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Wolf Von Sch Ierbra Nd

american, white and birds

WOLF VON SCH IERBRA ND, Formerly Secretary to American Minister to Teheran, Persia.

the best known and most widely distributed of the American vul tures (Cathartidee), its range including the greater part of the United States and the entire South American continent. It is about two and one-half feet long, its wings may extend six feet and it weighs about six pounds. The plumage is blackish brown, the naked head is red and the bill white; the scientific name is Cathartes aura. From about the latitude of Philadelphia northward the turkey-buzzard is migratory and visits New England only rarely, but throughout the remainder of its range it is chiefly resident. Like other vultures its princi pal food is carrion, but insects and small living mammals, reptiles and the young and eggs of birds are also eaten, Especially in the South, where it consorts with the black vulture, this species performs a most valuable service as a scavenger. To a considerable extent grega rious the common attraction is generally the presence of some carcass. Notwithstanding the generally repulsive habits of the turkey-buzzard its powers of flight must claim admiration; seemingly for hours at a time it soars in widen ing circles, often at a great height, and scans the earth in quest of a meal. The actions of

any one bird when food is discovered attract others, and these again others, until many have gathered to the feast, often from great dis tances. In this manner all of the buzzards over a large area keep in touch with one another and any decomposing carcass is certain to be discov ered and removed. Turkey-buzzards nest in pairs or in small communities, building their rude nests on the ground often by the side of a fallen log, or an old rotting tree stub or in a cave among rocks and always in out-of-the-way places in thick woods. The eggs are one or two in number, nearly three inches long and dirty white spotted with various browns and lavender. The nestling birds are thickly cov ered with white down. The rookeries are often very foul. See VULTURE.