: Handbook of birds of the western United States including the great plains, great basin, Pacific slope, and lower Rio Grande valley
: Bailey, Florence Merriam, 1863-1948
: Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin company
: The Library of Congress
: The Library of Congress
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conversational tone and varied inflections and it seems smallwonder that they learn to talk when kept in confinement. They are keen observers and eager investigators of anything newthat does not appear dangerous. If a line of traps are set throughthe sagebrush for small rodents and marked with bits of cotton onbush tops, the cotton soon catches their eyes and is promptly inves-tigated. If some of the traps have caught meadow mice they arecarried off to a convenient place, the mice eaten and the traps left —-sometimes causing a slight unpleasantness between magpie andmammalogist. In cases where the birds are common they take upthe traps so systematically that the collector has to leave his lineunmarked or devise a method obscure enough to escape their keeneyes. A flock of six or eight once came to examine into the blanketsof a naturalist sleeping on a haycock. Several of them lit on his headand one was so absorbed in its explorations that the awakened coblector caught it in his hand.
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MAGPIE CROWS, JAYS, MAGPIES, ETC. 271 The birds are quick to take advantage of circumstances, and havebeen found living largely on dead fish at Lake Winnemucca, Nevada,feeding with the chickens in Utah, and during deep snows in Ore-gon keeping their toes warm by spending a large share of their timeperched on the backs of horses and mules. 476. Pica nuttalli Aud. Yellow-billed Magpie. Similar to the P. p. hudsonica, but smaller and with bill and nakedskin back of eye bright yellow. Length : 16-18, wing 7.20-7.70, tail 9.30-10.30, exposed culmen 1.04-1.17, tarsus 1.63-1.89. ]3istribution. — Resident in California west of the Sierra Nevada moun-tains from Sacramento Valley south to about latitude 34°, locally distrib-uted. Nest. — Similar to that of hudsonica, with the addition of cow manureand inner bark of the cottonwood ; placed in oaks, sycamores, cotton-woods, and willows, usually 30 to 60 feet from the ground. Eggs: about7, like those of the black-billed, but a trifle smaller
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