On May 8th, with snow still on the ground at Longmire Springs, the Naturalist discovered a nest of the Water Ouzel containing a group of young a week or more old. Robins were not evening nesting yet.
A few birds nest earlier, notably the Gray Jay and the Clark Crow, but then they nest at a most unreasonable season of the year. The average nesting season for birds at this elevation is a month later.
The nest was the typical Ouzel creation, a well matted ball of green moss almost round and some ten inches in diameter, placed precariously on a tiny niche of the rock face above the Nisqually. Eighteen inches below swirled the mad waters of the glacial torrent.
We watched the parent birds, intent upon their "fishing", come down the stream working from rock to rock. At the sound of their voices the two youngsters set up a terrific din within and presented open mouths at the entrance.
Two interesting habits were noted aside from the characteristic twitter, the constant squatting, and the amazing under water feeding habits. One was that of singing with the beak full of insects, and the other was of dipping the insect into the water at frequent intervals after it was caught.
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