Skip to main content

Query Column (Answers)

W. Otto Emerson
Publication Information
4 (July-August)



6. Replying to Mr. Grinnells ’ query, “Does the Rufous Hummingbird breed in California”?, so far as my observations go7 it does. On April 14, 1896 I photographed a nest of what later proved to be SeZasphorus rufus, as we shall see. This nest was placed in a climbing Cherokee rose, running over the rear gable ofmy home at Haywards. It might be asked how I knew this was a Rufous Hummingbird, since the males do not attend the females during nidification. Contrary to the observations of some late writers I have twice seen the male try to drive the female back to her nest, I had just stepped out on the porch at sun-rise when Isaw the female leave the nest, darting through another clinging rose at the end of the porch in an effort to pass behind it. The male made his appearance at once, darting down at the female bird and after a few sharp twitters of anger which seemed to settle the matter of her leaving the nest so early, they both passed out of sight and not once did I see the tnaie again during the incubation period.

The only other instance I have recorded of the male being seen was in the middle of June, 1879, while camping in the lower.end of Calaveras valley Santa Clara Co., Cal. After setting up our table under a spreading sycamore and eating breakfast, a hummingbird flew off her nest some six feet above the top of our table. In this case the male was noted some half hour later trying to drive the female to her nest, which she later forsook altogether on account of the noise we made.

"W. OTT0 EMERSON. Haywards, Cal.

Total votes: 0

Advanced Search