similar cries of the Socorro Petrel (O. socorroensts) are distinguished. The former birds are far more numerous and as yet have only eggs in their nests, while most of the latter have young by July 15, and are soon away at sea in search of food, which consists entirely, so far as I am able to discover, of the young of 'the rock lobster. Now and then a Cassin's Auklet flew by like a feathered bullet, with food for a hungry squab, and one that passed so close to my face as to make my hair rise, was captured and found to be full to overflowing with the same larval lobsters eaten by the petrels.
As the beach is left behind and the booming of the surf becomes less noticeable, the bird notes are more easily distinguished. A Royal Tern is heard flying overhead, and on the hillside above us a Burrowing Owl (Speotyto c.hypogae) calls. It is rather surprising that the owls should be found on such small and uninviting islands, yet I have found them on almost all of the islands off the coast of Southern and Lower California, even to the small islets of but a few acres in area.
As soon as the rocky ground at the base of the hills is reached, a strange note is heard which seems to come from the loose rocks fallen from a small ledge above, and resembles the "whirring" of a rapidly revolving cog wheel. For about ten, seconds the whizzing continues, when suddenly a note is dropped, —there is a quick gasp, as for breath— and instantly the wheels begin to revolve again, having given one the impression that there is a broken cog in the buried machine. I have no idea how long the strange note might be continued. I have waited until my patience was exhausted, and always the same '"'cog"' was slipped, at exactly the same interval, and the bird was as fresh as ever when I left it with its unfinished song. Another note of this species which is occasionally heard from the same rock pile and which gives one a clew to the author, is exactly like the cry of the two petrels above mentioned but is higher pitched and more hastily uttered, giving one the idea of a smaller bird, as indeed it is, the Least Petrel (Halocyptena microsoma.)
This species I have never found in burrows, but always in loose rocky ledges or under rocks. In a rock wall about seven feet long and less than two feet high. I once found twenty-eight of these little petrels, but I have never found them on other islands of the coast. The discordant notes of the Blackvented Shearwater (Puffinus gavia) is also heard among the higher rocks of the island and it is quite probable that they have young in some of the holes in the ledges. They are not very abundant on the Benitos, but I have found them in several parts of the island and know of two or three caves where they regularly nest.
As we leave the island the call notes of Xantus' Murrelet (Brachyramphus hypoleucus) comes from several quarters along the kelp. Although the species has long since taken its young to sea, it regularly visits the islands at night but at day-break is far from land again. A flock of a dozen or more Western Gulls accompanied by a few Heermann's, are strung out in a long line astern of the schooner, resting on the water and waiting for breakfast. They were there at sunset, and will be there three weeks from now, if we stay so long. Overhead, and as far as the eye can reach in the moonlight, flit dusky shadows of petrels. The air is vibrant with their calls, mingling with those of Cassin's Auklet, Xantus' Murrelet, and the more distant notes of shearwaters. Truly, though San Benito may be a quiet spot by day—as bird islands go—, it teems with life at night!
Mr. A. W. Anthony writes that he has seen Brewer's Blackbirds going into woodpecker's cavities in the firs over 100 feet from the ground, along the Columbia River Valley.
Mr. Jas. J. Carroll of Waco. Tex., reports the taking of ½ and ⅓ Bald Eagle during January, sets of three eggs being very unusual with this species.
Mr. Joseph Mailliard presented a paper at the meeting of the Section of Ornithology of the California Academy of Sciences on March 6, entitled "Formaldehyde as an Aid in Bird Collecting."