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winter at least, the sexes resort to different feeding grounds. The birds fly very heavily and only for short distances but the fleetness of foot is as remarkable as it is ungainly. When wounded they make good use of their legs and claws as well as their bill. This rail rarely swims for the mere pleasure it affords, but it can often be seen crossing a large slough, and when injured is very agile in the water.

Photo by Adams.

Nest and Eggs of the California Clapper Rail.

By the first of March the clattering of the rails on the feeding grounds is very loud and discordant, but soon the birds scatter and a month later full complements of eggs may be found. I have often seen two birds about a nest and I am certain that the male assists in incubation. The favorite nesting site is upon the banks of the numerous small sloughs which protrude far inland, yet occasionally a nest is found some distance from high tide mark, and I have observed half a dozen old nests, which I attributed to this bird, in barrels deposited at flood tide.

Like many other rails. Rallus obsoletus builds nests which it never uses. During the past season I often came across three or four new nests within a radius of about six feet, only one containing eggs. Most of these were never completed but a few seemed to possess all the advantages of the occupied

home. The nests are uniformly composed of dry marsh grass placed under small bushes or sometimes ex posed fully to the weather. Many become thoroughly water-soaked before the eggs hatch. The birds are very close sitters and a trained dog can often pick them off the nest. If surprised suddenly they will fly after jumping from the nest, but more often they glide directly into the slough or, unperceived, run along a trail in the tall grass.

Sets vary from six to twelve or more eggs. The young are said to be very interesting little creatures, and grow to be amusing pets if kept under proper influences. Many writers of recent date have noted the lessening in the numbers of California Clapper Rail, but where I have collected on the San Francisco Bay they appear as plenteous as ever and breed in large numbers. The photograph accompanying this was taken in May 1899. The day was windy and as an exposure of three seconds was given, the picture was blurred to some extent.


Henry B. Kaeding of Taylorsville. Plumas Co., Cal, has accepted a position with a mining syndicate in Corea, and has disposed of his collection of skins to Mailliard Bros., the collection containing many Sierra Nevada forms.