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Sparrow Hawk Nests in Chimney

Emerson A. Stoner
Publication Information
1 (January-February)
From Field and Study

Sparrow Hawk Nests in Chimney

A student of the Benicia High School, Vernon Ray, brought to me on April 14, 1936, a female Sparrow Hawk (Folco sparverius) and four eggs which he informed me were taken from a chimney in a small building at Paddy’s Dam, four miles northeast of Benicia, Solano County, California. I banded and released the bird, and he offered to show me the location of this odd nesting site. I found it to be in a small building used as a tool shed on the edge of the reservoir. The chimney in which the eggs had been laid consisted of two sections of terra cotta pipe, as shown in the accompanying illustration (fig. 11). No stove was connected with the chimney at this time, and the hole was open through the pipe from the interior of the building to the exterior. The eggs had been laid in the bottom of the vertical piece of pipe, and were exposed to the sky. They were of the customary type, though darkened or blackened to some extent by the soot in which they lay.

When approached from the exterior, the sitting bird, in leaving the eggs, entered the building through the horizontal section and was there caught by the boy who located this unusual nesting site. The feathers of the parent bird were, of course, also darkened by soot.

Emerson A. Stoner

Benicia, California, August 24, 1936

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