Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Birds Illustrated by Color Photography [February, 1898] - A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Birds Illustrated by Color Photography [February, 1898] - A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



images courtesy of The Internet Archive and the Online


                       BIRDS.
         ILLUSTRATED BY COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY
         ================================
         VOL. III. FEBRUARY, 1898. NO. 2.
         ================================



GILBERT WHITE AND "SELBORNE."


I suppose that a habit of minute observation of nature is one of the
most difficult things to acquire, as it is one which is less generally
pursued than any other study. In almost all departments of learning and
investigation there have been numberless works published to illustrate
them, and text books would fill the shelves of a large library. Thoreau
in his "Walden" has shown an extremely fine and close observation of the
scenes in which his all too short life was passed, but his object does
not seem at any time to have been the study of nature from an essential
love of it, or to add to his own or the world's knowledge. On the
contrary, nature was the one resource which enabled him to exemplify his
notions of independence, which were of such a sturdy and uncompromising
character that Mr. Emerson, who had suffered some inconvenience from his
experience of Thoreau as an inmate of his household, thought him fitter
to meet occasionally in the open air than as a guest at table and
fireside. There is a delicious harmony with nature in all that he has
written, but his descriptions of out-of-door life invite us rather to
indolent musing than to investigation or study. Who after reading Izaak
Walton ever went a-fishing with the vigor and enterprise of Piscator?
Washington Irving allowed his cork to drift with the current and lay
down in the shadow of a spreading oak to dream with the beloved old
author.

In White's "Natural History of Selborne" we have a unique book indeed,
but of a far more general interest than its title would indicate. Pliny,
the elder, was the father of natural history but to many of us Gilbert
White is entitled to that honor. To an early edition of the book,
without engravings, and much abridged, as compared with Bohn's,
published in 1851, many owe their first interest in the subject.

Mr. Ireland in his charming little "Book Lover's Enchiridion," tells us
that when a boy he was so delighted with it, that in order to possess a
copy of his own (books were not so cheap as now) he actually copied out
the whole work. In a list of one hundred books, Sir John Lubbock
mentions it as "an inestimable blessing." Edward Jesse, author of
"Gleanings in Natural History" attributes his own pursuits as an
out-door naturalist entirely to White's example. Much of the charm of
the book consists in the amiable character of the author, who

    "----lived in solitude, midst trees and flowers,
    Life's sunshine mingling with its passing showers;
    No storms to startle, and few clouds to shade
    The even path his Christian virtues made."

Very little is known of him beyond what he has chosen to mention in
his diaries, which were chiefly records of his daily studies and
observations, and in his correspondence, from which the "history" is in
fact made up. From these it is evident that his habits were secluded and
that he was strongly attached to the charms of rural life. He says the
greater part of his time was spent in literary occupations, and
especially in the study of nature. He was born July 18, 1720, in the
house in which he died. His father was his first instructor in natural
history, and to his brother Thomas, a fellow of the Royal Society, he
was indebted for many suggestions for his work. It is also to his
brother's influence that we owe the publication of the book, as it
required much persuasion to induce the philosopher to pass through the
ordeal of criticism, "having a great dread of Reviewers," those
incorrigible _bêtes noires_ of authors. His brother promising himself to
review the work in the "Gentleman's Magazine," White reluctantly
consented to its publication. The following short abstract from the
review will show its quality, as well as suggest a possible answer to
the current question propounded by students of the census.

"Contemplative persons see with regret the country more and more
deserted every day, as they know that every well-regulated family of
property which quits a village to reside in a town, injures the place
that is forsaken in material circumstances. It is with pleasure,
therefore, we observe that so rational an employment of leisure hours as
the study of nature promises to become popular, since whatever adds to
the number of rural amusements, and consequently counteracts the
allurements of the metropolis is, on this consideration, of national
importance."

It is to be feared, however, that many stronger influences than this of
the study of nature will be necessary to keep the young men of the
present day from the great cities. Indeed, modern naturalists
themselves spend the greater part of their lives at the centers of
knowledge and only make temporary sallies into the woods and fields to
gather data. White was a noble pioneer. The very minuteness--almost
painful--of his observation required him to occupy himself for days and
weeks and months with what to the average mind would seem of the
slightest importance. As an example of his patient investigation, his
famous study of the tortoise may be given. It was more than thirty years
old when it came into his possession, and for many years--perhaps
twenty--we find White watching the habits of the interesting old
reptile, until, we may assume, he knew all about him and his species.

There are over three hundred and fifty different species of animals and
birds treated by White, most of them exhaustively; the beech tree, the
elm, and the oak are described and watched from year to year; and the
geology and fossil remains of Selborne district are presented. We have
daily accounts of the weather, information of the first tree in leaf,
the appearance of the first fungi and the plants first in blossom. He
tells us when mosses vegetate, when insects first appear and disappear,
when birds are first seen and when they migrate--and a thousand other
things; all in a style of such simplicity, united with rare scholarship,
that it is well worth the attention and imitation of students of the
English language. White was educated at Oxford. He had frequent
opportunities, 'tis said, of accepting college livings, but his fondness
for his native village made him decline all preferment. To this we owe
"Selborne" of which Dr. Beardmore, a distinguished scholar, made the
prophetic remark to a nephew of White's: "Your uncle has sent into the
world a publication with nothing to attract attention to it but an
advertisement or two in the newspapers; but depend upon it, the time will
come when very few who buy books will be without it."

The village was far less attractive than our imaginations would depict
it to have been, and the traveler who would "view fair Selborne
aright," according to a contemporary writer, should humor the caprices
of the English climate and visit it only when its fields and foliage are
clothed in their summer verdure.

                          --CHARLES C. MARBLE.



A FRIEND OF BIRDS


It is told of George H. Corliss, the famous engine builder of
Providence, R. I., that when building a foundry at the Corliss works,
some Blue Birds took the opportunity to build in some holes in the
interior framework into which horizontal timbers were to go. The
birds flew in and out--as Blue Birds will--and went on with their
housekeeping, until in the natural course of things the workmen would
have evicted them to put the apertures to their intended use of
receiving timbers. But Mr. Corliss interfered and showed how the
particular aperture the birds were occupying could be left undisturbed
until they were done with it, without any serious delay to the building.
So the pair came and went in the midst of the noise of building and
brought up their little family safely, and after they had flown away,
and not until then, that particular part of the framework was completed.

At another time, Mr. Corliss was working on a contract with the city of
Providence to supply a steam pumping apparatus, power house and all,
at Sockonosset, and the time was short, and there were forfeitures
nominated in the bond for every day beyond a a specified date for its
completion.

The power house was to be upon virgin soil where were rocks and
trees--little trees growing among rocks. In blasting and clearing the
necessary place for the foundations of the building, a Robin's nest was
discovered in a little tree within the space where the upheavals were to
be made. When Mr. Corliss knew this he had the work transferred to the
other side of the square or parallelogram around which the digging and
blasting were to go, saying that it was just as well to do the other
side first.

But it proved that when the workmen had got clear around and back to the
Robin's tree, the young birds were still not quite ready to fly. This
called for a new exercise of an inventor's power of adapting means to a
worthy end. Looking at the little tree with its nest and little birds
high in the branches he bade the men support the tree carefully while it
was sawed through the trunk a little above the ground, and then carry it
in an upright position to a safe distance and stick it into the ground
with proper support.

The Robin family continued to thrive after this novel house-moving and
all flew away together after a few more days.



QUEER DOINGS OF A CRANE.


A writer on "Animal Helpers and Servers" gives a remarkable account of a
tame Crane, communicated by Von Seyffert. Von Seyffert had a pair of
tame Cranes which soon lost all fear of man and of domestic animals, and
became strongly attached to the former. Their life in a German village,
in which agriculture was the sole employment and the communal system of
joint herding of cattle and swine and driving them together to the
common pasture prevailed, was very much to their taste. They soon knew
all the inhabitants in the place and used to call regularly at the
houses to be fed. Then the female died and the survivor at once took as
a new friend a bull. He stood by the bull in the stall and kept the
flies off him, screamed when he roared, danced before him and followed
him out with the herd. In this association the Crane learned the duties
of cowherd, so that one evening he brought home the whole of the village
herd of heifers unaided and drove them into the stable. From that time
the Crane undertook so many duties that he was busy from dawn till
night. He acted as policeman among the poultry, stopping all fights and
disorder. He stood by a horse when left in a cart and prevented it from
moving by pecking its nose and screaming. A Turkey and a Game Cock were
found fighting, whereon the Crane first fought the Turkey, then sought
out and thrashed the cock. Meantime it herded the cattle, not always
with complete success. The bovines were collected in the morning by the
sound of a horn and some would lag behind. On one occasion the Crane
went back, drove up some lagging heifers through the street and then
frightened them so much that they broke away and ran two miles in the
wrong direction. The bird could not bring them back, but drove them
into a field, where it guarded them until they were fetched. It would
drive out trespassing cattle as courageously as a dog and, unlike
most busybodies, was a universal favorite and pride of the
village.--_Cornhill Magazine._



 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                LEAST BITTERN.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]

THE LEAST BITTERN.


Throughout the whole of temperate North America and tropical America to
Brazil, this, the smallest of the Bittern family, is a well-known bird,
but being a nocturnal species, inhabiting the almost inaccessible swamps
and boggy lands that are covered with a dense growth of canes, reeds,
and rushes, it is seldom met with. Mr. Davis calls it an extremely
interesting little bird, of quiet, retiring habits. In some places as
many as a dozen or twenty pairs breed along the grassy shores of a small
lake or pond. The nest is placed on the ground or in the midst of the
rankest grass, or in a bush. It is often placed on floating bog, and is
simply a platform of dead rushes.

This bird has many odd habits. When standing on the edge of a stream,
with its neck drawn in, it is often taken for a Woodcock, the long bill
giving it this appearance. It is so stupid at times that it may be
caught with the hand.

The Least Bittern is usually seen just before or after sunset. When
startled it utters a low _gua_, and in daylight flies but a short
distance, in a weak, uncertain manner, but at dusk it flaps along on
strong easy wing, with neck drawn in and legs extended.

The eggs of this species are usually from two to six in number, and of a
pale bluish or greenish-white. If approached while on the nest, the
female generally steps quietly to one side, but if suddenly surprised,
takes to flight.

The Least Bittern is known by many local names. In Jamaica it is called
Tortoise-shell Bird and Minute Bittern, and in many localities Little
Bittern.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "All Nature is a unit in herself,
    Yet but a part of a far greater whole.
    Little by little you may teach your child
    To know her ways and live in harmony
    With her; and then, in turn, help him through her
    To find those verities within himself,
    Of which all outward things are but the type.
    So when he passes from your sheltering care
    To walk the ways of men, his soul shall be
    Knit to all things that are, and still most free;
    And of him shall be writ at last this word--
    'At peace with nature, with himself, and God.'"



THE BALDPATE DUCK.


"There seem to be as many Ducks as there are Owls," remarks Bobbie.
"This fellow is called Baldpate, but he's not bare on top of his head
like Gran'pa, at all."

"No, his head is feathered as well as any Duck's head," replies mamma.
"I remember hearing him called the Widgeon, I think."

"Yes, that's what it says here, the American Widgeon, a game bird, you
know, mamma."

"Yes, its flesh is very delicious, almost as good as the Canvas-back."

"Oh, but these Baldpates are cunning fellows," exclaims Bobbie,
continuing his reading, "It says they are fond of a certain grass plant
which grows deep in both salt and fresh water, but they don't dive for
it as the Canvas-back and other deep water Ducks do."

"Well?" says mamma, as Bobbie stops, his lips moving, but uttering no
sound.

"I stopped to spell a word," explains Bobbie. "It says they closely
follow and watch the Canvas-back and other Ducks, and when they rise to
the surface of the water with the roots of the plant in their bills, Mr.
Baldpate quickly snatches a part, or all of the catch, and hurries off
to eat it at his leisure."

"A mean fellow, indeed," remarks mamma, "but he has no reason to guide
him, as you have, you know."

"Indeed I _don't_ know," quickly says Bobbie. "You remember that story
about the imprisoned Duck that had its leg broken and was put under a
small crate, or coop, to keep it from running about? Well, some of the
other Ducks pitied the little prisoner and tried to release him by
forcing their necks under the crate and thus lifting it up. They found
they weren't strong enough to do that, and so they _quacked_, and
_quacked_, and _quacked_ among themselves, then marched away in a body.
Soon they came back with forty ducks, every one in the farm yard. They
surrounded the crate and tried to lift it as before, but again they
failed. Then they _quacked_ some more, and after a long talk the whole
of them went to one side of the crate. As many as could thrust their
necks underneath it, and the rest pushed them forward from behind. A
good push, a strong push, up went the crate a little way, and out
waddled the little prisoner. I want to know if they didn't reason that
out, mamma?"



 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                BALDPATE DUCK.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]

THE BALDPATE.

    We would have you to wit, that on eggs though we sit,
      And are spiked on a spit, and are baked in a pan,
    Birds are older by far than your ancestors are,
      And made love and made war, ere the making of man!
                                            --ANDREW LANG.


There is much variation in the plumage of adult males of this species
of Widgeon, but as Dr. Coues says: "The bird cannot be mistaken under
any condition; the extensive white of the under parts and wings is
recognizable at gun-range." The female is similar, but lacks the white
crown and iridescence on the head.

The Baldpate ranges over the whole of North America. In winter it is
common in the Gulf states and lower part of the Mississippi Valley.
Cooke says it breeds chiefly in the north, but is known to nest in
Manitoba, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, and Texas.
Throughout the whole of British America, as far north as the Arctic
ocean, it is very abundant. In October and April it visits in large
numbers the rivers and marshes, as well as both sea coasts of the
northern United States, and is much sought by hunters, its flesh being
of the finest quality, as when in good condition it cannot easily be
distinguished from that of the Canvas-back. It is regarded by hunters as
a great nuisance. It is not only so shy that it avoids the points of
land, but by its whistling and confused manner of flight is said to
alarm the other species. During its stay in the waters of the
Chesapeake, it is the constant companion of the Canvas-backs, upon
whose superiority in diving it depends in a large degree for its food,
stealing from them, as they rise to the surface of the water, the tender
roots of the plant of which both are so fond--_vallisneria_ grass, or
wild celery. The Baldpate is said to visit the rice fields of the south
during the winter in considerable numbers. It winters in the Southern
states, Mexico, and the West Indies. In the north, the Widgeon exhibits
a greater preference for rivers and open lakes than most of the other
fresh-water Ducks.

The favorite situation of the nest is remarkable, for while the other
Ducks--except, perhaps, the Teal, according to Mr. Kennicott--choose the
immediate vicinity of water, he found the Baldpate always breeding at a
considerable distance from it. Several of the nests observed on the
Yukon were fully half a mile from the nearest water. He invariably found
the nest among dry leaves, upon high, dry ground, either under large
trees or in thick groves of small ones--frequently among thick spruces.
The nest is small, simply a depression among the leaves, but thickly
lined with down, with which after setting is begun, the eggs are covered
when left by the parent. They are from eight to twelve in number, and
pale buff. The food of the Baldpate consists of aquatic insects, small
shells, and the seeds and roots of various plants.

The call of this bird is a plaintive whistle of two and then three notes
of nearly equal duration. Col. N. S. Goss states that, as a rule,
Widgeons "are not shy, and their note, a sort of _whew, whew, whew_,
uttered while feeding and swimming, enables the hunter to locate them in
the thickest growth of water plants."



WOOING BIRDS' ODD WAYS.


Of all the interesting points on which Mr. Dixon touches in his
"Curiosities of Bird Life," perhaps none is more remarkable than the
strange antics in which some birds indulge, especially at the pairing
season. With what odd gestures will a smartly dressed Cock sparrow, for
instance, endeavor to cut a good figure in the eyes of his demure and
sober-tinted lady-love!

To a similar performance, though with more of dignity and action about
it, the Blackcock treats his wives, for, unlike the better conducted
though often much calumniated sparrow, he is not satisfied with a single
mate. One of the most characteristic of spring sounds on Exmoor, as
evening darkens, or, still more, in the early hours of the morning, is
the challenge of the Blackcock. In the month of April he who is abroad
early enough may watch, upon the russet slopes of Dunkery, a little
party of Blackcock at one of their recognized and probably ancestral
meeting-places, by one of the little moorland streams, or on the wet
edge of some swampy hollow. Each bird crouches on a hillock, in the
oddest of attitudes--its head down, its wings a-droop, its beautiful
tail raised--and utters at intervals strange, almost weird notes,
sometimes suggestive of the purr of a Turtle-dove, and sometimes more
like the cry of chamois.

Presently an old cock, grand in his new black coat, will get up and
march backward and forward with his neck stretched out and his wings
trailing on the ground. Now he leaps into the air, sometimes turning
right round before he alights, and now again he crouches close upon his
hillock. It is said that in places where black game are few a single
cock will go through all this by himself, or at least with only his
wives for witnesses. But if there are more cocks than one, the
proceedings generally end with a fight. Where the birds are numerous the
young cocks, who are not allowed to enter the arena with their elders,
hold unauthorized celebrations of their own.

There are many birds which thus, like higher mortals, have their fits
of madness in the days of courtship. But there are some, such as the
spur-winged Lapwing of La Plata, which are, like the lady in the song,
so fond of dancing, especially of what the natives call their serious
dance, meaning a square one, that they indulge in such performances all
the year, not in the daytime only, but even on moonlight nights. "If,"
says Mr. Hudson, who tells the story, "a person watches any two birds
for some time--for they live in pairs--he will see another Lapwing, one
of a neighboring couple, rise up and fly to them, leaving his own mate
to guard their chosen ground, and instead of resenting this visit as an
unwarranted intrusion on their domain, as they would certainly resent
the approach of almost any other bird, they welcome it with notes and
signs of pleasure. Advancing to the visitor, they place themselves
behind it; then all three keeping step, begin a rapid march, uttering
resonant drumming notes in time with their movements; the notes of the
pair behind them being emitted in a stream, like a drum roll, while the
leader utters loud single notes at regular intervals. The march ceases;
the leader elevates his wings and stands motionless and erect, still
uttering loud notes, while the other two with puffed-out plumage, and
standing exactly abreast, stoop forward and downward until the top of
their beaks touch the ground, and, sinking their rhythmical voices to a
murmur, remain for some time in this posture. The performance is then
over and the visitor goes back to his own ground and mate, to receive a
visitor himself later on."--_London Daily News._



 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                PURPLE FINCH.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]

THE PURPLE FINCH.

    "The wind blows cold, the birds are still,
           And skies are gray."


Purple Grosbeak, Crimson Finch, Strawberry Bird, and Linnet are some of
the common names by which this bird of bright colors, sweet song, and
sociable disposition is known. It is very numerous in New England, but
is found nesting regularly in the northern tier of states, North and
South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc., northward, and it is
said to breed in northern Illinois. In Nova Scotia it is exceeding
abundant.

Robert Ridgway says he first made the acquaintance of the Purple Finch
at Mt. Carmel, in mid-winter, "under circumstances of delightful memory.
The ground was covered with snow,--the weather clear and bright, but
cold. Crossing a field in the outskirts of the town, and approaching the
line of tall, dead rag-weeds which grew thickly in the fence corners, a
straggling flock of birds was startled, flew a short distance, and again
alighted on the tall weed-stalks, uttering as they flew, a musical,
metallic _chink, chink_. The beautiful crimson color of the adult males,
heightened by contrast with the snow, was a great surprise to the
writer, then a boy of thirteen, and excited intense interest in this, to
him, new bird. On subsequent occasions during the same winter, they were
found under like circumstances, and also in 'sycamore' or buttonwood
trees, feeding on the small seeds contained within the balls of this
tree."

Dr. Brewer says that the song of the Purple Finch resembles that of the
Canary, and though less varied and powerful, is softer, sweeter, and
more touching and pleasing. The notes may be heard from the last of May
until late in September, and in the long summer evening are often
continued until it is quite dark. Their song has all the beauty and
pathos of the Warbling Vireo, and greatly resembles it, but is more
powerful and full in tone. It is a very interesting sight to watch one
of these little performers in the midst of his song. He appears
perfectly absorbed in his work,--his form is dilated, his crest is
erected, his throat expands, and he seems to be utterly unconscious of
all around him. But let an intruder of his own race appear within a few
feet of the singer, the song instantly ceases, and in a violent fit of
indignation, he chases him away. S. P. Cheney says that a careful
observer told him that he had seen the Linnet fly from the side of his
mate directly upward fifteen or twenty feet, singing every instant in
the most excited manner till he dropped to the point of starting. The
Yellow-breasted Chat has a like performance. See Vol. II of BIRDS, p.238.

The nest of the Finch is usually placed in evergreens or orchard trees,
at a moderate distance from the ground. It is composed of weed-stalks,
bark strips, rootlets, grasses, and vegetable fibres, and lined with
hair. The eggs are four or five in number, dull green, and spotted with
dark brown.

Study his picture and habits and be prepared to welcome this charming
spring visitant.



THE RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER.

    A little Woodpecker am I,
      And you may always know
    When I am searching for a worm,
      For tap, tap, tap, I go.


Oh yes, I am proud of my appearance, but really I am not proud of my
name. Sometimes I am called the "Zebra Bird," on account of the bands of
white and black on my back and wings. That is a much prettier name, I
think, than the Red-bellied Woodpecker, don't you? Certainly it is more
genteel.

I know a bird that is called the Red-eyed Vireo, because his eyes are
red. Well, my eyes are red, too. Then why not call me the Red-eyed
Woodpecker? Still the Woodpeckers are such a common family I don't much
care about that either.

In the last February number of BIRDS that saucy red-headed cousin of
mine had his picture and a letter. Before very long the Red-cockaded
Woodpecker will have his picture taken too, I suppose.

Dear, dear! If all the Woodpeckers are going to write to you, you will
have a merry time. Why, I can count twenty-four different species of
that family and I have only four fingers, or toes, to count on, and you
little folks have five. There may be more of them, Woodpeckers I mean,
for all I know.

Speaking about toes! I have two in front and two behind. There are some
Woodpeckers that have only three, two in front and one behind. It's a
fact, I assure you. I thought I would tell you about it before one of
the three toed fellows got a chance to write to you about it himself.

I am not so shy and wary a bird as some people think I am. When I want
an insect, or worm, I don't care how many eyes are watching me, but
up the tree I climb in my zigzag fashion, crying _chaw-chaw_, or
_chow-chow_ in a noisy sort of way. Sometimes I say _chuck, chuck,
chuck_! The first is Chinese, and the last English, you know. You might
think it sounded like the bark of a small dog, though.

I am fond of flies and catch them on the wing. I like ripe apples, too;
and oh, what a _good_ time I have in winter raiding the farmer's corn
crib! I have only to hammer at the logs with my sharp bill, and soon I
can squeeze myself in between them and eat my fill. I understand the
farmer doesn't like it very much.



 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]

THE RED BELLIED WOODPECKER.


"Zebra Bird" is the name by which this handsome Woodpecker will be
recognized by many readers. Some regard it as the most beautiful of the
smaller species of its tribe. As may be seen, the whole crown and nape
are scarlet in the male. In the female they are only partly so, but
sufficiently to make the identification easy. A bird generally of
retired habits, seeking the deepest and most unfrequented forests to
breed, it is nevertheless often found in numbers in the vicinity of
villages where there are a few dead and partially decayed trees, in
which they drill their holes, high up on a limb, or in the bole of the
tree. When engaged in hammering for insects it frequently utters a
short, singular note, which Wilson likens to the bark of a small dog. We
could never liken it to anything, it is so characteristic, and must be
heard to be appreciated. _Chaw, chaw_, repeated twice, and with vigor,
somewhat resembles the hoarse utterance.

Prof. D. E. Lantz states that this species in the vicinity of Manhattan,
Kansas, exhibits the same familiarity as the Flicker, the Red-headed and
Downy Woodpeckers. About a dozen nests were observed, the excavations
ranging usually less than twenty feet from the ground. One nest in a
burrow of a large dead limb of an elm tree was found May 12, and
contained five eggs. The birds are very much attached to their nests. If
the nest is destroyed by man or beast, the birds almost immediately
begin excavating another nest cavity for the second set, always in the
vicinity of the first nest, often in the same tree.

In its search for food, the "Zebra Bird," regardless of the presence of
man, climbs in its usual spiral or zigzag manner the trees and their
branches boldly uttering now and then its familiar _chaw, chaw_, darting
off occasionally to catch a passing insect upon the wing. Its flight is
undulating, and its habits in many respects are like those of the
Red-headed, but it is not so much of an upland bird, or lover of berries
and fruits, and therefore more respected by the farmer. In contest with
the Red-head it is said to be invariably vanquished.

The North American family of Woodpeckers--consisting of about
twenty-five species--is likely to be brought together in BIRDS for the
first time. We have already presented several species, and will figure
others as we may secure the finest specimens. Occasionally a foreign
Woodpecker will appear. About three hundred and fifty species are known,
and they are found in all the wooded parts of the world except Australia
and Madagascar.



A FORCED PARTNERSHIP.


A pair of Robins had made their nest on the horizontal branch of an
evergreen tree which stood near a dwelling house, and the four young had
hatched when a pair of English Sparrows selected the same branch for
their nest. When the Robins refused to vacate their nest, the Sparrows
proceeded to build theirs upon the outside of the Robin's nest. To this
the Robins made no objection, so both families lived and thrived
together on the same branch, with nests touching. The young of both
species developed normally, and in due time left their nests. The branch
bearing both nests is now preserved in the college museum.--_Oberlin
College Bulletin._



WHAT IS AN EGG?


How many people crack an egg, swallow the meat, and give it no further
thought. Yet, to a reflective mind the egg constitutes, it has been
said, the greatest wonder of nature. The highest problems of organic
development, and even of the succession of animals on the earth, are
embraced here. "Every animal springs from an egg," is a dictum of Harvey
that has become an axiom.

In an egg one would suppose the yolk to be the animal. This is not so.
It is merely food--the animal is the little whitish circle seen on the
membrane enveloping the yolk.

We hope to group a number of eggs, to enable our readers to compare
their size and shape, from that of the Epyornis, six times the size of
an Ostrich egg, down to the tiny egg that is found in the soft nest of
the Humming-bird. This gigantic egg is a foot long and nine inches
across, and would hold as much as fifty thousand Humming-bird's eggs.



THE SAW-WHET OWL.

    "The Lark is but a bumpkin fowl;
      He sleeps in his nest till morn;
    But my blessing upon the jolly Owl
      That all night blows his horn."


A curious name for a bird, we are inclined to say when we meet with it
for the first time, but when we hear its shrill, rasping call note,
uttered perhaps at midnight, we admit the appropriateness of "saw-whet."
It resembles the sound made when a large-toothed saw is being filed.

Mr. Goss says that the natural home of this sprightly little Owl is
within the wild woodlands, though it is occasionally found about farm
houses and even cities. According to Mr. Nelson, it is of frequent
occurrence in Chicago, where, upon some of the most frequented streets
in the residence portion of the city, a dozen specimens have been taken
within two years. It is very shy and retiring in its habits, however,
rarely leaving its secluded retreats until late at eve, for which reason
it is doubtless much more common throughout its range than is generally
supposed. It is not migratory but is more or less of an irregular
wanderer in search of food during the autumn and winter. It may be quite
common in a locality and then not be seen again for several years. It is
nocturnal, seldom moving about in the day time, but passing the time in
sleeping in some dark retreat; and so soundly does it sleep that
ofttimes it may be captured alive.

The flight of the Saw-whet so closely resembles that of the Woodcock
that it has been killed by sportsmen, when flying over the alders,
through being mistaken for the game bird.

These birds nest in old deserted squirrel or Woodpecker holes and small
hollows in trees. The eggs--usually four--are laid on the rotten wood or
decayed material at the bottom. They are white and nearly round.

In spite of the societies formed to prevent the killing of birds for
ornamenting millinery, and the thousands of signatures affixed to the
numerous petitions sent broadcast all over the country, in which women
pledged themselves not to wear birds or feathers of any kind on their
hats, this is essentially a bird killing year, and the favorite of all
the feathers is that of the Owl. There is an old superstition about him
too. He has always been considered an unlucky bird, and many persons
will not have one in the house. He may, says a recent writer, like the
Peacock, lose his unlucky prestige, now that Dame Fashion has stamped
him with her approval. Li Hung Chang rescued the Peacock feather from
the odium of ill luck, and hundreds of persons bought them after his
visit who would never permit them to be taken inside their homes prior
to it. So the Owl seems to have lost his ill luck since fair woman has
decided that the Owl hat is "the thing."

The small size of the Saw-whet and absence of ears, at once distinguish
this species from any Owl of eastern North America, except Richardson's,
which has the head and back spotted with white, and legs barred with
grayish-brown.



THE SAW-WHET OWL.


"Whew!" exclaims Bobbie. "Here's another Owl. I never knew there were so
many different species, mamma."

Mamma smiled at that word "species." It was a word Bobbie had learned in
his study of BIRDS.

"The _Saw-whet Owl_," said she, looking at the picture. "A good looking
little fellow, but not handsome as the Snowy Owl in the June number of
BIRDS."

"He _was_ a beauty," assented Bobbie, "such great yellow eyes looking at
you out of a snow bank of feathers. This little fellow's feet have on
black shoes with yellow soles, not white fur overshoes like the _Snowy
Owl's_."

"His eyes glow like topaz, though, just as the others did," said mamma.
"Let us see what he says about himself.

"As stupid as an Owl. That's the way some people talk about us. Then
again I've heard them say, 'tough as a b'iled owl.' B'iled Owls may be
tough, I don't know anything about that, for I have been too shy and
wary to be caught.

"I had a neighbor once who was very fond of chickens. He was a Night Owl
and said he found it easy to catch them when roosting out at night. Well
he caught so many that Mr. Owl grew very fat, and the farmer whose
chickens he ate, caught, cooked, and ate him. His flesh, the farmer
said, was tender and sweet. So, my little friends, when you want to call
anything 'tough,' don't mention the Owl any more.

"A foreigner?

"Oh, my, no! I'm proud to say I am an American, and so are all my folks.
A branch of the family, however, lives way up north in a region where
they sing 'God save the Queen' instead of the 'Star Spangled Banner.'
They call themselves English Owls, I guess, because they live on British
soil.

"Do I sing?

"Well, not exactly. I can hoot though, and my _Ah-ee, ah-ee_, _ah-oo,
ah-oo_, has a pleasant sound, very much like filing a saw. That is the
reason they call me the Saw-whet Owl. My mate says it doesn't sound that
way to her, but then as she hasn't any ears maybe she doesn't hear very
well.

"You never see me out in the day time, no indeed! I know when the mice
come out of their holes; I am very fond of mice, also insects. I like
small birds, too--to eat--but I find them very hard to catch.

"Don't you?"

 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                SAW-WHET OWL.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]



THE BLACK SWAN.


I advise you little folks to take a good look at me. You don't often see
a Black Swan. White Swans are very common, common as white Geese. I only
wish I could have had my picture taken while gliding through the water.
I am so stately and handsome there. My feet wouldn't have shown either.

Really I don't think my feet are pretty. They always remind me when I
look down at them of a windmill or the sails of a vessel. But if they
hadn't been made that way, webbed-like, I wouldn't be able to swim as I
do. They really are a pair of fine paddles, you know.

There was a time when people in certain countries thought a Black Swan
was an impossibility. As long as there were black sheep in the world, I
don't see why there shouldn't have been Black Swans, do you?

Well, one day, a Dutch captain exploring a river in Australia, saw and
captured four of the black fellows. That was way back in sixteen hundred
and something, so that one of those very Black Swans must have been my
great, great, great, _great_ grandfather. Indeed he may have been even
greater than that, but as I have never been to school, you know, I can't
very well count backward. I can move forward, however, when in the
water. I make good time there, too.

Well, to go back to the Dutch captain. Two of the Swans he took alive to
Dutchland and everybody was greatly surprised. They said "Ach!" and
"Himmel," and many other things which I do not remember. Since that
time they say the Black Swans have greatly diminished in numbers in
Australia. You will find us all over the world now, because we are so
ornamental; people like to have a few of us in their ponds and lakes.

They say that river in Australia which the captain explored was named
Swan river, and Australia took one of us for its armorial symbol. Well,
a Black Swan may look well on a shield, but no matter how hard you may
pull his tail-feathers, he'll never scream like the American Eagle.



THE BLACK SWAN.


Australia is the home of the Black Swan, and it is invested by an even
greater interest than attaches to the South American bird, which is
white. For many centuries it was considered to be an impossibility, but
by a singular stroke of fortune, says a celebrated naturalist, we are
able to name the precise day on which this unexpected discovery was
made. The Dutch navigator William de Vlaming, visiting the west coast of
Southland, sent two of his boats on the 6th of January, 1697, to explore
an estuary he had found. There their crews saw at first two and then
more Black Swans, of which they caught four, taking two of them alive to
Batavia; and Valentyn, who several years later recounted this voyage,
gives in his work a plate representing the ship, boats, and birds, at
the mouth of what is now known from this circumstance as the Swan River,
the most important stream of the thriving colony of West Australia,
which has adopted this Swan as its armorial symbol. Subsequent voyagers,
Cook and others, found that the range of the species extended over the
greater part of Australia, in many districts of which it was abundant.
It has since rapidly decreased in number there, and will most likely
soon cease to exist as a wild bird, but its singular and ornamental
appearance will probably preserve it as a modified captive in most
civilized countries, and it is said, perhaps even now there are more
Black Swans in a reclaimed condition in other lands than are at large
in their mother country.

The erect and graceful carriage of the Swan always excites the
admiration of the beholder, but the gentle bird has other qualities not
commonly known, one of which is great power of wing. The _Zoologist_
gives a curious incident relating to this subject. An American physician
writing to that journal, says that the first case of fracture with which
he had to deal was one of the forearm caused by the blows of a Swan's
wing. It was during the winter of 1870, at the Lake of Swans, in
Mississippi, that the patient was hunting at night, in a small boat and
by the light of torches. In the course of their maneuvers a flock of
Swans was suddenly encountered which took to flight without regard
to anything that might be in the way. As the man raised his arm
instinctively to ward off the swiftly rising birds, he was struck on his
forearm by the wing of one of the Swans in the act of getting under
motion, and as the action and labor of lifting itself were very great,
the arm was badly broken, both bones being fractured.

When left to itself the nest of the Swan is a large mass of aquatic
plants, often piled to the height of a couple of feet and about six feet
in diameter. In the midst of this is a hollow which contains the eggs,
generally from five to ten in number. They sit upon the eggs between
five and six weeks.

It is a curious coincidence that this biographical sketch should have
been written and a faithful portrait for the first time shown on the two
hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the Black Swan.

 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                BLACK SWAN.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]



LIFE IN THE NEST.


    Blithely twitting, gayly flitting
      Thro' the budding glen;
    Golden-crested, sunny-breasted,
      Goes the tiny Wren.
    Peeping, musing, picking, choosing,
      Nook is found at last;
    Moss and feather, twined together--
      Home is shaped at last.

    Brisk as ever, quick and clever,
      Brimming with delight--
    Six wee beauties, bring new duties,
      Work from morn to night.
    Peeping, musing, picking, choosing,
      Nook is found at last;
    Moss and feather, twined together--
      Home is shaped at last.
                            --J. L. H.



THE SNOWY PLOVER.


About one hundred species are comprised in the Plover family, which are
distributed throughout the world. Only eight species are found in North
America. Their habits in a general way resemble those of the true
Snipes, but their much shorter, stouter bills are not fitted for
probing, and they obtain their food from the surface of the ground.
Probably for this reason several species are so frequently found on the
uplands instead of wading about in shallow ponds or the margins of
streams. They frequent meadows and sandy tracts, where they run swiftly
along the ground in a peculiarly graceful manner. The Plovers are small
or medium-sized shore-birds. The Snowy Plover is found chiefly west of
the Rocky Mountains, and is a constant resident along the California
coast. It nests along the sandy beaches of the ocean. Mr. N. S. Goss
found it nesting on the salt plains along the Cimarron River in the
Indian Territory, the northern limits of which extend into southwestern
Kansas. The birds are described as being very much lighter in color than
those of California. Four eggs are usually laid, in ground color, pale
buff or clay color, with blackish-brown markings. Mr. Cory says the nest
is a mere depression in the sand. He says also that the Snowy Plover is
found in winter in many of the Gulf States, and is not uncommon in
Northwestern Florida.

When the female Snowy Plover is disturbed on the nest she will run over
the sand with outstretched wings and distressing gait, and endeavor to
lead the trespasser away from it. It sometimes utters a peculiar cry,
but is usually silent. The food of these birds consists of various
minute forms of life. They are similar in actions to the Semi-palmated
(see July BIRDS), and fully as silent. Indeed they are rarely heard to
utter a note except as the young are approached--when they are very
demonstrative--or when suddenly flushed, which, in the nesting season,
is a very rare thing, as they prefer to escape by running, dodging, and
squatting the moment they think they are out of danger, in hopes you
will pass without seeing them as the sandy lands they inhabit closely
resemble their plumage in color, and says Mr. Goss, you will certainly
do so should you look away or fail to go directly to the spot.

The first discovery of these interesting birds east of Great Salt Lake
was in June, 1886. A nest was found which contained three eggs, a full
set. It was a mere depression worked out in the sand to fit the body. It
was without lining, and had nothing near to shelter or hide it from
view.

 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                SNOWY PLOVER.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]



ONLY A BIRD.


    Only a bird! and a vagrant boy
      Fits a pebble with boyish skill
    Into the folds of a supple sling.
      "Watch me hit him. I can, an' I will."
    Whirr! and a silence chill and sad
      Falls like a pall on the vibrant air,
    From a birchen tree, whence a shower of song
      Has fallen in ripples everywhere.

    Only a bird! and the tiny throat
      With quaver and trill and whistle of flute
    Bruised and bleeding and silent lies
      There at his feet. Its chords are mute.
    And the boy with a loud and boisterous laugh,
      Proud of his prowess and brutal skill,
    Throws it aside with a careless toss.
      "Only a bird! it was made to kill."

    Only a bird! yet far away
      Little ones clamor and cry for food--
    Clamor and cry, and the chill of night
      Settles over the orphan brood.
    Weaker and fainter the moaning call
      For a brooding breast that shall never come.
    Morning breaks o'er a lonely nest,
      Songless and lifeless; mute and dumb.
                              --MARY MORRISON.



THE LESSER PRAIRIE HEN.


Extending over the Great Plains from western and probably southern
Texas northward through Indian Territory to Kansas is said to be the
habitation of the Lesser Prairie Hen, though it is not fully known. It
inhabits the fertile prairies, seldom frequenting the timbered lands,
except during sleety storms, or when the ground is covered with snow.
Its flesh is dark and it is not very highly esteemed as a table bird.

The habits of these birds are similar to those of the Prairie Hen.
During the early breeding season they feed upon grasshoppers, crickets,
and other forms of insect life, but afterwards upon cultivated grains,
gleaned from the stubble in autumn and the corn fields in winter. They
are also fond of tender buds, berries, and fruits. When flushed, these
birds rise from the ground with a less whirring sound than the Ruffed
Grouse or Bob White, and their flight is not as swift, but more
protracted, and with less apparent effort, flapping and sailing along,
often to the distance of a mile or more. In the fall the birds come
together, and remain in flocks until the warmth of spring awakes the
passions of love; then, in the language of Col. Goss, as with a view to
fairness and the survival of the fittest, they select a smooth, open
courtship ground, usually called a scratching ground, where the males
assemble at the early dawn, to vie with each other in carnage and
pompous display, uttering at the same time their love call, a loud,
booming noise. As soon as this is heard by the hen birds desirous of
mating, they quietly appear, squat upon the ground, apparently
indifferent observers, until claimed by victorious rivals, whom they
gladly accept, and whose caresses they receive. Audubon states that
the vanquished and victors alike leave the grounds to search for the
females, but he omits to state that many are present, and mate upon the
"scratching grounds."

The nest of the Prairie Hen is placed on the ground in the thick prairie
grass and at the foot of bushes when the earth is barren; a hollow is
scratched in the soil, and sparingly lined with grasses and a few
feathers. There are from eight to twelve eggs, tawny brown, sometimes
with an olive hue and occasionally sprinkled with brown.

During the years 1869 and 1870, while the writer was living in
southwestern Kansas, which was then the far west, Prairie Chickens as
they were called there, were so numerous that they were rarely used for
food by the inhabitants, and as there was then no readily accessible
market the birds were slaughtered for wanton sport.

 [Illustration: From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.
                LESSER PRAIRIE HEN.
                Copyright by
                Nature Study Pub. Co., 1898, Chicago.]



THE NEW TENANTS.

BY ELANORA KINSLEY MARBLE.


The next day Mrs. Jenny retired into the tin pot, and later, when Mr.
Wren peeped in, lo! an egg, all spotted with red and brown, lay upon the
soft lining of the nest.

"It's quite the prettiest thing in the world," proudly said Mr. Wren.
"Why, my dear, I don't believe your cousin, Mrs. John Wren, ever laid
one like it. It seems to me those spots upon the shell are very
remarkable. I shouldn't be surprised if the bird hatched from that shell
will make a name for himself in bird-land some day, I really shouldn't."

"You foolish fellow," laughed Mrs. Wren, playfully pecking him with her
bill, "if you were a Goose your Goslings, in your eyes, would all be
Swans. That's what I heard our landlady say to her husband last night,
out on the porch, when he wondered which one of his boys would be
president of the United States."

Mr. Wren chuckled in a truly papa-like manner and pecked her bill in
return, then fairly bubbling over with happiness flew to a neighboring
limb, and burst into such a merry roundelay, one note tumbling over
another in Wren fashion, that every member of the household came out to
hear and see.

"There he is," cried Pierre, as Mrs. Wren left her nest and flew over
beside him, "with tail down and head up, singing as though he were mad
with joy."

"Such a rapturous song," said mamma. "It reminds me of two almost
forgotten lines:

    'Brown Wren, from out whose swelling throat
    Unstinted joys of music float.'

"How well we are repaid for the litter they made, are we not?"

"And sure, mum," said Bridget, whose big heart had also been touched
by the sweet song, "it's glad I am, for sure, that I wasn't afther
dispossessin' your tinents. It's innocent craythurs they be, God bless
'em, a harmin' ov no wan. Sthill--"

"Well," queried her mistress, as Bridget paused.

"Sthill, mum, I do be afther wonderin' if the tin pot had been a hangin'
under the front porch instead of the back, would ye's been after takin'
the litter so philosophyky like as ye have, mum, to be sure."

The mistress looked at Bridget and laughingly shook her head.

"That's a pretty hard nut to crack, Bridget," said she. "Under those
conditions I am afraid I----" What ever admission she was going to make
was cut short by a burst of laughter from the children.

"Look at him, mamma, just look at him," they cried, pointing to Mr.
Wren, who, too happy to keep still had flown to the gable at the
extremity of the ridge-pole of the house, and after a gush of song, to
express his happiness was jerking himself along the ridge-pole in a
truly funny fashion. From thence he flew into the lower branches of a
neighboring tree, singing and chattering, and whisking himself in and
out of the foliage: then back to the roof again, and from roof to tree.

"I know what makes him so happy," announced Henry, who, standing upon a
chair, had peeped into the nest. "There's a dear little egg in here.
Hurrah for Mrs. Wren!"

"Do not touch it," commanded mamma, "but each one of us will take a peep
in turn."

Mrs. Wren's bead-like eyes had taken in the whole proceeding, and with
fluttering wings she stood on a shrub level with the porch and gave
voice to her motherly anxiety and anger.

"_Dee, dee, dee_," she shrilly cried, fluttering her little wings, which
in bird language means, "oh dear, oh dear, what shall I do?"

Her cries of distress were heard by Mr. Wren, and with all haste he flew
down beside her.

"What is it?" cried he, very nearly out of breath from his late
exertions. "Has that rascally Mr. Jay----"

"No, no!" she interrupted, wringing her sharp little toes, "It's not Mr.
Jay this time, Mr. Wren. It's the family over there, _our_ family,
robbing our nest of its one little egg."

"Pooh! nonsense!" coolly said Mr. Wren, taking one long breath of
relief. "Why, my dear, you nearly frighten me to death. You know, or
_ought_ to know by this time, that our landlord's family have been
taught not to do such things. Besides you yourself admit them to be
exceptionally good children and good children never rob nests. Fie, I'm
ashamed of you. Really my heart flew to my bill when I heard your call
of distress."

Mrs. Wren, whose fears were quite allayed by this time, looked at her
mate scornfully.

"Oh!" said she, with fine sarcasm, "your heart flew into your bill
did it? Well, let me say, Mr. Wren, that if it had been my mother in
distress, father at the first note of warning, would have flown to her
assistance with his heart in his _claws_. He kept them well sharpened
for just such occasions, and woe to any enemy _he_ found prowling about
his premises."

"Oh, indeed!" said Mr. Wren, "I presume he would have attacked Bridget
over there, and the whole family. To hear you talk, Mrs. Wren, one would
think your father was a whole host in himself."

"And so he was," said she, loftily, "I have seen him attack a _Bluebird_
and a _Martin_ at the same time and put them both to flight. An _Owl_
had no terrors for him, and as for squirrels, why----" Mrs. Wren raised
her wings and shrugged her shoulders in a very Frenchy and wholly
contemptuous manner.

"I'm a peace-loving sort of a fellow, that you know, Mrs. Wren,
deploring the reputation our tribe has so justly earned for fighting,
and scolding, and jeering at everything and everybody. Indeed they go so
far as to say we trust no one, not even our kindred. But mark me, Mrs.
Wren, mark me, I say! Should any rascally Jay, neighbor or not, ever
dare approach that tin pot over yonder, or ever alight on the roof of
the porch, I'll, I'll----" Mr. Wren fairly snorted in his anger, and
standing on one foot, doubled up the toes of the other and struck it
defiantly at the imaginary foe.

"Oh, I dare say!" tauntingly said Mrs. Wren, "you are the sort of fellow
that I heard little Dorothy reading about the other day. You would fight
and run away, Mr. Wren, that you might live to fight another day."

Mr. Wren lifted one foot and scratched himself meditatively behind the
ear.

"Good, _very_ good, indeed, my dear! It must have been a pretty wise
chap that wrote that." And Mr. Wren, who seemed to find the idea very
amusing, laughed until the tears stood in his eyes.

Mrs. Wren smoothed her ruffled feathers and smiled too.

"Tut, tut, Jenny," said the good-natured fellow, "what is the use of us
newly married folk quarreling in this fashion. Think how joyous we were
less than one short hour ago. Come, my dear, the family have all left
the porch, save Emmett. Let us fly over there and take a look at our
treasure." And Mrs. Wren, entirely restored to good humor, flirted her
tail over her back, hopped about a little in a coquettish manner, then
spread her wings, and off they flew together.

Mrs. Wren the next day deposited another egg, and the next, and the
next, till six little speckled beauties lay huddled together in the cosy
nest.

"Exactly the number of our landlord's family," said she, fluffing her
feathers and gathering the eggs under her in that truly delightful
fashion common to all mother birds. "I am so glad. I was greatly puzzled
to know what names we should have given the babies had there been more
than six."

"I hadn't thought of that," admitted Mr. Wren, who in his joy had been
treating his mate to one of his fine wooing songs, and at length coaxed
her from the nest, "but I dare say we would have named them after some
of our relatives."

"Why, of course," assented Mrs. Wren, "I certainly would have named one
after my dear, brave papa. Mrs. John Wren says that boys named after a
great personage generally develop all the qualities of that person."

"Oh, indeed!" sniffed Mr. Wren, "that was the reason she named one of
her numerous brood last year after our rascally neighbor, Mr. Jay, I
presume. Certainly the youngster turned out as great a rascal as the one
he was named after."

Mrs. Wren's head feathers stood on end at once.

"For the life of me," she said tartly, "I cannot see why you always fly
into a passion, Mr. Wren, whenever I mention dear papa, or Mrs. John, or
in fact _any_ of my relatives. Indeed--but sh-sh! There's one of our
neighbors coming this way. I verily believe it is, oh yes, it is, it
_is_----" and Mrs. Wren wrung her toes, and cried _cheet, cheet, cheet_,
and _dee, dee, dee_! in a truly anxious and alarming manner.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



SUMMARY.


Page 46.

#LEAST BITTERN.#--_Botaurus exilis._

RANGE--Temperate North America, from the British Provinces to the West
Indies and South America.

NEST--In the thick rushes, along the edge of the water, bending down the
tops of water grass and plaiting it into a snug little nest, about two
or three feet above the water.

EGGS--Three or five, pale bluish or greenish-white.

       *       *       *       *       *

Page 50.

#BALDPATE.#--_Anas americana._

RANGE--North America from the Arctic ocean south to Guatemala and Cuba.

NEST--On the ground in marshes, of grass and weeds, neatly arranged and
nicely hollowed; usually lined with the down and feathers from its own
breast.

EGGS--Eight to twelve, of pale buff.

       *       *       *       *       *

Page 54.

#PURPLE FINCH.#--_Carpodacus purpureus._ Other names: "Purple Grosbeak,"
"Crimson Finch," "Linnet."

RANGE--Eastern North America, breeding from Northern United States
northward.

NEST--In evergreens or orchard trees, at a moderate distance from the
ground. Composed of weed-stalks, bark-strips, rootlets, grasses, all
kinds of vegetable fibres, and lined with hairs.

EGGS--Four or five, of a dull green, spotted with very dark brown,
chiefly about the larger end.

       *       *       *       *       *

Page 58.

#RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER.#--_Melanerpes carolinus._ Other name: "Zebra
Bird."

RANGE--Eastern United States, west to the Rocky Mountains, south to
Florida and Central Texas.

NEST--In holes in decayed trees, twenty or thirty feet from the ground.

EGGS--Four or six, glossy white.

       *       *       *       *       *

Page 63.

#SAW-WHET OWL.#--_Nyctale acadica._ Other name: "Acadian Owl."

RANGE--Whole of North America; breeding from middle United States
northward.

NEST--In holes, trees, or hollow trunks.

EGGS--Four to seven, white.

       *       *       *       *       *

Page 67.

#BLACK SWAN.#--_Cygnus atratus._

RANGE--Australia.

NEST--On a tussock entirely surrounded by water.

EGGS--Two to five.

       *       *       *       *       *

Page 71.

#SNOWY PLOVER.#--_Aegialitis nivosa._

RANGE--Western North America, south to Mexico in winter, both coasts of
Central America, and in western South America to Chile.

NEST--On the ground.

EGGS--Three, ground color, pale buff or clay color, marked with
blackish-brown spots, small splashes and fine dots.

       *       *       *       *       *

Page 75.

#LESSER PRAIRIE HEN.#--_Tympanuchus pallidicinctus._

RANGE--Eastern edge of the Great Plains, from western and probably
southern Texas northward through Indian Territory to Kansas.

NEST--On the ground in thick prairie grass, and at the foot of bushes on
the barren ground; a hollow scratched out in the soil, and sparingly
lined with grasses and a few feathers.

EGGS--Eight to twelve, tawny brown.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Birds Illustrated by Color Photography [February, 1898] - A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home