deserted from the breaking of one or more of their eggs, after incubation liad progressed some way ; in others, where there was only one chick, there was often one egg which had been cracked and become dried up, so that even with all their acute architectural devices the wind appears to wreck the hopes of the little builders.
What can be the use of the mud in the Weaver-birdsa nests has often been discussed. Mr. E. L. Layard, the accurate
TWO FORMS OF THE NEST OF THE WEAVER BIRD.
observer and well-known ornithologist, has suggested * a that these lumps of mud were used as scrapers on which to clean the birdsa bills but if in the nests I found here they were used for this purpose, it must have been only at the commencement of their task, for the layer of mud would be quite concealed at an early stage of their nest-building. I am more inclined to the belief that they are to weight and balance the nest, from having found loose among the lower stems Unfinished portions, which were evidently the foundations of
* Nature, Dec. 1879.