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Source: The Illustrated London News, June 15, 1850, p.424
Mr. Alfred Smee, in his very interesting volume, entitled "Instinct and Reason," adduces many curious instances of birds selecting strange localities for their nesting-places; but we question whether either of his instances exceeds in singularity the specimen here illustrated, from a sketch by Peter Bearblock, Esq., of Hornchurch.
The penny postage having greatly increased the bulk as well as the number of postal communications, the apertures through which the letters are put have been proportionally enlarged; and, in this case, it has facilitated a strange departure from general rule. Withinside the door of the Post-office at Squirrel's-Heath, near Hornchurch, a pair of those beautiful birds, the Blue Titmouser having entered by the oriftce made for the posting of letters, have contrived to carry therein an incredible mass of materials for nidification, as feathers, hair, and moss, covering the entire floor of the box some inches deep; in the centre of which they have made their little nursery, and are now rearing ten little ones. The hen kept her post, while sitting, three weeks, not-withstanding being daily covered up with letters and newspapers; as many as thirty of the former having been removed from around her on several occasions. With this interruption, besides letters and newspapers continually dropped into the box, the bird has built her nest, laid her eggs (each about the size of a pea), and carried on incubation; all the ten eggs have been hatched, and, at the date of our Correspondent's letter, this moderate family were expected to come out into the feathered world in a few days.