Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 3 (1899).djvu/209

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Songs of Birds affected by Weather.—I was much interested in one of the Rev. W. Warde Fowler's observations in the March issue of 'The Zoologist' (ante, p. 135), for the somewhat quaint reason that it is irreconcilable with my own experience. I am such an admirer of Mr. Fowler's books that I feel a diffidence in taking exception to any of his statements, especially as he is known to be such a close and diligent observer of birds; but I am far from concurring with him in the opinion that "our resident species are not affected in any degree by the temperature in regard to singing." Speaking generally, for about a month previously to March 20th, Blackbirds, Song-Thrushes, Mistle-Thrushes, Starlings, Redbreasts, Hedge-Accentors, House-Sparrows, and Wrens had combined every single morning to enchant my ears with a most delightful vernal concert. Not only was their minstrelsy resonant and prolonged from daybreak until the morning was well advanced, but again, as the gloaming drew on, sundry of the eight species mentioned above would musically assert their claims to notice. On the morning of March 20th sixteen degrees of frost were registered here, and on the three following mornings upwards of twenty degrees were registered, snow falling on the Thursday (March 23rd), the day on which I am penning these lines. During these four days, neither in the morning nor in the evening has there been any singing whatsoever on the part of any one of the species, and the contrast, after the flow of song that was so strenuously maintained day after day during the balmy weather associated with the preceding weeks, is naturally brought out into the very boldest relief. Nor, I must admit, is this my most recent experience at variance with what has gone before. I still see all the species I have enumerated round about the house, but they appear in no mood to sing, nor do they. Whereof the cause? Surely, surely, the great fall in the temperature.—H.S. Davenport (Melton Mowbray).

The Covering of Eggs by Nesting Birds.— In connection with the discussion that has been carried on in these "Notes and Queries" as to the covering up of eggs by nesting birds, I may mention that I have noticed this done by Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo). In the end of May, 1895, I visited a colony of these birds on an islet off the coast of Sutherland. I took a photograph of a group of three nests which were placed side by side on the cliff. When we first approached the spot the birds flew off from the nests, leaving the eggs exposed to view; but, on returning to the same spot half an hour afterwards, after exploring the rest of the island, we found that in two cases the eggs had been covered up with reeds and grass, evidently with the intention of shielding them from observation.—H.C. Monro (Stratfield Saye, Hants).

Destruction of Norfolk Birds: a Rejoinder.—In 'The Zoologist' for March (ante, p. 114), I notice the following paragraph in connection with