The Condor/1 (5)/The Individuality of Eggs

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Correspondence.


The Individuality of Eggs.

In the July Bulletin Mr. D. A. Cohen tells of the individuality of the Oregon Towhee as observed by him, peculiar characteristics in eggs of particular pairs reappearing from season to season, and states: "I can never think otherwise than that Major Bendire was correct in asserting that eggs of individual birds in consecutive sets bear marked resemblance to each other."

I am inclined to believe Mr. Cohen in error in crediting the theory of individuality to the lamented Major Bendire. That learned Oologist was, in fact, somewhat skeptical when the writer first published a paper in The Nidologist on this interesting subject, taking for example the nidification of the Golden Eagle as observed in the case of particular pairs consecttively for a number of years.

Mr. William Steinbeck of Hollister, Cal., has assured me that his extensive experience in collecting sets of eggs of the Golden Eagle in San Benito county fully bears out the assertion of the theory of individuality. Mr. A.M. Ingersoll. informs me that be has collected eggs from a certain Golden Eagle's nest near San Diego for five years past, and in each instance one egg of the set was almost immaculate. In contravention of the theory which these instances support, Major Bendire stated of this eagle in "Life Histories" (Vol. I): "As these birds are usually seen only in pairs at all times of the year, I am inclined to believe they remain mated for life, notwithstanding the fact that the eggs differ very greatly in markings from year to year, although coming from the same nest and evidently from the same pair of birds."

H. R. Taylor, Alameda, Cal.