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Grasshopper Sparrow Nesting at Oakland

Junea W. Kelly
6 (November-December)
From Field and Study
Online Text

Grasshopper Sparrow Nesting at Oakland, June 16, 1944, Mrs. Enid Austin and I found the nest of a Western Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum bimacula.&) on a southwest-facing hillside in the Oakland Hills near the junction of Joaquin Miller and Rydwood roads. The nest consisted of a small cup fashioned of fine grass stems situated at the base and on the lee side of a clump of perennial grass. The prevailing wind bad arched the stems of the grass over the nest. There were four eggs wreathed with reddish brown dots about the larger end.

Although the soil on this bill is rather poor, being formed from decomposing serpentine, a large variety of native flowers grow here and their blossoming season extends from early spring through summer. In August several species of eriogonum and of composites were at their height. These plants together with the grasses should insure an ample food supply. A few yards from the nest were some low plants of Artemisia califomica.

On June 25 there were only three eggs in the nest. On June 29 the young bad batched. At no time did we bear a bird of the species sing and the incubating bird was the only adult seen. The bird allowed us to approach within a few feet and on the first two dates flushed quickly and disappeared. On June 29 when it was disturbed, it fluttered over the ground, dragging its wings. On August 11 we collected the nest but neither heard nor saw a Grasshopper Sparrow.-JUNEA W. KELLY, Alameda, California, August 22, 1944. 

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