xt7t4b2x5n6z https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7t4b2x5n6z/data/mets.xml Alabama Alabama Museum of Natural History 1921 Other titles include: Alabama Museum of Natural History museum paper, Geological Survey of Alabama, Museum of the Geological Survey of Alabama. Other creators include: United States. Work Projects Administration, Geological Survey of Alabama, Tennessee Valley Authority. Issues for 1, 3 carry no series numbering. No. 2 also as Education papers no. 1. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call number  AS36 .A2. journals  English University, Ala. : Alabama Museum of Natural History, 1910-1960 This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Alabama Works Progress Administration Publications Museum Paper, no. 4, 1921 - including "Annotated List of the Avery Bird Collection in The Alabama Museum of Natural History" by Ernest G. Holt and "Biographical Sketch of Dr. William Cushman Avery" by Miss Mary E. Avery text Museum Paper, no. 4, 1921 - including "Annotated List of the Avery Bird Collection in The Alabama Museum of Natural History" by Ernest G. Holt and "Biographical Sketch of Dr. William Cushman Avery" by Miss Mary E. Avery 1921 2015 true xt7t4b2x5n6z section xt7t4b2x5n6z   __’  AA   QU UU     :_       U1 ._ __*»   U   * ·AA     _.   — U — U
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1, _ A WILLIAM CUSHMAN AVERY, M. D.
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 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
EUGENE ALLEN SMITH, S/Iz/c G`c0/wgisl
MUSEUM PAPER NO. 4
ALABAMA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
ANNOTATED LIST OF THE
IN
THE ALABAMA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
` (GEOLOGICAL sUR\/EY MUSEUM)
BY
ERNEST G. HOLT
A Biographical Sketch ol Dr. William Cushman Avery
by his sister
MISS MARY E. AVERY
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 LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
T0 Hts E.roellei2zcg,
V GOl.’C‘}'7207' Thomas E. Kilby,
Montgomery, Alabama.
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith the manu-
script of an annotated list of the Avery bird collection,
with the request that it be printed as Museum Paper N0.
4 of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, (Geologi-
cal Survey Museum).
Very respectfully,
EUGENE A. SMITH,
State Geologist.
University of Alabama,
September, 1921.

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» I A (   GEOLOGICAL CORPS.
3   Eugene Allen Smith, Ph.D .,..................,...._,_,_._.______._______,,_______________,__ State Geologist
l' ~ VVilliam F. Prouty, Ph.D. l
‘· ‘ George I. Adams, D.Sc. It Assistant Geologists on Special Wo1·l<.
·   y V _ George H. Clark, C. E. ]
[ V   »V I Robert S. Hodges ....................................l.................................................,.,...,......i.............. Chemist
3 ` . Roland M. Harper, Ph.D ................................r.........,... Geographer and Botanist
i. ` Mrs. Herbert H. Smith .......................................... Acting Curator of Museum
i - Truman H. Aldrich .....................r.....r.............. Honorary Curator of Mollusca
V Rev. H. E. Wheeler ........................,..... Assistant in Paleontological \V0rk
‘ George N. Brewer ..........,.._..,......................................................................... Field Assistant
,   A, T. Donoho _...........................................................................................,..............,............ Secretary
T ` in RIVER GAGE HEIGHT OBSERVERS.
  .·‘_ Tallupoosal River at Sturrleocmt, Ala.
in   ‘ A_ L_ Stow __,_.___,,__,,,...i................,............................................................ Alexander City, Ala,
_____   it EU: River at EZ/cmont, Ala.
‘   V , Dr, William E. Maples ........................................................,,....,.,...........i. Elkmont, Ala,
A   ‘ l` Observations are made every day by these observers of the gage
** readings at the several stations. From these records when extend-
,   » " ed through sui¥icient time, the calculation of available horse power
  _. to be obtained from the different streams is made,
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 PREFACE.
1 THE act of the legislature of Alabama, approved April
18, 1873, "To revive and complete the geological and
agricultural survey of Alabama," has from the first been
construed to include, as related to agriculture and there-
fore legitimately a part of the survey work, the investi-
gation of the fauna and flora of the State. In the pre-
face of my first report, 1874, I have outlined the scope of a
complete report of this survey to include,
I. Physical Geography.
II. Geology and Paleontology.
III. Economic Geology.
IV. Agricultural Relations, and
V. Botany and Zoology,
and the reports of the Survey from year to year have
covered more or less in detail all of these subjects.
Collections of the native plants of this State, begun in
1873 and continued since, have resulted in the accumula-
tion of a fairly complete herbarium of the plants growing
without cultivation in Alabama, and the publication of the
classical work of Dr. Charles Mohr "The Plant Life of
Alabama." Additional notes on the flora of the State have
been published in most of the Survey reports up to the
present time.
Naturally the insects injurious to vegetation and the
birds and other animals which prey upon them, or which
are themselves directly destructive of vegetation, must
be considered in any reasonably complete account of the
agricultural features of the State.
In my report for 1875 was published a preliminary
paper on the cotton worm by Prof. A. R. Grote. and in-
the 1876 report, A Preliminary List of the Fresh Water
Shells of the State, by Mr. James Lewis.
We have now in manuscript ready for publication, a
similar list of the Reptiles and Batrachiaiis of Alabama
by H. P. Loding of Mobile, and the present report con-

 A I
I
i _ 6 I GEOLOGIQAL su.EvEY or ALABAMA
_ I s A tains a list of the collection of Birds of Alabama made
I   5 by Dr. William C. Avery and now in the State museum,
I Y * V together with all his ornithological notes.
  V . This is preliminary to a complete account of the birds
{ . _A of the State, which we hope in due time to present.
  ,. A similar report on the mammals of the State and on the
I insects, especially those injurious to vegetation, should
` t ~ follow in due course, but the overwhelming number of
I ‘ insect forms existing at the present day, makes a com-
I . plete presentation of the insect life even of a state, a life
{   work. We may hope, however, soon to make at least an
  initial report on the most important insect forms in their
, relation to agriculture.
I ‘]· . EUGENE A. Sivrrrn.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF WILLIAM CUSHMAN
AVERY.
Condensed from notes by his sister Miss Marry E. Avery.
WILLIAM CUSHMAN AVERY, M. D., son of Rev.
John Avery, D. D., and Ann Paine, his wife, was
born in Edenton, N. C., Sept. 21, 1831.
From his earliest years he evinced a love of knowledge.
He went to the root of all that he felt worth learning;
the more difficult the research, the more fascinating.
He was tutored at home by his mother, until he entered
his teens. She recognized and appreciated his talents,
and furthered their development. He loved nature, espec-
ially in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. I remem-
ber when a child seeing him pore over his volumes of
natural history and filling a book with drawings of ani-
mals and of birds, sketches from nature, and copied from
these histories.
He had such a love for drawing and painting, that at
one period he thought seriously of making this his life
work. He possessed great versatility of thought and
aptness of learning in almost every branch.
He inherited a taste for languages from his father, who
was a graduate of Williams College, Mass.; and after-
wards of Yale College in 1813.
My brother, Dr. William C. Avery, graduated at Bur-
lington College, N. J. in 1851 or ’52. His college life
was one of great happiness; wrapped in the pursuit of
learning he won the esteem of the professors and the
friendship of the students, many of whom were to be
noted men in the world. He seemed utterly free from
self conceit, so that none manifested envy towards him.
In regard to literary investigations he was thoroughly
self-reliant and self—suificient, yet showing nothing of
arrogance towards others.
After graduating at Burlington College, he taught
school for several years. He then studied medicine at

 I.
I I 8 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
I ~  Q,   the University of Pennsylvania and completed his course
  Yi   { in Paris.
I ». I While in Paris he studied French, sparing no pains in
I   Y ] becoming proficient in that language. He frequently
I     avoided meeting his friends from America, not wishing
I   to speak English while striving for fluency in French.
I . ij Just so it was while he was in Italy, Germany and
I I I Spain, his application was such that he became proficient
I -Q in these languages also. While in Europe he traveled
. . .   in Germany and Switzerland on foot, there studying na-
»1   ture. ,
I  . After his return home he decided to settle for life
H ` ¥ in Marshall, Texas, and there to practice medicine; Af-
. ` I ter a few years, he returned to his old home, "Content—
I ment," near Greensboro, Ala., to visit his mother. Feel-
  ing that it was best to be near her, he did not return to
      Texas, but settled in Selma, Ala., in the early spring of
  l I I I 1861. `
  · _ His office had scarcely been opened, when the signal
. . I   of war sounded. He was filled with enthusiasm. He
    Y gave up everything and enlisted as a private in Col. N.
I *   H. R. Dawson’s regiment.
  _ His lot was never to be in a battle, for like many a
  ~“`. I `~l¤ fellow soldier, he was taken with measles soon after
I   i“ ‘ reaching Virginia. He knew nothing of the glories of
    a soldier’s life, only sickness and weariness in the sol-
.?;'* I, dier’s camp.
'   t Recovering from the measles he came with his division
AI I =V, to Dumfries on Ocoquon Creek, Virginia, not far from
I —.,. , ··“»   . Washington City. There, from fatigue and lack of suit-
  ¤ Z able care and nourishment in his broken down condi-
II j_Q tion, he was taken with typhoid fever. That he did not
Ii I _ die seemed a miracle; but he was saved for other work.
I;   Through this illness he was incapacitated for the duties
I   . of a soldier. His furlough and discharge from the army
I I  . were granted and he returned to Greensboro, Ala., where
I - he taught school for some time and then resumed the
I;. ‘ ~ practice of medicine. He did not care for town life, but
I I . I always made his home in the country.
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 AVERY BIRD COLLECTION 9
Living in close touch with nature he had the opportun-
ity of gratifying his love of natural history. He studied
ornithology and related subjects for the mere love of
them, but he became soon an ornithologist recognized and
endorsed by the first in our land.
By correspondence he became well known to ornithol-
ogists, and among them claimed as his friends, Messrs.
J. A. Allen and Frank Chapman, curators in the Museum
of Natural History Central Park, N. Y.; and Prof. Coues,
Messrs. Bendire, Merriam, and Robert Ridgway of the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington City.
He had a great desire to make a collection of the birds
of Alabama. Like many a gifted student, he had no
money of his own, nor the aid of influential wealthy
friends to advance him in his work. This did not deter
him but added zeal and determination to his desire. He
was very accurate. Time and labor were factors to prove
or establish a fact.
He anticipated the necessity of the "bird law" which has
recently been passed. In 1882 he wrote a long article on
"Causes Leading to the Lessening and Destruction of our
Game." This article is given below in the Systematic
List.
Not long after the English sparrow was introduced
into Central Park, New York, I spent the summer in
Orange. N. J. The little birds increased so rapidly that
Central Park could not hold them, and myriads flocked
to the Jersey town. Now it was hoped that gardens and
_ orchards would be freed from insects. Everybody re-
_ joiced. I was fascinated with them, and made arrange-
. ments to take some of them home to my brother but I
. was disappointed. After getting home I told him of my
; plan, saying, "Brother, I hoped to bring you a lovely
_ present, a gift that would give you more pleasure than
; anything else. but I did not succeed." "What was it‘?,"
{ he asked. "Oh," I replied. "a cage full of lovely little
3 English sparrows. There were thousands of them in
3 Orange, N. J., and everybody was wild about them."
E "English sparrows," he exclaimed. "Thank God, you
did not succeed. Don’t you know that they will prove

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I 10 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
I
A   ~ A   an awful pest. Those who introduced them thought
I   A   A the English sparrow was insectivorous, but instead it is
I I . granivorous; and I trust we will not have them here."
  I » — After all they have come to stay.
I , To him no pleasure was equal to going off with gun,
I A A game bag and note book and spending the whole day,
I A alone in the most unfrequented woods to watch the habits
I of birds.
I I it Dr. Avery wrote very little for publication. His most
I _   important articles are in the American Field; Vols.
I . XXXIV and XXXV, published in 1890 and ’91. His cor-
I . ' respondence with ornithologists, mammalogists and taxi-
I · ‘ dermists was quite extensive and always instructive.
  He made a collection of 900 birds, preparing them
  ‘ for scientific use, according to Audubon’s plan. This col-
I   lection was purchased by the Geological Survey of Ala-
I  f bama through Eugene A. Smith, State Geologist, and is
I. _. * A now in the Alabama Museum of Natural History, Univer-
I AA -_ sity of Alabama.
  . In January, 1894, Dr. Avery seemed less capable of
*‘   g enduring great fatigue. We feared heart trouble. And
  _A thus it was for on March 11, 1894, God called him sud-
  -4 I . denly to his eternal rest.
I I   I "He who dies believing,
I   __ Dies safely through His love."
  ` On his father’s side, Dr. Avery was a lineal descend-
.   i A· ent of Dr. William Avery who came to America
  . from Berkshire, England, in 1650; of Robert and Thom-
II _ i as Cushman, who came to America in the Mayflower
IT . ` in 1620 ; and of Isaac Allerton, likewise a Mayflower pass- .
‘ ~ ’ enger.
I A On his mother’s side he was closely related to Robert
‘ ’ I Treat Paine, one of the signers of the Declaration of
I, ° A Independence.
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I- TI—IE ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES OF
  DR. WILLIAM CUSHIVIAN AVERY
INCLUDING A CATALOGUE OF HIS ALABAMA
·f COLLECTION.
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COMPILED AND EDITED BY ERNEST G. HOLT.
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INTRODUCTION.
IN THE Museum of the Geological Survey of Alabama,
at University, is a small but well preserved collection
of birds brought together by the late Dr. William Cush-
man Avery of Greensboro, Ala. Most of the specimens
` were collected and preserved by Dr. Avery’s own hands,
although there are many secured by exchange with well
known ornithologists, and a few that were purchased.
` The collection as a whole is fairly representative, except
for the water birds, but is of especial interest because
the greater part of the specimens were collected in the
vicinity of Greensboro, and at other points in Alabama-
a State none too well known ornithologically.
Since the death of Dr. Avery in 1894, many sub-species
have been described and sweeping changes have been
made in nomenclature, rendering a revision of the col-
lection desirable. The privilege of this work was given
the writer by Dr. Eugene A. Smith, State Geologist, and
in January, 1914, a complete check of the collection was
made with the assistance of Mr. Lewis S. Golson, of
Prattville, Ala. All records were placed at our disposal,
and though these consisted only of five combination cata-
logues and journals and a few loose pages, many interest-
ing facts regarding the bird-life of the region and the
early ornithological struggles of Doctor Avery were
gleaned from them.
It was at first proposed by Dr. Smith to publish a cata-
logue of the revised collection, but because Dr. Avery’s
‘ published notes are scattered through journals long since
out of print, or otherwise unavailable, and because the
unpublished material contained in his note-books seems `
of considerable value, it was decided to bring all together
in a bulletin in the form of an annotated catalogue.
The following list of 216 species and subspecies is the
result. Alabama specimens only are included in this,
though the collection contains many western and north-
ern birds, and others taken beyond the boundaries of

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l 14 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
_ _Q·.i   the State. Dr. Avery did not collect personally outside
j ‘ ·   - his native state and almost all the specimens listed here-
1 in were taken by himself. It has been the writer’s aim
V ‘ to make of this bulletin at once a complete resume of Doc-
, _ tor Avery’s ornithological labors, and to bring together
, any interesting facts connected with the acquirement of
I S _ his store of bird-lore.
5 , Because of the exigencies of the writer’s service with
  A jj the U. S. Biological Survey, the work of searching
i ‘ * through the Doctor’s old records and compiling his pub-
l » ~ lished papers had to be done at odd moments between
_ S, field trips. The war caused a further delay and the
I lt·i‘ '— actual writing of the manuscript was accomplished in a
{ military camp after the signing of the armistice. Thus
1 T several years have elapsed since the collection was worked
I   over but the results have not been affected by the delay
T . ` in publication.
* ,,- It is worthy of note that Dr. Avery did not take a
, scientific interest in birds until comparatively late in
° . life; this interest continued, however, until almost the
  y_ hour of his death——7:3O o’clock on Sunday morning,
I l , March 11, 1894. His last specimen catalogued was a mock-
V ·   ingbird taken on March 5th, 1894. The earliest note
_ 1 . , found is dated June 21, 1875, the fortieth anniversary
_   A of his birth, and is written in French on a page cut
» from an old journel (see under Pirrcmgcc 1·. rubm, No.
~ - ' 151). A catalogue of fifty-five numbers and an "Oologi—
,     cal Register" of seven numbers, running from May 23,
  1876, to August 23, 1881, is contained on a few other
  .. V pages from the same old account book, but few of these
1 .*,- " i `_ · specimens are now in the collection. His really serious
,. F work was begun apparently in 1886, when he started a
A - _ catalogue on July 6th. This latter catalogue is an orderly
, affair entered in live books through which are dispersed
. fragmentary journal records, notes on bird habits, song,
, ` l nesting, and other items of interest.
{ . . Though Dr. Avery’s published writings are not in them-
  V ‘ selves of great importance, his ornithological work bore
|‘ abundant fruit through others. He contributed quite a
\ number of stomachs of raptorial birds to the U. S. Bio-
I.
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AVERY BIRD COLLECTION 15
logical Survey (then the Division of Ornithology and
Mammalology), the analyses of which are included in
Dr. A. K. Fisher’s classic work on "The Hawks and
Owls of the United States in Their Relation to Agricul-
ture." His correspondence with Dr. Fisher was exten-
sive and it is very interesting to learn from Dr. Fisher
that he himself, by mail, through the medium of the Eng-
lish sparrow, taught Dr. Avery to make bird skins. Spar-
row skins were prepared in such a way as to show the
different operations necessary to produce a good museum
skin and forwarded to Dr. Avery who thus was enabled
to copy them in preparing other birds. Dr. Fisher also
identified many of the more obscure species for Dr. Avery.
Dr. Avery also corresponded actively with the officials
of the U. S. National Museum and the American Museum
of Natural History, notably: Dr. Elliott Coues, Major
Charles E. Bendire, Robert Ridgway, Dr. J. A. Allen, and
Dr. Frank M. Chapman. He contributed many speci-
mens to both museums, including birds, eggs, nests, and
notes which were sent to Maj. Bendire. Among the old
Avery papers is quite a bundle of the diploma-like ac-
knowledgments of these specimens by the Smithsonian-
Institute, all signed by G. Brown Goode, Assistant Sec-
retary. His sets of Pcu.ca»ca. celcstirczilis bccclwmmi were of
considerable importance; and Davie’s quotation in "Nests
and Eggs of North American Birds" of Bendire’s descrip-
tion of "5 nests and several full sets" form the greater
part of the information regarding the nesting of Bach-
man’s sparrow published in that work. Ai series of
specimens of Qmscailzzs qizeisculd was collected to aid Mr.
Ridgway in working out the relationships of the different
j subspecies. Besides the aforementioned scientists, Dr.
· Avery corresponded more or less regularly with the fol-
_ lowing: Dr. Harrison Allen, University of Pennsylvania;
, Frank B. Armstrong, Brownsville, Texas; Prof. Spencer
F. Baird, Smithsonian Institution; William Brewster,
. Cambridge, Mass.; C. S. Brimley, Raleigh, N. C. (Brim-
; ley visited Avery at Greensboro in September, 1890);
f George G. Cantwell, Lake Mills, Wisconsin; F. H. Car-
. penter, Rehoboth, Mass.; William Dutcher, New York

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t 16 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
' i ,   City; H. W. Flint, New Haven, Conn.; Flood Brothers,
* ` i { Hudson, Mass.; Thomas H. Jackson, West Chester, Pa.;
A t Thomas Mcllwraith, Hamilton, Ontario; Dr. C. Hart Mer-
; ‘- .4 riam, Washington, D. C.; J. T. Park, Warner, Tenn.;
_ __ Harry G,. Parker, Chester, Pa.; Charles J. Pennock, Ken-
. .` ' nett Square, Pa.; G. H. Ragsdale, Gainesville, Tex.; W.
l c · G. Smith, Colorado; G. E. Stilwell, Kansas City, M0.;
r g Frank B. Webster, Boston, Mass. There are specimens
° . in the collection taken by Dr. Edgar A. Mearns, W. E. D.
l ·   `Scott. L. M. Loomis, and John Rowley, but the writer
A , was unable to ascertain whether Dr. Avery corresponded
in g l   directly with these gentlemen or received the specimens
` i _i_, V, .i— in exchange through some of his museum correspondents.
1 _ Many of the letters from his correspondents fortunately
t ,» are preserved in the files of the State Department of
i F Archives and History, at Montgomery, and these are very
T A . interesting. For instance there is one from Robert Ridg-
i   ” _ way thanking Dr. Avery for correcting the diagnosis of
  Dctmlmicd a·cigm·si as published in the former’s "Manual
· Pa ‘ of North American Birds," 1887, and Dr. J. A. Allen tells
[   ‘ how to make a fat scraper and gives a few hints on pois-
  — `   oning the tails of mammal skins.
lf ° That Dr. Avery’s interest in Zoology was not confined
  __ — _1 to birds is evidenced by a catalogue of fifty-three mam-
    · mals taken Dec. 16, 1890, to Feb. 2, 1894. The collec-
tl     tion included mice, rats, moles, skunks, chipmunks, musk
`__ _ if rats, minks. flying squirrels, and others, the most of the
Lg; it F _ specimens were little spotted skunks. Apparently few of
·   ‘ his specimens were retained for his own collection, the
  A l majority being sent to Dr. A. K. Fisher, Dr. C. Hart Mer-
kl.   " riam, and the Smithsonian Institution. Snakes also were
  · l collected and sent to Dr. Leonhard Stejneger of the U.
` S. National Museum, and there was some correspondence
* A , with Drs. L. O. Howard and C. L. Marlatt, of the U. S.
l` ‘ ‘ Bureau of Entomology, relating to insect specimens sent
  ‘ to them by Dr. Avery for identification. Dr. Avery was
" l   also something of an amateur botanist.
t i. Doctor Avery was ever the sportsman. Besides being
ll ‘ . an enthusiastic gunner he was a lover of dogs and was
l' Q widely known as an excellent trainer of these animals.
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AVERY BIRD COLLECTION 17
An extensive correspondence was carried on with I.
, Yearsley, Jr., of Coatesville, Pa., for whom he trained
- many bird-dogs. He also raised and sold dogs registered
; with the American Kennel Club of New York City. He
- was also interested in game fowls as shown by the fol-
. lowing note from his sister, Miss Mary E. Avery: "You
; will notice that there are quite a number of hawks in the
s collection. I am sure that my brother felt a peculiar
. pleasure in stuffing them rather than they should stuff
v themselves with his beautiful game fowls." Like all true
l sportsmen the Doctor was keenly interested in guns, and
; the two works following occupied a place among his
. bird books: "The Gun and Its Development? 1884, by
J W. W. Greener, and "The Dead Shot; or Sportsman’s
f Complete Guide: Being a Treatise on the Use of the Gun,"
J 1867, by "Marksman." Another book, much used and
- bound in cloth, probably by Dr. Avery himself, is "The
f Wild-Fowler," 1864, by H. C. Folkard. In a letter from
l Amory R. Starr of Marshall, Texas, is the interesting
s statement that Dr. Avery was the "first to introduce the
.- use of short guns into this section; by short guns meaning
30 and 32 inch barrels." At that time (August 28, 1889)
d however, one of Mr. Starr’s friends was still addicted to
__ the use of a 48-inch muzzle-loader! Doctor Avery owned
;_ several guns, of course, because he hunted deer as well
k as quail. For his ornithological collecting he used a .44
G caliber and No. 12 shot.
>f Dr. Avery was an authority on Latin and Greek and
6 was not unacquainted with French, Spanish and German.
T- Much of his correspondence with Dr. Coues and Mr. Ridg-
‘€ way related to the etymology of ornithological names,
I and Mr. Ridgway in several letters took occasion to thank
i€ Dr. Avery for his criticisms of the nomenclature used in
5- the "Manual of North American Birds," 1887. A con-
1'€ siderable portion of Dr. Avery’s correspondence with Dr.
lg Merriam was devoted to questions of nomenclature, par-
ticularly etymology, and to some of Dr. Avery’s criti-
lg cisms of the nomenclature adopted by the American Or-
ig nithologists’ Union Dr. Stejneger replied at length
g_ through Dr. Merriam. Dr. Avery was a stickler for the

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I.
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} t 18 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
‘ . . ,_;Q classic Latin and Greek and of course his ideas did not
      conform to the A. O. U. rules on original spelling. Miss
· Mary E. Avery in a letter to Dr. T. M. Owen writes that
"It would be difficult to say whether he loved the study
a of languages or of nature best."
’   Dr. Avery became an Associate Member of the Ameri-
` l can Ornithologists’ Union in 1887, and his name was
. listed in "The International Scientists’ Directory," pub-
- lished by S. E. Cassino, Boston, 1888.
7 i` Though Dr. Avery’s serious interest in ornithology did
' not awake until late in life, he then surrounded himself
V V ` with the best books that could be had at that time on the
  ,i . subject. In his library were found among others, the
I A following: Coues’ "Key to North American Birds," 1872;
lj Ridgway’s "Manual of North American Birds," 1887,
I _ and "Nomenclature of Colors for Naturalists," 1886;
j i , Davie’s "Nests and Eggs of North American Birds,"
`— M A 1889; A. O. U. “Code of Nomenclature and Check—List of
  North American Birds," 1886; Maynard’s "Naturalist’s
,V, I - Guide," 1887; and Hornaday’s "Taxidermy and Zoological
2 `  * · Collecting," 1891.
    Y Dr. Avery was much concerned over the increasing
i · r _ I scarcity of birds and scattered through his journals are
A many references to the subject. The following are of
, _; r ; interest: "Sept. 5th, 1889. Saw on the edge of a piece
’ of woods many warblers, gnatcatchers, and cuckoos feed-
, Y I . ing evidently upon the army worms on the cotton in the
  adjacent field. Shot a blue yellow-back warbler; too
~   ‘ badly shot to preserve; this individual with several others
  of the same species, and numerous blue—gray gnatcatch-
IV .q_ ers were feeding on army worms.
  — ` "I have often seen the fields around woods completely
Li` protected against worms by the birds; but that was fifteen
I " _ or twenty years ago. The birds have decreased so since
li   that time that they seem to make little impression on
L   the army of worms even around forests."
i r - "Jan. 22, 1892. Birds have been scarcer this winter
, ` E than I have ever known them before; a few myrtle warb-
{ I lers, and sparrows, with now and then a robin, or a small
T bunch of cedar waxwings are nearly the sum total of our
K
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 AVERY BIRD COLLECTION 19
'G birds. Breech—loaders in the hands of free negroes are
S fast exterminating our small birds, as they have already
I destroyed our squirrels and hares; our game little part-
V ridges (Colinas) also are fast disappearing?
"Sept. 27, 1893. The day was bright and clear and
·` many birds were seen, but a negro began to shoot and
S continued his fusillade at the little birds from eight o’clock
" in the morning till ten. It was gall and wormwood to me
to hear the report of his gun every four or Eve minutes.