Page:Condor6(4).djvu/27

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THE CONDOR VoL. VI tained 5 young about 5 days old, material. and location practically the same as No. I; nest foundation of stones and walk of stones extending about IO inches. 2Vest 4 contained 5 young io or i2 days old; nest placed in small cavity formed by root of tree IO feet up in wall of quarry. Nest was typical, placed in shallow cup-shaped foundation of stones; no room in cavity for walk. Nest 5 contained 6 young IO or I2 days old. Nest was placed in cavity under boulders on bottom of quarry and had the usual stone foundation; two matches, a few splinters of wood, lining of black goat hair and considerable wool, especially round the rim; no sign of a walk. .est 6 contained 3 eggs; typical; location practically same as No. 5; cup-shaped foundation of rocks; no sign of a walk. Hesl 7, April 8, I899, containing 6 young, one week old; nest situated in crevice in wall of quarry; typical stone foundation and 9 inches of walk. ,esl $, April II, containing 5 young a few days old. Nest typical, placed in cavity in wall of stone powder magazine; usual stone foundation; slight walk of stones. Hesl 9, April I5, containing 5 fresh eggs; nest typical; location, foundation and walk same as No. . Hesl o, April 29; in a cavity formed by large rocks on bottom of quarry; nest typical, usual cup-shaped stone foundation, no sign of walk; 6 eggs. :Vest , May I8, containing 7 eggs; nest, location and foundation same as No. Io; no sign of stone walk. Nesl , June 3, containing 7 eggs; nest typical, placed in crevice in wall of quarry IO feet up; usual foundation of stones, also 7 inch walk; evidently second nest of pair of birds, whose nest was located on April 8th. sl , June 3, containing 7 eggs. This nest was typical, but the location was quite unusual, the structure being placed in a small waste or outlet pipe in an old open cistern. This pipe was 4 inches in diameter and about 3 feet from top of cistern. This nest had quite an extensive walk and stone foundation consisting of at least a pint of stones. Summing up the above it will be seen that where the nests were located at the bottom of the quarry there was no attempt at building a walk, but when the nest was situated in a crevice the walk was invariably there provided. Of course there was room for it. In every case, however, the cup or saucer-shaped foundation was there. Query: could not this walk have been built to keep the young birds from falling into the crevices or getting their feet caught in sameĀ ? I find that as a rule two broods are raised in a season and that their food consists to a large extent of a species of beetle which they find in the crevices of the rocks. One interesting trait and one which I should judge to be purely local is their habit of dodging under a boulder or overhanging rock upon the loud report of a blast, and remaining there until the shower of falling rock is over. They are then among the first upon the ground, searching fear- lessly among the Mexican quarrymen for such beetles as may have become exposed by the blast. They seem perfectly fearless of the quarrymen and the heavy cannonading, but on the appear- ance of a stranger they become quite perturbed and suspicious and very cautious in going to their nests. It was some days or even weeks before they permitted any familiarity whatever on my part. How they stand the terrific heat and glare in that quarry during July and August is a mystery to me.--PHILO W. SMITH, JR., Sl. Louis, AIo. lelaniam in Buteo borealia ealurua.--While overhauling a number of Buteo skins a few months ago there was one which did not answer the tag B. swainsouL On comparing it with some dark phases of Buteo borealis calurus of the last month's collecting I found this particular skin to be a beautiful reelartistic phase of calurus. It is a female, number I446, coll. W. O. E., Haywards., Cal., August 20, I897. The general color of the plumage is a blackish brown over the whole body, with a purplish reflection on the back and wings; the edges of the feathers of the breast, belly and thighs washed with chestnut brown; thighs also sparsely mottled with the same color. The measurements are: length 22 inches, wing I7 inches; while another female taken December I8, I9O3, measures 23 inches in length, wing I8/ inches. This specimen compares more with some dark phases of ]3. swainsoul. The rufous tail is black-banded, twice as deep as in a typical red-tail, and is edged with same at end. The head and throat are rufous black, fore-breast more grayish, belly brownish black, thighs rufous, barred with black, wings dusky brown and black, edged and slightly barred with grayish white; upper and under tail-coverts similar to thighs. A slight purplish reflection is seen over the wings, but not so much as on the first bird described. In a large series of these hawks there are rarely two out of five but show a difference in the plumage color. Seven out of twelve before me run either to a light or dark phase; some with grayish backs, others with dark brownish black or chestnut. The throat, breast and belly run from ochraceous gray to reddish brown, chestnut and yellowish white.--W. OTTO EMERSON, Haywards, Cal. 2k l'ew lotea on 11irel IAfe at 'hree Rivera 'ulare 12o. Cal.--The varied thrushes have been here in numbers, and the plain titmouse (Btvolophus inornatus) is giving out its pleasant call: wheetil, wheelit, wheelit. Band-tailed pigeons (Columbafasciata) have been and