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and short, with wide-spreading heads, but tall and slender, running up for a great height without any branches, and very tiring to climb. I was obliged to saw off the branch before I could look into the nest, and after a great deal of trouble, when I at length got it down safely, I found, to my disappointment, that it contained three young birds instead of eggs. Could I have ascertained this without cutting off the branch, I should certainly have left them where they were; as it was, there was no help for it but to take them. They were apparently about three days old, and almost naked, the skin of an orange or yellowish flesh-colour very sparsely flecked with yellow down. I fed them on maggots, and covered them with cotton wool to keep them warm, and in this way I kept them alive until I reached Paris, where they died, and were entrusted to a skilful taxidermist for preservation."
Although the discovery of a Golden Oriole's nest in England is not unprecedented, it is of sufficiently rare occurrence to attract the atten
tion of naturalists, more especially when the finder (as in the case to which I am about to allude) has the humanity and good sense to permit the young to be reared, instead of shooting the parent birds the moment they are discovered, and thus effectually putting a stop to all attempts at nidification.
It is a pleasure to be able to record the fact, that during the summer of 1874, a pair of Golden Orioles took up their quarters in Dumpton Park, Isle of Thanet, where—the proprietor, Mr. Bankes Tomlin, having given strict injunctions that they should not be disturbed— they built a nest, and successfully reared their young, ultimately leading them away in safety.
They must have commenced building somewhat later than usual, for it was not until the 6th of July that I first heard of the nest, and the young were then just hatched. Mr. Bankes Tomlin having kindly invited me to come and see it, I lost no time in availing myself of his invitation, and a few days later, namely, on July 12th, I found myself at Dumpton Park, standing under the very tree in which the nest was placed. The reader may smile at the idea of journeying from London to Ramsgate merely to look at a nest; but if he be an ornithologist, he will know that Golden Orioles' nests are not to be seen in this country every day, and that when found they are worth "making a note of." Often as I had seen the bird and its nest on the Continent, it had never been my good fortune until then to meet with it in England. Indeed, the instances in which nests of the Oriole have been found here and recorded are so few that they may be easily enumerated. According to the concise account given by Professor Newton in his new edition of "Yarrell's British Birds," one was discovered in June, 1836, in an ash plantation near Ord, from which the young were taken; but, though every care was shown them, they did not long survive their captivity. "Mr. J. B. Ellman says ('Zoologist,' p. 2496) that at the end of May, 1849, a nest was, with the owners, obtained near Elmstone. It was suspended from the extremity of the top branch of an oak, was composed entirely of wool bound together with dried grass, and contained three eggs. Mr. Hulke, in 1851, also recorded (' Zoologist,' p. 3034) a third, of which he was told that it was found about ten years previously in Word Wood, near Sandwich, by a countryman, who took the young, and gave them to his ferrets; and Mr. More, on the authority of Mr. Charles Gordon, mentions one at Elmstead, adding that the bird appeared again in the same locality in 1861. Mr. Howard Saunders and Lord Lilford informed the editor that in the summer of 1871 they each observed, in Surrey and Northamptonshire respectively, a bird of this species, which probably had a nest. Messrs. Sheppard and Whitear speak of a nest said to have been found in a garden near Ormsby, in Norfolk; but the eggs formerly in Mr. Scales's collection, which it has been thought were taken in that county, were really brought from Holland, and the editor is not aware of any collector who can boast the
possession of eggs of this species laid in Britain."
The nest which I am now enabled to record was placed in a fork of a very thin bough of an elm tree, at a considerable height from the ground, and almost at the extremity of the branch, so that it was impossible to reach it except by cutting off the branch near the trunk. Happily, in this case there was no need to reach it, and the finder was enabled to ascertain when the young were hatched by sending a man up the tree high enough to look into the nest without disturbing it. A few days before his first ascent there had been a strong wind blowing for some time, and the slender branch was swayed to and fro to such an extent, that, notwithstanding the depth of the saucer-like nest, one of the eggs was jerked out upon the grass below and broken, though not irreparably so. When I saw it, it was in two pieces, but unmistakably the egg of an Oriole—in size equal to that of a Blackbird, but shining white, with black or rather dark claret-coloured spots at the