Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Spring birding in the national...
 The park becomes a classroom
 No butterfly like the heliconi...
 A rare whale in tropical seas
 Trees with knees
 Some native trees and shrubs as...
 Fishing tackle for the birds
 Natural history notes
 junior national history depart...
 Book reviews
 Background notes on authors
 Back Cover

Title: Everglades Natural History Journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093950/00009
 Material Information
Title: Everglades Natural History Journal
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Everglades Natural History Journal
Publisher: Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: March 1955
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093950
Volume ID: VID00009
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 02251366

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Spring birding in the national park
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The park becomes a classroom
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    No butterfly like the heliconian
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    A rare whale in tropical seas
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Trees with knees
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Some native trees and shrubs as ornamentals, no. 3
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Fishing tackle for the birds
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Natural history notes
        Page 50
        Page 51
    junior national history department
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Book reviews
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Background notes on authors
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Page 65
        Page 66
Full Text
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MARCH, 1955


VOL. 3, NO. 1


of the

Everglades Natural History Association
sustaining trustee
C. M. GOETHE, Sacramento, California
life member
FRANK E. MASLAND, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
contributing fellow
sustaining members
RICHARD ARCHBOLD, Lake Placid, Florida
THOMAS C. DESMOND, Newburg, New York
MRS. FORBES HAWKES, Coconut Grove, Florida
THOMAS S. HODSON, Homestead, Florida
WILLIAM H. LANE, Luneburg, Massachusetts
MRS. DOROTHY B. PALMER, Fort Pierce, Florida
MARSHALL S. P. POLLARD, Coconut Grove, Florida
MRS. R. L. STEARNS, JR., Stearns, Kentucky
contributing members
GEORGE N. AVERY, Marathon, Florida
MRS. AUGUST BURGHARD, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
GEORGE A. COFFIN, Miami, Florida
FRANK C. CRAIGHEAD, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
RICHARD F. DECKERT, North Miami, Florida
MR. and MRS. HOWARD I. DOHRMAN, Coconut Grove
DR. CHARLES B. FAGER, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
MORRILL GODDARD, JR., Miami, Florida
H. JAMES GUT, Sanford, Florida
MRS. BRUCE M. HOGG, Coconut Grove, Florida
JACK and JEANNE HOLMES, Coral Gables, Florida
DR. RALPH W. JACK, Miami, Florida
MARIE CHRISTINE NORBERG, St. Petersburg, Florida
BAYARD W. READ, Rye, New York
MRS. PEARL T. SKILL, Homestead, Florida
CHRISTOVA STITT, Clewiston, Florida
GLADYS E. WILBUR, South Miami, Florida


Published quarterly by the


... To further interest in and understanding of the natural and
historic and scientific values of the Everglades National Park.

Edited by
Joseph Curtis Moore, Park Biologist
Everglades National Park

Volume Three

Everglades Natural History


Conceived by C. M. GOETHE and DANIEL B. BEARD
and everyone interested in natural south Florida.

JULIAN D. CORRINGTON, Ph.D., Zoology Dept., Univ. Miami .... Associate Editor
R. BRUCE LEDIN, Ph.D., Sub-Tropical Exper. Sta., Homestead .... Associate Editor
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, Ph.D., 11. Natural Hist. Surv., Urbana .Associate Editor
FRANK N. YOUNG, Ph.D., Zoology Dept., Indiana Univ ........ Associate Editor
WALTER B. COLEBROOK, West Palm Beach ................... Staff Illustrator
J. FLOYD MONK, Miami...................... Background Notes on Authors
PEARL STAPLES FINN, Miami ...................... Junior Natural History

TAYLOR R. ALEXANDER, Ph.D., Botany Dept., Univ. Miami ....... Native Plants
ROBERT P. ALLEN, National Audubon Society, Tavernier .......... Bird Behavior
ROLAND T. BIRD, American Museum of Natural History (ret.) ..... Fossil Animals
ARCHIE F. CARR, Ph.D., Biology Dept., Univ. Florida ... Reptiles and Amphibians
J. C. DICKINSON, JR., Ph.D., Biology Dept., Univ. Florida .......... Bird Names
JOHN M. GOGGIN, Ph.D., Dept. Sociol. & Anthr., Univ. Florida....... Indian Life
WM. M. MCLANE, Florida Game & Freshwater Fish Comm ..... Freshwater Fishes
HENRY M. STEVENSON, Ph.D., Zool. Dept., Florida State Univ... Bird Distribution
CHARLTON W. TEBEAU, Ph.D., History Dept., Univ. Miami ............ History
F. G. WOOD, JR., Marine Studios, Marineland .................. Marine Fishes
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY is published in March, June, September, and December of
each year by the Everglades Natural History Association, 205 North Krome Avenue (mail-
ing address P.O. Box 275), Homestead, Florida. Individual copies are 50c each post paid;
subscription is $2.00 a year. Entered as second class matter February 25, 1954, at the Post
Office at Homestead, Florida, under Act of March 3, 1897. CHECKS should be made out to
the Association and mailed to the Executive Secretary.

The Everglades Natural History Association
A non-profit society established under charter in 1951 to further interest in
and understanding of the natural and historic and scientific values of the
Everglades National Park. Board of Directors:
Willard E. Dilley, Park Naturalist ................... Executive Secretary
Joseph Curtis Moore, Park Biologist .......................... Chairman
H. F. Bushnell, Homestead ..... .............. ............ Treasurer
Daniel B. Beard, Park Superintendent
R. Bruce Ledin, Sub-Tropical Experiment Station


MARCH, 1955

VOL. 3, No. 1

The cover illustration is of the green tree frog, Hyla cinerea, at Homestead,

Florida, October 24, 1953, by Willard E. Dilley.

Spring birding in the national park
The park becomes a classroom
"No butterfly like the heliconian
A rare whale in tropical seas
Trees with knees
v Native trees and shrubs as ornamentals, No. 3
Fishing tackle for the birds
Natural History Notes

A wood pewee in the national park
-White-crowned pigeons here in winter
Dowitchers, peeps and worms
Junior Natural History Department
Book Reviews
A field guide to animal tracks
Florida bird life
Icebound summer
Background Notes on Authors

by Louis A. Stimson
by Nina Drew
by Roland T. Bird
by Jessie J. Rankin
by Leo W. Lorenzo
by George D. Ruehle
by Willard E. Dilley

by Louis A. Stimson
by David O. Karraker
by William G. Atwater
by Pearl Staples Finn

by Frank N. Young
by William B. Robertson

by the editor
by J. Floyd Monk




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Spring Birding In The National Park

by LOUIS A. STIMSON illustrated by Walter B. Colebrook

T HE SPRING MONTHS in the Everglades National Park offer to the ob-
server of birds ever changing possibilities in the birds that may be
found. Many wintering species are present during part or all of the spring
months. These with the ebb and flow of spring transients, together with the
arrival of summer residents make for a constantly changing picture over the
background of the permanent resident species. My own records over the
years during March, April and May have yielded a total of 166 species, the
greatest number for any quarter of the year. Records of other observers
increase this number. With favorable conditions, including the juxtaposition
of migrant waves, a hard day's work in the park may give one a list of 100
or more species, but the usual list for a day is more apt to be around 70.
The snack bar at Coot Bay operates only until April 30th, after which
the carrying of lunch is a necessity. Mosquito repellent may be needed, and
an aerosol bomb for in the car is good. Extra clothing and extra footwear
may be desirable depending on the distance and type of country one may
wish to tramp on foot. Although mileages from the park entrance to various
points were given in the earlier articles of this series it may be well to repeat
them briefly: Anhinga Trail, 2.25 mi.; Royal Palm Ranger Station, 2.5 mi.;
Paradise Key picnic tables, 2.7 mi.; Long Pine Key Road, 3 mi.; (any
mileage used on Long Pine Key should be added to the following); con-
crete bridge, 15.25 mi.; End-O'-Glades observation tower, 18.5 mi.; West
Lake Pond, 25 mi.; Snake Bight Road, 26.5 mi.; small duck pond, 28.7
mi.; Coot Bay Ranger Station, 29 mi.; Bear Lake Road, 30.5 mi.; Fla-
mingo picnic tables and observation shelter, 33.5 mi.
Many visitors during March and April will wish to take the trip to the
famous Cuthbert Lake Rookery. A cruise from West Lake Pond dock to
Cuthbert three times a day is offered by a park concessioner, Everglades
Transway Service, who also offers a cruise on Coot Bay and Whitewater


Bay several times a day. Information as to these may be obtained at the
Park Headquarters in Homestead, from the ranger on duty at the park
entrance and the Royal Palm Station, or at the dock.
As in the fall and winter the drive to Flamingo over the Ingraham High-
way (Florida Route 27), with an early morning brief visit to the edge of
Long Pine Key (curve and trail about 0.65 mi. from the Ingraham High-
way), and an afternoon side trip to Snake Bight, will offer the most to one
who has only one day to spend in the park. To others with more time to
spend, early morning hikes on the Snake Bight Road, the Bear Lake Road,
the trails on Long Pine Key (road north at the fire tower and road-trail to
the northwest 1.3 mi. west of the fire tower), or a morning or an afternoon
trip along the sloughs on the Cape Sable prairie (conditions being per-
missible on advice of rangers) will add much satisfaction for the hardy
birding outdoorsman. The extreme migration dates given herein are taken
either from my own records or from Arthur H. Howell's Florida Bird Life
(1932). Of course one can not expect to find a bird every year on the
first or last date given, and further observations may contract or expand
these dates.
Since the night roost at the Anhinga Trail breaks up near the end of
February or in March, a start there at sunrise is not essential, although it
will give the best results. In the neighborhood of the Anhinga Trail, along
the Ingraham Highway, at Snake Bight, or the Flamingo shore I have found
the following birds to have been present in all three spring months: pied-
billed grebe, double-crested (Florida) cormorant, water-turkey anhingaa),
great white heron, great blue heron (Ward's sub-species is the breeding
representative in Florida), American egret, snowy egret, Louisiana (tri-
colored) heron, little blue heron, green heron, black-crowned night heron,
wood ibis, white ibis, turkey vulture, black vulture, swallow-tailed kite,
king rail, purple gallinule, Florida gallinule, American coot, tree swallow
(to May 10), (common) yellow-throat (the Florida race being resident,
and other sub-species may pass through), meadowlark, red-winged black-
bird (Maynard's being the resident sub-species), boat-tailed grackle, and
purple (Florida) grackle. I have found the yellow-crowned night heron,
American bittern and glossy ibis present in March and April but have no
records for them in May. The least bittern is, without doubt, resident, but
is seldom seen. The long-billed marsh wren is often in full song during


April and apparently leaves before May. Barn swallows have appeared by
March 17, but are more common through April, and last recorded May 14.
Bank swallows are rare in April. Limpkin may be present depending on
feeding conditions. The sora leaves by May 4.
Purple gallinules have nested within three feet or less of the elevated
walk at the Anhinga Trail in two years recently. On May 30, 1952, I
reached the end of the walk at early dawn. There in a clump of tall grass
within arm's reach of the platform I found a nest with a parent gallinule
brooding two newly hatched young. The infants crept out from under their
parent and each seemed to have a fluorescent spot on the bill. A closer look
showed the light spot to be on the little protuberance on the bill with which
the baby bird is equipped to help it break its way through the egg shell.
The other parent soon came to the nest, and as they all seemed to resent
my presence, I left. Late in the same day I returned to find that the preco-
cial youngsters had left the nest and were running around over the spatter-
dock leaves with their parents.
At the Royal Palm Ranger Station, Paradise Key, and Long Pine Key
areas the following species are permanent residents: red-shouldered hawk,
bob-white, screech owl, great horned owl, barred owl, (yellow-shafted)
flicker, pileated woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker,
downy woodpecker, crested flycatcher, blue jay, American crow, Carolina
(Florida) wren, mockingbird, brown thrasher, bluebird (western part of
Long Pine Key), loggerhead shrike, white-eyed vireo, pine warbler, (com-
mon) yellow-throat, cardinal and white-eyed (eastern) towhee. The fol-
lowing winter residents may be present to the date given: whip-poor-will
April 25, belted kingfisher May 12, phoebe March 28, house wren May 7,
short-billed marsh wren (in open dry glades) April 17, catbird May 10,
blue-gray gnatcatcher April 1, ruby-crowned kinglet March 21, cedar
waxwing (irregular) May 10, yellow-throated vireo (rare) May 10, blue-
headed (solitary) vireo April 27, black and white warbler May 14, parula
warbler May 17, myrtle warbler April 18, yellow-throated warbler April
30, western palm warbler May 14, oven-bird May 21, indigo bunting
(rare) May 4, painted bunting May 16, American goldfinch April 19, and
swamp sparrow May 4. The arrival of summer residents may be looked
for around the following dates: yellow-billed cuckoo April 1, chuck-will's-
widow March 1, nighthawk April 1, eastern kingbird March 12, and gray
















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kingbird (more frequent near salt water) March 25.
Transients may be found in many locations but the above areas are good
places to look for them: red-eyed vireo (I have one record on March 28,
1941, and Arthur H. Howell in a list of birds of the Paradise Key environs
in The Auk, Vol. XXXVIII-261, July 1921, reported one seen by Dr.
Burgess on the unusual date of December 26-28, 1917. William B. Rob-
ertson reports seeing the bird eight times between April 14 and 23, 1952.
However, the bird is a spring migrant at points both north and south of the
park, and because of its quiet habits at this time it apparently has been
much overlooked in the park); Tennessee warbler (another rarity. On
April 1,. 1951 Dr. Henry M. Stevenson called one to my attention along
the Snake Bight Road, and we both watched it for some time); Cape May
warbler (the few wintering ones apparently start north early, but this bird
is one of the commonest transients from April 10 to May 8); black-
throated blue warbler (common from April 10 to May 12, with extreme
dates March 9 to May 29); black-throated green warbler (uncommon to
May 1); black-poll warbler (large numbers from April 13 to May 27);
prairie warbler (the northern race is fairly common from March 26 to May
22, with extreme dates at Sombrero Key Light directly south of Cape
Sable from March 9 to May 29. The Florida race is resident in the man-
groves and may be heard singing throughout the spring months). The
water-thrushes might be found even in the hammock but are most frequent
along the canals below West Lake Pond. Both winter here, the northern
to May 21, and the Louisiana to May 4. American redstarts are common
from March 28 to May 31. Other warblers have been recorded in the park
during spring but until more records turn up they can only be considered
as extremely rare: prothonotary, worm-eating, blue-winged, Nashville,
magnolia, black-throated gray, cerulean, blackburnian, yellow-palm, and
Bobolinks are common transients from the middle of April to the last of
May with extreme dates of April 4 and May 26. I have seen large flocks
in the glades just south of Paradise Key, and they might be seen in grassy
places anywhere in the park. There have been only a few observations of
the orchard oriole reported from the area under discussion. William G.
Atwater observed one on April 18, 1954 in the Snake Bight region and
tells me that he has a few other records in the park. The bird has been


seen at widely separated points north of the park, and it certainly must
migrate through the park to a greater extent than known records indicate.
The Baltimore oriole has been reported in the area in spring, and I have
a record on April 16 near West Lake.
Sandhill (Florida) cranes have been observed several times within the
park. On May 23, 1948 Willard E. Dilley, some other men and I observed
two cranes in the open glade on the east side of the Ingraham Highway
about a mile north of the End-O'-Glades observation tower (18.5 mi.).
In recent years they have been seen at varying seasons a little farther south,
near the Paurotis palm area. (See note on dancing cranes by Daniel B.
Beard in this magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 30, March, 1953.)
Members of the hawk family may be looked for in habitats suitable for
the species and perhaps will be found most often in the places mentioned
below. The delightfully graceful swallow-tailed kite is most common in the
Cape Sable region but may be seen anywhere in the park. It arrives about
the last week in February. Its dexterity on the wing is really marvelous.
I once saw one, apparently bent on nest building, sail by a moss covered
cypress and, without checking its speed, by a flip of its forked tail, bank
its body sidewise as, with a quick stroke of its talons, it seized some moss
which it carried away. This kite is one of our few hawks that carries its
prey aloft and eats while on the wing. Sharp-shinned hawks are somewhat
rare along the Ingraham Highway to April 25. Red-tailed hawks seem to
be uncommon residents. Broad-winged hawks usually leave by April 10,
and are perhaps seen most often in the Snake Bight area. The short-tailed
hawk has been observed most often, yet rarely, in the Paradise Key area
and in the Cape Sable area, with a few records from other locations, up to
May 10. Dorothy E. Snyder mentions rare summer records in this maga-
zine (Vol. 2, No. 2, p. 69, June, 1954). Bald eagles have been sighted in
the Cape Sable region during all the spring months. Marsh hawks hunt
over the open glades and prairies through April. Ospreys are resident along
salt water shores and are frequently seen elsewhere. Duck hawks (peregrine
falcons) are uncommon to April 14, with most of my records from the
Cape Sable region. Pigeon hawks have been seen most often over the Cape
Sable prairie to April 22. Sparrow hawks (eastern race) are fairly com-
mon till the last of April, and the Florida race (little) is an uncommon

The following ducks have been recorded during the spring months along
the Ingraham Highway canal, at West Lake Pond, Snake Bight, Bear Lakej
Coot Bay and small ponds on the Cape Sable prairie: Florida (mottled)
duck (resident); pintail to April 22; bluewinged teal to May 22; baldplat.
(American widgeon) to May 17; shoveller to April 27; lesser scaup duckA
to May 29; ruddy duck to April 14; and red-breasted merganser to May.
Along the shore at Snake Bight, Flamingo, and the prairie sloughs theI
shore-bird migration at times reaches spectacular proportions. ImmeeCD
flocks containing thousands of birds rise and circle, appearing like great
black clouds drifting hither and yon in the sky. White pelicans have bea i
seen as late as May 30, and in 1950 a few apparently remained all summer
Brown pelican, man-o'-war-bird (magnificent frigate-bird), roseate spoonfl
bill, and, of course, most of the wading-birds mentioned earlier are presents
in all three months. The Wurdemann's heron, thought to be a hybrid oa
the great white heron and Ward's great blue heron, is always possible but
quite rare. Reddish egrets are often found at Snake Bight and at Durdin'Si
(House's) Ditch Pond. They also may be seen in Florida Bay by personl
taking the National Audubon Society's tour from Tavernier. An occasion
flamingo is reported in the area. They may have wandered over from C
or the Bahamas, but according to Robert P. Allen in the September, 519
issue of this magazine are more likely unpinioned escapes from the breed
ing captives at Hialeah Park. Florida clapper rails are resident in the salt
marshes on the Flamingo prairie, and if not seen, can be heard frequently.'
In the shore-bird list to follow unless a date is given the species has bee#"
observed in all three months: piping plover (April 20); semi-palmated
(ringed) plover; Wilson's plover; killdeer (March 20 with possible strtgS
glers); black-bellied plover; ruddy turnstone; Wilson's snipe; long-bille#
curlew (rare, but I have a few spring records, usually in the vicinity o
Durdin's (House's) Ditch, where on April 15, 1945, Frank McCameY Sad
I saw one so close to a Hudsonian curlew that both birds appeared in ou-
binocular field at the same time); Hudsonian curlew (at times numero-
On May 17, 1953 Wm. G. Atwater and I found sixteen just west of DPU
din's Ditch); spotted sandpiper; solitary sandpiper (April records o*)l
willet; greater, and lesser, yellow-legs; American (red) knot; pCto
sandpiper (rare); least sandpiper; red-backed sandpiper; dowitcher; S


sandpiper (rare, but on April. 22, 1944 Albert Dietrich, Robert Wood-
mansee and I found a flock of 40 just west of Durdin's Ditch, and they
also have been observed at Snake Bight); semi-palmated sandpiper; west-
ern sandpiper; marbled godwit; Hudsonian godwit (only record so far
was six at Snake Bight on May 2, 1948 by Robert Woodmansee and me);
sanderling (I have no records for the park in May); American avocet (on
April 8, 1951 with a party of Dade Ornithologists I found 68 at Snake
Bight, and other observers found up to 100 there at about that time. On
May 17, 1953, William G. Atwater and I found 38 at Durdin's Ditch
Pond.); black-necked stilt (arrives about the middle of March. On May
14, 1949, Woodmansee and I counted 70 on the Cape Sable prairies, but
on May 29 could find only 20); herring, ring-billed and laughing gulls in
all three months and Bonaparte's gull rare to April. Gull-billed terns ap-
pear in March and have been recorded in April, usually at Durdin's Ditch
Pond or the Cape Sable prairie sloughs. Forster's tern is fairly common
throughout the spring. Least terns appear in numbers after the first week
in April. On May 14, 1949, Woodmansee and I found about 100 with
nests and eggs on the dry prairie marl a short distance west of Flamingo.
Royal tern, Caspian tern and black skimmer are present in all three months.
On April 1, 1951 Dr. Stevenson and I found 80 Caspian tern at Snake
Bight, the largest number either of us had ever seen at one time. A few
Cabot's (sandwich) terns have been recorded in March and April, and a
few black terns in April. Mourning and ground doves are present during
all three months. Mangrove cuckoos return to their favorite habitat, and,
as usual, are rarely seen. Barn owls are resident and might be seen early
in the morning or late in the afternoon, with best possibilities over the Cape
Sable prairie. The Arkansas (western) kingbird has been seen as late as
April 5 near Flamingo. Black-whiskered vireos arrive about April 9 and
may be heard singing in the mangroves. The wintering sparrows stay late"
savannah (April 22); grasshopper (possibly to May 12); sharp-tailed
(April 20); and swamp (May 4).

The editor apologizes for errors introduced into Mr. Stimson's article in the December,
1954, issue. On page 184 ground dove was omitted from birds seen on the Ingraham
Highway and common mallard got into the category "common" instead of "possible."


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. many kinds of tropical trees linedl the trail."

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The Park Becomes A Classroom

by NIN A DREW photograph by A. Fawcett

How FORTUNATE are the children of Dade County, Florida, who reside
so close to a national park that they may have their study classes on
the spot where the plants and animals actually live. Not many national
parks of the United States are situated so close to a large area of popula-
A trip to the Everglades National Park has become a tradition for my
sixth grade class of Merrick Demonstration School. We always go in Jan-
uary or February when water is low enough for us to get a better look at
the snakes and alligators, and the water birds are concentrated about the
deeper pools along the Anhinga Trail. This year thirty-two children and
sixteen adults were in our party which took our excursion day off for the
trip. Well before the day of the trip the children divided into eight com-
mittees to study about the park and what we might see there. These com-
mittees read and reported to classmates on the following subjects as they
relate to the park and its surrounding area: soil, trees, plants, flowers,
reptiles, insects, and fish.
Our visit to see what we could see started officially at the Royal Palm
Ranger Station at Paradise Key. The park naturalist, Mr. Willard E. Dilley,
was our guide, and there couldn't be a better one. He reviewed for the
children a little of the history and purpose of the park, and then we started
looking for things. Several alligators sunned themselves on the bank across
the lagoon, but we couldn't get close enough to them for good camera
shots. Snowy egrets and little blue herons waded in shallow water within
sight. Coots seemed to be holding a convention in the center of the pool.
We watched some of them "walk on the water" as they took off for another
water hole.
As we wandered on along the road toward the Anhinga Trail, we
stopped to identify tall spikes with three-petaled flowers as arrowhead.


and deep blue spikes growing in clusters in the edge of the water as
pickerel weed. Mr. Dilley showed us the little yellow flowers which were
blooms of the deceptive bladderwort. We also noted the cottony willow
blossoms, the droopy-headed lizard's tail, and the seed clusters of the tall
cane. We even discovered one little wild aster blossom, much out of season.
Across the open spaces we were able to see lots of saw grass with several
groups of birds feeding in the shallow waters in which this sedge grows.
The canal was full of short-nosed gars. We watched some of them come
up to the top for air while others stood on their heads with their tails stuck
straight up. We thought that they were dead, but Mr. Dilley assured us
that they were not, but were only acting that way because they are a queer
As we neared the elevated walk which is known as Anhinga Trail, a
little alligator about two feet long slid down the bank at our feet, but he
moved too fast for anyone to get his picture. Mr. Dilley pointed out one
snake coiled on a clump of grass in the sun. It was interesting to note
that on the trip into the slough we only found one snake, but that on the
way back we discovered seven. They had probably been there all the time,
but so camouflaged are they by their natural coloration, we had just learned
how to see them. All of the snakes were harmless water snakes, but never-
theless, it was a never-to-be-forgotten thrill to the city children to be that
close to live snakes that were uncaged.
Just as we reached a wide spot in the boardwalk, an alligator about
eight feet long and weighing two hundred or more pounds, climbed upon
a tussock a short distance out in the slough and blinked his eyes at us.
There he sat, sunning himself and never seeming to move, all the time we
were on the trail. As we tired of exclaiming over the big fellow, we looked
around at other things of interest. A beautiful purple gallinule stepped
daintily across the lily pads prying them up here and there to look for
insects underneath. An anhinga sat on a willow branch with his wings
spread out to dry. In the water right under our feet bass and bream and
perch swam among the gars.
At the platform on the far end of the boardwalk the group spread out
to look over the lovely open water of Taylor Slough. Everyone saw some-
thing he wanted to share with someone else. For a while there was so
much to talk about that there seemed to be a lot of confusion. But gradual-


ly we began to take it in: alligators swimming across the water or sleeping
on the bank, turtles paddling around under the water, Louisiana herons,
great white herons, wood ibises, and others feeding along the margin of
the pool, and ducks and coots swimming and fussing in the open water.
Then one youngster discovered an anhinga on a nest across the northern
point of the lagoon. Mr. Dilley become as excited as the child and told
us enthusiastically that these birds rarely nest in sight of the boardwalk.
I'm sure the discovery of that nest will be an experience that will be retold
and relived all of the rest of that little girl's life.
On the return trip to the ranger station we saw a white ibis in flight.
Palm warblers, killdeer, and a kingfisher, each claimed our attention in
turn. We spread our lunches on the picnic tables in the shade of the gumbo
limbo, live oaks, and royal palms, and as we ate we talked about the
park. We noted air plants on the trees around us,. and we identified the
saw palmetto growing near. We were visited by several large grackles
which seemed quite tame. And in the low undergrowth about, during the
course of lunch, we saw jays, robins, cardinals, and mockingbirds.
After we finished lunch, we made a trip through the Gumbo Limbo
Trail. We saw huge strangler fig trees, leather ferns taller than any of us,
and tiny clumps of resurrection fern. Many clusters of the little orchid
plants clung to the rough-barked limbs of the great oaks in here, and many
kinds of tropical trees lined the trail.
We left the park in time to get back to Miami long before dark, but
the day had been full of new experiences and knowledge that could never
have been learned just from books. Again I say, the children of Dade
County are fortunate in living so near a national park and especially one
so unusual and one so full of things that interest children perhaps even
more than grown-ups.

S.O.S. We are completely out now of four different issues of Everglades Natural
History and unable to provide these to libraries which want complete series.
These are September and December of 1953 and March and September of
1954. If you have copies of any of these which you do not wish to keep, dona-
tions of them to Everglades Natural History Association, P.O. Box 275, Home-
stead, Florida, will be appreciated.
WILLARD E. DILLEY, Executive Secretary



c; I


*e- A

No Butterfly Like The Heliconian

b y RO L A N D T. BIRD illustrations by Walter B. Colebrook

W HEN MY WIFE and I came to south Florida in December, 1946, it was
to camp on Paradise Key in what is now part of Everglades National
Park. Again the following year we visited the Key, staying through the
summer and far into the fall. This was a mistake, if camping in a hammock
you grow to like too well is ever a mistake. We grew to love the deep
cool shade of the jungle in a land where it always seems to me good
shade is at a premium. And, apart from summer-time mosquites, we grew
to enjoy the associated hammock life, which we missed sorely when we
bought our first five acres of open pineland near Homestead.
I guess I thought about the heliconian butterflies shortly after I decided
to start a small jungle of my own. There were no heliconians in the open
pinelands, nor would we be likely to see this favorite butterfly of ours
(Heliconius charithonius, the only tropical butterfly in the United States;
sometimes called "zebra") unless a chance migrant happened our way
on a cloudy day with a wind blowing from the nearest hammock. But as
I watched my first trees grow, I knew they must surely move in as soon
as the shadows become sufficiently deep and cool. And, as a special gesture
of inducement, I brought from the nearest hammock some bushes of wild
coffee to make them feel at home when they arrived.
Now I am a little ahead of my story. One does not grow a jungle over-
night, even the small one I had planned. For a site I chose an area already
populated by scattered stand of south Florida slash pine; here any growth
at all must soon add shadow to the thin shade on the ground. At first I
considered setting out regular native hammock trees, but aside from the
figs, the lysilomas and gumbo limbos, most were too slow growing. So
with exception of a few of these, I turned to papayas, pigeon peas and
such incongruous hammock growth as "woman's tongue"; anything which
might make quick shade this year or the next.


Eventually a leafy cover began to lift among the pines and, thinking of
the heliconian butterflies soon to appear along the path that wound
through the underbrush, I went to the nearest hammock for the wild coffee.
I must confess at this point that I had a hunch the larvae of the heliconians
fed upon the lush leaves of this plant. In the native hammocks, where one
encountered wild coffee, one saw heliconians; the two seemed inseparable,
and I, in my early ignorance, upon observing a smooth-skinned caterpillar
feeding periodically upon its foliage, guessed this to be the heliconian
larvae. I acquired two types of the wild coffee (glossy-leafed Psychotria
undata, and satiny-leafed P. sulzneri) and sat back to await the butterflies.
I will never forget the arrival of the first heliconian. I was passing along
the path near the only clearing, the site of a pitcher pump beside some
banana plants, and there it was before me, flitting in and out of the cool
shadows like a golden-winged fairy here from an ethereal land of Oz. I
hurried to the house and my wife. She saw my face was smug. I said
nothing but induced her to follow me in among the banana trees and coffee
bushes where I had seen the butterfly. We did not have to look far to find
it again. We watched the long-winged insect drift ahead of us in that
particular flight which, to me, is the most graceful of any butterfly I know.
Here was no wild flipping and flopping of wings, no erratic tossing to
remain aloft, but an effortless floating on flight strokes so shallow they
seemed only to throb in the still jungle air.
Presently the throbbing ceased. The butterfly, a big one, with a wing-
spread equal to the width of the palm of my hand, glided toward a coffee
bush and alighted upon a cluster of the tiny, whitish-yellow blossoms.
We stepped boldly closer, knowing heliconians to be fairly tolerant of
humans. It did not fly but began to feed as if indifferent of being admired.
At the same time a breeze stirred and a shaft of sunlight fell upon the
expanded wings like a spotlight, highlighting the five bars of gold markings
that, on each pair, are laid against a background of the glossiest of black
velvet. Apparently the insect was newly emerged; the colors were very
bright. We were so close we could make out the hindermost bar as a
chain of tiny golden coins upon the lower wings.
My wife took my hand and said, "Now that one has come, there will
undoubtedly be others. Where do you suppose they'll sleep?"
"I'll try and remember to come back just before sunset and check up,"


I said, glancing back at the little clearing. The heliconian has the habit
of sleeping in communal groups, and here I felt it would be most likely
to go to rest. Once it had chosen a perch, it would continue to return to
the same spot, perhaps for as many weeks as it might live. All newcomers
should be expected to join it there.
I noted several dead twigs about the underbrush that were high enough
to avoid possible contact with such roving animals as might prowl a ham-
mock after dark, all good prospective heliconian roosts except one or two
that were too high, being exposed to winds. But nightfall, when it came,
found me busy with other matters, and I did not think of the butterfly
until I knew it must have settled down for the night. I walked belatedly
through the clearing with a flashlight, but did not see it anywhere; it was
undoubtedly hanging pendant with folded wings with the bar markings,
which are grey underneath, matching the veining of the nearest dead leaf.
Several evenings passed, and on each occasion I remembered the butter-
fly only after dusk had fallen. By this time four other butterflies had
joined the first. Then I had the good fortune to happen into the clearing
at the start of the heliconians' bedtime. The last shafts of the setting sun
were shining luminously through the surrounding foliage. They caught the
golden throbbing wings of all five butterflies, wheeling in circles near the
chosen perch. This was a small dead branch of a pigeon pea bush, partly
broken from the mother plant and sticking out at a forlorn angle. And
like most heliconian roosts, it bore a few dead leaves. I was reminded
of the many bedtime heliconian flights my wife and I had seen on Paradise
Key, and wished the five butterflies might have been fifty.
To see fifty or more heliconians in this evening parade of beauty is more
of a sight than one might suppose. At first all do little except circle aim-
lessly or congregate as idle spectators on scattered points of vantage some-
where near the roost, but as the moments race toward darkness, the tempo
changes, and it becomes evident the first two or three strays which have
actually attached themselves to hang upon the perch have done so with
a purpose. Then it is that the air about these first pendant butterflies begins
to fill with others moving in, no longer in idle flight but with a definite
hover, closer and closer, the throbbing wings of six or eight at once almost
brushing, only inches away, all seeking a resting place. And even as some
of these catch footholds, the air still further back fills with more and more


throbbing-winged butterflies. The effect in the dead still air of sundown
(if it is windy, they go to roost early) becomes one with a magic I now
find difficult to describe. The sky still flames with color through the
luminous jungle, the butterflies seem more fairy-like than ever, and the
whole situation is made more fantastic because it does not seem possible
that all may ever fit into the space chosen upon the twig, a space which
might easily be covered with the crown of a hat.
When all are finally down, and as soon as darkness falls, any group may
then be approached and examined by artificial light. Even the brightest of
gasoline lanterns will seldom disturb them. If the group is a large one, but
not too large, it may be counted at this time. One of the largest I have
ever known, however, in the jungle at Paradise Key baffled me every time.
In summer when the butterfly populations were at their peak, it was like
trying to count fifty or sixty tightly packed leaves. I could only be certain
there probably weren't more than this number present. As to why heli-
conians should sleep together at all, I am not sure that I know. Some
observers, much more experienced entomologists than I, have advanced
the theory that each butterfly gives off a scent obnoxious to potential
enemies. It is easy to believe that such a scent would be strengthened by
numbers. However, as this story will reveal, I have known this assumed
protection to fail.
The butterflies remain at rest until the return of broad daylight. But as
the first rays of sun strike through the jungle foliage, they no longer tolerate
close inspections; approaching the group at this time always gives me a
feeling I am in the presence of a time bomb about to explode. I have
ventured to within a few feet of the large group just described, and have
waited for a trigger leaf to fall or bird to fly; waited to see the air as
suddenly full of butterflies as a room full of burst pillow feathers, without
ever knowing just what did disturb them. Again, I have watched them break
from the group leisurely, a few at a time, usually as the first rays of sun
warmed them. In either case, a few moments after the last had left the
roost, so quickly did they disperse, not one remained in the vicinity.
I must confess I remained ignorant of the full life history of the heli-
conians for some time. Then, upon consulting the literature, I was surprised
to learn this: that the caterpillars I often saw infesting wild coffee were
not heliconian larvae. The food plant of the heliconian, authorities said,


was the passion flower vine. To me this was especially surprising, in so
far as I had never encountered a passion flower in the confines of any ham-
mock. Nor did I find it when I began to search somewhat systematically.
I still had not solved this little puzzle by December of the year the
heliconians moved into my synthetic hammock in the Homestead pinelands.
By then eighteen were roosting regularly upon the old pigeon pea branch
in the clearing by the pitcher pump; obviously the number in keeping with
nectar supplies available in the vicinity. In addition to the blossoms of
wild coffee, I noted they frequented poinsettia, papayas, and those of that
weed, Spanish needles. And as a special winter-time source, I had planted
some Mexican flame vine around the fringes of my jungle. They liked that.
The discovery of the food plant of the larvae came unexpectedly. I was
far from thinking of heliconian life histories the day I encountered a butter-
fly in among the fronds of a palmetto, flying about the stems in a most
puzzling manner; there were no creamy-white blossoms in a spray there
to attract it. Then I stepped closer and saw some tiny three-lobed leaves
attached to a vine so small it seemed like a green silk thread entwined
around a frond stem. For a moment the butterfly hovered about as though
hopeful I might go on about my business, then it alighted upon one of
the little leaves, and as it did so, pressed down its abdomen to deposit an
egg, a bright golden dot of color against the green of the leaf. At the same
instant I saw, nestled among the leaves, the passion flower; of thumbnail 1
size, but bearing the bold cross and the rest of that flower's complex parts.
I had never dreamed of so small a variety, and subsequent observation
revealed it to be abundant in many places. I must say I was well pleased
with the manner in which the butterfly itself had made me acquainted with
the plant.



Gulfstream beaked whale, belly up, with head toward reader.
Notice throat grooves.

A Rare Whale In Tropical Seas

by JESSIE J. RAN K IN photographs by author

A CYNIC once complained that "rarities" are so common now-a-days.
Nevertheless the hopeful scientist continues to pursue his quest for
the strange and unusual, and now and then his apparent naivete is re-
warded and he does find something spectacular. Sometimes scientific battles
rage because his "find" is so small that sceptics among his colleagues say
they cannot see what he is talking about, but admittedly every scientist
cannot hope to find a rare whale. There are, however, a few of these large
denizens of the deep which are still so rare that they are seldom seen alive
or recently dead. It was one hundred and fourteen years ago that one of
these made its first brief and sensational appearance in the English Chan-
nel to be towed alongside, deliver up its skull and to be eventually chris-
tened Mesoplodon europaeus. All the evidence that now remains of this
encounter is the skull. Since that original discovery, and as if to flout its
describer for the choice of specific name, not another specimen has been
found near Europe in spite of much careful watching. The second appear-
ance of this rare creature was nearly half a century later when a specimen
unexpectedly turned up on the coast of New Jersey. This caused consid-
erable flutter in the bosoms of mammalogists for, you see, it was now
proved to be not just another freak of nature but a genuine new "rarity."
The hunt was on for another forty-four years, and the next appearance to
be reported was on Long Island in 1933 when hope of further specimens
had almost been abandoned. Then in 1935 a slightly unsavory carcass was
found by a salvager of shipwreck lumber on Key Largo, Florida, and made
sufficient impression on his memory to cause him to report the matter. Al
Pflueger of Miami had enough scientific curiosity not only to go to see the
animal, but to send its skull (which was almost all that was left by the
time he arrived) to the American Museum of Natural History. There was
no doubt in a short while that it was another specimen of this rare form.


Clearly, therefore, Mesoplodon europaeus was no myth but a stimulating
The next appearance was of rather a startling nature. Ulmer found a
skull not on any lonely beach or windswept island but on display in St.
Augustine, Florida, in a Catholic Academy. Putting aside all alarming
thoughts of spontaneous generation, he recovered sufficiently to ask where
this amazing thing had come from. He learned that the owner of the skull
had been stranded along with two companions, possibly of the same kind,
on St. Augustine Beach, St. John's County and had left its skull to repose
in the Academy for almost twenty years.
After this discovery it was not too much of a shock to Joseph C. Moore
to learn that a previously unreported specimen had actually been acquired
by the American Museum of Natural History. His further inquiry laid bare
the fact that this specimen too had made its appearance in Florida, having
been found on Melbourne beach by Albert Schmidt in 1939. Up to this
time this curious animal was so rare that it had no common name, but a
vast total of six individuals, three of which were found in Florida, focused
the locality of occurrence to the extent that Dr. Moore felt justified in
giving it the English language name "Gulf stream beaked whale."
In view of this rather tantalizing series of occurrences it was all the more
extraordinary when on the 21st of February 1953 two curious small beaked
whales of this species, one fourteen feet long and the other seven feet, came
close inshore amongst the tumbling boulders at Bull Bay, Jamaica, British
West Indies. Local fishermen with commendable curiosity and zeal went
out in their boats and brought in the animals from a situation where they
would almost certainly have perished in any case. Wishing to have an
opinion of the edibility of the "black fish" they told of their find to Mr.
A. Thomas, the government fisheries officer, who got in touch with the
Zoology Department of the University College of the West Indies. Not ex-
pecting anything more than a pleasant Saturday afternoon's work on a
tropical beach removing the head from a dead dolphin, my surprise was
considerable when I arrived on the beach to discover that my "dolphins"
had no teeth, and no sign of any dentistry having been done. My curiosity
was then stimulated, and I examined the specimens with care. The snout
was prolonged forward into a straight tapering -beak with the lower jaw
jutting out in front of the upper. The gums inside the mouth appeared to




A 9,.i.




Iha- 4"


*J1?p 'II8$<^'^3^^ 3^

"The shape of this whale is rather elegant, I think." Gulfstream beaked whale,
belly down. Rear view. Lack of notch in rear margin of tail a characteristic of
beaked whale family.

? .


Looking down at top and left side of head of Gulfstreath beaked whale. Cres-
cent-shaped blowhole slightly open (in top of head). Eye closed but indicated
by arrows. Forward part of whale washed free of dust.

Looking down on genital region of adult female Gulfstream beaked whale as it
lies belly up, head toward top of picture. Upper is genital opening, lower is
anus. On (animal's) left side of vulva is a mammary groove in which lies con-
cealed the opening from which young obtains milk. Right groove is tightly
closed here.


be quite smooth with no indication of teeth. I was a little puzzled at this,
for the only beaked whales about which I had read until this time were
said to have two teeth in the lower jaw. I therefore hastened to take photo-
graphs before sundown, and since I was convinced that they were unusual
forms, to dissect and remove various anatomical treasure. Subsequent ex-
aminations of these specimens proved them to be of Mesoplodon europaeus,
one of the world's rarest whales, and the first specimens of their kind to
be reported from the tropics. Thus we add another bit to the fragmentary
knowledge of one of the interesting creatures of the deep.
Since there is a distinct possibility that readers of Everglades Natural
History may find one of these rare whales on some of their beach excur-
sions, I would like to tell you a little more about this last occurrence, and
present you with, whatever their esthetic merit, the first set of photographs
ever to be published of the external appearance of this whale.
The shape of this whale is rather elegant, I think, with its tapering snout
and dome-like crown of the head and streamlined body demarcated from
the head by a distinct "neck" and ending posteriorly in horizontal and
backswept tail flukes. Even the blow-hole is beautifully curved and is sit-
uated on top of the head as far back as the eyes. The latter features are
somewhat small and beady and may be easily overlooked, especially if the
lids are shut.
The flippers and the dorsal fin also share in the general streamlined ap-
pearance. Under the chin are two long throat grooves or folds which con-
verge forward. These two small throat grooves identify whales of the
beaked whale family. On either side of the vent region of the female are
mammary folds or grooves, one on either side, tucked away in which lie
the openings of the mammary glands.
Incidentally, such a whale was an extremely nice animal to dissect for
internal anatomy, for everything was so large and conspicuous. The fish-
ermen said the larger whale "breathed" for an hour after beaching, and
the internal organs were still quite fresh some eight hours later. There was
a massive heart, a lobulated, many-chambered stomach, and yards and
yards of intestines, all of them displaying very nicely the numerous blood
vessels and nerves of such a respectable size! Degenerate teeth were actually
found to be present but obviously useless for catching, holding, or chewing
food since they were completely covered by the thick membrane of the


gums. These animals must of necessity feed on soft-bodied forms. Only the
small floaters of the sea, plankton, were found inside the many-chambered
stomach, although it is possible that this animal also feeds on cuttlefish
and similar forms.
These two Jamaican whales were both females. The larger one was still
giving milk and the smaller was presumed to be her calf since it was only
half her length. It is the youngest known specimen of this species. It will be
very interesting to get further information about this whale, for no one
knows its breeding grounds, nor its center of abundance, nor its migration
routes, if any. Since this calf is apparently very young, the breeding grounds
may not be very far from Jamaica. Nothing is known of the rate of travel
of this form, of course, but it seems unlikely that a small mother whale
would have traveled very quickly with so young a calf.
Most beaked whales are at present presumed to be rather solitary forms
preferring to travel in pairs or singly rather than in schools, but since so
few published records exist, our knowledge of their habits and distribution
is rather sketchy. One related form, the goose-beaked whale, Ziphius
cavirostris, was thought to be extinct, being known only from the skeleton,
until a whole school was washed ashore in New Zealand! This was in its
time just about as sensational a discovery as that of the living fossil fish of
South Africa. Since then strandings of this whale have proved its existence
in many parts of the world, five specimens being known now to have
stranded on Florida shores at one time or another, the latest having been
reported in Everglades Natural History last September.
Any reliable information as to sightings of the Gulf-stream beaked whale
or of its strandings will be of great help in determining the haunts and
habits of this mystery shrouded beast. According to the facts already col-
lected it seems likely that the specimens of this whale now known to man
may have traveled northward from some unknown area of the tropical
Atlantic and found themselves in the part of the North Equatorial Current
which runs up the Caribbean Sea and joins the Yucatan Current and the
Antilles Current from eastwards of the Antilles to form the Florida Current
long known as the Gulf Stream. If, as I suppose, the route follows the
North Equatorial Current they would normally travel a little to the west of
Jamaica. The reason for the Bull Bay whales coming inshore near Jamaica
is not known, but it has been suggested that because the United States


Navy was conducting naval exercises in nearby waters at the time, they
may have been hurt or driven inshore by depth charges.
Eventually we were able to remove the whale carcasses to the college
and to sling them up on trees for the first part of the fleshing. It was inter-
esting to note that even the vultures, commonly called John Crows here,
did not appear to like the taste although they hovered around and gingerly
picked here and there. Most of the work was assisted by fly larvae. We had
unfortunately a very great tragedy one evening as one of the ropes slinging
up the larger whale slipped, allowing the flippers to reach too near the
ground. In the morning the two flippers were torn off. We suspected dogs,
as the John Crows for days had not troubled the carcass unduly. As can
be imagined, there was great anguish over this loss. All that remains now
of the flippers of the adult are photographs which we took. We have, how-
ever, preserved the remainder of the skeletons intact.
We owe a debt to those fishermen for the prompt reporting of their find
to a reliable authority, and also for their care in covering the carcasses with
leaves to keep off the hot sun, until such time as we could arrive on the
spot. Needless to say we have been on the alert for any further reports of
this nature and we are hoping that it may not be another fourteen years
before Mesoplodon europaeus steps forth again on the world stage!

Books recently donated to the Everglades Natural History Association's
library at Everglades National Park Headquarters from the estate of Miss
Gertrude Ellicott Shriver, by Mrs. Arthur S. More through Mr. and Mrs. A.
Travers Ewell of South Miami:
Florida wildlife by Charles Torrey Simpson
The plant world in Florida by Henry Nehrling
Florida old and new by Frederick W. Dau
Palmetto country by Stetson Kennedy
Florida, the land of enchantment by Nevin O. Winter
Romantic and historic Florida by A. Hyatt Verrill
The magic of Miami Beach by Charles Edgar Nash
Footnotes on nature by John Kieran
Florida, a guide to the southernmost state, Federal Writer's Project
Donated by George A. Coffin of Miami:
Meeting the mammals by Victor H. Cahalane
We gratefully acknowledge these valuable gifts.
WILLARD E. DILLEY, Executive Secretary

IM .






:"~ '. i

K14-- I

L tL

Trees With Knees

by L E O W. LO R E N Z O illustration by Walter B. Colebrook

SN THE SEPTEMBER issue of this magazine you may have read an interest-
ing article entitled "Trees That Walk." There is another curious tree
growing in the Everglades National Park which oxers much of interest
to the visitor, a tree with knees. This tree is commonly known as cypress
and the Everglades National Park is the only national park in which this
tree exists.
On the road to Flamingo about four miles past the Royal Palm Ranger
Station you will come to a cypress head. There you will find a board walk
taking you through a small stand of cypress and offering you the opportun-
ity for an intimate acquaintance with many individuals of this strange tree.
Although you will note that the trees in this cypress head are not very large,
if you look near their bases, you will find the upright conical forms extend-
ing from a few inches to a foot or more in height above the soil and water,
which are known as cypress knees.
Cypress knees occur in cypress stands only where water covers the sur-
face of the ground for long periods at a time. There is little known about
how these knees function, but it is commonly believed they serve two im-
portant purposes. It is thought that cypress knees help support the tree, for
cypress trees are usually always found growing in soft unstable soils, and
the knees act as vertical members of the root system. A common belief is
that these knees function as aerating organs thus giving the roots access to
oxygen from the air when the base of the tree and root system are covered
with water for several months of the year.
I have observed trees that have had the knees removed and found that
there was no apparent effect on the parent tree after a period of a year,
although I do not doubt that after several years there may be an unfavor-
able effect on the tree, or that the tree may send up new knees.
Possibly you have seen table lamps or other pieces of furniture attrac-


tively fashioned out of a cypress knee. Some people make a hobby of going
into the swamps and cutting unusually shapely knees. They put the knees
into a large drum of water and boil them for several hours. After boiling,
the knees are taken out of the water and the bark is peeled off. The knees
are then set out to dry. These peeled knees have a beautiful grain, and this
can be enhanced by varnishing, bleaching, or just waxing. Some knees pos-
sess such interesting shapes that after they have been peeled, they look as
if they had been fancifully and smoothly carved. I have seen a knee that
was an image of a horse's head, down to including such details as the eyes.
Let us take a moment to look at the background of the cypress tree.
This tree is found to date back to prehistoric times, and traces of fossil
plants show that it was abundant throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In
our United States today cypress trees occur only on the eastern seaboard
from Maryland south to southern Florida and west to Texas. In this area
most botanists recognize two species of cypress: bald cypress (Taxodium
distichum Rich.) and pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens Bong.). Some
botanists consider pond cypress to be a variety of bald cypress and not a
different species. For anyone who would like to be able to distinguish them,
the tiny leaflets stand out along the sides of the leaf stalk of the bald cypress
forming a feather-like or frond-like leaf, whereas the leaflets of the pond
cypress do not stand out from the stalk but are closely pressed against it.
You will have to examine cypress trees during the warm months for iden-
tification because they shed their leaves and are bare through the winter.
This shedding of the leaves is an unusual trait among the conifers, for they
are usually evergreen. However, cypress trees during the winter months
give the appearance of being dead, especially here in south Florida where
in contrast so many trees retain their leaves and are green all year.
Cypress attains a great age. Many trees have been cut which were dis-
covered to have been from 60-Ato 900 years old. There is one on record
that was cut in the State of Georgia and reported to have been 1,200 years
old. Lumber from this tree has been known to last for centuries. It is called
the "wood eternal." Cypress lumber has been so much in demand through-
out the years that nearly all the commercial size trees have been logged.
The wood has had numerous uses, some of which are house construc-
tion, water tanks, docks, mill wheels, boats, caskets, greenhouse construc-
tion, and cross-ties. You will notice that all of these uses are ones in which


the wood must stand up against exposure to the weather, standing water,
or excessive moisture. Cypress will last for years where other kinds of wood
would rot away in a matter of months. No doubt you have seen or heard
of pecky cypress. This is cypress wood fluted by a fungus which attacks
the heartwood of living cypress trees. It destroys the wood in spots, leaving
long, fluted, branching hollows in the trunk of the tree. Once the tree is
cut, the fungus dies. Although pecky cypress was, or is, the lowest grade
of lumber, it is very much in demand lately, for it is strong in proportion
to its weight, and is considered ornamental for paneling.
To mention briefly the logging of cypress, it is one of the most expensive
logging operations known. The largest trees are found deep in the swamp
where water may reach up to a man's shoulders. First, roadbeds must be
built above the water, and then tracks laid on which a massive piece of
machinery, known as an overhead skidder and drawn by a locomotive,
must be employed to pull the logs out of the swamp.
The northwestern area just added to the park in 1954 takes in a stand
of large cypress trees. This stand is known as the Gator Hook Strand and
-_____ -- --___fw
is located in Monroe County just south of the Collier County line below
Monre Station. I hope the day is not too far off when there will be a roa
or boardwalk constructed that will take park visitors into this area where
they may see a truly typical virgin cypress stand. Here on the trunks and
arms of the cypresses, whole gardens of wild native orchids and air plants
flourish in all their splendor, and here we may hope the cypress trees will
be safe forevermore from the logger's axe.
Cypress must be regarded as a vanishing American, for the time is at
hand when all the virgin stands will be cut, and because of the extremely
slow rate of growth, stands of great cypress trees with their majesty and
beauty will become extinct. The State of Louisiana is experimentally grow-
ing cypress seedlings in one of the nurseries for planting on a commercial
basis. At present they have some which out-grow many other seedlings.
.Maybe with much selection, the right management, and fire protection, this
curious and magnificent tree will again be able economically to stand on
its own feet. But one thing is certain, and people should know it: the last
remnants of virgin stands of this tree are on their knees.


Figure 15. Wild tamarind as a shade tree, Woodland Park Cemetary, Miami.

Figure 16. Flower heads and foliage of sweet acacia.

Some Native Trees And Shrubs
As Ornamentals, No. 3

by GEORGE D. RUEHLE photographs by J. C. Noonan

WILD TAMARIND, Lysiloma bahamensis Benth. LEGUMINOSAE,
Figure 15. The wild tamarind is a common medium to large trees in Dade
County hammocks and on the Florida Keys. It attains 40 to 60 feet in
height with trunks to 3 feet in diameter and stout spreading branches
forming a broad rather flat-topped crown. The persistent, bi-pinnate leaves
are 4 to 5 inches long with 4 to 8 pinnae; each with 20 to 40 light green
leaflets V2 inch long. The white flowers in dense round heads are rather
inconspicuous and are followed by thin pods 4 to 5 inches long which are
brown when mature and usuallypersist for several months. When well
grown the wild tamarind makes a handsome avenue or specimen tree pro-
viding shade of moderate intensity. It is recommended for general planting
within its range, being fairly salt tolerant and wind resistant. Propagation
is by seed.
SWEET ACACIA, opopanax, Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd. (Vachellia
farnesiana (L.) Wight & Am.), LEGUMINOSAE, Figure 16. The sweet
acacia is a small thorny shrub or small tree up to 20 feet in height, with
slender zig-zag drooping branches forming a rather wide rounded or spread-
ing crown. The bi-pinnate short bright-green leaves are formed of numerous
leaflets /a to inch long which are often persistent in the southern counties
and the Florida Keys but may be deciduous. The fragrant minute flowers
are intense, globose, golden-yellw, stalked heads. The feathery foliage
and attractive flower heads of this species commend its use as an ornamen-
tal for the extreme southern counties. The tree is apt to become straggly
unless shaped symetrically by judicious pruning. At present it is considered
a weed pest and is rarely seen in cultivation. Dwarf forms on the Florida
Keys are considered to be distinct species by some authorities. Propagation
is by seed.


NECKLACE POD, coast sophora, Sophora tomentosa L. LEGUMINO-
SAE, Figure 17. The necklace pod is a much branched and rather dense
shrub from 3 to 6 feet or more in height, found in coastal thickets and
sand dunes. The new foliage, buds and flower stalks, pods, and the bark
of twigs are covered copiously with_ fine silky gray tomentum. The leaves
are 6 to 12 inches long with 11 to 19 leaflets with orangecolored.pd iQles
The leaflets are leathery, oblong or oval, inequilateral, becoming revolute-
margined and nearly glabrous. The bright yellow flQowrs, about %3 inch
long, are pea-like but with stamens nearly free to the base and are produced
in terminal racemes from 6 to 20 inches long. The pods are 4 to 6 inches
long, Italked, and are strongly constricted between the seeds.
The handsome foliage and showy racemes of yellow flowers produced
in summer, makes the necklace pod a desirable ornamental. It is especially
well adapted for coastal planting but will grow fairly well in locations
away from the coast. Propagation is by seed.
Two other native species of legumes are sometimes planted as orna-
mentals. The Eastern coralbean, Erythrina herbacea L., is a small tree with
attractive scarlet flowers. Its recurved spines, brittle branches and sus-
ceptibility to insect attack, make this species undesirable for ornamental
The Jamaica dogwood, Piscidia communis (Blake) Harms, is very at-
tractive in its native habitat on the Florida Keys for the brief period when
it is covered with its masses of pale lavender flower clusters. Specimen
trees observed under cultivation on the Florida Mainland have uniformly
presented an unattractive and often unhealthy appearance. Its use as an
ornamental probably should be confined to the Florida Keys.
HYLLACEAE, Figure 18. The native lignum vitae is a slow growing
small tree found on the Florida Keys. Very old specimens may attain a
height of 25 feet with gnarled trunks up to 2 feet in diameter supporting
a round-topped crown with slender drooping branches. The persistent pin-
nately compound leaves are made up of 6 to 8 lustrous dark green obovate
leaflets about 1 inch long. The blue petalled flowers are solitary or in term-
inal clusters of 3 or 4. The fruits, ripening in summer, are orange-colored,
5-angled, splitting at maturity to expose the black seeds covered with a red
outer coat. Propagation is by seed. The chief drawback to the lignum


Figure 17. Necklace pod at Gifford Arboretum, Univ. of Miami.


Figure 18. Flowering branchlet of lignum vitae.


Figure 19. Flower cluster and foliage of Biscayne prickly-ash.

vitae is its extremely slow growth, but well grown specimens of 10 years
or more make quite a show when in bloom and fruit. The tree is adapted
for coastal planting.
LOCUST BERRY, Byrsonima lucida (Sw.) DC. (B. cuneata (Turcz.)
P. Wilson). MALPHIGHIACEAE. Byrsonima lucida, the locust berry is
usually a low evergreen shrub in Dade County but on the lower Keys oc-
casionally is a small tree with spreading branches and slender twigs. The
evergreen, simple leathery, opposite leaves are dark green and 1 to 1%
inches long. The delicate flowers, appearing in greatest numbers in spring,
are white, pink or rose, and are borne in terminal clusters. They are fol-
lowed by globose fruits about 14 inch in diameter, which are green at
first, later turning brown with pale juicy pulp. The locust berry is very
attractive when in bloom and merits wider trial as an ornamental.
BISCAYNE PRICKLY-ASH, Zanthoxylum coriaceum Rich. RUTAC-
EAE, Figure 19. The Biscayne prickly-ash is a rare tree occurring near
the coast along Biscayne Bay and north of Miami Beach. It is a shrub or
small tree about 15 feet tall with a slender trunk and stout reddish-brown
branches forming a rather dense crown. It is distinguished from other


Florida Zanthoxylums by its evenpinnate leaves, composed of 4 to 8 aro-
matic leathery glossy green rigid leaflets round or notched on the tip. The
small white flowers are borne in clusters at the ends of the twigs. It usually
lacks spines but occasionally a few short early-deciduous spines are present
on the twigs and branches. The species possesses considerable horticultural
value and merits wider use in ornamental plantings. Propagation is by seed.
BAY CEDAR, Suriana maritima L. SIMAROUBACEAE, Figure 20.
The bay cedar is a densely-branching shrub usually less than 10 feet tall,
growing on sandy beaches along the coast-line of southern Florida and the
Florida Keys. The numerous fleshy evegreen narrowly elliptic leaves, 1
to 1 inches long, are crowded at the ends of slender twigs. Both the new
twigs and leaves are covered with grayish downy pubescence. Yellow flow-
ers about % inch wide are borne in small clusters among the leaves most
of the year. The fruits are dry, composed of 4 or 5 sections seated in the
persistent calyx. The bay cedar is tolerant to salt spray and is wind resist-
ant, hence it is desirable for coastal plantings. It is worthy of trial in other

Figure 20. Bay cedars along shoreline on Indian Key fill.


Figure 21. Fruit clusters and leaf of bitterbush.

BITTERBUSH, Picramnia pentandra Sw. SIMAROUBACEAE, Figure
21. The bitterbush is a rare shrub or small slender tree to 20 feet in height
found in a few hammocks close to the shore in Dade and Monroe coun-
ties. The persistent, oddpinnately compound leaves have 5 to 9 smooth,
leathery dark green leaflets, 1% to 3% inches long, which are elliptic with
long-tapered tips. The greenish flowers are minute, each sex being borne
in separate trees in hairy clusters. The fruits are oval, coral red becoming
black, about % inch long. The few specimens of bitterbush observed in
cultivation were quite handsome for their foliage and the graceful slender
shape of the crowns, and the species merits wider planting. Propagation is
by seed but small seedlings transplant fairly readily from the wild.


PARADISE-TREE, bitterwood, Simarouba giauca DC. SIMAROU-
BACEAE, Figure 22. The paradise-tree is a common and very attractive
hammock tree as far north as Palm Beach. It may attain a height of 50
feet with astraight trunk 1 to 2 feet in diameter and rounded crown com-
posed of slender spreading branches. The persistent pinnateleaves, 6 to
14 inches long, have 6 to 12 leathery simple oblong leaflets 1 to 3 inches
long which are lustrous drk_ geen above and pale beneath with entire
revolute margins. The flowers are pale yellow in widely spreading axillary
or terminal paniclesLto. feet long. The attractive oval scarlet to purple
fruits about 1 inch long ripen in late spring. The paradise-tree is recom-
mended for general planting. Propagation is by seed and young seedlings
can be transplanted readily from the wild. It requires full sunlight for best

Figure 22. Fruit cluster and leaf of paradise-tree.


ALVARADOA, Alvaradoa amorphoides Liebm. SIMAROUBACEAE,
Figure 23. The alvaradoa is a shrub or a small slender tree found on the
Florida Keys and in several hammocks nthe-vicinity- oaf Hmestead. The
persistent narrow compound leaves, crowded at the ends of the slender
twigs have 21 to 41 small oval leaflets % to 3 inch long. The dioecious
flowers are borne on narrow, drooping downy terminal or axillary spikes
3 to 4 inches long. The dry fruits are reddish or yellow. The alvaradoa is
rarely seen under cultivation but certainly is worthy of inclusion in mixed
plantings for the unusual texture of its foliage. Propagation is by seed.

Figure 23. Pistillate flower spikes, leaves, and staminate spikes of alvaradoa.

Fishing Tackle for the Birds


H AVE YOU ever watched an ardent fisherman in a tackle shop, contem-
plating a varied assortment of gaily colored plugs, hefting a special rod,
or perhaps scrutinizing the mechanical details of a new type reel? It may
also have been your experience to see some fisherman spending a quiet
evening at home, deeply absorbed in tying a series of gaudy feathered flies.
He is continuously and forever searching for better and more efficient
equipment with which to catch the wily fish.
This is an endless search which other animals have been carrying on for
millions of years, the outcome being not merely a matter of a full or empty
angler's creel, but a matter of life and death. The process of natural selec-
tion tends to eliminate all equipment but the best, although it often happens
that what works well in one age may become obsolete in another.
The interesting present day results of this eternal search is beautifully
represented by the assorted fishing tackle of the water birds of Everglades
National Park. With few exceptions, the fishing equipment of a bird is
its bill. The subject of bird bills is one well worth contemplating, not only
for the high degree of efficiency achieved, but also for the diversification
displayed. Each type is probably the best for the particular job it is sup-
posed to accomplish. Some are designed to catch large fish, some small.
Some to ply in deep water, some in shallow. It is obvious that it would be
an unhandy arrangement if all birds pursued the same source of food in
the same place at the same time.
To best appreciate the effective design and skillful use of bird bills, one
must see the implement in action at close range. This is frequently possible
at Anhinga Trail. Here, the birds have become sufficiently adjusted to the
presence of people, that they go about their usual activities with little fear
of man. Usually one need wait but a few minutes to see an anhinga drop
into the water with an awkward splash. Under water, the bird is transformed


into an exceedingly graceful swimming machine. With its neck drawn into
an S-curve, it speeds through the water searching for food. Eventually a
fish will be within striking distance. At this instant, its awl-like beak darts
forward, impaling the luckless fish. Rising to the surface of the water, the
anhinga takes a much needed breath of air. If the fish is small, it is deftly
tossed into the air, caught and swallowed headfirst. Occasionally in this
maneuver, the wriggling fish escapes. If the fish is too large for this treat-
ment, the anhinga often climbs out of the water onto a willow and proceeds
to beat the fish against a limb. When sufficiently quieted, the fish starts a
one way trip down a surprisingly elastic esophagus, the course of the meal
being marked by the descending progress of a lump in the bird's neck. The
anhinga's bill is well suited to this kind of attack. Roughly three inches
long, it is sharp and slender, but strong enough to hold securely a struggling
bream or catfish up to five or six inches long.
Occasionally the park visitor sees a similarly dark, but more heavily
built bird sivimming on the pond adjacent to the Royal Palm Ranger Sta-
tion where there is enough landing and take-off space to satisfy the bird's
requirements. The experienced bird watcher immediately recognizes this
fisherman as a cormorant. It may fish either by diving and swimming be-
neath the water or more frequently in this pond, by cruising along on the
water with its head beneath the surface. In both methods, the neck is arched
and ready for action. The bill is not designed for piercing but rather for
securely grasping the victim. It is about the same length as the bill of the
anhinga, but thicker and ends with a sharp hook. At first glance it appears
that the anhinga and the cormorant are in direct competition with each
other, and perhaps to a small extent this is true. However, I well recall
standing on a dock at Tavemier and watching some fishermen tossing mullet
to several nearby cormorants. To the men it was an amusing game to see
just how large a fish the cormorant could swallow. I was impressed with the
efficient manner in which the hooked bill could grasp and handle a fish
much larger than any which could be taken on the slender bill of the
Taylor Slough from Anhinga Trail to the Royal Palm Ranger Station
is an excellent place to watch the herons use their fishing gear. In general,
the bills of the heron family are straight, sharp, and heavily built. In some
species, such as the green heron, little blue heron, snowy egret, and several


others, the bill is of the slender proportions necessary in snatching small
minnows from the water. The bills of the great white heron and the great
blue heron are most impressive weapons, well adapted to the taking of
large and difficult prey such as the garfish. The heavy armor of the garfish
is but a slight defense against the attack of either of these herons. On more
than one occasion I have seen the great white heron strike a garfish with
such force that the bill passed through the fish and protruded from the
other side. At other times I have seen the bill of the great white heron used
like a tomahawk, the sharp point being driven repeatedly into the head of
a struggling fish, the apparent object being to deaden the fish so that it
could be swallowed with a minimum of trouble. An episode took place one
March day of 1954, which indicates that the great white heron may not
always use its powerful weapon wisely. As I looked out over Taylor Slough,
I noticed one of these usually stately birds performing some undignified
contortions. When I put my binoculars to my eyes, I could see that the
heron was involved in quite a problem. It had siezed a three-foot green
water snake. The snake was not only wrapped around the neck of the
bird but had several loops of its body around the bird's bill. For the time
being, the dangerous beak was thoroughly neutralized. I suspect that the
snake was the eventual loser, but my observation of the outcome was pre-
vented when the heron walked behind a screen of sawgrass.
During the winter months it is now quite usual for the white ibis and
also the glossy ibis to move into Taylor Slough when the water level has
dropped to that which bests suits their feeding habits. All of the true ibises
have long, slender, and down-curved bills. With these they probe into the
shallow water with short and rapid jabs, picking up snails, shrimp, crayfish,
and other animal items.
One busy Sunday afternoon I became aware that a glossy ibis was feeding
quite near the road which crosses Taylor Slough. Since this offered oppor-
tunities to photograph this rather rare and beautiful ibis, I set up the
camera and walked cautiously toward the bird. The usual caution was
unnecessary, for this ibis was quite oblivious both to passing cars and to
people. Between taking pictures I had ample time to observe its feeding
procedure. The ibis was probing into a mass of aquatic vegetation which
lined the shore. Every few minutes the precision mandibles located one of
the large, freshwater snails, Pomacea, which inhabit the glades. With a


barely noticeable pause, the snail, shell and all, was tossed into the gullet,
to join many others of its kind. Most other birds which feed on this snail
first extract it from its shell.
There is a relative of the ibis which has developed a bill radically differ-
ent from that of the true ibis. This is the roseate spoonbill, the Ubangi of
the bird world. The spoonbill's just claim to beauty, lies not in its ludicrous
bill, but in its breath-taking pink plumage. The bill is six inches or more
in length and broadened at the terminal and to a spatula shape which gives
the bird its name. The best opportunity to see this peculiar bill in use is
likely to be in Florida Bay when the spoonbill nesting season is drawing to
a close. At this time the young gather around the edge of the mangrove
keys to feed in the shallow and muddy water. The parents will return for
sometime to feed the young, but much of the time the young will be
feeding on their own. This is accomplished by the bird walking slowly
along with most of its bill submerged and at the same time rapidly swing-
ing the bill from side to side with the rhythm of a reaper and his scythe.
There is certainly not a native Floridian, and very few visitors, along
the Florida coast who are unacquainted with brown pelicans. A familiar
sight on the piles of public docks, it contributes to the activity and confusion
which so often prevails in such places. None of us can help but marvel at
the precise flight of a formation of pelicans as they flap and glide, in unison.
just barely clearing the water beneath them, nor can we help but be amused
at the clumsy manner in which they dive for fish. The bill is about as near
to a living dip net as anything which nature has yet contrived. The pelican
feeds by coursing along over the water and, upon spotting a fish, diving
in with a splash. The fish is scooped into the gular pouch along with a
quantity of water. The pelican then lowers its bill against its neck, pressing
out the water but retaining the fish. The much larger white pelican uses
its bill in a similar fashion except that it does not dive for its food. Instead,
it frequently displays remarkable cooperation when a number of white
pelicans form a line and drive the fish before them. When the fish are
driven into a corner they turn and try to break through the line of scooping
bills. Some make it, some don't.
If one will make a trip to Snake Bight or some other site in Florida Bay
where a mud bar is exposed, he may be rewarded with the thrilling sight
of a large flock of black skimmers. The skimmer is a member of the tern


family which in the process of survival has departed far from the standard
fishing equipment of most terns. The lower part of its bill projects out far
beyond the end of the upper. When first seen, the skimmers are likely to
be sitting quietly in a dense flock on a mud bar. At irregular intervals and
for no discernable reason, the birds will take to the air and in a matter of
seconds the whole flock will be on the wing. Maneuvering in unison, the
birds alternately present to the viewer their black backs and then their
white underparts. The illusion is created of the flock disappearing and again
appearing as if by some trick of magic. Usually the birds will settle back
on the bar for more rest, some preening, and a little soft conversation with
each other. Rather rarely during daylight hours, a few will start to feed.
It is now that the use of the extraordinary bill is demonstrated. The skimmer
flies low over the water with just the tip of the lower mandible cleaving the
surface. Every few minutes the bird's head will bob down, probably when
the long lower part of the bill hits an item of food. I have never seen the
skimmer dive in the manner of other terns. Since most of the skimmer's
feeding is done at night, one is fortunate to see this strange bill in action.
Perhaps first prize for a peculiar bill should be awarded to the flamingo.
Here is a bird which literally stands on its head for its dinner. The flamingo
must have engaged in this topsy turvy feeding practice for a long time,
for the bill is perfectly adapted to the situation. It is fitted with many
lateral grooves with which the bird can strain small mollusks from the mud
in which they live. Few people are privileged to see the flamingo bill in
use in Everglades National Park because today the birds are rare in that
park. There was a time when hundreds and even thousands of flamingos
could be seen in south Florida; although as Robert P. Allen reported in
the September 1954 issue of this magazine, there are no records to prove
that this fine bird ever did nest in Florida. We can only hope that the
flamingo will so increase in Cuba, the Bahamas, and elsewhere that we
will again see large flocks in Florida.
Consideration of the many and varied bird bills used in fishing the waters
of Everglades National Park demonstrates not only that the process of
natural selection has developed some expert fishermen, but that this process
tends to fill every gap where a fisherman can ply his trade. With tolerance
and reasonable use fishing should remain good for man and bird for many
years to come.

Natural History Notes

September 12, 1954 from the "trail of sorts" in the small stand of pines
near the eastern end of Long Pine Key in the Everglades National Park
Dr. William B. Robertson and I observed a small dark flycatcher. Noting
a yellowish lower mandible and indistinct whitish wing bars, we identified
the bird as a wood pewee (Contopus virens). A few minutes later William
G. Atwater, having parked his car, joined us on the trail and also had a
good view of the bird. This is apparently the first recorded appearance of
this species in the Park area. Howell, in Florida Bird Life (1932) states
that the wood pewee is "a rather uncommon migrant throughout the State,"
and gives only five definite records in southern Florida. That this status
has not been changed materially is borne out by the fact that in the twenty-
two years elapsed since 1932 I have recorded the bird only in eight, here
in southern Florida. Two January records and one Miami Christmas Count
record confirms Howell's surmise that a few individuals may winter in
south Florida. The bird is a persistent singer on its breeding grounds, but
I have never heard its plaintive "pee-a-wee" during migration.
Louis A. STIMSON, Miami, Florida.
8, 1954, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon C. Gilbert and I observed two white-
crowned pigeons in rapid flight at a point about one mile east of Bear
Lake in the Everglades National Park. This is one of the very few winter
records for this bird on the Florida mainland. Although it occurs regularly
during the summer months and breeds in the Florida Bay area of the
park, the winter observations apparently had been oddly limited to the
East River Rookery area. Park ranger Marcus B. Parker found the bird
there on January 28, 1945, and November 23, 1951. Charles Brookfield
of the National Audubon Society recorded it at the East River Rookery
in the winter of 1946-47, and Joseph C. Moore and Willard E. Dilley found
the white-crowned pigeon at the same rookery in November, 1954.
DAVID O. KARRAKER, Ranger-Naturalist, Everglades National Park.


DOWITCHERS, PEEPS AND WORMS. The little sandpipers were
close at my feet on the Flamingo shore. For them I was no more than
another piling, or a much-weathered mangrove stump. Nor was it any
concern of theirs that a rigid object, even though it bore the shape of
man, was imperceptibly shortening as the soft marl yielded to plantigrade
boots. Along the edge of the receding tide there was food, and just as
naturally, there were the birds-one black-bellied plover, one knot, and
half a dozen peeps. In the customary manner I proceeded to 'pin down' the
peeps' identity by first singling out those with yellowish-green legs. Then-
"whoosh." Thirty-five dowitchers swirled right in to a landing several
yards distant from the point where I was anchored. Without hesitation
or pause, all immediately began jabbing their long bills into a fresh pile
of seaweed. (That dowitcher bill! Its surprising length is so often con-
cealed beneath the wing when one wishes to identify the birds resting at
a distance. And now it was just right for probing in a fresh mass of
Thalassia left by the retreating tide!)
I watched. Shortly one dowitcher withdrew from the close-packed crowd
with a slender, six-inch, red worm dangling from its bill. Surely this matter
required special attention, away from the greedy brethern furiously pok-
ing in the grassy debris. However, a new problem at once arose, for one
of the little peeps spied the wriggling morsel and promptly took after the
dowitcher, a much larger bird. Then another peep joined. Soon the har-
rassed dowitcher, dashing erratically about, had a train of four persistent
peeps.-And who got the worm? A peep.
A few minutes later another dowitcher hauled out a second red squirm-
ing prize, and likewise moved off with the annelid victim dangling from
the end of its long bill. Amid much pattering of little feet at the water's
edge there was a reenactment of the previous scene as this hungry do-
witcher, too, was pestered by a pursuant flock of peeps. -Well, who got
the worm this time? Another peep.

Junior Natural History Department


We were pleased to know that we have good nature detectives among
our readers. Nancy Alexander and Sandra Townsend guessed all the riddles
in the December issue correctly.
Everyone who has gone to the beach has picked up shells. Their gay
colors and varied shapes attract babies, interest grandfathers and fascinate
people of all ages. When you picked up the shell, you may have wondered
about the little animal which built and lived in it. Each kind of shell, no
matter how small or queer, was built by a different kind of animal. Most of
the animals which make the familiar sea shells are called mollusks.
When you find shells on the beach, how do you decide which ones you
will take home? Once you begin to have a collection, you will look for
shells which you do not have, and for nicer shells of the kinds you already
have. Try to find perfect shells, which are not broken or badly washed
or faded. Look for shells of the many different kinds of clams and mussels
which are still fastened together. You will want to wrap any of these
"doubles" carefully, so as not to break the delicate "hinge" which holds
the two parts together. There are other fragile shells, especially the bubble
and fig shells, which must be handled very carefully.
Each time you go to the beach, you are apt to find some different kinds
of shells. Carefully look over the shells you have picked up, before you
leave the beach, so you will take home only those you are sure you want
to keep. As soon as your shells are home, wash them well in fresh water,
being sure no bits of shell or sand are left in or on them.
You may be disappointed that your shells seem faded after they are
dried. Your shells will be brighter if you rub a single drop of oil around
in your hands, then rub the dry shell with your hands.
Now that your shells are cleaned and dry and brightened with oil, where
will you put them? If you have some shelf space, you may arrange some


of your larger shells such as helmets and conchs, there. If you keep your
shells neatly covered in boxes, your mother will enjoy your collection
much more, as it will not need to be dusted and moved about so often.
Select a box of proper depth to contain your shells; most shells fit well
in flat boxes. One with a deep cover is best. It is better to use several
smaller boxes than one large box. By cutting a piece of thin cotton batting
to fit the bottom of your box, you may arrange your shells in a display
which will not be easily disturbed when you move the box. A piece of
cotton batting a little smaller than the box should be placed on top of
the shells before the box is covered. By putting your boxes away care-
fully you keep the shells in order.
One of the nicest things about any collection, is being able to tell other
people about it. You already know the common names of many shells,
so you should find out the names of all those in your collection. If you
do not have a shell book or encyclopedia at home, ask your teacher or
librarian about one you may use. The best one in the libraries is American
Seashells by Tucker Abbott.
After you have found you really are interested in collecting shells, you
may wish to make a list of those you have. This you can call your cat-
alogue. Get a book such as a large composition book. Skip the first
page so you have two facing pages to use at one time. With a ruler, draw
lines down the pages writing the heading at the top of each division. You
will need: Number, Name, Place found, Date, Remarks. You might add:
Collector, and Received from, since you may be given shells, or trade
with someone. The largest spaces should be for locality and remarks.
Number your shells with India ink. Then you can use one line all the way
across for each shell.
You may enjoy making a collection to give to your room at school, as
a gift, or to someone who does not live near the beach. For a collection to
give away, you need no catalogue. When you have found the name of each
of your shells, it is simplest to make a list of the names. Then, using ink,
number each shell. If you do not use India ink, when the ink is dry, cover
it with a small amount of colorless nail polish. Then write the number
of each shell in front of its name on the list. When you have placed the
shells on cotton in. a box, and fastened the list of names on the inside
cover, the gift is ready.

Book Reviews

A FIELD GUIDE TO ANIMAL TRACKS by Olaus Murie, xxii + 374 pp.,
profusely illustrated with line drawings by the author and others. Foreword
by Roger Tory Peterson, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1954. $3.75.

Anyone who has ever wandered
along one of south Florida's lovely
beaches or meandered over a dusty
piney woods road, must have encoun-
tered strange markings and tracks
which aroused his imagination. Queer
sprawling trails where beetles have
bungled along, the curious puttering
tracks of the gopher tortoises, and oc-
casionally the sharp imprints of deer,
pumas, or other large mammals are
easy enough to identify when one has
seen them before; but most of the
time the mysterious trails cross our
consciousness for a moment and then
are lost without recognition, begin-
ning, or prospect of an end! Dr. Olaus
Murie's new book goes a long way
toward helping us to satisfy our cur-
iosity about the unseen beings that
leave these trails. The tracks and signs
of many Floridian mammals, birds,
reptiles, and insects are included
among the many illustrations, and are
discussed in the text.
Despite the title, this is not simply
a book about tracks. The author, fol-
lowing in the footsteps of Ernest
Thompson Seton, gives us the benefit
of his rich experience with North
American wild life. He has studied the
caribou in Alaska, the elk at Jackson
Hole, Wyoming, and the tapir in the
jungles of Panama. His book is 'a mine
of information on the behavior, nests,
scatology, and habitats of many crea-
tures which most of us will never be
able to experience outside of books.
Its scholarly quality makes this guide
more than merely a "toy" for the ama-
teur naturalist. It is a fine tool for the

In addition to the many figures of
tracks, there are also discussions and
illustrations to aid in the identification
of scats, gnawings, signs, marks, trails,
and assorted queer mounds, bumps,
and excrudescences left by animals.
These are an invaluable aid for the
game warden, hunter, conservationist,
or ecologist who wants to know what
animals, which he hasn't seen, occur
in an area.
If you are looking for a present for
a small-boy type, say 7 to 80 years
old, this is it. Our seven-year old has
already adopted my review copy, as
he did most of the earlier volumes of
this series which I bought. His com-
ment was, "Perfect!" One thing that
Dr. Murie has omitted, which I regret
for the boys' sake, is Seton's method
for calculating the height and weight
of a dog from its tracks. I recall get-
ting a great deal of pleasure out of
using this on every mongrel in our
neighborhood. I calculated that one
monster weighed 54 pounds, but I
could never check him on a scales.
It is hard to conceive that a book
could be written to interest such di-
versified characters as amateur natur-
alists, professional biologists, hunters,
trappers, bird watchers, conservation-
ists, and small boys. Its appeal, I think,
stems from something deep in our
primitive past which we have never
lost. Perhaps it is the ancient instinct
of the tracker of wild beasts, the
spoorfinder, the eternal hunter-that
bivalent urge that sends man into
bloody battle and yet may one day
lead him out to the stars.-FRANK
N. YOUNG, Indiana University.


FLORIDA BIRD LIFE by Alexander Sprunt, Jr., 569 pp., 40 color plates,
65 maps, Coward-McCann, N. Y., 1954. $12.50.

The two decades since publication
of Arthur H. Howell's splendid book
Florida Bird Life (1932) have been
eventful in the growth of Florida orni-
thology. An inventory of the progress
made has been needed. The present
volume is in the author's words "a
combination revision-rewrite" of the
older book and was produced to an-
swer this need.
Of the 39 plates of illustration by
Jaques which were in Howell's book,
28 are retained, including the excel-
lent habitat group series and the black
and white diagrams of hawks in flight.
The 14 new colored plates by John
Henry Dick impress me as uneven
in quality and style. The impression-
.istic "Birds and weather on Lake
Okeechobee" is a pleasing arrange-
ment, as are the warblers and the
tanager-bunting group. Composition
and coloring of some of the other
plates are less attractive. Photographs
include 12 of Florida landscape, ten
of which are from the older book, and
13 of birds and nests. Ten of the lat-
ter are new, but 19 photos of birds and
nests that appeared in Howell are left
out. Florida has produced so many
fine bird photographs and attracted so
many bird photographers that one re-
grets that this phase of recent orni-
thological advance is not better repre-
Accounts of the species are pre-
sented in a form similar to that of
Howell appear, and 30 of these have
tific names, and descriptions and mea-
surements of eggs are added. Sixty-
five of the 71 range maps used in
Howell appear, and 30 of these have
been redrawn to include new informa-
tion. Material given under "Descrip-
tion" and "Range" is directly quoted
from Howell's book, and that under
"Nesting" is frequently from Howell.

A section entitled "Florida Status"
quotes distributional data given by
Howell and adds a summary of addi-
tional information that has come to
light. "History" offers pleasant rather
generalized essays touching on such
topics as food, field marks, habitat,
and behavior. Notable bits are the ac-
count of the vicious territorial fighting
of male painted buntings and the in-
formation that mockingbirds around
Bok Tower mastered mimicry of the
song of nightingales introduced there.
Howell admitted 423 birds to the
Florida list. A measure of two decades
of progress is seen in the fact that the
new volume lists 50 more. Florida's
location at an avian crossroads is well-
illustrated when one considers that 12
of the 20 species added are species of
western affinities, three are from the
Caribbean, and three are far northern
birds. Two species (ringed turtle dove,
spotted-breasted oriole) are anoma-
lous inclusions, possibly populations
established by escaped cage birds. The
hypothetical list of 36 species includes
26 additions, among which western
birds strongly predominate. In bring-
ing species accounts up to date the au-
thor has followed the sensible policy
of accepting sight records that add to
the knowledge of species already
known from specimens. Properly also,
he has drawn chiefly upon observa-
tions by the state's experienced senior
ornithologists. South Floridians will be
pleased to note that the results of
Louis Stimson's years of painstaking
field work in the Miami-Cape Sable
area receive recognition.
A few comments on the list are nec-
essary. Two species reported for Flor-
ida, black-bellied tree-duck (Fla. Nat.
17:39. 1944) and Audubon's warbler
(Smith. Fla. Nat. 16:41. 1943), are
not included. Neither appears to merit

55 .


more than hypothetical status, but the
records are published and should have
been disposed of in some manner. The
scientific names given for several spe-
cies gadwalll, Cuban snowy plover)
do not follow the A.O.U. Check-list,
and the inclusion of subspecies that
are no longer recognized ("lesser
loon," "Key West bob-white," et al.)
is also questionable. Species occupy
the same relative positions in the list
that they did in Howell even though
their generic assignment may have
been changed, which has some strange
results. Thus, the genus Anas is "cleft
in twain" surrounding Mareca, the
genus Eupoda occupies a spot in the
middle of Charadrius, and species of
three other genera separate the two
species of Zenaida-altogether a most
unusual taxonomic procedure. Despite
the author having stated (page 495)
that "No species should be added to a
State list on observation alone" three
species fulvouss tree-duck, American
rough-legged hawk, emerald humming-
bird) and one subspecies (Gulf Coast
barn swallow) are added on no other
basis. The reviewer does not doubt the
validity of these records, but regrets
their contribution to an enervating
The bibliographic section includes
only references cited in the text, and
a number of these are omitted. Liter-
ature through 1952 has evidently been
reviewed, and several observations as
late as early 1954 are included. The
citation of records published in Audu-
bon Field Notes under the name of the
observer rather than that of the author
of the regional compilation is confus-
ing. An unfortunate error occurs in
citation of Dilley's "Preliminary
Check-list of the Birds of Everglades
National Park" which is an undated,
mimeographed paper done in Sept.
1951 rather than a 1948 publication
in The Auk as stated. There is an in-
dex to bird names.

The announced intent of the book is
to summarize the changes that have
occurred in the status of species in
Florida. One may pertinently inquire
therefore-to what extent has this aim
been accomplished? Comparison with
a file of published records reveals that
the text is liberally freckled with omis-
sions and errors. For many species
status quo is all too readily assumed.
Howell's account of distribution is pre-
sented intact, we are told that no
change has "transpired," and the au-
thor moves on. Often, where reputable
corrections and additions to Howell's
information exist in print, no evidence
of the change of status is indicated. Ob-
servations extending dates of known
occurrence of species are quite gen-
erally disregarded. So important a pap-
er as Stimson's "New extreme migra-
tion dates for southern Florida, etc."
(Fla. Nat. 24:13. 1951) is not even
mentioned in the "Literature Cited."
The reviewer is advised that major
omissions in the accounts of occur-
rence in northern Florida are fre-
quent, but it is impossible here to item-
ize all omissions noted. A represent-
ative selection of those relating to
south Florida follows:
Howell is quoted (page 33) to the
effect that the little blue heron is not
known to breed in the Florida Keys,
despite Greene's report of nesting on
Johnston Key (1946:215). An ac-
count from Howell (page 42) dis-
cusses wood ibis nesting in the long-
defunct Alligator Lake rookery with-
out mention of present nesting concen-
trations at Cuthbert Lake and East
River. The impression is given (page
69) that there is but one additional
south Florida record for the green-
winged teal, whereas in Audubon
Field Notes alone one may find two
records for 1950, one for 1951, and
two for 1952. The account of the
broad-winged hawk (page 110) car-


ries no hint of the fact that it is still a
common migrant and winter resident
along the Florida Keys (Greene 1946:
222; Aud. Field Notes 6:13, et al.).
There is no mention (page 164) of
the occurrence of the golden plover in
south Florida, although Burleigh (Fla.
Nat. 12:95. 1939) long ago reported
a specimen collected at Cape Sable.
The Carolina wren is still known ". .
as far south as Key Largo" despite
Greene's record from Key West (1946:
250); and, the English sparrow still
occurs ". . as far south as Home-
stead" despite many Key West records
and one from Dry Tortugas (Stimson.
Fla. Nat. 15:17. 1941; Sprunt (!) Fla.
Nat. 23:109. 1950).
Error in the citation of records is
another matter. For example, it is re-
ported (page 85) that three female
American scoters were observed Feb-
ruary 20, 1943, off Marco Island by
Stimson, Dietrich, et al., and reference
is made to Fla. Nat. 15:40, an article
(Florida Audubon Society, 1941-42
Secretary's Report!) by Stimson. In-
vestigation shows that the observation
actually reported was that of three
female surf scoters, that the correct
reference is Fla. Nat. 16:40, and that
the author is Dietrich not Stimson.
Smaller errors are rather easily found.
The summer record of the long-billed
curlew at Miami (page 171) was
made by Floyd B. Chapman not Dr.
Frank M. Chapman. Whale Harbor
(page 229) is located at the northeast
end of Upper Matecumbe Key not on
Key Largo "east of Tavernier." The
December 20, 1952 blue-winged warb-
ler record by Brookfield (page 382)
was on a Coot Bay Christmas Count
(Aud. Field Notes 7:106. 1953), not
"near Miami."
It is not implied here that all cita-
tions are error-ridden, nor that every
species account is misleading. A cred-

itable job has been done with many
of them. Errors and omissions are,
however, distressingly frequent for a
book that will inevitably come to be
looked upon as the authority for bird
occurrence in Florida. They virtually
require the early publication of an
extended addenda and corrigenda.
The reviewer was unprepared for
the extensive use of verbatim accounts
from Howell, which comprise fully
half the text. The necessity for much
of this direct quotation is not at once
apparent. New information presented
relates almost entirely to geographical
and seasonal occurrence. The value of
these data is by nature impermanent.
As the author himself notes, the fact
that they go speedily out of date
merely testifies to the industry of field
observers. Thus, we now have at least
one addition to the state list (see Sut-
ton. Condor 55:274. 1953), and the
accounts of several species (cattle
egret, glossy ibis, flamingo, Swainson's
hawk, starling, et al.) have already
become passe so far as occurrence in
south Florida is concerned. One can-
not help wondering whether the pro-
duction of largely ephemeral informa-
tion in a definitive and expensive for-
mat is justifiable. Would not both orni-
thological progress and public use
have been served as well by publica-
tion of a thoroughly revised state list,
including a complete bibliography of
Florida ornithology since 1930?
The book is well-bound and attrac-
tively printed and the price, while
steep, is probably reasonable consid-
ering the book's length and the num-
ber of colored plates. Despite omis-
sions, the fact that it includes data
from the unpublished field notes of
observers makes it indispensable to the
serious student-WILLIAM B. ROB-
ERTSON, JR., Illinois Natural His-
tory Survey, Urbana.


ICEBOUND SUMMER by Sally Carrighar, 262 pp., 22 black and white
illustrations by Henry B. Kane and a map. Alfred A. Knopf, New York,
1953. $3.95.

Here is something truly delightful.
Not since the reviewer was a boy read-
ing Ernest Thompson Seton has he
been so captivated by a book of stories
about how wild animals live. These
are stories of experiences in the lives
of animals in the general vicinity of
Nome, Alaska, and the adjacent Ber-
ing Sea. Each chapter is a short story
of itself, but the stories are inconspic-
uously linked. There is a chapter re-
lating the enchantingly lyrical lovelife
of a pair of arctic terns, one on the
misadventures of a patient maiden
loon, two relating the experiences of
a lemming when the great urge to mi-
grate came upon him and upon his
multitude of crowding neighbors, one
each describing the adventures of the
young of the hair seal and the white
whale, an epic relating the tragic life
and death of a rogue walrus, a fasci-
nating one about an arctic fox who
had followed a polar bear all winter,
helping it hunt and sharing its kills, a
thriller about a pair of enamoured
humpback whales, and a piteous one
about what two orphaned Esquimo
children did when marooned.
The name Icebound Summer de-
rives from the arrangement of the
stories, the first ones depicting exper-
iences of the animals when the winter
ice is just breaking up, and the others
progressing to the southward flight of
the last summer birds before a heavy
snowstorm. It is a summer from ice
to ice.
Miss Carrighar's writing is of high
caliber. Here the reader needs stumble
tolerantly through no awkward prose
to learn what some duffer has experi-
enced in distant places. This is gifted
writing. Its reading is easy and smooth,
yet stimulating. It moves and carries

the reader with it. To know what it is
like to be an old outcast rogue walrus
whose strength is falling below re-
quirements may never be important to
most of us. Nevertheless, it is a stimu-
lating experience to be convinced that
you know how it feels. One can but
be delighted with Miss Carrighar's in-
terpretation of such things as how
wary seals, whales, and walruses de-
tected the distant approach of their
deadly enemy, the killer whale pack.
The excellence of her writing provides
expression for an exceedingly sensitive
imagination. She disciplines this rather
nicely, it appears, to conformation
with facts and reasonable probabili-
ties. The reader finishes this little book
of stories with a feeling of remarkably
broad understanding of the lives and
inter-relationships of many of the ani-
mals which compose such a stirring
summer wildlife pageant on the north-
western coast of Alaska.
In a place or two where the review-
er's specific knowledge permits sure
criticism, it is evident that the author
has applied the available knowledge
on the bottle-nosed dolphin, a temper-
ate zone animal, to the white whale, a
subarctic one, which is in a separate
family. She does this apparently be-
cause no such information is yet avail-
able from researches on the white
whale. Perhaps the probability of her
presumptions (of eleven-month gesta-
tion and tail presentation at birth) be-
ing accurate is adequate for this kind
of reporting. Your (unjustly cranky?)
reviewer, however, would like to be
able to believe these stories to the same
extent that he enjoys them. Even if
disturbed by such things, though, one
can hardly afford to miss such read-
ing as this.-Editor.

Background Notes on Authors


When LOUIS A. STIMSON first turned to birding in 1910 he began a
hobby which has remained with him for a life time. Today, almost forty-
five years later, his interest is as great-perhaps even greater-than it was
in those days when as a boy of nineteen he took his first glimpse into orni-
thology under the guidance of Professor Lynds Jones. In the opening article
of this issue he demonstrates again his careful observation and recording in
"Spring birding in the National Park," the third of a series of seasonal
guides to appear in Everglades Natural History.
A native of Hope, North Dakota, where he was born in 1891, Mr. Stim-
son lived in many parts of the country before settling in Miami in 1925.
His schooling began at Northampton, Massachusetts, where he lived until
the early high school period; high school was completed at the Manlius
School in New York state. Oberlin College, in Ohio,-was the scene of his
introduction to serious birding, although his personal notes indicate that
even as a child he was entranced by the many forms of feathered creatures
which he encountered-one of his prized early memories is his discovery
of the eggs of a small white bird (which he now believes to have been the
fairy tern) on the coral reef at Truk, in the Caroline Islands of the far
As a contributor to south Florida ornithology, Mr. Stimson needs no in-
troduction, and few men in the state have had a more active part in spread-
ing interest in birds and birding. He was the first chairman of the Miami
Audubon Society, now known as the Dade Ornithologists, and is a life
member of the Florida Audubon Society. He has led numbers of field trips
for these societies, keeping careful records of each outing, building up a
massive file of information from which many notes have been supplied to
other ornithologists. Among others, the Everglades National Park is fortu-
nate in having a compilation of his notes available in its archives. For
many years author Stimson has had a leading part in organizing and re-


porting Christmas Bird Counts, primarily in the Loop Road area, but also
in Miami and at Paradise Key and the Coot Bay-Flamingo region.
Mr. Stimson's present article-he has been a frequent contributor to
Everglades Natural History-follows the pattern of his fall and winter
guides, and tells us what we might expect if we keep our eyes open in the
more accessible parts of the Park. This series, taken as a whole, will aid
the novice as well as the expert in establishing seasonal patterns which
might otherwise be overlooked.
NINA DREW, whose "The Park becomes a classroom" begins on page
14, is a member of a rather exclusive group of citizens-she is a third-
generation Floridian! Such are as rare as anything we can think of at the
moment... She was born in Dade City, where her father's family settled
in 1889. While yet a small child, she lived for a while in Tampa, later mov-
ing with her family to Homestead, where a great uncle had homesteaded
before 1900. Living in that area, author Drew fished many times in the
canals near Paradise Key, and she tells us that the vicinity of the present
ranger station was a favorite spot for picnicking long before the Everglades
National Park was created.
After graduation from Homestead High School, Miss Drew attended
Florida State University and the University of Miami (A.B.), later re-
ceiving her master's degree from the University of Michigan. For many
years she has been a teacher in the Dade County public schools, at present
teaching the sixth grade at the Merrick Demonstration School in Coral
Gables. As for her hobbies, she says "the thing I like to do best is teach."
But her interest in the Everglades is closely interwoven with her teaching
practice, and each year her class makes a study of natural features of the
Park as its major science project. A year-round booster, author Drew has
on a number of occasions addressed classes in education at the University
of Miami, "selling" the Park by pointing out the teaching possibilities con-
nected with it.
Picture if you can the wide-eyed amazement of sixth-grade pupils from
the big city, who have just glimpsed their first real live alligator-not in a
zoo, but in the wilds. But most of all, think-if you can-of the ten thou-
sand questions and the frenzied pointing and tugging with which such a
group undoubtedly surrounds its teacher.
"How fortunate are the children of Dade County"-to quote the open-


ing words of author Drew's article-to have teachers who have the patience
and the love of nature which, together, open up a bright new world for
the eager inspection of their charges.
A man who knows what he wants and how to go about getting it is
ROLAND T. BIRD-at least this is the case insofar as his home in the
Redlands is concerned. After a close acquaintance with Paradise Key, au-
thor Bird decided that he wanted a hammock of his own, and proceeded
forthwith to synthesize one in his own pine acres. He tells us about this
project in "No butterfly like the heliconian," the third of his articles to ap-
pear in Everglades Natural History. In an earlier issue he dug deep into
a pot hole at Redlands Hammock and came up with a fascinating report
about the animal remains found in it, with authoritative glimpses into past
geological ages as sidelights to his main story. Later, in a fine meandering
article dealing primarily with the saw palmetto, he led us again along the
hidden paths into his memory, recalling his years as a paleontologist with
the American Museum of Natural History.
Author Bird was born in Rye, New York, and spent many active years
searching for dinosaur remains in the United States and Canada before re-
tiring to Florida. Although no longer active in his field, he maintains his
lifelong interest in paleontology, and writes just because he likes to do it.
One of his articles entitled "We captured a live Brontosaur" appeared in
the National Geographic Magazine for last May.
In his present article, which begins on page 18, Mr. Bird tells us in
attention-holding detail of his attempts to lure the heliconian into his ham-
mock, and traces a season's history of this lovely insect. In addition to be-
ing absorbing reading, "No butterfly like the heliconian" contains a wealth
of authentic lore about the natural history of this region and the life cycle
of its subject. Everglades Natural History sincerely believes that readers
will find a pleasant experience in following the threads of his ideas.
Most of us, remembering Moby Dick and other seafaring yarns, are apt
to associate whales and whaling with strong, silent men, battling the bit-
ter cold of sub-polar seas. But on page 24 of this issue we have whaling
of a different sort: JESSIE J. RANKIN writes of her discovery of a rare
whale in the warm waters of Bull Bay, not far from her residence in trop-
ical Jamaica. It might seem that even a fourteen-foot cetacean would prove
a "man-sized" job for a lady zoologist, but to Dr. Rankin it was just an-


other opportunity to increase her store of knowledge of an interesting sub-
ject, and to pass some of that knowledge along to us in her engagingly-
written article.
Born in 1920 in Belfast, Ireland, of Scottish parents, Miss Rankin came
to this country the following year, later attending schools in California.
After graduation from high school in Pomona, she spent two years in Ja-
maica before entering Edinburgh University, where she majored in zool-
ogy. Her formal education was detoured briefly during the war, while she
served as a hospital laboratory supervisor with the Emergency Medical
Service; teaching appointments at both St. Andrews and Edinburgh Uni-
versities kept her busy for a time after that, lecturing in zoology. For her
work on the thymus gland of the mouse she received her Ph.D. from Edin-
burgh-even today she insists that thymus glands and how they work pro-
vide her main joy in life. Other interests include travel, "hunting" jungle
mammals, and fresh-water biology collecting. Whales, apparently, are
strictly a side-line.
Associated with a number of scientific societies in various parts of the
world, author Rankin keeps in touch with the latest information in her
chosen field, while continuing to pursue her work at the University College
of the West Indies, on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica, where she has
held a post since 1949.
Author Rankin, in addition to writing for this Everglades publication,
has written about the Everglades National Park, in an article which ap-
peared in a recent issue of "Timehri," which is the journal of the Royal
Agricultural and Commercial Society of British Guiana. She spent a sum-
mer not long ago in the hinterlands of British Guiana, and tells us that
she has been holding our Park up as a shining example to that country, in
an attempt to have similar national parks set aside to preserve some of
the rich natural heritage of that truly tropical land.
Not many years ago sizeable stands of century-old cypress were not at
all uncommon in swampy places throughout the south, but as LEO W.
LORENZO points out in his informative article which begins on page 32,
today this majestic tree is nearing a point where its commercial value dwin-
dles away into unimportance.
Ranger Lorenzo-he is a County Forest Ranger with headquarters at
Appling, Georgia-has had a great deal of first-hand experience with his


subject, having worked as a forester for a large landowner in south Florida
for over two years. His first encounter with work of this nature came in
1946, shortly after his discharge from the Army Air Force. He was em-
ployed at that time by the U. S. Department of Agriculture as a survey
scout, to aid in the mapping of those areas of Pennsylvania which were
infected by Dutch Elm Disease. Moving to Florida in 1948, he graduated
from the State Forest Ranger School-an integral part of the School of
Forestry at the University of Florida-and afterward attended the Univer-
sity long enough to take additional courses in forestry. This training led to
the position in south Florida, where his daily contacts with logging opera-
tions led him to further study. One of the results of this study is his article,
"Trees with knees."
As an amateur dendrologist, author Lorenzo enjoys a hobby directly
related to his work: he likes to search out and identify native trees which
are unfamiliar to him, and learn what he can about them: He is concerned
about the preservation of some of the remaining large cypress stands, and
is hopefully following the progress of new reforestation methods. As a
matter of interest, one of the finest virgin cypress swamps in the Big Cypress
country is currently being reprieved from the logger's axe, and promises
to become of major importance in the future: this is the Corkscrew Swamp
area, near Immokalee, which is also the locality of one of the state's larger
water bird rookeries. Through the interest of the Audubon Society and
numbers of conservation-minded individuals, this swamp is now being
bought up and set aside as a permanent "monument" to Florida-as-it-was.
Author Lorenzo was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1922, is married
and the father of two boys, Billie (10) and Donnie (7). Mrs. Lorenzo
was formerly Louise Hagen, of Arcadia, Florida. In addition to having a
wife from Florida and having worked in the cypress country, ranger Lorenzo
had additional "local" experience last year as a seasonal fire control aid in
the Everglades National Park.
Tamarind, acacia, lignum vitae, alvaradoa-these are a few of. the ex-
otic-sounding plants which are described in the third installment of
GEORGE D. RUEHLE's paper, "Some native trees and shrubs as orna-
mentals," which begins on page 36. In spite of their strange names, all
of these plants are "home folks," and the author has personally investi-
gated the characteristics of every one of them.


Dr. Ruehle came to the Sub-Tropical Experiment Station at Homestead
in 1935, after five years at the Lake Citrus Station. Since he became direc-
tor of the Homestead station in 1943 he has devoted much time and
thought to its constant improvement and development, so that at present
it is known wherever a serious interest in tropical agriculture exists.
As noted in earlier numbers of Everglades Natural History, Dr. Ruehle's
survey is beyond the scope of a single issue, and will be continued in future
installments until the entire study has been covered.
Perhaps only the saw-grass and the purple gallinules along the Anhinga
Trail are more familiar to more park visitors than is WILLARD E. DIL-
LEY. A man with many duties, park naturalist Dilley conducts nature
walks and night prowls, offers Sunday evening slide talks at the Royal
Palm Ranger Station, answers scores of questions posed by inquisitive vis-
itors, serves as executive secretary and librarian for the Everglades Natu-
ral History Association-and manages to maintain a pleasant, unruffled
disposition and a courteous manner which are remembered by many long
after his facts have been forgotten. In the midst of these varied activities,
naturalist Dilley somehow contrives to find time for an occasional contri-
bution to this publication.
In "Fishing tackle for the birds," his present article which begins on
page 45, he takes a close look at many of the water birds found along
the Anhinga Trail and in nearby waters, and tells us pertinent facts about
how they catch their dinners. The result of long and patient observation,
these notes will prove informative to many of us, and entertaining to prac-
tically everybody.
The Junior Natural History Department, which has appeared in several
earlier issues, is continued (see page 52) with an article on shells and
shell collecting, written by PEARL STAPLES FINN. With our younger
readers in mind, Mrs. Finn has produced an introduction to the pleasures
of seeking and identifying local mollusks.
Mrs. Finn has had an active interest in the National Park since its
founding in 1947, and has contributed this department in the two preced-
ing issues. Four years' residence in Everglades City before moving to Mi-
ami gave her a splendid opportunity for first hand observation and study,
and she has utilized her long experience as a teacher to frame her mate-
rial in a manner suitable for her audience.


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