Handbook of Birds of the Western United States: Including the Great Plains, Great Basin, Pacific Slope, and Lower Rio Grande Valley
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) ... Show synopsis This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1904 edition. Excerpt: ...p. 224. 418. Phalsenoptilus nuttallii (Aud.). Poor-will. Adult male.--Plumage of upper parts moth-like, soft, and velvety, finely mottled gragish brown with sharply contrasting velvety black bars and sagittate markings; tail with all but middle feathers tipped with white; sides of head and chin black, white throat patch bordered by black below; rest of under parts barred except for plain buff y under tail coverts. Adult female: similar, but with white tips to tail feathers narrower. Young: upper parts more silvery gray mixed with rusty; black markings smaller and less distinct; white of throat and tail restricted and tinged with buffy. Wing: 5.7S, tail;!.07. Distribution.--Breeds in Upper Sonoran and Transition zone of British Columhia and the western United States, from the Cascades and Sierra Nevada east to central Nebraska; winters from deserts along the southern border south to Guatemala. Eggs.--Usually laid on the bare ground; 2, white, unspotted or lightly marked. Food.--Night-flying moths, beetles, locusts, and other insects. In southern California in the dim evening light I have often seen poor-wills hunting insects along the roads and had them come close to me in a ranch dooryard when they would make short sallies from the ground, fluttering around with soft, noiseless flight, uttering a low chuck, chuck. In the daytime their eyes are of little use. A pair of the hirds that Mr. Bailey once came upon at Emigrant Gap showed this sun blindness very strikingly. They had been sitting in the shade of a bush, and flew from his feet as he approached. One of them lit again in a patch of bright sunlight, and, apparently blinded by the light, sat there calmly until he walked up within a few feet of it. He experimented with the birds, ..