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Western Bluebird Nesting in the City of San Diego

Clinton G. Abbott
Publication Information
3 (May-June)
From Field and Study

Western Bluebird Nesting in the City of San Diego

A nest of the Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana occidentalis) found during the past summer in Balboa Park, San Diego, is of interest, both as the southernmost nesting record on the sea-coast for this bird, and also on account of the unusual nesting site. Probably because they could find no suitable natural cavity in the trees of San Diego's well-pruned park, and because, for lack of suitable tenants, bird boxes are scarce, the birds occupied an empty Cliff Swallow's nest. In fact, they were obliging enough to select one under the eaves of the Natural History Museum, between the two windows of the Director’s office. But so secretive were they in their affairs that their presence was not suspected until there were well grown and noisy young in the nest. This was on July 10, 1926; two days later the young were out of the nest.

Other evidence that Western Bluebirds have nested in Balboa Park is offered by a specimen in the spotted juvenile plumage that was found dead by the writer on the West Driveway, July 29, 1922; and by the observation of Carroll DeWilton Scott, a member of the San Diego Society of Natural History, who, on June 3, 1926, saw both parents feeding well-fledged young on the lawn at Eighth and Date streets.

It cannot be said that the above mentioned nest is the first Western Bluebird’s nest to be found in the city of San Diego, for Laurence M. Huey, now a member of the Natural History Museum staff, has in his collection a set of four eggs of this species, taken from a woodpecker hole in a sycamore limb in Rose Canyon on June 4, 1915. The locality is about four miles from the ocean and, although completely rural, is within the corporate limits of the city.

Clinton G. Abbott

Natural Histoly Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, September 21, 1926

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