July, 1910 THE ANNA HUMMINGBIRD 127 January 3, but during the following night a heavy frost left ice more than a quarter of an inch in thickness on the puddles. It seemed to me that this would settle matters, as the bird was nowhere to be seen; but on the morning of the 5th she was sitting jauntily upon her full comple- ment of two eggs. She flew away when I climbed to the nest, but returned in about twenty minutes with a large beakful of spider-webs and lichens. ' These she spread carefully over the outside of the nest while she was sitting in it, smoothing them down with her bill and rounding the edge of the nest with her chin and throat. This was the first sign of exterior decoration that the nest received, and in all others that I have since examined no thatching was done until after both eggs were laid. I think the icy weather must have been too severe for the first egg, for, what- ever the cause, only one egg hatcht. This took place on January 22, showing the period of incubation to be just seventeen days. It may be interesting to note here that I have found thirteen days to be the period of incubation for eggs of the Black-chinned Hummer (Archilochus alexandri). This great difference I think may be attributed in part to the consistency of the albumen, which in eggs of C. anna is thick and almost gummy, while in A. alexandri it is as thin as in eggs of other small birds. In spite of the very cold, rainy weather my young hummer grew very rapidly; but it was not until he was thirteen days old that his eyes opened. He must have been exceedingly hardy, for most of the time his mother was obliged to leave him to the mercy of the elements in order to secure food. One often wonders what law of nature ordains that the male hummer should spen d all his time in idleness and pleasure; for he never does a stroke of work either in bilding the nest or in feeding his mate and young. The nmnner of the female in feeding her young by regurgitation and appar- ently thrusting her rapier-like bill thru and thru her baby is too old a story to bear repetition, so I will merely say in the words of Mr. Bradford Torrey that it is truly, "a frightful looking act." On February 13, when he was just three weeks old, the young bird left the nest, but remained in the home tree for the greater part of the day. In summing up, let me add that the eggs are inyariably two in a complete set, pure milky white in color, and elliptical ovate in shape. An average specimen measures . 53 X.32 inches. The nest is constructed mainly of willow down, often internfixt with nmnerous small feathers, with an outside thatching of lichens and bits of dead weeds that are held in place by a liberal supply of cobwebs. This thatching is seldom or never applied until after the eggs are laid, but it then receives continual attention until the appearance of the young. An average nest measures externally 1.5 inches in width by 1.25 inches in depth, the inner dimensions being 1 inch in width by .75 inch in depth. All localities seem to be suitable for nest bilding: a sycamore in some canyon bed, a live oak. in the foothills, or an orange tree in your garden, altho pepper trees and cypress are possibly the favorites around Santa Barbara. The nest is usually placed on one of the smaller twigs near the end of a limb, four feet above the ground being the lowest nest I have seen, while twenty feet up was the highest. Finally I may say that, altho the bird will not leave her home until she is in actual danger, it is by far the hardest nest to find of any hummer in my ex- perience.
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