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Rock Wren Nesting in a Petrified Log

Lloyd Mason Smith
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
43
Issue: 
5 (September-October)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1941
Pages: 
248

Rock Wren Nesting in a Petrified Log

In late May of 1941, the nest of a Rock Wren (Salpinactes obsoletus) was discovered in a tunnel-like cavity in a petrified log back of the museum at the Petrified Forest National Monument, Arizona. Since these logs are upper Triassic in age, perhaps 160,000,000 years old, the nest site is, in one sense, the oldest to be recorded. The pair of wrens successfully raised three young, which left the nest early in June. The site itself was a cavity of circular outline, three inches in diameter, which extended back into the petrified log some four feet. The logs petrified here are called Aracarioioxylon and are related to the modern monkey puzzle tree of the southern hemisphere.

Lloyd Mason Smith

Holbrook, Arizona, June 25, 1941

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