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Mar., 1900 |



Echoes from the Field.

Nesting of the Pileolated Warbler in Los Angeles Co. My first set of this species was taken this year (1899) among the willows along New River, and the birds proved to be common and quite tame in this locality, some twenty nests being examined. The first layings were taken April 29, 1899 when three nests were found. Nest No. 1 contained four fresh eggs while No. 2 contained four considerably incubated ones, both nests being in blackberry vines and a species of Papyrus, one foot from the ground and were composed of dry willow leaves, weed stems and grasses, lined with finer grasses. The third nest was built in an old Song Sparrow's nest situated in a willow tree among dry thistle stalks three feet from the ground and contained two fresh eggs. On May 18 four nests were found, two containing young a few days old and two containing three eggs each, both sets so badly incubated that they could not be saved. These nests were all in Papyrus from six inches to three feet above the ground. On June 10 I found one set of two fresh eggs and sets of three and four eggs, both considerably incubated. The nests were all against willow trees among the blackberry vines. June 18 I observed one set of two fresh eggs, one of three eggs slightly incubated and one set of three with incubation advanced. July 2 the last sets were observed, consisting of two sets of three eggs each, slightly incubated and three nests with young. The eggs of this species measure about .60×.48 inches, creamy white in color, spotted with reddish and lilac, some eggs having a wreath at the large end while others are almost covered with markings.

J. J. Schneider, Anaheim. Cal.

Woodpeckers as Flycatchers. While the woodpecker stands in our books as an insectivorous bird, he is not ordinarily thought of as taking bugs on the wing. Such cases have been recorded, however, and I wish to add another. In August 1898, near Fall River Mills, we saw a Melanerpes torqguatus capture a large butterfly in true flycatcher style. I am inclined to think that birds of this species recorded by Major Bendire, (Life Hist. N. A. Bds. II, p. 119) as storing mayflies in crevices of pine trees, may have caught them flying. Another species, M. formicivorus bairdi, has been seen in the same flycatcher business. Mr. T. J. Hoover tells me of two cases recently witnessed by him, one of which at least was successful.

It is well known that the Californian Woodpecker puts in his spare time decorating the oaks with acorns, but that he should try to fill a barn seems rather unusual. While I was at the Battle Creek Salmon Hatchery in the fall of 1898, an old hay barn standing near the hatching house was demolished by the Fish Commission. Woodpecker holes had been noticed in the eaves, but not until the roof was taken off did I suspect the birds of having any stores there. From each of several of the little compartments in the eaves, a large hatful of acorns was taken. The nuts had been dropped through holes made by the woodpeckers in the face of the eaves and as the holes remained empty. I presume the woodpecker forgot he had put nuts there already and so hunted others to fill them. The nuts were well stored, but no woodpecker could ever have drawn on them in time of need without enlarging the holes.

Richard C. McGrecor. Palo Alto. Cal.

Junco Hyemalis at Haywards. Cal. This junco has again been a winter visitant to this part of California. On Nov. 21, 1899 while collecting some juncos at dusk from a blue-gum tree in my garden, a male was brought down with several others and proved to be a typical hyemalis. This is the second I have recorded from this locality in twenty years. A female was caught in a trap set for small birds in the garden on March 20, 1880. Some fourteen specimens of this junco have been recorded for the state and no doubt there are others unrecorded. In Mr. Clark P. Streator's 'Birds of British Columbia," he notes them as being one of.the commonest birds in that province. The winter of 1897 seems to have found them unusually common about Pasadena. Cal, as five were taken and several others seen among flocks of other juncos.

W. Otto Emerson. Haywards. Cal.