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The Long-tailed Titmouse Post by :ralph_alan Category :Essays Author :Thomas Garnett Date :April 2011 Read :2272

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The Long-tailed Titmouse

To the Editor of "Loudon's Magazine."

Some years ago, when my brother and myself were seekers of birds' nests, we found one of the Long-tailed Titmouse (_Parus caudatus_), about two miles from home, containing young ones half- fledged. Being anxious to rear them, we hit upon the plan of catching the old ones, and giving them the trouble instead of ourselves. We accordingly set lime-twigs near the nest, and caught six old ones out of the seven of which the colony consisted, and brought them away in triumph; but the old ones would not eat in confinement, and all died but one, which we allowed to escape, in the hope that it would come back and rear the young ones. This it did, and by the most unwearied exertion reared the whole brood, sometimes feeding them ten times in a minute.

Never having seen this social habit stated in any ornithological work to which I have access, I am not aware that it is generally known to naturalists; but it is right to state that I have only found one nest of the species since, and this my avocations would not permit me to examine. I am therefore not aware whether the fact I have stated was an exception to the general habit of the bird, or whether such is invariably the case. Some of your correspondents will, no doubt, be able to give an answer to this inquiry.

(The end)
Thomas Garnett's essay: The Long-Tailed Titmouse

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I have been much interested this spring at witnessing in two or three instances the tenacity with which the Marsh Titmouse sits on its nest. Being in a wood near my own house, I perceived a pair of these birds in one of the trees, and having seen them in the same place several times before, and being desirous of finding the nest, I sat down to watch their motions. After examining me on all sides with much chattering and many gesticulations, indicative of dislike and suspicion, the female flew to the root of a tree, three or four yards off,