Nature News Notes is entering upon its fifth year with this issue. We find nature just as wonderful, in fact more so, than we did five years ago. We hope our readers have been able to understand nature better because of this little "home-made" sheet. We, in writing it, have become more familiar with the big out-of-doors but we have also learned that we are just beginning to touch the edge of this great storehouse of absorbing interest, so Nature News Notes shall continue from time to time to record such little items as we are able to see and understand.
With this issue our readers will welcome an old friend, Charles Landes, who will carry on the work at Longmire Springs again this season. Also, this season you will enjoy stories by two men to us, Stephen Barr Jones, who makes a most satisfactory debut in this issue, and Clarence Hickok, whom we will hear from soon.
A nest of the Rufous Hummingbird with two young birds a few days old was found recently by the boys from the Government office. This nest is about two miles above Longmire and is saddled to a low hanging limb of a hemlock tree in a dense growth of hemlock. Except for the wide roadway on one side, no sunlight reaches the forest floor above which the nest resposes but a few feet.
When I first visited the nest I was surprised to find the mother bird gone, as quite a heavy rain was falling and it was dusk in the forest. In a few moments she returned and took her place on the nest. The nest is so small, a little larger in diameter than a silver dollar, that the tail and head of the mother bird extended beyond the margin of the nest. The nest was perfect in shape and the outside was lined with green lichens that blended with the color of the hemlock needles about it. The inside of the nest was lined with a fine down, the nature of which I could not ascertain without disturbing the two tiny occupants. In the dusk of the forest the mother bird's colors were difficult to note, but as the elevation at the point where the nest is located is 2900 feet, it probably was the Rufous.
No male bird was seen. It seems that Mr. Hummingbird has a habit of leaving all family cares to his little wife and hieing himself to the more attractive open meadows and smiling flower fields. Not a great many flowers are in bloom in the woods about the nest and one wonders where the food for the tiny family is to come from.
Charles Landes, Ranger Naturalist.
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