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President Theodore Roosevelt's Bird Checklist for the White House

“Bird-Lore: A Bi-Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Study and Protection of Birds”

Official Organ of the Audubon Societies

(Vol. X11 No. 2 March – April, 1910)

From the author, Lucy W. Maynard of Washington, DC: … I had the opportunity to speak with the President, and I asked him if I might make, from a magazine article of his, a list of the birds he mentioned having seen about the White House. I explained that I wanted it for a new edition of the local bird book, ‘Birds of Washington and Vicinity.’

“Why yes,” he answered cordially. “But I’ll do better for you than that. I’ll make you a list of all the birds I can remember having seen since I have been here.”

Then he said I had better remind him, as he might forget it, and he told me how to address a note so that it would come directly to him, without risk of falling into a secretary’s waste-basket.

I wrote the reminder, and it shows the President’s characteristic promptness that within twenty-four hours after mailing it I received this list of ninety three birds in his own handwriting.


PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S LIST OF BIRDS

SEEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS AND ABOUT WASHINGTON DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION

(Compiled from memory March 27, 1908)

NIGHT HERON [could be Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, but most likely Black-crowned Night-Heron]. Five spent winter of 1907 in swampy country about one-half mile west of Washington Monument.

Ruffed Grouse © Gregg Thompson

MOURNING DOVE.

QUAIL [Most likely Northern Bobwhite].

RUFFED GROUSE. One seen on Rock Creek.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK.

RED-SHOULDERED HAWK.

*SPARROW HAWK [American Kestrel]. A pair spent the last two winters on and around the White House grounds, feeding on the Sparrows—largely, thank Heaven, on the English Sparrows.

*SCREECH OWL [Eastern Screech-Owl]. Steady resident on White House grounds.

*SAW-WHET OWL [Northern Saw-whet Owl]. A pair spent several weeks by the south portico of the White House, 1905.

KINGFISHER [Belted Kingfisher].

*YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO.

HAIRY WOODPECKER.

Common Nighthawk © Gregg Thompson

*DOWNY WOODPECKER.

*SAPSUCKER [Yellow-bellied Sapsucker].

*RED-HEADED WOODPECKER. Nests (one pair) on White House grounds.

*FLICKER [Northern Flicker]. Nests (several pairs) on White House grounds.

WHIP-POOR-WILL [Eastern Whip-poor-will].

NIGHTHAWK [Common Nighthawk].

*CHIMNEY SWIFT.

*HUMMINGBIRD [Ruby-throated Hummingbird].

KINGBIRD [Eastern Kingbird].

GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER.

PHOEBE [Eastern Phoebe].

WOOD PEWEE [Eastern Wood-Pewee].

Bobolink © Gregg Thompson

HORNED LARK.

*CROW [American Crow].

*FISH CROW.

*ORCHARD ORIOLE. One pair nested in White House grounds.

BOBOLINK.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.

*BALTIMORE ORIOLE.

MEADOWLARK [Eastern Meadowlark].

*PURPLE GRACKLE [Common Grackle]. Nests on White House grounds. Very abundant in early spring.

*PURPLE FINCH.

*THISTLE BIRD (Goldfinch) [American Goldfinch].

VESPER SPARROW.

*WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. Sings; this year sang now and then all through the winter.

Dark-eyed Junco © Gregg Thompson

*TREE SPARROW [American Tree Sparrow].

*CHIPPIE [Chipping Sparrow]. Nests.

BUSH SPARROW [Field Sparrow].

*SNOW BIRD (Junco) [Dark-eyed Junco]

*SONG SPARROW. Nests.

*FOX SPARROW.

*CARDINAL [Northern Cardinal].

TOWHEE [Eastern Towhee].

*INDIGO-BIRD [Indigo Bunting]. Nests.

TANAGER [most likely Scarlet Tanager, but could be Summer Tanager].

PURPLE MARTIN.

*BARN SWALLOW.

TREE SWALLOW.

Red-eyed Vireo © Gregg Thompson

BANK SWALLOW.

*CEDAR BIRD [Cedar Waxwing].

LOGGER-HEAD SHRIKE [Loggerhead Shrike].

*RED-EYED VIREO. Nests.

*WARBLING VIREO. Nests.

*BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER. Nests.

*BLUE YELLOW-BACKED WARBLER (Parula Warbler) [Northern Parula].

*CAPE MAY WARBLER.

*SUMMER YELLOWBIRD [Yellow Warbler]. Nests.

*BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER.

*BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER.

*MYRTLE WARBLER [Yellow-rumped Warbler].

*MAGNOLIA WARBLER.

*CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER.

Chestnut-sided Warbler © Gregg Thompson

*BAY-BREASTED WARBLER.

*BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER.

PRAIRIE WARBLER.

OVEN-BIRD [Ovenbird].

WATER THRUSH [Could be Northern or Louisiana Waterthrush].

KENTUCKY WARBLER.

*YELLOWTHROAT [Common Yellowthroat].

CHAT [Yellow-breasted Chat].

*BLUE-WINGED WARBLER.

*CANADIAN WARBLER [Canada Warbler].

*REDSTART [American Redstart]. Nests on White House grounds.

PIPIT [American Pipit].

MOCKINGBIRD [Northern Mockingbird].

Brown Creeper © Gregg Thompson

*CATBIRD [Gray Catbird]. Nests on White House grounds.

THRASHER [Brown Thrasher].

HOUSE WREN.

*CAROLINA WREN.

MARSH WREN.

*BROWN CREEPER.

*WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH.

*TUFTED TIT [Tufted Titmouse]. Nest on White House grounds.

*CHICKADEE [Carolina Chickadee].

*GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET.

*RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET.

GNATCATCHER [Blue-gray Gnatcatcher].

*WOOD THRUSH. Nests on White House grounds.

*BLUEBIRD [Eastern Bluebird].

*ROBIN [American Robin]. Nests on White House grounds.


(Doubtless this list is incomplete; I have seen others that I have forgotten. -- Theodore Roosevelt)

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