The Condor/Volume 1/Number 5/The Nesting Haunts of the Black-throated Gray Warbler
The Nesting Haunts of the Black-throated Gray Warbler.
THE accompanying plate represents one of those charming bits of woodland which Messrs. Henry W. Carriger, John M. Welch and the writer were permitted to pass through in the Sierra Nevada Mts. early in June of this year. The camera has preserved the mere outlines of the scene, but the freshness and brilliancy of the morning and the ecstatic songs of the woods' feathered denizens are of necessity lacking. We were roaming aimlessly through the woods, following only such paths as fancy might dictate, when Mr. Carriger's attention was drawn to a neat, greyish nest on the drooping limb of a pine, to which a pair of Black-throated Gray Warblers presently claimed ownership. Being near a road-house a short ladder was secured later in the day and the set collected on its original limb.
Mr. Carriger contributes the following notes on this species from his '99 experiences: "The Black-throated Gray Warbler was probably the commonest warbler met with on our trip and a number of nests were located. Several were found in the deer brush (Ceanothus) at from five to nine feet up and two were placed in pines, one twelve feet up on a small limb (shown in the illustration) and another 52 feet up on a horizontal limb. The birds showed little anxiety and would fly off at our approach and remain near by, chirping occasionally. While photographing the nest both birds remained in the pine overhead but did not approach nearer than ten feet. While we often heard this warbler singing, few were noticed excepting on such occasions as when we collected a nest."
The scene portrayed in the plate is an ideal one of the open growths in the Sierras. It seems truly a transformation to step from the deep, dark timber where the reign of Silence is seldom broken and where the birds seem loath to commit the sacrilege of song, to the open hillsides where the carpet of luxuriant "mountain misery" is ever green, and where the sunlight sifts down in fantastic shafts through the pines and cedars with beautiful varied effects. Here the warblers and vireos pour forth their most exquisite songs and the creepers and nuthatches industriously gyrate up and down the oaks and pines while the woodpeckers and sapsuckers drum idly on the dead stubs. Here all bird life dwells in seeming harmony, and as recurrent thoughts carry one back to the hum-drum of city life I almost wish I might linger alway in this idyllic spot.
Photo by C. Barlow.
Nesting Haunts of the Black-throated Gray Warbler.
(Showing H. W. Carriger collecting nest, in company with Jno. M. Welch.)