?58 THE CONDOR VOL. IX Hirundo erythrogastra. Barn Swallow. Seen at Ft. Lewis and found nesting at Cortez. Piranga ludoviciana. Western Tanager. Not common; breeding. Stelgidopteryx serripennis. Rough-winged Swallow. Seen a few times.' (To be concluded in ]Vovember) THE RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA By NELSON K. CARPENTER T was another one of those dark foggy mornings that were so plentiful last spring in southern California. I was standing on the east slope of a steep gulch watching a pair of Costa Hummers feeding their two fully grown young. I stepped to one side to get a better view but in doing so startled something in the grass about five feet away. Catching a glimpse of a small brown object as it shot into the thick brush ahead I completely forgot my hummingbirds. Whether it was bird or mammal I could not teI1. My first guess named it a wood-rat but a moment's reflection changed my mind. It must be a bird. Per- haps a Spurred Towhee. I parted the weeds and almost the first thing I saw was a nest containing three fresh "white" eggs. Not a Spurred Towhee but probably a Rufous-crowned Sparrow. I waited for a few minutes but did not get another glimpse of the bird. My next visit to the gulch was made on June 2, just four days after I had first found the nest. I wound my way thru the thick brush as quietly as possible, but when I came to the nest the sparrow was gone, and all looked just as I had lef them. My hopes vanished. Yes, a valuable find but probably an incomplete sett and uncertain identity. I took several exposures with a kodak and went to the other side of the ravine to await the uncertain. It was fully half an hour before I saw anything encouraging. The sun was getting hot and I was pretty well dis- gusted, when of a sudden two sparrows came flying over the hill and lit in a sumac bush about forty feet from the nest. They did not make a sound but quietly plumed their feathers. Finally one of them slipped to the ground and dis- appeared. About two minutes later it reappeared in the top of a bush about ten feet nearer the nest, but quickly slid down the stem into the grass and was again lost to view. This was repeated at least half a dozen times, the bird having com- pleted almost a semi-circle around the nest, but at the same time drawing nearer. Finally its last survey of the country was taken from a small bush about three feet from the nest. This time she did not climb to the top but only about half way up. She stayed but a moment and was again lost from view. A few seconds and I saw her standing on the edge of the nest looking at its treasures. She slipped on and completely hid from sight. All this time her mate did sentinel duty from the top of the sumac, which was just out of reach of my light charges of dust shot. I thought it was my next move, but while figuring the surest way by which I might collect her, Mrs. Sparrow appeared on the edge of her nest and quietly slipped away to her nearest outlook. I shot quickly but she was quicker, for all I could find upon crossing the gulch was broken twigs. Her mate was gone also and I was just where I had been an hour before, only with the birds badly scared and perhaps one injured.
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