38 THE CONDOR VoL. VI wire, in rapid flight. A little farther on I found a bird hanging by the wing and another by the neck to the wire.. Most of those picked up were found to be cut across the front of the head or breast. Some were cut into the flesh deeply; a few were beheaded. I ?aade the next day another trip over the road and found the remains of thirty odd birds mostly ?halaropus lobalus and ]?reunetes occidentalis. Quite a num- ber of Tringa plzcifica and T. minulilla were among those found on my first visit. As I watched the flocks when they came in from the bay, or flew from one set of ponds to another, it was observed that their line of flight would just be in range to hit either of the two wires. Coming with such a zig-zag and rapid flight they were not able to see the two wires in time to dip or rise in order to avoid being caught by the trap. If one of the foremost birds of the flock struck the wire and fell, the rest would turn their course somewhat; more from seeing their falling companion, I think, than from being able to distinguish at the speed they were going, the real cause of the disaster. On my last visit in this direction, May tt, t9o3, I found five ?ha/aropus lobalus in full spring plumage, several Tringa minulilla, T. pacifica, and Ereuncles occi- denialis. Larger birds than these would not be so liable to come in contact with the wires, flying as they do considerably slower and higher in the air. This destruction of shore birds goes on night and day the year round. I asked some of the salt-pond owners if they noticed birds flying against the wires. They said some mornings after the spring or fall flights, they had seen dozens lying along the road. Cats from warehouses and dwellings had learned the convenient larder and had grown fat, while Japanese and Italian workmen imitated the cats. Mr. F. H. Hollins of San Jos? mentioned to me some years ago that he had picked up two or three dozen phalaropes one morning (Nov. x898) along the main thoroughfare, five miles east of the salt marsh. They lay under the wires and he thought they must have been killed during the night flight. Mr. Clark P. Streater picked up on the main business street of Santa Cruz, California, in September, ?9o3, a black rail, ?orzana jamaicensis, killed by over- head wires. On June 29, t9o3, Prof. F. E. L. Beal and myself found one of the oddest tangles into which a bird ever managed to get itself. It was a great horned owl, on one of the canyon ranches, and was wound up in a barbed wire fence. He was hanging by the wing, wound several times around the wires, so that it was impossible to extricate him. The fence had only two wires, and led down a slope into the upper!end of a gully or canyon. Some of the sandy hill had slid down leaving the wire with several posts swinging free, some six or eight feet in air, for a distance of several hundred yards. No doubt the owl, intent upon some pros- pective midnight lunch, as he flew along down the gulch, came in contact with the top wire. This, having caught his fluffy feathers, naturally wound Bubo tight in its barbs. The legs were badly cut by the struggle for freedom which was further evidenced by the feathers about the neck. He had evidently used his beak as well as feet. In this age of barbed wire there are more ways than one by which an animal may come to an untimely end.
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