This page needs to be proofread.

Sept., 1910 ROUGE ET NOIR 169 Grouse (29endrag?apus obscurus ??lig?inosus) had been sitting on nine eggs. She had allowed me to pass within four feet of her in approaching the stub; she had seen me gesticulating strangely, overhead, and she had not budged. But that yawn! Evidently there are limits to Dendragapine patience! A little fracas with the Crows ( C. b. hesperis) was probably responsible for the next bit of luck, which occurred half a mile farther.along on my halting course. The black sentries had discovered the bird-man slipping across a bit of clearing and had hurled prompt anathemas at his devoted head. The excitement had died down somewhat when the fourth miracle happened. The Creeper, dear, gossiping soul, the "me too" of the lesser bird-world, had evidently popt off her eggsfora moment to see what was doing. Her curiosity satisfied', she bethought herself of duty andwI accidentally caught her with the tail of my eye just as she lost herself to view by a sidling motion upon the blackened face of a fir tree. There was nothing at that distance to suggest a nesting site, and I should have past the tree a dozen times without notising that a portion of the bark, some four feet from the ground, was slightly sprung, or that there was room behind,a certain crack for a bird to disappear. Only when the tree was viewed from a particular angle could the aperture of about one inch be observed on one side of a section of bark otherwise adherent; and only close inspection could have discovered the nest in its snug quarters. An inquiring finger laid on the edge of the nest brought out the occupant, who affected the greatest surprize at my presence; but only the careful removal of a square foot of bevy bark disclosed the four tiny eggs, which occupied the depths of the hair- lined inner cup. Of these eggs one was a runt, l?andsomely ringed about the smaller end and of about half the size of one of the others, beiug in fact a little smaller than a Rufous Hummer'? egg (measuring .43X.36 inches, as against .50X.33 for the Hummer. The remainder of the set averaged .57X.45, while the average for the first set found was .63X.45). Near the larger end of this midget egg was a small contusion, undoutedly made by the bird--a claw-hole perhapsw altho the underlying membrane was unbroken. This bird, by the way, must indeed have been a chronic. gossip, for her eggs were all infertil, and the contents of two of them were so badly hardened as to require soaking before removal. Her narrow quarters may conceivably have caused her some discomfort, for the maximum space between trunk and bark was one and three-eighths inches,?so narrow, indeed, that the wood itself was allowed to do duty for two sides of the inner receptacle. .By this time the collector was embarrast with riches. My modest thought at the outset had been to take along enough paper and thread and cotton to take care of the anticipated Chickadee's nest. When I blundered,upon the Tawny Creeper's nest, that would, of course, be lhe find of the day; so the nest w?s wrapt very carefully in tissue and thred, and the eggs were double-wrapt in cotton. The Chickadee, fortunately, made light demands upon my resources; but the Grouse? Ho! Ho! that was frankly impossible! The nest did get the last sheet of tissue paper, but the eggs were gathered up, Castle Garden fashion, in a handkerchief, and cached under the first convenient log. The advent of the second Creeper's nest was serious. There was simply nothing for it but to let it go bare with the last wisp of thred. When a Shufeldt Junco fiusht ihcontinently in the woods beyond, I groaned--but shouted for joy when callow young were found in place of eggs. The real goal of the trip was an old oak stub, sticking up out of the water of a forest-girt lake, where I had seen a Chestnut-backt Chickadee working in' a knot- hole some two weeks previously. I made my way out gingerly over the driftwood