Mar., x9o4 I THE CONDOR 37 memories of the young birds, and help to mould their song when they come to maturity. They noticed the father's song every time before he came in sight. The male grosbeak is certainly most devoted and cheerful about his domestic duties. He sings to his mate all through the period of incubation, sings while feeding the young and during the anxious time of their first flights, and I have even seen him sitting upon the eggs and singing merrily. Another reason why I think that the same pair returns to the same nesting site in successive years is that in several cases I have found nests of different years in the same small tree. In one manzanita bush, about ten feet high, were three nests, one almost fallen to pieces, one of last year, and a fresh nest with a bird on it. It may be argued that a second bird chose the site because it was eminently suitable; but where there are so many shrubs all alike, I do not think one can be considered more suitable than another. A more likely suggestion is that the young birds might return another year to the neighborhood of the nest in which they were reared. Further observations on the plumage of the birds would settle this point as it takes several years for a male grosbeak to attain his full beauty of plumage. Destruction of Birds by Wires BY W. OTTO EMERSON F one does not happen to live where he can observe the disastrous effect upon bird life of numerous telephone, telegraph and electric power wires, which are strung along our highways, across lines of migration or favorite paths to feed- ing grounds, he would be surprised at the number of our shore birds destroyed an- nually. Within the past few years several instances have come under my observ- ation which seem worthy of record. The first case was noted September 8, x898, in connection with the telephone line which, passing over the salt marshes, joins Haywards with a landing on the bay shore, some four miles west. Only two wires are used, which are attached to fourteen foot poles set some twenty feet out in the Salicornia to the right of the roadway. Beyond this, on both sides of the road, the marshes are cut up for miles into a series ot checker-board ponds for salt water evaporating purposes. In August, September and October these ponds are a lnass of glittering white--more or less as the water has been run off. Small shore waders come by the thousands to feed upon the mass of larvae which collect about the edges of the ponds. On the date mentioned I drove over the road for the first time to find what fall mi- grants had returned. On picking up eight or ten dead sandpipers from the road, I was at first unable to make out what had killed them. I then noticed a flutter- ing bird out in the marsh in line of the phone wires, and found it to be a phala- rope with a broken wing. This revealed the secret. I soon observed a flock go by from one pond to another but saw none of them strike the wire that trip, but later saw several individuals knocked out of a flock of sandpipers. I picked up forty dead birds that lay along the road and about the marsh. Some were under the wires while others would be flung off ten or twenty feet by the impact of hitting a
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