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and music. The following programme for the band was presented: The Torpedo and the Whale

Audran. Marchande de Marée..

..Lecocq. One day I caught a Fish.

Planquette. One of the editors of the NATURALIST who was present and enjoyed the occasion, makes the following report on the merits of some of the more novel dishes.

Bisque of razor clams (Solen), very delicate. .

Consommé of Mossbunker (Brevurtia menhaden), strong and oily.

Horse-shoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus), good, equal to the best devilled crabs.

Drum (Pogonias chromis), very flat.
Raie au beurre noir (Raja), tender but tasteless.

Sauté of shark steaks (man-eater, Eulamia milberti, said to have recently caten a negro), tender and with good flavor.

Squid a la Starin (Loligo sp.), rather tasteless.

Hellbenders (Protonopsis horrida) (to be now called in deference to the new revision N. T., hades-benders), good, much like frogs' hind legs.

Beyond this the editor did not extend his researches. He desires to express his acknowledgment to Messrs. John Foord, president, and Eugene Blackford, of the committee of arrangements, for especial favors.

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PROCEEDINGS OF SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES.

Boston SOCIETY OF NATURAL HISTORY, May 4.-Annual meeting. The annual reports of the curator, secretary and treasurer were presented, and the officers for 1881-2, elected. Dr. H. P. Bowditch spoke of the distribution of the papillæ on the skin, and Dr. C. S. Minot remarked on the young stages of the embryo chick, both subjects being illustrated by lantern projections,

May 18.-Dr. M. E. Wadsworth remarked on a microscopic examination of the Iron ore (Peridotite) of Iron Mine Hill, Cumberland, Rhode Island; Mr. F. W. Putnam gave an account of his recent archæological explorations in the Little Miami valley in Southern Ohio; Professor E. S. Morse spoke of the agricultural implements of Japan; and Mr. W. W. Dodge gave a few details of local geology.

New York ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, May 30.—Mr. A. A. Julien read a paper on the identification of the so-called "porphyry connected with western lodes; Professor J. S. Newberry remarked on the relations of the Cretaceous rocks of North America to those of the old world.

AMERICAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, May 10.—Mr. J. Douglas, Jr., read a paper on Chili; its geography, people and institutions.

APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB, May 21.–An excursion of the members was made to Doublet hill, Weston, and one to Mt. Greylock via the Hoosac Tunnel, was projected for June 17th. At the meeting held June 8th, Mr. H. Murdock read a paper on the region surrounding the Smith's River valley, N. H., and Mr. S. H. Woodbridge gave a description of the scenery about Williamstown, Mass.

TROY SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION, Feb. 21.-Dr. R. H. Ward read a paper on the recent teachings of the microscope in regard to different kinds of blood.

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SELECTED ARTICLES IN SCIENTIFIC SERIALS. ANNALS AND MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY. January.-Spolia Atlantica; contributions to the knowledge of the changes of form in fishes during their growth and development, especially in the pelagic fishes of the Atlantic, by C. F. Lütken.

ANNALS AND MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY.-April. General considerations upon the carcinological fauna of great depths in the Carribean sea and Gulf of Mexico, by A. Milne-Edwards.

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, June. — Geological relations of the Limestone belts of Westchester county, New York, Southern Westchester county and Northern New York island, by J. D. Dana. Fossil fishes from the Devonian rocks of Scaumenac bay, Province of Quebec, by J. F. Whiteaves. New Jurassic mammals, by O. C. Marsh.

CANADIAN NATURALIST.-April 30. Palæontological notes, by J. W. Dawson. Notes on the geology of the Peace River region, by G. M. Dawson. On the glacial phenomena of the Bay Chaleur region, by R. Chalmers.

ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR WISSENSCHAFTLICHE ZOOLOGIE, April 22. The organ of smell and the nervous system of mollusks, by J. W. Spengel. (The olfactory organ is composed of a pair of olfactory ganglia united with an epithelial organ of hearing, the entire apparatus connected by commissures with the visceral ganglia). Process of self-division in Euglypha alveolata, by A. Gruber. The developmental history of the Amphipoda, by B. Ulianin (with an exquisite colored plate). On molluscan eyes of an embryonic type, by P. Fraisse. The white of the egg-gland of Amphibia and birds, by P. A. Loos.

GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE. May.-The mammoth in Europe, by H. H. Howorth; glaciation of the Shetland, by D. Milne Home; Geology of British Columbia, by G. M. Dawson.

ERRATA.-P. 363, line 19, for Macerna read Macoma. P. 365 line 21, for Japanese parts read Japanese ports.

THE

AMERICAN NATURALIST.

Vol. xv. - AUGUST, 1881. — No. 8.

THE GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER.

BY MRS. MARY TREAT.

doned their usual nesting place in the woods, and resolved to take up their abode among civilized birds.

It is only a few years since the wood pewee was first observed to leave the dark woods and nest around our dwellings. This little bird builds a neat compact nest which it glues fast to the limb of a tree, and lines it with some soft material. In Southern New Jersey it often uses the silky down of the cotton grass (Eriophorum virginicum) for a'lining. It covers its nest externally with lichens, very much after the fashion of the hummingbird. This charming little flycatcher is now one of our most confiding, familiar birds. It will be interesting to learn if the great crested flycatcher has also concluded to become civilized, or is it simply a freak of one pair of birds ?

Audubon says of this species, “The places chosen by the great crested flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus Linn.) for its nest are so familiar, and the composition of its fabric is so very different from that of all others of the genus with which I am acquainted, that perhaps no one, on seeing it for the first time, would imagine it to belong to a flycatcher. There is nothing of the elegance of some or the curious texture of others displayed in it. Unlike its kinsfolk, it is contented to seek a retreat in the decayed part of a tree, of a fence rail, or even of a prostrate log moldering on the ground. I have found it placed in a short stump at the bottom of a ravine where the tracks of raccoons were as close together

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as those of sheep in a fold. In all these situations our bird seeks a place for its nest, which is composed of more or fewer materials as the emergency may require, and I have observed that in nests nearest to the ground the greatest quantity of grass, fibrous roots, feathers, the hair of different quadrupeds, and the exuviæ of snakes was accumulated. The nest is under the above circumstances at all times a loose mass. Sometimes when at a great height, very few materials are used, and in more than one instance I have found the eggs merely deposited on the decaying particles of the wood, at the bottom of a hole in the broken branch of a tree, sometimes of one that had been worked out by the gray squirrel.”

In “Wilson's Ornithology,” we find the following with regard to the nesting habits of this bird: “The great crested flycatcher arrives in Pennsylvania in May and builds his nest in a hollow tree deserted by the blue-bird or woodpecker. The material of which this is formed is scanty or rather novel. One of these nests now before me is formed of a little loose hay, feathers of the guinea fowl, hogs' bristles, pieces of cork, snake skins and dogs' hair. Snake skins with this bird appear to be an indispensable article, for I have never found one of his nests without this material forming a part of it. Whether he surrounds his nest with it by way of terrorism to prevent other birds or animals from entering, or whether it be that he finds its silky softness suitable for his young, is uncertain ; the fact, however, is notorious."

So it seems that heretofore the great crested flycatcher has been content with any old tree or stump that afforded him a cavity into which he could gain access. But now the little bird houses in the vineyard, scattered about on the posts, attract his attention much to the chagrin of the bluebirds and wrens. Apparently unconscious of this, the pair proceed with their house hunting much after the fashion of human bipeds.

The male stations himself on one of the little houses, and with his harsh voice calls his mate. She comes and inspects the house, but seems to have some objection, so they go the rounds, even looking into those already occupied by bluebirds, but they dɔ not molest them.

A male bluebird is watching the pair from an adjacent grape post as they visit his home. The flycatcher is stationed on the top of the house and screaming for his mate. She comes and merely looks in and finds the female on the nest and immediately flies away, but the male stays awhile and continues to call, evidently thinking that she did not half look at the house, but she does not return, and as he flies away, the bluebird who was watching him at a safe distance, now courageously flies after him and then returns to his mate who meets him at the door, and they chatter over the matter in their low, sweet way, he apparently telling her how he has driven the hateful fellow away!

The flycatchers next visit a little house fastened to the railing of an upper piazza, but this too is occupied by a family of bluebirds, and they leave them unmolested. At last madam flycatcher chooses the finest establishment on the premises—a three-storied octagon house surmounted with a cupola and spire, with a weather vane and ball attached to the spire. The house is fastened to the top of the stable, and was originally intended for the martins, but a pair of bluebirds were the first to occupy it, and they have held it for several years past, allowing no other bird to get possession; but they do not try to drive the flycatchers, who finally select the cupola which they find empty.

They are beyond my reach but they do not try to prevent my seeing the material which the female carries to the house. On the contrary they seem wholly indifferent to my presence, much more so than our familiar bluebird.

The male always precedes his mate and heralds her approach with a clamorous noise. He stations himself on the ball or weather vane above the cupola, and seems to be giving directions to his partner in a very loud voice, while she works with a perverse stick that she cannot get through the door.

She selects a stick longer than the door, and stupidly holds it about midway and tries to force it through. If it is too stout to bend or break, she works long and laboriously, while her partner looks on and screams. At last, discouraged with the hopeless endeavor, she comes to the ground and selects another. She . proceeds in this way for several hours. Finally she learns to put the stick end first through the door, and now the work progresses rapidly.

They are gone longer than usual, so long that I begin to fear they have given up their elegant site, but in a few hours I again hear the harsh voice of the male, and on looking up, see the

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