Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses Page: 89
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TEXAS NATURE OBSERVATIONS AND REMINISCENCES. 89
feathers on which the female lays
four to six small eggs of light
reddish brown and speckled color.
The photo herein shows how a
number of these mud nests were
plastered against a steep rock wall
in a hanging position, the entrance
opening being located at the nar-
row neck part of the cylindrically
These cliff swallows, as all others,
being insectivorous, are very useful
creatures as they destroy large
numbers of various dipterous insects
during their flighty rambles along
the rivulets-or around barns and
houses-if there located; and their
nests and young brood should by
all means be protected. Often,
in touring places where such and
other types of swallows prepare
their nests, these are seen wantonly
battered up with rocks or broken
to pieces by some ignorant vandals
who find delight in destroying
such as well as other nests-merely
to amuse themselves! Had such
vandals received stricter lessons
from their parents and better
nature studies from their teachers.
our feathery tribe would not,
as in late years, be so near extinc-
A Rare Forest Wren and its Nest
The prairie plains, hilly regions,
forests, river bottom, pastures and
parks around San Antonio harbor
great numbers of various wren
species, such as our common house-
wren, the cactus wren, the rock
and canyon wren. the winter or
f rest wren. the C(arolina wren and
a number of others, and the pur-
nose of the following notes is not
to dwell on these, as their life
history is quite well known, but
rather I wish to call attention to
an interesting and rare wren and
its nest encountered lately in a
cavity or hole in the ground along
the river bank, nine miles below
San Antonio, in a sloping embanlk-
inent and close to a sparklingr
spring surrounded by forest trees,
rampant vines, ferns and other
luxuriant forest vegetation.
The nest was accidentally de-
tected by an outing party about a
mile off from where we had
pitched our camp along some old
shady monarchs of the river bot-
tom. and as my friend knew I was
at the time that, I was interested
in most of our interesting
nests of the feathery tribe. we
strolled back through the rvcr
bottom to near the small spring,
and there it was, a very small
"wren species, snugly sheltered and
peeping out of its nest hotel.
We approached very cautiously
but the lively little fellow, like a
shot, suddenly flew in a straight
line to the nearest bush close to
the spring where it hopped and
flew restlessly from tree to tree.
accompanied by its mate, and chir-
ping in an excited manner.
Both these wren birds were very
small, hardly three inches in
length, and of a reddish-brown
cinnamon .color with long white
stripe along the upper and lower
After its escape from the nest
it was shown that the nest cavity
contained five egas. and rather
larce eggs (for the small size of its:
host) of oval shape and slightly
speckled, red(dish-brown spots
covering the else snow-white egg-
An endeavor to photograph the
subterranean nest and its contents
of five eggs was not quite success-
ful as no artificial light was at
hand to expose the nest interior
better, and :'s it also was rather
1,ate in the evening to make a clear
viw. This hanpened on June l tli.
1912, when the nest was found, and
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Menger, R. Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses, book, 1913; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143558/m1/93/?q=menger: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.