Page:Condor9(5).djvu/32

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I5o THE CONDOR VoL. IX grow up with wire grass in April and May. Where nests are found here they are usually lower down, sometinges w_ithin ten or twelve inches of the ground. I was fortunate on May 5, 1903, to find two nests of the Bi-colored Blackbird in oak trees, both southwest of Santa Rosa. The first one was in a large oak on the bank of a small creek in a grain field. Tho the usual wire grass and a few tules were growing along the edge of the water, this pair of birds built their nest on one of the lower limbs of the oak, seven feet above the ground out at the very end of the limb on a small crotch and fastened to the small growth and leaf stems. The nest was built of the usual material and lined the same. There were four eggs, the female was flushed from the nest, and the male bird was in another part of the' tree. About',rthree miles more to the southwest and at the southern extremity of the same lagoon I mentioned before, I found another nest of Bi-color in an oak tree. This was a more interesting nest even than the other. It was situated in the very top of the tree; in fact the nest was fastened in the uppermost fork of the main part of the tree, 2? feet from the very NEST OF BI-COLORED BLACKBIRD IN TOP OF OAK HUNG WITH LICHENS top point of the tree and 20 feet from the ground. It was a mass of tree moss and well concealed. The nest was of the usual material, eggs four in number and typical of Bi-color. The flushing of the female was what located the nest. The tree xvas at the very edge of the water, and was leaning over the water so that when I was in the top of the tree I could have dropped into the water three feet from the bank. After taking the eggs, I cut the top of the tree off about twelve inches below the nest. I still have this nest and set, and also have had it photo- graphed. [Reproduced herewith.] Davie speaks of Mr. I. E. Hess of Philo, II1., finding the nest of Redx?dng in a wild cherry tree and of unusual material; also a half mile from open water. The two nests I speak of were both built of the usual material, and both very close to where the Bi-colors most always nest. Ill fact the water and the nesting sites were there in both in- stances, but the birds selected the oak in preference. Why? I have come to the conclusion that it was to elude that enemy of most nesting birds, the California Jay, as in both instances the grass and rules at the water's edge were quite spar- ingly grown up and very open. I have also noticed that in the thick tules the nests were mostly placed in those grox?fng at the edge of the little avenues of water running thru them. On same date as finding the two sets in the oak trees I also found one set of four eggs the nest of which was fastened to the tall grai?r stalks in a large grain field 3? of a mile from the place where I found the first nest of Bi- color in the oak, which was the nearest x?,ater and 200 yards from the road. I located the nest by seeing the female settle down, and on going to investigate found the nest and eggs.