adult female of
albus in breeding plumage (this and further allusions to albus refer
to the British Columbia series) differs from the female alaseensis in
that, stage, being much darker and less ruddy. The breeding female
of alexandrae (one specimen from Porcher Island, British Columbia)
is also a dark-colored bird but with a maximum of brown coloration in
the plumage. The dark-colored female of albus has extensive blackish
areas on the feathers, which are edged with dull brown or with grayish.
In the dark-colored female of alexandrae there is an extension of rich
brown markings on all parts of the bird.
Differences between albus and alexandrae are readily apparent in
the "winter plumage, preliminary," that is, in the brown, late summer
garb (the plumage stage inserted between breeding plumage or juvenal
plumage, and the white winter plumage) in which both sexes and old
and young become essentially alike—or would do so if this plumage
were ever acquired in its entirety.
Alexandrae in this plumage is well represented in a series of
specimens at hand collected by George Willett, mostly from Prince of
Wales and Dall islands. In an adult male (Willett coll., Dall Id.,
September 3, 1919), head, neck, and body (except for a limited white
area on the abdomen) are almost solidly dark brown, ranging from
"brick red" to "Hessian brown" (Ridgway, 1912), with hardly a
trace of vermiculation or mottling on the breast, and relatively little
on the upper parts. In color tone and in markings on individual
feathers there is extraordinarily close resemblance to winter specimens
of the Scotch red grouse (Lagopus scoticus).
In albus in the same plumage, the browns are paler, there is much
black or dusky barring and vermiculation, and dorsally the feathers
are extensively black centered, and are gray tipped to such a degree
as to affect the color tone of the whole upper surface. In alaseensis
the browns are still paler, and the black centers and gray tips of the
dorsal feathers are almost or entirely lacking.
Conditions in these western races of willow ptarmigan parallel to
some extent those found in the rock ptarmigan. In each species the
northern Alaskan subspecies is an extremely ruddy-colored bird compared with the others, and in each the British Columbia subspecies
seems to reach an extreme of grayness.    In each species, too, the 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region
Labrador birds are much more grayish than are those from Alaska.
Thus the Labrador willow ptarmigan (ungavus) and the British
Columbia bird (albus) are much alike as regards color but differ in
size of bill. The Labrador bird and the northern Alaskan bird
(alaseensis) are both large-billed forms, but differ in coloration.
As regards the ranges of the several North American subspecies of
Lagopus lagopus, it is not feasible at this time to indicate them with
exactness. Series of birds from the Kowak River, Alaska, and from
points on the Yukon as far upstream as Forty-mile, Yukon Territory,
Fig. H. Bills of willow ptarmigan; adult males, a, Lagopus lagopus ungavus,
coll. United States National Museum, no. 101037, Fort Chimo, Ungava; b, L. I.
alaseensis, M.V.Z. no. 32125, Kowak Eiver delta, Alaska; c, L. I. albus, M.V.Z.
no. 44681, Atlin, British Columbia; d, L. I. albus, United States Biological
Survey, no. 167057, 75 miles north of York Factory, Hudson Bay; e, L. I.
alexandrae, M.V.Z. no. 319, Baranof Island, Alaska.
belong to alaseensis. A winter bird from a point 250 miles north of
Edmonton, Alberta, is of the small-billed form, albus. Specimens
collected by Brooks near Log Cabin, on the east side of White Pass,
are albus.
Lagopus I. alexandrae is probably confined mostly to an island
habitat, with perhaps a narrow strip of the adjacent mainland included,
from Glacier Bay south to central British Columbia, at least as far as
Campania Island. The series of alexandrae at hand shows some variation that may be correlated with distribution. Willett's specimens are
all from Dall, Prince of Wales, and San Juan islands, in the southern
portion of the habitat of the subspecies, and some of these, together 90 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
with a pair of breeding birds from Porcher Island (coll. Allan Brooks),
still farther south, are distinctly darker colored than skins from the
more northern Chichagof and Baranof islands and Glacier Bay. There
are, however, some southern skins that are indistinguishable from
northern ones.
On May 21 we traveled from Skagway to Carcross on the White
Pass Railroad. Soon after passing the summit we began to see ptarmigan, and for an hour or more they were frequently in sight from
the train, sometimes but a few yards from the track. The ground was
still largely snow covered, though the snow was melting, and small
ponds were partly free of ice. The male ptarmigan seen were with
brown head and neck, the body plumage all white, and they were conspicuous objects. Courting was in progress and the cock birds, standing erect on projecting boulders or strutting with spread tail and
lowered wings over some limited stretch of open ground, caught the
eye from a long distance. A soaring Buteo flying alongside the train
started birds in flight from several points.
On June 30 we found willow ptarmigan in fair abundance at the
head of Canon Creek (about 3000 feet altitude), near Atlin. They
were in pairs, spaced at intervals through the low willow brush, and,
from the broods seen, eggs must have hatched during several days
immediately preceding. One nest was found, containing six eggs
nearly ready to hatch. It was on a bare dry hillside, placed between
two fallen saplings, just at the edge of some burnt spruce woods. Fire
had passed through here years before, killing the timber, though most
of the dead trees remained standing, and the ground beneath was
barren of any vegetation. The nest itself was a shallow depression,
scantily lined with a few bits of dry grass and weedstalks. The hen
wTas sitting on the eggs and the cock bird was on guard nearby.
In this case, as in others, the devotion of the male willow ptarmigan
was most apparent, and in striking contrast to the irresponsibility of
the males of the other species of grouse of the region. Broods of
young willow ptarmigan were invariably attended by both parent
birds. It seemed evident that the large winter flocks of ptarmigan
were formed by the junction of many families which had remained
together, male, female, and young, since the eggs were hatched. It
was very rarely that a solitary willow ptarmigan was flushed.
At the head of Otter Creek, July 26 to August 9, willow ptarmigan,
though not abundant, were frequently encountered. Young birds
were then about half grown, and in juvenal plumage throughout.   The I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the.Atlin Region 91
willow ptarmigan frequented the floor of this valley and the lower
slopes of the surrounding mountains. Their preferred habitat was
a tangle of low willow and birch brush, with grassy open patches at
intervals. None was seen on the higher ridges or the slopes higher
than about 4000 feet; there this species was replaced by the rock and
the white-tailed ptarmigans.
On September 1, a trip was made to "Blue Canon," a local name
for a section of upper Spruce Creek some twelve to fifteen miles southeast of Atlin. Willow ptarmigan were then beginning to gather in
large flocks. In the valley bottom relatively few birds were seen,
though some were scattered all through this section, too; the center
of abundance was on the lower slopes of the mountains, at from 3500
to 4000 feet. This was above the more extensive tangles of willow and
trailing birch, and was a much more open sort of country. Thickets of
dwarfed balsam, and some of willow and birch, were interspersed with
open stretches, grass-covered or carpeted with Empetrum and other
low-growing shrubs.
Willow ptarmigan, in flocks of from ten or twelve (single families,
presumably) up to sixty or seventy, were within sight or hearing practically all of the time that we remained at that level. The larger
flocks were, I was told, the first indication of much greater gatherings
that were assembled during the winter months. On this date (September 1) specimens were taken of adults and young of both sexes.
Adult males taken in midsummer (June 30) in the breeding
plumage retained a great deal of white on the belly, and these old
white feathers apparently remain until replaced by white feathers at
the end of August. Adult males taken September 1 are mostly white
on the lower breast and abdomen. Adult females are mostly in the
reddish "winter plumage, preliminary," to use the descriptive phrase
originating with Dwight (1900), though always with many barred
feathers of the breeding plumage persisting on breast and flanks,
and some blackish feathers of the same plumage on the back. Over
the whole belly the molt in every specimen examined was direct
from the barred breeding plumage to white winter garb. There is an
adult female of alexandrae at hand (Willett coll., Prince of Wales
Island, Alaska, September 23, 1919) in the reddish post-breeding
plumage, with but a few scattered barred feathers left. I have seen
none from the interior that has assumed this plumage so nearly in its
entirety. In the Atlin region it is evident that the white winter
plumage begins to come in before the reddish "winter plumage,
preliminary" is more than half acquired. .—
92 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
In young birds, too, the first "winter plumage, preliminary" is
only partly acquired. Over the whole of the lower parts below the
upper breast the molt is direct from the juvenal to the white winter
plumage. On the head, neck, and dorsum, the "first winter, preliminary" is partly acquired, but white feathers appear on the chin
and throat long before the juvenal plumage is lost on back and flanks.
Young birds of alexandrae at hand (AVillett coll.), taken in October,
are in '' first winter, preliminary,'' almost complete. There are but a
few juvenal feathers left to distinguish young from old. In every ease,
though, young birds and adults may be distinguished by the differently
shaped tertials, which linger longer than almost any other feathers of
the brow*n-colored plumages.
On September 1, adults from the Atlin region had almost all
acquired new flight feathers and rectrices. In the young, the juvenal
rectrices are lost at a very early age, before the bird is half grown,
being almost the first of that plumage to go. On September 1 nearly
all young birds seen had completely acquired the black rectrices of
the first winter plumage, slightly narrower than in adults but not
otherwise different.
To summarize these details of plumage, they all go to show the
incomplete nature of the "winter plumage, preliminary," inserted
between the breeding plumage and the white winter plumage in adults,
between the juvenal plumage and white winter plumage in young
birds. Judging from material at hand it is less perfectly acquired at
the northern limit of the range of the willow ptarmigan, and more
perfectly acquired toward the southern limit, where longer summers
give more time before the white winter plumage is essential. On the
islands of southeastern Alaska, the habitat of Lagopus I. alexandrae, a
region of relatively mild winters, the "winter plumage, preliminary"
is acquired more nearly to perfection than perhaps anywhere else in
the general range of the species. As a result of the perfect acquisition
of this plumage in this particular dark-colored race, we see fall birds
that closely resemble the Scotch red grouse (as described above), which
bird, of course, is a southern species of Lagopus which does not acquire
a white winter plumage at all.
In this account of the plumage variations of the several subspecies
of the willow ptarmigan here under consideration I have used throughout the terminology employed by Dwight (1900, p. 147) in his exposition of the seasonal and other changes undergone by these birds. My
own observations (made much easier through a previous reading of 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 93
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Dwight's paper) accord with his statements, I believe, in every particular. Details here given are amplified in the belief that such studies
from ail parts of the range of the willow ptarmigan are necessary to a
thorough understanding of geographical variation in this species.
1. Lagopus lagopus nllcni Stejuegor.    Allen Willow Ptarmigan.
2. Lagopus lagopus ungavus Riley.    Ungnvn Willow Ptarmigan.
3. Lagopus lagopus nllius (Gmelin).   Southern Willow Ptarmigan.
4. Lagopus lagopus alaseensis Swarth.    Alaska Willow Ptarmigan.
r>. Lagopus lagopus alexandrae Grinnell.    Alexander Willow Ptarmigan.
Lagopus rupestris rupestris ((Jmelin).   Gray Hock Ptarmigan
Thirteen specimens of roek ptarmigan (nos. 44712-44724) were
collected by myself in the Atlin region, including seven adult males,
two adult females, and four young birds. Brooks' Atlin series comprised about as many, similarly apportioned, and he later (September
11) collected at White Pass summit four additional specimens, two
adult females and mule and female immature.
The ptarmigans form a group of birds that offers many difficulties
to the systematise The rapid and continuous changes of plumage
undergone by any one bird during the summer months, together with a
rather wide rnnge of individual variation among specimens from any
given locality, arc puzzling features in themselves, still further complicate! by other differences due to sex and age. Then, ptarmigan, and
the rock ptarmigan in particular, are not well represented in collections, inhabiting, as they do, relatively remote and inaccessible regions.
So, more often than not, when specimens are brought together from
different sections they prove to be not comparable, and deductions
then can only be made by inference.
Fn a previous publication (Swarth, 1924, p. 333) I have commented
upon the appearance of a female rock ptarmigan from Nine-mile
Mountain, near Hazelton, British Columbia, a bird that differed appreciably friim the few Alaskan specimens available to me at that time.
The series we collected near Atlin, evidently in the same category as
the Nine-mile Mountain bird, seemed again so different from Alaskan
specimens as to justify more extensive comparisons. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 95
Through the courtesy of several museums and private collectors
(to whom acknowledgment is made elsewhere in this paper) a series of
168 rock ptarmigan in summer plumage was brought together, representing many parts of the mainland of North America and some Arctic
islands also. A few of these localities are represented by extensive
series of summer birds, and some such points fortunately prove to
be rightly placed to illustrate certain important features of geographical variation in the northwest. This study has not included the
ptarmigans of the Aleutian Islands, Greenland, Newfoundland, and
In the portion of North America indicated, excluding the islands
mentioned, the rock ptarmigan has differentiated into three easily
recognizable branches. First, there is a gray-colored bird that extends
from Labrador westward to the coast ranges of northern British
Columbia. In the east it apparently extends northward into the
Arctic regions; it also occurs on islands north of Mackenzie, but elsewhere in the west it is restricted to the southern part of the region
covered by the species Lagopus rupestris. Second, there is a ruddy-
colored form that occupies almost the entire mainland of Alaska and
extends eastward along the Arctic coast about to the one hundredth
meridian. Third, there is a dark colored form with a rather limited
range in the coastal region of southeastern Alaska (see fig. I).
The first-mentioned race, the gray-colored bird, may probably be
assumed to represent Lagopus rupestris rupestris (Gmelin), described
from '' Hudson Bay.'' It was the gray coloration of British Columbian
birds, as compared with the ruddy Alaskan specimens, that first
attracted my attention, and it seems evident that this gray race extends
practically across the continent. There are two males and one female
at hand from McLellan Strait, Labrador, and one female from the
mouth of the Nastapoka River (east coast of Hudson Bay), Ungava.
The two male birds can be matched exactly in the series of Atlin
specimens. The female from McLellan Strait is even more gray than
any of the British Columbia birds; the one from the Nastapoka River
is indistinguishable from Atlin skins.
A half-grown juvenal from Ponds Inlet, Baffin Land, is a trifle
' more gray than comparable Atlin specimens, but very slightly so. The
variation is no more than occurs within series from any one place.
The locality of capture of this specimen might be considered as within
the range of Lagopus r. reinhardi (see A. 0. U. Committee, 1910,
p. 141), but in appearance it certainly agrees with rupestris, as repre- ru
96 University of California Publications in. Zoology     [Vol.30
sented from other regions. There are few specimens available from
intermediate points between the extremes of Labrador and British
Columbia, but two females from Clinton-Golden Lake and Cap
Mountain. Mackenzie, respectively, are unmistakably of the gray
rupestris mode of coloration. Specimens from the Arctic islands north
of Mackenzie are also to be referred to rupestris.
In my published comments upon the female rock ptarmigan from
Nine-mile Mountain, British Columbia (Swarth, 1924, p. 333, fig. A),
I described in detail the striking white tail markings seen in some
birds from that region. This proves not to be a character of any
systematic value. At the time we were shooting rock ptarmigan in the
Atlin region they were molting their tail feathers, and many birds
were flushed which, if they possessed this character, would not have
shown it in their then condition. Several were shot with tail fully
grown and with rectrices black throughout (save for the usual
restricted white markings at base and tip), and several that exhibited
white markings of irregular extent on some of the tail feathers. I
found some molted rectrices where they had been dropped on the
hillsides that were marked as in the Nine-mile Mountain bird. Among
all the specimens assembled in the present study, just one bird, an
adult female of dixoni from the White Pass, Alaska (D. R. Dickey
coll.. no. 13462), has this feature developed as in the specimen I
figured. Judging from the material at hand, it would seem that this
character occurs irregularly in the female bird in the extreme southwestern part of the range of the rock ptarmigan; irregularly in that
it may or may not exist in individuals from any one place, in that it
may occur on some tail feathers and not on others, and in that it may
cover a greater or lesser area on corresponding feathers on different
birds. Curiously, there is an adult female at hand, taken near Bennett,
on the east side of the White Pass, September 11, 1924 (coll. of Allan
Brooks), mostly in the white, winter plumage, in which the central
(usually white) tail feathers are basally black, a condition I do not
find in any other specimen.
The small size of bill in the Nine-mile Mountain bird was another
feature that was commented upon in my previous paper. The larger
series now available shows that while in the more southern birds the
bill is frequently smaller than in any of the northern specimens, it is
not a character to be relied upon. It can be described as a tendency
of the southern birds. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 97
Fig. I. Map showing distribution of certain subspecies of rock ptarmigan
{Lagopus rupestris). The approximate habitats of "L. r kelloggae and L. r.
dlxoni are outlined. Symbols indicate localities from which specimens -were
examined. 98 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
Next to be considered is the Alaska race. The notable feature of
this bird is its bright ruddy tone of coloration, a character that is
evident in both sexes and in all stages of the summer plumages. As
compared with rupestris, the general tone of color throughout is
brighter and more reddish, and there is notable restriction of the dark
areas on individual feathers.
The extreme manifestation of this race is reached on the northwestern and northern coast of Alaska, it occupies practically the whole
of the Alaskan mainland, and it extends eastward of Alaska along the
Arctic coast for some distance. In the latter region the duller color
of specimens from Baillie Island, Coronation Gulf, and Bathurst Inlet,
is to be interpreted, to my mind, as indicative of intergradation with
Southeastward there is intergradation again with rxtpestris as
occurring in British Columbia, about at the Alaska-Yukon boundary
line. A series of seventeen skins from the vicinity of Eagle (U. S. Biol.
Surv. coll.), in the upper Yukon region, demonstrates such intergradation satisfactorily. Certain selected skins from this series and
from the British Columbia aggregation are hardly to be distinguished,
and none of the Eagle specimens shows the extreme of ruddiness that
is seen in Alaskan birds from more northern points. The Eagle series
as a whole, however, certainly belongs with the northern Alaska subspecies rather than with rupestris. On the southern coast there is
apparent intergradation with dixoni, as shown by skins from Kodiak
Island, Seward, and Prince William Sound.
The matter of a name for the Alaskan bird requires careful consideration. The race assuredly is distinct from rupestris of the Hudson
Bay region, and as such is deserving of nomenclatural recognition.
To have been able to fix a type locality somewhere in northern Alaska
would have been desirable, for it is there that this form is developed
in its extreme manifestation, but as it happens, the boundaries of the
subspecies, as indicated by the specimens at hand, include a region
from which a form of rock ptarmigan has already been named. I refer
to Lagopus rupestris kelloggae Grinnell (1910, p. 383), type locality,
Montague Island, Prince William Sound. It is true that in describing
that subspecies Grinnell made detailed comparison with the same series
of birds from Eagle to which I have already referred, and which I
consider as belonging to the same race; and he based his belief in the
distinctness of kelloggae partly upon the differences he could discern
between birds from Prince William Sound and those from Eagle. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 99
My own conviction of the desirability of including both series under
the same name, rests upon the facts that birds from neither place are
representative of the extreme manifestation of the Alaskan race; and
that the differences between them are due to one series (from Eagle)
illustrating intergradation toward rupestris, the other (from Prince
William Sound) illustrating to some slight degree intergradation
toward dixoni.
The type specimen of kelloggae (Mus. Vert. Zool., no. 1169, adult
male, Montague Island, Prince William Sound, July 7, 1908) can be
matched almost exactly by a selected specimen from Demarcation
Point, Arctic coast of Alaska (Mus. Comp. Zool., no. 68933, adult male,
July 10, 1914). Of the several Prince William Sound specimens, as
with one adult male from the nearby mainland point of Seward, it
seems to me that in whatsoever features they differ slightly from the
mode of birds from northern Alaska, they show some approach toward
For all these reasons I am regarding the name kelloggae as having
been applied to a variant of the Alaskan mainland subspecies, and,
with regard to the true features of this same subspecies, properly
applicable to the whole aggregation.
There are fewer specimens of dixoni available than of either of the
other subspecies here under consideration, but nevertheless this relatively scanty material suffices to show that it is a well marked form,
and to indicate the range of the subspecies with fair accuracy.
Dixoni is a dark, slaty-colored race, with, in the male, the rufescent
markings greatly reduced or altogether wanting. There are specimens
at hand from Baranof and Chichagof islands, and from Port Snettisham and White Pass on the adjacent mainland. There is as yet no
proof of the extension of the range of this form south of Christian
Sound or north of White Pass. However, I have seen no rock ptarmigan from Yakutat Bay or from any other point on the long stretch
of coast line between Lynn Canal and Prince William Sound, and
dixoni may be found to extend for some distance in that direction.
The one specimen from Port Snettisham is a young female (Mus.
Vert. Zool., no. 9796, August 29, 1909). Exactly comparable plumages
are at hand from Atlin, from near Bennett, and from northern Alaska.
From the Atlin birds it is widely different. The Atlin specimens are
predominantly gray, the Port Snettisham specimen dark and rufescent.
Two young birds from Bennett (coll. of Allan Brooks), though intermediate toward dixoni, are still much nearer to rupestris of the Atlin 100 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
region. The Port Snettisham bird differs but slightly from skins from
Seward Peninsula and rather more so from young birds from the
Arctic coast of Alaska. It is somewhat darker colored. It can be
matched very closely by a young bird from Kodiak Island.
A pair of adults from Mount Dewey, on the Alaska side of the
White Pass, are of especial interest. These are from the D. R. Dickey
collection: no. 13462, female, July 26, 1923; 13463, male, August 7,
1923. The male bird is exactly like others from Baranof and Chichagof
islands. The female is distinguished from other rock ptarmigan by
dark tone and extremely rufescent coloration. It differs far more
from Atlin females, and indeed from a female from Bennett, on the
opposite side of White Pass, than from those from northern Alaska.
Whether or not this specimen represents the mode of female dixoni,
in its typical form, on Baranof and Chichagof islands remains to be
seen. So far as I know there are no such specimens extant in any
collection at this time.
The present study takes into account certain phases of geographical
variation in the North American rock ptarmigan, and suffices to make
clear some certain points, but there still remains far more work to be
done before any satisfactory understanding can be reached of the
manner of variation over the whole of the range of this species, or
several species, as the case may be.
It may be pointed out that I have not touched upon the relations
of the New World Lagopus rupestris and the Old World Lagopus
mutus, which are admittedly close; the two forms may well be con-
specific, as has been claimed (see Hartert, 1921, p. 1871). It is conceivable that the ptarmigan of northeastern Siberia is the same as the
Alaskan subspecies here designated Lagopus rupestris kelloggae. The
latter certainly attains its extreme of differentiation from rupestris
on the Alaskan coast most nearly approaching Siberia.
I have not attempted to take into consideration such variation as
occurs among the several forms described from the Aleutian Islands.
There, too, a comprehensive study should help toward an understanding of the relationships of Old World and New World forms. The
few specimens that I have examined from the Alaska peninsula exhibit,
it seems to me, intergradation from kelloggae toward nelsoni, of the
easternmost Aleutian Islands, but there is not at hand material to
demonstrate this satisfactorily. 1926]      Sivarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        101
1. Lagopus rupestris rupestris (Gmelin).    Gray Rock Ptarmigan.
Labrador: East end of McLellan Strait, 3.
Ungava: Mouth of Nastapoka River, 1.
Franklin:   Hudson  Strait,  2;   Ponds  Inlet,  Baffin  Land,  1;   Griffith  Point,
Melville Id., 2; Cape Kellett, Banks Id., 2; Taylor Id., Victoria Land, 2.
Mackenzie: Clinton-Golden Lake, 1; Cap Mountain, 1.
British Columbia: Mountains near head of Chapatan River  (headwaters of
Stikine River),  3;  near Atlin,  16;  White Pass, 4;  Nine-mile  Mountain
(near Hazelton), 3.
Total, 41.
2. Lagopus rupestris kelloggae Grinnell.    Alaska Rock Ptarmigan.
Alaska: Collinson Point, 9; Demarcation Point, 4; Griffin Point, 5; Camden
Bay, 1; Point Barrow, 1; Jade Mountains, 1; Gens de Large Mountains,
1; Hula-hula River, 1; Okpela River, 1; Humphrey Point, 1; Nome, 1;
Wales, 5; Teller, 2; Kruzgamepa River, Seward Peninsula, 24; Pilgrim
River, Seward Peninsula, 4; Kings Cove, Alaska Peninsula, 2; Thin
Point, Alaska Peninsula, 5; Kodiak Island, 1; Seward, 1; Montague
Island, 1; Hinchinbrook Island, 2; Hawkins Island, 2; Fort Yukon, 1;
mountains near Eagle, 17.
Mackenzie: Arctic coast east of Fort Anderson, 1; Fort Anderson, 1; Baillie
Island, 3; Coronation Gulf, 8; Cape Bathurst, 1; Franklin Bay, 2; Kanyah
Island, Bathurst Inlet, 2; Coekburn Point, 2; Bernard Harbor, Dolphin
and Union Strait, 1.
Yukon Territory: Kay Point, Arctic Coast, 3.
Total, 117.
3. Lagopus rupestris dixoni Grinnell.    Dixon Rock Ptarmigan.
Alaska: Port Frederick, Chichagof Island, 2; mountains near Sitka, 4; Port
Snettisham, 1; White Pass, 2.   Total, 9.
Our field experiences wih the rock ptarmigan were productive of
some facts of interest. One feature of the species (one that has been
commented upon by others) was its irregular and local distribution.
A male, a single bird, was shot by Brooks near the summit of Monarch
Mountain, June 9. This was the only one that was seen by us on
that mountain during the summer, though we ascended it many times.
On one of the ridges of Spruce Mountain, during the last week in
July and the first two weeks in August, rock ptarmigan were found
regularly and in fair abundance, every time we climbed that particular
ridge. On an adjoining ridge, of similar aspect, none was seen, and
certain other nearby mountains were also explored to no avail. 102 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
We visited rock ptarmigan territory too late to find nests, but from
the actions of the birds as we saw them it would seem that the male
of this species is not a devoted and constantly attendant mate to the
hen, as is notably the case in the willow ptarmigan. The male rock
ptarmigans were gathered, two, three, or four together, while the
females bore the care of the young alone. Occasionally a female (presumably a non-breeding bird) was seen with several males. On
August 8 I did flush a flock consisting of at least one brood of large
young ones, and several adult males. This I took to be the beginning
of a general flocking together, as might be looked for at the end of
the summer.
The adult male taken on June 9 is still largely in winter plumage,
especially below. There are barred feathers on the throat and upper
breast, and the back is mostly clothed in summer plumage. Adult
males taken during the last week of July and early in August are in
summer plumage in as nearly perfect condition as it can probably
ever be found, though in all the rectrices are being renewed. In the
perfection of this plumage even the abdomen is partly or even entirely
clothed in dark-colored feathers, but usually a large white area persists
on the lower parts of summer birds. In some specimens old white
body feathers are being replaced by new white ones, showing that there
is not always an intervening dark summer plumage on parts of the
body that are dark on some birds.
The adult male rock ptarmigan does not seem to go through the
stage termed by Dwight (1900, p. 162) "second, or adult, winter
plumage (preliminary)," that is so well defined in the willow ptarmigan. I am aware that the contrary has been argued (see, for
instance, the account of Lagopus ridgwayi by Stejneger [1885,
p. 195]), but whatever may be the facts as regards other forms of the
rock ptarmigan, in British Columbia the male bird of this species does
not exhibit two distinct plumages during the summer months. The
female does, and the fact that we collected male birds during the period
when the females (as well as both sexes of the willow ptarmigan) were
molting from one plumage stage to the other, enabled me to make
satisfactory comparisons of the different plumages. The first appearance of the brown and black barred feathers upon the head, neck, and
upper breast in the male rock ptarmigan (early in June in northern
British Columbia) is followed so uninterruptedly by the spread of
more finely mottled feathers over the rest of the body, that these can
hardly be considered as two distinct plumages.   Furthermore, the first 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        103
acquired barred feathers of the neck and upper breast persist until
replaced by white ones in the fall. Late in July and early in August
the rectrices and remiges are renewed, accompanied usually by the
appearance of the first white winter feathers upon the abdomen and
flanks. The two white central tail feathers persist, in some cases at
least, until the end of the summer, though they are hidden by long
upper tail coverts. Whether or not these late retained feathers are
at once replaced with other white ones I do not know.
The above remarks all pertain to the adult male. The adult female
undergoes a more or less extensive molt, beginning late in July, following the barred breeding plumage and marking a well-defined plumage
stage. She then acquires, above and below, finely mottled feathers like
those of the male, but this plumage is never (or at any rate very
rarely) acquired in its entirety before the white winter feathers
appear. Young birds of both sexes begin a replacement of juvenal
plumage with finely mottled feathers as in the adult, but here, too, the
white winter feathers appear before the first change is accomplished.
So quickly do the several molts follow one another during the summer
months, that it is not uncommon to find female birds in August with
remaining patches of white feathers from the previous winter, the
greater part of the body clothed in the barred breeding plumage,
some extensive areas of mottled feathers of the "winter plumage,
preliminary,'' and some areas of new white feathers.
Lagopus leucurus leucurus (Swainson).   White-tailed Ptarmigan
Occurs, apparently not abundantly, at high altitudes. The predilection of this species for exposed, rocky ridges is reflected in the
local name "rock ptarmigan." The few people we met who recognized
the existence locally of three species of ptarmigan called the true rock
ptarmigan by the name of '' croaker.''
I encountered the white-tailed ptarmigan on but one occasion, on
September 1, when a flock of from fifteen to twenty birds was flushed
on a rocky slope between the head waters of Spruce and McKee creeks,
at about 5000 feet altitude. Three specimens were collected (nos.
44725-44727), an adult female and a young male and female. In all
three the lower breast and belly are clothed in new white winter
plumage, the molt on those parts being direct from the barred breeding plumage in the case of the old bird, from the juvenal plumage in
the young. Elsewhere these birds are entirely in the soft gray colors
of the  "winter plumage,  preliminary." 104 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
Circus hudsonius (Linnaeus).   Marsh Hawk
Found nowhere about Atlin during the breeding season. The first
south-bound migrant appeared August 26; then, September 9 to 15,
between Atlin and Lake Teslin, marsh hawks were seen in numbers
flying southward.   Last seen, near Atlin, September 21.
Accipiter velox (Wilson).    Sharp-shinned Hawk
Seen at Skagway, May 21. Undoubtedly nests in the Atlin region,
for occasional individuals were seen throughout the summer. Not
common at any time, not even after the southward migration had
begun. Last seen on August 29. One specimen collected, an immature
male, August 18 (no. 44728).
Astur atricapillus atricapillus (Wilson).   Eastern Goshawk
Undoubtedly nests in the Atlin region, probably in the lowlands,
for individuals were seen at fairly frequent intervals throughout the
summer. In August there was a noticeable increase in numbers, mostly
of young birds, flying southward. Several immatures were shot but
not preserved, and all were of the pale coloration that appears to be
characteristic of the subspecies atricapillus. One specimen was skinned
(no. 44729), a male in adult plumage, almost fully acquired, taken
September 5. This bird is of interest in view of the argument advanced
by Tavcrner (1916, p. 360; 1918, p. 216) that the goshawk molts from
the streaked juvenal plumage into a coarsely barred stage (the subspecies striatulus) and later into the more finely barred plumage that
is considered to be typical of the subspecies atricapillus.
The bird in question had just molted from the juvenal plumage.
Very few juvenal feathers remain, but careful investigation before
the bird was skinned showed enough old streaked feathers on various
parts to demonstrate that this was the first assumption of adult
plumage. This bird is pale colored and finely barred, as in atricapillus.
Some of the breast feathers have rather broad mesial streaks but it is
otherwise just like other specimens of atricapillus at hand, and very
different from coastal examples of striatulus.
The status of the two forms atricapillus and striatulus cannot be
regarded as settled, but the evidence at hand points to the existence of
two such subspecies.    Characteristic color differences occur in both 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        105
adults and young, and these differences are fairly well correlated with
certain regions. The specimen just described (as well as another
similar bird collected by Brooks) shows that differences of coarse or
fine markings cannot be explained as different stages reached by the
same individual.
The last goshawk was seen by me near Atlin, September 19, but it
seems likely that the species remains to a later date.
Buteo borealis harlani (Audubon).    Harlan Hawk
I collected in the Atlin region six specimens (nos. 44730-44735)
of a dark-colored Buteo that was of fairly common occurrence there.
The series consists of one adult female, three young males, and two
young females. Two of the young birds are just out of the nest, partly
feathered and not able to fly any distance, the other three are full
grown. In addition, Brooks collected an adult female and one young
bird. There are at hand also two specimens loaned by the Provincial
Museum, Victoria. Both are from the Atlin region, an adult female
(Prov. Mus. no. 2664) taken at Wilson Creek, June 19, 1914, an immature bird (Prov. Mus. no. 2666) from Blue Canon, August 18, 1914.
The first mentioned has been recorded as Buteo swainsoni (Anderson,
1915, p. 12), the second as Buteo borealis alaseensis (Anderson, loc.
cit., p. 11).
The two adult females collected by Brooks and myself, both in
worn plumage and just beginning the annual molt, are essentially
alike. They are uniformly dark-colored, almost sooty, and in each
there are white markings at the base of the feathers that show through
more, probably, than they would in fresh plumage. New feathers
coming in are darker, more sooty, than the old, worn plumage.
In Brooks' specimen the tail is mostly dark, with scarcely a trace
of red, it is mottled longitudinally with whitish, and there is a sub-
terminal band of blackish. There are two aberrant rectrices. One
has the inner web mostly white; the other is broadly barred with
dusky, there is a sharply defined triangular white spot at the tip of
the outer web, and the subterminal dusky band is broader than on the
other feathers.
In the adult female taken by myself the exposed portions of the
rectrices are dusky, mottled longitudinally with whitish and with dark
markings, and there is a good deal of reddish on the terminal fourth 106 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
of the tail. There is a broad subterminal band of black, and the tip
is white, suffused with reddish. The inner webs, and part of the outer
webs, are white or gray, irregularly flecked with dusky. The outer
rectrix (present only on the left side) has the outer web barred with
blackish its entire length. Below, the tail is mostly white, with small,
irregular dusky markings. On certain of the upper tail coverts is the
only part of the body plumage of the bird where distinctly chestnut
markings appear.
Brooks' specimen is peculiar in that but the three outer primaries
are emarginate, a condition that is not supposed to exist in the Buteo
borealis group of hawks, where the presence of four emarginate
primaries has been accepted as one of the diagnostic features of the
species. We examined the freshly killed bird carefully, and there is
no question but that the full number of primaries was present.
The adult female in the Provincial Museum, Victoria, differs somewhat from the two just described. It is a darker colored bird even,
with the concealed white markings greatly reduced in size and number.
The feathers on chin, throat, and upper breast are dusky to the base.
The plumage generally is not so worn as in our two birds, and there is
hardly a trace of white showing through on the breast.
The tail is quite different from those of the other two adults. There
is but a mere trace of rufous upon it. There is a terminal band of
black, 35 mm. to 45 mm. in width (widest on the outer feathers), and
above this the tail is crossed by a series of narrower bands, seven black
and eight light colored, the dark colored strips becoming broader
toward the base of the tail. The light colored areas are white on the
inner web, grayish on the outer. The tail differs from that of the
immature in the broad, black terminal band, in the lesser number of
narrower bands, in the more distinctly whitish color of the paler
areas, and in that it is more squarely truncate at the end. Individual
rectrices are broader and more square ended than those of the young
bird. The two central tail feathers of this adult are being renewed,
and are about one-third emerged from their sheaths. They are of
exactly the same character as the others, in interesting confirmation of
tbe fact that this type of plumage is retained year after year. The
older birds do not eventually acquire a red tail.
This specimen has lost one primary of the left wing, giving it an
appearance of having but three emarginate primaries on that side, a
condition which is probably responsible for the misidentification of
the bird as Buteo swainsoni at one time. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        107
The immature birds are like the adults with the exception of the
tail. The tail feathers are dark sooty brown (the same color as the
body plumage) on the outer web, lighter colored on the inner web, and
crossed by eight or nine blackish bands. The tail pattern, essentially
similar to that of immature calwrus, differs from conditions in that
form in being darker (even than in the darkest calwrus), and in that
the cross-bars are broader and fewer in number. Often, too, in young
harlani the cross-bars tend to be U-shaped or V-shaped on individual
feathers, rather than extending horizontally across. In two specimens
there is a faint tinge of rufous at the tip of the tail. These hawks are
generally dark colored birds but differ from even the darkest phase
assumed by calwrus (of which there are both adult and young at
hand) in their sooty hue. In calurus there is a great deal of rich
brown or chestnut in the coloration, which is altogether lacking in
the Atlin birds.
In this series of specimens there is some variation, shown principally in extent of the partly concealed white markings. In the
darkest colored birds the white markings in the body plumage are
mostly reduced to small paired spots on feathers that are blackish over
most of their area. The white markings are almost entirely concealed;
the birds are almost uniformly dark. On the thighs and tibial plumes
there are the merest flecks of whitish. The lightest extreme is represented by a bird with broadly white-barred thighs and tibial plumes,
conspicuous bars and blotches on breast and belly, and with chin and
throat mostly white.
The "soft parts" of two of the birds collected were colored as
follows. No. 44730; 6 juv. (just out of the nest) : Eye stone gray;
feet pale greenish yellow; bill black; cere and gape greenish.
No. 44731; J ad: Eye dark sepia; feet greenish yellow; bill mostly
black, tinged with bluish along cutting edges; cere and gape greenish.
One fact stands out clearly; these birds are identical with the Falco
harlani of Audubon (1830, pi. 86), which is the Buteo borealis
harlani of the A. 0. U. Check-list (1910, p. 158). Our two adults
are closely similar to Audubon's plate, and they answer exactly the
description of Audubon's type specimen given by Sharpe (1874,
p. 191). The fact that the supposed young of harlani as described by
Sharpe (loc. cit) is not at all like the young birds I collected is of no
moment, for Sharpe's bird (from "Western Mexico") was not harlani
at all. It appears to be the young of calurus. The same sort of mistake was made by Cassin (in Baird, 1858, p. 24) where one phase of T
108 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
coloration seen in calurus is described as young harlani, a mistake
that is pointed out in Baird, Brewer and Ridgway (1874, vol. 3,
p. 294).
At first glance it seems startling to ascribe to the Harlan hawk a
far northern breeding habitat. In the A. 0. U. Check-list (1910,
p. 158) the range given is as follows: "Lower Mississippi Valley and
Gulf States, from Louisiana to Georgia and Florida; casual in Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania."
I cannot find, though, that there are definite published accounts of the
breeding of harlani in any region whatever. Audubon's belief that
the birds he shot near St. Francisville, Louisiana, had bred in that
vicinity was based on hearsay. He shot his birds in November (see
Coues, 1880, pp. 202-203) and had no first-hand knowledge of their
nesting. Beyer, Allison and Kopman (1908, p. 442) in their "List of
the Birds of Louisiana" state: "None of the writers has evidence of
its breeding in Louisiana." It seems to me, in the absence of any
positive published statements, that the assumption that the breeding
ground of the Harlan hawk is in the Gulf states is an utter mistake.
Besides the Atlin series there are at hand three specimens of hawks
from the northwest that I think are referable to harlani. These are
two young birds (nestlings), from a point sixty miles below Forty-
mile, Yukon Territory, July 28, 1894, collected by C. L. Hall ( Mus.
Vert. Zool. nos. 4966, 4967) ; and an immature male (Mus. Vert. Zool.
no. 42048), a migrant, shot by the present writer in Kispiox Valley,
near Hazelton, British Columbia, August 27, 1921 (see Swarth, 1924,
p. 336).
These birds in life were extremely puzzling. While there was
much to suggest Buteo borealis in the actions of the living bird, the
uniformly dark coloration brought B. swainsoni to mind, and an occasional glimpse of white marked rectrices in a bird wheeling in distant
flight was distinctly suggestive of Archibuteo. With specimens in
hand, Buteo swainsoni and Archibuteo were quickly eliminated, of
course, but other questions remained.
The status of the Harlan hawk as a distinct subspecies has been
questioned. Our own findings in the Atlin region, while not assumed
to be a final disposal of all the difficulties involved, do seem to place
this form in a more secure position as a geographic race than it has
yet enjoyed. The birds were abundant and nesting over a wide
expanse of territory, and within that region they were the only form
of Buteo borealis that was seen.   Parents and young were seen together 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region 109
on many occasions, and an old bird and one of its offspring were
secured, probably the first time that old and young of this form have
actually been collected. The young are distinctive and quite unlike
the young of calurus, the other dark colored form of Buteo borealis.
All this is corroborative of the theory that harlani is a "good"
subspecies, in the sense of being a geographic race.
There is interesting evidence, of a negative sort, bearing upon the
migration route of the Harlan hawk, in the fact that in our series of
red-tails from the southwest, comprising about one hundred skins
from California, Nevada and Arizona, there is not one specimen
unequivocally of harlani. The only possible exception is an immature
female (Mus. Vert. Zool. no. 4094) taken at Julian, San Diego County,
July 27, 1908. This is a dark, blackish colored bird, like harlani in
shade of color, but it is peculiar in lacking any of the partly concealed
white spots and blotches that occur in that form. The uniformly black
color of this bird may well be explained on some ground other than
subspecific identity with harlani.
The non-occurrence of harlani in so large a series of specimens from
the southwest is strongly suggestive of the migration route of this
bird extending southeast from the breeding ground, crossing the Rocky
Mountains in the far northern portion of that range. This is the
route that is known to be traversed by many species that spend the
summer in the extreme northwest, and what is known of the winter
habitat of the Harlan hawk is corroborative of such a theory.
It is of interest to note that the red-tail (Buteo borealis alaseensis
Grinnell) of the Sitkan district, Alaska, some one hundred miles to
the westward of the Atlin region, across the coast ranges, is of the
same general type of coloration as calurus, to the southward, and shows
no approach toward the characters of harlani.
In the light of all the foregoing facts, a revised statement of the
range of Buteo borealis harlani might be worded as follows: Breeds
in extreme northern British Columbia, east of the coast ranges, north
into the valley of the Yukon, and eastward for an undetermined distance. Migrates southward east of the Rocky Mountains, through the
Mississippi Valley to a winter home in the Gulf states.
While the bulk of evidence, as just given, is all corroborative of
this view, there are some opposing facts that should still be Ixirne
in mind. The palest extreme of the red-tailed hawk, Buteo borealis
krideri, has been taken in the same general region, at Eagle, Alaska, in
winter   (Bailey, 1916, p. 321), and on the Stikine River, breeding 1
110 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
(Swarth, 1922, p. 212). Bishop (1900a, p. 73) speaks of the red-tails
of the Yukon region (referred to B. b. calurus) as being in both the
light and the dark phase, about half of each, and of light colored and
dark colored birds breeding together. Nothing of the sort was seen in
the Atlin region, which may indicate that while harlani alone occurs
in that section, it has a relatively limited range. I did see one pale-
colored bird, apparently krideri, near Gladys Lake, but this was on
September 7, when the southward migration was going on, and many
hawks were seen passing southward overhead.
Both as regards different color phases and geographic variation,
the coloration of the Buteo borealis group (as well as of some other
species of hawks) is admittedly a difficult subject, and one that is
still far from being understood by any one. The most I can claim
for the facts here adduced is that they are corroborative of the idea of
Buteo borealis harlani being a geographic race rather than a "color
phase," such as is the darkest type of coloration seen in B. b. calurus.
These dark-colored Buteos were seen by us almost daily through
the summer and in all parts of the region that we visited. On May
21 several were observed soaring low over the snow-covered slopes on
the east side of White Pass. During the next week, at Carcross, they
were seen daily; apparently several pairs were settled on their nesting
grounds near the town.
About Atlin these hawks were distributed throughout the lowlands;
there were nesting pairs at intervals of a few miles in whatever direction one traveled. Although the species was thus relatively numerous,
specimens were hard to obtain; the birds were remarkably wary.
The Harlan hawk is in the Atlin region mostly a bird of the timber.
The sort of perch most often chosen is the top of one of the taller
spruce trees, often in fairly dense woods but always with such a commanding view as to make approach unseen out of the question. With
the exception of the dark colored hawks seen in White Pass early in
the season and supposed to be of this species, none was observed in
the open country above timber line. The abundance of ground
squirrels might have been supposed to be an attraction to that region,
too. They were extremely wary always, so much so that although
both birds of a pair might circle about, screaming, as long as an
intruder remained in their territory, it was generally impossible to
approach within gun shot.
One nest was found. It was in the valley a few miles from Atlin,
in rather open spruce woods, just above a stretch of marsh land.   The I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        111
nest was near the top of an isolated spruce, on a branching limb, about
sixty feet from the ground. It was a huge mass of sticks, a platform
that had been flattened to such an extent that the young birds were in
plain sight from the ground nearby. On July 6 it held two young,
with feather rows showing through the down on the breast. Returning on July 20 we found the young birds gone, but discovered them in
nearby trees. They had evidently just left the nest; wing and tail
feathers were not yet full grown, and they could make but short
flights. On August 11 a second brood, again of two birds, was found,
obviously just out of the nest. These birds could fly but feebly; when
found they were on the ground in dense spruce woods. One young
bird and one parent were shot.
Of the six specimens I collected four had crop or stomach or
both well filled. Two contained rabbit (Lepus americanus macfarlani),
one held ground squirrel (Citellus plesius plesius) and chipmunk
(Eutamias borealis caniceps), and one held rabbit and chipmunk.
During September, Harlan hawks were migrating in numbers.
They were seen near Atlin daily, and between Atlin and Teslin
(September 7 to 15) a number were observed drifting southward. On
September 21, I saw two, the last observed.
Aquila chrysaetos (Linnaeus). Golden Eagle.
Seen at Carcross, May 22, and near Atlin on September 21, my
last day in the field. Occasional birds were encountered throughout
the summer, so the species may be assumed to breed in this general
region. Restricted mostly to the mountains, where presumably the
open country is more favorable to the eagle's mode of hunting than
are the heavily forested lowlands.
Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascanus C. H. Townsend
Northern Bald Eagle
One was seen near Atlin, May 29; not otherwise observed.    The
species has been found nesting in this region  (see Anderson, 1914,
p. 12).
Falco rusticolus rusticolus Linnaeus.   Gray Gyrfalcon
An important discovery was the finding of this species, to all
appearances upon its nesting ground.    On July 28, on the summit of
Spruce Mountain, Brooks first encountered a gyrfalcon, feeding upon 112 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
a Citellus. Investigation showed that rock piles upon each of several
commanding eminences had been used as look-out points by one or
more of these falcons, evidently for a long time. The rocks were
plentifully splashed with droppings, and ptarmigan feathers and
other fragments scattered about told their own story. Brooks set
steel traps at three places, and on July 31 he caught a gyrfalcon in
one of them. It was an adult female, well started in the annual molt.
Molting tail feathers produced a gap that would have been conspicuous in flight and which did not appear in the bird first seen, so
there were evidently two, at least, of the species, ranging over this
On August 28 another gyrfalcon was seen on the slope of Monarch
Mountain, near Atlin.
This, I believe, is the first reported summer occurrence of the
species in British Columbia. Atlin is far south of any previously
known breeding station in western North America. In all likelihood,
though, the gyrfalcon will be found nesting some distance still farther
south, on the high Alpine-Arctic plateau that covers so much of northwestern British Columbia.
Falco peregrinus anatum Bonaparte.    Duck Hawk
Of rare occurrence. Single birds were seen on Tagish Lake,
May 27, near Atlin, June 29, on Spruce Mountain, August 8, and at
Lake Teslin, September 12.
Falco columbarius suckleyi Ridgway.   Black Pigeon Hawk
No pigeon hawks were seen until the southward migration had
begun. First noted August 11, when two were observed at different
times. From then on until September 21 (the last date of record) an
occasional bird was seen at long intervals, probably not more than ten
or twelve, all told.
It was distinctly surprising that the two specimens collected
should prove to be typical examples of the subspecies suckleyi. Besides
these two, another, not collected, was observed through binoculars at
close enough range to establish its identity also as suckleyi without a
doubt. The other pigeon hawks seen were at too long range to permit
of subspecific determination. The two birds collected were an
immature male, shot in the town of Atlin on August 15 (no. 44736),
and an adult female, in the midst of the annual molt, shot on
August 28 (no. 44737). 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        113
The breeding range of suckleyi is, I believe, unknown, but it has
been assumed to be along the coast and farther south than is indicated
by the occurrence of these migrants in the Atlin region. The northernmost record of the subspecies prior to this was, I believe, from the
upper Skeena Valley. British Columbia (Swarth, 1924, p. 337).
That Falco columbarius columbarius also occurs at Atlin is proved
by a specimen in the Provincial Museum, Victoria, collected there
August 13, 1914 (Anderson, 1915, p. 12). I have seen this bird and it
is unquestionably of the subspecies columbarius.
Cerchneis sparveria sparveria (Linnaeus).   Sparrow Hawk
Fairly common and of rather general distribution. The sparrow
hawk occurs in the more open country in the lowlands, and also above
timber line; it usually avoids the denser woods. Present at Carcross
when we arrived the latter part of May. The last bird I saw was at
Gladys Lake, September 8, but the species has been recorded from
Atlin as late as September 18 (Kermode and Anderson, 1914, p. 19).
Pandion haliaetus carolinensis (Gmelin).   Osprey
Seen about Lake Atlin at rare intervals during the summer, and
at Gladys Lake, September 7. Has been found nesting near Atlin
(Anderson, 1915, p. 12).
Bubo virginianus subarcticus Hoy.    Arctic Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus lagophonus Oberholser. Ruddy Horned Owl
Six horned owls were collected as follows: an adult male, June 5
(no. 44738) ; an adult male, and male and female in post-juvenal molt,
July 3 (nos. 44739-44741) ; adult male in annual molt, August 4
(no. 44742); adult male, August 25 (no. 44743). These birds are
puzzling in appearance, but, although I cannot assume to have interpreted their peculiarities beyond possibility of mistake, they seem to
me to demonstrate with fair certainty that the breeding horned owl
of this section is the subspecies subarcticus. I had expected to find
lagophonus in the Atlin region, as the ascribed range of that subspecies
includes this section, but four of the six specimens cannot possibly
be considered as of that race. Nos. 44739, 44740, 44741, 44743, are
extremely gray-colored birds, with perhaps the minimum of rufous
in their coloration that is seen in horned owls from any section.
No. 44743 has legs and toes gray-barred; in the other three, those parts 114 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
are mostly white. Altogether, the blaek-and-white appearance of these
owls is in striking contrast to the tawny-colored lagophonus, as represented by a series from the upper Skeena Valley, British Columbia.
Nos. 44739 and 44740 are two juvenals, taken with the male parent
(no. 44741). The two young are quite unlike, one being much darker
than the other; the pale colored bird is the more rufescent of the two.
Two specimens were collected that are like lagophonus from the
Skeena Valley. One of these (no. 44738, adult male, June 5) with
hardly a doubt was not a breeding bird. Of the second (no. 44742,
adult male, August 4) it cannot be said with any certainty whether
or not it had bred in the region. These two individuals may be, as
their appearance indicates, examples of lagophonus that had wandered
beyond the usual confines of that race. The breeding birds in the
series are most nearly like specimens of subarcticus from the Yukon
region, a short distance to the northward. The Atlin region forms the
southern boundary of the Yukon drainage, and it is to be expected
that the distribution of some Yukon species should be co-extensive
with this drainage system.
Horned Owls were fairly common in the Atlin region ; hooting could
be heard almost every night. One bird was seen at Lake Teslin,
September 12. Of the six horned owls collected, four had their
stomachs filled with remains of rabbits. Those of the other two were
Surnia ulula caparoch (Miiller).   Hawk Owl
On May 29 a hawk owl was found in a tract of spruce timber at the
northern base of Monarch Mountain, and as the bird was seen subsequently at the same place on several occasions, it may have been
nesting there. This was the only one seen until the end of the summer.
On August 19 Brooks shot a young bird, in first winter plumage
throughout save for remnants of down about the head, and from then
on others were seen at frequent intervals.
The three birds collected, two by Brooks, the other by myself
(no. 44744, male, September 19), are alike and are extremely dark
colored. Compared with a large series from northern Alaska, the
Atlin specimens are more slaty above and less reddish below. These
color differences cannot be explained as illustrating seasonal change
or sexual or age variation, but neither can they with any certainty be
correlated with any geographic area.
One hawk owl had in its stomach the remains of a Peromyscus. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        115
Ceryle alcyon caurina Grinnell.   Western Belted Kingfisher
There appeared to be a few pairs of kingfishers nesting in the
region about Atlin. The species was far from common but an
occasional bird was seen throughout the summer.
Dryobates villosus leucomelas (Boddaert)
Northern Hairy Woodpecker
Only three hairy woodpeckers were encountered during the summer,
one seen July 6, a male collected on July 7 (no. 44745), and a male
collected on August 22 (44746). The two specimens, collected near
the town of Atlin, are unquestionably of the subspecies leucomelas,
here near the southern limit of that race. In the upper Stikine Valley,
150 miles south of Atlin, the subspecies monticola occurs, in fair
abundance (Swarth, 1922, p. 217). In the monticola series at hand
from that region there are specimens that show intergradation toward
Dryobates pubescens nelsoni Oberholser.   Nelson Downy Woodpecker
An adult male downy woodpecker (no. 44747), shot near Atlin,
June 8, was the only one of the species that was seen. This bird is
referable to the subspecies nelsoni. It has slightly more black marking on the outer rectrices than is seen in specimens of nelsoni from
the Yukon, but in all other respects it appears to be typical of that
Picoides americanus fasciatus Baird. Alaska Three-toed Woodpecker
Unexpectedly rare. The first was seen July 11; afterward perhaps
five or six, all told, were encountered. One seen at Lake Teslin,
September 11. One specimen collected, an adult female, July 11
(no. 44748).
Colaptes auratus borealis Ridgway. Boreal Flicker
Present at Carcross when we arrived, May 22, and at Atlin when
we reached there a few days later. Breeds in fair abundance throughout the lowlands. A nest hole, partly finished, was found May 31, in
a stump in a clearing, one foot from the ground. On June 24 a flicker
was seen feeding young in a hole in a dead poplar about three feet 1
116 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
from the ground.   Other nests were found, similarly placed, low down
in dead timber.   The last flicker was seen September 5.
Two specimens were collected (nos. 44749^4750), a female on
August 17, a male on August 22.
Chordeiles virginianus virginianus   (Gmelin).    Eastern Nighthawk
The first nighthawk arrived at Atlin on the evening of June 12;
the species was fairly common thereafter in the lowlands. During
the last two weeks in August the southward migration was under way,
and every evening the birds could be seen passing by, all going in
the same direction. Last seen on the evening of September 6. Two
specimens collected (nos. 44751-44752), both females, taken on
August 12 and 20, respectively.
Selasphorus rufus (Gmelin).   Rufous Hummingbird
Seen on only three occasions, on June 11, June 13, and July 12, all
within a few miles of the town of Atlin. One of the three was an adult
male, hence easily recognizable, the others were inferentially of the
same species.
Sayornis sayus yukonensis Bishop.   Northern Say Phoebe
Present at Carcross upon our arrival, May 22. Breeds in the town
of Atlin, and scattered pairs occur elsewhere, usually about abandoned
buildings. The southward migration of this species was under way
after the middle of August. On August 24, near the summit of a
high mountain, a Say phoebe, first observed perched upon a rocky
pinnacle, was seen starting southward, ascending higher as the mountain was left behind, the beginning of what was to be, apparently,
a long flight. The last Say phoebe was seen at Lake Teslin,
September 10.
I collected three adults (nos. 44753-44755) and Brooks collected
others, and these, together with additional northern specimens in this
museum, bear out the validity of the subspecies yukonensis (Bishop,
1900, p. 115). The northern bird has a slightly smaller bill than the
southern race; otherwise, differences of measurements between the
two are of slight moment. The color differences, however, are readily
apparent, both in the juvenal and adult plumages, yukonensis being
clearer gray where sayus is brownish or rusty, as described by Bishop
(loc. cit.). i926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        117
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Nuttallornis borealis  (Swainson).    Olive-sided Flycatcher
First seen at Carcross, May 26. Summer visitant to the Atlin
r'-L'ion in small numbers. An occasional pair was nesting at wide
intervals throughout the surrounding lowlands. In August, when
the southward migration had begun, the birds were more frequently
seen. Last noted August 28. One specimen was collected, an adult
male taken June 2 (no. 44756).
Myiochanes richardsonii richardsonii (Swainson)
Western Wood Pewce
Present at Carcross, May 22. About Atlin the species was fairly
common throughout the lowlands. Last seen August 28. Three
specimens were collected, two adults and one juvenile (nos. 44757-
44759). There are at hand twelve additional specimens from northern
localities, from the Skeena River and the Stikine River, British
Columbia, and from the coast of southeastern Alaska, and judging
from this series I can see no justification for recognition of the subspecies saturatus (of Bishop, 1900, p. 116). These birds are to my
eye indistinguishable from more southern specimens.
Empidonax traillii alnorum Brewster.   Alder Flycatcher
Arrived at Atlin on June 12. Not common, but found in willow-
grown swamps throughout the lowlands. Last seen August 29. Three
specimens were collected, two adults and one immature in first winter
plumage (nos. 44760-44762).
Empidonax hammondii (Xantus).    Hammond Flycatcher
Fairly abundant in the lowlands of the Atlin region throughout,
the summer. Arrived on June 1, and was last noted August 31. Three
specimens were collected (nos. 44763-44765), an adult male on June 3,
a femnle in winter plumage throughout on August 21, and a male
still in juvenal plumage on August 24.
Empidonax wrightii Baird.   Wright Flycatcher
Time specimens were collected  ('nos. 44766-44768) : an adult male
at 3000 feet altitude on Monarch Mountain, June 22, an adult female 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        119
at 3500 feet on Otter Creek, July 30, and a male in juvenal plumage
at the base of Monarch Mountain, August 17, the last date of record.
The Wright flycatcher was of decidedly rare occurrence, not more
than six or eight individuals, all told, being seen during the summer.
Breeding birds were taken at a higher altitude than that at which
hammondii occurs.
Otocoris alpestris arcticola Oberholser.    Pallid Horned Lark
Breeds in fair abundance throughout the open country on the
ridges above timber line. On June 19, young out of the nest were
seen. During the last week in July and the first week in August, old
and j'oung were in the midst of the molt; two adult males collected
on August 7 and 8, respectively, have nearly completed the change.
During this season of molt, the horned larks were generally found
either as single birds or two or three together, but before the end of
August they were gathered in flocks of from fifty to one hundred
Fourteen specimens were collected (nos. 44769^4782), three in
juvenal plumage, three adults in worn breeding plumage, and one
immature and seven adults in more or less completely acquired winter
plumage. The species" was last seen on August 24, though later trips
were made to the high altitudes where it occurs.
Pica pica hudsonia (Sabine).   American Magpie
Several pairs were seen near Carcross during the last week in May,
and two nests found, occupied but without eggs. None was seen about
Atlin during the early part of our stay, and we were told that magpies
did not nest in that section but that the birds did appear there at the
very end of the summer. I saw several at Gladys Lake, September 8.
On September 19 one appeared at Atlin, and I saw the species each
day until the 23rd, when I left.
The late summer invasion of the Atlin region by the magpie is
probably related to the migration of this species to the coast of southeastern Alaska, as observed by me on the lower Taku River in
September, 1909 (Swarth, 1911, p. 77). The valley of the Taku, lying
southwest of Lake Atlin, is a natural outlet from this region to the
coast, and the magpies I saw there were, together with other species,
migrating down this valley from the interior. 120 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
Perisoreus canadensis canadensis (Linnaeus). Canada Jay
Fairly common, both at Carcross and about Atlin. At the time
of our arrival, during the last week in May, old and young together
were roving through the woods in small bands, apparently family
groups. During July both old and young were going through the
molt; specimens of adults and young collected on August 14 had completed the change. Seventeen specimens wrere collected (nos. 44783-
44799), including three summer adults (two from Carcross), seven
in juvenal plumage, and seven adult and immature in fresh winter
Corvus corax principalis Ridgway. Northern Raven
This is another species that appears in the Atlin region in the fall.
Kermode (1914, p. 21) found it common there during September, 1913
(recorded as Corvus caurinus). Seen by me on just one occasion, at
Lake Teslin, September 12, when two birds appeared, attracted by
refuse from the carcass of a moose that was being cut up.
Euphagus carolinus (Miiller). Rusty Blackbird
One bird seen at Carcross, May 24, but the. species had probably
arrived some time before. Upon our arrival at Atlin a few days later
we found scattered pairs established in most of the little swamps that
are distributed throughout the lowlands. Small flocks of young
appeared in July, but the species was not abundant at any time, and
most of the birds had gone by the middle of August. I saw a few
at Gladys Lake, September 8 and 9, the last I encountered, though
Kermode (1914, p. 21) has recorded it from this region as late as
September 19.
Carpodacus purpureus purpureus (Gmelin). Eastern Purple Finch
On June 25, near the town of Atlin, I heard a purple finch utter
a few notes of its song, and on June 28, at the same place, I collected
an adult male (no. 44800). This constitutes, I believe, the extreme
northwestern point of record for this species.
Loxia leucoptera Gmelin.   White-winged Crossbill
First seen on June 3, a single bird.   Increasing numbers arrived
daily,  until by the middle of June  flocks of fifty or sixty birds 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        121
appeared. By the last week of June the crossbills were in pairs,
apparently preparing to nest, but soon after their numbers lessened
until relatively few remained. Two specimens were collected, both
adult males (nos. 44801-44802).
Spinus pinus (Wilson).    Pine Siskin
Arrived at Atlin toward the end of June.   First noted June 25,
and became fairly numerous by the middle of July.   At the time of
my departure, September 23, siskins were still present in numbers.
Calcarius lapponicus alaseensis Ridgway. Alaska Longspur
At Carcross, May 23, the cat at the hotel where we stayed brought
in a longspur, which we were able to identify from the feathers
scattered about. This, presumably, was a belated north-bound
migrant. The species was next encountered on September 1, when
I flushed several high upon the mountain above "Blue Canon." On
September 7 several large flocks were observed between Surprise and
Gladys lakes.
Passerculus sandwichensis alaudinus Bonaparte.
Western Savannah Sparrow
When we reached Atlin, May 28, Savannah sparrows had already
arrived, and the male birds could be seen singing from low perches
in the more open swamp-land. The species was not common, but a
few pairs were scattered through the wet meadows that partly encircle
the town of Atlin, and small numbers were seen elsewhere, where
suitable conditions obtained. On June 25 a nest was found, containing
six eggs on the point of hatching. The nest was sunk in the ground,
in marsh grass, with no trees or bushes in the near vicinity.
On September 1, Savannah sparrows were seen in numbers, migrating, on some of the higher, more open, mountain slopes. The last bird
was seen September 21. Three specimens were collected, an adult
male, and male and female in first winter plumage (nos. 44803-44805).
Zonotrichia gambelii (Nuttall). Gambel White-crowned Sparrow
An abundant summer visitant to the lowlands of this region. At
Carcross when we arrived, May 22, the Gambel sparrows were already
paired and preparing to nest.    The first nest was found at Atlin on r
122 University of California Publications in Zoology    [Vol.30
May 31, containing two eggs; on June 4 it held a set of four. Other
nests were found on June 11, with four eggs (no. 1983), and on
June 12. with five eggs (no. 19S4). These were all essentially alike
in structure and location. They were on the ground in rather damp
meadow land, in fairly open areas interspersed with thickets of willow
and dotted with tiny wild rose plants. The nests were well hidden
under tufts of grass, willow shoots, or roses.
One (no. 1983) measures 120 mm. outside diameter, 65 mm. inside
diameter. 40 mm. inside depth. The outer walls are mostly shreds of
bark and coarse (dry) grass stems, the lining is of fine grass and a
little horse hair.
Another nest (no. 1984) measures 110 mm. outside diameter,
65 mm. inside diameter, 35 mm. inside depth. The outer walls are
mostly shreds of bark, the lining is of fine grass and a little mammal
hair, mostly dog and mountain sheep (taken from a nearby carcass of
the tirst. and scraps of hide of the second).
On June 25 the first young birds appeared, but although the
species was common, relatively few spotted young were seen at any
time. The birds nested in fair abundance in gardens in the town of
Atlin, and in waste land between the houses, and more young birds
were seen there than elsewhere. On July 11 the first juvenile was
collected showing beginnings of the post-juvenal molt, which, roughly,
continues through the month of July. On August 6 a young male was
taken, still with many pinfeathers but with none of the juvenal
plumage left. By August 14 the young birds were practically through
the post-juvenal molt. Adults at that date were nearly all stubby-
tailed. A young female collected August 24 is in perfect first winter
During the breeding season the Gambel sparrow was confined to
the lowlands, but soon after the beginning of the post-juvenal molt
there was a scattering of old and young that took many individuals
high uj) into the mountains. There they formed loosely connected
flocks in company with the golden-crowns, the beginning of an
association that in California we see carried on throughout the winter.
On August 29 the species was still abundant. It was last noted on
September 5. but as a number of the birds were seen on that date, some
probably lingered several days longer. Careful search on September
19, however, failed to disclose a single one.
Sixteen specimens were collected (nos. 44806-44821), fourteen in
juvenal plumage or in various stages of the post-juvenal molt, and
two in first winter plumage. !926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        123
I am using the binomial name for this bird in the conviction that
the three white-crowned sparrows, leucophrys, gambelii, and nuttalli
are three distinct species. There are various trenchant external characters of plumage and other parts distinguishing them, there are just
Pig. J.   Map showing breeding ranges, approximately outlined, of (1) Zonotrichia
leucophrys, (2) Zonotrichia gambelii, and (3) Zonotrichia nuttalli.
as notable differences of song, and the breeding ranges and migration
routes also are indicative of specific differences (see fig. J). As regards
external characters, while I am aware that there are various published
statements of the existence of intergradation between these forms, these I
124 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
assertions are all rather vague. In this museum there are approximately 200 specimens of leucophrys, 270 of gambelii, and 200 of
nuttalli. There is not one equivocal specimen in this series, not one
that can be said to illustrate in even the slightest degree intergradation
between any of the forms. Nor have I seen intermediates in other
collections. If any such do sporadically occur it seems to me that
they should be regarded as hybrids rather than geographic intergrades.
Riley (1912, pp. 66-67) has given conclusive evidence as to conditions
at the one place where the ranges of leucophrys and gambelii are
known to abut. Each retains its specific identity. As far as I know,
the breeding range of nuttalli is widely separated both from that of
leucophrys and of gambelii.
The different songs of these three birds also is something that cannot fail to impress one. When in addition to the consistently uniform
external characters found in each form, there are also such differences
of song and breeding ranges as are seen, it seems to me that every
condition is met whereby they should be accorded specific rank.
1. Zonotrichia leucophrys (J. R. Forster).   Eastern White-crowned Sparrow.
2. Zonotrichia gambelii  (Nuttall).    Gambel White-crowned Sparrow.
3. Zonotrichia nuttalli Ridgway.    Nuttall White-crowned Sparrow.
Zonotrichia coronata (Pallas).    Golden-crowned Sparrow
There is a small and yearly diminishing list of North American
birds, the breeding habits of which are almost or quite unknown, and
the golden-crowned sparrow has been one of the few passerine species
included in that category. It is true that many years ago detailed
accounts were published professing to give particulars of the nesting
of this bird, but those were cases of mistaken identification and so far
as I know there has not yet been printed any unquestioned account
of the breeding of the golden-crowned sparrow. I was, indeed, under
the impression for a time that nests and eggs taken by Major Brooks
and myself in the Atlin region were the first authentic sets to be collected, but, as I learned, there are sets in the collection of Colonel
John E. Thayer, Lancaster, Massachusetts, that were taken some years
ago. Through the courtesy of Colonel Thayer details regarding these
sets are given below. 1926]      Sivarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        125
The old records by Heermann (1859, p. 48) and by Brewer (1878,
p. 48), the former describing the nesting of the golden-crowned sparrow near Sacramento, California, the latter, in Shasta County, California, were mistakes that are obvious enough to us at the present
Fig. K. Map showing distribution of the golden-crowned sparrow {Zonotrichia coronata), with (1) breeding range and (2) main winter habitat approximately outlined. Symbols within the outlined breeding range indicate localities
where the species has been found actually breeding.
time, but they were accepted at face value for many years. Their
widespread repetition created an impression that the nest and eggs
of this bird were well known, an impression that persisted long after 126 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
those records were specifically discredited. The only other published
accounts bearing upon this subject that I have seen are by Bishop
(1900, p. 85), who describes an unfinished nest found in White Pass;
and by Osgood (1904, p. 75), who casually mentions "several" nests
Ilia-TniM. found at Ibanina Bay, Alaska Peninsula, the latter part of June,
containing from four to six eggs each.
I, myself, had been twice before on the nesting grounds of the
golden-crowned sparrow, and the fact that I had failed to find nests
then spurred me on to renewed efforts on this third opportunity. In
British Columbia this bird is a summer visitant at high altitudes, nesting above the limit of upright timber. In the Atlin region it is so
closely restricted to the heights that I did not see even a migrant in
the lowlands.
On May 29 we made our first climb above timber line, to the top of
Monarch Mountain, some 4500 feet altitude, about three miles south
of Atlin. The golden-crowned sparrows had arrived and were singing
from the tops of the balsam thickets, but no nest building was detected.
This mountain top, as it proved, was peculiarly adapted to the needs
of this species. At least there were more of the birds here within a
relatively limited area than we saw anywhere else. Long stretches of
rolling hilltops, grass-covered for the most part, were interspersed with
scattered thickets of prostrate or stunted balsam, and with larger areas
of trailing birch. This birch was in most places not over knee high
and easily walked over. Little lakelets occupied some of the hollows,
and from them small streams flowed part way down the mountain.
Lakes and streams both were almost or entirely dry before the summer
was over.
♦ On June 19 we returned to this same summit, to make a thorough
search for nests. A general notion that these would be in the balsams,
as the most effective cover in sight, led us first to direct our attention
to these thickets, the more so as they formed the singing perches of the
male birds. Half an hour's search brought no results other than the
discovery of old robin nests, so the balsams were abandoned for the
time. A^ little later, as I was traversing a dry, open ridge, ploughing
through a mat of birch, a sparrow darted out some eight or ten feet
away, not to fly, but to scuttle, mouse-like, along the ground under
the sparse, sprawling branches. A brief search disclosed the nest (see
*pl. 7, fig. 6). A ledge of rock protruded a few inches from the ground
in the center of the thicket, and the nest was sunk against this shelter,
fairly well concealed by the vegetation above.    There were five eggs, 1926]      Sivarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        127
incubated about one-half. Within a few hundred yards a second nest
was found in a similar situation, on the ground under some trailing
birch, with four eggs incubated as the first lot were. Again the bird
was seen running from the nest under the bushes.
The first nest was built externally of gray plant fiber, a few balsam     ■ .ii
twigs, bits of dried flakes of bark, and a very little green moss; the
lining was of dry grass, with several white ptarmigan feathers interwoven.    External  diameter,  120  mm.;  internal  diameter,  65 mm.;
outside depth, 55 mm.; inside depth, 35 mm.
The second nest differs in minor details, having far more green
moss worked into the outer wall, and lacking any feathers in the
lining. External diameter, 135 mm.; internal diameter, .65 mm.;
outside depth, 55 mm.; inside depth, 35 mm.
The two sets of eggs measure, in millimeters, as follows:
First set (no. 1986); 22.0 x 15.8, 22.2 x 16.2, 22.2 x 15.5, 23.0 x 16.0,        /
22.0 x 16.0.
Second    set    (no.    1985),    23.5x16.2,    24.0x16.0,    23.0x16.5,     >
22.8 x 16.5.
The eggs are speckled and mottled with brown on a pale greenish
ground. Of the two sets here described, one (no. 1986) is much more
heavily marked than the other, the ground color being almost
obliterated. The eggs of the golden-crowned sparrow are closely
similar to those of the Gambel and Nuttall sparrows. Both of the
above described sets can be duplicated almost exactly in series of eggs
of those species.
Several hours after our first two discoveries, Brooks found a third
nest, this one in a low thicket of balsam, a thicket about twenty feet
square but with the sprawling branches rising not more than knee high
above the ground. The nest was in the branches, about ten inches up,
and was much bulkier than those on the ground. It was a gray-
colored structure, the outer walls of coarse weed stalks and shredded
stuff that appeared to be the bark of some of the annuals growing
thereabout. The lining was mostly fine grass, with one conspicuous
white ptarmigan feather. The whole nest was about 180 mm. in
diameter, and 90 mm. deep. The nest cavity was 76 mm. across. It
contained four fresh eggs.
On June 22 a fourth nest was found on the same mountain, in much
the same situation as the first two (see pi. 7, fig. 7). It was on a dry
ridge under a scant growth of dwarf birch, the nest buried between
tufts of long, dry grass, and itself constructed mostly of dry grass and 128 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
plant fiber, the lining of fine grass. It contained four slightly incubated eggs. This nest, like the others, was found by flushing the bird.
The last two nests discovered, both taken by Brooks, are now in the
collection of Colonel John E. Thayer, Lancaster, Massachusetts.
The dates on which these nests were taken is probably indicative
of the usual time of egg-laying, but some sets are evidently laid at a
much later date. On August 3, on Spruce Mountain, a pair of birds
was seen, which, from their actions, obviously had a nest nearby, and
on August 5, on the same mountain, a nest was found containing naked
young, probably about a week old.
The Thayer collection contains four sets of eggs of the golden-
crowned sparrow, collected by John Koren, with data as follows:
(1) Anvil Mountains, near Nome, Alaska; June 21, 1910;  5 eggs.
(2) Anvil Mountains, near Nome, Alaska; June 21, 1910; 7 eggs
(3 broken).
(3) Nelson Island, Bering Sea, Alaska; July 3, 1910; 3 eggs.
(4) Shumagin Island, Alaska; July 8, 1911; 5 eggs.
The parent birds of each set are also in the Thayer collection.
On July 8 young out of the nest were first seen on Monarch
Mountain, and here, as in previous experiences, I had impressed upon
me the extreme wariness of the young birds. They were in thickets of
dwarf birch and balsam. When a brood was flushed they scattered to
distant points, and each bird, alighting in a bush, at once scuttled
through and was away to another hiding place. The adults are not
hard to approach; they apparently watch and direct the retreat of
their offspring.
On July 18 young were taken in juvenal plumage throughout and
with full-grown rectrices. Others molting into first winter plumage
were collected July 27 and August 5. One young bird still mostly in
juvenal plumage was taken August 24.
The young of the golden-crowned sparrow is generally similar to
the same stage in the three species of white-crowned sparrows.
Coronata lacks the decided head markings that are seen in the juvenal
white-crowns and it has a suggestion of yellowish upon the forehead.
Compared with the grayish leucophrys, young coronata is generally
darker colored and the ventral streaks are darker, heavier, and more
extensive. Compared with gambelii, young coronata is generally
browner.    Young coronata and young nuttalli are closely similar in 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        129
body coloration, but the former is slightly darker colored as a rule.
Coronata has a heavier bill than the white-crowned sparrows, and this
character is apparent in the young birds.
The accompanying illustration (pi. 4) was made from studies of
the freshly killed bird. The yellowish tinge to the lower parts, as there
shown, is an evanescent color that soon disappears from the study skin.
Color of bill and feet in the picture is, of course, as those parts were
in the living bird.
On September 5. I made my last climb to the summit of Monarch
Mountain, and on that day but a single golden-crowned sparrow was
noted, the last for the season.
In all, I collected six specimens of the golden-crowned sparrow
(nos. 44822^14827), as follows: one adult female (with the first set
of eggs), two males in juvenal plumage, and three birds in various
stages of the post-juvenal molt.
Spizella monticola ochracea Brewster.   Western Tree Sparrow
An abundant summer visitant in the region at an altitude higher
than the town of Atlin. Tree sparrows may appear in the lowlands
upon their advent in the spring, but when we arrived, at the end of
May, they were already established on their nesting ground and we
saw none in the valley. We found them in abundance at the head of
Canon Creek (from 3500 to 4500 feet altitude) and in somewhat
similar surroundings at the same elevation on upper Otter Creek. In
each place they occurred where willow is the prevailing tree growth,
ranging in size from scrubby, mat-like thickets that can be walked
over, to tangled bushes ten feet high or more. The tree sparrows were
practically always found in or about the willows.
On June 30 tree sparrows appeared to be carrying food to young
in the nest; by the last week in July the young were going through the
post-juvenal molt. During September a few migrating tree sparrows
appeared in the lowlands. Single birds were seen at Lake Teslin,
September 12, and near Atlin on September 19 and 21. Eleven
specimens were collected (nos. 44828-44838), two adult females in
worn breeding plumage, eight young (July 30 to August 6) in various
stages of the post-juvenal molt, and one immature female in first
winter plumage. 130 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
Spizella passerina passerina (Bechstein).   Eastern Chipping Sparrow
Seen at Carcross, May 22. In the Atlin region this is a fairly common species in the lowlands. It probably does not nest on the higher
mountain slopes, but at the end of the summer there was a slight
movement toward higher altitudes. In the upper part of Otter Creek,
up to about 4500 feet altitude, chipping sparrows were fairly common
at the end of July and during the first week in August. The last
chipping sparrow was seen August 24, near Atlin. Three specimens
were collected (nos. 44839-44841), two adult males and one male in
juvenal plumage.
Spizella taverneri Swarth and Brooks.   Timber-line Sparrow
The discovery of this species (see Swarth and Brooks, 1925, p. 67)
was one of the most interesting of the season's results. In general
appearance Spizella taverneri resembles Spizella breweri closely
enough that we could not be sure in the field that it was not breweri
that we had found, but the known range of breweri was so distant,
and the conditions surrounding this bird were so widely different
from those in the habitat of breweri, as to arouse our strong interest.
We first encountered the timber-line sparrow on July 8, near the
summit of Monarch Mountain, about 4500 feet altitude. The surroundings there are such as obtain generally above timber line in this
region, the country being open, grass covered for the most part, the
damper portions with small areas of false heather and the whole interspersed with clumps of scrubby balsam, mostly prostrate, but sometimes ten or fifteen feet high. It was a raw day, with showers at frequent intervals, the rain driving before a sharp wind, conditions such
as to render a search for small birds difficult and unproductive. We
were following a flock of horned larks when two sparrows appeared,
perched upon a balsam thicket some distance away and jerking their
tails nervously. Their appearance did not accord with anything we
knew in the region, and Brooks started at once in pursuit. With some
difficulty, for the birds were wary, he secured one of them. This
proved to be an adult female with a denuded abdomen, indication that
she was, or had been, incubating eggs.
Tho species was next encountered in the upper part of Otter
Creek, at about 3500 feet altitude, and on the surrounding mountains
up to their summits, nearly 5500 feet altitude.   In Otter Creek Valley I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        131
these birds were not seen along the wet bottom lands, but they frequented the dry hillsides, where the trailing birch afforded the cover
they favored the most. They were at all times wary and hard to
approach, far more so than most small birds, and in contrast to the
actions of the several species of Spizella and Zonotrichia with which
they were associated.
During the last week in July and the first week in August, spotted
young were seen being fed by their parents, but mostly the young were
larger, undergoing the post-juvenal molt. The species might easily
be overlooked, for besides their habitual wariness the birds are with
difficulty dislodged from the sheltering cover they frequent. If flushed
at a distance from the tops of the balsam thickets on which they often
perched when suspicious of danger (and they rarely permitted a near
approach), the timber-line sparrow might easily be overlooked amid
the tree sparrows, chipping sparrows, and even the Zonotrichias,
which were in the same surroundings and arising from the bushes
near at hand. When flushed they flew long distances, to dive into birch
thickets, tangled masses of shrubbery about waist high, and it was
rarely that a bird could be dislodged from such a refuge. They ran
beneath the shrubbery, to take flight at some distant point, and such
tactics, repeated over and over again, inevitably left the person in
pursuit floundering clumsily through entangling branches far behind.
So, although the species was really abundant in some places, such
as on certain of the higher slopes of Spruce Mountain, we secured
relatively few specimens.
Together, we collected twenty-three skins, as follows: adult male,
3; adult female, 4; immature, first winter plumage, 4; juvenal, 6;
molting from juvenal to first winter, 6. Fifteen of these (nos. 44842-
44856) came to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Two of this series
have since been deposited in the United States National Museum.
Junco hyemalis connectens Coues.   Cassiar Junco
Thirty-five specimens of junco were collected (nos. 44857-44891),
sixteen breeding adults (thirteen of these from Carcross), the
remainder comprising some streaked juveniles and adults and
immature in fall plumage. I am listing these all as of the subspecies
connectens; but there are equivocal specimens in the series (among
migrants collected toward the end of the summer) that would fit as
readily into a series of hyemalis. IU University of California Publications in Zoology     LVoi.. 30
Breeding juncos from Carcross show a distinct approach to the
subspecies hgtnialis. as compared with eonneetens from the Stikine
region, so much so that Carcross may be regarded as near the northern
limit of the range of eonneetens.
At Carcross. May 22, male juncos were singing from the tops of
bushes and small trees. Females collected during the next few days
had their sets partly laid. Two nests, each with four fresh eggs, were
found near Atlin. May 31. These and other nests subsequently found
were all very much alike. They were all in fairly open bottom land,
on the ground, and well concealed in sheltering grass and other vegetation. Juncos bred most abundantly in the lowlands, but on June 30
I found a nest with five fresh eggs on a mountain side at about 3500
feet altitude. The situation was a warm, south-facing slope; the nest
was buried in a dense clump of bear-berry and grass.
On June 26 the first young out of the nest was seen, and from then
on through August spotted young were fairly common in small flocks
throughout the lowlands. During September juncos were migrating
through the region. The last were noted September 19, but from the
number seen that day I am sure that some must linger to a much
later date.
Melospiza lincolnii lincolnii (Audubon). Lincoln Sparrow
Breeding in fair abundance in the disconnected marshy areas that
occur throughout the lowlands. On June 14 a nest was found with
five eggs at the point of hatching. The first young was seen flying
on July 2. The species was last noted on August 29. Two specimens
(nos. 44892-44893) collected by myself, and others taken by Brooks,
arc all typical of the subspecies lincolnii.
Petrochelidon lunifrons lunifrons (Say). Cliff Swallow
Xests were seen on buildings at Carcross. The first cliff swallow
was noted there on the evening of May 26, some days after our own
arrival, and when we reached Atlin, May 28, the species was present in
force. It nests in some numbers in the town, but we found it breeding
nowhere else.   The last cliff swallow was noted August 16.
Hirundo erythrogaster Boddaert.   Barn Swallow
This species arrived at Carcross on the morning of May 26.    Old
nests were seen on several houses there.   It was abundant in the town
of Atlin, but was not found nesting elsewhere. Last noted September 1. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        133
E. M. Anderson (1915, p. 15) has described the nesting of a pair of
barn swallows on a passenger coach that traverses the two-mile portage
at Taku. The birds still rear their broods in the same place. For
their convenience a box is affixed near the roof of the coach within
(the sides of the ear are open), and year after year the box is occupied.
The coach travels back and forth across the portage several times a
week, filled with people, throughout the nesting period.
Iridoprocne bicolor (Vieillot). Tree Swallow
Arrived at Atlin on June 3. Found by us nesting only about
human habitations, but during the third week in July there were so
many young tree swallows gathered upon the largest of the three
islands nearest to Atlin that it seemed as though they must have been
reared elsewhere than in the town.
Tachycineta thalassina lepida Mearns
Northern Violet-green Swallow
Abundant at Skagway, May 21, at Carcross, May 22, and at Atlin,
when we reached there on May 28. Last seen near Atlin on September 1. There are no rocky ledges near Atlin, such as the violet-green
swallow occupies elsewhere in the north, and as with all the other
swallows found breeding in the region, they were nesting about human
habitations, occupied or deserted, and nowhere else.
Riparia riparia (Linnaeus).    Bank Swallow
A flock of migrating bank swTallows appeared near Atlin on June 10,
and a single bird was seen on July 12.   The species was not otherwise
Bombycilla garrula pallidiceps Reichenow. Bohemian Waxwing
A single bird seen at Carcross, May 24. At Atlin, the third week
in May, waxwings were fairly common and in pairs. On June 3 the
beginning of a nest was found, on June 4 one that was ready for
lining, and on June 11 the first set of eggs. These and several other
nests were on the mainland, not far from the lake shore, and in rather
open groves of jack pine. Nests were mostly near the ground, the
highest being some thirty feet up. They were all in the terminal forks
of downward drooping branches, six to ten feet from the trunk. 134 University of California Publications in Zoology    [Vol. 30
Waxwings build their nests in scattered communities, so that where
one pair is found there are pretty sure to be others not far distant.
Within a few miles of Atlin there were several such groups, comprising at least eight or ten pairs at each place. We collected but three
sets of eggs at these places, but evidently there was some more formidable enemy of the birds at work, for the waxwings gradually disappeared, and not one young bird was reared in these colonies.
On July 15 we made the first of several visits to three small islands
opposite Atlin, and there we found waxwings in numbers, and nesting.
Apparently every pair that had started the breeding season on the
nearby mainland had moved out to the islands, where they seemed
free of whatever scourge it was that had destroyed their first nests.
We saw no Canada jays, no squirrels, and no chipmunks oa the islands;
any or all of these may have been responsible for the shifting of the
On the mainland nests were all in jack pines, but on the islands they
were nearly all in small balsam firs. Mostly they were built low, ten
feet from the ground or less, and several were within reach from the
ground. During the third week in July nests held fresh eggs or
incomplete sets. Complete sets, on the islands and on the mainland,
ranged from four to six eggs.
On Otter Creek, July 26 to August 9, waxwings were occasionally
encountered, in small flocks, old and young together. During August
the species almost entirely disappeared, days and weeks passing without one being seen. On September 7 a small flock was seen near
Gladys Lake, and on the 10th another flock between Gladys Lake and
Lake Teslin. Not seen subsequently, though the species might be
expected to remain until a much later date.
Three waxwings were collected (nos. 44894-44896), male and
female taken July 27, full grown but in juvenal plumage throughout,
and an adult male, August 5, not yet beginning the annual molt. The
young male has four large wrax tips on each wing, the young female,
two small ones. Neither has the vivid orange tail tipping noted on
certain young birds from the Stikine River (Swarth, 1922, p. 279),
though the female shows an approach to that color.
Lanius borealis Vieillot.   Northern Shrike
Our discovery of the northern shrike in the Atlin region establishes
this bird as a breeding species in extreme northern British Columbia,
though the previous capture of one by W. H. Osgood, for the U. S. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        135
Biological Survey, at Bennett, June 9, 1903, made it a fair presumption that this was the case. We found no nest, but on June 30 we
collected a brood of six young, just able to fly; the nest must have
been close by. The young birds, huddled together in a spruce thicket,
were being fed by one parent, which escaped. This was at the head
of Canon Creek, altitude 4000 feet, in a sparsely wooded mountain
valley, close to the upper limit of upright timber. The young birds
were extremely noisy; it was the incessant squalling for food that drew
our attention, from a distance. Their stomachs were well filled, mostly
with insect remains, including some small Coleoptera; in one stomach
there were parts of a very young ptarmigan chick, including the bill.
Three of the young were preserved by Brooks, three by Swarth
(nos. 44897-44899).
On July 28 an adult male (no. 44900) was collected at the head of
Otter Creek (about 3500 feet altitude). This bird is in the midst of
the annual molt. Above and below the old feathers are extremely
pale colored. The underparts are almost pure white, the old feathers
having lost every vestige of the dusky vermiculations. Such markings
show plainly enough on the new breast feathers, just coming in. The
stomach held insect remains. The species was observed only on these
two occasions.
A notable feature of the shrikes in juvenal plumage is their gray
coloration. In the freshly acquired first winter plumage there is a
decidedly brown tone both above and below, but, save for the wing
markings, none of this appears in the juvenal stage. This plumage
is mostly clear gray, slightly darker on the dorsum, and finely
vermiculated below.
Through the courtesy of Dr. Louis B. Bishop there are available
from his collection 57 specimens of Lanius borealis, about equally
divided between eastern and western localities. In this museum there
are twenty-six skins, fourteen western and twelve eastern. From the
Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, I was able to borrow two adult males
from the east side of Hudson Bay. These two, with one from Magdalen
Island, in the Bishop collection, are the only breeding birds I have
seen from eastern localities.
The subspecies invictus (Grinnell, 1900, p. 54), described from the
Kowak River, Alaska, was characterized as of larger size, paler coloration dorsally, and with the white markings greater in extent, as compared with eastern birds. I can distinguish a slight average difference
in size (see table), and, in some specimens, in the color characters also. 136 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol.30
Certain Alaskan skins are paler colored than any eastern birds, and
some have decidedly more extensive white markings (as on the lateral
rectrices) than most eastern skins. An exceptional British Columbian
specimen has the outer rectrices entirely white. There are Alaskan
birds, though, that lie well within the range of variation of eastern
birds, and there are one or two eastern birds with white markings on
the tail feathers nearly as extensive as in any western ones.
There are a number of winter birds in this series from points lying
between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains, and nearly all of
these I am unable to allocate to an eastern or a western race with any
degree of assurance. Thus, while recognizing in the northern shrike
a tendency toward development of the characters ascribed to vnvictus
in the western part of its habitat, it seems to me so impossible to define
the boundary between an eastern and a western race, or to identify
most winter birds taken south of the breeding range, that I am
disinclined to use different names for the variations exhibited.
Vireosylva gilva swainsonii (Baird).   Western Warbling Vireo
A rare species, here probably at the extreme northern limit of its
range. First seen June 8, and from then on, at this one place, a vireo
could be seen or heard singing at almost any time during the next
few weeks. The indications were that a pair was nesting thereabout. The only other occasion on which the species was seen was on
August 17, when one bird was collected by Brooks.
Vermivora celata celata (Say). Orange-crowned Warbler
Migrating, not uncommonly, about Atlin, during August. Three
specimens were collected (nos. 44901-44903), two females taken
August 13, and one male on August 17, all immatures in first winter
plumage. Others of this subspecies, easily recognized as a rule by the
gray head, w7ere seen until August 31.
Vermivora celata orestera Oberholser
Rocky Mountain Orange-crowned Warbler
An '' orange-crowned warbler,'' apparently of this subspecies, was
seen at Carcross, May 24.    Small numbers were migrating through
the Atlin region during the last week in May and first week in June,
and a few pairs bred in the lowlands thereabout, where they were seen 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        137
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I > University of California Publirations in Zoology     (Vol.30
at interval* during the rammer. After the middle <>f August they
wore nn re frequently encountered, migrating through the poplar
wood* in company with other warblers. Lust definitely recognized on
August 2*. though others may have been included with "omnge-
rrowncd warblers"" seen on August 31.
Nine specimens were collected (nos. 44904-44912). five breeding
adults, three in juvennl plunuige, wholly or partly, and one immature
female in first winter plumage, taken August 2*. A young bird
collect.'.I August 21 is siill mostly in juvenal plunuige.
In my opinion orrsttra is a valid subspecies, and on tin- basis of
the characters oserilwd to it by <)l)erholser (1905, \>. 243). It is
idightly duller colored than lulesrens. much brighter yellow than rilatn.
and of grettcr list than cither. The juvenal plumage of orestera, a.s
ahown by young birds from the Atlin region, is gray ; juvenal hit> ft * iu
ia yellow.
It will be of interest to ascertain the dividing line between the
breeding ranges of celata and orestera in the north. This is something that is as yet but imperfect Iv underst 1. and it will be a difficult
line to draw.    Atlin specimens of orestera are not typical of that sub-
species in ttutt they are smaller i or at least shorter winged i than those
from more southern points.   This may, perhaps, be evidence of inter
gradation toward celata.
Vermivora peregrina i Wilson).   Tennessee Warbler
Bneda in small numbers in tin- lowlands of the Atlin region.
Three specimens were collected  iins. 44918 44915), an adult  male on
• June 29 and two female on July 1 I, all in poplar woods.    The species
wni not otherwise positively identified.
Dendroica aestiva aestiva (Gmelin).   Eastern Yellow Warbler
Common in tin- lowlands of the Atlin region, and here, a* in most
place*, showing a predilection for willow copses.    First arrival noted
• May 31. last seen August 2fi.  •
Kh-ven specimens were collected (nos. 44916-44926), three adult
males, two adult females, three nmb-s and one female in juvenal
plumage, male ami female in first winter plumage. I refer these birds
to the eastern subspecies, Dmdruica aestiva aestiva, as the form they
moat nearly resemble. Such variation as is exhibited from the average
of aestiva is shown in a slight darkening of the dorsum, in which 1926J      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        139
respect they approach rubiginosa, of the Alaskan coast. The juvenal
plumage is extremely dark, sooty almost, different from that of any
other young yellow warblers that I have seen.
Dendroica coronata hooveri McGregor.   Alaska Myrtle Warbler
Present at Carcross when we arrived, May 22; one was seen there
• carrying nest material on May 23. About Atlin it is a common species,
breeding mostly in the lowlands.
« A nest with five fresh eggs (Mus. Vert. Zool. no. 1992) was taken
by Brooks on June 15. It was in a slender spruce, one of a small
thicket in a locality that is largely poplar grown, about forty feet from
the ground and near the top of the tree. It rested on the twigs forming the terminal forks of a branch, about three feet from the trunk.
The outer walls of the nest were built mostly of the shredded bark of
fire-weed stalks, with a little fire-weed "cotton," some coarse grass
and small twigs, and several wing and tail feathers of a small bird.
In the lining there was some horse hair, mountain sheep hair and a
few soft feathers.
s Another nest, containing newly hatched young on June 28, was in a
small jack pine in open woods on the shore of Lake Atlin.
During the last week in August and the first week in September
the southward exodus was at its height. Flocks of warblers, mostly
this species, flitted rapidly through the poplar woods, and there was a
constant stream of myrtle warblers making long flights overhead. The
last one, a single bird, was seen September 19.
Eight specimens were collected (nos. 44927-44934), one adult
female, five in juvenal plumage, and a male and female in first winter
Dendroica striata (J. R. Forster).   Black-poll Warbler
Fairly common but easily overlooked. Only one or two pairs were
seen on the mainland, and it was not until the young were hatched
that we discovered that the species was nesting in fair abundance on
• certain islands in Lake Atlin. The birds are inconspicuous, and the
call-note is sufficiently like that of the abundant Dendroica coronata
to be readily mistaken.   The first young, just out of the nest, was seen
* July 13, and thereafter the species was encountered commonly. Young
were molting from juvenal to first winter plumage during the last
week in July and first week in August.   The young birds lingered until 140 University of California Publications in Zoology    [Vol.30
this molt was finished, but the adults apparently left as soon as the
young could care for themselves. No old bird was seen after August 1,
and the last few that were noted were still in breeding plumage. The
black-poll warbler was numerous up to August 22; the last was seen
on August 27.
The Atlin region may be assumed to be about the southwestern limit
of the breeding range of this species, and in view of the abundance of
the birds at that point it is of interest to note their scarcity farther
south in British Columbia. There are only a few scattered records,
all but one during fall migration, the southernmost at Quesnelle.
Apparently the black-poll warbler has an east and west route over
the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia, seldom or never
traversing the southern two-thirds of the province.
Eleven specimens were collected (nos. 44935-44945), one adult
female, four in juvenal plumage, four in various stages of the post-
juvenal molt, and two in first winter plumage.
Dendroica townsendi (J. K. Townsend).    Townsend Warbler
A few pairs were nesting at isolated points in the lowlands, in
clumps of tall spruce trees. They remained in the tree tops and
would have been overlooked entirely during the breeding season were
it not for the singing males. During the second week in August, young
birds in completely acquired first winter plumage appeared in the
poplar woods, and, while they were never numerous, some were seen
daily thereafter during that month.   Last noted August 31.
« Two specimens were collected, an adult male, June 5 (no. 44946),
an immature male, August 14 (no. 44947).
Seiurus noveboracensis notabilis Ridgway.    Grinnell Water-thrush
One was collected by Brooks in the bottom lands of Pine Creek
near Atlin,  August 21.    This was the  only one  seen.
Geothlypis trichas occidentalis Brewster.   Western Yellowthroat
On September 10 I saw several and heard others in the marsh at
Fat Creek, six or seven miles southwest from Lake Teslin and just
north of the British Columbia-Yukon boundary. On September 13,
returning over the same trail, no yellowthroats were seen. Not otherwise observed in the Atlin region, to my surprise, for in September, I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        141
1909, I had found the species on the lower Taku River, Alaska, which
drains from the country immediately south of Lake Atlin (see Swarth,
1911, p. 101). Occurrence in migration on the lower reaches of the
stream would imply occurrence also toward the head of the river.
Wilsonia pusilla pileolata (Pallas).   Pileolated Warbler
Seen at Carcross on May 22 and subsequently, and, in small
numbers, migrating in the Atlin lowlands during the first week in
June. Occasional birds were seen near Atlin throughout the summer,
and these may have been nesting there, but the breeding ground for
the most part, if not entirely, lies above timber line. On the higher
ridges, pileolated warblers could always be found in the balsam
thickets, where, presumably, the nests were placed.
On August 8, migrating pileolated warblers, with some other small
birds, were flitting through the bushes on the summit of Spruce
Mountain. Throughout August they could be found daily in small
numbers in the poplar woods around Atlin. The last one seen was at
Lake Teslin, September 12.
Three specimens were collected (nos. 44948^4950), an adult male
and two immature males.
Setophaga ruticilla (Linnaeus).    American Redstart
One bird was collected near Atlin by Brooks on June 14, another
(no. 44951) by myself on June 17, and several others were seen during
June and July. Atlin must be at practically the northwestern limit of
distribution of this species.
Anthus rubescens  (Tunstall).    Pipit
This species must breed in some parts of the mountains near Atlin,
but we saw none until late in the summer. First encountered August 1,
on the summit of Spruce Mountain, and seen several times during the
next few days. These were mostly birds in juvenal plumage, but
strong on the wing. First seen in the lowlands near Atlin on August
26, and frequently observed during the next few weeks. A small flock
of pipits was seen from the steamer on Tagish Lake, as I was leaving,
September 23.
Two specimens were collected (nos. 44952-44953), both in juvenal
plumage, taken on the summit of Spruce Mountain, August 3. I
142 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 3u
Sitta canadensis Linnaeus.    Red-breasted Nuthatch
A red-breasted nuthatch heard calling in woods near Atlin on
June 5 was the only one of the species noted during the nesting
season. Next seen (a single bird) on Spruce Mountain. August 1.
During the latter part of August the species was migrating through
the woods near Atlin in fair abundance. Last seen by me on August
31, though it may be expected to occur in this region until a much
later date.
Penthestes atricapillus septentrionalis (Harris)
Long-tailed Chickadee
Presumably resident in the region throughout the year, though not
abundant. Seen at Carcross during the last week of May, and about
Atlin during the whole of my stay, usually in poplar woods. Six
specimens were collected (August 16 to 28), all in fresh fall plumage
(nos. 44954-44959).
Penthestes gambeli abbreviatus Grinnell
Short-tailed Mountain Chickadee
A male bird (no. 44960) in breeding condition was shot in spruce
woods near Atlin, June 12. Presumably the species nests in this general region, but it was not otherwise observed. This is the northernmost station at which it has been found, Grand Rapids, on the Stikine
River, 160 miles to the southward, being the nearest point of record
(Swarth, 1922, p. 297).
Penthestes hudsonicus columbianus (Rhoads).   Columbian Chickadee
A fairly common species in the Atlin region, more so than the long-
tailed chickadee. Showed decided preference for spruce woods.
Twenty-three specimens were collected (nos. 44961-44983), comprising
six breeding adults, six juvenals, and three adults and eight immatures
in fresh fall plumage.
The subspecies columbianus, described by Rhoads (1893, p. 23),
was included in the 1895 edition of the A. 0. U. Check-list, but it was
eliminated later (A. O. U. Committee, 1908, p. 355) for reasons that
are not known to me. The series of birds above listed, together with
others from more southern points in British Columbia (see Swarth, I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        143
1924, p. 368) strongly support the validity of the race. Compared
with series of specimens from more northern points in Alaska, assumed
to be typical hudsonicus, they exhibit, conclusively as it seems to me,
the color characters ascribed to columbianus by Rhoads (loc. cit.) and
by Ridgway (1904, p. 414).
Regulus satrapa olivaceus Baird.    Western Golden-crowned Kinglet
Seen but once, a single bird near Atlin on May 29.
Regulus  calendula  calendula   (Linnaeus).    Ruby-crowned  Kinglet
Seen at Carcross on May 24. Found in small numbers throughout
the lowlands of the Atlin region during the summer and in rather
greater abundance after the southward migration began. The first
broods of young appeared on July 16. Seen daily during the early
part of September, and one bird was seen at Carcross on September 24.
Four specimens were collected (nos. 44984-44987).
Myadestes townsendi (Audubon).    Townsend Solitaire
Breeds in small numbers about Atlin, mostly on the partly open
mountain sides just below timber line. First seen on May 29, the last
September  1.     One  specimen  collected,   a   juvenal  male,  June   30
(no. 44988).
Hylociehla ustulata swainsoni (Tschudi).    Olive-backed Thrush
Breeds in fair abundance in the poplar and willow woods of the
lowlands. Arrived June 4; last seen August 29. Nine specimens were
collected (nos. 44989-44997). These, together with others from previous expeditions to the Stikine and Skeena valleys, comprise a series
of forty-one specimens of olive-backed thrush from northern British
Columbia now in this museum. This series throughout exhibits the
grayish dorsal coloration described by Oberholser (1898, p. 304) as
the principal character of Hylociehla ustulata almae. I would be
inclined to recognize that subspecies were it not for the fact that the
same coloration occurs in series from eastern localities, among the more
numerous olivaceous-backed birds that are supposed to represent
typical swainsoni. The name almae may well rest in abeyance for
the time being until a better understanding is reached of the meaning 144 University of California. Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
of these color variations. However, while these gray-backed birds do
occur throughout the east, the extreme olivaceous type of coloration
seen commonly in eastern birds is not found in series of breeding
birds from the northwest, in British Columbia and Alaska (see Bishop,
1900, p. 119).
Hylociehla guttata guttata (Pallas).    Alaska Hermit Thrush
A fairly common species in the lowlands. Seen at Carcross, May 22,
and at Atlin upon our arrival there, May 28. The last bird was seen
September 19.
Three nests were found: One, June 13, with three fresh eggs;
one June 23, with four fresh eggs; and one July 12, with four fresh
eggs. All were on the ground, the first in a clump of small willows
at the edge of a muskeg, the second in an opening in mixed poplar
and spruce woods, and the third in rather dense poplar woods. It
seems noteworthy that this species should be nesting upon the ground
here, in view of the fact that on the upper Stikine River, a short distance to the southward, hermit thrush nests were found placed in small
spruce trees several feet from the ground (Swarth, 1922, p. 303).
Ten specimens were collected, two breeding adults, one juvenal,
three in the post-juvenal molt, and four immatures in fresh fall
plumage (nos. 44998-45001, 45003-45008). One or two of the fall
birds show slight intergradation toward pallasii, in the huffier, less
grayish flanks, and in dorsal coloration.
Hylociehla guttata pallasii (Cabanis). Eastern Hermit Thrush
One specimen collected, an immature female on migration, August
23 (no. 45002). This bird is essentially like two others collected by
myself in the Skeena Valley (Swarth, 1924, p. 370), and, like those
birds, while not as bright reddish as typical pallasii, it is distinctly
nearer to that form than to the darker, gray-flanked guttata, the
breeding bird of northern British Columbia.
Planesticus migratorius migratorius (Linnaeus). Eastern Robin
Present at Carcross, May 22, and at Atlin upon our arrival there a
few days later. Last seen August 31. Robins breed in fair abundance
in the more open woods in the valleys. They shun the dense spruce
woods of the middle altitudes, but are present again in some numbers
at timber line, where the scattered balsam thickets supply needed
shelter.   Many old nests were found in these trees. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        145
The first young out of the nest was seen June 11. During August
robins were gathered in noisy flocks, twenty or thirty together,
preparatory to departure for the south.
Four specimens were collected (nos. 45009-45012), one adult male,
two in juvenal plumage, and one adult female taken August 16, which
had then finished the annual molt.
Ixoreus naevius meruloides (Swainson). Northern Varied Thrush
The varied thrush apparently does not breed in the Atlin region,
for it was encountered nowhere during the summer months. First
appeared on September 5, when several were seen, evidently migrating
southward. A few others were noted, near Atlin and at points between
Atlin and Teslin, the last on September 21. One specimen was collected, a female taken September 5 (no. 45013) ; it is typical of the
subspecies meruloides.
Sialia currucoides (Bechstein). Mountain Bluebird
A fairly common species and with a predilection for human
habitations, whether occupied or abandoned. Seen at Carcross, May 22,
and at Atlin when we arrived. Young birds were flying about during
the second week in July. The bluebirds linger to a later date than
most of the summer visitants. I saw a flock of fifteen at Carcross on
September 24.
1. Sorex personatus personatus I. Geoffroy
2. Sorex obscurus obscurus Merriam
3. Neosorex navigator navigator Baird
4. Mustela cieognanii richardsonii Bonaparte
5. Gulo luscus (Linnaeus)
6. Vulpes alaseensis abietorum Merriam
7. Canis lestes Merriam
8. Marmota caligata caligata (Eschscholtz)
9. Citellus plesius plesius  (Osgood)
10. Eutamias minimus caniceps Osgood
11. Sciurus hudsonicus hudsonicus (Erxleben)
12. Castor canadensis canadensis Kuhl
13. Peromyscus manieulatus borealis Mearns
14. Neotoma cinerea saxamans Osgood
15. Synaptomys borealis dalli Merriam
16. Microtus drummondii (Audubon and Bachman)
17. Microtus mordax mordax (Merriam)
18. Ondatra zibethica spatulata (Osgood)
19. Erethizon epixanthum nigrescens Allen
20. Lepus americanus macfarlani Merriam
21. Alces  gigas  Miller i
146 University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
The collection of mammals was inadequate and disappointing.
I had not as much time to give to this work as would have been desirable, but, nevertheless, assiduous trapping in a variety of surroundings
was so uniformly unsuccessful that failure could hardly have been due
to any cause other than the actual scarcity of most of the smaller
mammals. As an instance in point, trapping was carried on for a week
at a place where lemmings were known to have been abundant at the
same season in previous years, but not one was caught. At several
places extensive systems of runways were trapped over for days and
weeks with but an occasional mouse as a result. Another year might
find small rodents swarming over the same region.
It was a question just what might be included in the following list;
as it stands it comprises the species that were personally encountered and specifically identified. Bats were seen on several occasions
but not collected. Atlin is in the center of a region that supports a
large amount of big game (sheep, caribou, mountain goat, and bear)
of species that I either did not encounter at all or so casually as not to
be worth reporting. Similarly, there are fur bearers throughout the
region regarding which I learned nothing. I saw skins of flying
squirrels killed near Atlin, and there are doubtless yet other species
still to be included in any comprehensive account of the mammals of
this section.
Sorex personatus personatus I. Geoffroy.   Masked Shrew
Five specimens collected  (nos. 34389-34393), one from Surprise
Lake (3200 feet altitude), three from the head of Otter Creek (4000
feet altitude), and one from Atlin.
Sorex obscurus obscurus Merriam.   Dusky Shrew
Two specimens collected (nos. 34394-34395), from near the summit
of Spruce Mountain (4500 feet altitude), on August 1.    ,
Neosorex navigator navigator Baird. Water Shrew
A water shrew, presumably of this form, was seen at the head of
Otter Creek (4000 feet altitude), July 30. It was at mid-day, and the
little animal was ascending a small stream, sometimes swimming in
the pools, then running through the shallows. It dived when it saw
me and did not appear again. 1920]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        147
Mustela cicognanii richardsonii Bonaparte.   Richardson Weasel
Encountered but once during the summer, on July 14, when one
was seen. It was enduring the attack of a number of Gambel sparrows
that were protesting at the weasel's being abroad during the day.
Gulo luscus (Linnaeus).   Wolverene
I obtained from a trapper at Carcross the skull of a female
wolverene (no. 34396) trapped by him some sixty miles west of
Carcross, during the winter of 1923-24.
Vulpes alaseensis abietorum Merriam.   British Columbia Red Fox
The collection includes a red fox skull, picked up on the summit of
Spruce Mountain. The species was not otherwise encountered in a
wild state. "Silver fox" farming is an established industry in this
section, and both at Carcross and at Atlin there are successful fox
Canis lestes Merriam.   Northern Coyote
The northern extension of the range of the coyote into this region
seems to have taken place in relatively recent years, according to local
report, but  however that may be the  species now occurs in some
numbers at least as far north as southern Yukon Territory.
On August 3, five coyotes, apparently a family, were encountered
on the summit of Spruce Mountain, above timber line (at about 5000
feet altitude), and two half-grown young ones (nos. 34397-34398) were
shot. After my return to Berkeley I received skin and skull of an
adult male coyote (no. 34992) trapped at Grouse Creek, Yukon
Territory (just north of the British Columbia boundary, on the trail
to Teslin), January 10, 1925, and of an adult female (no. 36469)
trapped at Teslin, January 15, 1926.
In a letter received from Mr. A. B. Taylor, government telegraph
operator at Atlin, and an accurate observer of animal life, under date
of November 5, 1925, he states : '' The country is overrun with coyotes,
and they have pretty well cleaned out the rabbits and grouse. They
come quite close to town and set up a howling that starts all the dogs,
especially in the early morning, just before dawn. After the lake
freezes there will be some sport chasing them in automobiles. One
man got eight last winter in that way.'' 1)~ University of California Publications in Zimlogg     [Vol. 30
Marmota caligata caligata | Beehseholts). Unary Marmot
A few were seen on various mountains not far from Atlin. The
species is apparently of general distribution, though not numerous,
aliove timber line (about 35(H) feet) throughout the region. One speci-
men (no. 84276), an adult male, was collected by Brooks near Log
Cabin (White Pass), on September 1.
Citellus plesius plesius i Osgood).   Bennett Ground Squirrel
Extremely abundant about Carcross. The grounds of the "Gopher
Coif Club. '* on the outskirts of the town, supported a large population
of the squirrels, as is suggested by the club's name, ami we saw them
elsewhere wherever we walked. The light sandy soil and open woods
ft •in to form a favorable set of conditions for the species.
In the immediate vicinity of Atlin I saw no ground squirrels, but
there were small colonies at certain points in the lowlands within a
few miles of town. Above timber line on the nearby mountains they
were presenl every when', in some places in great numbers. Along
(tiler Creek, ground squirrels fairly swarmed, the whole length of the
valley and on the surrounding mountains. Between Surprise Lake and
Teslin I saw none. Just what the important factors arc that determine
the local distribution of the species in this region could not be
ascertained with certainty, but in general the ground squirrels favored
open country.
Tin- small colonies near Atlin were in open woods, and there were
nulls of similar woods where none was seen. Along Otter Creek they
wen- numerous over ground that was densely grown with willow
thickets. None was seen at any time, however, in even fairly dense
woods of large conifers.
tin August 24 ground squirrels were abundant ami active on the
summit of Monarch Mountain. On September 5. at the same place,
none was seen. As this was a cold, stormy day. however, their disappearance ma\ have b.en but temporary and due to the weather at
that time.
Five specimens w.rc preserved i nos. 3439!i 31103 i, one from Car-
• ross,  May  22.  two  from  Spruce  Mountain.  July  31   ami   August   3,
respectively, and two from Monarch Mountain, August 24. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        149
Eutamias minimus caniceps Osgood.    Gray-headed Chipmunk
Nine specimens collected (nos. 34410-34418), all adult. Chipmunks
were seen about Carcross, and they were fairly common in the lowlands
of the Atlin region. In the town they came familiarly about barns and
in the gardens.
Sciurus hudsonicus hudsonicus (Erxleben)
Northern Red Squirrel
Six specimens collected (nos. 34404-34409), all adults that are
entirely or mostly in summer pelage. In this small series there is
rather notable variation from grayish to reddish extremes; the reddish
specimens may be taken to illustrate intergradation by individual
variation toward S. h. petulans of the nearby Alaskan coast.
Red squirrels are fairly common and of general distribution
throughout the wooded parts of the region.
Castor canadensis canadensis Kuhl. Beaver
Beaver have little chance of survival anywhere near human habitations unless accorded rigid protection, and throughout such parts
of the Atlin region as we visited trapping had reduced their numbers to the vanishing point. On the evening of September 9 I spent
an hour or more watching a pair of beavers in a pond a few miles
north of the British Columbia-Yukon boundary, on the trail to Lake
Teslin. They were then actively engaged in laying away winter stores,
in the shape of willow cuttings, and trip after trip, with monotonous
regularity, was made by the laboring animals, across the pond to the
growing willows, and back to the house again, where entrance was
effected by diving.
Peromyscus maniculatus borealis Mearns
Northern White-footed Mouse
Thirteen specimens were collected (nos. 34419-34431), twelve from
the vicinity of Atlin, and one from lower Otter Creek. White-footed
mice were about as scarce as the other small rodents of the region, and
even this small series was acquired, usually one specimen at a time, at
long intervals through the summer. 150 University of California Publications in Zoology     [VoL- 30
Neotoma cinerea saxamans Osgood. Northern Bushy-tailed Wood Rat
Three specimens collected (nos. 34432-34434), one at Atlin and two
at our camp on lower Otter Creek. In this region, as elsewhere in the
northwest, the wood rat is more or less of a pest, invading cabins and
destroying or carrying away almost anything that can be moved. We
saw slight trace of the presence of this species, however, and it seems
likely that the wood rats had suffered temporary reduction of numbers
together with other small rodents.
Synaptomys borealis dalli Merriam.   Dall Lemming Mouse
One specimen (no. 34435), a young male, was trapped on upper
Otter Creek  (3800 feet altitude), on July 30.    The species was not
otherwise encountered.
Microtus drummondii (Audubon and Bachman)
Drummond Meadow Mouse
Fourteen specimens were preserved (nos. 34436-34449), thirteen
from the vicinity of Atlin and one from the summit of Spruce
Mountain (5000 feet altitude). They were rare, one specimen in two
or three nights being the most to be hoped for in a line of twenty-five
or thirty traps.
Microtus mordax mordax (Merriam). Cantankerous Meadow Mouse
Nine specimens were collected (nos. 34450-34458), four from Atlin,
four from Otter Creek (3000 to 4000 feet altitude), and one from
near the summit of Spruce Mountain (5000 feet altitude). These nine
specimens represent approximately the result of eighty traps set out
for two weeks. Not that just that number of traps was set for exactly
that number of days at any one period, but that would be about the
sum total from traps placed where Microtus should have been trapped.
Two pregnant females contained three and four embryos, respectively.
In an extensive series from the upper Stikine River, trapped when the
animals were abundant, the number of embryos was usually five or
Ondatra zibethica spatulata (Osgood).   Northwestern Muskrat
Muskrats were seen at various times in ponds at the edge of the
town of Atlin, and elsewhere in suitable places east to Lake Teslin.
The species is abundant throughout this whole region. I926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        151
Erethizon epixanthum nigrescens Allen.   Dusky Porcupine
A porcupine killed while it was invading the garden at the mounted
police post at Nisuttlin Bay, Teslin Lake, on September 11, was the
only one seen all summer.
Lepus americanus macfarlani Merriam.    Mackenzie Varying Hare
Abundant everywhere in the lowlands. In crossing White Pass,
May 21, we saw rabbits from the train when we had descended on the
east slope as far as the upper edge of timber. At Carcross they were
seen daily during our short stay, as they were also in the woods near
Atlin throughout the summer. Stands of young poplars and sometimes of young jack-pine were attacked and girdled by the rabbits on
such a scale that over areas acres in extent well nigh every tree would
be killed. Larger trees, too, were sufferers to some extent (see pi. 8).
Where trees had been chopped down and the smaller branches left
piled to one side, these brush piles were invariably browsed upon by
rabbits until nearly every vestige of bark was removed.
Five specimens were collected (nos. 34459-34463). An adult male
shot July 10 still has white feet and white margined ears. In an adult
female taken August 22 the feet are buffy and there is no white on the
ears. An adult male shot September 21 has both front and hind legs
white and the ears are mostly white.
These animals, all in summer pelage, are notably more grayish
colored, less reddish, than varying hares from the upper Skeena Valley,
which I have elsewhere (Swarth, 1924, p. 384) referred to the subspecies L. a. columbiensis.
Alces gigas Miller.   Alaska Moose
Abundant throughout the region. Fresh tracks were seen constantly within a few miles of the town of Atlin, both in the lowlands
and well up on the mountain slopes. On the shores of Lake Teslin
I saw certain favored spots where the muddy banks were trodden like
cattle yards. That but few of the animals were seen by us through
the summer was largely due, of course, to the fact that, not hunting for
them, we made no effort to avoid noises and actions that would alarm
them; nevertheless, they showed wariness and ability in keeping out
of sight. In a country similarly populated with deer many more of
those animals would have been encountered. 152 University of California Publications in Zoology    [Vol. 30
American Ornithologists' Union Committee
1908. Fourteenth supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union checklist of North American birds.    Auk, 25, 343-399.
1910. Check-list of North American birds (ed. 3, revised; New York,
American Ornithologists' Union), 430 pp., 2 maps.
Anderson, E. M.
1915. Birds collected and observed in the Atlin district, 1914.    Report of
the   Provincial   Museum   of  Natural   History   for   the  year   1914
(Victoria, British Columbia), pp. 8-17.
Audubon, J. J.
1830. The birds of America (London, published by the author), 1, pis.
Bailey, B. H.
1916. Krider's hawk {Buteo borealis krideri) in Alaska.    Auk, 33, 321.
Bakd, S. P. ("with the cooperation of" Cassin, J., and Lawrence, G. N.)
1858.    Birds.    Pacific Railroad Reports, 9, lvi + 1005 pp.
Baird, S. P., Brewer, T. M., and Ridgwat, R.
1874.    A history of North American birds.    Land birds (Little, Brown and
Co., Boston), 3, 560+ xxviii pp., pis. 57-64, many figs in text.
Bent, A. C.
1921. Life histories of North American gulls and terns, order Longipennes.
U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull., 113, x + 345 pp., 93 pis.
Beyer, G. E., Allison, A., and Kopman, H. H.
1908.    List of the birds of Louisiana.    Part v.    Auk, 25, 439-448.
Bishop, L. B.
1900a. Birds of the Yukon region, with notes on other species.    U. S. Dept.
Agr., Biol. Surv., N. Am. Fauna, 19, 47-96.
19006. Descriptions of three new birds from Alaska.    Auk, 17, 113-120.
Brewer, T. M.
1878. Nest and eggs of Zonotrichia coronata. Bull. Nuttall Ornith. Club, 3,
Brewster, W.
1890.    A new subspecies of the solitary sandpiper.    Auk, 7, 377-379.
Brooks, A.
1912.    Some British Columbia records.   Auk, 29, 252-253. ■
1926.    The display of Richardson's grouse, with some notes on the species and
subspecies of the genus Dendragapus.    Auk, 43, 281-287, pis. 10-11. i926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        153
Clark, A. H.
1910.    The  birds  collected  and  observed  during  the  cruise  of the  United
States Fisheries Steamer "Albatross" in the North Pacific Ocean,
and in Bering,  Okhotsk, Japan, and eastern seas,  from April  to
December, 1906.    Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., 38, 25-74.
1880.    "Behind the veil."    Bull. Nuttall Ornith. Club, 5, 193-204.
Dickey, D. R., and van Rossem, A. J.
1923. Description of a new grouse from southern California.    Condor, 25,
Dwight, J., Jr.
1900. The moult of the North American Tetraonidae (quails, partridges and
grouse).    Auk, 17, 34-51, 143-166, pis. 4-5.
Gmelin, J. F., ed.
1788—1789.     Linne.     Systema   naturae   per   regna   tria   naturae,   secundum
classes,   ordines,   genera,   species,   cum   characteribus,   differentiis,
synonymis, locis  (cura Jo. Prid. Gmelin, Lipsiae, Beer), 1,  [x] +
1032 pp.
Grinnell, J.
1900.    Birds of the Kotzebue Sound region, Alaska.   Pacific Coast Avifauna,
1, 80 pp., 1 pi. (map).
1910.    Birds of the 1908 Alexander Alaska expedition, with a note on the
avifaunal   relationships   of   the   Prince   William   Sound   district.
Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool., 5, 361-428, pis. 33-34, 9 figs, in text.
Hartert, E.
1921.    Die vogel der palaarktischen fauna (Berlin), 3, 1765-1892.
Heermann, A. L.
1859. Report upon the birds collected on the survey. Pacific Railroad
Reports, 10, part 4, pp. 29-80, 7 pis.
Hoffmann, R.
1924. Notes on  the flight performance  of the Wilson snipe.    Condor, 26,
Kermode, P., and Anderson, E. M.
1914. Report on birds collected and observed during September, 1913, on
Atlin Lake, from Atlin to south end of the lake. Report of the
Provincial Museum of Natural History for the year 1913 (Victoria,
British Columbia), pp. 19-21.
Oberholser, H. C.
1898.    Description of a new North American thrush.   Auk, 15, 303-306.
1905.    The forms of Vermivora celata (Say).   Auk, 22, 242-247.
Osgood, W. H.
1900.    Results of a biological  reconnoissance  of the Yukon  River  region.
General account of the region.    U. S. Dept. Agr., Biol. Surv., N.
Am. Fauna, 19, 7-20, pis. 2-3.
1904.    A biological  reconnaissance  of the  base  of the  Alaska Peninsula.
U. S. Dept. Agr., Biol. Surv., N. Am. Fauna, 28, 285 pp., 8 pis.
J 154
University of California Publications in Zoology     [Vol. 30
Rhoads, S. X.
1893.    Notes on certain Washington and British Columbia birds.    Auk, 10,
Ridgway, R.
1904. The birds of North and Middle America. U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull., 50,
Part III, xx + 801 pp., 19 pis.
1912. Color standards and color nomenclature (Washington, D. C.; published by the author), 3 + 44 pp., 53 pis.
1919. The birds of North and Middle America.   U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull., 50,
Part VIII, xvi + 852 pp., 33 pis.
Riley, J. H.
1911. Descriptions of three new birds from Canada.   Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash.,
24, 233-236.
1912. Birds collected or observed on the expedition of the Alpine Club of
Canada to Jasper Park, Yellowhead Pass, and Mount Robson
region. Canadian Alpine Journal, special number, pp. 47-75,
pis. 1-2.
Sharpe, R. B.
1874.    Catalogue of the Accipitres, or diurnal birds of prey, in the collection
. of  the  British  Museum.    Catalogue  of  Birds,  1,  xiii + 480  pp.,
14 pis., many text figs.
Stejneger, L.
1885. Results of ornithological explorations in the Commander Islands and
in Kamtschatka. U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull., 29, 382 pp., 8 pis., several
text figs.
Swarth, H. S.
1911. Birds and mammals of the 1909 Alexander Alaska expedition. Univ.
Calif. Publ. Zool., 7, 9-172, pis. 1-6.
1920. Revision  of  the  avian   genus  Passerella,   with  special   reference  to
the distribution and migration of the races in California.    Univ.
Calif. Publ. Zool., 21, 75-224, pis. 4-7, 30 text figs.
1922.    Birds and mammals of the Stikine River region of northern British
Columbia and southeastern Alaska.    Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool., 24,
125-314, pi. 8, 34 text figs.
1924. Birds and mammals of the Skeena River region of northern British
Columbia. Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool., 24, 315-394, pis. 9-11, 1 text
Swarth, H. S., and Brooks, A.
1925. The  timberline sparrow,  a  new  species  from   northwestern  Canada.
Condor, 27, 67-69.
Taveb.neb, P. A.
1914. A new subspecies of Dendragapus {Dendragapus obscurus flemingi)
from southern Yukon Territory.   Auk, 31, 385-388. 1926]      Swarth: Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region        155
Preliminary list of specimens taken by C. H. Young and William
Spreadborough, at Brackendale, Lillooet, and McGillivray Creek,
British Columbia, between June 11 and September 12, 1916.
Summary Report, Geol. Surv., Dept. of Mines, Ottawa, pp. 359-368.
Trinomials and current practice.    Condor, 20, 213-216.
Thayer, J. E., and Bangs, 0.
1914.    Notes on the birds and mammals of the Arctic coast of east Siberia.
Birds.   Proc. New England Zool. Club, 5, 3-48.
Van Rossem, A. J.
1925.    Plight feathers as age indicators in Dendragapus.   Ibis, ser. 12, no. 2,
pp. 417-422, text figs. 10-12. PLATE 5
Fig. 2. Islands in Lake Atlin opposite the town. These islands are clothed
with balsam fir, which does not grow on the adjacent mainland at this level.
They are much more densely populated with small land birds than is the mainland, and several species of water birds nest there also. Photo taken September 6,
Fig. 3. "Blue Canon," at about 4000 feet elevation on upper Spruce Creek;
a scene of former mining activities. The valley and lower mountain slopes
here shown are typical of the habitat of the willow ptarmigan in this region.
The rock and white-tailed ptarmigans inhabit the higher ridges. Photo taken
September 1, 1924.
Pig.   2
Fig. 3. PLATE 6
Pig. 4. Lake at the head of Canon Creek, about 4000 feet altitude, near Atlin.
Willow ptarmigan nested abundantly here, Fleming grouse were in the timber
on the adjacent slopes, western tree sparrows were present in great numbers
in the bushes about the lake, a brood of northern shrikes was found in the fir
trees on the left, and families of eared grebes and Barrow golden-eyes were
swimming about the lake.   Photo taken July 18, 1924.
Fig. 5. North-facing slope of Monarch Mountain, near Atlin. The summit
is at about 5000 feet altitude, the base, about 2500 feet. The recent snowfall,
conspicuous on the timberless summit, indicates the upper limit of forest trees
on the mountain.    Photo taken September 22, 1924.
[158] UNIV. CALIF.  PUBL. ZOOL. VOL.   30
^■■k ^■■BM
Fig. 4
Fig. 5 PLATE 7
Pig. 6. Nest site of golden-crowned sparrow, on the summit of Monarch
Mountain. The nest was on the ground in the brush (trailing birch) at the
left of the thicket of balsam. The baleam trees shown are about ten feet high.
Photo taken June 22, 1924.
Pig. 7. Nest of golden-crowned sparrow, on the ground, in grass, under a
tangle of trailing birch.    Photo taken June 22, 1924.
Fig. 6 PLATE 8
"Poplars" (quaking aspen) girdled by rabbits, a common sight in the woods
when these animals are abundant. The largest trees shown are four or five inches
in diameter. The highest points gnawed by the animals, some three or four feet
above the ground, were reached in winter when snow lay deep about the trees.
Photo taken June 6, 1924.
13. Revision of the Genus Lynx in California, by Joseph Grinnell and Joseph
Dixon.   Pp. 339-354, plate 11, 1 figure In text.   January, 1924       M
14. Changes during Growth in the Skull of the Rodent Otospermophilus gram-
murus beechcyi, by E. Raymond Hall. Pp. 355-404, 43 figures In text
March, 1926    _ _ _ _       .60
16. A New Race of the White-breasted Nuthatch from Lower  California,
by Joseph Grinnell.   Pp. 405-410.   March, 1926  _      .25
16. Two New Races of the Pine Marten from the Pacific Coast of North
America, by Joseph Grinnell and Joseph Dixon,   Pp. 411-417, 9 figures
in text.   March, 1926        .26
17. The Trout of the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Lower California, by John
Otterbein Snyder.   Pp. 419-426.   March, 1926 „.._     .26
18. Systematic Review of the Pacific Coast Brown Towhees, by Joseph Grinnell
and Harry S. Swarth.   Pp. 427-433, 2 figures in text.   April, 1926      .26
Volume 22. 1920-1928, 486 pages, with 24 plates  — _     6.00
VoL S3.   The Marine Decapod Crustacea of California, by Waldo L. Schmltt.   Pp.
1-470, plates 1-60, 166 figures in text.   May, 1921 L   6.00
VoL 24.  1. A Geographical Study of the Kangaroo Bats of California, by Joseph
GrinneU.   Pp. 1-124, plates 1-7, 24 figures in text.   June, 1922    1.76
2. Birds and Mammals of the Stikine River Region of Northern British
Columbia and Southeastern Alaska, by H. S. Swarth.   Pp. 125-314, plate
8, 34 figures in text.   June, 1922   _ „ _  2.50
8. Birds and Mammals of the Skeena River Region of Northern British
Columbia, by Harry S. Swarth.   Pp. 315-394, plates 9-11,1 figure In text.
January, 1924  . .      1.00
4. Report on a Collection of Birds Made by J. R. Pemberton in Patagonia,
by Alexander Wetmore.   Pp. 395-474, plates 12-14, 11 figures in text.
April, 1926  _.-     _ _   1.26
VoL 26.  A Bibliography of Eugenics, by Samuel J. Holmes. Pp. 1-514. January, 1924   6.00
Volume 26, 1923-1926, 453 pages, 34 plates  _ _     6.00
VoL 27. A Synopsis of the Amphibia of California, by Tracy L Storer.   Pp. 1-342,
plates 1-18, 42 figures in text   June, 1926._.      4.60
VoL 28. L Mitochondria and Golgi Bodies in Sndamoeba gingivals (Gros) Brumpt,
by David Causey.   Pp. 1-18, plates 1-3.
2. Mitochondria in Leithmania brasiliemie, by David Causey.    Pp.  19-28,
plate 4.
Nos. 1 and 2 in one cover.   November, 1926        .40
8. Mitosis in Ceratium hirundinella O. P. M, with Notes on Nuclear Phenomena in Encysted Forms and the Question of Sexual Reproduction, by
Richard P. Hall. Pp. 29-64, plates 6-9, 5 figures in text. November, 1925.     .66
4. The Cultivation of Endamoeba gingival** (Gros), by Beatrice Pay Hewitt.
Pp. 65-126, plates 10-12, 4 figures in text.   November, 1926        .80
5. The Behavior of Endamoeba dysenteriae in Mixed Cultures with Bacteria,
by Charles A. Kof old and Edna Hannibal Wagoner. Pp. 127-154, plates
6. Studies of the Effects of Certain Drugs upon Sndamoeba dysenteriae in
vitro, by Charles A. Kofoid and Edna Hannibal Wagener.   Pp. 165-166.
Nos. 5 and 6 in one cover.   November, 1926      .40
7. Some New and Some Previously Unreported Hydroids, Mainly from the
Califomian Coast, by O. McLean Fraser. Pp. 167-172, 7 figures In text.
December, 1925 ,      .25
8. The Effect of Certain Drugs and Dyes upon the Growth of Endamoeba
gingivalis (Gros) ♦» vitro, by Beatrice Fay Howitt.   Pp. 173-182.
9. Experiments with Sndamoeba gingivalis (Gros) in Mixed Bacterial Cultures; in Filtered Saliva; on a Solid Base; and with Peritoneal Cells;
and with Digestive Secretions, by Beatrice Fay Howitt. Pp. 183-202,
plates 16 and 17
Nos. 8 and 9 in one cover.   February, 1926      JS0
10. On Oxyphysis oxytoxoideg gen nov., sp. nov., A Dinophysold Dlnoflagellate
Convergent toward the Peridlniold Type, by Charles A. Kofoid.   Pp.
203-216, plate 19.    February, 1926 , .26
1L Mitochondria in Suglena gracilis Blebs, by David Causey.   Pp. 217-824,
plates 19-20.
12. Mitochondria in NoctUuca sointUlane (Macartney, 1810), by David Causey.
Pp. 226-230, plate 21.
I VoL 30.
13. Mitochondria in dilates with Especial Reference to Paramecium Ehr.,
by David Causey.   Pp. 231-260, plates 22-24.
Nos. 11, 12, and 18 in one cover.   February, 1926 —      .80
14. Studies on the Ingestion of Leucocytes, and on Mitosis, In Endamoeba
gingivalis, by Horace J. Child.   Pp. 251-284, plates 25-29, 9 figs. In text.
February, 1926  _., ;      .40
15. On Oxymonas, a Flagellate with an Extensile and Retractile Proboscis,
from Kalotermes from British Guiana, by Charles A. Kofoid and Olive
Bwezy.   Pp. 286-300, plate SO, 6 figures in text .	
16. On Proboscidiella multinueleata gen. nov., sp. nov., from Planocryptotermes
nocens From the Philippine islands, by Charles A. Kofoid and Olive
Bweey.   Pp. 301-316, plates 31, 82, 4 figures in text j	
Nos. 16 and 16 in one cover.   February, 1926 _.„.... , ii.      .40
17. On the Cestode Genus Dipylidium from Cats and Dogs, by Theresa Marie
M-lzner.   Pp. 317-366, plates 33-39.   February, 1926        J»
18. A Useful Modification of a Clearing Fluid Formulated by Spalteholz, by
Franklin P. Reagan.   Pp. 867-359.
19. The Earliest Blood Vessels of the Mammalian Embryo, Studied by Means
of the Injection Method, by Franklin P. Reagan.   Pp. 361-364.
Nos. 18 and 19 in one cover.   February, 1926 ; ...... _____ '     .25
20. The Biological Relationships of Leishmania and Certain Herpetomonads,
by Edna Hannibal Wagener  and Dorothy Ann Koch.    Pp.  365-388,
plates 40-43.   March, 1926 __ ..._    .30
2L Notes on Termites from Arizona with Descriptions of Two New Species,
by Thbmas E. Snyder.   Pp. 889-397, 6 figures in text.   April, 1926 26
22. Copelata from the San Diego Region, by Christine E. Essenberg.   Pp.
399-521, 170 figures in text.
23. Observations on Gradual Disintegration and Death of Copelata, by Chris
tine E. Essenberg.   Pp. 523-525.
Nos. 22 and 23 in one cover.   May, 1926   .  .„„...__   1.76
1. The Lateral Blood Supply of Primitive ElasmobraneU Fishes, by J. Frank
Daniel.   Pp. 1-7, 1 figure in text.   April, 1926 . ;„:._, .__      _>
2. Experimental Amoebiasis in the Rabbit, by Margaret Dora Thomson.   Pp.
9-23, 6 figures in text.   June, 1926  —  .  26
] 3. On Staurojoenina assimQis, sp. nov., an Intestinal Flagellate from the
Termite, Kalotermes minor Hagen, by Harold Kirby, Jr.   Pp. 25-102.
4. The Intestinal Flagellates of the Termite, Cryptotermes "kermsi Kirby, by
Harold Kirby, Jr.   Pp. 103-120.
Nos. 3 and 4 in one cover, September,   1926       1.16
•6. On Hoplonympha natator gen. nov., sp. nov., A Non-xylophagous Hyper-
. mastigote from the Termite, Kalotermes simplicicornis Banks, Characterized by Biradlal Symmetry and a Highly Developed Pellicle, by S. F,
Light   Pp. 123-139, 28 figures in text
6. On Metadevescovina debilis gen. nov., sp. nov., A Xylophagous Polymasti-
gote from the Termite, Kalotermes hubbardi Banks,  by S.  F. Light.
Pp. 141-157, plate 10, 3 figures in text.
Nos. 5 and 6 in one cover.   September, 1926  .50
7. On the Morphology and Mitosis of Trichomonas buccalis (Goodey) Kofoid,
by H. Corwin Hinshaw.   Pp. 159-174, plate 1L 2 figures in text.   September, 1926 -   — - „.„,___     _»
L The Pocket Gopher of Honey Lake Valley, by Joseph GrinneU.   Pp. 1-6,
pL 1.    August, 1926 -,.. ., - ..,-.. _       .26
2. The Muscular Anatomy of Three MusteUd Mammals, Mephitis, SpUogale,
and Martes, by E. Raymond HaJL   Pp. 7-38, 5 figures in text.   September
8. Systematic Notes on the Subspecies of Bassariseus Astutus, with Descrip
tion of One New Form from California, by E. Raymond HalL   Pp. 39-
50, plates 2 and 3.   September, 1926 ....    ,  - 26
4. Report on a Collection of Birds and Mammals from the Atlin Region,
Northern Rritish Columbia, by Harry S. Swarth.   Pp. 51-162, plates 4-8,
11 figures in text- September, 1926    1.50
5. New Subspecies of Birds (Penthestes, Baeolophus, Psaltriparus, Chamaea)
from the Pacific Coast of North America, by Joseph Grinnell and Harry
S. Swarth.   Pp. 163-175, 2 figures in text.   September, 1926      .26 UNIV. CALIF. PUBL. ZOOL   VOL.  30
Young (in the foreground) and adult (in the distance) of the golden-crowned
sparrow {Zonotrichia coronata), shown in the surroundings frequented by the
species in northern British Columbia. Inset, egg of the golden-crowned sparrow,
natural size.


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