The Condor/1 (3)/General News Notes

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
General News Notes.


The scientific expedition which sailed from San Francisco February 25 for tropical waters, as recorded in the March Bulletin, met with disaster about thirty miles north of Magdalena Bay off Lower California, on the night of March 16, where the schooner was wrecked and deserted. Those comprising the party were A. W. Anthony (in command), H. B. Kaeding, Chase Littlejohn, R. H. Beck, R. C. McGregor, J. M. Gaylord, Geo. Spencer, Chas. Jones and Arthur Whitlock and the schooner carried a cargo of thirty tons of giant powder which was to be landed at Amapala, C. A. the first objective point of the expedition. Everything went smoothly until the night of the wreck; Mr. Beck was at the wheel about midnight, with the schooner running before a strong wind, when, without warning, it grounded on a sandy beach. At sunset the mainland was about fifty miles distant and the schooner's course was shaped to pass a certain promontory at fifteen miles to the seaward. No explanation for the wreck can be given further than the surmise that the schooner was caught by a strong current and carried shoreward. Almost all the specimens collected were lost, but most of the collecting outfits were saved.

The schooner was a total wreck and the absence of rocks alone prevented the ignition of the giant powder by the vessel pounding on the beach, for which the party was duly thankful. A cold and cheerless night was spent on the beach, with lamentable lack of raiment in some cases to face the cold wind and drifting sand. Mr. Beck tells of throwing everything possible overboard next day to drift in on the tide; finally several suits belonging to him were "hove overboard" but the tide had turned and they drifted out to sea! The party finally reached Magdalena, where the Mexican customs officials confiscated most of the salvage under various pretexts. The party later reached San Francisco by steamer. The expedition had just reached the tropics and Man-O'-War Birds and Caracaras had begun to appear. Duck Hawks and Ospreys were nesting on all the isolated islands and Mr. Beck relates the taking one morning by the party, on Natividad Island, of six sets of Falco peregrinus anatum. The nests were in small caves on the ground and on the tops of cliffs, quite unlike the difficult sites selected by the birds farther north. A number of fine negatives were lost. Sets of Xantus' Murrelet were taken on some of the islands.


Mr. Fred A. Schneider Jr. of College Park, Cal., one of the four promoters of the Cooper Ornithological Club in 1893, was united in marriage on April 26 to Miss Charlotte Phillips, formerly of College Park but later a resident of Seattle. Mr. Schneider was formerly among the most active of Californian ornithologists, but for several years past a course at Stanford University has precluded active work in ornithology. He has long taken a prominent role in the Stanford Glee Club and is a member of numerous college fraternities and other social organizations. AS a tennis player he has been ranked one of the champions of Santa Clara county. His pleasing manner has made for him a legion of friends who will wish him and his charming bride a full measure of life's joys. The marriage took place in Seattle and the couple will probably reside at College Park.

Mr. O. W. Howard writes from Arizona: "While in camp about twenty-five miles below Bensou on the San Pedro River (March 25) I saw a pure albino Great Blue Heron. It was flying around in a flock of fifteen or so, and to all appearances was as white as snow. I tried a shot at it at long range with my .38 Winchester but never touched him. I think the birds will probably nest down there for there were fifteen or twenty roosting in the cottonwood trees."

The Farmer's Club of Santa Clara County was addressed at San. Jose on April 1 by W. Otto Emerson of Haywards on "Economic Ornithology." Mr. Emerson gave an excellent hard-sense talk which was illustrated with numerous bird skins and charts showing the structure of the bills of various species. Such lectures are of inestimable benefit to both the fruit-growers and the birds themselves, and a practical illustration of how the gospel of bird protection should and can be spread.

Ernest Adams of San Jose will depart early in June for the Sierras of Plumas and Modoc counties, where he will spend several months working up the birds and mammals of this interesting corner of California. He will visit the Goose Lake region during his trip.