The Australian Goshawk is a bold, powerful, and most sanguinary species, feeding upon birds, reptiles, and small quadrupeds. It may often be seen lurking about the poultry-yard of the settler, and dealing destruction among the young stock of every kind; daring when at large, and morose and sullen when captured, it never becomes tame and familiar like the true Falcons, but retains its ferocity to the last.
Mergus merganser americanus Cassin
Other Names.—Shelldrake; Goosander; Fish Duck; Sawbill; American Merganser.
Description.—One of the largest of the ducks; bill long and narrow, with teeth on both mandibles. Adult male: Head and upper neck greenish black; lower neck, patches in wings, and underparts white; belly suffused with salmon-pink, noticeable in some individuals; back, shoulders, and wings black; rump and tail gray; bill and feet red; eyes bright red. Adult female: Head, with two large crests, and neck rich brown, marked with white areas in front of eye and on chin and upper throat; upperparts ashy gray; patch in wings, and breast and belly white. Length: 25 inches.
Range in Pennsylvania.—A fairly common and regular migrant along the larger waterways and sometimes on the smaller streams from about March 15 to April 20 and from October 1 to December 1. It frequently occurs in winter when the water is free of ice.
The mergansers are all expert fishermen and like to fish in swift water. They dive easily and their serrate bills help them to hold their slippery prey.
The female Merganser is difficult to distinguish from the female Red-breasted Merganser; in the present species, however, the white area on the chin and upper throat is sharply defined, whereas in the Red-breasted species the chin and throat are not white, but of a brownish color, paler than the rest of the head.
Phalacrocorax auritus auritus (Lesson)
Description.—Four toes all webbed together; bill long and strongly hooked at tip; tail stiff and moderately long; plumage thick and firm. 16Adults in breeding plumage: Glossy greenish black, save on back which is dark gray, each feather being margined with lighter gray; two filamentous tufts of black feathers on back of head; neck with thin sprinkling of silken white feathers during period of courtship; bill blackish, marked at base with dull yellow; sack under bill yellow; eyes bright green. Immature and adult in winter (the plumage usually seen in Pennsylvania): Without crests, and whole plumage brownish black, somewhat mottled beneath, and with light area on throat; eyes grayish green, not bright green. Length: About 30 inches.
Range in Pennsylvania.—A migrant found principally along the larger water-ways from about March 20 to May 10 and from September 15 to November 15. It is occasionally seen in winter when the water is free of ice.
Chlidonias nigra surinamensis (Gmelin)
Other Name.—Marsh Tern.
Description.—Size small; tail short, forked. Adults in summer: Head and underparts black, save under tail-coverts, which are white; upperparts gray; bill and feet red. Adults in winter and immature: White, with pearl-gray back and wings and dusky spots on head; bill and feet dusky. Length: 10 inches.
Range in Pennsylvania.—Irregular as a migrant throughout the Commonwealth; more frequently seen than other Terns about marshes and on small bodies of water; usually seen between April 25 and September 30. Though it is thus to be seen in midsummer irregularly, it is not known to nest in Pennsylvania at the present time.
Sterna hirundo Linnæus
Other Names.—Sea Swallow; Striker; Wilson’s Tern.
Description.—Smaller than a gull, with long, deeply forked tail. Adults in summer: Top of head glossy black; rest of body pearl-gray, save throat, sides of head, and tail, which are white, the outer tail-feathers with outer webs pearl-gray; bill red, with black tip; feet orange-red. Adults in winter: Similar, but with forepart of head and underparts white, and bill blackish. Immature: Similar to adults in winter, but plumage considerably washed with brownish, lesser wing-coverts slaty, and tail short, though forked. Length: 15 inches.
Range in Pennsylvania.—A rather irregular migrant.
Other Names.—Wild Goose; Honker.
Description.—Size large, about that of a domestic Goose, with about the same proportions; sexes similar. Head and neck black, a broad band under eye, and across throat, white; upperparts brownish gray, the feathers margined with a lighter shade, giving a somewhat scaled appearance; breast and sides gray-brown, more or less as in back; belly white; rump and tail black; upper tail-coverts white. Feet and bill black; eyes dark brown. Length: About 3 feet.
Range in Pennsylvania.—A regular and sometimes common migrant from mid-February to early April and from October 15 to November 30, sometimes occurring in winter, even when ice covers the lakes, at which times the great birds stand about on the frozen surface. As a rule, Canada Geese do not stop long in Pennsylvania; most flocks do not linger here at all, merely passing over.
Other Names.—Sea Gull; Gray Gull.
Description.—Sexes similar. Adults in summer: White, with pearl-gray back and wings; tips of wings black with white spots; bill yellow with orange spot near tip of lower mandible; feet pale pink; eyes pale yellow. Adults in winter: Similar, with gray spots on head and neck. Immature birds: Dark gray-brown at a distance, with blackish bill and dark brown eyes; in the hand the upper-parts are found to be dark gray, considerably marked with buffy. The acquiring of fully adult plumage requires several moults. Birds which are not fully adult may have black-tipped, white tails. Young in their first flight plumage are darker than older individuals. Length: 24 inches.
Gavia immer immer (Brünnich)
Other Names.—Great Northern Diver; Loom.
Description.—Size large; bill long and sharp; tail very short, with legs sticking out behind. Adults in spring: Upperparts black, with bluish and greenish reflections; patches on throat and sides of neck streaked with white; back and wings marked regularly with rows of white squares; underparts silvery white; sides black, spotted finely with white; eyes red. Immature birds and adults in winter: Upperparts blackish, margined with gray and without white spots; throat and neck grayish; underparts white. Length: about 30 inches.