American Game Birds

Illustrating More Than One Hundred Species In Natural Colors

By Chester A. Reed

Page 33

PECTORAL SANDPIPERS (Pisobia maculata), better known perhaps as the ' ' Grass Snipe," are one of the most abundant of the sandpipers; in some localities, too, they are known as "Kriekers" because of the sharp notes that they utter. They breed on the Arctic coast west of Hudson Bay and winter in South America, migrating through the interior and Atlantic coast of the United States and rarely occurring on the Pacific coast south of British Columbia. Their plumage is a little brighter in summer than in winter but shows none of the marked changes like those of some of the preceding species. During breeding season the skin on the breast of the male becomes soft, flabby and capable of considerable distension; this pouch having been inflated is gradually decompressed as the birds utter musical resonant whistles.

     "Grass Snipe" frequent marsh and meadow in just such places as we find Wilson Snipe. Although they may be present in large flocks, they have the habit of taking flight one at a time and rapidly disappearing in an erratic course. Quantities of them find their way into the hunter's game bag, although they are too small to be of much account as food, being but 9 in. in length.


UPLAND PLOVER (Bartramia longicauda), or Bartramian Sandpipers as they were formerly termed, are apparently following the course of the Eskimo Curlew and are on the road to complete extinction. Only a close season everywhere can prevent the calamity, and it may be too late now to save them by any means. They breed from Maine, Keewatin and Alaska south to Virginia, Missouri and Oregon and winter on the pampas of South America. During the nesting season they are usually in the vicinity of water, but at other times may be seen on hills or prairies catching insects of various kinds. During migration, they are shot relentlessly; they have their favorite feeding grounds known to hunters who there await them. Their call is a very melodious bubbling; they come readily to an imitation of it. They are about 1 foot in length.