National Geographic : 1940 Jan
SOUTH FLORIDA'S AMAZING EVERGLADES Photograph by S. A. Grimes THE FLASH BULB SURPRISES BURROWING OWLS AT THEIR DOORSTEP Beside one owlet stands a solemn, wide-eyed parent bird (extreme left). Another young one rests in the entrance to the burrow. Sandy soil held together with grasses forms the favored situation for the home. The birds dig a tunnel four to eight feet long. At the end is the nest, lined with grass roots, pieces of dry cow dung, and bunches of hair. Prairies of central and southern Florida are the burrowing owl's chosen haunts in this State (page 119). tion. Florida cattle graze singly or in small groups far out on the plain. Cowboys in boots and big hats drive herds along the roads to shipping points, and disputes arise over grazing rights just as cattle wars were started in the free range days of the old West. LAST OFFICIALLY RECORDED CAROLINA PARAKEETS Before the sun had dropped below the straight-line horizon Chandler stopped the car at Taylor Creek Hammock. This grove of live oaks, willows, and other trees along the creek is a spot deeply revered among ornithologists. From here came the last official record of the Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis carolinensis), now feared extinct. Dr. Frank M. Chapman, Curator of Birds at the American Museum of Natural History, saw two flocks totaling 13 birds there in 1904. About a dozen are believed to have been seen in 1915 and an other 30 in 1920. Since that time there have been only vague reports of them.* Once these typical parrots flourished in the Eastern States from Florida to Virginia and in summer flocks wandered as far north as Pennsylvania and New York. We strolled for a time under the live oaks, and I found myself scanning the tops of the * See "Parrots, Kingfishers, and Flycatchers," by Alexander Wetmore, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE for June, 1936; also the National Geo graphic Society's Book of Birds, Volume II. Virtu ally all species mentioned in this article are pictured and described in that two-volume work, a new edition of which is now available ($5 the set, postage prepaid in U. S. and Possessions).