Birds of California in relation to the fruit industry


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Birds of California in relation to the fruit industry
Physical Description:
Beal, F. E. L ( Foster Ellenborough Lascelles ), 1840-1916
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Biological Survey ( Washington, D.C )
Publication Date:

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Resource Identifier:
oclc - 4041656
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Front Cover 3
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Letter of transmittal
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
    List of Illustrations
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    House finch
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16-1
        Page 16-2
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Western tanager
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    California shrike
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 42-1
        Page 42-2
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Western mocking bird
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    California thrasher
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 64-1
        Page 64-2
        Page 65
    California creeper, nuthatches and titmice
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 68-1
        Page 68-2
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Russet-back thrush
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    Hermit thrush
        Page 92
    Western robin
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Western bluebird
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


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Bul. 30, Biological Survey. U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.

*h EC SE~i I GR C. c A .o I. .



Iami ed Nuveinler 1 1. '"i7






By F. E. I. HEAL
A w..siqlaid, Blpi g 'iv'irit rel





Ir. S. I ) ,'.rjNT., r A',, i { 'E.r
Ihi~ A I( l.O (;I A.' Srisvnv .
: II '/i n /tf. I (K1) C., J 27. 190. ,.
"-lSui: I have the honor to traiismnit herewit h as Bulletin No. 30
"It the Biological Sturvey. Part I of a report oni thie Birds of Cali-
,i ,rmia in Relation to the Fruit Industry, by F. E. L. Beal. Fruit
ilhssing in California is a great and growing industry, and the relation
:irds bear to it is important. The investigations embodied in the
.....'fsent report were Indlertakel with a view to tihe accurate deter-
iination of the economic statu.- of every species of California bird
tat inhabits orchards, in order that it may be possible for the fruit
raiser to discriminate between friends and foes; and for the added
purpose of suggesting remedial measures for the protections of fruit
from destructive species. As exl)ected, the strictly insectivorous
irds prove to be almost wholly b)enehficial. by far tlhe greater per-
entage of the insects eaten by them being injurious kinds. They are
hence allies of the orchardist and their presence in and near orchards
should be encouraged in every way. Of the species addicted to fruit
eating, not. one was found to make its diet wholly, or even chiefly,
Sof fruit; and the fruit eaters, with possibly tlie exception o)f the
i house finch, are found to feed upon weed seeds and noxious insects
to such an extent as to fully offset their destructive propensities.
Respect fully,
i' tl. HRT MEKRRIA.,

C''hicf. Biological Surrey.
Secretary of Agri-tult ure.



-- T. i M ai a-i

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Si _____1 i t'

l~ ~ rd rln - - -- --. -- -- --- - - -- - - -- 7-1:1
jooue finch----------- --- -- .. 1:3-2:;
'Western tanager - - .- - -- 23-2;
slwallows ------------------------------- ------- -----3
lii Cliff swallow -..... -... ... .- 2-,i
I'1. Western barn mwaillow ---.--.--------- .---_------------ ----- -- 311-:2
i Violet-green swi,_ w ...-----------------------. --. ----------_--- 2-3:
.jia1-..1.,fornda shrike .. . . .. . . .. . . .... . .. . .8,-38
Caf.--ni-a shrike --------------------------- -- ----------- -----3-42
:i Western warbling vire -------- -- --- -..-------------------- 39-4"1
( Casgi vireo.... . . . . .. .. . . . .- 40-41
t H utton vire --.- - - - - -- - - - 41-12
Warblers 42-52
|i Audubon warbler------------------------- - ---------------- 43-41;
1. Myrtle warbler --- --------------------------------------------- 4(;
Townsend warbler---------------------------------------------- 4-147
S Summer warbler ---------------------------------------------- 47-
S Western yellowtbroat ------------------------------------------- 4f-5,
,, Orange-crowned warbler ----------------------------------------- 51
S Golden pileolated wirbler----- --------------------------- 1-2
Western mocking bird---------------- --------------------------- 52--5.5
California thrasher ------- ----.- -- --- -----.---_---- .-:;
Bewick wren---------- ------.. ----------- --4-
Western house wren------- -------- --------------- -----. -----2
Western marsh wren --------------- -- -- -.------------ --- (;2-41
S Cactus wrenG.---------- -- --.---- - - ----.--- (--;.
Other wrens ---------- - ------------ 6-;
California creeper-.... -_;,;
t Slthatches and titni ct---- ---- -- --- -- -- --- --- ----------
Pygmy nuthatch ------- -- -- -.--------------------- -- ------ 7S
Plain tit---------------- --------- S-7
Chestnut-sided chickadee -- -- ------- 7(1-71
Wren tit-------------- 71-74
California bush tit----------- -. 74-Sp
I. Kiglets- ---------------------.---- -. ---- --...... SfQ-S.
Ruby-crowned kinglet------------- -- 8 1-84
Western golden-crown kinglet -- - --.--.--4---
r GIteatchers-------------- --------------- ------------ 8-Se;
S usset-back thrush-..--- -----------------.-.. ----.----. 86-92
I ernmit thrush--------------- ------------------ -- --- -92-93
SWestern robin------ ---- --------------- --------- ---- 93-97
SWestern bluebird ------------------------------------------------- 97-100




PLATE I. California bush tit-------------------------------- Fronti
II. Seeds of common weeds eaten by the linnet---------------
III. Audubon warbler -__-------------- -- ----
IV. Cactus wren .-- ---..------------.- -------------- ----------
V. Plain tit- ---------- -----------... .




In response to inuimeroizs compla its from fruit growerIS co(a.cerI'lli1
r- r,
depredations !by birds in orchard-, a;nl viIl 1ardl- iII tilt' Pacific ,c'a-t
region, investigation of the wnl ject was iIndehrtaken by I li Biological
Survey several years ago. Ini coidtcting till i11vtstigation tit'
writer spent about Iin1etetnII o11101tIs iII ('ai foIr' ia. i inVl Id I, II tI't frM it
seasons of 1901. 19)03. and (10('1. d(1rii1 which 1le li1e visited tli(e
most important fi'it-growijc rleAio.- of til St.ate. i1te..-wt'l liii-
dreds of orchards, and interviewed many fruit growev-. Kinlies-
and courtesy were everY'where inet within. aind ever fa cilitv wa.- ex-
tended by orclhardi.ts fori tlie acqn(iiition of information even to a
suspension of the customary rules within regard to tlredpas adl .--lHt-
ing on private grounds. In addition to tlie knowledie ,rail' t1y
field observations. stomaclis of all tlie specie, oif Pacific coa-t iirds
economically valuable have beei collected, examined, and thleiir coI,-
tents recorded.
When depredations are so wide.-pread and involve so ,many differ-
ent species of birds,. a thorough knowXleldge of tlhe nattnr' and extent
of the damage done and of tihe attending ci'rcuitance, i-s of great
importance. Next in il portanlice is a knowledge of tilt condition,1,
that obtain in fruit-grow iig 'region v where lcepredatin i- by Ilird.- do
not occur. This information should enalble tlhe fruit grower. to aIjdust
conditions in his own case so as to mitigate if not wholly pre-vent
the evil.
In the following pages much l tress is laid on tlie nature of the
yearly or seasonal food of .sonie of thle more important species of
birds, since it often happens that certain birdl- are more or less liarni-
fl to a particular crop of fruit, anid yet tle year thr uigh., all tlhinlgs
considered, do more good than harm. It imust not lie forgotten in
this connection that there are verv few birdls wlio-e ihallit- are wlhollv
beneficial. Most of them are neither wholly beneficial nor wholly
injurious. They are beneficial at some seasons and(1 injiJ1rious at
others. In some localities they ame dtservewdlv praiL-ed for benefits
conferred; in others the same species are condemned for de-trr,'-tive


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| habits. With the evidence all in, it is usually possible for the farr
to properly estimate the status of any given species with refere..
;[ to his own farm and his own interests and to adopt measure
I!" | It can not be too thoroughly insisted that sound public police
ii.everywhere forbids the destruction of birds on a large scale for th
`3 ? purpose of protecting orchard fruits. Wholesale slaughter of bird
S.. in the supposed interest of the orchardist is fortunately rare an
.| ,often proceeds from a mistaken idea of their economic relations
.When it is understood that the damage by a certain species is local
and exceptional, that the birds in question are on the whole bene-'
ficial and that their destruction will be a loss to the State, the
*' ~farmer and the orchardist are usually willing to adopt less drastic
measures in defense of their crops and to spare the birds for t
sake of the general weal.


When a new country is settled, large areas are plowed and brought
under cultivation. In the process great numbers of native shrubs,
weeds, and grasses are destroyed, and various new and exotic plants
,",",and trees are substituted. Coincident with this change in the vege-:
S; table life, and as a necessary consequence of it, great changes in t
conditions and distribution of animal life take place. Some specie
.1 ~are restricted in distribution and greatly reduced in numbers, or eve.
4, exterminated, while others become more abundant and more widely
dispersed. The reduction in numbers may occur from actual killing
1 1by man, from the destruction of natural breeding sites through.
I *clearing, and from a diminution of food traceable to the same cause.
V: "The results are exactly the opposite when cultivation and planting
Afford a more abundant supply of food, greater facilities for breed-
I ing, and better protection from enemies. The natural result of such
Conditions is a marked increase in number of the favored species,
1; and this increase probably explains the great devastation of crops
i by birds that occurred on the Atlantic seaboard soon after the first
settlements, and then successively in the States to the westward as
4;: these were gradually settled.
i The early days of agriculture in California offer an interesting case
in point. When the native grasses and weeds of the fertile valley
1 were destroyed to make room for grain, many species of birds,
notably blackbirds and quails, were suddenly deprived of their natural
SI .subsistence and in place of it were supplied with an abundance o
I new and nutritious food. Naturally they preferred the cultivate
,' *grains (wheat. barley, and oats) to the wild oats (A ena fatua) upon
which they had largely depended. Still later, when many of th
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iJllrin fields gave way to exte'lnsivt' ore!rards. wiicl gradtlallly ,.t
the hillsides attd into tile c'an ol .-,tl, (itV ls oli Ijh if biid- ,,
|1to utilize tihe new kids of food 1id also t lit sIafv iitesting ,ite%
afforded d bh orclardi true's. Sleci's- thlat pIr' attra't.edI little
attention soo1 increased inll inlxbers be)tlm use of Ii it linireaseLd food I
supply, additional facilities for nesting. anid tlhe po't'tiovn(' alo 'orddI
by man, who killed or drove away tliir natural ,ei i.,. As a r'- lt.
iome of then suddenly 1tecaie of great 'ii'(ltli(' illj)rtaice, o",izig
to their increased numbers andl (lest Iu'ti ve liabits.

Owing to its extent and varied tO)pograiplly. C(aliforlia is rich iill
birds, both in species and ilndividiihals. Ileri altititde aiii1 tol)og-
raphy, as well as latitude, govern climate. Tli.s fact leas to niany
peculiarities in distribution and co mnpllicates thle stilly of birds in
their economic and other relations. The iiovemients (if birds, too, are
more complex than in thle eastern part of the LUit,'d States. Thel
regular migration north inl the spring and south in the fall, vwhicl is
Sthe rule over the greater part of the country, is here sIl)pplemenlteld, in
the case of many species, by a migration from the mountainss, where
they breed, to the valleys, where they winter. Besides the regular
migrations, at times remarkable incursions of a single species take
place. Such was the flight of mountain tanagers (irnia.( 1mdo-
viciana) in the valleys in May, 1896. In several parts of California
these birds appeared in immense numbers in localities where pre-
viously they had been rarely observed. Their appearance coincided
nearly with the ripening of the cherry crop. to which in some places
they did much damage in spite of the fact that great numbers of
tiem were shot.

The failure of customary food supply sometimes leads birds to
forage upon crops which they do not commonly eat. This may be
the explanation of the depredations of robins in the fall and winter
of 1900-1901, when thousands of these birds p)illaged the olive
orchards in Santa Clara Valley, the region about Santa Barbara, and
other parts of California. In that year it was as much as the olive
growers could do to save part of their crop. Since then no case of
excessive loss of olives has been reported, though occasionally some
damage has been done.
The amount of damage inflicted by birds upon a crop often depends
upon the surroundings. In the case of orchards in the midst of a
treeless plain depredations are mostly confined to such birds as nest
in them, but they may be visited and damaged by others during

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migration. On the other hand, fruit grown near or in brushy ca
yons or on wooded hills is taken by birds that live in such places; ..
a stream flowing through a region of orchards may harbor in th
shrubbery on its banks many birds that do not live in the orchard
Hence depredations by birds may arise: (1) From the settlemei
of a region and consequent introduction of new crops, acco
panied by a diminished supply of natural food, destruction of eni
mies, and a general change of natural conditions; (2) from fail
of the normal food supply, causing migration in search of food, ol
ain attack upon some product which the species does not usually eat'
(3) from proximity to a particular crop, in which case the bird natuw
rally eats that which is most available. A


Before proceeding to a consideration of particular birds, one poinh
should be specially noted in connection with the subject of the rela-
tion of birds to fruit in California. Those parts of the State where
fruit is grown are not so well supplied with wild fruits on which
birds feed as are the fruit-growing areas of the Eastern States, I
even of those farther north on the Pacific coast. While California
has an abundance of wild berries which serve as food for birds, they
do not commonly grow near orchards and vineyards.
In the Eastern States a plentiful supply of fruit, as acceptable tc
birds as the best products of the orchard or garden (perhaps more
acceptable), is usually present in pastures and along roadsides,
that it is only where wild fruits are exterminated by cultivation thai
birds are forced to eat cultivated kinds. So abundant is wild fruit
in some regions, as in the United States east of the Alleghanies, thai
it is safe to say that thousands of bushels of blackberries and rasp-
berries which grow wild everywhere annually fall to the ground and
rot, in spite of the fact that great quantities are gathered and eaten
by man as well as by birds. The same is true of blueberries (Vac-
cinium) and huckleberries (Gaylussacia), which are so abundant i
a wild state that in their season they appear in the markets of most

of the cities and large towns, and are eaten in every country home in
the region where they grow. In addition to these are several species
of dogwood (Cornus), holly (Ilex), cherry (Prunus). Viburnum,
and many others, all of which are freely eaten by birds.
Although manv of these fruit-bearing shrubs are represented ix
California by related species, they usually grow in the mountains
reiiiote from fruit-growing districts. In fact, the elderberry (Sam|
biicis), the introduced( pepperberry (Serhinus molle). and an occaj
sional iibtletoe berry are the only important uncultivated fruit

** :K

INTR()Dt"'i( ON.

i ithat appear in the stomachs of 'aliifornlit orcii ard lirls. (n tli
other hand, in the Eastern Staltes more tliii 1V) 40 spl''ies of wild
.Ilinuits have been found in tihe stomachs . Eastern robin. In the general dearth of wild fruits ,n the loirti-
ui'mltural areas of the Pacific coast it is ltnt silrlpri.sinug tflat whenl
Domestic fruits were first cultivated tlere tilt' birds gave tlwell 21
J warm welcome, and the orchard(ist's crop) suflferel' I accordingly.
,: Another reason why birds attack frulit illn ('alifiornia llire thali ill
Sthe regions farther cast is, the dryness of the suitime1rs., juicy fruits
l- proving an acceptable substitute for water. 1(o secute e)ougl walter
for their necessities California birds nust often ly several miles, while
:in the Eastern States localities are few in which water can not be
obtained within a few rods. In confirmation of the theory that inl
attacking fruit liquid for slaking thirst is sought by birds as iliichl a
.food, it may be stated that much of the injury done to small juicy
'., 'j ..
fruits in California, such as grapes and cherries, consists of simple
punctures in the skin, through which apparently nothing but juice
has been drawn.

It would appear most desirable that some of the available fruit-
bearing trees, the fruits of which are of little or no value to man. but
which to birds are even more acceptable than cultivated kinds, should
be freely introduced into California for the protection of thi orchard-
ist. That some of them would thrive there hardly admits of do(lbt.
Moru8s alba, the Russian mulberry, is one of the best, the fruit having
little value unless as food for birds. All fruit-eating sl)ecies are fond
of it. Both the red and the black mulberries are equally sought after,
but are not often planted for birds alone. The paper mulberry
(Brmoisonetia papyrifera) is hardy and is a favorite bird food. Sev-
eral species of Primunus or cherry, including tlhe choke cherry (PI. ir'-
giniana), and especially its western form (P. de'm, the black
cherry (P.serothna).and the bird cherry ( P.pednn. xq/,nhia) are of great
value in protecting fruit crops, birds almost invariably selecting their
fruit in preference to the cultivated varieties. There are also several
ornamental varieties of cherries, such as the European birdclherry (P.
avium), P. penddula of Japan. and P. spha'roc(ar)pa of Brazil, which
are hardy, the latter in warm regions only. and valuable as bird foods.
Both the pepper tree. Schiuns molle, and the elder. Sambucus. now
abundant in California. are eaten by many birds, and both may be
planted near orchards with the certainty that they will serve to pro-
tect them.
Another measure recommended for the protection of orchard fruit
is a supply of water accessible to the birds. Drinking places for
birds in every large orchard would tend to reduce the injury done to

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fruit, and would serve the added purpose of attracting insectivoro
"birds to the locality. Birds undoubtedly select breeding places wi
i reference to the convenience of food and water, and a constant supp
( of the latter attracts to the vicinity many desirable species. Th
DO 'insectivorous kinds would more than pay the orchardist for his troub
in their behalf by feeding upon the insects that injure his trees.
, while fruit-eating species, like the linnet, being able to quench theii
thirst with water, would not be compelled to resort to fruit for thii
.. purpose.
The writer once observed a leaky hydrant situated between two
0 rather extensive areas of orchards. The little pool maintained by the
drip of this pipe was almost constantly surrounded by birds which
-i all the time were coming and going, so that the number that visited
:,! it each day must have been well up in the thousands. An arrange-
n ment for this purpose need be neither elaborate nor expensive, an
( would serve a useful purpose.
., "

In relation to the destruction of crops by birds in a coriparativelyi
newly planted region, experience everywhere shows that after a time:
.1 there is a partial readjustment of conditions, so that inroads by birds`
\ ,become much less common or wholly cease. On the Atlantic side:
::' of the continent at the present time, with the exception of thel
i {ravages of bobolinks in the rice fields of the southeastern coast States,
:1 '.few if any cases are known of the annual destruction of crops by,
birds, while during the first half of the nineteenth century the:
several species of blackbirds were a constant menace to grain. Pres-
*' ent immunity results from the fact that increased density of popular
; tion has destroyed the nesting sites and reduced the numbers of some
| of the most noxious birds. This readjustment of conditions is likely
to take place sooner or later in all cases where the balance of nature.
/^ is disturbed, but in most cases the process may be hastened by the
^ adoption of measures like the ones above mentioned.


.I: Study of a number of cases of serious damage by birds leads to the
conclusion that as a rule such damage is due to the concentration of
a great number of birds within a limited area, usually of a single
|species or several closely allied ones. If the birds are seed eaters,
they visit the grain fields and leave ruin and destruction in their path;
if fruit lovers, they seek the orchard and play havoc with the crop.
Instances of this kind are the raids of bobolinks in the rice fields of


'le southeastern Atlantic coast, of til, blackIbird s ii tlie grilinn ti,.l1d1
4d the Mi.ssissippi Valley, 1111d of tlie linetuts iII tht' frlIit ( ir-li]nll (if
:Cslifornia. It is seldom that 'onliplaints ait' 1iail of Iuir l-.1 ni ''en-
al: onle or at ftwiv" s.jecit1s 11n1 tlit' cilprits. tli' rvasonl fior
,which is evident-too niiianYv individuals 15of tilt, sa me Jl el,'e inII (Mn
ocality eating the same things. lut wBent maniv species air Jr'snl.t
.!|i normal nunlers. -tnclh ai variety of tastes is to I' gratitifed tliat no
,e kind of food is unduly drawn uAon.


SWhen a fruit grower in northern California is asked wliaNt itbirds are
anost injurious to his crops, he almost iWnvarially mnuention.s first tit
linnet, or house finch: then successively the blackbird, tlhe oriol'. tlie
W0rosbeak, and the thrush. (O)r, if hIis ranch is in ai narrow valley or
anyon. or near wooded hills, he nay place the California jay or thel
quail after the linnet as tlie next worst enemy to fruit.
The writer is pleased to be able to testify to a healthy state of
teling on the part of the great majority of California fruit growers
toward the bird population. While many of then stated that they
still suffered loss, none advocated measures for the extermination, or
even the material decrease, of birds. Tlie feeling seems to lbe prac-
tically universal that birds as a class, notwithstanding their sinsll.,
still do more good than hlarm. "We can't get along wxitlioit tlie
birds," was the sentiniment voiced by nuanv and really indorsed by all.

('(irpji(iclu m ni c.t'-it'ui s fro iltlies.)

The house finch. or linnet, hlias been perlp;i)s tile subject of more
complaint on thlie .core of destroying fruit int Californlia than all
other species of birds together. This bird occurs on the western
coast of the United States from Mexico northward to ()Oregon. and
extends eastward to the western edge of the Mississippi Valley.
Except in the mountains, it is a resident throughout most of Cali-
fornia, but in certain parts of the northern half of the State it dtis-
appears for a few months during the winter season. In the southern
half and in the warm sheltered valleys of the north it is always
present. It is a hardy, vigorous species, well able to take care of
itself and maintain its ground wherever it obtains a foothold. It is
a prolific breeder, raising several broods in the season, and apparently
has no enemy (except man) that exercises ail perceptible restrictive
influence upon its increase and distribution. It takes kindly to the
presence of man, and utilizes his improvements for shelter and food.




Observations in orchards show that in the fruit season the linnet
is not backward in taking what it considers its share of the crop, and,
as it spends much of the time there, field observations alone would:
lead to the conclusion that fruit was its principal article of diet.
Examination of the stomach contents, however, proves that such is:
not the case, and when we find how small is the relative percentage
of fruit eaten, it seems strange that its fruit-eating proclivities should
have attracted so much attention. But it must be borne in mind that
the bird is wonderfully abundant, which is one of the primary condi-.
tions necessary for any species to become injurious.
Like most fringilline birds, the linnet has a strong, conical beak,
with which it can cut the skin of the toughest fruit and reach the.
pulp. While such an instrument is very effective in attacking fruit,
this is evidently not the use for which nature primarily designed it.
It is customary to divide passerine birds roughly into two groups,
the hard-billed and the soft-billed species, the former of which are
supposed to feed on seeds while the latter subsist upon fruit and
insects. From the standpoint of this classification the linnet would
appear to be most emphatically a seed eater, and examination of the
contents of stomachs of the species confirms the correctness of this
view. Seeds of plants, mostly those of noxious weeds, constitute aboutV
seven-eighths of its food for the year, and in some months amount to
much more. In view of this fact it seems strange that the house
finch has acquired such a reputation for fruit eating, and it can be
explained only upon the principle already laid down that in the fruit
districts the bird is too numerous for the best economic interests.
While each house finch eats but a small modicum of fruit, the aggre-
gate of all that is eaten or destroyed by the species is something
Moreover, it must be noted that not all of the fruit destroyed is
eaten. Only one peck from the strong bill is necessary to break the
skin of the pear, peach, or cherry, and the fruit, is spoiled; the linnet
byv no means invariably visits the same individual fruit a second time
to finish it, but often attacks a fresh one at each meal. This is proved
by the large number of half-eaten fruits, either on the tree or on the
ground beneath.
In large orchards, however, complaints against the linnet are fewer
than formerly. Here the damage is more widely distributed and con-.
sequently less noticeable than when confined to a few trees. It is
probable that the area of orcharding has increased more rapidly than
the linnets, so that the proportional injury is less. At present the:
chief complainants are the owners of small town lots, where a few.
trees are grown to supply fruit for home use. As linnets are usually.

.* v


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:Jp! ll. lOUSE FIN: i. 15

3Iofr numeroI l .t i i villages aiiti sIllrlS il, tine' r'tiit l'\ r l'.i.-- in
iartlensi are often Iltir(ly Strij)jpp'i.

ii.I INI It Y "T'o I FU 'IT I t1t I)S.

SIt is a little singtulair lthait fori'llklth.i mllost oi te, coml1plilat, gt i f nt
the linnet were til;It it destrovedt t le hilds ;iaild h(llaM- if fl'uit Ir''-"
instead of tihe fruit itself. "TitIs illn Mr. It. 1 ('.Candivi. 4f
Riverside. Satil lHerkiardino Cou('nty, wrote :
The bird which is tconlnlllny kilo\VIi Is the linliet. ,r cr lstills, house filling. hlaIs
been OlIwervedt to tin gie;it illiljury to tilte apricot tcritiS (if this secltiln livy it'ililig
an the fruit buds from the tilnit' they iegiin to sweIl Illtil tin' tlt't'.s ;:Ir i ll111,11.
Two years ago miy entire aipricot trop) \;was destrlytIed lily it' tliuv' Iiii's. ;inil I
tok the opportunity to estallish llit, fa t'ts t)f ilI" eaist' li sloolt ini. :;i I rg' li tni -
I1e for the piurpots' tf examina:tioii. A gretit iiit.ny ot ilie birds ilitit \\<'v' shlot
Wd small hits off Ilus. etc.. stluk tnll their hills bly tilth gnnliy sill sta iilv- o4f t.he
fruit buds. A further exam inantion would invariably result in tiidinlg eaIhlI ;iId
every bird's stomach tilled with lhuds.
The same vear J. C. Galloway, of Tustin, Cal.. stated:
The common linnet does great injury to the Ibuds of the ;ailiric(t. e;tittin mut
the center and destroying :ll tile fruit l)ilds oiln tlie tree in minvly .ases. 111su1;lly
h* January and Feblruary. inll this lhitituide.
William Proud. of Rancho Chico, Cal., aiccuses the linnet of eating"
both buds and fruinit. lie says:
The burion. house fincli. or lininet, is by f;ir tlie most pornicionus irnd w' lImve
to deal with in the orcha lrd. lie ;ar'ri\ves in M;artli ;uid iinnieiinitc'iy '(*iliiit,'iel's
his ravages on the buds o)f the clerry., peach. pluiini. iiersinLiionl. i'tc. Tile tir4
cherry showing ai red cheek is sa Impled bIy this iliost r:'ai;icios little iiird. The'liL
comes tihe fruit of thle apricot. peach. and fig. For thle Iitter lie show\ s ; eidledl
partiality. When tile fruit crop is exmhausted lie innlledia'tely tuns Iis is ;ttten-
tion to all kinds of millets, sorghum. Egyptian corn. :iind otlier sii;ill seeds.
As showing how destructive the bird is to fruit, especially v in small
orchards, the following is quoted from Dr. T. S. Palmer. then at
Berkeley, Alameda Count.v, Cal.
The crimson house finch is the only lird that does anlly ('Ionsider;' ill mIlniii.L'ge
to fruit. As soon ;as thle cherries begin to ripen the liirlds keep clhse wa;tclh of
the trees, and if the fruit is not gathered ;is Soon ;nS ripe they sioli dii.:lsose' af ;a
large portion of it. In our i'garden there are ;a!outl ;i dozen cherry t rees of
various kinds, and if not very closely watched. within : week 1or twN, q' tin'
time when the fruit first begins to ripen almost every tree will Ie ,o'illiletely
stripped. Of course, in a large orchard the daniage would not lie so lotiti*ea;Ille.
bat still might be considerable. Later inll the season when the cherries :ire
gone, the finches attack thle plumns and pears.
F. H. Holmes, of Rio Vista, Solano County, Cal.. under date of
September, 1886., states:
Our worst fruit pest is the crimson house finch, which, on accountnt of its
abundance and familiarity. it is impossible to scare off. They injure mostly
cherries, figs. berries, peaches, and apricots. They often only peck each fruit



Before the settlement of the Pacific coast region it is evident thi
the linnet must have subsisted almost entirely upon the seeds q
plants growing wild in the valleys and canyons. With the advel
of civilization two new articles of food were presented-grain an
fruit. It would seem natural for the linnet, especially equipped :1
the bird is to extract the kernel of seeds, to have chosen the former
as did the blackbirds, doves, and some other species; but for son
reason best known to itself it selected fruit. How much the cha
acter of the food had to do with the bird's choice it is impossible i
say, but it is probable that attendant conditions greatly influence
the result. Grain is grown on large, open areas, with few or N
trees to afford nesting sites, while orchards offer every inducema:
to linnets as a permanent residence. Moreover, much of the fruit
growing section of the State is divided into small holdings, each wit
a dwelling with accompanying barns, sheds, and other buildings thi
afford ideal homes for these birds. Having thus chosen the orchai
a North American Fauna No. 7, U. S. Dept. of Agric., p. 80, 1893.

4'Sd 41


.,."::' *y ** I

a little, and then the bees and wasps take hold and finish the work. l
Birds that destroy the earlier fruits are generally regarded as the gre
nuisance, particularly to the farmer who has not a very extensive orebs!
Where fruit is handled as soon as it is in the proper condition, or for an oreb
of from ten to one hundred acres or more, 1 have never seen these birds ple
ful enough to do a great amount of damage. In some parts of the State:
,presume they might do more.
In regard to the habit of the linnet of eating ripe fruit, Dr. A. I
Fisher says: '
In this valley [Owens], both at Independence and Lone Pine, the sped
[the linnet] was found to be very destructive to the ripened peaches during ti
middle of August. Flocks of birds occurred in the orchards, and in sam
places hardly an example of the ripe fruit could be found which was not me
or less mutilated. A number of birds shot in the peach orchards at Lone Pi
had little except the pulp of this fruit in their gullets or stomachs. It
known as the 'peach bird.' a ;
Examination of linnet stomachs does not reveal any very conss
erable number of blossom buds, and it is probable that but little 4
the alleged mischief to fruit blossoms is done by this bird. MoreoiB
it may be stated that in most cases budding by birds does little, I
any, damage. It is only in very rare instances that birds take a
the buds from a tree, or even enough to cause considerable loss. C
the contrary, buds are usually superabundant, and budding, whethi
by birds or by man, is frequently beneficial, relieving the trees froi
excessive bearing and markedly improving both size and quail
of fruit.



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Fiz. 4.

V i,. .7.

Fir. 3i.


Fig 6.

Fi ,-. 8.

Fig. l.- Na;'a thistle t', ij/, ,'viir ni lit, ..;'i,. Fihz. 2*.- Bi 'k lark -I;ipl ( rfii,'s.s* ir ;i!'jjr .
Fig. I.- .Alliliiril (Er riliutn rjirii' lri mg i. Fii'. 4.- K [liil'[%cei ( 'i.litl ,,, ,i, i ,0/ 'l *.
Fig..5.-Tar\\t'ti1 (.Iltav, irtfir'i,. [iL.. i;.--niimrwvu!l (Anisinckifa t fs frl,t Fi,-. 7.-
Tuirkevy n1 lhet i En, invrvriji. .., t, n.' Fi-l. 8.-M ilk thistle (. 1 ', ,ii ,',,. ,'i',i', .
Fig. 9.-Poikon oak i 'h,.." c//i' di ,ilsbi, ).

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its home it was only a matter of ,oiurse tl it h tII Iir, I sdiiouldi
as its snconldtaryi food the liatre. as'availalle Source of siipljlaly,
ey, fruit. For seeds, which art to li regatried as lie linnat's
iral food, grow about ttil)l borders of orcliardls and bliy rNoalside,
dd" hence are readily lobtaindl.
SAlthough the great hulk of fringilline tbir lr iormallyn subl.i-t
,,incipally upon seeds, at certain tinies, lnotabll in ti Ilit'I breeding
'SoIn, they eat a coniiderablde (lqulntity vof atini al flnnl, iliost Iv
Ms. moreover, their young while still in the nest are, Il Illy
*ld largely, anda in solle cases entirely. pIo it'nserts'. Q1ilt tihv ,'n)Il-
ar is true of the linnet. The adults eat only I a stall pe'rcent',i :e
hi animal food, even in the breeding periodd. ;ld fete tl iemir nesltligs
so more, perhaps less, than they eat theinselves. In tlis re-wpect tlie
linnet is probably unique in its family. Such niitnial food :; tlhe
Wird does eat, however, is much to its credit. Plant-lice (Aplihida),
Iipecially the woolly species, constitute a large portion of this pirt
.f the linnet's food; caterpillars and a few beetles make up nmost of
ie remainder.
SIt is, however, as a seed eater that the linnet stands supreme.
Over 86 percent of its food for the year consists of weed seeds. :indl it
i in this field, if anywhere, that the bird redeenis itself from the
odium of its other misdemeanors. When the immense numbnler of
linnets in California is taken into consideration, with thle added fact
that each one destroys several hundred seeds daily, most of which are
potential weeds, it must be conceded that the bird renders a; vallab)le
service to agriculture, for the sum total of weeds so destroyed is
i'( t l).

In the laboratory investigation of the food of the lii1net 1.206
stomachs were examined, including 4(6 of nestlingss. All lwere flroll
Clifornia, and from points fairly well d(listrilbutted over the Stite,
with the exception of the northern quarter. I"li greater numbtner were
from the fruit-growing sections, so that thle western coast rerioi
is better represented than the part east of thle toast Ranges. Tfiey
were distributed through the year as follows:
January ------------.. -. ss .\ ist-------------.----,- --1
february_ .-...... .. 3 Septemller----- -- ..----. ---. 12":
Marchb-------------------- is,; October ---------------- -------I. (IS
April ------------------s------ O Novee1r"--------------.-------- 25
May 7---------- --4 I )ecembei ----------------------54
June --------...- 17
July -- __---------------------- 148 Total------------------- 1.203
9379--No. 30-07--2

I-i *-~ ~
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$1 I



In the first analysis of the food components the two principal
elements are found to be: Animal matter, 2.4a percent; vegetable
matter, 97.6 percent, i
Animal food.-This brings into strong relief the linnet's sins ol
omission. Living in a country where constant war against noxioui
insects is necessary, the bird takes little or no part in the contest, and
in return for benefits derived from man renders but slight service i
this direction.
The small portion of animal food it takes, however, consists almost
wholly of insects and a large proportion of it of plant-lice (Aphi
didad), which from their small size do not attract the notice of many
species of birds. They appear, however, to be the favorite animal
food of the linnet, and it is noticeable that a large percentage of them
are the woolly species. Many of the birds when killed had theii
beaks smeared with the remains of woolly aphides. As these insect
are notoriously harmful to many trees and other plants, any bird tha
destroys them is a benefactor. It is to be regretted that the line
should not indulge to a greater extent a taste so well directed. Werq
25 percent of its food made up of woolly aphides the fruit it destroys
would be well paid for. The other contingent of animal mattel
found in the linnet's stomach consists of small caterpillars and a fe
beetles, chiefly weevils. Most birds that feed on plant-lice eat als
the ants that are usually in attendance upon them, but the only tra0
of ants or of other Hymenoptera in the stomachs of linnets was o
ant's jaw. Grasshoppers, the favorite food of so many birds, wer
represented by a mere fragment in one stomach.
J'egqtablc food.-The most interesting part of the food of the lin
net is the vegetable portion. This naturally falls into three cat
gories: Weed seed, which amounts to 86.2 percent of the annual food
fruit. 10.5 percent: and other miscellaneous vegetable matter, 0.9 per
Fruit.-Fruit is represented in stomachs taken in January by
mere trace. This was probably of no value, only ungathered fruit o
perhaps belated olives. In stomachs taken in February no fruit w
found, but in ensuing months it appears in small quantities, increa,
ing irregularly until August, when a maximum of 27.4 percent w
eaten. In September a trifle less was taken than in August, and aft
that the quantity decreases until December, in which month a liti
less than 2 percent was eaten. In March the fruit amounted
about 6 percent, a quantity hard to account for except on the supp
sition that it was waste fruit left over from the previous year. Ti

r ,

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a While percentages are sometimes given in fraction, it need not be assume
that extreme accuracy is intended; such figures must be taken as only a
approximation to the truth.





I :



! IIO'Kr~cf ~

|1O'SE FI NCHl. 19

amount eaten in this 'onthl i.- -. u, wlat 1si rl,, g Ii, Ii i vi.w of tll-
fact: that in Apri1l lt,-s tliiin 2 l ,'i'enit wi:as. c.iisilli'l, and it i-. ,it u1ntil
June that the jIa.n'rv ,t'ittri' I c.i.ies iil(n'tlitt. It i- po sill,, tli:ilt tI -
supply of weed seed ( I til(II(,eio, iear may tix, e itltd bet ,'Y Mar'li.
When the new crotp li uas not yet ripened : w waste fruit is taken foir
want of some lh ig I t t e.
It is practically iilJpssible' to idehnify particular kinds of fruit in
a bird's stomach itnile-s cl arac teris-tic' ,-(. I ( )Ir .-t ,1( ie :ira' lpr-.i,,lt.
These are rarely Ieate'n liy the lilnet, wlii'li -.tis to lJ fillr o)n-clarl
fruit. Cherries. ajiJicots,. lwa lie. a ndl l r1,ii.- alq)|ar t0) ib E i1e fi\-ter-
ites. This choice arises. 0no tlonIlit,i frini tlit clikai.'rter of it- 1 E:k
already described. \W liile tliri.sln1' ;e. aiil ttlier -oft 1)1(lled lirid r i ,e-
fer the smaller kinds coinionlv known a- Ibrrie.. whlicli cai Ii e-wial-
lowed whole, the linnet attacks tli' larger kidi(s. wlhicli yield readily
to its i)werfuIl beak. Liinets aire particularly fondi of mall peiari.
like the Seckel, and often attack themin even when they are liard. a
fortnight or more before ripe. If undisturWbed thelwv will eait every one
on a tree, leaving the core attached to dry and blacken in tlhe sun.
A few strawberries and fewer blackh)e(rilt,-- 1or ra-plbrrie.- were thi,
only cultivated small fruits that could )e identified in the stoiiach.,
of linnets. A number of birds from tlhe southern part of the State
had fed freely on figs. identified by their seeds.
S If the bird preferred an exclusive diet of fruit, there is no reason
why its taste should not be gratified dniring the greater part of the
Year. 1When cherries are ripe in Californiai linnets need eat nothing
;else. The cherry crop would be ample for all their wants-, though
perhaps not much would be left for marketing. Tlie record, how-
ever, shows that ini June. which is practically cherry month in the
central part of the. State, less than one-seventhl of thle linnet's food
Consists of fruit. Apricots are ripe in many parts of tlhe State
Before the month closes. so that lack of fruit can not 1W, irlled a- a
reason why the bird should subsist so largely 111)on weed seed. In
July apricots, peaches, and early figs are available, but still the linnet
Seats them only to the extent of one-fifth of its diet. and even in
SAugust and September. the months of maximum con-iumnpti, fruit
constitutes only a little more than one-fourtlih of the food.
Weed seeds.-The greater portion of the linnet's food. as already
stated, consists of the -eed,, of weeds, the most important of which
Share those of the Napa thistle, black mustard, Alfilaria. knotweed. and
Turkey mullen (see P1. II. figs. 1. 2. 3. 4. 7). the total consumption of
which for the year is 86.2 percent. This record is not excelled by
that of any other bird studied, with the poible exception of the tree
Sparrow (Spizella mo1t;-ola() whose food. however, consists largely
Sof grass seed, much of which is useful. As there is an unaccountable

:"";! :1 ,

^, increase in the fruit eaten in March, so there is an unexplained de-
V crease in the consumption of weed seed during that month. With
;that exception, the amount taken in each month decreases in a fairly'
S, regular series from a maximum of 99.8 percent in January to a minim-
1 1mum of (4 in August. From this month the quantity of seed in the.
'^ stomachs increases steadily to December, when the record ends with.
1,, 97.9 l)ercent.
iIt seems probable that such a constant and persistent eater of weed.
seed would also eat considerable grain. Stomach records show that.
wheat was identified in one stomach, oats in three, and something very
like the skin from kernels of corn in five. In this connection it can
be said that if the linnet does not eat grain it certainly is not for want
of opportunity. It is evident then that weed seed is taken by the
1: linnet simply because it likes it.


4It is natural to conclude that the food most frequently found in a
bird's stomach is the kind preferred. Applying this test to the linnet.
we find that of the total 1,206 stomachs examined, 1,133, or 94 percent
of all, held weed seed, and that 807, or nearly 67 percent of the whole,;
4 "contained no other food. On the other hand, fruit was found in 297
; stomachs, or 24 l)ercent of the whole number, but only 38, or 3 per-
'I: cent of all, were entirely filled with it. In other words, there were
J Only (3 stomachs that did not contain weed seed, while 909 contained
'', 0no fruit.
"^ The miscellaneous portions of the linnet's vegetable food amount:.
,: to only about nine-tenths of 1 percent of the food of the year. and.
Small was found in 28 stomachs. Stamens and other parts of flowers.
were found in 14 stomachs only, which does not indicate that thel
Injury to fruit buds by the linnet is serious. One stomach contained'
a:, small leaf gall. Ten stomachs held matter denominated as rubbish,
: consisting of bits of dead leaves, rotten wood, etc., evidently swal-
Slowed unintentionally with other food.
I., From the foregoing it appears that, contrary to the statements and
,. beliefs of many, the linnet is not a constant and persistent devourer.
of fruit. Examination of the contents of many stomachs shows that
fruit is far from being its principal article of diet, and it is probable.
that what is taken is eaten for the sake of variety or for the juice. A
Sfar greater quantity of fruit is eaten by the cherry bird (Ampelis.j
cedrortm) and by the robin (Merula migratoria), both of which occur
in California.
In the case of both these birds, however, the greater part of the
fruit eaten consists of wild species, and this fact suggests a method
j **1l


by which the California fruit grtiwi'r mIay protect his (irchardiri fIri
the attack of the linnt't-nalme l ly, by, pl)lalit i tng armil rlrik<- .lhr lib-
and trees their frtli t of wl ic.h will %e%'- to, at ra it Iirl I awaiv fr4),1I
ithe marketable kinds. Tl'hr' ar e ,1111.u fCiiil-lageiiig lirtik ai1,l
tI$t 1l whose lrftilcts, while WorthIIless tI 11a l, airt' likely' t, jI',v' ,iorWe
*3,+ttractiv o to linnetst tl l i l are the orchardli frli it.. Thait linn:,ets %will
eat wild fruit apixt'ars frtnt thhe fact tIhat elelt] rrit- (Samnl)i iln )
;ere found in 49 stomniachs. an( tl'ir appamriet Imartialitv ftr c.iIti-
Yated fruits is readily explained byv tilhe fact thalit usually tlhIy art
the only kinds obtainable.


Of the 1,206 stomachs of linnets included in this investigation, 4C)
Were those of young birds taken from the nest. IThe voting vary iM
age from birds 2 days old to those nearly ready to fiy. In rder to
ascertain the exact difference, if any, between the food of the Ites-
tlings and that of the adults, the contents of these 46 stomach. were
tabulated by themselves and the percentages of the various itemi.-, of
food calculated. The results show 2.4 percent of animal food to
t7.6 of vegetable. The animal food consists mostly of thle larva' of
a minute beetle which lives on decayed fruit, with a few plant-lice
and one small fragment of a grasshopper, the only one found in any
of the stomachs. The vegetable food consists entirely of weedl -etd.
the most important of which are the following: Sunflower. bur weed,
milk thistle, and poison oak. (See PI. II, figs. 1. 8. 9.)
No fact connected with the food habits of thle linnet is more sur-
prising than this. The great body of the fringilline birds, thliough
subsisting largely and in most cases almost entirely upon vegetable
food in adult life, feed their young in the early stage of existence
almost exclusively upon insects or other animal food, and begin to
give them vegetable food only when nearly ready to leave the nest.
It is doubtful if there is an exception to this rule so pronounced as tihe
linnet. As calculated, the nestlings ate actually less animal food than
I their parents, but the difference is so small that it nmay be accidental.


Admitting, as we must, that the orchardist has just grounds of
complaint against the linnet on account of depredations upon fruit.
the bird's claim to favorable consideration must rest upon its valuable
services as a consumer of weed seed and upon its esthetic value. It
is trim and pretty, has a sweet song. and in many ways is a pleasing
adjunct of rural life-in fact. many Californians believe that the
linnet, in spite of its sins of commission and omission, should be

L .:
I :::::. :


protected. That the complete extermination of the species, even if
iF possible, is not desirable will be readily allowed, but that a reduction
Sof its present numbers would be for the general welfare can not rea-
S'S sonably be denied. Were it possible to destroy half the linnets in the
i: i ~fruit-growing sections of the State, there is no doubt that most of the.:
complaints against the species would cease. As it is, the fruit grower:
must protect himself by such devices as are suggested by local con-
ditions, and bear in mind that, while as an individual he may suffer,
the bird, on the whole, is doing the State good service.


Following is a list of identified seeds, with the number of stomachs
in which each kind was found. The same kinds of seeds were of
course contained in many more stomachs, but were so finely ground:
J tup as to be unidentifiable. It is not unlikely that in identifying the
seeds specifically errors have been made. but it is believed that few,
if any, of the generic identifications are erroneous. A few seeds
were found which have not yet been identified.
Sedge (Carex sp.)---------------------------------------------------- 21
I Sorrel (Rume.r acetosella) -------------------------------------------- 3:
SKnotweed (Polygonun ariculure).- (Pl. II, fig. 4) ------------------- 12I
Catchfly (,S'ilee sp.) ---------------------------------------------- 5-
,, Chickweed (Stellaria media)_---------------------------------------- 21
SSpurry (Spergala arienis).) 1---------------------------------------- 4
i Amaranth (. Amarantus retroflexius et ali.)------------------------------ 108
SCalandrinia (Calandrinia menziesi) -------------- -- --- ---
Miner's lettuce (Jontia perfoliata) ----------------------------------- 11
Wild turnil) (Brassica camipestris ------------------------------------ 13
Black mustard (Brassica nigra). (PI. II, fig. 2) 8
W d radish (Raphamis satit'u,, ) --- -----
W~ild radish (Rap/in us solicut)------------------------------------ --I
Geranium (Geranium dissectim))-------------------------------------
Alfilaria (Erodium moschatum ) -------------------------------------}
Alfilaria (Erodium cicutarium). (Pl. II, fig. 3)-------------------- 3
Yellow sorrel (Oxalis corniculata)------------------------------------ i
Turkey niullen (Eremocarpus setigcrus). (PI. II, fig. 7)--------------- 11
Poison oak (Ritus diver.-siloba). (PI. II. fig;. )------------------------
Burweed (Amsinclia tesselata). (PI. II. fig. 6)------------------------
Nightshade (,olanu-m nigrum)----------------------------------------
Western ragweed (Ambrosia p.ilostachya)---------------------------
Sunflower (Helianithis sp.)------------------------------------------
Mayweed (Anicmis cotula) -)------------------------------------- --
SGroundsel (Scniicio rvulgari) --------------------------------------- 2
Lesser tarweed (Deinandra fa.ciculata)-------------------------------
Tarweed (Madia .Ratira). (PI. II, fig. 5)i-----------------------------
Milk thistle (M.ariana mariniana). (PI. II. fig. 8)
Napa thistle (Ceiitaurea melitensis). (PI1. II. fig. 1)--------------------


VElSTEI:N T2 NA.iIE. 2'3

The follow wing talie .litw.. tli w'rei lI,- 'of ti,, va ri,, 1 it'iii-. ,-f
food of the linnet for eachtl inoitii iitf the e;ar:

7'Tua c titf perr' nfC t!J ctift Dir lot uf fi ji tli fli i iuItch f iiunfi in /i Ia.

S iaaiNintilm r',f liMil ,, .
%tt mt I Ie li, I',r \ /'. I I L i
I I I i \ il- I I VrI I I g Iit
It' XH'lliltird. r',lr ll.' I i. l~ MniIn i
*i.. '' 1ln llr'U- ,Lp > qll +l
.'t+ ..... ....i
Jll1I+ rriit I'll ,, lt I', i ,', ,,/ I'll,1,1 ,t. i I' ,'i i i n .
]ii. 'ury ..... Z ii. ( I 0x7. 1
lX am N . . .. -. N1 .. P.47. I I
..(lla ~rch .. .. .. .. .............. .... "1'" ,, u ,,.u ,, ,, '.,7 1
l l h .. ..................... . . .MI, ;..' 1. i '.1 A1 -)
S I ........ .... .. .... .. . :7 _'.. 1 s i. 7i 9'i. 7
ii o e ... . . .... ... . . . . . .. .i~ ] .+ L. .; .1 . ,.\+ . .. .. :l; ,:. :; - ... i.. ,, '.,i. l
M2B.y ......1 7;.. .7 I. '.,7. s
u gt ......... ........ .. . I1" 7 I i;.i. 27. 1 1.1 !.r" 9
* eptem ber ...... ........ ........ .. :i 1 I 71 i2 2G;.? 1.1; t..
jO tober . ................... ... .... l 1. 0 1 ;. .. ; INI.
il ovem her ........................ 25 (.I... i '.1. 7 ;; u. i ii.
D ecem ber ......................... . ."I 7..s l I,. l (.
T o ta l . ... .. .. ... .. . ... .. I. 2 ; .... .. .. .. .. . .. ... ... . .. .. .. .. . . . ... .
A average .......................... ............ 2.1 m ;.'i2 10. I 11.9 97.-5
;1[ ~ ~~~~~~~~~ .Ave . .. . .I ^*J1.ln 7


": ( Pirunii ,u I-u-loi' rciua na.)

The western tanager, like the robin, occasionally becomes a nuisance
iin the orchard. It breedls in tle n11011taidii ii l',Ig1io]s of Califoruia
*and northward, and as a rile is not common in tlhe fruiit-growing

There are. however, tiiles d11'ilg liligratioi wllien it fairly swarms
in some of the fruit-raising regions, andl tinfort itlatecly this .ometilnes
happens just at the time wvhen tlt'e chlerry crop1) i ripeiniiig. Tlie bird
is a late breeder and does not seem to care to get to its netinlg groitnd
before the last of Julline or early Jiily. It is tllis eibi)ed to I)egitH ili
the southern part o()f thle State x lien cherries ar( ri )ei iii ig tII( i. ad
leisurely follow the ripening fruit lorlthwiard. T lTie year 1.siP); wit-
nessed an incu(rsilon of these, t gl. e tihey .waried(l over l much
of the State and destroyed(l a lar(re part of tilie chlierry crol)p.
Probably the best account of this occurrence is tliat of IW'. (). mer-
son (published in the Condlor, Vol. V, 1903, p1). 64). Mr. imeri(tisoi
One of the most wonderful Son of fumigation whiicih ever e.aine inder my notice, took pilacet' ait llav\\;rd
during May, 1iSOl, when countless umbi)ers o(f l'itnim iu luiririian <'r i(,m1isi;ini
tanagers, Ieg;in to uiiuke tiieir .'tl1 r;ieiai e li tt\1 tweevn .I;iy 12 a'11 14. r''nit timt
18th to the 22d they were to lie seen in endless numlrrs. lil)'ing (iff tlitr ugli tlie
hills and canyons to their summer breeding r;iige il Hlie mount.uiins. 'T'llis con-
tfnued till the 28th. and by J.ule I only here ;ind there i str.iggliiig ntmler of





the flock was to be seen. They were first found feeding on early cherries, in.
an orchard situated along the steep bank of a creek, on the edge of rolling hlls,
well covered with a thick growth of live oaks, which faced the orchard on the
east. To this thick cover they would fly, after filling themselves with cherries,
and rest till it vwas time to eat again. This they would keep up from daylight
to dark. coming and going singly all day, without any noise whatever being heard.
Two men were kept busy shooting them as fast as they came into the trees.
which lay on the side next to the oak-covered hills. * After the first
week. I found on going here (May 17), that dozens on dozens of the birds were.
lying about. * Tanagers lay about everywhere, and no doubt many must:
have flown off to die in the bushes or on the hillsides. * I noticed one
fact of the restriction of the tanagers to the orchards along the hill edges. None
were found, so to speak, in the larger orchards about the town of Hayward.
* * Mr. H. A. Gaylord. of Pasadena, Cal., in a letter under date of June 16,
1896(. states that they were seen singly from April 23 to May 1. From this
date up to May 5 their numbers were greatly increased, and by May 5 there was:
an unusually large number of them. Then for about ten days. until May 16,
the great wave of migration was at its height. Tauagers were seen everywhere,
an(d noticed by everyone. After May 20 they decreased in numbers, and by
May 26 the last ones had left the valley." * He also says: The damage
Cone to cherries in one orchard was so great that the sales of the fruit which,
was left. did not balance the bills for poison and ammunition. The tanagers
lay all over the orchard, and were, so to speak, 'corded up' by hundreds under.
the trees."
There must have been thousands of tanagers destroyed all through the path
of their movement along the State, as they worked their way to the breeding
grou nds.
Here are two accounts of this great flight of tanagers-one from
Pasadena. the other from Hayward, 330 miles farther north as the.
bird flies. The time taken by the tanagers in traversing this dis-
tance was only eight days, so it would appear that individual birds
did not spend much time in the same orchard. Such sporadic flights
are hard to account for. The tanagers are in California every year,
.nd every year they migrate to their nesting grounds in spring and
return in fall. but only at long intervals do they swarm in such
prodigious numbers. Evidently the migration ordinarily takes place
along the mountains where the birds are not noticed. It is possible
that in some years the mountain region lacks the requisite food, and
so the migrating birds are obliged to descend into the valleys. This
would seem to be the most plausible explanation of the occurrence-
that is. that the usual line of migration is along the Sierra Nevada,
but some years, owing to scarcity of food, or other cause, the flight
is forced farther west into the Coast Ranges, where the birds find
the ripening cherries. The damage done by this species, however,
is not confined exclusively to the rare occasions when they appear in
such extraordinary numbers. R. H. Carr. of Redlands, southern.
California, wrote us in June, 1899:
Without examining any stomachs it is easy to report the value of the Louisi-
ana tanager to the fruit growers near here. In the city they seemni to keep)

' j i



i :,

: .ij .



H1 I
r 'I

.I 'f
I Vi

;,' :i
! .. -'
I .ti


,ilmo t entirely 4m tint (irevillon intres. ,ipi'ii: tli,, s\ i'el ltilul tuint 'x'ul'-.
|||pn. l) the I1i msstiib is. lin1 tin' Ain lr-l-N\s Vr',rli-. \ li',s 'li rr) l al i'li l ii' li
i Ih tI h t ItIl ]qi'Tr Y lvnriilt. V:ill'y. rI 'l|. rt I lilit I I1 Innn:ie'l"s 1,. 1 i0,'1 i'1l :i l SIi. $ I.NNI
o'ii rth of t 'l'l'rit''., I.llng nlilllnsst till' 1 i' il' r'l'. 1 41 T nl' % lII' | ill'r. ;Inld shut,
jib bentily. tilt 1 i ni t sa.i' t iht' n'i',p.
i It is to Ix. regretted Itllat (olli of til t-' iiln'Is if t1i".' tliIIlt'rl"
l ere not saivtit, in ini t'"r tlat dit' of tilt-' .i'ri'.-, mniglii i. :ic'r-
.Wined w ith iprecision). Ti'le (1111]N n~il ri:L l ;i\..ill: l,, I',lr ..x.i'inii:i ti,,i
fqo, insists of -I .toiiaclis frt)iti ..'riii" I):rtl- f til' St:itt'. dluling tIn(, ix
Spontlis from April to Septeiiil.'r. Hlnli. icluivl. "is'lui.i rl,.t i- ,'vtircly
40 S 1 s 1all to ttt|l'k[ X)o-itive (dlatl a ts i in reglt lar fluid lI:ilitl. of tln'
Is "!i tl k .... .l
prd, but unhdouilhteill Int n tie' ,'lt d 't Iltl, tI
bstinioniv of fie l ,ol -trSv erVr -.Io s t1t13 tlii: t1111 t're ts ;a dro(i i(o ,'lil
V. fruit, atalyl-sis of tlit' ston cli content,J ir)'s that ovim r s2 percent
i the food for the six mnonttls ilndic'atetd il ove tO.,it if inseit--t. ; :ttid
I :Se remai nder. nearly IS )l'rct'ent. of frtiit, withl a I t'rie trace ct seds of
I tconifer.
IInsert fo)od.-The largest item of the ;ninniil food 1 is I Il'nle'iopitera,
iost of which are \ .ls)s.. w ithi Hilt' Sn11) 1 Alto() Eth r tlie"y nil )Ilollt to
16 percent of tlie food f- tilte six montlhls'. :riid in A\l irst tlyht' reach
56 percent. (They retch l percent inl April, Ibut (nvll\ ()let' stoillachi
*as taken in thai nimonth. so tle record il 1no0t reli1ablie..) lleniptevera
Sand next in impor)('tancet', with S pel)t'rcent. -iie aie nio-tly .tilk-, with a few cicad(las. IBeetles amount to 12 J)ercent oif tlie foo,(l.
of which less than 1 percent are useful ('araIit he. TIli renialin der
e mostly click-Ibeetles (Elaiterid(a') and tlite inet1alli(c wod-boIrers
(Buprestida1), two very harlmfitl famiilie-. Tle. former in tile larval
Sage are commonly known as wiret'W(WrIs,, and bo1(re into antd destroy
r badly injure many plants. it' llilprestitls. whlimle in tlhe larval
sage, are wood-)bor'ers of tlie wvors-t de-crilptioin. (ira-shopltrs were
eaten to the amount of 4 percent, and caterpillIars to tlie extent of less
than 2 percent.
Fruit.-The greater part of the fruit eatenl appeared to he the p)iitp)
of some large kind like peaches or arl)l'i('co)t. (O)ne stomach contatiied
seeds of elderberries: another the seeds an1d stemls of mlbl)erries, and
two the seeds of raspbl)l)erries or black berries. Nearly all these
stomachs were collected inll the Inountain,. away from extensive
mchards, but .till the birds had obtained some fruit, probal)ly

It is evident from the testimony that great damage from this
species occurs only at rare intervals and d(uiring the spring migration.
SThe greatest losses occurred in May. 1OG6. when the damage to the
cherry crop in certain localities was most disastrous. As. uind(ler ordi-
nary circumstances, the greater part of the food of this bird( consists



pal *~


I ~'


I I~

I *I

I :. ~





of insects, many of them harmful, the tanager has a fair claim to .
sideration at the hands of the farmer and even of the orchardist.
It is probable that means may be found to prevent, at least in par
the occasional ravages of the tanager on the cherry crop. The t
ager. like the robin, prefers to swallow fruit whole, and as the latt
takes small wild cherries in preference to the larger, cultivated kin
when both are equally accessible, it is probable that the tanager wou
do tlhe same; and it is suggested that a number of wild cherry tre
planted around California orchards might prove an economical
vestment for the orchardist.

Swallows are the light cavalry of the avian army-always on th
move, always on the skirmish line, ever gathering stragglers front
the insect camps. They furnish another instance, and perhaps ti
most remarkable one, of change of habit induced by civilization. II
eastern United States the bank swallow and the rough-wing are tl;
only species that adhere persistently to their original nesting site
In the West a third species may be added to these, the violet-gree
swallow: but there all the swallows are somewhat less domestic thai
in the East. It is probable, also, that some species, notably the ban
swallow, are more abundant than when the country was unsettled
owing to the increased number of nesting sites. Supposing for
moment that the country was swept bare of buildings, where could a
the barn swallows find suitable places to nest? The cliff swallowi
might discover enough overhanging cliffs upon which to attach their
mud domiciles; the white-bellied and the martin, as formerly, mig1g
nest in the hollows of trees, but there are not caves enough east
the Mississippi River to afford nesting places for one-tenth of th
barn swallows. In the far West they would fare better. When t|
country was first settled, barn swallows must have been confined to
few rocky cliffs and caves here and there along the seashore or i
mountains. Now they live wherever man has erected a structure
alV kind.
As is to be inferred from the movements of these birds, their foo
with sonle curious exceptions, consists principally of insects caug
in mid-air. For this reason all the species are migratory, except
the Tropics, for the food supl)ply fails in regions where frosts preva
As many insects that usually do not fly, periodically swarm,' thi
are often capl)tured by swallows at such times in great numbers. Sum
is the case with ants and 'white ants' (Termitidae), which most
the time are concealed in the earth or in logs. but at certain tim
b swar 'll in illmmense numbers. Many species of beetles that live
offal and odinaril are not accessible to birds, in case of failure

SSWA II(1 ,WS. 27

tod, migrate Ii1 great iiiiilndr-. Oi w nhI I n lii are ] yed I ijui Iv -, \l-
ObwS, flycatchers, a i<| otheiir Ibird1.1 l'lu. Ih r d sri itivI. ',ttloni i1,ll \w\.,*il
Smore o' less active tlring tlit' late ..iiiuir" ;ile tarly fall mintll-,.
immd it has Ihei learniedl tdint the ,walliow.:. ;i:-, tIIl i,% -, In, ligll th11,
ton States on their wa\y to their ..oiitlrrmn wiiil,'r IIIIlrt. ',-tl'li
l t numbe." o4f tleiti oln tmhe wiir tiilil i)r1 iii.'f :'n1, .1 .x'..lingly
Pportam nt service. Enigr cwr Ixctles (S',dol'tiil.) lhav, 'rp 1nii Iilv
ieen found ill tlit' stoniaclis of ^\villu\\. Ilii-' il1-tt jIM iiJnijh
rk, am d ge ,it'nilly l a ', iII1Icc''S5..1,1 to I ir il... <. ,'\,eit w,,i l.j,.kir-:
eiodtically tley iin rmli1 fx'oi= tll t'c.r wvliecr lint,'lic, ; iin init '
i search for fi'sh pat nr's: at .-i' tinices tlie y .i'1 rn, tinp' t.d'th ;11]
tll easy prey to an" tl-catching lirtl. Swl;llow- are' ji'UIliidrlv
Adapted to cal)tptiring ,ni;all insects in idl-aiir. Wlile their Nill- arn.
*eak thwir months are wri(It. ind tle ir Io,,,, \\i gs tiiI!1(, tiJnui to tli
:wiftlv and turn qMicklv. so that tlichy we' a pIck amid fortli tlh 3oglh
swarm of insects and gatlhr tlenm l) hundreds.
SSeven species of swallovw-, witli several l .iibl 5Jl)'. -, (I1(' co o1'nly
bund within the limits of the lUnited States. Their food lIal() its
:ary but little. All seven species octcrl' ill Califoir'nia. aind this ni'i-
L::r includes one. tlhe violet-green. that l(oe'- I t (o'cur" il tlie EA;ist.
SBesides the swallows whose food will 1 e discis,-eI ill detail in tlie
following pages. a few stomachs of the tree swallow ( Irh>fionm.,
colorr, the western martin (f'rmnu, .s.i/s, /,'./n'riv, ). anmd thle aImk
swallow (Rit,'mwri ri'/mr)( have l)een examined, l)but the 1111111er i-4
ai .tirely too small to be used as a ba,,is for general conclsi.,ionl- were
it not for the fact that their contents agree in all ers'emtiatl poiit-,
with those of the other swallows, of which a zrleater nmn:I.,ber were
available for examination. Inl fact. it nmav be said of all the lnembers
of the swallow family that they sub-i.,t upon practically tli' saiI e
kind of food. with slight variation from o(nth toi monthly. It n'mv
be laid down as a general rile that tlhe food of all Anericanm swal-
lows is derived from the following orders o)f insect- (oleopt,,ra.
Rymenoptera. Hemiptera. and Diptera. witli a few individnal- from
mone or two other orders, a anan occasional pil'er. So far :1a- pi)T-et't
investigation has shown. 90 percent of tlieir a- imal food is froll tlhe
four orders named above. but thle relative proportion o(f eacli varies
snomewhat with thle different species a111(1 seasons. With one nItable
exception a the swallows take so little vegetable fo((od that it mlay x e
passed by as a negligible quantity, and nulch e'ven of the little eatenl
is probably swallowed accidentally.
After the above statements in relation to tlhe food of thie swallows
it is perhaps unnecessary to dwell upon tlhe zreat value of the-e bin'-
*The tree swallow of the East ( Iriuluin'ronr<' huvirl o' hiuri t.i its southernlll
Migration freely eats the berries tif the l>;hy-lerry ({Ir'i

9 M I. T.

:r A.

I |


as insect destroyers. They do not consume any product of hi
bandry, and the worst that can be said of them is that they eat soe
useful insects with the harmful ones, though the former are in
very decided minority. This statement, however, applies to any an
all insect-eating birds. It would be just as reasonable to expect
mower or reaper to cut grain and leave the weeds standing as to suit
pose that from the hordes of insects around us birds will select onl1
the ones that are injurious to man and leave untouched those that am
beneficial. Then, too, a superabundance of any species of insect
even beneficial ones, would be a nuisance. The service which swal
lows render is to prey upon the whole insedt tribe and so to reduce
the flood of insect life to a lower level where it may be more easil]
dealt with by man.


(Petrochelidon lunifrons.)

In the Eastern States the cliff swallow has practically abandoned
its original nesting sites under cliffs, and now nests under the eav
of houses and other buildings. The writer has counted 80 nest
beneath the eaves of 1 barn. In California the bird has taken up
with the new order of things to some extent, but has not entire.
abandoned its old habits. It is a migrant and remains in the State
for about six months only during the breeding season, which is th
time when the bird does the most good.
The following discussion of the food of the cliff swallow is base
upon the examination of 123 stomachs, representing every month
from April to September. inclusive.
Vegetable food.-Vegetable food to the extent of 0.32 of 1 percent
was found. In most cases this was simply rubbish taken acciden-
tally, though it includes a few small seeds.
Animal food.-Of the animal matter the largest item is Hymenop-
tera. These insects formed over 39 percent of the total food; mos
of them were bees and wasps, and small parasitic species were identi-.:
fied in a number of stomachs; a few were ants. Unfortunately
minany parasitic insects are eaten by birds that take their prey upon
the wing. such as swallows and flycatchers. The fact is to be
deplored, but in most cases the percentage is not large. Perhaps the
most interesting insect among Hymenoptera eaten is the common
honey-bee (Apis mellifera). Of these, 34 were identified, all con-
tained in 11 stomachs, in one of which were 8 individuals. All were
drones-that is. males. Not a trace of a worker bee was found. I
two stomachs drones constituted the whole food and in several others
the principal part. It is probable that most of them were taken
when the queen made her marriage flight. So far as the writer has



:*n informed, lbe keepers do tnot regard ti, de-ttrletin nf In' de.- .-
iJjurious to tlo t \w i I-II. In i n- 1 1 A sI.%4hs dro11l ";I lr wl';i I ilI ;ll11
Wd instead o)f nil ni) itribil Ing 1( tli foiod -n.pplv hey li'v ari :I iila ili IoIIil
.1 SO thllt the (Ie' t'it'tionl of stnlt' o'f (lint' .-lirpllin- tni~a,., i. ;| posiaive
Left to tit' tt4olnv4 .
IlHetipterao. or 1Ls. t.t;titld next to 11 viiit'iioit'cra in i11p1 ort ali'e iin
e' f(o d o(f tilt' Cliti' swallow. Iht' t'rni a little I.-- tiraji 2i7 1i're,4it
lthe whole dlit, aid iir' ri'et)prt'.It''e l 1 I)- eiglt fiatililie-. il.ii' l\-'.
.+... a .issi -lni^-. riiaf-lni^g.-...oli;ill-lni^ f t;in ily. ,-tink]-Il) ,_,.. -I'lIn- l-lIi,_-.
&e-lb-hop)prI lv'af-lio|qt'15. iind ji1 ;iijitr j1 lt-li<'r." All of tlit-,.
Se cepting thle a.-a-iisin-Ilu ar', i.nj1 rioiI- to j)lati-. :i114l ,-it,' ofi tlii'ii
:fe pests at all tin -s. (O)f tlt''. p'-fl)r ll itll t, l;itf-Iio pl) r-% (.Ia-ltfi.'.)
mfe the worst. TlV' ,,\lck lilt jii'sc, (If plaimti. p);art('ilai'lv gr;l-''.
whieh they infest 1)y mil l ions. Tll are sI a .id to lI) ]ii' lit few citenlite-.
of which birds are tilt ini ,t t'effect'tiv It is (i)r ;l);Il)l, tiai tli<-y ;i.t'
eptured by swallows when just skimning ive'rc tlt -iitrfaici o filll.
* are snatched frotii the top-, of rras. andl weedIs. 'Tll'v were foiinil
I "27 stomachs.
SLeaf-bugs (Ca.psidar) are a very large family o()f hlarfut ifil-ect.
wich feed( almost entirely upon plants-. Some specie- o()f thli- family
n pests of the worst description. Lef-bugs were contained in 43
uomachs. The other insects of this order are llmore or le5-, haIrmaful.
but were not eaten so extensively.
Beetles of all kinds aggregate a little less than 19 percent. (Of
these. 2 percent were iseful -s)ecie., .uc('h as caral)i(ds an(ld c(cviintellii i.
The others belong to 12 different families, m( (of whlicli ari' harnifiul.
some very niiuclh so. Akoni)Ig tlhei were a lnimlJe o tf atI iati1 -lpeit,-.
These were probably captured by thile -wallows when flying just l)above
the surface of thle water. The principal flights of be(etle.- dto not
occur during the dlay. but chiefly iI pin earlr" even('iu a11(1 at 1ni.,lt.
Flies are eaten by cliff swallow- to tile extent of nearly 12 l)pert'clt
of the food. Most of these are thle species commonly( klmwn asI s
gnLats, but one stomach contained a large horsefly (Taiatiila'). Tlhe
gnats have a habit of swarming afternoons and e'eninggs,. w'hell IllalIy
are probably snapped upl) by swallows.
The remains of dragonl-flies, lace-winge flies, epheteriitld-. andtl
spiders make up the rest of the food. or a little more than 3 'percent.
,As spiders do not fly. it may hbe asked Ihow they were cap)tulredt ) by*
the swallows. They- probably were snatched from their web'u or frotll
the tops of weeds as the birds l)assed. Swallowvs pick up sil),tance-
even from the ground. as is shown by the vegetable component of
their food. and by other facts to be given presently.
Plant-lice and se ale-insects were nit present, anti this may bie exilainied from
the fact that their lives are passed mostly in a wingless conditions.

-:y fn -.:- .. ", [, _


"| I ,B :Among the stomachs examined were those of 22 nestlings, varyi
1h':0 1 in age from 2 days to those just ready to leave the nest. They we
-5I~n -011 Al as v* In ore to as *I
t i; taken from May 30 to July 2, inclusive. In order to ascertain if i
I- |j ^l* portant differences exist between the food of the adults and that of
1|: young, the contents of these stomachs were tabulated separately
ill | Comparison shows little or no difference in the quantity of vegetab
nl matter eaten by adults and young. 1 1
The animal matter in the food of the young is precisely of t
same kind as eaten by adults, but the l)roportions are rather diffe
I c-nt. IHymenol)tera are the largest item in the food of the you
as well as of the parent birds, and amount to 42 percent f
,1 the former against 39 percent for the latter. Diptera stand next
j importance, with 30 percent for the young against 12 percent for t
rj adults. As these insects are mostly soft-bodied, it is the .usual custo
} of birds to feed a greater proportion of them to the young. Hemi
| tera amount to a little more than 16 percent of the nestlings' foo
while the adults eat them to the extent of nearly 27 percent. Beetli
I are fed to the younger to the amount of about 10 percent, while
parents eat them to the extent of 19 percent. This again ini
naturally be expected, as most beetles are hard and less easi
i |digested than flies and some other insects, and hence are less suitab
SH food for young birds.
j : IFrom the foregoing it is evident that the food of young cli
jI I- swallows does not differ in kind from that of the adults, but is di
I tril)uted among the various orders of insects in somewhat differ.
Iks i, proportions. Hymenoptera and Diptera constitute nearly three
1 :; fourths of the diet, evidently because they are soft and easily broke
i up and digested. Beetles and bugs appear in the stomachs le
frequentlyl. While beetles are not extensively eaten, it is worthy (
note that the variety is considerable, as representatives of no few..
S1 than 10 .species were contained in the stomach of one nestling. Oi
V stomach held a few bits of eggshell, and gravel was identified F
4: two others. One of these contained 7 good sized gravel stones; t
A : other, pieces of glass and gravel. The supposed function of gra
in the stomachs of birds is to assist in breaking utip the food. Th
K gravel should be given young cliff swallows when not taken by t
., : adults is remarkable. The feeding of gravel to the young has be
0 ,noted in the case of other species of swallows.
I !"
I Hirunvdo eruithroga.lra. I

iThlie barn swallow is rapidly learning, not only that the structe
built by man afford excellent nesting sites, but that the presence
4 0A
- U
S .1; :;,


lfman is a sufficient protecting agait ue.neis,. Tlii -prni'. in-
adlly (list'ributed ovex tin \e. ,t culast ngi,,o ilit ii i- 11,,1 -11 ,t, n ,,,Ii,
1 it is in tlhe East. IpriIIaily I ecaI'leu e, tiii1 r.elat.iv, -r 'iite ,t l n,-!
iaf sites. It is noti iitlip .'mnilile, i' \\we .r, that lii't Iit l Idf' (Ill II|'.i.,it
hlf century will -,e thle barn swallow Ias commni,, 1lIiriiirlioiii tI,.
whole of til region u)l it is in tllhe 1.
Eighty-two stmauclis (tf 3:li' swallows wire xaiuiineI. %, takLii t'roin
April .to (htxolk,'r, ii.lz-.iv'. tliho gli A ril va-1 r(Ii.r-,.iitil I\ Iuilv
two sttiit'lis i1id ()ctil 1)v oin. \Vlilh i a igra rl i4diil)%r \\%oiltI
inve lbern l ,.4Iiral)lI, till- (cIo.- i'v ,iiiiballi v i t' o ilil 1',4 ,Il t iii l 1h t o
the easterlln lii's. ai s S l ili 1)' I t lhe ici l(nIt oft ll i '- -I ali ,'ili-. L1i\'fv
amSUlLait' tihait tihe results iarei ra'imiiiillye rcililule.
VJ /' t'tib fin l.-- i'ietl'lllv 11) v'~g~'tI lililt' ft(,i \i la llloi l ii tlilt'
stomachs examiiied. A singl lie (ilVli .t' seVl wais- U31iii11d il :i -A 10111-
wh taken in Septilember.
insect footl.-So far as tliese S2 stonaiiichs sliow\. the' \-'tirlii b).;r'
wallow subsists entirely upon llinsects, ind it liil l)be added tlit 1ie
satme is true of thle eastern )hrrI.
The largest item of food is made up of 11cm ipl)tel'a (if v:i'i(o
families, amounting to nearly 39 percent of tlhe whole. None of til -',
insects was present in the two stomachs tai ken in April. hiut iuLl every
other month they constitute :a lariige pe1rcelitaige (If tlie ciin-
tits. and in Septeniber, when 38 stomachs were taken,. tl,\" allm)1illit
to 90 percent of tlie food for that month. ReIprecntlati v,: (If s faliili-
lies were identified, )but the principal aind most 11i1pot)1'alit le-', are
the leaf-bugs (Capsid;va'). which were found in 44 stomachs.
Flies are next in importance, anid amount to 32 percent of tie food.
Most of them belong to thle family of thle commiiin houii- 11 (Mlv\z-
cidwe), though probably there were others too b1ily n ma'llIegled to be
identified. No long-legged crane-flies (Tipulidal'). usually commonly
eaten by birds, were found.
Hyinenoptera constitute IS1 percent of tim food. Most of them
consist of wasps and will bees. bilt a few stomiachsi collnt ainedl ilts.
One stomach had a drone honey-bee. Several Ibiris lihad 'eaItenli palra-
sitic species of Hyvmenoptera : a Sel)arate account was kept ()f tlhe'
SO far as possible, )but the total amount summenind i) to onllY abliut o1i1-
fourth of 1 percent of thle whole food.
Beetles aggregate nearly 10 percent of the whole, and belong to 13
families, with no preference for any. The l)ird )roI):al v -jiatdl-es
any and all beetles which it comes across. A few of tlihe destructive
engraver beetles (Scolyticldr) were found in 3 stomachs. D)ra..(ron-
flies and several unidentified remains constitute the remainder (of the
food and amount to a little more than 1 percent.

Lj I



i Thrle stomachs of two broods of nestlings of 4 each are included
Si : the foregoing. The contents do not (liffer from those of adults
I' I cept that they include a small percentage of gravel. Some of thi
"' contained also fragments of eggshell; one had a piece of mother-o
V: 1)earl nacree). and one a small splinter of bone. It is curious th
m these indigestible substances should be so often fed to nestlings wh
Sthe parent birds seldom take them.

([ (Tachycinctf thi lus.idiia h'pida.)
The violet-green swallow does not occur east of the Great. Plain
i:E Its general habits appear to be almost identical with those of its ea
A.j j| ern relative, the white-bellied swallow.
l ;" :The natural nesting site of both species was a hollow in a tree, a
"a '' the western bird still adheres to tlie original habit and nests in t
f hollows of oaks and other trees, but the white-belly has to a great e
tent followed the example of so many of its relatives, and has tak
to holes in buildings or to boxes put up) for avian use.
'1"' In its food habits the violet-green exhibits no marked peculiarities
min fact it mav be said that the food of the different species of swa
I Y lows differs in degree rather than in kind. Stomachs of the violet
].' V green have been collected in every month, except June, from March
[^ : ~September, inclusive, but only 7 were taken earlier than July.
11 i that month, however, and the two following months 67 were obtain
J'm! a sufficient number to give a fair idea of the food at this season.
AM Insect food.-Insects constituted practically the entire contents
:these stomachs. No sl)iders were found, and the only vegetable ma
h Im ter was a single seed, no doubt accidental. Il
m As with the barn swallow, the largest itdm is Hemiptera, or bu
'" era, or b
ii These are epresreented by 10 different families, of which the lea
*H hoppers (Jassidte) were the most numerous, and the leaf-bugs (Ca
I' sida,) next. Altogether they amount to 36 percent of the food.
'1' Diptera stand next in iml)ortance, and in this respect also the vio
'1 t
1 : green resembles the barn swallow. They constitute nearly 29 perch
1 of the food. Neither I)iptera nor Hemiptera. however, are ea
i as freely by the violet-green as by the barn swallow, and the d
P I ciency is made i1p by Hymenoptera.
I Hymenoptera amount to 23 percent of the food, and in t
1m month of July were mostly made up of ants. Six stomachs tak
:' on the same day and in the same locality were entirely filled wi|
: the-e in .'ects. One taken at the same place on the following
Siwas half filled with them. and this, with the exception of 1 perce


containedd i one .stomiacli it Algit. i tlt whole -Itory of 1n1t- 111
i"he food(x of tihe violet-green. All of lile t oilier w'inell( itr'iI, fiil
.'onsists of waspS. asdl wild lbet's. In 'xll;a1ati,,;ol ot illII fili't ( ita
Ntis bird eats ants freelt'y f(ti i hlrt tim zidl t'hen 'at,. Ino i111'.
:I l may lbe stilted that niiicll of llit' tinc ll11'y ar r,,,t ,bliinll..
it is only whelitl tit' insects, art, on (le l wit r \l il,' ,Wa,'ii tlhat tlhe
'Swallows can catcli tlhem, a1nd tl ,en. beil viry nmiWi iitinoi, tl'i\' irI.r
qaten freely.
SBeetles toll'ctively anioilit to -ometlfiig ovey q 11 niet'it of llt'
cld of thet violet-greten. ()f tHbst', rly '3 erce-nit a n. ('arIi ;h.
with a few cocin.i'llids aniid tbaeerioP1 I tle,. \vl ii i t i-t I.' reckjeild
aS useful insects. Tlie rest. over s percent. rt (ref se -t'r;al finiillies.
aIl of which alire lmore or less li;arnifiil. I'ltree -tolaclI-is. ,)llc'td(l
it the same time in Cariiel Vallev. aire of iitteret. T1e co.tlatiai iied
respectively 42. 4-5. ;iand 40 )percent of .colytil d( or engravr-l)etlts.
This was in the regional of the Monterey pilne (';/1,.s r /l;Itrf). land]
there is no doubt that these insects p)rey )upon those trees. i11(1
probably were taken when migratillg in I swI PWIti to fresh foratginig
grounds. A few moths, with 1some uni(lenltified insects, make uI)
the remainder of the aninial food. a little more than 1 percent.

I Ltni x ludoriciitnun ijYimbl'li.}
The California shrike is common in parts of the Pacific coast
region. At the present time fence posts and telegraph lines are the
vantage points from which shrikes ordinarily scan the ground for
prey, and in certain parts of the valley region it is unusual to glance
along a line of wire and not see one or more within a short distance.
It does not seem that trees and shrub.- could ever have adequately
Supplied the need for lookout stations which is now filled by the poles
and wires.
There seems to be a mysterious, sympathy between the shrike and
the little sparrow hawk. or perhaps their relations are inspired b%
i jealousy. The sparrow hawk al-o occupies thle poles and wire ls,. a
lookout for prey. and whenever a hawk stationlls liiinself l)poii onei of
the poles, there, at no great distance, is stire to l)e a shrike keeping,
close watch upon the mnovements of the larger birdl. Whliel tlie latter
i moves the shrike follows, and s-eems to aim to keep tlie other' c(Ilttilii-
ally in view. Perhaps the shrike sees in tlhe hawk a rival aind con-
siders that his preserves are being trespassed upon. tll iougl one would
think there was room enough and prey enough for b)othi. No case of
actual conflict between the two las been observed-onlly this constant
and unremitting surveillance on thle part of the shrike.
9379--No. :t-(--417- 3


I "

A| The shrike resembles a bird of prey in form of beak and, to a cer.
H f! tain extent, in food habits. Unlike the true birds of prey, however, it
i feet are not provided with'talons for seizing prey and holding i
14* securely while it is being torn into pieces. Whenever the shrike cap-
] |tures game that must be torn apart it presses it firmly down into a
I :forked branch where it can readily be dissected.
1 iThe habit of the shrike of storing food apparently for future con-
; sumption has often been noticed. When food is abundant surplus
.captures are hung on thorns, sharp twigs, or, in recent times, th
barbs of wire fences until needed; but as such occasions seldom arise,
nine-tenths of this stored food is wasted so far as the shrike i
1 concerned. Various more or less plausible explanations of thi
( habit have been offered, but the simplest and most natural seems t
I be that much of the time the bird hunts simply for the pleasure an
,. excitement of the chase, and as prey is often captured when hung
|j 4has already been satisfied it is stored for future use. It is the sam
t; -instinct and lust for slaughter that prompts man to kill game that
he can not use. The habit seems to be manifested also in a somewhat
i different way by the crow and magpie, which store up bits of gla
or bright metal for which they can have no possible use. In th
S:J. case of the shrike, however, the habit is useful to man if not
'!: ,the bird, for most of its prey consists of noxious creatures, the de
;,,' struction of which is a decided benefit. -
AA i-H The diet of the shrike and that of the sparrow hawk are almost
I Iexactly alike. It is a curious illustration of two species stand&
:::. far apart systematically but by special modification approach
I i, each other in food habits. The sparrow hawk has all the equipment.
j of a carnivorous bird, but owing to its diminutive size its attack
T: are necessarily confined to the smaller kinds of prey, largely insect
: The shrike, on the other hand, is a member of a group almost
l)purely insectivorous, but it, is so large and strong and has a bea:
I so modified tt in addition to it ordinary diet of insects, it is abli
V,. on occasions lo capture and tear apart small birds and mammals
2 I While at present the two birds subsist upon much the same diet ii
' is evident that their food habits have been modified in different
1'., ways. The natural food of the hawk family as a whole is vertebrate
animals, to which some of its members, including our little sparro
hawk. have added a large percentage of insects. The normal foo
j of the shrike is insects, to which oni occasions it adds the small
:species of vertebrates.
. Like the birds of prey ai(l somne other birds, the shrike habitually
SI. dlisgorges the indigestil)le portio is of its,, food after the nutritive pl
has been digested. The ones aind hair of mice are rolled into coa
pact pellets in the stomach and finally disgorged. From examinati H
: of these a very good idea of the shrike's food may be gained.



A shrike of the eastern subspecies wa, kept in vonlfiliImenIt for soml.
weeks by the Biological Survey antd notes iimade iII regard Id to its foold
habits. A thorny bus)i was jIlact'et ii tlit' cage, and w lnlilever the i
ird was given food in excess of its immediate wants it imipl)aled ti'e
airplus upon a thorn, taking great pains to press it secIurely do()W11.
On one occasion a dead mouse was placedti in tie aige; it was at owie,
wized and forced into the fork of tlit' u isht and was tllell torn p)it'c'-
Meal and eaten. Note was taken of tlhe time when the last bit was
swallowed, and a close watch kept for fizrther restilts. In an hour
wad a half the bones and hair of the mouse were (disgorged in the form
of a neat pellet. Everything digestible had been stripped from tihe
bones. A May-beetle (Laclhnosterna) was eaten and the pellet con-
.taining the remains appeared in an hour and twenty minutes. At
another time a ground beetle (Calosoma) and a stink bug (Nezara)
were eaten andti their remains appeared ini forty minutes. As both
of the insects are nauseous, at least to human smell and taste, it
ik possible that they may have been unacceptable to the stomach of
the bird, and so were rejected before digestion was complete. On
another occasion a second Calosoma and a moth were given, and their
remains were regurgitated in an hour and fifteen minutes. These
experiments show how rapid is the process of avian digestion.
In the investigation of the food of the California shrike 124 stom-
achs were examined. They were collected in every month, but the
greater number were taken in the warmer months.
Vegetable food.-Animal food of all kinds amounts to 97.5 percent,
or so nearly the.whole that it is fair to suppose that the greater
part of the 2.5 percent of vegetable matter present was swallowed
I unintentionally-that is, when sticking to something else. All of it
Swas contained in 9 stomachs. Fruit appeared in 2 stomachs, seeds in
2, and rubbish in 6. Of these probably only the fruit was taken as
food. One stomach was filled with elderberries to the amount of 84
percent of the contents, the other with the seeds of blackberries or
raspberries to the extent of 13 percent. It thus appears that the
i shrike sometimes eats fruit.
Animal food.-The animal portion of the shrike's food may be
I divided into three parts: Insects, 83 percent ; spiders and a few snails,
etc., 2 percent:; vertebrates. 12 percent.
S-Insect food.-In comparing the food of eastern subspecies of
Sshrike and the onle under (discussioi. we find that more insects are
1 eaten by the western one. The figures for the eastern bird are:
J Insects, 68 percent; spiders. 4 percent : vertebrates. 28 percent. Tlle
Difference is undoubtedly due to climate, the western bird being
I able to find insects all the year round, while tlhe eastern one discovers
Very few during the winter. Insects probably are always preferred
when obtainable.

L "

I S Of insects eaten by the shrike, the largest item is Orthoptera-
I f i that is, grasshoppers and crickets-which amount to nearly 43 percent
S, of the whole food. They are eaten in every month of the year, and:
a Iin August and September reach nearly 70 percent. These are the
I normal grasshopper months, the ones in which Eastern birds enjoy
their annual grasshopper feast. Ordinary grasshoppers form the
| 'greater part of this item of food, but a good many crickets are eaten,
; ~especially the brown and striped so-called wood crickets. One group
of these is particularly noticeable-a group of large soft-bodied mon-
Ssters of the genus Stenopelmatus, many of which live under dead
leaves, stones, and rubbish, and do not often voluntarily show them-
Sselves by the light of day. It seems strange that the shrike, a lover
Ii of ol)pen and sunshine, manages to discover these creatures. They are-
I sometimes called 'sand-crickets,' and perhaps at times come out into
SI jthe open. but the writer hlias never seen one except when dug from
I *under rubbish. It is not known whether these insects are harmful or
:I beneficial, so the shrike's consumption of them has no economic inter-
est. It is quite the contrary, however, with regard to grasshoppers
1:i for they are harmful in all stages of existence, and the shrike i
directly beneficial to the farmer to the extent that it destroys them.
| n "Beetles collectively are second in importance in the shrike's diet
|| They amount to 16 percent of the food, but of this about 7 percent
:I are the useful ground beetles (Carabide) and carrion beetles (Sil
AI phida). The rest are mostly harmful. The presence of these las
II, 1 is a curious point in this connection. These insects are probably use
Wi~J: _*.B
Sful. and while no great number of them are consumer, it seems rather
!t strange that they are eaten at all. The surroundings of these beetle
i are not pleasant, and they do not generally serve as food for bir
| except crows and other garbage hunters. Is it possible that th I
I ; shrike finds them on the game which it has hung on twigs or thorns
k'J They were noted in 8 of the 124 stomachs, and three species were iden
5:, tified. Most of the beetles eaten by the shrike are of the larger spa
4 Cies, but it does not disdain small game. and quite a number of sma:
Sleaf-beetles and weevils were among the others. J
X 'Ants and wasps amount to something more than 11 percent in th ::
L.i :diet of the shrike. Naturally they are mostly eaten in the warme1
'months, and the wasps far outnumber the ants.
Moths and caterpillars are taken to the extent of somewhat moi
S: than 7 percent, and seem to be a regular though small component o i
j the food. Unlike the wasps, the greater number of these were ea U:
in the colder months. One stomach was entirely filled with the ,:
mains of 15 moths, a most unusual occurrence, for adult Lepidoptei!
1do not formn a large element of the food of any bird vet investigate
; I IIBugs and flies Iar, eaten oca.ionall. The stomachs taken in Fe.
j" ruary contained a good percentage of Hemiptera. and so did tho



collected in l iIi oJlne slto a'lI rt'Iiii iii- of rol 0(,.er-Ili,- ( A -i 1i i,.
(wer detet:'evil. 'Ti' i. i a,luii l" it v ot l i)n'd. ,,.o, l ,.-.-,i,,, -i|,.,i,-
of which re saiI i, 1,1-' lulon iii, y. I .-.. 'I1','-. l\ ln o rd 1,il :,
few other T d il .Iliscl 4 .oi t i iitt'i l,'r,'iitl ,fI tll-, fo(o) I.
S Spiders anld veral ot .len kIi, 'iI ,'red i,;tiin',. ii'nn Io'-m tln 12 \i'-
cent of the food, but tlla( o lmgh lIt 'at't'Il ill ur':i iaiiinIlr-. tlt'' :ij])x';ai'
in a goodl inuy stoii i i. wit, -14 bristly and uin iiny\' iiioiitroii. V, 4 llt, ,r'irr o .i,,]tl ,,l, ,'-
(Solpug1 ida). It i-s wonil, fill tlha't a;uY Ibird I ,l ld :llicm k ou,. ,-till
more that it slimo ld vilt it. ;i- it %oilIld m.c, ll to) ibe .lo)(,it I- pIl ,atill,,
as a paper of pi)ls. llt liingnial ril)l)I-. or tIMlg,'. o(tf : .niail w.a.-
found in one stonachl. a iid l)it.. o(I liat ai1)e:,r'd' to In' tlhe' liiib. of
unall ctirustacean s inl sv'eIral. TlIe" did wi t ai10ulilit to'
Vertebrates.-Tine vertebrate pairt of tlie .l hrilie's food aunioiilt- t,
a little ignore than 12 Ipercenlt, ;iind coliii-t. (i t tl' t'1r11iil of' .-ii ll
mammals, birds, and lizards. Mamimiils were found in 4 stoina'lih-.
birds in 2, and lizards in 12. Neither of tlie birds, could be identified
further than that both were sim ll sm)on birds. Of thle naminals.
one was a pocket mouse (PIerognathl.s). ()one a yonmug field mnou>e
(Microtus). and )one a shrew (Sorex). Tle fouilth i:,iiiiiial could
not be identified, as there was little left except hair; The lizards
were not recognizable either rienelrically o -,)ecifically. as tlhe remain.,
consisted only of bones and scales. From an 'econollnic -,tatidl)oint.
lizards are useful animals, as they suibsit on i11-ect,,. Tlie >;mite is
true of birds, so that in destiovizir )ird.s ;id lizail'1 tlhe strike is
doing harm. Fortunately, it doe's 11o)t eat eit any iirdi,. The destrue-
tion of the manmials is an unmnixe(l le,.sing. excepl)t, l)erlal)ps, in tle
I case of the shrew (Sorex). which is larg-lv in-ectivoN'trons. Even if
all the above vertebrate, were useful tli'( score iiainst thlie shrike
Should not be a very heavy one and would no()t outweigh the
Value of its services in destroying grasshoppers. In tle writer's- field
i experience with the -hlrike )only 011he atteiii)pt to c'aj)titcre a vertebrate
animal was observed. In this case the shrike was seen to plinge
into a thicket of weeds in pllrsuit o(f a Ibrood) o(f tilv quail. but a
few seconds later it emerged in a great I Vur'. closely followed by
-( C
Sthe irate cock quail. A, a matter of fi'ct. tlhe noxious mainnmals
eaten both by the eastern and western shrikes far outnitiliber the
birds, and when to the former are added harmful insects thle balance
is very largely on the credit side.

FOOD OF Young; .

No nestlings of shrikes were at hand for investigation, lint the
Stomachs of two young just out of the nest were examined. Both

SI. P. *
I' .
II 1


were filled with beetles, ants, wasps, and crickets. In a bird s
thoroughly insectivorous as the shrike it is not probable that the food
of the nestlings (lifters essentially from that of adults.
As a feature of the landscape and as lending animation to rurs
scenes the shrike in California is a pronounced success, and when on
sees him jauntily balancing on a telephone wire it is pleasant t
reflect that in his economic relations he is as admirable as he is fror
the esthetic point of view.
The vireos are a group of rather small tree-haunting birds of plai
colors, modest habits, and sweet but unobtrusive voices. One or th:
other of the several species inhabits pretty much everything in th
way of a tree from the monarchs of the forest down to the humbl
underbrush. In thickly settled country vireos inhabit garden.
orchards, and city parks, and shade trees along the village street
Most of them are migrants, and leave the United States in winter
but a few remain on the Pacific coast throughout the year. Their'
food consists largely of insects, though a little fruit and some see
are occasionally eaten.
In the insect .diet of the vireos there is one element which consti
tutes a bar sinister on an otherwise brilliant escutcheon. All th
species investigated show a decided taste for ladybirds-that il
coccinellid beetles. No other genus of birds, nor any single spec
(with one possible exception), so far has been known to manifest
such fondness for these useful insects. In California the destruction
of ladybird beetles is perhaps a greater crime than it would be il
almost any other section of the country, for here the bark scales anA
plant-lice upon which these beetles feed are very destructive, aA
every device for their extermination has been employed, even t
importing several foreign species of these predatory beetles.
Time was when the devastation of the San Jose scale and sever
other species of scale insects threatened the fruit industry of Cali
fornia, and there can be no reasonable doubt that the coccinelli.
beetles of both the imported and native species were largely instr
mental in checking the spread of these pests. It is to be remark
that these beetles are wonderfully abundant in California, probab
more so than any other family. The writer found them upon cor
weeds, grass, and bushes, often where apparently there was noi
of their natural food. In mitigation of the vireos' habit of eati
ladybirds all that can be said is that where there is such a sup
abundance of the insects the damage is minimized..
The writer is glad to be able to add that besides the coccinelli I
vireos eat many harmful insects, among which are the black oli




I *i




V IIK It :s.

wcale. Henr then. i i ii n i 1i1,a 141 W1v1111 tie irdI ea1t. t1e, 11 -fvl I,'cll
4l11d Il it-AD lno, xiO il- Ipre A- lin, e i -- i,4 inii i n tL" i iica .l I tdi0 '
bird exert ,e ;i clioice. lgt en tiiill \\ Iiiiii,-i ii 1fer ti il it a;it(- l(oti
w hentever it fiiuid- Ite ll. It ''it-, Ille' I,1I- til li' ,111141i (-'.,e, )
upotl which tIllhey fieil. F'ri4 1lli.i- pIini I id V;It' -- it 1iii'-t 6.'
llowedti tliat tilt 12'li ti ( )111' l, Ill- i1l'i, illn :t in coIcii lllid( is ull.-et
to some extent.
\WESTEi-:l{N \ \I:;I1.1 N(;, \'lRl-: .
( I irf ij Ifil/1/ 1 .'iftlig i. I

One hundred iilt] tein -t1loniatl'- oti' Il' \\a rl]iiv vireo haave l)Ceel
exan inedu'. ITl'l v wCeP, 'll1t1-ct1,i 1 l riiig tIl, -M'v, i inth- fI,-r ii l Alpril
to Octolbe'r. icihli-ivye. aind 111)lilI liianlrlv aii- Ian\" cot i l(e ) (b de-'ired,
they prolmlhaly firnii-li a fair idea of tlih food (ltrin1 tlat portion of
the year.
Jef/ctaht' food.-Inects., with ;i few -pider-. amount to over 97
percent of the diet. leaving le-s tlan ai percet'iit of vegetable matter,
practically all of which wa;i talked in Augut aindl Septeiber'; it
consisted of wild friit (ellerln'rrie-,). a few seed, of poison oak. a few
other ,seeds, and sonme rubbish.
Animnil food.-( )f the ainmal food tlhe largest itom is Lepidoptera ;
that is, caterpillars. mioths, and tlie like. TIIe aio '1oit to something
more than 43 pei''et of the whole. ('atrpillhars -iake 1) the great
bulk of this portion of the food alnd are a veury ().tn lt and regular
article of diet. Fewer are eaten in ,Tulv and Aigtust and more at the
beginning and end of the s-eaMil. In Alpril they allmount to over 82
percent of the food of the month. lPpl).i of 'od(1111,g moths wNere iden-
tified in four stomachs, and win itte fragment.- j)rolbably of the same
were found in several others. A few adult mnoths al-o were found.
but the species 1coull( not be identified.
Hemiptera are tlie next mlIot ilmportant item of diet. and amount
to 21 percent. They 'consi.-t of s-ti leaf-lngs. leaf-lhoppers,
spittle-insects. tree-hlpi)per1'. aniid 'scaleh-'. The( last Vwerel tlie black olive
species (Sais.w'tfi ob/w-). Coc'cinellid beetles. or ladybirds, were eaten
to the extent of over 15) l)ercent of thle whole. None was in the
stomachs taken in October. while tlhe greater part (over 63 percent)
was contained in tho:e obtained in July. Thie i)ecie, belong to the
genera Hippodamia and Coccinella. which are larger than] those of
the genus Scymnus selected )y thle warblers. Other beetle-, mostly
harmful species, amount to more than 7 percent.
Hymenoptera, which are an important food of the warblers, are
conspicuous by their absence in thle stomach of the warbling vireo. A
little more than 1 percent replresents the lsum total. They consist of a
few ants and an occasional wasp.

i ....



A small number of flies, grasshoppers, and dragon-flies make up
little more than 3 percent of the miscellaneous insects. Spiders we
eaten to somewhat less than 2 percent.

(Vireo solitarius cassini.)

This is another of the tree foragers living in summer in orchard.
canyons, and forests.
Its food consists of the same elements a.-, that of the last-describ
species. ibut in somewhat different proportions. Forty-six stomach
were examined, taken in every month from April to November. The
afford at least a fair indication of the food for those months.
Vegetable food.-The vegetable food, which was only a little mo.:
than 2 percent of the total, was made up of leaf galls, seeds of poiso
oak, and a few bits of rubbish. Not a trace of fruit was found.
Aniimal food.-The animal matter amounts to nearly 98 percent o
the whole. Hemiptera are the largest item and amount to nearly 5
percent. The various families represented are those of the squash
bugs, leaf-bugs, stink-bugs, shield-bugs, lea f-hoppers, tree-hoppers, t
jumping plant-lice, and scales. The latter are represented as usual b
the black olive scale, which was contained in four stomachs. Caterpil
lars, with a few moths, are next in importance and form more tha
23 percent of the whole food. They were eaten in every month an
are evidently a favorite diet.
Hymenoptera are eaten much more largely by this species than b!
the last. They amount to over 7 percent, and are mostly Wasps, widl
a few ants. This record, however, is likely to be modified by furthb
Ladybird beetles were eaten to the extent of a little less than
percent, which is quite reasonable as compared with the record of t
warbling vireo. It is. however, much greater than that of any bir
outside thie l)resent genus, except the pygmy nuthatch, and in th
case of that bird the evidence is too meager to be accepted at its fa
value. Other beetles amount to a little more than 3 percent of th
food, and are mostly weevils and small leaf-beetles (Chrysomelid)
A few flies, grasshoppers, and other insects amount to somewhat mol
than 2 percent, and these, with 4 percent of spiders, make up
remainder of the animal food.

In glancing over this record of the Cassin vireo it appears t
bugs are the favorite food, as shown by the numbers consumed; :bV
caterpillars, though second in quantity, are eaten with greater re

..arit' and apljear in tlh fool f ,.' ,r\ iiiitli. l'i',, c lnsI.lInjtiol of,
ladybirdiS i V ill\ iiilel'itt f,,r :1 iru :iilId 4il tilt,' hiilt' tI(l lbiir'
pi 'obahlV 11( 111 il4 i i 1irli li t'li l '11 i ii '. A ll tilie' 1it 4er l4'etls harmful, a ,s ii.' -.t oiI" lof I tll, r ii ,m'it-t which 't poll os' the bird" 'l's
It"-'ToN V\IF' .
I 1 ii', ,ii ulftl ni. I

SThis species is a resident of iwot Iart- of ('alifornia west of the
great interim, Ir va lley. I i 't ,i 1 )I habits it dot-: ot()t 'i i ier rt.luarkably
roim tihe foregoilng. [)IIt tih various (eleiini'it, of its food arc in
lightly different propolrtioNus.
Vriefetable food.-Exaniiation of .5-1- stonachlis shows that less than
3 percent is coniposed of inisct'ellinteotis airticls of vegetable origin.
One stomniach contained a few seeds of 'lder'err'ies, two contained
those of poison oak. atnd tliese with a few galls and somie rIl)l)ish
make utip the whole of this part of the food. It wotlld seem that with
most of the vireos vegttal)le matter is taken accidentally. or possibly
experimentally to see how it tastes, rather than as an approved article
of diet.
Animal food.-O(f the 98 percent of animal food the largest item is
Hemiptera, as is the case with in many of the vireos, titmice, and gnat-
catchers. These insects amount to 49 percent of the food of the pres-
ent species, and are represented by the following families: Assassin-
bugs, leaf-bugs, stink-bugs, leaf-hoppers, tree-hoppers, jumping
plant-lice, and bark scales. These last consist, as is so often tlhe case,
of the black scale, which appeared in 8 stomachs. Caterpillars, wihl
a few moths and cocoons, are next inii impl)ortance, and constitute over
22 percent of the food. These two items not only make up) more than
two-thirds of the diet. but are eaten with great regularity through the
Year and seem to be the staples of the bird's food.
Beetles, collectively, amount to nearly 11 percent Of these 8 per-
cent are ladybirds, somewhat inmore than were eaten by the Cassin
vireo, but only hlialf of the amount eaten by the Swainson vireo. The
remaining beetles, less than 3 percent. were largely weevils, among
which a few engravers (Scolyti(da) could e d(listinguished. Hymne-
foptera. including both wasl)s and ants. formn about 7 percent of the
food. Among them several parasitic ones were identified, but there
Were not enough to be of any great economic interest. A few mis-
celaneous and unidentified insects amount to nearly 5 percent of the
food. Flies and grasshoppers make upl) a part of this, but they are
only rarely eaten. Spiders are consumed regularly but sparingly.
Iley amount to a little more than 2 percent.

. ....~~~~~~.. ',, """. : .... .. ...
.. .......



SSeveral other species and subspecies of vireos occur in CalifornA
)Ibut ini the general character of their food they agree closely with ti
('occinella f. californica. Gustroidea viridulna.
H ippodamia con rcrgen.. Bla pst in us spp.
scym I n us spp. A IkiOz cribricollis.
A .!rilus spp. Balaninus spp.
C'rcpidodera hielxinex. ('opturodes koebelei.


The warblers, or more properly the wood warblers, to distingua
them from the warblers of the Old World (Sylviidae), are a laq
family of rather small and often brightly colored birds. For tl
most part they inhabit woods and shrubbery, and while some of the
obtain their food from the ground they seldom wander far fro
trees and bushes. The species and subspecies are so widely di
: tribute that, excepting the deserts, there are no very extensive arei
within the boundaries of the United States that do not have thu
complement of these interesting birds. Their food consists larg6i
of insects, and they subsist upon species which frequent the leavil
and trunks of trees. Wasps and flies (Hymenoptera and Dipter
form a large portion of their diet, and as these insects are the
of fliers a considerable portion of them are taken on the wing. TI
warblers probably eat more of these elusive insects than does any oth
family of birds except the flycatchers (Tyrannidt) and the swalloW
Upward of 75 species and subspecies of warblers are known within
the limits of the United States, and a majority of these occur in ft
West, though perhaps they are not so abundant individually as
the Mississippi Valley and Appalachian region. i
The genus Dendroica, as the one best exhibiting the characterisd
traits of the group, may be taken as the type of the family. The
are about 30 species and subspecies of the genus in this country,
the ones whose food is discussed in the following pages occur I
California and on the Pacific coast generally.
In a resume of the food of the warbler family one is imp ...
with the general noxious character of the insects which compose!
The order of Hemiptera, commonly called bugs, contains some of.
worst insect pests that afflict mankind. Moreover, from their sm
size and unobtrusive habits they are not eaten by many of the lar
birds and are difficult to exterminate by the devices of man.
in some of their multiple forms they are preyed upon by the warb"

h 3d. B .' L'.1 ut ., L . Ag-" ,..


'--; r


P!1 : ::.


I ^



l I.."-

i 11-ii


I "



I.. [ WABlt.EtS. 43

an average extent of tmore ti hal 1 2.' n'rvnt of tIhe whole f((4..
ost of ti' otlt r insect' f(o d., al.o'. i 'nlll r or 11 IIl II 1it I ,r n(it i li'll
l triptioil. 211, 1 I l l1( v1 'laldt'i f pio tioill i- -4. -,,t ll 1li1 It il nniiy be di -
rd|et l' i-. I prIlmilv i lilwr t1x' il tnl, 1, t1l I,.fi'im l c.l,,r
*l,"er of the-se birds tlii ilitat of l)Dr. Ellit ('oiel.,. \vl( s
IWith tireless iii(iistry do tilt Wa\lilers lie'frietd lli ii.liii n11-e;': their in'uii.
1O,1 Zea li i111ls diit' ]iiirt lin lilii' Ic' :ialjliislta tii 1 ni f N. itinr''s 't)l t', fng aboit tite liililzl vct of \ ' :illll ilivr''t lit1'. \\itlilnt whlirl) agriil'ltir'4.
ould be ii vain 'lity visit tit twt'lhiini \\'litn tli' ;ijl<' anl i. ';r. tlii i'. '1 li.
|, tlati chietfl rry, :ir'1 ill It1 nii. sct9'iiiI Ii" lr 'ix,!' cire'lt'ssly :Hnaiil tina sweet-
entE'd andi tlet'li.ittly-tinti.t lhlossilians. lnt itv'm'r ti lt'rin;g ini their g .nit w irk.
i-[er l1o til) Il .' r.'vict' s of tlit imrk. scr' itiiiiiz' tatlni Iliaf. iiami 'xploI' til"
Sheatrt of tlit mntis. ti dth'tI. drag f'nrtlih. miid dlstriy tiheste tiny 4.revtur.s.
hl 1iisig iiticiiiil. utilI-Ii-vtly ai sctIirgt'. whiim-li ldrry liowin ti' ijiim's )r tift
Inlt-grower ; v111( whiili. if uintdisturrlt'd. \\oul lirinag hlis c iirt to i.;itulit. Somie
a'Arblers flit incessaintly in the termiiiinml f'riit c g f ti( t.'itlest treat's; o(tiiers hiug
[ UBe to the scored trunks auid ginarled lioughlis of the forest kings; some peep
ni the thi.ket. the colilpice. tlie iiiipenletralle mnntle of slhrubbery that decks
watercotn'ses. playi ing ait liide-a iid-seek with all mcoiers : others more
lIble still descend to thie ground, where they glide with pretty. mincing steps
S ip affected turning of tlie lhieatd this w'y ;m ml timt. their delicate flesh-tintL l
.et Just stirring tlhe layer of withered le:ives with wlitli i paIst season carpeted
E ground.a
I !| Following is a list of i.iets, iitostly l)eetle-. idlltifiedl in the stom-
dims of the warblers examinedt. A nuinlwer of these had been eaten
b: nearly every species:
i'ccisneila t. californira. ('r0cp'if(lcra hi.rincs.
cvnanu polIcs. -'pifr i~iftr crrula.
Ipnus margin irollis. Brich usli pu itpcire'il us.
vpynus sp. nov. fl/s inl ix pul'crilent ts.
Vtcrolipus laticcpH. .\otoJi (aI1(eIllcla.
Melanophth aln a a m ricl nif. I n 1 ic i(ft s d iffitcui i..
lAphodius.rugifrons. )io( lyrvh/ncl'Ius hlitt reidles.
"ach us atra I ms. Apion r i'xiwrt ii1 ul.
Gestroidea rya nca. 0 n 1!0 obiris inilio..
IMebrotfica soror. BRlfninas sp.
Seissetia oleer. .1 .pid iot ius rapa.r.

( D nenlroic t d ai bo i. ')
(Plate III.)

The Audubon warbler is well distributed over the Pacific coast
region, breeding in the mountains and descend(ling in winter to the
valleys and plains of California. It is one of the most abundant

1 a Birds of the Colorado Valley. p1). 201.


hl 1 species, and may be considered as typical of the genus, especially i
; the matter of food. In the winter season it is a frequenter
rchards., gardens, and doorvyards where it pursues its business::
t iinsect hunting with a persistent assiduity worthy of all praise.
,,,i this season it is very familiar and easily approached.
I- i In investigating the food of the Audubon warbler 383 stomad
IK have been examined. They were taken from July to May inclusih
Geographically they are distributed from the San Francisco B:
.., region southward to San Bernardino, and probably give a fair idi
,' of the winter diet of this bird in California. The food consisted l
Nearly 85 J)ercent of animal matter (insects and spiders) and a litt
more than 15 l)ercent of vegetable.
i, A'nmal food.-The largest item of animal food is Hymenoptera
wasps and ants-which aggregate a little more than 26 percent of t0
i, whole. By far the greater number of these are ants, and as plan
II lice also are eaten to a considerable extent, it is probable that maS
of the ants are species that take care of the lice. The other member
of this order are mostly rapid fliers, so the inference is that they wei
caught on the wing. The greater number were eaten in the fall aJ
!, spring months. In our record May appears as the month of lea
|||I1 'consumption- l)ercent. August is the month of greatest consumI
|j| :tion-61 l)ercent. This record, however, probably is unreliable, I
4 but one stomach was taken in this month. A few were identified
Ji, belonging to parasitic species.
|i Flies (Diptera) are represented in the stomachs of the Audub
warbler to the extent of a little more than 16 percent, or one-sixth
tithe whole food. This is one of the largest, if not the very la'
record of this order of insects eaten by any bird except some ofl.
:swallows. Even the so-called flycatchers do not eat so many flies
.this warbler-in fact, the name wasp-catchers' would be much m'
| ;appropriate for that family. The flies eaten by the Audubon w
IK bier must have been caught in mid-air, for flies as a rule do not all
H -1 themselves to be cal)tured without at least attempting to esca
These insects are so soft-bodied that it is not often possible to det
X. mine more about them than that they are Diptera. Two family
I Were identified-iMuscida?, the family of the common house fly, a
'H 1Tipulidce, or crane-flies, the long-legged mosquito-like creatures oth1
wise known as "daddy-long-legs." Most of the Diptera, howev
i are the smaller species, such as gnats, which fly in swarms, and be
Si rather sluggish are more easily captured. They are eaten w
I. remarkable regularity during the whole season, with no decided d
* crease in the winter mnonths-in fact. more were eaten in Janu
: than in either September or April. March is the month of maxim
.i. consumption, when Diptera constitute over 54 per cent of the wh
I: *food.

R 2

JBugis collectively amluntt tIo () iarl 21) per(',nI (if whlicli a little
.ore than 4 pe'ret'nt rlie' tilc, :an, ld Jl] -iitli,'-'. lli' Ilck ,11iv ..'ls,.
,Jj a '/t h ,/,,ft ) ailtid ano, it i,"r .Ie ic'i'-% (. I /i/, /f,/,l I / /,,., ) \l'Te foillnlI
i. 15 stoIllm Ilis. Pi'l lt-li'ce ( AplIlildid .) \,'r, iciiit i,'il ii VIt II-tili-
I ts, 8i1d froii flit' iiiinl'r-, eaitei Ippeir to hC t'lvorit' fid. S'v-
.1 stoaizihIS iltirelyv filled \witli tlviIl. :111dl tle somiachlis in
'ulu h they were fliui 'ii co iil u.ii d In iia r':itL. Ir Tl 71 j)(i'ri,4 t iII eIcli.
%e reiiaitittd r o(f lit,' l i'iiiijlptt'l'l t' 1341. illilr(i tlhil l- )ercent, i
a de up of stijk lic.. lea:f-liiijll rI :iid tr ,-Ig, i ra.n \\ itl Ii a Ion-
ierable resie of other re' illn ii ll o( firll'tr ilililtidied. 8ull s, ais a
wlole, are vt' llte raitl'r ir'rtuila;rlv. aind tilt, h 'reater lililili'r :1 iaiitell
i: the fall montlih. after \wliicli the IIIlilnm er 'omiineild i rlaidilly
bireases. Cate'rpillar ar;'i ailten raIllielr reIill ll\y tlie Adnil)oi
W bbler, but lin(t ill grlat liiiiilive-r. Tl'ley alliiiiiint to ileirly 1A percelit
ott.he food of tile ,ellason,h tll(Ili i this fire incllide's ai few li()othls and
|ysalids. Some cocoolls o)f tinidii m1 tlit.s were ill several stolinaclis.
Beetles of all kiwids agrirra';le soietliig" inulre t li( ( 're(',iet of
tip whole diet. Thev Iv ,elhii to) :I'veria1 failiiliies. lilt tlie sliioit-l)eetles
3ir most p)romineiit. TIl' others lloiiri to oil)it a (i/A.ei families., except a few cuirriTi i and !:',(l)irI I)eetl(s. are injiisrii is. A few
iunects other thall tile ab:iove alnd soni :il,'r inll all a little less than
2 percent, make ilup tlie irest of' tlhe animal food.
Vegetabhle fowL-Thlie vegetaIl)e fol (If the Audu1(1)0o warl)ler COl-
sists of fruit, weed sed,(. and( a few inicellanieo.ts snll)stanc's. As the
bird does iinot visit tlhe fruit-1rowii reions druil'ir tilhe fruit se:.ason.
it is not chargeiable with injury to ciiultivated cr(op)s,. Alnio-t all the
fruit eateni is wild an(d oIf no value, thlolilghl inl the fall it probably
feeIds to some extent upon vari lo-, belatedly prod' cts of tlie orchard.
The total of fruiit for tile season is l than 5 percent. o(if which tlie
greater amount is eaten inll the autniiiiii and early winter, after which
the quantity is unimportanlit.
The most prominent item o(f vegetable diet. however, is weed seed.
This is eatenii to thle extent iif a little l more than 9) percent o f tIle whole
food, and is taken inll alimos-,t ever liio()ltli (of tile biird's :tav. the
greater quantity in winter. SoIet thiiing ioi0e, tlihan :1 pelrcenlit wa,
eaten in D)ecemiber. 22 iln Jauiiary., a(i d :1 in 1lebruairy, after which
it decreases regularly to April. (O)ne o(if the iiost ili)ortanlit see(l
eaten by the Audilboln warbler is that (If tile )oiso)n ioak ( P/i/.s di''( r-
riioba (PI. II. fig. 9)). IIn most ca-es the whole see(d is not eaten 1)v
this bird. but only the waxv oiter coati iig. \vii is t'asi, i(lenitifie(ld by
icErtain woody granile,.- whliicli it c'iil i ine: 1'ii e ll i rd (()doe.- not aid
'in the distribution of these noxioul) plants. Thle renmiiai1nig vegetable
food, amounting to less than 2 percent, consis-ts principally of rubl)bish.





It must be evident to the most casual reader that this bird is a
valuable asset in the orchard and garden. The great bulk of its
food, both animal and vegetable, is composed of elements the elimina-
tion of which from the farm is a benefit. As has been elsewhere
pointed out, the destruction of insects during winter or in early
spring is more useful than in the height of the midsummer abun-
dance, for in spring the progenitors of the season's broods are
destroyed and with them the possibility of thousands of progeny.

(Dcndroica coronata.)

This is another winter visitant in California. Only 10 stomachs
of this species have been examined, but the contents show the pre-
dominant food characteristic of the genus. There is one point, how-
ever, which is worthy of passing note. One of these stomachs was
completely filled with greedy scales (Atspidiotus rapax), with the
exception of a small fragment of a beetle; another contained remains
of the black olive scale, and still another some scales not identified.

(Dendroic townusendi.)

The Townsend warbler, like the Audubon, summers in California
only in the mountains. During the migration and in winter it visits
the valleys. Like other members of the family it is an insect eater
almost exclusively, and does not eat fruit or other farm products.
Thirty-one stomachs were taken in the four months from October to
January inclusive, in the region from Pacific Grove to Watsonville.
As our stomach examinations disclose the fact that the food of this
warbler agrees closely with that of others of the same group, a fair
idea of the diet for the above months is obtained.
.Animal fool.-The animal food consists of insects and a few
spiders, and amounts to over 95 percent of the food during the time
specified. Of this. bugs make up -12 percent, mostly stink-bugs
(Pentatomida-) and a few leaf-hoppers and scales. The former
appear to be a favorite food. Although these insects are eaten with
considerable regularity by most of the warblers of this group, they
are not usually taken in great nuiimbers. 1iut tihe Townsend warbler
eats mlany, a.d several stoinmachs were ettirely filled with them.
Hymenoptera. consisting of both wasps and ants. are eaten to the
extent of 25 ) percent of the food. .Most of them iare winged species.
Perhaps the most striking point in the food of this bird is the great



number of weevils or snout-lbeetles re )rt'se itei i. T'liey amount t<, over
S20 percent of the food, whi all tetlr Iti'ttl(es friii ll Is- tliiii 1 irveiit.
SThe greater tnumber'of thes' iiects' were of dwlit sp,'cies ulrhq/,-
*chus byturoidu,',, at wtevil which l s lltrt)ys the sta11111iatitt, lol,:11.Sls of
coniferous trees. Five stOl toa cotained. resj" 1tit' vely, cI;Mn:.s (;, .-I,
50, and :-5 of the' Ite'tles, or) 271 iii all. MIorever, 'al(l of te-i' o
stomachs tilit di111 framnit'ititst which ch ld Iqt Ibe sfltifactorily iletn-
tified: probably thl Nlles' W r, the si,'l' .)t'I is. o tliiat tlhe total co'I)-
tained in thie 5 stonaclihs is iro!mllyv nelarer 30). Sevt'ral ot her
Stomachs contained fewer of these weevils. lH'l)pre.nt'livtes also of
Another family of snoit-beetle's very des.tricttive to tiil'er p(were j)r.s-
ent in a few stomn.clw. Tl.e were t lie eira verIs ( M,'lyt i Ia) wl iich
I! lay their eggs beneath the bark of trees, where they hatch, and the
{larva? bore in every direction. Caterpillars, ani U few miscellatneous
7 insects and some spiders i ake ijp tlhe renlailldler of the animal food.
Vegetabhe/ood.-The vegetable matter, which amounts to less than
5 percent of the whole, consists of a few seeds and leaf galls. As the
galls in most cases contained small larva' it. is a question if they
Should not be reckoned as animal food.


While this can be considered as only a preliminary study of the
food of the Townsend warbl)ler, the thoughtful reader can not fail to
be impressed by the fact that this bird exhibits -ome very valuable
economic traits, especially in its relation to the forest. The stomachs
containing the pine-eating weevils were from birds killed in the pine
forests of Pacific Grove, near Monterey. as also were those containing
the engraver beetles. Of the 30 stomachs examined, 19 held the
remains of weevils, from which it would appear that these insects
are preferred as an article of food. As this groupl ) of beetles con-
tains some of the worst pests of the forest and orchard, any bird that
eats them so freely must be considered as performing a most welcome
( I)cnldrvii' I '.'lirun sulspp.)

The slumnier warler, yellow warb)ler, or sulliier vyellowblird, as it
is variously called, is represented in the West by two sI)ubspec'ieS, 11 1
of which visits California ()IIly a.s a iiigrtant. Thie other. which does
not differ essentially fro tlie easternli form. i, a rather co)iiimlon S.unm-
mier resident throughout te valley and foothill regions. I l tlh East
this bird is fairly doniestic in its habits, and maay often 1. seen, about
gardens and orchards. or ill nrste blushes nearer t' li hosse. 11 (";li-
fornia it. is not quite so familiar, but is becoming so and probably will

0- -: -
.* .. I


soon acquire the habits of its eastern relative. From the material at
hand this warbler appears to be even more exclusively insectivorous
;than the species last discussed. This may arise from the fact that.:
it stays in the fruit districts during summer, when insects are mos I
numerous; hut it must be remembered that this is also the season
When fruit and vegetable food generally are most abundant:
William Prond, of Chico, Butte County,, thus recounts the efficient
service of this and other warblers:
On Rancho Chico is a fiue collection of roses, all of which are more or less
liable to attacks from Aphii but are perfectly free from other insects.
I attribute this to the protection of small birds, among the most active bf which
are Dendroica (rstica. * Hehninthophfihl celata. Regulus calendula. I
The following statements in regard to the food of the summer
Swarbler are based on the examination of 98 stomachs, all collected
from April to October, inclusive.
I Animal food.-The animal food, composed entirely of insects and
a few spiders, amounts to over 97 percent. The largest item is
Hymenoptera, which amounts to over 30 percent, about half of which
are ants. The remainder are small bees and wasps, some of which
are probably parasitic species, though none were positively identi-
fled. The insects of this order must be favorite food, as they are
-. eaten with remarkable regularity and constitute an important per-
I1 centage of the diet in every month represented. Caterpillars, with a
i few moths, aggregate over 18 percent. The greater number are
B eaten in spring and early summer, but in fall they give place to other
I|' insects.

dozen families, of which the only useful one is that of the ladybirds
i: (Coccinellidap), which are eaten to a small extent. The great bulk
of the beetle food consists of small leaf-beetles (Chrysomelidae), with
some weevils, and several others. One stomach contained the remains
of 52 specimens of Votoxip' alameda'. a small beetle living on trees.
Bugs (Hemiptera) constitute over 19 percent of the food, and are
i eaten regularly every month. Most of them consist of leaf-hoppers
4 (Jasside) and other active forms, but the black olive scale appeared
Sin a number of stomachs. Plant-lice were not positively identified,

I but some stomachs contained a pasty mass, which was probably made
t up of these insects in an advanced stage of digestion.
Flies seem to he acceptable to the summer warbler; they are eaten
*v. to the extent of nearly 9 percent. Some of them are of the family
of the house fly. others are long-legged tipulid.. but the greater num-
ber were the smaller species commonly known as gnats. A few
small soft-bodied Orthoptera (tree-crickets). a dragon-fly, and a few
remains not identified, in all about 5 percent, made up the rest of
the animal food.
I _


SVegetable footl.-The vegetable port ion is only about 2; percent.
Nearly all of this was fruit pil) contain ind at Siinglh stomach.
This, within one I tw,) sme.-It, a,1nd i feWv (,idt1I'JIl hitsi tf riillih,
makes tip the wlholt vegetai ble conti jgent. wI I Ich. t liertfor'., iniay I lx dis-
missed without further ,omi,,tent.

Some idea of the amount of insect food eaten 1w warblers may be

obtained by watching the feeding of their young iy tihe parent birds.
A nest of the summer warbler containing two young. abg. t a week
old when discovered, was watched for six hours list rilbuted over three
days. The nest was situated in a prutne tree in1 an orchard, and it is
practically certain that all the food for this fantilv was obtained in
the orchard. The results of the observation appear inii the following
F 'rei'lO 'in. A firrnim ill

ate. Hourof obtr- Number I Hour o Number
.,tm Of feed of feed -
ration, in gs. nation. ing-.

June 12 .......................... 3.26-1. 26 21
June 14 8.21- 9.21 31 ..........................
June 14 10.34-11.34 32 4.36-5. 3t6 31
June 15 8.00- 9.00 36 1.11-2.11 30

In six hours 1S1 feedings were observed, an average of 30A per
hour. As there were only two young, it follows that each nestling
was fed 15 times per hour. or for a day of fourteen hours 210 times.
Both parent bird l took part in feeding the young, but it was noted
That the female visited the nest most frequently.
From the above facts it is evident that the presence of a few
warbler nests in an orchard goes far to safeguard the trees from
attacks of insect enemies. The inference is plain that the presence
of insectivorous birds should lbe encouraged by the orchardist by
everin means in his power. The stumnmr warbler is, if po-ssible, even
ii more completely beneficial in its food habits than tlhe Audubon
I warbler. Its animal food in relation to man is almost entirely nox-
ious or neutral, and it eats so little vegetable food that its character is
of but slight consequence.

(Geot h lypis trician subspp.)

SIn California the yellowthroat is an inhabitant of marshes and low,
i'bushy places among tules or willows. While it is an insect eater of
9379-.No. 30-07----4

r ?, ,~~~~~~..... .... . .. .;" ". .....

S the highest order, it does not so directly affect the interests of horti-
culture as it would if it frequented orchards and gardens. It may be
said, however, that as the swamps and thickets in which it lives are
i the recruiting grounds for many orchard pests, the bird that destroys
them in their native haunts is by no means without economic value.
In a somewhat restricted investigation of the food of this bird 114
stomachs, taken in every month except January, were examined.
eIetable food.-A few seeds and bits of rubbish is the sum total of
Slhe vegetable food, and it is probable that these were taken accident-
ally. Sonicme of the ants of California store up seeds, and when snap-
Iping til) ants the yellowthroat probably takes the seeds along with
E them.
Al..timlnimatter'.-The animal matter amounted to 99.8 percent of
Sthe total food. The largest iteni is Hymenoptera, amounting to 35
p)ercelt. o()f which about half is ants and the remainder wild bees,
was)ps, etc.
Heiiil)tera amiouiit to 28 percent, and are made up of leaf-bugs,
leaf-hoppers, tree-lol))ers. plant-lice, scales, and probably some others
not i(lentifiable. The black olive scale was found in a few stomachs
111d plait-lice in one. but the other families were a pretty constant
.i component of the food in every month.
s Beetles were eaten to the extent of nearly 15 percent, and are mostly
1 harmful spl)ecies, the exception being a few coccinellids of the genus
* Scymnus, which, however, do not amount to 1 percent of the whole.
{ Weevils and others of the more common families make up the rest of
This portion of the diet. The three orders of insects mentioned above
; form the great bulk of the food of the yellowthroat, and are regularly
eaten throughout thle year.
.. Caterpillars and inothlis comprise 5 percent, but, so far as the
stomachs at hand show. are eaten very irregularly and do not appear
4bon the l)referred list. The same may be said of Diptera, though they
8.mount to 12 percent. butt in several months none were eaten. Grass-
hoppers were found illn only four stomachs, but one of these contained
nothing else. Spiders are taken to the extent of nearly 4 percent, but
i ]n SOie iCmonths. none were found and only a trace in others.
F'6om the .hboy-6 rather brc_ C-srvy of. tho food of the yellowthroat
it is evident that the horticulturist has nothing to fear from this
;r 'bird should it change its habitat and become an inhabitant of
: orchards and vineyards. It is practically wholly insectivorous, and
the insects it eats are either harmful or of little economic value. It
eats 110o fruit or grain, nor, so far as known, any other useful product.
Like other imeinbers of the family, its life is passed in unceasing
search for insects.


n~ltA\Nl;.-q'lilo\\ l,) \V \ltlhl.l-:l.

(I fl:,i u Ieiii lai/iui i ll sulis~ipi.

lTine eillIs IlilmilntiophiIe!'):hliui1") )'t li' ilNq. t'l (iH f
sJix t'ies aiiiiu s11 l rci'-. it c'ntai1 '.t 1b3lt still fall-, fill' mlv, it. Sw v,1ral
six(ciets 1oCC1r ill ('alifi 'riia. tlli til l11' iii il." ,r ',,i-i 'rat io,1 ij- irl,
ablly tile most i mprtatl. O)Ily (;t stomachh' wPYrV, aailable f'r eXai-
nation. but tihev yconllirll tit'e e'vileice alre adv obltat:ine it'r3 o'l t .I(,rI
I vv{/v tvi/# fu''l.-Ib'ss lHum 9 jp1'l()lIt (of lit foodI i- Vt'(r(tilul|e maiit-
ter. anii is niade il \\ of 3> jiert'eilt of fruit :1l(d rvlit'' .iorl thaiv n \l-
cent of varilols SItil- t'c.-, sucl I^ Itaf galls. t'etl,. and rubblis.
Fruit vwas fond(1 inl o(ily a few .t ona('cs, l,)bt flie j)( ''nitaage ill 'ati1
was co|isidteralble tius wvere thle o(ly variety idlvntincdiv,.
IAnfin fn/.-Iii aiiiIni -atter ivS th stoIIiaclis :alimounts to 91
percent of tle fool. IIniiJip)ttra ar,' tlhe largest itl'ii : :ni allount to
over' 25 j)ert'ei it. mostly laf-)gs. af-le< i)Ir-. la t-lii. anI -('al'?.
Plant-litI' weir fonulnd il onli( d oih stioitaci ;ai d scales in .i, o(f Nvicm 13
containrd tli. lelanck o(liv', slPvcuv's.. I pethc, alionnt to, al.ont '1.t 19 ,rc. t.
of tle foot. anlid witlI thle ext'el)tion of a few ('ot'ciiiellidat' arc of
harmful faiunilie*. a"mon0g wlinil arc a nnn1111111'r of weevils.
Betles (and lhgis are tlit twi ) hrdes (f1' isec'ts that ar einot onlly
eaten to tile greates.,t extent Iltiit arn take N witlih great regularity. ad
form ia respectable p)ereIltage (f tit' food in elVerIy. on'N tiit.
Caterpillars are eaten rather irregularly., though tlev agregate 24
percent for the year. St oniachlis .ollecte'd( iln s.tevi-al ]nllt ths c'o!taineI1
none,. while iI otelthr,- tWlv v aiiounlite(dI to oIllorv tl1ian half tlie foo I.
Probabiv the examination (of311 a i;rratr iiiiil'er of '-ttonlIachs would I,
shiow more regularity il t lt' ,':s-iiptiont 13f1t thlee ivisc''ts.
HyImenToptera amount nearly to 15I) percent. an( are iv ostlyv sntall
wasps, though some anit. are eateTn. This is- the smallest p )ercentaire
for this order tliat Iias vet .beet fo 3nl1d in tlhe ftoo(1 (if anyv warbler.
Flies are relri.e-sited I.v I!. -..- thaln 1 percei'lnt, which is us1. ually
small. Perhaps) thi-, warbler larks the -kill to, catch I-cl :iile1-

Ia rgc-t j'E:-r!'f lt~ c'* t tl ''' i*-I>t '1!i -- fr.1' .myii* :rhltr. I !i1I .ig-un
".'.lc.Ct:-7'- that t- :- !,.2Q.. --,K:, n.,-t n ''i. --e til in l, iuntir, 4 -4 a- ,
gish game, such a- beetles, bugs. and spid-oi.* I"

<:O(h lI)N i'. I,.E F I,.T 3I) W .\I;1 ,.. if

( 'il. v iii i ,ipu i/Ul ll). iii. i

Tishgmeosuch an- ile~lt(lec. uz.anllri ~ t.- ,tn,.-a:jlIi~. ia

summr hre ad tereon tle aciic cast iios~l in-%vllo%,:: 1n

... r. ..r . .


other shrubbery, but not rarely in the orchard. During the migra-
tion it is common and widespread.
Fifty-two stomachs of this bird have been examined, and though
the evidence is somewhat fragmentary, it suffices to reveal the general
character of the food.
Animal food.-Animal matter amounts to over 93 percent, vege-
table to less than 7 percent. Of the former, the larger item is Hemip-
tera, which aggregates over 35 percent. The black olive scale was
found in four stomachs, but leaf-hoppers make up the bulk of this
portion of the food. Hymenoptera stand next in importance, with 31
percent, made up of both wasps and ants.
Flies are eaten to the extent of 11 percent, and in connection with
the Hymenoptera proves what observation of its habits indicate, that
this bird gets much of its food when on the wing. A good many of
the insects were the tipulids, or crane-flies.
Beetles of half a dozen different families were eaten to the extent
of about 9 percent. They were mostly leaf-beetles (Chrysomelide),
with a few weevils and one or two others. No coccinellids were
Somewhat less than 5 percent of the food consists of caterpillars.
They do not appear to be favorite food, for they are eaten very
irregularly. Spiders also are taken only sparingly, and form but
little more than 1 percent of the total food.
Vegetable food.-The vegetable food, less than 7 percent of the
total, is made up almost entirely of fruit pulp, and was eaten in the
months of September and October.


The foregoing hasty review of the food of the golden pileolated
warbler shows that its food habits are practically the same as those
of other members of the family. The food is largely composed of
insects, and its two most prominent elements are Hymenoptera and
Hemiptera, which are eaten extensively and very regularly through
the year. The other components of the diet apparently are taken
with less regularity.

(M31!; S mjw1 UujL ;- L.U6t6 US.)

The mocking bird has always been held in such high esteem as a
singer that perhaps it would be useless to attempt to add to the
bird's repute by showing that its food habits are of a high order of
economic interest. Moreover, the title of the mocking bird to be
ranked as an economic benefactor is not quite clear, for, though it


WEsTrEiRN M1)('KlN(i llllt.

does conside'ral)he g id Iy tliIw, ion iu'i(f Ia rinfiil it e l,,clt. it 'at-
muchl frilit, lan! fro tll tilt ontl ,ern SieI',, i 'tic'l m'ly Tveb xas :niiul
FIli ida, where fruit raisin5 g i.. 1111 i11|)<)rtnii t indt11 stry, I1av1 'ome(liii
bitter compl)1aits against it. In l'l)'itla tlhe' ird is saidi to Iiltlck
grapes and oranliges, aniidl i Texais it is asserrteid tl ht tig are to I)('
added to its food list.
In California t ln, mocking I)irdi i; ; common resident (111y in tin'
southern hal af t(liw Staite and i1, verM" ('13mmo (n3lv in rest ricted
S 'I
portions. No ser'i(ols c(tmlPlailits of tl, ie bird's deplredatio1ns ill tlhis
State have yevt I'IeI iadl e. I)1t tlis pe lIalps is (ldie to t li Ne f'it tliat
mocking birds s illa rare il, sect iN. Is wlHer'e cIlerries annd tlie sinaller
deciduous fruits are grown. Where nocnkers are most al)ndaulat.
citrus fruits are the principal crop and the )irdls do not appear to
molest them.
While a number of stomachs of this bird have I)een examined, they
are too few and too unequally distributed over the region under
investigation to justify final conclusions with regard to the animal
food; still they furnish information of value. It so happens that
33 stomachs were taken between July 18 and August 18, and another
a few days later. All but one of these stomachs were from the region
about Los Angeles, and this one was collected at Fresno. The av-
erage, therefore, is a little more than one stomach a day for this
period, and gives a fair idea of the food for the time and locality.
The first analysis gives 23 percent of animal matter and 77 percent
of vegetable. There was no stomach which did not contain some
vegetable food, while 10 had no animal matter.
Animal food.-Beetles of several families formed a little less than
1 percent. Hymenoptera, largely ants, were eaten to the extent of
somewhat more than 10 percent. Grasshoppers constituted the larg-
est item of animal food, and amounted to 11 percent of the whole.
A few caterpillars and spiders made uip the other 1 percent of the
animal food.
Vegetable food.-Of the 77 percent of vegetable food nearly 74
percent was diagnosed as fruit. Some of this, of course, was wild, !
but blackberries or raspberries, grapes, and figs were found in many
stomachs. Many of the birds were taken in orchards and gardens,
and some were shot in the very act of pilfering blackberries. Others
were taken in a wild arroyo away from cultivation. The only species i
of wild fruits that. were identified were elderberries, which were
found in a few stomachs. The other vegetable matter wvas made up
of several elements. Of these, the seeds of poison oak (P1. II, fig. 9)
are perhaps the most conspicuous, and one stomach was entirely filled
with them. A few weed seeds and some rubbish completed the vege-
table part of the food.

:i .SIi"


1 Besides thle 34 stomachs already discussed, 19 others were examined,
buit as they represelit. nine months of the year they are too few to
afford a criterion of the usual food for those months; but they give
i a hint at least of what is eaten at other times than midsummer.
Two stomachs were taken in March, one of which was filled with ani-
nmal food, and the other also, except 1 percent of vegetable rubbish.
Thlie animal portion consisted of harmful insects, except one lizard.
rThis seems peculiar food for a mocking bird, and is to be considered
beneficial. The one stomach taken in May was filled with seeds of
ioison oak. A stomach collected in June contained 8 percent of
caterpillars: siaLl fruit, probably wild. constitut&d tihe rest of the
contents. Six stomnachlis taken in August contained 22 percent of
animal matter to 78 of vegetable. The animal food consisted of
beetles, ants, and grasshoppers. The vegetable portion was made up
of some wild grapelike fruit and a little fig pulp with some elder-
berries. Of four stomachs taken in September, one was filled with
insects and spiders. The three others contained a few wasps, with
fruit and other vegetable matter. The only insect to be considered
uiiseful was one carabid beetle. Of the three stomachs collected in
October, one was filled with the seeds and pulp of grapes and figs;
one contained 27 percent of grasshoppers and 73 percent of some wild
berry not positively identified, while the third contained a few grass-
hopper remains and 92 percent of wild seed. The stomach collected
i in December was filled with seeds and pulp of figs and grapes. One
i stomach was taken in January which contained 70 percent of harmful
]insects and 30 l)ercent of seeds of poison oak.


Among these stomachs was one of a nestling about a week old. It
contained 92 percent of grasshoppers and crickets and 8 percent of
some wild fruit. So far as it goes, this indicates that mockers follow
: the general rule and feed their young largely on animal food of the
J softer kind-that is. grasshoppers instead of beetles.


Reviewing the contents of the 52 stomachs we find 29 percent of
i! animal matter and 71 of vegetable. Of the animal food the largest
| item is Hymenoptera, 10 percent, and then in order, Orthoptera 7
" percent. Coleopfera 6 l)ercent, Lepidoptera 5 percent, miscellaneous 1
. percent. The vegetable food consists of 50 percent of fruit and 21
! percent of seeds and other items. These results prove that the mock-
ing bird eats insects to a considerable extent, but they are not con-

I 'l. \ I J | l l.' Ml \ l 'l l l t \ .' l l l i l ; .,' "* .'

Ielulqive as to the element 'll f it' (io firef trr I dli ht. I i. vis l,.1 IIIIt it
is follnd of fritl, 11111 wl0ii'1 : 1bii0 i ll ttl u1itl ll i.iv nila i is. a Iw '', '
to the (oclhairdl iiiil vintIvaird.

( ''I 'vJ.jIfei I i"dirirfi., )

Thrashers are eninenltlv linr, l (if lieu It''I,'rul, .. W iil,' t1ii'1.
o ccasionially aliglt cii trteets alt sho e Iieigiit 'iiiz tli. griil1. llt'
art more frequently seen under mu-Ishe-' -1,l kiilig o( t -M igf I i Il
-Anme almost iInlpellet able thicket ,l Irit's. \\'l(Ile. Io\\r ti,,
thrasher wakes in the iiorning. ali feel, liis .'ol mV1'llowigii wilit
sonIg. hlie perches oil thie toptlmost twig of aI tret' :iili le't- tit' world! I
know that he is there and believes that life is worthi li vi lig.
The food of thlie thrasher is obl)tained on or near tlhe groutind. The
I long curved bill of the California species is probablyy I used nitiuch asI
many birds use their claws to dig aniong dead leaves a;tidl tilher rubi)-
bish for insects. The bird is not fastidious inll its (liet. aindl examininnl-
tion of the stomachs reveals a good manv bits of deadl le'aves, rottt'i
wood, plant stems, which are carelessly taken along with more
nutritious morsels.
An examination of 82 stomachs of this species shows that vegetal)le
food exceeds the animal in the proportion of 5) to 41. In the eastern
species (T. rufunm) the ratio is 3(; to 64. This result is rather Inr-
prising, for, as a general rule, California birds eat a larger propor-
tion of animal food than do the most nearly related eastern species.
Animal food.-As the thrasher is eminently a ground forager it
would naturally b)e expected to find and eat many gr|ound-living bee-
ties. Of these the Carabidtc are the most important. owing to their
predaceous habits; so a separate account of this family was kept.
The result shows that they enter the foot of tlhe thra-,slher to tlhe extent
only of 3.8 percent, while all other beetles amount to nearly i; percent.
; Of these, the darkling beetles (Tenebrionidca) are the n1o-4 I, Inllerolls,
and the May beetles (Scaralbaida) next. But very few weevils or other
j sicies that live on trees or foliage were found. (O)f all tlhe insects.
Fi Hymenoptera are the most abundant, as they are also tldie ilo-t con-J
I stant element of the thrasher's food. About hlialf of these are ants.
Sthe rest wasps and bees. Ants naturally are thle insects most often
Found by this bird. as many species live on the grolnd and among
Rubbish and rotten wood. The occurrence in tlhe food (of wasps andl
i bees, on the contrary, is somewhat of a surprise, as they are mostly
i sun-loving insects more often found on flowers or the leaves of trees
than under bushes or thickets where the thrasher delights to forage.
Together they make up something more than 12 percent of tle food


of the year. Two specimens of worker honey-bees (Apis mellifera)
were found in one stomach. None of the other Hymenoptera was of
specially useful species.
i Caterpillars, cocoons, and moths amount to a little more than 8 per-
cent of the food, and the greater number were eaten during the win-
ter months. It is probable that they were hibernating and were
!raked out from under dead leaves or other rubbish. A few bugs,
flies, grasshoppers, and spiders make up the rest of the animal food-
about 6 percent. Spiders and myriapods amount to a little more than
6 percent.
Vegetable food.-The vegetable food may be divided into three
parts: Fruit, poison-oak seeds, and miscellaneous vegetable matter.
Fruit represents nearly 18 percent, but it probably is not of much
value. Several stomachs contained pulp that could not be identified
with certainty, and might have been that of some cultivated variety.
Seeds of Rubus fruits (blackberries or raspberries) were found in 12,
stomachs out of the 82. These, however, are as likely to have been
A wild as cultivated. Elderberry seeds were discovered in 10 stomachs,
Cascara, or coffee berries (Rhamnus californicus), in 5, and manzan-
Sita berries in 1. The seed of poison oak (Rhus diversiloba, P1. II,
I fig. 9), and a few of the nonpoisonous species of Rhus were eaten to
the extent of 14 percent of the food. They were not found in many
i! stomachs, but appear to be eaten in considerable quantities when
Seaten at all. The thrasher must be added to the list of birds that
assist in the dissemination of the seeds of this noxious plant.
The miscellaneous part of the vegetable food amounts to over 26
i percent, and is made up of mast, weed seed, galls, and rubbish. The
Smast was not further identifiable. Most of the seeds were so broken.
Sand ground up that only a few species were identified. Two.stom-
achs contained remains of grain-wheat in one and corn in the other.
Leaf galls were found in several stomachs, and rubbish in quite a
4 number, though here again it is difficult to draw the line between food
"" proper and stuff that is accidentally picked up with it.

It .1
Although the thrashers eat some fruit, most of it is wild and of no
value. Moreover, the bird's habits are such as to preclude the like-
lihood that it will ever become a resident of orchards. Grain evi-
!i 'dently is not a favorite food, and if it were it is doubtful if the bird
1 would leave its chosen haunts for the sake of procuring it. It is not
probable that the California thrasher will ever become of special
b economic interest unless utinder very exceptional circumstances. In
the meantime it performs its part in the great work of reducing the
2 vast numbers of insects.




Since the tinme to which history i'iiithnt inot tlie wren family, lep-I
resented by ne or ittler of its 'IIt'llIM'rS, 1mis aittalcht'd itsl f to tilie
alxxles of nIIan. lWherevelr ,a111111 setles i iii' inlllnt ix of this groutip is
ready to greet hili, to take advailtailge of hisi iipl)roveellIlts, and to
aid in tlhe tight agaillst iis isi(sect ('iel.iiieIs. The cl oll1ion0 wi rt of
SEurope antd tilt, house wren ll f eastern North Aneric.a aliabitiailly
choose clranlliles ill IIuildlitigs or fenllces for tnestinlg place., or if hollow
trees aret selectedl thilt' silly are liv li liii111 dlwellinlgr. p)referably
fruit trees iln IrciiiardIs o(' garudleis. \\liWhell 'ivilizatiotn was ijpiiilt'd to,
the Pacific coast, wrens were tlit're really to welconie thei new order of
things. In food lhalits thle wrens proper (Troglodytin'i) are largely
insectivorous. While occasionally] tlte,% eat a seed o,,,I a hit of frtuit,!
the quantity taken by most species during the year is so small in
comparison to the animal portion as to be insignificant. The insects
eaten by tlhe wrens are minostly noxious species, suIch as infest the
foliage and branches of trees and shrubs, and the domestic habits of
the wrens enable them to attack these pests in the very places where
they are most harmful-that is, in the garden and orchard. The
predaceous beetles (Carabidw), which live mostly on the ground, are
protected from the wrens 1by this very habit, as the latter seldom for-
ages in such places. Moreover, the species most valuable to man are
Rather large prey for such small birds.
( Ti"hryomancs bwiri'ic,'i sul)spp.)
The Bewick wren is one of the species which to a considerable
extent occupies in California the place of the house wren in the East-
ern States. The nesting habits of the two are practically identical, 1
and the economic value of the former is just as great as that of the
Investigation of this bird's food is based upon the examination of
,i| 146 stomachs taken in every month of the year. Of its diet for the
i year a little more than 97 percent consists of insects and less than 3
1 percent of vegetable matter.
SVegetable food.-The largest quantity of vegetable matter was
Seaten in December and January and formed about 12 percent of the
Food in each of these months. In three months-March, June. and
September-no vegetable food was found in the stomachs. It is
hardly probable, however, that such would always be the case in these
Months. What was supposed to be pulp of fruit was found in one
i stomach. This was the only vegetable substance noted that could pos-
| sibly be useful to man. Six stomachs contained seeds more or less
j: broken, of which only one was identified, a single seed of turkey


I m111uellen (Ereno,,frpu, .seftreruw). In one stomach was a small gall,
;i i in six were vSioils substances, such as bits of (lead leaves, plant,
stems, adl rotten wood, which may properly be denominated rubbish.
SAnimal food.-Of the animal. food various families of bugs
(Hemiptera) make up the largest percentage. One of the most
interesting items is the black olive scale, which was found in a num-
I .er of stomachs but does not appear to be eaten extensively. The
great bulk of the heminipterous food was made up of leaf-bugs, stink-.
bugs, shield-bugs, leaf-hoppers, tree-hoppers, and jumping plant-lice,
though there were representatives of other families. The aggregate
of the Heiniptera eaten is about 31 percent of the total food. It is
distributed with great regularity through the year and varies less
from month to month than any other food. With the exception of
q the olive scale no specially harmful species was identified, but bugs
belonging to the same family as the notorious chinch bug were found.
As a vast majority of the members of this order are injurious to
: vegetation their destruction by birds must be considered beneficial.
M Beetles collectively amount to over 21 percent of the food. They
may be placed in three groups-ladybirds, weevils, and other beetles.
Ladybirds are l)robai)ly the most useful insects of the whole order
of Coleoptera, so that their destruction by birds is to be deplored. 7)
V Bewick's wren eats then to the extent of a little more than 3 percent
I. of the whole food. This is not a large percentage, though greater
\than could be wished. On the other hand, the bird eats weevils, or:
i snout-beetles, to the extent of nearly 10 percent of its food. As all
the members of this group (Rhynchophora) are practically harmful,
and some of them the worst pests of the orchard and forest, it must
be allowed that we are paid for our ladybirds at a fairly good
price. A number of stomachs contained beetles of this group belong-
ing to the family of engravers (Scolytidae), which live under the
bark of trees and greatly damage the timber. The stomachs of two
wrens taken in Pacific Grove in the month of January contained
85 and 80 percent of these beetles.
;1 The owners of the Pacific Grove pine forests have engaged the
services of an expert to investigate the damage being done to the pines
:I)vy scolvtids and other insects, and, if possible, to devise a remedy.
SIs it not evident that the bird under consideration is one of Nature's
Remedies for this evil? The trouble is that there are not enough j
birds to wage effective war against the insects. In many cases, per-
,, haps in this one, man himself is partly to blame for present condi-
.' tions. The birds are destroyed-destruction of the forest follows.
!: By furnishing proper facilities for breeding in the shape of bird :
; boxes the numbers of this wren in the State of California may be
greatlv increased and tlie forest trees correspondingly protected from j"

i .
, :i
*i. 1

-\F'NS. 5 1
Othpr ll" w tlst, mt ely leaf-lwi 'l, Ch ( ryJ mI'li3I'II I 'rdi" we i,111,11 tiii

tn.ot thitiviia it jwrn'iit it I im l Wi1t'iv. tijetl TAa :11 ad fI ik r I II-
It'll t't i tlltl of iI li l Ore l i ln A .111 rlII I Iji' t':ll I \1' 1I1lr in :i rl\ 'lll o1i t tl4l
eItlf-Il 'cth'I l nn'l,' tlici t '(ttit ll liiir I'iii nl ni, i n I f, li tPII o--,. liu tiult.I i, li1,i'
fix)l are eisp-ciaull. deyt'ti ,e l ro).

t anIly t;lo xii'7. i l d' t'ing otl tit ll., ] .l ., t '.ih i.iii. ;I litft
lirt tleil that12 percent ri the w diet. lfoiot. (',' t ;,irly to walt;(
cons'ttilullt' of 1w fIiel .if t el ilo oiit :1 appet';r to \ie['\ jAiic't l,'c r dlilr tI
til i l. T 4irth r'ettfo n iiiiin)l \\;i- fa)1in1( io t al:rli,1.1lnt :1-, 11l]y t \,|
rAIsIl shpll p \\r-s'V (amlohVn't it 4 1 lli I Intl oinf r, "e wren', i- Most1 c( ln 'it-Iv.
A llt% far' atlein ll 7 r lng 'l'i lt su e and f a. t('ll, 'olg onic' a'plpl in-- o
hln'.he il'1 'ts ll;1\'(1 IHM'In li-'ln-. 1 rl ,,\\]lirrr. \\ 1 l- 1l-, InmIk nnl) tilIv !'..-I
Of th' ittie t0kti l) 1J 'ii 'iiati ind i;t'0t It s <'if '.i;I a re a if i o iitie f ti
CanIH11. C'aterpilla;rs :1111 ;I f('\' i tll i .'il|nd o c ) co 'oo) c, 'li.-littlt ;I
little less I lain 12 t r'elit (af ll1 p\u'tiluS fl id. l('gietl \'1t0 to \\lma t i
might ht ex pc' teidl, ngrt tll tist .sare ta;ilwn. itI tiier nct'. s 'Ilos 14l
SS.tomafl .es A l)taiti ed ill Felricinh clltliied i t i- e i')tihtll;-, to tlite ;ill)iIl)It
of per of terit of tiri contents. Flesy w13 pec'tl )raillye foenI re
hil)errg till r ini .tevices if iark. A few io;thsi ers caitell lten t. ;I -
useal, tloes were whlt i Sentill it. em o(f thed tt food. SAn.ll cocool-
tieing tlitt te'e farnl in ; tllr l iwl wrener of stohllel(ils. e
(irasshopplers nniooiut to 4b percent sf tl ie xren'l dlet. iMost e()f
them aIre ealteni during tile .s1t1njelr 1i1(1 fufll. thouh() nt som e l)elred in'
stonachs taken in Jainar'v. h'hile these insect-' ;are ;a fa\'orite fwrde
for many 1)ir1ds thev are probably ratlher lal'e and too) terrestri"|l in
habits to l)e eater n I fr(',!at / itbers bIy wrenl-,. (Other in.'ects, mostl].
flies and a few remains which could not be identified, make p1) abotllt
6 percent of the stohmac't" contents. Flies ()iptera) are beaten very
irregularly and appear 1not t.o be realishedf. Sides ill ar t n t tle
extent of somewhat more than t percent of tle total food. As spiders
live about trees, bushes, fences., (cks, andt outbtildingsx it 1. not .-
prising t-it they are Captured by wrens., but thle mile Seems to lbe that
while all insectivol'os birds eat spiders to some, extent no species eats
List of insects, found ill -tomlachs of Belwick w'ren"

C4 I L I [IPT E I1 A.
| Crepyaifit Il rip'cIIn 1'ihrlAticai NOfur.
ll ippolamia rfonrcrilci' < IplO'rf/ dfhl1s cfi, l. tnc'if.
eCrCinella t. califtornica'. il.,lrfiifrt sp.
J|| eymninus inaryninkollim. Bruchunix fio inithiin.
Aphodiusf rngifr-mix. B lS p.%'tti .nn ibitntau'.
Microrhopala motitana. .\'or.ruf. (lnunefiw.
jf.Diaeh us o urat ..<. ( '' :r b !tvr +'hin nwl +ip+:1' lix.*
Crepidodera hi].r'nipi l'rrnfonjim .ffii'irornf. \
Epitri.r parrula. .\ pin st).
r' wEemna conf.Rpr.Rfl.



,Diiea dliadenia. ,,aiRsetia oler.

Remains of insects belonging to the following families were found,
but not further identified: "
CarahIidr. Bruchida'.
Hydroplhil idth. Tenebrionidap.
Staphylinidip. Anthicida.
CoccinellidP'. Curculionidae.
Elateridie. Scolyvtida.
Scarabaeidw. Other Rhynchophora.

Muscidfe. Tipulida'.

Emesidae. Cori melapnidie.
Reduvilidae. Scutellerid.'.
Aradida'. Jassida'.
Capsidaw. Membraeida'.
Lygaeida'e. Psyllid,'.
Pentatomidd'. Coceidae.

(Troqlodyles aedon subspp.)A
The western house wren, like its eastern relative, is a common
resident about outbuildings and other structures that offer suitable
nesting sites and good foraging ground. In its general appearance
and habits it is so like the Bewick wren that the casual observer is
likely to confuse the two. Like other members of the family, it is.
largely insectivorous and rarely eats vegetable food.
Only 36 stomachs of this species from California are available for
examination, but the character of the food agrees so nearly with that
of the eastern form that the general results obtained from the study'
of that subspecies may be applied to the western bird.
Animal food.-In the 36 stomachs examined animal matter, con-
sisting entirely of insects and spiders, formed 97.5 percent, and vege-
table food 2.5 percent. Beetles, as a whole, amount to about 20 per-
cent; caterpillars, aggregating 24 percent, are taken in the earlier
months of the year; and Hemiptera, amounting to 33 percent, are
eaten chiefly in the last of the season. Grasshoppers amount to about
5 percent, and different insects, mostly ants and other Hymenoptera,:
aggregate 15 per cent.
Vegetable food.-The vegetable matter consists of rubbish and one:
grass seed, probably all of it swallowed accidentally.


Among thle 3i stomachs, if' which tii' rerdn has jnt 6-4-1 givn.
were 18 nestling's, sonmi beiiir aoli it a week oid, o thers a!il) rieadlvy
to leave the nest. Tie results of tlit, examiti ationi, of tli,'s' we 'r tablI-
lated by themselves iin hnter to detet'i-tiiie the difvlerenr', if 1iaiy,
between the fioodl of (lite adIIlts anmd tliat of (tIe yoing. No vegitalleh
matter was found in atny of the stonitaclrl. a1d tie animal f,)oud was
distributed among a ctomparatively few elements. tBugs ( lh'enip)tera)
re the largest item, and amoutitt to nearly :l; lperc' ilt. ('aterpillars
*ind grasshoppers stand next, with 17 aidl I( pe)rceIt, respJ)ectively.
It is interesting to note that about. three times as tmainy grasshop-
ters are fed to the yownig as are eaten hy the ;adults. Wasps and ants
Jamoulnt to a little more than (C percent, anod are the siniallest item.
!Spiders appear to the extent of a little over 11 percent. Beetles,
howeverr. constitute tihe most interesting item of tie food. They
'Were eaten to an average extent of somewhat more than 11 )percent,
-and were nearly all ladybirds (Coccinellida,) contained in the stom-
| chs of five individuals of a brood of six. Tlhe amount in each
stomach varied from 15 to (65 l)percent of the (contents, and averaged
9 percent of each of the six birds. It is a question which is the more
Brprising, that this brood hlad eaten so many coccinellids, or that
'the others had eaten so few. Only three other stomachs contained
Jmy of these beetles and those were all adults. The house wren does
zot exhibit any special proclivities for ladybirds, and it would seem
probable that in this case either other food was wanting or these
eetles were specially abundant.
In addition to the examination of stomachs, observations were made
Upon the feeding of nestling wrens. A nest situated in the porch of
the house of Mr. W'. 0. Emerson, at Haywards, Cal., was observed
for one-hour periods from soon after the young were hatched until
they were nearly ready to fly. The nest, was watched at various times
of day, so as to include as nearly as possible all hours of daylight.
During the first two periods the male aided in feeding the young.
but afterwards was not seen. and the whole care of the young de-
volved ui)on thie mniotheri. T'le number of yoling l)robably w'as not
fewer than -ix. ari tlie results in tabiular form:

Ft F l'r ,no' n. f lrni' 'TI.
D ate..-u m e N um ber
Dar Hour of ob- Number Hour of oh- umber
sen-Hvtinn. f dings .ervnion. feedings

Mayv 18... 10.00-11.00 s (W -5. 00
May 19... 9.3.i-10.35 13. 4.30- :. 30 10
May 20... 10.29-11.29 16 I .........................
SMay21...j S. 23- 9.23 211 2.01-:01 12 I
f M ay 23... S. 22- 9. 22 19 ..........................
i, May-26. 10.3.5-11.' 323:)
M a.. 32 ................ ..........
":!! M av 27 ........... .. .. .......... 2.3 -:3.3 :31
:M ay 28.. S 20- 9.20 ............ ..........
'M a 30... 10.40-11. 4IJ :m ..........................

I .E1:

. :" "' .. :,.,., :

l ' : .I
4: As will be noticed, the whole time of observation covered a period.
of thirteen days, although the nest was not watched every day. In]
; all the nest was watched for twelve hours, and the total number of
times that food was brought to the young was 234, or an average of
21 times per hour. The young were fed as early as 5 o'clock in the
s morning and as late as 7 in the evening, thus making for the parent1
,i birds a working day of fourteen hours. Only a little plain arithmetic:
is necessary to show very nearly the number of insects destroyed by
this family in a single day.
These observations were made with watch in hand and the time of
each feeding noted. In many cases the parent bird was away in
search of food only half a minute. Once there was a heavy mist
nearly all day. when the mother wren was hard pressed to find food
for the ever-gaping mouths of her young. No flying insects were
abroad, and the su)pp)ly of caterpillars from the immediate vicinity
had been exhausted. In this extremnity the mother turned her atten-
: tion to spiders and was seen to visit the interior of a summer house,
also to investigate a pile o)f flower pots and tubs and to plunge into
and under an evergreen hedge iin search of something that would
answer for food. As the nest was watched at very short range, it was
often possible to determine the nature of the food brought by the
; parent. en the estlings were very young, it consisted almost
Parent. W1"hen the nestlings S
1 entirely of small green caterpillars, commonly called 'canker-worms.'
i Later this was varied by tiptilid flies (daddy-long-legs), small moths,
and spiders. Somne of the insects brought were not determinable,
probably flies and wasps.
i ,S.M MARY.
i From thle above sketch of tlhe food of thle house wren it will be seen
t that there is practically only one item to which exception can be taken,
namely, the coccinellid beetles, or ladvbuas. But the record is so
meager that it is not safe to draw general conclusions. It is probable
; that a more extensive investigation o)f the food of the California bird
4t will show that it is entitled to tlhe saine high economic rank as its
eastern relative.
I\\'>I.1-RIN i\]-0TI WREN.

I Tha miar-h wrcn. a is;t7 n__z: c .i..t&:, ii a roi1dont of swamps
and marshy grounds. At first thought its food might not appear to
A^l be of any economic importance, but investigation shows that it does
not differ from that of the orchard wrens as much as one might infer
froni difference of habitat. Only 53 stomachs of this species have
leeii obtained for examination. While this number is not sufficient
as a basis for final judgment, it suflices to show how closely the food
i of this species resembles that of its congeners.

[WR EENS. 1;11

Vef/etafble fowo.-ltit little vege-tablel, fiood wja., follnlid iII tOw' ,tin-
aIch of the marsh wreN, II(I the prec1is- vali' )f l1o-.1t ,1f tihat waV:s In)t
determinable. A few -seetds of seditrlg.t l ilt (if aaial' ii Ii \\"''r' :IH
that were identified. TliI' ttal it a ntlilt was a tsrilhM' over 2 pircenlt.
Anhilt flonf.-Be' eths, wasI)ps, ailit. ligs. cater ;illr a, 11141 :i few
miscellalieotils inlsects, with smm st itl'rs : uI -.i a: i:p-. vii:;l,' tup l llv
bill of fare. As with tihe Bl wick ;ilt! tilt li n-<, wril. ari'r'-;n'' ti. 4
largest item, but do it ot quite t'iial tl |iiIIIt tt it itV a ci liV Iil ,-'4- iiln -
trious bug-hutnters. While tie Hi'\vic'k v'ats tl'it' illI,'i-, to14 111t extent
of 31 percent of its food, the nar'-,il w-rlil 'iuts ti ll ()iii o l t) ttle :11114i)111i
of 29 percent. In this rcsplet there s tl,, it) hi' little' jiit'nli',cr between the bird that gets its fooi frmii t ret's :and1 tihe to llinat feeds
among the titles and sedges. lTh' faittlie's I'jW','Vl,itI a;tIe tlio>. (of
the assassin-bugs, dainiel-l)lg.. leaf-i gs. sltil\-lnig. lenaF-1l14)j),',r
and tree-hoI)pers. most of which are iisuailly found on tree- -in fact,
one is forced to the 'colclisiontli tliit tlii nia'l "'n mii itIt, at tinis
forage uI)oni trees or ishrui),. Scale\ weri'e foltiuld iII (ml -t'oilacli,
which is another point of reseinihh nitwe 1t',wen th lie det ()f this blird
and that of the habitual tree inhab)iteI'S.
In the marsh wren's food caterpillars and clirvysalitlds ranllk lext to
bugs in importance. They amount to about 17 p)ercelit ()f the whole,
and appear in the food of every ]month. Cocoons of ti ,icd moths
were contained in a number of stomachs. another ildicda'tioi that the
birds visit trees.
Beetles constitute 16 percent of the food. While a number of tlhe
Scommoner families are repreentetld, the terre-,trial forml. are rather
More prominent than in the food of the arb'l)oreal wriens. A few cama-
bids and a number of coccinellifids togetlenr make l) "2 percelit of t(i'
food, and were thlie only useful insects eaten, nlless, tilt' a:ssa.sii-hig
Share reckoned as such. As these feed on other insects tlh'y u-t (If
course do some good. Ants anid wvasps amount to about S percent
of the food., and m]ost of tlhem were eaten durin-g thle fall iluli,-.
I Flies, grassihopp)eI-, dragtin-ig flies, andl a few n isect m'ilain1i-,s lnot fiir'-
other identified make ui) over 11 l)ercent o)f thle food. Tihey were
Seated very i rmegularlyv. Spid(Ivs coiistitiltte sm.nwlvat iior'e tli:an1 .
percent, and. a, iif,.,i. ;,,', '' 1_ ,, ',lr4 l cit+', hi,(t in -Pnt 4Il i,,F.!i-
bers. Small nmollu]sk.:- 1 .- 1 r- .' (rit,-n -.- iitt- a n rmlier ci t hI' r-l-.
...and 1 stomach contained 11 speZ:ime:n-.
This brief review of the food of the marsh wren. while not abso-
lutely conclusive, is sufficiently near the truth to prove that tllit bird
is to be ranked ainong our eminenttl useful species. (O)f so'e birds it
Shas been said that their peculiar merit lies in tlie fact tliat they
reside in orchards and cultivated ground and hence destroy insect



pests in the very places where their mischief is done. This can not
p be asserted of the marsh wren, but it must be remembered that many.
| ?harmful species of insects breed and live in marshes and waste places
as well as in grainfields and orchards, so that the birds which
destroy them on wild lands are removing the source of supply from-..
Swhich are recruited the hosts that infest the farm.

(Heleodytes brunneicapillits.)
(PI. IV.)

The cactus wren is so exclusively a bird of the desert and waste
places that its food may be thought to have little, if any, economic
interest. It is not safe to assume, however, that the bird will never
affect the interests of agriculture because it does not do so at present.
K Moreover, its food habits have a scientific interest which justifies a
brief review. A number of the birds whose stomachs have been
examined for this work were taken near orchards and grainfields,
p and there can be little doubt that, with the spread of cultivation, the
species will adapt itself to a somewhat different environment and
,1 become of economic importance. We find, in' fact, that its food is
; made up of practically the same orders and families of insects that
compose the diet of birds living on agricultural lands, but the relative
proportions differ widely, and in most cases the species are probably
1 different.
Only 41 stomachs of the cactus wren were available for examina- I
tion. They were taken in the region from Los Angeles to San Ber-
nardino, and from July to January, inclusive. They contained about 3
83 percent of animal matter to 17 of vegetable.
Animal food.-Beetles and Hymenoptera, the latter ants and
wasps, were the two most important items of the animal food. Each
I made up about 27 percent of the total. The beetles belong to several
F families, but weevils, or snout-beetles, were the most noticeable, and
amount to somewhat more than 10 percent. One stomach contained
11 of these insects and another 10, while others held fewer. Only
one species, Rhigopsis 4'fjiacta, was identified. Five of these were in
1 stomach. The other beetles belong to more common families.
Coccinellids were found in 1 stomach and carrion beetles in 2.
They were the only insects noted that can be considered as useful.
IHymenoptera are represented by many ants and a few wasps. These
are just the insects which the cactus wren might be expected to find,
f for dry land and sunshine are the conditions which favor these crea-
tures. Grasshoppers amount to a little more than 15 percent. This

* e *

;-... :M

s~ R.'S.2.-~ I









I is tihe oi ly wvrtni tlint eti1 tl,%'.., i1I,%4i.' I li :iII\ c. -.i rail '.I ciil
'i except as n .stlinfs.
lBugs ( lemipltera) i oilniit to nII :i little in, r' tl:iii .'1 I,-.rc the fxnl. \hicli. I ils lt ,sn ll, (|iitll lil :itet n bIv ;.111, of tlt' wrenl
fi finiilv. ]Ilis ite i. I,,wve'r, 1. c itainls one' lli \li<' .t e ii'iit -Ith- at
is, black scahIt ( S i-. ,t I'ht,, a l,-,,,n'.nI) il t ; -,tcI,.h-I. amd I in i.
have I t, In ainV tii t' tlivir t'ii rl' iitii i i- ;I \\'iV'lc(iii' -'rV icc', ( '. itir|)illir, :iiil
their llites (Al4'jithlpti':i ) w vrie t II ttll it' xte t ot a litta i IiiInor
thai 5 jierct'iit. Aiuioiiu tlitiii wcIT.' Il.'II1I. Ct'li('l fit tilitii lmlotiis.
indicatiii :ig ii i tlint thit iactil \\'('e i ollh iit i lls iie if its f, l froi()ii
trees :ill rliil is. A fe,\\ iiniiihe tii lhllth iii'ert s :iuid j hl( lhre aiioiiiit
to soiiitew liit iilil'' ttiii ii lt'lit'iit. liis is tihe' :iiiill :t '-t lt4in f1 ori'
.s-piders of ainy tif tOwNt'ii faniilv. wliicli I ninll(i givenl ti 'atiili
these.creaitu res. tinding tlhieii ix (''iinnits ius 1'lks. stiii|)sl aii (it i u'i-1
places. A fe(w oif Ithe lo( ii o wties of ai trI'e fro(g ere founlild in 1
B Velftuble fund.-Seventeen percent of vegetable matter was founl
in the stoniachs of this l)ird. This is ti lt I'lrg's-t pet'rcentae foundil
in the stomachlis f anI species of \ren vet exaljiltned. he vege-
table food of thie cactus -. n oll4 consist of friit 111111) anild w'eled seeds.
.The former amounts to near 13 I 1 percent, tbut in :ill iMcs where
identification wais p)osible consisted of wild -peciev. ()f tliese. only
8 were fully identitied-cactus (Op()untia). elderberry (Sanllibilis).
1 nd Cascara (Rhaninus). the last only inll 1 tonaelich. Nothing
was found to indicate that cultivated varieties liad been eaten.
SSeeds, which amount to 4 percent, arie thlo-e of tlihe poi-on oak ( Rihus).
ii and a nonpoisonous species, witli filaree (Erodilini) anid Anisiiickia.
most of them useless p)lant- or( wor-m.

iii S U M1 MARY.
I, From this brief inspection of the cactus wrien's food it is. seen that
it contains but little that is ueful to man. wliile the great bulk is
made iup of elements that aie. or would be. harlifiul if present onil
cultivated lands. The bird thus sustains the good reputation of
the rest of its family.

SSome half a dozen stomachs each of the western winter wren (Olbior-
chilus hiemadis parificts) and plottedd canyon wren (('atherpe. m.exi-
canlus punctulatus) and the rock wren (Salp/nctees ob.oleti.) have
been examined. This number is entirely too small to serve fpr
specific statements in regard to their food except that it may be said

9379-No. 30-07- 5

Si that it corresponds closely to that of the other species of the family:
discussed in foregoing pages.
From this somewhat limited investigation of the food of the
,California wrens several points may be regarded as established:
(1) That these wrens are essentially insectivorous; (2) that an over-
whelming majority of the insects composing their food are harmful
species; (3) that the quantity of vegetable food eaten is so small as
to have no economic importance.

P (Certh ia familiaris occidentalis.)

Only 7 stomachs of the California creeper were available for
examination, but they confirm the good opinion observers have
formed of the habits of this bird. Like the titmice and nuthatches,
the creeper is an indefatigable forager on the trunks and branches
of trees, and the food it obtains there is of the same nature--that is,
small beetles (hiany of them weevils), wasps, ants, bugs, caterpillars,
and a few spiders. Of the 7 stomachs examined, only 1 contained
vegetable food, and this had only 19 percent of seed, too much digested I
for identification.
While the creeper is not systematically classed with the nuthatches
and titmice, its food habits closely ally it to these birds and to the
N N. wrens, and whatever good is true of them applies with equal force
to the creeper.
Few families of birds contain so many absolutely harmless and
thoroughly useful species as that of. the nuthatches and titmice. All
of the American species are small, and several are so minute that the
larger species of humming birds exceed them in size.. In colors they
are neither brilliant nor showy, black, white, brown, and gray being
) the predominant tints of their plumage. In manners and voice they
are equally unobtrusive, and so little do their movements attract atten-
tion that one may be surrounded by them in the forest before he is
conscious of their presence. More than forty species and subspecies
of the titmouse family reside within the limits of the United States,
of which some fifteen live in California.
I From an economic standpoint the titmice are the reverse of insig-
nificant. They are essentially inhabitants of trees and shrubs, and |
obtain almost their entire living from them. Their food consists A
largely of small insects and their eggs and larve, and, as the individ-
uals of most of the species are numerous and spend all the daylight :
: hours searching for food, it follows that the number of harmful



creatutres they (dest'oy iN IK'V4l31 111 il4 lilittll . A.s (i'ft31 X'a1 ,r- if
forest andt ouirchards thei're are few lird. ti:at ('n ipiii'r,' witN1 tlii'in.
''The illsects they estIroy 11re larg ly tlo .- 1 tlhat fl'' i tllj11 In l,'a\'-av s.
Sblossom) s, t a1n frliit (if trees. \vitli msilot' luit liti Hi o) in 11 tii1 wood ,,r
burrow under tIIe Ibark. ii '1reIv in jtlring (i-, killing IlI3' tr1'1 il-cl.f.
On t'e other hiatI. tily t''do 1ot I3 irevy iuoli fruit. rr.ail. or other proil-r|
*I j I rI P
tict of huislnaiulrv. "i' siint ll .'111o inn t (If- xc 'til;h, nm ttr l ln'y ,';it.
coMlisists priiiin'i llyv of riIi31 g;ll.- wvlir- uIt-tni 'tioi1 i a-it i itlfiti. witli
a few see.'ds an:d a little wild fruit.

l'Y(;31Y NII'IIAT('II.
( .'iittui u /i!m iiII.

S The niitliatcli.s av a e siall, iifisj)illOhi-ii .. lirds tliat live I IJ), tr'(s
and for thle imIost part reiinainliii in folnts oIr ,ro\. tltull ot rarly
visiting the orchard. While allied to titmnice they f(orm' a fairly well-
defined group and can )e easily distinguished froitn tit ic-e ile".
As gymnnasts they )prol)abl lead the av'ian wor-ld. After wvattling,
Their movements one iligl(it sui)j)ose that nature had qzite exelipted
Them from the operation of the laws of gr-ivity, as they l'1ove p1) ( or
down a tree with equal facility, or along thle undersi(ie of a liorizontal
branch where they inspect a promising knot hole or cranny, aplpair-
; entil without the least idea Ihat they airv IIi)si'le (dowl. The food
: the) obtain from trees is of the sane general character as that of the
rest of the titmouse family.
Unfortunately only a few stomachs of these birds are at hand for
examination---enoligh, however, to give a general idea of tle diet.
The pygnmyv nuthatch is tle .,llalle-t of the gr)up), but as
destroyer of noxious insects it is far from insignificant. Only 31
stomachs of this feathered midget are available for examination. b)lt
the number is sufficient to bring out s-ome strong points of the bird's
diet. The relative proportions of animal and vegetable food. as indi- i
cated by the contents of these stomachs, are approximately S3 percent
of the former to T17 percent of the latter.
Annual fod.-The largest item of animal food is IIymenoptera.
composed mostly of wasps, with a few antF. They amount to about '
38 percent of the wlole. Next in order are Heiniptera. aggrr'gating
I 23 percent. A large proportion of these belong to the family ('Cer-
Scopidwe, commonly known as spittle-insects, from the fact that they)
Develop inside of a froth-like substance resembling saliva l)p'ohliced
Sin summer upon grass and various plants and trees. Whilc none t
of these insects have yet become pests, there can he no doubt that t
Scollectively they do considerable 1:.rm to plants. as sometimes they
Share very abundant and subsist entirely upon their sap.



MY! j "
.... '". :. :: *, .:." ":: i:'. ; :" .... y.i*. $:::* IS |

In this connection peculiar interest attaches to the contents of 20
I stomachs of the pygmy nuthatch from the pine woods of Pacific
SGrove, near Monterey, June 24 to July 13. Eighteen of these
stomachs contained remains of Cercopidw, and six were filled with
them. The average for the 18 stomachs is a little more than 76 per-
cent of all the food. They were not identified specifically, but
undoubtedly are one of the several species known to feed upon the
pine. Beetles of various families form about 12 percent of the food.
There were many weevils, or snout-beetles, in the stomachs, and some
coccinellids, which were the only useful insects found. They amount
I. to 9.6 percent, which is the largest record for any bird yet examined,
except the vireds; but as this percentage is based upon the examina-
tion of so few stomachs, it can not be considered as wholly reliable.
Caterpillars amount to 8 percent, and with a few spiders (1 percent)
account for the rest of the animal food.
Vegetable food.-The vegetable portion is made up almost entirely
of seeds, of which a majority are those of conifers, as was to be
.expected from the liabits of the bird.
Two other species of nuthatches, the slender-billed (Sitta e.
acideuata) and the red-breasted (ASitta canadensis) occur in California.
*A few stomachs of each have been examined and the contents found
I to agree substantially with the foregoing.

SIn conclusion, it may be said that, like other genera of the Paride,
Snuthatches are eminently useful birds. Theyi do not prey upon culti-
c ovated crops, eat but few useful insects, and probably are among our
most efficient conservators of the forest and of the orchard.

(Bcroloph us ihrnat us.)

I (Plate V.)
P The plain tit, like the rest of its family, is quiet and unobtrusive,
Sxattracting little notice by its voice and movements, and probably is
the most modestly dressed of them all. While it seems to prefer to
Shunt on oaks, it does not. neglect fruit trees, andt often may be seen
flitting about the orchard.
The general character of its food is the same as that of other small
. arboreal species. The relative proportions consumed, however,
S.differ somew hat from those taken by other members of the family.
The tlain tit eats a greater proportion of vegetable food than any
other titmouse so far as known, andt, what is more remarkable, a
s large part of this consists of the pulp of fruit.

B h I .. U

NW ~

^&. t\




A' ill, 7 .-'.,


1, TI V.




OM The followiIng brief t ',Wacolimt (of tii, food of tliI, bird 1141al I.' nill-
'Sider'vdI only I rt'elim inary. :t,- hil 71Pi lIiii, Ili wivt' iwvi illel fll. I" ii l
inationi. l'T se. lw eve.t, art' tli t riI.tIti lIr, iiui til' I.:ir. -I, iI;il:
every nio tll i-. rpI.l'e-,.i' ited 1, vi lta ; t tillr.e. W\\'lile. I! -, rit"-1 l, 111 1i
be imodtlititid iv fulitullr i vt,. iigN aitio tl,,V jroI.'lI ,fllortI a, f:iir
general iteia of til, v e.'lv fooI of (li, l,' i It-.
V fo 'i ht *j iiie.
I .l j fim ,,# al ,,,, ..---l'l lI ik ,l,,:ll) [ ( f Ilitl iltiIrillev. I lit, it11ill 1t1-.1 1--,,
ainimnial tlitian lvtl itli1 111i,. li1'i, I i,, I| l rs t iit of 1 :ili 1 l
5to 7 of ve.i..talde, r. JXlliiiiii tI ii oIt ;a .i t',,t.r Ii iilE r ,,f .i-tl iiUi ,'li%
mar nmodifv tl .-. figutre.1 l)iil | iroil 'a1 il will li,,t r,.',r--,, tl'n i '1'ln
ininial foold is (lilitt i III] (li'i~l',i .iin ,i.; :i e iiiii l 'r I I(f l'lnil'tI-n lbut.
s with tihe uslih tit. IlIn1^ ( I liiiip t ri ) :i|ij.air ti I. I lit' fai\-orite.
-ostly ateti' I luIit tile .r-iii iin 'r um iintlitI-. T'ltI'-e. iilil iil 1() '12
recent of lthi food,. THIi- 1 i4 litll iii'4r1 tiin ofli'-tii' i giof tnll-
am ount of lliiiil)tr.;l taitt'ui l! ti,, IiT-l titi. il, lilack olivt sal. i'. i-
a prouinient eleinenlt of this p. irt f tilt diet a;iil fori'I,- H iarl of(if
ipe 12 pereeiit. In tie lilolit (t August ii..' -, l 'wer takelii,
lld 34 percent of their conitt'nlt, coi-isted (if tlhe.-- .-I'ls wliile (iie
stomach iwas filled wit tl vi'ii. 'l'l 11 liin tit p ol);ilil V t.- tli in- 1l-e't
ore or less tlhrougliout tilt, year. a ut the liimiited ninlltier of .tolllaclihs
ander considerations does not t wi rr- It I lmioitive st.ateutieilt. Tite other
emipterous food consists of rewese.iitit ve- of ev\er;tl fal iles. iich
;^s leaf-hoppers (Jassida). jiinpi)ing plait-lice (l%.-ylli da). treqe-hop-
rs (Memibracida'), andl other reinain s not ilenlitified.
Lepidoptera. represented mostly lby cattlpl)i 11 illars. a' tli' next
nost important ingredient of thle food. They aTlo lunt to nearly 11
eolH recent. and are nmo-tly eaten diriuii_ tlhe Wi;'ii montlih-. tlloiirli one
omach taken iln Marcli was tilled with .Iatermlilla 's a 11( (n1t moth.
i Beetles (Coleop)telra) are iiext inll importancte inl thl, food. of whi.lch
They form nearly 7 percent. All are ]Iarmuifiil -lpecie-,. built tlIe Ilmemt-
lbers of one family are especially ilnterestit,'. Tie' jretu,- B, Lii.',,ins
iis composed of weevils ill whviclhl tle .--tt attaini its i.Zrtei t lhentii.
,and sometime. is s is long as thle rt-t of Ill( loy. 1"11 ii-i't-. Ii.
f!means of this long -Inmlt. bore, into ntit- an'lid acmrn, tlhey dt-
Jposit eggs. whicl hatch grribs thlat eat thle nt. 11th il finds t lie-e
-beetles while foraginlg l Uponl ti t oak-. (O)ne -toiich li ,',taiie'l tli'
remains of 13 of thlem. another 11. a third! S. ;iitd a fouiirtlI 7. while
'others contained fewer. Thle l)lain tit feel., ujpu1 ) iia'-t to -( ,t' 'xte't.
.and it is interesting to note that s(omh o)f lithe .louach wliicli vi'ld
remains of Balaninus. containetld acorn meat all-o. shlowi, thlat the
.birds found the one while foraging for tle other.
::* Hymenoptera in the sliape of ants aumou1 t to nearly 4 lper'cent,
while wasps make up) the total of this order to about G l)ercenlt.

........... .. ..


Other insects aggregate a little more than 5 percent. Tipulid flies
(daddy-long-legs) were found in several stomachs, as were grass-
hoppers also. One stomach contained the remains of 13 of the latter,
i a remarkable number for so small a bird, but the bulk was not great,
J1nd they were probably the debris of several meals. Spiders are
a very constant article of food, but do not appear in great numbers,
as the average for the year is somewhat less than 1 percent.
V a vegetable food.-In the vegetable food of the plain tit, fruit
amounts to nearly 32 percent. Fruit is a rather surprising item of
e the food of this bird as no one, so far as the writer can learn, has
ever accused it of destroying fruit. The quantity is three times as
Much as is eaten by the linnet, and is another illustration of the fact
that in estimating the status of a species the number of individuals
as well as the amount eaten by each individual must be considered.
The fruit consumed appears to be of the larger cultivated varieties,
as no seeds of wild berries were found.
*i Cherries were identified in a number of stomachs, and pulp of the
larger fruits was abundant. As considerable of this was contained
in stomachs taken in the late fall and winter months, it is evident i
that it was refuse left on the tree and of no value. Not only does the
plain tit eat fruit, but to some extent it indulges also in grain. Oats
; were found in a number of stomachs and constituted nearly 30 per-
cent of the contents of two stomachs taken in January. Grain is
|~ probably not eaten to any considerable extent, however, as the. amount
j for the year is but little over 1.5 percent, and oats was the only variety
identified. Leaf galls, seeds of poison oak, weed seeds, unidentifiable
:matter and rubbish make up the remainder, 24 percent, of the vege-
I table food. None of these are of much economic importance, except
that the distribution of poison-oak seed is a'nuisance.
From this somewhat imperfect review of the food of the plain tit
Lit is evident that in its present numbers it is useful. The insects it
R eats are practically all harmful and the scales exceedingly so. More-
over, its habit of foraging in trees enables it to capture some of the
Worst enemies of fruit and renders its work in this direction invalu-

able. On the other hand, it eats quite a large percentage of fruit,
1 most of which appears to be of cultivated varieties, and should the.
bird ever become as abundant as the linnet now is it would undoubt-1
edliv be a pest. This contingency, however, is extremely unlikely.

(Parins rufesccus subspp.)
While this bird at present inhabits mountain regions rather than
: orchards, still it may not be out of place to give a short digest of 6urj

1 .


knowledge of its food. Fift1y-evIl, s..,toma'lIsl were availa1ll foir
i ll examiiatiol, atdtl tilt.s' werte t k'i in .V' r IN 11 )R it I, I f ll* yvel '.
excepl)t Mar'iI, Apil, Iand May. Tiae food I colisted, i1f 1,31arly i*,.-
Sperte'int of allniail mlatti," 1111(l :t.5 of v,.,get'ad ile.
Animn II foln/.----Caterlpillars cottll itutel IS 1J'ellt lof tile ;iiiiiii;tl
.portion. They we't founI ii ll evatI ,'ry iiiiithi in which stoiii.ali.
were taken, theve lwing a fairly gto ])l peqrllnitaige eve(tll ill .J;Iiii;irv ailnd
Decemln er. lie gr'iate .-t Hi(no)illlit. 18 j.'r(lit. w : .- li 11i ii A. iialt.
HeiniI1)tera, ('()o sslltil ( of leaf-hollqpp)'rs, t r(' l- io] )'v', i lldi )li i '1iid
other scale.ts. 'olistitulti' ti' most ii mij rtaiiit itilli of food, :ii iit llil0lltl1
to about 25 jtrct'i t. 'I'litM w 't' flt l il ll e'xcet't t\(o wiltter
mnionths. 5wert eaten to thi(' ext('elt )f 13' percent (f tii' foi(dl,
but no ants were found. Beetle a mount to les tlHiim 2 percent of
the food, bli t nearly all are no)xi ols; weevii-, (';l FrCC,1 iv (31W sI(,:l1 eli.
-Flies and gralsshop)pers a're tonsp)icuou1s l)V t licii al)'ile('e, aid niot
even a trace of (Oli wa.s discovered. Sp)iders ar1 -I (,lY cI onlista it etie-
ment of tihe food of nearly all tlhe titmiice. In tliat of tilte (ledstniit-
side they amount to nearly 7 percent for tlie 'ear, tll()llgl in A tgust
they constitute nearly 1(; l)'l'evlIt.
I Tveftuble food.--TIhe vegetal)le portion of tie food consists of
fruit pulp) S percent, seeds nearly 20 percent, and miscellaneous imat-
Ster 7 percent. Fruit pulp) was found onlly in a few stonabchs taken ill
the fall and winter and was probably waste fruit. Tlihe seeds eaten
Were mostly those of coniferous trees, as was to be expected of a bird
which spends so much of its life in evergreen forests. Tlw ieiscetl-
laneous items of the vegetable food are leaf galls, b)its of miloss. and

The above sketch of tlhe cliestnut- ,ided chickadee, while very
imperfect, suffices to show the general character of its food. A few
stomachs also of the mountain .chickadlee (lI/' .s.rux t/ilwli/ ) have beeln i
examined and the contents found to agree il a general way with the i
food of others of the group.
: .
I'(Chuiivnnre, fv.xriutI sut'spp. )

S This modest, secretive bird. like tle eastern chat, is more often
* heard than seen. At present it does not often live in orchards lan(l gar-
dens, and when it visits these it sticks closely to hedges and thie denser
parts of the shrubbery. In general it keeps to it, original abiding
Places in the dense chaparral of canyons and hillsidee. So lonig a-, it 4
Sis confined chiefly to these situations its food habits will iiever be of
: k .
|.| ;









I !




more than secondary importance, but as cultivation spreads the bird
will be forced niore and more to reside in cultivated districts.
The number of stomachs available for examination is 165, and as
they represent every month except July they afford a fair idea of the
salient features of the bird's yearly food. Of this 52 percent is
animal matter, insects and spiders, and 48 percent of various vegetable
Animal food.-The most important item of the animal food con-
sists of ants and wasps (Hymenoptera), which amount to 23 percent
of the whole. This is in strong contrast to the bush tit, whose diet
contains scarcely any of these insects. About half of the Hymenop-
tera are ants. This is exactly what might be expected of a bird of
such terrestrial habits and one so given to lurking under bushes-and
about decayed logs and rubbish. The other insects of this order
are small wasps. Beetles, collectively, the next most important item
of food, amount to about 10 percent. The only useful species iden-
tified were a few ladybirds (Coccinellidae), and a separate account of
these was kept in order to estimate the harm done by their destruc-
tion. The result shows that the diet of the wren tit contains less than
1 percent of these useful beetles. The remaining beetles belong to
various families, all of them harmful to vegetation. Caterpillars
constitute a little less than ,l percent of the food, and are a very con-
stant element of the diet. They appear to be eaten at all seasons, but
in the early summer they amount to about one-fourth of the food.
Quite a number of cocoons of tineid moths also were present in the j:
Bugs (Hemiptera) are eaten to the extent of about 7 percent of the i
animal diet. In this respect the wren tit differs from the bush tit,
over 44 percent of whose food is made up of these noxious insects. :
In one particular, however, the two birds are alike; scales (Coccidue) V
are l)prominent in the food of both. The black olive scale (Saissetia
olcar) and the greedy scale (Aspidfotis rapmx) were identified in the
stomachs of both birds, and many not specifically identified were
found. The scales were probably obtained from orchards, as it is
not likely that these insects have spread to wild plants and forest
trees. As scales are to be had at all seasons thev are a constant
element of the food of tits. The remaining animal food, less than
5 percent, is compl)osed of various insects and some spiders. One
-'tomnach contained the legs of a grasshopper and another the remains
of a wood-cricket. These are the only orthopterous remains in any
stomach. Flies (Diptera) were eaten very sparingly. Spiders ap-
peared in a great many stomachs but not in large numbers. They
amount to a little less than 2 percent of the food. In one stomach
were found '26u iite,'. coltmnioulv parasitic on beetles and other insects.
Their hosts had probably been eaten by tihe tit.

I 2


Vet/'t,/il,' ftnnl,,.-''l i' vtgrttal h coIt I ig,'Ige t ,if lie- f )i l I'S p 'IruIIt.
is ntile 111 (if various lllitallt'- lut i i: 1 h: arranged in three kale.
.gories- fruit, plii -,iak sveds. amll (1t11,.e" ve, ta, r ;,~ble ,,;iti,.,. Fruim .
identifi'l by seed s. 'till, aI nd ,.ki -.i ; ulnul tl', lo 4) lile, 1 re ( l,, ii .ll 2J
P le'rctit If tilt- w ole foo d. Few"4 d1ire' coUplains. l it \''ve r. have lee
l mlo( .,*(I against IIit, \ w ret ti IIt IltI'I ci r o,1 tlli;tiii f 1it. :in l %v t
this 't1'i r l I is i 1t;ar 'l\ tw ice i tlat o, tll-' liiiin't it, lin, 11 :.1 iiruI t \1 lii lthe liheavist cluti rg s air liai t d \- ll(t j th tl t 'i-i.l 'l'l ri't.a iii for
this differelict is l)r<, Il;ly) iNitit fa, to seek. Thel airv iii loilttllit ll'
a| hundred linnet-s in ('I tlifiiria to o t' w\reni tit. 't'lii. ;a i.ii illis-
trates tie p)oitnt l'oi t t' iialt'. that tit' ziis.rlii 'f ului' ldiv lb ir s ir-iIlly
results fro ai a s. p(T ;l)nllin stpecie.,il uniti g .-iii" ltIlt:Lioisly to ;tittaclk lie I);rti i'il ir jro 't.
Mlort'over, tlie fruit Iii- t (i l -tli) t'',il tit tcto t isit .' lirg ,ly (I f %\vil
varieties- suci aIs elder .l'rrit's ( Sa ndl icbit-). si)v1 )t'P'itl S( xiii])lio i-
Scarpos). coffee iberries ( hainin It I ), tw l n rrite (I, ,i -.rii, ; ,',,ii-,,-
craf;), )aiid othe.,rs of a ,itilar cl ia ractier. Setedis of blackbel)trrites or
raspIlt'rries (IlOi iiis) were found iIn ai few sto(311adlis. l1)1t tlie'-e i1;iy
have been either wild ori cultivated.
As thie seedt- 1 f 4potmiso 3I1 k tf (J]/ '' dirtsl'.o-df) occurred in many
stomachs a separaIt' accolt o()f them was kept. Fromi A.uitgst to
February. inOcinive., they form a constant and importaitt eleuient of
the diet. For tlhes-e seven months they constitute mor(e than one-
*i fourth of the food, anld tilie average for tlie year is over lI percent.
SIt seems natural enough that tlhe wrenl tit should eat tleue seeds. as
they are abundant and easily accessible. Tle fact i, to) I)e dt'plored.
h however, as they are 1not dt'.-tr()dt' in tlie s tollach, but t itther pa);:
Through or are rcg rgitatec ii condition to germinate. The seeds
apparently are eaten for thle s-ake 1If tlie rather tlihin layer o)f d1ry w liitv
pulp that surrounds1 them. No doubt this is very nutritiots. as iII
winter poison-oak seeds ar'e ,a co0onnmn article of diet for 1ma1lA Sp)ecies-
of birds. The rest of tlhe vegetable fiod. over 11 percettt. is matlhde ti
of a few weed seeds, leaf galls. atimd ruhhbishl. None of it has special
economic significance.


SAmong thle stomachs examined were those of a brood If le:-t-
; lings about two weeks old. and therefore nearly read to leave tlie
nests. The result: are of interest as ,lshowilng tlat tlit l wrell tit fol-
; lows the usual rule and feeds its 'ounig elntirelv oI animal! fool.
i The largest item is caterpillars, which amliount to 6:3 percent (If tlie
Contents. Spiders. with their cocoons anl eggs. are next inll import-
i ance, with 15.6J percent. 3ugrs. llmostlv leaf-hoppers. f'orm 1 2.2 per- ?
Scent. Beetles of the May-beetle family, with a trace of ,eggshell,

J .4


Make up the remainder, 9.2 percent. One can not fail to notice the
soft nature of most of this food provided for the young. The beetles
are the only exception, and these were the smallest item.


In swimming up it is evident that so far as its natural food is con-
cerned the wren tit does little or no harm, as coccinellid beetles, the
only really useful insects it eats, are consumed very sparingly. Its
vegetable diet presents two points for criticism. It eats a moderate
amount of fruit, and were the bird as abundant as the linnet the harm
it would do in orchards would perhaps more than counterbalance the
good. The wren tit, however, naturally is a denizen of dense shrub-
b)ery, and as this is cleared away for farms and orchards the species
is likely to diminish in numbers rather than increase, unless its habits
radically change. The consumption of the seeds of poison oak is an
unfortunate habit, since it aids in the dissemination of this poisonous
plant, already too common and widespread. All things considered,
the wren tit for the present is to be classed as beneficial.

',( P(Pswltripar.o fm in imi us californicus.)
s (Frontispiece.)

{ The bush tit is one of the smallest species of the family, and
although its name implies that it is partial to bushes, it more often
is seen in large oaks and frequently on the tops of the highest trees.
It shows the same indifference to the presence of man as the rest of
tlhe, family, and frequently may be observed scrambling over orchard
trees in search of its favorite food and paying no attention to the
observer. That it does not prey upon fruit to an appreciable degree
appears from the fact that less than 1 percent of its food for the year
consists of fruit. Insects that live on trees, however, constitute
four-fifths of its food, and most of these are harmful.
In the investigation of the food of this bird 353 stomachs were
examined. They were collected in every month of the year, although
April is represented by but a single one and March by only six. The
greater number were taken during the growing months, when fruit
and grain abound,-and the fact that in these months the bird ate
almost none of these products speaks volumes in its favor. The first
analysis of the food of the year gives nearly 81 percent animal mat-
ter. composed entirely of insects and spiders, to 19 percent of vege-
table. As the bush tit inhabits the same range during the year,
monthly variations in the kind and proportions of food are only.



slch s sea. so m dIll cha .ges iee'es.itnai., ;11l 1s tl.M' ,, o I t lar,'',ly
affect illsA'ts.t whlit'hI oiistittlt' t gIt' i!'t lIk of tlf lh1 i tit'1 foodl. it
folhoVS., flint 11 14, var'iati[on 1 i11 ,4 i,1t frln:: ,nhi,, min0 t 1 ,1 ; l,,), n,'1"T i % :1,1
great. 1t'l1t .1iiiillf,.t q zan izty of aiiniitl foi i wains i an lar-hI. \I Ii
it amounted to ; pel'rctIll, bult the eil, )t'ILq'Was a:lilost exait't I. the
Msatne for Novei'tlet'i.. ()4ne stomach taken, iIn A.pril rmtaitcd tiothlinig
but in SMts 1111(1 sl)ide'rs. an td 1t colle'ctedl itt .1 t1 o,1l ita i e 1( v1','-
tabhle fxootl. l'riobahlyv exaliatitit i ,"t of a, I.reate.r ,iial,.r .illectiil in
the. 1111on1lis \volil h it l t it 'liHl'ret it v. \\Ikile the 111 i,.at .'ial Ia\'iilila l,
for tihe )'t''Ilnt inivt.-S1tig titll is 114it so eI xt'liSitvt' Is ot 1ld ( 1 I ld, sir'"' it
is sulffich'nt to idic t be%0o di, rtii,.1SOlale,, doiillt tlihit tli. r',lntiat i o-
portions of animal aInd Vt1tgtal)ie food in the diet of t-, ili-li tit vary
little from seasolln to .'-tl.
A ufed11 fdnl.-Tile largest item in tihe ins ct portion of thlis lhird's
food consists of l)iigs (Ileinipt'ira) r, whiich ;iniont to over -14 I)erc'nt
of tit' wle o,. Tht' -hti cttltl'ers ti t, (ll on l birdsIs vet invt'stifgated
whose' ie lhet is iiiade tip so largely of tli s iorr 1 oh f iin-eI'ls. MI)reI)',vi'r,
the particular families of Ilentil tera st)o xtensive'ly vatetif by tlie bush
tit arte the two tliat are o iist destlctr1tive'I to t1 iltelltIt-s of ho)rticul-
ture-namnely, the 1) la11t-lIice (Aphhid idaI). anil hibar-licet. or scale.
(Coccidta). The last amounts to nearly 19I percent of tthe yvear.'s food.,
and are eaten iln every tionith. The g(rreater' nmnler are cotllnsimed in
July, 4<; percent June followxvs second in rank, when they constitute
33 percent of tie food of that month.T Tlhe1 large bIlack olive scale
,,Saqu;xti o,/c.) was identified in 44 stonilaclis, lbut other series also
were found. Tlhe question is often asked, )oes any bird feed I)upon
the San Jos.,e scale. While tie writer is no t rp1)liareld to give a )posi-
tire affirmative answer from direct evid-ence, there can Ibe no reason-
able doubt that this insect i, often eaten 1) v ir-dk. It tmust lbe l)orne
in mind, however, that tlie so-called San ,JoZse scale is one of tlhe
smaller sp)ecies. and its distinctive characters are ,i- in)irnte Ihat after
it has been taken into a bird's stomach, li, xed with other food, andt
more or less digested, it is ini)possiblle to determine its itdeatity. It
is easy to ascertain that a pasty mass in a h-ird's stomach is composed
of scales partly digested, but to identify the species is luite another
matter. The olive scale anid others of its gens, on tlie T1t l (eT'r hand,
are so large, and their shells are of such .,trict trte that they can often
be identified, at leas-t genericallyv, even from fragments.
While the San Jose scale was not l)o-itively deternminedl, another
species of tlhe .am' iret is. tlie Qretdly vc(:le (.[-I/,,l/,vlp,;s ntln.x), was
found in 4 stomachs, anId scales not -,pecifically identified were found
in 113. Of a total of 3.',3 stomachs, 13'S hleid ,cales; several were
Entirely filled with them. and in quite a number iupwiards of 90 p)er-
cent of their contents consisted of these insects. No other family of
insects was identified in so many stomachs. As it is certain that the

I, food contained in a bird's stomach at a given time is only a fraction
of the daily consumption, we may infer that not many days pass in
; the life of a bush tit when it does not eat a considerable number of
K Before leaving the subject it may be well to add a few words on
the economic relations of scale-insects in order that the value of the
work done by the bush tit may be fully appreciated. Mr. Marlatt
The most destructive insect enemies of fruits in California are undoubtedly
the scale insects, few if any other insects, aside from the grape Phylloxera, at
all approaching them in this respect. Of these, the ones of greatest moment
and in the control of which vast sums of money are expended are the black
scale, the red scale, and the San Jose scale. For the olive and citrus plants
the black scale is the most important, and for the deciduous plants the San
Jose scale takes similar rank.a
When the immense number of bush tits and other birds in Califor-
Inia that eat scale insects is considered, it becomes evident that the
aggregate of these pests annually destroyed by them must be enor-
mous. It may be urged that despite the attacks of birds, scales have
caused, and still are causing, much damage to fruit trees, and that the
work of birds alone is inadequate to save the trees from destruction.
This is undoubtedly true, but it must be remembered that the birds
are confronted with abnormal conditions. The great and rapid
i development of the fruit-growing industry on the Pacific coast and
J the simultaneous and widespread introduction of several new species
Sof scales resulted in a sudden increase of these pests, while their ene-
*: mies, the birds, enjoyed no such opportunities for increase. In time,
;| no doubt, an equilibrium would have been reached, and birds would
I have l)layed an important l)art in establishing this by exerting a con-
stant and steady check upon the increase of scales. Unaided, how-
ever, their numbers are too few to cope with the insects which, under
favorable conditions of climate and environment and unmolested by
MHother natural insect enemies, multiply to countless myriads.
1 The remaining portion of the hemipterous food of the bush tit.
1 over 31 per cent, is made utip of plant-lice, tree-hoppers (Membracidw).
Sleaf-hoppers (Jassida,&), some jumping plant-lice (Psyllidue), and a
n .Onsiderable number of false chinch bugs (Yyisius angustatus), with
: a few lace-bugs (Tingitidte). Of the plant-lice little need be said.
I As pests to vegetation their reputation is world-wide. No part of a
Slant is free from attack. They infest leaves, trunk, and roots, and
"" some of their legions of species prey ul)pon nearly every kind of land
p )la lt. They are a frequent element of the food of the tit, but as their

o Insect control in ('alifornia, by C. L. Marlatt, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture,
Yearbook, 1896, p. 220.

NUTHl'AlATCHES A, N IT %1'. 7"

Bodies are of tit, softest text rti' ,p cifi de! i ti t ill iii i ,, n i ,,:si1le.
M any of t emll.. lhomwever. weret deiter'm11inedl t,, Ib. (if (I1, 1p ie,', ii'- ,',,,
iionly t.lllt'i w ollv a i a t ir i e ae v re itl
white cotton yv Ill. w%,ooll.v .-slbstanlce.. A.p i .es \ re idei.ltified inI :,;I
stoillelhs, lItt it is probald le, tll t tille y v\J\ re. o,' InIta ivl11 in, i r1 ;i- :' 1
pasty 1as. tllat colild linly )t c1f'lledI I Iii,.ti ltv. I ,oits e in \f
frequent ccnnrrenice. Lea f-lhoppers, \vrf, t',,iiil in nnn I,,.',,\-,, .,li,..
and appear to Ih fiavorit, foodI. "i'r,-i l l).)h.- l aIl e ;i ;ilt'ii to ,)a '< n-
sideralble extent. aind 11' tli-ir lo, lies anv liarld. like tIli,,-. o 1",.-.
the it IIIkIN .1C~rJ
they life Illto t easily ree')(rllizetI tliah n l)flalt-lit.'. Tl'l* iiiiju ,piig planlt-
lice were found in ai few stoniach.%. tlt wNNrt ratlli.r iditlctilt t1o d1i
tinguish in tlie ciiunlon rU'liot n f plilat-lice aii o(tli. .o( ft-lxodiidI
insects. False chilnch bugs were found in ;ii. 1 ltllt'r otf .toii,,li-
froin the soutliern jirt of the State. Tl. Il i)el'lals, j vwee tlit lt- 't
preserved of ainy of the insects, for in itost case-,s thiley 'co1ld lie dis:-
tinguished indivitduallyv. (Over 5() were taken front oll stetoiai'ihl.
Next to the bug family, tlie favorite food of the )l1ish1 tits seen t,,
be beetles. They counstitute somewhat over 10 percent of tl var':'
food d an attain their maximum in Septem iber, whenl thi' aiiotiit to
%a little more than 27 percent of tlie food. r'lie feweAt were taken in
SDecember-less than 1 percent-bItl in all tlie otler mlolntlhs they wert'
found to a moderate extent except in the one stomach taken inl April,
which contained none. Among them were species of the la(Ih' ir
Family (Coccinellida' ), which are useful insects. as t hey are ,Iot I '
i!*carnivorous and feed lau'gely upon plant-lice. In order to ascertain
Just how muitch harm the tit does in devo-ring ladybn a serat
account was kept, and it wvas found that the total amount eatenll dur-
ing the year was 2.4 l)ercent of the whole food. Most of these insects-
were eaten in September and October. when tlhe conm.-l)ptiol
amounted to 11 and f; percent, respectively. These are tlie onlv
Decidedly useful insects eaten by the )busl1 tit. and in view of their
: small number the subject may be dismissed without furthlier com-
ment. The other beetles taken were largely small leaf-beetles ( (liryv--
: omelida), all of which are harmful. With then were some small
weevils (Rhynchophora). which feed upon see s antd oitli-er part. of
!plants, with a few scolytids that burrow under the bark of trees to
their great, injury.
SButterflies and moths (Lepidoptera). most of them in the larval
'form (caterpillars), are next to beetles in impl)orta nce in tlhe food of
tithe bush tit. They are. however, far from being such favorite food
* as bugs. The total is a little more than 16 percent. ThIey art fairly
evenly distributed through the year, though in spring and early s1111-
aner they are consumed to a somewhat larger extent than in fall and
winter. The greatest consumption wvas in May, when they aggregated

.- --.~
mw';t. .~ .

nearly 69 percent. Lepidoptera in the adult form do not as a. rule
constitute an important part of the diet of birds, but, with the excep-
tion of the flycatchers, the titmice perhaps eat the most. The greater
number consumed by these insects, however, are larvw-cat-
erpillars. A few, however, are eaten in the pupa state, and here the
bush tit has a good record. In a number of stomachs were remains
of the p)upa of the codling moth, one of the worst pests to the apple
industry. This insect is protected from the attacks of birds by its
peculiar mode of life. It passes the larval stage inside the apple.
The adult moth flies mostly by night and hides during the day.
'When the larva is full grown it leaves the apple and seeks a place of
concealment, such as a crevice in the bark of the tree, a crack in the
trunk, or among rubbish on the ground, where it changes to a chrys-
alis. It is in this stage that the insect is most vulnerable to the
attacks of birds, and as the whole family of titmice get most of their
food by searching in just such places as those used for concealment by
the larva, it is not surprising that they find and devour many of them. :
The cocoons of certain tineid moths are a very constant, though not :
large, component of the food of the bush tit. The larvae of many of
the Tineina are leaf-miners, and therefore injurious when attacking!,
economic plants.
Strangely enough, wasps and ants (Hymenoptera) are nearly absent
from the food of this bird. The total amount for the year is less
than 1 percent. In view of the fact that ants are always crawling
over the trunks and branches of trees, the very places where the tits
feed, it seems strange that so few of them are eaten. Moreover,
plant-lice always have ants in attendance upon them, and when tits
eat so many plant-lice it is rather remarkable that they should not
take some of the ants also, as do the smaller woodpeckers, whose food:
habits are in many respects so similar. In 353 stomachs only two
ants were identified, one in the adult and one in the pupal stage, and
these were in separate stomachs. In 17 other stomachs a few frag-
ments of what probably were small wasps were found, which make up.
the total of the hymnenopte'rous diet of the bush tit.
The remaining animal food of this bird, about 8 percent, is com-
posed of various insects, such as a few flies, a few bits of grasshoppers,
insects' eggs not further identified, with a considerable number of:
spiders. That the tits should not eat grasshoppers is not surprising,:
' as these insects do not commonly infest trees where the birds feed,yp
and as a rule they are rather large game for such small birds. The
great bulk of the 8 percent, however, consists of spiders, which con-|
stitute a constant item of food in every month. Quite a number of'
pseudoscorpions also were found in the stomachs, but, owing to their:
minute size, the percentage is not very noticeable.



N I" I' l Ill".Es AN I 'I ITI NMll'l". I E.
|V f.fta/I'ti,,,,, I .n 'i'l Vlg,.albl,, t', d ,,f clie IniL.ll tit IJ.ll ',' IK. e',,
t ef I/tl4e tll e ai. tego ie f ir '%i INi, l 'i-i 'l'Iiii,' li a er i v 1 1i' lI il

some l fomtai'l was fuiild l ii Ist lili l'i 1:1 k'iiin li 11it. ii111tlii s f'lt ii .tiigi-I
t o IV etli e i i l uliie ' e a v e 'a g e a l o u l t i 'l i n I l i o f o ui l r "
ntolitlis a1s ii litti I' l'. t aliii 1 jp1Iter[ ti. It i -, re'e' ile- l iI lilt.
storiaic byli )" l 11I )l :ild ki lt-l I. w li liit h i llllt 'be il rli .r ite .iiriii dl.
The miiiscellileo is vegetable att tel i, <'1(1143' ilof :1 t'l'\ 4,4ai. r"lil-
ules of j)1is.I 1A (iik ( I' s //, 1 ,i;', Js.idiP/ 1). il;:it alls-, :il 11 111ll ii.,11. T'li .
.seeds of ji misolni (tiak iir c'' Itli 'l V iii;l y" lii1l" :l1 Mi 11.'l' (li ililii lt'i i
about til tiiltit r,. litii I ., 25-, iii,. ilivy ;il'l too34 lii' t i I \\ W ;ill ow 'El
by the tit, wvii'li t'Iitilt'lints itself with lP'ckiII o! lt' til wiax iirroilIlil i r
the s e(l. T llis i s letstiIi ill tii .Ile i 'iiii ls l ) I Y I 'V'rtaiii o1('(icly lgrali- 1
ules. A lin't1 pItin l of l lif velg(t:illl food1 '(u .i.ts oIf 1iill ;1 lls.
apparetitly flrol le e-. Tlleiy i1 Ci'' iatteliN w\eln first tdiev'hlj'dl. d Vii' e
young 1inid ttenidT r. As. t' iil of tile. l's 1 (iioli ,)l '(311 tfil iied 1 l ,1,1 4
or gruib, it is tiiestif ialne if thelit -I iilhl iot Ib' 'li-sevl ;is a iis iiiil
food. TiI r niiiilili er o()f tiht v.-e t, 1ible i1att1 er is o f ilcl ai 1 nil1re tlint
the only terni wlii'i rlnt'1lily descrilbs's it is nl)li>li. It is ipr(O3li1lite
that it is nii.ost im tikt'n icci(lntelilly iloIx(, witi oth1(i f(d 3 i(3 11 rliii:
should not Ie (.isi tl-dertd iII tilt' foo 'iit( ,o'\' .

F'OOlD( I1 N S',' .I lE( N

Amnong tlihe 353 .,tOlichli-ll of tit' liish tit. \\vliol,' food lli- I-c;all
,discussed was o ii(, liiootl of ti'glit lit'.st Ilil s H11)oit te li Il iy.s (ld. A.
,these are the only collt'ctetd. tlieir food w(iild ii 'l't at itln-
tion, but examination h]io\ws it toi In' of lnin.islil inlt erct. T"e e.,c'-
; table matter in these stomachs was (oily tlree-fountiis of 1 l)perc'lint
and consisted of onie -eed ad(l2 somlei riil)libi. Tile animal 1t11tlr
comprised, Iapproximately I Beetles 2. wasps 2. ii".r c i1caterpill ars 111iidl
pupa, 80. and sp lj)idlr- 7 )perct it. The p)(it i)ff glreate-t ililterest.
however, lies in the fact that every olll' o(f t1e('-e stomiaclis oitail ined
il pupa' of the (odllg i(ll oth. (ldistribluted as folllows: Tw(o stolllmachs
Contained "2 eacli. itwo oV t aiitali!ed : each. (* )it' ('coitainiied 4. ), oi7' .t (3 1.
' and one 11, makinni] 41 iit all, oill an averaitre of over to eali. TIl
oak tree in which these irlds wVere foiiunid wasi illn a elt o(f tillbel'
long a creek, aiiid jilst acro--- ttlie si tream i -I co (.I I lerable a'e f
neglected orchard. It is evident tlit tilie pareiit hiis used hi is-
orchard as a forangilg groun d an di i their lbet'st tow ardd reeildleidngis
'the neglect of thle owner. As. wit ii nesthlig birds feeding aiii (liges-t
ltion are almost ('ontinuous drinig tlie llhoi.fs o(f diailihgt it follows
That the above re('ord would li several tiniVnes re',peated (1iril iii a "dayS
feeding. There were p)rollalbly not less tlian i ia dozen nests of tile i
Sbush tit (several were-.seen) along tile b)or(i(,er of this orchard. alnd
as is probable, the occupants all did as good work as the ones

* -. *


recorded it is evident that the birds must exert a powerful restrictive
influence upon the increase of the codling moth, as well as other

In a resume of the food of the bush tit the most l)rominent points
to be considered are the fact that four-fifths of its diet consists of
insects and spiders, nearly all of which are harmful; that more than
half of its animal food is limited to a single order of insects, Hemip-
tera; that it eats the particular families of this order which contain
the worst of insect pests; that the vegetable contingent of the food is
made up almost entirely of substances of no economic value. It is
doubtful if more efficient checks upon the increase of many species
of forest and orchard insects can be found than the titmice and other i
closely related species. Bush tits, therefore, are a valuable asset to
the State of California and should be l)rotected and encouraged in
every possible way..
Following is a list of insects identified in the stomachs of bush tits: i

Crepidodera iel.rinecs. Seymni us nanus.
Diachus u(ratus. Votoxits alamedmr.
Orthoperus sp. A4nthicus sp.
Corticaria scissus. lApion espertinumni.
Scym ntis marginicollis. IDeporaus glastin us.
Scyinnus pallens.

2ysius angustalus. sai.'sctia olem.
Geocaris bullatus. .tspidiotuts rapax.

C(arpocapsa pomnonella.

The following families of Hemiptera were identified:
Tingitida-. Psyllidle.
Capside. ('occidzp.
Membracidin. Aphidid;w.

Kinglets, like gnatcatchers and titmice, are small, active birds and "
spend most of their lives on trees. So nearly do the feeding habits of M
these diminutive arboreal species resemble each other that in winter.::
it is not unusual to see companies of titmice, kinglets, creepers, and:
nuthatches all together, engaged in the same unending search for:



SfOOI. 1W hell oll nticet l o, \ tl or, uglev e:ra' Ir,' ij i(' .i .1p4l 1%d i,
dozens of pairs of ket'l, lj inig Vi". It' ile 'Il'i '-4I li:il ti ii-e'rt ohi
their eggs slhoud lI i.r\ ire tl Ipro(,ldi, ir i : lood-:

HI Il -'i{1)\\N :1i KIlN ;I.IFI.
I glf i/es relli 'iifi l p
The rubi -crownedl kingle't i.s kIowl ii (Iali fornlia principally as a
winter resitdeilt. tllollgll il soit, of t" e iihirli in oijiantaiills it t'leiaiil-
tflirough tlhe sulitliler atid nbreds. Its s-Imll -iZm' \would prtvt\'iit it
frone doing liiprtrciuabI injury to fruit o[,' g'ti ii 'vi'r' iIIY to I6. lhadI
when it is in the fruit ainld rr.iiii nraiiiig rj(g1io-.
As might be inferIeI f'i fivld olsivitin-. its diet .lonsi-,s
almost entirely of insects andl their eTirs. itid tlh. 1111 1n1cr it destro'.,,
is beyond comlpitat ion.
In investigatillg the food of tlhe, kinglet "294 stomaehls wore exanm-
ined, all taken in California from SeItenm)eIr to April. ineltisi\'.
Only 1 stomach was collected in Sep)teml)er. ,5 inll Marli. alld( .' in
April. The other included monthls are fairly well representedtl. The
food consisted of 94 percent f animal matter and tI percent of vege-
table. It was-; male uip of insects, spiders, and )psetidoscorpio Is--
minute creatures resembling miicroscop)ic lob)sters-fruit. weed seeds.
.AImnl fool.-rTher animal food is quite evenly distribute(l through
the season. The greatest amount. 100 percent, apl)peared in the first
Sand last two months, anid the least, 79 percent, in January. -Hyme-
noptera, in the shape of wasps, and a few ants appear to be the
favorite food. as they aggregate over 32 percent of the whole. The
Stomach taken in September contained none of then, iut in every
Other month they are fairly well represented, and with but little
variation until March, when there is a sudden increase, whicli con-
tinues in April. This is undoubtedly due to the increased numbers of
These insects following the return of warm. dry weather, for the order
Sis noted for its fondness for warmth and sunshine. Adverse criti-
Scism may be made upon this element of the kinglet's diet. as flying
SHymenoptera are useful agents in the fertilization of flowers, and
some species of plants are dependent upon them for the performance
of this important, function. The parasitic species of this order also
re found to some extent in the food of the kinglet, and unques-
tionably many of these are decidedly useful.
In the food of the kinglet, bugs (Iemiptera) are next in impor-
nce. They constitute nearly 26 percent of the diet. and are found
n greatest quantity in the first months of the bird's winter stay. in
ptember and October. but gradually decrease till spring.

9379-No. 30-O7----6

F F o
U .. .


.....: The following families of Hemiptera were recognized in the stom-
ach contents: Assassin-bugs (Reduviidae), lace-bugs (Tingitide),
Sleaf-bugs (Capsidte), leaf-hoppers (Jassidw), tree-hoppers (Membra-
i cid.), juinping plant-lice (Psyllidae), plant-lice (Aphididae), and
scale-insects (Coccidw). Stink-bugs (Pentatomida), which are the
1 most universally eaten by birds of any Hemiptera, are entirely want-
1 ing. Evidently it was not lack of opportunity that prevented the
(~ kinglets from eating the last-named insects, for other birds collected :
Sat the same time and place had partaken of them freely. From the
human point of view it is not strange that birds should reject them,
i for to us their odor is vile and their taste nauseous. It will be
SB] noticed that the Hemiptera selected by the kinglet are mostly species
5 ~of small size, but happily they are the very ones that are the most "
4^ harmful to the interests of man. The tree-hoppers, the leaf-hoppers,
and the jumping plant-lice, when abundant, are pests, and often do
great harm to trees and smaller plants, while the plant-lice and scale- -1
insects are the worst scourges of the fruit grower-in fact, the preva- I
c 'lence of the latter has almost risen to the magnitude of a national 1
i peril. As has been before pointed out, it is these small and seemingly
i insignificant birds that most successfully attack and hold in check
iil' these insidious foes of horticulture. .i..
gi^!'Beetles of various families and species were eaten by the kinglet to :i
i1i. the extent of 13 percent of the season's food. They belong to species I
4. that are more or less harmful, with the exception of a number of
If J|ladybirds (Coccinellidw), which from their habit of feeding on plant-
| I"; lice are eminently useful. The damage done by the destruction of
i:j.i these useful beetles, however, is small, since they aggregate less
!i. |than 2 percent of the whole food. Singularly. nearly all were in
; stomachs obtained in February. In this month 8 percent of these
|I beetles were eaten, while in no other month was so much as 2 percent
-jtaken. Another curious fact is that almost all of these belong to the
| genus Scymnus. which is made up of minute black creatures which
l| i! one might think would pass unnoticed by birds. On the contrary,
I" the small and insignificant individuals of this genus appear to be
| eaten much oftener than the larger and more showy species. While
'. the eating of ladybugs by kinglets or other birds is to be deplored,
jH|t it must be acknowledged that little harm is done so long as the num-
i[ bers destroyed are as moderate as the above figures imply.
jf *Of the harmful beetles eaten the weevils are perhaps the most.:.
I ;. interesting. One stomach contained 20 individuals, which seems,
a a large meal in view of the size of the bird. Many of the weevils.'!
b, belong to the family of engravers (Scolytidae), which live under the'-:
. .... bark of trees and are forest pests. Another beetle found in many:
". ---*tomachlis is Notoxus alamede, an insect that lives on trees, but which :.
"I does no harmn so far as known. One stomach contained the remains of:::"

H. A
., i ,;,i ii *


100 indlivirituals of t(i,..iI, 'i-.. (3tlir IK',lh. \\,n', fou1n12 IIn'. ig'iiz
tO 11ollt Ji dozen f ,i l ll ,H11 1 41'(1 r 1 ,, illurin''-.

vI (i t it. In-1nII-II
Iepidojhpttei'a. Io1tl lIar'u (c' a;nl :allli f'in, (i,,,jt,...
and butter'lie.i.) .lo ?ittil et' lilv 11 -.llll 1po,'tit'l, of the kiig'l'. diet.
They we eaten, sparinlglv in, eve'y iniiitli Int oie. Inbit in :iiI ..ggr'- r
gate only I)'peretll f tl, whole. \Whiie a I'e\ e;Ilt'ji|ill,'l. er'r, ,.iiaIi.
m ost 4f tlh le'piloj ter)l]i f tile'id m thls, a faiililv of itilllllt'1lC ,izl. iti le t r'ilnitll iiin l tu'1 --'li -
} .
tive li lIits. Tlie1y ;ir liirgt'ly t'-iiiiuiit'r:. iiil 1 I, ii li I iiiiu I" i,
the folialgr of fruit andiil ot r live I ie,. "I'litvy alr iiill lliil at ''li tll
little kingilet Lunt eiat ail gra iianv of tlihiil iat a eiiil. In only 2
stoIllachls was ainthillg fonlld that ri'-.enll(ldd ai g's..-ili)),''. atil ii
both the quaintity w'as ,,niail I Ind tie i deiitilitati (11 (Diptera) cost it ute ile'arl 17 J)ercxit of lilt' diiet. lll izta \t''rv Iizi-
venl liv strilIbted. Tie1 greatest a I ionin iln oniel i l t \ilwa ii IJa tli- -
ar'y, 35 percent, all of which was iin 7 .toniiil.s co(llectetd in ti ie sanilie
place within tire davs. Tlie.e 7 stomachs contaiel Ilit avelagre of
96 percent of dipterous remains. The birds evidenlitly foutild a
gathering of flies. lwrobably dimmiant, andl filled themselves almost
exclusively withh theill. Another series of 4. taken at tlie a lilte place e1
in February. also had eaten flies to tile extent of over .SO percent of
the food. Spiders and pseudo.corpions amo tn to Inearaii 2 percent ;
of the food, and are taken quite regularly throtil tli season., th(iioughl
the greater iiinlder were eaten ili (October. These last a:le c(lro1i.s i
minute creaitires, the various slxecies of which live tilnder stonllies, on
the bark of trees, and in old books.
IVegetable fmn/.-The 'vegetablle food of tile kinglets llur.v be 1is-
cussed under three heads-fruit, weed seeds, and mniscellaneotils vege-
table nimatter. Fruit amounts to less than 1 percent of thie food. lprin-
cipally elderberries (Saminlicuis). Weed seeds aie pI)resenlt to tlhe
extent of a little more than one-tenth of 1 l)ercet'it, aild iimav therefore
be dismissed without further comment. In the miiscellaneous ve'ge-i
table food two items include nearly the whole-seeds of poison oak
i and leaf galls-which together amount to somnewhlat moi()'e than 4
Percent. The eating of thie seeds of poison oak is- not a commeniedaible
j habit in anm bird, for the seeds are not destroyed, but after the wax
I on the outside is digested are either passed through the intestine or
: disgorged, and so these harmful l)lanIts are disseminated. In many
3 of the stomachs certain smniall round bodies were found that were
,,, diagnosed as 'leaf galls.' They appear to be galls in the early stage
4.and are eaten while small and tender.

: *The foregoing discussion of tile food of thle rulbv-crowned kinglet
serves to confirm popular opinion with regard to this bird. As its

'!IT .

.. ....... .. .


food consists so largely of insects and as these include so small a per-
centage of useful kinds, the kinglet must be classed as one of the
most beneficial of birds. To the horticulturist it is especially valu-
able, as nearly all of its food is obtained from trees. With respect to
the persistency with which it forages among trees, it differs conspicu-
ously from such aboreal species as leave the trees in midsummer to
feed upon grasshoppers.

(Regulmn. satrapa oliraceus.)

Another kinglet, the western golden-crown, occurs sparingly in
winter in some parts of California. Only 9 stomachs have been
examined, but these in the nature of their contents are so similar to
those of the ruby-crown that statements applicable to the latter are
almost certain to apply as well to this species. No vegetable matter
was found in any of the 9 stomachs, and the insects belong to the
same orders and were taken in essentially the same proportions as by
the other species.
Following is a list of beetles which were, identified in the stomachs
of the two kinglets:

'iocciellhl f. californica. .Aphodius rugifron.y.
daliai friffida. Diaci'us auratis..
S'u//nilli. pallenCsN. Crepidode tra hIel.rines.
,'niwii' Aid. nboxosiix. Epiiri.r parrula.
He -o porolurnt -s 1lbbricr lins. alameda'.
('orticuria ferrugyinea. Aibthi(.us Pitidulu..
'T'hirosC.,s seri'ce'tl. A4pioan respertin urn.
Lisitrtff in terrapinup Pityopithornis pubipelnis.

Beetles were identified as belonging to the following families:
Staplhylinidu.lh. Sea ra breidir.
('ocfeinellidaV. ('hrysomiuelidwi.
Monot uoi ida. Tenebrion 1ide.
L;ithrliidild Antiicidre.
El;iterida,. Curculionid.-e.
TIhrIoscid(e. Scolytidap.
La mnpyridae. Other Rhynchophora.
Ma lachiida'e.


(Polioptila spp.)

Gnatcatchers are small, active birds of modest colors and unob-
trusive notes. While not conspicuous, they are none the less deserv-
ing of respect and consideration. No complaints have been made
that these busy creatures ever injure fruit or other crops. Their food

e- -


is composed almost *ex'liit'ive cif inl,''. whichI tilt,%' Iuil witii ntirl
ing energy from onig till night. Lik, tl titic'i, :iiaii kingle't.
gA1t'atehers Iare II fitted li'y tt1 1 43 J,'t' ti I i .4e P 11',1 ic'e, \\ iII l]a rgei
species are ,jwaldle to acompl31i.h1. TIher' :i I.- ost" o iniute il'-'t-,
individually instignisicanIt II nt I)i 1 ll,,c'ti.f l ,i pl tlift ,re. t 1. 1m:ill
to be attacked by ordinary lirnls antl ,r' to 11' ,.oI1l3t.I beIv w mtal. if at
all, 0111only at great tX)tISt. It is, I :) O I Nl wit h s!.intl pl'-I thaIt thIey I nI ,v
not. tindully increase tliat tli .-e tiiy liris would I(''I t be 1 4' e .-I. i:illv
designed. Tlinree s. e'ies of gilo 1tcatt:itel s li\v wvit!ill thle lii1it it tit l,
State of Califoritia. Two of ,t l ent. i'/h,1;/,t ;/, / f,/,., iiia( P. (-I/;-
fyr.i 1a, are coziltined to tlit' i ( 31tllti'ri pirl. wtiiic lite tl ird, /. 1 '. r/ ,
obiura, occurs locally tl'rohglmhlot til State. 'Thel iii1teriail 1,0"i a
thorough discussion oif tlie fo( t th1,.s lids i.- ()friiiiatt'ly lnot atI
hand, but there is log11)l to( show\ cnltnlivi elv 11t 1 nat iii(t' tit lit
work they are dot)inl aid to enialle i- to ais..i In tlihie tltell, i pri|l' r.'ik i(
among the friends anid lielpelrs of iiiikiiiktil.
The food of the gnatcatcel.s is' .e'tia rkaldly coistat i i clialracter
througlhott. the yeair. varyin 1 but little fronl 111n1tlli to) lintiitli. It i1
probable that these birds have a prefeltirence for a cel-tai diet, atlnd
search till they find it.
Only 30 stomachs of 1'. c. ohsifrt nad11(1 tile'e l utillt, (of 1" '..- n
forni.a have been examinedl, and their conltei' nts wetv so similar that
they may be treated as from a singlle species.
IVegetable food.-O(f the (C0 stomiachls three only contained any iI
vegetable food whatever, and in only one did it amounott to a respect-
able percentage. This one lield 92 percent of seetds of son species
of Rhus; another contained S percent of inkinow'n stetlds, an d tile
third a few bits of rubbishl, wiiiclh amnounted to it on 21) percent iof
the whole contents. The total vegetaib)le lilatter ill tlhe (;() sttoiachs
aggregated less than 2 percent (If tlhe eiutire food.
An;nial food.-The renmainider 'of tlhe food, over 1)8 percent, is inade
up of beetles, wasps, hngs. anid caterpillars, w'itl :ia few fli 's, ,.ras,- I
hoppers, and spiders. Buigs (I Ieni pte'a) .con-tittte more, tiha ii half
of the whole food. C4 p)ercelt. These 1bel(')l(( to t fa llmilies of s-tiik-
Sbugs (Pentatomida'). slieltd-lnIugs (tSucntt' ll'ri Oat') (ret'- ,)jlers (I Mem-
Sbracida'), leaf-hloppers (Jassidla), ail le'af-It!Lg ( (C';l)si(;tl), \vith
: perhaps traces of several others. In (Ilit' s(toniiach'] were 2) )erent'llt )of
Black olive scales (Sa .,'fct'f olce ). All of these ariv ha rn ftil to trees
ii and other l)lants. Wasps and aI few ants (Ilymlietlnp)tera) are next
i in importance as an element of the gnatcatclheier's fol. aind ailnolnt lit
Sto over 16 percent of the whole. The.e lbil'lds, like tlhe flvyatchlers,
Stake much of their l)prey oit the wing. and it is p)rol)able that wasps
and small bees are captured in tis wayV. lBeet l, o)f -tseveral families
Were eaten to the extent of over 7 percent of the food, but no decided
a P,



**~r~ w


4 preference for any particular kind is indicated. The only decidedly
useful insects in any of the stomachs were 2 ladybird beetles (Coe-
cinella t. californica), which had been eaten by P. californica. As
this beetle is very abundant in California it is not surprising that
birds should eat a few of them. Caterpillars amount to about 5
percent of the diet of the gnatcatchers. Apparently they are not a
favorite food. Other insects, such as a few flies and grasshoppers,
with some spiders, aggregate 6 percent, and probably are makeshift,
eaten when nothing more palatable is at hand.


While the foregoing discussion of the food of the gnatcatchers is
based upon a small amount of material, the agreement of the evidence
renders it probable that a much larger quantity would not greatly
change the results. This evidence confirms what has long been sus-
pected, that the gnatcatchers are doing a useful work and should be
carefully protected.
(Hylociclla ustilata.)

The russet-back thrush abounds in the region about San Francisco
Bay and other parts of the humid coast belt. It remains in this part
of the State from April to November, inclusive, and then moves
farther south for the winter. Its favorite haunts are the bushes and
trees bordering streams, and in these it nests and rears its young.
While the thrush is very fond of fruit its partiality for banks of
streams keeps it from frequenting orchards when they are far from
water. It is most troublesome during the cherry season, at the time
when the young are in tihe nest. It might .be inferred from this that
the nestlings are fed on fruit, but such is not the case to any notice-
able extent. The parent birds eat the fruit themselves, while the
young, as is usual with nestlings, are fed mostly upon insects. The}
old birds eat some fruit throughout the season, but do not seem to :
attract much attention by their depredations on prunes and the later
fruits. As the thrush, unlike the linnet, is one of the so-called soft- .
billed birds, its attacks on fruit are limited to the thin-skinned varie- .
ties. Probably it can peck holes in ripe cherries; still it is as often
seen on the ground pecking at fallen fruit as attacking the fruit on
the trees. It thus probably confines its depredations upon the later
fruits to such as have already been broken into by linnets or other :
stout-billed birds.,
Be this as it may, the thrush is an efficient destroyer of insects, ,:
and during the eight months of its sojourn in the fruit region a":
little more than half of its food consists of harmful insects. In the::



investigation of this bird's diet 157 toiiaeiis were, examinil. 'Thi-
Dbirds canie fromi various points Iiiit ont Stit F IllIii,-,c i l*y. k ,il til [il-
coast froii Moite'rey to S1ai1ta ('rii z. ,exc',pt doIn, lmi gria lit wih' wIi ,
taken in thie sotltIlher i)II't Iof (it' Staite. ()I" ; ly toni:- wii6, I
collected inl .k wil, .5 in ll )ctol,'r. aiitil 7 ill NIII,'. Iv t 1t'Iiltll
ing four iionths., 139. were taken. aid ait tiell- airt, fai'i evetl'i dii,-
tributedt thie re's-uilts foir twse mlil thI [( Iiii lit' Ib 1 Iikt. iij 11 sl a s 'iis -
ably relialhe. E.xami iiiitilion tf til tu't! slit.,o\' .52 Imrct'l'l'it o)f ilinil i
mniatter to 4S )tTe'celt If Vpegetalii'.
A.thniul fOnl.-The greaitest qiatnitity of iiiiiiiil fooIdt Wits ('uttill ill
the first ind liiast parts f tlt' h isoni-ini faict, thle ,iX sItolilachls (il- i'
elected in April ontaoii nei ) ti l'iit' o(f \ t'g'ililii fooid. hl'i' aili al2 I
matter decreases iII each illonth 1lip to( Septmliit'l. iII which Imionth
only 17 percent was eaten. From thiis ilontllhiii it i1reast's, 111(d edis
with 62 perienti iii Novelbter. T1 lilll l', rlial', silllil iot lI' i'
placed upon the latter figures, as they were oibtaiIled frolIl entirely
too few stomachs, and arze likely to be liloditied bv thie exaIllillatioll oIf
more material. The aiinimal portion of tlie food is niostly iinects andli !
spiders, with some earthworms anld sowbiugs (Onisciu).
Useful beetles (Carabidia'. Coccinellid(a'., etc.) aillounlt to less than
3 percent of the food of the year. Most of them are eaten at the
beginning of the season before other insects are 'oniio1on. Other
beetles, all more or less harmful, constitute 11 percent of the year's
food, and aire eaten chiefly the first of the season, decreasing toward
fall but with a slight increase at the eld. Tiie'y are pretty evenly
Distributed among the more common families, and no decided iprefer-
Sence is evident for any. It is probable that the thrush eats any
il beetles that come in its way. and does not make special effort to find
:a particular kind.
Caterpillars form somewhat more than 8 percent of the food, and
while they are eaten in every month of the thrush's stay, they are
Taken much more freely previous to August. During and after that
:i month they cease to be an important element of tlhe diet. Thlie average
consumption of the first four months of the season is a trifle over 15
. percent. Ants and wasps (IHynienoptera), bugs (Hemiliptera), flies
5 (Diptera), and grasshoppers (Orthopl)tera) are eaten by the thrush,
Although little preference is shown for any one of these except for
j Hymenoptera in the shape of ants. These are eaten with remarkable
Regularity throughout the season, and formi about 1; l)ercelit of the
% food. This is the largest insect element in the food of the thrush,
.)and the regularity with which ants are eaten would seem to indicate
f that they are highly esteemed and especially sought for.
"i While these insects do not often make themselves pests by directly
l attacking fruits and crops, they aid and abet the work of other insects
ijin a way which renders them as bad as the worst of those directly

L:: ;,. :.i >* :: . '
: : : .." ..
@ ;| ,f!i:: % 4
I| ;!attacking crops. Their habit of caring for and protecting plant-licee
is too well known to require extended comment. They take possession
-_ :also of the empty burrows of wood-boring larvae and extend these
galleries still farther into sound timber. They often throw up
mounds on lawns and in gardens, where it is almost impossible to ex-
I terminate them. In houses they frequently are an intolerable nui-
ii sance, infesting the pantry and spoiling food. The species that are
-K not offensive in these various ways are mostly of a neutral character
gii. in their economic relations, and their destruction by birds does
~neither good nor harnim.
II Hymenoptera, other than ants (mostly wasps), bugs, flies, and
J i. grasshoppers, with some spiders, amount altogether to 12 percent of
3 1 the year's food, and appear very regularly through the season. Grass-
| p3 hoppers, however, are near being conspicuous by their absence, as re-
mains were found in only 4 of the 157 stomachs. This is rather re-
1 markable for a bird whose habits are so terrestrial as those of the
| thrush. The majority of ground-feeding birds and many arboreal
Species feed largely upon grasshoppers. In fact, there is no order j
AM1 of insects for which insectivorous birds in general show such a decided j
41tii preference. The spiders eaten by the thrush belong largely to the M
i| ^order Phalangida, commonly known as 'harvest men' or 'daddy-i
IH 'long-legs.'
1 Vegetable food.-The vegetable food of the thrush consists prac-.
tically of fruit either wild or cultivated. A few weed seeds were .
I:II found in several stomachs, but they amount to only a trace. It is
!l probable that the greatest harm done by this bird is to the cherry
1|| .crop, though undoubtedly it eats the later fruits to some extent. In
|| May and June the fruit eaten reaches 41 and 38 percent, respectively,
s: and this probably represents the greatest injury which the bird does,
Sas most of the fruit was the pulp and skins of cherries. From June
: onward seeds of blackberries and raspberries (Rubus) were fre-j
I quently found in stomachs, but as these berries are both wild and cul-
tivated it is impossible to tell how much came from gardens. One
4 stomach taken in early June contained seeds of the twin berry (Loni-
.cera irol ucrata). Seeds of the elderberry (Sambucus) were abun-
1i:V: dant in stomachs taken in the late summer and fall, and indicate that ::
V ; this fruit constitutes a very considerable portion of the vegetable diet
| of the thrush at that season. Besides these were seeds of the pepper
tree, of Solanum (a weed), and one stomach contained fruit of the :
AI coffee berry (Rhamnus caulifornica). A few seeds of poison oak were
1 found in two or three stomachs. The greatest amount of fruit was
i j eaten in September, and reaches a total of over 80 percent, but as the
HI number of stomachs is not as great as could be desired the result can
r scarcely be considered final. Moreover, a large part of this was wild
K:i P .. k