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A Curious Bird Tragedy

Chas. H. Richardson, Jr.
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
10
Issue: 
2 (March-April)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1908
Pages: 
91
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PDF icon CONDOR-vol-10-p-91.pdf37.45 KB

A Curious Bird Tragedy

A male specimen of the Varied Thrush (Ixoreus nævius) which had met death in an unusual manner came into my possession some time ago. It was found by my brother beneath a California live oak after a spell of rainy weather. As the accompanying illustration shows, a portion of an acorn shell was wedged upon the tip of the upper mandible, in such a way that it pressed firmly against the crown. Upon skinning the specimen, severe skull injuries were found, caused by the bird in its endeavor to remove the acorn.

The bird probably forced the acorn upon its bill while digging for insects among the leaves. It was in good condition, proving that death came before starvation could emaciate its body.

CHARLES H. RICHARDSON, JR.

Pasadena, California

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