150 THE CONDOR VoL. XII number of times. This method proved successful; for the uproar brought forth the largest gathering of Leucostictes I had ever seen, a conservative estimate being twenty birds. And now, altho I had previously cautioned him of the danger, Carriger in his enthusiasm hurried down to where the flock was assembled and in doing so pickt out a trecherous route which led to where a sheer wall drops some 2,000 feet. For an instant he lost his footing among the loose boulders and nar- rowly escaped being dasht over the precipises. But this narrow escape .was soon forgotten when we reacht the ledge on the edge of the chasm; for never before was enjoyed such.intimacy with perhaps the rarest of all our breeding birds. Leu- costictes were flying above and around us on all sides, uttering continuously that melodious twitter which is somewhat like the notes of a Mountain Bluebird but higher pitcht and more prolonged. We observed that some of the birds had a peculiar manner of ascending to some hight, hovering ?or a moment and then abruptly dropping several feet with outspred wings. Our attention, however, was soon riveted on two individuals who, feigning broken wing, fluttered and hobbled over the nearby rocks in a most distressing fashion, and the meaning of which even the veriest novis in bird-craft could not well mistake. These two were closely watcht, and so tense were we with excitement that the cold rain which now began falling, for a time was almost unnotist. On the disappearance of the birds among adjacent rocks we hurriedly followed and made a most careful examination of every nook and crevis in the vicinity; but these to 'our disappointment failed to show any trace of a nest. Above us, across the chasm, we saw a bird fly to a cavity beneath the rocks, and Carriger was soon in pursuit, while I remained on the ledge to aid him in finding the exact spot; but as before the search revealed nothing. The excitement the uproar had caused in the colony bad now subsided and life amopg the Leucostictes, up here on the top of the world, settled down again to normal conditions. The birds, unaccustomed to the presence of man, seemed but little concerned over our proximity. The Rosy Finch, as some would prefer to call the Leucosticte, is ever active either on foot or wing, among the rocks, along the cliffs or while feeding on stranded insects upon the snow. Endowed by nature to combat the fierce gales which prevail almost continually in these high altitudes, this bird possesses great power in its broad stretch of wing. The flight is rapid, in long, graceful, sweeping curves, and the birds mount hundreds of feet even against the strong head winds without much apparent effort. From the edge of the chasm we notist a number of birds fly to crevises in the sheer walls of granit on the west side of Pyramid; but as it would have been utterly impossible to follow them we contented ourselves with watching those in more accessible situations. The males are certainly beautiful examples of bird life, in their brilliant color: ing of rich chestnut brown, streaked on the back with dusky and edged on the wing- and tail-coverts with light scarlet. The forehead and fore part of the crown is black, while the balance of the crown consists of a broad conspicuous patch of gray. Much of this gay plumage is lacking in the females, however, who are much paler and duller colored. In size the bird is about equal to the Mountain Bluebird which it also resembles somewhat in flight, altho it is much swifter on the wiug than Sialia. In grace of bild, the Leucosticte according to my idea has few equal's; the form of its finely shaped head and graceful neck, so often lost in the prepara- tion of skins, can be seen to advantage in the accompanying profile-photograph. Along the ledge in a number of places there were patches of the little dwarf pine, which, traveling over the rocks but a few feet high, resembles a kind of brush more than a tree; and among these, Rosy Finches were observed quite often.
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