?44 THE CONDOR VOL. IX cidedly more elongated thau any other eggs of the genus Megascops I have seen." Twenty eggs in the writer's collection average 1.17 by 1.43 inches; the smallest 1.12 by 1.35 and the two largest 1.15 by 1.53 and 1.21 by 1.50 inches. A set of four mentioned by Davie in his "Nests and Eggs of North American Birds" averages 1.21 by 1.49 and contains one egg which measures 1.26 by 1.54, the largest egg I have known of. The eggs are laid ever)' other or every third day and incubation beans as soou as the first egg is deposited. The young are consequently hatched on successive days and it is rare indeed that a brood of owlets is found which does not contain a weakling bird, snmller, more scrawny, in poorer flesh, and with less animatiou than his brothers and sistern. The newly hatched nestlings are covered with a coat of beautiful fine white down, aud with their weak, .subdued little "cheei)" and queer shaped heads are quite attractive little creatures. As they grow larger and stronger this baby beauty rapidly leaves them, but they still retain the soft aud not unmusical quality of voice until they begin to feather out. The young are renorig the most helpless of nestlings and their development in the nest is exceedingly slow. One nest that contained three young % on April 28th, still contaiued two birds on May 26th that were fully fledged but could not fly well. A?s soon as the young leave the - nest cavity they take to the cotton- wood trees, doing most of their ? flying at night and remaining per- fectly quiet during the day, and ? their resemblance to the brauches mnoug which they sit (or to an old Oriole's nest) is remarkable. The brooding fenroles are very close sitters and it is very seldom that one will leave the eggs with- ADULT MALE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SCREECH OWL out being removed by hand. How- ever, if a bird is disturbed fre- quently, she will 'soon learn to leave the nest ms soon as the tree is struck, and will usually disappear from sight in the dense underbrush. When the bird is re- moved by hand and liberated she will usually fly to a nearby limb and voice her displeasure by sharp snapping of the bill and low moaus; and with body thrown forward, ear tufts raised and eyes blazing her attitude is very menacing. On one or two instances where incubation was advanced I have known the fenrole to return directly to the nest when liberated from the hand. The female performs all the duties of incubation, her food being brought to the nest by the nmle, who, judging from the remains in and around the nest, is at all times a bountiful provider. This gentleman during the process of incubation can usually be found in another cavity not far distant from the nest, which is usu- ally well filled with provisions. He is very careful, however, that no roving orni- thologist shall lay hands on him, and usually the first rap on the tree will bring his little round head to the cavity entrance, and after surveying the intruder for a moment with a surprised expression, clumsily launches himself on the air and with short awkward wing-beats quickly disappears from sight.
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